Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
I am sitting here working on a new book. Yes, I just wrote that! I thought I was done with writing, but I got the bug to try it again. Please pray that if this book is of the Lord, it will turn out exactly the way He would want.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.Ã¢â‚¬Â
One thing that became pretty evident as I was studying more about the life of Jesus Christ is He definitely had some enemies. Now, they werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t your average, run-of-the-mill kind of enemies; they were enemies who wanted to put Him to death.
The word enemy shows up 380 times in the Bible. The reality of having enemies and dealing with them is a major part of Scripture.
Probably the most famous passage about enemies is Matthew 5:43,44 which says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;Ã¢â‚¬Â
I once had a situation happen to me where I thought one thing had occurred, when really, there were some other behind-the-scenes maneuverings going on that I did not know about. Years later, when I found out what actually happened, the above verses challenged me. That person was still in ministry, so I wrote him a nice note and gave him a sizable donation. He responded in a very brief manner and with no apology for what happened. That is okay. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to worry about how people respond. I need to do the right biblical thing in the right biblical way, and God can worry about all the rest of it.
A friend shared a verse with me in a thank you note one time, and it has become a verse I have leaned on for many years.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?Ã¢â‚¬Â
The longer you serve the Lord, the more you realize that enemies can pop up here and there. One of the reasons that can happen is people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always like when you speak the truth. But you have to always remember that truth is what they need.
I have had people contact the ministry and ask why I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t put in my books the need to get baptized in order to be saved. Well, the main reason is it is not biblical to hold that position! The Bible makes the gospel of salvation very, very clear in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. Some of those folks have not liked my answers, but I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry too much about that. Truth is much more important than ruffling a few feathers.
Speaking of salvation, one of the things I see making a huge impact on many lives is quick prayerism. Just get someone to say Ã¢â‚¬Å“the prayerÃ¢â‚¬Â that for sure gets them saved quickly, and then everything will be hunky dory.
One famous author out there even wrote a book where he had people repeat one single sentence, and then he said they were part of the family of God! How could he know that? Nothing in that book talked about repentance, the Bible being true, the Ten Commandments convicting of sin, counting the cost before becoming born again, etc.
Why have I met people who have told me they were saved after praying Ã¢â‚¬Å“the prayerÃ¢â‚¬Â as a kid, but then they prayed another prayer for salvation as an adult? Where is that in the Bible?
I have a friend who has prayed that prayer three times for salvation. To this day, you cannot see any fruit on his tree that testifies to a born-again experience having occurred. WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you expect some fruit on the tree of someone who is supposed to be a new creation?
2 Corinthians 5:17:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Speaking of that, why donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t we want to talk about repentance anymore?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I was speaking at a church one time and mentioned from the pulpit the need for sinners to repent and believe. Someone pulled me aside afterward and let me know that their church doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t talk about repentance. Apparently, they once had a speaker who had written his doctoral thesis on the gospel of John; and since the gospel of John never mentions repentance, then we arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t supposed to mention it either.
Well, that is interesting because I actually happen to believe in the whole Bible and not just the gospel of John! So I let them know that I go with all of Scripture. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just say they have not had me back to speak!! So have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
I saw a good quote about this that I liked:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Salvation is not difficult. It means to come to Jesus, but when you turn to Jesus, you have your back to the old life. That is repentance. It is like a man and marriage. When he receives one woman as his spouse, he has his back to all other women. Jesus taught that it is impossible to have two masters (Matthew 6:24). You cannot have Christ and the world.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Once, one of my good ministry friends got in his van with his wife and literally drove halfway across the country to confront one of his good friends who was living with a mistress. When he got to the manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s home, the man wanted nothing to do with him. Only the mistress would speak to him, and she told him to get off of her property. So did this servant of God become an enemy to his friend or did he love that manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s soul because he was willing to tell him the truth?
Marco Rubio spoke at a Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project in Orlando, FL. He said,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I want to be clear with you, abandoning judgment and loving our LGBT neighbors is not a betrayal of what the Bible teaches, it is a fulfillment of it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He cited the story of Jesus pardoning the woman accused of adultery as an example of how to love someone without endorsing their behavior.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jesus showed us how to do this,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jesus showed us that we do not have to endorse what people do in order to accept them for who they are Ã¢â‚¬â€œ children of a loving and a merciful God.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Marco was biblically off base in a few of his comments, but letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s look at one of the points he brought up. John 8:1-11 gives the encounter of the woman accused of adultery. Verse 11 says something very interesting:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So did Mr. Rubio call for homosexuals to Ã¢â‚¬Å“go and sin no moreÃ¢â‚¬Â? Of course not. That could cost him a vote or two somewhere down the line. Did he call for adulterers and fornicators to “sin no more”? Of course not. Did he drive halfway across the country to confront one of his gay friends not to sin anymore because he loved him so much? Of course not.
