I did a job for an elderly man today. Born in Italy, then raised in New York as a teenager. Ended up he is now a Baptist. 82 years old.
He told me he loved his great grandmother, and she always encouraged him to read the Bible and listen to the Lord. He said he ignored her completely, until he was about 40.
One evening he was flipping through the channels, and Billy Graham was on preaching. This was like the late 70’s. He watched and listened carefully. His great grandmother came back to his memory. The message provoked his heart. He knelt down in the living room and said, “Please Lord forgive me of my sins. I want my life to be for you.” I thought that was beautiful.
I didn’t try to correct this old man on anything he said. I just listened and smiled, and I kinda teared up a little once. He was speaking from his heart. I respected where he is at in his walk.
He did end up asking me where I went to church, and I answered him briefly, and ended our talk by sharing with him the meaning of the word Hallelujah, and left it at that.
We are not commanded to fix anyone. We are commanded to plant and water seeds, and let Yahweh give the increase. There’s likely a lot I wouldn’t see eye-to-eye with him about. I’m not big on Baptist doctrine, lol, but I love me some Baptists! 😃 The point is that I could have smothered him with feast days, dietary laws, tassels, or the lunar-solar calendar, and a whole bunch of other stuff... that yes is important, but would have turned him away had I became pushy and belligerent... like I see so many do on social media.
You’ve got to realize that people aren’t going to listen to anything you have to say if you just pound them over and over and over. The Bible isn’t to be used as hammer to nail people down.
“Do you ever get forceful brother Matthew?” Yes. Yes I do. Mainly when I’m talking to pastors who’ve been leading people for 20+ years and aren’t doing anything but making money off of folks. I get pushy. I may even seem a little mean. But I save it for those who should know better, not for people who are seeking for the truth the best they know how. Believe it or not there are so many good hearted folks in the world who walk in all they know to walk. Just like you and I do right now. Ain’t none of us got it figured all out.
I’d encourage everyone to take a deep breath, and just try to love people. “That never works!” Yea, yea, yea... It’s never worked for you because you have never tried it. You may have tried it for a day, but you’re flesh couldn’t stand it, so you went back to thinking you could pound the truth into somebody.
Please... slow down. Love people where they are at. Help them. Be a neighbor to them. Listen when they talk. Shut up for a while. Just be like the Messiah.
Anyhow... that’s been going through my head most of the day. ✌🏼
— So when I tell the wicked person, ‘You will surely die,' but he repents of his sin and does what is just and right — he returns collateral, makes restitution for what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without practicing iniquity — he will certainly live; he will not die. None of the sins he committed will be held against him. He has done what is just and right; he will certainly live. (Ezekiel 33:14-16, HCSB)
NOTE: Repenting of one’s sins means doing what is just and right. If there is no doing, there is no repentance. Repentance here is described as reversing one’s actions. Going from sinning to obeying.
— “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord! ' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21, HCSB)
NOTE: There is saying and there is doing. You can sing to the Lord. You can say you love the Lord. You can shout out “Lord, Lord!” with tears in your eyes. But it is only those who *do* the Father’s will that will be in the kingdom.
— Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don't start saying to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees! Therefore, every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 3:8-9, HCSB)
NOTE: These Judahites were saying one thing but showing another. John the Baptizer basically says, “Quit talking, and start doing.”
— They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work. (Titus 1:16, HCSB)
NOTE: Profession doesn’t equal possession. You can say you know the Almighty all day long, but be denying Him the entire time by your works. It’s no different than a man who tells his wife he loves her, but never spends time with her, never does anything for her, and cheats on her. Does he really love his wife? Would a wife trust him after years of abuse because he said he’d changed, or would she need to see works over time and re-build trust that way?
— But if anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8, HCSB)
NOTE: The way a person denies the faith here is not by saying “I deny the faith.” A person may never deny the faith by saying such, but yet they’ve denied the faith by not *doing* something.
— This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn't keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him: (1 John 2:3-5, HCSB)
NOTE: Again, we have people who say they’ve come to know the Creator. How do we tell who’s telling the truth? We look for the ones who keep the commandments.
It is error to base someone’s repentance off of their words. People say, “Well were not God, we don’t know their heart.” Listen... Yahweh has given us humans a way to know someone’s heart: by their actions. It’s no different than knowing which tree is an apple, pear, or peach tree. You know a tree by the fruit it bears. You know a person by the works they do.
