God is Not Laughing

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(2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Luke 16:19-31)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I believe that there is a devil and demons. I know Jesus cast out demons. People tell me ‘there are no demons’, ‘they are just dead souls who haven’t gone to the light yet’ and so on. My reply is Jesus cast out demons, Paul did the same, so when did demons stop their dirty work on earth?

ANSWER: One of satan’s greatest scams is to get people to believe he is just a mythical figure, that he doesn’t exist. Satan is VERY REAL, and so are demons, the third of the angels who got booted out of Heaven with him for their rebellion! Until God ends this world as we know it, satan and his demons will continue, but we already know their fate, the Lake of Fire for all eternity. That is why it is so sad when a person dies rejecting Christ. They end up in the same place, a place that wasn’t created for man, but satan and his demons

God is NOT laughing! Death and standing in the presence of God your Creator is no laughing matter! Sadly, comedian/actor Robin Williams took his own life Monday at the age of 63. Williams was one of the premiere comedic talents of our time as well as starring in dozens of great movies, playing both comedy and serious roles, winning the Oscar for his work in “Good Will Hunting.”

Williams battled cocaine and aclohol addiction, cleaning up his life after the death of his friend John Belushi from a drug overdose and the birth of his son. He remained clean and sober for 20 years before relapsing several years ago. Throughout his life, Williams was constantly dealing with severe bouts of depression. It has been reported that in his final days he was severely depressed, a common factor in many suicides.

Based on his documented statements over the years, his anti-Biblical stand on all of the cultural issues of our day such as abortion and the radical homosexual agenda, in addition to his public mocking of God and Jesus as part of his comedic routines, it is clear that sadly Robin Williams had completely rejected God and saw God’s existence “possible but unlikely.”

Like all who take their last breath of life, the very next moment they are standing before God their Creator. Whatever fame or fortune they may have enjoyed during this life is meaningless. At that exact moment the only thing that will matter is the choice you made during your life regarding Jesus. You will stand before God either clothed in your sins and be cast into everlasting darkness, eternally separated from God your Creator, or having come to Christ by faith you will be wearing a white robe of righteousness and be welcomed into the glories of Heaven to spend eternity with God your Creator!

Sadly, Robin Williams, like all who die having rejected faith in Christ is now and forever will be in the eternal torment of hell. There will be no jokes in hell. There will be no impromptu ad-lib comedy skits in hell. There will only be the gnashing of teeth and eternal punishment for sin that we ALL deserve!!!

It is so sad, since someone like Robin Williams like many famous people, have had the advantage of being exposed to virtually every kind of belief system and religious thought that exists. They are intelligent, well traveled, with a wide range of personal experiences. I am certain that with the number of Christians within the entertainment industry, as well as those who reach out to that world, Williams had many opportunities during his life to hear the Gospel. Like so many, he made the conscious choice to reject that message.

Let me just interject that I am sick and tired every time a famous person dies, the media making their flippant comments about that person being with God. Virtually every program has an interview with someone who knew Robin Williams talking about him making God laugh. This makes a mockery of Christ and what He did on the cross, feeding into the universalistic lie from hell that all “good people” will get to Heaven. The Bible says there is NONE, NO NOT ONE, who is “good” since we are all sinners. There is certainly nothing for God to laugh at when it involves the soul of a person who has rejected faith in Christ and stands before their Creator in their sin!!!

The Bible clearly tells us that tomorrow is promised to none of us. The fact is, the moment each person takes their last breath, they will stand before God. At that instant, there is only one thing that will matter and that is whether you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and life by faith.

At that moment, those who have accepted Him will be forever with God their Creator, those who have rejected Him will be forever separated from God their Creator. It is impossible for us with our finite minds to even begin to comprehend the glory of Heaven, being with God our Creator for eternity. Likewise, it is impossible for us to even begin to imagine the horrors of Hell, being separated from God our Creator for eternity.

HELL IS NOT A BAD VACATION, IT IS ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD YOUR CREATOR AND THERE ARE NO WORDS THAT COULD EVER DESCRIBE THAT HORROR!!!

The Bible, which is our final authority in ALL matters is very clear on death. It is final. There is no such thing as reincarnation, we are not coming back as a petunia. We don’t die and go to some special place where people can pray us into Heaven over time. The moment we die our body is no longer of any use and our soul lives on for eternity, either forever with God, or forever separated from Him. That eternal destination is determined by only ONE THING, our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Being a member of a certain church CANNOT save you. Being baptized as a baby CANNOT save you. The faith of your parents CANNOT save you. I have no doubt that Robin Williams did many good works throughout his life, but good works CANNOT save you. A pastor or priest simply praying over you while you are dying CANNOT save you. The ONLY THING that can save you is putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. It is a choice, a conscious choice, that YOU and YOU ALONE have to make BEFORE you die.

I am certain that somewhere in the world within a few minutes of the passing of Robin Williams, a man that had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior also died. This man was not known by the world, he was never on TV or in movies, he did not possess a gift to make people laugh, he did not have great wealth, but death is the great equalizer.

As Williams died without Christ, this man who was known and loved by the world, this man who had all the wealth this world could offer, was instantly cast into eternal darkness. At the same time, the man somewhere in the world who died having chosen to put his faith in Jesus, despite having no fame or fortune during his life, was instantly ushered into the presence of Almighty God for eternity.

