10/30/11

The Great Divide...


After church I came home and had a nice cup of coffee and as usual turned on the TV to Fox News Sunday.  Much of their content I had heard before until it came to Herman Cain.  If I understood them correctly, the 9-9-9 tax plan has now been changed to 9-0-9.  Which, of course is good news for the middle class (zero percent is better than nine).  So, when I sat down to do today's blog, this picture stood out from the rest because it shows what is really happening in America.  Even when I was young, the old adage: "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" was true, but NOW, ITS REALLY TRUE!!!  There is an ever shrinking middle class, with more and more and more and more of the population being either very, very poor or excessively rich.  As this progresses, there will be demonstrations and more demonstrations, that will continually become more violent.  Bad NEWS!!  Dangerous NEWS!!  Scary NEWS!!!  However, it does raise a question in my mind: Are the rich in America BETTER than the poor?  Is the divide becoming bigger because the rich are BETTER PEOPLE??  Then I thought of this passage from the New Testament...

WEB: Acts Chapter 10
[34] Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; [35] but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him. [36] The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all— [37] you yourselves know what happened, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; [38] even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. [39] We are witnesses of everything he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they also killed, hanging him on a tree. [40] God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed, [41] not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. [42] He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that this is he who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead. [43] All the prophets testify about him, that through his name everyone who believes in him will receive remission of sins.”

The answer to the question if the rich are really better is a resounding NO!!!!  In Christ, all are equal, outside Christ, all are in a very, very, great danger! Oh, there will be a great divide, but it will be in the afterlife, but take heart, we all have a choice of where we will be when we die.  Make the right one, be with God beginning today.  Choose the right side of the great divide and live.

Gary

PS. I will be posting Mark Copeland's executable outlines studies from now on and would appreciate any comments you may wish to make.  The first series will be on "Life and Death".  Hope you enjoy it.

OT Bible Reading 10/30


Oct. 30
Isaiah 13-16

Isa 13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw:
Isa 13:2 Set up a banner on the bare mountain! Lift up your voice to them! Wave your hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
Isa 13:3 I have commanded my consecrated ones; yes, I have called my mighty men for my anger, even my proudly exulting ones.
Isa 13:4 The noise of a multitude is in the mountains, as of a great people; the noise of an uproar of the kingdoms of the nations gathered together! Yahweh of Armies is mustering the army for the battle.
Isa 13:5 They come from a far country, from the uttermost part of heaven, even Yahweh, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
Isa 13:6 Wail; for the day of Yahweh is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
Isa 13:7 Therefore all hands will be feeble, and everyone's heart will melt.
Isa 13:8 They will be dismayed. Pangs and sorrows will seize them. They will be in pain like a woman in labor. They will look in amazement one at another. Their faces will be faces of flame.
Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of Yahweh comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger; to make the land a desolation, and to destroy its sinners out of it.
Isa 13:10 For the stars of the sky and its constellations will not give their light. The sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.
Isa 13:11 I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity. I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will humble the haughtiness of the terrible.
Isa 13:12 I will make people more rare than fine gold, even a person than the pure gold of Ophir.
Isa 13:13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place in the wrath of Yahweh of Armies, and in the day of his fierce anger.
Isa 13:14 It will happen that like a a hunted gazelle, and like sheep that no one gathers, they will each turn to their own people, and will each flee to their own land.
Isa 13:15 Everyone who is found will be thrust through. Everyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
Isa 13:16 Their infants also will be dashed in pieces before their eyes. Their houses will be ransacked, and their wives raped.
Isa 13:17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not value silver, and as for gold, they will not delight in it.
Isa 13:18 Their bows will dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb. Their eyes will not spare children.
Isa 13:19 Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isa 13:20 It will never be inhabited, neither will it be lived in from generation to generation. The Arabian will not pitch a tent there, neither will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.
Isa 13:21 But wild animals of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of jackals. Ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will frolic there.
Isa 13:22 Wolves will cry in their castles, and jackals in the pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged.
Isa 14:1 For Yahweh will have compassion on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land. The foreigner will join himself with them, and they will unite with the house of Jacob.
Isa 14:2 The peoples will take them, and bring them to their place. The house of Israel will possess them in Yahweh's land for servants and for handmaids. They will take as captives those whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
Isa 14:3 It will happen in the day that Yahweh will give you rest from your sorrow, from your trouble, and from the hard service in which you were made to serve,
Isa 14:4 that you will take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, "How the oppressor has ceased! The golden city has ceased!"
Isa 14:5 Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,
Isa 14:6 who struck the peoples in wrath with a continual stroke, who ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained.
Isa 14:7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet. They break out song.
Isa 14:8 Yes, the fir trees rejoice with you, with the cedars of Lebanon, saying, "Since you are humbled, no lumberjack has come up against us."
Isa 14:9 Sheol from beneath has moved for you to meet you at your coming. It stirs up the dead for you, even all the rulers of the earth. It has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
Isa 14:10 They all will answer and ask you, "Have you also become as weak as we are? Have you become like us?"
Isa 14:11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, with the sound of your stringed instruments. Maggots are spread out under you, and worms cover you.
Isa 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, who laid the nations low!
Isa 14:13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend into heaven! I will exalt my throne above the stars of God! I will sit on the mountain of assembly, in the far north!
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds! I will make myself like the Most High!"
Isa 14:15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit.
Isa 14:16 Those who see you will stare at you. They will ponder you, saying, "Is this the man who made the earth to tremble, who shook kingdoms;
Isa 14:17 who made the world like a wilderness, and overthrew its cities; who didn't release his prisoners to their home?"
Isa 14:18 All the kings of the nations, sleep in glory, everyone in his own house.
Isa 14:19 But you are cast away from your tomb like an abominable branch, clothed with the slain, who are thrust through with the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit; like a dead body trodden under foot.
