TRAVELING WITH JESUS

This week I was traveling back from Pennsylvania. Since I like to save money when I fly my flights usually consist of making several connections at various airports with significant layovers. One thing that I like to do during my layovers is observe people.  I often wonder where people are going, where they are from, and who they are traveling with. Every time I do this I wonder about the individual’s journey with the Lord. Are they Christians traveling life’s journey with purpose and intention? If they are Christians what is their journey like? If they are nor Christians I know that they are traveling alone. I know their end destination is one of hopelessness, despair, and darkness.

These thoughts got me thinking about the impact that Jesus makes on individuals when He intersects their travel through life. We have several examples of this, one being Saul’s experience when he was traveling to Damascus found in Acts 9:3-4, “And as he journeyed he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined around about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?”

Saul was a man who was very devoted to his religion, Judaism. If you read this entre chapter, which I highly recommend, you will see that Saul was a “Christian Hunter.” He had a letter of permission from the religious leaders to travel throughout the land and hunt down Christians.  He would have men, women and children arrested and taken to Jerusalem to be tortured, jailed and even be put to death for their faith in Christ. As He was traveling to Damascus to carry out this work the Lord appeared unto him and gave him a message found in Acts 26:17-18,  “I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

When Jesus crossed Saul’s path, his life (Saul’s) was dramatically and forever changed. Saul went from being a persecutor and murderer of Christians to becoming a faithful follower of Christ. He traveled throughout the Middle-East establishing churches, preaching in the name of Christ, and bringing countless individuals to salvation. His name was changed from Saul to Paul and he became the writer of the majority of the New Testament Epistles we have in the Bible today.

Who are you traveling with today? You may be a Christian who has decided  that it is best to travel alone making your own decisions, leading your own way, or doing your own thing. If so look up Proverbs 16:25 and realize that this verse applies to you too. If you are not a Christian, I want you to know that making a decision to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior will transform your life like it did Paul’s. While I’m pretty sure you’re not a murderer like Paul was, your life can still be transformed like his was. If you allow Jesus to travel with you. he will deliver you out of your darkness and despair, give your life a purpose, and walk with you daily as you travel down this road of life.

Pastor Tom

FREEDOM

This week we celebrate another one of my favorite holidays - the 4th of July. One of the things that I love about the 4th of July is that we celebrate this great land in which we live and recognize the freedoms that we are blessed with here. Many individuals today fail to recognize how blessed we are to be living in the United States. Here we can live where we want to live, work where we want to work, vacation anywhere we chose, and most importantly worship the Lord openly anytime, anywhere, and anyway we see fit. In most countries around  the world today individual freedoms are either severely restricted or non-existent. The freedoms we have today, however , came at a cost. It is estimated that 25,000 Revolutionary Soldiers and 24,000 British soldiers died during the conflict.

This also reminds me of a greater freedom that I have today, the freedom from sin. John 8:36 tells us, “If the son therefore shall make your free, ye shall be free indeed.” I was once a slave to sin. No matter how hard I tried I would end up doing things that were wrong and was disobedient to  Lord. I was like the religious  leaders that Jesus was addressing in this passage. They didn’t believe they were enslaved by sin because of their religious and pious ways. Jesus reminded them that good works cannot provide us with freedom from sin in John 8:34, “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Jesus is the inly One who can make us free from the bondage of sin. A slave cannot make himself free, he or she must be made free by another. This is exactly what Jesus has done for us. Galatians 3:13 tells us that Jesus purchased us from the curse of the law, or sin, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Jesus paid for our sins Himself by shedding His blood for us on the Cross of Calvary. As a result of Jesus’ perfect work on my behalf He has made me free - free from the bondage of sin.

As you celebrate the 4th of July this week pause to thank the Lord for the opportunity to live in this great land, but more importantly, thank Him for being willing to purchase our freedom from sin and death on the cross.

Happy Independence Day!

