Follow the Lord Fully!

May 23, 2020

Scripture records several remarkable testimonies about a man who followed the Lord fully! Consider the following passages:

Divine Testimony

After Caleb had served God faithfully in the mission to spy out the land of Canaan, God commended him highly:

Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

God testified to how Caleb had followed Him fully and would reward him for having done so!

Multiple Testimonies

God, however, did not fulfill that promise to Caleb until 45 years had elapsed after He had first made that promise (Josh. 14:6-14). When He did so, three additional testimonies were given to Caleb’s having followed God fully .

First, Caleb testified that he had done so:

Joshua 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

Second, he then spoke of Moses’ having testified of his having done so:

Joshua 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

Finally, the inspired writer of Joshua testified that he had done so:

Joshua 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

Scripture thus records four testimonies to Caleb’s having followed the Lord fully!

Exhortation

Scripture highlights for our profit that Caleb fully followed God. As he did, so must we. Let us do so in the fullness of the Spirit and by the grace of God!

Every Christian who knows his Bible knows that his relationship with God is all-important in his life. Although many may think that they are right with God, we must accept what God says that He requires to be perfect with Him inform us whether we are right with God or not.

An Essential Requirement for Being Perfect with the Lord

It is tragic that many of God’s people either do not know or have not heeded crucial revelation that He has given that explicitly speaks of what being perfect with the Lord requires:

Deuteronomy 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

In this exceedingly important passage, God emphatically declares that there must not be among His people anyone who has any contact with the occult and its practitioners! We as believers must not dabble in any way with the things of the occult!

We as God’s people must be diligent to meet this essential requirement for being perfect with the Lord our God.

Exhortation

Is your heart right with God? Are you perfect with God? If you are dabbling with the occult in any way, your heart is not right with God and you are not perfect with God

God wants you to repent and have no contact or involvement with anything that has to do with the occult. Be perfect with the Lord your God by not having anything to do with any such things or with the practitioners of such things.

Using either the verb conspire or the noun conspirator or conspiracy, Scripture speaks explicitly of people conspiring sinfully in at least thirty verses:

Gen. 37:18  And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

1 Sam. 22:8  That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

1 Sam. 22:13  And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast enquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

2 Sam. 15:12  And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

2 Sam. 15:31  And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

1 Ki. 15:27  And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.

1 Ki. 16:9  And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah.

1 Ki. 16:16  And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.

2 Ki. 9:14  So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.

2 Ki. 10:9  And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

2 Ki. 12:20  And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla.

2 Ki. 14:19  Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.

2 Ki. 15:10  And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.

2 Ki. 15:15  And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

2 Ki. 15:25  But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.

2 Ki. 15:30  And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

2 Ki. 17:4  And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

2 Ki. 21:23  And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house.

2 Ki. 21:24  And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.

2 Chr. 24:21  And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.

2 Chr. 24:25  And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

2 Chr. 24:26  And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.

2 Chr. 25:27  Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.

2 Chr. 33:24  And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.

2 Chr. 33:25  But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.

Neh. 4:8  And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

Jer. 11:9  And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Ezek. 22:25  There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.

Amos 7:10  Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

Acts 23:13  And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.

These passages attest profoundly to the emphasis that God places on providing revelation about humans conspiring to sin.

Remarkably, 25 of the 30 have to do with conspiracies involving high-level governmental authorities in one or more nations. Scripture thereby certainly instructs us that such conspiracies are a widely prevalent reality in the realm of politics/government.

Multitudes of people believe in reincarnation while multitudes of other people believe in the resurrection of the dead. Which one should people believe in?

The Bible plainly and emphatically teaches that people are not going to die and be reborn over and over again. It does so in various ways, especially by making known that Jesus died only once and that all people die only once.

Dying Only Once

Concerning Jesus, Scripture reveals that He died and God raised Him from the dead:

Rom. 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Jesus died only once; He will never die again! Death has no more dominion over Him!

Concerning all men, Scripture reveals that God has appointed that people die only once and are then judged by Him:

Heb. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

They do not die and then be reborn repeatedly, as reincarnation teaches.

