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14:1 The fool has said in his heart,"There is no God."
53:1 The fool has said in his heart,"There is no God."
12:20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required
of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'
Saturday was April Fool's
day. You didn't want to
depend on anything you heard and on only half of what you saw on
Saturday. We needed to wait
until Sunday to get any sensible news because on April Fool's day the
news one read may just have been part of an April fool's prank.
No one seems to know what the origin of April Fool's day was, but
some seem to think that it stems from a change in the calendars that we
use today. Whatever the
case, one can be extremely foolish on April Fool's day and most people
will just think you are having fun. While good fools are considered to
be entertaining on this day, this is a good day to consider the
foolishness of thinking that there is no God and of preparing for time
and not for eternity.
The Foolishness of saying
there is No God!
King David says that a
person is a fool who says that there is no God.
This is repeated twice because of its importance.
A person may question whether they can know God.
A person may question which god is God.
But to take the position that there is no creator God is just as
foolish as saying that my car was not designed by an engineer and made
by the Kia company.
Some have translated
David's Psalms this way, “No God for me.”
That may or may not be the meaning but it makes more rational
sense than saying that there is no God at all.
Rebellion against authority is something that is inbred in each
one of us. From the time we
are born, we want to call the shots and do things our way.
But if there is a God, we need to know who He is and what He
wants. Some people think
that they can rebel against God and get by with it.
This is the attitude of Satan who continually says, “I will”
in Isaiah 14:13 and 14, rather than wanting to know God's will.
Others have translated the
Psalms this way, “No to God!” This
is very similar to saying, “No God for me.”
However, these people know the word of God.
They know that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God, and they know
that they need to be saved. However,
they simply rebel against the idea that God has final authority over
them. Some argue that God is
cruel and they want no part of Him.
Others argue that God is unfair and they want no part of Him.
But even if these accusations were true which they are not, God
is God. I wouldn't want to
get on His bad side if I thought he was cruel and unfair.
The Foolishness of Planning
for Time and Not for Eternity
In Luke 12 the Lord tells the story of a man much like
most of the people I meet today. This
man had worked hard and had his retirement plans all made.
He thought he had enough. But
he had not planned on dying before he had a chance to use his retirement
funds. He apparently had
made good plans for his time on earth and had made no plans for
eternity. The Bible
tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the
Lord will take care of the retirement plan (Matthew 6:33).
Who really has enough confidence in the Lord to test him on this
important point? Many of us
say we trust Him for eternity but we still plan for time as though there
were no God in heaven Who loves us enough to take care of us.
But even if our faith is small, that is, if we have trouble
putting our faith in all of God's promises; there is one promise that we
had better believe and test. That
is the promise that is found in Acts 13:38-39, “Therefore let it be
known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the
forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from
all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
The story is told of a king who held auditions for a
“fool” or court jester. He
wanted the best one in the land and the person who got the position was
to be given the King's staff.
One man finally was given the position and the staff and he
entertained the king for many years.
Finally, the king fell ill and was on his death bed.
The “fool” came to visit and asked the King if he had made
preparations for the journey he was about to take.
The King said that he had not.
The “fool” then handed him his staff back.
He said, “Your Majesty, you are a bigger fool than I.”
Today I am looking at the news and see that an
avalanche of water from three overflowing rivers swept through a small
city in Colombia while people slept, destroying homes and killing around
250 unsuspecting residents. I
wonder how many of them were wise and how many were fools.
Lord help us all to remember that we are designed by
you for your glory. Help us
to trust you not only for eternity but also for time.
for the week of April 2,
There Really Going to be a Second Coming?
if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you
to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:3).
do Know that The Promise is Sure
Lord speaking to His disciples says, “And
if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you
to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:3).”
promise is just as sure as the promise in John 3:16 which says, “For
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
is only one second coming, not two.
But there are many events associated with the second coming.
For the Christian the second coming is one of hope and comfort.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 tells us, “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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
Christians who die before the Lord comes will not be forgotten or
left out. They will actually
rise first so that they can be caught up or raptured with the saints who
are living when the Lord comes.
second coming is one of dread and judgment for the unbeliever.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, “For when they say, "Peace and
safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains
upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”
One of the signs of the second coming of the Lord is that men
will mock the fact that it is going to happen. Peter tell us in
2 Peter 3:3-4, “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in
the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying,
"Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell
asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of
creation." When this
destruction comes, it will be unexpected because unbelievers are like
those who don't lock their doors at night.
They don't lock their doors because they don't expect a thief to
come and rob them. Unbelievers
likewise don't expect that the prophetic events associated with “the
day of the Lord” or the “great day of His wrath” will really come.
But the Lord is coming again!.
Don't Know When the Events Associated with the Second Coming Begin
know that the events that usher in the judgment of God upon the world
that has rejected His Son begins with the signing of a covenant with a
Roman prince (Daniel 9:27). The
many that confirm that covenant likely refers to the Jewish nation.
We know that the true believer has been delivered from the wrath
to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). So
the catching away of Christians must occur before or simultaneously with
the signing of this covenant. But
the signing of this covenant ushers in a 7 year period of prophetic
years. The prophetic year
based on the Jewish calendar would be 360 days.
So while we don't know when the seven years which is normally
called the tribulation period begins, we do know that once it begins
there will be exactly 7 years of 360 days each until the Lord
comes back to the Mount of Olives to set up His righteous kingdom.
That kingdom lasts for 1000 years.
do know that when the events begin, they will take place suddenly.
The Lord say, “Behold I come quickly (Revelation 22:20).”
A better translation would be “Behold I come suddenly.”
An example would be the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin
Wall. There was a long time
between WWII and those events. But
once the events started to happen, they happened quickly or suddenly.
We don't know when the events will start taking place but that
when they do take place the Lord is not going to wait on those who
weren't ready. We need to be
ready for the Lord's second coming NOW!
(See Hebrews 10:37).
we see the turmoil in middle east, when we see the potential for nuclear
conflict, when we see pollution in our seas from Japan's accident
involving its nuclear reactors, when we see the Jewish nation being
brought back into Israel in unbelief so that they can sign the peace
treaty that we have mentioned above, we should recognize that God in His
mercy is warning us to be ready for His second coming.
Men cruelly crucified Him when He came the first time.
For those who repent and believe that He died to save us, His
second coming is something the believer can anticipate with joy and hope
and comfort. For those who
reject Him, His second coming is going to be much different than His
first coming. .
says, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in
the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives,
they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in
the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they
planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained
fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
all need to be prepared now. We
are accountable to the Lord; He is not accountable to us.
Now is the day of salvation.
We are not given tomorrow.
for the week of April 9, 2017
Supposing vs Knowing
John 20:15 Jesus said to
her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She,
supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have
carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him
My thoughts are not your Thoughts
Sometimes we say in jest, “Don't confuse me
with the facts, my mind is already made up.”
That is particularly true of things pertaining to our
relationship with God. Somehow
the created being thinks he or she is more intelligent than the creator.
Ever since Adam and Eve fell in the garden, men have been
deciding what is right and wrong rather than letting God tell them what
is right and wrong. Men
suppose that there is no God or they suppose that there are many gods.
They assume that what makes sense to them must be the truth.
However, God says, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. For as the heavens are
higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My
thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).”
We don't think like God thinks and we are not the final authority
regarding right and wrong and regarding eternal issues.
God is. We are not
Supposing instead of Knowing
The disciples of the Lord were just like us.
They had trouble accepting things that did not make sense to them.
One thing that didn't make sense to them was that the Lord had
really come to die rather than to reign and that He would rise again
from the dead. That is why
when Mary came to the tomb and when she found the stone rolled away, she
assumed (supposed) that the Lord's body had been stolen and taken away.
That made sense. The
resurrection of the Lord did not make sense to her.
However, her thinking caused her grief.
She wept at the tomb. But
when the Lord appeared to her and spoke her name, things changed.
Sorrow turned to joy. Despair
turned to hope. It was
almost too good to be true. But
the Lord had been raised from the dead. It
was true. The angels
gave witness to this truth when they said to the women who came to the
tomb, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was
crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come; see the
place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:5-6).”
Other things that we Suppose
The Jews thought that they knew how to please
God because they thought that they knew the Old Testament Scriptures.
But because their minds were made up,
they couldn't be confused with the facts.
Thus, they didn't see the Lord Jesus being the fulfillment of the
Scriptures that they taught, The
Lord said in John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you
think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
The Jews had seen the Lord do a notable miracle, but He had done
it on the Sabbath and had also said that God was His Father making
Himself equal with God. Instead of the miracle opening their eyes to the
truth, they wanted to kill a man who wasn't loyal to the party line and
who obviously could have made doctors obsolete.
In Mark the Lord begins his earthly ministry
by saying, "The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the
gospel (Mark 1:15)." We
can't believe until we repent or get our minds changed because we think
wrong and we need an attitude adjustment before we quit supposing.
Once we quit supposing we can accept what God says and we will
know. Sometimes we think we
know better than God about the issue of sin, sometimes it has to do with
the issue of His justice, sometimes supposing has to do with the issues
of eternal punishment. However,
whatever our issues, we need
to settle this in our minds: God
is right even when that makes us wrong.
Until we accept that, we will always be confused about God's way
of salvation and we will wonder why there are people that are so sure
that they are right. Many of us are sure that what Gods says is right
even when it makes no logical sense.
Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ doesn't
really make logical sense to most of us. Surely we must DO SOMETHING to
be saved, Right? Wrong! When
we DO SOMETHING we have faith in ourselves.
But what we need to do is to trust the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank the Lord!
As we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord at Easter time, we need to
remember that just because the resurrection seems unbelievable does not
mean that it is unbelievable. Christ
is risen whether we believe it or not. The
angels declared it, the disciples witnessed the living Savior after the
resurrection, and we preach it today.
We don't need to suppose. We
can not only know that Christ has risen, we can know our sins are
forgiven when we have faith in the resurrected Lord.
for the week of April 16, 2017
The Centurion had a
Acts 10:33 So I sent to you
immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all
present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God."
centurion was a Roman soldier who either had or who was converting to
Judaism. He was sincere in
his desire to worship the one true God; and, for some reason, he thought
that was the God that the Jews worshiped.
God recognized his sincerity by acknowledging the things in his
life that showed his reverence. But
the Jews had crucified the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
This man needed to know that this crucified man who had been
raised from the dead was the answer to his need.
people ask me what happens to the people who have never heard the Truth.
It seems that those who seek the Lord do find Him as the Lord has
promised. The Lord speaks
through creation, through our consciences, and through His Word.
When any one of these things causes a person to seek the Lord, He
will make sure that they hear the clear message of the Gospel.
That was true with Paul on the Damascus Road who was a Jew.
That was true of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 who was from
Africa. That was also true
of the this man who was a Gentile living with the Jews.
The Ethiopian came from Noah's son Ham, Paul came from Noah's son
Shem, and this man came from Noah's son Japheth.
So there is no partiality shown by God to those who seek Him.
Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely
(Revelation 22:17). Whosoever
means whosoever. Those who
never hear the Gospel will have to ultimately admit that they never
sincerely sought to know the Truth.
through His angel told Cornelius to send for Peter.
By the time Cornelius' servants had gotten to Joppa, Peter had
been prepared to go with them to a man Peter would have thought was
unclean by Jewish standards. But
God had told him not to call that which God had cleansed common or
unclean. Even though it must
have been difficult for Peter to accept the fact that He was to preach
to a Gentile, He was obedient and went.
then tells Peter when He arrives, that, “Now
therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things
commanded you by God." They
didn't want things sugar coated. They
didn't want to hear part of the truth; they wanted to hear ALL THINGS
that Peter was commanded to tell them.
Peter preached the same truth that Paul preached and that we
preach today. That message is summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 by
Paul, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He
was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the
Scriptures.” Paul them
mentions the witnesses to the resurrection as does Peter.
Peter emphasizes that believers receive forgiveness of sins.
Are we as open minded
as Cornelius was? I realize
that the primary application to his readiness had to do with how to
become a Christian and not how to act once he became a Christian.
But wouldn't a person who has received the truth of the Gospel
want to be open to all the teaching of the Bible having to do with
pleasing and glorifying God?
I realize that we
must rightly divide or correctly explain the word of truth (2 Timothy
2:15). But if the truth is
found in an epistle, wouldn't that be a proper explanation of the truth
of Scripture as it applies to New Testament believers?
I have always assumed that unless the epistles themselves
indicate that the things mentioned are not for our day, then the
epistles should be taught as the way we should please God today.
1 Corinthians 13 mentions gifts that will vanish or fade away or
cease. But we who are saved
should be open to all the teaching found in the Bible and as explained
by the epistles.
Today, I hear about
the major things that please the Lord and the minor things that should
be ignored. I personally
have not found the minor things. I realize that I am perhaps
obsessive—compulsive by nature. Today I also hear that we cannot carry
out the principles of the epistles, either morally or ceremonially
because society and culture has changed.
I really don't want to meet the Lord and try to explain to Him
why principles connected with baptism, the Lord's supper, headship as
evidenced in the local church and moral evil have all changed.
I don't want to explain why we have arranged things in the church
in such a way that the Holy Spirit no longer leads our worship and
teaching. Peter could not be
considered a proper teacher today because he didn't have a Bible degree.
Nor could John. They
were considered “uneducated and untrained (Acts 4:13).”
But I would personally like to listen to either of these men if I
could today. I read and
re-read what they have written.
I would like to
believe that some of us are still, “all present before God, to hear
all the things commanded by God.”
for the week of April 23,
and the Lentils
These are the names of the mighty men whom David had:
2Sa 23:11-12 And
after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The
Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece
of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. But
he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed
the Philistines. So the LORD brought about a great victory.
David's Mighty Men
mighty men that are listed in this chapter must have been precious to
David. They fought his
battles, they were courageous, they defended him and they were devoted
to him. It appears that any
one of them would have been willing to give his life for the life of
David. Of course Joab,
David’s chief general, is not in the list.
While Joab did mighty deeds for David, Joab was always out for
Joab, while these men seemed to be truly devoted to David.
Joab's armor bearer and his two brothers are listed, but Joab is
not. Today, we need to ask
ourselves, “Do we do mighty deeds for ourselves or do we do them for
have been thinking about Shammah the son of Agee the Haarite.
He defended a patch of lentils when all the people fled from the
Philistines. Now we know
that this literally happened, but there seems to be some allegorical
truth here as well. I would
like to believe that the patch of lentils was the food that the
Israelites needed. Shammah
was not defending people in this battle, he was defending food.
Now if we consider the Word of God to be food for the people of
God and if we can assume that we are called to defend “a patch of
lentils” today, would we do it?
about the Doctrines of the Gospel?
am talking to people today who believe that you can be born again or
saved without ever finding out that you are lost.
A person kind of grows into his or her faith according to this
doctrine. But the Bible says
that the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke
19:10). The idea of being
saved is illustrated in the Bible by a number of conversions and by a
number of healings and by a number of people who had demons cast out of
them. These experiences were
not things that a person would forget.
I can understand forgetting the date when a person who was lost
is found and saved, but I cannot understand forgetting the experience.
The Philippian Jailer in Acts 16 was saved and he could tell
others how and when it happened. The
Ethiopian Eunuch, Paul, and the Centurion in Acts 8, 9, and 10 knew when
they were saved. Nicodemus
in John 3 was born again when he met the Lord at night. Just because it
is popular to preach otherwise, we are not being faithful to the unsaved
when we give up this patch of lentils just because people and preachers
have quit preaching the doctrine.
about the Doctrine of Headship?
once we are saved, we are surely devoted to the Lord and should be
willing to do anything to please Him.
In our chapter, three men risked their lives to get a cup of cold
water from a well in Bethlehem where David grew up.
What they did was foolishness in a natural sense.
David wouldn't even drink the water when they brought it because
he knew they could have died breaking through the ranks of the enemy to
get that one cup of cold water.
have one teaching in the New Testament that makes no logical sense to me
but carrying out the instructions pleases the Lord.
The teaching is found in 1 Corinthians 11 and deals with order in
the assembly. Angels are
witnesses to this order and obedience.
A man's uncovered head demonstrates that he as a representative
of mankind is subjecting himself to the Lord (his head).
Women are to cover their heads since she represents the glory of
man or mankind. In covering
their heads, women are not being singled out as second class citizens.
Instead, they are being given the privilege of teaching the
angels that mankind is subject to the Lord in everything that is done in
the church. Put simply, in
the assembly, we don't make up our own minds as to how things should be
done, we let the Lord lead. Men's
uncovered heads and women's covered heads are simply demonstrating that
in object lesson form. A
man's head (the Lord) is to be visible, the woman's head (mankind) is to
be out of sight.
many of us are willing to defend these patches of lentils, today?
I have heard many leaders say that practicing the doctrine of
headship as found in 1 Corinthians 11 limits our ability to carry out
the great commission. The
great commission as found in Matthew 28:20 requires us to teach
disciples “all things”. I
fail to understand how teaching “all things” on headship is going to
hinder the work of the Gospel. I
fail to understand how assuming that one can be saved without finding
out first that one is lost is going to hinder the work of the Gospel.
But when we give up these patches of lentils, we are giving up
truth that not only pleases the Lord, but we are giving up truth that
the church needs in order to be preserved.
for the week of April 30, 2017