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As to the rock and roll music I am with you there. I think of that old song "Just give me that old time rock and roll". As to whether you should throw it out, I think thats a personal decision, it depends on where your heart is or where it goes when you listen to it. Personally I would have trouble throwing out all of my secular stuff, course my secular stuff is the orginal cast of "My Fair Lady". I love old musicals but then I love music period, it doesn't matter what it is, I'll even listen for a little while to country western, but not too long cause I'm a snob too. ;) But the thought that all the angels in heaven rejoice when I repent, WOW, that got to me. Then God would run to me and put a brand new robe on me and celebrate when I repent. That's humbling, Thank you Jesus.

Regarding music and our approach to it, I honestly believe God likes all music...After all, he created it. It is so important that we realize that there is no such thing as secular or Christian music. Music is just music! Lyrics determine whether it is secular or Christian. So listen on to the music; just check out the lyrics...they'll get you every time.

King David was also a music enthusiast. The book of Psalms contain many lyrics written by David. I believe that the book of Psalms offer a good preview of Christian music to come, and are some of our earliest Christian songs. Many Christian music artists today take their lyrics right out of Psalms and many other verses found in the bible.

Christian music does have a major impact on my life. I've promoted Christian music concerts at our church before. We invited Mitch McVicker to come once and were very blessed to have him. Some of you have probably heard of Rich Mullins, right? Well McVicker traveled with Rich and was his drummer. Mitch was in the SUV when Rich Mullins died in that accident many years ago. Mitch tours with another guy and they are very good. Mitch McVicker suffered a coma due to the accident and gives an amazing testimony when he sings. I helped arrange for Mitch to play at the Spirit West Coast music festival in Monterey CA back in 1999. I got to meet his family who came out to see him and take vacation. I love going to the music festival and have attended many of them. If anyone is out in CA, I encourage you to check it out. It would be a good vacation get away. I think I might of mentioned this before in another post. Check out this web site: www.spiritwestcoast.org. Concert dates in Del Mar (southern Ca) And in Monterey (Central Coast, northern) are posted above. Music concerts appear all over the United States and in other parts of the world as well. There are Christian music cruises such as the one in the Mexican Riviera at www.christiantravelfinder.com. I'm not a promoter for them, so don't get me wrong. I believe that a lot of people come to Christ, as Mike said through concerts and Christian events such as these. Some of those people would never darken the doors of a church. If events such as these, get people to church, it has to be a good thing.

I promoted a youth concert that was lots of fun. We had the band Switchfoot play. They are surfers from southern Ca and are pastors son. Great group of guys.

In regard to music: I have lots of secular lyrics/music...some just intrumental movie soundtracks (mostly about flying). I have some CD's by Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Celine Deon; Nat King Cole & lots of beautiful worship & praise music. AND...I will tell you this...the lyrics to 99.9% of secular music that I listen to brings no life at all. After I listen to it for a while...I have to stop listening to it & go back to Words of Life. It is all about what we put in our "ear" & "eye" gates...the pride of life & the lust of the eye that will tempt & get us every time. I watch less TV than I have in all my life & read more books (Christian nonfiction material) & read the Word daily. I can only listen to secular lyrics for so long & then the Holy Spirit woos me back to the "truth" & I leave the world behind once again.

Mike, let me share a true story with you that may explain why you haven’t thrown out the CD’s. When I was in college, I went with my Mom and Dad to a party given by one of their good friends Vic. Years before Vic had told me that he was an alcoholic and hadn’t had a drink in years. I was surprised to see an unopened fifth of Kentucky bourdon sitting in the center of his mantle in the living room and just kept staring at it. Vic came over and explained that it had been nearly 20 years since he had consumed any form of alcohol. He placed the unopened bottle on the mantle the day he stopped drinking and it had stayed there unopened ever since. He said that every time he looked at it he thanked God for opening the door of his heart and throwing out his addiction. This really made an impression on me! I’m now nearly 65 and still tear up when I think about the great message that God used Vic to deliver to me as a young college student. Vic was buried with that bottle and his faithful Bible in the coffin with him and everyone at the funeral was deeply touched and in tears as the minister explained the meaning of them during the service. Maybe having the CD’s in the house but not listening to them is your way of dealing with and accepting how God has changed your life. Why not display one where you can see it and every time you look at it do as Vic did – lift the Lord up in praise and thank Him for coming into your heart and changing your lifestyle?

God Bless!
Pat

I could go off on a music tangent too. I’m a huuuuge music fan! I gave it to God. He will deal with it over time. I struggled with not listening to secular music for yrs, but I felt restricted, I didn’t feel free in Christ. I monitored wat I listened to of course…and God shows me the thoughts that go in my mind when I listen to bad music, thoughts of self pity or anger…they all take my eyes off Christ…and shows me the consequences, but lovingly.
I pretty much only listen to Christian music now, not because I tossed my cds and am too holy for secular music, but I gradually am just changing, I have a heart now that just wants to meditate on the Lord, worship Him.
I know some ppl think if its rock, even Christian, its bad. My dad is like that…if it has “a beat” it must be bad. But I can tell you, one of the best concerts I ever went to was Kutless and we rocked out hard!!! and worshipped the Lord, it was amazing! God was soooo there, it was amazing!!!

Hmmm, while I have to confess I do love a strong rock beat with the best of them, when it comes to "Christian" music, I think it's pointless to call it such if it doesn't then truly edify God. My problem with 2/3 of what's termed CCM music out there today is that much of it has become so worldly there's little difference - many of the lyrics could just as easily be secularly aimed as Christian with double meanings about love etc, and then there are the downright diabolical bands (to me) like Stryper and some other extremely heavy metal rock bands that I truly seriously and categorically do NOT think should ever be classed as Christian - firstly their music is so noisy you couldn't enjoy it unless you're semi-deaf, and secondly I've yet to be able to make out a full sentence in some of the lyrics, and usually if I do manage to do so, I find they're singing about cars, or drugs or some other secular/worldly topic with the odd "Jesus" maybe thrown in which is presumably what classifies it as Christian for some reason. A fair few years ago I heard a song by a group on an album Salvation Singing which I think was primarily Australian or else the group itself was - they'd come up with a song titled "Yay God", and it had a superb rock beat to it that I totally fell in love with initially, but the lyrics were primarily "Yay God" repeated over and over like a permanent chorus. It worked well in some respects, but I remember thinking - if I was to come face to face with God today would I EVER be likely to walk up to him and go "Yay God, how'ya doing man"!! You get my drift. I then watched a video about Christian rock that pretty much finished it for me, and I now listen to at least the gentler side of CCM music (Third Day, Jars of Clay etc), but even my 'hero' Michael W Smith has veered off at times into more secular music, so I figure the best attitude is to recognise that I can enjoy music for its own sake, and not get too strung up about it, BUT if I desire to use it to worship God, then it absolutely has to have lyrics that speak about HIM, not my relationship with Him, which is where so many get it wrong. The good old fashioned hymn writers had it right more times than not, and I think sometimes we need to be more careful in not being so much a part of the world, we're no longer distinguishable from it! :)).

Romayne,

I concur. Lucky for me, I have never been big into music. I used to listen to it occasionally in my life, but never collected or got caught up in it. Now, as a Christian, I love it on Sunday when the music is understated, and the lyrics are scriptural or center on God.

The rest of the week is about prayer and Scripture for me.

I recently found out - that apparently this is a big controversy and the source of more email to the pastoral staff than any other topic????? Makes me wonder - but I refuse to get into discussions (at my church)on this topic, and just pray that whatever is done in my "church" is pleasing to God.

Jeremiah 16:16-17

Jeremiah's response to God's Words on judgment are now different:

Jer16:19 " O LORD, my strength and my fortress,
my refuge in time of distress,
to you the nations will come
from the ends of the earth and say,
"Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods,
worthless idols that did them no good."

Jeremiah is now focused on God, and not his own grief. He realizes the source of strength and refuge - and it is God.

Jer16:21 "Therefore I will teach them—
this time I will teach them
my power and might.
Then they will know
that my name is the LORD."

This is the only way to get Judah (and individual people) to open their eyes to the Lord.
======================================================
Jer17:1 ""Judah's sin is engraved with an iron tool,
inscribed with a flint point,
on the tablets of their hearts
and on the horns of their altars."

The sins are deeply engraved, and infectious to the next generation.

God teaches Jeremiah here that there are two ways to live. One or the other - not both.

Jer17:5 "This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD."

man trusting in man - whether it be in life or regarding salvation.

"Cursed is that man," i.e., everything he does ultimately will be brought to nothing. That is what a curse does -- it removes the profit, the worth, the value of anything."- Ray Stedman

That man is as a shriveled up bush in the desert. One that could bloom elsewhere under the right conditions. But in the desert (trusting in man), nowhere near fulfilling the potential God has for it.

Jer17:7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him." NIV

That man is as a tree planted by the water, always bearing fruit. Water ingested symbolizes the Holy Spirit. External water symbolizes God's Word. The man who trusts in God and is continually washed with His Word has nothing to fear, and will bear fruit.

Jeremiah begins to get it:
"The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?" NIV

This where the rubber hits the road, and where so many people have a hard time.