These passages make clear that people should believe in the resurrection of the dead and not in reincarnation.

What about The Second Death?

Someone who is familiar with the Bible might object that the Bible speaks of the second death:

Rev. 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Why should we believe in the resurrection of the dead when the Bible itself speaks of a second death? Doesn’t this teaching about the second death support believing instead in reincarnation?

To answer these questions properly, consider that although a surface reading of this passage might lead some to conclude that it contradicts what Hebrews 9:27 says about people’s dying only once, a proper reading shows that it does not contradict what Hebrews 9:27 and other passages teach.

To understand why, note that Scripture teaches that physical death is the separation of the body from the spirit:

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The second death, however, is when people who were already dead stand before God and are then judged by Him:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

In order for people who were dead to stand again, they must experience bodily resurrection.

The second death, therefore, is not when people will die again physically. Rather, these are people who will be cast bodily into a lake of fire.

The Bible’s teaching about the second death does not support belief in reincarnation—people must believe in resurrection, not reincarnation.

The Right Response to These Truths

Reincarnation teaches that people’s bodies die but their souls live on and that they are reborn physically. Jesus, however, warned people to fear God who has the ability to destroy both the soul and the body:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

People who die physically are not going to be reborn again and again. They will die once and then stand before God to be judged by Him.

In view of these truths, God wants all people to know what He is commanding to all people everywhere:

Acts 17:30 God . . . now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

People should not believe in reincarnation. God wants all people to believe in the resurrection of the dead and has provided proof that they should do so by raising Jesus from the dead and fixing a day in which He will judge the world by Jesus.

By Jesus, believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope might be in God.

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

God wants you to believe not in reincarnation but in resurrection!

A BibleWorks search for the word “Amen” in Scripture produced a list of 72 verses. I look forward to analyzing this list thoroughly and profiting much from that study!

Old Testament

Num. 5:22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

Deut. 27:15 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

Deut. 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:18 Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:19 Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:20 Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:21 Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:22 Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:23 Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:24 Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:25 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

1 Ki. 1:36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too.

1 Chr. 16:36 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.

Neh. 5:13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.

Neh. 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Ps. 41:13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 89:52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

Jer. 28:6 Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.

New Testament

Matt. 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mk. 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Lk. 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

Jn. 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Rom. 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom. 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom. 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Rom. 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Rom. 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Rom. 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Rom. 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

1 Cor. 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

1 Cor. 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Cor. 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

2 Cor. 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Gal. 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gal. 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Eph. 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Eph. 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Phil. 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Phil. 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Col. 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

1 Thess. 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 Thess. 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

1 Tim. 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Tim. 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Tim. 6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

2 Tim. 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Tim. 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Tit. 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Phlm. 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Heb. 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Heb. 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

1 Pet. 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Pet. 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Pet. 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Pet. 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

1 Jn. 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

2 Jn. 1:13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Rev. 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Rev. 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev. 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Rev. 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev. 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Rev. 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Rev. 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

A comparative graphical analysis of the number of words in each Psalm provides valuable insight into some truths about the songs that God has given us to sing. It also helps us to evaluate in helpful ways the other songs that we esteem highly.

Total Words in Each Psalm

This graph strikingly shows how much longer Psalm 119 is from all the other Psalms in the total number of words it has compared to them!


Psalm 119 has almost twice as many words as the next longest Psalm (Psalm 119 – 2445; Psalm 78 – 1228). Noting the great length of Psalm 119, we learn that singing some songs that are much longer than the vast majority of our songs is biblical.

 

Number of Psalms with Total Number of Words

A comparison of the number of Psalms within the ranges of total number of words specified in the graph below provides additional information to us about the songs that God has given us to sing.

This graph reveals that 10% (15/150) of the Psalms have 500 or more words, which means that 90% (135/150) of the Psalms are shorter than 500 words.

Moreover, 66% (99/150) of the Psalms are shorter than 300 words. The ten shortest Psalms (6.7%) have fewer than 100 words.

Psalms Compared with “The Greatest/Best Sacred Songs of All Time”

Through a recent informal survey of friends and some other brethren, I compiled a list of what they thought was the greatest/best sacred song of all time that was not in the Bible. Comparing the total number of words in these top songs with the Psalms reveals some interesting facts.

Of 20 songs named in the survey that have been sung frequently in churches, all were under 300 words. Fifteen (75%) of the songs were under 200 words; five (25%) were between 200-299.1

This data suggests that our current sacred songs are roughly in keeping with the majority of Psalms in the total number of words that they have.

Application

This graphical analysis of the Psalms and a comparison of the Psalms with 20 sacred songs considered to be among the greatest/best of all time leads me to think that we need to work on writing more top-notch songs that are longer and that we need to sing more of such songs. In fact, we need to sing some songs that are much longer than the vast majority of the songs that we currently esteem very highly.

We also need to keep in mind that it is biblical to sing songs that are quite short! We should learn from this aspect of the Psalms to sing such songs more often than most of us probably do in our services.

Let us allow these insights to direct us to glorify God all the more in our singing in our churches!


1 Songs under 200 words: Amazing Grace; Be Thou My Vision; Blessed Assurance; Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing; For All the Saints; Great Is Thy Faithfulness; Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah; He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions; Holy, Holy, Holy; How Sweet and Awful Is the Place; Jesus Paid It All; Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness; O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing!; Praise Ye the Lord!; Psalm 100 (All People That on Earth Do Dwell)

Songs with 200-299 words: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God; And Can It Be?; Great God of Wonders; How Great Thou Art; It Is Well with My Soul

In a church-wide time of prayer this past Wednesday evening, my pastor directed six men to lead us online in a time of focused prayer on six key prayer topics. One topic was specific only to our church, but the other five apply to all believers in all local churches:

Reviving of God’s people

Salvation of lost people

Our church’s healthcare workers

Our missionaries and their churches

Our own protection and provision

Taking extra time to pray regularly about these prayer topics would be a great way to redeem the time during this pandemic.

Based on several previous interactions with Christian friends, I wonder if many or most believers think that James 1:13-15 applies to all sins so that every time a person sins, it is because he gives in to a temptation to sin:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Sin That Did Not Result from A Temptation to Sin

The following passage speaks of a situation that required a person to offer a sin offering for their sin, but it is impossible to say this sin always and only resulted because the person who sinned gave in to a temptation to sin:

Numbers 6:9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it. 10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day. 12 And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

A Nazarite who sinned by having someone die very suddenly by him did not do so by giving in to any temptation to sin in that way. It simply is not true that all human sinning is the result of giving in to a temptation to sin.

Conclusion

It it vitally important that we understand why James 1:13-15 does not apply to all sins!

The final question and answer of our Mount Calvary Baptist Church catechism:

Finally, Christians, What Shall Be the Eternal End?

The eternal end shall be that God shall be all in all, that the Lamb shall be served by us who see His face, and that these Divine Persons shall receive from every created thing blessing and honor, glory and power, dominion and praise forever and ever. Amen, and Amen.

These passages are cited in support of this final catechism:

1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, most of us believers throughout much of the world may not be able to celebrate Easter in our churches this year on next Sunday. At least two passages in Scripture lead me to wonder if we should celebrate Easter in our churches later this year instead of not observing it at all.

Provision in the Law

In the Law, God commanded the celebrating of the Passover a month later than its normal time under certain circumstances:

Numbers 9:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. 11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

The Example of Hezekiah

On one occasion in his reign, godly king Hezekiah directed the Israelites to celebrate the Passover one month later than usual:

2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.

2 Chronicles 30:13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. . . . 15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.

Application

Scripture provides both divine instruction and godly example for the celebration of a key religious holiday one month later than its usual time when circumstances necessitated it or warranted it for some appropriate reason. Given our inability to celebrate Easter this year in our churches this next Sunday, these passages lead me to think that we should celebrate Easter later this year rather than foregoing it completely.

What do you think?