Archive for the ‘Crowns’ Category

“When affliction comes [and it will], don’t expect to understand immediately what the Lord is trying to teach [you as a Christian]…Let’s be content that our great and good Shepherd is up ahead in all the tomorrows, and that nothing comes to us unless it first passes through Him. Because of this, we can [and should] give thanks in [the midst of] our trials [1 Thessalonians 5:18]. The weak Christian cries, ‘When am I going to get out of my troubles?’ The spiritual believer asks, ‘What am I going to get out of them?’ Heaven-sent trials and adversity are therefore the honor badges of membership in the family of God!” “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6). – Taken from Henry Bosch, Rainbows For God‘s Children In The Storm, Radio Bible Class, pp. 9, 10

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12; See also 1 Peter 4:12-19). But “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

The Good News is that “Christ died for our sins…was buried…and rose again bodily on the third day, and was seen by over 500 witnesses” (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). Now then “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and your will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

To earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” we must share this Good News with others so they can be saved (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). When was the last time you did this?

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

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

 

Contrary to what some people believe, God’s offer of deliverance/salvation from the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) to heaven is limited to those who are physically alive on earth but spiritually dead (separated from God – Ephesians 2:1).  There are no second chances to be saved, once you are physically dead (Hebrews 9:27). The truthful Scriptures (John 17:17) don’t teach reincarnation. This false teaching gives people a false hope that perhaps if they haven’t been good enough on earth, they will come back in some other form to try again to earn their way to a better place. Our salvation is not based on our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). It was purchased at great cost by Christ’s precious blood when He died on the cross (1 Peter 1:18, 19; 3:18). It’s offered freely to all those who belong to the human race (John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 John 2:2). We all come from one man and woman (Adam and Eve – Romans 5:12). There is only one race – the “human race” but many ethnic groups who speak many languages (Acts 17:26). These groups and languages came into existence at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Evolution is a theory (not a fact) that runs contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures (Genesis 1:26-2:7). Salvation isn’t offered to the devil or the fallen angels/demons. They believe in God and tremble but they aren’t and can’t be saved (James 2:19; Matthew 4:3; 8:29).

Deliverance/Salvation. If you’re reading this, you have the opportunity to be saved if you aren’t saved already. To be saved, you must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” exclusively (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31) through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). “Christ [of the Scriptures, not the cults] died [once and for all – Hebrews 10:10] for our sins [because you are a sinner like all the rest of us (Romans 3:10-23) and you, like we, deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23). Jesus was buried in a tomb for three days (Matthew 12:40; John 2:19; 10:15-18) to prove that He had died and paid the penalty for our sins. But He rose again bodily on the third day.” His bodily resurrection was validated by over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Romans 4:25). His resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all those who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). Some will be raised to spend eternity with God and others will be raised and judged at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:1-15).  All of them will be sent to the lake of fire to suffer forever where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). My friend, we don’t want you to go there. This is why we write these articles to help you avoid that awful place. Then Jesus ascended literally, gradually, and publicly in the presence of His disciples back into heaven from where He came (Acts 1:9-11; John 3:13).

Scoffers. There are many scoffers today (2 Peter 3:3) who deny the literal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church (2 John 1:7), known also as “The Body of Christ” (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Seven years after the Rapture Jesus will return to this earth to rule and reign as the King of kings, and Lord of lords for 1,000 years (Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16; 20:1-7).

Normal/Literal Interpretation. Some of these people who believe that the prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, don’t believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming are to be taken literally. Are they in for a shock? Yes!  About one third of the Bible was prophetic in nature when it was written. Ignoring Bible prophecy has many ramifications. These people won’t be loving His imminent return and consequently they won’t earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). The “Rapture” is a “Comforting Hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), a “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13),  and a “Purifying Hope” (1 John 3:3). Our hope is not wishful thinking but a confident expectation based on promises from God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2; John 14:6).

Help. If you aren’t absolutely sure of your salvation, or if you have honest questions and are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

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

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

Dispensations Chart: http://kelseypeach.com/Kelsey.8.pdf

 

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.

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John 7:40-43

Ask the average man on the street what he thinks about Jesus and you will probably get all sorts of answers just as it happened in Jesus’ day. When Jesus asked His disciples. “Who do men say that I am?” they said that some people were saying that He was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. But when Jesus asked them what they had to say about Him, Peter replied, “You are the Christ/Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16; See John 20:31).

Prophet. The Jews had been taught that God would send another prophet like Moses to them sometime in the future (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18). The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that both Moses and Jesus were faithful to their calling, and honored, but Moses was inferior to Jesus since Moses was a servant in the house but Jesus was not only the builder of the house but the Son over the house (Hebrews 3:1-6). As a Prophet, Jesus made many predictions about His second coming to earth to rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 24, 25; See Revelation 19:16). He also predicted His coming for the true Christians before the seven years of tribulation (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9). The last half of the seven years of the Tribulation are also known as the “Great Tribulation” or “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21). Are you familiar with the order of things to come? If not, we’d be happy to share this information with you upon your requesting it and our FREE “Dispensations Chart.”

Priest. In addition to Jesus’ being a Prophet who conveyed God’s message to mankind (John 1:18), He also functions as a High Priest who is a go between mankind and God the Father (Hebrews 6:20; 9:11). He, not His mother, is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). We do not pray to her or to the saints to intercede on our behalf. Unlike Old Testament believers living under the Mosaic Law, all New Testament Christians are believer/priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) and can approach God through our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). As priests we can/should offer up to God spiritual sacrifices rather than bloody sacrifices. Do you know what these sacrifices include (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16)? Are you offering them up to God on a regular basis?

