Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Thank You

 No long post today. My O key is sticking, as are my K and L, and I have to take my laptop in and get a new keyboard. It’s annoying. What should take me thirty minutes ends up taking me an hour plus because I have to go back, cut, and paste the letter O wherever it didn’t strike, and that’s just a new level of torture for someone comfortable at a hundred words per minute.

Even so, whether you read what I write on the blog, Facebook, or the Hand of Help website, I wanted to say thank you for doing so. You are my defacto beta readers, in case you haven’t caught on, and I appreciate you for catching the things I miss, like the crowns versus crows saga. For those of you that don’t know, you missed it.

Given what currently passes for prophetic nowadays, and that at least one person insists we will have pet dinosaurs in heaven, maybe we get the crowns and the crows as pets. They can be a nuisance for the pet dinosaurs, pecking at them as they fly through ice cream land.

Anyway, thank you. Hopefully, they can do what they do in a timely manner, and I can get back to it. As an aside, do you know how many words you need to type to wear out the keyboard on a laptop? I do.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


 If the enemy’s going to go through the trouble of sneaking someone into a church to sow doubt, his target isn’t going to be some tertiary thing but a fundamental one. The enemy is not out to cause division among the brethren regarding whether we should pray standing up or kneeling but about things like the sufficiency, supremacy, and Lordship of Jesus.

Jesus is no longer the objective but a means to an end, a way by which we attain what our hearts truly desire. If He is not the desire of your heart, if He is not the object of your pursuit, if He is not your all in all, the enemy succeeded in derailing you from the path. Things that matter, matter, and one need only look at what the agents of darkness are attacking within the household of faith to understand what those are.

The enemy desires to leave the children of God powerless and rudderless. He wants to separate the children of God from either the Word of God or the power of God, both being necessary components for a healthy spiritual life. One guides, and one gives the strength required to endure. One sets the course and determines the destination; the other provides the requisite energy to reach it. A Christian without the presence and power of God will falter and flail, grow weary, and lose confidence. A Christian without the Word of God will fall for lies and falsehoods because the litmus test is missing from their life.

My daughters are getting to the age where they’re asking prescient questions, especially the older one. Most mornings, when they wake up, they’ll find me in my chair with my Bible and a cup of coffee beside me. The other day, after saying good morning, Victoria scrunched her nose and asked, “Why do you read your Bible so much, daddy? You have other books on your shelf, but every morning you’re just reading the one.”

I waved her over, and she came and sat in my lap, and I explained to her that the Bible is the only book of its kind. It not only tells us where we come from, who we are, who we ought to be, where we’re going, and how to get there but what we will find once we arrive.

Think of yourself as a kite. The wind that propels you is the power of the Holy Spirit; the Word of God is the string that keeps you from blowing all over the place. It’s through His Word that God keeps us on course as we fly higher toward the heavens. 

The enemy’s target is the foundational tenets of the gospel. Those things that are not given to debate but are yes and amen, without equivocation or qualification. The enemy’s minions might not start out attacking those tenets, but that’s where they always end up. Some take a circuitous route to their objective, and others make a beeline for it, but their targets, the things they will focus all their energies on, are the salvific issues of the gospel.

Their goal is division, doubt, and destruction. Without a firm hand on the rudder and a steady eye that can see the dangers and avoid them, any congregation of any size is susceptible. Personally, I believe the bigger a congregation, the easier it is for the enemy’s minions to creep in and begin slithering their way into positions of authority where they can do the most damage.

It’s difficult to be swayed by someone you barely know and trust even less. The enemy’s agents are willing to invest time and resources and earn trust and deference so they can then turn around and cause as much havoc as the situation allows.

The best way I can describe those who creep in is like the sleeper agents certain governments are said to have embedded in the United States, living everyday lives and staying under the radar until it’s time to act and do what they were sent here to do. We’ve seen the unfortunate effects of what a handful of determined souls can do, going so far as to cripple a nation the size of America. What do you think a handful of well-placed people speaking lies and tickling people’s ears can do?

The men Jude speaks of are demonstrably evil, men who were long ago marked out for this condemnation, meaning that in His foreknowledge, God knew they would exist, what their intent would be, and that they would be a dangerous threat to the wellbeing and spiritual wellness of the church.

Before we can let the entirety of the church wriggle off the hook and just blame the agents of Satan for the chaos that is being wreaked throughout Western Christianity, if there were no demand for extra-biblical, flesh-elevating, materialism-centered teaching, there wouldn’t be such a vast supply.

The world calls it success modeling, where you find someone that succeeded in your field of choice, then you model their actions, the idea being that since they were successful doing what they did, you too will succeed in like fashion.

The genesis of the problem is how we define success in the church. If we define success the same way the world does, by flaunting big buildings, big bling, and big budgets, then it goes without saying that we will devote all our energy to full bank accounts rather than preaching the truth. When we come to realize that the less truth we preach, the bigger our accounts get, and money being the metric by which we measure success, the more successful we become, the truth we dare to preach becomes infrequent and eventually ceases altogether.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, May 29, 2023


 There is no value in imitation. It may be flattering to the person being imitated, but as far as having value, especially when it comes to spiritual matters, there is none. The sons of Sceva thought they could fake their way through casting out a demon, but the demon knew better. Something happens when you are in the presence of Christ. A change takes place, a transformation occurs, and that part of Him that now resides in you is what the devil is afraid of.

Seven young men in the prime of their life got wrecked by one man in whom an evil spirit resided, and the moment he leaped on them, they realized things weren’t going to go the way they’d envisioned it. It must have been a sight, watching these seven brothers plan their assault. If it had existed back in the day, they surely would have sung the song about having the enemy under their feet.

The only problem was that they were trying to buy real-world goods with monopoly money, and the evil spirit sniffed them out faster than they could form an offensive. Second-hand knowledge of Jesus won’t do anyone any good. That your momma knows Jesus won’t help you any, and that you know a guy who knew a guy that got saved won’t do a thing to further you toward your own salvation.

The soul that sins will die, but by the same measure, the soul that repents, is washed by the blood of Jesus, and is reconciled unto the Father will live. That we would be so disinterested regarding eternity that we outsource our knowledge thereof to someone else is incomprehensible to me. If your pastor knows Jesus, it doesn’t mean you do. If they study to show themselves approved, it doesn’t mean you have.

The issue isn’t a lack of resources or a lack of time; it’s a lack of prioritization. You find a way to make time for the things you want to make time for. The things you want to find, you will find.

If you’ve got time to catch up on the last thirty seasons of Days of Our Lives because you used to watch it with your mom before she passed, and it’s nostalgic for you, you can find time for Jesus. The question is, do you want to? If not, why not? If the desire to be in His presence doesn’t fill you to overflowing, have you really met Jesus?

The absence of hunger and desire for the deeper things of God by those professing to be His is a harbinger of the overall spiritual condition of the church. We got to this place because we allowed ungodly men to convince us that we can substitute Jesus for other things and somehow still remain mighty warriors, full of the spirit, and ready for battle. Because for some, it’s been ages since they’ve been in the presence of Jesus, when they finally encounter the enemy, their experience will be akin to the sons of Sceva.

There is a difference between imitation and counterfeit. There are times when imitation is innocent enough, wherein someone is so impressed by an individual’s oration that they attempt to mimic their style, but when it comes to counterfeits, the intent is always nefarious.

When something is counterfeited, it is done with the purpose and intent of passing it off as the real thing. Always and without fail, the thing being counterfeited has a considerable amount of value. Chances are you’ll never see a counterfeit penny because there is no value, perceived or otherwise, in counterfeiting such a meager denomination. Likely, you’ll never see a counterfeit dollar bill either, but the higher the denomination, the more chances there are of running across a fake because it becomes more tempting to try and copy one.

By the same logic, the devil doesn’t counterfeit worthless things. Jesus didn’t warn us to beware of false tambourine players or false praise banner waivers. He did warn us to be on guard against false prophets and false teachers. There are two critical takeaways from Christ’s warning that we would do well to meditate upon.

First, if He warned of false prophets, we must allow that there are true prophets. The enemy would not counterfeit something that didn’t exist; he would no longer be a counterfeiter; he’d be a creator. If no true prophecy existed, what would be the point of false prophecy? What would be the point of false teachers if no true teachers existed? Even the warning itself would have been worded differently if all there were was false prophets and false teachers.

The second takeaway is that it’s not beyond the average believer to spot the counterfeit, the false prophets, and the false teachers. But how will we know that they’re lying? By knowing the truth. Simple enough if you’re willing to take the time and learn the truth.

When discerning whether someone is a false teacher or a false prophet, you must strip away their likeability, their dress, their presentation, their delivery, and their fame until all you have is the message itself, the words that they speak, then take those words and compare them to what the Bible says. If what they say contradicts the Bible, if, as Jude says, they are attempting to turn the grace of God into lewdness or deny the Lord Jesus, then you know the truth of it.

It is at this moment that you must choose to walk away and reject their deception. The only problem is that most people don’t because the deception sounds so good, they’d rather live a lie than surrender to the truth.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, May 28, 2023


 People will try to make an idol out of a true shepherd just as readily as they will a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The only difference is that the true shepherd won’t allow it; the wolf will. True shepherds know that all they are is men in service to the King. The wolves, false teachers, and false prophets see themselves as kings searching for a kingdom, a lord searching for a fiefdom. Their intent is not to serve but to be served, and whenever their authority is challenged, they react instinctively to protect their piece of the pie.

Their notion of love is anchored in words, while they expect everyone else to reciprocate with action. It’s not really the sheep they love; it’s the wool the sheep provide. Some realized this, belatedly so, when they fell on hard times and needed help with funeral expenses or an electric bill, and they were turned away by the same pastors whose churches they tithed to for decades.

Evidently, the blessing of prosperity is a one-way, dead-end street. It flows to me but not to thee. You can’t tell me people’s opinions about God don’t change when the supposed man of God has been telling them they’re one sacrificial love offering away from their breakthrough for twenty solid years, with no breakthrough in sight. It’s usually not the man they get embittered toward but God because, in their minds, the two are inexorably linked. The man behind the pulpit made sure it was so. It was the only way he could exude authority over them.

We laugh off the pulpit pimps of today, thinking them benign and inoffensive, but they are not, and when their poisoned fruit is fully ripened, there will be scores of souls so turned off by the idea of God that they will actively seek to persecute those who still cling to the hem of His garment.

When someone loves you only so long as you can provide a service or some benefit, and their affection is based on your ability to provide said service or benefit, it’s not love; it’s exploitation. Why does this matter? Why is this important? Because we have entered a season where a lot of the selfsame sheep certain false shepherds have been fleecing will be in dire need of help.

The worm is about to turn, and with its turning, a famine will descend upon the land the likes of which this present generation could not conceive, nevermind live through. I was recently asked in an interview what the best thing a local church can do to prepare for what’s coming, and other than pray and draw closer to God, I suggested a benevolence fund that would be used to help those within the church as the need arises.

Interdependency on each other, and total dependency upon God, is the only way I see believers getting through what’s coming. The body must take care of the body. If your thumb or toe is hurting, you don’t just take a cleaver to them; you try to remedy the hurt as best as possible.

While some dread the inevitability of hardships in America, I believe there will be some benefit to it. No, I don’t want to see people suffer or go hungry; I’ve seen enough of that in my life. However, generations go through cycles of feast or famine and have since the beginning of creation, and they come at such regular intervals that a pattern has emerged. What’s coming cannot be helped, but in the midst of it, you will know the true shepherds from the false ones with the clarity and force of being stirred from slumber by a punch to the nose.

The true shepherds will do their best to comfort the hurting and keep their flock safe, while the false ones will disavow themselves of their sheep the moment they can no longer provide the life of leisure they feel they’re entitled to.

It’s hard to convince someone they’re being used when they see it as love and affection. After a certain point, even when they start to see hints of something being off, they soldier on because they invested too much time and emotion to admit they were wrong.

I acknowledge that you may feel as though we’ve spent too much time on this topic. Still, we need to understand that it won’t be just one thing that will lead to a falling away so great that the world has yet to see one its size; it will be a confluence of things that will come together in a symphony of destruction.

It will affect the unprepared the hardest. Those who sat under shepherds that were disinterested in their spiritual well-being or the level of preparedness for what the Bible says is coming will be caught unaware. When they will need to lean on their shepherd for support, he will be nowhere to be found.

It’s up to you to pick your shepherd, so pick your shepherd well. Are they more interested in sparing feelings or saving souls? Are they more interested in embracing the current culture, or are they determined to march against the tide of compromise and sin?

Take as much time picking your shepherd as you would your dentist or hairdresser. I know that’s a stretch for a lot of people, but if the only factor as to whether or not you will attend a church is how long the service is and if it ends early enough so you can be the first in line at the Old Country Buffet, you’ve got a problem that needs fixing.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, May 27, 2023


 In his exhortation to the Ephesian elders, Paul described two types of dangers that would assail the church once he was no more. First, savage wolves would come in among them, and second, men from among them would try to draw away disciples after themselves. The latter category wouldn’t be trying to draw disciples away to themselves by preaching the gospel or speaking the truth but by speaking perverse things.

