Watch “That You Might Have Life 250 Air Date 11 21 14″ on YouTube

That You Might Have Life 250 Air Date 11 21 14: http://youtu.be/Kx2O5TUi0nQ

Not sure why this video came out this early, but, since I have been enjoying this series, I am glad it came out early.  Hope you enjoy this episode.  I will be watching it tonight!  Blessings!

In Christ’s love,

Craig

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Watch “That You Might Have Life 249 Air Date 11 14 14″ on YouTube

That You Might Have Life 249 Air Date 11 14 14: http://youtu.be/0pzDropI2YI

Here is the 5th of 9 videos in this series.  Hope you enjoy!

Craig

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We Are Not Born Sinners, But Rather Mortal

I was reading some teachings on Romans 5 recently and these few statements I will share jumped out at me and I wanted to get your thoughts.  Here is the first:

 

“We are not born sinners, but rather mortal.”

 

This statement does not intimate that mankind does not sin, but merely that Adam was born sinless, sinned, and brought with his sin, death upon the rest of mankind. In other words, his sin wrought mortality on all the rest of mankind.  It is not sin that is passed on but death (mortality) through Adam to us.

 

“If death is temporary (and it is), then so is sin.  So, if God eliminates death, sin automatically disappears.”

 

God eliminated death by raising Christ from the dead.  I would really love to hear your thoughts on these teachings I read by Martin Zender in his recent ZWTF Volume 3, Issue 43.  It sounds OK to me, but I value the thoughts (counsel) of multiple believers to keep things on track.  Let me know what you believe and why.  Blessings to you!

 

Craig

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Filed under Mercy, truth, Understanding the Bible, Universal salvation

Watch “That You Might Have Life 248 Air Date 11 07 14″ on YouTube

That You Might Have Life 248 Air Date 11 07 14: http://youtu.be/q0GfTqeUTBQ

This is number 4 in the series.  Getting interesting isn’t it?  Watch and be blessed.  Any discussion yet?

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Watch “That You Might Have Life 247 Air Date 10 31 14″ on YouTube

That You Might Have Life 247 Air Date 10 31 14: http://youtu.be/YP2p1dZc2fg

Here is the third video in the series.  Hope you are enjoying this presentation!  Peace to you!

Craig

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Watch “That You Might Have Life 246 Air Date 10 24 14″ on YouTube

That You Might Have Life 246 Air Date 10 24 14: http://youtu.be/bU6iP5iqcoA

Here is the second video in the, I think, 10 video series of messages on the end time.   Hope you are learning lots and surprised by the simplicity of this subject.  Enjoy!

Craig

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Watch “That You Might Have Life 245 Air Date 10 17 14″ on YouTube

That You Might Have Life 245 Air Date 10 17 14: http://youtu.be/MRwIUbV0oEU

A highly interesting new series that I recommend all my readers watch.  I will post all the videos as they are available.  Let me know what your thoughts are after watching each one.  Be blessed!

Craig

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Suggestions For Blog Name

I have recently moved from the Las Vegas area and figure a name change is in order.  Any suggestions, maybe following the Valley of Vision name?  I have relocated to the Northern California area.  I hope to post soon.  Currently looking for a job and hoping to find one very soon.  Prayers would be much appreciated.  God’s blessings to you all!

In Christ’s Love,

Craig

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Is God’s True End For Sinners Punishment?

Here is a thought for those of you who continue to believe in eternal conscious torment for sinners.  Is punishment the goal of God for the sinner?  Is punishment, mainly meaning eternal punishment, the true end of the wicked (sinners)?  Paul called himself the chief of sinners.  He reveled in persecuting Christians, those of “the Way,” and sought them out at every opportunity.  He killed Christians and saw that they were killed.  And so, I could go on about what a great Pharisee Paul was and how he was respected by so many Jews.  But, my point is this:  when Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, did God punish Paul for his sins against God’s people, the people of “the Way?”

God did not merely punish Paul for his sins against Christians.  He didn’t merely keep Paul from persecuting Christians and send him on his way.  He didn’t miraculously wipe out Paul’s memory and make him something wholly different with no recollection of what he used to be.  No, God did much more than that.  God took the heart of stone out of Paul and put in a heart of flesh, so transforming Paul that Paul became the so-called model for Christians on how to emulate Christ!

