Thread: A lost soul
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:07 AM   #9
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,169
Default Re: A lost soul

Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Our Lord uses parables regarding the kingdom of God. Can anyone please help me enter it?
I was looking at an interesting Bible verse the other day. Paul was writing to the Corinthians and in chapter 13 he was discussing love. And he said we only know love a small bit. The whole love of God, how deep and strong and pure it is, we only have a faint taste. But even in its faintness, we know that it's real. In some sense, it's the only thing that's real.

And then Paul used these words: "We see in a glass, darkly"(v.12)... we look in a mirror, and in ourselves we see a tiny bit of "Christ in us" in faint reflection. We were originally made in God's image, and in our acting out the great and surpassing love of God, toward each other, we may faintly reflect that divine love which sought us, and purchased us back from sin.

If you are the same person who started this thread, and went through the FTTT (Taipei?) then you must already have familiarity with the Bible. Paul uses the Greek root word "enigmatically" for "darkly" or "faintly" in 1 Corinthians 13:12. That means, to me, "like a parable". An enigma is a puzzle, a parable. It is the faint tracing of something much more real, and solid, which you the reader or hearer now have to piece together. It is like a few pencil marks on a piece of paper, which indicate the location of a buried treasure.

Well, the Bible is that "treasure map", and the gospel parables are puzzles, or enigmatic pictures, indicating the way home to the Father. So I'll 'decode' the parables for you in two ways, which I believe complement each other.

1. "God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes into Him shall not perish, but shall instead have eternal life." (Jo 3:16) The gospels tell us that God loves us. We once forgot the way home to our Father in heaven. A great darkness separated us from God, and instead death now claimed us as its own. Once death takes you, you are gone forever. We were lost, and without hope. So God, because of His great love for us, while we were there in darkness, sent his beloved Son to die for our sins (Rom 5:8). Now when we believe into the name of Jesus we begin to have the way home. The divine light begins to shine. Jesus came into death itself, and presented us with our Father's love, and opened the door to go home.

Never let anything distract you from the fact that your Father God in heaven loves you. Never let sin distract you. Just repent. Come back to the Father. Never let teachings distract you. Just be simple. "My Father God loves me. I want to go home. This is not my home..." focus on the Father's love, and never turn away, not for anything, and the Father's love will cause you to behold his beloved Son, Jesus. Jesus will show you the way home. Jesus said, "Where I am going, you know the way." (Jo 14:4). The parables point you to the the Father's holy righteousness and His saving love, and this in turn points you to the beloved Son, who in turn leads us home. "My sheep hear my voice." You will hear the Son, and return home.

2.The main focus of Jesus' parables, I believe, lies in this simple fact: that how you treat others is how God will treat you. God loves you, but if you hurt others, mistreat others, gossip about others, don't share with others, curse others, and judge others, what happens to God's love? You cut it off. God is righteous, and loves you, so His mercy opened a door for you to come home in the faith of His Son Jesus Christ, who is Lord and Savior of all. But if you begin to mistreat your neighbors you effectively deny that love. By hating your neighbor you spurn God's love, and God's righteousness once again steps in and shuts the door. Don't think that because of God's love, He will indulge you your sin! Don't think that His righteousness is now forgotten! Your every act is placed in a balance, in which you yourself are weighed. And your neighbor is an invitation by God for you to act. You may complain that your neighbor is not a nice person, but is rather a sinner. Still, that is an invitation for you to act. Bless them, and do not curse.

So every time you get a chance to be nice to someone, take it as a divine appointment, sent from the heavens. Love those who don't love you back. Forgive those who mistreat you. Give to those who ask, and don't ask for a return. Then your reward in heaven will be great. Don't think that God is not watching you. Believe me, God watches you; every hair on your head is numbered. Everything is recorded, in fine detail: Revelation 20:12 (ref Dan 7:10) says "books were opened"; don't think that all your deeds are not also recorded therein!

Also, the Lord asked us to pray for receiving the Holy Spirit. What is it like when you have received the Holy Spirit?
This is a hard question, for me. Because if I say, "I have laid hold" then I am of all people most deceived. What I would instead say is, Look at the Bible. It will show you the answer. The Bible is not dead letters, but the gateway to the living Spirit.

I will just give you one example: when Jesus resurrected, the disciples asked Him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" They wanted a kingdom on the earth "even as it is in heaven" (as they imagined heaven to be). They wanted to see the Son of David on a throne, and of course they would get a piece of the action. They all (so they hoped) would each get "ten cities" or "five cities" as a reward for their faithful obedience to, and support of, the Messiah, Jesus.

But Jesus didn't answer the way they expected. He said, "Go, and wait for the promise of the Father."

Interestingly, though, Jesus didn't refute their question. He just said that only the Father knows the timing. But here is what they could expect: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

"You will receive power"... ten days later, when the earth began to shake, and a 'violent' noise came out of heaven like the rushing wind, and tongues of fire began to appear, this arguably was indeed "the restoration of the kingdom to Israel." Or at least a requisite foretaste. And you and I get to participate, by receiving this same Holy Spirit.

All I can say is, when the Holy Spirit comes, you will know it. Just like at Pentecost in the upper room; you will know it. Believe me, when God comes, you know it. So wait, and pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. You won't be disappointed. Jesus said, "Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be given to you." Could any invitation be more clear?

And how do we receive it?
The hard part is finding fellowship. There's a lot of weird stuff going on out there. If you try to go and confess the name of Jesus among the brethren of faith, you may find a nurturing and supporting environment, but you may also be dragged into a ditch. So beware. There is a lot of strange stuff going on out there.

In the church of Lee, for example, you probably heard about the "storms" and "rebellions" and "turmoils", all of which probably occurred because the people there, starting with those at the top, forgot about God's love, and confessing the name of Jesus. Instead they got tangled up in teachings and organizational philosophies.

So if you can find a place where the simple confession of the name of Jesus Christ has not been forgotten, and the love of the Father God toward us all (and not just the "good building material") is displayed, then if you go there and confess the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to the brothers and sisters assembled, I daresay that "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you". In fact your confession will be a demonstration of that same power. As Peter wrote, referencing the psalmist's declaration, "Just taste and see". God is good.
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
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