Archive for the ‘Compassion’ Category

You can/should be thankful if you grew up in a loving home with a father and mother and where Christ was honored and your parents modeled His love and the other parts of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). But sadly, many people never experienced this. You may have been verbally, physically, or sexually abused. You in turn may have mistreated your children or others as you were mistreated. Are you doomed to hell? Do you have to repeat this vicious cycle or can a change take place in your life and the lives of others? What does God’s Word tell us we need to do?

Forgiveness. We’ve all sinned [to a greater or lesser degree] and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As such, we all deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:9). But because God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, took our place and died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, we can be judicially forgiven the moment we trust in Christ alone to save us (Ephesians 1:7; 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior (John 16:8-11). Have you placed your faith in Christ alone to save you? If not, why not trust Him now? Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14).

Sin. What is sin? Among other things, it is lawlessness (1 John 3:4; Romans 14:23; James 4:17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). What should all unsaved sinners do? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? What penalties are associated with sin? Physical and spiritual death (Romans 6:23; 13:1-7). What kind of people end up forever in the lake of fire? “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8). “…fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, [and] extortioners.” Do you fit into this group? Many of us did. Is there any way for us to get out of the devil’s family and into God’s family and be judicially forgiven (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 1:7). Yes! We can be when we get washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Has this happened to you?

Action. What should a Christian who has sinned against God and other people do if he/she wants to receive family forgiveness and be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; John 15:1-10)?

  1. Honest confession must be made to God first (1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:1-5; 51:1-19). Keep in mind that doing this may not keep a person from the penalty of the civil government (Romans 13:1-7). The government doesn’t always do what is right but they are accountable to God (See James 3:1; Romans 14:12; Matthew 23:13-36; Isaiah 1:26; 5:20; 10:1; 2 Timothy 4:8; Daniel 4:17, 25).
  2. Then, if possible, one needs to go to the offended party and seek forgiveness from that person (James 5:16). The offended party may or may not grant forgiveness to the perpetrator. But a Christian should forgive someone who asks for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:22). If we don’t, we sin by yielding to the temptation from the devil to have an unforgiving and bitter spirit that will damage us (2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Hebrews 12:15; Matthew 18:34, 35).
  3. The perpetrator (i. e. the sinning Christian) should realize that even though God promises to forgive him when he makes honest confession, God doesn’t forget what he’s done because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). But God won’t hold the sins he’s confessed against him (See Ezekiel 18:22; 33:16). Sometime in the future He will allow that person to be tempted in the same area to see how he/she will respond to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). The question is, Does the Christian love God more than the sinful pleasures of sin (James 1:12; Hebrews 11:25; 1 John 2:15-17)? Yes, there are pleasures to sin. Otherwise we wouldn’t engage in them.
  4. A Christian needs to learn how to overcome the sinful temptations that come from the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17), or from his/her own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:8), or from the present world system (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17). There are different tactics that must be used with each enemy. (See https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-enemies/).

The abused person. A believer who has suffered unjustly because of the sin of another person can/should commit his/her soul (emotions) to God and trust Him to work out a bad situation and bring something good from it (1 Peter 4:19; Romans 8:18, 28). Consider what God did for the patriarch Job after he was viciously mistreated by the devil and his friends (Job 1:1-2:13; 42:10-16). Notice how Joseph responded to his brothers who sold him into slavery (Genesis 50:20). Think about Christ’s suffering at the hands of cruel men that made our salvation possible (Acts 2:23). God holds you and me responsible for His death too (Acts 4:27). Our sins put Him on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:3; Isaiah 53:6). Perhaps you didn’t know this. If you’ve been wronged, you should go to the perpetrator (if he/she is a believer) and inform that person of the injustice that you believe has been committed against you. If reconciliation doesn’t take place this way, you should take two or three other believers with you and try to resolve the issue. If this doesn’t work, the matter should be brought before the local church and appropriate action taken (Matthew 18:15-35; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). By all means you should leave vengeance to God (Romans 12:19). God is just/righteous and will not allow sin to go without consequences that may seem severe to some people (See Hebrews 12:5 ff). We can count on Jesus, who will be the Judge of all men (John 5:22), to do what is right on judgment day (2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 20:11-15). Furthermore, the civil government may also take action against certain crimes. It has authority from God to take another person’s life in some cases (See Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7) Capital punishment is a deterrent to crime.

