|Volume 22 Number 1 January 2020||
David A. Adenugba
God told His people Israel to repent of their sins, especially that of idol worshipping, in order to continue to enjoy the blessings of the Promised Land. However, they declined! He promised to scatter them among all the nations of the world for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11). “A dog that will be lost,” the aphorism says, “will not listen to its owner’s whistle.” That was what happened to the Jews. First class violent and peak immorality characterized the Jewish nation, aside from widespread injustice and unrighteousness. Prophet Amos, a servant of God from Tekoa, cried out, “But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).
By around 721-722 B.C, the cup of God’s vengeance for the Northern Kingdom (Israel) had overflowed. God permitted the Assyrian Empire to whisk Israel away into captivity, leaving behind the Southern Kingdom (Judah). If only Judah were wise, she could have turned fully to God and been obedient to His commandments. Judah was hell-bent in sinning. God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar to carry them into captivity in 586 B.C. If Israel and Judah had been wise, they would not have suffered great reproach and terrible shame in the hands of their foes; many of them would not have died also at great spiritual loss. Merciful God turned His back on Judah to be recklessly treated and murdered. What God decreed to do, that He would do!
Are you wise? You should seek to be wise! Wise people, read the Bible and gain insight into eternity. Don’t add to it, and never take away from it (Deuteronomy 4:2). “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). As you read, listen and use sure blessings of God, which are for you now and eternally (Revelation 1:3).
Turn to God today in obedient faith, and if you have done so, maintain your purity in Him! What God promised to do in this Christian dispensation that He will do! God will punish all ungodly and sinners “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Those saying God will not destroy this world should read 2 Peter 3:7-9 and sink their mundane knowledge and pride to accept God’s final verdict.
Are you wise? Prudent people, stop worshipping idols. God hates idolatry! The apostle John said, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21). Paul told the Corinthians to flee, not just walk away from idolatry. “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14). Jesus told Satan who to worship. “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve‘” (Matthew 4:10).
Furthermore, wise people, cease committing sexual immorality. “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 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 6:18-20). As wise folks, you are to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Besides, you must not conform to “this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). If you have not married, you may marry; it is honourable, “but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). If you have married, stop extra-marital affairs (Proverbs 6:26-35).
In addition, wise people preach and teach the Gospel of Christ and gain souls for the Lord (Proverbs 11:30; James 5:20). Be wise, teach the Word of God always. Be wise, preach to lost souls. Don’t twist the Word of God.
[Editor’s Note: Idolatry manifests itself in many forms. For instance, the worldwide community cannot distinguish between the idols of eastern religions and Catholic statues and such. The reason, of course, is that they are essentially the same thing. In addition, no one is wiser today than Old Testament Israel and Judah if he or she practices sexual immorality; the eternal end is the same. Only by practicing Christianity faithfully as well as proclaiming it can we legitimately hope for a better eternity than reserved for others “who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
Closer than Ever Before
“…Now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11b). This remarkable phrase from the apostle Paul creates wonder in the reader. How it struck the Roman Christians, we can only imagine. However, how it creates in us the sense of urgency and excitement for the return of Jesus is powerful.
Reading this, it is easy to think, “Perhaps today!” We know that Simon Peter said that time was relative with God (2 Peter 3:8), but we also know that Jesus said to watch, because you do not know when that day will be (Mark 13:31-37).
The fact we are closer now to that day than when we became Christians means that date really is on God’s calendar. We are, every day, every year, getting closer to it.
If there is no other reason to rejoice in another sunrise, certainly this suffices. If there is no other reason to praise God for another opportunity for service and praise, then this in itself grabs the heart, fills the spirit and directs us heavenward. We are that much closer, that much nearer and closer than ever before!