Thursday, 29 June 2017

Why Thank God for Our Accomplishments?

Along with praise, God loves it when we thank him. But what about the things we've accomplished on our own, such as holding down a job or raising well-behaved children? The Bible shows us that we're given the strength and ability to do things like that.

First of all, we don't know the future. The Bible in Basic English renders James 4:13-14 this way: "How foolish it is to say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into this town, and be there for a year and do business there and get wealth:' When you are not certain what will take place tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist, which is seen for a little time and then is gone."

We tend to glory in our strength but God is the one who gives it to us. Our attitude is as foolish as the examples in Isaiah 10:15 (KJV) which reads, "Shall the ax boast itself against him that  heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that  shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it  up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood."

The truth is that without the power and gift of life from the Lord, we're helpless. Jesus said in John 15:5 (KJV)  "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that  abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for  without me ye can do nothing."

Also, our society despises weakness but God works best through yielded people without the might to do much. Look at what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV). "And he said unto me, My grace is  sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the  power of Christ may rest upon me."

Tragically, the people who mentored me when I was a new Christian didn't understand this. They wanted to wield the power of God for their own aggrandizement and taught me to want the same. My How I Was Razed book shows how futile that was and how the Lord is glorified in our inabilities.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

What Else Does God Feel?

I've previously dealt with God's wrath but which other emotions does he feel? Surprisingly to some, he feels a wide range of them.

The Lord finds the threats of us puny beings humorous. Psalms 2:4 (KJV) says, "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the  Lord shall have them in derision."

Psalms 37:13 (KJV) likewise states, "The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that  his day is coming."

God also feels regret. In Genesis 6:7 (KJV) he says, "And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." The word "repenteth" in that instance means that God felt regret.

The Lord also feels gladness. Examine what Deuteronomy 30:9 (KJV) says. "And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:"

We also know from prophecy that Jesus, the second member of the Trinity, felt sorrow. Isaiah 53:4 (KJV) describes him this way. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our  sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and  afflicted."

God also felt frustrated at those who habitually turned from him. Numbers 14:11 (KJV) shows his exasperation. "And the LORD said unto Moses, How long  will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they  believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?"

I could list other scriptures showing the range of emotions felt by all three members of the Trinity. Instead, I'll save those for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Far from being always angry, the Father feels joy, sorrow, and even regret. People need to understand that God isn't some sort of impersonal force but a dynamic and infinitely wise deity.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

What Does 'Jealous God' Mean?

One of the saddest stories I've heard is of Oprah Winfrey's rejection of the Lord. While sitting in a Baptist church one Sunday, the preacher said God was a jealous God. In her ignorance, she assumed that God's jealousy meant that he was petty and a control freak. So she turned away from her heavenly Father and has adopted all sorts of erroneous philosophies.

What does 'jealous' actually mean in God's case? He seeks to protect and defend his name, all that he is, and those who trust in him alone. He warned about worshipping false gods in Exodus 20:5 (KJV) when he told the Israelites that, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" That's important to note since it's part of the Ten Commandments.

False gods do nothing to help their worshippers and are actually demons in disguise. Look at what the Apostle Paul wrote to his protege in 1 Timothy 4:1 KJV). "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

Likewise, he wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:20 (KJV), "But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils."

God also came to the aid of Israel when they repented and he repaid the wickedness of their enemies. Here's what Nahum 1:2 (KJV)says.  "God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies."

Paul also clears up what the Lord's sort of jealousy means when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV), "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."

From these, and many other scriptures, we can see that God's jealousy isn't the mean sort as ours is. He wants the best for us and he takes great umbrage at any denigration of his holy reputation.
For this reason, I'm saving my money so I may publish my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven. People need to understand who God is and why sin is so odious to him. May God use my writing to steer people right.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Why Does God Demand Praise?

To answer this question, we must keep in mind that God is radically different compared to us. Firstly, he's eternal. Psalms 90:2 (KJV) says, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

And contrary to the ideas of some, God is merciful. Psalms 100:5 (KJV) reads, "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Moreover, he wants to give eternal life to those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ. In John 6:40 (KJV), the Lord declares, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every  one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have  everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

He is also incredibly patient, as 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) shows. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

The heavenly Father is also wise beyond any level of wisdom we could attain to. Isaiah 40:28 (KJV) explains, "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard,  that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the  earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his  understanding."

The Lord is also just. He judges the hearts of people and plays no favourites. Look at what Deuteronomy 32:4 (KJV) says. "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

With all these laudable attributes, plus more I could list, God is far more benevolent, wise, and patient than we could ever hope to be. This is why I'm writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? So many wrong ideas have been spread about the heavenly Father that I feel compelled to challenge them. My book might even be used by God to save somebody from eternity in hell.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Why Does God Allow Sin?

Since God is righteous and perfectly within his right to condemn sinners, why does he allow sin? He hates it but why doesn't he deal with it directly?

God has always given humanity a choice to follow him or the Devil. We saw that clearly demonstrated in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had only one commandment to obey but they chose to rebel.

