Archive for the ‘Crowns’ Category

In Hebrews 9:27 we read, …it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” The first part of this verse is a general rule. The second phrase is an absolute. Not everyone will die physically. There have been a couple examples of this in the past (Enoch and Elijah) and there will be a whole generation of Christians who won’t die physically either (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

But all believers will face the Lord Jesus Christ someday to have our works evaluated to determine if we will or won’t receive crowns, rewards, and praise from God (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). At the end of Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth, the deceased unbelievers will be raised from the dead and will stand before Him at the Great White Throne to have Him evaluate their works to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

But you might ask, What must I do to be saved/delivered from the lake of fire? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

How can I know what God expects me to do as a believer? Where do I find this information? It’s found in the Bible. You might ask, Aren’t there different rules for different people in different times? Yes, there are. They are known as Dispensations – the house rules. Old Testament believers had different rules for living than Christians do today. Those living during Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth will also have intensified legal rules to keep. (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.)

But imagine, for a moment, that you are back in school and you have to take a final exam to pass the course and to graduate. But suppose the teacher gave you, ahead of time, the questions that you would be asked. Would that help you? It should.

It may sound strange to some people that God would give His children the test questions before the final exam that we all will have to take when we stand before Him to have our works (not us) evaluated (2 Corinthians 5:10). But He does. This is true for the Jews, who were given the “Mosaic Law” and for the Church (the spiritual Body of Christ) that becomes His Bride (Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 19:7; 21:9; Galatians 6:2). Don’t confuse the two groups (1 Corinthians 10:32). God has separate plans for the nation of Israel and for the Church. We don’t believe that the Church has replaced Israel.

The judgments for believers will be to determine if we will be rewarded or not (Matthew 25:21-23; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The judgment of unbelievers will be to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 11:24; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15). One’s eternal destiny with God or apart from God is determined by his/her faith or lack of faith in God/Christ (John 3:16, 18, 36; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). It is NOT based on one’s good works (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5). At the “Bema seat judgment” Jesus, the omniscient One (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10), will determine the answers to these questions: (Some of these Bible references relate to the Jews, not to Christians. Similarity doesn’t mean identity.)

How did you treat others (Matthew 10:41-42; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 6:10)?

How did you use your talents and your spiritual gift (Matthew 25:14-29; 1 Peter 4:10)?

How did you use the resources (time and money) I gave to you (Matthew 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)?

How did you endure personal injustice when mistreated (Matthew 5:11, 12; 1 Peter 4:12, 13)?

How did you endure suffering and trials (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)?

How did you spend your time on earth (Psalm 90:9-12; Ephesians 5:16)?

How did you run the race I gave you to run (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1)?

How did you keep your body under control (1 Corinthians 9:25-27; Ephesians 5:18)?

How often and why did you try to lead unbelievers to Me (Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)?

How intensely did you love My imminent return (2 Timothy 4:8)?

How faithful were you to My Word and to other people (Acts 20:26-28; 2 Timothy 4:1, 2)?

How hospitable were you toward strangers (Matthew 25:35, 36; Hebrews 13:2)?

How faithful were you in your vocations/jobs (Colossians 3:22-24)?

How did you support the work of the Lord (Matthew 10:40-42; Galatians 6:6)?

How did you use your tongue (Matthew 12:36; James 3:1-12)?

Conclusion: Although there are different rules (dispensations) for people living in different times, and there will be different times for the judgment of various groups of people, we all need to remember this – “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We all may not die physically, but all of us will face the Lord Jesus Christ some day. He will judge all our works and unveil our motives (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Are you certain that you will spend eternity with God in heaven? 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?

Sadly, in spite of all this information that God has given to us in His Word, most people won’t put their faith and trust in Christ alone and be saved (John 3:16-20). As it is true with the believers in other dispensations, most believers will NOT receive all that God would like to give to them because they will not claim God’s promises to them and walk by faith (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 4:1-12). Don’t try to claim promises that weren’t given to you. Not all the promises in the Bible are there for Christians to claim. Some are only for the Jews.

Each of the seven dispensations will end in failure. This demonstrates to us that without God’s help, no one can do anything to please God (John 15:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Hebrews 11:6).

If you have questions and/or need spiritual help, please contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you have found this helpful, please SHARE this information with others (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

(For additional Christian responsibilities, go to our “Understanding The Times” Dispensations Chart on our website: www.kelseypeach.com.)

*Some of this material was adapted from Dr. Mark Hitcock’s book, “The End” by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, Carol Stream, Illinois, c. 2012, pp. 218, 219

https://www.amazon.com/End-Complete-Overview-Bible-Prophecy/dp/1414353731/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=mark+hitchcock+the+end&qid=1572641050&sr=8-3

Philippians 1:27-30

Most of us want to be liked and accepted by others. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money to make others like us. Just think about how much money we could save if everyone were blind and couldn’t appreciate the clothes we wear, or the cars we drive, or the houses in which we live.

Most people want to be part of the in crowd.” But what price are we willing to pay to be popular and accepted? Are we willing to go along to get along” even if it violates the clear teachings of the Word of God and our consciences? Does it mean anything to you that you grieve God when you sin – act lawlessly (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:4)? Are we willing to be unpopular with the world’s crowd so that we can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Psalm 1)?

The Apostle Paul realized that preaching or teaching in the abstract and in generalities to no one in particular resulted in weak Christians. The truth that is found in God’s Word must be presented clearly and simply to others who, in turn, need to apply it to their every day lives. He told Timothy to Preach [proclaim] the word! Be ready in season and out of seasons. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.” (Find out why in 2 Timothy 4:2-5). James, the Lord’s half brother wrote, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 2:23).

In his brief letter to the church in Philippi, Paul expressed his desire for them to live, to stand, to strive, to be fearless, and to suffer for the cause of Christ if necessary (Philippians 1:27-30; See 2 Timothy 3:12). Let’s think about these things for a few minutes.

Live. (v. 27a) When God saves us as a result of our believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He begins the process of conforming us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2). This involves our cooperation with God. In another letter, the Apostle Paul instructed believers to put off their carnal way of thinking that often results in unbecoming, sinful behavior that can have detrimental consequences in the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms. Then he told believers to put on other things that display Christ like behavior (See Colossians 3:5-17; Galatians 5:22, 23).

Quote. A good place to learn to be Christ like is when we encounter the little complaints which people have. We cannot mature unless we have occasions and provocations that disturb us. Every big thing is made up of a lot of little things.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer

Consistency. Even though we’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, we still retain our sinful nature that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). We still have the potential to behave like unsaved people when we act carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1 ff; 5:1 ff) or yield to the temptations that come from the devil/demons or from the world system. But when God saved us, we became partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and have the potential to live a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Romans 8:8). Paul wanted believers to learn to lean on the Lord for strength to do the things He wants us to do. It’s available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A consistent, godly life has a tremendous impact on others around us. But an inconsistent, hypocritical life brings disgrace to God’s name which could result in our being chastened severely by the Lord (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 2 Samuel 12:14). When a believer sins, he/she needs to confess the sin(s) to God the Father and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 51:13).

Stand. (v. 27b) All around us a spiritual battle is raging for the control of the mind, emotions, and actions of mankind including Christians (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 4:4; 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 10:5). But the Good News concerning Christ’s death for our sins and His bodily resurrection must be proclaimed if people are to be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17). When was the last time you shared the Clear Gospel” with an unsaved person? Do you really care about lost people? If not, ask God to stir you up His love in your heart (Romans 5:5; Revelation 2:4). Are you helping Christians stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

