How Good Do You Have to Be?

Many people were shocked and saddened by the death of musician James Brown recently. Brown was the proclaimed “godfather of soul” and performed in the music industry for over 50 years.

The comments have been coming forth heralding Browns accomplishments in the music industry and how he shaped the careers of other entertainers from Michael jackson to Prince. But one of the other running comments is one that you hear almost every time a famous person dies is, “he was a good person with a good heart”, which brings me to my point.

I don’t want to sound as if I am speaking ill of the dead, but I ask the question, ‘how good do we have to be?’. The story of James Brown is just one of many. You hear it all the time, from James Brown to Bono, its not about our committment to the Lord, it about what works we performed on our own.

Charitable acts certainly have value and helping others in need is definitely good for those who need help, but doing good works does nothing for you in the eyes of God without a faithful, obedient relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. Feeding thousands, raising millions and giving aways toys to children will not get you one inch closer to God. For the born-again believer, service is expected and required, and I believe, should go without the pomp, circumstance and praise of men. However, for the unsaved, those who reject Christ in every way, your acts, your good works, will die with you.

The book of James indeed tells us “faith without works is dead”. but it is also understood that works without faith possessed no life to begin with.

It isn’t just the Bill Gates’ of the world that are deceived in this false belief, but millions of people in churches are under the same delusion. Many church members are under the belief that if they work enough or volunteer enough, then that will put them in right standing with God, instead of their striving for righteousness and holiness, and being faithful and obedient to scipture. 

I don’t know if James Brown was a Christian. If he was, it was not reflected in his life. I pray he repented and placed his faith in Christ before the end.

To all of us here, it is not your works that save you, it is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, according to His Word.

“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.” Ephesians 2:8,9

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke Chapter 2 

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

Scripture of the Day

Isaiah 7

 1And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.

 2And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

 3Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field;

 4And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.

 5Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,

 6Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:

 7Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

 8For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

 9And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

 10Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,

 11Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

 12But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

 13And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

 14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Joel Osteen and Larry King-Part 2

Maybe I am gullible, but there was a part of me that wanted to think that Joel Osteen would come out and be a man of courage and committment on his appearance tonight on Larry King Live. But alas, it was Osteen as usual, with his rambling responses, his unwillingness to stand for the Gospel and his wishy-washy “theology”. He stammered on trying to quote John 3:16, still danced around the exclusiveness of the Gospel, and NEVER once mentioned repentance from sin and turning in faith to Christ as Lord. I am going to go back and listen to it again, but I can’t recall very many times when he even mentioned the Name of Jesus, something he apparently learned from the Rick Warren school of tv interviews.

What was displayed on the King program was so far removed from the authentic Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that it is unbelieveable. Yet, sadly, it is the false gospel of the Osteens, Hybels, and Warrens that are pushed off being the true gospel and thus gets all the attention. Oh Lord save us from ourselves.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” 2 Timothy 4:3