1/21/15

From Ed Healy... Freedom!


Freedom!

This article looks to the meaning of freedom we share as Americans and  especially for Christians anywhere because of the true meaning of Freedom.
On each July 4th, America celebrates its Independence, our freedom. Our freedom as a country is very important. I wonder, as Americans, how often do we reflect on our gift of freedom? Yes, freedom is a gift, a gift from God for as long as we live in His righteousness.
I thank God daily that I was born an American! America is, to me, the "Greatest Country" in the world. It is great because it is free. It is the country where peoples from many backgrounds have the same blessings shared like nowhere else. Many do not believe in God. But, I believe we are blessed because many more people in America do believe and, therefore, God blesses America.
There is much about us that endangers our freedom. But perhaps the greatest threat is apathy and indifference to sin. This is a blindness that leads to destruction.
(Proverbs 14:34) Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (NIV)

Jesus dealt with this same kind of condition when He spoke of what true freedom is and where it is. (John 8:30-36) Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him; "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (NIV)
 Our freedom as a country is only for a season, but eternal freedom that really counts is found in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we can insure freedom for our country first by making the people truly free and thereby abolishing the effects of sin upon our freedom as a country.
 As Christians we need to reflect upon our freedom and restore within us the desire to make men truly free. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
"You can tell when you are on
the right road – it’s upgrade."

