Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Imagine the shock Mary must have felt when the angel told her that she was going to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:26-38). Imagine what went through her mind as she thought about how she was going to explain her situation to her husband-to-be, Joseph and then to her parents and his parents. What had Joseph determined to do prior to his receiving the information from the angel (Matthew 1:19-25)? Would others believe or accuse her of having an illegitimate relationship with Joseph?

Imagine the sympathetic and encouraging words Mary received from her cousin, Elizabeth (Luke 1:42). Which one was Holy Spirit filled (Luke 1:41)? How do you think Mary would feel today if she knew that people were praying to her and worshipping her instead of her Son, Jesus who is the only Mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5)?

Imagine the strength and comfort others would receive if you stimulated them to love and good works (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)? Why is it so important for Christians to assemble together regularly (Hebrews 10:24, 25)? Where did the early Christians assemble and what did they do when they got together (Acts 2:42-47)? What dangers are associated with one’s staying away from other believers (Hebrews 2:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31)?

Imagine the shame and accusations that Mary most likely had to endure her whole life as some of her neighbors and the town’s people snickered or pointed an accusing finger at her and Joseph for having, what they thought, was an illegitimate child – Jesus. How could they prove otherwise?

Imagine the sorrow Jesus may have felt, especially in His human consciousness, when His own half brothers and sisters didn’t believe that He was the Son of God until after His resurrection (John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). What if Jesus had been your half brother? Do you think that you would have believed your parent’s account of His birth? Would you, like His actual half brothers and sisters, refuse to believe that He was the God-man and the promised Messiah even though He performed many sign miracles to prove who He was (John 20:30, 31)?

Imagine the simplicity of the Gospel. What did Jesus’ disciples have to believe to be saved (Matthew 16:16)? What does one need to believe today to be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31)? In what ways do some people “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21;23; James 2:19)? What is the unforgivable sin today (John 16:9)?

Imagine the stigma of being thought to be crazy every by your own family as Jesus was (Mark 3:21; Isaiah 53:4) and to be questioned by His cousin, John the Baptist, as to His true identity (Luke 7:20). Would it take a personal appearance by the resurrected Christ to convince you that He was/is indeed the God-man who shared/shares full deity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9; Matthew 28:19)? Are you willing to believe the eye witnesses of His bodily resurrection and ascension back to heaven (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:6; 1 John 1:1-4; See John 20:27-29; Acts 1:9-11)?

Imagine the stress and emotional suffering that Jesus (and possibly His mother, Mary) must have felt when the scribes and Pharisees accused Him and His parents of His being an illegitimate child when they said to Him, “We [in contrast to You] were not born of fornication; we have one Father – God” (John 8:41). What made His enemies so angry that they wanted to stone Him to death (John 8:58, 59; See John 5:18; 10:30-33)?

Imagine the surprise of the woman who was taken in the act of adultery when she heard Jesus’ words to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees who wanted her stoned to death as the Mosaic Law demanded (Leviticus 20:10), “He who is without sin, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7-9). It has been suggested that these same hypocrites may have been guilty of the same sin themselves because no one was willing to throw a stone at her (See Romans 2:1, 22). Did Jesus, as the God-man, know everything about them (John 2:24, 25)?

“Imagine the [strain] pressure Joseph and Mary must have felt when they learned that Jesus would be theirs to raise and nurture! Imagine the complexity and pressure of having the Son of God living with you every moment of every day; a constant call to holiness by His very presence. What a man Joseph must have been to be trusted by God for such a task! What a wonderful example for us to follow, whether we’re raising our own children or those born to others who are now entrusted to us.” – Randy Kilgore

Imagine the serenity of the responsibility if, instead of Joseph’s and Mary’s having this responsibility, you and your spouse had to raise Jesus, the Son of God, as they did. Would your life be lived differently if you knew that the One whom you were raising would one day be your Judge (John 5:22; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Revelation 20:11-15)? Would you say and do what you are currently saying and doing?

Imagine the severity of God the Father’s disciplinary action that will come on you, if as a Christian, you deliberately act lawlessly (Hebrews 12:5-11; 10:26-31; 1 John 5:16; James 5:19, 20). What if you knew that He, and the Holy Spirit (John 14:17), knew your thoughts and motives too (John 2:24, 25; 1 Corinthians 4:5)? Does it bother you to know that God the Holy Spirit, who indwells all true Christians (1 Corinthians 6:19), is grieved when you sin (Ephesians 4:30)? Is your conscience seared (1 Timothy 4:2)? What is the conscience? Is it a reliable guide in life?

Imagine the sophomoric attitude of the professed or practical atheist who says, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see”? Don’t fool yourself. A day of reckoning is coming. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9;27). “But each one [who dies physically will be raised again bodily from the dead] in his own order…” (1 Corinthians 15:23; Daniel 12:2). “The last enemy that will be destroyed [by Jesus] is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Jesus will do this by raising everyone who has ever been conceived and died. (Life begins at conception – Psalm 139. Abortion is murder – Exodus 20:13.) Do you know in which one of the five resurrections you will be raised if you die? What do you know about those who won’t die physically (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; See Genesis 5:22; 2 Kings 2:11)? Annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation are not taught in the Scriptures (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Imagine the stupidity of the one who mocks God. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). If you want to be saved from the lake of fire and go to heaven, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us [i.e. true believers in Christ], through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5; See Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Imagine the seriousness of the decision you have to make in this life. “He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name [person and work] of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Imagine the suddenness of death that comes to many people. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Imagine the supplication that goes up to God on your behalf by those who are truly concerned about you and your eternal destiny (Ephesians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:10). “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…[for God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1, 4). “…the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Who is the only way to God in heaven, the absolute truth, and the giver of eternal life (John 14:6; See Acts 4:12)? Of all the religious leaders, why is Jesus unique?

