And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume X, Number 22 March 18, 2007
In this issue:
Mt.Baker Church of Christ
March 25-30, 2007
(Canyon Lake, TX)
Sunday, Mar. 25th at 9:30 AM – “A Helpful Formula”
(From I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
God gets His wishes. If that were not true, then the world would be a very sad place indeed. Turn in your Bibles to 1 Timothy 2:3-4, and notice the following principle which is plainly set forth by the Apostle Paul to the young evangelist Timothy:
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
God wishes for all men to be saved, so why are so many lost? If you will turn in your Bible to 2 Peter 3:9, you will hear the Apostle Peter write the answer to this question:
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
But God’s salvation is conditional, and this is why many will disregard the wishes of the Lord, and continue on through their lives as though God will not call them into account for the things they have done, or are now doing in their lives on earth. Eccl. 12:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Peter 3:10-12
Jesus taught; “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worst sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:4-5
What about you? Have you obeyed Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27? Have you been washed in the saving blood of the Lamb? Will you grant God’s wish for you today?
There is a difference between living and existing; a rock exists, but it does not possess the quality of life. All living things exist, but not everything that exists has life.
Many believe they will not exist after death. They live for the moment and carelessly indulge in the pleasures of sin; sealing their eternal punishment (Heb. 11:25; Rom. 1:18-19; 2:1-11).
Jesus taught that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matt. 22:31-32). His point: people continue to live after death (Matt. 2:23-32). When we die, our spirit returns to the care and keeping of the God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7).
We do not cease to exist when we die, although our existence on the earth is over. Thus, the Preacher can say “the dead know nothing” and “nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun” (Eccl. 9:5-6) without contradicting Jesus (who taught that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were still alive even though they no longer lived on the earth, Matt. 22:31-32).
We are flesh and spirit. When the spirit separates from the fleshly body we experience death (Jas. 2:26). But, death does not end our existence. Both the rich man and Lazarus continued to exist after physical death (Lk. 16:19-31). But, only one of them existed in peace and comfort (Lazarus). Although the rich man existed after his death, we cannot say that his experience approached “life.” His present torment is a precursor of “eternal death” (separated forever from God, punishment without end, the “second death,” 2 Ths. 1:8-9; Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:14-15).
You will exist after you die. You are preparing for your future existence right now. Will you experience eternal life, joy and life, or the pain and sorrow of eternal death?
The Basis of Homosexuality
There continues to be a raging dispute over the basis of sexual orientation (the old “nature or nurture” debate). The Bible settles the matter; homosexuality is sin, and sin is a matter of choice, not conception (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rom. 1:22-27, 28-32; 3:23; 5:12).
Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently entered this fray with his article, “Is Your Baby Gay? What If You Could Know? What If You Could Do Something About It?” (AlbertMohler.com). He notes that scientists are looking for a genetic or hormonal cause of sexual orientation (none has been found) that may eventually lead to another discovery, the ability to eliminate that trait – a genetic “cure.” He shares speculation over what he calls the “perfect moral storm of our times.” Will babies be aborted based on their genetically identified sexual orientation? Will parents “cure” their unborn child by genetically altering its sexual orientation before birth? Are we headed for the age of shopping for “designer babies” the way one shops for clothing?
God is not the author of evil, and he is not to be charged with any sin man chooses to commit. The question is not whether some people are more strongly tempted by one sin than another (like homosexuality) – no doubt some are (Jas. 1:12-16; 4:7-10). God gives ways to escape sin (1 Cor. 10:13). But, when we choose to reject God we are left with choosing sin (Rom. 1:22-29).
Temptation to sin is not the same as sin; if it is, Jesus sinned. He did not sin. (Mt. 4:1-10; 1 Pet. 2:22)
God created male and female with sexuality; each person chooses how he or she will fulfill its drive. God approves heterosexuality in marriage; all else is choosing sin (Gen. 2:18-25; 1 Cor. 6:9-7:2; Heb. 13:4).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 03/18/2007
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA