Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

“Prayer doesn’t change things. God does in response to proper prayers.”

     Crises.  When people find themselves in trouble they often cry out to God for help. They make all kinds of promises to Him if only He will rescue them in their crisis. Have you ever done this?  How many vows have you failed to keep?

     Captives.  Because of their disobedience to God, the Jews had been taken from their homeland into Babylon as captives.  Seventy years later the Medo-Persians defeated the Babylonians and allowed the Jews to return to rebuild the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.  Things were going to change dramatically.  So Daniel went to God in prayer.  Let’s consider it.

     Worship/Adoration. The first thing that Daniel did was to earnestly focus his attention on the Lord (Daniel 9:3). When one worships God and sees Him as He really is (John 4:24), it will have a very humbling affect on him.  This was true with Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 6:5) and with the Apostle John (Revelation 1:9-18). Remember, God cannot and will not be deposed from His throne. God laughs at those who try (Psalm 2).

     Sackcloth And Ashes. To express the true condition of his heart, Daniel fasted, and covered himself with sackcloth and ashes. He was made aware of how awesome God truly is. The prophecy concerning the 70 years of Jewish captivity in Babylon had been fulfilled (Jeremiah 25:11-14). But he wanted to know more about the Jew’s future. How and when would the Messiah come? How would the other world empires treat the Jews in the days to come?  When would the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) come to an end?

     Daniel’s Prayer. It was urgent. He wanted and expected some clear answers to his questions (Psalm 91:15; 143:1). He had full confidence in God’s ability to keep His covenants (promises) concerning the land that the Jews will inherit in the future (Genesis 15:18) and to give him additional information.  By the way, do you know the boundaries that God set for them to inherit?    

     Honest Confession. As one who was in a covenant relationship with God, Daniel acknowledged that he and the Jews had broken God’s conditional covenant (The Ten Commandments) and they were suffering for it (Daniel 9:5, 15; Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 28:15ff). But the Lord God was eager to forgive and restore them if they would repent and confess their sins (Isaiah 55:7; Proverbs 28:13).  But pride dies hard.

     God’s Glory. God wants all His creatures to know that He is who He says He is (Daniel 9:17; Ezekiel 6:7, 10; 7:4; John 17:4). God’s own reputation was involved (Numbers 14:15, 16; Jeremiah 14:7, 21). Although He is immutable (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), He is also mobile (i.e. He doesn’t have to keep doing what He chose to do just once – Examples: creation, Christ’s once and for all death for our sins). Man’s sinful purpose is to glorify himself (humanism) and to serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). The devil wants us to believe the lie that man can become a god (Genesis 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:11). Man can’t overthrow God no matter how hard he tires (Isaiah 9:7; Philippians 2:10; Revelation 19:16). He’d be wise to submit to Christ’s authority before it’s too late (Psalm 2:10-12).

     United States. While we don’t have the same promises to claim that the Jews do concerning the land of Israel (Genesis 15:8; Matthew 5:5), Christians can/should be good citizens and pray for and submit to those who are in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Romans 13:1-7). Keep in mind that God sets up and brings down leaders in His time. He uses them to accomplish His purposes (Daniel 4:17, 25; Romans 9:17). He also wants to use ordinary people like you and me. Stop fretting (John 14:1-3). God is sovereign and He is in complete control of everything (Revelation 1:8). Christians can/should intercede for or against people (1 Timothy 2:1; Romans 11:2). Jesus, in heaven, does this for His own people (Hebrews 7:25).

     Christian Responsibilities. But most importantly, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and carry out the Great Commission and the New Commandment (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; John 13:34, 35). Do you know what this involves?

     Help?  Would you like to learn more truth from God’s Word? Visit our web site: www.kelseypeach.com. You are invited to listen to our corresponding messages on the Internet.

 

Before the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to this earth to rule as the King of kings, and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), we believe that God will allow the devil to put his man (Antichrist) on the stage of life (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). He will deceive many of those who are left behind at the Rapture. It’s true, the word “Rapture” isn’t in our English translations, but the words “shall be caught up” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) accurately describe what will happen when Jesus comes back for His bride, the true Church (John 14:1-3).

