Devotional Thought for Today- 9/26/20

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:30-31

AMP and RVR 1960

In context, Hebrews 10:26-39 may have many “titles” in your Bibles such as; Christ or Judgment or The Just Live by Faith. But what the real THEME of this passage is the Book of Hebrews most direct and serious waring against Apostasy

Some have claimed that this verse v.30 proves that if one backslides far enough they can loose their salvation. This can only be interpreted so if one takes this out of context and without the Whole Counsel of God.

In John 6:36-38 Jesus himself makes it very clear He will never cast out anyone whom the Father sends to Him. Yet just like the unfaithful and rebellious nation of Israel had to wander in the wilderness as punishment so too there are consequences to a faith that lacks depth. 

The writer quotes Deuteronomy 32:35–36 … vengeance is mine… again in context Israel sin causing God to punish them, again making it abundantly clear God is the same; yesterday, today and for eternity and in His righteousness He shall judge His called out ones (His true believers) even the terribly backslidden. 

Pray God will restore you to His righteousness today. 

 

 

Daily Devotional – God’s Called

The saying below has become very popular on Social Media and among evangelicals in general but is it Biblical? Today we will briefly look at God’s Called.

21 Best But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to ...

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

As always we must take into consideration the Whole Counsel of God. Failure to do so even in this instance could lead to false or heretical teachings as you will see. 

So first let us look at the saying does God call unqualified folks. If we are speaking in the terms of Salvation, YES, of course our text will prove that.

On the other hand if we are speaking of ministry the answer is SORT OF. A careful reading of other bible text lists pre-qualifications for; Pastors, Deacons, Evangelists, etc. 1 Tim. 3:1-13, Tit. 1:5-9 then God further qualifies these chosen men through their study 2 Timothy 2:15 of scripture. To call someone to Pastor a church ignoring these qualifications is the same as saying God’s Word does not apply to our church and that is false teaching and HERESY, a term I never use lightly. 

Our text this morning,  1 Corinthians 1:26-31, comes from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. This is a church divided by two factions one I will call the Arrogant and Well Off, the other the Humble and Poor

A breakdown of 1st Corinthians 1 is as follows: 

In v.1-3 Greetings and Salutations to the church

In v.4-9 He thanks God for Christ and the fellowship therein

In v.10-17 He makes a plea for unity amongst the body of believers 

In v.18-25 He describes the Power and Wisdom of Christ

In v.26-31 He closes by reminding the Corinthians of their lowly state before Christ


BREAKDOWN:

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.Paul begins to closes chapter one, by insulting the church at Corinth. Seriously there is no other way I can read this, he is not pulling punches to lovingly sugar coating anything. WARNING; do not read into the text; Paul is not implying God is foolish or weak; he is implying that the those who think God is such a Greek, Moron, for sacrificing His only begotten son are the truly week and follish.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: – Look at your own calling to Salvation, and those around you in the church, how many are of the high and mighty the intellectual elite (prior to conversion did they have that distinction?). Paul points out it is the rare rich noble that believes in Christ.

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; – Instead of Mr. or Mrs. Fancy Pants, God chooses those that the world looks upon as foolish and weak to confuse the world and their so called mightiness. 

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: – The Greek word here translated in the KJV as base things, is the word Nothing.  Paul says God calls the nothings of the world (modern word would be insignificant) to Christ. He uses the nobodies to shame the somebodies. 

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. – WHY? The answer is simple so no one can brag about themselves in God’s presence. As stupid as that sounds I am convinced there are those who try when they day comes when we all stand before God on judgement day.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: –  Not only do true believers not boast in themselves they understand that God is the source of our Life in Christ. 

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. – Paul is quoting Jeremiah 9:23-24 here, and makes it clear if you need boast boast in the Lord. 


APPLICATION:

Paul makes clear in his writing to the church at Corinth that God is please to Call the foolish and weak, that truly believe the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified. God purposely chose the base or insignificant as far as “the world” was concerned just to prove to who in the end is really foolish and weak.  

The Question is are you to High and Mighty to heed God’s Call? 

 

Daily Devotional – Right Attitude

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Philippians 2:13

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China from the mid 1800’s until his death in 1905. His personal commitment to the mission was great, (some say too much so) as many of his family dies as a result. One thing Hudson new was nothing he did or accomplished was of his own doing, it was God working through him.  

