03 Mar 2014 Leave a comment
In many contemporary Christian circles there is a common view of God’s Grace that is accepted as true; God is a loving God. Surely, a God of love would not condemn anyone to a Hell as described in the Bible.
However, there is a difference in today’s fashionable belief and the Biblical one. He is an unchanging, faithful God. In addition to a God of love, He is a Holy God, a Righteous God, a God of Fire, a God who judges. We have to reconcile these attributes of God to understand even a bit about His love expressed through the sacrifice of His Son.
The present view is promoted by a belief that the enlightened generation of today is wiser than past generations and more able to interpret the Bible.The reasoning is: a merciful God would never condemn anyone. His love covers all, and in past ages believers may have misunderstood what His love meant. In the modern age believers have grown more intelligent and tolerant, or so it is supposed.
This contemporary belief is an ancient one. St Paul had to correct the Corinthian Christians in their practice of immorality and other distorted beliefs that had crept into the church, based on the same belief as expressed above. It was normal at the time, a part of the Roman religious worship, to practice immorality in religious rites, and to accept other forms of behavior, not tolerated by Christians. The early Church Fathers had to fight continually to keep the Church pure, and so it has been down through the age.
The assertion that God does not condemn is right. Condemnation is a self declared ‘right.’ The equation of human responsibility in the current concept of Grace has gone missing. The current view of behavioral consequences is to deny them or to ignore them. The separation of Grace and responsibility is thus complete.
We, who base our Christianity on the Bible, and the indwelling Holy Spirit’s guidance, follow the precept of Jesus. “If you love me keep my commandants.” John 14:15
Jesus said in regard to the Law, “For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, til all be fulfilled. Mat. 5:17
26 Jan 2014 Leave a comment
My morning’s reading was G. Campbell Morgan’s “Is The Religious Life Necessary? He spoke of the individuals’ conception of Life and Death.
Life is spiritual in essence and endures forever. That is the Christian’s conception of our life in this world as taught by Jesus.” Do not fear them which kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. Fear Him who can…Luke 12:4
What then is death? It is a passing to another plane. We, who are left behind, grieve for those who have gone from our presence. But they have cast aside this earthly body to be clothed upon with a new one from heaven.
What is the relation of this life to our heavenly one? When we view death as laying aside a tent and going on as the same person, we don’t view our life as a separation,but a continuity. We change environments and move to a new world, but we are still the same,in personality and character. We learn new things and most of us will undoubtedly have to learn many things. Even there we will progress the same as here, little by little. Some Christians have the idea that we will be completely changed at the moment of our arrival home. G Campbell Morgan says, and I have believed for many years, that Death is not going to do anything for us that Christ has not done, or cannot do….(except) to leave us more free for development along the very lines on which we have been progressing.
08 Dec 2013 Leave a comment
A recent experience of mine reinforced the fact that our Father prepares our way in advance.
I planned a visit to my son and booked my flight on an airline that only flies in to his small Florida town about twice per week. We had a pleasant visit and on the evening before my return flight I went online and downloaded my Boarding Pass. I didn’t look at the time my flight would leave for I knew it, or thought I did. My son and I left for the airport very early the next morning, a thirty minute drive. About half way there I happened to look at the Boarding Pass. The plane was due to leave in fifteen minutes and we were only halfway to the airport. I felt so foolish. My son attempted to soothe me as we drove on. I was praying all the while, not quite sure why I should ask God to delay the plane for me. We arrived about two minutes before the plane was due to take off. I ran to the flight desk and got, “You’re late , the plane has left. I’ll see what we can do for you.” The young man made a call while I stood waiting for the dreaded word, “gone”. He hung up the phone and looked at me. “Go on through, the plane is a few minutes late.”
And so, I came home with a grateful heart for a Father so loving and kind.
01 Oct 2013 2 Comments
We accumulate joys and delights along our journey of life, rejoice in them, and tend to accept the inevitable blips of trouble.
All is well until the inevitable blips become thunder clouds, and the dark night of the soul disturbs our rest, and our cry becomes, “Why?”
The “I” comes to the forefront and remains while we muck about in the mire of self pity. Our perspective skews and narrows into a thin line of suffering. Forgotten are the blessings of the past, the strength that came to us in happier days.
Asaph knew the grief of the dark time. He thought that God had forsaken him. He complained that he sought the Lord, but found no comfort. ‘Is His mercies clean gone forever?’ He reviewed his past years of blessings, ‘his songs in the night,’ without finding ease.
Asaph then did a complete turnaround in his thought process, and said with a different perspective, “This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
Asaph realized that his years (life) were in God’s right hand. The right hand of God means power, protection, victory, presence, a saving love, tender mercies…
Everything that comes to us is from God’s right hand. No evil can touch us, no trouble can come to us, out side of that loving hand. When we take our eyes off the sorrows that encompass our life the ‘I’ diminishes, in the contemplation of His majestic ways and the grandeur of His power in the life of His people.
Asaph apprehended this truth and sang a lovely song in the following verses of God’s redemptive power. (Verses 10-20.)