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Posts tagged ‘Jesus the Christ’

Jesus and Only Jesus: Why Is That So Difficult?


Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 12:02 PM178 SHARES

Jesus and Only Jesus: Why Is That So Difficult? Joe McKeever Guest Blogger MOREOnly Jesus.

–No one has been to Heaven except the One who came from there.  John 3:13.  How clear is that?  He is the One who knows.

–No one can come to God the Father except through Jesus.  John 14:6.  How clear is that?  He is our Mediator.

–No one can know God unless Jesus reveals Him to them.  Matthew 11:27.  How clear is that?  He is the Revealer.

–There is no other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Only Jesus.  Acts 4:12.  How clear is that?  He is our Savior.

–Jesus said He was given authority over all mankind.  John 3:35; 13:3; 17:2 and Matthew 28:18.  How clear is that?  He is Lord.

Here’s an outline that sums it up for me. 

It got me out of bed in the middle of the night recently.  Use it if you can and if the Lord leads…

–One. There is only One who has come from Heaven–and He alone is our AUTHORITY on matters of Heaven and eternity.  John 3:13

That’s why even the Father told people, “Listen to Him!”  (Luke 9:35)

–Two.  There is only One who has gone to the cross and made atonement for our sins–and He alone is our SAVIORJohn 3:16

That’s why the Holy Spirit draws people to Him.  He is the Door (John 10).

–Three.  There is only One who has risen from the dead and ascended to the Father–and He alone is our LORD.  Acts 2:32-36.

That’s why every knee shall bow, every tongue confess.  He alone is Lord.

Jesus is our Authority on things of life and the afterlife, our Savior from our sins and from the world, and Lord of Heaven and earth.  He alone is worthy of all worship.

Jesus.  It all comes down to Jesus.  He is the focus of all God has revealed.

“Jesus Christ is everything God has to say about Himself.” –John Bisagno

This is where people miss it.

They speak of God and think that’s enough.  If they preach about God, what could be wrong with that?  If they tell people to turn to God, they’re solid.

But they’re wrong.

Lots of people believe in God, they say, but have no use for Jesus.

It’s all about Jesus, friend.  People have a thousand concepts of God, and have even made gods in their own image.  They have no trouble with you telling them to “believe in God,” “turn to God” and “worship God.”  It’s when you bring Jesus into the conversation that they jump ship.

No one in the New Testament was persecuted for talking about God.  It was the Jesus-talk that got them into trouble.

–In Acts 4, the disciples were “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead,” and were arrested. When put on trial, they announced, “it is by the name of Jesus the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, that this man was healed.”  The authorities conferred and agreed to demand that “they speak no more to any man in that name.”

Had they preached the typical “God-only” message in a thousand churches today, they would have been safe.

–In Acts 5, they are arrested. The authorities say, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name….”  After the believers were flogged, they went on their way, “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.”  And they kept right on  preaching Jesus.

Had they chosen to leave Jesus out of it, as is done in a thousand churches today, they could have spared themselves the suffering.

–In Acts 8, Philip joins himself to the Ethiopian who was puzzled by what he was reading in Scripture.  “And beginning from this scripture, he preached Jesus to him.”

–In Acts 9, when Saul of Tarsus is knocked off his high horse, he stares into the brightest light he has ever seen and he hears a voice coming from it. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  And then, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

When Saul took action against the believers, Jesus took it personally.

Anyone see a trend here?  It’s all about Jesus.

To stay safe in ministry, leave Jesus out of it.  To our shame, a great portion of our congregations will never notice.  But the ones who know the Father will notice and will care.  And at judgement, those who heard you but never knew Jesus will rise up and witness against you.

Tell them of Jesus, friend.  Tell them He is the Authority on spiritual matters and heavenly things.  Tell them He is the only Savior who can save us from our sins.  Tell them He is Lord, for now and forever.

Tell them that a day will come when every eye will see Him, every knee bow before Him, and every tongue will cry out that Jesus is Lord!  And that they would do well to get started now.

As I write, just yesterday a pastor friend did a funeral for a lovely young mother whom he had never met.  She left a grieving husband and a small child.  At the funeral, friend after friend rose to tell of her good works. But not a soul mentioned her faith or her relationship with Jesus.  Afterward, a family member sought out the pastor. “You did a good job of skirting the issue,” he said.

He continued, “Our family did not go to church.  Our parents never took us.  All our church friends just assumed we were Christians.  No one ever asked.”

