Joyful greetings to you on this Palm Sunday! Please receive this edited 2013 repost as a word of encouragement during this very special week for us as followers of Jesus Christ. Per usual, I will be taking Resurrection Sunday off in this current case to celebrate my 42nd spiritual birthday. The Lord saying the same, my next post will appear on Sunday, April 28th.
Originally Posted March 29, 2013
My short holiday blog for Resurrection Sunday appears today so that I may respectfully pause to honor the Lord’s triumphant work to save a wretch like me culminating in His powerful resurrection from the dead as I hope all of you will do as well.1 The Lord’s challenge to us who would be faithful in these days of open rebellion by the world against as well as spiritual confusion, adultery and apostasy among those professing to know Him, is to all the more take to heart the benedictory exhortation of the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:11-16; following Christ’s example to the death as we have been called (Philippians 1:27-30; 1 Peter 2:19-23, 3:13-17).
The foregoing is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ! The times we have entered into have been foreordained and told by God through the prophets, the Lord Jesus and His apostles (Mark 13:9-23; Acts 8:1-4). There is nothing we can do to reverse this present course permanently for even when the Lord does send revival to His people in days ahead, it will not be to restore the so-called “good old days” as I write in my book, the Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.2 It will be the marking out and protection of elect Israel as well as renewing preparation for enduring “the great tribulation” by faithful saints leading up to Christ’s return (Revelation 7, NKJV).
Thus, the wicked wherever they are found fill up the cup of their sins that God in increasing severity judges until finally, He pours out on them the fullness of His wrath to crush them at Christ’s appearing (Revelation 16:17-21, 19:11-21). Meanwhile, the faithful “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV); staying in it until death or the Lord’s appearing and receive as our good end, the promised resurrection to immortality in the likeness of His own we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday (Revelation 20:4-6). A glorious Resurrection Sunday to you, indeed!
1 Read the April 3, 2016 repost the Lord gave me richly exploring the resurrection, God Raises The Dead, under the category, The Faith!
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
As Christmas draws near this year, I am awestruck yet again by how God brought to sudden fulfillment in time what had been planned from eternity (2 Timothy 1:8-10); His work of salvation foretold by His prophets of old (Luke 1:67-75)! For Christmas from the Bible is nothing less than the simple, but profound narrative of a loving God’s next in time action step among many before with a few still coming to save His fallen creature, man, from sin, Satan and death. Among those prior steps was the never before done in history calling out of a people through whom to bring forth His chosen Deliverer (Genesis 3:14-15, 22:9-18; Exodus 3:1-10; Deuteronomy 4:32-39, 18:15-19).
Though surrounded and obscured by various Gentile secular and manmade religious cultural traditions as I was led to write in a previous post,1 if there is to be an authentic, biblical celebration of Christmas it must begin with God and the divine plan to save among fallen mankind! The divine plan designating the Son of God as mankind’s Savior was formulated before there was ever a creation because God foreknew man’s fall (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Peter 1:20-21). Many--including some Christians I have taught--struggle with this truth. They wonder, “If God knew man was going to fall, why bother to create him?” The simple answer is bound up in God’s nature and wisdom as well as man’s purpose.
“God is love,” the apostle John emphatically declares (1 John 4:8, NKJV). The visionary desire of God to create man is rooted in the very depths of divine love. Thus, the existence of man is not the result of a divine whim, afterthought or experiment. In love, God would create eternal sons to love that would love Him back in the image and likeness of the eternal Son (John 14:31; 1 John 4:19)!2 In wisdom, God knew (and now, even we know) in order for His creature to love, he must not only be equipped with the ability, but the free will to choose to do so. For this reason too, created to loyally serve God and His eternal sons, angels also have free will (Psalm 103:20-21; Hebrews 1:13-14).
The sovereign God, who knows all things, saw in advance the first man would freely choose to disobey His command and bring forth upon himself the just judgment His holy nature demanded. Since this was no experiment where God discarding the first man, would continue trying like some mad scientist until He finally created one that obeyed, in perfect love and wisdom God constructed a righteous plan to save His fallen creature. No plan was made to save disloyal angels that chose to rebel against God; they would be condemned to Hell forever without recourse (Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). But from eternity God in love would show man His grace!
Here is where Christmas gets really deeply moving for me and I trust you also if in fact, you are among those saved by God’s grace through repentance and faith in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ! While some stumble over the fact God would bother at all with constructing a plan to save fallen man, I am completely blown away by the fact His plan involved choosing to become one of us, His creature, leading to the indescribable pain, suffering and death He endured in successfully carrying it out (Isaiah 7:10-14, 53:1-9; Luke 1:26-40, 2:1-38; John 1:1-18, 3:16, 19:17-37; Hebrews 2:5-18). I am overwhelmed attempting to search out the kind of love that would do this for me!
Away from the secular commercial clamor, most significant for me as a Christian is the joyful worship of the God of my salvation; my Savior as planned, foretold and fulfilled--the powerful in simplicity real objective of Christmas! Indeed, so powerful is Christmas as the joyful worship of God in celebration of His action step to save fallen men by sending us His Son, the world has sought to diminish it with its own satanically inspired fabricated, sentimental storylines and cultural traditions which many churches of Christianity the religion of men endorse and support. To their shame and condemnation over the centuries, a great number of these have themselves offered up many complicated and heretical doctrines that corrupt the simple biblical narrative of God’s work to save.
Contending also with what he later describes as “false apostles” and “deceitful workers” as those that were phony messengers “of light” like Satan (2 Corinthians 11:12-15, NKJV), the apostle Paul strongly appeals for the Corinthians and all Christians to be faithful to our Lord Jesus; retaining “the simplicity that is in Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:1-4, NKJV). For as Paul was concerned in the first, so, it continues to happen right into this twenty-first century that professed Christians are abandoning the simplicity of God’s work to save us from our sins through the first coming of Christ Jesus. Instead, to their destruction they are going after false christs, other gospels and doctrines following deceitful spirits as foretold (Mark 13:5-6; Galatians 1:3-7; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).
In faith and God’s command to stand fast, however, let every aspiring strong man of God in Christ’s image proclaim and witness the truth prepared from eternity and fulfilled to his family, church and the world at Christmas (Isaiah 53:10-12; John 20:1-18; Titus 1:1-3).3 Let us also accurately teach that if all of God’s foretold action steps in His work to save us from our sins were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming, then, it must be soberly understood that every one of the remaining prophesied action steps of salvation’s consummation at His Second Coming are to be shortly fulfilled (Acts 1:4-11, 3:18-26; Hebrews 9:23-28; Revelation 1:1-8, 21:7-8)!4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
I will take next Sunday off as part of my Christmas celebration and Lord willing, return with a final 2018 post on December 30th. Merry Christmas!
1 See the December 2014 two-part post, Culturally Conditioning the Faith, under the category, The Faith. The Church is not a creation of culture, but Christ’s called out
assembly from it (Matthew 16:13-18). Therefore, the Church is not beholding to the culture its members have assembled out of, but to Christ as His “light” exposing the
darkness and His “pillar and ground of the truth” in it (Ephesians 5:8-14; 1 Timothy 3:15, NKJV)! Because this is true, I stand by every word and Scripture cited in the
post referenced in this footnote.
2 Read the June 19, 2016 post, Eternal Sons Of God, under the category, Instruction.
3 Learn more about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet booksellers,
by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 Read Now Is The Day Of Salvation, posted December 4, 2016, under the category, Call To Repent. Also, while it is righteous not to attempt to declare a specific date or
hour of Christ’s return as He warned (Mark 13:32-37), a disservice is being done to the Body of Christ by those at this hour that say “it could be another thousand
years.” Not! The Lord also commanded us to watch for the prophetic signs He gave indicating His coming was near (Luke 21:25-36). Such signs have been breaking
out profusely since the time Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948 which itself is the greatest of them so far and confirms as foretold that the punitive dispersion
of the Jews to the nations was only to be temporary (Hosea 3; Luke 21:20-24; Romans 11:1-15, 25-36)!
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