The Unchanging Law of Judgment

With what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you —Matthew 7:2

This statement is not some haphazard theory, but it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give will be the very way you are judged. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus said that the basis of life is retribution— “with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the shortcomings of others, remember that will be exactly how you will be measured. The way you pay is the way life will pay you back. This eternal law works from God’s throne down to us (see Psalm 18:25-26).

Romans 2:1 applies it in even a more definite way by saying that the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act itself, but also at the possibility of committing it, which He sees by looking at our hearts. To begin with, we do not believe the statements of the Bible. For instance, do we really believe the statement that says we criticize in others the very things we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our own hearts. The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility, as evidenced by being able to say honestly and humbly, “Yes, all those, as well as other evils, would have been exhibited in me if it were not for the grace of God. Therefore, I have no right to judge.”

Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). He went on to say, in effect, “If you do judge, you will be judged in exactly the same way.” Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, “My God, judge me as I have judged others”? We have judged others as sinners— if God should judge us in the same way, we would be condemned to hell. Yet God judges us on the basis of the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ.

Oswald Chambers

VIDEO An Open Letter To Those Who Doubt or Deny God

Today I am writing to the doubting Christian, the agnostic, and the militant atheist. Today, this one is for you.

Read:
The Doubting Christian – If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. – Rene’ Descartes
Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith, it is an element of faith. – Paul Tillich

The Agnostic – Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. – Thomas Jefferson

The Militant Atheist – Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. – Sam Harris

Relate:

The Doubting Christian – I get you. I’ve been there. I think the only people who have not had doubts are either liars or fools. Even now I believe God is calling me out to take a step of faith that I just cannot take. I have bills to pay, and if I were to obey, where would the money come from. But that’s a small doubt, that’s not where you’re at. It’s not where I’ve been. When my sister died with her newborn daughter at 24, when my cousin had a fatal heart attack at the same age, when my dad died after bumping his head playing basketball… That brought some real doubts. Doubts if God was real and, if He was, whether He was good. I’ve known moments in my life where blind faith just would not cut it. And I’ve known how difficult it was to express these doubts to my pastor, to my church, to my friends. I’ve been there.

The Agnostic – I can sympathize with your doubt. We have a cosmic horizon of about 46 billion light years in every direction. This is only a small fraction of the real universe and anything beyond it is, and always be impossibly beyond our understanding. Even within that sphere we know next to nothing about so much of it. 95%, dark matter and dark energy, are at this time simply beyond our understanding. Even on this one small ball rotating one small sun in one small galaxy, there is still so much more for us to discover. There is simply so much more that we simply do not know. How dare we have the audacity to claim to know God?

The Militant Atheist – That claim to know God has done so much damage. Because I claim to know, and he claims to know a different God. So we fight it out. The institutionalization of religion has done so much damage throughout time. It has been the cause of so many wars, and so much oppression. How can a good God exist if this is how His followers are gonna act?

React:
The Militant Atheist – It is in the nature of most of humanity to want to live for something greater than themselves. It is in our nature to be followers. Evil men have used religion to lead many down evil paths. But this is the fault of evil men, not of God. Evil men have led others down evil paths without God just as easily. Just look at Stalin. Look at Pol Pot. Science and humanism are not barriers to oppression. They never have been and never will be. Eradicating this “evil” will not end tyranny. All it will do is eliminate one of the greatest motivators for doing good.

The Agnostic
– We will never be fully sure of anything. There will never be a subject about which we have complete knowledge, but that doesn’t stop us from acting. You sit down assuming the chair will be there. Every now and then you might miss, or some idiot pulls it away, but does that stop you from sitting in the future? Will you ever be standing on the fear that you might fall? Why not put God to the same test? Albert Camus wrote, “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, and live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”

The Christian Doubter – As a lover of, and leader in the Church, I apologize for the environment that has so often been created that discourages doubt. I apologize on behalf of everyone who has pretended that they have it all together when they don’t. I hope you won’t be that same person to someone else who might be having doubts. I would encourage you to express those doubts to a fellow believer. If you have tried and been silenced or given the old, “I’ll pray for you”, know that my (metaphorical) door is open. I promise a judgment free dialogue if you would email me at bj@tworiversassembly.com

Respond:
The Militant Atheist – I don’t want to argue with you but I would love to dialogue. Please respond here or, if you would rather, email me at bj@tworiversassembly.com Greater minds than ours have gone back and forth on the existence of God. What I am more curious in knowing is why you believe that religion must be eradicated. Why have you chosen a fundamentalist approach to your atheist beliefs?

The Agnostic – Doubting is good. I’m glad you have chosen to withhold judgment on the existence of God until you have more information one way or the other. Some doubts will never be answered and will require a leap of faith. Others, however, might be walked through. I would love to hear from you in comments here or at bj@tworiversassembly.com. Share your doubts. I’ll share a few of my own. Perhaps together we might walk towards a greater understanding.

The Christian Doubter –
We Will Run / He is Here Live

http://tworiversblog.com/2013/06/14/an-open-letter-to-those-who-doubt-or-deny-god/

Hanging On Nothing

He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. —Job 26:7

A world map published by the National Geographic Society has this notation: “Earth’s mass is 6.6 sextillion tons.” And what supports all that weight? Nothing. The planet we inhabit spins on its axis at 1,000 miles per hour as it hurtles through space in its orbit around the sun. But it’s easy for that to remain unnoticed in the midst of our daily concerns about health, relationships, and how to pay the bills.

