Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

     “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘What comes into your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainly the spiritual future of that man.  Were we able to know exactly what our most influential religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow…The man who comes to a right belief of God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems…The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” – The Knowledge Of The Holy, by A. W. Tozer, Harper and Rowe, Publishers. Chapter 1.

There is no doubt about it.  “The Shack” (the book and the movie) by William Paul Young, and his book “Lies We Believe About God” have a lot of people talking and wondering.  Are the things he says in his books and the movie biblical or diabolical?   What should we use to evaluate them?  What does he believe and teach about the true and living God of the Scriptures?  Does the way he portrays the members in the Godhead differ dramatically from the way the Scriptures portray God?  What does Paul Young really believe and teach about man, salvation, and his future destiny?  What about sin and the way it affects man?  Do the Scriptures teach universal reconciliation and the ultimate salvation of all men including the devil and demons?  What’s the big deal anyway?  What relationship did Dr. James B. DeYoung, who wrote “Burning Down The Shack” once have with William Paul Young?  Is the movie anti-Christian, anti-family, and anti-American?

David Steele writes, “Paul Young has shared openly and honestly about some of the hurts in his life. Pain and suffering, while inevitable in this life are regrettable realities. The dark night of the soul will likely affect most of us. And so we sympathize with Young and his Great Sadness and pray that God will minister in deep and abiding ways. But no amount of personal tragedy or loss can excuse the propagation of false views of God.”

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Contrary to what some people believe, God’s offer of deliverance/salvation from the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) to heaven is limited to those who are physically alive on earth but spiritually dead (separated from God – Ephesians 2:1).  There are no second chances to be saved, once you are physically dead (Hebrews 9:27). The truthful Scriptures (John 17:17) don’t teach reincarnation. This false teaching gives people a false hope that perhaps if they haven’t been good enough on earth, they will come back in some other form to try again to earn their way to a better place. Our salvation is not based on our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). It was purchased at great cost by Christ’s precious blood when He died on the cross (1 Peter 1:18, 19; 3:18). It’s offered freely to all those who belong to the human race (John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 John 2:2). We all come from one man and woman (Adam and Eve – Romans 5:12). There is only one race – the “human race” but many ethnic groups who speak many languages (Acts 17:26). These groups and languages came into existence at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Evolution is a theory (not a fact) that runs contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures (Genesis 1:26-2:7). Salvation isn’t offered to the devil or the fallen angels/demons. They believe in God and tremble but they aren’t and can’t be saved (James 2:19; Matthew 4:3; 8:29).

Deliverance/Salvation. If you’re reading this, you have the opportunity to be saved if you aren’t saved already. To be saved, you must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” exclusively (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31) through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). “Christ [of the Scriptures, not the cults] died [once and for all – Hebrews 10:10] for our sins [because you are a sinner like all the rest of us (Romans 3:10-23) and you, like we, deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23). Jesus was buried in a tomb for three days (Matthew 12:40; John 2:19; 10:15-18) to prove that He had died and paid the penalty for our sins. But He rose again bodily on the third day.” His bodily resurrection was validated by over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Romans 4:25). His resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all those who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). Some will be raised to spend eternity with God and others will be raised and judged at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:1-15).  All of them will be sent to the lake of fire to suffer forever where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). My friend, we don’t want you to go there. This is why we write these articles to help you avoid that awful place. Then Jesus ascended literally, gradually, and publicly in the presence of His disciples back into heaven from where He came (Acts 1:9-11; John 3:13).

Scoffers. There are many scoffers today (2 Peter 3:3) who deny the literal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church (2 John 1:7), known also as “The Body of Christ” (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Seven years after the Rapture Jesus will return to this earth to rule and reign as the King of kings, and Lord of lords for 1,000 years (Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16; 20:1-7).

Normal/Literal Interpretation. Some of these people who believe that the prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, don’t believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming are to be taken literally. Are they in for a shock? Yes!  About one third of the Bible was prophetic in nature when it was written. Ignoring Bible prophecy has many ramifications. These people won’t be loving His imminent return and consequently they won’t earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). The “Rapture” is a “Comforting Hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), a “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13),  and a “Purifying Hope” (1 John 3:3). Our hope is not wishful thinking but a confident expectation based on promises from God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2; John 14:6).

