If Jesus is Not God We are All Dead in Our Sins and Most Sad Amongst Men

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(John 1:1, 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I was flipping through the channels the other night and came across Joel Osteen preaching. What do you suppose blinds so many (obvious in the stadium) people to his “feel good” preaching?

ANSWER: Sadly, the better percentage of the past 2 generations have never even been to church, and those who have, are mostly in churches that water down the Truth. We live in an age of Biblical illiteracy where people are fed sermons to make them feel good for an hour, and Osteen is the king of the “feel good,” “motivational” preachers!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

If Jesus is not God, we are all dead in our sins and most sad amongst men! I am not shocked that 1 out of 3 professing Christians don’t believe in the deity of Christ. Let me say this right up front that there is nothing more critical to the Christian faith than this issue. If Jesus is not God, then the best He could have done was go to the cross and die for his own sins, which means you and I are both still dead in our sins and lost for all eternity. YOU CANNOT DENY THE DEITY OF CHRIST AND BE A CHRISTIAN!!!

Forgetting all of their other false and perverted doctrines, this is the reason the Jehovah Witnesses are a cult and going to hell, and this is the reason Glenn Beck and the Mormons are a cult and going to hell. They both deny the deity of Christ!!! Again, if Jesus is not God, then our faith is in vain and everything we believe is a lie!!!

Scripture is FULL of passages that testify to the deity of Christ. As a matter of fact, the very statement the Jewish leaders of His day used to justify His death was when Jesus said that “I and the Father are one,” a clear reference that HE WAS GOD! It may be difficult for our finite minds to comprehend, but Jesus was 100% man AND 100% God at the same time!

He was God who left the glories of Heaven to walk this earth as a mere man. He was born of the Holy Spirit, thus not infested with the sin you and I inherited from Adam, lived a sinless life, making it possible for Him to go to that cross and give His life as the perfect one-time sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

This brings up another false belief held by many, and that is that Jesus sinned during His life. Again, the Bible in many passages confirmed He indeed DID live a sinless life, since once again, if Jesus sinned then the best He could have done was go to the cross and die for His own sins, not yours and mine!

In this same vein, the self-appointed Muslim activist group with ties to terror groups, CAIR, is now pushing the notion that Jesus was a Muslim. They are simply cashing in on the fact the better percentage of 2 full generations have never been to church, and those who do are for the most part Biblically illiterate and don’t even believe what the Bible says.

Now do you see why I take such a hard stand on the Joel Osteens, the Rick Warrens, the TD Jakes of the world? I blame these men and other so-called Christian leaders who have compromised the faith for their own agendas, as well as the vast majority in the Christian media who have extracted themselves from the marketplace to reap the temporal benefits of this world by preaching to the choir!

It is the compromised preaching of our day, along with the seeker/purpose driven/emerging church/prosperity gospel marketing strategies that try fill church pews with warm bodies instead of converts to the faith by selling a watered-down and politically correct account of the Gospel and God’s Word to not offend anyone. That is why you have so called churches that accept sins like homosexuality, abortion, and would actually support a man to lead this nation who is an enemy of God based on his words and deeds.

THAT IS WHY WE NOW HAVE AT LEAST ONE THIRD OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANS WHO BELIEVE JESUS IS NOT REALLY GOD!!!

I love you and care about you so much. Days like today remind me how much work there is to do. I truly believe most churches need to pull out their first grade Sunday School curriculum and start preaching from it. What children used to be taught at home by their parents, the most basic truths of our faith, many professing Christians don’t even know. How can you even be saved and not believe in the deity of Christ???

I am starting to think that in addition to the marketplace where the lost live, I need to go to the church of today since there are probably just as many people sitting in pews who have never even been saved! The amazing thing is, the church doesn’t want to hear from Bill Keller. It considers me too extreme. Pastors email me all the time and tell me to “tone it down,” to “be more positive like Osteen,” that “people don’t want to hear about sin.”

I submit to you that it is the gutless and compromised preaching in the VAST MAJORITY of our so-called churches today, that is responsible for one third of professing Christians not even believing the most basic tenet of our faith…that Jesus is God!!!

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

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2013, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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What the Whole Duck Dynasty Debate is Really About

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(Joshua 24:15)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, how do I direct a practicing polygamist to scripture and what the Word of God has to say about living a polygamist lifestyle?

ANSWER: It is NOT, never has been, is not now, and never will be, supported by the Bible despite the claims many make that God blessed men who committed this sin. Please go to this link for a Devotional on this very topic: http://www.liveprayer.com/ddarchive3.cfm?id=4488

What the whole Duck Dynasty debate is really all about. At the end of all the endless debate over the Duck Dynasty issue, the bottom line is what I have been talking to you about over these past 14+ years of Liveprayer. This one issue has clearly defined those in society who still hold to traditional/family values that are born out of Biblical Truth, and those who oppose such values. This debate is NOT about homosexuality, or racism, or anything else but where people come down on the values and beliefs that guide their lives!

This my friend is the war we are in for the soul of this nation. When I first entered the ministry over 20 years ago, even at that time I saw that there was probably a pretty even 50/50 split between those who were guided by Biblical values and those who lived their lives apart from such a value structure. Without getting mired into the debate of how “Christian” this nation once was, the fact is it WAS founded on Biblical Truth and most people living here had a guiding belief in the God of the Bible and faith in Jesus Christ.

Over these last hundreds of years, living by Biblcial Truth and that belief in God has been fading. That erosion has been happening at a lightning pace these past 50 years. When I entered the ministry in the early 90’s, as I stated the nation was pretty evenly divided between those who still adhered to Biblical values and those who had rejected such values. As I type these words today, I would say that just in these past 20 years it is now down apx. 40% who still hold to Biblical values and 60% of those who don’t.

A big reason for the continuing decline is the fact older saints are dying and not being replaced as quickly because the church has lost its’ zeal for souls and evangelism over the past several decades. We have replaced it with watered down man-made marketing plans like seeker/purpose driven/emerging church/prosperity gospel, designed to fill state-of-the-art entertainment facilities with warm bodies instead of converts. Talking about sin, hell, and unpleasant topics is taboo since it might scare off the people from showing up each Sunday who feed their coffers.

While we have retreated to the comfort, safety, and profitability of the little Christian subculture we have created these past 4 decades, the lost and hurting masses have been left to the minions of satan to devour. The better percentage of the past two generations having never been to church, never knowing a Biblically-based belief system, only the lies of satan to guide them. Those who are seeking something more than themselves are being led to hell with the lies of the cults, false religions, and new age philosophers who work with very little interference from those who possess the real Truth, hope, and answers people are looking for!

That is why the only hope for this nation is to turn back to God and His Truth. That is only going to happen with a real, nationwide revival. It can’t happen through a church that is weak, bloated, apathetic, fractured, divided, compromised, and more focused on its’ own agenda than God’s! Real national revival will come through people who this very moment are drunk, high, gambling, in prison, committing sexual sins, following the lies of the cults and false religions, and simply living apart from God and His Truth!

As I shared with you, God has showed me 2014 will be the year of the beginning of that national revival and Liveprayer will be playing a big role. It is no accident this Duck Dynasty controversy erupted right before the new year begins! If you missed this special prophetic message, please take a moment to read it, pray over it, and share it!
http://www.liveprayer.com/ddarchive3.cfm?id=5424

I love you and care about you so much. I am sorry if you were looking for another cheerleading piece about Duck Dynasty. There are plenty of those stories out there that break down every element of this debate. I am more interested in the big picture and what the real meaning of this debate is. I pray daily for the Robertson family and have since they hit the airwaves. Ironically, the Liveprayer TV program is on 5 nights a week in West Monroe, LA where the Robertson’s live and work and get emails from many in that community.

I have no doubt God has used their program to show this nation the clearly drawn battle lines that have been laid down. You are either for family/traditional values born out of Biblical Truth, or you have rejected that belief system. Sadly, most Christians have been either hiding,sleeping, or simply burying their head in the sand while the minions of satan have been working tirelessly. For many followers of Christ, it has been a real wake-up call that we are in an all out war for the soul of this nation. THAT IS THE REAL STORY OF THE DUCK DYNASTY CONTROVERSY!

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

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2013, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Where Are You Financally Right Now

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(Matthew 6:25-33)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I would like to know why Moses was punished and not allowed to enter the promise land?

ANSWER: One word, DISOBEDIENCE! As I share often, our acts have consequences. Moses struck the rock twice, instead of speaking to the rock as God had told him. While God used his life in a mighty way, there is a price to pay for rebellion, and for Moses, it was not being allowed to enter into the promised land.

Every day I get a breakdown, by category, of the 40,000+ prayer requests we receive here at Liveprayer. The top three each day are always health, relationships, and finances. These three issues transcend age, race, nationality, and financial status. They are the common bond all men who live this life share. Everyone deals with health issues at some point in their life. Everyone deals with relationship issues at some point in their life. Everyone deals with financial issues at some point in their life. I have dealt often with the health and relationship challenges we all face, and today I want to focus on finances.

Money is a necessary part of living this in this world. We must have money to survive. The Bible has lots to say about money. I rarely recommend resources but for those struggling in this area of your life or simply looking to be better stewards of your money, I would look into getting anything written by Larry Burkett, a man God blessed with incredible wisdom to teach people what the Bible says about money and finances; and a dear friend, Dave Ramsey, another man God has raised up in this day to teach people the Biblical truths regarding finances. Burkett went to be with the Lord recently, but his books are still very popular and available at any Christian bookstore as are Ramsey’s.

I want to focus today on where you are financially right now. Many who read this are not having any problems with their finances, while others are struggling. Some people have been blessed with a tremendous abundance of resources and other people have virtually nothing. Regardless, if you find yourself today with a surplus of money or without any at all, never forget that it is God who is your source and it is God who supplies your every need throughout this life. God knows and understands the basic necessities of life like food, shelter and clothing.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The original Greek of this verse says that our number one goal in life is to be a member of God’s Kingdom and be perfectly holy, in God’s sight, just as He is. WOW! That is powerful and puts in perfect perspective what our true goals in this life are-to be a member of God’s Kingdom and be perfectly holy in God’s sight.

However, tying into today’s message on finances is an incredible truth from God’s Word found in this verse that many people miss and never connect. The end of Matthew 6:33 says, ” . . . and all these things will be given to you as well.” What things? The necessities of life that were spoken about in the preceding verses, food, shelter, and clothing. What God is saying is that if you will seek Me, seek My Kingdom, seek My righteousness, I’m going to take care of your day-to-day necessities of life. God is saying to you today, “Be about My business and I’ll be about your business.”

I love you and care about you so much. I want to encourage you and pray for you today. For those of you who God has blessed financially, never forget that to whom much is given, much is required. For those of you who are facing great financial obstacles in your life today, now is the time to make your faith real and trust that God will provide as He promised in His Word. Even if you don’t have great financial wealth, you are still accountable to God for what He does bring into your hands, so be faithful with what He provides.

Whatever we have in this life has been given to us by God and belongs to Him. We are simply stewards of what He has put into our care. I pray that you will seek the Lord and get His wisdom and discernment in how you can always be a good steward of the resources that He has entrusted to you. God wants to use you regardless of the amount of money you have to be a blessing to others. The Bible has much to say about the care of the poor. We immediately think of the poor as being those who have no money, but this also includes the spiritually poor, those people who are living without the hope and love of Christ in their life. Everyone can do something with what God has given you to be a blessing to those who are financially poor as well as those who are spiritually poor.

I want to pray a prayer of blessing over your finances. “Father, I pray, today, for each person who is reading these words. You know exactly where they are at today financially. I pray that whatever they have today is multiplied many times over in the coming weeks and months. Bless them in the area of their finances, Father, so that they may not only care for their day-to-day needs of those they are responsible for, but so that they may feed the poor around the world, those who are materially poor as well as those who are spiritually poor. I pray, today, a prayer of BLESSING on the finances of the person reading these words. Whatever we have in this life comes from you and is yours Father. May we be faithful in managing what you have given to us. Multiply many times over what you have currently given to the person reading this word today and allow them to be a great blessing to the work of God throughout the world. I pray BLESSINGS over the finances of the person reading these words today for the glory of Almighty God. In the name of Jesus. Amen!

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

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2013, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Make Prayer Part of the Daily Life at Your House

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(Acts 1:4)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, how do we work out our Salvation with fear an trembling?

ANSWER: It is a daily journey. Once you have made that confession of faith you are saved, but now you must grow in your faith. It is the process of sanctification that begins the moment you are saved and is only finished when you take your last breath and graduate to Heaven. Like anything, it takes hard work to grow as a Christian. Reading the word, praying, being part of a local fellowship of Believers, finding ways to serve the Lord, are all elements we need to work on daily to grow in our faith and become more like the Lord.

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, someone mentioned a verse in the Bible about pearls and swine. What does it mean and where in the Bible is it mentioned?

ANSWER: Matthew 7:6. It simply means that at some point, it is no longer worth the trouble and effort to share the Truth of God’s Word with someone who has rejected that Truth and whose heart is hardened to the Truth. While I have experienced that exact place, as someone who is called to lead the lost to faith in Jesus, I still do my best to share the love and hope of Christ and the Gospel, even with those who have hardened their heart and have no desire to hear about the Lord.

Each day I try to do my best to encourage you and give you practical guidance to help translate your faith into your everyday life. Today is one of those core areas that is critical to the spiritual life of a family. Men, you are REQUIRED to take the spiritual headship of your home and make prayer part of the daily life at your house. You should pray with your spouse EVERY day alone, and the two of you should be praying with your kids EVERY day.

Does this insure you will have no problems in your marriage, or with your children? NO. But it must be part of our everyday life to commit the issues we are facing to the Lord in prayer, to be thankful for all God does for us each day, and to openly express our dependence on Him. For those single moms, during this season you need to be the spiritual leader in your home, and it is up to you to make time each day to pray with your kids.

There is nothing greater you can do for your marriage and in the life of your family than that daily time of prayer together!!!

This is not a matter to debate. The Bible clearly tells us to pray one for another. How much more should we pray together as husband and wife–as a family unit? It becomes like everything else in our life, a matter of priorities. It is amazing how much we can accomplish when it is something we want to do. However, there always seem to be reasons why we can’t do the things necessary to maintain our focus on the things of God.

I am not talking about 5-hour long prayer meetings, although there may be times when that is greatly needed. Even 15 minutes, praying about the issues you are currently facing. There is no better lesson for your kids than to see God answering prayers in their life and not answering in some cases. It helps prepare them for the real world they are living in and helps them to learn to be dependent upon God each day.

For a husband and wife, you share the most intimate thing possible physically, yet for some reason you can’t share in the most intimate thing spiritually. That never has made sense to me. Trust me, I realize that this is a big step for many.

Let me leave you with this challenge. Take the next 4 weeks. Make 5 minutes each day to pray with your spouse alone, and another 5 to pray with the children. With your spouse, each of you take a few minutes to share your needs, then the husband or wife lead in prayer for those needs. Before you end, each of you just take a minute to pray for your spouse, that God will bless them richly that day; the same with your kids.

Take a few minutes to have each of your children share the needs pressing; then either dad or mom lead in prayer..then both the mom and dad should pray over each child for God’s protection and blessings. A side note, keeping a prayer journal is a great way to look back after 6 months and see God’s faithfulness. Simply write down the request and date…and then the answer when it comes and the date.

MAKE THIS A PRIORITY TO DO EACH DAY FOR THE NEXT 4 WEEKS!!!

Trust me when I tell you that it will change you relationship with your spouse and children. OK, for those who have a spouse that isn’t saved and isn’t going to go for this, here is the plan. Spend a few minutes either at night or in the morning when your spouse is sleeping to lay your hand on them and pray for them. Then gather your kids and have your prayertime with them with your spouse.

I love you and care about you. Praying with your spouse each day and praying with your kids each day doesn’t make your home immune from the trials and tribulations of this world. It will, however, keep your home focused each day on the Lord, and who is in control.

The journey of faith we are on is a 24/7 experience. Not one hour on Sunday, or every now and then. Can you see how much harder it becomes to be involved in sin when you are focusing on the Lord each day personally, and then with your spouse, and then with your kids? God will honor those who honor Him.

It is time we quit being so lazy, quit waiting until we are in the midst of crisis to call out to the Lord. The reason we are weak and ineffective in our Christian lives is because we are lazy and do nothing to strengthen ourselves for the storms of life. When they come, we are lost and have no idea how to fight. A good soldier is always in training, so that when it is time for battle, they are prepared.

The Bible tells us that our enemy is not of flesh and blood…it is a spiritual battle we are in. Subsequently, it is critical that we are training daily to fight those spiritual battles, both in our personal life and in the lives of those God has given us in this life.

I will be praying today that you hear this word and act upon it. It could be the difference between seeing victory or defeat in your marriage and the lives of your children. God is placing the weapons you need to fight with in your hands. Use them.

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

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2013, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

My New Year’s Resolution for You

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(Matthew 24:35)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, how do we work out our Salvation with fear an trembling?

ANSWER: It is a daily journey. Once you have made that confession of faith you are saved, but now you must grow in your faith. It is the process of sanctification that begins the moment you are saved and is only finished when you take your last breath and graduate to Heaven. Like anything, it takes hard work to grow as a Christian. Reading the word, praying, being part of a local fellowship of Believers, finding ways to serve the Lord, are all elements we need to work on daily to grow in our faith and become more like the Lord.

A great tradition here at Liveprayer is my annual New Year’s resolution message. This the 15th year I have had the honor of sharing this special message, and tens of thousands of people have taken my challenge and read the Bible cover to cover in a year, something less than 10% of people who profess to be Christians have ever done. Have you? If not, I am praying that you will make this YOUR New Year’s resolution for 2014!

Having preached to several hundred thousand people in evangelistic meetings in churches of all denominations throughout the country, having ministered to millions via television and radio through the years, and having prayed for and intimately counseled thousands and thousands of people over my 20+ years of ministry…I would have to say the biggest problem I have encountered with Believers is the vast majority have never read the instruction manual!!!

Statistical research shows that less than 10% of professing Christians have ever read the entire Bible. The church as a whole is Biblically illiterate!

From time to time in my Devotional I will give my opinion on an issue and I am very careful to always let you know when it is Bill Keller’s opinion. Most of the time I just let God’s words speak for themselves. There is not one issue, one thing we deal with in everyday life that is not covered in the Bible.

How many people are in terrible marriages where one spouse is a nonbeliever. Do you think God admonished us to “not be unequally yoked” for nothing? How about those dealing with horrible illnesses because they abused themselves over the years with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and food. Does God not tell us our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit? How many families are ripped apart by bitterness and hatred when the Bible commands us to “have love one for another,” to “forgive as Christ has forgiven you,” and to “love your enemies.” I have to be honest. In many cases it is not as much rebellion towards God as it is complete ignorance of God’s Word.

Like many men, I get a new electronic toy and the first thing I do is open the box, toss the instructions to the side, and start “putting it together.” Usually after a period of time when it is not working or I have broken something, I grab the instructions and put it together correctly. How much easier would it have been if I had done that first. It is the same in our walk with God. Many people claim they can’t hear God. God may be talking to you and you can’t hear Him because you don’t know what to be listening for. The Bible is one way that God speaks to us. If you want to hear God, just read the Book.

I know that those who get this Devotional each day are of above average intelligence which is why I am very direct and to the point. I share things knowing that you are smart enough to understand what God expects you to do, I don’t have to paint a picture. So if you ever listened to me at all, listen to what I am going to say to you now. This applies to everyone, even those that may have read the Bible cover to cover 100 times.

***It takes an individual of average reading ability 90 hours to read the entire Bible. That is one hour a day for 3 months, or one half hour a day for 6 months, or 15 minutes a day for 12 months. Most people make New Year’s resolutions. Here is one for you with eternal rewards and will be more valuable than losing 10 pounds that you will just put back on. Carve out one hour, 30 minutes, or 15 minutes every day starting January 1st and start reading at Genesis 1:1. One hour, 30 minutes, or 15 minutes, you choose. I suggest that for those 90 days, or 6 months, or the next 12 months, you get up that amount of time earlier than normal and do it the very first thing. Trust me, God will give you the strength you need during the day. Losing a little sleep will not kill you. Quite the opposite. It will save you 100 times that in lost sleep over the years from problems caused because you didn’t take time to read the instruction book.

Now listen, I understand that some of the Old Testament can be dry. The Jewish laws, the genealogy of kings, some of the prophetic books can be very confusing and at times boring. Plug on. Don’t get discouraged because you don’t understand everything you are reading. Having read the Bible cover to cover many, many, many times, each time is a new experience for me. You might have accepted this challenge before. This message is still for you! DO IT AGAIN! YOU CAN NEVER GET TOO MUCH OF GOD’S WORD!!!

WARNING: I am not the Bible answer man so don’t start flooding me with questions. I’ll pray for you anytime, but I cannot handle thousands of Bible questions. I do suggest though you keep a notepad of questions and talk them over with your pastor.

Trust me when I tell you, reading the Bible cover to cover will change your life. You will see things you never thought were in the Bible. You will see God’s warnings and promises to help you through tough times. Most of all, you will start to understand how God thinks. How can you please God if you don’t understand how He thinks? He knows you are not a mind reader. That is one reason He gave you the Bible so you could begin to understand what God expects from your life.

