As many of you know, I’m a strong advocate for observing the LORD’s day as our Sabbath Worship of the LORD. I have written here before about the topic and always enjoy when others do the same. The latest installment comes from Benjamin Shaw, an Associate Professor of Old Testament at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He writes to help clarify the Sabbath rest that is spoken of in Hebrews 4:10-11. Many used this verse to claim that we no longer have to keep the Sabbath/LORD’s Day since we have entered that rest upon our belief and conversion in Christ.
Faith Persevering in Trial
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
We have another news story concerning something that pope Francis has written. This time, he affirms works righteousness by stating that atheist can get into heaven if they follow their conscience.
We have a tendency to just read over that section in Acts 7, where Stephen is recounting the ministry of Moses and shows that he went to live in the land of Midian, where is says: And when forty years passed…
Forty years is a long time to be put on the shelf. Forty years is a long time to spend in the desert. Forty years is plenty of time to utter those famous words of the psalmist, “How long O Lord, how long?” I’m quite certain that the LORD never answered Moses when he uttered such words. It would have sent him into despair to know that he would be a shepherd for the next 40 years. If He had answered Moses, I’m sure Moses would have asked why 40 years? The LORD might have said: “Because you are not qualified nor ready and it will take ME 40 years to get you to that point. Plus, your kinfolk are not ready either and it will take 40 years for Me to get them there. I do things in My own time Moses, not yours.” But that is mere speculation and I’m in no way, shape or sense channeling the LORD.
There have always been cults of Christianity, from the early days of the Gnostics, to the early Middle Ages with Islam, to our current days with Mormonism, Christian Scientist and Jehovah Witnesses. These religions take portions of true Christianity, and craft their own brand of religion. The Apostles warned us of such, as well as Jesus when they spoke of savage wolves (Acts 20:28-31), and wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-23). Since my conversion back in 1990, part of my focus as a Christian has been to expose them for what they are. Given that I was raised in a cult, you can understand why.
The question that I have asked myself and I’m trying to answer today is, “Why do the cults survive? What is it about them that keeps them going and causes them to thrive?”
I was reading in John the other day about the trial of Jesus. During one of His exchanges with Pontius Pilate, He declares, “You could have no power at all against Me unless is had been given to you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
The obvious truth from this statement is Jesus telling Pilate that nothing happens outside the will of God. God is sovereign and nothing comes about that He has not decreed.