     Timing. We believe that there is compelling evidence in the Bible that true Christians will not enter the seven years of tribulation that are coming to this earth (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7). God will deliver them from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10; 6:16). This doesn’t mean that all Christians will be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease. Instead they should expect to be persecuted by religious people and the devil’s crowd if they live godly lives (John 16:2; 2 Timothy 3:12). In fact, sometimes carnal Christians oppress other Christians (James 4:1; 5:1; 3 John 1:9).

     The Rapture.  Key passages that deal with the Rapture can be found in John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. This event was a mystery in the Old Testament times (1 Corinthians 15:51ff). The Biblical definition of a mystery is found in Romans 16:25, 26.  It’s important.  At the time of its writing, over one fourth of the Bible was prophetic.  Much of it has already been fulfilled.

    Interpretation.  The normal (literal), historical, and grammatical interpretation of the Bible is the way God wants us to interpret His Word. The prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, and we believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming should also be interpreted the same way. The allegorical method of interpretation leads to all kinds of confusion and problems.

    Contrasts.  If you would like to receive a chart that shows the difference between the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ, contact us. The Rapture of the Church is sure, sudden, silent, selective, and satisfying (1 Corinthians 15:51ff; 1 Thessalonians 4:13ff).

    The Antichrist.  Key passages that deal with this man can be found in Daniel chapter 7; 2 Thessalonians chapter 2; Revelation chapters 13, 19. This man will be welcomed by the people of the world. He will have charisma. He will promise to fill in the vacuum that will be left when the true Church departs to meet the Lord in the air (2 Thessalonians 2:3). He will be pushed into the forefront by the ten kings (rulers) of the Revived Roman Empire and the Apostate Church (Revelation 13:1; 17; 18) that will combine many religions into one.

    Characteristics.  One Bible commentator* wrote that this man will have the oratorical skills of John Kennedy, be able to inspire people as Winston Churchill did, have the determination of Joseph Stalin, the vision of Karl Marx, the respectability of Gandhi, the military prowess of General Douglas MacArthur, the charm of Will Rogers, and the genius of King Solomon. He will appear to many as an angel of light just as the devil does today through his false teachers (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

    Mark Of The Beast.  Who in his right mind wouldn’t follow such a man and take his mark on their hand or forehead so they can buy, sell, and stay alive (Revelation 13:16-18)? Believers won’t. But those who take it will be doomed forever (Revelation 14:9-11).

     Power.  In Christ’s day the devil took over the body of Judas after he betrayed Jesus.  He did this so that Judas would do exactly what the devil wanted him to do (Luke 22:3). Likewise, we believe that the devil (dragon) will give the Antichrist his power, his throne, and great authority. After the Antichrist is killed in the middle of the Tribulation, when he fights against Russia and her allies, who will come down on Israel to take a spoil (Ezekiel 38), he (Antichrist) will be brought back to life to counterfeit Christ‘s resurrection. At this time he will dominate the whole world and be assisted by a Jewish false prophet (Revelation 13).

     Stage.  It certainly seems like the stage is being set for the arrival of the Antichrist, the one world government, and the one world church. Many people around the world realize that we need a one world government. We agree.  But the question is, Who will be the supreme leader of the world?  Will it be Satan’s man-the Antichrist, or the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ? Whom do you want to rule over this world?

    Deceived?  Don’t be misled by the false teachers who are promoting a “Social Gospel” rather than the “True Gospel” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Those who believe in “Dominion Theology” have been trying in vain to take over the world system that belongs to the devil (John 12:31; Matthew 4:8, 9).  It includes: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family, and religion.  Folks, Jesus Christ is the only One who can and will do this when He returns to this earth as He said He would (Acts 1:10, 11.  See Daniel 2:44, 45). He will take it by force from the devil, the Antichrist, and the false prophet and cast them into the lake of fire forever (Revelation 19:11-20:15; Psalm 2).  Yes, hell is forever just as heaven is.

    Destiny?  Where will you spend eternity? Will it be with God in heaven or in the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46)? You don’t have to go to that awful place if you’ll place your faith in Christ alone to save you. Don’t rely on your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). You can have assurance of salvation before you die (1 John 5:13).

    Help?  If you have Bible questions, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site for more information. These articles usually correspond to our Sunday talks which can also be heard on the Internet at www.kelseypeach.com.

