Zev Porat

Monday, October 19, 2020

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHURCH GROWTH/HEALTH

by Rev. Joda Collins

I heard it said by a pastor many years go that "God does not care about your kingdom until you first care about His."   While that is a little on the blunt side, I think there is a lot of truth in that statement.  There is not one person found in the Bible who was blessed by God long-term who did not show an overwhelming interest in and commitment to the Kingdom of God at some point in his or her life. 

Most of us are waiting for the big score in life. We are looking for that defining moment that changes everything for the better.  For most of that, that one defining moment will never come.  Rather, what defines our life are the things we do day-to-day which combine to create something of value or are the catalyst that ushers in something significant.  

Great people, whether it be in art, music, education, politics, areas of faith or anything else, may seem to have become great in a spur of the moment, but great people almost always have a record of consistent commitment that caused their success.  

As the man with a broken finger asked the doctor, "Will I be able to play the piano after this finger heals?"  The doctor said, "Sure."  The injured man said, "That's great. I couldn't play the piano before I broke my finger."  How nice it would be if we could become concert pianists as a result of healed broken finger.  Talented pianists work at it for long hard practice sessions over periods of years.  It is wiser to be in awe of the time and commitment it took to become a talented pianist that it is to be in awe of the piano playing.  Most of us could be extremely good at playing the piano if we would give two or three hours each day for 10 or 20 years to the development of that talent. 

Church growth is the same thing.  A church does not flourish just because we want it to. It takes work and a commitment to consistently do the right things over a long period of time. 

First, understand that a healthy growing church is YOUR responsibility and it is MY responsibility. 

Here are the basics (not listed any order of importance).  

1.  Faithful attendance and faithful financial support. 
2.  Do your best to get along with everyone.  Don't be sensitive. 
3.  Find out what disrupts a church and don't do those things.
4.  Find out with unifies the church and do those things.
5.  Assume responsibility for your actions or lack of action.
6.  Worship. Be right with God. Be a humble person of prayer.
7.  Give the benefit of the doubt to others.
8.  Be positive.  Employ your public self.
9.  Speak well of others every chance you get. Keep your mind and your tongue in check. Any sentence that can begin with "I" followed by a negative statement is probably better left unsaid.  Check your thoughts. There is probably something amiss in your gray matter. 
10. Remember, someone is on the verge of quitting God.  Relate to everyone accordingly.
11. Remember, someone is on the verge of joining the Church  Relate to everyone accordingly.
12. Remember, someone is on the verge of leaving the Church.  Relate to everyone accordingly.
13. Support your pastor(s). 
14. Never be critical of your pastor(s) in front of anyone. 
15. Identify those that cause division among you contrary in manners contrary to sound doctrine, and avoid them. 
16. Be involved. Do your part.  You cannot do everything, but you can do something!  Do something that contributes to the well-being of the Church unless you are an immature Christian or an immature person. Immature people get involved then get mad as others as an excuse to get uninvolved.  Church ministry requires fighting the devil.  We do not send babies to war. 
17. Do not become jealous or bitter. You are not the center of the world or your church. Others will get more, be more, have more of whatever. So what!?
18.  Know your Bible and make a habit of getting to know it better. 
19.  Add to this list what you think I should have added. 

I could list a ton of scriptures to support all of the above, but these are basic realities. 

Rev. Joda Collins  
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/jodacollins
I make no claim that anyone else agrees with me.



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IS SALVATION FROM HELL EARNED BY SOWING TO THE SPIRIT

by Rev. Joda Collins
 
One of the most challenging salvation verses is Galatians 6:8. 
 
     "...he that soweth to the Spirit shall...reap eternal life."  (KJV)
 
After more than 2,000 years of analysis, the theological greats, past and present, cannot come to a meeting of the minds regarding the meaning of this verse.  So, theologians take one of four approaches.
 
    1.  The verse really does not mean what it states, but it means....(something else).
    2.  The verse means what is states only if it modified by (this or that). 
    3.  The verse means exactly what is states in clear black and white; eternal life is the future payment for good works (sowing to the Spirit). 
    4.  "I do not know what the verse means."  Those who do not know what the verse means either skip the verse (which is honorable) or give as many interpretations of the verse they feel have some merit (which is, also, honorable).  
 
What appears below in parenthesis is not a word for word presentation of the commentator's position, but a summary of their position.  The summary is my way of trying to keep this difficult study as simple as I can and still maintain scholastic stature. 

