Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

“Baby Born To Die?”

Posted: December 20, 2016 in Christmas, Gospel, Salvation

“Ring the bells, ring the bells, let the whole world know, / Christ was born in Bethlehem many years ago. / Born to die that man might live, came to earth new life to give, / Born of Mary, born so low, many years ago. / God the Father gave His Son, gave His own beloved One, / To the wicked sinful earth, to bring mankind His love, new birth.” – Harry Bollback

Mission. The Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man, came on a seemingly impossible mission and yet He carried it out completely. He made the three Persons in the Godhead known to mankind (John 1:1-18; 17:3, 4). The God breathed Scriptures give us the information we need to know so we can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the gave so we could be saved and spend eternity with God in heaven rather than with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire forever. Let’s consider the Lord Jesus Christ’s –

Birth. It was predicted by Isaiah the prophet about 700 years before Jesus was born (Isaiah 7:14). Think about the odds of that happening as it did. He came in the fullness of time just as the three Persons had determined it would (Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:11).

Life. He lived His whole life without sin (lawlessness) of any kind. After His baptism He was driven by God the Holy Spirit out into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. Here He was tempted by the devil for 40 days without ever yielding to sin (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46). This qualified Him to be our Savior (Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:9).

Death. Only a sinless Person, who is God and man, could act as our substitute and die for the sins of all mankind, not just for a few select ones (Isaiah 53:6;1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 2:2). His death was once and for all (Hebrews 10:10-12; 1 Peter 3:18). We don’t re-crucify Him when we observe the Lord’s Supper as some groups do. The value of His death comes from His being God. The reality of His death comes from His being a true man (Philippians 2:5-11). God cannot die.

Resurrection. It was predicted too (Psalm 16:8-11). All three Persons in the Godhead were involved in Christ’s bodily resurrection (Romans 6:4; 8:11; John 2:17, 18). Furthermore, it was witnessed by over 500 people on more than ten occasions (1 Corinthians 15:1-9). This guarantees that everyone who dies physically will be resurrected from the dead someday to spend eternity with God or apart from Him (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

Ascension. It too was witnessed by His disciples (Acts 1:1-11). It was gradual, public, and literal. It was back to God the Father’s right hand in the third heaven (John 3:13; Ephesians 1:20-23).

Session. Today, in heaven, Jesus is making intercession to God the Father on the behalf of those who have placed their faith in Christ alone for their salvation (Hebrews 7:25). He is also directing the activities of the members of “His Body – the True Church” (Ephesians 1:22).

Return. The Rapture was a mystery in the Old Testament times (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). It will involve the sudden catching away of all true believers to meet the Lord in the air when He returns toward earth before the seven years of tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). The Second Coming of Jesus to this earth will take place after the Tribulation when Jesus returns to rule and reign for 1,000 literal years as the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Matthew 24; 25; Revelation 19:11-21). This will be an unprecedented time of peace on earth (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1-10; 35:1-10). The devil will be bound in the sides of the abyss (Revelation 20:1-3).

Lovable. Jesus didn’t remain as a lovable, little baby but went on to become all that the Godhead had planned for Him to be and do (John 17:1-8). Without Him as your personal Savior, you cannot enter heaven and spend eternity with Him.

Deliverance. To be saved from eternal condemnation with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46), one must believe that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. Only a living Savior can help us.  

Action. If you haven’t placed your faith in Him yet, why not now? Our lives are like a vapor that soon disappears (James 4:14). If you are a true believer, who is in right relation with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 26; Ephesians 5:18), with your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; James 5:16), why not share this Good News with others so they can be saved too and you can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (Acts 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)?

Contact. If you need spiritual help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We want to thank those of you who are telling others about this site and our articles. We’ve been getting some responses from people all over the world. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

To produce a major motion picture, such as “A Christmas Carol,” “The Ten Commandments,” or “The Passion Of The Christ,” many people were needed.  Some people are in the limelight while others work hard behind the scenes. But they all have an important part. Although this character had royal blood flowing through his veins, Joseph, the step-father of Jesus had nothing he ever said recorded for us in the Scriptures. But he did play an important role in the life of Jesus and Mary. He was –

A Just Man. He knew the Mosaic Law. He knew that the seventh commandment said, You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). When he learned that Mary, his fiance was pregnant and that he wasn’t the father of the child, he knew that she could have been stoned to death for here immoral behavior (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22-24; See John 8:11; Romans 9:15). He also could have taken her to have her tested in an unusual way. (If you want to learn what they did back then, you will need to get out your Bible and read Numbers 5:11-31.) While he didn’t desire to demean or hurt Mary, he was determined to put her away privately (Matthew 1:19).

An Attentive Man. While he was grieving over all that was happening, an angel appeared to him to enlighten him. If an angel appeared to you as they did in times past, you would probably be startled too (Luke 1:12, 29; Acts 10:4). Angels were created by God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shares an absolute equality with God the Father (Colossians 1:16; 2:9; John 5:18; 8:58; 10:30). Angels have had an important role in providing limited information to people and assisting them (Hebrews 1:14; See Acts 10:3-6; 1 Kings 22:22). This angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the child that she was carrying in her womb was conceived by God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20; See Luke 1:35). Little did Joseph realize that his fiance, Mary was the virgin who would bring forth the promised Messiah who wanted to save His people from their sins (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21; See John 1:11, 12, 29).

An Obedient Man. In response to the angel’s instructions, Joseph took Mary as his lawful wife (Matthew 1:24) even though it meant that he would have to bear the shame that would come from the accusations of others who didn’t know that her conception was miraculous (John 8:41). Joseph provided a home for her in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23; John 1:46). When she was about to give birth to the Christ Child, he had to take her to Bethlehem where they were required to register (Luke 2:1ff). By the way, that wouldn’t have been an easy trip (over 80 miles) for a woman who was very pregnant. They didn’t have automobiles. She either walked or rode on the back of an animal. Micah, the prophet had predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Her virginity was maintained until she brought forth her firstborn Son who was called Jesus (Matthew 1:25). After Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had other children (John 6:42; 7:5-10; Acts 1:14). Mary was highly favored, but was not filled with the Holy Spirit as her cousin Elizabeth was nor was Mary, by her own confession, sinless (Luke 1:28, 41-47). She was the mother of Christ’s humanity only, not the mother of God or a mediator between us and Jesus and God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5).  We don’t pray to her.

