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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

A form of Spiritual Blindness

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Most blind Christians I encounter are blind because they fail to read the Word themselves and they either have a pastor who doesn't preach enough meat or they don't pay attention to the preaching.

This, in part, is why there are so many Christians who cling to both the Republican and Democrat parties as if it's a Christian duty. Each is blinded in a different way but both stem from a lack of knowing and understanding Scripture.

Most of us know of Christians who are Masons or Shriners or some similar thing. They find no problem with this because they typically not only don't know the Word, they also don't know much beyond the surface of the groups they belong to.

Many actual Christians are involved with the "social gospel" because they believe they are doing what Jesus commanded. They do ere not knowing the Scriptures.

Point out to some Christians you are sure you are going to heaven when you die and they become indignant and think you arrogant. Lack of knowing and understanding Scripture opens the door to so many false ideas. Show them what First John says about the matter and they are dumbfounded that's in the Bible.

While I've heard people say things like, "cleanliness is next to godliness" and claim that's a quote from Scripture; I'd never heard the one our pastor heard a few years ago when a Christian man said to him, "you know what the Bible says, 'if you build it they will come'." Our pastor couldn't help but laugh a bit and then say, "That's not in the Bible!, that's from a movie!"

Indeed, many Christians are blind to the truth, often because of their own self-imposed ignorance due to not spending time in the Word.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Perhaps I have become cynical over the years but I wonder now if folks referenced above are truly born again or simply deceived religious products of the whole contemporary church movement that has swept this country in the last 20 years. Their Gospel is not the Gospel of the Bible and we know them by their fruits.

I witness to people like this I don't speak to them as brothers or sisters in Christ. I doubt any of them have heard the words Judgement, Condemnation and Hell their entire "christian" careers so I want to make sure they hear them and understand why the Gospel occurred. Without a full convicted understanding of why Christ came there is no conversion.

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No doubt out of all the professed Christians here in America the vast majority are not born again. There are many (only God knows how many that is) who are saved but immature. Sometimes in talking with these we can get a good idea as to which is which (not always) and know how to steer the conversation.

If I'm not sure of someones salvation I ask them what they mean when they say they are a Christian, or they are saved, or sure of heaven, etc. Their answer usually lets me know whether to share the Gospel or talk about growth in Christ.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I agree, Donald. I am surprised often by the true state of professing "Christians" who do not know scripture. There's really no excuse, since they have time to watch worldly TV and attend sporting events... there is also no excuse when they are doing "busywork" at home, they could be listening to the KJV audio bible which is free online.  

The blessed hope of Christ's soon appearing spurs us on to holier living. Yet an amazing amount of churches do not even mention these verses:

Titus 2: 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ

And I also agree with your statement: " they are blind to the great wickedness and depravity that is all around us. "  2nd Timothy 3:1-5 addresses the situation which we currently see and verse 1 tells us when it occurs.  In  Matthew 16 Jesus admonishes the Pharisees and Sadducees because they were puffed up, thinking they knew scripture... but Jesus lets them know that even though they thought they knew scripture, they'd missed the signs of the times... the very fact that Jesus was amongst them and they didn't recognize it. Had they truly known and studied scripture, they would have seen scriptural prophesy being fulfilled before their very eyes!

2nd Peter 3 also tells us about scoffers in the last days, walking after their own lusts. They are willingly ignorant of scripture and (I believe) specifically of bible prophesy. Many pulpits won't address eschatology, but what is worse (in my opinion) is there are plenty of unscriptural bible prophesy teachings floating around, and it's no wonder because if the people don't know the words of the bible then they will believe whatever mankind tells them. 

I personally take a lot of criticism for my firm belief in the rapture of the church, and further, I have always believed it to be imminent.  I believe we (saved/bride) will NOT be here for any part of the tribulation, and when I see prophecy lining up for the tribulation period, and know the rapture comes first... you better believe I am eagerly awaiting the soon appearance of the Lord Jesus as described in 1 Cor. 15:51-53 and 1 Thes 4:13-18.   Maranatha! 


 

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I believe the end will be soon-we're certainly closer than they were 2,000 years ago! However, I am also careful about insisting it is any day. Of course, the end COULD some any day, but when we spend a lot of time looking at the great wickedness and using this as our reason, we have to understand that in the past 2,000 years, this have been perhaps worse than they are now. At one time in the past, the Muslims ruled across many lands, and in fact, gave us a some of the science we have. At one time, the Catholics held sway over the known world, and held absolute power of life and death over any who dared believe other than what they demanded be believed. They ruled over kings and princes, and kept most of the populace of numerous nations in total ignorance, hence the term 'Dark Ages'. Greece, as well as Rome, ultimately fell due to becoming as we are only just now becoming-being ruled by a bunch of lazy scholars and liberal thinkers, putting more focus on things like arts and sports, and falling prey to homosexuality and other such foolishness.

What I am saying is that there is nothing new under the sun-we just hadn't yet seen it in our generation. And of course, there are many who refuse to learn from history, and as we all know, if we don't learn from history, we will repeat it. And so we are.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Good post Mike, we should live as if Jesus may return any moment while also growing in Christ and serving Him as if we may live out many more years and pass away before Christ returns. Sensationalism of end times matters has done more harm than good. As you point out, there have been horrible times in the past, including countless times when folks thought the end must be near. Much the same as today. The constant barrage of "the end is near", with it's accompanying date or near-date settings, ever present calls to "look, look" at the latest news cycle, has worn many thin and tired.

