The Final Frontier

The Final Frontier

If you have watched television for an appreciable amount of time (or if your surf your TV channels for series reruns in syndication), you will remember Star Trek, TOS (The Original Series). The series was produced from September 1966 to December 1967 by Norway Productions and Desilu Productions, and by Paramount Television from January 1968 to June 1969. Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969 and was actually seen first on September 6, 1966, on Canada’s CTV network, going on for three seasons and a total of 79 episodes.

Who can forget the opening of each episode: a panorama of outer space, with lead actor William Shatner voicing the initial words… “Space: the final frontier…”.

People do think of space as the final frontier. Although we do not completely understand them to this very day, the ‘final frontiers’ that humans discovered on the earth (the earth was not flat, the discovery and exploration of lands other than those commonly thought to be in existence, the seas, flight, etc.), all once thought to be so daunting as to challenge the capabilities of humans beyond their limits have, under the forces of time and knowledge, fallen to routine status. If we don’t know everything there is to know about something, no matter how daunting it is, we will eventually get to understand everything about it: even space, regarded as the final frontier, will eventually fall into routine status.

I submit that this is false. There are 2 additional frontiers that together are the final frontier, and we have to look no further for them than in our chests and between our ears, with not even 12 inches to separate them.

Our hearts and our minds.

Consider that the heart does much more than its physical duty of pumping blood, and that the mind does much more than its physical duties of ordered thought and spontaneous inspiration; they are intimately interwoven and thoroughly intimate partners with each other; together, they determine where we as a species are going, and where we as a species are going to end up.

To anyone who cannot, by observing the manner in which the heart and mind inter-operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, appreciate that these parts of us (as well as all the remaining parts of us) are the products of an intelligent designer rather than a chance result of an evolution from primordial sludge, there is nothing that can be said other than they lack critical thinking and analysis skills. That is a harsh statement; in actuality, they truly do not lack these skills so much as they have deliberately chosen, by means of pride, to set those skills aside.

I don’t believe in evolutions from primordial sludge. Even if some fantastical evolution from such primordial sludge, involving billions of trillions of chemical interactions ALL OF THEM occurring in the EXACTLY CORRECT INTRA-RELATED AND INTER-RELATED SEQUENCES, was possible, and resulted in where humanity is at this point in time… where did the primordial sludge come from? Even the most stoic scientist, soaked through and through with empirical methods, when faced with this question, must admit that such an evolution as above described is impossible, and that there must be…

A pre-existent intelligent designer.

Holy Scripture defines this pre-existent intelligent designer:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)

The last sentence says it all.

Holy Scripture records the creation of all that we see in Holy Scripture, in the book of Genesis, Chapter 1, verses 1-31. Creation was accomplished in 6 days, with God resting on the 7th day beholding all that He had created. Largely, the Creation account offends the academic sensibilities of the scientific community, but I look upon that offense as an injury to its pride: after all, why believe in a Biblical account of Creation (thereby giving all of the glory to God) when a scientific account of Creation can be suggested, no matter how patently improbable (thereby giving all of the glory to men)? I also suggest to the scientific community that, because of the manner in which God views time:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)

it is eminently plausible that Creation was accomplished over the course of multiple (and certainly parallel) dimensions of time, some or many of which humans are not aware of.

The God of the Bible has the 3 attributes necessary to be a pre-existent intelligent designer:

-He is Omnipresent… He is present in every moment of time, across every dimension of time, from eternity past through the present time to eternity future, all at the same time.

-He is Omniscient… He possesses all knowledge, past present and future.

-He is Omnipotent… He possesses all power as unlimited power, expressed by any channel at His disposal, be it force of will, voice, touch or any other.

