DO NOT BE SHORT SIGHTED FOR THE COMING ETERNITY

I have mentioned one principle in my past article that “people are so preoccupied with something they do not know what is important.” People nowadays are so engrossed with their “own” work, worrying of their material future and forgetting the most important priority in life. They became shortsighted and could never see what is ahead of them.  Lou Reed in his words say; “I think life is far too short to concentrate on your past. I rather look into the future.” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/loureed255101.html)

The future I am now dealing with is “the time to have Face to Face with God.” It is all about ETERNITY. For Christ’s faithful followers, we look forward to this great future because it will be a day of RECKONING. British Dictionary defined it as “a time when the effects of one’s past mistakes or misdeeds catch up with one.” It means “The avenging or punishing of past mistakes or misdeeds. It is synonymous to the word “summation.” It is God’s subsequent decision determining the final destinies of all individuals (Collins English Dictionary).

The Holy Scriptures say, “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near” (James 5:8 NASB). Our eternal happiness is safe if we put our trust to him: all else is mere vanity, which soon will be done with for ever.  Men count time long, because they measure it by their own lives; but all time is as nothing to God; it is as a moment… Let us serve our God, and bear our trials, as those who believe that the end will crown all. (www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/mhcc/jam005.htm).

What about those who have not prepared for this “eternity” – Those who neglected God’s word and failed to make preparation? 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. All the reminders were already made. And if people neglect or reject Christ’s word, we have no excuse. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 says; In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: This would mean that the Lord will be appointing to each man what justice he must make. It is a choice we have made from the beginning and we deserve that in the end. As one saying says; “Heaven is a prepared place for those who are prepared to be in it.” Yet if we neglect and reject Him, we are going to be damned forever!

 

Lots of people do not like this way of approach because they think I am scaring them, but I have to be honest and give this reminder that our Lord will be so kind and gracious to His true followers but will give what is due to those who rejected His word. Prepare, for the time is at hand. Prepare to meet thy God (Amos 4:12).

DO WE CARE TO INVITE THE LOST?

This week, August 4 to 6 is our GOSPEL MEETING here in Convoy Avenue. I am reminding the Brethren at Convoy Avenue that we needed your cooperation. Your participation by coming and attending all meetings and inviting friends and family member means a whole lot to the work of the Lord. This will be a “one time” in a year activity and a one hour gathering every meeting. The church did not have activities like this in the past and this time we are given the time to have opportunity like this.

How can you cooperate? You can show your love for the Lord by coming yourself and bring your entire family and good friends with you! Just ask them to attend our Gospel Meeting. This is just a ONE TIME invitation for three days coming from you to the ones you are inviting. ONLY ONE HOUR which is not a whole lot to lose but be fed with the Word of God. Do not be ashamed for inviting your friends to come. Do not hesitate to invite more because this is the opportunity we can SHARE THE GOOD NEWS to the lost. We are following God’s command in Matthew 28:19-20. This command is not only for preachers and evangelists but for ALL CHRISTIANS. This is an opportunity to exercise our fervent dedication to our God.

Brethren, your concern for your soul and the souls of the lost will mean a lot to all of us and to the future of the church here in Halifax. You have no excuse why you can’t come and invite friends when you can even invite them in your house for a small gathering. You can spend for a small party and yet you can’t do that to promote the gospel? This is a good challenge. This time is our time to show we care for the lost. Please Support and Cooperate with the call to attend and bring someone.

“THE WORST THING TO DO IS REGRET”

Have we ever experience regrets in our lives? I remember many times have happened in my life that I could have decided and made it better later but because I did not act on it, the worst had happened. How many people have suffered because they neglect to attend to prepare themselves in future tasks? How many accidents have come because the preventive maintenance was neglected or ignored in their own cars? On an on we can talk about this and the bottom line is that we end up blaming ourselves.