King. Jesus is the rightful King of the Jews who came 2,000 years ago. He was/is the greater Son (descendant) of King David (Matthew 1:1-17; 2 Samuel 7:12). Joseph was His step father who passed down to Jesus the right to rule. Do you know why he couldn’t be the actual father of Jesus (Matthew 1:11; Jeremiah 22:24-30). The mother of His humanity (not the Mother of God) was still a virgin up until the time of Jesus’ birth as it had been predicted (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23-25). Later she and Joseph had other children who were Jesus’ half brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:46; John 7:5). She also was from the line of King David through his son Nathan (Luke 3:23-38).

Kingdom. A King needs people over which to rule. When questioned by Pilate the Roman governor about His being the King of the Jews, Jesus responded by saying, “My kingdom is not of [out of] this world” (John 18:36; See Daniel 2:44, 45). Because the Jewish leaders and most of the people rejected Him as their Messiah and King (Luke 19:14), He postponed the setting up of His kingdom to a future date (Matthew 16:20-23; 23:37-39). When He returns after the seven years of the Tribulation, (which seem to be just around the corner), He will put down all opposition and set up His 1,000 year reign on this earth (Psalm 2:7-12; Revelation 19:11-20:6). Many people within Christendom accept the prophecies concerning His first coming as having been fulfilled literally, and yet they refuse to believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming are literal. They use an allegorical method of interpreting the Scriptures and change the normal meaning of words as they were intended to be understood. This form of interpretation began in the garden of Eden when Satan questioned what God had said to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-5). Do you know which part Satan spoke was the truth and which part was a lie?

Messiah/Christ. Jesus fulfilled the predictions concerning the Messiah. As the Old Testament prophets wrote about Him, they weren’t able to distinguish clearly His first coming from His second coming. When Jesus came 2,000 years ago He fulfilled four of the prophecies that Isaiah the prophet had made concerning Him. He preached good tidings to the poor, healed the broken hearted, proclaimed liberty to the captives, and proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1-2a). But the rest of Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled at His second coming (Isaiah 61:2b-3). When Jesus read this passage in the synagogue and then sat down after reading the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy He said, “Today this [much of the] Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). But rather than accepting Him as their promised Messiah/King , they took offense at Him and wanted to cast Him down from the brow of the hill (Luke 4:28-30).

Opinions. Some of His enemies thought that Jesus was demon possessed and mad (John 10:20). Others accused Him of being an illegitimate, half breed Samaritan (John 8:41, 48). Then there were those who accused Him of blasphemy (Matthew 9:3; See Leviticus 24:16) for making Himself out to be equal to God (John 5:18; 10:30-33). It might surprise you to know that His own half brothers and even His mother, Mary came to take Him away because they thought He was out of His mind when He gathered to Himself the 12 disciples (Mark 3:21, 31-35). This was in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy which said, “…Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). It wasn’t until after His bodily resurrection that His half brothers James and Jude believed on Him as the true Messiah (1 Corinthians 15: 7). These two brothers also wrote two letters to the New Testament Christians that bear their names.

False Teachers. Believe it or not, there are many men and women today who stand in the pulpit claiming to be minsters of God who deny the full deity of Christ (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9), His virgin birth (Matthew 1:23), His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), His substitutionary death for our sins (1 Peter 3:18), and His bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). They also teach another gospel and a works based salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Sometimes the conditions for discipleship or spiritual maturity are made the conditions for salvation. It’s known as “Lordship for salvation.” Are you being misled by one or more of them? Ask them what they really believe about Jesus. Are you supporting them with your money based on their promise that if you give them $10 you’ll get back $100? What are and where do you find in the Scriptures the Christian principles for giving today? Is it 10% of your net or gross? Would you be surprised to know that the Old Testament believers, living under the Mosaic Law, had to give 23% of their gross income? Withholding this meant the loss of physical blessings and a curse (Malachi 3:8-12; See Deuteronomy 28:15ff).

Your Thoughts. What are your honest thoughts about Jesus? Is he just a mere man, a good teacher, a famous prophet, or some superstar? In your opinion, is He a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord God? Perhaps you know and believe that He died for your sins, was buried for three days, and then rose again bodily on the third day, and was seen by over 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). But merely knowing and believing the facts of the Gospel aren’t enough to save you (James 2:19). You must transfer your faith from yourself and your good works over to Christ alone to save you (Acts 4:12; 16:31). Have you done this yet? Are you believing in vain by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Revelation 22:18, 19)?

Destiny. Our eternal destiny in heaven or the lake of fire is hinged to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 18, 36; 14:1-3; Mathew 25:41, 46). Please don’t be deceived by the false Christs of the cults who can’t save anyone (Matthew 24:5). We don’t all worship the same God. Make sure you’re saved God’s way – by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Share. Once you’re truly saved, help others by sharing the pure Gospel with them and inviting them to trust our Savior too (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31). Earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” by leading others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

Help. If you have questions/comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for more information and help. If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

We all need money or a medium of exchange with others if we want to secure their goods and/or services. Money is not evil in itself (1 Timothy 6:10) but it can be secured illegally (Ephesians 4:28) and used for inappropriate purposes (Isaiah 55:2; James 4:3). It is a part of this present world system over which the devil rules (Ephesians 2:2; Genesis 4:20). The maturing Christian is told, Do not love the world or the things in the world…” (I John 2:15-17). We can’t love God and the diabolical world system that is passing away, at the same time.

So what? The believer needs to learn how to use the present world system without abusing it (1 Corinthians 7:31). When he does this, he will bring glory to God and blessing to others along life’s path. Most of the Christian’s rewards will be “out of this world.” We’re Managers, Not Owners.

God Owns Everything

He created it. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1; See Psalm 50:10; 89:11; 95:5; Haggai 2:8; John 1:3). This includes the visible things (2 Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 11:3) and the invisible things (Romans 1:20; Colossians1:16; Hebrews 11:1).

