I have been studying and teaching Bible doctrine for over 48 years and the shepherding teacher for home based Churches. Sola Scriptura
Happy Gnu Year???
I Am a Biblicist, Not a Pessimist!
Many Christians I know have a special bible verse, what I would call their "life-verse"; it frames who they are in Christ and usually has an air of Hope for the future. For most of my early years as a believer, my verse was II Chronicles 16:9; but as the number of children grew, I changed it to 3 John 4: "I have NO greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the Truth." Their walking in the Truth has taken them from Mumbai, to Cairo, to Jerusalem, to Iraq and places their earthly father could never go himself.
One important thing I have made clear to my children is this: they have been born at the perfect appointed time according to our sovereign Lord's will, for if this world should tarry much longer, it is they who shall be the vanguard of Christ's bride, the Church. They shall see times as their father has only imagined what will be: they will see God work in ways the Church in America has never before witnessed. My forefathers could not have envisioned what we now behold and my children will face on onslaught that without the strong right arm of our Savior, none would survive.
May Your "hope" Be Changed to HOPE!
Hope, A Gift for the Living!
Ecclesiastes 9:4 - if one is alive and breathing, there is always hope: the grave offers NO hope. John Lennon's song, 'Imagine', said he hoped there was no heaven; for if there is a heaven then there must be a hell and it's final accounting. The natural desires of man's heart creates within us a hope that shows itself in many ways, including a hope for a better year coming.
What is interesting about a 'New Year' that intensifies one's hopes is that it is like a new beginning; a chance to fix the mistakes of the past whether physical or relational, to seek to expand one's horizons or in the case of many - to maintain the status quo. New Year's resolutions come and go, they evaporate as reality sinks in and life again trumps our best intentions. I, myself have every intention to make this coming new year as profitable as possible in matters of personal spirituality and relationships along with seeking the greater joy and peace that others so desperately need.
For you see, Hope for the Christian is not a feeling or a desire of one's life; it is a person, the Holy Spirit, without whom no one will ever know the peace that passes all understanding or have the joy of knowing one's eternity is absolutely secure!
I cannot offer anyone outside of Christ any hope for a better new year other than this: that as this world speeds toward final judgment and destruction, the God of all comfort shall guard all hearts that place their confidence in Him. Those who acknowledge their sins and desire a pardon from the Judge of the living and the dead; shall not be overcome by the god of this world but shall find the Hope that shall set you free and you shall be free indeed!
For the Christian that is overwhelmed with the events of today: return to the Word of God and seek His peace - His way. [Philippians 4:6-7] May I suggest Psalm 37 as a place to start for it is my Psalm of refuge in this wayward world My favorite verse is 25 - "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread."
Just a note: death is not God forsaking his own, are you kidding, since when is Paradise not the greatest of all alternatives to life in this sinful flesh?
The Game is Afoot!
The Bible Has Never Been Wrong!
A person would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to know that these are the most perilous times the whole earth has ever seen since the Flood, even if you do not believe in the worldwide flood, that does not change the facts that are before us today. Firstly, I am writing to the true members of the Church and secondly to anyone who will listen. The Word says it best in its warning to the Church in 2 Timothy3:1-4
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God;" Sounds like our daily dose of media coverage!
He adds in verse 13 - "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" I am sorry, but nothing is going to improve for the Christian's status in the world for the coming new year, it is only going to get worse as far as we are concerned. Now as far as God is concerned, things are going to improve for His Bride in many ways.
- By making being a Christian a potentially costly decision, the so-called church attenders will abandon their pollution of our assemblies as they run for cover. As J Vernon McGee stated, it will get the riff-raff out of the Church.
- The Church will actually have to learn to depend upon one another for meeting the most basic of needs.
- The Church will begin to live out the Gospel, not just in church but in the home, our communities and our workplaces. We will be known, for we will be forced to take a stand which will probably result in moving us out of our current edifices back into homes and into a more intimate relationship with fellow believers.
- Our prayer life will become a life-changing necessity and our absolute dependence upon our Lord will be lived out on a daily basis.
As it states in Hebrews 12:27 - He will shake things up so that those things (the Church) which cannot be shaken may remain. I am not being pessimistic, I am just stating that we will not become a spotless Bride as the Church in America without a thorough cleansing. No Christian is looking forward to the coming persecution, including me, but I am excited about a closer relationship and a deeper love of my brethren that will come as a result. We are so self-dependent and sadly that is an offense to our Savior's love for us; Lord forgive us!