Thursday, 25 May 2017

Freedom of Religion

Scripture: Exodus 20 v 1 - 6: "And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

John 14 v 6: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

In every democratic country human rights include a list of freedoms that on the surface look very right and proper.  These are freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equality of gender, race and under the law.

In recent times these freedoms have been severely tested through acts of terror based on some religion.  The terror is projected into a future scenario where one religion intends to dominate the whole world by force and brutal violence, a rule by fear and hatred and against one's will.

This challenges the right to freedom of religion which was instituted to combat this very thing.  We need to understand that God Almighty under the Old Testament law of Moses, separated the Jewish people into their own land and gave them very strict laws to observe in their live and worship of Him.  

In Jeremiah 31 v 31 - 33: "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
 32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: note
 33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."

During the Last Supper that Jesus shared with His disciples before his arrest, trial and death, He said the following words.....Luke 22 v 19 - 20: "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." 

The first testament or covenant has been superseded by the second.  The first covenant gave remission of sin for the Jews through the blood of bulls and goats, which had to be done annually on the Day of Atonement.  The second is through the Blood of Jesus once and for all who believe.  Sin is the barrier that prevents man having a relationship with God the Father and with Jesus.

This is God's gift to us.  Salvation is free and available to anyone in the whole world no matter how evil or sinful they may have been.  They receive an instant free pardon and complete forgiveness of all wrongdoing.  God gives us all a free will to choose if we will walk in His ways.  Obedience leads to eternal life in Heaven, rejection leads to eternity in the lake of fire.  Not a hard choice one would think!

In the world there are many man-made religions, cults, sects and organisations that promise all sorts of heavenly rewards along with rules, rites, rituals, dogma, and religious clothing.  Most of them declare that they are the only right way.  They aim to please or appease an angry God using formulas and set rituals.  To try to combat religious differences they are amalgamating into a single organism called Interfaith.  Freedom of Religion is very compromised.

The battle is now between the God of Israel and of true Christians, and those in the Interfaith churches.  There is growing persecution against Jews and Christians from those in Interfaith.  Those in Interfaith may not realise yet that they are the foundation of the One World Church that will soon be ruled by the Antichrist.

The Antichrist is rising rapidly in the three spheres of world domination he has designated: Religion, Finance, Government.  He plans to head a One World Government with a One World Currency over a One World Religion.  He will make Hitler, Nero, Gaddafi, Arafat, President Bashir of Syria, Islamic State terrorists, and all other brutal dictators look like comic heroes.  

He will start out as a man of peace, charisma and warmth but end up as the full manifestation of Satan, ready to sacrifice the whole world to defeat Almighty God and fulfil his challenge before the foundation of this world that he would exalt his throne above the throne of God.

As Christians, Jesus Christ has given us authority over all the forces of evil including Satan.  We need to use this authority with the wisdom God has given us to stay out of his clutches.  Get rid of complacency, compromise and contradiction and get into line with God's perfect will for you and your family.  Jesus Christ is the Ark we must enter to be completely safe from the evil to come.  We have the freedom to enter in now and ride out the storm, or to ignore Him and face the consequences.

The sad history about democracy is that it always precedes anarchy, lawlessness, violence and despair.  That transition is already happening in many countries and all the NATO, G7, and other meetings of world leaders, are becoming more futile to combat future disasters or terror attacks.  Jesus warned that these times would come.  He said that the end would come when the world was back in the same state as the times of Noah and Lot. Luke 17 v 26 - 30: "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
 27  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
 28  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
 29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
 30  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

Everything we need to know about the times we are living in is found in the Holy Bible and the true freedom it gives to those who really walk in the ways of Jesus.  There is no other way, no other name by which we can be saved.  Whether we live or die we will be with Him forever.

Personally He has given me the greatest freedom I have ever known.  He is gentle and there is no force or pressure.  I have never known such pure and perfect love, absolute peace of mind, assurance of His ability to meet every need.  I have followed Him for 43 years and seen all He is capable of.  He has never lied or disappointed or made me ashamed.  Jesus is the One who can truly save everyone on this planet if they let Him.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, my heart is full of love and worship as I am reminded of all that Jesus has done for us.  My heart breaks for those who refuse Him or reject Him to their own hurt.  I pray that they may yet open their hearts and receive the blessing of knowing Him.  There is no other freedom worth having because he who the Son of Man sets free is free indeed.  In Jesus' name. Amen.