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to Archived Meditations
What is it?
2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not
eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
is the last enemy that will be destroyed by the resurrected Christ (1
Corinthians 15:26). Most of us understand that the Bible teaches that
there is physical death (death of the body) and spiritual death
(complete separation from God), but many of us really do not fully
understand either aspect of death. We have heard people say that
"God is dead!" Now of course He is not dead at all; but even
if He were, what would that mean? People who talk this way seem to think
that death means that we cease to exist. However, if we believe the
Bible, death is always separation from someone, but it is never the
cessation of existence.
see this confusion when we think about the death of Christ. Christ did
die for our sins. But Christ is God. So did God die? Of course He did.
He died physically when He bowed His head and delivered up His spirit.
He died spiritually in the three dark hours when He was separated from
the Father. Christ was God and He did die, but He never ceased to exist.
know that we are composed of body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians
5:23). The body is the container for the soul and the spirit. The soul
seems to be our "real self" (our personality or our minds)
while the spirit is associated with breath and seems to be the energy
that allows the body and soul to function. If I were to use a car as a
rough analogy, the car would have a body which contains an engine. The
body would be comparable to our physical bodies. The engine would be
comparable to our souls. The gas that must be ignited to make the engine
run so we can ride in the body of the car, would be comparable to the
spirit. Now I realize that Biblically soul and spirit are sometimes used
interchangeably, so it is obvious that soul and spirit are sometimes
difficult to separate and define. Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word
of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and
of us are concerned with what happens when we die physically, that is
when our body ceases to function. Since we are physical people living in
a physical world, we can say exactly what happens to the body. Once we
die, the body is no longer able to sustain itself and so it decomposes.
We normally bury bodies. Is that all there is to death? No! The soul
continues to exist. We know that was true for Moses and Elijah because
they appeared along with the Lord on the mount of transfiguration (Mark
9:2-4), and they were talking with Jesus. They were very much
"alive" in some sense and could talk and be recognized. It is
obvious that death is not "final" and that our existence is
not over when the body dies.
Lord tells us that our bodies will be raised from the dead and that we
who are saved will serve Him in heaven after the resurrection in
resurrected bodies. I assume that Moses and Elijah were not in their
resurrected bodies on the mount of transfiguration since the
resurrection had not yet occurred, but whether they appeared in bodies
of another sort or whether they were simply spirits at that point, I do
not know. But I do know that they had not ceased to exist.
Scripture makes it clear that those who die "in Christ", that
is, having believed in Him before death, go to be "with the Lord (2
Corinthians 5:8)." Those who die "without Christ", that
is, having rejected His claim to be the Son of God and the sacrifice for
our sins, go to a place of eternal conscious punishment (Luke 16:22-23).
Both await their resurrection (See Revelation 20). The unbeliever will
be raised to ultimately end up in the Lake of Fire in a body prepared
for that place. The believer will be raised to serve God eternally in a
body prepared for that purpose.
death is not the end. That is why it is so important to remember that
the decisions made in this life will affect us forever and ever.
Unbelievers don't "live" forever because living is always
associated with a relationship with the Lord. But they do exist forever.
Our eternal bliss depends on whether we have trusted Christ in this life
so that we can "live" with Christ for eternity.
for the week of March 4, 2012
can we Properly Respect the Lord?
12:6 Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to
them last, saying, "They will respect my son."
is something that is hard to come by in our day. We are told that it is
earned, but often it is given to those who are in the right society or
who are wealthy or powerful. We often do not respect those that God
tells us to respect, and sometimes we give our respect to those who are
completely opposed to all that is good and right and reverent.
our story, a farmer's son was slain rather than being shown respect. The
farmer was an absentee land owner, and he had sent servants to collect
his rent which the tenants wouldn't pay. So he sent His son, thinking
that surely they would respect him. But instead, they killed him
thinking that they could then have his inheritance for themselves. What
the tenants thought of the son was apparently what they thought of the
owner of the property.
the farmer represents our Father God who is in heaven. The servants
represent the old testament prophets. The tenants represent Israel and
the son represents the Lord Jesus. Instead of receiving the Lord Jesus
as their Messiah and worshiping Him, Israel as a nation rejected Him. As
a result they were destroyed. Titus, the Roman general, destroyed the
city of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. And the people of Israel
that didn't die when Rome defeated the Jewish nation were dispersed into
all the nations. The Jews had their minds made up as to what their
Messiah should look like, where He should come from, and how He should
act. The Lord didn't live up to their standards, and they missed the
blessing that could have been theirs. The Jewish leaders were also
afraid that if they gave the Lord respect, they might lose their
positions of authority. Even Pilate knew that when the Lord was being
charged with blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God that the Jews
had really delivered him out of envy (Mark 15:10).
it any different today? The Lord who humbled Himself and became obedient
unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8) is still
despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3). His name is used as a curse
word by many. People don't use the names of Presidents or heads of state
or corporate C.E.O's as curse words, instead they use the name of the
Lord. They don't even use the name of the god's and prophets of other
religions. Rejecting the Lord and His claim to be the Messiah and the
Savior of sinners is not enough for many. They must also show their
utter rebellion and disrespect for Him.
we also have many so-called good people who do not respect Him. It is
obvious that they have a way that seems right to them, but they are
headed down a path that leads to utter destruction (Proverbs 14:12).
Their conversation is filled with self-righteousness not with a love for
the Lord. They tell us about their good works or church membership or
baptisms rather than telling us how they needed to be saved and how they
are depending on the Lord alone to save them. Their Gospel is not good
news at all, but it is a Gospel that deals with moral evil without
offering the proper solution. Their self-righteous solutions have
nothing to do with respect for the Son.
can a person properly respect the Lord? This is a matter of attitude and
of the heart. A person who has never fully understood that they are
sinners that have offended God will never humble themselves to see their
need of the Savior. Whenever we make the Gospel something that we do
instead of Someone we trust, we are not respecting the Lord. The Lord
doesn't HELP US to get saved or delivered from the penalty that our sin
deserves. He DOES ALL THE SAVING. We must do the trusting.
of us who have been made to see the value of the Son to the Father, the
value of the Son in the plan of salvation and the value of the Son to us
personally can say like the bride in the Song of Solomon 5:16, "Yes,
he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, And this is my friend"
person who is saved and who knows it and who gives the Lord all the
credit for his or her salvation is the only one who has given the Lord,
the Father's beloved Son, the respect that He deserves.
for the week of March 11, 2012
is a good Four Letter Word!
14:48-50 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Have you come out,
as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I was daily with
you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures
MUST be fulfilled." Then they all forsook Him and fled.
It is a good four letter word. Do we know what MUST means? In John 3:7
the Lord says we MUST be born again. In John 3:14 the Lord says He MUST
be lifted up or crucified. In Acts 4:12 Peter says that we MUST be
if the Scriptures MUST be fulfilled, what Scriptures would the Lord be
talking about? It would have to be the old testament Scriptures that the
Jews knew and studied. Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and other Scriptures told of
the suffering and rejection of the Messiah. Those Scriptures MUST be
fulfilled. One of the great proofs that God Inspired men to write the
Scriptures is that they speak so vividly and accurately about the birth,
death and resurrection of the Lord. But these passages were written
years before they were fulfilled.
we are Christians while not knowing what the Scriptures say is like
saying we are lawyers without knowing what our constitution says. We are
fortunate that we have the Bible translated into our own language. We
have many scholars who have researched the manuscripts we have available
in the original languages who tell us that we can rely on these
manuscripts. Now while the Lord may be referring to old testament
Scriptures in our verses for today, obviously the new testament
Scriptures also MUST be fulfilled. I am sure that it is possible to be a
Christian without having a good knowledge of the whole Bible; but, in
our day, should we be Christians who do not have a grasp of the basic
truth of the whole Bible? It is impossible to be saved without depending
on the promises of the Scriptures. Many people have depended on those
promises through the oral testimony of others. Some have depended on
those promises while knowing only a few promises of the Bible, but
ultimately, if we are saved, we are depending on the promises of the
Bible so we need to know those promises.
of the Bible by people who are educated and have numerous Bibles in
their homes and who go to churches of some sort regularly is a real
problem today. People used to know what John 3:16 meant and nearly every
child could quote it. That is not true today. And even when people can
quote it, many do not know that John 3:16 is "the Gospel in a
nutshell." One would not need to know more than John 3:16 to go to
heaven, but should we be satisfied to only know John 3:16? No!
matter how we came to faith in Christ and no matter how confident we are
that we are saved, Satan at some point will try to get us to question
the truth of the Bible concerning our eternal destiny and our current
relationship with God. When Satan puts doubts in our minds, we have to
have know the Scriptures well enough to rebuke Satan with promises that
God has made. That is what the Lord did when Satan tested him after
being 40 days in the wilderness. The Lord rebuked Satan with quotations
from the old testament and started every rebuke with "it is
written." He was the original Bible Banger.
are often discouraged from reading the Bible for themselves because they
are exposed to so many different interpretations of the Scriptures. We
need not be confused, however, because our teacher is the Holy Spirit;
and He is going to reveal Christ to us through the Bible. In the old
testament Christ is coming, and in the new, He came and is coming again.
In the old testament God had an earthly people called the Jews. They are
an object lesson for the church, the spiritual people that God has
chosen to represent Him in this age. The old testament helps us
understand Who God is and the principles by which He works. But the old
testament is written to the nation of Israel and its ceremonies are not
the church's in the new testament. While those old testament ceremonies
speak of Christ, today we have Christ Himself and worship Him according
to new testament teaching. When reading the Bible, we need to stick to
three principles of interpretation. 1. Context. 2. Context 3. Context.
And remember, if you have never trusted in Christ as your Savior, then
there is another principle that must be remembered. That principle is
that what you think is right is probably wrong. God does not think like
we think. That is why we must repent (have our thinking changed) in
order to believe.
are too many MUSTS in the Scriptures for us to be careless in our study
of the Bible.
for the week of March 18, 2012
10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And
when he saw him, he had compassion.
Strong's dictionary says that compassion shows sympathy or pity to
someone. The Webster dictionary says, "A suffering with
another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress
or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed
passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love
generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme
distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary
Lord had compassion on the multitudes when they were hungry. He had
compassion on the sick, the lepers and the blind and He healed them. He
had compassion on sinners and died to save them. He set an example of
true love and pity. Our Lord showed compassion that had no racial
boundaries. He did not show favoritism to the rich, the powerful or the
social elite. In many cases, He reached out to those that society had
of the objections to the Gospel has to do with God showing absolutely no
compassion to nations that had deserted Him and had turned their back on
Him in the old testament. We know that what happened to those nations is
an object lesson or analogy having to do with those who reject Him
today. God has no compassion for an unbeliever or a Christ rejecter. But
still, to slay all those people seems cruel until one realizes that the
children were spared being raised in cultures that would have biased
them against believing in the Living God. Young children that have not
rejected the One true God in the old testament and in the new are
"safe" should they die even though they are not saved. John
3:18 tells us that the reason people are condemned eternally is because
they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. I
believe this unbelief is a deliberate act of the will. It is not an
unbelief caused by ignorance or lack of opportunity to believe. So those
children who died when God destroyed the unbelieving nations in the old
testament will be in heaven since they couldn't have rejected Jehovah
while those who are critical of God for destroying those nations will
likely go to hell. Yes, destroying those nations was an act of kindness
to the children who died, and it was an act of kindness to the
israelites since then they would not be tempted to serve heathen gods by
those who had turned away from Him. At the same time it was an act of
judgment on the nations who knew the truth and turned away from it. All
of those nations had descended from Noah and knew that God judged those
who rejected Him. So was the judgment of those rebellious nations that
had been given years to repent of their evil an act of kindness or an
act of cruelty? It certainly was a kindness to those who were preserved
and saved because of it.
our passage, the Samaritan represents the Lord and he had compassion on
one who was probably a Jew who needed to be rescued. The priest wouldn't
help the man and the Levite wouldn't help the man, but the Samaritan
did. The priest represented the religious leaders of the Jews, the
Levite represented the religious workers. Both represented legal
religion. Religion and law does not have compassion, but the Lord does.
there is a great deal of public professions and displays of religion.
Some religions are formal systems that are opposed to the Lord Jesus
Christ, but some religion is a so-called Christianity where a proud
moral lifestyle characterizes those who claim to be Christians. There is
no emphasis on repenting and believing in many of these Christian
groups. People in these systems talk a lot about God but seem to be
uncomfortable mentioning the name of the Lord Jesus in a reverent way. A
legalistic morality based on law rather than a devotional morality based
on a love for the Lord seems to be all pervasive. But religion was of no
help to the man who had fallen among thieves, and it is of no help to a
fallen society or to the sinner in need of the Savior today. A
Samaritan, a despised and rejected one by Jews, was the one who met the
need of the man who had been beaten and robbed. I am glad my Savior is
like this. I wonder if I would have been like the Lord if I had seen a
robbed and beaten man that I didn't know and who was from the wrong part
of society on that Jericho road. Would I have stopped and helped him
because I had compassion for him?
believe God was merciful and compassionate in the old testament, but I
am still glad to live in new testament times where the Lord is presented
as a Samaritan who has compassion. He had compassion on me. Others are
going to see His compassion through Christians. Thank God for every
Christian who has a real heart of compassion for others.
for the week of March 25, 2012