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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 13    Nothing New???

 

King Solomon said it most eloquently:

The thing that hath been,

it is that which shall be;

and that which is done

is that which shall be done:

and there is no new thing

under the sun.

10 Is there any thing

whereof it may be said,

See,

this is new?

it hath been already of old time,

which was before us.

11 There is no remembrance

of former things;

neither shall there be any remembrance

of things that are to come

with those that shall come after.”    Ecclesiastes 1:9-11

Sadly, it seems, each generation forgets the lessons of the past.  And our world has not only forgotten the faithfulness of our God, but the countless times and ways that He has stood by us through trials and conflicts.  Our culture, our world, has chosen to forsake God, and exercise hatred, greed and jealousy, which ever seem to follow close on the heels of God’s faithfulness since mankind chooses to sin by his own will.  While we often blame others, the times, the culture, the temptations—the truth is, we have each chosen to go our own way!  Will you choose Jesus and His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice or your own way?  God has given us the freedom to choose, but each choice will bring a consequence, so choose wisely, there is a test!

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof are the ways of death.”   Proverbs 14:12

The very first parents saw their poor choices affect their children—one chose God’s way, the other chose to go his own way; and the consequence was disastrous!

And Cain talked with Abel his brother:

and it came to pass,

when they were in the field,

that Cain rose up

against Abel his brother,

and slew him.

9 And the LORD said unto Cain,

Where is Abel thy brother?

And he said,

I know not:

Am I my brother’s keeper?

10 And he said,

What hast thou done?

the voice of thy brother’s blood

crieth unto me

from the ground.”   Genesis 4:8-10

Sin never escapes God’s sight, and HE WILL bring justice to light in HIS time!  He created this world and HE will bring all accounts to their right judgment—in HIS time (and I can’t believe it’s very far away!)!  Abel chose wisely!  How about you?

Through faith we understand

that the worlds were framed

by the word of God,

so that things which are seen

were not made of things

which do appear.

4 By faith

Abel offered unto God

a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,

by which he obtained witness

that he was righteous,

God testifying of his gifts:

and by it

he being dead

yet speaketh.”   Hebrews 11:3-4

Whosoever is born of God

doth not commit sin;

for his seed remaineth in him:

and he cannot sin,

because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God

are manifest,

and the children of the devil:

whosoever doeth not righteousness

is not of God,

neither he that loveth not

his brother.

11 For this is the message that ye heard

from the beginning,

that we should love one another.

12 Not as Cain,

who was of that wicked one,

and slew his brother.

And wherefore slew he him?

Because his own works were evil,

and his brother’s righteous.

13 Marvel not, my brethren,

if the world hate you.”  1 John 3:9-13

We see those who have seemingly gone crazy, those who have taken the opportunity to run amuck, using any excuse to do so; what is the difference between them and me?  When the causes we claim to follow and support turn into wreck, havoc and riot, what do we do?  We must come back to the principles of God and remember that sin is sin, and when we abandon God’s ways, there is a price to pay; compromise with sin/evil will never produce good results!  And our culture has given itself over to pursue sin and evil with a vengeance; rejecting the principles of God and His Word;  using the name of Jesus for a by-word, not the name of the Son of God; are we standing fast with our Lord, or delighting in the sinful ways of those around us.

Woe unto them

that draw iniquity with cords of vanity,

and sin as it were with a cart rope:

19 That say,

Let him make speed,

and hasten his work,

that we may see it:

and let the counsel

of the Holy One of Israel

draw nigh

and come,

that we may know it!

20 Woe unto them

that call evil good,

and good evil;

that put darkness

for light,

and light

for darkness;

that put bitter

for sweet,

and sweet

for bitter!

21 Woe unto them

that are wise

in their own eyes,

and prudent

in their own sight!

22 Woe unto them

that are mighty

to drink wine,

and men of strength

to mingle strong drink:

23 Which justify the wicked

for reward,

and take away

the righteousness

of the righteous

from him!”  Isaiah 5:18-23

There always have been evil men, and today is no exception, even as Paul warned us of those who are not only evil but take pleasure in doing evil and causing others to follow in their evil schemes.  The choice is yours—who will you follow?  Whom will you believe?  Will you join evil people or “withstand in the evil day”?  (See Ephesians 6:10-19).

God gave you the freedom to choose, but you do not have the freedom to set the consequences!

And even as they did not like to retain God

in their knowledge,

God gave them over

to a reprobate mind,

to do those things

which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all

unrighteousness,

fornication,

wickedness,

covetousness,

maliciousness;

full of envy,

murder,

debate,

deceit,

malignity;

whisperers,

30 Backbiters,

haters of God,

despiteful,

proud,

boasters,

inventors of evil things,

disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding,

covenantbreakers,

without natural affection,

implacable,

unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God,

that they which commit such things

are worthy of death,

not only do the same,

but have pleasure in them

that do them.”  Romans 1:28-32

And this is scripture—not off of the front page of the newspaper!  We live in a culture that is like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum, only the results are far more deadly—it is destroying lives and property—the very means by which we can live and be productive.  Yet we see rack and riot on every hand, produced not by those who have suffered offense, but by those who desire to cause more offense, and take pleasure in the sin that is rampant, for we have chosen a disastrous course!  But one that God has told us beforehand would come.

Be astonished,

O ye heavens,

at this,

and be horribly afraid,

be ye very desolate,

saith the LORD.

13 For my people have committed two evils;

they have forsaken me

the fountain of living waters,

and hewed them out cisterns,

broken cisterns,

that can hold no water.”   Jeremiah 2:12-13

We, the culture and our world, have not only chosen broken cisterns over living water, but we have walked head-long into the perilous times that God warned us would come!

This know also,

that in the last days

perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be

lovers of their own selves,

covetous,

boasters,

proud,

blasphemers,

disobedient to parents,

unthankful,

unholy,

3 Without natural affection,

trucebreakers,

false accusers,

incontinent,

fierce,

despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors,

heady,

highminded,

lovers of pleasures

more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness,

but denying the power thereof:

from such turn away.”  2 Timothy 3:1-5

So, my question for us today is, will we choose to stand for the right, to be (not just talk about, but “BE”) true reflections of the glory and truth of GOD?   It is our calling—a calling that only the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us can accomplish!

I therefore,

the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you that ye walk worthy

of the vocation

wherewith ye are called,

2 With all lowliness

and meekness,

with longsuffering,

forbearing one another in love;

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit

in the bond of peace.

4 There is one body,

and one Spirit,

even as ye are called

in one hope

of your calling;

5 One Lord,

one faith,

one baptism,

6 One God and Father

of all,

who is above all,

and through all,

and in you all.

7 But unto every one of us

is given grace

according to the measure

of the gift of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:1-7

Even as Jesus reminds us, it is by HIS Power—our abiding in HIM that produces fruit.  Are you abiding in Jesus?  If not, what are you abiding in?

I am the true vine,

and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me

that beareth not fruit

he taketh away:

and every branch

that beareth fruit,

he purgeth it,

that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean

through the word

which I have spoken

unto you.

4 Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit

of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me

ye can do nothing.”  John 15:1-5

If we will ‘abide” in HIM, HE will produce fruit—HIS fruit in and through us!  Paul also made it clear for us all—we must choose to let GOD work in us, by the power of His Holy Spirit.

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil

the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh

lusteth against the Spirit,

and the Spirit

against the flesh:

and these are contrary

the one to the other:

so that ye cannot do the things

that ye would…

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory,

provoking one another,

envying one another.”   Galatians 5:16-17 & 25-26

Yet rather, as the author of Hebrews reminds us, provoke one another to good works; as our Pastor Brad always says, “good, good works” (not just ‘good works’ to impress or gain for ourselves, but doing good things for the right reasons!)!

Let us hold fast

the profession of our faith

without wavering;

(for he is faithful that promised😉

24 And let us consider one another

to provoke unto love

and to good works:”   Hebrews 10:23-24

May we truly be those who are found faithful, regardless of what the world says or does.  And the day is coming, rapidly I believe, when we will be the scape-goat—but may we be found to be “busy about my Father’s business”!

So then every one of us

shall give account of himself

to God.”  Romans 14:11-12

Amen and Amen!!!