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Posts Tagged ‘What happens to believers during God’s judgments now?’

 A promise of whats to come 4

We study about, talk about, and read about history, but our view of history is so narrow—generally focused on the span of our lives—give or take a few years. Or about a hundred years.

That’s why God gave us sixty-six books of His story. His life, death, life story. So, we would have a constant reminder His plan is far beyond our peep-hole into past, present, and future.  God’s view of history encompasses the beginning through all eternity.

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Scripture tells us: “Whatever things were written in earlier times were written for our instruction, that through perseverance and study of the scriptures, we might have hope” (Romans 15:4 NAS).

But we moan and groan, I don’t understand the Bible. So many words, all the thee’s and thou’s. It’s so confusing. And I just don’t have time to sort out all that stuff.  We can’t understand. Without the stirring power of the Holy Spirit inside our heart and soul, we can’t possibly understand God, His Word, or even believe that Jesus is His Only Son and our only Savior. But every one of us, believer or not, has clearly seen the evidences of God.

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Romans 1:20 says:

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, HAVE BEEN CLEARLY SEEN, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

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There is a warfare beyond our ability to comprehend, a battle that began when Satan desired to be greater than God. And then Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan’s deception, rather than believe their Creator—the Holy God of the Universe. So, if you haven’t received Truth, being sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, you can’t tell the difference between God’s Truth or Satan’s lies. But God says “…we are without excuse.”  Because we know that He is and always will be God. And there will be consequences for your choices. Eternal consequences–for life or for separation.

But my question to you today is: What happens to believers when God judges His people during their time of disobedience? I look back at the Nation of Israel in the Books of I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, and I and II Chronicles, and then to the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Lamentations, I see the application in the high definition color of consequences.

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Yes, consequences! A word we’ve failed to define, acknowledge, and teach our children. But God will teach them, and they will learn, the hard way. Because throughout all history His promises show us what is sure to come.

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Let’s go to the Book of Jeremiah and find out what happened to one certain family—good people who were stuck in the middle of God’s judgment. The Rechabites. Ever heard of them? No? I hadn’t either until we studied Jeremiah in Precept Bible Study this year.

Chapter 35 of Jeremiah is all about these nomadic people. God told Jeremiah to call them to the House of the Lord and give them wine to drink. My mind shouted, “Why, God? Why? In the middle of all this battle and judgment would You bringing them into the House of God for a wine tasting?”

But the prophet did what he was told, and when the men came, Jeremiah set out pitchers full of wine and cups and said to them, “Drink wine!”

“But they said, ‘We will not drink wine, for Jonadah the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us saying, ‘You shall not drink wine, you or your sons, forever…We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son or Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, not to drink wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons and our daughters…” (Jeremiah 35:5-8 NAS).

And God used the obedience of these men to speak volumes to the whole nation of Israel saying:

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction by listening to My words?” declares the Lord. “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are observed. So they do not drink wine to this day, FOR THEY HAVE OBEYED THEIR FATHER’S COMMAND. But I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me” (Jeremiah 35:13-14 NAS).

“Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am bringing on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them because I spoke to them but they did not listen, and I have called them but they did not answer” (Jeremiah 35:17 NAS).

Then Jeremiah delivered God’s message to these faithful Rechabites:

“Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands and done according to all that he commanded you; therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always” ‘ (Jeremiah 35:18-19 NAS).

WOW! How would you like to hear those words uttered about you and your family, and know the promise of standing before God extended to you, your children, and all the grands forever?

A promise of whats to come

Did the Rechabites have to go through the destruction of Judah? Most certainly, but God spared them. They had to endure the battle, see the destruction, live in post-war poverty. However, they also had the promise of God their family would not only be spared, they would stand before God forever.

I don’t know about you, but as we look at our nation and the world can’t we draw a parallel? Hasn’t God spoken to America as a nation, as individuals, and as families? Yet the grand majority refuse to listen. He has called us again and again, but sadly again the grand majority have not answered…and I’m talking about the 11 o’clock crowd on Sunday morning.

Remember the people in this Chapter of Jeremiah were God’s chosen people run amuck. They brought their sacrifices to the temple on the Sabbath. But they remained unchanged. Rebellious, proud, arrogant people who wanted to be more like the world than the God who called them to be “a peculiar people of His own choosing. A holy people.”

Over and over throughout the Old Testament God repeated: “Do not move the ancient boundaries.” We’ve not only moved the boundaries God gave us, we’ve leaped over them, then turned and chopped ’em in pieces.

Where does the Spirit of the Lord find you today? Like the obedient Rechabites who obeyed the teaching of their fathers regardless what the rest of the world did? Or like the people of Judah whose pride lay in the fact they were “chosen,” but had no desire to be holy, and refused to become “a peculiar people of His own choosing.”

Choose carefully, dear friend, because God has promised us what’s to come! It’s clearly seen in all His creation.

NOTE:  For more information on the Rechabites and Jonadab, see Amos 1:9

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