Archive for October, 2007

A Dispensationalist Goes Over The Edge

October 20, 2007

Jpmiller has a shocking video at his blog.  View it here:

http://pjmiller.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/jesus-did-not-come-to-be-the-messiah/ 

How long will it be before Christian Zionists just go ahead and drop the word “Christian” from their label?

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THE END IS NEAR! Really?

October 20, 2007

Concerning the time of his second coming, Jesus said:

Matthew 24:36 (KJV) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.


and… 

Mark 13:32 (KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.


and…

Acts 1:7 (KJV) And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

So, how many times does he have to say it?  We could post some other verses to prove that the time of Christ’s return can not be known by man, but if he said it just once, that should be enough, shouldn’t it?  Yet in spite of the repeated prohibition in the Bible, some people are determined to predict the time of the end anyway. 

We’ve heard of some of these people.  These days, the most notable date-setter is Mr. Harold Camping of Family Radio Network.  He thinks that he’s got all the math worked out, THIS TIME (he’s already missed it once), and his math says that the end will come in the year 2011, in the month of April, and I forget which day.  Oh wait!  There’s an update – it’s going to be some time in October now!  (Don’t quote me on those months, I’m not sure and I don’t really care which month or day he thinks it is).

But while we condemn date-setters such as Mr. Camping, are we guilty of violating the principle ourselves?  No, we might not set a time, a day, a year, etc., but don’t we like to say that the end is “NEAR”? 

“Near” might not be a specific date, but doesn’t it at least fit the definition of a “season”?  If we say that we know the end is near, then we are saying that we know when the end will come.  It may be a vague “when”, but it is a “when”, nevertheless.

The fact is that we have no biblical authority to claim that we know such a thing.  If we know that it is “near”, then Jesus didn’t really mean it when he said, “it is not for you to know the time or the seasons”.  The next time you here someone say, “The end is near!”, ask them if they “know” it is near, or if they are just speculating.   If they say they know it, then ask them how they can know something that Jesus said they cannot know.  If they say that they are just speculating, then ask them why they say it with such certainty.

It is not the task of the believer to speculate as to when Christ’s return will happen, or even if it is “near”.  The task of the believer is to be READY for his appearance.  This includes the necessity of being ready to die, at which time we shall appear before Him.  We must walk in a constant knowledge of the finality and suddenness of the end, whether the “end” consists of the end of the world, or the end of our lives.  We must never, at any given instant, put off our relationship with our God and Savior.  We must draw close, not taking His love for granted, that we may meet Him with joy. 

But we cannot walk in this constant state of preparedness without the knowledge of God’s love, grace, and providence.  Whether we recognize it or not, we cannot even take in our next breath without the perpetual sustainment of God’s grace.  We are guided every step by the Invisible Hand – the providence of God Almighty.  That trial in our life is His predetermined appointment.  That blessing in our life is His predetermined grace working through us.  Every trial is for our good and His glory, and every victory is the result of His provision for us.  Every reward is reckoned of grace, and properly belongs to Jesus Christ, for He alone is worthy, having merited both the salvation and reward of the elect.  Worship no one but HIM!

Yes, the end may be near.  Are you ready for it?

Do You Talk Back To God?

October 10, 2007

Romans 9:20 (KJV) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Can you believe it?  Some people actually talk back to God!!  Paul says “who art thou that repliest against God?”.  Talk back to God Himself – can you imagine?

Parents can relate to this act of talking back.  We tell our children to behave, or to do a chore.  “Take out the garbage”.  Then we get that reply, “why do I have to do it?”  You know what that means – what it implies.  The child has stood up to you, challenged your authority, your right to make the rules, to make the decisions, and to rule your house.  

Now imagine the indolence of a puny human being standing up to the Sovereign, Omnipotent, Almighty God, questioning Him and his actions.

“Job 9:12 (KJV) Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?”

“Ecclesiastes 8:4 (KJV) Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?”

“Daniel 4:35 (KJV) And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

So we see that man is a heinous usurper and rebel when he says to God, to paraphrase, “Just who do you think you are, and what do you think you’re doing?” 

Yet in Paul’s conversation in Romans 9, he anticipates man’s reaction to the news that God does as He wishes without man’s advice – he talks back.  The news he doesn’t like to hear is that God has mercy on whom ever He chooses to have mercy, and others are prepared for destruction.  He is like a potter that takes a lump of clay and forms it into whatever vessel he desires.  And when God is the potter, there are no mistakes.  Of the same lump He makes some vessels of honor (mercy), and some vessels of dishonor (wrath) – whichever He chooses.  

Those of us whom God has called into sheepfold by the voice of our Shepard Jesus Christ are the vessels of mercy – formed from God’s own hands, for salvation, to his own glory.  Is there any way in which we may say that we have formed ourselves?  Absolutely not!  We can no more form ourselves than we can give birth to ourselves.  This we are glad to accept, that God has chosen us for salvation!

But it is an evil mind that shakes the fist at God and says “who are you?’  Reprobate persons, devoid of God’s mercy and light, engulfed in their depravity and hatred of God’s authority, will accuse Him of injustice, being blind to the rightness of their condemnation.  They will lay the fault at God’s feet if possible.   They will say:   “Why didn’t you give me sign!?”  “Why didn’t you give me more chances!?”  “Why did you let evil into the world!?”  “It’s all your fault!” 

It is sad indeed, but whether we like the teachings of Hell or not, there is such a state, and the reprobate will go there.  The vessels of wrath will know His holy indignation and righteous judgment.  But there will not be one single person in Hell that does not deserve to be there.  They are haters of God, and they hate Him to the end.

Those that go into Hell receive justice – the very thing that they accuse God of NOT having.  God is not obligated to show mercy to anyone.  The real question concerning God’s justice is not “why does he yet find fault?” (see Rom 9:19), but is “why does he NOT yet find fault?”, because the vessels of mercy are born as sinners, just like the vessels of wrath.  But He has mercy on them.  He sends His Spirit into their hearts, shedding His love abroad, whereby they cry “Abba!  Father!”; enabling them to repent and believe in Christ for salvation. 

Why does He do this for undeserving sinners?  It’s unexplainable!  It’s infinite mercy!  It’s glorious grace!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and His way past finding out!

This is the truth of scripture.  Now, do you talk back to God?