Let us not be guilty of assuming everyone around us knows the Lord Jesus Christ, friend.  Let’s go tell them.

Tell them of Jesus.

(This was first posted on Dr. McKeever’s blog site here: http://joemckeever.com/wp/jesus-and-only-jesus-why-is-that-so-difficult/#more-15005)

He is Risen!


waving flagAuthored by Monica Cole | Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 1:10 PM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/faith/2017/04/he-is-risen/

He Is Risen! All that Christians do for Christ must be rooted in Holy Week which culminates in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Nails were not what held Jesus to the cross. – Monica Cole

Resurrection Sunday is a time to rejoice! Jesus paid a debt that no one else could ever pay so that we could be in heaven with Him for eternity. God gave the perfect sacrifice, His only Son, and if we believe in Him, then we will be forgiven and saved from our sins.

To be saved, you must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyone’s sins, including your own, and receive Him as your personal Savior so that one day you can be with our Heavenly Father. If you believe Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, you will also need to admit you are a sinner – as we all are. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” If you have never confessed your sin and professed your belief in Christ, take time to do it right now. Jesus is the only way to be saved and receive eternal life.

On the third day, he rose again from the dead. This is the Good News that Christians celebrate: His Resurrection! He is ALIVE! And one day our Savior will return. He, and only He, sets us free from our sins! “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’” (John 14:6 KJV).

The birth of Jesus is wonderful, but the resurrection is even more exciting. It is the finale to the Christmas story. Jesus accomplished what he came for. His last words before dying on the cross were documented in John 19:30 as, “It is finished.” He knew that all was now completed and that Scripture would be fulfilled. To suggest that more needs to be done to earn your way to heaven is the same as saying Jesus died for nothing. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast”  (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV).

Nails were not what held Jesus to the cross. He had the power to come down from that cross, but He knew His sacrifice had to be complete for there to be true salvation. He died on the cross for you and me because of His love for us. He loved us that much! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV).

If you know of someone who is not saved, please pass this on to them. Share the greatest gift of all with them: a relationship with Jesus Christ and eternal life. Also, share this with your brothers and sisters in Christ so they may use it to share with others. God commands that we share the gospel with others. We need to help one another become passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

Have a meaningful Holy Week and blessed Resurrection celebration!

Monica Cole

One Million Moms Director

 

 

rom 6 23 wages of sinrom 5 28 showed his great love for usmatt 20 28 came to serve and give his lifejohn 3 16Gal 5 24 nailed to his crosseph 1 7 purchased freedom with his blood2 cor 5 21 He knew no sin but became sin

Does Jesus Believe in Immigration Restrictions? Absolutely


waving flagAuthored By:  Bryan Fischer | Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 12:41 PM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/bible/2017/02/does-jesus-believe-in-immigration-restrictions-absolutely/

In the kingdom of the age to come, documentation is required, a profession of allegiance is required, the borders are patrolled, and intruders are expelled.

– Bryan Fischer; Host of “Focal Point” Connect FollowMore Articles

We have heard endless bloviation from media types who have spent their entire journalistic careers in open hostility to Christianity suddenly pontificating about how un-Christian it is to build walls and restrict immigration to the United States. Why, we’re told, that’s not something Jesus would do! He himself was a refugee! How can you call yourself a Christian and not believe in letting anybody and everybody in? That’s what Jesus would do!

Now we know that people who think and talk like this are wrong. When Jesus came to Earth, he did not come as a immigrationrefugee. He came as the rightful king, intent on reclaiming what had been stolen from him by the Prince of Darkness. When his parents took him to Egypt as a child, they didn’t go as refugees but as exiles who returned to their homeland as soon as they could. When his parents took him to Bethlehem, they didn’t go as refugees, they went as hard-working taxpayers doing their civic duty.

Biblically we know that there is a legitimate place for walls, for physical barriers designed for protection. God sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem to build one around the city to keep the bad guys out. We know that immigration bans under the right circumstances are appropriate, for God permanently banned immigration from the neighboring nations of Ammon and Moab because of their historic and implacable hostility to Israel. 

But we know that building walls and using immigration restrictions are legitimate policies because Jesus will use them in his own kingdom. (I am indebted to my good friend Jeff Reed for this idea, but don’t blame him for anything in what follows that you don’t like. That’s on me.)

