Archive for the ‘Decision Making’ Category

It happened when the Apostle Paul and Silas had been preaching the Good News concerning Christ in the city of Philippi. They were unjustly beaten and then locked up in jail for allegedly causing trouble in the city after casting out a demon spirit from a young girl who was making a lot of money for her masters. She had been following Paul and Silas around and saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us [Greek – “a way”] of salvation” (Acts 16:17).

Problem. Jesus made it very clear to His disciples that He was “the [only] way [to God], the [absolute] truth, and the [giver of eternal] life” (John 14:6). He was not one of many ways to God as some of the false teachers of the world are suggesting. The Apostle Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). These are not “politically correct” statements to those who believe that all religions lead to heaven.

Earthquake. After an earthquake took place and loosened the prisoners’ chains, the jailor was about to commit suicide. Paul called out and said, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Upon hearing this, the jailor said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The Apostle Paul responded by saying, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:28-31).

Question. What did Paul mean by the word “Lord”? Did He mean that the jailor had to acknowledge and believe that Jesus Christ was the “Lord” meaning “God/Deity” or as some have suggested, the “Lord and Master of one’s life” so he could be saved? We believe that Paul went on to explain to him the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and things about the One in whom the jailor should believe – the God/man who died for our sins…and rose again on the third day (Acts 16:32).

Works. The Scriptures are clear. We’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; See Titus 3:5). The requirements for “Discipleship” in Christ’s day involved many things that were “good works.” There were a lot of people who were disciples (followers) who weren’t true believers. The Apostle Judas is a prime example (Matthew 26:25; John 6:71). There were many others who followed Jesus around, hoping that He would be their political deliverer and their “Welfare King” (John 6:15, 66).

Postponed. Because of the refusal of most of the Jews to accept Him as their promised Messiah (Luke 19:14; John 1:11, 12; 19:15), Jesus postponed the setting up of His literal, millennial kingdom on earth until a future date (Matthew 16:20; Revelation 20:1 ff). Is Jesus the true Messiah? (See link below). In light of what we see happening around us today, the setting up of the rule of the heavens over the earth (“kingdom of the heavens” – Daniel 2:44, 45; Matthew 4:17) doesn’t seem to be that far off. (See our “Understanding The Times” chart on our website.)

Faith. Belief and faith are synonymous. The word “believe” is used about 100 times in the Gospel of John to tell us what is required for a person to be saved ( Examples: John 1:12, 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24 etc). Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:9). Are you adding other conditions/requirements for people to be saved? To do so is to cause people to “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2).

Lordship For Salvation. Here are some of the requirements that are wrongfully imposed by the “Lordship For Salvation” teachers on the unsaved people in order for them to be saved: Follow Christ / Surrender to Christ / Be Willing to Obey / Commit yourself / Turn From Sin / Be Willing to Sacrifice Everything / Give Up All For the Kingdom / Deny Self / Love Christ supremely / Give Up All Your Earthly Possessions if the Lord Should Ask This / Give Yourself Totally to Him / Fulfill the Demands of Discipleship / Etc. Etc. Etc.” [1] Aren’t all these things considered “works”?  Yes they are!  But our salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5).

Assurance. How could a person ever be sure that he/she had fulfilled all the requirements such as these? It would be impossible for someone to have “assurance of salvation” if all these works were required of someone in order to be saved (See 1 John 5:13). Thankfully, God’s Word doesn’t make them conditions for salvation.

Lordship Because Of Salvation. Once a person has been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, it’s only “reasonable for a Christian to present his/her body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1, 2; See 1 Peter 3:15). This is not a requirement for salvation as some would have us believe. Most new believers don’t do this at the moment of their salvation. But it is God’s desirous will for us to do this. “Carnal Christians” don’t do this (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 5:1 ff; Romans 7:15-25; 1 John 1:8). There are many things that are required of Christians if they want to mature in Christ, but they aren’t to be made conditions for someone’s salvation. Let’s not make our rules for living the conditions for salvation. Do you know where to find them in the Scriptures? (See our “Understanding The Times” chart.)

Gospel. God wants every saved person to share the Good News concerning Christ with others (Acts 1:8). By learning and sharing these 25 words, you could be instrumental in the salvation of another person from hell to heaven. “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!” [2] (See 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  It’s the same for Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16, 17).

Crown. The “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those believers who are involved in the salvation of others as they share the Gospel with them (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). God wants us to have the joy of leading others to Christ (Revelation 3:11). The greatest joy in life comes when we help new believers, whom we have led to Christ, come to spiritual maturity as they walk in truth (3 John 1:4).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). If this has helped you, please share it with others who might be misled by false teachings.  We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] George Zeller, Lordship Requirements: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

[2] Dr. Manfred Kober, Do We Really Know The Gospel? https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Dr. Manfred Kober – Lordship Salvation: Forgotten Truth or a False Doctrine?, Parts 1 & 2

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2010/07/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or.html

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2010/07/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or_14.html

Dr. Andy Woods, What’s Wrong With Lordship Salvation?, http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2011/03/what-is-wrong-with-lordship-salvation.html

Dr. Ron Shea, The Clear Gospel, http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Dr. Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/search/charles-ryrie-so-great-salvation

G. Michael Cocorus, Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible,

https://voice.dts.edu/review/g-michael-cocoris-repentance/

Is Jesus The Messiah? https://www.gotquestions.org/is-Jesus-the-Messiah.html

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Do you have a “bucket list” of things you’d like to do in life? Perhaps, in the pursuit of your dreams or goals, you’ve come across some obstacles that you didn’t anticipate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon your dreams and give up on them, especially if they are ones that God has given to you that are in keeping with His Word and His will for your life (See Romans 8:14; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19). One song writer put it this way: “Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? / Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?” Then you should realize this – “God specializes in things thought impossible / He does the things others cannot do.” Oscar C Eliason

Examples. God brought the plagues on the Egyptians who had enslaved the Jews for several hundred years in Egypt. He opened up the Red Sea for them to cross over on dry ground and then closed it on the Egyptians who pursued them so they drowned. He fed over 2 million Jews in the wilderness for 40 years. He caused the Jordan River to back up so they could cross over into the Promised Land. He brought down the fortified walls of Jericho. The list could go on and on. (See Acts 7, Hebrews 11) This same God can help us, as Christians, in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16; 13:8).

No Secret. Stewart Hamblin wrote, “It is no secret what God can do / What He’s done for others He’ll do for you / With arms wide open, he’ll pardon you / It is no secret what God can do.” This pardon and judicial forgiveness is granted to all those who “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Family forgiveness is granted to Christians who confess (specifically name) their sins to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16).

Clarification. Just because a person receives forgiveness and a pardon from God doesn’t mean that this Christian won’t have to suffer the consequences of his/her violation of man’s laws or nature’s laws. Christians are told to submit to the laws of the land in which they live. The only exception occurs when man’s laws violate God’s laws. Christians may have to suffer the consequences of their choices. Example: When the disciples were told not to preach in Jesus’ name, they said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28, 29). For violating man’s laws that were contrary to God’s laws (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20), they were beaten, but they were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake” (Acts 5:33, 40, 41). What would you do if you were threatened like they were?

Our God. The Apostle Paul committed his readers to “… [God] who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20).

Wisdom. As Christians, we have access to the wisdom that comes from God (James 1:5; 3:17). The wisdom of this world, that was designed by the devil, may seem like the right thing to do at the moment, but the end of it could be death (Proverbs 14:12). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36), The devil and demons have their own kind of wisdom that is very appealing to the natural, unsaved man (James 3:14-16). He wants us humans to walk independently of God and make decisions without taking Him into our plans (James 4:13-17). Have you been doing this? Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Attention. Sometimes God uses adverse circumstances to get our attention off of the passing things of this world and onto Him and into His Word.  It is “alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul [emotions] and spirit [that belongs to the mind], and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Hebrews 4:12). An idol is anything that comes between us and God. Yes, even Christians can succumb to the temptation to be idolatrous (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 5:19). Are you guilty of this? How much of your time each day is devoted to worshiping and adoring God for who and what He is? How many of God’s attributes can you name? We’re told to “pray (i.e. worship God) without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; See John 4:24; Revelation 4:10, 11; 5:12). No, you don’t have to shut your eyes or raise your hands to do this. Most of us can think on several levels while we’re driving or engaged in other activities.

Priorities. There isn’t anything wrong with our having a “bucket list” of things we’d like to do in this life unless it’s contrary to the revealed will and Word of God or if we want to leave God out of our plans. But our will, as Christians, should always be in submission to God’s will for our lives. As another song writer put it, “Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way. / My Lord shall choose for me, ‘Tis better far I know, / So let Him bid me go or stay.” Now if you think of yourself as the “Captain of your ship” and the “Master of your own fate,” you’re not going to find these words palatable to your taste. You are thinking more highly of yourself than you should (Romans 12:3). Consider this – “…what do you have that you didn’t receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; See Proverbs 6:17; 8:13). The attitude of pride led to Lucifer’s fall, and if it’s retained, it will lead to your fall too (Isaiah 14:9-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19).

Fools. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). But by merely looking around at nature we intuitively can come to the realization that there must be a God who is all powerful (Romans 1:18; See Revelation 1:8). But those who deny this truth are often allowed to go on in their ignorance and rebellion against God and end up in a degenerate condition (Romans 1:18-32). “They love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). “…the natural [unsaved] man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Choices. Every day we make choices about many things. The Psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).  Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our primary objective in life should be to make God known to those whom we encounter I life. Are you doing this?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Also, please share the information with others who might benefit from it. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We are also on www.youtube.com. Enter: Kelsey Pietsch

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

We recommend the Scofield Study Bible: http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

John 14:1-24

“There’s no place like home.”  This is what Dorothy said in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, after going through illusory dreams, frightening experiences, and disappointing realities.*  In like manner, before long the Christian realizes that this sin filled world is not his home; heaven is.  And yet we, as believers, have moments of anxiety and fear as long as we are in these bodies.

Thoughts.  Do your thoughts about death trouble you?  They should if you are not a true Christian (See Matthew 7:21-23).  Do you know what happens to unbelievers at the time of death (Luke 16:19-31; See Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  What happens to Christians when they die (Philippians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 5:1-9)?  Into which section of heaven do they go today (2 Corinthians 12:4).  When do they get to go to the place that Jesus went to prepare for them (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)?  How is it described for us (Revelation 21:9-27)?  What about the trials and troubles of life?  Will they be too great for us to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9)?  What should a Christian do when he sins (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Luke 22:32)?  What if he denies His Lord as Peter did (John 13:38; Luke 22:31, 32, 47-62; See 2 Timothy 2:12)?  Will he be condemned and lose his salvation (Romans 8:1; 35-39; John 10:28, 29)?

Truth.  To quiet our noisy hearts, we need to know the truth that can set us free (John 8:32).  The believer’s strength comes from God (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; Psalm 121:2).  Christians are being purified for their wedding to Christ (Ephesians 5:26; Isaiah 1:25).  He is preparing a special place for His Bride, the true Church (John 14:3; Revelation 21:9-27).  Currently, in heaven, He is interceding for those who belong to Him (Romans 8:26, 34; Hebrews 7:25).  He answers our prayers according to His will (John 14:13).  He has promised never to leave or forsake true believers (Hebrews 13:5).  We also have a Comforter (John 14:16-20).

Techniques.  There are some things that can strengthen the believer’s heart.  Knowledge of the truth from God’s Word can remove fear (John 8:3; 14:20; 1 John 4:18).  But the believer also needs to apply the truth and keep the Lord’s commands to Christians if anxiety is to be removed from his/her heart (John 14:21; Philippians 4:6, 7).  Love for the Lord can release guilt (John 14:23, 24; 2 Corinthians 5:9).

Question.  Is your life filled with fear and anxiety?  It should be if you are not a true Christian. You are under the condemnation of God (John 3:18, 36) and in danger of spending eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  But you can become a Christian by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins… and rose again bodily on the third day.  He said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  Once you’ve been saved, you can/should cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  The “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [can] guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus” as you encounter the hardships of life (Philippians 4:6, 7).  You have a choice to make.  Will you “trust and obey” or “stew and fret” about your problems?

Salvation.  We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone.  We are not saved by our good works, or by faith plus our good works lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

            Help.  If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share this information with others who may need it.

*Portions adapted from Chuck Swindoll, Following Christ, pp. 93ff

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

John 11:7-10

“Killing time is not murder, it’s suicide. When you kill time, just remember it has no resurrection. The easiest way to find more time to do the things you want to do is to turn off the television.” In one day we have 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds like everyone else does. How we spend our discretionary time is up to us. We will be held accountable for the way we use this gift from God (Romans 14:12).

