Archive for the ‘Compassion’ Category

To many people Jesus was a passive, weak man who never said anything to offend anyone. And yet He said, “…if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24; See John 8:58; 10:30; 20:31). Previously He had made a whip of cords and chased out the money changers from the temple (John 2:13-16). With harsh words He denounced the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5, 21-23; 23:13-36). They had laid on the common people heavy burdens.

Compassionate. This is why 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 meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28). Meekness is not weakness; It is strength under control. It is one part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” which is Christ likeness (Galatians 5:22, 23).

The Hour.  No one was able to take Jesus until “His hour” had come (John 8:20).  This was predetermined by God and it would involve Judas’ betraying Him to the enemy for thirty pieces of silver  (Zechariah 11:12, 13; John 8:20; 18:5-12). He said, “No one takes [My life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18). He, along with the two other Persons in the Godhead, were involved in His bodily resurrection from the dead (John 2:19-22; Romans 6:4; 8:11; See Luke 24:33-43). Without it Christians would be of all men the most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). His resurrected, glorified body consists of flesh and bones, but it has no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50). The Christian’s resurrected, glorified bodies will be like His (1 John 3:2). Those who deny His bodily resurrection and His literal return to this earth are antichrists (1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; Matthew 24:5). Beware of them.

Unbelievers. In no uncertain terms, Jesus said to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23). He went on to tell them that their father was the devil (John 8:44; See 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:19). They also were spiritually blinded and lulled to sleep by him (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19). They would die in their sins if they didn’t believe that He was the eternal “I AM” (John 8:24, 58; 10:30; See Exodus 3:14). He was claiming to be the God-man and the promised Messiah (John 5:18; 20:31; See Matthew 16:16). Believing in/on Jesus involves more than giving mental assent to some facts about Him (James 2:19). Furthermore, once they died physically, there would be no more opportunities to change their minds (repent) and believe on Him so they could be saved (Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 9:27). “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Salvation. It always have been and always will be by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Jonah 2:9). Grace is unmerited favor that God extends to us. It is not the help that God gives to a person when he is baptized (sprinkled) as a baby so he can do good works (Sacraments) and earn his own way to heaven. God’s mercy is displayed when He shows compassion for those who are suffering, either as a result of their own sin(s), or the sin(s) of others (Titus 3:5).  Faith doesn’t save us; God saves us when we place our faith in the right object – the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, who was buried for three days, and who rose again bodily on the third day. Then He was seen by over 500 witnesses before ascending publicly, gradually, and literally back to heaven (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). This is the Good News that is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). The Gospel must not be changed by adding to or subtracting anything from it as the false teachers do (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9). When it is presented correctly and in its entirety, the Holy Spirit can do His work of convicting people of their sin of unbelief in Christ, their need to have Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven, and the certain judgment and condemnation that will come to all who don’t believe on Him for their salvation (John 16:8-11; 3:18, 36).

Questions. What are your thoughts about Jesus? Is He the “Wafer Jesus” who didn’t finish the work of salvation? Is He just an elevated man and the brother of Lucifer who became a god. Do you believe that He was/is Michael the archangel? Maybe you think of Him as the “Revolutionary Jesus” of New Age Communism, or the “Universalist Jesus” who won’t send anyone to hell.

Warning. Jesus said, “…many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5). Have you or has someone you know been deceived? Are you trying to get into heaven by your good works or by your faith plus your good works (John 10:1; 14:6)? Those who aren’t fit for heaven will spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46). To be saved and fit for heaven, we must Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone through the message of the Gospel. Have you done this yet? If not, why not believe on Him right now? Then let us know about your decision so we can help you grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18) and teach you about the spiritual gifts that God gives to His children at the time of our salvation (1 Peter 4:10).

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask that you share it with someone else who might be helped from it. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages.


Perhaps you feel like you are on top of the world right now and have everything under control. You’ve convinced yourself that you are the captain of your ship and the master of your fate. But then again, you may only be whistling in the dark and scared to death because you can’t seem to get freed from the albatross of sin that is hanging around your neck. Maybe you’re plagued by guilt from the past and can’t seem to shake it off. Would you like to know that you have been forgiven and that you cannot be condemned to hell when you die? If so, read on.

Oppressed? Author John Stockton wrote, “Come, every soul by sin oppressed, / There’s mercy with the Lord; / And He will surely give you rest / By trusting in His word. / Only trust Him, / only trust Him, / Only trust Him now. / He will save you, / He will save you, / He will save you now.” God can save us from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and from the presence of sin. Do you know how He does this and when each of these things actually happens?

Mercy. It’s been described as the compassion that God shows toward those who are suffering in life either because of their own sins, or the sins of others. God has been merciful to us and will continue to be merciful. But once you’re dead, there is no more mercy for you or anyone else who has rejected God’s offer of deliverance from the lake of fire.

Invitation. Christians have a High Priest (Jesus) who can sympathize with our weaknesses because He was tempted in all points as we are, but without sinning. We have been invited to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace (unmerited favor) to help us in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Unbeliever? For you to enjoy this privilege you need to be a child of God. All unbelievers are children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10). You can become God’s child by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  Merely knowing and believing these facts aren’t enough to save you.  You must transfer your faith from yourself and your good works over to Christ alone to be saved.

Priest. Every true Christian today is a New Testament priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9) and can/should offer up to God spiritual sacrifices. These include our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2), praise and thanksgiving, doing good works, and sharing of our material things (Hebrews 13:15, 16). If you’re a Christian, how often do you offer these sacrifices up to God?  What is the difference between praise and thanksgiving?  How can you know if you’re doing the good works that God planned for you to do (1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 2:10)?  What can/should  you share with others?  Why?  To be blessed or because you been blessed?  To whom should you not give?  On what basis will God evaluate your good works?

Help. Maybe you’re miserable and don’t exactly know why you are. God’s Word contains all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). There is hope for you if you’re teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). Until you are rightly related to God, you won’t enjoy God’s quality of life or be a true blessing to others (John 10:10; See Galatians 5:22, 23). If you’d like our help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If God has comforted you, comfort someone else in need (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Treat today as though it might be your last day on earth (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1).

Clear Gospel:

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages.


A roving reporter came up to a man on the street and said, “Do you know what the two biggest problems in America are?” The pedestrian said, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” The reporter said, “You are absolutely right.”  Far too many people are unaware of what is really happening around them and the sad part is, they don’t really care until it’s too late.

The Problem: Ignorance About And Apathy For –

God. There are many false ideas about God in our world. Atheists, who boldly say, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1) are fewer in numbers than they would like for us to believe. Some of them are often very aggressive in their attempts to try to force their beliefs on others. Atheism has been responsible for millions of deaths around the world. But disproving the existence of God is nearly impossible in view of the fact that not one of us has been everywhere in the universe where God might be. Agnostics are more honest when they claim not to know if there is a god or not. Many people do not believe that God is truly knowable. They have been misled by false prophets and teachers who claim to know the truth. In the midst of all this, there is the truth about God, who is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17). And yet, because so many people love the temporary pleasures that go along with darkness rather than light (John 3:19; Hebrews 11:25), they make excuses for not coming to the Light of the world (John 8:12). He also claimed to be the [only] way, the [absolute] truth, and the [giver of eternal] life (John 14:6; See Acts 4:12; 16:31). Being the truth Himself, He also had/has the power to set us free (John 8:32, 36) from our enslavement to our sinful passions (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Peter 2:19), and from the overwhelming power of the devil who wants to take humanity with him to his eternal destiny in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10).

Ourselves. The reason Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again from above (John 3:3-5) was due to the fact that all of us, without exception, are born into this world with the devil as our spiritual father (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). We also have a sinful nature (i. e. a lawless disposition) that was passed down to us from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). The devil tempts people to be proud of their race, face, or place in life (1 Timothy 3:6; See Ezekiel 28:17; 1 Corinthians 4:7), and to act independently of God (Genesis 3:5; Isaiah 14:14). Any human being can get out of Satan’s family simply by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Salvation is by grace alone (It’s totally undeserved). It’s through faith alone in the Christ of the Scriptures alone, and not in the Christ of the cults. It is not of works on our part lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). A Christian can overcome the sinful passions that come from his sin nature when he learns how to walk by means of the Holy Spirit and when he is filled with the Spirit (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18). We can overcome the temptations to be proud and to act independently of God by putting on the whole armor of God, while focusing our attention of the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:10-17; See 1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7). Our self righteousness is unacceptable to God (Isaiah 64:6). Without Christ’s righteousness put to our account, we cannot enter heaven (John 16:10). It is imputed to us at the moment of salvation (Romans 4:3-6, 22-25). No longer does the Christian have to obey his old boss, the devil. Submitting voluntarily to God is the only reasonable and logical thing for a Christian to do once he/she has been saved. If you’ve been saved, have you presented your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Are you yielding the members of your body to God each day for Him to use you for His glory and your good (Romans 6:11-23)?