The Creation account states, at multiple points throughout the creation process, that God saw that what He had done was ‘good’. Perfect goodness is only one of the signature hallmarks of God; He is good, and He can only do good; Holy Scripture attests to this:

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4)

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. (Psalms 18:30)

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. (Mark 10:18)

God is surely good, and can surely only do good, but man… the crowning achievement of His Creation… was given a free will, that he might choose to freely believe in and freely love his Creator, but he chose instead to follow his own path, thinking that he had a better way than God had. The fall of man is recorded in the book of Genesis, Chapter 3, verses 1-13. Humanity had 1 commandment to observe… not to eat of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden… and humanity deliberately disobeyed that 1 commandment when tempted by Satan. Humanity inherited a sin nature, what had once been a paradise was turned into a nightmare, and ever since humanity’s fall from God’s grace and God’s bountiful provision, we have struggled with the result of our sin (which is rebellion against the commandments and the will of God): a broken world that to all appearances could never be remedied. The penalty that loomed was that humanity would live in a fallen state from which it could never be redeemed.

Didn’t I say earlier that God is good, and can only do good?

Holy Scripture gives evidence of this in the book of Genesis in Chapter 3, verses 14-15:

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)

There would be war between God and Satan. This the first prophecy recorded in Holy Scripture. Though it would be far in the future, God promised with this first prophecy that what Satan had introduced to the world… sin… would be dealt with.

God was faithful to His promise, as is recorded in the book of Galatians, Chapter 4, verses 4-7, thousands of years after the transgression of our first parents in the Garden of Eden:

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7)

Holy Scripture is in no way false; approximately 1/3 of its content is prophecy, with somewhat more than half of specifically stated prophecies (approximately 2,000 in all) fulfilled without a single miss. If you are a betting person, the prophecies recorded in Holy Scripture can be ‘taken to the bank’.

Expanding upon His initial promise after humanity fell in the Garden of Eden to Satan’s temptations, since God already knew from before the world even was that His Son Jesus Christ would be the perfect sacrifice for all sin, more than 360 separate prophecies, over a period of several thousand years, would be recorded in the Old Testament prophesying the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah… who would die to deliver not only the Jews (God’s chosen people), but also the Gentiles who were initially outside of His grace, mercy and compassion, from the penalty of eternal separation from Him as the punishment for sin. Every one of the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ as the Messiah were fulfilled exactly as written, hundreds if not thousands of years before Jesus Christ was born, against mathematical odds so astronomical that there isn’t a number named that is indicative of the scope of the probability of all of them being fulfilled.

The best evidence that God is good, and can only do good, is shown through a verse of Holy Scripture that is… unarguably… the best-known verse, known even by those who are unbelievers, spoken by the One whose coming as the Messiah was foretold:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

What… you may say… does all this have to do with the heart and the mind determining where we as humanity are headed?

First, Holy Scripture attests to how the heart is:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

Second, Holy Scripture attests to what the mind does:

 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)

Because of our fall from God’s grace, we are disposed to sin (the heart is deceitful) and we commit sin (the mind concurs with the heart)… the result is death:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Since we as a humanity are: 1) disposed to sin, and 2) commit sin… how then can we be rescued from that deathly circumstance? Is there any way out?

The way out does exist… and it is called Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ died once, to atone by His blood sacrifice for ALL of the sin in the world, past, present and future. This sacrifice was made by Him on behalf of all, but one’s heart and mind must agree that His sacrifice is all-sufficient, and accept it as a free gift for the full payment of one’s sin debt to a just, pure, holy and righteous God.

No one deserves salvation on the basis of one’s own righteousness, and salvation cannot be earned as Jesus Christ has accomplished it on His own merits as the sinless sacrifice that addressed God the Father’s requirement for the punishment that sin must have. Holy Scripture shows the way that the heart and mind must work in concert to achieve the free gift of salvation:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

Despite all evidence, there are those that resist the love of God the Father, and the sacrifice of God the Son. Please understand that Jesus did what He did for humanity because there was no other way. That makes Jesus’ sacrifice of such monumental proportion that the book of Hebrews speaks with compelling and sobering words regarding what Jesus has accomplished, and why what He has accomplished cannot be ignored without peril:

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’”

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:1-31)

God in His mercy and compassion, because of the righteousness of His Son, has made ONE WAY for humanity to be redeemed. While salvation is a free gift for all who will come to Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life, it was not free for Jesus Christ: He had to pay with His blood. Holy Scripture says that we were bought at a price:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

One believes with the heart, and the mind, following the heart, causes the mouth to profess saving faith.

