Posted: July 26, 2016 in Gospel, Salvation, Security

When I was a small boy growing up in Japan as a missionary kid, I used to love going out to listen to a Japanese storyteller who came around our neighborhood on his bicycle with his mobile theater box on the back of it. First, he would walk around the block pounding his drum to let us children know that he was going to have a story for us.

Kamishibai. This comes from two Japanese words. Kami means paper. Shibai means theater. These dramatic storytellers would stand behind a little wooden theater and would flip through pictures as they told their stories. They would use different voices for the various characters in the story. Some people believe that this had its origin among the Buddhist monks, who walked from village to village teaching moral lessons, using painted boards to illustrate their stories.

Senbei. But the storyteller who got our attention wanted to sell us Japanese senbei, or rice crackers. I recall buying a whole lot of them one day and eating all of them only to get a tummy ache. Oh well, it was a memorable moment for me and it enabled me to meet Japanese boys my age with whom I developed a friendship.  I still like senbei as well as plain seaweed.  Let me know if you like this too.

Preachers/Teachers. Those who communicate God’s Word have an awesome responsibility and privilege. The Lord’s half brother, James wrote, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Teaching false doctrines or heresies is very serious in God’s eyes (1 Timothy 4:1). The Apostle Paul told Timothy to “[Proclaim] the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching.” Why? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned to fables [that aren’t true]” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

Crown Of Glory. Pastors who shepherd God’s flock and who serve well as overseers, who do their work, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly, will receive the “Crown of Glory” when the Lord returns for His Bride, the Church, at the time of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 1 Peer 5:4). This work involves feeding the believers, guiding and guarding them, and healing their wounded souls and spirits from disappointment, discouragement, and doubt. False teachers, who proclaim another Gospel and and another Christ will end up in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels to suffer forever (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1ff; Jude 1:13; Matthew 25:41, 46).

Test. The Apostle John wrote, “Brethren, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).  Some of them are captivating speakers and orators. “A mediocre teacher tells; The good teacher explains; The great teacher inspires.” – Source unknown.  I don’t know about you, but I like to listen to those who can take me from the pits of despair to the heights of glory.  He must speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). But we also need to be discerning to see if the speaker’s word line up with the Scriptures. The Apostle Peter warned his listeners about the false teachers who twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).  Beware of those who use flattery to achieve their own ends (Proverbs 6:24; 20:19).  As listeners, we must be like the believers at Berea who searched the Scriptures to see if the Apostle Paul’s words lined up with it (Acts 17:11).

Good Works. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…” Some of those to whom He spoke claimed to have done many wonderful works in His name. They prophesied in His name, cast out demons, and did many things that impressed a lot of the people. But sadly, He will have to say to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness” (Mathew 7:21-23).

Questions. My friend, are you certain that you will go to heaven the moment you die (1 John 5:13) or do you think that you have to go to a purging place first? Why should God let you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? Are you trying to earn your way into heaven by your good works or are you trusting in Christ alone who died for our sins..and rose again bodily on the third day? If you’re confident that you will go to heaven when you die, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 1:6)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who want clear answers from the Scriptures. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through out website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We’d like to hear from you. Please share this with your friends too.

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

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