November, 2011

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Keith’s latest article: Entry Level Theological Truth [6]

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Read it here.

The Necessity Of Thankfulness

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:21

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.” Psalm 92:1

Given that He is their Creator and Sustainer, human beings ought to naturally overflow with thanksgiving towards God. Sadly, man’s everyday existence does not conform to this most basic principle. In fact, unthankfulness is at the root of man’s problems. Romans 1 lists a catalogue of odious sins; heading the list is the failure to “glorify” God as God – i.e. giving the Almighty His rightful honor as sovereign Lord over the universe. Secondly, the verse says they were not thankful towards Him (Rom. 1:21.) Therefore, it is apparent that ingratitude is a most grievous iniquity, for it is listed before various types of perversion, violence, and other ills that most in society would recognize as bad.

Many Reasons For Gratitude

Why should people be thankful? Firstly, because God is the author of life and made them to know Him and live with Him for all eternity. When man chose to violate God’s word in the garden, he was severed from this life. As God said to Adam and Eve: if they disobeyed Him by eating, they would surely die (Gen. 2:17.) The death sin produces is physical, spiritual, and – if not remedied by receiving the gift of salvation in Christ – it becomes an eternal condition known as the second death (Rev. 21:8.)

Despite the adverse affects of the fall on human bodies and physical life, day to day existence in this world is contingent upon God giving us every breath and maintaining every heartbeat. Daniel the prophet pointed this out to the Babylonian king Belshazzar: “The God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified” (Dan. 5:23.) In presenting the gospel to the skeptical Athenians, Paul brought forth this truth as well, pointing out that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28.) Yet, so many humans live as if God does not exist – or act as if He exists for their pleasure, not the other way around. In spite of this, He providentially gives people what they need to live and maintains the universe in the proper equilibrium for sustaining life (Acts 14:17.)

Eternal Thankfulness

In addition to being thankful for physical life, those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior can also thank God for spiritual life. This life begins at conversion and is characterized by a living relationship with the triune God. Believers daily thank Him for saving them by not sparing the Son from the horrors of the cross (Rom. 8:30-32.) Furthermore, they are thankful for Christ’s glorious resurrection which declares His triumph over sin, the grave, death, and hell. They may thank God for a new standing in His sight: accepted in the Beloved, declared righteous, and eternally secure by His promise and power (Eph. 1:6; Rom. 5:1; Jn. 10:27-30.)  Christians can also be grateful that the Lord Jesus will one day return for them and call them to meet Him in the air, transform them into glorified bodies, and take them home to live with Him in the Father’s house for eternity (John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18.) This Thanksgiving, let everything that has breath give thanks unto the Lord – especially those who have eternal life in Christ.

To download in pdf., click here: The Necessity OfThankfulness

 

 

 

New Article: Entry Level Theological Truth [5]

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

My latest article may be read here.

New Article: 3 Online Bibles For Serious Study

Friday, November 18th, 2011

My latest website recommendation, may be read here.

New Article: “Entry Level Theological Truth [4]”

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Keith’s new article, “Entry Level Theological Truth [4]” is on www.digitalsojourner.com, & may be accessed here.

New Article: “Good News In A Floating Bottle”

Friday, November 11th, 2011

My latest article is on www.digitalsojourner.com, & may be accessed here: http://digitalsojourner.com/2011/11/11/good-news-in-a-floating-bottle/

New article: “Entry Level Theological Truth [3]”

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

My latest article, “Entry Level Theological Truth [3]”  is available here.

Blessed are the centenarians

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

If she were alive, my paternal grandmother, who went to be with Christ in 2003, would turn one hundred years old today.  Being of a historical cast of mind, this set me to thinking about all of the changes she saw in her comparatively long lifespan: society moving from horse-drawn conveyance to the dominance of the automobile; widespread air travel to far-flung places; telephones,  radios, televisions, and the personal computer proliferating; men on the moon rather than the fanciful “man in the moon” – just to name a few of the epoch-making shifts in technology that occurred between 1911-2003.

For all of this, I cannot help thinking that one hundred years is much briefer than what ought to be for someone to really accomplish something. How our lives are shortened and depleted by the effects of sin: change, decay, pain – the ubiquitous fruits of the Fall (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 8:18-19.) Science and pseudo-science alike vainly pursue ways to cheat death, while science fiction posits future utopias where humans live for ages (or just beat the system through time travel.) Yet at the end of the day, people still succumb to illness, accident, and violence – many of them far short of the century mark. Moses could relate to this grueling mortality, which he experienced in Israel’s wilderness wanderings:

For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm 90:9-10

Thankfully, the Word of God points ahead to the inauguration of Christ’s kingdom on earth, where the effects of the fall will first be drastically rolled back, and then after the thousand year reign on earth, they will give way to an eternal reign of deathless bliss. To convey the blessedness of those who live during the initial Millennium (so indicated by Rev. 20:4), Isaiah 65 invokes the image of the prevalence of centenarians in this future kingdom. Verses 19-20 declare:

I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

What a scene! If one dies at on hundred they are merely a child! Such people succumbing at one hundred will only do so because of punishment for sin – a swiftly carried out death sentence for grave disobedience to the Son of God who will be reigning on earth from His headquarters in Jerusalem. Revelation 19:15 describes the Lord Jesus ruling “with a rod of iron“; His administration will tolerate no rebellion or warfare. The last Adam will demonstrate what God the Father always desired for earth by perfectly governing  the earth for one thousand years, there will be a brief war with those who refuse to submit to His authority (Rev. 20:7-10.) This insurgency will promptly be vanquished, and the earth will be renovated by God’s purifying fire. This age will be superseded by the age to come, where there are “new heavens and a new earth wherein dwell righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:13.)

So blessed are the centenarians! If one reaches that milestone, it is due to the grace of God in giving natural life. But only if you are born again can you be assured to live with the Son of God in that age beyond the century mark to a deathless future eternity through the new life that He gives (Jn. 3:3.)