God’s amazing grace

After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, he committed suicide.  His reason was, ‘I have sinned, for I have betrayed innocent blood.’ 1   What is interesting is the history of Judas’ replacement, Matthias.  

#  The apostles replace Judas Iscariot.

  • During the prayer meeting after the ascension of Jesus, Peter suggested that they need to replace Judas. 2   There had to be twelve apostles as there were also twelve tribes in Israel.  The final choice rested with God, so they chose Matthias by lot. 3  It was God’s will that Matthias would be a witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as the twelfth apostle. 4  
  • Matthias was not an ‘outsider.’  He and Joseph, the other choice, were part of Jesus’ team.  They fulfilled the requirement to become apostles, ‘Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.’ 5

#  That is the only time we hear about Matthias.  

  • The Bible does not mention Matthias or what he did, again.  However, we can deduce that he, as well as the other apostles, were about the Lord’s work.  
  • Though we know much more about Peter, John and later Paul, God honoured all twelve apostles eternally, ‘The wall of the city [the New Jerusalem] had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.’ 6 
  • Who is the Lamb?  Jesus Christ.  Whose name is included among the twelve apostles whose names will be eternally written on the twelve foundations of the city?  Matthias.  

#  Like Matthias, not many of us are well known.

  • Most of us go through life and do our thing.  We work, raise families and follow the Lord.  There is no fanfare and no crowds that admire us.  We don’t write sixty or seventy best sellers or win thousands or millions for Jesus.   
  • Yet, our names will be written in God’s Book of Life, ‘He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white.  I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.’ 7
  • The reason is that the followers of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit and Scripture, are also witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. 

#  What an example of grace.  

  • Matthias’ name will stand forever as a memorial on the foundations of the great city, the New Jerusalem.  Our names will be in the book of life forever and Jesus will acknowledge our names before the Father and his angels.  
  • We thank Jesus that he gave His life on the Cross, so that we can be with Him eternally: ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.’ 8 

Conclusion

That is absolutely amazing.  We are as unmentioned and unsung as Matthias.  Yet we will be with Jesus forever in the new coming Kingdom of God because we were also witnesses of the resurrection, not only in words but mostly in deeds.

References

  1. Matthew 27:3-4  
  2. Acts 1:15-17  
  3. Acts 1:23-26  
  4. Acts 1:22  
  5. Acts 1:21-22  
  6. Revelation 21:14  
  7. Revelation 3:5  
  8. Ephesians 2:8

Is God a Socialist or a Fascist?

We read about elections for presidents, prime ministers and high dignitaries.  Recently Zimbabwe had their elections and earlier it was Mexico.  Whatever the outcome, some people are always dissatisfied.  The reason is that every person has his or her opinion.  Governments differ, they might be communist, fascist, socialist democratic, et cetera.  God’s government is completely different.  

#  What is God’s government like?  

God’s Kingdom will last eternally, so His type of government should be important to take note of.  Eternity is very long and God’s reign will be peaceful and loving.  How does He do it?  His planning is brilliant.  Look at some aspects: 

#  God’s citizens choose their government on this side of the grave.  

  • There is now, and will be in eternity, only one King, one Bridegroom and one Councillor in God’s Kingdom.  That will never change.  People who don’t want to submit to them, may choose the alternative now, in this life.  
  • God in His brilliance gave man the freedom to choose and be sifted now, not when His government is in operation.  In God’s Kingdom there will be no change of Government.  God will be the King eternally.  
  • There will be no opportunity to vote for president, prime minister, or whatever type of ruler.  The voting pole closes for a human being when he or she dies
  • In the coming ages, everything is ‘fixed’ eternally, ’The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city [New Jerusalem], and His servants [we, followers of Christ] will serve Him.’ 1 

#  All the citizens of God’s future Kingdom will love the Ruler.  

  • Once again, people who don’t want to live under the Lord’s reign, are completely free to choose not to be part of God’s nation.  There is no force to love and obey the Lord.  
  • The free will test will cause that all, not 85% or 99.9%, but 100% of the citizens of the future Kingdom of peace will love their Ruler.  That is the one requirement that will never change.  Why?  If people love their leaders they are happy with them and follow them.   
  • God summarises love for your ruler, ‘This is love for God: to obey His commands.  And His commands are not burdensome.’ 2  Love and obedience will logically lead to a peaceful and harmonious nation.   
  • In addition God gives us time in this life to learn to love and forgive others.  ‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.’ 3  Obviously no one who loves another will murder or harm him.

# Jesus is the One who enabled us to love the Lord. 

To love, obey and serve God, is only possible because our Bridegroom gave His life to change our hearts.  ‘He [God] saved us through the washing of rebirth [Jesus Christ] and the renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.’ 4

Conclusion

The Lord God Almighty, the Ruler of heaven, will rule with love, because, ‘He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.’ 5  What a King!  No wonder His followers love Him, and will serve Him eternally.

References

  1. Revelation 22:3  
  2. 1 John 5:3  
  3. 1 John 4:7-8  
  4. Titus 3:5b-7
  5. Deuteronomy 32:4

Mr Donald Trump’s unpardonable sin. Part 2

It is interesting to watch the efforts to dredge up as much dirt as possible on Mr Trump.  What about his ‘sins’ of the past?  Before judging too fast, let us look at the life of David, the king of Israel.  David united the nation, made Jerusalem the capital and successfully waged war against their enemies. 

Then he committed a grave sin: 

  • He seduced the wife of one of his trusted soldiers.  She became pregnant. 
  • He tried to cover it up.  He had her husband come home from the army to visit her.  When that failed, he organised it that her husband was killed. 1

#  If there ever was a case for impeachment and jail, it was that. 

Watergate and other ‘scandals’ are nothing compared to David’s offences.  Look at the tragedies in his family: 

  • His son Amnon raped his half sister Tamar and ruined her life. 2
  • His son Absalom killed Amnon, fled, came back, conspired against his father and organised a coup.  Absalom was killed in the hostilities that followed. 3
  • Then, nearing the end of his life, his son Adonijah tried to usurp the kingship.  God had chosen Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, to be the next king (the grace and mercy of God!). 4
  • Beside that, David made a strategic blunder when he counted the nation.  It cost the nation 70,000 that died. 5

#  Talk about the failures of a king. 

  • Yet, listen to what God says about him, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 6 
  • How did that come about, and what was it God wanted David to do?  God sent His prophet, Nathan, to confront David about his sin.  David repented. 7

#  Then David began with a work which we believe God intended for him. 

  • He began the preparations to build the temple.  He did not build it, because God chose his son, Solomon, to do it. 8 
  • Yet David organised the Levites, the division of the priests, the singers, the gatekeepers. 9
  • He got the plans for the temple from God. 10
  • He collected massive amounts of gold, silver, bronze, wood and whatever was needed. 11  He also encouraged the leaders to contribute.  No wonder God recommended David’s efforts on behalf of the temple, God’s House where He would put His Name and live among the Israelites.  

Conclusion

David is a vivid proof of how a person can be an instrument in God’s hands, even if he is far from perfect.  The reason is that Jesus died for our sins, so there is forgiveness if we confess them and turn away from them.  King David is an example of how God takes a terrible mistake and turns it around.  That applies to all people, even to Mr Trump.

References

  1. 2 Samuel 11  
  2. 2 Samuel 13  
  3. 2 Samuel 14-15, 17-18  
  4. 1 Kings 1  
  5. 2 Samuel 24  
  6. Acts 13:22  
  7. 2 Samuel 12; Psalm 32, Psalm 51  
  8. 1 Chronicles 22  
  9. 1 Chronicles 23-26  
  10. 1 Chronicles 28  
  11. 1 Chronicles 29