March - Reading 3

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Mar 3, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening -

    In Numbers 6 tonight, I became curios about the Nazarites. The scriptures speak as if this was already a recognized group among the Jews but we had not encountered them up until this point. I am supplying a link to a commentary on this passage that I found enlightening as to why these instructions were necessary: Commentary

    In Matthew tonight we read the parable of the Wedding Feast. A few different points are made here. First of all, the King (God) becomes angry that the invited guest (the Jews) do not attend. Secondly, the common people (all of mankind) are invited in to share in the banquet. And thirdly, the one guest (believer) that is not in wedding attire (proper conduct for a believer) is tossed from the feast.

    In Romans, Paul is setting forth the priciples on which God judges men. God judges on truth (v.2), deeds (v. 6-11), and inner discernment (v. 12-15)

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint,

    First of all, Thanks to you for all the work you have done these past couple of months to provide a bit of a commentary to each day's reading. It's been less then a year since the Lord opened my eyes and my heart to the Truth and to His Love. My desire is to learn and grow and the commentary's have at times offered up new thought processes and understandings.

    If I could provide a comment/question in reference to the commentary you provided on the reading of Matthew:

    "Secondly, the common people (all of mankind)"

    ---Are these people, all of mankind or a reference to Gentiles?

    "And thirdly, the one guest (believer) that is not in wedding attire (proper conduct for a believer) is tossed from the feast."

    ---Is this a believer or a Gentile who received the invite but does not commit himself?

    I guess I ask this in reference to the "Once Saved, Always Saved" belief. Do you see this scripture as supporting that belief or does it support otherwise?

    I look forward to your response.

    [email protected]
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Hi [email protected]!

    Verse 9 of Matthew 21 states that the invitation was extended to "anyone you find" so I would think it extends to all mankind, Jew OR Gentile.
    The Jews had refused the prophets and corrupted the Law. As shown in verse 5, some went about their business, some to the fields, and others actively proactive in destroying God's messengers. Verse 7 can be taken as a prophecy against the Jewish people in that the King "sent an army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city." This could be a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. See also Luke 23:28-31 for a similar prophecy.

    It is thought that the custom of the time was for the host of the wedding to provide proper attire for the guest. To not wear the provided garb would be an insult to the host. I take it to mean proper conduct as instructed in the Bible. This is a parable that was not explained by Christ so it is left to our discernment. If the improperly clad guest is at the banquet, he has received the invitation and accepted it. There is a definite code of conduct that we are expected to follow as Christians. I think if it were one who did not receive the invitation or had turned it down, he would not be at the feast.

    I think verse 14 makes a good summary, "Many are called, but few are chosen." It is one thing to believe, it is another to accept. Look also to the rich young man (Matthew 19:16-28). He believed and he yearned but he was unable to fulfill his part of the obligation. If we follow Christ, we accept the burdens and resposibilities that come with being a Christian. The reading in Romans on deeds parallels this concept nicely.

    I hope others will comment further. Thanks for reading!

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  5. Born Again Catholic

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    Romans

    Paul is writing Romans in anticipation of the Jewish arguments that will be put forth to each of his statements. He has already upset them by sayimg that God's salvation is coming first to the Jew and then to the Gentile in chapter 1 and now in chapter 2 he is letting them know that God's wrath is coming first to the Jew then to the Gentile

    In Chapt 1:18-32 he talks in terms of "they" the pagans who new God only through natural reason could not be excused for not following the law.

    Now he talks in terms of "you"(the Jews) and with all that God has revealed to them how much more guilty is the Jew. (A christian not living the faith could ask himself the same question)

    The Jews condemned the pagans but they themselves have a false assurance of their salvation. Their faith basically rested on that they have been declared one of God's chosen people as marked by their circumcision. But being a true Jew requires that you be circumcised inwardly. Jeremiah 9:24-25 warns of this as well.

    Paul streses 8 times that it is important to obey the law. And i would call to mind the purpose of his mission to as stated at the begining and end of Romans to bring about the obediance of the law.

    Romans 2:13For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

    If you were a Jew what is the next question you would ask? What advantage is there in being a Jew? and that is just where Chapter 3 starts. He will also teach us that none of us may truly keep the law without Jesus, so much so that even our own cooperation with His grace is through grace itself.

    God Bless
     
  6. Born Again Catholic

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    Numbers

    The message in Numbers 5 is simple where ever God is present , everything has to be kept clean. As God dwells in the camp it must be kept clean.

    It applies to what Paul is teaching the Romans as the Holy Spirit is in us we must keep ourselves clean, we must be a Jew inwardly with a circumcised heart.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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    Indeed, the assumption is easily deduced that the church in Rome had a mixed congregation of both converted Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were likely "lording over" the Gentiles causing division as Paul will further address the issue of judgement amongst the congregation in chapter 14, specifically concerning dietary law and sacred days. It is likely that the Jews were a minority in this part of the world and Paul's Letter may well be designed to address them first, right behind the pagans, to "clear the pallette" of the audience, if you will.

    Another remarkable feature of this Letter is that it is written to an established congregation that existed long before Paul arrived in Rome. The message of the Gospel had reached far to the west already but these folks had evidently had no Apostolic teaching whatsoever. The placement of Romans in the New Testament is brilliant. It is the basic Gospel message of salvation, justification through faith, Righteousness from God.

    BAC, I appreciate your participation.
     
  8. Born Again Catholic

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    I forgot to include what is one of the most exciting things in Romans Chapter 2 v 24 where he quotes Ezekiel 36:22.. This is one of the 2 most important OT prophecies concerning the New Covenant and it prepares us for what is about to come.

    EZEKIEL 36:22-27
    It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD , declares the Sovereign LORD , when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
    24 " 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
    ------------------------------------------------

    God will not only declare us righteous but in fact He will in fact give us a "new heart" and He will put His Spirit in us and make us righteous. The Spirit makes it possible for us to keep the law.

    This is were some Protestants denominations and Catholics typically will disagree. The difference between God inputing His righteousness to you (some Protestants)and infusing His righteousness into you (Catholics and some Protestants).

    (As a side note this text in Ezekiel in conjunction with other OT studies part of reason why Catholics allow Baptism by sprinkling although immersion is the preferred method.)

    God Bless

    [ March 04, 2003, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: Born Again Catholic ]
     
  9. Born Again Catholic

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    In the first century Rome had a Jewish population est. over 50,000 with 13 synagoges. Rome was important to the Jews and the Christians.

    The Jews were expecting the Messiah to establish his everlasting kingdom over/through Rome as it was perceived to be the 4th beast in Daniel's prophecy. The leaders of the three other beasts, gentile nations which enslaved Isreal all had what could be called conversions of sorts which benefited the Isrealites. 1Babylon, 2Persian, 3Greek the 4Roman. The Christians also understood Daniel's vision and that they were the isreal of God and thus invested heavily with there blood to evangelize Rome, ultimately both Paul and peter gave up there lives there. This discussion unfortunately would take us far from the current reading list

    As far as Rome not having any other Apostolic teaching as of the time of this letter I think we will have to agree to disagree, someone in the other religions board will gladly provide you the evidence for Peter being in Rome prior to this. Historical documents place it originally during the reign of Claudius (41-54AD)
    But I am going to try to give up that type of debate during lent which starts weds. Help me on this.

    But as far as it relates to Romans, Paul did not want to build on another man's foundation,(most likely another apostle don't you think)

    Romans 15
    and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, 21but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand." 22This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you.

    God Bless

    PS I am enjoying participating and your commentary, the only thing I wil have to get used to is the speed, I could have easily spent a week on Romans 1 and another week of contemplation on ROmans 2.

    I have tried to comment for 3 nights and find it difficult I can see why most seem to read with little commentary.

    [ March 04, 2003, 04:17 AM: Message edited by: Born Again Catholic ]
     
  10. Born Again Catholic

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    Clint

    The other thing I think it important to understand is why Paul's support of the Gentiles is so important.

    A Jew could scoff at a fisherman interpreting the OT telling gentiles they are part of a new covenant with the God of Isreal. They could say you simply don't understand the text.

    Paul was Gamaleon's(sp) star pupil. Gamaleon was the first Rabbi to hold the title Rabbon "Our Rabbi" considered one of the greatest rabbi's among Jews to this day, (he is mentioned briefly in scripture.)

    What better way to convince the Jews than to take away the star pupil of their greatest rabbi and convert him. And then have him provide explanations as in the Book of Romans so steeped
    in OT teachings and in which Paul anticipates every objection by the non-converted Jews. This is what I believe Romans addresses not Jewish christians lording over their gentile brothers.
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

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    Yes, the pace of the reading format does not allow for debate. When possible, I will find threads that address certain points and link the commentary to them.

    It also does not allow time to investigate fully assertions that are made by tradition. While there is some hard evidence that Peter enjoyed popularity among the early Christians of Rome, his actually visiting there is primarily supported by the apocryphal book, The Acts of Peter and other nonscriptural writings. It is, indeed, a point worth pursuing.

