Payday Someday

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…, Hebrews 9:27.

For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,

Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

So then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God, Roman 14:11, 12.

Over the last few days, we’ve had a garage sale to pare down some of the things we’re going to have to move, and to make a few bucks to help with said move.   We had stuff spread out in the driveway, the garage, the kitchen and the living room.  We had lots of people stop by.  Except for one thing, it was thoroughly enjoyable. At some time, someone helped themselves to a laptop computer that was NOT part of the sale.  I never gave it a single thought or I would have put it away, but I left it out where they could see it.  They saw it and they took it.

Thank the Lord, there was nothing personal on it yet; I had just gotten it.  Still, it was saddening to me.  That person will ultimately pay far more for that laptop than he, our daughter thought she saw the person who stole it, than he can ever possibly begin to imagine.

There is coming a payday someday.

One day, that gentleman will pay for his sins, including the theft of the laptop.  My true prayer for him is that this will be the last thing he will ever steal, that he will repent of his wickedness, and that God would be pleased to draw him to Himself.

It’s a sad thing that people don’t stop to think…

Payday someday.

Advertisements

– And Peter –

In our reading the other morning, my wife and I read the last two chapters of Mark.  These two words in Mark 16:7 struck me, as I’m sure they have at other times in reading this portion.

Our Lord is so gracious.  So kind.  So understanding.

I’m sure Peter thought he was done.  After all his braggadocio,  “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Mark 14:31 – here he was, hiding in the shadows somewhere, overcome with shame, remembering….

There are a couple of verses in Luke’s account that bear on this.   Luke 22:60, 61 tell us that before he was even finished with his denials, Immediately, while he [Peter] was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  And the Lord turned and looked at Peter,” emphasis added.

In the midst of His own suffering and humiliation, being taken to a death we cannot even begin to imagine in our culture of concern for “criminal rights,” the Lord Jesus remembered His errant disciple….

And He turned and looked at Peter.

That look must have torn through Peter like a knife into his soul.

The fact that all the disciples said it, Matthew 26:35, was probably no comfort to Peter.

He had said it.

And Peter went out and wept bitterly, Luke 22:62.

Ah, beloved, the Lord knows us better than we can possibly know ourselves.

“But go and tell His disciples – and Peter….”

And He still loves us and cares for us and restores us.

Jellyfish Christianity

The time has come “when they will not endure sound doctrine.”

Already Not Yet

thequint-fit_2018-08_261fa99a-fc02-4082-93b5-8e4f6ae2a52d_bd801f8f_8034_4d04_9fd1_167a5453d37aJ.C. Ryle:

One plague of our age is this widespread dislike to distinct biblical doctrine. In the place of it, the idol of the day is a kind of jellyfish Christianity – a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or sinew, without any distinct teaching about the atonement or the work of the Spirit, or justification, or the way of peace with God – a vague, foggy, misty Christianity, of which the only watchwords seem to be, “You must be liberal and kind. You must condemn no man’s doctrinal views. You must consider everybody is right and nobody is wrong.”

And this creedless kind of religion, we are told, is to give us peace of conscience! And not to be satisfied with it in a sorrowful, dying world, is a proof that you are very narrow-minded! Satisfied, indeed! Such a religion might possibly do for unfallen angels! But to tell…

View original post 460 more words

From Old To New

I got a new Bible.

Yeah, I know, “stop the presses!”

What??

Giving my age away with that one.  There’re probably a lot of kids who’ve hardly ever seen a newspaper, let alone read it.  They know nothing about newpaper editors coming into the press room with a hot new news item and hollering, “Stop the presses!”  They’re all glued to the screen in their hands.  It amazes me, the people I see, even one driving the other day, who can’t seem to tear themselves away from their latest I-toy.  At least the guy driving had it up where he could watch the road and talk on the phone at the same time.  Yes, yes, I know.  It’s the 2010s, not the 1910s.  Electronics have been revolutionary in our culture, a lot of good, the iPhones, etc., but some not so much. 

Anyway….

I got a new Bible.

