Where was God in All this Tragedy?

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When a mad bomber sets off a bomb killing and maiming many, the people blame the mad bomber. When a drunk destroys the lives of family members and takes the life of the other driver, the people blame the drunk driver. When a man goes on a stabbing spree injuring and killing others in a large crowd, the people blame the man wielding the knife. However, in our Politically Correct culture when a man, woman, or child takes a gun into a “Gun Free Zone” and unleashes a whirlwind of bullets killing and injuring the innocence of life at a school, the people blame the gun. Why are people so skewed with respect to the weaponry used?? on February 14th, 2018, there was great travesty in Parkland Florida – a shooting by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Now, I could go on with this topic for several blog posts, just based upon: What happened, what is being revealed, what is not being said, and who is being blamed. But on a far more serious and segue into the more important topic at hand…where was God in all this tragedy? To who should we cast our eyes for protection?

So, let’s address the elephant in the proverbial room…where was God in all this tragedy? God was right there in the thick of it! He was in the heart of every teacher that ran toward the gunfire, with fear but ever so courageously, in order to protect their students. With great adversity and trial God is shown in the courageous actions of Aaron Feis, Chris Hixon, and Scott Beigel. Admittedly, we may never understand the reasons for any, let alone all, of the evil and suffering that occurs throughout our lives, it is that simple. As a man of faith, and sometimes doubt, I believe that God in His infinite wisdom and in His glory has some morally sufficient reason for such things as these.

Could God have created a error free world without hate, without such travesty? Yes, in my opinion He actually did…it was that little known Garden of Eden from which mankind was kicked out for not abiding by the rules of the garden. It was without pain, fear, travesty, and death. And then Adam and Eve broke the golden rule of God:

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”~Genesis 2:16-17 NASB

And according to the prophet Isaiah, who said:

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NASB

This was an affront to God, man violated His law. Seem a bit harsh? Think about it for but a moment…how are you saved? Through the blood, the substitutionary blood of Jesus! By believing and claiming such, through the holy word of God, and faith (as that of Abraham) we are saved. It took the blood of Jesus, who hung on a cross for all of our sins…ALL OF THEM. Every sin which you ever will commit and ever have committed during the course of your life. God saw it all. And Jesus subjected Himself to the torment and torture of the cross out of love for all His creation! So, does getting kicked out of the Garden seem all that harsh in comparison to what Jesus endured for your sins, now???

God is a strict, but loving, God. He provided the sacrifice for our iniquities, suffering the gruesome consequences for not obeying His word. Had He not done so, we would still be sacrificing animals for our sins.

Getting back to it…God created the perfect world and we, mankind or more specifically his ancestry, botched things up. And even now, we as the species of man are not doing such a great job of following God’s commands and word. Even while being saved, we fail Him each and every day, with each and every thought we think and breath we take.

God was also with each and every student, both the survivors and the deceased. You are probably wondering why didn’t God do anything about this? Well, actually He did. The police were called to Nikolas Cruz’s home on 39 separate occasions (23 of which for violence, one of which he aimed one of his guns at the head of a child in the household in which he lived.) This was a police failure on a paramount scale. God gave man free will and regardless of what goes on, man has the ultimate choice. Then there were the FBI hotline tips that were not followed up on. Another Law Enforcement failure. The School Resource Officer failed to act in a timely manner and has since resigned. Then there were the Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were hiding behind their vehicles with guns drawn while gunfire was going on inside the school when the local police arrived.

When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school. ~CNN Politics

According to Scott M. Sullivan, Ph.D., who is a Christian Apologist wrote on this subject within his Course on Suffering:

  • Christians must admit both that they think both, that:i. An all-powerful and all-good God existsii. Evil exists (evil is not an illusion)

  • In other words, Christianity holds both of these to be true. But morethan that. Christians also must admit that not only does an all goodand powerful God thinks there should be evil and suffering in theworld, but more particularly that GOD WILLS physical evils to happen(physical evils don’t fall outside of God’s control) and PERMITSmoral evils to happen (God cannot will sin for He is all-good but Hecan and obviously does allow it to happen.)i. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF NATURE THAT CAUSE EARTHQUAKESii. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGYTHAT RESULTS IN DISEASEiii. GOD PERMITS THINGS LIKE MASS KILLINGS, TORTURE,RAPE AND GENOCIDE etc. ~Suffering Course Introductory Courses in Apologetics

 

If all evil were prevented, much good would be absent from the universe. A lion would cease to live, if there were no slaying of animals; and there would be no patience of martyrs if there were no tyrannical persecution.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas, S.T. I.22 ad.2

And furthermore, the observation of St. Thomas Aquinas is such that:

God is so good that never would he allow evil to exist, unless he were so powerful as to be able to draw good from evil. Hence it is due to neither impotence nor ignorance on God’s part that evils occur in the world, but it is owing to the order of his wisdom and to the greatness of his goodness, whence come the many and divers grades of goodness in things, many of which would be lacking were he to allow no evil to exist. Thus there would be no good of patience without the evil of persecution, nor the good of the preservation of its life in a lion, without the evil of the destruction of the animals on which it lives.” – Aquinas De Pot III.6

We must keep in mind that we, mankind, are finite. We can only truly speak on those things we have experiences or knowledge of or about. God, on the other hand, is infinite. Meaning God sees from the beginning to the end as though it were a unimaginably large panoramic picture. We can only see from our beginning of perceiving of a subject. There is a big difference with respect to the perception of these two.

And though we do not like evil, how are we able to determine how much evil should be in the world???

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28 NASB

Because of our limited understanding and perception how can we expect to know the morally sufficient reasons behind that which we deem as evil? And it is quite possible that nothing may not be realized until 10, 20, 30, 50, or even 100 years after the incident. Perhaps there are to be a series of incident that cascade off of one another over the course of decades. There are those who will go to hell and those who go to heaven.

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB

And considering that God desires all men to be saved, why aren’t they? God gave us free will and the gift of choice. That being said, the gift of salvation must be chosen and freely accepted. Consider the man who refused a presidential pardon, George Wilson (1833). This is why “THE ROMAN’S ROAD TO SALVATION” is such a popular and easy method to aid others in their road to salvation…the basis of which is that we must choose life (salvation), unlike George Wilson.

WHY DID GOD CREATE THOSE HE KNEW WOULD GO TO HELL? Here, St. Thomas Aquinas’ will never be popular with respect to his answer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true – ALL PEOPLE WILL GLORIFY GOD – those in Heaven glorify God’s mercy, those in Hell glorify God’s justice. Thus, even those in Hell fulfill the very purpose of creation.

I hope this was helpful and informative.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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Desperation Leads To Deliverance

Notes Deperation pt4

In Mark 5 we learn of several people: the man from the tombs who is possessed, Jairus and his dying daughter, and the woman with the bleeding disorder. Jesus, throughout His life made a great many “Bold Statements” to the people He taught, instructed, healed, befriended, etc. While the title of this post is not a bold statement which Jesus made…it is, however, a bold statement made due to plain observation of His many encounters with those who were desperate.

Each of these people had desperate problems, desperate needs, and (most had) faith in Jesus to heal.

Everyone had the notion in their heads, at one point in time, who is this Jesus? Who is He that He can heal? Only God can heal, only the healers and men of God can heal…who is this Jesus?

Gods handJesus, the Son of God, who has authority over sicknesses, ailments, death, hunger, the disposition & health of one’s soul, etc. YEAH, that Jesus. It is hard to believe that when one makes their way through the biblical accounts of Jesus, His travels, His trials & turmoil, His teachings & sermons, His healing of the sick and disenfranchised…hard to believe that anyone could ask such a thing. Considering the fact that even after His crucifixion & death, in the area of Jerusalem that His teachings were continued by His Apostles and followers. Jesus1If that which was taught about or by Him was wrong why was there no outcry against it? If He were not crucified to death, buried, and rose again…why then did not those who said, “this did not happen!” Why did they not produce His body? There were many assertions and theories on this, but then they go beyond the scope of this blog post. However, it should be in the back of one’s mind when listening or reading of the great things accomplished by Jesus and His followers.

Getting back on track…

First, we encounter the possessed man from the tombs. He who was possessed by Legion. Jesus commanded Legion, Come out of the man, unclean spirit! (verse 8) And, of course, Legion asked to be cast into the herd of pigs. And Jesus allowed it; then the pigs were sent running off the cliff. Now, you or I…today, would see this as a travesty that so much bacon would be wasted. But, as it was brought to my attention, that this was a great economic problem for the owners of the pigs. Why? You might ask…because the pigs were used in many of the pagan rituals and therefore, Jesus just deprived them of great money making possibilities.

And of course, the man who was possessed desperately desired to go and follow Jesus in verses 18-20. Why? because he had firsthand knowledge and experience of such power and healing that Jesus could perform [my interpretation and understanding]. The gratefulness and the gratitude that he had toward Jesus…could have been second to none! But each of us has a voice to be heard by certain people, apparently the recently healed man of possession needed to have his voice heard by his people…God’s will be done!

Second, we come in contact with one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus whose daughter was dying. Now this is something. a ruler of the synagogue sought out Jesus to heal? But when it comes to one who is near and dear to us, we will not concern ourselves with such a matter, despite what our fellow synagogue leaders think of such a man as Jesus. But family is family…to many, family is everything. Jairus even showed such courage and faith by saying, My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.(verse 23)

While on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter we come in contact with the third person of faith and desperation, the woman with the flow of blood issue.She who used up all her money to be healed. She could neither work nor be around people because she was labeled, “unclean.” So, by the mere touching of the hem of His clothes, she truly had faith that she would be healed…now that is faith, a truly strong faith! But such would not go unnoticed with Jesus.

As with the woman, do we not (in our youth) fail to ask for permission and find it more useful to wait (if caught) to seek forgiveness? But she knew that she was wrong in what she did, as she was “fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.” And once again, God was glorified! And Jesus responded, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

So, now back to the second person he ran into…Jairus. His faith was what was to heal his daughter. Those who came from the synagogue ruler’s house said, Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” This raises a question, or two, but those go beyond the scope of this post. One that comes to mind is: If this synagogue ruler was such a man of faith, why didn’t his whole household know of Jesus? Perhaps, I would speculate, that he didn’t want to be unfaithful to his brethren of the synagogue and Jesus was the last person he thought of in this time of trouble. As many of use might do. 

But Jesus in classic form said, Do not be afraid; only believe.” Which was assurance to His caller, the synagogue ruler, and perhaps his entire family. Then Jesus followed on with this, Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping. To which many around just laughed and ridiculed Jesus, considering such a thing just idiocy. After all, this crowd of people, many of which I speculate had seen the body of the girl and suspected or knew the girl to, in fact, be dead. But are we not called to believe despite what we have seen, or believe without seeing?

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” ~John 10:37-38 NKJV 

 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29 NKJV

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed… ~Romans 4:16-21 NKJV

Face it, we are all raised to be skeptical of those things we do not see. We are also taught that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Sadly, we live in a skeptical world and this is one of the things we must overcome as we grow older and seek out God in our own way. There are a great number of things that preclude the possibility of knowing God, as we are taught to believe in the theory of evolution and other very smart and educated people who do not count God as a potential, or possible, First Cause for our existence. While some, and yes even some Christian sects discount the classic First Cause argument. But, let us return to our original posting…

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” This had to be a grand spectacle for all to see! Immediately the girl arose and walked which, of course was not told to us until the writing of this Gospel.

These three instances spoke volumes to us all, that Desperation Leads To Deliverance. While my message is slightly different from the sermon presented by my Pastor (Scott Beckenhauer) the essence of it remains the same. We each follow a path in our lives, good and bad, but eventually we begin to ask the bigger questions which eventually lead us to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

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Desperation can lead us down a very dark and bleak road in our lives, or we can see a glimmer of light and hope at the end of the tunnel which takes us on the trail that leads to hope, faith, love and charity. God awaits all of us to arrive at the finish line, but not all will get there. We are all invited, but not all will accept His generous offer of Grace.

What about you? What is your heart seeking? Where do you desire to go?

Got God? Got Jesus? Got Holy Spirit?

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Controlling Our Tongue

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While reading the first volume of Donald Grey Barnhouse’s exposition on the Book of Romans, this segment caught my attention. Really struck a chord with me, as my ability to control my tongue is rather weak. Habits are truly hard to break, and bad ones are even worse…as they tend to slap you in the face all of the time. Sadly, we all have the problem where we revert to things we have done before. That is regardless of whether or not we have been attempting to change, or not!

Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, once told us:

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. ~James 1:26 NKJV

And he told us,

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. ~James 3:6 NKJV

And he also reminded us about this, as well,

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. ~James 3:8 NKJV

Is our religion and our beliefs useless? All because we cannot control the carnal nature of our tongue? No, but it does give an air of hypocrisy in the eyes of those we are trying to be a beacon of hope for…doesn’t it? In their eyes we are, in no uncertain terms, full of crap! And yes, I can see that point of view, quite easily. The problem being is this: we are faulty creatures and tend to fail God daily. It is that simple…we are not perfect. Could God just spritz us with the very Spirit to purge us of all the evil and nature that we desire to be rid of? Yes, He could. But again, where would the fun and struggles be if everything were just handed to us without any effort?

Lee-pray

We tend to use, in our common everyday language, the profane idioms and blasphemous uses of God’s name or title. We each have the abilities to overcome our carnal natures , but because our uses of the same make us feel good, better, or all important in the eyes of others, we continue to do so. Donal Grey Barnhouse, stated quite emphatically and wisely:

The Word of God says that a man who would be able to control the tongue fully would be a perfect man.

He reminded us that We were each saved by Jesus Christ and through such salvation we have been given such power to control our urges, desires, and carnal natures. A power which will grow day by day enabling us to change our desires, our verbiage, our passions. Much like the bit that is placed into the horses mouth in order to guide such a large and strong beast…we are much the same.

bit-in-mouthThough we be the same, we are also different. God places His Holy Spirit within each of us to guide and empower each of us to follow God and His Word! By this same token, This Holy Spirit is that bit that we place within the mouth of the horse…with one great difference – we each have free will, and we must be willing to subservient ourselves to God and His will! This is a conscious decision that we each must make. We cannot tame our tongues by ourselves, we like horses need help and guidance.

Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. ~James 3:10 NKJV

Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, reminded us that both good and bad comes from our mouths. Blessings and curses. We will in once sentence tell our wives or children that we dearly love them dearly, and without skipping a beat will curse out the gut who either cut us off in traffic, or can’t seem to get up to speed while merging. Seriously? YOU angerhave the audacity to merge into highway traffic doing 65 mph or more, but you are only doing 35 mph????????

Well, you can tell what I think of such things! Pretty disgusted to say the least!

ANYWHOOOOOOOO…we do need to be more in control of our mouths, tongues, minds, and our natures in order to accomplish the greater good. ESPECIALLY with our spouses and our kids in the vehicle! You know, we tend to be more flippant with our language with those we are closer to than those we do not know. At least I have found this to be true for myself. This is where my toughest challenge lies.

Righteous-IndignationDonald Grey Barnhouse also reminded us at the end of his chapter entitled, “THE POISON OF ASPS”,

An if they are not to be, it must be by our submission to the restraining grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. May He give us grace to come for more grace.

We each have a task before us and that is to control our anger and our unnecessary outbursts. Not all anger and outbursts are ungodly, there is such a thing as righteous indignation. After all, did not Jesus turn over the tables of the money changers within the temple? Not all anger and outbursts are wrong, but we tend to misconstrue what we are suppose to do and then justify what we want to do. But, of course, that is another topic for discussion. And perhaps will require a greater ability to explain than I have at this time.

Give all of yourself over to God and be led by the Holy Spirit. Bridle your tongues, curb your thoughts, and submit yourself to God’s will! It will take time, but you will see a difference.

Godspeed on your quest, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Are our bodies really our own to do with as we please?

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Are our bodies really our own to do with as we please? This is a great question to be asked of all people, men and women alike! You have people saying their bodies are their own property to do with as they please. Whether it be augmentation, gender reassignment, abortion, to choose the lifestyle of same sex relations, pedophilia, and the list can go on and on. Those of us who are followers of Jesus and the ways of the Christian beliefs hold the following to be true:

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. ~Psalm 24:1 NKJV

IF this is truly the case, then, our bodies are, in fact, not our own, but God’s purposeproperty! If that is the case, then we cannot do as we please but are obligated to do what glorifies God, Himself! Having the above procedures done only seems to indicate that God made a mistake with us and therefore we can do what we must in order to correct that mistake. Now, I am not talking about the correction of a deviated septum, repairing a broken finger, aiding a person who has problems breathing due to allergies. I am speaking on the absoluteness of changing oneself to another gender, changing oneself to where they are no longer pregnant, etc. We must also keep in mind the following from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Church where he stated:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV

body templePaul stated emphatically, that our bodies are not our own, but temples in which the Holy Spirit of God dwells within each of us. If this be the case, how can we truly glorify God by taking such actions as removing our ability to have children, give birth, or produce what it takes to create a pregnancy? How do we glorify God, our Creator, to terminate that embryo growing (a child in the long term) inside  the womb? This was the great task of the liberal mind in order to make it seem alright to terminate a pregnancy by reclassifying a child to be an embryo or a fetus…that makes it so much more impersonal so it will be fine to kill it off.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. ~Psalm 139:15-16 NKJV

