Archive for July, 2007

Then The End Shall Come

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.” (NASB)

Just a thought: Throughout Christianity’s past we have had our dark days – days of spiritual darkness and horrendous deeds, but an argument can easily be made that the deeds were done in ignorance. Before the printing press, the people had to rely on their spiritual leaders for their knowledge of God. That being the case, if corruption was found in the spiritual leadership, then even the Word of God became corrupt through their faulty and corrupt interpretations, ergo, the people – the Christians of that day became corrupt as well. Therefore, God in His mercy would not judge a world which was debased through ignorance.

However, today we have a much different situation. Having the Word of God available to all, that is in a practical sense, neither the individual nor this world has the right to call upon said mercy due to ignorance, i.e., “then the end shall come.” God, being a just God, would not judge an entire world which laid for the most part in ignorance of Him and His Word. Accordingly, in His mercy, He proclaimed that the end should not come until His Word – His unadulterated Word was made known throughout the world.

The above scenario concerns me greatly as I see holiness diminish within the Church at-large, even though the Holy Scriptures are widely known – widely read. Rejection and wickedness in the face of truth is a very scary place for this world to be in. Could not that kind of rejection be called blaspheming the Holy Spirit on a worldwide scale? Yes it can! Sin cannot be forgiven if the Holy Spirit’s conviction has been dismissed as evil, i.e., no personal repentance. That being the case, can global judgment be far off? You can find my concerns elaborated on by reading the preface to my book, The Portrait of a Christian. You can find the link to my Preface below.

It is written that the Word of God is alive and active so you can always count on a reaction to God’s Word to take place within the heart of mankind, i.e., a softening of your heart or a hardening of your heart to God and His Word. Right now, as God’s Word goes out around the world, I see a hardening of hearts taking place in this world on a scale which is unprecedented in mankind’s history. Lines being drawn so hard – hearts becoming so hard that repentance will soon become impossible as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit takes hold globally, which is the only sin which cannot be forgiven. Why? Because there is no genuine repentance. God forbid!

Some believe that everything is okay, because of the good circumstances in their lives. However, could it be that God is indeed patient and merciful toward us wishing none to perish? Yes! We must never, never allow circumstances, good or bad, to become the sign in our lives of God’s approval or disapproval. The only Scriptural way to tell a good tree from a bad tree is from its fruit. What fruit do you find in your life, that is, as it’s measured against God’s Word? Please, I beg you, examine yourself right now to see if Jesus Christ dwells within you before it’s too late and you find yourself crying Lord, Lord; while at the same time God is saying, I never knew you. I cannot make that examination for you. I can only look at the fruit at-large within the “Church” and place a warning before you. The rest is totally up to you. Again, all I can do is warn you, which I’ve just done.

Prayer: God, please open the eyes of my heart to the truth – Your truth, before the end comes and Your judgment falls upon an unrepentant world. Amen and Amen!

Book Preface:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index36.htm

The Truth Shall Make You Free:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index15.htm

Manifestations of Pride and Humility

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Just a thought: What are the manifestations of Pride and Humility?

Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the gentle (humble), for they shall inherit the earth.” (NASB) A heart characterized by gentleness or humility is our next “sign of life”. Humility is not a weakness, but a virtue born out of immense inner strength — the inward strength it takes to admit we are not always right, nor are we the center of our own universe. It takes immense inner strength to deny yourself and allow God’s holy light to expose your weaknesses and imperfections. Only the weak cannot allow their imperfections to come to light, because their fragile egos could not handle the perceived indignity of ever being wrong and/or in a state of helplessness! Instead, as the light (Holy Spirit) attempts to expose their imperfections, they gnash their teeth and growl like a frightened animal that’s backed into a corner. Agitated and provoked, they again look for the comfort of their familiar territory of self-deceit and sin, i.e., the world they were born into. Whereas, the humble are willing to accept God’s dealings as good and do not dispute, nor resist His work within; as they have learned by experience to no longer question God’s love for them and they begin to trust implicitly God’s wisdom over their own.

Isaiah 66:1-2: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,’ declares the Lord. ‘But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.’” (NASB)

Prayer: Father, it is written that You resist and hate the proud of heart, but the humble and contrite You embrace and make Your home. Help me to understand the difference so I may also embrace a heart of humility and contrition; making it part of me so Your Holy Spirit may find a dwelling for eternity within me. Amen and Amen!

Website: www.SoppMinistries.org

The Signs of Life:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index25.htm

My Treatise

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Just a thought: After taking part in both a Christian and a religion Internet forum for about a week, I was a bit surprised at how quickly people judged and how hard it was for me to find civility.

