Category Archives: Finding the End of the World

Blogging about stuff related to my book, “Finding the End of the World”

The Supernatural God: Let’s go all Apocalypse!

So far, we’ve learned that what we see in this dimension is a fraction of what exists. Biblical Elohim represents disembodied spirits; some are trusted, and some are rebels.  Satan was the first rebel; the Watchers and inheritors of the nations followed. Also, YHVH began reclaiming the nations at Pentecost, and there’ll be a day of reckoning for Satan and all anti-YHVH beings. Here, I’ll introduce that day and hint at a return to Eden-like conditions.

First, I’m an ‘end times’ guy, having written, published, and taught on the subject for several decades. I’m well-equipped to teach on the subject. A quick internet search should reveal my background, credentials, and published work.

Second, we can glean some things through an unveiling of end-times stuff. That revelation is called the ‘apocalypse.’ It’s about the future. However, I’d like to introduce it by bringing up the past and homing in on evil Elohim influencers, such as the one that moved an ancient Persian ruler, and Satan. Then, I’ll unveil the coming cosmic battle, heaven on earth, judgment, and re-creation. Rebels first.

Human-influencing Elohim rebels. These include the ‘Principality of Persia’ reported by Daniel (Daniel 10:13 & 20) and Satan, also labeled as the ‘dragon’ (Revelation 20:2). He was the driving force behind Antichrist forerunners Nimrod at Babel and second-century BCE Antiochus Epiphanes. Satan continued trying to elevate himself above YHVH through them, and he will influence the future figure we (not the Bible) call the Antichrist. Influenced by ‘the dragon,’ Antichrist will have authority over YHVH’s people (Jew and Christian) for a while (e.g., Revelation 12:13-17) and set the stage for a cosmic clash that will usher in a new age.

The cosmic battle. YHVH will end Antichrist’s authority. That time will also see the gathering of Christ’s followers (past and present), the Antichrist’s destruction, and Satan’s arrest after a series of destructive precursors to the penultimate battle between good and evil. Why penultimate? You’ll see!

Heaven on earth. The first (penultimate) cosmic battle will pave the way for Jesus’ Kingdom of Peace (Revelation 19-20). Old Testament prophets spoke of this time, which will end with the ultimate good-and-evil battle (Revelation 20:7-10). Afterward, YHVH will judge everyone from all time and return creation to Eden-like conditions for eternal peace and hanging out with Him again.

Judgment and re-creation. Jesus initially revealed the end-times judgment by illustrating obedient sheep and disobedient goats (Matthew 25:31-46). He does it again in Revelation 20:11-15. The point is to equip God with New Eden partners with whom He’ll dwell again in His re-creation—more about this in the next series.

Summary: Elohim’s cosmic end-times conflict and an eventual return to Eden have been unveiled! In the following several articles, we’ll start there and reverse engineer the ‘last days.’ In the meantime, remember that religion is for people, not God; taking part in His story is for Him.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

The Supernatural God: Rebellion & Disinheritance!

As we’ve learned recently, Elohim represents supernatural beings spanning multiple realms. Many compose God’s Divine Council led by YHVH. Long after creation, He gave control of the nations (except for Israel) to others. And some went rogue! This is why God warns us to prefer Him over lesser gods (e.g., Exodus 20:3). Hint: it’s not about your car, money, or Sunday football, but real spiritual entities! Let’s explore Elohim rebels in order, starting with Satan.

Original Rebel, Satan. He and others existed before we did: “Where were you [Job] when I laid the foundation of the earth? . . And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7) Satan then frequented Eden: “You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God . . .” (Ezekiel 28:12-14) But, he rebelled and lost his authority: “. . . you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God. . . .” (Ezekiel 28:16) Satan then tried turning people away from YHVH starting with Eve. Afterward, other Elohim oversaw out-of-Eden humans until they rebelled too.

Rebel Watchers. Eventually, God appointed Elohim to watch over humankind. I encourage you to read Enoch’s accounts and Jude’s reference (Jude 1:6-7). But they corrupted people physically and morally (e.g., Genesis 6:1-22). God finally sent these renegades to an underworld prison. Thousands of years later, Jesus sealed and proclaimed their fate with His death (1 Peter 3:18-20—watch the context!)  But Elohim watchers weren’t the last spiritual rebels.

Rebel Inheritors. Satan and the Watchers sinned greatly out of free will, just as we do. So, God attempted rebirth through the Great Flood, encouraging Noah and his family to reproduce God-fearing people. They didn’t. Another rebel, Nimrod, tried to rise above YHVH, who then temporarily disinherited the nations except for eventually Israel (Deuteronomy 32:7-12). The Elohim who inherited the other nations have, therefore, managed most of humanity for about four thousand years. However, they became power-hungry and began sinning. In Psalm 82, God chastises them for acting unjustly, and He sets their fate. Daniel learns that these principalities control rulers negatively and invoke conflict in the heavenly realm (Daniel 10:13 & 21). Paul corroborates this by highlighting the ongoing battle against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

Summary: Satan was the first Elohim rebel; the Watchers and Elohim inheritors of the nations followed. Knowing this should help us understand why evil is rampant, especially concerning governance and the coming end-of-the-world cosmic battle. But God began His reclamation of the nations at Pentecost, and there’ll be a day of reckoning for Satan, the Watchers, and the rogue Elohim inheritors! So, in the final of four parts, we’ll “go all apocalypse” and unveil Elohim’s cosmic end-times conflict and its perfect resolution by our Creator, YHVH!

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

The Supernatural God: Many with One Mind!

As a young boy, I asked my pastor to explain God’s origin and the Trinity. His answer went like this: “God was always around. He became different things when needed: the Creator, then Jesus who left heaven to come to earth, and His Spirit sometimes.” The visual was a fluid God blob. It was a stupid answer, but I didn’t know how to explain it better. Fifty-some-odd years later, I can and want to introduce you to Elohim and their ruler and ours, YHVH (the Hebrew consonants naming the Creator and pronounced Jehovah or Yahweh).

Others existed before this earth’s creation. So, unsurprisingly, they were present at creation (Job 38:7), in Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-19), and in governing all but Israel (Deuteronomy 32:8-9). This group of disembodied spirits is labeled Elohim in ancient Hebrew and identifies angels, Jesus, the Creator, Holy Spirit, and others. Many compose God’s Divine Council. Let’s dig deeper into Elohim YHVH and Elohim as a divine council before finishing with Elohim, the rebels.

Elohim, the Creator & Ruler. God, as we know Him, created everything and has had many labels and roles. But He has only one name: YHVH. He is the God who will be our provider, shepherd, and healer when we are fully devoted to Him. He rules creation, including all Elohim, and seeks willing partners in His dimension and ours despite the risk of rebellion.

Elohim, the Divine Council. Collectively, Elohim has always had a place as a spiritual council headed by YHVH. Our existence began like this: “Then Elohim said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule . . .’” (Genesis 1:26). Therefore, we’re meant to be imagers of God—doing and saying here what the Creator and His council do and say in their realm. Jesus reports this like-mindedness (John 5:9 and 14:10). Job mentions this assembly of the ‘sons of God’ (Job 1:6). We see them advising YHVH about Ahab in 1 Kings 22:19-23, and the Psalmist reflects on this holy council in Psalm 89:5-7. Finally, the apostle John sees them in an end-times vision (Revelation 4). However, many have gone rogue (e.g., Psalm 82).

Elohim, the Rebels. Spiritual rebellion happened multiple times during and after Eden. First, Lucifer rebelled and lost his authority. Then, ‘watchers’ appointed to protect humans rebelled and were relegated to the underworld. You can read about this in the books of Enoch and Jasher, both mentioned in our Bible. After Babel, God gave members of His council authority over all nations except Israel (Deuteronomy 32:8-9); they went rogue (e.g., Psalm 82 and Daniel 10:12-13 & 20).

In summary, Elohim represents disembodied spirits. Some are part of a divine council led by YHVH with one mind and mission. Some are rebels. So, we’ll next explore further YHVH’s disinheritance of the nations and Elohim rebellion.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Spiritual Donuts

Muscle cars, parking lots, and hot chicks! Yep. You’ve gotta love the seventies and eighties (or not)! Reminiscing, I thought: “Ron! Remember punching the accelerator on your car in a parking lot to hear all the ‘squeaking’ and smell burnt rubber? Remember how you thought the girls would be impressed?” My response to myself: “Well, of course!” And my answer to my reply? “Ron! You were an idiot! You wasted gas, used up perfectly good clutches and tires, and ended up dateless anyway!” Sigh . . . It’s true. But the situation made me think: “Do we do something similar in our Christianity: spin around in circles, pointlessly wasting resources?” The simple answer is YES!

First, let’s look at the God-given resources we often waste or keep to ourselves. These are meant to empower us to be effective partners in introducing people to His Kingdom, and they include spiritual skills, superpowers, and assignments:

Skills. In Ephesians 4:11-16, Paul explains that the Spirit enables people to become Christian apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. You can also add helpers and administrators to the list (1 Corinthians 12:28). For what purpose? To equip others in the Body of Christ to be faithful, helpful, and complete.

Superpowers. Furthermore, the Spirit occasionally empowers us to do really cool stuff at a particular time and for a specific reason according to God’s desires. These ‘superpowers’ include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, spiritual discernment, and human and heavenly languages (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 & 28).

Assignments. We were made, and are equipped, for doing good works (Ephesians 2:10). We must honor God with all we are and have and be charitable (Matthew 22:34-40). And we must make the most of every moment by being righteous as He desires (Ephesians 5:13-21).

Second, spiritually doing donuts by not using our God-given resources and wasting what’s good and meant for others is genuinely robbing God! Sharing what He has given to build up His people is impossible, though, if we don’t hang out with them: “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together . . ..” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Stealing from God, forsaking others, and wasting God-given gifts and skills by ‘spinning spiritual wheels’ will have consequences! For instance, in the parable of the talents: “. . . . Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:14-30) And Jesus repeats this fate in Matthew 25:31-46.

In summary, God wishes to equip you for partnership in this age and the next. Don’t be wasteful or stingy! What’s next? Soon, I’ll take you on an exciting journey about our Supernatural God and a Return to Eden. But first, I’ll teach you what John Wesley understood about well-rounded faith-building that goes way beyond written words.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

There’s Nothing Original About Sin: The Cure

In my last article, I taught that sin is rebellion against God—initially by a spirit and then by humans. We continue to sin against God and people through enlightenment and choice. Before we delve into a sin cure, I need to stress that we’re talking about two categories of sin: the first that separated us from God and created a debt we couldn’t satisfy, and ongoing sins that threaten to keep us from God. Both are settled differently.

The initial human sin. Our Creator promised that One would eventually make things right and offer a way back. We call Him Jesus, and He willingly sacrificed Himself for ALL people (John 3:16 and 12:32; Acts 17:30-31; 1 Timothy 2:3-11 and 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2-6). This was God’s call and love for us. He then raised Jesus from the dead to give hope to all who would become His. How? By responding in complete devotion (e.g., 1 Peter 1:3-5). The resulting ‘cleansing’ is the ‘bathing’ in Jesus and Peter’s upper room discussion (Greek ‘louo’ in John 13:10—see my article “Been Cleaned, Being Cleaned!”(March 2022)). This and the ongoing category of sin have one thing in common: a relationship with God through devotion and perseverance. Curing persistent sin can be difficult, though, because it requires permanent change.

Ongoing sin. God gives His Spirit to those who are His for guidance and change—transformation (Romans 12:1-2). In our journey forward, we must learn what God desires and do that, what He hates, and DON’T do that! Enlightenment and growth help us to deal with temptations so they don’t turn into sin in the first place.

But when we sin (and we will!), we must repent—change our behavior to enable forgiveness. This is the ‘washing’ in John 13:5-10 (Greek nipto), and it’s necessary to ensure we don’t practice sin! Regardless of the offense, practicing it will earn a spiritual death sentence (e.g., Galatians 5:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Besides enlightenment by the Spirit, avoiding sin, and repentance, there’s another aid in sin cure: other people.

Christians are to assess other Christians’ behavior and help them remain in a relationship with God (1 Corinthians 5:6-13; James 5:19-20; Matthew 18:15-17). Unfortunately, we usually misinterpret Jesus’ “Do not judge” and “first take the log out of your own eye” of Matthew 7:1-5 and, therefore, don’t change our behavior or help others avoid or resolve sin. Yet, we are first to resolve our sinful behavior so that we can help others resolve theirs.

In summary, the debt incurred by the first human rebellion against God was covered by Jesus. He has called, so respond well! Ongoing rebellion (sin) is satisfied through repentance: a change in behavior from a new heart. What’s next? Let’s lighten things up a bit and encourage you diamonds in the making!

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

There’s Nothing Original About Sin: The Ailment

Few Christian things are more misunderstood or weaponized than the idea of sin. What is simple rebellion against God out of awareness of good and bad possibilities became polluted and misapplied by the fourth century CE. And many people or institutions today will gladly determine which behaviors are sinful. But what is sin? Was there an ‘original sin?’ How did religion distort a simple understanding of it and its cure? We’ll explore the answers in this first of two articles.

What is sin? Simply put, based on the original language and biblical contexts, it’s rebellion—intentionally missing a mark. What mark? God’s righteousness (His standard). Miss it but correct course, and [spiritually] live. Miss it repeatedly, and self-imposed permanent separation from God awaits (e.g., Galatians 5:19-21).

Was there an ‘original’ sin? Yes, but perhaps not like you’ve learned. Augustine was responsible for our Western understanding of ‘original sin.’ For him, the first sin was Adam’s rebellion in the garden, and its perpetual curse must be transmitted through sexual intercourse. His theory involved mistranslating and, therefore, misinterpreting the biblical Greek of Romans 5:12. The problem? Instead of consequences occurring BECAUSE of Adam’s rebellion, the misinterpretation prompted Augustine to teach that a perpetual sex-reproduced sin curse started THROUGH Adam. The truth about sin and its origin is simpler, however.

The original sin wasn’t human but spiritual. Lucifer (aka Satan) rebelled (sinned) against God and lost his heavenly position. He tempted Eve to sin; she tempted Adam. They rebelled against God’s instructions by eating from the ‘tree of all knowledge’ (Genesis 3:1-7). As a result, humans lost access to the Tree of Life and, therefore, suffer physical death (Genesis 3:22-24). Because we no longer live and walk with God as the first humans did before their rebellion, we also suffer spiritual separation from Him that requires resolution. The enlightenment gleaned by Adam and Eve remains available to be abused by choice.

How has religion distorted sin and its cure? The only remedy for Augustine’s original sin was, and is, baptism—even for infants. For many, the unbaptized are hell-bound, even from birth. For others, sin isn’t a manifestation of a heart or mind issue but actions themselves, regardless of intention: “Don’t drink; don’t smoke; don’t dance; don’t play cards . . .” Some religious leaders will tell you that sin and hell are nonexistent. And others will insist that you’ll go to hell if you don’t say or do something after each ‘sin.’ All these ‘miss the mark.’

In summary, sin is rebellion against God. The first was by a spiritual being, and sin by humans followed. We continue to rebel against God because of enlightenment and choice. In the following article, we’ll conclude by exploring the cure for the initial human rebellion that separated us from God and the ongoing sins that ail us.  

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Why Did Jesus Die Anyway?

If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard, “Jesus died to forgive my sins!” I’d be rich! But that isn’t directly why He came; it shouldn’t be our focus! He died to bring us back to His Father, the Creator, not specifically to forgive personal sins: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God . . .” (1 Peter 3:18).

Our heavenly Father has worked to reconcile with us since the rebellion in Eden. Forgiveness of sin has been just one step in the process. It was, and is, an ongoing benefit of Jesus’ work at the cross done solely for making a way back to God, but it wasn’t the prime directive.

