Archive for the ‘free will’ Category

The Essence of Repentance

July 5, 2018

…And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

REVELATION 22:17

It is inherent in the nature of man that his will must be free. Made in the image of God who is completely free, man must enjoy a measure of freedom. This enables him to select his companions for this world and the next; it enables him to yield his soul to whom he will, to give allegiance to God or the devil, to remain a sinner or become a saint.

Graphic:  Rachel Wojo

And God respects this freedom. God once saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. To find fault with the smallest thing God has made is to find fault with its Maker. It is a false humility that would lament that God wrought but imperfectly when He made man in His own image. Sin excepted, there is nothing in human nature to apologize for. This was confirmed forever when the Eternal Son became permanently incarnated in human flesh!

Graphic:  Just Being Brutally Honest blog

So highly does God regard His handiwork that He will not for any reason violate it. He will take nine steps toward us but He will not take the tenth. He will incline us to repent, but He cannot do our repenting for us. It is of the essence of repentance that it can only be done by the one who committed the act to be repented of.

God can wait on the sinning man, He can withhold judgment, He can exercise long-suffering to the point where He appears lax in His judicial administration—but He cannot force a man to repent. To do this would be to violate the man’s freedom and void the gift of God originally bestowed upon him. The believer knows he is free to choose—and with that knowledge he chooses forever the blessed will of God![1]

Graphic:  cc southbay


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Hat tip: Truth 2 Freedom: July 5 – God Never Violates Our Freedom of Choice.

Note from Christine:

Yesterday, we celebrated Independence Day. It is the day that 242 years ago, America became a free nation via the signing of The Declaration of Independence.

Ben Franklin wisely stated to a woman who asked, “What type of government have you given us?” Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Lately, we have seen many unhinged people on the far left political spectrum rant and rave against all that helps keep our nation free.  They use issues to further their desires for more socialist/communist ideas and forms of government.  Don’t they know history and the hard-fought battles against such evil, failed and dictatorship types of government?  I guess not.  Perhaps it isn’t being taught in public school education anymore.  It certainly appears to be lost on most of those who attend, or have attended liberal/leftist colleges and universities and staunchly agree with the aberrant, extremist leftist professors who push their ideology upon the students.

Ronald Reagan quote

“The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas — a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, and the ideals to which we are dedicated.”

— Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) —

Yes.  We continue to go through “a test of wills and ideas.”  One’s choice does depend on the essence of repentance at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, it is a spiritual struggle, as the last paragraph in the quoted topic above reveals:

[God] cannot force a man to repent. To do this would be to violate the man’s freedom and void the gift of God originally bestowed upon him. The believer knows he is free to choose—and with that knowledge he chooses forever the blessed will of God![1]

Hat tip: Truth 2 Freedom’s blog.

Who Is Your Source of Hope?

October 1, 2016

Take it from me…it pays to pre-order books because sometimes you will get the book even before the national release date!  Yesterday, I received Dr. David Jeremiah’s latest book:

People Are Asking: Is This The End?

I read the introduction and the first few pages of Chapter 1 – “The Age of Anything Goes.” For an excerpt of the first chapter, scroll down the page at the following link and read Overview of Chapter 1: The Age of Anything Goes.

That excerpt is sobering, but now that I have delved into the entire chapter, the evil and depravity that is going on in the world today is so very discouraging, damaging and frightening!

I truly am saddened that the country that I grew up in from the mid-nineteen fifties through graduating college in 1977 has disappeared and been replaced with the “normalization” of the most egregious sinful secular-leftist and atheistic (even devil-worshipping!) kinds of immorality and death-cult beliefs that it is absolutely astonishing!

There was a time when Christian parents could shield their children from all of this, but no more.  The so-called “smartphones” that adults and children hold in their hands today are just a click away from pornography websites.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Depravity in Our Minds

In January 2016, the Internet’s largest online pornography site released its annual statistics.  On just this one website in just one year – 2015 – consumers watched 4,392,486,580 hours of pornography.  Convert those hours into years, and it means those people collectively spent more than 500,000 years watching porn.

On this particular site in 2015 alone, people watched 87,849,731, 608 X-rated videos.  Over 87 billion!  That’s twelve videos for every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet.

The rate at which sexual depravity is being “normalized” is causing havoc upon many freedoms that Christians have enjoyed in the past.  Now, deeply held religious beliefs, freedom of speech, freedom to practice our faith in the public domain, freedom of association to reject the immoral cesspool around us, and most of all, the freedom to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ is actively being punished by “the powers that be” in government! This scenario is especially egregious in the liberal courts dominated by anti-Christian “judges” who decide to allow sexual immoralities described in God’s Word to trump the First Amendment rights of Christian believers.

I could go on and on…but most readers get the picture.

The saving grace in all of this is the fact that Christians know Who wins and triumphs at the end of days.  There will come a time when God’s mercy and grace will run out and the judgments will fall upon those who rejected God’s provision for salvation – the Cross of Jesus Christ!

This is probably the biggest reason why this blog exists.  To warn people about the schemes of Satan that are there to grab our minds, entice our flesh, and spiral us down into the cesspool of depravity through active sin;  in order to keep our minds, hearts, bodies, souls and spirits away from God.

God the Father,  who loves us so deeply that He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place and free us once and for all from the penalty that we all deserve for our rebellion and sin; gives us the kind of hope that can never be achieved on our own.

What will YOU do (and decide about God’s provision through Jesus Christ) on this side of eternity?

Dr. Jeremiah masterfully shares the truth that for many people, their source of hope is sadly misplaced.  He states that “the question you must address is not whether America and the world will regain their footing, but how you will respond whether they do or not.”

“That is what this book is all about!”

Dr. Jeremiah explains the four common responses to the growing fears about the future.  Three are wrong, and one is right.

Wrong:

    1.  Denial – Living in the illusion that nothing will change, refusing to heed the clouds gathering on the horizon.
    2.  Despair – Collapse is inevitable, all is hopeless, nothing can be done and we are doomed.
    3. “Eat, drink, and be merry.”  As Solomon (see Ecclesiastes 8:15) warned us, all the pleasure we can get because there is “nothing new under the sun” is not productive.  It doesn’t give us hope.  In fact, it is “all vanity and grasping after the wind.”  (see Ecclesiastes 1:14).

Ecc 1:14

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Right:

The one right response is to look beyond the gathering storm to the one solid and certain source of hope–to God Himself.  Hope in the future of America and the stability of the world is little more than wishful thinking.  It is not reliable.  The hope God offers is the only realistic, absolute hope that carries the promise of a certain outcome.

The next three paragraphs in the Introduction are very powerful!

We do not know whether America will soon fall.  We do not know when the Lord will return.  But we do know that whatever our circumstances, God’s desire for us is to live without anxiety and with hope.  He offers you “thoughts of peace and not of evil.” and He wants “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

In this book I will show you how to find that hope.  It is a hope that is not dependent on whether America falls or recovers or whether world order stabilizes or disintegrates.  It is a hope that rises above trouble and chaos, enabling you to keep your focus on your future reward and endure whatever comes, whether good or evil, with grace and equanimity.

Had to look that last word up in the dictionary!

equanimity:

1.

mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.
Dr. Jeremiah continues:

The added benefit of this hope is that those who exercise it before others set an example that may just make a difference in the outcome.  Enough Christians exhibiting faith in God just might be the salt that saves America.

— Dr. David Jeremiah

San Diego, California

June 2016

Hat tip: David Jeremiah.org – “People Are Asking: Is This The End?”

Hat tips to all links.

Scripture Dispels Deception!

May 8, 2015

Had another three days of bliss!  Why?  Because I wasn’t able to watch TV! I was busy helping my daughter and her husband unpack boxes after their move into a new home.  However, I did check my email on my phone each evening and I found myself reading various articles, blogs, and opinions in comment threads about Pam Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” event in Texas.  As many readers probably already know, two jihadists attempted to shoot up the conference near the end of the event, but both were shot and killed by a security officer hired by the event team.  Knowing about the killings that happened in France at the Charlie Hebdo offices, who could blame the event organizers for hiring extra security? As it turned out, it was a good thing they did!

