The NAYSAYERS and SCOFFERS ABOUND!

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Scripture Text For This BLOG:  2 PETER 3:3-5 

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“ALL MATTERS FOR CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE ARE FOUND IN THE BIBLE.”

Any “scoffers”, disbelievers yet?

Peter’s Critical Warning to Christian Believers – VERSE 3

This warning is to the church, of the SCOFFERS & NAYSAYERS that are here already, and the ones who are on their way.

The great turning point that divides mankind in two different groups are those who accept this Book, the Bible, and those who reject it.

It’s critical to know that in the LAST DAYS, there will be mockers of God’s Truth.

12716866_1129933190373473_1572461181_nIn the LAST DAYS, not only will God’s word be rejected, people will mock it!  They will disrespect or mock the TRUTH OF CHRIST JESUS by using their own misinterpretation that they want to be as the truth.

They scoff at God’s Word, not knowing that this very scoffing fulfills Bible prophecy.

Even though these people have always existed to threaten the church from its earliest days, their ungodly activity will increase in “the last days,” that period of time preceding Christ’s second coming.

Peter, John, Jude and Paul all make reference to the increase of false teachers, warning the church with passion not to be alarmed (1 John 2:18; Jude 18-19; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).  

This contempt of the Scripture, God’s Word, and the terrible apostasy [from within the “church”] was also predicted by JESUS.  There was a question put by our LORD Jesus – Luke 18:8:

“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” 

This scoffing at God’s TRUTH is the expected from this world’s system with one heresy leading to another, drawing mankind further and further away from their Creator.

Self-Willed People Will Doubt the Coming Again of Jesus – VERSE 4:

[4]  “Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation.”

THE IMPLICATION:

“THERE IS NO SECOND COMING, we can live any way we want.  A loving God will never judge us.”

A Few EXAMPLES of Today’s Mockers and Scoffers of God’s Word:

Since America is right in the middle of a political season, a lot of ‘out of the heart’ statements (Proverbs 4:23) are being voiced.  Let me give you two examples.  One from a POLITICIAN and one from a PASTOR:

Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader (D. Calif.) says,

“Hillary Clinton faces an uphill climb with white men because they are more influenced by hot-button social issues that they are by economic arguments because of guns, because of gays, and because of God, the three G’s.”  [Free Republic – PBS NewsHour interview.]

“Because of God”?  Really?  That’s a bad thing?

Erwin McManus, the lead pastor at Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, gives his views on what today’s Church should be:

“The church must acclimate to a changing world, or she will decline herself to irrelevance or even extinction…One of those dramatic changes in our environment is the shift from words to images.  To do church in a way that is entirely text driven is the kiss of death.”  [Erwin McManus “An Unstoppable Force, pg. 18]

Now that is interesting view, especially since the apostles taught just the opposite {Titus 1:9; Romans 16:17-18].  

Those who mock and reject God’s written word–that our existence is the way it always has been since the beginning of CREATION or, in the case of most, since we evolved.  The intent of their remarks is…there is no reason to be concerned about pursuing righteousness or about God’s punishment for unrighteousness.  

These people pursue their own lusts, scoffing at the idea that  a “loving God” wouldn’t judge them.  They foolishly claim that Christ was never going to return and that there is no such thing as a final accounting of God.

This was the attitude of some people surrounding the churches in the northern part of Asia Minor, the area of the world that Peter had sent his letters to.

Peter’s Validation –

People persistently IGNORE the OBVIOUS!!

VERSES 5 & 6 answers the previous arguments by reviewing ancient history:

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Scoffers, Naysayers reasoning is faulty.  If they don’t believe that EXISTENCE came into being by the Word of God, then all their reasoning is based on unsound evidence.  Here’s an example I found online (Google Image Search – Atheism):

THE SCOFFERS deliberately and “willingly” forget that God’s Word brought creation into existence and that He desires men to acknowledge it.  When the lives of these people MOCK God, willfully forget that God created EVERYTHING that exists.  God’s WORD created the Heavens and the Earth  (John 1:1-3 AMP):

[1]  IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.  [2] He was present originally with God.  [3] All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.

And yet, NAYSAYERS deny that God CREATED the world in the beginning and deny that God would JUDGE the world at its conclusion.

CREATION though, was all due to the divine WORD of God:  “And God said…and God saw!” (Genesis 1).

There is no evolutionary concept of creation with the events taking place over millions or billions of years.

A DIRECT INTERVENTION BY GOD –

VERSE 6, is a direct intervention by God in the course of human history, “through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.”

The SCOFFERS’ claim is short-sighted and ignorant because they ignore the FACT that things haven’t continued as they were from the beginning.

In the previous verse, PETER stated that the UNIVERSE and all contained within it was created by the Word of God.

Now, PETER informs us that by the same WORD…JUDGMENT was rendered upon every living being in response to humanity’s WICKEDNESS.

He reminds us of the NAYSAYERS, the SCOFFERS, the MOCKERS of Noah’s day–decade after decade by his friends and neighbors as he was building the Ark.

Genesis 6-7 gives us clues that it took approximately 75 years to completion [Answers In Genesis – How Long Did It Take for Noah to Build the Ark?].  So imagine your neighbors laughing, jeering, thumbing their noses at you while working on a special project in your front yard after a few short years, much less 55-75 years!

Eventually, the collapse of the water canopy surrounding the earth caused RAIN to fall for the first time and the bursting forth of the underground water system resulted in a world-wide FLOOD.

2 Peter 3.6

In other words, people shouldn’t rely on false assumptions that God has little or nothing to do with the WORLD He created.  Instead, people must realize that by His WORD, He can create anything that He desires, and by His WORD, He can destroy anything that He has created!

GOD’S JUDGMENT (VERSE 7)

“But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people.”  [Amplified Bible]

“By the same WORD”, meaning the Word of God that brought existence into being (verse 5), and brought the watery destruction in Noah’s day (verse 6), by the same WORD, God also sustains His creation.

Moreover, there is a specific limitation to this world’s existence according to the sovereign will of Almighty God.  The POWER of the WORD which sustains ALL living things will one day release the FIRE of His JUDGMENT upon the world.

Over the years, I have heard people around me make jokes about God’s impending JUDGMENT.  I have seen cartoonist draw their caricatures of prophets of doom. But you can take this to the bank, on the fact that just as the world was flooded with water in days of old, it will one day be burned with FIRE  [Read Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15.  Isaiah 51:6; 66:15-16 and Malachi 4:10]. 

And at that time, the earth as we know it, will undergo a far greater impact of God than water.

The JUDGMENT OF FIRE refers to the day when God will come to judge the earth and destroy ALL evil!  (This is called the Day of the Lord in the Old Testament.)

The Lord Jesus will intervene in history by His second advent (coming) to institute His kingdom on earth.

In spite that the Lord hasn’t yet returned, the HOPE of His return is a present reality for those of us who are BELIEVERS–BORN AGAIN!!

The FLOOD and the future renovation of the earth by FIRE should remind us that God accomplishes what He purposes, and He has declared that Jesus Christ will come again (Acts 1:11). 

Since man lost his RIGHTEOUSNESS and renounced the image of God that created him, there is no way he can escape the horrors of the JUDGMENT DAY.

All will perish because of their own SIN and their defiance of their Creator and rejecting their only Savior.  Only those in Jesus Christ escape this punishment.

Remember, “The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord”  (Romans 6:23).

As surely as there is SALVATION for the believer, there is terrible JUDGMENT for the Naysayer, the Scoffer, scorner, and ungodly.

God has the end in mind and in sight!  God’s judgment is a call for the unbeliever to examine his sinful condition, and for the believer to be consistently obedient to His WORD.

 


CREDITS:

Photos:  Google Image Search, using Scripture verses.

Bible Translations:  Amplified (AMP), unless noted.

Wearing the “I’m Into JESUS, But I’m Not Legalistic” Badge

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COMPUTER Specialist (Didier Stevens) placed a humorous Ad campaign on Google+.  

The Ad read,  “Is your PC (Personal Computer) virus-free? Get it infected here!”

A VIRUS is NOT your friend for they hurt your computers, and you don’t want to be “infected” by them.

Steven’s Ad wasn’t serious, it was something of a joke.  Clicking the Ad didn’t result in a VIRUS infecting your computer.  But some people actually clicked on to this Ad!

Actually, 400 people signed up to have a VIRUS infect/damage their computer.

(Patrick D. Dolum, Heartright.org 07/26/07).

Why would people do that???  It makes no sense.  A VIRUS would hurt their Computer.

The Bible Mentions A Different Kind Of VIRUS–SIN

EPHESIANS 5:3-5 (The MESSAGE bible):

[3] Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed.

[4] Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, Christians have better uses for language that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. Thanksgiving is our dialect.

[5] You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them–the usual variations of idolatry–will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.

DO CHRISTIANS HAVE A UNIQUE CALL TO AVOID STRONG LANGUAGE?

Other than WORDS associated with deity, most PROFANITY involves…the God-related curses are right off the table, if one takes the third commandment seriously at all.

But what is a Christian to do with the remaining “strong language” written and shared on social media today?

Don’t misunderstand my reasons of concern with “strong language”–I personally use FACEBOOK for social contact and…publishing my weekly Blog with other groups and I witness others comments and the effect they might and will have on people.

Ephesians 5, talks about several VIRUSES (“sins”)…

My FOCUS for this post is on three of them:

  • OBSCENITY
  • FOOLISH TALK
  • AND COARSE JESTING

Colossians 3:8 says,

“But now rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and FILTHY LANGUAGE from your lips”  (NIV Bible).   [I capitalized “filthy language” for emphasis only]

AND, JESUS condemned the Pharisees with these words:

“You offspring of vipers!  How can you speak good things when you are evil–wicked? For out of the fullness–the overflow, the superabundance–of the HEART the mouth speaks.  

The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things”  (Matthew  12:34-35 Amp. bible).

The “OVERFLOW OF THE HEART” going on daily in Social Media…

There may not be “speaking”…but they ARE writing in their thought process of what’s in their hearts.

And a lot of that “writing” deals with…anger, rage, bad feelings toward others, curses and slander, and FILTHY LANGUAGE–“unwholesome” communication stuff going on there.

 SOCIAL MEDIA Can Be A Great Place To Talk With Your Friends…

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At the same time, social media can also be a terrible place filled with evil and bitterness and darkness.  A place where JESUS and His Church can be attacked and cursed.

Although FACEBOOK can be a fun place to chat, Christians need to be as careful there…as the world is watching.

So, how do we deal with this problem?

And perhaps, you don’t think there is a “problem” to deal with.

BUT besides myself, if you find there is a problem, how should we stop ourselves from being involved?

FIRST off–we need to realize that this isn’t an “internet” problem.

This problem existed long before Mark Zuckerberg’s idea became a reality, or even computers were ever thought of.

JAMES writes in his letter to Jewish Christians–

James 3:6-8 (AMP):

[6] And the tongue [is] a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depriving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of truth–the cycle of man’s nature–being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).

[7] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature).

[8] But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is (an undisciplined, irreconcilable) restless evil, full of death-bringing poison.

Our Church’s Responsibility…

tongue-on-fireFIRST, I believe the church needs to realize its part in dealing with the “human tongue”.

Not dealing with the content on social media only spreads the “fire” and because refusing to step up…a bad situation can only get worse.

ILLUS:  Recently, I heard one youth minister who found a novel way to confront immoral Facebook postings…he said “I’ve read some of my youth group members posts in front of my Youth Group. That put a stop to it!”

When the church does its part of confronting SIN…sin backs off.

Ephesians 5:11-14 (NIV):

[11]  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 

[12]  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.

[13]  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,  [14] for it is light that makes everything visible.  

That is why it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

A good Godly leadership and good Godly friends will lovingly confront their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus who DON’T do what they should be doing.

POLICING OURSELVES FIRST!!!

Good Christian friends should be able to remind us now and then, when we step over the line with our words; spoken or written.

If necessary, the church leadership should do this, as the Bible commands.

Ideally, it should never get that far.  As Bible believing Christians, we really should police ourselves.

We should be so in LOVE with JESUS, we realize how badly we can hurt our Savior, when we say and write things that are obscene or hurtful.

How do we do that?

JESUS SAID  “The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things” ~ Matt. 12:35 AMP).

So, it’s very simple.  The EVIL THINGS that come out of us are from the EVIL THINGS stored up inside of us.  They didn’t just “slip out’–they were already “stored” in the heart.

Computer geeks have a very scientific phrase to describe this process:  “Garbage in…garbage out.”

If you don’t want bad words coming out of your mouth, then don’t surround yourself with that kind of language.

Don’t spend your time with influences that will fill your hearts and minds with mean-spirited and nasty language and attitudes.

The WORKPLACE…

My last place of employment before I retired, PONOGRAPHY, ‘Filty Mouths’, was a daily filled routine by male and female employees alike.

