Saturday, September 24, 2011
Yesterday I had quite a chat with a really nice guy, he was interested to find out more about God and life after death, why I believed it, how you can be sure etc..
One of the things we agreed on was that no one is perfect. I thing you would agree with this statement as well. It has almost become a strap line and possibly an excuse on occasions when we know we have done wrong but don't feel that we could have behaved any better. I know that it is not a popular way of putting it but the Bible simply calls it sin. That is not making the grade, not reaching the target or not being perfect.
Who sets the standard? Why do we feel imperfect? Are we just conditioned by our parents? I don't think so and the Bible definitely doesn't teach it that way. The Bible says that God is the law giver and he sets the standard. Interestingly enough the Bible actually states that God has imprinted His law (standards of right and wrong) in our hearts (Romans.2.15). That is whatever the culture or the time period human beings are aware of right and wrong and have strong views about it. What is different is the fact that from time to time people harden their hearts and sear their conscience so that their sensitivity to right and wrong is reduced. But amazingly enough when are a person is confronted with their wrongdoing their conscience is reignited and they feel guilty.
All degrees of sin are wrong but the punishment is scaled according to the severity of the disobedience - Revelation.20.12. Sin first raised its ugly head in our world through a simple act of rebellion by the first man, Adam. God tested him and he failed (Romans.5.12).
The reason for my blog is share with you the good news that God is not finished with us. He is not currently in the business of condemning us (John.3.17) but he wants to rescue us and save us. The Bible states that, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1.Timothy.1.15). Essentially the wrong that we have done by disobeying our creator and the punishment attached to it is greater than we can deal with. So God sent His Son, Jesus to this world. He alone (as everyone else had sinned and were personally guilty) was qualified to take our punishment and satisfy the legal demands of heaven. Jesus did this when he died on the cross. The Bible teaches 'Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures' (1.Corinthians.15.3,4) and as a believer I know this to be true. One day I turned from my sins, admitted to God I was guilty, confessed that he was right and I was wrong and accepted the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans.6.23).
You could do that today and I am praying that you will. If I can help further please e-mail at email@example.com or listen to my podcast at www.seekthetruth.org.uk.
May you allow God to bless you today, Stephen
Thursday, September 15, 2011
It is reported that Hurricane Irene spawned as a tropical storm in the Caribbean, developed into a full blown hurricane as it travelled north through the Bahamas to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, causing billions of dollars of damage.
In the early hours of Monday 22nd August as the storm passed over Necker, lightening allegedly struck Richard Branson’s luxury home and the palm-roofed Grand House was burnt to the ground. Fire from Heaven completely destroyed the building but fortunately none of the twenty people in the house were hurt. It is said that ‘Lightening does not strike twice’ but I guess that the re-build house will have a non-flammable roof, and maybe a lightening conductor? One newspaper said that the only thing that survived the fire was a statue of Buddha. Interesting!
According to Wikipedia there are 16 million lightening storms in the world every year, each strike can travel around 140,000 mph.
My wife and I saw an amazing sight one night in Anguilla. Fork Lightening was playing across the sea as we looked out towards St.Bartholomew, producing a fantastic display of illuminating power. At times like that one realises one’s own frail humanity and wonders at the majesty of our great creator God.
The Bible records occasions when fire fell from Heaven. The first is in Genesis ch.19 when God poured out His wrath against the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah, verse 22 says, “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven.” God saw the wickedness of man in those cities the same as He did in the days of Noah when it was a flood and not fire that brought judgement to the ungodly.
The flood was universal, the fire from Heaven was local but then it was upon the nation of Egypt. Exodus 9:23 reads, “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” Pharaoh’s bitter opposition against Israel and defiance against God brought retribution upon him and his nation. It says in scripture “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” The corruption and perversion of National leaders can be the downfall of that nation.
King Ahab of Israel was a corrupt leader he had been corrupted by his wife Jezebel who was a Zidonian and worshipped the god Baal. God raised up a prophet named Elijah to speak and act against the prophets of Baal. There was a contest on Mount Carmel. Four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal agreed with Elijah that the deity that answered by fire to consume their sacrifice, that he would be God. The false prophets prepared their altar and sacrifice and called upon Baal, but there was no fire. 1Kings 18:36 says, And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
After Ahab’s death, his son Ahaziah reigned over Israel but he was just as evil as his Father. He had an accident and was sick. God told Elijah to send a message and tell Ahaziah that he would not recover. Ahaziah was angry with Elijah and sent fifty soldiers with their captain to capture Elijah. “And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.” He sent another fifty and fire fell from Heaven and consumed them. He sent another fifty but their captain fell on his knees and pleaded with Elijah that their lives might be spared. If the King did not believe the captain certainly did!
There are some people today who do not believe in God, and they would ridicule and mock anyone that does believe and have committed their trust to Him for salvation. Who is right?
The word ‘Fire’ appears twenty five times in the Book of Revelation, over half of them are in the section from ch. 8 to 19 that deals with the period called ‘The Great Tribulation’. Ch.8:5 to 8 says, “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.”
Chapter 19 tells us of Christ returning to earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to reign for a thousand years, but even after a Millennia of righteousness reigning, a final rebellion will take place led by the armies of Gog and Magog. Ch.20:9 reads, “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” You have got to believe it, this is the truth. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ now and be saved. God bless.
Written by Stan Burditt