He maintains it. “[He] created the heavens and stretched them out, [He] spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, [He] gives breath to the people on it…” (Isaiah 42:5, 6). Being omnipotent, He holds all the molecules together (Colossians 1:16, 17; See 2 Peter 3:10-13). He has allowed the devil and mankind to govern the earth for a little while (Ephesians 2:2; Genesis 1:26).

He purchased it. “[He] bought [us] at a price…” (1 Corinthians 6:20). This included all of humanity (1 Peter 1:18, 19; See Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 19:16). But the full benefits of salvation only come to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (1 Timothy 6:17; 2 Peter 1:3).

God Has Entrusted To Christians

Spiritual Blessings. We have all spiritual blessings from the moment of our salvation (Ephesians 1:3; Psalm 103:1-22). They are all undeserved on our part and come through faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Most Christians don’t know how blessed they really are. Every true Christian is said to be “in Christ” by the spiritual baptizing work of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). If you’re a Christian, what do you know about your position in Christ and your possessions in Christ?

Emotional Blessings. While “peace with God” comes once and for all at the moment of our salvation (Romans 5:1), the “peace of God” comes and goes as the believer mixes or fails to mix the promises of God with faith (Hebrews 4:2; See Psalm 4:7, 8; 97:11). Since the soul of the believer isn’t saved yet (1 Peter 1:9), the saved spirit of the believer (1 Corinthians 6:17) must maintain control over the soul (i.e., the emotions) and the body that isn’t saved yet either (Romans 8:23). Only then can a believer hope to earn the “incorruptible crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27) to give to the Lord when he sees Him face to face at the Bema Seat Judgment (Revelation 5:10; See 1 Corinthians 3:12-15;1 John 3:2).

Material Blessings. The Old Testament Jews were promised material blessings if they were obedient to the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 28:1ff). But if they were disobedient, they would be cursed and chased out of the land that God promised to them (Deuteronomy 28:15ff). One day they will get all the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River (Genesis 15:18-21). God has not cast His people (i.e., the Jews) away forever (Romans 11:1). New Testament believers are promised food for our stomachs and clothing (i.e., a covering) for our bodies (1 Timothy 6:8). But God has blessed us with for more than just these things. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17; See 1 Corinthians 4:7). Have you thanked Him for what you have? Have you thanked Him for the things you don’t have that easily could become idols to you?  Don’t make things into idols that could come between you and God (1 John 5:21; See Exodus 20:4-6; Galatians 5:20). Delight yourself in the Lord, not in things. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

God Expects Us To Manage His Resources Well

Accountability. We’re to act like stewards (i.e., managers), not owners (1 Corinthians 4:2; See Ephesians 3:1ff). We will give an account to God someday as to how we spent our time, talents (spiritual gifts) and treasures (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 4:10). We are not to give needless offense to other people (Romans 12:18; 1 Corinthians 10:32; 2 Corinthians 6:3).

Rewards and Crowns. There are five crowns that Christians can earn for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The “Incorruptible Crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25), the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20), the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8), the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10), and the “Crown of Glory” (1 Peter 5:4). Do you how to earn them?

Future. Most of our rewards for faithful service to God and others are yet to come (Romans 8:18). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that you labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). So “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website:www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles a they come out, click on “Follow.” If this article has helped you, will you send it to someone else?  If you’re not absolutely sure you’ll go to heaven the moment you die, read or listen to these:

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

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The water was getting hotter and hotter and the hatred for Jesus was boiling after He deliberately healed a lame man on the Sabbath. The man hadn’t even asked to be healed. Jesus was accused of violating the Sabbath, and making Himself equal to God. To make matters worse, Jesus told them that one day He would be their Judge (John 5:22, 23). Believe it or not, one day everyone will bow down to the Lord Jesus Christ and admit that He is the God-man (Philippians 2:9-11; See Psalm 2). However, this does not mean that everyone will eventually be saved. This heresy is known as “Universalism.”

Accountable. Many people live their lives without realizing that someday they will give an account of themselves to the God-man (Romans 14:12). Every human being who has died, from the beginning of time, will be raised from the dead by the Lord Jesus Christ, who is omnipotent (Revelation 1:8), and participate in different resurrections and judgments (1 Corinthians 15:20-24, 51, 52). Do you know in which one you will participate and what the outcome of it might be?

The Judge. Not only is Jesus the only Savior who offers salvation (i.e. deliverance from hell to heaven) to all mankind (John 3:16), God the Father made Him the Judge whom everyone will face someday (John 5:22, 23; Hebrews 9:27). Jesus is omniscient and knows everything there is to know about us, including our thoughts and motives (John 2:24; 1 Corinthians 4:5). He is the righteous Judge and cannot be bribed or made to do something unjust (2 Timothy 4:8). He is the truth and will speak the truth about our true condition (John 14:6). Being omnipotent (Revelation 1:8), He can and will cast all unbelievers into the lake of fire to suffer forever (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:15; 21:8), and He will take to heaven all true Christians who have placed their faith in Him alone for their salvation (John 14:1-3). We are not saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5). God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). He desires and wants everyone, from all the nations on earth, to come to Him for salvation (1 Timothy 2:4). If you’re a Christian, what are you doing to get the Gospel to them so they can be saved?

The Judgments

Confusion. Many people believe in the annihilation of the wicked or in reincarnation. Neither of these are taught in the Scriptures. Some people have the mistaken idea that there will be just one general resurrection and judgment at the end of time to determine if one gets into heaven or not. There is an old song that tells people to forget their troubles, get happy, chase all their cares away. Shout Hallelujah and get ready for judgment day. But wouldn’t their joy or sorrow depend on whether a person goes to heaven or hell?

