Do you sometimes feel you have lost the sense of joy in your life? When did you last feel full of joy? The dictionary expounds joy as jubilation, delight, exultation or exhilaration. They’re very heady emotions! We may experience these feelings for a short-term, but what about everyday deep seated joy?
Our world seems to have a distressing shortage of joy, and an excess of fear, worry, discouragement and depression.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have deep and enduring joy! To be full of joy. Well, we can!
People often confuse joy with happiness. Happiness is derived from the root “to happen.” In other words, happiness is something that is dependent on what happens to us.
Happiness is based on external realities. Therefore, happiness is never something that is constant, because circumstances always change.
We can’t be in a state of happiness all the time - God never intended this. As stated in Ecclesiastes 3:4 there is
“a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”.
Unlike happiness, we don’t experience joy because of the perfection of the circumstances around us, but because of the presence of Christ within us. It is not based on external realities, but on an internal and eternal reality! Happiness depends on happenings, while joy depends on God and His son Jesus! Since circumstances constantly change, but God never changes, we can be joyful always!
True joy comes from an intimate relationship with Christ. Jesus said:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (John 15:5).
The apostle Paul in Galatians 5 speaks of the fruit of the spirit which may be created in a follower of Christ. Fruits such as love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control and JOY!
John continues in chapter 15 and outlines how we may achieve this joy:
"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”
A joyful life is possible because of our never changing love relationship with the Lord. It is a life that is Christ centred.
Jesus tells us that He loves us, even as the Father loves Him - in an everlasting way. Yet, if we are to experience joy as a result of this truth, we must “remain in His love.” How do we do this? Jesus tells us in verse 10. By being obedient.
This sounds a chore, but as we learn more of God’s love we realise that as 1 John 5:3 tells us
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commands are not burdensome.”
They don’t weigh us down. Keeping His commands gives us a joyful and happy life with the knowledge that we abide in His love.
The more we obey God, the more we are assured of His love for us and His joy in us. His desire is not to burden us, but to bless us!
God’s joy is in His people who find joy in a growing awareness of His love for them.
Joy in Christ is made up of a variety of emotions: happiness, gratitude, contentment, optimism, a sense of freedom and positive attitudes.
Joy looks outward, resisting self-pity and self-absorption. It’s focussing on loving others and loving God and being grateful for what God has done for us.
Joy appears so many times in the Bible. It’s a key theme outlining its importance to God and His wishes for His believers.
You may remember a classic children’s novel entitled ‘Pollyanna’ which refers to this theme. One of my favourite stories. Pollyanna is in conversation with the local minister as follows:
“The Rejoicing Texts. Well, that's what father used to call 'em," she laughed. "Of course the Bible didn't name 'em that. But it's all those that begin 'Be glad in the Lord,' or 'Rejoice greatly,' or 'Shout for joy,' and all that, you know--such a lot of 'em. Once, when father felt specially bad, he counted 'em. There were eight hundred of 'em."
"Yes--that told you to rejoice and be glad, you know; that's why father named 'em the 'rejoicing texts.' "
"Oh!" There was an odd look on the minister's face. His eyes had fallen to the words on the top paper in his hands …And so your father--liked those 'rejoicing texts,' " he murmured.
"Oh, yes," nodded Pollyanna, emphatically. "He said he felt better right away, that first day he thought to count 'em. He said if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it’.
Joy is not optional. God actually commands us to be joyful. He places great importance on it. In Deuteronomy 28:47, He reprimands His people for not serving Him with joy:
“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance off all things”
Paul states in Philippians 4:4:
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice”
Joy doesn’t extinguish sorrow. This is the difference between Godly joy and happiness. Those who have joy frequently experience godly sorrow at the same time. For example, we can feel sorrow at the death of a loved one, but comfort and joy that our loss is only temporary, that they will be resurrected to be in God’s kingdom. Or sadness of our shortcomings before God, but joy associated with God’s forgiveness and grace.
The Christian knows that all suffering is limited to this short life, and the time will soon come when “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying” (Revelation 21:4). They “rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).
James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance”—perseverance in remaining faithful to God (James 1:2, NIV).
Jesus experienced great sorrow. In fact, Isaiah stated that he would be ‘a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’.
But even though he was rejected by many, mocked and crucified, he maintained immense joy in his God and his faith.
“But now I come to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.’ John 17:13
The disciples were “filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).
True joy that is based on faith commences with Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20). By having an intimate relationship with God and His son as Psalms 43:4 calls “God my exceeding joy.”
“In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalms 16:11).
It is God’s will for us to feel joyful. If we feel burdened down by sorrow and fear, turn to God and develop a relationship with Him and you will be just as the first disciples who were: “filled with joy”.
In recent months, we here in Australia, have had our federal elections and have subsequently, after many months of being inundated with political advertising, news coverage of achievements and accusations and insults between political parties, and above all promises – (of which their actual execution is questionable), elected a Prime Minister. As it happens, not a new Prime Minister, but a re-appointment of our last one.
