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Recently someone posted an image on Facebook that was entirely inaccurate, in more than one way. The image claimed firstly that the Old Testament of the Bible is in Greek originally (it is not, it is in Hebrew!) and secondly claimed that the verse in Leviticus where it says “man shall not lie with man as he does with woman” uses the word for “little boy” as the second instance of man. The two words are different words in Hebrew, but the second word is used to mean male. That means any male. The poster was trying to argue that homosexuality was acceptable in the Bible and that there was nothing against it. What our conversation finally came down to was the fact that this person did not like that someone thought their actions (and the actions of those they loved) were sinful and worthy of punishment. Let me state here that all sin separates us from God, in His eyes there is no sin that causes more or less separation from Him than another; however, there are some sins which God will punish more harshly than another. Only He knows what will happen on the day when we die and go to meet Him.

 

During the course of our conversation, this article was shared. It was appalling and inaccurate, so I determined to set the record straight. I spent more than an hour researching and trying to do justice to the questions the woman had posed. I did not thoroughly read the article (mostly because it started with insults and lacked journalistic integrity), but I skipped to the verses they took issue with and found the answers o the questions they had. Below is my response. I did not quite every passage or give the reference, you will have to see the articles to find the references specifically.

 

http://www.pensitoreview.com/2007/02/07/abominations-you-could-be-committing-one-now/comment-page-2/#comment-1263465

 

This article is incorrect. The things that are listed as an abomination are things like rape, adultery, homosexuality, the creation of idols, dishonest business practices, cross dressing, divination, etc. (Most of those should at least make sense…) The verse in Deuteronomy 14 about what animals you should eat does not say that the pig is an abomination, it says it is unclean, which is an entirely different Hebrew word than the one translated as abomination.
The verse about not eating shellfish is again a separate word from “abomination”, This word is only used in relation to foods that they were not to eat. It is also translated as “detestable” or “unclean.”

 

Please realize that there are particular portions of instruction that were meant for the time of the Israelite’s wilderness wanderings and not later. Even after Jesus’ arrival and the declaration that the old law (and much of the food laws) had been done away with, many Jews still chose to practice the traditions. They also tried to force the Gentile believers to follow these laws, even though Gentiles were not required to follow them (according to the New Testament).

 

The Exodus verse about being put to death for working on the Sabbath has nothing to do with “abominations”. In this case, God had granted the people a day to rest and this day was to be holy and consecrated to the Lord (as holy as any other thing that was devoted to the Lord). Violating that holiness was essentially like spitting in God’s face. The reason why we stopped putting sabbathbreakers to death I can’t tell you, but it seems to be generally agreed upon that people who break the Sabbath by working on it will be judged in the next life. Not all consequences or punishment are immediate. Another general principle people seem to disregard is the intent of the command and the intent of the law. The Sabbath was made for man, as a day of rest; man was not made for the Sabbath. It was the Pharisees and religious leaders who added all of the extra “rules” about the Sabbath, which Jesus broke (to an extent). He told a man to pick up his mat (something the Jews considered work) and at another time his disciples picked individual grains to eat. The command for rest on the sabbath does not mean that we cannot do anything, but that we should not be laboring on the Sabbath. This is why picking up your food or serving a meal on the sabbath would have been acceptable, but gathering the wheat and threshing it etc. would not have been.

 

The Isaiah verse is out of context, it is not the incense itself that is abominable, it is the double standard of those who practice wickedness yet come to offer God incense as a ritual, with hearts that are far from him. When we read to understand something we must also read to understand the culture, the linguistic connotations, and the context of the passage.

 

Finally, the Revelation verse. The Greek word that is here translated as “abomination” is only used 6 times in the New Testament (as compared to the 120+ times the OT word was used). The outline of BIblical usage seems to refer mainly to idolatry. Two verses refer to “the abomination of desolation” (thought to refer to a person or force that would destroy Jerusalem). In Luke it states that “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” Revelation talks of a “cup full of abominations” and a woman who is the “mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.” What exactly these last two mean is uncertain to me, perhaps it is a metaphor for being filled with detestable things that you propagate.  The final verse of Revelation, 21:27, is often not quoted to the end: “nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Nobody who has committed abominable acts will enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless the blood of Christ has been applied to cover the debt for their sin. That means that anyone who has accepted Christ’s gift of salvation is clean. If the worst person in the world were to ask Jesus for forgiveness on their deathbed He would be forgiven and enter Heaven right alongside the sweetest saints.