From Jim McGuiggan... Enter the Dragon (6): Boredom

Enter the Dragon (6): Boredom

"What we call triviality is really the tag-ends of numberless tales; ordinary and unmeaning existence is like ten thousand detective stories mixed up with a spoon."  G.K. Chesterton
    It's part of the Dragon's agenda to fill us with gloom, narrow our horizons and kill our capacity for joy. He wants us trudge through life with a sour disposition, cynical and crabby. He wants us to be old, like himself. G.K. Chesterton was sure that one of the central problems in life is that we have grown old and God has stayed young. We've lost our sense of wonder while God could maybe sit and happily examine an autumn leaf for a million years or so. We aren't able to focus on any one thing for too long because we get bored so quickly and that happens because we can't see the wonder in things. That's part of the reason fashions change so quickly. The dress that's chic today is tomorrow's rag, yesterday's hairstyle is today's ancient history and the "star" on everyone's lips this week is old news a month from now. Flooded with wonders but lacking the capacity for wonder we grow weary and old.
    But you've seen little children discover their toes, haven't you? They'd sit there for three weeks and half a year with big round eyes, pulling at them and watching them wiggle. They've not only discovered a wonder, they possess the capacity for wonder. Chesterton insisted that God is like that and that he sees life through wondering eyes. It is Satan who is dull and cultivates dullness. That's part of the Dragon's agenda.
    Paul (in Acts 17:24-25) says, "The God who made the world and everything in it…he himself gives all men life and everything else." He gives all men life. And what's more, he gives them everything else. What should we say to that? Should we talk dismissively about the life God has given all of us? As Eben Holden said, "God must think purty middlin' well of it if he gives it to everyone" so who are we to talk about it as though it were nothing?
    Jesus made it clear there was more on offer. Here's what he says in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full." The Master doesn't deny that God has already given life to all but he does insist that in him we can have life "to the full". Certainly that has a future aspect which I'll mention in a moment but here and now Jesus Christ deepens our grasp and appreciation of life by deepening our capacity for wonder and joy even if in pain. Even now, with all the pain and loss around and the boredom available, to suffer from an endless case of the blahs means we're not in on the secret. Just today (11-7-07) the news headlines told us that we need multiplied millions of dollars poured into youth entertainment centres—"space designated for teens"—because they were bored and went off into anti-social behaviour and crime. Satan doesn't create Frodos—he manufactures boredom; he doesn't inspire young people with a sense of cosmic adventure; he inspires policy-makers who have no sense of the "war of worlds" and they build entertainment centres (and many churches follow suit).
    Paul was certain that though his outer body was decaying and he was beaten from pillar to post by his enemies, all the while his inner man was gaining strength, was being renewed day by day. And Jesus told his troubled disciples (John 16:33), "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." There's a reality about the Christian life that I'm missing if the only thing that can keep me bright and cheerful is to jet off to faraway places fives times a year, to dance the night away with the bright young things and pop or sniff or drink the latest muck with the beautiful people. If Christ's overcoming the world and ushering in a new creation hasn't made a difference to how I see things it's because I haven't yet grasped what he is about. The world is not the same since he has been here!
     Yes, but isn't there reason to be gloomy? Everywhere you look there they are, lonely-looking houses, derelict buildings, gardens overgrown and out of control, fallen bridges, dust bowl areas and malaria swamps. There they are, you can find them without looking; broken-backed cats hit by cars, weary old horses, frozen birds and stunted trees, twisted rock formations and deep jagged wounds in the earth's crust many hundreds of miles long; scorching winds, waterless miles and animal carcasses. The creation groaning, looking, wishing, lamenting, hoping. Hoping! Hoping?
    I think that's one of the chief mental difficulties of my tiny little head-world. There are times when it all seems so trivial and God is so big that my senses tell me he can't be near or must be too different from what I perceive him to be but then I'm tempted to think, "If he takes this whole thing seriously how grand and majestic can he be? There's nothing to this life." Then, as if to shock me, I think of him taking things like a lost sheep, a woman coming to a well on her own in the middle of the day's heat, a kid who's run away from home, a farmer flinging seed all over the place, a dead sparrow lying in a ditch all alone or picking a hair off somebody's collar and looking thoughtfully at it. When my ennui is getting the better of me I realize I'm growing old and God has stayed young. A couple of days later, when I gut it out, the mental-weather clears up and I get a glimpse of glory in the most mundane things.
    I hate it when I have a dose of the blahs but I think I'm beginning to sense at a level deeper than the intellectual that it's part of the work of the prince of the power of the air who poisons the atmosphere. In every living thing, in every voiceless rock or pool or spring there's a groaning that only God can hear (but if you listen really hard with your heart you can almost hear the distant echo of it). It's the whole creation groaning under the burden of "futility". But if you strain very hard (and I mean very hard) you can sense defiance in the echo, hopefulness too, that one day it'll all change and into the heart, like the quiet tide that with soft gurgles fills up the little nooks and crannies in the rocks, the vast ocean will come making its way up over the whole land. Little pools that were left behind, isolated worlds with all their little creatures that have already made the rounds of their pathetic tiny place and know it too well will become part of that massively larger world—they'll be joyfully amazed when the tide comes in!
    Here comes the infinite ocean, filling up all the little pools and making them one with a world that was always teeming with more life-filled life than they could have imagined. Poor little Mr. Limpet and Ms. Crab, stuck in their little pools, scurrying around and around, everything the same until...until the vast ocean moves in.
    But of course, there's an abundance of life in our little pools only we've lost our capacity for wonder. Satan has dulled us! And the present wonders are only part of other wonders; our present little worlds are part of an infinitely wonderful world now existing and one day to appear openly and in all its fullness. God doesn't leave us without clues as to the richness ahead of us. Satan isn't the only one operating in this world.
    Chesterton tells us that when we see a boy and girl going together we call it a "love affair". He explodes with pleasure and tells us it isn't a love affair, it's another Eden, a new creation with a new Adam and Eve who will people the world all over again. God is always carrying out experiments like that. We can smile at that kind of talk if we want to but try telling two young lovers that others have fallen in love just as they have and have been doing it for millennia. They'll agree but then they'll explain to you immediately and with passion, "It wasn't like this." The old, the very old things continue to live and are cherished down the centuries while the "fashionable" dies every other day. It's true that God's gift of human loves is not quite the same when we take it from his hand but enough of its original loveliness remains to let us know what the possibilities are in another phase of living.
    Think I'll go to church now and see if it's the same as it was last time. On the way I want to see if I can spot the look of eager expectation on the face of the derelict buildings or the worn-out old dog that always sits on the corner or the three-legged cat that seems to have that "I can't talk right now" look about her as she limps her way to some appointment. You know, the eager look that Paul spoke about in Romans 8:19-21. "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."
    It's a strange claim, but he says they're all waiting for people like us to come into our glorious inheritance because then things will change for them. Maybe that tired old dog and three-legged cat are saying more to me than I can hear. Maybe I'm getting old in more ways than one. Who knows, maybe you'll walk into a house one of these days and see God sitting on the floor more astonished at a baby's wiggling toes than the baby is. On the other hand, maybe he's always doing it and one of these days when I grow up and get younger I'll walk into a house and catch him at it. And when I do maybe from some great distance, if I listen really hard, I'll hear the Dragon groan knowing his agenda's doomed to failure.

Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

Are the Genealogies of the Bible Useful Chronologies? by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1143

Are the Genealogies of the Bible Useful Chronologies?

by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

Q. I have heard it said that biblical genealogies are so filled with gaps that they are “useless” in matters of chronology. Is this true, or do the genealogies provide accurate chronological information as well? Can these genealogies be trusted in matters of chronology?

A.

Through the years, religionists who have become enamored with (and who have ardently defended) pseudoscientific attempts to date the Earth in evolutionary terms of billions of years, have stated that the biblical genealogies must not be used for chronological purposes because they allegedly contain “huge gaps” that render them ineffective for that purpose. In so commenting, most writers reference the classic work of William H. Green (1890) in this area. The work of Green on Old Testament genealogies usually is highly acclaimed, and accepted uncritically, by those who wish to place “gaps” (of whatever size) in the biblical genealogies. The argument usually goes something like this (to quote one writer): “Unfortunately for those who wish to attach a precise date on some historical events by using genealogies, their attempts are thwarted.” Thus, we are asked to believe that the genealogies are relatively useless in matters of chronology.
However, these same writers usually evince a complete omission of more recent work in this area—work which has shown that much of what Green had to say is at best incomplete, and at worst, irrelevant. When one discusses the genealogies, he does his audience (or reader) a disservice if he omits a discussion of Luke’s genealogy. Some are quick to talk about Genesis 5 and 11, but rarely do you see a discussion of Luke’s material (often it is conspicuously missing from any such discussions on genealogical materials). One performs a further disservice if he does not point out two very important points that come to bear on this whole discussion. First, to use the words of Arthur C. Custance:
We are told again and again that some of these genealogies contain gaps: but what is never pointed out by those who lay the emphasis on these gaps, is that they only know of the existence of these gaps because the Bible elsewhere fills them in. How otherwise could one know of them? But if they are filled in, they are not gaps at all! Thus, in the final analysis the argument is completely without foundation (1967, p 3).
If anyone should want to find “gaps” in the genealogies, it certainly would be a man like Custance, who spent his life desperately searching for ways to allow the Bible to contain an “old Earth” scenario. Yet even he admitted that the argument that the genealogies contain sizable gaps is ill-founded.
Second, and this point cannot be overemphasized, even if there were gaps in the genealogies, there would not necessarily be gaps in the chronologies therein recorded. The question of chronology is not the same as that of genealogy! This is a major point overlooked by those who accuse the genealogies of being “useless” in matters of chronology. The “more recent work” alluded to above, which sheds additional light on the accuracy of the genealogies, comes from James B. Jordan’s timely articles (1979, 1980). Jordan has done an extensive review of the work of Green, and has shown Green’s arguments to be untrustworthy in several important respects. To quote Jordan:
Gaps in genealogies, however, do not prove gaps in chronologies. The known gaps all occur in non-chronological genealogies. Moreover, even if there were gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11, this would not affect the chronological information therein recorded, for even if Enosh were the great-grandson of Seth, it would still be the case that Seth was 105 years old when Enosh was born, according to a simple reading of the text. Thus, genealogy and chronology are distinct problems with distinct characteristics. They ought not to be confused (p. 12).
Much recent material has confused these two issues. For example, one writer stated: “Obviously, abridgment of the genealogies has taken place and these genealogies cannot be chronologies,” when exactly the opposite is true, as Jordan’s work accurately documents. Matthew, for example, was at liberty to arrange his genealogy of Christ in three groups of 14 (making some “omissions”) because his genealogy was derived from complete lists found in the Old Testament. In the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11, remember also that the inclusion of the father’s age at the time of his son’s birth is wholly without meaning unless chronology is intended! Else why would the Holy Spirit provide such “irrelevant” information?
There can be little doubt that some have painted a distorted picture for audiences and readers when suggesting to them that substantial “gaps” occur in the biblical genealogies. Such distortion occurs, for example, when it is suggested that genealogy and chronology are one and the same, for they most certainly are not.
In addition, there are other major points that should be made available on these topics. Observe the following information in chart form. Speaking in round figures, from the present to Jesus is 2,000 years—a matter of historical record that no one doubts. From Jesus to Abraham is 2,000 years; that, too, is a matter of historical record which is well known. Each of those figures is extractable from secular history.
Present to Jesus2,000 years
Jesus to Abraham2,000 years
Abraham to Adam? years
The only figure now lacking is that representing the date from Abraham to Adam. Since we know that Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45), and since we know that man has been on the Earth “from the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6, the Lord speaking; Romans 1:20-21, Paul speaking), if it were possible to obtain the figures showing how long it has been from Abraham to Adam, we would have chronological information giving us the relative age of the Earth (since we know that the Earth is only five days older than man—Exodus 20:11; 31:17; Genesis 1-2).
The figure for the time span between Abraham and Adam, of course, is not obtainable from secular history, since those records were destroyed in the Great Flood. Fortunately, however, we are not dependent on the records of secular history for such information; the biblical record provides that material for us. Note the following (and this is why Luke’s genealogy is so critically important in this discussion). In Luke’s genealogy, he listed 55 generations between Jesus and Abraham. We know from secular history (as documented by archaeology—see Kitchen and Douglas, 1982, p. 189) that this time frame covered only about 2,000 years. Between Abraham and Adam, Luke listed only twenty generations. And no one doubts that from the present to Jesus has been about 2,000 years. So, our chart now looks like this:
Present to Jesus2,000 years
Jesus to Abraham2,000 years (55 generations)
Abraham to Adam? years (20 generations)
From this chronological information it is an easy matter to use the 20 generations from Abraham to Adam to determine the approximate number of years contained therein. In round numbers, the figure is 2,000. That completes the chart, which then appears as follows:
Present to Jesus2,000 years
Jesus to Abraham2,000 years (55 generations)
Abraham to Adam2,000 years (20 generations)
Of course, some have argued that there are “gaps” in the genealogies. But where, exactly, would those gaps be placed, and how would they help? Observe the following: No one can put any usable gaps between the present and the Lord’s birth; secular history records that age-information for us. No one can put any usable gaps between the Lord and Abraham; secular history also records that age-information for us. The only place one could try to place any “usable” gaps (viz., usable in regard to extending the age of the Earth) would be in the 20 generations represented between Abraham and Adam. Yet note that actually there are not 20 generations available for inserting “gaps,” because Jude (14) noted that “Enoch was the seventh from Adam.” Examining the Old Testament genealogies establishes exactly that. Enoch was the seventh, beginning from Adam, which then provides us divinely inspired testimony (from Jude) on the accuracy of the first seven of the names. That leaves only 13 generations remaining into which any “gaps” could be placed. Wayne Jackson has observed that in order to get the Earth back only to the time of the evolutionary age of man (approximately 3.6 million years as suggested by the late Mary Leakey and her present-day colleagues), one would have to place 291,125 years in between each of the remaining 13 generations (1978). It does not take an overdose of either biblical knowledge or common sense to see that this quickly becomes ludicrous to the extreme for two reasons. First, who could believe (knowing anything about proper exegesis and hermeneutics) that the first seven of these generations could be so exact, and the last thirteen be so inexact? Second, what good would all of this time do anyone? All it would accomplish is the establishment of a 3.6-million-year-old Earth; evolutionists, theistic evolutionists, and progressive creationists need a 4.6-billion-year-old Earth. So, in effect, all of this inserting of “gaps” into the biblical text is much ado about nothing!
And therein lies the point. While it may be true on the one hand to say that a precise age of the Earth is unobtainable from the genealogies, at the same time let us hasten to point out that using the best information available to us from Scripture, the genealogies hardly can be extended (via “gaps”) to anything much beyond 6,000 to 7,000 years. For someone to leave the impression (even if inadvertently) that the genealogies do not contain legitimate chronological information, or that the genealogies are full of “gaps” that render them impotent, is to misrepresent the case and distort the facts.

