Vocab Rehab

Have you ever pondered about the vocabulary followers of Christ seem to use. Below is a list of vocab that you might have heard, and possible responses that might have entered your mind.

  • ‘Born-again’

“…my poor mother; I currently weigh 80kg…”

  • ‘Saved’

“…from what must I be saved? I’m not in any pool at the moment…”

  • ‘Redeemed ‘

“…I haven’t won the lottery lately…”

Okay, I know my humour is a bit dry, but you get the idea. We can also add words like ‘believer’, ‘disciple’, ‘Christian’, ‘child of God’, ‘saint’, etc. All these words have different meanings, but in the broadest sense, they point to a spiritual metamorphosis. The Christian believes this transformation is something God initiates, and we willingly participate in it.

For the outsider, these terms may seem archaic, old-fashioned or too religious. Yet just as a medical student immerses herself in the terminology of medicine, otherwise she would not be able to mature as a doctor, so also does the believer immerse himself in the vocabulary of the Bible.

In order for him to grow as a saint, he must understand the language of the Bible, which was written about 2000-3000 years ago. But this understanding is not just on the natural plain! We need super-natural help to UNDERSTAND this ancient language. It is a vocabulary to be SEEN with our hearts, and not just our heads. It is the language we will speak in Heaven. John Newton hit the nail on the head when he sang,

Amazing grace, how sweet the SOUND

that saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now I’m found.

Was BLIND but now I SEE

Who opens the eyes of our heart to SEE the reality of God? What enables us to HEAR the sweet sound of God’s grace? Who grants us the understanding to grasp divine concepts? Well, Scripture is quite clear on who gives us spiritual insight. Paul, the apostle, speaks to his protegé, Timothy, and says, “Think about what I am saying, because the Lord will enable you to understand it all.” (2 Timothy 2:7 GNB) On the one side, he is asking Timothy to use his brain to think hard about the truth-claims of Jesus. And on the other hand, he tells Tim that it is only by a divine act of revelation that we can UNDERSTAND the teachings of Christ.

So the question that begs to be answered is,

“What does God use to OPEN up our spiritual understanding?”

In short, God uses the Gospel to open our blind eyes. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, ‘’Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 MKJV) We cannot SEE (understand, comprehend) the things of God without a supernatural transformation in our hearts.

If God uses the Gospel to give me spiritual understanding, what is the Gospel?

Whole libraries can be filled with literature dedicated to explaining the Gospel. And I would encourage you to make a proper study of it. But see my explanation below as a brief introduction to wet your appetitie for more.

The Five F’s of the Good News

  1. Framed

God framed the universe at Creation. What He made was good (Genesis 1&2). He made humans as His image-bearers, and walked in constant relationship with them.

      2. Fall

Man & woman fell in sin because they disobeyed clear instructions from God. Their fellowship with God was broken because of their rebellion (Genesis 3; Romans 3:23; 6:23).

      3. Forgiveness

Nothing humans try can restore the broken relationship between themselves and God (Romans 3:10-12). But God knew mankind would not be able to save itself, and that is why He sent the only acceptable solution to our greatest problem. God’s solution for our sin was to offer up His Son, the perfect Lamb, in order to wash our guilt away. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we receive forgiveness for our sins (Isaiah 53; John 1&3; 1 John 1:9).

      4. Faith

I cannot earn God’s forgiveness. No, it is purely a gift (Ephesians 2). All I have to do is to RECEIVE the gift. We receive the gift from God by TRUSTING that He is not trying to fool us, or manipulate us, but that He did what the Bible claims He did. In other words, I must put my FAITH in God in order to receive what God has done for me (John 1:12; Romans 10:8-11).

     5. Future

My future is secure in God! I will spend eternity with God in Heaven, where there will be no tears nor sorrows (Revelations 21). I don’t have to fear death, ‘cause Christ has defeated death (2 Timothy 1:10). I don’t have to fear eternal separation from God, ‘cause Christ has restored our fellowship with God. Jesus clearly said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! Without me, no one can go to the Father.”

So, my question to you is, “HAVE YOU ACCEPTED GOD’S GIFT?”

Let us pray:

Father God, I have sinned against Heaven and earth

I have broken Your holy Law

I have rebelled against Your instructions

I have tried, but I cannot save myself!

 

You know my sinful heart, and still You love me

You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ,

To die for my sins

To wash me white as snow

To restore fellowship with You

 

Please forgive me for my wickedness

Wash  me clean from all guilt

Enable me to live for You

Walk with me from now till eternity

For Your glory and name!

Amen

Please leave a comment if you have more questions about the Good News, and its implications for your life. And we will get back to you.

What is Newsworthy in Heaven?

Every day we are bombarded by what the world deems newsworthy – politics, crime, corruption, entertainment, economics, sport, gossip and so forth. Every headline is a reminder of what is valuable on earth. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what matters here on terra firma; just pick up a newspaper, scroll the Web or switch on the telly. People’s careers or reputations are made or lost based on the worthiness of the news they generate.

Now here’s a noteworthy question, “What is newsworthy in Heaven?” or, “What will make headlines in the Celestial Star?”

Here is my unexhaustive list of news that will make the regular headlines in Heaven:

  1. Consistency in Your Walk With God

Job made the otherworldly news because of his righteous life. God speaks of Job when addressing Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him. He is a good, faithful man. He respects God and refuses to do evil.(Job 1:8 ERV)

When last have you seen a primetime news story of a faithful, godly man which goes about his business year in and year out? Well, if you are that faithful man, don’t despair, your story is getting airtime in the courts of angels.

2. Authentic Prayer

We see in the Throne Room of the Almighty that the prayers of the saints are like bowls of incense – releasing a fragrant smell in the presence of God (Revelations 5:1-14).

Do you hear of any old lady faithfully praying for the salvation of her grandson on our daily radio shows? Well, if you are that lady, don’t lose heart, your prayers are making waves in the Throne Room.

3. Ongoing Wickedness

When we break God’s moral code, we make the news in Heaven for all the wrong reasons. The times of Noah is an example to us, “When the LORD saw how wicked everyone on earth was and how evil their thoughts were all the time, he was sorry that he had ever made them and put them on the earth. He was so filled with regret that he said, ‘I will wipe out these people I have created, and also the animals and the birds, because I am sorry that I made any of them.’” (Genesis 6:5-7 GNB)

On earth sin is glamorized in the media, whereas the Celestial Star deems it high treason against God. Well, if you know that you accommodate wickedness in your life, I want to encourage you to run to God’s Throne of grace in order to plead for mercy. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9).

4. Spiritual Birth-Days

When God saves a person from eternal damnation, the story naturally hits the front page of the Divine Post. Jesus said, “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (John 15:7 ESV)

Switch on your TV; do you see CNN celebrate the redemption of a lost soul by the blood of Christ? Well, if you are that soul, know that every cover page in Heaven have your face on it. And if you are spreading the good news that God is seeking lost souls, then you will surely make the 7 o’clock show up above.

I want to encourage you to search the Holy Writ for more stories that will make news in Heaven. Let us pray:

Heavenly Father of our spirits

Protect us, preserve us, prune us, perfect us

So that we will be radiant

Glowing with eternal light from the Son

Let people be drawn to You

Let nations lit up by the power of Your rays

So that every breathing cell, man and creature

Will Glorify, Magnify, Elevate and Promote

the KING of kings and LORD of lords!!!