Help. If you aren’t absolutely sure of your salvation, or if you have honest questions and are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

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

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

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

Dispensations Chart: http://kelseypeach.com/Kelsey.8.pdf

 

John 8:12

Imagine yourself having to drive on an extremely dangerous, mountain road during a storm in the middle of the night when suddenly your car’s headlights go out. You panic because you have to get to your destination as quickly as possible because a loved one needs your immediate help. What risks would you take to get there to help him/her?

Now try to imagine the plight of those who are in spiritual darkness on their way to eternal suffering in the lake of fire. They could die physically at any moment (James 4:14). Would you be as determined to help them if they weren’t related to you? The Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ went to the cross to die for His enemies (Romans 5:10). The Apostle Paul endured all things for people he didn’t know, some of whom would believe on Christ and be saved (2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33).

Light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). He also said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). In His prayer to His Father, Jesus said, “Your word (i.e. the Scripture) is truth” (John 17:17). Before considering “The Light,” let’s think about the awful darkness in which lost humanity is and the sinister one, the devil, who wants to keep people enslaved to himself in the dark.

Moral Darkness. The Scriptures don’t paint a pretty picture of us. It tells us that “…we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). “[Our] heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9)? “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God” (Romans 3:10). “…all have sinned [acted lawlessly] and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23). “And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). Having a sin nature (disposition), we twist what is beautiful into that which is ugly and evil (Galatians 5:19-21; John 8:3).

Spiritual Darkness. To make things worse, Satan put spiritual blinds on our minds when we came into this world lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on us (2 Corinthians 4:4; See 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 11:25). But thank God this darkness can be overcome by God the Holy Spirit who is greater and more powerful than the devil (1 John 4:4). Would you like to get out of darkness and enter the light and enjoy true freedom in Christ (John 8:36)?

Political Darkness. It shouldn’t shock us when most of the political leaders and tyrants of this world engage in corrupt practices. But keep this in mind – “…the Most High [God] rules in [over] the kingdom of men, and sets over it the lowest of men” (Daniel 4:17). In the Old Testament times God let the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar know who was really the sovereign God of the universe. To him God said, “They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen…till you know that the Most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4:25). God “removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:20). These powerful rulers over other people should be wise and instructed by [serving] the LORD with fear, and [rejoicing] with trembling…lest they perish in the way (Psalm 2:10-12). Jesus is the righteous Judge and everyone will give an account to Him someday (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Hebrews 9:27). Are you are suffering unjustly for being a godly person (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 2:19, 20; 4:12-19)? Know this – In due time God will take vengeance on the wicked (Romans 12:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Intellectual Darkness. There are those who profess to be wise but who are fools in God’s sight (Romans 1:22). Some of them say “There is no God (Psalm 14:1). By the world’s standards some atheists may be considered as wise, mighty, and noble. But God will use the foolish, weak, base, and despised people of this world to bring them down to nothing (1 Corinthians 1:26-30). Why? So no flesh (human beings) will glory (brag) in His presence. While you may think that you are better than others, there is always someone wiser, more powerful, and more noble than you are. It’s foolish to compare yourself with others (2 Corinthians 10:12). After all, what do you have that you didn’t receive from God (1 Corinthians 4:7; See John 15:5)? Those who ignore the revelation of God through nature (Psalm 19:1) and who fail to acknowledge His existence and power are often destined to their own depravity and ultimate doom (Romans 1:18-31). Are you headed in that direction? Would you like to see “The Light” (John 8:12) and change your eternal destiny? If so, we’re here to help you.

Cultural Darkness. How sad it is when people call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness (Isaiah 5:20; See John 3:19). In all likelihood this was the way it was just before the universal flood came on the earth in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:5). By the way, the topography of the earth was different than it is today (Genesis 10:25). During the days of the Judges in Israel the people were doing what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). “The art and music of an increasingly ungodly world are estranged from the beauty, symmetry and harmony of godliness. The discordant music and abstract art manifest the vanity, emptiness and purposelessness of life without God. How our world needs the Light of the Word [the Lord Jesus Christ]! – Dr. Paul N. Tassell

