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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB November 16

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Nov 17
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Ezekiel

There's a note in Ryrie Study Bible that Ezekiel chapters 33-48 (today through the end) are pertaining to the Millennial Kingdom. We'll see what we can uncover.

33:8-9 If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don't repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself. Being a prophet was (is?) a very burdensome, sober calling. Makes me shudder to think of the heavy responsibility in a job description where everyone hates you and you have to keep telling them things that are constantly agitating them like cookie crumbs in their bed sheets.

33:11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? I read several quotes from famous preachers in history recently. Check them out:

"God shall not pity them but laugh at their calamity. The righteous company in heaven shall rejoice in the execution of God's judgment, and shall sing while the smoke riseth up for ever." Thomas Boston, Scottish preacher, 1732

The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. . .Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell. . . I tell you, yea! Such will be his sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss. Jonathan Edwards, 1738

What bliss will fill the ransomed souls, When they in glory dwell, To see the sinner as he rolls, In quenchless flames of hell. Isaac Watts, in his popular hymn (1674-1748)

"Non-Christians often ask the Christian, "But how can the God of love allow any of his creatures to suffer unending misery?" The question is, how can he not? The fact that God is love makes hell necessary. From Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 219 HUH?

When questioned whether the Blessed will not be saddened by seeing their nearest and dearest tortured answers, "Not in the least." Martin Luther

Okay, so the way I see it, Christians have SMEARED the character of God by their callous view on God's punishment of the wicked. Do we see any of this kind of attitude with God? Not in the least. None of this is God and I want nothing to do with this kind of gleeful hell attitude through the past centuries of the Church. No wonder the world is turned off toward Christianity. We should all be very ashamed of ourselves for being so cold-hearted and unloving. This is anti-God behavior. Here is the heart of God:

"What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? "If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish." Matthew 18:12-14

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. Is. 53:6

33:12-16 It's really about a continuing daily relationship!

33:31 So my people come (to listen to a prophet or to instruction) pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. I wonder how many of us in the Church today fit this description—going through the motions to sit and listen to God's Word, but our hearts full of lust, greed, and sin, with no intention of changing?

34:4-6 You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal. They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them. Here we see more of God's heart for His lost sheep, sort of a theme today. Do we have the same heart?

34:11-12 "For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day."

34:13-16 Millennial Kingdom!

Hebrews

13:4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral (fornicators) and those who commit adultery. This is very true...many times we suffer the judgment here on earth for this type of sin whether through disease, pregnancy, breakup of families-it's a destructive sin.

13:12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. I wonder if He suffered outside the city gates because that is where the sinners are pictured throughout the Bible?

Psalm

115:16 The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. We are created for earth, not heaven.