Tag Archives: Christianity

Forty-Seven Years of Legally Murdering Babies (Part 2)

 

This article appeared last January on this website:

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?

It seems that 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 AMP)

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.”

(Continued in Part 3)

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Ride #955

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I have been driving full-time for Uber and Lyft in the Phoenix area since September 7, 2019. To date, I have 981 rides.

The glamor of driving for Uber had certainly lost its luster for me until recently. Driving two hundred to three hundred miles per day in heavy traffic. Looking at the GPS app with one eye while trying to avoid a driver who is texting as he/she drifts across my lane with the other eye. Needing to use a restroom so urgently that I thought my kidneys would explode and then learning the gas station I stopped at had no public restrooms. Yipes! All of this and more is a part of my “living the dream” as an Uber driver.

Plus, I am trying to juggle four writing projects, a new podcast idea, prayer time, Bible study and oh yes – a wife. And just so you know, I will be 74 years-old in three weeks.

The above will give you some background for this article.

Three days ago, I was in my bathroom preparing myself to drive the afternoon rush hour shift. I happened to click on a video, showing young house church Christians receiving their first Bibles, which had been smuggled across the borders by special agents from Asia Harvest. These young believers were weeping and crying, overjoyed just to finally touch a real Bible and have one of their own.

The video broke my heart. I said aloud, “Lord, You know that I want to help raise money to help provide Bibles and whatever for Chinese and North Korean believers, but NO! You have me driving for Uber and accomplishing nothing for Your kingdom.”

I was a little too passionate and too loud with my complaint to God because Carol overheard me and asked who I was talking to in the bathroom. I told her about my prayer and broke down weeping in my frustration.

The Father did not correct my attitude but instead, He sent ride #955 two days later.

As I drove up to the pickup point at the hotel, all that I knew about the ride was that her name was Bianca and the ride would be an airport trip of approximately twenty miles. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at the time.

She spoke on the telephone for the first few minutes of our ride together. When she finished, she asked, “Will we be able to get close to the door at the airport?”

“Yes,” I replied. “Do you have a problem?”

Biance then described her autoimmune problems and her special type of arthritis.

“Wow!” I proclaimed. “How can all of this happen to a pretty twenty-five year-old gal like you?”

She laughed. “I’m no longer a spring chicken. I’m thirty-nine years-old. Plus, I can’t get rid of my smoking habit, no matter what I’ve tried.”

“I used to smoke, but I quit.”

“Really? What did you do?”

“Actually, the Lord delivered me of my smoking habit. He was so successful that I did not gain a pound and had no desire to ever smoke again.”

“I’m a Christian, too. I wonder if He would do that for me,” she replied.

“Sure, He’d do it for you. Just ask Him.”

The conversation turned to her unusual name of Bianca, especially for an Asian girl.

She laughed. “I’m North Korean and my mom just wanted an unusual name for me.”

“Wait a second!” I proclaimed. “How did your family escape North Korea?”

Bianca proceeded to tell me how her grandfather was a wealthy businessman in North Korea. He saw that the nation was turning communist and decided to leave everything behind and escape to South Korea and then to America. He along with a few others left at night. One man carried Bianca’s mother on his back the whole journey. Sadly, her grandmother refused to leave North Korea and was never heard of again.

The little North Korean group eventually arrived in America and prospered.

“Let me tell you a vision I had about North Korea,” I said.

“Yes, go ahead,” she said.

“In the vision, I was transported to a prison cell in North Korea. I could actually feel the bitterly cold temperatures. There in the cell was a naked teenage North Korean Christian girl. Her nakedness did not arouse me at all and I knew she had been repeatedly raped and beaten by the prison guards. She was so hungry and thin. I heard her say, “Lord, why do You treat me like this? Can’t You help me?

“I watched the scene in total helplessness. Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Will you trade places with her?

“The Holy Spirit’s words stunned me. Thoughts flew through my mind. Carol wouldn’t know what happened to me. I wouldn’t see my children or grandchildren again. The guards would rape and beat me. And so forth.

“But then I remembered what Jesus did for me on the cross and how He saved me on May 20, 1985.

“Yes, Lord, I will trade places with her.

“The vision ended and I returned to my bed,” I said.

“I can’t quit weeping. Your story has broken my heart,” she replied in a weak voice.

We arrived at American Airlines. I pulled over to the curb.

“Before you leave, let me pray for you,” I said.

