Our forgiving God

Remind yourself often of these truths

  • “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness.” (Psalm 131:3-4)
  • “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” (Daniel 9:9).
  • “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
  • “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
  • “He delights in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19).
  • Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
  • “… through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43).
  • “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

An unforgivable sin

I’ve been asked many times what Jesus meant when he spoke of an unforgivable sin.

“And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31).

Those who ask me about the unpardonable sin focus so much on the second part of the verse that they miss the amazing promise Jesus gave in the first part. Think about it. “And so I tell you every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men.”

Amazing! – “EVERY sin and blasphemy…” This is a great promise!

There are many different sins and blasphemies and the only one that will not be forgiven is “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”

Many believe that this particular sin could only occur under the public ministry of Jesus. It’s viewed as a direct rejection of the ministry of Jesus by ascribing His work to Satan.

What we know

We can at least say that whatever else this involved, it included an ultimate hardening of one’s heart against the person and ministry of Jesus. Therefore, I assure people that a clear sign they have not committed this sin is a deep concern that they may have committed it.

This means that those who have come to me deeply troubled by a possibility of having blasphemed against the Holy Spirit are not the kind of people who blaspheme against the Spirit. Such people are not troubled but hardened against the Lord.

Return to the opening promise

“Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven…” Do you understand why the apostle John wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9)?

Celebrate God’s forgiveness today!

Steve Cornell

Posted in Forgiveness, God, God of Old Testament, God's Heart, God's Love, God's Protection, God's Will, Guidelines for living, Questioning God, Seeking God, Walking with God, Will of God, Wisdom | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

God’s heart toward a broken world

How does a sovereign, all-powerful God relate to a broken fallen world filled with so much evil, suffering and sadness?

God is sovereign

  • Psalm 115:2-3 – Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (Ps. 115:2-3).
  • Psalm 135:6 – “The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.”
  • Ephesians 1:11 – “God chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan” (NLT).

God’s heart is revealed

  • Ezekiel 33:11 – “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’”
  • I Timothy 2:3-4 – “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
  • II Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
  • Romans 2:4 – “Or, do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
  • James 1:13-14 – “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

For deeper reflection

“God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established” (Westminster Confession).

Steve Cornell

Posted in Evil in the world, God, God's control, God's Heart, God's Love, God's power, God's Will, Questioning God, Study of God, Suffering, Will of God, Wisdom | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Prayer

  • “I pray to restore the truth of the universe, to gain a glimpse of the world, and of me, through the eyes of God.”
  • “In prayer, I shift my point of view away from my own selfishness. …. Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view.” 
  • “Prayer has become for me much more than a shopping list of requests to present to God. It has become a realignment of everything.”(Philip Yancey)
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Don’t be a pain…

Pain that is not transformed is transmitted.

Pain that is transformed is recycled for the good of others.

Don’t be a pain; let God transform your pain.

Then you’ll become a transformer of pain for others.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (II Corinthians 1:3-4).

Steve Cornell

 

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Orlando terror act exploited

It is shameful for Anderson Cooper (CNN) to question whether Christians who support gay marriage can express genuine sadness for those who died in the Islamic act of terrorism in Orlando.

If 50 Christians were killed could gays authentically express grief for them when they consistently oppose and protest the right of Christians to follow their beliefs about traditional marriage?

Christians who disagree do not wish death on gays. Extremists Muslims do wish death on gays.

There is a very dangerous agenda being attached to the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando. It is disgraceful to see this tragedy exploited to bash Christianity.

The agenda says,

“If you oppose same-sex marriage or mixed-gender bathrooms, then you not only can’t legitimately grieve the loss of gay lives, you’re partially responsible for the massacre in Orlando. Conservative efforts to protect religious freedom and freedom of association from unprecedented infringement will kill people. Never mind that all the actual evidence in the case points to Islamic motivations extrapolated from well-known and widely shared interpretations of Shariah law, somehow those darn Baptists are to blame.

The result is bigotry running two ways — an unreasoning, irrational hatred of American Christians and a comprehensive denial of Muslim moral agency. American Christians are responsible for things they don’t believe. Sharia-observant Muslims, by contrast, aren’t responsible for the things they do believe.

And make no mistake, said Muslims don’t care a whit what the New York Times, Anderson Cooper, Jen Hatmaker, or any other anti-Evangelical terror apologist has to say. To them, one American life taken is as good as any other. They will attack again, maybe at another gay bar, or another office Christmas party, or a coffee house, or a sporting event, or a church. And when they do, there will surely be some Americans who excuse their actions out of eagerness to blame other Americans, instead.” (David French)

Let’s not play into the fallacy that says difference on morality and lifestyle with another person equals rejection of the person. Of course, this notion itself plays off a false comparison that equates the kind of sex people desire with unalterable realities like racial identity. This is simply wrong. Just ask those who have left a homosexual lifestyle.

Here’s the real problem

Intolerance from militant gay activists is dangerous to both liberty and civility. It encourages resentment and even hostility. This is America. You can’t say, “Agree with us, or else!” on lifestyle issues with out starting a fight. How foolish! Race and chosen lifestyles are not the same and never will be.

Steve Cornell

Posted in Christian worldview, Christianity, CNN, Equal Rights, Equality, Gay, Gay Marriage?, Homosexual lifestyle, Homosexuality, Same-sex, Terrorism, Tolerance, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Your feelings are rejected

Why are we told by the transgender activists that we cannot question a man’s motives when he says he feels that he is a woman, but we are to be suspicious of a woman’s motives if she feels unsafe when a man enters a ladies bathroom or locker room?

Whatever happened to women’s rights?

Can a man (whom we were told was born gay) now decide to be a woman? Are we forbidden to question these self-proclaimed identities?

If a person feels unsafe in the state of California and requests a permit to carry a gun, officials will quickly question and dismiss his feelings as invalid.

Whose feelings are beyond scrutiny and evaluation? 

This kind of double standard has become so typical of radical activists who demand that society conforms to their sexual and political agenda.

Do you see something wrong with this?

Make your voice heard loudly and clearly to every government official and business that foolishly panders to this radical agenda being forced on our nation.

Steve Cornell

Posted in Equal Rights, Equality, Gay Marriage?, Gender, Homosexual lifestyle, Sex, Sexual orientation, Sexual Preference, Sexuality, Wisdom | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Five kinds of people in the Church

Wisdomforlife

1.  The professional weaker brother / sister – A legalist by nature, they are characterized by 1) a simplistic view of spirituality, 2) a belief that spirituality is defined by adherence to a list of dos and don’ts, 3)  the opinion that all others should conform to such a list, and 4) they tend to be a “mature” saint who will not actually stumble over the actions of others – they just don’t like what you do.

2.  The genuine weaker brother / sister –People who are still babes and are susceptible to stumble in the area of doubtful things.

3.  The mature, nonparticipating brother / sister –They limit their liberty for 1 of 2 reasons:  1) They don’t have freedom for a certain area or 2) They refrain because wisdom has taught them that it is not necessary.



4.  The immature, participating brother / sister…

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