Whatsoever Things are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Fine!  Take the Training Wheels Off!!!
We adopted our oldest son when he was four. Probably the first Big thing in his life was the new bike we bought him. He had never had one. Didnít know how to ride. He had been in 22 foster homes in the preceding 18 months, and like his numbers and alphabet, no one had bothered to teach him. 
So,  Ė hereís his new bike. Happy day right?   No. It was also the day of our first memorable fight. He didnít want the training wheels. None of his friendsí bikes had training wheels. It wasnít cool to have training wheels.  I explained the element of danger associated with the lack of training wheels, but he was insistent. Did you catch that?  He, the four year old, was Insistent.  
So,ó as a brand new dad, wanting to be the greatest dad that ever was, I , after careful consideration, Screamed at the Top of my lungs: ďFine. Weíll take off the stupid training wheels, but your gonna get hurt, and when you do, donít come crying to meĒ.   I angrily  extracted the hardware never intending to use them again.  Iím sure my mood was exemplary and left a lasting impression. 
Iím glad our Heavenly Father isnít like that ó or is He?  Letís turn the Spiritual Switch.  I read in the Bible about the end times. I see where in the ďGreat BattleĒ, the blood will run bridle deep to a horse. Thatís a lot of blood. These people have witnessed great things. They have martyred Christians, (two of which come back to life on national TV), there are all manor of Tribulations, and living through this, having No Doubt about the existence of God, they still choose to Shake their Fists at Him, and Die a horrible Death, - Twice!! How can that be? What would cause or even allow them to do that?   Iíll tell you, but you might not like it.
In 2nd Thess. chapter 2, Paul addresses a bunch of folks who are sure they are living in the end times. They are being persecuted, beaten, their belongings are tossed into the street, they canít find or hold a job unless they renounce Christ.  Paul tells them this is not the end. That when the end comes, there will be so much evil in the land, it will be unmistakable.  Did you know there are at least half a dozen murders in Orange County Calif. every day?  It isnít even news worthy anymore. There are gang beatings, violent crimes abound, and we donít see that itís close. So how could we not see? How can people think wrong is right, and celebrate evil?  The people have made their choice. A bad one. Over and over. ďI donít Want My Stupid Spiritual Training Wheels!!!Ē; and God hears, and replies in vs 11: ďAnd for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:Ē  
This is also found in Romans 2.  The scary thing is, when this happens, it is to late for them, and God can ďwithdraw His SpiritĒ whenever He wants to. The Good News is, He has provided a way for you to escape all of this. Even His Son, Jesus Christ.  Do you see a crack in the door?   If any man lacks Faith, let him ask. Or, you can do like most of the world, and refuse the stupid training wheels.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522

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