In life, we have been told to prepare and many pass away from this world unprepared. What is in Spiritual Matters that turns off many? Many knew who the God we are supposed to serve yet, many find no interest in truly serving God faithfully. God has not been cruel and has always been reaching His hand to reach us, but often times we ignore His great love and go on with our “own hard headed way.” The question is, when will God stop reaching us out? Has He ever stopped? Why can we not see His mercy and greatness yet many would rather see the world and take the challenge to get what the world is offering? What is in us people that we go opposite to God’s word?  The Holy Scriptures say; “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” 1 John 2:15-16. The Pulpit Commentary says; “In the one case “the world” means the sinful elements of human life. John is forbidding those things the love of which rivals and excludes the love of God – all those immoral tendencies and pursuits which give the world its evil character. Love of the world absolutely excludes the love of the Father. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Biblehub.com/commentaries/1_john/2-15.htm).

So what is the solution to this problem? Let us hear Apostle Paul’s admonition as he said; Wherefore, my beloved, …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12 KJV). No less than the our Lord Jesus said; “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND…” (Luke 10:27 NASB). “If we speak of eternal life, and the way to it, in a careless manner, we take the name of God in vain. No one will ever love God and his neighbour with any measure of pure, spiritual love, who is not made a partaker of converting grace. But the proud heart of man strives hard against these convictions says Matthew Henry. (www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhcc.xxxiv.x.html)

My dear brethren, if you are reading this article, never ignore and disregard God. Defensive maintenance for our Spiritual life is so important to be made. Cling on to Him and serve Him faithfully before we regret later we made wrong choices and God was the last in our choice to attend to. Before it is everlasting too late, listen to the wisest man Solomon’s advise who said in Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them” NASB).

ARE WE SEEKING GOD’S FACE?

Our world today is filled with so many people seeking for something that sometimes they forgot to know what it is. I come up with this title to ask ourselves if we are seeking for God. We all know God is so faithful to us that He loved us so much. He sends His only begotten Son Jesus for us to have the hope of eternal life. So to the question, are we doing our part in seeking for Him?

In seeking God’s face is putting our mind and heart toward Him in our daily lives. David’s song of thanksgiving says in 1 Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually” (KJV). David, in his song of thanksgiving advised the Jewish people the return of the Ark of covenant to Jerusalem. This will remind them how God was faithful to them hoping it will remind them also of their faithfulness and that men will always praise God. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, those that give glory to God’s name are allowed to glory in it. Let the everlasting covenant be the great matter of our joy his people of old, be remembered by us with thankfulness to him. Show forth from day to day his salvation, his promised salvation by Christ. We have reason to celebrate that from day to day; for we daily receive the benefit, and it is a subject that can never be exhausted.”

When we feel so comfortable in life and not hungry of seeking God, we at first unknowingly drift away, and our desire to study, come to worship, teach and being part of the Lord’s work means NOT IMPORTANT anymore! People who rejects and does not care to seek God are even likely to reject one another. Spiritually empty people tend to develop shortsightedness. They could either be spiritually detached, irritable, angry, demanding or morally unprincipled. In the end it seems to be a choice of self-destruction where unknowingly their souls are lost.

However, if we wanted to seek God’s face, look at our Lord Jesus and read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John). Apostle Paul said, that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15 ASV). “If you look closely, I think you’ll agree. As you read about Him your heart will leap, for though you may not know it, Jesus is the God you’ve been looking for all your life” (David Roper – “Seeing God” Our Daily Bread). We have to desire like David saying “Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10) It signifies a renewing of the inward man, or an increase of grace, and causing it to abound in act and exercise; and intends a spirit of uprightness and integrity, in opposition to dissimulation and hypocrisy; a spirit “prepared and ready” to every good work; “one firm” and unmoved from obedience to the Lord, by sin, temptations, and snares; a heart fixed, trusting in the Lord, and comfortably assured  in pardoning grace and mercy. (http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/psalms-51-10.html)

Is God Included in Marriage?

