Tag Archives: judgement

Hearing God Speak #6 of 7


2 Peter 2:2-3 NKJV

image

And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

In this text God commands us not to be spiritual fatalists. The word for long here is very simply the word desire — it’s a command to desire.

What this means is that if you feel stuck because you don’t have the kind of spiritual desires that you should, this text says, You do not need to be stuck! It says, Get them! Get the desires you don’t have. If you don’t desire the milk of the Word, start desiring it!

Now, that is amazing. A command to desire! A command to feel longings we do not feel. A command to feel desires we do not have. Is anything more contrary to spiritual fatalism than that? Fatalism says, I can’t just create desires. If they’re not there, they’re not there. If I don’t feel things the way the psalmists seem to feel things when they say, “;As a deer pants for the flowing streams so my soul pants for you, O God’ (Psalm 42:1) — if I don’t feel that way toward God, then that’s that. I just don’t. I’m not like the psalmists. That’s the dangerous voice of spiritual fatalism.

But God says, Desire the pure milk of the word! Now before you raise all kinds of objections, like, How can you command me to have a desire? What can I do to obey a command like that? How do I just produce a desire? You may as well tell a lame man to walk.

Can you imagine such a thing — commanding a lame man to walk? Who could do such a thing? We know. Let us ask God to create in us the miracle of longing for his word.

Major Themes LIV – Care for the Needy


PSALM 82:1-8 NKJV

God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.

Posted from WordPress for Android. The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Major Themes XXXIX – Prayer


LUK 18:1-43 NKJV

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’  And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,  yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.  And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’  ” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,  who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.  For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon.  They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken. Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.”  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

Posted from WordPress for Android. The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Major Themes XXXVIII – Prayer


DANIEL 9:1-27 NKJV

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it  is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You. “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem. “As it  is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it  is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly! “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision: “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There  shall  be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall  be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

Posted from WordPress for Android. The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Rediscovering the Christmas Season – December Eight


The Least of These

Exposure: Read Jesus’ teachings about the final judgment. Think of someone you know of that probably falls into the category of “the least of these.” You may have to think outside your normal circles. Invite them to a meal with you. Learn their story. Pray for them.

Exploration: How would you treat people differently if you really saw Jesus in their face? What are some changes you could make in your lifestyle that would fall into the sheep category?

Expression: Post a sticky note with the person’s name on it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Begin to pray for them regularly. Be open to how God may ask you to help them further.

Experience: What did you learn from your experience? How would your life be different if you were purposeful about spending time with those who are struggling?

MAT 25:31-46 NKJV

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was  naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:  for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Posted from WordPress for Android. The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Major Themes X – Judgement


MATTHEW 23:1-39 NKJV

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,  that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.  For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.  They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,  greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’  But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.  And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.  But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. “ But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it. ’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?  And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it. ’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?  Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it.  He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it.  And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.  Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,  and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.  Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.  Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?  Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,  that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.  Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  See! Your house is left to you desolate;  for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed  is  He who comes in the name of the Lord !’ ”

Posted from WordPress for Android

Major Themes IX – Judgement


ISAIAH 5:1-30 NIV

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.   He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.   “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.   What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?   Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.   I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”   The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.   Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.   The Lord Almighty has declared in my hearing: “Surely the great houses will become desolate, the fine mansions left without occupants.   A ten-acre vineyard will produce only a bath of wine; a homer of seed will yield only an ephah of grain.”   Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.   They have harps and lyres at their banquets, pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord , no respect for the work of his hands.   Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.   Therefore Death expands its jaws, opening wide its mouth; into it will descend their nobles and masses with all their brawlers and revelers.   So people will be brought low and everyone humbled, the eyes of the arrogant humbled.   But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.   Then sheep will graze as in their own pasture; lambs will feed among the ruins of the rich.   Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes,   to those who say, “Let God hurry; let him hasten his work so we may see it. The plan of the Holy One of Israel— let it approach, let it come into view, so we may know it.”   Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.   Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.   Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks,   who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.   Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.   Therefore the Lord ’s anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.   He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily!   Not one of them grows tired or stumbles, not one slumbers or sleeps; not a belt is loosened at the waist, not a sandal strap is broken.   Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses’ hooves seem like flint, their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.   Their roar is like that of the lion, they roar like young lions; they growl as they seize their prey and carry it off with no one to rescue.   In that day they will roar over it like the roaring of the sea. And if one looks at the land, there is only darkness and distress; even the sun will be darkened by clouds.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Billy Graham on Forgiveness


1THESSALONIANS 5:9-10 NKJV

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Endless Forgiveness

Look at Christ’s death. In one biography of the great American, Daniel Webster, 863 pages deal with his career and just five pages are devoted to his death. In Hay’s life of Abraham Lincoln there are 5,000 pages but only 25 are devoted to the dramatic story of his assassination and death. In most biographies the deaths of the subjects are mere incidents at the close of the books. But when we come to the four “biographies” of Jesus, the four Gospels, we are confronted with a strange fact. One-third of Matthew is given to a description of the death of Christ. One-third of Mark, one-fourth of Luke, and one-half of John are given to His death. All these pages are devoted to the last 24 hours of His life. The death of Jesus Christ is a significant fact in human history, because Jesus Christ came for the express purpose of dying for sinners. When He left heaven, He knew He was going to the cross.

Daily Prayer

Lord Jesus, what agony You suffered for me upon the cross. I deserve Your judgment, yet You have given me forgiveness and eternal life. I praise Your beloved name.