30 July, 2010

The Great White Throne

(by Joseph R. Chambers jrc@pawcreek.org)
As the final moment arrives to complete the judgment of sinners, we can expect that arrogance and rebellion have finally finished their course. The Bible is filled with godless men that were always ready to laugh in the face of God. The nature of sin, which started in Heaven among the angels and invaded the garden of perfect beauty to defile the human family, was never a light thing. Some men restrain themselves lest they show the full potential of their evil possibility, but the ultimate powers are never far below the surface. Sin is deeply rooted and blatantly destructive. When sin is unrestrained, it is as dark as midnight. Even when it is restrained, it is still nothing but naked death.

The result of sin was clearly visible when Lucifer chose a creature to hide within and stole his way into the first garden. That creature walked into the presence of Adam; but because of the weight of sin’s consequence, he had to crawl out. This has been the perfect result of sin for six thousand years. Sin never leaves with the same beauty with which it enters. Sin is totally incapable of maintaining the joy of its own action. By sin’s own nature, it is not capable of one act without leaving a dark mark on its victim.

If the human family could simply gather up the fragments left of anyone overcome by sin and look at it without the facade that Satan has produced, we would hate its every expression. We see only the obscure lines of age, disease, exhaustion, and brokenness and forget that all of this is the remnant of the fallen nature. With our naked eyes, we have never seen a man or woman that hasn’t been touched by sin; so, we do not know for what to look. Sin works deeply, often slowly, but it holds firmly. When it is finished, nothing is left. The Bible never covers over this story, but “we see through a glass darkly” (I Corinthians 13:12).

21 July, 2010

The true Purpose of Life

The Bible tells us that God created man and clearly implies that all the rest of the material creation of earth was for his benefit and for his use. But what purpose had God in creating man? Did God make him simply to gratify a desire to make something new? Is his existence the result of some mere whim? When God created him, did he expect to give him no farther attention? The Bible tells us plainly that God had a distinct purpose, and that his creation was for God's own purpose, not simply that man might exist. Speaking of man, he says, "The work of my hands, that I may be glorified" (Isaiah 60:21). Again, he says, "For I have created him for my glory" (Isaiah 43:7).

That man was endowed with natural faculties that make it possible for him to know God and to communicate with him, to understand his will, and to obey him, and to find his highest pleasure in all these, shows that the purpose of man's life is something very exalted. It is possible for him to debase his powers, to put them to ignoble purposes, and to fail entirely of the true purpose of his life. He may develop his physical being and bring it to a high state of perfection, so that he is an athlete. He may be in perfect health. He may conform to the law of his physical being and be worthy of the admiration of his fellows. He may develop his mind until he reaches out into the starry heavens and reads the secrets of the planets. He may delve into philosophy and into science until his mental faculties are enriched and highly developed. He may grapple with the great problems of life and solve them. He may fill the chair of some great university. Men may marvel at his learning. He may be eloquent until he can sway the multitudes. He may rise to eminence in the political world and be famous. Men may admire and respect and honour him, but the perfect body and the highly developed mind, or these two united, do not make a perfect man.

Sooner or later disease will seize upon that body. Sooner or later that mind will lose its brilliance and its power. The end is but the grave. What then? Shall we say that a man who has lived only for his body and for his mind has truly lived, has truly fulfilled the purpose of his creation? Not so. He has omitted from his life that which is highest and best. He has failed to develop that spiritual element which is his real self, that element which will live on forever. He has starved and neglected it, and it has withered away, overshadowed by the other parts of his being. If a man forgets his soul, if he makes no preparation for the life that is life indeed, there is no symmetry in his life. It is unbalanced and incomplete. No matter what his success in other lines, his life is a failure. No matter how much wealth he may amass, how much he may win, nor how much of anything of earth may be his, it must end with the word "failure," for he has not lived for God.

16 July, 2010

New Australian Prime Minister faces Problems

(From midnightcall.com)
The change of government in Australia was a surprise to many. The position of Labourite Kevin Rudd, who headed the office three years ago, was considered fairly strong. During his time in office the Green Continent managed to avoid the influence of the global economic crisis which seemed to have affected everyone.

Rudd was failed by the ecological issue. In February of this year he refused to consider the bill suggesting introduction of quotas on the emission of greenhouse gases for large enterprises.

Australia, like the U.S., after signing the Kyoto Protocol decided not to undertake the reduction of harmful emissions into the atmosphere and the introduction of national quotas for greenhouse gases until 2013. The government was under the assumption that the country should fight against global warming not by reduction of emissions, but through the introduction of new environmentally friendly technologies.

Yet, many citizens were not happy with the fact that the administration followed the example of the Americans. The ruling Labour Party gave life to the bill, which still imposed quotas on emissions. When Prime Minister Rudd refused to support it, many of his colleagues saw it as an act of political cowardice.

In addition to environmental issues and tax on mining companies, the electorate had another problem with Rudd, this time regarding foreign policy issues. Polls showed that over 60 percent of Australians wanted an expedited withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan, counting 1.5 thousand people. However, the Government has made it clear that this process could take anywhere from two to four years, until the Australian military fulfilled its mission of proper training of Afghan soldiers.

08 July, 2010

Wells without Water

(Written by Ron Graham)
“These are wells without water...” 2 Peter 2:17a. We have a well on our property which on the outside looks the same as most other wells these days. Our well is 518 feet deep, but on the outside it just looks like a pipe sticking out of the ground. Its job, of course, is the same as most other rural country wells, which is to draw water from an underground reservoir and move that water into our home. Many of you reading this commentary may have a very similar looking pipe sticking out of the ground in your yard. Though they may look the same from the outside, the question is, are they?

Our particular well has a problem down inside that deep hole where our transport pipe and pump reside. But only my wife, daughter, and I can see the problem. At times we see the water that comes from the tap as clouded and sometimes it is reddish brown in colour. Outsiders who drive by can see our well and pump house but until they live in our home they will not discover for themselves the ugly truth about our drinking, bathing, and laundry water. But the most important thing about our well is that it contains an abundance of water.

In the verse cited above, the Apostle Peter addresses a problem that is occurring more and more as we move into the last days on this planet. That problem is false teachers, he refers to them as “wells without water”. Now there are wells, and there are wells, and what must be determined by the believer is which well are you hook up to. Unless you are aware of the lack of water in a well you might just be persuaded to latch onto one that’s completely empty.

False teachers may look and even sound the same as teachers who proclaim the truth, but inside they are only dry wells. Water being a metaphor for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what Peter is speaking about. False teachers do not have the Holy Spirit of God, they are led by the enemy of God and therefore they are, as the Apostle Peter most appropriately states “wells without water”. A Holy Spirit filled teacher will not teach falsehoods. False teachers may proclaim a portion of truth in their teachings but they are all intertwined in deceptiveness, they are empty vessels.