    I believe the simplistic and basic message of Romans itself bears testimony to the lack of Apostolic teaching to the church in Rome. Certainly the theology can be viewed as the least intricate of any of Paul's Letters, yet the date of the Book puts it most likely on his third missionary journey. We can arrive at that deduction by seeing in chapter 15 that Paul was returning to Jerusalem with the offering for the impoverished in verse 26. In both Letters to the Corinthians, Paul speaks of this offering not yet being collected. Hence, Romans was written after the Corinthian Letters which were written from Ephesus and Macedoniaa on the third journey.

    The Scriptures themselves leave us hanging as to what became of Peter. It is accepted by most Protestants (at least those I have encountered) that Peter was indeed martyred as in 1Peter 1:14, the Apostle speaks of his eminent demise. It is not a subject (this acceptance) that I have investigated thoroughly. However, Acts starts out concentrating a great deal on Peter but the focus soon shifts onto Paul. The last we see of Peter is his miraculous escape from prison in Acts 12. If Peter had been to Rome before Paul's Letter, it is quite surprising that Luke leaves this fact out of the Book of Acts as the Book ends on Paul's three year captivity there. Therefore, logicaslly, if Peter went to Rome at all, it was after the conclusion (or more specificaly, non-conclusion) of Acts.

    Before this point in history, however, it had been decided that Paul would be the instrument that would reach the Gentiles (Acts 9:15) including Rome. Peter's First Epistle is a general Letter to the provinces of Asia Minor, the opposite direction from Rome, though this is hardly conclusive as Paul also taught in some of these same areas.

    The study of these subjects would take many, many essays following many lines of reason and conjecture. As you noted, we just ain't got time for that right now. [​IMG]

    [ March 04, 2003, 02:04 PM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  12. Clint Kritzer

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    Your point on Gamaliel is well taken. We find him mentioned in Acts 5:34; 22:3. Coincidentally, we will encounter his namesake in Numbers as he was the leader of Mannaseh.
     
  13. Clint Kritzer

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    I have cast the net, we shall see what it yeilds. [​IMG]

    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/59/439.html?
    password: ffa

    (The above link is not to the original topic I posted on the subject of Peter in Rome but is quite similar, albeit, not as polite a discussion. The original was deleted at some point during the past year. - CK)

    [ March 02, 2004, 09:13 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  14. Born Again Catholic

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    Realy not looking for debate here, rather just to share our mutual love for Jesus and his word for a change. And to start preparing myself for Easter Sunday during lent which starts tommorow.

    Undoubtedly I will or have said things you totally disagree with and vice versa. I haven't done a faith sharing with a non-catholic in a while but have found it rewarding previously because of the different things people tend to emphasize much can be learned by all.

    God Bless
     
  15. Gwyneth

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    In a sermon I once heard on the Matthew reading about the wedding feast, the Pastor said the garment referred to was to be covered (clothed ) by the blood of Jesus Christ.
    Gwyneth
     
  16. Clint Kritzer

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    Interesting analysis of the Passage, Gwyneth.
    As it has been put forth that it was the duty of the host to supply the wedding attire, that interpretation fits well and is quite credible.
     
  17. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture – 9/18/05

    Romans 2

    Paul’s audience in the Roman church consisted of both Jews and Gentiles. It is likely that as the words of chapter 1 stating the case of God’s wrath against the non-Jews were originally read, the Hellenistic Jews nodded their heads in agreement. The case was firmly established that the Gentiles were guilty because they had ignored the natural law as revealed in creation. Even the terms, Jew and Gentile, show the ethnic centricity of the Jewish people. In their minds there were only two types of people.

    God had revealed Himself to the Jews through the Mosaic Law as well as the natural law. They were the “chosen race” according to the Old Testament Scriptures, the heirs to Abraham and this led to a feeling of superiority by the Jews. Paul now turns his attention to this class and the diatribe here is much longer and more complete. In the plan of salvation, the Jews had been included first. However, with this position of greater knowledge came the position of greater responsibility and hence greater judgment.

    As is characteristic of many of the Pauline discourses found in his Letters, the argument takes the form of a debate with an unspeaking opponent. Having never met his audience in person, Paul may well have drawn from his debates with Hellenistic Jews in other communities. The reader should bear in mind that Paul himself had been a pious and seemingly righteous Jew. He knew his countrymen, their biases and their attitudes. This is not a condemnation of the Jews but rather a call to repentance for those who needed Christ. The idea is plain and is best expressed by James in his Epistle: be doers of the word, and not hearers only.

    Romans 2:1-16: The Jews and the Judgment

    Romans 2:1-11 Jews Compared to Greeks in Particular


    Notice that the word “judge” occurs three times in the first verse of chapter 2. Paul will be setting the judgment of man in sharp contrast to the judgment of God. Paul addresses the Jew as “O man” setting the stage for the debate, naming his opponent. The Jews leveled harsh criticism against the Gentiles for their numerous sins. Paul now points to the hypocrisy of such accusations.

    The KJV catches the essence of the Greek best by stating that God’s judgment is “in truth.” God judges things as they really are. The judgment of the Jews against the Gentiles put themselves into an exempted category but truth applies the same standards to all people.

    Beginning in verse 3, Paul once again addresses his opponent as “O man” and exposes the fallacy of the Jews position through the use of three rhetorical questions. The first is, “Do you suppose that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God?” This question is an appeal to common sense. If man who has “corrupt eyes” can see the iniquity of his fellow man, how much more then can God who has “incorruptible eyes” see the faults of the judge? Consequently, if the self-righteous Jew could condemn the sinful Gentile, would not a holy and just God condemn the juror? This basic truth seems to have been lost on Paul’s opponent and he stood in need of enlightenment of the facts.

    The second and third questions are, “Do you presume upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” The Jews had formed an attitude that because God had continued to follow them with blessings instead of cutting them off that they were somehow innocent. God’s mercy and patience was a means to lead them to repentance. They had falsely interpreted it as a sign that they held greater favor. God’s kindness would not negate His wrath.

    The use of the word wrath in verse 5 is the future, eschatological sense of the word (i.e. the final judgment) as opposed to the present process of retribution described in 1:8. God will continue to be kind to the penitent heart but the unpenitent heart will be punished. This applies to the Gentiles and the Jews.

    Paul continues, the judgment of God will not only be in truth but also according to works. This concept is not a contradiction to the concept of justification by faith. It is a different but related concept. F.J Leenhardt, a mid twentieth century commentator said of this verse, “This does not imply any contradiction with the principle of the free justification of the believer independently of his works. The two principles have not the same object.” The justified man will reflect the regeneration of his soul through outward acts of good conduct. It is for these deeds that we will receive reward (Galatians 5:5-6; 1Corinthians 3:14-15; 2Corinthians 5:10).

    The reward of God’s judgment on those who persevere in doing good deeds that give evidence of a right standing with Him is eternal life. The punishment on those that are contentious or factious against God’s will is God’s wrath and fury. The tribulation of the soul in verse 9 may be interpreted as punishment against man in his corporeal form or his spiritual being. This was no new news for the Jews but the next statement may have been viewed as somewhat shocking. This judgment of works was for the Jews and the Gentiles! The Jews had indeed been first in glory and honor but it is now revealed that they were also to be first in judgment.

    The whole point of Paul’s argument is then summed up in verse 11. God does not show partiality among different types of people. Each man will be judged upon his own merit, not who his ancestors were.

    Romans 2:12-16 Jews Compared to Gentiles in General

    Paul’s argument now broadens to encompass the Gentiles in general and sets a contrast between those with the written Law and those without. The Gentile who sins without the Law will perish, but the Jew who sins with the Law will be judged. God’s impartiality does not negate this. Remember, the Gentile had a law that had been revealed by the created order, but the Jew had a Law revealed to him by direct revelation.

    The superiority of doing over hearing the Law is crucial. This, too was no news for the Jew as to keep the commandments meant to obey the commandments. Merely hearing the Law would not protect the Jew. He must also act upon it. True obedience to the Law was an act of faith as it was obedience to God. Such faith was established by the righteous act of God in those who believed, whether they were Jew or Gentile.

    Verses 14-15 are a parenthetical return to a discussion of the Gentiles who acted rightly without the written Law. Such action demonstrated that they had a “natural law” that comes apart from special revelation as provided by Moses. This is the law provided by conscience. Calvin said of this verse, “There never was a nation so barbarous or inhuman that it did not regulate life with some form of law… We clearly see from that that there are certain original conceptions written on the hearts of men by nature.” Those without the Scriptures are not as responsible as those who have, however. The greater the opportunity the greater the responsibility.

    All will come to light when “God judges the secrets of men.” The final judgment by Christ Himself will be the ultimate fulfillment of the Gospel.

    Romans 2:17-29 The Jews and the Law

    Romans 2:17-24 The Jews and the Law in General


    Paul now paints a portrait of the Jews contrasting their knowing the Law and doing the Law. The high conception the Jew had of himself shows itself lacking when examined. The sentiments of this portion closely mirror Matthew 23:2-3.