Unbelievers. These people, who rejected God’s offer of salvation (John 1:11, 12; 3:16, 18, 36), and natural revelation (Psalm 19:1; Romans1:18 ff) will be judged one day according to their works, not to determine their entering into heaven or not, but to determine the degree of suffering they will undergo in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). No human being needs to go there. Christ’s death made provision for all men/women to be saved (1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10). It is God’s desire for sinners to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people will reject His offer of deliverance because they love darkness more than light (John 3:19). Have you received by faith the gift of eternal life from God (Romans 6:23; John 3:16, 18, 36)? If not, why not today?

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When are they going to stop? They seem to keep on coming one after another. Hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and other disasters are in the news almost daily. On top of that, there are wars and rumors of war that are causing many people, especially the Japanese, to be fearful for their lives. Some people in our country are wondering about being attacked by the North Koreans one of these days. Are we one the brink of World War III? Are you hiding your head in the sand, hoping that nothing bad is going to happen? The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Future. Do you know what God says is going to happen in the future? If you read the Book of Revelation, and interpret in normally, as we should, the future is going to get far worse before things get better. God is going to allow a man (the Antichrist) to have control over this world for 7 years (Daniel 9:27). If God were to allow him to rule any longer, no flesh on earth would survive (Matthew 24:22). This man will be empowered by the devil and assisted by the false prophet (Revelation 13). The ten rulers from the revived Roman Empire will elevate this man and give him their power. The apostate church will also be behind him (Revelation 17, 18).

Peace. Only after the Prince of Peace,” the Lord Jesus Christ, returns to this earth to rule and reign for 1,000 years will there be true and lasting peace (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; Revelation 19, 20). During Christ’s reign over the earth, the devil will be be bound in the Abyss in the heart of the earth (Revelation 20:1-3). The sin nature of man will be curbed by virtue of all his needs being amply supplied (Isaiah 35:1ff). The devil’s world system will not be around to tempt people either (John 18:36; See 1 John 2:15-17). After the 1,000 years, the eternal state will be ushered in with the creation of a new heavens and earth in which righteousness will finally settle down and feel at home (2 Peter 3:10-13).

Weapons. We’re told that mankind has enough nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons at their disposal to wipe off every living thing on earth. But thankfully there is Someone who all knowing and all powerful (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25; Revelation 1:8). He is the One who sets the limitations as to how much He will allow men to do. Knowing what God has said about future events can calm the soul and give us hope (John 14:1-3; Philippians 4:4-8; Romans 15:4). Our hope is not wishful thinking but a confident expectation based on a promise from God. God cannot and will not lie to us (Titus 1:2).

Refuge. The Jewish Psalmist wrote, God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be moved, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah…Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” (Psalm 46:1-3, 10, 11 NKJV). The God of the Christians is the same God. We can trust Him as the believing Jews did.

Personalize. Does it seem like your world is falling apart too? Are you suffering from a debilitating illness, emotional anxiety, or from an uncertain future? Whatever mountains are crumbling around you, take the high ground and stop striving. Initially, be quiet. Listen to the whisper of God behind the roar of your circumstances. You can hear Him, even in the whirlwind, but you have to be still to listen. Then, ultimately, be convinced. God may change your circumstances…Most of all, He wants to change you. Be assured that God is for you [if you’re a Christian], not against you; that He is working behind the scenes for your highest good (Romans 8:28-30).” – Chuck Swindoll, Esther, p. 7.

