Surprisingly, many times our own family members can be the greatest distractions. Jesus in Matthew 10:25 says: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” A brother, a relative, or a friend can prove to be a bad influence and therefore a bad distraction. We pursue earthly distractions because we think that they will bring us happiness. But the Bible tells us that Christ has gone to prepare mansions in Heaven for those who believe in Him (John 14:1-3). The earthly success that we desire is merely a glimpse of the joy that believers will realize in Heaven. The Bible in Psalms 16:11 tells us that “in God’s presence is fullness of joy; [and] at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Therefore, if we do not seek to place ALL of our dreams, desires, and hopes in Christ then we have misunderstood our purpose here on earth and will surely encounter disappointment. This is why Paul in Colossians 3:2-3 says “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” The success that we desire is “hid with Christ in God.” Though we may encounter success in this life, that is not the purpose of life. Each person whom God allows to live in this world must realize that they have entered a test, a final examination. This a profound test as it involves our future well-being. There are only two outcomes for this test: a future eternal life with Christ in a world which unlike our current one is not cursed (Genesis 3:16-19, Romans 8:20-22, Revelation 22:3) or dying the “Second Death” which the Bible tells us is experiencing eternal torment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8). Hence, the outcomes of this test called life involve the greatest incentive (i.e. the good news of the gospel) and the greatest disincentive (i.e. the failure to obey the gospel). No one knows when the test will end; for some people, the test ends a lot sooner than they hoped or expected and some sadly find out that they have not done what it takes to even get a passing grade. Therefore, we all need to be concerned with passing the test with flying colors. How do we pass the test with flying colors? By realizing that all things in this life that do not involve reading, learning and loving the Word of God are distractions. Once we understand this then we can manage the distractions in our life so that we will leave this life with a rich understanding of the true knowledge of God. Do not, therefore, allow the distractions in your life to steal your destiny. Many church-goers will end up dying the Second Death because they thought it was more important to chase “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). The Bible reminds us in 1 Timothy 6:10 that in chasing these distractions, many have “erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” From the day we are born, we are told and taught to covet “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” and sadly most people will die in pursuit of these earthly treasures. Jesus urges us not to pursue these earthly treasures and warns us that “moth and rust will corrupt” them and that “thieves break through and steal” them. Christ’s advice is to instead “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:20). So how do we lay up treasures in Heaven?
As a bible-believing Christian, I knew that my brother John would die someday but I never imagined that he would die so young and abruptly (at the age of 40). Many worldviews are content with rationalizing death as a natural part of life. They tell us that death is necessary and even warn us of the dire consequences of a world without death. Death is supposed to be the solution for overpopulation. Death is alleged to be the driving force behind human evolution. Death, we are told, is something that we must get used too since we will all face it someday. Continue reading
Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.
Unlike any other book ever written, the Bible (i.e. the Word of God) is actually alive—in fact, according to 1 Peter 1:23-25, it is said that He “lives and abides for ever.” By He, of course, I am referring to Jesus the Messiah Who is also known as the “Word [of God]” in John 1:1 and the “Word [of God Who] was made flesh” in John 1:14. By the way, did you notice how I started out by talking about God’s Word but then transitioned into talking about a Person? From where did I get the idea that it is proper to refer to God’s written or spoken Word as a He? Actually, I got this idea from the Scriptures (I will speak more on this claim later). The Scriptures, of Continue reading
My responses to your request for context are below. Let me know if it helps or not. Continue reading
A continuation of Angels and Saints Part 1
Other than being caught by surprise, which they shouldn’t have been, why would the Thessalonian believers be upset to be told that the day of Christ had arrived? There was no reason to be “shaken in mind” if they believed in a post-tribulation Rapture. There was, however, sound reason for being shaken if they believed in a pre-trib Rapture. Clearly, then, the latter was their view. If the Thessalonians knew they had to go through the Great Tribulation in order to arrive at the Rapture, which they looked forward to with eager anticipation, then it would not have troubled them to know that the day of Christ had come. Their reaction rather would have been, “Praise God! The time has come for us to face Antichrist and prove our love and faithfulness to our Lord. If we are martyred, we have a special crown. If not, and we endure to the end, then we will be caught up to meet Christ on His descent to the Mount of Olives.” After all, the coming of the day of the Lord and the revelation of the Antichrist with the accompanying tribulation was certainly what they had anticipated if they believed in a post-trib Rapture. Not exactly a “blessed hope,” but surely nothing to be “shaken in mind” or “troubled” about. If, on the other hand, the Thessalonians were expecting Christ before the tribulation period and it had arrived without their leaving in the Rapture, they had something, indeed, to be “shaken in mind” about! Had they been rejected by Christ? Why hadn’t they been taken? And why was Paul still there and all of the other Christians? No one had been caught up to heaven…
Dave Hunt. When Will Jesus Come?: Compelling Evidence for the Soon Return of Christ (pp. 161-162).
