March 3, 2012
Without Christ, it is Empty!
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
II Timothy 3:5
We are certainly living in a time of self-righteousness. We have those who take a stand against unGodly things like abortion and same sex marriage, and although this is not bad there is some danger in doing this alone. The problem is, these things have in many cases, become the stand of man and man alone. His (man's) belief and his (man's) opinion. We have a society and a culture today that struggles with deciding what is right and what is wrong. The reason why this struggle exists is because we have come to a place where we look for the answer in OUR own wisdom and OUR own understanding. There is no real good that can come from this.
It used to be that we recognized God as our authority, the Bible as established truth, the Holy Spirit as our guide and Jesus Christ as our example. Today we look to ourselves and other men to fill all these areas of our lives. There are moral people today, but they have established their morality on what they feel or what other men have told them. We need to understand that God and God alone is the one who establishes righteousness and the Bible is the only code by which we need to live. Without these truths, there is no final authority. Man cannot decide what is right for all men because all men will never agree with another.
The Devil does not care if we are a moral people. He does not hate morality, he hates God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. His interest is not in removing morality from society but in removing God, the Bible and Jesus Christ from our thoughts and minds. We need to understand that it is not enough to say or teach that stealing (for example) is wrong but we must boldly proclaim that the reason why this is wrong is because God said it was wrong and the Bible tells us it is wrong. Without this, one can easily ask, "who says so?" It simply becomes a matter of what "I" believe and "you" believe and what makes either of us more right then the other?
Many Christians today have no trouble standing with a group of anti-abortionists or speaking out against same sex marriage. They will stand with others who believe these things are wrong. Where the struggle begins is in telling others why these things are wrong. As long as they can stand on a socially acceptable platform they are fine, but they "deny the power thereof." The truth is, if God has not established these things to be wrong, they are not. Sinful man can never be the one who determines moral issues on our own because the scripture teaches us we have no good in us.
Let's return to a place where we establish righteousness by the Bible and boldly proclaim what is right or wrong by letting everyone know why it is so. Stop feeling that you have to be apologetic for what you believe. As long as your stand is on what God says and what His book proclaims, you never have to feel you might be wrong. He has given us HIs truths so that we will have a guide for righteousness and morality because He knows we are unable to establish these things for all mankind on our own. Don't forget, He created us.
Evangelist Chris Hofacker
December 4, 2011
What's Going On?
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
"Merry X-mas," "Happy Holidays," "Seasons Greetings." WHAT'S GOING ON? There is one reason and only one reason for celebration on December 25th. It is the day we celebrate the birth of our Messiah, the Blessed Redeemer, our Saviour and our Lord. Forget "political correctness" and forget those who declare they are offended by our manger scenes and "Happy Birthday Jesus" signs and banners. This holiday season is about one thing and one thing only and that's the birth of the Jewish Messiah, the day God became flesh and the plan for the redemption of our lost souls was set into motion. I don't care whether you like that or not! I don't care whether that offends you or not! I will not apologize for my belief in or love for Jesus Christ. If you choose not to celebrate my Lord's birthday, that is your God given freedom to do so but don't "rain on my parade" with your unbelief.
I find it utterly amazing that the "politically correct" stance of this world is so totally politically INCORRECT. The definition of "political correctness" is "The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to
exclude, marginalize, or insult certain groups of people." We have seen these things displayed over the past several years with the removal of such items as manger scenes from city parks and the 10 Commandments from court house walls. WAKE UP! I and my fellow believers are at least as equally offended and feel as violated, excluded, and insulted at your removal of such things as you say you are by their presence. Your unbelief is your own religious ideal and you are forcing these down the throats of us who do believe. This is what you call "politically correct?" Seems more like a double standard and hypocrisy to me.
It seems to me that if you want a "correct" standard to live by and present to all men it ought to be a "Biblically Correct" standard. You see, I believe in the Christ of Christmas, but the very God I worship and adore has given all men a free will. He has presented to each of us His only begotten Son as a free gift but whether that gift is received is up to each man, woman, boy and girl. If you don't want my Saviour and you choose to refuse HIs gift, that is your choice. Evan though I believe you are making a huge mistake that you will eternally regret, I would fight and die for my belief that you should have the freedom to make that choice. No one else can make it for you. It is yours and yours alone. I will not petition the government to force you to celebrate the birth of my Saviour, that is your choice and it is the very God I worship, the very Saviour you deny, that gives you that freedom.
I will not be silent! You who oppose my beliefs and my God are not silent. What makes you feel your rights are greater then mine? The truth is you are not looking for an equal platform but rather to silence those of us who hold to a view point that opposes your own. The equality issue in these matters is as much of a smoke screen as the one that clouds the issues in the Middle East. Those that oppose Israel and talk about wanting peace have no such agenda. They simply use these words to cloud the minds of those Americans who no longer think for themselves or look at the facts but rather choose to blindly follow whatever thoughts and ideas they are fed by the liberal press and news media of today.
To all those who follow me in my belief of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, let me just say...."Merry CHRISTmas." And to my Saviour may I simply say "thank you Lord. Thou and thou alone are worthy of all praise, honor and glory."
Evangelist Chris Hofacker
September 15, 2011
Wake Up America
Part 2 of 2
"In the same day the
made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this
land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:"
NOTE:If you have not read part one of this article I would like to encourage you to do so before moving on. It can be found directly below this one and should be read fully in order to understand what is being discussed here. Thank you.
It has been a while since I have written and although it seems I am doing this way to often lately, I must apologize. There is just so much work to be done and I truly believe, little time left to complete it. I told you in our last article that this one would be something no one wants to talk about and in fact, those who have, have come under great scrutiny for it. However I am only stating facts, which in turn makes these things truth and truth is not always received well. That should not surprise those of us who are born again. After all, the world also refused and many still do refuse the Lord of Truth. The only only one who could ever rightfully declare Himself to be "The Way, The Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6).
Perhaps the most traumatic thing to occur to Israel in it's modern history anyway, was it's forced withdrawal from Gaza. This started on August 17th of 2005. During that time in history, nearly 9,000 Jews were "ripped" by force from their homes and property. Their women and children were manhandled, their synagogues were violated, the Torah was desecrated, their houses were torn down and their graves were dug up. The economic impact on the people was devastating as well. Consider these reported statistics....
- 70% of Israel's organic produce came from this area
- 60% of the nation's exported herbs
- 15% of it's total agricultural exports
- 60% of it's exported cherry tomato crop
- $120,000,000 worth of it's flower exports
While all this was going on, Condoleezza Rice called a press conference. During that conference she said that although everyone could empathize with what the people of Israel were facing, it could not be only Gaza and Gaza would only be the beginning of the withdrawals.
It should be noted that all this ended on August 22nd and on the every next morning, the government of Bermuda announced the formation of a tropical depression that had formed off their coast and this depression had been named "Katrina." As we are all well aware, it became the most powerful hurricane in modern history and it slammed into the coast of New Orleans on the 27th day of August. The impast disrupted 25% of our crude oil production as it destroyed the largest port in the U.S. and the fifth largest in the world. What has occurred since has been higher fuel prices, higher prices for ALL goods, a disruption to the flow of those goods, an increased national debt and ultimately an increase in taxes, all of which have shamed us before the whole world.
When will we learn that the promises of God in Genesis 12:2-3 still apply to us today and that it does not pay to tempt God and oppose His people. We must come to understand that God does not enjoy judgment but in His holiness MUST judge and keep His Word. We are reminded that the scripture clearly records He is a God "that cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). His purpose in judgment is to bring repentance. Yet repent is the one thing we never do. We speak words that may even recognize that we need God and He may even be trying to tell us something, but we never confess our sins before Him and turn from our wicked ways. Consider some of these prayers.
When speaking of the spiritual impact of "Katrina" on her state, the governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, said this, "As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, we search for those in need as we comfort those in pain, and as we begin the long task of rebuilding we must turn to God for strength, hope and comfort." Although these words are true, and we do need God, the real issue should be what we can do to halt His judgment on us to begin with. It seems these national and political public prayers are always about what we can get FROM God and not what we are willing to give TO Him.
Calling for a National Day of Prayer on September 8th, President George Bush asked the nation to pray for the victims and to reach out with compassion to the victims but again, although these are kind and noble words, there is no mention of repentance or a turning to God and away from our sin.
New Orleans City Council President probably came the closest to getting it right when he said, "You know, this all reminds me of Sodom and Gomorrah, and I'm beginning to believe that God has a message for us that maybe He's cleansing us." These words may be true, yet cleansing requires a response of repentance by us and this we seem to be unwilling to do. We expect Him to bless us in our sin and this is not possible of a Just King.
President Lincoln, in evaluating the the cause of the Civil War called for a day of prayer also but he named it a "National Day of Prayer and REPENTANCE." When he made his famous speech on that day he made these statements of humbleness and respect, not seen today....
"In so much as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals are subjected to punishment and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of Civil War which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a people." He went on to say, "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven, we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown, but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied, enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all our blessings were produced by our superior wisdom and virtue." The President then ended his speech by saying, "Intoxicated with broken success, we have become too self sufficient to fill the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us. It behooves us to then humble ourselves before the offended power to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."
We need to wake up and repent. For America to be blessed, we must acknowledge Him in humbleness and turn from our sins and we must remember the promise of God as He spoke with great love for His people, Israel, in Genesis 12.
Evangelist Chris Hofacker
July 20th, 2011
Wake Up America
Part 1 of 2
"In the same day the LORD
made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this
land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:"
In Genesis 12:2&3 God makes a promise to Abraham that He will make of him a great nation and He will "Bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee..." God gives no condition to this blessing. This was promised to Abraham and the nation of Israel no matter what takes place. He also set forth the land that He would give them in our opening text, and neither of these two promises have changed.
I am a firm believer that America is a great country largely because of God's promise in Genesis 12. Through the years we have been both a safe place for the Jews to come as well as their best ally since they were established again as their own state back in 1948. I believe the scripture is clear in it's proclamation that God will bless those who are a blessing to His people, Israel. We are not a great nation because of our own strength and wisdom but because we were founded on His Holy Word and have stood behind Israel. With these two things in mind let me share a few thoughts with you.
First of all I think it obvious that we are heading in a direction contrary to righteousness and God's Word today. We are a rebellious nation at best and do things our own way rather than His. We have changed His Word to make it easier to swallow and less convicting so we can justify our evil deeds. We have removed it from our court house walls and no longer teach it in our schools. I could go on and on with this but it is not to be my main topic today so I must move on. It is evident that the direction we are headed is opposite of where He stands. I want you to consider the second half of this equation today.
The Bible clearly teaches us that in the end times ALL nations will come against Israel and it will be over the great city of Jerusalem. The ironic part in all of this is that although we may still be Israel's greatest ally, we actually began opposing Israel ourselves back in 1991. The reason why was strictly economic and had to do with ensuring the continued flow of Arab oil.
