Archive for the ‘Bible Basics’ Category

I believe that it is safe to say, most Christians are afraid of this ten letter “e” word. But learning more about it and getting involved in doing it could result in inexpressible joy in a Christians’s life. Blind song writer, Fanny J. Crosby put it this way. “Rescue the perishing, / Care for the dying, / Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; / Weep o’er the erring one, / Lift up the fallen, / Tell them of Jesus, / the mighty to save.”

Have you ever had an occasion to rescue someone from imminent danger? Perhaps, as a parent, you’ve had to grab your child who ran out into the busy street or who faced an angry dog. Maybe you rescued someone from drowning or from being burned to death. If you have experienced such a moment, how did it make you feel? Share your experience with us.

View. If we, as Christians, could/would look at other people through the eyes of God, it should cause us to love others as He did. He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever would believe in/on Him would not perish forever in the lake of fire but have eternal life (John 3:16, 18, 36). What promise. But unless lost people are told the Good News about Jesus, how can they believe on Him (Romans 10:13-17)? This is where we, as Christians, come into the picture.

Incentive. God promises to give the “Crown of Rejoicing” to those believers who have a part in the salvation of the lost (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). This is one of the greater joys a Christian can have. But the greatest joy comes when a Christian helps a new Christian grow spiritually and walk in truth (3 John 1:4; See John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

Gift. While you or I may not have this particular spiritual gift (Ephesians 4:11), we can/should be obedient to the Lord who saved us by sharing the Good News with others and giving them the opportunity to be saved (Acts 1:8). To keep you from getting discouraged, you need to know that most people will not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Matthew 7:13; 22:14). The Lord reminded the Apostle Paul, when he was fearful, that there were many people in the city of Corinth who would believe in/on Christ when the Gospel was presented to them (Acts 18:9, 10).

Choice. Most unbelievers choose not to pursue the evidence from natural revelation that there is a God who is all powerful (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20; Revelation 1:8). They love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). But God is omnipotent and can see to it that anyone who really wants to know about “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” will get the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16, 17). It might come to them through the spoken words of a believer or through the printed page or via radio or television. Unbelievers have no excuse for not believing in Christ (Romans 1:20).

Action Steps. What are some things we can/should do as believers to get the message of the Gospel out to others? Let’s consider some things that Philip the Evangelist did (Acts 8). He was –

Sensitive. He was responsive to the leading of God the Holy Spirit in his life (Acts 6:3; 8:26; Romans 8:14). Like him, we need to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and walk (order our lives) by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25). We must not quench (1 Thessalonians 5:19) or grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30) or deny (say “no” to) Him (2 Timothy 2:12).

Available. He was ready to share the clear Gospel with others who weren’t Jews (See Isaiah 6:8; 1 Peter 3:15). Let’s not succumb to the temptation from the devil to be spiritually lazy (1 Timothy 5:11-15) or act as a coward (2 Timothy 1:7; Luke 22:31-33). Put on the full armor of God to counter his attacks (Ephesians 6:10-17).

Proactive. While there may be times when others may ask us about our faith (1 Peter 3:15), most of the time we will need to look for opportunities to witness to others (Acts 1:8; 8:30). Jesus said, “…make disciples (true believers) of all the nations, baptize/immerse them, and teach them what I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 13:34, 35). Don’t be like the grumbler who, when opportunity knocked, complained about the noise.

Tactful. Being an evangelist, Philip was able to get right to the point much quicker than most of us might, present the Gospel, and see the man get saved. If I can, I try to steer the conversation around to spiritual things after talking with someone for awhile. I like to ask questions along this line: “What do you think is wrong in the world today?” “What is the best news you have heard lately?” “Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die?” “Why should God let you into heaven?” “Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation once you go it? If so, what?”

Clear. We must be very careful that we don’t cause people to be confused about the most important decision they will need to make in this life. We need to know what the Gospel is and isn’t and how a person can secure eternal life right now. (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31). The Gospel is the power of God unto a person’s salvation (Romans 1:16, 17). Don’t change the facts that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, or the means by which people are saved – faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Acts 16:31). Don’t add good works as a condition for salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5): baptism, church membership, attendance, giving, Lordship in exchange for salvation, etc).

Decisive. After sharing the Gospel with someone, ask him/her,“Is there anything that might keep you from believing in/on Christ right now?” If not, ask him/her to make the decision to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Acts 16:31). This decision can be made anywhere and at any time while a person is living. There are no second opportunities to be saved once a person is physically dead. Remind them that life is like a vapor that vanishes away (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1).

