Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The translation project for our new film "Marching to Zion" continues! The goal is to get the trailer translated into the 100 most significant languages in the world and to get the full movie translated into 14 strategic languages. Here is what has been finished so far:
VIDEO: Afrikaans, Assamese, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese (Myanmar), Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Malagasy, Malay, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Setswana, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Yoruba
TEXT: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese (Myanmar), Cebuano (Bisaya), Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, Finnish, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Hausa, Hebrew, Hungarian, Igbo, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Setswana, Sinhalese, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Yoruba, and Zulu.
In addition, the first 17 minutes of the FULL MOVIE is now on YouTube in Spanish, German, French, and Portuguese!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
"Hinduism in Light of the Bible."
By: Pastor Steven L Anderson
Flip over to Exodus 23. The second book of the bible is Exodus. Chapter number 23. This morning I want to preach against the false religion of Hinduism. "Hinduism in light of the bible." Now as we get into this, let me just point out to you that Hinduism is one of the largest religions in the world, even though we might not think of it as such. In fact, according to a demographic study, there are 2.2 billion Christians in the world, basically one third of the worlds population, and obviously they are using the word christian very loosely, to include Catholicism and all these other false branches of Christianity. That’s one third of the worlds population, then there are 1.6 billion Muslims, which would be 23 percent of the worlds population, and then there are 1 billion Hindus in this world or 15 percent of the world's population approximately, I mean thats a huge number. I billion Hindus. Now in this day that we live, a lot of forces are at work to unite all religions together, in kind of a one world religion, one world government, "new world order" type of a movement in preparation for the Antichrist. Even some christian teachers are starting to say, “Hey, the Hindus are actually like unto us."
In fact, I went hiking up in Sedona not too long ago, and a Hare Krishna met me there, and they were trying to recruit me to Hinduism. They were doing the Hindu version of soul-winning. And they were trying to tell me, "Oh, we believe in Jesus," and trying to act like there was some great connection between Hinduism and Christianity and so forth. But I am here to tell you that Hinduism is a false religion, and let me start out by giving you a quote from Joel Osteen, who is one of the most popular "Christian" teachers on the tv, radio...he has a massive following. And here is what he said, “I’ve spent a lot of time in India. I’ve been with a lot of Hindu people. They are nice, kind people who love God as well.” Now here’s the thing: I am sure they are nice, kind people but to say that the Hindus love God is false because they do not have the God of the Bible, and the Bible teaches that there is only one true God, and that all other gods are false gods. He also said, when he was asked if they would go to hell for not believing in Jesus, that he would not say that they would go to Hell. He said, "I don’t know. They just love God so much. I don’t know." But lets see what the bible says. Now according to Hinduism...let me just start out by making this first point. According to Hinduism, God can be called by any name. The thing about Hinduism is that they are often known for having a multitude of gods. People will say that there are millions of gods, but really, most Hindus that you talk to only worship one God, and they think that their God is the one true God, but they're okay with all the other Hindus worshiping other gods because they are all just different manifestations of the same religion, the same god. They believe in their god, but they think it is okay to believe in him by a different name. It doesn’t matter what God's name is - that is one of the different things about Hinduism. The name of God is just not that important to them.
Well, let's contrast that with what the bible teaches, look at Exodus 23:13. The bible reads, “And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” So the Bible is telling us here, that we should not name the names of false gods. So is this saying, "Hey, call God by whatever name you want?" No, he is saying not to use the name of other gods - don’t even name those names. Look at Deuteronomy chapter number 12, and while you are turning to Deuteronomy 12, I’ll read for you from Deuteronomy 18:20 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die." Listen to this: Joshua 23:7 “That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods,” Did you hear that? Don’t make mention the name of their gods. He said, “nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.” Look down at you bible there in Deuteronomy 12:1. It says, “These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods,” Watch this! “and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.” So right there he is saying to destroy the names of the false gods. Don’t even make mention of the names of false gods. Don’t even let those names come out of your lips. So to sit there and say, "Oh, it doesn’t matter what name they worship God by, as long as they are worshiping one God, then it's the same God." Wrong. It’s not the same God unless you have the right name, and that name is Jesus. Jesus is the name above all names.
Now if you would, go to Philippians chapter 2. Philippians chapter number 2. You see, just because someone believes in one God or worships one God or acknowledges that there is one God, does not mean that they are worshiping the God of the bible. Just because somebody says, "God bless you," does not mean that they are blessing you in the name of the Lord God of the bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God and the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Just because you say "God" doesn’t mean you are referring to the true God because the other nations have false gods, the bible tells us. In Philippians 2 the Bible is clear in verse nine what that name is. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Flip over to Romans 10, and while you are turning to Romans 10, I’ll read you the famous verse from Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” 1 John 5:13: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” Notice the emphasis over and over again on the name: believe on the name, it must be the name of Jesus...and what's funny: I’ve even heard people say...listen there’s a reason why I am preaching this this morning because now you will even hear independent Baptists say these bizarre things. There is a great falling away taking place and you will even hear independent Baptists saying things like, "Oh, these people on this island or in this other country, they just kind of look up at the sky, and just kind of call upon God, and they don’t even know the name of Jesus, but they are saved because they just called upon God, whatever that means. No, the Bible says, "For whosoever call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
What is that name? Well, look at Romans 10:9. It says in Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I want to point out the word "for" at the beginning of verses 10, 11, 12 and 13. Do you see that? That is a conjunction that in our modern vernacular would be "because." We would use the word "because." In verse 9, he makes a statement. He says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Okay, ask the question, "Why?" Why does that save you to confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and to believe in your heart God raised him from the dead? Why does that save you? Well verse 10 tells us because "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. “ Verse 11 tells us because "the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Because (verse 12) “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him." And then in verse 13, it is because "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Therefore, the name of the Lord in verse 13 is "Jesus." When he says, "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” that’s referring back to verse 9 when it says “Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus." That name that is associated with salvation in the New Testament is "Jesus."
