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The Bride or the Body of Christ? Posted in: 2012 By Tom L. Ballinger

Plainer Words Since 1968
 
January 12, 2012
 
PLAINER WORDS ONLINE…THE BRIDE OR THE BODY OF CHRIST?
 
The title suggests that there is a disagreement between the Bride and the Body. The two titles have references to “The Bride of Christ” and “The Body of Christ.” This study researches the Scriptures concerning the two.
 
The expression, “the Bride of Christ,” is not a term that can be found in the Bible. It does not occur one time in the Word of Truth. However, Bible commentators, for centuries, have made reference to the “Bride” and the “Body of Christ” as being the same. Even though generations have been accustomed to referring to the two as being the same, this does not make them the same. As a matter of fact, all that it does is to assume that tradition, and what is taken for granted, is TRUTH. The Bible says, “Thy Word is Truth.” Repetition of doctrine does not make it TRUTH. The age of doctrine does not make it TRUTH. It makes it TRADITION! We ought to treasure the Word of God more than we treasure the most cherished teaching if it is proved to be untrue by the Word.
 
The truth of the matter is that Christian fundamentalism has a great deal of their dogma devoted to “The Bride of Christ,” and we find so little Scripture even mentioning the word, “bride.” Only fourteen times, in the entire testimony of Scripture, do we find the word, “bride,” even mentioned. Only five times, out of the fourteen, is the word, “bride,” mentioned in the New Testament. It is mentioned once in John’s Gospel and four times in John’s “Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
 
1. “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy, therefore, is fulfilled” (John 3:29).
John 3 28 helps identify “The Christ” as the bridegroom, John the Baptist as the friend of the bridegroom, but nothing identifies the “bride.”
 
2. In Revelation 18:21, we find a reference to Mystery Babylon: “that great city Babylon” shall be “thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” In plainer words, Jerusalem shall be “found no more” as Babylon, the Mother of Harlots. The great city having been destroyed no longer will be heard the voices of harpers, musicians, pipers, and trumpeters (Vs. 22). “…the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all …” (Vs.23). This reference is that of the counterfeit bride and bridegroom. A New Jerusalem will be established (Revelation 21:2).
 
3. John wrote in Revelation 21:2 that he saw “the Holy City, New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Verse 1 in Revelation 21 informs us that the Dispensation in view, in this section of the Book of Revelation, follows the Day of the LORD which will be the Day of God. All we know about the Day of God is found in Revelation 21:1 to Revelation 22:7. In Revelation 21:1, “a new heaven and a new earth” is seen as a replacement for the one mentioned in Isaiah 65 (which begins the Day of Christ). This new heaven and earth is not the same one as found in Isaiah 65:17. Isaiah 65 references the newly created heaven and earth which will have been created at the beginning of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.
 
4. In Revelation 21:9, one of the seven angels shows John “the Bride, the LAMB’S WIFE. Verse 10, the next verse, clearly identifies the Lamb’s Wife as “the HOLY JERUSALEM: “And he [one of the seven angels] carried me[John] away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the HOLY JERUSALEM, descending out of heaven from God,” (Revelation 21:10). The Holy City mentioned, here, is either the “Lamb’s Wife,” or it represents or contains the Wife of the Lamb (which would be a Figure of Speech ─ a Metonymy of Subject).
 
5.  The fifth and last reference to the word, “bride,” is found in Revelation 22:17; “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
 
The Apostle Paul never mentioned the great city,” Holy Jerusalem,” in any of his writings. In Galatians 4:26, he did mention “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” This Jerusalem he referred to, here, was in a Figure of Speech—an Allegory for the city during the time of his writing.
 
John 3:29 – He that hath the bride is the bridegroom:
Revelation 18:23 – … and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more …
 
The following references occur during the time frame of the Day of God.
 
Revelation 21:2 – … the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride … prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:9-10 – … Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. ..and the angel “showed me that great city …”
Revelation 22:17 – And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. ..
 
It is overlooked that the one man who the Lord chose to reveal the “Revelation of the Mystery” (Ephesians 3:3), the Apostle Paul, never mentioned the “Bride of Christ.” But, instead, He selected the Apostle John to use the word, “bride,” five times in the New Testament.
 
