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Monday, 31 March 2014

What is a Christian?

On a number of occasions, over the years, I have preached on the question: "What is a Christian?"  I have come at the question from different angles, and provided a number of answers to it.  However, someone from my Facebook contacts placed the following on their page and, as well as sharing it on that particular social medium, I want to share it here.  I wish that I had read it a long time ago - and if I preach on that same subject in the future, I will undoubtedly make reference to this.  Indeed, I may well quote it in full!

I hope that many who read it 'get the message'! 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Coincidence?!

There may well be those who will say, or think, "What a coincidence"!  Personally, I don't believe in coincidence. The fact that, just after I had published the post below, I opened an e-mail to find this video-clip, is much more than 'coincidence'.   It does show that one doesn't have to be an atheist to be a scientist; that one doesn't have to be a scientist to be an atheist; and that an atheist can come to faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  That latter fact is the most wonderful of the three - and it apples to anyone who will look, honestly, at the Gospel record.

As my former minister, mentor, and personal friend, the late Rev. George B Duncan, would often say: Don't look at the church - it's full of faults; don't look at the congregations - they are made up of sinners; don't look at the clergy - they're no different from the rest; look at the Christ - the only Person in the history of mankind Who could ask even His enemies, "Which of you convicts Me of sin?", and receive no answer!  (For the record, the typo is not mine!!).

Evolution - or adaptation?!

It was a brief newspaper article that informed me that salamanders - those lizard-like amphibians - in the Applachian Mountains of the eastern U.S.of A., have shrunk in size by eight per cent over the past fifty years!  Scientists, it was reported, "... attributed the evolution to the species adapting to climate change." (Minicosm, 26/03/14).

I found that to be a very interesting comment.  In one sentence, it used two words as if they are almost synonymous - without, apparently, realising that they are totally different!   If these creatures had "evolved", they would now be something different.  That, after all, is what evolution is claimed to do.  There would also, especially after such a brief period, be an abundance of intermediate creatures - those that were part of the way between the salamanders of fifty years ago and the creature into which they had evolved.

The other word that was used in the quotation is, of course, much more accurate.  These salamanders have not 'evolved'; they have merely adapted to changes in climate - or other environmental changes that may even be fairly localised!   They are still salamanders!

Even as a non-biologist, I get annoyed at this loose use of the English language that leads those who take such statements at face value to pontificate that, once again, "science has 'proved' evolution"!

There is another thought.  If these salamanders had 'evolved' into a new form of creature in fifty years, that would shoot gigantic holes in the 'old-earth' theory, i.e. the theory that the planet is millions of years old.  These vast time periods are necessary to support the Darwinian Theory of Evolution, as they are required to permit the gradual changes that the theory promotes, and that allowed (to put it simplistically) amoeba to evolve into human beings.   Of course, if that had been the case, as it is often claimed is shown by the fossil record, then there would evidence in that record of those intermediate forms.  Even Darwin accepted that, and is recorded as having stated that, if such fossils were never to be found (and he expected that, in his very near future, they would) it would be a major blow to his theory!

As has been pointed out by many who are much cleverer than I, evolution is not a scientific fact.  It is an anti-God philosophy espoused by humanists and atheists.   True science has two basic requirements before a theory may be accepted as a fact: observation, and repetition.  In other words, I must be able to observe the experiment (or whatever) that I am performing, and I must be able to repeat it.  Obviously, neither of these is possible with regard to the past.

So don't allow the atheistic 'scientists' to fool you.  Often, they can't even differentiate between evolution and adaptation!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Tribute - Proverbs 31:10ff

Many people, over the years, have commented on how much I take after my late dad.  I share his looks; his mannerisms; his quiet nature (okay, that last one is a joke!).  I am happy to be connected with a man whom I loved and admired as much as I did.

And there is a third similarity - a genuine one!  My dad was married to a wonderful woman in my mum!  I am so glad that I take after him in that.  These past few days have been hectic.  While newspaper reports would suggest that it is very easy to get into the UK without a passport, we have been having great difficulty obtaining replacement passports in order to get out of the UK, next month, on our first visit to France for this year!

The bulk of the 'phoning and running around has fallen to my own wee wife.  She suffers from a 'hidden' medical condition that is exacerbated by stress of any kind and, at times over these past days, she has been put "through the mill" to an extent that she could well have done without.   Yet she has plodded on, and has an appointment at the Glasgow Passport Office, on Monday when, we trust, this particular saga will be concluded.

In the Biblical Book of Proverbs, we find a wonderful description of a wife:

"A good wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.  She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.  She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar.  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens.  She considers a field and buys it;with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.  She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong.  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.  Her lamp does not go out at night.  She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.  She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.  She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.  She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.  She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers girdles to the merchant.  Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  'Many women have done excellently,but you surpass them all.'  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." (31:10-31).

I am so grateful to Father God that He gave me such a wife.  The details may be different - we do not live in the same culture - but the principles of the "good wife" are the same.  Words are not sufficient to say how much I love her - but I do!  She has been a loving, caring, supportive, encouraging, faithful, wife for more than forty-three years, and has been a wonderful mother to the two super daughters whom she bore to me.

Thank you, my love.  You are, indeed, "more precious than jewels".

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Text; context; pretext!

It's a well-known maxim among those who are involved in the fields of theology (study of God), homiletics (the art of preaching), and hermeneutics (the skill of Biblical interpretation), that "A text, out of context, is a pretext"!  Sadly, there are some texts of Scripture that are regularly taken out of context and, thus, totally mis-applied - even by some who are Bible believing, Gospel preaching, disciples of Jesus.

One such is Rev.3:20.  This reads "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me." (RSV).  How often has that text, together with Holman Hunt's famous painting, been used in evangelistic services as an invitation to the unconverted to open the doors of their hearts, and allow the Saviour to enter? 

However, if we take the trouble to look at the surrounding verses (the context) we discover that those words were spoken, not to unbelievers, but to the church (i.e. the people who made up the church - there was no 'church building' at that time) in Laodicea.  The invitation is to 'church members'!

At Wishaw Baptist Church, this morning, we were reminded that there are, in the church - and you may read that as any individual fellowship, or as the church world-wide - both false professors and faith professors.  In other words, there are those who, while happy to sit in a church building, have never entered into a living relationship with the Lord Jesus!   As has been written: "The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christian, but who aren't actually interested in following Christ.  They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them." (Kyle Idleman).

Another well-known, and oft-quoted text in this category is the one that was used in my hearing today, and led to this post being published.  It reads: "... if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (RSV).  What a wonderful promise!  And the state of the British nation - and most of the so-called 'western world' - would certainly lead many to claim that promise for their own land.

But wait a minute!  Those words are found in II Chron.7:14.  That is in the Old Testament.  They are a direct response, by YHWH (the Covenant Name of Almighty God), to king Solomon, after his prayer at the dedication of the first Temple,and its consecration by YHWH Himself.  They are words that apply directly to the Jewish people, written in one of the historical books, and without any warrant to transpose them to any other contemporary situation!   If they are to be used in such a way, I would contend that they would require the same national repentance, and crying out to God, that was required of the Children of Israel.  They failed to do so - and the result may be seen, as prophesied by YHWH, and recorded in vs.19-22.

We live in difficult times.  The Christian faith, and the disciples of Jesus, are being increasingly mocked, macerated, and marginalised.  But perhaps, instead of trying to claim the promise of II Chron.7:14, the church should be heeding the warning, implicit in Rev.3:20!
 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

"History", I recall having been informed, "repeats itself."  However, there are certain historical events that I would not wish to see repeated.  This clip refers to one of them.  Yet, in order to avoid the repetition of some of history, we need to be ever vigilant.  Do watch, and share.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/B084EmNeNDk?feature=player_embedded

Friday, 21 March 2014

An open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Dear Mr Osborne,

Although I make no claim to be an economist, I think that I have now grasped the main points of your latest Budget, as they pertain to me - a teetotal pensioner with a very modest occupational pension, who does not play Bingo.
 
I am delighted to know that I am now able to deposit £15,000 in my ISA.  Unfortunately, the £50+ that it currently holds is about as much as it is going to have for the foreseeable future.   With that £50, I am probably still better off than many of my fellow senior citizens!  Even if I did have the level of savings that you appear to consider to be quite normal, the interest rate on the ISA that I do have is so low as to make it little better than placing my £15k in a sock, and hiding it under the mattress!
 
You have also ensured that I have greater freedom with regard to my 'pension pot'.  Regretfully, along with many others, my bed is already well made, and I must sleep thereon.

It was interesting to see that you have raised the personal tax allowance.  However, as far as I can see, you have not raised it for those of us who are receiving a state pension.  I am still awaiting the documentation from my occupational pension provider, but I suspect that the very small increase in my state pension will be, effectively, swallowed up by the fact that I will have to pay more tax on my occupational one.
 
All in all, I regret to have to say that I was not, at a personal level, the least bit impressed by your Budget.  Perhaps I missed something - and, if so, I trust that someone will enlighten me - but my personal verdict is a great 'thumbs down'.  This is one 'grey vote' that you will not have!
 
