Beginnings and Endings

Creation - image from pixabay.com
Creation – image from pixabay.com

Humans Understand Beginnings and Endings

Life Cycle - images from pixabay.com
Life Cycle – images from pixabay.com

Birth and death of lifeforms, Nations and even stars are all easily grasped by the human mind but, what about eternity? The Bible teaches GOD always was and always will be can we really understand what that means? I cannot claim to know how to answer that; my perspective is pretty limited when one considers all of human history and all the people who have lived or, even contemplating the reality of seven billion plus humans alive right now. Perhaps some understand this concept of infinity better than others; can any temporal being envision what eternal means.

Final Stop - image from pixabay.com
Final Stop? – image from pixabay.com

Christians gain eternal life when accepting Jesus

Eternal life sure makes us feel better than the alternative: the second  and complete death after the judgement.  On that basis alone people should consider Jesus’s offer if for no other reason.  Can you imagine being nothing? Can you imagine the eons before you were born?  I find it extremely difficult to contemplate the oblivion of nothingness I could have faced if I had died and, I had not secured eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Earth - image from pixabay.com
Earth – image from pixabay.com

GOD Knows How We Think

Earth Ends - image from pixabay.com
Earth Ends – image from pixabay.com

GOD expresses things in terms of beginnings and endings for our benefit: Jesus was born and died for example.  Yes, in GOD’s Word we read about eternal things but most of the Bible introduces us to people who were born, lived and died.

Human Life - images from pixabay.com
Human Life – images from pixabay.com

The process of living, in terms of beginning our lives in ignorance as a baby, acquiring knowledge and experience as we grew, and the use of free will to determine our ultimate destiny.

 

 

The Bible Reveals How We Can Gain Eternal Life Before Death

Excerpts from the bible esv

John 3:16  ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

 Genesis 1:1  ESV

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Matthew 24:21  ESV 

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

2 Timothy 3:1-5  ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

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* * * * * * * Things That Seem Good * * * * *

Seem Great To Me - images from pixabay.com
Seem Great To Me – image from pixabay.com

If you have a few years behind you, you know this:

“There are things you can do, have or experience that seem good but in the long run turn out to be not good at all.”

I Loved Smoking as a Teen and into Middle Age

Smoking Seems Good - images from pixabay.com
Smoking Seems Good – image from pixabay.com

When I was about 15 years old I had a summer job with two other boys; one was a year older seemed a little more streetwise and smoked cigarettes. It did not take too long, as we worked together doing landscape work for his uncle, before he talked me into trying a cigarette.  It was the beginning of a 25 years bad habit.  In those younger years I shared the bad habit with my friends; we experimented with brands of cigarettes,pipes and cigars: it was great fun.  When the cost challenged our ability to keep a steady supply of cigarettes we learned how to make our own: we got tobacco, paper and even a handy little machine to make rolling them easy. When I enlisted in the army in May 1968 the smoking habit was well entrenched and army life enhanced the desire to smoke.

The Years Rolled By and I Tried to Quit any Times

Finally I really quit sometime in my early 40’s which meant I had smoked for at least 25 years at a significant rate: more that 2 packs of cigarettes a day most of the time.  I was hopeful that the cigarettes with filters would lessen the dangers associated with smoking; that became more and more evident and was well publicized.  The non smoking years rolled buy and I believed my old bad habit’s potential for negative health effects was a thing I had escaped.

WRONG!

Wrong Choice - images from pixabay.com
Wrong Choice – image from pixabay.com

My Doctor told me I had 20% lung damage

More than 25 years after I quit smoking I developed respiratory problems and soon I will have medical tests to gauge just how significant my health situation is because of the past when I smoked.

Unseen Hazard - images from pixabay.com
Unseen Hazard – image from pixabay.com

LOOK OUT!

Danger Below - images from pixabay.com
Danger Below – image from pixabay.com

    Deadly things may look very beautiful.

Dangerous Beauty - images from pixabay.com
Dangerous Beauty – image from pixabay.com
Beautiful Poison - images from pixabay.com
Beautiful Poison – image from pixabay.com

What once seemed good was not good at all.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a student of GOD’s Word and one who fights negatives and fosters positives, I see our Human perception is often limited and wrong.  When I go to GOD’s Word I see that it offers warnings about things that fool us: sin that seems good leads to very negative outcomes even eternal death.  The following examples from The Holy Bible may help you avoid calamity here on Earth and eternal damnation after your body dies.

