Running of the Bulls

In case you missed it, Puerto de San Lorenzo’s fighting bulls were running through the cobblestone streets of Pamplona, Spain last week. Multiple bulls with an average weight of 1300+ pounds were racing around bends and curves while revelers ran ahead and beside. On the second day of the running, several people were injured. Medics were on site to care for those left bleeding and wounded. The years of running with the bulls have left many gored; some suffered head injuries, broken bones and other issues not soon repaired.

Regardless of the warnings, thousands gather to feel the rush of adrenaline as they dodge the pointed horns of these monstrous beasts. Everyone who hops the barricade to enter this chaotic scene knows the danger they are facing. It’s not a mystery that a 180 pound man is no match for a massive bull running full speed.

The question is “why”? Tradition comes to mind. Thrill seekers could answer the question, I suppose. Why would people intentionally put themselves in the path of a running bull? Why take the chance of being impaled by the horns of an angry animal? The bull has no feelings. He has no sympathy for the fools who stand in his way. Regardless of how many are injured this year; regardless of the bloodstained streets and forever-injuries, next year will be no different.

Solomon wrote of a man who stood in the street and said that a lion was there to devour him. He knew the danger, but did nothing to change his location. He just stood there, waiting to die. Paul said that the “wages of sin is death.” There is no mystery that sin devours the soul. Sin separates us from God and creates lasting pain. Nevertheless, we hear little of it because no one wants to feel bad about their poor behavior. The 21st Century Christian has modernized the definition of sin in order to cope with guilt.

Still yet, I rise to say, “Walk in the Light as He is in the Light.” Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. You’ll never survive running in the way of danger. Jesus is calling for a separated Church. I pray we can hear the voice of the Spirit. Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

The Cost Of Heaven

In light of popular prosperity doctrines and preachers, I wonder how many are being led astray by their false narrative.  While some post-modern pulpits promote gain and glory, could it be that God’s grace and goodness is even more profound in loss and suffering?  I submit it to be so.

The Lord’s great desire is to save us.  His purpose is for all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  He did not die so that we could have a better job or more vacation time.  The Cross of Calvary was not intended to offer us a pain-free life.  It was meant to rescue the soul from sin; an atonement through the Blood.  Jesus came to give us Life and in the purview of the Almighty, our eternal salvation is far more important than any temporal thing.

Christianity was never meant to provide worldly success.  The single focus is to be saved when the Trump of God sounds.  All of which begs the question, “What will it take for you to be saved?” Because trouble and loss might be the vehicle to lift you out of this world.  Tribulation and suffering might be the only thing that drives you toward Heaven.  What difference would it make if you gained the whole world and lose your soul?  What good would it do if you are comfortable here, but you miss the rapture?

Please don’t misunderstand: I’m happy if you are blessed in this temporal life.  I rejoice at the testimonies of material blessings.  Praise God for increase!  I am thankful for the provisions that come from the Lord, even if they are temporal.  However, none compare to that Great and Terrible Day of the Lord when He shall split the eastern sky with a heavenly host.

I want you to be blessed, but not at the expense of your eternity.  I hope that your businesses grow and you are able to afford new things.  I’m happy if you are equipped with knowledge and that your stewardship is sound.  However, if you forfeit your prayer life, church attendance, and ultimately your salvation, then all of your accomplishments are a detriment to the eternity that awaits you.  If gain comes at the cost of heaven, then your gain is a reproach to the Cross.

This is the temporal versus the eternal.  This is the only thing that matters.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole