Joseph Prince’s Claim That “Righteousness Is Not Right Doing But Right Being” is Misleading

According to Singaporean megachurch pastor Joseph Prince, “righteousness is not right doing but right being”.

In support of his conclusions, he cites Romans 4:5:

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness (Romans 4:5; NKJV)

The verse above suggests that God justifies “the ungodly” based on his/her faith.

In addition, according to Philippians 3:9 (NIV),  before each of us were “found in him”, we did not possess any righteousness of our own, but that we obtained “righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith”.

However, Joseph Prince’s claim that “righteousness is not right doing but right being” gives churchgoers the false impression that true believers in Jesus Christ are either incapable of or are prohibited from living righteously, from the moment of their conversion.

It also gives the nominal churchgoers a false sense of security that they are saved even though they choose to persist living in sin.

These misunderstandings by many followers of Joseph Prince arise because of a lack of awareness, or a disregard among them, that when a person truly believes in Jesus Christ, he/she becomes a “new creature” not just positionally or status wise, but FOR REAL:

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17; NASB)

You see, before a believer knew Jesus Christ, he/she was ungodly (Romans 4:5), a “slave of sin” (Romans 6:17), and “powerless” (Romans 5:6) to behave righteously.

However, from the moment that a person has faith in Jesus Christ, he/she was to offer himself/herself as a slave of obedience, and which would as a consequence lead to righteous living:

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Romans 6:16, NASB, emphasis added)

Please note that there is no middle ground here! One is either a “slave of sin” or a “slave of righteousness”. One cannot be both or neither of them — a person who claims to be a true believer in Jesus Christ must count himself/herself to be a slave of righteousness from the moment of conversion:

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:17-18; NIV; emphasis added)

Just as you USED TO offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, SO NOW offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:19b; NIV; emphasis added).

It is precisely because there is no middle ground that we find it written in 1 John 3:7 (NIV): “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

In conclusion, if you consider yourself to be a Christian, you must also by default be living to do what is right. If instead, you are living for the pleasures of sin and of this world, you are not a true follower of Jesus Christ, and I urge you then to quickly change the course of your life!

 

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Is Sodom and Gomorrah Truth or Fiction? (VIDEO)

Is Sodom and Gomorrah truth or fiction?

Well, the bible records that “the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire” (Genesis 19:24). Brimstone is the archaic name for sulphur, and according to this video, the present day location of Sodom and Gomorrah is the only place on earth where sulphur stones are found having 96% purity (elsewhere on earth, sulphur rarely exceeds 40% purity).

The Danger of a Christian Turning into a Reprobate

In the King James version of the bible, the word “reprobate” (either in its singular or plural form) appears seven times (Jeremiah 6:30, Romans 1:28, 2 Corinthians 13:5, 2 Corinthians 13:6, 2 Corinthians 13:7, 2 Timothy 3:8, and Titus 1:16).

What does it mean? In the New Testament, the word “reprobate” is translated from the Greek word ἀδόκιμος (adokimos [pronounced as ad-ok’-ee-mos]). According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, adokimos can be used specifically to describe metals and coins that are “not approved” or “not standing the test”. It can also be used in general terms to describe something “that which does not prove itself such as it ought”, or (according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) is “worthless” or “rejected”.

In the New Testament, the word adokimos (or its related forms) appears eight times (Romans 1:28, 1 Corinthians 9:27, 2 Corinthians 13:5, 2 Corinthians 13:6, 2 Corinthians 13:7, 2 Timothy 3:8, Titus 1:16, and Hebrews 6:8), and invariably, it is used to refer to people who once walked with God (and no longer do so), or – more importantly for our discussion – Christians who think that they are walking with God, but are in fact “rejected” by God!

On the latter, the Apostle Paul warned that it is indeed possible for people to be so greatly deceived (Titus 1:16; Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament; with emphasis added):

They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny him, being abominable and disobedient and worthless (adokimoi; ἀδόκιμοι) for any good work.”

(Note:   Although believers in Jesus Christ are not saved by works [Ephesians 2:8], one telltale sign that a believer may have become a reprobate is the lack of good works in this person’s life [see Titus 1:16 above])

For this reason, the Apostle Paul admonished believers to “examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine” (2 Corinthians 13:5; NLT), and specifically, to see if “Jesus the Messiah lives in you” (2 Corinthians 13:5; International Standard Version).

One may ask, “Is it really possible for someone who once sincerely believed in Jesus Christ to turn into a reprobate?” The answer is an affirmative “yes” – even the Apostle Paul did not consider himself to be immune to reprobation, as he said in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (Jubilee Bible 2000 version; with emphasis added):

“But I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection, lest preaching to others, I myself should become reprobate (adokimos; ἀδόκιμος).”

Borrowing from an expression used in sailing, the Apostle Paul even went so far as to warn Timothy, his son in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2; KJV), to stay clear from turning into a reprobate (1 Timothy 1:19, NLT, with emphasis added below):

“Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.”

Now, what is the fate of Christians who become reprobates? The sixth chapter of Hebrews (verses 4 to 8; NIV; with emphasis added below) warns of their eventual doom:

“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless (adokimos; ἀδόκιμος) and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”

This idea is consistent with how the Lord dealt with reprobates among His people in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 6:26-30; KJV; with emphasis added below):

“O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.”

Given the serious consequence of turning into a reprobate, it is important to learn how a Christian can degenerate into such a state.

Generally, a person doesn’t turn into a reprobate overnight, but over a period of time, when he/she does not repent of sin, but willfully persists in it (Romans 1:18-32; American Standard Version, with emphasis added):

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due. And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate (adokimon; ἀδόκιμον) mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them.”

How then can believers avoid turning into reprobates?

Firstly, you must no longer allow “your sinful nature control your mind”, but, instead, allow “the Spirit control your mind” (Romans 8:6; New Living Translation). The Apostle Paul adds that allowing the former to control you leads to “death” and the latter to “life and peace”.

Secondly, you must no longer “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2, NIV) – or to put it more simply, to “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2, New Living Translation).

In addition, you must exercise self-discipline (1 Corinthians 9:27; Jubilee Bible 2000 version; with emphasis added):

“But I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection, lest preaching to others, I myself should become reprobate (adokimos; ἀδόκιμος).”

Lastly, you must make every effort to confirm your calling and election by continually adding the following qualities over your faith (2 Peter 1:5- 10; NIV; with emphasis added below):

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

In conclusion, a Christian in whom it is evident by his/her action and behaviour that the Lord Jesus Christ never did or no longer lives in him/her is a “reprobate” (adokimoi; ἀδόκιμοι) (2 Corinthians 13:5; KJV). Sincere Christians must guard against turning into reprobates by applying the principles discussed above.

Is It Important to Have the Fruit of the Spirit and How Can It Be Obtained?

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23b; NIV)

The book of Galatians tell us what is the fruit (note: it is singular, not plural) of the Spirit. However, is it important for the believer to possess it?

In my view, the answer is a strong ‘yes‘, because it seems that it is the presence of fruit (of the Spirit) that a true follower of Jesus Christ is distinguished from a hypocritical one.

In addition, it seems that the presence of the fruit of the Spirit serves as a criterion for whether an individual will enter heaven or not.

16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:16-23; NIV)

Seeing its importance, how then can one obtain the fruit of the Spirit?

The clue is found right after the well-known verses in Galatians that describe the fruit of the Spirit. Namely, it is by “crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires“:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24; NIV; with emphasis added)

Crucifixion is the process of putting something to death. So, when we crucify “the flesh with its passions and desires“, we, in other words, put these things to death.

Now, let’s consider what the flesh entails and how it is manifested:

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21b; NIV)

Do you notice the diametric correspondence between the fruit of the Spirit and the acts of the flesh?

For example, you could say that the opposite of “love” is “hatred“. The opposite of “peace” is “discord” or “fits of rage” or “dissensions“. The opposite of “self control” is “sexual immorality” or “debauchery“, and so forth.

It seems then that if a believer was once prone to “dissensions“, for example, but if under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, that tendency has been removed (or “put to death”), then, that individual would naturally be peaceable.

In conclusion, the fruit of the Spirit seems to be obtained through death to the sinful nature.

To put it very practically, you cannot buy the fruit of the Spirit with any amount of money.

Instead, it is by dying to yourself that you obtain the fruit of the Spirit.

Sadly, there are some Christians who like to get into fits of rage. Or perhaps they like the pleasures of sexual immorality. Or perhaps they strife to be number one in everything, even to the detriment of others (selfish ambition).

They may say, “Well, this is my personality. This is who I am! I’m sure God understand.

But they would be deceived to think that God winks at them and closes an eye to their sinful ways.

What such Christians really need to do is to come before God and say, “I need to change“, “I need to repent of my ways“.

More specifically, this individual needs to say “The old me needs to die“.

And, this is precisely why the Lord Jesus Christ says: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24; KJV)

Friend, if the old “you” does not wish to die, if you wish to continue in your old sinful ways, I am afraid there is no way you can obtain the fruit of the Spirit.

How Do We Put on The Armour of God (Fritz Springmeier)

Fritz Springmeier, bestselling author of Bloodline of the Illuminati, recently shared on how Christians can put on the armour of God.

This message is in response to that question which was just asked of me. The answer to this question is really the nuts & bolts of what makes the walk in Christ work! How many Christians have I met who can’t seem to make Christianity work, who don’t have a clue about most of this! First, it is vital to understand the purpose of the armor.

UNDERSTANDING ITS USE. The primary Scripture that describes the armor of God best is Ephesians 6:10-20…although many other scriptures mention or touch on it.(A) The armor passages in Ephesians were written by Paul, who had experienced (suffered) for acting like a Christian about every possible problem, incl. being badly beaten, harshly imprisoned for years, slandered, & chased out of towns. It seems no good deed happens without being punished. Paul is thought to have written these words on the Armor of God while in prison—in other words, he knew firsthand how important the armor of God is to survive as a person of God. Almost every man or woman of God is going to face problems where there are no answers—things will make no sense—and when you want to see God destroying the problem—He does nothing. If one puts on and uses the armor of God, miracles often happen, and one sees that God is there after all! I can testify that the armor works! I have witnessed this many times…I think of one time where I felt backed into a corner with no explanation or answers for what I faced…but I moved forward in total trust (faith in the living loving God) and I saw the Spirit anoint me and do miracles. Out of confusion, & what seemed defeat, the Spirit of God made me an overcomer. I didn’t merely survive, but I thrived in the midst of difficulty. Others have overcome incredible battles with the Armor of God.

THE INCREDIBLE PRESSURES OF LIFE. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels [frail human bodies], that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”(B) In other words, we receive incredible pressures, so that we can manifest the life of Christ to the world. The Armor of God is not some clever analogy, some skillful play on words, but it is the practical method that we must use in our spiritual warfare against the World’s forces of evil.

INSTRUCTION ON THE ARMOR IN GOD’S WORD: “…my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”(C) The entire suit of armor is needed, for our opponent will attack where we are weakest. The advice to put on “the whole armor” is repeated two verses later.(D)

PARTS TO THE ARMOR.
FIRST PART OR ARMOR. TAKING THE TRUTH PILL TO LEAVE THE MATRIX. The girdle around the midsection is truth. How important it is to know ourselves, to know the truth of others, to know truth in this World of lies. Christ said he was the way & the truth. Another verse teaches us that it is the “love of truth” that will save us.(E) It is not merely having the truth, but loving the truth, because Satan will have all kinds of power to do lying wonders and every unrighteous deception. (E) What pill do we want to take—red or blue—to leave the World’s matrix of lies, or to stay in the comfort of this World of lies? The first piece of armor to put on is to take the truth pill to leave the Matrix.

2ND PIECE OF ARMOR, the Breastplate of righteousness, i.e. taking the moral high ground. When we have truth on our side, when we have right on our side, it gives incredible power. Having righteousness gives us incredible courage & confidence. Have you ever been righteously indignant about some injustice? Do you see how that indignation empowers you? For instance, you may have the courage to go up to a bully and say, “That’s mine, I want it back.” But we all start out weak, we need to ask for forgiveness, repent of our immoral ways, and start life new with the imputed righteousness of Christ, who promises forgiveness to those who admit their wrongs and ask for forgiveness.

3rd PIECE OF ARMOR, the gospel of peace. When we come in peace, when we come to help others, to find win-win solutions, rather than trying to hurt, it gives us confidence. Imagine how bold you would feel if you had $100 bills to give everyone. Normally you would not approach people, but because you know you have something valuable to give them, you have courage and confidence to approach them. The gospel of peace is the real gospel of Christ…who taught us the golden rule, to do unto others as we would want done to ourself. The real gospel of Christ is a gospel of love to build others up. It is a treasure that is worth far more than $100. Peace blesses us too; “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makes me dwell in safety.”(F) Peace was what Christ came to give: “Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”(G)

4th PIECE OF ARMOR, the shield of faith. Our faith and trust that God is good functions like a shield to protect us from all the fiery arrows that the enemy shoots at us to take us down with discouragement. The enemy is trying to weaken us, and things fly at us—but they don’t attach to us and penetrate us if we use our shield of faith. When things don’t make sense, move forward with that shield of faith. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”(H) The first book written of Scriptures was about Job. Job, a man of God, had it all, until God permitted Satan to attack his life. Job lost everything, and his wife told him to curse God & die. But he kept his shield of faith in place and it carried him through the battle. We need our God every moment. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”(I) This is why Christians treasure the Word of God, because washing our minds with the Word, cleans out the lies of the Matrix and builds our faith in a good God.

5th PIECE OF ARMOR, helmet of salvation. There is power in knowing that you are a child of God. There is power in knowing your Father is Almighty God. There is power in knowing that this world is not all that there is, and that your true hope is a heavenly hope of your future home with God. Satan will send demons of doubt to cause a person to doubt salvation, to doubt God, to doubt the future that is promised believers. The helmet of salvation is important. One needs to know one’s identity is Christ. One needs to keep one’s heavenly hope and heavenly perspective. I am reminded of a German Christian in the last month of WW 2; the German people had trusted in having the best technology, in having the baddest army, in having the strongest willpower of all the nations, and indeed they had these things…but those things had let them down…and now all their cities were rubble, allied “jabos” fighters roamed the over the country looking for anyone to shoot, & their enemies had said they wanted to take Germany back to the stone age. He wrote 13 days before the surrender (V-E day): “there is in fact only one genuine reason for joy: the hope of God’s coming kingdom.” True indeed…if they had only realized that before they began the war.

6th piece of Armor, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God which is powerful. “…attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings…For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”(J) The Word of God functions like a 2-edged sword…it will cut both ways…to both the user and the one receiving it.(K) It also functions as a flashlight to light up the path and show where to go.(L)

7th piece of weaponry, prayer. Ephesians 6:18 says “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..” A key component of prayer is that it is God-breathed…”in the Spirit”. I have been compelled to pray prayers that I knew were inspired by God and knew at the same moment that they would come true. God was behind them. How is this obtained?…by moving into the center of God’s will.

So this then are the components of spiritual armor, to know our identity as a child of God, to walk in that gospel of peace & love, to move forward with a shield of faith, having obtained the truth that removes us from the World’s matrix of lies. To cherish the truth that we would diligently look for it, using God’s Spirit of Truth to reveal the World’s incredible deceptions. We carry our Sword and know how to use the Word of God, which functions as the Sword of God. We continually are in contact with our commander by all manner of godly prayer. Prayer is like a radio for the soldier who needs to call in artillery or call for other help. But we must use it correctly by moving in the center of God’s will.

(A) Other scriptures on the armor incl. ISA 59:17, ROM 13:11-14, 2 COR 6:7, 10:3-6, 1 THS 8:8 (B) 2COR 4:8-9 (C) EPH 6:10-11. (D) EPH 6:13 (E) 2 THS 2:10 (F) PS 4:8 (G) JN 14:27 (H) 2 COR 5:7 (I) ROM 10:17 (J) PRV 4:20-22 (K) HEB 4:12 (L) Many verses say this incl. PS 119:105 & PRV 6:22,23

Christians Must Forgive, But Are They Permitted to ‘Not Forget’?

It is clear from the bible that, as believers of Jesus Christ, we must forgive our offenders (Matthew 18:21-35; Colossians 3:13). However, when counselling younger believers, one response that a Christian counselor may receive is: “I can forgive, but I cannot forget.

The person being counselled may try to justify himself/herself: “Well, the bible doesn’t say that I must forget.

The bible does say that we must forgive, but are we permitted to ‘not forget’?

Indeed, the bible does not explictly say that we must forget.

However, it seems implied. Concerning forgiveness,  the Lord is our role model, and we learn from Hebrews 8:12 (NIV) that when the Lord “forgives our wickedness“, He also “remembers our sins no more“.

When the Lord no longer remembers our sins, it, of course, doesn’t mean that He deliberately undergoes some sort of mental amnesia (otherwise, how can He remain omniscent?). Rather, it means that He no longer holds us against our sins.

Coming back to the issue of ‘forgiving but not forgetting’, I would say that it all depends on what is meant by ‘not forgetting‘.

For instance, I live in an HDB flat (an apartment), and I have had my shoes, that were placed outside the door, stolen.

Now, I can forgive the thief, but that doesn’t mean that I abstain from applying common sense and continue to be careless about placing shoes outside the door.

Similarly, for the case of a rape victim who has been raped by a relative of friend, when she chooses to forgive her perpetuator, it does NOT imply that she should act as if the sin had never happened and to yield to her perpetuator’s demands to spend time alone with him again. Rather, although she forgives him, she should still take precautions like avoiding him and reporting him to the police.

That said, a wise counsellor would clarify with the counselee his/her motive for ‘not forgetting‘.

Is it so that harm would not be repeated (as in the example above)?

Or, is it because the counselee choses to still hold a grudge over the offence?

If it is the latter, the counsellor should remind the counselee Leviticus 19:18 (NIV, emphasis added):

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Also, explain to the counselee that if he/she choses to not let go of the past, not only is his/her forgiveness suspect, but it also makes it almost impossible for him/her to move on in life:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19; NIV; emphasis added)

At that point, some counselees may admit: “But it is very difficult for me to let go..

Truly, it is difficult to let go emotionally, because as the counsele fumes and fusses over the offence, footholds are established in his/her life that become more entrenched over time:

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27; NIV; emphasis added)

A counselee who wishes to let go, but has difficulty doing so, can be set free through prayer, when the Lord releases His divine power to him/her:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4; NIV; emphasis added)

If you are reading this and would like someone to pray along with you until you are set free from a stronghold unforgiveness, I’d love to pray along with you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me by clicking the ‘Leave a comment’ link beneath the title, and write “Please contact me” in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box that appears next. God bless you!

Lot’s Wife Is a Sign to Worldly Christians That They Are in Danger of Missing the Rapture

Remember Lot’s wife! (Luke 17:32, NIV)

It is significant that the only two occassions when the Lord Jesus Christ seems to have asked His disciples to commit something to memory are in in Luke 22:19 (concerning His body) and in  Luke 17:32 above (concerning Lot’s wife) .

Who is Lot’s wife and why is she so significant that the Lord Jesus Christ would instruct His disciples to commit her to memory instead of someone perhaps more worthy, like Abraham or David?

We don’t know the actual name of Lot’s wife because she is never referred to by name (see Genesis 19). Incidentally, even the Lord Jesus Christ did not refer to her by her actual name, and I think this says something, because the Lord Jesus, being omniscent, would surely have known.

The book of Genesis, however, does reveal that she was among those who were rescued from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19), but eventually, was not “saved”. Indeed, she was judged for “looking back” [Genesis 19:26; NIV]) and her penalty was that she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Why was her penalty so severe? The NET Bible translation of Genesis 19:26 suggests that when Lot’s wife “looked back” at the burning Sodom and Gomorrah, this wasn’t just a casual look across one’s shoulder, but rather, she had “looked back longingly“. The International Standard Version translation of Genesis 19:26 also suggests that “Lot’s wife looked back as she lingered behind him [Lot]”, implying that she had been relucatant to leave Sodom and Gomorrah, even in the face of its impending doom.

Clement, an early church leader after the apostles, made the following comment about Lot’s wife:

Because of his hospitality and godliness, Lot was saved from Sodom when the entire region was judged by fire and brimstone. In this way the Master clearly demonstrated that he does not forsake those who hope in him but hands over to punishment and torment those who turn aside. Of this his wife was destined to be a sign, for after leaving with him she changed her mind and was no longer in harmony, and as a result she became a pillar of salt to this day, that it might be known to all that those who are double-minded and those who question the power of God fall under judgment and become a warning to all generations (1 Clement 11:1-2; as translated by Michael W. Holmes in The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations; emphasis added)

Double-mindedness was Mrs Lot’s problem, but it is also an attitude that Christians are warned against:

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8, NASB, emphasis added)

What does it mean to be double-minded? It means to be of two-minds, or to have one’s loyalty divided between God and the world (James 1:8; New Living Translation). Indeed, in 1 John 2:15 (NLT), believers are warned: “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.

Now, let us examine the passage of scripture where the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned Lot’s wife:

28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke 17:28-36; NKJV; emphasis added)

The tragedy of Lot’s wife was that she was rescued but yet not saved because her heart was so affixed to Sodom and Gomorrah. Just as her fixation for Sodom and Gomorrah hindered her from being saved, a believer’s fixation to the world could hinder them from being raptured.

I infer from verse 31 above that on the day of the rapture, God might send angels to some believers, to these believers to their housetops, as they can make their way to the Third Heaven and espape the impending peril that would come upon the earth.

However, some believers might be so overcome by the desire to return inside their homes to take their treasured possessions that they miss the opportunity to be raptured and thus be “left behind“.

Oh, how foolish! There is absolutely no need for any believer to return to his/her house to retrieve any earthly thing for it is not a shack that awaits us, but a mansion (John 14:2).

But why would any believer be so overcome by the desire to retrieve their worldly belongings? I submit to you that it is because they have become a creature of habit. Because their minds have been so fixated on their earthly things, they mindlessly return to these things at the peril of their souls, and neglect the instruction of the Lord Jesus Christ not to do so.

To put it in another way, due to a fixation on earthly things, these believers are not “worthy” to be raptured.

This is also why the Lord Jesus Christ has instructed all of us pre-raptured believers now to “watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”” (Luke 21:36, NKJV; emphasis added)