“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” (Luke 16:19-31)

I love you and care about you so much. Our prayers go out to Robin Williams wife, children, and family at this time of loss. I pray that those in his family who may know Christ as their Savior will find His comfort, and those who do not may have their hearts opened to Christ’s love during their time of grief.

Being a famous person in this life does NOT guarantee you anything when this brief journey is over. Each person is responsible for their own eternal destination by their choice in regard to Jesus Christ. You see, it was Jesus that died on a cross 2,000 years ago for your sins and mine. That is why ONLY faith in Jesus can save you.

If right now, this very moment, you do not have the assurance that when your life is over, you will be forever with God, the Bible says that TODAY is the day of salvation. You never have to doubt or wonder again. Bow your head right now, ask God to open your heart. Read the words and watch the short video at this following link: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm I will be praying for you as you make the most important decision that you will make in this life, where you will spend eternity.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What Do You Do While Waiting to Die

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(2 Peter 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:2)

***ASK BILL, Pastor Bill, I’ve always wondered why the Jewish men had to be circumcized to be in the covenant of God, but nothing is said about the women. How did they “get saved?

ANSWER: Circumcision wasn’t for salvation, but is an outward sign of a man’s participation in Israel’s covenant with God. The rite of circumcision (brit milah) is performed on the eighth day of a boy’s life. There is no parallel practice for girls, and “female circumcision” has nothing to do with Judaism. It is commanded in Genesis 17:10-14 as an outward sign of a man’s participation in Israel’s covenant with God, as well as a sign that the Jewish people will perpetuate through him.

What do you do while waiting to die? Having written over 5,000 Daily Devotionals during the past 15 years, this is one if the most powerful salvation messages I have shared with you. Nine years ago, I wrote a powerful Daily Devotional that led over 300 souls we know of to faith in Christ in the days after it was sent out. I want to share this critical message with you today, since while the events took place 9 years ago, they are just as relevant and the application just as meaningful as the day I wrote these words. Please share this Daily Devotional with every family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, and anyone else you know who is lost and without faith in Jesus Christ.

(from 09/23/05 – 3244 days ago)

“Wednesday evening around 6:45 I was in bed getting ready for my night’s sleep. Because of my crazy schedule, my main sleeping hours each day are from around 7-11 in the evening. I was flipping though the various cable news stations to catch up on some of the day’s news before going to sleep and stopped on MSNBC and their coverage of a problem with a Jet Blue flight from Los Angeles to New York. As I watched this drama unfold over the next several hours with the lives of 139 passengers plus the crew hanging in the balance, I was thinking to myself, what do you do while you are waiting to possibly die?

Jet Blue flight 292 took off from the Burbank Airport at 3:17 p.m.PDT for New York’s JFK Airport. Shortly after taking off, the pilot became aware that the front landing gear had not retracted properly after take-off, and was not only stuck in the “down” position, but the wheels were turned sideways at a 90-degree angle. After consulting with all of the various mechanics and FAA people, they decided to go into a holding pattern for several hours to burn off most of the fuel since the plane was full in order to make the cross-country flight. After most of the fuel was burned off, they would then make an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport since they had the longest runway to attempt such a landing and a full compliment of emergency ground personnel and equipment to handle whatever would happen to the plane and its passengers upon landing.

Over the course of the several hours the plane was in its holding pattern burning off the excess fuel, a plethora of aviation specialists were giving their insight as to the possible scenarios in making the emergency landing. The consensus seemed to be that when the plane landed and the malfunctioning front landing gear hit the runway, it would most likely snap off leaving the plane to skid to a stop with the front part of the plane on its belly. The other real possibility was that because the wheels were locked down at a 90-degree angle, once the front landing gear hit the runway, the plane would jerk hard to the left and possibly flip over. Either way, it was going to be a very dangerous and perilous time when they finally brought this huge Airbus down on the runway.

Around 9:30 p.m. EDT it was time for the emergency landing of Jet Blue flight 292 at LAX. A whole assortment of emergency and rescue equipment was on hand along with a well-trained group of over 100 brave men and women who train just for these incidents were standing by prepared for whatever may happen. The pilot slowly brought the plane down on the runway on the main landing gears under the wings, keeping the nose of the plane up as long as possible. Finally, the moment came to lower the nose down onto the crippled landing gear.

Instead of the landing gear snapping off as many experts predicted, plumes of smoke came from the tires as they were literally burning up from the friction of being at a 90-degree angle to the direction the plane was heading. With the plane maintaining a perfectly straight line, the tires burned up and the plane was literally rolling down the runway on the metal landing gear that once held the tires in place. With sparks flying for hundreds of yards, the plane finally came to a complete stop in tact with everyone on board safe. It was a perfect landing and the best outcome anyone could have prayed for! The pilot and cockpit crew did a masterful job. No doubt the hand of God was on that plane and those inside.

Throughout this human drama, I thought about the passengers on board this ill-fated flight. One of the unique features of Jet Blue Airlines is that every seat has a miniature television that is hooked into a satellite system so they can watch real time cable programming. In interviews with some passengers after they reached the ground, it was learned that many on board were actually watching the MSNBC coverage of what was happening to their plane. It must have been surreal to be on board this distressed plane, watching the news coverage of what was actually happening to you. So the crew on board and the passengers were fully aware of what was going on, what the experts were saying about the different scenarios that could unfold when they made their emergency landing, and no doubt, death had to be a very real issue each one was contemplating.

