Monday 2/19 ~ It’s not automatic but it’s possible

The scripture for today, February 19 (2/19), is Ephesians 2:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”

Let us pretend there is a nation called Occland and we want to become a citizen of that nation. Of course, citizenship would not be automatic. And in the same way, citizenship in the Kingdom of God (being a Christian) is not automatic.

Just living in Occland would not automatically make us a citizen of Occland any more than just living in a Christian nation automatically makes us a Christian.

Owning a copy of Occland’s constitution would not automatically make us a citizen of Occland any more than owning a copy of the Bible automatically makes us a Christian.

Going to meetings of parliament or the senate every of Occland every time they met would not automatically make us a citizen of Occland any more than going to meetings with other Christians every Sunday automatically make us a Christian.

It just is not automatic. We would need to be invited into Occland, and then do things to accept Occland’s invitation. God invites us into his kingdom, but we must do things to accept his invitation.  Romans 6, Acts 2 and 1st Peter 3 in the New Testament are good places to check it out. Do so.

Oh, to be citizens in the kingdom founded by the Creator of the universe. Is it possible? Really possible?  For me too? For me too? It’s not automatic, but it is possible.

 

Monday 1/22 ~ Me radiant, Lord? Me?

The scripture for today, January 22 (1/22), is Ephesians 1:22 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

What makes this so interesting is that…

  • the church is the body of Christ. What else is the church? Colossians 1:18 says…
  • the church has only one head on earth and in heaven ~ Jesus.   Matthew 16:17-18 says…
  • the church is the kingdom of heaven. Ephesians 5:25 & 32 says…
  • the church is his bride. Revelation 21:2, 9-10 says…
  • the church bride is the new Holy City Jerusalem.

And what does Jesus think of the church? Oh, you already know this one.  Ephesians 5:25-27 says he loved the church so much that he gave himself up for her, to make her radiant ~ no stains, no wrinkles, no blemishes.

Oh, that last part: I must have missed it before.  Me, radiant? Human, sinful me, radiant? And no stains, Lord?  No stains, too?

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link to ebook & discount paperback:  http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

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#sinner, #forgiveness, #namesOFchurch, #sinner

Thursday 12/28 ~ The kingdom came & we have dual citizenship

The scripture for today, December 28 (12/28), is Hebrews 12:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Medium-New“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

Notice this is in present tense. The kingdom is not something in the future but is now.

Jesus said in Luke 9:27 that some listening to him would still be alive when the kingdom came. Colossians 1:13 says God HAS (not will) rescued us from the dominion of darkness and BROUGHT (not will) us into the kingdom.

In fact, at the end, Jesus will not come back to earth to set up a kingdom. Instead, he will at that time hand the already-existing kingdom over to the Father (I Corinthians 15:24).

So what does this mean to us? Revelation 1:5-6 says that all who have been freed from our sins by the blood of Jesus have become a kingdom of priests. And as such, we daily offer our bodies as living sacrifices in the service to our king (Romans 12:1).

Christians have dual citizenship. Christians are citizens of the earthly nation they live in, and citizens of the kingdom of heaven. What glory God has already bestowed upon us.

Wednesday 12/27 ~ True separation of church & state

The scripture for today, December 27 (12/27), is 1st Kings 12:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

changes-in-worship-cover-medium“If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem [not some other capital city], they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah.”

For centuries and millenniums, kings selected a patron god for their nation, a god they most revered to protect them. The patron god was selected by the king. Nations were always ruled by either a high priest or king. Some nations even had priest-kings.

So, when Constantine conquered much of Europe and set up his empire, he needed a patron god. One day during a battle, he looked up and saw a cloud formation that reminded him of things he’d heard about Jesus. So he made Jesus his patron God, and Christianity his empire’s required religion. He even rode his army through rivers, then declared them baptized. He ordered conquered peoples to be baptized or killed.  Headquarters was Rome.

Luther was friends of the Duke [king] of Germany, so when he broke off from Rome, the official state religion became Lutheranism. John Calvin was in the government of Switzerland, so when it broke off from Rome, the official state religion became Calvinism. When the king of England broke off from Rome, he became head of the Church of England (and Prince Charles is head of the Church there today). John Knox was influential with the parliament of Scotland, so his Presbyterianism became the official religion of Scotland.

In each instance, the king or parliament could force its citizens to follow the chosen religion of that nation. If people didn’t, they could legally put them in prison, torture them, and execute them at will. And, in earlier centuries, they did just that.

Eventually, the idea of separating religion from the state government became popular. And that is where many nations are today. But it does not mean people in government cannot express religion. It just means they cannot force citizens to be a particular government-selected religion or be in danger of punishment.

That is true “separation of church and state”.