God’s promises delayed

The Israelites were slaves in Egypt.  They prayed for freedom and God heard their prayers.  He appeared to Moses and appointed him to deliver the people.

Then the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”  (Exodus 13:7-10)

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Joseph the dreamer

When you saw the title of this post you probably thought about Joseph in the Old Testament.  Dreams played an important part in his life.  When he was young he had dreams that were a source of antagonism between him and his family.  Genesis 37:5-11

When he was in prison because he had been falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife he interpreted the dreams of two other prisoners.  Genesis 40:1-23

He interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and was made governor of Egypt.  Genesis 41:14-26

But the Joseph in the New Testament also had dreams.  When he learned that Mary was pregnant and was planning to divorce her God sent him a dream. Read the rest of this entry

A near life experience

Many people have had what are called near death experiences.  They found themselves outside of their bodies and saw a bright light to which they were attracted, but before they could reach the light they were back in their bodies.

Opinions differ as to what really happened.  Some think this was a real event and they actually left their bodies for a short time.  Others think this was a delusion created by their minds.  The Bible has many accounts of death but it never describes what goes on in the mind of a person who is dying, so we can’t use it to answer the question.

I have no personal opinion on the subject.  Those who believe it is a real experience claim that this proves that life continues after the death of the body.  I believe in the continuation of life because the Bible teaches it, so I don’t need any scientific confirmation.  After we experience death ourselves we will no doubt learn the truth. Read the rest of this entry

Do all infants who die go to Heaven?

Here is something I read on Facebook.

Do all infants who die go to Heaven?

by Joshua Arnold

 

I would like to prove that it is absolutely biblical to say that every human that dies in infancy goes to Heaven. Not only infants, but mentally handicapped people that are unable to grasp the reality of sin, and good and evil, but that’s not what I’m going to be discussing in this post. The post will be a quite long, and so it may not be very shareable, but God willing it will be informative, and worth the read. I don’t expect many people to read it all, but It should bring clarity and give rest to those confused or concerned with the matter. I answer a few common objections at the end.

Without a doubt in my mind, every single baby, unborn, stillborn, or born but dies before they are able to comprehend good and evil, goes straight to Heaven.
In fact, I believe that there is no greater display of God’s sovereign grace than a helpless baby, who has no personal, religious, or moral merits, inheriting the kingdom of Heaven by pure grace.

There are a couple things that must be understood about babies. Read the rest of this entry

Things I have read on the internet – 84

My latest list of good internet articles.

*** Read the rest of this entry

Pro-choice

I am pro-life.  I believe that life is a gift given to each person and only God has the right to take that life from him.  A person who commits serious crimes such a murder may forfeit his right to life; if that happens it is permissible for the government to take that life from him.  Except in cases like that no human has the right to take the life of another human.

I am pro-choice.  I believe God has given all of us the power to make choices.  Sometimes we may make wrong choices that have tragic consequences but we are free to make those choices.

Because I am pro-life and pro-choice I am anti-abortion.  Abortion destroys an innocent life and prevents it from ever making any choices.  Unfortunately I can’t tell anyone I am pro-choice because that would give them a false idea of what I believe.  Advocates of abortion have stolen the “pro-choice” label and use it to indicate that someone is in favor of allowing abortion.  They say that pregnant women have the right to choose to end their pregnancies by killing their unborn child.  They deny that the child has any rights.

This isn’t the first time Satan has tried to suppress the truth be having his followers apply to themselves a name or label that rightfully belongs to those who support the truth.  There are false religions that call themselves by names that actually belong to Christians.   Identity theft

The Celestial Railroad

In 1678 John Bunyan published Pilgrim’s Progress.  It describes the journey of a  man named Christian from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City and was intended as an allegory of the Christian life.  In 1684 he published part two, which tells how Christian’s wife, Christiana, made the same trip with her children.  The second part ends with these words:

Shall it be my lot to go that way again, I may give those that desire it an account of what I here am silent about.  Meanwhile I bid my reader Adieu.

Bunyan seems to be saying that he intends to write a sequel to the book.  If this is true he never did so because he died four years later.  But in 1843 Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a short story called “The Celestial Railroad” which was a sequel to Bunyan’s work.  It tells of a railroad that was constructed between the City of Destruction and the Celestial City so people could travel the route more easily and avoid the difficulties that Christian and his wife encountered.  You can read the story here:

The Celestial Railroad

Dry bones

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.

And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O LORD GOD, you know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.  (Ezekiel 37:1-8)

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Predestination and prayer

Those of us who are saved were chosen for salvation before the world was even created.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.  (Ephesians 1:3-6)

Since God has already decided who will be saved and who won’t there is no point in praying for the salvation of another person.  If he has been predestined for salvation he will be saved; if he hasn’t been predestined he won’t be.  Our prayers will have no effect.  This seems like an unanswerable argument against praying that someone be saved.  But Paul, the author of the above quote, wasn’t persuaded by it.  He prayed for the salvation of his fellow Israelites. Read the rest of this entry

Government shutdown

The government of the United States is experiencing a partial shutdown because of a disagreement between President Trump and Congress.  The country has experienced shutdowns before and survived so I believe we will survive this one too, but it has caused a lot of inconvenience for many, especially for employees of the agencies that have been closed.

Have you ever considered the consequences if the Kingdom of God ever experienced a government shutdown?  Such an action would do more than inconvenience us.  It would probably jeopardize our very existence.  We need to be thankful that such a shutdown can never occur.  We can always depend on God even when human institutions fail.

I got the idea for this post from reading this article in the Babylon Bee.

Living in exile

If you have become a Christian by putting your faith in Jesus Christ you are an exile and not living in your native country.  When you became a Christian you acquired a new citizenship.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Philippians 3:20)

Because of this our present status in this world is that of exile.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.  (1 Peter 1:10)

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Are you an ox or a donkey?

Sometimes animals behave more intelligently than humans.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”  (Isaiah 1:2,3)

If you feed an animal he will recognize you as being the source of his food; all of us have received blessings from God but many fail to acknowledge him as the source of those blessings.

But not all animals respond in the same way.  Under the Mosaic law the ox was considered a clean animal.  It was suitable for sacrifice and its flesh could be eaten.  The ox knows it owner.

The donkey was an unclean animal.  It was useful for farmwork and transportation, but it could not be eaten or offered as a sacrifice.  The donkey’s focus was not on the owner himself but on the food he received from his owner. Read the rest of this entry

Bricks and stones

After the flood God told Noah and his sons to multiply and fill the earth.  So what did they do?

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.”

And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”  (Genesis 11:1-4)

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Hiding the ark

One unanswered question regarding the Bible is the location of the Ark of the Covenant.  I recently made this post, The ark of the covenant, in which I suggested that it is better that the ark remain hidden.  If it were found it might become an object of worship.  This morning, in reading through the Bible, I found something which suggests the ark will never be found.

And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again.At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.  (Jeremiah 3:15-17)

Not only will no one find the ark, no one will ever make another ark to replace it.  I have come to the conclusion that the ark was not lost but was deliberately hidden by God to make sure it never becomes a source of idolatry.

Lexophiles

Lexophile describes those that have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish,” or “To write with a broken pencil is pointless” An annual competition is held by the New York Times to see who can create the best original lexophile.

This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end. Read the rest of this entry

A message from the dead

God has forbidden us to communicate with the dead in an effort to discover truth.

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD.  (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus described the afterlife and revealed that God places some restrictions on the dead who wish to communicate with us.  (Many believe this is a parable and not something that actually happened.  I have discussed that in this post: Lazarus and the rich man – parable or actual event? )  When the rich man saw Abraham and Lazarus he asked that Lazarus be allowed to come to him to give him some relief from his suffering. Read the rest of this entry

Things I have read on the internet – 83

My latest list of good internet articles.

*** Read the rest of this entry

Interpreting the Bible

Here is some good advice from a Facebook friend, Joshua Agan, on how to interpret the Bible.

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When people hear me say, “Take the Scriptures literally,” they are quick to say, “So you believe that Jesus is a wooden door, AND he is actual bread?!”

Don’t be stupid.

Scripture contains poetry, prose, parables and prophesies. You must take these literary types in their given sense.

But that leads to a very important conclusion. When Scripture gives us a literary device, accept it in its basic form as given. So when Scripture gives us truths that are not in some literary device, but rather given as plain fact—do we accept it as given, or do we allegorize it anyway?

Some people are comfortable reading that God created in six days, and accepting six days. But then those same people read other truths given, and suddenly try to add deeper meaning to it than what Scripture provides.

I challenge you to approach the Scriptures differently tomorrow.

Accept the text as if it was given to you as a plain statement of Truth from a Father to His child. Well, because it is.

A child does not accept a plain statement and try to allegorize and theorize on the deeper meanings of the linguistic anomalies. A child receives what he is given.

Lean not on your own understanding, friend. Ask the Spirit of Truth to lead you. Follow as a child, wherever the Spirit leads. That requires humility, by the way. It offends our intellect.

“What if this plain statement were the plain truth? What else would God need to say differently in order to get you to accept the plain statement as it is given?”

This question will turn many a tradition on its heels. Ask the Spirit to help us. Mean it. Then listen.

You won’t be disappointed.

Good cop/bad cop

Good cop/bad cop is a routine police sometimes us when interrogating suspects.  The bad cop is hostile toward the suspect.  The good cop is sympathetic and sometimes even restrains the bad cop.  The suspect comes to accept the good cop as his friend and sometimes will give him the information the police are looking for.

The suspect comes to think of the two cops as being opposed to each other and he naturally sides with the one who is friendlier to him.  In fact they are working together.  From the suspect’s point of view they are both bad cops because they are trying to get him to give them information they need.  From the point of view of law abiding citizens they are both good cops because they are trying to enforce the law and fight crime. Read the rest of this entry

A soft answer or a harsh word

A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

There will be times when others are angry at us.  We can’t avoid this but we can choose how we respond to their anger.  We can either give a soft answer, which will turn their wrath away, or we can respond with a harsh word, which will increase their anger.  Two of the judges of Israel, Gideon and Jephthah, encountered the wrath of others in nearly identical circumstances but responded differently.

Gideon was a farmer.  When he first appears in the Biblical account he is beating out wheat in a winepress to keep it hidden from the Midianite invaders of the land.  The angel of the LORD  appeared to him and told him he had been chosen to destroy the Midianites.  He reluctantly accepted the assignment and after a successful war against the Midianites he encountered opposition from one of the other tribes of Israel, Ephraim. Read the rest of this entry

clydeherrin

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