If you are familiar with history at all, and particularly Jewish history, you know what happen in 1991. Everyone knows that was the year of the collapse of the Soviet Union but not everyone may remember the results of that in relationship to Israel. Because of this collapse, the Jews from Russia began flowing back into Israel at a rate of about 2-3 thousand a day. This continued at that rate for about one year. Israel was overwhelmed and this caused them a great deal of financial difficulty. They went to the World Bank and asked for 5 (five) billion dollars to help them handle the situation but the World Bank refused to offer any assistance UNLESS the U.S. would underwrite the loan. The elder President Bush was in office at that time and agreed to underwrite the loan IF Israel would go to the negotiating table and start trading away their land, the land God gave them, in an attempt to bring peace to the Middle East.
We, the U.S. were the ones that started the whole policy in the Middle East of trading land for peace. We forced Israel into the position they are currently in now. Even today we still push them in that direction on a regular basis. In Joel 3:1-2, God makes it very clear that He has a special judgment waiting for them who are involved in dividing the land He gave to His people. We better wake up.
In a book written by Bill Koenig called Eye to Eye:Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel, Mr. Koenig makes some very eye opening observations that I would like to share with you now.
In 1991, November 1st to be exact, we forced Israel to the Madrid Conference to sit down and begin negotiating away their land to the Palestinians. On that exact same day the "Perfect Storm" formed in the Atlantic. That storm produced waves of over 100 feet high and almost completely destroyed the Kennebunkport, Maine home of then President Bush. As a matter of record, Dr. David R. Reagan states, "On November the 1st, the USA Today had twin headlines. On one side it said Madrid Conference Convenes and the other side said Perfect Storm Forms."
In 1991 Yitzhak Rabin was elected the new Prime Minister of Israel. Almost the very moment he was elected in June, the U.S. began putting pressure on him to come to Washington and sit down with PLO leader Arafat and negotiate to give him some of their land. This meeting did take place and occurred on August 24th, 1992. Let it be no surprise that on that very same day Hurricane Andrew slammed into Miami. It was at that time the greatest hurricane in American history. I was working as a Police Officer in those days and traveled from Ohio to the Miami area with two other officers and a truck load full of supplies to assist fellow officers and their families who had been effected by this storm so I can tell you how bad it really was.
Exhibit three would take place during the Camp David Summit of July 2000. At that meeting, President Bill Clinton brought together Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat. Mr. Clinton began to put pressure on Mr. Barak to trade away the heartland of Israel and give Arafat one half of Jerusalem. The very day that conference started, the Western United States broke out in fires (50 of them to be exact) that consumed 500,000 acres of land before they were finished.
Something that is not well known is what occurred at the White House shortly after the attacks of 9/11. A celebration of Ramadan was held in November of 2002, the first ever by the way, at the White House. George W. Bush was president at that time and made the statement at this event, "we have come to honor Allah, the God of Abraham." I read that someone made a statement that President Bush's celebration of Ramada after the attacks of 9/11 was equal to Franklin D. Roosevelt ordering a celebration of Shintoism after the attack of Pearl Harbor. Anyway, the very day after President Bush made his statement about honoring Allah, a swarm of 88 tornadoes hit the central U.S.
Then there was the unbelievable Road Map Plan. It was put together with the cooperation of the United Nations, Russia, the European Union and, you guessed it, the United States. What a quartet! The plan was to force Israel to give away it's heartland. It was delivered to the ambassador of Ariel Sharon on May 4th, 2003. The next day, Colin Powell went to the Middle East to help implement the plan. The first thing he did when he arrived was meet with terrorist leader Hafez Assad (now dead). After his meeting Mr. Powell called a press conference to announce he had promised Assad the Colan Heights as part of the Road Map. He said he would force Israel to give this area up. The same day this was taking place, the greatest tornado swarm in U.S. history occurred. 412 tornadoes hit the United States the same day. The previous high was only 177.
Dr. Reagan's studies have shown that in the years between 1991-2004, from the time we first forced Israel to the bargaining table to give away what s rightfully theirs, the following things have taken place...
-9 of the 10 largest insurance events in U.S. history
-9 of the 10 greatest natural disasters as ranked by FEMA relief costs.
-5 of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history
-3 of the 4 largest tornado swarms in U.S. history
.....and all of these have been linked in one way or another to our attempt to press Israel into dividing it's land or surrendering part or all of Jerusalem.
In part two of this issue of "Think About It" I will talk about something more recent along this topic. For now just consider what I have already written and "think about it."
Evangelist Chris Hofacker
July 4th, 2011
It is about 0035 hours on the morning of July 4th. It has been a busy but blessed day. I spent the day preaching at Fremont Baptist Temple and spending time fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ there. I did not get a chance to write anything here in the past couple of weeks and won't really be able to spend much time doing so now either. I will be back up in a short time and heading for a picnic with our home church family later today. I could not help thinking today however, about how great our freedom is as Christians. Those of us who are saved Americans have been double blessed. We have both a physical and spiritual freedom and both have been provided to us by God Almighty. I wonder if we really appreciate either one as we ought to. Those of us who were fortunate enough to be born here have never known physical life any other way. Because of this, we don't even really consider what life without our freedoms would be like. We should realize that there is no where promised in scripture or by God that we will always have the freedoms we all now enjoy. We may not like to think about that but the only things in this life that are absolute are those things promised by God. We need to be thankful unto Him and be very prayerful, asking for His continued blessings upon our nation.