Cross. God the Father demonstrated His love for sinful humanity by sending His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to this earth to die for all our sins (“once for all” Hebrews 10:10)…and rise again bodily from the dead on the third day (Isaiah 53:6; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:39). God the Son willingly went to the cross to take our place as the Just One for us, the unjust ones (John 10:14-18; 1 Peter 3:18). God promises eternal life (i.e. God’s quality of life) right now to any and all who will put their faith in Him alone for their salvation (1 John 5:13). Those who reject Him and His plan of salvation are under condemnation right now (John 3:18, 36). If you don’t believe on Him before you die physically, you will be eternally separated from Him in the lake of fire. You and I have no guarantee that we will be alive tomorrow (James 4:14). “There is therefore now no condemnation to [Christians] who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Would you like this kind of eternal security right now (1 John 5:13)? You can have it today (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).

Self Judgment. Every true Christian is safe and secure in Christ. But this doesn’t mean that a Christian won’t ever sin again after he/she is saved. This is desirable, but not a reality (1 John 2:1, 2). God has made it possible for us not to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:3) but most of us don’t take the “way of escape” and continuously live victorious Christian lives. We won’t be sinless until we die or the Rapture takes place (1 John 3:2). Every true Christian participates in the divine nature at the time of salvation (2 Peter 1:4) but still retains his/her old sin nature (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). We all have the potential to engage in all the sinful activities that we engaged in prior to our being saved (Galatians 5:19-21). This is why the Apostle Paul told Christians to “walk [by means of] the [Holy] Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust (i.e. strong desires) of the flesh/sin nature” (Galatians 5:16, 25). When the Holy Spirit pricks our conscience and convinces us that we have sinned (i.e. acted lawlessly), we need to change our mind about what we have done (repent) and then confess (admit) our sin(s) to God and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). If we have sinned against another person, we should confess it to him/her too (James 5:16). If they’re willing to forgive us, we should also ask them not to hold it against us anymore. God can’t forget anything since He is omniscient, but He doesn’t hold our sins against us once they’ve been confessed properly to Him (Ezekiel 33:16). Do you know why God allows us to be tempted again in the same areas of our lives (James 1:13-15)? What crown can a believer earn if he/she successfully overcomes sins (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)?

Works. When all true New Testament Christians stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the “Bema Seat Judgment” they will have the works they did on earth examined (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). The worthless works, done independently of God and apart from the Holy Spirit’s leading (John 15:5; Romans 8:14), will be burned up without the Christian’s losing his/her salvation. But if we did the good works that God planned for us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10), with love (1 Corinthians 13), in the power of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:13), we will be rewarded with crowns and praise from the Lord Himself. Do you know what the five crowns are and how to attain/earn them (1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4)? If you earn one or more of them, what will you do with them (Revelation 4:10)? How will this relate to your pleasures in heaven for eternity?

Israelites. Each of the Seven Dispensations” (rules for living), found in the Scriptures, has a responsibility, a test, and demonstrates a failure on mankind’s part to do what God expected him to do. (See our “Dispensational Chart” for more information.) The judgment of the Jewish nation was not carried out at the time of Christ’s death for our sins. It will be carried out during the last half of the seven year Tribulation, known as “the times of Jacob’s troubles” (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff). We believe that the seven Trumpet Judgments (Revelation 8:2-9:21; 11:15-19) will be designed primarily to purge out all the unbelieving Jews (Ezekiel 20:37) and enable the believing remnant to enter the promised “Kingdom of the Heavens” with the King of kings and Lord of lords (Daniel 2:44, 45; Romans 9:27; Revelation 19:16). Be careful not to confuse the true Church with Israel. Beware of the heretical teaching known as “Replacement Theology.”  You can learn a lot about a person’s world view simply by asking, “Do you believe that the Jews have a right to the land of Israel? To whom was it given – Ishmael or Isaac?”

Angels. Yes, spirit beings are real and are very active in people’s lives every day. Two thirds of the angels are good, and one third are evil (Revelation 12:4). None of the cherubs except Lucifer rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12ff; Ezekiel 28:12ff). We know very little about the seraphs (Isaiah 6:2). Some of the angels that followed Satan were involved in trying to contaminate the human race by intermarrying with human women and producing hybrids (Genesis 3:15; 6:4). Some object by quoting Scripture – “For in the resurrection they (i.e. humans) neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 12:3). Please note that it says the angels in heaven are not given in marriage. It doesn’t say anything about the fallen angels (demons) in this context. We believe the best explanation of the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6:4 is that it refers to some of the fallen angels who took on humanoid form. They cohabitated with human women and produced “giants…mighty men of renown.” These fallen angels (demons) are currently confined in “Tartarus” in the heart of the earth (2 Peter 2:4). Other fallen angels are actively engaged in opposing God and His children here on earth (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12). Satan spends most of his time in God’s presence accusing Christians of their misdeeds (Revelation 12:10). He and his angels will all be cast out of heaven to the earth at the middle of the Tribulation and will do all they can to destroy the nation of Israel in an attempt to try to foil God’s plan for them. (Note: Satan will be confined in the Abyss during the millennium and won’t be cast into the lake of fire until it’s over – Revelation 20:1-10.) If God is not able to preserve a believing remnant from entering the “Kingdom of the Heavens,” and inheriting all the land that God said He’d give to them (Genesis 15:18-21), then Satan himself has the hope that God won’t be able to cast him into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). This is an impossibility. God will win the final battle and rule into the ages of the ages, even into eternity (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Ephesians 2:7). He will keep all His promises to the Jews and to Christians. This gives us hope (Romans 15:4). What promises do you know and claim as your own?  How does this help you enjoy the peace of GodAre you trying to claim some promises that weren’t given to you?

Wicked Dead. The final judgment will take place when the Lord Jesus Christ raises the wicked dead from their graves and causes them to stand before Him at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15; 1 Corinthians 15:24). True Christians, as His Bride, will be at His side as He judges the wicked according to their works done on this earth. This will determine their degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever. Among those who will suffer the most, next to the devil and demons, are those who are false prophets and false teachers who teach another Jesus and another gospel (2 Peter 2:1ff; Jude 1:13; Matthew 7:21-23; 24:5; 25:30, 41, 46; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

You And I. One day you and I will stand before Judge Jesus and have the works we did on earth evaluated. These judgments won’t be to determine our getting into heaven or not. They will determine our degree of pleasure in heaven or our torment in the lake of fire (Luke 12:47, 48). Our entrance into heaven is based on one act of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for ours sins…and rose again bodily on the third day from the dead. Once saved, we’re to live with an attitude of faith (Romans 1:16, 17).

Questions. Are you sure that you will go to heaven some day? Do you really want to go there or do you want to go to hell with all your friends and party there? What if hell is what Jesus said it is – a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30; Luke 16:19-31)? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe you’re 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? If you’re saved, are you pleasing God and doing His will (2 Corinthians 5:10)? If not, what needs to change? See 1 John 3:4; James 4:17; Romans 14:23.

Help. If, after reading the Scriptures associated with the statements we’ve made, you still need added help, you may contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change when exposed to the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:2). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

If you’ve ever studied a catechism, you probably know that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 16:11). God’s primary purpose is to make Himself known to His creatures through His creation (Psalm 19:1), through His written Word (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16 17), and through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). When He saves someone, He usually leaves him/her here on earth for a little while to bear witness to His power to transform our lives into a Christ likeness (Galatians 2:20; 4:19; Isaiah 64:8). Let’s consider –

The Jews In Israel

Having chosen them, not because of their size (Deuteronomy 7:7, 8) but for reasons fully known only to Himself, God gave them the honor and privilege of bearing witness for Him as the heathen people from other nations traveled through Israel on their way to Africa, Asia, or Europe. These foreigners could have witnessed the magnificence of the God of the Jews who dwelt between the cherubim in the Temple built by King Solomon (Isaiah 43:10, 12; 44:8). But rather than drawing the heathen to the true and living God, the Jews began to live like their heathen neighbors (Isaiah 2:8; Jeremiah 44:17ff).

As a result of this, God withdrew His presence from the Temple and the Shekinah glory cloud departed (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:23). Ichabod (i.e. “the glory has departed”) could have been written over the Jewish nation (1 Samuel 4:21). It would be about 400 more years before the glory of God would be seen in the rebuilt Temple when the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ made His appearance in the Temple as a baby for the first time (Luke 2:34, 41-50). Because the Jewish people disregarded the Old Testament Prophets and their warnings, God used enemy nations to deport them to foreign lands (Luke 11:49-51; Daniel 1:1, 2).

Even though there have been other deportations and holocausts in the past, there will be an even greater holocaust in the future (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff). It may not be far off. God has not permanently forsaken the Jewish nation and He never will (Romans 11:1ff). The believing remnant will be restored to the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendents (Romans 11:5; Genesis 15:18-21).

The Shekinah glory of the Lord’s presence will be seen again during the millennium. The people living on earth during this time will be able to see Christ every day as the light from His presence shines down on the earth from the heavenly New Jerusalem in the second heaven (Matthew 24:29ff; Ezekiel 44:4; Zechariah 12:10; 14:4ff; Revelation 21:22ff). This is where He and the Church will be residing for 1,000 years.

The Christians In The World

The true Church began on the Day of Pentecost and will come to its completion at the Rapture when all whom the Father has given to the Son have come to Him (John 6:37; Acts 2-1; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). It is made up of all true believers from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds (Galatians 3:28). We have been given the privilege and opportunity to bear witness for God in a sinful world (Acts 1:8).

In spite of the divine power that has been given to us from the Holy Spirit, and being indwelt by Christ (Colossians 1:27), and having the modern tools of technology, the church as a whole is not making much progress in the evangelizing of the lost people in the world with the Gospel concerning Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Why? False teachers are presenting to people around the world other gospels and other plans of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4). But they have no saving power to transform lives (Romans 1:15, 17). What is the Gospel [1] and how are people saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9)?  Don’t be misled yourself and don’t mislead others whom you’re trying to win to Christ.

When we, as Christians, stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the Bema Seat Judgment, I often wonder how I personally will measure up to what God expected of me (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). I like to ask myself the questions posed by Dr. Howard Hendricks: “Is the Lord well pleased? Is the Work well done? Is the Word well used (i.e. being applied to my life)? Each Christian needs to be examining his/her life by the standard of God’s Word that is addressed to Christians (1 Corinthians 11:28; Titus 1:9).

Do you know if you will receive the Crown of Rejoicing for having had a part in the salvation of other people (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)? What about the other four Crowns you and I can earn?

The 144,000 Witnesses Among The Nations

These men will be Jews who come from the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4-8). Don’t worry. God knows where all the Jews are and to which tribe they belong. They will be dispatched during the Tribulation to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom (i.e. the rule of the heavens over the earth – Matthew 4:23; 16:20; 24:14) throughout the whole world. This is necessary because of the Church’s failure to do what she was supposed to do.

During Christ’s days on earth His disciples were to go only to other Jews (Matthew 10:5ff). But during the seven years of the Tribulation, these Jewish witnesses will go to Jews and non-Jews (Matthew 24:14). Daniel prophesied that the Messiah (God’s Anointed One) would come to rule over the whole earth. It will begin with 1,000 years and then go on into eternity (Daniel 9:24-27; See Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 9:6, 7; 61:1-3; Revelation 19:16ff; 20:1-6).

When Jesus stood before Pilate He said, “My kingdom is not of [i.e. out of] his world” (John 18:36). It will be a literal kingdom on/over the earth for 1,000 years. It will be completely different than the kingdoms of men (Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, Roman, or the revived Roman empire – Daniel 2:36-43; 7:1-8).

The responses of the people to the 144,000 Jewish witnesses in giving them some food to eat or water to drink will indicate whether they believe in their message concerning Christ and His coming Kingdom or not (Matthew 25:312-46). No one ever was or can be saved by his/her good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Our good works are the evidence we provide to other people who can’t see our faith (James 2:19, 20). God knows and can see our faith when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ through the message of the Gospel (Acts 16:31: 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 4:3, 16; 10:16).

The Millennials In The Kingdom

The first generation of those who enter the Kingdom of the Heavens will be saved people (Matthew 25:34). But they will have children who will need to believe on Christ to be saved. God has no grandchildren. Every one will have an innate knowledge of God (Jeremiah 31:34) and there will be no need to evangelize others. But knowledge alone is not enough to save someone. There must be a transfer of trust from one’s self to Christ alone.

Because of the severe penalties associated with sinful behavior during the millennium, most of the unbelievers will comply with the rules of the Kingdom (Matthew 5:29, 30). It’s hard to imagine that people who will be living on a Paradise like earth would even think about not believing on Christ and obeying Him.

During the millennium the devil will be bound in the Abyss (Revelation 20:1-3). The world system that was devised by the devil, will have been abolished (1 John 2:15-17). Even though the sin nature of man will be curbed, by virtue of having his every need supplied, the unsaved people will still long for the day when they can make one last stab at God and throw off His rule over them (See Psalm 2). They will join the devil when he is released out of the Abyss at the end of the millennium.

This will be the last time there will ever be a rebellion against God. Jesus will cast all these rebels into the lake of fire where they will suffer forever (Matthew 26:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:7-9).

Then He will raise up all the other unsaved dead people who will stand before Judge Jesus at the Great White Throne (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 15:24). These unsaved people will be judged according to their works done on the earth to determine the degree of suffering they will experience in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:10-15). We certainly hope that you won’t be among those to whom Jesus says, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41)!

The Real Problem

No matter what kind of rules for living (dispensations) that God imposes on all or some of mankind, unaided man always fails the tests because he has a heart that is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23). Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But “[You and I as Christians] can do all things through Him who strengthens [us]” (Philippians 4:13).

Every Christian who walks (orders his life) by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) has the potential to live a life that pleases and brings glory to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 10:31). The choice is yours. What will you do?

If you, as a Christian, have any known sins that haven’t been confessed to God, confess them to Him now and to others if you have sinned against them (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). We’re all sending verbal and non-verbal messages to others all the time. What is the message that other people are getting from you and me? What needs to change?

Help

We don’t have all the answers to life’s questions. But we are happy to share what we know with others who sincerely want to know and do God’s will. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Thanks to all of you who are forwarding the articles that help you to others.  We want to bless you so you can bless others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

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

Audio of Clear Gospel: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

Social Gospel: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/greatcom.htm

 

 

Faith. Everyone has a belief system from which he/she operates and speaks. Jesus said, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). It’s “not what goes into the mouth [that] defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man” (Matthew 15:11). “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he [at that moment]” (Proverbs 23:7). What’s in your heart? How did it get there? Upon what do you meditate?

Heart. Believe it or not, God’s Word says, “The heart [of mankind] is deceitful and desperately wicked; Who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9; See Romans 3:10-23)? This is why we need a new nature from above (John 3:3) and can get one from God at the moment of our salvation (2 Peter 1:4). Contrary to what some are teaching, Christians don’t lose their sin nature when we get saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). [1]

Conversations. Do you like to talk to other people? I do. If I can, I like to steer the conversation around to spiritual things to find out what others believe about God, the Bible, and man’s future. After all, we’re all going to spend eternity somewhere according to the Scriptures. Assuming that the Scriptures are true (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17), I have confidence that I will spend eternity with God in heaven, not because of the good works that I have done (Ephesians 2:8, 9), but because God graciously offered me (and all mankind) the gift of eternal life, and I received it by faith (John 3:16; 1 John 5:13). I’d like for you and others to have what I’ve been given.

Mistaken. There are people who believe in reincarnation or the annihilation of the wicked. Jesus, who is the truth (John 14:6), didn’t teach this (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Did you know that Jesus will be the just Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8)? He is the omniscient God-man (John 1:1-18; 2:24).  Do you know in which judgment you will participate?

Doubt? You’ve probably met people who have said: “I believe in God. I couldn’t have made it through my problems without Him.” Or “Yes, I believe Jesus died for our sins and rose again.” But somehow you think there may be something missing.

Knowledge. First, saving faith involves knowledge about Someone or something. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without [someone’s proclaiming the gospel]…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God [i.e. the specific Gospel message concerning Christ] (Romans 10:14, 17)?  Many people in the world don’t know anything about Jesus.

Repentance. True faith includes Biblical repentance [2]. We need to change our minds about ourselves. We’re all sinners who deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire. We’re helpless, hopeless, and hell bound sinners (Romans 3:10-23; 5:6; 6:23; Ephesians 2:12). We also need to change our minds about the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only way to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31). He alone died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:39; Acts 1:1-11). Beware of the “false Christs of the cults” (Matthew 24:4, 5; 2 Corinthians 11:4). They can’t save anyone.

Mental Assent. Secondly, saving faith involves mental assent. We must agree with the facts of the Gospel. Many people would tell you that they do believe in Jesus and the Gospel, and yet they remain unsaved. “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble” (James 2:19). The Apostle Paul talked about people who “believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2). Whenever a person perverts the Gospel by adding good works of any kind, or taking away part of the Gospel or changing it, that person is believing in vain. (Consider some of the additional conditions that are being imposed on people for salvation) [3]. The Apostle Paul insisted that the bodily resurrection be a part of the Gospel message (2 Timothy 2:8-10). It’s often left out of many Gospel presentations. Without it we have no hope (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).

Trust. Thirdly, genuine saving faith involves complete trust in the person and work of Christ on the cross. It was a once and for all transaction (Hebrews 10:10). We don’t re-crucify Christ when we observe the Lord’s Supper. Concerning the young believers in Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul wrote, “…you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).

