Vol. 35, No. 1 January, 2011
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
From our house to your house we wish for each of you a very happy and prosperous NEW YEAR!
THE ISSUES OF LIFE
By Dr. George Mills
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are THE ISSUES OF LIFE.”
As we face this New Year we have to face the reality of the fact that we will face the same ISSUES OF LIFE over again. The date may change, but life goes on. We may change our address, or change our situation, change our lifestyle, change, change, change, but with every new day, THE ISSUES OF LIFE are there waiting for us.
1. WHAT IS THE HEART? What does the Bible mean when it speaks of the heart?
(A) Sometimes the “heart” refers to the physical organ we know as the heart muscle that pumps blood through our veins. What a wonder of creation that muscle is. In a normal lifespan it will pump enough blood to fill 100 tank cars with blood. “Life is in the blood,” as the Bible states.
(B) Practically always the Biblical mention of the “heart” refers to the “seat of our emotions, our will, our intellect, our conscience.” So the heart refers to the real “YOU.” Where “YOU” live, think, plan and scheme. The inner YOU.” “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” (Mt. 12:34).
2. WHAT ARE THE ISSUES OF LIFE?
Just what does the Bible mean? The ISSUES OF LIFE are many and varied, but I believe we can bring them down to just a few categories. I believe that everything springs forth from these simple things…
(A). ISSUE #1; “IS THERE A GOD? YES! There is a God! I have met Him!
“How can I know for sure that God exists?” This is a real problem for many.
There is no way we can prove that God exists in the way you may prove something mathematical or scientific, or produce a picture of God and say “There is His picture.” I have chosen a few simple things that point to the fact that God exists…
(a) CREATION testifies that God exists. “Woe unto him that striveth with his maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioned it, what makest thou? Or thy work, he hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, what begettest thou? Or to the woman what hast thou brought forth? Thus saith the Holy One of Israel and his maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it. I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their hosts have I commanded.” (Isa. 45:9-12).
Just take a look at creation in all of it’s glory. Creation says “there is a Creator.” If there is a car, there is a builder of cars. If there is a building, there is a builder of buildings. If there is a universe, there is a Designer of that universe. This glorious creation did not happen because of a “big bang” any more than an explosion in a junk yard would create a new automobile. This all did not evolve as the evolutionists and atheists say. Where there is creation, there is a Creator.
(b) ORDER OF CREATION testifies that God exists. Everything in God’s creation is in order. Everything works like it was designed to work (except man). “For by Him (Christ) were all things created that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” (Col. 1:16-17). “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech. (With each new day God speaks a million sermons) and night showeth knowledge.” (Psalm 19). Each new day will be 24 hours long. The earth will revolve one time. The tides will rise and fall twice. Everything works as it was designed to work.
(c) THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. God’s unchangeable laws testify of the existence of God. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to get, and a time to lose, a time to keep, a time to cast away. A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate, a time of war and a time of peace.” (Eccl. 3:1-8). Every part of this passage touches every life, in various ways, but it touches every life, and the circle of life passes to the next generation, and so on. God balances life. Everything is in order, working as it should. His system works to prove that God is concerned about you.
(B) ISSUE #2; “IF THERE IS A GOD, CAN I KNOW HIM?” One of the greatest ISSUES OF LIFE is man’s concept of God and how mankind can get to Him. One day while visiting Mars Hill in Athens, Paul saw “gods” of every size, shape and kind. There was a “god for everything” and just in case they had forgotten, or overlooked a ‘god,’ they had made and image and dedicated it to the “unknown god.” (Acts 17:16-31). Paul uses this to preach Jesus Christ to the people, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Yes, we can know God. At this present time there are more than six billion people on earth and God is concerned about each one of us. His Love and concern for YOU is real. May I add this, that apart from the Bible (KJB) man’s idea of God would continue to be as Paul saw it that day on Mars Hill.
(C) ISSUE #3; “WHY DO I FEEL GUILTY?”
At the root of guilt is sin. Adam and Eve lived in perfect unity and harmony with God until the serpent beguiled Eve about the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden, and in turn she gave to her husband Adam, and he did eat. (Gen. 3:1-24). Many things happened to our parents then. They incurred a fallen nature, and with that fallen nature came a guilt complex. They hid from the presence of God. That guilt complex is passed on to everyone born. We inherit guilt. Guilt unresolved can lead many different ways in life. Guilt can cause emotional distress, mental breakdowns, tensions, addictions. Guilt must be dealt with. There is forgiveness and freedom from all guilt through Faith in the Person of Jesus Christ; “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sin.” (Col. 1:13-14). When we, by Faith alone ask Christ into our heart, He comes in, and forgives all the past. “And your sins and iniquities I will remember no more.” God forgives, now we must learn to accept ourselves as God accepts us. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners but fellowcitizens with the saints of the Household of God.” (Eph. 2:19). “Beloved, NOW are we the sons of God..” Accept yourself as God accepts you. We must learn to stop torturing ourselves with the past. Please take a few moments and read Psalm 32. The Psalmist David felt guilty. He could find no rest. He confessed his sin to God. The Psalmist went from SIN, (v1), to SORROW (v10), to SONGS, v7, to SHOUTING, (v11). The same thing can happen in every life.
