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Pastor's Commentary

The Many Doors
Sunday, March 24 2019

Just a couple of years ago on October 31, 2017 the world celebrated the 500th year Birthday of the Protestant Reformation. The marked occasion would come about due in part of the efforts of a Catholic Reformer by the name of Martin Luther. He was born just outside Berlin Germany in 1483. Around his twenty first Birthday through a series of events, he decided he would become a monk. As he plunged himself into study of God’s Word with prayer and fasting he was to come to a place where he felt something was missing in his life. He would seek the Lord and try to find out what was missing. Suffice to say, he found out the way to God wasn’t about works of righteousness we have done, but, “the just shall live by faith”, (Rom. 1:17) a work done by God, not man as was being promoted. It was at that point he would write his 95 point theses of real Christian Doctrine and place it on the door of the Church at Wittenberg for all to see. As the news spread across Germany and beyond, the Door where the theses were placed would forever shadow a great spiritual door known as the Door of the Protestant Reformation. And as they say, the rest is history.

As one can well imagine doors have a story to tell, if they could speak, what they say may be a matter of conjecture to some, but there is a message to tell. In this article I want to share some insights into the importance of doors in one’s life, not just physical doors but spiritual ones as well. A door of significance is the door that was on Noah’s Ark. Considering the Ark was a huge vessel of some 450 ft. long and 45 ft. high and 75 ft. wide, the door was massive. As we all know mankind had reached a place where their hearts were evil continually, and God had seen enough (Gen 6:13). Noah would be employed to build a place of safety for him and family to escape the Judgment that was coming upon the earth, the Ark. As the Ark was completed, Noah and his family were instructed to enter the Ark. For seven days the door stayed open and anyone could have gone on board to escape the judgment that was to come. As history shows, they mocked Noah, and did not believe he had heard from God. At the end of the seven days, “God” closed the door. Only the eight souls on board would be saved, but all that were not on board would perish. This door would forever be referred to as a Door of Salvation or a Door of Judgment, depending on which side of the door you were on.

Another Door would come in the future that very much mirrored the door on the Ark of old. This door would come in the form of a person, none other than the Lord Himself; Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, I Am the Door of the sheep, (John 10:7). From this Door, entry into the Presence of God is offered, but once again it is exclusive. The Lord Jesus would say; I Am, the Way, the Truth, and The Life, no man comes to the Father but by me, (John 14:6). Just like the Ark of Noah’s day provided safety to all that entered, Jesus, our Ark of safety offers life and protection to all who call on Him.

However like the Ark of old the door didn’t stay open forever, as God would finally assume no one else wanted to be saved, He closed the door. The same as with Jesus, the Door by which man is saved, the Door is not to remain open indefinitely. There is a period of time by which one must decide what side of the door you want to be on. The Lord would say these words; When once the Master of the House has risen up, and hath to shut the door, and you begin to stand without and to knock at the door, saying Lord open unto us, and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence you are. The period of time in question is what is referred to as the Grace Age. It started with Jesus’ death and Resurrection and will run until the return of Christ for His Church at the Rapture. Leading Theologians don’t believe that event to be too far from now. The idea is to get on board (the Ark) while you can.

This takes us to another door, this door is located pretty close by, once again words from the Lord; Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any many man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in unto him, and sup with him, and he with Me, (Rev. 3:20). This is the door to your heart. Make no mistake about it, you have a door that can hear and respond to the Lord’s beckoning, your heart the real you. Have you ever felt, man I need to get right with God and quit this foolish stuff I’m doing, maybe someday. Procrastination, the art of postponing until tomorrow what we know to do today. The Door will not stay open forever, maybe even not much longer, Lord knows.

The last door on the list is a door that is dependent on what one does with the door of their heart, prior discussed. If you opened your heart’s “door” to the Lord’s knock and accepted Him in, you now have fellowship with Him; this is an optimum move on one’s part, as we’ll see why. In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John was given these words; After this I looked and behold a “door” was opened in Heaven, and the first voice which I heard was as it were a trumpet talking with me, which said “Come up Hither”, (Rev 4:1). These words are giving us a picture of the Rapture (snatching away, removal) of the Church. We have an appointment with the Lord in the clouds of glory. This event takes place just prior to the Tribulation Period of Judgment coming upon the earth. This Rapture is God removing His children before earth’s judgment, just like the flood of old, God made a way of escape.

Last thought, the Lord would say in the last days, it will be like as it was in the days of Noah, they ate, they drank, they married and gave in marriage until the day Noah entered into the Ark, and knew not until the flood came, (Matthew 24:37). Those times very much mirror where folks are nowadays, just going about their merry business, a, I could care less attitude. Have you felt a knock on your heart’s door, don’t ignore it, the Lord will not knock forever.

Pastor Thomas Nosworthy

Light the Way Ministries.

lightthewayministries.org

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Special Guest Commentary

101 BODACIOUS QUOTATIONS

TO

INSPIRE PATRIOTISM

Introduction

You might be wondering what prompted the writing of this bodacious quotation book? What better time than now to be reminded of how both essential and fragile our country is. America is experiencing one of its darkest periods in recent history.  For over three years, we have witnessed some truly vicious and ugly political unrest.

