The why of creation

This is part of a chapter out of a book I’m writing, entitled (for now) “Total Transformation.” You might find it to be of use.

Man was created in God’s image, in order to know his person and blessing, Gen 1.26-28. As the only creature to bear the divine stamp, man is able to relate to God. “Man meets and talks with God in the Garden of Eden” Gen 2.15-17 (NIBD). Adam and Even walked with God, Gen 3.8.

Because of their sin, they were expelled from the Garden, but the original intent was for them to choose God’s love, not to spurn it. Scripture mentions that God came to walk with them after they lost that privilege, highlighting even more the preciousness of this gift. Continue reading

#creation, #love, #presence-of-god, #relationship-with-god

Two times only, in two different senses

You may see this elsewhere, but here’s something cool—and of vital importance. The Greek word monē (abode, dwelling place) is used only twice in all the NT: John 14.2 and John 14.23. In the first, Christ prepares for us heavenly dwelling places. So we ought to prepare ourselves so we can be received into them. In the second, God is seeking, today, dwelling places on earth—in the hearts of men. So we ought to prepare ourselves to receive him, and the Lord Jesus, by loving obedience. Only when he takes up his residence in us on earth, will we be able to reside with him in eternity.

#obedience #heaven #presence-of-god

in the presence of God

Exodus 32 chronicles the building of the golden calf made by Aaron when the Israelites began to miss Moses. Their leader seemed to have disappeared, and his second-in-command either did not know the law or did not have the spine to stand up to the people in their error. He made the idol, and according to verse 6, the people “sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”

Fast forward to chapter 33. The people have been rebuked for their sin, and many were executed. God has withdrawn His presence from the people because He does not want to destroy them. A tradition begins of Moses meeting with God in his tent outside the camp.

And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the Lord would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. (verses 8-10)

Here is an interesting contrast: in the presence of the idol, the people ate, drank, and rose to play. In the presence of Jehovah, the people rose to worship. The point? What is our demeanor when we assemble for worship, and what does that say about our understanding of what is taking place? If we feel no sense of awe at the presence of God, and therefore demonstrate a lack of reverence in the assembly, then perhaps there is some kind of idol inhibiting our communion with the Creator.

Lord, open our eyes in the assembly; remind us that You are in our midst during worship, for only then can we begin to show the reverence You demand.

#aaron, #book-of-exodus, #christianity, #god, #golden-calf, #idolatry, #israelites, #presence-of-god, #reverence, #worship

“In the Presence” OR “From the Presence”?

Fellows,
I’ve been chewing on this a while now and can’t figure it out. I’ve got something mixed-up somewhere. Perhaps one of you can enlighten me.

I’ve suggested before (per my understanding of 2 Thess 1:9) that perhaps the worst aspect of hell could be that the lost will be separated eternally FROM (i.e., away from) the presence of the Lord. I don’t believe we can fully fathom the notion of being separated from God’s goodness in an absolute sense as long as we are here on Earth where all humans (believers or not) continually reap God’s blessings in the material world (sunlight, rain, oxygen, food, etc.).

And then I come to Rev. 14:10 and am having difficulty reconciling the two verses. Both seem to be speaking about hell for the wicked. But, one teaches that it will be “IN the presence” of the Lord and the other seems to teach the opposite (“FROM the presence”).

This thought has occurred to me before when thinking about God’s omnipresence and my view on 2 Thess. 1:9. After Judgment Day, God will not be in “hell” in any sense, will He? Thus, those who reside there will be tormented “from” (away from) His presence (not “in” His presence), right?

Please help me with this if you can.

#hell, #presence-of-god