The more I read what Paul wrote to the Ephesian elders, the more questions I have. It goes to reason that if someone saw a wolf approaching, they would either try to chase it off with a stick or anything handy and with a point. If they couldn’t manage to fend it off, they would at least bar the door so the wolf couldn’t get in. That Paul knew with certainty that savage wolves would come in among them tells me that Paul understood the mechanisms by which the enemy infiltrates a church.

Jesus forewarned His disciples before Paul met with Him on the road to Damascus. He elucidated the matter by warning that the wolves would employ camouflage to worm their way into the congregation of the saints.

Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

The easiest way to creep into any congregation is to declare yourself a prophet of the Lord and say that you come with a message from the almighty. Because the only scriptures we know by heart nowadays are the ones about the good measure that will be pressed down, shaken together, and running over, such individuals have an easy time gaining access to the ears and hearts of the sheep.

Especially if the message they’re supposed to declare to the church body has to do with their pastor and how the Lord will use him to win the nations, or something equally boisterous, like being the first missionary to Mars, they’ll have free reign of the pulpit for as long as they need. By the time anyone’s the wiser, seeds have been planted, the division has been sown, and heartache and heartbreak are soon to follow.

It’s easy to spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing because he’ll be speaking perverse things and things demonstrably unbiblical. They may start out mimicking a true believer, but eventually, the mask comes off, and they start to feast. If you’re not prepared for the eventuality that a wolf may attempt to sneak among the sheep disguised as a sheep, sharp fangs will be at your throat before you can sound the alarm.

Because everything nowadays must be nuanced, save someone burn their esophagus because nobody told them coffee was hot, the barometer, plumb line, and litmus test as to whether someone is a wolf, a false prophet, or a false teacher is the Bible. Not your opinion, not whether you like their delivery, not whether you think they’re overdressed or underdressed, or if they have a beard, a goatee, or that streamlined look I gravitate toward nowadays.

My grandpa was a preacher, my dad’s a preacher, and I’m a preacher too. Each had different delivery, cadence, sermon structure, and energy level. That never entered the equation, as it shouldn’t. Although my dad’s soft-spoken, my grandfather was more enthusiastic, and I fall somewhere in the middle, we all strive to be biblical.

Don’t confuse not liking someone’s delivery or the fact that they’re a topical preacher rather than an exegetical one for them being of evil intent. Content matters more than delivery, whether expository, textual, or topical. Are they honoring Jesus as Lord and King? Are they preaching the gospel? Are they rightly dividing the word?

Not everyone can be everyone else’s cup of tea. There are preachers I can’t listen to because their tonal range irritates my ears. That doesn’t mean they’re not biblical; I just don’t like their voice. And so, rather than listen to their sermons, I read what they write or leave the captions on and mute them altogether.

Some of the guys I like you may not like, and that’s fine as well, but whomever you gravitate toward as far as your spiritual nourishment, make sure they’re Biblical! Don’t just do it once and forget about it; sample the food to see if it’s still nourishing. People change. I’ve seen it. It’s sad and disappointing, but we soldier on toward the prize and the crown.

I can’t even count the number of restaurants I stopped going to because something changed, and the food was no longer good. Whether it was new management, a new chef, or a new supplier, the food wasn’t worth the drive, the wait, or the money. That’s why I like gas station grilled cheese sandwiches. They never disappoint. Even when they do, they’re only a dollar.

Some people live with the memory of how good a place was until they go back and realize it’s not what it used to be. Very few remain consistent through the years, and to those that do, God bless you, and may you never compromise.

Right now, you’re thinking to yourself, is he talking about restaurants or preachers, or both? I’ll let you decide. For now, I’ve made myself hungry with all this talk about food. The question is, will I riffle through a few pages of Gurnall’s tome, or will I go get a grilled cheese?

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr 

Friday, May 26, 2023


 There is good intent, evil intent, and there is biblical intent. Although not always mutually exclusive, good intentions can be subjective, and depending on who defines the good and how broad a definition one uses, good intentions can end up far from being biblical. This is why it irks me when I hear someone say they had the best of intentions, but when you dig a little deeper, you discover they really didn’t because if they’d had the best of intentions, they would have had biblical intentions, and they wouldn’t have ended up being mocked by every half-wit on late night television.

It’s because you didn’t have biblical intentions that you ended up being a punchline, Ted, not because the devil was out to get you. At least he wasn’t out to get you any more than he is anyone else. When someone offers you a massage, and you bring the baby oil, that’s complicity. At any point, you could have rebuked the devil, thrown the baby oil out the window, along with the meth, gone back home, and repented for the rest of the evening. But you didn’t, and not because the devil made you do it, but because you wanted to.

There is biblical, and then there is everything else. It’s a simple principle, uncomplicated, straightforward, yet sparsely applied in today’s church. Biblical doesn’t get clicks. Biblical rarely fills pews. You need to have a hook, something to set you apart. I’m waiting for the first ventriloquist pastor to appear on the scene. He'd probably draw a crowd if he could go for a while without breaking character. He could even use the dummy to say biblical things that modern ears find offensive, then blame it when people get upset.

“It wasn’t me; I’d never quote that verse; it was him; the dummy did it.”

Intent matters only insofar as being able to trace it back and determine the reason for the outcome of a situation. Sometimes good intentions go horribly wrong from the start; other times, it takes a while for them to marinate before things begin to fall apart. Sooner or later, whatever is not built upon the foundation of Scripture will be shaken and crumble into the dust.

We’re seeing it with the exodus taking place in most major denominations. They suspended biblical teaching to appeal to a broader audience because they were told that’s what the sheep were clamoring for. Once the sheep got what they wanted, they realized they were wholly underwhelmed and disillusioned.

God knows what you need, and more often than not, it’s contrary to what you want. The household of faith does not exist to service your wants but see to your needs, and not the needs of your physical man, but the needs of your spiritual man. You had one duty! That duty was to feed the sheep of God’s pasture, not make them feel good about their unibrow, ingrown toenails, or the extra fifty pounds they were carrying around. It wasn’t to help them balance their checkbook or teach them how to color coordinate. It was to preach the gospel.

That’s the difference between a job and a calling. You make compromises in order to keep your job; you sacrifice to walk in your calling. There are individuals behind pulpits today that do not believe Jesus is Lord, that do not believe He is the only way, truth, and life, and that do not believe in heaven or hell. These are not shepherds over small congregations but some of the biggest in the nation.

A job’s a job, it pays well enough, and you only really have to work one day a week. Why upset the apple cart by preaching the gospel? Why risk offending those helping facilitate your rock star lifestyle by being biblical?

