The Apple Of God's Eye

March 2, 2011

Your Spiritual Criminal Record

Filed under: Baptism,Repentance — melchia @ 3:07 pm
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criminalrecords.maxupdates.tv

It’s not easy to live with a criminal record. Many a criminal after he has been released from jail has met frustration after frustration as he tries to become accepted again in society. Often the ex-convict is just on the verge of landing a job when his would-be employer comes across his criminal record and then “coincidentally” decides it best not to hire him.

The ex-convict who wants to change is one man who yearns that society would forgive and forget what he has done. Here’s an individual who would do just about anything to have his record cleared.

The ex-convict may have broken some civil law of the land for which he was imprisoned and for which he has been cut off from society, but every human being on this earth has broken another law — and in doing so has cut himself off from his Creator. And if every human being is involved, you must be included!

But what is it you’ve done that God needs to forgive and forget? In what way have you cut yourself off from your God? Can you think of anything? Anything worthy of eternal death?

God dogmatically states in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” And Romans 6:23 just as dogmatically states that “the wages of sin is death.” So God is categorically asserting that everybody is worthy of death. Plain and simple. And everybody includes all of us.

But God does not leave us “hanging.” He has designed a system in which all our sins can be so blotted out that it will be as though they never existed. This is called, in the King James translation, “the remission of sins.” (more…)

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Why Did Jesus Curse The Fig Tree?

Filed under: Fruits (Works) — melchia @ 2:50 pm
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about-garden.com

Commentaries generally agree that fig trees in the area of Palestine produce fruit for much of the year, if they bear at all. Unlike most trees, the fig tree first produces its fruit and afterward its leaves (see Song of Solomon 2:13). The immature fruit, though green and hard, is considered edible if one is sufficiently in need. It was not out of the way for Jesus to look for fruit in March since the tree was shrouded with luxuriant green leaves, making a show of being a worthy tree. But when Jesus found nothing on the tree, He used it as an example to teach His disciples — and us — some spiritual principles. Seeing the tree was obviously worthless as a fruit bearer — not just at that time of year but all seasons — He had no compunction about cursing and killing it as an object lesson for all.

First, with a tree having leaves but not figs, an element of deception is involved. Secondly this incident teaches that the outward appearance and show is not what counts with God. What counts is production of fruit (Luke 13:3-9; Galatians 5:22-23). It matters not how much we profess to be Christians if we bear no fruit. And the rapid drying up of the fig tree pictures how we will likewise be cursed and die, if we are found to be barren at the time Christ calls for an accounting.

In Luke 13:6-7 (Revised Standard Version), Jesus expressed the principle this way: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down.’ ” Then the vinedresser prevailed on him to leave the tree for one more year, to cultivate around it, and to fertilize it, to see if finally it might possibly bear fruit, “but if not, you can cut it down.”

The parable shows the long-suffering of God, and His willingness to give every possible aid. But finally His allotted time for production comes to an end.

Though the fig tree, like the olive and the vine, was a symbol of the Judaean commonwealth, which was about to be cut down, verses 1 to 5 make it clear that Jesus meant the lesson to apply also to each individual.

John the baptizer also told the Pharisees and Sadducees: “Bear fruit that befits repentance … Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:8,10, RSV).

Wat Does The Bible Say About Suicide?

pstransitoperators.wordpress.com

The Bible gives no specific command regarding suicide, nor does the word itself appear in the Bible. There are, however, references to seven people who killed themselves: Samson (Judges 16); Abimelech ( Judges 9); Saul (I Samuel 31); Saul’s armorbearer (I Samuel 31); Zimri (I Kings 16:18); Ahithophel (II Samuel 17:23); and Judas (Matthew 27:5). The earlier conduct of all seven was morally corrupt, and except for Samson their suicides were simply attempts to escape their well-deserved fates.

Suicide means self-murder and murder is forbidden by the Sixth Commandment: “Thou shalt do no murder.”

God has not given an individual — even one who could rightly judge himself deserving of the death penalty (as could most of the above) — the right to pass such a sentence. Suicide is not an acceptable way of escaping punishment, dishonor or the like.

In a different case, however, Samson died a hero, because his suicide was in fact a dedication of his life, at long last, wholly to the service of God in the liberation of Israel from the Philistines. His motive was not just to kill himself to escape. Christ Himself similarly gave His life for others.

Since a suicide experiencing quick death or unconsciousness has no opportunity to repent of his murder in this life, some have wondered if suicide is what the Bible terms the unpardonable sin. The answer is no, because the unpardonable sin is only unpardonable because it is something a person refuses to repent of.

God is merciful, not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9), but He simply has not called most people to repentance in this life. They will have their chance in a resurrected life after the millennium in the period known as the White Throne Judgment.

Source: The Good News, January 1979

Is God’s Law Abolished In The New Testament?

dozierdon.blogspot.com

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Therefore we don’t have to keep the law — Christ kept it for us.” Or so goes a familiar — but erroneous — argument!

This false argument takes the form of many Sunday sermons that, unfortunately, lead many professing Christians away from the truth (Jeremiah 50:6).

Let’s examine the key Bible passage around which the whole question revolves, and see just what Paul meant.

What the Bible doesn’t say

The main verse in controversy is Galatians 3:13: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”

First, let’s notice what this verse does not say:

1) It does not say that if you keep the law you will be under some terrible curse. Just the opposite is true. Satan himself knows that those who keep God’s spiritual law will be richly blessed, and that breaking the law brings a curse upon mankind. Thus the archdeceiver of this world (Revelation 12:9) inspires deceived ministers (II Corinthians 11:13-15) to preach the diabolical lie that keeping God’s law brings a curse.

2) This verse does not say we don’t have to keep God’s spiritual law. The same Paul who wrote Galatians also wrote, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). Paul also said that it is not the hearers of the law who are just before God, but the doers of the law who shall be justified (Romans 2:13).

What, then, is the curse of the law? (more…)

The Death Penalty Versus Euthanasia: One Is Condoned, The Other Condemned

stephenhicks.org

Euthanasia is a hot topic today, and realistically, it is a by-product of 20th century medical success. People who would have died in past times are now kept alive by advanced medical treatments.

Alongside the decision to prolong life, we have come up with  slogans like “the right to die,” “choosing not to suffer,” “death with dignity,” and “doctor-assisted suicide.” These are nothing less than softened expressions which take our mind off what we are really accomplishing! The time-honoured Hippocratic oath upon which the healing medical profession was founded and which in part reads  “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect,” is slowly being discarded in favour of killing people.

What I find highly hypocritical is that the same people who advocate euthanasia will bend over backwards to keep convicted killers alive. Now I know the two issues are separate in people’s minds, as they’ll say one prevents suffering and the other prevents injustice. However, let’s look at the commonality between the two – death at the hand of fellow man.

The Death Penalty Commanded

God, through the Old Testament of the Bible speaks with perfect plainness on the issue of capital punishment: “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death” (Exod. 21:12).

Genesis 9:6 and Leviticus 24:17 also give full authority to those sitting in judgment to execute a murderer. Deuteronomy 19:11-13 commands unsparing punishment for such a killer: “…deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.”

The subject has now been taken up in force by the overwhelmingly anti-death-penalty news media. In the growing national debate, death-penalty advocates are being made to look heartless and uncompassionate.

Let’s ask this fundamental question: Is the God of the Old Testament heartless and uncompassionate? The Bible says that God is a God of love (I John 4:8). So how could a loving God actually command putting someone to death?

Actually, when the death penalty is understood from God’s vantage point, it is one of the greatest acts of love there can be toward society—and the condemned criminal. (more…)

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