REFERENCES

Custance, Arthur (1967), The Genealogies of the Bible, (Ottawa, Canada: Doorway papers #24).
Green, William H. (1890), “Primeval Chronology,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 47:294-295, April. Reprinted inClassical Evangelical Essays in Old Testament Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1972).
Jackson, Wayne (1978), “The Antiquity of Human History,” Words of Truth, 14[18]:1, April 14.
Jordan, James B. (1979) Creation Social Sciences & Humanities Quarterly, 2[2]:9-15.
Jordan, James B. (1980) Creation Social Sciences & Humanities Quarterly, 2[3]:17-26.
Kitchen, K.A. and J.D. Douglas, eds. (1982) The New Bible Dictionary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale), second edition.

From Mark Copeland... The Olivet Discourse - II (Mark 13:24-37)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  The Olivet Discourse - II (13:24-37)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous lesson, we covered the first half of Mark 13...
   a. Commonly called "The Olivet Discourse", delivered by Jesus on the
      Mount of Olives
   b. A challenging passage of scripture, believed to discussing
      either...
      1) The destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in 70 A.D.
      2) The second coming of Christ, which is yet to occur
      3) Or both events, described either in turn or intertwined

2. I’ve proposed that the discourse foretells the destruction of
   Jerusalem, based first upon the setting...
   a. Jesus’ words spoken previously in the temple
      1) His parables about Israel’s rejection of Him - cf. Mt 21:28-32,33-46; 22:1-14
      2) His condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees - cf. Mt 23:27-36
      3) His lamentation over Jerusalem - cf. Mt 23:37-39
   b. Jesus’ prophecy regarding about the temple - Mk 13:1-2
   c. The disciples’ questions, which when Mark and Luke’s account is
      considered, appear to be:
      1) "When will these things be?"
      2) "What will be the sign when all these things will be
         fulfilled?"
      -- Cf. Mt 24:3; Mk 13:4; Lk 21:7

3. We then saw that in vs. 5-23, Jesus describes...
   a. What will not be the sign (other than the gospel preached to all
      nations) - Mk 13:5-13
   b. What will be the sign - Mk 13:14
      1) The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel - Dan 9:26-27; 12:11
      2) Which Luke explains to be Jerusalem surrounded by armies - Lk 21:20
   c. What to do when they saw the sign - Mk 13:15-23
      1) Those in Judea were to flee to the mountains to avoid a great
         tribulation
      2) They were not to be misled by false christs or false prophets

[Up to vs. 24, Jesus described a local, escapable judgment to befall
Jerusalem.  He does not describe the worldwide, inescapable judgment
taught elsewhere in the Scriptures.  But with vs. 24, many believe Jesus
now addresses His second coming (cf. J. W. McGarvey’s Fourfold Gospel).
As we continue with our study, I propose that the destruction of
Jerusalem is still under consideration...]

II. THE OLIVET DISCOURSE (continued)

   D. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT...
      1. Events to occur "after the tribulation of those days"...
         a. Cosmic disturbances - Mk 13:24-25
            1) The sun will be darkened
            2) The moon will not give its light
            3) The stars of heaven will fall
            4) The powers in the heavens will be shaken
         b. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven
            with power and great glory - Mk 13:26
            1) The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven - cf. Mt 24:30
            2) All the tribes of the earth will mourn - cf. Mt 24:30
         c. The elect will be gathered - Mk 13:27
            1) For with a great sound of the trumpet, angels will be
               sent - cf. Mt 24:31
            2) They shall gather the elect from the four winds, from the
               farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven
      2. Such events certainly sound like the second coming of Christ,
         but consider two reasons why they may not be referring to Jesus’
         coming at the Last Day...
         a. The events were to occur "immediately after the tribulation
            of those days" ("in those days, after that tribulation")
            - Mt 24:29; Mk 13:24
            1) They are connected in time to the tribulation described
               in Mk 13:15-28
            2) This "coming" of Jesus was to occur at the conclusion of
               the siege of Jerusalem
         b. The events are similar to those used to foretell God’s
            judgment of other nations
            1) Babylon - Isa 13:1,6-13
            2) Egypt - Isa 19:1-2; cf. Eze 32:2,7-9
            2) Tyre - Isa 23:1; 24:21-23
            3) Edom - Isa 34:4-6
            4) Nineveh - Nah 1:1-5
            5) Israel - Am 8:9
            6) Judah - Jer 4:5-6,23-28
      3. Jewish prophets foretold God’s judgment upon such nations...
         a. Using figures of worldwide destruction, even though the
            judgment was local
         b. Perhaps because such judgments foreshadow God’s Final
            Judgment to come upon the entire world at the Last Day
      4. Like other Jewish prophets, Jesus used figurative language to
         depict:
         a. The judgment to befall the religious leaders of Israel (in
            terms of worldwide destruction)
         b. The provision made for faithful disciples of Christ (in
            terms of the gathering by angels)
      5. Therefore I suggest that even in Mk 13:24-27 Jesus refers to
         the destruction of Jerusalem

