Archive for August, 2016

​Are God’s Saints of the Pope’s Making?

1Cor 1
2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you have been reading the news, you will know Pope Francis is going to be canonizing Mother Theresa on Sept 4th 2016. Now I have no trouble relating to Mother Theresa as a Saint but are Saints the making of the Pope? No! Saints are not even self-made but made and sanctified in Christ for the glory of God. I have noticed Roman Catholic priests love to site Mat 16:19 concerning the authority they are entrusted with, that what they bind on earth is bound in heaven and what they lose on earth is lost in heaven. However, this authority is undergirded by the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate is our Saviour and everything but is that so with Roman Catholicism? No! Roman Catholicism implicitly believes that God is not competent enough to handle the earth’s enormous affairs but needs the assistance of the Saints, which is why He makes them. With such a lofty view Roman Catholicism sees its saints while having such a small view of God but this is so simply because Biblical illiteracy is rampant among the majority here.

Ephesian 2
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The Roman Catholic Clergy does nothing but leave the people spiritually distraught when they impersonalize the people’s relationship with Jesus, by running the Church like it were some massive conglomerate, where employees only know who their CEO is without ever getting to know him personally. If you would go through the internet, you’d learn Roman Catholicism has a massive list of patron saints whom you instructed to pray to depending on your particular situation. So, if you are in love you would pray to St. Valentine, if you are an addict you would pray to St. Maximillian Mary Kolbe, if you were desperate for hope you would pray to St. Jude and the list goes on. As ridiculous as this may sound, Roman Catholicism has used the saints to blaspheme the worship of God. Biblically however, Jesus is present with every believer in Spirit because God is Spirit (Jn4:24), He is Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent; God is God and I hope we can come to terms with what that means because it is by His might that His Saints changed their course of lifestyle from the fallen nature of Adam unto God’s own righteousness (Rom5:17/Phil4:13).

Psalm 139 (Right hand in verse 10 ascribes to Jesus)
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

All this about the Saints (beyond the grave) interceding for us because they are in a better standing with God is a load of nonsense because beyond the grave is a place of no return. Meaning, beyond the grave those who are heaven bound are set free from all the cares of the world and so they cannot hear prayers (Rev21:3-4). You may ask me then what about the stories about all these apparitions of Mary and the Saints? Well, I do believe that Mary is a Saint, the most blessed among women (Lk 1:28,42 & 11:27) but as much as Jesus has warned us about false Christ’s who will come and deceive the people with a different Gospel (Mat24:24), so too these apparitions are nothing but demonic deceptions because they have transpired things, which are contrary to what the Bible teaches.

Gal 1
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

2Cor 11
4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

You may refer to saying the Rosary as a veneration but saying 10 hail Mary’s and 1 Our Father, says you have been deceived into putting Mary on a higher pedestal than God but God Almighty shares His glory with no other (Is42:8) because the truth is: none but God is God! Yes, I may be quoting from the Old Testament but if you know anything about theology, you should know that God is unchanging i.e. He is perfect from eternity past to eternity beyond; because He is God and so the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. God did not change, neither did He have a change of heart. Please understand that the Bible harmonizes in itself when read in its context because the Bible is the complete word of God and so the Bible harmonizes in itself because God does not contradict Himself as hypocrites do.

Col 2
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

The hypocrisy in Roman Catholicism is so brazen that on one hand they believe that one can be good without knowing Christ while at the same time Sainthood is an authority given, only for them to recognize. Just imagine the audacity of these depraved papists that the record of every Saint that has ever lived on earth is theirs to make and keep! In the midst of all this, is also the Pope’s desire to welcome homosexuals whom God righteously hates (Lev20:13/Rom9:13-24), to fellowship with the Church. It is clear as day that the Pope is operating not to please God in His righteousness but to please the world in their sin, which all emerges from his (Pope) own standard of self-righteousness from fallen Adam. To counter my argument, you may say but Jesus welcomed sinners and ate with them. Yes, He did but the difference between sinners whom Christ has received to Himself and the sinners of the world, is that we who belong to Christ are repentant (Rom3:23-26), no longer walking in our old wicked ways but delightfully following now the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph2:1-7).

1Cor 6
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

To think of Sainthood as being God’s superman is only to look at His Church from the perspective of a faithless self-serving world. Saints are not super Christians, every true Christian is a Saint and every true Saint is a Christian. Even the Saints of the Old Testament, their faith rested on Jesus (Is53:5) who was to come and propitiate their nature, from fallen Adam unto the righteousness of God (1Jn2:1-2). In Jesus, we not only have forgiveness of sins but we are also imputed His righteous nature through spiritual rebirth (Jn3:3,16).

John 15 (Jesus says)
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

To conclude, if I were to go by the Biblical definition of the word Catholic, it means a countless multitude of people from every tribe, language and nation (Rev7:9), who worship God as one body in Spirit and truth (Jn4:23-24). These are Saints by their calling through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (2Pet1:1-3). So by this definition every true Christian is Catholic and yes, I too am Catholic. We must understand that sainthood is by the power of God, accomplished in Christ that we who believe may live for the glory of God. So, as it is none but God who makes Saints of His people (Jn15:1-8), so too it can be none but God who attest to their Sainthood (Jn10:14).

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​His Saints Persevere with Holy Fear!

Phil 2
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We live in a world that requires us to take a righteous stand without having the masses back us because God makes it to be so that we don’t trust in people but trust in Him alone (Jer17:5, 7). Though we are saved by grace (2Tim1:9), works is the evidence of our change in heart (Ezek36:26-27/Jn3:3/Phil1:6), which turns from serving ourselves to serving God.

James 2
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

If you look at the definition of Israel from the perspective of Phil1:29, we get a glimpse of God’s might and sovereignty. The Church is the new Israel (Gen32:28), whose name signifies one who strives against God and men, and prevails. This is best explained from Dan 3:8-28; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the furnace for not paying homage to the golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. Now you see, to the world this may seem as the repercussions for being righteous. However, this is merely God sanctifying His people in the furnace of affliction (Ps119:71-75). Why, because God is worth it (Phil1:29). So, who sustains His Church in the furnace, it is God Himself. He is like a silver smith who fans the flame of the furnace while holding the silver in a crucible to purify the silver. So it is with the Sovereign Lord, who sanctifies us in this world into the likeness of His Son (Rom8:29).

Heb 12
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In Jesus is life and in Him we turn from serving ourselves to serving God. In serving God we acquaint ourselves with holy fear, which drives us to live our lives according to the Moral Law, not because we otherwise don’t want to but because we realize the sheer weight of God’s good pleasure in our existence. The world lives by a counterfeit standard of religion, where wickedness is the very means of their survival and so they are given to act unrighteously under the sway of Satan (1Jn5:19). True religion on the other hand understands our life and its sustenance is practically in the hands of God and so just as the world is given to unrighteousness from unholy fear of wicked repercussions, so too the Godly are given to act righteously from the holy fear of God.

Mat 10:28
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

This is what separates the world from God’s Church, the world is given to wear the mark of the beast on their right hand and forehead from their fallen desire for counterfeit religion (Rev13:16-17), while His Church is given to wear the Moral Law on their right hand and forehead (Deut6:8) owing to Jesus who has propitiated their sinful nature (1Jn4:10) unto the righteousness of God (Rom5:17). Please note that to wear something on the forehead and right hand symbolizes one who thinks (wear on the forehead) and acts (wear on the right hand) from that particular standpoint.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

If you were to go through the TULIP, you would come across the Perseverance of the Saints and this is precisely it, because to Persevere in His righteousness in the midst of Trial even with fear and trembling is to wait on the Lord, just like the parable of the ten virgins, where the righteous five are given to burn the oil in their lamps in waiting for the Lord (Mat25:3-4) because I guess burning the oil in their lamps is synonymous with exercising the righteousness of God while waiting on Him and trusting in Him to bring that breakthrough in His time.

Acts 16
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.

To conclude, Salvation is in knowing Jesus Christ is Lord over your life, meaning your life is accountable to Him. With such a godly bearing on life, we are to persevere in the righteousness of God because though the godless masses may seem like Goliath before you, it is only to provoke that holy fear in you to God’s own glory because He is worth all your anxiety in following after Him. After all, He is God! In any case, knowing Jesus as Lord over your life empowers you by His Holy Spirit (Phil4:13), making you capable to do His good pleasure and who then can be against you when God is for you (Rom8:31) because you are learning to want what God wants (Ps37:4) and there is no stopping you then.

Rom 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

​Why India desperately needs the Gospel!

Just yesterday, when I was traveling back home from work, I chanced upon this conversation between a few colleagues travelling by train in the same compartment as I was. Each was talking with a sense of accomplishment in their tone on how one was in London and the other in Hong Kong etc. I am standing there thinking these guys are blind to the primary cause of God’s blessing while holding so dearly to the secondary cause as though that was as far as they could see owing to their unbelief.

Ezek 36
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
28 “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.
29 “Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.
30 “I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

I began to think more about what these guys were talking about while walking home from the train station and I remembered our Prime Minister’s promise of moving India’s status from a developing nation to a developed nation. I however understood that this is not going to happen simply with more business coming into the country. The country by itself need a major overhaul when it comes to morality because people here are only out for themselves with the least concern for their neighbour and their surroundings.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Take for instance the incessant honking we have on the road or people driving with their high beam on in lanes and bylanes. Take a look at this video, everybody right from the rickshawwalas, to a person commuting by bike, to a person driving a luxury sedan are all riding/driving with their high beam on, this too in a lane which is adequately lit but with no proper pavement and just so you know, Mumbai is known to be the most disciplined in India when it comes to road etiquettes. I am not sure if I have to say this but walking on the street under these conditions can make one feel rather disoriented because of the halogen beam flashing right in your face while the vehicle moves past you.

1Tim 1
8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

It seems the only way to get the people to do the right thing is to set laws, where the repercussion for breaking the law are most discomforting because the only thing people care about here is themselves. The reason our own politicians need to line their pockets before doing anything for the people is because this is how the general populace is by itself. Money is not we need, we need the Gospel desperately, we need Jesus desperately, we need to turn from serving nothing but ourselves to serving God and being good neighbours, just as Jesus rightfully requires from those He calls His own (Jn10:14-30).

John 4:23-24
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 14:6-7
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also…

​Whom do we Worship?

Today my country celebrates its 70th Independence Day and so am driven to write this piece on whom do we worship because I want to admonish people on excusing themselves from the worship of God and using the country as a scapegoat to express their rebellious ungodly desire to live and do as they please. This is what I have sourced on the meaning of Vande Matram, which shouting out defines patriotism in India. Vande Matram literally means “I pray/bow down to thee, Mother”— it’s a poem from Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1882 novel Anandamath, written in Bengali and Sanskrit, a hymn to the Mother Land.

Ezra 9
10 “Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,
11 which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity.

It is not that I don’t love my country, I very well do but I refuse to see patriotism from a perspective of lies that merely appeases the people’s rebellious appetite. You must know that a land cannot be worshiped but prayed for instead, in praying that its people turn to God because people reap nothing but what they sow in unbelief (notice the stark contrast of Hos8:7 with Rom8:19-21). A person who does not know God may be overly optimistic to honour certain things in his/her life as god, which he/she cannot quite express his/her love for, because in his/her ignorance of God, he/she has no perspective of truth.

Ezek 36 (Ezekiel prophesying in the context of Jn 3:3,16)
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
28 “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Take a look at the Ganges river, which is the most sacred of rivers to the Hindus. In the course of their worship of the Ganges, this river today is one of India’s most polluted rivers. In the May-June season, when millions of pilgrims travel to Rishikesh and Haridwar, the upper Ganges sees a tremendous increase in the level of resistance genes that lead to “superbugs” i.e. 60 times higher than other times of the year. It must be therefore understood that apart from our calling to be Christlike, we cannot honour anything outside the righteousness of God lest we desire to fall on our face.

1Cor 1
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Matthew 10 (Jesus to His disciples)
25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

What about the Gir Cow? Dalits have been lynched to death over their lack of reverence for the holy cow but in worshiping the cow and banning beef across the State, the Gir Cow has been robbed of its purpose. India used to export Gir Cows embryos to Brazil and today Brazil has about 40 lakhs of these cows while our numbers of Gir Cows have fallen from 15 lakhs in the 1960s to 3000 i.e. close to extinction. I hope you are beginning to see the cursed repercussion of any and every kind of idolatry.

John 14
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Let us also take a look at Nepal. If any of you are familiar with the life of a Kumari (child goddess), you will know that little girls as young as the age of 5 are selected from society to be the object of the people’s worship. This girl remains a Kumari till she reaches puberty, which could be at the age of 12 or even 15. Through this period of being a Kumari, she is confined to the house/temple and wherever she has to go, she is carried. So when these girls come out from being Kumaris, they first find it hard to walk because they have been carried around everywhere for most of their lives. Secondly, since they have been denied a formal education through that period when they were a Kurmari, they find it hard to secure a degree and a job which will properly sustain them. Also these ex-Kumaris are not allowed to marry. So, if you were to look at the people’s desire to honour women in their society as goddesses and contrast it with the flesh trade that plagues Nepal, we understand that to substitute God with the worship of anything else, proves detrimental to the welfare of that which we choose to idolize from our ignorance of God. Did you know, that at any given point of time Mumbai alone has about 20,000 Nepali sex workers according to statistics from the Human Rights Watch! It is for this reason by the wisdom I have gained from the holy fear of God that I dare not defile my country by worshiping it in place of the Living Triune God Almighty.

Psalms 85 (referring to Jesus)
9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.

Isaiah 33 (referring to Jesus)
6 And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

Rev 5 (referring to Jesus)
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing.”

We understand from the Moral Law in Mat 22:36-40 that in truth only God is God and only He can be rightfully first in everything (Col 1:18). If I may steal you for just a moment from the world and its lies (1Jn 5:19), I would like to tell you that the reason suicide itself is a damn sin is because a person belongs more to God than he/she does to himself/herself and if that is so, then how much more your country and mine?!

Mat 28
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So whom then can we worship? Well, that should be as clear as day to you now, that we can worship and revere nothing but the Living God Almighty who exists as 3 Persons (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) in One Godhead, as explained to us in Jesus Christ (Jn1:18), the Son of God who took on Himself every aspect of the nature of man (except sin) and came 2000 years ago to be that atonement (unblemished sacrifice) for all God’s people, that whosoever may believe in Him (Jn 3:16), may not perish but have eternal life.

Talking about True Friendship!

Today people have the most far flung definitions of friendship, which they believe to be true deep within their heart (Jer17:5-9) but such ridiculous precepts concerning friendship is made possible to them, thanks to their estranged relationship with God from fallen Adam. Now, some might ask in trying to justify themselves saying: what is the proof of Original Sin or how can you say there is such a thing as the fall of Adam? For anyone who believes God exist and is good, should understand that when God made man, He would not grant man free will so as to be blind to the truth and live in such spiritual depravity as men do today. When God made man on the sixth day, everything was good (Gen1:26-31) and God made man in His own image i.e. a reflection of His own character and nature. So since men throughout history are naturally inclined to their love for sin, this by itself is evidence of the fall of mankind in Adam (Rom5:14-17).

John 15
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
14 “You are My friends if you do what I command you.
15 “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
17 “This I command you, that you love one another.

If we are able to grasp in faith the mighty nature of God, we would understand that everything that exist, exist for the glory God. Such is also friendship, that when we learn of the holy communion the three Persons share in the Godhead, we are inspired to live in such communion ourselves. However, such a state of mind and heart requires us to know God intimately and this is only possible when we know our Bibles from cover to cover.

Prov 3 (in the context of Jer31:33 & John15:16)
3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

Today, we have people who define true friendship as existing well outside the vocabulary of: thank you, welcome, please and sorry, but such relationships are covetous simply because they implicitly expect something better in return for whatever they do in the name of friendship. So if truth be told, the reason people do not like accepting words of gratitude is because they are in a habit of implicitly expecting payback for everything they do. Ironically, people find love in the abusive language their friends use on them but if you were to replace that foul language with the truth about themselves, that would not only hurt them beyond any foul language they are used to but would drive them to rage instead. This by itself goes to show that there is no substance in such worldly friendship, which cannot withstand truth but cruises along only on sweet lies. It is no wonder that a person only realizes who his true friends are when he is down and out in life, and the number of those true friends is close to a negligible fraction compared to those whom he previously knew as friends. For this very reason Jesus encourages relationships, where our giving is not based on how much we get back because such defines true faith, where we understand that our life’s provision is in God in all righteousness and not in men from wicked interest.

Luke 14
11 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
12 And Jesus also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.
13 “But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

In understanding the mighty nature of God, we learn that God is God to the extent that even what is contrary to Him, glorifies His justice. Today most relationships outside the family are immoral because they are either based on covetousness, adultery, bearing false witness, thievery or murder. Consider the honour among thieves and gangsters, that relationship is sinful or consider for that matter a syndicate whose livelihood comes from fooling the people at large. What about people who befriend others only because of their material possessions defining covetousness while others have adultery as their motive for friendship. Such relationships do well in only glorifying God’s justice.

Prov 19
7 All the brothers of a poor man hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.

