Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pickled Christian

American religious culture often makes room for a compromise between sin and Christianity.  Many pastors trumpet from the pulpits that we all sin in “word, deed and truth.”  There is a sort of wimpy Christianity being promoted that essentially says that the grace of God is strong enough to save you but not strong enough to keep you from sinning.  If we could invent a time machine and bring the Apostle Peter or the Apostle Paul back from the past, they would discover modern preachers who expend great effort  in being defenders of sin and consoling those who find it ‘impossible’ to achieve a life of holiness.  Rather than feeling a deep disgust for their sin many take great comfort in their idea that they can sin and still maintain their Christian walk with God.

What a glaring contrast between the message of Christianity in the 1st century and the 21st century.  John the Baptist ‘s message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2)  The word ‘repent’ means to feel regret or contrition for past sins.  It means to make a 180 degree turn away from sin and toward the holiness of God. 

The Apostle Paul never proclaimed any ‘right to sin’.  He was humiliated by his sinful nature.  Can you sense the great emotion that accompanied these words, “Oh, wretched man that I am.”  (Romans 7:24a)  Paul felt the weight of his sin and he detested it, he never tried to excuse it.  After revealing his despair over sin Paul asks a very important question, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  This isn’t a man who is making room for sin in his life. This isn’t a man who is making excuses for his sinful behavior.  He certainly is not rationalizing behavior that is grieving to the heart of a holy God.  Paul is heart-broken because of his sin. 

Finding the right answer to Paul’s question can mean the difference between eternal deliverance or eternal damnation.  There is only One who can heal a cancerous heart from the disease of sin.  Jesus Christ can deliver us from sin.  We can abandon the sinful lifestyle through the precious grace and mercy of the crucified Christ.  The adulterous woman was brought to Christ to be condemned and stoned.  Christ forgave her and said to her, “Go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11)  Christ never commands us to do something we can’t do.  He fully expected the adulterous woman to apply the grace made available to her and cease her adulterous behavior.

Jesus always intended to make those who sin feel uncomfortable in their sin.  The function of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction to sinful hearts.  The voice of God the Father thunders through the ages with the unchangeable message for all generations, “Be holy because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16)  Why has it become the lifetime goal of so many ministers of the gospel to make people comfortable in their sin and assist them in rationalizing ungodly behavior? 

Unfortunately, these ‘sinning’ Christians have lost all power to witness to friends and neighbors.  The one thing that has run more people away from God is the ‘Christian’ who invites them to have a relationship with God but whose life hasn’t been radically changed by the spilt blood of Christ.  So, the prevailing question in the heart of the unbeliever is, “Why should I become a Christian if I will be just like you, unchanged?  I want something that will change who I am.”

I’m not declaring the Christians live in the perfection that belongs only to Christ.  Christians will never attain this perfection as long as we harbor this treasure in clay jars.  But Christians can draw upon an everlasting fountain of grace and strength provided by Christ to help us to live holy lives.  Does a Christian sin?  He doesn’t have to.  But if he does sin, John tells us what to do.  “I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”  (1 John 2:1)  If a Christian does sin his heart is filled with remorse, he feels humiliated and regrets having hurt the heart of his only Savior.  He calls his Lawyer to approach the seat of judgment and plead his case.  The Lawyer accepts his expression of regret and reminds the Judge that the penalty for his client’s sin has been paid in full!

The Christian sacrament of Baptism gives us a description of the problem.  When Christians are baptized they are dipped (bapto) in water to witness to those who see that they have entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  The temporary dipping is only the starting point of a permanent emersion (baptizo) in the life of Christ.  To be baptized means to be ‘identified with’. 

The Greek poet and physician, Nicander, lived about 200 years before Christ.  Nicander explained it by describing the recipe for a pickle.  The pickle is first dipped (bapto) in hot water and then it is baptized (baptize) in a vinegar solution.  The pickle identifies with the solution. 

So many today experience the temporary dip but they fail to experience the permanent change.  They have never really become identified with the Holy Savior.

My wife and I adopted our son when he was four months of age.  When we finally signed the final adoption decree he officially became a Probst.  That short but meaningful ceremony opened the door for him to join the family.  But now, six years later, I can say that he has fully identified with the Probst family.  He has been immersed in our lifestyle.  He is as much a Probst as any of the rest of us who call ourselves by that name.