   E. ADMONITIONS TO BE PREPARED...
      1. The parable of the fig tree - Mk 13:28-29
         a. New branches and leaves indicate summer is near
         b. When you see these things (Jerusalem surrounded by armies),
            the time is near
      2. It would happen before "this generation" passed away - Mk 13:30
         a. Some define "generation" as a race of people (i.e., the
            Jews) - cf. McGarvey, B. W. Johnson
         b. But note its use by Jesus just prior to this discourse - cf.
            Mt 23:33-36 (esp. 36)
         c. The destruction of Jerusalem came to pass within forty
            years!
      3. The words of Jesus will come to pass - Mk 13:31
         a. Heaven and earth shall pass away one day - cf. 2Pe 3:7,10
         b. But Jesus’ words will by no means pass away
      4. Of that day and hour, only the Father knows - Mk 13:32
         a. Many believe at this point Jesus begins to talk about the
            second coming - e.g., France, NIGTC; Short, NIBC
         b. The disciples might discern the general timing with the
            advance of armies toward Jerusalem
         c. But the day and hour when the siege would begin, only the
            Father knew
      5. Therefore, take heed, watch and pray! - Mk 13:33-37
         a. You don’t know when the time is - e.g., Ac 1:7
         b. Don’t be caught off guard, like a servant caught sleeping
            when his master returns
         c. Be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you not expect
            Him
         d. The siege of Jerusalem might begin promptly, so flee Judea
            promptly when you see the armies surrounding Jerusalem!

CONCLUSION

1. Admittedly, there is much in "The Olivet Discourse" that alludes to
   our Lord’s second coming at the Last Day...
   a. But it no different than prophecies by other Jewish prophets who
      foretold God’s judgment upon nations and cities
   b. Such figurative language was a common motif used by Jewish
      prophets
   c. We should not be surprised to see Jesus using the same motif in
      this context
   -- And rightly so, for God’s judgments upon nations in the past are
      types and shadows of the Final Judgment to befall the entire world
      when Jesus comes again

2. In addition to the setting leading up to the discourse, there is the
   natural flow of the discourse itself that leads me to conclude it is
   entirely about the destruction of Jerusalem...
   a. Jesus’ disciples are told what will not be the sign - Mk 13:1-13
   b. They are told will be the sign that His coming is near - Mk 13:14
   c. They are told what to do when they see the sign - Mk 13:14-23
   d. His coming in judgment (the fall of Jerusalem) is described in
      terms reminiscent of other Jewish prophets who foretold of God’s
      judgments upon various nations - Mk 13:24-27
   e. Admonitions are given for them to be prepared and watchful, for
      all these things will happen before the current generation passed
      away, though the exact time was unknown - Mk 13:28-37

So I view "The Olivet Discourse" to describe a local, escapable judgment
which occurred as Jesus foretold in 70 A. D.

However, there is still the worldwide, inescapable judgment at the Last
Day.  Are you ready for that Day?  The admonitions to be prepared and
productive are very similar:

   "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 melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the
   works that are in it will be burned up."

   "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner
   of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking
   for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which
   the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements
   will melt with fervent heat?"

