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Megachurch Pastor John MacArthur: Denominations That Allow Gay ‘Marriage’ Are ‘Satan’s Church’

Thanks for sharing this brother! Lord bless you.

The Battle Cry

In the wake of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s recent decision to celebrate same-sex “marriages,” celebrity pastor John MacArthur of “Grace to You” has come out with some strong statements condemning “false churches” that abandon Biblical teachings against homosexual behavior.

“They have no allegiance to the Bible,” MacArthur told The Blaze online news service. “You go back to every one of those seminaries … for a century [they] have been deniers of biblical authority, they have no relationship to scripture, they are the apostate church, they are Satan’s church.”

While it seems clear MacArthur was implying that self-professed Christians who accept gay “marriage” are doing Satan’s work, not necessarily worshiping the devil, it is worth noting that the actual Satanic Temple of America has called same-sex “marriage” one of its “sacraments.”

MacArthur, who is Baptist, believes in the teachings of John Calvin regarding the inerrancy and literal truth of…

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Phil Robertson, Sin and The Christmas Season

SIH STSTA ICON(Before we begin our study, let me quickly explain that, although I agree with the main thrust of Phil Robertson’s message, I am sorrowful that he presented his message using some crude language that was unnecessary to say the least and harmful to the cause of Christ.

Without knowing the man and his personal life, it is impossible for me to make a judgment about the intent and motivation behind the inappropriate phrases. Based upon his personal testimony, I am trusting that they are the result of his upbringing and environment and not an indication of any malice in his heart towards those of whom he spoke.

Who among us can say that we have never said things that have harmed the cause of Christ and brought sorrow to our hearts?  However I do want to take a look at the Biblical principles he was presenting in the interview and the importance of recognizing their application to our nation and world today.)

 (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted; He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

The past few days has given us living proof of the truthfulness of this wonderful text of Scripture.  How true it is that our Sovereign Lord is in control of the events that take place among men and that He brings these events to pass in His perfect timing, while accomplishing the goals for which they were determined.

The Bible also speaks of this principle in…

(Daniel 2:20-23)Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:  He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.  I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast [now] made known unto us the king’s matter.

Here, we see that our Lord uses the timing of the events of mankind to teach us many of the deep, secret things about Himself and our condition before Him.  In other words, He shows us, through His control of the events of mankind, many truths that are very difficult for us to understand and accept as truth.

This principle has come to light this past week as our nation, in the midst of the Christmas season, has witnessed the events surrounding Phil Robertson, A & E network and the world’s response to both of them.  I would like us to take a few moments and try to take a Scriptural look at what we can learn from this week’s series of events, and come to understand that these events were perfectly timed by the Lord.

 

THE STUDY:

First, the Lord has clearly presented to us the truth of the existence and results of sin in our world.  

The most controversial of Robertson’s statements involved various types of sin that exist in our world today.  The teachings of the Bible confirm the existence of sin, and give us a list of the individual sins that were mentioned by Robertson….

(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Secondly, we have clearly displayed the lost world’s blindness to their own sin and the truths of the Word.

As Robertson gave his listing of sins, the appropriate response was for the world to acknowledge that sin exists and be motivated from a Godly sorrow to confess and repent of their sins.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  Instead, we find them denying the existence of some of those sins, justifying their commission and, in doing so, rising up in opposition to these truths of the Word.

(Isaiah 5:20-24)Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

(2 Timothy 3:13-15)But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

(Just a side note: this very principle should bring out a spirit of gratitude and praise from the heart of all who have been brought to a Scriptural repentance and trust in Christ.  We were all in this condition of spiritual blindness and apart from the gracious intervention of Christ in our lives, we would also be in denial of these truths of God.)

 

Thirdly, we have presented to us the solution to sin and its effects in the world.

Here is where we begin to see the wonderful timing of our Lord.   Although Phil Robertson presented the need for repentance and faith in Christ, it was not included in most of the news accounts of the interview with him.  But the Lord has a way of overcoming any obstacle that opposes His will.

What better time for our nation to be presented with its sinfulness and need of repentance than the Christmas season when all mankind have their thoughts pointed towards the coming of Christ to the earth to save lost mankind from the very sins of which Robertson had spoken.

In direct response to the sin of this world we read that ….

(Matthew 1:20-25)But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

(1 John 4:14)And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. 

(John 3:16-17)For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

It is only during the Christmas season that the lost world has their minds pointed to the truth that God sent His only begotten Son to save His people from their sins.  Just as the new reports of Robertson’s interview reveal to the world their sinful condition, so too, the Christmas season is placing on display the One who was given by God to save the world from their sins.

How is this salvation received?  It is by placing faith in the person and work of the One who was born in Bethlehem.  It is by placing our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh…

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus is the One who came to this world and died on the cross bearing the sins of His people.  His body was buried for three days and three nights in the tomb and then He rose again the third day, proving to us all that His payment for sin on the cross was accepted by His Father in heaven…

(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

As a matter of fact, Christ came and died on the cross to save people from the exact same sins that Robertson was talking about.  Notice in the 1 Corinthians 6: passage that gave us a list of the sins Robertson mentioned, we find the concluding verse that says ..  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Christ came to save those who have committed homosexual acts, adulterous acts, and other immoral, perverse acts…. There is no sin so great for which the grace of God cannot grant forgiveness and cleansing.

But if we read this verse closely we find that those of us who have been saved were guilty of these same offenses as well…  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Therefore there is no room for feeling of superiority on our part, nor is there room for boasting.  Folks, we were in the very same “boat” as the unsaved that are around us.  Apart from God’s grace, we would still be facing an eternity of separation from Him in the Lake of Fire having committed the same sins as they.

That is why we are to use this holiday season (and every season of the year) to humbly share Christ and the forgiveness He offers to the sinful world around us.   Let us put down the carnal aspects of the Christmas season and use it as the perfect opportunity to share Christ with those who are in desperate need of Him.

The Lord has graciously given to each one of us the perfect opportunity to address the sinful state of the world and their need of Christ through the use of the news stories about Robertson’s interview and the Christmas season that is upon us.

May we all use these events to bring honor and glory to His name.

For more information about the Bible’s teachings on homosexual relationships:  http://wp.me/pU88A-nE

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Same-Sex Marriage: What does the Bible say?

SIH STSTA ICONOne of the more controversial issues in our country today is the issue of same-sex marriage, civil unions and the role of homosexuality.   With the upcoming Presidential primaries and general election, the subject of same-sex marriages versus civil unions has been receiving more airplay.

I thought it would be a good thing to take a few moments and refresh our memories concerning the biblical teachings on homosexuality, its historical occurrences, and its standing in the eyes of God.

Let’s begin today’s look at the Scriptural teachings on homosexuality.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Lev 18:22-25 (KJV)  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it [is] confusion.  Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

Lev 20:13 (KJV)  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Rom 1:24-29 (KJV) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

1Cor 6:9-11 (KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Tim 1:9-10 (KJV)  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Jude 1:7 (KJV) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Gen 19:4-8 (KJV)  But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:  And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.  And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,  And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.  Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

Deut 23:17 (KJV) There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

2Tim 3:1-5 (KJV) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

THE STUDY:

I.  What does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality?

 In the Old Testament the Bible makes it plain that homosexuality is a sinful act:

Lev 18:22-25 (KJV)  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination…  Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

Lev 20:13 (KJV)  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Please note an “abomination” – is the Hebrew word “tow ebah” which refers to something that is disgusting or abhorred.

The New Testament affirms, and upholds, the sinfulness of the homosexual act:

Rom 1:24-29 (KJV) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Please note “vile” is a Greek word referring to “dishonorable”; while the Greek word for  “unseemly” means “indecent or shameful”.  Likewise the Greek word for “error” refers “to stray to wrong path”.

Each of these words, when linked to the last verse of this text “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”  Plainly shows the sinfulness of the homosexual act.

1Cor 6:9-11 (KJV)  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Greek word for “effeminate” means “to be soft”.  This possibly refers to the tendency of some homosexuals to purposefully display feminine characteristics to attract other males.  Or, perhaps, it refers to taking younger (soft) males as homosexual companions.  In either case, homosexuality is in view.

The phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind” literally means “to have sexual relations with a male”

1Tim 1:9-10 (KJV) Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Please note: to “defile themselves with mankind” is the same Greek phrase as “abusers of themselves with mankind” found in 1 Cor 6:9-11.  This phrase means “to have sexual relations with a male”

Jude 1:7 (KJV) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The word for “fornication” means uncleanness. What type of unclean activity was Sodom and Gomorrha guilty of committing?… going after “strange flesh”.

Note the phrase “strange flesh” ie foreign, or other body.  In other words, to lust after bodies that are in opposition to the commands of the Lord.  Homosexuality is foreign and goes against the plan of God for sexual unions.

In the above reference, Jude is recalling what took place in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha….  The account of this incident is found in Genesis 19:4-8:

Gen 19:4-8 (KJV) But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.  And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,  And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.  Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

“we may know them” is a common Hebrew phrase (yada) that is used to describe a sexual relationship… (Gen 4:1, Gen 38:26, etc)  Also, please notice that a homosexual is given the title sodomite in the Bible, and is linked to sexual sins in Deut 23:17…

Deut 23:17 (KJV) There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

When taken in context, it is obvious that the inhabitants of Sodom and Gommorrah did not desire to simply interrogate or become friendly with the angel/men who were visiting Lot…. They desired to have a sexual relationship with them.

II. What about Homosexual Marriage or Same Sex Legal Unions?

Once the sinfulness of the homosexual act is established the question of homosexual marriage or homosexual legal union becomes an easy issue to understand.

To allow the existence of homosexual legal unions is the governmental condoning of sinful acts.  This flies in the face of one of the purposes of human government which is to uphold the Lord’s commands through the punishment of sinful actions (Rom 13:1-5).

To allow the existence of homosexual marriages is not only the condoning of sinful acts, but it is also the perversion of the marriage union which God has ordained to be between one man and one woman… (Matt 19:4-5; 1 Cor 7:1-2)

III. How Are Christians To Relate To Homosexuals?

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” this verse applies to the heterosexual as well as the homosexual.  We are all in the same boat.

As fallen, sinful mankind, we all have the need of salvation through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

As those who have received God’s gracious salvation from our sins… we understand the importance of proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of forgiveness…

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Just as Paul made it plain that homosexuality is a sin… he made it just as plain that the sin of homosexuality can be forgiven, just like any other sin….  We should never treat homosexuality as an unpardonable sin or a sin that is beyond the grace of God.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Therefore we should gladly, willingly share the gospel message with the homosexual community as an act of love and responsibility knowing that apart from God’s grace we, too, would be living lives of separation from Him.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

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If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Have We No Shame?

SIH STSTA ICON“Sir, have you no shame?” …This question is said to have been used during the questioning of Sen Joseph McCarthy by Joseph Welch during the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954.  In reality, this question was never posed to the Senator.  The actual quote from Welch is as follows… “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” (see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy)

Although this question may have never been asked in 1954…  I believe that now is its time.   What better question could bring into focus the current state of the world in which we live?

Today, the murder of unborn infants is justified by the excuse that the unborn are only a part of their mother’s body, when their DNA clearly shows they are a separate human being.

Today, we see the perversion of homosexuality becoming an acceptable lifestyle, while standing against this sin is being publically described as “bigoted” or “hateful” by “gay rights” groups.

The immorality of conceiving a child out of wedlock, is being trumpeted as valued female independence.  Deceit, in order to advance in the workplace, is now a fact of life and looked upon as a sign of being “aggressive” or “hungry”.

Cheating on the part of our professional athletes has become as common as the lies that are told to cover up the cheating.

The removal of God’s Word from our schools, public places and government is being explained as being “politically correct”, while in reality it is “spiritually wicked”.

A multitude of sins are excused away with no thought of assigning responsibility, nor punishing the wrongdoing.

The morals that used to receive honor and respect are now looked upon with ridicule and distain.

The list goes on and on.

Does our nation not see the shredding of our moral fiber, and the resulting shame we have brought upon ourselves?  Do we not, even now, feel the grave results of this type of behavior in our nation?  Do we not see how we have taken the morals graciously given to us from our Lord, and trampled them under foot?

Again, may I ask “Have We No Shame?”

