The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Friday, October 30, 2009

"Though his hatred covers itself with guile, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.” Proverbs 26:26

The death of any one at the hands of those who hate is shameful and should be punished – and it is. There are laws already within every state to bring to justice those who took the lives of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, and those laws were enforced in both cases.

There was no need for the president to sign such a bill – attaching it to the $680 billion defense authorization bill.

What lies behind this bill shrouded in secrecy and deception ?

“Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit, through deceit, they refuse to know Me declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:6

By signing the bill, Obama has signed a law making it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

The expanded federal hate crimes law, hailed by supporters as the first major federal gay rights legislation, was added to a $680 billion defense authorization bill.

The hate crimes measure was named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped and severely beaten in October 1998, and James Byrd Jr., an African-American man dragged to death in Texas the same year.

Several religious groups have expressed concern that a hate crimes law could be used to criminalize conservative speech relating to subjects such as abortion or homosexuality

- perhaps there is cause for concern.

To loud applause, Obama hailed the hate crimes measure in the bill as a step toward change to "help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray."

When the bill won final congressional approval last week, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese called the hate crimes measure "our nation's first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

Earlier this month, Obama told the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest gay rights group, that the nation still needs to make significant changes to ensure equal rights for gays and lesbians.

"Despite the progress we've made, there are still laws to change and hearts to open," he said in an address at the group's annual dinner. "This fight continues now and I'm here with the simple message: I'm here with you in that fight."

When the bill won final congressional approval last week, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese called the hate crimes measure "our nation's first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

"Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject the LORD 'authority, and insult His glory." Jude 1:7-8

Obama said - “Today, I’m proud to say that we have proved that change is possible”

“You therefore beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness.”
2 Peter 3:1

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Therefore I said; "Surely these are poor - They are foolish; for they do not know the way of the Lord, The judgment of their God.

...Because their transgressions are many; their backslidings have increased. How shall I pardon you for this? Your children have forsaken Me and sworn by those that are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots houses." Jeremiah 5:4-6

“...unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:3, 5

Because Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man, He has been appointed to judge mankind. Our Saviour said:

"For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" John 5:26-30

What fools are they who, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath - Thomas Watson

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hitler seemed to win the first few rounds by his shrewd timing and deceptive propaganda aimed at the needs and wants of the masses. "Change" he cried - "Change!"

Faithful pastors were dismissed, arrested, imprisoned in harsh concentration camps. Into the empty pulpits stepped "German Christian" ministers -- handpicked puppets of the state, who preached Nazi ideology that replaced Biblical truth with utopian doctrines cloaked in Scriptural promises.

The people who called themselves Christians fit into three categories:

1. those who would rather face death than deny their Lord;
2. those who delighted in the new positive gospel of Nazi Germany; and
3. the complacent masses who couldn't tell the difference between the two.

From the start, one of the main leaders of a secret Christian resistance movement was the esteemed Pastor Martin Niemoller. His God-given wisdom and gentle strength spread hope and courage to the troubled souls that had counted the cost of resistance and could no longer remain silent or turn back.

In the early years of this intensifying spiritual war, God's soldiers seemed to be losing ground. But under God's sovereign hand, their early "defeats" awakened thousands of complacent Christians to the unthinkable Nazi hatred for God and His ways. This deepening awareness led to an underground fellowship that God used to encourage His faithful people to take their stand in Him, hold fast to His Word, draw strength from His Spirit and, if necessary, be ready to die for His name's sake.

Under Pastor Niemoller's leadership, the movement became known as the Confessional Church.

Their beloved pastor was arrested well before World War II began, but his message was multiplied during the dark years of Nazi tyranny through thousands of fellow warriors for Christ.

Today, we do well to remember Pastor Niemoller' sober words ~

"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionist, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, there was no one left to speak for me."

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Sign of the Tsunamis
by Alan Kurschner

The sixth seal informs us that there will be this "huge earthquake" accompanied by a cluster of celestial signs:

"Then I looked when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and a huge earthquake took place; the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon became blood red;" - Rev 6:11-12 (cf. Isa 13:13)

I don't believe this will be some regional earthquake; instead, it will be a global (pole shift possibly?), since "every mountain" will be moved from its place. Given the magnitude of this earthquake, it makes perfect sense why the Bible suggests tsunami language in two passages on the sign of the Day of the Lord:

"And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves" - Luke 21:25.

Interestingly, the Greek term for "surging waves" (salos) can mean "earthquake." Also, the text indicates that the nations on the earth are not so much distressed and anxious over the celestial signs as they are with the roaring of the sea and surging waves.

The other text is Revelation 6:14, which reads: "and [every] island was moved from its place."

Mere ten foot waves do not accomplish this. No wonder Scripture prophecies that "people will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world."

This is a sober truth. Do not fall into the Amos syndrome, in which his audience was deceptively self-assured that they were right with God and that the Day of the Lord was for those "other people."

"Woe to those who wish for the day of the LORD! Why do you want the LORD's day of judgment to come? - Amos 5:18

Today is the day for self-examination.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:17-18

It seems that the only Scripture a Bible-believer knows about good works is that we are not saved by them and that they are virtually insignificant. But James' argument is simple... People act according to their beliefs. He minces no words in describing the specific spiritual actions expected of Christians.

"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged, each one according to his works." Revelation 20:12-13

Judged by works? You gotta be kidding?

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." John 9:4

It's getting darker and darker. It's time to get to work

Friday, October 2, 2009

Excerpt from The Strength of God & the Problem of Evil
by Greg Koukl

Let's pretend that you claim to be the strongest person in the world. More than that, you are the strongest person in the universe. You can pick up an entire building. You are so strong that you can pick up an entire city. You are so strong you can pick up an entire country. In fact, if you had a place to stand, you could lift the entire planet, even the solar system. You have so much strength, you can do anything that strength allows you to do. This is your boast to me.

"OK," I say, "let's see if you can prove it." "Just give me any test you want" you respond. "If you are so strong, then make a square circle." "I can't do that." "You're not very strong, are you?"
"This has nothing to do with strength, does it? Because no matter how strong I am, I could never make a square circle, because making a square circle has nothing to do with power. It is a self- contradictory concept, having square circles. They can't be made by anybody regardless of how strong they are. This test is unrelated to the issue of power."

Now, how does this tie into our discussion of the problem of evil? Simply this. God certainly is strong enough to obliterate evil from the earth or to have prevented it in the first place. No question about that. But let me ask you a question. Is it a good thing that God created human beings as free moral creatures, capable of making moral choices? It strikes me that the answer to that is yes. Because God is good--which is one of the things in question here--God created free moral creatures.

But this changes everything, doesn't it? What makes you think that strength has anything to do with God creating a world in which there are genuinely free moral creatures and no possibility of doing wrong?

You see, now we're back to square circles. It's just as ridiculous to ask God to create a world in which we have genuinely free creatures with no possibility to do wrong, as it is to ask Him to create a square circle. The task has nothing to do with His strength. It has to do with the nature of the problem. If you're going to have morally free creatures--that is, human beings that can make moral choices for themselves--and if God is good, then He is going to create creatures that will be truly morally free. But that entails, of necessity, at least the possibility of evil in the world.

This has nothing to do with God's power. It is unrelated to the issue of power just like making square circles is unrelated to the issue of power. It relates to the nature of the good universe that God created, a universe that was populated by beings that were morally free. Morally free creatures by necessity, by definition, have the possibility of going bad.

Now you know why this is not a good argument against the existence of God. It just doesn't apply. One could even argue there's a kind of category error here because in this particular case, according to Christianity, dealing with evil has nothing to do with strength. It has to do with the nature of the game itself.

What's neat about the Christian point of view, is that God did the good thing by creating morally free creatures that went bad, yet still did the loving thing by cleaning up the mess man created in such a way that greater good results. Now that's the result of a Master mind.