“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” — Winston Churchill
Exodus 23:9 — “You must not oppress foreigners. You know what it’s like to be a foreigner, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.”
You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. 2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! — 2 Ti 3:1–5.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor 5:1ff)
1 Kings 22-
For three years Aram and Israel continued without war. 2 But in the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, yet we are doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?” 4 He said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are; my people are your people, my horses are your horses.”
5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the Lord.” 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred of them, and said to them, “Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” They said, “Go up; for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no other prophet of the Lord here of whom we may inquire?” 8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one other by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies anything favorable about me, but only disaster.” Jehoshaphat said, “Let the king not say such a thing.” 9 Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” 10 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Zedekiah son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron, and he said, “Thus says the Lord: With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.” 12 All the prophets were prophesying the same and saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.”
15 When he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” He answered him, “Go up and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 16 But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 Then Micaiah said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep that have no shepherd; and the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each one go home in peace.’ ” 18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy anything favorable about me, but only disaster?”
19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ Then one said one thing, and another said another, 21 until a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 ‘How?’ the Lord asked him. He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.’ 23 So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up to Micaiah, slapped him on the cheek, and said, “Which way did the spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on that day when you go in to hide in an inner chamber.” 26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah, and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king: Put this fellow in prison, and feed him on reduced rations of bread and water until I come in peace.’ ” 28 Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, you peoples, all of you!”
“For Yahweh says this: To the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths and choose to do my good pleasure and cling to my covenant, I shall give them in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I shall give them an everlasting name that will never be effaced. As for foreigners who adhere to Yahweh to serve him, to love Yahweh’s name and become his servants, all who observe the Sabbath, not profaning it, and cling to my covenant: these I shall lead to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Isa. 56:4-7)
You should not have stood at the crossings to cut off his fugitives; you should not have handed over his survivors on the day of distress. For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. (Obadiah 14-15)
We start at 7. We’re working through the Gospel of Matthew. If you haven’t attended Bible Study before or it’s been awhile you should come along. Bible study enriches our lives as Christians. There’s no better way to spend an hour.
I see no more deadly poison can be given to a growing Christian than contentiousness. For are not love and contentiousness diametrically opposed? And what is the Christian life altogether but love? Therefore, when you sow the seeds of contentiousness, at the same time you banish love; for they are as unwilling to be guests in one and the same house as Christ is to associate with Belial. — Huldrych Zwingli
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you workers of lawlessness.’ (Mt 7:21-23)
“If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17).
This is how people who are Christians approach settling their differences. Pagans and unbelievers may decide to act otherwise, but Christians follow the command of Christ.
God takes not pleasure in the death of sinners, but rather that they return and live. But men take such pleasure in sin that they will die before they will return. The Lord Jesus was content to be their physician, and has provided them a sufficient plaster of His own blood: but if men make light of it, and will not apply it, what wonder if they perish after all? — RICHARD BAXTER
There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man’s table. Even dogs came and licked his sores.
Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s embrace. The rich man also died and was buried. ‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.”
Abraham said, “My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours.”
‘So he said, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.” The rich man replied, “Ah no, father Abraham, but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.” (Lk. 16:19-31)
A recent study by Vanderbilt University professor Marino Bruce has found that people who attend religious services live longer and are less stressed. The findings held true across faith traditions, said Bruce, the associate director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Research on Men’s Health, in a video posted to the university’s YouTube channel.
“We found in our study that actually attending church is actually good for your health, particularly for those who are between the ages of 40 and 65,” said Bruce, who also is a Baptist minister.
Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
“For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
See you Sunday.
“Come, take up the cross, and follow Me”. (Mk. 10:21)