Informative. Let new believers know that once they are truly saved, (and not before), God wants them display their faith to other people by being baptized/immersed (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 8:36-38). Baptism pictures our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (See Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:3, 4).  Infant “baptism” does more harm than good.

Helpful. New believers need special help so they can grow spiritually (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:12-14). Introduce them to other Bible believing Christians (Acts 9:27) and invite them to attend and become a part of a sound, Bible believing local church (Hebrews 10:24, 25; Ephesians 4:11-16).

Contact. If you’d like additional spiritual help, get in touch with us. Share what you’re learning with others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). To do this, you need to get to know people and find out more about them and the concerns that they have. Visit our new website: www.kelseypeach.com. Read “The Bad News & Good News.” To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We are also on Youtube and Facebook.

What is the 10 letter “e” word that you don’t need to fear any longer? It’s defined as “The spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.” What is this called? Spell this backwards. ms msilegnave. Let’s start and/or keep doing it.

Some material adapted from – The Swindoll Study Bible, NLT, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Philip, A Lifestyle Of Evangelism, p. 1337

Helpful Links:

www.evantell.org

www.cleargospel.org

https://www.godssimpleplan.org/

Dr. Manfred Kober, “Do We Really Know The Gospel?”

https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Press, 1997, p. 108

http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/search/charles-ryrie-so-great-salvation

Lordship Salvation – Problems: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

Advertisements

It’s something everyone of us needs and yet so few have it. Without it one’s eternal destiny is bleak, hopeless, and frightening. Throughout the pages of the Scriptures God identifies Himself as the true and living God who is righteous and holy but at the same time loving, kind, gracious, and long suffering. He has other qualities too. It is not His desire that any human being should perish and end up forever with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46) but that all should receive a free gift from Him – eternal life (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36) and spend eternity in heaven with Him (John 14:1-3).

You may be like the religious people of Jesus’ day who thought that their good works would make them acceptable to God. But sadly, Jesus said that He never knew them as belonging to Him (Matthew 7:21-23). Could you be “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2)? Find out for sure.

Opportunities. If a door opens, and a person is willing to talk about it, I like to ask him/her these questions: Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Why should God let you into heaven? If you believe that you’re headed for heaven, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be? By first listening to them and their answers, I can get a better idea of where they are spiritually. Then I like to ask them if they’ve heard the Bad News & Good News? (Read it on my website.) The “Bad News” is about us and the “Good News” is about who Jesus is and what He did for us 2,000 years ago.

Saved. What does it mean when the Scriptures talk about one’s being “saved” or “born again from above” (John 3:3 ff)? Far too many people today are only concerned about being saved/delivered from their sicknesses and/or poor health, from a lack of money, or from being miserable in life. The “health, wealth, and happiness preachers” tickle their listeners ears and tell them what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4). They don’t talk about their Real Problem – Sin and unbelief that have consequences – physical and spiritual death (Romans 6:23). The Real Solution – Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose again bodily on the third day. Believing in/on Christ alone will result in one’s being declared righteous by God so he/she can enter heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 4:3-5, 16, 23-25; Galatians 2:20). We know that this kind of talk is foolishness to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Phases. Did you know that salvation comes to a believer in three phases? Initial salvation – when a believer is delivered from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:1). Progressive salvation – this takes place during this life as a believer is being delivered from the power of sin (Romans 6:14; Philippians 2:12, 13). Ultimate salvation – takes place when a believer is delivered from the presence of sin at the time of physical death or the Rapture (Romans 8:18-23)?

Parts. Man is basically made up of three parts: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Upon believing in Christ, a person’s spirit is saved (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:16). It is the rational part of us that belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23). The believer’s body won’t be saved and transformed to be like Christ’s until the Rapture of the true Church (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52;1 John 3:2). The soul (emotions) is the last thing that will be saved (1 Peter 1:9). This also will take place at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Definition. “The word salvation represents the whole work of God by which He rescues man from the eternal ruin and doom of sin and bestows on him the riches of His grace, even eternal life now and eternal glory in heaven.” – Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer

Need. All of us need to be saved because we have a sinful nature that is hostile toward God (1 John 1:8; See Romans 7:15-25). We inherited if from our parents (Psalm 51:5). We are “totally depraved” (Romans 3:9-18). This doesn’t mean that we as bad as we could be, but that we are as “bad off” as we can be. We don’t have the ability to save ourselves (Romans 3:23) by our good works (Ephesians 2:9; Isaiah 64:6).

Viewpoint. From God’s perspective, we are saved by God’s grace. None of us deserves to be saved. This is why we sing Amazing grace! How sweet the sound / That saved a wretch like me! / I once was lost, but now am found; / Was blind, but now I see.” – John Newton. From man’s perspective, we are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead (Acts 16:31).

Condition. Those who place any other conditions, except faith in Him, are twisting God’s method of salvation. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone. God has provided salvation for all mankind, including false prophets and teachers (2 Peter 2:1 ff; John 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:10). Most people refuse to come to Christ for salvation because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19, 20). When people refuse to acknowledge God’s existence and aren’t thankful to Him, He often gives them up to uncleanness and they worship the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18-32). Does this explain why there is so much wickedness in our world today? Don’t fret. Jesus will return someday as the righteous Judge and make things right (John 5:22; Romans 12:19). Christians who live in the light of this truth can earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Will you be one of them?

Help. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share it with others who might benefit from it. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Visit our new website at www.kelseypeach.com. Let us know how you like it.  Follow us on Youtube and Facebook too.

Benefits. Here are some benefits of being saved: A believer is regenerated (Titus 3:5), justified (Romans 5:1), secured (John 10:28, 29), redeemed (1 Peter 1:18), forgiven (Ephesians 1:7), sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11), gifted (1 Peter 4:10), and baptized by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12).

When I was a young man, I was a lifeguard at a lake during the summer time. I had to take special training and be physically fit to do the job of rescuing people who were in danger of drowning. Thankfully no one drowned on my watch. Later I became a water safety instructor and taught people how to swim and enjoy the water.

Firefighter. Although I was never a firefighter, I have talked to some men who were/are. I am amazed at the heavy, protective gear they have to wear and the skills they need to have so they can go into burning buildings and rescue people from dying. We should express our gratitude to such people, including police officers, and military people, who endanger their own lives to protect us from harm and danger. When was the last time you told one of them “Thank you”?

Heaven or Hell? There are some people who deny the existence of heaven and hell. One Episcopal Bishop came right out and said that hell was an invention of the church to make itself rich. Let us know if you agree or disagree with him? What are your thoughts about Purgatory, Paradise, Limbo, the Bottomless Pit, the Abyss, Tartarus and other places? What do the Scriptures teach and is all the information found in it reliable? Is there really a heaven to gain and a hell to avoid? Does merely imagining that they don’t exist make it true as John Lennon suggested?

Certain? If so, how can a person make sure he/she is going to avoid hell and enter heaven? Will everyone, including the devil and demons, eventually end up in heaven? Is “universalism” true or false? What about those people who hate God and who don’t want to be there with Him and Christians? What about people who have never heard of Jesus? Why did He come to earth 2,000 years ago? Who was/is He? How can we distinguish between the true Christ and the false Christs of the cults? If you’re a Christian, could you give Biblical answers to someone who might ask you these questions (1 Peter 3:15)? Have you ever led or tried to lead another person to Christ for salvation? Whose job is it? Would you like to learn how you can do this so you can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)? Where would you be today if someone hadn’t shared the “Good News” with you? Have you left your first love (Revelation 2:11)?

Problem. My friend, we’ve all sinned (acted lawlessly) and come short of the glory of God and the standard that He set for us to enter heaven (Romans 3:10-23). As such, we all deserve to be eternally separated from Him in a place of torment (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). But God the Father loved the people of this world, who were/are enslaved by the devil, and wanted to demonstrate His love for all of us. So He gave His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to earth of His own volition (John 10:17; Hebrews 10:9). He came to glorify the Father, to live a sinless life, and then to take our place and pay the penalty of death for our sins so we wouldn’t have to be eternally separated from Him in the lake of fire (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). He chose to die the horrible death of a cross to demonstrate the degree of His love for us (Philippians 2:8; Romans 5:8). Truly this is“Amazing Grace.” Have you ever sung this song? Have you responded to Him in faith? If not, why not now? “Don’t boast about tomorrow…” (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14). It may never come to you.

Condition. The only requirement that God has imposed on mankind is that we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and who rose again bodily on the third day from the dead (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:9). Don’t die as an unbeliever. There are no second chances to be saved once you’re physically dead. The Scriptures don’t teach reincarnation. No one can earn his/her salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Sadly, most people want to add their good works to faith just as an added insurance policy. In doing this, they “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2). Consider the false teaching of “Lordship Salvation.” (See the link below.)

Easy? While merely believing may sound too easy, it’s not. As Dr. Charles C. Ryrie wrote, “When we Christians ask someone to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are asking something very difficult. We are asking the person to believe in someone he or she has never seen. Someone who lived in the very distant past. Someone who has no living eyewitnesses who can vouch for His character and the truth of His words. Someone whose biography was written very long ago and by those who were His friends.” My friend, you can’t afford to be wrong. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” – Mark 8:36.

Help. We’re very concerned about you and other people who are or have been enslaved by the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). We want you to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Having struggled with this matter myself, I want to help you and others know for sure that you are headed for heaven the moment you die. Is it really possible for a person to be sure? Yes, if the Scriptures are truthful (John 17:17). We ask you to check this out for yourself (Read Romans 8:16: 1 John 5:11-13; John 3:16, 18, 36). For additional information, we invite you to go to our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Read The Bad News & The Good Newsby Dr. Ron Shea. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow” or “Subscribe.” We also are on Youtube and Facebook.

Share. By your sharing this information with others, you may have a part in their being saved and in their eternal happiness. “The future is as bright as the promises of God.” How many of them do you know and claim? (See link below.)

Lordship Salvation: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Press, 1997, p. 108

http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/search/charles-ryrie-so-great-salvation

Dr. Manfred Kober, “Do We Really Know The Gospel?”

https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Promises For Christians: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/promises-to-claim/

Bullies. Have you ever been bullied verbally, physically, or spiritually by someone? I have been. Are you sick and tired of being abused? I was and still am. Would you like to learn how to defend yourself and come out on top instead of on the bottom? Are you teachable and willing to change? Would you like to be a wise person who knows what to do and when to do it?

Story. One day a proud young man approached Socrates and asked him to show him the path to wisdom. Socrates looked at him and paused for a few moments, allowing him to become uncomfortable with the silence. He locked eyes with him and said, Meet me at the river at dawn.” The next morning the young man arrived at the river before dawn. Socrates soon walked down the path and waded out into the water, motioning for the young man to join him. When they both were about chest deep, Socrates looked at him and asked, What do you want?” The young man responded, To find wisdom!”

Socrates grabbed the young man and began drowning him. He held him under water for twenty seconds and then let him up, asking him again, “What do you want?” The young man responded again, To find wisdom!” At that, Socrates promptly submerged the man under water again. Thirty seconds passed, then forty, and the man’s face began to turn blue. Socrates lifted the man up and asked, What do you want?” The man gasped, Air!”

Socrates released the young man, and saidWhen you want wisdom as much as you have just wanted air, then you will begin to find wisdom.”  – Original source of story unknown

Truth. What about the truth? Jesus referred to Himself as being the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). It tells us in words what God wants us to know about God, man, sin, salvation, the future and much more. It also tells us about our spiritual enemies.

Enemies. Before we, as Christians, can live victoriously over the three spiritual bullies that confront us, we must learn the truth about them and how they operate. We must read, study, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word and rely on God the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds (Ephesians 1:17, 18). Then we need to apply the truth to the situations in which we find ourselves (James 1:22). We don’t use the same tactics for each of our three spiritual enemies. Do you know when to flee, when to stand and fight, and which one to use without abusing it?

Sin. It’s not a four letter word but a three letter word. But it has caused so many problems from the time when Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit and even before then when Lucifer, the anointed cherub, rebelled against God and wanted to be like God” by acting independently of Him (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Creation. It is our understanding of the Scriptures that the spirit beings, whom God the Son had created (Colossians 1:16, 17; John 1:3), saw Him create the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:7). Lucifer, the anointed cherub, once had his residence in a mineral garden on this earth that God had created in a place called Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-19). From here he ruled under God over all other spirit beings – cherubs, seraphs, and angels (Ezekiel 28:14; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7). Note – Later God placed Adam and Eve in a fruit and vegetable garden eastward in Eden (Genesis 2:8).

Rebellion. Not being satisfied with the role and responsibility that God had given to him, he set out to lift his throne above God’s and be like God and unaccountable to Him (Isaiah 14:14). Then he convinced one third of the angels to go along with him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4).

Man. It is our understanding that after Lucifer’s rebellion and demotion, God made an inferior creature out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives – physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:7). He called him Adam. Then He took a rib from him and formed Eve, his counterpart. They were given the responsibility to have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26, 28).

Control. This led Lucifer (the devil) to try to take the control away from them back to himself. We don’t know how long he observed Adam and Eve before he decided to tempt her into disobeying God’s clear command not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). We know that he succeeded and got both her and Adam to disobey God which resulted in immediate spiritual death (i.e. separation from God).  Physical death came much later (Genesis 5:5). It appears that they were stripped of something (Genesis 3:11). Was it a garment of light (See 1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:2; 1 Timothy 6:16)?

