As of this writing, the formerly-future-year of 2012 has become the present.
Happy New Year.
Anyone for New Year's Resolutions?
"Been there; done that?"
We all now have - at least relating to the Catholic-pope-concocted Gregorian calendar - a clean slate.
A new start . . . along with habits and debts of the previous year - as non-avoidable and difficult-to-discard baggage. But with the hope of doing better (for what it's worth).
And - realistically - we are probably doomed to partial failure . . . at least to some extent:
Amos 3:11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "An adversary shall surround the land, and bring down your defenses from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered."
Habakkuk 1:4 So the law is slacked and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous, so justice goes forth perverted.
And duress from evil ones other than us is only part of the dismal omen, being that we ourselves are going to cause some difficulties ourselves of various types to sundry severities:
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Romans 3:23 . . . since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
First John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
First John 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.
But it behooves all of us to "fess up" and be honest about the situation:
Leviticus 5:1 If any one sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity. Not that we all are completely worthless:
Second Samuel 22:21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He recompensed me.
Second Chronicles 15:7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.
Psalm 18:20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He recompensed me.
Jeremiah 31:16 Thus says the LORD: "Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy . . ."
. . . dependent upon our ideas, beliefs, presumptions, assumptions, etc. are about what is "right" and "true," "good" and "worthy:"
Romans 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.
First Peter 1:18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,
First Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Second Peter 1:12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.
The wayward and rebelliously defiant proclaim: "Stay away from me, and I'll stay away from you." "Get out of my way, and so I will be out of yours," "Don't bother me, and I won't bother you." Stop being interdependent with me on this planet, and I might decide to not become interdependent with you, as much as possible."
Who is The Umpire, The Referee, who mediates between conflicting and discrepant opponents? Who flings the penalty flags for whatever infractions committed (and not "performed")? Who decides when The Game begins and The Game ends? Who creates The Rules for all to play The Game by as long as It lasts? Who can sideline or even kick a player out of The Game for unsportsman-like conduct?
Atheists, agnostics, and cultic pagans might get bored, irritated, and sass off against repetitious reminders of Biblically-Christian doctrines and precepts they do not want to hear any more of -- perhaps like they also hate to succomb to the so-called similarly-"noxious" habit and inescapable addiction of "humiliatingly" falling asleep into a death-like unconsciousness each night, childishly grumble about the weather and/or relentlessly having to breathe and urinate and defecate, balk about being "forced" to repeatedly eat when hungry and drink when thirsty to stay alive and keep their despicably-abhorrent constantly-complaining carcasses functioning (to the dismay of the rational and sane), blatter and beller out their weariness against the same old mandatory gravity and seasonal changes (not to mention the vile and rancid stink of pollution they themselves forment, exude, purvey, and proselytize about), and more.
As a fairly-intelligent rather-knowledgeable open-minded scientist, I have honestly come to the rather-obvious conclusion that I have neither any applicable nor credible knowledge to effectively and believably contradict what is stated in The HOLY BIBLE, nor have I ever encountered anyone else with such knowledge. Nor do I have the authority (i.e. the resources nor the power) to discredit anything in authentic Scripture (and have not encountered anyone else who believably and credibly has such authority).
The declaration of pompously-arrogant disbelievers and their lying presumptions claiming to successfully discredit Holy Writ simply do not cut it.
First John 2:13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
First John 2:14 I write to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God stays in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
First John 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.
First John 2:29 If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that every one who does right is born of Him.
First John 3:5 You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin.
So, if we are destined to fall short of perfect thinking and actions, why even try?
Matthew 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
First Peter 1:13 Therefore clothe your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
15 but as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct;
16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
"Ignorance?" Sound condescending? Defamatory? Belittling and degrading self-esteem and self-confidence?
Obviously. So what? So it is. So be it. And so it shall continue.
But, we might object: "Only God is and can be perfect:"
Joshua 24:19 But Joshua said to the people, "You cannot serve the LORD; for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins."
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone."
Luke 18:19 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
So - again - if (as Joshua stated above) we "cannot serve the LORD" - why even try to do so? Why would the Lord expect us to even attempt any positively-beneficial and reconstructive New-Year's-Resolution reformation?
Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
Deuteronomy 30:14 But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Second Timothy 3:15 . . . and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Maybe God Himself will help us fulfill any worthy New Year's Resolutions . . . but perhaps He won't:
Second Samuel 12:22 He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?'
Esther 4:14 For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear the LORD and the king, and do not disobey either of them;
Proverbs 24:22 for disaster from them will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?
Ecclesiastes 2:19 . . . and who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I labored and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?
Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his countenance is changed.
Joel 2:12 "Yet even now," says the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
Joel 2:13 and rip your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and profuse with constant love, and relents of evil.
Joel 2:14 Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him - a cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?
Jonah 3:9 Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?"
Matthew 8:2 . . . and hey, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." Mark 1:40 And a leper came to Him, begging Him, and kneeling said to Him, ""If you will, you can make me clean."
Revelation 19:10 . . . For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Admirable New Year's intentions are both possible and rewarded:
Joshua 22:29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn away this day from following the LORD by building an altar for burnt offering, cereal offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle!"
Now, should these Scripture verses above be cited to an atheist, agnostic, and/or cultic pagan who has expressed his or her desire to not continue to hear such? Shall true-minority-group Christians [NOT the many on the broad and easy highway to destruction, but instead the few on the tough and narrow path to life] submit and surrender to the antagonist who intends to impose his or her disbelief and disapproval about being preached to about the doctrines and deity of Christ Jesus - especially within a zionist government such as presently is in authority here in America?
Reasonable constitutional free speech is, of course, the law of the land within the United States. To non-coercively advertise to [questionably] "non-soliciting" persons on TV, radio, on Facebook or other social media, by personal oration or leaf-letting, by snail-mail or e-mail, registered billboards, non-registered bumper stickers, etc. is freedom of expression - protected by government documents, agencies, and their law-enforcement officers.
With that in mind, of primary consideration is the admonition from the Lord to His contemporary and modern-day disciples:
Deuteronomy 6:7 . . . and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Unless one is a hermit, isolated in exclusionary reclusion or quarantined exile, interaction with the general public regarding the above-mentioned directive is essentially and unavoidably indigenous to the human community and surrounding neighborhoods.
Amos 7:16 Now therefore hear the word of the LORD. You say, 'Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not preach against the house of Isaac.'
Micah 2:6 "Do not preach" -- thus they preach --"one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us."
Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and wow, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of humans who, by their rapacity, suppress the truth.
First Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
Of course, if certain people (be they an individual, a small group, a larger group, perhaps a majority) do not want to continue to hear the words of the Lord from The HOLY BIBLE, then:
Numbers 25:4 . . . and the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel."
Joshua 22:18 . . . And if you rebel against the LORD today, He will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow.
Second Chronicles 30:8 Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD, and come to His sanctuary (like on Sunday morning, instead of sleeping in), which He has sanctified for ever, and serve the LORD your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you.
Second Chronicles 30:9 For if you return to the LORD, your brethren and your children will find compassion with their captors, and return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if you return to Him."
Job 34:33 Will He then make requital to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know.
Psalm 119:51 Godless men utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from Your law.
Proverbs 29:8 Scoffers set a city aflame, but wise men turn away wrath.
Jeremiah 17:13 Oh LORD, the hope of Israel, all who reject You shall be put to shame; those who turn away from You shall be written in the earth (named on tombstones?), for they have rejected the LORD, the fountain of living water.
Jeremiah 18:20 Is evil a recompense for good? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before You to speak good for them, to turn away Your wrath from them.
Ezekiel 14:6 Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Repent and turn away from your [lust-inciting and/or luxury-item] idols; and turn away your faces from all your [racist-reparations, abortion-homicide, homogay sodomite, pseudo-"science" evolutionist-heresy, porno-"art," feminist-sexist "equality"] abominations." '
Hebrews 12:25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven.
True, there are appropriate times and ways to witness to atheists, agnostics, and cultic pagans:
Exodus 10:28 Then Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me; you watch out; never see my face again; for in the day you see my face you shall die."
Exodus 10:29 Moses said, "As you say! I will not see your face again."
Exodus 11:1 The LORD said to Moses, "Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence; when he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.
2 Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, jewelry of silver and of gold."
3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.
4 And Moses said, "Thus says the LORD: About midnight I will go forth in the midst of Egypt;
5 and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sits upon his throne, even to the first-born of the maidservant who is behind the mill; and all the first-born of the cattle.
6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever shall be again. [And wouldn't it be humiliating for future pharaohs of Egypt to keep an official record of all this buried within some still-standing pyramid(s)?]
7 But against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, not a dog shall growl; that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction (i.e. legitimate non-inclusive discrimination) between the Egyptians and Israel.
Proverbs 14:7 Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
Jonah 3:4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he cried, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" [Is that The Message of Redemptive Gospel for potentially-penitent Ninevites that the Lord told partisan-for-Jews-only Jonah to preach, without additional words of: "unless you repent" - according to:
Jonah 3:1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,
Jonah 3:2 "Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you."?
So, God made a liar out of truncated?-sermon-proclaiming Jonah (because of consequential Ninevite repentance) who yet clung to Him while pouting, after being rescued into (then out of) the sanctuary of the whale's belly to avoid getting drowned in the stormy sea.]
Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."
Luke 9:60 But He said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." [whether anti-zionist nazis and islamic, Christ-and-Paul-persecuting jews, atheists, agnostics, the ACLU, the AUSCS, PAW, SPLC, or cultic pagans like it or not]
First Corinthians 4:21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Second Timothy 3:2 For humans will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, non-grateful, non-holy,
3 inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates [with rebellious rings in their defiant left earlobes and/or marred with bigshot-bullyboy/bullygirl self-inflicted tattoos], fierce, haters of good,
4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people. [which is not cowardice, but instead is courageous wisdom]
Titus 3:10 As for a human who is factious, after admonishing him [or her] once or twice, have nothing more to do with [them],
Titus 3:11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he [or she] is self-condemned.
The atheist, agnostic, and/or cultic pagan must understand that IF religious warfare ensues against Christian missionaries and their Divinely-ordered mission, the atheist, agnostic, cultic pagan, whoever will be to blame and at fault for starting it, and the divisive initiators of public nuisance and illegal disturbance are warned about retaliatory Acts of God and other retributional disasterous and painful consequences of becoming and being an increasing problem for everyone.
Not only that, the disbelieving, harassing, and blasphemous atheists, agnostics, cultic pagans, et al - who despise, disdain, and pooh-pooh the Bible as THE Ultimate Written Authority and Divinely-incepted Operating Manual for ALL Humans EVERYWHERE - must understand that they are trespassing on territory not their own, with bodies and environmental phenomena around them not their own. If it is a contest, confrontation, or ultimatum who is and is not in charge, and who has to get out of whose way . . . or else:
Exodus 9:29 Moses said to him, "As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the Earth is the LORD's."
Psalm 24:1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD's (NOT the atheist's, nor agnostic's, nor cultic pagan's) and the fullness thereof, the world and those who reside therein
Psalm 102:25 Of old you did lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.
Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name? Surely you know!
Isaiah 43:13 "I am God, and also henceforth I am He; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can hinder it?"
Amos 4:13 For wow, He who forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to mankind what is His thought; who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth--the LORD, the God of hosts, is His name!
First Corinthians 10:26 For: "the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."
Colossians 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
13 He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation;
16 for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities [including UFOs] -- all things were created through Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together [despite Big-Bang baloney].
18 He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.
19 For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to reside,
20 and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil works,
22 He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before Him,
23 provided that you continue in the faith, stable and reliable, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Hebrews 1:1 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets;
2 but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.
3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very essence of His nature, upholding the Universe by His word of power. [Listen up, Star Trek and ET sci-fi fans!] When He had made purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
4 having become as much superior to angels as the name He has obtained is more excellent than theirs.
8 But of the Son He says, "Your throne, God, is forever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of Your kingdom [NOT queendom].
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your comrades."
10 And, "You, Lord, did found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all grow old like a garment,
12 like a mantle you will roll them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end."
In summary, the temporary but limited patience of the Lord and His ministering servants to atheists, agnostics, and cultic-pagans "scoffers, following their own godless passions" is nicely put in the following parable:
Luke 13:6 And [Jesus] told this parable: "A man [the Father?] had a fig tree [potentially-believing jew/gentile atheist, agnostic, cultic pagan, etc?] planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7 And he said to the vinedresser [Jesus, The Intercessory Mediator?], 'Wow, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?'
8 And he answered him, 'Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure [continuing applications of Biblical doctrine spoken and written to the atheist, agnostic, and/or cultic pagan].
9 And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'
Slanderers and revilers who - because of and despite their persistent impenitence, and whether or not they relentlessly deny the existence of an afterlife of eternal bliss or instead everlasting torment - WILL eventually be cut down:
Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
42 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;
48 when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.
49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous,
50 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
Matthew 25:46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Mark 9:48 . . . where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
Luke 16:24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.'
Second Thessalonians 1:9 They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction [NOT annihilation!] and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might
Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up to the ages of the ages; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshippers of the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
Second Peter 3:7 But by the same Word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction against godless humans.
Jude 1:4 For admission has been secretly gained by some who long ago were designated for this condemnation, godless persons [such as those arrogantly puffing cigarettes and boozing with liquor in worldly impudence] who pervert the grace of our God into [immodest/porno] licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ,
Jude 1:15 and to convict all the godless of all their deeds of godlessness which they have committed in such an godless way, and of all the harsh things which godless sinners have spoken against Him."
Revelation 20:11 Then I saw a Great White Throne and Him who sat upon it; from His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another Book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.
13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death, the Lake of Fire;
15 and if any one's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire. [sort of like being bashed to a pulp with a sledgehammer then doused with gasoline and set afire . . . over and over and over]
Noble is the endeavor to set and follow through with laudable New Year's Resolutions - yet humbly depending upon the benevolent and merciful graciousness not of some mythical "allah" or voodoo spirit, but rather the crucified, resurrected, ascended-to-Heaven, righteously-forgiving-and-empowering Christ [Jesus] who will return in power, glory, and judgment to commence and perpetuate immaculate salvation for those penitent-and-forgiven who will be consigned to forever-perfect sinlessness in the genuinely-awesome never-ending supernatural realm.