Tag Archives: Forgiveness

God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 9)

I have used the fictional story about a black preacher walking into a small town with mainly white citizens to hold a healing crusade many times in the past. (See here.) But today, I want to offer a fictional take-off from that one and write about a white prophet going into an inner city to speak the word of the Lord to its black citizens. 

Can you imagine an old white guy driving a red Ford pickup into the middle of a crowd of people at a rally? And honking his horn at the same time? I couldn’t imagine something like that ever happening until it did last Saturday afternoon.

Maybe I should start at the beginning and tell the whole story, okay?

My name is Jalen Simmons. I write a syndicated newspaper column entitled, “Unashamed Angry Black Voice.” The column appears in sixty major newspapers throughout our nation. I also appear on TV as a contributor on inner city happenings.

A week ago, a friend suggested I should attend a black activist rally taking place in West Englewood at Ogden Park. This inner-city area of Chicago is the city’s most dangerous neighborhood where poverty and crime are off the charts and lives matter little to police and politicians.

On that day, I positioned myself in the middle of the crowd, estimated at five thousand black people, to better hear and understand the crowd’s reactions to the fiery speakers. The first three speakers raised their voices against the city of Chicago, its police department and white supremacy for the wrongs done to black people. Each moved the crowd closer and closer to its emotional edge.

But just as the militant keynote speaker, Deshaun Lewis, was being introduced on the platform, new sounds could be heard. A honking horn. An engine being revved up. And people screaming, “Look out! He’ll run us over!”

I looked over my left shoulder and saw a red pickup truck heading straight toward me. I jumped out of the way along with the rest of the crowd. The truck stopped right in front of me.

The driver, a seventyish white male, jumped out of the Ford pickup and into the back of the truck almost in one motion. He held a wireless microphone in his right hand which was connected to a speaker system.

“Listen up,” he said, “I have come here today to speak to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A united “No” was shouted by the crowd. Black men stepped forth to remove the so-called white prophet and his truck.

“Do not touch my truck or the hand of the Lord will come upon you and strike you blind for a time,” said the white man.

The crowd laughed until twenty-three men touched the pickup truck and began screaming, “I’m blind. Help me! Help me!” Then, the laughter stopped and fear gripped the crowd.

“Men, keep quiet. Sit down and when I’m done I will lay hands on you and your sight will immediately return.”

The twenty-three men sat down.

The old white man had the attention of the whole crowd. Everyone stood in silence, even those on the speakers platform.

“The Lord has sent me to tell you,” proclaimed the white man, “your problems are not caused by the city of Chicago, its police department or white Americans. Your problems are caused by your sins and your bitterness. You need to first ask the Lord for His forgiveness and then most of you will have to ask forgiveness of white Americans for your hatred toward them, too.

“If you choose to humble yourself before God and men, God will pour out a blessing on West Englewood. Murders will stop. Crime will end. Jobs will open up. You will be able to walk on the sidewalks of your neighborhood without fear once again. West Englewood will be known as a place of light and a refuge for all.

“But if you ignore these words and continue in the direction you’re heading, your streets will be covered with the bodies of your dead sons and daughters. And this will happen soon!”

He paused and looked around at the crowd. His blue eyes looked right into my heart.

“God’s words to you are the same ones Moses said to Israel, ‘I have set before you life and good, death and evil.” Now, you must choose which way you will walk from this day forward.”

The white prophet jumped down onto the ground. He laid hands on and prayed for each blind man. They all received their sight again.

Then, he climbed into his pickup and drove off.

Was he a prophet sent by God?

Twenty-four men have no doubts and I pray all of the crowd will agree with us.

(Continued in Part 10…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Filed under African-American, America, black people, Christianity, Church, Deliverance, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Race, Race wars

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

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

Why God Had Me Stop Voting For Years

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My new weekly column entitled, “Why God Had Me Stop Voting For Years,” can be read by clicking here.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can sometimes read it better by using the Chrome browser rather than Safari. Also, you can go to the app store and download a free app called: WND.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Forgiveness, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Politics, Prayer, spiritual warfare, World Net Daily, Writing