CURRENT EVENTS UPDATE: (1) The FBI and CDC are dishonest government organizations lying and hiding the true statistics regarding armed citizens stopping crime, and (2) EMDR psycho-therapy is being exposed as nothing more than re-packaged occultism using the techniques of eastern mystical religions, the new age, etc.
In our study, the apostles lead by Peter preach the facts of Jesus being murder by death on the Cross and the reality of His bodily resurrection which "cuts to the heart" of the leaders of Israel. We see their initial reaction being tamed by the worldly (and only partially accurate) wisdom of Gamaliel. But the apostles are still severely persecuted even as they praise God for being worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Also Reference: Acts 5:29, 1 Peter 2:20, 1 Peter 3:14, 1 Peter 4:16-19
As servants of God doing his will, Christians are commanded to submit to human institutions which are ordained by the Lord for maintaining order in society. We are not to be law-breakers or trouble makers but good citizens. Thus we will be vindicated in the eyes of the world who would seek to slander us.
As those who are coming into the church of God, we need to remember the change that has taken place. Paul has already dealt with that incredible change on a personal level. Now he considers how God's marvelous favor on those who have earned only His just and good punishment works to incorporate them into the work that Jesus already began among the Jews. This is the work of building up a better temple than the one that came before. This temple is a Spiritual temple in which God will always dwell. Our job is to remember the before and after of what God is doing in us.
On Tuesday of the week when Jesus was executed, his religious political enemies sought to entrap him by various trick questions. The first one was the political question on the payment of taxes. It is a theological-political question that relates to life in the society and to life as a Christian. If he had said, "Pay the taxes," the Jewish people who resented Rome would possibly have turned on him and if he had said, "Do not pay the taxes," then he would have been in trouble with the political power of the Roman occupiers.
New Heart, New Spirit_18PT1Ezekiel 22:1-22God asked Ezekiel, Will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? This is similar to the questions God asked him at the beginning of this section on Jerusalem's sin. If Ezekiel was to function as a prosecuting attorney or judge, he had to declare the facts of the case. He needed to confront Jerusalem with all her detestable practices.Then God gave Ezekiel two charges to present against the city: shedding blood and making idols.Jerusalem's sin would be punished—the end of her years had come. Ezekiel cited sins that specifically violated some of the Ten Commandments ( Ex. 20:1-17): social injustice (Ezek. 22:7), apostasy (v. 8), idolatry (v. 9), immorality (vv. 10-11), and greed (v. 12). The list concluded with another sin, the root problem behind the others: you have forgotten Me (23:35). God would strike His hands together in derision against Jerusalem. The proud and insolent people who treated God's commands lightly would not be able to dismiss His judgment. Their courage would vanish when God would disperse them among the nations.Moses had warned Israel that national disobedience would eventually lead to dispersion (Lev. 26:27-39; Deut. 28:64-68) Israel had defiled God's Law; now she would be defiled in the eyes of the nations. After the nation was dispersed she would understand the character of the God she had scorned and forgotten: you will know that I am the Lord.Ezekiel's second message stressed that Jerusalem would become a furnace of affliction a smelting furnace of judgment that would melt those who remained in it.Israel had become worthless to God, for she was dross to Him—like the scum of metals.
Paul calls the Gentiles to remember what they once were and introduces them to a great turn when he tells them, "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
To what nation are you are citizen? I am a citizen of America. But as a believer, I am a citizen of Heaven also.
In Christ, every believer is a citizen of Heaven. Let's learn what that means from the Bible.
What is the biblical view of "the last days" and "the end" (eschatology)? Is it optimistic or pessimistic? Our eschatological viewpoint matters. It is a lens through which we see all that happens or will happen in the world around us. If the Son reigns in earth, as it is in heaven, and his kingdom will continue to grow until he hands it to the Father, we have hope in these "last days", knowing that God's will for the kingdom will prevail.
Christ Church Presbyterian is a church plant in the northwest Knoxville area of East Tennessee. Visit www.ComeToChrist.Church to learn more. If you are in the Knoxville area, you're invited to join us Sundays at 9:30 am to worship our Triune-God. We pray the Lord will bless you through the pulpit ministry of Christ Church Presbyterian. Soli Deo Gloria!
Paul describes two groups of people. One is made up of the enemies of God. The other consists of friends of God, and he declares these have their citizenship in heaven. That is, they belong to a kingdom which is not considered geographically. This kingdom has people across the globe, and its king is the Lord God Almighty. It's capital is heaven, and we see how the church is described as coming from heaven in the conversion of its members. We consider chiefly how we should endeavour to become model citizens of this heavenly country, this New Jerusalem, this Zion, in preparation for our resurrection to the world to come.