On the night before Jesus was crucified, He said to His disciples, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death." He went into the garden, fell on His face, and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:36-56).
Luke 22:44 says, "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood." Three times He prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."
What is this cup that caused Jesus such agony? Many believe it was the way He was about to die. Indeed, crucifixion was such a painful form of punishment, a new word was coined to describe it: "excruciating."
But many Christians, beginning with the apostles, have rejoiced to suffer for the gospel. Why was Jesus in dread? Because the cup He was to drink from was the cup of God's wrath. Psalm 75:8 says, "For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and He pours out from it and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs."
It's that cup Jesus drank for His own when He died on the cross for our sins. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Whoever who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on Him (John 3:36).
"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10), when we understand the text.
Would you stand at someone's window and watch them have sex? Whoa, pretty shocking question, right? That probably took you by surprise. Yet it didn't bother you last night when you were watching Game of Thrones, or anything else with a gratuitous sexual scene. Watching that is the same as if you were to pay someone to let you stand at their window and watch them have sex.
Unlike movie violence, simulated with make-up and special effects, sex scenes are real. Those are real people really getting naked and really doing with one another something that should only be shared between a husband and a wife in private.
Would you want to watch your spouse acting out those scenes with someone else? Would you watch your son or daughter? Yet those persons in those scenes are someone's children. They might even be married. And you're part of their adultery. You are a participant in what they are doing when you watch it.
Jesus said, "I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). You might say, "Hey, it's just art. I don't lust when I watch those scenes." Well, then you're a carrot. You're certainly not a warm-blooded human being.
Exactly how much porn would you have to see before you're disgusted by it? Don't watch this garbage. Jesus went on to say, "If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell" (Matthew 5:29).
Repent of your sin before Christ, and you will be forgiven. Whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, find joy in these things, when we understand the text.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8
It's considered edgy in popular culture to depict God as a woman. Some pop songs refer to God with feminine verbiage. And it's widespread in liberal theology, especially among egalitarians and feminists.
To justify this, these liberal theologians might use passages like Hosea 13:8, where God says, "I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs." Or Isaiah 42:14 where it says the Lord cries out "like a woman in labor." Or Matthew 23:37 where Jesus longs to gather Jerusalem "as a hen gathers her chicks."
But these are all similes to convey strong emotion. The hen reference was made by Jesus, the God-man. Even the Apostle Paul made such statements. He said to the wayward Galatians he was in "the anguish of childbirth" for them (Galatians 4:19), and to the Thessalonians he was gentle with them "like a nursing mother" (1 Thes. 2:7).
In all of Scripture, there is never one feminine title for God. He is never called a queen, mother, daughter, or bride. He's always described in masculine terms: Lord, King, Ruler, Judge, Warrior, Savior, Father, Husband, Shepherd.
While it's true that God is spirit and not man, He has chosen to reveal Himself in the masculine, and that is how we must revere Him. To make God feminine, even using feminine pronouns, reeks of pride, fashioning a god of your own making. Repent, lest you be judged with the nations who worshiped the Asherah, or the mother-god (Micah 5:14-15).
1 John 2:22 tells us that the antichrist "denies the Father and the Son." Whoever worships the Son worships the Father also, when we understand the text.
Creflo Dollar: "You are gods, little-g."
Paula White: "You are a little god."
Jim Jones: "I'm a god and you're a god."
Benny Hinn: "Psalm 82 verse 1 says, 'God standeth in the congregation of the mighty,' that's you. 'He judgeth among the gods.' Who are the gods? You are."
Joyce Meyer: "God calling His creation, His man, little gods."
Psalm 82 says, "God has taken His place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods He holds judgment," and says, "'How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?'"
Evil kings who perverted justice had let authority go to their head, so the Lord sarcastically called them gods. But unlike God, "They have neither knowledge nor understanding. They walk about in darkness." He goes on to say, "You are gods, sons of the Most High; nevertheless like men you shall die," reminding them that they are not gods.
In John 10, the people wanted to stone Jesus for blasphemy because He called Himself God. Jesus said, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'? If He called them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be broken, do you say of Him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?"
Jesus was saying, "You hate the Son of God, and you're accusing me of blasphemy? You're among the gods Scripture says will die like men." When God calls men little gods it's not a description. It's derision. So humble yourself and fear God, when we understand the text.
"He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then He will speak to them in His wrath and terrify them in His fury, saying, 'As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.' Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him." Psalm 2:4-6, 10-12
In Matthew 13, Jesus taught this parable: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground and immediately they sprang up. But the sun scorched them and they withered since they had no root. Other seeds fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked them.
"But other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
The disciples asked Him the meaning of the parable, so Jesus said, "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
"As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself. He endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, he falls away."
"As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit," because his faith is genuine.
There are people who might appear to be Christians for a time. But when their faith is no longer convenient, it turns out to be a passing opinion. They were never truly saved.
1 John 2:19 says, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, so it might become plain" they were never part of Christ's body, when we understand the text.