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 1

As a non  American, it is interesting to watch the war against Mr Donald Trump.  He can hardly do anything right in the eyes of the left.  It even seems as if some churches have forgotten God’s command, ‘I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’ 1

#  What is Mr Trump’s biggest sin?  

It was to move the Unites States’ embassy to Jerusalem and acknowledge it as Israel’s capital.  So, what is the big deal in that?  Why did it cause an almost apocalyptic out roar?  The reason is that Jerusalem is God’s city: 

  • ‘Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, His holy mountain.’ 2 
  • ‘…Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King [God].’ 3   Psalm 48:4 repeats that Jerusalem is the city of God. 
  • ‘For the Lord has chosen Zion [Jerusalem], He has desired it for His dwelling: This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned for I have desired it..’  4  

Mr Trump supported what the Bible declares about Jerusalem.  It is God’s dwelling place.  If so, why all the accusations, complaints and general discontent from especially the left and many Democrats?  It has to do with the invisible ruler of this world, the devil. 5  He does not love God or God’s love for Jerusalem.  To explain it let’s look at the following:

#  Satan’s last act before his eternal sentence will be to attack Jerusalem.

  • Some time in the future, before Satan enters his eternal dwelling in the lake of burning sulphur, he will be chained in the Abyss for a thousand years.  That is during the time of the Millennium, when Christ will personally rule over the nations, from Jerusalem. 
  • When Satan is released after the thousand years, he immediately deceives the people and gathers them for battle.  Revelation 20:8b-9 records, ‘In number they are like the sand on the seashore.  They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.’  
  • This is Satan’s last act of treachery, ‘And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur.’ 6  From then on his future is only eternal torture in the lake of fire.
  • God and Jerusalem are so intimately tied together that on the new earth, we will not have a New Moscow, or a New Washington, but a New Jerusalem. 

#  God loves Jerusalem and has not forgotten the Jews. 

  • Many people think that God has forgotten His nation.  He has not.  The prophet Jeremiah tells in no uncertain terms that Israel will not cease to be a nation before God. 7  Paul writes in Romans 11 about the future restoration of the Israelites.  It all has to do with the end times.  
  • Satan is very well aware of it, and he does not like this prospect, because it means his doom is near.  He likes being the ruler and the destroyer of humans.  Behind the scenes of the ‘attacks’ against Mr Trump is the hand of Satan.  Any leader that in any way advances God’s plan and admits that Jerusalem and therefore the Jews, are important, is the devil’s enemy.  That explains the furore against Mr Trump by the left: they are on the side of the enemy of God, the devil.  Wittingly or unwittingly, they advance the devil’s agenda, not God’s.   

Conclusion

This verse explains what is happening in the world,  “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Anointed One. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters.’“ 8  However, in America we have to add, ‘Certain news media and influential people in America gather together against the Lord, and do their best to abuse Mr Trump who recognises the importance of Jerusalem in God’s plan.’

References

  1. 1 Timothy 1:1-2  
  2. Psalm 48:1  
  3. Psalm 48:2b  
  4. Psalm 132:13-14  
  5. 1 John 5:19bd  
  6. Revelation 20:10  
  7. Jeremiah 31:35-37 
  8. Psalm 2:1-3