Does God Really Have a Right Hand?

‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).’

What is so very special about God’s ‘right hand’? His right hand is special and important, because it SYMBOLISES His power and strength. With it he vanquishes His enemies (Exodus 15:6) and He saves His redeemed (Psalm 17:7; 108:6; 138:7). We note from the opening text that His right hand is ‘righteous’. He uses His power in righteousness (Jeremiah 12:1; Ezra 9:15). With it He does only what is right.

Anthropomorphism

When we ‘picture’ God, we may imagine Him seated on His throne in glory (Revelation 4:2-11). The vision we see is awesome. Beside Him, and to His right (Luke 22:69, 70), there is another throne, upon which there is seated the glorious Person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

In Biblical times the chief guest at a banquet had the privilege of sitting next the host at his right hand, which was the place of honour. The Scriptures tell us that the risen and ascended Christ sits at the right hand of His Father. Here’s the text: ‘But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till all His enemies are made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12, 13). So Jesus sits in the place of honour where He waits until He comes to judge all mankind (Revelation 20:11-15).

Does God have a Gender?

We know that God is Spirit (John 4:24) and that He has always existed (Psalm 90:2) as one God (Mark 12:29) in three Persons. Despite knowing this, we ascribe to Him human form. We may even think of Him as a Man, because His Son came to the earth as a Man. I wasn’t surprised, therefore, in this age of *gender equality, to read a tweet on Twitter which posed the question, “Is God a man or a woman?”

For those who don’t read the Bible, but believe they know what’s in it, perhaps it’s not such a daft question? Even for those who do read the Bible and think they understand it, perhaps it’s not an inappropriate question either?

The Scriptures more often than not, refer to God as ‘He’ or ‘Him’, both of which are singular, masculine pronouns. Understandably, this could be a matter of concern for those championing gender equality. They reason, “Surely, this is bias on the part of a Creator.” So for them the Bible is likely to be viewed as chauvinistic. Not only from their point of view is God portrayed as being masculine, but biblical doctrines concerning gender favour men!

The truth is God does not favour men over women. All are equal in His sight (Galatians 3:28), but each have their roles to play.

God Himself is not a man; neither is He a woman. As mentioned above, Jesus came to the earth as a **real Man; but in heaven He has no gender; for He is Spirit (John 4:24), and He said of Himself. “I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:58).”’ He existed spiritually before the creation (Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13). Likewise, the third Person of the Trinity is Spirit. Nowhere in the Scriptures is He described as having a body. All three Persons of the Godhead are genderless, since they are Spirit.

God’s Right Hand

Going back to the topic of God’s right hand, God revealed Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus, who came to the earth as a **real Man, but a very special Man. He was unique, having been born of the virgin Mary through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35).

Surprisingly the New Testament makes few mentions of Jesus doing anything with His ‘right hand ’. The only texts I can find are in the Book of Revelation: 1:16, 17 and 2:1. Nevertheless, the phrase ‘right hand’, when referring to God’s right hand is spoken of many times in the Old Testament.

So what is the significance of God’s ‘right hand? As stated at the beginning of this article, it is a SYMBOLIC, or figurative representation of His power to save (Psalm 20:6) or destroy (Exodus 15:6). With it He saves His people, Israel (Psalm 44:3), and with it He redeems them (Psalm 20:6). With it He triumphs over His enemies (Exodus 15:6), and with it He performs miracles (Exodus 15:12). With it He revives (Psalm 138:7) and guides (Psalm 139:10); He gives strength (Isaiah 41:10) and helps those who fear Him (Isaiah 41:10).

God does not sit on a throne in heaven with a raised right hand, but He is *** all-powerful, and figuratively, He wields His power through and by His right hand.

*The Christian and Gender Orientation

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2019/01/06/the-christian-and-gender-orientation/

**Reality of the Risen Christ

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2019/01/22/reality-of-the-risen-christ/

***The Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence of God

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/04/14/the-omniscience-omnipotence-and-omnipresence-of-god/

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Reality of the Risen Christ?