I promise you the time you spend reading the Bible cover to cover will be the most important time of your life. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of what I am challenging you to do. Start at the very beginning. That way you can see God from the creation of our world, to the very end. It is better than any book or movie you have ever read or seen.

The Bible is our final authority for all matters concerning this life. In this day of being politically correct, accepting everyone’s beliefs and ideas, we are in the mess we are morally and spiritually because we have gotten away from the black and white truth of God’s Word. We have no one to blame but ourselves. In this day of instant gratification, drive thru food, cell phones, fax machines, email, Federal Express, jet travel, we want what we want now and refuse to wait.

We have become lazy which is why we don’t take the time to read the Bible. I guarantee you that you will spend 90 hours plus in front of the television, the computer, with the newspaper, or doing something else that you enjoy. I am not saying quit living and enjoying your life. What I am saying is that you have the time, it is only a matter of whether this is a big enough priority for you to take the time.

I love you, care about you, and my heart breaks every day as I read the thousands of prayer requests I receive. How much heartache and pain could have been avoided if people would have only read the Book and followed the instructions. You cannot believe how much sense this life makes when you are living under the direction of God’s Word. As I say often, our way does not work, God’s way does!

I will be praying that the Lord really opens your heart and conviction floods you right now as you read these words. I can’t force you to do it, you have to want to do it. I will be praying and trusting the Holy Spirit to move on your heart to take this challenge, even now as you read these words. This will be the best New Year’s resolution you will ever make.

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

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2013, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Alcohol and the Christian

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(Isaiah 5:11)

***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.

This time every year is a special anniversary for me personally. Eleven years ago today, I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol. I am asked daily about how a Christian should deal with alcohol. There is one school of thought that says it is OK to have a drink as long as you don’t get drunk since the Bible does NOT say having a drink is a sin, only being drunk is. The other school of thought is complete abstinence. Ultimately, this is a personal choice each person must make for themselves.

For the first 4 years of my ministry, I chose to follow the path of complete abstinence. During the 10 years I was running from God, I drank, heavy at some times. I know what it is like to be drunk, drink so much you get sick, and have a hang over the next day. I have had all of these experiences. When I went into the ministry I made the decision that drinking was not something I could do if I was serious about serving the Lord.

However, starting in 1996, I decided having a drink once in a while was not that big of a deal, so usually 2-3 times a month I would have a snifter of Cognac after dinner. I never drank in public, only at home. I was never drunk. It was simply a choice I had made several times a month to have a drink.

I will never forget in December of 2002. After dinner as I was relaxing, I went to get a drink and poured the last snifter out of a bottle of Remy Martin VSOP. As I sipped the last few drops I remember thinking to myself, drinking alcohol is something in my life that I would be better off not doing. I spent a few minutes in prayer and simply told God that I really didn’t want to drink any more, and actually asked him to take the desire and taste away. Eight years later, I have not had a drop.

I quit drinking, not because I feared going to Hell, or that I was an embarrassment to God, but because it was simply the best choice for my life. I chose to quit drinking because I felt it was the best for me. For those of you who choose to have a drink, I am certainly not going to condemn you. I will say that as I have matured spiritually, it clearly does seem that abstinence is the best choice. However, that is something you and the Lord need to spend some quiet time chatting about.

Jesus drank wine. Fermented grapes, NOT grape juice. In that culture at that time, there was no Perrier, or even tap water. Wine was used in that day much like we use water today. Jewish scholars have reported that the day in day out wine drank in the days of Jesus had a very small alcoholic content.

I am not here to lay a guilt trip on anyone who has a glass of champagne on New Year’s, or a glass of wine with dinner, or a beer every now and then. I have never been one to condemn people for the decisions they make, just try to point them to scripture and let the Holy Spirit deal with them. As I say so often, you cannot force someone to do something. It takes God moving on a person’s heart to make someone change.

A scripture in the Bible that supports abstinence from alcohol I often use is 1 Corinthians 6:19. In context, this verse is dealing with our bodies in sexual matters, but it is also appropriate for use in the area of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Rather than preach to you on the issue of alcohol, let me refer you simply to that one verse and ask you if you feel it is right to pollute the temple of the Holy Spirit with something like alcohol that can be harmful to you and alters your state of mind.

I am going to let you pray on that question and work it out with the Lord. For Christians, alcohol also becomes a stumbling block for those in your life who are not saved. Not only is it harmful to your temple, but it can also be a bad witness to those people in your life who don’t know the Lord. Never forget, your strongest testimony is how you live your life before others.