Many folks today want to skip over this verse and make the claim that; Philippians 4:13 “I (They) can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.  In many circles this has become a rallying cry for health and prosperity, but does it really mean that? 

The answer is an emphatic NO! (See Can We Really Do All Things Through Christ?) Those who would and are teaching such are either ignorant or heretics. Either way it is dangerous to toil with the Holy Word of God. 

As always neglecting to take in the Whole Counsel of God is poor bible exegesis and why eisegesis is such a danger to true interpretation and right explanation of scripture. Consider the examples here from Philippians; one would think anyone really interested in getting to the truth of God’s Word, would at least read the context of the Chapter. If you read Chapter 4 It starts with “Therefore”  meaning we need to go back to Chapter 3, which starts with “Finally”  begging the question finally what? So we are headed to Chapter 2, and on it goes, the Whole Counsel at a minimum of what Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit intended.


BREAKDOWN:

For it is God – It is God, all about God always about God and NEVER ABOUT US, 

which worketh – He alone does the work, we are powerless to do good apart from Christ

in you – He just uses us as the instrument to accomplish He works; Our strength (Phil 4:13) is insufficient to do anything 

both to will – Any and all good we do is because of God’s will, that is He works in us to desire to serve Him righteously

and to do of his good pleasure. – and for His good pleasure, that is obediently serving His will for our lives and submitting as a bondservant to His working through us


 

APPLICATION:

The Forerunner Commentary has the following on this verse: But we should understand that He gives us the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures. 

Hudson Taylor understood the servants relationship with God. He gave up asking for help or asking if he could help finally getting the Right Attitude by submitting and asking God to work through him.

Today we all face the same questions. We may not be Hudson Taylor’s serving on foreign mission fields but we all have our own personal mission field, whether its at home, work, school it does not matter. The questions are simple:

Are you asking God to work through you today? 

Are you asking God for the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures. 

 

 

 

Examining the “10 needs we must understand and live after choosing to serve the Lord” Part 5

Joshua 24:15 - ESV - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net

One of my posts on 28 April, was entitled COVID-19 Is a Slow-Motion 9/11 in it Pastor Sam Rohrer of the American Pastors Network set forth 10 definitive needs every “Christian” must understand and live by after choosing to serve the Lord. I thought I would look at each one individually over the next two weeks.

{Note because of my deployments and the urge to write a typical devotional this is taking an extending time to complete 🙂 }

Be bold to identify and call out the false prophets in the wolves among us. 

(Christ warned of the false prophets and wolves—Matthew 7:15, Matthew 10:16, Matthew 24:24; Jesus warned of mass deception in the last days—Matthew 24:4-5)
Matthew 7:15,Matthew 10:16,John 10:12,Acts 20:29 (AMP and RVR 1960) 

CONTEXT: 

Definitions: 

Teacher:

Prophet:

False Prophet:

For this devotional I will interchange Prophet and Teacher purposefully as I do not believe there is anyone endowed with the specific gift of “prophecy” (Rev 22:18-19) today.  

A false prophets/teachers are anyone who claim to be speaking for God, but whose message is contrary to God. False prophets will not convict people of sin, for they themselves do not feel convicted. While true prophets/teachers speak according to God’s law and testimony, false prophets speak soft, easy things to make them more popular. These deceivers of God’s Word tell people what they want to hear. (modified from Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 7:15, False prophets and teachers will come as calm seemingly harmless persons. Likable, knowledgeable and saying the “right” things without causing a stir. 

Matthew 10:16, But Jesus said the world is full of Wolves who are ready to eat alive naive immature believers who will listen to their smooth talking fluff. (See Sermon here

John 10:12, Many churches have pulpits filled with those who only see it as a job and not as a calling from God. The difference; one does enough to get by and get a check, the other does all and more to Glorify God, protect and edify the flock. 

Acts 20:29, Was this prophecy, maybe more reality, a simple declaration that false teachers will find a way to mingle among the flock. Try as we may to protect our congregations from them; they arrive and cause their damage. 


