Elijah, however, placed blame where blame belonged, saying, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals” (v. 18). The world is trying to blame the church for the world’s problems, but the world has allowed corrupt leaders to propagate corrupt policies that are inviting God’s judgment upon our nation and our world.
From the time Jesus entered Jerusalem challenging the compromise and pride of the religious elite in Judaism, the people in power rejected Jesus of Nazareth as anything but a troublemaker. The chief priests, scribes, elders, and other elite religious leaders were completely mystified as to who this Jesus was, but they rejected the idea that He was the Messiah. So, they probed and questioned Him, observed and tried to find fault with Him, but they came up short each time they tried to defame Him.
There is coming a shaking in this world, and everything that can be shaken will be shaken, but if we build our house of faith on the firm foundation, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone, then when the shaking stops and the wind and waves cease, we will still be standing. However, if we have built our hope on what the world has to offer, it will not stand. Kingdoms are going to fall, and there is no guarantee that America will survive, but if we have put our hope in nothing less than Jesus and His righteousness, we will survive.
After the Parable of the Soils, the Gospel of Mark records the Parable of the Lamp. On the surface, what Jesus says here is self-evident: “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?” (v. 21). This simply means that no one lights a lamp and then shoves it under his bed or puts it under a basket because that would defeat the purpose of having a lamp. Instead, a lamp is lit to shine a light, and to be most effective it is elevated on a stand it so that the light can fill the room.
Jude opens his epistle making it clear that his intention is to sound the alarm about “certain men” who have “crept in unnoticed.” Jude intends to expose these people and to warn the church not to let these men to seduce the church with their twisted message. These people taught that it is possible to be a believer while also engaging in sexual behavior that violates the very precepts of God’s Word, including the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. Indeed, these people even denied “the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” So why were these people in the church, how did they get into the church, and why should these people be forced out of the church unless, of course, they repent and observe whatsoever Jesus commanded? In verses 12 and 13 Jude provides a compact but powerful answer to these questions.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t believe everything you hear, and only half of what you see”? Never has that pithy saying been truer than it is in our time; yet so many people seem willing to accept as the gospel truth, anything that confirms what they already want to believe. This is known in research as “confirmation bias,” which is when we believe what affirms what we want to believe, and reject what we don’t want to believe. However, truth is truth whether it affirms or disconfirms what we want to believe. Contemporary forms of false religions tend to prosper by telling people what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear.
FIRST JOHN: TRUTH IN A WORLD OF DECEPTION “Let the Love-Light Shine” By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: 1 John 2:7-11, NKJV 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a...
One of the reasons I love the First Epistle of John, is because of the opening verses of the Epistle. Look at them with me. They are so powerful in the way the apostle asserts the truth of Jesus Christ. Notice the way John repeats himself to powerfully argue the empirical nature of the evidence. What John has to say is not hearsay; it is not some philosophical treatise or mere speculation based upon some vague vision or hysterical reports of the woman who came running to them from the tomb.