All men have consciences, some are seared and no longer work-they are to be pitied (I Tim.4:2, Eph. 4:19). Theologians believe that the books (Rev.20:12,13) that record all men’s lives and will form the basis of their eternal judgment will include their consciences. Fact is, God is omniscient. Another fact is, all people are separated at death to either heaven or hell as Jesus taught in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. At the last trump when the sheep and the goats are summoned from the grave in their eternal bodies, they are significantly placed on Christ’s right and left when he pronounces judgment. They are either justified by him (sheep) or condemned already (goats), either in his book of life or missing. Their judgment according to their works also accords with his judgment on the basis of their faith (imputed righteousness) or their unbelief. Everyone’s works, publicly prove whether they are justified sinners now (James 2:22-24) and at the final judgment (Matt.25). The wicked works of the reprobate will contrast with the good works of the faithful. Justification and sanctification are twins, always belonging together, the one leading to the other (Eph. 2:8-10).
Good works, even though always tainted by selfish, impure motives, nevertheless are cleansed by Christ, help assure us now (I John 3:19-21) and are rewarded graciously in the next life. They also are seen by unbelievers (Matt.5:16) and may lead to their conversion and by fellow saints causing edification, encouragement and exhortation.
It is good if our hearts (consciences) convict or condemn us because then we seek forgiveness and can be assured it will be granted along with cleansing and sanctification (I John 1:7-9, I John 2:1 and II Cor.7:1). God’s law written in Scripture and also on our hearts is the instrument of this exposure of sin. If our conscience is clear that is even better, and gives us confidence in prayer. If we ever feel condemned in the sense of not even believing we are saved (because of our indwelling corruption) we must rely on God’s knowledge of us and our faith in Christ’s cross. Pride in ourselves is the opposite extreme and we need to heed Romans 13:3 and I Cor.10:12. Everything serves our salvation.
Four in Scripture signifies a sense of totality or “the world,” preeminently in the Book of Revelation (Wikipedia).It derives its meaning from there being four cardinal directions namely north, south, east and west.
Four corners of the earth. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” (Rev. 7:1). God rules over all creation.
“And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (Rev. 20:8). God rules over the wicked who oppose his church.
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31) c.f. “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12). God saves all his elect.
Biblical truth versus the World.
The world lies under Satan (I John 5:19) it is the whole system of godless humanism, communism and liberal left wing thinking that is opposed to Christ and the gospel. Increasingly it is making inroads into established churches who apostatize and become synagogues of Satan.
This is the ANTITHESIS.
||The world’s worldview
|God is sovereign/Calvinism
||Man is sovereign/Arminianism
|God rules providence
||Deism, the world runs itself
|God created all things
||Evolution is the cause
|God created family
||Dispense with family-live in sin, single parents, divorce, porn, perversions including homosexuality
|God made male and female
|God says life is sacred, thou shalt not kill
||Rampant abortion- the murder of unborn children
The world’s system is set to takeover ultimately under Antichrist when the Christian church will be a beleaguered remnant UNTIL Christ the true King and Lord returns to bring in everlasting justice and righteousness.
Thanks to Rev. Angus Stewart for basic idea for this.
Available here in UK
Called to Watch for Christ’s Return, by Martyn McGeown. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free
Publishing Association, 2016. Pp. 286. [Reviewed by Dr. Julian Kennedy]
Rev. McGeown, missionary pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in the Republic of Ireland preached through Matthew 24 covering Christ’s teaching on the last things in 2011-2012. The sermons are now compiled in print in this book. It must be said at the outset that a sober, Biblical and Reformed view of this teaching is badly needed still in the church of our day because heresy abounds in the form of universally popular premillennial dispensationalism and postmillennialism and also the many misguided folk putting a fixed date on the second coming. McGeown’s book is divided into treatment of each of the signs in order and then an exposition of the parables that relate to the end times. It is clear, concise and comprehensive and I personally benefited especially on the section on Christ’s parables. My only criticism is of the chapter entitled “The Gospel Preached in all the World”. He states, “We cannot know for sure what constitutes a tribe or nation.” However a word study of scripture does give us a fair idea of what these groupings represent and though we know God will accomplish his purpose, nevertheless the church ought to have some idea of where it stands in the completion of this task and knowing what constitutes a nation, people
or tribe is fundamental in that assessment. He clearly brings out the difference between the predictions relating to AD 70 and those for the end of the world. His description of the great tribulation bears repeating, “God pours out his wrath upon the wicked world, while Antichrist unleashes his fury against the church.” He makes clear the relation between false doctrine and the love of many growing cold and that every attack on the truth is really an attack on Christ who being the truth we must love. His description of what it means to watch bears close study and application. “We watch by standing against the materialism (and all other lawlessness—JK), of our modern society, by praying, by studying the word, and by active, lively membership in a true church” and “Readiness also means living in close communion with Christ.” I had never realized that the wise and foolish virgins are all church members (“The kingdom of God is like…”). The index of scripture will be helpful to those with specific questions relating to specific texts. All in all, a very useful, relatively short (286 pages) sane and sober description of those things which must surely come to pass.
Called to Watch for Christ's Return
That the same Lord who calmed the sea of Galilee in front of the distraught disciples is the Lord who controls Hurricane Irma, and indeed all weather, and earthquakes and volcanoes should be obvious to every believer. Jonah 1:4, “But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest…”
All of these “natural” calamities and expressions of his power and judgment are harbingers of the final judgment and the utter destruction of the universe by fire, when he comes to reign. For believers, our salvation draws near, for the reprobate, their destruction looms.
Lord use these means to bring in thy elect people, warn the wicked world and cause the church and the authorities to do all in their power to alleviate the suffering.
What should we learn from this episode in the fiery prophet’s life? One thing Rev. Bleyenberg makes clear is that Israel (Northern Kingdom) has grievously apostatised from true religion and as a result God withdraws his word (Amos 8:11). When churches like the Church of Scotland AND Church of England apostatise, which they have as denominations Christ withdraws his presence and grace and it is the calling of his elect people to come out, be separate and raise their voices against the wicked compromises with the world. For Elijah it meant safety, separation and provision. Following Christ faithfully will never leave us needy (Romans 8:32).
So states Christ in Luke 6:27.
Helen Berhane who was imprisoned and tortured for her faith in Eritrea shares this exhortation.
The love of God shed abroad in our hearts enables us to do what is otherwise humanly impossible-to love our enemies.
” Every good gift that comes to us comes as a gift from our amazing Father in heaven. Sharing in the sufferings of Christ always brings us deeper into fellowship with Jesus-and for this gift we must be thankful.”
“Here is a great mystery: when we respond to hatred with the love of God , it sets us free!”
Can you guess what we are freed from? Free from slavery to fear, revenge and hatred.
” It enables us to be free even when in prison.”
“God so loved the world that he sent his son into the world to die for those who would hate him, harm him and ultimately put him to death.” AMAZING!
” There may be some who chose to hate me and harm me because I am a Christian-but God’s love complels me to do them good.”
AMAZING POWER OF GRACE!
Brothers and sisters reading this. May this be our experience too as it is soon coming our way!
Cyprian of Carthage (200-258AD), while suffering banishment, writes a letter to three of his church members (Nemesian, Felix, and Lucius), who were sent to work… in the mines as punishment for their faith. Cyprian, who by all accounts, should be the recipient of letters of encouragement, writes one himself to his fellow suffering Christians. He writes, “That you have been grievously beaten with clubs, and have been initiated by that punishment in your Christian confession, is a thing not to be lamented. The body of a Christian trembles not on account of clubs: all his hope is in the wood (i.e., the cross of Christ). The servant of Christ acknowledges the emblem of his salvation: redeemed by wood to eternal life, by this wood he is advanced to his crown. O happy feet, shackled indeed at present with fetters, ye will quickly finish a glorious journey to Christ! Let malice and cruelty bind you as they please, ye will soon pass from earth and its sorrows to the kingdom of heaven. In the mines ye have not a bed on which the body may be refreshed; nevertheless, Christ is your rest and consolation: your limbs are fatigued with labour, and have only the ground to lie on; but so to lie down, when you have Christ with you, is no punishment. Filth and dirt defile your limbs, and ye have no baths at hand; but remember, ye are inwardly washed from all uncleanness: your allowance of bread is but scanty; be it so, ‘man doth not live by bread alone, but by the word of God: ye have no proper clothes to defend you from the cold; but he who has put on Christ, is clothed abundantly. How will all these deformities be compensated with honour proportioned to the disgrace! What a blessed exchange will be made of this transient punishment for an exceeding and eternal glory!… And though your travail be great, yet is the reward greater, which is most certain to follow: for God, beholding and looking down upon them that confess his name, in their willing mind approveth them, in their striving helpeth them, in their victory crowneth them; rewarding that in us which he hath performed, and crowning that which he hath perfected in us.”
Thanks to Andy Underhile.
Here is proof that there will be no national repentance of the Jews:
- The Land: Although Abraham and his descendants were promised Canaan, Hebrews 11 makes it clear that the patriarchs actually looked for heaven as their homeland and Canaan just represented that hope. So the land of Israel has no great significance any more, it is real estate like England or India, one day to enter the conflagration and be renewed.
- The Temple: This structure representing God’s presence with Israel, was destroyed in 70AD thus ending God’s covenant with them as a nation (Matthew 21:43). We are told that we believers are now the temple of God. No more sacrifices will ever be offered because Christ has fulfilled them all and any return to them in the future would be a blasphemous denial of his once-for-all work on the cross.
- The King: David is a type of Christ. No more tabernacle of David ever (Isaiah 16:5 notwithstanding!) Christ’s kingdom is NOT of this world…ever. So no messianic state in Israel!
- Israel: This name which once stood for the Jews as a nation, although in reality it meant only the elect remnant among them (Romans 9:6). Israel, the church in the Old Testament is now the name for the church composed of Jew and Gentile, the true circumcision. So when Scripture states “All Israel shall be saved” it means all the elect of all nations. God’s elect church are now the only single nation of God (I Peter 2:9). God never did love the whole nation of Israel or any other nation for that matter. His everlasting, foreknowing, electing love has always and will always be, only for Christ and all those chosen in him before the foundation of the world, because love is the bond of perfectness (Col.3:14) that is, the bond between the members of the trinity and of all the elect in the Son, given to him and united to him by faith. God never did and never will love his enemies, the reprobate wicked (like Esau Romans 9).
For all these reasons Romans 11 CANNOT and DOES NOT mean there will be a national repentance and turning to God among the Jews in the last days. They are like any other people, they will have representatives before the throne in eternity.