Depraved Darkness. By using comedy to try to make it more palatable to us, moral degeneracy is on the rise. “Pornography, profanity and perversion fill the magazines, movies and television programs of our day. The degeneracy, degradation and drunkenness of millions defy description…Society scoffs at Biblical morality while the corruption of the immoral eats away at the very soul of our character, bringing venereal diseases and AIDS to prey upon our physical beings.” – Dr. Paul N. Tassell

Eternal Darkness. Those who reject natural revelation (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:18-31) and/or the pure Gospel message will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne judgment someday (Revelation 20:11-15; Hebrews 9:27). After having their works examined, to determine their degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever, all unbelievers will be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. There will be no more opportunities to be saved and no more manifestations of the life of God for them throughout the ages of eternity (Matthew 25:30; Jude 1:13).

Plea. My friend, I plead with you, don’t reject the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). “Believe on [Him alone] and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Don’t try to add good works to faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Beware of those who teach “Lordship for salvation” (i.e. Vowing to make Jesus the Master of your life in exchange for salvation.)  Before you die you can be sure of your salvation and a home in heaven. You can/should know what God has said about this and believe Him and His Word (1 John 5:13).

Reflectors. When God saves a person, He usually leaves him/her on earth for a little while to bear witness to “The Light” so others can learn about God and His offer of salvation to all mankind (2 Corinthians 4:3-7; 1 Timothy 4:10;1 John 2:2). If you’re a Christian, are you letting “The Light” (Jesus) Who is within you shine forth? Is sin keeping other people from seeing Jesus living out His life through your life (Galatians 4:19)? If so, will you confess your sins to God and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9)?

Help. If you need some spiritual help, and you are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Can God count on you to tell a few other people about Jesus and invite them to trust Him as their personal Savior?  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out. Help us reach others with the Good News concerning Christ by sharing this information with a few of your family and friends.

Portions adapted from Dr. Paul Tassell, “That Ye Might Believe” pp. 55ff

 

Since the death of our son, Billy, I have been asked many questions about what happens to people when they die?  The Scriptures tell us, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).  This can be said only of true Christians who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.  Sadly, not everyone goes to heaven when they die (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Emotions. At the time of death some people are very emotional while others are more sedate and rarely express any emotions. God is a spirit being (John 4:24).  He Himself has a mind, will, and emotions and gave these same things to Adam and Eve who passed them on to us.  Our bodies on this earth house these things (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  The spirit belongs to our minds (Ephesians 4:23).  It is the only part of a Christian that is saved now (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:16).  The soul relates to our emotions which aren’t saved yet (John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:9).  Our bodies of limitation (Philippians 1:21) with which we express ourselves are also part of our future tense salvation (Romans 12:1, 2; 8:23).

Funerals. Having conducted funeral services for many people, I can usually tell which family members and friends are believers in Christ and which aren’t.  Their responses to death are quite different.  The Scriptures tell Christians not to sorrow as other unbelievers who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13; Ephesians 2:12).  We can/should know what God has said about the life after death and His plan for the future.  Don’t ignore Bible prophecy as some preachers are suggesting people to do.  It involves you and me.

Comfort. In one of his letters to the believers living in Thessalonica, almost 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul shared some valuable information from God that can comfort and help believers like us who live today in the 21st century.  I invite you to read what he wrote under the direction of God the Holy Spirit in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  God willing, I plan to share more information with you from this passage in future articles.

Ignorance. Far too many Christians are not well informed from the Scriptures concerning a subject that will affect all of us until the Lord Himself returns at the time of the Rapture. As a general rule “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There are no second opportunities to be saved after you die as some cults teach.  There is no reincarnation into another form of life taught in the Scriptures.  Death entered the world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17; 5:5, 8, 11, 14; Romans 5:12).  This fact disproves the theory of evolution.

