Wednesday, October 27, 2010

God is not your heavenly father unless you are one of His children

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters….” Isaiah 55:1-2
The artist's pic of Christ's Parable of the Lost
Son and the Loving Father. Luke 15:11-32. The
Bible says that he repented of his sin:  "He
came to himself," acknowledging his sin. He
then acted upon that resolve, confessing:
"Father, I have sinned against heaven, and
 in thy sight, and am no more worthy to
be called thy son."  [KJV] Luke 15:21

A most common misconception of today’s politically correct culture is the idea that God is everyone’s father. To be sure, the Triune God is Creator God. Without Him you would not be able to either hear or read this message. He created you. [Genesis 1:1-31 ; Colossians 1:13-20] But since sin entered the world through our distant ancestor, "Adam," we are consequently, all "sinners." [Romans 5:12] Hence, in our natural, sinful state, we are not "children of God," but rather, "children of Adam."

One of the most misunderstood of Christ’s parables is that of the “Prodigal [Lost] Son.” [Luke 15:11-32] It is a false notion to believe that the God of the Hebrew and Christian [historical] Scriptures is a “'friend' of sinners." Surely, God, loves all sinners – and, He wills for all of them to “be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” [1 Timothy 2:3-6] But in the same token, God is angry with sinners everyday. Psalm 7:11

The son in Christ’s parable of the “Prodigal [Lost] Son,” had left the family. He no longer wished to be part, but in headstrong fashion, moved out and demanded his share of the inheritance. He then in profligate fashion, wasted that monetary inheritance in sinful living. Finally, he came to his [spiritual] senses and ended up repenting. His decision of turn-around was [on the surface] prompted by his own self made deprivation and near destruction. He came home, fully admitting his sinful shame and was welcomed by a loving father.

How many of you have shared similar traits of “The Lost Son?”

You, who have been brought up by good and, perhaps, godly parents – have you rejected them and their religious values? Have you been taught some basic “Christian” values only to have embraced ever changing cultural values and norms? Have you wandered from your simple childlike faith in Christ and allowed your interests to be enamored with [supposed] Darwinian “scientific” “truths?” Have you allowed a certain cultural lifestyle to siphon away any semblance of shame as you march independently headstrong into what you think is fashionable living to be admired by all?

If you have shared some traits, such as the Prodigal Son, there is hope for you. You can return to a loving heavenly father who yearns for your return. He will not force you to return. He will not take back the free moral agency which he has granted you. He will respect your “right” to deny him and pave your personal way to perdition.

You – who have not known the Loving Father and His family:


Some segments of Christianity
erroneously attempt to simplify
that which is God the Holy Spirit's
work of bringing the sinner to
 repentance and faith in Christ.
Gospel of John 3:1-21    
How can one return to a loving Father and loving family if one has never belonged? Such is an impossibility. You find yourself grappling with life’s umpteen problems and overwhelming cares and concerns. You are like the proverbial, canoeist, up the creek, without a paddle. And, you are being pushed and forced by an overwhelming current, downstream to a certain waterfall death.

I wish I could be as assuring as some “Christian” preachers who give step by step instructions and lay out a prescriptive “Salvation” plan for your sinful soul, which apart from Christ’s forgiveness, and God, the Holy Spirit's action [John 3:8] will speed its way to certain hell. Matthew 7:13-29 ; Luke 16:19-31

Nowhere in the Scriptures will you honestly find a self-help manual for you to pull yourself up by your own sinful bootstraps and make your sinful soul clean before a sinless (holy) God. The Triune God will not allow His heaven to be contaminated by sin. You are either cleansed in the precious sacrificial forgiving blood of the sinless Christ or you are headed for an eternity without God and without all that is holy and perfect. 



The Scriptures declare: “Blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep [treasure] it.” [Luke 11:27-28] May you make it a point to expose your thoughts and life to the Scriptures. Only in the Triune God's Revelation gift, will you discover the faith to believe. Romans 10:17 ; Romans 1:16 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; Acts 8:26-39 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-17 ; James 1:18

Amen.

Not the labor of my hands; can fulfill Thy law’s demands.
Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow.
All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.


