Archive for the ‘Devil / Satan’ Category

 1 Peter 5:8, 9

When it comes to the subject of the devil, two mistakes are often made by many people, including Christians. Some folks joke about him while others ignore him. Both of these responses are dangerous positions to take.

Warning. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that in the latter times some people would depart from the faith and give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. They would speak lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron. They would tell people not to marry and abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-5; See Acts 10:14, 28). He told Timothy to preach the word with authority and to be ready in season and out of season because many people would seek to follow teachers with itching ears who would tell the people what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Ignorance. The Apostle Peter, having given in to a temptation from the devil to play the role of a coward (Luke 22:31, 32; Matthew 26:74), was well aware of Satan’s tactics. They seem to be intensifying in our day and we need to know the truth about him so we who are true Christians can resist and overcome him (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 1 John 4:4) after we have put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Let’s not be ignorant of his tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Satan’s Activities

Independence. He seeks to provoke believers to rely on themselves rather than on God (See John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13). As a result of King David’s yielding to Satan’s solicitation to number and rely on his troops rather than on God Himself, 70,000 Israelite men died (1 Chronicles 21:1). The leaders of the world have made and will make decisions to engage in unjust wars and in the future billions of people will die. Do you know how many people will die during the seven years of the Tribulation when the devil, the anti-Christ, and the false prophet are in charge? It will be over ½ of the world’s population (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). If God allowed them to have power for more than seven years, no one would survive (Matthew 24:22). By the way, not all wars are unjust and some have been ordered by God Himself (Deuteronomy 20:17-20). God gave the wicked nations in the land of Canaan 400 years to repent but they didn’t (Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:24). God is long suffering and wants people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). But there will come a day when He will judge the unrepentant and unbelievers (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8). You and I can cause great harm to others too if we act like the heathen and the Israelites who sacrificed their live babies to the pagan god Molech (Leviticus 18:21; Jeremiah 32:35). Can God forgive the sin of murder and other sins (Exodus 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)? Yes! He forgave King David, King Manasseh, and the Apostle Paul (2 Samuel 12:9; 2 Chronicles 33:1-20; Acts 8:1-3).

Victims. He roams the world to find victims to overwhelm (1 Peter 5:8). He’d like for believers to become bitter and have an unforgiving spirit (Hebrews 12:15; 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11) and get them to curse God and die for not protecting them from harm and danger (Job 2:9). The patriarch Job was an upright man and became the object of Satan’s abuse. He was allowed by God to strip Job of his children, his wealth, and his health (Job 1, 2). He became a prime example of our need to trust God even when things are going badly (Proverbs 3:5, 6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Do you do this?

Blindness. The Scriptures talk about three kinds of spiritual blindness: Natural blindness. This keeps all unbelievers from understanding many things in the Scriptures or think of them as simply being foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:14; 3:19). Satanic blindness. He spiritually blinds the minds of unbelievers to prevent them from understanding the power of the Gospel to save Jews and non-Jews (2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 1:16, 17). Judicial blindness. This was imposed on the Jewish people because of their rejection of their promised Messiah (Romans 11:25; Matthew 27:25). Only God Himself can remove these three blinds from people’s spiritual eyes after the Gospel has been presented to them by a human agent (1 John 4:4; Romans 1:16).

Darts. Satan has in his arsenal 14 fiery, mental darts that he directs at a believer’s mind but only if God allows it (Ephesians 6:10-17). Disappointment, discouragement, doubt are very effective tools he uses to bring Christians down and cause them to lose their power from God (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). Do you know what the other 11 temptations are and how to overcome them? They are not to be confused with the temptations that come from our old sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21; See 1 john 1:8) or from the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:17-24).

Hinder. Whenever he can, he tries to hinder those who are engaged in the work of evangelizing the lost with the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and the edification of believers (1 Thessalonians 5:11) for their work of service (1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Peter 4:10). He encourages and promotes greedy, false teachers who do his bidding (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). Beware of the “health, wealth, and happiness preachers” (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14).

Doubt. He undermines the Word of God by casting doubt on it (Genesis 3:1). He often uses false teachers to twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Many of them use the allegorical rather than the normal, historical, grammatical method of interpreting the Scriptures (Matthew 13:19; Genesis 3:1).

Angel. Believe it or not, he can transform himself into an angel of light so as to try to deceive other good angels (2 Corinthians 11:14). He drew 1/3 of the angels with him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). They became demons and are destined for the eternal lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46). This Biblical teaching stands in sharp contrast to the false teachers who teach and promote the “universal reconciliation” (salvation) of all of God’s creatures in the end.

Satan’s Future

Abyss. After the seven years of the tribulation (Daniel 9:27; See Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff) the devil will be captured by a low ranking angel and will be bound in the Abyss for 1,000 years while the Lord Jesus Christ rules on/over the earth (Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 9:6, 7). But when the 1,000 years are over the devil will be released from the Abyss for a brief time. He will gather to himself those who inwardly rebelled against Christ during His 1,000 year reign on earth (Revelation 20:7-9). Then Christ will cast the devil, his angels (demons) and the unbelievers into the lake of fire where they will suffer forever (Revelation 20:10). God is a righteous and holy God and must/will sentence the unbelievers to that awful place. There are no second chances to be saved once a person dies (Hebrews 9:27). Don’t be misled by false teachers who teach otherwise. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). His Word is truth (John 17:17).

Conclusion: Therefore, if you still are a child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10), you need to be “born again from above” (John 3:3-6) so you can become a child of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Believers need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. [Having submitted yourself to God, and having put on the whole armor of God], resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8, 9; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17).

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     “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘What comes into your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainly the spiritual future of that man.  Were we able to know exactly what our most influential religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow…The man who comes to a right belief of God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems…The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” – The Knowledge Of The Holy, by A. W. Tozer, Harper and Rowe, Publishers. Chapter 1.

There is no doubt about it.  “The Shack” (the book and the movie) by William Paul Young, and his book “Lies We Believe About God” have a lot of people talking and wondering.  Are the things he says in his books and the movie biblical or diabolical?   What should we use to evaluate them?  What does he believe and teach about the true and living God of the Scriptures?  Does the way he portrays the members in the Godhead differ dramatically from the way the Scriptures portray God?  What does Paul Young really believe and teach about man, salvation, and his future destiny?  What about sin and the way it affects man?  Do the Scriptures teach universal reconciliation and the ultimate salvation of all men including the devil and demons?  What’s the big deal anyway?  What relationship did Dr. James B. DeYoung, who wrote “Burning Down The Shack” once have with William Paul Young?  Is the movie anti-Christian, anti-family, and anti-American?

David Steele writes, “Paul Young has shared openly and honestly about some of the hurts in his life. Pain and suffering, while inevitable in this life are regrettable realities. The dark night of the soul will likely affect most of us. And so we sympathize with Young and his Great Sadness and pray that God will minister in deep and abiding ways. But no amount of personal tragedy or loss can excuse the propagation of false views of God.”

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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.”

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Recently, while I was teaching a Bible study at our church and over the Internet to some people around the world, the GPS on my cell phone identified me as being at “The *** Inferno.” One of my listeners pointed this out to me. Perhaps some of you who listened in were wondering if it was “A message from hell.” As hard as I tried to remove this location from my cell phone, I wasn’t able to do so. It’s still on there.

Story. All this reminded me of the story that Jesus told about the rich man who died and went to Hades to suffer for eternity (Luke 16:19-31). He asked Father Abraham to send Lazarus, the former beggar, to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool the rich man’s tongue because He was being tormented by the flames. He also wanted Lazarus to go back to earth to warn his five brothers so they wouldn’t end up there in that awful place. But Abraham told him that this wasn’t possible. He said, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”

Destiny. Folks, once we die, our eternal destiny will have been determined by what we did with the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. If our faith was resting in Him alone to save us, we will spend eternity with God in heaven (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9). If not, all unbelievers will end up with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:41, 46). We don’t want you or anyone else to go there.

Internet. The world wide web is part of the devil’s present world system (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12; John 12:31). It’s like a web that ensnares others into his system (1 John 2:15; 5:19). Maturing Christians may use it, but we are not to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31; See James 4:1-4). We’ve been told that the Internet is also now under the control of the United Nations. That’s frightening. Who has the power to shut it down? Image the panic that would come on the people of this world if they didn’t have their cell phones or the Internet. I’ve read that if an EMP “electromagnetic pulse” bomb was set off high in the the atmosphere over the middle of our country it could knock out virtually everything that is electronically controlled. This would include our cell phones, computers, automobiles, and many other things upon which we depend every day.

GPS. Most people’s cell phones have “Global Positioning Systems” on them. This enables others to know where you are at any given moment. It amazes me that I can call people on their cell phones and the system can find them wherever they are. All around us there are signals of which most of us are not aware. It’s like the unseen spirit world where we have angels and demons working behind the scenes to influence and control human beings (Daniel 10:13; Ephesians 6:12; Hebrews 1:14; Colossians 1:16). In my case, while I was broadcasting my Bible study live over the Internet, the GPS positioned me in the wrong place, at the “Inferno” in my town. I’ve never been there.

