James – The Nuts and Bolts of Christian Living

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At City Church Del Rio, we have a simple mission strategy. We are to love God first and foremost, and after we have established that love for Him, we are to love people. When we try to love people without the love of Jesus truly present in our lives, our love for others is limited to our understanding of love. As it is already, love is different for everyone, and it is expressed in so many different ways through humans. If we were to resemble the love God has for us, then we are able to view others through those lenses.

As I have begun to preach a sermon series through the book of James, I want to examine the passages how James must have felt growing up in the same house as Jesus. James was always in the presence of love. Without a total understanding that Jesus was the promised Messiah, James had a very difficult time believing that truth. He had such a difficult time that it wasn’t until Jesus’ resurrection bodily appearance that he was able to grasp the identity of his brother, Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:7, Jesus makes His appeal to His half-brother James. I think Jesus was saying to James, “hey brother its ok. I want you to know I love you and believe in me.” Jesus loved James.

So, as I put together these sermons, I will add some of my notes here so that you too can go with City Church Del Rio through this amazing book. This will help you see first hand how to live the Christian life when it may appear as no one is. Jesus would say to you today as well, “its ok. I want you to know I love you.”

The Nuts and Bolts of Christian Living, James Series 

Sunday Sep 10, 2017, City Church Del Rio Character by Fire, James 1:1-18

  1. Character development begins with testing, verses 2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

  1. When we are tested in life, we must change our mindset from “this is going to be bad for me” to “this will develop my character.” The mind God has given us is underused. So many times, we may not realize the gift He has given us in the power of our minds. It takes a disconnect of the current wiring schematics in your brain to a new connection of wires in your brain. This is done over a process of time.
  2. So now when we read verse 2, and it says for to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials and temptations, we truly can.
  3. “This trial is going to develop my character.”
  4. Without these trials, our faith goes untested. Untested faith becomes a week faith.
  5. James can say this to us today because his faith was tested as well. He knew what it was to go through a time of unbelief. And that is really our dilemma today.
  6. A trial comes our way and we want to blame this person or that situation. Our faith crisis is really our unbelief that God could be allowing this opportunity for character development.
  7. Verse 3—James explains in detail the purpose in the testing of our faith. It produces, it gives way to, it changes us, and it gives us the assurance of perseverance.
  8. Perseverance is a term that means the ability to do something, in this case, go through a trial or temptation, in spite of the degree of difficulty, the opposition, or even failure.
  9. Failing does not mean God has given up on you. Don’t be afraid to fail. When you fail, you are developing your character since failure should drive us to succeed in the long run.
  10. Ephesians 1:13-14—And you also were included in Christwhen you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
  11. In the perseverance of the saints, you are guaranteed to succeed.
  12. Paul said it best in Philippians 1:6—being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completionuntil the day of Christ Jesus.
  13. Verse 4, When you have persevered, then you are a mature Christian.
  14. We talk about mature Christians and this is what it means to be one. You have been tested and you have developed your Character. You can’t skip over that part.
  15. Studying and reading the Word of God are mandatory for instructions, but until those are put to the test, we can’t be a mature believer.
  16. Once we mature in our faith, completeness follows as well, it says in our text in verse 4.
  17. When we are complete, we don’t have a need for anything James says. We have our Bile, we have our church family, and we are ready for battle. We are ready for the test.

Illustration— “In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.

“But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter’s immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.

“And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. ‘Perhaps most remarkable,’ writes Jaroff, ‘those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth.’

“The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.

“So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who quits.”

  1. Character development takes time to process, verses 5-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

  1. Have you ever asked God for wisdom? I mean really asked Him? What happened? Did He do it? If He didn’t, why not?
  2. When you ask God for something ask bold as wisdom, you are asking Him to deliver on this promise. When God doesn’t deliver, it isn’t because He doesn’t want to, it is because you don’t truly believe He can.
  3. Verse 5—James says ask God for wisdom and He will give it to us because of His generosity. He will even look past all of our faults it says. That my friends is a promise that I can get into.
  4. God, you will give me your wisdom and you will not count my issues against me.
  5. Verse 6—this is what many don’t really read into. James says when we ask we cannot doubt that God won’t answer.
  6. We have to believe that He will do it. Without our faith in God that He can do all things, we get off track on His agenda for our character development.
  7. James says we become like the sea tossed around from the wind. We are indecisive.
  8. There lies the biggest problem for people of faith. We can believe that the God of the universe can save us from our sins, yet when it comes to giving us wisdom we doubt He can, or we don’t believe He can.
  9. What has happened is that we have developed a mindset of disbelief. We have connected wires in our brain over time that need rerouting into a different connection of belief.

IllustrationYour Brain on Porn from Covenant Eyes

The process of sensitization and desensitization impacts the prefrontal cortex in the brain. As dopamine receptors degenerate in the brain, changes take place in the prefrontal lobes. This region of the brain is responsible for our willpower, regulating our behavior, and making decisions based on wisdom and morals.

Normally, when emotions, impulses, and urges surge from the midbrain, the prefrontal lobes are there to exercise “executive control” over them. But when this region is weakened by continual porn use, willpower is eroded and there is nothing to stop the sense of craving for pornography. As a result, the person experiences the urge, not just as a desire, but as an intense need. Neuroscientists call this problem hypofrontality. This person is no longer has mastery over his passions but is a slave to them.

  1. We must retrain our brains for believing God can do what He says He can do.
  2. If we don’t, James says in Verse 7, we should not expect God to do anything for us in the area of wisdom.
  3. Verse 8, says we are double-minded or in other words, our brains aren’t right with God.

 

  1. Character development depends on the Lord, verses 12-18

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

  1. Character by fire is the way God works in Christians. He cannot work through those unwilling to be molded, chiseled, or purified in difficult circumstances.
  2. Everywhere we read in Scripture, people have been put to the test, processed, and then depended on God for the results.
  3. Verse 12—James tells us that we are to persevere under trial, or in the ESV it says to be steadfast. We can do this only under the strength and admonition of the Holy Spirit. When we do we receive the crown of life.
  4. Verse 13-14—Temptation is not of God, so never say that. Satan is the tempter of all. He does not want you to trust in God, so he tells you to do it on your own.
  5. Verse 15—Is clear where sin will take you. Death. Not a physical death, but a spiritual death.
  6. Sin will take you father than you wanted to go, it will make you stay longer than you wanted to stay, and it will cost you more than you could ever want to pay.
  7. Verse 16-17—We are not to be deceived. God sends the best gifts, not temptation.
  8. God does not change and He is always the One whom we can depend on.
  9. It is such a comfort to know that. He is always available and can be counted on to develop our character.
  10. Verse 18—James gives us this theological system in 1 verse that is so profound.
  11. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
  12. God chose us as to be born again. He loves you so much that you are His desire. His Word proves it over and over again.
  13. James amazes me when he says that the early church were the firstfruits, meaning that you and I a direct impact of these Christians that went through so many trials and tribulations just knowing that we too could be born again!

Illustration—Our character development is dependent on the Lord. What does that mean and what does that look like. Good questions. Dependency on the Lord looks like this:

  • Pray.Prayer is, among other things, an acknowledgment of God’s power, promises, and provision. When you pray, you show our dependence on God. The biblical command is to “present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
  • Honor the Bible.The Word of God has information, instructions, examples, and promises for New Testament believers. Read from the Bible every day. Check everything against the truth of the Word (Acts 17:11). And when there is a conflict between what the Bible says and what anyone else says, go with the Bible. “I will listen to what God the LORD says” (Psalm 85:8).
  • Do right.At all times, in all situations, do what you know is right, and leave the results with God. Jocebed did right by saving her baby, Moses (Exodus 2:1–10). Daniel did right by defying the king and praying to the Lord (Daniel 6). David did right by standing up to Goliath (1 Samuel 17). In each case, their dependence on God alone was rewarded.
  • Be a living sacrifice.Romans 12:1 says to offer up your body as a “living sacrifice” to God. Acceptable sacrifices are purified from sin and dedicated to God. When you become a living sacrifice, you live for the Lord. You cease fighting for your own rights and give up trusting in your own strength. As you learn to become a living sacrifice for God, you will discover the truth that, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  • Abide In Christ.The Christian life is not a now-and-then rendezvous with God. It is making God your dwelling place, living with Him. Jesus put it this way: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4). Depend on Christ as a fruit-laden branch depends on the grapevine. The branch attached to the vine is fulfilling its purpose.
  • Refuse to worry.God cares for His children, even more than the grass that He clothes with flowers and the birds that He daily feeds. Yes, you have needs, but “your heavenly Father knows” (Matthew 6:32). Learn to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Keeping some of the anxiety on yourself is to doubt God’s care.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Hurricane Harvey and Houston

Dear friends and Family,

Words are not enough to tell you all that I experienced in Houston this week.

