The Israelites spent 400 years in Egypt. They were invited to settle in Egypt to escape the famine in their own land. At first they were honored guests but that status changed.
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”
Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. (Exodus 1:8-11)
The people prayed to God for freedom from their bondage and God chose Moses to answer their prayers.
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 3:7-10)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (1 Peter 1:10,11)
The Old Testament prophets tell us of the suffering Christ experienced when he was crucified; they tell us of the glory associeated with his rule over the earth during the Millennium. But what do they say about the time between these two events, the time in which we are living now? The answer is: not much. In fact they say nothing about the most important aspect of this era, the formation of the church. The apostle Paul was given the task of revealing this truth to us.
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:4-6)
The Old Testament teaches that Gentiles will be saved; it never tells of the formation of a new body composed of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul not only teaches us about this body but he also tells how it will be removed from the earth through the event known as the rapture. Read the rest of this entry
Most people get married at some time during their life. What happens when married people die? Are they still married? Some Sadducees once asked Jesus that question.
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:23-30)
It is clear that the marriages we enter into on earth will no longer exist in Heaven but the Bible speaks of a different kind of marriage that will exist there. Read the rest of this entry
Whenever someone opposes same sex marriage he is accused of hating gays and his opinions are often called hate speech. Proponents of same sex marriage have attacked those who oppose it and have caused some to lose their jobs and have their businesses ruined. Some people do hate gays but Christians who oppose same sex marriage do so because we care about gays and want to protect them the harm that they will experience.
To see why this is so we need to look at what the Bible says about marriage. The first marriage was between the first man and the first woman. Read the rest of this entry
We are commanded not to avenge ourselves but to leave all vengeance to God’s wrath.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
But just how do we leave vengeance to God? If what another person does to hurt us involves a violation of the law, there is a very easy way. Inform the police and press criminal charges against him. Here is what the Bible says about the role of government.
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. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:1-4)
Did you notice the last sentence? For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. When we ask the government to take action against someone who has hurt us we are not avenging ourselves but turning the matter over to God’s servant. Read the rest of this entry
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
in your splendor and majesty!
4 In your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
5 Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house,
11 and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
12 The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people.
The book of Proverbs ends with a tribute to an excellent wife.
 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life. Read the rest of this entry
Marriage began when God created Eve to be a wife for Adam.
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman,because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The first marriage was a union between the first man and the first woman that God created. Ever since then, marriage has been considered a union between a man and a woman. This isn’t just a Christian belief but a practice by all religions and all cultures throughout history. There have been different beliefs about some aspects of marriage. Some cultures consider marriage a permanent union while other allow a person to divorce his spouse and marry someone else. Some consider it a union between one man and one woman while others allow a man to have more than one wife. But until recently it has universally been a state that can exist only between a man and a woman.
Now there is a movement to establish “marriage equality” between gay and straight people by legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex. Is the restriction of marriage to a man and a woman just an arbitrary rule or is there some fundamental reason why two members of the same sex can’t marry each other?
When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
When the Israelites invaded Canaan they faced enemies who were stronger than they were. They won only because God helped them.
Israel was a nation and like any other nation it sometimes waged wars with other nations. The church isn’t a nation but is a body of people from all nations who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Because we aren’t a nation we don’t have an army and we don’t engage in physical wars but we are involved in warfare of a different kind.
Recently two former popes have been canonized as saints by the Catholic church. According to the book Saints for Dummies these are the requirements a person must meet before before being considered a saint by the church.
To become canonized as a saint, a perfect track record isn’t required (or possible). Hence, being sinless isn’t on the list. So, what is required for sainthood?
Two verifiable postmortem miracles.
Evidence of having led an exemplary life of goodness and virtue worthy of imitation, having died a heroic death (martyrdom), or having undergone a major conversion of heart where a previous immoral life is abandoned and replaced by one of outstanding holiness.
I used the plural, relationships, in the title because God is a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and Christians are related to each of these in a different way. Ephesians 5:22 to 6:9 gives instructions regarding three kinds of human relationship which also serve as illustrations of our relationships with God. Read the rest of this entry
When Christians discuss the Bible we are often accused of choosing Bible verses that support our position and ignoring those that oppose it. Usually this takes the form of quoting some law found in the Old Testament and asking why we don’t practice it. Since we consider all of the Bible, including the Old Testament, to be the Word of God this is a reasonable objection that should be answered. Read the rest of this entry
In the Old Testament it is clearly taught that there will be a resurrection of both the good and the bad.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.