A feast with consequences

King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand. Daniel 5:1 ESV

What’s so special about what looks like any feast?
At the time, the Persian army stood before the gates of Babylon. They had just beaten Belshazzar’s father, King Nabonidus, in the Battle of Opis, effectively beating the Babylonians and clearing the path for the capital.

However, no panic is recorded to have happened at their arrival – Babylon was the most powerful stronghold of its time, and it’s inhabitants simply regarded it as impregnable. It is understandable that king Belshazzar was very self-confident, which explains with what mindset he was able to feast at a such a time.

Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. (v. 2)

In his drunkenness, he becomes so proud as to utterly disregard the God of Israel, the God which the former king Nebuchadnezzar II had known to be the one true God. He ignored everything he had witnessed (He was alive during the events of chapter 4) and defiled the Lord through his abuse of the treasure.

By the time he (literally) saw the writing on the wall, it was too late – that same night, the Persians took Babylon without resistance and killed Belshazzar. Daniel, however, preserved by his Lord, lived on to serve at the court of his new master, the King of Persia.

Since most of us obviously aren’t drunken kings under siege, what does this event teach us? I, for one, often behave like Belshazzar. Not only am I constantly in danger of – or, more likely, actually being proud, but I also make mistakes of large scale. I never was drunk, but I still “feast” in war-time. I often play games or read Tom Clancy novels when I should actually be communicating with the Lord, praying, reading, singing, thinking, taking notes, … In short, I ignore the war that I live in. And it’s pretty hard (spoiler: impossible) to survive in this war as a human. We aren’t strong enough.

This chapter is a reminder to humble ourselves under our God. And to stay alert. Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak, says Jesus in Mk 14:38. Let us watch, wary of the war in us!

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What now? – Steps to godly manhood

Here we go with the next part of the sermon!I’m going to look at what we can do to become godly men.

First of all, men must dominate themselves through scripture and the holy spirit.
We must avoid evil influences. Avoid the media and godless conversations like the plague. Like God told Cain, sin waits around the corner like a wild beast. You ought to fear. There is a certain thing about fear that’s very healthy: realising that you are not superman and that if you fall over, you leave a wife, and children, and a church.
If you are single and wanna live your life, go ahead. But if you are a man and have a woman, fear about the destruction of your soul, her soul, and the souls of your children.

Set yourself apart from the world!

Avoid evil influences. As Romans 12:2 says, we should not conform to this world. No unequal yokes. This doesn’t only apply to courting and marriage, but also to the way we spend our time, and who we spend it with. If you have ungodly friends, or spend time on television and multimedia, you will be influenced by that!

Flee lust.
2 Timothy 2:22
We need to reject the lust within, and actively! pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.

We fight the devil, but we flee youthful lust. Something in our flesh is worse than the devil himself! Do not put yourself in a situation where you are to be tested.
Most teenagers have already had romantic sexual experiences.
Do not be alone with a person of the opposite sex that you are attracted to. And do not put your children into that situation. Where did you learn that it’s time to date with 16? From the world! If you put two people of the opposite sex together, they will fall. This is one of the reasons why I decided to follow the principles of courtship. You can find that post in November 2012.
“My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” The church is destroyed because we don’t turn to the scriptures for matters of family. We conform to the world in every possible way because we think that we need to be like them to be relevant, to “be a light” as they say. But this is completely unbiblical! You see:
“that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:15.16)
We are a light in the world when we are not conformed to it, but separated! Do you want to be preached the bible, or live a pagan life with a few christian elements?

Train your children so that the only suitor they will accept is a godly one.
Do not be involved with other men who do not care about the things of God – I don’t care how much you read the bible, you will be influenced. Protect the eyes!

Psalm 101:3 & Job 31:1

In our perverse culture, even the women are now attracted to the opposite sex through the eyes. Like the psalmist, we should protect our eyes, and therefore our minds! Our Prayer should be Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Let us not stain ourselves with one drop of unclean things! This holds for any form of entertainment (movies etc.) and friendships!
If a movie has only one dirty scene, don’t watch it!

If we really want to be godly men, we should “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14) Do we really fight to achieve this?

Luke 13: 23-30 – God saves!

When reading Luke 13 today, I saw yet another example of God’s sovereign salvation:

23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them,
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’
27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’
28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.
29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.
30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

This passage underlines several important aspects of salvation.

First, not everyone will be saved. This shouldn’t be news, although it might be for some. We will only be able to be saved if we seek Jesus himself, rather than pursuing salvation for it’s own sake.

Second, we cannot save ourselves. Again, this shouldn’t be new to anyone. Only Christ Jesus, through his blood, can save us. If we stick to our own good deeds (which aren’t), to some romantic view of a loving God that forgets everything to save everyone, or even to some exotic religion, we will “not be able” to save ourselves. Romans 10:9 – “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is the only way, and it is HIM that saves us by his sovereign grace. The Lord will save whom he pleases, as he says in Romans 9.

And finally, the end is near. There is a time for choice, but that is running out. It is time to reach out and spread the word – for “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17). This passage teaches what will happen to the unrepenting – we need to let the Lord save people through us!

Sexual Purity – A sermon by Rick Holland

Yesterday, I listened to a very good sermon on sexual purity by Rick Holland.
My complete notes are available here:

I will sum up the 6 main points: Proverbs 5

  1. Learn from the Bible! → 1 Kings 3-4 Solomon’s wisdom came from God, So the Proverbs are good.
    Keep words ready on your lips to fight temptation.
    The DAD talks to his son about sex. Rick: about 10 years old.
    Do NOT forget the pleasure part.
    Reaction of the sons – blessing from God: they came back and asked questions! 🙂
  2. Uncover the deception of sexual sin.
    Not only women seduce men, men also seduce women!
    In the bible, flirting only happens in adultery or in the context of marriage!
    In these times, a 1 edged sword was a tool, but a 2 edged sword was purely a weapon → the temptress is a lethal weapon!
    The course of this woman’s life leads to death.
    She is persuasive and dangerous.
  3. Learn the value of a safe distance.
    Josef principle: RUN as far as possible. As soon as you start thinking about it.
    Romans 13: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision to the flesh with regard to its lust. ⇒ It is a contradiction for someone to say they want to fight sexual temptation, and to do everything possible to expose themselves to pornography.
  4. Unmask the Consequences of sin.
    Verse 9: Losing dignity
    Verses 10-11: Losing resources
    Verses 12-13: Remorse and regret
    Verse 14: Public disgrace
    Your Spouse will lose trust!
    You will lose your peace (of mind).
    Others will gain an opportunity to make fun of Christ!
  5. Unlock the satisfaction of marital fidelity!
    Cisterns where a privilege of the rich.
    ⇒ Satisfaction only comes from your spouse.
    Sex is ONE PART of expressing love.
    Song of Solomon 7: Be entranced not only by her body, but BY HER LOVE.
    If you are satisfied at home, sexually, you are not tempted as much outside.
  6. Unleash the power of god knowing everything.
    Verses 20-21
    Hebrews 4:13 EVERYTHING is revealed before God!
    Are you more afraid of other people or of God?