Friday, October 30, 2015

13 Verses Some Christians Overlook, Explain Away or Reject

When Jesus, in the beginning of his earthly ministry, was choosing his Apostles, he gave them a key doctrine reaching from the eternal past to the eternal future. It is a single verse upon which every other Christian doctrine stands and must agree with. It encompasses every Bible doctrine from The Eternal God, Love, Predestination, Creationism, Original sin, Christology, Forgiveness, Virgin Birth, Death, Resurrection, Universal Opportunity, Faith, Eternal Life, Heaven, Hell and all other Bible doctrines. That verse has become the most well known, throughout the world, of all the other verses. It is John 3:16 ...."For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In harmonic unison with that North Star verse is the lesser known doctrine of Universal Equal Opportunity espoused in the heart of God where there is no pressurised prejudice
without reason. In John 3:16, Jesus plainly tells the world that the reason God gave him, Jesus, to die in the place of this sinful world, was that he "so loved the world" of people who were created in his own image and likeness. His heavenly Father paid that awful price for "whosoever will" (Rev.22:17), without distinguishing, by "respect of persons" between sinners... "For all have sinned ...." Rom.3:23.

Here are 13 more Bible verses that tell us that God does not show "respect of persons" between rich and poor, great and small, or men and women. Not only does he not show "respect of persons", but he commands that we are not to show "respect of persons" either. In fact, he says that "respect of persons" is "unrighteousness" (Lev.19:15), "unwise and not good" (2 Chron.19:7), and is contrary to the faith (James 2:1). He also says in these verses that he "hears" all people and so should we (Deut.1:17). The reason we are not to judge and have "respect of persons" is that God is the judge and that each person will receive judgement from Him (God) for the "wrong which he hath done" (1 Peter 1:17).

Here are 13 Lighthouse verses for Christians who would walk with Jesus in holy humility.

Leviticus 19:15   Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge 

Deuteronomy 1:17   Ye shall not respect persons in judgmentbut ye shall hear the small as well as the great...."

2 Samuel 14:14   "... neither doth God respect any person...."

2 Chronicles 19:7   "... For there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons ...."

Proverbs 24:23   These things also belong to the wiseIt is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. 

Proverbs 28:21   To have respect of persons is not good...."

Acts 10:34   Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.

Romans 2:11   For there is no respect of persons with God. 

Ephesians 6:9  "... Your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. 

Colossians 3:25   But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons

James 2:1   My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons

James 2:3-4   And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool. Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of (with) evil thoughts? 

1 Peter 1:17   And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work ...."

Treating all people, no matter their circumstances, with respect is a cardenal doctrine and reveals a huge quality of Jesus. His great love for all people is rooted in their creation in the image and likeness of God. Jesus loved little children, the rich young ruler, the wealthy and the poor, the powerful and the weak, men and women ... equally. He loved the demoniac and the adultrous woman. He loved both thieves crucified with him. The one sealed his fate by believing on Jesus and the other by his disbelief. He rejected no one who did not first reject him.

When we subtract "respect of persons" from predestination, we have a pure predestination based on God's foreknowledge of every person rather than His foreknowledge being based on predestination, which is incorrect.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Where And When I Am Gone

When I lay aside my life's work
And all else I've ever known
When my final breath is taken
With a yielding painful groan
When my spirit life floats free
And leaves my flesh and bone
I Will carry no accounting
Except all my own ... alone.

When I depart this Earthy place
And go up where I belong
I will leave no big empty space
Nor a massive name in stone
But I'll hear all hymns asinging
As a single glorious song
And I'll see my Savior reigning
Where and when .... I am gone.

Rayburn Blair, an old man looking up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Frequency Of Correctness Does Not Matter; Its The Magnitude That Matters

The following is from a secular financial newsletter, The Outsider Club whose byline is, "Because you will never be on the inside".  That is no doubt true when referring to Politics, the Federal Reserve, the IMF or the World Bank. But we followers of Christ are and will be on the inside of glory for eternity.
Here is a recent message from The Outsider Club which has merit relating to financial investments.... but also Life and eternal investment. RB

The frequency of correctness does not matter; it is the magnitude of correctness that matters.
What does that mean?
It means you don't have to be right all the time. It means you don't have to have a 100% win rate — or even close to that.
But it means when you are right... you need to be really right.
That quote came from a portfolio manager who was one of 20 running money for a firm. One day, the brass got the idea to fire portfolio managers based on what percentage of their stocks beat the market.
The portfolio manager in question was among the worst when ranked by batting average — he picked fewer winners that beat the market than other managers in his company.
But his total portfolio was among the best.
Because the frequency of correctness did not matter. It was the magnitude of correctness that mattered.
My Comment:
You can be wrong about a lot of things ... minor things, but there are some things you absolutely must be correct about, and it is not "Political Correctness". You may be wrong on eating pork ... or not. You may be wrong about eating or not eating certain other things. You may be wrong on which car is the best buy or even which house to buy. You may be wrong about fashion, political questions or current events. You may even be wrong on some Bible questions like predestination or a lot of other doctrines, but the frequency of your correctness on those lesser doctrines, though they be many, will not determine your eternal destiny. But those doctrines which will determine your eternal destiny, are of such magnitude, that you must not be wrong about them. You must believe that the Holy Bible is the verbally inspired word of God or you have no other source of the gospel or foundation for your faith. "So then faith cometh by hearing ... the word of God." Rom.10:17. And since the word of God records His creation of all things, we must believe the Bible record  or we do not believe it is God's very word, after all, and we cannot therefore have true, saving faith. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Eph.2:8. Since Jesus Christ is the central figure in the entire Bible and His substitutionary death, for sinful souls, is the central message, we must repent and believe on Him as our Savior or be  lost forever."For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. 
And finally, though Jesus Died for our sins, if he had not also arisen from the dead, Christianity would have died with Him and we would have no hope of
resurrection and eternal life either. So His good news (gospel) hinges on His death, burial and resurrection, and is a correct fact of ultimate "Magnitude" which must be believed by every true Christian.

A person may be correct on 10,000 facts of science, history, geography and 
know the precepts and doctrines of every religion on earth, but if he is wrong on Jesus, his correctness, though enormous, is  minor compared to the single, universal, eternal and Majestic correctness of God in the gospel of His Son Jesus the Christ. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. 

"...There is no other God that can 
deliver after this sort." Dan.3:29.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Can't Run? Walk. Can't Walk ? Hobble. Can't Hobble? Crawl In The Right Direction

The grandstands are full of heavenly angels, departed saints and a world of needy, seeking  souls. The race of Christian Faith and Calling is in progress. 
Young or old, you, as a Christian, are on the track ... running, walking, hobbling or crawling with the pack or turning back. So lay aside every weight of fleshly lust, besetting sin, and never quit until you cross the finish line.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily  beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." Heb.12:1.

Few people have the sincere humility, of an honest appraisal, to judge themselves, objectively. Nobody likes to admit the whole truth about themselves ... even to themselves. And when we have lived and struggled with our own human faults, failures and "besetting sin", and grow weary, and give up, over the years we begin to take those things for granted. It becomes easier and easier to ignore them... and our hearts begin to harden. Repentance is a daily spiritual bath, a way of life, a constancy in God's presence. None of us are immune to sin."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom.3:23. So sin is a human condition which plagues us all. None of us is perfect, spiritually, mentally or physically. Since we are not perfect spiritually, we are compelled to daily repentance of our sins, to relinquish our sins and only then, rest in Christ. But sin, especially "besetting sins", never cease to seek new entrance into our lives and have to be dealt with and rejected each time they return to tempt us.  Mentally, we are also imperfect. The greatest intellects and geniuses who ever lived, had flaws, failures and misconceptions mentally. In fact, I am of the opinion that we are all, mentally rather strange, peculiar and even a little crazy to some degree. I have often said to myself, "Why would you say or do such a dumb or crazy thing". Physically, I need not point out the obvious imperfections of human bodies. They are hard to miss, right there in plain sight. From hair, face, neck down to the toes, fleshly imperfection is undeniable. We can't see the spirit or mind but the body is all too visible and seldom pleasant to see.

So how do I qualify to judge all of the human race as "imperfect"? Well, first, I am one of us. I have lived the experience. I know enough about my own basic human nature to know that no one but Jesus has ever been or will ever be perfect, in this fleshly body."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom.3:23. Jesus Christ was the only person who ever lived in a fleshly body who did no sin. "And Jesus said unto him .... there is none good but onethat is, God." Mk.10:18. "NONE" means none. Yes, you too... and me.

Since there are no sinless humans, we are all, therefore, imperfect, faulty and sinful, in the flesh ... which is not the "born again" part of us. Our flesh requires constant washing to avoid foul odors. That's not born again. It thinks bad thoughts, has pimples, pus, weakness and never ceases to deteriorate. That's not born again. It has built in humilities, gets sick, throws up and dies. THAT is not a born again body. It is the inner man, the spirit of the person, the soul, which lives in the body of flesh, that is "Born Again". The inner spirit person is the real person. To get Bible doctrine straight, we must understand the two fold nature of man. The inner, spiritual part of man and the outer, physical part of man."That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." Eph.3:16. No scripture defines the two fold nature of man like Romans 7. You must read this chapter to be able to comprehend the two-fold nature of man. I will print it at the end of this blog.

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 Jn.3:9. Not the body of flesh is born again, but the spirit person who lives in that body gets born again. That is the true person, the eternal person, born again and "cannot sin". It doesn't say "can but shouldn't", It says, "CANNOT SIN". That is not in reference to the corruptible, dying body of flesh. It is in reference to the "inner man", the born again spirit person.

I repeat, our flesh is not yet born again.... glorified. When Christians die, their spirit simply leaves the body and goes into the presence of God to await the resurrection of their dead body, molding into dust, in a grave somewhere on earth. At the initial second coming of Christ, "in the air", all of the born again spirits of all believers will return to earth with him and be rejoined to their newly resurrected, glorified, perfect bodies."Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together  with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess.4:17.  And then there is this verse for those who are still alive on earth. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him So, finally, our bodies will be glorified, "like Jesus" and rejoined with our born again spirit souls.

God knows the truth about us even if we delude ourselves and put on a self-righteous front ... we are still very faulty. It isn't easy to be that objective about one's self, but until we admit it to ourselves, we will never confess it to God and ask His forgiveness. We might as well be honest with God ... He already knows the truth of us anyway. That is why His word says ..."Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...." Titus 3:5.

Old age brings its baggage with it when it comes to visit. Though youthful lusts are diminished or gone, the lust of the flesh and of the eyes is mostly replaced by a whole new set of sins which come to tempt us oldsters. I won't mention what they are lest you watch for them in us old people... but then, you will guess at it and probably make it worse than it is. The third type of sin, the pride of life, stays just about as strong as it was in youth and follows us all the way to the casket ... where we have the mortician dress us up in our best, including jewelry, and even have a barber or beautician put every hair in place so we will look like we are going to a wedding..... Wellll, I guess we are.... the marriage of the Lamb.

1 John 2:16   For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 

So, if you can't run the race, walk it. If you can't walk it, hobble it. If you can't hobble it, crawl it. Just be sure you are going in the right direction.

Galatians 5:16   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. But constant repentance is still essential. RB

Here is the last half of Romans 7...

 Romans 7:14   For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 

  Romans 7:15   For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (The conflict between my flesh and spirit)

  Romans 7:16   If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (It taught me what sin is)

  Romans 7:17   Now then it is no more I (My spirit) that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (In my flesh)

  Romans 7:18   For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (I constantly seek the good way)

  Romans 7:19   For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 

  Romans 7:20   Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (My spirit tells me sin is wrong, but sin dwells in my fleshly body)

  Romans 7:21   I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (Constant conflict between the my spirit and my body).

  Romans 7:22   For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 

  Romans 7:23   But I see another law in my members (body), warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 

  Romans 7:24   O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

 Romans 7:25   I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (The life-long conflict between the inner man and the outer man, the spirit and the body). The two fold nature of every human.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Life is A Gift Which Must Be Returned To Him Who Gave It

I once visited a man in prison who was a convicted criminal with a heart condition. He told me that the 20 year sentence the judge imposed upon him was "a death sentence". I told him he already had a death sentence on him before the judge ever heard his case.

I also have a death sentence upon me ... and so do you. Everyone of us has been given an appointment, a day, hour and moment of death. "...It is appointed  unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb.9:27.

Far... far more important than dying is believing and living for Christ, which determines our eternal destiny  ... after our "appointment" with death.

It is not all of life to live or of death to die. Simply living, breathing, eating, sleeping, making a living, marrying and having children is not the primary purpose of life. We were created to love God with all of our hearts, minds and souls (Mk.12:30)... which means to "worship and serve Him" with our lives. And death is not an ending but a beginning of eternal life with God, or eternal death... separation from God

God, who created us and gave us life, also has a will and way for us to live ... and die.... "but after that the judgement". Yes, we will return our life to God who gave it for His judgement of our obedience to His word in Acts.16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...." and how we lived the life He gave us. Some will enter into eternal life with God and others into eternal death which is eternal separation from God. (Matt.25:34 & 41)