Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why is the New Covenant Important?

My wife Jessica noticed that my t-shirts were starting to look ratty because of holes and stains. She went to the store and bought me brand new t-shirts. When she returned home, she threw all my old shirts into the trash. To make room for the new, she threw out the old. The same thing happened when the New Covenant came along. Hebrews explains that the New Covenant makes the Old Covenant obsolete.

In Galatians and Romans, Paul writes to mostly Gentile believers. But, the writer of Hebrews writes primarily to Jewish believers and explains the concept of grace in Jewish terms. By talking about the tabernacle, the priesthood, the system of offering sacrifices, and the great heroes of the Jewish faith, he demonstrates how Jesus completely fulfilled every aspect of Jewish tradition. Let’s look at nine facts about the New Covenant from the book of Hebrews.

1. Christ is the guarantee of the New Covenant. Hebrews 7:22, 8:6 “…Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant”

2. The New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant. Hebrews 8:7-8 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel…”

3. The Old Covenant is more than replaced, it is gone. Hebrews 8:13 “In that He says, A new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away”

4. The New Covenant is much better than the Old Covenant. In Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments say, “You shall not….you shall not…you shall not.” But, in Hebrews 8:8-12, God says, “I will…I will…I will.” In the Old Covenant, the emphasis is on what we have to do, but in the New Covenant, the emphasis is on what God does for us. We are now “ministers of the new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

5. Under the Old Covenant, the Law never made you perfect. Hebrews 7:19 “for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God”

6. Under the New Covenant, Jesus is our perfect High Priest who stands before God on our behalf. Hebrews 7:26-27 “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself”

7. Under the Old Covenant, we had inferior high priests, but under the New Covenant, our High Priest is perfect. Hebrews 7:28 “For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever”

8. Under the New Covenant, God’s law is written on our hearts. Hebrews 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” God is not about a list of rules, He is after relationship.

9. Under the New Covenant, God no longer remembers your sin. Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” In Christ your sin is completely gone. Not only do you have a new future, you also have a new past. All our sins, past, present, and future, were taken away at the cross of Jesus.

This is an excerpt from Daniel's book, "Grace Wins." Order your copy today by clicking HERE. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ten Questions and Answers about Homosexuality

Should the church confront homosexuality? I am tempted to stay silent on the issue of homosexuality. Many successful pastors are choosing not to address homosexuality because they fear being labeled a “bigot,” they worry about a loss of influence, and they feel that their primary calling is not in the area of opposing homosexuality. However, every time I am tempted to remain silent, I can’t help but remember these quotes:  

“If I be valiant all along the battle line except at the point where Satan is pressing his attack, I am not valiant for Christ.” - Martin Luther

“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw the truth of God attacked and yet would remain silent.” - John Calvin 

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell 

When we don’t speak out we endanger people of going to hell. It is not loving to be quiet on this issue.

What should be the Church’s response to the Supreme Court’s ruling about homosexual marriage?

* Making homosexual marriage legal does not make it right.
* Popular opinion supporting homosexual marriage does not make it right.
* Hollywood’s support for homosexual marriage does not make it right. 
* The Supreme Court’s ruling allowing homosexual marriage does not make it right.

The Christian should continue to oppose homosexual marriage and behavior regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. We should use our voices and the ballet box to protest the perversion of homosexual marriage until we are able to sway public opinion once again to our side. Just as the church has continued to oppose abortion ever since Roe v. Wade, the church should also oppose homosexual marriage. There is a courtroom that is higher than the Supreme Court where Christ sits on the judgment seat. We will all face this eternal courtroom and be accountable for our actions and inaction.

Is opposition to homosexuality “hateful?” If the Bible is true and hell is real, it is loving to try to rescue people from a harmful lifestyle. Just as it is loving for me to slap my three-year-old's hand in order to keep it away from a hot stove, it is also loving for me to warn the homosexual of the consequences of sin.

The attempt to label Christians who believe what the Bible says about homosexuality as “bigots” or “homophobes” is itself a hateful act. Often it seems the only people whom it is acceptable to hate is Christians. 