For example, after reading the opening two paragraphs about me on our website (which is less than 1% of what’s available), it was labeled as not Christ centered. Don’t you want to know up-front a little about the person whose writings you’re about to read, and where he is coming from? Again, my book, The Portrait of a Christian, was tagged as “ignorance” without reading one word. Oh well, I guess that’s just another sign of the times.

It does, however, break my heart as all I’m trying to do is point you to God’s hand which is already outstretched to you. Is it too much to ask you to at least take a second look at what you believe when your eternity hangs in the balance? I guess for some it is.

That being said, if you are interested, you can read an unedited copy of my book for free through our website, A.K.A., my “Heart-to-Heart” commentaries. Notwithstanding, I’m told by just about everyone who has read both, that the book is a much better read if you can afford it. I did publish it in paperback to keep it as inexpensive as I could.

There’s my two cents, for what it’s worth. The rest is up to you. Everything I have to say, well over 100,000 words, can be found through our website: www.SoppMinistries.org

I do pray some will find my writings and MP3 sermons to be a blessing.

Well, there’s my “treatise” nailed to the wall.

My Prayer: Father, after being exposed to how widespread the hardness of hearts appear to be, I’m asking You to use me and Your ministry through me to its fullest extent. Don’t allow me to get discouraged, nor shrink back. I’m not sure how many You assigned to me to reach – to give a warning, but I need to be sure I complete my assignment fully as my heart breaks knowing what I know about eternity. Therefore, Holy Spirit possess every ounce of my being – completely immerse me in Your power – come alongside of me – keep me from temptation and the Evil One every moment of every day for the rest of my life in order that I may completely fulfill my Father’s calling upon my life and His ministry through me. In other words, Holy Spirit, please bring glory to the Father and the Son despite my many weaknesses. Amen and Amen!

Who has believed our message?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Isaiah 53:1-3: “Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” (NASB)

Just a thought: What an amazing word portrait of Jesus taken from God’s Word! How it so differs from all the artist depictions we see today. The deliverer of all mankind – God in flesh had no stately form, nor an appearance that would turn anyone’s head. Yet, this is the form – the tent God chose to live in during His brief earthly visit. Furthermore, Immanuel – Jesus was born in an animal’s cave, laid in an animal’s feeding trough, and raised in Nazareth, the slum area of their times. Indeed, can anything good come out of Nazareth?

The forerunner for God – for Jesus, John the Baptist, not groomed, nor polished, but an outcast from the general public. He lived on wild honey and locust, and covered himself in a burlap type of fabric made from camel’s hair. A pitiful sight indeed!

Do you get a picture that God did not want to use this world’s so called attractiveness to draw people unto Himself? Indeed, who has believed our message? Yet, today we try to use the attractiveness of this world to draw people unto God’s salvation. Did God get it wrong, or do we have it wrong? Yes, we have it wrong. Using God’s way our (Christian) numbers will likely go down, but we have to ask ourselves this question: By using our ways, are our numbers now just an illusion? Well, the overall fruit of today’s church seems to indeed confirm an illusion as it conforms to the world much more than it conforms to holiness.

Maybe, just maybe, we should return to the ways of our Lord and rely totally on the Holy Spirit to draw mankind unto Him – to convict the world of sin – to convict the world of righteousness – to convict the world of judgment? Right now we seem to be offering people two different roads to Calvary – to salvation. One paved by the world with the pride of life, and the other paved by the Holy Spirit with contrition. However, there is truly only one road which will bring genuine salvation! John the Baptist, filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, used the road paved by the Holy Spirit with contrition – a baptism of repentance.

Are we losing our saltiness? Is darkness coming in like a flood? Yes! Then maybe it’s because we are pointing people to the wrong road in order to fill our churches with numbers – in order to pay our bills so we can keep up our worldly attractiveness. What a vicious and insidious trap to keep the “Church” ineffective in winning souls! Do we want to count numbers – count heads, or do we want genuine salvations? If it’s genuine salvation, then we must come to understand the following verses: Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” (NASB) The Christian must never confuse numbers with success. The only way we have to tell a good tree from a bad tree is its fruit.

Prayer: My God – my Father, if in my zeal to see loved ones saved I’ve used the means of this world to draw mankind to You, please forgive me. If I have, then at best all I have done is to have placed myself within an illusion to soothe my breaking heart. No longer do I want to live in an illusion. I need to see the truth so I can work effectively for You. I must no longer use a whitewash to say all is well – to say peace when there is no peace. Salvation can only be found through the cross – our cross – my cross. Not pleasant, nor of this world, but then again, salvation is not of this world. God, forgive us for whitewashing, for indeed, today’s “Church” at-large appears in so many ways to be like this world, i.e., not holy. Help me, through Your Holy Spirit, to be yet another voice in this spiritual wilderness saying: “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14-17) Amen and Amen!

Website: www.SoppMinistries.org

The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index21.htm

Will you be Left Behind?

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (NASB)

Just a thought: Many are looking for the return of our Lord with great anticipation, but the above verse screams out a warning that many, not a few, will be sorely disappointed. How could this be? I believe it’s stated very clearly above; Jesus never knew them. How do you know if Jesus knows you? You know by having in the here-and-now the Kingdom of God within you. In other words, if God reigns within your heart and mind today – manifesting itself outward in ever increasing holiness – manifesting itself outward in ever increasing God likeness, then Jesus knows you.

Are you saying we must work our way into heaven? God forbid! Yet, do not our outward actions reflect our inward heart and mind – does it not reflect the presence which dwells within? If the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you, would not the very natural outward expression be an ever increasing Holiness – an ever increasing reflection of God’s nature?

Coming to Jesus out of a fear for Hell, or out of a fear for the coming global judgment is not the right heart motivation – it’s not the right road to Calvary. This kind of fear is born out of a heart of self-love – of self-preservation, which has its roots in pride. In contrast, the right heart motivation is contrition, which has its roots in humility. You must see sin as sin and desire a cleansing from its defilement, and then, embrace God’s holiness. In other words, you must genuinely repent and desire with all your heart God’s nature, and then, reflect God’s kingdom in your life – in your heart in the here-and-now, i.e., you must be born-again.

Luke 3:7-9: “He therefore began saying to the multitudes who were going out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ (or say you’re a Christian) for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. And also the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’” (NASB)

Obviously, reflecting God’s kingdom – God’s nature does not dwell in the projection of power, nor with your lips alone. Are you truly saved? Are you known by Jesus – by God? Now is the time to make sure, before you become part of the many that are left behind. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2: “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain – for He says, ‘at the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you’; behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation.’” (NASB)

Prayer: My Lord and my God, please expose the true nature of my heart to me today so I can be sure that I am indeed known by You as I should be known, before I’m tragically left behind. Amen and Amen!

Website: www.SoppMinistries.org

The Tragedy of Being Left Behind:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index29.htm

Book: The Portrait of a Christian:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index37.htm

Islamic Martyrs?

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Genesis 22:8: “And Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’” (NASB)

Just a thought: What an awesome prophetic statement of God’s salvation plan for mankind! Yet, more than ever we are seeing an ever increasing number of people fall into religion; which is nothing more than man reaching out to God to win His favor – to win their salvation, trying to win God’s favor and their salvation through self-imposed sufferings and/or the shedding of their own blood. The most tragic example of all is the Islamic terrorists (martyrs) killing themselves and shedding innocent blood in order to gain salvation for themselves and for their families. Eternal salvation is a very powerful motivator, but zeal that’s based on a lie is the definition of the word “tragic” to the utmost.

Why is it that mankind continually tells God, “I will provide for myself the sacrifice”? What a silly notion! Can the sacrifice of the imperfect make someone clean – make someone perfect? What a silly notion indeed! Can the imperfect tell the Perfect One, “No, You must do it this way,” or “Thank you for Your salvation, but it’s not good enough for me,” or “I will decide for myself the right way – the right penitence – the right atoning sacrifice”? Or how does this sound to you? “I will force reverence for God upon the world by the law and/or by the sword.” Is reverence truly reverence if it’s forced? Of course not! What profound arrogant statements!

From the beginning, God’s plan of salvation was to sacrifice the Perfect One for an atonement which could not be broken – which was not dependent on mankind’s abilities, but on His all-powerful ability. Ezekiel 36:25-27: “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (NASB)

Now that’s salvation! A salvation which begins from within – from a born-again heart, working its way outward unto holiness. A holiness neither contrived, nor forced, but created within by the Creator Himself. A love for God and His ways neither contrived, nor forced, but created within by the Creator Himself. And you want to say no to this profound salvation? If so, that would not only be profoundly arrogant, but also profoundly irrational and absurd! (Read Matthew 23:23-28 and Galatians 3:22-29.)

Prayer: Lord, my God, it’s never been by might nor by power, but from the very beginning it’s always been by Your Spirit. I humbly accept Your free gift for my salvation through the sacrifice of Your Perfect One – Your only son, Jesus. Amen and Amen!

Website: www.SoppMinistries.org

The Priceless Gift:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index14.htm

September 11, 2001 A.K.A. 911

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

The Sound of the Trumpet:

www.SoppMinistries.org/index28.htm