I have been amazed at the various opinions floating around regarding just who is REALLY at fault for the shootings.  Most of the liberals are blaming Pam Geller for putting on an “offensive” conference with the challenge to draw Muhammad. The best drawing would earn the artist a prize of $10,000.  I often wonder…who provided that cash prize?  Is Geller independently wealthy or what?  Perhaps donations to her organization are plentiful?

Three days ago, I did see and hear some clips of Pam Geller appearing on several different news stations and news analysis shows.  Typically, the liberals blamed the free speech messenger (Geller) while the conservatives supported her First Amendment right to hold such a conference and contest.

When I first heard about this “draw Muhammad” contest, I knew it would not only be deemed controversial, but I also thought that it would draw [no pun intended] in some crazed Islamic jihadist to “defend” the sharia law tenet that those who insult the prophet of Islam deserve death.

Now, Ms. Geller has a fatwa against her.  From what I have read at her blog, Atlas Shrugged/Pam Geller, she has had death threats against her for years.  She must have LOTS of protection around her in order for her to continue on in her quest to share the truth about radical Islam and their “death to infidels” intentions here in America and around the world.

This evening, I heard some of what O’Reilly opined about the incident.  He seemed to think that Jesus would not have sanctioned such an event.  My first question…how does he know this?  My second question, didn’t Jesus challenge the Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin by what he did in the Temple court (turning over the tables of the money-changers) as well as when he told the truth about who He was when asked if he is the Son of God?  In both cases, death threats were levied against Him.  However, Jesus escaped several attempts against him until he laid down His own life of His own accord for the purpose of forgiveness of sins. His followers were to be bestowed with mercy, grace, love, healing, and redemption through the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

Bottom line?

Islam’s “god” and “prophet” want followers to die for him!

While our one and only True God of the Bible – Yahweh (also called Elohim, which is plural and represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) – sent His Son to die for us for the remission of our sins!

Bill O’Reilly, longtime host of “The O’Reilly Factor” can be a real blowhard sometimes!  He often does not “get things right” whenever he writes about and/or speaks about Jesus Christ.  The film based on O’Reilly’s book contained a portrayal of Jesus as not really knowing who He was at certain parts of His ministry.  How could such an idea be possible?  Answer:  it can’t be possible because Jesus knew His mission here on this earth from eternity past and eternity future! The moment Jesus began teaching in the Temple at age 12 (when his parents had to come and look for him), we know that upon finding him in the Temple, Mary and Joseph asked him why he did this. He replied, “didn’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Personally, I thought that it was a mistake to cast a Muslim in the role of Jesus [in the “Killing Jesus” movie]. After all, Muslims do not see Jesus as the Son of God – they see Him as just another “prophet,” but not as great as Islam’s prophet. They even claim that it was Judas who was crucified on the cross – not Jesus! No wonder the Muslim actor portrayed Christ in a way that made it seem like he didn’t know exactly who he was – precisely because Muslims do not regard Jesus as the Son of God anyway!

Sorry for straying a bit from the topic at hand, but this example of O’Reilly painting Christ as someone who didn’t know his purpose while “going through the motions” of his ministry was, quite frankly, a hideous and ignorant mistake!

Geller and her conference attendees did indeed stir up a hornet’s nest amongst the radical Islamists with her blatant free speech conference and challenge to draw Muhammad. It wasn’t anything that I would be interested in doing and I certainly would not be interested in attending such a conference. However, I support her right to defend our First Amendment free speech rights in the manner that she sees fit…especially because it drew a LOT of attention to the crux of the matter…that creeping Muslim sharia law is already happening here in America!

Too many people are complacent about what it means and how dangerous it is now.  It will continue to grow – like a cancer –  in the future if people continue to keep their heads in the sand and their mouths shut out of fear!

The left wants to promote the false narrative that Islam is a “religion of peace” when the truth of the matter is staring us right in the face EVERY DAY! Radical Islam is a conquering political movement that masquerades as a “religion.”

