Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God's Unfailing Love

This is from a good friend, Jan Antonsson, who has a website, The Glory Road...and what she writes IS glorious...She gave me permission to enter this writing on my blog

Given for the Saints of the World on Oct. 3, 2010
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Pet. 1:23).
Would you care to escape the bonds of tradition and orthodoxy and soar into the heavenlies with me while we contemplate the next move of God? This has been the topic of the on-line discussion forum recently. "Where do we go from here?" seems to be on a lot of people's minds these days. Some have felt led to withdraw from the world in search of a closer relationship with our Father; others have been drawn even deeper into the ministry of reaching the lost. No one speaks for God, of course, but we all are eager to know what comes next for us.
During a recent conversation with Harry Robert Fox, a man who has spent his life bringing the Gospel to the lost, including service as a missionary in Japan, the question came up about why, in spite of 150 years of effort by the American churches to convert the Japanese people to Christianity, so few Japanese have accepted the offer.
Harry concludes it is because of their core belief in the Shinto religion, which teaches them that the soil of Japan was created by their gods and they themselves sprang from the sexual union between their male god and female god. They believe their divinity makes them the superior beings on Earth. Because of that, they have no concept of sin, no fear of hell, and thus feel no need of a Savior. Yet, Harry says they have a shame based culture, the shame resulting from failure to live by the strict code of responsibility to their country. For that, which they consider an external problem, they turn to their Shinto religion for the occasional outward cleansing which they believe restores them to wholeness.
As I pondered this, it occurred to me that Christian missionaries, together with Christian teachers and preachers have primarily practiced the orthodox method of scaring people to Christ by preaching hell fire and damnation. This approach did not work in Japan. Though fear of hell often causes people elsewhere to go forward at the invitation hymn, the long term faithfulness of a person scared to Jesus is in question. Backsliding and a return to the world are common place occurrences.
We have heard from many who were traumatized by the experience, driven to repent by fear of hell after they die, but sadly, they were not given any information about the life saving and life giving love and grace of God which gives us the power and energy to live our lives on this earth. Only the Spirit can reveal these treasures, but they never encountered Him. Their Christian experience was mostly dismal self effort and flesh trying to control flesh.
God is often presented as a fire breathing dictator who has rigid rules about how to please Him, regulations which no one can really keep. This fear based religious experience just did not work on the Japanese, who are more invested in their identity as children of the divine, than in their behavior.
I got really excited in my spirit contemplating what would happen if God changed the program and began to lead pastors and missionaries to tell the lost that their destiny is to become children of God; Christ came to redeem and restore them as heirs to the divine promise, which is God Himself. Love rather than fear is a better tool for reaching the lost, I believe. Who wouldn't respond to an invitation from our this amazing Father of ours LOVES us unconditionally, EMPOWERS us to live an overcoming life, PROTECTS us from harm, HEALS us from our diseases, and the only one QUALIFIED to be called our BFF (Best Friend Forever)?
Jesus Christ is the most attractive person who ever lived, as attested to by the thousands who followed Him around from town to town no matter how far from home they had to walk. He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, restored hearing to the deaf, delivered people afflicted with the demonic, whatever you think that may have been, and offered a new way to walk with God. Rather than serving Him out of fear, Jesus invited His listeners to call Him Abba (Daddy, in Hebrew). He invited men and women into the family of God.
Instead of being an "other" from us, Christ came to dwell within us by the Spirit. He poured Himself out on His waiting disciples on the Day of Pentecost and they, in turn, carried the Good News of the Kingdom throughout the known world, aided by Roman roads and the Greek language spoken throughout the Roman Empire.
Prophesied by most of the prophets, as well as Christ, in gory detail in Matt. 24, and Luke 21, the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord occurred in AD 70, when with God's authority, the Roman General Titus raged against Jerusalem with a fury that left few alive. The Christians there had heard Christ's warning about the end of the age (Matt. 24:1-34), and they fled Jerusalem at the first sign of trouble. Josephus reported that there were no Christians killed in the atrocities committed by the Romans during that dreadful time.
Christians who project this horrific time out into the future have overlooked Jesus' words: "Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place" (Matt. 24:34). Unless there are some extremely old Jews living somewhere undiscovered on the planet, these events have already happened. And Jesus said that these events would usher in the age to come, which is NOW.
Unfortunately, some overzealous pastors and preachers use these events to frighten people to come to Christ today. There's a whole lot of shaking going on in the world today, which many Christians fear mean that Armageddon is right around the corner. Were you able to send a CNN reporter back in time to interview the Jews who faced death by famine, plague, and Roman crucifixion during Titus' reign of terror, I'm sure they would tell you with wide eyed horror, that The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord had come! Remember that Jesus wept over Jerusalem lamenting that He longed to take them under His wings like a hen with her chickens, but they would not.
The First Century Jews had no concept of God as Father until Christ came along and told them so. They crucified Him for what they perceived as His arrogance, because to them, God was an other from them, someone to be in awe of, to worship, to obey, but rather difficult to love, I always thought while reading the Old Testament accounts of how He reacted when they disobeyed, which they did on a regular and recurring basis.
Christ came to show us our identity which is IN HIM. The Jews rejected Him, bringing down the wrath of God on Jerusalem in AD 70, when, by the hand of Titus, God closed down the Jewish religion as it had been practiced since He gave the plans for the tabernacle and the Law to Moses on Sinai. When they finally breached the walls of the city, the Romans were in a blood frenzy. They burned the temple to the ground so that there were no stones left standing on another, just as Jesus prophesied (Matt. 24:2).
The Age of the Law came crashing down because there was no longer any place to offer animal sacrifices demanded by the Law, nor any records left to prove the lineage necessary to maintain the priesthood. The only thing left standing today is part of the foundation wall, located below the temple mount. It used to be called the Wailing Wall, where faithful Jews went to pray, but it is now referred to as the Western Wall. Orthodox Jews still go there to pray, rocking back and forth as they read and pray the Torah.

In spite of the murder and mayhem during and after the siege of AD 70, Paul said that "All Israel will be saved" (Rom. 11:26). My NIV Study Bible producers deemed it prudent to make a footnote that said this means only believing Jews, but Paul didn't feel the need to say that because he knew God's heart, which he carefully laid out in Romans, chapters nine through eleven.
The Jews' only claim to God's promises and provision was their lineage from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their feeble and futile attempts to keep the Law. That sounds a lot like the Japanese when you think of it, who like the Jews, identify themselves as children of divine origin maintaining their integrity with ritual cleansing here and there.
The Japanese have the right idea, but the wrong god! Amazingly, we Christians really ARE of divine origin; God IS our Father and Christ IS our elder brother. Why don't we tell that to people we're trying to convert I wonder?
As Christians, our true identity is "In Christ," a phrase which occurs some 69 times in the New Testament. Why is it then, that Christianity has reverted to the Old Covenant and has insisted on relegating our relationship with God to our behavior and obedience to the doctrines of men?
As I said to Harry Fox, the truth that our IDENTITY in Christ is our Passport to God rather than our behavior, is the most exciting, energizing concept to apprehend me in a long, long time.
What if, instead of ranting about sin and hell, we brought the truly Good News to people who are floundering in this life? Most people in the world are not worried about hell and in fact, look at the hypocrisy practiced among some Christian leaders as proof that it's all a word game with no power in it. Nevertheless, like all the rest of us, they need help to cope with the vicissitudes of life.
God is wonderful! His steadfast love is from everlasting to everlasting, and while we're at it, He is not just the God of the righteous, but the God of the whole world (Jn. 3:17; I Jn. 2:2). He is the one, Paul insisted, "who consigned all men to disobedience that He may have mercy upon all!" (Rom. 11:32). He is the one who created Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath (spirit) of life into his nostrils, giving him life and identity as a son of God (Gen. 2:7).
Jesus is Lord of all men (Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:12), because God's Spirit is in all men. Zechariah prophesied that God stretched out the heavens, put the bases of the earth in place, "AND formed the spirit of man inside him" (Zec. 12:1). "And the dust goes back to the earth as it was, and the spirit goes back to God who gave it" (Ec. 12:7). Isaiah declared that God created the heavens and the earth, and "gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it" (Isa. 45:5). God's spirit dwells in all men, whether they know Him YET or not.
The divine seed is within every man, waiting for the breath (Spirit) of God to activate it, much like a human egg, which must be impregnated by the sperm before it can over time become a baby. Spiritual birth is sometimes a lengthy process. Paul, who brought the impregnating Word to thousands of seeking hearts, felt the labor pangs as he waited: "My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!" (Gal. 4:19).
To know Him, we must be born again, Jesus told Nicodemus (John 3:3), but haven't you ever wondered why religion has made this a result of man's works, rather than God's? In fact, John stated emphatically, "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, NOT of blood NOR of the will of the flesh NOR of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13). Clearly, our sonship has nothing to do with man's efforts or actions. It is a God job from first to last!
The New Creation (birth) is a gift of God's will, His imperishable seed, which when germinated (activated), births within us the Christ. We are birthed from above by God's light, which "has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Cor. 4:6). This says to me that the "last Adam," who Paul said was made "a quickening spirit" is the One who calls men to Himself with this promise: "Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven" (I Cor. 15:45-49). That verse always "raptures" me to the Throne of God!
Perhaps the New Move of God will be more one-on-one encounters with the Light rather than corporate endeavors. I appreciate so much men and women like Harry and Jeri Fox who have served as missionaries in far away places under very difficult circumstances. They go because God calls them to go and because they are burdened for the lost. They work under far from ideal conditions, do without so much that most of us feel we must have, live far away from family and friends, enduring privation and hardship, because God called them to share Christ with those who haven't met Him. I could never tell them how to do their work because I've never been in their shoes
I feel sure however, that they and the churches which support them, pray constantly for God's Light and unfailing Love to be displayed to the lost, with or without words. What they fervently desire is more souls to receive Christ. Whatever the next move of God is, I believe the efforts of man will take a back seat to the unstoppable power and ability of Almighty God, who created us from Himself, and who will not sleep nor slumber until He has filled every man, woman and child who has ever lived or ever will live, with His own Life and Spirit, revealed to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22-23). Will you join me in saying, AMEN! Selah!
Jan Antonsson

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Poets know...

Many poets and those with "gentler hearts" have embraced the teaching of the salvation of all mankind through Jesus Chist. Anne Bronte is one of them. (A poem, not surprisingly left out of the anthologies of her poetry)

A Word to the Elect
You may rejoice to think yourselves secure;
You may be grateful for the gift divine -
That grace unsought, which made your black hearts pure,
And fits your earth-born souls in Heaven to shine.
But, is it sweet to look around, and view
Thousands excluded from that happiness
Which they deserve at least as much as you -
Their faults not greater, nor their virtues less?
And, wherefore should you love your God the more,
Because to you alone His smiles are given;
Because He chose to pass the many o'er,
And only bring the favoured few to Heaven?
And, wherefore should your hearts more grateful prove,
Because for ALL the Saviour did not die?
Is yours the God of justice and of love?
And are your bosoms warm with charity?
Say, does your heart expand to all mankind?
And, would you ever to your neighbour do -
The weak, the strong, the enlightened, and the blind -
As you would have your neighbour do to you?
And, when you, looking on your fellow-men,
Behold them doomed to endless misery,
How can you talk of joy and rapture then?-
May God withhold such cruel joy from me!
That none deserve eternal bliss I know;
Unmerited the grace in mercy given;
But none shall sink to everlasting woe,
That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven. - - -

And oh! there lives within my heart
A hope, long nursed by me;
(And should its cheering ray depart,
How dark my soul would be!)
That as in Adam all have died,
In Christ shall all men live;
And ever round His throne abide,
Eternal praise to give.
That even the wicked shall at last
Be fitted for the skies;
And when their dreadful doom is past,
To life and light arise.
I ask not how remote the day,
Nor what the sinners' woe,
Before their dross is purged away;
Enough for me, to know
That when the cup of wrath is drained,
The metal purified,
They'll cling to what they once disdained,
And live by Him that died.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Adam and Christ -

In Romans 5:14, it reads, "...Adam...who is a type of Him who was to come.
Strange - how can Adam, with his sinful nature, be a type of Christ, the sinless One?
Well, in two ways:
First, each one identified with the transgressor(s):
Adam, with Eve
Jesus, with all mankind
Second, each one affected the entire race:
Adam - all mankind is born under sin, regardless
Jesus - all mankind is justified through Him, regardless.
:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us...
:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam's offense, who is a type of Him who was to come.
:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, MUCH MORE did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
For a beautiful picture of this wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus, read the whole of Romans 5...and rejoice that "..as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One, the many will be made righteous" (:19)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A parable- read and be blessed...

This is a story I read a number of years ago, written by Brennan Manning (truly a man who walks with his Lord!!!). It is beautiful - trust it will speak to your heart, your spirit, in a deep way...
The Parable of the Medicine Man
"Many years ago, in the little Mexican town of Hopi, a baby was born. The townspeople had awaited his nativity with much interest since his great-grandfather was Irish and his great-grandmother black, his grandfather was Mexican and his grandmother Creole, his father was half-Indian and his mother Spanish. The little baby had a very mixed ancestry and, consequently, a very funny colour - a mix of white and gold, caramel and coffee. Not knowing what to call him, his parents finally named him Willie. Shortly after birth, he suffered from polio, and was left partially paralyzed.
Willie learned early that children can be very cruel when they don't understand. At school, they laughed at his crazy colour, tweaked his burnt-orange hair, and sometimes kicked his gimpy leg. When the children played tug-of-war at the fiesta for the Virgin of the Assumption, his teammates suddenly let go so that only Willie was dragged through the slimy pool of mud. Later, in the wheelbarrow race, his partner dumped Willie into a pile of brambles with very sharp thorns.
That night, Willie's mother bathed him after she had picked out all the thorns, and rubbed his aching body with soothing aloe oil. As he fell asleep, she caressed him tenderly and told him once again, as she had so many times before, about the great El Shaddai and His love for little children, how they flocked to Him and never wanted to leave Him.
As the great day of the Virgin of Guadalupe's fiesta drew near, Willie worked hard to save money from his joy feeding Macho, the town donkey. On the night of the fiesta, he limped eagerly into the village square, where everyone had gathered for the celebration. His eye danced when he saw the cotton-candy stands, the pretty ladies in their swirling hoop skirts, the prancing horses on the merry-go-round, the men's sequined sombreros worn but once a year, the colourful clown in the zebra suit, dancing like a gazelle.
Willie was wandering about, debating whether to spend his meager savings on a tortilla or a tamale, when his eye caught sight of an old wooden wagon. An over-hanging sign read THE GREAT MEDICINE SHOW. As Willie cautiously approached, suddenly his heart rose in his throat. A tall, gaunt, angular man stepped up on the buckboard, extended his arms, and was about to speak. Just then he look straight at Willie. His face was weather-beaten, but his eyes! They were sad, but so piercing, and gentle, and kind. Willie's heart told him at once who this man was. "It is El Shaddai," cried Willie. The Medicine Man smiled. His face glowed like a sunburst, and his eyes danced merrily.
"Here, little brother," said the Medicine Man. He handed Willie a bottle filled with a bright orange liquid. "Rub 3 drops on your heart each night, and wonderful things will happen to you." Willie reached into his pocket, prepared to offer all that he had for this bottle, but the Medicine Man said, "What I have freely received I must freely give."
The Medicine Man sat down on the buckboard. Willie approached him and asked timidly, "Will the stuff in the bottle make my crooked leg straight, se�or, and make my blotches go away?"
The Medicine Man picked him up and sat him on his knee. Willie was scared now. He was afraid that when the Medicine Man saw his skin up close, he would laugh, like all the villagers, who had nicknamed him Speckled Trout.
Willie was not at all prepared for what happened next. The Medicine Man drew the boy's head against his own heart. It was so warm and peaceful there that Willie thought of the fireplace in the living room of the little house where he lived. Then he felt drops of rain on his head and looked up to see tears of compassion streaming from the Medicine Man's eyes. Willie thought at once of his mother. But even with her, he had never been loved like this before.
"Little brother, what is your name?"
"Willie." The boy's head never moved from the Medicine Man's heart, and he still clutched the bottle in his hand.
"My medicine is so powerful, Willie, that not only will it straighten your leg, but it will straighten all winding paths and all crooked hearts. Every valley of pain shall be filled, and ever mountain of pride leveled, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God."
He touched Willie's burnt-orange hair and kissed him lightly on the forehead. "Would you like to share my dinner with me, Willie?" In his whole life, no one had ever invited Willie to dinner; in fact, no one except his mother and father had ever asked him to share anything. Feelings that Willie had never known existed welled up in his heart. Everybody else had driven him deeper and deeper into his isolation. But the Medicine Man wanted to share his meal with him. Willie was beside himself with joy. He pulled all the money out of his pocket. "I'll buy dessert," he fairly shouted. "Lemon ices, cotton candy, and dandelion cookies."
They ate heartily. Willie talked excitedly, and the Medicine Man listened quietly. Willie spoke of his father and mother, how hard school was, how he wished he had a friend. Then he looked hard into the sad, gentle eyes, and grew bold enough to ask, "Would you be my friend, Senor?"
"I am your friend," answered the Medicine Man.
Without warning, a cold chill gripped Willie's heart. He had never had a friend. What if he didn't know how to be a friend? The Medicine Man was so generous and good, so kind and loving. Surely I will fail him, and then I will lose my only friend, thought Willie.
"Oh, Senor," he said through his fear, "please tell me what it means to be a friend! I want so much to learn."
"Do not let your heart be troubled, little brother. I will tell you the kind of friend I am, and then you can decide for yourself what kind you would like to be. Willie, if I speak to you with beautiful words that make you feel important, but do not love you, I am not your friend. If I share all my knowledge with you so that you understand all mysteries of the universe, but do not love you, I am no friend at all. If I give all my food to feed your family and take care of all your needs, but do not love you, I am not your friend.
"Little brother, I will always be patient with you. I will always be kind to you. I will never be jealous of your other friends. Even though I am the only son of my father, I will never put on airs with you. I will never be snobbish. I will never be rude to you. I will not befriend you to get what I can; I will not easily be moved to anger with you. I will not brood when you disappoint me. I will not rejoice when you do wrong things, but I will rejoice when you are true to yourself. There is no limit to my forgiveness of your faults, to my trust in you, to my hope in you, to my power to endure all the trials of friendship with you.
"Willie, listen closely now. I will never fail you. Prophecies will cease, tongues will fall silent, knowledge will pass away, but I will not forget you. I will never cease being your friend. Little brother, perhaps your memory is not so good. If you forget everything, do not forget this. There are 3 things that last in friendship - faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."
Willie listened attentively. "That is so beautiful, Senor," he said, shaking his head. "But I'm afraid I could never be a friend like that. I am too weak, too ugly, too moody, too dumb."
"That's why I gave you my special elixir, little brother. Be sure to rub the 3 drops on your heart each night. The first drop is called forgiveness, the second is acceptance, and the third is joy. Do that and know that you are blessed." Then he smiled his warmest smile and departed.
Willie ran, skipped, jumped, and danced all the way home. When he arrived, he went to his room, closed the door, and knelt down beside his bed. He opened the bottle and began to rub in the first drop - forgiveness of others - on his heart. It was very painful, because the other children had hurt him deeply.
But soon, a wondrous thing happened: Willie had been so open to the Medicine Man's friendship that the drops of orange liquid didn't rest on his heart, they actually entered into his heart. What normally took years for the Spirit of the Medicine Man to accomplish in the ordinary heart, took place in Willie's open, child-like, transparent heart, in an instant. All anxiety about his leg, his blotches, everything, vanished. And Willie began to pray aloud:
"Oh, Senor, El Shaddai, my friend, do not leave me. You may ask anything of me. All I want is you. Just walk close beside me with your hand in my hand for friendship's sake, and for the joy of being together. Even if your were teasing me about healing my leg and my blotches, I don't care. I'll be so happy to be a speckled trout if only you will stay with me. I remember the one thing you said that mattered most�I love you, my friend. So anything you want, Senor. Only don't ever leave me. And don't let me ever leave you."
You see, after the Spirit of the Medicine Man had entered Willie's heart, it coursed through his whole being and opened his eyes to realize how empty life would be without his friend. That thought so staggered his mind, and appalled his heart, that Willie would never again be the same. But it also opened his eyes to see that in the depths of his heart he really had but one burning desire - not for the things that the Medicine Man had promised, but for the Medicine Man himself."
God bless always...

