Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love Has Conquered Death's Sting

Dear Father,
     Thank You for filling Your own people with Your Spirit so that they may glorify You. Your message to us is that we are set free from the effects of sin. This freedom comes from Your everlasting love by which we are bound to You and Your people forever more.
In Jesus Christ's Name, Amen

Theme Song: Christ is Risen 

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
 55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
   Where, O death, is your sting?”
 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Cor 15

Judgments of God in the Present Day

     The sin of the inhabitants of the world is heaped up and recorded in a list of charges or accusations. Because of this great testimony of the wickedness of humanity, God's wrath is stored up for the final Day of judgment. On this day, those who have rejected God will encounter the Lake of Fire. The righteous will inherit eternal Life in perfect union with the triune God. 

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Romans 5

      In addition to the final judgment of God against His enemies, there are judgments which have been poured out on the inhabitants of the world who remain in darkness. These judgments are a consequence of the presence of sin in the hearts of men and evidence of the lifestyles of sin in sinful men. The judgments of God that are poured out in the present day include the following:

1. Conquest: War and conflict are present in the world. There is no peace in any land throughout the earth. The leader of a given conquest often bears the likeness of an agent of peace or as one who rides on a "white horse".

2. Murder: On every scale murder is widespread. The spiritual evil forces have been given power to make men slay one another. Sometimes there are physical slayings of men in genocides and terrorism among groups of people. More often, there is that anger and hatred within the hearts of men which Jesus has equated to murder.

3. Material Slavery: There is a slavery to materialism among all the inhabitants of the world. There are roots of desire for the material items of money, houses, land, technology, beauty, physical pleasure, entertainment, and the many other temporary things of the world. She is the antichrist of materialism. This antichrist is not the one Antichrist who will come in the end days, but one of the other antichrists who is already in the world. Her appearance is strong and compelling, irresistible and gruesome. The effect of her grip is on every soul. Her forces are pervasive, wide-spread, tormenting, oppressive, deceptive, lingering, sucking, draining, HORRIFYING. There is no one who seems to be free from the effects of her dominion. Her ability to torment the souls of men seemed especially present among the current-day elect who were weak in faith. "You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?  I Cor 3:3" Her effects are present in the thoughts, attitudes, and feelings of all people, but the Bride is being purified, refined, and made spotless.  God gave me faith in reminding me that His purpose is to completely free the elect from her grip. He will do this in the near future. We need not wait much longer. We must see Him more clearly and trust in His sanctifying arm more strongly. We must persevere in our pursuit of Him and remain faithful with the deposit of faith that He has entrusted to us, dear family. If not for His mighty intervention of refinement and discipline, we would have all been condemned. By faith we eagerly await the righteousness for which we hope. 

4. Sword/Famine/Plague: The presence of sickness, cancer, stroke, heart disease, aging effects, famine, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, ever present in our world. Surely these are also consequences of sin.

5. The Fear of Death: The inhabitants of the world have feared physical and spiritual death, the second death. Their labor as individuals and as collective organizations is fueled by this fear of death. They are always working to increase the lifespan and to prevent the timer from moving. Their works of self "goodness" are performed to prevent the judgment of God which will result in the second death. But these labors have been to no avail. 

6. Hatred: This judgment is perhaps the worst consequence of sin. The love of most has grown cold. The true Agape is scarce within the hearts of men. Among the numerous flocks which gather, the eyes of the Sovereign One look down seeking the ones whose hearts are fully committed to Him. He seeks the true worshipers who obey His commands of Agape as they follow in the footsteps of Christ.

     The response of men to these present day judgments is a deep-rooted terror, uncertainty, turmoil, hatred, anger, sorrow, gloom, selfishness, and spiritual distress that has possessed hearts in the present age. The manifestations of this darkening of heart are observed in the conversations between men, the content of media, dynamics of political and corporate entities, the seeking of endless entertainment, and rise of wars and conflicts.


The Power of Sin is the Law

     But, God's message for us, dear family, is that He has set us free from the sting and victory of death. The power of sin had been in the law. The law had brought out that very wickedness that had dwelt in the hearts of men from birth. The law has produced in men every kind of covetous desire. The law had convicted the hearts of men concerning the condemnation and damnation that hung over their heads. 

8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. Romans 7

Conquering Love

    However there is a great hope that we have that stands as an anchor for our souls and which enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Here in the presence of God, the Son, Jesus Christ, makes intercession on our behalf. For there, He has made atonement for our sin with His own blood as He has borne on Himself the guilt of all of us. Thus, in Him the sting of death, sin, has been removed from us and we have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. 

    The love of God the Father for His own children has been lavished on us. He has not held back His own Son but has freely bestowed the Life of His own Son and all of the blessings in the heavenly realms upon His people. The effect of this love is that we become over-conquerers in all of those present and future judgments of God against evildoers. We have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony. None of these present day judgments can separate us from the love of God. 

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
   “For Your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8

     As His glory is revealed, our knowledge of His great love increases. The revelation of the love of the heavenly Father will take away our guilt, remove our shame, and destroy all of our fears. Our blindness and hardening of heart with regard to other people and circumstances will be removed with greater understanding of His love. 

     One precious effect of knowing the Father's love is a bestowed power to resist the condemnations that our hearts heap on us. Even when our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and He knows all things. 

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the Truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.I John 3

      As we abide in His love, we will love one another. Our love for one another is evidence to our soul that we are not condemned but have been brought from death to life. The love in our hearts will wash away our fears of the consequences of sin. This love will confirm the Presence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling in us. Indeed our source of power over sin, over fears of judgment, over the wrath of men, over the uncertain future, over our own condemning hearts comes from that very Agape that He has instilled in our own hearts. 

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