The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: His Judgment & Discipline

Why You Shouldn’t Gloat When Your Enemies Go Down

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You consider yourself to be a committed Christian.  You’re the good guy.  You’re on the right side.  So when that jerk who has been hassling you suddenly gets hit with some brutal trial which causes him to get off your back, you find yourself wanting to do a victory dance.  After all, isn’t God exalting you by smacking your enemy down?  Clearly when the bad news is being poured out on the heads of the people who oppose you while your path is being covered in blessings, then that means God is for you and against them, doesn’t it?  Not necessarily. In real life, things are a lot more complicated than this, and in this post we’re going to discuss what some of those complications are. Read more of this post

Salvation Q&A

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As a human, you were created by three non-human Beings, who we refer to as Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  These are not three personalities of a single Entity.  Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three separate and distinct Divine Beings.  They are actively involved in your life today, and when you die, They will control whether your experience of the next life is nice or awful.  Since these three Gods control the quality of your existence, it’s in your best interest to stay on Their good side.  So how do you do this?  Christians would say that you need to obtain eternal salvation.  But what exactly is eternal salvation?  It’s a very simple concept which Christians have turned into a royal mess.  The purpose of this post is to clear up some of the confusion. Read more of this post

You Love God But You Hate People: Why You’re Not a Spiritual Failure

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Can you be a devoted Christian who is greatly pleasing God if you currently loathe other humans?  The modern Church, the apostle Paul, and the apostle John would all say no.  God would say yes. Now let’s explain.

God has always taught that He is to be our First Priority—so much so that we should be willing to lose our relationships with other humans for the sake of honoring Him.  It doesn’t always get to that point, but that is the goal.  You see, God doesn’t just call us to be sort of into Him—He commands us to obsessively love Him.  We are to consider Him our All-in-All, our Master, our Commander, our King.  God is supposed to be the One who we are living to please.  His opinion is supposed to trump all others in our minds.  His approval is supposed to be everything to us.  Read more of this post

Law vs. Principle Charts: Atonement Sacrifices

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The Old Covenant sacrificial system is very poorly understood by Christians, and this leads to a lot of confusion about how God judges us, and how salvation is acquired.  Let’s now learn about the difference between what the laws that God gives, and the spiritual principles that those laws are promoting. (Click on each image to enlarge.)

Law vs. Principle Chart: Atonement Sacrifices (OT)

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Divine Judgment in the End Times: Dealing with a Less Patient God

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During the end times, God’s patience with rebellion will be much shorter.  In this post, we will explain what this does and doesn’t mean.

Let’s start with some basic questions.  How does God judge humans?  When does He get ticked with us?  What causes His infamous wrath to flare up?  These questions are a source of confusion for both Christians and non-Christians, with folks in both camps not understanding what the correct answers are.  When you don’t have an accurate understanding about how God judges you, you spin off into all sorts of problems.  Since God’s wrath is going to be a major theme during the end times, it’s vital that you have this issue of Divine judgment sorted out in your mind.  Once you understand why God gets mad at you personally, you will be able to see how easy it is to stay on His gracious side. Read more of this post

Psalm 74: Asaph Flaunts His Contempt for Yahweh

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The book of Psalms is a collection of 150 different songs which don’t come anywhere close to being in chronological order.  Instead, as we read through the book, we find ourselves leaping forward and back by centuries between various psalms.  The collection begins with entries by David.  But when we reach Psalm 90, we find that it was written by Moses who lived and died long before David was even born.  But between David and Moses, we have Psalm 74—a psalm that was penned after the fall of Jerusalem, which occurred many centuries after David’s lifetime.  So when you’re in the book of Psalms, you need to stay sharp and be on the lookout for clues as to when the specific psalm you are reading was written.

As we’re going to learn in this post, historical context plays a huge role in determining whether a psalm writer was honoring God with his sentiments, or being a mouthy little twerp.  Today the Church teaches you that the entire book of Psalms is Divinely inspired.  In doing this, she is encouraging you to embrace soul attitudes which God says He hates and celebrate those attitudes as God-honoring.  But wait—aren’t we being a bit extreme?  Do the psalms really go so far as to model attitudes which God hates?  Yes, they certainly do, and that’s not something we should be fluffing off as no big deal.    Read more of this post

Ezekiel 20-21: The Sword of Yahweh

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As he compiles a collection of prophetic messages from Yahweh, the prophet Ezekiel occasionally slips in a clue as to what year it is.  Just as prisoners often mark time by how long they’ve been incarcerated, Ezekiel often dates his messages by referring to how much time has passed since he was personally dragged out of his homeland by the fearsome Babylonian army and forced to relocate to the capital city of the empire that is slowly destroying what’s left of his beloved Israel. Read more of this post

Ezekiel 14: Yahweh Stands Alone

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In our lesson Ezekiel 13-14: Yahweh Condemns False Prophets, we made our way through all of Ezekiel 13 and the first half of Ezekiel 14.  In that passage, Yahweh was focused on the issue of Jewish false prophets and the folks who were keeping them in business.  As we learned in our previous lesson, it’s a very dangerous thing to turn the concept of Divine prophecy into a game.  When we misuse Yahweh’s Name and Authority, we end up on the wrong side of His wrath. Read more of this post

Ezekiel 13-14: Yahweh Condemns False Prophets

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In Ezekiel 13-14 we find a very intense speech from Yahweh which gives us some fabulous insights into how He views false prophets.  Since most of the prophets you come across in the Church today are complete phonies, this passage of Scripture is very relevant to you.  It’s very dangerous business to go around speaking messages for God which He hasn’t authorized you to speak.  Even when you’re spreading sunshine and cheer by promising everyone that brighter days are coming, you are personally heading towards some very dark days if you’re speaking without God’s Authorization.  God’s Name isn’t some toy that we get to play with.  When referring to Him is just some clever marketing strategy we’re using in order to boost sales and gather customers, we’re getting in line for some very nasty discipline.  When you’re messing with God, you’re messing with the Originator of concepts like vengeance and wrath.  You’re dealing with the Creator of both Heaven and Hell—a Being who has no qualms about torturing you forever if you get too attitudinal with Him.  Given the fact that God controls your quality of life, your location, and your capacity for suffering, how stupid is it for you to intentionally provoke Him?  You can’t war against God and win.  Read more of this post

False Formulas for Salvation – 1 John 1:9

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“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

The same John who wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation also wrote the three epistles known as 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.  While 2 and 3 John don’t get out much, 1 John has several famous one liners in it, including this frequently quoted statement about salvation being obtained through the confession of sin.  But is this really accurate?  Is merely listing off our sins enough to grant us salvation and cause use to be blameless in the sight of God?  No, it’s really not.  In fact, salvation doesn’t have anything to do with God considering us to be “blameless.”  We just think it does because, like the New Testament apostles, we’re focusing on the wrong things (see Jesus vs. the NT Jews: What it Means to Please God). Read more of this post