A Cursed Man. No, Joseph himself was not the one on whom the curse was placed. Rather it was his ancestor King Jeconiah who had a curse placed on him that would affect all his descendants (Jeremiah 22:24-30; Matthew 1:12). Joseph was in that line and therefore couldn’t be the rightful King of the Jews. But as the step-father of Jesus he could pass the right to rule on to Jesus. Mary also came from King David through his son Nathan (Luke 3:23-38).

Roles. Although not much about Joseph was recorded in the Scriptures, he fulfilled the role that God gave to him. You and I also have a role in a major production called “LIFE.” In this drama, we all start out our lives as children of the devil. We’re all antagonists and enemies against God (John 8:44; Romans 5:10; 1 John 3:9, 10). But God graciously saves and turns some of His enemies into His children and even calls some of them His friends (Romans 8:15; John 6:37, 44; 15:15). On whose side are you? Would you like to get out of Satan’s family and the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13) and enter God’s family and spend eternity with Him in heaven (John 14:1-3)? It involves a conscious decision on your part.

Unbelievable? Believe it or not, some people don’t want to go to heaven to be with a holy and righteous God. They hate Him and defy Him (Psalm 2). If they were forced to go there it would be like having hell in heaven. They don’t realize how awful hell really is (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:15; See Luke 16:10-31).  But they would rather go there than to heaven because they love spiritual darkness and the pleasures of sin rather than light (John 3:19; Revelation 16:11; 21:9). Are you one of them?

Believe. The Gospel is clear and simple. For I [the Apostle Paul] 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 [for three days and nights], and that He rose again [bodily] the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; See Luke 24:39). He was seen by Cephas[Peter] and by over 500 witnesses for the next forty days before ascending back gradually, literally, and publicly to heaven  with a promise to return someday (John 14:1-3; Act 1:3-11).  Therefore, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). It’s that simple. Don’t try to add your good works to salvation. Why? For by grace [undeserved favor] you [are] 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; See Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). Don’t put off making this decision. Our lives are like a vapor that quickly vanishes away (James 4:14; See Proverbs 27:1; 2 Corinthians 6:2).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d would like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We’d like to know if this article has helped you.

 

One day, quite unexpectedly, an angel came to the virgin, Mary.  He probably shocked her when he said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women!”  Then he went on to tell her that she would be the one through the promised Messiah/Deliverer would come (Luke 1:26-33; Genesis 3:15).  It was God’s appointed time for all this to happen as it had been predicted in the pages of the Scriptures (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4).  Since there is so much confusion within Christendom concerning Mary, it would be well for us to consider, from Scripture, some things about her:

Her Privileged Position

     Mary was chosen to be the mother of Christ’s humanity only (Luke 1:28), not the Mother of God. During her pregnancy, she went to visit her older cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among (not “above”) women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb’” (Luke 1:41, 42). What was special about Mary?

Mary came from the right family line. Some folks have been confused by the two genealogies that are found in Matthew (1:1-16) and Luke (3:23-38). Matthew traces Joseph’s line back to Abraham and King David to declare that Jesus was/is the rightful King of the Jews. But Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus as we learn from Matthew 1:16. The text says, “An Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom (i.e. Mary) was born Jesus who is called Christ.” Joseph had in his line a king (Jeconiah) who had been cursed. None of his descendants had the right to rule on the throne of David (Matthew 1:11; Jeremiah 22:24-30). Had Joseph been Jesus’ biological father, Jesus would have had the curse resting on Him too.

But Mary’s genealogy traces her line back to another son of King David named Nathan (Luke 3:31). Joseph was the foster or legal father of Jesus who passed on to Jesus the right to rule as the King of the Jews. Mary passed on the blood and provided a real human body for Jesus, the God-man.

Her Unusual Pregnancy

     The Scriptures tell us that God the Father prepared the Seed that was to be implanted in Mary’s womb. He determined the DNA of Jesus and all the physical characteristics He would have while He was here on earth (Hebrews 10:5). No man alive today knows what Jesus looked like. Then God the Holy Spirit took that Seed and implanted it in Mary’s womb. During the nine months of her pregnancy, God the Father overshadowed Mary to keep her from transmitting her sinful nature on to Christ (Luke 1:35).

After Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had other children (Matthew 13:55; Mark 3:21, 31; 6:3; James 1:19). As surprising as it may seem, Jesus’ brothers and sisters didn’t believe on Him as the God-man, the Messiah, or as the Savior. After Jesus rose again bodily from the tomb on the third day, He appeared to His half brother, James to prove to him that He was indeed the God-man, the promised Messiah, and the Savior of men (John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). Later his two half brothers, James and Jude would be used by God the Holy Spirit to write the Epistles of James and Jude that we find in the Scriptures.

Her Delivery Of The Christ Child

     Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth before Jesus was born (Luke 2:4). But because of a decree by Caesar Augustus (God’s pawn), Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to be registered for taxation purposes (Luke 2:1-5). The Prophet Micah (5:2) had predicted about 700 years earlier that the Christ/Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, the city of King David. The Apostle Paul wrote, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son [from heaven], born of a woman, born under the [Mosaic] law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4, 5).

The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 80 or 90 miles. It wasn’t easy for a pregnant woman. When they got there, Mary was ready to deliver her Child but there was no room in the inn for them (Luke 2:7). So Jesus ended up being born in a stable with the animals. Mothers, try to imagine those unsanitary conditions. All this happened according to God’s plan (Ephesians 1:11) to let us know the degree to which God the Son was willing to go to identify Himself with all of us from the top to the bottom of society (Philippians 2:5-11).