Christians, don’t be satisfied with a quick dip into Christianity.  Fully immerse yourselves in the life of Christ.  Pursue holiness because of what it is, a life or death matter.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Monday, November 21, 2011

President Obama’s Reaction to Saber Rattling in the Middle East

It has been declared openly and with conviction to the whole world that Iran is a hater of Israel and has intentions to destroy her. In 2005, Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, addressed the United Nations and blustered that the “occupying regime (referring to Israel) must be wiped off the map.” He declared that the “disgraceful stain” (Israel again) must be eliminated. (1)
On September 23, 2008 Ahmadinejad again addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations and declared Zionists to be murderers and criminals. He would later predict to the L.A. Times that the state of Israel is like an airplane experiencing engine trouble and plunging to destruction. “This will benefit everyone,” he said. In subsequent statements he has referred to Israel as a “germ of corruption (that) will be wiped off,” (2) as a “cancer that spreads through the body”, (3) and as a “kidney transplanted in a body that rejected it.” (4)
In addition to the inflammatory verbiage, The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency has validated that Iran is attempting to make an atomic bomb to be fitted onto a missile capable of reaching Israel. Should Ahmadinejad succeed in developing such a weapon, would he use it? The question is not whether he would use it, the question is why are there so many nations critical of Israel defending herself? Why is there such a clamoring for a nation the size of New Jersey to continue to give more and more of her territory to their neighboring Arabs who own massive amounts of land? Why are western nations scowling at Israel for contemplating taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities when they all know that one nuclear hit on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv would pretty much mean annihilation.
The late Yasser Arafat once stated on Palestinian radio, “We will make the lives of the infidels hell - millions of martyrs marching on Jerusalem." Who can explain such vehement hatred against a fledgling country? Who in their right mind would deny Israel’s right to defend themselves against such evil? Why do so many nations struggle to choose sides on this issue? Is the vast amount of oil provided by the Arab countries so alluring that we lose our sense of true justice? Who in their right mind would support a country or terrorist group who would sacrifice their own children to satisfy their hatred? Former Prime Minister Golda Meir said, “"There won't be peace in the Middle East until Yasser Arafat learns to love Palestinian children more than he hates the Jews."
Why is there so much apathy toward the only democratic country in the Middle East struggling to maintain her very existence? It is obvious by now that President Obama is no lover of Israel. At the G-20 summit earlier this year he and President Sarkozy of France didn’t know they were being picked up on an open mic. “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar.” Sarkozy said. Obama replied, “You’re fed up, but I have to deal with him every day.”
And so, how is it that Obama ‘deals’ with Netanyahu? Before answering that question please keep in mind that Obama has access to reams of sensitive and secret information that the rest of us are not privy to. He knows better than any the evil intent of Israel’s enemies. And yet, he expects Israel to surrender itself more and more to the people who are planning their destruction. It seems Israel is the one always expected to make concessions. Obama and his ilk are making the same mistake British Prime Minister Chamberlain made with Hitler prior to WWII. He is following a policy of appeasement that can only end in chaotic destruction. As Winston Churchill once said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last.”
What a mystery! Is Obama so much of an empty suit that he fails to understand the history of these countries of the Middle East? Does he not appreciate the miracle of Israel’s existence? Does not the sole democratic nation in the region deserve our full support? Instead, Obama seems to sympathize with third world countries run by malevolent and brutal dictators. Why is Obama willing to threaten Israel’s right to exist as a state in order to promote the Palestinian hankering for a state? Does Obama not have a sense of how many Americans, both Jewish and Christian, he alienates because of his apathy toward Israel and his support of Israel’s genocidal enemies?
Oh that the haters of Israel would contemplate the sound of God’s voice found in Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you (Israel), and whoever curses you (Israel) I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Israel)." (5)
1. New York Times, 10/30/12
2. MEMRI, Clip No. 1784, June 2, 2008
3. Agence France Presse
4. National Post
5. http://bible.cc/genesis/12-3.htm

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Occupy Wall Street…Connecting the Dots


It’s hard to discover just what these protesters want. Interviews of the tent dwelling squatters seem fruitless. Most cannot articulate why they are there. They seem to be frustrated and angry but they are not sure why they are directing their anger toward Wall Street. They are much like a high school student who sees a crowd rushing toward the school courtyard. He doesn’t know why the mass is bolting but he joins them, fearful of missing something big. He gets taken in by the emotion that is driving the mob but he doesn’t have the slightest idea what is going on.
The occupiers of Wall Street make some valid points. They seem to oppose the Federal Reserve. This organization is neither federal nor is it reserving anything. It is private and secretive and stirs great suspicion among American citizens.
Other occupiers are like puppets on a string. They carry a list of talking points but seem to have only a surface understanding of what they are saying. They rage against capitalism failing to understand that though this system is imperfect, it has worked far better than socialism. They rail against the government like spoiled children insisting they be pampered by Big Brother. If they are unemployed the government should give them a job. If they can’t afford a house the government should make a home affordable to them. They insist that the government pay for their education.
What they seem to be calling for is Cooperate Fascism, a merger of government and business. They don’t seem to grasp what happened with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Government was interfering with the system of free enterprise by developing policies for an economic organization to provide loans for those who could not afford them. Politically it looked appealing. It satisfied the desire of politicians to placate their constituents by putting “a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage.”
Let’s call a spade a spade. The occupiers are protesting against capitalism and calling for socialism. The only way to bring about the promised “hope and change” is to rebuild the system. You can’t rebuild a standing structure unless you tear it down first. Perhaps, inspired by the Arab Spring movement, the protesters are hoping to start a revolution that will result in radical change.
It may appear that these people just showed up on Wall Street randomly one day. This is not so. It is an organized movement. The cattle are trusting and they follow faithfully though often in ignorance. But the men driving the herd know exactly what they are doing. Many of those interviewed indicated that their trip to New York was financed by their union. Thousands of these people have been bussed in from hundreds of miles away. Have community organizers used the unions in an attempt to spark a revolution that would bring about societal change? Lenin taught that infiltrating unions was necessary to deconstruct society before it could be reconstructed. (1)

