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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Disaster Looms But God Still Reigns

The earth is warming and we will all drown! Bacteria are mutating to become invulnerable to antibiotics! The worlds' economies will crash and bring us to worldwide anachy! Nuclear weapons are being created by people crazy enough to use them! Does this sound like last night's news?

People gather around their computers and televisions to hear people tell them of the upcoming doomsday. Each of these disaster predictors tell what must be done to avert the calamady. Each asks for you to give so that their organization can win the battle. Each has a political candidate to support. Each one claims that any individual who doesn't support their organization will cause the disaster to continue in its present course. Each one claims to be a savior.

I certainly don't want to stick my head in the sand and pretend that  there are no problems in the world. I don't want to ignore the problems of polution (in fact I ride a bicycle to work each day). I do accept some responsibility but I also don't think that the problems are will be solved by these organizations. Yes, we live in a sinful world but God has not lost control. He will ultimately redeem His creation.

Knowing God is sovereign doesn't mean that I can do the wrong things and still make good things happen. For example, the student who claims God's grace should not merely depend upon that grace when he takes a test. He should study and know God's grace in the studying. God gives the grace of a good mind, time to study, study materials, a teacher and peace that passes all understanding. This enables the student to be prepared and perform well when the test is given. This grace comes when things have some measure of control.

God's grace is also present when things aren't under control. For example, Christians who are caught in a tsunami experience God's grace and sovereignity in different ways. Some will survive the disaster and tell their testimonies to others of how God spared their lives. Some will suffer hardship and tell of God's sustaining power through His acts of grace. Still others may lose their earthly lives but be transported into His presence with their deaths. Each can tell a story of God's grace.

We can't make everything come out as we want. We should and can do what God wills for us. These actions may or may not avert a disaster. They will prove our faithfulness. Faithfulness proves our love for Him. We draw near to Him in this love and He draws near to us.

God may give us a message which will increase our faith about things to come. I have had such experiences when it seemed like disaster was immanent. God told me that He had another plan. He told me so strongly that I told others. I have had others say that I was a prophet because of these clear words from God but I don't believe so. I simply have "heard" Him tell me that He was still in control and the things which are apparent are not going to happen at all. He has other plans and He will bring them to light.

So, I ride my bicyle to work. It is a minor thing to fight polution but it is something. I listen to the doomsayers and ask what I should do. I do what God says because He is in control.

At the end of 1999 I had a friend who was storing food and money because of the millenial bug that was going to cripple our society when all the computers failed. I talked to a programmer at Compaq computers about the situation and he told me that this talk of computer failure was hoopla. I prayed and God clearly told me that I should do nothing about it. I told my friend about the response God had given me. He told me I should do something anyway. I had the option of believing or disregarding my message from God. I chose to believe but I didn't do so simply because of what I had heard from my friend at Compaq. I did so because God is ultimately in control.

This applies even in your situation. No matter how bad it looks, God will not allow anything to come into your life that you and He can't handle together. You can take that to the bank!

Revelation 19:6 (NIV) 6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Isaiah 52:7 (NIV) 7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"


Anthony Chia said...

There are some situations that are inevitable, no matter what we do. 3 things I list:

1. Man will die, physically. No one, it is impossible for anyone to live in his earthly life forever. I do NOT care how far and how advanced Science can get to. Not only Science, even divine healing will NEVER keep a person alive forever. Why? Because Scripture is absolutely clear that a man WILL DIE, physically. Science can try to prolong Man's life, and we can ask God to heal someone divinely, but still all will die, after a few scores of years. So, is it a disaster or NOT, that a man will die? Should we stop progress of Science in this area or stop asking God to heal? If you are like me, yes, it is a disaster, but it is an expected disaster. No, we should NOT halt any of the 2, but we are to know that there is a limit to how far we can go, and accept that the inevitable will come.

2. The end of the world will come. Maybe NOT in my lifetime, but it will definitely come, no matter what we do to preserve the earth or the world. That is the case, even if we find another habitable planet! Must we take care of the earth; reduce pollution, etc, etc? Yes, but still the end will come. Then, why bother? It is called responsibility and accountability. It is we are the stewards; we are to take care, for the Master. When the Master wants the earth to kaput, is his business; our job is to be a good steward until then. Is pollution control the will of God? It is NOT a specific logos will, that we can see it stated in Scripture (at least I have NOT seen it), but it is within the overall counsel of the Word, to control pollution, for stewardship is discernible from the Word.

3. False teachings will come. The Word is clear that false teachings and false prophets will increase in the last days (and we are in the last days):

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Tim 4:3-4)

Is it NOT a disaster? Do we have to do anything about it, the false teachings? To me, that is a greater disaster, a greater disaster than physical death, greater disaster than the end of the earth. Why? Because souls can be lost, that is why. Even when we know that we will die, still we work on the Sciences, and still we pray for healing and prolonging of life; even when we know the earth and the world will come to an end, still we are wanting and are doing something to heal and sustain the earth, but when it comes to false teachings, many believers just do NOT want to be bothered; how sad!

Sure God still reigns in all 3 scenarios; and God is omnipotent, meaning He is all powerful, and He can do all things, including prolonging physical life, cleaning up the earth and let it continues, or taking care of His own Word, but is it right for us, believers, to do something about the 1st 2 scenarios, but NOT the third? Why do believers keep saying or having in their hearts that God can take care of His Word, and we need NOT bother? How can this be the right heart attitude? Many people are doing their part, in anti-pollution, advancing health Sciences, but so few believers, despite in a position to, are caring to do their part to counter the propagation of false teachings. Obviously, our stewardship includes the stewardship of the Word of God.

Even as we fight diseases, and ailments of the body, even as we fight pollution, etc, please fight to protect against false teachings.

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Anthony Chia said...

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The teaching of grace is so skewed these days. Grace is increasingly asked for, from God, in laziness, and in doing what we want! Thanks to the overly grace believers and preachers, the phrase, “just bask in grace” has arrived. Just insist on your identity, and ask for what you are entitled to, that really sound more like, “Give me what I want!” I am NOT saying identity preaching per se, is wrong, but one really have to be careful how one preaches it.

You are son or a child (of God), so you can get whatever you want, it is your entitlement – prosperity, and all spiritual blessing, etc, etc? Why don’t people teach that grace is gladly given by God in responsibility, in accountability and good stewardship? These are the basic and core expectations of men by God. Ps Prentis used the word, “faithfulness” and rightly we are to be faithful to these basic demands of God; and faithfulness to the demands of God is loving God (Those who love Me, follow {obey} my commands, and those who follow {obey} my commands are those who love Me). When we, be responsible, be accountable and be good steward, these being fully in line with God’s will and desires, for men, God would be more than glad to extend the grace needed. It is all wrong; you should NOT have the cheek to ask for grace in irresponsibility, in failure to account, and bad stewardship! You should be begging for mercy, and NOT demanding grace! See how people confuse the two! Even if you ask for grace, it is after you asked for mercy and forgiveness (the grace is for the repented you; to aid you to go on). The undercurrent of the overly grace teachings is against responsibility, accountability, and good stewardship, that is what is so bad about such teachings.

Today’s grace teaching sounded so much like: Hello, Daddy, you begot me, it is YOUR responsibility NOT MINE, to see me through all the way, even if I am well into my adulthood; I don’t care, YOU are accountable to ME, since brought me into this kingdom; YOU are NOT being a good steward if YOU do NOT take good care of ME, satisfying ALL that I WANT. Hello, old man, GIVE ME what I WANT, I WANT MY grace; I am ENTITLED TO it, since it is ALL YOUR doing that I am here, being born and all! Poor Daddy!

And so, imagine, we have to teach against students praying for God’s grace without putting in time in studying (be responsible), without thinking how much their parents had to go through to put them through schooling (be accountable), and without putting to good use or increasing the endowments they are having {talents} (being good steward)!

Whenever grace is touched on, I prefer to add that if it is grace, it is always up to God if He wants or wants NOT, to give; the prerogative is always His. Is it wrong to want the pure grace of God? No, but if you make lazy, irresponsible, selfish, nil-accountability, and non-stewardship as your lifestyle (i.e. living habitually in that manner), you should NOT be surprised that God is so unpredictable!

Is it possible to find a student who does NOT study but just prayed to God, and he actually gets a flying colors result? Possible, but if he wants to share that testimony in that manner, in my meeting, I am most likely NOT allow it. Why? Because it is the theology behind it; what is it saying? Be careful with this kind of experience and testimonies; experience and testimonies are supposed to testify to truths in the Word. Do not form theology out of experience and testimonies, as some are in the habit of doing; experience and testimonies are too subjective to form theology of faith, from. Faith theology and doctrines are to be formed solely from the truths from the Word.