Sunday, August 21, 2016

War And The People Of The Book

The term “people of the book” refers to Jews and Christians who believe and understand that the Bible is the inspired word of God. Each generation of bible adherents both Jew and Christian has experienced personal attacks against their beliefs and in many cases their persons. Currently unbelievers have been embracing a delusional mindset concerning righteousness wherein good is called evil and that which is evil is called good. 

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. (Jude 17 - 19) 

All throughout the Western nations Jews and Christians are coming under violent verbal and physical attacks and are being murdered for their faith by the emissaries of Satan, while national leaders are paying obeisance to the will of Anti-Christ and his Satanically inspired armies and murderous minions.

"And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine" - (Revelation 6: 8)

Politicians that mistakingly assume they can placate this insidious threat by soft peddling their responses are delusional and their beliefs are suicidal and a direct result of their own humanistic godlessness and misunderstanding of the machinations and dynamics at play in the world today. Because of that the economies of these formerly great nations are failing, infrastructure collapsing, the quality of life waning with much less abundance than in former times. All this is attributable to a direct affront to the will of God. Women clamoring for the legal right to murder their unborn children, men wanting to become women and women wanting to become men, corporate greed and avarice abounding, hatred and loathing of others without cause, every man’s hand on his neighbor’s throat over petty arguments. The nations are about to be judged but it may still be possible to turn God’s judgment away by doing three things; turn from all unrighteousness, call on God, elect upright leaders willing to acknowledge the truth and deal with the problems at hand and deal harshly with the nation’s enemies. 

God said: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name 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. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” 
(2 Chronicles 7: 13 - 15)

It is the will of God that we turn to Him and humbly pray in behalf of the nation and it’s leaders. Also in his admonition to Christians the apostle Paul offers advice concerning what each of our attitudes should be while facing the onset of possibly great adversity in these times: 

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6: 10 - 18)

God has prepared beforehand a final plan for the enemies of Christ who refuse to acknowledge the truth and continue in their evil ways.

For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven other persons, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomor′rah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the wicked (for by what that righteous man saw and heard as he lived among them, he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment. 2 Peter 2: 4 - 9)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What Is Real Faith?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval.” (Hebrews 11: 1 -2)

This is the biblical definition of faith, a concept that is often difficult for human beings to grasp because it entails believing in that which can’t be seen, touched, felt or physically examined, it is ethereal. For faith to be authentic it calls for trust coupled with action consistent with the will of God. Without it men of old would not have been moved to action and thus would not have received divine approval.

By faith Noah believed God and built an arc in spite of the fact that there was no water present and it had not begun to rain, he received approval from God and his family was saved from the flood. (Genesis 6)

By faith Abraham gathered wood for a fire and was prepared to sacrifice Isaac his only son from Sarah in blind obedience to God. It was a foreshadowing of God’s sacrifice of His only Son on a cross of wood, and by it Abraham received divine approval (Genesis 22)

The bible is replete with acts of men and women who by faith responded to the will of God. One of those was known as “The Good Samaritan”.
Though his name is not mentioned and is unknown, God knows him well. In a parable Jesus commented about the Samaritan’s faithfulness to the will of God by his compassionate response to the desperate needs of a total stranger he didn’t even know. Here is that story:

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” 
(Luke 10: 25 - 37)

What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. (James 2: 14 - 26)

Here is God’s only requirement for true believers that calls for obedience.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13: 34 - 35) 

“So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10: 32 - 33)

Jesus commands us to be faithful to His calling and responsive to His will. We do not acknowledge Him and deny Him when we fail to be responsive to the only commandment given to us as believers in Christ. When we see a fellow sinner who is seeking the forgiveness of God with a repentant and contrite heart and we look the other way rather than to try to help make them whole, we are denying the love of Christ who saved us.

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:25)