Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 24 Number 2 February 2022
Page 13

Do Not Put God to the Test

Cliff Holmes

Cliff HolmesMany years ago, I read this post on Facebook. “When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go. One of two things will happen. Either He’ll catch you when you fall, or He’ll teach you how to fly!” At first it seemed quite good, but after a moment of consideration, I thought better. I told myself that something was not quite right about this.

Then, I read Matthew 4:5-7.

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (NKJV).

Would God actually lead us to the edge of a cliff? Would He really tempt us to throw ourselves over? The answer is a resounding, “No!” Only Satan would tempt us as he tempted our Lord Jesus. The voice of Jesus tells us “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:7 ESV).

If We Knew a Thief Was Coming

Brian R. Kenyon

Brian R. KenyonIf we knew a thief was coming, we would make sure our house was secure! Yet, Scripture teaches that “…the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 NKJV). This passage teaches we can be certain about the uncertainty of when Jesus returns.

Unexpectedness is inherent by the term “thief” and is heightened by “in the night” (cf., Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 17:24-32; 21:34-36; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; 16:15). The unexpectedness of Christ’s return will be disastrous to those who are not expecting it. Some will be at ease with a false sense of security. The scene is reminiscent of Old Testament Jews before the captivity (cf., Jeremiah 6:1, 14; 8:4-15; Ezekiel 13:10-16). They were told God would never destroy His temple, so there was no need for those in Jerusalem to worry. These deceived people were wrong then, and people today are wrong now (2 Peter 3:3-7).

Those not expecting Christ’s coming will be tragically surprised. “Sudden” describes the startling nature of the event (Luke 21:34). “Destruction” here is not annihilation but eternal loss of fellowship with God (cf., 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 6:9). “Labor pains upon a pregnant woman” is used here to refer to the painful certainty of “destruction.” That is, when the time has come for a pregnant woman to deliver her baby, there is nothing stopping that child from exiting the womb. The labor pains cannot be avoided! Escape from standing before God in the Judgment will be impossible when Jesus returns! Let us not be lax in our readiness, but let us have our “house” ready and waiting for the Lord’s return!

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