judgment

Spiritual Mythbusters – Christians Shouldn’t Judge by Chris McCurley

I found this video on a friend’s blog.

The speaker’s sermon, which is called “Spiritual Mythbusters – Christians Shouldn’t Judge“, tackles (as the title obviously alludes to) the mistaken point of view that believes that all judging is wrong based upon the misunderstanding and abuse of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1 which says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

If you have the time it’s worth watching. If you don’t have the time then make some for it.

A proper understanding of this vital biblical topic can help lead to a better understanding of God’s will concerning our responsibility and how we arrive at a spiritual conclusion while dealing with the faults of others (2 Timothy 2:15).

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” (John 8:31-32)

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Hell is not the Devil’s Domain

Is the prince of the world (John 14:30) the king of Hell? It seems as if many are convinced that it’s so but it’s not true.

While Satan may use many things to accomplish his destructive goal, destruction is what actually awaits him. And he knows it!

His future, along with the other angels who rebelled against the authority of Heaven (Jude 6), is dim, lit only with the fires of Hell.

When it comes to the final place of punishment, this place is prepared for the devil – it is not a place prepared by him:

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:“(Matthew 25:41).

The Devil will not rule Hell, for his presence in Hell will reveal that the Devil has been ruled by God, the Lamb and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Satan, along with any other soul who will find themselves on the wrong side of God’s wrath, will find that God’s authority exists not only over Heaven, but also over Hell itself. EA

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

How We See Our Self Can Determine What We’ll Hear About Our Self

When Peter saw Jesus perform a miracle he said,

 “…Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8).

What did Peter mean by this? Did Peter mean he wanted nothing to do with Jesus? Not at all; Peter was amazed that Jesus wanted anything to do with him! Peter understood there was no pulling the wool over this man’s eyes. Every scale on his heart was as visible as the scales on the fish he just helped to pull out of the water.

Peter told the Lord to depart, but the Lord told Peter to come closer when he told him, “…Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5:10).

On the other hand, many people are going to be told by Jesus,

“…I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23)

What does Jesus mean by this? Does this mean Jesus wanted nothing to do with them? Not at all; Jesus is speaking to people who wanted nothing to do with Him! These people failed to realize there is no pulling the wool over Jesus’ eyes. The outward scale of good works won’t overrule a refusal to remove the inward scales of a rebellious heart.

Until we learn to obey from the heart the doctrine of God (Romans 6:15-19) and see our self correctly (James 1:21-26), we may hear something about our self we don’t expect! EA

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

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Where’s Purgatory Again?

Read, “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to unto him” (Matthew 18:34) and some read into it the doctrine known as “purgatory.” Read purgatory into it and you’re not reading the whole lesson Jesus gave.

The man who was thrown into prison in the parable only avoided prison because his lord had compassion on him to begin with. He was facing a life sentence with no chance of parole. The debt he owed was un-payable and only his lord’s grace made forgiveness possible!

When a person sins we face a sentence that we can’t afford. The debt of sin we owe is un-payable and only forgivable by the grace of God through Jesus (Romans 6:23). Jesus either pays the whole price or he pays no price. If a person can’t work his or her way into Heaven (and they can’t – Ephesians 2:8-9) then logic teaches that they cannot work their way out of Hell.

The Bible teaches nothing about a “place” or a “state of being” between Heaven and Hell where someone “serves time while being purged of their sins” before going on to Heaven. The Bible teaches nothing about praying to Mary or other “saints” to intercede for those who have passed on. The Bible teaches nothing about paying the church for its prayers or any other benefits. The Bible teaches nothing because there is nothing to teach.

When the Bible talks about the price that was paid to keep us out of Hell it never refers to “indulgences!” It refers to the blood of Christ that purchased our salvation (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

When the Bible talks about our sins being purged so that we may be given an entrance into Heaven it never refers to a place of “purification!” It refers to the blood of Christ that purged sin from our soul (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:7).

The time of spiritual cleansing is before death – not after! Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

1 Peter 1:22 says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart”. The apostle addressed his words to Christians who were presently cleansed – not Christians who would be cleansed at a later time! (more…)

The Awesome Power of God

I grew up in a time period when the word “awesome” meant neat, cool and great; but that is not the original meaning behind the word. The word awesome obviously comes from the root word “awe.” It means “overwhelming respect and reverence.” With that context of the word one can understand how the word “awesome” can apply to the power of God.

The first three verses of the short book of Zephaniah remind me of the word awesome and the scope it has when it is applied to God. They say, “The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. “I will utterly consume everything from the face of the land,” says the Lord; “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land,” says the Lord.

What a way to introduce a sermon! If a statement like that does not grab your attention and demand your respect then I don’t know what will. God’s prophet is talking about some awesome power there, a power that was going to be revealed in “the day of the Lord.” (Zephaniah 1:14,18; 2:2; 3:8)

God could easily accomplish what was written then and do it just as easily today. I sometimes think about how sensitive our world can be. America has the best agriculture system in the world, but even it is sensitive at best. Our beef supplies can be ransacked by “mad-cow disease.” Our poultry can easily become the prey of the “Asian bird-flu.” Our fruits and vegetables can become tainted with salmonella. Floods in the mid-west can show us how quickly our corn crops can be taken away. Take all of this and factor in the fact that a severe drought can effect all of the above and we quickly realize that God is still the One that blesses our nation and fills the grocery stores.

Now back to Zephaniah’s admonition. Judah knew about the awesome power that God possessed. They knew about the flood of Noah’s day. The early generations of their fathers saw first-hand the effect that God’s hand could have on a nation. They watched the “mighty” Egypt suffer in every point of its economy due to the mightier plagues that were sent by God through Moses. (more…)

Jesus Will Come Again

A beautiful song with the above title reminds us about a fact that the world scoffs at, and we as Christians sometimes take for granted and forget. Here’s how the first stanza and chorus reads:

“Jesus is our loving Shepherd, And He is a faithful guide. He is coming back from Heaven for the church of Christ, His bride. He has promised all the faithful that a home to them He’ll give: And to glory will receive them. Evermore with Him to live.”

As much as it is necessary for someone to believe that Jesus was crucified for our sins, buried and defeated death (Romans 10:9), you must also believe the Bible’s teaching concerning His return. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus returned to Heaven in front of His disciples, which were afterwards told by two “angels” that Jesus would return in the like manner that He left. (Acts 1:9-11) If you believe Jesus is who He said He is, then you must believe that His return is inevitable.

Will all be well when He returns? Will the earth be filled with peace and happiness? Not unless you consider great noises, heat and fire peaceful (2nd Peter 3:10). Will He return in secret? Not unless you think you can hide lightning! Christ said that all people would see Him return (Matthew 24:27,30). Will people, including some Christians, be unprepared to see and meet Him? Sadly, yes they will be (Matthew 24: 45-51). Will His return usher in the judgment day in which the majority of people will sadly be cast into Hell? Unfortunately, yes it will (Matthew 7:13-14; 25:31-34,41,46 & 2nd Corinthians 5:10).

His return is no fairy tale (2 Peter 3:1-13). (more…)

The Day Pilate Marveled

A judge had to be summoned before the death penalty trial of Jesus could begin. Pilate was this judge. Pilate was not a complete stranger to Judea. He had become governor of the area about the time that Jesus began His public work (Luke 3:1). Little did Pilate know when the job became his that the Judge of the world would soon stand before him.

Pilate was probably an experienced judge. He would have understood very well the role that politics, schemes and false witnesses played in the judiciary system. He had the ability to recognize character in another whether he had any or not! He understood his role as judge; he understood that life and death hung in “his” balance (John 19:10,11). No doubt many accused criminals had pleaded for mercy at his feet. But everything that Pilate was used to hearing from defendants would soon change. Pilate was going to meet Jesus!

The scriptures say, “And while He [Jesus] was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.” (Matthew 27:12-14)

The scriptures the eunuch from Ethiopia read say Jesus was “led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” (Acts 8:32) The judge who no doubt had heard everything during a trial now heard nothing! Pilate knew Jesus was innocent and how weak the case against Him was (Matthew 27:18, 24) and he was amazed at the silence that this falsely accused defendant maintained. Without a doubt this made no sense to Pilate at all.

The thing about the situation is that Pilate marveled at the silence because he did not understand who was really on trial the day Jesus stood before him. I marvel because I do! (Romans 8:5-19)  EA