“Where Will You Spend Eternity?” September 16

 

Where Will You Spend Eternity? - We will all live forever. The question is ... where? Will it be in a place where Jesus said the fire that shall never be quenched and the worm does not die? Or will we spend eternity in the presence of God where he will wipe away every tear, where there will be no sorrow and no more pain?

We will all live forever. The question is … where? Will it be in a place of eternal punishment, where Jesus said there is fire that’s never quenched and the worm doesn’t die? Or will we spend eternity in the presence of God where He will wipe away every tear and where there will be no sorrow or pain?

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 23 & 24
Psalm 107.10-22
Proverbs 25.17
2 Corinthians 8.1-24

 

Where Will You Spend Eternity?

 

Isaiah 23 & 24:

Judge of the Whole Earth

 

In chapter 24 of Isaiah, the pattern of the book changes. Instead of talking about God’s judgment on specific nations, the prophet begins speaking to the inhabitants of the earth. This prophecy is more general in nature.

It. certainly. had a near future meaning, possibly the devastation brought about by Sennacherib and his Assyrian army or by Nebuchadnezzar and his armies from Babylon.

But it also has a yet future application in the events of the Tribulation. The book of Revelation talks about the incredible destruction that will take place during those terrifying seven years.

The next few chapters of Isaiah will continue talking about God’s judgment on the world, but there is also comfort in these passages for those who belong to Him. Even in the worst of times, God cares for His own! And as for the Great Tribulation, I don’t believe those of us who have made a decision for Christ now will be around to see it. I believe it will be proceeded by the Rapture of the church:

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4.16-17).

What about you? Do you know that you will “always be with the Lord”?

We will all live forever (1 Cor. 15.50-54). The question is … where? Will it be in a place separated from God, where Jesus said the fire is never quenched and the worm doesn’t die (Mk. 9.43-44), a place of eternal torment? Or will we spend eternity in the presence of God where he will wipe away every tear, where there will be no sorrow and no more pain (Rev. 21.4)?

Sadly, there will be those who attend church, do good things and think they’re OK with God, who will realize too late that they were not truly saved (Matt. 7.21-23).

What about you? Where will you spend eternity?

If you cannot say that there has been a time in your life where you recognized your need for a Savior, a time when you accepted Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross for you personally and surrendered your life to Him, cry out to God now and ask Him to save you.

 

Assurance of Salvation

 

Perhaps, you’ve prayed a prayer or had an emotional experience at some time in your life, but you still have doubts.  Continue reading

“Pulling Sin & Judgment with a Cord” September 7

 

Pulling Sin & Judgment with a Cord - Could Isaiah's words paint a picture of our nation? He describes people who work at sin. They don't fall into it; they pull it to themselves like a team of horses pulls a load. They do it, in spite of, the conviction of their own consciences and God's faithfulness to warn and correct them. In so doing, they pull God's judgments onto their own heads. He describes their sin by saying they "call evil good, and good evil." Yet, in spite of God's strong warnings against it, we have decided to call homosexuality another lifestyle option and abortion just a choice. We justify the wicked for a bribe and call it politics and call anyone who speaks up for the truth intolerant.Could Isaiah’s words paint a picture of our nation?

He describes people who work at sin. They don’t fall into it; they pull it to themselves like a team of horses pulls a load. They do it, in spite of, the conviction of their own consciences and God’s faithfulness to warn and correct them. In so doing, they pull God’s judgments onto their own heads.

He describes their sin by saying they “call evil good, and good evil.” Yet, in spite of God’s strong warnings against it, we have decided to call homosexuality another lifestyle option and abortion just a choice. We justify the wicked for a bribe and call it politics and call anyone who speaks up for the truth intolerant.

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 5 & 6
Psalm 105.23-36
Proverbs 24.28-29
1 Corinthians 15.29-58

 

Pulling Sin & Judgment with a Cord

 

Isaiah 5 & 6:

Working Hard to Sin

 

Even though these passages are specifically about the nation of Israel, there is much universal truth contained in them. Look at verse 18:

Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity,
And sin as if with a cart rope.

Matthew Henry had this to say:

Here are [s]ins described which will bring judgments upon a people: and this perhaps is not only a charge drawn up against the men of Judah who lived at that time, and the particular articles of that charge, though it may relate primarily to them, but is rather intended for warning to all people, in all ages, to take heed of these sins, as destructive both to particular persons and to communities, and exposing men to God’s wrath and his righteous judgments.

He goes on to describe their behavior:

Who are eagerly set upon sin, and violent in their sinful pursuits (Isaiah 5:18), who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, who take as much pains to sin as the cattle do that draw a team, who put themselves to the stretch for the gratifying of their inordinate appetites, and, to humour a base lust, offer violence to nature itself. They think themselves as sure of compassing their wicked project as if they were pulling it towards them with strong cart-ropes …  in spite of the oppositions of Providence and the checks of conscience. Some by sin understand the punishment of sin: they pull God’s judgments upon their own heads as it were, with cart-ropes.

These are people who work at sin. They don’t fall into it; they pull it to themselves like a team of horses pulls a load. They do it, in spite of, the conviction of their own consciences and God’s faithfulness to warn and correct them (Providence). In so doing, they pull God’s judgments on their own heads.

I commented on some of this yesterday, but think about our nation as you read the following verses 5.20-24:

20 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!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!
24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

We call evil (abortion, homosexuality, etc.) good.
We call speaking up for the truth about those and other subjects “intolerant” and evil.
We put forth darkness (all kinds of sin and immorality) as being “enlightened”—intellectual.
We rail against the backward narrow-minded Christians who supposedly want to “impose” their views on everyone.
We justify the wicked for a bribe and call it politics.
We take away the justice from the righteous man.

Then we are outraged when the flame of a bad economy consumes our retirement plans and our stock portfolios and our jobs disappear like blossoms gone by and turned to dust.

We want to blame past presidential administrations, immigrants, the middle class, the rich, the poor, or corporate America. But the real problem is we “have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel”!  Continue reading

“How would you fill in the blank?” March 14

 

How would you fill in the blank? - Fill in the blanks: "I won't be happy until ____________." "I must have ___________." What do your answers have to do with your worship?Fill in the blanks: “I won’t be happy until ____________.” “I must have ___________.” What do your answers have to do with your worship?

 

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 25 & 26
Psalm 34.1-7
Proverbs 11.28
Mark 13.21-37

 

How would you fill in the blank?

 

Numbers 25 & 26:

Modern Day Idolaters

 

As we see God’s swift and strong judgment on sin in the Old Testament, we need to remember a couple of things. First, He was protecting the people and the bloodline through which He was going to bring forth the Messiah.

But second, though God is patient and merciful with us in our sin and idolatry, it doesn’t mean He’s changed His mind about sin! It’s only the blood of Christ that keeps us from a similar fate and it was the mercy and love of God that made provision for our salvation. And how great a salvation it is!

We tend to write off the idea that we, too, are idolaters. We may or may not bow down to carved images, but we are frequently guilty of having other things on the throne of our hearts besides God Himself. Things like: I must have a spouse to be happy; I must have a godly husband; I must have a wife who respects me, I must have obedient children; or some other, “I must ..” Even good things can become idols if they are the focal point of our lives in the place of God.

Ask yourself, “Is there something or someone I think I cannot be happy without?”

Our idols can become so important that they blind us (Ezek. 14.1-8). In our blindness we can begin to justify sin or even refuse to see that it exists. We murmur and complain like the children of Israel in the wilderness. We compromise our moral standards, resort to sinful anger, or give in to fear.

When we do, it is sin—pure and simple. No amount of sugar coating will change it, but the answer is just as simple Continue reading