The unparalleled horror of the Tribulation is spelled out in detail in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. Isaiah wrote that it will be a day of “the terror of the Lord” when “the pride of men will be abased” (Isaiah 2:10,17,19). Zephaniah proclaimed that it will be a “day of wrath,” “a day of trouble and distress,” and “a day of destruction and desolation” (Zephaniah 1:15). Men will stumble around like they are blind and “their blood will be poured out like dust” (Zephaniah 1:17).
This dreary picture is echoed in the New Testament. Jesus said it will be a time of tribulation “such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall” (Matthew 24:21). In fact, Jesus said it will be so terrible that if it were not stopped at the end of seven years, it would result in the destruction of all life (Matthew 24:22). The Apostle John states that the chaos will be so great that the leaders of the world will crawl into caves and cry out for the rocks of the mountains to fall upon them (Revelation 6:15-16).
What’s it all about? Why is there going to be such carnage? How could a God of grace, mercy and love allow such an outbreak of unbridled terror and bloodshed?
1) The Justice of God
One reason is to satisfy the justice of God. Yes, God is characterized by grace, mercy and love, but He is also a God of perfect justice, righteousness, and holiness. Therefore, He must deal with sin. His justice demands it. Even His love compels it. How could a God of true love simply overlook the actions of a murderer or a pedophile?
The prophet Nahum understood the true nature of God. He wrote that “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him” (Nahum 1:7). That is the love and mercy of God. But the same prophet wrote (Nahum 1:2-3):
A jealous and avenging God is the Lord;
The Lord is avenging and wrathful.
The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.
Truly, the Lord is “slow to anger.” He allows the iniquities of Mankind to accumulate over long periods of time because He does not wish that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). His desire, instead, is that all should come to repentance. But there is always a day of reckoning, just as there was in the days of Noah, and such a day has been set for this age. Paul referred to it in his sermon in Athens when he said, “He [God] has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31).
2) To Bring To Salvation
A second reason for the Tribulation is to bring people to salvation. Amazingly, even when God pours out His wrath, His fundamental purpose is not to destroy but to save. Isaiah 26:9 explains it this way: “When the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.”
The brutal fact is that God often has to hit us over the head with a two-by-four in order to get our attention and motivate us to repentance. The equally brutal fact is that most people respond to such discipline by either cursing God or continuing to ignore Him (Revelation 9:20-21). But some people always respond in humility and are saved. As Billy Graham has put it: “The same sun that melts the butter, hardens the clay.”
When God’s wrath is poured out during the Tribulation, some hearts will be melted, but most will be hardened, illustrating once again that nothing is as “deceitful” and “desperately sick” as the heart of Man (Jeremiah 17:9).
Man is frivolous about sin. God is serious. The Tribulation will be a graphic expression of how serious God is about Mankind’s rebellion against Him.
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THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THIS COMING TRIBULATION FOR UNBELIEVERS:
The world does not know what is coming:
“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THIS COMING TRIBULATION FOR CHRISTIANS:
But we as Christians do know what is coming:
“But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.”
THE GREATEST SIDE OF THIS COMING TRIBULATION FOR CHRISTIANS:
We will not go through the tribulation!!!
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
AS CHRISTIANS, BE ENCOURAGED AND HOPEFUL OF THE FUTURE, FOR OUR FUTURE IS DESTINED TO BE WITH CHRIST DURING THE TRIBULATION!
Just to be clear, God loves people–all people, sinners and saints alike, but He hates sin. Lest we think that God is angry at us, remember that Christ’s sacrifice paid the price for the sins of the WHOLE world. God is not angry with us. He wants us to come to Him, for salvation and for a relationship with Him; nonetheless, He loathes the sin that destroys us!
Since you are striving for clarity…please help me understand something:
Do you believe it is possible for God to love us but at the same time get angry at us for sinning? I do. Why? Because I get angry at myself when I sin, so why wouldn’t my Creator be angry when I sin? That doesn’t mean He doesn’t love me. His love for me is greater than His anger at my sin as manifested in His Son which is an unimaginably great expression of mercy and grace. Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us.
So, do you agree that in order to recieve the salvation of the Lord you must believe in Jesus and if you do not believe in Jesus you are not saved? Or are you saying everyone is automatically covered by His sacrifice? Or are you saying there are other ways to God?
Please clarify for me if you choose. Thanks.
Billy said: THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THIS COMING TRIBULATION FOR UNBELIEVERS: The world does not know what is coming:
I disagree with that, Billy, and I’ll tell you why. Look at the History Channel for example. How many shows are about 2012, Armaggedon, and/or Antichrist? Answer: bunches.
People are aware that something is happening, but, just like in Noah’s day they brush it off and just do not care. It’s like one guy I work with says when I warn him: That’s not gonna happen in my life time.
Thunder…touche’ You’re right!
Let’s say I brought you a gift. You see it on the table, you know it is for you and yet you refuse to accept the gift. Is it yours? It would be if you accepted it.
God sent his Son as a gift to us. We know He is there and we know He did it for us, but have we accepted it?
That makes all the difference in the world. He is your Savior when you accept Jesus, not just because He paid the price for and extended the offer. The whold world has the choice to accept His gift. Will they?
40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
Billy, I don’t think this is referring to the Rapture of the believers, but to the removal of the wicked at the end of the tribulation for the Sheep and Goats judgment. The prior verse has the wicked of Noah’s day being taken away. Where are they taken?
51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
does any of you, (nathan, Reagan or bloggers)look at society and say to yourself “how can God delay pouring out his wrath much longer”? i spend the majority of my time with youth so i dont know whether that gives me a clearer view of society or a skewed one. in the schools or anywhere really its just as easy for a jr high (thats right jr high) to get hard alcohol as it is for a soda. people are looking at porn at 10! when i was 10 i thought girls had cooties. on summer weekends tons of people stagger in the parks drunk blaring loud music and at town festivals (such as a local event in seattle called folklife or bumpershoot) people are getting high right in the center of town and cops do nothing! ever listen to rap music? love songs to ecstasy(tech 9) the n-word shooting other n-words and things i cant even say on this blog. at the skate parks on 4/20 (weed day) people shouting 4/20 YEAH! Are any of you aware of what 4/20 is about? Do any of you ever ask “why witness anymore society is just depraved? Surely the wrath of God is coming! WARN OTHERS!
Yes Hartdawg I am sickened by what I see. I work at a police department and see/hear more than my mind can stand. I am amazed the officers can take it.. I have seen them cry over some of the horrid cases that happen, especially to the babies. I pray that their minds will be protected as they have to hear the depravity expressed daily.
My husband does not believe and yet he says how can God let it get much worse… shootings all the time, drugs and all the other crimes just seem to get more weird all the time. WE just had another murder from a drug buy that went wrong, yesterday and my thought was one more stepped into an eternity without God.
Jesus is coming soon. How can anyone doubt it?
Son of Thunder, I would take it a step further. I too see that even unbelievers see things just ain’t right, but it is not only that they get apathetic about God and the Gospel of Christ, there is also a lot of arrogance. I saw a show on PBS about 9/11 and religion. There were several interviewees who professed Christianity before 9/11 but after a loved one was killed they either lost their faith in what they called an inept/cruel God or they were angry at God. Not just a “why God?” kind of anger but a real veneomous type of anger. One gentleman even said when he got to heaven he would march up to God and demand an answer of why he let his son (or wife) die. Boy, that is some chutzpah to think you could demand an accounting from God (small concept of God maybe). I believe many are being led down this same path of arrogance by entertainers and other media celebs who are coming up with their own ideas of God, Heaven, Hell, Sin etc.
Rob from Alabama
Re: the people – one taken, one left. I can’t disagree or agree with you on that. I’m not a scholar and don’t know the true definition references of “taken” and “left” in that verse or it’s context. I’m speculating on that one. (Nathan – can you help me on that one?)
As for the flood related verse, the context clearly is comparing the last days to the days before Noah. Where were the evil ones taken? They were taken to Hades after they died in the flood. They were partying up to the end which came suddenly upon them, as it will be for the evil doers in these end times.
The final verse I reference can not be anything but the Rapture in my view.
Dawg…I know what you mean BUT at the same time I feel more pity than disgust at unsaved sinners. I always keep in mind I’m also a sinner (though now covered by the blood of Christ) and will be right up to the end. I’m just as in need of the mercy of Christ as others, so let’s hope they get time to come to Jesus. As much as we want Jesus to return, every day He doesn’t means some of those sinners have another day to come to the Lord just like us.
I don’t believe that God is ANGRY at people. After all, we teach each other to hate sin but love the sinner. I believe this is true of God, too. He loves all people, and when Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price for ALL people’s sins. So, salvation is OUR acceptance of the finished work of Christ (so, no, of course everyone isn’t automatically saved–we must accept Him as Lord, Savior, and Life). However, some people do not accept Christ, so they will pay for their sins themselves (suffer hell).
Furthermore, God is not angry at believers. He loves us and He ACCEPTS us. In fact, He ONLY responds to us in love. He is grieved when we sin, but He always accepts us, loves us, and has (past tense) already forgiven us for all our sins. Think about it: God knew every sin you would commit, and He put those sins on Jesus. Then, Jesus said, “It is finished,” and He sat down at the right hand of the Father. His work is done and God is pleased with His sacrifice. That means, our sins (which were ALL future at Jesus’ death) have been dealt with. In fact, THEY’RE GONE! John said about Jesus that He is the Lamb of God who what? “TAKES AWAY the sins of THE WORLD.” And was that just believers’ sins? No, it was everyone’s sins, BUT all do not accept Him as their substitute.
No, God is not angry at people. After all, God the Father was “in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.” When did Christ reconcile the world? On the cross, of course. So from this verse, you can see that God the Father, who loves all people, was making a way for all to come to Him. Why? Because He loves us (all of us), and He’s not angry with us!
Furthermore, God is not angry with you as a believer when you sin. In fact, God wishes Christians would stop getting so hung up about sin. It’s dealt with. It’s taken care of. It’s history. He wishes we would focus on Christ, on relating to Christ, on understanding that we have a NEW (holy, righteous) nature. And God wishes we would learn to become completely dependent on Him and live out of that dependency.
See, I believe we focus on all the wrong things. We focus on sin and how not to sin and how to do better in the Christian life. But you see, all of those are METHODS. They’re not Jesus. And if you’re focusing on sin all the time, you CANNOT focus on your relationship with Christ!
For more about this, read “A Schizophrenic God?” at Steve McVey’s site (scroll down to find it): http://www.gracewalkministries.blogspot.com/
Hope that clarifies what I mean.
It certainly does. It gives me a lot to think about.
I can tell you that 4-20 is Adolf Hitler’s birthday. It is also the same day the Oklahoma City Fed building was bombed and the day the FBI raided the Branch Davidians in Waco. I don’t understand why it is “weed day” though.
A few more thing to consider, then I’ll tactfully shut up! 🙂
We (and I include myself here) have a tendency to focus on “keeping the law” (and a law can come from the Bible, the church, or your own brain). But trying to keep any laws (whether they be from God or man) ALWAYS leads to the following: 1) failure (Rom. 7:8); 2) stirring up of more sin (Rom. 5:20 and 7:8); and 3) self-condemnation (2 Cor. 3:6).
Praise God, though, this is what the Law (or any lowercase “law”) is supposed to do. See Gal. 3:23-24. It’s supposed to frustrate us to the point where we give up on trying. By the way, our attempts to try to keep the law or be virtuous or stop sinning is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS self-effort–it’s a flesh walk!. It’s at this point of failure in trying to live the Christian life that we (hopefully) turn to God. Hopefully we realize that the Christian life isn’t difficult to live–IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!
But here’s the good news: Col. 2:6 says, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”
Tell me, how did you receive Christ Jesus? Was it by straining and trying to save yourself? NO WAY! We received Christ BY FAITH. In the same way (by faith), we are to walk in Him. And Paul tells the Galatians (Gal. 3:2-3): “I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”
Our goal in the Christian life isn’t to stop sinning, to obey the Law/law/commandments, or to live virtuously. Our goal is Christ–to experience (through dependency) all that Christ is, to be so enamored with Him, so crazy in love with Him that we have no idea whether we are sinning or not.
And lest you think I’ve got this all down pat, I don’t–not by a mile, but I know God will make these truths a very real part of my life.
Hartdawg asked: does any of you, (nathan, Reagan or bloggers)look at society and say to yourself “how can God delay pouring out his wrath much longer”?
All the time, brother. All the time.
I’m a fan of a little show called “Cops” (I know you’ve heard of it). I’ve been watching it for almost the entire run, and I’ve noticed something: the crimes and criminals are getting more and more hardcore. Same with “America’s Most Wanted.”
It’s a good thing I’m not the Judge, ’cause I’d have zapped this country years ago. Just shows how patient Yahweh is.
something to consider folks, the “christians” response is either dont care cuz you can hardly tell alot of them are christians, or the “spiritual” ones correctly point out the problems and just complain and get angry or sit in a room hole up and read books about the rapture. what i was convicted of just a few days ago (an amazing coincidence about the timing of this article cuz i been thinking bout this very thing) is in Genisis it says Gods heart was filled with pain. i wish i could say i look at how people gave God the finger and say i grieve and am filled with pain but i’m mostly ticked cuz it influences people i love, then when they reject God my heart is filled with pain. How is your response?
its people i love who reject God that grieves me not society. society just makes me mad is all.
I understand what you’re saying, dawg, but aren’t we called to love everyone?
What I’ve been bothered with is this fact: as the church goes so goes society. The Christian church in America is responsible for this mess. We haven’t done our job.
We don’t like to go where the unsaved are. Do we stand outside strip clubs to try to reach people? Or night clubs? Back alleys? Most of us want the unsaved to come to us, not vice versa.
We allowed people to remove prayer from the school system. We don’t dare raise our voices when the 10 commandments are removed from public places. Someone cries “bigot” and we shut up.
We don’t sing “Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war” anymore. We sing “Onward Christian Soldiers walking as on leave”.
I'm sorry Laura I'm a little confused by your post.
First I disagree with your assesment of the Law. Gal. 3:23-24tells us that we were given the law to keep us until Christ could be revealed and the law leads us to Christ – I don't see how that is frustration. I see it as grace and mercy becuz the law was keeping watch over us so we didn't stray too far until Christ came. Further in Rom. 3:31 Paul said that our faith in Christ does not lead us to nullify(to do away with) the law but rather to uphold the law. The purpose of the law was to show us what God's standard is and to make us aware of sin. I see nowhere that it was given to us to be a frustration. Yes, once we understand the purpose of the law then we understand we are not capable of working out our own salvation, so we needed Jesus to do what we could not do. But the law is still the law as far as being God's bullseye and Christ said He did not come here to do away with the law but to fulfill it.
Secondly, you said "Our goal in the Christian life isn't to stop sinning, to obey the Law/law/commandments, or to live virtuously". How can this be? Isn't the OT just full of passages where God said if you want to please me, to show me you love me then you will obey me. And in the NT our Lord Jesus Christ tells us to obey His commands – Jn. 14:15, Jn 15:14. Also, 1 Thes. 4:7 tells us that God did not call us to be impure , but to live a holy life. To me that is an active process of living out a holy, virtuous & worthy life before Christ. Please know I understand my works and my attempting to obey the law is not what has saved me from my sin, my salvation is firmly rooted in my faith in the sufficiency of Christ and his death and resurrection – Grace and Grace alone lest I should boast of my own merits. These workings are only an outward manifestation of that faith as I try to love Him more and more with all of my life.
You also said "Our goal is Christ–to experience (through dependency) all that Christ is, to be so enamored with Him, so crazy in love with Him that we have no idea whether we are sinning or not". I agree that our goal is to be more like Christ, but what do you mean to be so in love we have no idea if we are sinning or not? Are we to just live as we see fit, as our emotions carry us or as our heart directs us? Are we not to care if we are sinning in our lives? It just comes accross to me that you are saying sin is irrelevant in the Christians life. I think nothing could be further from the truth. God is still holy and sin still grieves Him. It is impossible to love God and not care if we are sinning. Paul tells us that God's grace and mercy given to us in Christ does not give us license to sin. Rom 6:15-18 tells us that we are slaves to the one we obey and in Christ we are slaves to righteousness and therefore I say we will care if we are sinning or not.
Laura forgive me being long winded and if I am sounding legalistic. I am not, there is freedom in Christ and Believers don't have to be 100% agreement on everything. I am just concerned that you are saying we can live as we please even to the point of outright & willful disobedience because of our freedom in Christ, as if God has dropped all standards and I find no such indication anywhere in Scriptures. Or maybe I misunderstood you – if so sorry.
Your Brother in Jesus,
Rob from Alabama
Thanks for your questions. I’ll try to clarify.
Trying to keep the Law frustrates us–it’s meant to frustrate us to the point where we GIVE UP trying to keep it. Why? Because we can never succeed at keeping the Law/laws/commandments. That’s what the Law as a tutor is all about. Trying to keep the Law drives us to despair (Paul in Romans 7). Consider the Sermon on the Mount: Jesus’ audience thought they were doing good keeping the Law, but Jesus raised the bar SO much higher (i.e., it’s not just your actions, it’s your thoughts, too, and oh, by the way, be holy as God is holy). People who heard that sermon and were honest with themsevles walked away in despair!! Jesus was using the Law as the Law should be used. He showed them that their attempts to keep the Law were futile. But Jesus was the perfect answer for their dilemma: they needed a Savior. When the Holy Spirit convicted them about Jesus’ purpose for dying, they may have been some of the first ones in line for salvation.They KNEW they needed a Savior!
As believers, the Law has the same effect on us (except we know we need a Savior). However, we often think we can live the Christian life in our own strength. But the Law tutors us (by holding up such a high standard that we can never achieve it) to rely on God to live the Christian life through us!
I think it’s important to consider Rom. 3:31 in relation to other passages. It’s not the end of the story. Look at Rom. 8:3-4. How is the Law fulfilled in us? Is it by keeping the Law or is it by faith? We “walk according to the Spirit” based on this verse, and by so doing, we fulfill the Law. Look at Gal. 3:12a: “However, the Law is not of faith”; now look at Rom. 14:23b: “whatever is not of faith is sin.” Paul says in Gal. 5:18 “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” So do we “fulfill” the Law? ONLY when we walk by faith (i.e., are depending on the Spirit).
So to sum up, God’s Law is good because it’s a reflection of who He is, but trying to keep the Law always leads us to condemnation, death, and, yes, frustration– ultimately it should lead us to Christ (and that applies to Christians and nonChristians).
Yes, the OT is full of Laws, but we are not under Law. We are under grace. Therefore, you have to read NT verses that say “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” with your grace-lens on. See, we get it backwards. We think this verse says: “If you love Me, you’d BETTER do what I say.” I don’t believe it says that at all. How about reading those verses the grace-way: “BECAUSE you love me, you will naturally keep my commandments.” When you see it like this, you realize that keeping God’s commandments are a natural RESULT of loving Him (Jesus said His yoke is light). Additionally, the fruit of the Spirit (i.e., the virtues in our lives) always come from THE SPIRIT. In order for that Spirit-fruit to be present, we must walk according to the Spirit (by faith). If our focus is to keep the Law/laws/commandments, we are flesh-walking (i.e., sinning) and we are NOT walking by faith. That’s why focusing on keeping the Law (or focusing on our behavior) should not be our goal. Paul says you can’t try to keep the Law AND walk by faith at the same time (Rom. 11:6). It’s either one or the other, trying or trusting, but you can’t do both. Also, consider Titus 1:11-12. Notice WHAT instructs us to deny sin and embrace godly living. It’s God’s grace–not the Law! And finally, Christianity is all about relationship, but if your focus is trained on METHOD (i.e., keeping the Law or being virtuous), you cannot also be focusing on your relationship with Christ.
Well, you got half of what I’m saying right. You said, “we can live as we please.” But what I’m saying is “Trust Christ to live through you moment by moment, AND live as you please.” I can say that because when we’re trusting the Spirit in us, He WILL ALWAYS go above and beyond the Law. It’s a great combination: We walk by faith; the Holy Spirit in us produces holy behavior!
Well Laura I think we are in the same book, same chapter but maybe not exact same page. We are in agreement on the concept that when we have Christ we will want to obey the law – "BECAUSE you love me, you will naturally keep my commandments." That is what I was saying.
But I am still a little confused by your statement "Trust Christ to live through you moment by moment, AND live as you please." In your first post I may not have understood you were qualifying that with walking in the Spirit to produce holy living. In this we are still in great agreement. The Law has not been done away with in terms of the commandments being our guide in the world God has created. What has changed is our motivation – from one of obeying for salvation to one of obeying because of salvation.
But I am not on the exact same page because I think we should be careful in saying we can live as we please. Yes the Holy Spirit will lead and teach us, but the Bible is still the last word and the Spirit must confirm and be in agreement with the Word. If they are not in agreement the Bible (& the Laws/commandments contained therein) is then the final authority, not the Spirit. That is why we are commanded to test the Spirits & never once commanded to test God's Word. If we say we can live as we please becuz we have had a revelation from a spirit & we don't test the Spirit against the Law (the Word) we open ourselves up to obeying demonic, false spirits. And forgive me but I see this becoming more & more acceptable inside the church today. THere are simply too many churches preaching touchy, feely sermons that sound good, that they say they are got from the spirit, but they are listening to false spirits. At that point we become teh arbiters of what is right and wrong, what is acceptable Christian behavior and Katy-Bar-The-Door. That is what I meant by still wanting, desiring to obey the law – out of love for our God who saved us, and who still has standards He set into the world.
Rob from Alabama
Yes, the Bible says to test the spirits, but it doesn’t capitalize “spirits,” does it? I’m not advocating trusting anybody or anything or even any spirit. I’m saying trust the HOLY SPIRIT Who lives inside of believers–the Spirit that is God, a part of the Trinity. And, of course, the Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s Word in how He leads us.
