Menu +

Month: March 2011

The Comforter Cometh

TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and
devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” Luke 2:25
In this world of sorrow people yearn for deliverance from life‘s problems and stresses. If only
someone could give them relief from the things that oppress their spirits and make their lives
drudgery, they reason, then their lives would be ideal. First-century Israel was no different, for
the Jews of that day longed for liberation from the onerous yolk of Rome as well as a restoration
of the glories of their independent past. Against this backdrop, a devout man named Simeon
walked into the Temple precincts one day in order to see the fulfillment of ancient prophecy. His
aspirations went far beyond nationalistic sentiments or personal desires for an easier life. Rather,
he awaited the coming of ―the Consolation of Israel‖ – the advent of the Messiah, a person
whose life and actions would have cosmic and eternal effect for Israel and the nations.
Thou Wilt Command Thy Servant’s Consolationi
The translators of The New King James Version rightly capitalize ―Consolation‖ in Luke 2:25,
recognizing that it is a messianic title, and not merely a description of an activity towards Israel.
It is true that the nation will one day be consoled – in addition to many other nations that will
share in the blessing of Christ‘s millennial reign – yet one must remember that this comfort is
bound up in one person: the Messiah Jesus.ii The phrase ―the Consolation of Israel‖ certainly had
technical messianic overtones in other contemporary Jewish sourcesiii, and later Rabbinic
Judaism frequently employed it to refer to the Messiah.iv As one historian notes: ―In Rab.
Judaism the ‘consolation of Israel’ is a blanket term for the fulfillment of Messianic
expectation…‖v Another author agrees: ―…’the consolation of Israel,’ is rooted in the consolation
language which in Isaiah is connected with God‘s eschatological restoration of his people (Isa
40:1; 49:13; 51:3; 52:9; 57:18; 66:10–11).‖vi David Gooding further elucidates the origins of this
expression, saying:
The delightful term ‘consolation of Israel’ suggests that his expectation was based on the
programme enunciated in such passages as Isaiah 40ff. He was looking for the day when
Israel’s warfare and chastisement would be over, and God would ‘comfort his people’.
Nor was Simeon narrowly concerned simply for the future of Israel. Basing himself again
on Isaiah’s predictions (e.g. 42:6; 49:6 etc.) he foresaw the time when the light of God’s
salvation would spread to the very ends of the earth (see 2:31-32).vii
TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.

Book Recommendation

I recommend this new book by my friend & brother in Christ, Joe-Paul Swinski. It is available here: http://shop6.mailordercentral.com/gospel/searchprods.asp -KRK

From GFP’s website:

The Battleground of Rational Fear
By: Joe-Paul Swinski

“And yet we are saved…”

This refrain plays through my mind as I encounter struggles in my own life and see them in the life of so many Christians who are near and dear to me. We all took that step of faith where we proclaimed we were helplessly dead in our sins and could do nothing but call out to the God of Heaven and Earth to save us and bring us into an eternal relationship with Him. We took that step of faith and maybe we thought that everything else would fall into place. The growing pains I experienced when I realized that God would neither remove me from the battle that is life, nor give me the victory over every struggle I faced the first day I was saved is still fresh in my mind. Listening to a respected leader in our church who I go to for advice and encouragement, I was sternly reminded that the road of faith and dependence on God does not end with salvation. “How were you saved,” he asked. “By faith,” I replied. “And do you think we no longer live by faith now that we are saved?” “No, I guess not.” This book is a collection of the lessons I learned as I came to realize this most basic truth. — from the Preface

Each chapter in this book will start off with a corresponding key verse. Appropriately, the key verse for the whole book is Proverbs 3:5. As you read through the pages that follow, I want you to ask yourself: “How would I act if I truly obeyed this verse?”