Yes, God will go beyond mere punishment of the unrepentant sinner and love them to the point of making them His friend.  Abe Lincoln is said to have made this statement:  “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make them your friend.”  Is this not the mark of a God of super-abundant grace?  Does this not show the wisdom of God versus the folly of man?  Man is fixated on punishment and retribution.  God is focused on loving sinners and making them friends, rather than allowing them  to remain enemies.  This is the real God of the Bible.  Is this the God you love and serve or is your God not powerful enough to make friends out of enemies?

Craig

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What Causes Factions in the Church?

This is a question that has cropped up in my recent studies and readings on the topic of unity vs. uniformity and the larger question of why the church is in such bad shape today.

What causes faction, fracturing, splintering, denominations, etc. in the body of Christ gathered (normally thought of as the local church building and those who gather there)?  I can answer this question with one word: immaturity.  So many of my brothers and sisters in the organized church, for lack of better terms, are so wrapped up into being right (right doctrine, theology, church practice, etc.) that their identity and security has become their opinion of what the Bible says.  Their opinion is based on what they have grown up with, or what those they look up to (oh, let’s say, Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or Christ! 1 Cor 1 sound familiar?) say they should believe.  Most often it is a belief built off of tradition and, in many cases, a faulty understanding of scripture text.

But, nonetheless, all of the segmenting, fracturing, divisions, strifes, etc. are because true believers in the church are too immature or they are not believers at all.  Keeping this simple and to the point, though, most problems found in the church are due to immaturity.  Think about it.  We separate from other professing believers because they don’t believe exactly the way we do.  Let me paint a typical picture (based off of how I grew up in the faith).

I was saved, meaning I came to believe in Jesus and redemption in Him alone.  My whole life changed.  I became associated with a Southern Baptist church because my best friend was one and his wife invited my wife and so off we went.  We were accepted and made one of the family by being baptized and becoming  a “formal” member of that local church.  We were taught many things such as tithing, attendance, participation, sacrifice, along with what the Bible and Southern Baptists said about these things.  We came to find out that the Southern Baptists even had a confession called the Baptist Faith and Message.  Eventually we were told that we should believe these things, or in this manner, to be “united” with all other Southern Baptists.  As time went by, and I became a teacher and pastor, I saw what happened to those people who came and did not believe the way we did.  They were told they would be welcome to attend and participate in worship with us, give money to support us, and more.  But, unless they became a member and believed the confession of faith, they would never be trusted to teach in the church, hold church sanctioned bible studies, become a leader, and the like.  Why?  The reason always given was because without membership and believing the same way, a person could go off the rails and teach something heretical and not be accountable to the church for it.  I could draw this out in more detail, but I think you get the picture.  If you need clarification, either comment below or email me and I will give you all the clarification you need.

So, can you see how division would occur in these types of situations?  People with different beliefs coming in to the local church and being pushed away or turned away simply because they do not believe in someone’s opinion of biblical things.  And the people doing the pushing away find their identity in those specific traditions and beliefs espoused by that one church and their security is cemented the longer they attend and the more involved they get.  Can you guess what happens when that belief held by those in that particular local Southern Baptist church (following the example above) is challenged by an outsider from another denomination or faith tradition in Christianity?  A separation occurs.  Immaturity rears its head and estranges one group from the next.  Those with tightly held like beliefs herd together and keep all others out.  Is this what Christ came to instill?  Is this what Paul taught in 1 Corinthians or Ephesians?  NO!

To make this short, let me close with this.  Once we stop making every point of our intricate doctrine (where typically our identity and security is wrapped up)  the test for whether someone is “in Christ” or “of Christ” then we have a chance of being mature and acting in love towards not only our brothers and sister in Christ, but also exercising love for our neighbors as ourselves.  The world will see our unity and our love for each other  as they should see it (See 1 John)  I challenge all my readers and anyone they may speak to about this issue to begin to ask the question, “Am I the one that is acting out of immaturity in my church and thereby being a cause or a sustainer of division, or am I willing to change and help others change so we can be united in Christ?”  Make sure your identity and security is in Christ alone, not in traditions or other peoples’ beliefs about what the scriptures say.

As always, since I am very prone to not being completely understood in what I write, feel free to ask me questions about what I mean here or ask me to clarify what I am saying.  Let’s communicate on this important issue.  Send me your comments and let us be as iron sharpening iron!

Blessings to you!

Craig

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