Work. “You can often gauge a man’s ambition by whether he hates his alarm clock or considers it his dear friend. It seems that our modern churches are full of willing people; some are willing to work, and others are willing to let them. We’ve been told that many hands make light work. We won’t go far without enthusiasm, but neither will we go if that’s all we have.”

Mission. Jesus was on a mission from God the Father. To the surprise of His disciples, who were anticipating His kingdom (Daniel 2:44 45), it only lasted for three years. Let’s consider –

The Lord’s Purpose. He was determined to do the will of His Father who had sent Him to earth. He prayed, “Not My will, but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42). He always pleased His Father (John 8:29). This should be the Christian’s desire too (2 Corinthians 5:9). Even though His life had been threatened by the religious leaders, He knew that it was the Father’s will for Him to go back to Bethany that was near Judea and Jerusalem (Matthew 11:1-7). He wanted to glorify the Father by raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:4) and doing it according to the Father’s time table (John 2:4; 7:8; Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus was aware that His mission on earth was coming to an end (John 17:4; 19:30). In like manner, we should realize that we have a limited amount of time to do the things that God planned for us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).

The Disciples’ Concern. Yes, they were concerned about Jesus’ safety and their own too (Matthew 16:21, 22). There was a plot to seize and kill Him (John 5:18; 10:39). The Psalmist had predicted that Jesus would die by crucifixion (Psalm 22; John 3:14; 12:32). Their fear was an attack from the devil (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:17). More than ever, their needed to rely on and follow their Lord (Psalm 23; Matthew 16:24) and trust and obey Him (See Deuteronomy 9:23; Psalm 13:5; 20:7).

The Lessons To Learn. Our birth and time on earth was predetermined by God (Psalm 139; Ephesians 1:11). Jesus determined where each Christian would be placed in the spiritual Body of Christ, the Church and what gift (special enablement) we’d be given (1 Corinthians 12:11, 18). Our decisions must not contradict the clear teaching of God’s Word (Romans 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:5). Our motives for service must be right (1 Corinthians 4:5; 10:31; 13). Our fickle emotions must be overruled by the Holy Spirit and our spirit (John 14:1; 2 Timothy 1:7). Don’t forget that our rewards will be out of this world (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Making It Personal. Have you received the gift of eternal life (1 John5:11-13) by believing on the Lord Jesus who died for your sins…and rose again bodily? If you have, what good works have you been doing since you were saved (John 15:16)? Are you relying on God’s strength or your own (Philippians 4:13; John 15:5)? What promises do you need to claim so you can have the peace of God in your life (Hebrews 4:2; Philippians 4:6, 7)? What is keeping you from doing the will of God for your life? Are you F.A.T.F.R.E.E. – Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, and Enthusiastic?

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. 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’s Simple Plan Of Salvation – (In 24 languages) http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

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 4:12-19

The pop quizzes and periodic exams. Remember them and how you hated it when you didn’t have time to study for them? But even though you might be out of school, you still will continue to have tests, trials, and choices to make in life. Will you pass or fail the tests?

Responses. How we respond to adversities in life often indicates what is truly in us. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). Christians can/should respond differently than unbelievers. What kind of attitude or mindset does God want His children to have?

Strange? We shouldn’t think it strange that we encounter fiery trials while we’re here on earth (1 Peter 4:12). Too many people have been told that if they simply trust in Christ as their Savior, all their problems will be over. That simply isn’t true. While your biggest problem has been solved if you are a true believer, in that you won’t have to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46),  you will have other problems as long as you are here on earth because the devil isn’t happy about your being saved. He knows that he can’t take our salvation from us (John 3:16; 10:28, 29), but he will try to make our lives as miserable and as ineffective as he can (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus told His disciples to expect to suffer opposition from the devil and his crowd (John 15:20; 16:33). Yes, Christians often do suffer unjustly (2 Timothy 3:12).

Refined. God often allows His children to be put in the smelting pot to purge out the dross from our lives: self-love, self-pity, pride, bitterness, etc (Colossians 3:8). But thankfully, He controls the temperature and the time of our time in the furnace (1 Corinthians 10:13; Job 23:10).  His purpose is to conform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:2).

Rejoice. As strange as it may seem, God wants His children to rejoice while they are in the midst of suffering that lasts only for a short time here on earth (1 Peter 4:13, 14; See Romans 8:18). After being beaten for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ’s death for our sins…and His bodily resurrection, the early disciples rejoiced to think that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:40, 41). Would you have done that?

Glorify God. We can/should do this by making God/Jesus known to those around us (1 Peter 4:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31). While Jesus walked here on earth, He did everything to make the Father known to people (John 5:18, 19; 17:4). He was/is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:5-11). Christians can/should display the life of God by being “filled with God the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) and then displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” at the appropriate time, place, and for the right reasons (Galatians 5:22, 23).

Commit. When God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7), He gave to mankind a spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The spirit of man is related to the mind (Ephesians 4:23). It is the only part of the Christian that is currently saved (1 Corinthians 6:17; See Romans 8:16). The soul is associated with the emotions (Psalm 42; Matthew 12:18; 26:38 ). This won’t be saved until the time of the Rapture (1 Peter 1:9). The material part of the Christian (his body) won’t be saved until that time too (Romans 8:23; 1 John 3:2).

Concern. Are you only concerned about being carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease while other were persecuted for their faith in God so you and others could be saved (2 Timothy 2:10)? Every true Christian will suffer with Christ at some time in his life (Romans 8:17, 18; 2 Timothy 2:12), but not all Christians suffer for the Lord in the same manner (2 Corinthians 11:21-33; Hebrews 11:32-40). The “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits believers who lead others to Christ for salvation (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). Will you do your part?

Help. We’re here to help those who need additional information for them to make wise decisions. We can be reached at 805-239-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’d like to know if this article has helped you. If it did, please share it with others. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

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

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

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

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

 

Throughout our lives we have choices to make as to whether we will or won’t do certain things. In His Word, God has revealed to us that He wants all mankind to be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (John 3:16, 18, 36; Matthew 25:41, 46; 1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people choose not to accept His offer of deliverance from that awful place (John 3:18-21, 36; 5:40).

God also has a desirous will for every Christian. He wants all of us to be –

Pure. We all have a sin nature (disposition) that perverts what is decent and good (1 John 1:8; Galatians 5:19-21; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). But it is God’s desirous will for us, as Christians, that we live morally pure lives now that they have become God’s children by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Peter 1:15, 16). Living in the light of Christ’s imminent return should help us live pure lives (John 14:1-3; 1 John 3:3). To overcome the temptations that come from our sin nature, a Christian must learn how to walk (order his life) by means of God the Holy Spirit. When a Christian does this, he/she won’t give in to the perverted desires (lusts) that come from his/her sin nature – the flesh (Galatians 5:16, 25; See Romans 7:15-25).

Thankful. Ungratefulness is a characteristic of many people, especially in our day and age (2 Timothy 3:2). But every Christian can/should continually offer up thanksgiving to God for past, present, and future benefits that come from God (James 1:17). Christians are admonished to give thanks in the midst of every situation in which they find themselves (1 Thessalonians 5:18-20). We should do this because we know that God is in control over everything and that He is working all things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). We’re also supposed to give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:18-20). There are no accidents with Christians, only incidents. One more thing. We’re to give thanks for the people whom God brings into or allows to come into our lives (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Some of them act as chisels, hammers, or saws to make us more like Jesus (Galatians 3:19).

Good. God Himself is a good God who desires the happiness of others (Matthew 19:17). He wants His children to have and display this part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23) toward others, especially to those of the household of faith (1 Peter 2:15; Galatians 6:10). By our doing good we can muzzle the ignorance of foolish men who mock us and blaspheme God. Christians should not use their liberty in Christ as a cloak of vice (Romans 3:8; 6:1). The price of freedom is eternal vigilance (1 Peter 5:8).

Action. Right decisions need to be followed up with right actions (James 4:17; Ephesians 2:8-10). God knows when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again on the third day. This faith in Christ alone results in our being saved (Acts 16:31). But other people don’t know about our faith without seeing our good works (James 1:22; 2:18-20). “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” – William James. If you are a Christian, are you sharing the Gospel with lost people so they can be saved? Are you well pleasing to God or grieving and quenching Him (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)?

Trial. If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Are you being “led by God the Holy Spirit” (Romans 8:14), “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and “walking by means of the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25)? Do you have un-confessed sins in your life? Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Would you like to know for sure that your sins are forgiven and that you’re headed for heaven (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 5:13)?

Help. We’re her to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please share it with others. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We’re also doing some Facebook live audio/video presentations for those who want the “meat of the Word” instead of just “milk” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

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

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

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

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org