Monday, April 9, 2018

The Great Divide

“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 
(1 John 2:11)

I watched a program on PBS recently and they were showing pictures of African American men and women who had been lynched in the early south. I had seen programs before reporting how small groups of menmostly in white hoodshad performed lynchings in the past in this country. But this program had photos of practically an entire town of 9,000 people who turned out in the public square, in their Sunday best, to witness the lynching and burning of a black man. White men, women, and children were in attendance. And they were celebrating it.

I had no words.

How can people be this evil, this twisted, this heartless, this hateful, this cruel?

The author of the story said that in order to end racism in the country we first have to talk about these atrocities. He said there also has to be repentance.

And he was mostly right. There does need to be repentance.

But the answer is not simply man repenting to man of his wicked deeds, or the wicked deeds of his ancestors.

All men must first turn to God and repent of their sins against Him.

And then admit that we cannot fix ourselves. We cannot create global peace. We cannot attain enlightenment. We cannot end racism. We cannot end wars.

We cannot save ourselves.

Look at the broken condition of the entire planet. Look at how our global society has devolved over the millennia. Hatred, division, murder, genocide, addictions, immorality, corruption, etc, are worse now than ever.

Can anyone really claim that our society has evolved into being more peaceful, loving and kind?

No, mankind has proven time and again that true repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are not attainable through ourselves.

The solution is first realizing that our problem is a spiritual problem—an issue of the heart.

I've learned and experienced, that what comes out of a man is only what was already inside him. Hatred, vengeance, even murder—are in the heart of all human beings. 

Jesus said murder begins in the heart.

"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." (Matthew 15:19)

Maybe you’ve never physically killed someone. But to Christ, hating someone is the same as murdering him. Lusting after someone who is not your wife or husband is just the same as actually committing the physical act of adultery.

Man looks at what is on the outside of a personbut God sees the heart.

So what is the answer?

Jesus said,

“A man must be born again.” (See John 3:7)

The nature or ‘spirit’ of mankind is sinful and fallen. We need a spiritual re-birth—a new heart. And only God through Jesus Christ can give that.

The last six thousand years of world history is proof enough that man on his own does not possess the power or goodness within himself to solve the world’s problems of hatred, racism, division, and war.

If you really are open, and are searching for truth, for the solution, for the spiritual re-birth that only Christ can give, then you will find it through Him.

And you start by crying out to God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

If you genuinely want to know Jesus He will open Himself up to you. Through Him you will know true peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Jesus is the only solution to the world’s heart problem.

God is Love and Love Never Fails

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Has Your Love Grown Cold?

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”—Jesus
(Matthew 24:12)

Us against them.

That's what we've become.

Liberal against Conservative. Republican against Democrat. Red state against Blue state. American against foreigner. Young against old. Brother against brother. Our way or the highway.

We're pretty much against everyone who disagrees with us on anything.

I was looking at some particularly ugly online comments last night on a popular social media site. And the amount of hate and vicious ridicule people were saying to anyone who was on the opposing side from them was unbelievable. And sadly, neither "side" was right. But they were practically killing one another electronically by their posts.

Is this really how far we've fallen?

This blog today is not written to the general public, or secularists, or atheists. This is only for those who specifically profess to be born again followers and lovers of Jesus Christ.

To put this in the right perspectiveeach one of us, when we die, will stand at the Judgment seat of Christ for believers. There, we will give an account to Jesus of all our deeds. It says we will "receive" the things done in the body, according to what we have done, both good and bad. So we will be accountable to Christ, and there will be consequences.

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

Paul starts that passage off by saying, "Therefore we make it our aim to be well pleasing to Him." That is, to Jesus.

And I don't believe it is well pleasing to our Lord to bite and devour one another with our words, anger, divisions, and actions. It seems most of us have forgotten that our life is no longer our own. We are no longer our own. Our very life was bought at a pricethe price of the precious, sinless blood of our Savior; the Lord Jesus Christ.

Does that still mean something to you?