Spies In The Sky. Satellites way above the earth have the capabilities of seeing things on earth. I recall using “Google Earth” to locate the house in which I lived in Japan as I was growing up. I was able to go to the street level view and figure out the day of the week and the approximate time the picture was taken by the shadows and the surroundings. Enemy nations are working on laser beams that can render these satellites useless.

Computers. Some of them have the capabilities of using facial recognition to identify people. High tech cameras are supposedly able to pick up people’s finger prints or information from their eyes. Bar codes and other chips are being used in passports, credit cards, on items for sale to control travel and commerce. Recently someone was able to hack into our credit card information to purchase items. The credit card company suspected unusual activities and contacted us to determine if we had indeed purchased certain items. We hadn’t and so they issued us another credit card.

666. This is called “The number [mark] of the beast” (Revelation 13:11-18). The “beast” refers to the Antichrist’s character, not as he will appear to the people of this world. This individual will be very persuasive and will be able to perform the same three kinds of miracles that Jesus and His apostles did while there were on earth (John 20:31; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Acts 2:22; 2 Corinthians 12:12). Those who don’t take his mark will not be able to buy or sell without it and many of them will die physically. But those who take it on their hand or head during the “seven years of the great tribulation” will be doomed forever (Revelation 14:9, 10). This kind of technology is already being used on animals and some people, including some fire fighters and police officers. Some of these RFID chips are the size of a grain of rice and are being put into their hands. Some people prefer doing business this way rather than carrying around money and other forms of ID. Do you know how to avoid the awful tribulation that is coming, perhaps much sooner than most people believe?

Things To Come. The Scriptures tell us that two New World Orders are coming to this earth. The first one will be Satan’s New World Order. Thankfully it will last for only seven years (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 12:14; Jeremiah 30:7). If God allowed it to go on any longer, no flesh on earth would survive (Matthew 24:22). This will be a counterfeit to Christ’s kingdom on earth that will last for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-6). During the reign of the Antichrist (Man of Sin) over one half of the world’s population will die (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). It will come to an end when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth to rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16; Matthew 24:29 ff). Satan, the Antichrist, the false prophet and all unbelievers who followed the devil will be defeated and removed from the earth.  

Peace On Earth. Following this, Jesus Christ and His Bride, the true Church, will rule over the earth for 1,000 years from the New Jerusalem which, we believe, will be like a satellite city circling the earth once a day (Revelation 1:7; 21:9-27). The Jews will be the predominate nation on earth (Deuteronomy 28:13), and resurrected King David will reign over the Jews and all other lesser kings on the earth (Jeremiah 30:9; Daniel 12:12). Some of the resurrected Old Testament believers will be judges and rulers over the people who will repopulate the earth (Isaiah 1:26; Luke 19:17).

No Comparison. The technological advancements of mankind are nothing compared to the abilities that Jesus Christ, the God-man has. He is all knowing and wise (John 2:24; Isaiah 46:10), all powerful (Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8), loving and gracious (1 John 4:8; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Peter 2:3), long suffering (2 Peter 3:9), and willing to forgive those who believe on Him as their personal Savior (Matthew 9:6; Ephesians 1:7). But He is also holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16), and righteous and must punish sinners who reject His offer of salvation (John 3:18, 36; 2 Timothy 4:8).

Invitation. God graciously invites you and every other human being to put their faith in 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). You can accept Him and receive eternal life or you can reject Him and it (1 John 5:11-13). Please make the right decision today! This is the only moment you have (2 Corinthians 6:2). Our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little time and then it vanishes away (James 4:14; See Proverbs 27:1).

Help. If you need additional help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please share this information with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 

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1 Peter 3:18-22

Does the church you attend recite the “Apostles Creed” on Sundays as part of their rituals? If so, have you paid much attention to the words? “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord, who…was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven…” There is more to this creed than the above. But merely reciting it doesn’t get us into heaven. Do you know what is necessary for us to enter into God’s presence? Did Jesus go to hell and get “born again” while He was there as it is being taught by some false teachers?

