Tuesday, June 30, 2009

GPA of Salvation

I've had a few recent conversations with a friend regarding salvation and it's affect on our lives. I soon realized that we were on two completely different pages. I was talking about how salvation was challenging my life to follow Christ. He was talking about how his life was questioning his salvation when it wasn't.

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8, that by GRACE we have been saved. So the first part of this verse nails down the origin of our salvation. Salvation came from the grace of God. We didn't do anything to deserve it. It wasn't our idea. We had absolutely nothing to do with it. To say otherwise would involve replacing the word 'grace' with 'merit.'

So now we know where salvation came from. Let's look at the other part of that verse so we can understand how it gets to us.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and THAT (faith) not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Ephesians. 2:8
The vehicle of our salvation is our faith in God, and that faith didn't come from us. The faith we had to accept Christ was a gift of God. Our acceptance of the gift of faith allowed us to RECEIVE grace.

How many of you know that your life is in no way affected by me giving you 100 acres of land on Mars? Martian real estate is meaningless, because you have no way of receiving it. When God gave the whole world Salvation, he also provided the rocket ship that would take you to there. God provided you the faith to receive him. It wasn't a preacher, a book, a song. It was God, and you did nothing but hop on for the ride. Even the urge to hop on came from him. If God would not have given you faith, Salvation would be just be another piece of land on Mars.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
No one can come to me (believe in him) unless the Father who sent me draws him (provides the gift of faith to believe) John 6:44
We now know where and how salvation came. Do we know when it came?
Who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. 2 Timothy 1:9
Because salvation proceeded from God, provoked by God, and preceded us, let us with confidence remove ourselves from the equation, shall we? Are we gone yet? OK, so let's move on.

If we did nothing to deserve salvation, then it would seem logical that salvation has nothing to do with being deserving. One doesn't have to fear that they have to walk the straight line of religion to maintain one's salvation. God's salvation didn't come with a maintenance plan that must be followed to prevent voiding the warranty.

I remember walking into class at the start of a school year and hear the teacher say, "Everyone has an "A", it is up to you to keep it, or lose it." That is NOT how Salvation works. God has given the whole world his son, and He has ALREADY passed the tests FOR us. Why, because without HIM, we never stood a chance of making it. Jesus secured our grade, before releasing us back into the world to change it for the better. Religion is re-taking the exam and merging YOUR score with his. Sounds foolish doesn't it? Paul thought so as well.
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Galatians 3:1-3
Friends, Jesus has taken our final exam and it was graded and stamped by God, PASSED! He then gave us the grade and declared us righteous and justified. Take the tests. Run the race. But never take the grade. Keep the one HE gave you. You will never improve on it. And don't let anyone tell you different. Get back on your feet. Get back to life. You're not disqualified. You were never qualified to begin with.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good, Cheap, Fast

Once there was a rich man who wanted to do something good for someone in his community. He spent a few days just traveling around his neighborhood and the general vicinity. During his travels, he noticed the poor living conditions of a certain carpenter who lived nearby. So the rich man went to the carpenter and hired him to build a house. "Now this isn’t just any old house you’ll be building," the rich man said to the carpenter. "I want you to build this house for a very special person. I want you to use only the finest building materials, hire the best workmen you can find, and spare no expense. I’m going to be out of town for a couple of months, and I would like to see the house finished when I return."

The carpenter saw this as a great opportunity to make some extra money. He skimped on building materials, hired winos that hung out at the local bus station to help with the work, paying them as little as he could. He covered their mistakes with paint and plaster and cut corners at every opportunity. When the rich man returned from his trip, the carpenter brought him the keys to the house and said, "I followed your instructions and built the house just as you told me to." "I’m glad you did," the rich man said. Then he handed the keys back to the carpenter saying, "The special person I wanted the house for is you. Take it … it’s yours!"

President Obama has decided that our current house of healthcare is broken, so he has asked Congress to build a new one.

"The status quo is broken. We cannot continue this way," Obama said in his weekly address. "If we do nothing, everyone's health care will be put in jeopardy."

He has told Congress that he wants a new one built by August. He wants lower costs, improved quality and coverage, and choice protection. How Congress plans to do that is a mystery of mysteries. That would be like telling a housewife that she needs to provide more hot meals to more people, and with less grocery money. If she could do that, she would already be doing it. I'll save my judgement for later, but something tells me that insuring MORE people cheaper, will cause quality to be WORSE, not better. It reminds me of a sign I saw in a computer repair shop. It read, "FAST, CHEAP, GOOD. Pick any Two" Obama told Congress he wanted all three, AND by August.

