Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

Hopeless. Helpless. This is how many people in our world feel today. They don’t know for sure how mankind got here on earth and where we will go when we die. They fear death because they don’t know what is on the other side of it. Some dismiss heaven and hell from their thinking.

Class. Recently I have been teaching a class about “The Story Of Hope.” It is designed to help Christians lead lost people, who feel hopeless and helpless, to Christ so they can be saved (See John 1:41; 3:16; Acts 8:26 ff). We want to bring people out of darkness and into the light (Colossians 1:13;1 Peter 2:9). The future is as bright as the promises of God for true Christians (John 14:1-3; Psalm 16:11). But it isn’t bright for unbelievers who die without the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Jude 1:13). God cannot and will not lie to us (Titus 1:2; John 14:6; 17:17). But we must know the promises and claim them for ourselves (Hebrews 4:2).

My Method. When I meet people in the market place, on a plane, or perhaps at the gym, I like to “break the ice” and begin a conversation with them by trying to find something in common with them. Many people are willing to talk about their work, their family, or their background. I let them talk. Then, if I can, I might share with them the story of our son, Bill’s death [1] to point out how fragile life is (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1). Or I might tell them something about myself. I want to try to bring the conversation around to spiritual things. I usually say, “May I ask you something?”

Three Questions

Sure? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die?” The usual answer I get is, “I think/hope I will.” I ask, “Would you like to know for sure that you’ll go to heaven the moment you die?” Before I show them how this is possible, I like to ask them another question.

Why? “Why should God let you into His heaven?” The usual answer is, “I try my best to do what is right.” I ask, “How good do you think you have to be to get into heaven?” (This puzzles them.) If the person has a good answer to this question and believes that he/she is saved, I like to ask another question.

Lose? “If you believe that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?” (I like to ask this because some people, who are saved, lack assurance of their salvation. If I can, and if time permits, I like to proceed with the “Bad News & Good News.” Otherwise, I like to give them a clear Gospel tract or something I’ve written for them to take and read later.)

Bad News / Good News

Death. We’ve all sinned – acted lawlessly (Romans 3:23; 1 John 3:4). All of us deserve to die physically and be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 7:21-23; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Resurrection. But Christ died for our sins and rose again bodily on the third day. He can save anyone who puts his/her faith and trust in Him alone for his/her salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31).

Only One Condition

Believe. If a person seems to be interested, I like to ask him/her, “Are you willing to place your faith in Christ alone to save you?” (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9). I point out that it’s not enough for you to know and believe the facts of the Gospel. You must transfer your faith from yourself and your good works over to Christ alone to save us. I ask, “Are you willing to do this right now?” (2 Corinthians 6:2; Proverbs 27:1). If he/she is willing to do this, I encourage them to tell God. I let him/her know that praying doesn’t save us. But it’s our way of letting God know of our decision to trust in Christ alone to save us. Here is a suggested prayer: “Dear God, I know I’m a sinner and that I can’t save myself. I believe that Christ died for my sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. I’m trusting in Him alone to save me. Thank You for the assurance that will come to me when I believe your promises to save me.” (Here are some promises that provide assurance of salvation for believers: John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:13).

False Conditions. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptized, join the church, give money, confess every sin you’ve ever committed, promise never to sin again, make Jesus the Lord and Master of your life, keep the sacraments, and/or do other good works. Good works don’t save anyone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). They provide evidence of our faith to other people (James 2:18-20).

Formulas

The Right Formula. Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works

The Wrong Formula. Grace + Faith + Works = Salvation

Security & Assurance

When someone truly believes on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, through the message of the Gospel, he/she is saved instantly and is secure “in Christ” forever (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30). However, a true believer may not always feel like he/she is saved after sinning. The devil/demons like to put doubts into our minds when we sin (act lawlessly) or when we have unanswered questions.

Confession

When we sin, as Christians, we need to confess them (name them and be specific) to God and then claim His promise to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Then we need to learn how not to keep repeating the same sins (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13). We have three spiritual enemies that tempt us: the devil, the present world system, and our own sin nature.

Help. We’re here to glorify God by making Him known to others. We want to help you make sure of your salvation. Once saved, we want to help you grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18) and help you identify the sources from which your temptations come, and to show you what you need to do so you don’t keep on sinning and grieving God (1 John 2:1; Ephesians 4:30). Perpetual sin, in the life of a Christian, could lead to a premature, physical death (James 5:19; 1 John 5:16; 1 Corinthians 11:30). Contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] “The Death Of Our Son” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-death-of-our-son-2/

Links

Bad News & Good News” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/

Do We Really Know The Gospel” https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

“The Clear Gospel” http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/English/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

“[Our] expectations can be high or low, reasonable or unreasonable, good or bad. The Bible speaks of expectations of redemption (Romans 8:19), expectations of judgment (Hebrews 10:27), delayed expectations (Proverbs 13:12a), realized expectations (Proverbs 13:12b), and unrealized expectations (Proverbs 11:7). Jesus told us to expect His return—although the timing of His return is beyond our knowing: “Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Luke 12:40). [1]

Dreams. Most, if not all of us, have or have had dreams and expectations in life. We want to be “successful.” But how is “success” measured and by whose standard? [2] We also have expectations of our spouses. We want them to conduct themselves in certain ways; we also set rules that we expect our children to keep. When these expectations are not met, we get disappointed in them and take measures to correct their behavior. Nagging [3] and yelling are often used to manipulate others.

Legalists. Do you have high expectations of other people? Are you tying to get them to live by your legalistic, unbiblical rules that are often unrealistic? This is what the Pharisees of Christ’s day did (Matthew 23:4). Consider Christ’s invitation to the oppressed (Matthew 11:28-30). When others don’t meet our expectations we sometimes turn on them and/or seek to harm them. Where in Scripture does the Christian find his/her rules for living today? (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.) Upon whose strength do we need to depend to carry them out – our own or God’s (Philippians 4:13)?

Messiah. The Old Testament Jews had high expectations of their promised Messiah. They were looking for a conquering King, not a suffering servant (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 53:1 ff). They wanted Him to deliver them from Roman oppression. They didn’t think that they needed Someone to deliver them from their sins and the consequences of them (Romans 6:23; 10:3). When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a little donkey, many cried out “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). But when He didn’t overthrow Rome, who was their enemy, and allowed Himself to be arrested by His enemies (John 18:12 ff), they turned on Him and cried out for Him to be crucified (John 19:6).

Goals. While most of us can do far more than we think we can, sometimes we set unrealistic goals and/or expectations in life and depend on ourselves rather than on God to fulfill those desires (Proverbs 3:5, 6; James 4:13-17). Self reliance and acting independently of God leads to failure in His sight. It led to Lucifer’s (Satan’s) fall (Isaiah 14:12-15). He tempts us to act this way today (Luke 22:31-34).

Trust. Now that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, I (my new nature) want to trust in the Lord with all my heart (mind, will, and emotions), and not lean on my own understanding. I want to acknowledge Him and depend on Him to make wise decisions that will affect not only me but others (Proverbs 3:5, 6). [4] As a child of God I can expect Him to give me wisdom when I humbly ask Him for it and when I’m not double minded (James 1:5-8; See 1 John 2:15-17).

Formula. I want to pursue a simple formula that I have often shared with my children. It is expressed in these words from the Scriptures. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require [expect] of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). These are things that don’t come naturally to us.

Goodness (happiness) will be the result of my doing what is just (right). It is not doing what is right in my own eyes, but what is right in God’s eyes (Judges 21:25). [5] He makes the rules; I need to obey them if I want to show my love and appreciation for Him (John 14:15), and if I want to be well pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9). I don’t want to grieve God (Ephesians 4:30).

Mercy. God has been very merciful to me when I’ve suffered as a result of my own sins or the sins of others. So I want to be merciful and compassionate to those who are suffering (Ephesians 4:32; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Where would you and I be without God’s mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23). Great is His faithfulness to us. Let us be faithful to Him and to others (1 Corinthians 4:2; 15:58).

Humility. I also want to walk humbly before God (James 4:10). He hates it when we walk in pride (Proverbs 6:16, 17; 16:18). Everything you and I have has come from His gracious hand (1 Corinthians 4:7). I want to be like Christ by displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23; Philippians 2:5-11). I want others to see Christ living His life through my life (Galatians 2:20; 4:19).

Forgiveness. When we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, God judicially forgives us (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 8:1). We become children of God when we believe on Christ as our personal Savior through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16 17). We all start out life as children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). If we don’t ever get out of his family and enter into God’s family by simple faith, and not by our works (Ephesians 2:8 9; Titus 3:5), we will spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Colossians 1:13, 14). Contrary to what some cults and religions teach, the wicked dead are not annihilated or reincarnated.

Poem/Song. It’s “Not what I wish to be nor where I wish to go / For who am I that I should choose my way / The Lord shall choose for me tis better far I know / So let Him bid me go or stay.” – C. Austin Miles. Is the Lord Jesus Christ your Shepherd and Savior? If not, why not place your faith and trust in Him alone today?

Help. If you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, or if you need spiritual help, you may contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16. 17). If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] Expectations, https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-expectations.html

[2] Charles Stanley, Success God’s Way, https://www.amazon.com/Success-Gods-Way-Achieving-Contentment/dp/0785265902/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=success+charles+stanley&qid=1583909509&sr=8-1

[3] How To Stop Nagging And Start Teaching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hrPJrG2aHM

Nagging, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17L7eS6pt_A

[4] For the struggle between the Christian’s new nature and the old nature read Romans 7:15-25.

[5] Other Helpful Articles:

When Doing Right Is Wrong. https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/when-doing-right-is-wrong/

Wrong? It Feels So Right, https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/wrong-it-feels-so-right/

Expectations In Life https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/expectations-in-life/

“Some men die from shrapnel, others die in flames. But most men die inch by inch playing silly little games.” – Source unknown. What are you doing with the life you’ve been given (John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Acts 17:28)? Are you, as a Christian, living to please yourself or God (2 Corinthians 5:9)? Are you eagerly anticipating and loving Christ’s any moment return? If you are, you will live a more righteous life and earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Furthermore, the priorities of your life will probably change as you seek to glorify God by making Him know to those whom you encounter in life (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Wars. Throughout human history there have been wars. Are there any just reasons for going to war or should a Christian be a pacifist? What are human governments supposed to do? [1] Most wars stem from evil men wanting more and more for themselves at the expense of others. Christ’s half-brother wrote, Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). NKJV

Freedom. Most people want to be free from the tyranny of evil despots. They want to enjoy the freedom that we have in our country. Why do people, longing for freedom, gravitate to our country, not to socialist/communist countries where over a 100 million citizens in those countries have been murdered by their own leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and others?

Price. Many valiant soldiers lost their lives to secure and preserve the freedom that we still enjoy in our country. But we are only one election away from losing it all.

Trojan Horse. The enemies within our walls are a far greater danger to us than those who are without. Many of them look like we do, talk like we do, and work among us. And yet they are intent on undermining our country because they have a “utopian” world view that they think they can bring into existence. Consider this quote attributed to Henri Spaak, former Secretary General of NATO, What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.”

N.W.O. Many well meaning people believe that we need a “New Word Order.” I’m one of them. But I hasten to say that I’m not one who longs for the “New World Order” that the wicked men of this world envision. I’m looking for the one that the Lord Jesus Christ will set up when He returns to this earth after the 7 years of Tribulation (Revelation 6-19; Isaiah 9:6, 7). Consider carefully the inscriptions on the “Georgia Guidestones.” [2]

Warning. God laughs at puny men who try to resist Him by setting up their own “New World Order” without Him (Psalm 2). God scattered those who were building the “Tower of Babel” and changed their languages (Genesis 11:4). Those who refuse to submit and bow the knee to God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, will be crushed with His rod of iron (Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15). One day every one will confess (admit) that He is God and that He shares an absolute equality with God the Father (Philippians 2:10, 11). These verses are NOT teaching the universal salvation of all men as some false teachers claim.

