Behold, God’s Abounding Longsuffering!

Monday, April 9, 2012

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (1 Timothy 1:16 KJV).

Imagine seeing the entire universe. Zooming in, we see the Local Group, a massive coalescence of dozens of galaxies. In the Local Group, we find the Milky Way, and in the Milky Way, we find our Solar System, eight bodies and their natural satellites orbiting Sun. One of these eight bodies is Earth. Earth, the “blue and green marble,” appears very peaceful and hospitable. Beware!! The chief occupants are sinners!

Our holy and righteous Creator, Jesus Christ, is currently looking down from heaven, and He sees us humans, some of the most wretched, miserable, and selfish creatures. Mankind’s sin has so complicated His simple and “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31). Earth, viewed from outer space, seems so appealing… until you consider its residents—the wicked human race. We (mankind) have caused God such indescribable grief. Once, God was so “grieved” by man’s sin that He literally sent a global flood to destroy the earth and most of the human race (Genesis 6:5-7).

We may never fully understand it, but God had such pity on us that He came to rescue from our sins. He became a Man, Jesus Christ, to save us from ourselves, to die for our sins. God even knew most of mankind would totally disregard His sacrificial death, but He had such longsuffering, mercy, and grace that He still went to Calvary’s cross to purchase our salvation. God in His abounding grace, mercy, and longsuffering is still tolerating wicked mankind.

The Apostle Paul, before salvation, was anti-God. Saul had God’s people imprisoned and/or put to death; he hated Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13,14; Timothy 1:13). And yet, as today’s Scripture teaches, God saved Saul, “shewing forth all longsuffering.” If God could save His chief enemy, Saul, and make him Paul our Apostle, and if He could save us wretched infidels who still enjoy sin, we exclaim, having eternally thankful hearts, “Behold, God’s abounding longsuffering!”

When Christ Returns

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things…” (Acts 3:19-21 KJV).

The perfect planet that existed prior to man’s rebellion and fall has been absent for 6,000 years now. According to the Bible, “as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). It was in Genesis 3:16-19 that the LORD placed a curse on creation, “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). Consequently, we have sickness and death, thorns and thistles, and women have birth pangs. That is only until Christ returns….

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter tells Israel that Jesus Christ will return one day to earth to set up His earthly kingdom (“the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things”). He will also restore and forgive Israel. After Christ’s Second Coming, the curse of sin will be lifted from creation and Earth will revert back to the conditions of the Garden of Eden! Isaiah 51:3 says: “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”

Ezekiel 36:33-36 also describes Israel’s barren land restored: “This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited” (verse 35). Isaiah 11:1-10 describes Christ’s earthly kingdom. There will be no carnivorous or poisonous animals—children will not be harmed by snakes, wolves will dwell peacefully with lambs, and leopards will coexist calmly with baby goats. Wow!

For now, the human, plant, and animal kingdoms will continue to suffer—sickness, heartache, and ultimately physical death. But, this is not permanent. Creation will be restored to its original glory, and finally delivered from the curse of sin… when Christ returns….

The Whole Creation Groaneth and Travaileth in Pain

Monday, January 9, 2012

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22,23 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul explains that all creation groans and travails in pain. The animal kingdom suffers sickness and death, just as we humans experience sickness and death. Saints, short of the Lord’s coming for us at the rapture, we will eventually grow sick and old, and finally die. Does God not care about us? Does God really love us? If so, why do we suffer?

Our suffering has nothing to do with un-confessed sin, meager giving, or being outside of God’s will. We suffer, not because God is mad at us, but rather because we live under the curse of sin, “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). This curse was introduced in Genesis 3:16-19, in response to Adam’s sin.

God will not remove the curse of sin from creation until Christ’s Second Coming. At that time, Christ will establish His earthly kingdom, “the times of refreshing [that will come] from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). But, as Christians, we have an advantage: we will not have to wait as long to enjoy deliverance from the curse.

Either at our death or the rapture—both will come before Christ’s Second Coming—we Christians will leave these sinful human bodies. When the rapture occurs, God will resurrect all members of the Body of Christ, giving them glorified bodies fashioned like unto Jesus Christ’s resurrected body (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; Philippians 3:20,21). In that day, we will receive the “redemption of our body” (today’s Scripture), never again to suffer this curse.

For now, we are comforted: “For the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Hang in there!

The Death of Evolutionary Theory

Thursday, December 8, 2011

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12 KJV).

Historical secular geology teaches that earth’s fossil record was assembled over a period of four billion years, the result of at least five mass extinctions that wiped out 90% of earth’s species.

Modern humans, scientists claim, have existed for just a small fraction of earth’s 4.6-billion-year history (at most two million years). In other words, historical geology claims that death was not caused by man’s sin (since the fossil record contains the remains of plants and animals that died before man “evolved”). This is obviously contradictory to the Bible, which plainly teaches sin and death came into the world after man/Adam disobeyed God (today’s Scripture). According to the Bible, there was no such thing as death until man’s existence.

If we believe that creatures died prior to man, then we are also forced to conclude Adam’s sin did not cause death, and thus, we undermine the Gospel of Grace. The Bible clearly declares that just as eternal death came by Adam’s disobedience, so eternal life comes by Jesus Christ’s obedience (Romans 5:15-19). If the Bible is wrong about death being associated with Adam’s sinfulness, then could it also be wrong about eternal life being associated with Christ’s sinlessness? See how evolutionary theory even attacks the Gospel of the Grace of God?

Either we believe God’s Word (the Bible) or we believe evolutionary theory. It is that simple, friends. We either believe God or we do not. Evolutionary theory does not fit the Biblical creation account.

The placement of death before man’s existence is just one of the many theological (and scientific) flaws of evolutionary theory. Not only does evolutionary theory diminish God’s purpose and plan for mankind, but it also blinds the minds of the lost. Evolutionary theory keeps the unsaved from seeing their sinful state and their need for the salvation that God has so graciously provided us in Christ Jesus and His finished crosswork on Calvary.

Evolutionary theory is extinct!

Not Walking By Sight, Literally

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV).

Two weeks ago Brother “G,” my friend and co-laborer in the Christian writing ministry, suffered a stroke, losing most sight in one eye. Currently, he has greatly limited vision in both eyes (years ago, his other eye suffered a stroke). Last week, after “seeing” my optometrist, I visited Brother G. However, as of three days ago, I have been enduring an eye infection. I am currently typing with sight in just one eye! 🙂

Case in point: in this fallen creation we all have troubles and adversity (they are “common to man”). Sin and its subsequent curse result in our sickness and ultimate death (Romans 5:12; Romans 8:20-22). But, even during sickness, today’s Scripture says we “bear it.” How?

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:22-25).

We Christians are “saved” from despair. While we suffer sickness, we have faith in the hope that, one day, these weak physical bodies will be redeemed and transformed into new glorified bodies (the rapture; 1 Corinthians 15:49-57; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 3:20,21). Our destination, as members of the Body of Christ, is the heavenly places, where there is neither sin nor suffering.

After “seeing” doctors, Brother G and me still groan in sickness, but we are walking by faith, NOT sight. Literally, we hope in what “we see not.” 🙂