Level 7 Member
Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 11:20 PM
Luke 18:27 But He said, The things impossible with men are possible with God. (LITV)
We all love to praise the concept of all things being possible with God. The Scriptures certainly teach that all things are possible with God. However, sometimes we should be careful about literal applications of a ‘truth’ when considering all possibilities. To say that “all things are possible with God” does not apply to the literal application of sin. It is impossible for God to sin. God is perfect (complete) in righteousness (all things that are right). In God there is no shadow or stain of sin (anything that is not right). God is love, and God’s law is love so sin (anything that is not right) is anything contrary to that law of love.
But have you heard that God ‘hates’ sinners? Well, in a manner of speaking, this is a Scriptural teaching, but it must be understood that it is not interpreted that way. This is because ‘hate’ in the Scriptures doesn’t always mean “hate” in the definition of ‘despising’ or ‘loathing’. Sometime in Scripture it is used to designate a choice between one that is ‘preferred’ against one that is not ‘preferred’ (not ‘hated’, but just not the prime choice) thought the term ‘hate’ is used. To say that God loves sinners is demonstrated many times in the Scriptures, but best expressed (I think) in John 3: 16, “For God so loved the world …” Now the world is full of sinners, and if God didn’t love sinners, then I would certainly have no hope of ever knowing Him.
However, this brings up another term sometimes misunderstood- ‘world’. Christians are taught not to ‘love’ this ‘world’.
1st John 2:15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, (LITV)
If God so loved the world, then why would John teach not to love the world. This shows that the term ‘world’ sometimes means somewhat differently according to the context that it is used in. God loves the world, and in coming to Him we are to love the world. This refers to the world full of people who need to come to God, and we are to show them the way to God through Jesus from our love for them, as God’s love was shown to us. However, when John was saying not to love this world, he was speaking of ‘this world in the way that this world is’ meaning ‘this world in its separation from God’, but not the people of this world who are in need of God. So people who like to find contradictions in the Bible are usually ones who are of this world, and like to take things out of context. Though there may be writings that may be difficult to explain or interpret, we must continue in the faith that God’s Word in the Scripture is true, and anything that seems not quite right is only that which we need to seek the deeper meanings of, whether we find those meaning or not.
Learning to live in God’s law of love helps people to learn what is truly ‘good’ and what is truly ‘bad’. Sometimes ‘good’ is used to mean similar to ‘righteous’ and ‘bad to mean similar to ‘wicked’. However, ‘bad’ does not always mean ‘wicked’. If the Old Testament says that something ‘bad’ is happening, then it may mean something that is not ‘wicked’ in the sense of ‘sin’ but something that is ‘not good’ in the sense of something that is dysfunctional. God may bring ‘evil’ on a nation. That does not mean that God is bringing the nation into ‘sin’, but that His judgment is upon them. That nation is actually bringing the ‘evil’ or ‘judgment’ upon themselves by their own actions contrary to God’s will. So it is not God’s ‘will’ to bring ‘evil’ or ‘judgment’, but God’s will is to bring ‘good’; but people living contrary to God’s will judgment upon themselves, and the judgment is not ‘good’, so therefore the judgment is ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ but not ‘wicked’ in the sense of ‘sin’.
What is ‘goodness’? Anything done that reflects pure love is ‘goodness’. Conversely, anything done in any way to or against anyone that does not have that motive of ‘love’ is ‘badness’. God is perfect (complete) in ‘goodness’. That is His love. It hurts Him that so many people are living to go into eternal separation from Him, because He loves them. But it is up to them to make the decision of His offer to accept them, if they accept their need for Him and they believe in Him through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died sharing His love for us. If they were to see their need for Him and believe, then they would acknowledge their own violation of that law of love, and in accepting they would realize their own need to learn to live in that law of love. Not only that, but Jesus promised to give to those who believed of His Own Holy Spirit to help them grow in His law of love, which would bring them into living the life of good works (Ephesians 2: 10) that God has planned for those who come to Him.
One account from the Gospels where Jesus speaks of possibilities with God is told in three of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke).
Luke 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go in through a needle's eye than for a rich one to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And those hearing said, And who is able to be saved? 27 But He said, The things impossible with men are possible with God. (LITV)
Don’t think Jesus is being silly. The ‘camel’ going through the ‘eye of the needle’ is only an idiom, and idioms were (and still are) often used in teaching. Though it is impossible with men for the rich to enter into God’s kingdom, it is possible with God. A rich person could come to recognize his own need for salvation and come to believe in Jesus and realize his own need to live in God’s law of love. Then he would learn not to hang on to his worldly riches, but in love to reach out to those in need. God spoke of His will for people through the prophet Isaiah (and others as well).
Isaiah 58:6 Is this not the fast I have chosen: to open bands of wickedness, to undo thongs of the yoke, and to send out the oppressed ones free; even that you pull off every yoke? 7 Is it not to break your bread to the hungry, that you should bring the wandering poor home? When will you see the naked and cover him, and you will not hide yourself from your flesh? (LITV)
Jesus taught that we were not to store up our treasures in this world (or in this life), but in Heaven (Matthew 6: 19-20; the entire chapter 6 of Matthew is about rewards and treasures). Storing up treasures (rewards) in this world is what the rich people do. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 20- 25), the rich man looked up from his torments and Abraham told him that he had received his ‘good things’ in his earthly life. Lazarus, the poor man, was comforted in God’s kingdom, but the rich man’s reward was in torments. There is some debate whether this story is a ‘true and real’ account or an ‘allegory’. Jesus taught using idioms in allegories so whether the actualities are ‘true’ or ‘not’, the teachings are ‘true’, because Jesus does not lie. Using an idiom or allegory is not a lie, but an illustrative teaching. So Jesus taught rewards that involved ‘torments’ and elsewhere that these ‘torments’ are everlasting. Jesus died to rescue the lost people of this world from those everlasting torments that separate lost people from our perfect Creator.
But it is possible for the rich to be saved by God’s grace in coming to Him through the Lord Jesus, and in doing so they begin that process of ‘being sanctified’ (a old term that simply means they are brought into a closer relationship with their Creator through better learning to live by God’s law of love). In this, they learn to loosen their grip on these earthly riches (the ‘good things in this life’) by caring for those in need and gaining rewards in Heaven.
1st John 3:17 Whoever has the means of life of the world, and sees his brother having need, and shuts up his heart of compassion from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (LITV)
So it would certainly stand to reason that those who come to know Christ would learn to live in God’s law of love which would bring them to serve others in need. Therefore, we should feel sorrow for those despicable people who become abundantly wealthy by panhandling the precious blood of our Savior. We should especially pray for those poor souls who are led astray by the ‘pretty words’ of these rich panhandlers. They may say a lot of ‘pretty words’, but I can find all the ‘pretty words’ I need in the Scriptures.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 9:50 AM
Update on the prayer request for the husband who was rushed to the hospital. His lungs are being filled with blood and his kidneys are only working at 20%. He still hasn't been diagnosed. Thanks for your support and continued prayers.
New Request- a friend on facebook posted this and gave me permission to share-
Im stressed sad angry mad scared and any other feeling u could possibly feel right now.. I need some prayers
Thank you all for your support.
Monday, November 25, 2013, 10:43 AM
I would like to ask for prayers for a dear friend's husband who has been sick but was recently rushed to the hospital. Prayers that they find the cause and God's healing hands shows the cure. Thank you.
Sunday, November 17, 2013, 9:46 PM
If you truly believe that Jesus came to give His life to pay the price for your sins, then wouldn’t you believe that for His love for you, you should love others also?
Mark 10:42 But having called them near, Jesus said to them, You know that those seeming to rule the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to become first, he shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. (LITV)
In His love for us, He came to teach us that His law of love intended us to serve one another from that sense of love. Serving others because you feel it is a responsibility is not the same as serving others because you love others. Serving others for pay is not the same either. One may have a job that calls for service to others for which he is paid, but love means going beyond the requirements of meeting a paycheck. One may feel responsible for someone or some situation, and may serve from that sense of responsibility, but love means going beyond what one feels responsible for.
Isaiah 29:13 And the Lord says, Because this people draws near with its mouth, and they honor Me with its lip; but its heart is far from Me, and their fear of Me is taught by the commandments of men; 14 So, behold, I am adding to do wonderfully with this people, the wonder, even a wonder. For the wisdom of his wise ones shall perish, and the wit of his witty ones shall be hidden. 15 Woe to those who go deep to hide their purposes from Jehovah; yea, their works are in the dark; and they say, Who sees us? And, Who knows us? (LITV)
One could be in any sort of religion and participate without being committed to that participation or not have their heart fully into it. One may feel their heart is in it because they may feel a sort of spiritual emotionalism that comes from being part of a group and feeling as though you belong there. Still, that doesn’t mean that your participation is real or that you heart is genuine. Many may join with others in praise at a church service and become emotional with the atmosphere, but that does not mean one’s heart is fully in tune with God’s will and purpose. Those who give God lip service without heart service may appear to be wise, but it is an empty wisdom that will fall. One may hide from people, but he may not hide from our Creator (Yahweh- the literal version uses ‘Jehovah’ from the German spelling based on their pronunciation of the Hebrew characters, but the English spelling based on that pronunciation is ‘Yahweh’- this is the way the Jews pronounce it, and the way the Germans may pronounce it, but the German spelling is different).
Ezekiel 33:30 And you, son of man, the sons of your people are speaking about you beside the walls, and in the doors of the houses. And one speaks to another, each man with his brother, saying, Come now and hear what the Word coming from Jehovah is. 31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as My people. And they hear your words, but they do not do them. For they produce much love with their mouth, but their heart goes after their unjust gain. 32 And, behold, you are to them as a singer of love songs with a beautiful voice, and playing well on an instrument. For they hear your words, but they are not doing them. 33 So when it comes (behold, it is coming!), then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst. (LITV)
As in the Isaiah passage above teaching that worship can be ‘pretended’ by actions, but not ‘sincere’ from the heart, the Ezekiel passage also shows that love can be ‘pretended’ by actions, but also be insincere from the heart. People can talk about love, but not really have it. They may think they have it, but they don’t really realize what it is. People may put on a show of worship and say- “I love you God”- but when they pray, they ask from selfish motives for their own advancement and their own gain. Genuine love is to be directed to our Creator and He wishes to love us, and in His love for us, we show Him our love for our love for others.
Honestly- what can we truly ‘give’ to God from this world? He created this world and everything in it. If He wanted money- He could create all He desired. If he were hungry- He could create Himself a big, juicy hamburger. What does He need from us?
If your mother needed a heart transplant, and someone donated their heart to your mother, and then committed suicide so the doctors could take that heart, would you really love that person who showed so much love to your mother, because of your own love for your mother? Jesus loves us so much that He gave His very own life for us. Wouldn’t He love us if we loved one another so much? Don’t you love those who do for those you love? God loves us so much, that what we do for others demonstrates our love for God, because we are doing for those that He loves. If we see someone suffering, and we have the ability to help ease that suffering, and we turn our backs, then how do you think God responds to that, since we have turned our back on someone He loves?
If you go to church and listen to a preacher talk about God’s love and with your own mouth talk about love, then shouldn’t you show that in your daily life? But if in your daily life, you are so preoccupied with chasing after what you ‘want’ for yourself and overlook what you could do for someone else, then you love yourself more than others. The Bible says that in the last days people
would be lovers of their own selves. Is God impressed that people can go to church and get all emotional about His love, and then go out from the church and not consider sharing that love with others.