Imagine the service we render to fellow Christians to let unbelievers know that we are Christ’s true disciples (1 John 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10). “By this [i.e. your loving fellow believers] all will know that you [Christians] are My disciples, if you have love to one another” (John 13:35).

Imagine the spiritual help you could receive it you just asked (James 4:2). If you are concerned about your spiritual well being and need some additional help from God’s Word, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  If this articles has helped you, please let us know how it has and then share it with someone else. It may be just what they need too. If you’d like to receive future articles on the Internet as the come out,  click on “Follow.”

 

How shall we escape [the lake of fire], if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that hear him?” – Hebrews 2:3 KJV

One of the greatest themes that challenges the mind of man is salvation. It is not a trivial subject; it is a matter of life and death. Many pastors and authors have attempted to expound on it. Yet how difficult it is to comprehend God’s grace that forgives all our sins every day and night, without preconditions, without works.

Scholar and theologian Charles Ryrie [has written] on the subject of salvation and with humility and compassion. He brings clarity where there is confusion. While he quotes carefully and accurately from a wide range of authors, his final authority is the Word of God.

The gospel is the good news of the grace of God to give forgiveness and eternal life. [His book] So Great Salvation shows us that we can be confident of our salvation, certain we are forgiven by God, and sure we are destined for heaven.” – Taken from back cover of So Great Salvation*

Confusion. In this day and age there are so many confusing voices telling people how they can be saved and get to heaven. Believe it or not, there are “preachers” who don’t believe in a literal, eternal hell where unbelievers will suffer forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). Some of them believe that everyone will eventually be saved and go to heaven, including the devil and demons. Others believe in reincarnation or in second chances after people die (Hebrews 9:27). What is the only requirement for a person to be saved (Acts 16:31)? Do you know how many times the Apostle John uses this word in his gospel? What did the Apostle Paul mean when he wrote “unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2)?

Lordship. Do you know what “Lordship Salvation” is? Why does it appeal to so many people (Matthew 7:21-23; Ephesians 2:9)? Do you know what their conditions for salvation are?** Is it any wonder that those who believe that way often are confused, frustrated, and can never have real assurance of salvation as God wants true believers to have (1 John 5:13)? Believe me, I used to be that way myself.

Clear Gospel. We don’t want anyone to be confused about their eternal destiny. Ron Shea (theologian and lawyer) has written an excellent booklet entitled “The Gospel.”*** Please read it carefully. Don’t delay. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “For what is your life? Is is even a vapor that appears for a little tie and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). “…make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). Once you’ve read it you have a choice to make. It’s the most important decision you can ever make in life.

Choice. You can choose to believe on Christ alone as your personal Savior or you may refuse His offer of eternal life. But beware of the serious consequences of rejecting Him (John 3:18, 36). God’s command is: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and your will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Why should we do this? Because Christ died for our sins…and rose again [bodily] on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Help. If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

*So Great Salvationhttp://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=so+great+salvatin+ryrie

**Lordship Salvation’s requirements for salvation

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

***The Gospel in 30 languages. www.cleargospel.org

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

Suppose you were on trial for being a Christian. Would there be enough evidence to convict you? Did you know that “all [Christians] who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12)? Many Christians around the world are dying because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Did you know that there is a martyr’s crown that God will give out to believers who resist temptations and die for their faith (Revelation 2:10)? Christians don’t have to actually die to earn this crown but we do have to endure temptations up to the point of death, if necessary, to earn it (James 1:12). We can show our love for God by resisting and overcoming temptations from our three spiritual enemies: the devil, our own sin nature, and the present world system.

Phone Calls. Let’s assume that the N.S.A. records all of our conversations and stores them in their archives and can bring them up at any time as evidence to try to prove their case that we are indeed Christians. Would the recordings of our conversations with others give any indication that we are true Christians? Would the language we use on the phone make others wonder if we were true Christians or not? Do we use profanity and foul language and yell at others while we’re talking with them? Do we ever talk about God and spiritual matters on the phone? Would the jury think that we are hypocrites or genuine Christians as they listen to all the recordings of our conversations? Even though such a situation may never actually arise and go to court, it’s something to think about.

E-mails. Many of us communicate with others by e-mail. We know that our server’s store our emails somewhere “in the cloud” or some other place. Apparently our other important documents are out there too and can be hacked by those who are good in computer science. If this evidence were made available to the government to use against us, would there be any evidence in all our e-mails with others that might suggest to the jury that we are actually Christians? Is God’s name ever used?

Check Book. Yes, the government can secure access to our bank accounts too. Suppose they looked at all your bank records and your credit card purchases. Would they get any indication that you were actually a Christian? What Christian agencies do you support? How much is given?

Medical Records. Suppose the government tapped into our medical records in an effort to determine if we were Christians or not. What kind of diseases did they discover we have? Were our ailments brought on by our consumption of illegal drugs or alcohol? Did they find out that we have a S.T.D. that may have been contracted by an illicit relationship that would be inconsistent with the Christian life style?