We are probably all aware that Britain has recently gone to the polls regarding Brexit (the exit of Britain from the European Union). And of course, we have seen the huge amount of commentary about this, the ebb and flow of markets and the tensions that arose within the debate, culminating in the final decision to go ahead with Brexit and the re-arrangement of government and policies along with a still divided nation to implement this situation.
In a few months the hugely publicised American election will culminate in a new president. The whole world has watched (whether we like it or not) the lead up to this event. We have again seen the hype, heard the speeches and debates, witnessed the tension and divisiveness of a nation, noted the promises made (some of them provocative), and seen the back stabbing that goes along with political elections. Watching this play out is unsettling and disturbing and worrisome. Who will win? Who will be the best President or in Australia’s case, Prime Minister to run the country with wisdom and justice? The unanswerable question!
Australia has elected their Prime Minister. And we wait to see if he will redeem his promises. Whether his words and promises can be trusted. So many times, they are not fulfilled and we hardly even expect them to be now. In a poll held in 2015, only 13% of people, rated Australian federal politicians as being trustworthy. The trust in our leaders is shaky at best!
So, who can we trust and who can we elect as our leader?
The Bible states quite clearly that God is in control of this world and the countries and leaders within them.
“O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You.” 2 Chronicles 20:6
"… He removes kings, and raises up kings he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals the deep and secret things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him." Daniel 2: 21-22
“… the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” Daniel 4: 25
“God, Activity OfGod's Activity In The NationsGovernmentFor the kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations. “ Psalm 22:28
We know that God has a plan for this earth and will ensure the ultimate outcome is according to His directive.
As a part of His plan, He sent His son Jesus to save us from our own self-imposed mortality. Due to our wrong doings or sin, we die. It would be impossible to have immortal sinners! So we die. And Jesus took the burden of our sins upon himself even though he was perfect and died for us as a sacrifice. He paid the price for us. But then he was made alive again. He couldn’t remain dead as he was without fault.
“… whom God raised up (Jesus), having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it” Acts 2:24
And what was the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
To give us life, a hope of escaping from our own mortality which is unavoidable – so we may be acceptable to God. We have been clearly told this:
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you”. Rom 8:11
But not only has Jesus saved us, but he has been designated by God to be king. Not just of Australia or the United States or any other single country, but of the whole world.
“Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth” Jeremiah 23:5
And God has expressly told us to ‘listen to him’ - His son Jesus, and ultimately do what he asks.
“A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Luke 9:35
Jesus says of himself:
“You say correctly that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice” John 18:37
The Bible tells us that Jesus is our king.
Therefore, he is our leader. He is the one we should choose to follow as our king. And we can have every confidence in him. We can trust him, unlike our present leaders, who can only offer us at best temporary solutions. But Jesus as a leader offers us so much more:
“Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; but what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19
While speaking to his father in prayer he says in John 17:8 “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me”
“…The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. Isaiah 11:2-5
So who will you choose as your leader? Jesus or our current politicians? The fact is, very few people in the world really want Jesus to be king or believe that he will be, but this will not prevent him taking the reins of government at the appointed time. His term won’t be for four or eight years, but for 1000 years. The rulers of every country will have to resign from their office as ‘the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one”.
His day is coming, so let’s choose our ‘king’ wisely.
Jesus instructed his believers to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately many of the clear teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ have been manipulated and distorted to conform to the requirements and ease of understanding for congregations and their respective demands and challenges.
The fact is, Bible teachings do not change, no matter how much society does and the doctrine of the trinity was not taught by the apostles or Jesus. It developed from disputes over the nature of Christ and implemented later to establish a common doctrinal position. The booklet ‘Jesus – God the Son or Son of God?’ gives more detail on the origin of the doctrine of the trinity and explores it’s erroneous assertion, citing relevant Bible quotes and explanations.
However, the doctrine of the Trinity is also logically unsound and directly contradicts many passages of Scripture. Below are a number of points to consider:
These are just a few logical objections to the Trinity. There are some very serious repercussions to us if we do believe in this false doctrine.
We should be searching the scriptures for ourselves, not relying on priests and preachers to tell us without questioning. It is vitally important not to blindly follow false doctrines or traditions. Jesus said “… in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men…. making the Word of God of no effect through your traditions which you have handed down.” (Mark 7:7,13)
Those who teach that Jesus is God, are not teaching of the Jesus that the apostles’ taught. One who ‘preaches another Jesus whom we (the Apostles) have not preached…. are false prophets and deceitful workers, posing as Apostles’ (2 Corinthians 11:4,13)
We are told in John 4:24 that we must worship in Truth – our salvation is conditional on it! Open your Bibles and search out that truth for yourselves.
Prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s everyday life. We need to pray. God asks us to pray, Jesus taught his disciples to pray and the apostle Paul recommended us to ‘pray without ceasing’.