Why die? According to the Lord-servant covenant that God struck with Abram, death was the consequence of breaking it. We owed God, but Jesus paid our debt that began way back in Eden (“Don’t eat or else!”). Why is it important to understand that personal sin forgiveness wasn’t the priority? If we believe Jesus died explicitly to forgive individual sins instead of humanity’s rebellion, then we may feel, as we tend to in the West, that there’s nothing left to do; we owe God nothing.

On the other hand, if we understand that Jesus died to bring us back to the Father, even though the benefits can include personal forgiveness and transformation now, and salvation from His wrath to come, the focus is redirected to Him, not us. It becomes easier to understand that we must discover what He desires in return and then do that! But what do we who belong to God get in return besides forgiveness, transformation, and salvation? The gifts of His righteousness (standard), the Holy Spirit, and life in the coming age. (Acts 2:38; Romans 5:17; John 3:15-16)

Anyway, here’s a brief history of our reconciliation and Jesus’ mission from beginning to end:

  • Our rebellion.
  • Our sacrifices for sporadic forgiveness.
  • Jesus’ permanent satisfaction of our debt through the cross for ALL! (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2).
  • Our hope through His resurrection.
  • Our choosing God through Jesus (making Him ‘Lord’) brings righteousness and the Spirit.
  • Our ongoing repentance brings ongoing forgiveness.
  • Our renewed mind and the Spirit bring transformation and obedience for salvation.
  • Our outcome (if God knows us) will be a resurrection and eternal existence with Father and Son.

In summary, Jesus died to bring us back to God, and all that entails. Death paid off our debt, and resurrection gives us hope. Father raised the Son; He’ll raise the rest of us who are His! In the meantime, righteousness, the Spirit, and ongoing sin forgiveness are rewards for devotion. Personal sin forgiveness wasn’t the objective; transformation is. Since we’re on the topic of Jesus, let’s explore His genealogy and legacy in the next article.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Be Careful Little Eye What You See, Ear What You Hear!

As a little boy, I (and probably many of you!) learned a song that began: “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see . . . Oh, be careful little ears what you hear . . .”

I’ve learned the value of guarding what I see and hear. Take in good things, and good things will likely come out. The opposite is akin to the programming concept of “garbage in, garbage out.” Regardless, the more we take the same things in, the more we become them. Why? Neuroplasticity. The brain remaps itself based on practices and preferences. Feed it garbage, and you’ll likely become garbage in thought and deed. This is likely the case here:

“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie . . . God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural . . . men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another . . . God gave them over to a depraved mind . . .” (Romans 1:25-28).

 The ears? We listen to what sounds (or feels) good and were warned that people will chase whatever sounds good in the last days (2 Timothy 4:3).

The eyes? Jesus explained in Matthew 6:22-23 that what we watch reflects our inner being: “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. . . .” Pornography and its sexual immoralities. Violence. Gossip. Conspiracies. You get the idea. The eyes and ears can cause spiritual death if we’re not careful.

But there’s a way out. We don’t have to habitually take in what will kill us spiritually. Jesus teaches that we are to remove stumbling blocks—those practices that will keep us from God’s Kingdom: “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.” (Matthew 18:9; 5:29)

How? We can, like Job, make a righteous deal with our eyes and ears (Job 31:1 NIV) to not “look at anything vile and vulgar.” (Psalm 101:3) Here’s Paul’s advice: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatian 5:17). Discipline yourself to see, hear, and practice good things and live, or choose depravity and die. Let me know if I can help you decide!

In summary, be careful little eye what you see, ear what you hear, to enter the coming age! In the following article, we’ll uncover that Jesus died to make that possible for you.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Weed Patrol – Weeds Beget Weeds! Part Two (Sexual Immorality)

In this final Weed Patrol article, I’ll address sexual immorality, which includes incest, adultery, bestiality, prostitution, and homosexuality. God detests these things that blatantly contradict His desires for how we use our bodies. He and others have said as much (e.g., Leviticus 18:6-17 & 23; Hebrews 13:4; 1Corinthians 6:15-16). Although practicing any sexual immorality will earn separation from God, I’ll spend most of this space addressing homosexuality. I honor God and care for people despite sexual preferences that are none of my business … unless practitioners identify as Christian. My job as a teacher and disciple-maker is to pass on truth and model it. Again, this article is only aimed at people inside the church—those who claim to fear God and follow Jesus.

Here are a few ways homosexuality in the church is rationalized:

“Love is Love.” Not quite. Our limited language has one word for love; biblical Greek uses three: lust, fondness, and ‘unconditional’ love. The latter insists upon doing the right thing no matter what we ‘feel’—unlike those who don’t control their passions.

“Homosexuality has always been an accepted lifestyle.” Untrue. It was tolerated in portions of pagan Greek and Roman cultures between grown men and young boys until the latter grew facial hair and were expected to pursue heterosexual relationships. However, most cultures found, and still find, homosexuality repulsive and shunned or outlawed it. This has always been the case (until recently) in Jewish and Christian cultures.

“Biblical homosexuality referred to only rape.” Nope! This is an attempt to redefine an instruction that’s unpalatable to some. Paul calls out male same-sex intimacy—those who “practice homosexuality” (1Corinthians 6:9; 1Timothy 1:10). He reiterates this and addresses similar female behavior and consequences in Romans 1:22-32. By context and definition, the word/act (Greek ἀρσενοκοίτης) is “a male partner in homosexual intercourse.” Force isn’t the issue, only abusing God’s intention for human sexuality. Admonishments against this behavior are found in the Old Covenant (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13). The undesirable conduct pervasive in Sodom and Gomorrah became the stuff of admonishments by Paul and Jesus’ half-brother Jude: “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).

“Sodom and Gomorrah were about being inhospitable, not sexually immoral!” Double nope! In Genesis 19:1-11, men of Sodom sought sexual encounters with angels they thought were male (19:4-5) despite being offered women instead (19:8). Check out all the biblical references in this article (please!). You’ll find that homosexual behavior incited God’s wrath then, as it will at the end of this age.

In summary, if we believe in a Creator, we should behave as He intends. What’s next? Even the godliest folks experience emotional highs and lows! Let’s look at one example in “Elijah: From Elation to Depression!”

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.

Weed Patrol – Weeds Beget Weeds! Part One

Lately, I’ve written about ‘weeds in the church’—faux Christians who destroy it from the inside by introducing, tolerating, and perpetuating what God hates. Allow them to fester, and they’ll breed more weeds who tolerate and rebel, too, until the church’s DNA is damaged and spiritual transformation and purity become nearly impossible. So, it’s critical to recognize them.

In this and the next article, I’ll address certain weedy behaviors. I have no “stake in the game” or animosity toward anyone, regardless of lifestyle. I’m just a well-trained messenger wanting to relay God’s ways and protect His people. Who’s this and the following article for? People INSIDE the church (God will judge those outside (1Corinthians 5:12-13)). They’re for pastors, ministers, and other leaders and disciple-makers who must influence God’s people in love, purity, and morality and protect ‘the flock.’ In the process, we must love people as God loves them, hating ungodly behavior and reconciling practitioners to Him. If you’re outside God’s community, I’d love for you to know Him and for Him to know you! Let’s have coffee together and discuss this further! Now, onto the weeds!

Most weeds are easily recognized. They include people who practice lying, hurting others, stealing, causing division, and feeding addictions (among others):

  • “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
  • “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you . . .” (Galatians 5:19-21)

 These activities are contrary to God’s ways, and God’s got no use for anyone who practices them: “just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21 – see also 1 Corinthians 6:10)

 But there’s a more dangerous and covert weed (1Corinthians 6:18-20): the sexually immoral believer. God’s clear about how we must use our bodies, even intimately! More on that destructive weed in the following article.

In summary, churchy weeds can breed more weeds and choke the life out of God’s community. This week, I introduced some of them that also make more weeds by breeding bad behavior. These include liars, cheats, thieves, slanderers, gossipers, and others who practice hateful things against their own bodies and other people. In the second part of this final section on “Weeds Beget Weeds!,” I’ll address the most pervasive, covert, and destructive one: the sexually immoral practitioner.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.