There are five short verses in the Bible that every believer should commit to memory. Psalm 37:29, Proverbs 10:30, Proverbs 11:31, Matthew 5:5, and John 3:13. This is enough information to keep anyone from being confused about the place of the eternal reward of the righteous. It has become my habit to say that teaching that the righteous will go to heaven is telling a lie. And all liars will be rewarded by fire. Jesus had good reason to teach us that the meek will inherit the earth. I want to encourage everyone to commit to memory those verses.
John 4:24 does say that God is a spirit. But let’s not assume that he is only a spirit. 1 John 4:8 says God is love and we all love that aspect of God. Deuteronomy 4:24 also says that God is a consuming fire. That’s because he is an awesome God. So awesome that when he was on Mount Sinai the Israelites were sure they were going to die from the sound of his voice but when Elijah was at the same mountain God spoke to him in a still small voice. But still the same God.
Therefore its no wonder that he is both LOVE and a CONSUMING FIRE even at the same time and all in righteousness. This is why he is a spirit. We must use other verses to help us understand the physical nature of God. Spirit is not a description of physical resistance in any form. The GOD of the Bible is awesome and he does have a voice.
A good study of the life of Abraham and the life of Rebecca from the book of Genesis chapters 24 to 30 shows us that they were very concerned about who their children married. Then in Deuteronomy 7 God held the parents accountable to teach their children not to marry unbelieving neighbors. This is reinforced in the story of Dinah, Solomon, Ezra, and Nehemiah. It’s no wonder that 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 gives us the same commandment.
A young lady active in the Church of God in the Philippines has chosen to marry an older never before married gentleman from our Cashmere Congregation for that very reason. She calls him “her man of God”. The wedding will be on May 26, 2018. God bless their decision.
In Romans 12:1 we are told to sacrifice our bodies, a living sacrifice. This is our reasonable (or true and proper) “service”. Service is also translated correctly worship. So, a Sunday Service is a time of worship. However, in verse 2 Paul tells us how to do the sacrifice.
When we change our minds to obey God, leaving worldly things and performing God’s will, it’s worship. So, the place of worship is in our own bodies. Many people have been misled into believing that you must be in a particular place to worship. It’s better said you must be in a particular frame of mind to worship.
I have been asked many times during my trips if we have to worship in the chapel. Or, which chapel is the right place to worship. The word they use in the Philippines came from the Spanish priests. “Simbahan”. “Simba” means worship and “han” means place. So naturally they assume the building is the place to worship. Read Genesis 22:1-12 and notice in many translations verse 5 says Abraham worshipped on Mount Moriah.
And what did he do there? Sacrifice. This makes us think of sacrifice as worship. In fact what we sacrifice for God is our worship to him. It’s that we should worship God as we love God. With all of our being and available resources.
In 2nd Timothy the Apostle Paul was writing to Timothy and told him to teach Faithful Men who would also teach others. This instruction applies to us also. One of the things that I was pleased to hear and see during my last trip to the Philippines was one of the young ministers thanking us for our persistent visits. Regardless of how difficult the hiking or the travel by bus for endless days or how poor the food is, we keep at it – teaching and leading expeditions all over the Philippines.
He thanked us for not only teaching them God’s Word, but for teaching them how to teach others also and at the same time teaching them how to teach others to teach others. At the seminar recently we saw the result of this kind of teaching. About 130 teenagers attended; they are the product of our teaching through several generations. This is why teaching the Bible stories is so important. If you have a good foundation in the entire book of Genesis, then continue to add the other stories. If you have a fairly clear understanding of the progress of the Old Testament stories you will have the faith and the desire to teach it to others.
Larry Rankin, of Cashmere, Washington, spends about 6 months every year in the Philippines, seeking out any and all who will listen to God’s Word. He conducts home Bible studies everywhere he goes – sometimes with people who have never heard the gospel message – sometimes with those he knows well who look forward to his visits every year.