Are the occupiers true Marxists or are they “useful idiots”? In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, 1971, he wrote that “A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into the new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage—the political paradise of communism.” (p.10) Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were both greatly influenced by Saul Alinsky. Hillary turned down an offer to come work for him. She titled her senior paper at Wellesley College "There Is Only the Fight . . . ": An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.
Richard Cloward and Frances Piven were a husband and wife team influenced by Alinsky. They were sociologists and political activists in the 1960’s. They called for an overload of the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to replacing the national welfare system with a system that would guarantee an “annual income and thus an end to poverty.” (2)
It is necessary to collapse the system before reforming it. Considering so many of our leading politicians were trained by radical socialists one must ask if the collapse of our banks, our industries and Fannie and Freddie were intentional in order to destroy the old capitalist system in order to replace it with socialism?
Yuri Bezmenov, a Russian born KGB defector was a KGB trained subverter outlines the four stages the Soviets use to bring transformation to a society. First, the nation must be demoralized, then destabilized. Chaos is necessary to make the people weary enough to accept a new plan that will bring relief from the chaos. The final stage is normalization. A life with less liberties and freedoms becomes the new norm.
Is it so hard to believe that the “occupy movement” might be a manipulation of a well organized group with a grandiose scheme to bring radical change resulting in a strong lean toward socialism?
Works Cited:
1. “Left Wing” Communism, Lenin
2. The Nation, “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty”, Cloward and Piven

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Went Wrong at Penn State?

The wisest man to have ever lived penned it well in Proverbs 14:12. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." The alleged incident at Penn State is reprehensible. Not only are many questioning how such a thing could happen but why was it happening over such a long period of time. It may be a mystery to some but there is an explanation.

We no longer allow God to decide what is and is not sin. We've taken that unpleasant responsibility upon ourselves. God made clear what sexual behaviors were sinful: adultery, fornication, shacking up or hooking up for casual sex. God addresses homosexual behavior in Deuteronomy 18 and declares it an abomination to his holy nature. This fact is reiterated in the New Testament. (Romans 1)

In the 1970's the American Psychological Association elevated itself to God-status. They declared that homosexuality is not deviant behavior, it is an identity. American culture embraced this announcement and proceeded to do what was right in their own eyes rather than pursue the righteousness of God. In fact, our society carried it a step further by announcing a new sin. That sin would be labeled homophobia and anyone who opposed the "alternative lifestyle" of homosexuals will be sentenced to being ostracized.

What happened at Penn State was a result of the moral depravity of man. Being homosexual is now considered a virtue, especially in the university environment. What could possibly be wrong with introducing young boys to such a lifestyle? "You have eyes! Can you not see? You have ears! Can you not hear?" (Mark 8:18) This soul diseased by sin affects our ability to accurately perceive truth. We have eyes but we can't see. We have ears but we can't hear. We are blind and deaf to divine truth. When that truth gets to near to our hearts it cuts like a sword and so, to avoid the pain and guilt, we search for another 'truth' from another source.

Our drift from moral truth is causing mass confusion among our youth. Our children are taught how to use condoms in school while their mothers are telling them to abstain from sexual activity. Our public schools are teaching young children that homosexual behavior is normal, even preferred. Very young children are being taught how to engage in homosexual activities. When a man demonstrates this behavior in a shower at a state university there is an explosion of outrage. This outrage is justified but why is it delayed? Why are we not outraged that this sort of behavior is being promoted to our innocent children by a corrupted public school system? The moral outrage concerning the behavior of a depraved coach at Penn State is directed at a symptom of a much greater, more devastating disease that is pandemic throughout America.

Our society is being demoralized. More than 200 women kill their own children in the United States every year. One of the leading causes of death for children under the age of four is homicide. Three to five children are murdered by their parents daily. Who could ever forget the horrible murder committed by Andrea Yates as she systematically drowned her five children in a bath tub? In 1996, Susan Eubanks murdered her four sons in San Marcos, California. The word sin has been eliminated from our thought and vocabulary and it has been replaced with the word 'sickness'. Why are mothers killing their children? Is it because they are morally confused? They have eyes but they can't see.

This generation of young mothers fails to value the sanctity of life. They have been taught that if having a child in the womb is inconvenient it can be eliminated. This is morally acceptable, even admirable, to murder the child. They are encouraged by organizations like Planned Parenthood to "do what is right in your own eyes." I'm sure these women must be thinking, "If murdering my child while it is still in the womb is the 'right thing to do', then why isn't murdering my two or three year old NOT the right thing to do? The reasons for both atrocities are the same: I can't afford kids, they are inconvenient, having them around will disrupt the plans I have for my own life.

