All posts by Tony Herring

Babylon’s Blend

Posted on Oct 18, 2017 | Download

This article was adapted from the REACHING THE REMNANT sermon series. CLICK HERE to listen to the whole sermon. Have you noticed how weird music has gotten? Why is it filled with so much sex and occultist content? Why not the supernatural and sports, or sex and food? Why this ‘mixture’ of weirdness? Revelations 17 and 18 speaks of a spirit that will be at work in the last days known as ‘the spirit of Babylon’. She is called The Great Harlot who, “having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality”, will be judged by God for making the nations “drunk on the wine of the passion of her immorality.” Revelations 18:6 says, “Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.” This mixture goes all the way back to the Tower of Babel. That Which Has Been… In Genesis, chapters 10 and 11, we read about a man named Nimrod who led the first organized rebellion against God. The Lord had commanded Noah in Genesis 9 to: “Be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Nimrod, who’s name means ‘rebellion’ or ‘we shall revolt’, decided to settle in the land of Shinar and make a name for himself by building a great city and a tower that could reach above the clouds. This sounds eerily similar to what Lucifer said in his heart in Isaiah 14! In this story, we are also told that Nimrod ‘became a mighty one upon the earth’ and that he was a ‘mighty hunter before the Lord’. In Hebrew, ‘Mighty Hunter’ was an expression used to describe ‘one who hunts men to enslave them’ and the word used for ‘become’ means ‘to defile, to pollute oneself ritually; sexually’. Could it be that Nimrod gained his power and influence through sexual abuse and rape? Since the word for ‘before’ means ‘face to face’ and is used to describe being in God’s presence, it stands to reason that as an act of rebellious defiance, Nimrod began conducting rituals involving sex right in front of God. Perhaps the tower was not a tower at all, but rather a temple where Nimrod ‘mixed’ sex and the supernatural, thereby establishing the first ‘false religion’ — later to be called the worship of Bel — famous for extremely explicit sexual rites. By the way, Genesis 11 tells us that Babel means ‘confusion’, but comes from the root word balal which means… “to mix”. This mixture of “sex and the supernatural” is seen in various places in scripture. In Daniel 5, Belshazzer, the Chaldean King of Babylon, seems to be familiar with this ritual since he ‘tasted the wine and called in his wives and concubines and began to worship false gods’. This may be why Daniel ‘made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank’.  Let’s RECAP…  Nimrod: Led the 1st unified rebellion against God. Established the 1st “kingdom” the world had ever known. Introduced the 1st organized “false religion”.  … Is That Which Will Be Do these things sound familiar? Daniel 7, 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13 together describe the time of the end when ‘the man of lawlessness’ will: lead a final rebellion against God. set up a ‘one world’ government upon the earth. draw worship away from God and unto himself. Nimrod seems to prefigure the Anti-Christ, who will rise up in the last days to hunt and harm God’s people. The Apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation, also wrote: “Little children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) Maybe this is why sex and the supernatural are being mixed so heavily into today’s music. Perhaps it is a sign of the times; a precursor to what is ahead for the world? After all, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, did tell the people not to bow down and worship his image until they heard the music play! (Dan. 3:5) The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 13:11 to ‘understand the occasion; to discern the time and to wake up from our sleep.’ The Apostle Peter reminds us that, “the end of all things is near. Therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer,” (1 Peter 4:7).  Nimrod has not stopped hunting God’s people. The spirit of Babylon is still at work today. The Great Harlot is mixing greater amounts of sex and the supernatural than ever before and is offering it without measure to our children in this last hour. Let us be of sober spirit! May we refuse to ‘drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality, for she will be paid back double according to her deeds, in the cup in which she has mixed.’ Let us remember that ‘the Lord God who judges her is strong’!  And Let us not shrink back to destruction but rise up with faith like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who saw, heard and even felt the music, but didn’t bow down! This article was adapted from the REACHING THE REMNANT sermon series. CLICK HERE to listen to the whole sermon.

10 Virtues That Will Help Our Kids Overcome

Posted on Oct 11, 2017 | Download

10 Virtues That Will Help Our Kids Overcome.   This blog post comes from this past week’s sermon, Reaching the Remnant ~ wk4 ~ Decorated With Sprinkles.   Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were “…10 times better than all those around them.” Not only did they not succumb to the pressures of the worldliness around them, but their influence has also reached from generation to generation and still impacts us today. This is what we want for our children. Here are 10 virtues that will set your children apart from the world and set them up to have great influence to the world around them!   1. HUMILITY Let’s teach our kids how to value others above ourselves and call-out behavior that is rooted in pride. Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.   2. RESPECT Let’s teach our kids how to honor their elders and peers by interacting with kindness and call-out every ill-mannered behavior. Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.   3. PATIENCE Let’s teach our kids the value of waiting, and call-out whining about not getting what they want when they want it.   James 4:1-2 What causes conflicts and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from the passions at war within you? You crave what you do not have.   4. FORGIVENESS Let’s teach our kids that holding on to grudges harms them more than it does their offender, and call-out any unwillingness to extend grace. 2 Corinthians 2:7 You should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.   5. COMPASSION Let’s teach our kids how to help and encouragement those who are hurting and call-out judgmental behaviors that keep them from reaching out with love. Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.   6. DILIGENCE Let’s teach our kids to treat every task as an opportunity to please God and call-out every form of laziness and negativity toward hard work. Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men.   7. CONTENTMENT Let’s teach our kids how to have peace and joy when life is not exactly how we hope it to be and call them out when they complain about their situation. Philippians 4:11-12 I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.   8. HONESTY Let’s teach our kids to tell the truth even when it hurts and to call-out every type of deceptive behavior. Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.   9. GENEROSITY Let’s teach our kids to freely give of themselves and their treasures and call-out stingy and selfish behavior. Proverbs 11:24-25 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.   10. COURAGE Let’s teach our kids to face their fears head on and call-out them out when they are letting their emotions rule their decision. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.   PRAYER: God, I pray these virtues over my children today. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would override my flesh and empower me to live out these virtues myself and instill them into the heart of my kids. Thank You for Your faithfulness and that Your Word always accomplishes what it goes forth to do. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of my family’s hearts ever please to You! Amen

7 questions to ask when you lose your love for God.