Her Honest Confession

     Perhaps to the surprise of some people, Mary acknowledged her Son Jesus as her Savior (Luke 1:47). She admitted that she too was a sinner like all the rest of us (Romans 3:10). She is not a Co-Redemptrix with Jesus. “For there is one God and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). To say otherwise, is to deny the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man and His work on the cross.

Their Awesome Responsibility

      “Imagine the 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 (Our Daily Bread, 12/13/14)

But shouldn’t we be motivated even more to a life of holiness as we think about the fact that God the Holy Spirit indwells us today (John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19)?  He knows everything about us.  Meditate on this fact the next time you’re tempted to sin.  Would what you are about to do or say grieve Him or quench Him (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)?

Conclusion

     The virgin, Mary was not filled with the Holy Spirit as Elizabeth was.  But she was selected by God to be the one through whom the Christ child would come. The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “For unto us a Child is born…” (Isaiah 9:6). This refers to Jesus’ true humanity that was provided by the virgin, Mary. “Unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6b) refers to His being the God-man.

Each person who has placed his/her faith in Christ alone for salvation was also chosen by God to be holy (set apart) and blameless before Him in love while he/she is here on earth (Ephesians 1:4; John 15:16).

Questions

     Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead? What you do in response to Christ will determine your eternal destiny. Believe (receive) Him as your personal Savior and be saved (John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24). If you simply ignore Him or reject Him, you will be separated from Him forever in the lake of fire (John 3:18, 36; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  We don’t want this to happen to anyone, not even our worst enemies (Romans 5:8, 10).

Are you a Christian? If so, are you fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? Are you F.A.T.F.R.E.E.? (Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, and Enthusiastic) If not, which areas need to be adjusted? Have you presented your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Have you been baptized (immersed)?  Do you know the three reasons why you should be baptized?  If not, ask us about this.  It’s important.

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

The choice is yours to make. If you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, let us help you from an open Bible. God’s plan of salvation is not complicated.  Don’t put off the most important decision of your life.  If you need spiritual help, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article has helped you, please share it with others and share your thoughts with us too.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” 

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

“The Fullness of Time” http://www.gotquestions.org/fullness-of-time.html

Prophecies of Christ’s first coming.  http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_first7.php

Standing Room Only” by Philip DeCoursy.  (A helpful book that explains the errors that are being taught about the virgin, Mary.)

http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Room-Only-Philip-DeCourcy/dp/1889893129/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418644895&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=standing+room+only+philip+decoursy

     Have you ever wondered why some reporters put themselves in such great danger to get a sensational story? Do you think that some of them embellish their accounts or leave out critical information in an attempt to deliberately deceive people and try to push their own agenda on others? Does the end justify the means (Romans 3:8)? Could they be motivated by fame, fortune, power or something else? What motivates you to do what you do? If you claim to be a Christian, does the love of Christ compel you to do the things that God planned for you to do (2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Could you be deceiving yourself by thinking you’re right when you’re not (Proverbs 14:12)?

Motivation. What motivated one of the members in the Godhead to identify Himself with those who deliberately rebelled against Him? Why would He come down to this wicked world when He knew ahead of time (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24) that He wouldn’t be welcomed by us earthlings and that He would even be killed by wicked men (John 1:11; Isaiah 53:1-10). Whom does God hold accountable for the death of Christ (Acts 3:14, 15; 4:25-28)? Why did He come down from His ivory palaces (Psalm 45:8)? Among other reasons, He came to –

Reveal. God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) came to earth to glorify and reveal God the Father to mankind (John 1:1-18; 17:1-8). From nature a person can know that there is a creator God who is all powerful (Romans 1:20; Genesis 1:1; Revelation 1:8). He is the one who gives us the sunshine, rain, and fruitful seasons (Acts 14:17). From the God breathed Scriptures of the Old Testament people were able to learn many things about God and how He dealt with men and women (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). He caused men whom He selected to write down reliable information that He wanted us to know (2 Peter 1:21). But the greatest unveiling of the Godhead took place when God the Son added to His full deity (Colossians 2:9) a true human nature and a real body (1 John 1:1-4). To insure that a sin nature wouldn’t be passed on to God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ was born of the virgin, Mary (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14). She is the mother of Jesus’ humanity, not His deity. She even acknowledged her own need for a Savior (Luke 1:47). Is Jesus your personal Savior? How well do you really know God? Would you like to know Him better?

Explain. God the Son also came to display His love for the Father by doing exactly what He wanted Jesus to do, no more, no less (John 14:31). Just before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again bodily on the third day, Jesus said, “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). He wasn’t forced to lay down His life for His sheep. He said, “I lay down My life for the sheep…that I may take it again” (John 10:15, 17). Since He was sinless Himself (Hebrews 4:15) He was qualified to offer Himself as our Substitute and pay the penalty that we all owed to God (Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 3:18). True Christians are commanded to “love one another as [Christ] loved [us]” (John 13:34, 35). To demonstrate our self sacrificial love for God, Christians are supposed to lay down their lives for fellow believers (1 John 3:16, 17; 4:20, 21). In some ways, it would be easier for us to die once than to keep on living to serve others on a daily basis. The Apostle Paul wrote, “…through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Whom do you serve: yourself, the devil, or God and others?

Fulfill. The Mosaic Law (that included more than 10 commandments) often demanded the death penalty for those who violated it (Exodus 21:12-17; 29; Numbers 15:28, 32-36; Ezekiel 18:20). It was designed to declare all the people of the world to be guilty before God and worthy of physical, spiritual, and eternal death (Romans 3:19; 6:23). The prophet Jeremiah declared, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Apostle Paul wrote, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). The Mosaic Law was not given as a way for man to be saved by keeping it. No one could/can do this. It was given to the Jews for their daily living, and was done away with once Christ fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17). Christians today are to live by a higher and better standard of living. Do you know where to find these principles for living? Ask for our “Dispensational Chart” for helpful information that could change your life for the better.