Children. While all of us descended from Adam and Eve (Acts 17:26), and then through Noah’s three sons, we are not all in the same spiritual family. Jesus made it very clear that we all started out our lives in the devil’s family (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). To enter into God’s family, we must be spiritually born again from above (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23). This takes place today when we believe 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). It’s not merely knowing and believing the facts of the Gospel, but the transfer of our faith from ourselves and our brand of good works over to the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). The false Christs of the cults can’t save anyone (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Note: You haven’t proclaimed the Gospel that leads to a person’s salvation unless you have included, not only His death for our sins, but also the bodily resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:36-39; Romans 1:16, 17; 4:25). [3] A dead Savior can’t help anyone.

Kingdom. When Jesus allowed Himself to be arrested, He said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not [out] of this world [system]. If My kingdom were [out] of this world [system], My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). Some people misunderstand this verse. From the Greek language, in which the New Testament was written, we learn that Jesus was telling Pilate that His literal kingdom on/over this earth would be different than the kingdoms of men on earth. It would have been set up on earth during Christ’s first coming if the Jews, as a whole, had accepted Him as their promised Messiah. But they didn’t (John 1:11, 12). Instead they had Him crucified by the Romans. However, God holds all mankind guilty of Christ’s death (Acts 4:27, 28; 5:29-32). This includes you and me.

Postponed. God must keep all His unconditional promises to the Jews. If He doesn’t, He’s a liar and we couldn’t be sure if He’d keep His promises to us as Christians either (See Romans 15:4). The Church hasn’t replaced the nation of Israel (Romans 11:1 ff). King David’s dynasty will be established here on earth after the seven years of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27; 2 Samuel 7:12-16). He will be resurrected 75 days after the Tribulation is over (Daniel 12:12). He will be the primary regent on earth, under Christ and the true Church (Jeremiah 30:9). Underneath him there will be other kings and lords (Revelation 19:16) and righteous judges (Isaiah 1:26).

Prophecy. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was given a dream from God (Daniel 2). In it the world empires were portrayed by a man with a head of gold, a chest of silver, thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and 10 toes of iron and brittle clay. These represented the Babylonian empire, the Medo-Persian empire, the Grecian empire, the Roman empire, and the revived Roman empire (which seems to be forming today). But God let Nebuchadnezzar know that another kingdom would come to demolish man’s world empires. Then a completely new kind of government would be established in which the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, would set up His kingdom on/over the earth for 1,000 years (Daniel 2:44, 45; Revelation 20:1-10; Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:1 ff; 35:1 ff; etc).

Indicators. While there are no “sign miracles” that will proceed Christ’s coming in the Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), there seems to be many indicators that point to it as the world looks for a leader to solve mankind’s problems and plans to set up a “New World Order” and a “One World Religion.” (See Revelation 13; 17; 18.) The Bible predicts these things are coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10; Revelation 13:1 ff).

Chart. If you’d like to learn more about the things that are predicted in the Scriptures, we invite you to get our FREE “Understanding the Times Dispensations Chart” on our website: www.kelseypeach.com. See also https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/the-order-of-coming-events-2/

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you have found this information helpful, please share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/churchhi/church7.htm

https://www.gotquestions.org/war-Bible.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/just-war-theory.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-pacifist.html

[2] https://grandmageri422.me/2016/05/13/the-georgia-guidestones-satans-commandments-which-will-be-enforced-by-the-u-n/

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

“An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? How often do you evaluate your own life or let someone else examine it? Why are you here on earth? What is your purpose for living? What do you want to accomplish in life? What short term and long term goals do you have? Why do you want to pursue these goals? What brings you the most satisfaction in life? What do you think will happen to you when you die? Do you think anyone can be sure of his/her eternal destiny? By what standard do you determine what is right or wrong? Do you expect others to live by your rules? What if everyone did whatever he/she wanted to do? Where does his/her freedom end?

If God exists, and we believe that He does, what is His primary purpose? Is there anyway for us to find out? What has He revealed to us in His Word, the Scriptures? If/since He formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, what does He want mankind to do while he/she is here on earth and on into eternity? (See our “Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart on our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com)

Glory. Throughout the pages of the Scriptures, we are told that God’s primary purpose is to glorify Himself by making Himself know to His creatures – spirit beings and human beings. The spirit beings are constantly learning about God as He deals with mankind in bringing them to salvation (1 Corinthians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:12). Through progressive revelation God made Himself known to various people as it relates to His attributes: goodness, righteousness, omniscience, omnipotence, truthfulness, holiness, and love. He demonstrated His goodness to the children of Israel in the wilderness by providing them with food and water for the entire 40 years of wondering. God determined their rules for living, and enforced them with righteousness. (Dispensations deal with our rules for life, not ways of salvation.) He made provisions for the atonement of their sins through bloody sacrifices. He showed His power when He divided the Red Sea and the Jordan River. He brought the plagues on Egypt and Pharaoh and delivered the children out of bondage. He humbled King Nebuchadnezzar for seven years and then graciously saved him.

Our Purpose. The chief end of man is (ought to be) to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (1 Corinthians 1:31; 10:31; Psalm 16:11; 73:25, 26). How can Christians do this? By experientially knowing God, growing in grace…, serving God and others, and sharing the Good News with lost people.

Knowing. God wants those who put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, as the One who died for their sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, to know that they have eternal life as a present possession (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Eternal life is God’s quality of life that every Christian receives at the moment of salvation (John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13). It is not to be confused with “everlasting life” or existence that every human being will have who was ever conceived. (See Romans 1:20; Jude 1:6; Mark 9:44, 46, 48). He wants believers to have assurance of their salvation from the Word of God and from God the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). Do you? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Growing. God wants every believe to grow in the sphere of grace and experiential knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:2; See Philippians 3:10). Merely knowing the facts about the Gospel won’t save you; neither is God interested in our merely knowing the facts in the Bible. He wants us to live out the life that we have been given (Philippians 2:12; Galatians 4:19; 5:22, 23). Are you still in the “milk” stage or enjoying the “solid food” from God’s Word (Hebrews 5:12-14)? Are you living victoriously over your three spiritual enemies: the devil (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17), your sin nature (1 John 1:8; Romans 6:11-14; 7:15-25), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31)?

Serving. Just before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again from the dead on the third day, Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment“…that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34, 35; Contrast the Old Commandment – Leviticus 19:18). This “agape” love is a self sacrificial love that is willing to lay down one’s life for another (1 John 3:16, 17). This kind of love is produced in the life of a Holy Spirit filled Christian (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23). It is the kind of love that should compel us to serve others with love (Galatians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 13). It should be the attitude one has while using his/her spiritual gift for the edification of other believers in the spiritual Body of Christ (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

Sharing. God wants those whom He has saved to tell others about the salvation that He offers to all mankind (Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15). The Gospel is simple: “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). The only condition for salvation is Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; See John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24). No one is saved by his/her good works or by his/her faith plus good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Sadly, many people are trusting in the wrong Christ and have perverted the Gospel and the way of salvation (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

Conclusion. The Apostle Peter wrote, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure…” (2 Peter 1:10). Don’t be like those whom Jesus will rebuke on judgment day for thinking that they could get into the kingdom of the heavens by their good works (Matthew 7:21-23). Do you have assurance of your salvation? How much spiritual growth has taken place since you’ve been saved? Are you using your spiritual gift for the glory of God and the edification of others? Are you actively looking for lost people with whom you can share the Gospel? Do you ask God to lead you to some soul each day so you can share the Gospel with them?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; Titus 1:9). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped your, please SHARE it with others. Together we can accomplish more.

“The Silver Spoon.” There is a story of a sophisticated couple who invited their pastor and his wife over for dinner one evening. They enjoyed their time together, and the evening was lovely. As the wife was cleaning up after the pastor and his wife had left, she noticed his silver spoon was missing. This made her wonder if her pastor had stolen her spoon. About a year later, the couple invited the pastor and his wife over for another meal. They enjoyed the evening, yet the wife had to ask. “Pastor did you steal my silver spoon last time we ate together?” To which the Pastor said, “No, I put it in your Bible.” Ouch!

Perhaps you own a nice Bible but it seldom gets read or used. Maybe you don’t realize what’s in it and how valuable it is due to the fact that no one took the time to explain some basic things to you about it.

Perhaps you are wondering – What is the Bible and how did we get it? What is its primary purpose? How many authors were involved in writing it and over how many years was it being written? What do these terms mean: revelation, inspiration, illumination? How trustworthy and authoritative is it? What part of it is merely to be believed, and how much of it is to be believed and practiced? How should it be interpreted – normally or allegorically? Where does a Christian find his/her rules for living? Why are there so many versions of the Bible?

God gave us the Scriptures to teach us about Himself, about ourselves, and why there are so many problems in our world and what He can do for us to solve them. He wants us to know that He loved us sinners and provided a Savior for us. God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. Anyone who believes on Him alone for his/her salvation will be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire. We are NOT saved by our good works lest anyone should boast.

Sadly, most people will not accept God’s offer of deliverance. Have you? Do you know for sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Here are some things that might help you understand the Bible better so you can enjoy the eternal life that God has provided for true believers:

“Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart – Bible Study Aids” (Download this from our website.)

“How We Got Our Bible” by Dr. J. B. Hixson’s – (8 Videos)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2qanr7iYR90xeQ8kXSQauBeAP27GtO2U

“Charting The End Times” by Drs. Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice,

http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780736901383-charting-the-end-times-a-visual-guide-to-understanding-bible-prophecy-tim-lahaye-prophecy-library%EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BD

Bible Survey by Gary Tucker – http://www.biblebelievers.com/Bible_Survey.html

We invite you to read other articles on our Blog that pertain to “Bible Basics,” “Bible Prophecy,” and “Bible Study.”

If you have questions/comments, contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com Please SHARE this with others so they can be helped too.

In Hebrews 9:27 we read, …it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” The first part of this verse is a general rule. The second phrase is an absolute. Not everyone will die physically. There have been a couple examples of this in the past (Enoch and Elijah) and there will be a whole generation of Christians who won’t die physically either (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

But all believers will face the Lord Jesus Christ someday to have our works evaluated to determine if we will or won’t receive crowns, rewards, and praise from God (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). At the end of Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth, the deceased unbelievers will be raised from the dead and will stand before Him at the Great White Throne to have Him evaluate their works to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

But you might ask, What must I do to be saved/delivered from the lake of fire? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

How can I know what God expects me to do as a believer? Where do I find this information? It’s found in the Bible. You might ask, Aren’t there different rules for different people in different times? Yes, there are. They are known as Dispensations – the house rules. Old Testament believers had different rules for living than Christians do today. Those living during Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth will also have intensified legal rules to keep. (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.)

But imagine, for a moment, that you are back in school and you have to take a final exam to pass the course and to graduate. But suppose the teacher gave you, ahead of time, the questions that you would be asked. Would that help you? It should.

It may sound strange to some people that God would give His children the test questions before the final exam that we all will have to take when we stand before Him to have our works (not us) evaluated (2 Corinthians 5:10). But He does. This is true for the Jews, who were given the “Mosaic Law” and for the Church (the spiritual Body of Christ) that becomes His Bride (Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 19:7; 21:9; Galatians 6:2). Don’t confuse the two groups (1 Corinthians 10:32). God has separate plans for the nation of Israel and for the Church. We don’t believe that the Church has replaced Israel.

The judgments for believers will be to determine if we will be rewarded or not (Matthew 25:21-23; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The judgment of unbelievers will be to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 11:24; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15). One’s eternal destiny with God or apart from God is determined by his/her faith or lack of faith in God/Christ (John 3:16, 18, 36; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). It is NOT based on one’s good works (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5). At the “Bema seat judgment” Jesus, the omniscient One (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10), will determine the answers to these questions: (Some of these Bible references relate to the Jews, not to Christians. Similarity doesn’t mean identity.)

How did you treat others (Matthew 10:41-42; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 6:10)?

How did you use your talents and your spiritual gift (Matthew 25:14-29; 1 Peter 4:10)?

