Why Is Obedience To God’s Word Important?

Obedience To God's WordThis teaching is taken from 1st Chronicles and the life of King David. Worship is much more than singing praises to God once a week in church. First and foremost, worship is a life of obedience to God’s Word.

Learn the importance of obedience as worship in the story of David’s efforts to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from a small town and return it to Jerusalem. Continue reading

Claiming God’s promises in the Bible

God's promisesIn Malachi 4 God promises to restore the hearts of children to their fathers. If I claim God’s promises for myself, may I believe that God will restore my relationship with my children?

It is never appropriate to assume that any particular Biblical promise is addressed to us individually. The vast majority of Biblical promises are made to a specific individual(s) or groups (usually Israel) and are not applicable to all believers. For example, the promise in Malachi 4 was not a promise delivered to a Christian today.  Malachi 4 is speaking concerning unbelieving Jewish people living in the time of Tribulation.

In Malachi 4, we find the following prophecy:

Malachi 4:5-6 (NKJV)

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

The prophecy in Malachi (repeated in Luke 1:17) is a promise speaking to Israel concerning the days of Tribulation. The timing for this promise is said to be “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” This phrase is a reference to the time of Tribulation, a time of retribution and judgment promised for the Jewish people and for the world. Prior to Tribulation, Malachi says the prophet Elijah will return to preach to Israel, and that preaching will result in the hearts of children returning to the fathers and the fathers to the children.

In this context, the phrase “children” is a reference to the descendants of Israel and the phrase “fathers” is a reference to the Jewish patriarchs and prophets. Specifically, Malachi is promising that Elijah’s return will result in Israel returning to observing the Biblical traditions of Orthodox Judaism and to following the example of the “fathers of Israel” in their observance of Jewish Law. Elijah’s call to return to the Law will lead the nation of Israel to a revival during the first part of Tribulation.

God’s purpose in this revival will be to encourage many in Israel to join in worship at the newly reconstructed Jewish temple during Tribulation.  God’s promises

God delivers promises to specific people or groups, and so we cannot “claim” a promise in Scripture for ourselves. The Bible never instructs us to engage in such a practice, and there is no mechanism given in Scripture by which we can redirect God’s promises to ourselves and apart from His intentions. The concept of “claiming” promises that were originally given to other people is an invention of false teachers, and sadly it has become a part of modern Christian culture.

In reality, God’s promises cannot be appropriate for our own desires. Instead, the context of Scripture must guide our interpretation and application of any Scripture, including our application of the Father’s promises. His promises are only applicable to the audience(s) He intended by His word. Only when we find clear intent in Scripture that a promise was intended to apply to all believers universally (as when Christ promised that all believers will receive the Holy Spirit) can we then assume that the promise is ours as well. In the case of Malachi 4, however, the intended audience for God’s promise was Israel during Tribulation.

On the other hand, if you believe God has indicated to you personally in some manner that He intends to restore your family or heal a broken relationship, then you can trust in that assurance, for the Lord will do as He has said. If such a work of restoration does happen in your life, you should give God the glory but you should not claim that this work of God was a fulfillment of His promises in Malachi 4.

 

 

 

“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”

 

Parables of The Talents & Minas & Eternal Rewards

Eternal RewardsThe parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 and the parable of the Minas in Luke 19 seem so similar, and yet many details don’t line up. Are they teaching about the same thing or different things about Eternal Rewards?

(This post is part of a series on Eternal Rewards.)

Both the parable of the Talents and the parable of the Minas teach that believers (i.e., the slaves) are called to serve Christ (i.e., the master) in His absence, and upon His return, Jesus will reward us. As you observed, the parables are not identical, because they are teaching two different aspects of the Kingdom reward system. Continue reading

Explain the “5 Crowns” described in the Bible?

5 crownsDo we receive 5 Crowns in Heaven? Are these “Crowns” our eternal reward for our service to Christ?

(This is part of our series on Eternal Rewards.)

 

Scripture describes our eternal rewards in terms of inheritance and responsibility. These rewards are symbolized in Scripture as crowns. Since we do not receive our actual rewards, it seems we are awarded crowns as tokens of our reward for the time we spend in the throne room awaiting Christ’s Second Coming to earth to establish His Kingdom. The Bible says these crowns will be our badges of honor reflecting glory upon Christ, Who worked through us to achieve the good works if our life. We will acknowledge His sovereignty by casting our crowns at His feet while we worship Him in Heaven:   5 crowns Continue reading