(D) ISSUE #4; “WHY IS THERE SO MUCH SUFFERING AND WRONG IN THE WORLD?” Many are puzzled at this. This is one of the GREAT ISSUES OF LIFE.
Life is not always fair. We live in an imperfect world, filled with imperfect people. All around us there is death and decay. We must remember that the entire creation was affected by the fall of man. As the high powered telescopes send pictures of the moon and distant planets back to earth, I believe we see that they bear marks of judgment. Paul said “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Ro. 8:19-24). Everything bears the marks of the curse of Genesis 3:1-24). But better times are coming. “And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reigns. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” “They shall not hurt nor destroy in my Holy Mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa. 11:1-16). One day righteousness WILL reign. But now, satanic forces are alive and very active. Christ has won the victory, but the battle is not over unto the strong angel binds Satan and casts him into the lake of fore, (Rev. 20). “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of troubles.” (Job 14:1) All within the CIRCLE OF LIFE we have discussed. Troubles, wars, death, murders, riots will continue and worsen until the King of Kings returns to earth and sets up His Kingdom. Until that time, in a world of trouble and fears, we have that wonderful promise, “Thou will keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on thee.”
(E). ISSUE #5; “IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?” Here is another one of the great ISSUES OF LIFE. Man searches for answers, but he searches in the wrong places. The Bible (KJB) gives the answer. The Old Testament Book of Job asks that question; “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). “But man dieth and wasteth away, yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” (Job 14:10). The Bible (KJB) is very clear on this subject.
FIRST OF ALL, when a Christian dies he goes immediately into the presence of God. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2Cor. 5:8). I do not believe for a moment that when a person dies he just floats around somewhere or walks the earth seeking rest. When the believer dies he goes to be with the Lord Jesus, and
LIKEWISE, when the unbeliever dies, he does not wander aimlessly, or live in some “haunted house.” His ghost does not torment people who are alive. When the unbeliever dies his soul goes to the place the Bible calls hell, (Luke 16:19-31). So you see, it is not a question of “IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?” The answer is clear. The real question is “WHERE WILL YOU GO WHEN YOU DIE?” What you do with Jesus Christ determines where you will go at death. Make no mistake about it there are two and only two destinies; HEAVEN or HELL. If Christ is your Saviour you go to be with Him at death. If you have rejected Christ, at the hour of your death there is no hope. Christ died, and arose from the dead to be the conqueror of death, hell, and the grave.
His victory is our victory. Believe the Message of the Gospel. There is no hope without Christ.
(F) ISSUE #6; “WHY AM I HERE?”
“There must be some reason for my existence here, but what is it?”
You are God’s creation. God has a wonderful plan and purpose for you. The writer Solomon wrote three Books of the Bible; Proverbs, Song Of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. He probably wrote the Song Of Solomon when he was a young man. The Song Of Solomon is the love story of a young man and woman. And Solomon wrote the Book Of Proverbs later in life after he learned more about THE ISSUES OF LIFE. And then Solomon wrote the Book Of Ecclesiastes later in life when he was an old man. Solomon made many mistakes in life. He had an awful price to pay for his mistakes. The ISSUES OF HIS LIFE WERE MANY AND VARIED.
In Ecclesiastes 2, the ISSUES OF HIS LIFE were pleasure, laughter, fun and mirth. Live it up! That did not last long. Then he tried wine. That did not last long. Then he built houses, and pools. He had servants, laughter, wine, women and song. He tried everything possible. He had everything a man thinks of and at the last when he looked his life over he had only one thing to say; VANITY and VEXATION. Nothing was there. He had everything a man would want, but he had nothing. “ALL IS VAIN.”
Now, let us follow Solomon as he gives us the conclusion of his book. It answers the question, “WHY AM I HERE?” “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, FEAR GOD and keep His Commandments, for this is THE WHOLE DUTY of man.” (Eccl. 12:13).
We are here to glorify God. To “fear God” does not mean we are to be afraid, or frightened or be terrified at the very thought of God. We are to reverence God, to respect God, to Love and glorify God. When God is FIRST in our lives, then all of THE ISSUES OF LIFE are answered
3. WHAT MAN NEEDS IS A NEW HEART. If the heart is right, the ISSUES OF LIFE are right. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” (Eze. 36:26)
This happens when you come to Christ, in Faith, believing. When we receive the Message of the Gospel, the message about the Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ we are born again. “But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name. We receive a new heart when we are born from above.
4. KEEP THY HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE.
The word “keep” means to guard. Guard the things that are of the Holy Spirit in your life. Don’t allow the devil a foothold that he may gain a stronghold in your life..
FEED on the Word of God (KJB). The Word will make you wiser and stronger than the enemies that war against your mind.
PRAY. Develop a strong, meaningful PRAYER life. You have access to God at all times. Take every burden to God in PRAYER.
WORK. Be busy in His service. Seeing the Gospel work in the lives of others helps our own Faith to grow.
LOVE. Express your Love for Christ. He is worthy of your Love, and Praise.