Unrighteousness. The Scriptures use many words to convey different aspects of unrighteousness. The Biblical definition of sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Sin involves man’s acting as though God has placed no restraints on him. Like the devil, man wants to act independently of God and be the master of his own fate and the captain of his own ship.” He wants to make his own rules and decide what is right in his own eyes (See Judges 21:25). Have you noticed that many people do the same thing today? They want to impose their rules on others but they don’t want anyone else to impose their rules on them. (This sounds a lot like our legislators and politicians, doesn’t it?) Such lawless behavior is rampant today and getting worse (1 Timothy 4:1 ff; 2 Timothy 3:1 ff).

Sin. It is what God declares it to be. Since He made man, He has the right to make the rules for us. He also conveys to us the consequences of lawlessness (See Genesis 2:17; Deuteronomy 28; John 3:16, 18, 36; Romans 1:18-32; 6:23; Revelation 21:8). Upon careful examination of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), and using the normal rules of interpretation, one discovers that God has different rules for different people in different periods of time. Example: Dietary rules before the flood of Noah’s day – herbs and fruit (Genesis 1:29; 2:9, 16). After the flood people were allowed to eat every moving thing (Genesis 9:3). The Jews under the Mosaic Law had a limited diet (Leviticus 11:2 ff). Today our diet is unlimited (1 Timothy 4:3-5). To see further distinctions, consider our Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart” at www.kelseypeach.com.

Sources. There are three sources from which temptations to sin come: the devil, our sin nature, and the present world system. Some people believe that Christians lose their sin nature when they get saved. This is not true (See 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). God has provided everything that a Christian needs for life and godliness within the pages of the Scriptures so he/she can live victoriously over these solicitations to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; Colossians 2:8; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:1). Some people believe that the temptation itself is a sin. No!

Temptations. In his book, Maturing In Christ, p. 33, Dr. H. L. Schafer writes, “Part of the well-known hymn correctly states, ‘Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin.’ Having the temptation is not sin. Temptations are allowed by God in order for a believer to mature by having victory. The believer is not responsible for having temptation, but he is responsible for his reaction to temptation.”  Note the progression that is involved that leads to sin and death (James 1:12-15).

Blame. Do you blame the devil for all your problems and the sins you commit? Did you know that he must get permission from God before he or his demons can hurl their fiery darts against Christians (See Luke 22:31, 32; Ephesians 6:13; Job 1:12; 2:6)? How many of his 14 temptations can you identify and what is the Biblical way to overcome them (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17)? How do you overcome the strong desires (sinful lusts) that come from your own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11-13)? How does the present world system appeal to maturing believers and how does a Christian overcome it (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:16-24)?

Salvation. For someone to be saved today from eternal condemnation, he/she must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? Are you “believing in vain” by trying to add your good works to faith (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; See Matthew 7:21-23)? Please read the “Bad News & Good News” on our website. Once you’re truly saved and have assurance from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16) and from God’s Word (1 John 5:13), we’d like to have a part in your spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), and show you how you can serve God effectively with your spiritual gift (1 Peter 4:10), and reproduce yourself (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8) while you’re here on earth. We’d like to show you how you can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

Help. Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow” or “Subscribe.” Please let us know how you like our new website: www.kelseypeach.com.  If you have found this article to be helpful, please let us know and share it with others.

Maturing In Christ, by Dr. H. L. Schafer http://gracelifebaptistchurch.us/publications.php

Spiritual Warfare: Devil https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/spiritual-warfare/

Our Sin Nature:  https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/our-perverted-sin-nature/

Scofield Study Bible http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

 

 

David & Goliath

Our oldest son, David belongs to a “travel club.” He meets a lot of interesting people along the way. A few years ago he met LaBron James who is 6’8” tall. More recently he met Shaquille O’Neal who is 7’1”. He posted a picture of himself on Facebook with both of these men. He looks small in comparison to them.

Goliath. But did you know that Goliath was over nine feet tall (1 Samuel 17:4). He would have made LaBron and Shaquille look small. He was the champion of the Philistines who defied the God of the Israelites. While he was still a youth, David (of the Bible, not our son), challenged him to a duel. You probably know the outcome of that incident. After David hurled a stone to his head, Goliath came tumbling down. David eventually became the King of Israel and it was from his line that God said the Messiah would come (1 Samuel 7:12ff). We believe that this prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus Christ came to earth 2,000 years ago (See Matthew 1; Luke 3).

Giants. Prior to the universal flood that took place in the days of Noah, we learn from the Scriptures that there were giants on the earth in those days and afterward. We’re told that the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown (Genesis 6:4ff).

Identity. Who were these giants? In the Scofied Study Bible notes we read, “Some hold that the ‘sons of God’ were fallen angels ‘who did not keep their proper domain’ (Jude 6, 7)…Accordingly, this intrusion into the human sphere produced a race of wicked giants (Genesis 6:4-6). Others hold that since angels are spoken of in a sexless way (compare Matthew 22:30)…the reference has to do with the breakdown of the separation of the godly line of Seth by the intermarriage with the godless line of Cain…Whichever view is held, it is obvious that Satan attempted so to corrupt the race that the Messiah could not come to redeem man (See Genesis 3:15). But God salvaged a remnant (Genesis 6:8ff), and a godly line was preserved.” (See Scofield Study Bible, NKJV, Genesis 6:4 note).

Tartarus. We understand that the fallen angels/demons who were engaged in this attempt to corrupt the human race are presently confined in a place called Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4). Other fallen angels/demons are still doing Satan’s bidding as they attack believers (Ephesians 6:12; Job 1; 2; 1 Timothy 2:8) and empower false prophets and teachers to distort the Gospel and teach false doctrines (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Timothy 4:1ff).

Judged. Did you know that Christians will judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3)? Just as they and the devil will be judged (John 16:8-11), so all those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will be judged according to their works to determine, not whether they will get into heaven or not, but their degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 7:21-23; 10:15; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15).

Saved. We don’t want you or any other human being to go to this awful place. You can be forgiven (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9). No one needs to go there because Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day and offers eternal life and deliverance from that place. It takes one simple act of faith to be saved (John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31). Salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

New Life. You can have eternal life (God’s quality of life) as a present possession (1 John 5:11-13). Would you like to have it and be assured of it? Upon believing in Christ, God the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that you are a true child of God (Romans 8:16). Once you have it, you can’t lose it (John 19:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). God wants you to let Him live out His life through your life (Galatians 2:20; 4:19).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). Please visit our updated website and let us know what you think about it: www.kelseypeach.com. Read “The Bad New & Good News” first. Then download and study our “Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart” to see where we are in time and how this should affect your life today.  Make a few copies of it and share it with others. To receive our future articles as they come out, click on “Follow” or “Subscribe.”  If this article has helped you understand what is going on in the spirit world behind the scenes, please let us know.  We want all Christians to live victoriously over the devil, their own sin nature, and the present world system.  (See our other articles about spiritual enemies.)

We recommend that you get a copy of the Scofield Study Bible http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

“Man – Helpless, Hopeless, Hell bound?”

Have you ever asked yourself, Where did I come from?  Why am I here?  What will happen to me when I die?  Can anyone be sure?  Is there a reliable source I can trust to give me honest answers?

I’m assuming that if you went in to see your Doctor for your annual checkup that you’d want him to tell you the truth about your overall health. Suppose, after taking several tests, he came back and gave you some very bad news and said, “You’re going to die unless you undergo surgery immediately to remove a fast growing cancer in your body.”  If you trust him, you’ll undergo the knife even though it may involve a lot of pain and recovery time.

When it comes to our spiritual health, we should also expect someone who claims to be a man of God”  to tell us the truth about our spiritual condition, even if it’s painful and hard to take. Only then can the proper measures be taken to cure the problem and save us from eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. Sadly, there are many false teachers who do not believe the Scriptures and who will tell people what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1 ff).

Where Did I Come From?

Those who don’t want to be held accountable to God for their actions find it much easier to accept the theory of evolution even though the odds of its happening are beyond our imagination. It’s almost as absurd as believing that a car can evolve over millions of years by accident or that a tornado going over a junk yard can assemble a 747 jet.

The other option is to accept the Biblical account of the origin of life as found in the Scriptures (Genesis 1, 2; Matthew 19:4). This seems much easier to believe than the theory of evolution. It takes too much faith to believe in atheism and evolution.

Why Am I Here On Earth?

Those who believe the theory of evolution seem to think of life as being purposeless and futile. It involves the survival of the fittest and believing that you are the “captain of your ship and the master of your fate.”  They think that whatever their mind can conceive they can achieve and make it happen.

Those who believe in a Creator God and His Word, have been given the reason for their existence on earth – to come to an understanding and belief/trust in the true and living God (John 17:3) and to make Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Where Will I Go When I Die?

Those who believe in atheism and evolution usually believe all consciousness ceases at the time of physical death. Some folks believe in reincarnation.

Those who accept God’s Word to be true believe there are two destinies: everlasting pleasures in the presence of God for believers (Psalm 16:11; 2 Corinthians 5:8) or  torment with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire forever for those who are unbelievers (Matthew 25:41, 46).

How Serious Is Our Condition?

You may not want to hear this, but the Scriptures are true (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We’re all born into this world spiritually dead – separated from God (Ephesians 2:1, 5). We all inherited a sinful nature/disposition from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8). We ignore or treat God as our enemy (Romans 5:8,10; Psalm 2:1 ff). We are totally depraved (Romans 3:10-23; Jeremiah 17:9). We aren’t as bad as we could be, but we are as bad off as we could possibly be. We all deserve eternal condemnation with the devil and his angels (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). Perhaps without our knowing it, we are being energized by Satan (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2) and we don’t seek God (Romans 3:11). Our understanding is darkened (Ephesians 4:18) and we have warped emotions (Ephesians 2:3). We can’t do anything to please God (Romans 8:8; Isaiah 64:6). We don’t choose God (John 15:16) and we’re all guilty of lawless behavior (Romans 3:19, 23; 1 John 3:4). There aren’t any good works that we can do to save ourselves (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8, 9). We are helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and hell bound (Romans 6:23).

This diagnosis may be a difficult truth for us to accept. But there is a competent and loving Physician (Jesus Christ) who can deliver us from eternal condemnation (Matthew 25:41, 46; John 16:11). He paid the debt for our sins that we owed to God (Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

Our Choice

You and I have a choice to make. We can agree with God and accept the provision that He has made for us through Jesus Christ so we don’t have to be eternally separated from Him, or we can reject His offer of salvation and the truth that is found in the Scriptures and hope that what it says isn’t true.

By one simple act of faith, anyone can be saved (John 3:16, 18, 36). We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We are not saved by faith plus our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

If you’re still an unbeliever, what it keeping you from trusting in Christ alone to save you right now? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

Assurance

Yes, we can know that we will go to heaven the moment we die (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). The only unforgivable sin today is the sin of unbelief in Christ (John 16:8-11). True believers are secure in God the Father’s hands and in God the Son’s hands (John 10:28, 29). They are also sealed by God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Nothing can separate a true believer from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). 

Help

We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share it with others who might benefit from it (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

For additional help, see –

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

Evolution or Creation: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/bulletin%20inserts/manearth.pdf

The Big Bang: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/the-big-bang/

Dr. C. R. Swindoll, Growing Deep In The Christian Life”

Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ”

 

“The Spirit Who Is Not A Ghost”

There is a lot of confusion in the minds of many people if/when they talk about the “Holy Spirit.” Some of the cults have distorted views of Him. Do you know which cult teaches that “The holy spirit is the invisible active force of Almighty God which moves his servants to do his will”? Which cult teaches that “Jesus Christ, a little babe like all the rest of us have been, grew to be a man, was filled with a divine substance or fluid, called the Holy Spirit.” Is the Holy Spirit really an “it,” an energy, an active force, a substance, a fluid, … an invisible power of energy, etc.?

To discover the truth about Him, we need to get our information directly from the Scriptures that are God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Without it, we couldn’t know the truth about Him. Nature tells us that there is a God who is powerful (Romans 1:18-20; Psalm 19:1), but it can’t give us the special revelation (information) that we need to know about God and how to be saved from eternal condemnation with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). First let’s consider what –

God The Holy Spirit Is Not

He is not an “It.” The word “spirit” (wind) is a neuter word. But the pronouns “He” and “Him” are masculine and they tell us that God the Holy Spirit is not an “It.” Notice Jesus’ words, And I will pray [i. e. ask God the Father as an equal to Him], and He will give you another [of the same kind] Helper, that He may abide with you forever  – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16, 17).

He is not passive. He is very active and involved in people’s lives (John 16:8-14). “When He moves among a body of people, He mobilizes and empowers them. They become sensitive, motivated, spiritually alive. They are cleansed. They are purged, enthusiastic, actively excited about the right things…As with air, we cannot see Him; nevertheless, He is hard at work convicting, convincing, guiding, instructing, disclosing, and glorifying [Christ].” – C. R. Swindoll

He is not imaginary. Just because we can’t see Him doesn’t mean that He isn’t there or real. We don’t see the radio waves around us but if we have the proper receivers, we can hear and see what is being transmitted through the air. We cannot see air but we know what it can do under pressure. Consider hurricanes and tornadoes. Pneumatic tools are very helpful in doing many things. In like manner, the believer can understand some things that the unbeliever can’t because of their spiritual blindness (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25).