Understand this:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

The time is short before the return of the LORD Jesus Christ. I pray that I have made the case that your heart and your mind, working together, will indeed determine where you are headed; the choices are 2: an eternity in the presence of God in the Kingdom of heaven, or an eternity in the lake of fire. I pray that you will choose wisely.

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What Makes You Special?

What Makes You Special?

Everyone likes to think that they are special in some way.

The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, defines ‘special’ this way:

adj. 1. Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional: a special occasion.

People find all sorts of ways to be special… some become more knowledgeable regarding a particular subject or discipline than others, and boast about that, some earn more money than others, and boast about that, some boast about their achievements, and/or their children’s achievements in life, and boast about that, some consume drugs, and boast about that, some indulge in alcohol, and boast about that, some indulge in sex, and boast about that, some practice meanness to others, and boast about that, and so on.

You may have noticed in the preceding paragraph that I mentioned the word ‘boast’ in every example. I used the word ‘boast’ because it is common for people everywhere to indulge in boasting to some degree simply because it reinforces for us our being special in some way; being special somehow separates us from, and elevates us above, everyone else.

I submit that as human beings, we cannot (in the normal course of events) stop boasting; the way the secular world is wired is for each one of us to inflate our own importance, oftentimes at the expense of others. This tendency is so ingrained in us that we do not have to think about it before making it happen.

If you boast in anything to be special, during most of those times you are regarding yourself as superior to others around you, and during all of those times you are convincing yourself that you have a right to feel that way. If you are intellectually honest, you know that what I have said is the truth.

Now with all of this having been said… the problem and resulting question is this:

We know that we have a need within ourselves to be special in some way. Is there a way to do this without vain boasting?

Yes there is.

Be a child of God.

God is the mightiest Being there is: Omnipresent, He transcends time as we understand it, existing from eternity past into, through and beyond the current temporal time that we exist in, into eternity future, present in every moment of every dimension of time known and unknown. Omniscient, He possesses all knowledge of all things known and unknown, past, present and future. Omnipotent, He possesses unlimited power, only one example of which is His creation of all that is seen and unseen in 6 literal days by the force of His will and the words from His mouth.

This same mightiest God gave His only Son Jesus Christ to suffer a horrendous death on the cross to pay the sin debt of humanity so that it would not be condemned before Him. His Son, by the mystery of the Holy Trinity, is this same mightiest Being there is:

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

All people have a sin nature, having inherited it through the disobedience of our original parents Adam and Eve, and this is God’s view of humanity:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. (Romans 1:18-23)

For our sins against a just, pure, holy and righteous God, the penalty is eternal death:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Everyone… EVERYONE… is a sinner before God.

No one… NO ONE… deserves mercy on their own merits before God.

The good news…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Because of the good news…

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

This is the promise…

Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:5-13)

The steps are easy:

  1. Declare with your mouth…
  2. Believe in your heart…
  3. Repent of your past sins.
  4. Walk in the path of righteousness according to God’s Word in Holy Scripture.

You are a child of God.

You are special in the eyes of God because you have worth to Him. Do you want to know what that worth is? Understand that whatever something is worth is what someone will pay for it.

God paid for you with His Son’s blood.

This is all the worth you will ever need, because when you one day die to this world and stand before God in judgment, He will look at you and see not the filthy, rotten-to-the-core sinner that you are, but the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ, whose holy Name you professed and believed on.

Oh, yes… about boasting. What is ‘good boasting’? Here is what it is…

 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

If you haven’t guessed by now, we who believe are the ‘foolish things’, the ‘weak things’, the ‘lowly things’ and the ‘despised things’ of this world… but we were chosen by God to confound the wise, strong, high and loved things of this world. Why did He do this? Behold the wisdom, not of men, but of God:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

You are special, indeed!