Questions: Have you responded to God’s requirement for salvation – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31)? Why? He died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Luke 24:33-43). Are you absolutely sure that if you died today you’d go immediately to heaven? Would you have to go to a purging place first? Why should God let you get into heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that might cause you to lose your salvation once you get it? If so, what would it be? Are you living a defeated or victorious Christian life?

Help. If you need some additional spiritual help and you’re teachable and willing to change when you are shown things from the Scriptures, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Share them with others if they help you.

Clear Gospel.  http://www.cleargospel.org

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

Many people erroneously think that Jesus’ beginning was in Bethlehem. Some are willing to admire a harmless, cute little baby in a manger but they don’t want to acknowledge Him as the true and living God (1 Thessalonians 1:9; John 5:18; 10:30, 31) in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (Colossians 2:9). Some people think that Jesus is inferior to God the Father.  Furthermore, they don’t want God or anyone else telling them how to live their lives. Are you trying to live independently of God just as Lucifer did (Isaiah 14:13, 14)? Jesus said, “…without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Relationship. Prior to “The Decree” before time began (Ephesians 1:11) all three Persons in the Godhead shared a horizontal relationship with each other. But when time began their relationships became vertical. One of the Persons in the Godhead (God the Son) volunteered (Luke 22:42) to become the Word/Communicator (John 1:1, 14, 18) on behalf of the Godhead to convey to mankind the character and nature of God (John 17:4). The Apostle John said “That [One] which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handles, concerning the Word of life-the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us…” (1 John 1:1, 2).

Subordination. To carry out “The Decree” that they had planned, God the Son subordinated Himself to God the Father and to God the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:7, 9; Matthew 4:1). After He died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave, Jesus made numerous appearances to over 500 eye witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Then He ascended back to heaven from where He had come (John 3:13; 6:41, 42, 51; 20:17; Acts 1:9-11). At that time Jesus Christ (God the Son) and God the Father sent God the Holy Spirit down to this earth to reside in the bodies of true believers (John 14:17). He makes their bodies His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). This is why Christians should not misuse their bodies to serve the sinful desires that come from their sin nature (Romans 6:11-23) and indulge in the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).  Do you know how to overcome your sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11ff)?  If not, ask for help if you’re teachable and willing to change.  

Restoration. Once everything that the Godhead planned to do has been carried out, and the last enemy (death) has been destroyed, when everyone who has ever been conceived and who died has been raised from the dead (Revelation 20:11-15), Jesus (God the Son) will turn everything over to God the Father. Then He will restore the horizontal relationship in the Godhead that will go on forever into the ages of the ages (1 Corinthians 15:26-28).

Boring? Some people have the idea that heaven will get boring after awhile. Perhaps they think that they will sit on a cloud and strum a harp forever (Revelation 5:8). What do you think people will do in heaven? Have you thought about those who suffer in hell forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8)? We don’t want anyone to go there.  Apparently one of the things that will keep heaven from being boring is the idea that God will keep on manifesting various aspects of Himself to us (Ephesians 2:7). We will be so caught up in His glory and majesty and we will eagerly serve Him and others (Revelation 22:3; Galatians 5:13). Will we travel with our Bride-groom to far away places in the new heavens and earth (Revelation 2:1)?  Who knows?

Benefits. To enjoy a future with Christ in heaven, rather than in the lake of fire, the Lord Jesus Christ must be our personal Savior. For this to take place, we must acknowledge that we are sinners (Romans 3:10-23) who can’t save ourselves by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). We all deserve to be separated from God forever in hell (Romans 6:23). It’s true. None of us has been as bad as we could be but we’re still sinners and God is holy and righteous and must judge sin (Hebrews 9:22). Someone has to pay the penalty for our sins. It was God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who came down to this earth to take your place and mine.  He died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). The moment we place our faith in Him alone to save us, we are saved (Acts 16:31) and become children of God (John 1:12). Is He your Savior? If not, why not place your faith in Him right now and receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16, 5:24)? You can have assurance that you will spend eternity with God in heaven (1 John 5:13).

Help. If you have questions/comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, will you share it with others? Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.

When Christmas rolled around, my children used to ask me, “Dad, what do you want for Christmas?” I’d usually respond by saying that I just wanted obedient children (Ephesians 6:1). After all, how many ties, socks, and handkerchiefs does a man really need? It’s much better to have children who love and obey God and who do His will (3 John 1:4). Do you know the difference between the “New Commandment” and the “Old Commandment” (John 13:34, 35; Leviticus 19:18)?

Blessed. Buying gifts for others can be difficult when most of us in this country have so much and other people have so little. Instead of thinking what we can get from others, perhaps we should think about what we can give to others. Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Treasures. Sometimes when we worship and serve the creature or material things rather than the Creator, God either takes or allows to be taken from us those things which have come between us and God (Romans 1:25). We must keep ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21). “One by one He took them from me, / All the things I valued most. / Until I was empty-handed; / Every glittering toy was lost. / Then I walked earth’s highway grieving, / In my rags and poverty; / ‘Til I heard His voice inviting: / Lift your empty hands to me. / So I held my hands toward Heaven, / And He filled them with a store / Of His own transcendent riches, / ‘Til they could contain no more. / Then at last I comprehended / With my stupid mind and dull, / That God could not pour out His riches / Into hands already full.” – William Cowper

Promised. The Old Testament Jews were promised physical blessings in return for their obedience to God. This included their mandatory giving of 23% in tithes (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29; 28:1-14; Malachi 3:10-12) plus other offerings.  In addition to these things they had to pay their taxes to support the king and the government (1 Samuel 8:10-18). Today Christians can/should give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7) to the work of the Lord because they have been blessed with both spiritual (Ephesians 1:3) and material blessings (James 1:17). God promised to supply all the Christian’s needs, not all his greed and wants (Philippians 4:19). With food and clothing (covering) we can/should be content (1 Timothy 6:8). Consider what you have that you didn’t receive (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Giving. “God [the Father] so loved the world [all mankind] that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting [eternal] life” (John 3:16). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again [bodily] the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [exclusively], and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). “For by grace [unmerited favor] you [Christians in Ephesus] 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. See Philippians 1:29).