APPLICATION:

Why is it so important to be Be bold to identify and call out the false prophets in the wolves among us? I offer I John 2:18-19 (AMP) as a chilling reminder:

Children, it is the last hour [the end of this age]; and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming [the one who will oppose Christ and attempt to replace Him], even now many antichrists (false teachers) have appeared, which confirms our belief that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us [seeming at first to be Christians], but they were not really of us [because they were not truly born again and spiritually transformed]; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out [teaching false doctrine], so that it would be clearly shown that none of them are of us

Where are the greatest of Antichrist (false teachers) those who will not only cause nominal believers to fall away but non-believers to further mock and reject Christ; from among the church!

That is why we MUST as John says here in 1 John 4:1-6 test EVERY spirit (teacher/prophet/pastor/evangelist, etc. etc.). For their twist and false doctrines will case havoc in the church. 

Here is my list of ways to ID a false teacher. It is not all inclusive but is helps guide me.

Is their teaching doctrinal sound? Does what they preach line up with the Words of Christ not man’s interpretation but solid biblical hermeneutics and exegesis.

Do they use the whole counsel of God? It is real easy to take one verse, or part of one and build a doctrine from it. Many use Ps 37:4 ‘the Lord will give you the desires of your heart’; to say we can all prosper, except that is not what it says. The whole verse is (KJV) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. There is a stipulation there they never mention, just as they never mention God’s wrath, condemnation and the like. 

They are Prideful.  It may be most easily identified by a outward display of false humility. They appear to be humble in words but their outward appearance and acts give away their true intent. It is easy to see elders/pastors, etc. with overly expensive tailored suits, mansions for homes and they like. Are these trappings of excess really what God calls his servant to achieve? These folks are reading a different book. But they easily distract folks from this by seducing them with flattery. 

They are set in their ways and either avoid controversial issues or start them.  This statement may seem confusing, but maybe an example will help. Take for example Joel Osteen The Houston based mega-church preacher of the so called Name-it-Claim-it Prosperity Gospel, who refuses to preach or teach on Abortion, Same Sex-Union, and a host of other controversial Biblical truths. 

Their motive is always profit. Profit of in some form or another. Whether it is Jesse DePlantus asking for a 56 MILLION Dollar jet or Kenneth Copland trying to explain why he need 3 private jets personal gain is almost always easy to spot if you just look. Even if you do not do due diligence, those that claim you too can be RICH, forget to remind you to be a Berean (Acts 17:11) 

At the Core they reject Christ (Apostasy) At the heart of every TRUE CHRISTIAN should be the reformation slogan Sola Chritus or Christ Alone. Their false preaching and teaching is one for itchy ears, that preys upon the emotions and feelings of mankind. All along we are called to expound the Genuine Gospel one in which Christ is All!!!!

Here is some additional material on the subject for your edification: 

How do you define a false teacher?

How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?

7 Traits of False Teachers

False Teachers and Deadly Doctrines


 

The List
  1. Develop a healthy fear of God. (Have no other god before Me—Exodus 20:1-6; Obey God, serve Him and fear Him—Deuteronomy 13:4; Rehearse history and teach of God’s power so your children learn to fear God—Deuteronomy 31:13; It is whole duty of mankind—Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
  2. Re-embrace the biblical authority of Scripture. (All Scripture is profitable for life and living—2 Timothy 3:16: Living it establishes a person’s path—Psalm 119:11)
  3. Know that the ‘Church’ is disobedient, lethargic and asleep. (Christ’s warnings to the seven churches and to Laodicea—Revelation 2-3; Revelation 3:14-22)
  4. Be aware that 70% of the pulpits in America are occupied by ‘hirelings.’ (Hirelings refuse to warn of spiritual danger and the wolvesJohn 10:12-13)
  5. Be bold to identify and call out the false prophets in the wolves among us. (Christ warned of the false prophets and wolves—Matthew 7:15, Matthew 10:16, Matthew 24:24; Jesus warned of mass deception in the last days—Matthew 24:4-5)
  6. Understand that national blessing or national judgment hinges on the actions of the remnant. (“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”—2 Chronicles 7:14)
  7. Accept the reality that persecution is coming and is normal for the believer and those still standing for truth. (All who live according to God commands will suffer persecution—2 Timothy 3:12; the enemies of truth will persecute you—Luke 21:12; John 15:20)
  8. Discover that the preparation for prayer and meeting God’s requirements for prayer is far more important than the act of praying. (God demands a broken spirit and obedience before sacrifice—Psalm 51:16-17; God demands we pray His way: No unconfessed sin—Psalm 66:18)
  9. Realize that the continuance of freedom is a result of God’s blessing, which hinges on obedience and conformity to God’s commands. (Don’t forget that all blessings came from God and if you forget and become ungrateful, God will replace blessings with bondage—Deuteronomy 8:1-20, 1:19-20; 30:1-20)
  10. Understand that the choice for president or other elected leaders, while critically important, is secondary to repentance toward God and the choice for God. (Obey, and I’ll make even your enemies to be at peace with you—Proverbs 16:7)