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Salvation On 1 Page

Salvation On 1 Page

Salvation is deliverance from the power, and the consequences, of sin.

Salvation comes by belief in Jesus Christ as the sinless Son of God who died to pay your sin debt to God the Father.

The very bad news:
Not many are going to the Kingdom of heaven.

The very good news:
You can go to the Kingdom of heaven.

God has made the “Good News” of salvation through Jesus Christ simple to understand.

Here is ‘salvation on 1 page’:

You must acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior.

  • Romans 3:10 As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one,
  • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  • Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

We are all sinners, and need to be born again of the Spirit.

  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

If you die without trusting in Christ, you die in your sins and will face judgment by a sinless God! Christ paid our death penalty with His own death. Salvation is a free gift, offered freely to us.

  • Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Not ‘You could be saved’, or ‘You might be saved’, or ‘You may be saved’, but… YOU WILL BE SAVED.

  • Luke 21:28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

This is true ONLY IF you know Jesus as KING and LORD, Savior and Messiah.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

You will say: “Where is the love?” This is the truth… in love. The truth is spoken because of love. If a Christian did not love you, a Christian would not bother to tell you the truth… in love.

You will say: “You’re not the judge of me!!” That is true… God is the Judge of you:

  • Hebrews 9:27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment

There is a difference between being a judge (which we cannot be), and having judgment (which we can have): good and sound judgment that discerns what is to come, and speaks a sober warning regarding it.

If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, The Way, the Truth and the Life, the only way to salvation and the Kingdom of heaven, I implore you, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, to STOP… to call upon the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ, and to not put it off a second longer, because…

  • Romans 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Don’t worry about cleaning yourself up before calling on the Name of the LORD – Jesus will do that when, by His power, you are in-dwelled with the Holy Spirit and enabled to lead a holy life.

The time is short… and the clock is ticking…

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Prayer Is A Battle

Prayer Is A Battle

The 1984 NIV translation of the Holy Bible cites 237 instances of the word ‘prayer’ (and its derivatives such as ‘prayed’, ‘prayer’, etc.) in 227 verses.

Prayer is important to God, as may be readily observed from its mention so many times throughout the Word that He has given us in His Holy Scriptures. Why is prayer important to God?

Because God is a jealous God:

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. (Deuteronomy 6:14-15)

Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. (Joshua 24:19)

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. (Nahum 1:2)

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. (2 Corinthians 11:2)

Why is God a jealous God? Because of who He is… God is Almighty Father, Everlasting God, the Great I AM:

“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. (Isaiah 42:8)

For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. (Isaiah 48:11)

God is jealous for His Name, His glory, and His people. How do we, those who have been formed from the dust of the ground and who will return to that dust, approach such a One as He? God takes counsel from no one, as He is omniscient, having all knowledge:

“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. (Job 12:13)

Expanding upon this, we see that God is omnipotent, having all power:

What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man he imprisons cannot be released. If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. To him belong strength and victory; both deceived and deceiver are his. He leads counselors away stripped and makes fools of judges. He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around their waist. He leads priests away stripped and overthrows men long established. He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders. He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty. He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light. He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them. He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste. They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards. (Job 12:14-25)

God is before past time, in present time, and after future time, having omnipresence before, across and after all ages:

to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 25)

Again… how do we, mere mortals, nothing more than thoroughly sinful, corrupted, debauched sinners, approach such a God?

Prayer

Prayer is two-way communication with God, an expression of godly submission to our Creator and Provider, offered in godly sorrow and repentance for the offenses that we have given Him, with grateful thanks for His goodness, grace, mercy, compassion, provision and forgiveness.

Understand that while God loves to hear His children, understand also that not all people are God’s children. To be a child implies that there is a relationship between the child and a father and/or mother. God’s children are those people who have: 1) acknowledged Him as Almighty God, 2) also acknowledged His Son Jesus Christ, and 3) willingly established themselves in a relationship with both God and His Son Jesus Christ. In this we see the dynamic of submission: can anyone have a relationship with someone without submitting to that arrangement?

Love for God and love for His Son Jesus Christ is not all about religion: it has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with relationship.

A relationship with God and with His Son Jesus Christ is not like the worldly relationships that we know. In worldly relationships, the focus is almost always on “What’s in this for me?” This should not surprise anyone, as we are routinely selfish, self-absorbed, and consumed with getting for ourselves everything that we can, by any manner of hook or crook that is available to us. If you doubt this, consider that while we must teach children how to be good, and invest quite a bit of time and effort to do so, we don’t have to invest any time or effort to teach children to be bad… that is already built-in to people as a result of our original fall from God’s grace in the Garden of Eden.

Our relationship with God is very special, and utterly unique (italic emphasis mine):

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Our relationship with God never fails (italic emphasis mine):

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Our relationship with God is as familiar to us as one we see inside our homes:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

Oh, that a just, pure, holy and righteous God would stoop so low as to have a relationship with we sinners! God owes us nothing, but He offers us everything:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

And this is the God that we communicate with through prayer! How wonderful is that?

Most people don’t understand that there is a proper use of prayer. Prayer is used properly when it petitions God for the fulfillment of the things that are on His heart, not when it petitions God as if He were a free-of-charge vending machine in the sky:

You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3)

When we pray to God in accordance with His will, our prayers will be fulfilled to the letter, each and every time. Why? Because God is exalted and glorified by inhabiting the praises of His people. We are created in the image of God, and when we as His handiwork exalt and praise Him, it adds to His glory and honor, and God is pleased.

There is a higher purpose yet for prayer, and that is fighting the good fight of the true faith that is found in God and in His Son Jesus Christ alone:

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. (Jude 3)

From the beginning, there has been a continual war between God and the evil one. After the fall of man from God’s grace in the Garden of Eden due to man’s disobedience, God proclaimed the war that would be between the children of Adam and Eve, and the forces of the evil one:

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)

The war has intensified by this time in human history, as anyone should be able to discern simply by taking a serious look at the world around them. Christian believers need to be fully aware of the resolve of the evil one to destroy God’s handiwork (italic emphasis mine):

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (Revelation 12:10-12)

So we have a battle on our hands, Christian believers! Holy Scripture tells us that this is so:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

We do not go into battle without armor:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

And don’t forget… to pray:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Understand that when you pray, you don’t have to go to great lengths with many words:

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8)

Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of prayer, the very pinnacle of its awesome power, is realized when we understand that, even if we do not know what to ask God for, and we are so weak that all we can do is groan because we have no words, our prayers will still be effective:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)

Christian believers can be assured of this:

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

How must Christian believers be (italic emphasis mine)?

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

What must Christian believers do?

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)

Understand that God, through Jesus Christ, has already won the battle that we are engaged in… we cannot lose, and we are victorious because sin and death have been defeated at the cross where Jesus Christ gave His life that all humanity would be saved. May our prayers to our Almighty God and Father exalt and praise and glorify Him, and cause Him to bring us safely to His Kingdom on the great and awesome Day of the Lord. Pray, Christians, pray!! The words that change eternity are in our hearts and minds; may they ring through the halls of heaven to praise our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father who gave Him for our redemption… AMEN, thank God, and glory to God!!

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“What is that to you?”

What is that to you?

If a person is a confessed and professing Christian believer, there had better be some evidence of spiritual growth.

I was sitting at my kitchen table on Easter Sunday afternoon, viewing a YouTube video on Barry Scarbrough’s channel. In part, the video addressed an issue that, unarguably, turns off more people to Christianity than any other:

Self-righteous judgment of others.

At the same time, the topic of this post… “What is that to you?”… was given to me by the Holy Ghost.

There is a very important story at the end of John’s gospel, which bears repeating here. The scene is the shore of the Sea of Galilee, following the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostles had gone out to fish. From the shore, Jesus called out to them to ask if they had caught anything; they replied (not knowing that it was Jesus) that they had not. Jesus instructed them to cast their net on the right side of the boat and that they would find some when they did so. Many fish were found, and the Apostles recognized that the One who had spoken to them was Jesus. They came ashore with their fish, and had breakfast with Jesus, rejoicing and fellowshiping in their third encounter with the Risen Lord.

Things got down to brass tacks quickly…

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? (John 21:15-23)

Please take a moment to see where I have put italic emphases in the above passages.

Peter had been told what would happen to him. However, he was not content just to know that he had been reinstated by his Lord and Savior… he also wanted to know what would happen to John!

Here we have perhaps the prime example of man’s hubris!

Dare we presumptuously, in such a prideful fashion, demand that the KING of kings and the LORD of lords should, upon the authority of our own arrogant selfishness, tell us what He has planned for anyone else but ourselves?

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. If He is the way… the direction… we, as those who profess to love and serve Him, should be fully content to do what He asked Peter to do: “You must follow me”.

If we truly believe that we must follow Jesus, then does that not totally eliminate useless questions like ‘What about non-Christians? What happens to them?”

Remember the words of Jesus: What is that to you? You must follow me.

Brothers and sisters, we greatly clarify things when we follow our Savior’s lead. He is not a God of confusion in His thoughts, words and actions: He makes His goal clear, which in turn makes our responsibility simple.

God’s goal:
The salvation of humanity through His Son Jesus Christ.

Our responsibility:
To proclaim, and live, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul dismantles a Christian’s perceived right to sit in judgment on anyone (except in the narrowest of circumstances, reserved for those professing to be Christians but not living like Christians):

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

Regarding judgment across Christians and non-Christians, note what Paul says:

You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? (Romans 14:10a,b)

Good questions! Note what follows:

For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. (Romans 14:10c)

Note the word “all”. God will address the issue of judgment! Except for the situations where Christians are explicitly given a limited, Biblically-based authority to judge, we are to live up to a simple responsibility: live like Christians and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It is pride… the sin that caused the evil one to become the evil one… that makes us sit in self-righteous judgment on others. Calling on the power of the indwelling Holy Ghost, we must put pride aside, reject the temptations of the evil one to judge, degrade, humiliate and in other ways bring down the people around us, and live victoriously as the children of the KING of kings and the LORD of lords that we are.

You might say “I don’t specifically know what I should be doing to live like a Christian and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!”

Oh, yes… you do.

Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Pure genius, right?

You’re welcome!

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Persecution… Count On It

Persecution… Count On It

One has only to take a casual look around to understand that, nowadays, Christians are considered as equivalent to the proverbial ‘red-headed stepchild’.

If you are a blood-bought (convicted in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem you from all of your sins), born-again (the Holy Spirit is living in you by your invitation, directing your desires and how you live your life) Christian believer, you are a member of a shrinking minority.

The world… which largely rejects Jesus Christ… hates you.

I know that hate is a pretty strong word, but if you as a Christian are in any type of regular habit of reading the Holy Scriptures, you are already nodding your head in assent with what I just said. The witness of the One that we worship as KING of kings and LORD of lords is all the proof required to know not only that Christian believers are hated by the world, but why they are hated by the world:

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (John 15:18)

Why is it that the world hates Jesus Christ? He said why the world hated Him:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19-20)

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. (John 7:7)

If you are a Christian believer, you are in the world, but you are not of the world. Your allegiance is not to the world: your allegiance is to the One who died on the cross to pay the penalty of eternal death that you earned through your sins so that you might stand blameless before God on the day of judgment. Jesus Christ explains with a lucid clarity why the world acts the way that it does toward His people:

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:19)

Linger long over something so precious from the above passage… Jesus Christ has chosen you out of the world!

The KING of kings and the LORD of lords… the Peerless Son of God Almighty… the One possessed of all knowledge, presence and power from eternity past into the present time into eternity future…the One filled with grace and truth… has chosen you.

How did this come to be?

The Psalms give great glory, honor and praise to God. Read how God chose you:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)

Persecution was nothing new for Jesus Christ. In addition to the opposition of the Jewish religious authorities to His message and ministry, and the rejection of His message and ministry by the very people to whom He was first sent, He would eventually suffer the ultimate persecution… an agonizing death… to pay the penalty for the totality of the sins of humanity for all who would place their faith in Him. As Christian believers, we will not suffer to the extreme that Jesus Christ did, but we will surely face an increasing degree of persecution in these last days. This may range from no persecution at all, to mild degrees of ridicule, disdain and perhaps social ostracism such as the loss of family relationships and friends, to physical violence, to loss of property by seizure, to imprisonment, to torture and martyrdom for those who will not recant their faith in God and in the One that He has sent. We who believe in Jesus Christ will surely encounter persecution, because He said we would:

Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. (John 15:20-21)

Jesus Christ explained plainly that if He had not told the people who hated Him why they hated Him, and if He had not done amongst the people who hated Him the various miracles that clearly validated His claim to be the Messiah promised to the Jewish people, then the people who hated Him would not have been guilty of sin against Him:

If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason’. (John 15:22-25)

People hate Jesus without reason. People hate Christian believers without reason.

In multiple posts elsewhere throughout this blog, I have stated the case as capably and strongly as I know how that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, salvation and eternal life in the Kingdom of God. His deeds while walking on this earth during the time of His ministry, most notably His eye-witnessed resurrection from the dead after His crucifixion at the hands of the Romans, but also His multiple miracles and the established fact that Holy Scripture in its thousands of prophecies has never once (to the time of this writing) been wrong… then you are not intellectually honest if you deny Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and deny Holy Scripture as the authoritative Word of God that is the last word in all ethical, moral and spiritual matters.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. (Psalm 14:1)

At the bottom of any fool’s denial of Jesus, God and the Holy Scripture is a pride that says, in effect, “I will not be held accountable to anyone.” You can rationalize all you want… say that the Christian faith is full of errors and inconsistencies, say that the Christian faith is nothing more than a fantastical compilation of fantasies by deluded men from a long time ago, say that people don’t need the Christian faith because they are ‘good people’, say that the Christian faith isn’t rational and doesn’t make sense, say that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Christian faith are just crutches for weak and ineffectual people… you know why you deny Jesus, God and the Holy Scripture.

Because you consciously choose to.

The fool needs to understand that there is going to be a time of reckoning:

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)

The bottom line is this (italic emphasis mine):

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Not much future in being a fool, is there?

Now, all of this having been said, take a serious look at the world around us. Can we really say (with a straight face) that we have achieved a just and equitable world based on our own efforts, leaving God out of the equation? Now I am not saying that if everyone in the world was to turn to God, following His ways and commandments, that we would have a paradise on our hands… in the first place, we are born as sinners and will never live as anything else until we die (so even as redeemed people, we will still commit sin, although it should be less sin), and in the second place, not everyone will turn to God and follow His ways and commandments. Our world would be better, yes, but not a paradise by the most extreme stretch of our imagination.

So in the mess that we find ourselves living in (which, by the way, we have caused due to our sin and rebellion against God and His ways and commandments), those who do choose to live Christian lives by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit WILL be persecuted: this is guaranteed:

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12)

I am speaking personally now, but I foresee a time in this country, the Unites States of America, when the preaching of God’s Word from the pulpits of Christian churches will be regarded, and prosecuted, as hate speech. Political correctness will graduate to the sewer with the haughty defiance of God’s Word, and of God Himself and the One that He has sent, even in our hallowed halls of worship.

Persecution is coming. Be ready. Confess Jesus Christ as LORD, placing your faith, hope, trust, confidence and strength in Him, read and live His Holy Scripture every day, and pray without ceasing in the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember, above all, this from Jesus Christ…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

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Judging Others

Judging Others

One of the thorniest argument points a professing Christian believer will encounter from a non-believer is that oftentimes when a Christian believer states a position taken from Holy Scripture, the non-believer will shoot back with “You’re judging others… and what right do you have to do that, anyway??”.

