Sunday, August 18, 2019
The past week has been a rather difficult one. I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I had not scheduled all the posts through this time period so. there was nothing to fall back on except the Saturday evening music posts, which were the only ones done ahead. Hopefully this week will be more normal and productive, although I am still recovering from an emergency root canal and infection (too much to tell briefly!).
This post from March 2011 originally was published as a "Breakfast Rambling" - a category that I have somehow left behind. :-)
Psalm 105:43-45 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.
After recounting so much of Israel’s history as a nation, particularly the deliverance from Egypt, the writer gives the purpose that God did this for them (plural) as opposed to the fact that He did it for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (vs. 6, 9-10, 42) individually (so to speak). God delivered them from bondage so that they could “observe his statutes, and keep his laws.”
When the Lord delivers us from the bondage of sin and the devil it is so that we may serve Him with reverence and godly fear. It is so that we can obey His word in the church age context.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
When we don’t obey we tend toward the same problems Israel had – a lust for the old “pleasures” and a return to bondage, both old and new. The “freedom indeed” that we have in Christ is not freedom to do our own thing, but freedom from bondage so that we might serve God acceptably.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another… 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. The original came from somewhere online. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality. You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.)
If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you.
[Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media.] :-)
Sunday, August 4, 2019
Jan. 11, 2006 [edited]
But They Are So Wicked!
Last fall I was visiting a neighbor of ours who was concerned because a relative of hers was about to die and she was not confident of his salvation. He had made a profession of salvation in his youth, but he never lived like a saved man. I mentioned the verse ...by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20 She agreed, but pointed out that the Bible also says that some will be saved yet as by fire. (1 Corinthains 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.)
I think that sometimes we are too quick to judge someone's salvation. We see some things or hear some things and we assume, "That person can't be saved."
In my evening Bible reading I recently came across this passage, which caused me to stop and think:
Psalm 78:34-39 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. 35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. 36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. 37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. 38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. 39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
This Psalm recounts God's dealings with Israel. First of all, we see that God did chasten them. Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. So, we know that if a professing Christian is never chastened they are not truly God's child.
But, notice that even though they returned to God for a time, Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. Also, ...their heart was not right with him...
When we see a professing Christian living like the devil or totally engrossed in the traditions of man or cares of this life, we are sometimes inclined to think, "How can they be saved?" Yet here we see under the Old Testament covenant that God chastened His children, yes, and they returned to Him; but they then proceeded to lie to Him, and their heart was not right with Him! Could this not happen under the New Testament covenant as well?
In these days of jackboot preachers, compromisers, those sunken in defeat, and other assorted doubtful characters who profess Christ, we can easily tend to question other's salvation. After all, how many have proven to be liars and flatters to God (saying they put Him first in their lives, when it's plain to see they have not). To assume that they are unsaved because they receive no more immediate punishment may not be appropriate. Asaph tells us that God was full of compassion. He forgave and destroyed not. He turned away His anger. He remembered they were but flesh (Ps. 103:13-17).
If God, in His great mercy, does not see fit to give these people the chastisement we think they deserve, that does not mean they are not saved. Yes, they will have chastening, as Hebrews tells us, but they may not get what we think "they have coming." The Lord has the right to decide to turn away His full wrath. We would all be in trouble if God stirred up all of His wrath, for none of us deserve anything good (Isa. 64:6).
Psalm 78 continues, 40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! 41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
Far from justifying their waywardness and lies, the Lord is provoked and grieved by them. Still, they may actually be His children. But, how sad in the final analyses - they tempted God (to show His holiness) and limited Him! By following man's traditions, by abusing the saints, by walking disorderly, by disobeying His word (and so many other things) these people limit God from what He could have done - for them, for their children, and for others. If you stop and ponder that you will be able to think of a lot of ways that works itself out.
In the end, we must let God be God. If He chooses to show compassion to sinners, who are we to question Him? And, where would we ourselves be without His mercy? While we may be forced to mark and avoid some believers according to New Testament teaching (Rom. 16:17-18, 1 Cor. 5:11-13), it still behooves us to remember Paul's comment in Galatians 2:6 ...(whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:)... In some cases we really cannot know if a person is saved till we get to heaven. Yes, there are many who are not truly saved, but after all - we look on the outward appearance, only God looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). 1 Kings 8:39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) [Emphasis added.]
I am reminded of a small incident from my dad's youth. He was complaining to an older brother in the Lord about some lady missionary whom he had seen really misbehaving. The man called him up short with this comment: "Just imagine what she would like if she wasn't saved!" Hm.....food for thought.
First published here Nov. 2012.
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
The John Marshall Family.