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For the great day of His wrath

Written By: admin - Apr• 18•15

For the great day of His wrath

Revelation 6:17

 

(17) For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

 

Revelation 6:17 should read, “For the day, the great [day] of Their wrath, has come, and who is able to stand?” This is a plain statement of truth followed by a rhetorical question (see Nahum 1:6; Malachi 3:2). The sixth seal announces in unmistakable fashion that “the great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly” (Zephaniah 1:14). The prophet Joel describes it:

 

 

Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all of the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand: A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. . . . The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness. The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? (Joel 2:1-2, 10-11)

 

This is the question: Who will survive it? Who will pass God’s judgment? The answer seems to be, “No one.” But there is hope, as Joel 2:12-14 instructs:

 

 

“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him . . .?

 

Jesus gives us His answer in Luke 21:36: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” We must be alert and prepared for what may come, and the most important part of our preparation is the strengthening of our relationships with the Father and the Son through prayer, study, meditation, and obedience to His instructions. This is the only means to escape God’s wrath.

 

 

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, before the decree is issued, or the day passes like chaff, before the LORD’S fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you! Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’S anger. (Zephaniah 2:1-3)

 

If we wish to avoid the coming stern and destructive judgment of God on recalcitrant mankind, there is no time like the present to seek His face (Psalm 105:4).

 

— Richard W.

Christ in Us…

Written By: admin - Apr• 06•15

The apostle Paul said, “Christ lives in me.” How does Jesus Christ live in us? Does He take charge? What is our role in having Christ in us? Walk as He Walked Galatians 2:20 is a powerful and much-loved scripture. The apostle Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” The Majority Greek Interlinear puts it this way: “And I no longer live but in me Christ lives.” What does the Bible mean by that statement? Vastly different concepts have been proposed. Does Christ take charge? What does Jesus Christ do when we allow Him to live in us? Does He begin living our lives for us? Does He begin making our choices for us? The Bible makes it clear that we are to be the temple and abode of God (2 Corinthians 6:16). But how do God and Christ live in us? It is through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-11). Therefore, the degree to which God and Jesus Christ dwell in us depends on the degree to which we follow the leading of God’s Spirit and use its power to actually become like God the Father and Jesus Christ in nature, character, spirit, attitudes, approach and love. Walk as He walked What all the scriptures on this subject reveal is that Jesus Christ’s life will be in us only as we seek to make His way of life our way of life—to walk as He walked, to live as He lived. What all the scriptures on this subject reveal is that Jesus Christ’s life will be in us only as we seek to make His way of life our way of life—to walk as He walked, to live as He lived (1 John 2:6). The Bible also calls this putting off the old man and putting on the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24). The more we use the Holy Spirit to become like Christ, the more His life will be in us and, thus, the more He lives in us. But that process is under our will and control, not His. God wants us to choose to live as Jesus lived by our free choice. This involves a humble, earnest seeking to become like Jesus Christ so His life becomes our life. God’s desire is for us to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). For us to inherit life in His family, the Father is looking for the qualities of the life of His firstborn Son in us (Colossians 1:27). The Father and Jesus Christ will seek to lead us this way through the Holy Spirit by revealing knowledge and understanding and giving us the spiritual strength to change and live righteously. But God will not force us to live this way. It is our free choice. The “want to” What must come from us is the “want to.” We have to want to seek to have Jesus Christ’s life in us for Him to give us the help we need to achieve that end. The desire to change (the 100 percent commitment of heart to change) is the only thing we bring to the table. As we read in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (New Revised Standard Version). This means we must cry out to God for the help we need to change. by Steve Moody

Work out your own Salvation

Written By: admin - Mar• 15•15

Philippians 2:12-13

 

(12) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

New King James Version   Change your email Bible version

 

It is God who saves! God saved Israel from Egyptian slavery. Israel did not overcome Pharaoh and Egypt by either warfare or by dint of superior intelligence. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and we cannot save ourselves from sin’s power. When we accept Him as Savior, it obligates us as His servants to obey Him.

 

In like manner, when God broke Egypt’s power, enabling the Israelites to be free, it obligated them to walk out of Egypt if they wanted their liberty. If the Israelites wanted to save their skins and be totally free of Egypt when God parted the Red Sea, it obligated them to walk the path God made for them between the walls of water. When God said, “I am going to bring you into the land and provide for you along the way,” if Israel wanted these things, they were obligated to walk all the way to Canaan. It is very clear that if Israel wanted what God said He would give, then Israel had to also cooperate by working in the form of walking to where God said He would lead or take them. “Walk” is a code word for living.

 

With this as a background, when Paul says to “work out your own salvation,” it cannot possibly mean we are going to save ourselves. Rather, like what confronted the Israelites when God opened the way to their physical salvation from slavery in Egypt, we should be ready to make God’s spiritual salvation practical and operational. Paul does not say we must work for salvation, but rather carry our salvation out to its conclusion. He uses “work out” in much the same sense as when a student is told to work out an arithmetic problem—to bring it to its conclusion. For us, the conclusion, the goal, to work toward is Christ-likeness. The salvation here is sanctification, victory over sin unto holiness.

 

To make it very plain, if we want to be one with Him, we must get moving in the direction He is pointing, and He points toward His standards of conduct and attitude. Each person’s walk is not exactly the same because each person’s experience and makeup are somewhat different. There is enough similarity among humans, though, to make the Bible always relevant.

 

One of the beautiful things about this is that each person’s walk toward the image of God is exactly right for him. What is more, Philippians 2:13 also says God gives us both the will and power or energy to do it! The New Testament in Modern Speech renders it, “For it is God Himself whose power creates within you both the desire and the power to execute His gracious will.” This work of God in us is another aspect of His grace, and without it, we could never be one with Him.

 

God Himself produces in us both the desire to live righteously and the effective energy to do so. He does not demand what we cannot do (I Corinthians 10:13). We see in Philippians 2:12 our responsibility and in verse 13 help to accomplish it.

 

We can see this working together with God in simple illustrations from physical life. We may launch a sailboat upon the water, but it takes what God supplies, wind, to make it move. We may plant vegetable seeds, but it is the power of God in nature that makes the plant grow and produce food. We may generate gig watts of electricity in power plants, but God provides the wind, water, sunlight, coal, oil, or gas to turn the turbines. In each case, we add something to what God already supplied.

 

Our salvation is something already given because it is God’s will, and He is sovereign. We, though, must do something to make it practical by applying ourselves to salvation’s demands. Even in this, God enables us to do it!

 

We will never know where the dividing line is between what God supplies and what we are responsible to do because it is different for each according to God’s purpose. This proportion must be different because each person is different, and He is preparing us for different responsibilities within His Family. This is sure, however: Our walk toward salvation will always be difficult enough to be challenging and edifying

Even here the analogy of Israel in the wilderness comes to our aid. Where did Israel get the energy to walk across the wilderness to the promised land? Did it not come from the manna and water God supplied, as well as the vision and hope of the inheritance which He also provided? Still, Israel walked! They had to work, to cooperate.

 

The verb “work” in Philippians 2:12 is in a tense that indicates continuous working. Just as Israel did not leave Egypt and arrive in the promised land in one step, neither are our salvation and oneness with God accomplished at once. It, too, is a process; it is our life’s work.

 

— John W