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Friday: Further Thought ~ Backslidden People — 9 Comments

  1. The greatest problem faced by the post-exilic Jews was self interest. They not only wanted to back a winner, they wanted to be winners themselves. This is not just a post-exilic Jewish problem. It is the underlying principle of sin that is stated repeatedly through the Bible.

    Eve wanted more knowledge
    Cain wanted to better than his brother
    The post-flood folk wanted to be higher than the next flood.
    Jesus disciples wanted to be head of government in the new kingdom.

    And over and over again, the Bible hammers home the message that self-interest is not what the Gospel is all about.

    Moses was willing to die to save the Children of Israel.
    Jesus sacrificed himself so that he could save us.

    And Seventh-day Adventists are different to the post-exile Jews and show no self interest?

    In any discussion about salvation, how often do we express the notion about how we can be saved. We talk about the rewards of eternal life, and the joy of being in heaven. The gospel is not about saving ourselves, it is about saving others.

    We click tongues and shake our heads at how quickly the post-exilic Jews backslid into their old ways, and fail to see the self-interest we display today. And just to ensure that we are somewhat better than the Church we point our finger and say the Church should be doing this and that.

    Jesus made it very clear:

    Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

    For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matt 16:24-26 KJV

    It is a tough lesson this week. We may learn that we have not learned anything at all.

  2. Every one of us know there are things in our life that would take us out of Christ. For me it's idle time. I have a cramped schedule the moment my mind sits idle it's starts wandering from Godly things.
    Marriage is the illustration God uses to show his unity with the church. It is the most intimate relationship God can give unto us. When we are unequally we do not go forward we go around in circle. It does not seem dangerous but the end is death.
    When a blatant sin is pointed out, it is the responsibility of the leadership to get rid of the sin. If it's not treated at it's core, it will spread like cancer and will consume the entire church.
    Christ gives seven woes in Matthew 23 not once He denounces against supporting the church. In fact He praises the widow who gave all to a corrupt church.
    History repeats itself. Thorn in our flesh is God's constant reminder for us to recognize this is not our home.
    Winter is a time when Sabbath days are shorter. Are you looking at sunset to end the day? or Are you looking at sunset and say I have to wait one more week to enter into the Sabbath rest? Once my daughter said, Sabbath is a day when I don't have to think about school. How do you get closer to Him?

    Nehemiah enforced the Sabbath law.
    What about the Sunday law if it was enforced by a political leader?
    Do we overlook enforcement as long as it is convenient for us?
    Punishment only works as long as the enforcer is there.

    What is the difference between the reformation in Nehemiah chapter 8 - 10 and Nehemiah chapter 13?

    Nehemiah chapter 8 - 10 people came together as one confessed their sin.
    Nehemiah Chapter 13 Nehemiah is enforcing the sabbath command using his political power.

    "Punishment does not change the tendency to engage in the behavior that was punished. Instead, it makes the person or the rat want to avoid the source of punishment. As soon as the child thinks it’s not being watched (as soon as the situation seems different in some way), the tendency to engage in the behavior will reassert itself. Punished children do what was punished behind their parents’ backs, or as soon as they get to college."

    We need a change of heart to have an everlasting effect in behavior.

  3. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Our backsliding is great; we have sinned against you” (Jeremiah 14:7). Backsliding in Scripture is always seen as a very serious matter: “‘Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,’ declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty” (Jeremiah 2:19, NIV).

    Backsliding can be caused by many things. However, whatever the sin might be that leads us away from God, it must be dealt with honestly and brought before Him in repentance. God loves us and wants us to be close to Him. Even when we sin against Him, He promises to forgive. “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them” (Hosea 14:4).

    We must always fight against backsliding, but if we do backslide, we know that when we renounce our sin and return to God, there is forgiveness and reconciliation. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

  4. Anything can be legalistic when is not done with the heart. Love makes all difference. The 10 Commandments were instituted for our benefit, the problem is when we think they are more important then the essence, which is love. Love makes all things perfect. The love of God makes all other types of love perfect. When we place the love of God first, everything else falls into its right place! It feels secure!

  5. Let’s all stay with the God of our father and mother. And if per chance our father and mother did not profess to be in relationship with our Loving Heavenly Father, then stay with the God of a friend, pastor, or relative who was. A belated Thanksgiving thankfulness. I am thankful for having had a father and mother who feared(reverenced) God. As Morris Vendon used to say there are many mountains that stand in the way of being lost, two are father and mother who were God fearing. Yes a tough lesson this week. The Bible is full of warnings and reproof for our own good. Look at the reproof as a long hallway with doors on each side. The doors are reproof and warnings that point us back to the hallway we are traversing, at the end of the hallway is Christ with arms wide open. You get the picture, the closer we get to Christ...the more peace we have.

  6. Holy Spirit stay with us a little while.

    I must say, Satan is busy and he tempts idle minds. We must always be on the alert. Have you ever heard people say they have been praying for the 1st person who comes to church wearing a red shift/dress to be their spouse. Then someone walks in who is already marry or an unbeliever!!!
    The only shield we have is the shield of the bible to stand without falling into Satan trap.
    Satan uses those unguarded moments to trap us and our children.
    Two wks ago I met a coworker at work after approx 4 yrs. We chat about life, work and children. He asked me how old were my children, I told him. He/his family is not a SDA, they are of a different race, culture, somewhat a different language. Now he wants his son to meet my daughter. He told me his son is a very nice child(only child), still at university and does very well. I told him we go to church on Sabbath and we are SDA. He was finding out where and so on. I always points people to Christ before I point them to human being. People need to know about the love of God and grow in love with Christ before they can grow in love with any human being. People must come to church because of Jesus and not for the sake of anyone because human will disappoint them.

  7. At least in part, the zeal of Nehemiah would be informed by his knowledge of Daniel’s prophesies, specifically, the Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:24). Knowing that 70 weeks were set aside for the people of Israel and Jerusalem, the holy city, for the purpose of establishing everlasting righteousness through the coming of the Messiah, Nehemiah would understand the rebuilding of the temple and walls of Jerusalem and re-establishing worship of the true God were crucial elements in the fulfilment of that prophecy.

    The role of the priests and Levites in the temple services was to teach the people of the true God. The role of the Sabbath was to provide a weekly time for the people to personally know the true God. The Lord established a place in the physical (the temple) and a place in temporal (the Sabbath) so that the people of Israel would learn of him and his unfailing love for them. What we see after Nehemiah returned to Babylon and to his duties for the Persian king, is the work of the Adversary to undermine and destroy the foundation of God’s prophetic purpose in the coming Messiah.

    Tobiah’s residence in the temple under the religious sanction of the priest Eliashib is a shadow of Satan’s attempt to establish a seed of the little horn power of Daniel 8 in the temple to subvert God’s purpose to his own ends. Knowing the criticality of the Sabbath in God’s prophetic plan, Satan used commercial and personal relationships with the surrounding heathen to subvert it, as God re-established his people in the Promised Land.

    However, in Nehemiah’s leadership, we see God working powerfully in human affairs to fulfil his purposes in spite of the wiles of the Deceiver. In the coming Messiah, the Lord of the Sabbath, the love and character of God would be revealed unambiguously to mankind. The Serpent’s head would be crushed even in his venomous attempt to kill the Redeemer of mankind. (Genesis 3:15.)

    Just a thought.

    • Thank you Richard for a well link of what truly took place during Nehemiah's time to the great controversy. I cant explain it better. Be blessed


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