Archive for the ‘Hell’ 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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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

 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).

Help. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. You may contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

     “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.”

For more information, go to

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.

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The most important decision that we have to make in life relates to what we will do with the Lord Jesus Christ. When Pilate the governor asked the Jews what they wanted him to do with Jesus who is called the Christ, they said, “Let Him be crucified” (Matthew 27:22). What you do with Him will determine where you will spend eternity – in heaven or in the lake of fire (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46). Denying that these places exist doesn’t change anything if Jesus is right. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This was not and is not a politically correct statement and many people are upset by what He said. But I’ll take Jesus at His word because He alone died for our sins, was buried for three days and nights, and then rose again bodily from the dead. These facts were witnessed by over 500 people on ten different occasions over a 40 day period of time before He ascended back to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:1-11).

Choice. You can choose to reject Him or ignore Him to your own peril. But by your continual refusal to believe on Him as your personal Savior, you are condemning yourself to the lake of fire. “He [or she] that has the Son [as his/her personal Savior] has [eternal] life; he [or she] who does not have the Son of God does not have [eternal] life. These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know [not wish, hope, or think] that you have eternal life…” (1 John 5:12, 13).

Time. Since you and I don’t know the day or the hour of our death, it’s only logical for us to make this most important decision of our life before it’s too late. “…For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).

Gospel. My friend, this is the Good News that led to my being saved. I personalized it by believing that “Christ died for [my] sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). I’m trusting in Him alone to save me from the lake of fire and take me to heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Assurance. In addition to God’s written word that gives me assurance of my salvation (John 3:16; 1 John 5:13), I also have the inward assurance that comes from God the Holy Spirit who bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God (Romans 8:16). Not everyone is God’s child (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). We must be born again from above for this to happen (John 3:3-7).

Purpose. Having been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures, and not of the cults, I desire to live my life to be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9) and make Him known to others whom I meet along life’s path (1 Corinthians 10:31). I want to do the good works that He planned for me to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10) as a way of expressing my appreciation to Him for His gift of eternal life and the other spiritual blessings that are mine to enjoy (Ephesians 1:3).

Help. We’re here to assist those who would like to make sure that they are going to heaven some day, and to help new and older Christians grow spiritually, serve God effectively, and be instrumental in the salvation of others. 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 how it has. Then share the information with others who might benefit from it. 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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Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/