*Adapted from C. R. Swindoll, “Daniel, God’s Pattern For The Future

 Who in his right mind would choose rather to be thrown into a lions’ den than skip prayer meeting for a month?  Daniel did.  But you might ask, Why?  It was a matter of priorities and confidence in His God.  Since his early years he had trusted in the God of the Jews and knew many things about Him.  He was/is all powerful, omniscient, righteous, good, truthful, holy, and loving.  His attributes don’t change (Hebrews 13:8) but His activities do.  Who wouldn’t want a God like this?  Most people wouldn’t.  They don’t want a God like this because they wouldn’t be able to manipulate Him like a Genie or their puppy.  What about you?  How would you describe your God?

  New Regime.  After the Medo-Persians brought down the Babylonian Empire it was discovered that Daniel (who was then in his 80s) had been a faithful administrator for many years.  King Darius needed such men with integrity to help him govern the new, enlarged kingdom.  So he appointed Daniel (a Jewish captive –Daniel 6:1-13) and two other men (probably Persians-Iranians) as governors to rule over 120 other lesser officials to see that no graft was taking place.  Because Daniel distinguished himself above the other two governors, King Darius wanted to set him over the whole realm.  Imagine what might happen if such a thing were to happen in Iran today.

  Conspiracy.  Rather than going on a “fact finding” mission, the two other governors went on a “fault finding” mission to see what they could dig up on Daniel.  But they found him to be faithful and loyal to the king,  honest in his work ethic, and one who maintained high moral standards.  (If you have been persecuted for doing your job like this, read 1 Peter 4:12-19.)  So these wicked men decided that if they were to find fault with him it would have to be related to his personal faith in Jehovah God. 

  Dirty Tricks.  Using flattery and lies, these officials manipulated King Darius into signing a royal statute and firm decree that would get Daniel thrown into the lions’ den.  Not realizing that his trusted friend Daniel wasn’t in on this plan, the king succumbed to their flattery and signed the document that couldn’t be changed by anyone including the king himself.  (We get the term “the law of the Medes and Persians” from Daniel 6:8).  Being placed in a position of a god was quite an honor for the king.  After all, forbidding others to make requests to their favorite gods for 30 days might help to unify the newly enlarged empire.

  Trapped.  But in signing the decree, the king put the death sentence on Daniel.  But he chose to face the lions rather than avoid his daily prayer time with God.  What would you have done?  He could have made excuses for not praying three times a day.  After all, a month wasn’t that long.  He could have closed his window as he prayed or prayed silently without bending his knees.  But that would have been cowardly of him.

  Habits.  We all have habits – good ones and bad ones.  When we get saved we don’t get rid of all of them or our sin nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 1:8).  Since early in life Daniel spent much time with God in prayer (Daniel 2:17, 18).  He had confidence in God’s ability to deliver him from the lions just as God had delivered his three friends from the fiery furnace earlier in life (Daniel 3:27; Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8).  How much confidence do you have in your God?  (By the way, not all believers received such deliverance. – Hebrews 11:35-38)

  Ignorant.  These vicious men who tricked the king and trapped Daniel didn’t know how powerful Daniel’s God was.  But they were about to find out very soon.  Likewise, someday everyone will face the One whom God the Father has appointed as the Judge – the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  You can’t escape judgment day.  Every person who dies will be raised from the dead in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:22-24).  Your degree of pleasure in heaven or your degree of suffering in the lake of fire will be determined by Him (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).  In which group will you be found?  Are you sure?

  Deliverance.  God the Father loved the world (i.e. the people like you and me who were/are caught up in the devil’s system) that He gave His only begotten Son [the God-man], that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already…” (John 3:16, 18). 

  Gospel.  The Good News is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day.  He can/will save any and all who trust in Him exclusively for salvation.  We aren’t saved by good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

  Curtain.  Someday the curtain will come down and we’ll all die unless the Lord comes back for us first (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Are you ready to meet God?  Don’t assume that you’ll be alive tomorrow (James 4:14).  Make the most important decision of your life while you can.

  Assurance.  If you would like to have assurance of your salvation, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site designed for people just like you:  www.kelseypeach.com.  These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays.

  If you’d like to receive these articles as they come out, fill out the information under Follow.

  Who wouldn’t be attracted to such an offer?  After all, most of us have health challenges. Perhaps we are not as rich as we’d like to be, and we all have our share of sorrows in life.  Could this be the reason why so many people flock to the “Health, Wealth, And Happiness Preachers” who are so popular today?  They promise a lot but deliver very little.  They tell people what they want to hear and tickle their ears just as the Scriptures predicted they would.  Some of them are getting very rich as they exploit hurting people (1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Timothy 4:3-5). 

