3/19/14

From Jim McGuiggan... ANGUISH OR PERSONAL AGENDAS


ANGUISH OR PERSONAL AGENDAS

There are those who take issue with many biblical texts out of anguish and there are those who dismiss or sideline biblical texts because they have personal or church agendas in mind.

Why would we think it strange if sensitive and passionate people (men and women) take issue with OT (or NT) texts that give the males all the breaks while females are thrown away like used-up pieces of equipment or swapped like possessions the males are tired of? Why would we think it strange that anguished people are appalled at God ordering Joshua to kill even the babies in certain cities? [Especially in light of the fact that today when warring government apologize for killing non-combatant adults much less innocent children.] How can we be surprised that those who live, generation after generation, under oppressive and brutal governments rage when they hear that people should submit to those governments and their orders? [It’s easy enough to quote 1 Peter 2 and Romans 13 when you live in a democracy that permits you to protest and march in the streets. Try that in many parts of the world and see what happens. Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 have a different ring to them in a host of nations.] It doesn’t surprise me that women who have had the blood beaten out of them regularly for years by cruel husbands wonder at texts that (seem to) say they must remain in the marriage and not divorce these brutes. [Especially when many church leaders say they can’t become Christians unless they go back to the brutes; that is, if they had the temerity to divorce them in the first place.]

Anyone who can’t understand this anguish and protest needs his/her eyes opened to both life and scripture. And what’s more—these people who hotly protest under these circumstances force us to look at biblical texts and give them more than a surface reading. They do us a profound service when they force us to look at “the big picture” presented in Scripture and examine these specific texts in the light of the “big picture” and the God who gave it to us.

I’m absolutely certain that while God doesn’t approve of arrogance or insolence that is used to prove our faith is “authentic”—[you've heard the shallow nonsense, “If you don't scream insults at God the way Job did your faith isn’t authentic”]—I’m absolutely certain God would rather have a Job raging against Him for apparent injustice than a grovelling sycophant who crawls in his presence.

These anguished protesters we can applaud but those who though they’re at ease dismiss or sideline plain scripture because they’ve adopted a personal or congregational agenda and vision—they’re another story! In such cases there is no anguish, nothing that appals them or leaves them restless some nights; no, they have their personal agendas and whatever (or whoever or however many) gets in their way they’ll simply dismiss. What matters is their “vision” or “dream” (click here) or the success of their programmes and everything else goes to the wall—because they are the ones who have the power and call all the shots.

From Mark Copeland... Faith That Pleases God (Hebrews 11:1-7)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                    Faith That Pleases God (11:1-7)

INTRODUCTION

1. A key concern in this epistle is that Christians remain strong in
   "faith"...
   a. There is the danger of developing "a heart of unbelief" - He 3:12
   b. It was the lack of faith that destroyed Israel in the wilderness
      - He 3:16-19

2. In chapter ten, we saw...
   a. An exhortation to "draw near with a true heart in full assurance
      of faith" - He 10:22
   b. An admonition to have that faith which endures to the end - He 10:35-39; cf. 6:11-12

3. But one might ask...
   a. What is this "faith" which leads "to the saving of the soul"?
   b. How does this faith manifest itself in the lives of those who 
      possess it?

4. In chapter eleven, we find the answer to such questions...
   a. With a definition of faith - He 11:1
   b. With a mention of how necessary faith is to please God - He 11:6
   c. With examples of Old Testament saints who demonstrated saving
      faith - He 11:3-40

[In this lesson, we shall focus our attention on the first seven verses
as we examine the "Faith That Pleases God". In verses 1-3, we see...]

