Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

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Ivan Veller

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  • Ivan Veller
    Here's an online version: http://streaming.ucg.org/files/HymnalAPP-en-es/HymnalAPP/index.html The hymnal is packed with beautiful, lovely songs praising God! One of my favorites is 171. Which is your favorite so far?
  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Marcus, It is indeed a complex topic. Certainly there remains a deep need to fear God as demonstrated by obedience to His commandments rather than waiting until judgment day to repent. To whom much is given, much shall be required (Luke 12:48). And yet, what does the converse of this verse imply? Furthermore, the immediate context of Jesus' statement is that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for those who would hear the gospel preached (verse 47)--and that, although "The servant who knows the master's will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows," "the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows" (verses 47-48). For more on this topic (including the word “krisis” (κρίσεως) in John 5:29, which the KJV mistranslates as "condemnation" but which the LEB 2012, NLT 2015, ESV 2016, BIB 2016, BLB 2016, RHB 2017, MLV 2018, SOMB 2018, ULB 2018, & BKJV 2018 render as "judgment"), see last week's sermon by Mr. DeCampos: https://www.ucg.org/sermons/eternal-judgement-0 God's judgment is perfect because it is both just and merciful.
  • Ivan Veller

    Hi Dailen,

    “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship … in truth” (John 4:24). If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person … is not living in the truth” (1 John 2:4). Accepting God includes accepting guilt for having broken His statutes: “The land … will enjoy its sabbaths without them; … they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes” (Lev. 26:43). “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to … test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Dt. 8:2). “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Dt. 5:29). May we “earnestly obey [His] commandments … to love … God and serve Him … heart and … soul” (Dt. 11:13). May we pray, “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” (Ps. 119:10): https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/a-new-covenant-for-transforming-the-heart

  • Ivan Veller

    Hi John,

    On the one hand, “Through the Bible we see the opportunity to repent as [being] a gift from God, [an opportunity made] possible only when God draws us to Him. As … Jesus … stated, ‘No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him’ (John 6:44).

    ‘It is impossible for anyone, acting alone, to completely surrender his or her will to God. Humanly we cannot comprehend the depth of change that God desires to see in our hearts and minds. We need help even to understand what sin is!

    ‘That’s why God must grant us repentance (Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25). In addition, we need the will—both the desire and the choice—to repent. This willingness to repent, too, comes from God: ‘For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him’ (Philippians 2:13…)”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-road-to-eternal-life/repentance-your-first-step

  • Ivan Veller

    “[However, although] God ‘desires all men to be saved,’ He doesn’t force anyone to repent (1 Timothy 2:4). His kindness and goodness lead us to repentance as mentioned (Romans 2:4), but He doesn’t make the choice for us. The decision is still ours … [to] surrender our will to Him … to bring into our lives His way of thinking and living as revealed in His Holy Scriptures. He wants every one of us to rid ourselves of our former way of thinking and living and become a ‘new man’ in thought, attitude and character (Ephesians 4:22-24) … [to] “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23).

    ‘These admonitions mean a lifetime of growth and change for us, starting with the initial change—the repentance God expects before baptism. He asks us to reorient our hearts, aiming for a new direction in life.

    ‘To be carnally minded is death,’ said Paul, ‘but to be spiritually minded is life and peace’ (Romans 8:6). We must be willing to let the revealed Word of God, the Bible, change our thinking. That is where real repentance begins”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-road-to-eternal-life/repentance-your-first-step

    We must still “ ‘Choose life’ ” (Deut. 30:19)!

