Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Allah and the Christian: a reflection on the Malaysian issue

It is both with amusement and with a sense of sadness that I watch the events that are transpiring in Malaysia, regarding that country's courts verdict to allow Christians the right to use the word Allah in reference to God. This web article entitled Malaysian Christians fearful as church attacks rise, outlines the extent of the problem in Malaysia “Would-be arsonists in mostly Muslim Malaysia struck at a convent school and a sixth church on Sunday while church and government leaders called for calm in a row over Christians' use of the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God” {More...}.

The Muslim outrage which has been capped with the firebombing of churches is saddening but it also lead to a multitudes of questions. For example, if Allah is God and the only God as the Muslims claim, then he is the one who created all people, both Muslims and Christians alike, and as a result it is the right for everyone that is created by God to use the name of God as they see fit, unless of cause, Allah is only a god for a specific religion, then this changes things, as only Muslim should have the right to that name.

It is sadly amusing that of all the names that God has availed for the Christian believer that a church would go out of its way to call God by a name that He has not ordained. Just as it is not right for a thief to blame God when he is caught and punished for stealing, the Christians in Malaysia have no one else to blame but themselves for the persecution that has come as a result of their misguided belief in freedom.

God's name is not just a title, but it is also a source of power, and since Allah is not one of the revealed names of God, that name offers no power to the Christian and using it actually caused the Christian to become powerless. The following story can help to illustrate this point.

John and Peter were friends, and one day John was in the market when he saw Peter on the other side. Peter was too far from John and had not seen him and so John started calling after Peter, but instead of using Peter's name, he called him James. Despite his frantic effort, John failed to catch Peter's attention and had to give up. The problem was not that Peter did not hear the shouting, but because the name he heard being called was not his, he naturally assumed that the call was for someone. It is the same with God, in that when a Christian call on God using a name that God does not recognise, will mean that the believer’s call will go unacknowledged. The Christian believer needs to remember that, just because a name or title is that of god does not mean that it is the name of God, and just as Christians should never use the word baal to refer to God, they should also, never call Him Allah.

God's name is holy and there is never a justifiable reason for a Christian to use the name of any other god except the name that God have revealed in His word - the bible [Ezekiel 39:7 I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel].

Sunday, 6 July 2008

It should be ALL About Jesus

When it is about Jesus then it should only be about Jesus. We should never let any part of us become part of it, for example if we are preaching - then our message should only be about Jesus and never about ourselves. Jesus speaking of the Holy Spirit - says, He, referring to the Holy Spirit, shall speak not about himself but only about Jesus {John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.}- In the same way; when we speak, we should speak only about Jesus and never seek to give glory to ourselves at the expense of Jesus. I have heard the unfortunate experience of listening to preacher who go to the extent of labeling their wives as first lady or some other special title, or on their ministry web sites to 'preach' about their kids and family or personal accomplishments - if they said these things in private settings or personal web sites, then it's fine but from the pulpit - no - it should be about Jesus and no one else but Jesus.

Monday, 24 December 2007

A reflection on the season

That time of the year is here again; Christmas. The debate for Christian to keep or not to keep christmas has raged for centuries, with neither side of the divide convincing the other. Argument such as; it is not commanded in the bible, it has roots in the pagan worship, Jesus was not born in winter, have been offered as a reason for Christian to not observe. While those who argue for Christians to observe have present arguments such as; we are honoring Jesus and that is the only thing that matters. More...

I have a question, that on first glance seems unrelated to this debate. Will christmas be observed when Jesus returns? This question can also be extended to easter. Will christmas and easter be observed when Jesus returns to the earth? Here I focus on the future, believing that the future is the ideal of what God desires in the present.

Zechariah 14:18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles

From the above scripture I deduce that the feast of tabernacles will be kept by all peoples after Jesus returns and establishes his kingdoms on the earth.

Leviticus 23:33-34 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.

This same feast of tabernacles has its roots in the past as it is one of the seven feast God commanded Israel to keep. It was kept in the past and will be kept in the future, but is not kept in the present, and one can't help but wonders why not. A couple of questions arise:
  1. If it was a holy day commanded to be kept only by the Israelites and only in the past (in other words not relevant to Christian of today), then what is the whole world doing keeping it in the future?
  2. By not keeping it today, is the Church missing out on the 'rains' that may otherwise would have been falling on it?
One of the greatest commandments that Christian must observe is not to add to or subtract from the word of God, since God has exalted his word above his name. Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
  • We are commanded not to look at how others worship their gods and seek to worship god in the same way. Deuteronomy 12:30-32 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
  • We should not even speak the name of the false gods. Exodus 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
Easter, which is derived from the name of an ancient fertility goddess in honour of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover, and christmas, which is borrowed from the worship of the sun god, break above commandments.

So the question is; will easter and christmas be observed in the Kingdom of God? I believe not, for at Jesus' return, even the names of idols will be taken from the land, this, I believe include easter Zechariah 13:2 On that day"-the declaration of the Lord of Hosts-"I will erase the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered. I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land.

We must never forget, that man does not have the power or authority to make any thing holy unto himself - Just because we desire something to be holy, does not mean that it will be so. Christmas and easter, i believe; are not, never were and never will be, holy.

Some Biblical Facts
There are undeniable facts we glean from the bible;
  • Jesus died at the 9th hour (around 3:00 pm) Mark 15:33-37 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
  • Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation (That is the day before the Sabbath, not a weekly Sabbath but rather a high Sabbath) Luke 23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.
  • The disciples and the women went to the grave on the first day of the week Matthew 28:1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
  • Jews could not go to the burial grounds on a Sabbath, but were to rest. Luke 23:56 Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to embalm him. But by the time they were finished it was the Sabbath, so they rested all that day as required by the law. Exodus 31:15 Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.
  • The tomb had been secured for three days Matthew 27: 62 – 66 The next day – on the first day of the Passover ceremonies – the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, "Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: 'After three days I will be raised from the dead.' So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he came back to life! If that happens, we'll be worse off than we were at first." Pilate replied, "Take guards and secure it the best you can." So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.
  • The Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday
Drawn Conclusion
  • From the above facts we can conclude that Jesus died at around 3:00 pm on the day before the Sabbath and that the women and the disciples went to the grave on the morning of the first day of the week.
  • The Jewish day begins and ends at sunset. Traditionally the Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset Friday and ends at sunset Saturday; Sunday morning is therefore the first day of the week.
  • Using the traditional Christian argument that Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday morning, there are only two nights and one day of which Jesus was in the grave, this contradict scripture which categorically states that Jesus was to be in the grave for three days and three nights.
  • For Jesus to be in the grave for three days and three nights, he had to be dead for at least 72 hours, which means that he must have rose from the dead at or near the time of his death around 3:00 pm. This automatically rules out Sunday morning resurrection.

If one uses circular but flawed reasoning, one can conclude that the crucifixion happened on the day of preparation which for the weekly Sabbath is Friday and that the women and the disciples went to the tomb on the first day of the week, which is Sunday.
  • Friday 3 pm to Saturday 3 pm (1 night and 1 day)
  • Saturday 3 pm to Sunday between 5 am to 7 am (1 night)
This would mean that Jesus was actually dead for 1 day and 2 nights.

Jesus was indeed crucified on the day before the Sabbath, the day of preparation, but it was not the weekly Sabbath, but rather a special or high Sabbath John 19:31 The Jewish leaders didn't want the victims hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath at that, because it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. Jesus was crucified the day before the Passover (Thus Jesus is our Passover lamb 1Co 5:7 … Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. Numbers 9:11 They must offer the Passover sacrifice one month later, at twilight on the appointed day. They must eat the lamb at that time with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast)

Leviticus 23:5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord's Passover.

Jesus had just kept the night before

If we use the same logic of working backwards (Taking in to consideration that Jesus rose at the same hour of which he died)
  • Saturday evening to Friday evening (1 day and 1 night) – day 3
  • Friday evening to Thursday evening (1 day and 1 night) – day 2
  • Thursday evening to Wednesday evening (1 day and 1 night) – day 1
We can thus conclude that the crucifixion took place on Wednesday
God’s Position
Babylon is almost always associated with that which is opposed to the way of God and of which the LORD despises and has reserved his highest wrath.
Almost all pagan worship can be traced back to Nimrod and Babylon, Easter eggs and Easter Bunnies are fertility symbols, as is sun worship.

Genesis 10:8-10 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD ; that is why it is said, "Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD ." The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh, in Shinar.

Genesis 11:1-8 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel -because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

God has commanded his people not to worship the sun, yet we see one of the hallmarks of Easter being the sunrise services. The argument for sunrise services is that Jesus rose at that hour. This conclusion is based on faulty human reasoning. Jesus said of himself Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17 …. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Monday, 10 December 2007

What are Christians to do in a world rule by despots?

What are Christians to do in a world rule by despots? I ask this question in direct response to the actions of The Archbishop of York; watch the video or read the article more...

Despots are nothing new in the world of man. There have been and always will be despots ruling in one part of the world or another, until Jesus Christ returns to rule. This being a true fact; what is the man or woman of God to do?

A couple of thousand years ago, a man of God walked in a land ruled by a despot, and his response to this situation should be a lesson to all of us who call ourselves Christians. The man of cause is Jesus Christ and the despot is Harold.

Jesus did not cut his garments in protest but rather, preached the love of God in a hostile environment. Jesus Christ was aware of facts which sometimes we Christians seem to be unaware of as reflected by our actions:

  • The approval of God is of greater importance than the approval of man
  • Sometime to be approved of God our actions must fly in the face of what man approve.
  • No man receives anything accept that which God has approved – this include the authority to rule.
  • All authority belongs to Christ
  • Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar

For Mugabe or any other despot to rule, God has given that authority. The man or woman of God must never forget that God is in control and that a fervent prayer behind a closed door has greater impact than a gesture on public television.

  • John 6:27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
  • Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
  • Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
  • Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
  • Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
  • Ephesians 6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.
  • Luke 20:25 "Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
  • 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Friday, 16 November 2007

When the door seems double bolted

There are times in life when we go through difficult situations which leave us asking why. As believer in God we expect our prayers to be answered and our requests granted, after all, did God not promise us that, if we ask we will receive; "Ask and you will receive", yet sometimes our greatest fears become our reality, and we see our prayers; as not only going unanswered, but worse still, not heard. We feel confounded, yet God himself promised that we will not be.

Recently I have gone through a situation, which has caused me great pain. I lost someone I love. I had prayed as well and as fervently as I knew how and I strongly believe that God had heard.

The tragedy of the loss, left me empty, there is an old Black American Spiritual "Sometime I feel like a motherless child" at this time I felt like a fatherless child – alone, confused, hurting and sad.

At those times that we do not see the evidence of God in our lives, it is difficult to believe the truth of his word, yet it also at these times, that we must hold on even more to his word.

God is in control even when we do not see it, we feel forgotten, yet God has never and never will forget us. Just because things have not gone our way, does not mean that things have not gone God's way, and His way is to bless us and not to curse us.

Shall we then only love God and believe in him only when things go the way we want them to, no.

Psalm 22:5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Homosexuality: A sin by any other name

In our generation, there is a lot polarization within the Christian community, One issue which has come up, more so in the western world based congregation is the issue of homosexuality. One one side are the so called liberals, who believes that the blood of Christ nullifies God's definition of sin, and on the other side the so called conservative, who believe that all of God's commandments are still binding today.

The article is my attempt to stand for the word of God. The word of God is for ever established and clear on this subject. Psalm 119:152 Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever. No special revelation or interpretation of scripture is need to establish a position that all Christians must hold on to.

Homosexuality was a sin, is a sin, and always will be a sin, because God called a sin and the Lord does not change Roman 1:27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Malachi 3:6 "I the Lord do not change...

The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were so repulsive, that God himself came down to investigate. One of those sins was men lusting after men. Genesis 18:20-21 Then the Lord said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." Genesis 19:4-9 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

Jesus commanded "go and sin no more" homosexuality is as much a sin as adultery and fornication. Which man or woman who truly believes in God will allow an out of the closet fornicator or adulterer to minister over them, how then can we allow a homosexual to minister of the people of God. If we say we love God and obey God, are we then to set the terms of that obedience - Same sex union is not marriage and will never be marriage because it fall outside of God's definition of marriage. Man's definition can never, regardless of how much we want it to be, supersede the definition of God.

There are people who believe that they are sincere to God, but without obeying him, they are building on another foundation other than the one God has established. Matthew 7:21-27 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." Sincerity without obedience is useless.

One way of illustrating this position; it's like an athlete in a team sport, "Dallas Cowboys", "Manchester United", "All blacks" take you pick; on game day, one of the athletes runs on to the field wearing the opposition team's uniform; will that athlete be 1. identified as being part of his team or or the opposition?, 2. will he or she be allowed to participate in the game for his team? The athlete will be identified as part of the opposing team and will not be allowed to play for his own team. We have in Christian world, right now pastors, preachers and leaders who are not condemn homosexuality for what it is, but are rather preach that it is acceptable before God. These men and women are not ministers of God but rather of satan 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

By accommodating this liberal view towards homosexuality, instead of calling it what it is, sin, the church is introducing yeast in the fellowship offering (An offering that is always to be offered without yeast). Men and women of God must make a stand for God - it is much better to obey God and be the enemy to the world, than to be the friend of the world and the enemy to God James 4:4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

The consequence of sexual sin, including homosexuality, is that it defiles that land - it provides a way in for demons; Leviticus 18:19-25 "'Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period. "'Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her. "'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord. "'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable [a vile, shameful, or detestable action]. "'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. "'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

In Leviticus 20:13 a curse is pronounced on homosexuality; death. First there is the spiritual death Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Then the second death at judgment. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind [homosexuals], Anyone who calls themselves a Christian and continues to live and practice homosexuality is deceived and lost. Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefined; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. If God is to judge fornicators and adulterers will He not also judge Homosexuals?

The blood of Christ washes away our sins but it does not give us the license to sin even more. We all sin, but there is a difference in being caught up in sin and in manipulating scripture so as to justify our sin. If we say that homosexuality is not a sin, then we are liars and the truth is not in us. Just because society say it is alright, does not make it alright with God; Christian are not to be confined to the standards of the world, but of God. Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

All sexual activities outside of the confines of marriage between a man and woman; pornography, adultery, masturbation, fornication, homosexuality; are sin. No law or legislation of man, or acceptance of society can ever nullify this fact.

It is sad to see the church, wasting time debating whether homosexuality is a sin or not. A waste; in that it should not even come up as a subject of discussion for the church.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

A rubbling thought

One of the most amusing things (in a sad kind of way) about us humans, is that we have a way of majoring in the trivial at the expense of the life changing stuff.

I say this in relation to all the cause that have sprang up in the past few years;
1. We have the "greens battle", which focuses on try to convince man to changes his ways for the good of the earth. At first glance it almost sound like a noble cause, but for person who know that there is God who is in control and that it is only through Jesus that the earth will be renewed; mind you I said renewed and not preserved. The earth is in decay, and has been in decay since Adam sin. It will only be renewed at the return of Jesus.
2. Then there are the "fur warriors", who preach the 'gospel of not wearing animal skins as a sign of righteousness'. Another case of misguided focus; one can say that Adam and Eve were the first people to be dressed in fur - and it was God who was both the designer and the tailor.

In themselves, these causes do not seem to be wrong, but when one looks deeper, they actually present a few major dangers. One of these dangers; is that they focus on that which will be renewed at the expense of that which may be lost. The earth will be restored - (2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.) The earth will be renewed but those who die without Christ will be lost.

For all Christians, there is a lesson we can take from the shrewdness of the people of the world; Passion for their cause. What ever "save this" cause you look at; 'save the elephant', 'save the whale', 'save the rain forest', 'save the earth', etc, there is passion for the cause. We, I need to be passionate about my 'save the lost, free the prisoners' cause.

In my passion, I should never go ahead of God.