What has been pointed out, thus far, is the fact that the “bride” in the New Testament is identified as being espoused to “the bridegroom,” “the voice of the bride,” the “bride, the Lamb’s wife,” “The Holy City, New Jerusalem,” and the “Lamb’s Wife …that great City, the Holy Jerusalem.”
 
The Bride in Revelation 21 is very definitely a “city.” It is viewed as coming down from God out of Heaven. The Bride is associated with the Lamb. The Lord Jesus is never referred to in Paul’s Epistles as the “Lamb.” The word, “Lamb,” is tied to John’s writings and is significant in the Book of Revelation. Twenty-five times in the Book of Revelation the Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as the LAMB. In John’s Gospel, He is said to be “the Lamb of God”—in John 1:29 and 36. Because of these references to Christ as “the Lamb,” we can safely associate this title with Israel. The Church, which is His Body is not found in “Revelation.”
 
We can connect the Bride with the Lamb and the Holy City, New Jerusalem, but this language is foreign to the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head (Ephesians 1:22-23).
 
Our task, now, is to find the Scripture that tells us, as clearly as possible, what company of believers will populate the Holy City, New Jerusalem. We will, purposely, avoid any attempt to find any Typology that likens the Church of the One Body, the One New Man (Ephesians 2:15-16), to that of becoming a female and, then, marrying Jesus Christ. We should take note that Truth for Today makes no mention of “types.”
 
Many Bible expositors teach doctrine based upon Typology. In many cases, the Typology they see are the creation of their own mental processes. To see “types” of the Church, which is His Body in the Old Testament is reading something into Scripture they want to see. But, it is not there. The same is true when most teachers see the “Church of God” [The Acts’ period calling] as being the “Ecclesia” which is the one revealed in THE MYSTERY. There is a huge difference between the two. The Apostle Paul clearly revealed that the MYSTERY, from the beginning of the world, “hath been HID IN GOD” (Ephesians 3:9) “which in other ages, WAS NOT MADE KNOWN to the sons of men” (Ephesians 3:5). The Apostle stated, furthermore, that the Mystery “hath been HID FROM AGES AND GENERATIONS” (Colossians 1:16).
 
The Church, which is His Body was not hidden in the Old Testament, nor was it hid during “The Acts of the Apostles.” For something to be hid, it must be present—but out of sight. The “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8) are UNSEARCHABLE. The Scriptures can be searched, but no trace of the Church of the One Body, the One New Man can be found until Paul said, “it is NOW revealed” (Colossians 1:26).
 
As we wrote, our task is to determine who will be the inhabitants (citizens) of this future Holy City, New Jerusalem. This City, which is seen coming from God out of Heaven, is the Bride of the Lamb. As such, it will be the City of God during the dispensation that follows the Day of the Lord—the Millennium. There will be a special company of believers who will be the permanent dwellers in this heavenly City—New Jerusalem, following the One-Thousand-Years of Christ’s reign on the earth. This turns us back to the Book of Hebrews.
 
A WALK BY FAITH
 
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith, he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10).
 
Here, it is learned that Abraham chose to walk “by faith” in the very land of promise as a “pilgrim” and a “stranger.” In plainer words, he believed God and lived in the “Promise Land” as a sojourner (i.e., to live somewhere temporarily). In the Land Abraham was to receive by Promise, he lived as one who was a temporary resident. He lived as if he were in a strange land, dwelling in tents. Isn’t that strange? In the very land God promised Abraham and his sons, Isaac and Jacob, they did not build mansions or palaces as their dwelling places. They lived in tents, always on the move. They did not “homestead” the land and settle down. They chose to be tent-dwellers. Why did Abraham so live? “For he [Abraham] looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.”
 
In Genesis 12:1-7, the LORD [Yahweh] promised Abraham and his seed a land which was extensive enough to sustain a great nation. Additionally, in Genesis 15, the LORD told Abraham the Land was “unto thy seed,” and it was to extend from “the river of Egypt, unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (Verse 18).
 
We are told in Hebrews that Abraham “by faith sojourned in the LAND OF PROMISE, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents).” He was a man of wealth, and it is remarkable that he chose to dwell in tents, in the very Land Yahweh promised him. He weighed the temporal against the promise of God and chose the promise over the temporal. Do many of us have the faith of Abraham? Would we choose the hardships of this life in order to enjoy the reign with Christ in the ages to come? (2 Timothy 2:12). Abraham looked beyond his natural life.
 
He deliberately chose to live in the Land of promise as “a stranger and a pilgrim.” He did this “by faith.” That is, God told Abraham something, and Abraham believed God. “By faith” means to, simply, believe what God has said. The Book of Hebrews tells us what God told Abraham. The Old Testament doesn’t reveal this truth to us. The Jews’ religion knows nothing about the LORD’s additional revelation given to the hero of their religion. It is sad, indeed, that today’s Jews, who are devout in “their faith,” do not know the promise God made to Abraham of a “better country” (Hebrews 11:6) than the “Promise Land.”
 
Christians are privy to the grandeur of Abraham’s further promises which the Jewish Rabbis reject. They know only a small portion of the story of Abraham. Sadly, because of their stubbornness, or blindness, they refused to really believe the Law:
 
“Wherefore the Law was our [the Jews] schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).
 
Because of the hardness of their hearts, the Jews failed to grasp the true joy of Habakkuk 2:4, “ …but the just shall live by his faith.” Yahweh prepared the Hebrews, through the Law, for over 1900 years in His effort to bring them to their Christ. Many students of the Scriptures overlook the fact that in-and-around Jerusalem, there were “thousands” of Jews who believed Jesus was their Messiah. Consider when Paul, Luke, and their companions met with the Church in Jerusalem, and Paul informed the rulers of the Church of God about his work among the Gentiles, we read:
 
“And when they [the Church rulers] heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him [Paul], Thou seest, brother, how many thousands [murius = myriads] of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the Law” (Acts 21:20).
 
THE BETTER COUNTRY
 
Abraham lived in the Promised Land, not as a permanent resident, but as one who was only passing through. God had told Abraham that he could setttle down in the land he had been promised. The LORD led Abraham to the Land and could have said something to the effect as, “Here it is Abraham. The Land is yours and your seed. But, I’ll tell you something else. I have something for you and your seed if you want it. It is much better than this land. I am preparing a City. It is a heavenly City, and I Am the Builder and Maker of it. It will last forever. Now, you can build yourself a city, or you can let Me build one for you. In the City I build, you can live forever, BUT, you must live in tents in this land I promised you.” So, in order for Abraham to get the better country, he had to qualify! How? BY FAITH!
 
Abraham’s faith was demonstrated by the fact that he lived as a pilgrim and a sojourner, looking for the promised City whose Builder and Maker is God, “not having received the promises (re: the City), but having seen them afar off, and was persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that [ he ] was a stranger and a pilgrim” (Hebrews 11:13).
 
“14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country ─ a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:14-16). NIV
 
Abraham and others, “by faith,” saw that City [a better country] and believed God, that it would be BETTER, and that it would be far better to trust and believe HIM, and declare, “LORD, I believe YOU. The heavenly City You build will be far more of a blessing to me than any temporal blessing here in this Land. LORD [Yahweh],I want the City that You make. I am willing to move about in tents in the Promised Land as a stranger and a pilgrim.”
 
This City that Abraham saw, by faith, is identified in Hebrews 12:22 as “the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” The City Abraham and the faithful of Hebrews 11 lived looking for was NEW JERUSALEM, the BRIDE that great City, HOLY JERUSALEM, the LAMB’S WIFE. These titles were Antonyms for the Promised City for the Great Cloud of Witnesses of Hebrews 11..
 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had an unconditional promise of the Land of Palestine. But, they chose, instead, the higher calling. They were told about something better, and they embraced it, believing God. They chose to forego the “NOW” promise but rather, saw a promise afar off and were persuaded that they would be far better off than the temporal blessings in the Land. The promise was to all of Abraham’s physical seed. But, the promise of the Holy, heavenly City, New Jerusalem was to his spiritual seed, that is to say, to all who walked in the spiritual steps of Abraham. This promise of a “better country” was even for the Gentiles who were Christ’s. If the Gentiles were Christ’s, then, they “were Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 4:28-29). The blessings of the Gentiles, in association with Israel, were not kept secret. Notice:
 
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the PROMISE of the Spirit through faith …Now to Abraham and his seed [spiritual, not physical] were the PROMISES made…And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the PROMISE [concerning New Jerusalem]” (Galatians 3:14, 16, 29).
 
