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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Matthew 22)

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.

Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.”

His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.


Matthew 19:1-30 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%2019:1-30&version=NRSV

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ACAD – Rejection: Psalm 53

Denunciation of Godlessness

To the leader: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;
    there is no one who does good.

God looks down from heaven on humankind
    to see if there are any who are wise,
    who seek after God.

They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;
    there is no one who does good,
    no, not one.

Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
    who eat up my people as they eat bread,
    and do not call upon God?

There they shall be in great terror,
    in terror such as has not been.
For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;[a]
    they will be put to shame,[b] for God has rejected them.

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
    Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.


Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 53:5 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb him who encamps against you
  2. Psalm 53:5 Gk: Heb you have put (them) to shame

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Think on these things…

Question: Why share false messages you don’t want people to believe? Why promote beliefs your own life can’t testify to? Why not simply preach Jesus? Why not present the gospel, the only true doctrine, to the world as it was presented to us?

Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are TRUE and HONORABLE and RIGHT and PURE and BEAUTIFUL and RESPECTED. Do what you learned and received from me, what I told you, and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you.  ~ Philippians 4:8-9, NCV

I knew someone who was at the beginning of her walk with God. She was thirsty. She was hungry. She was passionate. She was also unfocused and easily swayed. She asked for my opinion on her Biblical studies quite often. as you can imagine, I didn’t mind sharing it at length. She also asked many others within her circle their opinions and perspectives  on her study topics at any given time.  As a result, she got as many opinions on one topic as the number of people she asked. This frustrated her. And she couldn’t understand why there was no consensus within the Body. However, having her choice of opinions to agree with, she tended to gravitate towards the harsher and darker viewpoints. So much so, that she began to focus on the superstitions of the illuminati and considered it her duty to educate people on the dangers alleged “devil worshipping” celebrities posed to the believing Christian.

I often got upset and impatient with her because she was speaking filth into my ears that I otherwise would not have been exposed to. Why was she exposing me to something she didn’t want me to believe in and be deceived by? At the same time she’s sharing with me the evil master-plans of spiritually compromised celebrities, she was not interested in hearing my rebuke that the gospel – the good news Jesus preached – was the only thing she needed to preach to others.  The Word of God is the only word she needed to study for understanding. Why? Because when people have the Word of God in them, His Word shines a light on all the darkness within them. It may be a slow process but the Word will work to eradicate all the surrounding darkness within the person believing and speaking it. That’s a guarantee from God Himself – He cannot coexist with evil.

It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore.  ~ Isaiah 59:2, NLT

So, if you’re busy trying to understand evil things, you’re equally busy pushing God out of your heart. We are told in Philippians 4:8-9 to think only on good, pure things. This isn’t a clueless instruction given to make us feel good. It’s good instruction because the things you think about are the things you become like.

Want to become more Christ-like?

Think about Christ. Consider His ways. Meditate on His teachings. Become His disciple. Practice what He preached. Stop studying all the negative things of world and giving attention to the evil things of darkness. Don’t introduce hate to those who have not been tainted by its baleful bitterness. Christ did not succumb to the world; He came to redeem it with His goodness (obedience) and truth (the word in Him).

Be at peace. He has already overcome and made a way for you to do the same.