The Scriptures tell us that the eternal city of his coming kingdom will be surrounded by “a great high wall with twelve gates” (Revelation 21:12), each guarded by an angel so undocumented intruders cannot enter. Identification papers will be scrutinized carefully before anyone is allowed to enter through one of the great big beautiful doors that are built in this wall that surrounds the city. In John’s vision, “books were opened,” and “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life” he was not only not admitted but “thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12; 15). Talk about extreme vetting and deportation.

Only those who “wash their robes” in the shed blood of Christ will be allowed to “enter the city by its gates” (Revelation 22:14). Those who refuse to adopt the values of the eternal city will remain outside its walls. “Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Revelation 22:15). In other words, cultural assimilation will not be optional for someone who desires a place in this coming kingdom. 

Immigration controls will be stout, and deportation for those without proper documentation will be enforced. The king will apprehend those who try to sneak in and pass themselves off as citizens when they are not, and say to them, “Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

How do would-be immigrants get their names written in this register, this book of life, so that they will be admitted through the gates on that day? How do they get the visa, if you will, that entitles them to enter the kingdom of God? 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). All prior allegiances must be renounced, and Jesus must be acknowledged as their new sovereign. They must accept him not just as Savior but as Lord. Once they do, their citizenship is granted, their passport is stamped, and they are welcomed to their new kingdom. This citizenship process is open to anyone in the world, anywhere, at any time. 

We have my great-grandfather’s immigration documents hanging on the wall of our living room. In order for him to become a citizen of the United States, it was necessary for him to “renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to all and any foreign Prince, Potentate, State and Sovereignty whatever, and particularly to the Czar of Russia, of whom I was a subject.” Then he was required to declare his new allegiance to a new source of ultimate political authority, the Constitution of the United States.

The earthly process of becoming a citizen of the United States is a parable, a reflection, a shadow, of the process of becoming a citizen of the eternal kingdom. Perhaps God even intended it to be just that, and we cloud the picture when we make foolish changes to sound immigration policy. To be sure, it’s a shadow only, since the eternal kingdom is perfect and America is not. 

In the kingdom of the age to come, documentation is required, a profession of allegiance is required, the borders are patrolled, and intruders are expelled. If that’s how Christ governs his heavenly kingdom, earthly kingdoms can be governed in the same way.

Does Christ believe in immigration control and border security? Of course. And if he does, it’s okay for the United States to believe in them too.

And the ultimate lesson for readers of this column is this: be sure you have your visa in hand because no one knows when the day of ultimate migration will come.immigration

Jesus Predicted Trump and Clinton


waving flagBy: Dr. Frank Turek / Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/decision-2016/jesus-predicted-trump-and-clinton/

trump-clintonJesus and the biblical authors predicted this thousands of years ago.  Not that Trump and Clinton would be opponents in this election.  But that people throughout history would behave like Trump and Clinton. 

Long before this election cycle, biblical scholar Eugene Peterson translated a famous saying by Jesus about our tendency to love “darkness rather than light.” His translation could be an honest news report about this election.  He wrote: “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure” (The Message, John 3:19-20). cover-her-hatred

Could this be the reason Hillary Clinton won’t do a press conference?  She appears addicted to “denial and illusion” and won’t come into the light because the truth about her scandals is too painful.

It appears that she and Bill have sold influence by taking money from foreign governments, but there’s been no opportunity to ask her about it.  After lying about what happened in Benghazi, Mrs. Clinton says “what difference does it make now?” On jeopardizing national security by sending classified information over her own unsecure server, she says “I made a mistake.” 

Despite whatever new thing the FBI is saying today, that’s not a “mistake.”  A mistake is an unintended act that results when you lack information or have wrong information.  Setting up an unsecure server in your basement when you are a government official handing secret information is a premeditated, deliberate act to avoid detection and accountability.  That’s a crime. (It certainly is for anyone lower in the government food chain.) But human nature tends to minimize culpability by calling it a “mistake” and then avoids the light at all costs. 

flateringDonald Trump apologized for his lewd remarks about making unwanted advances on women.  Then human nature kicked in and he minimized the incident by calling it “locker room talk” while turning the spotlight back on the actions of Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Don’t pay attention to my history—look at hers! Granted, the Clintons have done worse.  But that doesn’t make your words just “locker room talk.” 

Jesus’ said, “What comes out of the mouth defiles a man.”  And His half-brother, James gave equally grave warnings about our language.  Peterson translates James this way, “By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”  A more literal way of putting that is “our tongue sets on fire the course of our life.”   

