Daily Archives: February 14, 2020

February 14 Life-Changing Moments With God

Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.… I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.

Jesus did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. He did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, Jesus said, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. You, Lord, are well pleased for Your righteousness’ sake; You exalt the law and make it honorable. Unless my righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, I will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, You, Lord God, did by sending Your own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of my sin: Jesus condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to fulfill the Law so that Your righteousness might be mine.

Matthew 3:15; Psalm 40:8; Matthew 5:17–18; Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:20; Romans 8:3–4; Romans 10:4[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 55). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

February 14, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

16:8 See Ps. 105:1–15. Songs of praise are to be sung repeatedly, not only to give praise to God, but to remind people of his excellence and to anticipate the surpassing display of his excellence when Christ comes. See note on 1 Chron. 15:16.[1]

[1] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 727). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

February—14 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Unto the pure, all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving, is nothing pure.—Titus 1:15.

A union with Christ brings with it the sweet and sanctified use and enjoyment of all things. My soul, ponder this evening what the apostle here saith, with an eye to this, and behold thy blessedness in Jesus. Every thing which comes into the account of what may be called real good, can be so no farther than as it is found and enjoyed in Christ. Creature comforts have nothing in them of good, but what is derived from the blessedness of the covenant in them. To the pure in Christ, all things are pure. His gracious leaven in them, leaveneth the whole lump. And wherefore is it, that to them that are in a state of unrenewed nature, being defiled and unbelieving, there is nothing pure; but because there is nothing of Christ in them? They, and all they have, are under the curse! for every thing is so out of Christ. It is Jesus which must put a blessing and a relish into even the most common providences; or, instead of mercy, they will bring forth evil. See to it, then, my soul, that Christ be the foundation of all thine enjoyments. Be very jealous over thyself, and thine own heart, when thou art most happy, that it be on Christ’s account; or that, when exercised with difficulties, thou still see Jesus in them, and receive them as coming from his appointment. And learn never to put a value upon any thing but on his account, and from their connection with him. This will confirm what the apostle saith, to thy experience: “To the pure, all things are pure.” For Jesus, seen in all, will be enjoyed in all; and will sweeten, sanctify, bless, and render profitable all. For as there is infinitely more blessedness in the most common of our mercies, from their relationship to Jesus, and their coming from him, than we are aware of, so we ought to have the greater regard to him, in all that we enjoy. And if we consider nothing as a blessing but what is received in Jesus, we shall learn to set a value upon nothing but what is brought home to the heart by Jesus.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 50–51). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

February 14 Streams in the Desert

And again I say, Rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4.)

IT is a good thing to rejoice in the Lord. Perhaps you have tried this, and the first time seemed to fail. Never mind, keep right on and when you cannot feel any joy, when there is no spring, and no seeming comfort and encouragement, still rejoice, and count it all joy. Even when you fall into divers temptations, reckon it joy and delight, and God will make your reckoning good. Do you suppose your Father will let you carry the banner of His victory and His gladness on to the front of the battle, and then coolly stand back and see you captured or beaten back by the enemy? NEVER! The Holy Spirit will sustain you in your bold advance, and fill your heart with gladness and praise, and you will find your heart all exhilarated and refreshed by the fullness within. Lord teach me to rejoice in Thee, and to “rejoice evermore.”—Selected.

“The weakest saint may Satan rout,

Who meets him with a praiseful shout.”

Be filled with the Spirit, … singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:18, 19.)

Here the Apostle urges the use of singing as one of the inspiring helps in the spiritual life. He counsels his readers not to seek their stimulus through the body, but through the spirit; not by the quickening of the flesh, but by the exaltation of the soul.

“Sometimes a light surprises

The Christian while he sings.”

Let us sing even when we do not feel like it, for thus we may give wings to leaden feet and turn weariness into strength.

J. H. Jowett.

At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” (Acts 16:25.)

Oh, Paul, thou wondrous example to the flock, who could thus glory, bearing in the body as thou didst “the marks of the Lord Jesus”! Marks from stoning almost to the death, from thrice beating with rods, from those hundred and ninety-five stripes laid on thee by the Jews, and from stripes received in that Philippian jail, which had they not drawn blood would not have called for washing! Surely the grace which enabled thee to sing praises under such suffering is all-sufficient grace.

J. Roach.

“Oh, let us rejoice in the Lord, evermore,

When darts of the tempter are flying,

For Satan still dreads, as he oft did of yore,

Our singing much more than our sighing.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 50–51). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

9 Ways to Listen Better to a Sermon this Weekend — ChuckLawless.com

My wife will tell you that I’m a “fidgety” listener at church. I don’t sit still very long, and I sometimes don’t listen as closely as I should. So, I write these words to me today—and I hope they’ll help you, too.

  1. Don’t miss the miracle and blessing of having opportunity to hear the Bible preached freely.Many of our brothers and sisters around the world risk their lives to worship, and many don’t have the whole Bible in their language. We’re seriously blessed—so we need to listen closely to the teaching of the Word.
  2. Deal with any sin issues in your life before you get to church. Confess your transgressions to God today. Turn from them so they don’t control you. Ask God to cleanse your heart daily before you head to church. Listening well requires a heart that has no sin obstacles in the way.
  3. Get to church early. All of us sometimes struggle with getting to church on time, and some of us are almost always late. When you enter the worship center with a hurried and unfocused mind, though, you’re not best prepared to hear the Word.
  4. If your phone is a tempting distraction, leave it in the car. I understand the use of electronic Bibles, but I’d rather you bring a hard copy of the Bible if you tend to use your phone to do something other than focus on the scriptural text.
  5. Worship well through song, even if the music style may not be your preference (see this postabout singing when we don’t want to). Not participating in worshiping God is hardly the best preparation for hearing the Word of God.
  6. Take notes. This suggestion is a basic one, but doing it helps us pay attention. Listening to and writing down the points of a sermon keep us focused for at least a few minutes. And, taking notes allows you to reflect on biblical truths later in the week.
  7. Ask God to teach you at least one thing that should change your life—and write it down, too.Listen closely. Focus intentionally. Hear expectantly, trusting that God wants to teach you how to apply the gospel to your life.
  8. If/when your mind wanders, whisper a prayer to the Lord. A simple, perhaps recurrent, “Father, help me in the power of your Spirit to pay attention” can make a big difference.
  9. Send somebody a text or email about what you learn in each sermon. If you learn a truth, share it with somebody after church. If you need to make a life change based on the Word, hold yourself accountable to someone. Don’t let the Word bounce off your heart so you do nothing with it after the service is over.

via 9 Ways to Listen Better to a Sermon this Weekend — ChuckLawless.com

February 14th The D. L. Moody Year Book

For ye know the grace of cur Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.—2 Corinthians 8:9.

MEN talk about grace, but, as a rule, they know very little about it. Let a business man go to a banker’s to borrow a few hundred dollars for sixty or ninety days; if he is well able to pay, the banker will perhaps lend him the money if he can get another responsible man to sign the note with him. They give what they call “three days’ grace” after the sixty or ninety days have expired; but they will make the borrower pay interest on the money during these three days, and if he does not return principal and interest at the appointed time, they will sell his goods; they will perhaps turn him out of his house, and take the last piece of furniture in his possession.

That is not grace at all, but that fairly illustrates man’s idea of it. Grace not only frees from payment of the interest, but of the principal also. The grace of God frees us from the penalty of our sin without any payment on our part. Christ has paid the debt, and all we have to do is to believe on Him for our salvation.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 36). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Media Will Never Understand The Country So Long As They Keep Hating Trump Voters

The mainstream media will spend a lot of effort this year reporting on Trump voters, but very little effort trying to understand or empathize with them.

Source: Media Will Never Understand The Country So Long As They Keep Hating Trump Voters

More Chinese now under LOCKDOWN than the entire population of the United States, 400 million people in over 60 cities | DC Clothesline

(Natural News) Most people are probably aware of the fact that communist China is home to far more people than the United States. But did you also know that there are now more people under mandatory lockdown in China due to novel coronavirus than there are people currently living in America, period?

According to reports, the recent expansion of the coronavirus quarantine to Guangzhou has brought the total number of Chinese people living under communist martial law to about 400 million. The current U.S. population, on the other hand, is just under 330 million.

As for the current infection rate, the numbers are all over the map. If you believe the official numbers, there are now more than 45,000 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, with more than 1,100 deaths. If you believe the “conspiracy” numbers, it could be more like 154,000 infected and 25,000 dead.

Regardless, the Chinese economy and the supply chains it supports are quickly coming to a halt due to this global emergency. With the recent end of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Chinese companies should have opened back up for business, except many of them couldn’t because Wuhan coronavirus threw a wrench in their plans.

Hyundai, Kia, and several other major car manufacturers have had their production disrupted in China as parts manufacturers were unable to enlist their employees back to work due to mandatory government quarantines. Multiple cruise liners are also facing serious problems docking at Asian ports, not to mention multiple reports of hundreds of people falling ill while traveling on cruise ships.

Since everything is interconnected in our new globalist reality, the coronavirus crisis is sure to eventually hit the American economy as well. Listen below as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, talks about what will happen once the stock market delusion collides with the reality of this global pandemic:

Chinese President Xi orders firms to increase output even as 400 million Chinese are under mandatory government lockdown

The crisis is surely being felt in Beijing, where a total shutdown has led to “a demand collapse and supply-chain shutdown,” according to Rabobank’s Michael Every, who added that the impact “is just too much to bear” for communist China.

At the same time, Chinese President Xi Jinping has decreed that China will somehow meet its economic goals while simultaneously winning the battle against novel coronavirus. And this is all going to happen as Beijing and other Chinese cities and provinces remain closed for business due to mandatory quarantine measures.

This type of double-talk is quintessential for China, and for the United States if we’re really honest with ourselves. Every says China has “a freely-floating, controlled currency,” which we also do, as well as “market-determined, state-directed interest rates,” which, again, we also do.

“Things are going to get nasty for economies and markets, especially with official WHO (World Health Organization) word that a vaccine is 18 months away,” he further adds.

For one Chinese company known as Suzhou that tried to reopen after the Chinese Lunar New Year came to a close, a new case of novel coronavirus was almost immediately detected. The result was that all 200-plus employees at the company were not allowed to return home and were immediately placed under mandatory quarantine – this being the current state of China’s economy, soon to be felt by the rest of the world as the virus continues to take its devastating toll.

The latest coronavirus news can be accessed at Outbreak.news.

You can also keep up with the latest coronavirus news in video format by checking out the official Brighteon.com channel of The Health Ranger Report.

Sources for this article include:

ZeroHedge.com

ArcGIS.com

NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews.com

ZeroHedge.com

Brighteon.com

Source: More Chinese now under LOCKDOWN than the entire population of the United States, 400 million people in over 60 cities

BOMBSHELL: U.S. Atty. John Durham Is investigating if Obama Admin Hid or Manipulated Evidence of Russian Meddling

According to a bombshell report from the New York Times Friday morning , U.S. Attorney John Durham has been investigating whether Obama administration officials hid or perhaps manipulated intelligence about Russia’s meddling.

Source: BOMBSHELL: U.S. Atty. John Durham Is investigating if Obama Admin Hid or Manipulated Evidence of Russian Meddling

The Good News About Hell | Biblical Science Institute

We can hardly imagine anything worse than eternal conscious torment.  And yet such a fate awaits all who reject Christ’s offers of mercy and salvation.  Those who reject God will be rejected by God on judgement day and consigned to a Lake of Fire to pay for their treason for all eternity (Revelation 20:15).  And when ten thousand years of agony have passed, they are no closer to completing their sentence than they were at the beginning.  No relief.  No parole.  No hope.  Forever.  And yet, there is good news about hell!  Yes, the reality of hell should cause us to praise God and appreciate His righteousness, mercy, and love.  But how can we reconcile the existence of hell with a loving God?

Denying an Eternal Hell

The idea of an eternity in hell is so offensive to many people, that they refuse to believe it.  Instead they choose to believe in either universalism, or annihilationism.  Universalism is the belief that God saves everyone – that all people will go to heaven when they die.  The universalist claims that Jesus died for all sins of all people and will save all people regardless of whether they repent of sin and believe the Gospel.  Alternatively, annihilationism is the belief that those who reject God’s offers of mercy and salvation will not spend eternity in hell, but will simply cease to exist.  In some versions of annihilationism, the unbeliever ceases to exist upon death.  In other versions, the unbeliever is punished in hell, but only for a finite time.  After that time, his penalty is paid, and the unbeliever ceases to exist.

We will find that both universalism and annihilationism are contrary to the Bible.  Yet, people desperately want to deny the reality of an eternal hell because it is so unpleasant.  It is our fallen, irrational nature to tend to believe things that are desirable and to disbelieve things that are unpleasant.  This is irrational of course.  It is an error in reasoning called the fallacy of the appeal to consequences.  Imagine someone saying, “I really don’t like paying taxes.  Therefore, taxes do not exist!” or “I would really like to be a billionaire.  Therefore, I am!”  That would be ridiculous.

And yet this is exactly the way that many people reason when it comes to the afterlife.  “Hell would be really horrible.  Therefore, it doesn’t exist.”  Or alternatively, “I don’t understand how a loving God could consign anyone to hell.  Therefore, He will not!”  Yet there are many things people do not understand that are nonetheless true.  Consider some of the more difficult topics in physics or mathematics.  They are hard to fathom, but they are real.

Wishing for something does not make it so.  And many unpleasant things do exist even if we wish they did not.  Reality does not depend on our wishes or desires.  It depends on what God says.  When God speaks, the universe becomes exactly what God commands it to be (Genesis 1:3, 9, 11-12, 14-16, 20-21).  So, if we want to learn what actually happens after death, we must turn to God’s Word.  We will find that the Bible affirms the reality of hell.  And amazingly, this is a good thing!

The Reality of Hell

The Lord Jesus affirms that hell exists.  He refers to hell (γέεννα) eleven times in the Gospels,[1],[2] and in all these cases it refers to the eternal destination of unrepentant sinners.  Jesus affirms that hell is the final penalty, the judgment, the sentence for sin (Matthew 23:33; 5:22).  Hell is the opposite, the alternative, to life in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:47).  Christ affirms that hell is worse than being physically impaired (Matthew 5:29, 30, 18:9; Mark 9:45, 47), is even worse than physical death (Luke 12:4-5), and consists of unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43).

In all these verses, “hell” is translated from the original Greek word γέεννα (geenna), or “Gehenna.”  Gehenna means the “Valley of Hinnom” which was a valley just outside of Jerusalem.  Of course, Jesus is not saying that unbelievers literally go to this valley when they die.  Rather, Jesus is using the imagery of this valley to give people an idea of what hell is like.  So, it helps to know something about the Valley of Hinnom.

The Valley of Hinnom is mentioned (by name) six times in the Old Testament.[3]  It was a place where the Israelites sinfully offered human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (Jeremiah 7:30-31; 2 Kings 23:10), a particularly detestable sin which the Lord specifically forbids (Leviticus 18:21, 20:2-5; Jeremiah 32:35).  By the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, Gehenna had become a dumping ground for the sewage and garbage of Jerusalem.  It was full of worms and maggots, and fires often burned to reduce the volume of the garbage.  You can just imagine the smell.

So, those people who sin against God and refuse Christ’s offers of mercy and salvation will be dumped like garbage into a place much like the Valley of Hinnom.  However, Jesus points out that the final destination of the wicked is unlike the Valley of Hinnom in one important aspect: hell is eternal.  The fire of hell is never quenched (Mark 9:47-48; Matthew 3:12, 25:41; Isaiah 66:24).  It is an eternal fire prepared for the devil and the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41).  But it will also be the destination of all who transgress against God whose sins are not forgiven (Isaiah 66:24).  Jesus also refers to hell as a place of “outer darkness” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30).  Hell is clearly a place of agony and torment.

The Lake of Fire – the Second Death

For this reason, hell is also referred to as the “Lake of Fire” in the book of Revelation.  It is the final destination of the Devil and everyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life – that is, all unbelievers (Revelation 20:10,15).  Jesus compares unbelievers to trees that fail to produce fruit.  These will be cut down and cast into the fire (Matthew 3:10).  The Lake of Fire is also called “the second death” (Revelation 20:14).  The name is fitting, for hell is the opposite of the eternal life enjoyed by God’s people.

