GOD AND THE BIBLE ARE NOW THE OPPRESSOR

People hate being held accountable, especially when it comes to a standard that is impossible to meet in their own strength. When a holy God says your way of living is sinful, the natural flesh reaction is now to label God as an “oppressor” who needs to be removed from all aspects of civil discourse.

The natural extension of this thinking is to also attempt to silence, cancel or even prosecute those who follow God’s standard. This now includes parents who stand up for common sense and decency in our publicly funded government schools into which every form of unholy indoctrination has crept in. In fact, what used to be secretly brought in through the back doors of our public schools is now openly and proudly paraded through the front doors as policies that promote highly sexualized material as being necessary for the diverse, equitable, and inclusive materials, books and curriculum needed to “properly” educate the current generation of social justice warriors.

What happened to just teaching core academics? In America, why do pride flags now outnumber American flags in the classrooms? In one local Loudoun County, Va., elementary school, the large pride flag with an upraised black fist and phrase “Love Always Wins” is prominently displayed over the music room’s piano while the teacher proudly displayed pictures of him and his gay lover’s personal life to elementary age children.

These children are slowly becoming numb to tradition and godly, values taught by their parents at home and slowly are being indoctrinated over their 16,000 hours of government-sponsored education.

Parents standing up for traditional values and calling for a return to academics in our schools and removal of identity politics from classrooms are now seen as “dangerous” by school boards across the country and even by the Department of Justice. This is why in the Loudoun County school system, the current policy prevents a parent from knowing if their child is expressing gender confusion at school. The teacher can know. The school counselor and staff can know. The principal can know, but NOT the parent.

Parents are viewed as some sort of extremist, backwoods cult member who will harm their child if they are involved when a child crosses over into the dark world of transgenderism after being groomed by social media influencers and their peer group. Then the confused child is further abused by the missionaries of transgenderism inside the walls of our schools who do everything possible to prevent that child from being told “No” by their parent. Outside groups are even allowed to provide support and temporary housing for your gender-confused child so they don’t have to go home to you, the “oppressive” parent.

Where do parental constitutional rights end and criminal physical and mental abduction begin?

In the end, this is a fight for the ages.  A battle of worldviews. Will man be on the throne or God?

In today’s critical theory parlance, every idea, thought, person, institution, and policy must be divided into one of two classes: “oppressed” or “oppressor.” Christians are seen now as having benefitted from God’s oppressive system of rules which has to be stopped if society is to further evolve into a more “diverse, equitable, and inclusive” order. In reality, following God’s objective standard brings favor, blessing, and salvation.

In considering the “intersectionality” of our faith, is it really oppressive to be a Christian?

What if you’re a white Christian? Or Asian Christian? Are you let out of “oppressor jail” if you’re a black Christian or does your Christian faith always outweigh your melanin when it comes to your score on the oppression scale?

Those who desire nothing more than the cancellation and prosecution of free speech now have a new weapon. This weapon of language causes division found through critical theory which only tears down instead of building up, divides instead of unites, and accuses instead of forgives. This new lexicon of the religion of equity places man on the throne and views God, parents, and those with the wrong skin color as irreconcilably broken oppressors with no hope of redemption. 

Christianity is actually liberating. Of all the world’s religions, only in Christianity has the work to conquer true oppression (sin) already been done by the work of Jesus on our behalf. We were all born into oppression as part of the one-blood human race. We were truly victimized by the oppressor of our soul, Satan. Only in Christ, can oppression be truly conquered providing freedom for those oppressed and in bondage to sin. Satan is the true author of oppression. Jesus liberates and sets us free.

Post based on a report by Clint Thomas is a Loudoun County, VA father of 5 and local business owner.

KNOWING GOD

Believers are usually pretty comfortable with revering God for his immortality, power, and perfection, and so we should be. He is the Creator, in whom we live and move and have our being. He is the Great I Am. But our connection with God will always be unfolding. If a person only focuses on the immensity of God, and on reverence for him, they will know little intimacy. If a person understands the great freedom we are promised in Christ but knows no reverence, they will be without foundation, To walk closely with God, we must be ever journeying, getting to know facet after facet of the divine nature. It is madness to think of him as less complex, less finely calibrated than ourselves.