That’s what some people fear about Trump.  While Clinton is too predictable—predictably corrupt—Trump might be too unpredictable.  He could set on fire with his tongue the course of the country (for better or worse depending on your worldview).

fight

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

There’s only one thing we can predict with certainty:  the next president will be a fallen human being with a sinful nature.  That’s true even if someone other than Trump or Clinton miraculously wins because we all have hearts in need of redemption, whether we are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent.

That’s why our Founding Fathers deliberately created a government of separated powers.  They knew human nature was depraved and believed that absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.  Yet, ironically, we need a government precisely because we are fallen.  As James Madison put it, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” 

We’re certainly not angels.  In fact, Christianity is the only world religion that admits we are universally bent toward evil. The first book of the Bible declares that “people have an intent toward evil from an early age.” The Apostle Paul nailed us all when he said that we “suppress the donerstruth” about God and what’s right so we can do the immoral things we want to do. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is desperately wicked.  Who can know it?”  How else can you explain anyone’s support for literally tearing apart full-term babies in the barbaric procedure known as partial birth abortion?    

I know.  That’s not you.  You think you’re a “pretty good person.”  But let me ask you a question.  If all of your thoughts were transmitted across your forehead in big LED letters, would you leave your house?  Would you let anyone see your face?  Not only is it much more natural to be selfish than selfless, my thoughts and your thoughts are often evil.  

So we can all wag our fingers like Pharisees at the candidates and declare that they are immoral people.  And you would be correct about the immorality of some of their political positions (such as Hillary’s support for partial birth abortion).  But if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve also thought and done evil in our own lives.  Perhaps not the same evil in the same way or to the same extent, but we’re all guilty nonetheless.

What are you doing about that? 

Every other world religion claims you have to do this and do that to somehow win favor with God.  Maybe your good deeds will outweigh your bad?  Unfortunately, that’s impossible.  Perfect justice doesn’t work that way. Bad deeds need to be punished regardless of whether or not you’ve done any good deeds. img_0879

That’s why Christ came. He came to pay for your sins and mine: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Since Christ is the only one who can pay the ransom—who can pay your debt—trusting in Him is the only way you can avoid punishment and have your sins forgiven.

Have you done that?  

Oh, you’re not convinced it’s true?  Jesus and the Bible writers got human nature right, but not much else?  Well, there’s actually abundant evidence they got lots right, including Christ’s Resurrection (watch or read).

That means, although America will one day end, you will live for eternity.  It also means that your decision about Christ is far more important than the one you’ll make in this img_0888election.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio. Likewise no comments directed at the moderator(s) will be approved.)

Dr. Frank Turek Host of AFR’s “Cross Examined” Connect More Articles

Your decision about Christ is far more important than the one you’ll make in this election.”

– Dr. Frank Turek
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Obama has new target on persecuted Christians


waving flagPosted By Leo Hohmann On 08/23/2015

Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL to article: http://www.wnd.com/2015/08/obama-has-new-target-on-persecuted-christians

Robert DeKelaita outside of federal court in Chicago in September 2014.

Robert DeKelaita outside of federal court in Chicago in September 2014.

Living as a Christian in many parts of Iraq or Syria has become impossible – a one-way ticket to martyrdom at the hands of ISIS – yet it remains a near-impossible feat for these persecuted religious minorities to find refuge in America. But if you can get to America and get your case in the hands of Robert DeKelaita, your chances are greatly improved.

muslim-obamaAs it turns out, this high-powered Chicago attorney may have been a little too successful. He’s gained asylum for thousands of persecuted Christian from Iraq, Syria and Egypt, and that caught the attention of the Obama Justice Department, which is known to be no friend of Middle Eastern Christians.

DeKelaita, 52, grew up in Kirkuk in the heart of Assyria, a portion of northern Iraq that is home to one of the world’s most ancient Christian communities. Legend has it that the Apostle Thomas evangelized the long-pagan area shortly after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The Christians there still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

After Saddam Hussein took power, DeKelaita’s family emigrated to the U.S. in 1973 and settled in the Chicago area. He was just shy of 11 years old at the time. He excelled in school, became a lawyer and vowed to use his legal skills to help his people escape religious persecution by the majority Muslims.