One of the points I make often is the fact that tomorrow is promised to none of us. Each day is truly a gift from God. The reality is those people who boarded that flight in Burbank had no other thought other than in a few hours they would be in New York City. People wake up every day and get in their cars, go through their normal daily routines, thinking about what they have to do next, making plans for tomorrow, simply living life. For some, they never get to that next meeting or appointment, for some, there is no tomorrow.

Life is fragile my friend. It is over before we ever expect it to be. That is why we not only need to live each day to its fullest, but make sure that each day we are living for the Lord. When our brief journey through life is over, the only things that will matter for all eternity are those things we did for the Kingdom. Our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify Him. That is why each day we must focus on making sure that in the midst of living our life, we fulfill our purpose by finding ways to serve the Lord throughout the day.

I love you and care about you so much. Events like Jet Blue flight 292 drive home the reality of how fragile life is, how quick it can be over. I imagine that there were lots of people praying on that airplane Wednesday. Probably people praying that hadn’t prayed in a long time. I hope there was someone bold enough during those long, tense hours while those people were waiting to possibly die, that stood up and shared with the passengers and crew on board that death is not the end and that if they would make the decision to accept Christ into their hearts and life by faith, no matter what happened to that plane they would be in His loving arms for all eternity.

My friend, God’s desire is that none be lost, that all come to repentance. As you read these words today I want to ask you if you have the assurance this moment that if you died today you would be forever with Jesus. If you don’t have that assurance, if you aren’t 100% certain that when you die you will be forever with the Lord, now, this moment, you can settle that issue for all eternity. If you would like to accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life by faith, then pray right now, ask God to open your heart, and go to this link: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm Read the words, pray the prayer, and never doubt again where your eternal home will be!

In closing, let me ask you the question I posed at the beginning. What do you do while you are waiting to possibly die? The reality is, we are ALL waiting to die. Death is an inevitable part of this journey called life. That is why what we do each day is so important. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, then I would encourage you to pray and seek Him out. He loves you, He died for you, and He wants to have an intimate, personal, and everlasting relationship with you. If you do know Christ as your Savior, then let me encourage you to get busy serving Him. That is what God has called us to do. I know while I am waiting to die, I am doing my best each day to share the Truth of God’s Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ with the hurting and lost in this world. What are you doing?”

…..and let the church say…AMEN!!!!!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Games Your Child May Be Playing that Can Kill Them

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(Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:7; 1 Timothy 3:4; 2 Chronicles 17:3)

“Games” your child may be playing that can kill them! Jesus told us that satan’s goal is to “kill, steal, and destroy.” His latest tools to literally KILL your child are “games” on Facebook and other social media sites like the “fire challenge” and “chokeout!”

The “fire challenge” is where your child finds lighter fluid, gasoline, or any other type of flammable agent, pours it on part of their body and lights themselves on fire. The key of course is to film the entire process and post it on their Facebook or other social media sites. “Chokeout” is where your child gets a belt or other item and literally chokes themselves with the goal to stop just short of passing out to illicit a euphoric feeling. Again, all of this is filmed and posted on social media for their friends and others to see and comment on.

To date, there have not been any reports of anyone dying, but that is only a matter of time. These two popular “games” at best will lead to serious injuries, and ultimately, there will be young adults who will die from engaging in these actions. Just out of curiosity, how many parents with children 10-18 are even aware of these new social media “games,” and even more critical, how many parents know if YOUR child is participating in these potentially lethal stunts???

A hammer is a tool designed to perform a certain job. There is nothing evil about a hammer. However, some may choose to use a hammer in a perverted way. This does not mean that hammers are bad, or you should never own a hammer, it simply means that you should be aware of how this tool can be misused. The same is true about the Internet. It is a tool designed to perform a specific job. There is nothing evil about the Internet, though some have chosen to use it in an evil way. This does not mean you should not have the Internet, only that you need to be aware of its dangers, especially when it comes to your children.

The Internet is NOT a cyber babysitter and any parent who treats it as such might as well drop their children off at the local adult bookstore, the hangout of a local street gang, in the middle of a busy freeway at rush hour, a casino in Vegas, or the child sex offender unit at some prison. I am always amused at parents who will spend thousands to have the best locks and security systems in their homes to protect their children from the dangers of the world, yet through high-speed modems give their child access to the world with a few keystrokes, and worst of all, give ANYONE IN THE WORLD ON A COMPUTER access to their children!

For you moms and dads out there, it is IMPERATIVE that you not only monitor, but KNOW what your child is doing online. Forget filters, a 7-year-old can get around most filters. You need to invest $50-$60 in the monitoring software that currently exists which literally tracks every website, every email, every instant message, and every keystroke your child makes while online. You need to sit down with them and let them know that you have this software installed and why. This is about their protection and insuring they don’t fall into the many traps and pitfalls of the Internet.

As a side, I wonder how many adults would be willing to have this software on their computer for their spouse to monitor? Not trying to start trouble, just asking a question. I have dealt in the past about the dangers of the Internet for adults and will continue to sound that trumpet of warning in the future.

Every single day, I get several thousand emails from parents about their children and the Internet. Teenage boys and girls and even children as young as 12 who are in bondage to Intent porn. Kids who steal their parents credit cards to gamble online. Children from 14 and up who meet adults in chatrooms or message boards and end up meeting them for real. Kids who are lured to websites that explore the darkest and most evil things you can imagine. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter where kids can create their own websites and content.

THE DAMAGED AND DESTROYED LIVES OF CHILDREN BY THE INTERNET IS NOT JUST A FEW ISOLATED CASES BUT AN EPIDEMIC THAT SOCIETY HAS REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE OR ADDRESS! IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD!!!

Listen, at some point you do have to trust your child. When they leave home, at that point you need to trust that spiritual foundation you have laid in their life, pray for them, and commit them into the Lord’s hands. However, as long as they live under your roof you have every right and responsibility to watch over them and protect them, and that includes monitoring their Internet use. By the way, if you have a 22-year-old son who doesn’t like his mom and dad knowing everything he does on the Internet, maybe he should start thinking about growing up and getting out on his own.

*As a parent, you MUST not only protect your children as long as they are under your care, but insure your home is not being defiled with the filth and garbage that is available 24/7 on the Internet.

So what do you do? First, pray. Pray for God to protect your child from the dangers that exist on the Internet. Second, do some homework and purchase and install monitoring software that will allow you to monitor all of your child’s activity on the computer. Third, sit down with your child and not only explain to them about the monitoring software you have installed, but why. This is the time to have a real, open and honest discussion with your child about the Internet and all of the dangers that exist.

THIS IS NOT PARANOIA! The dangers that exist are very real. Porn, gambling, and other destructive websites DO NOT CARE that it is your child they are trying to lure to their site. Internet predators are very sophisticated in how to gain your child’s trust and confidence so they can exploit them for their own personal satisfaction. There are literally hundreds of thousands of websites that can be accessed with simple search commands which deal with every perversion the human mind has imagined. Chatrooms, message boards, and personals’ sites like Facebook and Twitter give your children access to other children and adults who can introduce your child to every evil and darkness that exists in this world.

THIS IS NOT PARANOIA! THE DANGERS THAT EXIST ON THE INTERNET ARE VERY REAL AND YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT AND THE GOD-GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD!!!

I love you and care about you so much. The Internet is part of our world and is here to stay. It is a tool for children and adults to use to get information and used correctly can be a great resource. Every day for 15 years now, Liveprayer has used the Internet to reach millions of people all over the world with the Truth and God’s Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ. Because of the Internet, we have seen over 800,000 souls we know of come to faith in the Lord. So it has many great and wonderful applications.

Like everything, it can also be used in a negative and destructive way. Parents simply need to be aware of the incredible dangers that exist on the Internet so they can take the steps necessary to insure their children are safe. The Internet is another opportunity for parents to talk to their children openly and honestly about many of the issues they will face in life. It is these opportunities a parent needs to take advantage of to teach their children what God says about these issues and why God’s way works. This is all part of that building process so that when your child eventually does leave home and is making choices without you, they can make wise and Godly choices, not based on the momentary desires of their flesh, but on what God’s Word says.

I will be praying for you today as God speaks to you about this issue. This is not something to put off for a few months, but an issue that needs to be addressed TODAY! Even as you read these words, you have no idea who your child is speaking to over the Internet, what types of personals’ sites your child may have, or what websites your child frequents. I believe in my heart that this message is going to literally save the lives of many children. I tell you often that your children are the greatest ministry you will ever have.

I am praying for every mother and father as they take control over this potential danger in their home and child’s life. May God give you wisdom and guide you in protecting your children from the dangers of the Internet. I also pray for those children who have already been damaged by the Internet. May the Lord bring healing to their lives. The Internet is a wonderful tool that can be a blessing or a curse. I pray today that for you and your family it is a blessing!

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I have Always Enjoyed History

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(Hebrews Chapter 11)

I have always enjoyed history. Two of my favorite television channels are the History Channel and ESPN Classic. In school I loved American History. The incredible stories of how our nation was founded. All of the various wars we have been engaged in throughout our 238 years. Being a sports fan, I enjoy reading about those who pioneered the games of football, basketball, and baseball. So I guess it was natural for me to love the great stories in the Bible, the greatest history book of all time. I love to read the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus. Studying the history of the church throughout the years has been a passion of mine.

What makes history most exciting though is not just the great events, but the men and women who were responsible for, and made those great events happen. Only God knows how many billions of people have lived throughout human history. The fact is, we each make this journey called life just once. It is a very brief journey, measured by an average of only 50 some years. Whatever opportunity we may have to put our stamp on this world we are living in, to contribute to history happens in those few years. Should Christ tarry in His return, the history those in future generations will read about is being made each and every day right now!

With the understanding that this is a brief journey we are on, we should be motivated to get the most out of each and every day. Our focus each day should be on fulfilling our reason for being alive, and that is to serve and glorify the Lord through our lives. I have written previously that the greatest legacy we can leave is the lives we have influenced for Christ throughout our journey. We will live on in those God has brought across our path during our years here on earth. In serving Him, we should not be afraid to dream big. You see my friend, we have a big God. He is only limited by our faith. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision the people perish”. What God needs in these last days more than ever is a people sold out to Him, not afraid to dream big dreams, and have total faith in Him.

Every day people die, and will be forever separated from God because they do not know Christ as their Savior. Every day people all over the world are dealing with the trials and tribulations of every day life, hurting, without hope because they do not know Jesus. God has called us to be the light to this dark world. We must allow Him to use our lives to be that light in the midst of the darkness so many live in. That is what He asks me to do each day, and what He asks you to do each day. As we are faithful over a little, “He makes us ruler over much.” He will use our lives to whatever degree we allow Him to use us.

Our motivation is critical. The Bible teaches in many places that we set our desires on the things of heaven, not on earth. You can spend your entire life trying to be the best athlete, the best businessman. the most successful actress, the recording artist who sells the most records, the top military man in your country, a scientist who makes many wonderful discoveries, or the best at whatever profession you want to name, and you may succeed.

But unless you were doing it for the Lord, allowing the Lord to use your success to bring His message of hope and love through Christ to people, the best you can hope for is a paragraph in history books that one day will no longer exist. That means your lifetime accomplishments are temporal at best. That is why when our motivation is Heaven-bound, the accomplishments have an eternal significance in the changed hearts and eternal souls of people.

I love you and care about you so much. I realize many of you are being buried with the cares of this world today. I work hard each day to encourage you, pray for you, try to help you overcome these distractions since they keep you from fully focusing on all God has planned for your life. It is a tactic of the enemy to keep us so distracted that we aren’t able to be all God calls for us to be. I am praying for you today to see victory over these battles in your life, knowing that God has more for you to do before your journey here is over.

The fact is, there will always be battles in our life, always be distractions. We must deal with those battles but never lose sight of the fact God has a plan and purpose for our life. Many say I’ll serve God when my life is straight. Guess what, your life is never going to be 100% straight, and you are giving the enemy a victory he doesn’t deserve when you do that. Every great man and woman of God fought the daily battles in their personal life. That is part of the human condition. The difference was they didn’t let those battles stop them from being all God called them to be, and serving Him with their life.

It is no accident that you are reading this message today. It is no accident that we are living at this very moment in human history. We can either just live out our time, or we can use this precious gift God has given us to serve Him and glorify Him. I want to personally challenge you today to take 15 minutes during the next 24 hours. Get alone with God, just you and God, and pray this prayer:

“Dear God, here I am. You know all about me. You know my weaknesses, my strengths. You know the battles I am facing in my life right now. But I believe that you have a perfect plan for my life. I want to surrender myself to you this very moment so that your plan for my life might be fulfilled. It is NOT my life, it belongs to you. Show me what you want me to do, and I will do it. Today is the day. Now is the time. Guide me and direct me to do your will. IN Jesus’ name, AMEN”.

Now spend some time with the Lord, and I promise you the Holy Spirit will begin to speak to you, and God will open doors in your life, and He will reveal to you through the Word, through prayer, through other people, through the circumstances in your life what it is He is asking you to do. He will start small, and as you are faithful in a little, He will give you more. TODAY IS THE DAY AND NOW IS THE TIME! It is our turn to make history, eternal history in the lives of hurting and lost people!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Another School Year is about to Start

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(1 Chronicles 16:11)

It is that time when another school year is about to start. Most who read this Devotional are ready to start another year of High School or College or have children getting ready for another academic year. Some of you are teachers or critical support personnel. It is a busy time. Students are juggling schoolwork, outside activities, church, and in some cases work as well. Parents are busy with work, taking care of the home, as well as being involved in their children’s lives. It is hectic, it is stressful, and just getting from one day to the next can be a challenge.

Today, I have a very special word for all of the young adults heading back to school, for the teachers and support personnel, as well as for the parents.

THE KEY TO EACH DAY IS YOUR DAILY TIME WITH THE LORD. I suggest that you start the day, even if it means getting up 30 minutes early, and spending time in prayer and the Bible. It strengthens your personal relationship with Christ. It is the best way possible to start a new day. It gives you strength and focus throughout the day. It is also a spiritual insurance policy. During your busy day, you will face many challenges. You will be making many decisions. Having that daily time with the Lord first thing will help you meet the challenges of life in His strength, not yours, and help you make wise, Godly decisions.

*There is nothing more important that you can do each day than start it in prayer and the Word!

One of the big problems in day-to-day life is we often live it in our own strength, apart from the Lord. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing.” There are many ways to interpret this verse of Scripture. One very real and practical meaning is literally, to pray without ceasing. Once I talk to the Lord in the morning, I never sign off until that night before I go to sleep. I am “online” ALL DAY. I talk to the Lord throughout the day about all of the issues I face. I realize without Him, I can do nothing. When I am weak, He is strong.

This not only keeps me focused on Him, what He wants, how He wants me to act, the choices He wants me to make, but it keeps me from letting the problems of normal day-to-day life get me down.

I love you and care about you so much. I know this is a busy time for most of you. A time of challenges for those still in school at any level. A time of challenges for you moms and dads out there. A challenging time for the teachers. In spite of the hustle and bustle of your daily lives, never, never lose sight of two things.

