Some Songs By Keith Green


Keith Green

Keith Green

Keith Green was primarily known as a Christian singer & songwriter. He was one of my favorites ‘back in the day’. So I thought it would be fun to share a Youtube playlist of some of his songs with you, enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL14CA66EBC8ECF411

 

 

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 21 – Conclusion 21 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

This is the final post of this article written by Keith Green. I hope and pray you enjoyed reading it as much as I did posting it.  Someone said  ‘If your favorite author isn’t dead, try picking someone else’. I have found that most of the currant Christian authors are shallow and unscriptural.  They seem convinced that for some reason that the Gospel needs to be recreated to make it more meaningful and in the process less demanding. A gospel devoid of repentance and lacking the Cross, is no gospel at all. Consequently their followers exchange any hope of eternal glory with Jesus Christ for a shallow worldly ‘best life now’.  So I offered this series to you as an example of what the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is compared with what is being taught in our churches today. My prayer is that as we ‘meet God in the closet’ that we will be emboldened to stand up and proclaim the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. — D.J.H.

And now we come to the end of this “Bible study.” Yes, that’s just what it has turned out to be. I hope you will take the time to look up each of the Scriptures given, and see for yourself what God has said in His Word about all these things. I realize that these articles will step on many toes, and some might even be deeply offended, but that is not my intention at all. My only prayer is that through this little effort, many will begin to take up the cross and preach the good news of our salvation with the same power and anointing that Jesus promised and gave to the early Church, and that when we ministers stand before Him on that great day, we will be able to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith . . . I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ” (2Ti 4:7; Rom 15:19), so that we may hear those sweet words from our King’s lips, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mat 25:21)

Beloved family, the world around us is going to hell. Not because of communism, not because of television, not because of drugs, or sex, or alcohol, or the devil himself. It is because of the Church! We are to blame! We alone have the commission, the power, and the truth of God at our constant disposal to deliver sinner after sinner from eternal death. And even though some are willing to go… into the streets, the prisons, foreign lands, or even next door, they are taking a watered-down, distorted version of God’s message which He has not promised to anoint. That is why we are failing. And unless we admit that we are failing, then I’m afraid there is no hope for us or the world around us. We have the choice between causing eternal tragedy for our whole generation, or bringing our beloved God a whole family full of “good and faithful servants.”

Please pray over all of this. God is waiting to meet you in the closet. (Mat 6:6)

The following list is a list of books for further in-depth study on evangelism and the content of the Gospel:
Today’s Gospel by Walter Chantry – The Banner Of Truth Trust
Finney On Revival by Charles G. Finney – Fleming H. Revell Co.
Gems from Tozer by A. W. Tozer – Christian Publications, Inc.
That Incredible Christian by A. W. Tozer – Christin Publications, Inc.

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 20 – “The Follow-Up Program” 20 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

There is one last great mistake being committed in the name of evangelism. It is rightly called “follow-up.” I say “rightly called” because it is following up the same miserable and incomplete gospel with a miserable, incomplete, and false replacement for what the Bible calls “discipleship.”

Our “follow-up” usually consists of a “packet of literature,” which almost always includes a complete list of all church services and functions. This “packet” also may include many “essential” items like a complete Bible study on “tithing.” Also enclosed is usually at least one tithe envelope. (It’s amazing that this is one “principle” that nearly every new believer learns right away!)

In my studies of the life of Jesus, it has amazed me that He never had “a follow-up program.” It was usually His habit to let people “follow Him up.” He never had to go door to door, looking for that fellow who He healed last week, wanting to share another parable or two. He always seemed to have the attitude of, “If they want life, then they’ll have to come and follow Me.”

Can’t you see what fools we are? We preach a man-made, plastic gospel. We get people to come forward to “the altar” by bringing psychological pressures that have nothing to do with God. We “lead them” in a prayer that they are not yet convinced they need to say. And then to top it all off, we give them “counseling,” telling them it is a sin to doubt that they’re really saved!

(Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion to the series.)

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 19 – Bumper Stickers, and “Christian” Slogans 19 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

It pains me to see the beautiful truths of Scripture being plastered about like beer advertisements. Many think it is wise to “get the word out” in this way but, believe that we are really just inoculating the world with bits and pieces of truth – giving them their “gospel shots.” (And we’re making it hard for them to “catch” the real thing!) People become numb to the truth when we splash our gaudy sayings in their eyes at every opportunity. Do you really think this is “opening them up to the Gospel”? Or is it really just another way for us to get smiles, waves, and approval from others in the “born-again club” out in the supermarket parking lot, who blow their horns with glee when they see your “Honk if you love Jesus!” bumper sticker?

What about those “other sayings”? You know, the quasi-biblical ones, like “Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet,” which can really be a horrible replacement for “I’m sorry.” (And besides, it puts the blame on the wrong person – “The reason I’m such a creep is because God isn’t finished with me yet.”)

And if you really want to play “Stretch the Bible” there is that other fabulous excuse that absolutely ends all quests or expectations for holiness: “Christians aren’t perfect… just forgiven!” Ah, how convenient. You might just as well say, “Christians aren’t moral, just forgiven!” or what about “Christians aren’t nice, just forgiven!” How about the ultimate? “Christians aren’t saved . . . just forgiven!” (That might be a little too deep.) What we’re saying by this glorious piece of prose is, “Madam, you cannot trust your teenage daughter with my Christian son, you’d better keep your eye on him . . . he’s not safe . . . he’s just forgiven!”

Maybe I’ve gone a little too far to make a point, but I think the world is completely sick to its stomach with our sayings and “witnessing tools.” It’s time for us to be expressing the truth with our lives, and then the whole truth of God with our lips!

(Tomorrow I’ll post the 20’th section)

PROOF TEXTING


Pretzel

Twisting is totally OK for pretzels. Twisting God’s word is totally unacceptable.

I want to introduce what may be  new phrase to you:  ‘proof texting’. Though the phrase may be new to you, the concept isn’t a new one, it’s been around forever. ‘Proof texting’ is when a preacher wants to prove his point using the bible. So he searches scripture and finds one that he feels can be used regardless of the context or topic, the Holy Spirit originally intended. I always called this ‘scripture twisting’.

The danger in ‘proof texting’ of course is that rather than presenting the Word in the way God intended, the preacher presents his own ideas instead of God’s truth.  Rather than ‘rightly dividing the word’, he makes the scripture say what he wants it to.

The Bible is God’s Word and you need to approach the study of it seriously and prayerfully. You need to ask for and rely on the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance. When you study the Bible you should consider several things:

  1. When was the passage written?
  2. Who was it written to?
  3. Where was it written?
  4. How has it been historically understood?
  5. Why was it written?

When was the passage written? This is important because you need to understand the historical context to comprehend what God was speaking to his people at that time.

For example; in Jeremiah 25 the captives of Judah in Babylon are told that their captivity will last seventy years. This was written 70 years before Babylon was overthrown by the Medes & Persians and Israel returned to Judea from their captivity.

Who was it written to? Is this a specific word to a specific people at a specific time? Or is it a timeless truth that applies to all of God’s people throughout the ages?

For example: in Exodus 25, Moses gets instructions from God about building a tabernacle. Obviously we are not being instructed to do that today. This is a specific word for a specific time. In John 3:16, Jesus says (ESV): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life..” This is a timeless truth.

Where was it written? Was the author writing in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek? What concept did they intend to convey? How did their native culture & language influence what they wrote?

For example Paul in his letter to Titus quotes the Greek philosopher Epimenides:  ”One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”. Here you see Paul, in the Holy Spirit, using a cultural reference Titus would understand.

How has it been historically understood? Often modern preachers and authors in seeking to discover ‘new revelation’ have seriously erred by ignoring what the word itself says as well as what the Church has historically believed and taught.

For example: Consider Job, in Job 1:1 he’s described as ‘blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.’ James 5:11 referred to him as blessed and steadfast and uses his story as an example of God’s mercy. Down through the ages this story is used to encourage people who were going through tough times to persevere and keep their faith and hope fixed on God for the final victory. But to some today, Job is a fool. An ‘unbelieving’ believer who needlessly suffered calamity just because he wouldn’t watch his mouth and trust in God. Taking Job 3:25 out of context, ‘ For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me’.  They ignore what God Himself had to say, and in the process blaspheme God, calling Him a liar. Ignoring that God never once blames Job for his supposed ‘negative confession’. Instead these scripture twisters join the chorus of Jobs false-friends who slandered and accused him assigning  sin and blame to Job. God rebuked them then, and will also eventually rebuke the scripture twisters of today. Their god is too small and bears no resemblance to the One True God. Seeking to establish control over their lives by manipulating what happens in their lives with their words, they replace the sovereignty of God Almighty for the pitifully inadequate sovereignty of self.

Why was it written? What divine purpose did God intend? What truth is God seeking to convey? What is the theme of the book?

For example: 3 John 1:2 has been wrongfully used to teach people that God wants them to be both healthy and wealthy. KJV: ‘Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth’.

But when you read in a modern translation like the ESV: ‘Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.’. It becomes plain that the writer in his greeting to the recipient was simply expressing his best wishes. Reading the entire letter in context it becomes clear that the letter is written as an apostolic instructions about to handle visiting believers not about the recipients health or financial situation.

In conclusion, as believers we need to hold ourselves and our preachers accountable for how we use the Word of God. Beware of anyone claiming ‘new revelation’,  or taking verses out of context. Take the time and trouble to emulate the example of the Bereans in acts 17 who listened to the teaching of Paul and then checked to make sure that what he was preaching was actually in the Word.

Steve Jobs: Epic & Legendary Failure?


Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Image via Wikipedia

The whole world is talking about, if not actually mourning the tragic passing of legendary tech and business leader, innovator, entrepreneur,  Steve Jobs. His story is fascinating and many people are inspired by his life. And yet what did Steve really achieve? In the greater scheme of things was  he really successful? Where is he now?

Oh I know his financial net worth was far greater than mine will ever be. And he was far more famous than I’ll ever be. You could without exaggeration describe his life as having been ‘significant’, or ‘epic’, or even ‘legendary’. By every measure the world uses his life was tremendously successful.

The Lord Jesus talks about such a man in Luke 12: 15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (NASB)

In the end, it doesn’t matter how rich or famous you or the world thought you were. If you make being ‘significant’, or ‘epic’, or even ‘legendary’ a priority in your life you are in danger of spending eternity in Hell. This isn’t what God wants for you. God wants you to seek Him out. God wants you to be rich toward Him.  When Steve Jobs appeared before God the question of how much money he had, or how famous he was, never came up. The only question that mattered was “Is his name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?” (Revelation 12:15) .  The only way to heaven is through the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. It’s sad to say that Steve Jobs was a life long Buddhist. In God’s eyes that doesn’t make him anything but a bankrupt,  epic, legendary, failure.

Consider some of the following scriptures:

  • He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)
  • For what hope has the godless when he is cut off, when God takes away his life? Job 27:8 (NIV)
  • We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. Psalm 39:6 (NLT)
  • Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1Timothy 6:17 (NIV)
  •  10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11“He is theSTONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERSbut WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. 12“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” ACTS 4:10 – 12 (NASB)

How about you? Where is your treasure? Don’t waste your life pursuing fame, money, or power. Pursue God. You can only find Him through His Son Jesus.

The Emperor’s New Clothes


Painting of Andersen, 1836, by Christian Albre...

Image via Wikipedia

We’re all familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s legendary tale The Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s the story of the vain and self-absorbed ruler who spends all his time and treasure on looking good. Two con-men decide to take advantage of the Emperor’s vanity by convincing him that they can make him a fabulous new suit out of cloth so fine and light that anyone who was unfit for their office or uncommonly stupid would be unable to even see it. The two scoundrels spend hours locked away in a room supposedly sewing the new suit. The curious Emperor sends underlings to check on the progress. The two ‘tailors’  show the new clothes being worked on to the underlings, none of whom want to be called incompetent or uncommonly stupid. All agree that the completed suit is marvelous to look at. Finally the completed new suit is delivered to  the emperor, who puts it on and goes for a stroll so that all of his subjects can admire his glorious new suit. The Emperor’s subjects  realize that it would definitely be politically incorrect to admit being unable to see the new suit so everyone expresses their admiration of the Emperor and his new clothes. Everyone of course except for one little child who exclaimed, “The Emperor’s naked!”.  Everyone else then started shouting out “He’s naked! He’s naked!”. The Emperor finally comprehended that he had been hoodwinked, but he was so full of pride that he could not admit the truth and continued on with the procession.

Many leaders in the American church today are like this vain and foolish emperor in H.C. Andersen’s story. They rule over their congregants with an iron fist, demanding unquestioning loyalty and obedience. They are overly impressed with themselves and the pursuit of their own fame, wealth, and glory. They make wild extravagant claims about themselves and their ‘anointing’. They are experts at whipping the emotions of their hearers into a frenzy. They promise miracles of every kind but very few ever actually occur. “Do you need a miracle in your life?” they scream. “Then just come up to the altar and let Jesus heal your job, your marriage, and your crappy personality!” They’ll pull bible verses out of context and teach their followers that if they repeat the verses often enough – like some pagan incantation – and believe hard enough, then God will fulfill every selfish desire they’ve ever had. Provided of course enough money is ‘sowed into the ministry’. The amazing thing is that when God doesn’t give them what they want, the people hear: “You didn’t have enough faith.” or “You didn’t confess the Word enough.”  or “You didn’t sow enough money ….  to get your ‘miracle”. Do you notice the onus for failure is always on the people, never the preacher or the falsehood of the message he preaches.   The cycle repeats leaving a trail of broken and disheartened people.

Everyone in their circle of influence goes along with what the church emperor says. No one wants to admit that there is no substance or truth to the message and face being labeled spiritually incompetent or uncommonly stupid. But in reality even a little child can see the foolishness and deception being practiced. Indeed anyone who is willing to compare what the bible says versus what the religious emperor says will – like the little child in the story – proclaim “He’s naked! He’s naked!”

In Matthew 18:2,3,4 (ESV) And calling to him (Jesus) a child, he put him in the midst of them 3and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

So do not be taken in by a lot of slick talking. Check what you hear with what God says in the bible. Don’t be fooled into trying to make the bible say what you want it to say. Remember the apostle Paul’s word to the Corinthians – For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NLT) and 1 Corinthians 2:3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. 

You see, by the power of  the Holy Spirit a real man of God speaks little but accomplishes much. A false man of God speaks much but accomplishes little.

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