He’s helped reunite hundreds of families in the U.S., most of them since 2003 when the U.S. invasion and overthrow of Saddam unleashed a wave of Islamic terror against Christians that far exceeded anything that was seen under the secular Baathist regime.

The Obama administration moved against DeKelaita in September 2014, raiding his office and scooping up whatever “evidence” they could find against him. He was indicted on charges of falsifying the asylum applications of 12 clients over a 10-year period, allegedly concocting “phony claims” of religious persecution. The government has delayed his trial twice while it seeks to firm up witnesses who will testify against him.Christian Persecution

Each count of immigration fraud carries a maximum of 10 years prison and a $250,000 fine.

DeKelaita has been a pillar in the Assyrian Christian community in Chicago, founding the Ashurbanipal Library and donating to projects that celebrate Assyrian art and culture.

“Robert has been a very successful immigration lawyer for our people,” said Ramon Michael, a fellow Assyrian Christian whose family came to the U.S. about the same time as DeKelaita’s.

“I’ve known him since high school,” Michael said. “He has a passion for what he does.”

Some find it ironic that the Obama administration is going after a lawyer who helps persecuted Iraqi Christians gain asylum while it welcomed and granted cart blanch asylum for more than 68,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last summer.

At the same time Central Americans are being greeted with a “catch and release” policy at the border, a group of 27 Assyrian Christians who made it to the border earlier this year are being detained indefinitely.Obama-muslim-2-610x400

“The way that some of our federal judges view the plight of Christians in Iraq and the way some of the adjudicators view them, you would honestly think ‘what is wrong with these people?’” DeKelaita, who lives in a suburb of Chicago with his wife of 25 years, Ester, and two sons, told WND. “Why can’t they see what the rest of the world sees?”

He said one judge told him: “To argue that Christians in Iraq are being targeted for their religious beliefs is to appeal to either ignorance or emotion.” “That is absurd,” DeKelaita said.

Though he’s had his share of wins, it’s the losses that stick with him. Like the case in Detroit a few years ago.

“It was very disappointing to hear that judge, on Christmas Eve, deny your client asylum after his brother had just been killed in Baghdad,” DeKelaita said. “He’d owned a CD store and the Muslims felt, you know, that’s a sin, so they blew up his store and they killed several others with him.”

But the judge ruled that because one Muslim had also died in the attack that there was no targeting of Christians. It didn’t matter that seven Christians died and the owner of the store was a Christian selling Western-style music, which Muslims detest.

“I didn’t know what to say to my client,” he said. “We wished the judge a merry Christmas and just walked out of the courtroom.”War on Christians

Meanwhile, the slaughter continues in Iraq and Syria. Another 220 Assyrian families were kidnapped just last week in Syria and fears are growing that the men will face beheading, the women a life of servitude as sex slaves. Bishops in Syria and Iraq have put out desperate pleas for help, saying they feel abandoned by the West.persecution-persecuted-christians

‘Robert is our hero’

More than a few of the “lucky ones” say they owe their lives to Robert DeKelaita. “My sister and her three young children are among the Assyrian hostages in Syria. We don’t even know if they’re still alive,” said Mimi Odicho of Chicago. “Instead of trying to help save them – save these innocent people – the U.S. government is trying to take down a man who has been our people’s only hope for years. Robert is our hero. I don’t think anyone could possibly understand what he means to us.”

“I think our community finds hope in Robert,” added Narsai Oshana, also of Chicago, “because he is an attorney that is not foreign to our part of the world, to our plight and our history. He knows exactly what we have endured, because he’s lived it himself. He represented me in my asylum claim when I didn’t have any way to pay him except with thanks. That was enough for him. I will never forget that. To me, like many, Robert was light at the end of a very long, horrid tunnel. His name is known everywhere. I am forever indebted to him.”

While it detains Iraq Christian asylum seekers, the Obama administration has been welcoming thousands of Muslim refugees from jihadist hotbeds in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, despite warnings from House Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas, that some of these refugee programs may become a “jihadist pipeline” into the U.S.Obama defending muslims Two

DeKelaita, after his indictment, learned that the FBI had been investigating him since 2008, soon after Obama took office. “It seems like they have more leeway and power to do what they want and so they can,” his old high school friend, Michael, said. He points to the Obama administration’s attempt earlier this year to block an Iraqi nun from entering the country to testify before Congress on the issue of Christian persecution in the Middle East. After coverage by WND and dozens of other news outlets created a public outcry, Obama relented and issued the visa to Sister Diana Momeka.

WND also reported on Aug. 3 that the Obama-led Department of Homeland Security has detained 27 Iraqi Christian asylum seekers in California for six months, despite the fact that most of them have family who are U.S. citizens living in San Diego. “Dangerous people are allowed to come in across our borders and these people, I’d let these people babysit my kids, that’s how much I fear these people,” Michael said. “Something is up. I don’t know what, but it seems to be very anti-Christian to me.”want_rel_liberty_r

One of DeKelaita’s biggest successes was in getting a judge to strike down an outdated and inaccurate report out of Europe that insisted there was no persecution of Christians in Iraq. “This report was saying there is no persecution of Christians in Iraq and for many years they were using that to deny asylum and Robert was able to get that stopped, and that was when things started going bad for him,” Michael said. “He was able to make a pretty substantial impact if judges were no longer able to cite that report.”

DeKelaita said his business has suffered since the indictment was brought against him almost a year ago, but he has no plans to quit fighting. “I think it’s disturbing to me that a people so persecuted as the Assyrian Christians have come under such scrutiny, and especially when our involvement in Iraq bolstered the environment in which these people came under persecution from Islamic extremists,” he said.

There were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003. Little more than 200,000 remain.The Persecution has Begun

“Then they come here to escape the slaughter and we have to track them down and harass them, when they aren’t any threat to anyone,” DeKelaita said. “These are often old men, old ladies who are escaping persecution. Its’ terrible. As an American I want my government to be involved in actions that protect the security of the United States, and there are priorities, as opposed to tracking down old ladies and decent hard-working people.”Picture1

Robert DeKelaita, left, at a support rally with Assyrian Christians.

‘Proud Americans’

He said there are thousands of Assyrian and Chaldean Christians in the U.S. with cases pending before immigration courts.

A few days after his indictment, thousands turned out for a rally to show their support. An online petition at StandWithRobert.com has accumulated 1,874 signatures. “These are decent hard-working people,” he said. “In Detroit our community is a model of wealth and prosperity, in Chicago they’re very hard working people and uphold Christian values and uphold their churches and their communities and are proud Americans, and I’m proud of that. And no matter how my case turns out I will also be proud of my work. I think it can be vouched for by my clients.”

DeKelaita doesn’t make any assumptions about why he was charged or why he hasn’t been granted a speedy trial, or why after one interpreter who did work for his office pleaded guilty, another interpreter was charged. “The politics of charging people and the strategy of charging is a whole other game,” he said. “Why do you charge a person, then circle back and charge his friend, one might say it was on purpose but I can’t say that for sure. I just know I am very much looking forward to getting my trial on and I believe I will be vindicated and people will see the DOJ is not acting properly and I want this thing finished as quickly as possible.”

His Grace Bishop Mar Gewargis Younan of the diocese of Chicago Ancient Church of the East, said DeKelaita represents the very best of the American dream. “He escaped persecution as a child, and resettled in the United States. He had every reason to fail, but instead he went on to graduate from the prestigious University of Chicago and ultimately was considered the best attorney for Middle Eastern Christians,” the Bishop said. “His entire career has been aimed at giving back – to his church, to his heritage, to his people,” the bishop continued. “He is a role model for members of our community, both American-born and immigrants. I can say with confidence that every parishioner in our church has either themselves been represented by Mr. DeKelaita, or has a relative that was represented by him. When the charges were filed, the community was in outrage and disbelief, and rightfully so. There is not a single Assyrian family anywhere in Iraq or Syria that has not been directly impacted by religious persecution. The manner in which Mr. DeKelaita’s case has been approached seemingly moves to challenge this truth. We are proud of Mr. DeKelaita’s achievements, and will continue to support him during this time.”Combined

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You Can’t Have One Without the Other


waving flagBy: Jim Shempert; Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2015

“What the world, mortally wounded as she is, needs to hear as she edges closer to the end is the message of the Gospel. There is right and wrong.”

– Jim Shempert

I am a great lover of history.  While most kids were poring over the latest comic book, I had my nose stuck in a history book. At first, it was American history, and that grew into a general love of all things historical.  Because a large portion of human history has been shaped by war, my particular focus seems to be based around the squabbles of differing kingdoms.  I’m a sucker for a cheesy Hollywood war movie, because I have hope, that one day Hollywood will tell a true war story, as opposed to the fairy tale that every war movie made turns out to be.  You know the scene I am talking about.  A mortally wounded soldier, being comforted by his friend, the five stages, and finally….the end.  The movie usually turns on what the one says to the other.  So, what should Christians tell a mortally wounded, dying world?

