Tuesday, May 29, 2012
A Spiritual Prepper--Part 3
Continued from Part 2...
Another group of sins listed in the Galatians passage above talk of the proper relationships with others; “hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions.” God wants us to get along; He desires that the world would live in peace. He wants us to show love toward our fellow human beings. He wants us to treat others, as we want to be treated. The hatred of many in the world seems to be growing steadily and at times escalates to feverish pitches. Unfortunately many Christians are involved in arguing, complaining, verbal attacks, bickering, and most of the time it is over very trivial matters. Many times Christians expect others to be perfect and when they are not many Christians will over react in some childish manner. Many people have left good churches because of the stupidest reasons; like the pastor forgot to shake their hand, or the church didn’t pick the color carpet that they wanted, etc. All of this bickering, fighting, and discontent among Christians needs to stop. These sins grieve the Lord; we need to get along with each other. We need to encourage each other; we need to build each other up.
Our society in general is characterized by much violence, which also grieves the Lord. The court system is clogged with cases of violence of all kinds that people have committed against each other. Such was also the case in Noah’s day; there was much violence on the earth, and that is one of the reasons why God destroyed them. God hates violence, fighting, murders, and the like. The Christian need not be involved in any of this. There is much violence that is being promoted in our society via TV, movies, and video games. Scientific studies have shown that the watching of violence and or playing violent video games causes one to be more violent. I am amazed at how many Christian parents allow their children to be exposed to violence and then they wonder why these children are depressed and or are rebellious and commit violent acts. Violence is characteristic of a hedonistic lifestyle and should not be a part of the Christian’s life.
The next sin listed is “heresies.” I am amazed at how many different so-called “Christian” religious organizations there are. Many of these are in clear disagreement to what the Bible teaches. One example would be the many churches that have women pastors. The scriptures are very clear on the forbidding of women pastors. Yet many churches have chosen to disobey the clear commands of the Bible. This truly grieves the Lord’s heart. Why anyone would want to attend a church that is in clear disobedience to the word of God is beyond me. The Bible is our only standard for doctrine. The Bible needs to be the supreme authority in matters of the church, not pragmatism, tradition, or experience. Find a church that preaches, teaches, and follows the Bible and the Bible alone and you have found a good church. Churches and religious organizations that stray from the Bible should be avoided as heretical.
The next sin listed is “envying.” This is the sin of coveting after “things.” America is consumed with coveting after and getting “things.” Much of what people strive and live for is to attain things for the mere purpose of impressing others. They see something and they are consumed with getting it to the point where they forsake family, friends, morals, and God to obtain it. Some obtain these things and live far above their means through the misuse of credit. As long as they make the minimum monthly payments they are happy. This is a very foolish financial practice that will one day come back to hurt them. These pursuits are all empty and Christians should not waste their time in such frivolous empty pursuits. The accumulation of “things” is what some people base their self worth and happiness on but in the end it has no eternal value. The Christian should take heed to the words of Jesus and live for eternity and seek to obtain true riches that will last forever.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mt 6:19-21)
The next sin on the list is “murdering”. Surely a Christian would not be involved in murdering. Yet unfortunately some Christians have murdered. They have committed this sin through the grave sin of abortion. Shockingly enough, some Christians have bought into the liberal agenda that an unborn baby is not a person until it is born. This is far from the truth, God considers an unborn baby to be a person from conception. Here is a scripture passage that tells us how God feels about babies still in the womb.
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (Ps 139:13-17)
The language in this passage clearly shows that God considers an unborn baby to be a person. Shame on the Christian parents who coerce their teenage daughters into getting abortions to prevent embarrassment. Shame on the Christian young people who do not want to be inconvenienced by birthing a child and kill it instead. Abortion is a great wickedness and grievous sin against the Lord. Severe judgment will fall upon any who participate in the murder of innocent children. It baffles me to hear young people say that it would be too hard to birth a baby and then give it up for adoption, so they choose to murder it so they will not have to put up with the anguish of giving it away. So in effect they are saying that I would rather murder my child than suffer having emotional grief at having to give it away to someone else to raise. That is the ultimate act of selfishness. And they are deceived if they think that it will hurt more to give up their baby than to murder it. In actuality they will suffer far worse emotionally for killing their baby then they would if they gave it up. It is a selfish mother who thinks of herself before her child. This sin grieves God’s heart terribly.
The next sins on the list are “drunkenness and revellings.” Drunkenness would be defined as the result when someone allows himself or herself to come under the influence of alcohol or some other controlling substance. I am sure we have all witnessed the change in behavior of someone under the influence of alcohol. People usually experience mood changes, a loss of physical coordination and control, and a loss of inhibitions. Thus when people come under the influence of alcohol they say and do things that they normally would not do. Many times because of this the person will sin more frequently and or commit sins that they in their right mind would never do. Many millions of people have fallen victim to drunkenness, from DUI accidents, to spouse and child abuse, to loss of jobs, and poor health, and even death. Many families have reaped the terrible results of this abuse.
