Scripture warns of perilous times to come in the “last days” of this age (2 Timothy 3:1-5). We need to be prepared spiritually to meet the challenges we face in an age of increasing lawlessness and conflict (1 Peter 1:3-11).
We are warned by Jesus Christ not to let ourselves become spiritually lethargic, lukewarm, lacking in zeal (Revelation 3:14-19). While we do not know the precise time of the second coming of Christ, we should be able to discern the signs of the times we live in (Matthew 16:3). We cannot afford to allow complacency to cause us to stumble as the world becomes ever more hostile to and removed from genuine reverence toward God, and respect for his commandments.
In this message trends in the world are reviewed, and we consider encouragement and admonitions from the Bible to help us make our calling and election sure (cf 2 Peter 1:10).
According to Scripture, the Old Covenant was given to Israel because of transgressions. Or, as the Bible in Worldwide English Version puts it: “Why then was the law [the Old Covenant] made? God gave it… because so many people were doing what was wrong” (Galatians 3:19).
But within that overall framework were at least five major reasons for the giving of the Old Covenant. Understanding what those reasons are will help us understand the mind of God, and can teach us vital lessons in how we, as Christians, or as human beings fit in with what God has in mind for us.
In this message we explore in some detail three major reasons for the giving of the Old Covenant, and how they relate to the New Covenant, and to lessons that relate directly to us and our relationship with God.
Jesus Christ, Paul and others warned that as the end of this age approaches lawlessness would grow worse, although the world has been generally lawless since the beginning of human history. It’s important to learn what the Bible says about lawlessness, and how God hates it, and how we must strive to overcome it in our own flesh with God’s help.
The “Magna Carta,” and “Bill of Rights,” give testimony to the fact that Americans, and Britons, especially, have historically treasured the ideal of “freedom.” But despite such historic love of freedom, are we really free?Continue reading →