Pastor Tom

SUMMER READING REGRESSION

Summer break is finally here and the kids are excited about getting out of school. They have lots of plans about what they are going to do, go camping, sleep in, play video games, go swimming and the list goes on. One thing that a lot of school age children don’t have on their list is summer reading. When I was working as a school psychologist one of the concerns I had was students not reading over the summer and I would do all that we could to encourage kids to read. But why is it important for kids to read over the summer? Research has repeatedly shown that kids who don’t read over the summer can lose up to 3 months of reading progress. This is actually called summer reading regression. Yes, children  can actually regress in their reading skills over summer break if they do not read. The bottom line for parents, encourage your children to read a minimum of 20  minutes a day over their summer break.

This got me to thinking about Christians reading their Bibles. Are you, like the kids over summer break, in danger of reading regression when it comes to reading the Scriptures? Do you have a dedicated time that you spend in the Word of God every day? Do you actually read and study the Scriptures or do you just skim over a verse that is given in a daily devotional book? 2 Timothy 2:15 gives us command to study the Scriptures, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Paul admonishes us to study the Scriptures which implies not just skimming over a few random verses but actually learning what they mean and committing them to memory.

Another important verse found in Timothy is 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The Scriptures are literally God’s direct message to us. The Bible is our handbook to both our spiritual and physical lives teaching us what is right and wrong, how to interact with other people, how to raise our families, how to handle difficult situations, and how to live a life that pleases the Lord. Actually, everything you need to know is found in Scriptures.

In closing, let me say this, we need to be able to declare the words of David found in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”  Do you want to walk daily not sinning against God? Then you must hide the Word of God in your heart. What does it mean to hide God’s word in our hearts? It means that we have studied the Word, we know the Word, and we walk by the Word. Let me offer you and your family a suggestion to prevent summer reading regression. How about you set a time together each day to read the bible together as a family!

God Bless

Pastor Tom

FROST

Sunday night the National Weather Service issued a Frost Advisory for our area. Being in the middle of May I was hoping that we were done with cold weather. Sure enough, when I was outside Monday morning there was frost! Last week I was at a local farm supply store and was amazed at the number of individuals that were buying their flower and vegetable plants to get their planting done. These individuals were obviously taking advantage of the unusual warm temperatures that we were experiencing and may have been lulled into the false idea that all of the danger had passed. I am left to wonder how many people were scrambling around last night putting protective coverings on their plants to prevent any harm or danger.

The Bible also warns us not to get lulled into false sense that all danger is passed. We typically fall into this temptation when all of life seems to be going pretty good. Perhaps one of the most vivid  portions of scripture warning us to be on guard is found in 1 Peter 5: 8-9.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

Peter warns us that we must be collected in our spirit and watchful because we have a pursuing enemy that is looking for the opportunity to destroy us. Satan is wise and often attacks us when we least expect it and in the places that we may think that we are the strongest. Peter tells is that we must resist Satan and remain firm in our faith.

Paul also warns us about the attacks of Satan and how to be prepared in Ephesians 6: 11-17,

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Just like individuals that covered their plants to keep them from being destroyed by the frost, we too must cover ourselves to keep from being devoured by Satan. While newspapers and bed sheets may protect our plants the believer needs a covering that comes directly from the Lord. Only be putting on the whole armor of God will we be able to withstand the Devil.

God Bless

Pastor Tom

ROAD CLOSED

A few weeks ago the road in front of our house was closed down due to construction as there is a new roundabout being installed. We happen to live between the signs that read “Road Closed ahead” and the construction site. What has amazed me is the number of cars that drive around the signs just to arrive at the construction site, be surprised that the road is actually closed, and turn around and drive back. While I am sure this is very aggravating to those drivers, my youngest daughter and I have found it to be rather humorous. Several night a week we build a fire in front of our house, pull up the camping chairs, and take turns determining if the cars passing by will be coming back in a few minutes, we do have a few neighbors that live between us and the construction site. My daughter frequently asks, “Why don’t they believe the signs?

