Last weekend my wife and I went shopping and we noticed a new children’s game called, “Fortune Telling Fun”. The makers of the game probably think it’s just a bit of fun, but it’s really not. The Bible prohibits all unauthorised or illegitimate communication with the supernatural, spiritual world; whether through fortune tellers, the occult or modern-day mediums because of the tremendous danger involved. Little attention is paid to the Bible’s warnings today. In African Traditional Religion many visit the witchdoctor or sangoma who communicates with the spirits and ancestors. Many people today claim to receive messages from the spirit world and angels, then write books about it. Even some Christians claim to receive “words” from God which they in turn relate to other unsuspecting believers. All throughout history people have sought to communicate with the spirit-world in order to receive guidance, help and advice.
Where in the Bible do we find the first promise of the gospel?
Would you believe that it’s in the third chapter of the Bible’s first book, Genesis 3.
Genesis 1 and 2 tell us that God created the universe and everything in it. God created human beings to live in his good world under his authority and rule. However in Genesis 3, Satan taking on the form of a snake, tempts Eve to doubt and disobey God. Eve eats of the fruit God had said not to and gives to Adam who was with her.
Eating some fruit may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Adam and Eve want to decide for themselves what’s ultimately right and wrong; they want to be “god” unto themselves.
Genesis 3 is the “de-throning” of God by humans and replacing him with ourselves (as if that were possible!)
For Christians, our faithfulness in this world influences our rewards in the world to come. This is not the final judgement. At the final judgement, if we are Christians we are saved and guaranteed a place in heaven. Our sin have been forgiven in Christ and we are righteous in God’s sight. On the other hand, if we have ignored or rejected Christ, we will be judged by God and spend an eternity apart from God in what Jesus described as the cosmic rubbish dump (“gehenna”).
The Bible teaches that as Christians we face an assessment where our work for the Lord will be tested and we will be rewarded (or not) according to our faithfulness. This is not the final judgment as our entrance into the New Creation is secure, but an accounting to God of what he has entrusted to us.
Once a year, every year, we have a “Planned Giving Sunday” at our church and we teach about giving and challenge our church to make a monthly financial pledge so that we can budget for the next year. The giving is not policed or tracked; we leave it to the individual’s conscience before the Lord.
Our church, as I’m sure yours, is a non-profit organisation and our aim is not to make money but disciples of Jesus. Our aim is to see people transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light and transformed to be more and more like Jesus. As a church we will work hard to that end by praying and by teaching the gospel. Yet we need money to do this. We need to pay the rent, pay salaries, pay insurance, pay the bills, support missionaries, sponsor mission trips and help those who struggle financially.