Archive for the ‘Heaven’ Category

 

“A Caricature Of God?”

Several years ago when our late son, Bill came to visit us in California, we took him to the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.  While we were walking around we came across an artist who was drawing caricatures of people for a few dollars.  So we had a caricature drawing of him made.  It didn’t take long for the artist to finish his work and we still have a humorous memento of our late son.

Self Portrait.  Unlike that caricature of our son, God gave us a self portrait of Himself in the pages of the Scriptures.  Within it’s pages we also have His autobiography.  By careful study of His Word, we can come up with a pretty good picture of God as to who He is and what He is like.  It wouldn’t be like the picture that the little boy was drawing at school.  When the teacher asked him what he was drawing, he said, “It’s a picture of God.”  The teacher replied, “But Billy, no one really knows what God looks like.”  To which the boy responded by saying, “They will know what He looks like when I am done.”

Viewpoint.  When you think about God, what comes to your mind?  As A. W. Tozer said in his book, The Knowledge Of The Holy, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Believe it or not, our perception of God will have a big part in the way we think, feel, act, and react.  Are you open to getting a better view and understanding of God?

Attributes.  In our last article we considered who God is.  We pointed out that the Scriptures tell us that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17).  In His Word God tells us that He is good, righteous, omniscient, omnipotent, truth, holy, and love.  God’s adversary, the devil would like for us to believe that these things that God says about Himself are not true.

Good.  He Himself is happy and delights in the happiness of others (Mark 10:18; Matthew 19:17; Luke 18:19).  The devil told Eve that God was withholding something good from her by forbidding her and Adam from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-6). After all, if they ate this fruit, they would be like God knowing good from evil.  This was true.  But the part about their dying wasn’t true.  If they ate of this fruit they wouldn’t have to bother God anymore each day by asking Him what would be beneficial (good) or detrimental (evil) to their well being.  His words appealed to her and she made the choice to eat the fruit and then she gave it to her husband, Adam and he ate the fruit too.  But rather than it’s being something that resulted in their happiness, it brought on them sadness and eventually physical death as they came to realize that they had been stripped and became aware of their nakedness (Genesis 3:7).  Violating God’s command resulted in not only their physical death but also their immediate spiritual separation from fellowship with God.  Furthermore, it caused their nature to become a sinful nature (disposition).  This sinful nature has been passed down to all of us through a stream of flesh (Romans 5:12).  None of us is exempt from this sinful nature.  We’re all born with one (Psalm 51:5).  No one has to tell a child to be bad.  It’s automatic.  This is why Jesus told the religious leader, Nicodemus that he needed to “be born again from above” if he wanted to have eternal life (i.e. God’s quality of life – John 3:1-15).  Do you have “eternal life” as a present possession (1 John 5:11-13)?  Do you have “abundant life” (John 10:10)?  Do you know how you can have these qualities of life?  If not, we’re here to help you secure them.

Righteous.  God always does what is right (Psalm 71:19; 112:10; 119:142; 145:17 ).  The devil would have us believe that God is fickle, vindictive, cruel, and unstable.  No, God is righteous and has given clear instructions as to what He wants His creatures to believe and do in each dispensation (See our “Dipsensations Chart”).  If we violate the rules there are serious consequences. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; See Genesis 2:17).  The God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Savior who provided salvation for all mankind (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; l Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2), but He is also the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  Someday everyone of us will stand before Him to have our works evaluated to determine our degree of pleasure in God’s presence or our degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Hebrews 9:27).  The devil would like for people to believe the lie that man can become a god (Romans 1:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:11), and that heaven and hell aren’t real places to which people go. Some of his false teachers want people to believe in another Christ and another gospel that involves the universal salvation of all men (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1 ff). Consider the heresy that is taught in John Lennon’s song “Imagine there’s no heaven or hell….”  It saddens my heart that so many people have fallen for this lie from the devil. Have you?

Omniscient.  God knows everything.  There is nothing hidden from Him.  He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  He knows the number of hairs on our heads, when the sparrow falls, and the names of all the stars He created (Matthew 10:28, 29; Psalm 147:4).  He knows the hidden motives we have (1 Corinthians 4:5:Hebrews 2:14).  This truth can be scary to those who are doing evil but pleasant to those who are suffering unjustly (2 Timothy 3:12), knowing that God will do the right thing in the end and take just vengeance on evil doers (Romans 12:19, 20).  The devil would have people believe that God doesn’t know everything because, they say, that would violate man’s free will.  This heresy is known as “the open view of God” and is being taught in some churches today.  It glorifies man (humanism) and diminishes God (Romans 1:25).

Omnipotent God is all powerful and can do anything He determines to do except those things that would be contrary to His nature and essence (Genesis 18:4; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17).  God can’t/won’t make a rock too big for Him to move.  God’s power was displayed to the spirit beings when He created the heavens and the earth (Job 38:7; Psalm 8:3; Genesis 1:1).  But the greatest demonstration of His power was displayed when He raised Jesus Christ bodily from the dead (Philippians 3:10).  By His bodily resurrection from the dead, God the Father let mankind know that He was satisfied with God the Son’s payment for all our sins (Romans 4:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).  The devil would like for us to think that we can thwart God’s decree – His determinative will (Ephesians 1:11; John 6:37).  We can’t.  But we can and often do resist His desirous will for our lives to our own detriment.  We can grieve and quench God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Are you doing these things?  If you are, don’t be surprised if you life is in shambles.  “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).  Are you trying to fool others and deceiving yourself (2 Timothy 3:13)?

Truth God always speaks and tells the truth about Himself and about His creatures – spirit beings and human beings (John 14:6; 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Titus 1:2).  His Word records the lies that the devil and men utter and many of the evil deeds that His creatures do.  Some of this truth about man’s vial character and deeds have caused some folks to relegate His Word to a class of literature that is inappropriate for some people to read, especially children.  The devil challenged the truthfulness of God’s Word when he said to Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’ (Genesis 3:1-5)?”  Did He really mean what He said?  He was the first one who interpreted God’s Word allegorically and tried to deceive Eve into believing him rather than God?  Have you fallen for the devil’s lies?  Do you have a distorted, caricature view of God, yourself, the devil, and mankind in general?  What method do you use to interpret the Scriptures – the normal or the allegorical method?

Holy.  God maintains His moral excellence and demands of others a moral excellency identical to His own (Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 145:21; Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 1:16).  Mankind naturally pursues the sinful desires that come from his sin nature.  All the “works of the flesh” are perversions of something good (Galatians 5;19-21).  Even after a person is saved and participates in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he/she still retains their sinful nature and has the potential to engage in these sinful practices (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff).  The Christian who tries to carry out a life of sin will have his/her physical life terminated prematurely (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16, 17).  God usually takes other disciplinary measures before terminating His rebellious child’s physical life (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 10:30).  He can’t/won’t take His eternal life from His child (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39).  Are you His child or still the child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10)?  The devil would have us believe that God doesn’t really know or care how we live as believers (Psalm 10:11).  He wants us to believe that God will overlook our sinful behavior.  But the Scriptures tell us that “whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5 ff).  If a “professing Christian” seems to get by without discipline when he/she sins, this one is illegitimate and not a true child of God (Hebrews 12:8).  What about you?  Don’t presume on the mercy and grace of God (Romans 3:8; 6:1)?

Love.  God seeks the highest well being of the objects of His love (1 John 3:16, 17; 4:8; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13).  His love for sinful mankind was demonstrated when One of the equal members in the Godhead volunteered to come down to this earth (John 3:16; Hebrews 10:7, 9), to add to His deity a true human nature and a real body (Philippians 2:5-11), to live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46), and then to die as a substitute for our sins and rise again bodily (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18).  The devil and his crowd would like for us to believe that God was/is a dirty bully for sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins.  But Someone in the Godhead needed to do this so mankind wouldn’t have to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (John 3:16-18; Matthew 25;41, 46).  Have you responded to God’s love, mercy, and grace and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as the One who died for your sins, who was buried for three day, and then who rose again bodily on the third day?  Are you relying on Him alone to save you or are you relying on your good works or your faith plus your good works to save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)?  Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?  Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?  If so, what would it be?  How secure are you? The devil doesn’t mind your knowing the truth about God and His love for you and His offer of salvation. But he’ll tell you have plenty of time to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The Scriptures tell us that our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then it’s gone (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).