So some people say they don’t want to talk about religion. That’s fine, because I don’t want to hear about their religion. If they don’t think their religion is worth talking about, then that must show that their religion must not be worth much. Sort of reminds me of ‘secret societies’ that believe they have some deep dark secrets, but they can’t talk about them because they are ‘secret’. Then if it is not to be talked about, then it must not be worth much.
Saturday, November 16, 2013, 4:41 PM
To the best of my recollection, all verses are from the LITV (Literal Version).
Genesis 15:6 And he (Abraham) believed in Jehovah. And He counted it to him for righteousness.
What does God ask of us? First to believe in Him. Then in that belief, He will teach us His law of love. Notice that God counted Abraham’s belief as righteousness. There is nothing here that indicates that Abraham was righteous or that he pretended to be. He needed His Savior Who is his Creator to accept him as righteous. In that belief in God, and recognizing his own need for God, Abraham sought to do God’s will. Believing (truly believing) would lead one to seek obedience to that belief. Believing in God would lead one to seek to do as God would wish.
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, the soul of him is puffed up and is not upright; but the just shall live by his faith.
Notice that living without that faith in a Creator that we are to serve leaves a soul ‘puffed up’ in his own concepts of ‘right and wrong’ and not in unison with our Creator’s recognition of what is truly right and wrong.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Notice that this believing leads to everlasting life. Recognizing that, one should realize that without the believing, there is no hope for this life. The soul is everlasting, but the everlasting life means forever being with our Heavenly Father in that Heavenly home. Not having everlasting life means existing eternally without our Heavenly Father’s care. Jesus described this as everlasting torments. Notice also that this everlasting life is “everlasting”. If one were capable of losing that life once one found it, then that would mean that it wasn’t everlasting.
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.
As Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, all who believe may be saved. To accept salvation, one must realize that there is something that he needs to be saved from. What we are saved from is that unrighteous state that separates us from our God Who loves us. When Paul told the Philippian jailer that he and his household would be saved, he was saying that all in his household who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ would be saved. This in no way teaches that the household is saved just because one member of the household believes and is saved.
Romans 1:17 for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; even as it has been written, "But the just shall live by faith." (Hab. 2:4)
Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness." (Gen. 15:6)
It is that righteousness that is from God that saved Abraham by his faith, and continues through to the prophets teachings that is more fully realized in the saving power of Jesus, Who was in the beginning with God, and was in the beginning God (John 1 and following) that our salvation is fully revealed.
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham: "All the nations will be blessed" "in you." (Gen. 12:3) 9 So that those of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are out of works of Law, these are under a curse. For it has been written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things having been written in the book of the Law, to do them." (Deut. 27:26) 11 And that no one is justified by Law before God is clear because, "The just shall live by faith." (Hab. 2:4)
12 But the Law is not of faith, but, "The man doing these things shall live in them." (Lev. 18:5) 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us; for it has been written, "Cursed is everyone having been hung on a tree;" (Deut. 21:23) 14 that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
No one is perfect in God’s law. That is why that law cannot save us, because we are all guilty of violating it. Even being saved by God’s grace does not automatically make us “perfect”. It makes us “declared righteous” in God’s eyes. We may still fall to sin, but He accepts us and chastens His children to keep them in His will. That which is not perfect could never live in God’s Kingdom, but we are seen as righteous in His eyes by the blood of Jesus, because of His great love and mercy for us. Still, this old fleshly body stained with sin cannot enter God’s Kingdom. That is why before entering Heaven, we will be given a new body, as taught explicitly in the New Testament. The beloved apostle John tells us that when we meet Him, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. This is our promise, faith, and hope. It is in this that God begins working His perfect law of love into our hearts. With this in our hearts, we seek to do good for others to the best of our abilities. Though we are still so far from perfect that we often do not do all the good things that we should be doing in ministering to the needs of others. Yet we are to continue, striving onward.