Isa 14:20 You will not join them in burial, because you have destroyed your land. You have killed your people. The seed of evildoers will not be named forever.
Isa 14:21 Prepare for slaughter of his children because of the iniquity of their fathers, that they not rise up and possess the earth, and fill the surface of the world with cities.
Isa 14:22 "I will rise up against them," says Yahweh of Armies, "and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son's son," says Yahweh.
Isa 14:23 "I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and pools of water. I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says Yahweh of Armies.
Isa 14:24 Yahweh of Armies has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so shall it happen; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
Isa 14:25 that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and tread him under foot on my mountains. Then his yoke will leave them, and his burden leave their shoulders.
Isa 14:26 This is the plan that is determined for the whole earth. This is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
Isa 14:27 For Yahweh of Armies has planned, and who can stop it? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?"
Isa 14:28 This burden was in the year that king Ahaz died.
Isa 14:29 Don't rejoice, O Philistia, all of you, because the rod that struck you is broken; for out of the serpent's root an adder will emerge, and his fruit will be a fiery flying serpent.
Isa 14:30 The firstborn of the poor will eat, and the needy will lie down in safety; and I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant will be killed.
Isa 14:31 Howl, gate! Cry, city! You are melted away, Philistia, all of you; for smoke comes out of the north, and there is no straggler in his ranks.
Isa 14:32 What will they answer the messengers of the nation? That Yahweh has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of his people will take refuge.
Isa 15:1 The burden of Moab: for in a night, Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to nothing; for in a night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to nothing.
Isa 15:2 They have gone up to Bayith, and to Dibon, to the high places, to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and over Medeba. Baldness is on all of their heads. Every beard is cut off.
Isa 15:3 In their streets, they dress themselves in sackcloth. In their streets and on their housetops, everyone wails, weeping abundantly.
Isa 15:4 Heshbon cries out with Elealeh. Their voice is heard even to Jahaz. Therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud. Their souls tremble within them.
Isa 15:5 My heart cries out for Moab! Her nobles flee to Zoar, to Eglath Shelishiyah; for they go up by the ascent of Luhith with weeping; for in the way of Horonaim, they raise up a cry of destruction.
Isa 15:6 For the waters of Nimrim will be desolate; for the grass has withered away, the tender grass fails, there is no green thing.
Isa 15:7 Therefore they will carry away the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have stored up, over the brook of the willows.
Isa 15:8 For the cry has gone around the borders of Moab; its wailing to Eglaim, and its wailing to Beer Elim.
Isa 15:9 For the waters of Dimon are full of blood; for I will bring yet more on Dimon, a lion on those of Moab who escape, and on the remnant of the land.
Isa 16:1 Send the lambs for the ruler of the land from Selah to the wilderness, to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
Isa 16:2 For it will be that as wandering birds, as a scattered nest, so will the daughters of Moab be at the fords of the Arnon.
Isa 16:3 Give counsel! Execute justice! Make your shade like the night in the midst of the noonday! Hide the outcasts! Don't betray the fugitive!
Isa 16:4 Let my outcasts dwell with you! As for Moab, be a hiding place for him from the face of the destroyer. For the extortioner is brought to nothing. Destruction ceases. The oppressors are consumed out of the land.
Isa 16:5 A throne will be established in loving kindness. One will sit on it in truth, in the tent of David, judging, seeking justice, and swift to do righteousness.
Isa 16:6 We have heard of the pride of Moab, that he is very proud; even of his arrogance, his pride, and his wrath. His boastings are nothing.
Isa 16:7 Therefore Moab will wail for Moab. Everyone will wail. You will mourn for the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth, utterly stricken.
Isa 16:8 For the fields of Heshbon languish with the vine of Sibmah. The lords of the nations have broken down its choice branches, which reached even to Jazer, which wandered into the wilderness. Its shoots were spread abroad. They passed over the sea.
Isa 16:9 Therefore I will weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vine of Sibmah. I will water you with my tears, Heshbon, and Elealeh: for on your summer fruits and on your harvest the battle shout has fallen.
Isa 16:10 Gladness is taken away, and joy out of the fruitful field; and in the vineyards there will be no singing, neither joyful noise. Nobody will tread out wine in the presses. I have made the shouting stop.
Isa 16:11 Therefore my heart sounds like a harp for Moab, and my inward parts for Kir Heres.
Isa 16:12 It will happen that when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, and comes to his sanctuary to pray, that he will not prevail.
Isa 16:13 This is the word that Yahweh spoke concerning Moab in time past.
Isa 16:14 But now Yahweh has spoken, saying, "Within three years, as a worker bound by contract would count them, the glory of Moab shall be brought into contempt, with all his great multitude; and the remnant will be very small and feeble."

NT Bible Readin 10/30


Oct. 30
2 Thessalonians 2

2Th 2:1 Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him, we ask you
2Th 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by letter as from us, saying that the day of Christ had come.
2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God.
2Th 2:5 Don't you remember that, when I was still with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and destroy by the manifestation of his coming;
2Th 2:9 even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn't receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 Because of this, God sends them a working of error, that they should believe a lie;
2Th 2:12 that they all might be judged who didn't believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;
2Th 2:14 to which he called you through our Good News, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter.
2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,
2Th 2:17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work and word.

Life after Death: Mark Copeland

Mark has consented to my posting his studies from executableoutlines.com.  I hope you enjoy them!!  Please feel free to make any constructive comments you desire.

Gary



Mark A. Copeland

Life After Death
 
What Is The Value Of Such A Study?
INTRODUCTION
1. Mankind has long been fascinated with the subject of life after death
2. Such fascination has given rise to such things as:
a. Interest in the occult
b. Speculation concerning the timing and events surrounding the return of Jesus Christ
3. It has also created much confusion among those who are Christians, who have every reason to look
forward to the future with certainty and great expectation
4. Though the Bible has much to say about what will occur after death and in the future, many have not
studied the Bible carefully on this subject
a. Their knowledge may be limited to what they have heard or seen on religious TV and radio
programs
b. Or their understanding may be based upon a point of view that is taught by their religion's creed,
rather than the Bible itself
5. It is my prayer that this series of lessons on "Life After Death" may help increase our
understanding on what the Bible itself actually teaches on the subject
[In this lesson, I wish to answer the question, "What is the value of such a study?" But first, it may
help to define a couple of terms...]
I. DEFINITION OF TERMS
A. ESCHATOLOGY...
1. The systematic study of that which the Bible has revealed regarding the future is called
"eschatology"
2. The term comes from two words...
a. eschatos - meaning "last things"
b. logos - meaning "word" or "discourse"
3. Therefore, eschatology is a discourse or study about the last things
B. INDIVIDUAL ESCHATOLOGY vs. GENERAL ESCHATOLOGY...
1. The field of "eschatology" can be divided into two general areas
2. Individual eschatology...
a. Pertains to what happens to the individual between death and the final return of Christ
b. Otherwise known as the "intermediate state"
3. General eschatology...
a. Pertains to what will happen when and after Christ's final coming
Life After Death
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Mark A. Copeland
b. This relates to what we might call our "eternal destiny"
4. In this series of lessons, we will consider both fields of eschatology...
a. Beginning with "individual" eschatology
b. Because for much of mankind, their death precedes the coming of Christ
[But what is the value of such a study, besides answering our curiosity? Is such a study really practical?
Consider, then...]
II. THE VALUE OF SUCH A STUDY
A. IT ENCOURAGES US TO SO LIVE THAT THE BLESSINGS WILL BE OURS...
1. The Lord has promised wonderful blessing to those who endure - Ja 1:12
2. It is entirely proper for the believer to seek whatever blessings God has prepared for the
righteous - 1 Pe 3:8-12
B. IT FURNISHES A STIMULUS AND A THEME FOR EVANGELISM...
1. Knowing what lay ahead for sinful mankind motivated Paul to preach - 2 Co 5:10-11
2. It should also motivate sinners to obey - Ac 17:30; Mt 16:24-27
C. IT HELPS ONE TO ANSWER INQUIRERS, AND TO QUIET DECEIVERS...
1. Many are sincerely interested, and we should be able to give them the correct teaching
- 1 Pe 3:15
2. But there are many bent on teaching their false doctrine, and we should be able to refute
them - Ti 1:9-11
D. IT HELPS TO STIMULATE PRAYER...
1. The importance of prayer to the Christian can never be overemphasized - cf. Lk 18:1-8
2. Meditating upon the "end times" can stimulate serious and watchful prayer - 1 Pe 4:7
E. IT CAN STRENGTHEN LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER...
1. Read carefully 1 Pe 4:7-10
2. Increasing our understanding for what awaits the faithful can spur greater devotion and
service to one another (cf. Mt 25:31-46)
3. That service in turn strengthens our love for one another!
F. IT CAN CAUSE MORE GLORY TO BE GIVEN TO GOD...
1. Note carefully Ro 2:4, where we learn the goodness of God leads men to repent
2. The more we learn of God's goodness which He has prepared for those who love and obey
Him, the more we (and others) will repent...resulting in the glory of God - cf. 1 Pe 4:11
G. IT CAN INCREASE INCENTIVE TO BE STEADFAST IN THE FAITH...
1. Consider 1 Pe 5:8-9
2. The more we strengthen the inner conviction...
a. That hell is real
b. That it is Satan's sinister purpose to devour as many people as possible
...the more incentive we will have to remain steadfast in the faith!
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Mark A. Copeland
CONCLUSION
1. Far from being an impractical subject of study, the truths concerning the "last things" can be of
inestimable value to our present life
2. As John wrote, our hope in the One Who is coming, and what that means for us, can help to
"purify" ourselves - cf. 1 Jn 3:2-3
In our next study, we shall begin looking at individual eschatology by examining different attitudes
held towards death itself...
Life After Death