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I left on Sunday afternoon to go and be a part of the relief effort going on in Houston. As I arrived, I asked God to show me how I could be of the greatness usefulness for the 3 days I would be there. There is so much to do. 21199667_1394228017313622_8214175521629423820_o.jpg

My giftedness is connecting people to the need. I want to say thank you to everyone who supported to this effort by donating financial resources through our website, uniquestudent.org/donate21316427_1395892967147127_3417518451534485453_o.jpg21273009_1395892960480461_368749748871360390_o.jpg You can still do so, since this will be an ongoing ministry for the coming months. FEMA and insurance companies have so much red-tape to go through that the waiting can be overwhelming. over 75% of the affected families did not have flood insurance so no one really knows what kind of $ will be coming in. It isn’t that they didn’t want it, they can’t get it. 21246465_1393489857387438_4784029279386819131_o.jpg

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I had the privilege to help gut a house in the flooded area. There are so many houses that have been ruined. It begins with 1 person helping 1 family, from there it grows to a group of people helping many families. So, don’t ever think you can’t make a difference because you can. You are part of the solution and the reason God has you where you are. 21199469_1395044380565319_3338887491092951189_o.jpg21200687_1393490070720750_5743570561137343735_o.jpg21199835_1395043953898695_8533168907478899999_o.jpg21199817_1394227663980324_2695653074806583903_o.jpg

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May the Lord be with you as you serve Him today. You matter to His work here on earth. This is our practice field until we get into the real game, which is an eternity with Him and with His people!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Latest News From the Ground in Houston

Good morning everyone,

I wanted to update you on the latest need in Houston from my very reliable sources on the ground doing actual distribution and shelter housing. Believe it not TOWELS are the real need currently in Houston for displaced families.

I want to challenge anyone who can’t go but wants to be directly involved in the relief effort. You will exactly where your contributions will go. I want to raise $1,000 in order to purchase 720 22×44 cotton towels that will arrive on Tuesday to be given away by Unique Student Ministries, where I preside as board chairman.

You can donate here: www.uniquestudent.org/donate

Mark on the memo “TOWELS” and thank you from the bottom go my heart. I am leaving to Houston on Sunday after I preach to be there and receive the towels myself!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry21106521_10155676604223622_3455100861066646339_n.jpg

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We Hear You, We Feel You, Believe Me

Houston Hurricane Harvey Update:

email from Dr. Jim Denison

Art Acevedo is police chief in Houston, Texas. His message to people in his beleaguered city: “Just hunker down, hold tight—we hear you, we feel you. Believe me.” His police officers have rescued more than three thousand people as of this morning.

911 operators fielded fifty-six thousand calls within twenty-four hours when the crisis began. Numerous companies have pledged millions of dollars to relief efforts. Red Cross personnel are preparing for weeks of assistance to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. President Trump and the first lady will visit the Texas Gulf Coast later today.

While police officers, 911 operators, and disaster relief workers have been saving lives in Houston for days, some may wonder where God has been as this disaster unfolded. What would our Lord say to those devastated by this unprecedented crisis?

• He knows your name. He called Zacchaeus and Saul of Tarsus by name, even though they were two of the most infamous sinners in the Bible.
• He knew you before you were born: “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).
• He knows your actions and thoughts: “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:2).
• He knows every detail of your life: “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30).
• He knows your pain: “I have surely seen the affliction of my people . . . and have heard their cry” (Exodus 3:7).
• He suffers as you suffer: “In all their affliction he was afflicted” (Isaiah 63:9).
• He will never forget you: “I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15–16).
• He walks with you through calamity: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

The psalmist declared, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). As a result, he testified, “we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (vv. 2–3).

Every rescuer is an extension of God’s compassion and care in these catastrophic days. If the Lord could describe a pagan king like Cyrus as “my anointed” (Isaiah 45:1) and call Nebuchadnezzar “my servant” (Jeremiah 43:10), he can use every person who will be used. Every act of assistance, every resource and provision is his gift of grace and mercy.

I believe that the One who wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) weeps over Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast today. Now our Father calls us to share his heart for his children. If those devastated by this crisis were your brothers and sisters, how would you feel about them?

