Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 98  of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 2 Kings 24 today and our focus is on When judgment comes…is judgment really coming?  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Queensland, Australia, Jharkhand, India, Parts unknown, Malaysia, London, England, South Bend, Indiana, and Macon, Georgia. Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Let’s kick off with a thought provoking comment from WhereWhatHuh on our episode about the perpetual virginity of Mary:

One doctrinal issue that creates this great divide is the concept of original sin. If we believe that sin is heritable, i.e., that a newborn baby is already contaminated with sin, then we must distinguish Jesus from sinful human parents on both sides. Thus Mary must be sinless also, and thus must herself have been miraculously (immaculately) conceived.* Having been given a special dispensation of grace, she must, logically, then, remain sinless and unsullied by merely human passions. Hence, the doctrine of perpetual virginity. On the other hand, if we take the position that sin is not heritable, but rather, a sinful nature is heritable, i.e., that a newborn is innocent but shall not long remain innocent, and at a certain age shall become accountable for those sins, however minor, then Mary need not be miraculously conceived, nor remain physically innocent after Jesus’ birth. She, like us, would be a sinner saved by grace. The virgin birth of Jesus, then, is not to prevent Him from inheriting sin, but rather to distinguish His conception from every other human conception, and to establish that no man was His father. While I don’t agree with the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, I don’t have any rocks to throw at those who do. However, it is important to see that doctrines are not mish-mash smorgasbord cafeterias where we pick and choose doctrines we like. Once we commit to a position on one issue, that drives (or at least informs) the remainder of our doctrine. We must think through our doctrines.

Excellent thoughts and deep theological waters to swim through on that quote, old friend.

We read 5 New Testament chapters a week, and 2 Old Testament chapters a week, to give us a total of 104 for the year. Now the Old Testament has 929 chapters, so our goal is to fully cover the New Testament, and to get an overview of important events, teachings and chapters in the Old Testament, and that’s what is going on today. Let’s go ahead and read our passage early on the Babylonian exile, and then discuss what it could possibly mean for Christians thousands of years later.

Yesterday we read about the bulk of the tribes of Israel going into captivity under the hand of the Assyrians, and today we see the remaining people going into captivity under the Babylonians – two massive events in the history of the Hebrew people. After years – centuries, really- of God warning His people through the prophets…judgment has come, and it is terrifying. Why does God bring judgment? God brings judgment because He is just, and justice must always reckon with and deal with sin. The better question might be – how can a holy God delay His justice and judgment for so long? Let’s turn to Peter for an answer to that question:

Dear friends, don’t overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. 2nd Peter 3:8-9

So – God is holy and just and patient and merciful. When He promises judgment, judgment will come, and this doesn’t impinge in the least on His patience or mercy. The Israelites and Judeans were warned for hundreds of years that judgment would be coming, but they scoffed and ignored that. and the consequences were terrible. Peter warns that the people living in the days before the return of Jesus will behave similarly:

Above all, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days scoffing and following their own evil desires, saying, “Where is his ‘coming’ that he promised? Ever since our ancestors fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.” They deliberately overlook this: By the word of God the heavens came into being long ago and the earth was brought about from water and through water. Through these the world of that time perished when it was flooded. By the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2nd Peter 3:3-7

Scoffers will come, and will believe that it has been too long since the first coming of Jesus and His return, and they will believe this means that He is not returning, and thus they are free to do what they want…but Revelation 20 foreshadows how history will end:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and one seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. 13 Then the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them; each one was judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

In my childhood, hellfire and brimstone preachers were still kind of popular – preachers who would pound their Bibles and talk much about hell and seek to scare people. I am not a hellfire and brimstone preacher, but today’s passage, and today’s Scriptures remind us of the reality of hell and judgment, and God’s holiness, and it is good for us to have a sobering reminder of those truths. I’ll close today in the same place we did yesterday, with Hebrews 12:

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for April  James 4:6 “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

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