Unity. In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus expressed His desire that true believers be united in their objective of glorifying God and loving one another (John 17:21; See Ephesians 4:4; John 13:34, 35). Sometimes it’s very difficult to know who the true Christians are and who are only “professing Christians.” God knows those who are His, but we can only make an evaluation of a person by his/her beliefs and behavior (John 10:27; James 2:18-20). We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Disobedient Christians, who engage in habitual, sinful conduct/lawlessness (1 John 3:4-9), will be disciplined by God (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16), and need to be shunned by other believers until repentance and confession have been made (2 Thessalonians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Strive. (v. 27c) Too many Christians are not focused on the things that God wants us to think about and do (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1 ff). We have Good News for people who are dying physically and who are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). Getting this information to them may cost us our lives. Jesus laid down His life so we could be saved (1 Peter 3:18; John 10:10-18), and Paul endured all things for the salvation of the elect (2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). In like manner we should be willing to follow their examples in an effort to reach the lost and edify believers. The Crown of Rejoicing” awaits Christians who are involved in leading others to Christ so they can be saved (1 Thessalonians 2;19, 20). The Crown of Glory” is given to those who shepherd God’s flock God’s way (1 Peter 5:4).  This involves feeding, leading, guarding, and healing God’s flock of sheep.

Problems. The devil is delighted when the Gospel is not clearly presented to unbelievers and when Christians are confused about how they are supposed to live holy and godly lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16), once they have been saved (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:10-17; See our Dispensations Chart).  All of the Bible is for us, but not all of it is addressed to us (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  Far too many Christians never share the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) with lost people, and some add to it or subtract from it and cause others to believe in vain by adding good works to faith in Christ alone (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Fearless. (v. 28a) All believers need to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He and demons are real and they are enemies of God and would like to overthrow God and overwhelm His children. Paul reminded Timothy that …God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). John, the Apostle, reminds us that [we] are of God, little children, and have overcome them [those with the spirit of antichrist], because He [God] who is in [us] is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; See Ephesians 2:2). Nothing can happen to a true child of God without God’s permission. True Christians have confidence in God’s ability to raise the dead and give them a better life in heaven if they are killed (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

Doomed. (v. 28a) All those who reject God’s offer of salvation that is available to all mankind, will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer forever in accordance to their works done on earth (John 3:16, 18, 36; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8). Where will you spend eternity?

Reproof. God the Holy Spirit reproves (convinces) unsaved people of the sin of unbelief in Christ, their need of Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven, and the ultimate judgment to come on them as it will on the devil and his angels/demons (John 16:8-11). There are no second chances or opportunities to be saved from the lake of fire after an unbeliever dies (Hebrews 9:27).

Resurrection. Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead guarantees the resurrection of all human beings who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 51, 52; Hebrews 9:27). Do you know in which one you will participate if you should die? The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation as some cults and religions teach.

Suffer. (v, 29). While true Christians will not go into or through the seven years of the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; See Daniel 9:27), all Christians who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). The Gospel is offensive to proud men and women who think the can save themselves by their good works (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Peter 2:8; Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Quote. We who preach [proclaim] the Gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world…We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not compromise but ultimatum.” – A. W. Tozer

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other people who are teachable and willing to change.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

[1] https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Most people like the “freebies” that are offered to them.  Some socialists demand them.  They want free education, free entertainment, free circuses, free health care, free housing, free vacations, and freedom to do and say as they please.  Many young people are led to believe that having a college degree, of any kind, (including such things like “basket weaving”) will guarantee for them a six figure income when they graduate.

Socialism. But when they are done with their schooling, and don’t get hired so they can pay back their student loans, they decide that socialism/communism looks like a better route to take.  They fail to realize that atheistic communism (now called “democratic socialism”) and other tyrannical forms of government, have resulted in over 100 million deaths at the hands of tyrants during the last 100 years.  Check out the facts for yourself as you look at Germany, China, Russia and many other countries.

Free/Costly? Are there any “free lunches”? Is salvation (i. e. deliverance from hell to heaven) really free or is it costly? If so, to whom? Can we get rid of heaven and hell by just imagining that they aren’t real as John Lennon has suggested in his popular song “Imagine”?  What about those who teach “Lordship Salvation” and tell people that it will cost them something to become a Christian? Are they confusing salvation with discipleship (spiritual maturity) and rewards?  Can a person earn his/her way to heaven by doing good works?  What’s the difference between salvation and rewards?  A correct understanding of this can/will affect your eternal destiny.

