Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Jesus On The Problem of Evil – Stand To Reason

June 1, 2018

This morning, I read a very hard-hitting essay over at Truth 2 Freedom’s blog regarding the problem of evil in this world.

[Note: Scroll down past the long introduction to read the post]

This problem can often be used by those who don’t believe in Jesus as an excuse, or even the ultimate reason to be an atheist or agnostic in their individual personal beliefs regarding Jesus and God the Father.

Several months ago, a young man (who is not a Christian) attended church with our family.  The pastor had pointed out this portion of Scripture during the sermon:

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 17:9“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?*

After the service, our guest complained that such a thing can’t be true of everyone, and he objected to the pastor using that Scripture to make his point.

Well, I sympathized with our guest over the harshness of that verse. No one wants to think of their own “heart as deceitful” or “desperately wicked.” To cool the fire of his objection, I shared the next verse with him:

Jer 17:10
I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.**

The LORD searches our hearts!  So, it DOES MATTER what we hold in our hearts, what we think in our minds, and what we do during our lifetime on this earth!

From Truth 2 Freedom’s blog:

In Luke 13:1–5, we have Jesus’ clearest teaching on the problem of evil:[1]

Jesus’ answer to the problem of evil is that all fallen, unregenerate sinners born in Adam are worthy of death. Whether we die by murder, accident, or disease isn’t anything more than we deserve. It is only by God’s grace that anyone is saved, and it is only by God’s mercy that anyone is kept alive.

What implications does this have for Christian apologetics? At least three:

First, it means that Christian apologists need to take the consequences of sin and the reality of human depravity seriously when addressing the problem of evil.

Second, when addressing the problem of evil, Christian apologists need to present a theodicy that minimally includes the biblical teaching of original sin and human depravity. Why God allows evil won’t make sense unless we have the problem of sin clearly before us.

The subject of sin is vital knowledge…. If you have not learned about sin, you cannot understand yourself, or your fellow-men, or the world you live in, or the Christian faith. And you will not be able to make head or tail of the Bible. For the Bible is an exposition of God’s answer to the problem of human sin and unless you have that problem clearly before you, you will keep missing the point of what it says.

The same is true for the problem of evil. The subject of sin is essential because in raising the problem of evil, the skeptic must put forth an anthropodicy (justification of man) by arguing that man is “basically good” and God is unjust for allowing the suffering and evil He does. In response, the theist must show these assumptions to be false and, in their place, put forth a theodicy (justification of God) that includes evidencing the depths of human depravity and arguing that God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing the evil that He does. Until we clearly articulate and defend the gravity of sin as well as the universal corruption and guilt of humankind, many of our answers to the problem of evil will largely remain unpersuasive.[4]

Third, the present moral and natural evils we see are appropriate segues into our need to practice and preach repentance in light of the final eschatological judgment. Those who experience such evils are not any more deserving. Rather, these disasters serve as warnings to all of us that final disaster awaits everyone who remains hardhearted and unrepentant. Clay Jones concludes,

So when disaster strikes, let us not wring our hands over the mysterious ways of God but encourage everyone to reflect on their sinful and doomed state in hopes that some will escape the Final Disaster that awaits the ultimately unrepentant.

Hat tips to all links.

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* Portion of a Commentary by David Guzik

3. (Jer 17:9-10) The folly of trusting one’s own heart.

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

a. The heart is deceitful above all things: To this point the Prophet Jeremiah has given some reason to be cautious about the inclinations and direction of the heart. He noted how the evil heart of the people of Judah had led them astray.
· Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart (Jeremiah 11:8) · They prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart (Jeremiah 14:14) · Each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me (Jeremiah 16:12)
b. The heart is deceitful above all things: Our hearts often deceive us, presenting heart-fulfillment as the key to happiness. What we desire is often not what we need. The advice “be true to your heart” fails when the heart is deceitful above all things.

i. “In the OT usage the heart signifies the total inner being and includes reason. From the heart come action and will.” (Feinberg)

ii. “The pravity and perversity of the man’s heart, full of harlotry and creature confidence, deceiving and being deceived, is here plainly and plentifully described; and oh that it were duly and deeply considered.” (Trapp)

c. And desperately wicked: The heart is not only deceitful, but also wicked – and desperately so. Many have been led to rebellion, disobedience, and great sorrow by following their heart, without challenging their heart and judging it by the measure of God’s truth. “Follow your heart” is poor advice when the heart is desperately wicked.

i. The sense of the Hebrew for desperately wicked seems to have sickness more than depravity in mind. “Unregenerate human nature is in a desperate condition without divine grace, described by the term gravely ill in verse 9 (RSV desperately corrupt, NEB desperately sick).” (Harrison)

d. Who can know it? The heart’s deceit and wickedness are advanced enough that even the individual may not know or understand their own heart, and outsiders have even more difficulty in discerning the heart of others.

** Portion of a Commentary by David Guzik:

e. I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind: Though knowing the heart of one’s self or others is difficult and sometimes impossible, God searches, tests, and knows the heart and mind. It is wise to trust what God says about us more than what we think or feel about ourselves.

i. I test the mind: “A second word is here set in parallel to heart, literally, ‘kidneys’, hidden depths. These, Yahweh assays or ‘tests’…the two terms ‘heart’ and ‘kidneys’ cover the range of hidden elements in man’s character and personality. Nothing is hidden from Yahweh.” (Thomspon)

ii. “The Lord is called by his apostles, Acts 1:24, kardiognwsthv, the Knower of the heart. To him alone can this epithet be applied; and it is from him alone that we can derive that instruction by which we can in any measure know ourselves.” (Clarke)

f. Even to give to every man according to his ways: Because God perfectly knows the heart and mind of man His judgment is true. God knows to what extent the heart either justifies or condemns the doings of a man or woman.

