Saturday, May 28, 2016

God's wrath

The appearing of God

I suggest the greatest problem of our day is ‘ indifference’ toward God. So many act as if God does not exist. Other slighting say, ‘where is the promise of His coming?’. Most just live for themselves.

God is slow to anger, plentiful in mercy and in the age of grace, His judgements are not executed speedily. For those who read their Bible and watch world events, it would appear that He will arise very soon to execute justice and judgement, to bring in the  ‘wrath of the Lamb’.

In this twenty first century when human progress should have attained peace and prosperity for the whole world, the very opposite is occurring. God will let unbelief go to its destructive end, and then His judgements will appear. How gloomy to make such predictions. Rather how sure is His justice, how trustworthy are the prophecies of the Lord Jesus! [Matthew 24.30]

Then shall appear the Son of Man in His glory. Then God in Christ will be vindicated as the Holy One. Then will be implemented the rule of the ‘Righteous one’ and all rebellion will be crushed.[Jeremiah 23.5,6]

The Lord said ‘watch, be ready’.

John McKee

Monday, May 23, 2016

Together in the Lord

I come to the final article in this series. I would like to quote :

“Every believer is baptised into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and thus being members of one another, are responsible for keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, loving one another fervently.”

This well written statement hardly needs comment. Let me point out that the ‘body of Christ’ has only one head, that being Christ Jesus Himself, once crucified, now risen and exalted to heaven. He has sent forth His Holy Spirit to enable the spread of the Gospel and to gather together in one, the believers from every tribe and language and nation. This togetherness goes well beyond denominational systems to a unity on the basis of the cross. Those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, are brought to the God the Father, as living stones in a spiritual temple, to be to the praise of His glory.( Ephesians 2)

We do well to search our hearts daily:

‘Am I moving in harmony with the  Holy Spirit?’

‘Do I love all his people with a pure heart fervently?’

‘Is Jesus Christ the Lord who directs my all?’

comments and questions welcome.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The great tomorrow

How seldom do you hear people talk about the “hereafter.” How rare is a  sermon on the subject of “Eternity”.

The greatest teacher on the subject of ‘after death’ was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He made it very clear that we are more than body, having soul and spirit.
In this blog, I would like to refer to the Bible teaching about the resurrection. It is referred to in the Old Testament on many occasions, but for brevity I shall concentrate on the New Testament teaching.

It was Jesus, who in the sermon on the mount insisted that heaven was a real, remote place  beyond death. (Matthew 5:12, 6:19)  When confronted by the Sadducees about the resurrection, He made it clear that resurrection was for real, and then He spoke of the mode of existence of resurrected people (Matthew 22:23). The Lord taught that in the resurrection there will be rewards [ Luke 14.14].
In John 5:25-29, the Son of God draws back the curtain concerning the day of resurrection. He Himself will call people out of the graves. He Himself will be the final judge. The will be two resurrections – the first to life, the second to judgement. The involvement of people in these moments of accountability is qualified by verse 24:
“Truly, truly  I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.” For those who thus receive Jesus as God’s sent Son, the resurrection is unto life. For those who chose evil, the resurrection is unto judgement and eternal damnation.
Again I listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus – “I am the resurrection and the life” [John 11.25]

These outstanding claims by Jesus are significant, but more so when we discover that He Himself has been resurrected from among the dead ones.
He being the first fruits from the dead, assures us of the validity of His claims and the implications for our resurrection.
Perhaps I should interrupt and say – this is not reincarnation. In the resurrection it is the same conscious person, able to recall with vivid memory the detail of the life lived.  [1Corinthians 4, Revelation 20]

Paul , by the Holy Spirit gives details of how the resurrection will be [1Corinthians 15]. The present body is natural,  the resurrected body will be real, but spiritual ( spirit dominated as was the risen Lord Jesus ). The laws of nature will be subject to the power of the spirit. Just as the seed dies in the ground, and a new plant springs up with new life (yet bearing the character of the original), so is the resurrection.
“Our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ’s”  [ 1Corinthians 15.48 ]
This is the note of victory for all believers:
“Death is swallowed up in victory”    [ 1Corithians 15.54 ]
“The Lord Himself shall descend  from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first . The we which are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” [1 Thessalonians 4:16 ]

What a thrilling hope- we do well to say “ Even so come Lord Jesus”

Peter the apostle, looked beyond this present day of suffering, to the future day when all believers will share in HIS glory, when it is displayed to all the world. [1 Peter 4.13]

What of those who do not believe in the Son of God?  - the Lord Jesus called it a resurrection to damnation. He said that only God could destroy body and soul in hell [Matthew 10.28]. Would a loving God do that?   If God is just and true to His word, then He must.
“Their judgement is based on this fact, the light of heaven came into the world, but they loved darkness more than light , for their actions were evil” [John 3:19].
“For God has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man He has appointed , and He has proved it to everyone who this is , by raising  Him from the dead.” [Acts17.31]

This is serious truth – let us ponder it often

Let me close on this joyful note

“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection”

                          [Revelation 20.6]

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Until He comes again   -  John McKee

Monday, May 2, 2016

A cause for praise

Psalm 92  The goodness and faithfulness of God.

Life has many twists and turns, and the circumstances around us change with the wind. The one thing that maintains stability in life is God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

This Psalm emphasises the goodness of God. Many other superlatives honour God, but let this one be a blessing today. In the midst of many evil forces, God remains consistent, He remains trustworthy, He remains just, He is good.

His goodness is not some bland, abstract idea. His goodness is an active attitude that is seen in action.
An example of God’s goodness is His reaction to the human condition of offensiveness and rebellion. God has interrupted the course of time with the birth of Jesus. The angels sang praise that God was implementing His peace plan:
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will toward man.” (Luke 2.14)

It remains true today as it did then, that peace is available when Jesus Christ is received as the Lord from heaven, the Saviour of all who repent. (After more than sixty years of observing world events, I have concluded that all wars would cease, all poverty would vanish, all lack of education would be conquered if all the world received Jesus Christ as Lord. So much human distress is the result religions that reject the Lord Jesus Christ. All the humanitarian efforts to make the world a better place to live in are futile if Jesus Christ is rejected.)

God went further than sending His Son. He gave Him up to remedy the problem of sin. The Cross is the ultimate expression of God’s goodness, love, mercy and grace. God’s goodness is further evidenced in that He does not compel people to believe. To the people of the world His love has granted ‘free will’. Sadly many choose not to believe in Jesus the Son of God, with the unavoidable consequences of suffering , separation, sorrow and shame. But for those who choose to receive Christ, God’s goodness is abundant with forgiveness, joy, peace, hope and love.

The Psalm that has thrilled my soul today, was not written in the context of everything being rich and rosy – no, most of the praise to God comes from believers in times of difficulty. This is when the focus turns from self sufficiency , to trust in a God who is greater than ourselves and our circumstances. He is a God who can be trusted as good. I well remember the time when I lost almost everything. The challenge was – could I say ‘God is good’ when everything seemed bad. It was not feelings or circumstances that enabled me to answer ‘yes’. It was only faith that enabled me to say “God is good”

A little like Job, faith would say “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him!” ( Job 13.15)

So let our days  be filled with praise:

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord

To sing praises to the most high”