Archives For Exhortation

Reading in Hebrews recently, I noticed again an important verbal and conceptual link:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it [faith] the elders obtained a good report.

Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

By noting that the writer of Hebrew begins and ends this glorious chapter with the same statement, we can be certain that he intends to highlight the truth that all the “heroes of the faith” spoken of in this chapter obtained a good report by faith! Let us do the same.

 

 

God intends that biblical revelation about angels transform the way that believers live. Because of the angels who observe what we as believers do, we must live our lives not only with the awareness that we are in the sight of God but also with the awareness that we are in the sight of angels.

2Ki 6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Mat 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

1Co 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

We must live godly because of the angels!

Faced with many hardships, Jacob exclaimed, “All these things are against me.”

Gen 42:36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

In reality, God was orchestrating the troubles that he was experiencing for great good for Jacob and the Israelites (cf. Gen. 50:20).

When we encounter hardship, especially multiple challenges at the same time, or sequentially, we should not respond like Jacob by thinking that everything that is happening is against us. Instead, we must view all that happens to us properly based on what God has told us He is actually doing:

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

With Paul, if you are a Christian, rest confidently in knowing that “all these things” are not against you. Rather, our Father is making them all work together for His glory and our greatest good.

In His omniscience, God knows every thought that every angelic being, every human being, and every other thinking being has ever thought and will ever think. With His perfect knowledge, God has chosen to record for our profit *selected* thoughts of both angels and human beings.

Because God is perfect in His wisdom, we can be certain that He has recorded the thoughts of His creatures that are the most profitable for us to learn from. How carefully then ought we to study what God has revealed to us in His word about the godly and the ungodly self-talk of His creatures!

While reading through Deuteronomy again, I was again struck with the importance of the divine revelation that it provides concerning differences between husbands and their wives:

Deu 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

This passages shows us that God instructed His people that husbands had a responsibility to promote the cheerfulness of their wives.

The NT fully corroborates this teaching and goes far beyond it when it plainly reveals a crucial distinction between husbands and wives:

1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Through this statement, God has instructed His people that husbands must live with their wives with a proper recognition of and active consideration for her as being the weaker vessel.

Both Testaments thus are unequivocal in providing us with crucial teaching that makes clear that men and women are not equals in every way. Let us fully and wholeheartedly espouse what God has revealed in these passages and in many other related passages so that we will as Christians fully shine as lights in this dark world in the way that God wants us to.

For us as Christians, no matter what our current circumstances may be, it will always be true that the Lord has dealt bountifully with us. Therefore, we should sing unto the Lord as long as we live, just as the Psalmist says that he would do:

Psalm 13:6 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 104:33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

Psalm 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Let us sing to the Lord as long as we live!

In a Christian Today magazine article posted today, James Macintyre gives the following as one of “10 Bible verses on the stranger”:

4. Let strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another (Proverbs 5:10).1

Compare what Proverbs 5:10 actually says::

Proverbs 5:7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

Perhaps, somehow, this is an unintentional distortion of Scripture that he will yet correct; as it stands now, we must beware such distortion of Scripture!


1 From Welcoming The Stranger In Our Midst: 10 Bible Verses (http://www.christiantoday.com/article/welcoming.the.stranger.in.our.midst.10.bible.verses/104300.htm; accessed 1/31/17; 11:02 pm)

A Christian is not just a person who has believed in Christ so that he will not go to hell but will instead go to heaven. A Christian is a person who believes that he has been espoused to Christ as a holy virgin who is preparing for the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Just as a virgin who is preparing to be married is completely absorbed in her wedding preparations, a Christian is to be ever making himself ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. God has given to every Christian—as one who is part of the bride of Christ who clothes herself in fine linen, bright and clean—to clothe himself in that fine linen that is his own righteous acts.

Believers who have so overemphasized the truth that God is perfectly complacent with them because they are in Christ and therefore have concluded that how they live does not matter to God have robbed themselves of the glory that God has given to them to clothe themselves in the fine linen that is their own righteous acts. As one who is espoused to Christ as a holy virgin, let us who eagerly await the marriage supper of the Lamb prepare ourselves for our glorious wedding to Him by living righteously in the power of the Spirit for the glory of God!

God’s people properly believe that the Bible is the word of God, that whatever the Bible says is so, and that whatever it says about any subject is vital information about that subject. What does the Bible say to such people about global warming?

Scripture has two passages that speak directly about global warming consisting of devastating worldwide increases in temperature resulting from God’s judgments coming on the earth: Revelation 16:8-9 and 2 Peter 3:7-12.

Rev 16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.  9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

For us as God’s people who believe the Bible properly, these passages provide the most important information about global warming to which we need to give urgent attention. Strikingly, both passages directly speak to us about God’s desire that human beings repent of their sins (Rev. 16:9; 2 Pet. 3:9) so that they will not be consumed by the devastating global warming that God will bring about in the future!

As God gives us as believers opportunities to engage people on the subject of global warming, we should graciously set before them what the word of God has to say about the fearful global warming that will truly destroy the present heavens and the earth! We should then appeal to them to repent and believe the gospel of God and His Christ.

Furthermore, we who are believers should allow these passages to challenge us continually to be all that God wants us to be in view of the devastating global warming that surely is going to come to all the world. Let us truly be people who live our lives “in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Pet. 3:11) as we continue “looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Pet. 3:12).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine that you go to church on a Sunday or Wednesday and hear that Jesus is going to come to your church and preach a week of meetings at your church. If that were to happen, what do you think Jesus would repeatedly emphasize in His week of meetings?

Of course, Jesus is not Himself going to come preach at any church, but we can know something about what Jesus wants emphasized in messages in His churches by noting what He repeatedly talks about in the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3. In messages to three of the seven churches, Jesus spoke six times about a key figure that is active in Christian churches:

Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Rev 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Based on this biblical data, we can be confident that Jesus wants preachers and teachers in His churches continually to make His people mindful of the nefarious activities of Satan! Let us learn from these passages that we must keep this emphasis before God’s people continually.