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Stay calm – everything is being fulfilled!

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Luke 21:32-34 “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.”

     There are lots of signs today – wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines and diseases cropping up all over.  Is the end near?  I think so.  Does that change the way I live my life? No.  I don’t carouse or drink.  I try hard to keep a Godly perspective on the cares of this life.  By a Godly perspective I mean not getting bound up by anxiety and worry over things that I can’t control and practicing good stewardship over the things that God has given me to control.  Do I do this perfectly? No but when I fail I repent and ask for God’s help.

     In a way the end of the world has already happened for me.  Being born again changes everything.  You see things differently; “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3)  Believing on Jesus makes fundamental changes in a person and in the world that that person lives in.  The ‘spiritual’ ceases to be a  religious ‘add on’ or quaint astrology forecast in the paper and becomes a bedrock reality; “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:5,6)

     The deceptive spiritual world of astrology, animism, false religion and the magic associated with it is completely exposed by the  truth of God’s Word; “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me . . . ” (John 15:36)  For true Christians, the Holy Spirit changes their internal and external reality completely; ” . . . if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

     Transformation is the telling mark of the Christian; “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)  We become like Jesus because of His Word’s work in us; “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14-16)  The world has ended for us.

     Today a strong delusion is being spread by the carnal church that Christian’s of all denominations should unite.  Indeed a call has gone out for all people to unite in making a better world – a world that will survive and be made whole by the combined work of man  (Reuters)  This is not Scriptural and not of God; “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1,2) And this is the work of God and God alone; “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:4,5)

     The only true and holy unity is in Jesus Christ – the Word made flesh.  The world and it’s carnal religion will never accept this unity; “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)  The call for Christians to be united is a false and carnal call because true Christians are already united in His Holy Spirit; “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)  The fellowship of His body, the church, is already achieved and ‘uniting’ to do false work is not God’s will.

     How quickly after Easter are we beset upon and tempted to forget His Words; “It is finished!” (John 19:30)

     Praise the Lord!

    

    

When the chickens come home to roost!

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A lax and permissive attitude towards underage drinking and illegal drug use kills kids.  Sadly this terrible situation is highlighted by the yearly hedonistic celebration of excess known as the high school prom.  Teenagers are by nature prone to testing the limits of everything including safety by engaging in risky behaviour.  Normally adults, especially parents provide the structure and constraints that serve to reduce the risk and dangerous situations that teens tend towards.  That’s the deadly problem today – normal isn’t what it used to be.

Why would we expect teenagers to not drink to excess at the prom and the revelry surrounding it when everything else about the prom is excessive?  Jason Alderman of the Algoma News reports; “According to a recent nationwide survey conducted by Visa Inc., the average U.S. family with a high school student attending the prom expects to spend $978 this year. Surprisingly, that’s down 14 percent from last year’s survey average of $1,139 per family. ” Families  spend all that money for what?  Out of control partying; “Hodgins Street in Leamington is one of the most peaceful residential areas in all of Essex County. But one night last month, it was transformed into party central, with hundreds of drunk teenagers peeing in bushes, puking in flowerbeds and passing out in a lake of effluent from overflowing port-o-johns.”  (The Windsor Star)

Lloyd Mack of Kenora Ontario describes the prom dilemma clearly; “With prom night, graduation and other end-of-the-year milestones around the corner, the question remains: How do you keep young people convinced of their invincibility safe from such deadly behavior? One way — the first way — is to put an end to the after-parties for prom that are openly organized with everything from DJs to admission charges. I cringe at the thought this is the social responsibility being demonstrated by adults — instead of graduating to substance-free parties like Safe Grad totally, we turn a blind eye — or worse, condone drinking parties as an accepted coming-of-age rite of passage.  Some parents believe youth — and it shouldn’t be forgotten it is illegal for the clear majority of high school students to consume alcohol — can be kept safer by allowing them to drink in a controlled environment.”

The sad case of Christopher Skinner is a case in point; “In June 2010, on the family room floor of a buddy’s Hamilton-area home, the brilliant Grade 12 grad with three part-time jobs and an acceptance to U of T died of acute alcohol poisoning. After consuming a 26-ounce bottle of rye and several beers earlier in the night, the 17-year-old went to Kyle Baron’s house where he chugged a five-ounce glass of screech rum. When Skinner collapsed, friends laid him out on the floor and in keeping with tradition, wrote profanity on his body with markers, duct taped his legs together, and after taking photos, left him to sleep it off. But the popular, guitar-playing, physics-loving teen would never wake up.”

Michelle Mandel of the Toronto Sun asks: “Who’s to blame? His parents are now suing the homeowners, Doug and Wendy Baron, who testified at last month’s inquest that while they knew Skinner had passed out after drinking in their home — Wendy Baron had even written on the boy’s feet — they were too intoxicated themselves to check on him.  The teen was found dead the next morning from nearly five times the legal alcohol limit in his lanky body.”  Christopher Skinner was a ‘brilliant Grade 12 grad’ but not  mature enough to avoid risky ‘fun’ behaviour and it killed him even though he was in a supposedly ‘safe’ environment!

School authorities have been and are tightening up on school proms; “They’re trying to completely eliminate drinking and drugs from high school proms this year. For the first time, Brockville Police, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Brockville Fire Department officials toured three high schools with a ‘safe prom’ presentation in an effort to save lives and prevent teenagers from ruining their futures with a drunk-driving conviction -or worse.”

The Upper Canada District School Board is taking a strong stand against what has become an accepted ‘norm’ among the parents and community; “The public school board will crack down on the use of alcohol and illegal substances at school events, which it says is a reflection of culture. Speaking at a board meeting Wednesday, Upper Canada District School Board chairman Greg Pietersma said the board has a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude about students drinking at school-sanctioned events. ‘There should be a zero-tolerance approach to drugs and alcohol at school events,'”

These sentiments were echoed by the Director of Education; “Director of education David Thomas remarked student drinking is a reflection of culture. ‘This is a cultural issue; this isn’t just an issue with the kids in school, . . .  When we decide we’re going to stand against this culture and we’re going to draw a line in the sand, it’s going to take some time because culture is the most difficult thing to change.’”

The prom may be made safe by strict supervision and severe consequences but how can we protect teenagers from confused and in some cases ( Christopher Skinner) drunken adults who supervise the pre and post prom parties?  Zero-tolerance approaches may make for nice ‘optics’ showing that something forceful will be done about a serious problem but how effective is suspending a teenager for a situation that everyone now admits is created by lax parents and the community?  Kids are more a victim of the moral confusion and ‘laissez-faire’ attitudes by the adults they should  be able to depend on for consistent guidance than willful perpetrators of premeditated crime.  I’m sure Christopher Skinner never set out to drink himself to death that fateful night of his final party.

Zero-tolerance approaches are coming into question.  Americans are rethinking the approach; “‘All the research has shown that zero tolerance is a failed policy,’ said Jim Freeman, senior attorney with the Advancement Project. ‘It has not succeeded in making schools safer or more effective. School districts and state legislators are moving away from zero tolerance, recognizing its devastating effect.'” ( Dale Mezzacappa)

Not all researchers in America would go that far however many question the touted efficacy of the zero-tolerance approach.  John H. Holloway writing for the ASCD states:  “If research indicates that zero tolerance policies are ineffective and have such negative consequences for students, why are they still in use? Curwin and Mendler (1999) posit that: ‘eliminating zero tolerance policies is a hard sell because the concept is simple to understand, sounds tough, and gives the impression of high standards for behavior. (p. 120)’  Nevertheless, they suggest that these very characteristics of zero tolerance policies actually exacerbate the problem of student misbehavior: ‘Any intervention for changing children’s behavior that is simple is simple-minded, and those that substitute formulas for decisions made by people who understand the circumstances are dangerous. It’s time for schools to develop legitimate high standards by refusing to fall for the lure of what is easy and sounds good and choosing instead what is truly best for children. (p. 120)'” (Curwin, R., & Mendler, A. (1999, October). Zero tolerance for zero tolerance. Phi Delta Kappan 81(1), 119–120)

Hopefully people will rethink  pointing the big gun of ‘zero-tolerance’ at the wrong target especially when it is clear that the problem isn’t the risk taking nature of teens but rather the ‘laissez-faire’ parental and community culture that our  teens are embedded in.  On other issues such as delinquency, our Ontario political leadership has  recognized  how zero tolerance misses the target; “We need to be providing programs for kids . . . to keep them in school. Suspending or expelling as a way of restoring a kid to academic success is not a successful path. That’s not the one we’re going to continue on.” Perhaps this acknowledgement will filter to other areas of student behaviour and down to more local levels of government.

Under aged drinking is illegal and wrong.  Drinking and/or drugging yourself into a stupor is wrong.  Encouraging young people to excessive dangerous behaviour is wrong because it can destroy them – physically and spiritually.  Why is that so hard for people to get?  Teenagers are not adults.  They need adults who will guide them,  who are more mature and have the courage to say ‘enough’ when it needs to be said.

Moral confusion and lack of consistent leadership at all levels has happened before in history;  “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” (Judges 17:6, 21:25)  Maybe some day we will learn but until then our young people will pay the price – sometimes with their lives.

 

Pay attention to the ‘ifs’

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Luke 17:3,4 “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

     Jesus places emphasis on relationship and doing everything in our ability to preserve the fellowship; “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21,22)  He understands that we will need to forgive and be forgiven as we struggle to live as brothers and sisters in His body, the church.

  

     Forgiveness is essential in true Christian living.  But does that mean that forgiveness must be the automatic response to being wronged?  Luke 17:3,4  gives some conditions on which forgiveness is based.  Forgiveness should be extended to 1) a believer, 2) you must go to them and explain how they hurt you 3) the person must repent and 3) ask for forgiveness.  Lets see how other Scripture supports this.

    Matthew 18:15,16,17 says; ” Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”  (v15)  Again we see that a brother or fellow believer is involved.  You have to go to the person who hurt you and the person must accept your claims.  If a fellow believer doesn’t ‘hear’ you then verse 16 provides the next step and ultimately verse 17 provides the final outcome if all attempts to establish the basis for forgiveness fail; “And if he shall neglect to hear them [witnesses], tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

     What about people who are not believers?  Jesus tells us to love even our enemies; “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” (Matthew 5:44-46)  Jesus isn’t asking us to do anything He didn’t do; “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

     For the wider world beyond the church we are to forgive as well.  Indeed, if a person who wrongs you is not a believer the requirement of forgiveness has no restrictions on it.  The person who wronged you has no ‘ifs’ to live up to!  As a matter of fact the entire weight rests upon the believer who has been wronged and the penalty for not forgiving is eternal; “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14,15) 

      And there is no talk of brothers or believers in the context of this scripture;  “if you do not forgive . . . , your Father will not forgive your sins.”  (Matthew 6:15) Note the ‘if’! So even if the dispute resolution between believers fails and a person is resolutely unrepentant regarding their sins toward you, eventually forgiveness is still a requirement.   All that changes is the transgressors relationship to the fellowship and yourself.

     Forgiveness is a hard and high calling of Christianity.  Who can do it perfectly?  And who can do it at all without His strength and love?  What the requirement of forgiving teaches me is that I need Jesus every day, on a daily basis.  I don’t have that kind of righteousness of my own.

     Lord have mercy!

This man welcomes sinners

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Luke 15;:1-10 “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.'”

     Religious pride is a nasty thing.  This parable neatly contrasts the heart of God with the heart of the self-righteous.  All the Pharisees and teachers of the law could see was what their hard hearts condemned – sinners and Jesus associating with them.  God in contrast seeks out lost sinners.  God rejoices with His host in heaven  when one sinner repents.  God has a heart for the lost, for the sinners and the broken people of this world.  Self-righteous people don’t.  Yet, God has a heart for the self-righteous too.

     Sin is sin.  Lustful excess of the flesh doesn’t stink more than a pride puckered heart clenched tightly around its own overvalued sense of self as far as God is concerned.  What we tend to forget is that the self-righteous need saving as well.  And the self-righteous are very hard of hearing believing that there is nothing wrong with them.  God has a heart for both kinds of sinner.  The Book of Jonah illustrates this reality.

