50 Shades Put Him on the Cross

jesus-cross-crucifixion01Pastor Jason Silver | Speaker and Author

With all this talk among Christians about whether it’s right to read books like Shades of Grey, I just gotta say something…

I was in a theater many years ago, and the movie I went to see opened up with a pretty lucid sex scene. I thought, “Well I’ll just look away for this part, that’s the right thing to do, and maybe the rest of the movie will get better.” Then just 15 minutes in “Boom!” naked flesh starts flashing across the screen again, so I turned away.

But it wasn’t just fornication going on, the movie was pretty much based on jealousy, vengeance, and murder. In fact it would be fair to say that every lust of the flesh was represented somewhere in this film.

Then all of a sudden I heard the voice of Christ from within my heart, He asked me a question. He said, “Why are you allowing yourself to be entertained by the very things that put me on the cross?” It was like a bomb went off in my chest! Needless to say I immediately got up and left the theater. I didn’t even attempt to get a refund, I just left. You see my purity was worth more than a lousy 12 dollars. I chose to pursue excellence in what was good, and stay innocent of evil.

Now what I love about Jesus, is that I never sensed any condemnation in His tone when He spoke to my heart, only love and compassion. His goodness led me to repent (to re-think) my choice of entertainment.

So if you call yourself a follower of Christ  I really don’t think it’s that complicated or unclear. The question is simple, “Are you going to allow yourself to entertained by the very things that put Jesus on the cross?”

“Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, rivalry, jealously, outbursts of anger, quarrels, conflicts, factions, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild partying, and things like that.
I (Paul) am telling you now, as I have told you in the past, that people who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. Now those who belong to the Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also be guided.”   (Galatians 5:19-25)

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2015  |  Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Advertisements

The Danger of Elitism

leader1302131354Jason Silver | Pastor and Author

“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Galatians 6:3

One of the most detrimental mindsets in the Christian church today and throughout history is that of elitism, ie. “I hear from God better than you do.”

It splits assemblies, creates schisms in otherwise strong relationships, and starts unbiblical movements that can shipwreck people’s faith.

We become unteachable when our own pride leads us to believe that our knowledge of God is superior to that of others. Being unteachable is often manifest and identified in ones declarations and actions such as, “There’s no church anywhere that believes the way I do.” Or you view everyone else but you, as not having enough faith. People like this look to gather others around them to lead; mainly people that have been hurt, offended, or in a place of weakness that need your supposed deep insight into the ” things of God.”

What people like this seem to forget is that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The only way out of this mindset is humility through repentance. To open oneself up to be teachable; especially to receive correction from unlikely sources within the Church body itself. And to realize that no one individual has all the answers.

All who have believed and declare that Christ is Lord; are the Church. Despite our differences in method and practice, if not unbiblical, we can all learn something from one another, in fact, God wants us to.

 

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2018  |  Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

The Missing Factor in “Don’t Date Them If..” Checklists

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

holding-handsThere’s been a number of Christian social media posts lately about the importance of only dating a good man or woman. And we see lists of points and criteria for what the particular blogger feels are good qualities, and what are bad qualities that we should avoid at all costs.

While to a degree this can be a good thing, and as Christians we should look for good qualities in the person we may one day marry, the reality is if we were honest with ourselves, we all fall short in at least one or more of the points on these lists. Why? Because we all have a sinful nature in our flesh that we must daily put asunder, and choose to walk after the Spirit. There is nothing good in our flesh. None of us are perfect. Jesus even said, “No one is good but God alone.”

So what’s my point here? Well I am certainly not suggesting that you just pick any old Jane or Joe to marry. But that our criteria should be based more on finding someone who loves God and who is actively PURSUING godliness. But at the same time avoiding the false presumption that you can actually find the perfect perfected person. Let me say this clearly…THEY DO NOT EXIST. But those who love God, and really do desire to become more like Jesus; do exist.