James, I would recommend that you examine 1 Thess 3:13 further:
1 Thessalonians 3:13- “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints (“hagios”).”
That verse would make no sense if we’re the “hagios” who come back with the Lord at His second coming. Otherwise, why would Paul need to pray for our hearts to be made “unblameable” at that time? Weren’t they made “unblameable” seven years prior (at a “pretrib rapture”)? No, the only way that verse makes any sense is if we’re here when the Lord comes back with His “holy ones” (see Matthew 25:31). Then it makes all the sense in the world for Paul to be praying for our hearts to be made “unblameable”…”at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”
Do you see the point?
“Like the Israelites of old, we have grown decadent and have forgotten our Christian roots,” Ervin argues. “And so, like the Israelites of old that clamored for a king to lead them, God has given us President Obama so that we can be given over to our craven desires. We have sinned against God, and it is time to take our medicine.”
I grabed the following quote from the WorldNetDaily news article published with the same title as this blog. The article was discussing different viewpoints about whether Obama was sent by God to do great things or as a reward for our ungodly decisions. By my approval of the aforementioned quote it is easy to see which side I believe is correct, nevertheless, I think that the point missed by some in the article was that regardless of whether Obama is a blessing or a punishment, God is completely in control and thus Obama’s victory was caused directly by God (even if it was also caused directly by the American voters).
Consider the following, Satan in John 14:30 is called “the prince of this world”, in II Corinthians 4:4 he is called “the god of this world”, and in Ephesians 2:2 is called “the prince of the power of the air.” In all of these titles, we are able to surmise that the devil’s power on earth is extensive to the point that he is acknowledged to rule the “world”, yet, he is still observed asking for permission from God before laying a finger on Job (Job 1:12,2:5) thereby confirming what scripture says with certainty, namely, that God is overwhelmingly and simultaneously in control even over domains that He seemingly ceded to other entities. And after all, such is the essence of sovereignty.
So, yes America made the choice to elect Obama and it was God’s will to ratify our decision. This action from God is in line with what he did in Romans 1:24,26,28. In these verses the phrase “God gave them up” or “God gave them over” explains what happens when we frustrate God’s goodness. The Obama presidency (as well as many others before) are also a result of America reaping what was sowed many years ago when we decided to crack open the door to ungodly decisions such as the removal of God from the classroom and the embracing of policies that undermined biblical principles.
Obama was effectively God saying “here, this is what you asked for.”
Matthew 12:36 informs us that every person will have to give an account to God on the day of Judgement for every careless word spoken while here on earth and evidently the words men speak will have a bearing on their degrees of reward in heaven, or degrees of suffering in hell.
This frightens me when I think of all the foolishness that I have authored in numerous discourse that I am ashamed to have partaken. However, I must admit that this verse also gives me some solace when thinking about Christians that insist on abnegating thier responsibility to denounce evil as evil while refusing to relinquish the title “follower of Christ.” After all, if we as Christians are ashamed of “following Christ” in his denunciations of the many abominations laid out in scripture, why should anyone take us seriously when we claim that we are following Him in the area of submission to His will?