Daily Devotional for Tuesday August 15, 2006
A World Going to Hell with the Complicity of the
My feelings and emotions are very raw as I write this today. As Liveprayer approaches our 7th anniversary at the end of the month it is a very reflective time. When we started almost 84 months ago, I could have never dreamed what God was planning to do. It has been above and beyond all I could have ever hoped for in having a powerful tool to reach this lost and hurting world for Christ. However, being of flesh and blood, weak like all men, this past weekend was very difficult for me spiritually.
Literally giving my life unconditionally in every way these past 7 years to bring Biblical Truth into the marketplace and the hope of the Gospel to the lost and hurting, there was one event after another this past weekend that made me question why I put myself and my family on the line each day to be laughed at, ridiculed, scorned, hated, despised, forsaken, persecuted, and targeted by some for death. All weekend long the message being sent to me was simple, "Quit rocking the boat, fall into line, the riches of the world await you if you will just go with the flow." I never doubted for a moment that message was coming from the very pits of hell itself.
It was in the early hours of Monday while I was in prayer that God began to speak to me. He reminded me of the passages of Scripture that spoke about how those who served the Lord would be persecuted for His name. He reminded me of the OT prophets who separated themselves from the priests who for the most part had sold out to the world. These men gave their life to deliver the lonely and unpopular message to the people of their day to repent and submit their lives to God. He reminded me of the faithful spoken of in Hebrews 11 who never wavered from their commitment to Christ, as well as the faithful today all around the globe, many giving their very life for the Gospel. It was the "coach" simply saying, stay focused, keep working hard, and don't stop what you are doing.
Even though I don't do the TV program on Saturday and Sunday nights, I keep my same Monday thru Friday sleep schedule where I go to bed at 7 p.m and get up at 11 p.m. to keep from disrupting my body clock. My wife and I went out to get something to eat Saturday night and returned home around 1 a.m. I turned on the TV and was flipping through the channels when I cam across PBS who was in one of their fund-raising seasons. Usually, the best programs on PBS are during the time they are raising money, so I waited to see what was on. For the next 40 minutes, I sat there and watched a supposed "documentary" on a men's chorus that was literally nothing more than a vehicle to promote homosexuality, gay marriage, and gay adoption.
I sat in amazement, realizing that my tax dollars were going to support this type of filth. Even more amazing, they were using this program to raise money. I suggest that 20 years ago, even PBS would have NEVER aired such a program, however in today's culture, they not only aired it, but I would not be shocked if they didn't raise a ton of money because of it! It is bad enough PBS puts every New Age hope merchant on to spew their confused philosophies on life which lead people away from the Truth and Jesus, but to air a program that supported and condoned the destructive choice of homosexuality incensed me.
What was worse, I knew that under NO CONDITIONS would they EVER allow me to go on PBS and lay out the Biblical case for homosexuality being a sin and detail why this is a choice that destroys lives. This very program bemoaned the fact over 140 men in this "men's chorus" had died of AIDS. That disease is only one of the many ways this choice is destroying lives. Most disgusting of all were the scenes of "churches" that promote, condone, and glorify this sin and supposed "pastors" who were telling the lie that homosexuality is acceptable in God's eyes.
NOTE: I have numerous calls into the head of the PBS station in Tampa to complain about this program to see how I can get on their station. Not every night, just a one-hour special dealing with the cultural issues of our day from a Biblical perspective. The fact I have had a "live" program on 5 nights a week in this market on a major network affiliate, will force him to at least deal with me, but I am not under any illusion they are going to cooperate. However, I feel led to at least make the effort.
It is easy to chalk up that experience to PBS, however what happened throughout the day on Sunday was an even worse kick in the gut. You expect the liberally controlled PBS to promote homosexuality, you don't expect men and women who God has called to preach His Word to water down God's Truth on the key issues of our day, and most outrageous and indefensible of all, support and propagate the great lie of satan that everyone is going to get to Heaven!
Sunday morning, the pastor of the largest church in Tampa was on with the infamous local strip club owner Joe Redner on a secular news program that was talking about finding "common ground" on the key issues that separate the church and non-church communities. I sat in amazement as I heard time after time this nationally known pastor talk about his personal convictions being private, and how the church needed to dialogue with people like Redner on issues like homosexuality, abortion, and adult businesses. I could only think of that Biblical passage, "What fellowship does light have with darkness?"
All of God's children, those who believe God's Word, are called forth to declare His Truth to this world in which we live. Our "personal convictions," code word for Biblical Truth, are the exact thing we have been called to share with this world, especially pastors who God has called to lead His church!. There is no "common ground" for those who believe the lie that homosexuality is not a sin, or that it is OK to kill babies, or that adult businesses are acceptable entertainment, or that it doesn't matter what religion you believe in.
God, not man, calls the perverted choice of men having sex with men and women having sex with woman a sin. God, not man, calls abortion murder. God, not man, calls lust and prostitution a sin. God, not man, says there is only ONE TRUTH and ONE WAY to the Father. The only dialogue there needs to be with a man like Redner, who I have debated both on my TV program and in a live public event, is to reinforce the Truth of God's Word on these issues and how faith in Jesus Christ is the ONLY hope for men.
Even though I single out this one nationally known pastor in Tampa, the sad reality is virtually NONE of the nationally known pastors will ever take a stand on these pressing issues of our day and deal with them head on, opting instead to focus on "positive" things to sell books and bring in more donations. I have had my staff scan thousands of hours of text from all the major national media ministries, and they ALL run from dealing directly with homosexuality, abortion, and false religions so they don't offend anyone. The word's largest Christian TV network actually sent out memos banning their programmers from telling people that following Islam will lead them to hell.
Dobson, Falwell, and Kennedy are about the only nationally known ministers you will ever hear calling sin sin without any compromise. Even these men spend the bulk of their resources on Christian media to reach what is primarily a Christian audience to get the financial support they need. However, the people who need to hear the truth on these issues are the masses living in the world outside of the "Christian trough" who are fed 24/7 the lies of satan. It is these people who need the truth so they can avoid the traps of these lies or find freedom if they are already in bondage.
Sunday night, Dateline NBC had an expose on Carlton Pearson, a once powerful man of God who satan got hold of and has now begun preaching the heretical message that there is no hell and everyone will get to Heaven. Pearson is not just some wayward pastor. For nearly a decade, he was a powerful preacher who received his theoglical training from Oral Roberts University, had a church of thousands in Tulsa, and held conferences each year that attracted the who's who of Christianity with tens of thousands in attendance. Pearson has now yielded his life to satan to preach this lie that hell doesn't exist and that everyone will get to Heaven. There can be no more damnable lie!
I found it not surprising that when he was properly shunned by the Christian community for preaching such heresy, the one "church" who reached out to him was in San Francisco and condoned, supported, and glorified the sin of homosexuality. The "pastor" of this "church" is a practicing lesbian, While Dateline tried to use this "church" as a symbol of compassion, unknowingly they only reinforced that it took one group of people living in rebellion to God's Word to reach out to this pastor who was preaching a blasphemous message.
However, saddest of all for me personally was late Sunday night when I was out with my wife and saw Billy Graham on the cover of Newsweek. I couldn't wait to get home to read the article, looking forward to hearing on the pages of this secular magazine the fact that Jesus and Jesus alone is the only hope for this lost world. Instead, I sat in horror as I read managing editor Jon Meacham ask the 87-year-old evangelist whether those who belong to religions that reject Christ as Savior (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.) and secularists will be saved. "Those are decisions only the Lord will make," Graham replied. "It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there [in heaven] and who won't. ... I don't want to speculate about that."
Listen, I know Billy Graham is getting up in years, that his mind is clearly not as sharp as it once was. The problem is he is still Billy Graham and making false statements like that tear down all that he has preached his entire life. The fact is, the Lord already made that decision who will be saved. There is nothing the Bible speaks more clearly on than salvation. It is consistent throughout that there is only one way to Heaven, one way to God, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. PERIOD! There is NO OTHER NAME by which men are saved. Those who reject God's free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ will be cast into hell for all eternity. GOD ALREADY TOLD US!!!
Very few things in this life could make me cry. However, as I read those words from one of the great evangelists the human race has ever seen, tears were flowing down my cheeks. Billy Graham has said many things in recent years that troubled me. I realize that the first 30 years of his ministry, he never had to confront homosexuality or abortion or the many false religions of the world. He was preaching to a lost nation, but one that still revered God and His Word. Even the non-believers and those who lived in rebellion to God understood they were lost and going to hell because God said so.
So while disappointed he has never confronted these issues based on what God says (praise God for his son Franklin who has boldly taken on these issues based on the Bible), I respected the fact he always preached John 3:16. There simply is no excuse, even his age, for what Billy Graham said in that Newsweek article since it only fuels the lie from satan that everyone will get to Heaven no matter what you believe or how you choose to live.
I love you and care about you so much. We are truly living in the last days where the Truth has been traded for lie. We live in a culture that boldly and without shame promotes the lies of satan to the masses. Sadly, God's agents to counter those lies, those men and women He has called forth to proclaim His Word in this day, have refused to take a stand for Biblical Truth and in many sad cases, have actually help propagate satan's lies. It makes it that much more difficult for those who are faithful to preach the pure, unadulterated Truth of God's Word when high profile men and women of God sell the Gospel for a few sheckles and in some cases, pervert His Word.
The good news as I have shared with you in the past is that there is always a remnant. Those faithful men and women of God who cannot be bought and for no price would compromise God's Truth. Most of these men and women toil in virtual obscurity, however God sees their work and will reward their efforts for the Kingdom. The job of the "watchman" is to be faithful to proclaim God's Truth to the people of his day. What those people do with the Truth is then between them and God.
I pray today that those men and women God has called forth to preach His Word and lead His church, will be faithful to deliver the unadulterated, uncompromised Truth with boldness and conviction. I pray today that each person who knows Christ as their Savior will take a stand for His Truth in their home, at work or school, where they shop and play, any time they have the opportunity to tell people what the Bible says and share with them not only God's Truth, but the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Sadly, men die every second and go to hell for all eternity because they have rejected the hope we have in Christ. While each man has to make the choice in their life to accept or reject Christ as their Savior, those who know the Lord are commanded to declare His love and the free gift of everlasting life available through faith in Christ. May we not be complicit in leading men to hell, but in helping them spend eternity in Heaven!