Caution. God won’t give you any new revelation (information) today. The Scriptures, found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are complete (1 Corinthians 13:10). But He will illuminate your mind to the truth of His written, revealed Word if you are a maturing Christian who is rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:15, 25). Carnal Christians need to confess their sins to God before they can expect or hope to be illuminated to the truth in God’s Word (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). Beware of false forms of meditation (See Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 1 Timothy 4:15).  Know the difference between the Scriptures that are for us and which are addressed to us (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:15).  

Christians. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a genuine Christian. There are many people who are Professing Christians” as long as it’s the popular thing to do and they aren’t persecuted. On the other hand, there are Possessing Christians” who have eternal life as a present possession (John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13). We partake of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) from the moment we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). This doesn’t mean that we will become gods. We will be like Christ’s glorified humanity (1 John 3:2).

Assurance. Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Or do you think that you have to go to Purgatory first? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be? Do you believe that a person can get into heaven by his/her good works, or by faith plus his/her good works? My friend, you can’t afford to have the wrong answers to these questions.

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 through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please share it with others too. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We invite you to follow us on Facebook Live www.facebook.com/kelseyandjanet.pietsch and on Youtube: www.youtube.com Enter: Kelsey Pietsch

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Beloved Hymn Stories

I love to learn how certain songs came into being. What led the author to write what he/she did? Some songs have a way of sticking in my mind. What kind of songs are appealing to you? Why?  Please share some of your favorite songs with me and why you like them.

Ebenezer. This particular name was used in a Christian hymn. Do you know in which one? (If you do, let me know.)  Ebenezer was the name that the prophet Samuel gave to a rock. Yes, to a rock. It came about when the Old Testament Jews were defeated by their enemies and when the ark of the covenant was taken from them. Samuel reminded the people that they could count on God to help them in the future just as He had helped them in the past if they would turn back to the Lord. Ebenezer means “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). The implication is that God hasn’t changed (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).  He could/would could help them in the future if they would turn back to the Lord and “Trust And Obey” Him. This is the title of another wonderful song that is worthy of our consideration.

God’s Care. The song “God Will Take Care Of You” came about in the following way. “On a Sunday in 1904, Civilla Martin was in Lestershire, New York, when her husband, Walter, was compiling a collection of hymns for the Practical Bible Training School. They were planning to travel to another town that day, for Martin had a preaching assignment. Civilla woke up sick, and Martin was about to cancel his plans, when their child piped up and said, ‘Oh, Daddy, you don’t have to stay home because of mother – God will take care of us.’ Martin proceeded to the train station and fulfilled his appointment. When he returned, Civilla handed him the words of “God Will Take Care Of You,” which she had written in his absence. Going to his little organ, Martin composed the music, and it was first published in the songbook he was compiling for the school.” (Listen to it below.)

J. C. Penny. Apparently this song once served as a great encouragement to him during the depression when his business deals went sour. He heard the words to this song coming from a chapel one day as he was passing by. “Be not dismayed whate’er betide / God will take care of you.” It brought him out of his dark dungeon into the warm sunlight.

Anxiety. Are you a Christian who is full of cares and worries? Then consider these important words penned by the Apostle Paul: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:4-8 NKJV). The Apostle Peter wrote: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7 NKJV). Are you doing this or worrying needlessly?

Meditate. Please reread these words and meditate on them for awhile (See Psalm 1:2 ; 1 Timothy 4:15). Let them sink into your spirit that belongs to your mind (Ephesians 4:23). Let them have an effect on your soul (emotions) too. Memorize and claim some promises that were given to us as Christians. Remember, not all the promises in the Scriptures are ours to claim. Here are a few of them that need to be mixed with faith so you can enjoy the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Hebrews 4:2): https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/promises-to-claim/

Believe. This is the only condition God has placed on us if we want to be saved from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Acts 16:31; John 3:16; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). The object of our faith needs to be in the Lord Jesus Christ, (not in the Christ of the cults) who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:33-43). Are you trusting in any of your good works to get you into heaven? If so, stop! Salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this meditation has helped you, please let us know and then share it with someone else who may need some comfort from God and His Word (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). To receive future articles as them come out, click on “Follow.”

