Everyone has had and will have the experience of being wrong, of making mistakes and of not understanding something well enough to properly represent it. Everyone! The question is not about what to do IF these things happen; the question is how do we handle it WHEN these things happen? Making mistakes and being wrong are never comfortable experiences, but they are priceless in their value if we allow them to be. So, how do we allow them to be priceless? When we are wrong, do we face it or ignore it? When we make a mistake, do we 'fess up or bury it? Further, how can we identify the thought and behavior processes that bring us to wrong conclusions and actions so we can avoid repeating the same old mistakes over and over again?
As time goes on, many of us will look back at 2017 and remember it as a year of storms. We have had storms of political division and unrest, storms of tragic events ranging from terrorism to the senseless taking of innocent lives, and we have had literal storms - specifically three major hurricanes that came back to back-to-back and left a wake of devastation, homelessness loss and death. It is the hurricanes, the natural disasters we will focus on today. Are these events a coded message from God? Is God punishing us for our blatant sin or is He telling us to mend our foolish ways? Now, if you don’t believe in God, could these natural disasters be a coded message from “Mother Earth” letting us know that we have messed with her precious and vital ecosystem for too long? Are there lessons here for us to learn?
Judgment Day! The very words strike fear into the hearts of many believers across the borders of many religions. After all, this world obviously does not dole out any form of true justice to its vast population, and whatever God you may believe in surely sees this and will soon balance those scales that are presently so skewed in their measure. Justice! For many believers there is a conviction that God’s justice will soon come to earth in the form of anger, wrath and fire and bring the result of a destruction never seen upon this planet! Judgment and Justice – are these images of mayhem and obliteration really what the Bible describes? Is this world in for a dark and miserable night of pain from the wrath of God from which there is no tomorrow or is there an entirely different meaning and result of Judgment Day? What does the Bible REALLY say?
It kind of funny how there is such a movement against the Bible and biblical principles these days, yet things like “Armageddon” and “Judgment Day,” which have their basis in Scripture, are common themes in our society. Of course, society dramatizes these things way beyond the reality of Scripture, so what we perceive is generally not what will happen. So, Judgment Day – it is coming! What does that mean? When will it happen? Who will be judged? Stay with us!
We are blessed – truly blessed - to know Christ and to have the opportunity for salvation before us. In light of this blessing that is claimed by Christians, some have raised the question if you (Christians) have this blessing and path to God’s favor while the vast majority of the world’s population does not, then isn’t that saying that your God is not an equal opportunity employer? Is that a fair God? Is their question legitimate?
Judgment Day! The very sound of the phrase previews an ominous picture in the minds of most. Judgment day: a day of great regret, great wrath, great sorrow and great reward, both for the righteous and the unrighteous. All will receive what is coming to them on Judgment Day – the question is – how does it all work? Is Judgment Day really a day to be feared by the multitudes of sinners in our world or is it actually a day to look forward to? Stay with us!
In one way or another, prejudice has dominated human culture for thousands of years. Because prejudice is an internal characteristic, it is often hard to detect it until it has had time to develop and finally show itself in our words or actions. As Christians, can we be shielded from prejudice? Do the scriptures teach us how to avoid it or how to remedy its effects? Is prejudice ever a good thing? Stay with us this morning as we plunge into this wildly difficult topic and try to get a grip on a true Christian perspective.
Remember this past May 21st – according to Harold Camping the day that the rapture was supposed to happen? Since that “no show” all the air has gone out of Harold Camping’s “prophecies” and attention is no longer focused in that direction. The fact is that the “other half” of his “prophecy” was that the earth would burn up on this coming Friday, October 21st. While we won’t focus on Mr. Camping this morning, we will focus our time on God’s Day of Judgment upon this earth. Exactly what is the Day of Judgment, how does it work, what does it accomplish and when it might come to pass?
One of the more difficult tasks of Christianity is understanding the future judgment regarding those who do not come to Jesus in this life. There are many different and contradictory teachings that we as Christians have drawn from the Scriptures regarding this judgment. On one hand, these range from the teaching that they will mercilessly burn in the torture of hell forever, to the other hand which says that God is far too loving to hurt or destroy anyone forever. This morning we will open the book and look critically at what we think the Bible actually teaches on this matter. Is hell real?
Humanity has been around for thousands of years. Throughout that time, the Plan of God has gone through many different phases. There have been blessings, there have been punishments, there have been siftings and there have been callings. Through all of this, the Master Plan has been steadily moving forward to its fruition. This program looks into three of the distinct judgments that this Plan, of necessity, has had to put in place. By doing so, we will hopefully gain a better understanding of how the Plan works and how God’s judgments always move his Plan forward towards its completion. So, stay with us and let’s find out just how God’s judgments work!