On the other side of the coin, so to speak, our spiritual freedom is ours to control. In Galatians 5:1 we read, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." This Spiritual freedom we find in Christ is ours as long as we choose to walk in it. No one can take it from us and if we end up back in the bondage of sin it is only because we choose to entangle ourselves in it once again.
It is nice to know that in a world that is ever changing and uncertain, we have God's promises that never change and never fail. When was the last time you thanked Him for this great truth? Nothing deep, just a little something to think about. Have a happy 4th of July.
Evangelist Chris Hofacker
Week of 6/21/2011
Sorry! I will not get chance to write a thought for this week. I am in the middle of helping out with two different Vacation Bibles Schools, preaching at a tent meeting, making a Power Point Presentation for our 4th of July church choir cantata and preparing my upcoming adult Sunday school lesson for this next week.
Anyway, I promise, Lord willing, I will get something out this next week. Thanks for checking and may God bless you this week.
Evangelist Chris Hofacker
Week of 6/15/2011
II Corinthians 15:40
"Let all things be done decently and in order."
We Christians live scrambled lives. In fact, other then the knowledge we have
that we are going to heaven when we die and the trips we make to church, many
times it would be very hard to really distinguish most of us from most of the
lost. We watch things they watch, we
listen to things they listen to, we go where they go, we read what they read,
then we wonder why we end up with so many of their ideas and thoughts in our
heads that cause us so much of our spiritual warfare. Then because we live like that, we worry like
they worry and we get just as stressed out as they do over things. I have to believe after all God has given us
and done for us, after all He has told us about how we ought to live, He must
just hang His head in sorrow sometimes over how we handle life. He knows we can do right and live as we ought
to if we only follow His leadership. You
see we can call it leadership and not just wisdom because He didn’t just give
us advice; He actually came down here and showed us how it needs to be
Jesus Christ showed us how to live a life
as God intended. A life in which
everything was done as it ought to be because it was a life that had a well
established list of priorities. Jesus
had a purpose in His coming and an established list of priorities for His life
and He followed them without wavering. He
came to fulfill the will of the Father and this was of course to give His life
for others, for “whosoever will.” He
always put God first and others before Himself.
We are told to be like Christ. We
are told we ought to even think like Him.
Let this mind be in you, which was also
in Christ Jesus:
The world today is in such mess because
their priorities are all out of order from what God intended.
According to the Austin Chronicle, in a two-day period in New York City, a homeless man, a train
maintenance worker, and a dog were killed on the subway tracks. Ninety people
telephoned the Transit Authority to express concern about the dog, but only
three called about the worker and no one about the homeless man.
sad truth is, this is not only true of the lost of this world but it can also
be said about many believers as well. I
think most Christians today are “all over the place” in their Christian lives
because they have never really sat down and written out their priority list for
life. Oh they have heard preachers
preach about it and they know what it ought to be. They may even talk about how it should be,
but they have never really just bowed down and established for themselves that
it’s their own. We who sit in
fundamental Baptist churches like my home church at Beacon Baptist in Lorain,
hear the preaching from the King James Bible without apology or compromise and are
very fortunate because we are not preached to from the Bible with a little of
the world’s philosophy mixed in. All of
us who are members of churches such as this, certainly know how the order of our
priority list ought to go.
Some of us even have plaques hanging in
our homes, or bookmarks in our bibles, or tag lines on our text messaging that
tells us what our priority list ought to be, but we don’t live it. There is a saying, or catch phrase, out there
today that pretty well captures what ought to be the order of our lives. It says “Faith, Family, Friends.” In other words, “God, Family, Others.” The one thing that is missing from that list
is “you.” Yet how many of us live our
lives for ourselves above everything else? We are our own biggest problem, not
the devil. Most of our troubles come
about when we put ourselves on that list.
I don’t just mean at the top either, but on the list at all. Every problem we ever find ourselves in can
almost always be tracked back to “us” and some bad decision we made. Every time
we sin it’s because we altered the list and placed ourselves somewhere on
it. For example, in order for you to do
something that you know is not honoring to God, you must put yourself above
Him. If He is first, you will do what He
wants and not what you want. It’s pretty
simple. The best thing is to keep
ourselves off the list altogether. I
once heard a preacher say, “being humble is not thinking lowly of yourself,
it’s not thinking of yourself at all.”
I often carry a small personal sized mirror with me or have one close
by. When I find myself in the middle of
a bad situation and want someone to blame I just open the mirror and say “right
there is your problem.” When we take accountability
it eliminates much of the time we waste waiting for someone else to fix things
and make it better. Once we realize it
is “us” we can turn it over to God, pick up and move on. I heard a preacher say this week, “Until we
learn to abandon our dreams in lieu of God’s will, we will never be happy.”
Why don’t we please God more? Because we are to busy pleasing everyone
else, usually ourselves, to have time to please someone we can’t physically see
standing here in front of us. That old
saying “out if sight, out of mind” fits.
It’s not that we don’t know, it’s that we choose not to think about
Him. It becomes impossible to keep
someone on the top of your list when you refuse to even acknowledge them. I think sometimes when we are told over in I Thessalonians 5:17 that we are to “pray without ceasing”, it is because
as long as we are talking to Him we can’t forget He is there. You can’t walk down the hallway of the church
talking to someone or go out to eat with them and forget they are there. We forget He is there because we stop
communicating with Him. We remember Him
again on Sunday morning because everyone is talking about Him.
We would all agree that we are told over
and over that God is to be first in our lives.
We know that when it comes to family, God established in Ephesians 5:31, that when a man and
woman get married they become as one.
There is no other human relationship that God describes in that way. We
also know when it comes to our children, we are accountable for how they are raised
and it is our job to train them up in the way they should go [Proverbs 22:6]. So we know that these two things are one and
two. Then we all know what God says about
loving one another and being a friend. We
are to walk in love as Christ loved us.
He put us before Himself even unto the giving His own life for us [Ephesians 5:2]. Some people might question and ask “what about
soul winning and praying and reading our bibles on our priority lists. Those things all fall under having God
first. If God is first, you will do
those things because those things please Him and draw you closer to Him. As a matter of fact, what you will find is if
you put God first, everything else will fall right into line because we will
then follow God’s order for everything else.
You see, it isn’t really as complicated
as we make it. God is not a complicated
God. He made salvation easy for us and
He makes it easy for us to please Him as well.
We need to just keep Him first and ourselves out of the way and things
won’t be so bad. Think about it!
Evangelist Chris Hofacker
Week of 6/7/2011
II Peter 2:19
they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for
of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."
“The Bible is to binding.” “Christianity has to many rules.” “I want to do what I want to do.” These are all words we have heard not only
from the lost but the sad truth is, we hear them way to many times from
professing born again believers as well.
There is little real understanding of true freedom today. For most, freedom means being able to do
whatever you want. Let me say first of
all that we all have that choice. What
we really don’t like is that when the cho
ice we make is the wrong one, although
we had the freedom to do what we did, there is a consequence. What people who make statements like those at
the top of the page, are really saying is, “I want to do what I want without
restrictions and penalties.” There is no
way to make that a reality without chaos and total destruction.
are especially arrogant when it comes to the issues of freedom. America is the freest nation in the world,
this is true. But we still have laws
that must be obeyed. It’s a fact that
you can do as you please, but when a law is broken and you are caught breaking
it, there will be a penalty. The key or
the real issue is why do we feel a need to break the laws to begin with? The reason is very simple. It’s not because breaking the laws or doing
whatever it is that we are doing when we break them is better for us or even
beneficial to us. No, the reason why we
feel the need to do so is because we are in bondage. We are not free. We are slaves to the flesh, the old man, the
sin nature. We are born into
bondage. Since Adam’s first sin, every
man ever born has been born in sin (Romans
5:12). A lost sinner has no real
freedom because they cannot overcome or defeat this nature on their own. The flesh cannot war against the flesh
a man continues to live in his bondage to his own sin nature. You think you are doing what you want but you
are really doing what your sin nature demands with no way to stop. You are in bondage!! If you have never met Christ in a personal
relationship, you can test this by trying to live right, without sinning for a
few days and see if you can. You will find
it impossible to succeed.
is true that the Bible is a book that contains many rules and commandments and if
we are His children, He expects us to follow and obey them. The difference is that, once we receive His
Son Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit enters into us, now we actually can obey
those rules and commandments. God does
desire we do these things but never makes us do them. We do them because once His Holy Spirit is in
us, we want to do them. We are changed
and given new desires. The sin nature is still there but it no longer controls
us because we now have the power to overcome it. Although God desires that we obey Him and
follow His commandments, He never makes us do so. Jesus told us that our obedience is our way
of showing God how much we love Him (John
14:15 & 21;
I John 5:3
Because we can now do right and have the
power to do so, yet we are not forced to, we now have real freedom. As is the case with everything, the choices
we make still come with consequences and rewards. Although God allows us to make our own
choices, our breaking His commandments may result in chastisement and will
always have an effect on our relationship with Him. The difference is that now the choice is
yours. If you want to do right you can
because of the new nature and the Holy Spirit in you, and if you yield yourself
to the old man and the sin nature, you may still do that as well.
has given us true freedom through His Son, and yet so many Christians feel they
are more restricted than ever. The shame
is, so many put themselves back under the bondage of sin even after they have
been set free, and they do it now by their own choosing. They are like the dog spoken of in II Peter 2:22, that returns to its own
you are God’s child, you are completely free to decide which way you want to go
but I cannot close without giving you something to really think about. When you got saved, the Holy Spirit entered
into you and your old desires were changed.
Repentance does not save anyone but is a direct result of true
salvation. You cannot repent until you
get saved and receive God’s power to do so and you cannot get saved and fail to show repentance.
Once you are born again however, you are, as the Bible teaches in II Corinthians 5:17, a new
creature. As a matter of fact, I John 5:3 tells us that not only will
we keep His commandments if we love Him, but it even says His commandments are
not grievous to us if we are His children.
They are not a burden to us. We
don’t look at them with regret or a feeling of being enslaved by them. If your
desire to do right didn’t change, if you can do the same old things you always
did and live in sin without regret and remorse, then you need to deeply search yourself
and consider the possible reality that you never really experienced the new
birth. It is possible to fall back into
the bondage of sin. Galatians 5:1 tells us it is possible for this to happen, but if
you are saved, you will be unhappy, discontent and even miserable in that
you are free to do as you please. Evan though you are not your own and are
bought with a price (I Corinthians
6:19-20), and even though giving yourself completely to God as a living
sacrifice is only your reasonable service (Romans
12:1-2) , God gives you the choice. Since
obeying Him is the only way we can show Him how much we love Him, if He forced us to
obey it could gauge nothing in our lives.
I guess the question is then, since I have true freedom to live right
and overcome sin in my life, how much do I love Him? Think about it.
