Archive | July 2012

From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Romans 5:9

Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.               NKJV

Are those who stand before the throne of God justified now?  So are we, as truly justified as those who walk in white and sing glorious praises in heaven.  No one can say to us, “Though you have been exonerated upon a partial trial, upon further investigation your guilt could have been proved.”  We can reply, “But it was proved for we confessed it.  There was no other evidence needed, and nothing further could have been brought, since we pleaded guilty to every charge.  If you bring any further accusation, we can only say that we pleaded guilty without reserve.  It was all in the indictment; we did not attempt for a moment to hide any guilt we had incurred.  We confessed it all before the Lord and since the Lord Jesus Christ took it all there is no cause for reopening the case.  There cannot be a second trial through a writ of error: the case is thoroughly disposed of.  We have pleaded guilty to every charge, and have borne the utmost penalty of the law by our Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, and God himself has accepted the payment for our penalty.  Our acquittal is such that we can rest upon it with absolute reliance.”

We shall grow in grace, but we shall never be more completely pardoned than when we first believed: we shall one day stand before the glorious presence of God in his
own sacred courts, and see the Well-beloved and wear his likeness, but we shall not even then be more perfectly forgiven than we are at this present moment.
Charles H. Spurgeon

From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Mark 10:25-27

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”                     NKJV

This is one of the most commonly misinterpreted passages of scripture in the entire Bible.  The “eye of the needle” is frequently interpreted as a small gate in the Jerusalem wall through which a camel could pass only with great difficulty.  However, there are four problems with this interpretation.

First, there is no evidence that such a gate ever existed.  Second, it would have been incredibly stupid of an architect to design such a gate.  Third, the Greek word translated “needle” is rhaphis” which literally means “to sew.”  One does not “sew” with a gate in the Jerusalem wall.  Fourth and finally, the disciples clearly did not understand Jesus to mean that it was “difficult” for a rich man to be saved.  They understood Jesus to mean that just as it is “impossible” for a camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle, it is also “impossible” for a rich man to be saved.  This is seen in their response, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus answer is that no one can, of themselves, be saved.  As Jonah 2:9 declares, “Salvation is of the Lord.”  It is not a problem for God to pass a camel through the eye of a sewing needle.  He can break the camel down to its subatomic particles and pass it through atom by atom if He so chooses.  After all, He is the omnipotent One who created the camel to begin with.  Likewise, salvation is a miraculous work of God’s grace and only He can save a soul (Eph. 2:1-10, II Cor. 4:6, Rom. 8:29-39).

From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Isaiah 27:1

In that day, the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong, Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.            NKJV

Leviathan is surely being used in this verse as a metaphor for Satan, who will be punished by the Lord Jesus Christ at His second coming.  The LORD’s sword in view refers to the word of God (see Eph. 6:17, Heb. 4:12, Rev. 19:15) with which Christ will destroy our adversary, The Devil.

The Leviathan was a very large, powerful, and ferocious creature that once lived on the earth.  It is referred to a number of times in the Old Testament, with the most complete description being found in Job 41.  Some commentators who have bought into the uniformitarian teaching of long geological ages in which the dinosaurs died off 65 million years before man appeared on the earth have attempted to assign the identity of the Leviathan to a crocodile or a whale.  But clearly the description of the Leviathan does not fit either of these animals.  Instead it much better fits the description of one of the dinosaur-like sea dragons known as Mosasaurs.  Mosasaurs were giant marine reptiles with scaled, serpentine bodies that reached lengths of 60 feet and had skulls over six feet long filled with large, sharp teeth.  They also had the hinged jaws of a snake and swam with a serpentine motion. In Job 41:18-21, the leviathan is said to be able to breathe fire out of its nostrils. Because of this, some commentators have tried to pass the leviathan off as a mythological creature or a fairy tale, yet there is an insect living today, which possesses this amazing ability.  The bombardier beetle uses special glands in its body to mix hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide in an aqueous base, along with an inhibitor in an abdominal chamber.  When threatened by a predator, the flow of inhibitor is stopped, causing the mix to explode from an opening in the beetle’s abdomen, spraying the threatening predator with a gas that is 212 degrees Fahrenheit.  Some dinosaurs had hollow chambers in their skulls, connected to their nostrils, which may have served a similar function.   Job 41:33-34 declares the leviathan to be the most powerful of all God’s creatures.

The same descriptive terms are used of both the Leviathan and Satan.  Twice the Leviathan is referred to as a serpent in our text as is Satan in a number passages (see Gen. 3:14-15 and Rev. 12:9,14-15, 20:2).  Also the term “reptile” in the NKJV is the common Hebrew word for “dragon” and is commonly translated as such in the Septuagint, the King James Version, and a number of other translations.  The same term “dragon” is used 13 times in Revelation, chapters 12, 13, 16, and 20 to describe Satan.

In our text God promises to “punish” and “slay” the Leviathan.  Just as the Mosasaurs became extinct, so Satan will be punished and ultimately destroyed as well.  He will be bound in the Abyss during Jesus’ millennial reign (Rev. 20:2-3) and afterward cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10, Mat. 25:41).  Thus will the serpent’s head be finally crushed by our Lord and Savior and the wicked designs of our accuser will be brought to an end forever.

From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Mark 10:14

But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.”

      NKJV

 

In this verse we have a clear command to make a place for our children in the presence of Jesus, to make them a part of every aspect of the family of faith, to help them grow in the knowledge of the Lord and His claim on their lives and to learn from them as we share with them the holy scriptures.

 

Sadly many Christian parents are lax in their attitude toward the Lord and His church and are not aware of the negative long-range effects that this indifferent attitude is certain to have on their children.  These parents are not hostile toward the church, they are just apathetic and inconsistent in their church attendance and service to Christ and His body, the church.  They are comfortable with their worldly lifestyles and do not want to be bothered with spiritual responsibilities.

From the Pastor’s Pen

Final thought on Psalm 33:12

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.                 NKJV

Despite the attempts of the humanists and atheists of our society to rewrite America’s history and erase the truth that our country was founded a Christian nation, the facts clearly say otherwise.  The documents and writings of our founding fathers reflect a deep appreciation and an abiding knowledge that their freedom came from the almighty God of the Bible.

God is the One who gives liberty to us and grants freedom to nations.  Only when we understand this truth and pass this knowledge on to the next generation will they hold on to that liberty and freedom and not give it up.  But conversely, when we as a nation or a people fail to acknowledge and give proper recognition to the God from whom our liberty and freedoms come, not only do we fail to pass on that truth to the next generation, but it is only a matter of time before our nation will slip into oppression and bondage.  Its people will lose their freedoms.