Stories in this article adapted from “Then Sings My Soul” by Robert Morgan, Thomas Nelson Publishers, p. 259

If you’re not sure of your salvation, read the Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

If you are full of anxiety and fears about the future, listen to these songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92_BfspZngQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdZ7RdF07Eo

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“There is perhaps no more potent power on earth than a [believer] in the midst of crisis. Both [King] Nebuchadnezzar [of Babylon] and [King] Darius [of Medo-Persia – modern day Iran] gave public praise to Daniel’s God [Jehovah] when they saw Daniel’s stability in the midst of adversity (Daniel 4:37; 6:25-27).

Glorifying God. If you’re a Christian, do you want to bring glory and honor to God like Daniel did? The key is your reaction to situations where it’s tough to be a Christian! Consider the promotion you deserved (but didn’t get), the speeding ticked you got (but didn’t deserve), the time you did what was right (but it turned out all wrong) – those are the occasions when your faith is in the “fishbowl.” What are others learning about your God from your life? – Adapted from Your Daily Walk, Walk Thru The Bible, p. 278

The Apostle Paul. He wrote, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). He also wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Was he familiar with suffering? He certainly was. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. [That is 195 times.]  Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;   in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;   in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—  besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches”  (2 Corinthians 11:23-28 NKJV).  Why did he do all this?  “…I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:10 NKJV).

The Lord Jesus Christ. His sufferings were predicted by the Prophet Isaiah long before Jesus the Christ (Messiah) came down from heaven to this earth to live a sinless life and then die for our sins and then be raised from the dead so that we could be saved. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53:4-7). Christians have a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15, 16).

Temptations/Trials. “No temptation has overtaken [a Christian] except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  The Lord’s half brother, James wrote – “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing…Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:2-4, 12).

Came To Pass. The trials that Christians experience in this life came to pass. Contrary to what one “Preacher” says, our best life is yet to come. The unsaved person’s best life is right now. Without Christ as their personal Savior, their future is bleak (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). Why not let them know that the Lord Jesus Christ died for their sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Invite them to believe on Him alone (Ephesians 2:8 9) and be saved. Doing this could earn for you the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

Promise. “God hath not promised skies always blue, / Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through; / God hath not promised sun without rain, / Joy without sorrow, peace without pain. / But God hath promised strength for the day, / Rest for the labor, light for the way, / Grace for the trials, help from above, / Unfailing kindness, undying love.” Author: Annie Johnson Flint

Help. If you’re struggling under a load that seems unbearable, cast your cares and concerns on the Lord because He cares for you. Beware of Satan’s devices and attempts to crush you with disappointment, discouragement, and doubt or by some other means (1 Peter 5:7, 8). As Christians, we can/should bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2; See also John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:16, 17).

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John 13:1-33

If you think “Big Brother” (the government) knows a lot about you, think about someone who knows everything about you. You might say, “That’s impossible.” This would be true of another human or spirit being, but not for God because one of His attributes is omniscience (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). Jesus, being the God/man knew who would betray him, who would deny Him, and who would flee from Him when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He also knows everything about us and will not only judge our words and deeds but will also judge our motives to determine our degree of pleasure in heaven or our degree of suffering in the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15).

God/Man. Jesus was/is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:15-17; 2:9). He is also sovereign. This means that He is in control of everything. In other words, “There is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority.” – Chip Ingram. Let’s consider this One who is omniscient and sovereign.

Servant. He became a lowly servant and washed His disciples feet (John 13:2-17). Not only did Jesus display His lowly spirit (Matthew 11:29), He also wanted to teach His disciples about their need for spiritual cleansing. An unbeliever needs to have an overall bath only once for him to be cleansed (John 13:10; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5). But a Christian also needs ongoing cleansing when he/she sins periodically. This occurs when he/she confesses his sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9; 3:9-10).

Model. Jesus set an example for believers to follow. He wants us to have a servant’s humble heart (Philippians 2:5-11; John 13:15). It’s easy for us to say we love God but it’s hard to love some of His children who may rub us the wrong way. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue [only], but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

Savior. Jesus came to glorify God (John 17:3) by dying for our sins, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), and then rising again bodily from the dead on the third day. He appeared to different people on many occasions to validate His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 24:33-43). The payment that Jesus made to God the Father was sufficient to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin (1 John 2:2; 4:10). He can and does offer salvation and eternal life to all who will accept by faith His substitutionary death on their behalf (John 3:16). Those who reject Him and His offer are under condemnation (John 3:18, 36).

Shepherd. Is the Lord Jesus Christ your personal Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)? As the “Good Shepherd” He laid down His life for His sheep and knows all of us by name (John 10:3-14). He is the “Chief Shepherd” to whom all “Under Shepherds” (Pastors) are accountable (1 Peter 5:1-4). He is the “Great Shepherd” who will bring believers to spiritual maturity and finish the work of salvation at the time of the “Rapture” (Hebrews 13:20; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 3:2).

Purpose. Jesus came to glorify God the Father and to carry out the work that He had been given to do on earth (John 17:3, 4; Ephesians 1:11). He provided deliverance from the lake of fire for all mankind including the false teachers (2 Peter 2:1). But for any of us to be saved, we must not only know and believe the facts of the Gospel, we must transfer our faith from ourselves and our good works over to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Have you done this yet? It not, why not believe on Him right now?

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John 11:1-6

“Death is usually the last thing we want to talk about. It makes us feel uncomfortable, awkward, and we recoil when someone brings the subject up. One of the reasons we fear death is that, in spite of all our medical achievements, we haven’t been able to conquer it.” – Chuck Swindoll. “Every town has a mortuary. Every community has a cemetery. Every newspaper has an obituary column. All are sinners and all die. Death is no respecter of persons.” – Dr. Paul Tassell

Healing. You may be interested to know that God heals us of all sicknesses except the last one that will lead to our physical death (Psalm 103:3; Hebrews 9:27). Unlike the devil, who is the destroyer (John 10:10), God is merciful and shows compassion for those who are suffering (Psalm 106:1). Sometimes He does this through His children. God comforts us so we will comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). When was the last time you extended kindness and comfort to another person? God is gracious and often bestows on us favors that we don’t deserve (Psalm 145:8). When was the last time you gave thanks to Him for what you got and didn’t get (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20)?

Keys. In the Old Testament times the devil held the keys of death (Hebrews 2:14; Job 1:18-20). However, after dying for our sins…and rising bodily from the grave, Jesus took the keys away from him (Revelation 1:18). God determines the time of the believer’s death which enables us to enter into His presence forever (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Our times are in God’s hands (Psalm 31:15) and He has promised never to leave or forsake those who belong to Him (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). For true Christians, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). But this isn’t the case of those who are unbelievers (John 3:18, 36; 16:8-11; Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 10:28). They aren’t “resting in peace” (R.I.P.) as some folks believe (Luke 16:19-31). Are you a true child of God or still a child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10)? Do you know why Jesus said, “You must be born again from above” (John 3:3-8)?

Reasons. Although we may not be certain as to why we suffer and eventually die, our sickness may be designed to keep us humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). It could stem from a constitutional weakness (1 Timothy 5:23). It might be to chasten us for sin or lawless conduct that could lead to the sin unto death (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:6-14; James 5:15; 1 John 5:16). Or it might be permitted for the glory of God (John 9:3; 11:4, 25; 17:4).

Exception. Even though “it is appointed for men to die once, [and] after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), there is a group of Christians who won’t die physically before they see the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Will you be in this group?

Existence. Yes, man goes on existing after he dies physically. Death is separation, not annihilation or reincarnation. But where he spends eternity, either in heaven or hell, will be determined by what he does with the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily. The sin of unbelief is the only unforgivable sin today (John 3:16, 18, 36; 16:8-11).

Resurrections. Jesus Christ is the first one to rise from the dead never to die again. He will raise everyone from the dead someday (1 Corinthians 15:20-28). In which of the five resurrections will you participate if you die physically? Are you sure? If not, seek help immediately since life is like a vapor (James 4:14; See Proverbs 27:1).

Be Wise. “We are wise to think about death before it actually intrudes into our lives…Death is inevitable. It may come through disease or accident or foul play, but come it surely will.” – Dr. Paul Tassell. “A wise man always prepares for the inevitable.” – Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.

Contact. As unpleasant as it is to think about death, we should all live as though it might be our last day on earth. If you knew you were going to die today, what would you do differently? If you, as a Christian, love Christ’s imminent return, you will receive the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Why? You will live differently. “…to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We appreciate your sharing this information with others so we can help them too.

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’s Simple Plan Of Salvation – (In 24 languages) http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

 

John 9:1-14

“For years he sat in the street, a castaway from society, his soul aching for the touch of light and love. And then one day he heard the approaching footsteps of Jesus who, with a touch of compassion, gave him new eyes… Few afflictions are more difficult to bear than blindness. And in Jesus’ day, a blind person held little hope for anything more than a lifetime of begging.” – Chuck Swindoll.  Perhaps you know someone who is blind too. How do you treat him/her?

The Men. This blind man went virtually unnoticed by Jesus’ disciples who, apparently, were enamored more by the magnificent temple itself (Matthew 24:1). In a sense, they were a lot like the priest and Levite who passed by the man who had been robbed by thieves and left for dead (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus, however, was concerned about people. To those who were oppressed by the hypocritical, religious leaders of the day, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Jesus.  I’d rather have Jesus as my Shepherd than anything else. He loves me, knows me, knows my future, and gives me the strength to do the things that He wants me to do. He forgives me when I confess my sins and helps me start over again. He will never leave or forsake me. He will reward me for faithful service to Him. He is the God-man (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9). King David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). My friend, is He your Shepherd? If not, we’d like to introduce you to Him. If He is your Shepherd, do you tend to wander away from Him and get yourself in precarious situations that cause Him a lot of grief (Ephesians 4:3). He wants you to stay close by Him so you will be safe? It’s so much better to stay under His care and let Him lead you (Romans 8:14) than to wander away like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-31).

Cause And Effect. Seeing the blind man, it was quite natural for His disciples to ask Jesus why this man was blind from birth (John 9:1). Was it due to his own sins or his parent’s sins? Apparently some Rabbis were teaching that it was possible for a baby in the womb to sin by kicking his mother on the Sabbath. Perhaps they concluded that this man’s parents had sinned and thus passed down a curse on him (Exodus 20:5, 6; Jeremiah 32:18). Yes, it’s true. Some parents who take illegal drugs, alcohol, or who have sexually transmitted diseases, sometimes do pass a curse on to their children. Just talk to some Doctors and nurses about such babies.

Jesus’ Diagnosis. “Jesus answered [the disciples’ questions], ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him’” (John 9:3). Jesus was on a mission to glorify His Father by making Him known to humanity (John 17:3, 4). He did everything that the Father wanted Him to do at the right time and in the proper manner. His miracles were designed to prove to them/us that He was/is the promised Messiah/Christ and the Son of God (John 20:31). They validated His person and work (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:6, 7). Perhaps you didn’t know this but God has some predetermined works for Christians to do too (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Sadly, most Christians don’t know very much about the “Spiritual Gifts” that God gave to every Christian at the moment of his/her salvation (See Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16). Which gifts were temporary and which are extant? [1]  Which one do you have?  Are you using it with love (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13)?

Miracles. The miracles that Jesus performed were conducted in different ways. Sometimes He performed them without a lot of fanfare (John 2:7, 8). He was able to heal the nobleman’s son from a distance just by speaking a word. He told a crippled man to take up his bed and walk (John 5:8). He fed over 5,000 people at one time (John 6:11). He brought Lazarus back to life with a word (John 11:43). But on this occasion Jesus “spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’…So he went and washed, and came back seeing” (John 9:6, 7).

Sabbath. It’s interesting that Jesus chose to give this man his sight on the Sabbath (Saturday). The hypocritical, legalistic, religious Pharisees had added all kinds of other requirements to the observance of the Sabbath. Apparently they said it was unlawful for a man to pluck a hair from his head or beard because that involved work. Cutting one’s fingernails was illegal. No medical attention could be administered unless it was a life or death situation. It was unlawful for a man to walk with sandals that had nails in them because that was carrying a burden on the Sabbath. Is it any wonder that Jesus had compassion on the common people who were weighted down with such additional burdens? They missed the whole purpose of the Sabbath. “Apart from maintaining the continual burnt offering ( Numbers 28:9), and its connection with the annual feasts…the seventh day was never made a day of sacrifice, worship, or any manner of religious service. It was simply and only a day of complete rest for man and beast, a humane provision for man’s needs. In Christ’s words, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath’ (Mark 2:27).” – Dr. C. I. Scofield

Response. Perplexed by what had happened to this blind man, the people asked him about it. Not satisfied with his answer, they took him to the Pharisees for them to interrogate him about his eyesight. With all their knowledge of the Scriptures, they should have made the connection of this miracle to the prophecy that Isaiah had made concerning the Messiah’s giving sight to the blind when He came (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:6, 7). But they didn’t get it. Things haven’t changed much today either. Liberal theologians refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is the God-man who had/has all the Divine attributes of God. They don’t believe that He came to earth through the virgin, Mary. They don’t believe that He was sinless, and that He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again bodily from the dead on the third day. They don’t believe that He’s coming back literally as He said He would (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11).

Confusion/Unbelief. The Jewish prophet Jeremiah rehearsed the reasons for the Jewish captivity by their enemies. “Hear this now, O foolish people [Jews], without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not…But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; They have revolted and departed…” (Jeremiah 5:21-23). Because most of the Jews rejected their Messiah when He came 2,000 years ago and said, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25), they have been to this day under Gentile domination and will be until Christ returns after the seven years of tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Romans 11:25). The last 3 ½ years are known as “the time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). This time seems to be just around the corner. To get the big picture, would you like to receive a free “Dispensations Chart” for your consideration? If so, ask us for one. Do you know what happens to a Jewish person who believes in Jesus as his/her personal Savior today (Romans 1:16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-18)?

Israel’s Future. God hasn’t forsaken the Jewish nation forever as some “Replacement Theology” people believe. [2] A bright future awaits the believing Jewish remnant (Romans 11:26). Those who physically survive the seven year Tribulation will be the ones who repopulate the earth (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). They will inherit all the land that God promised to give to them in an everlasting covenant. During Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over earth (Revelation 20:6; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 2:44, 45) it will extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:18- 21). In eternity future, the believing Jews will inherit a new earth in which they will dwell (Revelation 21:1; Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13). “Nevertheless we [believers], according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells [feels at ease]” (2 Peter 3:13). Don’t let the scoffers intimidate you. They don’t believe that Jesus is returning to earth as He said He would (2 Peter 3:3ff). Are they ever in for a surprise!

Judgment Day. “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Every person who has lived on this earth will face Judge Jesus someday (John 5:22). Do you know the purposes for the different judgments (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:11-15)? Where will you spend eternity – Heaven or Hell? Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead? Are you depending on any of your good works to get you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Would you like assurance of salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?

Our True Condition. All of us were born spiritually blind (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4). We need someone to share the Clear Gospel [3] with us so God the Holy Spirit can open our spiritual eyes and enable us to see the Lord Jesus Christ and believe on Him to be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 10:9-16).

Witnesses. If you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures, you can/should tell others about Him (Acts 1:8). Carnal Christians need to get right with God through confession of their sins to God and others against whom they have sinned or face discipline from God (1 John 1:9; James 5:16, 19, 20; 1 John 5:16; Hebrews 12:5ff).

Help. If you need spiritual help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Spiritual Gifts. http://kelseypeach.com/bible_basics.htm

[2] Replacement Theology:

http://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/scofield.htm

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/replace.pdf

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