Your Last Will and Testament (by Walt Henrichsen)

Your Last Will and Testament (by Walt Henrichsen)

“At my first defense no one took my part; all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it.” II Timothy 4:16 – 17  Imagine yourself in a dark, musty cell, awaiting death. You have time to sit at a poorly lit table and pen a few words to your friend. What would you say?  What would be your chief concern? In this letter we have a glimpse of what was uppermost in Paul’s mind; the prison is inconsequential while the message is all-important. He charges Timothy to be faithful in the sight of God. Such a charge is quite predictable; you would expect Paul to admonish his son in the faith to finish the race of life well. What is exceptional is the fact that Paul makes this charge against the backdrop of one disappointment after another. “You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, and among them Phygelus and Hermogenes.”(1) “Hymenaeus and Philetus have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. They are upsetting the faith of some.”(2) “As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith.”(3) ”Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.”(4) “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm.”(5) “At my first defense no one took my part; all deserted me.”(6)  Can you imagine a missionary sending agency sending out a person with this kind of record? Paul charged his friend with the need to remain faithful, for results do...
Thy Will Be Done (by Walt Henrichsen)

Thy Will Be Done (by Walt Henrichsen)

“And the children of Israel …asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And they despoiled the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:35-36 Man’s will yields to the will of God – whether man wants it to or not. God can move man’s will, like that of a robot, to accomplish His purpose. While God inflicted plague after plague on Egypt, the Bible reminds us, “…the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart.”[1] When it was time for Israel to depart Egypt on the Exodus, God laid it on the hearts of the Egyptians to surrender their wealth to these former slaves. It does not require sanctified imagination to conclude that this act of generosity was not naturally motivated by goodness of these pagan hearts. God holds man responsible for submitting his will to Him, and God judges man when he stubbornly refuses to yield. Although these two appear contradictory, both are true. On the one hand, God will have His way, with or without your cooperation. At the same time, God grants you the freedom to bend your will to His, or rebel and reap the consequences. As His obedient servant, purpose in your heart to keep your will in complete surrender to His will. [1] Exodus...
The Inadequacy of Reason (by Walt Henrichsen)

The Inadequacy of Reason (by Walt Henrichsen)

“None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,’” 1 Corinthians 2:8-9 Paul gives two illustrations of reason’s inadequacy. First, if the rulers and intellectual giants during the days of Jesus Christ understood who He is, they would never have crucified Him. The best that the world had to offer, when meeting Jesus, was that He should be destroyed. Just as human reason did not stop these people from killing the Savior, so it cannot help you find God. Paul’s second illustration of reason’s inadequacy is seen in your ability to understand the future. Your reason cannot give you a clear picture of heaven. All you can know about it is what God has revealed. You only know the ways of God to the degree that He reveals them to you. Even after you have come to know Christ as your Lord and Savior, reason can take you no further than revelation. Develop convictions from your understanding of revelation, but take them no further; do not make absolute what the Bible does not make absolute. For example, a great deal of what many Christians believe about heaven is what they want heaven to be like rather than what Scripture promises. Be content to live within biblical limits, believing no more and no...
The End Justifies the Means (by Walt Henrichsen)

The End Justifies the Means (by Walt Henrichsen)

“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, ‘Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.’ And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation.” John 11:49-51 Political expediency at the expenses of what is right is an abomination to God. Probably the most blatant illustration of this in Scripture is found in what Caiaphas and the rest of the Jewish leadership did regarding the crucifixion of Christ. The end can justify the means as long as you don’t violate God’s commandments, but never at the expense of His Word. For example, the surgeon opens the chest of his patient and stops the heart, in order to repair the heart valves. The dentist drills a hole in your tooth in order to stop the decay. Any time you compromise what you know to be right to accomplish a goal, however, even if you are sure that it is a worthy goal, you know that you have sinned against...