    Paul begins with a list of nine things that gave the Jews their feeling of superiority over the Gentiles. These were: knowing God’s will, discernment of what was better, instruction in the Law, guiding the blind, being a light to those in darkness, correcting the foolish, teaching (spiritual) children, having knowledge and having truth. This was indeed an impressive list and not entirely inaccurate. The Jews had the Scriptures to back up each phrase. However, the moral failure of the Jews made their boast non-effective. They did not practice what they preached.

    Paul exposes their failure with five questions that show a spotlight on their inadequacies. The first question, “Will you not teach yourself,” exposes their hypocrisy on matters of spiritual teaching. The teacher has responsibility to follow his own instruction.

    The next three questions have to do with theft, adultery and sacrilege. Temple robbery was a common practice among the Jews in Paul’s time as is attested in Acts 19:37. The offenses of adultery and sacrilege were probably practiced right along with the Gentiles in Rome. The world had influenced the Jews more than the Jews had influenced the world. They had not fulfilled the role of being “lights” as the Law had instructed them (Isaiah 42:6).

    The fifth question brings forth the point that those who heard but did not do the Law brought dishonor to the name of God. The God of Paul was the God of Abraham. The pagans had many gods but Yahweh was associated with the Jewish people. When the conduct of their sect was judged by outsiders it reflected directly on their God.

    Romans 2:25-29 The Jews and Circumcision in Particular

    In the modern day Christians may have trouble understanding why circumcision was such a hot issue in the time of Paul. The act of circumcision held, and still holds, a great amount of significance among Semitic people. To the Israelites in particular it was viewed as a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant and was administered to all male babies on the eighth day of life. By the time of Paul, it had acquired an almost absolute value – a supreme shield against the powers of hell. Even the rabbinical literature of his day shows an attitude that a Jew would not be sent to Gehanna (hell) until the marks of circumcision had been removed. Therefore, Paul’s statement that circumcision only held conditional value was bound to be controversial.

    Romans was written after Galatians {no matter which theory one accepts) and after the circumcision controversy of Acts 15. Paul does not deny the value of circumcision IF the external sign is accompanied by inward obedience to the Law. A lack of obedience removes the value of circumcision (Galatians 5:3).

    Paul then asks another rhetorical question. If one who is not circumcised, that is a heathen, keeps the moral law as described by Moses, will he not be as readily accepted by God as would a Jew who is circumcised? The answer is, of course, in the affirmative. It has already been established that God does not show partiality because of national heritage. The old Jewish system would have answered “no.”

    Paul now says something truly radical to Jewish thought. If a heathen, who in his natural state of uncircumcision, keeps the moral law, his conduct condemns the Jew who does not keep the Law. This makes a bad Jew worse than a good pagan. There is no evidence that Paul is speaking here of Gentile converts. He is speaking of the Gentile world at large being more potentially upright than the children of Abraham!

    God had indeed separated the Jews from the rest of mankind. That separation was, however, more than Jewish rites. It was a separation brought about by a circumcision of the spirit by the Holy Spirit of God. Paul has turned the word “Jew” from an ethnic description to a spiritual state. The Jews were still separate as a peculiar people, but who was a Jew was now defined by conduct that stemmed from a saving faith.

    Albert Barnes concluded his commentary of this chapter with the following conclusions:

    The remarks which are made here respecting the Jews, are also strictly applicable to professing Christians, and we may learn--

    1. That the external rites of religion are of much less importance than the state of the heart.

    2. That the only value of those rites is to promote holiness of heart and life.

    3. That the mere fact that we are born of pious ancestors will not save us.

    4. That the fact that we were dedicated to God in baptism will not save us.

    5. That a mere profession of religion, however orthodox may be our creed, will not save us.

    6. That the estimate which men may put on our piety is not the proper measure of our true character and standing.

    7. It is an inexpressible privilege to be in possession of the word of God, and to know our duty. It may, if improved, conduce to our elevation in holiness and happiness here, and to our eternal felicity hereafter.

    8. It is also a fearful thing to neglect the privileges which we enjoy. We shall be judged according to the light which we have; and it will be an awful event to go to eternity from a Christian land unprepared.

    9. Whatever may be the destiny of the heathen, it is our duty to make preparation to meet God. The most wicked of the heathen may meet a far milder doom than many who are eternally moral, or who profess religion in Christian lands. Instead, therefore, of speculating on what may be their destiny, it is the duty of every individual to be at peace himself with God, and to flee from the wrath to come.
     
  18. Clint Kritzer

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