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Greg Thomas

United Church of God Pastor

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  • Greg Thomas
    Thank you James. I agree with you. During these dark and difficult times, it is more important than ever to focus on positive messages for the people of faith. Yes, there may be the occasional need for a corrective Sermon or world news update... but the primary message to God's people should be the Gospel... GOOD News of the coming Kingdom and their role in that Kingdom.
  • Greg Thomas
    Part 2 reply... Animals that God categorized as unclean thousands of years ago also remain unclean in the future (Rev 18:2). Tithing occurs before the Law of Moses. It is discussed as part of the New Covenant in Hebrews chapter 7. If someone wants to know “what” within the New Covenant remains from the Law of Moses, the answer is rather clear. What did the early church continue to observe after the resurrection and ascension of Christ? What is their example? They also had to make some corrections like discontinuing the need for circumcision (Acts 15). However, this also helps us to understand things no longer required. For example, tassels (Numbers 15:38). It is part of the Law of Moses not mentioned in the New Testament. There is no example of their continuance in the New Covenant. We don’t need them to “remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them.” God has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit to do that. Hope this helps to clarify any confusion. Thanks again for your question.
  • Greg Thomas
    Greetings Stephen: Thank you for your question. It is a very good one. In essence, we observe the things you have mentioned because they are part of the New Covenant, observed by the early Church. Please allow me to explain. We observe the New Covenant Passover because Jesus Christ, the messenger of the New Covenant taught His disciples to observe it with new symbols (Matt 26:28), a “foot washing” example {John 13:12), and on a “different evening” that the Jews then… and now observe it. We observe the Sabbath and New Covenant Holy Days because the book of Acts in numerous places shows Paul and others continuing to respect these days decades after the death/resurrection of Jesus. Paul himself tells the gentile believers in Corinth to continue to observe the Passover and spring Holy Days about 25-YEARS after the death/resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 5:7-8). Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV) Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. Similar to the 10 Commandments… “unclean meats” were designated before the time of Moses. Noah was instructed to recognize the difference (Gen 7:2,8). He took more pairs of clean animals so they could eat them. See Part 2
  • Greg Thomas

    Thank you for the kind words, Haimanot:
    We do worship a God of "second" chances. I will pray that you can break the cycle, and become a wonderful example for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to admire.

  • Greg Thomas

    Thank you for the kind words, Haimanot:
    We do worship a God of "second" chances. I will pray that you can break the cycle, and become a wonderful example for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to admire.

  • Greg Thomas
    Part 2 - Remember in the original Hebrew scriptures there were no chapters and verses. It was one continuous narrative. The previous verses say that Methuselah lived 969 years, Lamech lived 777 years. Faithful people are living a long time, but so are evil people who are perpetuating more and more evil. So Genesis 6:3 may have been intended to be as God’s “promise” that after the coming flood, the human lifespan will decline in a few generations down to about 120 years maximum. Today on earth, there are about 500,000 people ( ½ million) who are 100 years old or older. Yet, the number of people who live to be 120 years old is almost unheard of. No human has lived longer than 122 years old – the age reached by a Frenchwoman, Jeanne Calment, in 1997. Noah is introduced to the story when he is 500 years old (Genesis 5:32). This may be perhaps when Shem was born. The flood came in the 600th year of Noah’s life (Genesis 7:11). That is 100 years, not 120 years. My point is that verses like these are not Fundamental Beliefs or core doctrines. They are interpretations of very ancient scripture. We are best served if we are open to other possibilities. Thanks again for your question!
  • Greg Thomas
    Thank you for your question. This verse regarding the “120 years” has always had two different interpretations. In my 50-years in the Church of God I have heard it explained various ways. Two articles offered by the United Church of God state the following: Title: Lessons From the Flood of Noah – Statement: “The Bible indicates that Noah may have preached to mankind for as much as 120 years before the Flood (Genesis 6:3). “ Title: Bible Prophecy and You, Amazing Examples of Prophecies Already Fulfilled – Statement – “Genesis 6:3 appears to mean that God announced His plan 120 years before the Flood, which would mean that Noah had 120 years to warn people.” Statements like “may have” and “appears to mean” are not very dogmatic. I know that some of our other articles are far more dogmatic about the 120 years referring to the time left on earth before the flood. So why is this? It is because there are other sound interpretations that may also be true. Some Hebrew scholars say the statement about 120 years (V3) is directly related to the verses before it. Please see part 2 as I have exceeded words allowed.
  • Greg Thomas
    Thank you, Jerry: Glad to hear you found it beneficial.
  • Greg Thomas
    Thanks Peggy: I am glad to hear you found the Sermons to be helpful!
  • Greg Thomas
    Thank you Debra: Yes, God has a wonderful plan for all humanity. He also is working out a special plan for your life right now. As Paul wrote, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) I pray that you will have a rewarding and inspiring Passover this year.
  • Greg Thomas
    Thank you Jennifer. It was a difficult Sermon to give but I felt some things needed to be shared in the congregation. It was intended to be heard as the second part of a message given two weeks earlier entitled, "What is Mature Christian Manhood?"
  • Greg Thomas
    Hi Sarah: Thank you for allowing me to bring some levity into the start of the Sermon with your tempting offer. I was visiting the brethren in Ft Myers, FL last Sabbath and a female member told me she appreciated the sermon... but that the "men need ANOTHER one!"
  • Greg Thomas
    Hi Robert: Thank you for the kind an encouraging words. I am glad to hear that you found the topic and message helpful.
  • Greg Thomas

    Hi Nick: Appreciate your reply. Actually, there are dozens of examples but for the sake of brevity... let's just focus on the actual scripture we are discussing. Does not Peter precede the act of baptism with the statement, "repent!" How does an infant or small child understand sin, forgiveness, the need for a Savior, grace, a relationship with Jesus... etc? These are only possible with a mind that has grown in cognitive maturity.

  • Greg Thomas

    Thanks for your reply Nick: You stated, "The easy response would be “Can you prove there “would not” have been infants and toddlers?” But that gets us nowhere." Actually, if we believe what the scripture states it does get us somewhere... to the answer. In chapter 2 it states in Acts 2:5 (KJV) " And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." The Greek word for men is "aner" which in context means an adult male, husband or someone called "sir." How else is "aner" used? How about Matthew 14:21 (NKJV) "Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men (ANER), besides women and children." So here you see that "aner" is specifically talking about adult men... not including woman and children. In Acts 2 these individuals came from all over the Roman Empire. Traveling was very long, extremely dangerous and expensive. This was a pilgrimage journey to Jerusalem. I will respond to your other comments as I get some time.