Apologetics

High Time

YES

Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

Proverbs 6:4

 

Procrastination is perhaps the greatest weapon that the Devil has. He may allow us to convince ourselves of great future deeds of evangelism, so long as we forever keep them in the future. This theme is emphasised not only in the Bible but also in the Christian writings of such great evangelists as Spurgeon in his essay Perilous Procrastination and C. S. Lewis in his Screwtape Letters.

Why is procrastination so powerful? And what does it tell us about human nature?

 

Procrastination in the Bible

The very first command given to man in the Bible is to tend to the Garden of Eden. More prevalent, however, than vignettes of man’s success, are those of man’s failure, and the Bible is no exception. Even Paul was subject to procrastination (Acts 15:36-41) in his failure to reconcile with Barnabas.

Lest you be tempted to think that procrastination is thus fine, think again. As GotQuestions shows in their article on the subject, the Bible, again and again, warns of the dangers of procrastination. ‘Consider the ant, oh sluggard’ and ‘do not let the sun go down on your anger’ have even worked their way into popular culture and have to some extent lost their significance.

 

Procrastination in Our Lives

Why is procrastination dangerous? After all, the Bible commands us not to work on Sunday, and not all Christians are called to service.

This may be your response to the message this article sends. But procrastination applies to every area of our lives, be we the greatest of missionaries or the lowliest of servants. Here are just a few examples from the Bible:

 

Lack of Procrastination in Ministry

This is likely the most obvious application of the Bible’s words on procrastination. Of course missionaries should not procrastinate. Why would they? They are bringing the word of God to every corner of the earth, and they must not fail in pursuing their mission. The salvation of many depends on it.

Notice that pursuing is the operative word in the previous sentence. Criticising missionaries for their lack of results is not righteous anger.

 

Lack of Procrastination in the Church

But even we who are not called to service in the mission field must not procrastinate. We have duties in the church as well: we are called to help our pastors, our deacons, and our Christian brothers. We should follow God’s commands, attend church, and commit to fellowship with other Christians.

 

Lack of Procrastination in Evangelism

All of us – missionary, pastor, deacon, or member of the congregation – Jew or Gentile – rich or poor – are called to evangelism. This is the Great Commission given in Matthew 28:16-20, and we are all commanded to obey it.

Hell is a reality.

 

Conclusion

Procrastination is no small enemy. It has conquered many great Christians and it can easily conquer us. But, in both our heavenly and earthly attributes, it is an enemy that we can defeat with the help of God. Our worldly pursuits and our human procrastination should never supersede our higher calling. So go out into the world – and share the word of God.

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Theology

You Will Be With Me

‘And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”’

Luke 23:43

 

AMERICAN FLAG FLIES AS WORLD TRADE CENTER SMOKE AND DUST LINGERS IN
AIR.

 

Two thousand, nine hundred and ninety-six.

That’s the number of people who died in the terrorist attacks on this day in 2001. It’s a painful number to imagine, especially for someone (like myself) who never saw it happen.

But there is a bright side, even if it doesn’t come from our world.

Luke 24 is about the death of Christ on the cross. It carries suitably dark themes, and by the forty-third verse, it feels like hope has vanished. We know, of course, that Jesus rose again, and that hope would return with the day, but Luke 23:43 is a strange verse, in light of the chapter’s immediate context.

One of the two thieves who is being crucified alongside Jesus mocks Him and laughs at Him, considering Him delusional. The other thief worships Him, to which Jesus replies ‘today you will be with Me in paradise.’

Isn’t that strange? The sky is darkened, the sun is blackened, and the Creator of the universe is at death’s door, and yet He is still declaring this man forgiven of his sins.

What does this verse have to do with 9/11? Well, of 2996 people, there may have – and probably was – one, at least, who accepted Christ that day. And Luke 23:43 gives us the assurance of their salvation – and should give us hope, too. If a thief dying on a cross can be saved, if a victim of terrorism can be saved, there is no power that may stop us from salvation, should we repent and place our trust in God. Death is a topic that churches and pastors tend to shy away from, which is a pity. It’s the most powerful tool at our disposal – the reality that either we will perish and suffer forever, or repent and be forever joyful. And the death of thousands should be no enemy of the gospel – on the contrary, it should be a tragedy that makes people cry out why?

And we can give an answer.


Sources

Terrorism in History

9/11 Death Statistics

Theology

Casting Lots in the Bible

What does it mean, to cast lots? Is it a Biblical mandate, or does the Bible condemn it? What should we make of this practice, used by Roman soldiers and Christian apostles alike?

 

An Introduction: The Division of the Land of Israel

Throughout the book of Joshua, God gives instruction to the eponymous character on the division of Israel among the twelve tribes. The casting of lots is used often in this section and seems to refer to some kind of random selection, like flipping a coin or rolling dice.

The casting of lots occurs 77 times throughout the Bible, with 70 of them found in the Old Testament. There are three examples that allow us to properly understand how we should understand this Jewish practice.

 

A Tool of Evil: The Casting of Lots for Jesus’ Garments

In Matthew 27:35, Roman soldiers are seen to gamble for Jesus’ clothing by casting lots. This is in fulfilment of Psalm 22:18, wherein David laments the theft and division of Jesus’ garments in the first person. So, if the soldiers who crucified Jesus are using them, lots must be evil, right?

 

A Tool of Good: The Casting of Lots for the Twelfth Disciple

In Acts 1, shortly before the coming of the Holy Spirit and the first sermon, the casting of lots appears for the seventy-seventh and final time in the Bible – and it’s for the purpose of replacing Judas. The disciples choose Bartholemew after casting lots to determine the replacement. Is the Bible advocating lots now?

 

A Tool of All Trades: The Casting of Lots for Jonah

In Jonah 1:7, Jonah is on the run from God. (That doesn’t work out too well, as you’ll find if you read it.) He’s awoken during the night as a storm rampages over his boat, bound for Tarshish. The sailors, recognising that the storm is no ill fate, cast lots to determine who is being punished by the God or gods. It turns out to be Jonah, and he’s duly cast overboard. So what do all these passages say about the casting of lots?

 

A Conclusion: The Coming of the Holy Spirit

It’s intentional that casting lots last appear just before the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Bible treats them as a pre-Spirit method of determining God’s will – or the gods’. It’s a tool that can be used by anyone – but it’s not in use today. The Holy Spirit changed that, as did the completion of the Bible.

So don’t cast lots, but don’t look down upon the disciples when they do it, or on Joshua when he does it. It’s not evil or good, it’s simply a thing that appears in the Bible.