Joshua 24:15 (KJV) demonstrates that choice is a gift from God. "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Choice also lets God's grace have greater effect. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:20 (KJV),  "Moreover the law entered, that the offence  might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more  abound:"

But the Lord won't let sin go on unpunished forever. Check out what Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:8 (KJV). "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:"

But does God cause sin to happen? No way! Paul explains who really is at fault for sin. He wrote in Galatians 6:7 (KJV), "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for  whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." In other words, what goes around comes around.

The Lord also lets bad things happen to his people for a good cause. Paul knew this well when he wrote in Philippians 1:12 (KJV)  "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;"

But must we wait until Christ's return for wickedness to be punished? There are times when sins are punished in this life. Look at what God said in Deuteronomy 32:35 (KJV). "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

These are but a few of many scriptures which show that God makes use of sin but he isn't the cause of it. I'll be writing more on this subject in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? One reason many people give for rejecting the Lord is because he seems not to do anything about all the evil in this world. How reassuring it is that NOBODY will get away with continual wickedness all through their lives.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Why Aren't Sinners Punished Immediately?

Since God's judgements are just, why are sinners allowed to go on sinning? Because he abhors sin, shouldn't he zap people right away when they disobey?

Saint Peter gives us the answer. Destruction of sinners is a warning to us. As he wrote in 2 Peter 2:6 (KJV), "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;" "Ensample" is the old word for example.

God also wants to give as many chances to people to repent as he knows they will need to make their permanent decision about eternity. As Paul wrote in Romans 2:4 (KJV) to self-righteous believers, "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness  and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness  of God leadeth thee to repentance?"

Peter also noted that the Lord's apparent lack of action in destroying sinners isn't because of any slothfulness on his part. 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) contains this explanation. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

But a time will come when the Lord will metaphorically say, "enough is enough." As 2 Peter 2:9 (KJV) states, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out  of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment  to be punished:"

And as I've noted before, the Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Nevertheless, he grants them their desire to be parted from his beneficent kindness forever. This is why I'm working on my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People must know that the Father won't let them go unpunished for their habitual sins after they die.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Why is God's Justice Just?

In my previous post, I wrote about who angers god. It's the cruel actions and rejection of his law which upsets him. But what makes God's justice just?

First of all, God created everything. He has the right to do whatever he wants with it, including us. Isaiah 44:24 (KJV) explains, "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;"

Furthermore, God always gives good things to those who follow him, even when things seem bad. He said in Jeremiah 9:24 (KJV), "But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."

The Lord also knows us through and through. Unlike people who can only judge external actions, he sees our intentions. As it says in Jeremiah 11:20 (KJV), "But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause."

Likewise, we can see that God's word cuts through all human pretence. Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) reads, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

I could find many other scriptures to prove God's just judgement but this post would become too long. Instead, I'll save that for my next book, which I'm still working on, called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Far too many people are living as if their deeds and membership in churches guarantees their home in heaven. Only by repenting of sinful ways and following Christ will any of us make it into his eternal dwelling place.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Who Makes God Angry?

In my last post, I mentioned the things which anger God. But contrary to wide-spread opinion, the Lord isn't terminally upset at humanity. Even so, there are people who persist with their wickedness until they die.

The Lord takes murder seriously, especially the homicide done to his messengers. Nehemiah 9:26 (KJV)explains this well.  "Nevertheless they were disobedient, and  rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and  slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee,  and they wrought great provocations."

Wicked people, who continue doing wicked things all their lives, are also in the bulls eye of God's displeasure. The Apostle Paul warned extensively of the evil deeds done by unrepentant sinners. He wrote, as one example, in 1 Timothy 1:9 (KJV) about wicked people. "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a  righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly  and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers  and murderers of mothers, for manslayers," And as you can tell, he hardly scratched the surface of their lawless actions.

God especially gets peeved at phoney Christians, as we can easily discover in Titus 1:16 (KJV). "They profess that they know God; but in works  they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every  good work reprobate."

But mere obedience out of duty won't save anybody. The Jews of Christ's time tried that but it didn't impress Jesus one bit. Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 2:29 (KJV). "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."

I feel compelled to write much more on this subject in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Millions of people go through the motions of worship but their hearts are far from the heavenly Father.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

What makes God Angry?

This month, I'll address the topic of God's nature. Many people have formed the false image of our creator as a narcissistic and petulant deity. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the Bible aptly demonstrates.

God's wrath is always righteous, particularly  against enemies of his people. Exodus 15:7 (KJV) says, "And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble."

God loves his people so much that he punishes those who harm them. The word "jealous," misunderstood by Opra and other less-famous celebrities, means a strong desire to protect. Nahum 1:2 (KJV)states,  "God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies."

Additionally, God hates mockers of his messengers. Israel did that and, though he chose to bless and work through that nation, he punished them for their disobedience many times. Look at what is written in 2 Chronicles 36:16 (KJV). "But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy."

God also opposes rebellion, which is a virulent form of disobedience. Deuteronomy 9:7 (KJV) reads, "Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD."

God hates falsehoods told about himself too. Job 42:7 (KJV) clearly proclaims, "And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath."

Additionally, and unlike in most belief systems, vengeance belongs to God and not us. Romans 12:19 (KJV)proves that.  "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

I could write so much more on this topic alone. Instead, I'll save it for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Because of false notions, people use God's righteous anger as an excuse to reject him. How I wish those folks would get a clue and realize that the Lord has every right to be upset at humanity's disrespectful intransigence.