Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People
So glad you enjoyed and benefited from it, David John! When I wrote it, I had no inkling of what we would currently be going through as a church, nation, and world. But the same lessons are still there, maybe even deeper than before.
Hi Doug, I believe that the statement about prophecy being history in advance was a general one. Most times, that is the case. In this situation, it was God's intention to do destroy Nineveh if they didn't repent. But He gives us free will, and doesn't necessarily know ahead of time exactly what choices we are going to make. As it turned out, the people did repent, and so He saved them and their city at that time. However, roughly another century later, Nineveh WAS destroyed! Did God lie? No, but it was fully His intention to destroy Nineveh at that time, based on their evil way of living. And He did end up doing just that - just in a revised time frame.
Debbie, I agree with your first two points. It is excellent coverage on Lazarus' raising from the dead, and God's love for us is indeed unparalleled. However, I think that while Jesus was greatly bothered by the unbelief of some, He truly wept because He felt the pain of those grieving and suffering, as this article points out. I tend to think this because there is another passage where He expresses sorrow for the suffering that His people had undergone, and would undergo in the future (Matthew 23:37).
Dennis, Yes, the reality is that there is no perfect government except God's coming Kingdom! We have to do the best we can in the system we find ourselves in, and in your case, you seem to have used it to improve your situation greatly.!
Hi John, I read this last paragraph of the author's as more of a personal call to repentance. Who but God knows just whom He is calling to salvation right now (John 6:44)? Our responsibility as a Church is to get the Word out, and for most it will be merely a witness for their later salvation, but for some few, today might indeed be their time of salvation. While most of ancient Israel chose the path leading to death, consider that there were a few faithful people even in those times, such as Joshua and Caleb, who chose the right but difficult path. Nations are always made up of individuals, although in some rare cases, such as Nineveh in the time of Jonah, a nation has repented and been saved. Israel's punishments were also postponed or reduced when as a nation they cried out to God (although only He knows whether each individual truly repented or not). Yes, it will take God's Spirit to open each of our minds to wake up and choose Him. Thankfully He will leave no one out of that calling, whether it is now, or in the future (2 Peter 3:8-9).
Hi Nadine, You have some good points, and definitely there are many people out there who are hurting from divorce, abuse, etc. United Church of God recognizes its duty to teach and comfort people in those circumstances, but also the need to point those same people to some good professional resources where appropriate. Some of our articles mention helpful additional resources outside of our scope. We do have an entire website devoted to supporting those who are overcoming abuse-related problems, addictions, etc. There are also some articles about marriage problems. It is found at https://www.ucg.org/blogs/breaking-free
For starters, here are some more articles on divorce:
For additional articles, on the topic of your interest, go to ucg.org and type your topic into the search bar in the top right corner. You should be able to find a lot more articles of relevance to different situations.