We held hands and I prayed for her healing and her calling to come forth in her life. As the words came forth, I knew she would make a difference for the Christian North Korean prisoners in the years ahead.

I drove away, knowing that if I continued driving for Uber and never did much else for the Lord and the Kingdom of God ever again, I could live with that. It was up to Him and not me.

You see, Ride #955 made all of my driving worth it.

Remember those who are in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body [and subject to physical suffering]. (Hebrews 13:3 AMP)

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First the Blade (Chapter 38)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 38

Grace (Part 6)

Fifteen years ago, I listened to a teaching tape in which Bob Jones related the following experience to Mike Bickle:

Jones told how he had prophesied to his church that something big was going to happen at the next church service and everyone needed to be there. But when the night arrived, nothing happened. Period.

He went home, totally humiliated, and depressed by his missing the voice of the Lord. He stated how he told the Lord he resigned from his prophetic calling. He jumped into bed and fell asleep.

Jones then had a dream in which he stood in the throne room of God. The Father and Jesus sat on golden thrones directly in front of him. Heavenly persons stood all around and watched on.

As he stood there in awe, he felt something on his leg. He looked down and saw he was wearing a Pampers diaper and nothing else. The diaper was filled with poop and urine, which ran down his leg.

Oh no! Jones thought. What will the Lord do to me?

The Father leaned over to Jesus. “What’s happened to our little Bob?” He said.

“Oh, he’s messed himself up something terrible this time,” replied Jesus.

“Well,” said the Father, “let’s give him a bigger insurance policy of grace and send him back to prophesy twice as much.”

Jones stated he went back to his church and prophesied twice as much because of his dream. The church was blessed and so was he.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly… (Romans 12: 6)

We will probably make mistakes in our walks with the Lord. The mistakes may be big ones at times. What will we do? Resign our callings or gifts. Jump in bed and pull the blankets over your head. Sit on a back pew. Run away. Or will we be secure enough in Jesus to remember we can always do the following:

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4: 16)

Frank Viola wrote

Perhaps you are thinking, but what if I sin against Him? The reality is that your sin doesn’t change His love for you one millimeter…Let me remind you that He saw your mistakes before you ever made them. So, He’s not surprised by them. Nor did they prevent Him from choosing you to be His before you penetrated the womb of your mother… (From Eternity to Here, 2009, Frank Viola, David C. Cook Publishing, page 75)

It is my firm belief that the highest levels we Christians will ever reach in our walks with the Lord will be directly proportional to the level of security we have in Jesus Christ.

In simple words, we all need a revelation of His grace.

Okay, do you have to agree with my “once saved, always saved” and “eternal security” revelation? Probably not. Leonard Ravenhill, John Wesley, John Lake, and many others did not agree with my revelation of grace and they were certainly used mightily by the Lord during their days.

But remember this: we are in the day when sin abounds more than ever, thus grace should abound much more. So, my advice is to study grace in the Bible and ask the Lord for a bigger revelation of His grace.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 37)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 37

Grace (Part 5)

 

When I began seeking the Lord about His grace, I knew that if I could somehow lose my salvation for whatever reasons, then grace was vastly overrated. What good was unmerited favor from God if it could be withdrawn because I no longer deserved it? I supposedly never deserved grace in the first place, right?

I had no answers to these questions.  At the time, I still believed the Arminian teachings of Kenneth Hagin, Leonard Ravenhill, Smith Wigglesworth, John Lake, John Wesley, and others who taught we could lose our salvations if we turned our backs on Jesus. Those teachings made sense to me. How could a holy God allow a man to be eternally secure in his salvation, if the man turned his back on God?

Yet, the special children intrigued me. They did not read Bibles, pray much, or ever pay attention to their salvations at all. Did God have different rules for children with IQ’s under a certain level?

I meditated on the Bible verses Hagin, Ravenhill, Lake, Wigglesworth, Wesley, and other Arminian teachers used to justify their beliefs.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. (1 Peter 2:20-21)

Doesn’t the word meditation conjure up thoughts of me sitting on the floor with my legs crossed and humming aloud?

The word meditation in the Bible actually means saying the scripture over and over again. One version calls it muttering aloud to oneself. I did a variation, which has worked well for me over the years.

I memorized the scriptures in Hebrews and 2 Peter and then said them over and over in my mind while I prayed in tongues. I did this for at least one hour a day over a period of several weeks. There were times when my brain wanted to do anything but meditate on the same scriptures, but I muddled onward, day after day.

Then, one day it happened.

You see, if you believe God is real and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, the Holy Spirit will eventually show up and enlighten you. That’s what happened to me. In a blink of an eye, I knew there were no limits on grace. My salvation was eternally secure and depended on Him and His grace. It no longer depended on my actions or me.

Did I totally understand the scriptures I meditated on? No, not really, but my revelation was so profound I knew there had to be other explanations for the scriptures.

Marion loaned me her copy of J. F. Strombeck’s classic 1936 book, Shall Never Perish. Strombeck’s explanation about the two scripture references is the best I have ever read and is still quoted today.

This happened over twenty years ago, but I can still remember where I sat and how I felt at the precise moment the Holy Spirit enlightened me. I jumped up and down with joy, knowing that John 3:16 was an absolute, eternal, never-ending truth.

Why is grace so important for our walks with the Lord? And do we all have to agree one hundred percent with my revelation on grace in order?

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

 

 

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A Summer Thanksgiving Story Without Turkey and Stuffing

 

The drive to meet Pastor Rick took me past the Temecula Valley High School baseball field where our son, Cole, played shortstop for the Golden Bears during his four years there. Cole was a good player, but that wasn’t the reason I always thanked the Lord for His mercy when I drove by the field. It was because of a special miracle the Lord did twenty-two years earlier during a state playoff game.

On that particular day, the Golden Bears were playing the Norco High School Cougars. The pitcher for the Cougars was Carson Riley, a right-hander, who threw around ninety-five miles per hour and was a solid major league prospect.

Cole stood in the right side of the batter’s box to lead off the seventh inning. Riley’s first pitch was a fastball, which tailed inside and hit Cole in the middle of his chest, knocking him to the ground. He laid motionless on the ground.

The three coaches for Temecula Valley rushed to him. One of them took out a cell phone and made a call.

Jane and I were sitting in the bleachers above the dugout on the first base side of the field. I grabbed Jane’s hand. “Honey, we need to go out there. Cole’s in danger,” I said.

We stood up and hurried to field.

Jim Dawson, the head coach for the Golden Bears, looked up as we approached home plate. “Dylan, he’s not breathing. I phoned for an ambulance, which should be here in four minutes,” he said.

Jane and I dropped to our knees and began praying. She prayed in tongues while I placed my hand on his chest.

“Father, You gave me a promise when Cole was born that He would preach the gospel and do miracles in Your name. When You made that promise, You looked into the future and saw this day. And yet, You still made that promise to me. I am not leaving until You honor Your promise and Cole stands up, totally healed in Jesus’ name. You did it for Elijah when he prayed for the widow’s son and I’m asking You to do the same thing for Cole, right now,” I prayed.

Coach Dawson grabbed my shoulders. “Dylan, let’s wait for the ambulance,” he whispered.

I shook his hands off me. “Let go of me,” I shouted. “God is doing a miracle here.”

Dawson released his grasp and wandered off. A siren could be heard pulling into the school’s parking lot.

“Father, I didn’t ask You to give me that promise for Cole. You did it on Your own. So, honor Your promise, in Jesus’ name,” I prayed again and again.

“What’s happening here?” asked a paramedic, rushing toward us with a stretcher.

Cole’s green eyes fluttered and opened. He looked into my eyes. “Dad,” he whispered, “I met Jesus. He said I had to come back to life because of your prayers.”

My son was totally healed and wanted to stay in the ballgame, but of course, the two paramedics insisted on him riding in the ambulance to Temecula Valley Hospital. Jane and I followed them in our SUV.

All of the tests on Cole proved to be negative. The Lord healed him.

Cole graduated from high school two weeks later and now lives in San Diego with his wife Allyson and their two daughters, Mia and Madison.

If I drove by the baseball field a hundred times in any one day, I always thanked the Lord for His gracious miracle every time. I always wanted Him to know how much I appreciated what He did for our family on that day.

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders. (Psalm 26:7)

(Excerpt from Still in the Fight, an upcoming new novel by me.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 36)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 36

Grace (Part 4)

When I began helping Morris and Marion’s home ministry in 1992, I was divorced, lived alone, and sold cars at a small used auto dealership. An average day began with me praying from 3 a.m. until 6 a.m. I then showered, ate breakfast, and hustled off to a prayer meeting at a local church for an hour or so. I studied the Bible and read Christian books for a few hours before heading to bed in the evenings. No TV. No radio. No writing. Not much of a social life.

