• Nov2

    Are all sins equal? No. The biblical word sin, literally means “to fall short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In this sense all sin is sin, but when sins are carried out they are not equal in their degrees of severity. This is evident in the fact that the consequences of different sins differ quite greatly. If all sins were “equal” then the consequences for all sin would be the same, would they not?

    I always find it intriguing that Jesus reveals there will be greater punishment for Chorzin and Bethsaida than for Sodom and Gomorrah (see Matthew 10:15). Jesus spoke of different levels of punishment for those cities that saw His miracles yet still did not repent.


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    “Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the Day of Judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.’” – Matthew 11:20-24 ESV

    It is one thing to hate a person, but it is far worse to hate a person and then murder that individual.

    It is one thing to lust after a man or women, but it is far more serious to actually carry out the immoral act with that person.

    The internal motive might be the same as Jesus indicated (Matthew 5:22, 28), but by acting on it there are horrible consequences which can prove to be far more destructive. These consequences, which always affect our relationships with others and with the Lord, vary in degree depending on what sin is committed.

    I can covet something and not steal it. However, when I covet and follow through and steal something it is significantly worse than the internal sin of coveting. At a very minimum if I steal, I must pay back what I stole plus a fifth more (Exodus 22:1). If I covet something and do not steal I still need to confess my sin of covetousness to the Lord, but I don’t have to give anything back to that person.

    The severity of some sins is clearly different than others. For example the sin of theft is far less of a sin than murder.

    So to say that “sin is sin” and that all sins are equal is an incomplete evaluation of sin. In the book of Leviticus we see certain sins carry the punishment of death while others are judged far less severely.

    Have you, like me, wondered why some deserve death by the Mosaic Judicial Law and others are less punitive? The simple answer is: According to Yahweh God greater sins deserve greater punishment and lesser sins receive lesser punishment.

    Don’t we often hear, “Look, I know I sin and I’m not perfect so I’m not going to judge anyone else.” This is an understandable statement but we do not have to be without sin to make an honest evaluation of sin. If we are waiting to be perfect we will never judge anything or discern according to righteousness. If I am honest about my own sin, confess it and am repentant with sincere surrender, I can render a righteous judgment. I think the Apostle Paul gives us some clarity about this in Galatians.

    “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” – Galatians 6:1 NIV

    The next time you hear someone say: “All sins are the same”, try to enter into the dialogue with some instructive biblical clarity. I know you’ll find the experience rewarding!

    In Christ,



  • Oct15

    Over and over again I hear Christians and non-Christians alike make inaccurate and incomplete statements about judging. The misunderstanding  is usually framed as a question:  “Who has the right to judge?” Or statements like, “I’m far from perfect so who am I to judge.” Another popular one is, “I’m not here to judge anyone.”

    Some will say that we have no right to judge. This is incorrect. You and I are judging people, situations, decisions and directions every day of our lives. At least I hope so! However, we are not to judge to condemn another person. Only God can and will condemn people to hell.

    “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28 KJV

    The word judge means to render a discerning opinion by separating right from wrong regarding a particular person, behavior, ideology, doctrinal teaching or experience.

    Many people can quote Matthew 7:1 – in King James no less☺- “Judge not lest ye be judged…”  without even knowing where it’s found in the Bible nor the context or completeness of what it says.

    When you consider the context of Matthew 7:1-20 you will see that Jesus is not prohibiting all types of judging. From the two verses below it is clear we must be exercising judgment or rendering a righteous assessment.

    You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? … 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:16; 20 NIV

    There is a righteous kind of judgment which we are to exercise with careful discernment.

    “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” – John 7:24 NASB

    We are actually wired to decide what is right and wrong, what is the good, better, best, worse or negative in any given situation. In this sense, each of us judges every single day. Understanding this is vital if we are going to navigate through life carrying out God’s will in God’s ways. Discernment ought to always lead to healthy judgment.

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” – Matthew 7:1-5 NIV

    Notice that judgment without introspection and confrontation of ones own sin is the type of hypocritical judgment Jesus is condemning here. Verse 5 makes it very clear that there is a place to “remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    Censorious, hypocritical, self-righteous, or other kinds of unfair judgments are forbidden. But in order to fulfill the commandments that follow, it is necessary to discern dogs and swine (v. 6) from one’s own brethren (v. 5), and to detect those who are false teachers from those who are in our midst.

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. … 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:15; 20 ESV

    The verses below give us further instruction about the role of judging and specifically, the role of Jesus Christ as the supreme Judge:

    “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” – John 12:47, 48 ESV

    What will be the basis for judgment on the final day? That is the issue at the conclusion of John 12, with its emphasis on faith. The answer centers not in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; He came into the world the first time to save it. That was Christ’s mission from the His Father. We know from John 5:22, that the Father has delegated His authority to the Son to carry out the ultimate final judgment of the world.

