Sunday, November 16, 2014


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

    A Bible Teacher taught his congregation one time that the gift of salvation was, in some ways, like a VISA Gold Gift Card. He meant that when we stand before the Father on Judgment Day, Jesus intervenes on our behalf and says to His Father, “This one’s sins are all paid for because he believed in me while he was on Earth. I have already paid his debt while I was on the cross.”

    It seems simplistic, yet it is entirely true. Our Lord’s death on the cross paid for all sin, for all time, for those that will believe on the name of Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith according to Ephesians 2:8. Faith is a gift of God to us, and we are forever grateful for it. His gift to us has been bought and paid for by His death on the cross, and new life ensues because of the Resurrection.

    If you have ever had a credit card stolen, or just the account number, how did that make you feel when you found out that someone else was taking advantage of you? In the past, I myself was angry about just such an event. I felt violated, like my privacy had been invaded. “My good name” and credit rating were under attack. It was like a thief went directly into my wallet and stole from me. Though the bank caught all the fraudulent charges in time, I still felt angry and violated at such boldness by another person.

    If you have had it happen to you, how did you first feel when you learned of it? There in a nutshell is the human heart. (Jeremiah 17:9)

    If our salvation then, is sort of like a VISA Gold Gift Card from God to us, then God is like the bank that is going to cover all the charges, and prosecute the thief. But our first instincts are not pretty. We are angry, insulted, hurt, and asking God, “Why me, Lord?” How then does God feel about it all?

    Regardless of the reason why God lets bad things happen to good people, it is still the response of the human heart that needs to be dealt with. It is therefore, no wonder that mankind needed a Savior to intervene with the Father, on our behalf. Our “heart condition” means that Jesus needs to heal us and by-pass all the natural, human responses of the heart.     

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.”            - Isaiah 53:6

Sunday, November 9, 2014


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

    History is repeating itself. As ancient Israel was given warnings regarding the coming Babylonian captivity, God’s word from the prophets were repeatedly rejected. The prophets warned of coming judgment because their nation had moved further and further away from God and His precepts. They were summarily   shouted down and persecuted for the words which God had given them to speak.

    In recent decades, the United States has consistently elected to leadership people who move us further and further from God. The “separation of church and state” is as strong as ever, and is strengthening daily. Christians voicing a need to return to Christ are shouted down and criticized for being out-of-touch with the mainstream, and even persecuted for their statements.  

    It was just seven years after 9/11, a President was elected who has strong Muslim leanings, the same faith proclaimed by those who attacked us. This past week, in a post-election statement, we heard our President say that there are bills coming from Congress that he will not sign; that he will do many things which the Congress will not like. The voice of the people will no longer be heard. Change has come, but not what we had hoped for.

    Israel was taken into bondage after ignoring the prophets’ warnings, and the United States has elected a spiritual follower of Muslim Iraq (modern Assyria). Though we are not taken away into bondage, modern Assyrians and many other foreigners are coming. Our nation is in the process of being invaded by foreign forces, all because we have left the Lord as surely as did Israel. We are being told we must support these foreign invaders and provide for them through social services, Social Security, and welfare programs. Over two billion dollars has been redistributed, and not even the poor have anything to show for it. 

    The Babylonian captivity lasted for a generation because they did not let the land rest every 7 years according to God’s word. While gone, the land rested, all because the people turned away from God. What shall WE do? What does God call us to do? Without a return to God, we can do nothing of our own strength.     

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”              - 2 Chronicles 7:14

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