But we may struggle with the practicalities of prayer. The booklet ‘Does God Hear Prayer’ (refer link above) is well worth reading as it is an excellent resource which sets out the need for prayer, Biblical examples of prayer, when and where and how to pray. Although we can see the benefits and necessity of prayer, we may not feel confident about our own personal prayers. How do we ‘pray without ceasing? What do we pray about? Are we asking for too much? Do we forget to pray or feel we have nothing to say? Do we fall into repeating the same prayer? Do we really feel we are talking to God? How we we prevent our minds from wandering through prayer? The list goes on. Our commitment to prayer can always be improved. It may seem that many of our fellow Christians have a heartfelt and loving communication with God while we struggle with this.
Jesus taught his disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. It has a firm structure which is an excellent basis for our own prayers if we are lacking confidence. As with everything, Jesus is our example, and he exercised daily, regular and constant prayer with his Father in Heaven and provides the ideal for us. If we persevere, it does become easier and more natural to pray.
It may be beneficial to jot down some specific things or events to include in our prayers, just a few as follows:
Private prayer is personal and may cover so many things, as we are talking to a Father who loves us and He wants us to communicate and converse with Him in all things.
We can pray at any time or any where. We may set a specific time aside to pray. We may pray all through the day. Jesus suggested that we go to our room and close the door. A time for solitude and private communication with God where we can pray honestly. But it is also important to be in constant prayer with God; when we wake, when we eat, leaving or arriving at places, while reading His word.
Reading the Bible regularly is an excellent foundation to encourage us to read, absorb and use God’s word as a basis for our prayers. Bible passages and verses provide wonderful thought provokers and words of praise to include or structure into our prayers.
Ideally, prayer is to become part of our every day routine and delight. We can try to achieve this by many different means:
And listen for God’s answers. Perhaps this comes as a growing understanding, an inner voice, directing what He wants us to do, an answer via a Bible quote that comes to our attention, a word from a friend or stanger that may be a message, a particularly relevant Sunday Morning service or Bible Class or other Bible study, an event or situation that arises that stears us in a particular direction.
Prayer is such a wonderful blessing and privilege that God in His love for us has provided. We have the awe inspiring opportunity to converse with and be answered by the God of the Universe and our Father in Heaven. And by doing this, our relationship and love for God will grow and our lives will be enriched and our faith strengthened.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Have you ever heard someone say that, as long as you are a good person, believe in God, and respect other people, the details don’t matter, we’re all going to the same place anyway? Well, until we understand the specifics of God’s guidelines, none of us can be sure where we’re going. The details do matter.
These kinds of statements promote the idea that there is actually no absolute truth to believe, and therefore the act of believing something whatever it is, is the main issue. If this was the case, then truth is variable depending on individuals and circumstances.
As Christians however, we base our beliefs and understanding of truth on the Bible. We believe the Bible to be the word of God based on evidence and faith and this topic was covered in our last article.
But although the Bible commands us to love and respect our fellow beings, it still does actually matter what we believe. A vague and imprecise perception of God’s words can lead to a misunderstanding of His purpose, His requirements and His teachings.
God values truth. His own son Jesus was ‘…..the way, the truth and the life ….” John 14:6 What we see in Jesus, his character and his way of life emulates God’s character which is complete ‘truth’.
The whole Bible from cover to cover is consistent in it’s emphasis on truth and specifically with people coming to a knowledge of ‘the truth’ and consequently developing their minds and behaviours based on this truth.
“Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24
“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law (scriptures) is the truth.” Psalm 119:142
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father is seeking such to worship him.” John 4:23
And Psalm 12:6 declares that God’s words are flawless and full of truth:
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times”.
He always speaks the truth, He always keeps His promises. Actually, God is truth!
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are justice: a God of truth and without injustice, righteous and upright is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4
As children of God, we are urged to speak truth:
Psalm 15:1-2 “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart”
And where is truth found? In God’s word, the Bible. It is for us, the source of truth. Not just listening to the minister or priest and blindly accepting their words. Not just remembering vaguely some stories from Sunday School, or listening to friends and thinking their reasoning sounds logical. Truth comes directly from the Bible and requires careful reading and meditation.
The Bible is God’s message to us and we need to listen to Him and know His written word so we can not only understand His teachings and what He wants us to do, but also get to know Him better. There are many surprising differences in the Bible truth than what is commonly held as Christian views today. We owe it to ourselves to actually read the Bible so we can grow spiritually and not be misled by misconceptions. Believing what we only wish to believe, leads no-where.
Following are just a few quotes that shows the importance of understanding the Bible for ourselves:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17
“But Jesus told him, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4
“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me” John 14:23-24
Success depends on believing “Truth.” Truth according to God has the outstanding characteristic of liberation. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
The Bible warns us in Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
It is in our best interests to discover ‘the truth’ of the Bible.
