Saturday, July 11, 2020

How can a Holy God be Jealous?

How can a Holy God be jealous?

A few days ago, a young man asked me how God can be jealous when jealousy is sinful?

Let me explain with a hypothetical situation. Suppose you met a beautiful girl and you both loved each other and got married.  After a while, if your wife is flirting with a friend of yours, will you be jealous?  Is it wrong for you to be jealous? It is not wrong for you to be jealous, because she belongs to you and you only, and you belong only to her. It would help if you were jealous so that you can help her and correct the situation in any way possible. Instead, if you are not jealous, you are harming your marriage and your family. Jealously is not always a bad thing as righteous anger is not bad.

 Although jealousy and envy are interchangeably used in our modern English language, they mean different things.  Sinful jealousy (or envy) is coveting something that does not belong to you. Here is an example of sinful jealousy about King Saul. "So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye  (to watch with jealousy) on David (1 Samuel 18:9, HCSB). Another example of sinful jealousy about Rachel. "Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die!" (Genesis 30:1)

 The right kind of jealousy is appropriate when someone takes what is rightly belongs to you. God created us in His image. We are His children and His prized possession. We need to understand that there is only one God and no rival or equal. Even the so-called opponent, satan, is a created being nothing to be compared to God. Apostle Paul writes, "...we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one" (1 Corinthians 8:4). But when God's people who were created in His image turn to idols, which are not gods, God should be jealous. 

 Apostle Paul was also jealous of the church at Corinth, but he expressed it as "godly jealously."  "For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!" (2 Corinthians 11:2-4). This jealousy is the same kind that God revealed in the Scriptures. God's jealously is love in action.

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Are you worshiping an Idol?

Buckingham Palace
Imagine, if you are invited to the Buckingham Palace by an exclusive invite from the queen. When the special day arrived, you dressed up in your best attire and brought a special expensive gift for the queen. The butler welcomes you into the palace. You are delighted to meet the butler as he is very helpful in the new place. You started talking to the butler for a long time, and you liked him. But then, the butler announced to you that her majesty would be anticipating him any moment. You tell the butler I am not interested in meeting the queen as we are having a good time looking around the palace and having a pleasant conversation. You say to the butler I will give you the gift I brought for the queen and in a short while I will take leave. After reading this, you are thinking; I would never do such a thing. It is a great honor to be the guest of the queen.

As a Christian, if you believe truly that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of Lords, you would consider spending time with Him a great honor. You will take delight in the Lord. "Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass (Psalms 37:4-5)." The great King of kings said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)."

Unfortunately, we are busy with our little world. We are busy with the things that will perish. The things you can touch and feel. Jesus said, "Don't collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don't break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21). For some, it may be their job, car, house, boat, bank account, stock market, games, and even ministry. These things can become an idol when we worship them more than the King, who provided these. You may say I am not worshiping any of these. The word worship means that you are evaluating the worth of a person or a thing. If you value anybody or anything more than our Lord and Savior Jesus, you are not worshiping Jesus. You may say, I worship Jesus also, I consider him of some value to me. Jesus said, "No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money (Matthew 6:24)" Some are devoted to building their "own" ministry or church and forgot to worship Jesus in a real sense.

How is your prayer life? How much you love God and His Word? "If you love Me, you will keep My commands" (John 14:15) You cannot keep His commands if you do not spend time with Him. You may have to make some hard decisions to remove your "idols" in your life, even if it cost you much. "Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned (John (15:4-6)" As we see the day approaching, let us cling to our Lord and Savior more and more.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The coming of the LORD JESUS

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““Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 
Jesus answered: "...You will hear of wars and rumors of wars,.. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains." ” [Matthew 24:3, 6-8]

"The coming of the LORD"

The manifestation of Christ’s coming is His return to earth in power and great glory to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Rapture will not be seen by the world; it takes place in a split second. But every eye will see Christ when He comes to reign. Therefore it is called the manifestation of His presence (parousia).
During the first half of the Tribulation, many false messiahs will appear who will succeed in deceiving multitudes. The current rise of many false cults may be a prelude to this, but it is not a fulfillment. These false religious leaders will be Jews claiming to be the Christ.
There will be wars and rumors of wars. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. It would be easy to think that we are seeing this fulfilled today, but what we see is mild compared to what will be. Actually the next event in God’s time schedule is the Rapture of the church. There is no prophesy to be fulfilled before then. After the church is removed, God’s prophetic clock will begin and these conditions will quickly manifest themselves.  Famines, pestilences, and earthquakes will occur in various parts of earth. Even today world leaders are alarmed by the specter of famine due to the population explosion. But this will be accentuated by the shortages caused by wars.
Earthquakes and Tsunamis are attracting increasing attention—not only those now occurring but also those that are expected. Once again, these are straws in the wind, and not the actual fulfillment of our Savior’s words.
Verse 8 clearly identifies this period as the beginning of sorrows—the onset of birth-pangs.  Naturally, the birth-pangs will increase in intensity and also in frequency.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
Again our Lord draws a spiritual lesson from nature. When the branches of the fig tree become green and tender, you know that summer is near.  We have seen that the fig tree pictures the nation of Israel. For hundreds of years Israel has been dormant, with no government of its own, no land, no temple, no priesthood—no sign of national life.  The people have been scattered throughout the world.
Then, in 1948, Israel became a nation with its own land, governments, currency, stamps, etc.  Spiritually, the nation is still barren and cold; there is no fruit for God. But nationally, we might say that its branches are green and tender.
“So you also, when you see all these things, know that is near, at the very doors!” Israel’s emergence as a nation means not only that the beginning of the Tribulation is near, but that the Lord Himself is near, at the very doors!
If Christ’s coming to reign is so near, how much more imminent is the Rapture of the church? If we already see shadows of events that must precede His appearing in glory, how much closer are we to the Rapture?

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words. " 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

"...Even so, come, Lord Jesus"

“In just a little while,  he who is coming will come  and will not delay.”  [Hebrews 10:37]

Jesus coming on clouds

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

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