Your Daily Meditation on January 18, 2018 at 07:00AM

“. . . every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

The most common explanation of this verse is that on Judgment Day God will force every tongue to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. He’ll be like the emperors in Rome who forced submission from their captives. But God is not a cruel tyrant who forces confessions from His vanquished enemies.

Scripture makes it clear that God does not look kindly on those who honor Him with their lips but not their hearts. Jesus challenged the Pharisees and teachers of the law who came to Him from Jerusalem with these words, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain … ”

The bowing before Him and confessing that Jesus is Lord is to the glory of God, It is freely given. In fact, every use in the New Testament of the word translated confess in the above verse connotes a voluntary confession.

From “Heaven’s Doors” Wider Than You Ever Believed” by George Sarris.

Your Daily Meditation on January 18, 2018 at 07:00AM

God is love. John 4:16

God has revealed to us that the most important principle is LOVE. All commandments are summed up in love. God is love.

Because we have been led astray by “The Church” and by incorrect Bible translations, we know that God is love but we are forced to reconcile this with the “fact” that many will be condemned to hell forever. We teach that while God is love, it is necessary that some are condemned to hell forever because God is holy and cannot bear the presence of sin.

So God must be portrayed in these two ways…as a God of love, and as a God of justice and holiness. God loves like a father, but He is OK with placing many of His creation into hell forever if they choose to reject Him in this short lifetime.

My point in this entire book has been to show you that this is not the case. God is love, God is holy and God is righteous and interested in justice. But as I have attempted to show in this work, all of these characteristics work together to accomplish God’s ultimate purpose; the salvation of all mankind.

To proclaim that God is quite willing to cast many into an eternal torment is teaching something that is totally inconsistent with God’s character.

From “At the End of the Ages” by Bob Evely.

Your Daily Meditation on January 15, 2018 at 07:00AM

When the chief priests and the elders question Jesus’ authority, he declares that,

“tax collectors and prostitutes are going to the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matt 21:31

The key word in Jesus’ statement is “ahead.” He asserts that all will reach the Kingdom but that even sexual deviants and agents of the oppressive foreign government will enter before the hypocritical orthodox priests!

From “The Golden Thread” by Ken Vincent.

Your Daily Meditation on January 11, 2018 at 07:00AM

Life is not an elaborate testing center for afterlife placement based on theological acumen. Life is a gift from God, a gift that is properly appreciated and respected by loving God and neighbor. The New Testament teaches that it is Christ who judges how we have lived our lives:

“For all of us must appear before the Judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

Jesus says it this way: “Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:29

And we should note that Jesus doesn’t say that those who have done evil will be tortured eternally; all he says is that they will face a judgment of condemnation. A lot of wrong thinking about hell is the result of reading into the text what is not actually there.

From “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God” by Brian Zahnd.

Your Daily Meditation on January 08, 2018 at 07:00AM

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Romans 5:15

One should note that when Paul uses a phrase like “much more,” he is using a rabbinic hermeneutical method known as kal va-chomer, translating to “light and heavy.” In this technique, great emphasis is placed on how much more the “heavy” thing is over the “light” thing. In Romans 5:15, the grace that abounds to the many is so much greater than the death “all” experience. It confounds me how so many people miss this. I cannot help but question: Because nobody would dispute that the “many” that died because of sin is actually “all,” what evidence is there for the fact that the “grace” that abounds to the “many” is not in fact all? I would argue that, because of the parallelism Paul draws between Adam and Christ (Ephesians 2:5-11), and because of the entire context of Romans 5,I see no reason to conclude anything other than that both “alls” in verse 18 and both “manys” in verse 19 in fact refer to “all” humans. So, although all are condemned because of Adams sin, all are justified to life because of Christs life, death, and resurrection.

From “All Set Free” by Matthew Distefano.

Your Daily Meditation on January 04, 2018 at 07:00AM

Even in our unbelief, our sinning, in our unregenerate condition, and in our commonness and uncleanliness, He is reconciling each human:

“God is commending this love of His into all mankind, seeing that, while they were yet sinners (disbelieving and unregenerate), Christ died for their sakes” (Rom. 5:8).

For, He “saves all mankind and calls each of us with a holy calling, NOT in accord with OUR acts (desires, hopes, wills, beliefs or disbeliefs), but in accord with His own purpose and the grace, which is given to each human in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim. 1:9). For, “God was in Christ, conciliating the world [all mankind] to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us [all mankind] the word of the conciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). This is the gift of God and it is irrevocable and without repentance (Rom. 11:29).

From the “All Mankind Bible Commentary” by Ross Marshall

Your Daily Meditation on January 01, 2018 at 07:00AM

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:14

Even more to the point, Death and Hades are not living, tangible people who can suffer pain in a lake of fire. The Revelation used ‘Death’ and ‘Hades’ to personify, well, death: the state of being dead, the act of burial and decomposition, the entropy of living things. By showing Death and Hades giving up their prisoners and themselves being thrown into the burning sea (Revelation 20.14), John was symbolizing the death of death, where the ‘second death* overtakes the first one. When the resurrection occurs, the whole concept of ‘death’ will be rendered obsolete, ceasing to exist (cf. 1 Corinthians 15.26,54-5 5).

The beast, the false prophet, and Death and Hades, were symbolic personifications. Empires and cults don’t have bodies to be burned; an abstract concept like death doesn’t have feelings to experience unending pain. To literalize the symbolism in Revelation 20.10-15 completely misses the point.

From “Jesus and the End of Death” by Mark Edward

Your Daily Meditation on December 30, 2017 at 07:00AM

Weekend Wisdom – Gabriel

The angel of the Lord appeared unto him [Joseph] in a dream, saying, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

Gabriel – angel, messenger from God, etc.

Your Daily Meditation on December 28, 2017 at 07:00AM

I am the good shepherd and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. John 10:14-16.

Christians of all creeds rise to the sublime height of the salvation of all, in their best moments, as witness the universal singing of the “Ninety and Nine,” a song that breathes the spirit, while it expresses the literal language of our faith,~and yet is sung by Christians of every sect, everywhere.

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold;
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare;
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me.
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.”

But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry;
’Twas sick and helpless and ready to die.

“Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way,
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They’re pierced tonight by many a thorn.”

And all through the mountains, thunder-riv’n,
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of heav’n,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”

From “Bible Proofs of Universal Salvation” by J.W. Hanson.

Your Daily Meditation on December 25, 2017 at 07:00AM

“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Unfortunately the Christian message has been “Be afraid. This good tidings is for only a few people. Peace? We’re going to bomb the crap out of you!”

I like the angel’s message: good tidings, joy, peace, good will for everyone! I want to be a true Jesus follower.