Some of my past blogs talked about America no longer being a Christian nation.  The conservatives decried me as weak and giving up the fight.  The liberals came with the same old tired line that “America never was a Christian nation.”  To the conservative camp, let me assure you that weak is not an adjective to describe me.  To the liberals, normally, I would try to point you to historical context, quotes by our founders, and other overwhelming evidence that though America was not meant to be a theocratic society it most assuredly was built around and meant to be based on Christian values.  However, I know that liberals’ entire knowledge base comes from themselves, and if they don’t agree with it, then it’s wrong.  Truth be told, history speaks for itself.

The same could be said for Christianity.  Far too often in today’s America, the Church is trying to “change things up” to attract a bigger crowd by raising more dollars to fill more seats.  Church leaders go to seminars on how lighting affects giving, which music to play at poignant moments, and how to court more givers. We sacrifice the Gospel and the eternal for public acceptance.  Sure, we talk about physical poverty, but not spiritual.  We talk about golden streets and harps, but nothing about flames, damnation, and endless torment.  We preach God’s Grace, which I am a firm believer in, but we don’t talk about God’s judgment anymore.  In doing so, we make Christ a liar.  If all those things didn’t await those who refused His sacrifice, then what was the need for Him to die?

I lost a few of you there.  I said that Hell is a real place.  I said that not everyone gets to go to Heaven.  Jesus says the same, and no “new-thinking” wolf-in- sheep’s clothing will trump the words of Christ in my book.  While on earth Christ said: “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:49-50.)  Later is Revelation, “They, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name (Revelation 14:10-11.)”

A lot of fair weather fans just jumped off the bandwagon.  Too much fire and brimstone, not enough grace.  Friends, you can’t have light without dark, the hope of Heaven is only fully appreciated by the fear of Hell, and you cannot have mercy without judgment.

If Christ is Who He said, and it is my belief that He is the Son of God who died for my sins, then judgment is coming.  Some say soon, some say at the end of our lives, but whatever the time, we will all stand in a place of judgment.  By our sin nature, we all stand condemned.   “There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10.)”  Whatever we try to do to change ourselves for the better, will not be enough, because you can’t be “good enough” to attain forgiveness.  If salvation could be earned then there would have been no need for Christ to die.

What the world, mortally wounded as she is, needs to hear as she edges closer to the end is the message of the Gospel.  There is right and wrong.  Unrepentance leads to damnation.

But…

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, saw you in your sin.  He loved you before you could ever love Him.  He was there at the beginning, and will be there at the end.  No matter how far we push him out of our government, we cannot push Him out of history, because He was there before history began, and He has seen when “history” will end.

We will stand before Him one day, and give an account of every word and deed that you have said and done while in this life  (Matthew 12:6).  That, to me, is enough to make my knees quake.  However, those who are found to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ will receive forgiveness. Those who are found to not be in

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My Prayer for Our Nation Independence Day, 2015


waving flag

by Jerry Broussard of WhatDidYouSay.orgNew WhatDidYouSay Logo

The following prayer for our Nation was adapted from Psalms 80.

Hear us, our Heavenly ABBA Father, You who lead You Church in America. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Your people. Awaken Your might; come and save us.

Restore us, ABBA Father; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

How long, Lord God Almighty, will Your anger smolder against the prayers of Your people? You have fed us with the bread of tears; You have made us drink tears by the bowlful. You have made us an object of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.

Restore us, ABBA Father; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

You transplanted a vine from Europe; You drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land. The mountains are covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. Its branches reached from Sea to Sea, its shoots from Canada to Mexico.

Why have You broken down our nation so that all who pass by pick its grapes? People who have come here illegally, acting like Boars from the forest ravage our economy, resources and taxes, while those from within who hate You, all You Stand for, Your Word and especially Your Church, they act as insects from the fields destroying your inspired Constitution and our Liberty.

Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the root Your right hand has planted, the Branch You have raised up for Yourself. Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at Your rebuke Your people perish.

Let Your hand rest on the man at Your right hand, the son of man, Jesus our Lord and Savior Who You raised from the dead for our salvation. We will never turn away from You; revive us, and we will call on Your name.

Restore us, ABBA Father, Lord God Almighty; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

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