The Urgent Call Beloved:  May God’s grace, power, love, peace and joy be ever present in your life.  That is my great hope for all of you.  You will notice a pattern in my recent posts.  I have been more evangelical as of late.  God has inspired me to plead with both the unsaved and His lost, wayward sheep.  I have been praying: “Lord, help me to reach them; give me the words, Father.”  My heart is burdened for you all.  This election has brought out the worst in many of my American countrymen and women.  I am seeing a great split and division in the church.  It is true that a lot of what we are seeing is nothing new, but never has it been so out in the open.  As I searched for answers, I went to the only place where they can truly be found, The Bible.  I read the sermon on the mount – Matthew chapters 5 thru 7.  I was drawn to it like a moth to flame.  It is there where the true fundamentals, essentials and principles of Christianity can be found.  It is there where no Christian, neither conservative nor liberal, can deny the Lord’s message to us all.  It is there that we can all agree despite our differing doctrines and denominational lines.  For it is there where our core values intertwine…or at least, they should!  It is in those verses of scripture that I believe we can be united and find common ground.

Some of our churches have become so fractured, so off-message and track that we are losing membership here in America and elsewhere at an alarming rate.  We are falling apart and in the process, souls are being lost.  For shame!!!  Have so may of us truly forgotten God’s message?  People talk about going back to the good old days.  But, we were segregated then, even more-so than now.  Blacks and whites literally could not worship in the same churches.  Those weren’t good days.  People were just more naivete is all, because information wasn’t as available as it is today.  God doesn’t want us to go back to those times.  He wants us to take the God-inspired, founding principles of this nation and apply them to all people as He intended.

Our founding fathers were great, in their own way, as men, not gods; but, they were also incredibly flawed as all people are.  They twisted God’s teachings and inspiration to suit their own needs and desires at that time.  One cannot judge them, for they were truly men of their time.  And, in their fallible, feeble and flawed minds, they thought that God’s blessings only belonged to wealthy white men.  That way of thinking can no longer endure.  Civilized Americans understand that.  And yet, millions more do not.  And so…a nation which is supposed to be united under God is divided.  A house divided against itself cannot stand.  Our enemies are capitalizing on our division.  We are so crippled by our hatred of one another that foreign governments are able to infiltrate our elections.  How much longer will it be before we implode?  Look at Brexit in Europe.  A small group of terrorists called ISIS was able to create enough fear and havoc that the dream of a united Europe is now dead.  So rife with hate is our society that satan’s minions can manipulate us and turn brother against brother and sister against sister.  Brothers and sisters in Christ, hear me.  It is time to unite and revive.  We cannot shepherd God’s sheep if we do not get on the same page.  How can we lead the lost if we ourselves are among them???  Can the blind lead the blind???  Let us lay aside our differences and find common ground for the sake of humanity.  Let us fight hate with love.  This nation, this whole world, is in need of a spiritual revival.  Let us not go back to the old days.  Rather, let us build a bigger, brighter future.

So many millennials are rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They read about men using it to conquer in the days of old and they think that it is evil.  They think that it is meant to brainwash and enslave people.  And do you know why that is?  Because so many evil men have twisted God’s words to suit their own hearts.  In the slave days of my country, it was common for slave owners to use the Bible to keep their slaves in line.  They would use this verse – 1st Peter 2:18 “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.”  They taught slaves that to be godly men and women, they had to obey their earthly white masters.  That is a prime example of man twisting God’s words to serve his own desires.

I had a young man, who I know from the street, come up to me yesterday and say, “Randall, what is wrong with you?  Why are you following a slave religion?  Don’t you know that Christianity is designed to keep people down?”
He said, “A black man shouldn’t be praying to a white Jesus.”
“Young man,” I said, “When Jesus walked this earth as a man, He was neither white nor black.  He was light brown with hair like wool.  And, He never meant us to be slaves.”
“You have changed.”, he said.  “You were not like this on the streets.”
“Yes,” I said, “I have changed.  And what a glorious change it is, for I am at peace and I have joy.”
“You’re a fool.” was his reply.

That way of thinking among the men in this prison has made it beyond difficult to preach the gospel to them.  And, I understand their frustration. You see, in Massachusetts where I am now, black and hispanic people make up only about 12% of our state’s population.  Yet 90% of the prisoners are people of color.  Those number are both staggering and alarming.  It is a well-known fact today that America’s justice system is rigged against minorities.  And yet very few Christians are doing anything about it.  In fact, most conservatives have a “lock ’em up and throw away the key” attitude.  All death penalty states, to my knowledge, are red conservative states.  Many Trump supporters identify as conservative Christians.  And many Clinton supporters are liberals.  This election has done much to hurt the church.  When you have people who say they love Jesus supporting a racist, it is an affront on our Lord and our faith.  And, we ask ourselves why our numbers are in decline?  We wonder why so may of our youth are disillusioned and feel disenfranchised?

We need a spiritual revival!!  This is a call for unity.  This is a call to all Christians to stand up for the gospel of Christ Jesus.  We need to come together as one body and the let the Lord use us to heal our sick society.  Unfortunately, this sham of an election is lost and our country will suffer for four more year.  But, in that time, if we come together, we can rock the politically corrupt system by demanding a better candidate.  But, we must be united first.  We need youth rallies and united prayer vigils.  We need synchronized activism.  Let us get back to basics.  Let us serve the Lord by spreading His healing love all over this nation and the world.

This is an urgent call to all of you.  And, for those of you who have not made your choice, now is the time!  Jesus is the God of love.  It is corrupt men who twist His words.  His message is not one of enslavement, but liberty.  True freedom is Love.  If Jesus is with you, then nothing can be against you.  If you are a hopeless sinner or a wayward and backslidden Christian, then it is time to repent and be healed.  I know you are hurting, sad and angry.  i know you are lonely, remorseful and bitter.  Please, let Jesus take all of that away from you.
Repeat the following prayer: “Dear Jesus, I know that because of my sin I need Your forgiveness.  I believe that You died on the cross for my sins.  I believe You rose again so I could live with You.  I want to stop living for myself and start living for You.  I want Your peace in my life. I want forgiveness for my sins.  Please come into my heart and change my life.  I want to live with You forever.  I want You to be my Lord and Savior.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”
If you said it and meant it, then you are my brother or sister and I love you and welcome you home.  It no longer matters where you have been, only where you are going.

There are not enough Christians engaged in prison ministry or advocacy.  I would like to suggest a movie called “The 13th”.  I think you will find it very informative and it may help you better serve the Lord by remembering the prisoners.  Christians often forget that Jesus Himself was a prisoner before being crucified.  He was an innocent man who was wrongfully accused, convicted and executed.  If you would like to serve the Lord by playing an active role in prison ministry and justice reform, please contact Prison Fellowship – they are always looking for volunteers.

Matthew 5-7
The Beatitudes
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:  3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.  5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.  6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.  7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.  8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.  9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.  10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Believers Are Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Christ Fulfills the Law
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

Adultery in the Heart
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Marriage Is Sacred and Binding
31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Jesus Forbids Oaths
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Go the Second Mile
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Do Good to Please God
1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

The Model Prayer
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.  8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.  11 Give us this day our daily bread.  12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.  13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Fasting to Be Seen Only by God
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.[n]

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

You Cannot Serve God and Riches
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Do Not Judge
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow Way
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[o] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Build on the Rock
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”  28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
May God bless and keep you!  May we all be united in Him!  May we heed His urgent call!
Love In Christ,
(A man who has heard the call and is responding through action)