Christ’s Death. It occurred once and for all (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:28; 10:2, 10). When we observe the Lord’s Supper we don’t re-crucify Jesus. Nor do we believe that the bread is magically transformed into His real, literal body or that the fruit of the vine is transformed into His literal blood. What do we call those who eat other people? Why did God tell the Jews to drain out the blood before eating meat (Leviticus 17:11, 14)? The bread and the cup are reminders (memorials) of His death for our sins and are a reminder that He promised to return for His own some day in His resurrected, glorified body consisting of flesh and bones (Luke 24:33-43) but with no blood (1 Corinthians 11:26; 15:50; See John 14:1-3). Jesus was the Just One dying for us, the unjust ones (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). We’re all sinners who act lawlessly (Romans 3:10-23; 1 John 3:4).  We all deserve to be separated forever from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23). His death was designed to bring true believers to God (John 3:16, 18; 6:37) and not those who merely profess to be believers (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:2).  Which one characterizes you?

Christ’s Proclamation. What does it mean when the Apostle Peter wrote, “…He [Jesus] went and preached to the spirits in prison…” (1 Peter 3:19)? Who were/are these spirit beings? Peter sheds more light on them in his second letter. The Scriptures teach us that they were some (not all) of the fallen angels/demons who were involved in trying to corrupt the human race genetically by taking on humanoid form and cohabiting with women. This union produced the giants on the earth who were men of renown (Genesis 6:2-4). They are currently confined in a place called “Tartarus” (Greek) which is in the heart of the earth (2 Peter 2:4). They are distinct from the other fallen angels/demons that are still free to roam the earth and who can even enter heaven from time to time (Job 1:6; 2:1; 1 Kings 22:22). The unconfined demons are the devil’s agents who periodically attack Christians mentally (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 4:14) and who do Satan’s will (Ephesians 6:12,13). When He died physically, Jesus went to Paradise (Luke 23:43; See Luke 16:19-31) which was in the upper Sheol/Hades. He didn’t offer the wicked spirits in Tartarus or to the unbelievers in the lowest Sheol/Hades (Deuteronomy 32:22; See Matthew 25:30, 41, 46) another opportunity to be saved from that place of torment (Luke 16:23-31). Instead, we believe that Jesus probably proclaimed something like this to them – “Your efforts to contaminate the human race genetically and to keep Me, the God/man,  from being the Savior of mankind have failed.” (See Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, 7; Matthew 1:23). The everlasting destiny of the devil and all his angels/demons and all unbelievers is the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Jude 1:6, 13; Revelation 20:10; 21:8). We’re trying our best to tell people how they can avoid this awful place by “believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  Have you done this yet?  Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?

Christ’s Resurrection. The evidence for Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead is undeniable to those who are honest with the information that is available to us (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15). All three Persons in the Godhead were involved in Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection – God the Father (Romans 6:4), God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11), and God the Son Himself (John 10:17). Without His bodily resurrection from the dead we’d have no way of knowing for sure if God the Father was satisfied with Christ’s payment for our sins or not (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

Christ’s Exaltation. After appearing to over 500 witness on more than 10 separate occasions over a 40 day period of time, Jesus ascended back to heaven from where He had come (John 3:13; 6:41, 51). It was public, gradual, and literal (Acts 1:1-11). Currently He is seated at God the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:20-23; Hebrews 10:12). We’re told that He intercedes to God the Father on the behalf of believers (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25) and directs the activities of His Body, the Church through God the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; Romans 8:14). Although Jesus has been exalted above all other human and spirit beings (Philippians 2:9-11), He is still subordinate to God the Father (1 Corinthians 11:3) and will be until the end of time when He (Jesus) destroys death by raising everyone who has died from the dead in their various resurrections (1 Corinthians 15:20-28). What do you know about the five resurrections mentioned in the Scriptures?  In which one will you participate?

Christ’s Offer. For a person to be saved from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (John 3:18, 36), he/she must personalize the Gospel by saying, I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for my sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” It’s not enough to know and agree with the facts of the Gospel. We must transfer our faith over to Christ alone to save us. We aren’t saved by good works or faith plus good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). We implore you, please make sure you’re truly saved (2 Peter 1:10). Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14). You might be dead.

Evidence. To demonstrate our faith in Christ to other human beings (James 2:18-20), we need to be baptized by immersion (Matthew 28:19). This identifies us with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:1-5) and enables us to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21). As we begin to grow spiritually by the intake of the milk and meat (solid food) of the Word of God that is addressed to us as Christians (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; Titus 1:9), and present and yield our bodies to God as living sacrifices (Romans 6:11-23; 12:1, 2), others should begin to see changes in our lives that might cause them to ask us about our faith (1 Peter 3:15).

