God still speaks

Does God still speak today?
I hear many very disdainfully dismissive of anyone who claims to have had a vision or have heard God speak to them. The naysayers claim the one who had the vision or heard God speak are arrogant or need special revelation from God, or that they believe in an open canon of scripture.
 
But God spoke to a child in a time when word from the Lord was rare. GOD decides who receives the gift of prophecy and who receives faith. All true prophecy is from God, but we must test them.
 
Paul wrote that we are to earnestly desire to have the gift of prophecy. He even said we should not forbid the speaking in tongues, but that it was to all be done in an orderly fashion.
 
I have seen people try to use 1 Corinthians 13 to say that we have the Bible and so have no need for prophecy. But that speaks of when we will know in full. None us knows in full and wont until we are with God, which is when we will not need prophecy because we will be with God.
Here is the scripture in question:
1 Samuel 3:1-4
1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. 2 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), 3 and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, 4 that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.”
 
Amos 3:7-8
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing
Unless He reveals His secret counsel
To His servants the prophets.
8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?
 
Romans 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
 
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
 
1 Corinthians 14:1-6
1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?
 
1 Corinthians 14:29-33
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
 
1 Corinthians 14:39-40
39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.
 
2 Peter 1:20-21
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
 
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
 
1 Corinthians 13:8-12
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
I think God does still speak today. Not to everyone, and not all the time, sometimes just once to someone, sometimes repeatedly. God ALWAYS speaks though scripture. But  sometimes God speaks through others. Sometimes God speaks in our hearts. Sometimes God speaks with a still small voice. And sometimes God speaks through circumstances. But I see no reason to try to put God in a box which says He cant speak today.
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Feeling bad when speaking about God

I have heard folks that like to talk with me about God, until they start to feel bad, then they dont want to talk to me any more.

Feeling bad because of who God is or what God wants from us and for us, or what God will do, is not a bad thing. It is one tool God uses to move us closer to being who He wants us to be. It is one tool God uses to give us faith. It is one tool God uses to change us. It is one tool God uses save us.

Look folks, I am not perfect. I was and am a sinner. The difference between before I became a Christian and afterwards is that I now have faith in Christ and so I have the righteousness of Christ. Before I was simply a sinner. Now I am a sinner saved by grace through faith. Before I became a Christian, I had the wrath of God upon me. Now, I have the grace of God upon me and am forgiven – not because of anything I have or will do, but because of what Christ has done.

Look at the worst of sinners you can imagine and there but for the grace of God go I.

Before I had faith in Christ, I could not please God. Now I work out my salvation and try to think and act like Christ would have me and when I fail, because I do and will fail, I feel conviction and contrition. And I change, and I confess and I ask forgiveness. God is faithful to His own nature. Should I walk away from God and stay away, that will prove I did not have saving faith to begin with – regardless of what I thought and did. It is God who saved me, who saves me, who will save me, who gave me faith, and who sealed me and who empowers me and who guides me and who protects me and and keeps me – not me. Yet I have my responsibility to live as God would have me live.

There but for the grace of God go I; I am not facing the condemnation of God, nor am I facing the wrath of God. Because of the grace of God, because of His love for His creation, I was chosen and given faith and saved – not because I am who I am, or I did what I have done, or I will do what I will do, and certainly not because God knew I would choose Christ (for then my salvation would depend upon me and my actions), but because God would give me faith to be able to choose Him and ensured I would and did choose to trust in Christ and follow and obey Christ.

So be glad and grateful and rejoice when you feel bad when you think or speak about God – and change and turn to God in repentance and faith and be saved.

Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God

Have you listened to “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” by the preeminent theologian Jonathan Edwards? Wow. What a message.

The Elements of the pattern of church service and life can be seen in scripture

The elements of the pattern of church service and life can be seen in scripture.

True worshippers are to worship in truth and spirit (John 4:24), by the Spirit of God (Philippians 3:3). True believers remained in the teaching of God (2 John 1:9). They would have obeyed God as opposed to rebelled against God (1 John 3:10).

Men, women, and children would have gathered together to hear what was being taught – It may have been that only children who were old enough to understand who were in church service (such as those who were age 12, the age of when Jewish boys have their bar mitzvah, which happens to be the age of Jesus when he was in the temple courts sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions) (Deuteronomy 31:12; Nehemiah 8:1-3; Luke 2:41-47; Luke 18:15-17; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20-21; 2 John 1:1).

They met together on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). They met in the temple courts, in people’s homes, beside rivers, in synagogues, and in lecture halls (possibly schools) (Acts 2:42-47; Acts 16:13; Acts 19:8-9).

The church leaders were male elders and male deacons and female deaconesses (Acts 6:2-8; Acts 16:13; Romans 16:1; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-10).

The communion supper (also known as the Lord’s Supper) was observed (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:18-32).

Prayers were offered up to God alone, in harmony with the will of God (1 Corinthians 14:15–16; Nehemiah 4:9; Matthew 6:9,;1 John 5:14).

Songs were sung to the glory of God and thanks to God was given (Ephesians 5:19-20; Psalms 95, 96, 98).

A free will collection was taken (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). The Church was not involved with business (Matthew 21:12–13).

Sometimes church discipline occurred (Matt. 18:17).

The Scriptures were publically read (Colossians 4:16; 1 Tim. 4:13), and the Word of God was proclaimed (Acts 20:7; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Timothy 4:2).

Indeed, each had a hymn, a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation (1 Corinthians 14:28).

Can a practicing homosexual to be a Christian?

I saw an article where a woman claiming to be a Christian fell in love with a another woman, divorced her husband and married her new love: http://www.charismanews.com/us/64992-famed-christian-mommy-blogger-throws-faith-to-the-wind-to-marry-lesbian-partner . There was one line which really caught my attention, where she said if Jesus “needed me to believe that homosexuality was a sin, He would have mentioned it.”

The thing is, God has done exactly that:

Lev 19:1

And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, …

Lev_20:13

If a man also lies with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be on them.

 

Adopting a sinful lifestyle shows the “christian” is only one in name, not in  fact.

We are only Christians is we hold fast to the faith until the end.

Hebrews 3:6

but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Hebrews 3:13-14

13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end

Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually a Christian.

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

If we love Christ, if we know God, we will keep his commandments.

1 John 2:3-6

3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His
commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does
not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but
whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been
perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he
abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

And God as clear that homosexual sex is a sin, against what God has said to do.
It doesnt matter if the person is male or female, they are not to have sex with someone of the same gender.
Romans 1:24-32

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Timothy 1:8-11

8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

So although some might want to claim God has not said anything about homosexual sex, the fact is that He did – its a sin. We are not to sin.

God KNEW before Adam and Eve sinned that they would do so.

There are some who believe that God was caught unaware when Adam and Eve sinned. But this flies in the face of what scripture teaches.

Ephesians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

Revelation 13:8

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

1 Peter 1:20

20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

So no, God was not caught unaware when Adam and Eve sinned. Jesus was not Plan B. It was always in God’s plan to provide a solution to the problem of man’s sin. That solution is, and has always been, the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. It is only by grace through faith in the saving work of Christ that we may truly live – live an eternal life.

Jesus is Author and perfecter of faith

Jesus is the one who gives us faith and grows our faith. The bible puts it as “the author and perfecter of faith”.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart

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