Week of 5/31/2011
before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
sometimes amazes me, the things we take credit for. Let me just begin I guess by reminding each
of my readers that our relationship with our Heavenly Father is our own personal
relationship and we cannot MAKE ANYONE walk closer to Him than they themselves
desire to walk. We can have a great influence
on the life of someone else, but even so, the ultimate and final decision of each
Christian to walk close to God, is of their own choosing. Where am I going with this? Well, recently I heard of a situation where a
group of preachers had become upset with one of their own because they did not
feel their brother had enough control over his wife in a decision she
made. They wanted to throw the
qualifications of a pastor in his face and remind him that a pastor is to be “One that ruleth well his own house” (I Timothy 3:4). They decided he no longer had the right to
stand as the pastor over the flock God had called him to. Now please remember this was over something
his wife did and it was not of his own choosing. As a matter of fact, it hurt him. Yet instead of being an encouragement and a
help to this pastor, some decided it would be better to heap coals of fire upon
began to think about this and wondered how any one of those preachers would
have stopped their wives from doing the same thing if she had made the same decision. It doesn’t really matter what was done, the
question remains the same. If a pastor’s
wife goes against his wishes and does something contrary to what her husband
has requested and wants done, what is it that he can do to stop her? If a pastor’s wife decides she is going to go
somewhere he has forbidden her to go, should he grab her by the hair and drag
her back into the house? How about any
of our wives for that matter? If she
says she doesn’t want to go to church with you in the morning, do you force her
to do so, dragging her to the car and up the steps to the church against her
will? Should a wife reverence her
husband and submit herself to his authority?
Absolutely!!! This is a biblical
principal. No wife should convince
herself she can be right with God and not be right with her husband. This is an impossibility, which leads me to a
major part of the point I want to make.
Why can’t a married woman be right with God if she is not right with her
husband? Simply put, because it is God who
established the “chain of authority” for the home. God is the one who ordered that a wife submit
herself unto her husband. This was
not some principal that men sat around talking about one day and decided that
was the way it should be. It was what
God established. We need to understand that
a woman’s disobedience is not to her husband but toward God.
brings me to our arrogance on the other side of the coin. I have heard men, some preachers, while
standing around with other men, say things like, “Bless God, my wife better
listen to me.” Let me just take a second
to say again that each Christians walk with God is a result of their own
personal decisions to obey Him and follow Him.
If a man has a submissive wife he should be thankful to God for a woman
who loves her Lord enough to follow and obey him when everything that she sees,
hears and reads around her tells her just the opposite. Our women are under great attack today by
those who would do all they can to tell them that to place themselves under the
authority of any man is degrading. We
need to stand up for our Godly and submissive wives and stop taking the credit
for their willingness to do right. If
they submit to us as God has ordained, they do so out of their own love for God
and willingness to serve Him and not because we have done something great.
I understand that for some, a Godly man, one who loves the Lord himself and one
who loves his wife and respects and cares for her as he should, is easier to
follow. On the other hand, I have known
Godly men whose wives seemed to constantly work against them in their ministry
and calling and who made things more difficult at every turn. This does not mean however, as I make point number
two, that the husband is not ruling his house well. You can raise a child, with prayer, Bible
reading and in a good Godly manner and still have them move away from God as
they age and make their own way in life.
Because a person rules well does not mean each of his “subjects” will
follow as they ought to. Because a king rules well does not mean everyone in his kingdom obeys him. I could
go even a step further. God Himself is
the King of all Kings and He rules not just well, but He rules perfectly and
yet not all His own children follow Him either.
If we are saved, are we not part of the “Bride of Christ?” Yet His bride so often disobeys Him but does
this mean He does not rule well? Of
course not! Rebellion is rebellion and
it exists at every level of mankind. God
could make us obey Him but doesn’t. He
gives each of us the opportunity to make our own choices even though He rules
well and desires that we obey Him. Do you
really believe men that you can do better than God? It is a personal relationship that each of us
has, and that includes your wife. If she
chooses to do things against your wishes, she is in direct disobedience to God,
not you. If she chooses to submit as she
should, thank God and let her know how much you love and appreciate her love
for God and her willingness to obey Him.
you are so quick to judge another who may be facing the spirit of rebellion in
his home, ask yourself, “what would I do if my wife decided to stand against me
or even walk out on me.” You say, “well
I would quit the ministry.” Then you
have allowed the acts of another human being to pull you out of God’s call and
purpose for your life. How ridicules is
that? Do you really think that our omniscient
God did not know when He called you what you would be facing today? Let’s stay faithful to the call and along the
way, help each other in a biblical manner, doing all we can to pray for one
another in our calling, and lifting each other up and restoring one another
instead of doing all we can to destroy each other. To those who have allowed themselves to
become so arrogant they feel they can stand as judge and jury over the problems
and pains of another man of God, my prayers are with you and I hope your never face
the same battle.
Week of 5/24/2011
Memorial Day 2011
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial;
and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall
keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
There are those who will try today, to
stand and tell you war is wrong. Some
will even say God is against and hates ALL war.
Let me just say that those people don’t know the Bible and aren’t
talking about the God who is the Author of that great book either. You don’t have to read too far into His great
book before you find Him actually leading His people into war. We must understand that God hates sin and has
always led men against it in one way or another. In fact, if you read how this whole thing is
going to end you will find God Himself leading His army against His foe and
into a battle that will be bloodier than any that has raged before it. Don’t forget it was God who told King Saul in the book of I Samuel, that he should utterly
destroy the Amalekites, and even mentioned specifically that the women,
children and suckling’s must die as well.
Although we don’t like to look at that side of Him, God is a God of judgment
as well as love and could not be holy without both of these attributes.
War cannot be fought without
casualties. Although we do not want in
any way to down play the sacrifices of our men and women who have paid the
ultimate price for our freedom, we certainly all understand that war must have
sacrifice. The real tragedy of war is
not so much in the sacrifice that is made as it is in the sacrifice that is
made without recognition and without a successful result. It is the sacrifice
that is made for something that no one appreciates and doesn’t take advantage
This time of year we are of course
observing and remembering the lives of our service men and women who have died
to make and keep us free but that physical battle is not the only battle that
has been fought and rages on even today.
All of mankind was under a tyrant’s rule, a dictator if you will. They had no defense against him and no power
in themselves over his grip of slavery upon them. But then almost 2,000 years ago a King sent
His Son and He was given all power to overcome the enemy and bring to His
people freedom that they could not achieve without Him. But as it is in all
wars, there had to be a sacrifice. So in
order to achieve His goal of freedom for His people, the King’s Son Himself had
to die. I am of course referring to the Lord Jesus Christ and the great price
He paid for “whosoever will,” that He might free them from the overwhelming
power and grip of sin and it’s master. Understand that He didn’t do what He did
knowing He MIGHT suffer and die but that He WOULD suffer and die. And don’t ever forget He had the power to
stop it at any time yet He willingly carried out the battle plan.
You see, the tragedy is not in the death of
Christ, oh no. His death and resurrection
are my victories. He had to shed His
precious blood and die for my sins or I would have had remained in the grip of
sin and death with no hope of deliverance and freedom. The tragedy lies in the fact that although
His death freed those of us who are born again from sins bondage, so many still
insist in placing themselves back under their old taskmaster.
In the verses prior to the one we opened
with, you would find God talking about the things he wanted done as a
memorial. The verses are in reference to
the blood of the Passover Lamb and the protection it provided for God’s people
as the death angel passed through Egypt and killed the firstborn of all living. We know that Egypt is a picture of the world
and of sin and that the Passover Lamb a symbol of our Lord and His shed blood
protecting us from the judgment of God.
And we read this morning that God told the people in verse 14 to
this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the
LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for
He said pass it on to all generations and
remind them of what I have done for you and how I protected you and I freed you
from your slavery. While in the
upper room giving His apostles the first communion just before His death, Jesus said,
"this do in
of me." He was saying, don’t
forget my broken body and my shed blood.
Remember what I did to bring you freedom over death, sin and the
grave. Christian, don’t forget.
You know, in a war, one must choose a
side. For there to be war there must be
two sides that strongly oppose one another and can’t reach an agreement for
peace. You cannot serve both sides. In fact if you are fighting for one side and
show any allegiance to your enemy you would be guilty of treason and would be
put to death. Yet in our spiritual life
we do this very thing and think nothing of it.
The Bible makes it very clear as we discussed last week, that we cannot
serve two masters and that we need to choose this day whom we will serve. We have no victory and therefore no freedom
because we can’t even decide which side we are on. We say we belong to God but love the things of
the flesh and just can’t seem to let them go.
The issue in America of our freedom is very
important to us all and most Americans have at least some sense of
understanding of its costs, its benefits and its blessings, but few really
understand it’s responsibilities.
Freedom carries with it a great deal of responsibility. If any group of people living today should
understand this truth it should be those of us who call ourselves
Christians. We have freedom in America
but a warped sense of what freedom from a biblical stand point really is and
this has brought this country to its knees and turned its eyes from the only
One who can bring true and lasting freedom.
Make no mistake that freedom comes with
costs; pain suffering and even loss of life. In America our freedom was won but has had to
be defended again and again and still there is no guarantee that we will have it
tomorrow. There is only one kind of
freedom that we can have that is promised, assured and eternal for us and even
then, only those who know Christ have this type of freedom.
Freedom, if misused can cease to be a
blessing and can become a curse. This is
where we are rapidly headed in America.
The freedom our forefathers fought for was a freedom to do what was
right and to allow those who would worship God to do so without fear of
government interference or penalty of law.
Our freedom in this country today has been extended to those who would
move against our God and in such a way that those who stand for what is right
are now considered the enemy of state.
Our freedom has, because of misuse, become a curse. We not only extend freedom to those who
oppose our God on an equal level with those who stand for Him, but have instead
begun to threaten the freedoms of those who stand for this book in lieu of the
freedoms of the workers of iniquity.
Think about something as simple as our
downtown manger scenes. Some city
governments have declared these things can no longer be displayed because they
offend those who oppose our God and fail to acknowledge Christ as Lord. Yet in those areas and cities where the Muslims
have taken over communities and build prayer towers that rise to the skies, we
dare not say anything because we are told no matter how much that offends us,
these people have the right in America to freedom of worship and speech. Isn’t
that what a manger scene is? It’s not
even equality this country stands for any longer, it is an agenda of
subtracting the God of Israel from our lives. To remove our commitment to God’s
people we must first remove their God.
This country was founded on the Bible and
it’s teachings and my message to our visitors is simply spoken this way, “if
you don’t like it, don’t come here.” And
definitely don’t come here and expect us to change the way we live and give up
what we believe so you can display your pagan monuments openly and in our faces.
Yet, as absurd as this may sound it is exactly what we have done. As we begin to separate ourselves from Israel
we also separate ourselves from the God of Israel and His Holy Word.
We are being told that right around the
corner laws will be in place that will prevent us from preaching against sins
like abortion and same sex marriage. It
is said that our churches will lose their tax exempt status if we preach
against these things because we will be preaching politics. How convenient that has become! These issues were preached from our pulpits long
before a presidential candidate or political party ever stood on them for
furtherance of political gain. These
things are issues of man’s sinful and predated state of being and belong in
the hands of men who represent God and His holiness.
