Tag Archives: victory

The Church and Salvation: Two Ministries

Today’s message summary of October 29, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

When you are in the church and you have declared Christ as your personal Savior, He gives you the desire to minister to others.  Ministry requires discipline and getting more and more into the Word of God.

All of us have two ministries.  Everything falls within them.  The first ministry involves your church–your family of disciples.  The other ministry involves your community.  Jesus provides examples where He was active in both of these ministries.

Ministry is not to be driven by “impact” or “numbers” or “success.”  While we want to have an impact in the lives of people and see church membership grow, ministry only has one thing that drives it within one’s heart, and that is obedience to God.

Many people follow Jesus for different reasons, including the receipt of His blessings, but leave out the importance of remaining obedient to Him.

John 4:34

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them.

Do you have a desire and goals to actively do God’s work?

The reason why people don’t actively see God working in their lives is because they don’t really seek after doing the things that God would have them to do.  When you are actively seeking His presence, He will show you what He can do.

John 5:36

“But I have a greater testimony than John’s because of the works that the Father has given Me to accomplish.  These very works I am doing testify about Me that the Father has sent Me.

When God is using you and there is evidence that His work is flowing through your efforts, it is a testimony of God’s work through your life.  God is actively moving and working in the lives of those who are obedient to Him and to His will.  Their ministry testifies that God is using them.

John 6:38

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Your obedience to God shows that His will is important to you.

Ministry involves your will surrendering to God’s will.

To do ministry, you cannot do it in your own power or strength.  It will only truly work when you yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him work in your life.

How many of you attempt to do something, and it fails?  In failure comes learning.  It is an opportunity to learn something.

You should never be satisfied when nothing is attempted.  God is the One who can give the victory if you strive to do His work more and more.

Your ministry matters, because it reveals your obedience, and the results of ministry reveals God’s faithfulness in the work He assigned you.

1 Corinthians 3:5-10

What then is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.  Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  For we are God’s coworkers.  You are God’s field, God’s building.  According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it.  But each one must be careful how he builds on it.

Ministry has a staring place and must be defined.  Jesus reflects this within His own ministry.

  • Jesus is starting with His own (Matthew 15:24).
  • Do not go among the Gentiles (Matthew 10:5-6).
  • Begin in Jerusalem…ministry in your own home and family (Acts 1:8)
  • Judea: your neighbors, co-workers–the people around you.
  • Samaria: people who are different, your enemies, and people you don’t like.
  • To the world: everyone else, especially people you do not know.

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus sends people to those that are known first (family and friends) because He wants people to work their way up to eventually go out before others over time.  People who are in ministry need time to grow within the ministry.  Mistakes will happen, but experience in ministry is a good teacher.  The Holy Spirit will provide guidance within this learning opportunity.  All that He desires is your obedience and to keep trying.

As you gain more experience, you will see how God will send you out further and further in your ministry–even to minister to those who are your enemies.  Jesus taught His disciples as to how they could do battle with their enemies, but they first had to learn how to love one another and minister to one another before they were sent out.

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Three Events Before the Millennium

A message summary of July 3, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

The millennium is the time when Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. Before the millennium, there will be the Bemis seat judgment for believers. After the millennium will be the White Throne Judgment. There are two battles that will take place–before the millennium will be the Battle of Armageddon, and afterward there will be the great final battle, where there will not be any presence of a false prophet or the beast. They will be present during Armageddon.

Whenever you see the name Babylon in Scripture, it refers to rebellion. Out of Babylon comes all of the heresies and false teachings–even today.

Babylon will be destroyed when the Battle of Armageddon takes place.

The destruction of Babylon the Great.

Note the words, “It is done.”

Revelation 16:16-17

So they assembled them at the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

Then the seventh poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the sanctuary from the throne, saying, It is done!

The rejoicing will take place over the fall of Babylon because Jesus Christ will be taking control. He addresses all of the members of the body–past and present–Old Testament and New Testament.

Revelation 18:20

Rejoice over her, heaven, and you saints, apostles, and prophets, because God has executed your judgment on her!

People will rejoice over Babylon’s defeat.

The great city is split into three parts (no nation can stand if the three parts noted will fail):

  1. Government/political

Revelation 19:19-20

Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army. But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with him the false prophet, who had performed the signs in his presence. He deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image with these signs. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

  1. Finance/economics

Revelation 13:15-17

He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he requires everyonesmall and great, rich and poor, free and slaveto be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beasts name or the number of his name.

  1. Religion, or what is worshiped

Revelation 13:3-5

One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?

A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months.

Don’t think that atheism is not a religion. It is a worship of self and not God. It is also a religion.

The judgment seat of Christ will take place–good or bad. He will judge His own house first.

2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.

Among the things that the judgment will cover for believers…

Did you build a Christian life?

1 Corinthians 3:12-17

If anyone builds on that foundation with god, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire. Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s sanctuary, God will destroy him; for God’s sanctuary is holy, and that is what you are.

Did you train yourself? Were you in the Word of God studying about Him?

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Dont you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. And who is competent for this? For we are not like the many who market Gods message for profit. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God.

Did you remain faithful to Christ?

2 Corinthians 11:2

For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husbandto present a pure virgin to Christ.

Ephesians 6:7-8

Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord.

Did you produce good works?

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

Is your heart in the work?

Colossians 3:24

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Dont you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Judgment begins in God’s house.

1 Peter 4:17

For the time has come for judgment to begin with Gods household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

Matthew 22:8-14

Then he told his slaves, The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet. So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. So he said to him, Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes? The man was speechless.

Then the king told the attendants, Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

The Wedding of the Lamb, where the bride is the church, and Jesus is the Groom. The wedding is the ceremony of joining two together. This wedding will be the merging of Jesus Christ and His saints for all of eternity.

Revelation 19:6-10

Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying:

Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty,

has begun to reign!

Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,

because the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and His wife has prepared herself.

She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.

For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate! He also said to me, These words of God are true. Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, Dont do that! I am a fellow slave with you and your brothers who have the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The wedding is a ceremony of the marriage. Prior to the ceremony, there is something that needs to take place.

–Courtship…wooing the bride…going after her.

John 3:16-17

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

For Hebrew weddings, it was the father who initiated a contract for the son to marry the future bride. There was a dowry payment.

God the Father initiated the contract for His Son to love those who believe in Him (for eternal life). The down payment is the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.

–Engagement…promise or pledge of marriage.

Marriage is in two parts…the selection and the payment. The down payment of the dowry is from the sacrificial blood of Christ.

Ephesians 1:3-6

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Dont you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Peter 1:18-19

For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

At the proper time, the Father would send servants with the legal contract to the bride’s house. The servant would lead the bride to the groom’s house.

Ephesians 5:22-33

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.

Jesus Christ is washing us, cleansing us, and preparing us. We are being cleansed and sanctified through our relationship with Him. Our commitment is to be obedient to Him and allow Him to work in our lives. The more that you are into God’s Word, the more you will be cleansed and prepared for life.

Only the Father knows the time as to when He will bring everyone to Himself. Jesus Christ has prepared a place for his believers.

John 14:1-6

Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Fathers house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going.

Lord, Thomas said, we dont know where Youre going. How can we know the way?

Jesus told him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Matthew 24:31

He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

This wedding takes place in heaven. The marriage always takes place in the groom’s home.

Revelation 19:7

Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,

because the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and His wife has prepared herself.

Ephesians 5:25-27

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.

The celebration feast is the wedding supper.

Revelation 19:9

Then he said to me, Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate! He also said to me, These words of God are true.

Luke 22:14-16

When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then He said to them, I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

At this celebration, the church (all believers) will drink with Him.


No Ways Tired (God Has Brought Us Through It All)

Rev. James Cleveland

Rev. James Cleveland

Original post August 2, 2009 – Edited for re-post January 19, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Cw75v2uqts

I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired – Rev. James Cleveland (via YouTube)

I don’t feel no ways tired,
I’ve come too far from where I started from.
Nobody told me that the road would be easy,
I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.

(excerpt from I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired – written by Curtis Burrell – sung by Rev. James Cleveland)

 

When your son asks you in the future, ‘What is the meaning of the decrees, statutes, and ordinances, which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ tell him, ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand. Before our eyes the Lord inflicted great and devastating signs and wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh and all his household, but He brought us from there in order to lead us in and give us the land that He swore to our fathers. The Lord commanded us to follow all these statutes and to fear the Lord our God for our prosperity always and for our preservation, as it is today. Righteousness will be ours if we are careful to follow every one of these commands before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’ (Deuteronomy 6:20-25)”

When reflecting upon our lives as we remember our victories and learn from our defeats, do we respond with awe as to how God has brought us through it all?

We are (if we choose to be) a living testimony to the true statement that “God is able (Ephesians 3:20).” When we look at our life from where we came from to where we are today, we should be giving thanks to the Lord through Jesus Christ, proclaiming aloud “look where God has brought us from.” It is His grace and mercy that has carried us through. God’s grace has brought us out of generations of servitude and bondage to a new generation of freedom. He has allowed us to realize true freedom, not just in this country, but also in our ability to worship and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Few today know of the sacrifices of our ancestors and predecessors who gave their lives for the freedom that we can celebrate in today. The times of difficulty experienced by those who lived before us in those days of persecution required a strong measure of faith and trust that God would be the One who would sustain them and deliver them. Their vision was far from short-sighted.

We have a responsibility, however, to acknowledge, who Jesus Christ is in our lives. “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it’ (Luke 9:23-24).” God has truly blessed us, in our following Jesus Christ, with a sense of family in our neighborhoods when we were raising not just our own children, but the neighbors’ children, too! Today, that precious family value has been lost to a new generation of single parenthood and a lack of a healthy overall family presence. The world has a powerful effect on today’s youth and family structures that has diminished the impact of the family structure.  Only the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can overcome adversity and move people to reconcile with God and with others.  If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, pray for the Spirit to change lives and more!  He is able to provide many miracles!

Let’s personalize this.  When looking at where God has brought you from, take the time to review and reflect upon where you are today. Looking back at your past helps you to move today in the right direction in order to be in the place where God would have you to be now and in the future. Jesus transforms lives from a lost existence through repentance and His forgiveness of sin.  His grace and mercy from His gift of salvation is ready for anyone who is willing to trust in Him as personal Lord and Savior.  He can, and will, transform you today.  Just ask, and you will receive.  Amen.

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. (Romans 10:9)

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)


The Fruits of The Spirit – Peace

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

It is the Holy Spirit that ministers to each one of us.  God’s love is vital within that ministry.  Peace is needed throughout the world today.  Many are looking for peace in the world, but unfortunately in many of the wrong places.  Our society is over-medicated and looking for ways to find peace through artificial means; yet, The Lord speaks about peace that comes from Him and overcomes the troubles of this world.  God is not a god of confusion–He is a God of peace.

Peace is missing in the lives of many people today.

You have to want peace, but you need to know where to look for it.

Psalm 34:14

Turn away from evil and do what is good;

seek peace and pursue it.

 

Real peace is only found in the Scriptures

Psalm 119:165

Abundant peace belongs to those

who love Your instruction;

nothing makes them stumble.

 

You search the Scriptures not just because you’re saying you read it and that’s it–you do it because you have a desire to live out what your reading and allowing it to have a positive effect in your life.  God’s Word can bring you peace and understanding.

We should nor settle for a false peace.  You really cannot hear God’s voice in the midst of confusion.

Isaiah 59:8

They have not known the path of peace,

and there is no justice in their ways.

They have made their roads crooked;

no one who walks on them will know peace.

 

Their is a need to learn about the experience of real peace.  It comes from learning the rules within life and being obedient or compliant.  Peace is lost by those who practice disobedience.

Until you learn how to do what is right, you will not have peace.  It is about knowing justice…knowing how to do good.

Until one comes under God’s authority, it will be impossible to experience peace.

We need to listen to good advice in order to learn the ways of peace.  When it comes to Scripture, we need to have “ears to hear.”

Psalm 85:8

I will listen to what God will say;

surely the Lord will declare peace

to His people, His godly ones,

and not let them go back to foolish ways.

 

Proverbs 20:18

Finalize plans with counsel,

and wage war with sound guidance.

 

If you are not living faithfully, God will not speak to you.  (You’re also not ready to hear from Him.)

There is peace within faithfulness.  God will speak to His people.

There is no peace in the midst of foolishness.

Proverbs 12:15

A fool’s way is right in his own eyes,

but whoever listens to counsel is wise.

 

It is important to have peace in your life.  Without peace, certain things cannot take place.

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”

 

Peace in Jesus keeps the heart from trouble and removes fear.

You can hear His instruction to help you endure and overcome any obstacles.

John 16:33

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

 

God’s peace guards your heart.

Philippians 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else,

for it is the source of life.

 

Do not let the faults of others be a distraction.

Colossians 3:13-15

13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.

 

God’s desire is to use you for His purpose.

2 Timothy 2:21

So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

 

God’s wisdom will always bring peace.

James 3:17

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy.

 

Our obedience to God brings us peace and gives each of us victory over the enemy.

Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than victorious

through Him who loved us.


Cut Away the World From Your Life

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

The world, the flesh and pride are to be removed from our life as a believer in Jesus Christ. The philosphies of the world will infiltrate in your way of thinking, and it can have an effect on the decisions that you make. As we are called to be “children of God,” there should be something strange or peculiar about us.

When you ask God to remove something from your life that will not help you, He will remove it, or cut it away from you.

Jesus came with a sword to destroy the work of the Devil.

Matthew 10:34
Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

1 John 3:8
The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

Out of the mouth comes a sharp sword which was to strike down the nations (Revelation 19:15).

The world–the order or system promoted by Satan, which conforms to his ideals, aims and methods. It is a world of people functioning apart from God. It is a world that doesn’t assign God any consideration or respect to their daily life. The system embraces the slogan, “I did it my way” without God–a godless, self-governing life.

God loves the world, but the believer is told not to love the world, or the love of the father is not in him.

1 John 2:15-16
15 Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.

We are not to love the institutions of the world. God loves the people of the world (John 3:16). We are not to love the style of behavior for others, including fashion and government.

Matthew 4:8
Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.

Matthew 13:22
Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Ephesians 2:1-3
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.

James 4:4
Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.

2 Peter 1:4
By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.

Acts 5:29
But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.

It is impossible to deny sin in this world. We see it daily. How does the world describe sin?
To the scholar, sin is ignorance.
To the evolutionist, sin is the evolution of a person
To others, sin is a disease that is to be treated by science, because man himself does not sin.
To others, it is a weakness of the flesh that we have to live with.
If there were no sin, there would be no need for prisons (incarceration involves rehabilitiation).

Keep this in mind, the purpose of hell is to punish sin with a separation from God.

God’s view is that sin in this world is a transgression of His law. It is rebellion against His will. Sin is coming up short of His plan and His glory. Sin is unbelief concerning what God has said. Sin is doing your own thing without God’s approval.

Romans 3:25
God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.

Isaiah 1:2
Listen, heavens, and pay attention, earth,
for the Lord has spoken:
“I have raised children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against Me.

1 John 5:10
(The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.)

Isaiah 53:6
We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him
for the iniquity of us all.

1 John 3:4
4 Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.

The flesh is seeking your own desire as a rivalry against God.

2 Timothy 4:10
…for Demas has deserted me, because he loved this present world, and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

Philippians 3:18-19
18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things,

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Ephesians 2:2
…in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.

Anything of the world that keeps you from God needs to be cut away. You need to ask for His help to remove the things you do not want to follow. Who overcomes the world? Those who have faith in Jesus Christ will overcome the world.

1 John 4:4, 5:4
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.


Give God Thanks

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

To say “thank you” and have people regard you as a messenger of God is something that we need in the world today. We want people to declare that there is a God in this land and that we can say thank you for His presence.

Psalm 137:1-6
By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There we hung up our lyres
on the poplar trees,
3 for our captors there asked us for songs,
and our tormentors, for rejoicing:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
4 How can we sing the Lord’s song
on foreign soil?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not exalt Jerusalem as my greatest joy!

The songs that the people of Israel were called to sing by their captors were not considered to be songs that could be sung publicly, because they were considered to be sacred, but what the Jews did not realize was that those songs were an opportunity to witness and proclaim God’s holy name. Like the people of Israel at that time, who were on the banks of the river Babylon in captivity, it is the overwhelming circumstances of the world today that make you stop and weep. Yet, you need to remember and understand how God brings us out of the wilderness is what causes you to be thankful. You need to always remember the importance of God’s presence and not take Him for granted.

Deuteronomy 6:10-12
10 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give you—a land with large and beautiful cities that you did not build, 11 houses full of every good thing that you did not fill them with, wells dug that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

Does this remind you of America today? A nation that was formed and raised up to be a witness of the world. God has called us to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and be thankful for His presence–even if no one else sees a reason to do so. We are to be His witness to the world in the presence of he sin and evil of the world.

Psalm 9:17
The wicked will return to Sheol—
all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 50:22
“Understand this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you apart,
and there will be no one to rescue you.

The world needs to see us praising His name in spite of our troubles and difficulties. They need to know the power of the living God and see His light, and the hope of the world. We have a song of grace, mercy, love and redemption to sing. He showers each of us with his love, mercy, grace and redemption.

Psalm 105:1-5
God’s Faithfulness to His People

1 Give thanks to Yahweh, call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
3 Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
4 Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.
5 Remember the wonderful works He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced.

Psalm 106:1-2
1 Hallelujah!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Who can declare the Lord’s mighty acts
or proclaim all the praise due Him?

In all things, search your heart and seek the One who is worthy of praise and give thanks. Who else can proclaim the works of God and His saving grace? Only God Himself and the ones He has redeemed.

Psalm 107:1-2
Thanksgiving for God’s Deliverance

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim
that He has redeemed them from the hand of the foe.

Our love for God depends upon our obedience to Him. God wants to show Himself as mighty in your life. The psalmist says “God is good.” It does not matter what you have gone through or are going through.

No one else can tell your own story of how good God has been to you. God has given you life, and you should thank Him for it. Your here because of the grace of God.

We need to be a people that sees the world as if we are passing through. While we are passing through, leave the message as to how God forgives, provides grace, and that He is able.

Psalm 107:8, 19-21, 31-32
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them from their distress.
20 He sent His word and healed them;
He rescued them from the Pit.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

31 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.
32 Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people
and praise Him in the council of the elders.

If The Lord is not on your side, who is on your side? If The Lord does not help you, who will? Be assured that The Lord will help you and be with you, because He never leaves us nor forsakes us. What has God delivered you from recently. He guides your steps. He cares for you. He gives you the reason to celebrate His presence and give Him thanks.

Always remember the goodness of God. Thank you, Lord, for who you are and for everything You have done!


Understanding Sin and its Effect

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:

We will be discussing over the next couple of weeks how to understand sin. Can we understand or grasp the recent events of today, such as the mass shooting of children or even the gunman killing his own mother? These events are hard to explain or understand. What we want to explore is what sin really does to us.

Men has done everything he can to try to lessen or minimize the effects of sin. We can’t really understand or grasp what sin is because it is illogical. It is difficult to understand, but it does give us a greater understanding of our need for Jesus Christ. It will also help us to see that there is only one name under heaven and earth that can save us. Please note that we have people who may have said Jesus’ name or confessed that they know Him, but they may not believe that He is Lord and Savior.

Sin robs us from reaching our full potential. It always causes one to be disobedient to God. It can rob us of our integrity, even our shame. We may become insensitive to its embarrassment or guilt.

Romans 7:15
For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.

Sin never shows us its destructive tendencies. It is deceptive to us. Satan wants us to believe that sin is not destructive and that it is not that big of a deal, when in fact it really is. Satan becomes your master when you believe the lie that sin is harmless to you.

Romans 7:18
For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.

Satan puts us on a road that seems harmless, but it eventually leads to a problem for us. We may think we are in control in the midst of our sin, but it brings us to a place where we are not in control of anything, including our destruction.

Romans 7:24-25
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.

Paul recognizes that God through Jesus Christ is the only one that can rescue us from sin. He sees that Jesus is the One who tells the truth, while Satan only lies (John 8:44). The question is whether or not we will allow Jesus to guide us away from sin.

John 8:44
You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.

Sin is the opposite of righteousness. When God declares matters as sin, He did not make any mistakes. Man tries to rationalize unrighteous acts and still declares himself to be righteous. There is no ambiguity in God’s message about obedience and sin.

Sin is the transgression of God’s divine will for your life. Sin interrupts and prevents us from carrying out God’s will for us.

Sin is always unjust. If someone commits an act of sin against us, we will try to justify our actions against the other person as righteous or necessary. This is another deception from Satan. Sin is never justifiable.

What defines the person who is spiritually dead? There are different ways to define death from a physical realm, but spiritual death is much different.

The effects of sin:
1. Failure to walk in the ways prescribed by Jesus Christ. There is only one way, and the path is narrow, and few will find it.
2. Rebellion against any authority, which is lawlessness.
3. It involves internal and external attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes the attitude is discovered in facial expressions or body language (which is internal), and then manifests itself in behaviors (which are external).

Romans 1:29-31
29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful.

The verses above do not describe a person who is truly following Jesus Christ.

4. It makes slaves of the person involved in it.

Romans 6:16-18
16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?
17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, 18 and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.

5. It suppresses the truth and distorts it. Satan will give you half-truths and it keeps out godly truths. Truth sets one free from the deception of Satan. A person who is a Christian who does not believe in truth will suffer from guilt and oppression and fail to live an abundant life.

Romans 1:18-19
18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, 19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.

We are to recognize sin for what it is. Sinful behavior is often justified because of cultural norms. The truth will overcome sin.

6. It disagrees with the person of God as described in Scripture. People who try to justify behaviors are attributing issues to God when it fails to acknowledge God’s Word and who He is. God has revealed Himself to us, but we fail to recognize who He is because of our lack of understanding; therefore we try to make Him a different God.

Romans 1:25
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.

Do you know that sin did not originate with mankind? Mankind was drawn into sin. Remember that the angels, who were created by God, also had free will. They must have had free will in order to decide whether to follow God or not.

1 John 3:8
The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.

Understanding sin recognizes the need for Jesus Christ. Jesus is the One who helps us to overcome sin.

Luke 10:18
He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash.

Look at this verse as an illustration as to how quickly he will deal with sin. Be thankful that He is long-suffering, but the moment that you sin, you incur consequences for that sin even in repentance.

Isaiah 14:12-15
12 Shining morning star,
how you have fallen from the heavens!
You destroyer of nations,
you have been cut down to the ground.
13 You said to yourself:
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will set up my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly,
in the remotest parts of the North.
14 I will ascend above the highest clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you will be brought down to Sheol
into the deepest regions of the Pit.

Sin begins within the heart of the person committing it, and it declares that the person is in charge of his or her own life. That’s exactly what Lucifer (Satan) did himself before he was expelled by God from heaven. Satan knew that he could not be God or above God, but he readily acknowledged his desire to be like Him. This is what we do when we are caught up in sin. We deny that we want to be in the presence of God, but our actions are such that we are in defiance of Him.

Every person was created for the purpose of worshiping God and His authority. Sin declares that we deny His worship and declare selfishly that we are more important. The deception is that it is natural to do so because of our fleshly nature. Sin is when man tries to live on his own in violation of God’s law. He makes his own law in the course of his sin. He sets his own rules and regulations that contradict what God’s Word says.

People are often deceived by a mere consciousness of God. It is not enough to say “I believe in God.” You need to do more than believe in Him. You need to acknowledge His presence in your life by following Him and living for Him. Just believing in Him does not mean you acknowledge and trust Him as Lord and Savior.

Failure to live for God is a rejection of what Scripture declares about the nature and characteristics of who God is. When God’s Word is revealed to us, we learn that He is unchangeable. God is not going to change to satisfy our personal whims and desires. Sin corrupts our thinking of how God sees us and how we see Him. It also corrupts our views on how we make choices as to what is good and what is evil. Note that the more you are educated does not mean that one can sin less or not at all. The other flaw is that there are areas of influence that causes one to sin, such as television, video games or other media. Sin, in reality, begins in the heart of the person who commits it.

Some people believe, erroneously, that you can accept Jesus in your heart to go to heaven but that you don’t have to be obedient to Him. You cannot accept Jesus just to go to heaven and not fulfill the responsibilities that come with being a believer. Many people accept Jesus not to follow Him but to escape punishment after death. You cannot accept Jesus under your own conditions. He is either The Lord of your life or He isn’t. The deception of the enemy distorts our thinking about who Jesus really is.

Matthew 5:17
17 “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.”

Jesus understood that without the law, there is lawlessness. He stated that He is the fulfillment of the law. If Jesus Christ lives within you, it gives you the ability to live as He would have you to live. It is your desire to live for Him and please Him in your obedience to Him and His Word.

Matthew 5:19-20
19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Just saying that you know Jesus will not grant you entry into heaven. It is most important to hear what God has to say about salvation and live according to what is declared.

Luke 11:28
He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed!”

Psalm 119:11
I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.

James 1:19-26
19 My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.

22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself.

A true love for Jesus Christ is an acknowledgment that His Word is in the person’s heart, and then one’s mind. The heart of a person who is in sin is far from God. As we learn more about the effects of sin, we will see how we truly need Jesus Christ. His presence brings joy to a person’s life with the realization that His truth overcomes sin and our sinful nature.