It Is Impossible to be Unborn

Hebrews 3:6 KJV

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

 

Hebrews 3:14 KJV

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

 

There is, in my mind, no contradiction between the doctrine of eternal security and the lessons of these verses.  When a person is born again he or she may never lose that new birth. It is as ludicrous a thought, that one could lost there birth, as has ever been proposed. It betrays the possessor of such thoughts as never having associated salvation with new birth. They have “Nicodemus thinking”, “How can one be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”.

 

It is impossible for a person to be unborn, but it is not impossible for a person to have never been born. Here is the warning of these passages. Many professing Christians are more like a fairy tale character than a historical figure. Their relationship with God is only fictional. It is made up. It is the stuff of which novels are made. It is wishful thinking. It is dreamy. But it is not real. The lesson of the chapter is that the proof of or evidence of new birth rests in the continuance.

 

During the fourth century the Emperor Constantine made a profession of faith in Christ and proclaimed his rule to be Christian. It became not only fashionable but essential to profess Christianity and so multitudes did, but without new birth. Centuries of dark ages flushed out those whose professions were false through persecution of any who professed Christ some way other than the government’s prescribed way. (Even Catholics lost their lives for their faith when Protestants gained control of governments.)

 

America has been a wonderful place to live but it has also been a place where it was popular and even necessary to profess Christianity if one wanted to succeed. Multitudes did, but without new birth. It appears that we are entering s period when those whose professions are false will be flushed out through various forms of persecutions and disadvantages had by being of faith.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 3:6 Hebrews 3:14 Eternal Security

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God’s Steps to Give Us His Word

Hebrews 2:1-3 KJV

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

 

The context before and after has to do with the veracity of God’s Word. God has taken such steps to give us His Word;

  • sure
  • secure
  • pure and
  • preserved

 

God’s efforts in getting His Word to us should spur us to earnest study, comprehension and practice.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 2:1-3 Bible is God’s Word

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Loving Righteousness

Hebrews 1:9 KJV

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

 

The testimony of God concerning Christ is, “Thou hast loved righteousness”.   The testimony goes on to say the Christ “hated iniquity”. Perhaps our hatred for iniquity, or sin, would be better received if we were known first for loving righteousness. How completely we ought to love righteousness:

  • In the practice of it
  • In the encouraging of others engaged in the like practice
  • In the study of and bettering ourselves in it
  • In the humble avoidance of making ourselves known for it (a true practice of righteousness will not seek to be known but will naturally become known)
  • In the prayer for it

 

Righteousness; God help us love it and to love it more.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 1:9 Loving Righteousness

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Successful Negotiation of Difficult Requests

Philemon 1:19

I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

 

Paul’s letter to Philemon has a pretty major subject. Perhaps we do appreciate the weight of it. He is pleading, essentially, for a man’s life. More importantly, he is pleading for spiritual victory in Philemon. He is doing so having already acted on the assumption that Philemon will respond as Paul requests. In making his plea Paul employs several triggers to lead Philemon to the appropriate response:

He mentions Apphia

She is presumed to be his wife. By mentioning her name he both assigns this letter to her as well as Philemon, and places part of the responsibility for his request upon her. Perhaps the feminine element will move Philemon to a more gentle response.

 

He reminds Philemon that he could expect his submissive response

But then chooses rather to ask than to demand. Whenever an authority is able to enlist the voluntary compliance to his leadership he is much better off than if he forces the mandatory one.

 

He submits himself to Philemon

There is a sense in which we are all to be submitted one to another. Those in authority are as equally accountable to those they lead as those they lead are to them. The soldier who is about to give his life on the field of battle does so expecting that his commanding officers will not waste his sacrifice. Paul recognizes this and submits to the authority of Philemon.

 

He makes Philemon his comrade and partner in the ministry

By appealing to Philemon as a partner he gives him fruit in the blessing of souls saved, including that of Onesimus.

 

He reminds Philemon of his part in Philemon’s salvation

Paul considered himself a debtor to all men to preach to them the gospel but in many respects those he lead to Christ were indebted to him. That he would ask this of him was reasonable.

 

He referred to Philemon as “brother” 

By doing so he invoked the bonds of family and blood. Men will do many things for family that they will not do for anyone else..

 

See in these tools of Paul clues for successful negotiations in difficult requests.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Philemon 1:19 Successful Negotiation

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May We Be Gracious

Titus 3:1-3 KJV

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

 

The apostle gives a list of responses the Christian ought to have toward the lost world:

  • Be subject to principalities and powers
  • Obey magistrates
  • Be ready to every good work
  • Speak evil of no man
  • Be not a brawler
  • Be gentle
  • Show meekness to all men

 

The motivation for these responses is our own past. Those things God delivered us from should forever compel us to reach those yet to be delivered. We can never allow ourselves to think we are above others. We are only separated by the grace of God; undeserved and unmerited but given to us.

 

As we have received grace, may we be gracious.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Gracious

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God Enjoys Doing Right

Deuteronomy 28:63 KJV

And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

 

  • Because God is no respecter of persons both Jew and Gentile may be saved
  • Because God is no respecter of persons both the good man and the wicked are born again through the same grace of God
  • Because God is no respecter of persons mercy is extended to men women and children of every race creed and background
  • Because God is no respecter of persons the rain falleth on the just and the unjust

Theses are precious and dear assurances to those who understand them. Because God is no respecter of persons the same blessings are available for everybody.

 

But there is a second side to this doctrine that God is no respecter of persons.

  • It is just as true
  • It is just as holy and
  • It is just as good but
  • It is more difficult to accept

because God is no respecter of persons God rejoices in both doing good to the obedient and destroying the disobedient. This is not to say that God takes pleasure in sending a soul to hell or in chastening His children. It is to say that, because God’s nature is holiness, justice and righteousness, He rejoices in doing what is right regardless of that right. Rewarding the obedient is a right and good thing. Judging disobedience is a right and good thing. God rejoices in doing the right and good thing.

 

I praise God that in this New Testament age we have an alternative to either. We have grace available through Jesus Christ. By hiding in Christ God responds to us not based on either how good or how bad we are but on the righteousness of Christ in whom we are hidden.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Nature of God

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What About Bible Principles that Seem Not To Work Today?

Deuteronomy 25:11-12 KJV

When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:
Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

 

I practiced Kenpo Karate for a number of years. It was good exercise and an interesting project. The instructor was a Christian and handled the class accordingly. There was one problem I kept having; many of the defensive and offensive techniques involved either striking or kicking in the groin. Since there were women in the class, this raised in my mind the issue of this passage. The purpose of these techniques seems obvious and sound, especially when employed by a female; they effectively stop a male attacker.

 

Now, I am a New Testament Bible believing Baptist. I do not subscribe to Old Testament law for NT faith. I do however believe that all the Bible is profitable. Since there is no specific NT passage denouncing this passage it seems to be one that should be given NT consideration.

 

What would be the purpose for this command? Modesty does not seem to be the issue here as she obviously isn’t being intimate in this circumstance. I believe the issue stems from two directions.

First is the context.

Passages just previous deal with the progeny of Israeli families. This was considered a heinous act because it strikes at not just the man but any possibility of his having future children. She is purposefully judging not just him but the children “in his loins”.

 

Second is the broader topic of faith.

This technique though effective, is unacceptable because God said it was. What other answer do we need? God says she is not to employee it. That settles the issue.

 

There are a number of Biblical principles that seem unreasonable and are rejected in modern society.

  • Avoiding loans
  • Forgiving debts every seven years

Our world would be much better off if these principles would have been kept up. The United States has ignored the principle of the Bible and the laws of our early forefathers concerning borrowing and handling of currency and have now created an economy that will take a miracle to recover from. (Not likely to happen since we haven’t repented of the action.)

 

Perhaps this is a matter of similar nature. Perhaps what a woman should do is to trust both the Lord and her husband to protect her and leave the consequences of that faith in the hands of God.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Deuteronomy 25:11-12 faith

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All Are Judged

2 Timothy 4:1 KJV

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

 

Paul charged Timothy to his duty by using a Biblical truth; that both the quick and the dead, the saved and the lost, will be judged by the Lord at His coming.

 

A great deal of damage has been done in the Christian faith by the idea that, once we get saved, we are no longer accountable. I am absolutely convinced that the work of Christ on the Cross has entirely and completely saved us to the uttermost. The saved are saved:

  • securely
  • eternally and
  • irrevocably

Our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God. This, however, does not mean that we have been set free to wander about our life without restraint or expectations.

 

Certainly the judgments of the two are different in

  • their focus (Christian judgment is regarding our works and not our sins)
  • their scope (Christian judgment is regarding position in heaven and not whether we go to heaven or hell)
  • their consequence (Christian judgment is regarding rewards and not punishment)

but the fact still remains that the saved are judged. The fact also remains that this judgment is of a serious enough nature that it serves as a motivator to those who comprehend it.

 

To assume that saved means saved with no respect, regard or consequence for

  • obedience or disobedience
  • believing or disbelieving
  • following or not following

the lessons of the Word of God is to place ourselves in a position to miss the greatest lessons for life the Bible offers.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Judgment

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Expect God’s Deliverance

2 Timothy 3:10-11 KJV
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

 

Paul, sitting in a prison cell, rehearses to Timothy the places he experienced persecution and afflictions:

  • Antioch
  • Iconium
  • Lystra

 

Timothy was fully aware of all that Paul had endured and how he had endured them. Paul’s interest here was to testify that the Lord had delivered him; not from some or even most of those persecutions. Paul said the Lord had delivered him out of all of them.

 

The obvious message for Timothy and for you and me is that the Lord will do the same for you and for me.

  • We will endure persecutions
  • We will experience afflictions
  • We will experience these things in multiple places
  • We may even experience death as a matter of our faith

 

But we may expect the Lord’s deliverance out of all of them.

  • There may be deliverance from the persecution and affliction
  • There may be deliverance through the persecution and affliction
  • There will always be deliverance as death translates us to eternal heaven.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Persecution, Deliverance

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Stay Free of Corruption

2 Timothy 2:20-21 KJV
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

 

One must remember the simile being employed is the local church. Paul speaks of that church as a great house and reveals, as surprising as we may find it to be, that not every vessel in that house is a clean and honorable one. A toilet basin has a purpose in the house but it would not be satisfactory to use it as a salad bowl.

 

Even so, even those members in the church who are less godly than we would like have a purpose even if it is only to humble us as they revile our walk or to drive us to prayer as they hinder our advance. (As Moses often resorted to prayer when, in the wilderness, he met opposition within his own camp.)

 

That they have purpose, however, does not mean we should allow ourselves to be corrupted by them. Sometimes they are there only to prove us, whether we will be true despite them. Paul said there must be heresies among us that those who are approved or faithful might be manifest. The temptations of the heresies tend to separate those faithful from those who are only leaning on the faithful. Those who stay free from the corruption of the less honorable vessels are themselves, the honorable ones.

 

faithfulness

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

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