1 Thessalonians 4
Plea for Purity
4 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
A Brotherly and Orderly Life
9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
The Comfort of Christ’s Coming
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Superbowl 51 recently opened with a lengthy roll-out by former President George HW Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush. I read tales of how many people found it touching and emotional. I found it emotional too, but in an embarrassing and shameful way, and I wondered for a while if I were not watching an SNL spoof, that is just how ridiculous it appeared to me.
It is not that I do not have respect for America or our former presidents. I am a patriot. And I am not an ageist, I do have respect for old folks, and all that ails them with the natural aging process. I take the Bible verse seriously that we should rise and give respect in the presence of the grey-headed and elderly (Leviticus 19:32).
But what greeted our collective eyes on Superbowl Sunday just seemed wrong to me and got my dander up. Why do all our old people have to be so weak and rely on gadgets to get them around, to feed them, and to keep them alive? How did old people live in the olden days? And were they always so weak?
I believe I feel righteous indignation viewing this sort of scene because it illustrates how much we idolize life itself and keep people alive way beyond God’s will for them to be alive. I already posted here that God’s way is not to use physicians. Indeed, this elderly Bush couple were recently hospitalized for pneumonia. How many other hospitalizations and surgeries have they had to ‘improve’ their quality of life and keep them alive? And the inevitable question begs to be asked, “When would God have naturally taken their life?”
George H. W. Bush, the oldest living president, was in the hospital a week ago in Houston. But he recovered from pneumonia and gave us the rare memorable Super Bowl coin toss.
Bush was rolled out by a military member in a wheelchair while wife Barbara took a golf cart to center field. (http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/02/george-bush-super-bowl-51-coin-toss-barbara-bush-hw)
Old people in general seem to have more gadgets to keep them alive and mobile than a Millennial living on a trust fund has trendy devices. It is expected in our consciousness now that most white males (and females) over the age of 60 will receive heart surgery and a joint replacement before their tenure in this world is through. And we hail this as wonderful and normal! Christians praise God for doctors. Deacons and pastors leading church prayers implore the congregation to pray for physicians and their patients, a profession not anointed in the Bible, while the biblical command to call the church elders to pray over and anoint the infirm is completely ignored!
Calling 911 is considered a right in our society, and resuscitation of life the default. Indeed if one does not want to be brought back to life, one must file a legal Do Not Resuscitate notice in their personal paperwork. It used to be that being brought back to life was a miracle performed by Jesus Christ Himself and those holiest prophets anointed by God. Now even EMTs can bring people back from the dead.
Have we stopped to consider God’s will in this matter?
Doctors in America have driven this idolatrous cow with the ever available bait of money. The prolongation of human life appeals to us because of our innate fear of death, and those who do not have the promise of eternal life are the most fervent adherents of it. The medical establishment over the last 150 years or more has been creeping in and insidiously taking over, like a cancer. Now we are at Stage 4 where it has become part of every fiber of our beings. It has become so commonplace to live as long as possible that nearly all of us take it for granted, and think those who do not believe life should exist at all costs, and exist as physically perfect, are crazy.
President George HW Bush’s son, George W Bush, like most Americans is eager to undergo the high priest’s scalpel. In this article it is suggested he had prophylactic heart surgery just to prevent a problem, and this type of preventative surgery is not supported in physicians’ own medical literature! He did it because he had the money (or insurance), and he found a willing doctor, just like when Angelina Jolie shocked the world with her preventative mastectomy.
Regarding prolongation of life, much money is spent on trying to keep people alive beyond the age of 65, mainly through hospitalization.
And studies show that we spend the most amount of money trying to keep dying people alive in their last year of life, and that is increasing rapidly as the years tick by. The numbers show we are collectively afraid of death.
Life is the idol. Doctors are its high priests. Hospitals are the temple. And body parts are the sacrifice. Blood is let freely and voluntarily to appease the gods of fake life.
Life itself is being idolized. Humans are placing the value of their lives over everything, over God and definitely over His will. Some would argue that God uses physicians to keep people alive, and He might in some cases. But overall that argument is as baseless as saying God uses sin as a teacher. God allows us to have free will. If we choose to try and live forever, He will allow it in His way. That does not mean He supports it or that it is right. We cannot understand God’s ways as humans. We must look to the Bible for knowledge of His will, and we must abide in Christ to keep His will. Both are necessary for living in His will for us.
…And dying in His will for us.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” ~Luke 11:23
There is a seeming contradiction in the Book of Luke which has bothered me for some time. I finally researched the verses in the Greek and got to the bottom of the problem, which can simply be attributed to a fallacious translation, as unfortunately happens in the extensive text of the Christian Bible.
In Chapter 9 Jesus states, “If they are not against us, they are for us.” But then in Chapter 11 follows up with, “If you are not for us, you are against us.”
It cannot be both ways. Those statements are mutually exclusive. If one exists, the other cannot exist. They both cannot be true.
The mystery lies in one simple but profound word translated as ‘for’ in the latter part of verse 49 of Chapter 9, usually translated as: “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us.” However that word in the Greek means much more than ‘for’, it is the word ‘huper’ which means ‘over’ or ‘superior to’. But what can Jesus mean by that? If we substitute in that meaning we get: “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is over us?”
Yet let us back up and look at the context in which Jesus is speaking to His disciples in Chapter 9. John had told Jesus they saw (the Greek word for ‘to see’ here also means ‘to know’) someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name, and they prevented him because he was not someone they knew. Jesus countered John by answering that if someone is casting out demons in His name, and he is not against Jesus (an antichrist spirit or agent), he must be doing this deed by a superior authority, and is actually over His disciples.
Wow. That suggests that other entities were at work whom the disciples did not know. This word ‘huper’ is also used in Romans Chapter 13 when it states all men are subject to the highest authority superior to all; and that rulers, while over men, are also under this highest authority, which is superior to them. In all translations ‘huper’ is simply translated as ‘for’ or ‘over’, without its divine meaning carried forth.
So for practical purposes, if man is lackadaisical and lives in a way that is not against Jesus Christ, but is merely apathetic or agnostic, if you will, it does not mean that he is FOR Jesus. The context of this statement is when good works are done by those professing Jesus’ name but whom we may not know or recognize as brethren. Jesus tells us to allow this to happen, because if miracles are worked in His name, and they are not worked by those against Him by false prophets or an the antichrist (i.e. by magic or subterfuge as with the Egyptian magicians), they are being done by a Higher Authority, someone infused with the Holy Spirit, or an angel.
Jesus goes on to state very clearly later in Luke’s gospel that,
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” ~Luke 11:23
This is what we need to remember: To be lukewarm about Jesus means to be against Him and to prohibit God’s Kingdom. Doing nothing to promote the name of Jesus by those who know His name, means to be against Jesus.
We need to be proactively FOR Jesus Christ. Anything less than this means we are against Him, and therefore God Almighty.