Test.  What is your honest perception of God?  Be honest.  Does it line up with the Scriptures or have you come up with an idol in your mind that is unworthy of the true and living God?  Are you trusting in the wrong Christ (Matthew 24:5)? By adjusting your thinking to God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8, 9), you will be well on your way to a better quality of life if you respond properly to God and receive the gift of eternal life from Him by faith (John 1:12; 14:1-3).  You may choose to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior to your eternal regret and sorrow.  Unbelief in Him is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:8-11; Acts 26:28). You cannot ignore Jesus without suffering dire consequences (John 3:18, 36: Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

Help.  We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  If you have questions, we’ll try to answer them if we can.  “If you continue to think as you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.  Is that what you really want?”  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We’re also on Facebook live and on Youtube where we have audio/visual presentations for the glory of God and for the your good (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10).

Outline:  http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Godhead.pdf

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

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The Rapture (catching away) of the true church is going to affect every person on earth in one way or another. It will be the turning point that will change the course of human history. God doesn’t want His children to remain in the dark and be ignorant of this event. It gives us hope (a confident expectation based on a promise from God who cannot lie – Titus 1:2). It can/should bring happiness into our lives (Titus 2:13), comfort us when a believing loved one or friend is taken from us in death (1 Thessalonians 4:18), and it can/should motivate us to live morally pure lives (1 John 3:3. 1 Peter 1:15, 16; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).

If you are a true Christian (1), who has a desire to discover for yourself what the Scriptures say about this momentous event (See Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), we have some questions for you to consider so that you can have an answer for those who might ask you about the hope you have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). Having a part in another person’s salvation entitles a believer to earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). Will you earn one? An even greater joy will come to you if you help that new believer come to spiritual maturity (3 John 1:4).

We’d like for you to use this method to discover the truth from God’s Word. Observation – What do I see in the text? Interpretation – What does it mean? Application – How does it work? Also, ask the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions as you consider the text found primarily in John 14:1-6.

Who are the people involved in this section? John 14:1-6

Who, among the disciples, is missing and why? John 13:21-30; 12:6

Whom would Jesus send to replace Himself? John 14:16

Who is the only way to God, the absolute truth, and the giver of eternal life? John 14:6

Who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit? John 14:17

What was causing the Lord’s disciples to be so troubled in heart? John 13:36; Matthew 16:20, 21; See Philippians 4:6, 7

What should believers do with God’s promises? Hebrews 4:2; Romans 1:17

What were the disciples hoping would take place? Matthew 20:21; Acts 1:6

What promise did Jesus give to them? John 14:2, 3; See Acts 1:11

What does this place look like? Revelation 21:9-27

Where and when were these words spoken to the disciples? Mark 14:14, 15

Where was Jesus going to go after He left them? John 16:10, 16, 17, 28

Where did Old Testament believers go at the time of their death? Luke 16:19-31; 23:43

Where are Old and New Testament deceased believers residing today? Ephesians 4:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:4

Where will resurrected Old Testament believers live in the future? Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13

When would Jesus be crucified and why? John 18:28; Matthew 26:5; See John 1:29

When will Jesus return for Christians? See John 6:37; Romans 11:25; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9

When is the only time a person can be saved? 2 Corinthians 6:2; See Hebrews 9:27

When/why will our works be judged? 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:20-24; Revelation 20:11-15

When will you die and what will happen to you when you do? James 1:15; 4:14; 5:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; 1 John 5:16

Why do most people reject the truth and Christ as their Savior? John 3:19; Romans 1:18-32

Why do so many Christians lack resurrection power? Romans 8:5-8; 7:15-25; Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18

Why should God let you into His heaven? Titus 3:5; Romans 4:11; See Matthew 7:21-23

Why are good works excluded from our salvation? Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 1:29

Why do you do what you do? Matthew 6:5; John 12:43; James 4:1-4; 1 Corinthians 10:31

Application: Is there an example for me to follow? A sin for me to avoid? A promise to claim? A prayer for me to repeat? A command to obey? A condition to meet? A verse to memorize? An error to mark? A challenge to face? (Adapted from Howard Hendricks)

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/kelseyandjanet.pietsch

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

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

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

In a fictitious story Jesus once was asked about immigration. He responded by saying, “Remember, even the New Jerusalem in heaven has a high wall that is 216 feet high and 6,000 miles long. At each of the twelve gates there is an angel who puts people through a strict vetting process.” (See Revelation 21 to find out who gets in and who doesn’t.)

