SUBTOPIC: “God’s Justice. God’s Grace/Mercy”
On this evening, we will begin to talk about: How to Understand God Better in 2021. And our subtopic will be: God’s Justice. God’s Grace/Mercy.
We have a “free” booklet that we want to give to you, no charge, that I’ve written titled: Dealing with Injustice.
You can come by the Family Life Center & pick up a copy, on Sundays between 11:00-12:00 (that’s when the Mount Pisgah Deacons are here).
In order to understand your bible better in 2021, first, divide it into two sections:
1). Things that happened before the cross. Before Jesus came and died.
2). Things that happened after the cross. After Jesus came, died, was buried, and rose from the grave for you.
You must understand that things changed for you., “after” Jesus died, and rose from the grave.
Now, most of the things that happened before Jesus died, are found in the Old Testament, and in portionsof the New Testament, mainly in the four gospels: Matthew 1-25; Mark 1-13; Luke 1-21; and John 1-17.
And, all of the things that happened after Jesus died, are found in the New Testament:
Matthew 26-28; Mark 14-16; Luke 22-24; John 18-21 and the rest of the New testament.
Unless you look at, and divide your bible along these lines, it’s going to be hard to understand God better in 2021.
And, if you don’t have a better understanding of God in 2021, better than the one you had of Him in 2020, you are really going to struggle, in just about every area of your life. God is ready to do a new thing in you! Are you ready for the new thing?
Personal Testimony: When I finally came to the Lord and got in church, and began to seriously study the bible, I noticed that there were a lot of things that God did in the Old Testament (the first section), that He didn’t do in the New Testament (the second section). And I must admit, that for a very long time, I was confused.
Fill in The Blank: To fully understand your bible, you must _______________ and _______________ one main question.
My Nagging Question: “Why” did God do things “one way” in the Old Testament (section 1- before Jesus came), but “another way” in the New Testament (section 2- after Jesus came)?
There was this HUGE change!!! I noticed a HUGE change!!!! But I didn’t understand it. Why? Because I also read the following in the bible:
1). Malachi 3:6- For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
2). Hebrews 13:8- Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
3). James 1:17 (AMP)- Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow [a]cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].
But I knew that I saw a change!!! The God that I read about in the Old Testament, did not seem to do, what the God in/of the New Testament, as represented by Jesus Christ, did. I scratched my head because they seemed like two different persons. And that confused me!!!
- The Children Change
1). The Old Testament (before Jesus came- section 1)
a). I Samuel 15:3- Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
b). Deuteronomy 2:34- And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:
c). Deuteronomy 3:6- And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city.
d). Deuteronomy 20:16- But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
2). The New Testament (after Jesus came-section 2)
a). Matthew 18:5-6- 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
b). Matthew 19:14- But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven
c). Mark 10: 15-16 – 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
Now something changed!!!! Either the Old Testament children were babe kids,.. or, God found some patience with those bad brats in the New Testament!!!
Now, again, in order to understand God better in 2021, you must ask and answer the question: Why did God do things one way before Jesus came, but another way after Jesus came?
You may ask, “Why is it important?” Because if you don’t understand God better in 2021, you may believe that God is out to get you!!! That His anger began when Adam and Eve made their mistake, and that He’s still mad at them, but He’s taking it out on you!!!
And, since God is often described as loving, “then why is He out to get me?”. You will end up being scared of God, and certainly can’t really figure out why He wants you to call Him “Father”!!
- The Adult Change
1). The Old Testament (section 1- before Christ came)
a). II Kings 1:9-10 (AMP)- 9 Then the king sent to Elijah a captain of fifty with his fifty [fighting men to seize the prophet]. And he went up to him, and behold, he was sitting on the top of a hill. And the captain said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” 10 Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, “So if I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty [fighting men].” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
b). II Kings 1:11-12 (AMP)- 11 So King Ahaziah again sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty [fighting men]. And he said to him, “Man of God, thus says the king, ‘Come down quickly.’” 12 Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty [fighting men].” And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
2). The New Testament (section 2- after Jesus came)
a). Luke 9:54-56- 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
PROBLEM: Many people are afraid that they are going to catch God in a bad mood!! And that He’s just waiting on them to mess up!!! He’s going to invite me to a BBQ, and I’m going to be the entrée.