Monday, November 25, 2013

Questions from the children

'Why is God upset ? '

God has good reason to be upset considering that we so often forget or ignore Him. Worse than that is the times we disobey His laws and go against His wisdom. His standards are often rejected.  This is summarized in one word -   sin

However, God is not characterized by continual anger! He is angry with the wicked every day, but our God is a " Blessed God"  ! (happy God).  How can this be?  This is true to His nature, but more so because He has overcome evil through the Lord Jesus Christ.  The coming of Jesus into the world was God's design to conquer sin and set believers free from fear and the control of satan. The death of the Lord Jesus makes forgiveness possible, and God is 'happy' to forgive all who believe in His Son (Jesus). In fact the angels rejoice every time someone chooses to turn from sinful ways to trust in the Lord Jesus.  So really heaven is a happy place and our God is a rejoicing God !!
    Both the Old testament and the new describe  this:

"Oh what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin."    Romans 4.7NLT

  Will you be one of the many who can sing 'O joy of the justified , joy of the free.......'

In the end the song will be:
    "Praise the Lord
         for the Lord our God , the Almighty reigns
      Let us be glad and rejoice
         and let us give honour to Him"
                         Revelation 19.6

John  McKee

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jesus begins to preach

I have begun reading again the story of Jesus. Matthew records significant details of His background, birth, baptism and the battle with the devil.  Then He began to preach.
      His first word is “repent for the kingdom of heaven is near”    -  Turn to God

He was qualified to preach ‘repent’, as He was truly one with God and preaching for God. His eyes saw two things:
1.    A people astray from God
2.    A people ignorant of their own condition as sinners condemned by God.
So from the standpoint of God, and with the compassion of understanding, He preaches “Repent!”

Repent, means a change of mind. It is implied , as John the Baptist preached, that repentance would evidence itself by a change of behaviour.  But now that the King had arrived, the emphasis changes from better behaviour, to a change of mind regarding Jesus the Christ, Jesus  the  Messiah, Jesus the King, Jesus the Saviour.  Over and over, the message of the Kingdom drawing near is a direct reference to the presence of the king Himself.  This is the real meaning of the expression “The kingdom of God is within you” being  better translated “among you”.
     
  It is true the Kingdom of God is not what we eat and drink, rather it is righteousness, love and joy in the Holy Spirit, but primarily the Kingdom is connected to the King.  This is why Peter looks into the future for his entrance into the eternal kingdom, when the King returns.
       And so the King calls people to become His subjects in His Kingdom  -  He can heal their diseases (Matthew 4.2-25) , He gives a superior law (Matthew 5-7), .  At the end of Matthews gospel we hear the most important question “What should I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?” (Matthew 27.22)

    Turn around from straying ways, look closely on Jesus and be not faithless but believing.  He is the true King who saves us from our sins to forgiveness, from being lost to being accepted, from hell to heaven. “ Repent and believe the Good News" today.


John McKee

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Prophecy of the Lord Jesus

Matthew 21.32 “This generation will not pass until all these things be fulfilled”

Someone has asked – ‘what does this Bible verse mean?’
One is tempted to say ‘I don’t know’, but I will suggest some detail to help fit it into it’s context.
Luke 21.6, 12-24 can generally be seen as fulfilled e.g. The stones of the temple were torn down in AD 70 by the Roman general Titus and his army. The Christians were persecuted intensely, and the city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman army, just as Jesus said. It is reported that the Christians saw this prophecy being  fulfilled before their eyes, so the fled and thus were saved the dreadful destruction of the city!

The end of verse 24 is most significant – “the times of the Gentiles”    It was God’s intention that Israel be the head of the nations.  But since the destruction of the temple in AD 70, Israel has been dispersed across the face of the earth.  This last 2000years has obviously been the ‘times of the Gentiles’  The resurgence of Israel since 1948 along with disasters and political tensions may well be the new leaves of the ‘fig tree’.
Now what about verses 25,26,27,28   -  there have been times of  strange solar happenings (some have taught that Jesus did return at the end of the 1st century!). Others see the last days as encompassing all the last 2000 years with its many seasons of disasters and wars.
I think rather like Daniel 9, there is an unexplained gap.  Daniel 9 lays out a timetable of years (sevens) between the building of Zerubbabel’s  temple and  the cutting off of the Messiah AD30 and the destruction of the temple AD70. Others  have verified the accuracy of Daniel’s prophetic timetable. However  Daniel’s timetable goes on to predict a covenant treaty between Israel and some world power. This treaty will then be broken after three and a half years.  This seems to not be yet fulfilled, like Luke 21.25-27.
Could it be that God has inserted the ‘mystery’ of the church into this gap? – a period of time when not only do we have the Gentiles political domination, but also God at work, calling out of the nations, a people for Himself, for His Son, as distinct from the purpose given to Israel.

The Lord did say in one parable, that the master of the vineyard would be away for a ‘long time’ to receive a kingdom, before he would return to claim the inheritance of the vineyard (Israel).

Well I can accept that explanation, but what of our verse V32  “this generation “  A different translation reads “this tribe”  Israel has never been extinguished, (against all odds). Some have tried but I rather think that God has a future for Israel. Israel is in blindness and unbelief  as a nation (Romans 11), but God has yet to fully fulfil His promises to Abraham and David.  God is able to bring them to new birth, gathering the dead bones to life  so that His prophetic word will be vindicated.  So I am suggesting that the “generation” of our verse is Israel as a tribe.


Other thoughts may be sent to johnmckee@internode.on.net

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Questions of God

God delights to ask questions - not to find out information, but to make connection with us. I will give a sample.

In the garden of Eden, the voice of God rings out  "  Adam where are you? "
Again to Eve the question " What have you done ?"
Then to Cain " Why are you angry? "
Telling questions I think you will agree, but each indicates God as the one seeking the wanderer !

To Job God replies "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth .....? "

Through Isaiah, God ask's "Why do you labour for that which does not satisfy ?"

I encourage you to be observant of and also listening to the questions of God. He may well be drawing near to make contact...........'today if you will hear harden not your heart.'

John McKee