Sharing. So no one will believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2), we’d like to encourage you to take/make time to read very carefully the “Clear Gospel” and evaluate your personal life so you can have assurance of your salvation and know that you have eternal life (God’s quality of life) right now (1 John 5:13). Click on http://www.cleargospel.org. (It’s in 30 languages.) If you know you’re saved (1 John 5:13), can God count on you to pass this information on to others who may be unsure of their own salvation? Would you share your intent to do this with us? The gift of eternal life is the greatest gift we can offer to other people here at home and around the world. Many people have heard sermons without ever hearing the unadulterated Gospel message. Don’t delay! Do it today! Don’t believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2) by adding “but” or “and” to the Gospel message.  Read Christ’s words in Matthew 7:21-23; 25:30, 41, 46.  The wicked dead don’t get annihilated and they aren’t given a second chance to be saved once they’re dead (Hebrews 9:27).

Suggestion. At the bottom of your e-mail or other correspondence, add the above website and ask others to read it and then pass it on to others. God’s Word won’t return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). But God counts on us Christians to deliver the message to others (Acts 1:8). We are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Discover how you can have beautiful feet in God’s sight (Romans 10:13-17).

Crown. To show His appreciation to Christians who have a part in the salvation of other people, Jesus Christ will give the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20) at the Bema Seat Judgment (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Will you receive it from Him? Do you know what you’ll do with it if you receive it (Revelation 4:10)? Why not put on your “Gospel Shoes” (Ephesians 6:15) and take the Good News to others as the Holy Spirit leads you (Romans 8:14)? Having them on will keep you from yielding to the devil’s temptation to be spiritually lazy (1 Timothy 5:11-15). Who are in your circle of influence?

Help. If you have questions/comments about spiritual matters, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We thank God for those of you who are reading these articles and telling others where to find spiritual food.

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                Perhaps you’re like many other people who are asking, “Where did He go?  What’s He doing now?  Will He come back some day?”  Or maybe you’re among those who forget about the Christ child right after the holidays are over when you get back into the routine of your normal life.  Do you know what lies ahead of you?  What can we know?  Since the predictions concerning His first coming were fulfilled literally, shouldn’t we take the predictions that were made concerning His second coming literally?  Let’s consider Christ’s –

                Ascension.  It was public, gradual, literal, and was witnessed by His disciples (Acts 1:9). It was accompanied with a promise to return in the same way His disciples saw Him leave (Acts 1:11; Mathew 24:29ff; Zechariah 12:8).  We’re told that He returned to the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ephesians 1:20).  Since God the Father accepted Jesus (the God-man) back into heaven, we can be assured that His sacrificial death on our behalf also was accepted (John 16:10) and that Christ’s righteousness will be credited to the account of all those who place their faith in Him alone.  Has Christ’s righteousness been put to your account yet?  Without it you can’t enter heaven. Our self righteousness works, done independently of God (John 15:5), are like filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).  Are you trying to gain entrance into heaven by your good works?  Stop!  It won’t work. Do you know what God wants you to do to gain entrance into heaven?  It’s so simple that many people can’t or refuse to believe it.

                Session.  In heaven, at the Father’s right hand, Jesus is acting as an Intercessor for each believer.  He asks the Father, as His equal, to cause to be brought into our lives the people and circumstances that will help bring us to spiritual maturity (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34).  If we fail to give thanks in the midst of the trial or test we grieve God and must confess it as a sin (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:9).  Jesus also serves as the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).  Neither His mother nor the saints in heaven have this role and we are never told to pray to them.  Today every true Christian is a kingly priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) and is supposed to offer up non-bloody, spiritual sacrifies to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16).  Jesus Christ is our High Priest and it is through Him and His shed blood that believers may come boldly into the throne room of God to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).  The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Head of His body, the Church (Ephesians 1:22).  At the time of His ascension He gave spiritual gifts (enablements) to each New Testament Christian to be used in the body of Christ to build others up in the faith (Ephesians 4:8-16; 1 Peter 4:10).  We believe that some of these gifts were given out for a limited period of time until the New Testament Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:10).  If you’re saved, do you know what your spiritual gift is and are you using it with love?  If not, ask for help.

                His Return.  While Christ’s second coming was revealed in the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 61:1-3; Daniel 2:44, 45; 7:9-14; Zechariah 12-14), and confirmed in the New Testament (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-16, 19), the Rapture (removal) of the true Church was a mystery that was first unveiled by the Lord just before He went to the cross to die for our sins and rise again (John 14:1-3).  The Apostle Paul explained the mystery of the Rapture (Romans 16:25, 26) to the churches in Corinth and Thessalonica (1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  These two events must not be confused.  The Rapture is sure, sudden, silent, selective, and satisfying.  They are separated by seven years.  The Rapture precedes the seven years of Tribulation (Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10) but Christ’s Second Coming will occur after it (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-16, 19).  Believe me, you won’t want to be on earth when the Tribulation comes and over half of the world’s population dies (Revelation 6:8; 9:15).  Do you know what you have to do to avoid it?

                Thankful.  Although not visible to us now, Jesus is sitting at God the Father’s right hand and is very active in heaven.  When all whom the Father has given to the Son have come to Him (John 6:37), the Father will instruct God the Son, who is the true Church’s Bridegroom, to come and get His bride on earth and bring her to the place (Bridal Suite) that Jesus has been preparing for her (Ephesians 5:25-32; John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:9-27).  Will you be in that number?  What if He came back today?  Would you be left behind?

                Questions?  We invite your questions and comments.  Call us at 805-238-2549.  If this article has helped you and/or if you would like to receive future ones as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Thanks for telling others about this site.  The numbers are growing.  Together we can reach many people for the Lord before it’s too late.

It’s hard to imagine but many people leave Him out of the festivities even though it’s His birthday that we’re supposed to be celebrating.  They don’t mind a babe in a manger but they’re not too interested in His life from that point on.  But Jesus grew up normally (Luke 2:40-53) and then became a man with a mission that lasted for three years.  During that time He accomplished everything that His Father planned for Him to do (John 17:4).  He came primarily to glorify God by displaying God in human flesh (John 1:1-18).

Knowledge.  So what do you know about God’s works in the Old and New Testaments, His attributes, and His offer of salvation to us?  Have you placed your faith in Christ alone for your salvation?  If you’re a Christian, are you doing the things He planned for you to do while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 4:10)?

Life.  Unlike any other human being, Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 3:4).  Since He resisted successfully all temptations to sin (Matthew 4:1-11), He was qualified to be our Savior (Hebrews 5:8, 9).  By means of His miracles He proved that He was/is the God-man (John 1:1-18; 20:30, 31).  As such, He did some things that only God can do.  We are not and cannot become gods as some false teachers proclaim.

Death. Jesus died two kinds of deaths for us: spiritual and physical. While He was on the cross (from noon until 3 P.M.) Jesus died spiritually when He was separated from fellowship with God the Father who placed our sins on Him (Isaiah 53:6).  When Jesus cried, “It is finished” we believe that His separation from the Father was over (John 19:39).  Then at 3 P.M. He chose to lay down His life and dismiss His spirit and soul from His body (Luke 23:46; John 10:18).  When He died physically His body was placed in a borrowed tomb where it stayed dead for three days and nights (John 19:38-42). That was the maximum time allowable before His body would have begun to decay or rot (Psalm 16:10).

Sheol. His spirit and soul descended into the upper portion of Sheol (Hades).  It was located in the heart of the earth at that time.  That’s where Abraham and other Old Testament believers were until Christ rose from the dead (Luke 16:22). Do you know where these believers are today (Ephesians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 12:4)? Contrary to what some false teachers are saying, Jesus did not descend into the lower Sheol where unbelievers were/are suffering and where some demons (fallen angels) are incarcerated in Tartarus (Hell) for the heinous sins they committed during the days of Noah (Luke 16:23-31; 2 Peter 2:4; Genesis 6:1-4). Satan himself is not in hell yet. Do you know where he spends most of his time these days (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-8)? What he’s doing (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10)?  Do you know where He will be held in prison during Christ’s millennial reign on/over the earth and when he will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:1, 10)?

Resurrection.  Contrary to what the critics say in an effort to deny His bodily resurrection from the dead, Jesus did indeed rise from the dead on the third day.  The evidence is overwhelming.  In answer to the Jews who wanted to see a sign miracle from Him, Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).  On several occasions Jesus told His disciples that He was going to the cross to die and then rise from the dead (Matthew 16:21; John 10:15-18).  But it didn’t register with most of them but it did with Judas.  That’s why he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver as it had been predicted in the Old Testament (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15).

Different.  Christ’s resurrected, glorified body was different from the one He had before His death.  It still had flesh and bones but no blood (Luke 24:39-43).  Why?  Flesh (bodies) with blood in them cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).  Furthermore, His resurrected body came with a garment of light (Acts 9:3; 22:6; 26:13; 1 Timothy 6:16).  Obviously, it had to be veiled when He made over 10 separate appearances to more than 500 witnesses after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6; Luke 24:39-43).

Light.  Just as Jesus now has a garment of light in heaven (1 Timothy 6:16), so we believe that the New Testament believers, who will become the Bride of Christ at the Rapture (Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 21:9; John 14:1-3), will receive similar garments of light that are like His (1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:2).  At the time of their resurrection, 75 days after the Tribulation is over (Daniel 12:12), Old Testament believers will receive their new bodies that will shine like the brightness of the firmament and as the stars (Daniel 12:3).

Guaranteed.  Jesus’ bodily resurrection guarantees the resurrection of everyone who has ever lived, both believers and non-believers.  Those who try to escape God’s judgment (Hebrews 9:27) by having their bodies cremated and scattered in the ocean are doing it in vain (Revelation 20:11-15).  God never loses track of anyone (Psalm 139).

Babies.  Even babies who were/are aborted (murdered) in the womb will be resurrected someday. We do not believe that God intended for them to remain as infants.  Therefore it seems logical to conclude that when they are resurrected, they will have bodies that are like grown people’s bodies.

Forgiveness.  Can God forgive this and other terrible sins?  Yes!  Christ died for all our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10) and for all kinds of people including those who murder their children (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  He forgave Moses, King David, and the Apostle Paul (Exodus 2:12; Psalm 51; Acts 9; 1 Timothy 1:15) who had murdered people.  Have you been granted God’s forgiveness?  You will when you trust in Christ as the One who died for your sins…and rose again on the third day.

Annihilation.  Nowhere in the Scriptures are annihilation or reincarnation taught (Hebrews 9:27).  Once you die your destiny is settled forever.  You will either spend eternity with God or with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  Neither you nor anyone else has to go there (John 3:16).  Do you know where you will spend eternity and in which resurrection you will participate (1 Corinthians 15:22-24; Revelation 20:11-15)?

Help.  If you have questions, comments, and/or need clarifications, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  If these articles help you, please share them with others who may be longing for meat (solid food) rather than the milk doctrines of the Word.  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive these articles as they come out.  Drop us a line to let us know if we’re meeting a need in your life.