From the creation of the world God has instituted marriage and said in first book of the Bible   “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).  When a couple gets married, they are meant to demonstrate by becoming “one” for the rest of their lives at the same time maintaining their individuality.  Marriage is a vow of male and female to become husband and wife. That vow is for lifetime. Marriam –Webster defined it “as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”

Mary Fairchild in her article “What is the Biblical definition of marriage” says; there are three commonly held beliefs about what constitutes a marriage in the eyes of God:

  1. The couple is married in the eyes of God when the couple is legally married.
  2. The couple is married in the eyes of God after they have participated in a formal religious wedding ceremony.
  1. The couple is married in the eyes of God when the physical union is consummated when they lived together.

When vows are made in the presence of men and to the person whom they are marrying, they made the vows in the presence of God also. Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God. It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind, as Christ is united with his bride, the Church (www.heapeyandwithnellchurches.co.uk/contemporary.pdf).

God is absolutely included in this deal. This is the main thing that concerns God’s will for one’s life and one’s potential spouse. Where does the will of God enter into all of this discussion? It’s central, it’s primary, and it’s the most important aspect. Let’s consider some of the steps involved in this process. The first step is desiring the will of God for your life. In doing this it means surrendering your life to God and asking Him to be the directing agent. The next step is developing relationships with believers, because marriages tend to develop out of existing relationships. This is a safeguard against marrying a non-Christian. Jesus said in John 1:7; “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (H. Norman Wright – Seek God’s Will Carefully When Choosing a Spouse). For a Christian to marry an unbeliever is not only to disobey God, it is to enter marriage lacking crucial ingredient. It has been described as a triangle with God. The closer each partner moves to God, the closer they move toward each other. The further each moves from God, the further they move from each other. As soon as Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they experienced alienation from each other and Adam began blaming Eve for his problems (Gen 3;7,12). Broken marriages always involve at least one partner moving away from God. So the starting place in having a marriage according to God’s design is genuine conversation and a daily walk with God (https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-2-god-s-design-marriage-genesis-218-25).

God’s Special Love

The Holy Scriptures clearly says that God loved us so much despite of our sinful nature. He offers Himself to be our God not because we are lovable but because it is His nature that He is loving. He loves us by sending His Son Jesus for us to have hope of eternal life because that’s the kind of God He is. In the Old Testament, God chose Israel to be the recipient of God’s love but Israel forgot how loving God had been in making them His chosen people. They did not fear God. They do wicked things, worship idols, embezzle money or ignore a neighbors need.

In the book of Malachi 1:6-8 the people offered defiled food to God and God questioned “Where is my honor?…When you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your Governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary exactly says; “Our relation to God, as our Father and Master, strongly obliges us to fear and honour him. Those who live in careless neglect of holy ordinances, who attend on them without reverence, and go from them under no concern, in effect say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. They despised God’s name in what they did. It is evident that these understood not the meaning of the sacrifices…; they grudged the expense, thinking all thrown away which did not turn to their profit. If we worship God ignorantly, and without understanding, we bring the blind for sacrifice; if we do it carelessly, if we are cold, dull, and dead in it, we bring the sick; and if we suffer vain thoughts and distractions to lodge within us, we bring the torn. And is not this evil? Is it not a great affront to God, and a great wrong and injury to our own souls? In order to the acceptance, we must do it from a right principle, in a right manner, and for a right end” (Commentary on Malachi). If God’s special love is not reciprocated with honor, heartily, respect and sincerity, will God be pleased? Absolutely not!

How much does God love us? The answer is “so much” that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 1:8). Our sinfulness and rebellion toward God was paid with Love for us to see God’s great Love for us. If we have an avenue to understand how God loved us, we must be willing to understand how to accept the love of God. Imagine, we were created in His own image and likeness! What reason do we have to rebel and neglect Him.

This Love is so Great and Special that has to make God our priority. His patience and willingness to give is so great even giving His own Son’s life for us. But this will not continue until the appointed time. If we ignore and reject this love offered to us, God has a way in dealing with us. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 says; “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God’s love gives us a choice to take our freedom seriously. We are accountable for our own choice whether to reciprocate God’s Special love or not and this will later be judged.

The Law of Expediency in Marriage

The Law of Expediency in Marriage
Choosing the right partner for life is very important aspect in marriage. One does not just jump in now and tomorrow declares he or she is married to a stranger. Marriage is a lifetime contract where “two becomes one.” They live together in sickness and in health till death do they part. So what is this all about finding the right partner?
For Christians, it is strongly encouraged that Christians marry Christians. When Christians’ desire is to go to heaven, they must find someone who shares with them that dream. They must find someone who lives right and who shares the same Christian life and work for it in life. Bob Todesco says in his article “The fruit of Unity” that has some relation to choosing a family “One of the most foundational scriptures addressing unity is found in Ephesians 1:9-10 “For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will… to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” The importance of this scripture cannot be overestimated since it presents God’s plan from before the foundation of the world. “…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians1:4). Togetherness in worship supports God’s plan; togetherness in mission supports God’s plan. We do not always know exactly what the Lord is doing, but he has revealed his overall plans and purposes to those who want to live for Christ.”

An argument was raised whether this concept is consistent with God. The answer is absolutely yes! James 4:4 says; “
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Gill’s Exposition to the Bible says; “In a figurative and metaphorical sense: as he is an adulterer that removes his affections from his own wife;… and she is an adulteress that loves not her husband, but places her love upon another… who, instead of loving God, whom they ought to love with all their hearts and souls, set their affections upon the world, and the things of it.” 
Apostle Paul said What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?(2 Corinthians 6:15) It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. True elders will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare (Matthew Henry Commentary).
What evil can we say when we see Christians are marrying Christians? None! Is it expedient for Christians to marry Christians? The answer Biblically is absolutely! It is expedient! The word expedient means “tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances. It also means conducive to advantage or interest, as opposed to right. (dictionary.com)
marriage

August Gospel Crusade

Join us for our 2017 Gospel Meeting
Speaker: Shawn Mathis (Nashville, TN)

Theme: Unchanging God in a Changing World

Session I (Friday, Aug 4):
Times Change but the Truth Remains

Session II (Saturday Aug 5):
Breakfast and Leadership Lesson

Session III (Saturday Aug 5):
Son of God and Son of Man

Sessions IV & V (Sunday, Aug 6):
Continuation of Leadership Lesson
and God’s Living Word

The Causes of Liberalism in the Church

In the 19th century, the emergence of Theological Liberalism in America can be traced in New England with the rise of Universalist and Unitarian apostasies. Liberalism was championed by well-known American individuals like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Horace Bushnell, Washington Gladden, Henry Ward Beecher and more recently by Harry Emerson Fosdick (Hobard E. Freeman “Every Wind of Doctrine”).

In Biblical Christianity, they converted from liberalism to modernism. They started denying the inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures. They do not agree that the Scriptures is all true and declares emphatically that God commits an error than believing that “it is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18, NASB). Paul speaks of the “God who does not lie” (Titus 1:2, NIV). He is a God who, even if we are faithless, “He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13, NKJV). God is the truth (see John 14:6), and so is His Word. Jesus said to the Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17, NKJV). The psalmist exclaimed, “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Ps. 119:160, NKJV) (Norman Geisler, “the Inerrancy of the Bible). That is the reason why they fail because the Holy Scriptures is not the basis of their authority.

They deny hell and eternal punishment. They said; there are several major issues to the problem of Hell. The first is whether the existence of Hell is compatible with justice. The second is whether it is compatible with God’s mercy, especially as articulated in Christianity. A third issue, particular to Christianity, is whether Hell is actually populated, or if God will ultimately restore all immortal souls (universal reconciliation) in the World to Come.

Assuming the suffering of Hell is something God could have prevented. The discussion regarding the problem of evil may thus also be of interest for the problem of Hell. The problem of Hell can be viewed as the worst and most intractable instance of the problem of evil (Kvanvig, Jonathan L. (1994). The Problem of Hell). The real picture they are trying to show here is they cannot accept that they should be accountable to the pattern given to us by God, revealed by Jesus for us mankind to follow. Plain and simple – disobedience is the problem.

They substitute for the New Testament message of repentance and salvation from sin through faith in Christ a Humanistic Social Gospel of reformation and social improvement. The Humanistic Social Gospel is a progressive concept of ease and comfort. It boils down to the idea “what pleases me is great!” salvation no longer go with rules to be respected and obeyed but an aim that “all” can have in the later times. Tommy Douglas described “Social Gospel” by saying that “the Social Gospel was equally a secularizing force in its readiness to adopt such contemporary ideas as liberal progressivism, reform Darwinism, biblical criticism and philosophical idealism as vehicles for its message of social salvation. It developed, however, a distinctive spirituality elevating social involvement to a religious significance expressed in prayers, hymns, poems and novels of “social awakening.”

If the authority of the Bible is questioned and Salvation is achieved with ease and comfort – an organizational concept of “Everybody happy program” then we certainly have deviated from the original truth that Jesus showed to his followers. This is contrary to the words of Jesus! One has to remember, we will be judged by His word as Jesus said; “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day” John 12:48 (NIV). We will be in great danger if we go our way and not His way. John 15:3-5 says You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.…”(Berean Study Bible)

The hardheadedness of man – wanting to be free and do their own way is the cause of the disaster. There are more reasons to give but the root cause of departure from God’s teaching is the clamor for freedom, ease, and comfort. At the end, those who disobey are the losers in the call for the heavenly promise.

 

Is Church a Social Club?

In my experience in the ministry, many of the people who do not know God’s way and wanted “their own way” are often hurt if the truth is revealed. It sometimes bothers me because there are good people around that we wanted to be around us but hates to hear the truth about “Gods’ Way.” It has caused conflict and deep prejudice to the Truth because most of these people want to hear what they want and not “God’s way.”  Sometimes, I thought about “sugar coating” the discussions just not to drive people away, but my conscience is often bothered with the question: AM I TELLING THE TRUTH? Topics like Alcohol/Vices, Fornication/Adultery, Homosexuality, Gambling, Marriage-Divorce-Remarriage, Instruments in Worship and many others not to name them can either offend and drive people away. With these issues, a topic is going to be discussed whom to please – God or Man?

We all know that in Christendom, our goal is to PLEASE GOD. This is the most important act for a “Follower of God.” In the Old Testament, Joshua expressed his desire who to serve and please God in Joshua 24:15 as he said: “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”Joshua has chosen God over men or any other things. In the early Christian times in Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles answered: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Notice our Lord Jesus Christ as He said: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37 NIV). Matthew Henry Commentary exactly says the words we needed to hear today – “Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him…. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.”(Commentary on Matthew 10:37)

Compromising God’s truth because of the feelings of the world could lead God’s people to disaster. If you read Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 17:3-4, he sought the Lord and faithfully stayed God’s way. He removed idols from the land and sent out teachers to instruct people in God’s law (17:7-9). When a prophet rebuked him for his wicked partnership with Ahab (16:10), Jehoshaphat accepted and went to do religious reforms (19:2-11).His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord. He served faithfully in the fear of the Lord. His relation with Ahab has endangered him but in the end, he has chosen to serve God. If he endured the danger of compromising with the world, then all of us are not exempted as well.

Whom should we please? If God is our answer, whatever man says, instruct and command, it will always be God who will be followed. If we stand for the truth, we are not a Social Club but a True Church truthfully serving our God because the truth will set God’s followers FREE!