Prov 9
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

To conclude, there is great blessing in realizing God is God because when we learn to evaluate ourselves by the standard of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as over evaluating ourselves by the love reciprocated from our friends, we are brought to terms in understanding our every sustenance comes from God and from this spiritual disposition of truth (Jn4:23-24), God blesses all our relationships in King Christ (Lk14:11). True friendship therefore is like bricks held together with mortar, where a brick cleaving to the mortar can be synonymously pictured as one trusting in God and having God’s moral law as the thumb rule for every friendship. This in turn gives us a genuine neighbourly outlook and concern for our friends, free from the sin of covetousness and adultery that emerges from the idolatry of self.

Gun Control… is that the real issue?

Hebrews 12
11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

#guncontrol
It is understandably very hard for the world to look at Christian society and see us as having a Biblical right to bear arms because when the world sees us bearing arms, they do not see it from a perspective of exercising the righteousness of God but rather they see it from their own nature, where everything they do is centred around themselves. To them, there is no such thing as true religion because their indifference to the truth about the Lord Jesus, renders them insensitive to the transformation of the individual, who is purchased from the belligerent bloodline of fallen Adam and grafted to the body of Christ, whose delight is no more in pleasing self but in pleasing God. Such is Christian society! Let us take a look at an excerpt from the Old Testament concerning the godliness of bearing arms in building Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 4
12 When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, “They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,”
13 then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows.
14 When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”
15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.
16 From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.
17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon.
18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me.

If we were to look at Gen1:28, 3:15 & Rom5:17, we understand that from the fall, the world has locked its horns with God’s Church (Mk13:13), and there can never be any fellowship/communion between the Church and the world because what pleases the world gives us a nauseating feeling in the pit of our stomach i.e. their joy is not ours to share in likeminded fellowship. Take a cue from the lions and the Maasai tribe in Kenya/Tanzania, the lions keep respectful distance from the Maasai and their cattle (property) out of fear of being killed. It is the same with the world, we have no desire to kill them but from their self-serving nature the world is given to anarchy/destruction, which is something we must protect ourselves and our livelihood from.

Luke 22
36 And Jesus said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.

When you take a look at all the Western nations, it is not very hard to notice from their flags (with a cross) that their culture especially concerning their morality and etiquettes has been shaped by the Gospel. Notice, how everybody wants to go and settle in the West but nobody wants to admit that the rather congenial environment one associates with the West is what has been afforded to them by the Gospel. Such a hypocritical disposition among immigrants is understandable, when you consider that the world has no capacity to find fault with itself because repentance leading to eternal life can only be accomplished in Jesus Christ.

Gal 3
8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”

14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

It is the Gospel that has made the West what it is (Ezek36:27-31/Jn3:3, 16). However today with all the religious backsliding, the West is losing its grip on the Moral Law as taught in the Gospel and their lives are now as bland as their food. They keep looking everywhere to find where the fault is while also trying to find meaning to life without realising that the fault lies with themselves owing to their backsliding from the Christian faith, which prospered them. Take a look at China, I don’t know how many of you know this but Gospel is spreading like wildfire in China, with corporates using the Bible to teach employees Biblical etiquettes so as to build loyalty and genuine employer-employee relationships. It is no wonder that China today is the world’s second largest economy after the US. For this very reason, I understand that the development of my country India too rests, not on how much business comes in but on how well it receives the Gospel because God exists and Jesus is the only eternal truth.

1Timothy 1 (Paul to Timothy)

8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

When I hear all this “Surrender Your knife | Save a Life” in the UK and then “Gun Control” in the US, I am reminded of convicts in prison, where no metal objects are allowed, out of fear of one person killing the other. If you were to see society from such a view point, you would understand that the issue that needs to be dealt with here is not really the guns or the knives or even the ceiling fan for that matter, it is the depraved spiritual state of the people in their ignorance of God. I am not sure if you can perceive this according to all that is happening but these are tell-tale signs of society heading towards anarchy and gun control is only an excuse to divert our attention from what really needs to be done i.e. people getting back to establishing their lives in Christ. In all their backsliding people have turned slothful, concerned only about their own lives while having no qualm is shoving every other responsibility on God, such is their definition of faith… these who are unmoved by the fear of God. Outside Christ there is no life and so people find it cumbersome to even bear responsible stewardship over the world as coming from a godly conscience, a purpose we were given as human beings by God.

Isaiah 65
24 “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 “The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD.

Yes, in His time there will be peace in the new heaven and the new earth, merited by not men but by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Is 9:6) in accordance to the will of God the Father (Col 1:16-20) but until that time comes we ought to be on our toes, waiting on Him in obedience while staying on guard against scheming hypocrites (Mt25:8-12), all because Jesus is worth the effort we invest in the reconstruction of society unto the glory of God (Mt28:18-20).

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