FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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THE COUCH POTATO AND THE ATHLETE

26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant. . . . 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 25:)

24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (1Cor 9:)


Often in the Scriptures the Christian is referred to as an Athlete or a Soldier. Besides the obvious commands to put on armor and to be obedient; there is the implication as well as the Commandment to Subject our bodies and to Strive to be the Winner. (Eph 6:10-18; 2Tim 2:3-4; 1Cor 9:24-27)

In other words; like a Soldier at war, or an Athlete competing in the Olympics, we are to press ourselves to the limit and dedicate every part of our time and our energies and our heart toward that which is most important to us. (Phil 3:11-14)

If you do not chose to be a dedicated Warrior, and if you are not prepared to die for the cause and your goal - you don't join the Army.

If you are not prepared to press yourself to the very limits of your ability, and take the chance of not gaining the Winner's Crown, that is of suffering the disgrace of being a loser, than you had best not enter the competition.

Jesus expressed it this way

26If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it: 29lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' (Luke 14:)

And

24Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Mat 7:)


Many churches today are training Couch Potato Christians. If yours is not, do not be disheartened, just grab your cell phone and a phone book and call around, you will find one without having to exert too much energy. And if you don't feel up to that, just turn on the TV and you will find plenty there without even having to leave your sofa.

Isn't Technology great? You can Wing your way to Heaven without having to lift a finger these days. I wonder why Jesus didn't think of this?

 

"NO TIME"


In this Modern Age our time is demanded of us by every conceivable distraction. It just isn't fair, is it?

Up until the middle of the last century (1950), and still in some areas of this country, and in many others countries, time was available for the important things.

Fields had to be plowed by hand, cows had to be milked, water had to be carried in from a well, (not to mention the outhouse in winter).

Wherever a person traveled, which was often long distances, like town or school, they had to walk unless they had a horse or camel.

If you wanted a fire in order to keep warm or to cook a meal, you had to cut down a tree and chop it into firewood.


Clothes had to be washed by hand, and very often made by hand as well. No refrigeration or dishwasher or vacuum cleaner was available, only a bucket, a brush, and maybe a cellar in which to keep food a little cool.

And the list goes on.

But these people still took time to eat together, sing together, and help one another out when there was a need. They sat around the fire and told stories, played table games and shared their lives with one another.

People made it a point to read the Bible and attend church (where churches were far away and had to be reached by buggy or foot, and Bibles were expensive).


People found time at a time when time was dear and hard to find.


Today we have every conceivable convenience - yet we have no time.

Time is taken up with needful things like sports, the Rose Bowl, the bar and parties, hanging out at the mall, and other such necessities of life.

And should a moment or two be found, it is absorbed with important things like TV, the news, or the computer.

Very little time is left for such luxuries as Family, Spouse and Children and the things we all know that if there was time to be found, we would certainly spend it with those we "love."

And down at the bottom of the list we have the most important of all; that is, that which we would most dearly love to do - if we only had the time -- Read the Bible, and Pray, and especially do that which God desires us to do.


Now, the churches of today say that you can continue living just as you are, and still make it to Heaven. In fact, the chances are you have been told that you will be given just as bright a halo, and just as full a set of wings as that person who has dedicated every particle of their body and soul to the Lord. And there is even a good chance that you have been told that you will be one of the few to make it to God's Kingdom because you belong to a certain church (that has only existed for maybe a hundred years or so, if even that) while everyone else will be going straight to hell.

Lucky you!


All of that sounds wonderful - to the carnal mind. It pleases us to be told we can get the most for doing the least. (Come to think of it; isn't that the same philosophy con artists use to get what they want from greedy people?)

We are told that God is Love, that He is a Santa Clause, that He is just sitting on a cloud waiting for the day He can rapture all the fine Couch Potato Christians into Heaven where He can enjoy their company forever as they sit on a cloud and play a harp all day.


Interesting theory; and certainly one that will bring in the sheep for sheering (by the churches). After all, isn't it more appealing to do what we want all day and be given Heaven, than to struggle all day in some other religion, then have to go to hell anyway?

"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die." Doesn't the Bible say to do this? Yes it does. Let's take a look at that Scripture;


19And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." (Luke 12:)


Yep, there it is, and even spoken by Jesus Himself. No reason to get off that sofa after all, God Himself told you stay right there. Just for the fun of it though, let's take a look at the next verse, shall we?


20But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'


Earlier we made a list of priorities for our time. First on the list, of course, were things that satisfy our desires, make us happy, messages our Ego.

Next come those things that relaxes us, that prepares us for our next day of work and eating and drinking and making merry.

Then come those things that we would like to do, if only there were more hours in the day; that is - family.

And lastly, the things we probably should do, that is, they seem important, but the preacher doesn't stress them too much, and besides, who really cares or notices if we do them anyway. After all, don't you usually snap off a quick prayer (once in a while) at mealtime; and go to church, when there isn't a good game on TV or if the weather isn't too good, or too bad, or if there is weather at all?

After all, what more could God expect of such a fine person as yourself?


It appears as if God isn't so fair-minded. It's almost as if He created us for His purposes, and not for ours. It's almost as if He thinks just because He created this entire creation He can make up His own rules. And I suppose that wouldn't be so bad, if He made up rules we are glad to follow - like letting us do what ever we want to do, like the church tells us we can do.


It's as if God looks at things from the opposite direction than us; upside-down. Like our list for instance; God seems to think we should put Him first! He seems to think we should completely dedicate every bit of our body, soul and mind to Him - and even suffer persecution and death if it serves His purpose.

Does that sound fair?

Then, as if there would be any time or energy left, He seems to think we should dedicate it to our family ! He even seems to think we should think of them before ourselves, to do what they want instead of what we want.

After all this, if there is any time or energy left, we might get a little time for ourself. As if !

And all of this to gain what? Just Heaven? Just Eternal Life? Just to be rescued from a Pit of Fire?

Absurd. It's far easier, and more reasonable to just listen to and believe what the Preacher tells us instead of what God might have to say. After all, look at the success others have had listening to what their Preacher said, like Jim Jones and David Keresh. Not only that but look at the other fine organizations that have published books that supercede or overshadow the Bible; they seem to be growing by leaps and bounds; so surely they must have the "truth."


In this day of Reason and High Intellect there is no reason to listen to God - after all, who does He thing He is? God?

We can just continue to lay on our sofa, watch church on TV, and read books telling us how wonderful we are just as we are, and how we can have anything we want, just by investing in those books and TV programs.


19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in thekingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:)


REFERENCES


6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Cor 9:)

3Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (2Tim 2:)

11If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:)

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore 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. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Eph 6:)


 

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