God has sovereignly chosen to make himself vulnerable, in that he experiences difficult and negative emotions, along with great joy and delight, in response to earthly events.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7

Divine regret is a difficult concept, as it challenges our understanding of infallibility. We relate regret to either poor choices, bad luck, or lack of knowledge – ‘If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it.’ But God was fully cognizant of every one of his actions and choices, and still found himself regretting some of them. For God to feel regret, he must therefore be vulnerable to our choices. Free will must actually be free, and poor choices on our part can cause divine pain. The Lord gets upset and frustrated, just as He is pleased and delighted by us in turn. The only way I can make sense of this vulnerability is as a deliberate, sovereign choice. The Lord of All could have placed himself above such feelings, but instead, he chose a version of creation in which the choices of his children affect him.

We can see the breadth of God’s emotions at work in the life of Jesus. What do you make of the following passage?

‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!’ Matthew 23:37

Compassion, for example, drove him to acts of kindness and mercy, such as healing the sick.

‘And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.’Matthew 14:14

Jesus knew ordinary, everyday emotions too, such as pleasure and friendship. There was a particular disciple he was closer to than any other, on a human level. John is referred to as ‘the disciple that Jesus loved’ on several occasions and was depicted leaning back on Jesus’ chest at the last supper to ask him a question. On the cross, Jesus charged this same disciple with looking after his mother, and his mother with looking after this disciple.

When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.’John 19:26-27

How human! How relatable! On the day of his death, he was concerned about those he was leaving behind, providing for their emotional needs by calling them, mother and son. How dear, how important, this must have been to Jesus, at that moment.

There was no time when the emotions of God were stretched like they were in the Garden of Gethsemane.

‘And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ Luke 22:41-44

At that moment Jesus was a man in torment, able to prevent his own suffering but choosing to embrace it anyway. He was desperate to escape the agony of the cross – not just the physical pain, but the spiritual horror of becoming all human brokenness, for our sake – and yet he bowed his head. This total mastery of self serves as a supreme example to us. If Jesus were not a deeply emotional person, mastery might have been easier, but being torn up inside and still submitting to God? That is staggering, to me, what about you?

Adapted from an article by Duncan Edward Pile, October 27th, 2021 “Hold Me Closer Cosmic Dancer” http://www.patheos.com

WHO WAS JESUS?

There is only one claim that might be more radical than Jesus rising from the dead. It is that Jesus also claimed to be Holy God. Consider these words from Jesus Himself. He states that

I and the Father are one.John 10:30

This statement drew considerable anger from many of the Jews, as just a few verses later we read they tried to stone Him – in their eyes this was blasphemy.

Elsewhere in the book of John, Jesus declares that:

“… before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58

Here, Jesus is basically quoting God in the Old Testament when God declares Himself to be:

I AM.” Exodus 3:14

I can think of nothing more radical than claiming to be God. Yet, this is what Jesus claimed and demonstrated. He was God. Correction – He is God. He is very much alive.

I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Jesus, The Only Hope for Sinners

The truth about Jesus is that He is the eternal, holy, and magnificent God. He existed in eternity past before the world ever was. In Him, creation was made. He is perfectly holy, supremely righteous, and wholly just. Being just, he must also deal with sin and evil appropriately.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.Colossians 1:15-20

When sin entered our world through Adam, all men fell and death reigned. As the book of Romans says,

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (v. 3:23) and “The wages of sin is death” (v. 6:23).

Every member of the human race is fatally flawed and stained with sin. Because of this, we’re born evil and we choose evil. We rage war against the laws and morality of God. We lie, we lust, we steal, we hate, we murder, we blaspheme, we make idols, and we deny the very God who made us. All of us are deserving of judgment and eternal death for our sins.