Kind regards.
 
[Now all that I need is for someone to direct Mr Osborne to my blog!!!!]

Thursday, 20 March 2014

A prayer for the Church.

As I approach the completion of vol.2 in my "Getting to know you" series of books (Foundations of the Faith, for anyone interested!), I am already thinking of future volume!   I suspect that vol.3 will be People Jesus met and, having watched a video (that I endeavoured, unsuccessfully as you can see, to add below), vol.4 might well be Great prayers in the Bible.

These are wonderful words from the great apostle to the Gentiles, in his letter to the believers in the ancient city of Ephesus.  Certainly one of the great prayers to be found in the written Word of God.

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
" (Eph. 3:14-21; NIV).

Sunday, 16 March 2014

So, what would YOU do?

Imagine, if you will, that you are the mother of three pre-/primary school children.   It is a school holiday; your husband is at work; you are caring for the children at home.  Your eldest child is in her bedroom, with her computer; the middle boy is outside, playing in the garden; the baby is in the kitchen in a high-chair, as you prepare a meal.

Suddenly, an alarm sounds - a Red Alert alarm.  You know that you have fifteen seconds to get to a shelter.  You also know that you cannot possibly grab all three of your children in that time.  What do you do?  Who do you take, and who do you leave?  It is a dilemma of major proportion!

Yet such a dilemma regularly faces the inhabitants of many Israeli towns that are within range of Islamic Jihad (now the largest, and most influential, Palestinian militant movement) rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip. [The photographs show part of a consignment of weapons that were recently being smuggled from Iran to Gaza, to be used against Israel.  These were intercepted by the IFD (Israeli Defence Force)].

On Wednesday, Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for more than 100 rockets that were fired toward Israel, a spokesman for Al-Quds (the military wing of Islamic Jihad) told Palestinian news agency Ma'an.  "You haven't yet seen the extent of our capabilities," added the spokesman, who further threatened to fire extended range missiles.  Residents in southern Israel have reported several rocket alerts going off consecutively.

It is worthwhile having such information when so much of the popular media insists on demonising Israel.  Yet it is Israel that is the only true democracy in the Middle East.  Of its population of just over seven-and-a-half million, over one-and-a-half million are Arabs - a substantial minority!  Yet they enjoy equal rights; equal access to education; equal rights in voting and representation - with 10% of the membership of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament); and even equal rights to exhibit, as a table in a Hebrew University clearly demonstrated - it was promoting Hamas (at the time, the leading Palestinian movement!).  Israeli hospitals regularly treat Palestinians who have been wounded in the ongoing conflict, with children being particularly well cared for.

So, next time someone speaks to you about those terrible Israelis, and their despicable treatment of the poor Palestinians, please set them right.  Let them know the truth - not the propaganda put out by the militants, whose only desire is the complete destruction of the modern State of Israel!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Bearing your cross!

Many folk, even in our increasingly post-Christian, Western, culture speak of the cross that they have to bear.  This usually refers to some kind of unpleasant set of circumstances over which they have no control.  They will say, in connection with their particular trial: "Well, it's my cross, and I'll just have to bear it!"

In fact, this is an inaccurate statement!  Such unpleasant circumstances and experiences may be thorns, or afflictions.  However, at least in the Biblical sense, they are not crosses.  Our cross is something that we assume voluntarily!  Jesus said, ""If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." (Matt 16:24).  The cross stands for death to self.  It entails suffering for the sake of Christ and His witness.  It is borne by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in some fifty countries around the world today, where to own the Name of the Saviour is to leave oneself open to persecution at a level that is beyond the comprehension of those of us who live in the relative safety of the 'West'.  Bearing, or taking up, our cross means ennduring privation for Him in one way or another.

Our service, then, is regulated not by a grudging sense of duty, but by our dedication to the One Who bore a literal cross on His way to Calvary.  We no longer live for the applause of men, but for the glory of God.  This, I suspect, is why those in the persecuted church consistently ask the rest of us to pray - not for an end to their persecution, but for the grace and the strength to endure it!

If you profess to be a disciple of Jesus, are you willing to take up your cross for Him?  Remember, a dragged cross is always heavy; but those carried joyously will be amazingly 'light' (see Matt.11:30).

Monday, 10 March 2014

Who really is the villain?!

According to a report in The Telegraph newspaper, Amnesty International have accused Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad of having committed war crimes by deliberately starving civilian inhabitants of a Palestinian refugee camp during the bloody three-year civil war.   The human rights group also accuses security forces of targeting doctors and medics while, at the same, it charges rebel groups of looting vital medical equipment in the sprawling Yarmouk camp, in the south-side of Damascus, the Syrian capital.

At the same time, BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is an almost ten-years-old global campaign which uses economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the stated goals of the movement: The end of Israeli 'occupation' and colonization of Arab land; full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel; and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

So, what is the connection?  The BDS movement came to the attention of many only recently when the actress, Scarlett Johansson broke ties with Oxfam because of “fundamental differences” between her and the NGO (non-governmental organisation) on the issue of Israel boycotts.  The full story is too long for a blog post, but the gist of it is that the actress supported SodaStream - whose factory is built on 'disputed' land; while Oxfam supports the aims of the BDS. 

Of course, the truth of the matter is that the Palestinian  employees of SodaStream have equal rights with the Israeli employees, and are better paid, and have better working conditions, than their fellow-Palestinians who work within Palestine.

It is also an incontrovertible fact that Israeli Defence Force soldiers are treating wounded Syrians, and provide emergency treatment to injured, and ill, Palestinians; and that Israeli hospitals are open to Palestinians who require some of the finest medical treatment in the world.

As one person has tweeted: "Syrians starve Palestinians but Israelis save Syrian and Palestinians lives. Who do we boycott?"

Friday, 7 March 2014

The end-times.

It never fails to amaze me that I can read a Biblical passage for the umpteenth time - and see something that I have never noticed (or, at least, never fully taken in) before.

Part of my personal devotions this morning involved reading I Thessalonians 5:1-11.  I was struck, as never before, by what the apostle wrote in (what we know as) v.3: "When people say, 'There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape."

As we look at a world in turmoil, I hear many suggest that this is a sign of the end-times - the Rapture, the tribulation, and the Second Advent.  However, this morning, I started to wonder if the opposite is true - if, in fact, the events that we witness on our television screens, night after night, new-bulletin after news-bulletin, indicate that it is not yet God's time for those tumultuous events to take place!

Could it be that it is when the events of Revelation 13, [inter al], take place, and when there is a true "one-world" government under the authority of the "man of lawlessness" (I Thess.2:3), that there will be the superficial peace to which the apostle refers?  If so, then that will be the time at which the saints of God will "... be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air;" (I Thess.4:17; see also I Cor.15:52).

Of course, the important thing is to be ready for that glorious event whenever it may take place.  The true disciple of Jesus is already prepared, although even we must be ever watchful! (cf. Matt.24:42, inter al).

Robert Murray McCheyne was a most godly minister of the Gospel.  He was settled to the pastorate of St. Peter's Church, Dundee, where he ministered for about seven years, until his death at the tender age of 30.  I cannot vouch for the absolute veracity of the story - although it has what J.B.Phillips would call 'the ring of truth' - but it is recounted that, one evening, while entertaining a group of men in his home, the topic of conversation turned to the return of the Christ.  Well, they didn't have such exciting things to discuss as Eastenders, Britain's got Talent, or I'm a celebrity - get me out of here!  Anyway, Mr. McCheyne asked each of his friends if they thought that the Lord might return that evening.  To a man, and in the manner of the period, they replied "I think not."

Mr. McCheyne then quoted, from the Authorised Version (this was the middle of the 19th century!), the words of the Lord Jesus: "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matt 24:44).

Are you ready?  We can never know the precise time!  Regardless of what I thought this morning, it could be tonight!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Anagram answers!

Not as much excitement over this particular teaser as there was with the last one!  Perhaps this was just too simple for the erudite readers of this blog!  Anyway, for any who did take on the little challenge, here are the correct answers:

1.Damascus; 2. Salamis; 3. Lystra; 4. Derbe; 5. Antioch; 6. Troas; 7. Philippi; 8. Thessalonica; 9. Athens; 10. Corinth; 11. Ephesus; 12. Miletus; 13. Syracuse; 14. Tarsus; 15. Rome.

So, did you manage to identify all of them correctly?  :-)

Monday, 3 March 2014

Following Jesus.

As those who know me well are aware, I believe that the term 'Christian' has been so badly devalued - at least in the 'developed' west - that it has become close to meaningless.  Nowadays, I usually refer to 'disciples of Jesus' instead.

However, in the earliest days of the church, those people were often known simply as 'followers of the Way'.  In the Greek language of the New Testament, there are a number of words for 'following' each of which has a slightly different meaning from the rest.  Three of them are: 'akoloutheo', 'epakoloutheo', and 'parakoloutheo' (you can see the common root!).  So what are the differences?

'akoloutheo' suggests following - but at a distance.  This, sadly, is the way in which many, today, follow Jesus.  They are not very close to Him; indeed, they may be a long way off.  Have you ever watched a film in which the police are 'tailing' the car of a suspect?  The first thing they must be certain of is that the suspect doesn't become suspicious.  However, equally important is that they don't allow themselves to get too far behind, as then they may lose sight of their target!  If we follow Jesus at too great a distance, we run the danger of doing the same thing - of losing sight of Him!  It is possible for so many things to come between Him and us.  We may be taken up by so many things that are not bad in themselves, but that gradually destroy the passion of our first love for the Lord.  His Lordship in our lives becomes secondary.   He is a distant figure Whom we are following, but with Whom we have lost any real relationship.

The second word, 'epakoloutheo', is more intimate.  It means 'to follow close to a person'.  It has the idea of being so close as to be walking in the person's footsteps.   I know that we are officially into spring-time (at least in the northern hemisphere!), but I find myself thinking of the Christmas song, 'Good King Wenceslas'.  Remember that verse that tells us that the king encouraged his servant to walk in his footsteps so that he would not be as cold?  That's the sort of picture that 'epakoloutheo' paints for us.

Then there is 'parakoloutheo'.  This is the most intimate word of all.  It means to be following someone so closely that one is walking alongside the other person.  It suggests companionship, rather than servanthood.  In John 15:15, we read these recorded words of the Lord Jesus to His closest disciples: "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends , for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you."

I wonder, is this what the Lord is saying to many of us today?  "Don't walk at a distance; don't even walk closely behind me; walk beside me. Be My companion on the way; share the road with Me; allow Me to share more and more of Myself with you!"  I love the Old Testament saint, Enoch, of whom it is recorded: "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." (Gen 5:24).  Enoch walked so closely with the Lord that, when his time on earth was over, he just walked through the veil into eternity. (see my book, Great Words of the Faith).

Where are you walking, today, in relation to Jesus?   Are you merely following Him at a distance, sometimes losing sight of Him completely?  Or perhaps you are walking just a little behind Him, but still missing some of what He would say to you!   Why don't you come alongside Him, and enjoy His presence day by day?  It will be for your own good, and will bring glory to His Name.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The coming King!

One of my personal Bible readings for March 1st (today, until I go to bed!) was from the book of the prophet Isaiah.  It is found at ch.32:1-20.  The first verses of that passage read:

"Look, a righteous King is coming! And honest princes will rule under Him. Each one will be like a shelter from the windand a refuge from the storm,like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.
Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth,and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it. Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding.Those who stammer will speak out plainly. In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes.Scoundrels will not be respected. For fools speak foolishness and make evil plans.They practice ungodliness and spread false teachings about the Lord.They deprive the hungry of food and give no water to the thirsty. The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil.They plot crooked schemes.They lie to convict the poor,even when the cause of the poor is just. But generous people plan to do what is generous,and they stand firm in their generosity." (vs.1-8; NLT).

Having suffered much injustice from evil rulers, many in Judah were hungry for a strong king who would rule with justice. Many, today, will quickly see how relevant those words are to our own age.  We live in a culture of 'celebrity' in which some with nothing more than the ability to kick a football; use a microphone; or, in certain situations, commit murder; are classed as 'heroes' - in spite of their ungodly beliefs and lifestyles.  How many of us desire to see strong men and women, of integrity and righteousness, walk the corridors of temporal power.

This desire will be fulfilled when the Christ reigns. Evil will be banished, and the King will reign in righteousness and rule with justice. In the immediate future, Judah would be destroyed and taken into captivity. But one day, God's Son, the King unlike any other king, will reign in righteousness.

When the righteous King comes, people's motives will become transparent. Fools will not be regarded as noble. Those who have opposed God's standards of living will be unable to maintain their deception. In the blazing light of the holy Saviour, sin cannot disguise itself and appear good. Christ's revealing light shines into the darkest corners of our hearts, showing sin clearly for what it is. When King Jesus reigns in your heart, there is no place for sin, no matter how well hidden you may think it is.  

The future rule of the righteous King is a reminder to us to consider our values, and priorities, even now!  What do you value most?  How do your priorities relate to the Kingdom of God?  You see, what you value demonstrates to others the priority of your faith in the God Who is Saviour, and Lord, and King.

And now, the best (in my opinion!) Gaither Vocal Band - David Phelps, Guy Penrod, Mark Lowry, and Bill Gaither - sing of the coming of the King of kings, and Lord of lords, together with others of the Gaither Homecoming Friends.  Maranatha - "Come, Lord Jesus!"