The Spirit World. Fiction seems to rule the day as many children and even adults are enamored by sorcery, witchcraft, and the supernatural, unseen world. It must delight the devil’s heart to know that so many people grope around in spiritual darkness and are not able to identify him and his agents, the fallen angels (demons). Did you know that behind the wicked rulers of this world there are spirit beings who manipulate them like puppets (Daniel 10:13; Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 4:4). They also use false prophets and teachers to dispense doctrines of demons to humanity (1Timothy 4:1). Secular humanism and evolution are two examples. Some of their other teachings are so close to the truth that they are almost undetectable to some believers (Matthew 24:24) and the average person who doesn’t know the truth from God’s Word.

The Solution: Bible Doctrine And Compassion

Our Need To Study. This involves hard work that many people don’t want to do. It involves studying the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17), meditating on it (1 Timothy 4:15), memorizing it (Psalm 119:11), interpreting it correctly (Titus 1:9), and applying it properly (James 1:22; 4:17). Spiritual growth can be painful at times as our faith is tried (James 1:2; 2 Peter 3:18). But the rewards of studying God’s Word are immense. The truth can set us free from the tyranny of the devil and our sin nature (John 8:32, 36).

Our Need To Love. “God [the Father] so loved the world [you and me] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have [eternal] life” (John 3:16). God’s love is produced in the lives of Spirit filled Christians who are walking by means of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 22, 23). We care about other people because God cared about us and His love has been poured out in our hearts (Roman 5:5). We are told to direct it toward the right objects at the right time (Galatians 5:13; 1 John 2;15-17). So we beg on Christ’s behalf – Put your faith in Him alone before it’s too late. Once you’ve been saved, start growing in the Lord (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).  Learn to serve the Lord and others with gladness (Psalm 100:2; 1 Peter 4:10).  Reproduce yourself (Matthew 28:19, 20).

Our Need To Warn. Today could be your last day on earth before you enter eternity. Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1). Our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then it vanishes away (James 4:14). Live like today might be your last day on earth.  You’ll live a more productive life.

Paradigm Shift

Perhaps for the first time you’ve been made aware of truth concerning “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” for mankind. The Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man, came to reveal the Godhead and His plans to/for us (John 1:1-18). God is knowable through His inspired, written Word (2 Timothy 3:16 17), and through the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). No matter how sinful you’ve been, if you’re alive physically, there is hope for you (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). The only unforgivable sin today is the sin of unbelief in Christ (John 16:9; 3:18, 36). If you die in unbelief without Christ as your personal Savior, you will be lost forever and suffer with the devil and his angels (demons) in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). If you die as a true Christian, your future is as bright as the promises of God (John 14:1-3). We’d love to have you join us in heaven some day.

Help. Having read this, you will no longer be able to say, “I don’t know how to be saved and go to heaven.” We have done our best to share with you the truth from God’s Word on how you can be delivered from the clutches of the devil and from your own sin nature. If you need additional information, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website:  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share this with a friend in need.

Clear Gospel:

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages.


John 8:13-18

“I believe that Jesus was a great moral teacher and a good man but I don’t believe that He is God.” Have you ever heard someone says this? Others might even go so far as to say, “I believe that Jesus is the God-man who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, but I’m not willing to put my faith in Him alone for my salvation. I believe that good works contribute to my salvation.” What about you? Do you believe that you are going to heaven? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe that you have been saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that could cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?  If in doubt, contact us right away.  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?  Make sure today.

Bold. Jesus made some bold “I AM….” statements about Himself that infuriated His enemies so much that they wanted to silence Him by killing Him (John 5:18; 8:58). Not willing to accept the miracles that He performed to validate His credentials (John 20:31), they insisted that He prove what He was claiming about Himself with other witnesses (John 8:13).  He did, but they still wouldn’t believe in/on Him (John 8:18).

Liar. Most of the religious leaders of Israel hated Jesus and were envious of His ability to draw people to Himself (Matthew 27:18). They accused Him of being a liar even though He proved that He was the Christ (Messiah) and the Son of God by the three kinds of miracles He performed before them (John 5:36; Acts 2:22). When someone loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19), he will do almost anything to make excuses for his unwillingness to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for his sins…and rose again bodily from the dead.

Lunatic. It surprises some people to learn that Jesus’ own half brothers and sisters, who were born of Joseph and Mary (Matthew 13:55), didn’t believe on Him as their personal Savior until after they saw Him in His resurrected, glorified body (John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). In fulfillment of the prophecy that Jesus would be considered insane (Isaiah 53:4), His own family members came to take Him away after He chose 12 men to be His disciples (Mark 3:21).

Lord. It may further surprise you to know that there are some people in cults who believe that Jesus was God manifested in human flesh, that He was born of the virgin, Mary, that He lived a sinless life, that He died for our sins…and rose again bodily.  And yet the Apostle Paul said that some of them had “believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1- 4).  They weren’t saved and headed for heaven. What did he mean by saying that?  Did you know that the devil believes in the Deity of Christ (Isaiah 14:14; Matthew 4:3)? The demons do too (Matthew 8:29; James 2:19).

Lord, Lord. To a group of people who claimed to have done many wonderful things in His name (prophesying in Christ’s name, casting out demons, performing wonder miracles), the Lord said, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23). Why did/will He say this to them? Simply because they didn’t do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21). What is His will? To those who asked Him what they had to do that they might do the works of God, He replied, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:28, 29; See John 5:24). “…God (the Father) so loved the world (i. e. the people on earth) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting (eternal) life” (John 3:16). Have you placed your faith in Him exclusively through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) or are you depending on your faith plus your good works to get you to heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)?

Lordship. Sadly, many people are taught that in order for them to be saved, they must first make Jesus the Master of their lives and submit to His Lordship over every aspect of their lives before they can be saved. They make the conditions for spiritual maturity the conditions for salvation. Honestly, do you know of anyone who has stopped sinning by promising to make Jesus the Lord/Master of his/her life? Those who say that Christians don’t have a sin nature after they get saved are deceiving themselves (1 John 1:8). Men who teach this heresy and another gospel will be held accountable before the Lord for teaching it (James 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Even the Apostle Paul struggled with his sin nature after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25). He wrote to believers to instruct them how to overcome their sin nature (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11-23). If a Christian doesn’t have a sin nature, a lot of the Scriptures telling us not to engage in the works of the flesh (sin nature) could/should be deleted from the Bible.

Enemies. The Christian has three spiritual enemies: the devil, his own sin nature, and the present world system. Each enemy uses different tactics to interrupt our family fellowship with God (1 John 1:3-10).  Sin grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:3).  We can quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Do you know how to counter your spiritual enemies and live victoriously? If not, we’d like to invite you to join us on Wednesdays at 6:30-7:30 P.M. (Pacific Time) either in person or by phone hookup as we share Biblical truth with those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Figuratively speaking, we want to put a guard rail at the top of the mountain rather than have a hospital at the bottom of the mountain. Bad attitudes (trespasses – Galatians 6:1) can easily lead to sinful behavior (lawlessness – 1 John 3:4).  What can/should you do and not do if you see a Christian with a bad attitude?

Involvement. Jesus commanded His disciples to make true believers of all nations…(Matthew 28:19, 20). We are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32). If you’re saved, when was the last time you made an effort to be obedient to these commands? Are you a “convenient” or a “committed” Christian (Romans 12:1, 2)? Of all the things you plan to do today, where do glorifying God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and witnessing come into the picture? Are you doing what you want to do or what God wants you to do (Luke 22:42)? Will you personally get involved in rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying, snatching them in pity from sin and the grave, weeping over the erring ones, lifting up the fallen, and telling them of Jesus the mighty to save? If not, why? What is/should be your primary and secondary purposes in life? How do you carry these out? What dominates your thoughts (Psalm 34:3)? What is God’s purpose (John 17:3; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14)?

Prayer. Would you make this song your prayer? “Not what I wish to be, /  Nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way? / The Lord shall choose for me, / ‘Tis better far, I know, / So let him bid me go, or stay.” Then read Galatians 2:20 please.

Last Day? What changes would you make in your planning if somehow you knew that today would be your last day to spend on earth?  What if Christ were to return as He promised (John 14:1-3)?  Is “Deo Volente” your motto (James 4:14)?

Contact. If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If you’ve been blessed and comforted by God, please pass it on to others in need (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Thanks. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel:

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages.


1 Peter 1:10-12

What consistently brings you the most joy and happiness in your life? Is it your family, your friends, your possessions, or maybe your job/career? Maybe you’re honest enough to say, “I don’t have much joy or happiness in my life.” – S. Cole.  Are you easily disappointed, discouraged, and do you sometimes doubt God and His Word? God knows all about our tendencies and our weaknesses. He has a way for us to overcome these temptations that could lead us into our sinning against God (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Relief. When we are suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually, it’s nice to receive some relief from the pain. The believer in Christ needs to know that “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). If you’re not a believer yet, we’d like to introduce Him to you and tell you what He’s done for us and what He can do for you. The believers to whom the Apostle Peter wrote found comfort from the Lord through his pen.

Greatness. When we, as Christians, stop to think about the greatness of our God and the salvation He’s provided for us through the sacrifice that Jesus made to secure it for us, we can only say “Thank You Lord.”  We don’t deserve the salvation and a home in heaven that God has provided for all mankind (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2). His provision for mankind doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually go to heaven.  We don’t believe in “Universalism.”  Some people hate God and don’t want to spend eternity with Him and His children (Psalm 2; Revelation 16:11).  

Darkness. Most people love darkness rather than light (John 3:19) and refuse to acknowledge God’s existence and power that can be seen in nature (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20). When presented with the Gospel, most people refuse to believe that they can have eternal life simply by believing in/on Christ through this message. They want to have a part in their salvation and earn their way to heaven. But it can’t be done (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5) lest anyone should boast.

Grace/Faith/Christ. Our deliverance from hell to heaven is all of grace (undeserved favor), and not of our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). It is also by faith alone in the Christ of the Scriptures alone, and not the Christ of the cults or other religions (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4). Are you trusting in the wrong Christ to save you?

Gospel. The Good News we must believe to be saved is that Christ died for our sins, was buried for three days, and then rose again bodily on the third day. His resurrection was validated by over 500 witnesses on ten different occasions over 40 days (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

Secure. When a person places his faith in Christ alone to save him, he is saved once and for all and can’t lose his salvation (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Instantly we are delivered from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 2:8). We are also being delivered from the power of sin over our lives (Romans 6:14). We must utilize God’s provisions for us to defeat the temptations that come from the devil, our own sin nature, and the present world system. When a believer dies physically or when the Rapture takes place, he will be delivered from the presence of sin (Romans 8:23; 1 John 3:2).

Mystery. The Old Testament prophets had difficulty understanding how the Messiah could be both a conquering King and a suffering Savior (Isaiah 53:1-12; 61:1-3; 1 Peter 1:10-12). Even the elect angels desire to learn more of the wisdom and ways of God (Isaiah 55:8, 9) and to understand the roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a person’s salvation (John 3:33-336; Titus 3:5).

Future. Throughout the ages of eternity believers will continue to learn more and more about God’s marvelous plan of salvation (Ephesians 2:7). In the meantime we need to keep trusting our great God.  The [justified ones] shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Are you living this way?

Trials. The hardships and troubles of this life are inevitable. But, believe it or not, they are for the believer’s good and for the glory and praise of God (1 Peter 1:7). However, the crowns, praise, and rewards we receive at the Bema Seat Judgment for Christians will depend on our properly motivated service to God (1 Corinthians 4:5; 13) and our responses to trials and tests. We won’t be rewarded if we violate God’s rules (2 Timothy 2:5; Romans 3:8).  We have “potential years” and “actual years.”  Willful acts of defiance and rebellion toward God and His Word may result in a Christian’s premature. physical death (Acts 5:1-10; 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:15).

Help. A spiritually maturing believer can help a fellow Christian who is caught in a trespass with a bad attitude and keep him from engaging in an act of sin that could bring disaster into his life (Galatians 6:1). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). What about using your pen to write a note to edify someone (1 John 2:1)? Will you be an encourager like Barnabas was to Paul after his conversion (Acts 11:25; See 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)?

O give me a church where folks in the lurch are encouraged then healed from above; where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love.” – C. Swindoll.

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549. If this article has helped you, please let us know how. Also, share this with someone who could benefit from it.  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Seinan Gakuin University

“A Letter Of Hope”  1 Peter 1:1, 2

When we’re suffering and in a lot of pain, whether it be physical, emotional, or mental stress, most of us like to receive cards from those who are thinking about and praying for us. My wife has the gift of showing mercy (Romans 12:8). She likes to send out cards to people who are hurting. Perhaps this is one of the reasons she is so liked by so many people.

Experiential Knowledge. The Apostle Peter himself had suffered great emotional trauma after he denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26:75). Later he, along with the other disciples, were threatened, beaten, and imprisoned for proclaiming that Jesus was the only way to God in heaven (Acts 4:12, 17; 5:40; See John 14:6; Acts 9:16; 16:31). He knew well what it was like to suffer for Christ’s sake (See Philippians 1:29). He was in a position to speak from personal experience and encourage and comfort those who were suffering. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may also be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

Postcard? No, Peter’s first letter was a little more than a postcard but it contained valuable information that was designed to help those who had been scattered out because of persecution (Acts 8:1ff). It was the fulfillment of the commission that the Lord gave to him to strengthen his brethren after he had returned to the Lord (Luke 22:31, 32; John 20:15-19). God the Holy Spirit superintended over him as he wrote this and his second letter (2 Peter 1:21). These pilgrims of the Dispersion, to whom he wrote, needed a lot of encouragement and hope in their day. We need it today too. Biblical hope is a confident expectation based on promises from God (1 Peter 1:3, 7, 9, 13; 3:9—15; 4:13; 5:4).

Apostle. Peter identified himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ and a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 1:1; 5:1). Initially he was an apostle to the nation of Israel alone (Matthew 10:2-4; See Acts 10:9-15; 11:9). He preached the “Gospel of the Kingdom” that pertained to the coming of the promised Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15) and the establishment of His kingdom on/over the earth (Matthew 4:17; 10:7; See Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 2:44, 45). Because Jesus was rejected by most of the Jewish leaders and by His own people (John 1:11), He postponed the setting up of His Kingdom until a future date (See Matthew 16:20-23; 23:37-39; Zechariah 12-14). His kingdom will be established on earth after the seven years of tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). By the way, these days seem to be very near. They will come shortly after the Rapture of the true Church takes place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:3). Christ’s kingdom will begin with His 1,000 year reign that will then extend into eternity future (Revelation 20:1-7). He will be the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). During the Great Tribulation (the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation) the 144,000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4-8) will proclaim the “Gospel of the Kingdom” to all the nations of the world (Matthew 24:14).

False Apostles. From the early days of the church there have been not only false Christs who deceived and still deceive the masses of people (Matthew 24:5) but there are false apostles and false teachers today who preach another Jesus and another gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). They “have itching ears” and will flatter and tell the people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear from God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:13; 4:1-4; See 2 Peter 2:1ff; Jude 1). They pretend to receive new revelation (information) from God to you and it is often related to your money that they want you to give to them and their ministries. Have you ever heard about “Seed Faith”? [1]  Folks, God is not giving out any new revelation (information) today. Some of the spiritual gifts are no longer being given to Christians today (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). Do you know which ones were temporary and which ones are extant? (See “Bible Basics” on our website.) The Scriptures are complete and we have all that we need for life and godliness within the 66 Books of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:3). Don’t listen to those who add to or subtract from the completed Scriptures (Revelation 22:18, 19). Beware of cult members who do this. Have you been misled by some of them? Are you supporting them with your money or are you encouraging them in their work (2 John 1:7-11)?

Dispersed Pilgrims. These early Jewish Christians had been thrust out from their homeland in Israel because of persecution from other Jews who rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah (1 Peter 1:2; Acts 4:3, 17, 21, 29; 5:18, 33). Even Saul, a religious Pharisee (Acts 23:6) who later became the Apostle Paul, had a part in persecuting the early Christians and the Church (Acts 7:58; 8:1ff; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). So did King Herod (Acts 12:2ff). Years later the emperors of Rome had a part in the intense persecuting the Christians (Revelation 2:10; See Fox’s Book of Martyrs). Jesus Himself, and the Apostle Paul warned Christians about persecution (John 16:2; Philippians 1:29). Have you been mistreated for being a Christian? If not, maybe you’re not living a very godly life (2 Timothy 3:12). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8;18). Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame He experienced when they hung Him naked on the cross so that we could be saved (Hebrews 12:2; See Psalm 22). The Apostle Paul told us that he endured all things for the elect’s sake so they could be saved (2 Timothy 2:10). There are people out there who will believe on Christ and be saved if we will share the unadulterated Gospel [2] with them (Acts 13:48; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Salvation. For a person to be saved/rescued from the lake of fire (hell), the three Persons in the Godhead needed to be involved. God the Father chose some to be the special recipients of His grace and mercy (John 6:37, 44; 15:16; Romans 9:15; Ephesians 1:4; 2:8, 9; 1 Peter 1:2; 5:13). God the Son provided salvation and eternal life by dying for our sins…and rising again bodily from the dead on the third day (John 3:16, 18, 36, 5:24; 1 Peter 1:2). God the Holy Spirit applies the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection to all believers and sanctifies them (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). The Christian’s salvation comes in three phases: At the moment he believes in Christ as his personal Savior, he is saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 2:8). He is also being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14). In the future, at death or the Rapture, he will be saved from the presence of sin (Romans 8:18-23).

Appreciate. The more we learn to appreciate the salvation we have through Christ, the more we will want to serve the Lord and His people out of a heart of gratitude. Our troubles didn’t come to stay; they came to pass. They aren’t worthy to be compared with the glory to follow (Romans 8:18).  Are you willing to suffer so others can be saved (1 Timothy 2:10)? What if someone hadn’t told you about the Savior?

Application. Let’s do everything we do to glorify God by making Him known to those around us (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let’s be good witnesses to the unbelievers (Acts 1:8). Let’s comfort and edify young believers in the faith (1 Thessalonians 5:11), serve God and others with gladness (Psalm 100:2; Galatians 5:13; 6:10), and reproduce ourselves (Matthew 28:19, 20). May grace and peace be multiplied to you (1 Peter 1:2). Keep looking up! Jesus may return today (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). If you need the peace of God, know and claim God’s promises addressed to New Testament Christians (Philippians 4:6, 7).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] “Seed Faith”

[2]The Clear Gospel” Audio:


God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.

One of the saddest things for a parent is to see his/her child fail to develop and become a well balanced individual (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) who can produce children of their own and repeat the cycle. Some people grow up physically but don’t develop emotionally or spiritually as they should.

Grow. For us, as Christians, to become the people that God wants us to be and do the works that He planned for us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10), we need to keep growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18). When we placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit put us into Christ’s Body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12,13). He wants us to work with other believers for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31; See 2 Corinthians 6:14) and the good of others.

Assemble. In order for there to be harmony and cooperation in the Body/Church, each maturing believer needs to assemble regularly with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24, 25). This relationship should be positive and uplifting (1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; 4:2-4). Therefore, let us –

Love one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34, 35; 15:12, 17; Romans 13:8). The commandment in Old Testament times was to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; See Matthew 7:12). The New Testament command for Christians to follow is to love fellow Christians as Christ has loved us (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Galatians 5:22, 23; 6:10). This is not possible unless a Christian is rightly related to God and has his/her known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9).

Honor and prefer one another (Romans 12:10). The natural tendency is to love ourselves (Ephesians 5:29; 2 Timothy 3:2). But the way to have true JOY is to put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last (Philippians 4:4; Galatians 5:22; John 15:11; 16:24).

Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). These would be those burdens brought on us by outside sources (Matthew 23:4; Luke 11:46; 1 Peter 5:7). Some burdens we bring on ourselves (Galatians 6:5-10).

Forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). Don’t confuse judicial forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14) with family forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; 2 Corinthians 2:7, 10).

Teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16; Romans 12:7). Be careful to distinguish truth to be believed (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6) from truth to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9; Ephesians 3:1-12; James 1:22; 2:14-20). Consider our “Dispensational Chart” to help you in this area. [1]

Comfort one another with God’s Word (1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11).  Being human, it’s alright for a Christian to sorrow when a fellow Christian is taken from us to heaven.  Keep in mind that they are better off in heaven than we are who are left on this earth.  But we should not sorrow as others who have no hope (John 11:21, 31; 20:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Stimulate one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24, 25). Consider the spiritual sacrifices that God accepts today (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16) and the priorities we should have in life toward other people (Galatians 6:10; See Matthew 10:5; 15:24-28; 28:19, 20).

Obey. Have you been obeying these “one another” commands from the Lord? What areas need your attention? Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But we can do all things [that He planned for us to do] through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). The question is, Will we practice these things in our lives?

Christ is the only Head of the Church. (Ephesians 1:22) If you’re a true Christian, will you do your part in making the Bible believing church you attend a place where folks in the lurch are encouraged then healed from above, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love? – Chuck Swindoll

Thankful. If you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone, Who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, thank Him for saving you and making you a part of His Body, the Church. “In Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13) we all have equal standing regardless of our wealth, race, social standing, or our education (Galatians 3:28).

Help. We’re here to offer assistance to those who are teachable and willing to change when they are presented with the truth from God’s Word (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Dispensations Chart


“Impossibilities. Everyone can list a few. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. You can’t get blood out of a turnip. You can’t make a crab walk straight.” – C. Swindoll. But did you know that great opportunities are often disguised as unsolvable problems?

Jesus’ disciples had seen Him turn water into wine, heal a nobleman’s son from a distance, and enable a man, who had been lame for 38 years, to walk. But what could/would Jesus do with thousands of hungry people who were following Him almost everywhere He went?

The Occasion. This particular event took place (1) after John the Baptizer was beheaded by King Herod who had been denounced for being an adulterer (John 3:24; Matthew 4:12; 14:1-14; Mark 6:14-31). John probably hadn’t thought much about being imprisoned as he was or to the possibility that he would be beheaded (Matthew 11:3). Jesus knew that His disciples needed a break from this traumatic event. So He told them to “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for awhile” (Mark 6:31). Yes, we all need time off from work and vacations. But did you know that God has provided a “moment by moment rest” for believers who will mix His promises with faith (Hebrews 4:2-9). This event also happened (2) after Jesus saw thousands of people, on their way to observe the Passover, coming to Him to meet their physical needs through sign miracles (John 3:2; 6:2-5). Sadly, many of they weren’t concerned about their spiritual condition or their need to repent (i.e., change their mind) about Him as the promised Messiah and the Son of God (John 20:31; Matthew 16:16). They needed to see themselves as sinners who were in need of trusting in Him alone as their personal Savior (John 1:29). What concerns you the most – physical, emotional, or spiritual things? Do you know when to flee and when to fight (2 Timothy 2:22; James 4:7).

The Opportunity. In this crisis situation there was an opportunity to meet the real need of over 5,000 hungry people (John 6:10). Many of us in this country know very little about real hunger as people do in other countries. But Even in the affluent society of modern America, fourteen million children live in poverty. Twelve million of them suffer from constant hunger, and in parts of the country more than one-fourth of all children never get enough nourishment…On any given night in the USA, one hundred thousand homeless children live on the streets. People below eighteen are the fastest-growing group among the homeless.” – Kenneth Gangle, John, p. 116. Jesus planned to feed their hungry stomachs before telling them about their greater spiritual need of receiving Him as “The Bread of Life” (John 6:35, 48). Sadly, most of them weren’t interested in their own spiritual well being. Jesus said, “Labor not for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give to you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27).

The Responses. The disciples failed to recall the previous sign miracles that Jesus had performed (Mark 8:14). They were like the disciples on their way to Emmaus, who were “slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets [had] spoken” (Luke 24:25). They were stuck with a human viewpoint. When Jesus asked Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” he responded by saying, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little” (John 6:5-7). Andrew found a boy with five barley loaves and two small fish and said, “but what are they among so many” (John 6:8)? They failed to look at the situation from a Divine viewpoint. Do you think you would have done anything differently if you had been there? Consider these people’s response. After they had been fed to the full, they wanted to make Jesus their King. After all, they thought that if Jesus could feed 5,000 people from five small barley loaves and two small fish, he could provide for them the “Ultimate Welfare State” in which they would have all their physical needs provided for them.

The Reaction. “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15). Wait a minute.  Hadn’t Jesus come to be the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2)? Why didn’t He take them up on their offer? It would have been on their terms, not on His or God the Father’s terms or according to His timing (Psalm 2:7ff). After being tempted by the devil in the wilderness for 40 days, Satan legitimately offered to Jesus the kingdoms of this world if Jesus would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:9).  Of course, Jesus didn’t do that.  Remember that Satan also told Eve that she would be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil, if she just ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:5)? Yes, after eating of it, she did gain that knowledge, and became like God in that one area, but it wasn’t what God wanted for her or Adam and in the process their natures became sinful natures (Romans 5:12; 7:15-25). This is why we all need to be “born from above” so we can participate in the Divine nature (John 3:3-6; 2 Peter 1:4). Are you being tempted to do something independently of God and not according to God’s Word or His timing? “…for whatsoever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).

The Sufficient One. As the God-man, Jesus had/has the ability to meet all of our needs, whether they be physical, emotional, and/or spiritual needs. “…[God] is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). The Apostle Paul wrote, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). The Psalmist admonishes us to “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name…” (Psalm 103:1ff).  Please take time to read about some of God’s benefits in this Psalm.

Questions. What kind of perspective do you have – A human one or Divine one? How much faith do you have in God and His promises? How often do you use words like these? “It can’t be done.” “It won’t work.” “It’s impossible to do.” What crisis situation are you facing right now? How big is your God? The Psalmist wrote, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:3). The Apostle Paul committed his readers to the Lord when he wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, 21). Absolutely nothing is too hard for the Lord (Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Luke 1:37; 18:27).  Is there a promise from God that you need to claim and mix with faith (Hebrews 4:2)?  Will you do it now?

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus,

but to trust and obey.”

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