End-Time Ethics

2 Jul

“Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be clear-headed and disciplined for prayer. Above all, keep your LOVE for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, his speech should be like the oracles of God; if anyone serves, his service should be from the strength God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” 

I Peter 4:4-11

How we occupy this land of territory in these last days of this present age is very important. God is bringing in his last fold of Gentiles before his eye regains FULL attention toward his chosen people of old- the 12 tribes of Israel. Though he has not lost site of them, His plan to draws its remnant back into His kingdom has is approaching us fast. Nevertheless, we can be sure that as just as God is, He will make sure everyone, including those of us that have attained grace unto salvation, has the opportunity to comply. If we understand Peter correctly, it is evident that God’s LOVE is and has always been the focus of redemption. To learn more about His love click here!

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Mars hill: Worship the creator not the creation

30 Jun

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions,  I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore  ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed an thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring, Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance  unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” Acts 17:22-34

Paul, proclaiming the message of Jesus (good news) led to his invitation to Mars hill. Mars hill, otherwise known as the Areopagus, was the oldest and most famous court in Athens with jurisdiction in moral, religious, and civil matters. Paul was not on trial in a formal sense. At this time in history of Athens the Areopagus was a place where new ideas were heard and tested. Paul took this opportunity to address the many idols that filled the city of Athens , which troubled him and led to philosophers from the two leading philosophical schools- Epicureans and Stoics taking him to Mars hill. Epicureans were practical materialists, believing that gods were uninvolved in human affairs, that humans should pursue pleasure, and that there was no afterlife/judgment. Stoics were pantheists (God was the soul of the universe) and determinists .  Some arrogant noticeables considered Paul a pseudo-intellectual, “seed picker”, picking up a few insignificant ideas here and there. However, as we examine Paul’s address to the Athenians, he leads the listeners by building a bridge with their religious inclinations and drawing upon observable data from the natural world regarding God’s nature, identified this God for them, established a relationship between God and humans, announced the coming judgment by the God of the world, and gave sampled evidence from the pagan Stoic poet Aratus (Epimenides) who rose out of Paul’s own territory Cilicia.

In the 21st century, idol worship is just as prevalent as it was in the 1st century, not forgetting the ancient days where most of the concepts of idols worship was born. Today, not only does man worship images of gold and silver, whether worn on the body or placed in a bank account, but the images have lived up to their “made with human hands” declaration. As mans’ desire to become like God has grown and appeasing the gods for personal gratification has multiplied, these idols have morphed into technology and time wasting distractions that shun us away from God more and more. An idol in effect is anything that takes the place of God(the creator of the heavens, earth, seas, and all things therein).  In no way do I disapprove of the use of the more beneficial technologies of today. In fact, it has opened the doorway for many to respond to the invitation of salvation when no other alternative influence would have been available. However, if we examine what Paul saw, we can glimpse into the broad idolistic worship gleaming the technologies of this world. “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” is an inscription that has not been found yet, but many parallels exist in inscriptions and literary writers to unknown gods in case any gods were overlooked.  What does this mean? Basically, you can make anything a god or idol. Undoubtedbly, this is what is seen everywhere.  People are worshipping the creative devices that bring forth the knowledge and information of choice, and allowing one to manipulate or appease it for further gain. Why does this sound so familiar to witchcraft? Because witchcraft is at the center of it where its ultimate goal is the control or manipulation of another.  Some people are under control of a memory which is plastered and molded into shrines governing minds and hearts from the grave. And though, Jesus is alive, we even worship his image instead of the true bread of life and never-ending stream of love exalted to the heavens above. Yet there are even more idols of worship in and around us. They lie in our pasttimes of the day as it goes by, such as, television, cell phones, computer and social atmospheres, careers, titles, positions, and even in our personalities that crave confirmation renewals tied into self-esteem issues never resolved. Paul said this was done” in ignorance” (v. 23).

Ignorance has been overlooked (v. 30) and now it time to repent for God’s appointed day for judgment  is coming.  Many of us who have indulged in idols have done so likewise, nevertheless, verse 27 tells us why and hands us the solution. We feel  so far away from God because our sinful lives sever that connection the more we continue to sin and live after lawlessness. But we are told that God has determined our times and days so that we may seek Him and perhaps reach out and find Him, though he is not far away. God gives everyone life and breath and all things, therefore, if we reach out to HIM and not the “thing” we SHALL find Him.

Last, at the mention of the resurrection of the dead, Paul’s listeners mocked him and even prolonged their response to his declaration by wanting to hear him later. This is done every Sunday and through the weeks as the invitation to God’s grace and salvation is given. However, there were those who joined the call to repentance as did Dionysius a member of the Mars hill court who probably finally saw the living God amongst all the other non-living graven images and ideas clouding the city of Athens.

Are you tired of dead idols that never satisfy. Maybe you have examined or even worshipped the many images, technologies and ideas that wear you down but never restore what you put into them. Let me introduce you to Jesus. Click here to find out more!

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