The Promise of the higher calling of Abraham was to come upon the Gentiles, meaning that they, too, could become partakers of this heavenly calling associated with an innumerable company of angels (Hebrews 12:22). This was an Old Testament fact. Gentiles would be blessed through faithful Abraham (Genesis 12:11-4). Paul explains this doctrine of his dual fatherhood in Romans 4:11; “And he [Abraham] received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them [Jew and Gentile] that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.”
 
In plainer words, those who walked in the faithful steps of Abraham, believing the latest report from God, whether of the circumcision or the uncircumcision, will have Abraham as their spiritual father (Romans 4:12).
 
The hope of the Holy New Jerusalem was the hope of all who walked, by faith, like Abraham did. This Hope was in view during the earthly days of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as, during “The Acts of the Apostles.” Thus, we understand why Paul made reference to Jerusalem which is above as “the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26), and Abraham being the father of all that believe (Romans 4:16).
 
In the Book of Revelation, the “great City, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” will be the hope of the “overcomers.” This City will be distinctively Jewish but will, also, be populated with an innumerable company of people from other nations, to wit, Gentiles, who walk after the faith of Abraham. Jews will have the place of prominence in the heavenly City (see Revelation 21).
 
The City of the Living God (Hebrews 12:23) will be gained or forfeited as was Esau’s birthright.
 
Those who will inhabit the Holy New Jerusalem (Revelation 21) will be those who not only have saving faith but rather, the type of faith that “presses on to perfection” (Hebrew 6:1). The inhabitants of the “Bride” will be those who exhibited “overcoming faith.” Like Moses, those who “refused,” “chose,” “esteemed,” and “had respect unto the recompense of the reward”—these will be the dwellers in the Holy New Jerusalem we see in Revelation 21.
 
When the “new heaven and earth” replace the heavens and earth of the “Day of Christ” (Isaiah 65), this heavenly City descends to the new earth from having come down from God out of the new heaven. This is the one whose Builder and Maker will be God. Thus, at long last, God will dwell with men (Revelation 21:1-3). Like in God’s other Callings, this New Jerusalem will have two classes; those who “live” and those who “live and reign.” We can expect the Bride to be attended by “the virgins, her companions” (Psalm 45:14).
 
Common sense of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” should prevail, proving that the BRIDE the LAMB’S WIFE is not the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that fills all and in all.
 
~ END ~

 

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Four Scriptural Touches

Four Scriptural Touches

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”   —Ephesians 5:15–16

The Center for Bible Engagement surveyed more than 400,000 people and found that if you’re not reading your Bible at least four times a week or more, then you won’t make significant changes or choices any differently than someone who doesn’t read the Bible.

The survey also found that if you read your Bible four or more times a week, your propensity for pornography goes down 59 percent, and you’ll be 30 percent less likely to struggle with loneliness.

In addition, reading your Bible at least four times a week means you’ll be 228 percent more likely to share your faith with others and 407 percent more likely to memorize Scripture.

The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16 NKJV). The word redeem means to make sacred and wise use of every opportunity.

A lack of faith causes us to worry, and we won’t grow in faith if we don’t read the Bible. As Romans 10:17 reminds us, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). Instead of worrying, read the Bible and believe what it says.

Obviously, it’s very important to read the Bible four times a week. Just four scriptural touches every week can change your life. But it’s even better to read the Bible every day. So let the Word of God bolster your faith. Trade your worry for worship.

Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). So put God first in your priorities, in your marriage or your singleness, in your career, and in your finances. 

Honor the Lord, and let Him have His way in your life.

Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie

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Stop Running Away!

2727431330_f3c77833eb_mJonah

In the Book of Jonah, we read about God asking Jonah to go and preach in the City of Ninevah warning it against its evil. You probably know the story, Jonah runs away from God’s call upon his life and ends up on a boat in the middle of a storm. After discovering that the storm had been initiated by God, Jonah requests to be thrown into the sea and is swallowed by a great fish. After 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of this great fish, Jonah is spewed out onto dry land and responds to God’s call to preach against the evil of the great city of Ninevah. 

A Great Preacher

Jonah goes down in history as one of the greatest preachers because as a result of his preaching the whole city turns to God… Not bad! The main point of the book of Jonah is God’s heart for all nations to be in relationship with him. As well as this the book of Jonah challenges us of our self-centeredness towards the state of unbelievers separated from God.

God is Pursuing You

But today I want to challenge you to stop doing a Jonah and running away from God and his call upon your life! God is relentless in his pursuit of us. Just as he pursued Jonah, he will pursue you, not because he’s angry with you but because he loves you and has a sovereign plan for your life. God knows what is best for you and he has a group of people for you to touch, impact and solve problems for. 

My Story

I spent many years trying to run away from God and convince myself and everyone else around me that I was called to do something completely different than what God had actually called me to do. Eventually, I found myself in my own storm of emptiness and I was figuratively thrown into the middle of it and swallowed up by God’s grace and love while holed up in the Police Academy. The Police Academy was my great fish that I thought was going to save me from having to answer the call but instead, I ran straight into the call and surrendered my life to God’s sovereign plan for me.

2792754683_624a54e21a_mYour Story

What about you? Are you running away from something God has asked you to do? Are you trying to convince yourself of something that deep in your heart, you know is just not true? Whatever God has asked you to do, he will not stop pursuing you. Why? Because he loves you. Stop running away!

Lead the Change!

 

https://activatechurch.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/stop-running-away/

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New Wine (feat. Montel Moore & DOE) | TRIBL | Maverick City Music

Official Music Video for ‘New Wine’ featuring Montel Moore & DOE.

‘New Wine’ was written by Brooke Ligertwood. It is from Tribl Records’ newest album, Tribl Nights Atlanta releasing November 12th, 2021.

Tribl is where artists with different stories come to share and experience the genesis of a new worship sound. To worship together with raw, unique, powerful, and authentic praise. This video was captured in Atlanta during several live worship nights in the summer of 2021. It features Maverick City Music artists, the Tribl Choir, and many other Tribl family and friends.

Tribl Nights Atlanta is available now on all streaming platforms!
Streaming link: https://orcd.co/triblatl

Follow us on socials:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/triblmusic/
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Official Website- https://www.tribl.com/

Lyrics

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil
I now surrender
You are breaking new ground

So I yield to You into Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand

Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus bring new wine out of me

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil
I now surrender
You are breaking new ground

So, make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever
You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me

‘Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the Kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today
‘Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the Kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today

I lay down my old flame to carry your new fire (x3)

Where there is new power
There is new freedom
And the Kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today

I lay down my old flame
I lay down my old flame
I lay down my old flame
I lay down my old flame (Oh)
to carry Your new fire

So just breathe on us
Won’t You breathe on us
Won’t You breathe on me (woah)

Breathe on me (x8)

Follow us on socials:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/triblmusic/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/triblmusic/
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Official Website- https://www.tribl.com/

#NewWine #triblnights #atlanta #tribl
Music in this video Learn more Listen ad-free with YouTube Premium
Song New Wine (feat. Montel Moore & DOE)
Artist Tribl
Album Tribl Nights Atlanta

Jerome

FACTORS DETERMINING OUR INHERITANCE

Psalms 106 12-13

When we are saved, God gives us eternal life. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom 6:23. After we are caught up to being with God in heaven, He will also give us an inheritance. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,” Rom 8:16-17.

The gift of eternal life is everlasting. When God gives us Jesus Christ, He gives us eternal life, forever. Our inheritance, on the other hand, is not immediate and it is conditioned upon four factors in our lives after we are saved. There are four major factors God will judge in determining our inheritance.

Today, we’ll study these four factors that will determine our inheritance:

Sin – Eph 5:5 – Our inheritance is something that we have to wait to get. That’s why Christians often forfeit it. They want something now; they don’t want to wait. They can’t see the value of what they are forfeiting, Eph 1:18, “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” So they give into the works of the flesh instead of walking with the Spirit, Gal 5:16-23. And thereby, they have no inheritance in the kingdom of God. Like the prodigal son, they spend it up on the flesh. We are supposed to walk in the Spirit. When we walk in the flesh, we can forfeit our inheritance.

Suffering – Rom 8:17-18 – We are “joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Paul said that the glory which shall be revealed in us is beyond comparison to the sufferings of this present time. The glory is so far better that you wouldn’t even speak of it in comparison to the suffering. Many of us perhaps experienced a little suffering when we bore reproach with our families or friends.

Some of them cut us off when we told them we are saved and that we want them to be saved. In times past, it is amazing how much God’s people suffered. The stories of the martyrs are both frightful and inspiring. In Rev 2:10, martyrs during the Tribulation will be rewarded with the crown of life. God rewards suffering.

Sacrifice – Heb 13:15-16; Phil 4:15; Lk 12:31-34 – In these three passages, you can see that giving is a spiritual sacrifice that accumulates in heaven as treasure. The spiritual sacrifice of giving results in treasure in heaven. If you are young, you should develop a good habit of giving regularly to the Lord and the Lord’s work. That way, should the catching away still be years away, you’ll have more on the other side in heaven than you do down here. And even if the Lord is coming soon, it’s a good time to lay up some treasure in heaven.

Service – Col 3:22-25 – As a servant to others, like an employee to an employer, you have the opportunity to increase your inheritance when you serve as unto the Lord. “Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ.” In any capacity of service, we should serve the Lord and do our very best for Him. How you serve affects your inheritance, whether you’re serving in church or in your job.

Conclusion: If you have one of these works of the flesh that you’ve been dealing with in your life that the Holy Spirit has been trying to get you to quit, remember that He is much stronger than your flesh. Stop it now. Walk in the Spirit, instead. If you have been hiding the fact that you’re saved to avoid reproach, remember that suffering for the Lord partly determines your inheritance. Don’t be afraid of the spiritual sacrifice of giving. That’s how you lay up treasure in heaven. And as an employee or a servant, serve as unto the Lord. These factors determine your inheritance.

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth. In this way, the teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usher-in of the true Kingdom of God. – John Dewey

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Blindness that Makes You Crash

 

When you’ve driven as much as I have over the years, you know when it’s time to stop. I’ve been driving along at night, and suddenly I’m enveloped in this thick fog; usually in the mountains. Semis are pulled over to the side of the road, and they’re professional drivers. They know well enough not to go on. It’s definitely time to stop before I hit something. The same thing when I suddenly find myself in one of those driving rainstorms, or I’ve been in a snowstorm. You know, “whiteout” they call it. Those times when you literally can’t see a car length in front of you. It’s like you’re temporarily blind, and you’d better not keep pushing ahead.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Blindness that Makes You Crash.”

Fog can make you temporarily blind. So can rain or snow. And so can your hormones. Yeah, it’s happened even to King David, who God called “a man after God’s own heart.” David’s hormonal blindness, which led to so many devastating crashes, is described in one of the saddest chapters in the Bible. In 2 Samuel 11, beginning with verse 2, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible says, “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her.” Right about here, you feel like screaming at the Bible, “David, don’t do it, man!”

But he did do it. “The man said, ‘Isn’t this Bathsheba…the wife of Uriah the Hittite?'” Uriah, by the way, was one of David’s most trusted, most loyal soldiers. The Bible goes on: “Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.” Here’s David – God’s man, God’s king, but his sexual desires started pumping, and he followed them all the way to disaster. From these few moments of sexual pleasure will come a baby who dies, David’s murder of his loyal associate to cover up his sin, rape and incest and even an attempt to overthrow him among his own children, and an agony of soul that David could never have imagined that night.

That’s what’s so dangerous about lust, sexual fantasies, about pornography, about flirting with sexual sin – your hormones blind you, just like they did David. You let your lust keep pulling you toward a crash, and it makes you blind to so many things you can’t afford to forget: the consequences, what you stand to lose, who you’re going to hurt, the agony of a broken relationship with God. But you don’t care much about all that; you just care about satisfying your sexual desires, following your passions, meeting your needs.

But God has sent you this way today to send you a wake-up call. Please, consider where your passions and your desires are taking you. Count the cost. Think about all you have to lose if you keep driving down this road. Think about the price that you will pay in your soul – may be the price you’re already paying. Think about the hurt this will cause. And don’t make the deadly mistake that millions of people have made, underestimating the power of sin and overestimating your power to control it.

Sexual desire is blinding. It can blind you like a thick fog. Please, don’t keep going this way. Pullover now and stop before you crash!

 

https://hutchcraft.com/a-word-with-you/your-hindrances/blindness-that-makes-you-crash-9100