I. FAITH EXPLAINED (1-3)

   A. FAITH IS "CONFIDENCE" AND "CONVICTION"...
      1. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for..." (NKJV)
         a. The Greek word translated "substance" is hupostasis 
            {hoop-os'-tas-is}
         b. Literally, it means "to stand under", i.e., to be a 
            foundation
         c. As translated in He 3:14, it means "confidence"; i.e., firm
            trust, assurance
         d. Other translations illustrate that the main idea is 
            "confidence"...
            1) "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for..." (NIV)
            2) "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for..."
               (NRSV, NASB)
      2. "...the evidence of things not seen." (NKJV)
         a. The Greek word translated "evidence" is elegchos 
            {el'-eng-khos}
         b. It means "conviction"
         c. How other versions translate this phrase...
            1) "certain of what we do not see." (NIV)
            2) "the conviction of things not seen." (NRSV, NASB)

   B. PERTAINING TO THINGS "HOPED FOR" AND "NOT SEEN"...
      1. Faith is confidence about things hoped for, such as...
         a. The coming of our Lord - Tit 2:13
         b. The resurrection of the dead - Ac 24:15
         -- It was this kind of confidence possessed by the OT saints 
            that pleased God - He 11:2
      2. Faith is conviction about things we have not seen, such as...
         a. The existence of God: "whom no man has seen or can see,"
            - 1Ti 6:16
         b. How the world began: "the worlds were framed by the word of
            God" - He 11:3
         -- Yet faith is that strong conviction that such matters are 
            true

[As expressed in verse 2, the "elders obtained a good testimony"
because of their faith.  The rest of the chapter is filled with 
illustrations of the faith possessed by these "elders". The first three
mentioned were "antediluvians" (living before the flood), and in them 
we see...]

II. FAITH EXEMPLIFIED (4-5,7)

   A. THE TESTIMONY OF ABEL ("FAITH WORSHIPPING")...
      1. By faith he "offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than 
         Cain" - He 11:4
         a. The reference is to Gen 4:3-5
            1) Cain's offering was "of the fruit of the ground"
            2) Abel's offering was "of the firstborn of his flock and
               of their fat."
            3) It is said the Lord "respected" Abel's offering, but not
               Cain's
         b. Why did God respect Abel's offering, but not Cain's?
            1) It may have been that God had specified an animal 
               sacrifice
            2) It may be Cain offered "left-overs", while Abel offered
               his best (the firstborn)
            3) Cain's attitude may have been wrong; he certainly showed
               himself prone to display envy and hatred, capable of 
               murder!
            4) Perhaps most likely, Abel offered his with "faith" while
               Cain did not
      2. Through faith Abel "obtained witness that he was righteous" 
         - He 11:4
         a. God certainly testified of his righteousness in showing 
            respect to his offering
         b. Jesus also bore witness to the righteousness of Abel - Mt 23:35
         c. The apostle John also - 1Jn 3:12
      3. Through his faith, "he being dead still speaks" - He 11:4
         a. His example of faith was written for our learning - Ro 15:4
         b. His example of faith continues to warn us in regards to 
            worshipping God

   B. THE TESTIMONY OF ENOCH ("FAITH WALKING")...
      1. By his faith, Enoch "was translated so that he did not see 
         death" - He 11:5
         a. The historical reference alluded to is Gen 5:21-24
         b. Like Elijah, he did not experience death - cf. 2Ki 2:1-11
      2. His faith was such that "he pleased God" - He 11:5
         a. What God found pleasing is that he "walked with God" - Gen 5:21,24
         b. His example of faith illustrates the value of walking with
            God throughout life

   C. THE TESTIMONY OF NOAH ("FAITH WORKING")...
      1. By faith Noah. "moved with godly fear" - He 11:7
         a. The scriptural background is Gen 6:1-22
         b. God warned him about "things not seen" (cf. He 11:1); 
            i.e., the coming flood
         c. His confidence (faith) in what God said would happen 
            prompted him to act with reverence toward God
      2. By faith Noah "prepared an ark for the saving of his 
         household" - He 11:7
         a. His faith moved him to do "according to all that God
            commanded him" - Gen 6:22; 7:5
         b. Through such faith working, Noah...
            1) "condemned the world"
               a) His own example of faithfulness stood in stark 
                  contrast to others
               b) His obedience magnified the lack of obedience in 
                  others
               -- Just as Nineveh will condemn those who did not listen
                  to Jesus - Mt 12:41
            2) "became heir of the righteousness which is according to
               faith"
               a) He received the standing of being right in God's eyes
               b) It was his faith that so pleased God!
            3) Demonstrated that faith and works are not necessarily
               contrary to one another - cf. Ga 5:6; Jm 2:14-26