[Hymn lyric verse from “Rock of Ages” - TLH ; CPH - c. 1941]


Please note for reference:  “How to” (step by step) formula driven, prescription Christianity

This Week’s Related Scriptures -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Old Testament:

Psalm 51:1-19 – King David’s Psalm of contrition and confession over his many sins

New Testament


Luke 18:9-14 – The proud Pharisee and the humble and contrite Publican [Tax collector]

James 1:18 – The Heavenly Father “begetting” his own dear children

John 1:1-18 – Especially, - 1 John 1:13 –The Divine process of believing initiates with God, Himself

Ephesians 2: 8-10 – The Scripture's description of the "saving" process


____________________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Note for further reference and understanding:
___________________________________________

Please note: Topical Messages, by subject

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel


Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and
related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


Note: The above sermon message (with minor editing) was previously posted online (6/21/09)

http://www.thechristianmessage.org/

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hell to Pay: Believing that something is a figment of the imagination doesn’t change its hereafter reality

Many human souls have misconceptions about hell.
Part and parcel of those misconceptions are that
people refuse to think of an eternal place (when
they die), that can be filled with so much suffering
and anguish. Their false rose colored eye glass
conception of life after death is not  what Christ
 taught in the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31

I’m sure that you’ve heard somebody jokingly say that they would not wish to go to heaven because they would miss their friends.  But nothing could be farther from reality, as the destination Scripture calls, “Hell,” is not a final meeting place of friends.  Neither is it an environment that has anything to do with friendliness.

What is, “Hell?” To some people in our culture, it is only a word.  You’ve heard the casual language and even casually utilized the word, “Hell,” yourself.  It can be spoken in other forms such as someone describing a personal predicament – someone who has gotten himself into a “helluva” situation.  Or, a popular usage is that something has “Gone to hell in a handbag.”

Our culture’s use of the word, Hell, is often spoken to describe an extreme miserable situation; a most intolerable circumstance.  And, to a certain extent, the word, hell, and another forms of it, are utilized most appropriately.

Christ mentioned more about Hell than He did of Heaven

If you would but scour the Christian New Testament Scriptures, you will find that Jesus Christ, referred to Hell, more than He did, of Heaven.  Doesn’t that give us a clear clue?  Why would Christ make reference to hell, more than heaven?  Here is one instance where Christ spoke of hell:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. [Matthew 10:28] -- Note:  The “Him” is, God, Himself.

Christ not only spoke of hell, but he warned of hell.  He warned and continues to warn people of hell through his written revelation, the Scriptures, and his Christian disciples of every age.  To God, hell was never meant to be.  But when a contingent of heaven rebelled, that portion of rebellious angels and their leader, Lucifer, were cosigned to that dreadful destination, the Bible calls, “Hell.” Isaiah 14:12-15 ; Luke 10:18 ; Matthew 25:41-46

Hell is the destination of the damned

One of the clearest and most alarming descriptions of hell is found in the Gospel of Luke.  Christ tells the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Luke 16:19-31        

This parable along with a host of other Scriptures, give us a clear description of hell -- not only the genuine existence of hell, but its environment, as well.  And, its environment is not a very delightful place, to say the least.  Rather, hell is a destination and place of frightening proportions; an abode that is umpteen times worse than any person’s personal nightmares coming true.

The Holy Scriptures describe hell
as a real place; a certain destination
in the hereafter. The suffering of a
person's soul's body in a hell  will be
 on various levels: physical, mental,
emotional; and, of course, spiritual.
Christ's Parable of the Rich Man and
Lazarus gives us a glimpse of this
immense suffering. Luke 16:19-31.
Hell is a certain reality experienced
by all who go there.
Scripture describes Hell, in various ways.  It describes a horrible place and wretched environment:

Hell is readily accessible.  It is a place, easy to enter. Matthew 7:13-14

Hell has its “Depths” – which leads us to believe, that it has various levels.  Proverbs 9:13-18

Hell is also described as being a “Bottomless pit” with thick smoke.  Revelation 9:1-2   

Hell is where there is for the forever destruction of both soul and body. Matthew 10:28

Hell is the final destination of the wicked and nations that forget God. Psalm 9:17 

Hell is a place of “Damnation.”  Matthew 23:33  

Hell is a destination of “Corruption." Acts 2:27

Hell is a place of “Everlasting punishment.” Mark 9:42-48 ; Matthew 25:41-46

Hell is an environment which possesses an “Unquenchable fire.”  Mark 9:42-48

Hell's unquenchable fire brings with it a continual everlasting [day and night] tormenting death.  Mark 9:42-48   