They are.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Hurricane Harvey

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Please help with what God has bless you with! I am personally connected to this organizations as chairman of the board. we are a 501c3 organization and we are located in the heart of Houston. Their website is http://www.uniquestudent.org

Donate – Hurricane Harvey Relief

Hurricane Harvey – Any donations we receive with the words “Harvey” or “Hurricane” will go straight to help with the relief effort. We will be hosting and providing a shelter near the heart of Houston (Bethel Baptist Church on Tidwell), as well providing much needed supplies and support to other churches that join us in this effort. Please select the Donate to USM Button today to give and continue to Pray for our city as we seek to serve and to share the love of Jesus through action. Thank you for all your support and may God bless you!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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City Church Del Rio Mission Groups 2017

The summer of 2017 has been one for the Kingdom in the life of City Church Del Rio. With just a few more weeks left before the fall semester kicks in, I would like to recap some of the highlights of the amazing time we had.

We kicked of the summer with MegaSports Camp/VBS. IMG_2483.jpg

Churches from Lifehouse Fellowship of Canton, TX and Cibolo Valley Baptist Church of Schertz,  TX were here to help out with the average of 90 kids each day. IMG_2809.jpgIMG_2483.jpg

Also in June, First Baptist Church of Albany came to Del Rio to help with indoor work.

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Next on the list was First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove, TX. They came and did a whole list of work including helping our work at the fireworks stand, working at our local food pantry fishes and loaves, a 2-day sports camp, and ended with a huge block party on the creek.FullSizeRender 2.jpgFullSizeRender 4 copy.jpgFullSizeRender 3 copy.jpg

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24 Bookcases built and painted!

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Worship in the park with FBC Copperas Cove

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Then came First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, TX. This group began the week by learning how to Share Jesus without Fear as an evangelist method to witness to those who need to hear the good news. FullSizeRender 2 copy 2.jpg

They also worked indoors and outdoorsFullSizeRender 3 copy 2.jpgFullSizeRender 2 copy 3.jpgIMG_5127.JPG

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As soon as FBC New Braunfels left, Lakeshore Drive Baptist Church came into town to help build a much needed storage shed, work at fishes and loaves as well as help us with our literacy ministry. FullSizeRender 2.jpg

Lakeshore Drive reading to kids in our summer literacy ministry

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The first wall is erected

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Lakeshore Drive youth floating down the San Felipe Creek in Del Rio, TX

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Enjoying a wonder Mexican cuisine in Acuna, Mexico

First Baptist Llano also came to partner with us as they went to Quemado, TX to continue work on a new ESL school at the Children’s Cornerstone Ranch.

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FBC Llano also help us with our end of the year literacy book giveaway and bookshelf giveaway to the children of the Del Rio Community

City Church Del Rio’s also took a mission trip to Houston, TX!

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Unique Student Conference

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City Church doing a sports camp VBS with Iglesia Bautista Doverside in Houston, TX

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Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

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No, Christians Don’t See the Eclipse as a Sign of an Immediate Apocalypse (Except for a Few Odd Ones)

I am posting this article since it is just a few days after the eclipse. Enjoy!

No, Christians Don’t See the Eclipse as a Sign of an Immediate Apocalypse (Except for a Few Odd Ones)

You will know when the end comes.
No, Christians Don’t See the Eclipse as a Sign of an Immediate Apocalypse (Except for a Few Odd Ones)

Image: David Byrne

Hello Christian leads with the headline, “Greg Laurie Explains the Prophetic Significance of the Solar Eclipse and North Korea.”

Well, you can tell from the title of my article that I think seeing the eclipse as a sign is silly and unhelpful to the reputation of Christians. So, Greg Laurie, why in the world are you talking about the prophetic significance of the solar eclipse?

That’s silly.

Well, here’s what he said, quoted from Hello Christian, which quotes from the Christian Post:

“For me personally, I am not attaching any great significance to a solar eclipse,” he said. “There are many signs that Jesus told us to look for that would alert us to the fact that His coming is near,” he told the Christian Post. “The fact is, those signs are all around us. Only a fool would ignore the writing on the wall. As far as the solar eclipse goes, I personally don’t attach any great significance to that in particular.”

So, get past the clickbait headline from whatever Hello Christian is, and Greg is right—so let’s heed his counsel.

Hyped Up

Contrary to the hyped-up news stories you might have seen concerning how Christians are reacting to the eclipse, there is no concern amongst any Christian leaders I know that the eclipse is a sign of an immediate Armageddon. And it certainly isn’t anything for us to fear.

The media often attempts to find fringe people that claim to be Christian, but often have little more platform than a badly-arranged blog and a few Twitter followers to ‘represent Christianity’ to the masses, via an often-hyperbolized segment designed to make Christians look stupid.

We’ve seen this before: the blood moons, planets aligning, 2012, and other events that are adopted as signs to serve a political point or send a message of God’s impending judgement. Often the message isn’t directly contradictory to Scripture (judgement is real), but the method of communicating and proving it (i.e., God’s judgement is on America because of X event) becomes harmful, embarrassing Christians every time it is proved to be untrue.

Here are a few thoughts to address this:

1. For those few spreading fear about an eclipse, you’re embarrassing Christians, not representing Christ.

What I would say to those few fringe Christians who are saying such things is that you do nothing but harm the reputation of Jesus in the world around you. The media pounces and hyperbolizes your fringe perspective into being normative, and it causes reproach upon Jesus and His Church.

Your complex machinations about how the eclipse or current events are a proof the world will end in that moment distracts people from the simple truth that they are sinners and apart from Christ they are lost and without hope.

To Christians who draw these conclusions: Stop, you’re making yourself and us look foolish the day after the eclipse. It gives the world more opportunity to roll their eyes and assume your foolishness is our foolishness.

But let’s be honest. There are not many people doing this, so let me go to the second issue.

2. To journalists who seek to highlight Christians who see the eclipse as a sign of the end: it’s not honest reporting.

It’s disingenuous and dishonest. I don’t see any of these news sources going around looking for Hindus and Muslims looking for their strange ideas—but they do so for Christians.

We have fringe people who ascribe cult-like significance to normal astrological events, but they do not represent mainstream and normative Christianity.

No one in the mainstream sees a sign of the eclipse in America as certainty that the world is ending on Monday.

3. For anyone thinking an American-viewed eclipse is a sign of the end, how American centric can you be?

In reality, there is an eclipse somewhere on the earth at least once every 18 months—the fact that it is happening in St. Louis does not make it an eschatological sign. When a Christian thinks that an eclipse in the U.S. is the sign of the end, they become both America-centric and biblically unsound.

Calling an eclipse a sign is like calling a full moon a sign—the eclipse is just less common. It’s predictable, but it’s less common. Just because something is less common doesn’t automatically mean you can adopt it as a sign to serve a specific agenda or message.

Focusing on an Eclipse Distracts Us from Focusing on Christ

The deeper problem is that people read their own political agenda and experiences into the Scriptures, then incorrectly search for exterior proof of their hermeneutically unsound opinions, and finally proceed to scream the perception of truth and its proof from the rooftops. People do this instead of letting Christ’s agenda for His Kingdom read and speak into them. When you twist the Bible to match current events, you’re saying our own experiences right here and now are more important than Jesus’ simple Gospel of His already accomplished work on the cross, for your sins, and in your place.

The truth is this: Christians have always believed that Jesus is going to return—and might return at any moment. (We call that the imminent return of Christ.) The Bible does give us clarity in Matthew 24 that celestial signs will happen. But when the cumulative event happens, it will be undeniable. Until then, Jesus tells us: “concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13:32-33).

Our job is to be awake, to repent and believe the Gospel, to love our friends and neighbors, and tell others about Jesus. We don’t need an eclipse to do that.

If you want a sign of God’s judgement, don’t look to the sky. We only have to look at ourselves and we can see it—when we can’t call out evil and when right is called wrong.

That’s a bigger issue than an eclipse.

What Now?

On Monday, some people are going to make believing in Jesus look silly again, and some in the media is ready to help them do that.

The eclipse IS a sign… a sign of the finely tuned universe that points to an active creator.

Comets come and go.

Eclipses come and go.

And Jesus will then come… at a time of his choosing, unrelated to these things.

So, maybe rather than seeing signs in the eclipse, we might follow 2 Peter 3:11-12:

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat.

(Hint: you will know when the heavens are dissolved. It looks different than an eclipse.)

But, the point here is how we live, and what sort of people we should be in the meanwhile.

You will know when the end comes—trust me. Until then, let’s make much of Jesus.

 

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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