Bible Talks: Church History 01

We take a look at the events in the church age.

PART 01:

PART 02:

Bible Talk PDF Guide:
01 A Story of the Churches

Advertisements

The Report

RISING FROM THE RUBBLE; MEDITATIONS IN NEHEMIAH

Here, an apprentice learns from a master builder, the skills of repairing a broken spiritual relationship with God, and the keys to a strong Christian life, fortified against the enemy.

NEHEMIAH 1:3

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire.

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. The reporters brought a solemn and sorrowful report. The remnant, the remaining Jews in the city that were not captured, they were in 1) affliction, 2) reproach.

  1. Affliction
    Affliction, trouble, and distress are often the consequences of backsliding and walking away from God. I have personally experienced it to be so. In fact, they are not only often the consequences, they are the natural result. The only reason why the affliction is not as great is often because of God’s great mercies and love. Yet, when I am in affliction, it is only because of God’s love as well, that wants to bring me yet closer back to Him! Affliction is God’s loving call to His prodigal son to head home!
  2. Reproach
    It has the idea of being cast aside. Walking out of God’s will has us feeling that God no longer has a plan for us, but it is only because we choose not to follow that plan. Like affliction, reproach is also a natural result of not following Christ. This reproach, however, in the nation of Israel’s situation, was the reproach of the world, the nations around. Similarly, though I try to be like the world and compromise, in the latter end, I will face the world’s reproach, for I cannot fully embrace their values and ideologies. The only way out is to return to Christ!

The wall of Jerusalem also is broken down. This depicts how bad the situation is. When I give in to the world and follow it, my defences are gone. The spiritual walls are broken down and there is no protection against evil. I am prone again to Satan’s attacks, and powerless to resist. At every attack, my only hope is to raise the white flag of surrender, and give in to sin yet once again.

And the gates thereof are burned with fire. Not only am I open and exposed to the devil’s attacks when I sin and turn my back on God, I cannot bar evil influences from ruining my life. The entry points, the gates, are burnt. Even the slightest resistance cannot be put up. The enemy is on the rampage. They have free access to my spiritual city, which is now nothing but rubble.

The Reporters

RISING FROM THE RUBBLE; MEDITATIONS IN NEHEMIAH

Here, an apprentice learns from a master builder, the skills of repairing a broken spiritual relationship with God, and the keys to a strong Christian life, fortified against the enemy.

NEHEMIAH 1:2

That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah. How often God uses those around me to show me my backsliding and sin. Looking around, seeing Christians who faithfully are still loving Jesus, shows how far I have left the Lord. The closing gap between younger Christians in the faith and me shows that I have slowed down in the Christian race, and others are catching up. I have begun to lose precious time for growth in Christ. In Nehemiah, God used one of his family members, as well as men of Judah, to bring him the report. God uses people around me to wake me up to my sin, and I should learn to treasure Godly Christians around me.

And I asked concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. Here Nehemiah shows his concern for his home country, for his people. It was his personal concern. I should show concern for my home country of Heaven, my people, my Christian friends, but applying it personally, I should show concern for my own spiritual life. The first step to rising from the rubble will be to show concern for my spiritual life. To make enquiries concerning it. To scrutinize and really call upon God to search me, and know my heart, to try me, and know my thoughts, for there are wicked ways in me. Nehemiah enquired about the Jews that had escaped, and the remnant. This is important. I ought to survey and discover the things that still remain of my strong Christian life, to hold fast, and strengthen the things that remain, that be ready to die, because my works are not perfect before God. To muster all my available resources to aid in the restoration of a ruined spiritual life.

Homeschooler No More

Next Monday will be my first day of going to school, and we’re busy sharing jokes about how we should take the ‘first-day-of-school-with-backpack’ photo, complete with parents sending to school and watching from outside the classroom.

From Home School, to Home Team, so far I’ve been at home. But now, the academic training will be put to the test, against a backdrop of thousands of seasoned school-goers. Afraid? Maybe yes, maybe no. Venturing into the unknown, (going back to study after almost 4 years of no school) that’s the scary part I guess. But confidence, because of Christ, and years of training. Years of training, Christian education, hard work, and God’s goodness along a path that has led through the doors of Asia-Pacific’s top University.

So the worlds will clash next Monday, and a new acid test lasting four long years will begin. 🙂 Exciting times in life. Homeschooler no more.

 

 

Ministry Life

The ministry life is tough, especially if you want others to share it with you. The life of Christian ministry is a life of suffering, for Christ also has suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow, IN HIS STEPS. (1 Peter 2:21)

To my prospective life partner, even if I love you, if you’re not ready for ministry life, I can’t marry, because I would be hurting you. 

The ministry hurts, it would be cruel for a man to ask any woman to share it with him, unless she of her own free will wanted to. 

From God’s Smuggler, by Brother Andrew, when he proposed to his wife:

Corrie, I want you to marry me, but don’t say no until I tell you how hard it will be. Hard for me and harder still for you. 

God, for the courage, purity,  and strength to go it alone, if it be Thy Will. 

An Open Letter to a Girl

Dear girl,

I saw you on social media some time ago. You were with your boyfriend, hanging out aimlessly. Lying on his lap. Your hair was in a mess. Your eyes were empty. You looked so different from how I saw you in person just about 6 months back.

Back then, you were afraid your parents would know about your relationship. Your boyfriend denied the two of you were together. Your face used to radiate the youthful shine and smile, and back then, even though the relationship was already starting, you still looked youthful and fresh like any 13 year old should.

Much has changed since then. You’re 14, but look like a 16 year old. You have a haggard and worn out look, but you’re stubbornly sticking by your boyfriend who is 5 years older than you, doesn’t even have a job, and smokes.

Your parents probably wouldn’t have approved. But you went ahead anyway. There’s still time to change, but I fear, by the time you would have realized, it would have been too late.

I thought of writing this post when I first saw the social media update, but I held off initially. I was stirred again by the passage I was teaching.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

The passage applies to both sons and daughters alike, and I’ve seen many fools around. But it used to be accepted that the father gives instructions, and the mother has a law.

Nowadays, that is not the case. The son gives the instruction, and the daughter gives the law. The parents hear the instructions and forsake not the law of never displeasing their children. The son/daughter is a fool, but so are the parents! It’s a case of fools raising fools.

It’s not even safe to tell kids, “Listen to your parents.” Why? Because there is nothing to listen to! This all comes down to parents rearing pets, not children. See https://nationalchristianacademy.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/rearing-pets/ for a better treatment of the subject.

 

 

Valiant for Truth

Many controversial articles concerning the Christian faith are posted on and shared by many Christian on social media.  I’ve often taken to comments to refute these unChristian doctrines, but rather than defend, I’ll rather go on the offensive with this article.

It’s titled valiant for truth, for a good reason.

1 John 3:18

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Many Christians today love in tongue, and when others stand for truth, they are accused of being unloving. The idea of Christian friendship and fellowship has degenerated into: you’re my friend if you agree with me, and if you don’t agree, you’re not, get out of my life. You’re a hateful Christian. The Christian principles of:

Proverbs 27:6 (KJV) Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

And

Proverbs 6:23 (KJV) For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

And

Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Are ignored.

The Bible tells us not to love in word and in tongue. The Bible tells us to show our love by standing for the truth in our actions. I’m not discounting the spiritual principle of ‘let your speech be always with grace’ and ‘the servant of the Lord must not strive’, but when the zeal of God’s house eats you up, then you will reprove error in love.

Sadly, those who reprove are often called out for being the most unloving when in actual fact, people do not see how they love in deed and in truth.

Take Bro. David Cloud, for instance. His warning ministry, Wayoflife Literature, has drawn much flak for his sound reproof of unscriptural practices in churches around the world. They often accuse him of having so much time to criticise, without winning the lost and caring for believers. In reality, he is a missionary in a foreign land, serving in the midst of hardship, electricity and water shortages, training and equipping local preachers. The church loves him, he loves his church. Which is why he reproves his congregation often. I would never forget how he stopped a church leader in the middle of his prayer to remind him to pray for a young lady that had walked away from God. That is true love, my friend.

Before you sweet talk and accuse those standing for truth of being unloving, take a hard look at yourself. When was the last time you won souls to Christ? When was the last time you talked to someone about the Gospel? You will see, if you live with them,  those standing for truth, they’re out faithfully, visiting and reaching out to the lost. While most are merely keyboard warriors loving in word and in tongue.

To those standing firmly for the truth of the Bible and getting shot, God knows you. God knows your heart, God sees your silent service. Keep at it. For you have a Godly fear of the judgement seat that many do not.