"Man is basically good" is FALSE TEACHING. "beyond cure":
"This means it never can function as it originally was designed to do. It can never fulfill all you expect of it. It will never fulfill your ideals, or bring you to the place where you can be what you would like to be. It is corrupt. It is infected with a fatal virus. And it cannot be changed. There is nothing you can do about it, ultimately. It is useless and wasted." - Ray Stedman

That is why in Christ we die to ourselves, why we are given a regenerated heart - the circumcised heart of the OT.

Worse yet, it is deceitful. It wants to look good, it promises to do better, but in the end it is a slave to our human nature.

God says he will inspect the heart and mind and reward a man according to his conduct and deeds. Really? If you are not saved in Jesus Christ - do you really want that?

Our sanctuary, our salvation is in God:

"A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,
is the place of our sanctuary."

Jeremiah now gets it:
Jer17:14 " Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise."

Salvation and healing of our hearts is of God!
======================================================
***Keeping the Sabbath Holy*** (IMPORTANT)

Why talk about the Sabbath at the end of chapter 17???

I think it is a picture of "the man who trusts in the Lord". The Sabbath was a reminder of God resting from his work (of Creation). We are to rest and cease from all work on the Sabbath.

More importantly, it is a picture of faith and trust in Him.

Heb4:10 " for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his" NIV

We are to cease our toil, our works - and rest in Him. Trust Him. That is pointing to salvation: Trust in Christ, cease trying to do it by our works, and let God take over. Rest in God. That is why the Sabbath is so important to God.

It is not what day you select, nor any ceremony and ritual you perform - it is trusting in him and ceasing YOUR work (towards salvation) and letting God take over your life.

SALVATION is of God.

So, if you continue to work and toil (for salvation)and not rest in Him, if you continue to reject the Lord, if you refuse to trust in Christ - What happens? I think the symbolism in the end of Chapter 17 speaks enough to this point.

Jer17:27 "But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.'"

Jeremiah 17
5
This is what the LORD says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the LORD.
6
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives.

~~~

NOTE: I know of an American man, born in Kansas, who is an ardent follower of Buddha-based devotion called “Falun Dafa”. Buddhists, and all belief systems growing out of Buddhism, do not believe in God. Their goal is to become “fully human”. My co-worker, and others like him, truly are “putting their trust in mere humans and their hearts are turning away from the Lord.”

Even though their lives seemingly have more of the “fruit” of peace than some Christians I know, it is not God’s peace. God’s peace can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah 17
9
"The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
10
But I know! I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve."

Jeremiah 18
1
The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,
2
"Go down to the shop where clay pots and jars are made. I will speak to you while you are there."
3
So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel.
4
But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so the potter squashed the jar into a lump of clay and started again.
5
Then the LORD gave me this message:
6
"O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand.
7
If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed,
8
but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned.
9
And if I announce that I will build up and plant a certain nation or kingdom, making it strong and great,
10
but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless that nation as I had said I would.
11
"Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, `This is what the LORD says: I am planning disaster against you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.' "

I Thessalonians 4
3
God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin.
4
Then each of you will control your body[NOTE] and live in holiness and honor—
5
not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways.

[NOTE] 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or will know how to take a wife for himself


***

We cannot love God without obeying God. For what we do reflects what we believe and in whom (or what) we place our confidence. There is no other way it can be. There is no such thing as a “non-choice” in this matter.

I am really praying that I really see my human heart for what it really is, and the outcome of simply allowing myself to follow the human heart. The only way to become “fully human” is to yield to, and become like—through God’s Spirit—the truly Perfect Man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, I like what Martin Luther says about humanity without Jesus:

“Take the talents of wisdom and integrity. Without Christ, wisdom is double foolishness and integrity double sin, because they not only fail to perceive the wisdom and righteousness of Christ, but hinder and blaspheme the salvation of Christ.

The white devil of spiritual sin is far more dangerous than the black devil of carnal sin because the wiser, the better men are without Christ, the more they are likely to ignore and oppose the Gospel.”

May more of the Lord Jesus be understood by me and SEEN in me as I love Him with all of my heart. I am a long way from that. Yet, by God’s grace, I am an avid seeker of that.

Vance


Jeremiah 17:7 “ Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.

The Coming of the Lord
2007

13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Thessalonians are expectant that Jesus will return soon - but have a concern - what about the believers who have already died? Are they going to miss out in bodily form?

Paul is giving comforting words, not exhaustive teaching here. But there is much to glean from these and following passages. Paul does not want them to be ignorant about the dead (those who have fallen asleep), nor grieving like men who are not believers - he will share with them what he knows.

The Coming of the Lord here is based on two truths. Christ died and Chris is risen. We all will die, and as Christ was the first fruits of those risen, when we die (before this event) we will be in heaven in spirit. The dead will be coming back with the Lord at this time, by the authority of God, in spirit with Christ.

What next?
======================================================
15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

Where is the authority for this comforting - from the Lord himself. Whether a revelation, or taught to Paul in Arabia, or a mystery revealed - Paul is clear - what I am saying comes from the Lord.

Those still alive (us right now) at the coming of the Lord... "coming" is Gk. "parousia" and may be better translated "presence" - would make things clearer if one thinks about the Lord's presence as a series of events - Rapture, Second coming, judgment, etc. all have the earmarks of the Lord's presence.

When this presence happens we (who are alive) will not precede the dead. Whoa - the dead have already preceded us - they are with the Lord in spirit. What gives Paul? Looking ahead - Paul is saying that in the bodily ressurection of believers - the previously dead (those fallen asleep) will precede those of ua alive at this time of Jesus' presence.
======================================================
16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

How will this happen? Notice Paul does not say when - set a date though he is anticipating it - probably in his lifetime. We are not to set a date either - no matter how many signs we see in our lifetime - we are to just live in anticipation of this great event.

But it will go down like this - Jesus will come down from heaven as that is where he ascended. He will come down with a command. Since the dead (the bodies who have fallen asleep) will go first - this command may be somethiong like for Lazarus - "Come Forth!". Archangel reference is interesting. Michael is only angel literally called Archangel in bible, and he is specifically linked to Israel. Not sure what archangel's role is in this presence of the Lord.

And there will be a trumpet call. Much has been made of the trumpet call saying it is same as in Revelation, and to argue mid-point and pre-trib raptures. Personally, I think too much has been made of this. There are lots of trumpet calls in the Bible. In Ex.19 trumpet is used to assemble the people, in Zephaniah 1:16 and Zechariah 9:14 a trumpet was used as a signal of the Lord's coming to rescue His people from wicked oppression. Perhaps the trumpet call is no more than that - a signal from the Lord to assemble and deliever His people (chosen ones - believers) from the coming Tribulation.

What next?
======================================================
17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Then we who are still alive will be caught up (bodily)..."caught up" Gk. "harpazō" snatched;claimed for oneself eagerly. It is going to happen quickly as the "twinkling of the eye" reference in the Bible.

And we will meet where? In the clouds, in the air. Clouds are often associated with diven appearances - so this may not be literal as much as "out there" - the important thing is we will be with the Lord and the departed saints in bodily form - to then at some time receive our glorified bodies.

That is the comfort Paul is giving to Thessalonians - don't worry, it will all work out - at some point in time the Lord will call us all to Him - those dead and those still alive - in rapid succession.
======================================================
Notice the similarity of this event and the bridegroom coming for his bride in the Jewish wedding protocol - Point 11 at the following link.

http://www.linkjesus.com/weddingstudy.htm

Here is my personal belief - Jesus will come back for us (dead and alive believers) before the Tribulation. Why? 1)Because God says the church will not experiance His wrath - we get chastisement and punishment all the time, but not His wrath. 2)Because I believe the Tribulation has a specific purpose - to bring Israel to its knees and have them call on the name of the Lord - Jesus - "Jehovah is salvation". There is no need for the Church to be involved in that process.

I realize others have passionate disagreement with me. Fine. State your interpretation of these verses for everybody to read. As for me - I am quite comfortable with my interpretation, and will not get into any discussions with other posters or readers over fine points of the "return of Christ".

oh yes, i remember ur music tangent last year. you know..a couple days ago i just had it on my heart to get rid of many of my secular cds. things from my late teens, my former idols like nirvana, alice n chains, etc. I have no business listening to that stuff n no desire any more. Much of that stuff is a sin for ME to listen to, not necessarily other ppl, but some of these dudes were my gods. it only brings me pain and separates`me from God. so i got a big bag and stuffed about 20-30 cds away. I actually dont listen to those anymore anyway...but just seeing them in my room isnt something i feel comfortable with anymore. I never ever want to back to my old life...I dont even want to remember those feelings. So yeah, goodbye former rock gods!

Lots of great scripture today!
Jere.17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,"

v 9-10: 9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind,"
--If you dont believe this, that the heart is wicked...ask the Lord to reveal your heart to you. You are in for some extreme pain! He will only reveal a little at a time bcos the shock n pain u will find is just too much to take!

I love this. this is what I desire:
1 Th 4:11-12 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

I cant even tell you what 1 Thess 4:13-18 means to me. My pastor gave me that scripture after my mama died 11 yrs ago...and it just blessed me and comforted me more then anything!! (my mama was a born again believer). I really cant express what it means to me, but of course i think of my mama when I reread that.


loved lincoln brewster's song--wait upon the Lord!!! great inspiration and focus ON THE LORD!!!

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