November 24, 2013

Do You Not Care? – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? (Mark 4: 38)

There are times when Christians have great problems and God seems to ignore our prayers. Finally we begin to wonder. The marvels of creation make it impossible to deny that He is and that He is astoundingly powerful. But … look at what is happening. This is terrible. Does He care about us at all?

There is no need to wonder. God cares about the sparrow.  …not one of them is forgotten before God. (Luke 12:6)  Certainly He surely cares about His own dear children.

Surely we realize that His children do not see what He sees. We do not understand all His eternal purposes and infinitely wise plans. He has revealed sufficient insight into His plans and perfectly revealed it to us. But we want more…now!

When the terrified disciples, the ones who had seen Him perform many miracles, thought Jesus didn’t care, He rebuked them: Why are ye afraid? Do you still have no faith? (Mark 4:40).

Mary and Martha sent word that their brother Lazarus was deathly ill. They saw what was about to happen and urgently pled for Jesus to come. But …He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. (John 11:6).  He actually, intentionally stayed away while His good friend died. When the sisters complained about His delay, He replied: Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).  They got it once Lazarus was raised, but while their brother was dying…? Did Jesus care? Sure He did.

One day a disrespected Canaanite woman cried out to Jesus for mercy on her for her demon-possessed daughter, …But He did not answer her a word. (Matthew 15:23) She seemed to have reason to believe he was unconcerned about non-Jews. He seemed not to care, but she kept calling on Him and worshipping Him. Then, He provided us with a powerful lesson on faith and patience when He finally said unto her: “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once. (Matthew 15:28)

The disciples and the sisters of Lazarus and the Canaanite woman all wondered at His seeming lack of concern, but He did care. He finally calmed the storm, and raised Lazarus, and healed the daughter. His delay tested and strengthened their faith.

Of course, the perspective of eternity changes our view of everything happening in this world. All our greatest concerns will seem petty in our eternal home.

We need to know that our faith will be tested. A loving, caring God said so. How are we handling the tests?

So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (I Peter 1:7)

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

November 17, 2013

Heavenly Thanksgiving – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.” (Revelation 11:16-17)

The Bible is full of expressions of gratitude toward God. This is the final reference in the Bible to the giving of thanks. It records a scene in heaven where the twenty-four elders, representing the victorious redeemed of both covenants, are doing what ought to be done. They are expressing thanks to God.

When our thinking is as it ought to be, when it is as the thinking of the redeemed in heaven, our hearts will over flow and there will be no restraining our tongues’ expression of thanksgiving for the incomprehensible magnitude of grace and mercy enjoyed ever day of our lives. If you do not think this way, something is wrong. The true truth, the real reality is seen in the attitudes of heavenly souls.

Similarly, the final reference to the offering of praise is also set in heaven.

5 And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

(Revelation 19:5-6)

The Hebrew word translated “Hallelujah,” means, “Praise ye the Lord!” This is the instruction given His heavenly bondservants. They respond in a mighty, thunderous chorus of praise to God. When we do what we ought to do, like the heavenly multitude, we will feel compelled to burst out in un-restrainable praise.

What we see in heaven is the picture of God’s children conducting themselves free from the contamination of worldly influences. They do it right. They comprehend who He is and understand that what He has done is so great and so marvelous that they erupt in thanksgiving and praise. The beautiful, harmonious, absolutely appropriate sound of their thanksgiving and praise resounds throughout Heaven. Forevermore, the essence of all His saints will be perpetual testimonies of thanksgiving and praise.

As children of God we should realize that this is our destiny. Therefore, it is fitting now that our hearts, our mouths, our lives begin to reflect such an attitude, that we may be better prepared as the day approaches.

in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(I Thessalonians 5:18)

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)

 Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

 

 

November 3, 2013

The Rejected Christ – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:51 am by sranderson0103

The majority of our friends in the denominational world have been deceived by popular preachers who are teaching that Jesus will return to the earth to establish a physical kingdom. Most of them acknowledge that God intended to establish a kingdom when Jesus came the first time, as the prophets clearly foresaw, and Jesus, himself, plainly taught.

And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power,” (Mark 9:1).

But, we are told God’s plan was not fulfilled. J. Dwight Pentecost, in his influential book, Things to Come, said, “The theocratic kingdom offer [was] withdrawn and postponed after the rejection by Israel.” p.456. A careful Bible student will see that this terrible distortion effectively denies the power of God, the integrity of His Word, the rule of Christ, the time of His kingdom, and the nature of that kingdom. This will become obvious when we ask our Premillenial friends four questions.

(1) Why did an all knowing, all powerful God not foreknow and prepare for the Jewish rejection of Christ?

The answer is, He did! The rejection and crucifixion of Christ is central to the eternal plan of salvation!

Isaiah foresaw and foretold His rejection.

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him, (Isaiah 53:3)

Jesus is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8; cf. I Peter 1:17-21).

(2) If the Jews had the ability to force God to postpone the reign of Christ once, why not twice?

The answer is, they never had such power! David foretold that “the people” (Jews) would “take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed [Messiah], saying let us break Their bonds in pieces” (Psalm 2:1-3). But, he promised, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; …He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.’” (verses 4-6). We know that the Lord, through the prophet, is speaking of His Son (verses 7, 12). By inspiration, the apostles applied this to the Jews’ rejection, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Acts 4:24-28; 13:33). Since we know the Apostles were guided by Holy Spirit into all truth, (Jn.16:13), we know the Apostle’s interpretation is correct. God’s purpose and its fulfillment was not deterred by the Jew’s rejection but was accomplished by Christ as planned.

(3) Is not “postponed” prophecy simply failed prophecy?

It was not just the kingdom but also the time when it would come that was prophesied. Daniel said God would set up His kingdom during the days of the fourth world empire, the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:44), and declared the prophecy “is certain, and its interpretation is sure” (verse 45). No, it wasn’t postponed. It was established during the Roman Empire, just as the Lord promised, before the death of those who stood before Christ, (Mk.9:1).

(4) If the kingdom is material, why did the Jews reject it, since that is what they wanted?

The truth is, premillenialists today reject Christ as King for the same reason the Jews did then – they want a material kingdom. But the kingdom of Christ “is not of this world” and it is not defended by armed might (John 18:36), “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). The Jewish rejection of Christ was central to the divine plan from eternity. The Lord God laughed at them and set the Christ on His throne as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Psalm 2:12)

Adapted from an article by Keith Sharp