Latest Entries »

Don’t Say the J Word

Image: Dez Pain

Judgement Has Come

As we face this COVID-19 global pandemic, I am struck by the reluctance of pastors, preachers and teachers in the Body of Christ to speak straight and categorically say that THE CORONAVIRUS IS A JUDGEMENT OF GOD. In fact, some Christian leaders are simply appeasing people as though judgement is the last thing on God’s mind. BUT, IS IT?

Just as people need to know the truth about the virus from their governments, how much more don’t they need to know what God is saying through sending this virus? The Bible doesn’t leave us guessing about these things. This is a judgement of God!  ‘Then I looked and saw a pale horse. Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed close behind. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword, by famine, by plague, and by the beasts of the earth’ (Rev. 6:8).

The God of Mercy Is Angered

The revelation that God gives of Himself in the Bible is that He is not firstly a God of wrath and judgement, but of mercy. In Exodus God reveals this to Moses when He says, ‘“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness’ (Ex. 34:6 ESV). However, after opportunity for repentance and mercy has been extended and exhausted, His judgement finally comes. The same revelation of God goes on to say that He ‘will by no means clear the guilty’ (see Ex. 34:7).

That is where people find themselves when pandemics like this are happening. We’re in the midst of God’s judgement.

Am I Being Judged?

If I get the virus, am I being judged? That all depends on the other J word, JESUS, and how you relate to Him. He has been given authority to judge humankind. In Revelation we read, ‘“Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals (which are judgements of God)’” (Rev. 5:5).

Ever since His ascension, Jesus has been given the task of pouring out God’s judgements. The seals that are opened are judgements, which lead to the judgements of the trumpets and the bowls. These vary in timing, type, scope and severity and the coronavirus is one of them. As far as I can tell, this virus is on the level of ‘seal’ judgement. Far worse will come on mankind who reject God.

That said, we need to realise that just as we can use the same thing for different purposes, God is using the coronavirus for different purposes in the lives of people too. Therefore, people will experience this pandemic in totally different ways, depending on God’s purpose for it in their lives.

The World Is Guilty

Essentially, THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD HAVE REJECTED GOD. ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:23 KJV). What’s more, many have rejected God’s attempts to reconcile them to Himself, even at His own expense. Of them, the Bible says, ‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for GOD’S WRATH REMAINS ON THEM’ (John 3:36 KJV).

Far worse than the coronavirus awaits those who have rejected God. The Bible says, ‘If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. HOW MUCH MORE SEVERELY DO YOU THINK SOMEONE DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED WHO HAS TRAMPLED THE SON OF GOD UNDERFOOT’ (Heb. 10:26‑29a).

But, what of those who have not heard about Jesus? Of them the Bible says, ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse’ (Rom. 1:20 NIV).

The world is guilty and deserves God’s judgement, yet God extends the offer of life through His Son to all who believe. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom. 6:23 KJV).

Faithful Christians

But what of God’s people who are living faithfully, but who also get sick with COVID-19? Is God judging them? No, the virus is not a judgement on them. Instead, God will carry them through it with His grace and peace, whether to live or die. And, though He may deliver many from contracting this disease, nevertheless, by carrying us through it, God makes us a witness to His goodness to us in the face of such difficulty. As we pray, we are helped with His peace that passes all understanding, which helps us to overcome the natural response of fear and panic. In so doing, we witness to His comforting presence within us that is available to all who have repented and turned to God.

Remember these verses, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Php. 4:4‑7). And, ‘Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing’ (Jam. 1:2-4 ESV).

There need be no fear of God’s wrathful judgement or death for true Christians, because we have already passed from spiritual death to life when we were born-again. Jesus clearly said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life’ (John 5:24 NKJV).  And, because physical death has lost its sting. ‘“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Cor. 15:55-56 NIV).

In the face of whatever may come, like Paul, each one who is in Christ can boldly say, ‘I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death’ (Php. 1:20 NIV).

Lukewarm Christians

What of God’s people who are living for this world and its pleasures? This pandemic is a test of faith and a lukewarm Christian may find this time to be a form of judgment on his attitude toward God. As such, it can serve to quickly bring him to repentance and to a more zealous walk with God.

Christians Living in Sin

What of God’s people who are living in sin? Those who are God’s and yet are caught up in sin, may experience the virus as a form of disciplining by the Lord. This might take the form of sickness and even death, however, this won’t be the wrath of God that leads to eternal separation. Instead, it is a sober reminder to the Church of the Father’s attitude toward sin.

To the church in Thyatira Jesus said, ‘Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works’ (Rev. 2:22 ESV).

Repent and Pray

‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases GOD OUR SAVIOR, WHO WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO BE SAVED AND TO COME TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people…’ (1 Tim. 2:1‑6a NIV).

God as Judge

We are satisfied and even happy when criminals are judged fairly by court judges. In the same way, we should appreciate God’s judgements. For, above all else, He is a God of love, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and grace.

Psalm 94: 8-15 (NIV)

8Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;

you fools, when will you become wise?

9Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?

Does he who formed the eye not see?

10Does he who disciplines nations not punish?

Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?

11The Lord knows all human plans;

he knows that they are futile.

12Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,

the one you teach from your law;

13you grant them relief from days of trouble,

till a pit is dug for the wicked.

14For the Lord will not reject his people;

he will never forsake his inheritance.

15Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,

and all the upright in heart will follow it.

If judgement is the main message, which it is, then let’s not make it something else. Instead, whether Christian or not, let’s respond to it in humility and repentance. For, if we, as Christians, don’t know what it is, how can we warn the world?

Rob Morley

Light in a Dark Time

We have an opportunity to be the light in a dark time. Some Christians believe their faith will protect them from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are complaining at our governments for passing laws to hinder our movements. Even if you have lots of faith and are feeling fine, you could still be carrying the virus without your knowledge. Faith, which comes from God’s word, teaches us how to behave when there is a contagious disease. Leviticus and Deuteronomy have many verses dedicated to clean and unclean things.

Faith in God’s Word

God’s people were given instructions that they had to obey concerning contaminants on their bodies, clothes, vessels, and walls of their homes. There were many instructions for washing, but those things that couldn’t be saved were broken or burned. People who were deemed unclean for different reasons were to distance themselves for a time. If the person had a contagious disease, they were sent outside of the camp and the priest had to visit that person outside of the camp to determine if they were still contagious or not.

Undeniably, washing and distancing are biblical practices, so let us spread love and not germs.

Tina Morley

Image from Center for Disease Control (CDC) at https://unsplash.com/photos/w9KEokhajKw

Ever since Jesus Christ’s ascension, God’s judgements continue unabated through Him. Revelation 5 says that He was worthy to open the seals, which bring calamities upon people. Seals opening, trumpets sounding and bowls being poured out are all God’s judgements on those who reject Him.

Today’s mega fires, plagues of locusts, volcanoes erupting, virus outbreaks, wars, etc. are very likely judgements on a world that rejects God, and especially the good news of His Son. As the Bible says, ‘Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him’ (Psalm 2:12).

Those who are born again should not fear the Coronavirus, because we are Christ’s. Regardless of how we die, we will live. Those who reject God should fear Him, because He has power over their souls too.

Rob Morley

 

View full article »

Women in Workplace

Picture by Dez Pain

The Logical Outcome of Complementarianism

The sad reality that many of my good Christian brothers and sisters don’t realise is that, in the end, their supposed scripture-tight homey Complementarian view toward women plays out in the suppression of women in society at large. Many may scoff and think that I am exaggerating the reach of this doctrine. However, consider the words of John Piper, a foremost champion of Complementarianism and one of the most influential and well respected Christian leaders and teachers of our time. He says, “To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.” He goes on to say, “For example, a drill sergeant might epitomize directive influence over the privates in the platoon. And it would be hard for me to see how a woman could be a drill sergeant — hut two, right face, left face, keep your mouth shut, private — over men without violating their sense of manhood and her sense of womanhood.”

Though many Complementarians wouldn’t take it that far, Piper’s view is the sum logical outcome from their interpretations of certain key texts in the Scriptures. And, to the degree that this view is held by men who hold sway (and also by women), and to the extent that they have influence, false notions are imposed upon women, families and churches, and even onto society. The end result is a distortion of God’s creative and redemptive purposes for women, which is a loss to everyone, even to men.

Creation Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

The loss to men is especially ironic considering that Eve was meant to be a gift to Adam and, by extension, women to all of humanity. While this loss is to be expected in humanity’s fallen state, it is sad when it gets perpetuated by those who are in Christ. This leads to the other sad irony of Complementarianism, which is that the world, rather than those who hold Christ’s redemptive message, often benefits by not impeding the potential in women. For example, women are in the senate, in congress and in parliaments, and others successfully lead very significant countries and corporations, not to mention past queens and prime ministers. Creation doesn’t lie, because, like Deborah in the Bible, women have proven to be very good and capable leaders over men.

Scripture Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

Now, to be fair, our faith is based on Scripture alone. And, in this regard, we thankfully have many churches that interpret and teach a better message concerning women by using the very methods of interpretation that Complementarians use, yet with outcomes that are more consistent with Scripture as a whole and with God’s intentions for women specifically. In this regard, Women as Leaders is a link to several posts where I give alternative historical-grammatical interpretations to those of Complementarianism. I believe that you will see them ring true to the rest of Scripture and unintentionally, yet unsurprisingly, to what we see evidenced in life around us.

Just as we have evidenced that the earth is a sphere and are, therefore, not surprised to find that the Bible says the same thing, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Bible teaches that women can be leaders of men. Perhaps culturally and religiously indoctrinated men, and insecure men in particular, will battle with this outcome, but that God’s word. I, for one, would be grateful to be like Barak. He submitted himself to Deborah who commanded him in accomplishing God’s will. Nevertheless, even in the face of excellent alternative biblical interpretations that don’t compromise the Scriptures in any way (as some suppose), we still have Christians who doggedly hold to their interpretations and who teach that the Bible instructs otherwise. And, this despite both biblical and natural evidences of women unshackled.

Finally, I would like to end by recommending this TED Talk that highlights the sad reality of male leadership and women suppression found in varying degrees in many homes and churches and, as a result, in society too: Why I Left an Evangelical Cult | Dawn Smith | TEDxNatick

Rob Morley

The Law

photo by Alex Bruda

Under the Law

In the Bible, ‘the law’ often refers to the covenant that God made with Israel, which Christians know as the Old Covenant. It required of them, amongst other things, to keep God’s moral law. It is especially in this regard that Paul called it a ministry of condemnation (see Gal. 3:10). For, though it was good, in that it highlighted God’s perfect moral law (see Rom. 7:12), it pointed out the error of those who were ‘under’ it, thereby condemning them.

The law was unable to save those who were ‘under’ it from the penalty of their past, present and future sins. Nor could it save them from their sinful nature or enable them to keep its requirements (see Rom. 8:3). It essentially pointed out human sin and sinfulness, and to their desperate need for another way. The Bible puts it like this: ‘Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith’ (Gal. 3:24).

The same principle is also true for those not ‘under the law’ (i.e. those not part of the Old Covenant). This is because, ‘They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them’ (Rom. 2:15 NIV).

In Christ

In contrast, Christians (Jews and Gentiles who believe in Christ) are in a new covenant with God. And, though we also seek to fulfil God’s moral law (see 1 John 5:3), we don’t do this by being ‘under the law’ (i.e. under the Old Covenant), but by being in Christ. We no longer try in our own strength to satisfy the law’s requirements in order to please God or avoid His punishment. Instead, the good news is that Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice satisfies all that the moral law of God requires of us, justifying us (see 2 Cor. 5:21). Furthermore, His life in us enables us to keep His commandments (see Php. 2:13 & Rom. 6:4). This is especially true when we as a matter of lifestyle ask God to empower us by His Spirit and when we walk in step with His Spirit (see Eph. 5:18 & Gal. 5:25).

‘Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God’ (Rom. 7:4).

Rob Morley

LGBTQ flag

Picture taken by Ayla87

An Immoral Orientation

The Bible is clear that, ever since the fall of man, all of humankind is innately sinful. Furthermore, the Bible specifically calls homosexuality sinful. It is an orientation against the law of God written on everyone’s heart and is called a “degrading passion” by God in His word.

Unfortunately, in trying to be helpful, some have suggested that sexual orientation should not to be considered a sin and that only homosexual activity is to be judged as sinful. However, if sin is being bent or orientated away from God and His will then isn’t that precisely what homosexual orientation is?

Also, regardless of whether or not the homosexual orientation of an individual is innate or chosen, like all sin, the practice of it is a rebellious choice that stems from a sinful nature. Just as an innately heterosexual man is not overwhelmingly compelled to have an affair with a married woman, regardless of how much he loves her, a homosexually orientated person need not outwardly comply with his sinful nature. Similarly, no heterosexual couple should have sex before marriage no matter how right it may seem to them.

Some contend that they don’t see homosexuality as sin. Who are they to dictate to God what is and isn’t sin, when He has already given us His view? And, God points this out because what He intends for each of us is far better than a life in sin, no matter how good it may seem.

An Unnatural Orientation

Concerning adultery, the Lord said that just to look on a woman with lust already constituted adultery. In other words, orientating oneself toward the sin was equal to the sin. But, unlike the sin of fornication or adultery, which are a moral compromise within the natural heterosexual order, homosexuality is more like paedophilia, incest and bestiality, which are unnatural to begin with.

Are we eventually going see P, I and another B added to the LGBTQ list, just so that those who are supposedly misunderstood as being deviant can be accepted?  Consider, for example, an article in the Telegraph by Andrew Gilligan, entitled, ‘Paedophilia is natural and normal for males’, which reports how ‘some university academics make the case for paedophiles’.

When it comes to psychological deviancy, it appears that what is normally considered unnatural is being deemed “natural” by virtue of it having occurred in the natural. We are being told to adjust what we consider normal to accommodate the existence and experiences of deviants. However, if, for example, someone was born without a nose, even though it occurred naturally, it would be “natural and normal” for humans to think, “That’s not natural!” or “That’s not normal!” Clearly, what occurs in the natural is not always natural.

It is God who decides what is “natural,” not us. And, He makes it very clear that mankind’s “natural” orientation is a heterosexual one. Within that boundary God then is clear that monogamy is His intention for those who wish to marry and that marriage is the only place for sexual intercourse.

Born Again and Transformed

We are all in need of a Savior to rescue us from our sinful nature and the consequences of having one. In other words, we all need rescuing from both our orientation to sin (which is sinful in and of itself) and also from the sins that come from our sinful orientation. If you repent of your sins and turn to God, He will forgive you and you will be born again into eternal life with Him. At that point, deviant mindsets that used to control you, no longer need to be the definers of the new you. Yes, they may tempt you, but they are no longer in charge of you. Christ is! In Him you are connected to a new source of life, God Himself. To the extent that you let Him, His Spirit empowers you to live in a completely new way. He is your new orientation and He resets all your faulty orientations toward Him. With God we can be governed by a new moral orientation, which is His Very Moral Being within us.

When we come to Christ, we are completely spiritually changed, being made spiritually new and alive to God. At this point we begin a journey of further transformation through the renewing of our minds and the putting to death of the improper impulses (lusts/desires) of the body. Certain unsavoury soulish and physical triggers may easily be activated by thoughts that still remain. These have the potential to lure a believer into sin. However, because a Christian has crucified their flesh, as long as they walk in the Spirit, these old ways need no longer influence a person.

In this sense, remnants of a homosexual orientation may still exist in the old mindsets and learned bodily triggers of Christians who were homosexually orientated when they came to Christ. Nevertheless, in Christ, such a person is no longer subject to the flesh (the pull of the mind and body) and is free to walk in the Spirit. In fact, they must, for walking in the Spirit is the Christian life. And, to the extent that they walk in the Spirit, they will be enabled to put to death the misdeeds of their bodies, renew their minds and be transformed.

Conclusion

Like a snake that strikes, it’s innate in humans to sin. This sinful nature is an immoral orientation that we are all conceived in and born with. While some are perhaps bent toward homosexuality at conception, others may have become corrupted by choice. Regardless of our sin or its origin, our inability to change is evidence of just how badly we need rescuing. Whatever your sinful ways may be, whether they are innate or learned, God can undo the consequences of the fall and give you a restored life.

Rob Morley

Audacity_facebook_coverimage_WatchItFreeNOWThough not about him, this movie reflects the heart of Israel Folau, a professional rugby player who lost his contract with Australian Rugby for daring to warn the homosexuals that God so dearly loves.

https://lnkd.in/g_JdQW8

 

Here is an excellent outline on Covenant Theology by Ligon Duncan, which he gives in a podcast interview done through The Gospel Coalition: Ligon Duncan – Covenant Theology

 

Posts on Dismantling Dispensationalism

Responses to ‘The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy’

Herewith are my responses to a series of debates put forward by Dispensationalist Ron Rhodes in his book, ‘The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy.’ I trust that my posts will help toward establishing God’s truth and dismantling the wayward doctrine of Dispensationalism.


Dominoes Falling (1)

Debate 1

Should Prophecy Be Interpreted Literally or Allegorically?

Bible Prophecy: Literal or Allegorical

Toppling Dispensationalism


Dominoes Falling (2)

Debate 2

Are Israel and the Church Distinct in Bible Prophecy?

Israel is Saved or Judged, not Replaced or Distinct


Dominoes Falling (3)

Debate 3

What Can We Know About the Signs of the Times?

Do Current Signs Point to Prophetic Fulfillment?

Israel

Middle East, European Union, Globalism?

Is America in Bible Prophecy?

Israel regathered from Many Nations

Russians and Muslims to Invade Israel on Horseback?


Dominoes Falling (4)

Debate 4

Which View of the Rapture Is Correct?

When Will The Rapture Occur?


Dominoes Falling (5)

Debate 5

How Are We to Understand the Book of Revelation?

Taking Issue with Futurism

Daniel’s Seventieth Week and the Book of Revelation

Babylon, the 144000 and The Two Witnesses


Dominoes Falling (6)

Debate 6

How Are We to Understand the Antichrist?

The Antichrist – Conundrum and Distraction

Who is the Antichrist?

Who Restrains Him? What Nation is He from? What is the Mark of the Beast?

Timing of the Antichrist


Dominoes Falling (7)

Debate 7

Which View of the Millennium Is Correct?

The Millennium


Dominoes Falling (8)

Debate 8

Is It Okay to Set Dates on Prophetic Events?

Prophetic Events and Their Timing


Other posts referenced:

Numerology in Revelation

Jewish Salvation

Restoring the Kingdom to Israel – The Christian Researcher

Rob Morley

%d bloggers like this: