Judgment, Morality, Prophecy, salvation, The Bad News, The Good News, Transforming Society

Hope for Ukrainians and Promise of Judgment

Why Is There War in Ukraine?

The war in Ukraine has me asking whether the people of Ukraine had been, like Job, fearing God and shunning evil. In other words, were they building their lives on faith in God and righteousness? It’s a rhetorical question, for they are not unlike most people in every nation of the world who go about life with little thought for God, mounting up judgment upon themselves.

The Hope for Ukraine, Russia, and all Nations

In a post, A Time of Peace, Joy, Judgment, and Wrath, I wrote of the hope found in Isaiah 2 for the people of Ukraine and all other nations. It includes one of the most beautiful pictures of restoration between people and God and between one another found in the Bible. Pray that God sends more workers into Ukraine with His gospel and the entire word of God so that they may rebuild with Christ in the center.

God Has Promised Judgment and Wrath

A closer look at Revelation allows one to see that wars and pandemics are just some ways that judgment comes from God upon people. If the war in Ukraine is a judgment on seemingly good people, one can imagine what is in store for our nations and, especially, those not yet saved. And think what judgment is in store for Putin and Russia if they do not repent and seek God’s mercy.

“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30-31).

As I write, the Russians appear to be preparing their people for a protracted war in Ukraine and their Foreign Minister spoke ominously of the potential for World War III. Hopefully, it’s just a ruse.

Fear God

And what of those who are saved? How are we to live? Are we in need of the discipline of God?*

“Since everything will be destroyed [by fire] what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Pet. 3:11-13).

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others” (2 Cor. 5:11).

*For more on Jesus judging His churches, and those in them, as well as people in the world, you can read, Don’t Say the J Word, a post I wrote during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rob Morley

Eschatology, Faith, Judgment, Prophecy, salvation, The Antichrist

Ukraine Under God’s Judgment, a Russian Beast, and Nations Warned

Edited Picture:
fangol (Robert Proksa)

Why War Has Come To Ukraine

Don’t get me wrong when you read this. I am all for Ukraine and its people and am incredibly inspired and impressed by their resilience against extreme Russian aggression. But as a student and teacher of God’s word, I must ask why God’s judgment has fallen on them? For such losses and devastation speak to this. Or is Ukraine like righteous Job, and am I like his friends?

For some, the idea that God is judging them might not sit well, for Ukraine has been a peaceful country (except, of course, having to ward off Russian separatists and face the Russians in war). It is not an easy reality for me to proclaim either. But do they have peace with God? How have they responded to the gospel? This is the most important question that the people of Ukraine and all people of the world must answer. For it has to do with so much more than the destiny of a nation and its people. It’s their eternal destiny. For, though Russian aggression is unwarranted in human terms, nevertheless, the circumstances speak to and warn all on earth who have rejected Jesus Christ.

Jesus As Judge

Consider the following passages:

“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” (Psa. 2:12, NIV).

“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish’” (Luke 13:1-5).

Similarly, the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ teaches that people are judged for rejecting Him. It depicts Jesus as the judge who brings wars, famines, economic despair, plagues (e.g. COVID-19), etc. on those who have rejected Him.

Have Ukrainians wholeheartedly turned to Christ? And, what about you and your nation? Yes, what of America, Russia, England, etc.? Are we better than the Ukrainians? No, far worse in some cases.

The Beast Gets Judged

But if God’s judgment on Ukraine is this severe, consider how bad it will be for Putin, despite God using Him to this end. Yes, woe to Putin and his allies, for he is Russia’s manifestation of the beast of Revelation, whose end, barring repentance, is destruction in the lake of fire.

Finally, be warned America, for you have coddled your very own manifestation of Revelation’s beast, with white evangelicals as his false prophet, and he has not gone away. I have written more on this in several posts and my book, THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST: Evangelicals in Bed with Trump.

Repent

Turn to God with all your heart. For, as Jesus warned, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:5). Have you peace with God? Perhaps you would like to read my post, Are You Saved and Assured of Your Salvation?

Pray

Pray for all Ukrainians and Russians. For God, in His mercy, is willing and able to forgive any who come to Him and repent of their sin. Even President Putin.

Rob Morley

Jesus, Judgment, My Bible, salvation, The Bad News, The Good News

The Bible Is Both Good News and Bad News

Do You Want The Good News or Bad News First?

The good news is that the Bible is 100% accurate and God’s word. The bad news is that the Bible is 100% accurate and God’s word. It is either good or bad depending on how you answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16:15).

The Good News

God chose to save the world by sending Jesus to die on the cross and pay the debt of their sins so that He could forgive any who seek Him for mercy and a new start. For though “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), “[H]e is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). “God made [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Is God’s Message of Salvation and Judgment, Death and Life

” . . . we [who share God’s word] are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life” (2 Cor. 2:15-16). For “[w]hoever 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).