THE SCRIPTURE:

Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jer 6:15-16)

THE STUDY:

Long ago the prophet Jeremiah, under the inspiration of the Lord, addressed this issue of a nation who no longer felt shame for their evil deeds.  In the context, Jeremiah addressed the Southern kingdom of Judah, by calling their attention to the heinous sin that had overtaken their society.  What was that sin?  They had left the truths God had given to them, and began living according to what seemed right in their own eyes. (Provs 30:12)   (The condition of Judah during this time period mirrors the condition of our country today.)

Jeremiah 6:15-16 is a short part of the message that The Lord had given Jeremiah to speak to the people of Judah…

Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:

 

One of the main problems in Judah was lacking sorrow for the sin they were committing.  They had become so hardened toward their Lord, that they were able to commit sinful acts with no shame, nor regret.  It was as if they no longer cared about their Lord’s desire for their nation, but had chosen to turn their back on Him.  In doing so, they were living according to their own set of morals and became blinded to the desires of their God.

 

therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

 

This is the path they had placed themselves on… the path of imminent destruction.  Remember, the Lord had graciously given them His law to aid them and keep them pure and safe.  The morals of the Lord are beneficial to those who live by them.   When Judah chose to turn their backs on His laws, they were turning their back on their own safety, security and aid.   The Lord would now allow them to continue down the path of their choosing until they would end up as captives to the empire of Babylon. Who was to blame for their downfall?… only Judah.  The Lord had shown them the way of safety, they choose to depart from it, and in doing so, they were writing their own ticket to captivity.

This is the exact condition of our nation… we are going down a path that will eventually lead to our downfall.  We can see this on every hand as our nation struggles with economic, political, security, environmental, and most importantly, spiritual ills.

 

Thus saith the LORD,

 

The Lord gives the only true solution to the problems that Judah was facing.  This solution is divided into three distinct parts:

Part #1Stand ye in the ways, and see

 

Recognize the condition they were in.  By looking back at their history and God’s past blessings to them, they would be able to clearly see the sinful acts being committed in their nation.  They could recognize how horribly they had trodden on His gracious acts for them.  By remembering the blessed times, they could see all the blessings that had slipped away, and the grave situation they were now facing.

Part #2 –  and ask for the old paths, where is the good way,

After seeing their need to turn from their wickedness, their next step was to seek out the truths of His Word once again.

Part #3and walk therein,

 

It is not enough for a nation to “go through the motions” of religion.  The truths of God’s Word must be applied by the citizenry.  As the members of the nation turn back to the old ways and realigning their lives to follow God’s Word, you have true national repentance taking place.

 

and ye shall find rest for your souls.

It is only this type of sincere, practical acceptance of the laws of God, that a nation can be delivered from its downward spiral of disobedience and loss of blessings.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For our Nation….

But they said, We will not walk therein.

What a sad conclusion Judah came to, after all of the Lord’s patience, after His grace and kindness towards them, they failed by not seizing their opportunity for repentance.  When push came to shove, they could not bring themselves to turn from their ways and seek to do what was right.

Just as Judah had reached a point of decision making before God, so, too, our nation is facing the same time of reckoning.  With the current economic, political and spiritual problems in our nation today, we now see the handwriting on the wall.  There is very little doubt as to what our nation faces if it continues on the path it has chosen.  Now is the time…  The Lord has placed before our nation a simple, yet extremely important choice, it can be summarized by the following two passages…

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! …

Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”  (Isa 5:20-24)

“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;…

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Ch 7:13-14)

United States, which path will you choose to follow?

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If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The True Wonder Of Nature… Ignored!

SIH STSTA ICONThe appreciation of nature is on the upswing.  As time progresses, the value of nature is being recognized and more effort is being made to preserve it.  More groups are being formed to help conserve nature and the resources we all hold dear.  You can see a partial list of the many of the groups now in existence at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_organizations

What is amazing is this …. Although some of the greatness and awe of nature is receiving more attention, the ultimate purpose of nature is being totally ignored.  What am I talking about?  The greatest purpose of nature is to reveal the Creator to all mankind.  Today we appreciate the creature (nature) without acknowledging the Creator that made and sustains it…

THE SCRIPTURE:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:.. God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;… (Rom 1:20-31)

THE STUDY:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; –

The Lord made all nature around us with the ultimate purpose of clearly revealing His greatness and power to all mankind.

so that they are without excuse:

For those who have never received His written Word (Bible) they are still held accountable for the revelation of God that they have received through nature.  No human being can stand before God and say…. “I have never received a message of your existence, therefore, you cannot judge me for rejecting you.”    Due to nature, they are without excuse.

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

These verses describe the process of absolute rejection of nature’s message…

step#1 – When God was revealed to them in nature, they choose to ignore that revelation.  Therefore they do not praise, nor thank, the Lord for His creation as they should.

step#2 – They become vain in their imaginations… in other words, they seek to explain the existence of nature using empty, worthless theories to replace the true Creator (evolution, big bang theory, panspermia, etc, etc)

step#3 – Because they rejected clear, obvious truth about the Creator God, God then allows them to enter a state of spiritual darkness.  They brought this darkness upon themselves by rejecting the truth they had been graciously given.  God simply “stands back” and allows them to continue on in their error (instead of actively intervening on their behalf and turning them back to the truth.)

step#4 – Next they believe their own lies and come to the conclusion, by denying God’s role as Creator, they have become wiser than those who worship God.

In actuality, they have become fools. By proclaiming themselves to be wise they have put creation (themselves) on the same level as the Creator. This manifests itself in idol worship… man worshipping themselves or other members of the created world (sun, moon, stars, rivers, air, fire etc etc etc)

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Following their descent into spiritual darkness, in which they honor themselves and other parts of nature as the truly wise ones… they now begin to abuse their bodies, thinking they know better than God how to use them.   They begin to worship their own pleasure and lusts more than the Creator God they have long ago rejected.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

One of the greatest ways that mankind can misuse and abuse their bodies is through homosexual acts.  These acts not only seek to fulfill sinful lusts, but they also abuse their bodies by perverting the natural sexual union for which the male and female were intended.   Even a cursory look at the male and female sexual anatomy clearly shows they were made for union with the opposite sex.  To enter into same sex relations is to pervert the very nature of the male/female creation. It is a grave sin in the eyes of God.  It is a mark of reprobation.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Due to their original choice to reject nature’s message of the Creator God, God now turns them over to a “reprobate”  (totally worthless for the cause of Christ, shipwrecked, unbelieving) mind which leads to a sinful, socially harmful lifestyle.

Some of the aspects of this type of lifestyle include being consumed with:

unrighteousness, – treating others unfairly;

fornication, – intimacy outside of law of God;

wickedness, – planning wickedness;

covetousness, – to desire possessions of another, greed;

maliciousness; – to spread unlawfulness;

full of envy, – jealousy;

murder, – taking of physical life, abortions, euthanasia;

debate, – enjoy quarreling, stirring up arguments;

deceit, – to group together to plan harm to others;

malignity; – totally consumed by evil;

whisperers, – to tell secrets told in confidence;

Backbiters, – to speak and find fault behind back of others;

haters of God, – reject God and His authority;

despiteful, – to avenge grudge by harm;

proud, – to put self above others;

boasters, – to tell of own supremacy;

inventors of evil things, – originator of plan of wickedness;

disobedient to parents, – rebel against parental authority;

Without understanding, – calling evil good and good evil;

covenantbreakers, – to break contracts, unlawful divorces;

without natural affection, – homosexuality, parents abusing children;

implacable, – cannot be brought to peace, cannot be satisfied;

unmerciful: – unable to forgive, unable to show compassion;

All of these above seem to be on the increase in our nation… remember, these things are the result of purposefully rejecting divine revelation.  Aren’t these things to be expected when you think of how our nation has rejected God and is running from Him as fast as it possibly can?

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

To lost and saved alike….

If we were to find a Timex watch lying on a sidewalk, the thought would not occur to us that just by accident it came into being.  By examining it’s construction it is plain to see that someone had to engineer the watch, and then manufacture it, according to stringent specifications.

How blind is mankind, when science is consistently revealing complexities within nature and it’s harmonious functioning and still say that it came into being by accident?

The greatness of nature is a continuous witness to the greatness of its Creator.  Let us all come to a fresh recognition of our Great Creator God and the need to submit to his will and ways. In doing so, we will be pleasing our God; we will be receiving eternal life; and creating a moral, pleasant society in which to live.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”