I'm writing this entry on Palm Sundaythe same day Jesus rode triumphantly and humbly into Jerusalem on the back of a small donkey, fulfilling the Zechariah 9:9 prophecy of Him which said:

“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” 

Jesuseternal Savior and King: the God of Lovecame to usher in a new Kingdom, not of this world, to a world that is hopelessly lost and broken on its own.

And Jesus came to save His people from their sins.

“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:51-56)

What is the purpose and highest calling of your life?  To help save people from their sins?

Or is it something else?

It's painfully obvious today that a lot of people who profess to be "Christian" would virtually destroy the lives of people who oppose them or their views.

The very lives that Jesus came to save.

Let that resonate for a few minutes.

There's no question that lawlessness abounds in this messed up world.

But the question God is posing to each of us from His timeless Word is:

Has your love grown cold?

The Word says that we as followers of Jesus are in this world, but we are not of the world.

God's people are supposed to be different from the world. A bright and shining light, bringing His message of love, hope, and salvation by Grace.

So, are we being different?

We're not supposed to be 'Us against them' people... We're supposed to 'Us for them' people.

God is Love and Love Never Fails.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bought At A Price

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, 
whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; 
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)  

The other day a "christian" friend of mine hypothetically said to me; "If anyone tried to take his bible away from him, he would put a .44 slug in their stomach."

Let that sink in for a few minutes...

I responded, "Well, by making that statement you demonstrate that you have completely missed the entire message of the bible and the heart and purpose of Jesus."

He strongly defended his position and said; "I stand by what I said 100%!"

I'm not making this up.

I only wish I were.

Before you get too excited, this isn't a blog about politics, gun control, or the Second Amendment. So don't make it about that.

No, this is about the condition of our hearts.

Let's be honest, anyone who would make an absurd statement like my friend did the other day, has an obvious heart problem. And although he does claim to be saved and to believe in God, I'm having my doubts as to if he truly knows Jesus at all. I mean really intimately knows HimHis heart, His love for people, and His purpose for dying on the Cross because "God so loved the world." (See John 3:16)

Go back to the passage quoted above from 1 Corinthians chapter 6.  The Word says, "You are not your own. For you were bought at a price." (Verses 19-20).

The precious blood of Jesus was the price paid for our eternal souls. And as a popular song rightly says, "I'll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon that Cross."

Jesus purchased us by giving up His life on the Cross. And by putting our faith in Him, we belong to Him now.

What you need to understand—you who claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ—is that your whole life; your will, your emotions, your thoughts, your actions, your desires, your sexual integrity, your time, your resources, your rights, everything: belong to God. You're part of a different Kingdom now and you serve a different King than yourself.

And trust me, the King is not okay with you shooting someone who tries to take away your bible. 

What is the heart of the Lord of lords and the King of kings?

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)

The love of Jesus would never want to shoot someone who tries to take your precious bible away from you. Who knows? They might end up reading it and come to know the God who willingly died on the Cross for your sins. More importantly, what does that say about your heart?

What else did Jesus say about how to treat people you might consider to be your enemy?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

Verse 20 goes on to say:

"Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."

We glorify God by obeying His Wordbecause we love Him. In "body and in spirit" mean in our actions, and in our intentions. In our will, our thoughts and practically, in how we treat people.

Jesus said:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)

Many of us are so quick to be ready to defend to the death all of our 'rights.' But Jesus teaches us here that this way of thinking is not part of His kingdom. He could have called down legions of angels and they would have delivered Him from His persecutors. (See Matthew 26:53). But that was not His mission. 

What was His mission?

“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:51-56)

What manner of spirit are you?

God is Love and Love Never Fails.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Deny Yourself

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” —Jesus 
(Luke 9:23)

This verse is among the many 'hard sayings' of Jesus.

A lot of people try to explain away a hard saying, claiming it was merely symbolic, or the ridiculous notion that Jesus didn't really mean what He said.

And so, here we find ourselves, in the midst of the foretold great apostasythe Falling Away, or defection from the truth of God's Word, very prevalent among today's post modern Christianity.

I find it extremely noteworthy to point out that the first words in this passage are, "And He said to them all..."

This directive from Jesus wasn't made to just His inner circle of Peter, James and John, who  accompanied Him to the Mount of Transfiguration. These words from Jesus were spoken to any of His disciples and followers standing by who desired to come after Him, or follow Him.

He said it plainly then, and today as well; "If anyone desires to come after Me."

Jesus, being the Lord of Glory, possessing all wisdom and knowledge, able to read the thoughts and intents of men's hearts, knows that all men will not desire to follow after Him. And the Gospels show that to be so. There were the multitudes who came only for the healing, the food, and the miracles. 

But the true disciples of Jesus were there because they knew He was the One who offers Himself as the rivers of living water that will quench a man's soul forever. And they wanted more of Him. They left all and followed Him.

Isn't that what your heart truly longs for? More of Jesus. To be closer to him? To know Him more?

A lifetime of pursuing more stuff only left me thirsty and starving for more of Jesus. More stuff does not and cannot ever satisfy. This land of prosperity is a parched, dry and thirsty land. A spiritually barren wilderness of empty riches.

Jesus, knowing all, is giving us a precious gift and the ultimate freedom by calling us to deny ourselves, leave it all behind, and follow Him. All the stuff we work so hard to obtain is a trap and a chain around our soul. 

He also invites us to "take up your cross daily."

Why daily?  

Because we need to die to 'self' every single day. Our selfish desires and the lust of the human flesh needs to be nailed to the cross daily, if not every single minute. The old sinful nature is a hungry beast who can never be filleda blood thirsty, ravenous wolf, always looking for his next kill. Always hunting, never satisfied, never at rest.

God is certainly not calling every person to leave their family, job, and everything else and go wandering around the globe as itinerant evangelists.

What He is calling us all to do, is to deny ourselves. Stop being selfish with our time, our resources and our hearts. If we are living only to please ourselves and acquire more stuff, more titles, riches and prominence, we will ultimately lose that life, one way or another.

Jesus said:

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:24-25)

The late Jim Elliot, who was one of five missionaries killed in 1956, while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador, was quoted with this now famous saying:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Jim literally lived out the calling to lose his life for Jesus' sake, and he would find it. 

As I stand at the threshold of sixty years of age, I am painfully aware that I am not long on this earth. Much of my life as a believer I wasted on selfish pursuits. And I can never get those wasted years back.

But what I can do is make the most of the short time I have left by denying myself in every situation, and take up my cross dailywhich simply means dying to selfishnessand follow Jesus and His example and calling to share the Gospel with all those to whom He sends me. Help those in need with what is truly needed. Love as Jesus loved.

One of my favorite sayings of Jesus is:

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

That, is what this message is all about.

God is Love and Love Never Fails.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Beware of False Prophets

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” —Jesus
(Matthew 7:15)

Why would God give us several warnings in the bible about false prophets and false teachers?

Because it is a very real and present danger. 

It was 2,000 years ago. And it is even more so today.

So how do we know who the false prophets are?  

Jesus tells us.

"You will know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:16)

Here's a current example. Bethel Church in Redding, California, which is also the origin of the global music craze "Jesus Culture." Don't take my word for it. Research their teachings, and the so called prophets and prophetesses that speak at their church. Some very bizarre and satanic practices have occurred at their meetings and conferences. Deceiving spirits are the principalities and powers underneath and behind this so called ministry. But it didn't start at Bethel. The same dark spirits that permeate Bethel today were also alive and present in the mid 90's during the "Toronto movement." People there bark like dogs, howl like wolves, cackle like chickens, get "drunk in the spirit" and flop around on the floor like fish out of water. A popular occurrence at Bethel, also present at Toronto, is what they call "holy laughter." They also report seeing "glory clouds" and gold dust falling from the ceiling at their concerts and meetings. I watched a video of a young man screaming in terror on the floor at Bethel when a well known so called "prophetess" was speaking there, "imparting her spirit" to the unsuspecting people present. The head pastor stood by watching but did nothing to help the young man screaming in agony.

This dark spirit which they originally called the "Toronto Blessing" has spread around the world, infecting and deceiving millions. Again, research this for yourself. There are volumes of information out there to confirm what I've said here. This article is a good place for a general overview (see link). 

But none of this should surprise us.

Carefully read Paul's warning about the perilous times coming in the last days:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. These resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all.” (2 Timothy ch 3)

One of the fruits of the Spirit is self control. But people flopping around on the floor, laughing hysterically and uncontrollably are demonstrating the exact opposite of self control. (See Galatians 5:22-23). However, the "spirit" infecting these people (like at Bethel and Toronto), is not God's Holy Spirit. But it is a very real and very dangerous spirit. A deceiving, demonic, lying spirit.

And yet today, millions of people are absolutely crazed in love with Bethel's "Jesus Culture" music and movement. My question is, where is the biblical and Spiritual discernment here?

People will argue that the Jesus Culture songs and lyrics themselves sound good and even harmless. 

Consider the source.

Jesus said:

“Nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:18-20)

Bad fruit comes from a bad tree (or source).

Consider this: no matter how good the Jesus Culture songs may sound on the surface, if the source (Bethel) is leading millions of people astray with it's spiritually dangerous and heretical teachings and practices, then do you think it's good to continue to support the source of those dangerous teachings by buying and singing their music? By pointing people to the music by singing and playing it, you are unknowingly being a part in helping the source lead people astray. 

Again, why would God give us so many biblical warnings about false teachers, false prophets and deceiving spirits unless the danger was very real and present?

Here's some more scriptural backup:

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” (1Timothy 4:1)

“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways.” (2 Peter 2:1-2)

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

Bethel and Jesus Culture is just a small piece of the much larger deceptive under workings of the Enemy of our souls. 

Satan is the Oz behind the curtain, calling the shots, pulling the strings. He is the father of lies. He is the deceiver of the brethren. Jesus said Satan only comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. And remember, Satan can also transform himself into an angel of light, as can his underlings.

Of these deceivers Paul wrote:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:15)

This is why it is critical to test every spirit, ever ministry, every book, every band and their songs, no matter how spiritual and holy they may appear on the surface. Paul said Satan's ministers can also transform themselves into angels of light.

Think about that.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
(Galatians 5:19-25)

You will know them by their fruit.

God is Love and Love Never Fails.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

In The Last Days

“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?” 
(2 Peter 3:3-4)

The Last Days or Bible prophecy is not something that many churches seem to be talking much about currently.

And that's a shame.

Ask people about the Rapture or the End Times and they'll likely laugh at you, or tell you you're crazy. Some might say, "What is that?"

Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Peter described the pessimistic attitude of people in the Last Days, pertaining to the return of the Lord:

“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

A couple of things immediately jump out at me in this passage:

1. The scoffers who come in the last days will be walking according to their own lusts. They will not be focused on, or interested in the coming of the Lord. So they will scoff at and ridicule those of us who are watching for the imminent return of Jesus with great anticipation. The scoffers will be walking according to their own lusts, focused on material gain and pleasure. Getting  more stuff. Trying to get ahead. Win the rat race. Gotta get that new Audi. Get that bigger house. Move up the corporate ladder. Get that hot new girlfriend.

2. The scoffers will also be trying to turn the attention of followers of Jesus away from His soon return by explaining it away by saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” They will try to tell you, "It could be another thousand years. So why even worry about it! What's your hurry? Eat, drink and be merry today. There are no signs of His coming!"  These people are too busy trying to fulfill the lusts of their flesh and don't want to be distracted by all this last days rapture talk. So they try to dissuade you from thinking and talking about it. Misery loves company.

Peter goes on to say about the last days scoffers:

“For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:5-7)

I believe the scoffers don't want the Lord to come back to judge the world any time soon because they know they are guilty before Him and will be judged accordingly. They're too busy enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season and they don't want that season to end. So they try to explain it all away. But they are only living in denial... Delaying the inevitable.