How should pastors deal with gay people in the church? The proper role of pastors in today’s society is not to enforce religious rules; it is to help lead people to Jesus. People should hear the church saying, “We love you. We care about you. We recommend the following course of action. But our recommendation comes from our desire to see God’s best in you, not from a desire to force you to live a certain way.”
For example, if an unmarried couple is living together, what should be a church’s response? Should the church condemn them for living in sin? Or should the church recommend that the couple get married because marriage is God’s best plan for the husband, the wife, and the children?
What should be the church’s response to someone living a homosexual lifestyle? Should the homosexual be kicked out of the church until he gets his life right? Should the church hit the homosexual over the head with a Bible? Or should the church lovingly recommend that being gay is not God’s best way?
Imagine, a couple is about to get divorced. Should the church shout, “God hates divorce—if you get divorced, you are sinning”? Or should the church explain, “It seems good to us that you work out your differences and stay together”? When the church shouts the Law at people, it turns them away from the grace of God. But when the church extends grace to people, it attracts them to God.
Is having homosexual desires a sin? Having homosexual desires is not a sin, it is a temptation. It is when homosexual acts become overt that they become a sin. If you are having homosexual thoughts and desires, the Bible commands that you must resist the temptation. “Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
What is God’s attitude towards a homosexual? God hates the sin of homosexuality, but He loves the sinner. “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but shall have eternal life” (John 3:16). The punishment for sin is eternal death, but Jesus died so we would not have to die. Anyone who repents from their sin and turns to God will be saved from the results of their sins.

Can a practicing homosexual be a Christian? Everyone sins even after they become a Christian. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8).  Yet God said, “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter1:15). We are saved by faith (Romans 10:9), but faith without works is dead (James 2:17). As Christians we must strive to do what is right. Paul told us that “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23). The Bible clearly tells us that homosexuality is wrong, how can one cheapen the death of Jesus by continuing to sin. Everything we do will be judged someday in heaven. The Christian must strive for holiness and give up the old sinful lifestyle. A person who continues to practice homosexuality will be judged. Ultimately, “no one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6). 

Is homosexuality worse than other sins? Many point to the sins of others as being horrible, but they excuse their own sins. They say, “My own sins deserve grace, but the sin of that man (pointing a finger) are beyond the pale;” or “It is forgivable for me to lie sometimes, but for a homosexual to engage in unnatural acts with his body is really sinful.” Matthew Barnett tweeted, People who make a list of what sins are worse than others rarely have theirs in the top 10.”
Look at what Paul said, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). According to this verse, adultery and coveting my neighbor’s new car are just as wrong as homosexuality.

There is only one sin that can send people to hell. What is this horrible sin that automatically sends people to hell? Is it murder? No, God can forgive the murderer. Is it homosexuality? No, God is willing to forgive the homosexual. In reality, the only sin that has the power to send someone to hell is the sin of not believing in Jesus.

My friend is a homosexual, what can I do to help him? People often become gay because they have been hurt and have suffered deeply. Often the homosexual has struggled against his or her feelings for many years. The best way to help them is to reach out in Godly love to them. Share the truth of God’s word with your friend without preaching condemning sermons. Offer hope and guide your friend to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can set a person free from pain, doubt, and unbelief. Pray for your friend and reach out in love. 

I am a homosexual. How can I be delivered? Trust God. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Know that Jesus paid the price for your sins. Make a mental decision to change. Repent and stop sinning. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to say “no” to temptation. Seek help by finding a good Christian to counsel you and to pray with you. Begin cleansing your mind by reading the Bible regularly. Find a Bible believing church to attend. Know that Jesus will set you free!  “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

I would rather be Biblically correct then politically correct. If you agree with me on this issue, make the picture of the cross at the top of this page your Facebook profile picture. 

15 Reasons Why the Supreme Court made the Wrong Decision about Homosexual Marriage.

1. Throughout history, marriage has been between a man and a woman. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Even if one does not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, this verse makes it clear that the tradition of marriage between a man and a woman goes back thousands of years.

2. Homosexual relations are unnatural. This is confirmed by biology, physiology, and religion.

3. Homosexual marriage is on the wrong side of nature. Support of natural marriage is not bigotry, it’s biology. Reproduction requires a man and a woman.

4. Homosexuality is against the Bible. The Bible specifically condemns homosexuality behavior seven times. (Genesis 19:1-11; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Judges 19:22-25; Romans 1:25-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10) Male prostitution is addressed a further five times. (Deuteronomy 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; 1 Kings 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7).

The Supreme Court of the United States cannot overrule the opinion of the Supreme Being of the Universe. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. God made Mom and Dad, not Bill and Todd.

Proponents of homosexuality often point out that Jesus never said anything against homosexuality. Although Jesus never specifically condemned homosexual behavior, he did affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman in Matthew 19:4-5, “He said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’” Jesus is “the Word” (John 1:1) and the Word is Jesus. When the Bible speaks about homosexuality in Leviticus or in Romans, it is speaking in the voice of Jesus.

The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin. However, it is no worse then any other sin. Adultery, stealing, and lying produce eternal death just as sure as homosexuality does. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for every sin, including homosexuality. He died so that homosexuals can be set free from their sins. Homosexuality is no harder for God to forgive then any other sin.

5. Two fathers (or two mothers) are not the best way for kids to be raised. Children need both a father and a mother. There is a difference between men and women. Children need both the nest-making comfort of a mother, and the sports-loving, battle-fighting strength of a father. When one side of the equation is missing, children can turn out broken. When parents divorce, children pay a price. When homosexuals raise children, the children potentially pay a high price. In this example, two gay men are trying to force their six-year-old girl to identify as a boy. 

6. Homosexuality is gross. There is nothing “loving” about one man shoving his ******* into another man’s *******. The preceding sentence is crude, but true.

7. Homosexuality spreads disease. HIV and other STD’s have a much higher rate in the homosexual community then they do among monogamous heterosexual relationships.

8. Homosexual marriage is against the will of the people. In 32 states voters have been opposed. The United States of America is a democratic republic. In the majority of cases where homosexual marriage has been on the ballot, it has been soundly rejected by a high percentage of the voting public. Most of the strides forward in gay rights have been made in a dictatorial fashion by liberal courts. Five out of nine judges on the Supreme Court of the United States should not have the power to overcome the votes of millions of citizens.

9. Allowing homosexual marriage will damage the institution of marriage. Divorce rates are at an all-time high and adultery is pervasive. A permissive redefining of the sacrament of marriage to include homosexual marriage may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Marriage, which traditionally contributes so much to the stability of society, is under assault. By allowing homosexuals to marry, our society loses some of the spiritual glue that holds marriage together. Allowing homosexual marriage becomes a slippery slope toward allowing polygamy, incest, bestiality, and even pedophilia.  

10. Homosexual marriage is immoral. Liberals may say, “You can’t legislate morality” but the truth is that all laws impose morality. If society thinks stealing or murder is wrong, they impose that moral judgment through laws. All laws legislate morality, it is just a matter of whose morality is being legislated.

11. Evolution says the homosexual gene is an inferior gene. Since the homosexual cannot reproduce, the gene would eventually disappear. As a Christian, I do not actually believe in macroevolution, but since many unbelievers do, this is a legitimate argument. The Theory of Evolution says that genes that are beneficial to a race get passed on to future generations and that harmful genes die out. If evolution is true, in ten thousand years there will be no more homosexuals.

Homosexuals do not reproduce, they recruit. Even though it has become popular recently to explain that homosexuality has physical or biological causes, this is wrong. Homosexuals are not born, they are created. Homosexual behavior is the result of choice, not genetic chance. The behavior of a homosexual is a learned behavior.

There is a trend in society to excuse one’s actions by blaming them on one’s genetic makeup. Even if it can be scientifically proved that someone is more inclined to drink alcohol or to be violent, this still does not excuse one’s behavior. Even if there is a genetic reason in a homosexual’s DNA for his or her attraction to members of the same sex, there is still no excuse to engage in behavior that is wrong.

