Is it getting hot in here? – Everyone's Dystopian Present for Christmas – Purity 583
Purity 583 11/23/2021 Purity 583 Podcast
Today’s photo of dried up forest with two evergreen trees was taken by yours truly near the Martin Dunham Reservoir in Grafton NY is shared today to display the undeniable fact that fall has indeed fallen. Yesterday’s photo displaying the bright colors of Autumn in the Adirondacks was taken about a month ago. This was yesterday and you can see that the forest here resembles the proverbial dry bones that we hope will spring to life again, God willing. The grass has faded, and the leaves have fallen and if it weren’t for those two evergreen trees there wouldn’t be any signs of life at all. But those evergreens are there, and they will stay that way through the cold and forbidding months that lie ahead, come what may.
It's Tuesday, and as we draw ever closer to Thanksgiving, I am increasingly thankful for my Christian faith because although the circumstances in this world may change, God stays the same and His word promises:
· eternal life to those who place faith in Jesus Christ in John 3:16
· that He will actively work all things for good to those called according to His purpose, in Romans 8:28
· and that He will never leave us nor forsake us, Hebrews 13:5.
These promises strengthen our walk and encourage us to be content and be thankful for what we have. They also comfort us in times of loss.
The Bible also warns us of perilous times for the Christian in
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Revelation 13:16-18 (NKJV)
16 He causes all, both small and great, rich, and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
Now while I am far from a prophet of doom, I would say that we are in the midst of the perilous times, and probably have been for decades, that is mentioned in 2 Timothy 3, and that we are increasing moving towards Revelations 13.
Some have said that the Covid-19 is the mark of the beast and if that is the case I am in big trouble.
I believe in body autonomy, and I believe in free will.
When faced with the choice to get the shot or not, I was concerned about the possibilities of this indeed being a delivery system of what scripture warns us about.
My relationship with God is the most important thing to me and I didn’t want to do anything that would separate me from Him or to disrupt the harmony of our relationship.
In my walk and in my testimony, look it up, there have been instances that I have “led by the Spirit” to do all kinds of things: including praying for people, doing ministry work, going into the mission field, and making decisions that didn’t always make sense to me but resulted in “blessings” and good consequences. So when I say that I “prayed about” my decision to get the vaccine, you should understand that it wasn’t anything I did lightly.
Admittedly, I did not do an overabundance of research regarding the shot. If I had I imagine I would have had even more misgivings about being vaccinated but regardless of how much information I would have gleaned from the world, the final result would have been the same: I would have gone to my heavenly Father in prayer and would have acted out of my conscience.
The issue at the forefront of my mind when I considered getting the shot, besides possibly receiving a measure of protection from a potentially deadly disease, was my freedom to move and bring the gospel wherever I go.
I prayed extensively about being vaccinated with the end result being that, for me, vaccination was permissible, apparently. Whatever actions we take in life are our decision and we will live with the consequences. Unless the Lord has some sinister plans for me, which I don’t believe at all, the vaccine was “okay” for me to take.
As I believe that God has individual callings for each of us, I also believe that it is quite possible for it is “not okay” for someone else to get the shot.
God puts varying levels of conviction on our hearts regarding sin based on our experience, wisdom, and His purposes. The discourses on having freedom but having to deal with the “weaker brother” indicate this. In terms of the Covid-19 vaccine, I might be the “weaker brother” that gave in to receive it or be the “stronger brother” to exercise his freedom in an area that wasn’t prohibited, or let’s face it – worst case scenario - I could be one of those who at the judgement seat of Christ are told that He never knew me and be cast into hell because I received the mark of the beast.
Now I included that last possibility for arguments sake, but I have as much certainty about my living relationship with God because of my faith in Christ that I can possibly have. I have been increasingly led by the Lord to follow Him continuously since being saved in 2010 and it has resulted in personal sanctification, good works for His kingdom, and experiences of the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit.