Why do mothers kill their babies? Why are young boys being raped and abused by grown men in respectable positions? (coaches, mentors and priests) It is because our society now legitimizes sinful sexual behavior and infanticide. We have ceased searching for truth in the Holy Scriptures and now accept what is promoted by the American Psychological Association and Planned Parenthood as gospel truth.

We are foolishly trying to address this problem by trimming the branches on the tree of evil rather than digging our the root. We will continue to chip away at the tip of the iceberg until we recognize that this problem is very deeply rooted in the depraved soul of our society. Confession and repentance to the only One who can provide redemption is the last card we hold. We need to play it.

Women Who Kill Their Children.  By Charles Montaldo

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sermon: The Truth About America - Kevin Probst

Americans are sensing that something is desperately wrong in American culture.  We seem to be drifting.  It feels like we've lost our perspective.  Politicians are polarized.  Our youth are disillusioned.  The level of corruption in government and athletics is astounding.  What's wrong with America?  What is the truth about America?  Listen to this sermon for explanations, biblical exhortation and hope.

The Truth About America (Part 1) Who Is Weeping For America?
The Truth About America (Part 2) Our God Fearing Founders
The Truth About America (Part 3) America Has Changed
The Truth About America (Part 4) Three Daggers in the Heart of America
The Truth About America (Part 5) What can we do?

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Twelvers: Irrational, Irresponsible, Irreversible

Book Title Joel A. Rosenberg

There is an explanation why all diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions have failed. The fact that the Shiite culture has no respect for women and our Secretary of State is a female (Hillary Clinton) makes it very difficult to negotiate with irrationality rooted in religious radicalism. Iranian president Ahmadinejad has used the United Nations as his bully pulpit to make shockingly irresponsible statements depicting Israelis as being "deceitful" criminals and murderers. The irreversible attitude of Ahmadinejad and his fellow Twelvers can be explained by their theology.

Islam is divided into two basic denominations; the Sunni and the Shia. About 90% of all Muslims are Sunni, the remaining 10% are Shia. The division can be traced back to the death of Mohammed in AD 632. The Sunnis believe that the legitimate head of Islam should be elected from certified clerics. The Sunnies chose Abu Bakr, Mohammed's close friend, to be the first Caliph of the Islamic nation.

The Shiites believed that the Islamic leader is passed on genetically through the family tree with the blessing of Allah. They chose Mohammed's cousin and son-in-law, Ali. The Shiites have a very strong presence in both Iran and Iraq. The largest faction of the Shias are those who call themselves Twelvers.

The Twelvers teach that there were a total of twelve Imams beginning with Ali. The last Imam was Mahmoud al-Mahdi who mysteriously disappeared in AD 874. Twelvers, like Ahmadinejad, believe that the 12th Imam will return again but not until the world has delved into a state of total upheaval. Iran's president believes he is chosen to create that chaos. When the Imam appears he will issue in an era of peace and justice. He will be accompanied by Jesus Christ who will serve as his right hand man.

All efforts to negotiate or reason with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are fruitless. He is insanely obsessed with his perceived role as the Muslim John the Baptist. If Iran is prevented from making and using a nuclear weapon they must be stopped by military force. If Ahmadinejad believes the 12th Imam will appear in the next year or two why would he make any concessions. The irony of it all is that when the bombs started falling on Iran their Shiite ruler will rejoice because he will be convinced that he has completed his mission to create chaos. He will gloat that he has succeeded in rolling out the red carpet for the 12th Imam.

The Shia believe that certain conditions will precede the coming of the 12th Imam. Besides an atmosphere of chaos, they also teach that there will be a great battle near the holy city of Mecca. This battle will provoke a final confrontation against multitudes of Christians and Jews. The Mahdi will win that war and capture Istanbul, Turkey. He will then become ruler of a vast Islamic empire and rule for a period of seven years.

During this period the Dajjal will reveal himself. He is the Islamic equivalent to the Antichrist. He has the word "Infidel" tattooed on his forehead. He will be a great deceiver and will lead an army of 70,000 Jews and they will be annihilated when Jesus descends from heaven and destroys them with the breath of his wrath.

Ahmadinejad has stated that Allah has raised him up to wipe Israel "off the map." He believes he has been commissioned by the Imam to provoke a battle that will engulf the civilizations of the earth. What better way to do that than to make an atomic weapon and use it, either against Israel or the United States.

After addressing the United Nations in 2005 Ahmadinejad shared this statement, "When I started to say 'In the name of God the almighty and merciful,' he saw a light around me, and I was placed inside this aura. I felt it myself. I felt the atmosphere suddenly change, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink…And they were rapt. It seemed as if a hand was holding them there and had opened their eyes to receive the message from the Islamic Republic."

Americans underestimate this man to their own peril. He has primarily targeted America and Israel. He is insane with religious zeal. He is consumed by totalitarian ideology that insists that Islam rule the world. This can't happen until Christians and Jews are annihilated. He has a mystical belief that he is chosen to perform this dastardly deed. Hitler was consumed and he was ignored. Ahmadinejad is consumed and he must not be ignored.

Works Cited:

Ahmadinejads' Mission and Mysticism by Daniel Piper

Iran Nuclear Sanctions: Ahmadinejad says they won't bite. Christian Science Monitor. Scott Peterson

Apocalyptic Beliefs of Twelver Muslims by David W. Thornton

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Truth About America (Part 5) What can we do?

I want to share hope with you because Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." The truth about America is that one day it will crumble just as all other great empires have throughout history. Countries and empires, like humans, are not immortal. They have a lifespan, a beginning and an end. Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall for Balshazzar, “you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.” America has cut deeply into the heart of God by making provision for horrendous sin among her people.
Our hope is found in the fact that we might delay his judgment. American Christians are like desperate men bailing water out of a sinking ship. We cannot prevent his judgment but perhaps we might delay it. There has always been a remnant of believers in every fallen civilization. Elijah the prophet had that ‘all alone’ feeling when he stood at Mt. Carmel and declared ““I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left…” (1 Kings 18:22) In times of discouragement God’s people often feel they are all alone. This is not true. God would later assure Elijah that he was NOT alone, “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal” (1 Kings 19:18) Christian, who weeps for America, you are not alone. There is a remnant of millions who weep with you.
We believe we might delay God’s judgment because we know that he is “not willing that any should perish.” (2 Peter 3:9)
God has always preceded his judgment with an unfathomable mercy. God raised up Queen Esther for such a time as this. He used her to save her people from evil Haman. God sent Joseph into the land of Egypt where he was used to make preparations to save his family from the coming famine. God provided for the promotion of Daniel in the King’s court so that he would be in a position to prepare for the exile of his people to Babylon. God will extend his hand of mercy through the voices faithful to his calling.
What must we do?
1. Live right. "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself" (Daniel 1?8) It's not enough to simply know right from wrong. You must purpose in your heart not to defile yourselves with the sin of the culture.
Before you sit down at the computer…
Before you take that test…
Before you go out on a hot date…
Before you sit down to complete your income tax…
Before you turn on the television… purpose in your heart that you will not defile yourself.
Dwight Moody was visiting Britain in 1872 and he met a young evangelist named Henry Varley. As they sat on a park bench in Dublin, Varley remarked to Moody, "Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man that is fully consecrated to him." For four days Moody contemplated those words. They burned a hole in his heart and he could not escape them. He thought to himself, " With the help of the Holy Spirit, I'll be that man."
Purpose in your heart…By God's grace, “I'm not going to sin.”
b. We must pray.
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Let us not pray for laws to make abortion illegal, let us pray that the hearts of people will be changed so they no longer seek abortion.
Let us not pray for more laws to make pornography illegal, but let us pray that the hearts of people will be changed so that pornography will go out of business due to lack of interest.
Let us not pray for laws to legislate morality, let us pray for a people who are moral not because of man's laws written in a book, but because of God's laws written on their hearts.
c. We must let our light shine. The truth about America is that our culture has become exceedingly corrupt and sinful. It is not something we should be depressed about. consider it as an opportunity to let your light shine.
When I bought my wife's wedding ring I went into Shane's of Atlanta and looked at all the thousands of rings. It was overwhelming. But the salesman brought out a diamond and put in on a black velvet background. Wow! It was brilliant.
Our opportunity is to live the Christian life on the blackened background of a sinful culture. Your life will shine brilliantly for Christ's glory.
Works Cited:
1. Political Unrest in America - Kevin Swanson
2. Spiritual Decline of a Nation - Donna Kazenske
3. A Bankrupt Nation - Gerald Flury
4. When a Nation Implodes - Dr. Robert Jeffress
5. National Judgment - Russ Sukhia
6. What's Ahead for America - Ron Comfort

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Truth About America (Part 4) Three Daggers in the Heart of America

Three Daggers In The Heart Of America
Perhaps the greatest difficulty our founding fathers faced was how to form a republic that would not destroy itself.  At the close of the Constitutional Convention is 1787, Ben Franklin was leaving the convention hall when approached by a curious lady, “Sir, what have we got?  A Republic or a Monarchy?”  To this Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Our early fathers believed the best way to “keep it” was to bring a balance to government that would keep tyrants from becoming too opportunistic and powerful.  Therefore, three branches of government were formed; the executive, legislative and judicial.  The purpose of this formation was to provide for a balance.  Maintaining the balance has been a great challenge over the years.

The purpose of the Judicial Branch of government is to determine if our laws are constitutional.  The great symbol used to demonstrate this is the scales of justice and fairness.  When this instrument is used one is supposed to simply put an object on the scales and let it do its work.  When laws come before the Supreme Court the constitution is the measure by which it is determined if these laws are just.  Unfortunately, our courts feel empowered to fiddle with the scales.  They’ve interpreted the constitution in a way to make it say things it was never meant to say.

In my opinion there have been three daggers thrust into the heart of America in the last fifty years.

