What’s color got to do with it?

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ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU

1 cor 15-3-4

Killings, executions, bombs, lawlessness…

  • Afghan Refugee Attacks Passengers with Ax on Train in Germany
  • Islamic State executes 15 people for ‘cowardice’
  • Nice, France Terrorist Attack
  • Five officers shot and killed by sniper(s) in Dallas, Texas, more wounded
  • Huge Car Bomb Explosion Baghdad kills over 300, wounds as many
  • Islamic State executes 40 in cold blood for ‘trying to escape’.
  • Terrorist attack on Almaty Police Station in Russia
  • Suicide bombing in Nigeria
  • Officers shot in Baton Rouge
  • Militants bomb Bahrain
  • Islamic state (Isis) kills four football players (they consider football anti-Islamic)
  • Jewish Yeshiva killed, wife and children critically injured by  Palestinian gunman
  • Suicide Bombing, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Islamic State Suicide Bombing up to 100 killed in Balad, Iraq
  • Hostages and killings of tourists and police in popular hotel in Bangladesh
  • Bomb detonated in south Iraq
  • Suicide bomber on motorcycle in Afghanistan
  • Islamic State Sniper

Many more incidents than this, in the month of July so far, where will you go if you died today?

The Bible tells us that in the last days perilous times shall come. That men will love themselves, along with a long list of other things (see 2 Tim 3), but a lack of love (except for themselves), these are unthankful, unholy people who despise good and reject God and even attempt to withstand Him. They will see their end (Heb 9:27).

What does color have to do with it?

I am not saying those of color have not suffered (some greatly) in their lives.  I saw it with my own husband, by witnessing the prejudicial comments and behaviors that were outrageous.  I didn’t grow up with it either as he did, but he realized, this was their own sin, and it did not lay their guilt on others that happened to be of their external color.  But love them, be empathetic to things you have not seen, and pray always (especially before we speak).  Realize they have seen pain you have not.

Acts 17:25-27 basically tells us that God gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made every single nation from one blood.  Really, not one of us is different except how we ‘look’, as far as our heritage.  (The life of any of us on earth, is found in our blood – Lev 17:11.)  Our skin color or lack thereof, does not give us life, nor do all these religions whether seemingly peaceful or hateful.

Acts 17 continues to inform us that God determined even our preappointed times and our boundaries (where we would dwell) SO THAT we should seek the Lord, in the hope that we might grope for Him and find Him… How tender, how loving is this God, what is man that He is mindful of us — to have given us each the best chance possible through our own circumstances, He has placed us in the best place for us to find Him. He has drawn us through His Word, through the CrossHis Son being lifted up for our sins.

He sent His Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11), all men will face judgment, whether at the seat of Christ as believers for rewards, or at the Great White Throne where their final judgment will be, none will survive that.   He calls men through the gospel (2 Thess 3:14), which is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 16:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18).   He commissioned us to bring that good news to the whole world.

The apostle Paul assured those philosophers in Acts 17 that God is not far from each one of us.  What is your reason for not listening?  Why are you not willing to hear His Word if you are not a believer?   What can you lose?

The Color of the skin is not who we are, it is the just an outward appearance.   The Word of God says that Man looks on the outward appearance, but God look on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) and this He told His own prophet not to do.  We tend to judge by how good someone may appear to be outwardly.  Oddly, outwardly (the false ravening wolves) in Matt 7 looked good, they had good works, it was inwardly they were known as the wolves they were.   Don’t judge by the appearance, judge with a righteous judgment (see John 7:24).

Should we judge by color or occupation?  Should we judge by becoming a race against a race?  I denounce being ‘white’.  I also denounce any other ‘race’.   I am of one blood.  My identity as man comes from Adam who brought death into this world because of his sin.  Because of my NOW identity with Christ, the last Adam (see Romans 5), I have His righteousness, and I am alive, I have been passed from death unto life, from darkness unto light, I have eternal life and am already translated into His kingdom (John 5:24; Col 1:13).  What does that mean?  It’s a done deal, It is finished…

Are you proud of your race, your culture, your identity, your gender, or your job or status?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be the best you can be at who you are, or the course of work you have chosen.  But pride is never good.  Pride is one of the things God resists.   Everything we do should be as believers because our identity is in Christ, not because of any other reason (although not automatic) .  As Christians, we should do all we do as unto Him.  Are we? (Hint: I fail).

I am sure reasonable society knows better than to judge this sinful lawlessness by color, or type of job held, or anything other than evil.  Call evil evil (Isaiah 5:20).   Don’t keep calling good evil, don’t keep calling evil good (Dear Mr. President and other politicians, I think that you might consider that, you continue to fall short).

Christians should continually remind ourselves, this is not a battle of flesh and blood (Eph 6:12), but a spiritual battle waged by the lawless one himself (Satan), wickedness in high places.  Be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.

The point is, it is not about the color of the skin or the color of the uniform..  Keep calm, pray, try to be a true peacemaker, not a peacekeeper (useless), or worse, don’t be out there stirring the pot.

Each person has individual accountability whether a believer or not.  Each one of us will face Him one day and answer to Him.   Start with yourself.  Determine what you can do within your own sphere of influence (although I hate repeating that saying, you get what I mean).  Touch others around you in kindness, humble yourself to others, tell them the good news about Christ, really that is the only thing that will change another person, is becoming saved, then becoming a disciple.

CHRISTIANS – Judgment begins at the House of God (1 Pet 4).  What are you doing out there to live as peaceably among men as possible?  What can we do?

I am NOT suggesting to join with one of the religious right.  Many do not represent Christ but instead Phariseeism — they look the part, but in their hearts they are hard hearted, judgmental, angry, murderous, religious, self-righteous, prideful, all the things God hates.  Worse, they do not rightly tell the good news of salvation.

I am suggesting those who know Him try to remind yourselves of the Biblical remedies we are given.

The church should know these things, but do we really DO these things in practice when we have our feet to the fire?  I’m not pointing a finger at anyone, I am pondering these things in my own heart with Him.  I pray you (any readers) might do the same.

Firstly, do we walk wisely?  Do we really use grace and truth/preservation (His truth-salt) in our speech, thinking on how we might answer each person?

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.   Col 4:5-6

What are some other things we can do?

Pray for peace, show God’s wisdom and mercy to others.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.  James 3:16-18

Live peaceably as much as possible among all men…

In this next passage, there is one I don’t do often).  Do I give thanks for all  men?  (“Yoikes!” – Quoting Shaggy from Scooby Doo.)  Do you all do the same?  Thank God for all men?  Or do I hear a cricket sound?  But as for me, how often do I retranslate this in my mind to mean thank God for everybody but He can’t mean for me to thank Him for ________________ (fill in the blank)?  But God says in His Word:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  1 Tim 2:1-6

If Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all of them, perhaps I can do better at thanking God for all, (even them), and be praying and interceding for them as I am exhorted.  And living a quiet and peacable life (one that promotes the same to others).  I’ll let the sword come when it may, Jesus brought that, I just need to use the Word and let the power of His Word do the work (Heb 4:12, 2 Tim 3:15, Isaiah 55:10-11).

Pray for your enemy (Luke 6:27).

Do good to those who spitefully use you and persecute you  (Matt 5:44).

If necessary, could you forgive even your murderer?

I am not saying I have arrived to be able to answer I would answer like Stephen, but with God, all things are possible.  Look at Stephen… (Acts 7), really consider reading 6-7 again.  What love is this to be stoned by rebellious men who hate you and are stiffnecked and hard hearted, and then we Turn around and see this from Stephen (as they are murdering him by stoning): “Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

Pray for all men.  All means all in 1 Timothy 1. He loves even them.  He first loved you with such a great love, let us not overcome evil with evil, nor return railing for railing, or cursing for cursing — instead Pray for them.

 Be Kind, be tenderhearted, be forgiving.

 Eph4-32I asked two of my young children one day (who were bickering in the back seat on the way home from church), Have you not heard that the Bible says; ‘Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph 4:31-32).’”

My oldest answered innocently (as I believe as children of God we have probably done the same).  “No mom, we haven’t had that lesson yet — I believe it is in two weeks.” :)

However, as a child of God, let’s not wait for the lesson.   Let’s take heed to what the Word of God tells us to do, with the best of our ability, praying always, asking Him for help in doing what He asks.  Let’s pray and ask Him to help us show wisdom in our words, our manner of speech, our conduct.   There is a lot more wisdom you can all apply from His Word in these perilous times.

I think of the wisdom of Daniel with Nebuchadnezzar, who was a wicked, prideful, murderous tyrant.   And the wisdom showed by Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego while facing the fiery furnace rather than bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar, yet in all that, they did not sin with their mouth or with their conduct.  May the Lord help us in these times to grow in wisdom.

He will help us.  Please, continue in His Word, and abide in Him (Luke 10:38-42). That is our endurance as believers, the good part, it’s needed, choose it.   Continue looking into that perfect law of liberty and you will be blessed.

A SPECIAL NOTE TO NONBELIEVERS:

Things will not get better until Christ comes again no matter what someone tells you. As a pastor I recently heard said, “If you don’t know Him, the best life you will ever know is here on earth. But if you do know Him, the worst life you’ve ever lived is here on earth.”

Don’t let ignorance keep you from the one that loves you. Have you really looked into the claims of Christ? That He is God. That He is the only way to His Father, and if you do not believe in Him, you will die in your sins? (And that means eternally, for it’s appointed to each person to die then the judgment). Jesus Christ loves you now, but as you abide in unbelief, you also abide in the wrath of God. No one can face that no matter how much bravado they show. Please, before it’s too late, look into what Jesus has done for you.

ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU

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