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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our Hope and Our Faith Part 1


1 Peter 1:20-21, “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

For all of this century and the better part of last century there has been an unabashed, enthusiastic, and merciless assault on the Christ, the singularity of Him, the nature of Him, the uniqueness of Him, and the divinity of Him.

From without and from within the church, wherever you turn nowadays there is someone somewhere eager to besmirch the name Jesus, to minimize His importance in our redemption, to lower Him to nothing more than a nice guy who said quaint things that made a lot of sense, but nowhere near the only begotten Son of God through whom we come to believe and have life everlasting.

Men today are no longer servants of Christ, they are spiritual people, with spiritual awareness, and spiritual sensitivity, who are open to the possibility of there being many paths to God, and even to their being many gods in what we, as open minded global citizens, have come to term Zion, paradise, heaven, Valhalla, Nirvana, Arcadia, Elysium, bliss, or the Promised Land, depending on your flavor of spirituality and the doctrine you’ve formulated all by your lonesome regarding the afterlife.

Each god gets a patch of real estate wherein they entertain their most loyal of servants, and rather than hold true to the Biblical edict that there is but one God and one heaven, we’re teaching people that it’s more like the United States of Paradise than one singular place.

If the devil is fighting this hard at trying to accomplish something for so long, in this case minimizing the need for Jesus, our first and most important questions must be, why?

The devil is not your friend. He is not trying to expand your thinking, he is not trying to make you a better individual, nor is he attempting to make you more tolerant and all-embracing for your spiritual betterment. So why is he trying so hard to do away with Jesus?

Because he knows the truth of what Peter asserts, a truth much of the church seems to have chosen to ignore, the very true reality that it is through Christ that we come to believe in God.

Without Jesus, there is no path to God. Without Jesus, there is no way, there is no truth, and subsequently there is no life.  

The enemy has one purpose, and that is to keep as many of God’s creation out of the place Jesus went to prepare for those who believe. He will do all that is in his power to do, he will lie, cajole, misrepresent, obfuscate, omit, and pull every underhanded trick you could possibly imagine and twice as many that you likely couldn’t, to derail you from the path, and compromise you in some manner or fashion.

To believe that the enemy is giving advice to Christians out of the goodness of his heart and because he is such a magnanimous fellow, is as funny and simultaneously impossible as one political party giving sage advice to the other as to how they could better win elections.

People who shoot themselves in the foot are not long for this world, and the enemy’s been around long enough to know better.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Time of Our Sojourning Here Part 5


We’ve become averse to talking about difficult topics. We’ve grown averse to broaching and delving into difficult things, taking a page out of the world’s book and just glossing over them or pretending they do not exist. The more we pretend the worse things get, the worse things get the more callous we become, until a ‘pastor’ giving aids to the parishioners he slept with is half a story at best, and the fact that he refuses to step down from the pulpit is treated with uttermost indifference.

It is downright scary how quickly we’ve descended into the mire and how few in the church voice any opposition to it. The sheep are told to know their place, the leadership appropriates powers and indulgences they have no business appropriating, and we hobble along as anything of virtue, anything noble, anything good and wholesome gets dismantled piece by piece by the godless among us.

‘But it’s okay, it really is, we’re on track to meet the budget this year, and break ground on the new building which will outshine the old one, and have a nice shiny cross on its roof that can be seen from space.’

Perhaps somewhere on a subconscious level, many have realized their messages lack power, substance, Christ, repentance, holiness, the cross, and self-denial, and as such have no power to transform anyone. It is because of this inescapable reality that they need the projects, and the events, and the distractions just to keep people placated and distracted from the reality that theirs is a hollow spirituality.

We wander aimlessly about, comforting each other with the tired adage of ‘well get them next time’, or ‘we may have lost the battle but not yet the war.’ But why? Why are we losing battle after battle, why is the darkness never impeded and the light always sacrificed? Why do we make concessions, and give up ground, why do we keep making our arguments only halfheartedly, and why is there always some apologist in the church who is ready to stand up for sin and insist that we must understand it and learn to live with it?

It is likely I’ve said this before because it’s true, but it bears repeating, it is because much of what we call the church today is itself compromised that we are so timid and fainthearted in our defense of truth.

Confronting sin in the church is a difficult thing. Confronting sin in the leadership of the church is an all the more difficult thing, and this is why much of the time it is the world that exposes the dereliction of church leadership rather than the church body exposing it.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, it goes back to the genesis, to the root cause of why the church is in the sad shape that it’s in, and among the many reasons is the absence of the fear of the Lord.

When we fear the opinion or even backlash of the world more than we fear God Himself, when we try to accommodate the darkness rather than defend the light, then we are become a detriment to the household of faith, and an unfaithful servant to our Master.   

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where We Go From Here


As perfect storms go, the one currently brewing is a doozy. If this were a military assault it would be like looking at simultaneous attacks from air, land, and sea, with little to no ability to mount a defense, never mind an offense.

It seems like every day I see ten different things I can write about, but I’ve come to realize it is all low hanging fruit. The nation has chosen sin over God, rebellion over obedience, and now, everyone’s part of the evening, the bill is coming due and we’re all thinking we got overcharged.

We didn’t. God keeps good records, and though we might have forgotten about it, or dismissed it as innocuous, everything we have done as a nation in diametrical opposition to His will and ways, every decision we that broke His heart, every sin we embraced and virtue we rejected, is itemized and accounted for.

This weekend I travel with my brother and a friend to pray for someone who is suffering untold pain. Please keep us in your prayers, and pray the Lord will do as He wills in regards to this situation. We know we serve a God who is able, a God who can heal and who can restore, and we have the faith that He will work in a mighty way.

When I return we will delve back into Peter’s first epistle to see what more the Lord would teach us.

I’m guessing you get enough Ebola talk from everyone else, so me piling on won’t help matters any. We fear not, for we know the One we serve. We fear not, for we have been buried with Christ, and with Him raised to a new life.

Will it get worse? Most definitely. The Book says men’s hearts will fail them for fear of those things coming, and looking at the current landscape of this broken world, one can already see a handful of things that would cause one to have palpitations, if not outright stop their heart.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fulfillment


How many warnings must fall on deaf ears before even God Himself is accused of crying wolf? How many unheeded messages and messengers, how many unheeded dreams, how many unheeded prophecies, how many unheeded calls to prepare and sanctify ourselves before even we must admit that God has been more than gracious, and merciful and patient with us?

How long before we, ourselves, begin to cry out for judgment rather than mercy?

Although ‘what’s the Lord saying’ is by far the most popular question I get in my correspondence, whenever things begin to heat up and we begin to see more pieces falling into place, a quiet hum becomes a roar, and I have to wade through e-mail after e-mail asking the same question over and over.

I understand the need or desire to want to know what the Lord is saying, but the Lord has been saying many things, for many years, all of which have gone wholly unheeded.

‘Humble yourselves, repent, turn from your wickedness, and pray!’

‘Yeah, we don’t want to do that, so, what else is the Lord saying?’

‘Prepare yourselves, sanctify yourselves, and steel yourselves for what is to come.’

‘I think we’ll pass on that one too…just tell us what’s going to happen and be specific.’

God has spoken, and He is still speaking, but He is not saying the things the church wants to hear, so the church has chosen to ignore Him altogether.

Even when He is specific, even when God in His love and mercy outlines everything that will unfold, if it doesn’t happen within a hair’s breadth of being uttered, well, then it must have been a false prophecy. We want the quick turnaround. Utter today, fulfill tomorrow, ask no more of us than what we’re already doing for the Kingdom, and we can all go about our business. Never mind the fact that God warns far enough in advance to give people time to repent. Never mind the fact that most true revelation is uttered far enough in advance as to be deemed improbable if not outright impossible at the time it is put forth. We took the initiative and changed the rules on God, and He’d better adhere to our new parameters, otherwise we’ll throw a hissy fit like the spoiled children we are.

So what is the Lord saying? There is one resounding message that the Lord is speaking today. It is clear, perhaps clearer than any other message I’ve received in recent years, and that message is fulfillment.

One word, but it encompasses everything we need to know concerning the season into which have entered. Fulfillment! Of what, you might ask? Of everything God has said is coming, of everything the Word of God forewarned us will take place in the latter days, and all the optimism and platitudes and wishful thinking and positive attitude in the world will not spare the unprepared from the horrors that are on the horizon.

Even those speaking messages of warning got caught up in thinking they had more time, that the things they had been shown were something afar off, perhaps ordained to take place after they would have passed from this life to the next, but we are seeing it is not so. The time is not afar off, the time is now, and if we are not in Christ, if He is not our anchor, our rock, our foundation, our refuge, our hope, our peace, our strength, our provision, and our joy, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

We have had ample time. But alas, time has run out.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Upended


We make heroes of monsters, and monsters of good men. We idolize the perverted and depraved, while mocking innocence and making light of hard work. We are barreling headfirst toward destruction laughing raucously all the way, not realizing we are the joke. We are the punchline the world is laughing at, and we no longer even entertain the idea that they’re just laughing with us. We now know they are laughing at us.

Everyone squeaks and squawks about equality, but equality isn’t really what anybody’s after. The desired result, what is being sought and pursued with vigor, is for the majority to be culled, made to heel, and to be ruled by a minority. This is the only equality that they will accept, and most people are indolent enough, concerned only with instant gratification rather than the long term effects of what is being done, to be bothered.

Give them bread, and give them circus, and the vast majority will care not a whit about what is being done behind the scenes, or the perilous edge their nation is balancing upon.

We treat more harshly one who forgets to feed their pet breakfast, than one who willfully murders an unborn baby. We laugh at sin, and refuse to acknowledge the consequences of it, finally finding someone else to blame for the shambles our life has become once the cancer of depravity has run its course and all that remains is an empty shell with broken dreams and a dark and haunted future.

The church, the one place that ought to be safe haven for the broken, bruised, and hungry has become home to thieves and hucksters, two bit con artists and confidence men who come up with wilder and wilder stories, promising bigger and bigger returns on one’s investment, hoping to snare another gullible innocent in their web.

Indulgences are readily available for the right price, and if you’ve got enough cash, you will surely find someone to talk you right through the pearly gates, into Abraham’s bosom, using the VIP entrance.

Maintaining one’s integrity in a climate such as this is becoming more and more of a struggle, especially when you know you can come up with better shtick on your worst day, than most of the oily peacocks prancing about on stage.

From time to time you find yourself growing envious of the naïve and ignorant as well. You know the ones, those waiting at the bus stop for one way charter to heaven, because at least for now, it seems their ignorance affords them a blanket of bliss that knowledge stripped from you long ago.

I find myself becoming more cynical and I don’t like it. I find myself looking for the angle, even with those who identify themselves as Christians, and the sad reality is that most often the angle they’re playing at isn’t very well concealed.

Worst by far, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that by and large the enemy has deceived much of the church into believing the lie that though they serve a supernatural God, He no longer does supernatural works. We are a world upended, and sadly a church upended, and because we no longer believe in the manifest power of an engaged God, we mistake darkness for light far too often, and reject truth as though it were a lie with startling regularity.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Save For the Gospel


At first I thought I missed it. I am by no means infallible, and though I’d read certain passages within God’s Word vehemently contradicting what I was hearing from not one, or two, but more and more preachers and teachers – and continue to hear to this day – I was open to the possibility that perhaps I’d read certain passages too fast, or didn’t see certain words as I ought have.

There were too many men claiming certain theories as undeniable fact, and doing so with such authority and vehemence that I began to wonder if I’d somehow missed the boat, if I’d somehow misread the Word and had for all these years decided to make life harder on myself just because I was striving for some unattainable figment of my own imagining.

Persecution hasn’t even started in America, yet more and more believers are looking for justification and permission to deny Jesus, save their skin, and apologize later. If, as some major Christian figures have stated we can be first in line for the mark of the beast and still make it into heaven long before the door is shut, who is a little denial of one’s Lord and Savior going to harm?

It’s not like we would really mean it, and we can always apologize after the fact, having been wise enough to spare ourselves undue distress.

Save for the Gospel, the excuses, justifications, and explanations we give to ourselves for having hypothetically denied Jesus if we were ever called upon to suffer for His name’s sake, are plausible and would even serve to appease our burdened conscience for a season.

It is the Gospel that dispels these childish notions, and clarifies this position once and for all.

I did. I wanted to be sure. I went back and read all the relevant passages, and though I find myself in the minority, I realize I didn’t miss it on this one, and when Jesus said, ‘If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven,’ He didn’t qualify it at all.

He didn’t say, ‘If you deny me before men, and really mean it,’ or ‘if you deny me before men and don’t cross your fingers before you do,’ or, ‘if you deny me before men and don’t apologize afterwards.’

Matthew 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

Mathew 10:38, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

Matthew 16:25, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My name’s sake will find it.”

Maybe it’s just my translation of the Bible. I’ll bet that’s what it is. There couldn’t really be that many preachers out there teaching things contrary to the words of Jesus just to placate the cowards in their pews could there?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no qualifiers when it comes to denying Jesus. You can’t do it just on Wednesdays, you can’t do it if you plan of apologizing after, and you can’t do it only if your life is in mortal danger. Jesus did not qualify His statement with any adjectives. He simply said, ‘if you deny Me, I will deny you!’

We can’t allow for personal opinion when it comes to Scripturally established issues, and though we might be tempted to twist ourselves into a pretzel trying to make these passages say something they don’t, the truth is far simpler, if ever more unpleasant a thing to contend with for the flesh.

‘Whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.’ Seems pretty straightforward to me, but then again, I don’t have the weight of a seminary degree to tilt my perception to the left.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

And So It Begins


It happened sooner than I thought it would, and that is not a good thing. A United States citizen was beheaded on U.S. soil, of all places in Oklahoma. There will be plenty of people trying to spin this story and call it workplace violence, or some other politically correct euphemism, but the reality is what it is, and no amount of spin can change it.

A woman was beheaded in America, by a man who professed to be a Muslim convert.

To all of you who left the lovely comments about me being a fear monger, hate monger, war monger, intolerant of other cultures and whatnot a couple weeks ago when I wrote my article on moral equivalency, what say you now?

How many will it take for this nation to wake up and realize that it’s not the Bible bangers, Jesus freaks, turn or burn crowd, or churchgoers that are the imminent danger?

Will it take five? Will it take ten? Will it take fifty beheadings throughout this country before it becomes impossible to cover up the truth of what is happening?

This is the inevitability of what occurs when you glamorize sadists. This is what happens when you show the guys in the ninja suits walking in slow motion, carrying their black flags in the desert, and never mention that they likely smell like stale sweat and week old sheep lard, or that they’ve likely never been privy to a running shower. Am I profiling? No, not in the way you might think. Are the brain dead among us going to miss the point of this post altogether and start ranting about how I’ve proven my intolerance?  It is likely.

We’ve romanticized murderers and homicidal psychopaths, but this is nothing new. It has been going on for long and long, from Charles Manson, to the two brothers in Boston a couple years ago, to a handful of others the mass media has decided to glamorize and romanticize as though they were something other than the sick and evil twists they are.

I have always been a prepare for the worst, and hope for the best sort of guy. Oddly enough, I think the worst most folks are preparing for is far less than the reality we will be confronted with will be. When you place butchers among sheep, even a handful can rack up a hefty body count.

For the most part, I cannot say most people are ill equipped, but they are ill prepared for the brutality with which these individuals are pursuing their agenda, and the inevitable reality that if such events increase in number and frequency, their lives will forever be changed.

What can we do but steel ourselves? What can we do but be prayed up, and certain of our place in God? What can we do but what we’ve been doing for long and long, and simply be faithful servants of Christ Jesus even unto death?

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.