Examples from the ESV* Bible

Proverbs 14:12  ESV 

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Matthew 7:15  ESV

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 7:13  ESV

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

Proverbs 31:30  ESV

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 6:25  ESV

Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;

Judges 16:13  ESV

Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.”

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When No or Yes Really Means Maybe

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images from pixabay.com

Here in the USA it is high stakes political season

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images from pixabay.com

As I write the Republican Party Convention is underway and next week the Democratic Party Convention will be upon us: they are what dominate the media when underway.  Of course this fall we American Citizens will be voting to select the next president and here there is no higher political office – no more important office on the planet some say.  Yes GOD knows people require leaders and if not actually blessed by GOD governments exists because GOD allows them. You must study The Holy Bible cover to cover to truly understand this scriptural concept. Fellow Christian for the purpose of this article know that GOD is the ultimate overseer of even what politicians do as our leaders.

Romans 13:1  ESV

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

For me it is a challenge: I do not trust politicians.

images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com

I know that the term politics is applied throughout our world and it is not limited to politicians whom run for office desiring to represent us and act as leaders on our behalf.  We mention things like office politics, sports politics and even church politics; what do we mean by this much used and loosely applied term? It refers to the negative assessment many of us have of most politicians.  Often we say or hear someone else say, “Politics and politicians are a necessary evil.”  I for one dislike this characterization because the realms of duplicity, subterfuge and ambiguity may be part of human nature but, GOD has a higher standard by which our conduct is (or ultimately will be) judged.

[scripture no no yes yes]

History reveals the treachery of humans

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "...and the Fuhrer to conduct extensive discussions on the German-Russian relations in the context of the friendship pact between the two states. The visit concluded with complete agreement." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ad8bf4f8-ab53-1f4b-e040-e00a18061930
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “…and the Fuhrer to conduct extensive discussions on the German-Russian relations in the context of the friendship pact between the two states. The visit concluded with complete agreement.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ad8bf4f8-ab53-1f4b-e040-e00a18061930

Hitler signed an agreement with Stalin during World War II dividing Poland between them and promising not to attack The U.S.S.R. but that did not last long. Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Russia in June 1941 this tragic betrayal contributed to the horrendous death toll attributed to the global conflict. This may be a monstrous example of betrayal but it is by no means the only example we can study.  A cursory review of history will review examples of treachery by individuals that had devastating effects on those who trusted them. Political and military traitors and even ordinary citizens at times committed this evil offense.

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "At the invitation of the Soviet government, Reich Foreign Minister von Robbentrop is in Moscow for crucial talks..." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ad8bf4f8-ab59-1f4b-e040-e00a18061930
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “At the invitation of the Soviet government, Reich Foreign Minister von Robbentrop is in Moscow for crucial talks…” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ad8bf4f8-ab59-1f4b-e040-e00a18061930

The demonstrations of the treachery people are capable of often surprised me. That all change for me when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and begun to study The Holy Bible.  Scripture illustrated devious people in positions that inflected great harm when their duplicitous action was executed even in ancient times and taught me that we all are capable of such a sin.

Matthew 15:19 ESV

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Most of us want to belong

images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com

It is our nature to want to be seen as “good”, accepted, included and so on. The desire to be part of a family, clan, tribe or nation is not a bad thing it is part of out heritage and has contributed to the survival of humanity on an often hostile planet.  When this longing to be counted in is part f the human experience it can mask many problems that the darker side of our nature precipitates. OK, we are reluctant “rock the boat” or say something when we observe something suspicious yet, as Christians GOD wants us to strive to overcome the evils and negatives of this worlds by being obedient to the standards GOD has revealed for us through the prophets now contained in the Holy Bible.

Matthew 5:37  ESV

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

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images from pixabay.com
Yes fellow Christian it is not easy but we must do what is right

Why do we gather in fellowship, study GOD’s Word and strive to obey what Jesus has instructed? We do these things to help each other be accountable, to encourage one another to do what is right, to teach the children and new Christians the truths so that we bring “The Light of Jesus” to a dark world.

James 4:17  ESV

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

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******* Special Blog Post 1 : Who Represents Christians *******

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images from pixabay.com

Romans 13:1 ESV

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Something about living in the U.S.A.

 

” . . . Thus, while it is clear that democracy must guarantee the expression of the popular will through majority rule, it is equally clear that it must guarantee that the majority will not abuse use its power to violate the basic and inalienable rights of the minority.  . . . ” 

Excerpt from* Majority Rule/Minority Rights: Essential Principles

*http://democracyweb.org/node/36

Referenced: Alexis de Tocqueville, “Tyranny of the Majority,” Chapter XV, Book 1, Democracy in America

 

Are we Bible Believing Christians now a minority in a Nation founded if entirely by Christians, overwhelmingly influenced by people who had excepted GOD’s Holy Bible as the preeminent authority; the guide to all matters people encounter and experience on Earth?

Is secular humanism deliberately diminishing our influence upon our Government and our people which has served to preserve “The Greater Good” despite the flawed and imperfect aspects of the human race?

images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com

Maybe it is time for the creation of a new Political Party that will represent our interests and preserve the Greater Good that only adherence to the word of god can maintain.

Major political parties*

*from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States

A party that has “an independent state organization… in a majority of the states”[1] is listed as a major party. An “independent state organization” is not to be confused with the organization of an Independent Democrat or Independent Republican.

Political Party

States*

Founded in

Former Titles

International Affiliations

Democratic Party 50 + DC 1828 Progressive Alliance[2]
Republican Party 50 + DC 1854 International Democrat Union[3]
Libertarian Party 48 + DC[4] 1971 Interlibertarians[5]
Green Party 36 + DC[6] 1991 Global Greens
Constitution Party 26[6] 1992 U.S. Taxpayers’ Party

There is a webpage* that indicates “Christian Democrats of America”

* http://www.christiandemocratsofamerica.org/

My fellow Christians look into this group, similar groups or start one yourself in order to promote the influence of GOD’s Word upon our Country (and The World).  It is my hope that we can lesson the influence  and effects of evil on the people of our planet.  Thank You

(Permission to use)
(Permission to use)

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Inseparable: Church Morality and State Morality

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images from pixabay.com

People complicate simple things

Subterfuge, hidden agendas, self . . . just a hint at what confounds simple concepts when humans begin to express them from a biased position. People may or may not be aware of their biases; these are inherent within our very nature.  Education can help but the greatest help comes from the wisdom GOD gives us within The Holy Bible.

images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com

Real Human Nature

As a Christian I accept what The Bible defines our nature to be:

Matthew 15:19 ESV

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Even the best of us (those who can manage our negatives well for The Greater Good) know we fall short of perfection and must rely on a Higher Authority from whom we get a better standard than what we ourselves can establish.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 ESV

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

 Yes, being forewarned can and does equip us to incorporate safe guards in our organizations: Clubs, tribes, governments . . . etc.
images from pixabay.com
images from pixabay.com

The First Amendment To The Constitution of the USA

. . . insures our people can enjoy religious freedom and that our law makers cannot establish a (an official State) religion. Yet did that mean our government was not to be influenced by GOD’s precepts and standards? I emphatically say NO. History may well indicate that there have been Theocracies (and still some exist) but the moral standards, “The Golden Rule” and other precepts revealed in The Holy Scriptures have a positive impact on all good people everywhere even within secular societies.  Religion is man-made but the relationship between humans and GOD exists and is important.  Religion though imperfect, usually offers a way in which people can safely live with each other; because it is the human institution that when it relies on GOD’s Word reveals everything GOD wants for us – now and for eternity.

Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptist association in  Connecticut*

* https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Solomon commands the spirits of the world to submit to his will." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6c40374c-9aae-5ac7-e040-e00a18064e61
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Solomon commands the spirits of the world to submit to his will.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6c40374c-9aae-5ac7-e040-e00a18064e61

In his letter Thomas Jefferson reinforces the safe guards guaranteed by The Constitution of The United States of America by using the metaphor “wall of separation”.  Still the standards by which we judge political candidates and their conduct in political office is the same standards we find revealed within GOD’s Word (The Holy Bible) for all of us especially our leaders.  Even Jesus illustrated the relationship between humans, Governments and God when he offered this illustration when The Pharisees tried to trick him:

Matthew 22:21 ESV

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Octavius Cæsar. (Antony and Cleopatra)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-1124-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Octavius Cæsar. (Antony and Cleopatra)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-1124-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

(in response to Jesus’s question about whose image was on the Roman coin) They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

 

and what about GOD’s Word on government?

Romans 13:1 ESV

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

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images from pixabay.com

One big question: do you want a government dominated by self-interest or one dominated by the principles of GOD?

Isaiah 1:17 ESV

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Yes, the above is what GOD would have us do.

Last Words:

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images from pixabay.com

I want my government leaders to use GOD’s standard in their duties because The USA is what it is because it was established using GOD’s principles and that is much more than mere tradition. Amen

 

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Function of a Christian Church

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Do You Know what the Church is?

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images from pixabay.com

The Church is not a building, meeting hall or home it is The Body of Christ present on Earth; this body is composed of all Christians that are true believers in what Jesus instructed, taught and ordained when he was here on Earth.  He fulfilled “The Law” as revealed in the Hebrew Bible and amplified, clarified and augmented The Word of GOD Himself and  through His disciples (Apostles) to whom He sent the Holy Spirit to assist in this mission.

Matthew 28:16-20 ESV*
The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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images from pixabay.com
This is the primary function of the church

There are other important functions of course: Teaching, edifying, supporting missionaries and each other in Christian Fellowship.  Since this world we live in is currently flawed and subject to the effects of sinful imperfect people, including we Christians, we have more to do than what is delineated above.

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images from pixabay.com

In gratitude to GOD Christians strive to obey God representing HIS Good on Earth by ministering to needy people: needy non-Christians and, needy Christians alike.

Helping fellow humans in as an unconditional manner as possible demonstrates GOD’s Love to all.  God wants all people to gain eternal life and access to heaven and Christians are HIS voice to the unknowing people.  The unbelievers the unsaved the lost the troubled wherever they are.

Fellow christians use your gifts to serve

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images from pixabay.com

2 Peter 3:9 ESV*

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

John 3:16 ESV*

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 6:23 ESV* 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:13 ESV*

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

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Love Beyond Lust

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True love goes way beyond lust or pleasant feelings

Pleasant feelings and physical attraction may initiate a relationship between a man and a woman but true love is much more than this. Selfless caring for one another, spiritual growth as a couple and a commitment to limit sexual activity exclusively to each other.  From initial infatuation to a deep understanding of one another is accomplished through keeping the stated promise to be true and loyal to one another.

You ask , “The Bible teaches that no one is without sin; what happens when one or both fall short?”
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images from pixabay.com

The Bible also explains this:

1 Peter 4:8

English Standard Version
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

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images from pixabay.com

To me  . . . “love covers a multitude of sins.” means love overrides our own personal (often selfish) preferences and agendas.  Imperfections exist in every one; I have not seen proof of any kind that there exists (or has exited) a perfect human being.  No me, not you not your spouse . . . or even your parents or children.  Love gives us the ability to accept imperfection for what it is.  Of course manifestations of evil or behaviors intended to do harm must be considered more than imperfection if it becomes a threat to life and limb.  This includes deliberate metal cruelty beyond an occasional loss of temper or action done in ignorance.  Love therefore can be a life changing influence also.  The family unit is the building block of nations and love insures a positive outcome.

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images from pixabay.com

 But where does love come from?

1 John 4:19 ESV 

We love because he first loved us.

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

GOD taught us how to love and when we build family units with this spirit of love we build strong nations and demonstrate the good GOD wants for all people.

Love between husbands and wives is the glue that holds the family unit together and helps chart a course through life.

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images from pixabay.com

Marriage described in the Bible is an ancient covenant between a Man and a Woman for the purpose of having and raising children thus sustaining human life.  The quality of life and the result of people procreated and nurtured in this way promotes health mentally well-balanced contributing citizens of Earth.  The “good” we see in the world is sustained in this way when humans are diligent to follow the instruction revealed by GOD within The Holy Bible.  The formula is easy to understand and the goals are not difficult to achieve.  However, since the introduction of sin into the World we must work hard not to fall into temptation and yield to evil of any sort subverting the benefits of marriage .  Christians can rely on GOD helping to deliver the positive result from Christian marriage and procreation by, studying GOD’s Word and applying it to their life and the fabric of the family.

Husbands:

Ephesians 5:25 ESV

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, . . .

 Wives:

Titus 2:4-5 ESV

And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, . . .

 

 

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Are there Prophets here Today

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Yes, there are prophets here today.

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images from pixabay.com

No, not prophets like Elijah or Jeremiah but prophets of GOD nevertheless. Since Christians can read and study GOD’s Word in great detail every Christian has the potential to speak for GOD.  The better they know GOD’s Word the more able they are to express GOD’s messages for all people.

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Some Christians have the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy.

1 Corinthians 12:27-28 ESV 

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

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Not to judge but to encourage one another to do what is right.
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Since we all fall short the modern Christian Prophet reminds fellow Christians to do what is right, what is good and what is edifying. There is a need in some cases to explain a Biblical principle in modern terms. For example:

Exodus 23:4-5 ESV

“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

The Modern Prophet may say, “You should help anyone in need not just those you know and like.

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There is no shortage of opportunity

Not just repeating a truth from GOD’s Word but expressing His love in many ways: demonstrating forgiveness, promoting justice, being fair and demonstrating that you care for GOD’s creation and fellow humans. Help those harmed by floods, wars, tornadoes and ever small scale calamity affords an opportunity for you help people in GOD’s name.  You as a Believer in Our Lord Jesus Christ can express GOD’s love in this way.  In the process you contribute to making living on Earth better.  It will be made better though the perfection will not be extant until Jesus returns when we as believers will enjoy a perfect body and live upon a New Earth.

Isaiah 65:17 ESV

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
AMEN 

 

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How to Become a New Creature

Christians receive many blessings and become new creatures

When we understand our true nature, agree with GOD and accept Jesus Christ and His message we become a new creature.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

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What does this mean?  Does it mean we shed our skin and look different?

It means GOD no longer sees us as sinners – past, present or future – because Jesus has paid the price for sinning: death, ultimately spiritual death.  GOD has amnesia with respect to our sinful nature and we are assured of an eternal life.

Romans 3:23 ESV 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Hebrews 8:12 ESV

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

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We have a new spiritual nature and depending on our progress as new creatures becoming more Christ-like we will display this change more as we grow in our Christian walk.

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images from pixabay.com

Some sins are easy to defeat but, some sins are PERSISTENT and take a RELENTLESS desire to purge from our being.

Hebrews 2:18 ESV

For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

And so my fellow Christian, if you keep up the “Good Fight” against even the sinful tenancies within your self Our Lord can help you succeed. Remain committed, recall the victories, if you stumble repent and continue to walk in the faith.  Study God’s Word each day, feed your mind what is good, and fellowship with like minded believers helping each other to be that “New Creature” even in this old world.

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The Great Society*

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President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s Dream in 1964–65 * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Society
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During the 1960’s the social upheaval, the negatives and the violence was only part of the story.  In those years President LBJ was part of an effort to make life more equitable for Americans.  He revealed his dream for a better America with his desired improvements in education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, and transportation.

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Just getting a chance to create Federal programs that would facilitate these positive efforts took a great deal of political skill (LBJ was a master politician).  What was successful and what was not I will leave that up to you if you care to research the subject thoroughly.  I am not going to evaluate his effort, nor examine the historical record now.  My focus is on why I believe Christians can influence our society in many positive ways because of Biblical principles and can move humanity toward a Great Society nevertheless.

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The Bible does not indicate that humans can establish perfection on Earth; it does instruct us how to live better.
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The Holy Scriptures point us to a future when GOD will establish a New Kingdom upon a New Earth.  Jesus Christ will rule.

Revelation 21:1 ESV

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

In the meantime Christians can do a great deal (and some have) to make living on this Old Earth better.  Christians know from the Bible that humans are susceptible to self-serving motives and in some instances evil attitudes and behavior. Modern society dislikes the word “sin” so much that there are many people saying it does not exist; wishing it away will not make it vanish.  Acknowledging it will help people to do a better job at lessening sin and its negative effects.  The Bible paints a realistic picture of life as we know it and instructs us how to be victorious. First you must be honest.

Romans 3:23 ESV

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Next Christians must strive to live the new life they have been granted even as their spirit still dwells within their old body.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Victory over sin in this life requires a number of proscriptions and prescriptions.

Yet it is not a simple matter of memorizing a list of do and don’t instructions (Like The Ten Commandments), it is understanding our nature, believing GOD, and possess the commitment to persevere knowing at times we will fall short.

1 Timothy 6:12 ESV

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

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Even if Christians are diligent this Old World can only improve to a degree; human nature and current reality will prevail.

1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

Matthew 25:37-40 ESV

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Diogenes." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-476a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Diogenes.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-476a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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Strive to be more Christ-Like, do good to demonstrate your gratitude for GOD’s grace and keep these words in mind:
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Mother with six children in a tenement" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a9aa-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Mother with six children in a tenement” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a9aa-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Matthew 26:11 ESV 

For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. (Jesus said this before His death and Resurrection) 

 

 

 

 

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