A Loving God Must Send The Lost To Hell

TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false
teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the
Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow
their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By
covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment
has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. For if God did not spare the
angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of
darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved
Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the
world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes,
condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would
live ungodly.”2 Peter 2:1-6

Recycling Old Lies

The recent publication of Rob Bell’s Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of
Every Person Who Ever Lived generated much commentary in the media, including interviews
with the eminent journalists George Stephanopoulos and Martin Bashir.i While denying that he is
a universalist, Bell makes contradictory statements that point in that heretical direction.ii Of
course, “evangelical” critiques of the Bible’s teaching on eternal punishment in the lake of fire
are nothing new. During the past thirty years various prominent scholars have vacillated on this
controversial issue, while others have denied it outright.iii Some prominent nineteenth-century
evangelical scholars also had difficulties with this doctrine – F.W. Farrar and Andrew Jukes to
name a few.iv Human doubts and opinions notwithstanding, the clear teaching of the Bible
affirms that the holy God of the Universe will consign unrepentant sinners to eternal punishment
in the lake of fire (e.g. Mk. 9:38-50; Rom. 2:4-11; Rev. 20:10-15.) Peter warned that such false
teachers would arise; thus one should not be surprised to read of heresies like this universalism
and annihilationism reappearing in modern times.
As horrible as it may be to contemplate the future perdition of the lost, eternal punishment
shows that God is righteous and loving. If the Almighty did not judge sin and evil, then He
would be an accomplice to every wicked thought and act ever committed by men on planet earth.
If there is no justice beyond this world, then the heinous deeds of men against their fellow
creatures would be unresolved. It would mean that God does not care about the damage that sin
does to people made in His image. Genocide, war, corruption, oppression, and perversions of
every kind would go unpunished; therefore, the Lord would be saying that He is uncaring toward
those who are hurt by these sins. Hitler, Stalin, Mao and many other tyrants would escape any
reckoning for their lives of iniquity and dissipation. The cross of Christ pronounced judgment
upon this wicked world, for only the redemptive work of Christ – which entailed His
unparalleled suffering for sin in all of its foulness – could adequately provide a payment for such
evil (John 3:18-21; Gal. 6:14; Eph. 1:7.)
TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.

When The Earth Shakes

TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.

They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth,
From the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold,
Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats,
To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks,
From the terror of the LORD, and the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
Isaiah 2:19-21
The recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan – not to mention Haiti and Chile in 2010 –
ought to remind people of the unstable nature of life on this planet. Yet one must keep in mind
that “the earth is the Lord‟s and all of its fullness”; as the Creator He controls its destiny (Psa.
24:1.) The Bible teaches that He sometimes uses natural catastrophes to turn men back to
Himself. On other occasions, He judges cities like Sodom and Gomorrah through cataclysms of
one sort or another (Gen. 19.) Natural disasters are a result of the Fall: the event when Adam and
Eve brought sin and death into the world (Gen. 3.) Ever since that tragedy, the creation has
groaned under the weight of sin‟s corrosive effects (Rom. 8:20-22.) Thankfully, the Bible assures
people that it will not be this way forever, when the glorious liberty of the sons of God dawns,
the broken power of sin will be rolled back from planet earth.
TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.

A Tribute To My Father, Bruce Keyser

TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.

Big Dad At Rest

A Tribute To Bruce Keyser

By: Keith Keyser

My father wanted me to speak at his funeral, but I told him that I am simply not emotionally strong enough to fulfil this request. So with love and respect for my father, I would like to say a few things in print, & rely on my good friend and brother in the Lord Larry Price to read them for me.

First, as a family, the Keysers would like to thank each of you for coming and supporting us as we grieve. Those who are helping us in many ways – large and small – are too many for us to enumerate. Nevertheless, special mention must go to Nate & Heather Wilcha for their faithful care and service towards my parents. Their kindness is a practical demonstration of the love of Christ, and we appreciate them opening their home when ours was unsuitable to accommodate my father’s special needs. We also want to thank the believers gathered in the Lord’s name at Grace Gospel Chapel for their continued prayers and support during my father’s long illness & the trials that accompanied it. We are also grateful to our extended spiritual family of Christians in many places who have prayed and expressed their sympathy – and are even now – praying for us.

Often times when someone dies the thoughts of people become theologically fuzzy. Many eulogies are guilty of indulging in wishful thinking or mere human sentimentality. Obviously people want to think of their loved ones as being in a better place, but what confidence can we put in such notions? A classic hymn was running through my mother’s mind during the last few days of Dad’s life: “When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be/when we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.” The problem is: We’re not all going to heaven. Wishing that our loved ones are there or that we will one day go there, doesn’t ensure a place in the presence of the Holy God.
TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE TITLE.