MAN IS NOT GOOD AND HE CANNOT PERFECT HIMSELF 

Man, apart from God’s grace, is a sinner, not a saint.

To fail to recognize our own inherent corruption and the need for God’s saving grace leads to chaos and lawlessness.

In every generation man’s unconstrained impulse to have faith in his own righteousness and act upon that faith, reemerges. Today we see it in a radical Leftist agenda in America that is fueled by ambiguous intellectual movements which seek not just to find flaws in the American system that might be fixed, but which cry out for the system’s total destruction— to “tear the whole thing down.” Everything that came before must go, not just those ideas or structures that have rightly been judged as cruel or unjust. 

The forces that hold to the unconstrained vision, men and women who reject any need for divine aid or help and who really believe a new revolution can solve the problem, are once again at work. Trade-offs are unacceptable for the advocates of the unconstrained view. Only total solutions are acceptable. Perfection is within society’s grasp if we would only reach out and grab it. However, perfection is a high bar. Thus, any identifiable flaw in the fabric of society must inevitably spur on the next revolution. “Perpetual revolution” (not reformation) is the explicit doctrine of the foot soldier for the unconstrained vision of man.

The problem, of course, with this view is that it consciously rejects what it regards as the most detestable doctrines of the Christian faith: original sin and the desperate need for God’s grace.

The truth is the following three realities:

  1. Man is a sinner, prone to war and wickedness, and mutual slaughter.
  2. Any virtue in man is a gift from God. God the Father’s ultimate gift to mankind is the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, who by His death and resurrection made it possible for the Father to send the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
  3. By living in the power of the Holy Spirit we are liberated from the world’s system, even to the point of welcoming our own persecution, which is to God’s glory and the glory of His Church. 

Adapted from article “Trying To Be Good Without God, Or Hoping “We Won’t Get Fooled Again”

 DECEMBER 3, 2021 by Anthony Costello http://www.patheos.com

WHO DECIDES RIGHT AND WRONG?

The scourge of abortion is a form of idolatry. It has been considered a human right a woman has by virtue of choice. When humans decide to take life from the womb of a woman for the sake of convenience or personal right as a matter of liberty, they cross the divide between man and God and take to themselves the prerogative only God has—the authority to decide right and wrong. Man puts himself as God. That is idolatry, and for that, all nations, not only America, will suffer the judgment of God when it comes upon the Earth. 

Moreover, God has told us beforehand exactly how and when His wrath will be poured out on an unbelieving world.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?2 Corinthians 6:14

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:6-13

And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.Matthew 24:22-25

During the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ on this earth in the not too distant future, abortion will be a mortal sin punished by death. Many in the world will object to God’s laws which is the reason why Jesus and the Saints need to rule with a rod of iron.

From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.Revelation 19:15

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.Revelation 2:26-27

Just as Satan and one-third of the angels rebelled against God in heaven, many humans will rebel against Jesus and the Saint’s reign on this earth. We are told that when Satan is released from the Abyss at the end of Jesus’ Millennial reign he is still able to raise an enormous army to come against Jesus and the Saints.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them.” Revelation 20:7-9

ETERNAL LIFE OR ETERNAL DEATH YOU CHOOSE

If God exists and He created all things, it brings incredible responsibility upon the life of every man, woman, and child. Every individual under the sun has the responsibility to not only acknowledge their Creator but to give Him thanks for this magnificent universe. Moreover, they have an obligation to order their life around their Creator’s desires rather than their own—and this is the point where the bristling starts to happen. If God exists and He is the Creator of all things, this needs to inform the whole of one’s life. One must not only acknowledge Him as Creator and give Him thanks but we must live according to His rules. Every aspect of our lives must come under total surrender to the One who is the Author of life—and the one who rejects God surely does so on the basis of their desire to reject His authority.

It is all good and fine if there is a Creator who doesn’t impose His will upon the masses of His creation. However, the Creator has already judged the whole world on one previous occasion with a worldwide flood with only eight survivors. Moreover, His Word warns us that He intends to eventually destroy this fallen world with fire but beforehand there is Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom. He will rule and reign on this earth with resurrected and transformed believers for one thousand years. Check out, http://www.millennialkingdom.net

Atheists and agnostics for that matter stand on borrowed ground. They eat and drink borrowed food. They breathe in borrowed air and ultimately—live on borrowed time. They can no more diminish God’s glory and authority than if they were to try and blot out the light of the sun by standing before it. This is why many tend to go the route of dismissal of God’s existence to conceal their hatred of God, yet in the end, it will prove just as fruitless as an open hatred of God.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me… I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1,6

Remember our Creator has gone to exceptional lengths to make Himself and the condition of the Cosmos (spiritual and physical) known to mankind and to enable us to get back into a right relationship with Him. Can we ask any more of God than He sends His Son to pay the price for our rebellion against Him and then to send the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer’s spirit to enable us to live the Christian life?

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23

If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but He sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.John 8:42-45

At the end of all days, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. There is no hope for the one who dies under the consuming wrath of God, but just as there remains no hope for those who do not believe in Christ prior to their death, there will be no lingering skepticism. There will be no doubt. There will be no unbelief. All will believe and will either go away to eternal death or eternal life. Which do you choose?

REBELLION AGAINST GOD IN THESE LAST DAYS

Jesus is coming back, and He is warning those who want to be on his side to be ready. God is calling us all to leave behind terrible habits, addictions, and anything that pulls us away from Him. The movie below reveals where sin is headed and why it’s so crucial that we are not slaves to it. It explores how to overcome sinful addictions and the meaning of repentance. This is one to see, share, and watch with a group! Unlimited lawlessness is now possible with augmented reality. We are living in a time when the prophesied apostasy (falling away) in the church is already happening and it will only increase as Satan steps up his demonic activity to destroy mankind. Satan understands his time is short.

AoC Network is a Christ-Centered content creator with a goal to represent God’s Kingdom online. Learn more at https://www.aocnetwork.org/about-us

I do not agree with their interpretation of the parable Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus in this video and ask you to consider the following exposition of this parable.

Does the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 teach an eternal hell of conscious torment?
No! It is a parable Jesus used to emphasize a certain spiritual lesson. The point of the story is found in verse 31. Parables should not be taken literally—otherwise, we would believe that trees talk! (See Judges 9:8–15.)

The traditional view is to take the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man literally, but I believe as many others do that it is a parable that Jesus told to the Pharisees and Sadducees as it followed other parables that all start with the same intro: “There was a certain man

The two parables here both have to do with “mammon” (money) and the misuse of it. If the first is clearly a parable, why not the second, for it is in the exact same section of scripture?

The Jewish Rabbis of Jesus’ day commonly used parables as teaching tools. This is in part why Jesus used them to correct the Pharisees (self-righteous religious leaders) who were unjustly criticizing what he taught.

Here are some other facts making it clear that Luke 16:19–31 is a parable:
1. Abraham’s bosom is not heaven or paradise. (Hebrews 11:8–10, 16).
2. Abraham was not in heaven in bodily form so how can Lazarus literally be comforted by Abraham? 3. People in hell cannot talk to those in heaven (Isaiah 65:17).
4. The bodies of the dead are in their graves (Job 17:13; John 5:28, 29). The rich man was in bodily form with eyes, a tongue, etc., yet we know that the body does not go to hell at death but remains in the grave, as the Bible clearly teaches.
5. People are rewarded at Christ’s second coming, not at death (Revelation 22:12).
6. The lost are cast into the Lake of Fire (Hell) after the White Throne judgement not when they die (Matthew 13:40–42).

Why did Jesus give this parable here?

In the first thirteen verses of Luke 16, we find Jesus teaching his disciples about being wise stewards and that man cannot serve both God and mammon (money, earthly possessions, etc.). The Pharisees overheard what Jesus said and, knowing it also applied to them, roundly criticized him:

Now the Pharisees who were also covetous (greedy and lovers of money) heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him.” (Luke 16:14).

Jesus tells the Pharisees that they seek to justify themselves before men and not God. After a few more comments he speaks this parable that is in direct response to their finding fault with what he taught.

The parable begins: “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, and daily indulged himself in luxury.” The rich man in this parable is a symbol for the Pharisees and Sadducees themselves.

And there was a certain poor man named Lazarus, who was laid at his porch, full of sores.” (Luke 16:19 – 20). Why did Christ refer to this poor beggar as Lazarus? There are two reasons. One is the meaning of his name. It means ‘whom God helps.’ or ‘assistance of God‘. The Pharisees prided themselves on their righteousness through strict obedience to their interpretation of God’s law. They particularly despised the gentiles. The irony here is that those who honestly believed they served and represented God would not help someone “whom God helps.” They disdained someone whom God accepted.  