In his commentary, Mr. Guzik includes:

1. 4. (Jer 17:11) The folly of trusting in riches.

2. 5. (Jer 17:12-13) The folly of failing to trust in the God of all glory.

3. 1. (Jer 17:14-17) A prayer for deliverance and defense.

Ultimately, we all need to pray a prayer for deliverance and defense!

David Guzik writes:

a. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: In contrast to the foolish people of Judah who trusted in man, in their own heart, or in riches, Jeremiah looked to Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel. Jeremiah was confident that healing or salvation from the Lord would be true healing, true rescue.

i. It’s hard to say if the healing Jeremiah cried out for was literal or spiritual in nature, and in the bigger picture it doesn’t really matter. Either need is real, and God’s ability to heal both our physical and spiritual need is true and proven.

b. You are my praise: Even in his need of healing and salvation, Jeremiah could praise God, even making God Himself his praise. Though in pride others demanded an immediate revelation of God and His power, Jeremiah was willing to wait and trust in the Lord.

c. As for me: In a series of brief statements, Jeremiah defended and justified his ministry before God. He did this to contrast himself with those who demanded God bring immediate revelation and resolution.

· I have not hurried away from being a shepherd that follows You: Jeremiah was confident in his pursuit of God’s call on his life.

· Nor have I desired the woeful day: Jeremiah spoke much of the judgment to come, but he did not desire it. It was a painful message for him to deliver.

· You know what came out of my lips: Jeremiah could appeal to God as the One who heard and judged his message, seeing that it really was faithful to the voice and the heart of God.

· You are my hope in the day of doom: Jeremiah proclaimed his trust and hope in God alone, not in the folly of most of the people of Judah.

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How Were People Saved Before Christ?

May 16, 2018

That is a good question.  Through Bible study, I have learned that people who believed in God the Father in the Old Testament also knew that one day the Messiah would appear and save them.  So, was it the faith that they had about the coming Messiah that saved them?  The people written about in the Old Testament, as well as the writers who were carried along by the Spirit of God, had the choice to believe in God or reject His existence.  When Moses came down from the mountain with the 10 Commandments, the people then knew what the Law says and they were encouraged to follow it.  Some were more successful than others, but the truth is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Did following the Law save them?  Was it looking forward in faith to the coming of the Messiah that saved them?

Via Truth 2 Freedom’s blog, I found a great essay written by J. Warner Wallace at Cold Case Christianity.com.

Excerpt:

Unfortunately, the Old Testament saints were just as incapable of following the Ten Commandments as we are today. God provided them with the Law and recognized they would constantly break it. For this reason, He also provided them with an elaborate sacrificial system (to remind them of their shortcomings and the penalty for their continuing sin) and the promise of a Savior. Like us, the Old Testament saints were not saved by their adherence to the Law. They were saved by the grace of God through their faith in the Savior, even though this Savior was only a promise at the time.

They Knew About Grace
These early believers listened closely to the words of God as they were revealed by the prophets and the Scripture. As a result, they understood the nature of grace. David, for example, wrote about God’s forgiveness and grace (Psalm 32:1-5) and Paul later told us that David understood that “God reckons righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:6-8). All the Old Testament heroes of faith recognized their good works could not save them (read Hebrews 11:13). Even Isaiah knew his “goodness” wasn’t “good enough” (Isaiah 64:6) and that animal sacrifices weren’t going to ultimately please a Holy and perfect God (Psalm 40:6).

They Knew a Messiah was Coming
With the limited knowledge of God given to them at the time, the Old Testament saints understood God would have to do something dramatic to save them. They placed their faith in the coming Savior who was described from the earliest of times. God told Adam and Eve one of their descendants would eventually defeat Satan (Genesis 3:15), and Abraham understood God would provide a sacrifice for sin, just as God provided the substitutionary sacrifice to replace Isaac (Genesis 22:8, Romans 4:3 John 8:56). Job had a similar expectation and hope for a Redeemer (Job 19:25-26), and Moses also expected and believed in the coming Messiah and the reward of Salvation (Hebrews 11:26, John 5:46). Many other Old Testament prophets and wise men spoke about the coming Savior. Enoch, for example, even talked about the second coming of the Messiah (Jude 14)! Old Testament prophets clearly described where the Messiah would be born (Micah 5:2), how He would be betrayed (Zechariah 11:12), how He would die (Isaiah 53:5), and how He would be resurrected (Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 26:19).

Old Testament saints understood their imperfect works would not unite them to a perfect God. They looked forward to the work of a flawless Messiah who would be “pierced through for our transgressions”, “crushed for our iniquities” and chastened “for our well-being” so that “by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Those who understood and accepted the truth about grace and the coming Messiah were saved on the basis of their faith. The Savior has now appeared and His name is Jesus. We have today what the Old Testament saints only anticipated. Jesus is, as He always was, the Messiah and the only way to the Father.

Hat tips to both links.

Genuine Forgiveness Includes Reconciliation

March 2, 2018

A mother who has been suffering through a sudden estrangement situation with her son told me that his “break up with his parents” letter included the following comment:

“I forgive you, but I can’t be around it anymore.” 

According to the letter the mom had received, his grievances included perceived “unhealthy communication” and “crossing boundaries,” plus “convictions” regarding grievances which had never been shared with the parents while growing up.  But now, they have “come to light” and were included without much explanation in the letter written.  The son has ignored the pleas of his mother to at least talk it out, or even see a counselor together in order to understand the son’s convictions and grievances; some of which she has no idea in what he’s talking about.