Now when Abraham called upon the name of the Lord, he called upon the name "God Almighty." That was the name by which he was primarily known unto the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They called upon God Almighty. When David talks about calling upon the name of the Lord, he’s calling upon the name "Jehovah," and in the New Testament, the name which God has given among men, whereby we must be saved is the name of "Jesus." Not just "God," not a "supreme being," but Jesus himself.
Now Joel Osteen says that the Hindus worship and Love God, which is why he can’t believe they’d be going to hell, or he doesn’t really know because they just love God so much, and his dad went there and says they love God so much, and he said they love God so much. Let me just state to you right now and prove to you that the God of Hinduism is actually Satan himself. I mean that literally, and I’ll prove it to you. Go to 1 Corinthians 10. I’ll prove this to you in many ways, but go to 1 Corinthians 10. And you say, "You just hate Indian people," or o"You hate Hindus." No! I love them. That’s why I am giving them the gospel. They need to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. They need to confess the name of Jesus Christ. They need to turn from their vanities and idols and false gods, and they need to turn to the living and true God, and if we love them we are going to tell them the truth that Hinduism is a path to destruction and a path to hell, and that they need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their saviour. That is a message of love unto the Hindus today.
The bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:19, “What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” So what he is saying is that it is easy to look at the idol and to think of it as just a hunk of wood, a hunk of stone. It really isn’t anything. It’s an inanimate object. But Paul is saying here that it goes deeper than that because when they are bowing down to an idol, it’s not that they are just worshipping an inanimate object, but that literally they are worshipping devils. That’s what it says in verse 20: “I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice,” and the indians are Gentiles. "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” In fact, if you look up the word "gods" in the bible, the plural, lower case "gods" - that plural. Do you know what that represents in the hundreds of times that it is used throughout the bible? It represents devils. It represents demons. It represents false gods. False gods are actually demons or devils that impersonate God and that blind this world through false religion.
I am not going to name for you the main gods of Hinduism because the bible says not to even name their names. The bible says not to even let the names come out of your mouth, but there are three main gods that Hindus worship. What I want you to understand is that they are not worshiping a multitude of gods in a sense. Certain Hindus - one of them is their main god: the one that starts with a "V." Then other Hindus, the one that starts with a "Sh" sound is their main god. Then over here, another one that starts with a "D" is their main god. And yes, they do all have different subsets and millions of different names and manifestations, or avatars or what they call as gods, but the bottom line is that this is like different denominations within Hinduism. They kind of say, "Well, our god is the best one, or the main supreme god. Then others say, "Well, no, it’s actually the one we worship because he’s better," or whatever.
But at the end of the day, they're okay with the other gods, too, because they are all part of "Hinduism," so as long as you are...the way Hindus look at it from my study and understanding is kind of like, "You're either Hindu, or you're not." And if you’re worshiping another god, as long as you are following the basic teachings of the Dharma and the Veda and the stuff they believe in, then you're good. You're Hindu. We’ll accept you even if you're calling God by a different name because the name is just not that important. Well, we saw from the Bible that the name is really important.
But let me just tell you a little about their main gods. The one that starts with a "V" - just look at a picture of him. He is standing on a snake, and he always has these 5 cobras above his head. This is the serpent religion! What is the devil always signified by in the Bible? He is the serpent. He is the old serpent, the devil, Satan, the dragon. And if you look at their god - the main one, the most popular one, the big one that starts with a "V" - he has these 5 cobras above his head, and he is standing on a snake. Then you look at the second most popular god and see the same thing: snakes all around. Skulls, fire, snakes. You can just look at it, and you can see that it is demonic.
Not only that, but the one that starts with a "Sh" sound is like the false god of Judaism: both male and female. That’s not the God of the Bible. The God of the bible is always "He." He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. He is referred to as making man in his own image, etc. They have this god that is both male and female. Another thing about one of the most popular false gods is of Hinduism is that he is very quick to anger. He’s quick to anger, but he’s quickly appeased and quick to pardon. Well, God is the exact opposite because the bible says in Nahum 1:3, “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”
Also, you’ll notice that these Hindu gods, when you look at images of them, they'll often be holding a pitchfork or a trident, which is the quintessential symbol we would think of with the devil - holding a pitchfork. Here you have a guy with snakes and flames and skulls and a pitchfork. This is their god. It’s a wicked religion. And then the third most popular - those were the two most popular - then the third most popular is a female goddess which involves the worship of literal human sacrifice. Now modern day obviously they don’t allow them to do this, but in the olden days they would. They would perform human sacrifices in many parts of India, even on a weekly basis, unto this false goddess, and there is the eating of blood...let’s see...eating blood and worshiping a female goddess, hmmm, sounds like a another religion I know, maybe like three miles from here. Maybe down in Guadalupe...but anyway: Catholicism. Isn’t it amazing how the devil has just the same false teachings that just manifest in different parts of the world, where he teaches this false worship of a female deity. This eating of blood and all these things that are the same, and there are more similarities with Hinduism that we will get to.
But look at John chapter 8. We started in Isaiah 43. I want you to put one finger in Isaiah 43 and another finger in John chapter 8because these two scriptures go together, and they’re very important. Now some people have considered Isaiah, the book of Isaiah...they call it the little bible because it’s interesting how Isaiah has 66 chapters, and the Bible has 66 books, and it really is amazing if you compare the 66 chapters of Isaiah with the 66 books of the Bible, there are amazing parallels that are kind of hard to write off as a coincidence. Like, for example, at the end of chapter 39, there is a major gear change in Isaiah. Chapters 40-66 are completely different then chapters 1-39. This is sort of like the Old Testament 39 books and the New Testament 27 books. You’ll find parallels in chapter 1. There are lots of parallels with Genesis if you compare chapter 5 of Isaiah with Deuteronomy. All kinds of parallels. The book of John with chapter 43, the book of Romans is quoting chapter 45, and you have parallels between Revelation and chapter 66. The list goes on and on. It’s very interesting, but one thing that’s interesting is when you compare this quote from the book of John with Isaiah 43, which would be the corresponding chapter. Look what the bible says in John 8:24. It says, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” Now what did Jesus mean by that, when he says “If you believe not that I am he, you’ll die in your sins“? Believe that you are who? because he says, "If you believe not that I am he, you’ll die in your sins." We look at Isaiah 43:10, and the Bible says this: “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” So what did Jesus mean when he said, "If you do not believe that I am he, then you’ll die in your sins?" He said if you don’t believe that I am the only saviour, if you don’t believe that I am he and that there’s none else. See, you can't believe in Jesus and believe in other ways of salvation and believe in other "saving graces." No, you have to believe that he is, and that he is him alone, or you’ll die in your sins the bible says.
The Bible says you must believe on Jesus with all your heart, not believe in Jesus plus something else, and so he says here, "I am he, and there is none else. Before me was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” So when the Hare Krishnas or the Hindus or whoever try to tell you, Oh, well we also believe in Jesus," that’s not enough because they don't believe exclusively in Jesus because they believe in other gods and other ways of salvation, other scriptures. It has to be the Jesus of the Bible. See, many, many Hindus will even say, Oh, yeah, we believe that Jesus was a great teacher," and many Hindus even teach that Jesus during his teenage years (because you don’t really read about his teenage years in the Bible) they say, "Oh, well he went to India and learned Hinduism, and then he came back and was a great yogi in Israel." That’s what they say. That’s what they teach, and they try to claim that Jesus went there and learned their religion and brought it back, and whatever, and so they’ll often tell you, "Oh, yeah, Jesus, we believe in Jesus." But hold on. Is it the Jesus of the Bible that they believe in? The answer is no. Now they’ll even believe in a guy called Krishna, as in "Hare Krishna." They believe in a guy name Krishna who was like God in the flesh and born of a virgin. Imagine that. And people will say Krishna = Christ, but it’s the name of "Jesus," not just Christ. It has to be Jesus, and it has to be the Jesus of the Bible because Jesus was the word made flesh.
The Bible says, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth." So you can’t separate the person Jesus from his word because he is the word made flesh. So if you have a totally different word, if you have a totally different scripture, then you have a different Jesus. You must have the Jesus of the bible, and you have to put all of your faith and trust in him, not in anything else. Not only that, but we have to realize that the devil is a great counterfeiter, so he’ll often mix in a little truth with the lies to make it believable. And so there are going to be similarities, of course, with Hinduism and Christianity because the devil is a counterfeiter.
Now one of the most interesting things is that if you go back to the oldest, most important Hindu scripture - they have all these different scriptures, Vedic literature and puranas and whatever else - but if you go back to their oldest, most important scripture, it’s called the Laws of Manu, and here is what is interesting: Manu is a guy who...basically,the whole world was destroyed with a great flood, and he was warned to build a giant boat and to get on that boat, and so he survived the flood and then every person on this earth is descended from this guy. Now does that sound familiar? It’s just like Noah, and its funny because even between "Manu" and "Noah" you can see the similarities in the names there, and this book goes back to like 1000-2000 BC. This is some time literally 3,000-4,000 years ago that this book was written, and isn’t it interesting that it tells the story about God destroying the whole world with a flood. One guy is the ancestor of all of mankind.
