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Sunday, September 11 2016

1 Timothy 1: How Does God Cope With Grief?

"For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him"

The photographs below were taken of a cat during the span of her "long" lifetime. From left to right, as a kitten of 8 weeks, as a strong and vigorous cat of 8 years, and as an elderly cat of over age 15 - just 2 days before she died of heart failure (despite months of care and medications from 3 different veterinarians, all of whom declared that "there is no cure for old age").

Lucky

Many people have experienced what is shown in those photographs, whether from pets, or from family members or friends. In the mortal world, the price of love is eventual grief.

But what about God? Does God experience grief for loss? Answer: yes.

"6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." (Genesis 6:5-6 KJV)

"4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30 KJV)

Consider then how much God has grieved, for all that He loved, who have died throughout human history. That is an absolutely massive amount of grief. How does God cope with it?

The answer is recorded in the Scriptures. Even though they are indeed dead, they surely have a resurrection to life coming: "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead ... For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him" (see also The Postponement Of Death).

A Cemetery

"20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. 20:37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 20:38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him." (Luke 20:35-38 KJV)

Nevertheless, God also gave each person the power of choice to live or to die - to please Him, or to grieve Him. Repentance is the ultimate life or death decision (see Strait And Straight and Which Way Is Right And Left?).

"3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

3:10 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. 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 3:12 Looking for and hasting 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? 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:9-13 KJV)

The apostle Paul frequently encountered two kinds of people who rejected the LORD's offer of life - those who did so by denying repentance outright, and those who claimed to be repentant under their own terms - in effect, demanding that the LORD obey them. Both are grievous in the LORD's sight (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).

"1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust." (1 Timothy 1:1-11 KJV)

But notice that the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) is longsuffering for those who turn to Him: "Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." The LORD is willing to grieve for those who will live.

"1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." (1 Timothy 1:12-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) How did the LORD design physical creatures, human and animal, in a single means of life? (b) What is a soul? Do animals have a soul? (c) Will there be spiritual animals in the eternal Kingdom of God?
(a) See The Biology Of The Resurrection
(b) See What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul? and Do Animals Have A Soul?
(c) See Where Will The Animals In Heaven Come From?


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This Day In History, September 11

1297: The Battle of Stirling Bridge during the First War of Scottish Independence (1296-1328). The Scots under William Wallace battled an English force under the Earl of Surrey.

Stirling Bridge

1541: French explorer Jacques Cartier reached Lachine rapids, near present-day Montreal, on his third voyage to Canada.

Jacques Cartier

1609: English explorer Henry Hudson discovered what was later named Manhattan Island.

1709: An Anglo-Dutch-Austrian force led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won a costly victory over the French in the Battle of Malplaquet, the last great battle of the War of the Spanish Succession.

1712: French astronomer (of Italian origin) Giovanni Cassini died at age 87. He made numerous discoveries, including 4 moons of Saturn, the existence of divisions in the rings of Saturn, and the rotational period (the length of its "day") of Mars.

1777: The Battle of Brandywine. The British Army defeated rebel forces under George Washington (a former Colonel in the British Army in Virginia; Washington fought as a British Army officer during the "French and Indian Wars," the North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years War) and advanced on Philadelphia.

George Washington

1792: The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other French crown jewels.

1919: U.S. Marines invaded Honduras (1 of 5 invasions of the country over a span of 20 years), primarily at the behest of U.S. corporations that were involved in the banana industry of the Central American nations. The derogatory term "Banana Republic" was originated by the U.S. writer William Sydney Porter (pen name O. Henry) in describing those for-business invasions.

1922: Under the authority of a United Nations Mandate, "Palestine" (an English rendering of the Biblical word "Philistine"; see Where Is Palestine?) and Trans-Jordan ("across the Jordan"; see also Jordan's West Bank Invasion) came under British control as one of the major after-effects of the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

The British Mandate

1941: Construction of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia began. Exactly 60 years to the day later, it was severely damaged during the 9-11 attacks (see the entry for 2001, below).

1971: Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77. He led the Soviet Union through the height of the Cold War with the U.S. He began to lose political power after losing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 during which President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on the island and put all U.S. nuclear forces on their highest alert. Many historians consider the crisis to be the closest the world came to nuclear warfare.

1973: The Marxist government of Salvador Allende in Chile was overthrown by a military coup.

1974: Haile Selassie was deposed as king of Ethiopia.

1978: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel meet at Camp David and agree on the Camp David Accords, a basis of peace between Israel and Egypt.

1997: Scottish voters strongly approved (74.2%) plans to establish a separate Scottish parliament apart from the British parliament, 290 years after the Act of Union with England in 1707.

2001: Using hijacked airliners, terrorists from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia were invaded in retaliation) killed approximately 3,000 people in New York (the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center), Washington (the Pentagon) and Pennsylvania (a hijacked airliner that went down before reaching its target because of a passenger revolt).

The terrorist attacks triggered the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan where the attacks on the U.S. were planned and commanded by Saudi Arabian born Osama bin Laden, and was used as a justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq - although no evidence has ever been found that Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein had any involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington (the hijackers were all from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), nor were any "weapons of mass destruction" ever found in Iraq.

9-11

2007: Russia tested the largest conventional (i.e. non-nuclear) weapon ever constructed, the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power. The Russian bomb is also called the "Father of All Bombs" because it is reportedly four times more powerful than the US military's GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb whose official military acronym "MOAB" is often stated as the "Mother of All Bombs."


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