P.I. Suppose a private investigator secretly followed you around for six months or a year with a camera and tape recorder. What evidence would he collect on you? Where would he say you hang out? With whom would he notice you talking often or attending events? Would he ever see you attending church? If he watched you and listened to you in church, would he get the impression that you were actually involved and interested in the sermon? Would he see you come in to church at the last minute and slip out quickly after the sermon was over or would he notice that you talk to others and seem to be concerned about the needs of others?

Judge. A human court or jury may not be able to convict us correctly of being a true Christian based on the information that is presented to them, but there is One who is the all knowing, righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8) who will make the ultimate decision as to whether we are a Christian or not. His decision will be accurate and final and there will be no appeals. He knows those who are true Christians and those who are impostors (2 Timothy 2:19). In the future, Judge Jesus will say to some people who “profess” to be believers, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I [Jesus] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23).”

Today. If you’re not a true Christian, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). You have no guarantee that you will be alive at the end of this day (James 4:14). So, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). We’re not saved by our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9). To be saved, 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). Only a resurrected, glorified Savior can help us (Hebrews 7:25).

Help! If you’re not sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die, we’re here to share truth from God’s Word to help you make the most important decision of your life before it’s too late. There are no second chances to be saved once you’re dead. So make the right decision today! We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information: www.kelseypeach.com.

Response. If this article helped you, will you let us and someone else know about it? We want to spread God’s Word to others by any and every legitimate means for the glory of God and the salvation, edification, and equipping believers for service in their local church and in the world. Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.

Having trouble making decisions? A farmer hired a man to work for him. He told him his first task would be to paint the barn and said it should take him about three days to complete. But the hired man was finished in one day. The farmer set him to cutting wood, telling him it would require about 4 days. The hired man finished in a day and a half, to the farmer’s amazement. The next task was to sort out a large pile of potatoes. He was to arrange them into three piles: seed potatoes, food for the hogs, and potatoes that were good enough to sell. The farmer said it was a small job and shouldn’t take long at all. At the end of the day the farmer came back and found the hired man had barely started. “What’s the matter here” the farmer asked. “I can work hard, but I can’t make decisions!” – Source unknown

In Part 1 we considered the “Scripture” test. Let’s go one to consider some other tests to help us make decisions that will glorify God.

The “Stewardship” Test. Stewards (household managers) have a master and are accountable to him (Luke 16:1-13). The Apostle Paul was the steward of the “Dispensation of Grace” in which we live (Ephesians 3:1-12). He wrote most of the new information from God for Christians to teach us how God wants us to live in this dispensation. Peter, John, James, and Jude provide supplemental information for us too. Each Christian is to conduct himself as a steward would in the use of his time, talents (spiritual gifts), and treasures (Ephesians 5:16; 1 Peter 4:10; Hebrews 13:15, 16).

Final Exam. The Christian’s works will be examined at the “Bema Seat Judgment” and each Christian shall give an account of himself to God (Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:2; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Will you participate in this judgment of the New Testament Christian’s works (not for Old Testament believer’s works) or the one at the “Great White Throne” for unbeliever’s works that will determine his degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46)? “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

The “Separation” Test. Believe it or not, every person who places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4) immediately becomes a “positional” saint (one who is separated unto God). He is expected to start acting like one or as a “practical” saint (Romans 1:1, 7; 16:5; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:1, 2, 11; 1 Peter 1:15, 16). We are to bring the level of our “practice” up to the level of our “position” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). God enables each believer to live like a saint even though most Christians don’t draw on God’s power to do this (Philippians 3:10; 4:13, 19).

Yokes. Furthermore, Christians are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers in marriage, ecumenical evangelism, or in business (2 Corinthians 6:14).** We must, like Jesus, have love for and contact with unbelievers without being contaminated by them (Matthew 9:10, 11; 11:19; Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 1:10-19).

Mid-term Exam. How are you doing so far? Examine your own life (1 Corinthians 11: 28). Are there some adjustments that need to be made and some sins that need to be confessed so you (if you’re a Christian) don’t miss out on the rewards, crowns, and praise that the Lord wants to bestow on you? Honest confession leads to family forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and enables us to get back in fellowship with God as we walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). Judicial forgiveness is granted to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior through the Gospel (Ephesians 1:6, 7).  Are you forgiven and accepted in the Beloved?

Help. If you have spiritual questions, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  To receive these articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  It this article has helped you, please pass it on to someone else who might need the information.

**Unequal Yokes http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/bibdocse.htm

 

 

Has someone ever asked you, “Why did you do that?” Perhaps you replied, “I’m not really sure why I did what I did.” Or if you did something that you knew was wrong, maybe you tried to blame someone else as Adam and Eve did (Genesis 3:12, 13). It may surprise you to know that we don’t always know exactly why we do what we do (1 Corinthians 4:4, 5). Even the Apostle Paul admitted that he wasn’t always sure about his motivation but he knew Someone who knew everything about him (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). Only the Lord fully and correctly knows the motivations behind our actions. But we should endeavor, with God’s help (John 15:5), to have the right motives for doing what we do. Consider these appropriate motives:

Love. There are different kinds of love. God’s love has some unique qualities to it (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 3:16, 17). Only God and Spirit filled Christians will have this kind of love to display to others (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22). Maturing Christians can but shouldn’t misdirect God’s love toward the devil’s wicked, world system that is passing away (1 John 2:15-17). What do you know about it? Everyone can have brotherly love and should extend it to others around them (Romans 12:10; Hebrews 13:1). All the “works of the flesh” are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21).

Gratitude. Everyone should give thanks for his past, present, and future benefits that come from God (James 1:12). Consider what God does with those who don’t acknowledge Him or thank Him (Romans 1:18-32). Christians are commanded and enabled by God (Philippians 4:13) to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (Ephesians 5:20), and for all kinds of men (1 Timothy 2:1). Is your life characterized by thanksgiving?

Eternal Significance. At the “Bema Seat Judgment” the Lord Jesus Christ will test by fire every Christian’s works (not the Christian himself) to determine if the good works he did on earth meet God’s standard for rewards, crowns, and praise (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For [the believer’s] light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more excellent and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Is he saying that some Christians will enjoy heaven more than others? Our ruling and reigning with Christ will be the privilege of every true Christian (Romans 8:17). Since every Christian will endure some suffering with Christ in this life, every Christian shall also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12). Not all Christians suffer for Christ to the same degree (Hebrews 11;36-39). God takes note of all these things.  He is not unjust to forget our work and labor of love that we have shown toward His name, in that we ministered to the saints (Hebrews 6:10). The sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

Rewards. Over and above all that we get in our salvation package that came at Christ’s expense, God earnestly desires that we work for and earn five victor’s crowns. The “Imperishable Crown” is given to believers who discipline and keep their bodies under the control of the Holy Spirit and their own spirit (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). The “Crown of Rejoicing” is given to believers who lead others to Christ for salvation (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). Christians who love Christ’s imminent return in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) will receive the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Overcoming the temptations that come from the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17), our own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17) will earn for Christians the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). Pastor-teachers who faithfully feed, guide, guard, and take care of God’s flock will receive the “Crown of Glory” (1 Peter 5:4). Once Jesus gives these crowns to those who have earned them, we will be free to give them back to Him as a token of our love and appreciation to Him (Revelation 4:10). If you’re saved, will you work hard in God’s strength (Philippians 2:12, 13; 4:13) to earn these crowns? Salvation is freely offered to us but crowns and rewards must be earned (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Duty. It’s the reasonable thing for every Christian to serve God with gladness, not sadness (Psalm 100:2). It is God’s desirous will that we, as Christians, present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice. We should not be conformed to this evil age but rather be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we might test and then approve of God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will for our lives (Romans 12:1, 2). If you’re saved, have you dedicated your body to Him yet? If not, why not do it right now? Why not engage in the good works that God planned for you to do each day while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? When you do them, you will have a part in magnifying the Lord (Psalm 34:3).

Fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. But he who fears has not be made perfect (mature) in love (1 John 4:18). When we’re doing what is right in God’s sight, we need not fear. “’The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30, 31). “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5, 6).

Motivation. What or who motivates you? Do the temporal things such as fame, fortune, power, or pleasure drive you to do what you do? Is your primary purpose in life to glorify God whether you’re eating, drinking, or doing anything else (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Are other people learning some things about God by watching and listening to you? Are you aware that even the angels learn about God’s wisdom by observing how He deals with us as He brings us to spiritual maturity (Hebrews 1:14; Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12; Romans 8:29)?

Caution. While we can/should judge actions (1 Corinthians 5:3-5; 6:1-6; 11:28), we must leave the judgment of motives to Jesus. God the Father made Him the Judge (John 5:22). He will administer perfect righteousness to everyone someday (2 Timothy 4:8). In which judgment will you participate: The “Bema Seat” judgment for Christians (2 Corinthians 5:10), or the judgment at the “Great White Throne” for all unbelievers (Revelation 20:11-15)?

Questions. Ask yourself: “Is the Lord well pleased? Is the work well done? Is the Word well applied?” – Dr. Howard Hendricks.

Help.  If you’re not absolutely sure that you’d go to heaven the moment you die but you’d like to know, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website where we have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article has helped you, let us and a friend know about it.  You could make a difference in someone’s life and be a source of blessing to others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).  Jesus laid down His life for us.  Shouldn’t we be willing to do the same for others  by living for their advantage (1 John 3:16, 17; 2 Timothy 2:10)?

Some material adapted from Charlie Bing, “The Christian’s Motivation For Serving God,” Grace Life Ministries

 

It’s hard to imagine that God would be willing to display His presence in something that man made with his own hands. And yet this is what God did after King Solomon erected a Temple for God on Mt. Moriah where Abraham had offered up Isaac as a sacrifice to God (Genesis 22; 2 Chronicles 7:1ff). It took seven years and the skilled labor of 153,000 skilled workers to complete this magnificent Temple.

Gold. “Nearly every feature of the Temple, including the walls, doors, nails, and furnishings, involved gold or gold overlay-a fact made possible by the enormous preparations of King David (1 Chronicles 22:14) in which he set aside 100,000 talents (3,750 tons) of pure gold!”* This is hard for us to imagine.

Queen. The Queen of Sheba heard about the wisdom of King Solomon, and the Temple that he had constructed (2 Chronicles 9). But not until she went to see him and the Temple for herself did she believe the reports she’d heard. This Temple was God’s way of declaring to the world that He was the true and living God who was displaying His presence in the Shekinah glory cloud that filled the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).

