On a regular basis for the past several years I have been given the opportunity to be part of writing a column, with others, in the Twin Falls Times News newspaper.
Every Saturday in the religion section of the paper a local ‘pastor’ pens the words for the “Pastor’s Corner”.
I’m thankful to do so, but from time to time need to give a disclaimer that I am not in biblical agreement with all whom I share in this privilege with.
For example; by writing under the same column title I respect that the paper serves a wide scope of readers who, by the kind of rebuttal email and comments I get, obviously don’t agree with me and take exception with me on many issue. To an informed reader, he is able to spot the difference quickly.
I have never been disappointed with the column writing of Bear Morton, pastor at Magic Valley Bible Church.
Last week’s column by Elizabeth Greene, on the other hand, I am in complete disagreement with the premise and conclusion of the author who is neither a pastor of a New Testament church or a Christian as defined by the Bible. Nor am I in spiritual or biblical agreement with Kathleen McKevitt who writes under the column title of Pastor’s Corner. And I’m not offended if they were to speak of our differences either.
Here is an early look at my contribution to the Pastor’s Column to be published on Saturday, July 23 in the Times News.
What Does It Take To Be Happy?
Have you ever read the entire Bible? It seems like a daunting task when you consider the font size, thin pages, total page count, and the complexity of the language. Obviously the reason for reading it will have much to do with the value one gets from reading it.
When one begins reading it, it becomes clear from Old Testament through the New Testament that God is not interested in being a little part of your life, a clichéd slogan on a t-shirt, a piece of jewelry you wear or a fashionable tattoo. He wants to be your whole life. His requirements for this are rooted in the reality that He has the authority to demand this because of who He is.
Think of it with me from the flow of the Sermon on the Mount, recorded by Matthew in chapters five through seven.
There is a progression from the poor in spirit to those persecuted for the sake of righteousness with talk of those who mourn, are meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers in between.
All of these instructions are delivered for the benefit of believers to know that the pursuit of happiness is not like unbelievers. Followers of Christ are not doomed to “eat their own dung and drink their own urine” (2 Kings 18:27) they are satisfied with Christ and His deposit of righteousness into their lives.
Jesus informs us that it is best for us to see that sin does not deliver happiness like we think it does. Sin does not bless the nation. Sin does not help the economy. Sin does not strengthen the family. Sin weakens the church.
Sin has a rotting effect.
Anyone promoting sin as an acceptable way of life is not interested in strengthening your family. Anyone encouraging you to change the law of the land to encourage a sinful lifestyle is not interested in encouraging a strong economy. Anyone leading others to adopt sin as normal is no pastor, and any church that leaves that ‘pastor’ in the pulpit is no church.
To be spiritually bankrupt before a holy God will cause one of two responses.
To be told that we are spiritually bankrupt, unable to do anything good, will lead a person to either repent of sin and cry out to God for salvation or grow proud and stiff necked and continue taking others down this same path.
Reader, beware; there are some in our day, in our city, in our churches, deceiving many with the promise of happiness by embracing your sinful nature or following other gods. Not everyone with the title of pastor, bishop, elder, imam is looking out for your spiritual interest. They may come with soothing words that are attractive because they promote sin as natural and even God approved. They are lying to you. They are deceiving you. They are destroying your family. They are causing a burden to the economy. They are doing so with the greatest form of pride and arrogance by using the name of Jesus to advance unbiblical agendas.
If you are indeed a follower of Christ, if you are truly a Christian as defined by the Bible then you can’t help but want to be different. You can’t come to God and want to stay like you once were.
There is good news; there are real churches with biblical preaching across the city of Twin Falls and throughout the Magic Valley.
Let me encourage you to do a few things as you prepare to gather with others on this coming Lord’s Day.
- Listen closely to the preaching.
- Listen closely to the reading.
- Listen closely to the praying.
- Listen closely to the music.
- Stay steadfast at the place you are if it is true with the Holy Bible.
- Walk away from the false doctrines that promote salvation through any means but faith in Jesus the Christ, the only begotten son of God, repent of your sin.
- Walk away from any mosque, ward, temple, fellowship, hall, church house gathering that does not call out sin or is actively promoting the embracement of sin.
- Walk away from any spiritual leader who is preaching happiness outside of following Christ Jesus as described in the Holy Bible or any perversion thereof.
You can do what is right in your own eyes or you can repent today and do what is right in Yahweh’s eyes.
I plead with you to repent!