When churches say no to the government

My response to this article is at the bottom of the page

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By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor

There is precedent in Scripture for godly people saying no to the governing authorities. There are times when, to use the words of Peter, “We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). Is today one of those times?

One of the slogans of the American Revolution was, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Is our government being tyrannical when it forbids us to gather? Is this the right time to rebel, despite the Bible’s clear teaching that, generally speaking, we are called to obey the authorities? (See Romans 13.)

Let’s examine this from several angles.

First, are local authorities guilty of unconstitutional overreach and/or uneven enforcement of the laws?

In some cases, the answer is yes. This happened in Greensboro, North Carolina, where pro-life workers were arrested for praying outside of an abortion clinic.

As announced on April 3, “Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Thursday to the city of Greensboro on behalf of pro-life advocates whom police arrested for engaging in peaceful prayer outside an abortion facility. As the letter explains, the arrests should not have occurred because the pro-life volunteers, who are members of the Christian ministry Love Life, were in compliance with a Guilford County emergency proclamation related to the coronavirus crisis.”

North Carolina’s Governor Cooper had determined that abortion clinics provide “essential services” and so should remain open. Love Life believes that, as long as babies are being killed in the womb, they should be there to offer an alternative. So, several workers, with their attorney, showed up at the clinic, following the states safety guidelines to a tee. Their arrest was unjust. The pro-lifers did the right thing.

A second, closely related question is this: Do churches provide “essential services”? In that case, should any of their activities be shut down?

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne felt that the state of Florida was being inconsistent in its application of the law, allowing crowded stores to remain open but forcing churches to close. (He also felt this violated the next question we’ll ask, namely, is the government acting tyrannically?)

Getting national attention, Howard-Browne called for his church to meet, yet went to extreme measures to follow safety guidelines. (For his detailed statement, explaining the lengths to which the church went to preserve safety, see here.)

He was subsequently arrested, but after Liberty Counsel threatened the state with a federal lawsuit, Florida Governor De Santis changed the state’s policy. De Santis recognized the church as providing an essential service, and he lifted the ban on meetings, also dropping all charges against Pastor Howard-Browne.

Was this a good outcome, a bad outcome, or a mixed outcome? I respect Howard-Browne’s determination, his forcing the issue of unjust laws, and the measures that he took to comply with safety guidelines.

On the other hand, it is not essential for the church to gather in a building on a Sunday morning to be the church.  Churches can provide essential services to the community (such as providing food for the hungry) outside of large, corporate gatherings. They should be allowed to function as such, in conformity with safety guidelines.

After all, if gun stores or abortion clinics or liquor stores are allowed to remain open in some states, providing alleged essential services, why not church buildings? (Again, I’m not speaking about public gatherings; I’m speaking about providing other services.)

This, then, leads to the third, and larger question: is the federal government restricting our most fundamental liberties? If so, are we setting a dangerous precedent for the future if we surrender those liberties now, even briefly?

Pastor Cary Gordon of Iowa has provided eloquent reasons to push back, arguing that “we are able to use this opportunity to stand together against the statist abuse of power that is so tempting for those in positions of authority when they are compelled by emergencies and fears to act beyond the limits placed directly against them by the Constitution of the United States.”

He defied the state’s order not to gather but had his congregants stay in their cars in the parking lots, listening to a sermon through an FM frequency on their radio. Like Howard-Browne, he felt it was essential that he push back against a dangerous government precedent.

Did he do the right thing? I do respect why he did what he did, which is part of his larger, Christian worldview. Gordon is a clear-headed, Constitutional thinker, and his full letter should be read carefully. And he, too, went out of his way to preserve the safety of his flock.