          A ceaseless cacophony of accusations, innuendo, and intrigue have kept those in Washington and the media ever busy. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, to watch the daily news and social media, one would never know that the stock market had hit all-time highs numerous times in the last 54 months, or we’d had the lowest unemployment numbers in decades, and the lowest unemployment rate among blacks ever!  President Trump also renegotiated trade deals that  were fairer to America.

          Then, in January 2020, our nation was rocked when the Coronavirus landed on our shores and ended our way of life as we know it. Soon there were daily press briefings from the White House and various doctors. Each day virus information was plentiful, contradictory, and confusing. People were dying. We heard that hospitals were going to be overrun with COVID cases.

          The army set up hospital tents in various cities to handle the tens of thousands that were expected to land there. It didn’t happen. Hospitals were going to be inundated and unable to care for all of the sick. The army hospitals were never used – not one patient was seen in many of these. They were eventually dismantled. What happened? All non-essential surgeries and doctors’ visits were canceled. Hospitals were virtually emptied. And now? Many health care workers have been terminated or furloughed because the hospital's operating capital has vanished.    

           Now, thousands have died! Our elderly, who were not adequately protected in nursing homes, have had the most significant number of deaths. The actual numbers of COVID deaths cannot be relied upon because of highly questionable methodologies for assigning the cause of death. The rationale for this might be related to government funding to hospitals for each COVID case.     Time will tell as we compare data from previous years for various causes of deaths to see if the other numbers are in line with past years, OR if there's been a sharp decline in other categories, and they have been pushed into the COVID category.  And, suddenly, in the last several weeks, cases have begun to spike again. There is substantial debate on if it’s because many more people are getting tested. There is so much information out there – unreliable at best, that there’s no sense in discussing it at this point.

          Governors in many states issued draconian lock-down orders threatening people with arrests and the closure of businesses, or cancellation of necessary licenses if they didn’t abide by these rules. Masks and gloves were donned, not in hospitals, but stores and any public places. We even saw a parent handcuffed and arrested in front of his little girl because he dared to play ball with her in an empty field. A salon owner was arrested and jailed for opening her salon to pay her bills and put food on her table. Many other Gestapo tactics, such as these, were used to keep people in line. YES, I am talking about America!

            Americans have turned against one another. Some believe everything that the CDC, World Health Organization, and government say. Others believe there is a conspiracy to subjugate the people as a test to see how much they'll tolerate and for how long. It's been, in my opinion, a phenomenal success. People hate each other more than ever. Make no mistake; the various powers have observed very carefully to see how we've all responded. Unfortunately, it's been too much for many, and suicides have skyrocketed. Prescriptions for mood-altering drugs to cope with the crisis have also gone up dramatically (as if we didn't already have an opioid epidemic.)

          Younger Americans seem to be suffering more than most from deep depression, isolation, and loneliness.  I find this completely paradoxical since they are the generation that is so disconnected from one-on-one relationships, and so completely connected to their phones and other electronic devices. You can’t sit in the same room, or at the same table with them, without sharing their time with their hand-held devices! And yet, they are  the ones suffering from their own self-created lack of meaningful relationships with others.  

           The mainstream media, who now chooses to cherry-pick what they report, excluding vital details, has become an op-ed machine rather than a fair and unbiased media. What was once the actual news is now a daily dose of propaganda. And fear mongering. I once believed everything I heard on the evening news! I now question absolutely everything I hear on the evening news! I have no faith in the honesty, integrity, or intentions of what is being "reported." Who exactly can we turn to for the facts and not opinions? I don't know.

           Just when we were beginning to see the light, and the states were opening things back up, one rogue cop, caught in the horrendous act of murdering a black man by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes, captured the country’s attention.  The anger and outrage at this injustice rocked every corner of our nation. But, within the black community, it ignited a firestorm of rage and anger. That moment symbolized, for many, both black and white, the brutality of a small percentage of police that has unfairly tarnished ALL police officers. To believe this of an entire segment of people is blatantly untrue and unfair.

           That was the tinderbox that erupted into the scenarios we are now witnessing, hour by hour, day after day, that could be right out of the movie “Escape from New York.”  Cities are burning. Businesses looted. People are being shot, and armed citizens are patrolling their neighborhoods to keep looters out and their areas safe with their weapons.

          A six-block area has been taken over by anarchists. Checkpoints have been established for entering and exiting, and there are check-points to allow people in or out. They are extorting business owners, and the Mayor of Seattle seems to think it’s a “summer block party.”  I guess she is not aware that a new country has been set up in a six-block area now known as CHAZ/CHOP – Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. You can’t make this stuff up!

          All across our country,  statues and monuments are being defaced and torn down – while those in charge sit on their hands and let the anarchists destroy America, insisting there is nothing they can do. Every day the frenzy continues as the calls for changing names of military bases, schools, colleges, sports teams, etc., escalates. It is complete insanity.

