Tag Archives: apostle john

Greg Laurie – Faithful and True

greglaurie

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. —Revelation 19:11

In the eyes of the nonbeliever, God is never fair in what He does. When men suffer the consequences of flaunting God’s grace or breaking His commandments, they blame God and call Him unjust. The fact is that God is completely just. He is faithful and true. Writing about Jesus, the apostle John said, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” (Revelation 19:11).

In contrast to this, the devil is unfaithful and a liar. Jesus described him as “a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).

One thing we learn about the Lord after we have walked with Him for a while is that He keeps His promises—all of His promises. For instance, He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5). He has promised to bring His peace into our lives (see John 14:27). He has promised to come again: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).

In fulfillment of His promise, Jesus will come back and will judge the earth. And it will be fully deserved. There is nothing arbitrary or unjust about His judgment. Some might ask how a God of love could bring judgment. But how could a God of love not bring judgment? God has said there are penalties for sin. Yet He offers so many opportunities for us to believe.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Bond of Love

dr_bright

“Let me assure you that no one has ever given up anything – home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or property – for love of Me and to tell others the Good News, who won’t be given back, a hundred times over, homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land – with persecution! All these will be his here on earth, and in the world to come he shall have eternal life” (Mark 10:29,30).

Having admonished His disciples to follow Him even at the cost of leaving everything – including mothers and families – behind, Christ is now affirming His consistency with the disciples. Obviously He loved His own mother dearly – one of His last acts before He died on the cross was to be sure that the apostle John would take care of her. Yet the bond of love which Jesus felt toward His disciples, a bond which continues today toward those who truly seek Him with all their hearts, transcends even the bond of love which one experiences in flesh-and-blood relationships, unless those relationships are also rooted in the love of Christ.

Romans 5:8 explains the basis for this bond. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit ignites the hearts of true disciples with supernatural love, (agape)in action. That bond of love builds a spiritual family relationship that transcends all others, a relationship that is truly supernatural. In this way our Lord fulfills His promise that everything that is given up to follow Him will be given back a hundred times over in this life.

Bible Reading: Matthew 12:46-50

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: In every way I will seek to obey the commands of my Father in heaven with the certainty that greater bonds of love will unite my heart with many brothers and sisters. This will demonstrate to the world the validity of the revolutionary, supernatural power of the love of God ignited in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Cross of the Moment

Ravi Z

The Bret Easton Ellis novel Less Than Zero offers an unsettling depiction of the moral and spiritual poverty behind the contemporary façade of wealth, success, and fame. The author describes the vacuous life of sex, drugs, and violence among the teen-age children of wealthy entertainers. Though fictitious, the book captures a scene that for some feels tragically all too accurate. Ellis depicts the bankruptcy and the cries of the human soul, which are by no means unique to any one particular lifestyle. The cries are clear and can be heard throughout the story, and may well be ours as well: Is there anybody who really loves me? Is there anyone anywhere who can help me?

The apostle John tells a story with similar undertones. There was in the city of Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, which had five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—the blind, lame, and paralyzed. For it was commonly thought that when the waters of the pool stirred, the Spirit of the Lord was near and the sick who touched the waters would be healed. At this pool was a paralytic man who had been ill for 38 years. It is unclear whether the man dragged himself to the pool everyday or remained there year after year at the water he believed had the power to heal him. John only reports that Jesus saw the man there as he approached the pool and “knew that he had been there a long time” (John 5:6). Yet even knowing this, Jesus asked the seemingly needless question: “Do you want to get well?”

At first sound, the question seems redundant, unjustified—maybe even cruel. Was there any doubt that the deepest longing of this man’s heart was to get well? And yet, he fails to really answer the question. “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me” (5:7). The cries of the human heart can be heard throughout history, generation after generation. Does anyone care? Is there anyone who really loves me? Is there anyone anywhere who can help? Sometimes it is the bitter cry of loneliness, many times it is the wearisome cry of emptiness, but it is always a call for help. Yet, how often we find that our actions and attitudes contradict the cries closest to our hearts? How often is our deepest hope overlooked while we focus on the technicalities, justifying the question that calls us back: “Do you want to get well?” In the words of poet W. H. Auden,

We would rather be ruined than changed;

We would rather die in our dread

Than climb the cross of the moment

And let our illusions die.(1)

Where Jesus asks “Do you want to be well?” it is possible he may also be asking, Do you prefer your pain to the possibility of change? Do you want more to see the miracle accomplished your way then to see it accomplished at all? Indeed, do you really even want the thing you say you long for most? His questions gently pierce the heart of the human condition we all share, bidding us to receive the very thing we ask from the only one capable of giving it.

Where we seek meaning, are we willing to be changed by that meaning? Where we seek help, we will receive instruction? Where we seek healing, are we willing to be transformed? Where we seek true community, are we willing to relinquish autonomy? Where we seek understanding, are we wiling to climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die?

To every cry of every heart, Christ calls out, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The question he asks as we walk forward is “Do you really want to be well?”

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) As quoted in Risvolti (Mars Hill Review, Issue 19), 158.

 

Charles Stanley – Eternal Life: You Can Be Sure

Charles Stanley

1 John 5:13

Writing to the early church, the apostle John wanted to make something perfectly clear: God offers His children everlasting life. Men and women in Christ should have no fear of physical death, because their true lives—their eternal lives—are secure in Jesus. Today’s passage is unique because in it, John plainly states his purpose for writing. The point of his ministry was to empower believers with the unshakable faith of eternal life in Christ.

The basis for this truth lies in . . .

1. The unchanging promises of God. Over and over in his gospel and letters, the apostle declares God’s assurance of never-ending life. For example, he quotes Jesus’ promise of eternity in John 3:16, 6:40, and 10:27-30.

2. The unconditional love of God. Our Father loves us so much that He wants an everlasting, intimate relationship with each one of us. To achieve this, He demonstrated His love in a remarkable way: by providing our salvation at a great price (Rom. 5:6-11; 8:33-39).

3. The finished work of Christ on the cross. By offering His life as a substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf, Jesus provided the means of salvation once and for all. Our part is to accept the gift He so freely gives (Heb. 10:23-28).

4. The witness of God’s Spirit to our heart. Our Father places His Holy Spirit within every believer to testify to the truth of our salvation (Rom. 8:15-17).

Scripture tells us that we can have complete assurance of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Does your day-to-day life reflect this confidence?

John MacArthur – The Love God Hates

John MacArthur

“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15- 17).

Satan, from the very beginning of his rebellious activities, has been developing an invisible spiritual system of evil designed to oppose God and enslave people to sin. The apostle John identified that system as “the world,” and warned us not to love it.

Satan has had many centuries to develop his evil system, so it is very effective on those who reject Christ. First John 5:19 explains that while we as Christians belong to God, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” whom Jesus called, “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). In John 8:44 He identified certain unbelievers as children of their father, the devil, who is a murderer and the father of lies. That’s how completely unbelievers are identified with Satan.

As a believer, you are identified with God. You have been delivered out of the domain of darkness and placed into the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13). You are from God and have overcome the evil one because the Holy Spirit who indwells you is greater than he who controls the world (1 John 4:4).

Sadly, Christians sometimes flirt with the very things they’ve been saved from. Don’t do that. Satan and his system have nothing to offer you. They are doomed! First John 2:17 says, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”

Suggestions for Prayer:

If you’ve been flirting with the world, ask God’s forgiveness.

Praise God that someday Satan and his evil system will be vanquished.

For Further Study:

Read the epistle of 1 John, noting the contrasts between the children of God and the children of Satan.

 

Joyce Meyer – Do You Love Him?

Joyce meyer

“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to Him, “Tend My sheep.” —John 21:16

In the story that contains today’s scripture, Jesus asked Simon Peter three times if he loved Him and all three times, when Simon Peter said, “Yes,” Jesus answered with, “Then feed my sheep,” “Tend My sheep” or “Feed my lambs” (see John 21:15-17). On several occasions He referred to Himself as a Shepherd and to His people as sheep, so Peter knew He was telling Him to love and help His people.

I believe Jesus was saying in these verses that if we love Him we should be helping other people, not simply gathering in buildings on Sunday morning to follow rules and rituals. If a church is not involved in reaching the lost and helping oppressed people then they are not functioning as God fully intends.

The Apostle John said that we know we have passed over out of death into life by the fact that we love the brethren and He who does not love is held and kept continually in spiritual death (see I John 3:14). If a church is not overflowing with the genuine love of God, how can it be filled with life?

The early church, which we read about in the book of Acts, was very powerful. It literally shook the known world of its time and its influence is still being felt across the globe today. It was unified and all the people who were part of it were busy helping the people they knew to be in need. They helped those they knew personally and those they heard about in other towns and cities through the apostles who came to visit and teach them.

Love God Today: Do you love God? Then feed His sheep by helping others.

Our Daily Bread — Read Backwards

Our Daily Bread

Revelation 21:1-7

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. —Revelation 21:7

I confess that I sometimes read the end of a book before I read the beginning. Doing so allows me to know which characters live and which characters don’t. When I know how it will turn out, I’m able to relax and thoroughly appreciate and enjoy the story and the characters.

In a similar way, reading the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, can be an encouragement and comfort for the followers of Jesus. Time and again, Christians are called to be overcomers (1 John 4:4; 5:4; Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21). We can be overcomers now and will be for all eternity.

As the apostle John talks about the revealing of the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation (21:1), he describes what the final victory will look like for those who have received Jesus as Savior. At that time, we will see the end of death, tears, sorrow, and pain (v.4). The Lord declares: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (v.7). He will dwell with us (v.3), and He will “make all things new” (v.5).

When the trials of today seem more daunting than your strength, let the Lord show you the end of the story when you will be in His presence forever! —Randy Kilgore

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle—the next the victor’s song.

To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be;

He with the King of glory shall reign eternally. —Duffield

For hope today, remember the end of the story— eternity with God.

Bible in a year: Psalms 13-15; Acts 19:21-41

John MacArthur – Taking Spiritual Inventory

 

“This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father . . . to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27).

Keeping yourself unstained by the world is an important test of your spiritual condition. The apostle John said, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). At first glance that might sound contradictory since God Himself so loved the world that He gave His Son to die for it (John 3:16). But John 3:16 refers to the inhabited earth–the people for whom Christ died. First John 2:15 refers to the evil world system in which we live, which includes the life-styles, philosophies, morality, and ethics of our sinful culture. That world and everything it produces is passing away (1 John 2:16-17).

James 4:4 says, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Those are strong words but compromise is intolerable to God. You can’t be His friend and a friend of the world at the same time!

Separation from the world is the final element of true religion mentioned in James chapter one. Before progressing to chapter two, take a final spiritual inventory based on the checklist provided in verses 26-27: (1) Do you control your tongue? Review the quality of your conversation often. What does it reveal about the condition of your heart? Are there speech habits you need to change? (2) Do you demonstrate love for others? Do you have a sincere desire to help those in need? When you do help, are your motives pure, or are you simply trying to sooth your conscience or make others think more highly of you? (3) Do you remain unstained by the world? What is your attitude toward the world? Do you want to win it for Christ and remain unstained by its evil influences, or do you want to get as much out of it as you possibly can?

Suggestions for Prayer:

If your spiritual inventory reveals any sinful motives or practices, confess them and begin to change today.

For Further Study:

Reread James 1:19-27, reviewing the principles you’ve learned from those verses.

 

John MacArthur – Defining True Religion

 

“This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27).

In this verse James continues his practical and penetrating assessment of true faith. So far he has said in effect, “Don’t just study the Bible–obey it! Don’t just dabble in external religion–have pure speech!” Now he adds, “Don’t just say you’re religious–demonstrate sacrificial love! Don’t just claim to love God–live a pure life!” Shallow claims to Christianity meant nothing to him. He wanted to see godly attitudes and righteous deeds.

The apostle John used the same approach when he wrote, “The one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. . . . The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:6, 10-11). “Light” in that passage represents truth and righteousness; “darkness” speaks of error and sin. If you are truly saved, you are in the light and show it by your love for others.

In our society, the definition of religion is very broad. Almost any belief system qualifies. But to God, any religion that doesn’t produce holiness and sacrificial love is not true religion. That narrows the field considerably because anyone who isn’t saved through faith in Jesus Christ remains in bondage to sin and has no capacity to live a holy and selfless life.

How about you? Do you flee from sin and reach out to those in need? If so, you have true religion. If not, receive Christ now. He alone is the source of holiness and love.

Suggestions for Prayer:

If you are a believer, God’s love is already shed abroad in your heart through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Ask God to increase your capacity to love others as Christ loves you.

For Further Study:

Read 1 John 3:10-18, noting John’s comparison of the children of God with the children of the devil.

Joyce Meyer – Yearnings in the Night

 

My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly.—Isaiah 26:9

Nothing can satisfy your longing for God except communion and fellowship with Him. The apostle John wrote, “And the world passesaway and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he whodoes the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever” (1 John 2:17).

The world makes it easy for you to fill your ears with all kinds of things that drown out the voice of God and push Him far into the background of your life. However, the day comes for every person when only God remains. Everything else in life eventually passes away; when it does, God will still be there. Seek God earnestly tonight and He will abide in you.

 

Greg Laurie – A Bittersweet Message

 

To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? —2 Corinthians 2:16

Have you ever eaten something that was sweet going down but made you sick later? Let me restate the question: Have you ever eaten eight Krispy Kreme doughnuts in one sitting? I have. I got a little carried away. They were great going down. But less than ten minutes later, I was asking, What have I done?

In Revelation 10, the apostle John asked an angel for a small scroll. When the angel gave him the scroll, he told John, “Yes, take it and eat it. It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!” (verse 9).

John said, “So I took the small scroll from the hand of the angel, and I ate it! It was sweet in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach. Then I was told, ‘You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings’ ” (verses 10–11).

The message that we believe as Christians is sweet to us, but it is bitter to others. This is God’s Word to us. We eat it like food. Job said, “I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food” (Job 23:12). For Christians to have a Bible study is like a feast. We love it. But for others, it is misery and torment. They don’t like it.

Some hear the gospel and say, “I love that. I believe it. I want Jesus.”

Others say, “Not only do I not like it, I hate it. And I hate you for saying it.”

As believers, we need to take the message of the gospel and give it to as many as we can. Whether they love it or hate it is really up to them.

Greg Laurie – To Be Like Him

 

“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”—Romans 8:29

God loves us, and He is always looking out for our eternal benefit. We are fond of quoting Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” But after verse 28 comes verse 29: “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

If we isolate verse 28, we may get the wrong idea and think that everything always has to turn out nicely. We might think that whatever happens, it will get better, and we can tie it all up with a nice little bow and say, “You see? This bad thing happened, and it turned into a good thing. And now. . . .”

That is true of a lot of things in life. But then there are things that are bad, and they stay bad. And they always will be bad. So even when what we are going through is difficult, the Bible says, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

The ultimate good is not our temporal happiness. The ultimate good is that we are going to be like Jesus Christ. That is God’s objective. As the apostle John reminds us, “But he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.”

So there are things in life that will make sense. And there are other things that won’t make sense. But just remember this: God loves you, and He is always looking out for your eternal benefit.

 

Our Daily Bread — Godspeed!

 

2 John 1:1-11

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him. —2 John 1:10

In 1962, John Glenn made history as the first American to orbit the Earth. As the rocket ascended, ground control said, “Godspeed, John Glenn.” “Godspeed” comes from the expression, “May God prosper you.”

Though we don’t often hear this word today, the apostle John used it in his second epistle: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed” (2 John 1:10 kjv).

John has been referred to as “the apostle of love,” so why would he warn believers against pronouncing a blessing on others? Traveling evangelists were dependent on the hospitality of Christians to provide them with room and board. John was telling the believers that biblical truth is important. If itinerant missionaries were not preaching doctrine consistent with apostolic teaching, believers were not to bless their work by providing lodging or financial assistance.

This is also true for believers today. We are to treat everyone with kindness because God is kind to us. But when asked to financially support an endeavor, it’s important to always ask Him for wisdom. The Spirit who guides us into truth (John 16:13) will show us when it is appropriate to bid Godspeed to those we encounter. —Dennis Fisher

Dear Lord, You know my heart. I love You

and want Your kingdom to prosper.

Give me Your wisdom to know where You want

me to take part and how. Thank You.

 

God’s Spirit through His Word gives wisdom to discern truth from error.

 

 

Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

 

Morning  “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion.” / Revelation 14:1

The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in

describing what he saw, he begins by saying, “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” This

teaches us that the chief object of contemplation in the heavenly state is

“the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Nothing else

attracted the apostle’s attention so much as the person of that Divine Being,

who hath redeemed us by his blood. He is the theme of the songs of all

glorified spirits and holy angels. Christian, here is joy for thee; thou hast

looked, and thou hast seen the Lamb. Through thy tears thine eyes have seen

the Lamb of God taking away thy sins. Rejoice, then. In a little while, when

thine eyes shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb

exalted on his throne. It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship

with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; thou

shalt enjoy the constant vision of his presence; thou shalt dwell with him

forever. “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as

good Rutherford says, “Heaven and Christ are the same thing;” to be with

Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ. That

prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters–“O my

Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell;

and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me,

for thou art all the heaven I want.” It is true, is it not, Christian? Does

not thy soul say so?

“Not all the harps above

Can make a heavenly place,

If God his residence remove,

Or but conceal his face.”

All thou needest to make thee blessed, supremely blessed, is “to be with

Christ.”

 

Evening  “And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and

walked upon the roof of the king’s house.” / 2 Samuel 11:2

At that hour David saw Bathsheba. We are never out of the reach of temptation.