The entire family has been suffering with grief over this for the past four months.  They don’t know whether or not this young man will ever come around and be willing to talk with them or see them again.  It’s a very sad situation!  This young man even wrote to his own sister and in a separate email message where he basically made her choose which side she and her husband were on; his or their parents!

I’m not trained as a counselor and I don’t claim to have all the answers to such a situation.  However, when I see human problems from a biblical perspective (which is something that, as Christians, we should always strive to do), I like to share it here at this blog in the hope that what is written might help someone who is suffering in an estrangement situation.

Forgiveness is Divine.

No wonder it has been said that, “forgiveness is Divine.”  Isn’t it so true that it is often very difficult for us imperfect and sinful human beings to forgive?  But when one forgives another, it is like a huge weight has been lifted off of the heart, soul and mind.  It releases all of that pain, resentment, and rage that once plagued us.  It’s difficult to explain, but when it happens in your life, you know it!

The second (and most important) action that follows forgiveness is reconciliation.  Without reconciliation, the term “forgiveness” is hollow and meaningless.  Man can still claim to forgive, but holding a grudge and refusing to return towards a relationship with one who has been forgiven demonstrates that there is still contempt, dislike, or maybe even hatred for the person (people) that one claims that they have forgiven.  Holding a grudge eats away at one’s heart, soul, spirit and mind!

Christians should not live that way.  They should not hold grudges or have contempt for those that they have loved before, claimed to have forgiven for a simple trespass, yet refuse to participate in a path towards reconciliation.

Our Model, in this respect, is Jesus Christ Himself.  Even when He was being crucified on the cross, (a most painful and excruciating form of punishment that leads to death) He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”  When Jesus died for our sins – the sins of all mankind – He was buried in a guarded tomb.  However, death could not hold Him down and after fulfilling His purpose on this earth, He rose on the third day.  Yes!  His glorious resurrection had a crucial purpose.  Those who would believe in Him and the reason why He died for our sins would join in with the joyous purpose of being reconciled back unto God!

Without the goal of reconciliation, the entire purpose of forgiveness of our sins would be meaningless, wouldn’t it?

If Jesus had listened to and obeyed the man in the crowd at Calvary who yelled, “if you are truly the Son of God, come down from that cross and save yourself,” then the entire purpose for which He was sent and born into this world would have been lost!  Jesus would have ended up going back to the Father, but He would have entered back into heaven alone, for all of eternity.  The offer and goal of salvation for mankind would have been lost.

Only the sinless Son of God could have (and did!) accomplish the plan of forgiveness, reconciliation, and salvation for all who would believe in Him!

Jesus is the bridge that crosses the deep cavern that exists between sinful man and Holy God!  Without reconciliation in this manner, what good is there in forgiveness?  Answer:  it would be hollow, to say the least, and not a soul saving type of forgiveness.

This serves as a model for human relationships and the need to follow Christ’s lead towards forgiving one another.  Without reconciliation, it is hollow at its core.

God bless and may you find peace in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ,

~  Christine

Dan 9:24 – “Seventy weeks[fn] are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of[fn] sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

*******

Rom 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 – Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Rom 5:10 – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Rom 5:11 – And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

*******

2 Cor 5:18 – Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Cor 5:19 – that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Cor 5:20 – Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
2 Cor 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

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Update

Also see:

Truth 2 Freedom: March 2 The Godhead Forever One

What Photos Can’t Show

July 6, 2017

 

One of the first photographs ever taken (1839) was of an American photographer taking a picture of himself–perhaps history’s first “selfie.”  Fast forward to today, there are tens of millions of selfies posted on social media sites around the world every year.  Many of the pictures record events and relationships.  But far too many are of individuals taking images of themselves alone–the “Look at me!” variety of selfie.

The problem with any picture, selfie or otherwise, is that it only records what is on the outside.  The camera has yet to be invented (and never will be) that can photograph the spiritual status of the heart, soul, or mind.  And that is the part of us God is most concerned about.  When Samuel was sent to anoint Israel’s new king, God told him not to anoint a man who looked like a king.  Instead, he was to anoint a man who had the heart of a king, a heart after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Those viewing your photos can’t see your heart, but God can.  Make sure He finds in you a heart that is pursuing Him.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Dr. David Jeremiah, Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017

Quote:

A man’s heart is what he is.

~ R.B. Kuiper

This particular devotional really stood out to me when I first read it, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

As a Christian, I have instinctively known that much of the ills, sins, hatred, rebellion, and crimes of humans stem from a “heart” issue.  I’m talking about the spiritual state of humans as they go about their everyday lives.  Why are some humans prone to do such evil?  Why are others prone to sexually abuse?  Why are others prone to spew hatred?  Why are others prone to commit murder?

All of these terrible situations are ultimately derived from heart/spiritual problems.

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

Readers might be thinking, “no…not MY heart!  I’m good!  Well, most of the time.”  No one wants to admit the obvious!  Jeremiah 17:9 is truth, and we all must face that fact.

Fortunately, Jeremiah doesn’t end with verse 9.  In verse 10, the prophet explains:

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

When a person is “after God’s own heart,” he/she is much less likely to do evil.  I’m not saying such people are perfect (for, no one is – “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”) however, when Jesus enters into a man or woman and indwells his or her heart through the power of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual strength that we had lacked here-to-fore becomes stronger with Christ “at the wheel” of our journey.  Such a process is called “sanctification” and it is a life-long journey.  We can never completely arrive as “sanctified” until we are at home in Heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Knowing that Jesus Christ took the punishment that every human being who has ever lived deserved; and that confessing and repenting of such sins and asking Jesus to indwell our hearts through the Holy Spirit saves us from spiritual death, why would anyone want to reject the Gospel message?

Jer 17:14

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.

Hat tips:
Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017
Blue Letter Bible
Graphics links

The Supremacy of Christ and Your Map for Life

May 10, 2017

This post is the follow-up to my previous post entitled The Serpent’s Old Lie in an Updated Package. I suggest reading that link first.

In today’s world of “political correctness,” the title of this post would be frowned upon by those who hold to relativism – especially moral relativism. As was stated in my previous post, many people don’t like the thought of absolutes; especially when it comes to moral absolutes. They don’t like to be told what is sin and what is holy and the truth. This is one of the big reasons why Christianity, in general, and those who hold to biblical Christian faith are chastised, mocked, ridiculed, called bad names, targeted by those who don’t agree with them, and told to “just shut up and keep your religion to yourself.”

This is not new. The early churches (such as the church in Colossae) needed encouragement from the Apostle Paul, and to be assured of the preeminence of Christ. Why? Because almost immediately, those who hated and disagreed with believers in the resurrected Christ tried to squelch the spread of their faith. This is even more prevalent today! And, it’s currently a really sad state of affairs here in America.

The important thing to remember, however, is that we were told throughout Scripture that this would happen. The naysayers would attempt to belittle our faith and downplay its significance, not only here in America but around the world.  Their goal is to attack the Gospel message and those who share it.

Whenever the raging voices in the media of mass deception continue to spread lies and propaganda because they don’t like what is happening in our current government, I am reminded that administrations will come and go…but the Word of God stands forever!

In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul requests that the people “may be filled with the knowledge of His will.”

Dr. David Jeremiah’s Bible notes tell us:

The rest of the passage describes its result in the believer’s life (4:12). Knowledge alone is never enough. God’s Word must change one’s life and pattern of thinking (Romans 12:2); James 3:13), literally filling the believer’s life and motivating every area of his or her being (Phil. 1:27). Sometimes Christians fail to live by the will and Word of God because they fall prey to false teaching; others fail through neglect, neither reading the Word nor applying it.

That last paragraph describes why there are so many “Christians” who can support leftist causes (i.e. abortion, homosexual behavior and “marriage”, transgender issues, Islamism, radicalism on any and every issue, etc.) while ignoring God’s Will and His Word. The anti-Christian groups may celebrate them and their misplaced ideology, but the question remains, are they truly reconciled in Christ? To support such issues (and, often the violence that accompanies such “causes”) shows that their Christian walk is off, their work is misplaced, their wisdom  has not come from God, and probably their worship is misplaced as well.

Here’s one example.  When I see how committed and virulent abortion advocates are to their “cause” it’s unbelievable to me!  How can anyone justify killing a baby in a mother’s womb?  Yet, there are women and men who claim to be “Christians” who place the “woman’s right to choose” above the life of that innocent baby in the womb.  It’s unconscionable to me!  How could anyone be so hard-hearted?  What’s more, their attitude towards those who hold to the pro-life position is absolutely poisonous!  They are intensely bitter, violently hostile, and malicious in their verbal attacks against Christians who believe that life begins at the moment of conception.

Why are they like that?

I think that it has to do with fear.  The fear that this so-called “right” will one day be taken away.  It’s also a huge money-making deal for those in the industry, so the fear of losing millions of dollars must have a lot to do with it, too.  To them, it’s a “business” and they must not be in the least mindful of the killing of a human being in the womb.

Dr. Jeremiah writes in his Colossians 1:9,10 Bible notes:

The will of God and the wisdom of God are inseparably linked with saturation in the Word of God (Psalms 1:1, 2).  Godly wisdom is gained by studying His Word, spiritual understanding is how his children discern His will.  Both wisdom and understanding are gifts of the Spirit (spiritual); they do not come from a unspiritual or “fleshly” mind (2:18).  Such spiritual knowledge provides insight into God’s will.  However, no one can anticipate the will of a stranger.  Christians who long to discern the will of God discover it in their growing knowledge of who God is and what He wants (Ephesians 5:17; 2 Peter 3:18).

So, being unspiritual and fleshly in the mind can lead a person to think nothing of killing a baby in the womb; not to mention making money off of the horrible procedure.

The abortion issue is just one example of the unspiritual and fleshly minds of those who have not been truly born again in Jesus Christ.

Just for the record, the sin of abortion can be forgiven just like any other sin, at the foot of the Cross of Christ.

Norma McCorvey (the plaintiff in Roe vs. Wade trial that disastrously legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973) had a tragic life as she got caught up in the culture wars.  But she died in Christ through conversion from her past sins into salvation in the Lord Jesus.  She was an example (extreme one, to say the least!)  of persevering in stress, despite so many haters clamoring around her because of her conversion to pro-life beliefs through her conversion to Jesus Christ.

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

When believers please the Lord constantly, that is their Christian walk (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 4:1).  When they produce fruit consistently, that is their Christian work.  When they progress in knowledge continually, that is their Christian wisdom

When they persevere in stress cheerfully, that is their Christian welfare (2 Corinthians 8:2).  When they praise God correctly, that is their Christian worship.  The better a person knows God and His Word, the better he or she knows what is pleasing to Him – a knowledge that becomes second nature, producing confidence by discerning God’s will rather than fear.  This knowledge produces fruitful character, conduct, conversation, and contributions (giving of resources).  It also increases becoming a part of who they are.  They no longer rely solely on experience; they progress in their understanding of God as they progress in their understanding of His Word (2 Peter 3:18).  People who take God’s Word seriously don’t just read it to see what it says; they make it a map for life so they can learn what to do–then they do it.

I like that phrase!  They make it a “map for life.”

The book of Colossians is just one of many of the books of the Bible that answers the age-old questions of “why am I here?” and “what is the meaning of life?”  It also gives us direction regarding “what am I supposed to be doing in this life?”

Colossians 3:1-4 reiterates to “2 Set your (our) mind(s) on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

Dr. Jeremiah’s notes:

Christ’s death enables Christians to die to their old life and makes their new life secure (John 10:28, 29; Galatians 2:20).  Through Jesus, God has placed a double lock on the security of their lives –nothing can harm them, for His followers are in Christ and Christ is in God.  A Christian’s true identity and purpose in life are hidden with Christ, so people outside of Christ will not understand the believer’s motivations and goals.

Paul has covered every phase of life:  God’s people have been raised with Christ in the past.  They are hidden with Him in the present, and they will appear with Him in the future.  They may be hidden now, but they will not be hidden forever.  Scripture points to the One who can supply everything their hope expects.  This is every Christian’s destiny with Christ.

The Serpent’s Old Lie in an Updated Package

May 9, 2017

Yesterday I was going through the headlines on my blog reading list when suddenly, boom! the electricity in our house shut off.  As I temporarily sat in the darkness that surrounded me at my computer, I thought, “oh no…not again!”

Power outages seems to happen on our block several times a year so my husband bought a gas generator to keep the refrigerator and freezer going until it comes back on.  He contacted the utilities company and was told that it was a “planned power outage” cable  replacement in our area.  We should have received a notice about this.  Well, the notice was sitting in my husband’s mail inbox!  It would have been nice to have known about the outage ahead of time, but we made the best of the situation.

I started reading my Bible by flashlight and was drawn to the book of Colossians.  It sparked some insight into my mind which will be discussed in my next post.  Today, I need to “set the stage” so to speak, in exactly why my study in Colossians had such a profound impact on me.

The contrast of what is in that particular book of the Bible compared to what is going on in our society (often for the purpose of countering biblical Christianity) these days will become quite obvious.

When I compare the truth of Scripture with the lies being spread in the news, through haters in Hollyweird, the Democratic party (which voted God out of their political platform years ago), and the minions of “splinter groups” that are raging today (often paid to do this!)…it is obvious to me that demonic influence abounds!   They are all derived by men and women who have been influenced by the lies of that serpent of old that we read about in Genesis and elsewhere in the Bible.  You will vividly see how the nefarious ideas, deeds, and plans of such individuals have been derived from what Jesus named as the enemy of our souls who comes to lie, steal, kill and destroy.

Jhn 10:10

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

See Romans 1

1Jo 1:6

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Previously, I had been reading a book entitled, “So What’s The Difference” by Fritz Ridenour.  In the past, I had the habit of skipping over the cults and false religions pages, but this time I wanted to read the details about Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Age, and many others that are briefly, but succinctly detailed in the book.  When I got to the New Age section, it can be hard to define because of its far-reaching claims, lack of formal structure and organization and it’s adherents being interested in “hoping to transform society by bringing about reawakening that will emphasize self-discovery, spiritual growth and enlightenment.”  The truth is, New Age thinking isn’t really new because it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden where the serpent asked Eve if God really said that she couldn’t eat from that tree (see Genesis 3:1-5).

It was interesting to read about the “founder” of New Age, Alice Bailey.  New Agers have their own definition of God, find “salvation” in themselves, use “channeling” (the New Age version of contacting spirits), often believe in reincarnation, believe in syncretism (all religions lead to the same place), and many are into the plan for a worldwide government led by one great leader.

Shirley McLaine was a high-powered NAM (New Age Movement) adherent with great media exposure due to her “star” status in Hollyweird.  She lied in her book, claiming that the Fifth Ecumenical Council struck down the idea of reincarnation from the Bible.  Author Fritz Ridenour said it well when he wrote:

Contrary to New Age thinking, the Bible overwhelmingly teaches resurrection, not reincarnation (see Psalms 49:15, John 5:25; 6:40; 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).  New Agers like to think they have all kinds of time to “get it right” as they progress toward some kind of self-induced salvation.  The Bible clearly says you get one chance and after that comes the judgment (see Hebrews 9:27).

Much of today’s “progressive movement and thinking”  is derived from one or many of the errors of the NAM.  They may not call themselves New Agers, but their beliefs certainly line up with the NAM!

Ridenour writes:

Ever since Satan told Eve, “Eat the fruit; become like God Himself,” men and women have been trying to “do it on their own,” or at least with the help of spirits and demons–what Paul calls “the powers of this dark world and … the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12).  It is no coincidence that the Bible firmly forbids contacting spirits or getting in touch with the dead (see Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:10-13).  Other New Age concepts or practices condemned or countered in the Scriptures include:

  •  many gods, goddesses, spirits and demons:  see Gen. 1:1; Exodus 15:11; 20:2-6; Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 45:5,6,21,22.

  •  manipulating or bartering with the spirit world:  see Deut. 13:1-5, 18:9-14; 1 Kings 11:33.

  •  continuing blood sacrifice rituals:  see Hebrews 7:27; 10:10-13; 1 Peter 3:18.

  •  mythological, unhistorical legends:  see 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 12-19; 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Peter 1:16.

  •  secret knowledge only for elite “knowers”:  see John 1:12; 3:16; Colossians 2:8-10; 1 Timothy 2:4.

  •  magic arts, spells, taboos, astrology:  see 2 Kings 17:16-18; Isaiah 47:12-15; Acts 8:9-24.

  •  confusion of identity between the creator and the created:  see 1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 8:1-9; 24:1-10; 89:5-14; Isaiah 40:12-17; 1 Peter 1:24, 25.

  •  ethics and morals derived from humans or the self; no absolutes, everything is relative:  see 1 Kings 8:46; Psalms 51:1-4; 143:2; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 2:14-16; 1 John 1:5-10.

  •  reincarnation:  see Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:27.

  •  salvation by human effort:  see Romans 4:3; Galatians 2:15,16.

  •  picking and choosing among religions:  see Exodus 20:2-5; 23:13; John 1:7-9.

  •  worshipping other gods, especially fertility religions:  see 2 Kings 17:9-12; Jeremiah 2:20; Ezekiel 6:13.

  •  the idea that Christ is optional, only one of many spiritual masters:  see John 14:6-8; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5, 6.

I realize that’s a lot of reading to do, but if you, dear reader, happen to be caught up into any one of these errors, I urge you to find out the truth that is only contained in the Bible!

Ridenour’s book was originally written back in 1967, updated in 1979 and then updated again in 2001.  It is interesting to me that he wrote:

Because the New Age seems to be everywhere and in practically everything, it would seem logical to see all of the NAM as taboo and dangerous.  But there are some things New Agers talk about that Christians can agree with, to a point. (bold, italics mine)  Saving the environment is one.  Trying to end war, terrorism, bigotry and racial and gender discrimination are others.  The New Age solution to these problems, however, is found only in fallen mankind, and that is doomed to a dead end.

That paragraph is almost prophetic!  Now, in 2017 we see such things ratcheted up into such a frenzy that the so-called “solutions” are being used to demonize people who don’t agree with their “methods” to help “solve” such problems!  This is just another “updated package” being spewed through individuals who don’t know God and are (either knowingly or unknowingly) being influenced by the enemy of our souls!

In fact, many are using either the “ostrich mentality” regarding radical Islamic terrorism; while perpetuating bigotry towards people of faith in Christ and biblical Christianity; as well as exploding racial division and gender identity issues to an extreme!  Don’t even get me started on the “man-made global warming (or, is it now just called ‘climate change?’) hysteria” where celebrities and “scientists” often use pollution producing jets to go and lecture us all about carbon dioxide emissions!

Readers, can you now see why biblical Christianity is so extremely hated by the leftists?  They scheme against Christians on all levels and we are often targeted by them through lawsuits meant to impose huge financial fines with the goal of putting Christian business owners out of business.  Through purposely targeting Christians and utilizing phony “discrimination” claims; as well as perpetuating constant violent demonstrations towards speech suppression at universities and spewing hateful rhetoric through late night “comedians” and in the leftist led alphabet news networks, they demean and  trample upon the First Amendment rights of Christians that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

So, what is their ultimate goal?

Could it be to eradicate our beliefs from public, political, social, freedom of conscience/speech/association of thought…and ultimately from existence in our nation?

Notice, also, the FACT that the NAM proponents idea of “syncretism:  all religions lead to the same place” cannot, and does not,  include biblical Christian faith?

They don’t attack the lukewarm churches that agree with the NAM’s agenda, so what are biblically-based Christians supposed to do?

Ridenour writes:

In response to New Age thinking, Christians must have a thorough understanding of their own faith.  To know what God’s Word teaches is imperative.  Even more important is to know the Living Word –His Son–in a personal, vibrant way.  A favorite response of the New Ager to the Christian who tries to point out the absolute truth of the Bible is, “That’s your reality, but it’s not mine.”  Christians can only respond confidently but humbly that, in the end, only one reality will turn out to be real:  Jesus Christ –the only way, the only absolute truth and the only source of life.

Reference:  “So What’s the Difference?” by Fritz Ridenour, Bethany House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2001 pp. 147-159

Next up:  The difference between man-made religion and man’s attempt to find God vs. biblical Christianity which affirms that true faith is the result of God’s successful efforts to reach out to man through the Person of Jesus Christ.

What Matters Most on This Election Day, 2016?

November 8, 2016

One of my first thoughts upon awakening this morning was, “thank God this election season will soon be over!”  In a previous post, I included the following graphic:

It reads:  “Giant Meteor 2016.  Just End It Already.”

I thought it was funny and very apropos for how so many people are feeling after this long, crazy, and vitriolic campaign season!

Secondly, after lifting up prayer to Jesus I was given the thought, “what matters most on this election day?”

People are SO anxious, afraid, sleepless, grief-filled, concerned, and worried about who will win. I can’t say that I blame them, because there is a LOT at stake. The direction that our nation will go depending on who “wins” will be like night and day! There are many good reasons to be highly concerned because the candidates and their party platforms are polar opposites.

There is a battle going on in this nation, and it involves good vs. evil. There are mini battles going on too, especially in regards to Christians and their choice for president.

I now present just one example.

In the comment thread of a former post, a commenter seemed bothered by the fact that certain prominent Christians differ over whether or not to vote for Donald Trump.   It seemed to me that the commenter was pushing the idea onto me that James Dobson is correct to warn others against voting for Trump.

I wrote:

christinewjc Says:

James Dobson has his opinion, but so does another Christian believer, Joel C. Rosenberg.

GMpilot  replied:

GMpilot Says:

Let them fight it out, then. You’re not denying it. That alone is significant.
I’ve made my decision as, I suspect, have you.

My reply:

No need for them to “fight it out.” Both men are born-again Christians, so whether or not one or both are wrong about either candidate does not ultimately affect their salvation. THAT is what is significant, not your opinion or feigned consternation about their voting choice.

We are all sinners. There are none righteous – no not one. We are saved by grace through faith through the shed blood of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. His resurrection to life proves who He is and we can rest in His promises.

Elections come and go. Presidents are elected, then after 4 or 8 years, leave office.

