Rejoicing in Tribulation

 

In this blog we will be talking about what we would call an extension of the last Beatitude (Matt. 5:10). It is a fuller description of the blessing God gives us when we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

Matthew 5:11-12

“Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Here are four questions we will discuss and try to answer.

 

Who is the one who will be blessed for righteousness and who will rejoice in persecution?

This is a Christian who is very different than the non-Christian. That is, he acts like Jesus. He is kind, gentle, peaceable, loving, and caring.

This is a Christian who is controlled and dominated by Jesus Christ. He lives for Jesus and no longer for himself.

This is a Christian who constantly has his mind on heavenly things. He makes it a point to set his mind on things above and not on earthly things (Col 3:2). In this way he is very different than a non-Christian who does not want to think of what is to come. For what is to come for him is the wrath of God (Jn. 3:36).

 

How should the Christian face persecution?

The persecuted Christian must not retaliate. He should be like Jesus when he was persecuted who did not speak. Instead of fighting back we should instead rejoice and think of heaven—and God will bless you.  

The persecuted Christian must not feel resentment. Though his is wrongfully persecuted, he should think of Jesus and the prophets who were also wrongly persecuted; and they were rewarded.

The persecuted Christian must not be depressed. No, instead set your mind to be glad and to rejoice. It is up to you to decide to do this. God will help you.

The persecuted Christian must rejoice. Why? (1) Because our persecution is proof to us and to others that we are a Christian; (2) because we also have proof that being a Christian we are going to heaven. Yes, persecution should make us feel more heaven bound and closer to heaven. And (3) because we have real joy to come in heaven.

 

Is it right to rejoice in heavenly rewards to come?

Yes, and here are four reasons why:

1 Jesus did. He endured the cross for the joy that was before Him (Heb. 12:2).

2 Paul teaches it in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.

3 Moses did. He chose to suffer affliction with the people of God because he had his eye upon the reward in the end.

4 We are to seek things above, where Christ is (Col. 3:1-2).

 

What is heaven like?

Heaven is to experience always the full love of God and Christ. And this, says Paul, is beyond our knowledge (Eph. 3:19). We can try to imagine what it will be like, but we will never be able to fully comprehend it.

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Bible Studies, Notes on Books I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Reason Why There Will Never Be True Peace Between Israel and Muslim Nations

Pray for peace in the middle east and pray for Jews and Muslim to find true peace in Jesus.

Prayer for Trump and Country

 

There has been talk lately about peace initiatives between Israel and the Palestinians. But it will never work, and here is why:

1. All true Muslims reject Israel’s claim to their land promises by God. They say…

  • The original Bible (the word of God) was corrupted by devious Jews and Christians. Any parts that disagree with the Quran they say have been corrupted.
  • They say that the Arab nations through Ishmael are the rightful heirs to the promises made to Abraham.

2. According to Muslim law the Jewish occupation of Israel (gained in 1948) is illegitimate. Why? Because the land was once occupied by Muslims—Allah gave the land to them. And according to Islamic law, “Any territory that was at some time ‘opened’ by a legitimate Islamic authority cannot revert to a non-Islamic authority.” Therefore, they say that by that law of Allah the land cannot be allowed…

View original post 140 more words

Posted in Reblogs | Leave a comment

Putrid water

Seeing God in Nature

Don’t let the old self corrupt and putrefy your inner being. Lay aside the old self and put on the new self–and feel the fresh water of His Spirit flow through you (from Eph. 4:22-24; Jn. 7:38).

View original post

Posted in Reblogs | Leave a comment

Blessed Are They Which Are Persecuted For Righteousness Sake

 

This is the eighth and last beatitude, and the one that really caps off all of them. That is, it brings a result to all of them and helps us to face the world with strength and hope. Verse 10 (of Matthew 5) is the main part of beatitude, and then verses 11 and 12 seem to be an extension of it. We will focus on the main part in this blog. Here are four points.

 

What kind of persecution is the Christian blessed for?

The answer is plain. It must be a persecution for righteousness sake. He will be blessed by God for being righteous—like Jesus.

There are other reasons one may be persecuted, but none of them will be rewarded with a blessing by God. For instance, one may be persecuted for a lack of wisdom. Secondly, one may be over-zealous in his Christianity and he may be criticized for it—rightly. Or one may be persecuted for a political cause, or for a social cause. And some causes are very good. But if your cause is not for righteousness sake, the blessing here will not cover you.

 

Why Christians are persecuted

What I want to do here is to take a look at the nature of persecution so that we understand better why someone will persecute another. Here are two basic reasons.

  • Christians are persecuted because they are different. It is only natural for people to feel uncomfortable with people who are different than they are, especially if they appear to be better or happier than they are. So when they see this in others, they get jealous of them and feel put down by them. So they strike out at them.
  • More basically, it has to do with light and darkness. A true Christian is full of light because Jesus is light. Since light exposes the darkness (and sin), all who live in darkness hate the light (and those Christians who live in the light). Hence, a non-Christian naturally hates a Christian just as he, or she, hates Jesus.

 

Who are the persecutors?

You may be surprised by this, but not only non-Christians are the persecutors. Even Christians will sometimes persecute another Christian. Why? Because not all Christians are living in the light. If a Christian is holding on to certain sins, knowingly or unknowingly, this may be a great hindrance to fellowship, and therefore, bitterness and fighting may result.

 

What is the blessed results of persecution?

First of all, when we are persecuted, it will tend to unite us with Jesus and with other believers—especially with those who have also been persecuted.

Secondly, our persecution will become a sign that we are truly a Christian, thus it will give us great assurance that we are united with Christ and the body of Christ.

A third blessing is our great hope of future rewards in heaven. This is part of the subject of my next blog.

 

Posted in Bible Studies, Notes on Books I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

 

We who are Christians are all called by God to be peacemakers. Unfortunately, only some heed the call. Happily, those who do heed the call are truly blessed by God. Why? For one, because they are obedient to His call and He rewards them for it. But the main reason they are blessed, I would say, is in the next phrase: “…for they shall be called sons (or children) of God.” Hence, if we are obedient to our call as peacemaker, we will receive a real sense of being a child of God, so much so that we may sense Him calling us His child. What a bless that is!

 

What Kind of a Person is a Peacemaker?

First, a peacemaker must be a person who has a desire for peace and to bring peace to people.

Secondly, He sees the need for peace and sees how it will come to us. He sees that all people should be at peace—with God and with each other. Then, he understands that men cannot have peace without getting a new heart; for sin comes out of the heart and will destroy peace. Accordingly, the peacemaker understands that a heart conversion is the only way to obtain peace.  It cannot be obtained by manipulation of the personality. One can spend thousands of dollars on professional counselors to help change one’s personality, but that will not bring real, lasting peace. Likewise, leaders have tried to bring peace to the world through the League of Nations, and through the United Nations, and through other means, but no one can manipulate or force man into peace. Peace must come from a changed heart.

Thirdly, a peacemaker must himself have a pure heart and be selfless. He must be meek—selfless and totally dedicated to God.

 

How To Practice Peacemaking

Here are four tips:

  1. Learn not to speak. You must be absolutely selfless and a listener more than a talker.
  2. Bring the gospel to people. The only way to bring someone peace is by gospel conversion. He must be saved and have a new heart (Eph. 6:15).
  3. Go out of your way to bring peace. In your dealings with people show pity for them and pray for them.
  4. Be selfless, loving, and approachable.

 

Posted in Notes on Books I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s 10 Impeachable Offenses: A Response

Please pray over this and pray that people will see the weakness in these charges. And much of it is false accusations (lies) and mere opinions.

Prayer for Trump and Country

Here are the famous 10 impeachable offenses. But I think they are all quite a joke and have no validity. My rebuttal is in bold red. And I’m sure there could be much more said. I didn’t comment on every point, but it seems that whoever wrote this worked really hard at finding offenses. Most of this is just someones opinion, nothing you can prove. It sounds like they got most of it from media sources (not reliable sources).