My boss knew that I was a Christian, and trying to irritate me, would call me into his office …and there on his computer screen…PONOGRAHY.  He never turned around when I entered, but intuitively, he knew I was standing in the doorway.

“Mel, come over here.  I need to show you something.”

I would stand outside the door in the hallway, and say, “John, if it’s that important…call me on the inner office speaker phone.”  He never would.

Areas of Influence…

There are certain TV programs, movies in the local theaters, I won’t watch.  And adding, magazines on display at the check-out stands in stores I intentionally turn my head from–although tempted to read the headlines anyway.

It takes steadfastness and discipline on my part to stay away from certain outside influences; I just don’t want anything planted in my thoughts that will affect my testimony as a Christian witness.

You can’t totally isolate yourself from all outside influences–

We are surrounded by lots of people who curse and speak nasty things.

The apostle Paul told the church in Corinth–they had to realize that they lived in a pagan world:

1 Corinthians 5:9-10 (NET Bible):

[9] “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.  [10] In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of this world.”

FINDING & USING THE “EMPTY BUCKET” THEOLOGY:

It is important to be careful what you allow to be stored up in your heart.  JESUS said, “the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things (Matt. 12:35b.).  

So we don’t want to go there.

The Old EMPTY Bucket Story

But too often–that’s all people think a HOLY LIFE is like.  They live by the “empty bucket” theology. They think that if they can empty out all the nasty influences of life and become pure and holy, and that all the words they say and write will be nice and kind.

But if that’s all they do…(if all they do is “EMPTY THE BUCKET”), they really miss the real purpose.  All they wind up with is an OLD EMPTY BUCKET.

And, as I have learned by experience, an empty bucket, eventually gets refilled with something.  Sometimes it gets filled with things that are even worse than what we emptied of before.

Look again at what JESUS said in Matt. 12:35a.:

“The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things”

It is not enough to just EMPTY the bucket of BAD STUFF.  You’ve got to FILL the bucket with good stuff.

JESUS said a GOOD MAN “flings forth” (AMP) good things in his heart.

THE “GOOD THINGS” TO STORE UP IN THE BUCKET –

“Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; BUT INSTEAD voice your THANKFULNESS [to God]”  (Ephesians 5:4).

“And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him”  (Colossians 3:17).

We NEED to FILL OUR BUCKET with such an attitude of Gratitude to God…no room for anything else.  We might not be able to leave this world & all its influences upon us, but we can become so FILLED with our RELATIONSHIP with God that the world just can’t force its way in.

The Present Age of the Computer–

It is hard to go on the internet without encountering VIRUSES.

And all because of mean spiritual, hateful people who try to hurt others by damaging someone else’s computer.

Because of these ‘virus makers,’ you can’t get on the INTERNET without exposing your computer to these sources.

AVG, NORTON, MCAFEE, BARRACUDA NET-WORKS TO THE RESCUE!

Depending on how much protection you’ve stored up & purchased from these companies, their PROTECTION supposedly, prevents the VIRUSES on the internet.

WHAT GOD’S WORD IS TELLING US…

A Heart Filled With Thanks Is The VIRUS PROTECTOR We Need…

How to SHIELD ourselves from storing up evil thoughts and words in our hearts.  

The more filled our hearts are with the thoughts of God and His kindness to us, the lest prone we are to spout off with foul language and nasty things you share on whatever SOCIAL MEDIA you are currently participating in.

David Steindl-Rast once said,

“…in our English language there is no such thing as being half full of thanks or gratitude; we are either thankFUL or grateFUL.”

 VIRUSES INFECT…

Viruses infect our PCs (Personal Computers), while SIN infects our PLs (Personal Lives).

FACEBOOK and the like, have become one place where we can see certain VIRUSES/SINS that INFECT the language used and the attitudes we try to conceal.

You might not think you’re “cursing” — but in retrospect, you probably not aware of malware/viruses on your computer until… the screen goes black.  But then, it’s too late to do anything about it.

The “Mean-spiritedness” and “Cursing” Virus Exposed –

The way to cut down on cursing and mean-spiritedness starts with AWARENESS–focusing on Christ and His Kindness–where there isn’t room left for the thoughts of this world.

And, when we do that–people see something different in our life–a consistency–something that is so satisfying that this is what they want too.

So lets WATCH our words and what we SHARE with others on social media.

Our attitude and our language can be infectious–good or bad.


CREDITS:

PHOTOS USED:

Google Image & Photo Pin

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS:

Amplified Bible, except where noted in the text.