Hell is described as “The furnace of fire.”  Luke 3:17

Hell’s fire is described as being an “Everlasting” fire.  Matthew 25:28-30

Hell is described as an environment of “Outer darkness,” which leads us to believe that it is the loneliest environment with which one can ever find himself or herself.  Matthew 22:13

Hell is described as a place of utter regret, sorrow and anger – “Weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 8:11-12 

Hell is described as a final destination where a person will never die and be no more – but will continue on, being continually [forever] damned with the punishments of fire, corruption, loneliness, regret, sorrow, anger and unimaginable bodily pain.  Luke 16:19-31

Hell is described in the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31 as eternal death and continuous torment. Not only is hell an actual place in the continuance of the forever; it is a certain reality. It's an ever eternal reality of anguish and torment experienced by those who are now cut off from the very source of life, Himself - Creator / Savior God. Hence, hell is often referred to as "eternal death" as there is no life granted from the Lord and Giver of Life, to damned souls. 



We live in a culture where people think that they can create their own reality

It is common place for people to discard traditional morality.  It is also common place for individuals and society to trash the traditional understanding of tolerance.  Traditional tolerance is replaced with political correctness and multi-cultural thought.  Hence, it is deemed wrong to insist on any one standard of truth or reality because all beliefs [supposedly] deserve equal status. 

The current anti Biblical understanding is that as long as a person is sincere – that’s all that counts and matters.  Since the traditional understanding of truth and reality has been replaced with godless evolutionary thought, people actually think that certain Scriptural realities are purely imaginary.  I find this to be so, as I participate on a local online public forum.  One participant recently, basically dismissed the whole Bible as a fairy tale.  To that, I responded that he was denying history and the historical person of Christ.  I continued, by saying, that according to his illogic, a person would have to discount the existence of George Washington – implying that one would also then have to dismiss historical documents that evidence Washington’s existence.

Ignoring the reality of “hell” does not make it go away.  Nor does ignoring hell, make its existence a non contributor in a particular soul’s forever suffering, anguish and permanent judgment and punishment.  You’ve heard people say:   “I believe that hell is on earth and I’m living it, already.”  Again, nothing can be farther from the truth as related by the Hebrew and Christian Scriptural testimony.

This last week on the local online forum an individual posted a comment designed to denigrate certain [other] forum personalities.  He listed his opinion with descriptive words and / or, phrases.  This emeritus pastor was also one of his targets.  He went on to state, his dislike for me by stating there might be a unique hot place in hell for Rev. Bickel, "if there was, indeed such a thing as hell."

Perhaps, more tormenting than the physically felt
torments of hell, is the forever regret of having
rejected Christ the Savior who came to rescue
human souls from their sin and soul's eternal
destruction. Christ's Parable of the Rich Man and
Lazarus underscores this eternal regret in the
Gospel of Luke 16:19-31
The forum personality was not unique in his denial (perception) of hell.  Countless people like him delude themselves with denial as they exercise their God-given free will.  But, they will have no one but themselves to blame for their willful unbelief.  Their rejection of Christ the Savior who came to rescue them from their sin bondage and future punishment will someday be wholly recognized, but only too late.

People will glibly, say:  “How could God allow people to go to hell?”  To this, I reply, “God gave his gift of free will.  God did not create robots without hearts and minds.” God, lovingly, will not force his sinful creation to worship Him, against their own wills.  The New Testament book of Romans, chapter 1 tells us why people deny the very Creator which made and sustains their human presence.  Romans 1:18-32

Scaring a person about the existence of hell, and all its anguishing forever implications, will not motivate a person to escape sin’s ultimate punishment

Christ’s Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus illustrates that people will not be convinced of hellish realities even though they should witness someone coming back from the dead to convince them. [Luke 16:19-31] Has Christ’s own Resurrection from the dead and his holy life’s testimony convinced a majority of this earth’s past and present populations?  Not so.  Matthew 7:13-29

Sin damns a person to hell.  But the God of human history comes with forgiveness of sins:

People continually attempt to deal with their sin and sin nature in a variety of ways.  This past week we witnessed an individual who apparently dealt with his frustrations and anger by killing himself and others when he crash landed an airplane into a Texas IRS office building.  Golfing great, Tiger Woods, (at the very least) insinuated that his departure from the practice of Buddhism contributed to his lecherous and adulterous lifestyle.

Even though Christ died for your sins of thought,
word and deed; sins of commission and omission;
that does not translate into you being one of His
children, headed for heaven; no more than a
cookie jar being guaranteed of possessing
cookies in that jar. It is by God's grace through
faith that a human soul is saved from sin and its
eternal judgment and punishment in hell.
Ephesians 2:1-9 ; especially Ephesians 2:8-9 -
In short, you must be "born from above." As the
sinful Israelites looked to the Brazen image to
escape their poisonous snake bites; you are to
look to Savior Christ to be saved from your sin
and all its eternal consequences. John 3:1-21


But no matter how people attempt to deal with their sinful human natures – all of us will fall, short.  It is a common mistake thinking that we humans can forgive ourselves for our human shortcomings, whether it is first degree murder or telling a “white lie.”  The reality is, that we cannot cleanse or forgive ourselves.  And it is for that reason that the sinless Jesus Christ came to live the human experience in our world to bear the world's sin. [John 1:29] It was His holy life, suffering, death and resurrection from the dead which makes His sacrifice for human sin to be the single most distinguishing and legitimate factor, which separates religions world-wide, for their ultimate truthfulness and reality.

Tiger Woods may choose to worship before a graven image, but it is Jesus Christ, who came to reveal the true God to all of humanity.  It is only through Christ, his life and sacrifice -- and resurrection, that we humans can find peace with the Triune God and avoid the just punishment and judgment of our Ten Commandment breaking sins before that same holy and just God.

Friend, don’t dare be tempted to follow an example of doing yourself in, to avenge what is (or, what you think is) right and wrong.  Don’t follow Tiger Wood’s example thinking that you can control your impulses by worshipping a false (graven image) god. 

Come to see yourself as a helpless sinner in desperate need of the true God’s help and deliverance. Come to know that historical Christ, in the divine revelation of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.  That is where faith to believe in Him is found! Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; Acts 8:26-39 ; 1 Peter 1:23.

Those same loving God gifted Scriptures are the power and influence to bring you to faith and understanding, in Him.  By God’s grace you will come to truly know Him, and believe in Him.  Then, you will not have to go it alone when your life’s journey is at its end.  You will have then avoided the horrors and punishments of hell by receiving the forgiveness and peace of the sin forgiving, and risen Christ. 


Amen.

Also:  For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:

The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins 


Old Testament:

Isaiah 53:1f – The divine prophesied Christ, hundreds of years before his birth.  Christ’s purpose, mission, life, suffering and death, all, outlined

New Testament:

John 3:14-21 – God’s love for a sinful world and his remedy

John 3:36 – There is no other Savior from sin and its future damning destination [hell]

John 14:6 – No one can know God, except through Christ Jesus – Note:  See also –  1 Timothy 2:5-6

Matthew 7:13-29 – The Narrow Way versus the Wide Way versus the Wide Way

1 John 5:11-12 – True and eternal life can only be found in Christ

Acts 4:12 – Only through Christ can the sinner find deliverance from the chains of sin and sin’s eternal punishments -- See also:  Acts 10:42-43

Matthew 22:1-14 – Christ’s Parable of the Man without a Wedding Garment, speaks of the utter necessity of Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  Only being clothed with the “Garments of Christ’s” holiness will anybody be admitted to God’s holy heaven

Philippians 3:7-14 – Our own [sinful] human intentions and attainments mean nothing before a holy and just God who must punish us sinners to the fullest measure in hell.  However, having the righteousness [holiness] of Christ, which He attained for us, by His birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection – that divine [sin] covering will stand a sinner in (favor) stead, before divine justice.  The sinner who receives this righteousness of Christ will not be condemned on account of his sin.  Please see, again:  Matthew 22:1-14
__________________________________________________

News Reports to Cause a Rational Person Not to Doubt the Literal Punishment of the Place We Call, "Hell"

____________________________________________________________________


  



__________________________________________________________________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Note for further reference and understanding:

Please note:  Topical Messages, by subject

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
http://www.thechristianmessage.org/

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

 The Christian Faith -- Parts 1-3:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Part 3: The Christian Faith: What are the tell-tale signs that a person has been "saved" [is a Christian believer]? (10/17/10)


Christ Himself upon a couple of occasions related to His followers, the characteristics of genuine discipleship. Towards the end of His ministry and [earthly] life, Jesus intimately spoke to His disciples about the “marks” of Christian identity.

