so very serious

There are some places in the Bible that are so, so very serious. So intense that they can be disturbing!

Revelation 16:4-7 is one of these passages. This is the section of the 7 Bowls of God’s Wrath. These particular verses are the Third Bowl. This third angel is praising God while he pours out a Bowl of the Wrath of God. This bowl turns the rivers and springs of water into blood. While this is happening another angel cries out at the end of verse 6:

“It is what they deserve!”

SO SERIOUS! Any human being will have a hard time with someone being punished under the wrath of God. UNLESS their view and allegiance to God is big and true.

See, the Bowls of God’s wrath are not to be taken out of context… The seven seals of chapter 6-8 and the seven trumpets of chapters 8-11 are judgments also but they are warnings too. They are not final. They were judgmental warnings that were intended to get peoples’ attention to turn to God. But “the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent…” (Rev. 9:20) Event after event was happening and should have caused people to turn to God, but they refuse to turn to God. Instead they continue cursing God.

So it is fitting in the end, when the angel of God praises God for pouring out his wrath on sinners.

Its a hard truth. But God’s Holiness is at stake.

May we followers of Jesus, redeemed only by grace, be humbled by this reality.

boys of summer

Summer Break is here and we are in the middle of our church’s VBS week. It is an awesome time and so much joy and fun for so many reasons.

My sons are growing up, and it is all so new to me. I really cannot believe where God has brought me in life. Here are two recent pictures of each of the boys. JJ is 3 and a half. Eli recently turned two. And Noah is 8 months.

the bowls of revelation

As I have been studying Revelation a lot lately, I am loving God and His word more and more. ¬†This week I will be teaching through chapter 16 in our Men’s & Women’s Bible Studies. Chapter 16 contains the 7 Bowls of the wrath of God. One of the books I have been studying is Michael Wilcock’s book The Message of Revelation in the John Stott Series.

Here is an excerpt from Michael Wilcock’s book:

“The angels’ Bowls, moreover, are filled with the wrath of the God who lives for ever and ever, and ‘it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Heb. 10:31). It means that though our life may end with its bang or its whimper, his life continues unaffected. The bomb goes up, the smoke clears, the dust dies down– he is still there. Or alternatively, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done, and we look forward to peace at the last– but he is still there to be reckoned with. ‘Do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell'(Luke 12:4, 5). It is the classic horror story situation, where you flee from the thing you fear, take refuge behind your barricades, and find you have locked it inside with you. It is the Hound of Heaven, only a hound of judgment, not of mercy. ‘Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?’ (Isaiah 33:14).”

“your ways, O Lord”

Last night, I heard a good sermon from Psalm 25 by Adam Willett. It stuck with me.

So when I woke up this morning, this one thought was running through my head. I want to share it here.

Psalm 25:4:

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord”

Me… to know… Your ways! Make me to know your ways! Me… Josh Greene… to know God’s ways?

This is the whole sum of our faith, true religion. That a lowly person can know God and his ways. And it is God that makes it happen.

What a thought! What a mystery! What truth! What beauty! What glory!

once saved, always saved discussion

Lately we have been having some good discussions about the meaning and use of the well-known phrase “once saved, always saved”.

If you are a baptist or have been around church-life much, chances are that you have heard this phrase discussed. Many people prefer the phrase “eternal security” instead of “once saved always saved”. And other people prefer to use perseverance!

I wanted to simply share with you some crucial passages from the Bible that need to be considered in this discussion. It is so healthy for Believers (who are filled with the Spirit) to read God’s Word and then spend time thinking through it. The whole Bible is involved in teaching us how to understand the great work of God saving sinners. But these few passages here are helpful to understanding this discussion.

John 10:28-29

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

1 John 2:19

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”

Romans 10:13

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Revelation 13:8

“and all who dwell on the earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.”

James 2:19

“even the demons believe– and shudder.”

Hebrews 6:4-6

“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance…”

little rockers

My two oldest sons, JJ and Eli, love playing music. It makes me so happy to see them like this. I don’t know where they get it from.