    As the Holman New Testament Commentary on John says about this passage:

    “From the passage in John 12:47-48 the focus of judgment will be the actual Word of God. God’s words through Jesus Christ as well as through the prophets and other biblical writers form the final authority for obedience. They are the message of faith. God through Christ will ultimately judge people by how they received and responded to what the Bible says. This is not a common invitation in John 12, but a command to turn from darkness to light and from death to life.”

    “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,” – John 5:22 NIV

    The Apostle Paul also clarifies that we are to judge (render a righteous opinion) about EVERYTHING from behavior to doctrine.

    “The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,” – 

    1 Corinthians 2:15 NIV

    Most would agree that one of the greatest problems in the Church at large is Hypocrisy.

    The antidote to Hypocrisy is judgment. Think about it. Healthy accountability with mutual permission to hold each other to live in conformity with the Scriptures actually promotes transformation.

    In our culture the  subject of Jugement Is probably the easiest topic to bring up in conversation with EVERYONE.  Try it in the next weeks and share the results with your frieinds.

    In Christ,



  • Oct5

    The latest revelations in regard to the actions of Planed Parenthood in the selling of baby body parts are grievous to anyone with a normal conscience. These actions are appalling at a minimum and bluntly perverse! The irony of this is that the people bragging about such behavior appear to be sophisticated, intelligent, and articulate people. It’s rather disconcerting that they seem so normal yet condone such barbaric practices, don’t you think?

    We can be manipulated into thinking that because they are so-called, “sensible people,” they must not be so perverse. Remember, however, that Satan himself does not appear evil but disguises himself as an angel of light. This reveals how an individual – and eventually a culture – can move into depravity rather quickly. For a government to allow and condone such practices is evil. There is no other word.  The Apostle Paul, in talking about the “last times,” said that people would actually devote themselves to deceitful spirits. Right before our eyes, with an air of arrogance and ignorance, these “intelligent” people are living out this deception. These behaviors, as Timothy says, come straight from demonic spirits:

    “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV 

    This is shocking. What do we do about this? Here is my answer:

    Every church in America (at least your church) that names the name of Jesus Christ ought to teach about the depravity of such behavior and attempt to change the laws to protect the life of the unborn and vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

    The Apostle Paul went on to instruct Timothy as a young pastor in what he ought to do:

    “If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. … 11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.” – 1 Timothy 4:6, 11 NLT  

    Just think…

    What would happen if Christians, equipped with the knowledge of the when life begins, (Psalm 139:13-16) and the depravity of such evil behaviors (1 Timothy 4:1,2,6,11) would make a stand?

    Just think…

    What would happen if Christ followers put on their Facebooks, websites, and emails a written statement about their opposition to such behavior and their hearty support for the life of the unborn?

    Just think…

    What would happen if every church spent money to place billboards all over the city making a poignant statement about the practices of Planned Parenthood?

    Just think…

    What would happen if every member of your church would call their government representative and ask them to defund Planned Parenthood?

    Just think…

    What would happen if  the biblical truth concerning conception was taught to our children and high school kids? Armed with actual knowledge,  just think if they communicated these truths in their classrooms and with their friends.

    Friends, this might not be the total solution but just think how far ahead we would be in influencing our culture if we did some of these things?

    I would suggest that you do some of the above suggestions. Ask your Pastor to take a stand and declare God’s concern for the unborn and the shamefulness of the practices of Planned Parenthood.


    “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22 NIV

    In Christ,



  • Sep23

    “And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” – Mark 1:22 NKJV

    Jesus’ authoritative teaching, as the spoken Word of God, was in sharp contrast to that of the scribes (experts in the Old Testament Scriptures), who based their authority largely on that of other rabbis. Jesus’ direct, personal, and forceful teaching was so foreign to their experience that those who heard Him were “astonished.”

    “desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” – 1 Timothy 1:7 ESV

    The false teachers wanted the kind of prestige enjoyed by Jewish Rabbis; but they were not concerned at all about going back to the original source – the very Word and Law of God and then teaching the truth of Scripture as it was clearly written.

    “for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” – Matthew 7:29 NKJV

    The scribes quoted others to establish the authority of their teachings; Jesus was His own authority because He came from the Father. He understood the law and it’s instructions and taught them accurately. In addition to this, Jesus not only spoke with authority He then acted upon the law and did what it commanded demonstrating His authority was from the Father.

    The matter of authority was a major issue between Jesus and the Jews, who felt their authority challenged.

    Just as in the days of Christ, the issue of authority is of utmost importance today. As much as possible we must go back to the original source whether we’re talking about America, our founders, or the Word of God.

    Now, I am not at all equating the original documents of the Founding Fathers to be on par with the Bible and it’s original sources. However, the fifth device so obviously seeking to tear down America and Christianity is called, Academic Collectivism.

    Academic Collectivism is when writers and scholars quote each other, and those from their tribe, rather than consulting original sources. This destructive and harmful tendency now dominates the modern academic world with heavy reliance on peer review as the almost exclusive standard for historical truth.