Ichabod. This name means “The glory has departed” (1 Samuel 4:21). After enjoying God’s blessings for many years, the Jewish people began to pursue the idolatrous and immoral ways of the nations around them instead of being faithful witnesses to the true and living God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:8). They brought down on themselves the judgment and curses from God and are still suffering to this day (Deuteronomy 28:15; Matthew 27:25). God’s glory did depart from Solomon’s Temple but it will return when Christ sets up His millennial kingdom on this earth that will last for 1,000 years (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:23; 43:2-5; Revelation 20:1-7). Do you know what event will take place seven years before this?

Promise. “If My people [the Jews] who are called by name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). During the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), known also as the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21ff), the surviving remnant will cry out to God for deliverance and He will rescue them in the nick of time (Revelation 19:11-16; Matthew 23:39; Zechariah 12; 14).

Today. God doesn’t dwell in buildings today that are made with human hands as He did in the Old Testament (Acts 17:24). Instead He dwells within the bodies of true believers (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). They must be kept morally pure (1 Peter 1:15, 16). All known sins need to be confessed to God so fellowship with Him can be restored (1 John 1:7-9). We must keep them in check if we want to earn the imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:25).

Responsibility. It is each Christian’s responsibility to exhibit God’s glory to an unbelieving world by displaying the nine parts of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Christ likeness) at the right time and place (Galatians 5:22, 23). Those who are “filled with the Spirit” will not be drunk with wine but will have a singing, thankful, and submissive heart (Ephesians 5:18-21). Not all Christians are filled with the Spirit. All of us can be, and should be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. If you’re saved, can this be said of you?

Trial. If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Are you ashamed of Jesus who died on a cross for your sins, and rose again bodily on the third day? In light of all His mercies toward you, shouldn’t you present your body to Him as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2). The clothes we wear, the words we speak, the habits we have, and the places we go all say something about us. They either reflect or detract from the glory of God in our lives. Are you a F.A.T.F.R.E.E. Christian (Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, and Enthusiastic)?

Salt And Light. The Jews are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:3). This is why God hasn’t destroyed this earth yet (2 Peter 3:10-13). He promised to give to them the land that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:18-21). They will get it all during Christ’s millennial reign on earth. In eternity future God will give to them a new earth (Romans 4:13). The Jews are also the light of the world to shine forth the glory of God by doing good works to glorify God in heaven (Matthew 5:14).

Christians. Contrary to what is being taught in many “Christian churches,” the Church hasn’t taken over the promises that were given to Israel. This is called “Replacement Theology.” God sees people today as Jews, Greeks (non-Jews), and the Church (1 Corinthians 10:31). Read http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/replace.pdf

Jews. God has a special future for the nation of Israel (Romans 11:1ff) and another one for the true Church (Romans 8:17). Today, the Church is a completely separate entity from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:31). We (Christians) are to act as salt and light. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). Furthermore, we are to walk as children of light, not darkness (Ephesians 5:8). Are you?

Help.  If you aren’t sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die, or have other questions/comments, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com where we have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.  If this article has helped you, share it with someone else.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

(*Portions taken from “Your Daily Walk” Walk Thru The Bible Ministries, p. 131, 132)

 

                Suppose God offered to you a bi-lateral contract in exchange for your salvation.  It might go like this:  “I (God) will save you from hell and take you to heaven if you will sincerely “say the sinners prayer,” or “give your heart to Me,” or “come forward and confess Christ publicly,” or “repent and be baptized,” or “ask Jesus to come into your heart,” or “put Jesus on the throne of your life,” or “repent of all your sins and make Jesus the Lord of your life,” or “turn from all your sins and promise never to sin again,” or “pray to receive Christ,” or “make a personal commitment to Christ.”  Suppose God had said, “Before you can ever hope to be saved you must promise to do these good works.  You must actually deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Christ.”  Could anyone, has anyone ever been able to keep such a promise completely?  Of course not.  How then could anyone ever hope to have assurance of salvation?

                Confused?  Perhaps you’ve heard things like this being said by those who stand behind the pulpit or from some other person who honestly may be concerned about your eternal destiny.  I was confused for a long time myself.  I can’t recall how many times I walked the aisle and went forward in a church service because I was afraid I’d go to hell if I died.

Questions.  Before going on, let me ask you some questions.  Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven if you died today?  If not, would you like to be sure?  Do you think it’s possible to be sure?  Why or why not?  Why should God let you or anyone else into His heaven?  If you believe you’re headed for heaven, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?  If so, what would it be?  Be honest.

Adversary.  There is someone who wants you to stop reading this, especially if you are an unbeliever.  He wants you to remain in the darkness of his kingdom (Colossians 1:13-17).  Lucifer, who had been created by God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, became His enemy when he (Satan) drew one third of the angels with him in an attempt to get out from under God’s authority and be like the Most High God (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Revelation 12:4).  He blinds the minds of those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 3:16) and resists those who long to share the Gospel truth (1 Thessalonians 2:18) with those who are bound by the devil and his demons so that they can be set free (John 8:32).

Gospel.  The Apostle makes the Gospel very clear.  “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve…and by over five hundred brethren at once” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).  This is the content of the Gospel.

Condition.  In the Gospel according to John, he used the word “believe” about one hundred times to let us know what God expected of us humans.  “For God [the Father] so loved the world [the people trapped in the devil’s world system] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in [on] Him should not perish but have everlasting [eternal] life” (John 3:16, 18, 36).

