Archive for the ‘Heaven’ Category

“My Friend’s Death”

Posted: October 30, 2019 in Heaven, Salvation

It was quite a shock when my long time friend was told that he had cancer and didn’t have much time to live. Outwardly he looked well. But before long he began to decline rapidly.

As he got closer to his death, he became very concerned about his eternal destiny. He knew that he didn’t want to spend eternity with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire. He wanted to make sure that he would go to heaven the moment he died.

I recall spending some time with him and asking him some questions that I thought might help him have assurance of his salvation. I usually like to ask people three questions: “Are you absolutely sure that you go to heaven the moment you die?” My friend wasn’t. Then I ask, What would you say to God if He asked you why He should let you into His heaven?” And if a person gives a relatively good answer to that question, I like to ask, “Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?” How a person answers these questions tells me a lot about him/her.

Then I proceeded to ask him if he had placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for his sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. He told me that he had done that and that he wasn’t relying on any of his good works to get him to heaven.

Being satisfied with his answer, I began to share with him some promises from God’s Word that would give him assurance of his salvation. Here are some of them:

These things I have written to you who believe in [on] the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

Most assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

The [Holy] Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we [who have placed our faith in Christ alone] are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:16, 17). There are many more promises like this.

If you aren’t sure about your eternal destiny, we invite you to contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change.

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!”

Believe it or not, God could use these 25 words to save someone from having to spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8), and, instead, enable that person to spend eternity in God’s presence with pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11).

If you’re a true Christian, would you like to have a part in rescuing people from the eternal lake of fire (hell) and taking them to heaven with you? You could earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” to present to Jesus when you see Him on judgment day for Christians (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20; Revelation 4:10). On that day, Jesus, the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8) will evaluate our works (not us) to see which ones are rewardable and which ones aren’t (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). It won’t be to determine if we enter heaven or not. That decision to believe or not believe on Him must be made while we are still alive on earth. There are no second chances to be saved once you’re dead physically. The wicked dead aren’t annihilated (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Mark 9:44, 46, 48). Salvation is always by grace alone through faith alone in God, and not of works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6).

In light of all that God has done for us (Romans 12:1, 2), every Christian should desire to be obedient to the Lord’s command to tell others about Him, as the Holy Spirit leads him/her (Romans 8:14; Acts 8), and show them how they can be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8). God’s love has been shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5), and God the Holy Spirit motivates us to do His will (Philippians 2:13).

Sadly, many Christians quench (render inoperative) the Holy Spirit who lives within them (1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). He is also grieved by such actions on our part (Ephesians 5:30). Honest confession to God (1 John 1:9) will result in our being forgiven so we can abide (feel at ease) with God and He can abide (feel at ease) with us and we can bear much fruit (John 15:1-8; Galatians 5:22, 23). When we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:7).

When we have this kind of a relationship with Him, we are free to ask the Father in Christ’s name and receive what we ask of Him (John 14:13,14; 15:16, 23; 1 John 3:22; 5:15).

Let’s analyze from the Scriptures these 25 words that God could us to save people.

Friend: You have sinned.

Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23; 1 John 3:4

But Christ died for sinners and rose again bodily.

1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:33-43; Hebrews 10:10

Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally.

Acts 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5

Do it now!”

2 Corinthians 6:2; James 4:14

This Good News (Gospel), in its entirety, is the power of God unto a person’s salvation (Romans 1:16). The Apostle Paul insisted that the bodily resurrection be included in the message (2 Timothy 2:8-10). Without a living Savior, no one could be saved and we would be of all people most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:12 ff).

The Christ of the Scriptures is the only One who can save us. He is the God-man (John 1:1-18; 10:30; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9), who was born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15). He died once for all as a substitute for our sins (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:10), and rose again bodily on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Luke 24;33-43). The false Christs of the cults can’t save anyone (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

Question. In whom/what is your faith resting? Yourself, your church, your good works, your faith plus your good works, a false Christ, or the Christ of the Scriptures? This is the most important question you’ll ever have to answer in life, and your response to it will determine your eternal destiny. To ignore it or rejecting Christ will result in eternal condemnation (John 1:11, 12; 3:16, 18, 36).

We’re here to assist those who aren’t sure about their salvation. We also want to help Christians glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31) by being sure of their salvation (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13), growing spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), serving God and others effectively (1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 5:13; 6:10), and reproducing other believers (Mathew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8) while they are here on earth.

We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We invite you to read our other Blog articles at http://www.kelseypeach.wordpress.com, and join us on Facebook and/ or Youtube for our Bible studies. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

*This article was adapted from Dr. M. Kober’s article: “Do We Really Know The Gospel?”  Please read it too.  https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

What about John 3:16?

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/the-gospel-in-a-nutshell/

The Greatest Rescue Operation”

Fighting fires is a dangerous occupation. Every year fire fighters lose their lives while trying to save others. Most of us have never had to be rescued from a burning building although you may know someone who has had this experience.

Greatest. Today let’s consider “The Greatest Fire Fighter” and what He did for you and me. There are many people in our world who know little or nothing about Him and the personal sacrifice He made to make it possible so that we wouldn’t have to end up in an awful place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and torment in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Revelation 21:8).

Unique. Jesus Christ was not just another, ordinary man who lived here on earth about 2,000 years ago. He was/is the God-man (John 1:1-18; 5:18; 10:30), who came to earth to glorify His Father (John 17:4). He presented Himself as the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 1:1-25; 27:21), and the Savior of the world (Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 4:10). This doesn’t mean that all mankind will ultimately be saved (“universalism”).

Substitute. In order for Him to rescue mankind from having to spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons, He had to offer Himself as a Substitute and die for our sins and then rise again bodily from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Why? Because “the wages [payment] for sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Someone has to pay the debt for the sins we have committed and will commit. Either the individual himself does, or a perfect, sinless Substitute could pay the debt. Jesus, the sinless One (Hebrews 4:15), died as “the just One for [us] the unjust ones” (1 Peter 3:18). The payment that He made on our behalf was accepted by God the Father, who demonstrated this fact by raising Jesus from the dead (Romans 4:25). Only a living Savior can help us.

To the surprise of many people, this rescue operation has three phases: Past tense, Present tense, and Future tense. What God begins, He finishes (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25).

Initial Salvation. He saved believers from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 6:23). This is known as justification. God forgave our sins judicially (Ephesians 1:7) because Jesus, the believers’ Substitute, took on Himself our sins and died for them once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). He paid the debt in full (1 Peter 1:18; 3:18). The guilt and condemnation of sin were removed (Romans 8:1). Justification doesn’t make us innocent or “Just as though we had never sinned.” Rather, it means that God counted us to have acted right when we died for our sins and rose again in the Person of our Substitute, Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:4). Christ’s righteousness was put to our account (Romans 4:16, 25; John 16:8-11). When we understand this truth, and realize that the burden of sin has been lifted from us, and that God the Father sees us and accepts us through the merits of Christ (Ephesians 1:6), it should make us very grateful to God and cause us to do things to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Progressive Salvation. God is saving believers from the power of sin. This is known as sanctification. God set us aside unto Himself and we don’t have to sin anymore, but we will sin periodically (1 John 2:1, 2; 1:9; James 5:16). Satan is no longer our father, God is (Colossians 1:13; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8-10). The temptations that come from all three of our spiritual enemies can be overcome. Satan (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17). Our sin nature (Romans 6:14; 7:14-25; Galatians 5:16, 25; 1 John 1:8). The present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Luke 11:50, 51; Genesis 4:16-24). Christians need to be informed, alert, and realize that no temptations are more than we can bear and that other people have the same kind of temptations that we have (1 Corinthians 10:13). God’s resurrection power is available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A Christian can demonstrate his/her love for God by overcoming temptations (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). God has provided everything we need for life and godliness within His Word (2 Peter 1:3). Diligent study is required if we want to grow spiritually (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 3:18). Because of His love for His children, God the Father will chasten/scourge His unruly children so that we will not be condemned with the world (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; 1 John 5:16).

Ultimate Salvation. He will save true Christians from the very presence of sin at the time of our death or the Rapture. From that time on we will be present with the Lord forever (2 Corinthians 5:8; John 14:1-3). When the Rapture occurs all Christians will receive new bodies (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:49-51; Luke 24:33-43) and then our souls/emotions will be saved (1 Peter 1:9). This is known as our glorification.