This Billy Graham quote applies more now than when he first said it back on New Year’s Eve, 1975:

I believe that every problem facing us as Americans is basically a spiritual problem. Crime is a spiritual problem. Inflation is a spiritual problem. Corruption is a spiritual problem. Social injustice is a spiritual problem. The lack of will even to defend our freedoms is a spiritual problem.

The damage done by those in positions of power who do not adhere to the commandments of God are egregious and damaging to our people, the nation, and the world.

However, God is still on His throne in heaven and we know where all of this is going.

The good is always there.

The bad and the ugly are in existence for a time, but one day, evil will be swept away.

Galatians (see Galatians 5:16-5:21 below)* tells us how damaging the “lusts of the flesh” are to our souls.  We are told in many places within Scripture of this fact, and it is why Christians, through the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling us, can endure the longsuffering (see Galatians 5:22-5:25 below)** going on in this world.

Why?

Because it isn’t our final home.  We are told in many places within Scripture of this. Many of the most significant Bible verses are those stated by  Jesus, Himself.

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jhn 14:2

“In My Father’s house are many mansions;[fn] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[fn]

Jhn 14:3

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

What this means most of all (e.g. “He has overcome the world”) is that His ultimate plans will not be thwarted; even though the evil ones think they can oppose God’s ultimate purposes.

Despite the evil intent of the God haters, they are (unbeknownst to them) being used to achieve more believers in Christ!

The Gospel continues on, being preached throughout the earth and Christian believers will ultimately be with Jesus in eternity. What goes on here on this earth is insignificant compared to where each of us will spend eternity. Even more important is Who we will be with! Jesus Christ!

Yes, GMpilot. I have made my decision and you have made yours. And, I’m not talking about this particular election.

*******

*Galatians 5:16-5:17

Gal 5:16

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Gal 5:18

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Gal 5:19

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[fn] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

Gal 5:20

idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

Gal 5:21

envy, murders,[fn] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

**Galatians 5:22-25

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Gal 5:24

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Gal 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

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.

Answering Folly

August 11, 2016

In a previous post, my friend Joe from Oil For Your Lamp attempted to inform a commenter with the screen name of GMpilot, that what he spews against the evidence for Jesus Christ in the Scriptures (as well as what is shown through historical, extra-biblical sources) is a matter of a person being “irrational, delusional, and insane.”

Sounds harsh…right?  But after reading what the Bible (and Jesus Himself) says about such persons, we prove the points in Jeremiah 17:9-10.

For clarity, here is the comment written by Joe:

Black3Actual Says:

August 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

CJW: GM’s response to you is why we should hold EVERYTHING he says suspect. He claims Josephus was born some 400 years after Christ Died, HOWEVER, even Wiki knows he lived 37-100 AD (they use CE, but same general thing). This means Josephus was alive and old enough to have had actual discussions with first-hand witnesses.

Furthermore, GM likes to argue that people do not respond to his points, or make spurious replies, yet he has just done the same thing. It does not matter about WHAT Josephus said, it matters that he acknowledged that Christ was a real figure in history, and that his life outside Scripture was generally acknowledged to have been the same as IN the Scriptures. To the intellectually honest, this is called corroborating evidence.

Furthermore, notice how he picks on one narrow aspect of this outside evidence, and only on that evidence which he believes he can ‘interpret’ to his favor. First, he has NO EVIDENCE that anything has been ‘corrupted,’ so — like Franklin — he admits he is only speculating according to his own biases. Second, he ignores the corroborating evidence which is stronger than the one he chose to dissect. ALL of this is fallacious (and if you know that while you are doing it, deceitful) argumentation.

There is MUCH outside evidence to testify that the Scriptures are accurate, and that Christ died and rose again. I bet GM does not even know that the global eclipse and a global earth quake were recorded by at least 3 extra-Biblical sources considered — in their times, anyway — to be “scholars.’ The interesting part of these records is they were recorded in distant geographical regions, and all of them agree — pinning Christ’s death to the year 32-33 AD! This is not only powerful support of the Scriptures but — if it were not connected to the claim that Christ IS God — it would be considered definitive proof. But because people do not want to face the ramifications of acknowledging Christ’s true identity, they deny what would otherwise be counted as FACT!

So, how does one argue with a person who — by their own admission — refuses to acknowledge fact? I mean, by definition, such people are not only irrational, but delusional, which is also defined as insane.

My response:

Joe, you and I both know that no matter what evidence is provided to GM, his purpose here is to ignore it and continue to spew his rhetoric – no matter how irrational, delusional and insane he makes himself appear to be.

I love how God’s Word is filled with answers regarding such people. Proverbs tells us to “answer a fool according to his folly.”

Pro 26:5

Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Yet, Proverbs also tells us to “not answer a fool according to his folly.”

Pro 26:4

Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.

This is godly wisdom that informs us that there will come a time when “answering a fool” becomes too ridiculous to continue to do so. That is where you and I are… regarding GM.

You nailed it when you wrote:

But because people do not want to face the ramifications of acknowledging Christ’s true identity, they deny what would otherwise be counted as FACT!

So, how does one argue with a person who — by their own admission — refuses to acknowledge fact?

Unregenerate man is described in Jeremiah 17:9. Jeremiah 17:10 informs us what happens through the entire lifetime of a man or woman.

1. The LORD searches the heart.
2. He tests the mind.
3. He gives every man according to his ways.
4. According to the fruit of his doings.

If a man or woman’s heart rejects the salvation and regeneration of the heart afforded by Christ, then his/her heart remains deceitful and desperately wicked. Some would object to this because they believe that they are “good.” But the truth about the evil in man is revealed by Christ Himself! That link is only a portion of examples where Christ agrees with the fact that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?!”