The first characteristic is a measurement whereby non-Christians would judge Christians: “…..by this will all men know that you are my disciples; if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35

The second characteristic was the test, whether His followers adhered to His direction: “…..If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed…..” John 8:31-32

How can a Christian assure himself of being a true believer?

The New Testament Epistle of 1 John 1-5 lays out a number characteristics (or, “marks”) whereby Christians can examine their life of faith. Please note that the following list is not necessarily conclusive and not necessarily in descending order:

1) Belief in Christ: "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him." 1 John 5:1

2) Belief that Christ has come in the flesh:
"By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world." 1 John 4:2-3

3) Obeying (keeping; treasuring) Christ’s commandments: "Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him…." -- 1 John 3:24 ; Note: John 2:7-11

4) Christians will not engage in continual [lifestyle] sinning: "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God." 1 John 2:4-9 – NIV

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." 1 John 1:5-10

5) Abiding in God’s love: "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16

"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:18

6) Loving the brethren in “deed and in truth:”
"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:14-18

7) The testimony of the Holy Spirit living within: Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:19 – See also: 1 John 4:13 ; Romans 8:9-17

8) Baptism in accordance with Christ’s [most necessary] Command: Matthew 28:18-20 ; Mark 16:15-16 ; Acts 8:26-40 and Acts 16:1-34 -- in accordance with Christ’s [most necessary] Command. Matthew 28:18-20 ; Mark 16:15-16 ; Acts 8:26-40 and Acts 16:1-34

Christ’s disciples will be continually tempted and face persecution:


If you are a Christian and you are facing daily temptations – that is normal. If you battle your sinful inclinations – that is also normal. If you feel [sinfully] pressured by the politically correct society and culture, – that also is very normal. The Scriptures speak of of three groups of negative spiritual forces [enemies]. They are: The devil; [1 Peter 5:8-9] the world; [Romans 12:2] and the sinful human nature. Romans 7:1f

Christ promised His disciples, persecution:

It is so simple within our politically correct charged culture and society to feel “out of the ‘loop.’” But, would you rather be a friend of the “world” or, an enemy of God? [James 4:4 ; 1 John 2:15-17] God never promised that being Christ’s disciple would be comfortable. [John 15:18-21 ; 2 Timothy 3:12] Beware when no one criticizes your beliefs and lifestyle. You then had better question your Christian beliefs, practice and testimony, whether they meet Christ’s approval. Luke 6:26 ; Matthew 7:13-29 ; John 3:14-21

Being Christ’s disciple is worth the present circumstances and the future eternal gain:

The Apostle Paul writing [Scripture] under the “inspirational” direction of the Holy Spirit, affirmed the Christian Faith and life in this perspective – far better than I could ever explain:

Philippians 3:7-14 – “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” [KJV]

2 Timothy 4:6-8 – “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” [KJV]

Amen.

Please note the two previous messages on "The Christian Faith:"


This Week’s Related Scriptures -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

New Testament Christian Scriptures:

Hebrews 11:1f Faith, defined and illustrated

Hebrews 12:1fThe Christian Faith – exemplified by Christ; His chastening for the Christian’s good; exhortation and warning against apostasy
___________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- an in-depth view of Isaiah 53:1f and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1f underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Pastor (Emeritus) Nathan Bickel – Bay City, MI

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Christian Citizenship: Part 2 -- What is the Christian’s duty and responsibility to a USA (putative) president who has and practices, opposing moral values?

Over the years faithful Christian
citizenship has been misunderstood and
perverted by Christians - especially
pastors who have misunderstood the
Scripture of Romans 13:1-8 to mean
passive and unconditional obedience to
a nation's presiding government.
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters….” Isaiah 55:1-2

It is obvious to many informed and godly citizens that our current [putative] President Obama, is a man who has contempt for human life. [Please reference "Part 1" for background for this present message] President Obama, by virtue of his past voting record and public statements, does not fully support the long held patriot principle of “Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” which is found in our nation’s most sacred founding document – The Declaration of Independence.