God’s Desire. Even though the Lord Jesus Christ desires that all mankind be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and has made it possible for them to be saved from the lake of fire (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2), most people reject “natural revelation” (Romans 1:18 ff; Psalm 19:1). They also refuse to believe in/on Him as the One who died for their sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (John 3:18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). This is the only “unforgivable sin” that a person can commit today (John 16:8-11). Some people know and believe the facts of the Gospel, but they haven’t placed their faith in Him exclusively. If they believe in hell and heaven at all, they rely on some or all of their good works to get them into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you?

Certain? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment your die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything that you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Now! Today is the “day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Make sure you’re truly saved (2 Peter 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:2; See Mark 8:36; Matthew 7:21-23). If you’re saved, are you sharing the Gospel (1) with others so they can be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 2 Timothy 3:16. 17). If this information has helped you, please let us know how it has. Then please SHARE this with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

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

The Bad News & The Good News” – See our website: www.kelseypeach.com

If you’ll permit me to do so, I’d like to ask you some very personal questions that relate to your eternal destiny. Are you 100% (not 97%) sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Or do you believe, as most devout Roman Catholics believe, that you have to go to Purgatory first before entering heaven through the side or back door? Why should God let you into heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would that be?

Now I know that most of us don’t like to think or talk about dying or death. But it is almost inevitable (Hebrews 9:27). There have been some exceptions in the past to this (Enoch – Genesis 5:24, and Elijah – 2 Kings 2:11) and there will be another exception in the future (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

No one really likes bad news, but without it the good news isn’t so attractive. A brilliant diamond shines brightest with a black cloth behind it. The “Bad News” is that we’ve all sinned (acted lawlessly) and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10-23). Therefore, we all deserve to die and be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Romans 6:23). Mankind is helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and hell bound (Matthew 25:41, 46). But the “Good News” is that God the Father loved the people of this world who were/are headed for hell and sent His only begotten Son to provide deliverance for all of humanity, not just for a select few (John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

The Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto our salvation (Romans 1:16). It’s the same message for Jews and non-Jews (Romans 10:9). But it needs to be declared boldly (Acts 4:29) and with clarity so that God the Holy Spirit can do His part and save those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (John 16:8-11).

The Apostle Paul declared the Gospel that leads to our salvation in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.

Fact One:

Christ – The Christ of the Scriptures, not the cults (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4).

died – once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), not as a continual sacrifice (R.C.C.)

Death = separation. Two kinds: spiritual (Matthew 27:46), physical (Luke 23:46)

for – in place of, as our Substitute (1 Peter 3:18).

our – the whole world of humanity (I John 2:2), not for the devil/demons (universalism)

sins – lawlessness (1 John 3:4; Romans 14:23; James 4:17)

according to the Scriptures (Psalm 22:1 ff; Isaiah 53:6)

Proof One:

He was buried – to prove that He was really dead (Mark 15:44), not just fainted or swooned.

Fact Two:

He rose again – bodily (Luke 24:34-44), not just “in spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

on the third day – no corruption (Matthew 12:40); not on the fourth day (John 11:39).

according to the Scriptures (Psalm 16:10)

Proof Two:

He was seen by more than 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Over a 40 day period of time (Acts 1:3).

Conclusion: Many people in the world don’t know these facts about the Lord Jesus Christ. True Christians can/should share this “Good News” with others as God the Holy Spirit opens doors and leads us to be a witness for Christ (Revelation 3:8; Romans 8:14; Acts 1:8). He alone can open the spiritually darkened eyes of unsaved people so they can see and believe on Christ and be saved (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25; John 16:8-11). Many “professing Christians” know and believe the facts of the Gospel but haven’t yet placed their faith in Christ alone to save them (See Matthew 7:21-23). They add good works to try to earn their salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). They are “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2). Don’t be one of them?

Application

Please make sure of your own salvation before you try to show others how they can be delivered from having to go to the lake of fire forever (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13; 2 Timothy 1:12; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). It’s as real as heaven and “…God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).  Sadly, most people will reject Him and God’s offer of salvation.

My friend, if you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, have you been baptized to demonstrate your faith to other people (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 8:34-38; 1 Peter 3:21)? When was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone? Have you yielded to the devil’s temptation to be timid and fearful (2 Timothy 1:7)? If so, confess it (1 John 1:9). You can overcome it the next time by putting on the armor of God and focusing on the “helmet of salvation” to remind you of how great your salvation from God actually is and what God can do for those who believe in/on Christ as their personal Savior (Ephesians 6:17).

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re not sure of your salvation, please contact us so we can help you. If you’re saved, but if you are living like a “carnal Christian,” please don’t share the Gospel with others. Get right with God first through confession (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. Send us your Bible questions and comments and visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.

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

Recently one of the listeners to my talks wrote to me expressing her concern for her father who is an unsaved man. Obviously, she wouldn’t be concerned about his spiritual condition if she believed in “universalism” which teaches that eventually everyone goes to heaven. Some folks believe in heaven but not in hell. Jesus taught both (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46). Many people believe in the annihilation of the wicked or in reincarnation. Others believe in Purgatory, which teaches that those who haven’t committed “mortal sins” must go there first before entering heaven by the back door (See 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-23). Such a heresy diminishes the work of Christ who died for all our sins, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), and then rose again bodily from the dead on the third day to prove to us that God the Father had accepted His subsitutionary death on our behalf (Romans 4:25; 6:23; 1 John 2:2).

Mass. In the Mass, the Romanists believe that Christ is re-crucified and that the priest can magically change the bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ. This is called “transubstantiation.” We believe these elements are only symbolic and that they have no saving value when they are consumed. This is NOT how one receives Christ as his/her personal Savior (See John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36).

Responsibility. The afore mentioned lady wants to know what she can/should do for her father so he can be saved. If you listen to Christian programs on TV or radio, you will discover that many of the speakers talk about the Gospel without ever telling people what the Gospel (Good News) actually is. Many of them teach “Lordship in exchange for salvation.” [1] In other words, it’s as though God would be saying, “If you want to be saved, you must make Me the Lord and Master of your life before I will save you. You must repent of all your sins (i.e. turn away from sin and stop sinning), confess your sins (But what if a person can’t remember every sin he/she has committed in his/her life?), you must be baptized in our church, give 10 % of your money to the church, and do other good works, etc. Honestly now, how could anyone have assurance of his/her salvation if such things were requirements for someone to be saved. Thankfully, this isn’t what the Scriptures teach.

K.I.S.S. Why not “Keep It Simple Sir”? [2] Please notice the Apostle Paul’s simple response to the jailor’s question, “What must I do to be saved?” He said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30, 31). Why? Because Christ died for our sins, was buried for three days and nights, and then rose again bodily from the dead, and was seen by over 500 witnesses over a forty day period before ascending back to heaven in the presence of His disciples (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Acts 1:9-11). He didn’t “front load the Gospel” and tell a person to do a lot of good works to be saved (See Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5). Paul knew that the Gospel was/is the power of God unto one’s salvation, whether he/she is a Jew or not one (Romans 1:16). So he proclaimed it faithfully and clearly to unbelievers. Don’t add or subtract from it or change it as false teachers do (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; See Revelation 22:18, 19). Consider their dreadful fate forever (Jude 1:13).

Receive/Reject. Upon hearing the unadulterated Gospel, a person will either receive (believe on) Christ as his/her personal Savior or reject Him. Sadly, most people don’t think that they are bad enough to need a Savior. They will accept a “False Gospel” that says, “Christ died for you because you are such a wonderful person with great value.” Please read Romans 3:10-23 to discover what God’s Word says about us. Others reject Him because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19).

Hope. We believe that as long as a person is living, moving, and breathing, there is hope for him/her. As opportunities arise, and as the Holy Spirit leads us, we should lovingly keep on sharing the Gospel with unbelievers so they can be saved (Acts 1:8). I’ve seen people saved on their death bed. We need to be sure of our own salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16; 2 Peter 1:10), and have our known sins confessed (1 John 1:9, James 5:16), so we can be clean, usable witnesses of God’s amazing grace.

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 and ask you to share this with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube.

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

https://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2011/03/what-is-wrong-with-lordship-salvation.html

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

Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word  https://voice.dts.edu/review/g-michael-cocoris-repentance/

 

“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

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