12. Homosexuality, if adopted by all, would cause the eradication of the human race. Immanuel Kant formulated the “principle of universalizability” based on his categorical imperative. Any moral rule should be able to be applied universally. If homosexuality is adopted by all, then no more children would be born and society would disappear.

13. Non-discrimination laws will force religious organizations to hire people who are completely against their belief system. Allowing homosexual marriage will actually take away rights from the church to practice what church members believe. There have already been several cases where Christian wedding photographers and cake makers have been sued for discrimination when they simply want to follow their religious beliefs.

14. Homosexual relationships are not based on love, but on lust. Despite the sympathetic portrayal of homosexual relationships by humorous television shows like “Will & Grace” and “Modern Family”, the image that is closer to reality is the dildo-waving, leather-collar-flaunting, butt-cheeks showing, shenanigans of gay pride parades.

15. Homosexual marriage will be expensive for companies and the government because they will have to pay benefits for homosexual couples. I oppose homosexual marriage on monetary grounds as well as spiritual grounds. Generally speaking, I think the government should be looking for ways to decrease spending, not to increase spending by extending rights to new interest groups.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tandag, Philippines Mission Trip

Thank you for sending us to the Philippines to preach the Gospel. Because of your generosity; pastor’s were encouraged, young people caught the fire of God, and souls were saved. This was our first trip to the Philippines and we loved it.

My wife Jessica is frequently mistaken for a Filipina, a woman from the Philippines. Ever since she was young, random Filipino people come up to her and start talking to her in Tagalog because they think she looks like she is from the Philippines. Jessica always smiles and replies in English, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you. I’m actually from a Chinese background, but I love the people of the Philippines.” Since she looks like many Filipino people she was instantly accepted and celebrated on this trip.

On this trip we had the privilege of speaking at a youth conference, a pastor’s conference, and a crusade. We were invited by Our God Reigns Ministries which is led by Don and Barbara Arney. They have served God in the Philippines for over twenty-five years. They have a network of churches on the island of Mindanao which is the second largest and southernmost island in the Philippines. About 20.44% of the island’s population is Muslim.

At the youth camp, we were impressed with the passion of the young people for God. They stretched out their arms and cried out for a touch from God. Tears and laughter filled the auditorium as the Holy Spirit began to move. It was so awesome to see their hunger for God. On of our team members, Matthew Triggs (a friend of Jessica’s from Bible school) wrote, “Many of the campers were from remote tribal areas. Every service the altar was packed with about 200 youth as they were saved, transformed, and filled with the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit was moving so strongly that teenagers were falling out in the power of God everywhere. It was one of the most refreshing and anointed camps I have been a part of in a long time.”

It reminded me of when I was fourteen years old at a youth camp. I was crying out to God and I had a vision of myself standing on a platform and preaching to people of every color and language. Today, that vision that I had at the age of fourteen has come to pass. From personal experience, I know that the work that God began in the lives of the Filipino youth will continue for many years to come.

The pastor’s conference was a time of refreshing, encouraging, impartation, and training for these front-line shepherds who have dedicated their lives to ministering in out-of-the-way villages in the hardest-to-reach area of the Philippine islands. They are giving their lives for the sake of the Gospel. It was a privilege to spend time with them.

The theme for the conference was Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.”

This is what some of the pastors had to say about how the conference impacted their lives:

Pastor Joe Ohao: I learned things about the life of God, how God use me, how God empowered me for the ministry…[I received] more fire during this conference.  

Pastor Edwin Mapilisan: Because of this conference, I am expecting greater things. I had a revelation for another level for the ministry.

Pastor Julian Panduyos: I feel that God wants us to go deeper in His love…and arise in our calling.

Pastor Bobbie Cuenca: The conference was a real blessing. This conference is encouraging pastors…

A Crusade meeting was held in Tandag, Surigao del Sur. At the last moment, the mayor of the city moved the location of our crusade and most of the people in the city did not know where to come. Despite the confusion, Daniel and Jessica preached God’s Word with boldness and lives were changed for eternity.

Thank you for helping us to minister to the Filipino people! To help us reach more people with the Gospel, CLICK HERE