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality gizmos are now available for very little money. The cheaper ones work in conjunction with mobile phones. When you put on the headgear you enter a new world. Your brain is tricked into thinking you are in a different three-dimensional space to the one you are actually in. You know it is nothing more than a trick of the mind; for you cannot touch the things you see. Your hand goes right through them. However, when you peer into this virtual world you experience it as being real. Indeed, it is a real experience, as verified by your senses and your conscious mind. It is something you experience in real time. You can take note and remember the things you see and hear. The virtual world and the actual world combine to be your *reality. At that moment of union, the external world [you and your material/physical life] and the virtual world [you and your spiritual/soul life] are homogeneously blended together’, to become ONE reality – your REAL world!

The Reality of Christ

Can the above analogy help explain the reality of Christ and His kingdom for a believer? I hope so, because it is essential for the one who thinks he believes in Him is actually alive IN Him (Ephesians 2:13). If the person is not alive in Him, there is no hope of salvation (v 12).

Please continue reading to gain a better understanding of what I am endeavouring to present.

Does the Christian have an internal experience and a deep conviction of being united with the risen Christ? Does he or she live in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25)?

The non-believer who has never put on the ‘headgear’, i.e., the Bible, cannot experientially know Christ, or have faith (Romans 10:17) in Him. He does not enter into His world. He is unable to ‘taste and see’ (Psalm 34:8). He is left in the dark, unable to see His light (John 8:12) or hear His ‘words of eternal life (John 6:68).’

In the darkness of his world he confirms his atheism, and declares,  “Christians are deluded; they are fooled by the ‘headgear’. It’s all virtual reality, and not true!” They say the Bible paints a picture of a world and dynasties that do not exist. The God who it is claimed to have made the heavens and the angels is a myth. That large, weighty tome is nothing more than a random collection of nonsensical words written by deranged and devious men.

My reply is, “Have you put on the ‘headgear’?” Have you put on the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17)? Have you let the breath (John 20:22) of God enter into your soul to give you life?

If you put on the ‘headgear’, with your eyes open, and you open your mind and your heart, Jesus will enter in. There you will find Him in His REAL heaven (Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 8:1), a place where His risen, spiritual body will never see corruption (1 Corinthians 15:42). There He sits at the right hand of God the Father (Luke 22:69; Hebrews 12:2).

God is Spirit (John 4:24) and He indwells all believers (Romans 8:9-11). He spiritually exists in them. Together they are His body (1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:27) manifested in the flesh, but for as long as they are on the earth they are not yet perfected. At the resurrection they will be given new spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) for their perfection. Believers who ‘sleep’, i.e., those who have died – their souls now live with Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14). All of His people are in Him, and He is in them (John 14:20), irrespective of where they are.

When Jesus returns, ALL, not just the redeemed, will see and hear a very real and powerful King who is the Judge (Psalm 98:9) of His creation (John 1:10). All, without exception will bow the knee before Him (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10), and all will give an account ‘according to their works (Revelation 21:11-15).’

The Real Christ

Those who put on the ‘headgear’, i.e., the Bible, will find it tells the truth  (Ephesians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). What they see and hear will be real to them. The Bible verifies itself as being the truth (2 Timothy 3:16). It tells of the Man (Matthew 1:23) Jesus, who actually **lived and did many miracles. After His resurrection He was seen first by Mary Magdalene (John 20:14-18) and afterwards by His disciples. Thomas even touched (John 20:27) Him and declared Him to be his, “Lord and God (v 28)!” Five hundred brethren saw Him at the same time (1 Corinthians 15:6), and two disciples on their way to Emmaus shortly after His crucifixion saw and talked with Him. He ‘expounded to them all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27)’. Later, when having a meal with them, ‘He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them (v 30).  Their eyes were opened, and they knew Him. At that moment He disappeared from their sight.

There is no doubt about it. Jesus has risen from the dead (Luke 24:36-49). He lives and is REAL. He dwells in the hearts (Ephesians 3:17) and the minds of those who love Him.

