For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. This is the great and first commandment.
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the , who had been redeemed from the earth. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder.
The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps,.
Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him , who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.
It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them!
But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short! Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.
Even so. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. By this we may know that we are in him This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. How does God accomplish His great purposes without negating our choices as free moral agents? As we continue our series, Pastor Mike looks at how the providential goodness of God is seen in the life of Ruth and in the arrival of Christ.
Both Ruth and Naomi experienced seasons of famine, departure, harvest and return — but one returned full of faith, the other full of bitterness. The mystery of pain and suffering in the hands of a sovereign and good God should lead us not to bitterness, but to greater faith in Him. And there is always someone we know who is weeping, and someone we know who is rejoicing. Natural disasters are relentless in their devastation. Last year flooding in China made millions homeless.
A typhoon in North Korea killed hundreds. Earthquakes in Italy killed , in Ecuador A hurricane in the Haiti killed over Then there are the wars around the world and the threat of terrorism. Then there are the miseries of 20 million adults and children bought and sold each year as slaves for sex and for forced labor.
Over 6, ever hour. Over every minute. And most of them do not die in ripe old age by sleeping peacefully away into happy eternity. Most die young. Most die after long struggles with pain.
And millions die because of the evil of man against man. And you will be among the dead sooner than you think.
If there is to be any Christian joy in this world, along with love, it will be sorrowful joy, brokenhearted joy. Do we not all know that the sweetest joys are marked with tears, not laugher? Why is the world you made like this? If you are God why is this world so full of terror and trouble? I will give two possible answers that are not the reason such a world exists, and then four answers that are the reasons such world exists.
The Bible is overwhelmingly clear that God governs everything in the universe from the smallest bird to the largest storm. There is no person or being in the universe that can thwart the sovereign will of God.