Home Is Never The Same

“Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem
with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto
them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,
but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by
any means I should run, or had run, in vain.”  Galatians 2:1-2.

Even though we hope the place we left will be the same as it was when we left it never is because places never remain as they once were in our memory. In one sense we can never go back to what we remember. There are many reasons this statement is true.

The older we become the more we wish that things would be same as they once were. In our mind how often the remark is made that people are not the same as they once were. Each of us have said people are not willing to work as they were 20, 30 or 40 years ago. It may be true but the culture is different now to what it was then.

When my father and mother lived in the parsonage of the First Christian Church, in Columbia, Kentucky it was a hard life as I split wood and broke up coal in the winter to stay warm. Even then in order to take a hot bath in July or August a stove had to be started to have hot water. This is one example that I do not wish to return and be a part of.

Than during World War II, gasoline and tires were rationed. The speed limit was 35 MPH in autos. Tires and gasoline was scarcest for everyone. Do I wish to return to this? No way.

The speed limit on many routes is 75 MPH and even that is slow. People today can travel in excess of 90 MPH. the list could be expanded in many areas.

These have all changed: travel, roads, airplanes, cars, food, entertainment, clothes, huge church buildings, and this list could be increased.

Memories Last Forever

Yes, memories can be pleasant to talk about but we can never go back to it – as it once was.

NOW

The Holy Scripture teaches very clearly that we are not to live in the here and now. We should know there are two days that I can do nothing about. One is yesterday. It is past. It is gone. It is over. One cannot untie the knot of yesterday.

The next day is tomorrow. In fact, it may be that tomorrow will not be for us.

This fact is true it maybe that tomorrow may not be in our life all of our plans can be for naught. Jesus spoke to this issue when he mentioned a rich man who was going to build a barn for tomorrow. God said tonight your soul will be required of you. Read this in Luke 12:18-21.

“And he said, this will I do: I will pull down my barns,
and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits
and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods
laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and
be merry.
But God said unto him, thou fool, this night thy soul
shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things
be, which thou hast provided?”


Jesus never stated that we should not plan but he said be careful where the emphasis is in your future. What we are observing today is retirement and a pension that will be paid to the retiree.

 

TELL OTHERS

When in the United States military after a maneuver or engagement there will be a time when a board of inquiry meets to determine whether certain plans were carried out according to the interviews of the operations. Regardless whether it was a defeat or a victory in the engagement.

In war this is a necessity. Few people know the fact that Napoleon was not defeated at Waterloo but a small village nearby. Wellington wrote his report at the small town of Waterloo thus a misnomer.

After the battle of the “Little Big Horn”,  when Custer was killed by the Sioux Indians there was a report made to the Army why this had happened. The defeat by the Indians of their strong force should never have happened. The two leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull won over the 7th Calvary.

During WWII, when Hitler started the winter offense of the Battle of the Bulge there was a meeting with the staff of Eisenhower to determine what to do. It was George S. Patton who said what the Third Army had started to block the German Army. It was a meeting. The elders of the church are to make the plan. In Titus 1:9, the new elders were told what some of their duties were.

“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught,
that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and
to convince the gainsayers.”

You may have noticed that Jesus wanted a report back.

In Luke 17:17, Jesus wanted to know where the other 9 were.

“And Jesus answering said, were there not ten cleansed?
But where are the nine?”

These are but several examples of how reports were to be set out. When people are left up to their own devices; it cannot be analyzed properly.


PAUL GAVE REPORT

Paul understood that the Apostles had to know what he had been doing. It was a testing time. It was a moment that he had to tell why the Gentiles had been allowed so much liberty. In Galatians 2:1-2, he stated why this had been done.

“Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem
with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them
that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately
to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should
run, or had run, in vain.”

Paul knew by instinct that a serious situation had arisen among the believers. Today we would not give it a thought. The conflict had arisen about circumstances of the male believers which was a command of the Jewish law. Among the Jews there was no choice; we know it was the mark of a Jew.

As always in anything that is true – then Satan tries to destroy the truth. He tries to counterfeit or change the true meaning of the truth. 

This issue is brought up in Galatians 2:3-5.

“But neither Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was
compelled to be circumcised:
And that because of the false brethren unawares brought
in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we
have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour;
that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you.”

 

PAUL KNEW HIS MISSION

Paul had been told to pay no attention to those who would load us down with laws, commandments or restrictions. We Christian are allowed to have more than freedom for God’s gift to us is liberty. Yes, I understand that the words freedom and liberty are used interchangeably. Freedom means to act without restrain, whereas liberty has a more God given right. No one should be allowed to take it from us. As a Christian each one of us has liberty. No one should control us this idea can be read in Galatians 2:6-8.

“But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever
they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no
man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in
conference added nothing to me:
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the
circumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel
of the circumcision was unto Peter;
(For he wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship
of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward
the Gentiles:)”

There must have been a heated discussion about the issue. You can read about this in Galatians 2:9-1.

“And when James, Ce’phas, and John, who seemed to
be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me,
they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of
fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen,
and they unto the circumcision.
Only they would that we should remember the poor; the
same which I also was forward to do.”

When we read about Paul who stood up to Peter, Barnabas and others. Galatians 2:11-13, goes into detail.

“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him
to the face, because he was to be blamed.
For before that certain came from James, he did eat
with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew
and separated himself, fearing them which were of the
circumcision.
And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him;
insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with
their dissimulation.”

There was very strong characteristics that he had. It was when he was told and accepted the truth he refused to enter into a compromise of the truth as set out in Galatians 2:14-18.

“But when I saw that they walked out uprightly according
to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them
all, if thou, being a Jew livest after the manner of Gentiles,
and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is thereof Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.”


TODAY’S CHURCH

The awesome truth is the modern church both Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox Church have the strength of a piece of wet spaghetti to pull a can out of a clutch. There are times when these groups rise up in defiance to a sin.

Sometimes the matter swings on the resolve of one man. Here in a story of such a man you have probably never heard about. It happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis. There were at least four Russian submarines in our area. The Unites States had destroyed three of the four. The fourth was so deep in the sea the commander was ready to send an atomic missile to the United States.

The commander could not do this unless his junior officer agreed. An argument ensued but the junior officer said no bomb would be released against the United States. The lower ranking officer’s name was Vasili Arkhipov; and he stood resolute. The sub was B-59.

You can read about this in “The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962”.

Paul saved New Testament Christianity by being resolute. Galatians 2:19-21, gives the final word by Paul.

“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I
might live unto God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live: yet
not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I
now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son
of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for it righteousness
come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

The Christian states that he or she no longer dwelt in this body but it is Christ who abides within each of us. It is the grace of God that empowers us.

CONCLUSION

Jesus is the reason for the season! 

You can see how distracted the Celebration of the birth of Christ has become then look how the merchants have taken over the special day. Each year it seems Christ is less and less. Money is more and more.

The fact is there must be a resolve to say this is wrong. Unless you do the following then God’s grace will be missed;

Read the Holy Scripture every day,
• Pray to change specific items,
• Associate with like people who are believers, and
• Stand alone when others do not for righteousness.

There are people who believe in the restoration of the early church in our lives.

 

KEEP THE FAITH!

COME, WE THAT LOVE THE LORD

“Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
Join in a song with sweet accord.
And thus surround the throne,
And thus surround the throne.

[Refrain]

We’re marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We’re marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.
Let those who refuse to sing
Who never knew our God;
But children of the heavenly King,
But children of the heavenly King.
May speak their joys abroad,
May speak their joys abroad.

Refrain]

The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets;
Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Before we reach the heavenly fields.
Or walk the golden streets,
Or walk the golden streets.

[Refrain]

Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We’re marching through Emmanuel’s ground,
We’re marching through Emmanuel’s ground.
To fairer worlds on high,
To fairer worlds on high.”

 

GERALD K. FUGIT
DiggingOldWells.com
December 25,2016

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