He is not a substitute for God. When a couple of early Christians (Ananias and his wife Sapphira) lied about the amount of their gift to the Church, they are said to have lied to the Holy Spirit who is Himself God (Acts 5:4). Although many people think lying is alright if one can get by with it without any serious consequences, God doesn’t take it lightly (Exodus 20:16; Revelation 21:8).

What God The Holy Spirit Is

He is the third Person in the Godhead. In the economic plan of God today there is subordination among the Persons in the Godhead (Matthew 26:39; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Hebrews 10:7), but once God’s plan (decree – Ephesians 1:11) for time is complete, the vertical relationship that currently exists will be a horizontal one again (Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 15:27, 28).

He has a mind (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Isaiah 11:2), a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and emotions (Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 10:29). God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are spirit beings (John 4:24) and do not have flesh, bones, and blood (See Luke 24:33-43). But once the incarnation of God the Son occurred at the moment of His miraculous conception (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), He became unique. He is the God-man (John 1:1-18). He didn’t cease to be God but added a real human nature and a real body to Himself (Philippians 2:5-11; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7).

He is equal to God the Father and God the Son. He shares the Divine attributes and characteristics of God: Omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10, 11), Omnipotence (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13), Truth (1 John 5:6), Holiness (Luke 11:13), Life (Romans 8:2), Wisdom (Isaiah 40:13).

His Activities

In the past. He was a co-agent in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in man’s becoming a living being (Genesis 1:1, 2, 27; Job 26:13). He was the Divine Agent in the supernatural conception of the humanity of God the Son (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35). He took up His residence on the earth in the bodies of believers on the “Day of Pentecost” – fifty days after Passover (John 14:26; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 11:15-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16: 6:19).

In the present. His purpose is to glorify God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14; See Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14), not Himself or men. He is restraining wickedness on the earth until the Rapture of the true Church (2 Thessalonians 2:7; See Genesis 6:3). We understand the Scriptures to teach that He convicts (thoroughly convinces) some among the sinful human race of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11; 6:37, 44) after the Gospel has been presented clearly to them (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25). With reference to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone for their salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9), He regenerates them (John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Peter 1:23-25). He indwells every Christian from the moment of salvation (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Romans 8:9; John 14:16-20). He baptizes [places] believers into the spiritual “Body of Christ” and gives them “spiritual gifts” to serve God and other believers (1 Corinthians 12:13; See Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10). He seals believers unto the Day of Redemption” (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; See John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:23). He also fills those believers who are rightly adjusted to Him (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23). These believers have their known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; see James 5:16). They are not grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). As long as they walk by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) they can’t/won’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from their sin nature (1 John 1:8; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:14-25). But they must be aware of their two other spiritual enemies: the devil (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17) and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:16-24; Luke 11:50, 51) that he devised to try to control certain aspects of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). The Holy Spirit is also sanctifying (John 17:17; Romans 15:16), empowering (Acts 1:8; Philippians 4:13), leading (Romans 8:14), assuring (Romans 8:16), teaching (1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20), and interceding for believers (Romans 8:26). If you’re a true Christian, are you giving thanks to God for these things that He is doing for you?

In the future. He will remove His residence from the earth back to heaven at the time of the Rapture (2 Thessalonians 2:7). During the latter part of the Seven Years of the Tribulation (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 6-19) He will be poured out on believing Jews just prior to Christ’s second advent (Joel 2:28, 29; Note the differences in Acts 2:16-21).

Application. Have you been born again from above” (John 3:3-6)? If so, are you rightly related to God the Holy Spirit? Are you grieving or quenching Him? Do you have unconfessed sins in your life? Are you growing spiritually in the sphere of grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)? Are you sharing the Gospel with lost people as you are led by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; 8:26-40; Romans 8:14)? Are you living each day as though it might be your last day on earth (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1)? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die (1 John 5:13)? Is there anything that you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation or cause God to stop loving you (Romans 8:35-38)? If so, what would it be?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If this article has helped you, we’d like for you to tell us how it has and then ask you to share it with others who might benefit from this information. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook Live and on Youtube.

Some of the material for this article was adapted from the following sources:

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, “He That Is Spiritual”

Dr. C. R. Swindoll, “Growing Deep In The Christian Life”

Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” 

The Holy Spirit:  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/holyspir/index.htm

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