Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 September 2021   2 Peter 3:13.

2 Peter 3:13.     Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Well, my area finally got our deluge of heavenly water yesterday evening right through till early this morning. Let’s hope that for most of us it was showers of blessings, rather than showers of flooding, which has recently been happening to so many communities around the world. 

Ah friends, our world is currently beset by numerous problems, which we seem unable to rise above, but I do have some good news for us this Wednesday morning in early September. Obviously it’s based on the wondrous promises of our great God. Please read with me this eye-opening and heart assuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This poem is aptly titled ‘Only Goodness.’ 

So let’s read: ‘What glorious words of wonder Come from the Apostle Peter. He wrote, “But we are looking forward To God’s promise of new heavens And a new earth afterwards Where there will be only goodness.” O dear God “Where there will be only goodness.” After centuries of war, greed, and lust After indulgences shamelessly practiced After hatred, hostility Jealousy and abuse. Murder and martyrdom Crime and cruelty Curses and rebellion. After whimpering cries from starving children After tragedy and catastrophe Loneliness and despair At last…at long last “There will be only goodness.” O dear Lord Your promise is Your guarantee But please hurry a little!’ 

Yes my people, after many ages of pain, anguish and all the negative happenings caused by our sinful behaviour, one day, the Lord has promised to eradicate it all, and replace it with pure goodness…yes, nothing else but goodness! The problem though is we have to wait on His timing, and waiting is not one of those things we do well in this modern have it when you desire it society. And yes, it is difficult to put up with all the negatives that still bombard us, even when we are doing the right thing, no wonder we want the Lord to hurry up and bring that time of ‘Only Goodness.’ 

Please note though folks, that every day we cry out to the Lord to heal us, heal our land, heal everything, but we persist in our sinful ways, in total abomination and disregard to the Lord’s desires. However, the Lord has faithfully promised to remove all the negatives from this world in His own time. And this passage of scripture from 2 Peter explains it as best as mortal man can. 

He says: ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ (2 Pet. 3:9) That’s certainly true, as the scholars explain: ‘3:9. God is not willing that any should perish clearly expresses desire for the salvation of all who will trust in Him. Salvation is equated here with repentance.’ 

And Peter continues: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (conduct) and godliness. Looking for and hasting (hastening) unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’ (2 Pet. 3:10-13) 

Ah mih people, if we believe in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then do we with all faithfulness and hope look forward to His promises! Because he is faithful that promised! Now hear some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:10-13. The day of the Lord here refers to the return of Christ in judgement, not the Rapture, since this day results in final apocalyptic judgement. The heavens that shall pass away with a great noise are the atmospheric heavens. The elements shall melt with fervent heat certainly could refer to a nuclear holocaust. Thus, Peter urges his readers to look beyond this present world to the new heavens and a new earth characterized by righteousness.’ 

And we certainly should do that my brethren, because it’s what our ever-faithful God promised. Listen to John from the book of Revelation, as it was revealed to him. ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful’ (Rev. 21:1-5) 

What a wonderful time to look forward to my fellow saints! Wow! Just imagine it nuh; no more pain, sorrow, crying nor death, no more negative stuff, no more darkness nor night, but only day, and living in the very presence, the light of our great and wonderful God, being forever His people, and He our God!  And though scholars seem to differ on whether the earth and heavens shall be completely destroyed and replaced by a completely new set, or they will just be refurbished, it really doesn’t matter nuh, because we will finally be with our God in paradise, for wherever He is, is paradise! 

And all of that ought to give us great incentive to live godly and holy lives, so that we can be judged worthy to be amongst those living in the new heaven and the new earth, and not cast into the lake of fire, reserved for Satan and his followers. So friends, I’ve laid it our all there for us. It’s up to every individual now to decide where they want to spend eternity. There are only two options, we’ll call them heaven and hell for easy referral, and it all depends on us, on the earthly choices we make. 

Now, for those of us who have decided to choose the straight and narrow path that leads through Jesus to our heavenly Father, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Remember though, that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! That’s how faithful and wonderful our God is to those who truly LOVE, reverence, and cling to Him in true faith! Much LOVE!

…the choice between heaven and hell…that’s a no brainer…for heaven wins out every time…                                                                                                   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2016 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.  Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.

Ah mih people, it’s another cold, bleak winter’s day! But we have to remember that that’s what winter is all about; cold and bleak, though it doesn’t seem so bad when the sun shines through in all its glory. (smile) 

And since this is where we live, we just have to learn to live with it, knowing that through God’s faithful help we will be able to handle it, and eventually come out victorious in the glorious springtime. Oh glory to God friends for His unceasing help! 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that probably hits the nail on the head with many of us. I couldn’t help but share it. 

It’s simply titled ‘January,’ and reads thus: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? 

The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales. But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken And marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. 

When you said Behold, I make all things new Did You forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget you?’ 

Oh friends, that poem certainly does resemble the mid January funk that many of us find ourselves in. The weather is the pits, the Christmas bills are starting to come in, and we don’t know where the money is going to come from to pay them, and added to that anxiety, we’re still physically and mentally tired from all the Christmas and New Year’s hoopla. It certainly is a familiar predicament. 

But to answer the poets ending question, the response is a definite Yes! We do seem to forget God in these anxious times, when these are the times we should be drawing ever closer to Him. God doesn’t make mistakes or lie. If he says that everything is made new, then it IS made new! 

That means the problem lies with us, which brings us to the promise for that poem, which is also our Bit. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Ah my fellow believers that is exactly the kind of advice we need this cold morning in mid-January. And the Lord moves in such mysterious ways, that it’s only last night I watched Uncle John (John Hagee) preach a sermon on that same verse. He titled it ‘Run To Win!’ 

And so it should be my fellow believers. Why else would we run a race if it were not to win eh? And the particular race we’re talking about here is the race of life! 

Bruh Paul likened our earthly lives to a race, having in mind the ancient Greek Olympics, which we can compare to out own modern day Olympiads. 

And the first thing he does is remind us of all the other saints, the heroes that have run this race before us, the ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ who are looking down on us as we run our race. So it’s not like we don’t have any examples or mentors to look back at. 

Then we have to ‘lay aside every weight,’ that prevents us from running this race of life. Yes my brethren we have to get rid of all the impediments that weigh us down and prevent us from putting forth our best efforts. 

And Bruh Paul refers to some of them in Colossians. ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11) 

Oh my precious friends of faith, those are the kinds of things that prevent us from properly concentrating on running this magnificent race of life that’s set before us. 

And here are some explanations from the scholars, which will help us to further understand those scriptures. ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes the person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.” 

‘3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’ 

‘3:11. Not only is the “new man” to put sin to death, he is also to put away man-made barriers that divide people and that nourish the vices of the old life. Among renewed humanity there are no national, ceremonial, cultural, or social distinctions. To the redeemed Christ is all: that is, He is everything and He is what matters most to them. And Christ is…in all; that is, He dwells in all believers.’ 

Yes Friends, we’ll end with those wonderful words of wisdom: Christ is everything to the believer, and He dwells in each and every one of us. Oh what a wonderful scenario! 

Let’s remember that, and ponder on all that we’ve said to day, so that we can increase in the knowledge and maturity of Christ our Lord and Saviour. Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…