During the Tribulation the final Antichrist will rise to power. All those who want to buy and sell will be required wear his name or his number 666 on their right hand or foreheads and all who dwell on earth will be deceived into worshipping him, except those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.
How has following along here impacted your Bible reading or your understanding of God and His Word?
What is your goal for Bible reading and study in 2015?
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I appreciate all the encouraging comments you have given me over the past 6 years. I love knowing how His glorious Word has impacted your lives!
Now on to today’s readings …
Are the wicked “getting away with murder”?
In chapter 1 Habakkuk has been crying out to God about the sin and wickedness he sees around him. He sees the righteous being mistreated and wicked people “getting away with murder,” as we might say today. God responds by telling him, he is going to judge the guilty in short order. But He will do so by allowing an even more evil government, the Chaldeans, to come in and take over as an instrument of His judgment.
The prophet is at first shocked and questions God’s method. He reminds God of His character and points out that the Chaldeans will take the credit and use their success to worship their own false gods and military might.
Imagine your loved one had been struck and killed by a drunk driver. And now that driver is standing before the judge. He is sober now, but he’s haughty and unrepentant, even defiant. How would you feel if the judge said, “It’s ok. You’re free to go. No big deal”? You wouldn’t think he was good. You certainly wouldn’t think he was a righteous judge.
3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.
7 The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.
Imagine your loved one had been struck and killed by a drunk driver. And now that driver is standing before the judge. He’s sober now, but he’s haughty and unrepentant, even defiant. How would you feel if the judge said, “It’s ok. You’re free to go. No big deal”?
You wouldn’t think he was good. You certainly wouldn’t think he was a righteous judge.
God can’t be good and be a liar. He can’t be a righteous judge and give evil a pass. There is a debt to be paid for sin in the court of heaven and it must be paid. For those who put their faith and trust in what Christ did on the cross, it has been paid in full, but for those who reject the truth, the penalty is death.
But death is not the end. We will all live forever. The question is … “Where?”
Death is separation. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden they experienced death. The first death was their separation from God. The second death, the process of physical death, began as they were driven out of the garden and barred from eating from the tree of life.
But there is a third death, separation from God for eternity in a place called hell where Jesus said, the fire is never quenched and the worm does not die (Mk. 9.43-44).
God is good, a stronghold to those who trust in Him, but because He is also the Righteous Judge of heaven and earth and He will one day judge sin and evil.
Romans 3.23 and 6.23:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Have you ever stood before God, the Righteous Judge, in prayer? Have you admitted that you owe a debt you can’t possibly pay—that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness and that there is no just verdict other than death. Romans 10.1-4:
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Have you put your complete faith and trust in what Jesus did on the cross? Have you accepted His payment for your sins? Romans 10.8-13:
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Have you done that? Have you admitted your guilt? Have you acknowledged Him as Lord—Master, Savior? Have you truly surrendered your life to Him?
If not, don’t let another Christmas season pass without understanding, acknowledging, and accepting the very reason He was born in that stable so long ago.
Why not pray now? There is no magic formula. You don’t need to be in a church. There are no special words. Just talk to Him in your own words and acknowledge the things I have talked about here.
If you do, please email me (contact info below) and I’ll send you some information about where to go from here. Please include a mailing address. I will not use it for any other purpose.
All who call upon Him
Verse 18, “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”