I can only trust the Lord and when I asked in prayer about the Covid-19 vaccine, I perceive that I got a green light. I trust my relationship with Him that He would have convicted me in my spirit, as He has on other occasions, if it wasn’t permitted.
So if things in our society continue to become more dystopian, as they are becoming more and more each day, I won’t be restricted from access if the only criteria is the shot.
With all that said, I also believe in everyone’s right to say no to the shot and to control what they have done to their bodies.
Forced medical treatments is something that should be associated with the nightmare of Nazi death camps and not something that should determine if someone can work in their chosen profession.
I know several people who are convicted not to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and are making a stand on their principles and are choosing to find work elsewhere or changing their careers rather than to doing something against their conscience. I don’t need to know their personal reasons for why they don’t want to put something into their bodies to support their decision not to.
I am very proud of those who have convictions and who are willing to suffer the consequences for them and choose an alternative path when faced with a moral dilemma where they remain true to their choice of character.
Now while I believe the Covid-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast, I have to admit that these mask and vaccine mandates and the fearful insistence of trying to establish safety and security at the cost of personal freedoms could be the preliminary measures that the enemy will take advantage of to institute the one world order that is prophesied to come to past under the rule of the coming Antichrist.
Like the proverbial frog in a pot who is boiled to death as the temperature is slowly risen, these government and corporate mandates that are forcibly telling people where they can and can not work are the first measures of what will eventually be the fulfillment of Revelation 13, where people will not be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast.
The fact that time is increasingly bringing us closer to the end times described in Revelation makes it easy to see that things are getting worse, and that these measures that are supposed to “make us safe” will be the measure used by the demonic forces of darkness to force people to choose between the Anti-Christ and eternal life.
I don’t think we are there yet but the dystopian society we live in today, yes today, will become more dystopian in the future.
Yesterday, I was banned for life from r/Christianity for the messages that I post. I encourage people to have an authentic walk with God that preaches the exclusive need for Jesus as Lord and Savior. I also warn people about the spiritual reality of demonic forces.
Yesterday’s, message that resulted in my being banned for life warned of the enemy’s use of offense to cause negative mind states and to cause division. I recommended a course of Bible study, prayer, and continuous gratitude to combat the enemy. That was all.
Meanwhile r/Christianity allows posts that celebrate sin and encourage doubt and disbelief. I can’t see how my encouraging messages were a threat to their community, but I can understand that biblical Christianity is a big offense to the enemy and to the hearts of men that are compromised by him.
Not long ago I started saving all of my messages because I realized that there will come a day that my encouraging Christian messages will be banned everywhere. And with the latest moves of our governments and corporations to deny people their livelihood over receiving a medical treatment that has objectionable ingredients and questionable usefulness, I understand that those dark days are getting closer and closer.
But even though the landscape is dark doesn’t mean that we should stop shining the light of truth that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just like in today’s photo where all the rest of the landscape is dried and dead, those two ever green trees refuse to follow suit. So be “green” and share the life that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
Stand on your convictions as the Lord leads you, because I believe He has different purposes for all of us, that will all contribute to the fulfillment of His plans and be for the ultimate good for those who love Him.
Keep walking and talking with God. Because you were called for such a time as this to be a light in the darkness, and an example vibrant spiritual life among the dry bones of humanity.
(There is more content to help you walk out your journey of faith at MT4Christ dot org. You can also subscribe to the mt4christ247 podcast to hear this message, our discipleship classes, and our weekly Bible Study, on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Amazon Podcasts, as well as Audible and Podbean).
Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT2)
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
Today’s verse speaks of the purpose of God’s gifts to men.
It is clear that God gives gifts to be used to help others. A list of spiritual gifts drawn from scripture and from an article on BibleStudytools.com, (https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/a-comprehensive-spiritual-gifts-list-to-discover-your-gifts-and-calling.html) includes:
· Leadership: encouraging and helping others to build the kingdom of God (Romans 12:8 NIV)
· Administration: helping with long term goals and remaining on task ( 1 Cor. 12:28 NIV)
· Teaching: instructing in truths and doctrines of God’s Word
· Knowledge: teaching and discipleship. The ability to learn, know and explain God’s Word
· Wisdom: the ability to discern works of the Holy Spirit and apply teaching and actions
· Prophecy: proclaiming the Word of God with boldness (Romans 12:6 NIV)
· Discernment: being able to recognize the truth about a situation
· Exhortation: people with this gift are enthusiastic about the Lord and they can motivate others
· Shepherding: looking out for the spiritual welfare of others
· Faith: trusting God to fulfill His plan. People with this gift are encouragers
· Evangelism: the building up of the church so others will be led to Christ
· Apostleship: motivators, church planters, missionaries: people who look beyond the walls
· Service/Helps: helping those in need of practical assistance (Romans 12:7 NIV)
· Mercy: The person with this gift shows acts of compassion
· Giving: People with this gift will give freely and with joy to further His kingdom
· Hospitality: Making people feel welcome, appreciated, and wanted (1 Peter 4:9 NIV)
While I could go on a long discourse on the various spiritual gifts and possibly cause a controversy with what my view is regarding what gifts are currently being distributed by God, I think today that we will just focus on the purpose of God’s gifts to men.
As today’s verse says: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
Spiritual gifts are not given to impress one another.
Spiritual gifts are not to be used for financial gain.
Spiritual gifts are not to be used to create division of the have’s and have nots.
Spiritual gifts are not to create confusion.
Spiritual gifts are not to lead to sin.
Spiritual gifts are given by God for His glory, His purposes, and to help His people.
So seek out and pray to discover your spiritual gift. Ask the Lord to assist you to understand and use the special gift He has given you to help those around you.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.
IV. Steps to Solution
After Job passed through his severe trial, he came to the realization that God was still there, still loved him, and was still providing for all of his needs. He saw beyond his circumstances and grasped a new vision and insight into the fairness of God. In Job 42:5-6 he states, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Sometime later, Job comes to the point of fully accepting God's sovereignty. (Read Job 42:7-17.) Instead of questioning the goodness of God by asking, "Why do good people suffer?" Job spent the rest of his life humbly trusting God ...
"Then Job repled to the Lord, 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted ... Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.'" (Job 42:1-3)
A. Key Verse to Memorize
"Those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." (1 Peter 4:19)
B. Key Passage to Read and Reread
We can never attain a thorough understanding of the reasons for all the evil and suffering in this world. Yet as Christians, we do have God's own Word (the Bible), which speaks of some of the reasons for His purposes in allowing human pain and suffering. Our first clue is revealed in Genesis, where Adam and Eve live in a state of bliss, yet by their own choice defy God's only command. Does their disobedience not demonstrate that when left to its own devices, the human spirit will not surrender self-will to its Creator as long as "all is well"? This being the case, does suffering not then become a "gift" from God that allows us to experience the depth of His love that a life of ease could never conceive? Pain and suffering may take a hardened heart and point it to the inevitable truth that "all is not well," thus opening the door to the profound reality that nothing that happens in this life will ever compare to the happiness and joy awaiting those who become children of God.
In spite of your present suffering...
- Realize: Nothing will compare to the glorious future God has planned for you.... v. 18
- Realize: All that God has created eagerly awaits the glory that will be revealed in you as a child of God.... v. 19
- Realize: You see a world contaminated by sin, but God's plan is for you to be liberated from your present bondage and brought into a marvelous freedom that is yours as a child of God.... vv. 20-21
- Realize: It is plain even now, when you have eyes to see, that all living things are waiting for that day of deliverance.... v. 22
- Realize: Even when you have just begun to know Christ, you can now eagerly await the day when you will be free of all suffering and living in the fullness of Him.... v. 23
- Realize: You are saved by your hope in Christ, yet the meaning of hope is to wait and count on that which you cannot yet see.... v. 24
If you hope for that which you cannot see, you
must then wait eagerly, but with patience and endurance.... v. 25
Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship