Christian Military Fellowship Blog

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Discuss the tough questions relating to the Christian Faith. Present the Scripture in an interdenominational fashion demonstrating those things we hold in common and provoking thought whenever possible. Hopefully you will find things here that will encourage you to study more deeply that all of Scripture will be at home in your heart.


Equal and Opposite Errors
You are a person of immense value and worth to both God and Satan. There is an intense war being waged by God and by Satan for the allegiance of your mind, your body and your soul. The stakes are high. At stake is how you will spend the rest of this life and where you will spend eternity. (Wendell Amstutz)

Well-healed But Annealed

Truth is a benefactor and a taskmaster.  It illuminates and judges.  We live in a time when there is no longer equal justice under the law but rather social justice based upon the ire of the power brokers.  I could not have imagined a day when the government of America would "have their foot upon the neck" of those for whom it is to serve.  Yet Thomas Paine, in "Common Sense," did correctly portray the government as the enemy.  We give away certain of our freedoms to this enemy in the hope of the collective good.  Now we live in a world where there exists the mindset that the government should be our benevolent and providential keeper bestowing benefits upon those whom it chooses by stealing from the masses ("spread the wealth around").

Where was the church during all of this?  Worshipping the enemy of their soul!  What is our plan?  Is it to fall on our knees in prayer until the Lord of Lords does here our weeping in sackcloth and ashes?  Are we, like the Holy Spirit, weeping for this generation of lost souls?  No! Our plan is to elect yet another generation of reprobate politicians and wait with expectation for a better result—which is a apt definition of insanity.  And oh by the way God, could you bless me with the perfect parking place?  Perhaps we can put our faith in the T.V. preacher who when he debarks from his private jet remarks with great zeal, "the blessing has landed!"  What is the name of the tower we have been building in the power of the flesh? "Babel" is already taken.

For those things contemporaneous, perhaps we could reflect back upon the year 1979 when in 200 feet of water the same petroleum engineers were executing operation "sombrero" (aka top kill) off the coast of Mexico.  Eleven months later the relief well finally put the well to rest.  Should we now hope with excitement while the selfsame entity dances at 5,000 feet?

Satan goes on with mankind as he began with them.  He prevailed against our first parents, cast them out of paradise, and suddenly brought all their happiness and glory to an end, by appearing to be a friend to their happy state, and pretending to advance it to higher degrees.  So the same cunning serpent that beguiled Eve through his subtlety, by perverting us from the simplicity that is in Christ, hath suddenly prevailed to deprive us of that fair prospect we had, a little while ago, of a kind of paradisiacal state of the church of God in New England.

After religion has revived in the church of God, and enemies appear, people that are engaged to defend its cause are commonly most exposed, where they are least sensible of danger.  While they are wholly intent upon the opposition that appears openly before them, in order to make head against that, and while they neglect carefully to look around, the devil comes behind them, and gives a fatal stab unseen; and he has opportunity to give a more home stroke, and to wound the deeper, because he strikes at his leisure, being obstructed by no resistance or guard.…

And so it is likely ever to be in the church, whenever religion revives remarkably, till we have learned well to distinguish between true and false religion, between saving affections and experiences, and those manifold fair shows, and glistering appearances, by which they are counterfeited; the consequences of which, when they are not distinguished, are often inexpressibly dreadful.  By this means, the devil gratifies himself, that multitudes should offer to God, under the notion of acceptable service, what is indeed above all things abominable to him.  By this means, he deceives great multitudes about the state of their souls; making them think they are something, when they are nothing; and so eternally undoes them: and not only so, but establishes many in a strong confidence of their eminent holiness, who, in God’s sight, are some of the vilest hypocrites.  By this means, he many ways damps religion in the hearts of the saints, obscures and deforms it by corrupt mixtures, causes their religious affections woefully to degenerate, and sometimes, for a considerable time, to be like the manna that bred worms and stank; and dreadfully ensnares and confounds the minds of others, brings them into great difficulties and temptations, and entangles them in a wilderness, out of which they can by no means extricate themselves.  By this means, Satan mightily encourages the hearts of open enemies, strengthens their hands, fills them with weapons, and makes strong their fortresses; when at the same time, religion and the church of God lie exposed to them, as a city without walls.  By this means, he brings it to pass, that men work wickedness under a notion of doing God service, and so sin without restraint, yea with earnest forwardness and zeal, and with all their might.  By this means, he brings in even the friends of religion, insensibly, to do the work of enemies, by destroying religion in a far more effectual manner than open enemies can do, under a notion of advancing it.  By this means, the devil scatters the flock of Christ, and sets them one against another with great heat of spirit, under a notion of zeal for God; and religion, by degrees, degenerates into vain jangling.  During the strife, Satan leads both parties far out of the right way, driving each to great extremes, one on the right hand, and the other on the left, according as he finds they are most inclined, or most easily moved and swayed, till the right path in the middle is almost wholly neglected.  In the midst of this confusion, the devil has great opportunity to advance his own interest, to make it strong in ways innumerable, to get the government of all into his own hands, and to work his own will.  And by what is seen of the terrible consequences of this counterfeit, when not distinguished from true religion, God’s people in general have their minds unsettled in religion, and know not where to set their foot, or what to think, and many are brought into doubts, whether there be any thing at all in religion; and heresy, infidelity, and atheism greatly prevail.

Therefore, it greatly concerns us to use our utmost endeavors, clearly to discern, and have it well settled and established, wherein true religion does consist. Till this be done, it may be expected that great revivals of religion will be but of short continuance; till this be done, there is but little good to be expected of all our warm debates, in conversation and from the press, not knowing clearly and distinctly what we ought to contend for.  (Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards - Volume 1, page 234)
 


What Sorrow Awaits When Liberty is Gone?
What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. (Matthew 18:7 NLT2ndEd)
"Madison, WI — A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action."
Milwaukee — A large meteor streaked across the Midwestern sky, momentarily turning night into day, rattling houses and causing trees and the ground to shake, authorities said Thursday.
London — An enormous ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano caused the biggest flight disruption since the 2001 terrorist attacks Thursday as it drifted over northern Europe and stranded travelers on six continents. Officials said it could take days for the skies to become safe again in one of aviation's most congested areas.
Vatican City — Pope Benedict XVI broke his recent silence on the clerical-abuse scandal Thursday, complaining that the church was under attack but saying that "we Christians" must repent for sins and recognize mistakes.
Robert Reich, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkley (Former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration) — Since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, the U.S. economy has shed 8.4 million jobs and failed to create another 2.7 million required by an ever-larger pool of potential workers. That leaves us more than 11 million jobs behind. (The number is worse if you include everyone working part-time who’d rather it be full-time, those working full-time at fewer hours, and people who are overqualified for the jobs they’re in.)
This means even if we enjoy a vigorous recovery that produces, say, 300,000 net new jobs a month, we could be looking at five to eight years before catching up to where we were before the recession began (robertreich.org)

As I look around our world today, I see how really fragile is our life here on planet Earth.  I am certainly not a prophet, nor do I wish to try to interpret the events of the day.  However, I am beginning to think that the oft quoted words of Tocqueville are having a haunting effect on our current events.  This old world continues to be a scary place at times. For those who are suffering from the economic downturn, troubles loom large on the horizon.  Who knows what kind of bumps in the road lay ahead of us?  I think Pope Benedict got it right!  "We Christians" must repent of sins (ours and those of our nation) and recognize mistakes!!!!"  Perhaps we flew through the unseen cloud of volcanic ash and our engines flamed out and with them the heat that should be radiating from the pulpit.  Instead of the seeker finding salvation, perhaps many find only a millstone cleverly disguised by the enemy.  Take a moment today to pray for our nation in a way befitting the attention of Him Who sit upon the throne of Whom the angels sing, "Holy, Holy, Holy."

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors and her ample rivers … ; in her fertile fields and boundless forests … ; in her rich mines and vast world commerce … ; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.  America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. (Tocqueville, Charles Alexis Henri Maurice Clèrel de)
 

Romans 5:14 - Death is Here to Stay - Deny the Cross?
I'll steal your life and cut, out your heart.
Rip the core of your, world apart.
Then I'll, Take your sight.
Leave ya blind.
Laughing hard as you, loose your mind.
Smash in your skull!!!
Kick out your brains!!!
Dance all over!
What remains!!!

Life! The living danger,
Death! The welcome stranger,
In sin! You deny the cross.

Deny the cross...!

I'm an angel I'm, virgin white.
This only happens, every night.
Restitution, for my sin,
Imprisoned virtue, time begins.
Killer instincts!!!
Escape my find!
Path of destruction!
Left behind.

Life, it walks away...
It walks today...
It fades away...
Death, is here to stay...
Is here today...
To deny the cross...!

Draw and quarter, slice the meat.
Now there's something, more to eat.
Nothing left there is, just a frame.
This poor soul, has no name.
Back to dirt!
Six feet deep!
I take a breath!
Long and deep!!!

Deny the cross!!!
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (NASB)
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (KJV)
Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.  Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. (NLT)
Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed. (NET)

They are torn from the security of their homes and are brought down to the king of terrors. (Job 18:14 NLT)

We still often search the clouds for the wrath of God to come thinking we have time while all the while judgment has already been pronounced!  Death reigns! It remains, as Bildad describes, "the King of Terrors."  We need look no further than the nearest cemetery to see wrath inflicted.  There is no escape even for the infant who "did not sin in the same way that Adam" solely because of sin imputed from Adams fall.  Were it not for the second Adam we would all be lost to eternal separation, the King of Terrors indeed!  But for those who are in Christ Jesus, we have the eternal blessing of forever knowing Him who set us free from the bondage of sin and death.  Not only so, but also to be able to share from the "hope that is within us" the amazing love we have thus experienced with those around us!

What then shall we choose?  Shall we do as the "Heavy Metal" lyrics ascribe and turn death into an object of worship believing that there is nothing beyond the grave.  Is that the end of our created being to become worm food?  If we evolved out of the primordial soup and have no reason for being except the random act of untamed amino acids then hope is a star trek myth.  If however, we are created in the image of the Most High, then perhaps hope is real and Christmas is the greatest gift of all! God come down as a man to save us from our sins!

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?
Was it for crimes that I have done,
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide,
and shut its glories in,
when God, the mighty maker, died
for his own creature's sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear cross appears;
dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt mine eyes to tears.
But drops of tears can ne'er repay
the debt of love I owe.
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
'tis all that I can do.  (Issac Watts)

Romans 5:13 - Sin Not Imputed
Rom 5:13
For until the law sin was in the world - As death reigned from Adam to Moses, so also did sin. Now, as there was no written law from Adam to that given to Moses, the death that prevailed could not be the breach of that law; for sin, so as to be punished with temporal death, is not imputed where there is no law, which shows the penalty of sin to be death. Therefore, men are not subjected to death for their own personal transgressions, but for the sin of Adam; as, through his transgression, all come into the world with the seeds of death and corruption in their own nature, superadded to their moral depravity. All are sinful - all are mortal - and all must die. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (NASB)
 
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (KJV)
 
Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. (NLT)
 
for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. (NET)

Sin comes before transgression.  With the nation fixated upon the energy crisis you with think that the delusional ramblings of what now masquerades as journalism would refrain from large atmospheric releases of hot air in order to prevent further global warming.  However, what really transpires is the continuous Neanderthal homological chest pounding focused upon convincing homosapiens (Latin: wise humans) that perversion is merely the natural extension of orderly Darwinian evolution.  The argument used in a recent news magazine is that Jonathan and David were CLOSE friends.  Therefore, it is completely permissible to engage in licentious and lascivious conduct.  If that were truly the case then we should all commit adultery with Bathsheba and have Uriah the Hittite killed to cover up an unwanted pregnancy in order to exercise planned parenthood. When Jesus said, "let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone" He also said, "go and sin no more!"  The reprobate mind thus becomes the swine looking for pearl casters.  Except for Grace we would all be in the pit for our foot would "slip in due time."  The fact that Jesus came into the world to save sinners does not imply anywhere in Scripture that He condones sin for the purpose of inclusion. He came to save us from our sin not to leave us to expire in the midst of it.  I suppose that it would be good here to list a few verses:

Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. (Luke 11:35 NLT)
 
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:5-10 NLT)
 
With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. (Ephesians 4:17-19 NLT)
 

Back in Chapter One we mentioned that the wrath of God was being revealed against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness.  We ought not be surprise that our ever descending society wishes to replace the wisdom of the Almighty with that of our own and like Israel become lost in the midst of our own sin.  Sin is the judgment!  We have been "abandoned" in our own sin to do what is right in our own eyes (Romans 1:24, Judges 21:25 paraphrase mine)

"Notice the object of God's wrath. Paul, in two words, has summed up all of human sin, placing it in two great divisions: ungodliness and unrighteousness.  'Ungodliness' is a sin against the being of God.  Man is not only a moral sinner (he is unrighteous), but man is a religious sinner (he is ungodly).  The unrighteous man live as if there were no will of God revealed; the ungodly man lives as if there were no God."  Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace.
 

Reclining in the Grass

Reclining in the Grass


Bob Flynn, President/CEO
"Live in such a way that God's love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you." (Jude 21 NLT96)

I have heard it said that life is all mind over matter.  “If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” (Mark Twain)  In the midst of a universe, that from my humble perspective, whose length, breadth and depth are seemingly immeasurable, how can I matter at all?  And if my plight should bring me to picturesque mountain top or dark and cavernous valley, what matter? 

I had occasion to “recline in the grass” of late for an extended period of time.  Truth be known, I am lying there still.  More thought provoking yet, I will be lying there for all eternity.  If the Lord tarries, then those who come after me may see the end of all matter, yet the "only immortal, invisible, God only wise" will live on and we with Him who have believed in His only begotten Son.

Perhaps the events of life ought to be looked upon as an opportunity for God's love to bless.  I have often found myself saying, "God is good" after seeing a joyous event in the lives of His people.  But wasn't He also good at the memorial service for the dearly departed?  Was His goodness somehow absent as I celebrated my 60th birthday not knowing that a cancer was growing within? Some days later, prostrate in the surgical suite, as well-trained hands deftly removed the “poisoned pill” from my kidney and preserved some of its function, was goodness lacking?  Yet only an hour before, another sojourner lost this same organ and was put upon a path of longsuffering and uncertainty called chemotherapy.  Was my fate now changed?  Or was it only illuminated?

I cannot testify for others but for me His love surrounded me in ways that defy description.  Though He did make me lie down in green pastures, I was not alone.  Family, friends, elders, and pastor were physically present there with me.  I felt the warmth of the prayers of the thousands of saints who were interceding for me "in light inaccessible hid from our eyes."  Not only these but "most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious," whose great Name I "praise" was also there in our midst.

Where could I choose to go that would be better than to recline in the grass prepared for me in a universe created by Him, for Him and through Him where, because of His "clouds which are fountains of goodness and love," my life matters.  It matters to Him!

Is life better if it is longer?  Or does the child who dies while yet in the womb held less precious by Him who “To all, life thou givest, to both great and small; in all life thou livest, the true life of all.”  When we are allowed to sojourn in green pasture, it is during this reclining that we are able to see Him more fully.  Though our gaze be veiled for now, the light revealed to us is most precious!  It is the hope upon which we cling until that day when we are allowed to gaze fully upon His face — the face of Him who died for us.

When that day comes, would it not be made more blessed because we have remembrance of the blood moon of Calvary?  Will not the first gaze be given greater grandeur because of the travail of tears shed in living sacrifice by the mercies of God?

Peter is right when he reminded us:

So be truly glad!  There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.  These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure.  It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold.  So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trial, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on that day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  You love Him even though you have never seen Him.  Though you do not see Him, you trust Him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.  Your reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9 NLT96)

Romans 5:12 - Death Entered the World
But whence is it that men are so disingenuous?  The reason seems to be this:  The promise of eternal happiness is so agreeable to the inclinations and wishes of mankind, that all who call themselves Christians, universally and willingly subscribe to the belief of it:  but then there is something so shocking in the consideration of eternal torments, and seemingly such an infinite disproportion between an endless duration of pain, and short life spent in pleasure, that men (some at least of them) can scarcely be brought to confess it as an article of their faith, that an eternity of misery awaits the wicked in a future state.  (George Whitfield, Eternity in Hell)
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (NASB)
 
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (KJV)
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (NLT)
 
So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned — (NET)
 
The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. (Genesis 6:5 NLT)
 
For the choir director:  A psalm of David.  Only fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!  The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; He looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.  But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one! (Psalms 14:1-3 NLT)
 
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.   Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
 
So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another Man.  Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.  (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NLT)
 
As by one man - Adam; who is mentioned, and not Eve, as being the representative of mankind.  Sin entered into the world - Actual sin, and its consequence, a sinful nature.  And death - With all its attendants.  It entered into the world when it entered into being; for till then it did not exist. By sin - Therefore it could not enter before sin. Even so - Namely, by one man.  In that - So the word is used also, 2Cor 5:4.  All sinned - In Adam. These words assign the reason why death came upon all men; infants themselves not excepted, in that all sinned. (John Wesley)

We often wrestle with the origin of our present estate.  But here clearly is established that sin entered the world through the disobedience of our paradisiac parents.  We commit sins because we are sinners (not the other way around).  Wesley even reminds us that infants are not excepted.   Did we ever have to teach our children to lie, cheat, steal or demonstrate selfishness?  To the contrary, we had to spend much time in their training in righteousness.  The Scripture is replete with examples of our true nature and death being its consequence.  And because of our nature, death came into this satanically controlled world and continues to reign.  That is why we needed a Savior!

 

 


Satan's Chapel
We ought be mindful that we are engaged in a continuous war with an unseen enemy!  Our principal weapon is prayer.  Whenever the saints gather together and lift there prayers heavenward, victories appear.  When we grow lethargic is this most important ministry, casualties appear!  Although secret prayer is essential and mighty, corporate prayer is the place where we engage the enemy with a concentration of force capable of thwarting the unseen minions.  If the prayer service of your fellowship is the least attended, so then also will be the ramparts of your defense and the eternal effect upon this world (satanic system).  As we see the "wrath of God being revealed against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness" as reported in the daily news, we must accept that its magnanimous presence is due to our puniness in prayer.  One must ask what it would take to bring America to its knees?  I would say that I do not know because it hasn't happened yet.
 

Romans 5:11 - A New and Greater Joy!
G2643
καταλλαγή
katallagḗ; gen. katallagḗs, fem. noun from katallássō (G2644), to reconcile. Reconciliation, restoration, exchange. A change or reconciliation from a state of enmity between persons to one of friendship. Between God and man it is the result of the apolútrōsis (G629), redemption, the divine act of salvation, the ceasing of God's wrath. In the NT, it means reconciliation, i.e., restoration to divine favor by bringing about a change in man, conversion (Romans 5:11; Romans 11:15), the means or occasion of reconciling the world to God. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary - General Editor: Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.)
Reconciliation
RECONCILIA'TION, n. [L. reconciliatio.]
1. The act of reconciling parties at variance; renewal of friendship after disagreement or enmity.  Reconciliation and friendship with God, really form the basis of all rational and true enjoyment.
2. In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with God, after natural estrangement or enmity; the atonement; expiation.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. Dan 9. Heb 2. (Noah Webster)
And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (NASB)
 
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (KJV)
 
So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (NLT)
 
Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation. (NET)
 
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also glory - The whole sentence, Romans 5:3-11, may be taken together thus: We not only "rejoice in hope of the glory of God," but also in the midst of tribulations we glory in God himself through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. (John Wesley)
 
We also joy in God - In Romans 5:2, he had said that we rejoice in tribulations, and in hope of the glory of God. But he here adds that we rejoice in God himself; in his existence; his attributes; his justice, holiness, mercy, truth, love. The Christian rejoices that God is such a being as he is; and glories that the universe is under his administration. The sinner is opposed to him; he finds no pleasure in him; he fears or hates him; and deems him unqualified for universal empire. But it is one characteristic of true piety, one evidence that we are truly reconciled to God, that we rejoice in him as he is; and find pleasure in the contemplation of his perfections as they are revealed in the Scriptures. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
 
“The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water.”  (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

We often hurry past this amazing verse and in doing so miss out on the revelation of the Greatest Gift Ever Given!  What is more amazing than Jesus Himself living in me?  The airwaves are replete with country songs sharing the heartaches of unrequited love or love lost.  I think as believers we settle for the counterfeit deception that is "mere milk and water" of sorts.  If our relationship with the Savior cannot be described as an "ecstasy of love and delight" then we have been deceived already!  Fear not because this union with Christ Jesus is available to "everyone who believes"!


Faith and Politics
I believe it is the mission of the ministers today, and of Christian laymen in this land, to go out into the fields and highways and meet the enemies that are seeking to place barriers in the way of Christian civilization—to meet the foe as he comes.  Religion and politics ought to be wedded like a loving pair.  The spirit of our Master, who preached peace, should preside at our diplomatic councils. The love of our neighbor and of our friends—these should be the bases, not only of our Christianity and our patriotism, but of our daily politics.
I like to hear learned sermons and magnificent discourses—appeals purely to the intellect—abstract and abstruse ideas, and all that.  But looking at the masses of mankind, and reviewing from the standpoint which I occupy, it is clear to me that there is a mission given to every lover of Christ to stand forth as the propagator of that religion which tempers the politics and statesmanship of this country.  (Alfred Colquitt (April 20, 1824–March 26, 1894), was an American politician, orator and statesman.  He served as a U.S. Senator and Governor of Georgia. (As quoted in Great Quotations by William J. Federer))

Notice that the purpose of "Peace on Earth" is Christian civilization NOT Christian Government.  Senator Colquitt endeavors to express that the principal purpose of the Christian faith toward the state is to temper politics and statesmanship NOT to establish a state religion.  Yet today, in a government sans Christ in particular and hostile to all things religious, what we have is ill-tempered and waxes more vitriolic with each passing day.


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