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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 16 Love Or Hate–May Not Be What You Think???

 

This is the beginning article of a multi-week series in which I want us to consider the book of Daniel—not necessarily the prophetic emphasis, but rather a look at choices, character, honor, integrity, real courage, and devotion of Daniel (and his friends) to GOD!

But Daniel purposed in his heart

that he would not defile himself

with the portion of the king’s meat,

nor with the wine which he drank:

therefore he requested

of the prince of the eunuchs

that he might not defile himself.”   Daniel 1:8

Like many of you, I am just plain tired of the noise and clamor that is going on in our country—all the opinions, reports (true and false), and the voices all over the national media as well as social media.  Yet, contrary to popular belief haters may not be “hating” and those who claim to love may not truly “love”.  What I want to do is to lay out some foundational passages of scripture that will define the principles that I believe in and try to live by.  The other thing that must be set out in the beginning, and which I believe we must recognize and acknowledge, is that there IS the force of evil in the world, and it is “alive and well” in our culture, our world, yet there is coming a time of judgment by God’s standard not man’s!  I pray that you will consider these passages as we begin our series from Daniel.

My little children, these things write I unto you,

that ye sin not.

And if any man sin,

we have an advocate with the Father,

Jesus Christ the righteous:

2 And he is the propitiation

for our sins:

and not for ours only,

but also for the sins

of the whole world.

3 And hereby we do know that we know him,

if we keep his commandments.

4 He that saith,

I know him,

and keepeth not his commandments,

is a liar,

and the truth

is not in him.

5 But whoso keepeth his word,

in him verily is the love of God perfected:

hereby know we that we are in him.”  1 John 2:1-5

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 3:10-12

Ye are of God, little children,

and have overcome them:

because greater is he that is in you,

than he that is in the world.

5 They are of the world:

therefore speak they of the world,

and the world heareth them.

6 We are of God:

he that knoweth God heareth us;

he that is not of God

 heareth not us.

Hereby know we the spirit of truth,

and the spirit of error.

7 Beloved, let us love one another:

for love is of God;

and every one that loveth

is born of God,

and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not

knoweth not God;

for God is love.

9 In this was manifested the love of God

toward us,

because that God sent his only begotten Son

into the world,

that we might live

through him.

10 Herein is love,

not that we loved God,

but that he

loved us,

and sent his Son

to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us,

we ought also to love one another.”   1 John 4:4-11

For this is the love of God,

that we keep his commandments:

and his commandments

are not grievous.

4 For whatsoever is born of God

overcometh the world:

and this is the victory that overcometh the world,

even our faith. ‘

5 Who is he that overcometh the world,

but he that believeth that Jesus

is the Son of God?”  1 John 5:3-5

Do you see how God’s “love” is manifest?  He sent Jesus to be the “propitiation” (payment in full for our sin debt—see Rom. 3:23 & 6:23) for sin.  Love takes a stand for truth and righteousness—love doesn’t compromise the TRUTH, for Jesus IS truth (See John 14:6)!  What ‘truth’ is our culture clinging to, while it professes “love—love—love” yet denies and defies GOD!   Another important passage that defines much of what I have to say is from the prophet Isaiah.

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

While Isaiah’s words were addressed to the conditions in his day, they are totally apropos to our culture today—and I believe this is the root of the problem in our nation and our world—for men have redefined “evil” and “good”; the result is that we find ourselves with two sides who not only disagree but are diametrically opposed in the basic principles of truth, morality and decency.  How can we have meaningful, productive exchanges if we are speaking two different languages?  Not likely!  So as a follower of Jesus Christ, who has been born again by the blood of the Lamb, how are we to respond?  We MUST respond biblically, and with commitment to “stand fast in the evil day”—and yes there is “evil” afoot, whether you acknowledge and recognize it or not!  What does that look like?  Well, I hope to share my personal understanding of biblical truth and how we can apply it to our lives in these evil days.  I invite you to join me as we peruse and consider what God says, and while I will give my opinion and commentary, I pray that you will hear what God has to say, and study for yourself.  After all, it is God we will answer to, not men!

I would like to make some preliminary observations that are important to me and can hopefully be helpful and thought-provoking for you.

First and foremost, we have abandoned The God of The Word as well as The Word of God!  As a culture we no longer respect, honor or promote godly, biblical living, even within many of our churches.

Secondly, we have abandoned the biblical principle of the family.  What do I mean by “the family”?  I am referring to the God-established home of one man and one woman in marriage for life, to comfort, be companionable to one another, sharing life together, as well as to procreate the human race.  God makes it clear that from the “beginning” (which we have also abandoned—the very foundation of scripture, God, man, and the God-breathed creation of all that exists, we deny not only the Genesis account, but the many other scriptures replete with the truth that God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit were present at creation and all things hinge on their creative power and love!) God knew we would fail and sin, yet He created us anyway, and had already made provision for our salvation through the Lamb of God who “takes away the sin of the world”!  But we must recognize and acknowledge that SIN is the issue! (See Genesis 1-3: John 1:1-5: Colossians 1:12-17: Hebrews 1:1-4; Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20 for more insight!)

In our homes, we have, as a nation, failed our children by teaching (by example if nothing else) our young people that sex is a toy—our young women can (and are almost encouraged to) have babies out of wedlock.  How can I say that?  Well, just look around you, we financially support these young women, yet if they choose to marry and live “moral” lives with the man with whom they are sleeping, they get no “support”, no “medical care” or other help.  But if they just “shack-up” denying the benefits of godly marriage, they will get their “check”!  One reason our country is falling apart with floundering children raised without fathers in the home, with no compunction (look it up) to live morally—yes biblical morality!  Also, we have not only accepted sexual perversion but promoted it, in our educational institutions—taxpayer funded institutions–as well as our churches.  I might also add, we have turned our children loose to the influences of “Hellywood” and in many cases exert no control or interest in what we allow to influence them—often because the parents practice the same things.  We allow (even encourage) our small children, as well as our teenagers, to dress like, act like, pursue and follow people of ungodly character, lude and immodest attire, with outright vulgar and wicked songs, actions, movies and other media influences.  Then we wonder what’s wrong with our culture!  Pardon my French, but “DUH”? Where have we put God?

The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen

to nought:

he maketh the devices of the people

of none effect.

11 The counsel of the LORD ‘

standeth for ever,

the thoughts of his heart

to all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD;

and the people whom he hath chosen

for his own inheritance.

13 The LORD looketh from heaven;

he beholdeth all the sons of men.”   Psalm 33:10-13

Happy is that people,

that is in such a case: yea,

happy is that people,

whose God is the LORD.”  Psalm 144:15

Happy is he

that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope

is in the LORD his God:

6 Which made heaven, and earth,

the sea,

and all that therein is:

which keepeth truth

for ever:”  Psalm 146:5-6

Be not deceived:

evil communications

corrupt good manners.”   1 Corinthians 15:33]

We can choose to honor, worship and obey The God Almighty of creation—The God of the Bible—or we can walk in the world’s ways and devices and reap the consequences.

The Proverbs speak so well to the fate of those who reject God and His ways.

Turn you at my reproof:

behold,

I will pour out my spirit

unto you,

I will make known my words

unto you.

24 Because I have called,

and ye refused;

I have stretched out my hand,

and no man regarded;

25 But ye have set at nought

all my counsel,

and would none of my reproof:

26 I also will laugh

at your calamity;

I will mock

when your fear cometh;

27 When your fear cometh

as desolation,

and your destruction cometh

as a whirlwind;

when distress and anguish cometh

upon you.

28 Then shall they call upon me,

but I will not answer;

they shall seek me early,

but they shall not find me:

29 For that they hated

knowledge,

and did not choose

the fear of the LORD:

30 They would none of my counsel:

they despised all my reproof.

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit

of their own way,

and be filled

with their own devices.

32 For the turning away of the simple

shall slay them,

and the prosperity of fools

shall destroy them.

33 But whoso hearkeneth

unto me

shall dwell safely,

and shall be quiet

from fear of evil.”  Proverbs 1:23-33

And Jeremiah’s word to Israel is so fitting for us today.

And at what instant I shall speak

concerning a nation,

and concerning a kingdom,

to build and to plant it;

10 If it do evil in my sight,

that it obey not my voice,

then I will repent of the good,

wherewith I said

I would benefit them.

11 Now therefore go to,

speak to the men of Judah,

and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

saying,

Thus saith the LORD;

Behold, I frame

evil against you,

and devise a device

against you:

return ye now every one

from his evil way,

and make your ways

and your doings

good.

12 And they said,

There is no hope:

but we will walk

 after our own devices,

 and we will every one

do the imagination

of his evil heart.”   Jeremiah 18:9-12

I don’t like to be all doom and gloom, but real love speaks truth; it warns of danger.  If I were to shout at people to not continue down a road where the bridge was out, you wouldn’t call it “hate”, you’d call it “love”; yet we have called “evil good….and good evil” and reject those who warn us of moral danger.  We can’t escape the consequences if we continually fail to recognize our error or turn to Jesus in repentance and faith!

Paul in his letter to the Thessalonian church, advises us that in the last days those who choose wrongly will reap the consequence of their choice—because God is righteous, holy, and just as well as “love”—and if you/I reject truth, He will allow each one who willfully rejects HIM to believe the lie.  Real love will warn you that sin is to your detriment; but you must decide what you will do with real love and truth, and remember, saying you won’t choose, is choosing!

And then shall that Wicked be revealed,

whom the Lord shall consume

with the spirit of his mouth,

and shall destroy

with the brightness of his coming:   

9 Even him,

whose coming is after the working of Satan

with all power

and signs

and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness

of unrighteousness

in them that perish;

because they received not

the love of the truth,

that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause

God shall send them strong delusion,

that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned

who believed not the truth,

but had pleasure

in unrighteousness.”    2 Thessalonians 2:8-12

Yet there is hope, if you will but turn to Jesus, who saves, transforms and delivers us from the penalty of sin, and its power over us!  And HE is coming to deliver us from the very presence of sin!  How about you?  Are you ready?  Will you believe the truth while you have the opportunity, or will you be deceived when the time comes and believe the lie and doom your soul (and probably the souls of those around you!)?  I pray that you will hear the truth from a loving heart, and come to Jesus today.  And if you belong to Jesus, please stop whining (perilous times are here) and “stand fast in the evil day” by keeping your eyes on “the prize”, Jesus, (See Phil. 3:13-15) and digging into HIS Word not the world’s words of deceit and delusion.  Paul gave the Thessalonians a powerful word of encouragement after the grave warning from his loving heart.

But we are bound to give thanks

alway to God

for you,

brethren beloved of the Lord,

because God hath from the beginning chosen you

to salvation

through sanctification of the Spirit

and belief of the truth:

14 Whereunto he called you

by our gospel,

to the obtaining of the glory

of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 Therefore, brethren,

stand fast,

and hold the traditions

which ye have been taught,

whether by word, or our epistle.

16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself,

and God, even our Father,

which hath loved us,

and hath given us

everlasting consolation

and good hope through grace,

17 Comfort your hearts,

and stablish you

in every good word

and work.”  2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Amen and Amen!!!