May 7

Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 15
     Psalms 51
     Isaiah 5
     Hebrews 12
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in Heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel."  (Hebrews 12:22-24)
  The world seems to be full of what I call ''church hitchhikers' ', ecclesiastical wonders, spiritual lone rangers - people who call themselves believers, but have no time nor interest in the church. These need to be blasted from their delusions by an understanding of the glorious doctrine of the church. There is no text that will ignite one's soul more than Hebrews 12:22-24 which describes the seven meetings which the Christian experiences in the church.
We come to the city of God! Mount Zion was the location that David made the center of his kingdom by bringing to it the Golden Ark of God's presence. It became synonymous with the earthly dwelling place of God when Solomon built the Temple there. Now, in Christ, we've come to its heavenly counterpart, the spiritual Jerusalem from above. In one sense, it is still to come. But Christians are now citizens of this Heavenly city, and enjoy its privileges on a daily basis.
As the church, we meet angels!  The Scriptures are filled with appearances of celestial angels.  These are the special messengers of God. They are everywhere - mighty, flaming spirits, “ministering spirits sent to serve those who inherit salvation,"  (Hebrews 1:14) -dashing in and out of our lives, moving around us and over us just as they did to many Bible saints.
As the church, we come to fellow believers! Jesus was the firstborn and, by virtue of our union with Him, we are firstborn. All the rights of inheritance go to the firstborn - to us, ''co-heirs with Christ." (Romans 8:17) In the church, we do more than come into each other's presence - we share fellowship and membership with one another.
As the church, we come to God! We come in awe to Him because He is the Judge - but we do not come in dread because His Son has borne the judgment for us. This is our highest joy - coming together before our God.
We come to the Heavenly church triumphant! Though they are in Heaven, we share solidarity with those who have gone before. The same spiritual life courses through us as through them. We share the same secrets and joys as Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul.
We have come to Jesus! It was through Jesus that the promises come to us. He is the Source, and Dispenser of all for which we hope. He is in us, and we are in Him.
We come to forgiveness because of sprinkled blood! Abel's warm blood cried condemnation and judgment from the ground, but Christ's blood shouts that we are forgiven and have peace with God. Hallelujah!
  What should the truth that we are the church mean to us? It should fill us with wonder and thanksgiving. We ought to sing, ''I am His Body, His Temple, His Bride, His Sheep, His Branch. I have come to His city, to angels, to brothers and sisters, to God Himself, to the church glorified, to Jesus, to forgiveness, through Christ's blood." It was for the church that our Savior died, it is for the church that you must live and serve.
Palestine is an area of about 62 sq. km. comprising two separate parts - the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Palestine authority controls the main towns and the rest is made up of 240 Jewish settlements controlled by the Israeli military authorities. Their continuing dispute with Israel and the use of suicide bombers have people asking the question, “Will there ever be peace in the Middle East?'' The truth is that there will not be peace in the Middle East until the anti-Christ brings about an unsettled three and one-half year peace. The only lasting peace will come when the Prince of Peace reigns in that region of the world.  That day will come, and probably very soon.  In the meantime, pray for the people to co-exist without violence.
''Savior, if of the Zion's City; I through grace, a member am; Let the world deride or pity; I will glory in Thy Name''
John Newton, 1779