Yet there is a fourth question that, in my view, trumps the question of our liberties, namely, what do practical wisdom and sacrificial love require of us now? What is our highest calling? Personally, I believe we should gladly restrict our liberties, for the moment, to save the lives of others.

When it comes to our public gatherings, that has been my position all along. (I explain this at greater length in my forthcoming book When the World Stops: Words of Faith, Hope, and Wisdom in the Midst of Crisis, now due out April 21.) We recognize that the federal government has not singled us out for persecution, any more than bars or restaurants or sports venues have been singled out. All are restricted from public gatherings. Plus, in President Trump, we have a strong advocate for our religious liberties.

Again, when local authorities go too far, we push back and speak out (as with the case of New York City Mayor de Blasio’s overreach; Pastor Howard-Browne felt the need to do this in Florida as well, since the law allowed for 42 paragraphs of exemptions, excluding churches).

But, as a general principle during this intensive, short season, I believe we should not be gathering together based on principles of wisdom and love. Bishop Joseph Mattera has provided 9 biblically-based reasons not to assemble as churches at this time. I believe he offers sound wisdom.

Other churches felt it was fine to go on with their activities, but have paid the price, like the church in Washington state that held choir practice as usual on March 9. As of March 29, dozens of members had COVID-19 and two were dead. (For a tragic parallel with some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel, see here.)

Across America, missionaries, bishops, pastors, and elders have died from the virus. Were they all lacking in faith? Were they any different than the leaders or congregants in other churches across the nation?

We simply cannot guarantee that, when we meet together in large groups, we will not contract and spread this super contagious and highly-deadly virus, perhaps sealing the deaths of others in the process. Does Jesus want us to do this in our zeal to preserve “our rights”?

We must also realize that the vast majority of our congregations cannot spend $100,000 installing air purifiers, as Rodney Howard-Browne did. Nor can we enforce social distancing guidelines if our church buildings are filled with worshipers.

And what happens if any of these churches that meet together during this season become hotbeds of infection? What if they become chief carriers of the virus? The world will have two words to describe those choices: selfish and stupid.

Worse still are the leaders who disparagingly mock other Christians who feel it is right to follow the government’s guidelines. May God forgive them for calling us “sissies” and “pansies.”

Again, I realize there are complex issues involved, and I respect pastors like Rodney Howard-Browne and Cary Gordon who have different perspectives. But I believe the law of love trumps other concerns and should be preeminent in our thinking today.


Here is my response to this post: 

While Acts 5:29 applies to all situations so does the WHOLE COUNSEL of GOD, less we forget the remainder of God’s Word Romans 13:1-2 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 for example. Unless the government is imposing illegal, immoral or unethical regulations upon us (The Church) we are according to God’s Word to obey those appointed by God in authority.

From the Beginning

CONTEXT:

Chapter Three begins as a continuation of Chapter Two and is all bout the Children of God. Note verse 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 

From there John immediately launches into our text for today and the theme for verses 11-24 is ‘Love One Another.’ This message the John speaks of can be none other than the Gospel Good News, but who is the “other we should be loving? 

A first read v.10 above, it is clear brothers (and sisters) in Christ. This would also fall into place with Christ’s command in John 13:34-35. Yet I would argue, when we take in the Whole Counsel of God; we can not neglect when Jesus spoke these words Matthew 22:36-40John 13:34-35 “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 

So who should we love? For sure our church family, our brothers in sisters in Christ, but also that person who got a licence in a Cracker Jacks® box and cuts you off for the last parking space you have been diligently waiting for. The person next door who never seems to clean up their yard and all their leaves end up in yours. The person whose political beliefs are so diametrically opposed to your own, you think they are from another world. They are all our neighbors and need God’s love through His people. 

11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 1 John 3:11

Porque este es el mensaje que habéis oído desde el principio: Que nos amemos unos a otros. (RVR 1960)

Pete Buttigieg Claims Bible Says Babies Can be Aborted “Up to Their First Breath”

This coming election we all will have a CHOICE to make. If you call yourself a “Christian” (as Mr. Buttigieg does) then you MUST hold to the truth of the Bible not something you perceive the Bible to say to fit your agenda. 

As a Christian we have a civic responsibility to observe the laws of the land Ezra 7:26 and to those appointed over us Romans 13:1-7 by paying taxes and especially to vote. This coming election cycle will be especially important for a variety of issues including the one Mr. Buttigieg now seems to be an expert on. He claims there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath, and so even that is something that we can interpret differently.”  In other words he conveniently leaves out the Whole Counsel of God to pick and choose the parts he wants to make up his own theology. You may remember I have a term for that, I call it Burger King Theology and with God folks you can’t have it your way.

To be fair, the Bible does not use the “word” abortion. It does however make it quite clear when life begins, who is the creator of all life and the penalty for messing with God’s creation. We need to pray for those that do.

I found the following article helpful: What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?


MARY MARGARET OLOHAN SEP 6, 2019 | 3:18PM WASHINGTON, DC

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg suggested Friday that unborn babies can be aborted up until they draw their first breath, saying parts of the Bible mention “how life begins with breath.”

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor spoke with “The Breakfast Club” on Friday morning about his comprehensive Douglass Plan, his thoughts on whether America is ready for a gay president, and whether black voters should vote for him.

Buttigieg discussed how the Bible talks about life beginning with breath, and suggested this would be one way to determine when life began in relation to abortion debates.

He said Republicans hold everyone in line with doctrine about abortion.

” … which is obviously a tough issue for a lot of people to think through morally,” Buttigieg said. “Then again, there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath, and so even that is something that we can interpret differently.”


Continued at Source: Pete Buttigieg Claims Bible Says Babies Can be Aborted “Up to Their First Breath”

‘another gospel’

We live in a world that only seems to care about a loving almost wimpy Jesus. But that is not the Lord and Savior who was obedient, to the father or cleansed the temple. Paul says in Ephesians 2:13-17 that Jesus did in fact come to preach peace how is this reconciled? 

There are two factors to consider first, we are not in our text below Luke 12:51, Jesus is referring to a physical peace, an end to war and conflict the Roman rule of the Jews. In Ephesians 2:13-17 the reference is to eternal peace for all those blessed to be chosen children of the King.  

So Jesus was no soft peddling wimp, only about love. One just has to read (and fully comprehend His hardliner stand on Salvation to understand this. As always we need preach, teach and share the Whole Counsel of God without exception. 

Logos.com

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.”

We are, in effect bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.” 

–J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel,” in Puritan Papers, Vol 1

Your Rest

House of Jacob, should it be asked,
“Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient?
Are these the things he does?”
Don’t my words bring good
to the one who walks uprightly?
But recently my people have risen up
like an enemy:
You strip off the splendid robe
from those who are passing through confidently,
like those returning from war.
You force the women of my people
out of their comfortable homes,
and you take my blessing[d]
from their children forever.
10 Get up and leave,
for this is not your place of rest
because defilement brings destruction—
a grievous destruction! – Micah 2:7-10 (CSB)

I have many times heard (internet and live) preaching use verse 10 to urge folks to separate themselves from worldly affairs. While the concept is biblical the context is not!

Once again we have a cse of those in the pulpit afraid to preach the Whole Counsel of God. Preaching God’s condemnation and wrath is part of that whole counsel and it is the context of this passage of scripture. 

Here is verse 10 we find the following: 

Get up and leaveOther versions say “Arise and depart”. This command from God should have been an expected one to the nation of Israel. Their iminate invasion had been prophesied over and over due to their ongoing transgressions. 

this is not your place of restlet us go back a moment to Exodus 33:14 where we find God telling the Jews in Egypt as long as He was present they would have rest. There were however conditions (Commandments) that needed to be obeyed for that rest to be maintained. We all know how poorly the Nation of Israel did at that. Canaan was supposed to be that land of rest, the home of the Ark and the temple, yet the Jews repeatedly defied God. Remember that God did not allow most all of those in the Exodus to see the Land of Rest because of their sinfulness and His wrath (Ps 95:11) could He allow that same disobedience to not have the same result? 

because defilement brings destruction— a grievous destruction! God rarely leaves us wondering why. Especially in the Old Testament it is clear to see the evil ways of natural man getting in the way of the spiritual man and defiling everything God had set forth for the Nation of Israel. He warned them over and over and their arrogance, never their ignorance caused them to be swept away into captivity (Babylon) again. 

Application –  Maybe I am different than everyone else but being “in” God’s rest sure sounds good to me. Today in America however we are surrounded by the same types of lawless disobedience and arrogant sinfulness that plagued Israel in 750 B.C. Is God telling us something is He sending warnings? I will leave that up to the reader to decide as I am not a prophet I do know that defilement brings destruction— a grievous destruction!

PRAY FOR AMERICA

 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.

15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.

21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

Ps 33:12-22

BreakPoint: A Lack of Judgment?

Why Hell Still Belongs in a Christian Worldview

If you think of American Christianity as a pendulum, we’re currently at the opposite extreme from the First Great Awakening. When Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” ¹ he compared human beings with spiders, dangling by a thread over the fires of God’s just judgment, upheld only by His mercy. Accounts from the time tell of listeners who clung to the pillars of their churches, lest they fall through the floor into the Lake of Fire. Like I said, we’re no longer in this territory these days.

In fact, according to Professor Michael McClymond, a very different idea is gaining popularity, even in evangelical churches. It’s called “universalism,” the belief that in the end, God will redeem every human being, and maybe even Satan and the demons.

McClymond has written a book on the history and beliefs of universalism, as well as its recent resurgence in American Christianity. In “The Devil’s Redemption,” he documents how authors like Rob Bell revived and popularized an old but fringe idea: that God will never finally judge anyone, but will continue wooing the wicked into eternity, until even the worst come to repentance and faith.

In an interview with Christianity Today, McClymond calls this doctrine not just a theological mistake, but a “symptom of deeper problems.” It’s easy to see what he means. We live in a time when many Christians eagerly downplay God’s condemnation against sin—especially sexual sin—in favor of a more therapeutic, feelings-centric approach. In these theological waters, universalism thrives. McClymond calls it “the opiate of the theologians,” since it allows them to tell a live-and-let-live culture exactly what it wants to hear: that God is a cosmic grandpa who will never finally hold anyone to account for their rebellion against Him.

Now look, I get the appeal of universal salvation. So did C. S. Lewis. In “The Problem of Pain,” he wrote: “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this…[B]ut,” he added, eternal punishment for sin “has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom; and it has the support of reason.”

Jesus, in fact, spoke more often and vividly about Hell than anyone else in the New Testament. That’s part of why Lewis concluded that real, eternal judgment, as horrible as it might seem, is the only way Christians can affirm the holiness of God and the moral freedom of human beings.

The kind of love universalism demands from God wouldn’t really be love at all. Imagine a God who never put an end to evil, and who never quarantined those determined to continue committing evil—a God who never told school shooters, genocidal dictators, rapists, gossips, or cheats who refuse to accept His help or authority that enough is enough. There could be no ultimate restoration of creation, and no ultimate peace for the redeemed.

Lewis’ insight, which he developed in both “The Problem of Pain” and “The Great Divorce,” was describing Hell not so much as a place, but as a process. Many alive on this earth, he wrote, have already embarked on the early stages of Hell by trying to live life without God. In the end, he suggested, God would give them what they want. And they wouldn’t like it.

To those who object that this isn’t fair, Lewis replied with a piercing question: “What are you asking God to do?” To wipe out your past sins, and at all costs, to give you a fresh start, offering every miraculous help? “He has done so, on Calvary.” Do you want Him to forgive you? He has offered forgiveness in Christ. Do you want Him to leave you alone? “Alas,” wrote Lewis, “I am afraid that is what he does.”

The one thing God will not do—and cannot do—is allow those who refuse His love to “blackmail the universe.” Hell will not be allowed to eternally “veto” Heaven.

The promise of coming judgment—something we confess every time we say the Apostles’ Creed—is essential to the Christian hope of a restored world. Not only is it motivation to take the Great Commission seriously, it makes the Good News of forgiveness in Christ so good.

So, I’m with Michael McClymond. For Christians who take their faith seriously, eternal consequences, as taught in Scripture, still must have a place. Universalism isn’t an option.

¹ If you have never taken the time (it is a lengthy and can be a difficult read) please I encourage you to read aa“Sinners At the Hands of an Angry God” today

Source

A few years back I posted a sermon I preached entitled The Whole Counsel of God that I think directly relates to this topic.  – Mike