One of Pam Geller’s organizational goals is to expose the truth about radical Islam – even when people don’t want to believe what she and her group are exposing! We have another case of “see no evil,” “speak no evil,” and “hear no evil” when it comes to the truth about this jihadist movement!

Why is that?

I think it has to do with conscientious stupidity, manipulation of the masses, deceiving spirits, and sincere ignorance! When people do not know the truth of the Bible, they can easily fall for the taqiyya lies being used to spread radical Islamic sharia law under the guise of “tolerance” for a “religion” that has been built up through one lie upon another lie (and millions of deaths!) over hundreds of years! Who in their right mind (the operative words!) would ever fall for such deception?

Scripture dispels deception!

2Th 2:9

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

2Th 2:10

and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2Th 2:11

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

2Th 2:12

that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2Th 2:13

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,

2Th 2:14

to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Th 2:15

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

2Th 2:16

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,

2Th 2:17

comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

Hat tips to all links.

So Great is His Love for Those Who Fear Him

April 27, 2015

This is one of the most loved Bible verses from the Old Testament.  I see it all the time on the blogs of Christian writers.

Skeptics might view that verse in a totally different way from how believers in Christ see it.  They may think, “why would anyone think that the God of the Bible is a God of love because we are to “fear” Him?”  It is a good question, actually, and one that I will attempt to answer in this post.

When you look up the term “fear” as it is used in Psalm 103:11, we learn that the root Hebrew word [yare’]means both “to frighten – affright, be (make) afraid, dread” as well as “fear (be had) in reverence.”

When we look up the term “reverence” in the dictionary and view the word origin and history, we find:

Word Origin and History for rev-er-ence

n.

late 13c., from Old French reverence “respect, awe,” from Latin reverentia “awe, respect,” from revereri “to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere,” from re-, intensive prefix (see re- ), + vereri “stand in awe of, fear,” from PIE *wer- “to be or become aware of, perceive, watch out for” (cf. Old English wær “aware, cautious;” see wary ).
v.

late 14c., “treat with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to,” from reverence (n.). Related: Reverenced ; reverencing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid (or, at least tried to hide) themselves from God because they now feared Him (the “frightened,” “dreaded” kind of fear).

Prior to The Fall, the relationship between God and the first man and woman was one of “treat with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to,” from reverence.”

Today, we have the free-will choice to either remain “afraid of God,” or to “treat [Him] with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to,” from reverence.”

God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the bridge between sinful man and Holy God.

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and proceeded to indwell the apostles.

Recall that most of them ran away (except John, Mary M. and Mary the mother of Jesus)  out of fear for their earthly lives  when Christ was crucified!  Thomas doubted that Christ had been risen and wanted proof by seeing Him, and putting his fingers into the nail scars on Jesus’ hands and at his side.

So what changed them so drastically that they feared no more and steadfastly spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to 3,000 in one day?

Answer:  The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit – promised by Jesus Christ!

Read the account about the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

Dreaded fear became the more positive reverent fear in the name of Jesus Christ!

And this happens to this very day when we repent of our sins and accept Christ as Lord and Savior in our lives; thus inviting Him into our hearts through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit!

Where do YOU stand with God?

In Christ’s service,

Christine

*******

How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…

The Relationship Between Genuine Love and Free Agency

January 26, 2015

Found a great website called Please Convince Me.com and a You tube site called, “Please Convince Me.”  One of the many videos that are listed there is the one below which discusses “The Problem of Moral Evil.”  I thought that the points made were terrific and biblical!  This brief, five minute video explains why the choice to love also needs the free will choice not to love.

Cold Case Christianity asks:

Many people believe that the presence of moral evil in the world proves an all-powerful, all-loving God simply doesn’t exist, but there may be a relationship between genuine love and free agency requiring the possibility of evil. If this is true, what role does God play in the story of humanity and how will justice be served?

Hat tips:

Cold Case Christianity

Please Convince Me videos.

Truth 2 Freedom blog


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