 

My initial concern was with the inaccuracy of the image, but it seems that your main argument is either personal, trying to justify the actions of others that the Bible considers wrong, or mislead, thinking that Christians don’t know that they have sinned. We all do bad stuff, I am just as guilty of sin as anybody else, from Hitler to Mother Theresa. Jesus died for that sin; yours, mine, and everyone’s, because any sin at all would keep us from His presence and from enjoying heaven.

 

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Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” -Galations 6:7

My soul is so tired and weary of dealing with the God-mockers and the lukewarm. Those who claim the name of Christ yet act in as many ways unlike Christ as they possibly can. The people who aren’t simply making an human error, but are perpetuating a lifestyle of sin and essentially spitting on the throne of grace. People who claim Jesus as “ok with it”, but forget that he told the adulteress to “go and sin no more”. Those who talk about Christ’s forgiveness, but forget that he turned the tables on the merchants in the temple. People who say “don’t judge, or you will be judged” but forget that Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The same Jesus who said “love your neighbor as yourself” is also the one who said “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Referring to teachers who led children astray.)

The same Jesus who forgave the prostitute, healed the lame, and said that we were to forgive repentant brothers seventy times seven times also said “be holy, as I am holy.”

Jesus never excused sin, never allowed for sin, or encouraged it. He forgave the sins of the repentant and gave them a way out! Of course, that is not enough for those who want to live sinfully without the fear of guilt or judgment. Someone once said that if an act (a sin) was excusable, then it didn’t need forgiveness! A sinful behavior might be explainable, understandable, or even anticipated, but it is unacceptable: sin is sin, and we must strive for perfection through the help of the Holy Spirit. What we’re saying when we intentionally sin and sin habitually is that God’s grace and mercy are worthless and that He is unworthy of our praise and respect. If you claim to follow the God of the universe, do not be surprised when something is expected of you, or when your sins are revealed. My God will not be mocked.

Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” – Hebrews 10:28-30

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” -2 Peter 2

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So many problems could be avoided in life if we would simply tell the person that we’re upset with that there is something wrong. Most of the time in life it seems that someone is angry about something for months and the person they’re upset with doesn’t know until the thing explodes. Life could be even more simple if people would just forgive others in the first place. Unforgiveness and grudge holding is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Furthermore, if the person we’re upset with doesn’t know that they have hurt you, how can they fix it? There are some people in my life, who are adults, who refuse to talk to me when something upsets them. It’s as if they expect me to read their minds! Don’t do this to your friends, family, children or your spouse. It’s childish behavior and it does not lead to reconciliation. Go to the person who has offended you, tell them why you are offended, and then choose to forgive them. It’s simple, it’s right, and it will bring you peace.

I leave you with a few verses on forgiveness:

The Bible tells us to forgive others. Not when we “feel” like it, not because we want to, but because He has forgiven us and He has commanded it. Jesus tells us that we should forgive an unlimited number of times (Matthew 18). We are told to “put up” with one another: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

We are told to forgive because we have been forgiven. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” And in Mark 11:24-25 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Luke 6:37 tells us “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

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“Yield”

Knowing God’s Will Part 2

Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”

12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”

13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

  • Introduction: The exercise of His rule or SUPREMACY over all His creation.
  • Proposition: In Jonah 1:4-13 we will examine God’s sovereignty at work in fulfilling His plans.
  1. By Using UNBELIEVERS  (vs. 4-10)
    1. a.      To AWAKEN Jonah from sleep to prayer (vs. 5-6)
  • Notice that Jonah had not been praying, even in the midst of the terrible storm. Jonah was a prophet, and he knew that God would not hear his prayer as he ran from Him and committed the sin of disobedience. (“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18)
  • The unbelievers were praying to their gods and nothing was happening, but they knew Jonah to be a prophet of God, and asked him to cry out to the Lord. They recognized God’s sovereignty, and that he was a powerful God.
  • Thought to consider: has there ever been a time in my life when a non-believer asked me to pray for them because they knew that I was a Christian and thought God might heed my prayer to help them?
  1. b.      To CONFRONT Jonah’s disobedience. (vs. 7-10)
  • Jonah’s behavior was irresponsible: he brought calamity upon others through his disobedience. “What have you done?” they asked(vs. 10). They knew he was running from God.
  • Thought to consider: Has MY sin ever caused someone around me pain or inconvenience? If I love God, why am I still doing _______________?
  • When the sailors cast lots to see who had caused the problem, the lot fell to Jonah. God even used an inanimate object to point out his sin.
  • Jonah refused to go witness in the place that God had called him to, and so God used him as a witness to the unbelievers on the boat!
  • As Charles Spurgeon said, “God never allows His children to sin successfully.”
  • Thought to consider: has God ever used a non-believer to point out an area of sin in my life? “If you’re really a Christian, why do you ________?”
  1. By using the WEATHER. (vs. 4, 11-16)
  • If you do not listen to the whisper of God’s voice, he may have to stir up a storm to get your attention!
  1. b.      STIRRED up a storm (vs. 4, 11-14)
  • God had given him a direction, as he gives many of us an “impression” of what we need to do, but far too often we continue to row our own way in our little boat to escape God’s commands.
  • As the night progressed it became increasingly stormy. Even in the storm God calls us to “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”(Psalm 46:10)
  • “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
  • God has you under the umbrella of His will. If you step out from under His umbrella, you WILL get wet.
  • Psalm 107
  1. c.       CALMED the storm, resulting in reverence. (vs. 15-16)
  • The unbelievers saw the result of Jonah’s actions, how God calmed the storm when Jonah was thrown overboard: “At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.” We do not know if this means that they gave their lives to the sovereign Lord, but we do know that God used this situation to touch their lives, and these pagan sailors reverenced Him. God even used Jonah’s disobedience to reach people!
  • Many times in life God may not calm our storm, but God will always calm the faithful believer to get them through the storm.
  • God promises that we will have trials in life, but He has overcome them. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • He has also promised that he will never leave us: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence,’The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?’”
    (Hebrews 13:5-6)

 

  1. By using a FISH(vs. 17)
    1. a.      APPOINTED a fish to swallow him.
  • God had a very large fish in the right place at the right time, so that it could help Him complete His plan to save Jonah. When Jonah was thrown overboard he probably thought He was going to die. And STILL he didn’t pray.
  • In Numbers 22 God even used a Donkey to save Balaam’s life, and finally the Donkey had to SPEAK to him before he would listen.
  • Thought to consider: Have I ever known that God was trying to speak to me using someone/something, but purposely ignored it? How much tribulation do I have to go through before turning to God in obedience?
  1. b.      PRESERVED for His purpose.
  • God saved Jonah, both from himself and from the trials associated with running away from God.
  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
  • God wanted to save Nineveh, and he wanted to use Jonah to do it. Jonah, in his half-digested state, would have been an effective witness to the Ninevites.
  • You can never escape God’s plan, only slow it down for a while.
  • Conclusion: are you yielding to His sovereign will?
    • Do not forget God’s sovereignty! In the old testament, God told the Israelites to set up markers at certain places so that they would remember the good things that God had done for them. What good things has God done for me that I should remember?
    • Thought to consider. Man often acknowledges God as supreme over all creation, but not over man. Am I guilty of this type of thinking?

 

“Remember this, keep it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,
you who are now far from my righteousness.
13 I am bringing my righteousness near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
my splendor to Israel.

Isaiah 46: 8-13

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“The Man Who Said ‘NO’”

Knowing God’s Will for Your Life, Part 1

  • Introduction: Have you discovered God’s will for your life?
  • Proposition: in Jonah 1:1-3 we will examine two facts concerning God’s will.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”  But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”

Jonah 1:1-3

  • Thoughts to consider:
    • Have I ever run away from or ignored God’s will for my life?