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

The Gospel of Christ solves our most deep and desperate need. Jesus said that we must be “born again” of the spirit. There is no other way! Christ IS THE WAY!

Every person’s heart is searched by the LORD. Every person’s mind is tested. Every man – according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doing – will result in reconciliation with God or separation from Him forever in eternity.

What we discuss here is vital! Though many choose to mock it, there will be some, perhaps a remnant, who will heed what is shared and as Jude informs us:

Jde 1:23

but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,[fn] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Jude 1:3-1:16 and 1:17-19 describes those with “deceitful and desperately wicked hearts.” It’s not a pretty picture!

However, the following beautiful verses from Jude instructs us and informs us of what believers in Jesus Christ recognize as being what is in store for us.   Jude’s words teach us what we are to do and  how we can endure what evildoers throw at us in this fallen world:

Jde 1:1

Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
To those who are called, sanctified[fn] by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

Jde 1:2

Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Jde 1:3

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jde 1:20

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Jde 1:21

keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Jde 1:22

And on some have compassion, making a distinction;[fn]

Jde 1:23

but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,[fn] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Jde 1:24

Now to Him who is able to keep you[fn] from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

Jde 1:25

To God our Savior,[fn]
Who alone is wise,[fn]
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,[fn]
Both now and forever.
Amen.

NKJV Footnotes

(1:1)

NU-Text reads beloved.

(1:4)

NU-Text omits God.

(1:12)

NU-Text and M-Text read along.

(1:22)

NU-Text reads who are doubting (or making distinctions).

(1:23)

NU-Text adds and on some have mercy with fear and omits with fear in first clause.

(1:24)

M-Text reads them.

(1:25)

NU-Text reads To the only God our Savior.

(1:25)

NU-Text omits Who . . . is wise and adds Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(1:25)

NU-Text adds Before all time.

B. Franklin Warned About “Keeping Our Republic.”

August 4, 2016

At the birth of our nation, the wise Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Sir, what kind of government have you given us?” He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

After 240 years, we can see why Franklin warned about “keeping our Republic.” He instinctively knew the hearts of men (and probably Scripture) and how the evil that men do… who do not know God, His Word, or Jesus Christ… would eventually work to take this nation in a downward spiral towards its destruction. This is why no “one” man or elected official could ever save us. Only Jesus Christ saves – and no matter what happens in this world (where Jesus said, “you will have trouble (tribulation)”; we know that only He can “fix it” if it be His will.

Our true and genuine hope is not in this world, because we are not of this world. Our true and genuine hope is in Jesus Christ and that through Him we are saved for all eternity!

My blogging friend over at Oil For Your Lamp wrote an interesting essay entitled, Superman’s America Has Been Conquered!

Superman stood for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. But no more!

Excerpt:

This nation has been conquered!

And the American people cheered while they watched it happened!

I look at what is happening in the United States today and I think:

There was a time when the Truth mattered to Americans.  That time is no more!

Today, we watch our leaders and media lie to us every time they open their lips, but we do not care.  We have learned to accept lies as the new normal.

There was a time when Justice mattered to Americans.  That time is no more!

Today, we watch people we know to be guilty tell us they are innocent, but we do not care.  We have learned to accept corruption as the new normal.

There was a time when this nation understood that ‘The American Way’ meant that you did not begrudge others their success: instead, we worked hard and tried to learn from their example so that we could be successful, as well.  That time is no more!

Read it all HERE.

 

I can certainly  see his point!

“Superman’s ideal America” sadly, no longer exists.  The decline started gradually, but has now exponentially tanked our nation into a pit of despair!

The prophecy of Scripture both warns us and informs us about what will happen the closer we get to the end times.  Those who reject God and His Christ have much to fear.

However, those who genuinely belong to Jesus Christ can “take heart…because Jesus has overcome the world!”

We pray that our God will heal our land. We pray:

2Ch 7:14

“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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Even then, the temporal healing is only temporary…and does not compare to the eternal healing that we can experience through being born again in Christ!

I pray that those who do not currently know Jesus Christ (and the salvation He offers to those who repent and confess their sins) will turn to Him and believe in Him before it’s to late.

Read what those who belong to Jesus gain!

Rom 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Rom 8:19

or the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Rom 8:20

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

Rom 8:21

because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Rom 8:22

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Rom 8:23

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Rom 8:24

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

Rom 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Rom 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[fn] with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Rom 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Rom 8:29

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Rom 8:31

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:32

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Rom 8:33

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Rom 8:34

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Rom 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[fn]

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hat tip: Oil For Your Lamp


The Last Refuge

Rag Tag Bunch of Conservative Misfits - Contact Info: TheLastRefuge@reagan.com

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Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

WINTERY KNIGHT

...integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

pastorwardclinton

Pastor Ward Clinton is a pastor in the Church of The Nazarene and author of a handful of books.

GraceLife Blog

Thoughts About God's Amazing Grace

True Discernment

2 Timothy 4:3-4

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

Eternity Matters

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Freedom Is Just Another Word...

Rules?? What Are rules? I don't need no stinking rules!!!

Centinel2012

De Oppresso Liber

The Oil for Your Lamp

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)

Walter Bright

Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.

Know Greater Love

"This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers." - 1 John 3:16

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) KJV

Narrow is The Way Ministries

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14 (KJV)

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

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Truth2Freedom's Blog

The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Obama eligibility, Obama news

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"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

drkatesview

Thoughts on Our Constitutional Republic

We the People of the United States

Fighting the Culture War, One Skirmish at a Time

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

"Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. " -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)

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