First and most important is our purpose in this life. To serve and glorify Him. It is no accident that you are going to school where you are, involved in the activities you are. God has opened these doors so that you can be a light to those still in darkness. Never forget, your loudest witness to nonbelievers is not what you say, but how you live your life. Second, is your daily focus on Christ. This is the key to staying balanced and on track in the midst of all the many things you do each day. It is what keeps you on track, so that God can use you to be a blessing to others.

I will be praying for you. Some of you are in new schools. Some of you are facing big challenges this year. Many of you parents are challenged by the finances and other aspects of your children’s educational experience. Many of you teachers are dealing with complicated issues. For most it can be a very difficult time. However, it can also be a very rewarding time. Never forget that each day God gives us is a gift from Him, and is to be used wisely. Make the most of it.

It is no accident that you are where you are right now. God ordained it. So work hard and accomplish all that you can. Don’t settle for anything less than your best. God gave His very best, and expects us to do the same. We only get one life, one opportunity so make the most of it. While we enjoy the abundance this life can offer, we must also never forget that we are here to serve Him. Make the Lord proud of you as you live each day for Him and let your light shine bright for all around you to see. Enjoy this wonderful season of your life.

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This Daily Devotional is Dedicate to My Mother Who Would have been 87 Today

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(John 17:21; 2 Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10)

This DAILY DEVOTIONAL is dedicated to my mother who would have been 87 today had she not went to be with the Lord the day before Christmas in 1998. She and my father helped to lay the foundation of faith in my life that is the reason I have been serving the Lord these past 22 years. Today I want to deal with the Roman Catholic Church, the church my Godly mother who loved Jesus grew up in, but left when she and my father were married.

Without a doubt one of the things I am most grateful for is how God has used Liveprayer to bring unity to the badly divided Body of Christ. Over 1/3 of those who receive the Daily Devotional each day are not Christians. Of the 2/3 who are, they are equally divided among those who go to Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Independent, and Catholic Churches. Ever since I started this ministry in 1992, one of my greatest “big picture” goals was to help bring the Body of Christ together as one as our Lord prayed in John 17 just hours before going to the cross. Dividing the Body is something satan has been doing since the first church in the Book of Acts and what Paul warned about quite often in his letters to the churches.

I purposely stayed away from any denominational affiliation, having my ministry credentials with an independent group of ministers. I also kept this ministry from any denominational affiliations so that nobody could try and label it as “Baptist,” even though I got my formal theological training at a Baptist Seminary, or “Methodist,” even though I was raised and saved in the United Methodist Church, or “Pentecostal,” even though I believe in and have been blessed with many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Without having a “label,” during my first three years I was able to preach in over 500 churches of every denomination, racial and ethnic makeup, all over the country.

You see, my message then and my message now has really never changed. It is a universal message that plays to people in and out of the church. “If you don’t know Jesus by faith you need to make the decision for Him today. If you do know the Lord, you need to fully surrender your life and allow Him to use you. No matter what problems you may be facing in your life today, Jesus is the answer!” As I have shared with you often, when you die, there will be only two lines in Heaven, There won’t be a line for Whites and one for Blacks. There won’t be a line for Catholics and one for Protestants. There will be one line for those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith, and one for those who do not!

In dealing with a worldwide audience of over 2.5 million people every day, I am VERY well aware of the incredible divisions there are in Christ’s Body. Perhaps no division is as great as the one between Catholics and non-Catholics. I deal with this issue daily in individual cases but have never addressed it in the Daily Devotional. I want you to pray, open your heart to the words I am going to share with you, and hear the voice of God speaking to you today as I do my best to bring balance and clarity to this area of division within the Body of Christ.

Let me start right away and say that those non-Catholics who think the Roman Catholic Church is a cult and anyone who is part of that church is going to hell, could not be more wrong. I am very aware of those who teach this message of hate and division and they should be ashamed of themselves and will one day answer to God. On the other side, however, those Catholics who think that any non-Catholic has denied the faith and will go to hell for not being part of the Roman Catholic Church is just as wrong. Please, I am NOT interested in receiving your dissertations or your cut and paste emails from websites that try and support EITHER of these extreme positions so don’t send them!

The fact is, the Roman Catholic Church has a long and well-documented history. However, the reality is, it is simply a denomination or group of churches, no different than a group of Southern Baptist, United Methodist, or Assemblies of God Churches. Each group of churches or denomination has their own rich heritage, traditions, and leaders. The critical point is that while each group of churches or denominations have their own unique differences in regard to different doctrinal issues, what makes them CHRISTIAN churches is the foundational element of the Christian faith . . . who Jesus Christ is, that salvation is through faith in Christ alone, and the authority of God’s inspired, inerrant Word.

THE ONE TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IS NOT A GROUP OF CHURCHES, A DENOMINATION, OR A BUILDING. IT IS MADE UP OF EVERY PERSON WHO HAS ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST INTO THEIR HEARTS AND LIVES BY FAITH!!!

I was inundated years ago when Pope Paul died if he was in Heaven. There is only ONE WAY to get to Heaven and that is by putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. My personal opinion is that he is. Not because he was the Pope but because of His faith in Jesus Christ. You see, the moment you die, who you were in this life isn’t important. As the old adage goes, it is Who you know! The only thing that matters the moment you die is, DO YOU KNOW JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR BY FAITH? God will reward us for our faithfulness in serving Him during our life but what we do during our life can’t get us to Heaven, only faith in Jesus Christ will get us into Heaven!