So Mr. Rubio speaks at a Christian event and tells those folks that they need to be more loving towards homosexuals. Incidentally, has Mr. Rubio ever spoken at a homosexual event and told those folks to be more loving and accepting of Christians? I am still waiting for the video.
By the way, did any pastors or Christians at the conference stand up and confront Mr. Rubio for leaving out of his message about the woman accused of adultery the part about Ã¢â‚¬Å“go and sin no moreÃ¢â‚¬Â? Of course not. So will I become your enemy when I tell you to quit being wimps by letting politicians speak louder than some of you believers do?
I read this quote by R.C. Sproul the other day:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A cardinal point of Reformed theology is the maxim, Ã¢â‚¬ËœRegeneration precedes faith.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â
So Mr. Sproul teaches that you must first be born again before you can believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. That is one of the most unbiblical statements you will ever read in your entire life. I know it is a tenet of Reformed theology, but it is not a tenet of the Bible.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Scriptures cannot be any more clear or simple about the doctrine of salvation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So will I become your enemy because I tell you to stay away from these false teachers and to use the Scriptures alone to understand true theology?
Here is a website I have told you about before. Click on it again. It is really a fascinating site. Look at some of the statistics on the left hand side. Some of that information covers what has happened in just the last week. A lot of those statistics, which you have not heard reported in the news, are actually taking place around our world.
You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play patty cake with these people. One of our presidents has actually called Islam Ã¢â‚¬Å“the Religion of Peace.Ã¢â‚¬Â That has to be one of the most ludicrous statements of all time. All you have to do is study Muslim history, and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll know that statement is nowhere close to being factual.
One political party, in particular, sides with Muslims, rather than call them out. Is it because there are many Muslims in their ranks? Is it because their leader is a Muslim? Is it because they are getting a lot of money from Muslim countries and that money has literally bought their silence? What you are seeing here is evil and wicked. And when Sharia law comes to a town near you, you will have to deal with the same wickedness, as well.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“For instance, a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims in 39 countries asked Muslims whether they want sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, to be the official law of the land in their country. Responses on this question vary widely. Nearly all Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and most in Iraq (91%) and Pakistan (84%) support sharia law as official law. But in some other countries, especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including Turkey (12%), Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan (8%) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ relatively few favor the implementation of sharia law.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Never forget that Islam wants world domination. They want to control the world by the laws of the Koran. What are you doing to make sure it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen in your neck of the woods? By the way, did I just become your enemy?
Please watch this four-minute video on illegal immigration. It is very fascinating:
When will it finally be okay to say that someone who has no legal right to be here, shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be here? Is that an unloving position to take? Is that an unChrist-like position to take? If American citizens have to follow the law, why donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t illegal immigrants have to do the same?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What is right?Ã¢â‚¬Â is another good, strong, yet simple question to ask. It implies, one more time from the Scriptures, that there is right and there is wrong. Our duty is to do what is right, and it is not too difficult to do.
Consider the issue of transgendered people and bathrooms. Just because someone is confused, doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean we give up our common sense. Many who have had sex-change surgery want to change back. They have big regrets. Some of their stories are very sad. They may change their looks on the outside, but their chromosomes stay the same on the inside.
Figuring out which bathroom to use should be a pretty simple process, if you think about it! God has given each of us a certain kind of plumbing. Guys go to one bathroom and ladies go to another. You see, bathrooms are supposed to be a biological issue rather than a social issue. But of course, there is more to this agenda than meets the eye. This is the breakdown of the family. This is the breakdown of what God says is right and wrong. God says man and woman in marriage, and the world says any combination of genders in marriage is fine. The Bible says to have kids within that family structure, and the world says to have kids within any kind of family you want.
So governments want to tell you that it is okay for men to use the same restrooms, locker rooms, and showers as ladies? And vice versa, as well? How did we ever get to this point in our country? No, that is wrong. Bathrooms are biological and not social. And if it makes me your enemy because I believe that and will stand for that, then l will be your enemy for a very long time.
We got this email the other day from a lady who follows the ministry. Enjoy!
Well, I wanted to share what happened to us today. I was heading out in my 2000 Silverado pickup with my Dad and Jonathan. Normal day, just taking Dad to pick up his van at the shop after an oil change and taking J out for a ballroom dance lesson.
About 2 miles outside of our house after turning a corner and heading down what is the steepest hill around here, my brakes COMPLETELY failed. NadaÃ¢â‚¬Â¦nothing. Threw it into park and slammed down emergency brake all while uncontrollably descending this hill. I quick saw a ditch I figured we could pop over being in the truck as there was not option of continuing downhill with no brakes and sure fatality at bottom. So we jumped the ditch, hard, and took about an acre property to stop. It was the only spot to do it on that whole road. It was that or …???
We were all ok, Jonathan shook up, but fine.
So when the tow truck driver came and we took it to the shop, after he was done, I had the “What If” card in my wallet. I gave him a $5 bill and the card and told him that today, the “what if” for me was that if I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t of jerked it over the ditch, I probably would not be talking to him and I would be instead in Heaven. I told him that I live my life with that confidence and that as he thinks of the “what ifs”…I hope he will have that same confidence.
He was so appreciative and genuinely impressed. Here I was, just after this super traumatic experience and concerned about HIS soul.
As it turns out the brake hose blew, brake lines apparently also rusted through, and thus the reason I had nothing in those brakes. Amazing.
Thanks for what you do, Mark. Keep it up. Seems like God had a specific appointment for me to keep outside of what I thought for my day
And…He always has our times in his hands.
You see, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about a tow truck driver becoming your enemy. Their soul is too important to the Lord.
And remember, if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about the praise of men, then you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about the contempt of men either. Someone can mock you or your ministry, and it is really no big deal. You arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t here to please people; you are here to please God alone.
Did you know that when you have Cable TV or Satellite, you are putting almost $1 billion into the coffers of ESPN?
The only problem is that ESPN is one very liberal, anti-Christian network. They are run by ABC/Disney. ABC and Disney are two extremely pro-gay entities. They promote unbiblical ideas and filth all over their platforms. Why would you want to support them with your money?
I got rid of cable TV twenty years ago. I am so glad I did. It has given me plenty of time to read books, write books, and go out witnessing. Also, I am not supporting them with my money. Time for you to cut the cord, too, for your sake and the sake of your family. Please donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tell me that I have become your enemy because I have given you sound, biblical advice.
We got this Facebook message the other day from a friend of the ministry:
We think of fun as this: obedience to God and His Word. Ã¢â‚¬ËœBut whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ James 1:25. To get blessings from God is the ultimate in fun. We know a day is coming when we will be persecuted for sharing our faith. In fact, it has already happened. Since God has told us in His Word that we will be persecuted, then we count it all joy. Here is how it impacts us and our ministry… we look forward to serving God every day. We think more of God than we do of man. It won’t knock us down; it will make our faith stronger. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
His family is not worried about the enemies that have or will come against them. They are going to serve the King no matter what.
I happen to be a big fan of quotes. I saw this quote by Winston Churchill and thought it summed things up pretty well:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You have enemies? Good. That means youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Ã¢â‚¬Â
We should all be standing strong for the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Word. Not everyone is going to like us. That is okay. It is supposed to be that way! I like that quote from Churchill. Sometimes people say you can judge someone by their enemies! Sure seemed like Jesus had a pretty big enemy list! Some people on that list even wanted to kill Him. I would say it was a life well lived for His Father!!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Jesus had a good set of enemies in the Scriptures. Why? He stood for His Father and He stood for truth. It is okay to have enemies. Matter of fact, you should have some enemies in your life. If you are living a true and holy Christian life, not everyone is going to like you. That is okay. They treated your Savior the same way. Now if people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like you because you are a jerk or unloving, that is whole different story. I always tell people, speak the truth in love and let the chips fall where they may. Make sure you spend more time worrying about being a friend of Jesus than worrying about being liked by friends and strangers down here.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Time to make some enemies before you stand before the throne of God. It is the right way to live your life. Never forget that you are going to meet a great enemy maker sitting at the right hand of the Father!
Until the nets are full,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“To every lost soul, Christ says: Ã¢â‚¬ËœCome unto Me.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
To every redeemed soul, Christ says: Ã¢â‚¬ËœGo for Me.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â
P.P.S. A friend sent in this missionary report. We are very grateful for your generosity, which helps us to be generous to others! Thank you for caring about the lost!