WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

A MANIFESTO FOR MY BLOG. Some have told me that when they see my posts that rebuke and warn, they wonder, “Mario, what is your problem?”  I do have a problem, but it is not what they think.  I am not negative, nor am I fearful.   I have not given up or given in.  None of those things are my problem.  My problem is of a different nature.

My problem is that I serve a God Who is limitless in power and wisdom, and His excellence infuses me with zeal to declare that we can be better, and we can do better, as a church and as a nation.

I see no place for compromise.  There is no reason to accept the slavery of the God-haters.  We are not supposed to sit down and shut up.   A weaker church with a smaller voice is not the new normal—it is blasphemy.

I believe Satan doesn’t stand a chance.  An amoeba would have a better chance of surviving on the surface of the sun than Satan has of surviving against God.  I believe that prayer and worship kills the devil’s lies.  I oppose any decision, by any leader, that is based on fear or unbelief.

Back in the day, we didn’t scare as easily.  Formerly, pastors didn’t have to seduce people into serving God.  We didn’t back down and we didn’t let ourselves starve on the table scraps of watered-down preaching.

I miss the days when the church was not the court jester to America, but was the conscience of the nation.  The church was a firewall against intellectual dishonesty, injustice, and depravity.  I miss those days.

But I am not railing because I am afraid those days are gone forever—it’s just the opposite.  I see no reason why we can’t have them back.  My resolve to bring those days back fuels my rebuke of pastors and secular officials alike.

Speaking of rebukes—let me clarify why I rebuke our leaders.  My rebukes are rooted in my conviction that America is a miracle.   We did not make ourselves great.  God made us great.  When you try to “fundamentally change America” and make her pro-late term abortion, pro-Islam, anti-Israel, anti-marriage, and anti-Christ, you are messing with God, and you need to know it.  You need to be rebuked.

When I rebuke our elected officials, I am not abandoning my call to the Gospel, I am preaching the true Gospel.   Look at Acts 3:14-15: “But you denied the Holy and Just One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of Life, Whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.”

Peter unleashes a stinging charge that includes rebellion, because they denied the Holy One; perversion, because they chose Barabbas; and murder because they killed Christ when He was innocent.  Peter did all of this in the middle of a soul-winning sermon!

Don’t tell me, “Well, that was different.”  How can it be different?  Peter was giving the public and their leaders a tongue lashing for committing state sponsored murder, for engaging in tyranny, and for lying about it.  There is no difference.

But there is a big difference between Peter and many American preachers.  He did not worry that he would look hateful or unloving by leveling these charges.   He was not preaching to ‘make nice’—he was preaching to make disciples.   That is the ultimate love.

Peter also knew that the fate of Israel hung in the balance.  He was calling his nation back from disaster.  That is the same duty of every vessel of God in America: To call America back from disaster.

So let me ask you a question: What do you preach when you see history repeating itself?  No nation has ever done what we are doing right now that did not end in either a dictatorship or a totalitarian state.  Should I be silent?

Can you deny that Islamists are murdering Christians?  Can you deny that Democrats don’t care?  Do you see the Deep State cancelling our freedoms illegally?  Do you deny that our Constitution is being trampled upon?

The accusations of anger and extremism aimed at my writings begin to evaporate when you answer those questions honestly.   If anything, I am being too tame in confronting this disaster.

So the next time you wonder what is wrong with Mario, remember this:  My writing is driven by equal parts urgency and faith.  I cannot hold back because the fate of this nation hangs in the balance, and I cannot hold back because I know that my God loves America and is mighty to save.

THERE IS PROOF

Jesus rose from the dead. The Bible says there is proof.  Acts 17:31 “For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
Because of this proof we should not cower before the culture or present our case in apologetic terms. We should not sheepishly offer Christ in couched terms or clever words. Most of all, we should not accept a faith that believes only part of the story.
Recently, a poll said that a growing number of Christian youth do not believe it is right to share their faith with those who do not believe. This trend violates the Bible. It disobeys the direct command of Christ to go into all the world and make disciples. (Mark 16:15)
This reticence to share is rooted in doubt about the supernatural origin of Christianity. The same Jesus who rose from the Dead is the One Who said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:12).  Since, He is the only Way, then the only thing we can do is share with all men, all faiths, and all nations the one true Way to God.
There is a growing embarrassment about being Christian.  There are false accusations of racism and tyranny that today’s professors attribute to the teachings of Jesus. This makes young believers shy and confused about how to answer the lies.  A good start is to realize how absurd those charges are. To claim that tyranny and racism rose out of “love your neighbor and forgive your enemies” is not only fallacious, it is ridiculous.

Many young believers do not think the story of Easter is real. That is not just sad it is cruel.  Cruel, because it tortures the young believer into a divided soul. They want to adhere to the morals of Jesus but struggle with the supernatural. That is painful because it is impossible. The veracity of Jesus is inextricably tied to the resurrection.
Generation Z honors Jesus as a great moral teacher. But Jesus claimed He would rise from the dead. If He did not, He lied, and if He lied, He is not a great moral teacher.  Paul took it further by saying, in that case, all of us who preach are liars. Paul went to great lengths to make this point:
1 Corinthians 15: 12 “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead. But He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
The resurrection of Jesus is not just your great hope, it is your great responsibility.  If you don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead you will not go to heaven, and you have no reason to say you are a Christian. The resurrection is even central to the model salvation prayer in Romans 10: 8 “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“But now is Christ risen.” Those words from Paul should electrify our spirit. You should declare it loud and clear. You should understand that whenever you declare it Satan convulses—angels can’t help but join you in jubilation—and your body, mind, and spirit will instantly shake off the despair of modern life.