Now let me address some of the issues about the Roman Catholic Church that have led many who know the Lord to leave that church and has caused much of the division with non-Catholics. 3 of the 700+ retired ministers who serve the Lord by helping me each day respond to the over 40,000 emails that we receive are Roman Catholic Priests. Over my years of ministry, I have personally preached in over 1/2 dozen Catholic Churches (and I can assure you that I shared the unadulterated truth of the Gospel and gave an altar call as I do whenever I preach in public), and the best we can tell, approximately 200,000 of the 2.5 million plus subscribers to the Daily Devotional are Catholics. I have read and studied the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church and as a student of church history am very well aware of what the Catholic Church teaches.

The problem most non-Catholics have with the Catholic Church is what I call their non-Biblical traditions, which by the way, ALL groups of churches or denominations have. I don’t have the time to go through a complete list but the main ones are how they deal with the mother of Jesus, Mary. She was a virgin when she was immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit, however, she was a person of flesh and blood like you and I and was born with sin just like you and I were. She also had other children as we know from the Scriptures. There is nothing wrong with honoring her for the incredible role God chose her to play in her life but she is NOT a deity and praying to her is as meaningless as it is to pray to any other person who is dead (including those the Catholic Church has deemed to be “saints”) or alive. There is only ONE person we pray to and that is Jesus.

Another big issue in the Catholic Church is Communion. The tradition of the Catholic Church is that the wafer representing the body of our Lord and the wine representing His blood literally becomes the body and blood of Christ. That is a theological argument that Scripture clearly does not support, but I don’t see that as an area for major contention. The Bible exhorts us to take Communion often in remembrance of the sacrifice of our Lord and there are those who believe based on certain verses it becomes the literal body and blood of Christ. Another issue that I don’t think is that important is confessing your sins to a Priest. The Bible tells us to confess our sins one to another, so there is nothing wrong if it is your Priest you choose to do that with. However, please understand that NO MAN, only Jesus, can forgive you of your sins since it was only Jesus who died for your sins.

Another issue that is critical to talk about is salvation. The teaching of the Catholic Church clearly is that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone. However, there are some who teach in error (just like some non-Catholic Churches do) that you can do enough good works to earn your way into Heaven which is clearly refuted by Ephesians 2:8-9. Those who teach this, point to the passage in James, “Faith without works is dead.” The fact is that passage was written to people who were already saved. The Bible clearly teaches that a person who is truly saved will have “fruit” or good works follow them. These good works do not save them but flow from their salvation.

Also, it needs to be addressed that many Catholics think that they were the “first church.” Actually, the first church is well documented in the Book of Acts and was in Jerusalem, not Rome. There was quite a network of churches in that part of the world before there was any church at Rome and those early churches in the city of Rome were offshoots of those other various churches who came to plant churches there. It was several hundred years later, with many well established churches all over that part of the world before what we know as the Romans Catholic Church really emerged.

Lastly is the Bible. The Catholic Bible has 6 historical books known as the Apocrypha that deal with those 400 years from the end of Malachi, the end of the Old Testament, to the start of the New Testament. These books were never found to be inspired or inerrant and thus are not part of the 66 books we call the Bible. The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant Word, representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all matters. It, and it alone is our authority and overrides any teachings or traditions of man.

Of course, there are many other non-Biblical traditions like purgatory and numerous others. Having said all of that, let me be clear. The Roman Catholic Church is a Christian Church and NOT a cult since the core teachings of the Church are salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone and the Bible as God’s Word. Since the 1970s, there has been a very active and growing Charismatic group within the Roman Catholic Church that is as Pentecostal as any Pentecostal Church you will ever attend. Also, in the past 10 years, there is a growing and strong evangelical movement within the Catholic Church. They are working within the Church to bring back a greater emphasis on the Word of God and on the message of salvation and less emphasis on the traditions of the Catholic Church.

Many people who know Christ as their Savior by faith have chosen to stay in the Catholic Church. They are just as saved, love the Lord, and honor His Word as much as anyone who attends a non-Catholic Church. Are there people in the Catholic Church who aren’t saved? Of course! Just like there are people in any church who are not saved. My friend, your Methodist Church can’t save you, your Baptist Church can’t save you, your Pentecostal Church can’t save you, only faith in Jesus Christ can save you! Being baptized can’t save you, the faith of your parents can’t save you, no amount of good works can save you. ONLY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST CAN SAVE YOU!!!

I love you and care about you so much. I watch, daily, as satan works to divide the Body of Christ and perhaps there is no division as great as the one between Catholics and non-Catholics. Martin Luther’s break with the Catholic Church took place at a time when the Catholic Church was more of a political entity than a spiritual one. Luther wanted to get back to the foundation of the faith, that being salvation through God’s grace and our faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), or sola fides, the authority of God’s Word, or sola scriptura. Regardless of the man-made, non-Biblical traditions of the Catholic Church, we are bonded by the shed blood of Jesus Christ since what makes us a Christian is not the name of the building we choose to worship in, but our faith in Christ.