How did you use the resources (time and money) I gave to you (Matthew 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)?

How did you endure personal injustice when mistreated (Matthew 5:11, 12; 1 Peter 4:12, 13)?

How did you endure suffering and trials (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)?

How did you spend your time on earth (Psalm 90:9-12; Ephesians 5:16)?

How did you run the race I gave you to run (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1)?

How did you keep your body under control (1 Corinthians 9:25-27; Ephesians 5:18)?

How often and why did you try to lead unbelievers to Me (Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)?

How intensely did you love My imminent return (2 Timothy 4:8)?

How faithful were you to My Word and to other people (Acts 20:26-28; 2 Timothy 4:1, 2)?

How hospitable were you toward strangers (Matthew 25:35, 36; Hebrews 13:2)?

How faithful were you in your vocations/jobs (Colossians 3:22-24)?

How did you support the work of the Lord (Matthew 10:40-42; Galatians 6:6)?

How did you use your tongue (Matthew 12:36; James 3:1-12)?

Conclusion: Although there are different rules (dispensations) for people living in different times, and there will be different times for the judgment of various groups of people, we all need to remember this – “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We all may not die physically, but all of us will face the Lord Jesus Christ some day. He will judge all our works and unveil our motives (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Are you certain that you will spend eternity with God in heaven? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?

Sadly, in spite of all this information that God has given to us in His Word, most people won’t put their faith and trust in Christ alone and be saved (John 3:16-20). As it is true with the believers in other dispensations, most believers will NOT receive all that God would like to give to them because they will not claim God’s promises to them and walk by faith (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 4:1-12). Don’t try to claim promises that weren’t given to you. Not all the promises in the Bible are there for Christians to claim. Some are only for the Jews.

Each of the seven dispensations will end in failure. This demonstrates to us that without God’s help, no one can do anything to please God (John 15:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Hebrews 11:6).

If you have questions and/or need spiritual help, please contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you have found this helpful, please SHARE this information with others (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

(For additional Christian responsibilities, go to our “Understanding The Times” Dispensations Chart on our website: www.kelseypeach.com.)

*Some of this material was adapted from Dr. Mark Hitcock’s book, “The End” by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, Carol Stream, Illinois, c. 2012, pp. 218, 219

https://www.amazon.com/End-Complete-Overview-Bible-Prophecy/dp/1414353731/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=mark+hitchcock+the+end&qid=1572641050&sr=8-3

Do you sometimes feel “ill at ease” and like you’re out of place and not welcome in some places or in some people’s homes? (Read Psalm 1) Are there times when you’ve apologized to someone for something you said or did and asked him/her to forgive you and yet you feel like you’re not really forgiven? Why should Christians be quick to admit it when they are wrong and forgive others who ask us for it? (See Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:15-35.)

Recently I posted a comment on someone’s Facebook page that was misunderstood by the reader. It was short and to the point, but he didn’t quite get what I wanted to convey. So, here’ my explanation to him that might also be of help to you.

Saved? When a person believes and puts his/her faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, as the One who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day, he/she is instantly saved from the “penalty of sin” (Romas 6:23) and will not spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Believers are being saved from the “power of sin” (Romans 6:14), and will ultimately be saved from the “presence of sin” (Romans 8:23).

Accepted. When Jesus ascended back into heaven He was accepted and welcomed by God the Father who was satisfied with the payment that the Lord Jesus Christ had made, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), for mankind’s sins (Romans 4:25). True believers in Christ, in like manner, are “accepted in the Beloved” just as Christ was accepted by God the Father (Ephesians 1:6). Imagine that! It’s pure grace (undeserved favor from God – Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Forgiven. There are two kinds of forgiveness: judicial and parental/family forgiveness. Since Christ paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2), and since believers accepted His payment as their payment to God the Father, He judicially forgives our sins so that we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1, 35-39). But parental/family forgiveness takes place when a Christian sins (acts lawlessly – 1 John 3:4) and then confesses them (by specifically naming them) to God the Father (1 John 1:9). Before we confess our sins to the Father, we need to discern what we did to offend and grieve God (1 Corinthians 11:28-31; Ephesians 4:30) and then repent (change our minds about what we did – 2 Corinthians 7: 9, 10). When a believer confesses his/her sins, God forgives them and cleanses him/her from all unrighteousness that led up to his/her sinning (1 John 1:9; James 1:13-15).

Questions. Have you been judicially forgiven? If not, why not place your faith in Christ alone, right now, and be forgiven? We aren’t saved by our good works, or by our faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). If you, as a believer, have confessed your known sins to God, have you accepted His forgiveness and moved on? Do you need help so you won’t keep on committing the same sins (Proverbs 28:13)? If so, ask for it (James 1:4-8; 4:1-4). There are no temptations that you have that others haven’t had too (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptations aren’t sins. They give us the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God (James 1:12) or to enjoy the momentary pleasure of sin (Hebrews 11:2) that leads to sorrow and a premature physical death (Proverbs 5:1-14). We’re here to help you and others who are “teachable and willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

Sin Unto Death. If a believer willfully defies God and chooses to live in sin, he/she is in danger of being chastened by God (Hebrews 12:5 ff) and having his/her life terminated prematurely (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:16). We have “potential years” and “actual years.” Christians can’t lose their salvation, but they will lose the joy of their salvation (Psalm 51:12) and the crowns, rewards, and praise from God that could have come to them on Judgment Day. This judgment of our works, not us, will not be to determine if we get into heaven or not, but to determine the quality of our works as to whether they are rewardable or not (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Great White Throne Judgment will determine the degree of suffering an unbeliever will experience in the everlasting lake of fire (Matthew 10:15; Jude 1:13; Revelation 20:11-15). We don’t want you or others to go to that awful place.

Help. If you have questions/comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook or Youtube for our Bible studies.

Philippians 1:27-30

Most of us want to be liked and accepted by others. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money to make others like us. Just think about how much money we could save if everyone were blind and couldn’t appreciate the clothes we wear, or the cars we drive, or the houses in which we live.

