“Woe to the Rebellious Children”

Babylonian Siege of Jerusalem

‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ declares the Lord, ‘Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation’” (Isaiah 30:1-3).

In the passage above, the Lord condemned the people of Judah for making an alliance with Egypt. The Lord made four points to them:Continue Reading

Lost Believers

Man at Sunset

Some passages in the Bible are lifted out of context, isolated, oversimplified, and misinterpreted in order to make a point that is not at all what the passage is teaching. At times this may be done by sincere individuals, but that does not change the fact that they are not accurately representing what the Scriptures teach.

The following passage is a common example of one that is used to make a point that does not accurately represent what the Bible teaches:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

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By What Are We Justified?

Man at sunset

The concept of justification is of major importance in the gospel. But what does it mean to be justified? Thayer defines the word as declaring or pronouncing one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be.

In the New Testament, justification is about God recognizing us as being righteous or right before Him. This divine recognition is key. We are not righteous simply by declaring ourselves to be righteous. We may claim it, but that does not make it so. How then can we be justified? The New Testament mentions several things by which we are justified. We will notice them in this article.
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Lord Willing

To-do list

Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:13-17).

The passage above is often cited to emphasize the uncertainty and brevity of life. It also teaches us the importance of remembering our dependence upon God (“If the Lord wills…”). In this article, we are going to consider four lessons from this passage. Forgetting these lessons will always lead us into sin. We will notice how that happens.
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Who Were the 7,000?

Elijah

Following the showdown with the prophets of Baal, Elijah was forced to flee from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-3). He had just participated in a great victory for the cause of the Lord, but because of the opposition he was facing he prayed for the Lord to take his life (1 Kings 19:4). He explained to God why he felt the way that he did:

I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10).

Elijah believed he was the only one left serving the Lord. Yet there were others. In fact, God told Elijah that there were “7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18).

Who were these 7,000 individuals about whom the Lord spoke? More importantly, what lessons can we learn from them to apply to us today?
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The Real Pharisees (Part 5): The Pharisees Rejected God’s Purpose for Themselves

The Real Pharisees

But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John” (Luke 7:30).

People often wonder if they have some special purpose in life. Of course, we all have the same general purpose – to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). But there are few in history that have had a specific purpose from God.

One individual with this type of specific purpose was John the Baptist. Jesus mentioned him in the context of His discussion of the Pharisees rejecting God’s purpose for themselves. Jesus said, “This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You’” (Luke 7:27; cf. Malachi 3:1). When John came, he had a specific purpose – to prepare the way for Christ.
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Who Knows?

Young man thinking

The Hebrew writer said, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). This is the one thing in our future that is certain – death followed by judgment. Besides that, we cannot say with certainty what will happen in our future. James wrote, “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow” (James 4:14). The wise man asked, “If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen?” (Ecclesiastes 8:7).

Who knows what will happen in the future? None of us do. How then do we approach life with this kind of uncertainty? The Scriptures provide some lessons for us to consider. In this article, we will examine several passages that discuss uncertain futures. In each of them, the phrase “who knows” is used to express the fact that mere men could not know where the events would lead. We will consider the events that were happening and see what lessons we can learn from them.
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