Is It Sinful? Intro Series by Michael Furlonger

Is It Sinful

In a new Bible Study series, author Michael Furlonger brings up a question: Is It Sinful? Maybe you’re asking, “What Is ‘It’ that is sinful? It’s a big question.

Jesus preached repentance (Matt. 4:17). John the Baptist preached repentance (Matt. 3:1-2). Peter preached repentance (Acts 2:38). Apostle Paul said to the church in Corinth, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation…” (2 Cor. 7:10). And John tells us in 1 John 1:5-6, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”

So in this series, we aren’t just going to talk about sin, we are going to clarify what is a sin. If we are called to repent, should we not know from what we are repenting?

While this focuses on sin, let us always remember that God’s grace covers a “Multitude of Sin” (James 5:20; 1 Peter 4:8).

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Michael Furlonger Tips For Today: Love

women hugging and smiling

Michael Furlonger’s Tip For Today is Love. People think “Love” is just this passive thing. Now-a-days, to “love” is just to accept people. I don’t want to get into a big debate, but I want to encourage people, especially Christians, to turn their passive “love” into an active one.

James 2:14-17 reads,

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

In the same way that James is saying add “deeds” to your faith. I’m saying add actions to your “love“.

As Christians, we love to cut through scripture and say, “I just want to love people.” Which is fine. I think we need this desire to love people. And we can talk about teaching and other neglected roles in the church another time.

But, if you’re going to “love” people, how are you doing it? Are you reaching out a helping hand? Calling a lonely neighbour? Connecting with that person at church? Going out for coffee with that friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time?

Or, as I mentioned before, is your idea of “love” more of a “I’m going to ignore you and let you be” kind of love?

“I’m Just Checking In”

I received a text message from an old church group leader once. It said, “I’m just checking in.” Seriously? Not “How are you?”. No “We should go out for coffee.” Not even a “Did you catch the game last night?”

Nope. “I’m just checking in.” You know… It’s as if he works at a hospital. Just doing the rounds. Making sure you’re not dead yet.

How passive is that? Forgive me, but I replied, “Noted.”

Here Are Michael Furlonger’s Tips On How To Love:

  1. Reach Out: It’s great when you’re at a drive thru and you want to pay for the person behind you. You can’t overly make a connection there. But stop treating your church family like the person at the drive thru. If you can help them financially, great. But, at the very least, connect.
    • Repeat after me: How are you? How’s the wife? How’s the kids? Did you catch the game? Have you read any good books lately? Is there anything I can pray for?
  2. Go Out: Make time and go out. Leonard Ravenhill says, “There’s 24 hours in the day. Ideally you sleep 8, you work 8, what do you do with the other 8?” Of course, he is encouraging spending that time in prayer, but I don’t know anyone who locks himself in a room to pray for 8 hours. But on topic of showing people love, you have 8 hours. Ask these people you “love” out. It doesn’t mean a romantic dinner, just a walk around the block. Or a coffee, although COVID restrictions might make that difficult.
    • One time, two of the men in my small church group went out for a run. At first, I was upset that I didn’t get invited. But then I remembered, “I don’t run.” I laughed it off thinking of the scripture that says, “Only the wicked run when no one is chasing them.” But, truth, I was saddened that I’ve been locked up for months due to COVID lockdown and I didn’t get invited to spend time with friends.
  3. Connect: Let’s be real for a minute. The world is online. People are on social media, they’re working from home, we don’t go to the movies anymore, we watch Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime (Try Amazon Prime Free For 30 Days through the links at ChristianWritersBookstore).
    • My point is that we are in a completely different world today. Let’s try to connect. Due to Facebook’s silly algorithm, I randomly lose touch with friends, so I can’t just scroll through and click “Like”, I have to make an active decision to connect with people. So, try tagging a person in a post, maybe an old picture, just to let them know you’re thinking about them. Comment on their posts, as opposed to the passive “Like”.
    • If, like me, they have an online business or even a blog, share it. Let them know that even though we are separated, you still add value to my life.

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The 3 Things We Forget About Jesus Christ

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The 3 Things We Forget About Jesus Christ- Who He Is, What He Said, and What He Did

Any Christians offended yet? Sometimes I like to “offend” Christians, because when someone is offended, they’ll engage in a “fight”. And if I can engage you, hopefully you will listen. Jesus was known to offend people, but we’ll get into that shortly.

1. Jesus- Who Is He?

Of course, Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Most Christians will agree with that.

But, also, Jesus was a Jew. Not only was he a Jew by the nationality of the word, or the religious sense, he was a Jew through and through. The gospel of Luke tells of his genealogy from Joseph, his earthly father, all the way back to Adam, the first man created by God (read Luke 3: 38).

So we as Christians need not forget this important fact: Mary was favoured by God (read Luke 1:30), a servant to God (Luke 1:38) and her husband to be, Joseph, was a man faithful to the Law of God (Matt. 1:19).

We can consider the specific ‘role’ of parenting the Son of God, but I just want us to point out that God chose two people with such a task who were obedient and faithful.

This brings me to point 1 of Jesus Christ and who he is: He did not distance himself from the Old Testament. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen,
will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 
Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

2. Jesus And The Pharisees (What He Said)

The Pharisees were important to the story of Jesus Christ and his ministry. They were highly religious, they loved the Law and they could not tolerate people who broke the Law. They even made laws to prevent people from breaking the Law.

Isn’t that interesting?

In a lot of sense, Jesus would have fit right in because of his exceptional moral character. Sadly, Jesus was (and is) the Son of God, and thus Jesus cared more about the people than a position of high status. In Matthew 23 many flaws in the Pharisees. Let’s begin with verses 2-6:

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

“Everything they do is done for people to see…they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues…”

I encourage you to read Matthew 23 for yourself, but I’ll share a few key verses with you here:

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

3. Jesus And What He Did

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Sadly, a lot of people simply believe Jesus came to earth to die. But he didn’t.

  • He was born in Bethlehem (fulfilling prophecy from Micah 5:2)
  • Fleeing to Egypt (fulfilling prophecy from Hosea 11:1)
  • Growing up in Nazareth (fulfilling prophecy)
  • Going to Jerusalem on a donkey (fulfilling prophecy from Zechariah 9:9)
  • Dying on a cross (fulfilling prophecy fulfilling Psalm 22:14 “my bones are out of joint” which illustrates that the death was not by weaponry. Psalm 22 also records the people around Jesus in verse 16 as “dogs” and “a pack of villains”, their actions in verse 18 “they cast lots for my garments” and their words in verse 8, “He trusts in the LORD let the LORD rescue him.”
  • Resurrecting (fulfilling prophecy from Psalm 16:10)
  • And ascending to Heaven and seated at the right hand of God recorded in Hebrews 1:3 (fulfilling prophecy from Psalm 16:11)

Now that you see that Jesus was born and lived, let’s go back to the verse above where Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from me…”

So what did he do in the time on the earth? He taught. How many times did people call him “Rabbi” or “Teacher”.

The Sermon On The Mount

And the most famous of sermons? “The Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5-7. And what did Jesus teach? Law. Not the Law the Pharisees taught. Not a Law that is designed to condemn man kind in their sins. He taught the Law in it’s purest form.

Matthew 7:28-29 says, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Now, let’s look at the teaching of Jesus Christ.

Jesus would say, “You have heard it said (dot dot dot), but I tell you.” He would take the Old Testament Law and put it on a higher plateau. “You’ve heard it said murder is a sin, but I tell you that if you call someone a “Fool” you’re endanger of the fires of hell.”

“Oh, you’ve heard not to commit adultery? Well I tell you that if you look at a woman lustfully, you’re an adulterer at heart.”

Check out what he says in Matthew 5:20-

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I encourage you to read for yourselves. But check out this last line concluding the Sermon On The Mount:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 
because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Why Am I Sharing This?

I am sharing this with you because God loves you. By no means am I saying that we are saved by the Law, but through it we get a glimpse of the Holy, Eternal God who has set eternity before us.

In 1 John 1:5-6, it says,

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him
and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 

Let us put away our sins. “Put To Death,” Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:5, “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

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Elect Michael Furlonger For President

Michael Furlonger For President

Elect Michael Furlonger For President

You heard that correct people. I, Michael Furlonger, am running for the presidency of….

Ok. All seriousness now. We all know that I photoshopped (a big word for copy & paste) my face over top of Donald Trump’s face. We know this by the hair and hand gestures.

I Could Be King

(I actually have a whole video topic on sin and redemption found in Jesus Christ under this title, but I’ll save it for later.)

“When (Israel elders) said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.  And the Lord told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.'” (1 Samuel 8:6-7)

A little bit of a back story of what’s going on in the verses above:

God has rescued the Israel people out of the land of slavery in Egypt. Bringing the false gods of Egypt and the other nations to shame. God leads the people into a new land and He overthrows these people who live in the land and calls it the Land of Israel.

Israel, at this time, has no king or formal government. You read about this in the book of Judges: After Israel takes land, they serve pagan gods and end up enslaved to these people. They cry out to Yahweh, the God who rescued them and brought them to the land, and God sends a “judge”. Again and again this is happening. You can almost set your watches to it.

So they go through all of these judges who ruled over them for a time. Once the judge died, they’d serve the gods of the Canaanites, then “Spit hits the fan”, they call to God, God lifts up another judge to overtake the Canaanites, and then rules for a time. Again and again.

“In Those Days Israel Had No King” (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25)

“Everyone Did As They Saw Fit” (Judges 17:6; 21:25)

There’s a lot of reading that you, especially as Christians, should be reading in this text. Conservative, Republican, Liberal, Democrat- I don’t care.

