Fathers must not be put to death for what their children do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24.16.

Moses said it by inspiration to the people of Israel, before they entered the land of Canaan. Centuries later, the prophet Ezekiel developed it further, speaking again to the Israelites. (See chapters 18 and 33.) Go to the New Testament and see that condemnation and salvation are determined on an individual basis.

The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16.16.

Some Bible versions published in recent years throw statements into the plural in order to avoid the singular masculine pronoun. All fine and good, but it sometimes misses a point, like individual responsibility.

Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else. For each one will carry his own load. Galatians 6.4-5.

Am I to blame for what happened a hundred years ago or more? God is more interested in what I am doing right now. Continue reading

A world of peoples, cultures, languages,
Lies beyond my small horizon,
Across oceans, over mountains,
Around the corner from my house.

My little circle draws a line
To neatly hold my loved ones in,
Define those I consider mine,
Exclude who isn’t my kith and kin.

To others the kingdom’s door is shut,
My comfort rules, I can’t be bothered,
In my own clan my treasure’s put —
The gospel? By someone else be offered.

Daniel 7.18

Forever, yes, forever, saints in time
Will from the Highest receive the kingdom’s fullness;
All others fail and fall, man’s powers decline,
But in the world God’s grace will grow, and goodness.

Eternal life and immortality
Are theirs, a promise sure and true they hold:
All evil banished, no more troubling sea,
No suffering soul, no sheep outside the fold.

While waiting for their Savior’s call, in patience,
They work and feel the devil’s fullest ire;
They offer to God a spiritual, pleasing fragrance,
By faith and highest hope, in deepest fear.

Bless the Lord for his kindness to his people, for giving each one a place in the body of Christ, for the pleasant joy of belonging to his kingdom, for the hope of our eternal destination as we walk in his ways. We are full of the Lord’s blessing, there is no one like God, who rides through the sky to help, on the clouds of majesty. Praise him, followers of Christ, praise him, sun and moon, praise him, stars above! He is altogether worthy of praise!

SEEK: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” Mt 6.33 HCSB.

THINK: Seeking means priority, maximum effort, and defined focus. It implies confidence in God to provide what is necessary, as one dedicates time to the search. The kingdom is to put God above all, first “(1) in importance; (2) in point of time, and (3) in emphasis” (Coffman). Justice is the practice of righteousness, obedience to the divine will. Seek is a strong, intense verb. Continue reading

Ancient ruins in Ephesus
Ancient ruins in Ephesus

Commenting on Acts 19.8, William Baird wrote, “In Acts the kingdom of God seems similar to the church (cf. 8:12), but the idea of God’s rule to be consummated in the future is not lacking (cf. 14:22)” IOVC. Indeed it does seems similar, since the church is the present earthly manifestation of the kingdom. Continue reading