Posted on Jun 28, 2017 | Download

We all find ourselves in a place from time to time where our passion for the Lord begins to diminish. 16th Century Reformer, Martin Luther, said in his 95 Theses, "The entire life of believers [is] to be one of repentance." Repentance should mark our Christian walk. If we aren't constantly repenting it may be time to reevaluate whether our relationship with Jesus is genuine. Our pastor talked a couple of weeks ago about the scripture in Matthew 24:12 that says, "Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold." In his message he suggested seven questions you should ask yourself when you begin to feel like you're losing your passion for Jesus.   1. When is the last time you shared the Gospel with someone you know is an unbeliever? All it takes is a glance at our Facebook pages to know that we can't help but talk about the things we're passionate about. If we are truly passionate about the gospel, sharing it with others will be our natural response.   2. When is the last time you invited an un-churched Christian to your church or Small-Group? James 5:20 says, "Whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." Bringing the wandering Christian home should be something we eagerly seek to do.   3. How often do YOU come to church or Small-Group? The Church is most often referred to as the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ. It is almost inconceivable that a Christian can be a passionate follower of Christ, but care very little about His Body and Bride.   4. When is the last time you prayed for someone outside your own Christian Community? If we aren't thinking and praying for people outside the church, then our hearts are not hurting for what God's heart hurts for. Namely, the lost!   5. When is the last time you privately prayed for someone inside your own church community? We have to be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are our spiritual family and we should care about them as much as our own family.   6. When is the last time you privately prayed at all? Prayer is the proof of dependence upon God. If we are not praying, we can't say that we truly depend on God.   7. Do you faithfully give toward the Great Commission? Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also," (Matt. 6:21). How can we say our heart is for the lost if our wallet is not?   You can hear the whole sermon this blog post was based on here.

Tell The Story

Posted on Jul 21, 2015 | Download

Today, I spoke with a young lady in her time of crisis. In my efforts to encourage her with God’s Word, it became very clear that she was completely unfamiliar with the Gospel. Out of curiosity, I asked her if she was familiar with John 3:16. She said no. I quoted it thinking it would jog her memory. Nope….  This young lady apologized for not knowing more. She shared with me that she went to church when she was a little girl and even went to a Christian School for a while. I told her not to apologize for not knowing and asked her if she would like me to share the Gospel with her. She said yes. I went all the way back to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Fortunately, she was familiar with that story.  It took about 10 minutes to paint a picture of the Life God has promised every person, sins ability to keep us away from that life and the forgiveness of sin that is provided in the person and work of Jesus Christ. She had truly never heard this message. She just looked at me and listened intently. I had to work hard to simplify the message of the cross knowing that what I shared could change this girls life forever. Even in the telling, I became more excited about the ‘purity and simplicity’ of the Gospel. (2 Corinthians 11:3)  My story is not unlike hers. I have vague memories of going to church when I was very little. After divorce and disillusionment, my family stopped going. I did not grow up hearing the Gospel. God was not talked about. I can’t recall any prayer in my home. Later, in my teenage years, my understanding of God, Jesus and church was “…that is what all the ‘prudes’ are in to.”  Yet all the while ignorant, I was miserable  My two best friends went to two of the main denominational churches in my hometown. They were both active in their Youth Groups. They knew that I did not go to church and was not a Christian. I was very immoral. Never once did they confront my lifestyle. Perhaps it was because they were living it with me? God was never part of the conversation. Jesus was never part of the equation. I didn’t know the Gospel.  I have distinct memories of spending the night my very best friend and watching him read the bible for a few minutes before we would go to bed after a night of ‘festivities’. Every now and then, I would go to Sunday School and church the next day with him. I would sit there with many others I went to school with. No one ever spoke to me about the Gospel. Did they know I was miserable? No, but they knew I was lost.  I am thankful for my wife, Melissa, for taking the time to share the Gospel with me my senior year of High School. Though I did not understand everything, what seemed to be very clear was, “I am miserably lost, but I don’t have to be!” Two years later, I surrendered my life to Christ. Today, I am privileged to serve God by preaching His Word and helping others live the life He has called them to live.  My encounter with this young lady has reminded me how important it is to offer hope through the Gospel; to take a chance and tell the story. We must not take for granted that those around us have truly heard and understand the Gospel. We need to prepare to share. It is important to be mindful that those we are sharing with may know less than we think about the person and work of Christ.  We must also be patient and pray! It took me two years for me to give my life to Christ, but when I did, it took! I did not pressure the girl in my story to become a Christian right then and there. I gave her a Bible and encouraged her to read the book of John until our next meeting. I also gave her “Ten Steps Towards Christ” by Jimmy Evans and asked her to read that as well. My hope is that she will surrender her life to Christ very soon!  One last thing... a powerful tool for every Believer would be a 5-10 minute telling of the Gospel in a simplified way that includes your personal testimony. Write it out. Keep it in your bible. Read it once a week. Memorize it. Most importantly…Share it!  Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;