All these things go on and we are
threatened with sanctions if we preach against these sinful life styles yet
those who represent these things can stand unmolested and preach their gospel
of wickedness and tolerance. Freedom
misused becomes freedom for the wicked only and opposition for those who would
stand for what is right. You might say
who has the right to decide what is right or wrong. Well it isn’t me and it isn’t you, its God. It’s His book. We know that and that’s why the world today
is so quick to try and change that book and water it down, removing the
awfulness of hell or the words that would condemn mens sin.
Who establishes freedom? God is the only One who establishes true and
eternal freedom. We do not preach a
doctrine of hate toward our fellow man but a doctrine of hatred toward
sin. Our prayer and desire is not for
the damnation of those who would live wicked, un-Godly lives but that they
would turn from their wicked ways and come to know Jesus so that they may enjoy
this total freedom that only He can give.
We love them and hate their sin just as we should hate all sin, even
those we may hide in our own lives. It
just seems today that with each new freedom that is given to the wicked, some
freedom is taken from the righteous.
Our forefathers certainly knew that real
freedom came from God and were very outspoken publicly about the importance of
remembering Him and His book. It was not
uncommon to hear them make proclamations like that of Thomas Jefferson who said “The
Bible is our Source of Liberty.” Or how about George Washington who said “It
is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.“
There are several
things we should remember on this Memorial Day about both the physical freedom
and the Spiritual freedoms we enjoy. Let
us not forget on this Memorial Day 2011, those who have given their lives for
us to have the freedoms we enjoy here in America, but let us not forget our
fallen brothers and sisters in Christ who have also gone before us and the many
of them that also laid down their lives for the furtherance of the message of the
eternal freedom we find in Christ. Then, let’s remember most of all, our
Saviour and His great sacrifice of love that brought about our true and eternal
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us
free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
If you are lost and
without Christ, you are still in sin’s bondage and have no freedom. You will continue in your sin with no hope of
freeing yourself from its grasp. You may try and try but you cannot free
yourself. You can do nothing on your own
to bring you the peace you seek. And then one day you will die lost in your
sins and end up in a place called hell from which there will again be no way to
escape. There is no freedom once this
life is over from the grip of eternal damnation. You
must be freed now while you still have a chance to make that decision. But don’t be dismayed. True and eternal freedom
is not found in the Constitution of the United States but in the blessed Word
of God. You can know that freedom today and you won’t have to pay one single
dime for it. The price has already been
paid and battle already won. Christ
Jesus died on Calvary to pay your sin debt and purchase your freedom if you
will only receive it, it can be yours with no strings attached.
For week of 5/18/2011
What's Wrong with This Picture?
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one,
the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other."
Sometimes it's really hard to
understand professing Christians today. Many spend their time
and confused. They have no victory in their walk
and can't figure out why. There are many simple truths in God's Word
but we just seem to complicate everything. We start with salvation.
Jesus, God's holy Son, paid our sin debt in FULL and offers us the gift
of eternal life through the blood He shed on Calvary. It's a gift !!!
All we have to do is receive it. The Bible makes it very clear there is
nothing we can do to earn it. Yet we feel the need to add works,
baptism, church membership or any other number of things. We just can't
believe it can be that simple, yet God says it is.
many believers attempt to live their lives as THEY see fit, failing to
heed God's instruction and don't understand why they fail. How
complicated can this really be? God tells us in Romans 12:1-2
that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice and adds that this
is only our reasonable service. In other words, God desires that we
give Him our lives completely. Why should that seem to much to ask?
Have we forgotten what He did for us to pay our sin debt and give us
To go further,the Bible tells us in James
5:16 that ".....The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man
availeth much." Yet we fail to live righteously and still expect
God to do as we request. He tells us in Psalm 66:18 that if we
hide iniquity in our heart He will not hear us. Yet we do as we please
or give God SOME of our lives and still expect God to bless us. Do we
think God was only joking when He said these things? I could go on and
on because the truth is, God wants to bless us but He can no more reward
our bad behavior than we would reward our children who rebelled against
our authority. Remember, if you are born again, you are His child.
God makes us many promises of blessings but if you study the scripture
you will find they come with requirements. He promises eternal life but
you must accept His son (Romans 10:9-10). He promises
forgiveness but says we must first forgive others (Matthew 6:15; Mark
11:26). He promises blessings but says we must first stop robbing
Him by withholding our tithes and offerings(Malachi 3:8-10). He
promises us wisdom but says we must first ask for it (James 1:5).
You get the point I'm sure.
When Jesus said in our
opening text, that you cannot serve two masters, He made it about as
clear as it could be made that it cannot be done. Jesus wanted to make
sure we fully understood this simple truth. If we want God's blessings
and His answered prayers, we must first decide that we are willing to
die to self and yield our will to His in all that we do.
What''s wrong with the picture posted here? Well, that's pretty easy
isn't it? These two things just don't belong together in this setting.
One is completely out of it's element and cannot do or be what it is
meant to be. This is what life is like for the Christian who tries to
hold on to his/her worldly past and continues to serve the flesh and
self, living by emotion and fleshly desires rather than totally
surrendering to the will of God for their life. Christian, you don't
belong there. You are out of the element of your new birth and will
never be able to do or be what you are meant to be.
just keep it simple and obey God. He always knows what's best for each
of us whether we can see, understand or agree with it is irrelevant.
May God bless you.
Evangelist Chris Hofacker