The World Almanac and Book of Facts polled 2000 eighth-graders to discover whom they most admired and wanted to be like. Every single person they named was an entertainer or sports figure. There were no politicians, no doctors, no ministers, no statesmen, no authors, and no presidents; if you weren’t an entertainer or sports icon, you weren’t on the list. The list did not contain a single figure who had made a substantial contribution to society. I remember who I most admired when I was in the eighth grade. We had a caring and personable preacher at our church who cared not only about adults but about eighth graders as well. Billy Ringgold had a quick smile and a friendly demeanor. He helped people be better people. Aside from my own dad, he was the one I most admired and wanted to be like. Guess what? I’m still trying. This is Just-A-Minute.
A lot of church members believe that when they’ve gone to church on Sunday, they have done their job as far as being a Christian is concerned. But the truth is that is a very small part of following Jesus. Everywhere we go and all-of-the-time we are either lifting up the name of Jesus to those we meet or we are treading it underfoot. At the work place as well as the church house, we are watched. At a restaurant, at a ball-game, waiting in line at a grocery store, wherever we are, we leave an impression for good or ill. The way we answer the phone, the way we speak to a waitress, the patience we show in heavy traffic, the kindness shown to a child, the sensitivity we give to a patient; all of this speaks louder than an hour we spend at worship. I’m not saying Sunday is unimportant. I am saying that Monday through Saturday count, too. You may be the only Bible many folks will ever read. What will others learn when they read your life? This is Just-A-Minute.
Some time back I opened the USA Today and as I grazed the news I reached the Opinion section. There Amanda Marcotte, one of their regular contributors on pop culture, wrote: “as youthful cohabitation rises, parents should accept it and educate their children on sex.” She used Angelina Jolie as an example who in 2011 shocked her fans telling them she lived with her boyfriend when she was fourteen and planned the same for her daughter. Here we have the nation’s newspaper trumpeting propaganda for younger and younger fornication with the parental stamp of approval. Boys and girls at fourteen years old are not yet out of elementary school. Marcotte’s promised panacea is actually a Pandora’s Box of promiscuousness and perversity. If it is ever opened, as was the closet, we will have a hard time closing it. This is Just-A-Minute.
Years ago on Art Linkletter’s House Party Art asked a small boy, “What does your mother do?” He replied, “She’s a Sunday School teacher.” Art then asked, “What does she do for fun?” The little fellow didn’t hesitate in answering, “She plays poker and drinks beer!” The audience roared and Art blushed and looked sheepishly about. There have been plenty of Sunday School teachers, deacons, elders, preachers and church members like this one. There are too many casual Christians; they dabble in everything but are not sold on anything. They have a passing acquaintance with the Lord but are not committed to His cause. On Sunday they sing, “My Jesus I love thee, I know thou art mine; for thee all the follies of sin I resign.” But by Monday they have re-signed. This is no time for lukewarm Christianity! It is high time for Christians to get busy being Christians. This is Just-A-Minute.
Some things just don’t mix. They don’t belong together. Light and dark don’t mix; fire and ice don’t mix; oil and water don’t mix; and hypocrisy and discipleship don’t mix. Nevertheless, there is a boundless supply of black-hearted wolves in sheep’s clothing who pass themselves off as part of the Shepherd’s flock. It has always been this way. John wrote three letters in our Bibles and the last is the shortest of the three. In it he mentions two men: Gaius and Diotrephes. They were as different as diamonds and coal. Gaius was a true-hearted and whole-hearted disciple, beloved of God and the apostle. But Diotrephes was a self-seeking, my-way-or-no-way, blackhearted scoundrel, who used his position of leadership to rule-or-ruin, an ecclesiastical bull-dozer. So in one church we have both sweet and bitter, true and false, Christian and hypocrite. The tragedy is that one hypocrite can undo and destroy the work of a hundred faithful Christians. This is Just-A-Minute.
I try not to judge but when I see a bird that looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has webbed feet like a duck and hangs around in the company of ducks; it is difficult to dispute the conclusion that it must be a duck. Someone has said, “Bird of a feather flock together.” People tend to gravitate to where they feel most comfortable. When the apostle Peter was released from prison, he didn’t go to the local tavern or a nightclub, he headed to a prayer-meeting. He knew where he belonged. On the other hand, when I see church folk who are more comfortable mixing it up with the world than with their brethren, I wonder about the genuineness of their profession. The apostle John says, “We know that we have passed from life to death, because we love the brethren.” If we don’t love the brethren, maybe it is because we belong to the other crowd. This is Just-A-Minute
If you think life is already hurry-scurry, helter-skelter and hustle-bustle, now I hear that they are coming up with more ways to speed things up so we can fall further behind. At least that is how it goes for me. The faster I go, the further behind I get. This new idea for moving from one place to another is to stick us in an air-propelled tube, just like your local bank uses in the drive through window. Well, I’ve got news for them, I’m not going to fit into one of those tubes. However you want to say it: there is more of me than can fi or there is less of the tube than I need! Then there are the motorized boots that the Russians are touting. They enable the wearer to take steps up to nine feet and at speeds up to twenty-five miles an hour. That is a giant step forward for mankind. So here I am taking a Sominex to get through the night and an Alka-Seltzer to get through the day; all I need is to increase my race-horse break-neck pace. Hold on. I just stumbled on a word from God: “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” This is Just-A-Minute.
What should be the proper response by faithful Christians who respect the word of God towards the increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage? I suppose some judge that I hate gays and lesbians or at the very least hold them in contempt. But don’t hasten your prosecution. I believe that we need to preach the love of God for all, as well as encourage righteousness and purity in every phase of life. I understand that some tell us they are troubled with same-sex attraction. To these we should offer emotional and spiritual support, just as we do to others who struggle with alcohol, anger, or any other sinful proclivity. But what we mustn’t do is cave-in to the claims of Hollywood, the ACLU, left wing activists, Supreme Court justices, the president, and even some churches. . If God declares a certain behavior deviant and perverse, let not man claim it is normal and acceptable. This is Just-A-Minute.
Some time back I sold the farm and moved to town. I traded ten acres for a subdivision; plowed dirt for concrete and asphalt. A wise man once told me, “Children grow far better in plowed dirt than concrete.” I believe he was on the right track. Big cities have always been the center of sordid behavior and compromised values. Whether Rome of old, Paris of recent or New York of present; I’ll take small town living anytime. The trouble is big city living isn’t staying in the big cities! There was a day when small town folks had time to loiter and lounge. Today they post “no loitering” signs and the only thing you get from a lounge is a hangover and a headache. When is the last time you simply paused to think, meditate and pray. No, we are in too big a hurry; late for this, tardy for that! We may sing “take time to be holy”, but few of us do. This is Just-A-Minute.
I am nearing three score and ten, just a couple more years. I’ve been preaching for nearly half a century. It is a time of life that many set aside their work and retire to other activities. But my chosen path does not allow for such a choice. In all the years I’ve lived, the need for the word of God has never been greater. I like to think of myself as a gospel preacher. Gospel means “good tidings” and that is what I prefer to focus upon. But times have changed and while the good news is still relevant, evil days are ever more so prevalent. I’d rather declare the love of God for all, but as Jesus Himself said, “when lawlessness abounds, the love of many grows cold.” Lawlessness abounds, sinfulness flourishes, iniquity overflows, wickedness thrives, perversity infests and the faithful faint, the righteous relapse, the godly decline, and Christians everywhere weaken. This is not time to quit; it is time to remain steadfast. This is Just-A-Minute.
Have you noticed that every television show somehow works in a gay or lesbian couple nowadays? At the rate things are going, a straight couple or should I say normal couple will soon be as hard to find as A-1 in a Heinz ketchup factory. That Hollywood closet must be a big one. They look at me and say I’m homophobic. But I’m not homophobic, I’m a believer in the word of God. They look at me and compare me to a racist or anti-Semite bigot. But I am not a bigot, I am simply biased towards the Bible as God’s word. They say, look, some churches have practicing homosexuals as pastors. What another church chooses to do is their business, but what I choose to do is decided with one eye on the scriptures and the other on the Judgment Day. If God declares a certain behavior deviant and perverse, let not man claim it is normal and acceptable. This is Just-A-Minute.
There are some things you can’t buy on eBay! Some things even Amazon doesn’t stock. One of the proverbs says, A good name is more desirable than great riches and respect is better than silver or gold. When is the last time you thought about your honor? There was a time when people valued their honor and consistently chose honorable behavior to ensure their reputation. But today honor is forgotten and character devalued. Integrity is sold for a fistful of dollars and a good name is auctioned to the highest bidder. Words like discipline and ideas such as sacrifice have gone the way of the horse and buggy. Most of us have heard of them, but we don’t quite know how they operate. So instead of taking the time to learn, we just buy another lottery ticket and hope for the lucky numbers. If you want to hit it big time, try doing the honorable thing. This is Just-A-Minute.
How do you go about converting America to accept homosexuality as an alternate sexual norm. Back in 1989, a psychologist and an advertising executive set out to redefine the homosexual movement. Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen outlined their plan in After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ’90s. They spelled out a strategy that is now being followed that is calculated to make the aberrant behavior appear as normal as possible. Judging by the television network shows, their plan is being followed to the letter. Not a night goes by that at least one TV show and often several broadcasts this corruptness. It has become so commonplace that I find myself turning the channel or the TV off more than ever before. While that works for me, I know that in most homes the perverseness will be allowed to run its course and the result over time will accomplish a climate of acceptance to that which has always before this generation been contrary to nature and deserving of condemnation. I object but I doubt my solitary voice joined with others here and there will make much difference. But of one thing I am confident, America is begging for judgment! “Wherever the corpse is, there will the vultures circle.”
I am fed up with the ACLU protecting my rights, with Hollywood redefining our morals, with left wing activists demanding center stage, with a president who doesn’t know the difference between what is natural and what is perverse. As homosexuality gains increasing acceptance in America, one wonders how big a closet they emptied out of. OK, I grew up with Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet. The current generation believes they have progressed beyond these old-fashioned stereotypes, but what they claim is progress is actually a free fall towards hell! What’s wrong with Ozzie loving Harriet instead of Harry? What’s wrong with a marriage that strengthens and a love that deepens as the years pass by? What’s wrong with a mother who focuses first on her family and home? If you ask me, I’ll go with the old-fashioned stereotypes! This is Just-A-Minute.
The Bible ends with Jesus promising, “Surely I am coming quickly!” and John added, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” I must chime in with the apostle, “Lord, come, come now; the sooner, the better!” Surely, these are days like the days of Noah. No one can dispute that these are times like the times of Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah. So what did Jesus mean, “Surely, I am coming quickly!” Of course, it might mean soon. But it has been nearly two thousand years since he spoke, so that isn’t it. It can also mean, suddenly and unexpected. I believe that is what Jesus meant. When people are distracted with temptation and involved in sin, Jesus will come as a thief in the night. If Jesus wants all saved, then why come without warning? The answer is simple; to get a genuine reading of what we care about. The faithful steward is always prepared, day or night. This is Just-A-Minute.