Source taken From: Need to Impeach

  1. Obstructing Justice
  • The trail of evidence starts with Trump’s attempt to get Comey to drop an investigation into National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. I don’t think he attempted with any force; he just suggested it.
  • When he refused, Trump fired James Comey, the FBI director responsible for overseeing the investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia during the 2016 election. There was many reasons why…

View original post 1,233 more words

Posted in Reblogs | Leave a comment

Complete Holiness

 

The nature of holiness is that it is not satisfied to be in just one area.  It wants to penetrate into all areas; it wants to purify the whole; as light it wants to brighten every corner and crack.  In this study of personal holiness, I want to discuss every possible area of holiness in our lives—complete holiness.  As I see it, there are generally two areas of personal holiness: outer holiness, or holiness in the body, and inner holiness, or holiness in the mind and the spirit.

 

HOLINESS IN MIND AND SPIRIT

 These areas of our inner being must be considered of primary importance when it comes to holiness; for without holiness in these areas, the outer body will neither be holy.

 The mind. The mind is that place from where we think and reason and imagine.  And though we believe that these things originate in the brain, which is part of our physical body, we believe also that the mind is part of our inner being—our soul and spirit.  Jerry Bridges said, “Holiness begins in our mind and works out to our actions.”5  Thus we ought to guard our mind so that we think only thoughts that are pure.  And to do that we must watch what we see, hear, and read.  We ought also to stay away from worldly things, and be attentive rather to heavenly things—to the reading of the Bible, good books, and good conversation.

The Spirit.  The spirit of man is his most inner being, that part of the self that is able to connect with God and relate to God—because God is spirit.  Thus, if we are not holy in spirit, we cannot have fellowship with God.

Some of the sins of the spirit are these: hatred, anger, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness and pride. These things are naturally in us—because of our sinful flesh; however, if we do not immediately put them to death when they spring up in us, they will cause us trouble in our spirit (Heb. 12:15), and a collapse in our relationship with God.

 

HOLINESS IN THE BODY

 Our physical bodies are created by God to glorify Him and to provide for Him a beautiful temple (1 Cor. 3:16).  Here are seven parts of our body that we need to control for our holiness:

The eyes.  What we see with our eyes affects our whole body, mind, and spirit—for either good or evil.  For this reason, we need to keep our eyes fixed on only what is pure, and away from what is vile and worthless (Ps. 101:3, 119:37).

The ears.  Like our eyes, our ears affect our whole being deeply.  Let us consecrate our ears to God so that we listen to only what is good and pure, and to reject or tune out things that are untrue and impure.

The tongue.  The tongue is a very small member, but capable of great things.  Like fire, sinful words of the tongue can spread destruction and contamination rapidly.  But if controlled the tongue can bring great truth, encouragement and blessing (Ja. 3:1-12).

 The mouth.  The mouth is that area where we take in food and drink.  Let us be careful what we eat and drink so that we don’t consume what is bad for us, or even too much of what is good for us.  For what we eat and drink affect not only the health of the body but also of the mind and attitude.

The hands.  Learn to control your hands.  Keep busy doing good with your hands and not evil.

The feet.  A person with unholy feet will always go where he can get into trouble.  But holy feet go here and there to serve others and to spread the good new (Eph. 6:15).

 The sexual parts.  God created all the sexual parts of our body for our benefit and for His glory.  They allow us to enjoy our differences as male and female.  They also make it possible, with a marriage partner, to procreate and to give pleasure to each other.  Though we have only a few sexual organs, sexuality (between a husband and wife) is an expression of the whole person and it becomes a worship experience and a celebration of praise to God.

However, because a Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, whenever there is sexual sin of any kind, it will involve and join Christ with a harlot (1 Cor. 6:15-16).  This unholy union is a terrible sin and it affects not only our relationship with God and others, but it is destructive to our own person (corrupting our body, mind and spirit).  Thus, it is important to keep our body free from sexual sin.

 

5 Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness (Colorado Springs, Colorado: NAVPRESS, 1978), p. 118.

Posted in Holiness and Prayer, Prayer A to Z Excerpts | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments