Month: November 2021

Who’s In Charge Here – Visions Of Praise

Revelation 11:15-19 NIV

The Seventh Trumpet

15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
    the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
    and he will reign for ever and ever.”

16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
    the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
    and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
    and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
    and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your people who revere your name,
    both great and small—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.

Denominational and Racial Differences in Church

In Bombay (Mumbai), there is a beautiful road running parallel to the sea, called Marine Drive or the “Queens Necklace”, a name left over from the days of the “Raj” (two hundred years of British rule before India’s independence)

This is lined on one side by probably the most expensive real estate in Bombay, that runs into millions of dollars for a three bedroom flat.

Also lined along there are some of Bombay’s Sports Clubs ( called Gymkhanas from the days of the Raj – where a lot of cricket is played ).You have the Muslim Gymkhana, Hindu Gymkhana, Parsi Gymkhana, etc. lined up one after the other.

Hey Friends, let’s talk about some of the division amongst our churches. I am talking about racial and denominational differences within our churches.

Forget about the differences outside our churches in the secular world, but now we are talking about this within some of our churches. It is so sad to see that 11 o’clock on a Sunday is still the most segregated hour for the church.

Hispanics go to predominantly Hispanic Churches, Blacks go to predominantly black churches, Whites go to predominantly white churches etc..

On top of that we have Denominational differences, like Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Presbyterian churches etc. The reason why this is so bad for us Christians, is that the Bible says in

John 13:34-35 King James Version

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Further in the Book of Revelation Revelation 7:9NIV says:
The Great Multitude in White Robes

9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

I think that a lot of Christians will be in Culture Shock in Heaven, especially in view of what the Bible says. It won’t be like Marine Drive, in Heaven, with a Baptist section, Charismatic section, Hispanic Section, etc.

Also our credibility among the unsaved surrounding us is greatly tarnished by our behavior. Souls will perish, and go to an everlasting hell, if we refuse to repent and change.

Denominationally I believe like Augustine said.

1. In ESSENTIALS Unity – Diety of JESUS, Infallibility of Scriptures, The TRIUNE GODHEAD Father, Son, Holy Ghost, the Death, Burial, Bodily Resurrection and Ascension of JESUS CHRIST, the Shed BLOOD of Jesus, for the Forgiveness of our sins, the VIRGIN Birth, etc.

2. In NON-ESSENTIALS Liberty – Worship Styles, Minor Doctrinal Differences like Baptism in Jesus Name, or Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Baptism by Sprinkling or Dunking, etc.

3. In EVERYTHING ELSE Charity (Love)

I am not suggesting we abandon our Denominational distinctives, but that we can have fellowship with folks from different denominations. Of course we should never be inclusive of Cults.

Since Jesus could come back at any time, we need to repent, change, and wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb!

The Power Of The Bended Knee!

“The Power of the Bended Knee”

Birds go to sleep on their perches, but they never fall off. This is because of the tendons in the bird’s legs. They are so constructed that when the leg is bent at the knee the claws contract and grip like a steel trap.

The claws refuse to let go until the knees are unbent again. The bended knee gives the bird the ability to hold on to his perch so tightly. Isn’t this also the secret of the holding power of the Christian?

Daniel found this to be true. Surrounded by a pagan environment, tempted to compromise with evil, urged to weaken his grip on God, he refused to let go. He held firm when others faltered because he was a man of prayer. He knew the power of the bended knee.

From sleeping birds we can learn the secret of holding things which are most precious to us- honesty, purity, thoughtfulness, honor and character. That secret is the knee bent in prayer, seeking to get a firmer grip on those values, which make life worth living.

When we hold on firmly to God in prayer, we can rest assured he will hold on tightly to us.

The Rest Of The Story – Visions Of Praise

Revelation 7:9-17 NIV

The Great Multitude in White Robes

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,

“they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’[a]
    nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[b]
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’[c]

Forgive Our Trespasses by Chuck Swindoll

Forgive Our Trespasses by Charles R. Swindoll

“Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets.” —Daniel 9:8-10

Forgive us, our Father, for being attracted to the pleasures of sin . . . to what appears to be full of ecstasy and satisfaction but is, in fact, empty and stupid.

