Thursday, October 31, 2013

Zombies and Virgins

Wanted to wish everyone a happy holloween. The fact of the matter is that the zombie apocalypse is already upon us, as the Liberals in our midst can atest. Let us all flee to Costco to survive.

Also found this edifying so thought I'd share.

Five Foolish Virgins

Matthew 25:1–13 “When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps” (vv. 3–4).

Dr. John MacArthur rightly points out that the story of the faithful and wise servant in Matthew 24:45–51 tells us to be ready in case Jesus comes sooner than we have anticipated (The MacArthur Bible Commentary, p. 1,174). The faithless servant boldly sins, believing he can put off changing his ways because he thinks his master will be long in coming (Matt. 24:48–51). A wise servant, however, does not delay his duties since he does not know when his master will return, and he refuses to be caught unawares. He does not put off loving service to his master because today might be his last chance to do what is right.

On the other hand, Dr. MacArthur says the parable in Matthew 25:1–13 exhorts us to be ready if Christ delays longer than we expect (p. 1,174). The story is based on a Near Eastern wedding, a scenario familiar to His original audience. After nuptials at the bride’s home, a welcoming party escorts the newly-married couple to the bridegroom’s house for the lengthy reception. The attendants guide these evening processions with their “lamps” (Matt. 25:3–4), which are likely torches made of olive oil-doused cloths mounted on sticks. Wise members of the bridal party carry extra oil in case their torches need to be relit.

In Jesus’ parable, the bridegroom for whom the ten virgins are waiting is the Savior Himself (v. 1). Jesus is here implicitly claiming to be God incarnate; the Old Testament often pictures the Creator as a groom and His people as His bride (Isa. 54:4–8; Hos. 2:14–20). The bridegroom’s arrival is clearly taking longer than expected, for all ten ladies fall asleep (Matt. 25:2–5). This reveals that although we cannot know the exact time of His return, the fact that Jesus has tarried 2,000 years and counting is not unexpected.

The foolish virgins are unprepared for the bridegroom (vv. 8–13). They did not count the cost of being in the processional and did not ready themselves for its delay. Like many others, the foolish girls have not understood the price of discipleship; sacrifice and forethought are required to stand in the day of trial and to be assured that one’s faith is real (Eph. 6:10–20; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; 1 John 5:13). Only the spiritually prepared — the wise virgins — will enter the kingdom.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

We cannot trust in the spiritual readiness of others. Being ready to enter the kingdom at our Lord’s return or, should He tarry, to remain faithful when our rescue seems long in coming is something that we are responsible for as individuals. We must see that our lamps are being fed — that we are continually growing in the love of God and service to others. Otherwise our oil will run out and we will be revealed as foolish and faithless.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Matthew 24

From Bible Gateway. Great thoughts on Matthew 24.

Dr. R.C. Sproul and other scholars propose a third way of interpreting Matthew 24:1–35, which argues that “the substance of the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in AD 70” (The Last Days According to Jesus, p. 158). Our studies to come will advocate this approach. The main advantage of this view is that it takes seriously the time-frame references found in the Olivet Discourse. It also focuses on the context of the discourse — our Lord’s prediction of the fall of the temple (Matt. 24:2) — providing a coherent answer to the question as to when these things will take place (v. 3), that is, when Jerusalem and its temple will be destroyed.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

This approach to the Olivet Discourse does not deny Christ’s future coming in glory “to judge the living and the dead,” as the creeds say. Those who advocate this view just argue that most of Matthew 24 is not directly applicable to this event. But many other passages affirm the second coming of Christ to usher in the new heavens and earth, and Christians must affirm that there is a day of judgment for the world (I Thess. 1:9–10). Are you longing for His return?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

When Hope Fades

Found the below edifying from Bible Gateway.


We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

The hope of most female refugees from North Korea fades away shortly after arriving in China. Most do not want to flee to South Korea, because then they lose all contact with their family, and they are not in the position to support them anymore. And if they go to another place in China, it is only a matter of time before they are caught by either the police or human traffickers. And who knows what happens to them then?

