Blog Archives

The Banquet is ready, the Bride is NOT!

This parable is as true today as it was when Jesus walked the earth. (Luke 14: 16-24)

Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.‘ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.‘ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’  “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.‘  ” ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.‘ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”

Much of the Church is tied down to the cares and riches of this world, making them unready for the Lord’s return. Make no mistake, the Lord is coming back for a bride without Spot or Wrinkle, not for a bride caught up in sin, those people will not make it. [raptureprophecy.com]

Being teachable or remaining ignorant?

The Bible encourages us to be teachable unto to things of God. A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13:1). Do you listen to God our father’s instructions as given in the Bible? Perhaps a reminder of the meaning of the word ‘teachable’ would be beneficial.

Teach·able:
 
1 a :  capable of being taught b :  apt and willing to learn
2 :  favorable to teaching  (reference: Merriam-webster dictionary)
 

Let me first give you an example of what it means to be unteachable. Here we go with a conversation about a guy Adam inviting to his friend Jacob to a teaching on prophecy:

Adam: “Jacob, there’s a teaching on prophecy about the end times by so and so preachers in church next weekend. They are teaching about how to avoid the various deceptions and also they’re giving a warning of bloodshed during the great tribulation.”

Jacob: “Adam, please don’t talk negative things. I don’t want to know evil.”

Adam: “No it’s not. I just want you to benefit from what is mentioned in the Bible. That’s all I want my friend.”

Jacob: “I hate bloodshed and deception. I don’t want anything to do with it”

Adam: “This teaching doesn’t teach you sin by lying or killing. Now to kindly explain; it could help you keep your faith by…”

Jacob: “Hey wait! I always keep my faith. Are you accusing me of losing my faith?”

Adam: “No please. That’s not what I meant…”

Jacob: “Get away from me. Why did you talk about deception and bloodshed?”

Adam: “With all due respect I want to tell you the importance of such teachings but you are not letting me finish what I want to say.”

Jacob: “Whatever.”

Adam: “Ok then, leave it. If you don’t want to hear me then I can’t expect you to listen to that preacher either.”

Jacob: “You are judging me.”

Adam: “Excuse me, you were first to judge when you said that I’m talking negative.”

Jacob: “Just stop talking negative!”

Adam: “Fine, keep to your ignorance and good luck with that!”

Now I don’t want to focus on how polite Adam should have been. Nowadays there is too much emphasis on being polite rather than being right. There’s a place for empathy but you should realize some people are too engrossed in themselves. So, I’m talking about how Jacob deliberately was avoiding going to the teaching on prophecy. He was only bothered about himself and kept interrupting whenever an explanation was offered. That is a fine example of being unteachable.

Don’t get me wrong but the scope of this post is not limited to only learning prophecy. I stand for all the topics and teachings of the Bible which we are to learn.

There are some people in the church who are quite cosy in their ignorance of the word of God. They are aware of certain Bible verses and they do try to understand these verses. However due to their own reasons, they avoid getting taught on every Bible topic.

For them peace, love and miracles are the only things to hear. Now try teaching them about repentance, avoiding false prophets, exposing pedophiles etc and they will first get uneasy and later angry. Most will try to exit the place where such topics are spoken but some will be so outraged that they will be very vocal in their dissent. They may say, ‘You have said this but as per my experience we shouldn’t be talking about it’ or may say ‘I don’t know about this topic and I don’t want to know’.

So you ask them where in the Bible it says we shouldn’t get this topics taught and they get cornered. As they don’t read the Bible that well, they will not know even if there was a Bible verse prohibiting so and so teaching. Such is the depth of their ‘experience’. There are verses in the Bible that in fact tell us what things not to learn. Here’s one of them; But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 ESV). I will also mention another one; But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them–depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you (Revelation 2:24 NLT).

For such people their experiences are greater teachers than anyone else. They will try to avoid any teaching that is not sugar-coated or doesn’t fit their religious theology. Obsession with sugar-coated teachings reminds me of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder though the former is more about deliberate choices rather than the latter’s medical leanings.

To make this clear let’s go through another example; you see a bridge on the verge of collapsing any second and everyone is avoiding that bridge. Now a person is trying to cross it. You say, ‘Hey, the bridge is about to collapse any moment so don’t cross it’. And that person replies ‘Why should I listen? You didn’t say ‘please’ nor ‘kindly’. How dare you address me as ‘Hey’?’ You realize that empathy will help in such a case and so you then say, ‘Excuse me but since I don’t know your name I used the word ‘Hey’ and as it’s a matter of life and death I had decided to cut down on the pleasantries. So now will you kindly please avoid this bridge as its way to dangerous’. Then the person replies saying ‘O good. I shall surely not cross this bridge. Thanks for telling me in a way I am accustomed to understand.’ This may seem absurd in the world but in Church there are some Christians who behave just the same as the person trying to cross the dangerous bridge. Give them all warnings with related verses but they won’t even consider unless it’s in terms of their liking.

You see how people are more concerned about the sugar-coating rather than the actual topic of the words spoken. Such people are prone to deception unless they start checking facts before politeness. Because these people have an obsession that until and unless the words are not sugared to their liking they won’t even consider. The Evil One knows this too well. He therefore will make the temptation to sin look very pleasant as per that persons notions of politeness who only partly depends on God’s word to know what is true from false. As long as his inducement to sin seems pleasant to the eye (or mind) the gullible person will consume the product with great relish.

Not just the Devil, even selfish marketing people use the same trick of fake empathy. They speak lies so kindly and politely even if they don’t mean it. And thus sell products like insurance, weird oils, weight loss powders etc to people who don’t even need them. (Food for thought)

It’s time to start being teachable in the truest sense. It’s not about accepting any teaching for the sake of accepting. Rather we learn things because they are right in the eyes of God and help us and our brothers and sisters in Christ to admonish them of dangers, also to love, respect and bless one another for the glory of God.

Here a few Bible verses about being teachable:

  • And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)
  • And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. (1 Samuel 15:1)
  • Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:9)
  • Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored. (Proverbs 13:18)
  • And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)

Jesus – the Lord of vengeance

Often we think of Jesus as merciful and rightfully so. Because he took upon himself the sins of the world. He is the Son of God who gives us real salvation.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)

However there’s another side to this. Jesus is also the Lord of vengeance. Because where there is injustice there follow the judgements from God. For though God is merciful he is also holy. Due his holiness God won’t forever stay his sword of judgement. Jesus is not  trigger happy. He does give time for people to repent but if they keep ignoring the call to holiness then he can and will execute justice.

Let’s read Nahum 1: 2-6 which says;

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.

The above verses do show the strong vengeance of God. Notice this wrath is directed to the enemies of God. These verses also show God is slow to anger. Jesus will always do things as per God’s will. So when he is asked by God to judge the wicked you know well that he won’t refuse his Father in heaven.

Happy are those whom God lavishes his love on! The love of God and the wrath of God are both very intense in their workings.  God’s love and mercy made Noah and his family escape the Lord’s judgement by flood on the rest of the world. The love which comes from Christ changed Saul the murderer of Christian’s into Paul the Apostle who then led many to Jesus. While the wrath of God brought down death and worms on Herod who tried to exalt himself a human to the level of being called a god. God’s anger cast down the rebellious angels including Satan from heaven to hell, who all have a limited time before the Final Judgement.

Don’t just limit this as a warning to the church as the warning is for the whole world. Jesus is coming again to judge the world because they have loved the darkness and despised the light. He will take account of every wicked thing that ungodly men and women have spoken against God and heaven.

Here’s what Revelation 19:11-21 says about Jesus;

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

Here are a few verses on the Lord’s vengeance on sinners :

– For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the bloodshed on it, and will no more cover its slain. (Isaiah 26:21)

– For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. (Psalm 75:8)

– For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)

Now take heart if you have sinned but are willing to forsake your wicked ways. Because Jesus takes away the sins of those who repent and believe in the Gospel. For he came to take on himself the just wrath of God for our sins. Those with faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ have nothing to fear. It’s those who refuse to leave sin and unbelief who are to fear the Lord Jesus at the Final Judgment. Now a word of warning for all Christians; the Lord knows who really believes in Him and those who don’t trust but are hypocrites. So value the righteousness of Jesus and keep trusting in him and never waste your time in pleasing the world.

Remember that those who abide in Christ are safe from God’s judgment including the Final Judgment which is an eternal one. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus are not appointed for wrath from God.

Here are a few scriptures to reflect on:

– Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)

– Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)

– If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 15:6)

– For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

– By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

I now end this reflection on Jesus our Lord, with the following verses:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)

%d bloggers like this: