Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Archive for December, 2012

Something For The Coming New Year

Something For The Coming New Year

This year I want to…

Write something worth reading
Read something worth sharing
Say something worth repeating
Give something worth getting
Choose something worth keeping
Sacrifice something worth giving up
Go somewhere worth seeing
Eat something worth tasting
Hug someone worth holding
Buy something worth treasuring
Cry tears worth shedding
Do something worth watching
Risk something worth protecting
Listen to something worth hearing
Teach something worth learning
Be someone worth knowing.

This was written by Kelsey Harris who departed this life April, 2009, at the age of 16, after a long struggle against a malignant brain tumor.

Such a good generic list of things we need to consider for the coming year ahead of us. Yet I thought,  how it would be wonderful to give biblical answers to Kelsey’s wish list.

Write something worth reading

Nothing we write has more value than those things which pertain to our salvation. Oh to write the perfect sermon that can convince a lost soul to turn from their sins and then turn to God. Jam 5:19,20

Read something worth sharing

Nothing is worth reading more than the bible. Let us all challenge one another to read the bible from cover to cover this coming year, and then share what new things we have learned.

Say something worth repeating

If I had to choose but 18 words to repeat over and over again they would be these: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” and “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins”. Mk 16:16f; Acts 2:38

Give something worth getting

If I gave something worth giving it would be caring for the souls of others in hopes I would have someone care for my soul. None of us are infallible, and even if we teach the perfect Word of God it doesn’t mean we ourselves can’t fall from grace.


Choose something worth keeping

The only thing worth keeping is our salvation. Keeping God’s commandments, enduring trials and temptations, and remaining faithful into death is definitely worth keeping.

Sacrifice something worth giving up

We all need to sacrifice our pleasures of sin, and give them up from this day forward. Every bad habit, every immoral thought, and every evil deed is worth giving up that we might obtain a crown of life. Heb 11:25

Go somewhere worth seeing

One could travel from one end of this planet to the other, and even to the ends of the world and never find a place worth seeing as much as heaven.

Eat something worth tasting

When we think of eating we think of food, but as Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” As Jeremiah said, “Your words were found and I did eat them”. Jesus and His Word is a Christian’s food from heaven, the Bread of Life. Nothing is as sweet and pure as God’s Word. Ps 12:6f; Ps 119:103

Hug someone worth holding

A Christian’s life is called both a fight and a race, and at the end of either one often we reach for someone to hug. Let that someone be Jesus Christ after we have fought a good fight and finished our race. 1 Tim 6:12ff; 1 Cor 9:26; 2 Tim 4:7,8

Buy something worth treasuring

Buy the truth and sell it not are the words of Solomon. Prov 23:23 If we possess the truth, we hold the words of eternal life. Jn 6:68


Cry tears worth shedding

When I hear of a Saint of God dying I rejoice, because I know they have accomplished something all the Saints of God desire_a crown of life. Precious and blessed are they which die in the Lord. Ps 116:15; Rev 14:13 I cry when I hear of those who never knew God, or never obeyed the gospel of Christ. I cry even more if I had the opportunity to warn them, and I failed to do so.


Do something worth watching

I believe that Elders of the church do something every day that is worth watching, and that is for our souls. They are set in place to protect us against false doctrine, and must give an account for our soul. Give honor and obey all those who hold this position, for they hold a grave responsibility given to them by our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:28f; Heb 13:7,17

Risk something worth protecting

When a preacher or a teacher faces opposition to the truth, often it is with family members or friends. Though such relationships are worth protecting, it’s worth the risk of losing them in hopes to gain their eternal soul. Mt 10:37 It’s better to be their enemy here on earth and see them in heaven, than to be the apple of their eye on earth and see them in hell. Gal 4:16

Listen to something worth hearing

Nothing is worth hearing more than a book, chapter, and verse gospel sermon delivered by a preacher or teacher who is well seasoned in the Word of God. The value of preacher who speaks where the bible speaks and remains silent where the bible is silent is priceless. 1 Pet 4:11f; 1 Cor 4:6

Teach something worth learning

Paul was a good example of a man who was well learned in the Jewish faith, but he counted this but dung that he might win Christ. Philip 3:8 Teaching the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ is worth learning to every generation.

Be someone worth knowing

No one is worth knowing more than a Christian. A seasoned Christian can teach you God’s Word, save you from destruction,  and even be the perfect example to a Christian life. 2 Tim 4:2-5ff; Jam 5:19,20; 1 Tim 4:12

And one more thing…Add to your faith this coming year.”Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9

May God bless every Saint of God with his kindness and mercies in the coming new year. May God add to us his wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Grace be with all the Saints around the world, and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

What Is Your Plea?

What Is Your Plea

In our legal system, being guilty of anything carries with it shame and punishment. So, is there a time when being guilty of something is a good thing? We know Jesus was guilty of being the Son of God. He was guilty of healing on the Sabbath. He was guilty of being a King, that is, the King of Saints. Rev 15:3 So, the question for all Christians to answer is: what are we guilty of that is pleasing unto God?

Guilty of Obeying the Gospel

When you stand before God can you plead guilty to obeying the gospel of Christ? Can you truthfully say that you have heard the gospel of Christ which says that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried and arose from the dead according to the scriptures? Rom 10:17f; 1 Cor 15:1-4 Can you say that you have believed this with your heart and confessed it before men with your mouth? Rom 10:9,10 Can you say that you have repented and been baptized for the remission of your sins? Acts 2:38 To be innocent of these charges present hell and damnation to your soul. 2 Thess 1:7-9

Guilty of Studying the Word

Can you say that you have read and studied the scriptures? 1 Tim 4:13f; 2 Tim 2:15 Can you say that you have searched the scriptures daily seeking the truth of God? Acts 17:11 Can you say that you have learned of God’s Word in order to be able to be able to stand against the trickery of the Devil? Eph 6:11-18 Can you say that you have learned of God’s Word to be able to preach, teach or to be able to lead others to the truth? Heb 5:12-14 To be innocent of these charges make you an infant in the faith, and susceptible to falling away. Mk 12:24f; Heb 5:12-14

Guilty of Worshiping God

Can you say that you have attended worship faithfully? Heb 10:25 Can you say you have worshiped God in Spirit and in Truth. Jn 4:22-24 Can you say that you have sang praises to God according to His Word? Eph 5:19 Can you say that you have remembered the Lord’s death by partaking of the communion of the Lord with fellow saints? 1 Cor 11:24-26 Can you say you have given of our means as God has blessed you financially? 1 Cor 16:1,2 Can you say that you have heard or taught the Word , being edified, while edifying fellow servants of the Lord? Eph 4:12 Can you say that you were glad to enter into the House of God each Lord’s Day? Ps 122:1 To be innocent of these charges means you have forsaken fellow saints, the work of the church, and Christ himself. Jude 18,19

Guilty of Teaching the Word

Can you say that you have taught the Word of God either by word or by example? 2 Tim 2:2ff; 1 Tim 4:12; 1 Pet 3:1 Can you say that you have taught God’s Word without being ashamed of it? Rom 1:16 Can you say that you have taught God’s Word in and out of season? 2 Tim 4:2-5 Can you say that you are guilty of risking family and friends alike by teaching them the truth? Mt 10:37f; Gal 4:16 To be innocent of these charges means you have starved those who are in most need of the bread of Life. Jn 21:16

Guilty of Defending and Contending for the Faith

Can you say that you have defended the Word of God against false doctrines and the doctrines of men? 1 Jn 4:1f; Tit 1:9 Have you contended for the faith against those who would turn it into a lie? Jude 3f; Rom 1:25 Have you withstood those who would pervert the Word by going beyond that which was written? 1 Cor 4:6f; Rev 22:18,19 Have you defended the gospel against those who teach of another gospel? Philip 1:15-18f; Gal 1:6,7 To be innocent of these charges means that like a coward you have forsaken the law of Christ and the good fight of faith. 1 Tim 6:12; Prov 28:4

Guilty of Doing Good Unto All

Can you say that you have done good unto all mankind, both sinner and saint alike? Gal 6:10 Can you say that you love your enemies? Can you say that you have blessed those who curse you, do good to those that hate you, and prayed for them that persecute you? Mt 6:44 Can you say you have done good to your neighbor? Can you say that you have done good to fellow brethren? 1 Jn 3:17 Can you say that you have have fed and clothed the poor? Can you say that you have visited the sick, and those who are in prison? Mt 25:42-44 Can you say you have visited the fatherless and the widowed in their affliction? Jam 1:27 To be innocent of these charges means you have done evil to Jesus himself. Mt 25:45

Guilty of Suffering for Christ

Can you say that you have suffered for the cause of Christ? 1 Pet 4:16 Can you say that you have been persecuted for doing the works of God? 2 Tim 3:12 Can you say that God has tested and tried you? Jam 1:12 Can you say that God has chastened you as sons and daughters? Rev 3:19,20 Can you say that you have lost this world in order to gain the world to come? Mt 16:24-26 To be innocent of these charges means that you have turned from God’s Word, and the offense of the cross has ceased in your life. Gal 5:11

Conclusion: Would the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold be found unto praise, honor, and glory? 1 Pet 1:7 When we stand before God, we must be found guilty of all these, if we expect to receive eternal life as our reward. God is not unfaithful to forget our work and labor of love in the faith. Heb 6:10,11  When we offer all of our talents, our resources, and time to the Lord, it is not in vain. Mt 10:29,30  If we stand guilty of obeying the gospel, worshiping faithfully with the saints, teaching his Word, contending for the faith, doing good unto all mankind, and suffering for the cause of Christ even unto death, we also stand worthy to receive a crown of life promised to all who love God and keep his commandments. Jam 1:12f; Rev 2:10

The Biblical Church of Christ

The Biblical Church of Christ

It’s important to identify the one and only Church of Christ because one is baptized into the body of Christ, and only Jesus adds us to it. Acts 2:47 If we want to identify the biblical church, we must identify specific characteristics. We don’t look for one that worships God, because all churches worship God. We don’t look for one that loves the Lord, because all churches claim that they love God. However, only the churches which keep His commandments actually love God. 1 Jn 5:3 Only the New Testament can truly identify the true church of Christ.

It’s Authority Is The Scripture

The New ‘Testament church accepts that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 It accepts the fact that all that God has given has been revealed by the Spirit, and that the scriptures are inspired in word and thought. 1 Cor. 2:10f; 1 Cor. 2:13 It is certified as having been given by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal, 1:11-12 It doesn’t add to or take from God’s Word. Rev 22:18,19 It speaks and acts only as the oracles of God instructs. 1 Pet, 4:11 It abides in the doctrine of Christ, and rejects the doctrines of men. 2 Jn. 9f; Mt 15:7-9

The church has the ability to prove its faith with book, chapter, and verse for all that it says and does.  If God didn’t authorize it, the church doesn’t do it. Thus, it believes the Word of God is all sufficient for our salvation. 2 Pet 1:3

It Has Self Autonomy

Jesus built His church upon a Rock, a sure foundation which was structured or built according to the divine pattern. Mt 16:18f; Heb. 8:1-5 The divine organization of the church consists of bishops (elders) and deacons. Phil. 1:1 Qualifications for bishops (elders) and deacons are given in Tit. 1:5-9 and 1 Tim. 3:1-13. The local church is made up of saints with its bishops (elders) and deacons. This is the only organization known to the church. As such, it is independent and autonomous. Elders are to be appointed in every church. Acts 14:23 They have the oversight only over the flock over which they have been appointed. Acts 20:17-28f; 1 Pet. 5:2. Each local church is to be independent and self-governing.

The Name of The Church Jesus built

Jesus is the builder of his church, and the only one who died for it. Mt 16:18f; Acts 20:28  There is only one body, and Jesus is the head of that one body which is identified as the church. Eph 4:4f; Col 1:24 Therefore, if Jesus is the head of the body of Christ, he by interpretation is the head of the church of Christ. Eph 1:22,23ff; Col 1:18; 1 Cor 12:27; Rom 16:16

Worship God in Spirit And Truth

Jesus said: “God is spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth” Jn. 4:24 The Spirit was the one sent to the apostles to guide them unto all truth. Jn 16:13 The truth is the Word of God wherein the gospel is contained. 1 Thess 2:13f; 1 Pet 1:25 The church is the manifold wisdom of God, and the foundation of the truth. Eph 3:10f; 1 Tim 3:15

Early day Christians worshiped God in Spirit and in Truth, and so must we if we are the biblical church of Christ. What did they do?

1. They met on the first day of the week Acts 20:7
2. They partook of the Lord’s Supper Acts 20:7f; 1 Cor 11:24-26
3. They gave of their means 1 Cor 16:1,2
4. The preached Acts 20:7; 2 Tim 4:2-5
5. They Prayed 1 Cor 14:15
6. They Sang A cappella Eph 5:19

It Performs Its God-Given Work

The church has a definite function to perform. We can know what the church is to do by observing the New Testament church’s function.

