Ben Stahl

In These Last Days

There is something altogether different about the time past and the last days. In time past the gospel was preached through mortal prophets, signs, sacrifices, the passover, etc… none of which were salvation for the people, nor were they intended to be salvation. They were all intended to point the people to the salvation that would come through the Redeemer. In these last days the sum and substance of the gospel has come in Jesus Christ the Lord. The one who spoke in these last days does not point to another but draws all men to Himself. 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…

In recent articles we have considered the treasure trove of the first verse of Hebrews. The first great proposition of theology and the Christian faith is this: God is. The second great proposition that God is this: God has revealed Himself to man. The Word spoken by God is unlike any other word for it is powerful, enduring, and living. As God speaks so God does because God Is. Therefore, we must listen to Him, look to Him in faith, and we will live.
All of this is driving at the great theme of Chapter 1 – Jesus Christ is supreme and pre-eminent over all! Before the Son is introduced in verse 2, we are faced with several questions: When Did God Speak? How did God speak? To Whom did God Speak? By Whom Did God Speak?
Hebrews addresses two epochs of time in which God spoke: In time past…in these last days.. In the first two verses a comparison and contrast are presented between these two periods that divide all of history.
God Spoke in Time Past
When did God Speak? God who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.
By referencing the fathers and the prophets, the writer of Hebrews is taking us first to the Old Testament era. In that epoch of time in the past, God Spoke. God spoke all these Words saying, I am the Lord thy God… (Exodus 20:1). Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go. Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea… (Isaiah 48:17-18).
In time past it was God who spoke and no other Word was given in the Scripture but the Word of God communicating it to Holy men taught by the Holy Spirit. God spoke in time past. Several doctrines proceed from the teaching.
First, God was not apart from the people of the OT. He was with them, speaking to them. From the beginning God was there.
Second, Because God spoke in times past as in the present, the message of the unchanging God was unchanged from the message in the present.
Hebrews is very concerned to teach the unity of the message of God in the Old and the New Testament. The Gospel of God concerning Jesus Christ His Son, the call to repentance and faith, the promise of salvation to the uttermost for all those that are in Christ and washed with His blood. That gospel is the same in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone found in the Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone. It is the same salvation in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Third, God affirms the unity of the Old and New Testament message in the book of Hebrews by first quoting the Old Testament in support of the doctrine of the New Testament. Then He makes it explicit in Hebrews 4:2, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”
Fourth, the Lord makes the Old Testament very practical to us and our salvation. In time past the gospel was proclaimed as it is now but in those times past many did not listen. Will you listen?
Fifth, there are not two Bibles, but one. There are not multiple ways God brings salvation, but one. Not multiple people of God, but one people of God.  While admittedly not the thrust of this message, this one verse refutes the teaching of historic dispensationalism popularized by the Scoffield Reference Bible that brings confusion to many Christians to the present day. It brings to nothing that old heretic Marcion who taught of the angry vengeful God of the Old Testament and compared Him against the supposedly different God of the New Testament books which Marcion decided were acceptable.
In time past the one and only God of the Old Testament who is the same and only God of New Testament spoke the gospel to the people through the preaching of the prophets.
How did God Speak? God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets…
Two different Greek words that appear just once each in the NT are here in this one verse. One has to do with a variety of time; One has to do with a variety of ways or methods. The NKJV gathers this sense by translating – who at various times and various ways.
Various Times
God did not speak all at once or on demand but He spoke as He chose according to His plan – Various times
Consider the garden after the fall. Adam did not go and find God and demand He speak. God came to Adam and spoke to Him. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day… Genesis 3:8. The Lord goes where He wills and speaks when He pleases. In times past He spoke at various times.
Notice the limitation of the these words, various times.  While God spoke in time past God did not speak all the time in time past! From creation until Moses it does not seem that one book of the Scripture was written for the people. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible many hundreds of years after the flood. Many of the generations in Genesis have no written account of God speaking to them. Others do – Enoch walked with God (Genesis 4:9). God spoke with Noah (And God said to Noah… Genesis 6:13). God spoke to Abraham many times but consider the long life of Abraham and the few special days recorded in Scripture when God spoke to Him.
Consider further the gaps in time – Nearly 400 years from Joseph to Moses as Israel was in slavery with only the promise of God to Jacob on their minds that deliverance from bondage would come. There was a similar gap between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
And yet, at that great hour when the people called upon the Lord He heard and spoke to them again. At various times God spoke but not all the time. Nevertheless, God still spoke in times past and for those times it was sufficient.
Various Ways
With these two words, God reminds us that He did not always speak in the same way or on demand. He spoke according to His good time and in His good way – various ways.
Read More
Related Posts:

To Whom Will You Liken Me? The Biblical Prohibition of Images (Part 2)

Nothing is offered for those who seek Christ by images. Thomas Vincent summarizes the argument in this way: “Images or pictures of God are an abomination and utterly unlawful because they debase God and may be a cause of idolatrous worship” (Vincent, p. 147). Have you put away images of any or of all of the three persons of the Godhead?

Having considered the Biblical case against images of Christ in Part 1, we will continue to the modern arguments promoting images of Christ.
In 1981 the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod (RPCES) published a report “On Images of Christ.”[1] In 1983 the RPCES merged with the Presbyterian Church in America. The report presents three objections to the Westminster Standards’ presentation of the second commandment and images that are commonly held today.
First Objection: One Part or Two?
Make and Bow Down

“The [second] commandment does not prohibit the making of pictures… the commandment does prohibit the making of shaped objects for the purpose of worshipping them or worshipping God through them. Therefore, L.C. 109 is not justified in forbidding any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever.”
RPCES, On Images of Christ
The Lord does not prohibit the making of all pictures or images. In certain contexts, God even requires making images as was the case of the cherubim facing the mercy seat in Exodus 37.
However, the premise of the RPCES statement assumes one or both of the following arguments: 1) That images of any or of all the three persons of the Godhead are the same in Scripture as images of created things. 2) That images of any or of all the three persons of the Godhead and images of the creature are only a violation of the second commandment when worshipped.
Response From Scripture
The first assumption is refuted on Scriptural grounds and the Creator-creature distinction. From Scripture it is evident that Christ the Son of God is not to be compared to the visible or invisible creature. “To which of the angels did He ever say: You are My Son, Today I have begotten You… Your throne, O God, is forever and ever…Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool” (Hebrews 1:5, 8, 13).
From the Creator-creature distinction we understand, “The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part” (WCF 7.1). Scripture teaches that God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is high above the creature and cannot be compared truthfully to a creature.[2] The creature is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). God is not made in the image of man which is to bring God down. Packer notes that the second commandment “compels us to take our thoughts of God from his own holy Word, and no other source whatsoever… to make an image of God is to take one’s thoughts of him from a human source, rather than from God himself; and this is precisely what is wrong with image-making” (Packer, Knowing God. pp. 48-49). Therefore, we may conclude it is idolatry to make representations of Christ in the image of a creature.[3]
The second assumption is refuted on the grounds of misunderstanding the second commandment. In his sermon on Deuteronomy 4, John Calvin said, “For God has forbidden two things. First, the making of any picture of him because it is a disguising and falsifying of his glory, and a turning of his truth into a lie. That is one point. The other is, that no image may be worshipped” (Calvin, Sermons on Deuteronomy. p. 298). The Scripture positively divides the second commandment into two parts, making and worshipping. In relation to God, both making and/or worshipping images is forbidden. In relation to the creature, the making is not necessarily forbidden. The making and worshipping is always forbidden.
Second Objection: The Person and Worship Dichotomy
The RPCES report laid out a second objection to the Westminster[4] view of the second commandment by creating a divide between the person of Christ and the worship of Christ. The report made the following recommendation:

That synod warn against the violation of the Second Commandment (Ex. 20:4-6 and Deut. 5:8-10) by the worship of visual depictions of Jesus Christ, while at the same time recognizing the legitimacy of usual depictions for other purposes, such as instruction or artistic expression.
RPCES, On Images of Christ. Recommendation 2
The report further stated that pictures of Christ are not just permissible but to be encouraged. [5]
Look but Not Worship
The RPCES argument is that the person of Christ can be separated from the worship of Christ. God’s people can look at manmade depictions of Christ for their help and devotion while not worshipping the image. Worship of the image breaks the second commandment; however, using the image outside of worship does not (Ibid). In this way, the argument is in line with Lutheran practice. [6] Are these things true?
Response From Scripture
The Scriptures know of no separation of the person of Christ and the worship of Christ. Assuming Joshua met the pre-incarnate Christ when he met the Commander of the army of the Lord, he fell on his face to the earth and worshiped (Joshua 5:13-15). When Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on His throne and the angels worshipping, he confessed his unworthiness before the Lord (Isaiah 6:1-3). When the blind man whom Jesus healed knew that Jesus was Lord, he worshiped Him (John 9:38);  When Jesus ascended to Heaven, His disciples worshiped Him (Luke 4:52). The angels of God worship Him (Hebrews 1:6). The testimony of Scripture is that those who believe God worship God.
Read More
Related Posts:

To Whom Will You Liken Me? The Biblical Prohibition of Images (Part 1)

God attaches to the second commandment is His sovereignty over us. This is affirmed in Exodus 20:5, “For I, the LORD….” He is the Mighty King, the Creator of all things both visible and invisible. All things were created through Him and for Him. He holds all things together by the word of His power.[28] Because He is sovereign, He is free to speak, govern, and ordain as He pleases. He has commanded that we should not make any graven images or bow down to them.

The history of the visible church is fraught with temptation to know God through images made by human hands. During the Reformation and for most of the 500 years following, the use of images would be an obvious differentiator between Reformed Protestants[1] and Roman Catholics. In recent decades, images “of all or of any of the three persons”[2] have been introduced to Reformed churches. This two part series of articles first lays out the positive Biblical view of the second commandment in the Old and New Testament. Relying heavily on the 1981 Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod (RPCES) report “On Images of Christ”[3] the second article proceeds to lay out three arguments commonly used in favor of images. Responding to the modern arguments, these articles find that the Bible rejects images “of all or of any of the three persons,” and calls all people to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.  
The Return of Images
The history of the visible church is filled with examples of image making and idolatry. The Israelites had not left Sinai before they made a golden calf and called it their God who delivered them from Egypt (Exodus 32). From the time of the judges through the exile, idol worship was a regular sin among the people of the God.[4] The New Testament church was susceptible to idolatry through the superstitions of the Jews and the idolatry of the nations surrounding them.[5]
God did not leave men to wonder concerning images, idolatry, and worship but rather revealed His will by speaking in His Word. God gave the second commandment at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 20 to direct the pure worship of God and forbid all idolatry.[6]  God asked questions concerning images to which no one could respond.[7] As John concluded his first epistle he did so with this positive command, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
Nevertheless, 500 years after the Reformation, images of the second person of the Trinity have found resurgence in Reformed churches and homes. For example, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Florida displays a stone statue of Jesus in front of the church building with the words, “Come Unto Me.”[8] Sunday School materials are filled with images of Christ and Christians now widely accept their use.[9] The Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod (RPCES) position report “On Images of Christ” gave encouragement to the use of images of Christ in certain contexts.[10] Many professing Christians give little thought to movies and popular tv shows with actors pretending to be Jesus.
Should images of Christ be used in any context? Prior to addressing some contemporary arguments for images of Christ from the Reformed tradition, it is helpful to consider the second commandment from Scripture.
Biblical Overview of the Second Commandment

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Exodus 20:4-6
What Is Required?
The second commandment builds on the first by addressing the manner of God’s worship. In the first commandment God gives instruction concerning the object of men’s worship.[11] In the second commandment, God gives instruction concerning the practice of men’s worship.[12]
Whereas God gives the second commandment in a negative form, “thou shalt not make… thou shalt not bow,” a positive duty is required.[13] The Psalmist cries out, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker (Psalm 95:6). Jesus said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).
God requires all His worship and ordinances to be pure and complete as instituted in His Word alone.[14]
Read More
Related Posts:

God Spoke, Therefore

God has spoken, in the Scripture of the Old and New Testament. The Bible alone is the living and true Word and nothing else. God speaks to you through it by His Holy Spirit. Listen to Him, look to Him, and live by Him.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets…Hebrews 1:1
God has spoken to us, what must we do?
Listen to Him
Here is the call to action of this book of Hebrews. Listen to God! What will He say? He will reveal the glorious, powerful, living, enduring truths of Himself. But we must listen! Oh that my people had listened unto me, cried the Psalmist, then would God have subdued their enemies (Psalm 87:13). If we do not listen or if we stop listening we will perish.
See then that we do not refuse Him who speaks – For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from Heaven. (Hebrews 12:25-29).
Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. The God of all glory is speaking in His Word. He is above all, before all, over all, for He alone is God and there is no other! He is the self-existent God. This is the first proposition of the Christian faith and the second is related, that this great God revealed Himself in creation in this greatest and glorious manner, by speaking to us.
Will you not listen to Him? Listen to God who speaks to you for He brings a message of life and the power of life to those that will repent and believe. He brings a message of death and the power of death to those who are soon perishing.
Look to Him
There is a great heresy taking place in quiet around the evangelical world. It is the heresy of unbelief manifested again in this way – through the denial of the power of God. It appears in many ways and in many fashions but it ultimately has at its core a denial that Word of God is sufficient to change lives or to meet the needs of men and women boys and girls in all areas of faith and practice.
It manifests itself in evangelism – “God doesn’t want you to deny your inclinations and feelings, just don’t act physically upon them.” “God will keep you struggling with the same sins all your life, don’t expect deliverance but be joyful anyway.” “You are not really that bad, you are just the victim of ideologies and external factors of which you have no control.”
Read More
Related Posts:

God Speaks with Enduring Words

With this enduring Word, unmatched in any other book in any other place, is it any wonder that as Jesus was transfigured on that mountain with Peter, James, and John standing by to witness, and Moses and Elijah, recipients of that living Word, standing and talking with Jesus, that the voice of God spoke from the cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son, Hear Him!”

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son…Hebrews 1:1
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” While we could debate the merits of his statement, there is one thing that is absolutely certain – God’s Word. Through all the changes around us, God’s Word abides forever. It cannot change because God is unchangeable. We can lie down at night believing it, build our life upon it, and die in peace comforted with it. The world’s ideas pass away quickly but God’s Word remains forever!
God’s Word Endures

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of the Lord shall endure forever!Isaiah 40:8

These famous words from Isaiah come just after the Lord told His prophet to speak comfortably to Jerusalem. What is so comforting about the grass withering when the grass is the people (40:7)? First, God’s enemies will wither and pass away. In a time when we are oppressed on every side by the world this is a tremendous comfort. Second, we will pass away. Initially, this seems less than comforting but when we remember that to live is Christ and to die is gain; when we look upon our flesh aging and slowly dying; when we look at the end of all things at hand and the promise of a new Heaven and a new Earth, we see there is comfort in this. Third, the Lord is comforting us by pointing us away from the temporal and to the eternal. He is pointing us away from the perishing to the enduring.
Read More
Related Posts:

A Memorial of Evil: 50 Years of Legalized Abortion

Pray to God for deliverance from the wicked. Pray for Godly laws without partiality. Pray for salvation of the wicked and revival of the church. Proclaim His glorious name and work to all ends of the Earth. He has by Himself purged our sins, He has saved to the uttermost those that should be saved, we must call upon Him in faith, pray to Him for help, and proclaim His glory to all ends of the earth. Prepare for God to give us the good desire of our heart.

Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 NKJV
Sunday, January 22, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the legalization of abortion nationwide through the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. Since that terrible date, at least 70,000,000 babies in the United States, more than 18% of all children, have been murdered in the womb. While the CDC and pro-abortion groups show a decline in abortion over time, states including CA, NH, and MD do not report their numbers and abortions through the pill are not all reported (1). Through unreported methods and unreporting states, the number of abortions is almost certainly much higher than the CDC data indicates.
If the U.S. data were not tragic enough, the worldwide practice of abortion paints an even darker picture. Pro-death reports that 73,000,000 abortions take place worldwide every year. That number equates to approximately 40% of all children being murdered before they reach birth.
On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court in a landmark decision overturned Roe vs. Wade in this manner – they turned the question of abortion back to the states. While many Christians and pro-life groups celebrated the outcome, the way the order was written evidenced just how far our country has abandoned any type of Biblical worldview it may have had when it was founded. The court deliberately refused to recognize the baby in the womb as a person protected by God and/or the Constitution.
The 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says the following:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury… nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…
The Supreme Court ignored the 5th amendment and refused to say the little child in the womb of his mother at any stage, let alone conception/fertilization where God creates life, is a person protected by the 5th amendment. (The full Supreme Court opinion can be read here.)
Held: The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.
The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations, upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.” (page 1; page 14)
Justice Kavanaugh in his concurring opinion perhaps summarized the “conservative” court justices when he wrote:
Abortion is a profoundly difficult and contentious issue because it presents an irreconcilable conflict between the interests of a pregnant woman who seeks an abortion and the interests in protecting fetal life… On the question of abortion, the Constitution is therefore neither pro-life nor pro-choice. The Constitution is neutral and leaves the issue for the people and their elected representatives to resolve through the democratic process in the States or Congress – like the numerous other difficult questions of American social and economic policy that the Constitution does not address. (Page 124)
When it comes to crimes and great evils such as murder, the interests of the criminal and murderer are always (or almost always) in conflict with the victim(s) of the crime. Conflict between the perpetrator of evil and the victim is the very nature of crime. It is because of this conflict that there are laws with governments and police to protect potential victims when this conflict is acted upon by the criminal. Rather than reiterate the right of the baby in the womb to due process of the law before being executed by his mother, father, and their doctor (so called), one of the most conservative justices defended the evil of abortion by acting as if the constitution was neutral regarding the taking of an innocent child’s life and life in general.
The whole scope of the Constitution, highlighted in the 5th amendment is exactly the opposite – it is entirely concerned about life, so much so, that it is written to protect our freedoms while we live. Under such an argument as Kavanaugh’s there would seemingly be no reason states could not vote to allow abortion proponents, under the euphemism of reproductive rights, to have a conflict with Bible believing Christians, and simply eradicate them by majority vote.
The effect of the so-called Supreme Court victory, is that 2-6% fewer surgical abortions are taking place. However, that estimate includes Texas with nearly a 99% decline in abortion while it does not include the abortion tourism states of CA and MD. It is likely the real change post June 24, 2022 is no decline or even an increase as widespread publicity has been put on the issue. With victories like that, what would a loss look like?
In my home state of Georgia, the law recognizes an unborn child in the following way:
A member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb. A person commits the offense of feticide if he or she willfully and without legal justification causes the death of an unborn child by any injury to the mother of such child, which would be murder if it resulted in the death of such mother, or if he or she when in the commission of a felony, causes the death of an unborn child. A person convicted of the offense of feticide shall be punished by imprisonment for life.” § 16-5-80. Feticide; Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child
This seems like a godly law. Until this point it is. Unborn child murder is feticide. To kill any child at any stage in the womb from fertilization to birth will be treated as if a full grown adult were murdered. But the law does not stop there. It continues in section “f”.
Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to permit the prosecution of: 1) Any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law; 2) any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child; or 3) any woman with respect to her unborn child. § 16-5-80. Feticide; Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child
The law we celebrate as equal for all and upon all is not equal for unborn children. It discriminates against the youngest members of society. It is partial and unjust. Everyone who kills an unborn child is guilty of feticide except the mother and her doctor. Similar logic was used to justify slavery in generations past. The letter of the law condemns murder and gets around it for abortion by stating that fathers, mothers, and doctors (so-called) will not be prosecuted for child murder.
The Lord has much to say about partiality of the law:
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:17-19 NKJV
Diverse weights and diverse measures, they are both alike, an abomination to the Lord. Proverbs 20:10 NKJV
Read More
Related Posts:

Hebrews 5: God Spoke

When God speaks to men He does so with power. Man may speak from a temporary place of power or authority but he has only limited ability to see it come to pass. When God speaks, he has no limitations, all comes to pass just as He said. There is power in the Word of God that is beyond all human Words. 

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son…
Hebrews 1:1
On December 8, 1941 radio stations around the world broadcast President Roosevelt’s speech to the United States Congress. Most of the world had been at war for over two years but the United States had maintained a quasi-neutral status. However, on December 7, 1941 the United States was bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in a Sunday morning surprise attack. What would Roosevelt say to the American people and their congress reeling from the loss of thousands of sailors? What would he say to the watching world? Roosevelt closed his speech with these words, “I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.” Congress acted, the sleeping giant was awakened, and the destruction of the second world war marched forward in ever increasing violence and destruction.
We understand something of the power of words. World leaders demonstrate the power behind their position by speaking, ordering, and directing. Parents demonstrate the same thing with their children. The Lord instituted this authority in parents and reminds children of it by telling them to honor their father and their mother and to obey them. Regarding government leaders He says, “let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.”
We also understand the limitations and weakness of words. How often when a politician speaks do you think, “just politics as usual…” or, “that person is all talk and no action,” or “she is all bark and no bite.” Martin Lloyd Jones said of some ministers he was critiquing, “their sermons were full of fire but no light.”
Unless the US Congress complied with Roosevelt’s request and the people with Congress’ declaration, the state of war would be meaningless. Unless children obey their parents it can seem the parent’s words fall on deaf ears. We can sometimes give too much credit to man’s words forgetting “the kings heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water He turns it (Proverbs 21:1).”  Perhaps because of the limitations with men’s words we can make the error at times of thinking those limits exist in God’s Word. God’s Word however is not limited like man’s word.
Read More
Related Posts:

The Foolish Virgins Were Not Prepared Because They Thought They Would Have More Time

The highways of sin and worldliness lead always and only to destruction. But now life has been revealed and offered, exclusively through the Savior who died on the cross and rose the third day in order that His children might live. It is a message that demands a whole new life, a new birth, new allegiance, everything becomes new! It is the message of God unto salvation for such as are being saved! The foolish virgins liked the sound of it, they may have even known it was true, but they loved the world more and thought they would have time later to get right with the Lord.

Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them…
Matthew 25:3

Country music singer Kenny Chesney begins his song “Everybody Wants to go to Heaven” with these lyrics:
Preacher told me last Sunday morningSon, you better start living rightYou need to quit the women and whiskeyAnd carrying on all night
Don’t you wanna hear him call your nameWhen you’re standing at the pearly gatesI told the preacher, “Yes I do”But I hope they don’t call todayI ain’t ready
Everybody wants to go to heavenHave a mansion high above the cloudsEverybody want to go to heavenBut nobody want to go now
Kenny Chesney, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven
Chesney highlights the attitude of the foolish virgins rather well in his song. The foolish virgins were in the kingdom. They were in church. They heard the word proclaimed. They heard of the glory that awaits God’s people in Heaven with Christ. And their response was, “Not Yet!” “I am having too much fun following my own pleasures on Earth. Perhaps later I will get right with the Lord. After all I want to go to Heaven… just not yet.” The foolish virgins thought they would have time later. Instead, the day and hour of salvation came and they passed it by. At midnight a cry was heard: Behold the Bridegroom is coming!
Looking at the modern church, it is easy to wonder if there are many foolish virgins today partly because of a lack of power, presentation, and persistence to the Gospel call. Is the call of the gospel an urgent matter in our churches? Perhaps we see so few new conversions in our churches because we are not pressing the matter home. Do the foolish virgins consider temporary pleasures to be of value because the Gospel trumpet is barely sounding?
All around us the world is dying. For those with no interest in Christ, the fires of hell are drawing nearer. The eternal punishment of sinners in that place of dreadful and endless torment is closer than it was yesterday. Diseases seem to be multiplying.
Read More
Related Posts:

The Foolish Virgins Only Desired to Look Like Wise Virgins

God is not mocked and will not be mocked. Those faking Christianity will be made known to all the world when the Lord returns. Do not be cast into the lake of fire at that great day of the Lord but in this salvation hour, while the gospel trumpet still sounds, repent of your sins, and cry out to the merciful God. He will have mercy!

Since the earliest days of the church there have been those who desire to look like Christians but in their hearts have no faith in Jesus Christ.
We may not know all the reasons that Judas followed the Lord for three years before betraying him and committing suicide but clearly he wanted to look like a true disciple of Christ (Matthew 27:3-5). Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-25) desired to look like a Christian because he desired the power that the apostles possessed by the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, Saul wanted to look properly religious by offering sacrifices but he would not obey the Lord. Israel would often practice syncretism, blending the worship of God with the worship of idols. Some have come into the church for the sole purpose of deceiving with an appearance only Christianity (Matthew 24:24). Paul makes a case for the Corinthians to, “have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart” (II Cor. 5:12b).
Through Christ’s teaching on the foolish virgins, He is highlighting that in the kingdom of Heaven there are those who look just like the wise virgins but have not been born again of the Spirit. Their outward lives may have looked at times like the lives of wise virgins. They sometimes behaved like the wise virgins. Perhaps from human vantage points the foolish virgins were even thought of as wise virgins. But when the Lord returned they were revealed to be who they truly were, foolish virgins with no part in the Bridegroom and no place at the marriage supper of the lamb.
Read More
Related Posts:

The Wise Virgins Were Prepared Because They Obeyed the Bridegroom

Do not ignore the voice of the Lord who commands His people to obey Him. Rather, rejoice at the mercy of God who tells us to obey, how to obey, then gives us a new birth and new life that we might be able to obey!

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. Matthew 25:13 NKJV
What do you think of the word, “obey?” We have hymns where we sing of it, “Trust and Obey!” We have blessings promised by God when we obey, “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God… (Deut. 28:2)” The Lord delights in obedience, “Has the LORD As great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22). Jesus tells us if we love Him we are to keep (obey) His commandments (John 14:15). A fiery vengeance is coming on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
It is evident that obedience is an important, even essential element of the Christian life. For whoever will not heed God’s command to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ will surely perish in hell fire for all eternity. And yet, it seems sometimes in some places that Christians shy away from the word and concept of obedience because they are afraid of being considered legalistic or preaching works based salvation. If obedience is used, it seems almost with apology. Grace grace some cry but often without or to the expense of the great commission of Jesus, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…
The “therapeutic theology” movement has in many places so effectively replaced the righteous Law of God that the idea of obeying God can be condemned as legalistic or abusive terminology which must be dismissed out of hand. The adulterer is surmised to have a mental issue. The drunkard is said to have substance issues requiring counseling. The man who hits his wife has a temperament disorder. The woman who considers murdering her child or follows through with murdering her child is considered a victim in need first and foremost of sympathy. The fourth commandment is used for comic relief. The ten commandments are referred to as “bad news”. The list could go on.
And yet, God does not avoid this word “obey” but rather  calls all men in all places to obey Him at all times. He even wrote His commandments for us so that we might know how to obey Him and commit His commandments to memory. God who told Saul that He desires obedience more than sacrifice, still desires the same from us today. He who said, “if you love me, keep my commandments,” still means what He said. When will preacher bring these words again to the ears of the people – You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. Obey God and it will go well with you! Disobey God and it will go poorly for you. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will surely be saved. Disobey and deny Christ and you will surely perish. It is the message throughout Scripture. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ leads the born again sinner to a life no longer of lawlessness but a life of obedience. Therefore Christian, obey the Lord!
Read More
Related Posts:

Scroll to top