Vain.  What does it mean to “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2)?  Some people believe the facts that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily.  But they aren’t willing to place their faith in Him alone for their salvation.  They want to contribute something to their own salvation that would enable them to brag about themselves.  But God won’t allow that to happen.  The Apostle Paul reminded the believers in the church at Ephesus how they were saved.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Grace involves unmerited favor from God;  faith is another word for believe.  It also involves a change of mind or a transfer of trust from oneself over to Christ alone for salvation.  This change of mind is also known as repentance.

Limited.  There are some people within Christendom who believe that Christ only died for a select group of people.  This is known as “Limited Atonement.”  Those who believe this way can’t tell an unbeliever that Christ died for his/her sins because they can’t be sure if that person is one of the elect or not.  To be honest, they’d have to say something like this:  “Maybe/Perhaps Christ died for your sins.”  “Maybe God so loved you.” “Christ shed His blood for you, perhaps.” “Salvation has been provided for you, maybe.” “Possibly God demonstrates His love toward you.” “Hopefully He’s the propitiation for your sins.” “There is a possibility that Christ died as your Substitute.” “I bring you good news, maybe.”  (For more information, see  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/danger02.htm)

Unlimited.  The Apostle Paul wrote: “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).  The provision of salvation has been made for all men even though most people won’t accept God’s gift of eternal life because they love darkness rather than light (John 1:12; 3:18-21).  The Lord Jesus Christ even died for the sins of false prophets and teachers who won’t believe on Him for their salvation (2 Peter 2:1).  “And He [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2).  That God the Father was satisfied with Christ’s payment for the sins of the whole world is proven by the Father’s raising Jesus Christ from the dead (Romans 4:25).

Eternal Life.  Today, God’s quality of life is given to every one who places his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 John 5:11-13; 1 ).  Yes, He had flesh and bones but His resurrected, glorified body lacked blood (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50).  His bodily resurrection guarantees a bodily resurrection for everyone, believers and unbelievers (1 Corinthians 15:22-24).  The Christian’s glorified body will be like Christ’s resurrected, glorified body (1 ohn 3:2).  We won’t become gods to repopulate other worlds in the future.  All the dead unbelievers will be raised from the dead and stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, the Judge (John 5:22).  He will determine, at the Great White Throne judgment, their degree of suffering throughout eternity (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46).

Questions.  If you have questions/comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information: www.kelseypeach.com.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.

Help!  If this, or our other articles have helped you, will you pass it on to someone who might also be helped from it?  Click on “Follow” to receive these articles as they come out.

In order to stay in optimum physical health, it’s advisable to go to a health care professional for an examination.  The same holds true in the spiritual realm.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may you whole spirit [mind], soul [emotions], and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).   Of these three parts of our being, do you know which part or parts of the Christian are saved and which aren’t?  When will they be saved?  If you don’t know, ask us.

Before the final exam takes place “let a man examine himself…” (1 Corinthians 11:28).  What kind of grade do you honestly think God would give to you today in the following areas?  If you dare, you might want to ask a mature Christian for his/her opinion of you and what you may need to change about yourself so that God can/will be glorified in/through you.  Please take time to look up the following Bible verses to get an accurate picture of your true condition.

Faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2; 15:58.  Have I placed my faith in Christ alone for my salvation? ___ Acts 4:12; 16:31.  Do I live my life by faith in God and His promises? ___ Romans 1:17; Hebrews 4:2.

Available. Isaiah 6:8; See 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:19.  Am I being led by the Holy Spirit? ___ Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16, 25.  Does His will take precedence over my will? ___  Luke 22:42; Psalm 106:15.

Teachable.  2 Timothy 2:2, 15; Romans 12:1, 2.  Do I rely primarily on the Holy Spirit to illuminate my mind? ___ 1 John 2:20.  Do I submit to godly teachers? ___ Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13.

Flexible. Acts 15:36; 16:6-10.  Do I have clearly defined short and long range goals? ___ Acts 19:21; 21:4-14.  Do I submit them to God’s will for my life? ___ James 5:15

Resilient.  1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13; James 5:16.  Do I know what sin is? ___ 1 John 3:4, Romans 14:23; James 4:17.  Do I know the difference between trespasses and sins? ___ Ephesians 2:1.

Evangelistic.   2 Timothy 4:5.  Do I ever weep for unsaved people? ___ Mathew 23:37; Romans 10:1.  Do I share my personal testimony and/or pass out gospel tracts? ___ Acts 1:8.

Enthusiastic. Philippians 4:4; Colossians 3:23.  Do others see the Fruit of the Spirit being manifested in my life? ___ Galatians 5:22, 23.  Is there anyone or anything more exciting than Jesus? ___ 1 John 2:15-17

Now, what kind of a grade do you honestly think God would give to you today in each of these areas? Faithful ___.  Available ___. Teachable ___. Flexible ___. Resilient ___. Evangelistic ___. Enthusiastic ___.  You might want to ask a close friend to help you develop into more Christ likeness.

Someday everyone will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ who is the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  All true Christians must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to have our works examined by the Lord as to their quality (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Those good works that meet His standards will be rewarded and those that don’t will be burned up (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).  Later the unsaved people will also have their works evaluated at the Great White Throne judgment to determine their degrees of suffering in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).  To escape this awful place you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day.  We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone, not by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Let’s Make This Our Prayer

“Search me, O God, and know my heart today; / Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray. / See if their be some wicked way in me; / Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.”  Read Psalm 130:23

If you have questions and/or comments, please call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  It is designed to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and to edify Christians in their faith.  Some of these articles have corresponding messages on the Internet too.

     Most people around the world don’t know why they are here on earth, how they got here, and where they will go when they die. They live in spiritual darkness (John 1:5).
     Sadly, many Christians aren’t taught how to live the Christian life once they get saved. False teachers, in and outside the church, have misled them into believing the lies of the devil (John 8:44; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4). God gave Pastor-teachers to the church to help bring new believers to spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:11-16). Then they need to serve God and others (1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 5:13; 6:10) and reproduce themselves (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8). Spirit filled Christians (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14) can/should help newer Christians grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 5:12; 2 Peter 3:18).
     To help us contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3, 20, 21), each Christian needs to pay attention to the words from Christ’s half brother, Jude who wrote a brief letter to believers.
     Edification. We must build up ourselves on our most holy faith. We don’t do this by stepping on others. Instead, we need to take heed to ourselves. Once we’ve done this we’re in a position to help others (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 11:28; Galatians 5:13, 14; 6:1; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 3:12). Jesus told some hypocritical Jews to take the plank out of their own eyes before trying to take the speck out of someone else’s eye (Matthew 7:5). Furthermore, spiritual growth won’t take place if a believer is trying to regulate his life by the wrong “House Rules” that are found in the Scriptures.  There are seven separate ones. Do you know where you can find them? A curse rests on those who teach another way of salvation or another way of sanctification (Galatians 1:6-9; 2:11-14). See our “Dispensational Chart” for more information on this.
     Communication. “Praying in the Holy Spirit.” Contrary to what many Christians are being taught, it doesn’t mean “praying in tongues.” The spiritual gift of tongues ceased when the Scriptures were completed with the book of Revelation (1 Corinthians 13:10). See our “Bible Basics” section on our website. Every Christian has eight ways to communicate with God. Do you know what they are? Remember, “Prayer doesn’t change things. God does in response to proper prayers.” Some prayers are a waste of time (James 4:2, 3; 2 Timothy 2:12). Do you know what kind of requests God answers (James 5:16; John 14:13; 15:16)? Did you know that God doesn’t forgive everything you confess to Him? Contact us if this puzzles you.
     Conservation. “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” This doesn’t mean that we must do good works to maintain our salvation. Salvation from start to finish is of God (Jonah 2:9; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Philippians 1:6, 29; Titus 3:5). Do you know about the three tenses of salvation? Which part of the Christian is saved now – the body (Romans 8:23), the soul (1 Peter 1:9), or the spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)? When will the other parts be saved (1 John 3:2)? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation once you’re saved (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30)? While the Christian can’t save himself, he is given some responsibilities (Philippians 2:12, 13) to demonstrate his faith before others (James 2:18).  We are to be baptized (immersed) and do the good works that God planned for us to do – not our own good works thata we might want to do independently of God (1 Peter 3:21; 4:10; Ephesians 2:10; John 15:5). We have the freedom to choose whether or not we want to love God and other Christians (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:20, 21), be in fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3, 7), and abide (feel at ease) in Him (John 15:1-8). What does God do with His disobedient children (Hebrews 12:5-11)? What forms of discipline have you experienced? Were they painful but beneficial?
     Anticipation. “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” We can’t live without hope. The believer’s hope is not wishful thinking but a confident expectation based on a promise from the all powerful God (Romans 8:24, 25; 15:4; Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8). The Rapture of the true church (1 Thessalonians 4:17) before the seven years of tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 6-19) is a merciful expression of God’s goodness. However, this doesn’t mean that true Christians won’t suffer or be persecuted in this life (2 Timothy 3:12; John 16:2). Those who are left behind at the Rapture have one in two chances of surviving during those 7 years that may be here soon (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). God has limited the amount of time the devil, the antichrist, and the false prophet have to try to establish a world of peace without Jesus Christ as the King of kings, and Lord of Lords (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:22).
     Questions. Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23)? We all start out life as children of the devil (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 3:10). We have a nature (disposition) that rebels against God (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8). This nature perverts good things and leads to death (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:18-31; 6:23; 8:6). Are you being afflicted by the devil or demons (1 Samuel 16:14; Matthew 18:34; Ephesians 6:13). Is it due to your disobedience or because you are doing the right things (1 Peter 4:12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:30)? Are you in danger of dying prematurely (1 John 5:16) because of your unwillingness to discern what you have done wrong (1 Corinthians 11:28), repent (change your mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9), and confess it to God (1 John 1:9) and others if necessary (James 5:16)? If you’ve confessed your sins the right way, have you accepted God’s forgiveness? Will you submit yourself to God (Romans 6:11-23; 12:1, 2; James 4:7) and put the armor on (Ephesians 6:10-17) before trying to resist the devil again? Do you know how to defend yourself against the devil, your own sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 26), and the world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31)? Do you know where all unbelievers go when they die (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8)? Are annihilation or reincarnation taught anywhere in the Scriptures (Hebrews 9:27)?
     Deliverance. If you lack assurance of your salvation from hell to heaven, please contact us so we can show you from the Scriptures how you can be sure (1 John 5:13). Jesus is the only way to God, the absolute truth, and One who gives eternal life to all who believe on Him (John 14:6). Let us help you so you don’t end up like those who believed in vain (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:2). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36).
     Transformed. By the power of God your life can be transformed from a spiritual worm into a butterfly (Romans 12:1, 2). God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Are you ready to trust Him alone to save you? He can save you from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1), the power of sin (Romans 6:14; 8:2), and the presence of sin (Romans 8:2; 1 John 3:2). Do you know when these things happen?
     Contact. If you want spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, will you let others know about it?  Click “Follow” if you want to receive these as they come out.

