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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of Man?

In the movie, The Kingdom of Heaven (historical fiction with a PC bias), Balian of Ibelin asks his father, Godfrey: “What could a king ask of a man like me?” To which Godfrey of Ibelin replies: “A better world than has ever been seen. A kingdom of conscience. A kingdom of heaven.” Unfortunately, instead of finding the kingdom of heaven on this journey, Balian finds only the kingdom of man.

One thing that the New Testament makes perfectly clear is that Jesus Christ was absolutely concerned about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2) “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19) “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) Jesus’ message was uncompromising even to the point of His crucifixion.

Perhaps the kingdom of heaven seems to be less important today because the kingdom of man has so much influence over the church. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote correctly in his Letter from Birmingham Jail that, “So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.” Jesus warned, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

The kingdom of man is seductive. It promises to take care of you materially while taking everything that is important from you. The kingdom of man has a party line and a self-appointed intelligentsia to think for you. Conformity to the power of the moment drives its stupefying existence. Darkness guides its way. But the kingdom of heaven is no temporary man-made utopia; it endures; it is eternal, because it is established by God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10) The kingdom of heaven does not exist by government decree or because of your effort and mine. It exists because God reigns. “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.'” (Revelation 11:15)

Therefore, to which kingdom will you render service; the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of man? “. . . As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua, 24:15)

Bill Would Ban Human-Animal Hybrids

LifeSiteNews.com reports that a Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act, H.R. 5910, has been presented in Congress. This bill would ban the creation of part-human, part-animal hybrid beings. British scientists are developing a hybrid technique which has created part-human, part-animal hybrid embryos in the UK.

Pro-life and public health advocates point out that there has been an increase in infections emerging from animal populations that threaten human health. Human-animal hybrids could increase the risk for transmission of both human and animal diseases. Genetically modified hybrids could also have a devastating effect on the natural environments of native animal populations. Michael Crichton’s fictional novel, Next, portrays many of the moral, ethical, and legal problems that such experimentation creates. You may also have seen the movie version of The Island of Doctor Moreau, which also presents some of the ethical conflicts of developing human-animal hybrid beings.

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