Archive for the ‘Hell’ Category

In Hebrews 9:27 we read, …it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” The first part of this verse is a general rule. The second phrase is an absolute. Not everyone will die physically. There have been a couple examples of this in the past (Enoch and Elijah) and there will be a whole generation of Christians who won’t die physically either (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

But all believers will face the Lord Jesus Christ someday to have our works evaluated to determine if we will or won’t receive crowns, rewards, and praise from God (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). At the end of Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth, the deceased unbelievers will be raised from the dead and will stand before Him at the Great White Throne to have Him evaluate their works to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

But you might ask, What must I do to be saved/delivered from the lake of fire? “Believe on 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).

How can I know what God expects me to do as a believer? Where do I find this information? It’s found in the Bible. You might ask, Aren’t there different rules for different people in different times? Yes, there are. They are known as Dispensations – the house rules. Old Testament believers had different rules for living than Christians do today. Those living during Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth will also have intensified legal rules to keep. (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.)

But imagine, for a moment, that you are back in school and you have to take a final exam to pass the course and to graduate. But suppose the teacher gave you, ahead of time, the questions that you would be asked. Would that help you? It should.

It may sound strange to some people that God would give His children the test questions before the final exam that we all will have to take when we stand before Him to have our works (not us) evaluated (2 Corinthians 5:10). But He does. This is true for the Jews, who were given the “Mosaic Law” and for the Church (the spiritual Body of Christ) that becomes His Bride (Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 19:7; 21:9; Galatians 6:2). Don’t confuse the two groups (1 Corinthians 10:32). God has separate plans for the nation of Israel and for the Church. We don’t believe that the Church has replaced Israel.

The judgments for believers will be to determine if we will be rewarded or not (Matthew 25:21-23; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The judgment of unbelievers will be to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 11:24; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15). One’s eternal destiny with God or apart from God is determined by his/her faith or lack of faith in God/Christ (John 3:16, 18, 36; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). It is NOT based on one’s good works (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5). At the “Bema seat judgment” Jesus, the omniscient One (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10), will determine the answers to these questions: (Some of these Bible references relate to the Jews, not to Christians. Similarity doesn’t mean identity.)

How did you treat others (Matthew 10:41-42; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 6:10)?

How did you use your talents and your spiritual gift (Matthew 25:14-29; 1 Peter 4:10)?

How did you use the resources (time and money) I gave to you (Matthew 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)?

How did you endure personal injustice when mistreated (Matthew 5:11, 12; 1 Peter 4:12, 13)?

How did you endure suffering and trials (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)?

How did you spend your time on earth (Psalm 90:9-12; Ephesians 5:16)?

How did you run the race I gave you to run (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1)?

How did you keep your body under control (1 Corinthians 9:25-27; Ephesians 5:18)?

How often and why did you try to lead unbelievers to Me (Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)?

How intensely did you love My imminent return (2 Timothy 4:8)?

How faithful were you to My Word and to other people (Acts 20:26-28; 2 Timothy 4:1, 2)?

How hospitable were you toward strangers (Matthew 25:35, 36; Hebrews 13:2)?

How faithful were you in your vocations/jobs (Colossians 3:22-24)?

How did you support the work of the Lord (Matthew 10:40-42; Galatians 6:6)?

How did you use your tongue (Matthew 12:36; James 3:1-12)?

Conclusion: Although there are different rules (dispensations) for people living in different times, and there will be different times for the judgment of various groups of people, we all need to remember this – “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We all may not die physically, but all of us will face the Lord Jesus Christ some day. He will judge all our works and unveil our motives (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Are you certain that you will spend eternity with God in heaven? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?

Sadly, in spite of all this information that God has given to us in His Word, most people won’t put their faith and trust in Christ alone and be saved (John 3:16-20). As it is true with the believers in other dispensations, most believers will NOT receive all that God would like to give to them because they will not claim God’s promises to them and walk by faith (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 4:1-12). Don’t try to claim promises that weren’t given to you. Not all the promises in the Bible are there for Christians to claim. Some are only for the Jews.

Each of the seven dispensations will end in failure. This demonstrates to us that without God’s help, no one can do anything to please God (John 15:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Hebrews 11:6).

If you have questions and/or need spiritual help, please contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you have found this helpful, please SHARE this information with others (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

(For additional Christian responsibilities, go to our “Understanding The Times” Dispensations Chart on our website: www.kelseypeach.com.)

*Some of this material was adapted from Dr. Mark Hitcock’s book, “The End” by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, Carol Stream, Illinois, c. 2012, pp. 218, 219

https://www.amazon.com/End-Complete-Overview-Bible-Prophecy/dp/1414353731/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=mark+hitchcock+the+end&qid=1572641050&sr=8-3

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

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