The apostle Paul sent letters to the early Christian churches which were set up after Christ’s ascension to heaven, encouraging and correcting their beliefs. He was diligent in clearing up misunderstandings and difficulties and firmly contended for the truth. He wanted no incorrect interpretations. Our faith today should closely resemble the beliefs of those early churches which were taught and supported by the apostles.
According to the Bible, those who know God should hold to beliefs based on His laws and not compromise. “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” (1 John 2:3-4).
Why is what we believe important? Our beliefs are significant because they determine the decisions we make which in turn, decide the way we live our lives.
The Bible also emphasizes the fact that it is vital what one believes. Jesus said, " ... for unless you believe that I am who I say I am, you will die in your sins" John 8:24 . We are also told, "All who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains upon them" John 3:36
Of course, the Christian life is not just the academic reading and understanding of the scriptures. It is developing a relationship with God through prayer and meditation and love. He involves Himself in our lives and we can see this. And one of the most life changing aspects of being a Christian is realising His incredible love for us and our wish to return that love.
Through prayer and the careful reading of God’s scriptures, the truth of His word will become clear. Search the Bible for yourselves for clarity and don’t be swayed by traditional church doctrines, especially if they appear to be false. Ask questions and think through the teachings. The Christadelphians are a group of believers who emphasise reading the scriptures for ourselves. We have come together from a mutual agreement and understanding of the words of the Bible. Because of this, we do not have paid ministers.
Ephesians 4:2-6 says: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:2-6
The Christadelphians base their beliefs wholly on the Bible, regarding it as fully inspired by God. The Greek name Christadelphian literally means "Brothers in Christ", and we aim to live by faith in Jesus Christ, according to the teaching of his followers from the first century AD. We are confidently waiting for Christ to return to the earth to set up the promised Kingdom of God.
The fundamental Christadelphian beliefs are:
1. The Bible is God's word and the only message from him. (2 Timothy 3:16)
2. There is only one God - the Father. The Holy Spirit is God's power. (Deuteronomy 6:4, John 17:3, Luke 1:35)
3. Jesus is the Son of God, and a human being, born through his mother Mary. Jesus was tempted just like us because of this. But Jesus was not just a great man, he was the Son of the Most High God, and was perfect. (Luke 1:30-32)
4. Man is mortal, having no existence when dead. (Psalm 6:5, Psalm 146: 3&4, Ecclesiastes 9 : 5 & 10)
5. By living a sinless life, ending with his sacrificial death by crucifixion, Jesus has opened the way of salvation from death. (Hebrews 4:15, 1 Corinthians15: 20-23, Galatians 3:27-29)
6. God raised Jesus from death. Jesus is currently in Heaven, at God’s right hand. He will one day return. (Acts 10:40, Romans 8:34, Acts 1:11)
7. Belief, repentance and baptism by full immersion in water are essential steps to salvation. (Mark 16:16)
8. When Jesus returns to the earth, he will raise those who have heard and acted on God’s plan of salvation and grant immortality to the faithful who have tried to live by God's precepts. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
9. His followers will help him to rule, bringing justice, righteousness and peace to the whole world - the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 15:23-26, Revelation 5:10)
Our previous blogs have addressed God’s plan for this earth and the commitment required from us to be included in that plan. An integral part of our relationship with God is faith - having faith in Him and remaining faithful to Him. What is faith and how do we acquire it? Why do we need to have faith? How does it help us to grow closer to God and change our lives? Is faith a reliable and desirable foundation in this science based world? And should faith be based on evidence?
Firstly, faith is a requirement of God as Hebrews 11:6 clearly states:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.
So, what is faith? The Bible has a definition in Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.
Christian faith is often ridiculed as being blind faith with the above verse being stated as an example of this. As believing something one decides to be true regardless of the facts, or accepting something that relies on no evidence or any logical support whatsoever. Humans all however exercise faith every day by simply believing that something is true and acting on that belief. We usually decide what we believe on the basis of evidence. We sit on a chair as there is visual evidence that it is there to be sat on. But there is also indirect evidence. We can’t actually see the wind, but we can see its effects. We can’t actually see someone’s love for us, but we can see its actions. We can’t actually see God, but we can see His creation and read His words in the Bible. One can’t really claim the Bible to be false if it hasn’t even been read.
There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies which have been fulfilled about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by different people and their prophecies and texts correlate exactly. This is the work of God as 2 Peter 1:21 says:
“For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”
The Holy Spirit is God’s power. It was God who worked through the writers to pen the Bible. As 2 Timothy 3:16 also clearly states “all scripture is given by inspiration of God…”
Archaeological finds and texts of independent historical writers such as Josephus validate the Bible at the very least as a sound historical account. No conspiracy of humans could have pulled it off over all those centuries. Christians base their evidence of faith in God’s words and His universe. This at least gives ‘logical support’ for the Christian faith, but many still regard this as groundless as it is not proven legally or scientifically. There lies the criticism of the idea of faith. But it requires faith to reject that there is a God. Science can’t prove God’s non-existence. It depends on how one interprets or judges the quality of evidence. However, faith and belief in God is not underpinned by scientific evidence and never will have that necessity. There is much more to faith.
Faith goes beyond what we can perceive or prove with our physical senses and does not work by the rules of science. It allows us to believe in God even though we can’t see Him and that He is capable of anything. Faith is spiritual, not scientific; however science doesn’t disprove God, science is just the study of God’s creation. God is the ultimate designer and master scientist.
So therefore, the definition in Hebrews 11:1 doesn’t describe a faith that is blind, based on no evidence at all, but a faith founded on God’s words and evidence of the scriptures which gives surety of His existence, conformation of promises that have already been fulfilled as well as the assurance of the execution of His promises of salvation.
And God states in Acts 17:31 that He has given proof of His plan for the world:
“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him (Christ) from the dead."
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:14:
“If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is also in vain”
In other words, if Christ had not risen from the grave, then Christians are deluded. This faith is not based on make believe, but true history. The gospel of Luke commences with the words:
“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
This is based on eye witness accounts. And we know from historical records other than the Bible that Jesus Christ did exist on this earth as did many other individuals described in the Bible. The Christian faith is more than one of blind trust. It is a life of rational examination that challenges each of us to evaluate the evidence, form a conclusion and then share that conclusion with the world around us.
As Romans 1:20 states:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”.
God calls on us to use our minds – to have an emotional and intellectual relationship with Him:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment” Matthew 22:37-38
God wants us to know what we believe and why we believe it. We’re expected to delve into our Bibles and examine our faith.
“And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so” Acts 17:10-11
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
He also wants us to be certain and base our certainty on evidence:
“Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind” Romans 14:5
“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them…” 2 Timothy 3:14
Conviction is the result of certainty, and certainty is based on evidential confidence.
But faith is not just a dispassionate understanding of the Bible. It is a life changing action which becomes life-saving. Through individual faith and by God’s grace, the believer is offered the gift of God – salvation. The faith that saves grows as our relationship with God grows.
Ephesians 2:8 says:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”
God calls us and opens our minds to understanding and believing. It is our faith, not our works that enables us to receive God’s grace and His gift. And hearing the words of God through the Bible, helps our faith grow:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.
Faith brings about a desire to build a closer relationship with God, with gratitude and love. It changes our values and desires and engenders peace and contentment.
And once we are sure of our faith, we are called to defend what we believe:
“…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” 1 Peter 3:15
Sadly, many today deny the existence of God. They practice faith, but not faith in God. Theirs is a faith based on the interpretation of science and the resulting theories (not facts) of human origin and consequently God’s nonexistence.
Society has rights and personal choices and beliefs to be respected. However, the denial of God, leads ultimately to nothing but eventual oblivion. There is no hope or assurance for life after death.
But this end is not desired by God. Death is an inevitable conclusion to all human life due to the sinfulness of human behaviour, but to those who exercise faith and truly believe in God and His promises, and who are committed to living a life of service, love and action within God’s instructions, the hope of eternal live is assured when Christ returns to this earth.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” Titus 2:11-14
But what will Jesus observe when he returns to the earth? As He remarked in Luke 18:8 “…. When the Son of Man (Jesus) comes, will he really find faith on the earth?”
Unfortunately, not much! Not faith in him anyway. Except for a faithful few.
The Christian faith is a rational belief which is rooted and grounded in the evidence of the Resurrection of Christ and the truth of the Bible. Christians are confident of their salvation by placing their trust and faith in God’s promises to us. We have the opportunity to state assuredly as the apostle Paul did:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Same sex marriage is a hotly debated and explosively controversial subject encompassing our present society. There are many different views about it, from the political arena, the churches to individual opinions. And there are widely differing views within these and many other groups.
Homosexuality has been accepted and embraced by many for years and with this view in mind, the not unreasonable claim has gone out to recognise these unions as legal by marriage between two consenting parties.
Emotive appeals present cases of love and acceptance, of rights and discrimination, of the denial of a loving union if legalised same sex marriage is banned.
And in many countries, this point of view is supported as gay people are citizens who have rights and freedom of choice, they are peaceful residents who wish to live their lives at their discretion.
Under government law, they are within their rights and their views are asked to be respected.
BUT, what does God, through His word the Bible actually say about homosexuality and marriage?
It is important to note here, that God created humans with freedom of choice, with their own free will. This is made clear in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. He has clearly instructed us as to His expectations and rules, but has left it to us to decide how to live our lives. This doesn’t mean we will escape punishment for our actions if contrary to His will.
God’s words are unequivocally set out in the Bible for us all to read and understand.
If one has no belief or acceptance of the Bible, then the following words will hold no relevance to their current viewpoints or arguments and the individual has the right under their own freedom of choice to walk away from the instructions of God.
It is however, the indisputable principles of God and no legislation or alternative viewpoints can change the clear teachings of the Bible, God’s message to us.
The Bible condemns homosexual practices in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and refers to them as something that is evil in the sight of God:
Leviticus 18:22 “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable”
Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination”
The issue of homosexuality also confronted the early New Testament Church. Paul the apostle while writing to the church in Corinth listed sinful actions that were offensive to God:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”.
All these activities, not only homosexual activity are violations of God’s instructions. These things are all sins, including pre-marital sex and adultery, and those who commit these sins must repent of them if they wish to participate in the future Kingdom of God.
Jesus coming on the earth brought with him teachings of love and forgiveness, of infinite compassion and hope of salvation.
And there is no doubt that he practiced all this. He liaised with socially unacceptable people – he showed compassion and loved them and offered them a way out of their corrupt lives to a new and better way of living.
However, even though Jesus’ very character is defined as love, as also is his Father, God in Heaven, he still very clearly defined actions which are sins and doesn’t condone them. And in the New Testament, the apostles, who were taught by Jesus himself, have set out God’s and Jesus’ rules regarding sexual conduct.
Paul, writing to the ecclesia in Rome stated:
Romans 1 : 18-27 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened ……..Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another……. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Jesus left no doubt about His mind on the subject of marriage when he quotes from the Old Testament with His statements in Matthew 19:4-6: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
He very clearly states here that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The Bible clearly prohibits homosexual behaviour. Every human being has to make moral decisions throughout our lives. When we commit to following God’s instructions, we have to abide by His rules and His teachings. His word never changes and we can’t change these rules simply because we are naturally inclined to premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality or any other sin.
Human beings are naturally inclined to sin. That is, we all have temptations and a desire to counter God’s terms. And the Bible states that when we sin it is from our own volition.
James 1 : 13-15 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
The Bible clearly instructs us to repent (be remorseful for) and to overcome our sins. A person is required to recognise their sin and to change their actions. This begins in the mind.
‘….bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ’ 2 Corinthians 10:5
However, this can be very hard to do, especially if one has a natural inclination for a particular behaviour as with all ungodly activities. It is however, imperative to control this if one desires to commit their life to God’s ways and follow Christ.
And there is confirmation that with God’s help this change can be made. In 1 Corinthians 6, after Paul has listed the many forms of behaviour that is unacceptable to God, he states:
“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”
Members of the church in Corinth were guilty of some or all of the sins listed—including homosexuality—but later converted and turned from their sins as is stated above. Obviously if this activity was accepted, there would be no imperative to ‘turn’ from their sin, but the above quote distinctly asserts that those who did change were washed clean and purified and made acceptable before God.
God is a God of love who has given all His children the freedom to choose and live their lives at their own will. He gave us our lives and this beautiful planet to enjoy, and when we as a human race brought our own mortality on ourselves, offered a way to salvation. But humans foolishly have a tendency to warp God’s love to justify their actions, and demand that He bend to their perceived rights and viewpoints. This in itself shows a very ignorant understanding of God’s diversity of character which ranges from surpassing love to burning righteous wrath.
The Bible is unmoving on His rules about homosexuality and sexual relations between men and women. He doesn’t change for our whims or our evolution of thoughts. To claim that ‘God loves everyone and therefore accepts us all no matter what our actions’, is false. Love and acceptance is not the same thing.
God’s love for us is unbounding and selfless if we love Him enough to follow His principles, but He will not accept sinful behaviour as He has outlined in His word.
We have strayed from Him, not He from us.
Popular opinion is that people determine their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that no-one has an entitlement to question or challenge this. As Christians, we always hope to live our lives with love and compassion and we observe the freedom for human beings to choose their own paths in life. However, we live in a flawed world with flawed reasoning with laws that have strayed far from God’s laws, resulting in a population that is far from righteous in God’s eyes.
This article is not to impose our will on others freedom of choice, but to clearly point out the true stipulations of word of God on this matter. There are consequences of disobeying His principles and rules which we all have to ultimately wear if we disobey His word. The choice is up to us.
Blessings of Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15
Because Jesus was raised from the dead we know that all he said and did and the wonderful gospel message that has been preached, is true!
Jesus’ resurrection proves that we can be forgiven for our sins. The resurrection gives us a living hope – the hope of resurrection and life for ever as Jesus received. The resurrection gives us a purpose for our life – an aim, a reason, a hope and a way of life.
Our own resurrection will be the beginning of a new and wonderful life. What we are now, with our strengths, intellect, and abilities, is nothing compared to what we will be like after we have been raised. The difference between what we are like now, and what we will be like then, is as profound as the difference between a seed and the flower it grows into. Now we are perishable, dishonourable, weak and natural. After we are raised we will be imperishable, glorious, powerful and spiritual. What a change! After being raised and being given immortality we will be able to inherit the kingdom. At that time sin and death will be just bad memories.
So what are we waiting for? Get living for God.
A Time For Judgement
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven,” Solomon tells us at the beginning of this chapter. (Ecclesiastes 3 v 1)) Then follows his famous section, A time for this and a time for that. But often we stop at the end of that section and don’t consider what comes after it. The time he speaks of is the time for judgement, which will be the most important time for everyone who has ever heard the gospel message. “God will bring to judgement both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.” (v17) In another place we read, “For God has appointed a day when He will judge the world with justice by the many He has appointed.” (Acts 17 v 31)
There have been other days when God has judged the world. In the days of Noah He judged it with a flood, and only Noah and his family were saved. He judged Sodom, and only Lot and his two daughters were saved. He judged Israel and Judah in the time of Jeremiah, and again in AD 70, and both times only a remnant remained.
But the biggest and most thorough judgement of all is still coming. At that time judgement will be by fire, and Jesus Christ will be the judge. Judgement is the only thing in this life we can be totally sure about. Whether we have died, or if we are still alive, we will all appear before the judgement seat of Christ. The big question is, will you be saved?
The excerpts were taken from the book 'Thinky Things' written by Robert Prins
Our last blog explored the question ‘Has God lost control’ and it was established that God has had a plan from the beginning of creation which is still resolving and unravelling today.
But to be a part of His plan for the future we have to make a commitment in our lives now to become dedicated Christians.
Being a Christian is a total, full-time commitment. It is everyday self-sacrifice and service to God. That doesn’t sound like much fun does it? But the reality is, that the Christian life is not only stable, and peaceful and loving, but also inspiring, joyful and what many people wish for today; liberating – we are set free. Of course in some parts of the world, this dedication may also involve persecution and harassment for standing up for one’s beliefs.
We previously discussed the promise that Jesus will return to this earth to set up a Kingdom which will last forever. And those who are faithful at his return have the opportunity to live as immortals in this kingdom.
No one can earn eternal life.
The Bible makes it very clear that eternal life can never be earned by our own efforts or obedience. None of us deserve it as we all think and do wrong things all the time. Immortality is only for perfect beings and none of us can claim that quality except for God and His son Jesus.
“As for God, his way is perfect. The Lord’s word is proven; He is shield to all those who trust in Him”. Psalm 18 v 30
So as we are hopelessly mortal, our only hope of inheriting this promise is by God’s grace. It is unearned and undeserved, but freely offered to us.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8
But is there anything required on our part to be the recipient of this incredible grace?
What can we do to achieve eternal life?
One of the best known pieces of scripture in the Bible is John 3:16 where it states that belief in God obtains eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”
This is incredible generosity from God. But, is belief all there is to it? So many people quote this verse with assurance that once ‘accepting and believing in Jesus’ their eternal life is guaranteed.
However, God wants us to put obedience to Him and seeking His Kingdom ahead of everything else in this life. It is not just a matter of believing in Him and going our own way. We are to commit to serve Him wholeheartedly. He wishes us to read His Bible, to have a full understanding of the hope written in it and to diligently take on the instructions He has set out for us to live by.
And once we make this commitment, God expects us to remain faithful to Him. Jesus states in Luke 9:62;
“No-one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
There is no turning back once pledging our lives to Him.
Just merely acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and Master is not enough. To inherit the Kingdom, we must do the will of God, as Jesus clearly states:
“Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
Jesus also had to obey God’s laws to receive eternal life.
“. . . Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Hebrews 5:8-9
So God requires us to demonstrate our faith by obediently doing the will of the Father and this is an expression of our love and gratitude for God’s gifts to us.
“without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
So what is one of the first steps of obedience?
Is Baptism necessary for Christians today, or just an optional extra?
Baptism is essential for every follower of Christ today if they wish to obtain salvation.
The Bible clearly states:
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.” Acts 2:38
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16
Repentance is sincere regret or remorse for our wrong doings. And this is a huge step to be taken before baptism. We are to be sorry for our sins and wish to make a commitment to obey God’s laws. It is a complete change in our thinking and recognition of our need for the sacrifice of Christ to cleanse us from sin.
The act of baptism is essential to gain eternal life.
But what does the Bible actually teach about baptism? Does it matter which method of baptism is used: sprinkling, pouring, immersion or some other technique and when should one be baptized?
Baptism is a full immersion into water. The word translated into English as baptism is from the Greek word baptizo , meaning “to dip into” or “immerse.” The words sprinkling or pouring is never referred to as baptism. This full immersion in water is demonstrated in the New Testament.
This act is life altering decision and commitment. For this reason baptism is relevant only for teenagers or adults who are capable of understanding the hope of the Bible and the commitment required to become a Christian. In the whole of the New Testament, there is not a single example of an infant or child being baptized.
Paul refers to baptism as a call to walk in “newness of life.” In Romans 6:11, he states
”In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus”
Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change of heart and mind. This powerful picture of a new life committed to obedience and faith is so important.
So what should our priority be once we repent and be baptised?
