Archive for the ‘Bible Basics’ Category

The Blame Game

In your opinion, what’s wrong with the world today? Who is to blame? Is it the Russians, the Chinese, North Korea, ISIS or is it our own country (the United States) that is responsible for the problems in the world? Maybe you’d like to blame the Democrats or the Republicans or your parents, your teachers, the police, or someone or something else? Do you ever blame God? Why not the devil?

Most of us don’t want to take responsibility for our own bad decisions and the evil things that we do. We like to think that it’s someone else who is responsible for the evil, sorrow, hatred, and death in the world. I think that you will agree with me that we live in a very troubled world today. It’s not a “wonderful world.”

The Solution

For every problem, there is a solution. Now, let’s suppose that you were placed in charge of straightening out the problems of the world. What would you do? You probably haven’t given much thought to it. Or perhaps you have.

Would this popular song express your feelings? If I ruled the world, / Every day would be the first day of spring, / Every heart would have a new song to sing, / And we’d sing of the joy every morning would bring. // If I ruled the world, / Every man would be as free as a bird, / Every voice would be a voice to be heard, / Take my word we would treasure each day that occurred…”. Writers: Cyril Ornadel, Leslie Bricusse What obvious problems do you see with such sentiments?

Population. What would you do about the burgeoning population explosion? Would you promote the abortion of babies and the euthanasia of the elderly? Do you believe that abortion is murder? When does life begin (Psalm 51:5; 139:13-18)? Do you agree with the “social engineers” who say that the world’s population needs to be reduced down to about 500 million people? If so, how would you go about doing this and maintaining this level? (Read the Georgia Guidestones link below.)

Peace. How would you bring lasting peace to the earth? What was/is the purpose of the United Nations and how and why have they failed to establish peace on earth? What would you do to control and punish criminals who refused to abide by the rules? Who should make the rules for society? What if there were no rules and everyone did what is right in his own eyes? Discover for yourself what happened in the past when people lived this way. (See Judges 21:25; Genesis 6:5; 7:1-8:22)? What if someone thinks the rules are unjust? Would you like to be the one to determine what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable behavior? Would the rules apply to everyone or just to those who are in the lower classes of society? Would you exempt yourself?

Government. What sort of government would you like to see in the New Word OrderDemocracy, Constitutional Republic, Fascism, Socialism, Communism, etc? What do you believe is the best form of government? Why? How and who in the government would enforce the rules? What should be done with the criminals? Should capital punishment be abolished? If so, why? (See article below.) How would you go about to change the rebellious nature of man so he will comply with the rules of the New World Order? How would you keep people from being so self-centered and abusive of others?

Hatred. Why do many (perhaps most) of the Arabs (descendants of Ishmael), Edomites (descendants of Esau), and Muslims hate the Jews who descended from Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 16:1-12; 21:0-21; 25:31-34; 27:36, 41, 42)? How long has this hatred been going on (Genesis 16:12; 27:41)? When will it end (Isaiah 2:4; 11:16; 19:23; Revelation 20:7-10)? Who are the real “occupiers” of the land in Israel (Genesis 15:18-21)?

Expelled. Do the Jews have the rights to the land? Did they forfeit the unconditional promise that God gave to them when they rejected Christ as their Messiah (Genesis 15:18-21)? Is God done with the nation of Israel (Romans 11:1 ff)? Whom does God hold accountable for the death of Christ (Acts 2:22-24; 3:13-15; 4;24-28)? Has the Church replaced Israel? (Read article below.) Will the Jews in Jerusalem and in Israel be chased out of the land again (Matthew 24:15ff; Revelation 12:13-17)? If so, when? Will God preserve and protect the remnant during the last half of the seven years of the Tribulation (Romans 11:5; Revelation 12:14)? If so, where (Isaiah 16:1)?

144,000. What do the Scriptures tell us the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the other two witnesses will do for 3 ½ years during the last half of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:4-8; 11:1-12)? What will happen to those who bless the Jews and those who oppress and curse them (Genesis 12:1-3)? Why are many liberal churches in America involved in the BDS movement? Why are they are boycotting, divesting, and trying to place sanctions on Israel? Is the church you attend involved in this? How will this lead to the greatest holocaust in human history known as “the time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7)?

Borders. Should we abolish the borders and boundaries between nations that God determined (Acts 17:26; Daniel 4:17, 25)? Why did God change the languages of the people working on the tower of Babel and scatter them out (Genesis 9:1; 11:1-9)? When and how does God use nations for His purposes (Daniel 1:1, 2; 5:30, 31; Ezra 1:1-8)?

Superman. Why are so many politicians and others pushing to establish a New World Order and a One World Religion and economic system? Do you believe there may be a superman somewhere in the world right now who could straighten up the mess we’re in? Why does the devil always need to have such a man waiting in the wings (2 Thessalonians 2:7)? How might he use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to control the people of the world?

Religion. Many, perhaps most people are religious by nature. They believe that there is the possibility of life after death and that there is some kind of Deity who is behind everything even though most people know very little about Him. Why do so many “intelligent people” believe the theory of evolution that has been promoted in our educational systems (John 3:19; Romans 1:18-32)? Will the New World Order include a One World Church (Religion) under which people will be forced to live or die ? What will happen if they don’t go along with it (Revelation 6:9-11; 13:15)? Why do some people believe that the Roman Catholic Church will be the head of this organization (Revelation 17, 18)?

Economics. Why is there such a push for a cashless society. Is it to control the citizens of the world? Could this be accomplished by the use of special cards, or better yet, through the implantation of a chip in the hand or on some other place of the body (example: the forehead)? The Scriptures tell us that this will happen (Revelation 13:16-18). Are those who voluntarily take this mark doomed forever (Revelation 14:9-12)?

Date. Does the Bible predict that such things will happen in the future? Indeed it does. But when will they occur? The “Date Setters” have done a lot of damage by their false predictions. (See article below.) While we don’t know exactly when the “Rapture” will take place (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:12-18), we are confident that it will occur once all those whom the Father has given to the Son have come to Him (John 6:37) and when “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” and they have been saved (Romans 11:25). God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; John 14:6; 17:17). He will keep his unconditional promises to the Jews and to Christians. This is the basis of our hope – confident expectation (Romans 15:4). Do you know and claim God’s promises to you? (Ask us about them.)

Until Then. Every true Christian is instructed to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). This involves our spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), our service to God and others (1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 5:13), and our sharing the Gospel with lost unbelievers (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20). Our primary goal is/should be to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31; See John 17:3). If you’re saved, are you doing this? If not, what needs to change? (See James 4:17).

Gospel. The Good News that leads to our salvation is that Christ died for our sins, was buried for three days and nights, and then raised bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). When we place our faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Acts 16:31), apart from any good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9), God saves us by His grace. Have you done this yet? If not, why not now?

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you have been helped by this article, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this information with others. Press “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.

Articles Worth Reading

Capital Punishment And The Sanctity Of Life” by Dr. Manfred Kober

Part 1: http://www.manfredkober.com/materials/BB/BB_Capital%20Punishment%20and%20the%20Sanctity%20of%20Life%201.pdf

Part 2: http://www.manfredkober.com/materials/BB/BB_Capital%20Punishment%20and%20the%20Sanctity%20of%20Life%202.pdf

Population Control: Georgia Guidestones: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

Proponents: https://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2009/05/26/billionaires-try-to-shrink-worlds-population-report-says/

Replacement Theology: https://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

Is Date Setting Biblical?” by Manfred Kober http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/proph/dateset.htm

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Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill. True or False? If you believe in “humanism” (unlimited human potential), you might think that you can, but there are many things that the mind can conceive without our being able to achieve them. Example – I can conceive in my mind (perhaps in my dreams) that I could grow another 18” and that I could play basketball like Michael Jordan did, but this isn’t going to happen. Jesus said, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit (18 inches) to his stature” (Matthew 6:27)? Some people believe that they can become gods in this or the next life and repopulate others worlds through multiple wives. They worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

False Teachers. The “Word of Faith” false teachers have fallen into this lie too just like their father, the devil did (Isaiah 14:14; Genesis 3:5; John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). Some of them claim to be “little gods” who can just speak things into existence with positive thoughts and words. Some of them can be heard demanding God to do what they want done. Without realizing it, they are actually blaspheming God. We don’t demand things from God. Instead we should humbly ask favors from Him according to His will (John 16:13; 15:16). Have you, or has someone you know, come under the influence of the “Health, Wealth, and Happiness” false teachers? Please read 2 Peter 2:19; Jude 1:13.

The Gift. When God saves a person who has put his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He gives each one of them a “spiritual gift” and enables him/her to do the work that He pre-planned for him/her to do (Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19; John 15:16).

Ignorant. The sad part is that most Christians don’t realize that God has given them a “spiritual gift” (1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Peter 4:10), and so they don’t develop it or use it for God’s glory or the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:31; 12:7; 13:1-13). Sometimes it’s the fault of the Pastor/teacher who doesn’t tell his people about this wonderful truth from God’s Word (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:1-4), or it may be the believer’s fault for treating this matter lightly after being taught about it (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:11-14).

Rewarding. But once you, as a Christian, discover that you have one of these extant gifts and use it with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13), your life will be much more rewarding and fulfilled (John 10:10). You won’t spend your life engaged in “worthless works” that will be burned up at the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Temporary. Some of these “spiritual gifts” were given out to some believers until the New Testament was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; John 16:13, 14). These include: apostles, prophets, discerning of spirits, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, and healings.

Extant. These are the “spiritual gifts” that God is still giving out today to believers at the moment of their salvation: Evangelists, Pastor/teachers, teachers, helpers, ministers, exhorters, mercy showers, exceptional givers, exceptional faith demonstrators, organizers, and administrators.

Information: Spiritual gifts are (1) for service (1 Corinthians 12:7), (2) sovereignly given (1 Corinthians 12:28; Hebrews 2:4), (3) not natural, developed talents (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13), (4) given to all Christians (1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 4:10); (5) to be exercised in love (1 Corinthians 13), (6) given to help us determine our priorities (1 Corinthians 12:4-8), (7) not all permanent (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

Discover. If you’re truly saved, here are some things you might do to discover your “spiritual gift.” (1) Know what the gifts are (1 Corinthians 12:1). (2) Be filled with the Spirit and walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). (3) Ask God to illuminate your mind (Ephesians 1:18). (4) Be available and patient (See Isaiah 6:8). (5) Ask for the acknowledgement of other Spirit filled believers (Acts 13:1-3). (6). Ask, “Does God seem to be blessing my efforts?”

Help. We’re here to assist those who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). To discover more about “spiritual gifts,” we invite you to go to our website: www.kelseypeach.com and go to the section on “Bible Basics.” To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this has helped you, please share this information with others.

You might want to check out these two articles too:

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-gifts/page/3/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/whats-a-pastor-to-do/

About Spiritual Gifts”

Try to imagine how you, as a parent, might feel if, on your child’s birthday, you gave him/her a very expensive gift that was wrapped up in beautiful paper with a bow on it, and your child thanked you for the gift but refused to open it up to discover what it was and use it for it’s intended purpose. Would you feel badly? Of course you would.

Christmas. Or suppose it’s Christmas time and you’ve spent a lot of money to buy your children some gifts. One by one they open up their gifts until everyone has opened up the gifts. But then one of the children decides that he wants what one of the other children has and starts fighting for it. Would that make you very sad? Of course it would.

Big Box. Now let’s consider another scenario. Whether you realize it or not, at the time of your salvation God sent (graciously gave) you a big box filled with a lot of gifts inside it (Ephesians 1:3). You’ve opened some of them but there is one gift you don’t want to open up because it is so beautifully wrapped. However, if you were to open it up and use it, you’d be so much happier in your life and you would/could be a source of blessing and happiness to others too (John 10:10; Acts 20:35).

Unopened. And yet there are many Christians who have left some of their gifts in the big box without opening them. Do you supposed that God is grieved about this (Ephesians 4:30)? One of those spiritual gifts has to do with a special ability (that is more than a natural talent) to do some things that God planned for you to do while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Doing these things will glorify God and greatly help other people if this ability is used properly with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13).

Problem. Some folks within Christendom teach that only the “clergy” have these special abilities and that the rest of the people are just the “pew (seat) warmers” and the “bill payers.” On the other extreme you can find “churches” that tell their people that unless they have spoken in “tongues” they haven’t received the “second blessing” and need to earnestly pursue this ability. Some “preachers” claim to receive new and special revelations (information) from God that they are supposed to pass on to the other “Christians.” Beware of false teachers (Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:1 ff; Jude 1:1-13).

Money. Oftentimes it involves sending money to these “hucksters” [1] so they can “spread the Gospel” (which, most often, is not the true Gospel but another gospel – 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Sometimes they ask people to send them money so they can help starving children in other countries get clean water and food. (What do you know about the “social gospel”? See [2] below) While a few of these ministries are legitimate, and present the Gospel in its purity, many of them are not or very little of the money goes to help the needy. (See article [3] below about Christian Giving)

Temporary/Extant? We find in the Bible twenty spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and in Ephesians 4:11. We understand the Scriptures to teach that ten of these gifts were temporary until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). But ten other gifts (special abilities) are still being given out to Christians today at the time of their salvation. Sadly, most Christians know little or nothing about them. (See link [4] below to learn more about “spiritual gifts”)

Pastor-teachers. These men are supposed to teach Christians about the “spiritual gifts” and encourage them to use them for the glory of God and the well being of other Christians primarily (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10). By working together in unity and harmony (Ephesians 4:3) with other true Christians – not unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), under Christ’s authority and Headship (1 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 1:22, 23), much more can be done to bring the spiritual “Body of Christ” to its completion and to spiritual growth (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18).

Bride. When all whom God the Father has given to God the Son have come to Him and been saved (John 6:37, 44), the Father will instruct the Son (Jesus) to come back toward earth to claim His Bride – the True Church and meet her in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Then He will take her to the place that He has been preparing for her for almost 2,000 years now (John 14:1-3; See Revelation 21:9 ff). Are you looking forward to this event? Those believers who really love His any moment return can earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Questions. Are you positive that you will spend eternity with God (Read Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Peter 1:10)? Why should God let you into His heaven (See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on their third day? (See “Clear Gospel” [5] link below) If you’re truly saved, have you been baptized/immersed (Matthew 28:19, 20)? Were you sprinkled as a baby? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Do you have your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16)? Are you being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)? Are you walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 6:16, 25)? Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” being manifested in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Note: Don’t confuse the one condition for salvation (Acts 16:31) with the multiple conditions for spiritual growth. (See “Lordship for Salvation” article [6] below.

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2 15). Being teachable without being willing to change is of no value (James 1:22-27; 2:19, 20; 4:17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

For your consideration:

[1] Hucksters: The Most Evil Man You’ve Never Heard Of https://www.raptureready.com/2016/08/08/james-eugene-ewing-most-evil-man/

[2] Social Gospel: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/greatcom.htm

[3] Christian Giving: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/money-matters-part-4/

[4] Spiritual Gifts: Go to “Bible Basics” at http://kelseypeach.com/

[5] Clear Gospel: ReadThe Bad News & Good News at http://kelseypeach.com/

[6] Lordship for Salvation – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

Touching Video – 2 Minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvihAm-GJs4

In the town where I live, there are several gyms. I belong to one of them. I go there to try to keep my body in shape and to meet other people. My wife tells me that I spend more time socializing than I do exercising. My dad used to remind me that“bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable in all things” (1 Timothy 4:8). God wants His children to make other disciples (true believers), see them get baptized, and then teach them about Christ’s new commandment (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 13:34, 35; Contrast “old commandment” – Leviticus 19:18).

Body Building. Did you know that God has a “body building” program too. Just before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again bodily on the third day, Jesus told His disciples that He was going to build His church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

Scripture. Many people have strange ideas about the Church that need to be corrected. “All Scripture is [God breathed] and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, so that the man/woman of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Within the pages of the 66 books of the Bible we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The additional false teachings of the cults and the unscriptural philosophies of men are to be avoided (Colossians 2:8).

Join. Before you can be a member and exercise in God’s gym (1 Timothy 4:7), you must be spiritually alive (“born again from above” John 3:3 ff; Ephesians 2:1 ff). This takes place when you “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” Sadly, most people won’t join God’s family because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). What about you?

Strength. When we believe in/on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God gives us His life (eternal life – John 3:16) and energizes us. He wants Christians to cooperate with Him in our spiritual development (Romans 6:11-13; 12:1, 2; Philippians 2:13, 4:13; Galatians 2:20; 4:19). God the Holy Spirit is like a coach who shows us what we need to do each day, hour, and moment to develop us and be a model of His grace and for His glory (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 2:10; 3:20, 21; 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). Even the angels watch us as we develop and grow spiritually (Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12; Hebrews 1:14).

Glory. God is glorified (i. e. made known to other people) when they see the way God deals with us as His children. He disciplines His rebellious children (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16) and continues to illuminate and empower His obedient children (Ephesians 1:17 ff).

Growth. Jesus is building His Church numerically and spiritually. Numerical growth takes place when unsaved people put their faith in Christ alone and become Christians as a result of our sharing the clear Gospel with them (Acts 1:8; 2:41; 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 10:13-17). Spiritual growth usually takes place slowly and over time when new believers are fed with the milk of the Word and then with solid food (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:12-14). If you’re a true Christian, how much growth has taken place in your life since you’ve been saved? Are you grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching God the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Do you have known sins that need to be confessed to God (1 John 1:9) and to others whom you’ve offended (James 5:16)?

The New Creation. When we become true Christians, we become part of a New Creation” called The Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This New Creation” has one Head – Jesus Christ, and one Body – the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Jesus is the only Mediator between God the Father and man (1 Timothy 2:5). We don’t pray to His mother, Mary or to the saints.

Priests. Jesus is our High Priest and each believer is a New Testament priest (Hebrews 4:14-16; 13:15, 16; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) who is supposed to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16). The True Church is made up of all true believers from the Day of Pentecost until the time of the Rapture (Acts 1:5; 2:1ff; John 6:37; 14:1-3). The True Church has not replaced Israel. God is not finished with the nation of Israel (Romans 11:1 ff). “The time of Jacob’s trouble,” will take place during the last 3 ½ years of the seven year Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15 ff; Revelation 6-19). The surviving, believing remnant (Romans 9:27; Matthew 10:22; 21:9; 23:30; Zechariah 12:10), will see the unconditional promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their believing descendants fulfilled. The Church is unique and was a mystery during the Old Testament times (Ephesians 3:1-12). It is Christ’s spiritual Body and it will become His spiritual Bride at the time of the Rapture when He comes back for His Church (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:32; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Will you be a part of the “True Church” or the “Apostate Ecumenical Church”? Are you sure? Are you “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21-23)?

Help. We’re here to spiritually assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please share it with others who may benefit from it too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Sing along – “O give me a church where folks in the lurch / Are encouraged, then healed from above; / Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, / And the truth is modeled in love.” [1]  Would you like to attend a church like this? Will you ever find one? Let’s spend a few minutes thinking about the church.  But first –

A typical American family was driving home from church one Sunday. Dad was fussing about the sermon being too long and sort of boring. Mom said she thought the organist played too loudly during the second hymn they sang. Sis, who was a music major in college, said she thought the soloist sang about a half a note off key during most of her song. Grandma said she couldn’t hear very well – since they were sitting toward the back. When they pulled in the driveway, little Willie, who had listened to all of this, started to fuss about the woman who sat in front of him with that big hat. Then he paused, nudged his dad, and said, ‘But, Dad, you gotta admit, it was a pretty good show for a nickel.’ Ouch!” Is the church you attend in the entertainment business or what? (See link below)

To help us get a proper perspective of the Church, we need to go to the Scriptures and ask some vital questions: Who…? What…? Where…? When…? Why…? How…?