I can also promise you this… that no matter who you marry YOU WILL BOTH STILL HAVE ISSUES. Why? Because those who choose to pursue God are not perfected at the point they begin the pursuit, no they are perfected in the process. God is always at work in us, and He uses the weaknesses of our spouse to test and mature our love, acceptance, and forgiveness. The Bible describes it as “Iron sharpening iron.” In fact God uses all our relationships to do this, but the marriage relationship is far more intense due to the commitment level, time spent together, and having become one in fleshly union. This false concept of finding “the right person” has caused more problems in marriages than we realize. I have counseled many couples who after only 2-3 years of marriage begin to doubt that they married the right person. Why? Because they are now beginning to see their spouses weaknesses clearer than ever before.

Just look at who God considered godly in the Bible; David. God called him a man after His own heart, yet David had baggage, lots of it, he blew it BIG TIME many times. But because he was PURSUING God, and was sorry for the things he did, God never stopped calling him a man after His own heart. Look at Gideon; God called him “a mighty man of valour” yet he was found hiding in a wine press, he doubted and questioned God numerous times.

The woman Rahab was a prostitute, Jacob was a deceitful man, Jonah was rebellious, Peter acted cowardly and denied Christ not once, but three times and later as an Apostle acted the hypocrite between the Jews and Gentiles… I mean the list goes on; yet these all continued to PURSUE God in spite of all their issues. Their pursuit of God is what made them godly even amidst their failings..

So all things considered; I don’t think the criteria for your Christian spouse need be met by checking off every point of a lengthy and fully unattainable blog list. We all have issues and baggage. So if your goal is to cross off every issue from your perfect mate list, you will eventually be left with no one. In fact if you were honest with yourself, you don’t even make your own list.

It essentially all comes down to this: Do they love God, are they pursuing Him, and does their life show a desire to become more like Him every day? And are you willing, in spite of their weaknesses, to love them and extend to them the same mercy and grace that Christ extended to you? This was how I chose my wife of 14 years now. And even to this day we are daily faced with one another’s weaknesses, yet it is the basis for which we made our choice that keeps us walking out our love for one another.

Proverbs 18:22
“He who finds a wife, finds what is good, and receives favour from the LORD.”

 

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner.

Does God Send People to Hell?

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

hellThis question seems to be floating around a lot in social media debates as of late.

So…the biblical answer? Yes… BUT not willingly. The Bible tells us that, “God is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL would come to the saving knowledge of the truth” 1 Timothy 2:4

So to be clear… IT IS NOT God’s will for anyone to enter Hell. So why will anyone go there, if it is not His will? Because God gave us all OUR OWN FREE WILL. The same free will that got us booted out of the garden of Eden in all its goodness in the first place. But no one in their right mind would CHOOSE to go to Hell would they? No. But that is the only destination that matches their description of freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from anything to do with God.

So Hell then… is God, after extending incredible mercy and grace through Jesus Christ during their lives on Earth, eventually giving those who reject the Gospel what THEY really want… complete separation from Him. Right now no one really knows what that feels like, because He is with us, and His presence is all around us in this present world, whether we believe in Him or not. And even though many God-haters are rigorously trying to get His people to stop talking about Him, that will not make Him go away, and we all will continue to experience times of goodness because of Him, whether He’s credited for it or not.

Matthew 5:45b
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

In the book of Genesis of the Bible, as God was creating the sun for light, land for living, air to breathe, and plants for food, it says, “And He saw that what He had made was good.” Why? Because He made it! And He is good! So don’t be fooled, if you reject God, you actually reject all that is good. And your unpredictable and short life on Earth will be your only taste of goodness at all. And unlike many who seem to think it so; Hell WILL NOT be some big party, now that God “the Kill Joy Rule Maker” is out of the way.

No… Hell WILL BE absolutely godless (void of good). Aside from the silly saying; there truly IS no such thing as experiencing “Hell on Earth”.  And although sinful men, with free wills are currently capable of doing terrible things; the full extent and torment of Hell, will be the complete and utter absence of anything good. And that’s because only God IS good, and He won’t be there. It’s simple really…no God… no good.