The Bible uses the terms life and death in two different but related ways.  They can refer to physical life and physical death, or to spiritual life and spiritual death.  Physical life and death we readily understand.  We are alive when our body functions in the way it was designed.  When we die our body ceases to function, though it still exists.  Likewise, human beings have a spirit.  Before salvation, our spirit is dead due to our sin and does not function as designed – to love and worship God.  The Lord can resurrect our dead spirit, and cause it to live and function as it should.  This is affirmed in Ephesians 2:1-9 and John 5:24-25.

Hence, Jesus can say of those who are saved, they will die but will live again (physically), and will never die (spiritually) – see John 11:25-26.  Both believers and unbelievers physically die (Hebrews 9:27).  And both believers and unbelievers will be physically resurrected by God; “all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth” (John 5:28-29).  But only believers are spiritually resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God (John 5:24-25, 6:40, 47, 3:15-16, 36, 10:28; Matthew 25:46).  Unbelievers will be physically resurrected, but will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity – “This is the second death, the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:14).

Are All Saved?

The agony of hell prompts many people to deny the truth of hell.  The universalist claims that God saves everyone, even people who stubbornly refuse to repent.  A universalist might even pull verses out of context to support the claim. “After all, 1 Timothy 4:10 states that God is the ‘Savior of all men’.”   However, the Greek word translated “Savior” here is σωτὴρ (soter).  And while σωτὴρ can (and often does) mean “savior” in the spiritual sense of eternal life, it can also mean provider in a physical sense.  In the culture of the time, a person who provides food and clothing for someone else is a σωτὴρ without implying anything about eternal salvation.  It is in this sense that God is the Savior of all men, in that He provides physical life, food, blessings, and upholds their existence.

Note that 1 Timothy 4:10 cannot mean “Savior” in the spiritual sense of eternal life because the passage states that God is “the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”  The last phrase would make no sense if spiritual salvation were in view, because it doesn’t make sense for some people to be “more saved” than others.  Either your sins are forgiven or they are not.  God is your spiritual Savior or He is not.  The word “especially” would make no sense.  Rather, God is the Savior in the sense of Provider for all men, in that He blesses them with life and provisions.  And He is especially the Savior/Provider for believers, in that He also provides eternal life for them, in contrast to unbelievers.  So, this verse actually proves the opposite of what the universalists desire; believers enjoy the special provision of eternal life which unbelievers are not granted.

In fact, Jesus is very clear that not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven.  In Matthew 7:21 He says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.”  To those who reject Christ’s offers of mercy and salvation, Christ will say to them on judgment day, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).  In fact, Jesus indicated that the path to eternal destruction in hell is a broad one, and many follow it (Matthew 7:13).

On the day of judgment, God will eternally separate unbelievers (“goats”) from believers (“sheep”).  In Matthew 25:23-34, Jesus said, “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”  And what of the unbelievers?  Jesus said, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matthew 25:41).  He again says, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).

Jesus explains that on judgment day, His angels will gather the unrighteous like weeds and “will throw them into the furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:42).  He continues with His often-used description of the agony of hell: that “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  And Jesus contrasts this fate with the glorious destiny of believers who “will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43).

So, Jesus was very clear that all those who reject Him will be cast into hell.  Therefore, Christ refutes universalism.  Though it is sad, some people will reject Christ’s offers of salvation and will be consigned to hell.  To deny the reality of hell is to deny the Scriptures and to call Jesus a liar.  And, hypothetically, if Jesus were a liar, then He would be a sinner and not the spotless lamb needed for our salvation (1 Peter 1:19).  Therefore, if you do not believe in hell, you have no hope of heaven.

Infinite or Finite?

But what of those people who admit that hell does exist, but deny that it is eternal?  Recall some versions of annihilationism accept that hell is real, but claim that people in hell cease to exist after a finite amount of time.  They are supposedly destroyed after serving their finite sentence.  But what does the Bible say about the duration of punishment in hell?  Is it finite, or eternal?

Note that Jesus says that the fire of hell is eternal (Matthew 18:8, 25:41), that the fire of hell is never quenched (Mark 9:48).  Jude 13 states that the darkness has been reserved for the wicked forever.  Some annihilationists would admit that hell is eternal, but that the people within it are not.  After all, didn’t Jesus say that the way of unbelief leads to destruction in Matthew 7:13?  And other verses point to the “destruction” of unbelievers (Romans 9:22; Philippians 3:19).  And if they are destroyed, they won’t continue to exist, right?

First, the biblical word translated “destruction” in Matthew 7:13 is ἀπώλειαν (apoleian), which does not mean non-existence, but rather destruction in the sense of ruin.   In fact, the same word is used to describe the destruction of the beast in Revelation 17:8, 11; and yet Revelation 20:10 states that this beast will suffer forever in the Lake of Fire.  Second, note that 2 Thessalonians 1:9 says that unbelievers will “pay the penalty of eternal destruction.”  So, the kind of destruction that unbelievers experience in hell lasts forever.  They do not cease to exist after a finite amount of time.

Jesus claimed that the punishment in hell is of eternal duration.  In Matthew 25:46 Jesus said that unbelievers “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Just as believers experience eternal life, so unbelievers experience eternal punishment; the same Greek word translated “eternal” is used for both.  So, if the punishment of unbelievers in hell is not eternal, then believers have no hope of eternal life.

Daniel 12:2 confirms that just as believers experience eternal life, so unbelievers experience eternal contempt.  Hebrews 6:2 likewise teaches that the judgment of unbelievers is eternal.  Jude 7 indicates that the sinful inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah will experience “the punishment of eternal fire.”  Those in the Lake of Fire experience eternal agony: “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night” (Revelation 14:11).  The same eternal fate awaits the devil according to Revelation 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

It makes logical sense that the punishment for our treason against the infinite God would have to be infinite, since the punishment must fit the crime.  If you kill a house fly merely because it is annoying, there is no punishment because a fly is not made in God’s image and has no inherent value when compared to man.  But, if you kill a man merely for annoying you, then the punishment is death; for his life was as intrinsically valuable as your own.  If you sin against God, then the punishment is necessarily infinite; for His holiness is infinite.  The only way a finite being can pay an infinite penalty is to pay it forever.  Those who believe that a finite duration in hell is sufficient to pay for sin have a very low view of God.

On the other hand, Jesus is both God and man.  As man, He can take our place on the cross.  As God, His life is infinitely valuable.  As such, His one death can pay the infinite penalty for all our sins.  And He grants us this salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  So, we see how salvation is only logically possible in the biblical worldview.

The Intermediate State

Although hell is the final destination for those who reject Christ, it is not their immediate destination upon death.  This confuses some people.  But Revelation chapter 20 makes clear that the judgment and sentencing of unbelievers takes place after the resurrection – after physical death is undone by Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 15:26).  Theologians refer to the period of time between death and the resurrection as the intermediate state.  To understand the intermediate state, some terminology is helpful.

There are distinctions between the three terms: hell, Hades, and Sheol.  In the New American Standard Bible translation, the term “hell” is always translated from the Greek word γέεννα (Gehenna) and always refers to the final destination of unbelievers: the Lake of Fire.  But you might also see the terms “Hades” and “Sheol” in an English translation like the NASB.

Sheol is a Hebrew word that basically means “the grave,” “death,” or the “realm of the dead.”  This is demonstrated in passages like Proverbs 5:5, 7:27, 9:18; Psalm 6:5, 49:14, 89:48; Song of Solomon 8:6; Isaiah 28:15, 18, 38:18; Hosea 13:14 where synonymous parallelism shows that Sheol is a synonym for death. [4]  Also passages such as Proverbs 15:24 demonstrate by antithetical parallelism that Sheol is the opposite of life.  Since both the righteous and unrighteous eventually die and go to the grave, Sheol contains both believers and unbelievers.  It is the place people go during the intermediate state.  Sheol is temporary because God will resurrect all who ever died (Psalm 49:15; John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15:26).

However, you can think of Sheol as having two “chambers” with an impassible gulf between them.  When believers die, they are immediately in paradise, enjoying the comforting presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 2:8; Philippians 1:21-23; Luke 16:20-25, 23:43).  This “chamber” of Sheol Jesus calls “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22).  The other chamber He calls by the Greek word “Hades.”  We can think of Hades as a jail in which the unrepentant are held before their trial and sentencing.  No one can cross from Hades to Abraham’s bosom, or vice versa (Luke 16:26).

The Hades chamber of Sheol is a place of torment, but is not eternal (Luke 16:14-15).  Rather, on judgment day, the people within Hades will be physically resurrected and judged (Revelation 20:13).  Those who are not in Christ will be thrown into the Lake of Fire along with Hades itself, to serve their eternal sentence.  (See Revelation 20:11-15).  The fact that Hades is thrown into the Lake of Fire demonstrates that the two are different.

There are two important caveats regarding the differences between hell, Hades, and Sheol.  First, we note that the Greek word ‘Hades’ can, in some contexts, refer to both chambers of Sheol.  Hence, “Hades” can either refer to Sheol in its entirety (the grave, the realm of the dead), or it can refer to the chamber of Sheol containing only unbelievers.[5]  When Old Testament passages containing the Hebrew word “Sheol” are quoted in the New Testament Greek, “Sheol” is always translated as ᾅδου (Hades) (e.g. Acts 2:27, 31).  However, when Jesus uses the term “Hades” in His earthly ministry, He apparently refers only to the chamber of Sheol containing the wicked (e.g. Matthew 11:23, 16:18; Luke 10:15, 16:23).

A second caveat concerns specific English translations.  The New American Standard translation is rigorously consistent, and always renders the Greek word αδης̀̀ (Hades) as “Hades,” it translates the Greek word γέεννα (Gehenna) as “hell,” and it leaves “Sheol” untranslated as “Sheol” making the distinctions clear.  The King James Version always renders γέεννα (Gehenna) as “hell.”  However, it also renders αδης̀̀ (Hades) as “hell” in all places except one.[6]  And the KJV often renders the Hebrew word “Sheol” as “hell.”[7]  So if you prefer to use the KJV, you will have to consult a different translation or the original Hebrew and Greek texts to distinguish whether hell, Hades, or Sheol is referred to in a given verse.

(1) God is Just

So, given the sad reality that unbelievers experience eternal punishment in hell, what is the good news?  In fact, there are at least three reasons we should praise God for the existence of hell.  First, the existence of hell demonstrates that God is just.  He judges rightly, and fairly.  Since unbelievers have committed high treason against the infinitely holy God, their right punishment must also be infinite.  The consignment of unbelievers to hell demonstrates that God is a righteous judge, not a corrupt one.  He removes and confines the wicked so that they can no longer harm the righteous.

Only a corrupt judge would let an established hardened criminal go unpunished.  Consider a criminal who raped and then murdered an innocent girl.  Imagine the judge at his trial said, “I’m feeling very generous today.  So, although all the evidence shows you are guilty, I’m letting you go free.  Enjoy!”  The family of the girl would certainly be disgusted by such a perversion of justice.  But our God is not like that.  He judges rightly.  The existence of hell proves it.

Note that the mercy of God does not undo His justice.  Yes, God forgives the sins of believers.  But the penalty for the crime must still be paid.  And God Himself paid it.  Hence, the penalty for sin is always paid in God’s system – either by the sinners themselves, or by Jesus on their behalf.

(2) God Respects Human Freedom

Second, the existence of hell is good news because it shows that God respects human freedom.  God has offered salvation to anyone willing to repent (Isaiah 55:7).  But many people are unwilling to repent (John 5:40; Matthew 23:37).  They do not want to turn from their sin (John 3:19).  They do not want God’s love.  And since God is not a cosmic rapist, He will not force His love on those who hate Him.  He will not drag them against their will into the Kingdom of heaven.  Rather, God allows such people to reap the consequences of their actions.  They do not want to be in His gracious presence for all eternity because they hate Him and His law.  So, God prepared a place where such individuals can exist apart from His grace, where the wicked can behave according to their own perverse standards.  In a sense, hell is simply God giving people exactly what they want: existence apart from Him.

No one goes to hell for simply “not knowing any better.”  People go to hell by their own perverse choice (Romans 2:5-6).  They know God’s law because it is written on their heart (Romans 2:14-15).  And they hate it.  They do not want to repent and begin living by God’s law.  They want to live by their own standard.  And God respects their decision.  God will not drag unbelievers kicking and screaming into heaven against their desires.  No.  God allows the unbeliever to reap the harvest of sin.  Ultimately, in the end, all people get what they want.  But not everyone will like it.

Fortunately, God can change our desires.  God would be perfectly righteous and fair to allow all people to continue in sin and reap the consequences of hell.  But by His grace, God grants repentance and faith to some (Acts 5:31, 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25; Philippians 1:29; Romans 2:4), giving them a new heart that loves Him and desires to live by His law (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26).  When we genuinely repent and believe the Gospel, confessing Christ as Lord, He forgives our sins, having paid the penalty for our sin on the cross (1 John 1:9; Acts 3:19; Luke 13:3; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5).  And this naturally leads to the third way in which hell is good news.

(3) God is Merciful

The existence of hell demonstrates God’s mercy because it shows believers what we are being saved from.  God could have chosen to create only people who would freely obey Him from the start.  The human race would never have known sin or its consequences.  But then again, we would never have known God’s mercy and the depths of His love, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).  So, God created Adam and Eve, knowing that they would rebel against Him and plunge the human race into darkness.  He rightly allows many to reap the consequences of their wickedness.  That is perfectly fair.  To others, He shows compassion and grants us repentance and salvation by taking our place on the cross (Acts 5:31, 11:8; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

The Apostle Paul explains this in Romans 9:22-24.  “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”

Eternal suffering in hell is what we all deserve, for all of us have broken God’s laws and have thereby committed high treason against the King of kings (Romans 3:10, 23; Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 14:2-3; James 2:10-11).  And God was under no obligation whatsoever to offer salvation to anyone.  Yet He Himself was willing to endure the penalty for sin on our behalf.  And He offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who will repent and confess Him as Lord (1 John 1:9; Romans 10:9-10).  The right response to the reality of hell is to acknowledge God’s righteousness and mercy, and to be filled with gratitude for all eternity.


[1] Matthew 5:22, 29, 30, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5

[2] These eleven verses refer to the eternal destination of unbelievers using the Greek word γέεννα (Gehenna).  This is distinct from Hades, although some English translations conflate the two terms.  More on this below.

[3] Joshua 15:8, 18:16; 2 Kings 23:10; Nehemiah 11:30; Jeremiah 7:31,32

[4] Note that English Bibles such as the NASB, the ASV, and the RSV leave the Hebrew word “Sheol” untranslated, whereas the King James Version, the NIV, the NKJV usually translates the word as “grave.”  The KJV occasionally translates the word as “hell” which can be confusing since the word “hell” is often used in the New Testament to designate Gehenna and the Lake of Fire.

[5] This is similar to how the word “day” (both in English and Hebrew) can either refer to the entire 24-hour day, or merely the ~12-hour daylight portion of the day.

[6] The one exception is 1 Corinthians 15:55 where Hades is rendered as “grave” in the KJV.

[7] Deuteronomy 32:22; 2 Samuel 22:6; Job 11:8, 26:6; Psalm 9:17, 16:10, 18:5, 55:15, 86:13, 116:3, 139:8; Proverbs 5:5, 7:27, 9:18, 15:11, 23:14, 27:20; Isaiah 5:14, 14:9, 28:15, 28:18, 57:9; Ezekiel 31:16, 17, 32:21, 27; Amos 9:2; Jonah 2:2; Habakkuk 2:5.