Yahweh is not unable to save a person like Benny Hinn (or Ted Bundy, or any other criminal you want to name). I am not denying the saving power of the Almighty, or saying that anyone is out of Yahweh’s reach. People who have heard me preach or read my posts should know better than that.
I am saying that the proof of salvation will not be found by listening to a polished speech. You don’t even trust a used care salesman like that.
If someone’s known for ripping people off for the last 20 years at a used car lot, you don’t go to that lot. If you see a commercial where the guy says, “I’m different now. Good cars for a fair price are sold by me now. I’ve turned over a new leaf.” Do you march over there the next day and get all excited about the man’s change? Of course not. You judge his words by his actions from that day forward.
Over time, you can watch a person who says they’ve repented. Trust is built by repeated action. No one is perfect, but a repentant person will try to be. They will be sorrowful, and humble themselves because of the wrongs they’ve done. They will be okay with giving people time to see the change in their life. They won’t expect immediate acceptance.
If you’re comfortable with rejoicing over words that’s on you. I’m not. What Hinn needs to do is record another video clip him him explaining how he is going to repay people one at a time, and give his belongings away. He’s made enough money from preaching to last 100 lifetimes. It’s time to give back, and live the rest of his life frugally. Over time we will hear people’s testimonies of how Hinn gave them money to pay off their house or car, or gave people groceries, built people homes, etc.
He also needs to start teaching Scripture exegetically, or either step down and let someone else take over who can do so. Even in the clip he just rambles. There’s never any expository teaching.
Don’t be fooled by snake oil salesman. Know the Scriptures, or else the devil will deceive the heaven out of you. ✌🏼
I hesitated to post this, but I express thoughts here that I would otherwise probably hold in. It helps me mentally to get my feelings out.
My Grandaddy is sick, and I’ve been using all of my extra time to go and sit with him. Sometimes we chat. Sometimes I just sit there as he sleeps or watches TV land.
Grandaddy is one of the best men I know. He has shown me nothing but love for almost 40 years. I grew up beside his house, and then I lived with him in high school. I’ve never heard him complain about me, and he’s never spoken anything but positive words to me. In life’s biggest mistakes, he was there to hug me and tell me it would all work out. He would roll with it, and wouldn’t even get on to me when I’d mess up. The love he’d show would automatically make me want to do better.
I’ve watched him love and help people who couldn’t care less. I’ve watch him give to people who never intended to give back to him. I’ve seen him open his home to strangers. I’ve seen him show love and forgiveness to people that were undeserving. When folks couldn’t catch a break, Grandaddy would give them a break.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll have him here to talk to. I pray he gets better, but I realize it’s appointed for each of us to take our last breath. I’m spending as much time with him now, so he’ll know even more how much I love him. That’s what life is about anyway right?
The other day I sat there and watched him talk a little, and nap, and smile, and shake his head. I remembered how he would take me to the store when I was little; too many times to count. “You wanna’ go to the store grand-darlin’?” he’d ask.
I spoke up and said, “Grandaddy... do you want me to go get you something from the store? Anything?” He looked at me, and then looked away. About 30 seconds passed and he said, “I think I’d like a doughnut and a Coca-cola.” I told him no problem, and me and my sister went and got him (and Grandmama) some doughnuts. Grandmama asked “How many doughnuts are you gonna’ get?” I told her “I might get a dozen.” She smiled and shook her head. She wanted the chocolate ones. 😃
I love my Grandparents. They’ve lived in the same house since 1962. Grandaddy told me he built it for around $10,000. That was a while back, lol. It does my heart good to go back there and sit with them in this same house. I have so many good memories inside those walls.
I could probably write a book about him, but I’ll stop here for now. I may post a lot more as I remember, because he’s pretty much all I’ve got on my mind currently.
Thanks for reading a bit about my Grandaddy.
Abortion is a hot topic in our country at the moment, and should be a top priority topic at all times. I think the word abortion is an adequate word explaining the termination of a pregnancy, but the word does take the edge off what is happening. If what is inside of the woman is a human being, then to take the baby's life is not just "abortion," but indeed murder.
Development is Still Life
It is not different at 10 years, or 10 days or 10 weeks. The development of the human being inside the womb is just not as far along. Even David (my youngest son) at 10 years outside the womb is still developing. He'll get bigger, and taller, and change in appearance as he keeps growing. That doesn't make him less human at 10 years. A baby that is 10 days old or 10 weeks old isn't less human because he or she is less developed. They are growing just like David. They will grow into a more developed human, but they are still human inside the womb, just less developed.
Scriptures on Children Inside the Womb
According to Holy Scripture, when a woman becomes pregnant, what is inside of her is a living, breathing human being. It is not potential life, it is life. It is not anything less that a person.
In Genesis 25 the Bible says that Isaac (Abraham's son) prayed to Yahweh on behalf of his barren wife. Yahweh heard his prayer, and Rebekah conceived. The text says that "the children inside her struggled with each other." Yahweh told her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two people will come from you." Being inside a mother's womb does not mean you are not a person. Your location doesn't negate person-hood.
Exodus 21:22-23 says that when men get in a fight, and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born prematurely, but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman's husband demands from him, and he must pay according to the judicial assessment. If there is injury, then you must give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.
What is inside of a woman is called a child, and is able to be injured. An unborn baby is a life. He or she develops a tiny nose and fingers and toes. They wiggle around inside that womb. When a woman goes to get her first ultrasound, and the tech shows that little baby up on the screen moving around, the mama gets excited and often cries tears of joy, because they know what is inside of them is their child.
Listen to Psalm 139:13-16: "For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began."
Legal does not Equal Lawful
Those verses are not hard to understand. I believe every single person, Christian and non-Christian, theist and atheist, knows what takes place inside a mother's womb. Some have just deceived themselves into thinking that if it is legal it is okay. Brothers and sisters, everything that is legal is not lawful. There have been many unjust things pronounced legal in history. Slavery and abuse of black people was once legal in this country. That doesn't make it lawful. Abortion is legal now, in some states up to the day of birth. That doesn't make it lawful.
I honestly do not believe that anyone thinks what happens inside of a woman's womb isn't a human life. I think everyone, even the most staunch abortion proponent, knows that what is growing inside a woman is a baby human. My reason for thinking this is not hard to see, because when anyone tries to get pregnant, and gets excited when a pregnancy test shows up positive, what are they excited about? What does an atheist actress or singer who gets pregnant, and poses as pregnant for a magazine; what does she get excited about? A clump of cells? Something that is not life? Something that doesn't matter?
Does Choice Change Things?
The way the abortion argument is framed ends up with this way of thinking: "If you want the baby it's a baby. If you don't want what is 'growing inside of you,' it's not a baby." They leave it up to the choice of the woman. Does anyone really believe the choice of an adult woman decides whether what is growing inside of her is a baby or not? No one really believes that. People just suppress knowledge. They deny what they know deep down inside to be true.
Pro-Life Outside the Womb
"Well if you are against abortion then you need to be helping mothers with babies, and adopting unwanted children." Okay... I agree. How does that argument go in favor of abortion? No one person or one family can help everybody, but we can all help someone. In our communities we can help struggling families, or single mothers (financially, watching babies, welcoming them into church, etc.) Christians are actually the greatest percentage of people who adopt. Twice the number of Christians (in the US) choose to adopt, when compared to the number of all other people.
The answer to such a statement about being pro-life outside the womb, is to be pro-life outside the womb. The answer is not to start being anti-life inside the womb.
It's My Body!
"Well it's my body!" No, it is not. You are created. You belong to your Creator. Your Creator gave you your body. He formed your body. You may only do with your body what He allows you to do.
The argument that "it's your body, so you can do with it what you want" ultimately leads to an acceptance of suicide and euthanasia. Someone wants to take their own life? It's okay, and it's okay to assist someone else who wants to die in taking their own life. Is that the road we want to go down? Do we want to start playing Yahweh?
It's Dependent on Me!
"But what's inside of me is dependent on me! Therefore I decide whether it lives or not!" Is that how we normally treat things dependent upon us? My grandson Bowen is dependent upon his Mama to live, and he's almost 8 months (when I initially wrote this) outside of the womb. If she stopped taking care of him, and left him in an abandoned field he would die. Does the fact that he is dependent upon her now, mean his life doesn't matter?