The only reason I picked Donald Trump was because his hair and hand gesture is recognized. Joe Biden’s head doesn’t have as much of a recognizable characteristics.

Anyway… Let’s continue.

At this time of the Judges, they didn’t have a formal ruler, a king. Everyone did as they saw fit. In Judges 17, you’re reading about Micah and his idols. In Judges 19, you’re reading about a woman who was raped to death and this led to a war which is the conclusion of Judges 21.

Next to Judges in the Bible is Ruth, which happened during the time of Judges, and then 1 Samuel. This brings us full circle back to the beginning of this blog: The people are calling out, “Give us a king” and God saying, “I’m the one they’ve rejected.”

And The Lord Said…

“Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” (1 Samuel 8:9)

Samuel gives the people a long list of things that will happen to them under another’s leadership. Read 1 Samuel 8:11-17 for further details regarding the taxation, enslavement and taking of good from the people.

“When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:18-20)

The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.” (1 Samuel 8:22)

I encourage you all to read your Bibles. We are going through a very similar state as the Israelites even though it’s 2021. We are doing “as we see fit” then calling out for new leadership. And that will be great until the novelty wears off and we go to the election polls in four years. Just like in the book of Judges, we keep getting “rescued” but then we turn away from that to serve our own ways.

So God answers the Israelites call for leadership and gives them King Saul. Saul is good for a while until he turns away (just like the people in Judges), then God lifts up David. Then, because of David’s sin, and the actions of his son, Solomon, Israel is split.

And we see this again. Whether 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, we are splitting at the seams. I start the count in 2008 because of social media and everyone having a thought on everything.

And don’t think this is an attack from either side of the political aisle.

“The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart”

“The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” (1 Samuel 13:14)

Regardless of who our “king” (democratically appointed leader) is, God is looking for a man or woman after his own heart.

Please, don’t be deceived in thinking, “Because I go to church, I am after God’s heart.” The devil doesn’t waste time at strip clubs and bars, he’s coming for the church.

Don’t seek after the popularity of the church. The popularity of men (and women). Seek after the popularity of God. With His popularity in view, let’s stop filling our social media with hate. Let’s love our neighbour’s, let’s read the Bible to hear what God calls on us to do even when it hurts.

Let us call on the Holy Spirit, truly, and weep over our sins.

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Lockdown With Michael Furlonger

Clock Picture

Hey everyone. I hope that your day is going well. In Canada (and perhaps still all around the world), we are still in a Covid-19 Lockdown. So I wanted to start sharing some of my hobbies, workout routines, and what I have been doing to pass the time.

I shared this picture with my sister and she asked me if it was hard to build. So this blog post is dedicated to her. Introducing…

Lockdown With Michael Furlonger

As you can see, I have begun getting a little bored of watching TV. So while looking for some computer gadgets (still trying to create my own R2D2), I came across 3D puzzles. While I was hesitant, my nephew sent me a picture of a 3D lego hut he made, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The clock was actually a lot of fun to make. I was concerned that it would be too much frustration and I would end up throwing it against the wall. But as I watched TV with my wife, I thought, “Let me get a cup of coffee and put together this puzzle.” (It had been in the box for about a week at this point).

In the picture, I’m holding the cylinder that the clock technically goes in. I would say that that was probably the hardest part of the job, making sure the printed side is showing.

It really was a fun hobby to start. No tools were required and took about 2 hours to put together. It was a good way to end a Sunday afternoon.

If you notice the metronome in the clock appears fuzzy, that is because it actually works. It is now placed on top of my bookshelf.

What To Try Next?

Feel free to leave a comment below and tell me what you think I should try next. But let me show you some that I thought were really cool.

  1. 3D Projector

As mentioned, I’m looking into making an R2D2 model. And this 3D wooden projector popped up. It’s a hand cranked projector that comes with a film.

2. Black Gum Gramophone

I saw this and I thought that it looked awesome. It comes with 3 songs and plays 7 and 10 inch records. No batteries required.

3. Music Robots

This comes also as a bunny, a seymour, a space vehicle and a submarine. Each one comes with a different song.

I hope you enjoyed this first of “Lockdown With Michael Furlonger” offering some great ideas on stuff to do. Other things to create are cars, marble run, a carousal, a solar powered car, and so much more.

I hope that you enjoyed this first blog post of random hobbies by Michael Furlonger.

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Assurance Of Salvation

Assurance Of Salvation

In this first person struggle, Michael Furlonger shares his inner battle with finding Assurance of Salvation. With eternity in view, Michael could not settle on a few happy words of easy assurances.

In fact, Apostle Peter says to “make every effort to confirm your call and election” (2 Peter 1:3-11). He says that, with that “you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In The Author’s Words:

The biggest fear in my life is what happens afterwards. Believing in Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, why do I doubt? Because the same person that I put my faith in said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

There are many other people in this world that wonder the same thing: Am I eternally saved? This book is aimed to help people find out more about God, about his love, his justice, and with that, you will find your assurance.

This book is dedicated to my friend who works in prison and to my grandparents who wanted to have assurance that they are eternally saved.

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Paul Washer And Harry Potter

person in black and white striped socks lying on bed

I don’t know if you know who Paul Washer is. When I first saw this sermon pop up on my computer, I thought that it was going to be this conservative preacher talking about Harry Potter and the evils of witchcraft. But instead it was a man recognizing the fall of Christianity.

Paul Washer discussed the courage of these children in the movie, willing to live and die for their cause. In contrast, when the people who watch that movie go to church there is no courage, no willingness to fight or die for their Savior.

The Battlefield

As I watched the video, I realized that I’m not out in the “battlefield”. I’m not taking the message to any third-world nation dying of famine and disease. Near the end of the video, Paul Washer shares that we may not all be going out into the mission field. Some of us will be salt and light in our local communities.

I was thinking about this as I was making a cup of coffee. So many teenagers and young adults want the adventure of the missionary, but they don’t want the message. I say this boldly, because I do have Facebook.

Yes, laugh at the silliness, but consider this: We live in the West, we have a home with Internet from which we can reach millions of people with the Gospel. Instead, the people I know from church are too busy sharing “Dad Joke” memes, cat videos, and politics.

I laugh thinking of someone arguing, “Well, Michael, we can’t preach if we don’t have the relationship with people. Without the relationship, Christianity is off putting.” I laugh thinking, “Sure. And politics has never ruined a relationship.”

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Deuteronomy 22:11- Wool and Linen

Bible Study Video

Do you ever read the Old Testament Law and wonder, “What? Why?”? One of the things that comes to mind is the clothing laws.

Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together. (Deut. 22:11)

Now, I’m not huge on watching TikTok videos because by what I have seen is about wives laughing at their husband or the other way around. But my wife loses hours watching videos and she shared this one on an Old Testament law that made me want to look deeper into it.

From LifeGivingLinen.com/Linen-Study, we can read more about what this woman on TikTok shares. From the website:

“According to this study, the human body has a signature frequency of 100, and organic cotton is the same – 100.  The study showed that if the number is lower than 100, it puts a strain on the body.  A diseased, nearly dead person has a frequency of about 15, and that is where polyester, rayon, and silk register. Nonorganic cotton registers a signature frequency of about 70. However, if the fabric has a higher frequency, it gives energy to the body.  This is where linen comes in as a super-fabric. Its frequency is 5,000. Wool is also 5,000, but when mixed together with linen, the frequencies cancel each other out and fall to zero. Even wearing a wool sweater on top of a linen outfit in a study collapsed the electrical field. The reason for this could be that the energy field of wool flows from left to right, while that of linen flows in the opposite direction, from right to left. “

What’s a Hz (Hertz)?

I know very little when it comes to this science topic. As I listened to the video and the woman talks about hertz, I have to look that up. Fortunately, the link above shares on this topic.

A man named Dr. Rife did studied “specific vibrational ‘kill’ frequencies” of organisms in the 1920s (not specifying in clothing). He believed that if “disease-causing microorganisms” were better understood, they could be “eliminated by an opposing rate of vibration.”

Rife believed that the ideal frequency of a human being is between 62 and 72 Hz. Anything lower than that could compromise a person’s immune system.

Dr. Callahan

Back to Dr. Yellen’s study, she shares about a physician and researcher named Dr. Phillip Callahan. Dr. Callahan “discovered that flax cloth, as suggested in the Books of Moses …, acts as an antenna for the energy. He found that when the pure flax cloth was put over a wound or local pain, it greatly accelerated the healing process.”

Modern Christianity

I don’t want to get in a discussion on Apostle Paul quotes on the Law. Thanks be to God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us back to Himself. We are not eternally saved because we wear certain clothing or avoid eating certain foods. But isn’t this fascinating?

Let’s not abandon the Old Testament law for the sake of the New. Remember that Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Let’s be fascinated and amazed at the greatness of our God.

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Author Michael Furlonger Interview

Author Michael Furlonger God: The Master of Sin and Satan The Beautiful

Author Michael Furlonger has been working on this project for a few months now. While he has been keeping it under wraps to the public, he is getting ready to share. Before he opens up the floodgates of all these amazing Christian authors and bloggers, he wanted to share a bit about himself. In the identical format that he would use with others.

Author Michael Furlonger has published two book, God: The Master of Sin and Satan the Beautiful and Assurance of Salvation: How To Find The Assurance Of Your Eternity. In today’s interview, Michael Furlonger shares on his faith, books, and his website.

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