[From the examples of these "antediluvian" saints we learn that the
faith is a strong conviction that "worships" God properly, "walks" with
Him in life, and "works" as He directs.

That such faith is necessary to please God is evident as we go back to 
verse six and notice...]

III. FAITH EMPHASIZED (6)

   A. WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD...
      1. We have seen how Abel, Enoch, and Noah "obtained a good
         testimony" by their faith
      2. Of Enoch in particular it is said "he pleased God" - He 11:5
      3. Whether we are "worshipping", "walking", or "working", faith 
         must be the motivating factor behind it all
      -- Without faith, then, there is nothing we can do that will 
         please God!

   B. THE FAITH WHICH PLEASES GOD...
      1. Includes conviction "that believes that God is"
         a. We must believe there is a God, and He is the God of the 
            Bible
         b. Though we do not see Him, we have conviction in "things not
            seen" - He 11:1b
      2. Includes confidence "that He is a rewarder of those who 
         diligently seek Him"
         a. We must believe that God acts on the part of those seek 
            after Him - cf. 1Ch 28:9; 2Ch 16:9
         b. It is regarding such "things hoped for", that we must have
            confidence - He 11:1a
      -- Such was the faith seen in the lives of Abel, Enoch, and Noah;
         one might ask, how do we develop such faith today...?

   C. HOW SAVING FAITH IS DEVELOPED...
      1. It is not the result of "credulity"
         a. A common misconception is that faith is "blind"
         b. That there is no logic or reason to faith, one simply
            "believes"
      2. But faith as described in the Bible is the result of 
         "evidence"!
         a. Faith in God is the result of evidence provided via 
            creation - Ro 1:20; Ps 19:1
         b. Faith in Jesus is the result of evidence provided via 
            revelation - Jn 20:30-31
         -- Certainly the "antediluvian" saints had such evidence, 
            including God speaking to them directly!
      3. Today, faith comes "by hearing the word of God" - Ro 10:17
         a. The word of God presents evidence to believe in God and 
            Jesus
         b. Such as fulfilled prophecy, eyewitness testimony, etc.
         -- Through God's word, we can develop the kind of faith 
            (conviction) which pleases God! - cf. Ro 15:4

CONCLUSION

1. The faith which leads "to the saving of the soul" is one that 
   includes...
   a. A strong conviction that God is
   b. A strong confidence that He will reward those who diligently seek
      Him

2. It is the same kind of faith that we see in...
   a. Abel, in how he worshipped God
   b. Enoch, in how he walked with God
   c. Noah, in how he worked for God

3. Do you have that same kind of faith today?
   a. If you don't, let the Word of God create such faith in you...
      1) It can produce faith in the existence of God!
      2) It can produce faith in Jesus as His Son who died for you!
   b. If you do, then let it affect the manner in which you...
      1) Worship God
      2) Walk with God
      3) Work for God
      -- As revealed through His Son Jesus Christ

With the right kind of faith, we can have the assurance that...

   * God is pleased

   * We are heirs "of the righteousness which is according to faith"

   * We too will one day "obtain a good testimony"!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading March 19






Bible Reading   

March 19

The World English Bible



Mar. 19
Exodus 32, 33

Exo 32:1 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him."
Exo 32:2 Aaron said to them, "Take off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me."
Exo 32:3 All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
Exo 32:4 He received what they handed him, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said, "These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt."
Exo 32:5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to Yahweh."
Exo 32:6 They rose up early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
Exo 32:7 Yahweh spoke to Moses, "Go, get down; for your people, who you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves!
Exo 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, 'These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 32:9 Yahweh said to Moses, "I have seen these people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people.
Exo 32:10 Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation."
Exo 32:11 Moses begged Yahweh his God, and said, "Yahweh, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
Exo 32:12 Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, 'He brought them forth for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?' Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people.
Exo 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.' "
Exo 32:14 Yahweh repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people.
Exo 32:15 Moses turned, and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand; tablets that were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other they were written.
Exo 32:16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tables.
Exo 32:17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is the noise of war in the camp."
Exo 32:18 He said, "It isn't the voice of those who shout for victory, neither is it the voice of those who cry for being overcome; but the noise of those who sing that I hear."
Exo 32:19 It happened, as soon as he came near to the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing: and Moses' anger grew hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mountain.
Exo 32:20 He took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, ground it to powder, and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
Exo 32:21 Moses said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you, that you have brought a great sin on them?"
Exo 32:22 Aaron said, "Don't let the anger of my lord grow hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil.
Exo 32:23 For they said to me, 'Make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him.'
Exo 32:24 I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them take it off:' so they gave it to me; and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."
Exo 32:25 When Moses saw that the people had broken loose, (for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies),
Exo 32:26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on Yahweh's side, come to me!" All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
Exo 32:27 He said to them, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, 'Every man put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.' "
Exo 32:28 The sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
Exo 32:29 Moses said, "Consecrate yourselves today to Yahweh, yes, every man against his son, and against his brother; that he may bestow on you a blessing this day."
Exo 32:30 It happened on the next day, that Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. Now I will go up to Yahweh. Perhaps I shall make atonement for your sin."
Exo 32:31 Moses returned to Yahweh, and said, "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made themselves gods of gold.
Exo 32:32 Yet now, if you will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out of your book which you have written."
Exo 32:33 Yahweh said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Exo 32:34 Now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin."
Exo 32:35 Yahweh struck the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
Exo 33:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, "Depart, go up from here, you and the people that you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your seed.'
Exo 33:2 I will send an angel before you; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
Exo 33:3 to a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of you, for you are a stiff-necked people, lest I consume you in the way."
Exo 33:4 When the people heard this evil news, they mourned: and no one put on his jewelry.
Exo 33:5 Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell the children of Israel, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go up into your midst for one moment, I would consume you. Therefore now take off your jewelry from you, that I may know what to do to you.' "
Exo 33:6 The children of Israel stripped themselves of their jewelry from Mount Horeb onward.
Exo 33:7 Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp, and he called it "The Tent of Meeting." It happened that everyone who sought Yahweh went out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp.
Exo 33:8 It happened that when Moses went out to the Tent, that all the people rose up, and stood, everyone at their tent door, and watched Moses, until he had gone into the Tent.
Exo 33:9 It happened, when Moses entered into the Tent, that the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door of the Tent, and spoke with Moses.
Exo 33:10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the door of the Tent, and all the people rose up and worshiped, everyone at their tent door.
Exo 33:11 Yahweh spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. He turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, didn't depart out of the Tent.
Exo 33:12 Moses said to Yahweh, "Behold, you tell me, 'Bring up this people:' and you haven't let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.'
Exo 33:13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you, so that I may find favor in your sight: and consider that this nation is your people."
Exo 33:14 He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Exo 33:15 He said to him, "If your presence doesn't go with me, don't carry us up from here.
Exo 33:16 For how would people know that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Isn't it in that you go with us, so that we are separated, I and your people, from all the people who are on the surface of the earth?"
Exo 33:17 Yahweh said to Moses, "I will do this thing also that you have spoken; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."
Exo 33:18 He said, "Please show me your glory."
Exo 33:19 He said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."
Exo 33:20 He said, "You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live."
Exo 33:21 Yahweh also said, "Behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock.
Exo 33:22 It will happen, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by;
Exo 33:23 then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back; but my face shall not be seen."