So, is all hope lost? “No, there is hope,” says co-worker Kun-so. She picks up a Bible. “And that hope is written in this Book. For in it are profound promises. There is a heaven. Jesus loves you. All tears will be wiped away. No more death, no more pain. The Bible can even be the key to a better life now.

“But we have to bring the hard, difficult, biblical messages to the surface. The Bible says that you have to bless those who persecute you. It means you have to love the husband that abuses you. I have seen improvement when a North Korean woman was able to love instead of hate. And I direct the women to how God feels about them, how precious they are in His eyes, about what Jesus Christ did for them on Calvary. Thanks to His sacrifice there is hope. I can point the women to the day that will come eventually. The day that our Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes, the day that death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“After a while, we try to teach the women to forgive their Chinese husbands for their abuse. We tell them Jesus commands us to love our husbands. I know this is not easy to do. But we have seen that some women found the strength to do loving things for their husbands, and as a result slowly the husband started to change.”

Moon lost her child through a forced abortion, only days before her due date. Moon still lives with the Chinese family responsible for killing her child. But she also came into contact with a female co-worker. The worker took care of Moon as best as she could. She befriended her, prayed with her and explained about God and His love for her.

“I will be forever grateful,” shares Moon. “Thanks to you, I came into contact with God. As I learn more and more about Him through your Bible studies, I am grateful that this wonderful Being loves me. China and North Korea have not changed. I am still a person with no rights, and there is always the threat that the police will find me and send me back to North Korea.

“My situation is terrible, humanly speaking. But I feel like I am living in a whole new world, just because I know God. And I know my baby is with Him.”

When hope fades, faith emerges.

RESPONSE: Today I will place my hope in the Lord and trust Him to change the situations around me.

PRAYER: Pray for North Korean refugees—especially women—who suffer severely often losing hope. Pray that they will indeed find hope in the Lord.

Standing Strong Through The Storm

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quick update and Beware

I found the below extremely edifying, so thought I'd share. Also this week will mark my one year involvement with Kiva. Today is also Infant loss awareness day. Please join me in praying for those who lost a loved one at an early age.

Beware of Apostasy Deuteronomy 13 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams…says, ‘Let us go after other gods’…you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams” (vv. 1–3).

Advanced technology has brought many benefits in the form of easier travel and communications. It is now relatively easy for those of us in the West to go anywhere in the world. Thus we can easily keep ourselves up to date on world events and what is going on in the lives of our friends and family who live far away. Yet there has been a downside to this progress. Television lets us see what is happening in other countries, but it also lets false teaching from Mormons, New Age gurus, and the health-and-wealth gospel into our homes. The Internet allows us to do research with greater ease and speed, but it exposes us to misinformation as well. In our day, aberrant teaching is far too accessible to people across the globe.

Erroneous teaching has been a problem for the covenant community from almost the very beginning. We read in today’s passage the warning Moses gave the people of Israel about false prophets just before the nation entered the land of Canaan. Even if the person who claims to speak for God is able to do great signs, Moses says, the people are not to follow the “prophet” if he wants to worship other gods (Deut. 13:1–3). The priority of sound teaching is a principle that we find throughout Scripture. As fallen human beings we are normally inclined to follow the gifted and charismatic teacher. The Lord, however, places a priority on the truth, not the abilities of the instructor. People might do great things, but they are never to be followed into the service of a different god. In fact, even if an angel himself were to preach another gospel, we must never follow it (Gal. 1:8–9). A teacher whose message consistently fails to line up with the essential doctrines of the Word of God must be rejected.

False teaching is dangerous to the Lord’s people because it can lead people into apostasy. An apostate is one who has committed the deadly sin of professing faith in the one, true creator God and then later denying His profession. The problem of apostasy was so bad in ancient Israel that the Lord eventually brought the curse of exile upon the nation. Let us beware of error lest we too succumb and suffer the same fate (Rev. 2:12–17).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Of course, we realize that anyone who abandons Christ did not ever have saving faith to begin with (1 John 2:19). Nevertheless, this truth should not make us complacent; rather, it should encourage us to demonstrate the reality of our faith and pursue earnestly the truths of God that we may “inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:11–12). Take time today to pray for your soul, asking the Lord to keep you in the truth and preserve your faith until the end.