Lazarus in this parable represents the Gentiles – the world outside of God’s chosen people. God’s people (particularly the Pharisees and Sadducees) treated the Gentiles like dogs who were full of sores (spiritual sickness) and in need of rescue (help from God). The Gentiles like Lazarus were stopped at the gate of the temple (which represents the entrance to God) and were not allowed to go inside (never to have a relationship with God).

In verse 22, we see that something unnatural has occurred. Both die, Lazarus is carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom and the rich man ends up in hell. Note what verse 22 does NOT say! It does NOT state that the beggar went to heaven. It also does not say the rich man, immediately upon death, was tossed into some eternal Hell. The verse says the beggar is carried to “Abraham’s bosom.” But what does this phrase mean? What is significant about Lazarus being in the bosom of Abraham? Being in the bosom of someone is a symbol of love and closeness John 13:23 “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” Lazarus (symbol for the Gentile nation) being in Abraham’s bosom (place of spiritual promise to be loved and close to God) illustrates the roles have switched. Galatians 3:14 “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Now Lazarus is in the place where the rich man (Pharisees and Sadducees) was. So, what was the cause of such a radical change in the status of God’s chosen people and the Gentiles? Let us see what Jesus had to say about it; Matthew 23:33 “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of Hell [Gehenna – God’s Judgement]?” The roles switched because of the arrogance, self-righteousness, and disobedience of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They did not see a need to help others, they boasted about having the law of the prophets, and they worshiped themselves, but things just changed

Lazarus is carried into a close relationship with Abraham (who represents faith in God and salvation). He is allowed entrance into God’s kingdom (but it does not state when this occurs).

We now come to the verse that has led countless people who study the Bible to believe in a fiery Hell where sinners suffer forever. However, four times in Revelation we are told of the second death: Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:11, and 21:8. Moreover, the Bible teaches that there will be just punishment of the unrepentant for sins committed on earth which is followed by the second death in the Lake of Fire.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

We also find proof in verse 23 that this parable is not meant to be taken literally in every detail. Both the rich man and Lazarus are shown to be alive after they died. If we take verses 22 and 23 literally, it would mean the resurrection of the dead has already taken place!

Here is some further proof of why this story should not be taken literally in all details. How could the rich man know who Abraham was when he had been dead for 1,800+ years? Also, it would be difficult for the rich man to recognize Lazarus in a glorified body, as he had been an emaciated pile of bones and flesh and full of sores during his physical life. The difference would have been appalling.

Additionally, Luke 16:24 reiterates how the roles of these two men have changed. The rich man was without need of help when the beggar was in dire straits and now, he is in a dire situation when the beggar is without need. In effect, Christ is giving a warning to the Pharisees that their state in life could quickly change, therefore they should not be so smug and look down on others.

Remember, my son, that in your lifetime you were given all the good things, while Lazarus got all the bad things. But now he is enjoying himself here, while you are in pain. Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us . . . (Luke 16: 25 – 26).

Jesus got the immediate attention of the Pharisees by using Abraham as a character in his lesson. Christ is showing that one needs to live his life correctly today, not wait until the next life to make amends.

The last four verses of this parable describe Father Abraham explaining to the rich man that his five brothers (Judah had five brothers) have the prophets (the Old Testament scriptures) as a witness. Jesus knew full well that the arrogant religious leaders boasted about their knowledge of the scriptures, but their hearts were hardened. Despite the many O.T. prophecies about Himself, the Pharisees and Sadducees continued not to believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

The rich man goes on to explain that if one is raised from the dead they will believe (repent). People claim that the story of the rich man and Lazarus is not a parable because Christ identifies a character with a real name as in this case, the name Lazarus. They say that this fact alone is proof because Christ never used a real name in any other parables. Do you think that it is ironic that there is an actual person in the book of John that has the same name, Lazarus who was sick and died but Jesus raised him from the dead which is the same context of the rich man’s inquiry? You see, Christ was spoken of and prophesied about many times in the Old Testament. Jesus makes another prophecy in this parable stating that if they will not hear the words of the prophets; neither will they believe if one is raised from the dead. Jesus used the real name Lazarus because he already knew that he was going to resurrect a real person named Lazarus shortly thereafter from the dead to further prove his point in the parable.

