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If I choose to put a tattoo on my arm, that would involve a one time act on my part. Yet the tattoo would remain with me indefinitely. I don't have to maintain a fondness for tattoos to ensure that the tattoo remains on my arm. In fact may change my mind theminute I receive it. But that does not change the fact that I have a tattoo on my arm. My request for the tattoo and the tattoo itself are two entirely different things. I received it by asking and paying for it. But asking for my money back and changing my mind will not undo what is done. Forgiveness or salvation is applied at the moment of faith. It is not the same things as faith and its permanence is not contigent on the permanence of one's faith.
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The Apostle's assertion has been that God has done everything in connection with our salvation. It is God who 'foreknew' us and therefore 'predestinated' us, and therefore 'called' us and therefore 'justified' us and therefore 'glorified' us. And the aregument is that, because God has done so, salvation is certain
When Wycliffe Bible translator Doug Meland and his wife moved into a village of Brazil's Fulnio Indians, the Indians referred to him simply as "the white man." That reference was not complimentary since other "white men" had exploited them, burned their homes, and robbed them of their lands. But after the Melands learned the Fulnio language and began to help the people with medicine and in other ways, they began calling Doug "the respectable white man." When the Melands began adapting to some of the customs of the people that did not compromise their faith, the Fulnio gave them greater acceptance and spoke of Doug as "the white Indian." Then one day, as Doug was washing the dirty, blood-caked foot of an injured Fulnio boy, he overheard one of the Indians watching what was happening say, "Whoever heard of a white man washing an Indian’s foot before? Certainly this man is from God" From that day one, whenever Doug would go into an Indian home, it would be announced, "Here come the man God sent us."
The major symbols of Revelation represent a repeated pattern. This pattern has a realization In the first-century situation of the seven churches. It also has an embodiment in the final crisis. And it has an embodiment now.We pay special atention to the embodiment now, because we must apply the lessons of Revelation to where we are.
Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist's counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn't heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified. Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, "Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled." The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, "Wait a minute, I don't understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That's not fair!" The employer said, "I'm sorry, but all the time you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: 'If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.' None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his."
Many people who read the Bible for the first time are struck by the fact that Jesus had some very irreligious friends! When they threw a party, he was often in the middle of everything! Today, in contrast, believers in the Western world are often isolated in a restricted subculture and have almost no genuine interaction and impact on the wider society around them. But often this is coupled with an uncomfortable sense that we’re meant for more; we’re meant to be in the middle of everything! There is a wonderful scene in the HBO film series “Band of Brothers” by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg that illustrates the believer’s calling to be “in the world but not of the world”, as Jesus put it. The drama documents the progress of a unit of the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. After the successful landing in Normandy at D-Day, the Allied forces moved swiftly eastward. But there was a sudden and devastating counter-attack that became known as “The Battle of the Bulge”. After being informed that they were probably going to be completely cut off, the Captain of the company said to the officer from another company who had told him the news, “Lieutenant, we’re paratroopers. We’re supposed to be surrounded!” That’s exactly where Jesus said his followers should be: in the middle of everything. As he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane during his last night on earth he said to his heavenly Father: “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18) Jesus’ followers are supposed to be surrounded! This means working face to face with those seldom touched by the message of Jesus, becoming their friends and sharing our life and the Gospel with them on their “turf”.
Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, let it be known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:17-18) In the summer of 1940, more than 350,000 soldiers—most of them British—were trapped at Dunkirk. The German forces were on their way, and they had the capacity to wipe out the British Expeditionary Force. When it seemed certain that the allied forces at Dunkirk were about to be massacred, a British naval officer cabled just three words back to London: "But if not." "But if not." These words were instantly recognizable to the people who were accustomed to hearing the scriptures read in church. They knew the story told in the book of Daniel. The message in those three little words was clear: The situation was desperate. The allied forces were trapped. It would take a miracle to save them, but they were determined not to give in. One simple three word phrase communicated all that. For some reason, people are still not sure why, the Axis powers hesitated. They backed off, briefly, and what's known as the Miracle of Dunkirk took place. British families and fishermen heard about the poignant telegraphed cry for help, and they answered. They answered with merchant marine boats, with pleasure cruisers, and even with small fishing boats. By a miracle, they evacuated more than 338,000 soldiers and took them to safety.
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