Pentecostali nel mondo

Roma, Domenica 13 Giugno 2021 05:23

THE WONDERFUL, THE COUNSELLOR, THE ALMIGHTY

THE WONDERFUL, THE COUNSELLOR, THE ALMIGHTYCreation, Genesis, represent the love of God in eternity. "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26) it is the beginning of our history, our essence. Those who want to believe that we descended from monkeys, can do so; for us, it is a falsehood. Christians know that Adam is the father of man, a direct creation, "blown" from the living God. And the whole Old Testament and the history of the people of Israel are nothing more than the divine plan towards redemption "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given ... and his name shall be called the Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:5). Everything has been created and carried out for the Cross. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us ..." (John 1:14). Christ perfectly honours the Old Testament and in humans, where Adam failed, Christ overcomes sin and death. The sacrifice of the old pact is honoured perfectly and accepted by the Father. The new pact is for every generation, eternal, and places man in a new land flowing with milk and honey called grace. If today we have a Gospel to preach it is because Christ himself came down to serve and a "Way" was opened. What an extraordinary love we have been granted! "For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end" (Hebrews 3:14).

THE RELATIONSHIP OF PEACE WITH GOD

the relationship of peace with GodAccording to the Word of God, peace and rest are Christian qualities. Especially in Italy, where almost everyone considers themselves Christian in some way; and yet, we do not see peace and rest, instead we see suffering and melancholy. Let's compare two verses of the New Testament and let's try to understand. The first verse is fundamental and central to the understanding and synthesis of God's Love through the sacrifice of Christ: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). The second verse: "That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways’. So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest" (Hebrews 3: 10-11). The death of Christ is the only Way through which can we justify and reconcile with the Father. Identifying ourselves as sinners, wicked and in need of grace is the first step necessary to follow through faith the Way that makes us appear justified and accepted to the Father, in other words reconciled with God. So, we sinners and now enemies of the Cross, enter into a relationship of peace with God. Knowing Christ, walking the Way of Truth means having a conscious faith, a true, healthy and holy knowledge of the doctrine, of the Word of God. The verse in Hebrews tells us the same thing but looking "backwards". If we remain in our sin, our pride, our false beliefs, if we do not enter into the right relationship with God, we will never enter into his rest either. When someone tells me that they have a strong faith, I question it immediately. So I ask: faith in what? In whom? Furthermore, even just a little faith would already be something great... How can we have faith, where does faith come from? "Consequently, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). God still speaks today and above all speaks through his Word, the Bible, the Old and New Testaments. Our knowledge of God passes through the knowledge of his Word. Many call themselves Christians but do not have peace and rest in their heart as, in fact, they have never really known God through faith. Fantasy and illusion are one thing; knowledge of the living God is another. This is why Jesus himself admonishes and warns: "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord... And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness"(Matthew 7:21-23). It is a strong passage, because it's about people who call themselves worshippers, who seem to work for God but whom Jesus called "workers of lawlessness". In conclusion, truly knowing God through faith and having the right doctrine according to the gospel of grace is the only Way for a holy relationship with God who gives man the fruits of true peace and true rest. "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). God help us to have more faith, more humility, more charity and an ever growing knowledge of Him through Christ and the Holy Spirit. 

THE EARTHQUAKE: biblical considerations

the earthquake in ItalyThe recent Italian earthquake has shaken the entire Country. Many of us have experienced it first hand, albeit with different intensities depending where one lives. The first thought and our prayer is for all the victims' families. Secondly, we want to take part by sharing some biblical reflections, especially in response to the many doubts which have been raised regarding human suffering and the recurrent question, in similar events: "Where was He and where is God?". Let's dispel those stances right away as they would associate these disasters with God's rage. “The Creator of the universe, for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Natural disasters, including earthquakes, are often mentioned in the Bible. The entire universe is subject to the laws which God has written and everything proceeds according to his will. But the Lord is Lord also of the laws and He can command sovereignly. Here is that the Lord sometimes spoke using the elements of nature to speak specifically to the people, to the prophets or his servants. But this is the exception not the rule; especially in the New Testament, governed by grace and not by law. God is certainly righteousness but Christ is the first grace for whomever believes and for those yet to come to Him; because even today and tomorrow and until the end of time, there is and shall be grace. This idea of a resentful God who "descends" among men, quarrels with and punishes them with an earthquake or another disaster, is not biblical. Our Lord Jesus Christ descended from heaven to serve, to save, to comfort and give peace: our law is charity, and this is the time of grace. Certainly we shall all appear in front of the judgment seat to defend our choices; but grace is expressed with freedom, patience, and our choice is just to love. All of use are subject to the "bad weather" of this world; even the prophets and holy men of God have suffered cold, diseases, persecutions ... many, such as John the Baptist, lost their head, but not the crown. The Word speaks to us of the brevity and fragility of life, where our every day is in His hands; God gives and God takes away. He can do anything and everything and can allow things to happen to the law-abiding and the wicked. Because He is God and is Holy, Right and Merciful. Whatever happens, we, His servants, are in His hands; if we remain standing, glory to God; if we fall, glory to God, we fall into his hands. Through faith we accept the omnipotence of God but also His full sovereignty knowing that Christ died for us because He loved us first. This is our Lord, this is the God that we have known, that we love and serve. "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory!" (Isaiah 6:3). 

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God is good and God is still good

God is good and God is still good"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, o King. BUT IF NOT, let it be known to you, o King, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we workship the gold image wich you have set up" (Daniel 3:17-18). In good times, God is good. In bad times, God is still good.

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Stamp eternity on my eyeballs

Jesus calls your name"For we all have to come before Christ to be judged; so that every one of us may get his reward for the things done in the body, good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).

“But you know if God should stamp eternity or even judgment on our eyeballs, or if you’d like on the fleshy table of our hearts I am quite convinced we’d be a very, very different tribe of people, God’s people, in the world today. We live too much in time, we’re too earth bound. We see as other men see, we think as other men think. We invest our time as the world invests it. We’re supposed to be a different breed of people. I believe that the church of Jesus Christ needs a new revelation of the majesty of God. We’re all going to stand one day, can you imagine it? at the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for the deeds done in the body. This is what, this is the King of kings, and He’s the Judge of judges, and it’s the Tribunal of tribunals, and there’s no court of appeal after it. The verdict is final.”

~ Leonard Ravenhill

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