Most people want to be part of the in crowd.” But what price are we willing to pay to be popular and accepted? Are we willing to go along to get along” even if it violates the clear teachings of the Word of God and our consciences? Does it mean anything to you that you grieve God when you sin – act lawlessly (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:4)? Are we willing to be unpopular with the world’s crowd so that we can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Psalm 1)?

The Apostle Paul realized that preaching or teaching in the abstract and in generalities to no one in particular resulted in weak Christians. The truth that is found in God’s Word must be presented clearly and simply to others who, in turn, need to apply it to their every day lives. He told Timothy to Preach [proclaim] the word! Be ready in season and out of seasons. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.” (Find out why in 2 Timothy 4:2-5). James, the Lord’s half brother wrote, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 2:23).

In his brief letter to the church in Philippi, Paul expressed his desire for them to live, to stand, to strive, to be fearless, and to suffer for the cause of Christ if necessary (Philippians 1:27-30; See 2 Timothy 3:12). Let’s think about these things for a few minutes.

Live. (v. 27a) When God saves us as a result of our believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He begins the process of conforming us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2). This involves our cooperation with God. In another letter, the Apostle Paul instructed believers to put off their carnal way of thinking that often results in unbecoming, sinful behavior that can have detrimental consequences in the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms. Then he told believers to put on other things that display Christ like behavior (See Colossians 3:5-17; Galatians 5:22, 23).

Quote. A good place to learn to be Christ like is when we encounter the little complaints which people have. We cannot mature unless we have occasions and provocations that disturb us. Every big thing is made up of a lot of little things.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer

Consistency. Even though we’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, we still retain our sinful nature that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). We still have the potential to behave like unsaved people when we act carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1 ff; 5:1 ff) or yield to the temptations that come from the devil/demons or from the world system. But when God saved us, we became partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and have the potential to live a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Romans 8:8). Paul wanted believers to learn to lean on the Lord for strength to do the things He wants us to do. It’s available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A consistent, godly life has a tremendous impact on others around us. But an inconsistent, hypocritical life brings disgrace to God’s name which could result in our being chastened severely by the Lord (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 2 Samuel 12:14). When a believer sins, he/she needs to confess the sin(s) to God the Father and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 51:13).

Stand. (v. 27b) All around us a spiritual battle is raging for the control of the mind, emotions, and actions of mankind including Christians (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 4:4; 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 10:5). But the Good News concerning Christ’s death for our sins and His bodily resurrection must be proclaimed if people are to be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17). When was the last time you shared the Clear Gospel” with an unsaved person? Do you really care about lost people? If not, ask God to stir you up His love in your heart (Romans 5:5; Revelation 2:4). Are you helping Christians stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

Unity. In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus expressed His desire that true believers be united in their objective of glorifying God and loving one another (John 17:21; See Ephesians 4:4; John 13:34, 35). Sometimes it’s very difficult to know who the true Christians are and who are only “professing Christians.” God knows those who are His, but we can only make an evaluation of a person by his/her beliefs and behavior (John 10:27; James 2:18-20). We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Disobedient Christians, who engage in habitual, sinful conduct/lawlessness (1 John 3:4-9), will be disciplined by God (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16), and need to be shunned by other believers until repentance and confession have been made (2 Thessalonians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Strive. (v. 27c) Too many Christians are not focused on the things that God wants us to think about and do (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1 ff). We have Good News for people who are dying physically and who are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). Getting this information to them may cost us our lives. Jesus laid down His life so we could be saved (1 Peter 3:18; John 10:10-18), and Paul endured all things for the salvation of the elect (2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). In like manner we should be willing to follow their examples in an effort to reach the lost and edify believers. The Crown of Rejoicing” awaits Christians who are involved in leading others to Christ so they can be saved (1 Thessalonians 2;19, 20). The Crown of Glory” is given to those who shepherd God’s flock God’s way (1 Peter 5:4).  This involves feeding, leading, guarding, and healing God’s flock of sheep.

Problems. The devil is delighted when the Gospel is not clearly presented to unbelievers and when Christians are confused about how they are supposed to live holy and godly lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16), once they have been saved (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:10-17; See our Dispensations Chart).  All of the Bible is for us, but not all of it is addressed to us (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  Far too many Christians never share the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) with lost people, and some add to it or subtract from it and cause others to believe in vain by adding good works to faith in Christ alone (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Fearless. (v. 28a) All believers need to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He and demons are real and they are enemies of God and would like to overthrow God and overwhelm His children. Paul reminded Timothy that …God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). John, the Apostle, reminds us that [we] are of God, little children, and have overcome them [those with the spirit of antichrist], because He [God] who is in [us] is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; See Ephesians 2:2). Nothing can happen to a true child of God without God’s permission. True Christians have confidence in God’s ability to raise the dead and give them a better life in heaven if they are killed (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

Doomed. (v. 28a) All those who reject God’s offer of salvation that is available to all mankind, will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer forever in accordance to their works done on earth (John 3:16, 18, 36; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8). Where will you spend eternity?

Reproof. God the Holy Spirit reproves (convinces) unsaved people of the sin of unbelief in Christ, their need of Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven, and the ultimate judgment to come on them as it will on the devil and his angels/demons (John 16:8-11). There are no second chances or opportunities to be saved from the lake of fire after an unbeliever dies (Hebrews 9:27).

Resurrection. Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead guarantees the resurrection of all human beings who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 51, 52; Hebrews 9:27). Do you know in which one you will participate if you should die? The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation as some cults and religions teach.

Suffer. (v, 29). While true Christians will not go into or through the seven years of the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; See Daniel 9:27), all Christians who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). The Gospel is offensive to proud men and women who think the can save themselves by their good works (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Peter 2:8; Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Quote. We who preach [proclaim] the Gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world…We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not compromise but ultimatum.” – A. W. Tozer

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other people who are teachable and willing to change.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

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

Philippians 1:19-26

What do you want to do or accomplish while you’re here on planet earth? What do you dream about? What are you doing to achieve this dream that you have? Are you interested in fame, fortune, power, or pleasure? Would you like to be free from all pain, sorrow, and suffering and have a lot of friends and be able to influence people? What or who motivates you in your pursuit of your dreams – a parent, a teacher, a friend, or perhaps the fear of loss (Acts 4:36; 5:3; Philippians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:11; Hebrews 10:25)? Are you willing to bend the rules (cheat) to accomplish your goals? Do you believe that “the end justify the means” (Romans 3:8; 6:1; 2 Timothy 2:5)? If so, when and why? How have the “religions of man” done this?