And lastly, another way to look at this is: God is the righteous perfect judge who must judge rightly. And you have been sentenced to death, because of your sinful crimes, whether you are willing to admit your wrong or not. However; the judge also being compassionate in nature offers up His own Son Jesus Christ for your release and full pardon. But you, for your own reasons say, “No.” And not unlike  any court case, if you refuse the deal, you pay the punishment. So from the reality of this perspective, it is your own choice that actually sends you to Hell, not God.

Deuteronomy 30:19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on Heaven and Earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live forever, even after they die.” Jesus

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Believing in God and Believing God: The Difference

Jason Silver  |  Pastor & Author

god2“Abraham serves as an example. He believed God, and that faith was regarded by God to be his approval of Abraham.” Galatians 3:6 (Gods Word Translation)

There is a great difference between believing God, trusting in what He has said, and believing in God, or simply that He exists.

The Bible says that even the demons know God exists and tremble. James says it this way, “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” James 2:19 NLT

It’s very important to know, that believing in the existence of God, is not enough to save you. There is no saving faith in the belief that God simply exists. Saving faith is only found in believing that God will do what He said. The Bible tells us that, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19

So when God  tells us in His word, “”That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” And you believe that He will do what He said… then you will be saved! WHY? Because like Abraham, you believe God, and that results in your approval before Him. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8 NLT

This has really been on my heart lately, weighing heavily. Why? Because many times I ‘ve heard people say “Well I believe in God.” with a subtle confidence that it will be enough if heaven is indeed real. But the truth is… it’s not enough. It’s a false hope, based upon wishful thinking. So just so I am being very clear, believing there is a God, and doing good works, will not approve you before God and assure you of eternal hope. But BELIEVING God will!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16  This does not simply mean in His existence, but in His words.

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

When the Going Gets Tough

Jason Silver  |  Pastor & Author

stress_ballIt’s unbelievable how many people I’ve run into lately that have left their churches. And it’s always for petty reasons, “I didn’t like how they did the offering.” “I didn’t like the music style.” “The Pastor wasn’t as friendly as I would have liked.”  Listen I could understand leaving a Church if they were preaching false teachings, denied the deity of Christ, or you were called out to another ministry. But these are rarely the reasons for most folks leaving.

I don’t understand this mentality in churches today??? It’s like some kind of rampid consumerism. When folks first come to your Church they love it, they say things like “Pastor we’re behind you all the way! Whatever you need, just ask!” But this offer stands only as long as they are happy with your performance, and you don’t preach anything that challenges them to change. Or they have a challenge or trial in a relationship with someone else in the Church.

Listen….The local Church is not a social club, it’s not there only to serve you and your desires. It’s purpose is to follow God’s desires and strive to be a representation of Jesus Christ body in the earth. Is any Church perfect in this purpose? NO! No! NO!

But it certainly doesn’t help when people keep leaving, and backing out of commitments every time they see something they don’t like in a Church. I ‘ve literally seen people do this for years, until there’s not one local church left that they haven’t found some fault with. So they just don’t go anywhere, they say things like, “Well I just read my Bible and seek Jesus at home…” Listen… if you get Jesus, you get His Church too! You cannot say you love God, but hate His body. It doesn’t work.

I’m not angry at anyone, but I am frustrated with this vicious cycle. I’ve grown up in the Church all my life, and this issue exists and persists in all Church circles. I watched so many minstries crash and burn. And what irks me about it is… it’s almost always an inside job.

Church… let’s get over our petty offenses and preference differences and get busy with spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom of light and hope in Christ! Let’s stop devouring one another with our words, let’s grow up and mature. And for the love of God let us stop majoring in the minors. Let us, let go of the non-essentials and focus on what brings glory to God as His body. Many parts working together as ONE!

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Defeating Doubt

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

indecisionRight from the Genesis to this present day, the devil has been working hard trying to get God’s people to doubt what God has said and His faithfulness to fulfill what He has said. He started with Eve in the Garden… “Did God really say not to eat from that tree?” “Oh He did…well he said that because He knows when you do, that you’ll become like Him.” Did you notice Satan said this in a way that made it sound like God was withholding some kind of blessing from Adam and Eve?