Yet, from the beginning, God had a rescue plan. He made a promise to redeem His people from the guilt, shame, and judgment of their sins. Prophecies were made about a Messiah and in a mystery that was hidden for ages, God revealed that He is Messiah. Truly – Jesus is the Christ.

For sinners, such as you and me, the person and story of Jesus offer eternal hope. Born of a virgin and fulfilling every prophecy made about the coming Messiah, Jesus came to bring forgiveness, life, and hope. God took the form of man, lived a perfect life, and fulfilled the law completely. He was captured, beaten, tortured, denied, and executed by those He came to save. In doing so, He bore the stored wrath of the Holy God. He became the substitute and took the punishment His people deserve; the innocent died for the ungodly. After this, He rose from the dead and established His church.

You can have your sins forgiven if you repent of your sinful life and receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, thereby committing your life to His example and commands. Jesus’ blood spilled on the cross covers your sins and the judgment you deserve is transferred to Him. Instead of wrath, you receive life. This gospel has been preached for 2,000 years by men willing to die horrible deaths for their faith.

For those in Christ, we are credited, or imputed, with the righteousness of Jesus. Meaning, that in the eyes of God the Father, we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

Jesus also made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter, and teacher and thereby enable us to live the Christian life. Nevertheless, the effects of our sinful natures linger and will ultimately kill us in this life unless, of course, we live until the time Jesus returns to rapture, first the dead in Christ and then those who are living, prior to the wrath of God being poured out on an unrepentant world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements of Revelation 8 (Trumpet), 16 (Bowl).

Folks, today you are faced with a binary decision. You can choose to believe and trust that Jesus is everything He said He was, or He wasn’t. In denying Him, you remain under the wrath of God and judgment waits for you. Receive Him today! Trust Him! Believe in Him! The Bible tells that “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There is no sin or evil you’ve committed that grace cannot cover. Forgiveness is available to all who seek it.

Seek Him while He still may be found.

adapted from an article by Jack Lee on April 11th, 2019 “Who was Jesus?” http://www.patheos.com

WHAT IS STOPPING YOU FROM SUBMITTING TO GOD?

The process of self-emptying so that we can be filled with the Spirit of God and made into new creatures is often easier for those who are naturally wretched and miserable, as opposed to those who seem to have it “all together” like Denzel Washington.

The reliance on natural gifts can not only prevent us from coming to Christ but also hinder our daily reliance on His Holy Spirit once we have. Relying on our own powers and failing to recognize the ultimate source of those powers can stunt our relationship with our Creator and, ultimately, lead us into the first of all sins, the sin of pride.

That the Christian life is fundamentally related to the humility of the soul before God is itself revealed in the life of Christ. Paul talks of God’s “self-emptying” (kenosis):

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:5-11

The process of self-emptying so that we can be filled with the Spirit of God and made into new creatures is often easier for those who are naturally wretched and miserable, as opposed to those who seem to have it “all together”:

Men like Denzel Washington endowed with incredible natural gifts like charisma and talent, find it harder to rely on God’s power and providence. It is so easy for them to say who needs God, I can supply all that I need. That Denzel struggled to “want [the Holy Spirit”], didn’t want to “go too deep” and wasn’t “ready to live it” is an honest account of what it is often like for those who are gifted by God to not want to acknowledge the source of those gifts, but to rely on them as their own. But, that Denzel is as outspoken a follower of Christ as he is, given his incredible circumstances, is itself a testimony to God’s grace and Denzel’s faithful response to that grace.

For C.S. Lewis, who called himself “the most reluctant convert,” it was not his looks per se, but his natural gift of intellect that prevented him from humbling himself before God. For many of us, it may be something other than looks or intellect that hinders us from coming to Christ. But, that some part of our natural gifts may be the very thing keeping us from the Giver of those gifts, is very likely the case.

What about you?

MANKIND AND CREATION’S VASTNESS

God in His Word reveals why He created human beings. We are meant to be in a relationship with Him.

Genesis 1:27 states: “God created mankind in his own image.”

Psalms 8:1–5 says: “O Lord … What is man that You take thought of him … Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!”

John 3:16 explains God gave humans His son to redeem us out of His love for us.

The vast expanse of space

These texts show that God is human-oriented: human beings are like God, and he values us highly.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your handsPsalms 8:3-6

Note the contrast between vv. 3–4 and v. 5. Looking at the stars causes the psalmist to ask why He (God) cares for us. And yet in verse 5, He crowns us with glory and honour. The psalmist is clearly capable of meditating on his own insignificance in the light of the sky, and yet he also acknowledges God’s care for us in the way He made us.

Solomon makes a similar observation, this time concerning God dwelling in the temple he has just built.

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 1 Kings 8:27

Solomon prayed these words after God had manifested his special presence in the temple (1 Kings 8:10–11), so he wasn’t questioning whether God would care enough to dwell in the temple. Rather, he was marvelling that God would condescend so far and fill the temple with His glory. This is even more evident in the Incarnation, where the eternal Word of God “tabernacles among us” (John 1:14as the human Jesus of Nazareth.

The vastness of the universe impresses on us God’s sheer immensity. Even the cosmos, as large as it is, can’t contain God! But we’re so small. Little dots on a single speck of a planet floating in some nondescript place in the vast cosmic dark. Does it make God feel immense? Of course, it does!

And yet, we are right at the centre of God’s spiritual concerns. The Incarnation proves that. But this disjunct is precisely what we’d expect of God.

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” Isaiah 57:15

God is a God of loving condescension. He voluntarily descends from His transcendent dignity to care for us “mere specks of dust”. What better way for God to create a context for that impression than to create a vast universe in which we’re alone on a tiny speck in the vast cosmic dark? He fills all things, yet concerns himself with us so much that He sends His eternal Son to become one of us to bring us into eternal communion with Him by making it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the eternal Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Our spirit was always meant to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, as this verse shows, our spirit is the lamp of the Lord which needs the Holy Spirit to function as God intended.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.Proverbs 20:27

Extract from the article “Why did God make such a big universe?” by Shaun Doyle 19th July 2022 http://www.creation.com

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE IN OUR SALVATION AND IN OUR LIFE

“The Holy Spirit is how God quickens us to new life and births us from above.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.John 3:5-7

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

The third person of the Trinity. All three have a role in your Salvation.

The Holy Spirit has a special role as He seals us for eternity. The Apostle Paul says,

In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.John 14:16-17

These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.John 14:25-26

But When He, the Spirit of truth, comes He will guide you into all truth” John 16:13

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me.John 15:26

I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7

It is the Holy Spirit’s role to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgement. We cannot convert anyone unless the Holy Spirit has first convicted the person of their sin.

And when he comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11

The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in your life.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

He provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry

For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another, the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another, the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another, various kinds of tongues, to another, the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills1 Corinthians 12:7-11

SUMMARY

He lives within you forever (John 14:16).

He directs your paths (Prov. 3:4-5, Romans 8:14, Acts 8:29, Acts 8:39)

He guides you into all truth (John 14:17, 16:13a).

He teaches you all things (John 14:26a).

He reveals to you things to come (John 16:13).

He reveals to you the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10).

He produces the fruit of the Spirit in your life. (Galatians 5:22-23)

He equips and empowers you for ministry. (1 Corinth. 12:7-11)

He freely gives you all things (1 Cor. 2:12).

He offers you the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).

You cannot live a Christian life without the Holy Spirit. It is impossible. Make sure you do not grieve the Holy Spirit nor quench His work in your life but follow Paul’s advice that he gave to Timothy, “fan into flame the gift of God“.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:30

Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19

For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:6

GOD THE FATHER’S ROLE IN OUR SALVATION

GOD THE FATHER’S ROLE IN OUR SALVATION

Jesus mentions the Father’s role when He says, 

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” John 6:44

To make it even clearer, He says 

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” John 6:65

So it is not we who found God, but God found us; He called us. Salvation is not a decision we make. It is an act of God upon those whom He brings to repentance and faith.

God has granted repentance that leads to life. Acts 11:18

God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.2 Timothy 2:25

Jesus assures believers that 

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37

It is the Father’s promise to deliver you into the kingdom as Jesus again says, 

This is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise it up on the last day. John 6:39

Twice in three sentences, Jesus says that “All” will come to Him and of all given to Him (Jesus), so not one will be lost, as a result of the Father drawing us to Christ. I am not sure where I read this but I thought it was good enough to write in my Holy Spirit Journal.

God thought us; God sought us; God caught us; God bought us, and God taught us. It’s all about God and not about us.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.Psalms 115:1-2

Moreover, Jesus will soon do all that He pleases on earth during His Millennial reign with the Saints.

“They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

DO YOU GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AND QUENCH HIS WORK IN YOUR LIFE?

The Holy Spirit is the least known member of the Trinity. Many Christians know much about God the Father and God the Son but many do not know anything about God the Holy Spirit. Some denominations do not even acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is God.

The three persons of the Trinity

Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell each believer’s spirit so they can live the Christian life. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit (9) in believers’ lives: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness, and self-control. He also provides the gifts of the Spirit (9) to enable ministry, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophecy, faith, healings, miracles, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. These are all provided by the Holy Spirit under His direction as needed.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. Romans 8:9

According to Barna research in 2021: “The study shows, in general, that while a majority of America’s self-identified Christians, including many who identify as evangelicals, believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and is the Creator of the universe, more than half reject a number of biblical teachings and principles, including the existence of the Holy Spirit.”

Lack of knowledge of who the Holy Spirit is has led to lots of blasphemy against Him. Even some who believe in Him are not aware of His personality. Some use inanimate pronouns to describe Him because they do not know that He is a person (John 16:7). Many grieve Him because they do not know that He has feelings (Ephesians 4:30). Many quench His work in their lives (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Many things have been said about the Holy Spirit that are sacrilegious, offensive, and profane by those who are supposed to revere and worship Him.

The Holy Spirit is the executive arm of the Trinity. He was involved in the creation of the world as He moved upon the face of the waters in Genesis 1. He was the one who wrote the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).  He was responsible for the miraculous birth of Jesus (Luke 1:35). All miracles which Jesus did were done by the power of the Holy Spirit (Mathew 12:28). Jesus was able to go to the Cross to be crucified for the salvation of humanity by the leading of the Holy Spirit (Hebrew 9:14). Jesus would have remained in the grave if not for the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11). After Jesus commissioned the Apostles and the other disciples, they had no motivation for preaching the Gospel until the Holy Spirit enabled them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). There is no way we would have come to know Jesus if not for the conviction power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Holy Spirit is powerful in more than one way.

Read what Jesus said about speaking against Him.

I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” (Mathew 12:31-32 ).

This warning of Christ is frightening and should be carefully and strictly adhered to. Eternal sin is an offense that no one can sweep under the carpet no matter how gracious we think God is.

Jesus made the above statement when He observed that the Jews were saying that He was casting out demons with the power of demons. What this means is that denying the works of the Holy Spirit and attributing them to some other powers is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. When “Powerful men of God” abuse their office, they are getting dangerously close to blasphemy. Prophecy is one of the vocal gifts of the Holy Spirit, and abusing the gift of prophecy and saying what the Holy Spirit did not say is a blasphemy against Him.

Even back in Jesus’ day, blasphemers would be executed for blasphemy:

But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again, the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus. ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ The high priest tore his clothes. ‘Why do we need any more witnesses?’ he asked. ‘You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’ They all condemned him as worthy of death” (Mark 14:61-64).

It is important that we take heed to the warning of Christ not to say a word against the Holy Spirit because this sin is unforgivable here on earth and in the afterlife. If blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven, what will be the fate of those who are ignorantly engrossed in this sin?