If we’re honest, most of us are putting our own desires and pleasures above everyone else’s including God’s desires for us (See what Lucifer did in Isaiah 14:13, 14). We usually want things to go “our way” and not “God’s way” or His will for our lives (See James 4:13-17). But the Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down His life to pay the debt that we owed to God (1 Peter 3:18), has a unique plan for our lives (Ephesians 2:10; See Jeremiah 29:11). He desires that all mankind (men and women, boys and girls) be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people won’t accept His gift of eternal life because they love darkness rather than light (John 1:12; 3:16-19, 36). He even gave to each true Christian a spiritual enablement (gift) at the time of our salvation so that we could glorify God by making Him known to others whom God brought into existence (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11 ff; 1 Peter 4:10) and to help build up (edify) the spiritual “Body of Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). See our “Bible Basic Docs” on our website.

Let’s see what the Apostle Paul wanted to accomplish in his own life and his willingness to accept what God allowed to come into it and give thanks (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; 1 Timothy 2:1). He “turned the lemons he received in life into lemonade.” Are you doing this too?

Assurance. Even though he was under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30) because of his faith in the resurrected Christ who had died for our sins and who had been raised from the dead on the third day (2 Timothy 2:8-10), he was quite confident that he would be delivered from his imprisonment and that he would be able to revisit the churches he had started, and start other local churches. He believed that the prayers of the believers in Philippi would be answered by the Lord. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). He also believed that God the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself were interceding for him to God the Father (Romans 8:26, 35; See Hebrews 7:25).

Magnification. It was Paul’s desire to glorify God and to magnify His name (person and work) to those whom he encountered in life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3). He did this with boldness even though he was bound (chained) to a Roman soldier night and day (Philippians 1:14, 16). Think about what that must have been like if it had happened to you. (How would your behavior change if you knew that Jesus was chained to you? Actually, God the Holy Spirit indwells each believer, and is grieved when we sin – Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)? Paul was not ashamed of Christ or the Gospel which is the power of God unto anyone’s salvation who believes in/on Him alone for salvation (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). He wasn’t going to let fear or shame deter His witness for Christ (2 Timothy 2:7; Romans 1:16, 17). With cheerfulness and clarity he spread the Gospel to those whom he encountered along life’s path (Philippians 4:4).

Life/Death. It mattered not to Paul whether he lived or died. To die meant to be present with the Lord immediately (2 Corinthians 5:1-8). The Bible doesn’t teach “Purgatory.” Physical death was a door into eternity. If God wanted him to live a little longer on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:14; Revelation 1:18) he would use that time to reach more people for Christ and edify them in the faith. Christ was the source of his life (Galatians 2:20), and pleasing Him was paramount (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Dilemma. Living and remaining on earth would mean continued bodily limitations, suffering and joy, being absent from Christ, and being in Satan’s realm. Dying would mean that he would receive a better, temporary body (2 Corinthians 5:1-9) to house his soul and spirit in heaven until the time of the rapture when he would receive a resurrected, glorified body like Christ’s (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). It would mean joy and no more suffering, to be present with Christ forever, to be separated forever from sin, but no more opportunities to overcome sinful temptations and earn rewards, crowns, or praise from God (James 1:12), and no weak Christians to help (Galatians 6:1 ff).

Confidence. Paul had a quiet confidence that God was going to allow him to remain on earth a little longer so he could assist believers in the faith. The Jews who were intent on killing him had a weak case against him and couldn’t prove the accusations that they made against him.

Time. We all have 24 hours each day and 168 hours in a week. What are you doing with the time God has given to you? Don’t “kill time.” Are others learning about God from the words you speak and from the life you live? Does dying frighten you? If so, why? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23) by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Perhaps you know these facts and believe these facts. But have you transferred your faith and trust over to Christ alone to save you? Are you trying to earn your way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5)? Are you “believing in vain” by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2)? What are your thoughts about heaven and the lake of fire (hell)? Do they line up with the Scriptures (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 11:10, 16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:1-17; 22:1-5)? Do they disappear by imagining them away as John Lennon suggested?

Questions. What does God want you to do daily while you are here on earth? What is your reason and purpose for existence? If you’re a true Christian, have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? By when do you hope to achieve the goals that God has put into your heart (See Philippians 2:13; 3:10)? What obstacles are you facing and who does God want you link up with to carry out the good works that God planned for you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11 ff; 2 Corinthians 6:14)? What skills (spiritual gift) do you need to develop? What specific steps are you taking to accomplish His goals for your life (Galatians 5:16, 25)? And why do you want to do these things – to glorify God or yourself (1 Corinthians 10:31; Jeremiah 9:23, 24)? Are you a “wandering generality” or a “meaningful specific”? Do you feel helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and like you are hell bound (Romans 6:23)? If you are –

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other believers who are teachable and willing to change. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: “Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

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

(Philippians –  Lesson #8)

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time? Has all the happiness and joy in life been drained out of you? Would you like to have God’s quality of life and have it more abundantly (John 3:16; 10:10)? Perhaps you’ve heard this song by Joseph D. Carlson: “If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy, / Let Jesus come into your heart. (Repeat) / Your sins He’ll wash away, / Your night He’ll turn to day, / Your life He’ll make it over anew. / If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy, / Let Jesus come into your heart.” [1]

New Heart. Sadly, he didn’t quite get it right. God doesn’t want to come into our sinful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). Instead He wants to give us a new heart (mind, will, emotions) and a new nature from above (2 Peter 1:4; John 3:3-6). This occurs when we place our faith exclusively in 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). Although we still retain our old sin nature even after we are saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25), we have a new potential to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9) and to do the desirous will of God for our lives. Are you doing it or doing what you want to do independently of God?

