Category Archives: Forgiveness

Will We End up Being a Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 1)

Most of us read Scripture through a foggy set of lens. For instance, let’s look at Judas.

I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me. (John 13:18)

Jesus chose twelve disciples, whose ages were probably between fourteen and twenty-two years old. Young kids. But oops! One of them was a teenager named Judas Iscariot.

Now think about it: was Judas a robot on auto-pilot to fulfill Scripture from the moment Jesus chose him until he kissed Jesus in the Garden?

No, of course not!

Jesus spent three years teaching and preparing the twelve chosen disciples to preach the Kingdom of God. He explained to them that He had to become the sacrificial Lamb and would need to die for the sake of others. He even told them, “One of you will betray Me.”

All of the disciples, including Judas, replied, “Is it I?”

Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. (John 13:26)

This was the pivotal scene, which I believe was staged mainly for Judas’ sake. The disciple had to know that Jesus would have forgiven him if he had confessed his sin to Him, but Judas hardened his heart and Satan entered him at that moment.

All Jewish boys memorized the Psalms. So, there’s no doubt that Judas knew Psalm 41 by heart, but obviously he never once considered he would be the one to fulfill a prophecy in it –

Even my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted (relied on and was confident), who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9 AMP)

Bad choices by Judas caused his name to be linked to betrayal forever because he fulfilled this Old Testament prophecy.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

Almost every Christian has memorized this verse, written by Paul to the Thessalonians who were confused about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We now look at the verse as a New Testament prophecy.

But like Judas, memorizing and knowing this verse doesn’t mean we’ll avoid being a part of the thousands and thousands who will fulfill Paul’s prophecy about the End-Times.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Filed under America, Christians, End-Times, Falling Away, Forgiveness, Judas, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Uncategorized

Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 4)

How would you like to come back from a short honeymoon and discover another couple has moved into your apartment while you were gone?

Tony and Janelle already lived with us in our apartment because of health issues, but Rick and Marta then showed up, needing a place to stay for a time. We were all friends, but this was not exactly a love boat situation for us.

Carol and I were learning how to live with each other while also learning how to live with other people at the same time. And guess what? Proximity adds pressure, pressure becomes stress, and if the conditions are right, stress erupts.

A few days after our return, Carol arrived home from work to see me in a bad mood.

“Larry, what is your problem?” she said with concern on her face.

“I want to kill the other two couples.”

“That doesn’t sound very godly.”

“Well, God killed more people in the Old Testament than anyone else did. Thus, maybe, I’ll be acting as an agent of God by hanging the four of them.”

She rolled her eyes.

“Listen up, Honey, if you don’t get on your knees and repent, we will never have our own place. Think about that, okay?”

I mumbled something as she left the bedroom, but eventually I bowed down by the bed, praying until peace filled my heart about our situation.

“Lord, I give up. If You want us to live with other people, I will love them and be their servant to the best of my ability.”

My attitude changed right away. Dirty dishes left in the sink − no problem. I washed them. Food left on the counter − no problem. I put it away. Messy living room − no problem. I vacuumed and straightened everything up. Need groceries − no problem. I went out and bought them. Wrong TV channel − no problem. I changed channels.

This revelation dawned on me that day: if I am unhappy about something, I needed to shut up, and fix the problem. This was the only way to live in community with other believers without creating a bunch of laws, which all would end up hating and rebelling against.

This attitude especially helped us in our first three years of marriage because Carol and I lived with other people a little more than two thirds of the time.

(An excerpt from my memoir – The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2014, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all the parts to date, you can go here.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Forgiveness, Iniquity, Judgment Seat of Christ, Prayer, Sin, Transgression

Will Being Pro-Choice or Having an Abortion Keep Believers Out of Heaven?

Yesterday, I wrote about King David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba. In the article, I gave my belief that if  there had been a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Jerusalem, David would have most likely sent Bathsheba there to have an abortion.

My reasoning was that if King David was willing to murder Uriah, a man he knew and respected, to hide his sin, wouldn’t he have more easily murdered a baby that he did not know?

Let’s keep in mind that adultery was an abomination to God and its punishment according to the Law was death to both participants. Murder, whether the victim was an adult or a baby, was also an abomination with the punishment being death.

So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13)

Although King David was guilty of adultery and murder, God forgave him because he asked for forgiveness. This is good news, but what’s even more remarkable is what the Lord said about King David a thousand years later –

For after David had done the will of God in his own generation, he died and was buried with his ancestors (Acts 13:36 NLT)

How could God look at King David’s life, which was filled with mistakes, including murder and adultery, and then declare that David had done God’s will for his life?

God looks at each individual’s life through a lens of grace. If a person sincerely repents of his sin, asks for forgiveness and then does his best not to commit that sin again, God will blot that sin out of the record books. It will be as if that person had never sinned at all.

What an amazing editing process God has for our life’s story if we humble ourselves before Him!

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor (hate, detest, shudder with horror) what is evil. Cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)

There will be those Christians who believe it’s okay to call oneself pro-choice in regards to abortion, but I totally disagree with them. I believe we as Christians are called to abhor, hate, detest, shudder with horror at the sin of murdering babies. I see no neutral position, which would allow us to hide behind a politically correct label, just to save face with our friends.

Thus, if Christians are pro-choice, then they are really pro-abortion. Period.

Okay, what if believers have called themselves pro-choice or have had an abortion, what can they do? They can do the same thing King David did: sincerely repent, ask for forgiveness and do their best not to commit that sin again.

But what if believers refuse to repent of calling themselves pro-choice or having an abortion?

They will have a conversation with Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and they will suffer loss, but will still hold onto their salvation.

 Pastor Mike Bickle tells of the vision he had about standing before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ. In it, the Lord looked at Bickle and said, “You are saved, but your life was wasted.”

Bickle said he broke down weeping and travailing in tears before the Lord who said nothing else to him. When Bickle finally awakened from the vision, his t-shirt was soaking wet from his tears.

Eventually, the Holy Spirit spoke to Bickle’s heart: “This is a conversation you never want to have with the Lord.”

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Filed under Abortion, America, Christianity, Forgiveness, Judgment Seat of Christ, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life

Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 2)

 

As I wrote in Part 1: the word sin means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target. One of our most common sins is fear.

The following is a true story from my life:

“If you can’t pay the truck payments up to date by Monday afternoon, bring us the truck. No more stalling because it has to be one or the other,” said the Ford Motor Credit official.

I hung up the phone, wondering if the Lord had another financial miracle in His basket to deliver me out of this predicament.

The new Ford F-150 pickup became a part of my life just five days before that dreadful morning on July 8, 1994. A special offer to businessmen lured me into the Ford dealership in Ames and the zero down payment financing sealed the deal. The dealership even filled the dual tanks with gas before I drove off the sales lot. What a blessing, I thought at the time.

Then, my financial nightmare hit.

The $300 monthly truck payment and insurance expenses added millstone weights to my downward death spiral. On the one hand, I needed the truck to remain a painting contractor so I could earn enough money to pay off my bad checks and painting debts. Yet, on the other hand, there never seemed to be enough money left over from my painting jobs for truck payments.

I eventually trusted the Lord to work out all of my other financial problems, and even had peace about each of them, but the Ford F-150 was a different story. I could not remove the nagging fear of losing it. It haunted me day and night.

The truck payments were ninety days late four times in the year after July 8, 1994. My problem was not an imaginary fear, but rather, a real one. I awoke each morning and looked out the window, checking if the truck still remained outside in the parking lot or had been repossessed during the night.

A friend grabbed my shoulder one morning during a prayer meeting, turning me around to face her.

“The Lord spoke to me about you, and said the cares of the world are pulling Larry under,” she said, staring into my eyes.

“Yeah, that’s right. It’s the truck. I can’t quit worrying about it. Pray for me.”

She prayed, but I still had no peace about the situation.

I fasted and prayed against every possible demon. I read Psalm 37 and countless other scriptures to bolster my faith, but still, the fear of losing the truck sucked every bit of joy out of my life.

The Lord finally spoke to me in a vision while I slept one night: “The truck is Mine −not yours. It is My responsibility to watch over it. If I choose to give it back to Ford Motor Company, that’s up to Me, and not you. So, quit worrying about it.”

My fears evaporated that morning. Why worry about someone else’s problems, right?

Ford Motor Company repossessed the truck six months later. I washed, waxed, and cleaned it before returning it to the dealership. It was the Lord’s truck and I wanted Him to know how much I appreciated driving it.

(An excerpt from my memoir – The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2014, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all the parts to death, you can go here.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Faith, Forgiveness, Iniquity, Prayer, Sin, Transgression

Does Jesus Really Delight in Us?

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David was in his early 20s when he fled to the wilderness to escape from King Saul. His parents, four hundred men and eventually his wife, Abigail joined him there.

His adversary, King Saul, handpicked three thousand warriors to hunt David down, hoping to kill him. This kept David looking over his shoulder for seven years, never allowing him a moment’s rest, day or night.

When David moved his parents to safety in Moab, the prophet Gad came to him there and said, “David, you can’t stay here, you have to go back to Judah.”

Wait a second!

God – who loved David – wanted him to continue in his life-threatening trial?

YES!

Why?

You see, it was this agonizing, painful, fearful trial that God used to change David into the man who would eventually become the King of Israel, a noted psalmist and an encouragement for future believers like you and me. Look at the words he wrote in Psalm 23:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me… (Psalm 23:4)

David lived these words for seven years while King Saul hunted him down.

But even David, who had such great revelations about the heart of the Father,  could only handle so much stress. He ended up rebelling against the prophetic word spoken to him by Gad and spending his last sixteen months of the trial in Gath. He stayed there until King Saul was killed.

What did the back-slidden rebel David say was the reason that God delivered him from King Saul?

He rescued me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19 AMP)

Hey, most of us are going through seemingly endless trials right now. Some of the time, we are walking in faith and victory, but  during others, we may be standing on the edge of a cliff, thinking about jumping off and quitting altogether.

Yet, no matter where we are right now, let’s remember this: if the Lord delighted in a back-slidden David, He delights in us.

Why?

Because we are His beloved.

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Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, Forgiveness, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 1)

I recently saw an interesting meme on a Facebook’s friend’s timeline, promoting pro-choice and abortion:

“This isn’t about abortion. It’s about people having options, and everyone else minding his own business. If it does not affect you directly, it’s not your business.”

The meme’s words caused me to ask myself, “Do my personal sins affect my neighbors’ lives?”

Let’s begin seeking answers to this question by looking at the various types of sin in the Bible.

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:7)

The Bible separates sin into three specific types: sin, transgression and iniquity.

Although the word sin can be used as a generic catchall word for all three types, its biblical definition really means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Basic sin is disobedience to God’s commands and His word, but usually without willful intent. Examples of sin: losing your temper with your spouse, getting caught up in gossip with your neighbor, exaggerating your importance at work to a new employee and so forth.

All basic sins can easily be reconciled by asking forgiveness of the Lord and if needed, the person involved.

The word transgression means revolt or rebellion and is willful disobedience of God’s commands.                       

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression (1Timothy 2:14)

Eve knew that God had commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil, but she rebelled and did it anyway. As with all acts of rebellion, Eve suffered consequences for her transgression.

Truthfully, we all have transgressed at different times in our Christian journeys and can probably give interesting testimonies about the consequences we suffered. But as with sin, transgression simply requires us to ask forgiveness of the Lord and anybody involved. Then, we need to change our ways and not continue in the transgression.

Yet, continuing in a transgression without repentance eventually leads to iniquity. The word iniquity means depravity (evil perverseness or moral corruption) and always carries within it the hatred of God and His ways.

Iniquity is not always a voluntary disobedience to the commands of God, like transgression is, but instead, it may be more of a second nature sin. It could be a demonic stronghold within the individual which was passed on through his ancestral lineage or through rape or it could be that the individual surrendered himself to an evil principality over a region.

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. (Proverbs 5:22 ESV)

Ridding oneself of iniquity is not as easy as it is for sins or transgressions. Because it is intertwined with the individual’s personality and attitudes, it requires acceptance of truth, God’s mercy and the fear of the Lord to set an individual free. This usually needs a deliverance move by the Spirit of God upon the people.

…For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting [punishing] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Deuteronomy 5:9)

Iniquities are not committed in spiritual vacuums. They are committed before the throne of God and cry out to the Judge to be avenged.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Filed under America, Fasting, Forgiveness, Iniquity, Intercession, Prayer, Sin, Transgression

Prayers for California (1/8/2019)

Last December, I felt what we saw in Donald Trump was pretty much what we had to put up with. A 70-year-old man with swooped back hair, wearing a Brioni suit, dripping with pride, petty anger, intelligence and courage.

But I also felt what we saw did not count much compared to what God saw in Trump’s heart. I believed God saw a man who would take a stand for Israel, weather every international storm sure to hit him and still move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Holy City as the capital of Israel. (WND, column by Larry Nevenhoven, 12/22/2017)

If my insight was correct when I wrote the above column for WND, then there might be some problems for those who openly defy or rebel against President Trump –

He allowed no one to oppress them; He rebuked kings on their account, saying, “Touch not My anointed ones, do My prophets no harm!” (Psalm 105:15 ESV)

I don’t believe President Trump is a prophet, but I do absolutely believe he is God’s chosen man to bless Israel at this stage in history. So, along with the anointing, I believe God will protect and avenge President Trump.

How will God do this? I don’t claim to know, but I do understand that the Hebrew word translated into our English word rebuked can mean more than a verbal reprimand. It can  also mean to be judged and chastened.

Why pray for California?

Gavin Newsom was sworn in as California’s 40th governor yesterday. In his acceptance speech, he stated that California would offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House. Not only that, Newsom placed California in a nation-state category versus the Trump Administration and America.

Therefore, I live in California, a state that openly thumbs its nose at God’s anointed. This may not end well for us.

My prayer for today:

O Lord, California has sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled against You and Your ways. To You belongs righteousness, but to us open shame because we have sinned against You. According to Your righteousness, let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from California. O Lord, listen to Your servant’s pleas for mercy and for Your own sake, make Your face shine upon California, which is a desperate state in need of Your Spirit now. (Based on Daniel 9:3-19)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for California and the West Coast.

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Filed under America, California, Christianity, Fasting, Forgiveness, Intercession, Leadership, Prayer, President Trump, Prophecy, spiritual warfare