Tag Archives: The Gospel

Mark 8:36-37

My take on these 2 verses;
Mark 8:36-37
“… For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

Observations;
In this life we are taught ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘me first’, ‘nice guys finish last’, and other expression that are beaten into our minds which later develop into our way of thinking and the way we make decions and the way we react in situations. This way of thinking is called selfishness…. it is a disease and there is a cure for it if we choose to accept the treatment. With this treatment we will have to change some things like our diet; what we hear, what we see, what we read, who we hang out with, what influences us, etc. It will be a hard battle, and there will be temptations on the way, but we need to make the dietary change and get the proper nutrition and live a healthier life. While we live this disease filled life, pre-cure, we think “oh if I only had that job, that promotion, that relationship, that house, that family, that raise, that pool, that car, that lifestyle, that scholarship, that degree….”, you get the picture, that we would somehow be fulfilled in life, have that ultimate accomplishment that makes us feel like we are on top “finally”, and we can “finally” be content, happy, at peace, and filled with a never ending joy. Yet to the contrary we are empty because we know deep down that everything we have and have obtained was out of selfishness. Everything was all for the big M-E, it didn’t benefit anyone else in fact you had to hurt and possibly destroy someone else’s life, well being, self esteem, career, marriage, etc… to get where you are. So the question proposed is why would you trade your soul, causing your soul to slowly pass away (dying with every selfish decision, word, action, etc…), just so you can have temporal items which eventually come and go, that lose their value, that constantly need replacement, and that only reflect your selfisness and shallow emptiness. Trading your soul for for these things; what does it profit you? how does it give you fulfillment? does it make you feel like your life is worth living? does it bring you purpose? do youand have joy, happiness, and love? how does it benefit you? When all you have left is NO soul and items, with no Heavenly or eternal value, that will very soon vanish – what do you truly gain that matters? This ‘chasing’ after the world and the temporal never stops by man (you) alone. When you die what will people say about you? Will anyone who ‘actually’ cared about you be in attendance at your funeral? Did you even have true relationships?  Probably not. Those people were a lot like you, and only befriended you because of your money, power, status, and ‘things’ – this way they could use you and have/share what you had with the least amount of work and effort…. So when you do see Christ on that last day, what will you have to show Him? Is what you have here be of any value in Heaven? It’s like saying ‘I know I did nothing for the service of others or further your kingdom, but here Christ have the keys to my deluxe coupe mercades benz/ferrari eco hybrid that goes from 0 to 120 in 3.4 seconds in return for the gift of Heaven and eteranal life!” I don’t think so. After thinking on this for a bit, because eventually you will on your own terms, do you think that you could buy favor back, buy your life back, or more importantly your soul? When you sell or trade your soul – which is eternal – to have things that are temporal and pass away – how could you ‘buy’ your soul back? You soldand it to the ‘world’, you gave the ‘world’ something eternal – it wont accept something temporal over something eternal. Thete is nothe ‘return policy’. You could give money to a homeless person, or you could donate to a charity, you could build a house for a 3rd world village, or you could do anything nice, kind, and charitable to make your life have purpose, to help you sleep at night, to buy back and resurrect your soul that you had lost, but it WON’T work. Man alone cannot resurrect a life Christ, and God, alone can – and only Christ,  and God, alone! Find God, rest in His grace, live in His son’s sacrifice and receive salvation, then be empowered by the Holy Spirit to go forth and fully turn your back on your sins, confess them aloud to God and ask for forgiveness from your brothers/sisters (those you hurt) and never do it again by taping into Gods power through prayer. Your disease is this world, your fleshy desires, and passions but your cure is Christ’s salvation and the Good News.


Walk in Love – 2 John 1:6

“…And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love….” – ESV / Commentary


Joshua 7 – Buzzkill

Awesome sermon by Levi Lusko about doing what God commands, and what God wills, rather than doing things your way or the highway. The video might take a moment to load because (1) It’s Vimeo (2) It’s a worthwhile one hour experience that must load first. This sermon and study will give you a good 1, 2, punch and self check, hope you enjoy as much as I did, and God Bless.

p.s.- if all else fails click here then go to Filter By, and you will filter by Speaker and in the drop down menu search for Levi Lusko (it’s alphabetized), click his name and the podcast is titled Buzzkill – Joshua 7 – it’s dated for Sunday 06/17/2012.


