by Mike Ratliff
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NASB)
25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26 Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:25-30 (NASB)
We are in a strange time in the visible Church. We were warned throughout the New Testament that the Body of Christ would be attacked without mercy by savage wolves who will not spare the flock. I grew up in a time in the American Church when it was considered a good thing to be a Christian and Christian values were found throughout our culture. Those days are past. However, what is so discouraging is the rapid downgrade within the Church as denomination after denomination has made friends with the world and, thereby, their churches became just another entertainment venue and a place the worldly can go and assuage their consciences by being somewhat religious every now and then believing that the Jesus they hear about there just loves them the way they are. No repentance necessary! As one who has not been compromised I will state emphatically that those so-called Christian leaders behind all this are those savage wolves mentioned in Acts 20:29 and they are leading their flocks into empty religiosity and idol worship. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
42 Jesus *said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures,
‘ The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes ’?
43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” (Matthew 21:42-44 NASB)
The message to the Christian throughout the New Testament is to deny self, to view with contempt the temporal or world system, to understand that love of the temporal and genuine discipleship are mutually exclusive because it is from the former which all genuine believers are being delivered. This deliverance is progressive mortification of all carnal affections and impediments. This must be so in order for the Christian to attain more speedily the heavenly Kingdom of Christ. It is to Christ’s Kingdom that all believers are called by the grace of God and it is revealed to them in His Son. All believers have received this by faith, possessed it by hope, and have therein confirmed it by Holiness of life. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NASB)
The Lord’s Day approaches. While many will go to church in a few days and hear expository preaching and worship God in spirit and truth, many more will hear sermons that the preacher bought from Sermons.Com or some other source. While I understand the pressures these men are under trying to be “successful” in growing their churches, I contend that those doing this are serving an idol rather than the Living God.
by Mike Ratliff
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever. (Psalms 111:10 NASB)
Are New Testament believers to fear God or was that only for the Old Testament? The answer to that is yes to the former and no to the latter. However, it is possible to have irrational fear of God so we must fear God properly and in the right context. So, what is a good description of right fear? Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
One of my favorite books is John Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. I became very excited this past Fall when I found that a new movie based on this wonderful allegory was being made. I contacted Danny Carrales who is the writer of the screenplay and the director of the film. He promised to let me know when the movie would be ready for me to view in order write a review. He contacted me a few weeks ago via email, telling me that I could order the DVD, which I did. I have viewed it three times since the mailman delivered the movie. Continue reading
There is a new movie based on John Bunyan’s great allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, that is nearing the end of post production. It is called “Pilgrim’s Progress – The Journey to Heaven.” Here is a link to the movie website. Watch the trailer. I don’t know how well it will portray our spiritual journey, but I intend to see it when it is released and will post a review.
Addendum: I have been contacted by Danny R. Carrales of DRC Films, LLC. They are shooting to have the film ready for the Christian Film Festival in Orlando, Fl. in mid-October. I will be able to review the film after that.
Update: I have written a review of this movie which can be read here.