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Christ on the Throne 2The elementary principles are for the followers of Jesus Christ. They are not for the edification or conviction of non-believers. This is particularly important to keep in mind as we explore the principle of eternal judgment.

Sadly, many have raised their hand, walked the aisle and said a prayer; for the express purpose of avoiding eternal judgment. This is one of the most egregious deceptions in the church today; for even the most cursory study reveals that everyone will be judged – one way or another.

Furthermore, most assume that eternal judgment happens at a moment in time – sometime in the future. As it so often does, our event oriented view of Scripture minimizes the weight and importance of foundational truth – even in the most obvious cases. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowJudge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

This passage has been a challenge to many in the church – including myself. Jesus seems to begin with an emphatic statement, only to follow it with a process for doing the very thing He said not to do. Many have harmed themselves (and the church) by misinterpreting this to mean that we are prohibited from identifying the sin in our brother and helping him to remove it.

A more careful reading of this and related passages, reveals just the opposite (see Ezekiel 3:16-21, Matthew 18:15-17, 1Corinthians 5:1-5, Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20). Christians are responsible – and obligated by love – to actively weed out sin in our brothers, and in the church.

So, what are we to hear and do with this saying? For starters, we must recognize that Jesus is addressing related, but different, subjects. The fact that a publisher decided to group them in the same paragraph does not mean they are the same thing. Judging another is not the same as removing planks and specks. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is Coming“Ignore the dates.” That’s what I should have said… from the very beginning.

I really don’t want to get into what drives men to box God into a date, or follow those that do. A friend of mine recently commented that God cannot trust us with such things; we tend to take too much credit when we guess it right.

What I need to do is apologize. I need to apologize to anyone that has been negatively affected by anything I have shared that suggested that I, or anyone else, had inside knowledge of God’s calendar. I am sorry.

I tried to keep this from happening. I really did. However, comments I have received since the passing of September 13th indicate that I failed. I am sorry if I have caused anyone any harm (e.g., distraction, doubt, discouragement). Please accept my apology.

Now, if I may, let me clarify where I am with all this storm business.

Storms of Many Forms

There are at least three kinds of storms that we should be aware of. First, there is the storm coming to America and the church that resides here. Chaos and lawlessness continue to increase. No one has a legitimate solution to offer. The fact that certain dates have come and gone should not affect our level of concern and preparedness.

Second, there is “the” storm that will come at the end of this age. I do not believe that the storm we are about to experience will be the Great Tribulation. However, the soon coming storm will certainly prepare us for the last great one.

Lastly, we should recognize that most have experienced, or will experience, storms in their life (e.g., loss of employment, house fire, death of a loved one). These storms are more focused – on individuals, families or fellowships. However, they are just as useful to God and His purposes in the earth. He works all things to our good. It helps – really helps – if we are prepared to make the most of His good in the storms. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowBefore we move on from the Beatitudes, there is something more the Lord would have us recognize about the blessings of the persecuted. It is of particular importance to the church in America. Though it is not a saying of Jesus that we must do; it is something we would be wise to consider in this regard.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

A friend of mine was one of the first to enter Communist China when the bamboo curtain was opened for business with the West. He went in looking for the remains of the church that had been targeted for destruction by that evil government for many years. When he found them, he praised their endurance against the persecution. Their response surprised him. Read the rest of this entry »

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