Romans 8:20-21 – Future Glory

“…For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God…..” – ESV / Commentary


John 15:16 – Picked Fruit

“….You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you….” – ESV / Commentary


2 Timothy 2:1-3 – Faithful Soldiers

Let us remember what they fight for….
– For History of Memorial Day Click on Picture…

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” – ESV / Commentary


Hypocracy – What is it?

What is hypocrisy really? Has the original meaning and use of the term been depreciated? Why are people hypocrites? We will discuss and answer these three questions on hypocrisy by utilizing verses from Matthew 23, psychological studies done on the subject, multiple dictionaries, and is also freely to be discussed in posts as well. This is going to be a 3 day look into Hypocrisy and what it is and what it’s all about. Maybe we can change perspectives and open the eyes and soften the hearts of those who charge the term solely to Christians and the belief of Christianity.

What is Hypocrisy?

Hypocrisy defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary is as such; (1) a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion. (2) an act or instance of hypocrisy. The origin of the term is stated as such; Middle English ypocrisie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, from Greek hypokrisis act of playing a part on the stage, hypocrisy, from hypokrinesthai to answer, act on the stage, from hypo- + krinein to decide.

Here is the Biblical definition of Hypocrisy; sourced from Matthew 23 and the Strong’s Concordance – Hebrew Greek Lexicon; coming from the Greek hypokritēs and is a masculine noun meaning (1) one who answers, or an interpreter. (2) an actor, stage player. (3) a dissembler, pretender, or hypocrite. This word was only used 20 times in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke only.

Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches, as Samuel Johnson made this point when he wrote about the misuse of the charge of “hypocrisy” in Rambler No. 14:

“…Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself

Basically what Samuel Johnson was attempting to explain was it’s unjust to accuse one of Hypocrisy if he/she express an eager desire for the virtues or ideals which he/she neglects to practice – or in other words live up to – because he/she does know the advantages of conquering this eager desire but just hasn’t obtained the victory or accomplishment of it. Then he gives an example of a man who is confident in the advantage of a voyage, or journey, but just doesn’t have, or learned, the courage or industry to undertake it, so he recommends it to others, to compensate what he has neglected to conquer in himself. This is also now unjustly termed being a Honest Hypocrite which will be explained below.

Hypocrisy Formula

Scientifically and Socially speaking there are two types of “Non-Hypocrites” which are as follows;

Tautological Rationalizers are not hypocrites because their beliefs and perceptions of reality conform to support their own desires and imperfections. They can not be hypocrites because their beliefs and perceptions of reality are rationalizations for their actions and are without objectivity. When a state of hypocrisy arises, tautological rationalizers conform their beliefs around their actions to eliminate contradiction, rather than conforming their actions around their beliefs.

Devoted Believers’ actions never contradict their beliefs. They are completely devoted to what they believe in. Their beliefs and perceptions of reality are not rationalizations for their own actions. Their beliefs and perceptions of reality are the result of either objective logic, blind faith, or a combination of the two. Regardless of the source of their beliefs, their beliefs and actions are without contradiction.

There are also four types of Hypocrites which are as follows;

Honest External hypocrites: Their stated beliefs contradict their actions. However, their stated beliefs are consistent with their actual internal beliefs. Therefore they are also honest internal hypocrites. They have strong convictions but do not always follow through.

Dishonest External hypocrites: Their stated beliefs contradict their actions and their stated beliefs are not consistent with their actual beliefs. They often have weak convictions, and it is possible for them to be non-hypocritical on an internal level.

Honest internal hypocrites: Their internal beliefs contradict their actions. Their internal beliefs remain constant despite their contradicting actions. They are honest with themselves, and strive not to conform their beliefs around their own desires, actions, or imperfections.