Matthew 6:33 outlines this clearly:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
The commitment at baptism, becomes a lifelong commitment. We are to remain holy and blameless and must continue in the faith.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
Our love for God and His son Jesus becomes more important than any other relationship or focus in our lives.
Once we have made this commitment, we are set free. What from? From the death penalty! Obedience to Him is not a sentence of drudgery. It’s a bequest of freedom and liberation from the hopelessness of death. The Apostle Paul encourages us:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
And ultimately if we remain faithful, we will be rewarded:
“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Matthew 16:27
When Jesus returns, he will judge and reward us according to our works and obedience. If we have kept his commandments we will be offered the gift of eternal life!
Do you ever feel that this world is out of control? That even though we live on a beautiful and exciting planet, the events taking place on it are beyond what we can handle? That our governments are floundering to keep pace with the thinly veiled chaos that seems to be increasing day by day?
We see heartbreak on our screens every day don’t we:
Even the everyday pressures of living, juggling work and home commitments, the demands on our children to succeed take their toll. Too much information, too many expectations, too many places to be, too many things to do and process and the constant backdrop of the chaos taking place on the world stage.
Anxiety, fear, helplessness, anger, confusion, worry! Where does it end? How do we cope? Where is God in all this mess? Has He lost control? Why doesn’t He intervene? How can the loving, all-powerful God seem to be powerless in a world of suffering, violence and anxiety?
The fact is God never lost control. He has always been, and always will be in control!
It is not God who created this mess! The human race did! When God created this earth, He made it perfect. However, He gave humans the ability to choose, to make decisions on their own. And the first human beings, Adam and Eve, made a decision contrary to God’s instructions and wishes and changed from their innocent state to guilty of wrongdoing and consequently by God’s punishment, brought mortality to all creatures including the human race.
And it is important to note that the Bible specifically points out that sin or wrong doing is purely brought about by our own behaviour. James chapter 1 v 14-15 clearly states that all sin comes from our own thoughts and actions “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death”.
We have brought upon ourselves all manner of evil over the course of history and are still doing so… the violence, the wars, the tyranny, cruelty, the passion for power, fame and money and so much more. There is a quote in Job 5 v 7 which is so true: “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward”
However, it is all so convenient to blame this on God. “If He loved us, He wouldn’t let this happen!” The irony is that some people are angry at God and pronounce Him unfeeling and cruel, but have no desire to read His Bible or even admit His existence, let alone follow His principles. If the human race followed His law of love, the injustice of the world would be wiped out.
But He isn’t causing all this to occur as some sort of punishment, or finds pleasure watching our suffering. He sees the terrible suffering in the world, the poverty and starvation, the devastation of natural disasters which are no fault of the sufferers. And the Bible states:
“that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:45
And in Ecclesiastes 9 v 11 “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all”
Time and chance happens to all. Unfairness and sad things happen to everyone, good and bad, innocent and guilty. However, injustice is often brought about through human involvement.
However, God is allowing this confusion to continue for only a limited amount of time, until He intervenes in human history and takes control. Ever since the beginning of creation, God’s plan has slowly been unravelling and it is ultimately going to end with good news.
So what is His plan? It started way back in the Garden of Eden when God offered a way out of our inescapable sentence of death from the moment of Adam and Eve’s sin. We know we all die. Why is this? When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, He decreed humans will be mortal (after all God couldn’t accept immortal sinners and our earth would be a nightmare place if so) and then promised a hope to overcome this.
“To Adam He said “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return” Genesis 3 v 19
But He promised that a descendent of Eve would overcome sin and live a perfect life and consequently be awarded eternal life. This was Jesus Christ of course and because of his love for us, we can also be offered eternal life.
Paul in the letter to the Romans also states “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6 v 23
God loved His creation so much, that He gave us a chance to ultimately live forever.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” John 3 v 16-17
But how are we saved? In what capacity will we have everlasting life? The Bible clearly states that Jesus will return to the earth and set up a kingdom that will last for ever.
…. this same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." Acts 1:11
"For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." Matthew 16 v 27
And Daniel 12 v 2 states that that reward can be wonderful or it can be devastating depending on how we live our lives now: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt”.
But ultimately we can be reassured that God is forgiving and merciful: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God Ephesians 2 v 8
And this will happen at a time when the world just can’t take anymore chaos. In Matthew 24, Jesus spoke to his disciples about this time:
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: …. you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…..And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come……Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Has God lost control? Absolutely not! But why doesn’t He hurry up and step in and bring all this misery to a conclusion? Well, He wants to give everyone a chance to come to Him first.
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3 v 8-9
Do you want to be a part of this kingdom?
The first step is to admit that we are fatally flawed by our own actions and wish to embrace God as our Creator and also long for a meaningful spiritual relationship with Him.
The extent of our commitment to God is another subject to be explored, but we can be assured that God is in control! Soon He will send Jesus Christ back to earth to stop the chaos and restore sanity. Will you be ready?