Keep your MIND, your HEART fixed on the things of God.
“My HEART is fixed, O God my HEART is FIXED: I will sing and give praise.” (Psa. 57:7)
NOW THAT THE HEART IS FIXED, THE ISSUES OF LIFE ARE NOT SO COMPLICATED!
THINK ABOUT IT..The problem with man is not on the outside, the problem with man is his heart (his mind, his emotions, his thinking.) “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Don’t trust your heart until you have trusted Christ for that new heart, that new mind. Keep that, guard that. Then the ISSUES OF LIFE become incidental.
Life’s Issues change when Life’s Insurer comes in
1611—2011. ON THE 400th ANNIVERSARY OF GOD’S GREAT GIFT, WE GIVE HIM PRAISE FOR THE INSPIRATION, PRESERVATION OF HIS HOLY WORD, THE KING JAMES BIBLE.
MY BIBLE (KJB)
By Pastor George Mills
I believe that the Bible is a Gift of God,
And that every Word in it is pure.
Although many debate it,
And many more hate it,
It is Truth that will ever endure.
Refined more than silver,
Of more value than gold,
More treasure than man can afford.
And though often tried,
And daily denied,
It’s Treasure is Christ, The Lord.
It’s Words are inspired, each one is true,
No error or fault can one find.
To trust and obey,
It’s Commandments each day,
Will give one real peace of mind.
It told me of Christ,
And His Great Love for me,
No other book can compare.
It tells of Salvation,
For each generation,
It tells of a Heaven to share.
So I’ll stay with the Bible,
The Book Divine,
The Book that tells of Christ’s Love,
It seeks to refine,
And a new life design,
‘Til at last I’m in Heaven above.
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
WE ARE SURROUNDED
Another Christmas has come and gone…the time we celebrate our Lord’s Birthday. We have been, and still are TOTALLY SURROUNDED. Surrounded by family, friends, gifts, cookies, cakes, candies, and just about everything good and wonderful, but most of all, surrounded by our Saviour’s Love. Some of our grandchildren were here and we enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to Jesus before indulging in His special cake we made just for Him. We are having a wonderful time and trust that you are also.
A New Year will soon be ours to serve Him, the One who came to die so we could live. Let’s serve Him in a greater way than ever before. Just think, the ones who accept Jesus as their Saviour this year will have a more meaningful celebration of His birth come December 25, 2011!!! They will know what it means to be surrounded by God’s Love.
Psalm 125:2 says, “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even forever.”
I hope Christmas was Christ centered at your house and we are wishing you and yours a Happy, Healthy, and busy for Him New Year!
P.S. My New Year’s resolution is to get leaner instead of meaner this year. How about you!?!
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS
Doesn’t everyone like to start out a New Year with a new goal? Many people set goals like, losing weight, or spending less money. I also know that most of the people who set these goals normally do not keep them throughout the year. Well how about this year we focus on setting the goals that are pleasing to God?
I think a few goals such as; spending more time reading the Bible, or spending more time in prayer, would be good for all of us to keep in mind. Then we should make sure to start each day this year with these goals in mind. Instead of thinking so much on what we have to do during that day, we should begin by thanking God for giving us the day that we are blessed with.
My goal this year is to shine my Christian light more and make my faith more public to others. I often remind myself of the Bible verse that says, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” I need to show others that also. If it’s just simply telling someone, “Hey, I’m praying for you,” or just simply reading the Bible to someone who isn’t saved. There are many people out there in this world who need to hear that someone cares about them, or that someone is praying for them. Many people are lost and don’t know what the feeling of being loved feels like. I feel like God wants me to show them that love and to let the love of Christ shine through me.
So I have a goal for each and everyone who may be reading this; set a Christian goal this year that would be pleasing to God. Don’t let this goal just slip through your fingers and just do it for a week, but make sure that you stay with this goal throughout the year and let your light shine for God! Have a safe and Wonderful New Year! May God Bless your life each and every day.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
“In the Name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith. Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends of the aforesaid by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, on the 11th of November, Ano. Dom. 1620.
LET’S GET TO, AND STAY WHERE WE STARTED!
1. with the WILDERNESS we stay within the doctrines of our belief, that is, Historic, Fundamental Baptist as stated in each edition.
2. We make every effort to stay within the three fold guidelines of our PURPOSE as stated in every issue.
3. We do not solicit advertisement from or for anyone.
4. There is never any solicitation for funds. All free will gifts are needed and greatly appreciated. 100% of every dollar given to the WILDERNESS is used to publish the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations.
5. Any reference to an article, book, or a statement by anyone other than the WILDERENESS Staff does not mean an endorsement.
6. While the ISSUES of the day are freely discussed in the WILDERNESS, we make all efforts to refrain references to PERSONALITIES as much as possible.
7. The Editor is solely responsible for the contents of the WILDERNESS. There is never an attempt to plagiarize, or mis-use the work of another. Any similarities are purely coincidental.
8. We welcome your comments. We will make every attempt to answer a sincere question. However we will NOT carry on a ‘through the mail’ or ‘internet debate’ with anyone. The things we believe, and publish are not debatable.