 

Babies.  Most of them are quite cute and lovable.  But few are born in a barn. This One was because there were no vacancies in the local “motels.”  Having traveled a long distance (about 90 miles) on the back of a donkey wasn’t easy for a very pregnant woman.  She didn’t have a Doctor or midwife to help her as she brought forth this Child.  Her husband was probably quite nervous as to what he should do.

Shepherds.  But as soon as this Child was born, an announcement was made by some angels to a group of shepherds who were raising their sheep in the fields nearby.  These were probably the sacrificial lambs that the Jews offered up to God in the Temple (John 1:29). The shepherds were told that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem and that they would find Him wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger (Luke 2:7).  Without hesitation, they rushed to see this amazing and wonderful sight.

Identity.  But who was this Babe lying in the manger?  What was so unusual about Him?  Why did His parents travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem when she was pregnant and almost ready to deliver her child (Micah 5:2)?  What pawn did God use to move them with such haste (Luke 2:1)?  What difference has His life made it the lives of others since then? How can His life influence our lives today?

Heretics. Many of the cults and other religions have erroneous views of this Babe, the Lord Jesus Christ. To find out who He really is, we must rely only on the 66 books of the Scriptures found in the Old and New Testaments. They alone are God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). All other sources, including the apocryphal books, or those written by cult leaders, are unreliable and do not have the authority of God’s Word, the Bible.  It is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) and the truth (John 17:17).

Study. We must study the Bible carefully (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11) to find out about His deity, humanity, birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, session, and the roles He had while He was here on earth and that He currently has in heaven.  Do you know what He will do in the future?

Deity. The Scriptures tell us that this Baby, the Lord Jesus Christ, shared and still shares an absolute equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9). He was not and is not inferior to them, nor is He the brother of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), or Michael the archangel (Jude 1:9). He is the eternal “I AM” (Exodus 3:14; John 1:1; 5:18; 8:58; 10:30).  He is Jehovah God, the creator and sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:16, 17).

Humanity. Without relinquishing any of His deity (although He veiled it while He was here on earth), He added to Himself a true human body and a human nature (Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 2:40). However He didn’t have a sinful nature like all the rest of humanity does (1 John 1:8; Psalm 51:5). Jesus didn’t have a human father. Joseph was His step father and came from the line of King David through Solomon (Matthew 1:6) but there was a curse on his line (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Christ’s right to rule came from Joseph but he couldn’t be the biological father of Jesus lest a curse be passed on to Him.  His mother Mary also came from King David through one of his other sons, Nathan (Luke 3:31).

Birth. As was predicted by the prophet Isaiah (7:14), Jesus was born of the virgin, Mary (Matthew 1:23). The religious Pharisees accused Him of being born of fornication (John 8:41). Some religious leaders are still doing this today.  Ask your Pastor what he believes.  Miracles (the circumvention of the normal laws of nature) are no problem for God who made the laws. He’s all powerful (Revelation 1:8).  God the Father provided the seed that God the Holy Spirit took and implanted in the womb of Mary. For nine months, God the Father overshadowed Mary to insure that her sinful nature would not be passed on to Jesus (Luke 1:35). Mary acknowledged herself to be a sinner in need of a Savior (Luke 1:47). She is the mother of Jesus’ humanity, not the mother of God or the fourth person in the Godhead.

Life. Unlike any other human being, Jesus lived His entire life without sinning (Hebrews 4:15). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Being sinless, He was qualified to become our substitute and die in our place for our sins as the just One for the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18).

Death. It involves separation, not annihilation. Jesus died two kinds of deaths for us. While on the cross (from noon until 3 P.M.) Jesus was separated from fellowship with God the Father as He bore our sins and paid the debt we owed to God (Matthew 27:46; Romans 6:23). At 3 P.M. He gave up His spirit and died physically (Luke 23:46). His soul and spirit were separated from His body. His body was placed in a tomb for three days which was the maximum time allowable before the body would have begun to decay or rot (Psalm 16:10).

Sheol. He descended into the upper portion of Sheol in the heart of the earth where Abraham and other Old Testament believers were at that time (Luke 16:22). Do you know where these believers are today (Ephesians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 12:4)? He did not descend into the lower Sheol where unbelievers were/are suffering (Luke 16:23-31). Satan himself is not there at this time. Do you know where he spends most of his time these days (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-8)? Do you know what he’s doing (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10)?

Resurrection. As He Himself predicted (Matthew 12:40; 16:21; John 10:15-18), Jesus rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). His resurrected, glorified body was different in that it had flesh and bones but no blood (Luke 24:39-43).  Flesh with blood in it cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).  His bodily resurrection guarantees the resurrection of everyone who has ever lived, both believers and non-believers. Even babies who are aborted in the womb will be resurrected someday. No one is annihilated or reincarnated (Hebrews 9:27).  Do you know in which resurrection you will participate (1 Corinthians 15:22-24; Revelation 20:11-15)?

Appearances. After His resurrection, Jesus made at least ten appearances to over 500 witnesses under various circumstances for 40 days (1 Corinthians 15:5-8; Acts 1:3). He even made a special appearance to His half brother James who didn’t believe on Him until the time of His resurrection (John 7:4; 1 Corinthians 15:7).

Ascension. His ascension back to heaven from the Mount of Olives was witnessed by His disciples. The angels announced that just as they had seen Him ascend to heaven, so He would return bodily to earth once again (Acts 1:10-11). Those who deny that Jesus will return to this earth with a resurrected, glorified body are called Antichrists (2 John 1:7).

Session. Have you ever wondered what Jesus is currently doing in heaven? Among other things, He is interceding for those who belong to Him (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). He asks God the Father to cause to be brought into our lives the people and circumstances that will contribute to our spiritual maturity (James 1:2-4, 13-15; 1 Peter 1:7; 2 Peter 3:18). When we fail to give thanks in the midst of our adverse circumstances we grieve God (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 4:30). Jesus is also acting as the Head of the Church which is His Body (Ephesians 1:22).  He wants believers who are the members of His Body to use their spiritual gifts with love (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Peter 4:10).  He (not His mother, the saints, or angels) is the only Mediator between God the Father and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5). He serves in the heavenly Temple as a sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).  True Christians are kingly priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) who are responsible to offer up spiritual (non-bloody) sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16). Discover for yourself what they involve.

King. When He came the first time to earth, He came as the rightful King of Israel (Matthew 1:1-2:12; 27:11, 37). Because He didn’t meet the expectations of the Jewish leaders, they rejected Him (John 1:11; Luke 19:14). The common people wanted to make Him their King on their terms which He rejected (John 6:15). Shortly before He made His way to the cross to die, He changed His mission from that of being the Christ (Messiah), and offered Himself as the Savior of the whole world (John 3:16), not just of the Jews. Peter resisted this move by Jesus and was rebuked for it (Matthew 16:20-23). When Christ returns after the 7 years of Tribulation (Revelation 6-19; Jeremiah 30:7), He will return as the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). King David will be resurrected 75 days after the Tribulation (Daniel 12:12; Jeremiah 30:9) and he will be the head regent on earth with other Gentile (non-Jewish) kings under him. New Testament Christians will reign with Christ from the heavenly Jerusalem (2 Timothy 3:12) that will come down out of the third heaven as He returns to earth at His second coming, not at the time of the Rapture that comes 7 years earlier (Matthew 24:29, 30; Revelation 21:9-27).

Judge. God the Father appointed His Son, Jesus Christ to be “The Judge” (John 5:22). His judgment will take place at various times in the future: at the Rapture of the Church (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10), at the end of the Tribulation (Matthew 25:31-46), and at the end of His millennial reign (Revelation 20:11-15).  These judgments will determine the degree of pleasure the believer will have in God’s presence or the suffering the unbeliever will have for all eternity in the lake of fire.

Deliverance. Our salvation from hell to heaven is based on our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. We are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone. We are not saved by our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Assurance. Yes, you can know that you have eternal life right now as a present possession (1 John 5:13). Once you have it you can’t lose it and no one can take you out of God’s hands (John 10:28, 29).  We are also sealed by God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).

Help? If you have questions about your eternal destiny, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for more information.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.

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               Christmas is the time of the year when people give gifts to each other as they celebrate a birthday – the birthday of Jesus Christ, the God-man, and the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2; 27:11).  Unfortunately, He is the One who is often left out of the festivities.  There was no room for Him in the inn when He came the first time, and there is no room for Him today in many people’s lives (Luke 2:7).

                First Coming.  When He arrived on earth 2,000 years ago, He was rejected by His own people (John 1:11).  So He postponed the setting up of His kingdom on earth (Matthew 16:20; 23:37-39).  But He will return to establish a literal kingdom here on the refurbished earth that will last for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7; aniel 2:44, 45; Isaiah 2:4; 35:1; Zechariah 14:9-21).  Then after the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) He will destroy the present heavens and earth and create a new heavens and earth where righteousness will finally settle down and feel at home (2 Peter 3:11; Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17).  The righteous, believing Jews will inhabit the new earth (Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13).  Where will you be in eternity future – with God and His people, or suffering forever with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 45)?

                Quote.  While Jesus was here on earth He is reported to have said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  He demonstrated this for us when He left the ivory palaces in heaven (Psalm 45:8) and came down to this sin cursed world to live among us and then die for our sins and rise again bodily from the dead (John 1:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  His resurrection guarantees our resurrection, each one in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:22-24).  Do you know in which one you will participate?

                Giving.  Christians can/should demonstrate Godly living and giving, not just during Christmas or for birthdays, but throughout the year as an expression of their gratitude to God the Father for His indescribable gift of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15).  Unlike the Jews in the Old Testament, Christians today can/should give cheerfully because we have been blessed, not because we want to be blessed (2 Corinthians 8, 9; Ephesians 1:3). 

                List.  Perhaps, in addition to the gifts that you may give to your family and friends, may we suggest that you put these things on your list of things that you could do to brighten someone’s day? Why not mend a quarrel and forgive an enemy (Romans 12:18; Ephesians 4:32)?  What about releasing a grudge or apologizing if you’ve been wrong (James 5:9, 16)?  Seek out a forgotten friend (Acts 11:25).  Dismiss your suspicious attitude (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).  Send a note of encouragement to someone who may be hurting,  an orphan, or a widow in need (1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:27; Matthew 25:34-40).  Be gentle and patient with an angry person (Proverbs 15:1; 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Express your genuine appreciation to others (Philippians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4).  Smile and speak kind words to strangers (Proverbs 17:22; Hebrews 13:2; Luke 10:33).  Enter into someone’s sorrows and joys (Romans 12:15; Micah 7:8; Romans 12:8).  Listen attentively to others (James 1:19).  Take a walk with a friend (Genesis 5:22, 24).  Be a servant like Jesus was (Galatians 5:13; John 13:14).  – Adapted from Chuck Swindoll, “Growing In The Seasons Of Life

                Paradigm Shift.  Rather than focusing on what you can get, why not see if you don’t derive more joy from giving than receiving?  A maturing Christian is learning how to be content in whatever state he may be, with what he has, knowing that God is with Him, and will never forsake him (Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5).

                A Free Gift?  Have you received the gift of eternal life from God yet?  If not, why not accept it now?  Simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.  Yes, it’s that simple and yet people won’t believe God’s Word because they are led to believe that they must do something to earn their way to heaven.  No, it’s a free gift from God.  Our deliverance from hell to heaven is not based on our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

                Help.  If you aren’t absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die, we’d like to help you see from God’s Word how you can be certain that you will have a home in heaven some day (1 John 5:13).  Call us at 805-238-7665 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com

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