Boundaries. Who establishes the boundaries of nations and who sets up and brings down kings and kingdoms (Acts 17:26; Daniel 4:17, 25)? Who changed the languages of mankind (Genesis 11:7)? Who will defy God by setting up man’s one world government (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 13)?

Help. If you’re not sure that you will be admitted into heaven, but would like to be, contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you like this, please share it with others.

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

 

1 Peter 4:15-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

Everyone wants the opportunity to make his/her own choices in life. We’re all different and in this country we have a lot of freedom to choose where we will live, what kind of clothes we’ll wear, and the kind of food we will eat. We’re not robots.

Progenitors. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, lived in a beautiful garden where all their needs were provided for them. They could eat the fruit of all the trees of the garden except one – the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sadly, both of them ate the fruit from that tree. This brought physical death and spiritual death to them (Genesis 2, 3, 5). Their decision affected all of us who descended from them. Eventually we all will die physically and be judged but not for the purpose that most people think (Romans 5:12; 6:23; Hebrews 9:27). But did you know that there have been some people who went from this life into the next one without dying (Genesis 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11)? There will be another group of people who won’t die physically either (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Would you be interested in knowing how you can be part of this group? If so, ask us.

Born Dead. When we came into this world, we were born spiritually dead – separated from fellowship with God (Ephesians 2:1). This is why we all need to be born again from above in order for us to receive God’s quality of life (eternal life) from Him (John 3:3-7). Every person who has been conceived will have everlasting existence somewhere. Where will you spend it? Life begins at conception (Psalm 139). The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation.

Sinners. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re all sinners who have acted lawlessly and violated God’s laws (Romans 3:10, 23; 1 John 3:4). Some people sin less than others but we all deserve to be separated from God forever in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46).

Love. But God the Father loved the sinful people of this world and didn’t want us to perish and end up in hell with the devil and his angels. So He sent One of the members in the Godhead to this earth to add to His deity a true humanity (John 1:14). He lived a sinless life and then died as our Substitute to pay the penalty that we all owed to God.

Value. Christ’s death was not an ordinary one. The value of His death for our sins came from the fact that He was/is God. He reality of His death came from the fact that He was/is a true human being. God cannot die.

God’s Desire For Us Sinners

Deliverance. He desires that all the people on earth be saved from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (1 Timothy 2:4) and come to the knowledge of the truth (John 14:6; 17:17) and the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) so they can enter heaven to spend eternity with God and His sanctified and cleansed children (Ephesians 5:26). We don’t believe that Christ died just for a select group of people but for the sins of the whole world including your sins and mine (John 3:16; 6:37; 1 John 2:2).

Knowledge. In order for us to be saved, it is necessary for us to know that there is a Savior who is powerful enough to deliver us and take us out of the devil’s family (John 8:44; Colossians 1:13; 1 John 3:9, 10) and make us a part of God’s family. Jesus is preparing a special place for believers in heaven (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:9ff). Most of the people on earth know little or nothing about God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us that He is equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 5:18; 8:58; 10:31; Colossians 2:9). The Christ of the cults can’t save anyone (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

Birth – Life. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary as Isaiah the prophet had predicted (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15). The many miracles He performed proved that He was/is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18; 20:31). He voluntarily allowed Himself to be taken by sinful men and to be crucified on a cross as it had been predicted (John 10:15-18; Psalm 22:1). After being dead for three days, He raised Himself from the dead (John 2:19-22; 10:17, 18). God the Father and God the Holy Spirit also had a part in His bodily resurrection (Romans 6:4; 8:11). Only a living, omnipotent Person can save us (Revelation 1:8).

Anticipation. He is waiting for all whom the Father has given to Him to come to Him for their salvation (John 6:37, 44). When this number is complete, He will come back for the true Church and make it His bride (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:32).