1.  Engel vs. Vitale, 1962. 

I remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Swanson, at Neason Hill School in Meadville, Pennsylvania.  She had snow white hair and always talked about driving her tractor on her farm.  My mind of six years thought she was already a hundred years old.  Mrs. Swanson started every school day reading to us a chapter from the Bible and praying to God for his blessing.

We all gathered as Catholics and Baptists and Presbyterians and we all shared the same prayer.  The prayer was not offensive to any of these groups.  Opponents trumped up a “separation of church and state” ruling and tried to take what was written in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut and plug it in the Constitution.  Many believe that in so doing they violated the constitution.

The 1st amendment says, “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.”  Our founding fathers were not trying to protect the government from the church. They were trying to protect the church from the government.

There is nothing sweeter to see than a small, innocent child praying, “God is great.  God is good.  And we thank him for our food.”  How dare they swipe such a lovely and innocent prayer from the lips of our children!

2.  Roe vs. Wade, 1973. 

Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”  He said about those who would bring harm to a child, “It would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” – (Matthew 18:6)

Nothing in this world surpasses or outshines the love Christ has for children.

A young mother came into a doctor’s office carrying her 18 month old baby.  She was weeping.  “Doctor, I’m pregnant again and I can’t do this.  I need help.  I need to abort this child.  I can’t raise another one.”  The doctor considered this and then told her he had a solution.  She looked relieved as she listened.  “Aborting the child in your womb would be dangerous to your health.  But there is no danger at all if we destroy the baby in your arms.”  She withdrew in horror and held her baby tightly.  “How could you suggest such a thing?”  The doctor replied, “How could you suggest such a thing for the child within your womb?”

The Supreme Court legalized the blood sacrifice that would make America a target of God’s wrath.  We have murdered 53 million unborn since 1973.  Imagine these millions of voices crying out to God in heaven to avenge their murders.  Can he ignore their plea for justice? 

3.  Lawrence v. State of Texas, 2003.

The Supreme Court declared that men could violate Leviticus 18:22 without worrying about government interference.  “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” 

Romans 1 says that God turned them over “to degrading passions; women exchanging natural function for that which is unnatural…men abandoned the natural function …and burned in their desire toward one another.”  (Romans 1:26-27)  The courts sanctioned the breaking of this biblical law.  Our founding fathers would be abhorred at this ruling!   

God promised the Israelites that he would punish the Amorites but not until their sin had “reached its full measure." (Gen. 15:16)    God's character never changes.  Malachi 3:6 says, "I am the Lord, I change not." His just nature demands that he judge sin.  He is patient.  His longsuffering is immense and incomprehensible.  But “God's patience will not hold back his justice forever.  We must never assume that delayed judgment means no judgment.” (National Judgment, Russ Sukhia)

Is it possible that God has not yet poured out his judgment on us because the cup of his wrath is not yet full.  We are pouring the blood of 3,000 innocent babies every day into this cup.  We are filling the cup of his wrath with our religious apostasy, child abuse, fornication, adultery, pornography, blatant homosexuality, murder and blasphemy.

We know the hammer of God’s justice will one day descend but we also know that he is a loving God who has demonstrated time and again his capacity for longsuffering.  We might delay his justice by appealing to his mercy through repentance and confession.  "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14  
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Truth About America (Part 3) America Has Changed

America Has Changed

America has changed. Many are very disturbed about the change. Some fail to realize that all change isn't good. Ellen Glasgow said, "All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward." The change we envisioned that was promised to us several years ago is not the change that we actually perceive. The truth about America is that we seem unwilling to endure the necessary pain to make beneficial changes that will save us and even cause us to prosper. I find this quote from Euripides to be quite profound, "Do not consider painful what is good for you."

Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford starred in a Romantic film in 1973 entitled "The Way We Were". Two people involved in a wonderful relationship but as the years passed by they allowed their political views and persuasions to drive them apart. Many Americans are longing for the way we were, before we were so polarized politically, socially and economically.

Our leaders from an earlier age were men who believed that God 'governed in the affairs of men.' Consider the faces on Mt. Rushmore:

George Washington strongly declared, “I believe it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
Thomas Jefferson, though he claimed to be skeptical proclaimed, “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
Teddy Roosevelt spoke sincerely when he said, “After a week of perplexing problems…it does so rest my soul to come into the house of The Lord and to sing and mean it, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty… (It is my) great joy and glory that in occupying an exalted position in the nation, I am enabled, to preach the practical moralities of the Bible to my fellow-countrymen and to hold up Christ as the hope and Savior of the world.”
Abraham Lincoln certainly was overwhelmed trying to hold a divided country together. In one of his more desperate moments he solemnly acknowledged, “Unless the great God who assisted (Washington) shall be with me and aid me, I must fail; but if the same Omniscient Mind and Mighty Arm that directed and protected him shall guide and support me, I shall not fail…Let us all pray that the God of our fathers may not forsake us now.”
This part of history can never be rewritten. Our fathers believed in God, the great Creator of the universe. Their strong beliefs are plastered on our public buildings in the nation's capital. Our early documents are saturated with their proclamations of a Divine Protector and Provider.

Not only did they believe in a Sovereign God, they believe in the Bible and expressed often their need to draw comfort from its pages.
Abe Lincoln said, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
Robert E. Lee was very concerned for the souls of men. He might rather win men to Christ than win battles. He made sure every man in his army had a Bible. “In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”
Stonewall Jackson gave his men three books: a dictionary, a book of Napoleon Bonaparte and a Bible. “I have given you a dictionary so you will learn how to talk. I have given you a book of Napoleon Bonaparte so you’ll learn how to fight. I have given you a Bible so you will learn how to live.”
These great men considered the Bible “a most remarkable book. It has outlived all of its critics, survived centuries of prohibition and has changed countless lives for the better. It has a power that no other book has. It has made thieves to be honest, cheaters faithful and drunkards sober. It has transformed warring savages into upright and peace-loving people. No wonder it continues to be the best seller of all time, in spite of numerous authorities and governments who have tried to ban it and the godless people who have burned and destroyed it. Many Christians have given their lives to protect and preserve it. Why has this ancient book had such an impact on the world, because the Bible is the very World of God.” – Shawn Boonstra, The Sword of the Spirit.
We should thank God every day for our founders who laid a strong and firm foundation for a God-fearing country. But people are sensing something wrong. There are cracks forming. There is a shift taking place. These very foundations have been shaken.
Some in our government are attempting to remove all restrictions on same-sex marriages and abortion. They have consciously refused to protect our borders from illegal immigration. They have foolishly spent tomorrow’s money today and enslaved our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars in debt. Having been cuffed with political correctness they have become powerless.
The queasy felling Americans are feeling about their country is causing them to as questions: Is America in decline? Will America collapse?
This question is such a sensitive and important question I want to answer it from the Word of God.
“The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17) I want to declare with certainty to you that not only is the United States going to be destroyed, the world is going to be destroyed.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)
Please don't feel despair. If you are a child of God you will live forever in a " new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away…” (Revelation 21:1)
God is going to destroy it along with all its corruption and he is going to replace it with something our small, depraved minds cannot even comprehend.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Truth About America (Part 2) Our God Fearing Founders

founding fathers
The Truth About America (Part 2)
Our God-fearing Founders
By Kevin Probst
Balshazzar, the king of ancient Babylon, invited 10,000 guests to a banquet. He hosted a feast in honor of their false gods. While they were drinking and reveling Balshazzer saw a finger writing on the wall. He was stunned by the words written, "The days of your kingdom are numbered. You have been weighed in the balances and you don't measure up. Your kingdom will be divided and given to your enemies." (Daniel 5)
The Babylonians had built an impregnable double wall about their city. These two walls together were 47 feet thick. The space between the walls was filled with dirt and gravel so that four chariots could race upon the wall side by side. The wall was manned by thousands of guards. But on one particular night, Cyrus, the captain of the Medes and Persians, with the help of two Babylonian traitors entered the city through an underground passage. The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground." (Isaiah 21:9)
When a nation eliminates the true and only God and substitutes Him with a false god it has sealed its doom unless the people repent and a great revival occurs. Jesus is weeping, “America, America, how I have longed to gather your children unto me but you have rejected me in favor of other gods!” There are prophets throughout the land crying out, “O Lord, will you not hear. There is contention and strife, the wicked surround the righteous and justice is perverted.” We are drunk with the wine of materialism and pleasure. We are overtaken by our sinful desires and we are celebrating our idols. We think we have built walls that can protect us and we pretend we are invincible. Our enemy is conspiring against us and we tell ourselves he is our friend.
Can I share a truth the wicked don’t want you to know?
The Founding Fathers were God-fearing men who established this nation as a Christian Nation. They were not perfect but they were men who understood the need to harness the true nature of man by entreating a holy God to assist them in their massive endeavor.
I. They had a strong belief in God.
1. Christopher Columbus – No one can know for sure but he very well may have been a born again Christian. “Christopher” means Christ Bearer. In 1492 Columbus set out to find a passage to the far east but having been convinced that Christ would return soon he felt it his calling to spread the knowledge of Christ wherever he might. Seventy three days after setting sail to cross the Atlantic his crew became mutinous. Columbus made a deal with them. If they failed to discover land in three days they would reverse course and return to Europe. He spent those three days in prayer and fasting. On the third day they spotted land.
They docked their three ships and named the new island, San Salvadore, which means “Holy Savior.” On every island they visited they erected a cross and left these words, “As a token of our Lord Jesus Christ and in honor of the Christian faith.” They named another island “La Navidad” in honor of the birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary. They named another island, “Santa Cruz” in honor of the Holy Cross of Christ. Another island they named “Trinidad” in honor of the Holy Trinity. It’s absurd to portray Columbus as anyone other than a man very conscious of a divine intervention in his life.
2. Patrick Henry, the first post-colonial governor of Virginia once said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
3. Benjamin Franklin – Our earliest representatives had gathered in 1787 in Philadelphia for the purpose of writing a constitution. It was one of the hottest summers on record. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Tension began to build and tempers flared. The oldest statesman there, well into his 80’s, stood slowly on his old, feeble bones and leaned on his cane. All conversation ceased and his old, gruff voice pierced the silence. “I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.” Ben Franklin went on to suggest they open every session henceforth with prayer and they did and they wrote the greatest government document ever known to man.
We must return to the God of our founders. We feel confident of our safety behind the walls we have built. We deceive ourselves with a sense of false security. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17) All the nations and all the empires of the past who have forgotten the true God were eventually felled and destroyed. If God makes an exception for an American culture waving its fist in the face of God then he violates his own just nature and ceased to be God. He promised us this couldn’t happen. “I the Lord, change not!” (Malachi 3:6)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Truth About America (Part 1) Who Is Weeping For America?