During the ABC News special, President Obama was asked whether or not he would live in the house he's building for of us. One of the questions came from Dr. Orrin Devinsky. He said that wealthy often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loved ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it's not provided by insurance. Dewinsky asked Obama if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn't seek extraordinary help for his family if they became sick and the public plan limited the treatment.

Basically, the President was asked, If the house your building for us starts to leak, will you get wet with the rest of us. The president refused to answer, but reassured Michelle and the kids by saying, "if it's my family, i always want them to get the very best care." A further look into the bill reveals that not everyone will have to live in this house. Here is the short list of people that will be exempt from paying for this,

The President
The Senate
Union Workers (That's right. As part of the bailout agreement, Unions can keep the healthcare they currently have through their employer.)

The President doesn't have to answer whether or not he would leave the house for a better one. He already has.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peace for Dummies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conditionally endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state. He said Israel would be ready to accept such a state provided the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, as well as disband the terrorist force, known as Hamas

To the normal person, this would seem like a no-brainer. But unfortunately, we're not dealing with brains when it comes to the situation in the Middle East. Mutual peace will NEVER work.

First, the Palestinians don't want peace. I know this may come as a shock to most of the Wal-Mart shoppers who believe everything you see on the television.  Sure, they may say they want peace, but what kind of peace are they talking about? The Dictionary defines "peace" as follows.
1. the normal, non warring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world
2. (often initial capital letter)an agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, group, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism:the Peace of
3. the state of mutual harmony between people or groups, esp. in personal relations: Try to live in peace with your neighbors.
The Palestinians want to make peace with the Jews in the same way that I want to make peace with the roaches under my refrigerator. The second and third definition requires that "Peace" be between TWO nations and those nations RECOGNIZE the other's right to existence. The first definition does not require that both nations exist. One nation can have peace by getting rid of the other. There are TWO ways to have peace with your mother-in-law. One way is for the both of you to live and let live. The second way is what the Palestinians want, and they will accept NO substitute.

I googled "Hamas Charter" and copied a portion of it below.
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

On a personal note, I created my own charter and copied a portion of it below
"Roaches, Flies, and Mosquitoes will continue to exist until Terminex, or a comparable company be contracted to obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."
"There is no solution for the Insect pest question except through extermination. Looking the other way, keeping the lights off, and denial are all a waste of time"
Netanyahu was quoted saying "If we have guarantees on demilitarization and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a state of the Jewish people, then we arrive at a solution based on a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel"

Palestinian and Arab leaders have expressed frustration over Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which was not included in previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

So the show stopper isn't that the Palestinians have to recognize that Jews have better singing voices. They don't even have to agree that Jews have better hygiene or public bathrooms. All Israel is asking that they be allowed to exist and live in their homeland without the threat of terrorism.

So there you have it folks. When Israel says they want peace, it means that they want to live peacefully WITH the Palestinians. When the Palestinians say they want peace, it means they want to live peacefully WITHOUT Jews.

To the Palestinian, a Jew is just a cockroach under their refrigerator. You don't accept the fact that their there. You deal with it. The reason why peace will never work, and is a "waste of time" according to Hamas, is real clear in Islam. Islam can't and never will accept another religion in their neighborhood. Islam is so tolerable of other religions, that they give you 3 choices: Convert, be a persecuted minority, or death. The Koran doesn't allow a fourth option.

Because the Jews refuse to convert and they own the fridge they are living under, Hamas has no choice but to terrorize them. If they terrorize them long enough, the world will get sick of the fighting and demand Israel and the Palestinians share the fridge. Once that happens, it's over.  Peace will eventually come, but it will come the old-fashioned way.  The way it's been done since the beginning. Some one needs to kick the other's ass. My bet is on Israel.
Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Jeremiah 31:35-37
NOW, you can see the root of Islam's insanity. The God of the BIBLE has staked His existence on the existence of Israel. If Israel ceases to exist, then so does the Bible along with Christianity and Judaism. For Islam, killing Israel is like cutting off the head of it's sworn enemy - The God of the Bible.

Hitler had the same plan. Ahmadinejad is shouting it whenever he can, and the Palestinians are very clear about their intentions. And the cowardly lions of the West are too afraid to BELIEVE the truth, much less speak it. How do you feel now, knowing that America is on the wrong side of this bet?