Aloha Friday Message – November 15, 2019 – Here it comes!

1946AFC111519 – Here it comes! (Special Edition)

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     Luke 21:17-19 17 You will be hated by all because of my name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish*. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.

* ἀπόληται·(apolētai) {apo-let-ta-hee} from ἀπόλλυμι (apollumi) {ap-ol’-loo-mee} → to destroy, destroy utterly kill, destroy, lose,  as in “I am perishing” (the resultant death being viewed as certain) implies permanent (absolute) destruction, i.e. to cancel out (remove); “to die, with the implication of ruin and destruction;” to cause to be lost (utterly perish) by experiencing a miserable end.

That’s sounds terrible! BUT – “you will not perish – not even a hair on your head will be destroyed.”

I’ve been looking forward to this post for a long time. The index number for this post – 1946AFC111519 – contains the year of my birth which means that in just a few days (God willing) I will be 73. When I was a kid, seventy-three seemed ancient. Well, the good news is that now that I’m finally here, it still feels ancient! Of course when I was 19 and was young and going on 45, so at 73 I’m old and going on 111 – which makes sense. I know some of you are saying “No, you’re only as old as you feel.” Well, in that case, you’re right; I’m 73 going on 118, so 111 sounds pretty good, yes?

November 17 (this post will go up on the 15th) is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings for that Sunday are a collection of my favorites, so I feel doubly blessed. This message also connects with other studies from the past. It is best known for the prophecy of the End Times – in Luke 21: 8-11 Jesus says “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” All of that will come with the added Christian necessity of enduring persecution. Jesus tells us we should not fear these opportunities – opportunities to display our trust in him, as we said previously.

In 2016 we used Luke 21:13 13 This will give you an opportunity to testify.

GNT Luke 21:13 Ἀποβήσεται δὲ ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον (marturion) {mar-too’-ree-on} → a testimony, a witness; witness, evidence, testimony, proof; “one who bears testimony to faith,” especially “one who willingly suffers death rather than surrender his or her religious faith,” specifically “one of the Christians who in former times were put to death because they would not renounce their beliefs,” late Old English martyr, from Late Latin martyr, (source also of Old French martir, Spanish martir, Italian martire, etc.), from Doric Greek martyr, earlier martys (genitive martyros), in Christian use “martyr,” literally “witness.” https://www.etymonline.com/word/martyr

Luke 21:8 And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am *he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. (*or just I AM, i.e., YHWH.) That connection between “martyr” and “testify” in our English language usually draws up a mental image of someone being murdered – often in a horrible way – for their faith in Christ. I have often wondered what becomes of the souls who are martyred for a “not-Christ?” There’s the antichrist spoken of in the Epistles of John (See 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3, and 2 John 1:7). There certainly are false messiahs at work on The World. There are also false Christians. Perhaps you’ve seen the coined-work RINO in the media. That stands for “Republican In Name Only.” I think we could coin a similar word – CINO for “Christian In Name Only” or even CCINO “Catholic Christian In Name Only.” These are souls who have heard and embraced the Truth, they have repented and believed the Gospel; but there is no evidence of “Christian living.” We also recall Jesus’ admonition “by their fruits you shall know them” (See Matthew 7:16-20). What becomes of these souls when the Day of Reward comes upon them unexpectedly? The Apostle Paul has some stark words for the CCINO that also apply to unbelievers and adversaries of God. Here are a couple of examples from his letter to the Hebrews:

Hebrews 10:26-31, 36 26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. … 36 For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Hebrews 6:4-8 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.

Do we get to line up with the sheep or the goats? That Day of Reward (often heartlessly called “Judgment Day”) is coming! Jesus himself said that we must be prepared and that some of us will have an unpleasant surprise when the roll is called up yonder. We are familiar with the account in Matthew 7 about superficial faith – CCINO faith. Matthew 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.'”

What is the will of the Father? How can we know what to do? How can we be opened to the Grace that saves us if we do not know “the will of the Father?” We might think about the passage where Jesus told us the answer to that question: John 14:21 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.  How do we get those commandments so we have those commandments and can love Jesus enough that God will be revealed to us? What is God’s will for us in that? The will of the Father is that we should listen to the Son: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM.” (See Matthew 17:5) As Katnip the Cat used to say, “That sounds logical.” (← Check it out!) Would it surprise you to know that there are 50+ commandments from Jesus in the Gospels? Here are just a few: Repent, believe, follow me, seek the Kingdom first, do not be afraid, do not worry, do unto others a you would have them do unto you, do not judge, love God, love your neighbor, Love one another as I have Loved you, do more than is expected of you, beware of false prophets, take care of orphans and widows – the poor and marginalized, honor your parents, keep your word, be generous, do not swear, let your yes be yes and your no be no, choose the narrow way, forgive your enemies, bless them that curse you, and a whole bunch more! Had enough? How can we ever do all of these things? Try these ideas.

Make these the rules of your life:

  • Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness & Humility
  • To instruct the ignorant. to counsel the doubtful, to admonish the sinner, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive offenses willingly, to comfort the afflicted, to pray for the living and the dead.
  • To feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick, to visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive, to bury the dead.
  • And this: Romans 12:9-21 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Yes, the World will hate us. Yes, the World will come after us with everything they can that will hurt us. Yes, the World will judge us a lunatics, and unfit, as delusional, deplorable, and worthless. God, therefore, will see to it that in the end, nothing will harm us because we were patient in our perseverance. Blesséd be God forever in his angels and his Saints (that’s gonna be us, folks!)

      Feast on the Word Belovéd, and you will be empowered and inspired to have Jesus’ commandments and keep them. Remember that everything we need to know about knowing and pleasing God is as close at hand as our Bibles.

To help make it easier for us to get started on that, I’ve put together a little Treasure Trove of Scripture. You can use this link – just click on the picture – and you’ll find it, or you can use this link as well. I’ve also relocated the Subscribe link to make it easier to sign up for mailing directly from the website. Of course, most subscribers just use the email-list method; send me an email address and I’ll add it to the list. This Treasure Trove page is a collection of passages that have nourished my soul, and many of them have been shared in other posts. As more of these nurturing Treasures are found, I’ll add them to the collection. Meanwhile, do dust off that Bible and look for a little “snack” – a treat you might share with the rest of us. It is a way to grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (See Luke 2:52) – we will grow in Virtue by feeding on the Word. You know the word VIVO –  it means “in something alive.” Today I’ll also state that V.I.V.O. is short for Virtue In – Virtue Out.

Yes indeed, the Day of Reward is near; here it comes. As it grows closer, we will see wondrously terrifying moments and events, and yes indeed we will see increasing persecution; not to worry! We have the Word to sustain us so that not even a hair will be harmed.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —

at your service, Belovéd!

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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