It’s not the first new one; it’s just when I opened this one this morning for my reading, the pages were empty.  Not empty of words, of course,  but of the notations, markings, underlinings, etc., which had filled the old one.  The other one was an old friend, even to the duct tape holding it all together.  Wonderful invention, duct tape.

It saddens me, the professing Christians who never open a Bible, never read it, who know very little of the treasures it contains.  Early in our marriage, Sharon and I visited the church I had attended as a child.  Aside from the fact that the auditorium seemed a lot smaller than I remembered, so far as I could see, we were the only ones among the 2 or 3 hundred people there who had Bibles.  Now, of course, churches have these ginormous screens up front so people don’t actually need their own Bible.  Or they’ve got these little things they can stick in their pocket.  It’s today.  Sad.  No book to actually hold and read.

This is the Word of God.  Yes, I know.  A whole lot of people, among them professing Christians, don’t really believe that.

This is the Word of that God who called everything into being and who keeps it going.  This is the God who has counted the innumerable stars in the heavens.
This is the God who has named every single one of them, Psalm 147:4.

And this is the God who moved a bunch of men to write down His Word, so that we may know Him and His works.  Know ourselves and our sinfulness.  Know the Lord Jesus Christ, how He came to this world to do for us what we could never do for ourselves:  live a sinless, righteous life and die an unspeakable death, all to pay our sin debt.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.

And God had it all written down so we could know it….
_______________

I got a new Bible.

Goodbye, old friend.

Hello, new friend.

 

 

* 2019 *

1940, -49, -59, -63, -67, -70, -71, -73, -75, -78….

These are some of the significant years in my earthly sojourn.  And there are other years, and years since 1978, as well.  In its own way, I suppose, each year is significant.

Now we come to a new year, with all its attendant hoopla and celebration.  What will this year bring?  What will we look back on in 2020, if the Lord gives January 1 of next year to us?

Only He knows for sure.

But it’s enough for me to know that He knows, that
In [His] book they all were written
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them,
Psalm 139:16.

A lot of people are bothered – or worse – by the idea of God’s sovereignty in our lives.  To David, the idea was precious, v. 17.  It is to me, as well.  It’s a great comfort to know that in the chaos around us and in the uncertainty, to us, of the future, there is a guiding hand at the helm, a hand that was pierced.

What will the year bring?

It’s enough for me that this is the [year] the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it, Psalm 118:24.

Wilt Thou be Saved or Not?

Would that we had preaching like this today!

He Hath Said

“…that if you confess withyour mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in yourheart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

Yes or no. Wilt thou be damned or not? Wilt thou be saved or not? I will not have thee say, “When I have a more convenient season I will send for thee.” Sinner, it cannot be a more convenient one than this… Now, sinner, wilt thou be reconciled, restored, forgiven? “Wilt thou be made whole?” said Jesus, and I say the same to thee, “Wilt thou be made whole?” Do you say, “No”? Must I take that for an answer? Mark you, sinner, I have to tell my Master. I must tell Him when I seek the closet of the King to-night; I must tell Him your reply that you would not. What then remains for an ambassador to…

View original post 188 more words

“To Boldly Go…”

I’ve been a fan of science fiction all my life.  The adventures of John Carter on Mars from the pen of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the writings of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, the imagination of Hugo Gernsback with his Ralph 124C41, written in the early 1900s, yet foreshadowing many ideas which have actually happened.  I realize that most sf is indeed fiction and much of it has little “science” behind it.  Indeed, it’s all written from an evolutionary standpoint.  If life evolved on this planet, then no doubt it also evolved on numerous other planets, and so we have the pronouncements of a Jean Luc Picard opening the TV show “Star Trek, The Next Generation,” saying, “These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.  Her mission is to seek out new cultures and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before….”

As for any idea of “God,” in another show, Picard, in great anger, says that mankind got ride of that superstition (his word) a long time ago.  For all his ability and ingenuity, man is still “a fool,” Psalm 14:1.

Another show has the opening line, “Space, the final frontier….

I doubt that man will ever be able to really enter the frontier of space, let alone “cross” it.  Man may have left his footprint on the moon, and yes, I believe he did, but Scripture says that the heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s, but the earth He has given to the children of men, Psalm 115:16, emphasis added.  The moon may be within our reach, and even, in some yet unforeseeable way, the solar system or parts of it, but the nearest star, not counting our own Sun, is 4 light years away. Sf shows talk about some place in space as being 3 or 4 or so light years away, as if that’s nothing – just a couple of hours or days away – but that doesn’t really show the enormous distances involved.  A light year –  the distance a ray of light travel is said to travel in a year – is a little over 4 trillion miles.  That means the nearest star is 24 trillion miles away or 39 trillion kilometers! 

I used to drive for a living and figure I drove about 600,000 miles.  Counting all the years that I’ve been driving, or was simply a passenger in a car, train or plane, perhaps I’ve traveled close to one million miles.  But even that great distance is “only” 1/1000th of a billion, which itself is “only” 1/1000th of a trillion.  So, to look at it another way, I’ve “traveled” 1/1,000,000th of 1,000,000,000,000 miles.  At that rate, I’d have to live 1,848,000 years to get to the nearest star.  In computing space travel, we’re dealing with distances which are so vast that they are nothing we can relate to.  We have no yardstick to measure them.

But space isn’t really “the final frontier” men and women face.

In my reading the other morning, I read Ecclesiastes 8:8, There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war, (KJV).

Many folks have a document that says that they served in a particular branch of the Armed Forces.  It’s their “discharge”.

Until the Lord comes back, there is no such “discharge” in the “battle” of life.

According to Hebrews 2:15, part of the reason the Lord came the first time was to release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

What “fear”?  What “bondage”?

Hebrews 9:27, And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

There is an innate knowledge that death is not the end of everything, that there is something beyond, something Hebrews calls “judgment”.  I grant that our “modern” culture has pretty much thrown out such “outmoded” ideas as God and salvation and judgment to come.  We worship “science,” not the Savior.  We see the evidence and result of such thinking every day in the newscasts on TV.

Nevertheless, death is an irrefutable “fact of life” and Scripture tells us that it is not the end of our existence, merely the turning of a page, as it were.

Our Lord came to prepare us for that event, that change.

How did He do that?

First, He came as a Substitute.  In the Old Testament sacrificial system, the Israelite would bring an animal to the door of the Tabernacle or to the Temple.  He would place his hand on the head of that animal, thus signifying that he himself deserved to die, but the animal was taking his place.  This was only a temporary arrangement and the countless animals that died during the centuries before our Lord bore eloquent testimony that they could never take away sin, Hebrews 10:4.

Second, He came as a Sacrifice.  Hebrews 10:11 says, This Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sin forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

“One sacrifice for sin forever.”

One sacrifice.

Sin must be paid for.  Either you and I will pay for our sins with an eternity in hell, because we could never even ever pay for one sin, let alone the countless multitude we are guilty of, or someone must pay it for us.

That Someone is the Lord Jesus Christ.

His life and death are the only ones God will accept, because He is the only one whose life and death meet the requirements of a holy, righteous and just God.  His are the only ones without sin.

Those who receive Him as Lord and Savior escape final judgment for their sins because the Lord Jesus took their place as their Sacrifice.  I say, “final judgment,” because sin does have consequences.  God may forgive adultery without restoring the marriage that was destroyed by it.  He might forgive drunkenness without restoring the bodily damage that was done by it.  Sin does have consequences.  For the true believer, though he will give an account to God for the sins he committed in this life, and there might be consequences in this life, he can never be lost because of them.  Jesus took his place.

John 1:12 says, As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.  There is only one Name God will accept, only one life and death, only one way into heaven.  Contrary to a lot of modern thought, not everybody is going to a “better place.”  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me, John 14:6.

“No one.”

There is only one way into heaven and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh, friend, have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?  Do you trust Him as the payment for your sins?

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, Acts 16:31.