Not believing the signs has been a problem throughout all of human history. One example is Creation verses Evolution. Those that believe that all of existence is the result of evolution claim that it is supported by scientific fact when in reality evolution is based upon theory and speculation. Romans 1: 19-20 tells us that God has shown Himself to mankind through His creation: “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”  The complexity of the earth, the human eye, DNA, and the uniform laws of nature are signs if our creator. Signs that people ignore every day.

When Jesus was carrying out His ministry here on earth the religious leaders were also looking for a sign that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. What is interesting is that the religious leaders were also looking for a sign that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. What is interesting is that the religious leaders had witnessed Jesus performing miracles on a regular basis. Here are just a few of the miracles that Jesus performed:

  •  Healing the blind: Matthew 12, Mark 10, John 9

  • Feeding 5000 men and their families on five loaves of bread and two fish: Luke 9

  • Calming a stormy sea: Mark 4

  • Healing 10 lepers all at once: Luke 17

  • Raising 3 people from the dead: Luke 7, Luke 8, John 11

The religious leaders were asking Jesus for a sign yet ignored all of the signs that Jesus had done right before their eyes. The problem wasn’t the signs, the problem was they simply didn’t want to believe the truth about the signs that were before their eyes. The religious leaders were like the people that are driving down the road in from of my house. Both are working hard to get around the signs just to find out that the signs are true.

What about you? Do you believe the signs that Jesus is the Savior, the Son of God who died and rose again for you so that you can be forgiven of your sins and have eternal life? The greatest sign that Jesus is who He claims to be is found in Matthew 28:6, “He is not here: for he is risen as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” While ignoring the road closed sign in front of my house may be temporary inconvenience ignoring Jesus has eternal consequences.

Pastor Tom

 

PRAYER - John 14: 13-14

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name. I will do it.”

The Scriptures are full of examples of the Lord answering prayers. As a result of prayer Hezekiah’s life was extended by 15 years, Hannah had a son whose name was Samuel, Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead. You can probably also provide many examples of how the Lord has answered your prayers as well. Remember that Jesus said that if we ask anything in His name He will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

But why does it seem that there are times that the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers? Many times Christians can feel abandoned by the Lord in their times of greatest need. We can be praying for a specific job that would really help our family, but we don’t get it. We can be praying for personal healing and we aren’t getting better. We can pray for someone to be healed and they can die. Does this mean that God has abandoned us or that He just doesn’t care? The answer to these two questions is a definite no. Let me share with you three basic reasons why the Lord may not be answering our prayers.

First it could be that we are just asking out of selfish motivations. James 4:3 tells us, “You ask and don’t receive because you are asking amiss, that we may consume it on our lusts.” Envy and greed and never good reasons to have anything. Typically those things that we want due to an envious spirit or out of greed only work to separate us from our reliance upon God and diminish our love for others.

Next, the Lord will not answer our prayers if we are living in sin. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we find the following, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” The Lord very clearly states that we must be humble, pray, seek Him, turn from our wicked ways and then He will hear and answers our prayers. If we are living in sin we should not be expecting the Lord to hear and answer our prayers.

The final reason I want to discuss is that the Lord could be working to deepen our faith and our reliance on Him. To see an example of this we must consider Paul and the thorn of the flesh he had to deal with found in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Three times Paul prayed that the Lord would remove this problem from his life and three times the Lord said no. We see the Lord’s response to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” The Lord’s strength is perfected in us when we are weak, when we are earnestly seeking Him. Paul began to understand this truth and goes on to say that when he is weak he is at his strongest. God’s grace will see you through your trial or situation. It is during these times in our lives that we depend more upon the Lord’s grace resulting in a deepening of our faith.

Pastor Tom

It's Finals Week!

As a professor I get to see first-hand the anxiety in my students as we approach finals week. Many are trying to finish up assignments, complete research papers, and prepare for their final exams. A common question that I am frequently asked by my students is how they can overcome test anxiety. Taking tests is a common part of the educational process. Some student spend hours preparing for exams and do very well while others spend days preparing for exams and do poorly. While the Bible does not specifically talk about what we should do to remain calm in the face of an exam, it does have several things to say about stress.

In Ecclesiastes 12:12 we find the following, “Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end and much study wearies the body.”  We can all attest to the truth that too much study makes us very, very tired. I always advise my students to begin studying a minimum of 1 week before their scheduled exam date. By breaking our studies down into smaller portions, say a few hours per day, and spreading the hours of study out over several days, we can learn the materials more easily and eliminate a lot of anxiety. If you are reading this blog, you are probably already aware of what attempting to pull an “all nighter”,  in combination with high doses of coffee, does to levels of anxiety. The outcome is never good.

Another tip for reducing test anxiety is to just relax and trust the Lord. Philippians 4:6 tells us the following. “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  The word used here for be careful means don’t be anxious. The Lord cares for you and has your best interest in mind. I always tell my student to make sure that they take a few minutes before starting their exams and pray. Pray that the Lord will help them remember all of the information they have studied. Pray that He will calm their hearts and help them to relax.

If you are in college your semester is about done. I pray that the Lord will give you the peace your need as you face finals week. I pray that you will be prepared for your final exams and that He will take away your anxiety!

Pastor Tom

Witnesses to the Resurrection

“Unless I see it I won’t believe it!” How many times have you heard someone meake this statement about something incredible that has happened? Many people have made this statement concerning the resurrection of Jesus. Did Jesus really come back to life after being dead in the grave for three days and were there any witnesses to prove this event? The answer to both of these questions is yes, Jesus did come back to life and there were witnesses.

According to an article published be Upcounsel (2019), “It is a general rule that one witness is sufficient to establish a fact, but to this there are exceptions, both in civil and criminal cases.” The article goes on to say that in some cases two witnesses are required but typically never more than two are needed to establish the truth of an event. This brings about the question “How many people saw Jesus after the Resurrection?” It might surprise you that it was a lot of people. The Apostle Paul tells us the following in 1 Corinthians 15: 5-8

             “And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”“

Here Paul points out that Jesus was seen alive buy over 500 people after His resurrection. He was seen alive be the 12 Disciples, He was seen alive by 500 brethren, He was seen alive by the Apostles. Paul doesn’t mention it here but Jesus was also seen alive by Mary at the tomb only moments after His resurrection. Jesus was seen by different groups of people, at different times, in different locations. This information is critical because it shows unity in the claims of different people, at different times, and in different locations. These resurrection appearances occurred 12 different times over a period of 40 days. This wasn’t a “one time deal” witnesses by just one or two as some would have you to believe.

Remember, only two witnesses are needed to establish the truth of an event in a court of law today. Over 500 people witnessed and interacted with Jesus after His death, burial, and resurrection. Don’t doubt this established truth?

References

Upcounsel (2019), Legal definition of a witness. Retrieved from; https://www.upcounsel.com/legal-def-witness

GOOD FRIDAY

This Friday we celebrate what is called Good Friday by the Christian Church.  It is the day that we celebrate the day on which Jesus was crucified o the Cross of Calvary. To some, this may seem odd. Why would we celebrate the day that Jesus died on the cross? We find the crucifixion of Jesus detailed for us in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19. All of these chapters describe a horrible death. The Bible tells us that Jesus was beaten by the soldiers, scourged or beaten with a whip, a crown of thorns was made and pulled down over his head, and then he was forced to carry the cross which was his means of execution. The profit Isaiah described this event in Isaiah 52:14, “As many were astonied (appalled) at thee; his visage (appearance) was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Jesus was tortured to the point that he was hardly recognizable as a man. After this, Jesus was nailed to the cross with iron nails being driven through his hands and feet. There he was left to suffer and die.