&

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you… ~Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

From the beginning of time, back in the Garden of Eden, we as the species of man were given the right to choose either good or bad, right or wrong. This inalienable right had been given to us in the Garden of Eden.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” ~Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV

Man, in the garden, was given one mandate to uphold. One commandment to treeofgood&evilfollow and he could not even do that…DO NOT EAT THE FRUIT OF THIS TREE! Man, throughout history, has proven time and again that he cannot follow the simplest of tasks. And later when God was speaking with Cain, prior to the first murder, He did say – or warn:

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:7 NKJV

WE, as the species of man, MUST rule over our carnal needs and base desires. This was the warning promoted and spoken by God Himself! Sadly, we are so far from the basest of times where we did truly love God and seek to follow Him, always, that we have become a modern day Sodom & Gomorrah. We are in such a huff to get what we want, when we want it…RIGHT NOW! If not 5-10 minutes ago.

But getting back to our original discussion…

Reason and logic should rule in these matters. God gave us reason and logic to aid us, He also gave us science to help us to understand, and He gave us philosophy and theology to aid us to explain.

man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ~Genesis 2:24 NKJV

This is where the first marriage took place. While there was no other woman for man to seek out to wed, God presented Adam with a gift…woman. But this is what was referred to by Jesus as the intention of God for man and woman to wed. God intended man to be with woman in order to procreate, be fruitful and multiply, to increase society, to be in commune with another and not be lonely. Men cannot procreate with other men, nor can a woman procreate with another woman. They can commune and not be lonely, but their was never an intention on God’s part for a same sex union other than to have an intellectual meeting of the minds.

Consider the act of masturbation. In one manner of speaking “spilling your seed”, in other words placing your seed where it is certain to not be used as it was intended. While it was a different story for Ohnan, it was not the act of masturbation but the act of “spilling his seed” on the ground as it was his familial duty to carry on his brother’s lineage and he refused to do so. While you may not be killed by God in judgement for the “spilling of your seed” but there are other judgements that God can place upon you. Blindness…lol, yes, we were all taught that as young boys! But on a more serious side, consider this: If you show disdain, or have no value attached to your seed God could make you inactive in order to have any children. This can be done either through you, yourself, or as a couple. Will it happen? I cannot answer that as that is in God’s hands. These are just possibilities, especially consider the power of God and if you truly revere it – as well as, God Himself!

allpowerfulIf God is All Powerful and your truly believe this, He can do anything. Think about that…HE CAN DO ANYTHING, because of your wrongful act(s). To not believe so, is to limit God and His Power and Abilities.

As mentioned above, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV, that our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in. If that is the truth and the case, HOW can anyone truly glorify God, our Creator and Maker of heaven and earth, through an abortion? …through a gender reassignment surgery?…through the same sex unions? …through the act of materbation?How can any of these deeds bring glory to God Almighty?

Man is destined to do great things, sometimes these great things are You-were-destined-for-better-thingsaccomplished by those who are avidly evil. But we are reminded where Jesus spoke:

that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. ~Matthew 5:45 NKJV

Because, like it or not, those who are alive whether they follow Jesus, or not, are God’s children as well. They have the same opportunities as you to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved! And it is up to us to bring the message to the lost, this is the purpose of the Great Commission! But if you think that you can bypass all of the lost souls because they are so evil, think again, as written in the Book of Ezekiel:

When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. ~Ezekiel 3:18 NKJV

We are responsible for those around us, both the righteous and the unrighteous!

Until we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

I am no better, or no worse, than any other man…

I am no better or no worse than any other man…righteous or evil, good or bad, spiteful or loving, knowledgeable or ignorant!

no better

We each have the right to choose either the left or the right path at the fork in the road, the narrow or the broad path. Only you can choose for yourself and inform others. But they, too, must make that choice themselves at the time it is presented to them!

Time and again I have touted that the God given, inalienable, right to choose is man’s greatest blessing and greatest curse. We have a life filled with choices and unfortunately we also have a life full of wrong turns, misguided steps, Clarenceand bad decisions. But on a more positive note, we also have that same life filled with wonderful right turns in our time here on this earth. Good memories, fondness of loving moments, and an abundance of blessings that many other will never experience. We all, in the words of Clarence the wayward Angel (“IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”), “have a wonderful life,” despite all of our misgivings, bad choices, wrong turns, and abundance of problems that we incur.

We are not promised a long lustrous life, nor one of pure heartache; a life of wealth and ease and comfort, nor of utter disdain and poverty; we are not promised a life of joviality and partying, nor one of utter boredom and doledrums. We are promised one human life…ONE. We are each handed a gift of life and sadly we tend to through it away by wasting our time on silly activities, when we could be increasing ourselves and our self worth; which would increasingly glorify God, you know YOUR MAKER? We tend to make terrible decisions because we would prefer to have received the winning POWERBALL NUMBERS! Face it, as it may very well be true. I know my life would be easier and in someways better if I had received such wealth. BUT in reality of it all, I would not have learned many lessons that I need to learn in order to become the best ME that I could possibly be. In my opinion, based upon my reading the Bible a time or two over the last (nearing) thirty years: God has a great plan for each and every one of us! (Both those who believe and those who do not.)

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No one has a greater plan for you, or I, outside of God. If we each will allow ourselves to be touched and indwelt by the Spirit of God, He will infuse in us all manners of workmanship as we need to carry out His plan. But this truly means that we each must unlearn much of the garbage we have picked up over the years! Unlearn old bad habits and re-learn good and new habits. (Yeah, it will be tough, but worth it in the long run!)

God could just give us things, wealth, and other forms of greatness, BUT how ah-hah-momentswould THAT show us that it was God who did it??? It would not! How would we learn the lessons that we so desperately need? We would not learn them! If we are to truly glorify God, our Creator, THEN we need to do those things that will aid us to learn all those necessary traits that will enable each of us to to do God’s will and live the example that Christ displayed for us. The only way we can do these things is to learn the hard lessons and truths that will, eventually, lead us to that epiphany…that AH-HAH moment!

But God, as any earth bound father or mother, will not grant the request of charlie-sigheach and every childish whim. Not because He is spiteful, but because we need to learn…many of us the hard way <<sigh!>>. Our parents, together, are the closest we have to understanding God. Our parents purpose is to teach us about God and prepare us for life. Sadly, many parents do not do a very good job of this, they tend to, now-a-days, be their children’s friend or they assert an aristocratic authoritarian command over their children as though they are teaching and instructing them. Instead you have a bratty friend, or end up with a child-like serf with a revolutionary mind set in order to over throw the parents, or they leave the household never to return. (Yeah, just a bit over the top, but I believe you get and see the point(s).)

Depression ScreeningWe can become better people through education and (YES!) through faith and guidance by God. Now when I speak of education, I am not necessarily leaning toward schooling, nor am I discounting it; however, we must learn and understand when we are being indoctrinated and MUST stand against such teachings! I have sat through many courses where the teachers/instructors were indoctrinating me with an agenda in mind. As Ben Shapiroacademicsuicide1 mentioned in some of his writings, you do not want to commit academic suicide by standing against the teacher because he/she is god with respect to your grade. Have you ever seen the movie “GOD’S NOT DEAD“? There are professors (portrayed by Kevin Sorbo) out there just like that, but many are far worse. However, it was a good depiction of some of the travesties of students in today’s colleges and universities. Keep in mind, though, that there are many far worse problems going on these days on college campuses where students are in desperate need of safe spaces because they cannot handle a word or presentation that some guest speakers have for them to hear. University of Chicago responded to such a thing in the proper manner. There was another university in it’s response where it suggested that if the student(s) needed a safe space, they should return home because they were not yet mature enough for the university atmosphere! But, I have digressed from my original premise.

ChristsExampleIt is through our constant and never ending growth in knowledge and wisdom that we can become better people; however, there is one more concern…we must stop measuring ourselves against one another. Stop comparing ourselves to our neighbors, our classmates from high school or college, our peers at work, etc. The best we can do is compare ourselves to the example in Christ!

Don’t get me wrong, competition can be a healthy thing for us but our competitive spirit can be a bad thing, as well. If our competitiveness brings us to the point of pridefulness and greed, that is when it becomes a bad and sinful thing in our life…and we must rid ourselves of it!

I am no better, or no worse, than any other man…I am just like everyone else in this world, but I can be a beacon of hope to others if I would just live and learn from the example Jesus left me!

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Repentance

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Just as we learned from Jonah, where the Lord “repented,” though it was not actually the Lord who repented but the Ninevites…the Lord changed His course of action because of the Ninevites’ repentance.  So, cannot God do with us as the potter deals with his creation?

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to  build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. ~Jeremiah 18:1-10 NKJV 

The funny thing is that many look at this and believe this is a contradiction…but is it truly a contradiction? No, I do not believe so. God does not repent in the traditional sense of the word as man would repent. So, what is repentance? According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, repentance means:

There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb _metamelomai_ is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3).

(2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3) the cognate noun _metanoia_, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.

The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4).

Was God truly “repentant”? No, but as the word means, in one of it’s definitions, He changed His mind. Was it proper for the writer to use the word that he chose to use? Probably not, but it was a means to get across the message that God would change His wrath to joyfulness, because the penitent changed from their evil ways to the ways of God.

 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. ~Luke 15:7 NKJV

With this promise to later on be said by Jesus, could you imagine the joy over the Ninevite’s turning over a new leaf and turning their lives over to God? Such joy to be had and noticed!So, was God sorry? No, He was glad and joyful that those who followed a path of evil had changed their minds and hearts to align with God’s heart and will. But He did change His course of action, instead of destroying the people of Nineveh He blessed them. Jonah went up on the hill to watch the Ninevites revert back to their old ways, because in Jonah’s mind “you just cannot trust a Ninevite!” On a side note God is always sorry and heartbroken that man chooses a path that leads him to Hell, because God “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

But, of course, man needs to want to do so, man needs to choose for himself that God’s way is the right way, and man needs to believe the word of God. These are choices that we all must make, if we happen to choose the opposite view we are on the precipice of choosing our own destruction and have no recourse of action. Nor can we truly blame God for our actions as we chose to do so of our own volition. This is why I taught and firmly believe that choice is man’s greatest blessing and greatest curse all wrapped up in one!It was on that hill that God had to teach the prophet, or evangelist, a lesson, or two, and gain him back to God’s way of thinking, again. And He did it through a vine.
As mentioned in an earlier post that man tends to get attached to the strangest things. Sadly, it doesn’t take too much for any of us to get attached to much of anything these days. Dogs, cats, lizards, money, work, etc. The list can get very long! Why was Jonah on the hill? Because he just knew that the Ninevites would fail and revert back to their old ways. Thereby, reverting back to their sinful ways and actions…business as usual. 

In the book of Ezekiel, and other places within the biblical text, we are told:

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul. ~Ezekiel 3:17-21 NKJV

God is forgiving, if we are repentant. But God will hold each of us accountable for the sins of our neighbors and brothers IF we do not warn them as we are told to do. We are each called to be ministers, priests, and evangelists. Bearers of the Word of God and therefore, we are to warn all peoples we come into contact with that their souls may live with God.

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We are the “Watchmen”, for the sake of men’s souls and eternal life! This is the endgame of bringing the word to others…to open their hearts in order to bring about a repentant heart that God my yield his mercy and forgiveness. Regardless of how repentant we may be, none of us is good…NO NOT ONE!

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May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences

Choices-Mantra

Racist, homophobe, Islamophobe, Zionist, bigot, xenophobe, white supremacist, hater, etc. are not actual arguments against points people make. They are simply character assassinations against whomever you perceive as your enemy. Yet, you cannot have dialogue without some form of discussion…pretty simple! You can continue to divide and conquer those you disagree with with the empty rhetorical assertions based on half-truths, lies, and misunderstandings OR you can enter into good faith talks with those you disagree with and either come to an agreement, compromise, or agree to disagree.

There are those who say you kill or destroy your enemies by making them your friend. It is  a hard feat to accomplish, but it can be done.

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I live, try to at least, by a certain moral standard – the tenets of the Christian faith espoused within the biblical text. Yet, I am considered a hater. Hmmmmmmmm, a bit hypocritical I believe! Considering the fact that those people who claim me and those who believe as I believe are haters are the ones demanding inclusivity, toleration of their acts and beliefs, etc. Yet, they are so intolerant of my thoughts, beliefs and ideas. It is a sad world we live in these days and it is getting much worse, day by day.

Sadly when you attempt to discuss anything, you get no where because you are deemed to be such a bigoted ass-hat. On that same note, when they want the floor to say something an you yield to them…part of their argument is to denigrate you, part is to assert that theirs is the moral high ground (without proof), and in some cases the rest of the dialogue is espousing anyone who thinks like you should be neutered to prevent any further spreading of this tripe which you speak.

People will refuse to accept your position as being valid – not because they have a valid argument that refutes your position, or that  your position is invalid, but rather because it is the antithesis of the all-inclusive agenda that is being pushed throughout liberal progressive America. Mob mentality, in essence, is what they live by and how they defeat we Christians is through gang and guerilla warfare. There are no arguments based upon common sense, wisdom, natural law, or true sciences. (I refrain from mentioning legal and lawful statutes because they are slowly changing toward the liberal hedonistic agendas that are being espoused since the 1950’s. Then, to make matters worse, they spew hateful epithets, slurs, character assassinations and we Christians are deemed to be the intolerant, bigoted, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, ass-hats…REALLY?

What has happened to society that it has allowed logic and common sense to flee from it’s ability to reason with wisdom, natural law, history, and truthful science???

As a Christian, man or woman does not matter, you are presently in the wrong, simply because you have a moral standard upon which you stand and base your life upon. As mentioned, I try to live by that standard, but I fail daily and I fail miserably! But God is forgiving if you seek His forgiveness. He is gracious to grant each of us forgiveness and salvation of our sins if we are willing to accept His gift.

Salvation is when God forgives a person of his/her sins and saves him from damnation — which is the righteous judgment upon all who have broken his law (i.e., do not lie, do not steal).  This judgment consists of God condemning the sinner to eternal punishment in hell (Matt. 25:46).  This is the destination of all who reject God’s provision for the forgiveness of sins. Being saved from this judgment is only accomplished through faith in Jesus as Savior who is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9). He died on the cross for sins (1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). If you want salvation, you need to trust in what Jesus did on the cross, receive him (John 1:12) and turn from your sins (Acts 3:19). Only then can you have eternal life and be with God (Eph. 2:8-9). ~WHAT IS SALVATION? by Matt Slick

Matt Click, a Christian Apologist and host to CARM.org (Christian Apologetic Research Ministry), explains assurance of salvation this way:

Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” ~THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

While we are assured of our salvation through our faith in Jesus and what He did for us (i.e., dying on the cross in our place.) We each should be crucified for our sins, but we have already yielded a sacrifice. God gave His one and only Son, Jesus, and substituted Him for our place. We each are to be regenerated and renewed creatures in Christ upon our submitting our lives to God and asking Jesus into our hearts. Though we may continue to sin, and yeah that is rhetorical, it is not a license to sin when we give our lives to Jesus. It is we who must rule over our carnal natures, our sinful and the wanton desires of our hearts. By delving into the bible, God’s inspired Word, we can become wiser with respect to what God desires of us and His very will and purpose for us.

Most of us have the problem of focusing on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Most of us have the problem of focusing on the example that Jesus showed us in His life here on earth. Most of us have the problem of using our God give will power to rule over those natural desires that give us immediate pleasure. We are not, nor have we been, promised a pleasurable life of hedonistic tendencies. We were promised a life, one human life here on this earth. We get one chance at this. We will answer for our sins in the flesh during our time on this earth.

Hence, the consequences for our choices while in the flesh. We will be judged. That is why we each must follow the word, not what someone say the word says…but we must read it and follow it ourselves!

If Jesus were alive today, on this earth, instead of the adulterous woman being caught it would have been a homosexual caught in the act (yet, the participant would have been let free because he would have been a man of the higher clergy or something similar.) Jesus’ words would have been just as memorable and applicable to the accusers of the homosexual caught in the act:

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

“…where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

…said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said… “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” ~John 8:1-11 NKJV

Jesus’ words ring true even today. Whether we want them to or not! Trust in Jesus and seek His wisdom. Find a way to get past your anger, lack of focus, and inability to rule over your own mind or body and work harder at it…struggle at it until your dying breath!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD