Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

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Ailsa Braun

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  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Hi Judy; I am sure he meant to say, I Chronicles 21. :)
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    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.

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Hi Aaron, Likely Jezebel did teach Israel to practice pagan holidays, as they went after pagan gods, and she had her pagan priests, but this is very much related to not being friends with the world. It can be okay to have friends who don't believe the same as ourselves, if we don't allow them to wrongly influence us to sin. Jesus hung out with sinners as well as saints. But if we are obeying God by forsaking Christmas, Easter, etc. then we will find ourselves unpopular with some of our friends and certainly with the world. We cannot be a "friend of the world" itself - meaning following its sinful ways - and simultaneously be a friend of God (James 4:4).
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    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.

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    24clorra, some good observations. In answer to your comment on not knowing of any scriptural citations to prove that Lucifer was the one who told the angels to disobey God, I believe that Revelation 12:4 and also verse 9 prove that it was Lucifer who at least influenced them to disobey. The "great red dragon" in verse 4, who drew away the "third part of the stars of heaven" - stars representing angels - is identified in verse 9 as "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world..." Hope this helps!
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Martin, I might add that Leviticus 23 provides additional evidence that each day begins at sunset. From Leviticus, verses 5 and 32, we see that Passover and the Day of Atonement respectively began at sundown.
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    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).

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Joann, he has a live audience right there in the studio, too, and I think that walking around keeps that audience on their toes, and engaged. Some guys also think best when they pace around. Personally, I like the style, although there can be different styles for different speakers. The BT hosts probably also have to keep up with the times (in harmless ways), and if that is what a lot of the talk show hosts do, maybe that is what most audiences relate to...not all, I'll admit.
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Everyone should listen to this sermon! It is a game-changer! I also am benefiting from the others in your Spiritual Mastery series. Good self-examination material before Passover.
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    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.!

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Cindy, I share in your excitement about finding a church that keeps the Biblical festivals! To find out where the nearest UCG congregation is, go to ucg.org and click on "Congregations." Then you can type in your zip code, and it will list one or two that are closest to you. If you need further help with getting to one of our worship services, click on the "Contact" box for the congregation you select, and then you have the option to email or call the local pastor or elder for assistance. I hope this helps!
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Good presentation, and very needful for our times!
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    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).

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Hi John, Good question, and good topic! Here is a link to a sermon given on the topic recently: https://www.ucg.org/sermons/imputed-righteousness and a link to an article talking about this topic: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/rightly-understanding-justification-and-righteousness There are probably many other references to this on our ucg.org website, but hopefully these two will be helpful to you for starters.
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    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:
    https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/how-can-i-deal-with-and-heal-from-a-divorce
    https://www.ucg.org/vertical-thought/hope-help-for-children-of-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.