Here are some dribs and drabs on a variety of topics, rather than an essay today delving deeply into one subject.
Without self control (2Tim3:4) Man has glasses tattooed on his face: I saw this photo and was struck by how casually people treat their bodies now. Here is this man...abusing his body with permanent (and silly) markings. What will he look like when he is 80 years old? Doesn't he think he will get tired of seeing the fake glasses in the mirror? What will happen as he ages and he needs real glasses? Notice his neck and shoulder: his entire torso is tattooed.
GotQuestions.com says: "The Old Testament law commanded the Israelites, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28). So, even though believers today are not under the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15), the fact that there was a command against tattoos should raise some questions. The New Testament does not say anything about whether or not a believer should get a tattoo." The essay at Gotquestions goes on to say that the barometer for any activity we undertake is: will it please the Lord? Good words.
Everything is permissible for me (1 Cor 6:12)
Someone contacted me on Twitter this week. They wrote: "If you haven't read this yet, please do: The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage." As the legal challenge to the voter enacted defeat of the Supreme Court's decision institution on Gay Marriage in California that overturned a voter initiative goes on (got that?) the issue of gay marriage in CA once again heats up. And if it's heating up in CA its heating up nationally. Now, I have no clue who this person is who contacted me (though I have suspicions) but I am always ready to contend for the gospel, against sin, and point to God's holiness. Rolling up my sleeves, I read the piece, and of course disagreed with it. A series of tweets between us ensued, where I advocated for God's holiness and against sin. Tweets on apologetics are always challenging because Twitter limits conversations to 140 characters. However, the exchange illustrated to me the creative and deceitful ways that secular people interpret the gospel.
In offering the 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 verse I was told that it has been "mistranslated." In pointing to Paul the twitterer stated that Paul's credibility was suspect because he had no knowledge of sexuality (?). That God is love and He would never preach 'hatred'. That the OT verses condemning homosexuality were also advocating putting gays to death so I must also be advocating putting gays to death. And more.
Aside from learning how deeply the secular are deceived and the lengths they will got to pervert the plain speaking of the gospel in order to satisfy their own lusts, I also had good practice in apologetics. Don't be swayed by the homosexual argument. It is all about sin, Jesus, His sacrifice, and redemption. Always bring the conversation back to sin - it is the world's greatest problem. And Jesus is the world's greatest solution. In any case, no one, conservative or liberal, can ever make the case that gays are qualified for marriage. In the verse above, Paul was writing to the Corinthians about the dangerous deceit they held that that all things are permissible. The Corinthians were the original "if it feels good, do it" bunch of Christians. Many Christians - and others - will be surprised to discover that not everything is permissible in God's economy, including homosexuality.
Earthquakes in diverse places
Jesus said that one of the signs in the birth pangs of the end time prior to rapture would be earthquakes. There have certainly been a lot lately. A 6.1 quake hit Haiti this pre-dawn morning, sending terrified survivors screaming into the streets. It made me think of the verse from Luke 21:26 - "men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." There have been strong earthquakes in Oklahoma City USA, El Salvador, Guatemala, Solomon Islands, Argentina, and Haiti of course. Here is a link to a list of all US Geological Survey earthquakes as they happen.
The weather is freaky everywhere. California is getting hammered by successive storms this week all increasing in size, there was even a tornado yesterday in SoCal. Today's storms are expected to be huge, with up to 20 inches of rain in some places. Hundreds urged to flee before California storm hits "This is a severity we have not seen in a very long time," Villaraigosa said at a news conference late Tuesday. "Respect any and all orders to evacuate. They are doing this to protect your safety. Please cooperate" said the LA Mayor." photo source
In response to the quakes and the storms, people are starting to write things like "All these movies about the end of the world; all these storms are starting to convince me... *grabs Bible & starts praying*" or, "whats our planet coming 2?" One lady wrote "All these quakes are freaking me out. I think Jesus is coming..." Pray that the Spirit will move in hearts that are wondering, looking up, and asking what is going on. Pray they are receptive to the Word! No one knows how much time is left because no one knows the number of Gentiles that will complete the church. It could be any moment! The final generation that see these things come to pass will see the Son of Man in the sky, and these things refers to Israel becoming a nation and the birth pangs starting. So many people feel the imminence of the prophecies being fulfilled that prayer is needed for the many who are lost and are in danger of remaining so.