2020 Archives

2020 Archives

Good Enough?

  How would you like to take a trip to Heaven? …to see what God really looks like?  Maybe you have Him pictured as a grand old man in a rocking chair?  Would the two of you sit down at a table like old friends?

  Isaiah was a prophet (BC 740-680), before Israel was taken captive by Assyria.  A major thrust of his prophecy has to do with the two comings of the Lord Jesus, first as Savior and later as King.  Chapter 6 recalls Isaiah’s  calling and commissioning by God to be a prophet of Israel.  The event was spectacular; it was as if he took that trip to heaven, in a vision.

  He recounts what he saw: “…I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, (Isaiah 6:1b)”  God is described here as a Ruler, governing His creation.  Isaiah continues, “and his train filled the temple,” so that there was no place to stand apart from Him. (i.e. Train probably refers to His glory, the light of Him that filled the temple.)

  Verse 2 tells us that above the throne stood seraphim (angels),  “…And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”  Holy means: Sinless, Separated One, True Light, Spotless Purity, The Perfect One.  The earth is a showcase for His attributes and perfections.    Godly Isaiah felt unworthy to be in His presence and cried, “…Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (v.5)”  The next verses speak of his cleansing; “…thy sins are purged. v.7”

  Friend, the truth is that before our Holy God, all flesh is undone or unworthy.  Because of sin, we cannot even participate in true worship,  but God wants to forgive our sins and make us worthy to stand in His presence. For this, He has given us Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life!  He alone can make you good enough to live in God’s presence.

SCOFFERS

  The apostle Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, wrote,

 “3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:3–7)”

  Because it has been so long since God supernaturally intervened in the affairs of man, many refuse to believe that He ever will—or that He even exists.  They scoff (vv. 3-4) at those who believe the Bible and await the coming of Jesus to take His saints to Heaven in an event that we call the Rapture.  With His saints safely by His side, the world will experience the wrath of God for seven years in what the Bible calls, “Tribulation.”  At the end of the seven years, Jesus Christ will return to this earth with His saints and destroy His enemies in a military campaign known around the world as Armageddon.  At that time He will establish His kingdom and reign for one thousand years with Jerusalem as His capital.  At the end of time as we know it, Christ will resurrect and judge the ungodly from every generation; they will be cast into the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and this earth will be destroyed by fire (v. 7).  Finally, a new heaven and earth will be created for the eternal abode of believers from all ages. (Rev. 21-22)

  For those who might be inclined to doubt, hindsight is 20/20.  Peter suggests you look back and consider the flood (vv. 5-6).

Good vs. Evil

  Some would argue that the global unrest that has been churned up by unprecedented events in these last few months is the result of political or philosophical differences.  Others seem to enjoy placing the blame on racial tensions, bigotry or bipolar cultural ideals.  There are armies of organized  rabble rousers among us that would take up arms over sexual or racial inequity, diverse social standing or financial instability among those who refuse to work.  If you are looking for a cause to live or die for, you won’t have to look far to find a plethora of self-absorbed, divisive movements whose hope is to effect global change and make every human being a cookie cutter socialist, communist, atheist, agnostic, anarchist or something unfathomably worse.

  …OR, as God puts it, there is a battle that rages in both the spiritual and physical realms in which good and evil, light and darkness, God and the devil, are pitted against each other, and at stake—the souls of men.  But there is “good news!”  Jesus came to earth “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)”

  It is a fact!—the outcome of the battle is already determined!  Because of Jesus, “the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough way shall be made smooth. (Luke 3:5)”  In the end, God and good will destroy evil, and those who belong to Him will enter into a land beyond time, to fulfill the purpose for which they were created—to glorify God in His presence, …forever.

    It is tempting to look into the terrestrial realm for answers to the problems that plague our nation, but I would remind you that you cannot govern the godless.  Our only hope is to turn to God, and trust in Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)”

Faith

In Acts 3, the apostles Peter and John were going into the temple at Jerusalem to pray when they were noticed by a lame man (over 40 years old) that sat at the gate asking for alms.  When he made his plea for their token of mercy, Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (Acts 3:6).”  Miraculously, the man stood up immediately and leaped for joy.  When he proceeded into the temple with the apostles, the people marveled and gathered around to hear his story.  Peter, who had acted so cowardly during the trial and execution of his Lord, now boldly announced that this miracle had been performed by the power of God in honor of His Son, Jesus, whom they had crucified, but whom God had raised from the dead.

  When the religious leaders got wind of what was happening, they drew Peter and John aside and threatened them for teaching in the name of Jesus.  Once again, Peter withstood them with sharp words; “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:19-20).”  It is truly amazing how the Holy Spirit can make a man, lame from birth, to stand up and walk, and turn a cowardly man into a bold testimony for the cause of Christ.  What’s the secret?  In a word, FAITH.

  Peter told the crowd that day, “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:16).”  This story is all about faith.  Everything that God wants to do for His people here on earth requires faith.  “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6).”  You too can know the power of God on your life and have a personal relationship with the God of all power.  But I fear that time is running out—Won’t you believe?

Governing The Godless

  There is an old adage, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”  Politicians of all stripes have used these words in support of their platforms, offering their own political ideologies as worthy specimens of what constitutes “good.”  Interestingly enough what one politician calls “good” is labeled “evil” by the next.  It seems that our leaders, their constituents and hordes of followers cannot agree on even the most basic of all truths.  I for one believe that we were better off when the basic standard for right and wrong was not up for debate.  The unprecedented perversions of proud generations of men and women who believe themselves to be fate’s appointment to the world’s successive leadership posts, have and will continue to lead us into perilous times.

  Thankfully, right is not right because of how we think or feel, and wrong is not wrong because it doesn’t suit our fancy.  There is a standard produced outside of the human race, intended by our Creator God to be the spiritual, moral, political and civil absolutes by which His creatures are governed.  He created mankind with cognitive powers and volition (a free will) so that he might choose for himself the path that leads to life and light around His throne, or death and darkness that ends in the solitary torment of a world without God.

  Obviously, there are those who think they can have the best of both worlds.  They promote a lifestyle of self gratification with an occasional honorable mention of the Divine.  But the Almighty says, “Be sure, your sins will find you out. (Numbers 32:23).”

  Interested in knowing the truth?  How about knowing the God of truth?  The only thing that stands between you and a personal relationship with your Heavenly Father is your sin.  But there is good news!  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)”