Magic? No, faith is not magic. Faith doesn’t save us. We aren’t saved on account of faith but through faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9). God saves us when we believe in (on) Christ through the message of the Gospel (Acts 16:31). Saving faith involves knowledge, mental assent, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

Question. Have you met God’s condition for salvation? Are you certain you’re saved? Personally, for many years, I knew the facts, agreed with them, but lacked faith in Christ alone for my salvation. I was trying to add good works to my faith. We can/should make sure of our salvation (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13). Once saved, we should study God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15) to discover how God wants us to live (James 2:18) for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Don’t make the conditions for spiritual growth the conditions for salvation. James 4:7-10 are instructions to those who are saved, not conditions for one to be saved. Beware! [4]

Crown. If you’re saved and know it, will you help us tell others how they too can be saved and spend eternity with God in heaven forever (Acts 16:31)? A “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those who have a part in leading others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

Help. If you need additional spiritual help, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Can we count on you to share with others this or some other articles that have been a help to you? Together we can reach many people for the Lord.

Some material adapted from What Is Saving Faith by Michael Cocoris, EvanTell [5]

[1] Sin Nature. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm00.htm

[2] Repentance. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/termsrep.htm

[3] False conditions for salvation. See “Clear Gospel.” www.cleargospel.org

[4] Lordship for Salvation. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

[5] Valuable evangelistic information/tools. www.evantell.org

 

 

 

Every home has, or should have, clearly understood house rules if there is to be order and harmony in it. Too many children grow up in homes where the rules are constantly changing. They don’t know what to expect and are disciplined for violating rules that they didn’t even know existed. This causes many children to be needlessly provoked to wrath (Ephesians 6:4).

Dispensations. Far too many people are confused about dispensations. Some, within Christendom, think that a dispensation is the exemption from the immediate obligation of law in certain cases. Others think that dispensations are different ways of salvation. But briefly stated, they are simply the progressive house rules that God has imposed or will impose on some or all of mankind to test their obedience to Him (Luke 16:1, 2; Exodus 24:12; Ephesians 3:1-12). Each dispensation proves the fact that “The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9; See Romans 3:10-23). This is why Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again (i.e. from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). We need a new nature from God that is given to all true Christians at the moment of our salvation (2 Peter 1:4). Do you have Biblical assurance that you have been born from above (Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:13)?

Salvation. There is only one way of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31). It is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone, and not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Today, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:39). Once genuinely saved, we can/should do good works to let others know that we are true Christians (Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22; 2:18-20). Don’t “get the cart before the horse.”

Rules. When one interprets the Scriptures normally, historically, and grammatically, it becomes apparent that God has laid down different rules to test people during the past, present, and in the future. We understand the Scriptures to teach 7 distinct rules for living with three of them involving a large portion of the Bible. (Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, Law, Grace, Kingdom) It’s not too hard to see that the rules for the Jews living under the Mosaic Law (Exodus 19-Matthew 12:50) were quite different from the rules that are applicable to New Testament Christians. The rules that will be imposed on those living during Christ’s millennial reign on earth (Revelation 20:1-7; Isaiah 9:6, 7) will be intensified legal obligations with greater consequences to those who violate them (Matthew 5-7). Those who try to live by the wrong set of rules will not only be confused, but will not be able to come to spiritual maturity (Galatians 3:1-5; 5:1ff; Romans 6:14). Do you fit into this category?

Grace. The rules for New Testament Christian can be found, as a general rule, between John 13 and Revelation 3.  Jesus, in anticipation of the Dispensation of Grace, gave His disciples a new commandment that stood in contrast to the old commandment (John 13:34, 35). Under the Mosaic Law, the Jews were required to love their neighbors as themselves (Leviticus 19:18). Under Grace, the Christian is to love other Christians as Christ Himself has loved us. Jesus demonstrated His love by laying down His life for His sheep and for all mankind (John 3:16; 10:14-18; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

Love. God’s “agape” love, that is produced by God the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) in a Spirit filled Christian (Ephesians 5:18), can/should be demonstrated before others toward the right objects. (Yes, it’s possible for a maturing Christian to misdirect this love – 1 John 2:15-17) We need to be ready and willing, if necessary, to lay down our lives for the brethren by sharing our material things with those who are in genuine need (1 John 3:16, 17). Consider the Christian’s priority: “Therefore, as we (i.e. Christians) have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

Responsibilities. God wants all true New Testament Christians to grow in the sphere of grace (2 Peter 3:18), walk by faith (Hebrews 4:2; 11:6), be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), maintain Christian unity (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 4:3), use their spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4:10), love other believers as Christ loves us (John 13:34, 35), witness to and evangelize the lost (Acts 1:8), and do all for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Obviously, there are more requirements than these things. These can be carried out only by using God’s resurrection power that is available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13).

Failure. If we’re honest, we would have to admit that when we’re not walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) we violate many of these rules on a regular basis. Are you failing to grow up spiritually (Hebrews 5:12-14), ignoring or doubting God’s promises (Hebrews 4:1, 2), dominated by your sin nature or the devil (Romans 7:20; Matthew 16:23), causing unscriptural divisions (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:1-9), failing to use or misusing your spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12-14), fighting, quarreling, and loving the present world system and its things (James 4:1; 1 John 2:9, 15-17; 4:20, 21). Are you timid, confused and ignorant (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? Are you serving and exalting yourself rather than God (Romans 1:25; 2 Timothy 3:2-5). If so, confession is in order if you want to have your sins forgiven and your family fellowship and joy restored (1 John 1:3-9). God wants each of us to examine himself/herself before we participate in the Lord’s supper.  Failing to do so leads to dire consequences (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). 

Judgment. Even though God accepts all true Christians in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6), and graciously teaches (1 John 2:20, 27), disciplines (Hebrews 12:5, 6), empowers (Philippians 4:13), rewards (2 Corinthians 5:10), guides (John 16:13) and enables us to grow spiritually (2 Peter 1:2-4), many (perhaps most) Christians refuse to depend God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16) and carry out the responsibilities that He has placed on us.

Rewards. At the Bema Seat Judgment the Christian’s works will be evaluated to determine what endures the test of divine fire and what doesn’t (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Christians have 5 crowns that can be earned. Do you know what they are and how you can secure them? Rather than our strutting around heaven with the crowns we’ve earned, we will have something to cast at Jesus’ feet while acknowledging that He alone is worthy (Revelation 4:10, 11).

Appreciation. It certainly seems appropriate for every Christian to respond to God’s grace by living his/her life with moral purity (1 Peter 1:15, 16) as we anticipate His any moment return for us (John 14:1-3; 1 John 3:3). This hope (i.e. confident expectation) will also make us truly happy (Titus 2:13), and bring comfort to those whose Christian loved ones have been taken from them to heaven through the door of death (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Chart. Contact us if you’d like to get our FREE “Dispensational Chart” in an easy to understand format. It could revolutionize your life as it has mine. Phone: 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.

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They had watched as He was being crucified. They saw Him die. Just before sunset, they observed His lifeless body being taken down from the cross and hurriedly placed in a tomb nearby. But on the first day of the week (Sunday) these women, who had lingered at the cross, came early in the morning to the tomb to anoint His body. They really believed that He was still dead when they made their way to the tomb.

Shock. But imagine the shock they experienced whey they got there only to find the stone rolled away and the body of Jesus gone. The angel, who spoke to them said, “He is not here; for His is risen” (Matthew 28:6). That same day, and for the next forty days (Acts 1:3), Jesus made at least 10 special appearances to over 500 witnesses. Then He ascended back to heaven in the presence of His disciples (Acts 1:11). It was public, gradual, and literal.  He died to pay the penalty for our sins and rose again bodily because of our justification (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  You may give mental assent to these facts and still be unsaved.  You must place your faith in Christ alone for your salvation.  Are you depending on any of your good works to save you?  If so, stop!  They can’t save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Deity. His bodily resurrection proves that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God (i.e. the God-man – John 1:1-14). Although He performed many miracles by circumventing natural laws (Acts 2:22), the Apostle John recorded seven sign miracles to prove this fact (John 20:31). When the Jews kept asking for more sign miracles, Jesus only told them about Jonah’s being in the belly of the great fish for three days and nights (Matthew 12:39; 16:21; Acts 10:40). That is how long He Himself would be in the tomb. This was the maximum amount of time He could be dead without His body’s decaying or seeing corruption as it had been predicted (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27, 31).

Validation. Christ’s bodily resurrection (Luke 24:39) from the dead validates the 66 books of the Scriptures. The original manuscripts were God-breathed and totally reliable (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). No one is to add or subtract from it without serious consequences (Revelation 22:18 19). Do you know of someone or some group that claims to receive new revelations and information from God today? Beware of them (Matthew 24:4, 5; 1 John 4:1).

Guarantee. Jesus’ bodily resurrection assures us that He will come back for true believers someday (John 14:1-3). Because of the unbeliever’s shortsightedness and God’s long suffering, many people mock His promise to return (2 Peter 3:3-9). Jesus said the meek (meekness means having strength under control), believing Jews will inherit the  earth (i.e. the land that God promised to them – Genesis 15:18-21) when He sets up His 1,000 reign on earth (Matthew 5:5; See Romans 4:13; Revelation 21:5, 6; Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:1ff; 35:1ff). New Testament Christians are promised the heavenly New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9ff; Hebrews 12:22). Sadly, all unbelievers will spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; John 3:18, 36; 16:8-11; Revelation 21:8). The Scriptures don’t teach annihilation or reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27). If these aren’t true facts, then Jesus is a liar or a lunatic, not the Lord or someone we should trust.

Resurrections. According to the Scriptures, every human being will someday be resurrected with a real body, each in his/her own order (1 Corinthians 15:23, 24).  Judge Jesus will judge our works to determine the degree of pleasure or pain and suffering that every person will experience in eternity future (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Revelation 20:11-15). Do you know in which judgment you will participate? It’s no joking matter. Don’t believe the lie of universalism. It teaches that eventually everyone goes to heaven. Believe it or not, some people don’t want to spend eternity with a holy God.

Empowerment. Christ’s bodily resurrection also provides the Christian with resurrection power (Philippians 3:10; 4:13) that he/she needs to live victoriously over the temptations that come from the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17), his own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). It’s sad that so many Christians haven’t been taught from the Scriptures about their three spiritual enemies and how to live in victory over them (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). Does victorious Christian living interest you? Do you love darkness rather than light (John 3:19)? It might indicate who your true father is (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10).

Believe. The bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is a believable fact of human history (Acts 1:3). It is an essential part of the Good News that leads to one’s salvation (2 Timothy 2:8-10). Without it Christians have no hope for the future and should be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19). His resurrected, glorified body consists of flesh and bones, but lacks blood (Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:50). While He is seated at God the Father’s right hand in the third heaven (Ephesians 1:20) He is clothed with a garment of unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16; Acts 9:3). New Testament believers will receive a body like His glorified humanity at the time of the Rapture (1 John 3:2; See Daniel 12:2-12).  We will not become gods.

Faith. Is your faith resting in Christ alone for your salvation or are you relying on Christ and your good works (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5)? If you’re saved, are you sharing the Gospel with others (Romans 1:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? Do you love the truth of His imminent return for His own? Christians who do will receive the Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8).

Help. We can’t help anyone who is not teachable and willing to change when exposed to the truth of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). To contact us, call 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Please let us know if this article has helped you and share it with someone else too.