     Jonah ran from God’s call to go an preach to the sinners of the great city of Nineveh.  It’s easy to think that Jonah ran from God’s call because he was afraid of getting beat up and abused by the ‘good’ citizens of Nineveh.  But when the people of Nineveh from their king to the least of them repented, we discover Jonah’s real reason; “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” (Jonah 4:1,2)

     Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he didn’t want to see the people of Nineveh saved and he knew God would not destroy them if they repented.  Jonah thought he was better than the people of Nineveh and judged them to be undeserving of God’s grace; “. . . he did not want God’s mercy and grace to be showered on the people of Nineveh! They were Israel’s enemies, and he did not want to have anything to do with bringing them good things from God. These pagan Assyrians were more receptive to God’s will than Jonah was.”  (Foreunner Commentary)

     Did God blast Jonah for his uncharitable heart and self-righteousness in judging?  When Jonah went off to sulk God ministered to him; “And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.” (Jonah 4:6)  Jonah loved the gourd because it made him feel good.  The next morning God caused the gourd to die and a harsh hot wind to blow that made Jonah miserable.

     God used the gourd to teach Jonah a lesson for when the gourd vine died Jonah was angry because he liked it;  “Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more then sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:10,11) Jonah had a heart for that which made him feel good.  But God had a heart for the sinners of Nineveh and his self-righteous messenger.

     Obedience to God’s will overcomes a lot of sin.  Even a self-righteous person struggling with his or her religious pride can find salvation in  it.  Jonah ran from God, spent three days and nights in the belly of a fish, repented and struggled with his character flaws yet his submission saved him.    But we have to be obedient to the righteous will of God not the things that make us feel good or look good.  Jesus warned us that in the end we will all face His judgement; “The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.” (Luke 11:32)

     Thank you  God, that you  didn’t consider the people of Nineveh a lost cause. Thank you Jesus that God has a heart for people like Jonah and me!  He has a heart for us all!

     Praise the Lord!

    

‘Failing better – next time’ is a bad idea

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Failing is a fact of life in a broken world.  We all fail.  Some learn from failure.  Some don’t.  Most people don’t plan to fail and certainly don’t plan to repeat a particular failure.

Samuel Beckett once wrote; “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”  I have even heard this preached from a pulpit and witnessed many unwitting dupes accept the saying as’ gospel’.  For people in recovery this bit of worldly wisdom is very dangerous.

Why?   The ‘Failing better’ mantra encourages people to view failure as a stepping stone to success.   Expecting failure to mutate into success over time is magical thinking.  This kind of sloppy thinking enables people to side step taking responsibility for their mistakes.  Failing better trivializes the life lessons failure can provide and allows people to view failure as some kind of planning tool.   In reality learning from our failures and not repeating them are stepping-stones to success.

The Bible tells us plainly that everyone fails or stumbles; “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. ” (Proverb 24:16)   Scripture also is very clear about the seriousness of repeated sin; “Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.”  (Proverbs 26:11)  The Apostle Paul warns us; “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22,23)

‘Failing better – next time’ is a fiendish philosophy when it is applied to morality and right living because it trivializes sin and in so doing takes away the need for repentance in a person’s life.  No one repents of something they plan to do ‘better’ next time.  There is no Godly sorrow possible for sinful failings that a person has been given permission to take another run at.  At best a man is left only with worldly sorrow because of the consequences of his mistakes.  The Bible is clear on the outcome of worldly sorrow repeated over and over again; “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Beware of any doctrines or teaching by men that trivialize sin and give permission to repeat failures even if they tell you to ‘do it better’ next time.  Those teachings are easy to hear because they appeal to our carnal nature but scripture warns us about those that teach such things; “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Jesus never told anyone to ‘fail better – next time’.  In His compassionate way He said the very opposite; “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

 

 

Drifting

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The world is full of drifters. The online Webster’s dictionary defines a drifter as; “one that travels or moves about aimlessly.” If you were to ask a young person where are you going with your life; I don’t really know what their answer would be. When I was a young teenager I would have said; “I’m going to get a good education and a good job.” That was what I was taught and that was what worked in those days. I don’t think young people would whole heartedly agree with this kind of narrow focus today.

But when I think about it I realize that even with that sense of direction that I had in those days half a century ago I was really a drifter too. If you had pushed me beyond schooling and career plans as to what would have been my purpose you would have drawn a blank. In those days beyond school and future work my purpose was to have a good time. That extended to Friday and Saturday night – the drive in and my girlfriend. Emotionally and spiritually, I was a drifter too.

Drifting and being aimless can be said to leave a lot to chance. I don’t agree. Drifting may be aimless as far as the drifter is concerned but when you think about the environment your drifting in it isn’t aimless. You are carried where ever the current you’re in takes you. I watched a movie called ‘All is lost’ starring Robert Redford. His sail boat sank and he ended up drifting in the open ocean in his life raft. He was carried by the current into a shipping lane and possible rescue. And he was carried by the current out of the shipping lane and any hope of rescue.

Unlike many today, Robert Redford knew in the movie that his drifting wasn’t aimless. Rather it was a matter of life and death. But Redford could track his ‘drifting’ because he had a sextant – an instrument that fixes your position. He had maps with him. He had something to go by. Even though he was drifting on the current, knowing his position day by day guided his survival in the open sea.

The Bible tells us that having a standard and going by it brings a sense of direction that protects us from disaster; “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)

Having a standard to go by brings a sense of purpose and discipline; “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:26,27)

And what is that standard? Jesus Christ who tells us: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Not many follow His standard, many prefer the wide easy way of wandering and aimlessness; “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13,14)

Tired of running in circles, beating the air and repeating destructive cycles? Follow the only standard that will take you out of them – walk in His way!

A point of no return!

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Luke 12:8-10 “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

     God is gracious and wants all to be saved but there is a point at which you can’t come back from – a point of no return. The Forerunner Commentary references Matthew 12:31-32 in explaining what the sin is that can’t be forgiven; ” . . . if a Christian commits blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, there is no forgiveness for it. What does He mean? He is pronouncing the terrible fate of those who choose the wrong side. If we blaspheme the Spirit of God, which is God’s power and the agency by which He works, we have determined that God has no power. . . . Doing so makes Him into something else—it changes His nature (Romans 1:22-23)—and that is unforgivable. So we must choose our side carefully, because if we blaspheme what God is able to do, guess where we end up? In the Lake of Fire.”

     ‘Speaking’ against the Son of Man can be forgiven.  What does that entail?  Matthew Henry states; “But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it will never be repented of.”  Again, repentance is the key.  God is gracious and knows we struggle with our doubts, fears and anxieties.  Sometime emotions overwhelm us, when they pass our faith in Him remains because it is a rock that anchors against any emotional waves.

     Have you ever gotten angry at God and called Him out?  Perhaps in grief or great loss you have railed against God and Jesus, thinking He let you down.  In times of great stress and fear we sometimes wonder and even demand to know if God cares; “And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?'” (Mark 4:37,38)

     Last night my friends and I went to see the movie “Noah”.  It was full of inaccuracies and silliness like rock creatures helping Noah build the ark.  But worse beyond all bounds – it was full of lies about God’s Holy Spirit.  It ascribes to God motives He did not have.  The Bible tells us that it was God’s intention all along to preserve humanity through Noah and the arc; “And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” (Genesis 5:17,18)  This is NOT how the movie goes.

     In Hollywood’s version of the story, Noah’s mercy not God’s saves mankind.  God is portrayed as a distant cold killer of humanity.  Noah, His servant is portrayed as an out of control maniac bent on killing babies.  Noah the movie, like its creator, like Hollywood is man centred.  God is made into something else in this slick Hollywood lie and appeals to every carnal sensibility post-modern society has.  Hollywood has made its choice and is encouraging many to follow along in its blasphemy.

     Some say the movie ‘Noah’ presents evangelistic opportunities; “I think Noah is a great tool for evangelism. Here we have a big name movie in the public consciousness that both points to the Bible and the overwhelming sin of mankind. People are going to be talking about this movie. And the opportunities to turn the conversation towards Jesus are right in front of you.” (Joel A Moroney)  I disagree.  This movie has been fashioned as a weapon and with an agenda.  The movie ‘Noah’ serves the Antichrist spirit and as such cannot be used for ‘evangelism’ any more that a gun can be used to bring peace.

     If you want to know the truth – read God’s Word.  Unlike Hollywood, the Holy Bible doesn’t lie.

     Praise the Lord!

    

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