After reading these accounts many are left with the question of how we could consider this to be good. We find the answer to this question in the purpose for Jesus’ death and suffering. Paul tells us in Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The reason that we call Good Friday good is due to the fact that Jesus’ suffering and death on the Cross of Calvary is what provides us forgiveness of our sins, and thus eternal life!

When speaking of Jesus’ death on the cross we must also realize that three days later we have the first Easter Sunday. Three days after Jesus’ death came his resurrection! Luke 24 describes for us the event of Jesus’ resurrection. Here we find that very early on the first day of the week several women went to Jesus’ tomb to put sweet smelling spices on Jesus’ body. When they arrived at the tomb they found Jesus’ body was not there. While they were discussing among themselves what could have possibly happened two angels appeared unto them and said,  “Why seek ye the living among the death? He is not here, but is risen…”  Jesus’ resurrection shows us that he is who he claims to be, the Son of God. It also shows us that Jesus’ resurrection shows us that he is who he claims to be, the Son of God. It also shows us that Jesus has the power over death itself.

This Friday, we will be celebrating Good Friday and then Easter Sunday. We celebrate these two particular days because Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary shedding his blood for us so that we can have forgiveness of our sins. Jesus’ death has made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and for us to go to Heaven. We also celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the grave and those who come to him for salvation can say what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15: 55-57, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Hope to see you this Friday and Sunday!

Pastor Tom

THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER

This passage of scripture is dealing with the account of the Philippian jailor coming to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. After witnessing the miracles that night, the great earthquake, opening of prison doors, and chains falling off of the prisoners, the man came to a realization of the mighty power of God. Being overwhelmed with the situation and not knowing what to do the jailer fell down before Paul and Silas crying out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Of all things in life this is the most important question that you must ask.

Most people today operate under the assumption that Heaven is a given and the only people that don’t go to Heaven are bad people. That state/think that they are not a bad person because they have not done anything bad. They have not murdered anyone, they have not stolen anything, they go to church, they have been baptized, they take communion, and the list goes on and on. People look for outward justification for being “good enough” when the need for salvation comes from within.

Paul tells us in Romans 3:23 that  “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” There is not a single person that has ever been born that is without sin. Many people ask how they can be a sinner if they have done nothing wrong. The answer to  this question is found in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  That one man that Paul is talking about is Adam. We know the story well. God only put one limitation upon Adam, don’t eat of that tree! You can do anything you want, all you have to do is live in perfectness, you don’t have to work, you won’t grow old, you won’t be sick, enjoy what I have created for you. But what did Adam and Eve do? They disobeyed God and did  that one thing He commanded them not to do.

At the moment they disobeyed His command, man committed treason against God and sin entered into their hearts. Adam’s sin has been passed down through every generation to you and me today. It isn’t our works that make us a sinner or a righteous person, we are sinners because we are born as sinners by nature. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death…”  Our sin causes death, both physical and spiritual death. We will all die physically but because of sin we are already dead spiritually. This spiritual death is eternal separation from God in a literal Hell. But wait, there is also good news found in the second half of Romans 6:23, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Peter 2:24 tells us, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should  live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye are healed.”  Here Peter tells us that when  Jesus was hanging on the cross the sins of the world were placed upon Him.. My sin and your sin was placed upon Jesus. God’s wrath against us was poured out on Jesus. Jesus willingly took the punishment that was due to you and me upon Himself.  He did this so that we could have forgiveness and eternal life in Heaven.

In response to the Philippian jailor’s question Paul said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” God has already done all the work. Jesus died for you and rose again. All you have to do is receive, in faith, the salvation God has to offer. Remember, our good works can’t save us. Salvation only comes through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. You need to cry out to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and be your personal Lord and Savior.

God Bless

Pastor Tom

April Fools

My youngest daughter was very excited to wake up this morning and tell us that we should be getting a call from the school time now saying that classes would be cancelled for the day. When I asked her why she said because of the snow we got last night. I got up to look out the window, knowing it was April Fool’s Day, to hear her start laughing hysterically and shouting, “April Fool’s Day!” Even the mere thought that our kids would be missing another day due to snow this year is not funny on multiple levels.

While April Fool’s Day is a time for children to play innocent pranks on their parents actually being a fool in life is not a funny thing. The scriptures actually have a lot of things to say about being a fool and none of them are good, Psalm 14:1 tells us, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” When an individual believes there is no God that belief will impact every part of life.

In Matthew 7: 24-27 Jesus tells us a parable about two men. The wise  man built his house on a rock and the foolish man built his house upon sand. When the rains fell and the storms raged the house built on the rock remained standing while the house built on the sand fell and was destroyed. The meaning of this parable is quite easy to understand. Each person is building a life and we need to have a proper foundation if our life is going to remain firm during troublesome times. If we look at verse 24 we find that in order to have a proper foundation we not only need to hear the words of Jesus but we need to do them, or put them into practice. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house on a rock.”

The reality is that life can be difficult. Just because you are a Christian does not mean that life will be easy, but it does mean that if your foundation is built upon Christ you will be able to weather the storms. When troublesome times come, when the report from the doctor isn’t what we expected, when relationship issues get out of control, when the grade on the exam wasn’t what you needed, remember Psalm 119: 105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light onto my path.” God’s word will show you the way, provide you with comfort, and give you hope.

Pasto Tom

Joy and Guilt

Today I would like to talk to you about joy and guilt. There are many Christians today that are not experiencing a joy filled life. Paul tells us the following in Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Paul tells us that we are to be filled with all joy and peace. Yet so often I talk to Christians that report that the feeling of joy is missing from their lives.

While there are many reasons why people are not living lives filled with joy, I have typically found that most Christians don’t experience joy in their lives due to overwhelming feelings of guilt. Guilt robs us of our joy and causes us to live defeated lives. This is not where the Lord desires us to be.

As we read the Scriptures we see two different types of guilt being discussed. The first guilt is a Godly Guilt. In 2 Corinthians 7: 8-9 the Apostle Paul speaks of the letter he sent to the Church at Corinth where he strongly rebuked the believers of particular sins that were being committed and overlooked in the church. The result of the letter was a feeling of sorrow or guilt that led them to repentance and a restoration of their joy. We must also consider what Jesus tells us in John 16: 7-8. Here Jesus promises the arrival of the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit. Jesus states that when the Holy Spirit comes He will reprove the world of sin. When we as believers walk in sin the Holy Spirit will produce a feeling of guilt within our hearts. While this guilt will rob us of our joy we must remember that the purpose is to drive us to confession and repentance. Once we have confessed our sins and repented our joy is then restored. This Godly guilt, is in fact, a good guilt.

Another type of guilt the Christian can experience is a False Guilt. If you have repented of your sins and confessed them to the Lord and you are still plagued by guilt those feelings are called a False Guilt. This feeling of guilt is  one of condemnation and comes directly from Satan. We must remember that the moment we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and became a Child of God, we became a hated enemy of Satan. Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan is called the accuser of our brethren. Satan stands before God both day and night bringing accusations against us and pointing out our sins. He is also whispering in our ears, “Remember that sin you committed? You sin all the time! Maybe the Lord really didn’t forgive you!” The result of Satan’s whispering accusations in our ears is a False Guilt robbing us of our joy. When Satan has established a False Guilt in our hearts we must remember the promises of the Lord found in 1 John 1:9 “ If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Also Romans 8:1,  “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” When we have been forgiven, we have been forgiven no matter what Satan may say, We need to let go of confessed sins, we need to move on, and we need to press on.

Pastor Tom