The Old Testament character Job repeatedly considered God’s creation in his struggle to make sense of the numbing loss of his health, his wealth, and his children. “[God] stretches out the north over empty space,” Job said. “He hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). Job marveled at the clouds that did not break under the heavy water inside them (v.8) and the horizon “at the boundary of light and darkness” (v.10), but called them “the mere edges of His ways” (v.14).

Creation itself did not answer Job’s questions, but the heavens and the earth pointed him to God the Creator, who alone could respond with help and hope.

The Lord who upholds the universe by the “word of His power” (Heb. 1:3; Col. 1:17) is in control of our everyday lives. Experiences that seem “empty places” are all undergirded by our heavenly Father’s power and love.by David C. McCasland

Dear Lord, we praise You for Your infinite power.
You created the world out of nothing and uphold
it by Your word. Help me to remember that You
are also in control of every part of my life.

When we reflect on the power of God’s creation, we see the power of His care for us.

In a Moment

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

This is one of the greatest promises in the Bible, assuring us that “we” (i.e., all believers, whether dead or living when Christ returns) shall suddenly be changed, with our dead or dying bodies instantly transformed into incorruptible, immortal bodies, which can never die again.

This great change, when it finally occurs, will take place “in a moment.” The Greek here is en atomo, “in an atom of time.” This word, implying the smallest entity conceivable by the Greeks, is used only this one time in the New Testament. It is further described by “the twinkling of an eye,” where “twinkling” is the Greek rhipe, also used only this once. Evidently there is nothing else in this present world comparable in rapidity to this miraculous change which will be called forth when “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

The great shout (probably uttered by Christ Himself as at the tomb of Lazarus) will instantly create new bodies for both dead and living believers. “The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Our new bodies will be like Christ’s resurrection body. He “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21).

Christ is able thus to create new bodies for us in a moment, just as when He created all things in the beginning: “He spake, and it was done” (Psalm 33:9). HMM

Love covereth, Be eager in pursuit of this love

“Love covereth.” (Prov. 10:12.)
“Be eager in pursuit of this love.” (1 Cor. 13:7-13.) (Weymouth.)

REHEARSE your troubles to God only. Not long ago I read in a paper a bit of personal experience from a precious child of God, and it made such an impression upon me that I record it here. She wrote: “I found myself one midnight wholly sleepless as the surges of a cruel injustice swept over me, and the love which covers seemed to have crept out of my heart. Then I cried to God in an agony for the power to obey His injunction, ‘Love covereth.’

“Immediately the Spirit began to work in me the power that brought about the forgetfulness.

“Mentally I dug a grave. Deliberately I threw up the earth until the excavation was deep.

“Sorrowfully I lowered into it the thing which wounded me. Quickly I shoveled in the clods.

“Over the mound I carefully laid the green sods. Then I covered it with white roses and forgetme- nots, and quickly walked away.

“Sweet sleep came. The wound which had been so nearly deadly was healed without a scar, and I know not today what caused my grief.”

“There was a scar on yonder mountain-side,
Gashed out where once the cruel storm had trod;
A barren, desolate chasm, reaching wide
Across the soft green sod.

“But years crept by beneath the purple pines,
And veiled the scar with grass and moss once more,
And left it fairer now with flowers and vines
Than it had been before.

“There was a wound once in a gentle heart,
Whence all life’s sweetness seemed to ebb and die;
And love’s confiding changed to bitter smart,
While slow, sad years went by.

“Yet as they passed, unseen an angel stole
And laid a balm of healing on the pain,
Till love grew purer in the heart made whole,
And peace came back again.”

That those things which cannot be shaken may remain

“That those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” Hebrews 12:27

We have many things in our possession at the present moment which can be shaken, and it ill becomes a Christian man to set much store by them, for there is nothing stable beneath these rolling skies; change is written upon all things. Yet, we have certain “things which cannot be shaken,” and I invite you this evening to think of them, that if the things which can be shaken should all be taken away, you may derive real comfort from the things that cannot be shaken, which will remain.

Whatever your losses have been, or may be, you enjoy present salvation. You are standing at the foot of His cross, trusting alone in the merit of Jesus’ precious blood, and no rise or fall of the markets can interfere with your salvation in Him; no breaking of banks, no failures and bankruptcies can touch that. Then you are a child of God this evening. God is your Father. No change of circumstances can ever rob you of that. Although by losses brought to poverty, and stripped bare, you can say, “He is my Father still. In my Father’s house are many mansions; therefore will I not be troubled.” You have another permanent blessing, namely, the love of Jesus Christ.

He who is God and Man loves you with all the strength of His affectionate nature—nothing can affect that. The fig tree may not blossom, and the flocks may cease from the field, it matters not to the man who can sing, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” Our best portion and richest heritage we cannot lose.

Whatever troubles come, let us play the man; let us show that we are not such little children as to be cast down by what may happen in this poor fleeting state of time. Our country is Immanuel’s land, our hope is above the sky, and therefore, calm as the summer’s ocean; we will see the wreck of everything earthborn, and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation.

Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple,

“He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory.” Zechariah 6:13

Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashioneth our hearts aright.

As in the building of Solomon’s temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy—so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made meet here—all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.

“Beneath His eye and care,
The edifice shall rise,
Majestic, strong, and fair,
And shine above the skies.”