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No Corners Cut, No Pacifying, No Round-About Way

“You’re Threading on Dangerous Grounds… Careful!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

The Word coming from most pulpits today is weakening, rather than empowering God’s people. Careful!  The apostle Paul wrote to his young protégé, Timothy, warning him to do the things that will avoid the trend we are now seeing in the church. “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” {2Tim. 4:1-5}. I tell you, as shepherds of God’s flock, preachers should have no scruples to preach the Truth as it is found in God’s Word. Let the Truth cut. So what! The Truth always cut one way or the other. I have been shown that why ministers have not more success is they are afraid of hurting feelings, fearful of not being courteous, and they lower the standard of Truth. But I come to tell you that the Truth must be made pointed, and the necessity of a decision urged. As servants of God we must cry aloud, and spare not, and leave the result with God.  STOP SUGARCOATING the Word of God and Preach the Word of God, AS IS!

Yes I often speak candidly. That is because I have been given a mandate by God to Sound the Alarm! And I only speak the way God instructs me.  If you didn’t know God has called some to bring positive words of encouragement and comfort and hope. Some He’s called to be those who exhort and rebuke and correct. I just happen to be the latter. But in the midst of all the “uprooting and tearing down and destroying and overthrowing,” hope is offered beyond judgment.  You know, like Jeremiah {Titus 2:`15} God said to me, “You are not going to have a delightful, prosperous ministry, because when they hear what you have to tell them, they’re going to reject it and they’re going to reject you, despising you and your words the whole way through, but I’ll be with you.  God knew Jeremiah, chose Jeremiah, and appointed Jeremiah. He was known by name, hand-picked by God, and commissioned to serve. And the Lord did not give Jeremiah a joyful message of deliverance to announce, but a tragic message of judgment. Consequently, Jeremiah was misunderstood, persecuted, arrested, and imprisoned. More than once his life was threatened because the people did not want to hear the Truth. But Jeremiah told them plainly they were defying the Lord, disobeying the law, and destined for judgment, and He has called me to do the same. You are “Threading on Dangerous Grounds – Careful!”

Listen, God expects obedience, immediately. If we don’t we are in danger of God’s wrath.  Immediate obedience is the only appropriate response when God calls.  Has God called you? Then He will fulfill His purpose in you, He will equip you, He will enable you, He will protect you, He will accompany you.  He will accomplish his purpose no matter how the people respond. Woe to you if you do not preach the gospel and even greater woe if you preach it in error. Remember you will give an account for what you have said. So Preach the Word, not just part of the Word. Preach the Word completely, totally, comprehensively. Paul said he did not hesitate to proclaim the whole will of God {Acts 20:27}.  Do not dilute the Word. Do not distort the Word. Do not delete the Word.  Do not substitute the Word. Preach the Word always, and don’t let your life contradict the message you Preach and do not allow the fear of men to silence your Preaching.

According to Peter, writing in Chapter 3 of his letter, we should, first keep our minds on the will of God. Besides, who is there to harm us if we should prove zealous for what is good? And even if we should suffer for the sake of righteousness, we are blessed. So do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence, and keep a good conscious so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God would will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

Don’t you know that Jesus was never motivated by how His message would be received? In fact, He reduced His congregation to just a faithful few after preaching on sacrifice. They walked away. He didn’t chase after them. He didn’t change His message to cheer them up. When they sought sweet words, He gave them Truth. It is essential that we teach the whole counsel of God. I tell you, you are “Threading on Dangerous Grounds – Careful!”

Listen; do not be afraid of men. We have the promise of God’s prevailing, “Today, I am the One who has made you a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priest, and the population. They will fight against you but never prevail over you, since I am with you to rescue you” (Jer. 1:18-19) Notice the architectural terms: a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls. They are solid and unshakeable like the God who conceived us and the prophet whom they would come to characterize. God reassured Jeremiah. Attack you they will… overcome you they can’t. Let me say that again. Attack you they will… overcome you they can’t. So the person who stands with God will prevail.   So No Corners-cut, No Pacifying, No Round-about Way! Don’t trim your message to fit the masses. Preach the Word continually, exclusively, completely and courageously. If you don’t you are, “Threading on Dangerous Grounds – Careful!”

 

 

“Who Let The Dogs Out?” Woof…Woof!