First Mention. As Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly ministry, after the majority of the Jews (especially the religious leaders) had rejected Him as their Messiah (John 1:11, 12; 6:66; 19:15; Isaiah 53:1), He asked His 12 disciples what others were saying about Him. Some Jews thought He was John the Baptist, others Elijah, or perhaps Jeremiah. Then Jesus asked them who they thought He was. Representing the other disciples, Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus told him that this information was revealed to Him by God the Father. Then Jesus talked about building His Church and told His disciples not to refer to Him any more as the promised Messiah because He was going to postpone the setting up of His kingdom on earth until a future date (Matthew 16:20-23; 21:9; 23:37-39; Zechariah 12:10). This didn’t go well with the disciples, and Peter rebuked the Lord for saying that He was going to the cross to die. The Lord in turn had to rebuke Peter for opposing God’s plan.

Meaning. The Greek word for “church” means “a called out assembly.” (See Colossians 1:18.)  God the Father, who is sovereign, chose some people from the human race to become the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Bride-groom (John 6:37; 2 Corinthians 11:2). These people are not to be confused with Old Testament believers from Adam up until the time of Abraham, or with the nation of Israel, or the millennial believers who will trust in Christ as Savior in the future. Today, God sees humanity in three categories: the Jews, Gentiles (non-Jews), and the Church (1 Corinthians 10:32). Contrary to what many people think, the church doesn’t refer to buildings.

Members. The “True Church” began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:5; 2:1 ff) and will be complete when Jesus Christ returns at the time of the Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Initially the Church consisted of Jews. Then Samaritans (half-Jews) and Gentiles (non-Jews) were added to the Church (See Acts 1:8; 8:5-25; 10:1-11:18). All of them were saved the same way by believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). No one is saved by his/her good works or by faith plus good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

History Of The Church. The seven local churches mentioned in Revelation chapters 2, 3 were actual churches that existed when John wrote the Book of Revelation. The messages to them were to be used to test the true condition of the angel (i.e. messenger, Pastor/teacher) and the church in which they found themselves. Each individual in these 7 churches also was to examine himself/herself to see what things they needed to change so they could be well pleasing to God. But there also seems to be a prophetic element that shows the progress of the spiritual state of the Church until the Lord returns for His Bride, the True Church (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:32). “It can be seen that [the church of] Ephesus (2:1-7), though a local church in the apostle’s day, is typical of the first century as a whole; [the church in] Smyrna (2:8-11) characterizes the church under persecution, e.g. from A.D. c. 100-316; [the church of] Pergamos (2:12-17), ‘where Satan dwells’ (2:13; compare 2:14, 15, and notes), is suggestive of the church mixing with the world, e.g. in the Middle Ages; [the church of] Thyatira (2:18-29) reveals how evil progresses in the church and idolatry is practiced; [the church of] Sardis (3:1-6) is representative of the church as dead, yet still having a minority of godly men and women, as during the Reformation; [the church of] Philadelphia (3:1-7) shows revival and a state of spiritual advance; and [the church of] Laodicea (3:14-19) is illustrative of the final state of apostasy which the visible church will experience.” [3] 

The Harlot Church. This future church will bring together apostate Christendom and the false religions of the world and will promote the One World Religion/Church and the One World Government of the Antichrist (Revelation 17, 18). The formative stages of this church seem to be in the making. It will take over and incorporate the religions of man shortly after the Rapture of the True Church.

Questions. Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Are you depending on any of your good works to get you into heaven (Titus 3:5)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)? If you have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5), have you been baptized (immersed) to let others know that you are a true Christian (Galatians 2:20; Acts 8:13, 35-38; 10:47, 48; 16:30-34)? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Are you involved in and are you being fed spiritually in a Bible believing local church that interprets the Bible normally, literally, historically, and grammatically? Do you have a desire to grow spiritually (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18)?  Do you know what you spiritual gift is and are you using it with love (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 13)? If not, would you like to know so that you can serve God by serving others (Galatians 5:13; 6:10)?  

Help. We want to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). If you have questions and/or comments, contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com  If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” or “Youtube.”

[1]  C. R. Swindoll, Growing Deep In The Christian Life, Multnomah Press, p. 371.   

[2]    https://believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=1070

[3] – Adapted from the NKJV Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 1720.

Purpose of local churchhttp://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/lochurch/eph412.htm

“The Clear Gospel”

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

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).