The Second Coming
“knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ ” (2 Peter 3:3-4).
Since the time Satan appeared to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, people have come along, promoting theories that have caused doubts to arise in the hearts of men and women. Included in these theories is the one planting doubts about God’s promise of the Second Coming of Jesus.
Peter calls these naysayers “scoffers,” meaning mockers. Having no interest in God, they ridicule those who believe there will be a Second Coming and a judgment for all who have ever lived. Trying to discredit God, they say the world has existed since the beginning; so where is the assurance that anything will change?
Throughout His Word, God has given full assurance there will be a Second Coming and Judgment, and that promise is sealed with the giving of His Son to die on the cross for the sins of mankind. What greater assurance do we need? Or what could be said or done that would be any more convincing than such a sacrifice?
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward’.” (Exodus 14:15).
The people of God were facing a time of extreme crisis as they stood with the waters of the Red Sea in front of them and the vast Egyptian army breathing down their necks from the back. They had no means of crossing over the sea and saving themselves.
It was at that time that God gave the command to Moses for them to Go Forward. The command is clear, but the means of fulfilling the command is unknown until God speaks to Moses in the next verse and tells him to stretch out his rod, making the waters part and allowing the people to cross over.
Moses’ faith never wavered, even though he himself didn’t know how the people would be saved until God revealed it. He left us a great example of total faith that God’s will would be accomplished.
God doesn’t promise miracles to help us achieve His wishes in our day, but we need to have the faith to use the resources we have at our disposal in Going Forward and carrying out whatever He has commanded in His word. Through answers to our prayers and His providence, His desires will be carried out. That assurance is all we need.
A Better Life
“Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice” (Proverbs 16:8).
In establishing what is really important in life, the preacher here contrasts taking right actions and conforming one’s life to the will of God with pursuing wealth by illicit or dishonest means.
This passage, along with others in this section of scripture, deals a great deal with the heart—that is, focusing and getting our heart going the right direction so that we establish our priorities properly. Without doing so, we can easily be led down the wrong pathway in life.
Earning an honest living or even accumulating some degree of wealth is not condemned here, but being dishonest in the process is. As well, Solomon teaches that pursuing material gain, either honestly or dishonestly, to the exclusion of our spiritual welfare will not put us in good stead with God.
Walking With the Wise
“He who walks with wise men will be wise,
“But the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
Influence is a powerful force in our lives that we should never take lightly whether we are talking about the influence others have on us or the influence we have on others. The context here is evidently the influence of others on us.
This text is direct and positive: associating with those of good character leads to a positive result but associating with those of questionable character can or will lead to moral ruin.
As Christians, we are advised to be careful of those with whom we associate because of the possibility of being led away from the teaching of the scriptures and even into activities that will damage our moral fiber.
Paul speaks directly in 1 Corinthians 15:33: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’ ” Following such sound advice can save us from heartache and spiritual destruction.
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