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

To put it bluntly, there is a lot of Phony Christianity out there. There are those who are deceived and who are deceiving others. There are those trusting more in rituals and church membership than a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are those claiming to speak for God and using their “ministries” to line their pockets with money from gullible people. Not only did the apostle Paul had to confront people who did dumb things in the name of the Christian faith, but God tells us that He doesn’t like it when people do not do the very thing that He has commanded. Exactly! Not only does He “not like it,” He hates it! He hates it when people fake it.  He hates it when people attempt to serve him with self-effort. He hates guile and duplicity. He hates it when people have the audacity to think that they can fool Him! We may be able to fool men – even ourselves- of our bogus piety and sincerity, but are we really so arrogant to think that we can fool God? You know Jesus warned about bogus Christianity many times? In Matthew 7:15 He said, “Watch out for false prophets.” He wasn’t speaking about false prophets in the world but about false ministers in the church. False prophets are ministers who preach a gospel of deception and lies. As agents of Satan, they speak lies and contradict the Word of God at every turn. They are dangerous, like ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing.  In Jeremiah 6:14, God says, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.” False prophets never speak about man’s sin, the wrath of God, or the coming judgment. Their mission is to put Band-Aids on people serious wounds, covering them up rather than dealing with them. Instead of preaching about sin, judgment, hell, the wrath of God, repentance, or saving faith, or saying the cross is necessary for salvation, they say God loves and save all people. But as Jeremiah asked, “To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? I tell you the dogs have been turned loose on folks trying to live for God like never before. Satan and his minions hate believers, and they strive to trip us up, tempting us and trying to lure us into sin and impair our effectiveness in God’s Kingdom. But thank God we were not created ignorant of what sin is and what it would do, (Gen 2:16-17; Romans 4:15; 5:13)

 Listen; regardless of whether you realize it, Satan has targeted you as a victim. He knows your name and address, your strengths and weaknesses. Somewhere in the shadows, he and his forces lurk, even in churches, waiting, planning for the moment they will strike when you’re caught off-guard. He desperately hopes that you will, as many Christians remain ignorant of his reality. But as Jesus said, “whatsoever causes you to forget yourself, even if it is your right eye… then take it out and throw it away.” He is not saying anything that has to be taken literally; it is a metaphor. He is saying that it is better to be blind than to be forgetful of yourself because the blind man who remembers himself is not blind, he has the real eye. But if a man who has eyes forgets himself, what is the use of having eyes? He cannot see even himself; what else can he see? Either we need to hit our knees and pray for spiritual reality in us or assume God has given someone else a message. But I, for the sake of the ‘form of things’ or human convention or pride, WILL NOT FAKE IT!Who Let The Dogs Out?”  Because most of those who claim to represent Jesus actually don’t. Moreover, as time goes on, even more pretenders will arise, however sincere they may be. Jesus said, I have told you beforehand” (Matt.24 25).  So wake-up and smell the coffee! The truth will set you free!

Even though some of what I’ve said may sound critical.  It may sound harsh, even sarcastic.  There are times when truth sounds that way and I make NO APOLOGY.  In Matthew 23 Jesus is speaking out against the religious rulers of His day. His tone was angry.  He was both confrontive and critical.  He even used biting sarcasm several times to make His point and illustrate how far these men had departed from God’s righteousness and truth.  But His heart was pure.  His love and compassion for them was evident.  I’m not Jesus, and I can’t say my heart is pure, even though I’d like it to be.  But, I can identify with Jesus in this one thing: when I see the religious deception perpetrated on people, I grieve.

Some time ago the Lord took me to Jeremiah 5 and showed me that this passage doesn’t just describe the condition of Israel in Jeremiah’s day; it also describes the condition of churches today.  This is what it says:  “And should I not punish them for this rebellion? Declares the Lord! Should I not avenge Myself on a nation such as this?  A horrible and amazing thing has happened in the land: the prophets are liars, telling the people only what they want to hear; the leaders deceive my people, using a false authority that I have not given them; and worst of all, the people want it this way.  But what will they do when the end comes, and they are still bound up in all this deception?”  (Jeremiah 5:29-31

Herein lies my greatest fear: that most people in the Church are happy with the way things are and will not be interested in anything that opposes the truth as they see it.    But all I can say is that I’m confident of the message God has given me, and I know the Word of God can take care of itself. Since most of what God has given me represents a serious departure from conventional wisdom, I can only quote Paul:  “Remember what Isaiah said, God will turn conventional wisdom upside down.  The time will come when the so-called religion experts will be the ones who look foolish.  So where does that leave the one who thinks he’s wise, or the well educated, or the one who understands the ways of the world?  Isn’t God going to expose all this pretentious nonsense?  The world never had a clue when it came to knowing and understanding God.  That’s why He uses the things that the world thinks are foolish or just plain wrong, even unpleasant, to guide those who trust in Him on their way to salvation.”  (I Corinthians 1:19-21)  

I pray that we will examine our Christianity and see whether it is simply empty profession or whether we embrace the kingdom of God and its law. Think it through. Foolishness will never help us, because, according to the Bible, foolishness is rejection of God as King, rejection of His law, rejection of His plan, and rejection of His way. “Who Let The Dogs Out? Woof, Woof!”

 

 

“I Want You to Know That… You Are Not the Only One!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

One of the things that the Bible gives us is incredible testimonies. It gives us a glimpse of the struggles and successes of people that went through some things. Without these testimonies, we would think that we were the only ones who went through what we are going through. I’m talking to somebody today who’s agitated, and stirred in your spirit, because you sense God is calling you to another level. Many times the agitation and frustration you feel is the unwillingness of the flesh to make the necessary adjustments. Don’t think that what you are experiencing is some strange or unique battle. On the contrary, you are in good company! Recall Job, Jeremiah, Elijah, David, and Paul. Perhaps like Paul, you are being pressed beyond measure, tested beyond your endurance and you’re on the brink of giving up. I just stop by to encourage you to keep your faith; because God is going to see you through. When you think you can’t go on another hour, when everything looks absolutely hopeless, cry out to God with all that is in you, “Lord, help!” Consider the counsel of the psalmist: Psalm 58:16-18; 18:1-6; 32:2-3; and the key verse 72:12.

Can I tell you about Jeremiah?  Jeremiah was called at an early age, and he was called to a great assignment, but Jeremiah felt that his assignment was too great for him. The persecution that he endured as a result of doing what God called him to do force him to throw his hands up and tell the Lord that he wanted to quit!”  This message today is for people just like Jeremiah. You know that God has a great assignment for your life, but the truth is you are at a place in your life where you are contemplating just giving up. Some of you woke up this morning declaring, “If I don’t get a Word today I AM DONE!”  You have decided that you are not going to fight for it anymore. Your frustration is at an all time high. You love the Lord, but you have decided that God is going to have to find somebody else to finish your assignment.  But isn’t it amazing how God will send His Word at the right time so we cannot walk away from the awesome thing that He is going to do in our life.

There are two things that I would like for you to REMEMBER ALWAYS. No matter what the devil is doing with you, you must know that you are necessary and that you are significant to the Kingdom. You see the enemy is trying to corrupt you, “He don’t want you to know the truth”. In fact he don’t even like you because when you made up in your mind that you’re going to serve God, the devil got real angry with you. But, “To Hell with the Devil!”    When you have gone through Hell, and High Water, and you know God brought you out, you don’t mind saying something; you don’t mind telling the devil, “The Hell with You!”  The devil realizes that if he can make you give up, he will literally manipulate God’s agenda for you. That’s why Quitting is not an option! You may say, but you don’t understand! Oh I understand alright. Assignments are tough! Jeremiah assignment was to prophesy concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah’s assignment was to go to the people of God who had fallen into apathy. These were people that had become lukewarm and had chosen to fall away from God. These were people that God had been good too, but had chosen to live contrary to His Word and as a result had become so arrogant that they walked around saying they could do what they wanted to do because God was with them. These were the people that Jeremiah had to prophesy to. When God gives you an assignment, the assignment is never to make the comfortable more comfortable. The assignment is always to make the comfortable uncomfortable. The assignment is always to effect change. It is to push them into their destiny whether they like it or not. Your conflict, agitation, frustration is because God has placed a call on your life. And the enemy is trying to stop you so the assignment will never come to fruition. But the devil is so stupid, he don’t realize you can’t hinder God’s work.

 

All of us have cried over what we have gone through while trying to do God’s will. It is a test of our character. God wants to know if you will represent Him while you are going through what you are going through. It is about how you will act under pressure. You were anointed for your assignment. This is really about a commitment.  You have to realize the Sovereignty of God. You have to realize that you didn’t choose the assignment, the assignment chose you. If you give up, somebody’s life will be affected. God has sent His Word to remind you that you have been anointed for the trial. You have been consecrated for this. “I Want You to Know That…You Are Not the Only One!” Thank God for His Word – Revelation.