Heaven. Many people think that heaven is a reward for those who do good works on earth. No, the Scriptures tell us that it’s a FREE gift to anyone and to everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; See Ephesians 2:8, 9). It’s not merely knowing and agreeing with the facts of the Gospel, but a transfer of trust from yourself and your good works over to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ on your behalf.

Salvation. It can’t be earned and it’s not something we deserve (Romans 6:23). It is a present possession (1 John 5:12) and it can never be lost (John 10:28, 29) by a true believer. It involves our being accepted “in the Beloved” in the same way Jesus is accepted by God the Father (Ephesians 1:6). Our salvation from God frees us from condemnation (Romans 8:1). Every true believer shares all the same “spiritual blessings” (Ephesians 1:3). If you’re a Christian, how many of them can you name?

Rewards. They can/must be earned by faithful service and good works (Colossians 3:22-24; Revelation 22:12). They are things a believer deserves (1 Corinthians 15:10; See Luke 19:16, 17). They will be given out on judgment day (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). It is possible that other believers might receive crowns that were intended for us (Revelation 3:11; See John 6:37). Salvation is received at a point in time, but rewards can be earned throughout a believer’s life on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10). God is not unrighteous to forget our work and labor of love (Hebrews 6:10).

Crowns. Each of the five crowns must be earned. The “Incorruptible Crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27) is given out to those believers who discipline themselves properly. The “Crown of Rejoicing” is given out to believers who have had a part in the salvation of other people (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). The “Crown of Righteousness” is given to Christians who love Christ’s imminent return (2 Timothy 4:8). The “Crown of Life” is given out to Christians who resist temptations even if it means physical death (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). The “Crown of Glory” is given to faithful under-shepherds (not false shepherds) who care for the Lord’s sheep (1 Peter 5:4). Believers who receive crowns can/will show their gratitude to God for working in and through them (Philippians 2:13; 4:13) by casting their crowns before His throne while saying, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:10, 11).

God’s Omniscience. At the “Bema Seat Judgment” Jesus, the righteous Judge (John 5:22), will evaluate our motives and reveal why we did what we did (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Were they done in keeping with the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives (Romans 8:14) and with His power (Philippians 3:10; 4:13)? Were they done according to the rules that God set forth in His Word (2 Timothy 2:5; See Romans 3:8; 6:1)? Were they done according to the will of God (Acts 21:4-14)?  Did they bring glory to God or to us (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Imminent. The Lord’s return for true Christians can take place at any moment (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Even if He doesn’t return for us before we die, we should continue to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that [our] labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Please let us know if this has helped you. If it has, please share it with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube.

Salvation vs. Rewards: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/rewards.htm

Lehman Strauss https://bible.org/seriespage/6-future-judgment-believer

Hampton Keathley III https://bible.org/article/doctrine-rewards-judgment-seat-bema-christ

Jack Kelley https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/how-to-win-your-crowns-2/

Socialism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEa8DpheXkM

Lordship in exchange for Salvation? – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

“You Shall Be My Witnesses”

I have a question for you. Have you ever been called upon to be a witness in a criminal case? If so, we’re you scared? I haven’t ever had to be a witness, but I was on a jury. Think about this. A witness doesn’t really need to prepare what he is going to say unless he plans to lie on the stand. Here’s some good advice if you’re ever called upon to be a witness. Always tell the truth so you don’t have to remember the lies you told.

Command. Before going back to heaven (John 3:13; 14:1-3; 16:16, 17), Jesus gave His disciples a command to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8). All they had to do was tell what they knew about the Lord Jesus Christ. They knew that He had died on a cross for their sins, and that He was buried for three days and nights. But they also knew that He had risen bodily from the dead on the third day. There were over 500 eye witnesses who had seen Jesus on ten different occasions for forty days after His bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; See Luke 24:33-43).

Pentecost. Fifty days after the Passover feast, when Jesus was crucified, Peter, who had denied three times that he knew the Lord (Luke 22:34), was empowered by God the Holy Spirit to preach a powerful message that resulted in 3,000 Jews being saved (Acts 2:41). Then the church began to multiply because these Christians kept on telling other Jews about Jesus (Acts 6:7).

Multiplication. Just think about this. If you reached four people for Christ, who in turn reached for more people, who reached four more people, etc. you’d go from 4 to 16 to 64 to 256 and on and on. Many businesses are built this way by word of mouth advertising. Are you willing to be used by God to reach others for Christ? Are you a F.A.T.F.R.E.E. Christian who is Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, and Enthusiastic? If not, with God’s help, why now start becoming one today?

Problem. The early Jewish Christian’s problem was that they didn’t share this information with the half breed Samaritans or the non-Jews until a sever persecution broke out. Many Samaritans responded positively when Philip, a deacon, preached the Gospel to them. So did the Ethiopian eunuch who carried the message back to his own country (Acts 8:1 ff).

Results. Although we may not see the same kind of results today as they did, we still have the joy and responsibility to keep on sharing the Gospel with lost people until the Lord returns. We aren’t to keep back the Good News from anyone to whom the Holy Spirit leads us (Acts 8:26; Romans 8:14; James 4:17).

Joy. Recently I had the joy of sharing a tract entitled “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” with some folks from Ethiopia who have come to our country to live. Maybe God is bringing them here since very few missionaries are going out today to foreign countries with the “Clear Gospel” concerning Christ.  If someone had only a few minutes to live, could you share the Gospel with them with less than 25 words so they could be saved?  It can be done.  Read the article below.

Types. Notice what kind of people God saved in the city of Corinth. They had been fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). My friend, God can save anyone. He doesn’t require you to clean up your life first before you can be saved as some “false teachers” are saying.

Testify. Those of us who have been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who have, after we’ve been saved, presented our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, and who know what God has done and is doing in our lives, can/should bear witness to the power of God to transform anyone’s life (Romans 1:16, 17; 12:1, 2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 3:20, 21). Who would have thought Saul/Paul, the persecutor of Christians, would be saved and then go on to lead others to Christ and start local churches in many areas? 

Questions. Have you ever shared your faith in Christ with another person? Has the devil successfully silenced you by using fear and intimidation? God didn’t give us a spirit of fear but one of power and love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7; See 1 John 4:4). Are you ashamed of Jesus who paid the debt you owed to God (Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 1:18, 19)? What if He hadn’t been willing to die for your sins and rise again to demonstrate that He was/is able to save any and all who come to Him to be saved from the lake of fire (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36)? Yes, the lake of fire is real and all who die as unbelievers will suffer there forever.

Concern. Do you care about lost people? Have you left your first love (Revelation 2:4)? Leading others to Christ for salvation entitles us to earn the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). Will you earn one so you can cast it at His feet someday as an expression of your love and appreciation to Him for saving you (Revelation 4:10, 11)? Are you living to please yourself or God (2 Corinthians 5:9, 10)?

Armor Of God. By the way, a Christian can overcome the temptation from the devil to be a coward by putting on the armor of God and focusing on the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17). Do you know what his other 13 temptations include and how you can overcome them? If not, ask for more information.

Help. If you’re serious about obeying the Lord’s command and leading others to Christ so they can be delivered from the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8), then we invite you to take/make time to read the following tract and two articles to help you be a better witness for Jesus while He keeps you here on earth. We glorify God by making Him known to others. This ought to be our highest priority in life (1 Corinthians 10:31). Is it yours?

Contact. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. We also ask that you be ready to share the Gospel with others at a moment’s notice (1 Peter 3:15). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation by Ford Porter in 24+ languages

http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

The Gospel In 24 Words by Dr. Manfred Kober

https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

The Clear Gospel illustrated by Dr. Ron Shea.

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

An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years, and they were returning to New York City to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.

No one paid much attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man.

As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”

“Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.

“I can’t help it; it doesn’t seem right.”

When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.

That night, the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.”

His wife replied, “Why don’t you go into the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”

A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”

“The Lord settled it with me,” he said. “I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and simply said, ‘But you’re not home yet!’”

From Talking To My Father, by Ray Stedman. Barbour & Co. 1997.

