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Month: January 2006 Page 2 of 3

Studying the Wrath and Judgment of God

In order to appreciate what you have been saved from (that is if you’ve believed in Christ), it is highly important to contrast eternal life with eternal death (heaven and hell). So often within our Christian culture, we will highlight the things we love hearing about, namely God’s love, patience, mercy, kindness, forbearance, etc. But even as Christians, at times, in this mindset alone, we will forget what it is we’ve been saved from and wander in complacency. We forget the awful and horrific, eternal, conscious wrath of God that should have been ours because of our sinfulness and rebellion against Him. You and I should go there deservingly!

This leads me to my main point: going deep into the depths of understanding the wrath of God will give you a much greater appreciation for the cross and what Jesus bore and what you’ve been saved from. While studying deep into the wrath and justice of God though, never take your eyes off the cross of Christ. This is where our hell and judgment was met out at its fullest, in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, where He atoned and propitiated for our sin. In studying God’s wrath, hell, and justice, it can be terribly frightening. We can then see 1) how great, mighty, powerful, and frightening God really is, 2) how great His love for us really is that He would even provide us a Savior at all, and 3) how great of an offense our sin really is that we should deserve hell for all eternity even for one sin! We are despicable creatures that deserve the wrath of God, without relenting, for all eternity. We deserve to be eternally scorched in the furnace of His fury against wickedness, deservingly. We took our filth and slapped Him in the face with it. We scorned and mocked Him in our sin and degrading behavior. We deserve unspeakable, conscious torment forever! And yet God in His great mercy sent His Son to die and rise from the dead in our place, to propitiate (or turn away) the wrath of God for us who believe in Him. How wonderful is that love? Wow. It never ceases to amaze me. Why would He rescue someone like me from the pit of eternal death when I deserved it so clearly? What an awesome God!

Here are some links that go in depth and look at many Scriptural references pertaining to hell, God’s wrath, and His righteous judgment:

The Wrath of God (Read this first)
Hell, Judgment (Monergism.com)
Nature and Duration of Hell’s Torments
Lake of Fire

So Blessed …

I have just been so blessed by God lately in my Scripture reading and time spent with Him (as well as reflection on my life in general in light of the cross). After having looked back on my life in high school (pre turning back to Christ), there is just such destruction and misery all in my paths. I was full of rage, malice, deceitfulness, just pure evil, and all sorts of other junk. It’s amazing I made it out alive from those days. There was several points that I really should have died. Sometimes, after having been delivered from such wickedness and hardness of heart, time can go by and you can forget what all happened back then. Man I was a loser, nothing in me worth saving. Why would God even consider me? How insignificant could I have been while I essentially gave Him the finger? I was so bent on seeking out what I wanted over against what He wanted, that I spat in His face at every turn. There were definitely times of remorse for my sin against Him, but I would quickly turn back to that sin, thus causing more destruction and misery, all around me. I carried with me much collateral damage. I caused so many people to suffer. Oh God, I am unworthy of anything. I deserved such torture for all eternity in hell for the way I trampled on Your glory. Even now, though I no longer live in those ways by Your grace alone, I pray You would continually cleanse me from further unrighteousness and give me a deeper repentance from all wickedness, pride, and self-righteousness. LORD, sovereign King, thank You for sending Your Son to be the propitiation for my sins, turning away the wrath of God. Lord Jesus, You are the lovely, holy, almighty God who took away my sin forever. I love You.

Video Card for Sale – $40

I’m selling a Chaintech Volari V3 128 MB 8x AGP video card. It is brand new and has never been used. I recently purchased it for my new server, but my motherboard has the wrong type of slot for the card. I didn’t realize it until after I bought it. On my new motherboard, I have a PCI-Express slot and the card is AGP. So I’m selling it now. So anyone who wants it, just contact me here. Later.

I Finally Created a MySpace Account

My MySpace Account

Well I folded. I finally created a MySpace account, and to my surprise, I found people I haven’t talked to in years. It’s been so awesome to see what friends of mine from the past are doing nowadays. Well, that’s all for now …

Great Way to Read Scripture …

I’ve been reading through Genesis and Exodus the past few days and tried out something that I’ve done before but never got into. I’ve been going to BibleGateway.com and listening to a guy narrate the Scriptures while I read along. This has made such a huge difference in particular with the Hebrew Narratives, but can also help out tremendously in other books of the Bible. Not only have I been able to better comprehend what is going on, but I’ve also been able to read a whole lot more at one time. Just a suggestion, but it’s really helped me get into the context of everything that’s going on; motives of man, what God is sovereignly ordaining and how He relates to us, what He’s like, how depraved we are, etc. It’s been really refreshing to go back and see these great theological truths played out in the Old Testament because the whole New Testament is rooted in what occurred in the Old Testament.

