Sunday, October 24, 2010

Revelation 21:6-8

Verse 6 “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”

When Yeshua died on the cross He said, “It is finished.” What was finished at that time was the first step in the plan of redemption, the means by which man could obtain salvation. But it was not the end of what had to be completed to bring creation back to its original state. The next step was regaining ownership of the planet, then restoring the earth to its antediluvian state, and then the promised reign of the Messiah to Israel. Finally the entire plan is complete. Death has been conquered, Satan has been crushed and is in eternal punishment, the world has been restored, mankind has been redeemed (those who would choose God) and now a new heaven and earth have been created. Everything God has set out to do is complete. The kingdom of God now exists in an eternal state. Yeshua is the Alpha (the first letter of the alphabet) or beginning, and the Omega (the last letter of the alphabet) or end. He spoke creation into existence and now He pronounces the entire history of the world complete. He was at the beginning and He is at the end. To those who have thirsted to know God, He has freely given them water to drink from the fountain of life. He is that fountain of life. The eternal life that has been promised to those who love God is now about to begin. They will never sorrow, suffer, sin, die, or thirst for God again.

Verse 7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”

In the seven letters of Revelation the promises were given to those that are overcomers. For those that do overcome, they will inherit all the promises given by God. God will be the overcomer’s Father and the overcomer will be God’s child.

Verse 8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Here is a list of sinners that make it into the lake of fire. While the list is not complete as to every sin, there are a few that God particularly mentions. The abominable, these are those who are totally disgusting to God. He abhors them as they are gross sinners of all the vile sins. This would include a lot of sins, so this is a very encompassing category. It is the worst of the lusts and behaviors that are listed elsewhere in the Scriptures, for example, 1 Cor. 6:9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." For those who commit these acts and think it is okay with God, think again. There are many sins listed, but one in particular needs to be addressed, as nowadays people deny that it is a sin.

What I am about to say is going to make some people mad. If you are offended, you will have to take it up with God, not me, because I am not the author of the Bible. In particular, there is a question of the word "effeminate" and the phrase "abusers of themselves with mankind." I have visited sites where homosexual pastors or Christians try to explain this word and passage away to allow them to continue to practice their sexual preference guilt free. I notice they stay far away from certain verses of the Bible, which I will give in a moment. First I must explain something. I have (either presently or in the past) had homosexual or lesbian friends or family. I love them dearly and we have had great relationships. I am not their judge, so I don't judge them. I love them, but do not condone the sin. Sadly if they continue in their sin unrepentant until they die, just as the other sins listed in these verses will do, this sin will send them to hell and eventually the lake of fire. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7.

Whether or not people want to accept it, the Scriptures are clear about this sexual act. Lev.18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Lev. 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." First, this is not making any distinction between lust and love (which seems to be the crux of the homosexual defense). No mention of feelings is involved at all. It is the physical act that is being addressed. It is the physical act which is the abomination. The penalty for committing this abomination was death. Next, clearly this is not talking about temple prostitution (which is another explanation I have heard). It had nothing to do with pagan temple worship. It is a law for God's people's behavior, not a commentary on surrounding nations. Nor is this a non-applicable law because it is in the Old Testament. While not all of the Torah laws are still in effect today, such as kosher, which was more of a health preservation law, this is not the same thing. This is an abomination to God yesterday, today, and forever, and it is addressed as such again in the New Testament. "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, (denying what the Scriptures clearly say about this) and worshipped and served the creature (each other) more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause (because of their unwillingness to acknowledge the truth and their deliberate disobedience) God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (lesbianism) and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men (homosexuality) working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, (O.T. law still in effect) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.(put their stamp of approval on it and deny it is wrong)" Romans 1: 24-32. I believe the description of men leaving the natural use of women and burning with lust for other men describes homosexuality. It is not a matter of distinction between lust and love, it is a matter of distinction between wanting to have sex with the opposite gender versus wanting to have sex with the same gender. The same holds true for the women. Again, it is not a case of "lust" versus "love", and love making it all right. It is a matter of the same gender having sex with the same gender. All Scriptures must be taken together on this issue. They are leaving the natural use of women (or men). It is the physical act, not the emotions involved. It is also not a case of temple prostitution. The temple is not referred to at all. It is simply the unnatural use of sex between members of the same gender that God considers dishonoring the body. This could not be more clear in these verses and trying to ignore it or twist it to mean something else is just going to land people in the lake of fire. Understand I am not without sins myself, and this is (while not trying to treat it lightly) just one more sin. The problem is that the gay community is denying that it is a sin, and not only being unrepentant, but trying to justify it. ("have pleasure in them that do them") Repentant homosexuals who do not continue in the practice of this sin can get into heaven. Just as any other sinner who repents and turns from their sin will get in(provided they endure to the end). Thieves know stealing is wrong. People know lying is wrong. These sins are acknowledged to be sins, however that is not the case with homosexuality. Gay people defend it as not being a sin. Understand it is not my call. It does not matter what I think. It does not matter what you think. It does not matter what anyone thinks. It only matters what God thinks, because He is the one calling the shots. God does not care how I or anybody else feels about the issue. It only matters how He feels and He has made it abundantly clear. Denying it is a sin will not work with God, no matter how much a person wants it to be so. That is not my opinion, that is what God says. He says it is an abomination, which makes the person who practices it abominable to God, plain and simple. The truth is the truth, like it or not. Denying the truth is not going to change what God says. We all like to justify our sins, but it is to our own eternal peril that we do. I do not want to see the gay people I know and love go to hell any more than I want to see the fornicators (many of my friends and family have practiced sex outside of marriage), or liars (Who has not told a little white lie? I know I have to protect someone's feelings - e.g. Does this make me look fat?), or thieves (Stealing is taking a pen from work, not just robbing a bank), or murderers (Do you intensely dislike anyone?), or drunkards (Did you have one too many at that last party?), or those who covet (Who hasn't experienced that one at one time or another? I know I have. I have to confess it and repent it.). I know sinning jeopardizes my salvation and I have to continually acknowledge it and repent. But I admit it is a sin and that I am sinning. Homosexuality is a sin that is not acknowledged by homosexuals and unfortunately it is a sin that the Christian church has either accepted as being okay or focused on as being a sin to the exclusion of every other sin. Neither is the correct response. It is clearly a sin and should not be condoned, however it is hypocritical on the part of many Christians to be so super condemning when they have a serious problem themselves. One sin in the church that really rankles me is gossip, and some of the most pious people are the guiltiest of practicing it. It is usually epidemic in most churches and is a sin that is not only unacknowledged, but will jeopardize a lot of people who practice it unrepentantly. Most homosexuals do not pretend to be Christians, therefore Christians should not be worried about their homosexuality. Unbelievers do not have to clean up their lives before coming to the Lord, that is not how it works. Our job is to bring people to the Lord and let the Lord clean up their sins. On the other hand, Christians should be looking at the beam in their own eye, as they are responsible for keeping their lives as free from sin as possible.

Getting back to the list in Revelation, there are murderers, those who with malice aforethought, deliberately take a human life. In 1 John 3:15 we are told that whoever hates his brother is considered a murderer. So unlike Old Testament times where the act was the sin, even our thoughts are judged. Whoremongers includes fornicators, adulterers, prostitutes and such. And again, it is not just the act, it is the thought that counts. Sorcerers includes people who not only dabble in the occult, but also with drugs. Idolaters are those who worship anything besides God. That not only includes false gods, but things like money, celebrities, etc. These people are not unexpected candidates for this punishment. But the list doesn't end there.

There is hardly a person alive, including Christians, who has not told a lie, so this sin covers almost everyone. People hardly think anything of telling a lie, yet it can condemn you to eternal punishment. If something so universally thought of as being okay can do that, then people should not dismiss these other things so readily. A surprising sin on this list is the fearful. One thinks of fearful as simply a person who is afraid of things in general. That does not seem like such a horrible thing at first, but one has to take it a little farther. The concordance defines this word as timid or faithless. We are told that if we shrink back from standing up for God, and if we are faithless, we will be denied by God. If we deny Him, He has said He will deny us. Matt. 10:33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Fear of losing your property, your wealth, or even your life is not an excuse, nor will it be excused. We must endure to the end suffering persecution and death if necessary. Fear can keep us from eternal life. The last sin to be considered is unbelief. This is not only those who proclaim their unbelief such as atheists, but may include those who say they are Christians. One must believe with one's heart in complete faith in Christ. Just having a head belief is not enough. People who want to accommodate science, man's traditions, man's morality, and basically compromise the truths of the Bible are essentially non-believers. They do not truly believe God's Word is the truth, or they would not compromise it to accommodate everything that comes along. Any sin can be forgiven, except the sin of unbelief.

I believe unbelief is actually blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Many people wonder what exactly blaspheming the Holy Spirit is. I cannot say if I am completely correct on this or not, but it seems logical. Refusal to believe in Yeshua, who He is and His sacrifice, is the criteria by which everyone will lose out getting into the Book of Life. They choose to be judged by their own works rather than have their sins covered by the blood of Yeshua. So they do not accept Him and believe in Him. Because it is the Holy Spirit that convicts people of their sin and reveals who Yeshua is to them, I have come to the conclusion that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is that moment when the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to people, and they make the conscious decision to reject the truth. Not accepting Yeshua is the one sin that cannot be forgiven, as there is no other means by which people can be saved. God cannot forgive that rejection. Putting together those facts, that the Holy Spirit convicts and reveals, that one cannot be forgiven for rejecting Yeshua, and that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin, or the one sin that cannot be forgiven, it would seem that these two things are one in the same, as it says there is only one sin that is unpardonable. Therefore rejecting Yeshua when the Holy Spirit convicts and reveals Him, is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. All of these sins listed in this verse will send these sinners to the lake of fire, but the sins other than unbelief could have been forgiven, if there were belief and repentance. So in actuality, the sin that is sending all of these sinners to the lake of fire is unbelief, for if they truly believed what God said and repented, they would no longer be unbelievers, regardless of what their sins may have been. They would be forgiven and could enter into heaven.

All unbelievers will end up with the beast, false prophet, and Satan in the lake of fire. As mentioned before this is the second death, spiritual death, where torment goes on for ever and ever.

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