Both at home and abroad we are liable to meet with allurements to evil; the

morning opens with peril, and the shades of evening find us still in jeopardy.

They are well kept whom God keeps, but woe unto those who go forth into the

world, or even dare to walk their own house unarmed. Those who think

themselves secure are more exposed to danger than any others. The

armour-bearer of Sin is Self-confidence.

David should have been engaged in fighting the Lord’s battles, instead of

which he tarried at Jerusalem, and gave himself up to luxurious repose, for he

arose from his bed at eventide. Idleness and luxury are the devil’s jackals,

and find him abundant prey. In stagnant waters noxious creatures swarm, and

neglected soil soon yields a dense tangle of weeds and briars. Oh for the

constraining love of Jesus to keep us active and useful! When I see the King

of Israel sluggishly leaving his couch at the close of the day, and falling at

once into temptation, let me take warning, and set holy watchfulness to guard

the door.

Is it possible that the king had mounted his housetop for retirement and

devotion? If so, what a caution is given us to count no place, however secret,

a sanctuary from sin! While our hearts are so like a tinder-box, and sparks so

plentiful, we had need use all diligence in all places to prevent a blaze.

Satan can climb housetops, and enter closets, and even if we could shut out

that foul fiend, our own corruptions are enough to work our ruin unless grace

prevent. Reader, beware of evening temptations. Be not secure. The sun is down

but sin is up. We need a watchman for the night as well as a guardian for the

day. O blessed Spirit, keep us from all evil this night. Amen.

Christ’s Eternal Existence – John MacArthur

 

“Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay a foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thy hands; they will perish, but Thou remainest; and they all will become old as a garment. And as a mantle Thou wilt roll them up; as a garment they will also be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end” (Heb. 1:10-12).

Jesus Christ is no creature. To be able to lay the foundation of the earth and create the heavens in the beginning implies that He must have existed before the beginning. The apostle John testified to this when he said, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). Christ is eternal.

Jesus is also immutable, which means He never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” We need to hang onto this truth as we approach a day when much of what we know will change drastically.

One day what looks so permanent will fold up. Like the people Peter warned, we are tempted to think that “all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:4). But Hebrews 1:11 tells us that one day Jesus will discard the heavens and the earth, just as we would a useless garment.

Even more amazing, verse 12 specifies that Christ will roll up the heavens. Revelation 6:14 says, “The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” During the time of the tribulation, the heavens, as if stretched to all corners, will roll right up like a scroll.

But we can be confident that although creation will perish, Jesus will not, and He will create a new heaven and a new earth. Living creatures, worlds, and stars are subject to decay, but not Christ. He never changes and is never subject to change. What confidence that should give us for the daily issues of life we face each day!

Suggestion for Prayer:  Thank the Lord for His unchanging plan for your life and His ability to keep it.

For Future Study:  Read 2 Peter 3 and develop an approach to answering charges unbelievers make about biblical prophecies regarding the end times.

Worship of Distinction – John MacArthur

 

“When He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, ‘And let all the angels of God worship Him'” (Heb. 1:6).

Even though Jesus Christ humbled Himself and was made lower than the angels for a time, angels are still to worship Him. Since angels are to worship Him, then Christ must be greater than them.

Angels have always worshiped Christ, only they worshiped Him as God. It wasn’t until His incarnation that angels were commanded to worship Him as God’s Son. It is a sin to worship anyone or anything but God–in fact, note how sternly the apostle John was rebuked for worshiping angels (Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9). So the very fact that angels are to worship Christ verifies that Christ is indeed God.

At present, the angels don’t fully understand the entire picture of God’s redemptive plan. Peter tells us that the prophets didn’t understand all that they wrote, “seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow” (1 Pet. 1:11). Then he added, “Things into which angels long to look” (v. 12). They are still trying to figure out things they don’t understand.

But that won’t always be the case. Notice that Hebrews 1:6 says, “When He again brings the first-born into the world” (emphasis added). God already brought Christ into the world once–at the second coming He will bring Him into the world in blazing glory. Then the fullness of the prophecy of Psalm 97:7 quoted in Hebrews 1:6 will come to pass: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

In His second coming Christ is revealed in full glory as the Son. More than ever we have reason to join the heavenly chorus in declaring, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12).

Suggestion for Prayer:   Thank God for His wonderful plan of salvation. Ask Him to make it more real to you every day.

For Further Study:  Read Revelation 5:1-11 and note the reactions of the angels to the Lamb of God. What specific event motivated their response?