Putative "President" Obama is quite (smugly) comfortable allowing babies surviving abortion to be left alone to die. That clearly is murder, by the sin of omission. He also supports the gruesome murderous and brutal inhuman practice of crushing a baby to bloody bits, moments before the baby is to be born. [Partial birth abortion] As president, (because of his ongoing agenda and policies), he is becoming responsible for the deaths of millions of human beings. His presidency will also reflect the permanent annihilation of future populations. [Abortion Genocide] Can it be said that this de facto president is and will be an honorable man – or, a hideous monster? I think that the answer is obvious.

Note: Please reference "Hate-monger," to view links that help substansiate the above descriptions of Mr. Obama

See, also: "Abortion genocide"

Also, please access, the following:

On President Obama's Watch: "Since April, 114 Children Have Died from H1N1 -- but 700,000 Have Died from Abortion" -- "......an estimated 2,247 to 3,305 babies lose their lives to abortion each day, based on statistics compiled by both the CDC and the Guttmacher Institute....." -- cns.com -- (11/3/09)

The President of the United States -- a Sex Offender? -- Why Obama's support of the abortion industry is the worst molestation of youth (9/20/09)

The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures teach submission to the “Powers that be:”

When a nation's people misunderstand and / or
misinterpret Scripture; - and when its citizens
offer their corrupted leaders unchecked
obedience; drastic consequences are in order.
One of the principal Scriptures that teach Christian compliance with government is, Romans 13:1-8. There are other Scriptures, to be sure, that reinforce the mandate by the Triune God, in which Christians are to be subject to governing human institutions. [Titus 3:1 ; 1 Peter 2:13-17] Having stated so, how are Christians to cope with a presidential leader who disrespects human life and, whose policies and administrations wreak immoral havoc, death and destruction upon this great country’s present population and future posterity?

Furthermore, it is often overlooked by Christians and especially Christian pastors that the same Romans 13:1-8 Scripture which calls Christians to be submissive to the government powers that be, also calls for those government powers [personalities] to be subject to the same spiritual divine "powers that be," whether human or spiritual. The Triune God never omits government and its human "leaders" to be exempt from the Romans 13:1-8 directive.

Are there any other options for Christians in a godless society? Are Christians to mindlessly and blindly obey government and all its policies and directives?

Few writings faithfully explain the
Romans 13:1-8 Scripture. This one
does.
Christians are called upon by God to submit to “every human institution” because these institutions are “ordained” of, [appointed by] God. [Romans 13:1-8] This does not imply that God’s favor rests upon dictators and despots who misuse their power and positions to wreak murderous disaster and devastation upon their own citizens. When Scripture says that the higher (earthly) powers are ordained of God, it denotes that God allows them to function at his behest and at His control. Psalm 75:6-7

It is never God’s good and gracious will for human governance to be the perpetrator of ill will or of disobedience to His Commandments. God allows government, whether good or bad, to function, and allows human will to be freely exercised. Free moral agency (free will) is His gift to the human race. It is free will which separates humanity from the animal kingdom. And oftentimes, perhaps, more often, than not, humans choose evil, apart from the good and gracious will of Almighty God. When human governance chooses to do evil with reckless abandonment, and, when that evil criss-crosses the will of God for the Christian -- then, the Christian, acting in good conscience, can and often does, not, submit in obedience, to the higher (earthly) authorities.

Examples of believers, found in the Scriptures, [see, below] give us current day people of faith the pattern of behavior to choose the path of godly obedience, as opposed to that of temporal conformity and compliance to earthly ungodly governance. Whenever human governance contradicts godly [Christ-like] compliance to God’s (highest) will and testament – then the Christian need not be beholden to obey human government. What must be clearly distinguished, is the divinely commanded and needed submission (from the heart of the Christian), to human governance, [as, unto the Lord] but ultimate obedience to God Himself. [Acts 5:29 -- Also, please see other Scriptures, below; and the quotation of Watchman Nee for explanation]

The non-Christian [false] stereotype that Christians should refrain from politics -- expressing their political views:

When a nation turns its back upon the Triune God
and His Christ of human history, that country
becomes cursed. The Lord of all makes no
 distinctions or exceptions. His divine revelation
promise is: "The wicked shall be turned into hell
and all the nations that forget God." Psalm 9:17.
An illogical and mindless game played by people in American politics is their insistence that Christians dare not involve themselves in political activity.  This emeritus Christian pastor has oftentimes heard the same old stereotyped cat call for Christians to mind their own business and leave politics in the hands of the politicians. This baseless assertion ignores that Christians are American citizens also, and have the right and responsibility to involve themselves in this representative Constitutional Republic.

This Christian pastor believes that Creator God was directly and benevolently responsible for gifting our country’s founding fathers with the wherewithal to draft stupendous and brilliant documents that spell out a free exercise of represented democracy to an informed (godly) people who will not forget their Creator God. To insist that Christians sit on the sidelines and only practice their faith within four walled church structures and / or their homes, is ludicrous.

Christians must be involved with politics, since the very nature of politics involves itself with legislating morality. Christians taking vacations from politics, in effect, invite the partisan, uninformed and / or ungodly, to legislate bad morality, which promotes mayhem and the destruction of genuine cultural family and institutional values.

The Christian’s ultimate attitude to human government:

The Christian’s ultimate attitude to human government – and, especially to human governing leaders is that same prayerful attitude which is prayed in the Lord’s prayer: Thy Will be done on earth as it is, in heaven Luke 11:2

Also:

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time….." -- 1 Timothy 2:1-6

Please note: "The Major Sin of Omission When Christians Meet for Worship:"

I sadly ask: “How often in Christian circles, whether be it be church or home worship gatherings, is this (aforementioned) Scriptural command [Timothy 2:1-6] being faithfully and regularly practiced?” I dare say, that its practice is as scare as hen's teeth. May our Triune God impress upon His people a resurgence of responsible priorities of Biblical proportions!

Amen.

Although Christ taught His disciples to "turn the
other cheek," He never meant that His disciples
should offer themselves (up) to be the punching
bags of the culture.
A Short Listing of the Christian's Responsibility to political leaders and to "Secular" government:
  • Pray for good government and political leaders. Pray for their conversion, and / or that their governing reflect divine principles.

  • Utilize the right and priveleges of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, afforded to USA citizens to oppose ungodly governering agendas, policies and actions. Participate in government to make it better and more moral.

  • Render to the governing authorities their just due -- as Christ stated when He said: "Render to Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God, that which is God's." Matthew 22:21

  • "Exposing the deeds of darkness" [Ephesians 5:11] is appropriate for Christians in reference to the corruptions of political leaders; their political actions, policies and agendas.

  • Suspend obedience to government when that obedience conflicts with submission and obedience to God.


This Message's Related Scriptures --
Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

The Christian’s Responsibility to the governing authorities:

1 Timothy 2:1-2 – Christians commanded to pray for government
Titus 3:1 – Christians are to be submissive to government
1 Peter 2:13-17 – Christians are to be subject to every “’human’ institution”


Attitude, submission and obedience to government:

“Submission is absolute, but obedience is relative. Submission is a matter of attitude, while obedience is a matter of conduct…….”



Historical Scriptural examples of godly attitude, submission, obedience and disobedience (opposition) to human government:

Exodus 1:17 – The midwives disobeyed Pharaoh’s dastardly decree.

Exodus 2:1-10 -- The godly action of Moses' mother of disregarding (disobeying) Pharoah's ungodly command.

Joshua 2:1-24 -- Rahab's deceptive actions and words. Please note: Scripture's commendation of her faith and behavior -- Hebrews 11:30-31 ; James 2:25

Daniel 3:1-30 – The 3 Jewish believers, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to worship the King’s golden image.

Daniel 6:1-28 – Daniel disregarded the King’s decree and, instead worshipped the true God

Matthew 2:14 – The step father of the infant Christ avoided King Herod’s murderous decree by fleeing with the child and his mother. Also, the Wise Men disregarded King Herrod's directive to supply him with information about the Christ child.

Acts 5:29 – The early Christians regard to proclaim the Gospel despite the governing authorities’ censor of it

Acts 8:1-4 -- The early Christians were scattered abroad because of persecution. Were those who left their homes for fear of being cast into prison not being subservient o the ruling authorities? Are Christians to actively pursue martyrdom? O course not!

Also, please note:


Note: The aformentioned message (without current editing), was first posted online, 1/24/10
_____________________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- an in-depth view of Isaiah 53:1-12 and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

_______________________________________

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


Please Note: Topical Christian Messages, by subject
__________________________________________

Pastor (Emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages and related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.