He said to him, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead‘”.(Luke 16:31)

Jesus ultimately tells us the meaning of the rich man and Lazarus parable. He was telling the Pharisees (who were self-righteous hypocrites) that since they did not truly believe and follow what Moses and the prophets wrote, no amount of miracles and wonders would be able to change their minds and alter how they lived life. It was the hardness of their hearts that kept them from truly repenting and serving God. Jesus knew that despite adequate proof of His own resurrection these Pharisees and Sadducees would still not believe He was their prophesied Messiah.

CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
Psalm 51:1-2

A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet challenged him about his sin with Bathsheba.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.Psalm 51:10-12

“that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippian 3:10

NOTE: God had given David an understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in living Christ-like and this is one thousand years before Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers as a result of His atoning sacrifice.

But also note what Paul says about living Christ-like, we are to forget those things that are behind us and focus on those things ahead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.Philippians 3:12-16

John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us life, freedom, and a relationship with Him. He is our only hope—the only source of true peace. Are you experiencing this peace? If not, that can change if you trust in Him as Lord and Savior, repent, and turn to Him (Romans 10:9).

Gordon Cove once challenged his audience: “You have not sought the Lord with ‘your whole heart’ until you have tried a protracted season of prayer and fasting.” Could a lack of prayer, fasting, and repentance be one of the hindrances to a spiritual awakening? Absolutely! Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Fasting doesn’t twist God’s arm, but it does bend our knee. There is simply too much on the line—a massive spiritual awakening is our only hope.

As G. Campbell Morgan said, “We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.”

It’s time to break up our fallow ground and seek the Lord while He still may be found (Hosea 10:12).

“We prepare the sacrifice with a humble and contrite heart and God will bring the fire of revival.” shaneiIdelman.com

SIN IS LAWLESSNESS

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.1 John 3:4

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.Romans 8:7-8

We have a generation that has been taught in schools and universities that God does not exist. They are taught evolution and billions of years explains the existence of this universe. To them the Bible is just a book of fables. As people cancel God and His perfect divine guidance from their lives they are constrained to decide for themselves what is right and wrong. The outcome is described in God’s word.

there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.1 John 3:8

The traditional American family is in shambles and most western nations’ families are headed the same way. In the U.S. forty-three percent of babies are born to unwed mothers. Along with the wreckage of the family, the US is seeing record levels of depression, mental illness, soaring suicide rates, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic. And yet the demonically driven militants press on with even greater zeal. The devil’s venomous strategy to deceive and damage humanity worked from the beginning. Satan cancelled God in the eyes of Eve – insinuating the One who instructed Adam and Eve about what was good and evil was actually a liar (Genesis 3:1-5). Adam in clear disobedience to God went along with it. Satan the master manipulator continues to bring horrendous evil on humanity.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.Ephesians 2:1-3

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 2:11-12

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.1 Peter 5:8-9

Fortunately, Jesus told us in advance that tribulation would be intense for Christians in the last days prior to His return. He alone can deal with Satan, his minions, and the unrepentant and restore righteousness to the world.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.Matthew 24:21-22

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31

THE GOSPEL IS AN AFFRONT TO THE NATURAL MIND

The gospel tells us that we are lost in our sin, and there is no way we can save ourselves through good works. The moment we recognize the awfulness of our sin and cast ourselves upon God’s mercy and grace, He forgives, transforms, and justifies us. Salvation is by grace through faith, not of works (Ephesians 1:7–9). That is the gospel message.

That message is a problem for nonbelievers because the natural human mind cannot admit the gravity and horror of sin. The natural mind says, “I admit I’m not perfect, but I’m a good person. If there is a God, He will accept me. I don’t need a Savior. So keep your ‘sin’ talk to yourself. Don’t bother me with your gospel.”

The natural mind refuses to admit to having sinned so grievously that Jesus would have to die. “You’re telling me that Jesus died to save me? Me? Are you calling me a hopeless, helpless sinner? How dare you!”

A gay couple getting married in Norway

Most of the denominational churches have compromised with the world in an effort to keep bums on seats and money to pay the bills including the minister’s salaries. Preachers belonging to these denominations have stopped preaching the gospel of redemption from sin, and now preach a message of human virtue. They have stopped preaching the cross and the empty tomb and instead preach positive thinking. They have stopped preaching justification by grace through faith, and instead preach social justice propaganda.

In many of the charismatic churches, it is all about the preacher and his ego. He/She wants to be liked and admired by nonbelievers who will donate big money to a ministry that flatters their egos.