Now it’s interesting because the atheists of this world and the scoffers will look at that and say, "Oh, see, Christianity is just copying these other religions," but it’s only because they have been blinded by Satan that they cannot see what is so obvious. It's as plain as the nose on your face, that the reason all these different religions in the world all tell the same story about the flood, is that it really happened! It is so silly to say, "Oh, they just borrowed that story." No. Different cultures all over the world, totally separate from one another, all have the same story about the flood taking place. So obviously it’s because there really was a flood, so they’re all talking about it. and it’s interesting the time frame of when the book was written because if you think about when the flood took place, it was about 2,500-2,700 years before Christ. Different people will argue about the date, but again, it makes sense that a book that is about 4,000 years old in India, which is their most important scripture, would talk about the fact that there was a flood, and everybody descends from this one guy because everyone else was wiped out in a flood. Obviously when the Tower of Babel incident took place, people were scattered everywhere, and some of them went to India. They obviously took that important story with them. That's a pretty big story that you are going to tell, and you’re going to write it down.
So the devil is a great counterfeiter, though. He takes the true story about the flood and Noah - true story, really happened - but then he just twists it and puts in all these false teachings in their book, whereas the Bible has the true account and all the true words of God. Here is another big thing about Hinduism. Go to Hebrews chapter 9. Another big thing about Hinduism is that they believe in reincarnation. This is the huge teaching in Hinduism. This is one of their most important beliefs. They believe people are on a cycle of death and birth and just constantly being reborn. There is rebirth and basically what you do is going to determine how good of a place you’re born into the second and the third time and the fourth time. There’s this cycle of reincarnation. But does the bible teach reincarnation? Well, look at Hebrews 9:27. It says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” So the bible says that it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, and after this is the judgment. No reincarnation here. Not only that, but even if the Hindus claim to believe in Jesus, they don’t believe in his death, burial, and bodily resurrection. That’s the gospel. They believe that Jesus died and was reincarnated, and keeps on being reincarnated, when the Antichrist comes, they’ll say, "Here he is again! Reincarnated once again!" Now everybody...go to Galatians 6...everybody also has heard the term "karma." That’s probably one of the most famous words from Hinduism: Karma. Let me say this: that is not a word that bible believing Christians should be using, and in our American culture today, everyone is talking about karma and bad karma and good karma. Why would we use the terms of a false religion like Hinduism? The bible says we should use the words that the Holy Ghost teaches, not the words which man’s wisdom teaches. Here’s what the Holy Ghost teaches: Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Oh, sort of like karma...NO, it’s not like karma! It’s like Galatians 6:7. It’s like sowing and reaping. It’s like reaping what you sow. It’s not like karma.
Now what’s interesting though is that the word "karma," literally in the original language, Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language, the word "karma," actually means "works." Works. It means "deeds" or "works" or "actions" that you preform. So isn’t it interesting that according to Hinduism, salvation is by works. Because having good karma is what is going to get you reincarnated in a better way, and then eventually they reach a state, not like heaven, but they end the cycle of endless rebirth. They reach that pinnacle point or whatever, and how do they get there? Works. That’s literally what they are saying when they say "karma." They're saying "works." And the bible says salvation is "not of works, lest any man should boast." The bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast," and the bible clearly teaches that grace and works are not compatible. Because "if it be of grace, then it is no more works." Basically he is saying that if it’s grace, it’s not karma that is going to get you there. He says, "If it be of grace, then it is no more works, otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace. Otherwise work is no more work. It can’t be both. And they say, "Oh, but if we do these good works, then we'll receive grace." That's what the Hindus teach. No. Wrong. You don’t receive grace by doing works. That's a contradiction in terms. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is receiving that which you do not deserve, and it's not of works lest any man should boast. So this word "karma" is not a word we as Christians should be using.We need to use Christian terminology and should not use this Hindu terminology and let it creep into our mentality and our vernacular.
Go to 1 Thessalonians 4. Another false teaching of Hinduism is that they say "People go to Heaven or go to Hell, but it's just temporary. They get punished, or they get rewarded, but then they get reborn, and they get reincarnated, so it’s temporary." But the bible teaches that both being saved and going to Heaven, and going to Hell, are both permanent conditions according to the Bible. Look at 1 Thessalonians 4:17. It says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:” watch this, “and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Once we are caught up to be with the Lord in Heaven, the Bible says that we shall ever be with the Lord. It’s not a temporary "Be with the Lord, then not be with the Lord". Now you say, "Well, but in the new Heaven and the new Earth, aren't we going to live on this earth?" Yes, but we’re going to rule and reign with Christ on this earth, we’re going to be with the Lord. Let me break this down for you doctrinally. It’s important that we as Christians know what we believe from the bible and what the doctrines of Heaven are. This is what the bible teaches: if you as a saved person were to die today, and you have Jesus Christ in you, and you are saved, then the moment that you breathe your last breath, your soul will be in Heaven. There is no soul sleep or waiting in the grave. Your BODY waits in the grave, but your soul instantly goes to Heaven because the Bible says, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." Paul said, "I have a desire to depart and to be with the Christ which is far better. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." This is what happens at Christ’s coming in the clouds in 1Thessalonians 4 - what's often referred to as the rapture. It says they which are asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. When Christ returns to this earth, he’s going to bring them with him in the clouds, and then when they're in Heaven with him. Then when he sets up his kingdom on this earth, they come and rule with him on this earth. Then in the end, when there’s a new heaven and a new earth, the lamb is going to dwell among them. So once were saved, we aren't reborn on this earth, or lose our salvation, or go to heaven, and then get kicked out, or whatever. No. Once you're saved, you shall ever be with the Lord. Whether it's in heaven, or the millennial reign on this earth, or in a new heaven and a new earth. Either way you are going to be with the Lord for eternity. You’re going to be with Jesus, and that’s it. Now Hell is the same way. I’ll just give you one quick verse on this: Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”Just in case you didn’t get the first forever, he said, they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever," just to drive that in, that Hell is eternal. That’s a whole sermon in and of itself.
So flip to Deuteronomy chapter number 4. I want to give the conclusion. But before I do, let me just do a quick review of the false teachings of Hinduism. What are the false teachings? Well, number one, they teach God can be called by any name - it’s not that important. The Bible says it’s critically important what name God is called by. He also stated that the names of false gods should be held in contempt, they should not be uttered, they should not be mentioned, they should be forgotten and destroyed. That’s what he said about the names of other gods. So that's a major false teaching. Number two, they do not confess the name of Jesus as being the Saviour, the almighty, the one true God. Number three, we showed that the god of Hinduism is actually Satan because he is represented by idolatry. The bible says those that sacrifice unto idols are sacrificing unto devils. We also know that their god does not have the same attributes of the God of the Bible. For example, he is very quick to anger and he is both male and female. These are not the attributes of the God of the bible. Also the god of Hinduism is clearly Satan because his images are serpents and skulls and all these demonic type of representation that we would associate with the biblical version of who the devil is (and Satan). They are literally worshiping Satan - or they're worshiping a female goddess which is completely foreign to the scriptural view of who God is, being masculine. And not only that, even if they claim to believe in a Krishna or whatever, it’s not the Jesus of the Bible. They believe in reincarnation, we believe in a bodily resurrection once - it's appointed unto man once to die, once to be resurrected. They believe in salvation by karma, which means salvation by works in their language. We believe in salvation by grace through faith, not of works. We don’t have to do any rituals, we don’t have to chant things or offer sacrifices or go to a temple and perform rites and rituals, we don’t have to chant mantras and do yoga to be saved. Those are works and deeds that they think are going to bring them salvation, whereas we believe salvation is by grace through faith. They believe heaven and hell are temporary states, we believe that heaven and hell are eternal. And that once you're saved, you're always saved, and that once you die without Jesus Christ and enter the flames of hell, you are forever doomed and shall perish.
So we can see that Hinduism is clearly a false religion, clearly different than the bible, clearly a satanic religion, very wicked - so what is the conclusion? Well first of all, the purpose of preaching this sermon is to avoid the false teachings of people like Joel Osteen and other ecumenical teachers that want to say, "Hey, we have a lot in common and we actually are worshiping the same God because we’re all praying to God, whatever name we use." You know, we want to combat that false teachings in these last days and point out the difference between biblical Christianity and these false religions and not seek to unite with false religion. It’s called ecumenicalism. Ecumenicalism means "Bring all religions together and let’s put aside our differences." That is not what the bible teaches - that is the spirit of the antichrist that teaches that. I’m hoping that as you hear this sermon, you will be stirred up in your heart to want to reach Hindus with the gospel because these people are blinded. They’re born into this. It’s not that they all just choose to go worship Satan. No, they're born into this false religion, they're taught this from the time they grow up. They are blinded, they are deceived. Joel Osteen said, "Hey, they’re really nice, kind people." I’m sure they are, I am sure they are very peaceful, nice, kind people - but the road to hell is paved with good intentions and someone needs to bring them the gospel and shine the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ so that they might be saved. But if our gospel be hid, it’s hid to them that are lost in whom the God of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not. And you say "Well, do I need to take a trip to India? I don’t know if I feel comfortable with that." But here’s the thing: you don’t need to take a trip to India, you need to take a trip to ASU, you need to take a trip to South Tempe. Listen to me. I have never gone soul winning in South Tempe in the nice well to do neighborhoods without knocking the door of at least one Hindu. Never. And people want to talk so much about missions and all the trips. Look I’m not against missions - but you know what? It’s right here! Save the plane ticket and save your money. It’s great to go and be a missionary in a foreign country, but you don’t have to go to a foreign country to be a missionary. Because you know what? If you want to reach Indians with the gospel, if you want to reach Hindus with the gospel of Jesus Christ, all you have to do is go to South Tempe and knock doors in that neighborhood. Or, if you would like to talk to other Hindus that are probably going to speak better English and be more receptive, you can go to the campus of ASU. I have never gone soul winning on the campus of ASU without knocking the door of at least one person from India. Yes, they’re up there. They’re students, and they’re all studying engineering. Every single one. You always ask them, "Oh, what are you studying?" Engineering. But I’m telling you, you can reach the Chinese, and you can reach the Indians. There are a ton of foreign students up at ASU, and if you’ll just knock doors, if you’ll just go soul winning, you can give them the Gospel. And the great thing about the ones that are here is that most of them speak English. And by the way, even a lot of people in India itself speak English now.
