Counting The Days…

  Over the years, several individuals and religious organizations have made predictions concerning the date in which God will once again visibly and supernaturally enter into the affairs of man.  They predict that, on their supposed date, He will initiate events that will culminate in the destruction of the world, and entrance into the eternal realm.

  If you read the Bible, you already know that the day of God’s intervention is indeed coming, but you should also remember that Jesus said, “…of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36).”  As a sincere Christian, perhaps today you are joyfully anticipating the end of the age, and entrance into God’s eternal kingdom, as it is described in the Bible.  The scriptures encourage us to “love His appearing.”  If you are excited about His coming, and believe that you know exactly when it will occur, and desire to warn those who are not ready to meet Him, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your concern for my soul.

  But similarly, I hope that you can appreciate that I have some concerns about you as well.  If you have embraced the teachings of one who claims to have determined the date, and it does not happen on that date, will you still be a faithful follower of Christ the next day?  Brother, if your supposed date does not prove accurate, it will not mean that Jesus is not coming back, or that God is not faithful to His promises.  It will simply mean that your teacher was wrong.  Yes, he may be an intellectual who is very versed in Bible talk, but the scriptures clearly state, “…of that day and hour knoweth no man.” 

  Perhaps it would be good to remind ourselves that many have made these predictions before, and the Bible says of them all, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22).”

  My friend, don’t forsake the Lord because of the failures of an ignorant man.  Jesus is coming as He promised, and He will not be late.  Keep Watching!

To Be, Or Not To Be

  In a rather serious context, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, said, “To be, or not to be, that is the question.”  His words were uttered as Hamlet considered the value of life, and pondered whether life, with all of its troubles, might be less desirable than death.  His was a very earthy view of human existence, with the value of life determined by the balance of things pleasant, against things unpleasant.  Sadly, with these same surmisings, many have taken their lives when the unpleasantries stole away their will to live.

  The Apostle Paul describes his own ponderings, quite similar to those of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but with a totally different perspective.  He said, …I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. (Philippians 1:23–24)”  The circumstances of life were rather dismal when Paul wrote these words, he had been wrongfully imprisoned for doing good. 

  While many view life as their own, and the worth of life according to the abundance of pleasure, Paul viewed his life as belonging to the Lord who gave it.   He encouraged his readers, “…ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1Corinthians 6:20)”  To those who know God personally, He grants peace, and power, and purpose.  His is a cause worth living for, and when He bids us come home, it is also worth dying for.  God’s children can confidently say with the aged Apostle, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)”

  Perhaps you would be interested in gaining this new perspective, to own a cause worth living, or dying for, to see nothing but brightness over the horizon when you face your eternal future.  Such a life and outlook are available to you through Jesus Christ.  He, the very Son of God, purchased your forgiveness on the cross of Calvary, so that you might be restored to God.  By faith in His ability to save you, you can know God personally right now.  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)”

What Would You Do If…”

  A friend’s wife has fallen into promiscuity and drunkenness.  In one drunken binge she actually pushed her five year old down some stairs causing a mild concussion.  What would you advise?  To some readers, the resolve seems obvious, “Start the divorce proceedings and throw her out on the streets.”

  One evening, while in your office catching up on some paper work, a robber breaks into your business thinking no one is there.  You are armed; what should you do?  Many would suggest, “Shoot first and ask questions later!”  

  But these thoughts only exacerbate the problem.  In a diversity of opinions, the question has become, “How does one determine the right thing to do?”  Over the course of decades, humanity has fallen prey to an age old philosophy that was once unashamedly tagged Situation Ethics.  Now it has many names: Ethical Relativism, Contextualism, Relational Ethics, and, more recently, it is simply Relativism.  This doctrine of demons has caused many to depart from the once widely accepted Moral Absolutes of the Bible.

  Those who promote Relativism would boast of the system’s flexibility and adherence to the guiding principle of love. “The loving thing to do, is always the right thing to do.”  But those who embrace this doctrine of subjectivity and relativity, don’t understand what true love is.  Love began with God’s love for His creation, and the proper expression of man’s love begins with his love for God (Matthew 22:37-40).  Clearly, one’s love for God is evidenced by unwavering obedience to His commands (John 14:15, 21, 23).

  Love for our fellow man is also defined in the Laws of God.  The last six of the Ten Commandments are the foundational principles upon which human love is based (Exodus 20:12-17).  Doing the “most loving thing,” is inseparably linked to obedience to the Word of God.  “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. (1John 5:2).” If you are serious about making the right choices in hard situations, you’ll have to understand Moral Absolutes—found only in the Word of God.

The Hindrance

  Someone once asked me, “What do you see as the greatest hindrance to the cause of Christ in America today?” “What keeps people from finding and embracing Eternal Truth?”  Perhaps the most obvious hindrance to finding Truth in America is Materialism (never satisfied that one has enough stuff).  Americans tend to define success, not as having all that they need, but as being able to obtain all that they want.

  Scriptures confirm that our attitude toward the “stuff” of this world has a direct bearing on our desire for, and comprehension of, eternal Truth.  God tells us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1John 2:15).  And why must it be either/or?  Because, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (the things money will buy). (Matthew 6:24)”  To strive for the best in both realms is a sure way to find satisfaction in neither.

  If you would know Truth, and the God of Truth, you would do well to hold the things of this world very loosely.  After all, “…a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Luke 12:15)  God has made it easy for us to adjust our priorities, by issuing this wonderful promise, “ ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33).”

 Dear friends, I’m not suggesting that we dispose of all of our earthly belongings and take a vow of poverty, but without a doubt, the most satisfying life is the one you were created to live—a life that includes God, and the things of God.  The “stuff” of earth pales in significance when one starts to accumulate the treasures of heaven, “…where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:20).”  

  Don’t allow the things of this world to deny you the joys of knowing the God of Truth, and His trove of eternal treasures.  Let go, and live!