The devil will use any available opportunity of wavering thought to get us to take the bait of doubt. And he’ll use any available person:

Mark 8:31-33
Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

The devil can use one’s most zealous follower to give what sounds like wisdom, but if you listen with spiritual insight, it carries the underlying interests of men.

I personally have played the part of Peter before… where I’ve given advice to someone that I thought was good at the time…and later I had to renounce the words I spoke….and go and tell them I missed it please forgive me. I realized it wasn’t God’s wisdom for them.

Can anyone else relate to that?

Or how often have we listened to someone sharing with us about something there standing in faith and believing God for…and we begin share with them all the reasons we see why it won’t work. Why do we do that, when the Bible says we are to live by faith, not by sight?

I’ve been there…done that…had it happen to me numerous times. The devil will use whatever situation, and whoever He can to get us to doubt God’s promises. In fact it’s one of the most successful tools he uses to rob us from receiving from God. “…because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”  (James 1:7&8)

Don’t ever think that when God gives you a vision that will take faith to see fulfilled, that the devil won’t try to take it. HE COMES FOR THE SAKE OF KILLING THE SEED!!!

In Luke 8:11-15 Jesus said:
“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 “And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the seeded word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 “And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 “And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 “And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

We often look at God’s dealings with the Israelites, and we think, after all God did for them… and there’s a long list of things…. I can’t believe they continued to doubt His faithfulness.  Yet many times we do the same thing, when circumstances arise in our lives that cause us to forget God’s past faithfulness to us in every other circumstance.

In Deuteronomy 6:10-12 Moses speaking on behalf of God said…

When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you–a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant–then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

So we see our first Doubt Defeating principle to live by…

DO NOT FORGET THE LORD’S FAITHFULNESS!!

2 Timothy 2:13 says
Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

ONE OF THE NAMES OF JESUS IS FAITHFUL!!!

Revelation 19:11 says, “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True.”

Faithful is His very nature!! He can’t deny it!!

Jesus is always there when you need Him…and we need Him always!!

The second Doubt Defeating principle to live by is this:

DO NOT RECEIVE THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, FROM PEOPLE, OR FROM CIRCUMSTANCES!!

People | 
Mark 5:38-42
When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After this he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Jesus didn’t allow the doubt and wavering seeds of others to be planted in His heart. He always threw doubt out of the circumstance. He was given many opportunities from those even closest to Him to take the thought, but He never did. He was unwavering in His trust and reliance on the Father’s word and His faithfulness to fulfill it. There’s a lot of doubt seed sowers out there…don’t let them plant it in the garden of your heart!! Jesus didn’t…and look at what He accomplished!!

Circumstance | Luke 8:22-25
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

LISTEN…

You can measure your level of faith, by your level of peace amidst the storm.

REMEMBER: WITH FAITH, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD. AND WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD.

 So again, the second principle of defeating doubt is…

DO NOT RECEIVE THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, FROM PEOPLE, OR FROM CIRCUMSTANCE!!

Nip it in the Bud so to speak!!!

And the last doubt defeating principle…but definitely not the least is to … RELY ON GOD’S HELP…through JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT 

Mark 9:20-24
And they brought the boy to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling about and foaming at the mouth. 21 And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 “And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can!’ All things are possible to him who believes.”  24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and began saying, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

I believe this man was genuine in his request for Jesus to help his unbelief, and I believe we can be too. Jesus didn’t let Peter sink; He took him by the hand., and lifted him up. Why? Because even when we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny His very nature!! AMEN???

Acts 4:29-31 says…
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Whenever I feel like giving into doubt, or have already, I try to think of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life…I ask him to fill me anew…I start to speak in my personal gift of tongues, and the doubt begins to lift. And faith comes. After all, isn’t this what the scripture tells us will happen?

Jude 20
But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit…

So the 3 Doubt Defeaters Once Again are:

DO NOT FORGET THE LORD’S FAITHFULNESS!!
DO NOT RECEIVE THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, FROM PEOPLE, OR FROM CIRCUMSTANCE!!
RELY ON GOD’S HELP…through JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner