Through Many Tribulations (Part 2): Hardships

Through Many Tribulations

When Paul explained God’s choice of Jacob over his brother, he quoted from the prophet Malachi: “Just as it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’” (Romans 9:13; cf. Malachi 1:2-3). Jacob was chosen for prominence over his brother and for the blessings that came from being part of God’s promise (Romans 9:6-12). The Lord appeared to Jacob and said to him, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Genesis 28:13-15).

However, despite the fact that God chose Jacob and promised to bless him, he faced great hardships throughout his life. When he stood before Pharaoh, he said, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life” (Genesis 47:9). Notice some of the hardships that Jacob experienced:Continue Reading

God Remembered

Noah's Ark

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things which accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints” (Hebrews 6:9-10).

The Hebrew writer reminded the Christians to whom he wrote that God would not forget their work. The same promise applies to us today as well.

On an intellectual level, Christians may know this. We know that God is omniscient and, therefore, knows what we are doing and what we have done. However, during difficult times, it can sometimes feel as though God has forgotten us, even though we know He has not.
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Ten Years

Deep in Thought

So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting” (Ecclesiastes 11:10).

Every hour, day, and year that passes is forever lost. Once time has passed, we can never get it back. Jesus said it is impossible to “add a single hour” to our lives (Matthew 6:27).

Within the last year, I have hit three different ten-year milestones in my personal life – the tenth birthday of my oldest son; ten years working with the church in Morgantown; and, with this article, closing out the first ten years of Plain Bible Teaching. This has led me to reflect upon how much can happen in a decade. So in this article, we are going to focus on five different ten-year periods in the Bible and see what lessons we can learn.
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The Root of the Problem (Part 9): Impatience

The Root of the Problem (Part 9): Impatience

Our culture has long promoted the “instant gratification” mindset. We do not want to wait, we want to have our desires realized now. We have credit cards to buy things for which we have yet to earn the money to pay for them. No down payment home loans allow us to move into our own house before we save enough money for a down payment. We can cook our food with microwaves, pay for our gas at the pump, and instantly download music, books, and movies from the internet.

It is not always wrong to receive what we want instantly, but we must guard ourselves against becoming accustomed to that mindset. Expecting the things we want immediately, rather than having to patiently wait for some things, can lead to sin.
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The Most Frightening Verse in the Bible

Scared of the Bible

The Bible teaches that our fundamental purpose in life is to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This fear of God, coupled with obedience, is necessary for one to be accepted by Him. Peter told the household of Cornelius, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34-35).

Besides just telling us that we need to fear God, the Bible provides us with enough information for us to appreciate the fact that “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Notice just a few examples:
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When Will the Lord Return?

ClockThe “end times” are an intriguing topic to many people. They wonder what will happen and speculate about when the end will be. Throughout the years, some have even tried to predict the date of Christ’s return; yet every one of these dates has come and gone. This is not a sign that the end of the world will not happen, just that there are false prophets who erroneously claim to know the “secret things” of God (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The Scriptures do not provide us with a date for the Lord’s return, nor are we given signs to look for that will signal that the end is approaching. However, the New Testament certainly provides a description for when the Lord will return. So in this article, we will use the Bible to answer this question: When will the Lord return?
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Why Does the Earth Still Stand?

View of Earth from space

At the close of his second epistle, Peter told those to whom he wrote about the end of the world: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

Because this day was coming “like a thief,” he wanted them to be prepared: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:11-12). “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14). He wanted them to be living in a state of readiness knowing that the Lord could return at any time.

Approximately two thousand years later, the earth is still here. Why? It is important to understand that Peter’s words were not meant to suggest imminence (the end was soon), but unexpectedness (the end could come at any time). With this in mind, the Scriptures give three reasons why the earth has not yet been destroyed.
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