What is the work of the church?

1. Preaching and teaching the gospel. Phil. 1:3-5f; 4:15-48
2. Edifying the Saints Acts 13:1; Eph. 4:11-16; Rom. 1:8-17
3. Helping needy Saints.  (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 5:9-10,16).

It is not the work of the church to provide entertainment and things of like nature. Also, the church is all-sufficient to perform the tasks it was commanded to perform. It can, to the extent of its ability, do all that God has assigned to it.

Conclusion

These features identify the church. They tell us what the church is and what it is like. Are you a member of the New Testament church? You can be added to it by your obedience to the gospel of Christ. Acts 2:47ff; Rom 10:9,10; Acts 2:38; Rev 2:10

A church is no better than the sum of its members. If its members are corrupt it will produce corruption. If its members are righteous it will produce righteousness. If the church you attend doesn’t bear the Lord’s name, or obeys the Lord’s doctrine, and doesn’t worship God in Spirit and in Truth you are not in the Lord’s church. There is only one church which abides in all these, and it’s called the church of Christ. If you are not in the right church, you are not right with God. Don’t become a member of the church of your choice, but rather the church of God’s choice, the choice of Christ, the choice of the apostles, and every new testament convert__ the church of Christ. The Saints of God are waiting to greet you there. Rom 16:16

The Unchangeable Church of Christ

The Unchangeable Church of Christ

Many claim to be faithful Christians, but few are. They attend church services each Sunday, and even attend each time the church doors are open. Many claim that there is no perfect church, and that one church is as good as another. No perfect church? I beg your pardon! The church which Christ built is perfect, and is the manifold wisdom of God. Eph 3:10  The church which Christ built is the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Tim 3:15 So, how can we know if the church we attend is the Lord’s church? What saith the scripture?

Denominational Churches Change

Many attend denominational churches whose dogmas, and beliefs have changed throughout the ages. The Catholic church for instance has changed many times over. They once baptized by immersion, but now they sprinkle. They once allowed all their priest, bishops, and cardinals to marry, but now they forbid it because women were divorcing them, and taking Catholic property.

Not only the Catholic church has changed its beliefs and practices, but most all denominational churches have changed, and continue to change their doctrines. There was a time when denominations didn’t have instrumental music, but most do today. Most didn’t allow women in their pulpits, but most do today. Most didn’t allow gays and lesbians in their churches, but now they fill their leadership roles and pulpits. Most all churches used to forbid adulterous marriages, but now their pews are filled with them.

The Doctrine of Christ NEVER Changes

What was true for the apostles is true for us today. The apostles baptized by immersion, and forbidding to marry is called the doctrine of devils. Acts 8:38f; 1 Tim 4:1-3 The apostles taught Christians to sing and make melody in the heart, and never taught the use of instrumental music. Eph 5:19

Women were forbidden by the Lord Jesus Christ to speak in the churches, were forbidden to teach the Word, or to usurp authority over men, but to be in silence. 1 Cor 14:33-40f; 1 Tim 2:11-15

Homosexuals and lesbians were described both in the old and new testament as abominations who were worthy of death. Rom 1:25-32 Adultery was described as anyone who was divorced, and remarried contrary to the doctrine of Christ. Except for the cause of fornication, man was forbidden to divorce his wife and remarry. Mt 5:32f; Mt 19:9 Except for the death of her husband, woman was called an adulteress if she remarried with a living husband. Rom 7:2,3f; 1 Cor 7:39

Conclusion: Any church which teaches any doctrine contrary to the doctrine of Christ has not God.2 Jn 9 The church can’t be the foundation of the truth, and then be carried about with every wind of doctrine. Eph 4:14 Any church which does not speak where the bible speaks, and remains silent where the bible is silent speaks not the oracles of God. 1 Pet 4:11

Any church which teaches not the gospel of Christ is not the church which Christ built. Gal 1:8,9 Any church that doesn’t teach one has to believe and confess Jesus is the Christ; Rom 10:9,10 Any church that doesn’t teach repentance and baptism for the remission of sin; Acts 2:38 Any church that doesn’t teach faithfulness until death, is not of God. Rev 2:10 Any church that doesn’t meet each Sunday to take the Lord’s supper, and give of its means is not the Lord’s church. Acts 20:7ff; 1 Cor 11:24-26; 1 Cor 16:1,2 Any church that bears not the name of Christ is not headed by Christ. Eph 1:22,23f; Col 1:18

The church of Christ, the church which Christ built and died for abides by only one doctrine that changes not. Mt 16:18f; Acts 20:28 If you are attending a church which either has an ever changing doctrine, or a doctrine contrary to the gospel of Christ, you are not attending the Lord’s church, and are worshiping God in vain. Mt 15:7-9 The Lord changes not, his church changes not, and the saints which attend his church changes not. Heb 13:8; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 4:14

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

Jesus gave unto us a very important commandment on the sermon on the mount that has been often trivialized over time. Some call it the golden rule, and some call it an idea of impracticality. Jesus said, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matt 7:12

In our daily lives who would want to be mistreated, false accused or abused in anyway? Who wants to be murdered, raped, or starved? Who wants to be in poor health, and be denied care? Who wants to be deprived of work, and have their family go in want? Who wants to be homeless in the cold of winter, not knowing where their next meal will derive?

This wicked world often says, “Do unto others before they do it unto you.” Some say, “Evil is when somebody steals my possessions; good is when I steal somebody elses possessions.” The law of survival says, if a person has the ability to steal and not get caught, he should do it. Who hasn’t ever heard the phrase, “I’ll leave you alone, if you’ll leave me alone.”

When we do unto others as we would have them do unto us, we are not only doing good unto others, but as well we are doing good unto ourselves. Jesus’ commandment was a warning of what will happen to us in life when we fail to do good unto our fellow man. Some say, “What goes around comes around.” Others call it Karma. Mankind has seen it, and they call it by different names, but it still derives from the golden rule given to us by Jesus.

When we feed our enemies, and give them drink, we heap coals of fire upon their head. Rom 12:20 Many will become our enemy when we teach them the truth. Gal 4:16 A few will rejoice when they hear the Good News. Acts 8:39

Who among us would stumble in sin and depart from the truth, and not want someone, anyone, to show them the error of their ways? Jam 5:19,20 Who being on the road to destruction would not want a faithful servant of God to show them the strait and narrow path which leads to life everlasting? Mt 7:13,14

If we as Christians can’t see clearly enough to help those who are physically hungry, dare we think we can see those who are spiritually deprived? Did not Jesus teach us that when we help and do good unto others that we are doing good to Him, and shall receive eternal life? And when we fail to do good unto others we are failing to do good unto him, and shall receive an eternal punishment?  Mt 25:34-46 Did not Jesus teach us that it is much more blessed to give than to receive? Acts 20:35 Do we dare say to a man be warmed and filled, and not give them those things needful to the body? Jam 2:14-16 Even so, do we also dare see someone who is starving for the bread of life, the Word of God, the gospel of our salvation, and not teach them? Did not Jesus command Peter to feed His sheep? Jn 21:16,17

How much more shall we do good unto fellow brethren. If we see a brother or sister in need, and close our compassion from them, the love of God is not in us. 1 Jn 3:17,18 Even worse than this is to see a brother or sister in need of being corrected from the error of their way, and not going to them in private even as did Aquila and Priscilla to one named Apollos. Acts 18:24-26

When we fail to do good to a person in need, we are contributing to their physical death. However, when we fail to do good to a person in need of the truth, we are guilty of contributing  to their eternal damnation.

Ezekiel the prophet said, “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” Ezek 33:8-9

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Feed them when they are hungry, give them drink when they are thirsty, but above all, teach them the Word of God, the Bread of Life daily. Jn 6:68 And your reward shall be a blessing here on earth, and in the life to come, life everlasting. 1 Tim 4:8

Living In Sin Isn’t Living, It’s Dying

Living In Sin Isn't Living-Its Dying

We live in a society where men are marrying men, and women are marrying women. A society where men are becoming women, and women are becoming men by the means of surgeons. A society where homosexuality is being condoned by families, governments, and churches.

We live on a planet where adultery is being committed and lived in by more than half the population. Too many think that they have a God given right to be married more than once without the restrictions of the scripture. Adultery has entered the churches, and has taken over many pulpits and elderships.

Fornication, those having sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage is more common than marriage itself. Society has accepted those who do everything a married couple does, except be legally married to one another. To the wicked, it’s all about love, desire, and being happy. They have ceased to remember or never have learned that they who do such wickedness shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Gal 5:19-21

Too many are seeking self gratification of the flesh as opposed to seeking first the kingdom of heaven. Mt 6:33 Too many are saying that they want the pleasures of sin now, over the promise of eternal life later. Heb 11:25f; Tit 1:2

Let us never forget that these kinds of abominations were true from the very beginning of time. Society was so evil in the days of Noah that God destroyed the earth by water, with the exception of Noah and his family. Sodom and Gomorrah was no more wicked than we are today, and God destroyed it by fire and brimstone. Babylon and Rome fell because of their decadence, and so will the nations which follow them. Nations that forget God are soon forgotten. Ps 9:17

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, and he watches the evil and the good. Prov 15:3 This wicked society teaches its children a fantasy of Santa Claus who is able to know when we are good and bad, and yet forget that we have a God who can do so much more than we can ever imagine. God knows everything that we think, say, and do from the time we were born till the time that we die. What is worst, is that once we die we shall be judged by every thing that we have done in our life according to the Word of God. Jn 12:48f; 2 Cor 5:10

Our Lord and Savior can’t save us until we first put away our sinful ways, and turn to God by our obedience to the gospel of Christ. If we have obeyed the gospel, yet have forsaken God’s Word, our worship and service to Him is in vain. Mt 15:7-9 Too many are living in sin and living it up, but living is sin isn’t living, it’s dying. Col 2:13  Actually, we don’t begin to live until we put our sins far from us, and take hold of the gospel of our salvation, and remain faithful to it. Eph 1:13f; Rev 2:10

The good news is that if we slay sin in our mortal flesh, and choose to bury this sin by baptism, we are raised cleansed from our sins to walk a new life with Christ. Rom 6:3,4 Once we have ceased from sin we begin to suffer even as Christ also suffered, that we should no loner live the rest of our life in the lusts of the flesh, but to do the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1,2 The choice is yours: Live in sin now and enjoy the world, or die to sin and forever reign with our Savior. Paul conclusively said, “For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure (suffer), we shall also reign with Him.” 2 Tim 2:11-12 Those who endure to the end shall receive a crown of life. Jam 1:12f; Mt 10:22

Perfected In God’s Love

Perfected In Gods Love

If the gospel waited on perfect men to preach it, the pulpits would be empty. Make no mistake about it, preachers of God’s Word are not perfect, but the Word which they preach is perfect. If the pews of the church waited to be filled with perfect righteous people to fill it, all would be empty. Jesus didn’t call the righteous, but rather sinners to repentance. Mk 2:17

Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you look for the bad in people, you will surely find it.” The apostle Paul said,  “There is none righteous, no not one.” Rom 3:10 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23 Isaiah wrote, “All of our righteousness are like filthy rags.” Isa 64:6 Job wrote, “If God puts no trusts in his saints, and the heavens are not clean in his sight, how much less man, who is abominable and filthy who drinks iniquity like water!” Job 15:!5 Jesus said, “There is none good but one, that is, God” Mt 19:17

Yet, despite all of this, God has provided us a way to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, and that with the precious blood of Christ by baptism. 1 Jn 1:9; 1 Pet 1:18,19 If we can believe that Jesus is the Christ and confess it before men.Jn 8:24f; Mt 10:32,33 If we can turn from our sins, and be baptized into Christ. Lk 13:3f; Acts 22:16 Then are we raised to walk in the newness of life. Rom 6:3,4 Then are we made righteous by Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: So, if you are delaying becoming a Christian on the condition that Christians are not perfect, you will be waiting endlessly, because all Christians are a work in progress. All Christians are being tested, tried, chastened, persecuted, and are suffering for the cause of Christ. Jam 1:1,2,12ff; 2 Tim 3:12; Rev 3:19; 1 Pet 4:12,16 They may not all be perfected in the flesh, but those who keep God’s Word are perfected in God’s love; 1 Jn 2:5 A love which gave his only Son to die for our sins. Jn 3:16f; 1 Cor 15:3 If you are up to the test, and are willing to be among the few, the called, the chosen, and the faithful, come be a part of the body (the church) of Christ while God’s hand is stretched out still, and be perfected in God’s love. Mt 7:14ff; Deut 7:7; Rev 17:14; Col 1:18; Isa 9:17

Fight The Good Fight Of Faith

Fight the Good Fight of Faith 3

It’s been said that the truth is the hardest to define, and even more hard to believe. Lies often sound more plausible than does the absolute truth. The best lies ever given are the ones that are closest to the truth. Such are the lies of many denominational beliefs. Jesus said we shall know the truth, and the truth shall set us free. Jn 8:32 The Word of God is the truth. Jn 17:17 Let the scripture uncover those who would pervert the truth.

Jesus declared that the father of all liars was the Devil himself. Jn 8:44 He was a deceiver, and a murder from the very beginning of man. He deceived Even in the Garden of Eden by the addition of only one word. God had commanded that all who ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil would surely die. Gen 2:17 The Devil altered God’s Word by saying, “You shall NOT surely die.” Gen 3:4

Such is the case of all deviations from God’s Word. False doctrine is perpetuated because it sounds so close to the truth that it’s believed by those who don’t know the truth or can’t imagine God being so strict. Mk 12:24; Rom 11:22

The Devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness using his greatest devices: Need, Pride, and Desire. He tempted Jesus with food, and Jesus resisted by saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word which proceeds from the mouth of God.” Deut 8:3

He tempted Jesus with pride when he asked Jesus to prove he was the Son of God by leaping off the pinnacle of the temple. He even quoted scripture concerning Jesus. Ps 91:11 Yet, Jesus replied, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Deut 6:16 This same technique was used against Christ at the cross when the Chief Priest mocked Jesus by saying, “He saved others, let him save himself.” Yet it was more imperative that Jesus obey God, than to save himself from the cross, and regain his dignity.

Then the Devil used his most powerful temptation against our Lord when he showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. The price for such power was for Jesus to bow down to Satan. Jesus said, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Jesus was offered all this power without having to die on the cruel cross of Calvary for it. Jesus chose, even like Moses, to suffer with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Heb 11:25 Jesus chose to die on that cross in obedience to God for our sins that we might have eternal life. Philip 2:8,9 Thus was given to Jesus all power both in heaven and in earth from God the Father. Mt 28:18

Make no mistake about it, the Devil is out to steal your soul and mine. Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 His device is the false prophet who preaches for filthy money. Tit 1:11 He will teach the doctrines of men which tickle the ear, and draw mankind from the truth. 2 Tim 4:3,4f; Tit 1:14 He will spoil you with the philosophies of men after the principles of the world. Col 2:8 He will cause divisions by the use of smooth words and flattering speeches. Rom 16:17,18 He will divide brethren by debating over words in order to make gain of them. 1 Tim 6:3-10f; 2 Tim 2:14

Your only defense is the Word of God to defend yourself. You must put on the whole armor of God to stand against the trickery of the Devil. Eph 6:11-17 You must read, study, search, and rightly divide God’s Word, even as did the Bereans. 1 Tim 4:13ff; 2 Tim 2:15; Acts 17:11

Jesus said he was the truth, a fact which was verified by the apostle Paul. Those which have learned of Christ, and has been taught by him, “The truth is in Jesus.” Eph 4:21,22 This same truth which was delivered into all the world, the gospel of our salvation, exists today within the pages of the New Testament. Col 1:23f; Eph 1:13 If we continue in God’s Word we shall be called the saints of God, and know the kind of truth which shall set us free from sin__the GOSPEL! Jn 8:31,32

Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” Mk 16:16 Peter said, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins.” Acts 2:38 Then as Luke wrote, we are added to the church by Jesus Christ. Acts 2:47 John concluded that only those who remain faithful unto death shall receive a crown of life. Rev 2:10

As Paul said, “Therefore, brethren, stand firm and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” 2 Thess 2:15 Contend, defend, and prove the truth by the Word of God. Jude 3ff; Philip 1:15-18; Rom 12:2; 1 Thess 5:21 Fight the good fight of faith, speaking only sound doctrine, the oracles of God, which is our common salvation, and take hold of eternal salvation. 1 Tim 6:12f; 1 Pet 4:11

Death Swallowed Up In Victory!

Death Swallowed Up In Victory

According to the Central Intelligence Agency, (a.k.a the C.I.A.) there were 150 million people in the world in A.D. 1. This stat doubled in 1350 to 300 million people. In 1700 the population doubled again to 600 million. In 1800 the population went to 900 million. In 1900 the population was at 1.6 billion. In 1950 the population was at 2.4 billion. In 1985 the population more than doubled to 5 billion. By the year 2020, the population will be an estimated 8 billion people.