 
Mar. 19, 20
Mark 12

Mar 12:1 He began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country.
Mar 12:2 When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard.
Mar 12:3 They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty.
Mar 12:4 Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated.
Mar 12:5 Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some.
Mar 12:6 Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
Mar 12:7 But those farmers said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'
Mar 12:8 They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
Mar 12:9 What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others.
Mar 12:10 Haven't you even read this Scripture: 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner.
Mar 12:11 This was from the Lord, it is marvelous in our eyes'?"
Mar 12:12 They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away.
Mar 12:13 They sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words.
Mar 12:14 When they had come, they asked him, "Teacher, we know that you are honest, and don't defer to anyone; for you aren't partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
Mar 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give?" But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why do you test me? Bring me a denarius, that I may see it."
Mar 12:16 They brought it. He said to them, "Whose is this image and inscription?" They said to him, "Caesar's."
Mar 12:17 Jesus answered them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." They marveled greatly at him.
Mar 12:18 There came to him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. They asked him, saying,
Mar 12:19 "Teacher, Moses wrote to us, 'If a man's brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.'
Mar 12:20 There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring.
Mar 12:21 The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise;
Mar 12:22 and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died.
Mar 12:23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife."
Mar 12:24 Jesus answered them, "Isn't this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God?
Mar 12:25 For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Mar 12:26 But about the dead, that they are raised; haven't you read in the book of Moses, about the Bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
Mar 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken."
Mar 12:28 One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the greatest of all?"
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, "The greatest is, 'Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one:
Mar 12:30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 The second is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Mar 12:32 The scribe said to him, "Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he,
Mar 12:33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Mar 12:34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." No one dared ask him any question after that.
Mar 12:35 Jesus responded, as he taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?
Mar 12:36 For David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet." '
Mar 12:37 Therefore David himself calls him Lord, so how can he be his son?" The common people heard him gladly.
Mar 12:38 In his teaching he said to them, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces,
Mar 12:39 and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts:
Mar 12:40 those who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."
Mar 12:41 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much.
Mar 12:42 A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, which equal a quadrans coin.
Mar 12:43 He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury,
Mar 12:44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on."

From Gary... As the world turns...



(click on either "The Equinox" or the web link below it to view)

Somehow, it is strange the way things seem to just come together when I write this blog.  First, there is the advertisement for the new movie called Noah. Then, we just happen to be studying the book of Second Peter at church and finally, there is today's picture on nasa.gov.. Well, I haven't seen the movie "Noah", but I hear that it differs from the Biblical account, but the promo certainly looks interesting. And the book of Second Peter is interesting for a variety of reasons, foremost among them is that I just haven't studied it in a long time. And then there is today's NASA picture about the equinox. When I viewed the video and saw the shifting terminator, dividing day and night, I was reminded that this Earth has been around a long, long time, but will not be here forever.  Putting all this together with the passages listed below, I thought...

Genesis, Chapter 8
 20  Noah built an altar to Yahweh, and took of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  21 Yahweh smelled the pleasant aroma. Yahweh said in his heart, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake because the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again strike every living thing, as I have done.  22 While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.” 
2nd Peter, Chapter 3
1 This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you;  2 that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior:  3 knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts,  4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”  5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God;  6 by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished 7 But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  8 But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  11 Therefore since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness,  12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Just because we have not seen the end of all things, does NOT MEAN THAT IT ISN'T COMING!!!  Scoffers will belittle God and his word. Disbelievers will do what they have to do, but as for me- verse 13 above is God's word on the subject and that settles that!!!!

Believe or don't believe, you have the right to choose, but remember, God delivered Noah because he OBEYED HIM. Everyone else made the WRONG CHOICE and did not survive!!! I pray that you will follow in the footsteps of NOAH and obey when God's word instructs you to do something!!!  Now is the time, today is the day to do something with your life- and Gary- THIS MEANS YOU AS WELL!!!!