One of the big problems with alcohol is that it can end up being a bondage for many. Like any bondage, God is able to deliver you whenever you are serious about quitting and ready to let Him help you. I will be in prayer today for you or anyone you know who is in bondage to alcohol. GOD IS STILL IN THE DELIVERANCE BUSINESS!

I love you, and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today as you spend time with the Lord and seriously consider your choice in regard to drinking. With the Holiday season in full swing, New Years in a few days, and the fact most people will be around alcohol, this is the perfect time to come to peace over this issue. God loves you so much, and only wants the best for your life. May the Holy Spirit guide you and lead you in your choice regarding alcohol.

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2013, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Greatest Gift You Can Give this Christmas are the Words of Everlasting Life

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(John 3:16)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, the Bible says to assemble with other Christians which would be going to church for one, but that is a work. No good work will get you to heaven. So if you don’t go to church every Sunday is that a sin?

ANSWER: NO! Going to church, not forsaking the assembling together as Hebrews instructs us, is to help us grow in our faith. It is not a work, but an opportunity for Christians to grow and mature in our faith, as well as the opportunity to fellowship with other Believers.

The greatest gift you can give anyone this Christmas are the words of everlasting life. Forward this to someone that you know who is lost, and pray that God will open their hearts to receive HIS gift to the world… JESUS CHRIST! Today is the day we celebrate the greatest gift ever given. We celebrate today the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God’s gift to the world. Today is truly a day of rejoicing. Because of this gift from God, we can be forgiven of our sins and reunited with our Creator for eternity.

So much of what I deal with each day in this Devotional is to help you walk through this short journey here on earth victoriously and productively. But we must never forget that our time here is very brief and there is an eternity waiting for us when this journey is complete. I want to focus for just a minute on this most blessed day, to that split second when our life on this earth is finished and we are launched into eternity. Do you this day have the assurance that when your life is complete, your eternity is going to be spent in Heaven?

If the answer to that question is anything but a resounding YES, then let me just share this simple truth with you. You see, our God, our Creator so loved this world, so loved His creation, that He sent His son, His only Son to be part of this world. Jesus had one mission in this life. It wasn’t to be a great teacher, though He was a great teacher. It wasn’t to be a great prophet, though He was a great prophet. It wasn’t to be a great miracle worker, though He did work many great miracles. No my friend, Jesus came to this world with only one job…to die.

You see, the reason it was vital for Jesus to be immaculately conceived by God and born of a virgin was so that He was not infected with the same problem you and I were born into this life with….sin. Otherwise, the best He could have done was die for His own sins. Jesus lived on this earth for some 33 years before it was time to complete His work. That work was finished on a cross on the hill called Calvary where He hung and then died as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of this world.

That is why, whosoever believes in Jesus, shall not perish for eternity, but have everlasting life! Believing in Jesus is the only way to be saved because it was Jesus who died and was sacrificed for our sins. There are no other ways to be saved, no other roads back to God, there are no other plans of salvation. This is God’s one and only plan to reconcile his fallen creation back to Himself. This is the only way you can escape eternity apart from the God who created you in His own image. It is through His grace and by faith in Jesus Christ!

There are many incredible mysteries in the Bible. There are many doctrinal issues that will never be fully understood until we are in Heaven. But God made the most important decision of this life very easy and simple to understand. He gave every one the opportunity to have their sins washed away and be assured of an eternity in Heaven.

That is why we celebrate Christmas today! That is why we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The most important decision you will make in this life is not who you will marry, where you will live, what kind of job you will have. The most important decision you will make in this life is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

If you have not done that yet, the Bible says that today is the day of salvation. I would invite you to go to my website, http://www.liveprayer.com and click on the button that says PLAN OF SALVATION ( direct link: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm ). Read those words, pray that prayer, and accept today God’s gift to you this Christmas, the gift of His son Jesus.

I love you and care about you deeply. For those of you who already know Christ as your Savior, I would encourage you to forward this email to someone you know who is lost and without hope this Christmas. What better present to give someone than the opportunity to know Jesus as their Savior.

I pray today that you will take time out of the busy day of travel, visiting friends and family, to focus on the gift God has given to us in His son Jesus. He gave His very best gift to us, which is why I will continue to encourage you to give your very best everyday to Him.

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

Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2013, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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