Help. If you aren’t sure you’ll go to heaven when you die, or if you’re a Christian who would like to grow spiritually, but don’t know how to “rightly divide the Word of truth,” we’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this information with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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John 10:11-21

Suppose, after continually being attacked and rejected by most of the Jews of His day, Jesus decided that He didn’t want to give His life for them and said to His Father in heaven, “I quit! Let them all perish and go to h—.” Did you know that God didn’t provide salvation for Lucifer, the highest creature He ever made, who rebelled against Him and who became God’s adversary, the devil (Ezekiel 28:13-15)? Nor did God provide salvation for the the rebellious angels who followed him against God. Had God chosen to send all of us sinners to the lake of fire forever, He still would have maintained all His divine attributes: goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, love, and holiness. But God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, chose to die for all our sins, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), while we were still sinners and His enemies (Romans 5:8, 10). That’s amazing grace!

The Good Shepherd

His Died. As the “Good Shepherd,” Jesus went all the way to the cross to die physically and spiritually so His sheep (i. e. those who would believe on Him) could live and have His quality of life – eternal life (John 3:16; 6:37, 44; 10:10-18) as a present possession that would go on into eternity. The payment for sin (lawlessness) had to be paid to God the Father before Jesus could offer eternal life to us sinners (Romans 6:23). While He was hanging on the cross, from noon until 3 P.M., God the Father laid on Jesus the sins of the whole world (Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46; 1 John 2:2). Only the God/man could bear all our sins and pay such a debt. The value of His death came from His being God, but the reality of His death came from His being a real man (See Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 1:19). His physical suffering was minor when compared to the spiritual suffering He experienced on the cross.

His Knowledge. Jesus knew/knows those who were/are His sheep (true believers) and those who aren’t His sheep (unbelievers). He knows them all by name and is intimately acquainted with them and all their needs (John 2:24, 25; 10:14; Hebrews 4:14-16; Philippians 4:19). The sheep know Him and recognize His voice when He calls for them (See John 11:43; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). They will follow Him unless they are spiritually sick and wander away from Him. But He will pursue after them and bring them back (Luke 15:3-7). He won’t lose any of His sheep (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35-39). Do you know what God can/will do with His rebellious sheep without taking their salvation from them (1 Corinthians 11:30; Hebrews 10:30, 31; 12:5-11; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16, 17)?

His Other Sheep. Initially Jesus came to glorify God the Father (John 17:4) by offering the kingdom of the heavens to the Jews (Matthew 4:17; 10:1-15; See Daniel 2:44, 45). He was/is the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 1:1-25; 2:2; 27:11; Luke 3:23-38). When most of them rejected Him, He extended salvation to the Gentiles (non-Jews) without their having to become proselyte Jews first (John 1:11, 12, 29; 4:22). After His bodily resurrection from the dead and His appearances to over 500 eye witnesses, He gave His disciples the responsibility of evangelizing not only the Jews, but also the Samaritans and the Gentiles (Acts 1:8). From all ethnic groups God would bring into existence a “New Creation” known as The Church which is His Body” (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 2:15; Colossians 2:24). Jews and Gentiles are saved the same way today (Romans 1:16). We all must believe that “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone to be saved (Acts 16:31). We aren’t saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

His Obedience. Jesus was obedient to God the Father (Hebrews 10:7, 9) and was led by God the Holy Spirit while He was here on earth (Matthew 4:1). Had not God the Father given Him the command to lay down His life in death (John 10:18), Jesus would have been committing suicide. In the garden Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42; See Hebrews 10:7, 9). By doing this, Jesus was carrying out the Divine plan for the ages (Ephesians 1:11).

His Predictions. Jesus predicted His own death and bodily resurrection (John 2:19; Matthew 16:21; Luke 24:33- 43). He also chose the time and manner of His death (Psalm 22; Philippians 2:8). The Jewish leaders didn’t want to kill Him during the Passover feast but they were overruled because that was the predetermined time for Jesus to die (Matthew 26:5; Acts 4:28). The Passover lamb pictured Christ’s death (John 1:29). Jesus also chose to die at 3 P.M. from a ruptured heart (John 19:30-34). We don’t have that kind of control over our lives, but He did since He was/is the God-man (John 1:1-18).

Application. Even though the complete payment for the sins of all mankind has been paid by Jesus to God the Father, the gift of salvation and eternal life are only granted to those who place their faith in Christ alone to save them. Did you know that Christ even died for the sins of the false teachers (2 Peter 2:1)? But all those who die without Christ as their personal Savior and who refuse to believe on Him (John 1:12, 3:16, 18, 36:16:8-11) will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer forever (Matthew 25:41, 46; 2 Peter 3:7; Jude 1:13; Revelation 21:8). How sad! Please make sure of your salvation (2 Peter 1:10).

Rescue Squad. If you’re a true Christian, why not join God’s “Rescue Squad” and give others the opportunity to hear the Gospel so they can believe on Him and be saved? God won’t forget our works and labors of love (Hebrews 6:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58). When a Christian is involved in pointing others to Christ for salvation, that one can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).  Will you receive one of them?

Help. If you aren’t sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die, we’re here to help you if you’d like it. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you, and then ask you to share this information to others who may be teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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If John Lennon (of the Beatles) is right in saying that there is no heaven or hell, then Jesus was a liar and a fraud and you might as well say that Jesus came to earth to die in vain for our sins. If Jesus is not Jehovah of the Old Testament, then He was guilty of blasphemy and should have been stoned to death as the Jews of His day wanted to do to Him. He claimed to be the eternally existent One when He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58; See Exodus 3:14). The miracles He performed proved that He was God manifested in the flesh (John 1:1-18; 20:31) and that all the fullness of God dwelt in Him (Colossians 2:8). He was not the first One whom God the Father created and the One who created all “other” things (Colossians 1:16, 17) as one of the cults teaches their people. The false christs of the cults can’t save anyone (See Matthew 24:5).

Resurrection. Just because you who call yourselves “scientists” can’t duplicate and observe a resurrection today doesn’t mean that one didn’t occur in the past when Jesus Himself rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. There were over 500 individuals who witnessed this fact over a 40 period of time (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). His resurrected body had flesh and bones but no blood (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50). Anyone who denies that Jesus will return to earth with a real body is antichrist (2 John 1:7).

Be Honest. Do what other skeptics (agnostics) have done. Take the historical accounts of His bodily resurrection that are found in the Scriptures and put them to the test and see if you don’t come up with the same conclusions that other honest skeptics have had to acknowledge. By the way, His bodily resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all of us someday. Do you know in which one you will participate (1 Corinthians 15:22-24)? There are five bodily resurrections (not resuscitations) mentioned in the Scriptures.

Choice. Even though some skeptics have had to acknowledge that the evidence is undeniable that Jesus died and rose again bodily from the dead, some of these same people refused to put their faith in Him alone to deliver them from hell and take them to heaven. They want to earn their way to heaven. But if they could, then they would have cause to brag and boast about it. God won’t allow this to happen. Our salvation (entrance into heaven) is not based on our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Grace. It is not the help that God gives to a person when he is sprinkled so he can keep the commandments of the church and earn his way to heaven. Grace is unmerited favor that comes from God. None of us deserves to go to heaven. But those who believe in/on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day will be saved and be permitted to enter heaven and the special place that Jesus said that He would go to prepare for true believers (John 14:1-3). To get an idea of what it is like, consider Revelation 21:9ff.

Real. My friend, heaven and hell are real places according to what Jesus said (Matthew 25:41, 46). They exist forever. You will spend eternity in one of these two places. The Scriptures do not teach the annihilation of the wicked dead or reincarnation. These are  heresies that must be avoided. No human being has to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire. Christ died for the sins of the whole world, not just a select few (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). Your eternal destiny is dependent on your faith or lack of it. Today there is only one unforgivable sin – the sin of unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ that keeps people out of heaven (John 3:18, 36; 16:9).

Profit. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36). Believe it or not, there is a “man of lawlessness” (the antichrist) who is going to gain control over all the world one of these days (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 13). This will take place shortly after “The Rapture” of true Christians has taken place (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). This event is imminent. We don’t set a date for it as some people have done in the past. But after his seven year reign of terror over the earth, he is also going to be cast into the lake of fire and will suffer there forever with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10-15).

Help. Don’t buy into the devil’s lie or John Lennon’s sentimental deception. In spite of what many religious people are trying to do, sinful men can’t bring in Christ’s kingdom or lasting peace to earth. Not until the true “Prince of Peace” (The Lord Jesus Christ) comes back to this earth after the seven years of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6-19) will there be real and lasting peace on earth for 1,000 years (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Revelation 20:6).

Free. If you would like a free “Dispensations Chart” that may help you see the big picture, ask us about how you can get one. If you are unsure of your eternal destiny or need help from the Scriptures, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article has helped  you, we’d like to hear from you.  Will you assist us by passing it on to someone else who might find it helpful?  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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