Sleep. The believer’s death is likened to sleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14; John 11:11).  This has to do with the body only, not “soul sleep” as some cults teach.  All dead people are fully conscious and aware of where they are in their temporary bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-10).  The unbelieving dead are suffering while believers are enjoying pleasures in God’s presence (Luke 16:19-31; Psalm 16:11).  Jesus is the One who determines the time and manner of a believer’s death (John 21:18, 19; 1 Corinthians 11:30; Acts 5:1-11; 1 John 5:16; Revelation 2:10; 6:11).  He holds the “keys of death” today (Revelation 1:18).  This is why we shouldn’t fear death.  No one can take our lives until Jesus either causes it or allows it to happen.  The devil held the keys in the Old Testament times and could kill people unless God told him not to do so (Job 1:18; 2:6; Hebrews 2:14).  Death is separation, not annihilation as some cults teach.  Physical death involves the separation of the soul and spirit from the body.  We either go into the presence of the Lord or into Hades at the time of death (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-31).  Do you know when Christians will enter the place that Jesus said He would prepare for us (John 14:1-3)?  What is your current destination?  God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth to make a way of escape for mankind from the lake of fire (John 3:16, 18, 36).  Have you placed your faith in Him exclusively to save you?  If not, why not trust Him right now?

Sorrow. It is quite natural for us to weep when a loved one is taken from us in death. Death is an awful enemy.  Do you know how and when Jesus will overcome death (1 Corinthians 15:26)?  Jesus Himself wept at the time of Lazarus’ death (John 11:35).  However His sorrow stemmed from the lack of faith that the people had in His ability to raise His friend Lazarus back to life by resuscitating him.  Lazarus subsequently died again.  Thus far Jesus is the only One who died and rose again bodily never to die again.  Christ’s bodily resurrection guarantees the bodily resurrection of everyone who has ever lived (1 Corinthians 15:22).  Life begins at conception according to the Scriptures (Psalm 139:1-16; 51:5).  Do you know in which of the four remaining resurrections you will be raised?  If not, ask us for more information.

Hope. To an unbeliever hope is nothing more than wishful thinking.  When asked if they know for sure that they will go to heaven the moment they die, many people have told me that they sure hope they will but they aren’t absolutely sure they will go there.  But to Christians our hope is the confident expectation that we have which is based on a promise from God (John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:13).  If God says that He will do something, He has the power to do it (Ephesians 3:20).  He’s omnipotent (Revelation 1:18).

Gospel. This Good News that is the power of God unto our salvation (Romans 1:16) consists of the facts that Christ died for all our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10).  He was buried to prove to us that He had paid our debt to God (Romans 6:23).  He rose again bodily (Luke 24:33-43; See Psalm 16:10) which was verified by His being seen by over 500 witnesses on over 10 separate occasions (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  It has flesh and bones but no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50).  It isn’t limited by time and space like our present bodies are.  At the time of the Rapture true Christians will receive glorified bodies like Christ’s (1 John 3:3).  Do you know when Old Testament believers will be raised from the dead and what kind of glorified bodies they will receive (Daniel 12)?

Confident. My friend, are you confident that you will go to heaven the moment you die?  Upon what is your belief based?  Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I didn’t have assurance of my salvation until I was in my second year of college (See Romans 8:16, 17).  The verse in Scripture that helped me says this, “These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in the name [i.e. the person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [not wish, hope, or think] that you have eternal life…” (1 John 5:13).  My getting into heaven is not based on what I have done or will do in the future (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5) but on what Christ has done for me – Period!  He saved me from the moment I believed in/on Him from the penalty of sin (Ephesians2:8; Romans 6:23; 8:1).  He is saving me from the power of sin (Romans 6:14), and will save me from the presence of sin (Romans 8:18-23).  The best is yet to come for true believers.  Are you one of them?

Help. We’re here to assist you if you are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2).  If you have a spiritual need and express it to us, we’ll do our best to help you from God’s Word.  It is God breathed, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that [we as Christians] may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  It is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  Are you engaged in the good works that God planned for you to be doing while you’re here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)?  Do you use your spiritual gift with love (1 Corinthians 13)?

Remember.  Treat each day as though it might be your last day on earth (James 4:14).  Or it might be the last day of someone you know and love or meet along life’s path.  “Some men die by shrapnel, and some go down in flames, but most men perish inch by inch playing their silly little games.” – Source unknown

Purpose.  What is your purpose in life?  It is to glorify God by making Him known to others around you (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

 Follow. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” I’d like to try to answer as many questions from Scripture as I can.  If this article has helped you, would you share it with someone else so we can bless them too?

 

 

 

Billy, as he was known to his friends, was born on May 12th 1977 in Algona, Iowa; He passed away on March 27th, 2016 at the age of 38 and went into the presence of the Lord.

He is survived by his parents Kelsey and Janet Pietsch, his siblings: David, Julie, and Judson Pietsch, his grandmother Catherine Sorenson, and by his nephew Austin, and niece McKinley, his sisters-in-law, Meggan and Savannah, and by many other relatives.

He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior when he was 8 years old by believing that Jesus died for his sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. He was then baptized to demonstrate to others his faith in Christ.

Billy graduated from Mission Oaks Christian High School in Kansas City, Kansas. He graduated from Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa majoring in missions and Bible.

Billy had a love for missions and would often go on mission trips. He travelled to over 50 countries in the world to share the Gospel with others.  He loved to travel and collect T-shirts from the places he visited.

He went to Japan 15 years ago and taught English at many public schools. He loved Japan and the Japanese people.  He admired his great grandparents, C. Kelsey and Maude Dozier who were missionaries in southern Japan and who started schools there.  Seinan Gakuin University* is celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year.  His grandparents, Timothy and Helen Pietsch who also served as missionaries in Japan for many years starting churches, preaching in Japanese on the radio for 35 years, and heading up a kindergarten for over 45 years with over 2,000 graduates.

He loved to meet people and get their Facebook addresses to stay in touch with them. He has hundreds of people who know and love him.  He wanted to be an encouragement to those whom he met in life.

He shared the Gospel with hundreds of people and passed out many Gospel tracts to people wherever he went and led many people to the Lord.

His favorite verse was Matthew 28:19, 20. It tells us as Christians to make disciples (true believers) from the people of all nations, baptize them, and teach them to observe all things that Jesus commanded His disciples to do.

He loved to go to church and tried to be a blessing to those whom he met. He spent many years at Tokyo Baptist Church.

Since Billy is no longer here on earth, we’re confident that he would want to encourage you to follow his example and try to reach others for Christ.  Treat each day as though it might be your last day on earth or the last day on earth for someone you know and love or encounter along life’s path.

*Seinan Gakuin University   http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=seinan+gakuin+university+japan&qpvt=seinan+gakuin+university+japan&qpvt=seinan+gakuin+university+japan&qpvt=seinan+gakuin+university+japan&FORM=IGRE

“Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ‘tomorrow’ on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ‘If I had my life to live over again.’ Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

Philosophy. This is, with some modifications, how I want to live my life. How about you? Our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (James 4:14).

Fights. Over what are you fighting? Why? Is it because you want something that the other person has – fame, fortune, power, or pleasure? The Lord’s half brother, James said it well: “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 4:2, 3).

Gone. Those who died in Paris recently at the hands of terrorists were not planning to die that day as they did. David Brin asks, “Why must conversions always come so late? Why do people always apologize to corpses?”

Purpose. Why are you here on earth? Where will you go when you die? Are you sure? Can anyone be sure? What happens when we die? Are wicked people annihilated? What are heaven and hell like? Are they real places? Are there second chances to change our eternal destiny after we die?

Christians. Our purpose in life is or ought to be to make the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man known to others. This is how we glorify Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; See John 17:3). God has provided for all mankind a way to escape the horrors of hell where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth in the eternal lake of fire (Matthew 24:30, 41, 46; See Jude 1:13; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8). Doubt God’s Word to your own peril.

Faith. By one simple act of faith anyone can be saved from that awful place (Ephesians 2:8, 9). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). We must believe that “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). This is the Good News that leads us to salvation (Romans 1:16). Have you done this yet? If not, why not now?

Help. We’re here to help those who want to know what God has revealed to us in His Word – the Scriptures. We want you to know that you have eternal life as a present possession and live your life to the fullest (1 John 5:13; John 10:10). Consider Jesus’ words, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36). Are you living today as though it might be your last day on earth? Tomorrow may never come. Then where will you be for eternity?

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“Wolf! Wolf!” cried the little boy. He tried it once too often and ended up facing a real wolf. But no one came to rescue him. In like manner, there have been many religious leaders who have tried to predict the time of Christ’s return only to miss the mark. Consequently, those who hate Christ and Christians scoff at us (2 Peter 3:3ff).  They don’t think God knows or cares what they do and that He won’t hold them accountable for their behavior (Psalm 10:11).  But He will (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27).