The Apostle Paul 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). And the Apostle Peter wrote these words to faithful Pastors.  “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).  As the song writer put it, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!/ Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ./ One glimpse of his dear face, all sorrow will erase./ So, bravely run the race till we see Christ.” – Esther K. Rusthoi

Are you ready to meet Jesus?  Have you placed your faith in Him alone as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day?  If not, why not do it right now and be saved from eternal condemnation (John 3:16, 18, 36)?

We’re here to help you know the Lord as your personal Savior and then grow spiritually so you can serve Him effectively while you’re here on earth.  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or 805-975-2883 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

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

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

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [those who aren’t Jews]” (Romans 1:16).

Quiz. “Each year, as I teach the doctrine of salvation, I give a quiz to test my students’ understanding of the Gospel. I ask them to imagine that they are in a hospital room, calling on an unbeliever who is at death’s door. The students have time for only twenty-five words to communicate the Gospel. After the 25th word the patient has passed away. What would the students say in this situation? Are they able to express the Gospel so concisely that if the mortally ill person responds properly, he is saved? Do the students comprehend the Gospel sufficiently to put the saving message in these few words?” – Dr. Manfred Kober. Do you know what you would say to such a person who was dying? If not, read his article below to find out how you too can share the gospel in 25 words. [1]

“Has anyone ever shown you from the Bible how you can know for certain that you will go to heaven when you die?” If not, read Dr. Ron Shea’s little booklet to help you. Or you can listen to an audio version of this too. [2]

Believing In Vain? Don’t be among those who “believe in vain” by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) as the cults and false religions do. Please read about “Lordship Salvation” by Dr. Manfred Kober [3] and George Zeller. [4]

Limited? Did Christ only die for a select group of people rather than for all mankind? What serious problems stem from believing in “limited atonement”? [5]

Your Destiny. My friend, having a correct understanding of the Gospel and believing in the Christ of the Scriptures, not the cults or false religions, will determine your eternal destiny in heaven or the lake of fire (John 3:16, 18, 36; 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46). You can know the facts of the Gospel, and believe the facts to be true without placing your faith in Christ alone to save you. Good works can’t save us (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [through the message of the Gospel] and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Answer. What are the 25 words you could use with a person who is about to die or with anyone else so he/she could be saved? “Friend: You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again [bodily]. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” [1]

Personal Testimony. I had a similar situation happen to me recently when I went to the hospital to visit a lady who was dying. I asked her if she knew for sure that she would go to heaven the moment she died. She said she didn’t know. I then asked her why she thought God might let her into heaven. She responded by saying that she thought she was a pretty good person. I shared with her the fact that we’re all sinners who have come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:10, 23). We’re not saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9) but by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. I asked her if she’d like to trust in Christ alone to save her. She responded by saying “Yes.” She died a few days later. Death bed conversions? Yes, I believe in them. I also had the privilege of leading a 95 year old man to the Lord awhile ago.

You Too. My friend, you can lead people to Christ too. A “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those who are involved in leading others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

Help. If you are not absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die (2 Corinthians 5:6-8), or if you believe that you must go to a purging place first, we’re here to help you make the most important decision of your life. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36). Don’t put this off because our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14; See Proverbs 27:1). Make sure today! (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask that you share this information with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] “Do We Really Know The Gospel?” by Dr. Manfred Kolber, http://www.faith.edu/resources/publications/faith-pulpit/message/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/read

[2] “The Gospel” by Dr. Ron Shea http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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

[3] “Lordship Salvation: Forgotten Truth or False Doctrine,” Dr. Manfred Kober

Part 1 http://www.faith.edu/resources/publications/faith-pulpit/message/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or-a-false-doctrine-part-1/read

Part 2 http://www.faith.edu/resources/publications/faith-pulpit/message/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or-a-false-doctrine-part-2/read

[4] Lordship Salvation, by George Zeller, http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

[5] Limited Atonement: by George Zeller http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/danger02.htm

 

1 Peter 4:15-19

We’re told that “attitude is everything.” How we respond to the circumstances of life tells others a lot about us. Do we grumble and gripe as the children of Israel in the wilderness did (1 Corinthians 10) or do we thank Him for opportunities to trust Him in the hard times of life (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:14)? Do we know God’s promises and mix them with faith and enjoy the peace of God (Hebrews 4:2, 3; Philippians 4:4-7)? Let’s consider –

The Believer’s Action In Relation To Suffering. It should be obvious that if we sin or do evil we usually will suffer for it (1 Peter 4:15, 16). Most often, we reap what we’ve sown (Galatians 6:7-9) and should recognize that the government has been given the God given responsibility to punish evil doers even to the point of death for some crimes against humanity (Romans 13:4). We should not expect to receive a gold medal if we competed in an athletic event and violated the rules of the game (2 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27). Nor should we expect to be rewarded for our service to God and/or to others if we engaged in the activity independently of God or without faith (John 15:5; Romans 14:23; Hebrews 11:6). If we should suffer as a result of doing what is right, we ought to commit our souls (emotions) to God and let Him bring us the needed comfort at such times (1 Peter 4:19). Jesus suffered mercilessly at the hands of wicked men. He died as the Just one for the unjust ones – you and me (1 Peter 3:18). He bore our sins and paid the penalty of death that we deserved (Isaiah 53:7-9; Romans 6:23). Throughout the pages of the Scriptures we have examples of believers who suffered unjustly at the hands of the wicked (See Hebrews 11; Acts 5:20, 41).

The Time Of Judgment In Relation To Suffering. No one will escape judgment day (Hebrews 9:27). Everyone who has died will be raised up someday and will stand before Judge Jesus (John 5:22). There will be different orders of resurrections and times of judgment (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). New Testament Grace believers will be judged according to their works when Christ returns at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:51, 52; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Their works that have the quality of gold, silver, and precious stones will endure the fire and will be rewarded. Their worthless works will be burned up but they will not lose their salvation. On the other hand, all the dead unbelievers will raised back to life with immortal bodies and will stand before the omniscient (John 2:24), omnipotent (Revelation 1:8), and righteous (2 Timothy 4:8) Judge Jesus at the Great While Throne to have their works evaluated to determine their degree of suffering in the eternal lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15). There will not be any second opportunities to be saved as some cults teach. Yes, there seems to be greater degrees of pleasure in heaven for those Christians who earned some or all of the five crowns on earth so they can cast them at Jesus’ feet when He judges their works (Revelation 4:10). In like manner there will be degrees of suffering in the lake of fire for all unbelievers (Matthew 10:15; 23:13-36; James 3:1). The unforgivable sin is unbelief (John 3:6, 18; 36; 5:40; 16:8-11).

The Gospel. The “Bad News” is that we’re all sinners who deserve to be eternally separated from a holy God in the lake of fire forever (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23). But the “Good News” is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. He can/will save any and all who put their faith in Him apart from their good works (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9). The Scriptures don’t teach universalism – that eventually everyone will be saved and end up in heaven. Some people hate God and don’t want to spend eternity with Him and His children. They love darkness and won’t come to the Light of the world to be saved (John 3:19; Revelation 13:6; 16:11).

Suffering? If you, as a Christian, are suffering for doing what it sinful, confess and forsake your sinful conduct.  To keep from repeating the same sins over and over again, utilize the techniques taught in the Scriptures (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13). We teach Christians how to overcome the distinct temptations that come from the devil, their own sin nature, and from the present world system. If you are suffering for doing what is right, be encouraged by these words: “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls [emotional stability] to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19). “…if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I [Paul] consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:17, 18; See 2 Cor. 11:23-33; 2 Timothy 2:10). If you’re a Christian, your troubles didn’t come to stay but to pass. If you’re not a Christian and if you die as an unbeliever, your suffering and troubles are just beginning. You won’t be resting in peace (R.I.P.) in the lake of fire. Don’t delay! Trust in Christ alone today! God desires (not determines) that everyone be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). He wants His children to enjoy their eternal life abundantly (John 10:10).

Help. If you aren’t sure that you will go immediately into God’s presence in heaven the moment you die, we’d be happy to try to help you have such assurance from God’s Word (1 John 5:13) and from God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please pass it on to others so we can help them too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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

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

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org