   "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens
   and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved,
   looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in
   peace, without spot and blameless;"
                                                       - 2Pe 3:10-14

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading January 21



Bible Reading  

January 21

The World English Bible

Jan. 21
Genesis 21

Gen 21:1 Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said, and Yahweh did to Sarah as he had spoken.
Gen 21:2 Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
Gen 21:3 Abraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.
Gen 21:4 Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.
Gen 21:5 Abraham was one hundred years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him.
Gen 21:6 Sarah said, "God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears will laugh with me."
Gen 21:7 She said, "Who would have said to Abraham, that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age."
Gen 21:8 The child grew, and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.
Gen 21:9 Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking.
Gen 21:10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this handmaid and her son! For the son of this handmaid will not be heir with my son, Isaac."
Gen 21:11 The thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight on account of his son.
Gen 21:12 God said to Abraham, "Don't let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your handmaid. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For from Isaac will your seed be called.
Gen 21:13 I will also make a nation of the son of the handmaid, because he is your seed."
Gen 21:14 Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
Gen 21:15 The water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
Gen 21:16 She went and sat down opposite him, a good way off, about a bow shot away. For she said, "Don't let me see the death of the child." She sat over against him, and lifted up her voice, and wept.
Gen 21:17 God heard the voice of the boy. The angel of God called to Hagar out of the sky, and said to her, "What ails you, Hagar? Don't be afraid. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.
Gen 21:18 Get up, lift up the boy, and hold him in your hand. For I will make him a great nation."
Gen 21:19 God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the bottle with water, and gave the boy drink.
Gen 21:20 God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and became, as he grew up, an archer.
Gen 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.
Gen 21:22 It happened at that time, that Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army spoke to Abraham, saying, "God is with you in all that you do.
Gen 21:23 Now, therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son. But according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner."
Gen 21:24 Abraham said, "I will swear."
Gen 21:25 Abraham complained to Abimelech because of a water well, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
Gen 21:26 Abimelech said, "I don't know who has done this thing. Neither did you tell me, neither did I hear of it, until today."
Gen 21:27 Abraham took sheep and cattle, and gave them to Abimelech. Those two made a covenant.
Gen 21:28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
Gen 21:29 Abimelech said to Abraham, "What do these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves mean?"
Gen 21:30 He said, "You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that it may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well."
Gen 21:31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because they both swore there.
Gen 21:32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Abimelech rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
Gen 21:33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and called there on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God.
Gen 21:34 Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days.

Jan. 21, 22
Matthew 11

Mat 11:1 It happened that when Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Mat 11:2 Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples
Mat 11:3 and said to him, "Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?"
Mat 11:4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:
Mat 11:5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
Mat 11:6 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me."
Mat 11:7 As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Mat 11:8 But what did you go out to see? A man in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king's houses.
Mat 11:9 But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
Mat 11:11 Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.
Mat 11:12 From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come.
Mat 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 11:16 "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their companions
Mat 11:17 and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you didn't dance. We mourned for you, and you didn't lament.'
Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'
Mat 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."
Mat 11:20 Then he began to denounce the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they didn't repent.
Mat 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
Mat 11:22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
Mat 11:23 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day.
Mat 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, on the day of judgment, than for you."
Mat 11:25 At that time, Jesus answered, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.
Mat 11:26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight.
Mat 11:27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.
Mat 11:28 "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." 


From Gary... Maybe someday I'll do just one...


Coffee, one of the most wonderful things in the world. It may or may not be good for you (I keep hearing conflicting "authorities"), but I have learned to keep it down to three (20 oz.) cups a day.  Last Tuesday, we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch and browsed their shop and found probably the biggest coffee cup (besides the one above) ever. Every one of them was the size of a oil can and had markings from various oil companies like Texaco and Penns-oil.   I didn't purchase one, because the price was a little too dear, but, hey, I just will have to deal with my 60oz. of coffee.  After seeing a video this morning about the new K-cup brewers with their DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions, I am very thankful for what I have and am content. Reminds me of Paul...
 
Philippians, Chapter 4
 10 But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length you have revived your thought for me; in which you did indeed take thought, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect to lack, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it.  12 I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need.  13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Be thankful for what you have, things could always be worse. But, even if they do become more challenging, friends will help; and the best friend is GOD!!!