Wicked Questions

Wicked people are destined for hell. This is a clear teaching of Scripture. That being the case we should be on the lookout for how Scripture describes wicked people so we make sure we aren’t one of those.

Job talks about wicked people and he says there are two main questions wicked people ask:

“What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?”

In today’s English, it would read like this:

1) Why should I listen to God? I can do what I want. Get off my back. I don’t have to serve anyone. Who is God to tell me what to do?

2)  If I can’t get everything my way there’s no point to asking God. What’s the use of praying, it doesn’t work anyway?

Do these questions have any root in our lives? If you are hung up on whether you need to do good works, serve God, follow His commands and also wonder why to pray, you just might be in trouble.

This, however, does not mean that doing good works and praying is a sign you are saved either! Be careful of wigging out.

We are saved by grace through faith and the result is service to God and making request in all things to God. It’s what happens, which is why wicked people do neither.

Making Subliminal Points

“For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”
–1 Corinthians 3:19

Paul is quoting from the Old Testament to make his point about the wise in the world being made fools before God. A huge point.

I would like to skip that point for the time being and give you something else less obvious to ponder.

The quote above is from the book of Job. Job 5:13, in fact. Here’s the cool, amazing point: he is quoting Eliphaz one of Job’s friends.

Why is that cool? Well, obviously because Job’s friends were all idiots and speaking error and yet the Apostle Paul quotes Idiot Number One in making his point!

How is that not cool? What does this do for our interpretation of Job’s friends? Or, perhaps, what does this do for our understanding of the Apostle Paul?

I like to think that Paul quoting Eliphaz is another example of God making the wise look foolish and the foolish look wise! I think Paul outdid himself in making this point by using subliminal pointmaking!

He’s Coming Again

One of the dumber aspects of Christmas Eve is when the newscast shows the map of where Santa is in the world delivering presents at midnight. The smiling news people fake laugh and tell all the kids to be patient.

I was thinking about the stupidity of this when it dawned on me, “It’s really dumb to pick a date when the Lord will return because what time zone are we using to choose our date?”

Think about it. As far as I understand it, my buddy Andrew in Australia had Christmas like, four days ago. If Christ is going to return, as I once heard, on August 8, 1988, based on what time zone?

I think this shows the idiocy of choosing dates for the return of Christ and the rampant me-centric nature of most Christian thought.

No man knows the day or the hour and this might possibly be because it won’t be the same hour or day for all people! Plus God knows more than us, that plays in there too.

Anyway, good news is: He’s coming again!

Joy and Peace

Everywhere you go this time of year you see or hear people talk about “joy” and “peace.” They are the acceptable messages of Christmas to humanist heathens.

Unfortunately, Christmas happy thoughts do not produce joy or peace. In fact, Christmas may very well demonstrate a total lack of such things in people.

The birth of Christ did indeed bring good tidings of joy and peace. He was the Gospel in the flesh. But His arrival does not produce peace and joy for everyone. Only one group gets peace and joy.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
–Romans 15:13

The only way a person will have joy and peace at Christmas is if they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for the sins of the world, was buried and rose again and was seen of many witnesses, just as it was foretold in Scripture.

All other peace and joy is merely a sham, smoke and mirrors. It will soon vanish and you’ll be left with emptiness bringing angst and sadness. God does not give peace the way the world does–when He brings it, it lasts.

Come and get it.

Constructive Cynicism and Kids

On the way to drop the kids off at school this morning we had some Christmas music from the Christian station on the radio. A woman was singing some sort of Christmas song she no doubt wrote herself.

She repeated the word “gloria” approximately 18 million times. I took this handy opportunity to explain to my dear daughter that it was sad that Christian types couldn’t be more creative and intelligent. “When you grow up, be a smart Christian who knows more than one word.”

She agreed to do so. At times it bothers me how often I am annoyed. Like yesterday’s post, who cares? At the same time, maybe I should be ashamed that I’m not annoyed more often.

My daughter was just enjoying the song, or more accurately, enjoying me attempt to sing “gloria” in a falsetto voice 18 million times. I had to go and ruin it, drop more cynicism on it, belittle yet another person in my attempt to “teach.”

My hope is that I can inspire my children to excel in Christ, to not settle for mind-dead Christianity–all slogans; no Word. Zeal without knowledge. A form of godliness without the power. I also hope to help them detect such things when they see and hear it.

More importantly, I hope to instill in them a never-ending wonder at our great God. A never-ceasing desire for more of Him. Just enough information to set them about diligently seeking Him on their own.

Instructive cynicism is good; wonder-killing cynicism destroys.

O for grace.

Don’t be Stupid About Christmas

Christians, in general, have lacked, shall we say, “intellectual rigor” in their long history. Seemingly every oil stain or gastrointestinally induced brain flatulence gets equal play with God’s Word.

This is a problem. Add two thousands years of this and we have huge problems. Many Christians believe things that make no sense. One area where this is prevalent is in our holiday beliefs. Here are my top 4 candidates for most annoying Christmas Belief.

1)  The X in X-mas is not a serious issue, if it is for you, it may merely reveal an ignorance of Church History.

2)  Jesus was not born on December 25. Seriously, He wasn’t.

3)  The wise men did not show up at the manger scene. More than likely they showed up years later. They also did not smell like smoke, even though they “came from a fire.'”

4)  Contrary to the scene on your coffee table, Jesus was probably not born in a stable. More than likely he was born in a house just like most kids.

Have a well-informed Christmas.

The Magnified Word

Very serious Jewish folk do not say the name Jehovah, the YHWH name. When they come across it in Scripture they will not read it. Instead they usually use the word Adonai, commonly translated Lord, which the KJV and most others carry over into English.

The reason they don’t pronounce God’s name is because they are afraid of using it in vain. “If we don’t use it, we can’t use it in vain.” Flawless logic.

God’s name is used in vain all the time today. From the blatant to the hidden (look up gosh in the dictionary). The lower we trample God’s name the lower we trample His Word.

It is no mystery to me that in a day where God’s name is usually only heard in conversation as a cuss, that God’s Word has hit such a low in man’s opinion.

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

God’s Word is magnified above His name.

Let that sink in.

If we are to be careful with God’s name, how much more so with what is magnified above His name?

Be careful with God’s name, but be even more careful with what God has said.