Matthew Henry's Commentary
He that sows to the Spirit shall....reap (confidence in his stand before God that he has) eternal life.
 
John Gil's Exposition of the Bible 
He that sows to the Spirit shall....reap (not as a consequence of sowing but by God's grace and not self-effort) eternal life.
 
Many, commentaries (too many to list) handle this verse in this fashion.
(Only) he that (does good works) sow(ing) to the Spirit (in this life) shall...reap eternal life (later). 
 
Notice the vast difference in the way commentaries interpret this verse.  In the first example (Matthew Henry) a concept is added, "confidence in".  This changes the verse in a dramatic way by changing the benefit and result of sowing in the Spirit from eternal life to confidence.   I am much against any approach to biblical analysis that changes the meaning of a verse.  This is approach the #1 approach as clarified above; "The verse really does not mean what it states, but it means....(something else)."   I reject such an approach.  That is not bad theology; it isn't theology.   Anything designed to change the assumed meaning of a verse is not theology, even if the presented alternative is right.  In such cases, the commentator got to the right place, but in the wrong way.  The right end does not justify the wrong route to it.  That is a slippery slope that leads to all kinds of wrongs.

In the second instance (John Gil's) a theological truth is added in parenthesis that is used to blunt the verse so that the impact of the verse (without the added theological truth) is not felt as much.  In effect, this attempts to change the assumed meaning of the verse just as in the first example, but the method is to place a known theological truth (in this case, salvation is by grace through faith and not of our own good works, Ephesians 2:8-9) side by side with the assumed wrong implication of the verse at hand (eternal life is the later result of a lifetime of sowing to the Spirit) and hoping the reader adopts the theology in the parenthesis rather than the reader's assumed implications of the verse that stand in opposition to what is in the parenthesis.  This is the #2 approach as clarified at the beginning of this discourse; "The verse means what is states only if it modified by (this or that)." 

A vast number of commentaries simply state what the author sees as their understanding of this verse, which for Galatians 6:8 is "Only those who sow to the Spirit from the point of their salvation until their death will go to heaven."  Such authors who are salvation by grace and eternal security believers add no more to their analysis and you can feel in their writings they want to get away from Galatians 6:8 as fast as they can.  Commentators who reject the concept of eternal security, often camp joyfully at Galatians 6:8 with some smugness and an "I told you so" attitude.  Finally, after changing, challenging, degrading or ignoring all of the many New Testament verses that proclaim salvation free and salvation never lost, they have a place to rest and catch their breath.  They are home. This is position #3 as clarified above; "The verse means exactly what is states in clear black and white; eternal life is the future payment for good works (sowing to the Spirit)."

Dr. Billy Graham writes, "...the interpretation of Galatians 6:8 is not as clear as you might surmise or you may have been taught." (Source: http://www.preceptaustin.org/galatians_68_commentary.htm).   Dr. Graham's view of Galatians 6:8 is #4 above, is "I don't know".  I admire people who can admit they do not know everything about everything. 

Given the fact that I cannot find a satisfactory (for me) explanation of this verse in any commentary and given the fact that I have never heard a sermon or a Bible study that provided, for me, a satisfactory interpretation of Galatians 6:8, permit me to venture into these muddy waters to see if we can clear the waters up (at least some).  
 
As a father to two girls, I used an approach towards my girl's maturity that I call "good wording".   Some consider it is a form of lying. I do not. I call it "good-wording".  It is a pat-on-the-back using words.  Everyone recognizes this method and I think everyone uses it.
 
When I saw my girls involved in something in which they had interest, I always complimented their work without qualification. For example, our oldest daughter likes to draw.  When she was very little, she would draw something and I had no idea what it was. When she told me what it was, I told her "That is a great picture of a (whatever she told me it was)".   I never qualified my enthusiastic statement with things like, "for your age" or "if you did this or that to the drawing".   I knew that if she felt good about her effort she would continue to try and, in time, may become a very good artist.  
 
Today, she makes money with her art work!  I hope my encouragement helped her become very good at art.  I think it did.
 
Our youngest like playing with baby-dolls and other kinds of toy dolls.  I encouraged her to take good care of them and always told her she was a really good mom to those babies, even if she was pulling them by the hair across the floor or I had to spend a lot of time trying to find the heads she took off their bodies and dropped around the house. 
 
Today, she is a great mother to four children and would have more kids if she could.
 
When I read the words of Jesus (John 10:27) "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me" I think to myself "I do not always hear Jesus' voice and when I do, to my discredit and shame, I do not always follow Him."  However, Jesus is giving me the benefit of the doubt and good-wording me with is verbal pat-on-the-back; his vote of confidence.  Notice there is no qualifier, such as "sometimes" or "occasionally", "more now than in the past" or "to the best of their limited ability".   It is just a simple statement that is not always true.   However, I want to hear his voice and I want to follow him.  This positive verbal pat-on-the-back encourages me to do so and to do better today at hearing and following than I did yesterday.  Did Jesus lie?  No.  His comment assumes the common sense understanding that not that every sheep follows Jesus 100% of the time.  Anyone with a reasonable amount of functioning brain cells knows that. 
 
Now, back to Galatians 6:8, "...he that sows to the Spirit shall...reap eternal life."  
 
This is not a theological statement of how to get saved. This is good wording.  Jesus says, "Hey, boys and girls of mine, I know you can and will sow to the Spirit.  I know you are partakers of eternal life.  Thanks for living for me."  It is encouragement. It is "that is a really good picture of (whatever)."  It is, "You are a really good mom to your dollies."   It is giving the hearer the benefit of the doubt. It is Jesus cheering us along the path of righteousness (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  It is Jesus clapping for us as we run the race for him (1 Corinthians 9:27). It is grace.  Do not turn grace into law.  Doing that will steal your joy and rob you of spiritual progress. 
 
With these things in mind, read (in this order) Galatians 3:6-9, 26, 4:6-7, 5:25, 6:8-10 and 18; you will see the graceful encouragement of good-wording from the heart of God in the flesh to his own. 
 
Let me add a fifth option for understanding Galatians 6:8:
 
   5. God's good-wording encouraging us to live above habitual sin and in the habit of living in accord with (sowing to) the Spirit.
 
Finally, the Apostle Paul (the human author of Galatians) does give the plan of salvation in the book of Galatians. It is found in Galatians 2:16 and 3:26 which reads:
 
"...a man is not justified (saved) by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be (are) justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. For ye (you) are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  (Parenthesis mine.) 
 
Or the answer could be even more simple. Only those who are saved can "sow to the Spirit", therefore, only the saved inherit eternal life. 

Rev. Joda Collins  
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/jodacollins
I make no claim that anyone else agrees with me.


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HOW YOU VOTE REVEALS WHAT YOU ARE

by Rev. Joda Collins

To win a war it is important to be able to fight on more than one front. Research every war every fought and you will discover there has not been a significant (large scale) war that was fought on one front only.   If you are the aggressor, the fastest way to win the war is to attack on multiple fronts. If you are the defender, you have to fight on all fronts in order to win the war.  You do not have to win every skirmish, but any front left unattended will be an avenue that has the greatest chance creating success for the aggressor and defeat for the defender.  

The war for America (if you are pro-America) or the war on America (if you are anti-American) is being fought on four fronts; moral, intelligence, patriotic and spiritual. 

Those attacking America are depending on the immoral, the stupid, the uncaring and spiritually dead/dull for their victory.  We who are for America are depending on the moral, intelligent, patriotic and spiritually alive individuals for the victory.

This the fight for America and the fight against America is between the moral and immoral, the intelligent and the stupid, the patriotic and the uncaring and the spiritually alive against the spiritually dead/dull. 

Those leading the attack against America are the Democrats. Those leading the fight for America are, for the most part, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ who fight under different group names but who share the heart of Christ. 

Democrats depend on the immoral to follow them into immorality and the intellectually stunted to believe everything the Democrats say.  Republicans depend on people with high moral values, American patriots and those who have the intellect to distinguish lies from truth. How you vote on November 3, 2020 reveals the kind of person you are. 

Rev. Joda Collins  
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/jodacollins
I make no claim that anyone else agrees with me.


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DOES GOD HATE THE SIN BUT LOVE THE SINNER?

By Rev. Joda Collins
 
The short answer to that brief question is, no!  That answer begs the question, "Then why does the Bible state that God loves the sinner, but he hates their sin."  Surprise! The Bible does not state that.  "God loves the sinner but hates their sin," is a compound sentence (a sentence with two different thoughts linked together with a word such as "and," "but," "or," or "therefore."  When a compound sentence is expressed in two sentences the two thoughts are easier to work with.  "God loves the sinner."  And, "God hates the sinner's sin."  