Questions. Are you sure that you will be in this group? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you think that you are headed there, is there anything that you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be? How secure are you? How can you be absolutely sure?

Help. If you need spiritual help and some answers from the Scriptures, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article has helped you, please let us know.  Share this information with other too.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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

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

 

John 10:30-42

“Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11). Yes, Jesus is Jehovah – the God/man. Someday every one will acknowledge that He was born of the virgin, Mary, who lived a sinless life so He could go to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again on the third day.  But this isn’t teaching “universal salvation.”

If there is one thing the devil wants to do, it’s to confuse people about the Person of Christ and God’s simple plan of salvation. Before He went to the cross, Jesus told His disciples that many would come in the future, before His second coming to earth, and would say that they were the Christ (Matthew 24:5). Consider the Christs of the cults and false religions. They are numerous. They can’t save anyone.

While the common people of His day longed to have Jesus as their welfare King, the religious leaders were determined to kill Him (John 5:18; 6:15) because they envied Him and were afraid of losing their authority over the common people (Matthew 27:18; John 11:48). They dismissed, denied, or ignored the miraculous signs they had seen Him perform. Jesus came to His own people, but most of them rejected Him (John 1:12). How about you? What you and I believe about Him and how we respond to the Gospel will determine our eternal destiny in heaven or hell (John 3:16, 18, 36). Yes, they are real places (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Was Jesus A Liar? Did He know deep down that His claims were false? He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). He asked, “Which of you convicts Me of sin” (John 8:46)? No one could do this because He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). This was in sharp contrast to the false prophets and teachers who were/are audacious deceivers (2 Timothy 3:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1). The coming Antichrist will be the greatest deceiver. He will be able to perform the same kind of miracles that Jesus and His apostles did (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 12:12). We sincerely hope you won’t be here on earth when he comes (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Would you like to learn how this is possible without your having to die? Did you know that there is a group of people who won’t die physically (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52)?

Was Jesus A Lunatic? After Jesus called His twelve apostles to follow Him, His family members thought He had gone out of His mind. The Scriptures predicted that this would happen (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 10:1ff; Mark 3:13-21; Luke 24:7). His half brothers didn’t believe that He was the Messiah and the Son of God, and His half brother James didn’t believe on Him until after His bodily resurrection (John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). His enemies accused Him of being demon possessed (John 7:20; 8:48-52). But He responded to them by saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25). No, He wasn’t crazy.

Was/Is He The Lord – Jehovah God? Let’s consider His own words (John 10:30, 34-36). He claimed to exist before Abraham and referred to Himself as the eternal “I AM” or Jehovah/God (John 8:58; Exodus 3:14). His works/miracles that God the Father gave for Him to do authenticated His claims to be God (John 5:17; 10:32, 37, 38; 17:4; 20:31). By the way, did you know that God has some specific works He wants His children to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Jesus’ unique Person also validates His claim to be God. He said, I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). The Greek text, in which the New Testament was written, tells us that this means that He shares the same essence, attributes, and nature with God the Father. There isn’t just one Person who manifests Himself as three personalities – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God (John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:15-17; 2:9) and distinct from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 14:16). Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist also testified to His deity (John 1:6-8, 15, 29-34). He was the forerunner of Christ (Malachi 3:1). But the Scripture itself testifies to Jesus’ credentials that He is indeed the God/man (John 10:35; Luke 24:27).

Gospel / Salvation. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, … He was buried, … and He rose again [bodily] the third day according to the Scriptures, … He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve” and by over 500 other witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-5; See Acts 1:1-11). It is possible for a person to know and believe the facts about Jesus and the Gospel but still be lost and headed for the eternal lake of fire. Not until one places his/her faith in Christ alone is he/she saved. We are not saved by our good works lest any one should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Evidence. If you’re a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, have you given evidence of this to other people by being baptized (immersed), and are you doing the good works that God wants you to be doing (Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Peter 4:10; James 1:22; 2:18-20)? Are you ready to give an answer to those who ask you about the hope you have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15)? If not, why?

Help. We’re here to assist those who aren’t sure if they are headed for heaven or not. “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Share. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Then could we ask you to share it with a few others too? To receive future articles as they come out, simply click on “Follow.” We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through out website: http://www.kelseypeach.com.

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

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