I will continue to do my part in helping to bring unity to the Body of Christ by keeping people focused on the fact our real enemy is satan and not each other. The universal message of the Bible is that God loves each of us so much and desires to have a personal and intimate relationship with us now and for all of eternity. However, it is our sin that is separating us from God, and it is only faith in His Son, Jesus Christ that can wash our sins away and reconcile us to a holy God. Even though we may disagree on some doctrinal issues, on how a worship service is conducted or any number of other issues, let us never forget that those who know Jesus Christ by faith will be spending all of eternity together so we better start learning how to live with our brothers and sisters in Christ now.

I have confided in some of my Catholic friends that one of my great wishes is to be Pope for a day. I would organize a 24-hour telethon to be aired around the world. It would be a special telethon since we would not be raising money but saving souls. It would be 24 hours of non-stop soul winning and with the power of the Papacy, I believe it would be the greatest harvest of souls the world has ever seen! Let us pray that Pope Francis will not only have a heart for the hurting but also the lost, and the boldness to stand and proclaim that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him!!!”

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A Call for Men of God to Step Up and Fight

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(1 Samuel 17)

A call for men of God to step up and fight! Goliath, the champion warrior of the Philistines had challenged the army of Israel to a one-on-one battle. If the warrior for Israel defeated Goliath, then the Philistines would become the servants of Israel. However, if Goliath was victorious, than Israel would become the servants to the Philistines.

As Goliath mocked and taunted the army of Israel, the Bible says, “On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” The fact is, there was nobody in the Israeli army who was willing to accept the giant’s challenge, and it was looking like he would win by default because nobody would fight him.

Of course we know that God had a warrior to face Goliath. His name was David. He wasn’t a mighty man of war. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t a warrior at all, he was a shepherd boy. But he knew God and was appalled that with all of the great men of war who were in the army of Israel, not one was willing to accept the challenge of the heathen Goliath.

So David confidently went to King Saul and told him that he would go onto the battlefield and take on the Philistine giant. The rest of the story is well known, as David, armed with only his slingshot and a few pebbles, went out in the name and power of the God of Israel and slew Goliath.

We also have one of my favorite passages of the Bible that I have preached on many times during the years. That classical confrontation in 1 Kings 18 between the prophet of God, Elijah, and the prophets of Baal. The man of God defeated the tools of satan by confronting them, challenging them, and meeting them head on.

I tell you often that the only way God is defeated is when men of God fail to step up! I’ve always wondered, where were the religious leaders of Israel during this confrontation with the prophets of Baal? Why was it this virtually unknown prophet who had to confront, expose, and defeat these false prophets?

I have no doubt the Jewish religious leaders were doing what most of today’s Christians leaders are doing. Rather than confronting evil, going out on the battlefield in the name of the Lord to defeat the false prophets of the world, they are too busy building monuments of brick and mortar to themselves, preaching to the choir in the safety and comfort of their churches, and living a luxurious life full of the temporal pleasures of this world.

They are more focused on building their own kingdom than God’s!!! Instead of fighting the false prophets, they might actually be in bed with them if it advances their earthly goals and aspirations!!!

Three to four times every year, the Christian TV networks run non-stop beg-a-thons. With over a billion in cash, real estate, and television assets combined, they parade one Christian TV “superstar” after another, who look in the cameras and pervert the Scriptures to induce people to “sow their seed,” with the implied promise that they will be wealthy if they will just write a check to the network.

Despite paying millions annually for air time, these high profile preachers” have come to these networks and prostitute themselves, since their own empires are dependent on them being able to fleece those who watch that network’s programming.

Sadly, these networks refuses to invest any of their billions in the marketplace right here at home to reach the 99% of the people who will never once turn on their programming, many who will die and end up in hell because nobody thought they were worth preaching because they aren’t the “target audience” who will send in “love offerings,” buy a book or CD, or pay to come to an event.

How else do you explain the fact that we have more churches in this country than ever before. We have more Christian TV, radio, publishing, and music than ever before. We have more ministries of every kind than ever before. Yet at the same time our culture and society is in spiritual freefall!

We legally slaughter over 4,000 innocent babies every 24 hours in this nation. Pornography and gambling are available to anyone at any time. Sex has been abused and perverted in every way man has been able to dream up. God’s holy institution of marriage and the family have been perverted and decimated. There is no more restraint to sin. People openly worship every false god and idol the world has created!

How do you explain this paradox? The heathen giant Goliath is out on the battlefield, mocking, taunting, and cursing the followers of Christ. Those who serve satan wake up and perpetrate their evil each day virtually unopposed. While they do, most Christian leaders are looking after their own interests behind the safety of the four walls of the church. Most of the soldiers in Christ’s army are in their tents “dismayed and terrified,” leaving the army of satan on the battlefield unopposed.

MY FRIEND, SATAN IS ONLY WINNING BECAUSE HE IS FIGHTING VIRTUALLY UNOPPOSED!!! THE ENEMY IS WINNING BY DEFAULT!!!

I love you and care about you so much. I love what Elijah told the people of Israel on Mt. Carmel. He said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” I echo his words today. How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.

I have made my stand for Christ and am not hiding behind the four walls of the church, but am on the battlefield, on the front lines battling satan for the souls of men. That is where you will find me until the Lord calls me home. Where are you today???

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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