Lost?

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

The Earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it (Psalm 24:1).

This verse declares to that all the people on this planet are His!

We should not fall into the trap of thinking that “believers” are the only ones who are HIS.

Consider the term “lost” – it is a declaration of ownership. If something, or someone is lost, that means they are in some way separated from their owner.

When “Christians” refer to the lost, they should realize that that is an acknowledgment of God’s ownership!

We may feel lost – but we are never truly lost. Our God is sovereign and fully aware of each one of us.

Mike Owens
Daily Email Goodies

Advertisements

Human Helplessness

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

Being justified gratuitously in His grace, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus (Whom God purposed for a Propitiatory shelter, through faith in His blood, for a display of His righteousness because of the passing over of the penalties of sins which occurred before in the forbearance of God), toward the display of His righteousness in the current era, for Him to be just and a Justifier of the one who is of the faith of Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is debarred! (Romans 3:25, Concordant Literal Version).

Notice here the succession of terms indicative of human helplessness:

Being justified — requiring to be made right with God;
gratuitously — without a cause, without anything in oneself that would give God reason for doing this;
in His grace — purely as a favor, unearned, undeserved;
through the deliverance — requiring a rescue act;
which is in Christ Jesus, Whom God purposed — not in oneself, but in the One Whom God appointed.

This is the first occasion in Scripture that any act of God is referenced to His purpose, and the next outstanding fact that we must note is that it is centered in “Christ Jesus” – not in “Jesus Christ” as He was on earth, but in “Christ Jesus,” the risen Lord, the One Who, by His victory over death and His resurrection from the tomb, has proved that He has settled once and for all time the problem of sin, and thereby paved the way for deliverance.

John H. Essex (1907-1991)
The Purpose of God
Select Writings of John Essex – Volume 1
Daily Email Goodies
===============================
[Editor:] For a further look at the difference between “Jesus Christ” and “Christ Jesus,” see Bible Student’s Notebook #325: “Christ Jesus,” Charles H. Welch; “Christ Jesus” and “Jesus Christ,” A.E. Knoch; “The Names of Jesus,” E.W. Bullinger.

Does Death End God’s Power to Save?

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

Be not afraid; I am the First and the Last, and he who is living, and I did become dead, and, lo, I am living to the ages of the ages. Amen! and I have the keys of the hades and of the death (Revelation 1:17-18).

How many teach that death ends God’s power over lost souls? As if Satan, who has them, were stronger than God, and that God was no longer loving, whereas it is Christ who holds the keys!

How many a mother weeping for her children refuses to be comforted because they are not! The mother’s prayer and work seems to have been for nought. They are dead in the land of the enemy. Hear the Word of God:

A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the LORD: “Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded,” saith the LORD ; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy (Jeremiah 31:15-16).

These words were in part fulfilled in our Lord’s childhood at the slaughter of the innocents; but their complete fulfillment will not take place until the proud, self-willed, unbroken and dead children of Ephraim, and all other such children, repent and God’s Word is fulfilled,

I will surely have mercy upon them, they shall come again from the land of the enemy (Jeremiah 31:16-20).

Charles Hamilton Pridgeon (1863-1932)
Is Hell Eternal, or Will God’s Plan Fail? (1920)
(Facsimile reprint available from Study Shelf)
Daily Email Goodies

Will God Throw Up His Hands in Defeat?

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it (Luke 19:41).

In the Gospels, we are told that as Jesus rides into Jerusalem He weeps over the rejection He is about to experience from His people (Luke 19:41). If God looks like Jesus (John 14:9; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), then it seems that an everlasting hell would mean everlasting tears flowing down the face of God. It is impossible for me to believe that the God revealed in Jesus will at some point simply throw up his hands in defeat or harden his heart in retaliation.

Heath Bradley
Flames of Love
Daily Email Goodies

The Ultimate End of the Story Is Going to Be All Right

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

My friend Dana and I talk about how we want to make everything all right for those we love, and cannot. Her mother died of pancreatic cancer only a few months ago. We say to each other that if we were God we would make everything all right, and then we stop. Look at each other. Because we suddenly see that making everything all right would not make everything all right. We would not be human beings. … We agree sadly that it is a good thing that we are not God; we do not have to understand God’s ways, or the suffering and brokenness and pain that sooner or later come to us all. But we do have to know in the very depths of our being that the ultimate end of the story, no matter how many eons it takes, is going to be all right.

Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007)
Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage, pages 151-152
Harper & Row (1988)
Daily Email Goodies

Justice Is Not at Odds with Mercy

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

The grandest exercise of justice is mercy. The confusion comes from the fancy that justice means vengeance upon sin, and not the doing of what is right. Justice can be at no strife with mercy, for not to do what is just would be most unmerciful.

George MacDonald (1824-1905)
England’s Antiphon (1874), page 150
Daily Email Goodies

God’s Objective in the Creation

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works (Psalm 145:9).

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:43-44).

Of these the former asserts a divine attribute, the latter describes a place of punishment; and, if both be taken in an unlimited sense, they are evidently irreconcilable. Having, therefore, to decide which is best entitled to be taken in this sense, and so to be considered as a leading principle, we ought undoubtedly to prefer the former; because, of these two things, the attribute only is essential and unchangeable.

When thus rightly considered, we are taught by the whole tenor of Scripture, as developed both in the character and actions of God, that He had no other object in the creation of intelligent beings than that of making them finally and supremely happy in the communication of His own blessedness: which object He effects, during successive dispensations, both in this life and the next, through the mediation of His Son; and, under Him, through the ministrations of a chosen portion of His creatures; so that even temporary evil will, in His hands, be made subservient to its more abundant accomplishment.

R. Roe
The Final Restoration of All Things (1835)
Daily Email Goodies

God Will Accomplish His Goal

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

Are you sometimes confused by your circumstances? Have you ever been emotionally depleted by things that have happened with your finances, parents, children, even your ministry? Have you ever felt like life is beating you down? Have you doubted God? You didn’t want to doubt, but you did anyway.

When we feel like this (and we all do at times), just trust your Father. Even when you don’t understand, trust Him. As you grow in your knowledge of your loving Abba, you will learn to accept events as they unfold. He is the Great Sovereign over the details of your life and will perform on your behalf, and for His own glory, all the things He has planned for you. Our impatience and frustration is born of our immaturity, but it is through those very trials we protest that God’s Spirit will bring us into a greater maturity.

God will accomplish His goals for your life. … Trust in His goodness and His wisdom. The destination which you will reach is not your concern. … Cling to Him as the journey unfolds. His role is to ensure that you reach His intended destination. …

Relax, and enjoy your journey. Rest in your Father’s sovereignty. Your life is an adventure, planned and performed by Him. We grow weary when we try to do what He alone can do. It is through our trials that He will lift our controlling need to be in charge. We must see that we are not in charge, but God alone determines and controls the unfolding of our destiny. Control is an arena for which we are not suited. Our Father, on the other hand, is perfectly suited for that role.

Steve McVey
Grace Walk
Daily Email Goodies

The Whole Universe Is Included

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

Making known to us the secret of His will (in accord with His delight, which He purposed in Him) to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the Christ – both that in the heavens and that on the earth – in Him in Whom our lot was cast also, being designated beforehand according to the purpose of the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:9-11; Concordant Literal Version)

Again, we hear with clarity what goal God has set for Himself in this counsel of the eons – to bring everything that is in heaven and on earth under one head in Christ. … The Father has decreed and promised His first begotten Son, the Christ, the One anointed with the Spirit, of Whom all Scripture testifies, a position at the head of the entire created universe, which excludes any resistance or objection against the Son, whether this be in heaven or on earth. Note also that the plain language of Scripture, according to its simple statements, includes the entire universe. If, in the first verse of the Bible it is written, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” then surely believers cannot entertain the idea of creatures not being included in this expression “heaven and earth,” whether they be lifeless or living beings, humans or angels. Moreover, it is generally a good rule that an expression often used in Scripture can be interpreted best if used in the same sense as it was when it appeared for the first time.

E.F. Stroeter
The Gospel of God’s Reconciliation of All in Christ (p. 24)
Daily Email Goodies

God’s Creative Work Is Very Good

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (II Corinthians 5:17).

Upon their creation, God declared Adam and Eve to be “very good, actually made in His divine image. And once God pronounced His creation to be “very good” in the beginning, then, regardless of what happens between times to defile it, His handiwork (all of it) must still be no less than “very good” in the end. He cannot (and will not) permit His original good work to be permanently damaged, diminished or ultimately destroyed (see Revelation 21:4-5).

Ivan A. Rogers
Dropping Hell and Embracing Grace
Daily Email Goodies