     Have you ever wondered how the early church was able to turn the world upside down in a short period of time (Acts 17:6)? They didn’t have radio, television, jet planes, printing presses, and all the other things that are available to us today.  Those who spread the “Good News” concerning Christ either had seen the resurrected and glorified Christ themselves or had believed the testimony of those who had seen and heard Him (John 20:31; 1 John 1:1, 3).  Christians today fit in the latter category.  

     Guarantee.  His resurrection from the dead guarantees that everyone (believers and unbelievers) will be raised from the dead someday (1 Corinthians 15:20-24).  We will spend eternity with God or apart from Him in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).  What about you?  Are you absolutely sure?

     First Love.  Like some of the early believers in Ephesus, many Christians in churches today have left their first love (Revelation 2:4; 2 Timothy 4:8).  The spark and fire have dwindled or gone out.  They have little or no testimony for God. Who/what dominates your thoughts and time?

     Rekindle.  To reignite the fire we once had (if we’re Christians) and run the race and finish well, we need to have a fresh –

     Vision.  This is accomplished by faith (Hebrews 11:1).  It must include God and our fellow man.  When the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up on His throne, his life was dramatically changed (Isaiah 6:1ff).  The same kind of thing happened to the Apostle John (Revelation 1:10-18).  The true and living God is awesome (Psalm 4:4; 33:8).  There is none like Him (Exodus 9:14; Isaiah 14:9).  He deserves our worship and our praise (John 4:24; Psalm 96:9).  As human beings, we’ve all come short of God’s glory and deserve to be separated from Him in hell forever (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23).

   Love And Power.  God the Father loved the world (i. e. the people caught up in the devil’s system) and sent God the Son (who volunteered for the task –Hebrews 10:5-7) to die for all our sins.  To prove that God the Father was satisfied with the payment that the Lord Jesus Christ made on our behalf, He raised Him, the God-man from the dead (Romans 4:25).  He is able to save any and all who come to Him by faith and trust in Him alone for their deliverance from hell to heaven (Hebrews 7:25).  Once saved, all Christians have God’s resurrection power available to them so they can do the things that will please God and bring happiness into their own lives (Philippians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 5:9). 

     Simple.  God’s plan of salvation is so simple that most people have a hard time believing that faith in Christ through the message of the Gospel is all that is needed for a person to be saved (Acts 16:31).  They want to work for their salvation.  But God won’t accept the good works of unbelievers as payment for their salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6).  Those who add to or subtract from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) or who change the way of salvation (by grace alone through faith alone in the Christ of the Scriptures alone) have a curse resting on them (Galatians 1:8, 9;2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).  They will spend eternity in the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46; Jude 1:13).  Beware of false teachers!

     Good Works.  Once a person has been saved, he/she can do good works for rewards, crowns, and praise from God (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The Christian’s good works will be rewarded if done the right way (Hebrews 6:10; 2 Timothy 2:5).  Will your good works endure the fire?

     Dedication.  One of the first things a Christian should do after he is saved is to present his body to God as a living sacrifice so God can use him for His glory and the believer’s happiness (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 John 1:4).  A “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those who lead other people to Christ for salvation (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).  Have you ever done this?  Would you like to have a part in delivering someone from hell?  Think of your family members, your friends, fellow workers, and neighbors.  Do you care about them?  God places Christians in strategic places at specific times for us to bear witness to the saving grace and power of God.  Will you make yourself available to God and report for duty each day?  There is no greater joy than leading someone to Christ and seeing that person growing in Christ and walking in truth (3 John 1:4). 

     Suffering.  While every true Christian suffers “with” Christ (2 Timothy 2:12), not every Christian suffers “for” Christ (2 Timothy 3:12).  Whatever unjust persecution the believer suffers for Christ will be noticed by God and compensated by Him (Romans 8:18; 1 Peter 4:15-19).  The “Crown of Life” awaits such people (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

     Quote. “A church on the move must major on the Word of God, teaching and preaching the Word and (most of all) obeying it…[It] must confront reality and meet people where they are.  Separation is not isolation-it is contact without contamination.  Jesus was the friend of publicans and sinners.  Many church members dont’ have any unsaved friends, or if they do, they keep them at a distance…Many churches today have abandoned the marketplace and spend their time reminding one another of the gospel.” – W. Wiersbe

     Question.  Are you looking for a fellowship of authentic Christians?  Is this the cry of your heart?  “O give me a church where folks in the lurch are encouraged, then healed from above; Where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the truth is modelled in love.” – Chuck Swindoll.  If you’re looking for a “perfect church” don’t join ours.  We’re not sinlessly perfect in our practice yet.   We’re in the process of being conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

     Questions.  If you have questions or comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelsepeach.com.  If you’re interested, you can listen to messages on the Internet.