Friday, June 25, 2010

This says it all!!!

This does indeed SAY IT ALL:
"For FROM Him and THROUGH Him and to Him are ALL things. (For ALL [things] originate with Him and come from Him; ALL [things] live through Him, and ALL [things] center in and [tend to] consummate and to end in Him.) To Him be glory for the ages of the ages! Amen. Romans 11:36
Thank you, Lord, that You ARE Lord over ALL, and you shall gather ALL [in]to Christ, in the fullness of time. Eph. 1:10 ("In regard to an Administration of the fullness of the appointed times, to re-unite (!) ALL things under the Anointed One - the things in the heavens and the things in the earth - under Him." Lit. Greek version).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

God is love!!!

Yes, He IS love, and cannot be anything but love. There are other attributes, of course, but His essential essence is love.
However, the God whom so many preach and teach comes across as some kind of
We are horrified when we hear of what man does to man - torture, abuse of the worst sort, murder - the list goes on. "How can anyone DO such things to another human being? To children? To the defenseless?"
And yet...and yet, listen to what these pious sorts have to say about this "God of love..." I quote:
Some even believe unbaptized babies and children would be among the hordes of evil human devils burning in hellfire forever. For instance, a quote from a 19th Century English Roman Catholic priest whose primary ministry was to children:
"Little child, if you go to hell there will be a devil at your side to strike you. He will go on striking you every minute for ever and ever without stopping.... How, then, will your body be after the devil has been striking it every moment for a hundred million of years without stopping? Perhaps at this moment, seven o'clock in he evening, a child is just going into hell. Tomorrow evening, at seven o'clock, go and knock at the gates of hell and ask what the child is doing.....Go in a week and ask what the child is doing; you will get the same answer, it is burning; Go in a year and asks the same answer comes it is burning. Go in a million of years and ask the same question, the answer is just the same--it is burning. So, if you go for ever and ever, you will always get the same answer--it is burning in the fire.... The little child is in the red hot oven...how it screams to come out..." I cannot go on, for my soul is overwhelmed with horror that there were those who would so torture a child, "in the name of truth."
But there is more - this from the "saintly" Jonathon Edwards (who continues to be much quoted and revered), in his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God":
"The road to hell is paved with the skulls of unbaptized babies." And, "It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it throughout all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For ‘who knows the power of God's anger?’"
He also said in his sermon, The Eternity of Hell Torments (April 1739): "The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love and gratitude of the saints of heaven.
"The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. . .Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell. . . I tell you, yea! Such will be his sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss."
Just one more demented view of God’s love and everlasting burnings:
"If my own mother were being carried to the mouth of hell, I would stand and applaud." This was said by a professor in a mainline denominational seminary, and he explained, "...hell will be ‘understandable,’ and the saved will rejoice in the misery of the unsaved, once the saved see the glory of Christ and the justice of God." From the book Four Views on Hell Zondervan, 1996, p. 48.
Surely, these men, and countless others before and after them, created a god after their own image and likeness. It was certainly not in any manner the image and likeness of which the scriptures speak, especially when they are translated properly.
(From Elwin Roach, The Pathfinder).
Surely these samples are enough to fill us with great sorrow. and horror, that there are those who would tell us this "monster" is a God of love!
My own thought is - deep down, most do not truly believe such. If they did, then...why are they not out roaming the streets, begging people to turn to Christ?! And if they are not doing so, and they still profess this kind of God, then - are they not hypocrites, or worse?
Having said all this, I also know that they cannot see the truth because God has not opened their hearts and ears to hear and see. And if He has continued to blind them, then - there is a Godly, and LOVING purpose in His so doing...until HIS time for each to see who He really is.
Ah, dear Father, open the eyes of all that they might see and know you, Love Himself!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Christ is victorious!

Christ has been given power over "ALL flesh..." (John 17:2) This is the surety of the success of Christ's ultimate work.
Note John 6:39, which says, "Now this is the WILL of Him Who sent Me, that ALL which He has given Me, of it I should be losing nothing." CV
The questions are: "How much did God give to Christ?", and, "how much of what God had given Him will He lose?"
The answer to question 1 - "ALL flesh."
The answer to question 2 - "Nothing."

Friday, February 26, 2010

ALL - what a glorious word!

Question - how many things does "all things" include? EVERYTHING!!
"All" is a very large word, an all-encompassing word. There is nothing outside of "all". "All things" is without qualification.
"All" is "all" - and "all things" is EVERYTHING. NOTHING is left out; NOTHING is excluded. All" is all inclusive.
We cannot come up with a single thing that is not included in ALL!
In Romans 11:36, Paul sums up the preeminence of Christ (the aim of Father is to have Jesus Christ have that kind of position in ALL things) in three expressions:
"OF Him"
"TO Him"
"OF HIM" EVERYthing that exists - in the heavens, on earth, everything that has ever been created, past, present, future, is created BY and BECAUSE of Christ.
"THROUGH HIM" EVERYthing that lives, moves, breathes, operates, or exists, or functions in the universe, whether animate or inanimate, whether biological, chemical, spiritual, natural, or cosmological, ALL does so THROUGH CHRIST, who sovereignly upholds ALL things, determines their place, and keeps them in order.
"TO HIM" EVERYthing, no matter how far from God's thought it may be, no matter how chaotic things appear, is being directed, summoned up and gathered together INTO CHRIST.
As the Alpha, ALL things flow FROM Him.
As the Omega, ALL things flow TO Him.
Therefore, we speak of Jesus Christ having the preeminence in ALL things. Jesus is Lord over us individually, over the church corporately, and over all creation collectively.
Yes, CHRIST IS PREEMINENT - He is exalted above EVERY principality and power, rule and dominion, things visible and invisible, things past, present, future, things in the heavenlies (spirit), things on earth, things under the earth.
"ALL things are OF Him; ALL things are THROUGH Him, and ALL things are
TO Him..." Rom. 11:36
What more can we say...
(My thanks to several saints for much of this.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christ is victorious!

Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord!" Psalm 150:6
What could be clearer?! This last verse of the last psalm points to the reconciliation and restoration of ALL!
Gregory of Nyasa wrote, "Such is the meaning of this final psalm, in which, after the complete abolition of sin, praise shall be rising to God, which praise shall contain (implied) our being incapable of turning to sin, when every created being shall be harmonized into one choir; and when, like a cymbal, the reasonable creation, and that which is now severed by sin, shall pour forth a pleasing strain, due to mutual harmony. Then comes the praise of every spirit forever abounding with increase into eternity."
Scripture says, ALL condemned/ALL saved (1 Cor. 15:22). Religion says, ALL condemned/FEW saved. This doctrine supersedes God's words. Thus religion makes Adam more powerful than Christ. NOT SO!! Christ is the Saviour of the world! He is the Lamb who took away the sin of the world! It is CHRIST who is victorious, not sin, the devil, or man. God's ultimate purpose of "the reconciliation of mankind" will be accomplished. Amen!
ALL is of God...
It is GOD who saves...
It is God who calls...
It is God who designates...
It is God who purposes...
It is God who graces...
For those who say that God "desires" men to be saved, but each one must choose for himself, there is this to say: For Deity, "desire" is NOT a wish. God has always worked from the basis of "intent to achieve" that which He purposed. All the infinite resources of the Sovereign of the universe are employed to achieve that which lies at the epicentre of all that will be accomplished, every knee bowing and every tongue declaring (NOT confessing, as if to finally admit to it, just before being damned) to the glory of God the Father!