Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 16:16-18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4-5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 25:6-8
Whether one believes in evolution or creation we have to conclude that we are created beings. Therefore, as the creation, it is impossible for us to create gods. We can invent them, but that does not make them real (Jeremiah 16:20).
But many people do this. The world is full of these gods. Many even make themselves out to be a “god” – believing truth and righteousness is inside them. But this doesn’t sync with either evolution or creation. Sadly, people go through all this to avoid the real God all because they misunderstand His love.
Just like ancient Judah, children today are following in their parents footsteps (Jeremiah 17;2). Children don’t see God in their parents lives and are living the same way. Therefore each generation will know less about God than the one before, progressively eliminating God from society.
Just as God eventually abandoned Judah to their “gods”, God will abandon to eternity those who don’t want anything to do with Him (Jeremiah 17:4). This is called hell. Notice that God doesn’t send people to hell. People choose to go there because they reject God’s offer to spend eternity with Him.
People who look to other people for answers instead of trusting in God will find that was a bad idea (Jeremiah 17:5). They will live like a plant in the desert – their life will be a constant struggle. While those who trust in the Lord will have a never-ending supply of all they need (Jeremiah 17:6-8).
The real problem with people is that our innate nature is corrupt (Jeremiah 17:9) but no one wants to believe it. We see bad things happen all the time but we still conclude that there is naturally good in each human being. But God tells us differently.
One reason people object to Biblical prophecy about coming judgement is it hasn’t happened yet (Jeremiah 17:15). This is the same type of reasoning people used in Noah’s day when he warned them about God’s coming judgement through a flood. Of course, there are plenty of prophecies that have come true. And those should be reason enough to conclude that God will keep all His promises that haven’t come true yet.
Notice that God’s original intent is to provide us with good. But unrepented sin will instead provoke Him to bring judgement (Jeremiah 18:10). We do not have to convince God or plead with Him to bless us. That is exactly what He wants to do because it is His nature to be that way. By default we have God’s blessing. But we can lose it by our behavior. I think this is very interesting and is just the opposite of how most people look at God.
Despite the praise that Paul showered upon the Thessalonians early in his letter, they were not without their problems. No group of Christians, church, or even individual is 100% what God wants. There will always be things in our life that fall short of God’s standard. God will never abandon us because of this, nor will He get mad. He will come along side us and help us to correct it.
In the case of the Thessalonians there seems to have been an excessive amount of sexual sin going on (1 Thessalonians 4). They lived in a world where sexual promiscuity was the norm but God calls His children to live differently than those who don’t know Him. Rather than giving in to each and every urge, we are to honor our bodies by controlling them (1 Thessalonians 4:4-5).
Times don’t seem to change. Almost 2,000 years later and things are still the same. Culture tells us that anything goes when it comes to sex. But this is not what God designed us for. When people hear these teachings they think that Christians are just prudes who want to impose their hang-ups about sex on others. But these standards came from God not men so it is God they have a problem with (1 Thessalonians 4:8).
I’m a pretty quiet person by nature so I’m always glad to read 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 where Christians are called up on to live unassuming, hard-working lives where we don’t depend on others. This verse reminds us that social welfare is not a godly instrument. While some people may, at times, need assistance these occasions should be rare and short-term. The primary source of such assistance should be the church, not the government. Our society has this all wrong and this is the main cause of so many of our problems.
At some point in the future (not too distant, I believe) God will remove all believers from this earth in a single moment in time commonly referred to as The Rapture. Paul describes this event in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. An audible shout will herald The Rapture and will be heard by believers and possibly non-believers as well, after which we will find ourselves up in the clouds meeting Jesus.
When it will happen, no one knows exactly (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). I hope to live long enough to experience it.
Obviously those who don’t belong to God don’t listen to Him. But, even worse, those who are His children don’t always listen either (Psalm 81:13). If we do God promises to bless us (Psalm 81:14-16). If you aren’t experiencing God’s blessing the first thing to consider is if you are listening to Him.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.