Christian Feature

 




ADD-ON


Is God Too Soft, Even Unfair?


Yes, you did read correctly, rightly see. So, is God too soft, even unfair? Is there evidence suggesting so, could it be that you might think so, or is such actually clear?
Well, for your edification and general assimilation, a number of things I’ve decided to share.
God is delaying His return (despite His loving concern), and thereby, our departure, so that others can make it to Heaven — yes, He's still bothering to warn, persist, even nurture, forgiving more than seventy times seven, and amidst it all, as He has since the Fall, giving wicked people a chance to change, who, when they do so, repentantly so, will receive grace in exchange, and the promise of eternity.
See what I mean, and within Scripture, building upon this picture, there’s even more we can glean.
Yes, God saved a thief on the cross (bad since the day he was born?), and as for ancient Israel (now there’s a sorry tale), and that stubborn old Pharaoh (ancient Israel’s wily foe), how many chances did God give, how many times did He warn?
And look at that fanatical Jew, a man called Saul, who God mercifully spared and used, even after all he’d killed and abused (incidentally, renaming him Paul), and by the way, God never slew Satan, Adam and Eve, nor Cain — so what does that say? I’ll tell you. Whether one is good or bad, God's response is very humane, plus, He grants both the good and bad daily water, sunshine and grain, and when those who willingly sin repent, letting the Spirit reverse their wayward bent, He wraps a clean robe of righteousness around their grubby sin-sick frame, sets a crown aside for them, and as with Paul, previously Saul, sets aside another name.
And say, who let folk spit on Him, horridly revile and abuse Him, hang Him on a cross between two thieves? And who, over a non-saved wicked one’s loss, as He did over His murderers’ fate, deeply grieves? An amazing act, an incredible fact, but that’s His way, and at the end of the day, who would have it all any other way? 'Cause were it not so, one to Heaven wouldn’t go, and why whether God’s too soft or even unfair, is really neither here nor there.
In a manner of speaking, that is.

By Lance Landall



More poems like the one that's directly above can be seen by clicking on the row of buttons positioned near the top and on the right hand side of the poem list page.




HOW IT ALL BEGAN


Way back in time, the Ruler of the universe — God — who is a loving, merciful and just Ruler, became aware of a problem in His peaceful kingdom, Heaven. An angel called Lucifer, whom He had put in charge of all the other angels, and who held the highest position that could be given to a subject of God’s kingdom, had gradually become discontented, full of his own importance and vain with it. He was now jealous of Christ. He felt that he should be equal in position with God (Isa 14:12-14). He even went so far as to try and convince as many inhabitants as possible to support him, and made false claims about God, even claiming that he would run things better. God first tried to convince Lucifer of his error, encouraged him to repent, and then warned him of the consequences of such behaviour. But Lucifer continued on, and his discontent and jealousy eventually developed into a rebellion (Rev 12:7). God who of course was mightier, and who had good on His side, overcame Lucifer and a number of the inhabitants who had sided with him. He then banished them from His kingdom (Rev 12:7-9,4; Isa 14:12-14). God knew that if He were to destroy Lucifer immediately, the remaining inhabitants would follow Him out of fear, and not because of love for Him. God did not want His subjects to fear Him. Respect Him, yes, but not fear Him. He also wanted His subjects to have the freedom to be able to think and choose for themselves. He wasn’t a dictator who wanted mere robots. He knew that He would have to let the full impact of Lucifer’s actions be shown, (what they would finally lead to, that is), and He knew that that would take some time. But that way, the remaining inhabitants of His kingdom, and the inhabitants of other worlds that He had created (Heb 1:2; 11:3), would be able to see that He was right and not Lucifer.
Sometime after this event had occurred, God, the ruler of the universe, decided that He would take one of His empty planets and fashion it into a beautiful habitat for humans that He would create next (Gen 1:1).
 Lucifer, now labelled Satan, or, the devil (Rev 12:9), who was watching all this, decided that he would attempt to get control of these humans and the planet they were living on (1 Peter 5:8; Eph 6:12). Having been newly created, he knew that they would be easy prey. God knew that the devil would try and attempt such a thing and warned the earth’s new inhabitants. He had to be sure of the loyalty of earth’s inhabitants. Thus, He placed two trees in the middle of a beautiful garden that He had created for them, a garden called Eden (Gen 2:8,9). One tree was called the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” They were told never to eat its fruit or they would die (Gen 2:17). That would be the price they would pay as a result. This tree would be a test of their loyalty. There was also another tree placed in the garden of Eden. That tree was called the “tree of life” (Gen 2:9). Eating of the fruit of this tree would see their life continue forever.
One day, the devil hid himself in the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” he disguised as a beautiful, talking, flying serpent (Rev 12:9; Gen chap 3). He managed to trick (Gen 3:1,13) an inhabitant, called Eve, into eating its fruit, which then led to her husband, called Adam, disobeying also. (Gen chap 3). As a result of this, which their unfaithfulness and disobedience to God had caused, they were not allowed access to the “tree of life” anymore (Gen 3:24).
An evil force was now operating on the planet [sin and death] (Gen chap 3; Rom 5:12). The earth was now beginning to slowly decay and breakdown. This force infected humans with selfishness and manifested itself in a natural rebelliousness towards God (Ps 51:5; 58:3; Jer 17:9, KJV; Isa 64:6, KJV).
However, because God was such a loving and merciful Ruler (Ex 34:6) He didn’t want to see them die, so He told them of a plan that He had kept as a backup (Rev 13:8) should something like this happen. He told them that sometime way in the future, He Himself would suffer the punishment that they deserved, which was death, (though we know He rose again), and that if they remained loyal to Him in future, and did as He said, not the devil, then He would eventually restore eternal life to them and renew their decaying habitat after this great controversy between good [Him] and evil [the devil] reached its final climax. He told them that in the meantime He would allow them to remain on Earth, (though not in Eden), but that they and their offspring would now only live very short lives. Once they died, they would no longer exist in any form at all (Ezek 18:20, KJV; James 5:20; Acts 2:29,34; Job 14:12; Ps 115:17; 6:5). It would not be until sometime far in the future (Heb 11:39,40) that God would bring them back to life; He called that time the “Resurrection” or His “Second Coming” (John 11:24; 1 Peter 5:4, NKJV; Rev 22:12; 20:6; 2 Tim 4:8; John 6:40; 11:24; 14:2,3). The Bible metaphorically calls this waiting period a “sleep” (Dan 12:2; 1 Thess 4:13, KJV) in an effort to reassure us.
In the meantime they would unfortunately have to put up with much suffering and hardship, and would now have the added problem of dealing with the selfish and rebellious spirit that lay within them (Ps 51:5; 58:3) which only He could help them overcome via the Holy Spirit who ruled with Him and His Father (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:13). These three, by the way, are known as the Trinity or Godhead. They rule the universe together (Phil 4:13; 2:13; John 15:5).


Taken from a larger work of mine, (though somewhat altered, including the title), and which can be found elsewhere on my website.





DEAR FELLOW CHRISTIAN, SATAN IS AFTER US


And here's what he'll do if we let him:

CORRUPT  via an unwholesome smorgasbord of entertainment and music.

All why God’s Word says to only pursue what is morally and spiritually sound; those things that are in harmony with Christian ideals (Phil 4:8).

DISTRACT  via worldly pursuits and ambitions.

All why God’s Word says that the love of the Father isn’t in those who love the world (1 John 2:15-17), and that whoever wants to become a friend of the world simply puts him or herself offside with God (James 4:4,5). We're actually talking about divided loyalties here. Pursuits and ambitions that may not be in harmony with God's will, Word or ways.

DEGRADE  via the likes of crude or pornographic material.

All why God’s Word says that the marital bed should not be defiled (Heb 13:4), not to look at someone else with lusty eyes, as such is akin to adultery (Matt 5:28), and not to use our body-cum-members in any unrighteous way (Rom 6:13).

ENSNARE  via unbiblical relationships.

All why God’s Word says not to be unequally yoked with non-believers (2 Cor 6:14; Amos 3:3); not to indulge in adultery (Ex 20:14; Heb 13:4), nor same sex sexual acts (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Jude 7,8; Romans 1:26-28,32; Phil 3:19; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Deut 22:5).

SOIL  via promiscuous behaviour.

All why God’s Word says not to have sex before marriage (1 Thess 4:3-8; Gal 5:16,19; 1 Cor 6:9,10).

INJURE  via unhealthy foods, beverages and drugs.

All why God’s Word says that we’re to look after our body and not wilfully harm it in anyway because it’s the “temple” of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19,20). Would include any form of self mutilation (Lev 19:28).

DESTROY  via reckless pursuits.

All why God’s Word says to be sensible lest we die too soon (Eccl 7:17).

FOOL  via counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.

All why God’s Word has warned of such (2 Thess 2:3,4,9,10; Rev 13:13,14). And hence the question: Is the world being prepared via the tsunami of fantasy and fiction?

MISLEAD  via errant advisors, erring fellow Christians, false teachers, prophets and Messiahs.

All why God’s Word has warned of such (Matt 24:24; 15:9; 1 John 4:1; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 4:3,4; 2 Peter 3:16).

CONFUSE  via attacks on the validity of the Bible.

All why God’s Word says that all Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16), that every word of God proves true (Prov 30:5,6), that what the apostles imparted was revealed by the Holy Spirit, that it was really God’s Word (1 Thess 2:13; 1 Cor 2:10,13), and that we should study in order to not be decieved (Ps 119:9; Matt 4:4; John 8:31,32; Eph 6:14; 4:14; 1 Thess 5:21; 2 Thess 2:10; Heb 5:11-14; Titus 2:1; 1 Tim 4:6; 2 Tim 1:3; 3:16,17; 2:15).

CONTROL  via fooling us into thinking that we can reach some sort of higher plane via New Age, spiritualistic, mystical, humanistic hocus-pocus whereby he can enter our mind via the back door.

All why God’s Word reminds us how Satan tried such on Eve (Gen 3:5), and again about those who propagate such nonsence (Col 2:8), and also about having nothing to do with the realm of darkness (Eph 5:11; 6:11).

Upgraded 20-9-2015.





JESUS



Without His robe we’re lost.
Without His strength we’re powerless.
Without His armour we’re vulnerable.
Without His truths we’re in the dark.
Without His Law we’re none the wiser.
Without His chastening we’re stunted.
Without His blessing we’re all the less.
Without His help we’re bound to err.
Without His indwelling we’re hardly like Him.






SIMILARITIES AND PARALLELS

Fathers: A reflection on the earthly and divine.

A father lovingly attends to and caters for his family’s needs, is always there for them, provides protection, and his love for his family should be such that he would even be prepared to die for his family.

Christ lovingly attends to and caters for our needs, provides us with the Holy Spirit’s presence, dispatches angels to assist and protect, and He also came and died on our behalf that we might be saved.

A father is responsible for setting boundaries, laying down requirements, and is responsible for the overall smooth running of the home, both generally and spiritually. Such boundaries and requirements show his loving concern for his family, their safety, and their general and eternal well-being. Such boundaries and requirements (when upheld) also prevent shame coming upon the family and siblings being influenced wrongly.

Christ also sets boundaries, provides us with a book (the Bible) and a Law (the Ten Commandments) that show His requirements, and He also presides over God-fearing homes and the Church as its Head. Such boundaries and requirements show Christ’s loving concern for His children, their safety, and their general and eternal well-being. Such boundaries and requirements (when upheld) also prevent His children from bearing a false witness as His ambassadors and becoming stumbling blocks.

A father instructs his children, imparts wisdom, shows his children where they’re erring, warns, and attempts to spare them from paths of harm.

Christ via His Word also instructs, imparts wisdom, corrects, warns, and attempts to spare His children from paths of harm.

A father exercises grace, and he also acts somewhat like a lawyer in his home in the sense that he officiates in family or sibling disputes and mediates on behalf of any member who’s in need or in trouble.

Christ displays His grace in various ways, acts providentially in our best interests, and He also acts like a lawyer as He mediates on our behalf before the Father in order to save us from the penalty of sin.

A father acts somewhat like a judge in his home in the sense that he ultimately must pronounce and administer any punishment that rebelliousness necessitates. Such is doubly needful given that such rebelliousness also threatens the stability of the home.

The Scriptures tell us that Christ will one day judge mankind and dispense Divine justice upon those who’ve usurped His authority, rejected Him, ignored His will, and led others astray. Such sinners as these would threaten the stability of Heaven and the earth made new.

A father reveals masculine traits and behaviour that are necessary for the healthy emotional growth of his sons, for the honour of his wife and daughters, and for dealing with those duties that are unsuitable for females (and that would detract from their femininity).

The Bible is full of the masculine/male imagery of God the Father and Christ the Son continued via the apostolic appointment of men as elders/pastors, and the man’s headship role within marriage and the home, as laid down in Scripture. Christ was clearly concerned for the welfare of women, and Scripture admonishes husbands to show due care for their wives.

A man leaves his parents and cleaves to his wife displaying the initiative that’s part of the husband’s role as head, protector, provider, and selfless lover.

Christ left His Father and became the Bridegroom of the Church — the bride — whom He watches over, heads, protects, provides for, and unselfishly loves.





The Closest Thing To Heaven Is You And I


The closest thing to Heaven is you and I, because we were made in God’s image, and
Hence that ability to chose which path, whether to build on the Rock or just sand,
For though power comes from above, the choice is ours, and Heaven either far or near,
Even a heartbeat away — and why upon our hearts God wrote and placed His Law there.

Yes, our response now willing rather than forced, His code our code, and His way our way,
We not only made in His image, but projecting that by what we think, do and say.
And therefore, we the closest thing to Heaven on Earth, an image of God above,
Who stated, “You will know them by their fruits,” and the greatest fruit of all being love.

And hence why where love is absent, or those other fruits, dark clouds soon block out the Son,
His image no longer seen except in human form, and it a distorted one,
Thus Heaven further away rather than closer, shadows hiding the Son-shine,
And our mere form unable to fulfil God’s desires, nor shout, “Jesus is mine!”

Hence why only what’s written upon our hearts can please our Father, reveal His Son,
Whose perfect example of obedience secured grace, and the victory won.
Hence those heavenly rays reflected via human prisms made in His image, and
That give rise to angelic choruses; angels knowing of that rescue planned.

Oh yes, we bearers of truth to the whole world, ambassadors on Earth, shafts of light,
Our radiance illuminating the way, and glowing just like the moon at night.
And we like those stars in the sky too, twinkling midst the darkness of sin, standing out,
We the closest thing to Heaven on Earth, that the will, ways and love of God may shout.


By Lance Landall