My DSL Connection is Driving Me Insane

For those of you who utilize my websites on a frequent basis, if you don’t know this already, I run all my sites off of my home DSL connection. Well, within the past several months, for whatever reason, the connection has been highly unstable. I have called SBC over and over, and have learned to just have them transfer me to the line department. Even though I’ve had the line department check out the connection, they seem to always find an issue and fix it, but it only lasts about a week, two tops. I wanted to let everyone know because sometimes my site maybe down, and that’s why. I’ve attempted to get SBC to fix it, but they seem to be totally unwilling. At this point, I’m waiting for a new ISP service to be released sometime this year: BPL (Broadband over Power Line). TXU has teamed up with Current Communications to offer High Speed internet service to over 2 million customers in the DFW area at very competitive prices (Dallas-Fort Worth Earns BPL Clout). I heard a rumor (haven’t actually read this anywhere), but apparently they are going to be offering speeds of 3 mbps down / 3 up! Oh man. This will basically give DSL and cable internet providers a run for their money. But this competition will actually be good in the long-run for the consumer, 1) because we will benefit as far as prices are concerned, and 2) we will benefit from increased bandwidth (mainly because DSL providers will soon be offering ADSL2+ connectivity (~20 mbps down / 3 – 5 up) over existing phonelines and cable providers will be offering DOCSIS 3.0 connectivity (10 mbps down / 3 up)). I say bring it on, but hurry up, this instability is killing me!

Green River Ordinance is Opening for Bon Jovi!

I’m so excited for GRO! They were voted by the listeners on Mix 102.9’s website to open up for Bon Jovi this weekend. I’m not particularly a huge Bon Jovi fan, but this gets them some serious exposure and opens them up to all kinds of media attention. For all of you that dont know, this is significant because the members of Green River Ordinance are friends of mine that go to Christ Chapel (where I attend church and volunteer with the high shcool), and they’re awesome, rock solid believers www.greenriverordinance.com. Anyway, I just thought I would make that known that they won! Go GRO!

Alito Confirmation Hearings

You know, I just don’t get these Democrat Senators attempting to pull something out of Alito that just isn’t there, specifically Feinstein, Kennedy, and Schumer. In an attempt to flex their political muscle power, throw their weight around, and hopefully get recognition from the American people for upcoming elections to overthrow Rupublican control of congress, they are shooting themselves in the foot instead. It’s backfiring. They are making themselves look highly foolish. Not only have so many of the questions been without a basis, but the questions have been very easily answered by Alito and he has thwarted their plans to expose him for something he’s not. The Democratic party is desperate. Is this what they’ve been reduced to? This goes back to a main point about the integrity of these people in particular. They talk all day about doing good to humanity, being selfless in their love for others, and yet in their actions, clearly displayed before the American people, they are anything but selfless. Granted, both sides of the political spectrum within this country are full of faults (mainly because of man’s inner corruption from the fall), but I do believe that Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot much more than Republicans are. Their main goals in these hearings are to 1) overthrow a Republican Surpreme Court judicial nominee, and 2) attempt to convince the American people the Democracts are better politicians than the Republicans and regain control over Congress. I guess I just find it funny to see them get so mad and forceful in these hearings when the content of what they are saying is lacking in reason and totally without a basis.

Sola Scriptura: Our Final Infallible Authority

The Concept and Importance of Canonicity – Dr. Greg Bahnsen

Essentially, we are not to rest in any system of doctrine as a final infallible authority, but we are to rest in the Holy Scriptures alone as such. We do indeed have many final authoritative creeds, canons, councils and doctrines of the faith speaking of the things proclaimed in Scripture, but Scripture alone is our final infallible authority. Good doctrine simply outlines that which is already stated in the Bible as truth. Any doctrine that is stated must be backed up with Scripture, and in many cases, that Scripture backed up with other Scripture. Human logic and reason are tools given to us by God, but these tools must be used within the confines of Scripture. If we draw a conclusion using logic or reason, then that conclusion must be backed up with Scripture, otherwise it is a humanly derived thought (don’t forget that our thinking has been corrupted by sin). If a theological truth is in one place of the Word, then it will be in other places. The authors of Scripture never contradict the other authors, because it is all God inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and infallible. And if it is all God inspired, then none of it contradicts another part, because God does not contradict Himself. He is reality and He defines all things in all manners of life. And the Bible is His word to us about Himself and His glory, how we’ve fallen short of it, and how Christ has made purification for sins on the cross. If there is a thought about God, salvation, or man (for example) that cannot be backed up with or found in Scripture, then it is to be cast away as either non-truth or mere human speculation into that which has not been stated. What can be known about God, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, has been clearly revealed to everyone for all time in what has been made (Romans 1:19-20), but more specifically, He has revealed Himself to us in His Son Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-4), revealed in the pages of the Bible. We must go where Scripture goes and we must stop where Scripture stops. If we chop out certain truths about God and ourselves from Scripture (such as His wrath, election, our sin, hell, etc.) or manipulate Scripture to make it fit what we want it to say, then we are denying attributes about Him and ourselves that are essential to knowing the truth. If we add to what Scripture says, we are doing the same thing, just on the flip side of the coin, and we will not know Him truly, as He actually is. If we do not know Him truly, then we believe lies about Him being spread around by Satan to blind the minds of unbelievers (Ephesians 2:1-2, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

Understanding Justification: Central to the Believer’s Relationship with Christ

On the cross, Jesus bore the sins of any who would believe in Him. He atoned for their sin and wickedness, having become a perfect sin sacrifice, He turned away the wrath of God, He then died, and rose from the grave, conquering sin, death, and hell, that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life in Him. Within the work of the cross though, there is a giant, eternal, judicial act that occurs where the Father declares the believing sinner righteous in His sight, having the very righteousness of Christ imputed to him or made the sinners’ own. We are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and on our worst day or our best day (morally speaking) we can do no better than what Christ has already done at Calvary. This is justification. It is finished. I cannot make this any clearer.

A problem that I see amongst many of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is the problem of sinning (which we all do), but then feeling totally unworthy to even approach the throne of God to confess those sins for fear of His wrath or disapproval. And in not approaching Him they then fall into more sin and thus the cycle continues, turning into a works-based approach to God. At the heart of this though is a misunderstanding or a lack of understanding (and believing with their hearts) in the justification that occurred at Calvary. At the cross, Christ became the believer’s sin substitute, he literally turned away the wrath of God, and the righteousness Christ earned has now become our own. At the cross, the Father declares the sinner to be righteous, because of Christ. So when we sin, that sin is covered by the blood of Christ. And not only so, but God couldn’t be more pleased with you, even in the midst of that sin, at that very moment! When the Father looks at you, even in the midst of your sin, He sees Christ! That is absolutely remarkable! You couldn’t have done any better than Calvary. It is through the lens of the cross of Christ that we view ourselves in relation to God now. As Romans 8:1 says firmly and confidently, “There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ.” Justification lies at the heart of the Gospel and is something we must grow in our knowledge of and belief in (by God’s grace) to even defeat the very sin that hinders us in approaching God.

Now, so that people reading this don’t go and take this to mean something it doesn’t, I want to clarify this point. Though the believing sinner is declared righteous in the sight of the Father based upon the free grace that comes from the cross of Christ, this does not mean that we continue the pursuit of sinning just because the Father declares us to be righteous. It means the opposite in fact. Because Christ has done this for us, how can we not but turn from our sin in great thanks? We are to never say in our hearts, “Well, because God sees me as He sees Christ, I can do whatever I want. I’m saved right? And my sin is covered … so why not?” I want to warn those of you who think this at some level: you may be in danger of having never possessed authentic, God-wrought faith to begin with. Why is this? If you claim faith in Christ, believing Him to be the only Son of God who became your sin substitute (the Gospel), and then continue living your life in a sinful, rebellious way, showing no real change, you may still be under the condemnation of God, not possessing true faith that saves. It is like saying, “I’m going to turn to the right,” but instead you continue straight ahead as if your words mean nothing. Your words don’t line up with your actions. It’s not about perfection though, because we all know, based on personal experience, that we all sin, every day, and fall short of the glory of God continually. It’s not about perfection, but it’s about direction. Do you struggle with your sin? Or do you pursue sin, unrighteousness and rebellion as if you were an unbeliever? Does your life look any different than that of the unbelieving world? You may need to check your faith for authenticity. It is a very dangerous thing to acknowledge salvation in Christ and yet show no change in your life from before your alledged salvation experience. You and those around you can have no confidence that you are saved if you live your life as if an unbeliever. It may be that you are one. The mark of the believer is one of change, but not perfection. It has been said many times, “Once saved, always saved.” But I prefer the phrasing I read off one of the articles on Monergism.com, “Once Saved, Always Changed.”

However, as believer’s, when we do sin, as a great friend of mine (Jon Dansby) put it, “We have the best theological view of ourselves in the midst of our sin.” When you are sinning, what do you have to offer God? Absolutely nothing. You are morally bankrupt. You’re a sinner through and through, and you know it. We are morally corrupt and defiled in our natural state, and this sinning could not make that any clearer. We trample on the glory of God every day with our sinning and our wicked hearts. And we deserve the hottest corner in hell for our actions against an infinitely glorious Creator, with whom there is no sin or unrighteousness. He would have been perfectly just to send us there for eternity with no mercy. Romans 3:9-18 comes alive in the midst of our sinning and is made to ring true of all of us. If we were to just leave it there, without any hope of being saved from this plight, then yes, we should all fear the eternal wrath and condemnation of God, and recoil in anguish at what befalls us, and we should mourn our eternal souls. But the doctrine of Justification comes in with mighty power and states that you the believer, a mere unworthy worm of a sinner, are declared by the great Judge, that could have poured out His wrath rightfully on you, to be righteous, because of the work of Christ on the cross. Because of His work, He has now, even in the midst of that sinning, imputed the righteousness He earned to you. What a great and glorious thing! What a great exchange! He took your sin from you, nailing it to the cross, and then gave you His righteousness! How glorious! What a great and wonderful, loving, merciful, kind, just God!

This is the hope that we exult in in the midst of sinning: that God declares sinners to be righteous through the cross of Christ. Understanding the judicial act that occurred at the cross and applying it to our lives is a life-long process of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I pray for all of you, even those who don’t believe, that God would grant to you repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and in His wondrous work at Calvary.

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