Saturday, June 25, 2016

Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:24 NIV

When Jesus Returns ~ Your Final Act Before the Final Trumpet by Dan Jenkins

When Jesus foretold the time when not a single stone of that majestic temple in Jerusalem would rest upon another, the disciples asked for signs which would precede the destruction of that temple and the end of Judaism (Mark 13:4; Luke 21:7). The Lord gave at least eight distinct signs which would come before that event. He then foretold of another event which would happen for which there was one single sign to announce its coming. Jesus spoke of a day when, not the temple, but heaven and earth would pass away. He gave no sign for that day, for it will come as an unannounced thief (Mark 13:31-32).
When Jesus Returns, what will be happening?
When Jesus Returns, what will be happening?
It will happen when men are doing things which happen all the time—eating, drinking, marrying and weddings. It will be unannounced and will come when no one is expecting it to happen (Matt. 24:44). What is happening on that day will be the same things which happen every other day. What kinds of events will be happening when Jesus returns?
When Jesus returns, some will be sitting in worship. Every day there are gatherings of Christians in various time zones around the world like Bible classes, devotions, gospel meetings, lectureships and special church events. This was brought home to me when I preached in Columbus, Ohio, several years ago. A brother prayed, “Lord, if you are assembling your angels right now to come to judge the world, we beg you to wait long enough for brother Dan to finish his sermon and let us sing one more song.” It could happen. It is truly possible that He will come before the end of an evangelistic sermon.
When Jesus comes, some will be attending a funeral. For all the reasons given above, just imagine what it would be like to be at a funeral or at a graveside when that shout comes from heaven. All of the grieving which accompanies these events will be meaningless. Such thoughts should help us deal with the loss of our loved ones. It is truly possible that He will come before a funeral filled with grief ends.
When Jesus comes, some will be involved in sinful actions. Imagine those who are cursing and blaspheming God and His holy name just as the last trumpet sounds. Imagine those who are involved in sexual immorality as the shout from heaven comes. It is possible that just as words profaning His name leave someone’s lips the heavens will be rolled up as a scroll.
When He comes, many will be involved in “washing the feet” of those around them. What a joy to think that when He comes we will be doing right. Think about this. Live every minute of every day knowing that that minute is when He might come!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"WERE WE ALL CREATED THE SAME?" by David Vaughn Elliott

I want to tell you about my condition. My hearing is so bad I can't even hear a fire alarm with my right eye. Then there's my left ear: it's as blind as a bat. I can't even scratch my back with my knee. 

Enough of that. Let's hurry over to 1 Cor. 12: "If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him... Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular" (12:17-18, 27).

The U.S. Declaration of Independence declares that "all men are created equal." Whatever "equal" means, it does not mean "same." This could be discussed via biology, anthropology, and psychology, but let's discuss it biblically. 

First of all, Scripture, too, declares that all people are equal: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). There is equality in Christ, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, social standing, or sex. Nobody is better, or preferred, or more important to God on the basis of such differences.

This does not mean we are all the same. In 1 Cor. 12, Paul states "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free" (12:13). But oneness does not mean sameness: "For the body is not one member, but many... If the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?" (12:14-16). Do not expect all members of your church to be alike. Indeed, expect them to be different from one another.

The letter to the Christians in Rome discusses the same issue. "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us..." (Rom. 12:4-6). What follows is a list of gifts and what to do with them. The essence is to do a good job of using the gift you have.

Do we accept differences in the body? Do we think that everyone should be like we are? Should everyone memorize Scripture like I do? Why isn't everybody as friendly to visitors as I am? Does everyone give as sacrificially I do? Why doesn't he sing as loud as I do? Why am I the only one who cleans up the messes around here? Why aren't others visiting hospitals like I do? You get the idea. Do not expect every member to be the same as you. 

Or, maybe it's the other way around. Maybe you are grieved (jealous) because you cannot preach as powerfully as he can. I wish I were as outgoing as she is. I wish I could memorize Scripture like she can. I am not suggesting that we cannot develop in some areas where we are weak; but maybe you are trying to be what you are not. "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?" The implication I see is that the ear should do a good job of hearing, without trying to be an eye. We should realize the need and the beauty of different functions in the body of Christ and thank God that we are not all alike.

The rubber meets the road when you ask yourself: "What member of the body am I? What do I contribute to the cause of Christ? Or am I just a pew warmer?" And don't limit your evaluation to what goes on in the church building, or even to what we might think of as "church activities." What are you doing as a member of Christ? How are you making a difference for Christ in your family, in your church, in your neighborhood?

Be careful of saying that you don't have any abilities to offer: "I am not talented; I have nothing to offer." For years it was thought that the only purpose of the appendix was to send you to the ER. More recently, scientists are learning otherwise. And maybe you think you have no purpose: but we all do. "Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away" (John 15:2). What are you doing for Jesus?
In Malachi, God's people are wondering why their religion feels limp and stale, and God responds with a challenge:
Malachi 3:10 (NCV) "Bring to the storehouse [of the Temple] a full tenth of what you earn so there will be food in my house. Test me in this, " says the Lord All-Powerful. "I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need."
I think we're afraid to give more and trust in God because He may do exactly what is promised here; we're afraid He'll bless us with all we need, but not all we want.
We make excuses for not giving the first 10% to God because we need it, because "we don't have it." We always have the first 10% of our paycheck. What we are really saying is that we don't trust that if we give it to Him, He'll come through and take care of us. So we cling to our money, which ironically says right on it, "In God We Trust."

From 728b Facebook page