If we follow the example of Paul we would do well. Paul continually looked for the return of Christ and strove to win the lost to Christ while also continually striving to grow in Christ and prepare himself and the saints to live for Christ and serve Him as long as they lived.

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I see a danger, in looking at the bad things of the past and stating emphatically that the way things are today, are not as bad as it was back then.....
2 Peter 3:3-4
V.3 ¶ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
V.4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.

The Bible clearly tells us, that as the Lord’s return gets closer things will get worse....
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)
------------------------
Keep in mind, that I am not leveling any criticism toward any previous posters.
What I am saying, is that none of us, actually lived through these past historical events that we read about.

It could be, that the height of wickedness and Spiritual darkness that we are seeing now, have never been seen by any human being before.

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
1 hour ago, Donald said:

I see a danger, in looking at the bad things of the past and stating emphatically that the way things are today, are not as bad as it was back then.....
2 Peter 3:3-4
V.3 ¶ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
V.4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.

The Bible clearly tells us, that as the Lord’s return gets closer things will get worse....
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)
------------------------
Keep in mind, that I am not leveling any criticism toward any previous posters.
What I am saying, is that none of us, actually lived through these past historical events that we read about.

It could be, that the height of wickedness and Spiritual darkness that we are seeing now, have never been seen by any human being before.

 

Sounds to me like you are hitting the nail on the head with this. I have the same doubts about these comparisons. Today seems very much as in the days of Noah and just before the BBQ of Sodom as described by God.

Oh, on a side note I believe there will be multitudes of "so called christians" going through the 7 year great tribulation. None will be born again however....All bastards will they be.

I overheard someone quote recently that 31% of America is "saved". Glad I wasn't taking a sip or coffee when I heard that. 0.31% is probably closer to the truth.

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Had a good chuckle, "Wretched", that would have been a hot blast of coffee out the nose! But I agree.. maybe not on the 0.31%, but far less than who profess to be born-again believers actually are (in my opinion). Of course only God truly knows the hearts...  but if Matthew 7:20 is an indicator, then their fruits truly seem to be just like the rest of the unsaved world. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Read some of the many pre-trib rapture books or watch some of the movies and it's often claimed between half to about three-fourths of Americans will be raptured! That's how some of them explain the lack of America being mentioned in Scripture. They claim that so many Americans are saved (based upon those surveys which show 70-80% of Americans call themselves Christians) that America will collapse and no longer be a factor in world affairs. This is also how they come up with the massive sensationalized visuals of hundreds of pilots, car drivers, government workers, utility workers and others being caught away causing planes to fall from the sky across the country, power to go out, massive car crashes, highways shut down, etc.

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Well, even the Left Behind series has the Pope raptured. HA! He will be here following the antichrist. I agree that it will be a very small percentage of Americans who are truly born-again. All you have to do is apply the "Lord, Lord" example from scripture, how many claim to follow and love Him, while living like the devil and following the fads of the world, and the music of the lost in their churches. Its really very sad.

As far as how bad things have been in the past, I believe the primary difference between today and the past, is the continual down-fall of the churches, so much more of the            Laodicean spirit alive and well and gaining ground. I have gotten to the point where I just assume smaller Baptist churches are probably more correct than the very large ones-with exceptions, of course, not a rule across the board. But, as an example, having just gotten back from Louisiana, the very first things I saw as I crossed the border from Texas was two HUGE Baptist churches, like malls. And I saw many more of the same, one I believe was literally an old mall, now the entire thing was a church. Yes, the church I attended while there was quite small, in a store-front, solid, preached truth, and I suspect that this is just the way its going to go. I do know of some very good large churches, but more and more, many of them are beginning to buckle to modernization in dress and music to stay 'relevant'.   

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

How bad things are also depends upon where we are looking too. In parts of the world Christianity is spreading and there is growth in good churches. In other parts of the world things are going the other direction. There are also areas of the world where Christianity is very limited by law and in such places Christians are often "underground" and/or not acknowledged by the controlled media.

In many cases good churches seemed to be few and far between for about a thousand years when the RCC and political powers united in suppressing and persecuting true churches.

As we look at Christianity through history we see how it flourished in an area, spread from there until that area fell away for one reason or another and a different area became the "base" for Christianity and the same thing repeated itself. We can track the course of Christianity watching this process. Currently we see the latest "base" of Christianity (America) falling away. It may be interesting to see where the next "base" of Christianity rises from.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 11/9/2015, 5:24:44, Ronda said:

Had a good chuckle, "Wretched", that would have been a hot blast of coffee out the nose! But I agree.. maybe not on the 0.31%, but far less than who profess to be born-again believers actually are (in my opinion). Of course only God truly knows the hearts...  but if Matthew 7:20 is an indicator, then their fruits truly seem to be just like the rest of the unsaved world. 

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I agree, Genevan. There will be many people who relied on good works and rituals instead of the only one who can save them... Jesus. 

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Ephesians 2: 8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God":
9 "Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Matthew 7:13  "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:"
14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
16 "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"    

And yes, the rest of Matthew 7 addresses those types of false fruits.  Very thankful for the rock of solid ground in Jesus! As Matthew 7:25-27 addresses, and like the old hymn goes... "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand".

 

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