Happiness. This can be an elusive feeling that comes from having things going our own way. But there is a way that seems right but that can lead to death (Proverbs 14:12; Judges 21:25).

Joy. This is one of nine things that God the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a Spirit filled believer (Ephesians 5:18) and it’s known as The Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). Likeagape” love, this joy that comes from God, needs to directed properly toward the right objects, at the right time, for the right reasons. Just as God’s love can be misdirected toward the present world system (1 John 2:15-17), so true joy can be misdirected away from God, His Word, and His children, to the temporal and vanishing things of this life.

Me Worry? The Apostle Paul wrote, Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). When the believer’s delight is in the Lord and His Word (Psalm 1:2) and as we think and meditate about all that He has done for us (Ephesians 1:3 ff; Colossians 3:1 ff), there is nothing that can shake us and cause us to worry and fear (Philippians 4:6-8; 1 Timothy 4:15; Romans 8:35-39). No trial, temptation, or challenge can come our way without His approval or permission (James 1:12-15; 1 Corinthians 10:13). When we, as believers, successfully overcome temptations that come from the devilour old sin nature, or the present world system, we let God know that we love Him more than the temporary pleasures that this life offers (Hebrews 11:25). This pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9). Sadly, many Christians grieve God (Ephesians 4:30).

On Being Joyful

The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Philippi to follow his example and be joyful Christians (Philippians 4:4). Here are a few things that helped him do this.

Self Image (Philippians 1:1). He knew what he had been prior to His encounter with the Lord. He considered himself to be a chief sinner” (1 Timothy 1:15). Having been saved, he voluntarily became a bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15; See Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy15:17). He demonstrated his servanthood to God by serving for the advantage of other believers as the steward of this dispensation of grace” (Ephesians 3:1 ff; Galatians 5:13; 6:10). He also saw himself as being part of the New Creation” (Ephesians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17), and a member in the Body of Christ, the true Church” (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

Grace & Peace (Philippians 1:2). Paul knew that his salvation was due to the grace of God which he didn’t deserve (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Upon his becoming a Christian, he had peace with God” and no longer was he God’s enemy (Romans 5:1, 10). He could enjoy the peace of God” as long as he was filled by the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) and walked by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25). Yes, there were times when the Apostle Paul struggled with and gave in to the temptations that came from his sin nature (Romans 7:15-25). God doesn’t want us to sin, but He knows that we will sin periodically. This is why we have an Advocate with the Father who satisfied His outraged holiness against our sin nature (1 John 2:1 ff). Jesus is the one and only Mediator between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5). All true Christians are priests who are to offer spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16) and Jesus is the High Priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Hebrews 7:25, 26; 4:15, 16).

A Thankful Heart (Philippians 1:3). Paul wrote, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” [Philippians 1:3). He was responsible, from a human standpoint, of bringing these people to Christ. They knew how he and Silas were mistreated and beaten there in Philippi for the cause of Christ so they could be saved (Acts 16:16 ff; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:12). One of the evidences of being filled with the Spirit” is that a believer will have a singing, thankful, and submissive heart (Ephesians 5:18-21). We’re instructed to give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (sin apart) and for all men (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1 ff).

Prayer (Philippians 1:4). God has given believers eight ways to communicate with Him: worship, praise, thanksgiving, supplication, intercession, asking in Jesus’ name, confession, and making vows. It’s a shame that so many Christians limit their communication with Him to asking and receiving” and then failing to give thanks to Him for His good and perfect gifts that come from above (James 1:17).

Fellowship (Philippians 1:5). Too often fellowship is associated with potluck meals” rather than sharing spiritual things in common with God and other believers. (See Ephesians 4:1-6) If Christians are to have fellowship with God, we must walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). We must order our lives by the standard that God has given to us. They involve grace principles” rather than by law principles” (Romans 6:14; 3 John 1:4). See our “Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart” on our website.

Confidence (Philippians 1:6). God always finishes what He begins. Our salvation comes to us in three phases. When we place our faith and trust in Christ alone as our personal Savior, we are immediately saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1). We are being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:16). We shall be saved from the presence of sin when we die or are raptured (Romans 8:23).

Concern (Philippians 1:7, 8). When we have God’s love operating in our lives, we should direct it back to God and His children first (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10), rather than toward the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). We won’t /shouldn’t think of ourselves more highly than we should think (Romans 12:3). Perhaps you remember this song by B. Metzger. Jesus and others and you, What a wonderful way to spell joy! Jesus and others and you, in the life of each girl and each boy. “J” is for Jesus, for He has first place, “O” is for others you meet face to face, “Y” is for you, in whatever you do. Put yourself third and spell JOY.”

Expectations (Philippians 1:9-11). The Apostle Paul knew that God could do far more than he could ask or think in the lives of those who were submissive to Him (Ephesians 3:20; James 4:7). His prayer was that their love might abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that they might approve the things that are excellent, that they might be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, and that they might be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Glory (Philippians 1:11). God’s primary purpose/objective is to make Himself known to His creatures – both human and spirit beings (John 14:13; 17:4; Philippians 2:11). It ought to be every Christian’s purpose/goal/objective in life to glorify God through everything that we say and do (1 Corinthians 10:31; John 15:8; Psalm 19:14).

Gospel (Philippians 1:12-15). Even though Paul was in prison for the cause of Christ, his bold witness to the elite Roman soldiers resulted in some of them being saved. They were Paul’s captive audience. They observed how he lived and related to those who came to visit him in prison (Acts 28:30). He told them about Christ and why he was there for insisting that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah who died for our sins and rose again bodily from the dead (2 Timothy 2:8-10).

Quote. Joy is a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God – that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen.” – Chuck Swindoll, Laugh Again, p. 34

Your Sail. One ship sails east. One ship sails west. Regardless of how the winds blow, it is the set of the sail, and not the gale that determines the way that we go.” – C.R.S. In which direction will your sail be set – for Joy or for Sorrow.

Help. We’re her to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 25; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies.

[1] https://hymnary.org/text/if_you_want_joy_real_joy_wonderful_joy