  • Ivan Veller

    Mrs. Robinson,

    Scripture speaks of another woman, Rachel, who - at a low point, not having children or an ideal marriage and family life - despaired of life (Genesis 30:1). Yet that was not the end of the story. Two adoptions later, God responded to “Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children. ‘God has removed my disgrace,’ she said” (Genesis 30:22 NLT). Later, Joseph was torn away from his surviving parent - who likewise despaired of life. Yet, though Joseph was faced with a seemingly bleak future, extreme difficulties, and severely limited options, even in a seemingly no-exit situation (prison), “the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor” (Genesis 39:21) to the point that eventually, Joseph was equipped with the ability to help others in need. For instance, he told his brothers: “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:7). How good it is that Rachel did not act on her despair all those years prior. Her son ended up doing so much good for others. Please don’t end things on the 31st or any other day. God cherishes you. Please choose life!

  • Ivan Veller
    Hi again Nkmttj, Christ endorsed the weekly cycle recognized by the Jews. Since then, “in the centuries since [His death], the Jewish people … have fiercely guarded the observance of the seven-day weekly cycle … [&] there isn’t any historical record of any dispute among any Jewish groups that the day we call Saturday is the seventh day of the weekly cycle … The Jewish people have successfully kept the original seven-day weekly cycle intact”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/how-can-we-be-sure-that-saturday-is-the-seventh-day Moreover, “in more than 100 ancient and modern languages the seventh day of the week was named ‘Sabbath’ or its equivalent … [Yet] in no language do we see ‘Sabbath’ similarly linked with Sunday, the first day of the week”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/sunset-to-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/names-for-saturday-in-many-languages-prove-which-day-is-the-true-sabbath We can be sure that the correct date of the seventh-day Sabbath has been faithfully preserved by Christ, “master of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8, Texas Standard Version 2008): https://www.ucg.org/sermons/how-can-we-be-sure-saturday-is-the-seventh-day
  • Ivan Veller
    Paul is speaking of “Sabbath” “keeping” (KJV 1611 marginal note) – a “shabathism” (Etheridge) or "sabbatism" (CLV 2003, ECB, ERRB, IGRNT 2011, LITNT 2011) – that is, an observance of “the seventh-day rest for God's people” (ERV 2008): • "there is still a Sabbath-keeping for the people of God" (BBE) • "So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people" (OJB) • “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping [Footnote: The Greek word is sabattismos, which means Sabbath-keeping]” (TS 2009) • “a keeping of the Sabbath” (JMNT 2013) • "Therefore, there remains a keeping of the Sabbath" (AOB 2018) “Consequently, (NET 2016), “Therefore it is established” (Murdoch): • “It is therefore the duty of the people of God to keep the Sabbath” (Lamsa Peshitta) • “It is therefore the duty of the people of [God] to keep the Sabbath” (HRB 2012)
  • Ivan Veller
    For instance, translations rendering “σαββατισμὸς” (sabbatismos, G4520 N-NSM) – the “Sabbatical rest” (FAA 2011), “Shabbos” (OJB), “seventh day” (UDB 2018) rest, “Shabbat rest” (TLV 2014), or "sabbatic rest" (YLT) – as "sabbath" or "Sabbath" at Hebrews 4:9 include the ACV 2011, ALT 2005, AOB 2018, APB 1996, ASV, ASV 2015, AMP 2015, AMPC, AUV 2005, BBE, BIB 2016, BKJV 2018, BLB 2016, BSB 2016, CEV, CEB 2011, CGV 2010, CSB 2017, CTNT, DLNT 2011, EHV 2017, EMTV 2003, ESV 2016, EXB 2011, EWG 2017, HCSB 2009, ISV 2014, KJ3 2006, LEB 2012, LITV, Mace, MLV 2018, Mounce 2011, Murdoch, NABRE 2010, NASB, NET 2016, NEV 2012, NHEB 2018, NIRV 2014, NIV 2011, NRSV, NRSVCE, NTE 2011, NTVR 2015, RHB 2017, RSV, RSVCE, RV, SENT 2012, SOMB 2018, TNIV 2001, ULB 2018, VOX 2012, VW 2010, WEB, WE, WPNT 2015, and WYC 2011.
  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Nkmttj, A warm welcome to the discussion! So historically, we find that "[a]lthough man has modified calendars through the centuries, the seven-day weekly cycle has [indeed] remained intact throughout history. The days of the week have always remained in their proper order, with Sunday [recognized] as the first day of the week and Saturday as the seventh. Time has not been lost in this regard... 'The oracles of God'—His divine words and instructions—were entrusted to the Jewish people (Romans 3:1-2), and they have preserved the knowledge of the seventh-day Sabbath faithfully since well before Christ’s time to this day. Jesus repeatedly confirmed that the day the Jews observed as the Sabbath in His day was indeed the Sabbath. And since then the Jewish people, even scattered in many nations and in different sects, have all preserved the same day. Moreover, the mainstream Christian churches, though rejecting the Sabbath, indirectly confirm when it is by maintaining their early tradition of worshipping on Sunday, which they acknowledge to be the first day of the week": https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/sunset-to-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/which-day-is-the-sabbath
  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Leang, "Is Jesus teaching in [Mat. 10:28] that the soul lives on after death and is immortal? Not at all...Christ was showing that when one man kills another the resulting death is only temporary; God can raise anyone to conscious life again…in the age to come…The person who has died is not ultimately gone forever": https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/heaven-and-hell-what-does-the-bible-really-teach/do-some-bible-verses-teach-we-have-an-immortal-soul Regarding Fatima, “people want hope”—but ours must come from Scripture: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/miracle-of-fatima We are encouraged to “lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called”—“God…alone has immortality” (1 Timothy 6:12-16). If we are told to lay hold eternal life and that He alone has immortality, then we as humans can’t possess an immortal soul […] “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life…” (Romans 6:23). Eternal life is a gift of God. We don’t have a soul that goes to heaven or hell at death. We are souls, living beings, in need of the gift of God”: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-television-program/do-i-have-an-immortal-soul
  • Ivan Veller

    Hi Dan,

    Respectfully, Matthew 12:40 says that Jesus was “in the heart of the earth” for “three days and three nights.” “Therefore the dying criminal could not have been with Jesus in heaven that day, because Jesus Himself did not go there then”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/heaven-and-hell-what-does-the-bible-really-teach/the-thief-on-the-cross

    “Three days and three nights later, Christ is right before Mary saying He hadn’t yet ascended to the Father. So, it would’ve been impossible for Luke 23:43 to mean that today, that very day, that the thief would’ve gone to heaven. That would go against the whole meaning of Scripture, the whole plan of God”: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/the-thief-on-the-cross

  • Ivan Veller

    Dear Khloe, you are precious and valued in the eyes of God our Father, who created you special to be His beloved daughter whom He cherishes heart and soul. We have so much to live for. Please choose life!

  • Ivan Veller
    Felix, When I read Revelation 22:19, I am sobered by the admonition to me personally that "if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life" (NRSVCE). There are many such exhortations to be found in Scripture: https://www.ucg.org/sermons/sola-scriptura As a church, we devote our lives to sincerely endeavoring to be led by God's guidance in a spirit of humility.
  • Ivan Veller
    Felix, "We believe that Scripture, both the Old and the New Testament, is God’s revelation, and His complete, expressed will to humanity. Scripture is inspired in thought and word, infallible in the original writings, is the supreme and final authority in faith and in life, and is the foundation of all truth (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 10:35; John 17:17)": https://www.ucg.org/fundamental-beliefs-of-the-united-church-of-god We believe that "[in our] Christian life, it is essential that [our] foundational understanding and thinking be based on the word of God, not the words of man about God's word": https://www.ucg.org/sermons/the-word-of-god-and-the-word-of-man We believe we must instead "[let] the Bible interpret itself... [and that if] something seems confusing or even contradictory, [we are to] let clear biblical passages shed light on those [we] find difficult to understand ... [using] the context and other scriptures to find the correct meaning": https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/how-to-understand-the-bible/keys-to-understanding-the-bible For example, see: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/who-is-god/the-personal-nature-of-god