What is your REALITY?

*The Reality of Now

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/11/28/the-reality-of-now/

**What’s the Evidence outside the Bible for Jesus’ Life and Teaching?

http://www.uncover.org.uk/questions/whats-the-evidence-outside-the-bible-for-jesus-life-and-teaching/

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Tithing to the Lord

“Speak thus to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe (Numbers 18:26).”’

The church of which I am a member does not have a policy of ‘mandatory’ tithing. I’m pleased about that, because in the New Testament the subject is barely mentioned, and a case is not made for it under the New Covenant (Matthew 26:28) and according to the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

Jesus mentioned tithing in one of His parables – Luke 18:12. It was about a Pharisee and a tax collector, both of whom went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee was righteous in his own sight, and he boasted of giving tithes (Matthew 23:23) twice a week of all he possessed. He contrasted himself with the tax collector who stood afar off, and wouldn’t even look up. He obviously felt himself to be more worthy and holy on the grounds of his actions. By contrast the tax collector made no effort to justify himself. He knew he was an unworthy sinner in need of God’s forgiveness, and on those grounds he pleaded for mercy. Of the two, Jesus said the tax collector was justified on account of humbling himself, and he was the one who would be exalted (v 14) before God.

A Tithe

Well, what is a tithe?

There’s a fair mention of tithes in the Old Testament. The first citation is in Genesis, Chapter 14. Abram had defeated ‘Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him (v 17).’  On his return after rescuing his nephew Lot with his family and possessions, he met the King of Sodom, and Melchizedek, king of Salem, who was also ‘the priest of God Most High (v 18).’ Melchizedek blessed Abram. In return he gave him a tenth of the spoils he had acquired from his victory over Chedorlaomer.

Basically, a tithe is a gift of one tenth or thereabouts of one’s income. It is set aside for God’s purposes, and offered to Him. The giver may see it as a sacrifice of thanksgiving (Psalm 116:17). In today’s churches, offerings of money are used for promoting the gospel and for the remuneration of ministers (1 Timothy 5:18), i.e., those who lead and pastor the church.

In Old Testament times the Mosaic law required tithing of all manner of incomes. Tithes were to be given to the LORD (Leviticus 27:30). The main recipients were the Levites, who in turn were to offer one tenth of the peoples’ tithings as,‘’heave’ offerings to the LORD (Numbers 18:26).

The people were not to eat of tithes they had set aside except, ‘before the LORD’  their ‘God in the place’  chosen by Him (Deuteronomy 12:17, 18 ).’ These tithes were composed of grain, new wine, oil and the firstborn of the herd, plus other specified items. In the third year the tithe of their ‘increase’ was to be given to ‘the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow (Deuteronomy 26:12).

Tithing Today

There can be no justifiable case for ‘mandatory’ tithing in Christ’s church today. Nowhere does He stipulate such a rule. Paul the Apostle, when writing to the Corinthian church, reminded them of their prior commitment to help the poor in the Jerusalem church (1 Corinthians 16:3). He said the Corinthians should set aside what they could afford on the first day of the week (v 2). In that way they would be able to fulfil their promise. This cannot be taken as a premise or an argument for tithing, because it isn’t.

On the other hand there is no reason whatsoever why Christians should not tithe, but of their own volition. A good many of the members of the church of which I am a member tithe on a monthly basis. The advantage of doing so is that the church operates as a charity; therefore it can legally claim tax *rebates [Gift Aid] on regular givings from its members. Paul was all for paying taxes (Romans 13:6, 7) and fortunately in the UK we have this legal benefit whereby charities can claim rebates on taxable incomes.

*Tax Relief when You Donate to Charity

https://www.gov.uk/donating-to-charity/gift-aid

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An Eternal Inheritance in Christ Jesus

We all inherit something from our mothers and fathers; namely their genes. We may not inherit property, possessions or money, but we inherit sin through our parents who inherited it from Adam via their ancestors (Romans 5:12). Irrespective if our parents were pious believing Christians at the time of our birth, we still inherit sin passed down through them from their ancestors going back to Adam (Romans 3:23).

Nevertheless God sees all believers as He sees His only begotten Son (John 1:18); i.e., as perfect (Colossians 1:28) in His righteousness, despite the fact that they retain their bodies of sin (Romans 6:6; 8:10) until death. Afterwards, when Christ comes again (Matthew 16:27) to bring them into His eternal kingdom to give them an eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15) their bodies will be transformed, and they will be resurrected (John 6:45) with new spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:44).

God’s Promise of an Inheritance for His Old Testament People

God promised He would give His ‘Special People’ (Deuteronomy 7:6), i.e., the Old Testament Jews, a specific land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 14:8; Deuteronomy 6:3) where they would find peace (Psalm 72:7) and plenty (Joel 2:26). To enter in and possess the land they agreed with God and pledged they would obey Him (Exodus 19:8). If they were to obey Him, He would fight their battles (Joshua 10:14)  and take them into the land of Canaan.

God brought them out (Acts 7:36) of slavery from Egypt under the leadership of Moses who led them to the borders of the promised land. There he died (Deuteronomy 34:1-5) because God did not allow him to enter the land on account of his disobedience (Numbers 20:11, 12). Moses saw the land, but he did not receive the inheritance. The promise for him has yet to be fulfilled, for he was faithful, truly believing and trusting God (Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:1-6).

It had been a forty-year tortuous journey through the desert (Deuteronomy 8:4). All apart from two of the original adults who departed from Egypt died in the wilderness along the way because of their lack of faith and disobedience. The exceptions were Joshua and Caleb, because they had been faithful and obedient (Joshua 14). Under the leadership of Joshua those who had grown up to become adults and their children entered Canaan where they overcame many kings and kingdoms, dispossessing them of their lands and property (Joshua 24:18). Eventually, King David reigned as King of the United Kingdom of Judah and Israel (2 Samuel 5:5). Under the reign of his son, Solomon, there was peace (1 Chronicles 22:9) and prosperity (1 Kings 10:27) just as God had promised.

God’s Promise of an Inheritance for His New Testament People

Under the old covenant of works, i.e., the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 34:27, 28), God fulfilled his promise of a physical land as an inheritance for His people. They would live there in peace and prosperity. It was conditional, according to their faith and obedience (Deuteronomy 30:10) as worked out in practice.

God’s promise for His New Testament people was also conditional, but on the part His Son who would fulfil all that the prophets foretold of Him (Luke 24:44). Jesus agreed with His Father to be sent to the earth where He would live an obedient (Philippians 2:8) and faithful life to His Father on the part of those who would believe in Him (Galatians 4:4, 5). He would die (Luke 23:32, 33) and suffer on their behalf to pay for their sins (1 Peter 2:24), and He would be raised to life (Acts 10:40) to give them new spiritual life and new spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:44). He would transform them completely to be fitted for an eternal inheritance in heaven (Hebrews 9:15). There they would have a perfect life of peace and prosperity without pain (Revelation 21:4) or sadness.

His New Testament people, i.e., all those who are born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8), figuratively travel through a desert land which is this corrupt (2 Peter 1:4) and evil world where the devil and his cohorts have but a short time (1 Corinthians 7:29) before it (2 Peter 3:10) and they are utterly destroyed (Revelation 20:10).

Christ overcame satan at his resurrection when He triumphed over sin and death (Colossians 2:15). He did away with the Mosaic covenant, having fulfilled it and instituted the new covenant (Hebrews 9:15) in His blood (Matthew 26:28), which is a covenant of grace whereby believers are forgiven their sins (Matthew 9:6; John 3:16). His elect (Romans 8:33) are given the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9) and they are empowered by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5) for obedience to Him.

Because of this, Christ’s people reign with Him (Revelation 20:6) in their faith and obedience. He is their King (John 18:37) and Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:1) who gives them abundant life (John 10:10) and a wonderful inheritance (John 14:2; cf Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:24) in His kingdom. They are His special people, a chosen people, priests (1 Peter 2:9), kings and brothers of Christ.

