Friday, October 12, 2007

Lawlessness 2: The Common Hell!

Lawlessness 2: The Common Hell!
Brad Reiches
Oct 12 2007 10:34AM

Friday, October 12, 2007



"Depart from Me (Jesus), you who practice lawlessness."
Matthew 7:23

anomia:  "lawlessness., sin, without the law."

INCREDIBLY!  The individuals to whom Jesus is referring to here (Matthew 7:23), are church-going, Jesus-confessing, ministry-participating people who believe with all their hearts that they are Christians!  The context of the lesson that Jesus gives us here is PROFOUND!  Let's take a look:

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' 
will enter the kingdom of Heaven; but he who
does the will of My Father who is in Heaven.
Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord,
did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your
name cast out demons, and in Your name perform
many miracles?'  And then I will declare to them,
Depart from Me (Jesus), you who practice lawlessness."
Matthew 7:21-23

Note 1:  "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of Heaven..."(v. 21).  Just because someone verbally acknoledges that Jesus is Lord DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean they are saved!  Remember the warning of James,

"You believe that God is one.  You do well;
the demons also believe, and shudder."
James 2:19

Demons know who Jesus is.  They are aware, and they acknowledge that Jesus is God.  However, demons are not saved because they do not put their trust in Jesus, nor do they submit to Him as Lord and Savior.  Those who have a "demon-like" belief in Jesus will wind up in hell!*

Note 2:  "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord,did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'"(v. 22). 
Just because someone is involved in ministry DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean they know Jesus!  "To obey is better than sacrifice" (1 Samuel 15:22).  "I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6).  Remember, Jesus is ALWAYS looking at the heart.  He can ALWAYS see through the facade of empty ritual and identify the true condition of the soul.  Those who "practice lawlessness," known, willful rebellion over time, are in great danger of being eternally separated from God on the day of judgment (see Matthew 25:41, 46), no matter what position they may have held in the church. 

*For an in-depth study click on, The Bible Says Series:  HELL.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lawlessness 1: The Common Hell!

Lawlessness 1: The Common Hell!
Brad Reiches
Oct 11 2007 01:23AM

Thursday, October 11, 2007


"Everyone who practices sin practices
lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."
1 John 3:4, bold mine

anomia:  "lawlessness., sin, without the law."

Sometimes we can't FULLY understand the meaning of a biblical word or phrase until we have access to the original language.  For example, there are several Greek words that the English Bible translates as "love."  In each case the translation is technically correct, however, until you know the actual Greek word, you don't know for sure the kind of "love" that the scripture is talking about (i.e. "agape" means "unconditional love," whereas "phileo" refers to the "friendship kind of love" that exists among close friends.  Both "agape" and "phileo" are simply translated, "love" in the English Bible).

Such is the case with the term that we commonly translated "sin."  There are four primary Greek words*, all of which we translate as "sin."  They are:

hamartia:  this is the most common word that we translate as "sin."  Semantically, this word has the meaning, "to do amiss, to lose the goal, to miss the mark."  It is an ancient military term.  When the archer misses the bulls-eye of his target, the distance between the bulls-eye and where his shot hit was described as hamartia.

agnoema:  literally means "mistake."  Characteristic is the element of ignorance.  Those guilty of agnoema are not fully aware of their "mistake."

parabasis:  this is a significantly stronger term than the previous two.  Literally, "transgression."  Infers disregard for a known law.

anomia:  "lawlessness., sin, without the law."  By far, the most EXTEME form of "sin."

Whereas hamartia and agnoema can contain an element of "ignorance," the opposite is true of parabasis and anomia.  These latter terms are "known and willful."  Whereas, parabasis is a "violation of the law," anomia is not only "violation of the law," it is "lawlessness."  Violation means to break the law, but "lawlessness" means to "abolish the law," to act as if the law didn't exist.

As we shall see, anomia or "lawlessness"...

is the common denominator in Hell.

*Please note the word, "primary."  Other terms regarding sin can include: adikos, meaning "dishonesty or injustice" (see 1 John 1:9), paraptoma, meaning "trespass, to fall when one should have resisted" (see James 5:16), and parakoe, meaning "disobedience" (see Romans 5:19).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I Prefer An 'Encouragement Sandwich!'

I Prefer An 'Encouragement Sandwich!'
Brad Reiches
Oct 9 2007 11:45PM

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"I Prefer an 'Encouragement Sandwich!'"

"A soothing tongue is a tree of life;
but perversion in it crushes the spirit."
Proverbs 15:4

In response to yesterday's GodThoughtsWired! entry, one self-appointed critic asked (after 6 paragraphs of scathing criticism), 

"Are you able to take on board my first-ever criticism
of your otherwise enjoyable daily writings?" 

MY INITIAL RESPONSE:  I am very, VERY open, and respect very much, criticisms that come from those that I know, and trust to be "on my side."  However, as I'm quite sure you are aware, the human tendency is to only respond when we are somehow "offended" or in disagreement.  As your response exemplifies, approximately 999 out of every 1000 first (and only) responses that I receive from GodThoughtsWired! subscribers are negative - intended to correct or discredit or disprove or disapprove or condemn or just plain hurt. 

"Let all things be done for the purpose of edification."
1 Corinthians 14:26

As is the case here, I am not aware of ever hearing from you before?  If there had been some kind of...any kind of prior encouragement or support, I would be much more open to your critique.  As it is, it's highly unlikely that the Lord will be able to use your judgments in any positive way (the enemy, however - will take every opportunity to discourage me).  More likely, it will wind up in the circular file with the other hundred criticisms from today.  I have found that Hebrews 3:13 is very real,

"Encourage one another day after day,
as long as it is still called today,
lest you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

As such, I am much more committed to the practice of Proverbs 3:27, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is within your power to do it."  than I am Galatians 6:1 without relationship.  I have found that criticism outside of relationship, no matter how true or purely motivated, is of little or no value.

"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,
but only such a word as is good for edification,
according to the need of the moment, that it may give
grace to all who hear it."
Ephesians 4:29

It is a shame that there wasn't anything of redeeming value for you about today's (yesterday's) entry.  If there were, you might have used a communication tool that I have found to be MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE than just straight negativity.  I call it the "Encouragement Sandwich."  You begin by identifying something positive that can be said, THEN express your concerns, and then finish with an additional positive.  If the goal is to truly "edify" (see Ephesians 4:29; 1 Corinthians 14:26), I have found this to be a much more effective approach.


pastor Brad

p.s.  I once had a friend who truly believed that God had appointed him to function as "the Holy Spirit of conviction" in my life.  All I would say to that is...he is no longer my friend.

What An INCREDIBLE Quality of Love!

What An INCREDIBLE Quality of Love!
Brad Reiches
Oct 9 2007 12:38AM

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"What an Incredible Quality of Love!"

"See how great a love the Father
has bestowed upon us..."
1 John 3:1

Actually, it took me awhile to find the above verse because I have it memorized in the ole' King James Version, Behold, what manner of love the Father has given unto us...

Nevertheless, to say that the love of God is "great" turns out to be THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF ALL TIME!  The commentary entitled, The Message renders it, "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us!"  I like that.  The NIV translates it similar to the NASB, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us."  That's good.  And the Living Bible says, "See how very much our Father loves us."  That's just OK.

It turns out that my favorite "accurate" translation comes from the Amplified Bible.  It translates 1 John 3:1 as:

"See what an incredible quality of love
the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us."

Recent events in my life have reminded me, no...that's not right.  Recently, God has revealed the quality of His love for me in an incredibly brand new way.  Did you grasp what I just said?  At age 45, after 40+ years (minus 3 months) of walking with the Lord, He has introduced His love to me, and for me in a brand new, unique, unparralled, SPECTACULAR! way!

Much of what I'm referring to here is quite personal, however, here is some of my joy:

-the INCREDIBLE LOVE OF GOD is unconditional.
-the INCREDIBLE LOVE OF GOD inspires a man to be the best he can be.
-the INCREDIBLE LOVE OF GOD motivates a man to love in the same way.
-the INCREDIBLE LOVE OF GOD changes a man.

To experience the fullness of the INCREDIBLE LOVE OF GOD is to experience the best, most joyful, peaceful and powererful existence that this life has to offer.