N.W.O. Without a doubt, this world needs a New World Order. Before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth to set up His kingdom on this earth, God will allow the devil, the Antichrist, and the false prophet to try their hardest to establish peace on earth without the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).  It can’t/won’t happen because man’s heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23). Thankfully, God will limit their efforts to seven years before bringing man’s rebellious rule to an end (Daniel 2:44, 45; 9:27; See Psalm 2).

Purpose. Jesus came to this earth to offer Himself as the King of the Jews (Luke 1:32, 33). Long before He was born, King David was promised an Heir who would become the unique King of the Jews (2 Samuel 7:12-14). The government will be on His shoulders.  He will bring peace on earth that will not end (Isaiah 9:6, 7). The Prophet Daniel also unveiled Christ’s kingdom to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel 2:44, 45 ). Jesus was/is the rightful Heir to the throne because He came from the right parents, both of whom were from King David’s line (Matthew 1; Luke 3:23-38).

Offer. Immediately after His baptism, Jesus was driven out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for 40 days and nights. One of the temptations the devil presented to Jesus was his offer of the kingdoms of the world to Jesus if He would just bow down to the devil and worship Him (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8). This offer was a legitimate one.  Satan is currently the ruler of the kingdoms of this world (Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 1:13). It was a temptation to Jesus to circumvent the agony of the cross simply by bowing down and worshipping the devil.  But it wasn’t part of the Father’s plan for the salvation of mankind (Psalm 2:8,9; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 10:7). The common people who had just been fed miraculously by Jesus wanted to make Him their “Welfare King.” But He prevented that from happening (John 6:15). They wanted a King on their terms, not on His terms. They weren’t concerned about their spiritual need to repent (i.e., change their minds) and believe on Jesus to save them from their sins (John 1:29).

Rejected. Most of the religious leaders (the scribes and Pharisees) hated and plotted to kill Him because they were envious of Him (Matthew 27:18; John 5:18; 7:1, 19). About one week after the common people had welcomed Him into Jerusalem as the Son of David (Matthew 21:9), they turned on Jesus and cried out for Him to be crucified (Luke 23:21; Acts 4:10). They chose the murderer, Barabbas, over Jesus (Matthew 27:20).

Death/Resurrection. Pilate, the Roman governor, had a lot of pressure put on him by the Jews. Even though he declared three times that he found no fault in Jesus, he succumbed to their threat when they said, “If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar” (John 19:12). Wanting to save his own neck, he turned Jesus over to them for Him to be crucified as it had been predicted (Psalm 22; John 19:16). Even though the Jews objected to the inscription that was placed over His head, Pilate kept it there. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19). But death couldn’t hold Him down in the grave. He rose again triumphantly from the grave with a glorified body of flesh and bones on the third day (Luke 24:33, 43).  It was different in that it had no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Return. After appearing to over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), Jesus ascended publicly, gradually, and literally to heaven in the midst of His disciples. When a cloud received Him out of their sight, two men (angels) said to them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). He will return at the end of the seven years of the Tribulation as the King of kings, and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). The believing, Jewish remnant will have repented (i.e., changed their minds about Him) and will welcome Him as their Messiah and Savior (Acts 3:19). At that time all the nations of the world will come to Armageddon to try to annihilate the Jews but King Jesus will come to rescue them in the nick of time (Zechariah 14:1-9; See Daniel 2:44, 45; Revelation 16:16).

King/Priest. Contrary to what many people are being taught, Jesus is not the Christian’s King and is not reigning now over the earth. Yes, He is sovereign, but His literal kingdom on earth is yet to be established according to God the Father’s timing (Psalm 2). Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is His Body (Ephesians 1:22, 23). He will be the Bridegroom and the true Church will be His Bride when He comes back for her at the Rapture (Ephesians 5:32). Presently Jesus is acting as the believer’s High Priest and is interceding for us (Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:25). Knowing this can be a source of great comfort to those who are suffering in this life. Every true Christian is a priest who is to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6; Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16).

Questions. If you were to die today, are you absolutely sure you’d go to heaven the moment you die or do you believe that you have to go to some purging place first?  Your answer to this is critical.  Why should God let you into heaven? If you believe that you are going to heaven, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? Are you looking forward to Christ’s return? Do you conduct yourself as though He might come back today? If not, why? Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again to receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). Believers who love His imminent arrival will receive the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Share this with someone else who might be helped by this article.