Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Atheists and Evolutionists (II Peter 3:1-7 NKJV)




Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (II Peter 3:1-7 NKJV)

It seems to me that evolutionists and atheists must have existed when Peter wrote this.  His first statement, "...scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”", applies to the athiests.   

The second statement,  ".....For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water", applies to the evolutionists.

The last statement applies to both the atheist and the evolutionist.  "But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marsha's Musings: A Washed Sow Returns to Wallow in the Mire (II Peter 2:18-22 NKJV)



For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” (II Peter 2:18-22 NKJV)

When Peter talks about those who have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then becoming entangled again with that which they had escaped, he is not talking about one losing their salvation.  He is talking about those whose "committment" to Christ is not genuine to begin with.  They have a head knowledge of Jesus Christ but not a heart knowledge. In applying the Proverbs mentioned at the end of this passage, he is in effect saying that their nature never was changed by God. Therefore, it is no surprise that they became entangled again with the world and with false teachers.  Their end will be worse than if they had not known the way of righteousness.  Why? Because those who have correct knowledge and reject it have a greater condemnation than those who are ignorant of the truth.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Marsha's Musings: False Teachers. (II Peter 2:12-17 NKJV)



But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness (II Peter
2:12-17 NKJV)

Peter continues talking about false teachers. He doesn't have any flattering things to say to say about them.  He uses word pictures to describe them.

*natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed

*spots and blemishes

*accursed children

*wells without water

*clouds carried by a tempest

Peter also tells us what they do. A false teacher may not do all the things on this list, but he/she is still a false teacher.

*speak evil of the things they do not understand

*who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime

*carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,

*having eyes full of adultery 

*cannot cease from sin

*enticing unstable souls

*They have a heart trained in covetous practices

*have forsaken the right way and gone astray

*loved the wages of unrighteousness

Peter tells what their end will be.

*for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

`Marsha's Musings: The Lord Knows How To Deliver The Godly (II Peter 2:4-11 NKJV)

                     
  

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. (II Peter 2:4-11 NKJV)

We see terrible wickedness every day in the news.  It's even hitting close to home in our small community just a 15 minute walk from home.  I will spare you the details.  Just know that it was a terrible crime that took the life of a little old lady in the park and there is a man behind bars now with a one million dollar bail price on his head.

These verses today tell us that God will not spare these wicked, evil doers on judgement day.  When He decides to rain his wrath down on them there will be no escape for their souls.  

However, God has delivered the godly from destruction in the past as detailed in these verses.  If He can do this for them He knows how to deliver His godly ones today if He so chooses.  This is not to say that God's people will not have to endure suffering and even death for their faith as some of the New Testament saints did.  God may not deliver us in this world, but make no mistake, He will deliver us on judgement day if we are in Christ.  The salvation of our souls is much more important than the saving of our earthly bodies.

The last part of this passage is sobering.  Peter mentions two categories of people that are especially subject to God's punishment; those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleaness and those who dispise authority.  He goes on to describe them as presumptuous and self-willed, not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries.  Peter says even angels do not bring reviling accusation against dignitaries before the Lord.

These categories aren't surprising to me, but the part about speaking evil of dignitaries was.  I have been guilty of this as have many of my Christian friends.  We get national leaders in Washington D.C. that  we are not happy with and the nasty accusations fly.  I'm not saying that we should turn a blind eye and go along with everything that comes out of our White House/Congress/Senate.  But I have a hard time keeping my remarks and comments limited to what I think about the decisions that come down.  I often find myself engaged in character assassination.  It is difficult to not assign bad motives to some decisions as it looks blantant at times.  

We need to refrain from speaking evil of our dignitaries and limit our comments and remarks to our agreement or dissatisfaction with decisions that are handed down, and rather than complaining and not doing something to change it, we need to sit down and take the time to write or call our law makers and respectfully tell them why we are dissatisfied and ask them to try to change it or block whatever is coming down the pipe. This is a better way to channel our frustrations than assassinating the character of those in office.  My goodness!  if the angels won't even bring accusation against them, why on earth are we doing it?  Yikes!

So  two lessons here:

1. God knows how to deliver the godly from evil.  Whether He decides to do it in this earthly life  and  at judgement day is His choice.  We  know He will deliver His godly ones on judgement day regardless.

2. If the angels will not bring reviling accusation against dignitaries, why on earth should we be doing it?



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marsha's Musings: False Prophets & Teachers (II Peter 2:1-3 NKJV)



         




But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (II Peter 2:1-3 NKJV)

There is a popular church that sends young missionaries door to door. They will tell you that there was a complete apostasy of the Christian church and their founding prophet was given the restored gospel, making theirs the only true church on the face of the earth.

If you read these verses carefully, you will see where the lie is.  The Bible says "many" will follow these false teachers.  "Many" does not equal a complete apostasy.  If  there was a complete apostasy the verse would have to say all would follow these false teachers.  Don't be fooled.

How do you know false teachers and prophets?  Know your Bible! Study the Word. Get so familiar with the Word that you will spot false teaching the minute it comes along.

Peter keeps emphasizing the need for knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Word.  It's so important! Learn the Word! It's your defense against doctrinal error.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Marsha's Musings: A More Sure Word of Prophecy. (2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV)


 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV)

I've noticed that people get all carried away with trying to foretell what will happen in the future by trying to unravel the metaphorical descriptions in the book of Revelation, Daniel and elsewhere.  They try to use these verses of Peter in promoting their quest and get people to come hear what they have to say.  It's my own opinion, but I don't put much stock in most of what they have to say at these prophesy conferences because, quite frankly, it's a bunch of guess work.  If God wanted us to know right down to a tee what and how the future will unfold, He would have put it in plain language. He holds the future in His hands and it's my job to watch and pray.

What these verses are talking about is how our Scriptures came to be and how the prophecy of Christ's birth, death and resurrection came about so that God's elect could be saved.  This the sure word of prophecy. This is the light that shines in a dark place, and causes the Light to dawn in people's hearts.

These verses give us assurance that our Scriptures were authored by God, and penned through holy men of God, the prophets of old, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The prophecy of old unfolds the plan of salvation.

The key action phrase for us is "where unto ye do well that ye take heed".  Are we listening and acting upon what we read in Scripture that is plain to understand? That is far more important than trying to figure out the future of the world from "clues" given in Revelation and elsewhere.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Eyewitnesses of His Majesty (2 Peter 1:16-18 KJV)

                     



For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. (2 Peter 1:16-18 KJV)

Peter, having been with Jesus during His earthly ministry, appeals to the fact that he was an eyewitness of the events of His life on earth.  

I have been on jury duty in the past and am presently. In a court of law much trust is put into eye witness accounts of the case at hand. Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus' earthly ministry.  We should put much trust in what he has to say. Yet many refuse to believe anything the Bible has to say...even an eye witness account!

Many have trouble with the idea that there is three persons but one God.  It is rather mind blowing.  But here Peter talks about his experience with Jesus on the Mt of transfiguration.  Jesus, God the Son, was on the Mt and God the Father spoke saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
It was not two Gods but one.  Jesus was not talking to Himself. It was the Father speaking.  Some get tripped up on the Triune nature of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Because they don't understand how it works they dismiss it as a fable.  It's interesting that these same people can not explain or understand how the Internet works, or how electricity works. Yet, they believe it works and use it.  Why can't they afford God the same consideration? 

The real issue isn't that they think they should be able to understand how the triune nature of God "works", but rather, they expect God to conform to their own image or idea of who or what He is, and if He doesn't they reject what the Bible teaches about Him.

I can take great comfort in knowing that as an eyewitness, Peter knows where of he speaks and if he says the things about Jesus were not cunningly devised fables, then it seems he has authority to make that claim.  If he says God the Father spoke and Jesus (God the Son) was present, we can believe him. He was there!


Saturday, November 08, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Peter's Dying Wish (2 Peter 1:14-15 KJV)




Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. (2 Peter 1:14-15 KJV)

What are most people concerned about when it pertains to dying?  What is your chief concern when you think of your dying day?

Peter says his chief concern about his death is that his readers remember what God has laid on his heart for them to remember.  Here is what he wants us to remember:

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-11 KJV)

Peter is not concerned that people remember him.  He is not concerned about who will inherit what.  He is not concerned about how people will remember him.  He is not concerned about the pain of dying.  He is not concerned about how he will die. 

He is only concerned that his readers remember that God has given them all they need for life and godliness, that they remember to be diligent to learn about Jesus from the Scripture, and that they cultivate the Christian virtues mentioned and that they have assurance of God's calling and election in their lives.

In essence Peter is writing his last will and testament here. It is his dying wish for us.

What is your dying wish?

Friday, November 07, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Remember These Things. (2 Peter 1:12-14 KJV)

         



Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. (2 Peter 1:12-14 KJV)

Paul didn't think he could remind his listeners too much about the importance of being diligent to cultivate Christian virtues in their lives through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Word.  Why is it so important that we learn these things and be reminded of them?  It's important so that we will be established in them.  When trials and persecutions come our way, if we are established in God's Word and have these Christian virtues in our lives we will persevere in the faith and will not fall.  We will be able to be patient under it all. Patience is grace under pressure and we need the Word of His Grace daily to endure in the day of adversity.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Is Your Calling and Election Sure? (2 Peter 1:10-11 KJV)

        
   

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11 KJV)

                   
This is not talking about working for your salvation, but rather having assurance of your salvation.  These verses point back to the Christian virtues that should be present in every believer's life.  They areas follows:

If God has saved you, you will to varying degrees have these virtues in your life and will desire to cultivate them more and more as you grow in your faith in Christ.  It takes effort on our part to cultivate these things in our lives, but the desire and perseverance God puts in your heart to do these things is what give you as a Christian assurance of God's calling and election.

    

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Marsha's Musings: If These Things Be In You (2 Peter 1:8-9 KJV)






For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (2 Peter 1:8-9 KJV)

What things is this verse talking about?  The Christian virtues mentioned in the verses previous:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (2 Peter 1:5-7 KJV)

This is straight forward in saying that if you lack these qualities, you are barren spiritually, lack knowledge of Jesus Christ, are blind and have forgotten that you are purged from your sins! Wow.  That leaves some things to think about.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Christian Virtues. (2 Peter 1:4-9 KJV)

                    
     



Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (2 Peter 1:4-9 KJV)

It says "giving all diligence"....   This means W-O-R-K!  I dare say most Christians are so busy being entertained and amused by electronic gadgets and computers that they find it too hard to give diligence to cultivating these virtues in their lives.  I have four fingers pointing right back at me!

Some time ag I did a study on these virtues.  I'm going to post a photo of what I came up with.

                      
     

Monday, November 03, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Importance of Preaching and Personal Study of God's Word (2 Peter 1:3-4 KJV)




According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4 KJV)

Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises.  Whereby what? The answer is in the previous line: Through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.  Where do we get that knowledge of him?  We get it in God's Word the Bible.  This is why Bible reading and study and sitting under the preaching of the Word are so important!  

Many churches have left the teaching of doctrine and the deep truths of Scripture and replaced it with music, drama, interpretive dance and a whole host of other things.  The preaching of the Word gets relegated to a mere 15 to 20 minute warm fuzzy topical devotional or a text is read and then high-jacked to guilt people into getting involved in all the various programs of the church.  It's no wonder people don't know what the Bible teaches and fall for things like "Judge not that ye be not judged" taken out of context and used to promote tolerance.

Christians need to get serious about the study of God's Word and demand that their pastors preach the great doctrines of Scriptures or go find a church that will.  It's only in God's Word, the Bible, that we can take hold of the great and precious promises of God and take advantage of the "all things" that God's power has given us for life and godliness.  If we don't know what God has said about how to be godly, how can we be godly?  If we don't know the promises of God in His Word, how can we find comfort in times of need?  Pastors who don't preach the whole counsel of God do a disservice to their congregation.  

Also, Christians who don't study their Bibles at home are doing themselves a disservice by making themselves vulnerable to false teaching.  We need both the preaching and the private Bible study, because God has commanded it in Scripture.  Christians who refuse to align themselves with a church and sit under the preaching of God's Word on a regular basis are in disobedience to Hebrews 10:25 and ignore the clear teaching of the importance of preaching in the entire book of Romans.  Christians who do not study the Bible privately are in disobedience to 2 Timothy 2:15.

The great and precious promises of God are largely ignored by many Christians today simply because they do not see the need to attend church, sit under good preaching and study the Bible themselves at home.  It's a sad commentary on our times.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Don't Be Fooled (2 Peter 1:3-4 KJV)

    
    


According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4 KJV)

Don't ever let someone tell you that in order to have fullness of eternal life you must belong to their church. Don't let them tell you that you must have and believe in their religion's book in addition to the Bible or you are somehow missing out on something important. Don't let anyone tell you that you must go confess to the priest to have your sins forgiven or that baptism is necessary for God to save you.  It's all bunk.

As believers in Jesus Christ, God's divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue!  All things!!!  We don't need anything else but the knowledge of God as revealed in the Bible.  Nothing else can save or gain us any merit or make us godly except the power of God and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Don't be fooled by the counterfeits!