Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left." (Matthew 25:31-33)

Well, well, another hot day is already underway and if we don't get some of that afternoon plus or minus 20% chance, well, we will continue to see an increase in the brownout on our lawn. But, as I am often reminded of what our late dear neighbor Ellis used to advise, "No cows are going unfed because of the grass in your yard." Perspective. I suppose it always helps to keep it all in perspective. Hello again and welcome to Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Speaking of perspective I hear a lot about how that we as Americans are polarized perhaps more so than anytime in our recent history. One of the meanings of that word has to do with being divided into sharply opposing factions. I see this division being magnified in the midst of these huge shifts in culture as new laws and policies are being implemented. On the one hand there are folks who are absolutely ecstatic over the changes that are sweeping our land. On the other we have those, like myself, who cannot help but cringe when we think of how God views our national direction. Overjoyed and ecstatic versus a sense of loss and mourning. That would be sharply opposing responses. Those mourning know that we've always had flaws but we have never flaunted immorality and rebellion against God and His word as we are seeing it today. The slope is no longer slippery, it is moving faster than the speed of light. Polarized? We really have little choice. Why? That speed of direction is going in the direct opposite pathway as we understand thus says the word of the Lord. I believe there is plenty of room for love, caring, and for prayer but no room for neutrality or compromise. Yes, we are a divided people but it behooves us who object to make sure when we stand in opposition it really is based on what we know to be God's truth. Amen.

As our pastor continues to remind us, we should not be surprised at these developments. Perhaps startled by how quickly it all has come to fruition, but, when we consider what the source of truth tells us, these things are a part of how God will accomplish His ultimate purpose. The Apostle Paul when writing to his trusted helper and fellow planter of churches, Timothy, gave this inspired prophetic word: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" (2nd Timothy, Chapter 3, Verses 1-5) Some may take refuge in saying we are not in the last days yet. Are you sure? Here's my take on the last days. We've been living in the last days since our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ ascended back into heaven. The Bible says these things will come in the same way a baby comes when the mother reaches the point of giving birth. Why hasn't He already moved to bring an end to all this calamity? One simple reason as we are told by the Apostle Peter, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2nd Peter 3:9) There's still time. For some. And, you and I are called to stand in the gap. Amen.

Some read that list of behaviors mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy and respond by saying it's been that way all along. Things are not really that different today than they have been in the past. While in general that may be true, there is an escalation of enmity towards God that will trigger His implementation of His final plans for His created earth and His created human family. In the same passage quoted above from the Apostle Peter, he reasoned with inspired insight that dealt specifically with people and their questions about these matters. In fact, this is so crucial, I want to share the entire Chapter 3 ~ Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. ~ Sorry about the length but it was on my heart, therefore, now you have, not my word on it, but the very word of Almighty God. Take care and may God bless us all. Amen. ....More later.

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