Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nothing New Under the Son

I decided to study Romans this summer. Why Romans? I don't really know, just drawn to it, I suppose. No formal study, just me reading and writing down my thoughts about what Paul was saying to his friends and what his words say to us today. This morning I decided to get out my Message Bible and see how the first chapter reads. You guys know I like to read different translations. So to all you "KJV only" people, do not be afraid, repeat, do not be afraid. I realize that the Message is not a literal translation, but I do like how some of the verses are worded. Take a look at this:

Romans 1:18-32 "But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
So God said, in effect, "If that's what you want, that's what you get." It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either—women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
Since they didn't bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it's not as if they don't know better. They know perfectly well they're spitting in God's face. And they don't care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!"

Remind you of anyone? Any country? YIKES! I thought I was reading the history of America when I read that. Sad, but true. If you don't believe me, you can go here or here and read some articles and headlines that will make you a believer. It all makes me wonder how much longer God will allow this to go on because we know the Bible tells us that these things will happen in the last days.

Mark 13 tell us "Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains."

The beginning of birth pains? Seems to me that these birth pains started a long time ago. Wars? Yeah, hundreds of them and even the mightiest nation in the world (US) is involved in one right now.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 says "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Know anyone who fits the above description? Most everyone these days fits it quite nicely (dare I say even some Christians fit that mold?). If those are things that lead up to the last days, doesn't it stand to reason that we are living in possibly the very last days here on earth before the rapture of the church? (Because we know the rapture happens before Jesus second coming).

Which reminds me of this parable from Matthew 25:

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour".

We all know these verses, but I wonder if we get so busy with life and caught up in the everyday things that we lose sight of what is really happening all around us. Jesus could rapture the church today, He told us to keep watch, but are we really watching? The headlines are full of signs, according to the Bible when we hear of the things mentioned above they are the BEGINNING of birth pains. These things began long ago, like birth pains, they are happening with greater frequency and intensity...........I wonder if we all have our lamps trimmed and burning...............I wonder if we are all really watching.........or are we too busy to keep an eye here on earth and one toward the sky?..........................could be today.


Amanda B. said...

My bags are packed...I'm ready and waiting...He can't come soon enough. Gotta go tell a few more while I wait!

Good Post...I love the message.

Greg P. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mommyluann said...

well said blogging buddy....

Come Come Lord Jesus.

Mari said...

I agree - we need to keep an eye on the sky. There is too much happening that has been predicted.
We did a study on Romans last year with a group from church and really enjoyed it.

Lisa said...

Hi Bethanne - Awesome post and beautifully written.
I think on the sad state of our nation a great deal. I pray that the Lord will return before our children or grandchildren have to face even more.
BTW, I do know where E-town is as well as the golf course. You are just a hop, skip and a jump from where I live.
Have a very blessed day, my new friend.

Greg P. said...

The Lord said He would come when we least expect it, like a thief in the night. I think the way we all sit and wonder and see this sign and that sign, that we become complacent because we're still here.

We have to continue to get excited about the signs because "like a thief in the night" He will suddenly show up. Let's not be caught off guard.

Earen said...

Thank you for the great reminder today. I do get so caught up in "my life" and all the chaos right now & I forget that none of this will matter in the long run. Come Lord Jesus! My heart is ready!