jesus wept

The Truth About America (Part 1)
Who Is Weeping For America?
By Kevin P. Probst
One man said the “truth hurts, not the searching after, the running from.” I see so many who are running away from the truth about America. I understand that coming face to face with the painful truth about a country one loves can be extremely painful but I also know that solutions to our problems can’t be found until we stop running from the truth. For those who are followers of Christ, he taught us: “the truth will set you free.”
So, what is the truth about America? You’ll not find that truth in the voices you hear on talk radio and network television. Many listen to Rush Limbaugh, Anderson Cooper or Glen Beck, as if they were infallible sources of truth. The real and only source of truth is the divinely inspired Word of God. It is God conversing with the hearts of men through his own Spirit.
My in-laws came to visit a couple months ago. In fact, my wife’s father had come to help me put in a new hot water heater. We worked well together. I don’t have a mechanical bone in my body so he turned screw drivers and twisted wrenches and I held the flash light for him. But as I stood there watching things I didn’t understand I began to feel something was not right. My head felt light. My stomach felt queasy. My wife had grilled steaks and baked potatoes but I had no appetite. I finally dismissed myself and went to bed. Later that night a gut-wrenching sickness gripped me.
Americans are feeling like something isn’t right. There is a queasiness deep within. There is a gut feeling that things are not as they should be. According to a recent poll conducted by The Hill Newspaper, 69% of Americans believe our country is in decline. 83% are worried about America’s future. So, what is wrong with America?
We see a strange group of people Occupying Wall Street. We observe copycat demonstrations going on all over the country. Angry, violent flash mobs are robbing convenience stores and beating patrons. Rage seems to be reaching a boiling point. We are more politically polarized than ever. The promise to unify us seems to have morphed into a determination to divide us.
I see a vast number of Americans who desire to see but they cannot. They want to know but they can’t. Jesus said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” (Matt. 13:13) The multitudes are crying, “What’s wrong with our society? What’s wrong with our country?” Isaiah said, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this peoples' heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.” Jesus quoted that verse to his disciples and then he said to them, “blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” – (Matt. 13:16) A clear perspective of this problem cannot be achieved unless it is viewed through the lenses of truth found in the Word of God. Any other perspective muddies one’s view of what is really happening.
This is the truth about America. We have exalted our government to be our god. It has become our idol. The American people keep voting for more and bigger government. The poor no longer look to God. They look to the government for more welfare. The ignorant no longer look to God. They expect the government to educate the masses. We no longer look for wisdom in the Word of God. Instead, we have removed that book from our schools. We presume that government can solve the problem of alcoholism. We pretend that Government is winning the war on drugs and eliminating poverty. We expect government to integrate us and teach us to live together in love and harmony.
People are angry because their god has failed them. The pain of disappointment and disillusionment is causing them to hate their government. They hate Bush. They hate Obama. They hate Republicans and Democrats. They have no confidence in the Congress. Only 9% are pleased with the job Congress is doing. (CBS, NY Times poll) The corruption in their government has reached unprecedented levels. Something has gone terribly wrong but an unrepentant people can’t perceive what it is.
As a history teacher I teach my students that the one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. History certainly does repeat itself. America is not suffering from a new and mysterious ailment. America suffers from the same things that affected previous nations and empires of the past. We have eyes but we fail to see. Isn’t this affirmed by the fact we have seen a multitude of nations try socialism and communism and everyone without fail plunged into societal darkness and experienced economic failure. Russia, China and numerous eastern European countries are fleeing a failed system. Who can explain the mysterious and incomprehensible fact that our country (America) is moving toward socialism and big government? Why are we abandoning what brought us success and embracing what has brought failure to other nations? It is because we have eyes but we cannot see.
One day Jesus stood on a hill overlooking the city of Jerusalem. He opened his heart and revealed the great compassion he had for his people, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37)
Who is weeping for America?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Why I am a teacher

 I am very often asked why I teach? Could I not find a more lucrative profession? Why choose to stay in such a stressful occupation? Aside from the fact it's my calling from God, I am surprised (I am no fan of Michelle's) to find the answer to that question in the words of Michelle Obama, "That's why we start with kids, right? We can affect who they will be forever." - Oct. 18, 2011

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.