Friday, May 20, 2011

God Does Not Pass Out Paychecks

"Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name?' and I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' " Matthew 7

The people described by Jesus above believe that they can earn God's love and favor. There are whole religions based on this premise, yet, Jesus says, "I never knew you." So what is the will of the Father?

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. this man came to Jesus by night and said to him, 'Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' " John 3

The will of the Father is that we be born anew by choosing to accept the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. Think of it God creates man along with a beautiful home where man can live safely. There is only one commandment - "do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil." One commandment and man does it anyway. The result should have been eternal death.

Instead our Creator - our King - dies for us. He loved us so much that He died for us and all we have to do is believe. And still, preachers and priests are instructing their parishioners on what they need to do to obtain God's favor! Where was the message lost? It was so simple - just believe and everything He has is yours. Our entrance into God's kingdom is not based on our works - but His works.

God does not pass out paychecks - he bestows gifts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Fig Tree Produces Fruit in May

Jeremiah's vision of the first dispersion: "..and the Lord showed me this vision - behold two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs and the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten." Jeremiah 24

Further reference to the good figs and the bad figs. "On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs." Mark 11. Immediately after this Jesus drives the money changers from the temple.

It is estimated that the genus we know as the fig tree began over 5,000 years ago. It is accepted that Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves after their sin. Fig trees require at least eight hours each day in sunlight which is why they are usually grown in warm, dry climates. Figs have a long juvenile development (four to five years) before maturing and producing fruit. A mature fig tree will produce its first harvest in May (Israel, May 1947).

"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as it branch becomes tender and puts forth its leave, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." Matthew 24

So what is a generation? "For all our days pass away under thy wrath, our years come to an end like a sign. the years of our life are threescore and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away." Psalms 90

This month - May, 2011 - Israel turned 63 years old. The people who saw Israel's birth will soon turn 70 or 80 (7-17 years). Then heaven and earth will pass away. Repent, believe and be saved.