Christians should avoid reckless talks against the Holy Spirit. Those who deny His existence are guilty of the sin of apostasy. Those who fake miracles, prophecies, and testimonies are guilty of blasphemy. We should not be too familiar with God to the extent of taking His words for granted. Hiding this warning of Christ in our hearts and exercising caution is a sure way of escaping this unpardonable sin.

MOST PEOPLE DESIRE TO BE THE GOD OF THEIR UNIVERSE

Sadly, most people simply have no genuine desire to submit themselves to the God who declares all things to be under His rightful jurisdiction. Thus, the natural disposition of most is to cast off the fetters of an antiquated belief system they no longer desire to subscribe to. The reality is that true Christianity has become an antiquated belief system to most.

What we are witnessing is the same sin as our federal head, Adam, who simply rejected the will of His Creator in favor of expressing his own sinful desires. In the case of Adam and Eve, they also played the blame game – blame-shifting responsibility on something or someone else. Indeed, Adam blamed God Himself. Likewise, Eve blamed Satan (manifesting as a serpent).

He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24

ADAM: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12

EVE: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13

However, we are without excuse for rejecting God and His values.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.Romans 1:19-20

I have come to be more and more convinced that the vast majority of those who reject the Christian faith do so on the basis of intellectual laziness, intellectual dishonesty, or simple ignorance. Evolution has been a major stumbling block for many but the evidence now for complexity and design in biology and the universe is overwhelming. They either don’t care to find the answers, they don’t care to hear the answers, or, they don’t know where to even begin. If the latter is the case and they earnestly desire to know God and the truth, the Holy Spirit will convict them and provide the means for them to find the truth about God and His Son. The means may well be you as one of His disciples.

And when He (Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.John 16:8-11

No one can live the Christian life unless they have repented of their old life, died to self (baptism), and received the Holy Spirit to enable them to live the Christian life.

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you.John 16:13-15

DAVID’S PRAYER WAS ALSO AN AMAZING PROPHECY

Thank goodness we have the Psalms: how helpful they are in our Christian walk, they explore the full range of human experience in a very personal and practical way. However, one psalm, Psalm 22 stands out because Jesus quotes verse 1 as His last words from the Cross. Why did Jesus take us to this psalm? It is obvious when we read the rest of the psalm, the psalm is a prophecy of what Jesus was experiencing on The Cross at the time He spoke it.

David had no understanding God was using Him to deliver a prophecy that provides incredible detail about what Jesus would experience on The Cross one thousand years later. David was obviously going through a terrible time in his life to have expressed the words he did in this prayer but consider that God gave David the words to pray so that His prayer could be used by Jesus to prove He is who He said He was, the promised Redeemer of not only Israel but the World.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you, they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots..
. ” Psalms 22:1-8

Note how Psalm 22 ends, David understood that regardless of whether God answered his prayer, God is still in control of His universe and this scripture will come to pass:

As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.Romans 14:11

Moreover, it reveals that King Jesus will rule over the nations from Jerusalem in His soon coming Millennial Kingdom.

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation, I will praise you: You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him but has heard when he cried to him. From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. Psalms 22:22-28

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

A lot of bad theology inevitably surfaces when we face suffering. When people lose their faith because of suffering, it suggests a weak or nominal faith that didn’t account for or prepare them for evil and suffering. Any faith not based on the truth needs to be lost—the sooner, the better.

Suffering and evil exert a force that either pushes us away from God or pulls us toward Him. But if personal suffering gives sufficient evidence that God doesn’t exist, then surely I shouldn’t wait until suffer to conclude He’s a myth. If my suffering would one day justify denying God, then I should deny Him now in light of other people’s suffering.

Believing that God exists is not the same as trusting the God who exists. A nominal Christian often discovers in suffering that his faith has been in his church, family, career, or social network, but not Christ. As he faces evil and suffering, he may find his beliefs shaken or even destroyed. But genuine faith—trusting God even when we don’t understand—will be made stronger and purer.

The last three paras have been excerpted from Randy Alcorn’s book “90 Days of God’s Goodness”.