Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

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Ailsa Braun

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  • Malachi 3_16-18

    Hi Daniel, I am not a youngster anymore, but I do see this article as being a realistic approach to life, and one that would especially be appreciated by those dealing with the physical aches and pains that go along with aging. I read it more as, Despite the physical body wearing down (a process which actually starts in our youth), we can still have very spiritually fulfilling "golden years" if God grants us life into our sixties, seventies, and beyond. For some additional encouragement, read Proverbs 16:31, and 20:29.

  • Malachi 3_16-18

    Hi Jim, There is God's will, and there is the limited amount of will He has given to mankind. Yes, it is God the Father who calls a person to salvation (John 6:44). But He cannot force us to respond. We have to make a choice, as the ancient Israelites had to make a choice, whether to respond and accept that call (Deuteronomy 30:19). Yes, God initiates the drawing to Himself, but He gives us the same free will that He gave to Adam and Eve, so we have to decide whether or not we will follow (Matthew 16:24). If we had no free choice, then we would be robots, without character - and God wants us to develop His character by resisting wrong and following righteousness.

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Hi Jim, It is well known in history that the Persians were the next great empire after Babylon fell. The Medes were lesser in strength than the Persians, but when Darius took the kingdom of Babylon from Nebuchadnezzar, it became what is more accurately termed the "Medo-Persian Empire," because the Medes and Persians joined forces. I think the two arms of the chest of Daniel's image represented the dual kingdom of the Persians and Medes. As far as the prophecies about Europe go, we will have to watch and wait to see how things unfold...We are certainly living in times of great world turmoil, which will only increase as time goes on...
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Hi Miroslav, I don't remember hearing of a booklet offered, but there are probably several relevant booklets you could obtain, particularly the one titled, "The Gospel of The Kingdom." You have the option to order it online at this link, https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-gospel-of-the-kingdom or you can download it to read, or print a copy from the download. Or if you want to order a copy by mail, you can write to United Church of God, P.O. Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1017. I hope that helps. If you go to ucg.org, then click on the tab, "Bible Study Tools" and select "Booklets," then you will find a whole list of booklets to choose from.
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    James, it is clearly God's wish that everyone would have the OPPORTUNITY for salvation (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16-17). That being said, unfortunately as we know, there will be some who reject God and this opportunity, which is why Revelation 20:15 was referenced. (See also Malachi 4:1-3). So God does not wish to save these people once they have rebelled and refuse to repent during their day of salvation.

  • Malachi 3_16-18

    A very encouraging article, Tina! I wish I had had this to read when I was in that situation years ago. I had two young daughters and it was at times a big effort to focus on the messages when I was so busy with keeping them quiet and happy during church services. I made it through, and have many happy memories of those times, too! And now those little girls are all grown up and finding ways to serve their own congregations.

  • Malachi 3_16-18

    As God tells us in Romans 12:19, vengeance belongs to Him, and He will take care of the situation ultimately. I am sure He will do it in a much better way than we could even think of.

  • Malachi 3_16-18

    Those are some excellent points, twocents! I think there are many more Bible verses that provide principles we can apply to ourselves in this situation: for example, James 4:17, which says that "..To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Yes, it was a very inspiring and encouraging sermon! Let's remember that as God's children, we CAN ask him those questions directly - questions such as "Why do good people suffer, and bad people not [seem to] suffer?" If we prayerfully listen to HIm with an open mind as He speaks to us through His Word, He will answer such questions for us. We must never give up obeying God, even though it is hard at times.
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Yes, tpicarella! As I see it, your question is a rhetorical one. I believe that if Jonah had obeyed God in the first place, he would have been protected, too, and maybe in a less traumatic way. The story would have unfolded somewhat differently, but as it turned out, God used how it unfolded to teach some big lessons - and He also used Jonah's being in the belly of the big fish for three days and nights as a sign of how long our Savior would be in the grave. What if Jonah had obeyed to start out? God could easily have crafted another sign for Jesus' being resurrected after 3 days/nights. I think Jonah's experience shows us how much personal grief and suffering we can avoid if we trust God and obey Him at the outset. Although God didn't give up on Jonah, and He won't give up on us, if we don't forsake Him.
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    I agree with you, Doug - and I am a woman.

  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Wow! We all experience the "high" of the Feast, and then return to the reality of society and all its problems, that impact us whether we realize it or not. We can't change others, but if we each make it a priority to work on ourselves, we can make a big difference for good!
  • Malachi 3_16-18

    Hi Edward1, Eve wasn't wearing clothes to begin with, and neither was Adam. They didn't need to, because before sin, there was no guilt or shame. It was only after they sinned, and felt this subsequent guilt (also the kind of awareness, or lack of innocence, that goes along with taking of the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil) that they felt the need for clothes. But when God was about to banish them from the Garden of Eden, He made them better clothes than their hastily-made fig-leaf garments, because He had pity on them, and probably also because covering up would now be a necessity: a matter of modesty and propriety and avoidance of temptation once other human beings came into the world.

  • Malachi 3_16-18

    Hi Edward1, Eve wasn't wearing clothes to begin with, and neither was Adam. They didn't need to, because before sin, there was no guilt or shame. It was only after they sinned, and felt this subsequent guilt (also the kind of awareness, or lack of innocence, that goes along with taking of the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil) that they felt the need for clothes. But when God was about to banish them from the Garden of Eden, He made them better clothes than their hastily-made fig-leaf garments, because He had pity on them, and probably also because covering up would now be a necessity: a matter of modesty and propriety and avoidance of temptation once other human beings came into the world.

  • Malachi 3_16-18

    Matthew 25 is clear: the sheep are those who serve their brethren, and the goats do not serve their brethren at all.