Some of the current luminaries know deep in their hearts that they couldn’t have made a go of it in any other field and been as successful. When you have the intelligence level of an apricot but are worth tens of millions of dollars, you won’t risk rocking the boat. I fully expect some of them to have enough self-awareness to know that nothing else they could think of doing would be as profitable, so whatever they have to do to maintain their current lifestyle, they will do without question.

We’ve seen how readily some fell in line, encouraging those who looked to them for guidance to do things that were not in their best interest. What subcategory of preaching the gospel does coercing people into doing something they feel uncomfortable doing by claiming Jesus would have done it does that fall under?

The individuals Jude is focusing on are not those with good intentions that went off the rail but those with evil intentions who have nothing of light, truth, or Christ in them. He, along with Paul, John, James, Peter, Luke, and Jesus, made it abundantly clear that such individuals are among us. They’re not outside the church lobbing Molotov cocktails; they’re inside the church trying to burn it down.

With those on the outside, it’s hit or miss. Their shots don’t all hit the mark, but those inside have greater accuracy because they don’t have to aim as far. Learn to discern the difference between true shepherds and those whose only purpose is to fleece the sheep.

Acts 20:29-31, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023


 When I was younger, I wanted to be an archeologist. It was something that drew me, spoke to me, and fascinated me all at once. One of the hard and fast rules about any archeological site is never to dig too deep too fast. You don’t use a shovel where a brush will do, and you take your time, even though everything inside you is screaming to open the sarcophagus.

Even though you want to get the crowbar and pry it open, you must document your find in situ, take pictures or charcoal rub if you’re old school, and ensure you’re not missing anything of import.

You brush off layer after layer of thousand-year-old dust, dirt, and grime because the journey, the experience, and the work itself are as exciting as the payoff. You know it’s going to end at some point, but you don’t want it to end. Even so, you can’t drag your feet either, so you find the perfect balance of efficient but unhurried.

This is how I’m approaching the book of Jude, and with each reading, upon waking, something else bubbles to the surface, ready to be uncovered and studied. That’s the beauty of God’s Word; it’s layered, and one pass-through just won’t do. There is always something more profound if you’re willing to be patient and use the brush rather than the shovel to get at it.  Part of you is whispering, “Get to the good stuff,” but the sensible, rational part is quick to point out that it’s all good stuff.

It doesn’t matter how fast you run if you’re running in the wrong direction. The faster you run, the further you get from where you want to go, and at some point, stubbornness sets in, and rather than admit this is not the way, you double down and commit to continuing your journey. The mindset that we’ve come too far to turn back now is dangerous, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. The only thing that matters is whether or not we’re running in the right direction, and if we discover that we are not, it’s never too late to change course. Are you running toward life? Are you running toward Christ? Or are you running in circles trying to balance a divided loyalty?

Depending on the direction in which you’re running, you will gravitate either toward the truth of Scripture or the fairy tales of men. You will either accept uncomfortable realities pertaining to the Bible because they are true or embrace fanciful lies because they are palatable and allow you to remain in your comfort zone.

Are you growing in your faith? Are you growing in your discernment? Are you growing in God? If so, you are headed in the right direction. If, however, you find yourself spending less time in His presence and not being bothered by it, if your desire has shifted from knowing all of Him to experimenting with sin, then the direction you’re headed in is incompatible with an eternity in the presence of Christ.

There are those who parrot foolishness out of ignorance or because they believe it’s the fastest way to grow a congregation, then there are those who were long ago marked out for this condemnation. Those who do it out of ignorance are still open to correction because their intention wasn’t to deceive; they just believed something they shouldn’t have.

Those who are marked for this condemnation know precisely what they are doing, what they are teaching, and the effects it will have on the household of faith. They come into the church with the singular intent of destroying it and will use any form of deception, coercion, falsehood, and Scripture twisting to reach their desired result. You don’t give a wolf the benefit of the doubt when he says he thought you were a chicken rather than a lamb.

When you confront one such as these and refuse to fall for the narrative that they were just asking honest questions or voicing honest opinions, their last line of attack will be of a personal nature, accusing whoever stood up to them of being unkind, unloving, and intentionally hurting the sheep. The enemy and his minions will always be first out of the gate, accusing others of whatever they’re doing. It helps take the focus off of them, and if the sheep are easily swayed, they may even end up chasing away the shepherd and getting the flock all to themselves.

If you’ve never been embroiled in church politics or the attempted takeover of a ministry, consider yourself blessed and fortunate. It’s unpleasant, to say the least, because usually, it’s people you trusted and counted on stabbing knives into your back as though you were some juicy piece of meat. Getting stabbed by strangers hurts bad enough, but when it’s someone you count as a friend, it hurts much worse.

It’s not at all an easy thing to contend with and save for the knowledge that you are where God told you to be doing what God told you to do; you’d likely throw your hand up in frustration and go work the cash register at your local gas station.

This isn’t me imagining what it would be like to walk a mile in someone’s shoes; I’m speaking from lived experience. This is why you must be confident and fully convinced that what you are doing is what God meant for you to do; otherwise, the pressure exerted by the enemy is such that walking away is a very tempting proposition.

The devil is shameless and doesn’t care whom he hurts along the way in order to get what he wants. This is why it’s best that the ego dies and the flesh is well and truly crucified before you go toe to toe with his minions.

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


 It only takes knowing what the enemy targets to understand what he fears and considers calamitous regarding his plans. The two-pronged attack upon the church, as far as Jude was concerned, was turning the grace of God into lewdness and denying the only Lord God and Jesus Christ. Those were their two points of attack, and that’s what their entire mission revolved around.

It wasn’t about whether believers should or shouldn’t have beards or about whether or not they wear a wedding band. Nor was it about whether to call Him Jesus, Yeshua, or Lord. It’s not as though if you cry out Lord or Jesus, your message goes directly to spam or His phone flashes ‘unknown caller.’ We’re trying to convince people that the sinless Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, suddenly caught a case of sanctimony and pretentiousness and will not answer our cries unless they are formally submitted.

Sometimes all you have the strength for is to cry out “Help.” Exhausted, beaten, bruised, and barely hanging on, all you can do is let the tears flow and open your heart to Him, and that’s enough for Him to fill you with the peace that passes all understanding.

If you cry out to Jesus with brokenness, humility, repentance, and sincerity of heart, His answer will never be, “Why doest thou not address me in Hebrew or ancient Sumerian?”

Some of the things we choose to bicker over are childish on the best of days and a waste of time and energy every day. While we’re busy going back and forth about whether we should attend church on Sunday or Saturday or if we should attend church at all, the enemy’s primary focus is still to pervert grace and deny the singularity of Christ.

He’s not trying to convince anyone that there isn’t a god, a spiritual force, or a supernatural entity; the devil’s trying to convince everyone there’s a plethora. It’s like Baskin Robins. Why settle for one flavor when you can have thirty-one? Nine out of ten heretics approve! The tenth one thinks he is a god, and his narcissism won’t allow him to share the platform.

Perhaps that’s how they’re able to sneak in. We’re so distracted with the foolishness that we overlook the real danger. We’re at each other’s throats about issues that are not salvific, and the salvific issues get chipped away every single day.

Even a little doubt can cripple your conviction and hamstring your faith. It’s not that you’ll stop running toward the prize altogether, but doubt will make you slow your pace, and the more you give heed to it, the more corrosive it will become. With enough doubt and enough time, you’ll have once-professing Christians not only turn from the faith but become militant about opposing it.

They feel compelled to share their newfound atheism and declare its benefits as though they were part of some multi-level marketing scheme, and for every new person they convert, they get a free vacation. I never understood that level of compulsion. It’s akin to people who are part of a group that decides to part ways and must declare their departure publicly and vociferously. It’s not an airport lounge; you can leave without making an announcement.

Some people do it to elicit sympathy, others do it to elicit attention, and others still do it hoping someone tries to stop them. Still, whatever the reasoning, it’s self-centered and hedonistic to go out of your way to make sure everyone in the world knows you no longer belong to the Piggly Wiggly loyalty program.  

The devil sows doubt like a farmer sows seed. Your heart is the soil; if a seed can take root, it grows and spreads like a mint bush in your backyard. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, go buy a mint plant for a couple of bucks, and plant it. Three years later, you’ll have so much mint everywhere you’ll be forced to pull them from the ground, roots and all, just to save your grass. Mint is invasive. So is doubt. It will spread for as long as it’s allowed to spread and take over areas of your heart you had no intention of surrendering.

Jude saw the dangers and warned the church, but rather than taking his warnings to heart and being vigilant, they chose to ignore his writings as though he was of lesser spiritual mettle than other contributors to the New Testament. Is it possible we don’t give the half-brothers of Jesus the respect they deserve because we don’t like the things they have to say about heady topics we’ve predetermined the narrative of?

I keep returning to the principle of all scripture being by inspiration of God and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Once we accept that truth, our theology becomes more fleshed out, more complete, and not so one-sided and unyielding.

I’m well aware that we all have our favorite scriptures, our favorite doctrinal pillars, but we cannot exclude significant portions of the Bible just because they conflict with our view on a given doctrinal point. If both were under attack, most people today would defend their denomination rather than Jesus. Your membership to a given denomination will not gain you entry into heaven. Your being washed in the blood of Christ, sanctified, and set apart, will.

When it comes to setting up defenses, whether of a castle, or a belief system, you first prioritize the most important aspects of your defense to the least. If it’s a castle, your priority is defending every point of ingress, knowing that if the enemy can breach the gate or the walls, it’s all over, but for the body-positive lady singing.

When it comes to doctrine, whether there is carpet in the sanctuary or we let brother Rooster play his guitar during worship are tertiary matters compared to the Lordship of Jesus and other fundamental teachings of the Bible, basic principles that support the foundation of the faith. If we consistently focus on the superficial and let the enemy mutilate the essentials, we may win a battle here or there, but we will lose the war.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, May 22, 2023


The reason we fight to preserve anything is because someone else is doing their best to destroy it. If no opposition existed, if no enemy were to be present, there would be no need to fight, to contend, or to defend. It is because men attempt to pervert the faith and distort the truth that we must stand in stark opposition to their plans and machinations. It is because men speak lies that we must boldly proclaim the truth.

Jude said he found it necessary to exhort us to contend earnestly for the faith because the enemy was carrying out his plans, having snuck certain men in unnoticed whose purpose was as nefarious as their master. The church body may not have noticed that these men had crept in, but God did, and via the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, used Jude to send up the warning flares.

I always find it odd that after such men get exposed and their kingdoms are turned to dust, those left to pick up the pieces of their lives, dazed, confused, and discombobulated, insist that there were no warning signs that they weren’t the wholesome, caring, spiritual individual they claimed to be.

The guy said he was Jesus incarnate. That should have been a warning sign. He claimed such spiritual superiority and was so indispensable to the plan of God for the world that he got a special dispensation to do things God found abhorrent and unacceptable. That, too, should have been a warning sign.

Whenever anyone places themselves above the authority of the Bible and insists they are no longer accountable to Scripture but have grown past it, it’s a lie, and the individual in question is not to be believed. I know that’s what the Bible says, but God showed me something different should never be uttered by a true disciple of Christ, no matter the context. God does not contradict His word, either through prophecy, revelation, dreams, or visions. He is not the author of confusion and hasn’t changed His mind regarding repentance, holiness, sanctification, or obedience.

The reason men are able to creep in unnoticed is because their heresy is always shrouded in some amount of truth. If someone tried to poison you and handed you a vile of poison, you’d reject it outright. If they baked an apple pie, snuck the poison inside, and insisted you eat the whole thing, it would be harder to discern. Because it’s poison, the first bite should tell you something is off. Perhaps even the smell it gives off is not entirely as it should be, but the first bite is sure to set off alarms.

If it tastes funny, don’t take a second bite hoping the flavor profile changes. Put the fork down, push the plate away, and go spit it out. I’ve known people who’ve gotten horribly sick from eating bad meat, who, in hindsight, admitted that something tasted off, but they were really hungry and ignored it.

There is a caveat to what I just said: for you to know that the apple pie tasted off, you must be aware of what apple pie without the poison additive should taste like. Stop speaking in riddles, fat man; I don’t have that kind of time; Creflo Dollar’s about to come on. For you to discern deception, you must know what the word of God says! Concise enough?

If you never read your Bible, when a pompadour with gleaming teeth insists that the Good Book says an apple a day keeps the doctor away, you just shrug your shoulders and think to yourself, that’s a pretty good saying. Maybe I should go buy some apples.

If you do read your Bible and someone says that, you know they’re a fool, and you stop listening.

Reading your Bible makes you less likely to be deceived, discouraged, defeated, and disenchanted. If all you do is listen to men tell you what they believe the Bible means, confusion will be a constant companion, and what you believe may not align with the Word of God.

The enemy knows that a bit of leaven leavens the lump. So he’s not about to sneak his minions into a congregation where they start drawing pentagrams on the wall and insisting that Anton Lavey is the thirteenth apostle.

If the enemy went through the trouble of infiltrating a congregation, he would employ consistent subtlety to circumvent and undermine the truth. He will do as the serpent did in the garden and begin with a question: ‘Has God indeed said?’

If nobody is bold enough to stand in the congregation of the saints and declare, ‘Yes, God has indeed said,’ then the subterfuge begins, and ever so slowly, individuals are drawn away from the person of Jesus, the Lordship of Jesus, and the salvific power of faith, to pointless inanities.

When they’re called out, such individuals play the innocent, insisting that they were just asking an honest question and wondering out loud, usually in full few of many, why we’re so afraid of questions or if we don’t believe the Bible can stand up to scrutiny.

Even when they acknowledge that’s what God said, the next question is usually, “But are you sure that’s what He meant?” Oddly enough, whenever that question is asked, the individual never tries to err on the side of purity, righteousness, self-control, or virtue. It’s always something their flesh wants to do that the Bible tells them they can’t do, and they want to find a way around the written word.

I have long held to the belief that those who would pervert grace and deny the Lordship of Christ are not innocent or harmless but dangerous and cruel, not because I am spoiling for a fight but because the Bible tells me they are.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, May 21, 2023

What If?

 Fear of what could be, what may be, and what is likely to be, keeps many believers from contending for the faith. The devil is good at stoking fear and uncertainty, and every once in a while, you will hear a story of a pastor getting arrested or a grandma getting interrogated by federal agencies for the high crime of praying in front of an abortion clinic. Murderers and thieves can wait; we have real criminals to contend with!

It’s no accident that anything virtuous, moral, wholesome, or traditional is demonized to a degree heretofore unseen since perhaps the days of the apostles. If you are a follower of Christ, in the world’s eyes, you are, by virtue of your association with Him, a second-class citizen. Those who study history recognize the pattern and know what’s coming next. It can’t happen all in one fell swoop; Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all, but if you can manage to single out a particular class of individuals, isolate them, vilify them, demonize them, and dehumanize them, you can do pretty much anything to them, and no one will bat an eye.

I know what you’re thinking: this was supposed to be an encouragement to contend for the faith, but instead, you’re bumming me out. There’s no point in sugarcoating something that Jesus was very clear on. I’d rather you understand the situation upfront than nurture the misconception that the world will love and embrace you for your defense of truth and righteousness. They will not. They will hate you for it, attempt to silence you at every turn, and even justify the most hateful outbursts and actions. Freedoms may be well and good, but they end the moment you confront someone about their sin. In the words of a spoiled child with no understanding of the world, who is now, coincidentally, an honorary doctor in theology, “How dare you?”

That whole coexist thing only works as long as you fall in line and agree with every delusion some sycophantic loner comes up with. We can coexist as long as you agree with, validate, celebrate, and even venerate everything I say. Otherwise, you must die! What sort of monster would deny the existence of interstellar unicorns? I’ll tell you what sort, the sort that has no place in a civil society.

The way to get past the fear, to eliminate it altogether, is to determine what the worst-case scenario would be for contending earnestly for the faith and decide if you’re willing to endure it. Once you’ve determined that you are, then nothing that happens will shake your confidence, cause you to fear, or compel you to retreat.

The worst they can do is kill the body. That is the pinnacle of the enemy’s threat, and given that eternity is on the other side of your last breath, that’s no threat at all. Are you willing to die for the cause of Christ? If the answer is yes, then the fear of death no longer has sway over you.

I ran across a street preacher some time back who liked to stand outside of bars before last call and do open-air preaching. He said it wasn’t God who told him to do it; he just liked the excitement that came with the possibility of getting swung on by a drunkard. Judging the wisdom of his actions is not my intent, but the story he shared with me is.

I asked him if it had ever come to blows, and he said a couple of times, then proceeded to ask him what his most dramatic experience had been since he’d started doing this.

“There was this one time,” he began, “when a guy pulled a knife on me and said if I didn’t shut up, he’d kill me right then and there. I told him he’d be doing me a favor, and I don’t think that was the answer he expected. He put the knife back in his pocket and just walked away.”

Matthew 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

That was Christ’s take on fear, and being who He was, we can take His advice to heart. We can play the what-if game in our heads until we go mad, or we can defer to Jesus and determine that we will not fear those who can kill the body, no matter how fearsome they might seem at first glance. By the way, that’s always the case. The enemy always looks fiercest at first glance. Once you let your eyes adjust, you realize it’s not a hulking giant standing before you but a confused pimply-faced kid who likes to scream too much and doesn’t have the bone density to land a solid punch.

If you shy away from delusionally overconfident children, you’ll never make it before governors and kings.

Matthew 10:18-20, “You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

Fear is something you can regulate, it is something you can control, and it is something you can overcome, especially given the knowledge that it will be the Spirit of God speaking through you and not you alone. What have you to fear, even before governors and kings?

We are strong not in and of ourselves but in the Lord and the power of His might. We overcome not in our strength but in His. Why be afraid? Your life is forfeit anyway. Be bold, and have courage, God is with you, and He will not fail.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, May 20, 2023


 If someone is in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ, they are, by virtue of their rebellion, not under His authority. If they are not under His authority, then His authority cannot be flowing through them. If His authority is not flowing through them, whatever they say, no matter how fanciful, eloquent, and well put together, is dead and withered and lifeless.

Without Him, we can do nothing, and anyone who believes otherwise is lying to themselves. They are wells without water and clouds carried by a tempest. What is a well without water but a hole in the ground? There is no life, and those who thirst remain so even after they’ve put empty cups to their parched lips.

A cloud carried by a tempest is just as bad. Wherever the cultural breeze blows are where they go because they are not anchored in the Word, and the truth is not their foundation. Just because the world is becoming more permissive of sin and debauchery, it doesn’t mean the children of God should. The wind may blow, the storm may howl, and the rains may batter, but we remain steadfast in Christ, for He is life and the giver of life.

The illusion works for a while. It’s like when one person stands for no apparent reason, then another stands behind him, and soon enough, there’s a line that’s formed even though nobody knows why they’re there. They sit in a stadium, next to a bunch of strangers, being told for thirty-odd minutes that they’re blessed even though they don’t feel it, that they’re brave even though they know themselves to be cowards, that they’re sanctified by virtue of their presence, even though they are heavy laden with sin and vice. Since everyone around them is looking refreshed and rejuvenated, they pretend they are, too, because they don’t want to be the odd man out.

Nobody wants to be the first to point out that the emperor has no clothes, that there was no substance to the oration, no power to the delivery, and no direction for the soul. It was just hot air, but since everyone was so enthused by the inanities being put forth as gospel truth, perhaps they’re the problem. Everyone was clapping when the grinning guy said every day was a Friday; maybe I’m not seeing the profundity of it. I mean, today’s not Friday, and every other day but one out of seven isn’t, but perhaps he’s just plumbing the depths.

We’re trying to make sense of it, not realizing that the truth is simple and staring us in the face. They are long-dead corpses trying to convince other corpses that they are alive. An animated corpse is not a living child of God. A Christless Gospel is no gospel at all.

To belong to Jesus in name only is nothing more than a coping mechanism for those who have chosen to prioritize the love of sin over the love of God. Because their desire is not to please God but to continue in their sin, the only thing they’re looking to do is silence their conscience by being guaranteed fire insurance by some individual, reputable or otherwise.

When people tell you what you want to hear as opposed to what you need to hear, you tend to overlook a lot of warning signs and ignore a lot of alarm bells. It’s human nature to give the benefit of the doubt to those who are complimentary toward you and make you feel special. If someone challenges us, one hair out of place, and the Ichabod choir kicks in. If we used the same metric for picking our doctors as we do for picking our pastors, there would be a lot more dead people.

Such individuals can feign love, they can feign compassion, and they can affect devotion, but what they cannot feign is being sanctified and set apart. You can’t fake a relationship with someone you never truly knew. If you attempt it, the person you never met that you claim to be in love with will confront you, denounce you, and declare that they never knew you.

When we are renewed of mind, we receive the mind of Christ. Once we receive the mind of Christ, we pursue the will of God with the same single-minded devotion as Christ did.

John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me.”

I understand how difficult a thing it is to wrap our minds around the reality that it’s not all about us, especially in this present generation, but it’s not all about us. It’s about perfecting His will in us; for that to occur, we must die to self. You crucify your flesh not because you want to but because you must. Why? Because it is the will of God, and His will must be preeminent in your life. It is impossible to serve two masters, especially when their purposes are diametrically opposed. One wants to save you, the other to destroy you. One wants to kill you; the other wants to give you life. One wants to give you hope; the other wants to cast you into the outer reaches of despair.

Pick a master, but before you do, know two absolute truths: First, everybody serves somebody. Second, if you serve one master, you cannot entertain the other. To be removed from the vine is to be a dead branch. Dead branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned, or at least that’s the way it should work. Sadly, some among us have discovered that it’s more profitable to let the dead branches think they’re alive rather than gather them up. Fruitless though they may be, they still serve a purpose, although the purpose has nothing to do with their spiritual man.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Friday, May 19, 2023


 There is a descending order to authority that we would do well to remember. Only someone in authority can bequeath authority upon another, and that individual, in turn, was bequeathed authority by someone above him. The chain of command must remain intact for the authority to flow properly, and if the chain is broken, you are no longer operating under the authority of God but under your own.

Jude tells us that one of the ways we can uncover the ungodly men who have crept within unnoticed is that they will have an aversion toward authority. The way he words it, such individuals reject authority altogether because their purpose is not to do the will of God and further the Kingdom but to pervert grace and deny the Christ.

One who is in opposition to the will and purpose of God cannot sit under the authority of God. It would be akin to what silver does to a werewolf if werewolves were real. Now I will have the werewolf community up in arms along with the UFO community and the Beth Moore fans. My reach is getting smaller by the day, but that’s not what this was ever about, so I’m okay with it.

When someone is in authority over you, they have the right to not only give commands but make decisions on your behalf regarding everything. It’s hard for someone to think they’re a little god and be under authority to anyone else but themselves. This is partly the reason ungodly men reject authority, but it’s not the whole reason.

When you submit to the authority of Christ in your life, you are no longer your own. You speak what He commands you to speak, go where He commands you to go and do what He commands you to do. There is no argumentative debate, and there is no back and forth. An order is given, and you obey it. Since God would never undermine His kingdom, someone can’t be under God’s authority and deny the Lord Jesus Christ.

So let’s do in one sitting what would have likely taken you a semester in seminary as far as the descending order of authority is concerned. As novel an idea as it may sound, we will use the Bible to flesh this out.

Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Even though He had been given all authority in heaven and on earth, Jesus was still subject to the will of the Father. God had given authority to the Son, but the Son still remained under the authority of the Father.

Luke 22: 41-42, “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Jesus didn’t say, “I know this is what you want, but I’m going to use my veto power,” He submitted to the will of the Father, even though He’d have preferred not to drink the bitter cup.

Because God had given all authority to Christ, Christ, too, could, in turn, give the same authority to those who followed after Him. Because He remained under the authority of the Father, and they remained under the authority of Christ, His disciples were given the authority over all the power of the enemy.

Luke 10:17-20, “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’”

For you to flow in the authority of Christ, you must remain under the authority of Christ. This is why I have a hard time with individuals who are flippant about the things Jesus said, dismissing them as though their opinion were on par, if not superior, to the words of Christ. You are subject to His authority, not the other way around. You bend to His will; He doesn’t bend to yours.

John 15:4-6, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

I met you once, so long ago; I waved my hand, you said hello.

Do you remember Lord? Do you remember me?

When I said stay, why did you go? I bid you come, and you said no.

I said abide, you said someday, you knew I was the only way.

I pled and pled do not depart; you turned your back and broke My heart.

Abide - verb – to remain, hold on to, follow, and obey.

Verb – a word that shows an action, occurrence, or state of being.

But hey, Joyce Meyer said you were saved because you touched your television once, and she seems credible enough.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Thursday, May 18, 2023


 It’s a sad day when the children of darkness outlast the children of light in their endeavors. The enemy is well aware that this battle of ours is one of attrition, and if he can wear down the children of God, he will have the upper hand. I’m assuming you’re well-versed enough in the Word to understand that his advantage is temporary, but just because Jesus wins in the end, it doesn’t mean we’re no longer meant to occupy until He comes.

Just because we know how the story ends, it does not nullify our responsibility to our King and His Kingdom, nor does it mean we should stand on the sidelines, hand on hips, watching the world burn and wondering if there are any more marshmallows.

At least Jonah entered Nineveh and cried out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” before making himself a shelter and sitting under its shade. Most Christians today can’t even be bothered to do that. Is it laziness, cowardice, or indifference? Why is the average believer so reticent in standing up against the enemy?

The sad reality is that it’s not the devil that’s gotten stronger; it’s the believer that’s gotten weaker over time.  It used to be that believers relished being in the presence of God. They would gather together in prayer and supplication without the need to be dazzled or entertained. Nowadays, if a prayer lasts for longer than three minutes, you can see people starting to fidget, get restless, and have that sour look on their faces as though they just bit through a lemon.

If your adversary is more committed to their cause than you are to yours, you will fold.

When Paul threatened to turn off the money supply to the shrine makers in Ephesus, they got the people so riled up against him that for two hours, a throng of people cried out, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” Two hours! When was the last time you were in a two-hour prayer meeting? And you wonder why evil is spreading like a malignancy?

I am well aware that this is an issue we would rather ignore or pretend is not as crucial as it is, but the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is vile. Because we thought it would draw a bigger crowd, we substituted the essentials for the irrelevant, and we ended up with churches full of lukewarm people ignorant of the power of prayer, supplication, and even of God Himself.

We look upon the hoards, and rather than declare there are more with us than there are with them, we cower in terror, hoping they’ll leave us alone for just a while longer so we can open the cafĂ© in the church lobby as another income stream. Endurance is a cultivated virtue. It is not something you are born with; it is something you build up over time. That we lack the endurance to push back the darkness and grow weary before the other side even warms up should be an indictment against contemporary Christianity.

That the need for endurance, or prayer for that matter, isn’t taught in most mainline churches should tell you how inefficient and useless most mainline churches are. We are in a spiritual battle and aren’t taught how to wield spiritual weapons. Some, more than we would like to believe, aren’t even taught that they exist. You just take the mauling and hope you survive. But that’s not what the Book says. If they’d bothered reading it, they’d know.

We know the verse in Romans about being more than conquerors well enough but conquering a foe presupposes you fought him. It presumes that you stood toe to toe, gave better than you got, and saw your enemy felled.

We’re singing songs of victory before we’ve even engaged the enemy in battle. We walk about, puffing out our chests as though we singlehandedly defeated the hosts of hell when we haven’t bothered to put on our armor.

We can’t be bothered to defend the truth, never mind going on the offensive, but somehow we have the temerity to look upon those who came before us with disdain. They were too blunt, too direct, too unyielding, too uncompromising, too rough around the edges. They didn’t understand diplomacy the way modern preachers do. They didn’t subscribe to the adage that you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.

The only problem with that proverb is that you’re not trying to attract bees, you’re trying to win souls, and the vinegar you speak of is only vinegar to those who are perishing. To those who are being saved, it is the power of God. 

We keep trying to fix something that was never broken. We keep trying to find new ways to circumvent the old path, thinking that we know better than God and concluding that the number of bodies in the pews is confirmation of our supposition. If all they’re good for is supplementing the building fund and fueling egos, then all those bodies are a detriment to the Kingdom and not a benefit.

“How many soldiers are in your battalion?”

“A thousand strong,” answers the colonel.

“How many can fight?” asks the general optimistically.

“None. But they can lip-sync Hillsong like nobody’s business.” 

Battle doesn’t get postponed because soldiers aren’t ready. The enemy won’t take it easy on you because you haven’t trained with the weapons you’ve been equipped with. Soldiers must be prepared, fully expecting the battle to commence at any moment. For many, the battle started long ago. Welcome to the fight.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2023


 It’s disheartening to see how much ground the darkness has taken. It’s the one thing I hear from friends and acquaintances alike, and I can’t say I’m not in the same boat, pulling on the same oar. Even though we knew that evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse, seeing it in real-time makes your gut twist, usually accompanied by a sudden loss of appetite. Yes, it has gotten this bad. Yes, it’s going to get much worse.

Do I want it to be so? No, I don’t. Does it matter what I want? Not in the least. Not everything is set in stone, but most things are. Although we are inclined to point to Nineveh and hope for lightning to strike twice, we must grudgingly remind ourselves that once was enough of a miracle to be included within the canon of Scripture. It was no small thing for an entire city to repent in sackcloth and ash. Hoping that a nation will do it is a stretch. Am I saying it’s impossible? No, nothing is impossible with God. Is it, however, improbable? Kind of.

If you throw a ball, you can guess the general trajectory based on the direction and strength with which you throw it. Unless you’re flicking a boomerang, chances are, whatever you’re throwing, pitching, shooting, or firing will continue in the direction the aim, force, and momentum it was set upon. Bullets only curve in movies, and even in movies, they wouldn’t dare stretch your credulity enough to make a bullet’s momentum stop, then retrace its journey to come back on itself.

What am I getting at? The further and faster we move away from God, the harder it will be to stop our decline and make our way back. It’s not like we’re headed for an iceberg with plenty of time to turn and avoid impact. We hit the iceberg some time ago, and as long as the engines don’t fail, we’re bent on reversing, then plowing into the iceberg over and over again until we are no more. The iceberg will be there long after we’ve dashed ourselves upon its mass. It existed long before we came along, and for as long as God will allow it to roam, it will wait patiently for men to come crashing into it. Sin is an iceberg. You don’t succeed in overcoming it by repeatedly crashing into it but by understanding the danger it poses and circumventing it.

Jude warns us of the danger; he does his best to underscore the severity of it and, as though pleading with the church across time and space, admonishes us to contend earnestly for the faith. Paul calls it fighting the good fight of faith, but it all boils down to two options. It is as binary a choice as male or female. You can quit, or you can fight. There is no in-between.

I can’t make you fight. You must choose to fight. You must choose to strap on your armor and show up on the battlefield because anything short of that would be coercion, and if someone is coerced into going to war, they’ll rabbit the first chance they get.

I’d rather stand shoulder to shoulder with three men who are there to fight and know how to do it than a hundred cowards who only showed up because they couldn’t bear the embarrassment of not doing so. They left home with white kerchiefs in tow and have no reservations about waving them high in the air for all to see, signifying surrender.

If you’re not willing to earnestly contend for the faith to your last breath, stay home. You’re just getting in the way. Too many cowards are pretending to be great generals looking for any excuse not to bloody their swords. The one I hear most often is that whatever the issue is, it’s not a hill to die on. You’re supposed to pick your battles, wait for your opening, and be level-headed about these things. And, while we’re backslapping and glad-handing, telling each other how wise we were in choosing discretion over action, we’re running out of hills, and soon there will be none left.

The fight will have been fought, and we’ll still be waiting to find our hill. We’ve picked up some nasty habits from the godless, some of them being situational ethics, situational morality, and situational principles.

We’re either for or against something based on the current environment, not because it’s right or wrong. Suppose someone says we should defend life, the innocent, and the unborn. In that case, it’s inevitable that some sanctimonious halfwit who spooks at his own shadow will make a show of how spiritual he is and insist that our focus should be the heavenly things. If, on the other hand, someone insists we ought to contend for the faith, that selfsame gasbag will insist that we must do our best to influence the culture and not be so heavenly-minded all the time because it’s not relatable.

We can lie to ourselves all we want, and we may even get away with lying to each other, but one day, and one day soon, the General will return to assess His troops and see how much ground they’ve taken. What will be the modern-day church’s excuse for not even putting up a fight? What will He say to those who not only surrendered but mocked and ridiculed those who would stand?

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.