Dishonest internal hypocrites: stated beliefs are consistent with actions, but actual internal beliefs are not. They are often people pleasers with weak internal convictions. (all studies in this second section are courtesy of Lonnie L.)

Biblicaly there are seven reasons, or seven woes, to why Jesus called the Pharisees Hypocrites and what constituted them to be termed so, such is as follows;

Seeking the Approval of Men rather than God; (Matthew 23:5). Everything was done to attract the approval of others. The approval of God took a back seat. The Pharisees would dress distinctively in garb that would symbolize their righteousness. It was more important that they appeared righteous to others than whether they really were righteous or not. In today’s world they would be the ones to watch the opinion polls and then try to do and say those things which would gain them the most respect. They would turn true righteousness on its ear, ridicule those who seek to live by faith, and heap congratulations to one another for their wonderful “insight” and grandiosely good deeds.

They Blocked Entrance Into The Kingdom; (Matthew 23:13) By prescribing their own doctrines, traditions and creeds, the Pharisees were actually keeping others from truly accepting God’s rule in their own lives. They had composed their own standards of right and wrong. Much like today, where we are witnessing a casting off of New Testament moral, ethical, and doctrinal standards in favor of the standards of men and the new age culture. How seldom do men and women today appeal to the only sound standard of right and wrong, that their grandfather’s father’s implemented and passed down through their genealogy; which is the word of God.

They Convert People to the Wrong Teachings; (Matthew 23:15). A person’s enthusiasm and passion are not the only clues as to whether he is right with God or not. While we may be sure that a person who is neglectful and disinterested is not right in the sight of God, it is also true that there are people extremely dedicated to false systems, teachings, social, religious, ethical, and otherwise. It’s not that it is wrong to travel and teach. In fact, that is a right. But what is taught must be correct, not taken out of context, and not used to fuel selfish desire and sinful nature, lest we make the same mistakes the Pharisees did.

They Lie; (Matthew 23:16). The Pharisees had all sorts of tricks to make it appear that they were telling the truth when they in fact were not. They had determined that the gold in the temple was more important than the temple itself, so they would “swear by the temple” and lie, but they would not “swear by the gold of the temple” and lie, because the gold was more precious. Jesus then points out in verses 17-21 that it is always wrong to lie.

They Neglect Important Matters; (Matthew 23:23). The Pharisees were not much on having  justice, mercy, and faithfulness towards God or towards people of the faith. You would find them going through even their spice cabinets to be sure they gave one tenth of everything, as the Law had required a tenth to tithe, but then neglecting developing their own hearts and minds so that their motives might be pure when doing so. Jesus says they should have done both.

They are Hypocrites in General; (Matthew 23:26). This is pretty much a summation of what kind of people the Pharisees had become. They did what they thought was necessary to convince others that they were holy and righteous. This might also translate into those members of the church today who go through whatever motions they must to satisfy what they think are the bare minimum requirements of faith to be ‘saved’, so that others looking upon them will think pleasing God is at least somewhat important to them. Such a corrupt and carnal attitude was unacceptable to Christ then, and certainly still is today.

They Reject The Prophets Before Them; (Matthew 23:34). Jesus referred to how their fathers had rejected and killed the prophets of the Old Testament verse 31. The Pharisees during His time honored these same prophets by dressing the tombs, honoring them, and stating that they would not have killed these prophets if they were there, verses 29b and 30, but Jesus said that they were just like their fathers before them in verses 33 and 34 by them persecuting and flogging those prophets (and soon Him) that were being sent to the temple (such as Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, etc). Even after Jesus’ death and resurrection prophets and apostles such as James, Peter, John, etc.. were persecuted and martyred by not only the Romans but those, like the Pharisees, that had set up their own standards of right and wrong, or went back to the ritual Jewish faith. Truth is sometimes not received very well, and it wasn’t during Jesus’ day, and still isn’t today. The outcome of such a rejection of Truth? “ See, your house is left to you desolate.” verse 38.

The chapter ends with His lament over Jerusalem; ““O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Tomorrow we will be going over the depreciation, over the last few decades, of the use and meaning of the term Hypocrite. Stay Tuned and Thanks for stopping by.

May God Bless your day!


Hebrews 2:1-4 – The Warning

Hebrews 2:1-4 ESV or NKJV – The warning to Pay Attention!

Here the writer is giving the readers a chance to heed this very important warning on giving up on Christ. Previously, it has been written in the first chapter of  Jesus being God’s final revelation, Jesus is the Message and the Messenger, He is the eternal creator, the One in whom all authority is given to, and having told us that even the angels worship Him. The writer begins this chapter with, “Therefore…”

V. 1A – Give more heed to what has been heard…

We must not take the things we have heard lightly, hold them with us loosely, or assume that we have understood the full power behind the meaning. We need to head, and pay attention to it, more closely. The good News is so deep, powerful, unexpected, and contrary to the world view of thinking that you must constantly and consistently be immersed with the word. Have you ever read one scripture verse and is applied to a portion of your life, then months later you read it again and it just so happens to apply to a different portion of your life? If you answered yes, well so have I! The scripture and it’s full meaning is unsearchable, it’s infinite, and its majestic. God gives you wisdom for the day, He lets you know what He wants you to know at that very moment, no more and no less.

If you answered no, and if you are on the brink of turning your back on Christ and the salvation He has for you, there is a high probability that you haven’t really understood or possibly received either Christ or His salvation with a genuine heart. This final word of God, this word of the Gospel that fulfills all other words, cannot be improved upon. This is not just one more piece to the revelation puzzle,  or a continually on-going progressive revelation of God. This is the final revelation to which all other words from God pointed, and in which they will find their fulfillment and their goal.

V.1B – So that we do NOT drift away…

If we have picked Jesus as just one option among many equally steady religious leaders, or if we have picked Him as merely one of any number of gods we might have chosen to worship, if we have not really comprehended that Jesus actually is the one and only way, truth, life, light, etc… Then we stand in quicksand and are in danger of letting go of Him, and sucked up by a previous belief system, or moving on to whatever catches our religious interest next. We are warned of this by Jesus in Matthew with the parable of the sower. V.19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” Our minds and our hearts must be steadfastly focused on Jesus Christ and his salvation, without wavering from the truth that He is precisely who He claimed to be, in order to avoid our drifting away from the way, truth, and everlasting life.

V.2 – The proven, reliable, message…

This verse refers to the word of God given to Moses on Mount Sinai, which the New Testament writers state was mediated through angels (click here for reference). If that message which was meditated by the angels was violated, penalties and punishment would be incurred. How much more terrible a thing is it to abandon the this message. A message that is not only spoken by the Son of God but actually is the Son of God. The message given to Moses on Mt Sinai was merely a foreshadow to this new message, and the Old Testament salvation was prophetic to this New Testament salvation.

V.3-4 – Neglect and there is no escape…

The New Testament salvation is the ultimate and final one. There is nothing more to add to it, and nothing less that can be taken away, this message was established by God and it is perfect. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows…” (James 1:17). To scorn, ignore, or drift away from this salvation is to let go of mankind’s best and only hope. But also it is to let go of God’s only and final provision for you. All other types of salvation that you can muster up are nothing and none can compare to something as great as a GIFT of eternal life. The warning is that there is no escaping later down the road if you chose to reject the escape being given now.

In the case of the Hebrews, which whom this letter was written to, they stood on the brink of deserting the New Testament salvation to return to their former religion of Jewish ritual. But to do so would reveal that they had never really understood this salvation to begin with.

The writer then gives four points of validation of this new salvation:

  1. Announced by the Lord.
  2. Confirmed by those who heard.
  3. Confirmed by miracles of God.
  4. Confirmed by the distribution of Gifts of the Holy Spirit by God.

Within the first four verses he begins to show his readers the foolishness and danger of their position of deserting this message of salvation. The writer continues to reveal more of this, as we see in our next study…

Thank you and God Bless!


Isaiah 61:1-3 – The Broken, Poor, and Captive

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit, that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” – ESV / Commentary


Ephesians 2:8-9 – Saving Grace

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“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – ESV / Commentary


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