    Once again I reference “The Jefferson Lies” by David Barton. Here is an excerpt from his thoughts on Academic Collectivism.

    “An excellent, if chilling example of this historical malpractice is evident in a book called The Godless Constitution. In that work, Cornell professors Isaac Kramnick and Laurence Moore assert that the Founding Fathers were a group of atheists, agnostics and deists who deliberately set out to create a secular government. (The Godless Constitution, page 12,22,& 27). This text has become a staple in many universities across the country; law reviews, courts, and other professors now cite this work as an authoritative source to prove the Founding Father’s lack of religious belief. (Barton Footnotes his source on this #48 page xxii. Strikingly, however, at the end of the book where footnotes customarily appear, the professors candidly acknowledge that “we have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes. Page 179 “The Godless Consititution.””  Page xxii from the Jefferson Lies.)

    I looked the book up on the internet and discovered that the authors did not use one original source but rather, quoted others from their own academic field. The earliest documents for their sources were only two from 1955 (of 27 total sources throughout the text).

    This type of peer review is incestuous, with one scholar quoting another, each recalculating the others reviews, but with none of them consulting sources or ideas outside of his or her own academic gene pool.

    Some things never change! Jesus was dealing with a group of Jewish religious heretics that desired power and control over the Truth!

    Here is an application for you and I: When someone spouts off about some aspect of Christianity or our country, ask a simple question—what is your source? More specifically ask, “Where is that in the Bible?” “What original document supports your premise for what the Founders believed?”

    Listen, we might not know the answer but it will motivate you and I to dig into the Scriptures or to look for documentation from the original documents of America’s history (depending on what we are seeking to understand).

    On Mission with You,



  • Sep15

    The fourth device used today is Minimalism, which is an unreasonable insistence on oversimplification—on reducing everything to monolithic (large) causes and linear (involving one dimension only) effects.

    “Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors. 9 Remember the former things of old, For I [am] God, and [there is] no other; [I am] God, and [there is] none like Me,” – Isaiah 46:8, 9 NKJV

    The phrase “recall to mind” is an emphasis on the call to keep a mental focus on who God is and how our cognitive concentration must be renewed, because the idolatrous culture of the world continually erodes clarity. So many times God does not speak in broad generalities and oversimplification, but rather, He is very specific about what happened in Israel’s history and how His people were responsible for their specific actions (Jude 11).

    In Jude 11 the Holy Spirit is very specific about the sins of Cain, Balaam’s error in rushing for profit, and Korah’s rebellion. God is not a modernist in regard to history ☺!

    In a world of change, each generation thinks itself superior, forgetting the lessons and the facts of past history. The fact is that, although technology may change, God does not change and neither does human nature. We can never understand the present or the future without first believing and understanding God’s record of creation and world history.

    The readers of Isaiah’s words are to recall, with accuracy and historical context, the past history of God’s fulfilled prophecies, miraculous deliverances, and providential blessings. All of these were ample evidence that He alone was God.

    During the last week of High School, our oldest grandson (a senior at West Linn High School) came home and said, “Papa, my English teacher boldly bad-mouthed our founders… especially Thomas Jefferson. He said, “America is bad because our founders were not what we think they were.

    He went on to say with broad generalizations: “America does not do anything right in the world and as a result we are hated by the world!” The teacher especially ridiculed Thomas Jefferson,  (without any original documentation to verify his accusations) about a variety of subjects such as his ownership of slaves, the assumption that he fathered a slave girl (Sally Hemings’ child) and that he was a racist.

    One of the great challenges we as Christ followers have is taking the time to live out the biblical exhortation: “study to show ourselves approved to God, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

    I realize that we are all so busy and that is one reason why pastors and teachers are paid full-time to help in the effort to know the Word of God. However, we all must be self-learners and dig into the Scriptures and learn how to think after the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and then integrate God’s truth into the fabric of our conversations, and thus make an impact on our culture.

    “But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one.” -  1 Corinthians 2:15 (AMPC) 

    Here is where we need information to confront, combat, and address the historical devices that wish to destroy America and Christianity.

    This is what our kids are being fed and, for the most part, most Christian parents are oblivious to what is being taught!

    When I spoke with our grandson about his English teacher, I first shared about the definition of Minimalism and what it meant. Without hesitation he understood what his English teacher was teaching. He experienced it first hand! I then shared a possible way he could go about addressing his teacher in the future. Perhaps saying things like this:

    * From what I am hearing from you, you are a reconstructionalist. Is that correct?

    * Will you entertain a couple questions I have for you? Name the 2 worst things about America. Name the 2 best things that America has done for the world.

    * Have you checked and referenced original sources in regard to your statements about our Founders?


    * If so would you share those with us? Would you put them into writing so that we can check out your sources for ourselves?

    A little intentionality with the next generation can go a LONG way!

    On Mission With You,