Let’s take a step back.

Here is a passage that touches on this argument point of judgment by Christians:

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

The Apostle Paul, the foremost Christian evangelist and church planter that there has ever been, puts forward 2 critical positions; Christian believers need to take note of these:

  1. Per v. 12a, Christian believers are not responsible for the judgment (any judgment) of those who are unsaved (that is, those who have not professed belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and who have not put their trust in Him alone for salvation and eternal life). Per v. 13a, God Himself will judge them in a coming day.
  2. Per v12b, Christian believers are responsible for judging other Christian believers who are indulging in known sin within the confines of the church body, with the sole objective of exercising Godly discipline, per v. 13b, even up to expelling the offender from the church body until the offender has been corrected.

Holy Scripture has always refuted, and will always refute, all claims that it contradicts itself, but a non-believer may seize upon the following to insist with a single broad-brush stroke that Christians must not ever judge anyone for anything:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (Matthew 7:1)

If this objection is raised to a Christian believer by a non-believer when discussing judgment, it is proper for the Christian believer to state that, in that passage, Jesus Christ was speaking about having a proper understanding of motives. Christian believers are not to judge anyone’s motives, because we are not competent for that type of judgment; only God is:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

However, as we have already seen, the word of God is equally clear that Christian believers are to judge known sin in the church for 2 compelling reasons:

  1. To maintain the reputation of the church for holiness.
  2. To restore the offender to fellowship within the church body, and most critically, to restore the offender to fellowship with God.

The Apostle Paul goes on to provide a powerful illustration of the scope of judgment that Christian believers are to be entrusted with:

If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! (1 Corinthians 6:1-3)

We seem to have some weighty responsibility in the judgment area; it is intriguing to understand from 1 Corinthians 6:3a that Christian believers will ‘…judge angels’! How can this be?

God’s children may be given a position that is higher than that of the angels. We are not only created in God’s image, but we are redeemed by Jesus Christ… neither of these things are true of the angels.

With regard to being created in God’s image:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

With regard to being redeemed by Jesus Christ:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. (Luke 1:68)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7)

Neither being created in the image of God, nor being redeemed by Jesus Christ apply to the angels; additionally, the angels are in the service of the children of God (meaning those who are to inherit eternal life):

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; (Psalm 91:11)

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)

For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. (Hebrews 2:16)

According to Strong’s NIV Exhaustive Concordance, the word ‘judge’ from 1 Corinthians 6:3a means this (from the Greek word ‘krino’, #3212):

“… to decide, consider, as preferring one thing over another or determining the correctness of a matter; by extension: to judge, to pass judgment on, condemn in a legal sense: …”

This definition very strongly implies that we may have some degree of authority over the holy angels, as they have no sin in the sense of having to be condemned for that.

1 Corinthians 6:3a may mean that Christian believers in heaven may take a part in the judgment of fallen angels.

Jesus Christ has been exalted over all of the angels:

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:19-23)

so it is reasonable that those in Him, and made in His likeness:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)

And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:49)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)

will share in His authority over the angels:

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; (2 Timothy 2:12)

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

Brothers and sisters in Christ… do you have an appreciation of how precious and special we are to Him? We are not only created in His image, we have been redeemed for salvation and eternal life by His atoning blood sacrifice on the cross, not to mention our being given (as God has apportioned before the world ever was) appropriate authority to judge those inside the church body, and even angels!

Before our heads get too swelled to fit where they should… let us take a sober lesson from the time when Jesus sent the Twelve Apostles out into all Israel. He gave them sweeping authority to preach the Good News, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cleanse lepers and to drive out evil spirits from the possessed. When they came back to Jesus after having been sent out in power, elated with what they had been able to do, note very carefully what Jesus said to them (italic emphasis mine):

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)

Let us be humble as we walk with our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, understanding who we are and who He is, appreciating what He has called us and empowered us to be able to do, all to the glory of God the Father Almighty!

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