The second thought (God hates the sinner's sin) is true and it is true 100% of the time.  It is, therefore, an absolute truth.  For example, "darkness is dark"  is an absolute truth, therefore, we can interject the word "always" into the sentence and make it "darkness is always dark."  Likewise, "God ALWAYS hates the sinner's sin."  The cross of Christ is evidence that God ALWAYS hates sinner's sins.  Jesus died for every sin of every sinner.  God always hates sin.

However, "God loves the sinner" is not an absolute truth.  God does not always love every sinner. Just because human beings are made in the image of God and are God's creation does not mean God loves every human being.  Human being are created just lower than the angels.  Angels are God's creation, too.  And, they are a superior creation. Human beings are not "lower" than the angels because humanity fell into sin.   Humanity was created lower than the angles (Psalms 8:5),  Before the fall, Adam and Eve were lower than the angels!  

If God loves his created beings simply because they are His created beings, but hates only their sin, then God is in love with Satan. Satan is a God-created being.  Satan sinned. Does God love Satan, but only hates Satan's sin?  Or, does God hate Satan and Satan's sin?  

What about John 3:16? Doesn't John 3:16 state that "God so loved everyone in the world that he gave his only begotten Son..."   No, it does not.  John 3:16 states that "God so loved the world that he gave...."  For example, if I say that "I love ice cream and I love chocolate" does that mean that I love every flavor of ice cream and every form and flavor of chocolate?  It does not.  If God loves everyone, then all roads must lead to heaven, all faiths must be of God and all people must be saved.

We know that Jesus loved some more than he loved others.  For example, Mary, Martha, Lazarus and the Apostle John. What can't God love some more than others, love some and not love others, and love some and hate others?  

Sure, there are a lot of verses that state God loves and God is love, but none of those verses preclude the option of God to hate.  It is customary for some people, when faced with a Bible truth (or verse) to say, "Yea, but what about my verse which states something different!  My verse is better than your verse!"  I am not sure if such a person is just ignorant (uninformed) are genuinely stupid (unable to learn).  I can come up with some verses that states God hates, but that does not mean he hates everyone!  Others can quote some verses that state God loves, but that does not mean God loves everyone.  It is a long theological road to blend all of those verses together into a cohesive unit and discover who God loves, when and why and who God hates, when and why. 

The person who says to you, "You have your verses and I have mine, but I like mine better" is a spiritual con-man; a doofus -- a theological sloth.  A biblical "dud."   Such people just search the Scripture to find verses that support their personal opinions not to seek God's truth. They are a waste of time and energy to engage in conversation, usually, of any and all kind.

Rev. Joda Collins  
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/jodacollins
I make no claim that anyone else agrees with me.


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WARNING: DO NOT VOTE BY MAIL

by Rev. Joda Collins

Here is what we know. We know Democrats cannot win the presidential race without cheating.  When Obama said, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor",  most of us knew he was lying or soon discovered so, but no one was surprised he lied.  He is a Democrat. Democrats lie.  No one was surprised when we learned that Hillary was given the questions in advance for her presidential debate with Donald Trump.  She is a Democrat. Democrats cheat.  No one is shocked by learning that Creepy Joe likes his legs stroked by children, loves to smell them, stroke them, move his hands as close to little girls' breasts as possible and lip lock little boys, little girls and his granddaughter. Democrats tend to be perverts. 

The Bible references such people.  "Clouds without water."  "Blots."  "Whitewashed wall."  "Full of dead men's bones."  

No one is shocked when hundreds or thousands of mail-in votes for Donald Trump are found in a back room or trash can of a voting location or some Democrats home. Why? Because democrats are liars, cheaters and perverts.  They are unashamed by these realities. 

Do not allow those dregs to get their hands on your mail in ballot!  Do NOT vote by mail.



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Pastor Caspar's Commentaries - The Real War

The real war is a spiritual one and has been one since the Garden of Eden. It is not the conservatives versus the far left or President Trump versus Mr. Biden, nor is it Black versus White, Red, Brown, or Yellow, and it is not the USA and UK versus China and Russia.
Today's battle is now Humanity versus the Globalists.
Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
None of what is playing out upon the world stage is about your health or wellbeing rather it's about an Orwellian Totalitarianism world take over.
We are to occupy until the Lord Jesus returns. Luke 19:13," And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come."
Fight back overcomers, trust Papa God for every detail, and stay in faith! Jesus said in Luke 21:15, "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.' I say hallelujah! Because "All", things are possible with God! I pray the Lord's supernatural peace, healing, provision, and protection cover you always with oceans of agape love in the almighty name of Jesus/Yeshua!
PASTOR CASPAR
{Be sociable and share}



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