Yesterday, November the Fifth we celebrated Guy Fawks Day by burning him in effigy. Who was he? He was a conspirator who wished to force Roman Catholicism upon a Bible believing people. The King he sought to destroy, along with the Parliament and lords was King James. This King is of note for he ended the execution of people for religion in Britian. He also is of note for authorising the translation of the Bible that bears his name. This was the beginning of soul liberty, that a man could worship God according to the dictates of his heart not by force of legislation. If England had been taken over by the Roman church at this point the freedoms we now enjoy would have never come to pass. The Bible would still be locked away from the people and we would still be in Papal darkness. Take some time to read up on the gunpowder plot and it will do you and your children some good.
I recently listened to a preacher from the Philippines present his work to our sending church. Brother Bornales is 62 and his father had vivid memories of the Japanese occupation of World War 2. He reminds his people often to be thankful for the American liberation of the islands. He remembers the night he listened to an American missionary preach a salvation message that led to his conversation. He prays for our nation three times a day because he appreciates the things our nation has done for them. My memory went back to some port calls my ship made to Subic Bay. There is a church there called Bible Baptist that welcomed me in. As soon as I sat down a man sat next to me and befriended me and made sure to let me know that I was welcome. The pastor invited me to lunch and we shared testimonies. I came to port a few other times and he always remembered me. He even sent me a letter, typed on an old fashioned manual typewriter. The members were very friendly and hospitable and my fondest memories of West Pac are those short visits. I have decided to pray for the Philippines three times a day like those dear people pray for us. And I look forward to the day when I will unite with them in heaven where there is no parting and be able to thank them for all they meant to a homesick sailor and Christian in need of fellowship.
Today is Constitution day! Madison is known as the father of the Constitution and it took him a long time to get the nation on board with it. One of the opponents of the Constitution were people from his home state of Virginia. A Baptist preacher,Elder Leland, was going to run against him because he did not feel that the Constitution in the form written garenteed personal freedoms sufficiently. Madison met with Leland in Orange county at a place still commemerated by the state of Virginia to discuss the upcoming election. Elder Leland agreed to drop out of the race when Mr. Madison gave his word that he would see to it that a Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. Back in those days politicians kept their word and Madison added the amendments similar to those the Baptist had won in Virginia, helped by men like Patrick Henry. The rest is history and now you may enjoy the wonderful freedoms of speech,press, peaceful assembly, religion,and can keep and bear arms etc. Thanks be to God for men of courage and conviction who wanted freedom not for themselves only, but for all men that all might enjoy freedom of conscience.
There are many today that would Rob the believer of the great hope set before us of the eternal home of the soul, Heaven. While it is correct that we will be on Earth during the 1000 year (literal) reign of Christ, when the soul leaves the body it goes to the home of its Creator, and awaits the resurrection. When Christ came to earth he prepared the people through His preaching that the blood would be shed and sin taken away instead of being covered and the souls in the earth would have access to Heaven and those who died after the resurrection of Jesus Christ would immediately go to Heaven. Look at Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:. Would Jesus give us a reward in heaven and then not let us go there to get it? Look at Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Compare these sentiments with Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye have heard before in the word of truth of the gospel. And Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth. Hebrews 11:16 says But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. That city of course is described in Revelation 21. Hebrews 12:22 says But are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. Lastly let us look at I Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled and that fadeth not away, prepared in heaven for you. I will end with this: God has made a heavenly city and has your rewards and name up there and your home and even mansions. This is a great hope and comfort to the saved. There are many more verses on this an if you want them leave a comment and I will put it in a future blog.
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth.
The main problem with Christianity today is that we do not think enough about Heaven. Most modern preachers preach more on coping with earthly cares and fixing problems we bring on ourselves because we do not follow the Bible and the guidense of the Holy Spirit in the first place. Many are preaching a prosperity”gospel” of get it all down here. Christ promised us tribulation and persecution in this life. While God certainly blesses and even gives great wealth to some, many Christians are given the blessing of poverty and martyrdom in this life. The blessings we seek should be those that can only be attained in Heaven. Christ is in Heaven, your ETERNAL reward is in Heaven, and your home is in Heaven. Heaven is as wonderful as Hell is horrible. Will you be obedient to this command? In my next devotion I will show from the Bible that the believer does indeed go to Heaven as many teach that something else happens to the soul of the departed. The Apostle Paul said not to be ignorant about those that sleep in Christ and I believe this will be a blessing to you.
II Samuel 2:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. Most of the time when a Justice nominee is selected the only consideration is does he meet my world view. For instance many well qualified candidates have been voted out simply because they oppose abortion. This is often referred to as the acid test. But the real test should be does he believe that he will give account of his decisions to Almighty God. So here is my set of qualifications: He should have a Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other. He should be well versed in legal precedent and grounded in the faith of those men who framed this country. He should be diligent to give Justice to the parties before him with the understanding that his decision will affect all this nation. He should not respect persons nor fear man nor public opinion. He should follow the letter of the law but in the spirit of which it was given. He should not flinch from the punishment of the wicked but have pity on human weakness. He should stand against iniquity and kneel in prayer to God. He should be well learned in law and lift up his hands to Heaven for wisdom. Most important he must remember and fear that as he passes judgement he will one day give an account to the Supreme Justice of the Universe from which there is no appeal.