Thank You for bringing conviction, for pointing out our rebellion. We need that reminder every day, so that we might invest ourselves in that which endures.

We want to pursue the things of God, the things You consider important and valuable—a righteous walk, a pure heart, a committed lifestyle. We long to place family above fortune and purpose above fame and righteousness above riches.

Our Father, You instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. Thank You for that. You shine a bright light on our path from Your Word.

Thank You for the relief that comes with being forgiven and the peace of mind that accompanies a clean heart. Finally, thank You for Your mercies, new every morning, and Your grace, needed every day. We thank You in the dear name of Jesus. Amen.
See also Matthew 6:12; Acts 10:43; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22

How to show Cruel Compassion!

Cruel Compassion

When our daughter was just a baby we had a pretty small house where you could look in all the rooms from the kitchen. During the summer we had this big old exhaust fan on the floor in the kitchen, which was really the only way to suck some air through the house.

Well, our daughter thought this fan was kind of intriguing, she thought it would be neat to explore. I had no idea how attracted she was going to be to it. I walked into the kitchen one day and here she is toddling toward that fan with her hand fully extended.

She wanted to put her fingers in the fan! Guess what I didn’t say – “oh go ahead honey, I love you. No I said, “No!” She tried again a few minutes later. She really wanted to do this. So I kind of spanked her on the bottom and said, “No, no! Don’t do that.”

Now if I tried to explain it to this little toddler, she wouldn’t have understood it at all. But I had to stop her. I knew what would happen if she went ahead with it.

Can’t you imagine what she would’ve said, if she could’ve said, “Haven’t you heard of love? If you love me, you’ll let me do what I really want to do.” No, not in this case.

Today I think she’s very glad I didn’t think that was love.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Cruel Compassion.”

Our word for today from the Word of God, we’re in the book of Lamentations. And what’s being lamented is the fall of God’s people and the fall of God’s city, Jerusalem.

Here’s a couple things that Jeremiah says. He’s talking about Jerusalem, “She was once queen among the provinces and is now become a slave, all because of their sin and God’s resulting judgment.”

He goes on to say that, “She herself groans and turns away.” It’s just a time of sadness and shame for God’s people. It’s a broken time. Well, as this book identifies where the blame ultimately lay, it gets to our word for today from the Word of God.

And in many ways it identifies some of the mess that we’re in in our world today as well. It says in Lamentations 2:14, “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless. They did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.”

There’s a lot of power in those words because it’s saying that the people who knew you were sinning didn’t do anything to expose the wrongness, the sinfulness of it.

And as a result, they didn’t tell you the consequences of staying on that road. So they didn’t ward off their captivity. Those people back then didn’t do any favor to those people by not telling them where God says those actions would take them.

In other words, you wanted to stick your fingers in the fan and they didn’t stop you. Now, they maybe didn’t want to judge anybody. They wanted to be tolerant and loving, and not condemning.

That’s nice. But then they let them walk right into the blades of God’s judgment. See, it’s not loving to not let people see where their sin will take them.

To be non-condemning and loving doesn’t mean that we don’t tell them what God says the consequences will be. To live and let live when it comes to sin is not really compassion.

I was told by a couple of men who used to live in a homosexual lifestyle and felt that Christ had given them the power to change and move on from that, they were commenting on people who say, “you know, I think we should just accept them and let them be themselves.”

And they said “Ron, that’s not compassion.” They said “We call that cruel compassion.” It’s letting them march right into captivity.

Well listen, whether it’s sexual sin, or divorce, or dishonesty, or anger, or “justifiable bitterness,” if we leave it unconfronted, unchallenged, without telling them the consequences and what God says he must judge, it’s not compassion.

It’s letting a person take a drink you know is laced with poison. Sin makes people slaves. It destroys families, it destroys friendships. It promises to make you feel better about yourself and leaves you feeling worthless, sometimes even suicidal.

Sin cuts people off from each other, cuts them off from God. Compassion is doing everything you can to warn them of the wages of sin. We’ve got to love people enough to kindly, gently, lovingly tell them the truth.

Love will always stand in the way of someone who is about to stick their fingers in the fan.
By Ron Hutchcraft