None of these statistics include the millions of babies which are killed each year by the violent act of abortion. According to http://www.guttmacher.org, 43 million babies are aborted worldwide each year (1.2 million in America is the lowest of any country).

The current population in the world is a little past 7 billion people. 130 million are born each year and 55 million die each year. Despite the fact that man failed once again on December 21, 2012 to predict the world’s demise, 150,684 people died. This is the current average of people who die each day for one reason on another.

In the U.S., the average age for men is 76 and for women the average is 81 years. World wide the average age is 67. The facts are, we are not made for long upon this earth. The facts are, that the world comes to an end for millions of people each and every day. With all these statistics, it’s easy to see that this life is a very fragile existence. Our life upon this earth is but for a short time. James said, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Jam 4:14

How many of these 55 million who pass each year were ready to meet the Lord? There are literally millions of way to die, but only one way to save your soul from eternal damnation. The slogan, “Life is fragile, handle with care”, is a very true statement. However, none of us can prevent death here on earth. The good news is that we can prevent our eternal damnation. Remember this, that precious in the Lord’s sight is the death of his saints. Ps. 116:15 Blessed are they who die in the Lord. Rev 14:13

Mankind can tell you how to make your life better here on earth, but only God’s Word can give you better life once you die. Jesus prepared the way by dying for our sins upon the cross. 1 Cor 15:1-4 If we obey the gospel of Christ we shall inoculate our souls against the fire and brimstone awaiting countless billions of unbelieving and disobedient souls. This gospel simply commands us to believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of God who died for our sins, and confess this before men. Rom 10:9,10 Secondly we must repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins. Acts 2:38 Last, but certainly not least, we must do the hardest part, which is, live faithfully unto death. Rev 2:10

If we do this, and no more, death has no reign over us. Why, because we who are buried with Christ by baptism are already dead, and raised to walk in the newness of life. Rom 6:3,4 Let us not live to die, but rather let us die to live. It is a faithful saying, if we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with Christ. If we suffer, we shall also reign with Christ. 2 Tim 2:11,12 Never let the called, the chosen, and the faithful worry about the end of the world, or the facts of death to our mortal body. Rev 17:14 Our Lord has defeated death by his death, burial and resurrection from the dead. Death was swallowed up in victory by our Savior! Thanks be unto God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our obedience to the glorious gospel of Christ! 1 Cor 15:57f; 1 Tim 1:11

The Only Wonder Left To Answer…

The Only Wonder Left To Answer

He is older than all of creation, yet he exists today, and for all future generations. He is same as he was yesterday, today, and forever. Heb 13:8 Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ never changes. So, is it any wonder what Jesus would be teaching and preaching if he walked among men today? Is it any wonder from what source he would have preached?

Can any sincere seeker of the Word say that Jesus preached his own doctrine and his own interpretation of God’s Word? Jn 7:16,17 Did not Jesus by his own account say that he only spoke what God commanded him to speak, and only did what God commanded him to do? Jn 12:49,50f; Jn 5:19 So, if Jesus were present with us today would he not also of necessity preach the exact same Word which is contained within the scriptures without adding his own opinions?

Mankind is always asking themselves, “What would Jesus say, and what would Jesus do”. Yet, we know what Jesus would say and do because the scriptures told us what he said and did, and Jesus changes not.

We are not left to wonder what Christ would preach today, for we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:16 Jesus would preach the same Word he commissioned his apostles to preach unto all the world. Mt 28:19,20f; Mk 16:15,16 The same gospel Paul certified proceeded from Jesus Christ. Gal 1:11,12 The exact same gospel which Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. The exact same gospel which was preached to every Christian convert in the New Testament.

This is the gospel which was hidden from other ages, but is now revealed by his holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit. Eph 3:3-6 This is the same gospel that shall judge us come the day of judgment. Rom 2:16f; Jn 12:48 And if anyone, including the angels in heaven preach any other gospel, they shall be accursed. Gal 1:8,9 A gospel which boldly says that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and arose from the dead according to the scriptures. 1 Cor 15:1-4 That all who believe and confess Jesus is the Christ, and repents and is baptized for the remission of their sins, and remains faithful shall be saved. Rom 10:9,10; Acts 2:38; Rev 2:10 The only wonder left to answer in this world is not what Jesus would say and do, but rather what we shall say and do once the gospel has been presented to us. Acts 2:37

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