  King Jesus.  After Jesus healed the sick and fed a huge crowd, the Jews wanted to make Him their King (John 6:15).  But strangely, Jesus refused their offer and departed from them to a mountain by Himself.  Yes, He came to offer Himself as the rightful King of the Jews, but His becoming their King would be determined, not by the popular vote of the people, but by the predetermined “Decree” and God the Father’s timing (Psalm 2:7; Ephesians 1:11). 

  Timing.  We believe that this will happen when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth after the “Seven Years Of  Tribulation” (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7). This momentous event may be much closer than most people realize (Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16ff).  There are plenty of indicators that seem to be pointing in this direction.  Where will you be when it happens?  Do you know the order of things to come?  If not, ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”  Read our (Blogs) on our web site that deal with Bible prophecy.  You can also go to our “Bible Basics” section for concise information.

  Sickness.  Believe it or not, sometimes sickness comes even to righteous people because of Satanic affliction.  It happened to Job (Job 1:6-2:10).  Strangely, this resulted in God’s glory when Job maintained his loyalty to God.  The Apostle Paul had to endure a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).  Timothy, his missionary companion, had a constitutional weakness that was corrected by his drinking wine (1 Timothy 5:23), not by Paul’s healing him miraculously.  (Don’t use this verse as an excuse to get drunk. –Ephesians 5:18)  The Apostle Paul, who performed unusual miracles (Acts 19:11), didn’t use this power to heal his friends Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27) or Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20).  Do you know why he didn’t heal them? 

  Suffering.  Unlike these men, many Christians today suffer physically, emotionally, and mentally because of their disobedience to God their Father who chastens and scourges them because He loves them (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-11).  Are you being afflicted by the “torturers” at this time (Matthew 18:34)?  Do you know what you’re supposed to do when this happens (2 Timothy 2:24-26; James 5:13-16; 1 John 1:9)?

  Poverty.  Sometimes this is the result of poor planning or laziness.  Consider the ant (Proverbs 6:6-11).  Rather than trusting God to get a job and do it well so they can earn a living (Proverbs 3:5, 6), many people rely on themselves (James 4:13-17; Deuteronomy 8:17, 18) or on government officials to rob from the producers to give to the lazy.  The Bible has something to say about this (2 Thessalonians 3:10).  This, if practiced, would relieve a great tax burden.  

  Ineptocracy.  Have you heard of it?  It has been defined as “a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.”

  Government.  Capitalism, which the Scriptures allow, has been abused by dishonest men (Ephesians 4:28; James 4:1-4; 5:1-6).  The “Red Letter Christians” pick and choose what they want from the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) and then try to force socialism and communism on others.  When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth to rule as the King of Kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16),  the sin nature of man (1 John 1:8; Jeremiah 17:9) will be curbed because all his needs will be met (Isaiah 35:1ff; Ezekiel 36:26), the devil will be bound for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7), and the diabolical world system will have been abolished (Daniel 2:44, 45; 1 John 2:15-17).  Finally, there will be peace on earth (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7).

  Rules.  If you’re a Christian, by which set of rules are you living: the Mosaic Law, Grace, or Kingdom rules?  Yes, they are noticeably different.  You won’t mature spiritually, or live victoriously over your three spiritual enemies, and be rewarded fully by the Lord unless you live according to “Grace Principles” (Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Galatians 5:1; 2 Peter 3:18).  While everything in the Bible is “for” Christians, not all of it is addressed “to” them.  Don’t try to claim the promises that were given exclusively to the Jews.

  Sadness.  Everlasting suffering and sadness await those who aren’t fit for heaven.  Without Christ’s righteousness imputed to your account, you can’t enter heaven (John 16:10; Romans 4:5).  But when you place your faith in Him alone as your personal Savior, by believing that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, you will be saved from an everlasting hell and enter heaven (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; John 14:3).  Have you done this yet?  Do you have assurance of salvation?  Why should God let you into His heaven?  Do you think that there is anything you could do for fail to do as a Christian that would cause you to lose your salvation?

