The Love of God in Worldly Associations

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By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

The people of God that profess to be his church must represent God. How may they do this?

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

To be able to behold his glory, we come into the presence of God. We are to behold God’s love because by beholding, we might be changed into the same image.

Let us place ourselves in right relation to Him who has loved us with amazing love. Let us avail ourselves of the means provided for us that we may be transformed into His likeness, and be restored to fellowship with the ministering angels, to harmony and communion with the Father and the Son. {SC 22.1}

To gaze upon the amazing love of God, we contemplate Gods love in contrast to pride;

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

These are very emphatic words. The love of the world has nothing to do with the love of God.

James 4:4. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Anything to do with friendship with the world is enmity with God. Contemplate the love of God in worldly associations. Our worldly associations must not be in friendship among them.  In Matthew we see an apparent contradiction;

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Does this not put a twist on things? God said, don’t love the world. If you have friendship with the world, you’re an enemy of God. But what if we only love those who only love God? Compare two concepts. What is God’s love like to the world?

John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

God says do not love the world. Love of the father has nothing to do with the world. However, we are to have the love of God that loves enemies.

John 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Romans 5:6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God commends this kind of love towards us. He came to this sinful world that had not love for him. He brought Jesus to this ungodly people. He lets the sun shine on the just and unjust.

2 Peter 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.

Here he says he wants none to perish. He wants all to come to repentance. If the love of the world is in us, Gods love is not in us. He does not want anyone to be lost. In their enjoyment of sin they are heading for pure destruction. All heave he gave that an ungodly sinner might be saved. Was God so furious he would want to alienate him? Sometimes we don’t want anything to do with bad sinners. Isn’t God going to alienate the sinner in the end? However, inspiration exposes him as someone reaching out in love these evil people.

The Lord God through Jesus Christ holds out His hand all the day long in invitation to the sinful and fallen. He will receive all. He welcomes all. It is His glory to pardon the chief of sinners. He will take the prey from the mighty, He will deliver the captive, He will pluck the brand from the burning. He will lower the golden chain of His mercy to the lowest depths of human wretchedness, and lift up the debased soul contaminated with sin. {MH 161.3}

Does this not warm our heart? No matter how many unpleasant experiences you are making, the gift of his son was a gift. He did not turn his heart from them. He created the favour of God for them. Favour to the sinners turns God.

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

A gift to obtain favour and acceptance of.

Many of the Israelites regarded the sacrificial service as having in itself virtue to set them free from sin. {DA 174.4}

Many of them regarded the sacrificial offerings much as the heathen looked upon their sacrifices,–as gifts by which they themselves might propitiate the Deity. God desired to teach them that from His own love comes the gift which reconciles them to Himself. {DA 112.5}

People think they have to appease God to make him feel better towards them. This is why pagans make offerings for their Gods.

God desired to teach them that it had no more value than that serpent of brass. It was to lead their minds to the Saviour. Whether for the healing of their wounds or the pardon of their sins, they could do nothing for themselves but show their faith in the Gift of God. They were to look and live. DA 174

The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. DA 113

This is so important to embrace. God loves us.

Our Redeemer has opened the way so that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may find access to the Father. All may have a home in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare. {DA 113.2}

This is God’s love. There is nothing that makes him withdrawal. The wicked are loved by God. In Matthew he challenges us who believe in such a love. The love of God did that. The soldiers are doing cruel work.

Jesus treats us far better than we deserve; and as He has treated us, so we are to treat others. The course of no parent or teacher is justifiable if it is unlike that which under similar circumstances the Saviour would pursue. {Ed 294.3}

As you reflect back at your past life, there are areas that really deserve Gods retribution. Do you treat others the same way?

The Pharisees dragged the woman who committed adultery, found in the very act out into public. How did Jesus treat her? How do you treat others? Many people talk about the love of God as just highlighted and leave it there. How do we collate that with God’s love? We are to love the wicked. What does this mean?

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

God loves this wicked world. He came very close and died for them. But here he says don’t get too close! What concord hath Christ with idols? Come out from among them and touch not the unclean. How does this fit in with his program. He wants to help them. If you will come out from them, I will be a father. If we examine Gods character –

Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

His people are to mingle with sinners like Jesus did. As the father sent me, so I send you. That is what his love is. He lifts up people from a debased condition. What does the world do with that love? God died under their hand. How did God deal with Cain? In love to Cain, what did he do? Did he throw him out?

Genesis 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him

We read something about Gods love here. Sin lies at the door, you can conquer it. God gave him a lot of opportunity, God reasoned with him. He said What hast thou done? After he came with the wrong sacrifice, he killed his brother. The earth is going to be reactive towards you, nor yield her strength. How did Cain react? He said, the punishment is greater than I can bear. But was God punishing Cain?

Genesis 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

Can you see the love of God? God is not what the sinner judges him to be. It was the same with the Jewish nation. They slew Jesus. In stubbornness they slew their brethren. Then after many years finally in Matthew Jesus said;

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

It was the same way God spoke to Cain. The Israelites held their tongue to this love and it sealed their doom. The love of God then reacts;

Isaiah 63:1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

This is the story of Jesus in Gethsemane. But then verses 7-10 mention the loving kindness of the Lord.

Isaiah 63:7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. 8For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. 9In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. 10But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

The angel of presence saved them. Here lies a vast field of study. Did he hate them now? He turned to be their enemy. We see in the last picture they want to take a city. In love for sinners he tried to wake them up. They turn and rebel still. What doe sit mean to spur the love of God?

It is not only by resistance but by neglect that the soul is destroyed. DA 323.

It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. DA 324

God is full of love and plenteous in mercy; but He will by no means acquit those who neglect the great salvation He has provided. OHC 252.

Who does God not acquit? When we read that he will have mercy but by no means clear the guilty, it means that those who have played out a part in Gods love and mercy and then neglect it, they are choosing their own path. They become to God a people he can’t do any more for. They are left to their own destructive ways. When you find they persecute and undermine you, what do you do? We are to follow in the footsteps of Abraham. Abraham had relatives he mingled with until the time it became difficult. Some make light of the atonement. Those who abide with these people, will have constant impasses made towards them. Abraham responded to the call. Come out and I will show you the land. What did it involve?

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Can we see who we come out from and who we don’t? We see how we are to treat those who spurn God. We are living under the time of the latter rain. Under such a message the Lord qualifies in their experience of who is with the Lord and who is not.

I saw those who had been bound; some wives had been bound by their husbands, and some children had been bound by their parents. The honest who had been held or prevented from hearing the truth, now eagerly laid hold of it. All fear of their relatives was gone. The truth alone was exalted to them. It was dearer and more precious than life. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered: It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel. {1T 182.2}

Those who have been members of the same family are separated. TM 234

So comes the message under the latter rain. There is separation under this message. People will think we are extreme but we must brace ourselves for the message of Gods love as there will be some who will dislike those who love God.

Coming Out Of Babylon

What is Babylon?

Revelation 14:8. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

It is apostate Protestantism? Where is apostate Protestantism? America. Babylon today is America. We are under the influence of Babylon. In ancient times Babylon was Rome. America is partially religious and partially secular.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

What is the world today affected by? Drunkenness. How are we to meet the people in Babylon? It is a habitation of devils and the hold of every foul spirit. Babylon has a way of thinking, a way of being. Easter, Christmas, Mothers Day, attractiveness of the world, self indulgences. We are told to come out of her my people. The voice from heaven is the Holy Spirit. He works through the angel.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Friendship with the world is enmity with God. What does concord mean? Agreement. If we become separate from the world, God will be a father to us. Our relationship with God does not relate harmoniously with those around us.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

What is the world? The abundance of her delicacies, things that look nice, the pride of life, vanity, outward adornment. The flesh wants to feel good. There is a sensual malaria in the world today. What usually happens with malaria, it comes back.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We are to be lights in darkness. Pilgrims and strangers on earth.

Hebrews 11:13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

1 Corinthians 7:31. And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

We are to use this world, but not abuse it.

1 John 5: 4. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

How do I relate to the world? Jesus ate with Publicans and sinners some may say so its ok to do so. But those publicans and sinners were wanting to follow Jesus.

Matthew 11:19. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Romans 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

However we are told not to eat with those who are not following God.

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

1 Corinthians 5:11. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Neither bid them God speed.

2 John 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Mark 6:11. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.

A little time spent in sowing your wild oats, dear young friends, will produce a crop that will embitter your whole life; an hour of thoughtlessness –once yielding to temptation–may turn the whole current of your life in the wrong direction. You can have but one youth; make that useful. When once you have passed over the ground, you can never return to rectify your mistakes. He who refuses to connect with God, and puts himself in the way of temptation, will surely fall. {MYP 429.1}

Especially should those who are studying medicine in the schools of the world guard against contamination from the evil influences with which they are constantly surrounded. When their instructors are worldly-wise men, and their fellow students infidels who have no serious thought of God, even Christians of experience are in danger of being influenced by these irreligious associations. Nevertheless, some have gone through the medical course and have remained true to principle. They would not continue their studies on the Sabbath, and they have proved that men may become qualified for the duties of a physician and not disappoint the expectations of those who have encouraged them to obtain an education. {CT 479.1}

If we place ourselves among associates whose influence has a tendency to make us forgetful of the high claims the Lord has upon us we invite temptation and become too weak in moral power to resist it. We come to partake of the spirit and cherish the ideas of our associates and to place sacred and eternal things lower than the ideas of our friends. We are, in short, leavened just as the enemy of all righteousness designed we should be. {5T 543.1}

Amen

Posted on January 24, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons, The Love of God and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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