Archive for January, 2010

The death of the righteous

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Num 23:10 “….Let me die the death of the righteous , and let my last end be like his!”


None face death with a hope similar to the righteous. Nearly everyone in the world hopes to be counted among the righteous when they die, yet few make any moves to make that be the case. The Bible teaches that there are “none righteous, no not one” (Rom  3:10), yet it also teaches that there are some righteous who have a hope in death that none else can have (Prov 14:32). Whence cometh this righteousness to provide such hope?


The righteousness that justifies is a righteousness that is counted ours and appropriated by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yet some may be justified that may not have the hope in death that they would seek. So what righteousness does one have that gives them this hope? It is an assurance of righteousness imputed which is given by the Lord Jesus Christ to them that have walked with Him and love Him for His very person. These are not self-righteous people, but rather they are Christ-righteous, and have an assurance of such directly from Him. They not only have heard and believed the good news of a Saviour, but they have met Christ this side of heaven, and the meeting with Christ assures them of a future meeting with Him under pleasant circumstances.


The righteous that has hope in his death is him who has met Christ and actually walked with Him. He may have stumbled, he may have fell, but he has walked with the Lord such that he loves and trusts Him with all his heart. Many are like Lot, who yet saved, have not that which is called a deathbed hope. Why? Because they have never really taken the time to walk with Christ. It is in the walk where you learn to trust Him in ALL, and He in turn gives an assurance of imputed righteousness that cannot be taken away. It is this assurance which offers the deathbed hope.


The world will consider you weird, the world will consider you strange, the world will despise you because you are not like them. There is nothing you can do about that, it is just fact. What you can do is use the time when you are hated and despised to grow your walk with Christ even more.


The world has hated the righteous while they are here, yet it is hard to say anything bad about them when they are gone. Why? Because the life of the righteous has been a testimony to the power of Christ. Though none is perfect, one has to raise the standard of judgment so high to condemn the righteous, that they must in the same breath condemn themselves. This is one of the things that causes even the wicked to want to die the death of the righteous. They can say nothing against the righteous that does not also condemn themselves. They know the righteous have laid up in store, treasures in heaven, that cannot be removed. They know that they themselves have not laid up such treasure, and will regret it sometime in the future.


Another reason even the wicked want to die the death of the righteous is that peace that passeth all understanding that the wicked see the righteous have as they face death. The wicked face death in fear or apprehension (Heb 2:15), whereas the righteous face it with joy and hope (Prov 14:32, Phil 1:23). In the righteous, there is a willingness to depart and be with Christ which is far better, that the wicked know nothing about. It is not a dying without hope, it is a hope in death as one that sees across to the other side, just like crossing the river Jordan on the way to the promised land.


Prov 14:32 “…the righteous hath hope in his death.”

The only son of Abraham

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Gen 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.


In the Bible are many what we would call contradictory statements, yet each can be fully harmonized as we properly consider what they mean. Take Isaac being referred to as the only son of Abraham for example. We know that Abraham had more than one son, and even that Ishmael was fathered by Abraham before Isaac. So in what sense is Isaac Abraham’s only son.


There are couple of senses, the first being that Isaac was a type of Christ, the only begotten son of God, and to properly typify this, Isaac also must be considered an only son. Knowing of other sons means that Isaac was not an only son by generation, but by the promise. Therefore, Isaac is also typical of the child of God, and as such receives the blessing simply because of the promise of God. As the receiver of the promise which was fathered in Abraham (Rom 4:11), Isaac was then given all that Abraham had (Gen 24:36). Sure Abraham gave gifts to his other children by generation (Gen 25:6), but the gifts were comparatively small in light of that which he had passed down to Isaac, which because it had eternal value was considered ALL (Gen 25:5).


In relation to the type of Christ, Abraham as father was willing to sacrifice his own son even though the covenantal promise of God must come through Isaac (Gen 17:19), thereby believing that God was able to raise him from the dead to fulfill the promise (Heb 11:19). The Lord in mercy took Abraham`s will for the deed and provided Himself a substitutionary sacrifice (Gen 22:12-13). In this the Lord showed that if even a man can be willing to put his own son on the altar, then may God not do much more on the behalf of men?


In relation to the type of the child of God, Isaac is considered an only son when the inheritance is passed out. Sure before the time of the inheritance the children received gifts, but these gifts were temporal, and had no eternal value. Likewise today, in a certain sense God is the Father of all mankind, for without his making us a living soul (Gen 2:7) none of us would live. In this he provides some basic gifts in varying measure to all mankind (yes even to those who hate Him), basic things such as food, water, air, etc. and even some special gifts like happiness, and personal safety; all of which are temporal in nature. They are gifts that can be used now, but are of no use in eternity. The child of God however takes the gifts and continues on to receive the promise by faith, thereby ensuring that when the eternal inheritance is passed out, they will receive ALL that the Father has to give. Being a child of the promise qualifies one to receive the only things of real lasting value. The gifts of earth are temporal, but the ‘ALL’ that is truly valuable that the Father has to give for eternity, is reserved for those who have become the children of God by faith.


It is in this sense Isaac who was considered an only son because of the promise of God, received ALL that his father had to give. It is in this sense that the Christian who though troubled in this world, becomes an heir of the promise in the next world through faith in the Son, and inherits ALL that the Father has to give for eternity!


Gen 25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

The sin of Sodom

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Ezek 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.


There is a great deal of the sin of Sodom prevalent in this world of abundance. Many look at the grosser sins of Sodom as that which have defined Sodom, but in reality the sin of Sodom is that which few people may even consider to be sin.


1)       Pride is an obvious one which though not often considered breaking a commandment, is that which caused the devil to fall. He was lifted up in his own imaginations and rebelled against his Creator. Pride is the overwhelming sin of the western world.

2)       Fulness of bread, is one that few will consider sin, yet it is fullness of bread, or having as much to eat as one can desire that spurred on the lust of Sodom. “The poor man searches for meat for his belly, whereas the rich man searches for belly for his meat”, says a wise one. Many people are not eating to live, but rather living to eat. We have so much good food that we must try to find room in our stomach for it, what gluttony! As we come off the back end of this season of gluttony we know that this sin of Sodom abounds!

3)       Abundance of idleness is another that few will consider sin. Having too much time and doing too little in it with regards to survival or eternity. Survival is relatively easy in this day of abundance, easy enough that people believe they have spare time on their hands.  This is why people crave entertainment or hobbies, they see not a need for providing for their and another’s eternity. Sodom cared little about their own soul and for the souls of others, otherwise they would have found that they had not enough time for entertainment. Were the TV invented in the days of Sodom, I am sure it would have been listed. We as a nation have so little to do and so much to eat that fat farms and the like have become a booming business. 200 years ago it was all that people could do to keep the roof on their head, enough food in their stomach and provide for the care of souls. Today it is, where can I find the next thrill/vacation/adventure/pastime etc?

4)       Failing to strengthen the hand of the poor and needy is another of the great sins that Sodom had, albeit a sin of omission this time. We like they, have an abundance of food and idle time, yet lust for more because we are lazy creatures that care little about the needs of others. The word of the day is let us eat drink and be merry while others perish for want of these things. Sodom had too much food, too much idle time and no desire to do anything with it other than satisfy their own lusts. They had little thought of the poor and needy, and even less action in helping them in their situations. Sound like anyone you know?

5)       Haughtiness says, that even though this is so, it’s their problem. I have worked for what I have, and will use it to serve myself because I deserve it. Really? If you knew what you deserved, you wouldn’t be quite so haughty. That pride-induced high look down the nose isn’t fitting for one who thinks so much of themselves. If you can read this, you already have enough to help one who doesn’t. I invite you to come down off of that high horse, and do good to the souls of men, taking your place as a servant.

6)       Committing abomination came naturally to Sodom, just as naturally as it comes to us. We defile the Lord’s day, we look for deals such that the labourer is robbed of his pay, we willingly partake in the evils of the world through entertainment, we lust and covet that which we ought not to, we worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. Yes, these abominations were prevalent in Sodom, and they are prevalent in us. Were we all to take an honest look at ourselves we would consider ourselves Sodomites indeed!

7)       The end of the matter was that Sodom was destroyed for all this, and we know that ‘as it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be also in the days of the coming of the Son of man’. Yet we know from Lam 4:6 that which is coming upon the world will be worse than that which came upon Sodom, which, though they were destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven, was bad enough. What then can become of us?


You say this particular thing you are doing isn’t considered ‘a sin’, whereas the fact of the matter is that even taking time to justify yourself in it is a sin, even your best efforts at prayer are sin if not sanctified by the blood of Christ. As a fallen creature you will attempt to justify yourself and your deeds before God, instead of acknowledging your sin. It is sin, all of it, that is why you need a Saviour, that is why I do as well. ‘For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God’.


Nevertheless, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’. Acknowledge your sin, and your need of a Saviour, and trust Christ the Saviour of sinners today.


Acts 16:30-31…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…