  Joy.  Everlasting joy awaits those who enter heaven (Psalm16:11; Revelation 21:4).  But in the meantime, Christians can/should experience and display God’s love, joy, and peace as they find their delight in the Lord (Philippians 4:4; Galatians 5:22, 23).  Joyful Christians are good advertising for God.  Are you displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” so others can see Christ living through you (Galatians 2:20)? 

  Help.  Would you like more information?  Are you teachable and willing to change if you can be shown truth from God’s Word (Romans 12:1, 2; John 17:17)?  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com

  If you have been helped by reading this article, will you share it with others?  You can fill in the information under “Follow” to receive these articles as they come out.

  Have you ever wondered what our world will look like 20, 50, or 100 years from now? If you’re an older person, perhaps you don’t really care as long as you can live out the rest of your life in relative comfort. But where will you spend eternity? Are you absolutely sure? If some of our founding fathers were able to come back to life, I wonder what they would think of our modern society and the world. Would they be excited or depressed?

  God Ordained. Nations and civilizations rise and fall according to God’s sovereign plan (Acts 17:26). Our nation is relatively young. Can the United States be found in Bible prophecy? If so, where? Is it about to die and/or be replaced by another nation or form of government. If so, why? Why are democracies destined to fail? Why are our young people being taught that we are a democracy rather than a constitutional republic? What is the difference? What is the best form of government? What kind of government will be necessary to establish and maintain world peace? Is a one world government the answer? Why do so many of the world’s leaders think this is the solution to man’s problems? Are we headed in that direction? Who will rule over it?

  Empires. Through a strange and disturbing dream of a “polymetalic man” God unveiled to King Nebuchadnezzar the future world empires (Daniel 2). The head of gold represented the Babylonian empire. The chest and arms of silver represented the Medo-Persian empire. The belly and thighs of bronze represented the Grecian empire and the legs of iron represented the Roman empire. These have come and gone.  The feet and ten toes of iron mixed with clay represents the future revived Roman empire that seems to be coming back to life in Europe. Out from it will come the “Antichrist” who will rule over the whole earth during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). It is also known as the seven years of tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:4-28; Revelation 6-19). Will you be here when all this happens? Are you a “Doomsday Prepper”?

  The Little Stone. In the last part of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream a strange thing happened. A small stone struck the feet of this “polymetalic man” and pulverized it. Then it was blown away and “gone with the wind” (Daniel 2:35). The small stone grew into a huge mountain. It represents the establishment of God’s (Christ’s) kingdom on earth that will last for 1,000 years (Daniel 2:44). After that the Great White Throne judgment will take place at the end of time (Revelation 20:11-15). Who will be resurrected and stand before Jesus on that day? How does He destroy death?

  Value. We believe that studying Bible prophecy acquaints us with God’s plan for the ages, convinces us that there really is a God, warns us about false prophets, promotes an evangelistic church, encourages Christians to live pure lives, gives us hope, and enables us to bear up during hard times knowing that they won’t go on forever for Christians. We also believe that since the prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, those concerning His second coming will also be fulfilled literally. Allegorical interpretation is subjective and causes great confusion.

  Doubt It? You are free to doubt God’s ability to predict the future. Some skeptics say that the prophecies found in the book of Daniel were written after they happened. What do you think about Jesus? In your honest opinion, is He a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18)? Did you know that He validated Daniel’s prophecies (Matthew 24:15) that were made about 2,600 years ago? He also believed in a universal flood in Noah’s day (Matthew 24:38, 39), and that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish and lived to tell about it (Matthew 12:40). The critics don’t like these things. Do you? He also knows everything about you and me (Psalm 139). Does this bother or encourage you?

  Judge. Jesus Christ, the God-man came the first time to become the Savior of all those who would trust in Him alone for their salvation. In the future He will be the Judge (John 5:22) who evaluates everyone’s works to determine his/her degree of enjoyment in heaven or his/her degree of suffering in hell. Our eternal destiny is determined by what we do with Jesus Christ in this life.

  Deliverance. To be delivered from hell and enter heaven, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day. Have you done that yet? If so, have you been baptized (immersed) to let others know you are a true Christian? Only immersion pictures our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Doing this won’t save you but it will enable you to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21).

  Help? If you have questions and/or comments, or would like some FREE charts to help you understand the Bible better, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  We also have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages and other material to help Christians grow and serve God effectively.

   “Bring me a sword.  Cut the living baby in two and give half to one harlot and half to the other harlot.”  What?  That sure sounds bizarre.  Those words came from the newly appointed, inexperienced, youthful king who came to be known as the wisest man who ever lived.  King Solomon told his men to do this to display his wisdom and understanding of a mother’s instincts.  You can read the rest of the story in 1 Kings 3:16-28.

   Solomon was the son of King David’s ninth wife, Bathsheba.  He was very young when he became the king over all Israel.  He seems to have been about 20 years old when he took over the full responsibilities of being the king.  This is very young by any standards.  People of this age usually lack a great deal of wisdom in knowing how to manage anything, let alone other people.

   Death.  Young King Solomon had his older brother, Adonijah put to death for trying to usurp the throne from him (1 Kings 2:13-25).  This kind of thing happened often in those days.

   Blank Check.  Once he was on the throne, God promised to give Solomon whatever he asked from Him.  Realizing his youthfulness and inexperience, he humbly asked God for wisdom to lead His people.  He needed their respect and loyalty.  He said, “…give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.  For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9)

   Granted.  Not only did God give him what he requested, He also gave him riches and honor so that there was no one else like him.  God also promised him long life if he would keep God’s commandments. 

   Sad Ending.  Unfortunately Solomon didn’t have a very happy life because he was influenced by his 700 pagan wives and 300 concubines who turned his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:3).  Forget it men.  He was a wealthy king. 

   STD.  In fact, it has been suggested that he may have died from a sexually transmitted disease from one or more of these women.  He lamented his foolish ways in his old age when he wrote, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).  He wasted his life pursuing things that didn’t satisfy him.  He even wrote many insightful proverbs but failed to follow the advice he gave to others.  He should have “practiced what he preached.”  Anyone who lives his life apart from God is playing the role of a fool and is destined for disaster.

   Judgment.  King Solomon brought judgment on himself because he pursued pagan gods rather than the true and living God.  He was told that his kingdom would be torn in two and that it would be given to one of his servants (1 Kings 11:11).  This happened in the days of his son, Rehoboam (1 Kings 12).

   Early Days.  Solomon’s great wisdom came on display before others when he made a startling decision that involved two harlots and their babies (1 Kings 3:16-28).  At his young age Solomon understood clearly the motherly instinct that most women have for their own children.  Then the people realized that he had received this wisdom from God (1 Kings 3:28).  Christians today are invited to ask God for His wisdom if they’re willing to meet His requirements (James 1:5-8).

   Leaders.  All you who have leadership roles in life, pay attention!  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).  The sooner you learn this truth, the better off you’ll be.  “…the Most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men, [and] gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men” (Daniel 4:17).  He is sovereign.  Proud King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon learned this lesson the hard way.  You would do well to learn something from his personal testimony that is recorded in Daniel chapter 4.

   Rebels.  You better humble yourselves before the Lord Jesus Christ breaks you in pieces with His rod of iron (Psalm 2:1-12).  “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).

   Fools.  “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’  They are corrupt [and] have done abominable works…” (Psalm 14:1).  At least the agnostic is honest enough to admit that he isn’t sure if God exists or not.  But the atheist displays his foolishness because he hasn’t been everywhere in the universe to see if God exists out there or not.

   Nature.  It displays the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).  From it we can all learn that there is a God who is powerful (Romans 1:20).  Read, in the rest of this chapter, what happens to those who aren’t thankful to Him.  They become degenerates and depraved in their behavior and need to be incarcerated in prison.  

   Authorities.  When was the last time you prayed for those in authority over you?  Have you thanked a law enforcement officer or a soldier for providing safety for you?  Human government is ordained by God.  It has the power and responsibility to punish some evil doers with capital punishment (Romans 13:1-7; Genesis 9:6).  I’m thankful I live in this country.  If you’re a Christian, you are commanded to pray for those who are in authority over you so that we can live a peaceable and quiet life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

   Peace.  I think that most of us want to live in peace.  You can have peace “with” God as soon as you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and who rose again bodily from the grave on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Christians can enjoy the peace “of” God when they are rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:6, 7; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 5:18).  Peace “on earth” will come when the Prince of Peace returns to rule and reign over this earth (Isaiah 9:6; Revelation19:16).  Are you prepared for that day?

   Questions.  If you’re not sure about your personal relationship with God or where you will spend eternity, we invite you to contact us for more information.  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com where we have helpful information for you whether you are a believer or not.  We invite your comments.