I believe that if we were saved but never had God’s Word to instruct us, we could still manifest holy behavior–because of the Spirit of God living inside of us.
Don’t get me wrong–I don’t have any problems with the Bible as God’s Word, but I see it not as a “rule book,” but as a love letter from God.
I’m saying that we tend to make the Christian life too externally oriented (by trying to keep rules/commandments, do’s and don’t’s). In reality, the Christian life is internal–about a love relationship between us and God. And when we make THAT relationship the focus of our life (rather than the do’s and don’t’s), then our behavior begins to take care of itself.
And, of course, we desire to obey God’s laws–He has given us a new heart–one that has the Law written on it. But my whole point is that we obey those laws/commandments not by TRYING to keep them, but by TRUSTING Christ in us to live them out!
Thank you for dialoging with me. I always enjoy it!
Laura, at one time I would have disagreed with you. In fact, I think I did. 🙂 But recently I’ve been reading the Hebrew Talmud and have learned something: The people who translated the Bible into English mis-translated the word Torah as Law, when in fact it means the Teachings [of Yahweh].
The Torah is Yahweh Himself speaking to mankind on how we ought to live and the things we should strive for. That is why Paul could say that Torah was not done away with, bacause the Teachings are still relevant in our lives. Torah is Yahweh Himself telling us IF we do this thing then this will be the result. IF we live according to His teachings then we wil be blessed; if not, we are cursed.
Laura, You may have overlooked these, just to mention a couple. Just curious how you would integrate it into your theology…Remember His ways are not our ways.
Psalm 7:11 "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." John 3:36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him. "Abides" is present tense in the Gk. See NIV => "for God's wrath remains on him." Dan RN
After giving this thought and reading these posts, I’ve concluded that as a Christian, God wants me to keep His commandments. Therefore, I will still STRIVE to always do and act according to how God would want and then rely on the blood of His Son when I fail to live up to His expectations (and I will fail until that glorious day the Lord takes me home).
Laura…your words are similar to those I heard at a Lutheran church that I now regret having attended for so long, they said “If you’re going to sin, sin boldly”. That disturbed me then and now. I DO NOT want to sin! I WANT to live a holy life. I just can’t buy into the argument that it’s okay to keep sinning however you want. No, we are meant to change our ways. The Bible says about some “you WERE thieves, liars, prostitutes, etc.” We are expected not to sin, not to feel free to.
As for works…I always wondered about the phrase that faith without works is dead. It confused me…do I need to do works to have faith. My confusion ended when I read Matthew 6:28-29…”Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” This confirms the fact that only the belief in Christ offers salvation, nothing else.
Billy asked: I always wondered about the phrase that faith without works is dead. It confused me…do I need to do works to have faith.
No. What that means is that your faith is EVIDENCED through what you do, i.e., your life, not vice versa.
And as for striving, that is what the Jewish rabbis taught. Our goal, as believers, is to strive to be like the Almighty. We should want to be so much like God that people wouldn’t be able to distinguish between us and God, and the only way to do that is to study and live Torah. Jesus Himself was the only one who could follow Torah and live it out because He wrote Torah. God, according to the ancient rabbis, before the creation of the universe, wrote Torah. And we are to follow Jesus, who is Yahweh incarnate. To live Torah is to live Jesus.
I have discovered that I am attaining (I hope) a greater understanding of following Messiah once I focus it through the Hebrew teachers. Maybe I’m wrong, but it makes way more sense to me now.
Thanks for your comments. I think all this discussion on our parts perfectly demonstrates that after the Lord beigns His eternal Earthly reign, we will no doubt all be getting, at last, first hand authoritative, no room for debate answers to all our questions and finally know exactly what the Bible teaches.
Won't that be awesome?!!!
Guys – whoa heavy thoughts but ain’t it great that we will finally know our Creator, our Father, our Savior face to face? Part of my brain knows that I am saved and will not suffer the eternal consequences of MY sin and knows that He will accept me because of what Christ has done. But another part trembles at the thought of meeting an Almighty, Holy Perfect God who has all authority in His universe and who has a right to be angry at me for my rebellion. But Billy amen amen and amen – it will be awesome to not have to squabble over our interpretations because we will be in the presence of the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Rob from Alabama
Fellas, I can’t wait.
That’s the problem with studying the Hebrew teachers: they’re kind of all over the place on some things. That’s why the crowds were so astounded at Jesus, because He was the Rabbi who taught with authority. He oughta know it from Genesis to maps. He wrote it. 🙂