Source: The Good News About Hell

February 14, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever (v. 1). The opening and closing verses of the psalm are part of the terminology of praise that appears in almost identical form in Psalms 105–107, 136; 1 Chronicles 16:8, 34, and 2 Chronicles 20:21. The fact that God is good is shared with other passages in the Psalter (such as 25:8 and 73:1). At a time of personal and national rejoicing, the use of the covenantal title of God (Lord) and the theme of covenant love direct attention to the object of praise. Once more the mercy of God has been experienced by king and people.[1]


118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. The opening and closing verses are precisely the same as the opening verse of Psalms 106 and 107, as well as the lead line of Psalm 136. In Psalm 106 it signals a transition to Book 5, while its occurrence in Psalm 107 begins a prolonged thanksgiving unit, composed of Psalms 107–36. Its double occurrence in Psalm 118 forms a proper conclusion to the Egyptian Hallel, anticipating the Great Hallel of Psalm 136.[2]


1. “O give thanks unto the Lord.” The grateful hero feels that he cannot himself alone sufficiently express his thankfulness, and therefore he calls in the aid of others. Grateful hearts are greedy of men’s tongues, and would monopolize them all for God’s glory. The whole nation was concerned in David’s triumphant accession, and therefore it was right that they should unite in his adoring song of praise. The thanks were to be rendered unto Jehovah alone, and not to the patience or valour of the hero himself. It is always well to trace our mercies to him who bestows them, and if we cannot give him anything else, let us at any rate give him our thanks. We must not stop short at the second agent, but rise at once to the first cause, and render all our praises unto the Lord himself. Have we been of a forgetful or murmuring spirit? Let us hear the lively language of the text, and allow it to speak to our hearts: “Cease your complainings, cease from all self-glorification, and give thanks unto the Lord.” “For he is good.” This is reason enough for giving him thanks; goodness is his essence and nature, and therefore he is always to be praised whether we are receiving anything from him or not. Those who only praise God because he does them good should rise to a higher note and give thanks to him because he is good. In the truest sense he alone is good, “There is none good but one, that is God”; therefore in all gratitude the Lord should have the royal portion. If others seem to be good, he is good. If others are good in a measure, he is good beyond measure. When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because he is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless him that “he is good.” We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questionable, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good; his dispensations may vary, but his nature is always the same, and always good. It is not only that he was good, and will be good, but he is good, let his providence be what it may. Therefore let us even at this present moment, though the skies be dark with clouds, yet give thanks unto his name.

Because his mercy endureth for ever.” Mercy is a great part of his goodness, and one which more concerns us than any other, for we are sinners and have need of his mercy. Angels may say that he is good, but they need not his mercy and cannot therefore take an equal delight in it; inanimate creation declares that he is good, but it cannot feel his mercy, for it has never transgressed; but man, deeply guilty and graciously forgiven, beholds mercy as the very focus and centre of the goodness of the Lord. The endurance of the divine mercy is a special subject for song: notwithstanding our sins, our trials, our fears, his mercy endureth for ever. The best of earthly joys pass away, and even the world itself grows old and hastens to decay, but there is no change in the mercy of God; he was faithful to our fore-fathers, he is merciful to us, and will be gracious to our children and our children’s children. It is to be hoped that the philosophical interpreters who endeavour to clip the word “for ever” into a mere period of time will have the goodness to let this passage alone. However, whether they do or not, we shall believe in endless mercy—mercy to eternity. The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the grand incarnation of the mercy of God, calls upon us at every remembrance of him to give thanks unto the Lord, for “he is good.”[3]


[1] Harman, A. (2011). Psalms: A Mentor Commentary (Vol. 1–2, p. 834). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[2] Bullock, C. H. (2017). Psalms 73–150. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 351). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group.

[3] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 101). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

February 14, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Thursday appointed one of Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s former staffers to lead a Justice Department office at the heart of a recent whistleblower complaint over anti-human trafficking grants awarded in 2019.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him weeks after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran’s retaliation raised fears of broader regional conflict.

The U.S. Defense Department sent Congress a request to shift nearly $4 billion from the military budget to pay for a wall on the border with Mexico, a central promise of President Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House four years ago and bid this year for a second term.

U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the U.S. battle with the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.

The new coronavirus has infected 1,700 Chinese health workers and killed six, authorities said on Friday, as businesses struggled to balance containment measures with a return from an extended post-holiday break.

Russian law enforcement officers in Siberia detained an adherent of the Jehovah’s Witnesses late one evening this week and drove him to a secluded area where they beat him violently and threatened him, his lawyer said on Friday.

U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% in January as unseasonably warm weather held down the output of utilities and Boeing Co slowed production of civilian aircraft, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.

AP Top Stories

North Korean leaders have yet to report any coronavirus cases, several South Korean outlets with sources inside the country report that the virus has arrived. Experts are worried that the poor, isolated country could be devastated by the illness, now officially known as COVID-19.

A Syrian military helicopter was shot down over the last major rebel bastion in northwest Syria on Friday, killing all crew on board, state media said, in the second such incident this week.

The United States has secured a seven-day reduction in violence in Afghanistan that it hopes will allow it to strike a deal with the Taliban, officials said Thursday.

The Virginia legislature on Tuesday approved two different bills that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in the state.

An American woman has accused a Mexican-based church and its leaders of human trafficking, filing a U.S. lawsuit accusing La Luz del Mundo of enslaving and sexually abusing her for decades.

Roman Catholic priests, deacons and bishops across the Amazon voiced surprise, resignation and reluctant acceptance of Pope Francis’ refusal to allow married men to be ordained priests, lamenting that their faithful will continue to be deprived of Mass and subject to competing evangelical churches that have made impressive inroads in the region.

An Arizona Senate hearing on an effort to enshrine an existing ban on “sanctuary cities” in the state constitution erupted in shouting as immigrant rights activists called the proposal racist and the committee chairman ordered them removed.

British PM Johnson greeted his new cabinet of senior ministers on Friday, vowing to repay the trust of voters by improving infrastructure, cutting crime and building more hospitals.

President Donald Trump recently indicated that he would push for a middle-class tax cut sometime before the elections in November. The Tax Reform Act of 2017 did lower marginal rates a bit, but it wasn’t a true middle-class tax cut. Rather, it was mostly a cut for companies that brought corporate income taxes down from among the highest in the world to average levels. But it’s worth asking whether the middle class really needs tax relief?

A rocket slammed into an Iraqi base where American troops are stationed in the remote province of Kirkuk, Iraq’s military and a US security source told AFP on Thursday night.

A U.S. Navy warship seized weapons believed to be of Iranian “design and manufacture,” including 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, the American military said on Thursday.

BBC

Antarctica has exceeded 68F for the first time, after researchers logged a temperature of 69.35F on an island off the coast of the peninsula. Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told AFP they had “never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica”. But he warned the temperature, logged on 9 February, was just one reading and not part of a long-term data set.

A plan to clear 77,000 lbs. of rubbish from Everest and five other Himalayan peaks has been slammed by some of Nepal’s leading mountaineers. The government says the army will be used for the task, which will cost $7.5m.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen says it has begun judicial proceedings against military personnel suspected of violating international humanitarian law.

WND

A web voting app that already has been tested in several states can be hacked, according to a new warning from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. AP reports that the analysis focused on the Voatz app, which already has been used in pilots in Denver, Oregon, Utah and Virginia. It’s been used mostly, so far, for absentee voters and overseas military personnel.

The publisher of the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star and dozens of other newspapers across the nation has filed for bankruptcy protection. McClatchy Co.’s 30 newsrooms, including The Charlotte Observer and The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, will continue to operate as the publisher reorganizes under Chapter 11.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 14, 2020

The Foundation

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” —George Washington (1790)

Barr Got Trumped — Another Social-Media Fail

President Trump should take AG Barr’s social-media advice — cease and desist.


Bloomberg — Authoritarian, Not Racist

The former New York City mayor is attacked over race, but that’s the wrong angle.


Are Americans Ready for a Homosexual President?

Rush Limbaugh asks: Does Mayor Pete’s open homosexuality make him unelectable?


The Real Meaning Behind the Fight Over War Powers

Democrats are ticked that Trump reversed Obama’s policy of appeasing Iran.


A Generational Reminder About Civics and Socialism

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Girl Athletes Sue Over Boys Competing as Girls

Three female high-school athletes argue Connecticut’s “transgender” policy violates Title IX.


Profiles in Courage?

Constantly complaining about our great country has nothing to do with bravery.


Video: Ben Shapiro Discusses Elizabeth Warren’s Epic Collapse

The pathological liar’s collapse is unequivocally hilarious.


Video: Joe Biden Wants to Ban Imaginary Firearms

“We’re unwilling to have a rational policy that says you cannot have 20, 30, 40, 50 clips in a weapon.”


Video: Jussie Smollett Indicted Again Over Fake Hate Attack

A Cook County grand jury hit the “Empire” actor with six counts of disorderly conduct.


Video: What a Democratic Socialist Convention Is Like

Ever wonder what happens behind the closed doors of the Democratic Socialist Convention? Here’s a taste.



Today’s Opinion

Erick Erickson
The Moral Relativism of My Tribe
Gary Bauer
Roger Stone’s Sentence
Rich Lowry
Sanders’ Attraction and Ascent Are Familiar Internationally
Neil Patel
Looking Ahead to Trump’s Second Term
David Harsanyi
The United Nations Once Again Proves Its Anti-Semitism
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Friday News Executive Summary

Border funding, Iran vote, YouTube politics, Huawei charged, and more.


Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from James Carville, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and more.



Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Headlines – 2/14/2020

Jason Greenblatt: Next White House may reject peace plan, to Palestinians’ detriment

Palestinians returning from UN with ‘our tail between our legs’

Senior Saudi diplomat says there are ‘positive elements’ in Trump’s peace plan

Iran warns US killing of Soleimani will lead to ‘liberation’ of Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, settlement leaders protest Netanyahu annexation delay

Pompeo says settlement blacklist shows UN’s ‘unrelenting anti-Israel bias’

Sudan’s leader says Israel has key role in removing his nation from US blacklist

Pro-Israel groups try to save country from ICC war-crimes disaster

Is Israel heading to another Gaza war or will it wait until after the election?

Balloon-borne bomb explodes over Gaza-area school, sending kids to shelters

Israeli cyber company: Hamas operation targeted PA officials

Israeli laser defense system successfully intercepts multiple drone targets

In first, US Jewish umbrella group sends delegation to Saudi Arabia

Syria’s air defenses down missiles from Israel

Syria says airstrikes hit targets near Damascus

4 Iranians, 3 Syrians said killed in Damascus strikes; Netanyahu: Maybe Belgium did it

Iran Determined to Keep Foothold in Syria

For the first time in 9 years, two nation states are going toe-to-toe in Syria

A doctor in Idlib: ‘It cannot get more evil than this’

UN coordinator: Syria’s humanitarian crisis happening on ‘unimaginable scale’

Homeless, sleep deprived and shell shocked – this is what it’s like to work as an aid worker in Idlib, Syria

Latest Battle for Idlib Could Send Another Wave of Refugees to Europe

Iraq, Weeks After Demanding All Foreign Troops Leave, Green-lights NATO Mission

Rocket hits northern Iraqi base hosting U.S. forces, no casualties: security sources

How a Bible prophecy shapes Trump’s foreign policy

Iran will strike U.S., Israel if they make the slightest mistake: Iran Guards commander

US Navy nabs Iranian missile shipment to Houthis in Arabian Sea

US accuses Chinese tech giant Huawei of stealing trade secrets, assisting Iran

US Senate votes to restrain Trump’s military powers against Iran

Senate Republicans defied Trump and voted to stop him from taking further military action against Iran

Barr says Trump tweets ‘make it impossible to do my job’ amid Roger Stone drama

Barr’s stunning Trump rebuke sparks debate over his true motives

Trump says he may keep officials from listening to his phone calls with foreign leaders

‘A very, very dangerous path to go down’: Key Republican senators slam Trump’s Fed pick

Teacher allegedly told student who didn’t stand for national anthem, ‘go back to your country’

If Merkel is forced out by her successor then German government will fall, coalition party warns

Scientists just watched a newfound asteroid zoom by Earth. Then they saw its moon.

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Atka, Alaska

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 29,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 19,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Cyclone Uesi to skirt past Australia before striking New Zealand this weekend

Bomb Cyclone Dennis Could Rival Some of the Most Intense North Atlantic Storms on Record

Snowstorm kills 7, injures 80 in northern Iran

Heavy Snowfall in Iran Takes Lives, Regime Takes No Action

Iranians Distrusting State Media Warnings Are Stranded By Heavy Snowfall

From dust bowls to overflowing dams, the difference a week of rain makes in drought-ravaged Queensland

Earth just had hottest January since records began, data shows

This Ohio county may need a second morgue to handle the number of fentanyl overdoses

Forget Coronavirus: This ‘Earth Destroyer’ Asteroid Could Kill You First

‘Black swan’ coronavirus to slam economy 10 times harder than hurricane

Foreigners stranded in Wuhan by virus tell of fear and rations

The coronavirus outbreak has only heightened Hong Kong’s hostility towards Beijing

US offers to help North Korea with coronavirus

US considers N. Korea sanctions exemption to fight coronavirus

Coronavirus can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms, CDC warns

A Dean Koontz book from 1981 predicted coronavirus in bizarre coincidence

He spent 14 years in prison for murder. Now, he’s the first person in California to be exonerated with the help of genetic genealogy

Jewish women’s group leads US push to pass national bill protecting abortions

Alabama lawmaker proposes law forcing men to get a vasectomy at 50 in response to anti-abortion laws

McConnell forces Senate votes on anti-abortion bills

VA Democrats Walk Out as Pastor Delivers Opening House Prayer Condemning Abortion and Gay Marriage

‘There will be dad and mum’: Putin rules out Russia legalizing gay marriage

Rush Limbaugh doesn’t think America will elect a man who ‘loves to kiss his husband’

Conn. high school girls file lawsuit arguing that allowing transgender athletes to compete is sex discrimination

Utah Senate committee approves bill to decriminalize polygamy

Porn movie shot at holy site outrages Myanmar

China Raids Churches for ‘Illegal’ Bibles, Threatens Fines up to $1,400

Church Decimated after Upper-Caste Hindus Stir Hostilities in Andhra Pradesh, India

Islamist terror groups are set on ‘destroying Christianity’, says Nigerian bishop


Apostasy Watch

Gary DeMar – The Connection of Earth With Heaven

Grandson of televangelist Kenneth Copeland building church near Colorado Springs

Francis Chan Now Claims to be a Faith Healer

Former pastor fatally shoots himself, wife and son also found dead

Group of Southern Baptists Roll Out New “Conservative Baptist Network” to Oppose Social Justice Movement

Hookers for Jesus ‘trusting God’ after whistleblower complaint about human-trafficking grant from DOJ

Incredible ‘angel in the sky’ caught on camera thanks to weather phenomenon

Conn. high school girls file lawsuit arguing that allowing transgender athletes to compete is sex discrimination

Kansas Judge Finally Upholds Abortionist’s License Revocation on 4th Disciplinary Attempt

Buttigieg Says He and Same-Sex Husband Hope to Start a Family and May Have Children in White House

Cuban pastor being pressured to renounce homeschooling


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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

A Dean Koontz Book From 1981 Predicted Coronavirus In Bizarre Coincidence

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

This book even cites the city of Wuhan!

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction, but in this case I think that it goes both ways!

From foxnews.com

Author Dean Koontz eerily predicted the coronavirus outbreak in his 1981 thriller “The Eyes of Darkness.”

The fictional novel tells the story of a Chinese military lab that creates a new virus to potentially use as a biological weapon during wartime. The lab is ironically located in Wuhan, China and the made-up virus is called Wuhan-400.

In the novel, the virus is called the “perfect weapon” because it only affects humans. It also cannot survive outside the human body for more than a minute and does not require an expensive decontamination process once it spreads through a population and those who contract it.

The coincidence between the book’s virus and the actual coronavirus outbreak is uncanny.

Currently, the coronavirus which originated…

View original post 495 more words

February 14 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

February 14.—Morning. [Or March 29.]
“I give waters in the wilderness.”

Exodus 17:1–7

AND all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. (God’s people are never long untried.)

Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?

Complaining of second causes is really complaining of the Lord, let us disguise it as we may. What, after all, had Moses to do with it? The root of this sin of murmuring was unbelief. Could they not trust Jehovah? Would he not be sure to supply their wants? Had he ever been unmindful of them? Alas, notwithstanding all our experience of his faithfulness we ourselves are not clear from unbelief. He that is without fault among us, let him throw the first stone at Israel.

And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. (Moses took the case into the right court. The people cried against him, but he cried unto the Lord. Here is our best resource. We may cry to God now.)

And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. (See how the Lord answers their murmurings; not by fulfilling their bitter speeches and leaving them to die of thirst, but by fetching living streams from a rock. Surely the Lord, who thus recompenses good for evil, deserves our heart’s unwavering confidence from this day forward. It is wanton insult to doubt one who is so overflowing with kindness. Render not evil for good.)

And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not? (The Lord takes note of his people’s chidings and commemorates them. We must not think a grumbling spirit to be a small evil. The Lord has here set a mark and a brand upon it.)

THE God who supplied Israel with natural water is ready to grant us the living water of his grace. Hear what his words are in

Isaiah 41:17, 18

17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

TO strengthen our faith in this promise we are bidden to look back upon the Lord’s wonders of old and to expect yet greater things, for God has not changed, nor are the fountains of his power and grace exhausted.

Isaiah 43:18–21

18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. (Glory be unto the Lord, we can bear witness that we daily and hourly receive fresh supplies of grace from him. No good thing hath he withheld from us. His praise shall continually be in our mouths.)

Poor needy souls athirst and faint,

Who gasp for my redeeming love;

I will attend to their complaint,

And pour them rivers from above.

Water’d by me, the desert-soul,

The garden of the Lord shall prove,

Replenished as a wide-spread pool,

By springs of everlasting love.

February 14.—Evening. [Or March 30.]
“Watch and Pray.”

Exodus 17:8–16

THEN came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. (These ferocious wanderers attacked Israel unawares in a cowardly and unprovoked manner, when they were least able to defend themselves. They seem to have been of all Israel’s foes the most wantonly malicious, and hence they are instructive emblems of sin and Satan.)

And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. (We must fight as well as pray. Though effort without prayer would be presumption, prayer without effort is mockery. Joshua must go to battle as well as Moses to the hill. Jesus said, “Watch and pray.”)

10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. (Let all of us labour to uphold the prayerfulness of the church, for if that flags all flags. “Lift up the hands that hang down, and confirm the feeble knees.” Spiritual evil can only be overcome by the energy of prayer, and when we fail in devotion, the enemy easily overcomes us.)

13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

It has been suggested by a quaint author, that the Lord’s reason for specially commanding this event to be recorded is, that his people may imitate it. We are to fight against sin, and to expect victory over it by God’s help, afforded us in answer to supplication. Our Lord Jesus is both our Joshua to slay our sins, and our Moses to intercede for us against them, and his hands never need upholding. “He shall not fail nor be discouraged.” Amalek shall be utterly destroyed, and we shall be for ever freed from sin.

15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: (or, the Lord my banner, for the uplifted rod had been as a sacred banner to Israel. Whenever we win victories we ought to bring thank-offerings, and ascribe the glory unto the Lord alone.)

16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (We find this war carried on in Saul’s day, and he was bidden to root out the nation.)

ON account of the sinfulness of Amalek, as well as its unprovoked hostility to the tribes, the nation was doomed by divine justice to utter extirpation, even as our sins are by divine grace doomed to be crucified with Christ, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Let us read

Deuteronomy 25:17–19

17, 18 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. (God will not endure it that his people should be assailed. He counts their injuries as done to himself.)

19 Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it. (By the aid of the Eternal Spirit let us carry on war to the knife against all sin, whether in ourselves or others. All sins are our deadly foes, with whom we must hold neither truce nor parley. Death to them all, for they all aim at our death, and they were the crucifiers of our Lord Jesus.)

While Moses stood with arms spread wide,

Success was found on Israel’s side;

But when through weariness they fail’d,

That moment Amalek prevail’d.

O thou whose hand is stretch’d out still,

Our sinking hands confirm and stay;

While praying for us on the hill,

Fight with us in the plain to-day.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 89–90). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

MCC Vs. AOC: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera To Run Against Ocasio-Cortez In Democratic Primary

Article Image
https://www.zerohedge.com by Tyler Durden

The Democratic diva and self-proclaimed ‘Democratic Socialist’ has been out campaigning for Bernie Sanders in recent weeks as one of his top surrogates. But back home, a challenge is brewing, as Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a popular anchor on CNBC, has filed paperwork to challenge the 29-year-old lawmaker during this year’s Democratic Primary.

Being a member of the House, AOC is obligated to defend her seat every two years. She famously knocked out Joe Crowley, the chairman of the Queens Democratic Committee and a leader in the House Democratic caucus, during a 2018 upset primary win.

MCC made the announcement on CNBC, the channel where she has worked for years. In a brief statement, she cited her Italian and Cuban heritage and longstanding roots to the Bronx and Queens district that AOC currently represents, and where MCC also lives.

“I am the daughter and granddaughter of working class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement.

“I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had. That’s why I’m running.”

Woke Baptist Elites rage at new Conservative Baptist Network — Capstone Report

Conservative Baptist Network launches amid Liberal rage on Social Media.

Pastor alleges new conservative group is about Love of Donald Trump and ‘Butt Hurt’ Paige Patterson fans.

Beth Moore tweets confusing tweet about group.

The Southern Baptist Woke Elite were furious today as grassroots conservatives announced they would launch a network of Baptists based on conservative principles. The pastor tweeted,

“This new baptist network thing is about love of Trump and being butt hurt about Paige Patterson. Don’t be fooled. ‘Inerrancy and sufficiency of scripture,’ then do video of right wing political talk that has nothing to do with scripture and an unbeliever could agree with.”

Butt Hurt?

Love of Trump?

Dean Inserra is pastor of a Southern Baptist church in Tallahassee, Florida. He holds an MA from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

That’s a fine representative of Midwestern and Southern seminaries.

But, what else can you expect from the Woke Southern Baptist Elites?

And, this isn’t the first time Inserra has embraced Anti-Trump rhetoric.

They fear a grassroots movement of conservatives that will hold them accountable for the leftward drift led by Russell Moore and his enablers.

One criticism of the new group came from Southern Baptist preacher, err, Bible teacher Beth Moore. Moore took issue with the group’s stand for biblical inerrancy. She tweeted,

“I hear and understand what you are saying, Bart. But none of us obeys all that is said in our inerrant Scriptures. Many of us don’t discipline our children with rods, for instance. Most Baptist women I know don’t wear head coverings nor do their men raise holy hands.”

Huh?

And this Bible Teacher is platformed by Lifeway.

So, why all the rage?

Grassroots conservatives launch network to retake the Southern Baptist Convention from liberals.

If conservatives hope to defeat the liberal Elites controlling the Southern Baptist Convention, then it will take a broad grassroots base. The Woke elite know it and fear it. So, when the pastors and laymen announced the creation of the Conservative Baptist Network.

Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La. and the spokesman for the Network, said in a statement released to the press, “We are concerned about the current road our Southern Baptist family is traveling. It is a road that is twisting what God’s Word is saying about things like human sexuality, biblical racial reconciliation and socialistic justice.”

Also at issue is proper political theology. What is the right way for a Christian to view patriotism? What is the right way for a Christian to participate in politics?

Jurkovich asked, “As Southern Baptists can we not love both Jesus and America? Is it no longer okay to be a pastor and a patriot?”

For the Conservative Baptist Network and Jurkovich, the answer is Yes! It is OK to be a pastor and a patriot.

One can love Jesus and America too.

That’s good news. It replaces the Hate America mentality of the Woke SBC Elite.

And that frightens the Ivory Tower Elites.

Their arrogance of the Ivory Tower SBC Elites led them into forcing Resolution 9—the infamous resolution approving the use of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as “Analytical Tools.” This sparked outrage among conservatives who reject Racial Identity Politics.

The Conservative Baptist Network launched because: “A significant number of Southern Baptists are concerned about the apparent emphasis on social justice, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and the redefining of biblical gender roles. Many fear that these issues have received more attention than evangelism and spiritual renewal – the emphases that helped to make Southern Baptists the largest evangelical denomination in the nation.”

This is great news for conservatives.

And we know it generates fear among the Status Quo supporters. A reminder: Dr. Albert Mohler is the Status Quo candidate—a man who promotes and enables Liberal Russell Moore to remain at the ERLC. Conservatives should reject Mohler as SBC President in Orlando.

Also, get involved.

You can check out the new Conservative Baptist Network’s web page. And be sure to join. 

via Woke Baptist Elites rage at new Conservative Baptist Network — Capstone Report

‘It’s Coming’: CDC Director Warns Coronavirus To Become Widespread Throughout United States, ‘Probably Beyond 2020’ | ZeroHedge News

The extremely virulent coronavirus which is sweeping through China’s Hubei province like wildfire will eventually gain a foothold in the United States – becoming a ‘community virus’ this year or next, according to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

“We don’t know a lot about this virus,” Redfield told CNN‘s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.”

Right now we’re in an aggressive containment mode,” said Redfield.

As of Thursday, 15 cases have been confirmed in seven states; eight in California, two in Illinois and one in Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Texas, according to CNN.

Community virus

Redfield says that while more research is needed, the CDC is focused on containment strategies to isolate and slow the progression of the novel coronavirus, buying time to develop a vaccine and antiviral drugs.

“The containment phase is really to give us more time. This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year,” said Redfield. “We don’t have any evidence that this coronavirus is really embedded in the community at this time, but with that said, we want to intensify our surveillance so that we’re basing those conclusions based on data.”

The containment strategy refers to efforts to prevent widespread transmission of the coronavirus in the United States, including having people with confirmed cases stay in isolation and placing restrictions on travel between affected areas in the world. Such containment measures were used widely during the SARS global outbreak of 2003, during which 8,098 people worldwide became sick and of those, 774 died, according to the CDC. –CNN

Controversial travel restrictions

While the World Health Organization has argued that travel restrictions on foreign nationals could backfire (on several industries?), the Trump administration has enacted travel restrictions which block foreign nationals who have visited China in the last 14 days from entering the United States. Anyone who has been to Hubei province within two weeks of their return will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ahanom Ghebreyesus opposed travel restrictions last week, saying “We reiterate our call to all countries not to impose restrictions that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.”

So – According to Tedros, travel restrictions might lead to panic and racism.

The CDC’s Redfield couldn’t disagree more.

“Frankly, some people criticized when we decided that we wanted to temporarily suspend travel into the United States from individuals who were not Americans or permanent residents who had been in the hot zone in the last 14 days. Some people didn’t think that that was what they would do,” Redfield told Gupta on Thursday.

“Well, we felt very strongly that our obligation was to do all we can to protect the American public,” he added. “I would rather be criticized for over-protecting America than under-protecting America at this stage.

Gupta then asked a very CNN question; “Obviously, Dr. Redfield, the virus doesn’t discriminate based on race. Why do we?

Redfield, who didn’t take the bait, replied: “The issue here was first a strong commitment to take care of the Americans that are going to come back, whether they happen to potentially have this virus or not — and you saw that with the over 800 individuals that the State Department has repatriated and we’ve assisted in that.”

Asymptomatic transmission is highly concerning

One of the more concerning aspects of the hyper-virulent coronavirus is that a person can transmit it to others while showing no symptoms.

“There’s been good communication with our colleagues to confirm asymptomatic infection, to confirm asymptomatic transmission, to be able to get a better handle on the clinical spectrum of illness in China. What we don’t know though is how much of the asymptomatic cases are driving transmission,” said Redfield.

“What I’ve learned in the last two weeks is that the spectrum of this illness is much broader than was originally presented. There’s much more asymptomatic illness,” he added. “A number of the confirmed cases that we confirmed actually just presented with a little sore throat.”

Meanwhile, CNN notes that while the outbreak has been affecting China since at least December, the CDC has not been invited into the country to help despite offering assistance six weeks ago.

“There’s a lot of information we don’t know — that’s why I offered to provide assistance, direct assistance, and send our CDC folks over there back on January 6 to really help them gather that information and also to help us see the information first hand that we need to help make the right public health recommendations for our nation,” said Redfield.

“That letter has not been responded to yet by the official Chinese government,” he added. “We do believe that we’re the best in the world in this space and we’re ready to help and assist them, but they’re an independent nation that has to make that decision that they’re going to invite us in.”

Source: ‘It’s Coming’: CDC Director Warns Coronavirus To Become Widespread Throughout United States, ‘Probably Beyond 2020’

Virus infects more than 1,700 health workers in China, 6 die — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

A man wearing a face mask carries a Valentine’s Day bouquet as he rides a scooter in Hangzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. China on Friday reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new virus, as the death toll neared 1,400. (Chinatopix via AP)

More than 1,700 Chinese medical workers have been infected by the new virus that has killed nearly 1,400 people and spread to other parts of Asia and as far as the U.S. and Europe, a senior Chinese official announced Friday.

Six of the workers have died, Zeng Yixin, vice director of the National Health Commission, said at a news conference.

The health commission is “highly concerned about this issue” and has issued guidelines for the prevention and control of infection within medical institutions, he said.

Medical workers account for about 3.8% of confirmed cases as of several days ago, Zeng said.

The commission also reported another sizable rise in the number of infections as a result of a new way of counting adopted by Hebei province, the hardest-hit area.

Confirmed cases in mainland China rose to 63,851 by the end of Thursday, up 5,090 from the previous day. The death toll rose 121 to 1,380.

Hubei province is now including cases based on a physician’s diagnosis before they have been confirmed by lab tests. Of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 fell into that category.

The acceleration in the number of cases does not necessarily represent a sudden surge in new infections of the virus that causes COVID-19 as much as the revised methodology.

The health commission has said that the change was aimed at identifying suspected cases so they can be treated more quickly, though experts also saw it as a reflection of the crush of people seeking treatment and the struggle to keep up with a backlog of untested samples in Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, where the disease first surfaced in December.

In Taiwan, about 100 family members of people stuck in Hubei province protested outside Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council headquarters in the capital, Taipei.

About 1,000 Taiwanese hoping to fly home on charter flights have sparked a dispute between their government and China.

One flight brought 247 people back on Feb. 4. Three were not on a passenger list that Taiwan gave to Chinese authorities and one tested positive for the virus, Taiwan’s Central News Agency has reported.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council wants China to step up quarantine work and reach agreements with Taiwan on the names of people on priority lists for flights.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office accused Taiwan on Wednesday of “using all kinds of excuses to obstruct and delay” flights. China sees self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory rather than an independent state.

“We don’t want to politicize it, we want charter flights,” said protester Chung Chin-ming, chairman of the Chinese Cross-Strait Marriage Coordination Association in Taipei.

Elsewhere, Japan confirmed seven more cases, a day after it reported its first death from the virus. Japan now has 258 confirmed cases, including 218 from a cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, that has been quarantined in Yokohama.

Health officials allowed 11 elderly passengers to leave the ship on Friday after they tested negative for the virus. They are the first group of dozens of older passengers expected to get off the vessel before their 14-day quarantine period ends on Feb. 19 to reduce risks of their health deteriorating.

Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato on Thursday said passengers age 80 or older with chronic health issues or in cabins without windows that can open will be able to leave the ship if they pass the virus test.

More than 580 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China and three deaths, one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong and now a Japanese woman in her 80s. Health officials are investigating how she got infected.

In an unprecedented attempt to contain the disease, the Chinese government has placed the hardest-hit cities — home to more than 60 million — under lockdown. People are restricted from entering or leaving the cities, and in many places can only leave their homes or residential complexes for shopping and other daily needs.

___

Source: Associated Press – KEN MORITSUGU

via Virus infects more than 1,700 health workers in China, 6 die — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

February 14 Only Love

1 John 4:11

If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

A famous psychiatrist once said, “Love, true love, is the medicine for our sick old world. If people can learn to give and receive love, they will usually recover from their physical and mental illnesses.”

Before Christ, the concept of love was a love for the best. If something was deemed worthy of love, it was loved. Christ dying on the cross changed all that, for He offered a love for which we are completely unworthy. Christ revealed God’s love. He lavished that holy love on people with no thought of whether they were worthy or not. Now when a Christian wants to know what real love is, he looks to the cross. Having experienced God’s love while yet a sinner, and having been transformed by that great love, the Christian recognizes the people around him as the objects of God’s love. They are love-starved, in need of the transforming power that only Christ’s love can bring.

Jesus set an example by giving Himself totally in love, with no thought of receiving anything in return. We, as Christians, are called by God to reflect that love to our spouses, our families, and our world. And the more we reflect it, the more we give it away to others, the more we experience it in our own lives.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 47). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

February 14 Thoughts for the quiet hour

At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed

Num. 9:23

This is the secret of peace and calm elevation. If an Israelite, in the desert, had taken it into his head to make some movement independent of Jehovah; if he took it upon him to move when the crowd was at rest, or to halt while the crowd was moving, we can easily see what the result would have been. And so it will ever be with us. If we move when we ought to rest, or rest when we ought to move, we shall not have the divine presence with us.

C. H. M.[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.