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Friday: Further Thought – Redemption — 11 Comments

  1. Knowing that this earth and our hearts is the battle field where the great controversy is played out, satan's final onslaught on Gods last day church, will not hold back on any device that he can cungure up to lead us astray and to destroy, with the intention to cause as much pain to our creator. So while we live amongst satan's cross fire, let us focus on the ultimate victory that God will share with his saints in glory.
    Wishing you all a blessed Sabbath.

  2. Firstly you'll have to restore time for God on a daily basis. You'll never hear his voice when he is talking to you. I've experience this in my life.

  3. Throughout earth's history, there have been numerous wars, too many to count, and strife between nations (even during Christ's time on earth) and they have all resulted in human casualties and immense damage to the environment; not to mention the widespread deadly diseases of epidemic proportions, millions wounded, and still millions more with permanent disabilities caused by wars. In World War II alone, over 70,000,000 people died, two thirds of which were civilians killed in military operations, by famine or crimes against humanity. It's not a pretty picture but the brutal reality of the state of the unconverted man. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer.17:9).

    All this is as a result of that war which started in heaven by a rebellious angel, Lucifer, seeking to usurp God's government and take charge, due to his enviousness of the position of the Son of God, the Creator of all things, and disaffection with his own high position of crowning cherub to the Most High. "And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels ... (Rev. 12:7-8). God could have dealt with the situation head on and wiped out Lucifer and sin instantaneously, even before he recruited one third of the angels in his army but God alone is all-wise and He knows the end from the beginning. Ellen White answers the question of "why did not God destroy Satan right there and then?" in the following quote from the Great Controversy. You can read the whole chapter "Rebellion Spreads to Planet Earth", on line.

    "Even when it was decided that he could no longer remain in heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since the service of love can alone be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. Evil must be permitted to come to maturity. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages Satan must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might forever be placed beyond all question." (The Great Controversy, p. 498-499).

    The battle of the great controversy between good and evil, light and darkness, the Kingdom of God versus the devil's kingdom, still wages on and we are all part of the drama. No one can choose not to be, but we can choose which side to enlist with. Whereas soldiers in earthly armies don't get to choose whether they're summoned to war or not, we don't have to be drafted in the enemy's camp, PRAISE GOD! but we can CHOOSE this day whom we will serve. We have read the back of the Book, so WE know how the story ends. It ends with God, the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End as the unmistakable Victor. Yes! God wins!!!

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
    His truth is marching on.

    Glory, glory Hallelujah! (rep. x 2)
    His truth is marching on.

  4. God has been there for us since the foundation of the earth,we need to obey him and trust then we can overcome all satan's tempetation.

  5. What hits me in all of this "saints reigning and judging" idea is what manner of persons we ought to be!! Only the pure and holy can go there because the judges will be righteous beings. No bias. No selfish motives. No unfairness. Sometimes we cannot even handle our affairs down here, how will we become righteous judges?

    I see more and more Christians going to the courts to be represented by earthly lawyers and judged by the earthly judges. Could the Church have a system where its members can righteously judge those who may be overtaken in a fault (sin) or who may have other problems that require a judgment to be handed down? Similar to the period of the Judges, could the Church have this practice or are we not holy enough?

    I believe if we are going to judge men and angels we have to be righteous and fair, forgiving and unbiased. Should we not take on these attributes and "practice" for heaven, considering these will not be suddenly bestowed on us at the time of Christ's coming?

    All of this come with walking with Christ in our hearts and being deeply connected with Him.

    • The serious issue about Church-based judgement systems is that they all too easily become involved in protecting the name of the church. There is a long history of church organizations covering up cases of abuse, embezzlement and other "insider"crimes. There is currently in Australia in the civil courts an exhaustive inquiry into systematic abuse and coverup. While the Roman Catholic system has perhaps been the hardest hit, Salvation Army, Uniting Church, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church among others have all been under scrutiny for their handling of cases over the last 50 years. It is clear that institutions do not do a good job of internally judging and handling cases where the reputation of the institution is under threat.

      There is a real case for transparency, so that the Church does the right thing and is seen to be doing the right thing. Currently the only way for this to happen is through the state legal system. We are much more aware of our responsibilities as the result of the current inquiries.

      In the case of our salvation, God's judgement must not only be just it must stand up to universal public scrutiny. I don't pretend to know how God is going to achieve transparency, but as a stakeholder in salvation I will be an interested participant in the heavenly transparency process. As they say in the media, "Watch this space!"

    • To my mind, Marcia, your comments have raised some serious questions, the most painful of which appears to be:

      ... or are we not holy enough?

      In his epistles, Paul made his (and God's) expectations for the church abundantly clear. Maurice Ashton's reply seems to indicate that we as a people are now so hopelessly corrupt that we might as well forget about trying to reach God's ideal as expressed by Paul.

      Maurice may be right, to a point, although I could never accept this deep corruption as the normal ecclesiastical condition. However, I hope that this will not prevent any of us as individuals from developing a character after God's order, and being graciously found fit to be part of His eternal kingdom.

  6. The question that is posed, if judgment is judging the world and the angels, can you explain when and why. When the dead in Christ are taken 1st and the living are next, are they among the saved or not? 1Thess4:15-17,2Tim 4:1. What do you think is going to change in 1Cor15:51-55. Is that change going to be the same mind set that we have experienced for what ever period of time? If the saved are and taken to heaven, what is left? Those that are not saved. Has judgment taken place or not? Will we always have memories, perhaps as some have rationalized, to see that sin never occurs again.

    • My comment was centered around the millennium when the saved will live and reign with Christ. That is the time when the saved will be in heaven with Christ (whether they were resurrected or caught up). The Bible tells us that a part of the "reigning" with Christ will have us playing a role in the judgment. 1 Cor.6:2 "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? Verse 3 says, "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?"

      God will allow us to examine the records of heaven to see why a particular person may be lost. It shows that God is open and fair.

      The point I was making was that since we will be involved in such a high and important work should we not be holy enough to righteously judge others down here? And if that is so why do brethren take brethren to the earthly courts? According to 1 Cor. 6:2 "... And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters"?

      May God help us to reach the standard He wants us to be.

      • I see no connection to suing in civil matters 1Cor 6:4 and Christ's judgment in Heaven during the millennium. Verse one distinguishes between an unrighteous person and a saint. The issue is whether two or more saints settle an issue rather than a court appointed judge. Verse 6.

  7. Marcia, I welcome your thoughts on this. There must be a right way to achieve what you are saying. But the early church wrestled with some of the same issues, and unfortunately they ended up getting it wrong.

    A little bit of history might be of interest.
    In May of 538A.D. there was a Church Council in what is now the French city of Orleans. The Roman Church wanted to manage its own legal affairs in-house, and in this Council the church was able to take the first big step in freeing itself from secular jurisdiction:

    "As early as 538, even before the carefully guarded grants of Justinian, the third Council of Orleans thus was able to enact a canon [law] rendering episcopal assent necessary before [any member of the clergy] could appear in a secular court, either as plaintiff or defendant. This virtually placed in the hands of the Bishops complete control over all [legal] cases in which ecclesiastics were concerned; and the principle was more fully developed three years later at the fourth council of Orleans." (Studies in Church History, Lea (1883) p.184.)


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