Do we normally treat people or even animals that are dependent upon us with neglect or care? We care for them. When someone depends upon us, we give them extra care, going above and beyond to help them, and protect them. If what is inside of a woman depends upon the woman for life, that should be an argument in favor of doing everything possible to take care of that little, bitty human.
Problems with the Baby
What about finding out there is something wrong with the baby in a womb? Women in my own family have been told by doctors that something could be wrong or that something was wrong with their baby. I don't want to make light of this. It is devastating, at any stage of a child's life, for the mother (and father) to find out that their child may be sick, or disabled, or have special needs when they are born. It's devastating because we want our children to have the best life possible. We don't want our children to suffer in any way.
But let me ask you? Why would we NOT want to give a special needs child life? Sure, they may not be able to hear, or see, or talk. They may have to be pushed around in wheel chair. Some are not able to stand. But some of the most special moments I've ever seen, is when parents with special needs children care for their children.
I'll never forget the time I saw a daddy lift his two special needs daughters from a van into wheelchairs, and push them into the movie theater to enjoy a movie. You think that daddy doesn't want those girls? Special needs people are people, and they are special people. Oftentimes special needs people are vastly more appreciative of life than someone who is entirely healthy. They need a shot at life too. We shouldn't decide to take it away from them.
The Mother's Life?
What if the mother's life is in danger? This is an argument you hear a lot from the pro-abortion side, as though it is the main reason they want abortion to be legal.
Did you know that cases of the mother's life being in danger are less than 1% of abortions? This isn't the primary reason behind the legality of abortion in our nation or other nations on the earth.
That being said, there are some extreme cases where the difficult choice must be made between the life of the mother, and the life of the baby. I realize that there have been people that have had to make such a decision. And such a decision would be so awfully hard to make. If Tisha and I had been faced with that decision, it would have been done in the midst of sorrow, and weeping, and utter devastation. I don't know what we would have done, but regardless, I hurt for any mother (and father) that has had to go through that. I do not treat it trivially, and if anyone reading this has gone through such, I am terribly sorry for any loss you've had, whether mama or baby.
But this is not the primary concern for lawmakers that are pro-abortion. We recently had a pro-abortion bill passed in the state of New York, that allows for a mother to abort her baby up to the time of birth. And when it passed, there were cheers, and claps, and smiles. That's disgusting. Had such a bill been passed with sorrow and weeping, then I might believe that such lawmakers were genuinely concerned with the unborn life. But such is not the case.
As I close let me say something to the women who have had an abortion in the past, and now regret it. You've prayed over and over for forgiveness. You wished you had made a different decision. You long to hug your child in your arms now. You long to be able to teach your child to say mommy and daddy. You wished you could sing to your child, and hear them laugh. Dear mother, you are forgiven. The blood of Christ cleanses you from this sin. Yahweh sent Yeshua so that we could be forgiven of this sin, and many other sins against His law. That's the gospel. That's the good news. If we confess our sin, and repent of our sin, the blood of the Son of Yahweh cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:5-10).
I know it's hard, because in spite of me trying to reassure you of your forgiveness in Christ, there are some days you don't feel forgiven. I know this, because it happens to me to. I know I've been forgiven of my sins. But some days, I just don't feel forgiven. The weight of my past sins in my conscience haunt me. I don't feel like getting out of bed. I don't feel like going to work. I just feel like laying there crying, because I hurt my Creator, and my neighbor, and I want a do-over. It's just something I deal with, so I know how it feels, to feel unforgivable.
So... I preach the gospel to myself, just like I preach it to other people. We are far away from Yahweh, but through the blood of Messiah we are brought near. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve. He has not repaid us according to our offenses. He's removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. He forgives us, because His perfect Lamb paid the penalty for our sins, was resurrected from death, and went to heaven as our high priest.
I'm not saying your hard days will ever end. I have stretches of time, sometimes months, that I'm good, but then a hard day comes. I'm not saying some kind of magic words will make it all stop. I'm just saying that when these days come, and you don't feel forgiven, know that salvation is not dependent upon how you feel, but upon what Yahweh the Savior has done for you in and through His Son Yeshua. Salvation is not a feeling; it is a reality in spite of bad feelings.
Mother... if you've confessed your sin, and repented of your sin, you are forgiven of your sin. I say that as a minister of the gospel. I love you, and most importantly Yahweh loves you.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.