This was my routine for a seven-year stretch and varied little on weekends or holidays during the time period.

I occasionally did some teaching at a small home meeting, but not often. Most people thought of me as a prayer warrior and little else. I understood my calling and had messages stirring within me, but there were no open doors. Thus, I was forced to wait on the Lord to move in my life.

I assumed the Lord would eventually set me in a place where I would teach on spiritual warfare and prophecy, but silly me, huh? He put me in a home group where I prayed for boo-boo sores and dolls. Yes, dolls. One of the children, a seventeen-year old, carried her doll to the home meetings and asked me to pray for it.

And you know what? I fell in love with the children.

I remember several times when it would be just Morris, Marion, a few children, and me. We would end up praying and the Holy Spirit would show up.

The kids and I would end up lying on the floor. Morris and Marion would be sprawled out in their Lazyboy recliners. We’d be gone for thirty minutes or so. Where did we go? I haven’t a clue, but it was wonderful wherever it was. Some might say we were slain in the Spirit…and maybe we were. But who cares?  It was glorious.

When the Holy Spirit lifted off us, who do you think had the visions and dreams to talk about? Not Morris, Marion, or myself. It was the children who would have the awesome stories to tell us.

“I was running and playing with Jesus. He’s fun,” one might say.

Or another might add, “Do you know that Jesus loves my doll? He told me so.”

My rigid theology was pulverized week after week by experiences such as this. Morris and Marion kept referring to what happened in their home ministry as the grace of God.

But I just could not get a handle on grace.

I understood prayer. And faith. And discipline. And prophecy. And studying the word. And waiting on the Lord. But all of this was dependent on my efforts. Grace was unmerited favor and depended solely on God. How could He love people so much He just flooded us with something we did not deserve or earn?

So, I sought the Lord about grace and did it in a backward sort of way.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 35)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 35

Grace (Part 3)

A few years ago, I heard a Mike Bickle cassette tape where Bob Jones told about one of his visions. In it, Jones was watching a baseball game between the Lord’s team and Satan’s team. It was the bottom of the ninth with two outs.

Love was at bat and Satan threw his best pitch. Love hit the ball into the outfield for a base hit. “Love never fails.” Faith came to bat and promptly hit a base hit. “Faith works with love.” The next batter was named Godly Wisdom. Satan threw him four straight balls and Godly Wisdom was issued a walk. “Godly wisdom does not fall for Satan’s pitches.” The bases were loaded.

A player named Grace walked into the batter’s box. Jones noted the batter was not much to look at and wondered about his ability to handle the tense situation. Jones also noted Satan’s team relaxed when they saw the weak-looking Grace stepping up to the plate.

Grace swung at the first pitch and Jones said he had never seen a ball hit so hard. Satan’s center fielder, the prince of the air, leaped to catch the ball, but the ball went through his glove, hitting him in the head, and knocking him to the ground. The ball continued its flight over the fence for a grand slam home run. The Lord’s team won.

The Lord turned to Jones and said, “Do you know why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base, but they could not win the game for My team?”

Jones shook his head.

“If your love, your faith, or your wisdom could win the game for you alone, you would think you had done it. Your love, your faith, and your wisdom can only take you so far, but then you need My grace to bring you home.”

 

This experience became a reality on my first visit to Morris and Marion’s home in late 1992. Marion had a Thursday night youth ministry for the neighborhood.

What Marion forgot to mention was half of the thirty kids who attended her Thursday night youth meetings were special education children with IQ scores of 60 or less. These youths ranged in ages from 15 to 23 years old, but yet, were like little children, with attention spans of approximately thirty seconds.

The party consisted of games, apples, candy, and drinks, just a normal Halloween party, but a twelve-year old girl mentioned she had problems. Five or six of the special children gathered around her and prayed for her.

And without a doubt, the prayers by these special children were the worst ones I had ever heard. None of their words made sense. They did not seem to have a clue about what they were saying. Yet, the young girl broke down, wept, and gave her life to Jesus. The girl’s problems disappeared with Jesus’ appearance in her life.

I stood there with my mouth open, trying to understand what I had just witnessed. As I watched on, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. “The young kids’ hearts are right with Me. They just don’t know how to express in words what they feel in their hearts. So, I poured out My grace on them, something you don’t fully understand.”

The Lord had my attention.

I thought I had come to the group to teach them, but instead, Morris, Marion, and the kids became my teachers about a marvelous treasure called grace.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

 

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