What did Paul tell Timothy to do in a world that is hostile to the gospel of salvation? Guard the truth!

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Timothy 1:13-14, NIV).

The “pattern of sound teaching” Paul writes of is God’s blueprint. The word translated “pattern” is the same word used for an architectural design. What happens if a builder decides to ignore the architectural blueprint? What if the builder decides he doesn’t want to bother putting up the pillars, crossbeams and archways that are specified by the architect? The building will collapse.

Though Paul is burdened by the subversion of the church, he is able to say, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). What day? The day of the Lord’s return!

And that is why the apostle Paul, in the closing days of his life, pleads with Timothy—and with you and me—to please, please, please follow the blueprint of sound teaching. Please, please, please guard the deposit of truth that was entrusted to you. Don’t try to improve on it. Don’t deviate from it. Don’t modify it.

Paul’s message to Timothy and to us is to keep the pattern of sound teaching and guard the good deposit of truth that was entrusted to you. The Lord is faithful to His Word. He will never allow the light of the gospel to be extinguished. God has entrusted the gospel to us, but He has not abdicated. He is watching over His Word. He will preserve it, with or without us. Whether or not we remain faithful, He will always be faithful.

He is trustworthy. He will accomplish all things according to the counsel of His will.

His Word reveals that Christians will have a time of tribulation/persecution prior to His second coming. We need to be prepared and warn others as to what lies ahead. We need to realise that God is still in control of all that happens on His earth. What plays out in the last seven years with Satan and his Antichrist, God allows. During this time Christ’s church will be purified before He takes us to heaven with the Rapture and then pours out His wrath upon unrepentant earth with the seven Trumpet (Revelation 12) and seven Bowl (Revelation 16) judgements. It is all revealed in God’s Word.

SIN WILL BE PUNISHED BY GOD

Humanity’s primary problem is sin, and without repentance, forgiveness, and faith in Christ, sin will be punished. When is the last time this was taught in our churches and to our youths? When is the last time, Christian parent, that you have taught such things to your kids? When is the last time we taught them that we will all stand before the Lord on judgment day to give an account for the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10)?

Is it any wonder, then, that a generation of young people apparently feel no remorse, no conviction, no guilt for stealing, destroying small businesses, and injuring other human beings? There is no fear of God before their eyes, and our churches bear some guilt in not teaching this paramount truth. 

Rioters burn American flags during a Black Lives Matter protest at Columbus Circle in New York City on July 4. (Photo: Pablo Monsalve/VIEWpress/Getty Images)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatian 5:18-21

Social justice matters to God, and so does personal holiness, as this passage teaches. The “you” is addressed to the Christ-followers in Galatia. We are preaching the wrong message, then, if we think that because God loves us unconditionally, He will never punish us if we continue to do wrong and live in a sinful way.

Let’s conclude with Paul’s words, “Shall we continue to sin because we are not under the law but under grace? May it never be so!Romans 6:1-2a. In other words, paraphrasing Paul, “You’re out of mind if you think this way!” Little could Paul imagine that this way of thinking would actually be turning into the norm for westernized Christians in the 21st century!

When human sin has a tendency to be played down in the name of God’s surpassing grace and so-called “unconditional love,” this passage helps set the record straight.

Ask the Lord to help you tell the truth in love but remember all of us a called to complete the Great Commission, especially now with Jesus’ return imminent. All the signs Jesus gave us that would precede His return are playing out now, particularly the increased persecution of Christians and the falling away (apostasy in the churches).

A WORLD IN CRISIS

 The following article Russia’s Putin gambles that the West is weak by Australia’s Prime Minister (2013-2015) appeared in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL February 28, 2022

Tony Abbott as prime minister speaks during a national memorial service to honour victims of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. Picture: AAP

Ukraine’s fate was probably sealed when President Biden said last month that America might not respond to a “minor incursion” and definitively ruled out “boots on the ground”.

No consideration whatever appears to have been given to declaring a “no fly” zone for Russian military aircraft over Ukraine, even though that had been done to protect Iraqi Kurds against Saddam Hussein and would have given the Ukrainian army a much fairer fight against the Russians’ greater numbers.

America’s unwillingness to take risks to protect Ukraine, a democracy of more than 40 million people, is now fuelling doubts about the risks the US might run to help defend other countries that were once controlled by Russia — especially the Baltic states, which are part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

It’s obvious that small countries are largely helpless in the absence of collective defence and that countries that won’t or can’t fight an aggressor are doomed to negotiate the best possible surrender.

Yet the West’s bigger surrender has been economic and cultural. For at least 15 years, much of Western policy has been directed to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. In Australia, former prime minister Kevin Rudd declared that climate change is the “great moral challenge” of our time.

The British parliament, along with many others, has officially declared a “climate emergency”. Last week, as the air raid sirens wailed over Kyiv, John Kerry worried that the Ukraine crisis would produce “massive emissions” and distract the world from climate change.

Reducing emissions is an important policy objective but should never be governments’ main task — especially when it entails risking significant economic damage and putting national security at risk. Europe has been busily closing down coal-fired power stations (and in Germany even emissions-free nuclear ones) only to become dependent on Russian gas that Mr Putin can turn off and on like a tap.

Here in Australia, we’re set on closing coal-fired power stations without any base-load substitute even while our thermal coal exports surge to record levels (including to China, an even more dangerous strategic competitor than Russia).

It’s the private sector that’s doing this, an unforgivable folly reminiscent of Lenin’s reported quip that the “capitalists will sell us the rope by which we hang them”.

Then there’s globalisation, which has undoubtedly made the world richer but at the cost (as we’ve only lately come to realise) of strengthening the West’s competitors and exporting its manufacturing base. Free trade should continue to be promoted but principally between countries with comparable standards of living and only between democracies that respect the rule of law.

The worst contemporary folly is the constant undermining of Western civilisation, history and national virtues.

Partly it is deliberate subversion by cultural Marxists, but mostly it’s the polite acquiescence of diffident and historically ignorant people conditioned not to give offence.

These days the rights of men who want to be women routinely trump those of women who don’t want to face unfair competition in sport. Religious free speech is still OK, as long it’s not the Bible you’re quoting.

Martin Luther King’s famous plea that his children be judged by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin, would be denounced on most Western campuses as an example of “colourblind racism”.

“Monty Python’s Life of Brian” couldn’t be made today due to politically correct wowserism. And I wonder how many students are still taught to take pride in Australia Day, which celebrates the founding of a country that’s as free, fair and prosperous as any on earth.

A Western world that has spent two years sacrificing freedom to preserve life is hardly going to sacrifice life to preserve freedom. Or at least that’s how it must look to the hard men in Moscow and Beijing.

As Churchill said of the Munich sellout in 1938, this is “the first foretaste of a bitter cup that will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time”.

Tony Abbott was prime minister of Australia, 2013-15.

Fortunately for Christians what is unfolding has been prophesied by God in His History book, the Bible. He told us how His world came into being and why.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Genesis 1:26

It is the habitation for the people He made in His image to be sovereign over His creation but under His authority. He told our ancestor Adam what the consequences would be of disobedience but he and Eve chose to disobey God. SIN and death were the outcomes that we are dealing with today.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16

Fortunately, God provided a way out by Jesus’ substitutionary death for us and yet most reject God’s offer of eternal life. They foolishly want to control their own destiny for the short time they have on God’s earth and we have history to show us what sinful man has accomplished. For those of us that have realised our sinfulness, repented and submitted our lives to Jesus Lordship, we have received the Holy Spirit that God the Father has sent to indwell the Spirit of each believer. How blessed we are, without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to live a Christian life. The unbeliever has no understanding of what they are missing out on.

REPENT – AN OFFENSIVE WORD TO MOST

Humanity’s primary problem is sin, and without repentance, forgiveness, and faith in Christ, sin will be punished. When is the last time we have taught these things in our churches and to our youths? When is the last time, Christian parent, that you have taught such things to your kids? We no longer teach that people need to repent of their sins. Remember that word? Let me say that again, repent, since it seems offensive to most these days, even though it was the KEY message of Jesus and the apostles.

Anarchy on the streets of Seattle

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Matthew 4:17

When is the last time we taught them that we will all stand before the Lord on judgment day to give an account for the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad?.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.2 Corinthians 5:10

Is it any wonder, then, that a generation of young people apparently feels no remorse, no conviction, no guilt for stealing, destroying small businesses, and injuring other human beings? There is no fear of God before their eyes because we made no effort to tell them the truth about God.

This Scripture will tell you how to understand the fear of the Lord and to find knowledge from God then He will be your shield and watch over you.

My son (daughter), if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understand; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.Proverbs 2:1-5