English is a major language in India itself, and so there is not even a language barrier with these people. These people can be reached with the gospel, and often they’ll listen to the gospel and be receptive to the gospel. But who will go and knock those doors and preach the gospel to every creature? You see, the way to reach them with the gospel is to just open our mouth boldly and speak the word of God. You say,"Well, I just don’t know a special presentation for Hindus." Look, you don’t need a special presentation of the Gospel for each religion. The same Gospel saves everybody. You can just go through and show them that they are a sinner, and show them Hell, and show them the life of Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection. Show them it is a free gift, show them that it's by faith. Maybe some of the things that you heard in this sermon might show you a few things you might want to point out to them at the end of your gospel presentation. I always start out by giving everybody the gospel the same way. Instead of getting all complicated, why don’t you just give them the gospel because it’s the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first and also the Greek - and also to the Hindu. The Gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the power of God no matter who you are telling it to.
So you don’t have to show up with some customized Hindu plan of salvation. No, you just show up, and you give the plan of salvation. But at the end of the plan of salvation, once you have gone through the whole Gospel and made it plain, then at the end, maybe you can just emphasize that all their faith has to be on Jesus. You have to renounce other gods that you are worshiping and acknowledge that the true God is Jesus. That might be something that you would want to emphasize more with the Hindu than with somebody else who’s coming from some other denomination or background. You’re going to need to emphasize that more at the end. But you can give the gospel to white people, you can give the gospel to black people, you can give the gospel to Hispanics, you can give the gospel to any nationality. If you can give it to one, you can give it to the other because it’s the same God over all, that is rich unto all them that call upon him. There’s one fold, there’s one shepherd, there’s one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and so we need to get the Gospel to the Hindus. You don’t have to take a trip to India. If you want to go there, great, but honestly, it’s right here. I’m not even telling you to go to Phoenix, or Scottsdale, or Mesa - it’s here, it’s in Tempe, it’s in our town. Right here. Thousands and thousands and thousands of Hindus that are ripe unto harvest for the Gospel. That’s why I love going door-to-door. Because honestly, it allows you to reach all people, it allows you to be a domestic and foreign missionary all in one, just by going out and knocking some doors. But let me just close on this thought. I think a great stumbling block to Hindus being saved (and this is for all nationalities as well as Hindus) is that we as Americans have ruined our testimony by being godless and wicked and worldly in the way we live our lives. We've ruined our testimony. That is a big stumbling block, and it is why people like Hindus or Muslims or other people could be unreceptive to the gospel. It's because we as American Christians are ruining our testimony.
Look what the bible says in Deuteronomy chapter 4. This has to do with evangelizing foreigners. Look at Deuteronomy 4:5 it says, “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them;" WATCH THIS “for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations." What’s he saying? When the nations see you keeping the word of God and following the commandments of the word of God, you’re going to be wise in their sight. They’re going to look at that, and it’s going to make an impression on them. It’s going to be wise unto them. It’s going to be something that they respect. He says that halfway through verse 6 “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” Now here’s my question: do you think that somebody in India looks at a Hollywood movie and says, "Wow, what nation is so righteous like America? Wow, what nation is there that has God so nigh unto them? What nation is there that has such wise and righteous judgments and statutes?" No, they look at it and see it as trash, and then do you know what they think about our culture? It’s trash. Do you know what they think about our religion? That it's trash. Now look: this doesn’t just go for America because obviously we can not control the stupidity of our government, or the stupidity of Hollywood, or the stupidity of Madison Avenue. We have no control over that, but we can at least control ourselves and control our families and control our church. We can at least be a shining light of the gospel, that not only preaches the truth of the grace of God and salvation, but that also lives a life that people can respect. Then they would have an interest in hearing something we have to say about God. Why would anybody want to listen to what you have to say about God when you live your life in a wicked, worldly way? And they’re probably thinking to themselves, "We are probable more moral than you are. Why should we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, so we can live like you? Why would we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, so our women can dress like hoochie mommas and hookers and whores? Why would they accept it? They look at it and say it's immoral. They look at our culture and say it’s ungodly. "You have no morals, you have no standards, you have no statutes and judgments to live your life by." And it is a stumbling block to them being saved today because Americans go over there and are wicked.
You know I read some story about the actor Richard Gere going to India and being arrested for publicly kissing a woman other than his wife. He was just kissing on the mouth publicly some woman that is not his wife. We should look at that as being immoral. How would you feel right now if some other woman came up here, and I kissed some woman other than my wife right now? You would be horrified. You ought to be horrified, but we watch it on tv, we watch it on movies, and we don’t think anything of it. It’s just fine and dandy. He did it, and he was arrested over there. Why? Because their culture is actually in that sense more traditional and actually showing more morality in certain things. God help us as American Christians when we drag the name of Jesus Christ in the mud by living a life of no morals and no standards - just living a life that’s godless and impure and unclean. The world looks at that, and they’re not impressed. Why would they be? How are we going to reach the Muslims and Hindus with the gospel if we don’t live a clean life? They’re gonna look at us and say, "Why would I want to follow this religion? My wife has more clothes on than your wife. Your wife is half naked. Your wife is in short shorts and a halter top." Okay, so the Muslim women are wearing a little too much clothing. Okay. Well, we're wearing too little! We need to find a something in between, folks! We need to follow the Bible's standards for clothing.
The bible is clear in Deuteronomy 4 how we are going to reach other nations with the Gospel: by putting forth an image of following God’s law and following God’s righteousness. You and I both know that the bible is better than anything that Hinduism has to offer in the way of scriptures. We know that the bible is greater than the Quran ever thought of being. We know that, but the question is, do they see this when they look at our lives, or do they see a reflection of Hollywood in us? Think about it. If we go through our lives and live a certain way, are they looking at us and seeing a reflection of Hollywood, Madison Avenue, etc, or are they seeing a reflection of this book because the Bible says that if they see us living by this book, we will be wise in their sight. They’ll say, "You know what, even if we believe in a different religion, these people are living their life in a wise way that makes sense and that is moral and righteous and clean." But that's not enough. I am not preaching lifestyle evangelism, folks. That’s not enough. You then have to open the bible and open your mouth boldly and preach the gospel. What you need to do is both, and not just sit there and say, "Oh, my testimony doesn’t matter at all." When you're living a godless wicked life, people of other cultures are going to look down on you because they aren’t as godless and wicked as America. It's pretty sad that I even have to say that. Other nations are looking down on us right now. It’s true. They are. Think about it: they look at America and think that we’re the capital of sodomy (homosexuality). Why would I want to listen to a missionary that’s coming from Sodom land. "I am from the country of Sodom and Gomorrah, and I am here to give you the Gospel of Jesus." They'll say, "Forget Jesus! We don’t want to hear about it!" Because they don’t want the sodomy (homosexuality) and the filth. We as Christians should stand up and condemn this stuff and fight against it and distance ourselves from it. But what are all the Christians saying, "Oh, let's just bring in all the homos." No! We ought to be distancing ourselves from that! "Oh, but how are we going to reach the homos? We have to reach the poor little faggot with the gospel." Hey, what about the billion Hindus that are going to Hell?! They are going to think you are a stinking faggot if you have all these weird queers coming in to your church. Why don’t you care about them? (the Hindus) Instead, we are trying to reach homosexual reprobates for whom it’s too late. But, oh, we’re just so worried about how we’re going to reach this little fairy. What about all the billion people in this world that are worshiping these false gods of Hinduism? Why don’t you want to get them saved? They’re not impressed with you being a faggot or hanging around a bunch of faggots, and I’m telling you, we need to distance ourselves from the fifth of Hollywood.
We need to distance ourselves from the smut of this world. When you go out and live your life in a permissive, impure, filthy way, and hang around a bunch of filthy people, and fill your mind with a bunch of junk, and then you expect to be a good, shining light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s not working. We need to repair our testimony as Christians so that the nations of the world will look at us, and they’ll say, "You know what, this is a wise people. These people have God nigh unto them. I want to hear what they have to say. God prophesied in the old testament that if they followed God’s laws and his statutes, people would come from all over. People would flock to the nation of Israel just to want to learn about God. For example, the queen of Sheba - she showed up and was so impressed. "Wow, this is great. These laws and these statutes and judgments are so wise." She was impressed, and she went home and brought a good report unto her people. That’s what America should be, and obviously we can’t control what the people that are running our country are doing, but at least we as independent baptists - at least we at this church or at least you and your family can present an image to the people that you come into contact with of "Hey, we’re different. We’re not wicked people. We actually believe in following the Bible." That testimony is going to help you be a better witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ when you do verbally open your mouth. You need both. You don’t want to just sit there and say, "Oh, yeah, I’ll just live my life, and they’ll see it." No. Live your life, and then preach the word. But you don’t want to just preach the word as you disregard the commandments of God because then you are a bad testimony. Then they’re not going to be impressed. They’re not going to be. The Bible says, "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Do you know what "reproach" means? It means that people look at it, and they’re just shaking their head. We are a laughing stock of the world right now. Go ahead and defend it. Some of you right now...I bet you that there is somebody in this room thinking, "Oh, I can’t believe he said the word "faggot! Oh, oh!" Get out of here, and don’t ever come back! Get out! Get out because you are the problem in America today if you're going to sit there and defend the sickest, vilest, filthy, perverts. Just get out! Get out of here! I don’t want you around! You say, "Oh, I’m afraid when you preach hard against the homos, you’re going to lose people." I hope I lose people preaching hard against the homos! I hope you’ll get out if you approve of that filth and that smut. I don’t want you around my kids because I’m suspicious of you if you’re going to defend it. It’s sick, it's vile, it’s disgusting. Get out! The world doesn’t accept this crap! It’s America that accepts this filth. The rest of the world is looking at you and thinking that you’re disgusting. How are we going to reach them with the Gospel if we don’t distance ourselves from wickedness and lift up this book as the standard. Show me your version of the homos in this book, and I'll show you mine.
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Lord, it’s the good news. We need to get it to the world. Lord, we need to get it to a billion Hindus. Lord, they are not saved. I don’t care what Joel Osteen says, Lord, they’re not saved, and we both know that. I pray that you would help us to be a burning and shining light of the gospel. Help us to live a life that can be respected by other nations of the world. Help us to go out and knock the doors of South Tempe and knock the doors of North Tempe and reach these dear people and give them the saving gospel of Jesus. We ask these things in your name. Amen.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
The translation project for our new film Marching to Zion has been going very well. So far the trailer has been translated into 29 other langauges. Here they are:
VIDEO: Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Yoruba
TEXT: Afrikaans, Albanian, Bulgarian, Burmese (Myanmar), Cebuano (Bisaya), Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Czech, Dutch, French, Finnish, German, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Marathi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Setswana, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Yoruba
The trailer will continue to be translated into many more languages in the coming weeks, but we are also working on getting the FULL MOVIE dubbed into as many languages as possible. Which languages get the full movie will be dependent upon how many people step up to the plate to provide translation and especially voice recordings for the various characters in the film.
For example, the full movie will be coming very soon in Brazilian Portuguese because a couple of great volunteers have stepped up to the plate and been sending me awesome, high quality voice-over for the film. As a result, the Portuguese version is pretty much half done. If you would like to see the full movie in your language, contact me at the church email address, and let me know what you can help with.
If you do not have the ability to translate text or provide audio recordings, you can help by making a donation at the church website and specifying which language you would like your funds to go toward. Many of these translations and voice-overs are being done by volunteers, but most are being done by professionals. The more funds are available, the more we can do.
Let's get this important film out to everybody in the world!
Friday, April 3, 2015
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Saturday, March 28, I ran my first running race of all time, the Crown King Scramble. The race is a 31 mile uphill ultra-marathon that begins at Lake Pleasant outside Phoenix, AZ, and ends at a small town in the middle of nowhere called Crown King.
The race started at 5am, and because I was so anxious the night before, I was only able to sleep for 90 minutes. When we started running, it was still completely dark outside and nice and cool. My strategy was to cover as much ground as possible before the sun came up because the heat makes it so much harder to run. Also, there was a cut-off time of 3.5 hours to reach the 15.3 mile marker.
For the first 13 miles, I ran everything, even the steepest hills. Then for the next 5 miles, I ran everything that was downhill, flat, or slightly uphill, and I only walked up the steepest hills (walking up a steep hill is at least as hard as running on flat ground). I made it to the 15.3 mile cut-off in 2 hours 57 minutes, so I had made the cut-off with 33 minutes to spare.
Everything was going great until around mile 18 when my quads began cramping severely. This was in the midst of some very steep climbing (see above elevation profile). I decided that maybe I was low on electrolytes because it was getting hot, and I was sweating a lot. The high in Phoenix that day was 97 degrees, and the high in Crown King was 77 degrees. At the aid station at mile 19.1, I guzzled a lot of Gatorade and drank a bottle of coconut water to try to get more electrolytes. Another runner gave me an electrolyte tablet that also helped, along with some Whole Foods antacid that I had brought. My quads stopped cramping, and I was able to keep running, but for the whole rest of the day, I felt like I was always on the edge of the cramps coming back.
Around mile 23 I started feeling good again and enjoying the race. I ran as much as I could, but as soon as my quads would feel like cramping, I would back off and walk for a while. The whole day I was checking the clock and doing the math to make sure that I would finish within the 9 hour cut-off. Since this was my first ultra (first race for that matter!), my only goal was just to finish before the cut-off. Once I got to the summit at mile 28.7, I knew for a fact that I would be able to finish well within the allotted time. The only thing left at that point was just 2.3 miles of downhill to the finish line.
There had a been a lot of pained faces along the trail that day, and a lot of expletives, but at this point in the race everyone is smiling. It's all downhill from here! The hardest part about this event is not the fact that it is 31 miles long, but the fact that there are 6,750' of climbing (the equivalent of climbing the Empire State Building more than 5 times). However, for some strange reason, I wasn't smiling. In my mind, I was very happy to be finishing a goal that I had been working toward for so long, and I was was definitely happy not to have to climb any more hills. But for some reason, a couple miles from the finish line, I started sobbing for absolutely no reason. They were not tears of joy because I didn't feel particularly happy. I wasn't in any pain. In fact, the whole race had been much easier than I had thought it would be. I think it was just that the stress my body had been put through was causing a chemical reaction that made me start crying even though there was no logical reason for it whatsoever.
For the last few miles, I lost all will to try and improve my time. I knew that I would for sure make it before the cut-off, and that is all that mattered to me, so I just walked the last couple miles. When I got to Crown King, I started running again, just so I could run across the finish line. The guy running right in front of me was greeted by his young son who ran up and gave him a hug right before he crossed the finish line. I thought to myself, "That is really nice. I wish my family could have been here." Just then I looked over, and my wife and kids were on the side of the course cheering for me! My wife had decided to bring the whole family up and surprise me (I had not planned on her picking me up. I had thought I would have to bum a ride back to the valley). I ran across the finish line, got my finisher's mug, and lay down in a cold stream. My final time was 8 hours 32 minutes. Out of 250 entrants, I had come in 186th place.
Although there were a few dark places (mainly between miles 18-23), I had a great time. The first 3 hours especially were really fun, running along at a good pace in the cool sunrise and chatting with other runners. I am definitely planning on doing another ultra-marathon in the very near future with the goal of running a faster time, and eventually I would like to try even longer distances. The closest thing to epiphany or spiritual enlightenment that I experienced on this run was that I finally understand why women sometimes break down crying for no logical reason (hormones!).