The choice is yours. God, in His love for you, already made His.

Rob Morley

Faith, In Christ, salvation, The Good News

Are You Saved and Assured of Your Salvation?

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:28-30 NIV).

Picture by dotlizard (Karen Kelly) @ Rgbstock

Revelation That Leads to Salvation

All people, everywhere, experience revelation from God about Himself. “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). Some receive clearer revelation than others. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). Sadly, because people are sinful, they tend to marginalize God or completely negate Him, suppressing what He reveals (Rom. 1:18-20).

Some people experience a dramatic encounter with God on their life’s journey that brings them to salvation. Consequently, it is easy for them to know the moment that they have become a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). For many others, salvation is not a clearly identifiable point in time. However, even though they cannot pinpoint when it happened (and may even misidentify the timing), the miracle of their behavioural change makes them know that at some point they must have been “born again” (John 3:16). They might not even know these terms, but, if explained to them, they will identify with them.

Salvation Examination

Many other people who have believed in God and His Son, have ended up falling away. This is because they never fully understood. Instead, they believed in their own notion about God and His salvation. Consequently, they had never come to be justified by God and born again.

Paul told the members of the Corinthian church, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5). From his words, we can deduce that merely thinking that you’re in the faith is no real evidence of actually being in it. However, being spiritually joined to Christ, so that He lives within you, is Paul’s definition of whether or not someone is truly in the faith.

Evidence of Salvation

God’s word has a range of evidence that can help a person identify whether or not they been saved from spiritual death to eternal life. Here are just three of them:

  • An inner witness. One evidence that you’re actually in the faith, with Christ dwelling within you, is an inner knowing. Paul writes, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16).
  • A supernaturally changed life. Another witness to true salvation is a supernaturally changed life. This is because Love Himself has joined Himself to that person. Jesus said, “…whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
  • A witnessing life. There’s an overflow about God and His goodness that comes from the mouths of those who are saved. This is because God, and what He has done to save us, really is good news. After all, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

Caveats Concerning Salvation

Not all Christians excel in all of the above evidence. That said, to live their new life to the full, they ought to grow in each of them. Also, although the fruit of a person’s life is usually the clearest evidence of salvation (or the lack thereof), many loving, generous, and pleasant people are unsaved. Conversely, there are many saved folk who are caught up in selfishness, worldliness, and sin. Consequently, we don’t always know who has been saved, therefore, we must not simply assume that someone is or isn’t.

On another note, not everyone who has been saved has understood that biblical faith gives assurance of salvation. Consequently, despite being justified by God, these folk may, at times, because of sin and feelings of unworthiness, feel unsaved.

Assurance of Salvation

God has gone to great lengths to lead people to a faith that saves and to assure them of their salvation. For example, the apostle John says in his gospel, “…these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Then, in a letter to believers, John says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). God clearly wanted people to believe and, having believed, be assured of their salvation.

Assurance of one’s salvation is often found on the journey of discipleship. For, even after someone is saved, they will continue to receive revelation about their salvation. Consider what Paul had prayed for the Christians in Ephesus: “[I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19a, Amplified Bible).

Are You Saved?

All people have sinned against God, nevertheless, because of His great love for the world, He offers salvation as a free gift to everyone who repents and receives Jesus as Lord of their life. For He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and take our sins upon Himself so that we could be acquitted. Having risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, Jesus offers mercy and new life to all who humble themselves and come to Him.

Rob Morley

salvation, The Afterlife, The Good News

Am I Going To Heaven?

Heaven (600 x 400)
Image: Kevin Tuck, http://www.rgbstock.com

How do you know if you’re going to heaven?

You can know that you’re going to heaven if you are trusting in God’s way to get you there. The Bible tells us that God has made a way for us to get eternal life and go to heaven. This good news is so certain that the Bible says we can actually know that we have eternal life.

But, what exactly is this good news?

God is offering salvation as a free gift to all who have sinned. Jesus, who lived a perfect life, took our sins upon Himself. Having risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, He offers mercy and new life to all who come to Him.

How do we get eternal life?

Each of us needs to realize that we have sinned and need God’s forgiveness. The Bible says that we have all sinned. Also, we must believe God’s word that says that our sins separate us from God, which results in death and permanent separation from Him. Then, we need to trust God’s way to save us.

When you believe God’s good news for you in Jesus, you are immediately made right with God and given a new life. That is how you can know you’re going to heaven. Our confidence about going to heaven is not based upon our works or on our goodness, but only on God’s promise of mercy and eternal life to all who turn away from their sin and who come to Him to be forgiven.

Rob Morley