Today people shy away from talking about sin because The Bible teaches we all are sinners and many people refuse to accept this. Yes we all are sinners from the most horrible dictator to the shop lifter who takes an apple. In human terms there is a difference but to GOD sin is sin:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Evil Comes from Sin
3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
This letter to Timothy (part of The New Testament in The Bible) was written by (ST) Paul the Apostle almost 2000 years ago; no doubt truth about the nature of humans was recognized then, before then and even now. In the interest of Christians the description given of “the times” is a prophetic warning for unbelievers about the second coming of Christ and the “end times”.
SONG: Hillsong Young & Free – End of Days – Worship Lyric Video
We refer to Christianity as “a religion” but that is only a classification of convenience because it is a relationship. When humans have a relationship (and even many other creatures) we say it is one of give and take (symbiotic). Of course the relationship with GOD is even beyond that, since we see Jesus as part of the GOD Trinity and he as King. Still, when we study the Bible we quickly discover this relationship aspect as a “Covenant” or contract with GOD. GOD makes promises and we make promises. How we teach each other about GOD evolves to reflect changes in geopolitical and anthropological differences. The Biblical truths reflect customs, languages and the different needs of people. What does not change in this dynamic relationship, is the truths and standards of GOD; nor our position as created beings verses The Creator GOD.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When we confess our sin we are forgiven then we become a child of GOD;
accepting Jesus we are the recipients of the unconditional love of GOD; even our faults cannot change that. GOD did love us even before we accepted Christ but after salvation our eternity is sealed.
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. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” …
This was a longer segment of scripture than I usually post because it describes something so wonderful to long for one small excerpt. We can do more than speculate since we have Faith; the verses suggest a wonderful place for believers*.
OK some people these days consider the Bible a great piece of literature, a collection of myths and a source of wisdom – perhaps some consider it all the above. As a Christian I know it is GOD’S Word. The literature, history and wisdom built in. Before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I read The Book of Proverbs. I was so impressed the awe never left me. Humans have several secular sources of wisdom and their own practical wisdom earned from experience but, GOD presents aspects humans typically do not develop on their own – especially when GOD’S Word is taken in aggregate.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
I often say only a systematic study of GOD’S word can yield the greatest meaning to a person. The subtleties and nuances corroborated from one part of scripture to another offer flexible understanding (not legalistic rigidity). We are individuals living our individual lives in the present time that is our time. If you read about the early Church you will see that the apostles were individuals offering insight, knowledge and wisdom to the early believers – and even us today. Only a true believer’s knowledge complemented with wisdom can guard against apostasy and antichrists.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” This includes your life: do not abuse your body with drugs, alcohol or dangerous behavior.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
The first four are about the relationship GOD has with humans (us) and we with GOD (summed up in The Greatest Commandment above):
Exodus 20:1-17 ESV
And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (edits by me)
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. . . .
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. . . . .
You will note that these four edicts are directly coming from GOD.
Most examples of attempted human interaction with a god is people trying to get the attention of a god or gods. The one true GOD came to us because we are unable to approach a holy GOD and there is nothing in and of our selves that can please GOD without GOD assisting us: The guidance found in The Word of GOD is our guide.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
When we obey GOD, follow The Word of GOD we HONOR GOD: This does not erase our sin nature (accepting Jesus can only do that); works cannot save us – but it honors GOD when we do good; Worship and Praise Honors GOD but does not save us. When we please GOD we honor GOD. As a Christian Honoring GOD gathers rewards in heaven.
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
“The word “prayer” is mentioned 132 times in the Bible (KJV) in the following verses: 2 Samuel 7:27. 1 Kings 8:28 (twice)Nov 30, 2018”
Repetition yields something new or reinforces what we know
Why attend Bible studies all your life? Why read through the Bible again and again? Why go to Sunday School even when you are in your “Golden Years”? BECAUSE IN LIFE WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW IS ALWAYS CHANGING. Rereading scripture yields truths that apply to “THE NOW” many times – we may have missed the message when we first read that part of scripture. We may believe we have learned all we will ever need to know about GOD and our Christian Faith but have we? Can we?
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Our minds will be filled with something.
The cliche about computers, “Garbage in; garbage out”, applies to our brains as well. Renewing GODS Word will diminish our weaknesses with regard to temptations; help us avoid sining; enable us to be a better example to others.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
We also learn how to minister to others better.
As we mature In Christ we will discover younger (in Christ and perhaps age) Christians will look to us for guidance, leadership and as an example. Knowing more allows us to be better mentors, teachers and ministers. Being a Christian is a dynamic undertaking.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
2) GOD generated visions and dreams
5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.6 He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed:7 Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”8 His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.