 

  1. We must DISCOVER it.

Discover: transitive verb

a : to make known or visible : expose b archaic : display

2 a : to obtain sight or knowledge of for the first time : find <discover the solution>4

  • We must actively seek to know his will.
  1. His will is revealed through His WORD.
  • The Bible is our instruction manual, we must read it to discover His will.
    • 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
      • Some translations say “study to show thyself approved”, this means that we are to discern what behavior God approves of.
      • Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Read all of Psalm 119 for further information!) His Word will lead us in the right direction.
      • Eph 4:14 – Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Read chapter for context)
      • If we only talk to God and don’t read His word we are like a broken radio circuit, always transmitting but never receiving.
      • James 1:22 – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
      • General commands:The Word of God gives us principles that all Christians are to follow; these are the commands that all who claim to follow Him must obey and are not only for an individual. These are things that we do not have to pray about to find God’s will, it is clearly written for us to know.
        • Love God and love Man:
          •  28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating… he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[c] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[d] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] There is no commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:28-31
          • Gracious speech:
            • “Let no [b]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [c]according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:28
          • Forgive as you have been forgiven:
            •  “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven [x]you.” Ephesians 4:32
          • Be Holy, as He is Holy:
            •  “13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a] Peter 1:13-16
          •  Get rid of your old sins:
            • ”Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”  Colossians 3:5-10
      • Concept: His will is not revealed through circumstances; you can be acting completely out of God’s will and still have positive circumstances.
        • When someone runs from God, Satan is more than happy to provide transportation and accommodation.
        • Example: Jonah just happened to find a ship bound for Tarshish; he could have believed it to be a sign from God that he should take that ship, when he clearly knew what God had commanded.
        • Sometimes that “peace” you feel about a decision can be false.
      • Thoughts to consider: How much of the Bible do you know is God’s will for your life?
  1. We all have a COMMISSION.
  • “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.””Matthew 28:18-20
    • This should read “as you are going, make disciples.” It’s a given that people will be going about their daily business. As we do this we should be making disciples. Start in your Jerusalem, in your home town, the places that you go daily.
    • It starts at home: make disciples and be witness to those around you.
      •   So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12
        • By sharing your life and living according to God’s commands, you are a witness to those around you.
        • “Be prepared to kindly give an answer for the hope that is in you. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16
        • Romans 1:16 –  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”
  1. We must OBEYit.
    1. Even when it is DIFFICULT.
  • It is often difficult to obey when the task is unpleasant:
    • Paul was beaten for preaching the Gospel. Acts 16:22, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10
    • Jonah was commanded to take a message to Nineveh, telling them that the wrath of God would come upon them if they did not repent (Jonah 3). Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, enemies of the Jews; Jonah did not want them to be saved, he wanted them to suffer and be destroyed. This would be as if a Jewish American were told during World War II that he needed to go to Nazi Germany to take a message to the Nazis so that they could repent and be saved.
    • Other difficult tasks: love your neighbor, ask forgiveness, give forgiveness, be holy.
      • Sometimes there are things we need to do that are difficult, like turn off that television show we shouldn’t watch (Psalm 101:3 “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.”) or reach out to that person in need (James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”)
      • Role-specific commands.
        • God also has specific commands in the Bible that apply only to certain people. There are commands for husbands and wives, children, parents, unmarried women, leaders, pastors, etc. and there are general commands that all Christians must follow. (See the books of Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 1 Corinthians, 1 Peter, Tutus 2,  and Proverbs 31 for some specific instructions regarding your station in life. )
        • Thought to consider: what is my specific role in life right now? Are there any specific commands for me in the Bible? Am I keeping them?
  1. Following instead of FLEEING.
  • Jonah went completely the opposite direction of what God told him to do.
    • Even if you do not run from His commands, inaction is still disobedience.
    • Circumstances seemed right for Jonah to do his will, instead of God’s.
    • It is best to be in God’s will now, to bring Him glory and follow His commands. God promises to bless those who follow His precepts. Psalm 103:17-18 “But from everlasting to everlasting
      the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”

      • Noah’s family was spared – Genesis 6
      • Abraham was blessed – Genesis 18:17-19
      • Lot was saved – Genesis 19
      • God’s will does not go away if you ignore it, and whether you like the command does not change it.
        • There was a story of a woman who would throw sticks in the air every time she came to a fork in the road to determine which way to go. Upon observing her repeatedly throwing a large number of sticks in the air one day, a man asked her why she threw so many. She replied “I throw them until they land in the way I want to go!”
        • Thought to consider: Am I guilty of trying to conform God’s will to my desires?
      • The Lord will discipline those who are disobedient, as a father disciplines his child.
        • Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. Jonah 1:17
        • Solomon’s Kingdom was taken from him. 1 Kings 11:10-11
        • King David’s son died, other men slept with his wives, and his household was filled with calamity and violence. 2 Samuel 12:7-14
        • Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. Deuteronomy.
        • Israelites forced to wander for 40 years.
  • Conclusion: Mold me and make me after THYwill.
    • Pray for God to show you His will for your life, and earnestly ask Him to change your heart and shape you according to his will.
    • In summary, 3 ways to know God’s will: 1. Read the Bible. 2. Pray. 3. Seek Godly counsel from mature believers.

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Oh Jesus…what terrible pain you suffered on my behalf. I am not worthy of such love, but you give it to me anyway, without asking anything of me but a heart devoted to loving and serving you. Help me in my doubt, Lord, let me not just go through the motions. Be real to me, Father, and let me see you more clearly day by day. You, the perfect child of Heaven, laid down your life for me, a wretched sinner…you loved me so much that you died so you could spend eternity with me. Me! Thank you Jesus! Oh thank you Lord. Beautiful, wonderful savior. Holy God! I thank you. You are so precious. We can never truly comprehend what you did for us on that dark day in Calvary so long ago, you didn’t deserve it, but you took our punishment so that we might live with you forever. You conquered sin and death to rescue our souls! What a terrible, beautiful night. Thank you Jesus. Amen!

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:57)

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

CHORUS:
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior’s side

CHORUS

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

CHORUS:
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

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I recently finished reading C.S. Lewis’ book, “Out of the Silent Planet.” It is an excellent book and poses an interesting scenario. The scenario is that there is one supreme being with lesser beings (though still powerful) under him. Each one had a realm of control, in this case, a planet. (They are all still subservient to the supreme being.) One of them, Thulcan, became “bent” or evil. The other beings, under command of the supreme being, bound the bent one. That planet became “the silent planet,” and the other beings never heard anything more from the planet, though there were vague rumors that the supreme being (Meldil) had had strange dealings with Thulcan and the beings (the intelligent life) of his planet, Thulcandra. The planet is corrupt with the ways of Thulcan, and there is much greed and death in that world. On the other planets, death is natural and expected, unless one dies hunting it’s food. Each species lives out the normal number of their days, and when it is their time to go, the ruler of the other planets “unmakes” them. There is no murder, no life-taking diseases, and each “hnau” (intelligent being, like man) serves the planet’s governor in the capacity that they are best suited too. In this book the hrossa were the fishers, hunters, the song writers and wordsmiths, and the people of Malacandra spoke their language, because it was best. The seroni were the scientists and mathemeticians, they learned things about the world and knew how things worked. The pfiltriggi were the workers, the sculptors, and buildors. Each species had it’s part to play, and none tried to control the other. There were also Eldila, spirit-like beings (similar to angels) under the command of the governor, Oyarsa. If an eldil told you to do something, you did it. Life was a happy existence on Malacandra.

People have often asked, if there were life on other worlds, did Jesus have to come and die for each world’s sins? If you take into account this (fictional) idea of things…each world has it’s own governor who is subservient to God (in our case, an angel). One of the governors, Lucifer, became corrupt, and God had to take drastic measures to redeem his people and undo the harm that Lucifer had done to the earth, his planet of governance. The other planets (in this story) present life as it would have been had sin never entered the world. It’s a fascinating story, and just an interesting thought. The intelligent inhabitants are at peace with one another, happy to do what they were created for, and live as long as they are meant to, before they are “unmade”, or taken to the afterlife. The hnau of the same generation are taken at the same time, and the community is prepared for their leaving. There is really no need for laws, because there is no perversion of what is natural. One male of a species chooses one female to be his mate, they beget children, they live, they die. There is no greed, no lust, no hunger, and each gives to his brethren as they have need. Wouldn’t it be amazing if life were really like that? Because of the twisted ways of Lucifer and the sin he brought to us, we cannot be like that. But this is an excellent and highly recommended book, particularly because it paints this picture of a world without sin. What a wonderful world.

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