Let the Christian never be accused of this terrible sin of drunkenness. And I will further say let not the Christian even drink any amount of alcohol. For the scriptures not only say that it is wrong to get drunk but it also says that it is wrong to even drink it. Scripture even goes farther and calls the substance itself evil. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Prov 20:1) Notice God calls wine itself a mocker. In the next passage, which pretty much gives a summary of what alcohol will do to a person, God says that you should not even look at it.
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30. They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.”
So if we are not even suppose to look upon it how can we say it is permissible to drink? Do not be deceived in thinking that Jesus turned water into alcoholic wine in the infamous wedding at Cana. He did not; he turned it into non-alcoholic wine, which is commonly known as grape juice. The Greek word oinos, which was used in the wedding of Cana passage, can mean either alcoholic or non-alcoholic juice from grapes. So how do we know that Jesus turned water into grape juice? Because: if He had turned it into wine with alcohol then He would have been violating His own scriptures which forbid drunkenness and the substance itself. And furthermore He would have been violating the scripture that states that God places a curse upon one who gives someone alcohol “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” (Hab 2:15). The admonition concerning drunkenness that we have just talked about would also apply to any substance that can control someone such as illegal drugs, and cigarettes.
Another controlling addictive action many Christians are involved in is overeating or gluttony. How do you think it looks to others when you claim the name of Christ but are grossly overweight—they think HYPOCRITE. You tell others it is wrong to do certain things yet you can’t keep from putting food in your mouth to the detriment of your body.
I would like to bring another passage to light that concerns the manner in which a Christian is to conduct themselves in relation to governing authorities.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (Rom 13:1-7)
The above passage makes it clear that the Christian is to obey the government. From paying taxes to obeying the speed limit, the Christian should live in submission to the governing authorities. Right now in the United States we have many freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. There may come a day when the Constitution is suspended or done away with. If that happens our freedoms that we enjoy as Americans may be invoked through the process of martial law being declared in America. Under martial law it is theorized that authorities will call for guns, food stores, and cash to be turned in and travel will be limited. Soldiers will become the enforcers. If condition ever transpires what should a Christian do? Should a Christian obey the government and turn in the weapons, food, and cash that they have saved up? Or should a Christian adhere to the constitutional guarantees and hold onto their possessions?
The only time a Christian is permitted to disobey the governing authorities is when the government tells you to do something that is contrary to scripture or performs an illegal action against you. For instance, if the government said that you could not pray or read the Bible then of course the Christian would be under no obligation to obey those laws. Or if a police officer tried to rape a lady—of course she does not have to obey. But as long as what the government tells you to do is not against scripture or they are not performing an illegal action against you then you are to obey, and never should a Christian take up arms against the governing authorities. The Jews had been attacked and their country was under Roman occupation their rule and laws had been suspended and Jesus instructed them to obey the governing authorities and pay taxes. I believe it would do us well to remember the words of our Lord concerning those who do evil against us.
“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Mt 26:52)
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5:38-48)
We have listed several categories of sin that many in our nation have embraced. The Christian need not be involved in any of the above listed sins. Not for the purpose of earning salvation but because God has saved us from our sins and we out of love for the Lord should want to glorify Him by abstaining from sin and living a Godly life. Let us not use our liberty in Christ as a license to sin. Paul gives us a strong admonition if we continue in sin.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
The way to love the Lord and love people is by obeying the commands in the Bible and living a righteous life. Living a righteous life fulfills the law as stated in Romans 13: 8-10.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Dear Christian as we see the Day of the Lord approaching let us sincerely examine ourselves before the Lord with a humble and contrite heart to make sure that we are in the faith and that we are living a life that is pleasing to Him.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (II Pet 3:10-12)
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom 13:11-14)
Let us all strive to hear the words “well done thou good and faithful servant enter into the joy of thy master.” Do not try to claim that you love the Lord if you do not obey His commandments. Jesus said; “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” (Jn 14:24) In regards to this matter the apostle John said
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” (I Jn 2:3-7)
No one is perfect we all sin everyday—unless you are one of those sinless perfection types—yea right! Each and every day we should strive to be more like the Lord Jesus and eradicate more and more sin out of our life. Then we will be spiritual preppers.
There are also physical and mental preparations one should make for the end times. The Coming Epiphany; Your Guide to Understanding End Times Bible Prophecy, has an entire chapter dedicated to preparing for the end times. I have made it available as a FREE download at thecomingepiphany.com