Their prize (Philippians 3:14) and inheritance is Christ Himself with all His glory (1 Peter 4:13) in whom they live eternally.

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Secrets Known to God

‘For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14).’

Personal Secrets

We all know what it is to have personal secrets. I’m pretty certain there’s no one who reaches an age beyond ten years that hasn’t had a personal secret; in fact, by a much younger age most of us must have had several. I am saying this because from when I was a nipper I’ve had loads of them. Later, when I was in the army I had to sign up to the *Official Secrets Act which allowed me to divulge my name, rank, number and the service I was in, but nothing else. Even to this day I can remember my army number, and that’s after being allocated it 64 years ago when I was conscripted into the Royal Artillery for National Service.

So why do we have secrets? Well, if they are personal there could be many reasons. Maybe we would be embarrassed to divulge them, or perhaps for selfish reasons we may want to keep certain knowledge to ourselves. It could be that we don’t want to ‘snitch’ on someone and we are concerned for their welfare. There could be all sorts of noble or ignoble reasons for keeping personal secrets.

Collective Secrets

Collective secrets are far harder to keep. The more people who know a secret the more chance there is that it will be divulged. Governments, military forces, intelligence agencies, businesses and criminal organisations all take extraordinary measures for keeping their secrets secret.

However, despite all these efforts to keep them secret they are now and again revealed.  Not so very long ago, **Julian Assange worked with ***WikiLeaks which published confidential information that had been hacked from Hillary Clinton’s email account; likewise it published emails from Sarah Palin’s account.

Secrets Under God’s Spotlight of Judgment

“Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD (Jeremiah 23:24).’

The Bible tells us that God knows all our secrets. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed (Matthew 10:26). Now, that could be quite embarrassing, and even frightening for many, especially if they come to the realisation that they will have to face judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) from the God of all heaven and earth, and having been found short (Romans 3:23) they will be sentenced to everlasting hell.

With this knowledge we would be foolish to ignore the judgment to come. So is there a way out for those who are guilty of having secrets about things they have done that they should not have done? The Bible tells us we are all guilty; for all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). If our secrets try to hide our sins, we are, as it were doubly guilty, but God is compassionate and forgiving to those who repent (Exodus 34:6, 7; Acts 17:30, 31).

He sent His Son Jesus to give us a way out (Galatians 4:4, 5; 1 John 4:9, 10) – a way whereby we can be found ‘not guilty’ – not guilty of transgressions before Him. Jesus took upon himself all the sins of the elect (Ephesians 1:7) and to suffer and to die in their place to pay for the punishment due to them. He lived a perfect life on their behalf, a life of obedience to His Father, without one sin having been committed by Him. How could he do it, since He was a man born of a woman like other men? He could accomplish it because He was born without sin (Hebrews 4:15); since He was conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). He was unique. That did not mean He was not tempted (v 15) as other men, but more so. Hence He is sympathetic, and understanding. He is compassionate and loving. He forgives those who come to Him with their secret and open sins, confessing them before Him and asking for His forgiveness.

‘For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God (1 John 3:20, 21).’

Nothing gives Him more delight (Job 33:26) and pleasure than to receive unto Himself those who realise the error of their ways and who want to please Him (1 Thessalonians 4:1) and ascribe to Him the glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). They have no more secrets before Him, and they couldn’t be more happy.

*Official Secrets Act 1989 [Present Day – I signed up to the previous one.]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Secrets_Act_1989

**Julian Assange Biography

https://www.biography.com/people/julian-assange-20688499

***WikiLeaks

https://wikileaks.org

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The Christian and Gender Orientation

Individual Responsibility

We hear a lot these days of LGBTQ+ people. They can’t be lumped together and dismissed by the majority who may consider them to be different, for they are not! They have *minds, bodies and souls like all human beings. God made them this way; in His own image He made them (Genesis 1:27).

Every person is responsible for their own actions before the Lord God Almighty (Romans 14:12; Revelation 20:11-15), whether they accept this or not, whether they believe in Him or not. There is no discrimination on the part of the Righteous Judge (Genesis 18:25) of all the earth. He can only do what is right. It is not anyone’s business to judge another (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37; Romans 14:13), and that’s making judgments of all people, regardless of their gender orientation.

Compassion

We should be compassionate (James 5:11), just as Jesus is compassionate towards those with biological differences from the norm.  God is the Architect of all life (John 1:2-4), and He is particularly interested and concerned with ALL humans (John 3:16), irrespective of their genetic makeup.

Gender Equality

Today a lot of emphasis is placed on gender equality; for example, pay should be the same for women as for men when their jobs are identical. Anyone in their right mind would agree. The mantra is for girls to have the same opportunities as boys for learning to play football, cricket and other physical sports, including boxing and rugby. Who can argue about that? Whatever their gender, in an ideal world, youngsters should be able to take up what sports and hobbies they want. They should be free to study whatever subjects they are interested in. Later, when they apply for jobs, they should be recruited according to merit and ability, not gender.

God Differentiates between Genders

However, God does differentiate between genders (Genesis 5:2). There is no doubt about it. Each has a role to play **according to His Word, the Bible. Obviously a man cannot bear children, but his role in a Christian family is to be the head (Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 1:3) within it.

In the Old Testament the punishment of death was imposed on a man or woman who wore clothing normally worn by the opposite sex (Deuteronomy 22:5). The law was severe in this respect. We find no such direct requirement under the law of Christ, i.e., the whole of the New Testament, and the Old Testament as interpreted through the revelation of the New. Jesus was mute on the subject of dress, but Paul gave instructions to Timothy that the women in his church were to dress modestly, and not to adorn themselves with gold or pearls (1 Timothy 2:9).

Paul also pulled no punches in his condemnation of lesbianism and homosexuality (Romans 1:26, 27), pointing out that what these people did was ‘contrary to nature’. He said, ’the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (v 18)’.

A Problem

Where there is doubt and confusion on the part of an individual as to their sexual orientation, there’s a problem:

What if I am androgynous, i.e., a person born with both male and female reproductive organs? I certainly am not like the majority of people. I have to accept that I am who I am, or I have to make a choice as to who I would like to be. If I wish to change from being androgynous I shall have to undergo operations for the removal of one set of my reproductive organs, but what is my chromosomal makeup? Am I ‘xy’ or am I ‘xx’? For that will help me determine my sex, or will it? Although I am ‘xy’ I feel more like ‘xx’. Therefore I would prefer to be female. What do I do? Do I have to accept the risks involved of undergoing life-changing surgery? What if it goes wrong? If the surgery is successful, what shall I feel like afterwards? What if I want to reverse my gender? It will be too late! The change is irreversible.

This talk is not theoretical. It is very real for more people than most of us realise. Not only do people find themselves with similar predicaments, but their mothers and fathers, their brothers and sisters, are also affected, because they are related by family. Indeed, androgyny affects many life situations, none more challenging than for those caught up in it to find marriage partners with whom they may have children. In some cases the joy of having their own offspring may be impossible.

Discrimination

We cannot avoid observing how the world treats people with gender orientations that are not considered to be ‘normal’. Sometimes the minority are discriminated against, and in a few cases they are treated abominably with hatred.

I pose the question, “If you are a Christian, how do you respond and relate to the 1.7 percent of the world’s populace who are LGBTQ+? Do you love them as Jesus loves them (John 3:16)?” The gospel message for them is the same as for all people, “Repent and believe (Mark 1:14), and you will be saved (Romans 10:9).” For sure, God’s elect are among ALL who call upon the name of Jesus (v 13). Like all of us, some will go to hell and others to heaven. It’s not for us to judge (Romans 14:12; Revelation 20:11-15).

Gender in Heaven

Gender will play no part for those who will dwell in the new heaven (Revelation 21:1); for there, all its citizens will be ‘like angels’ (Matthew 22:30). The elect (Matthew 24:31) will be comprised of a predestined (Romans 8:29) number who will live forever; therefore there will be no need for procreation.

*Mind, Body and Soul

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/07/23/mind-body-and-soul/

**Women Teaching from the Scriptures

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/01/26/women-teaching-from-the-scriptures/

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Spot the Christian!

First Impressions

How can you know if a person is a Christian? – Superficially, in the first instance, by what they say and do. In certain countries you may have a clue by how they dress, particularly the womenfolk, who by tradition or custom may wear head coverings and full length dresses. You certainly can’t go by clerical attire, because some clergy who wear such garments have been found to be frauds. They do not truthfully preach the Word of God, and more than a few have been found guilty of pedophilia, along with other serous crimes. Their lifestyles do not match up to what they purport to be, i.e., ministers of God (Titus 1:15, 16).

The truth is that superficial clues do not reveal if a person is a bona fide Christian. His or her identity is far deeper than outward appearances. A Christian is one who is one inwardly (Romans 2:29) – a follower of Jesus. He is a person who has Jesus at the heart of his being (Galatians 2:20). He unashamedly and openly loves Him (Romans 1:16). He does all he can to please and to obey Him (Galatians 6:2), and his trust in Him is unshakeable.

A Scenario of Speculation

Imagine one day you find yourself walking along a crowded street, and you are wondering if there are Christians in the melee. Perhaps there are none at all, apart from you, if you have that privilege and blessing (Psalm 2:12).

As you continue on your way you observe a young man who is wearing a brightly coloured ’T’shirt, which has on the front of it a large Maltese cross and the name Jesus emblazoned over it. You ask yourself if this fellow is a Christian. At that moment a car draws up, and you notice it has one of those Jesus fish symbols you occasionally see on the back of a car. A lady steps out and walks towards the colourful youngster. She greets him with the words, “Hi brother!” and they shake hands. You think, ‘Yes, it all makes sense. Maybe they are both disciples of Christ, and they are meeting together for fellowshipping with others in their Lord’s name.’ However, you have no positive proof that they are ‘real’ Christians; so you pray, “Dear Lord, You can do all things. I pray they are Yours, and if so, please let them be effective witnesses for You. May they enjoy sweet fellowship in Your name and dedicate their lives to You and Your glory (1 Corinthians 1:21). Amen.”

The True Christian

So how do you know who are the ‘true’ Christians? First of all you need to find out if they have the only, but absolutely necessary qualification, which is not earned, and is a gift. It is the gift of ‘faith’ in the Son of God (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Basically, God’s elect (Colossians 3:12) know in their heart that they love and trust Jesus with their own life. They believe in all that He has said about Himself in the Bible (Luke 24:25-27). If they are put to the ultimate test of allegiance they will sacrifice their *lives for Him and for His cause. After all, He died and rose again to give them eternal life (John 3:16), and salvation from the torment of **hell.

As we observe someone who claims to be a Christian we will be aware of his conduct and disposition towards people – indeed, his dealings with all aspects of living. Does he display characteristics similar to those of Jesus, such as being compassionate, loving, empathetic, helpful, kind, patient, honest, humble, and generous? Does he put others before himself? Does he serve and respect all people (1 Peter 2:17)?

As we get to know this person more intimately, do we find him talking about His Lord? Does he tell us of the transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17)  that has taken place in his life because of Jesus? Does he worship with other Christians, and how do they as a whole relate to their families, friends and the wider community? Can we observe their ‘good works’ (Ephesians 2:10)? Do they shine as ***lights in a dark world? Are they different to those who are not Christians? If they are truly different to those who dwell in darkness, their bright light will shine and point to the wonderful and breathtaking ****Morning Star.

  

*New Testament Martyrs

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/06/21/new-testament-martyrs/

**Hell

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/03/30/hell/

***A Light to the Gentiles

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/08/29/a-light-to-the-gentiles/

****The Morning Star

https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/08/11/the-morning-star/

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