It is claimed that 27% of the Bible is prophecy. It's an integral part of God's Word. He wants us to know it. So why do so many churches and Christian people ignore it? 

It is my opinion that the average "Christian" does not really understand the times we are living in. Just where we are at prophetically in the history of the world. Tell them we are living smack dab in the Last Days and they will probably look at you with suspicion.

That is why it is so important for pastors and bible teachers to teach the entire bible, with all the prophetic books and passages, including the book of Revelation. "Oh, that's too difficult to understand." Or, "That book is too controversial" they may try to tell you. But the Body of Christ suffers when those entrusted to shepherd the sheep omit portions of the bible because they don't understand it, or feel it is too controversial. 

I am certainly no expert on bible prophecy.

But I have absolutely loved studying it for the last twenty years. And I have been blessed to listen to some gifted men teach it. A few years ago my wife and I were blessed to listen to a pastor teach through the entire book of Revelation over a one year period. Every Tuesday night we would sit together in front of the stereo and be glued to hear what had previously been a very difficult book for us to understand. At the end of this blog I will post a link to the web site where you can listen for free to a comprehensive study of the entire bible, including the prophecy books and the book of Revelation.

A lot of people today want to debate the timing of the Rapture, and many other biblical topics. But to me the Rapture is not a controversial doctrine to debate. It is a promise from Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Here is a precious verse of this promise to us from Him:

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)

The debate centers largely around the interpretation of the word "from." Jesus promises us He will keep us from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world. Define the word from in the original Greek and it means He will keep us "completely out of a particular time and place." Some will argue that it means He will only preserve us in that time and place, not remove us from it altogether. And thus the debate rages on. I absolutely believe He will remove us completely out of the world during this time of tribulation on earth as He begins to judge the world. Many don't agree with this though. There are several interpretations out there. But I will not debate them here on this blog with you. That is not my purpose or desire.

Again, the study of bible prophecy is vastly important. God wants us to know. If you are a pastor or have been called to be a bible teacher, please do not cheat your people out of this important part of the Word of God. People need to understand the times we are living in. The promises found in bible prophecy give God's people great hope and encouragement in a world that grows darker and more hopeless every day. 

Here is a great free resource that we have personally found to be extremely helpful for studying bible prophecy, as well as the entire bible:

God's Word declares:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

God is Love and Love Never Fails.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

God Loves Through Discipline

“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” 
(Hebrews 12:6)

Love through discipline.

That's a foreign or archaic concept to a lot of people today. Certainly politically incorrect.

When I was a kid my parents were pretty strict, especially my dad. But I can tell you that I never received any punishment from him that I didn't fully deserve. In fact, because I experienced the severe consequences of my actions the way that I did then, that is probably the reason that I'm not in jail today, or worse. So, thanks dad and mom for loving me enough to discipline me.

Today in many states, if you spank your children, child services can actually take your children away from you. You could possibly even be prosecuted. This almost happened to some friends of ours.Very scary stuff.

When I was a kid you never heard of any school shootings. But today they are reported on the evening news almost weekly. What has changed?

As our nation and world move farther and farther away from God, pushing Him out of every aspect of our society, the moral fiber of the culture disintegrates. And the world grows darker. The people rebel against all that is good and right and godly.

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness…” (Isaiah 5:20)

Very few parents today discipline their children effectively. Liberally minded schools refuse to do so. Many employers won't hold their employees accountable and fail to correct bad behavior. Church leadership, afraid to offend anyone, fails to correct sin in the church body in a biblical way.

Some will argue that because we're "just supposed to love people" they want to "be nice so that everyone will win." Just give everyone a participation trophy no matter what.

But when you fail to discipline, all you accomplish is to enable people to continue in wrong behavior. And everyone loses.

And that's not love.

Certainly not the God kind of love.  His love is a corrective and redemptive lovenot a pampering love.

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” (Proverbs 13:24)

The Discipline of God:

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
(Hebrews 12:3-11)

In light of the above passage from Hebrews chapter 12, examine the evidence of a lack of discipline in all aspects of our society. 

God loves through discipline.

God is Love and Love Never Fails.