           Right on cue, the media and politicians have seized upon the opportunity to stoke the coals of division and hatred. I cry for our nation and what we have allowed ourselves to become.  I don't know the people seen on T.V. I don't come in contact with the level of black, or white,  Americans seen on there – they don't represent those with whom I daily interact.  People with thinking brains understand that these broad generalizations are not only untrue, but inherently harmful to us individually, and collectively as a nation.    

          Many officials of these large cities have refused to address the rioters and insist upon calling them, protesters. They seem to have limited knowledge of vocabulary for no one in their right mind would equate a protester and a rioter who burns, loots,  and harms people, as the same thing.        The very thing that the black community, what all communities need, are jobs and businesses. Now, thousands have seen their streets and businesses burned and destroyed, some of which will never return. Those jobs are permanently lost.  Those black communities will again know the pains of hopelessness and living in burned-out hulls of their former cities.

           But take hope. While all of this has happened, America's elite have raised over twenty million dollars – wait for it – not to help rebuild those cities, but to bail out the “protesters” who have destroyed those cities. Yes, this is where we are. There seems to be no help for those who work and play by the rules. No support is arriving from Hollywood elites and wealthy athletes for those people. One must question why?

           I’m watching this and feeling astounded, and at times utterly hopeless. The Washington leadership (can we call it that?) is still dividing us, still trying to rush through bills that are an atrocity, and I'm thinking to myself, has pandering and appeasement ever gotten anyone anywhere?'  Has that given people jobs and hope? Has that lifted them out of poverty? And, I feel, most importantly, has that increased their self-respect and self-reliance?  That I can answer with a resounding NO! To deny any human being the chance to work and produce, to feel a sense of accomplishment for a job well done, is to deny a basic human need – to feel valued.

          I don’t understand all of the machinations of politics (I couldn’t sleep at night if I did). I do know one thing as a person who loves their country – that we can’t, we must not give up on America. Too many people have given their lives for our America. We are in a fight for the very soul of this country. That might sound dramatic, but it is a fact. Many want to tear it apart – rebuild it into what they “envision” would be a better place. The founding fathers had a profoundly inciteful vision for the greatest country that the world has ever known. They knew history, and they sought to use their knowledge to create a more perfect union. (Where have we heard that before?)

            There are days when I question everything. At moments I give up hope and want to surrender. Times when I think if that is what THEY want, then they can have it. But it is not ours to give away! We owe a debt to our country to protect it from enemies, both foreign and domestic. That is our duty as a patriotic American who is willing to speak up and stop the insanity.

           I call upon my strong faith in God, knowing that whatever He has in store, He is with us. When America turned Him out of their schools, their homes, and their hearts, our decline began.  That is what happens when we shrugged our shoulders and said, “Oh well, what can you do?” Or, “Live and let live.” Now you can see the left doesn’t want people to live and let live. They want to control us. There seems to be no middle ground. This indeed is something new.

            I have seen the thousands of crosses marking graves of our soldiers who fought for democracy around the world and paid the ultimate sacrifice. I mourn with families who have known the pain of losing those heroes. I remind myself that I will do everything humanly possible to ensure that America is a country of citizens who deserve to live in peace and prosperity, fellowship, and understanding. Abraham Lincoln was well aware, as our country teetered on the brink of civil war, that "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  (Mark 3:25)

            America is equivalent to a marriage. Sometimes we see all the best she has to offer, and we're starry-eyed and optimistic. Other times, we see everything as irreconcilable and dark. Then, it's as though we would like a divorce.  But saving America is worth the fight. We have a lot of work ahead of us. A great deal of understanding and healing needs to be done.

          We need to commit to providing more opportunities for all. And, more of a commitment to make each person responsible for their actions. We must step up to the plate and take personal responsibility – stop pointing the finger and passing the buck. Even though it seems impossible through the lens of the current crisis, I do believe in miracles. It's going to take courage, strength, consistency, fairness, rules for all, and laws that everyone must follow - not just a few. It will also necessitate a commitment from those in Washington to come together and serve America – not themselves. I don’t believe they will do that willingly. Their strength lies in our discord!

            How could I express all of these thoughts and feelings in a small book? I've always been enamored with quotations! With just a few carefully chosen words strung together like a beautiful strand of pearls, they present a profound concept. These BODACIOUS quotations have been hand-picked for an important point or reminder about freedom, honesty, politicians, government, personal duty, economics, liberty, and above all else, man's responsibility to think for himself. History has gifted us with brilliant people, whose insightful reasoning and words of wisdom have proven ageless. They deserve to be heard once again as valuable reminders to each of us.

          It is my sincere hope that you will become even more bodacious in your patriotism. I hope that you will find meaningful ways to become a better, more involved citizen. I pray that this will stimulate conversation and inspire each of you to understand your unique "Power of One" and step into your new bodacious life! America is depending upon you.

 

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