Archive for the ‘James’ Category

Once a person places his faith exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for his sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day, that person is saved and secure in God’s hands (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; John 10:28, 29). Our salvation is by grace (God’s unmerited favor) alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9).* The false Christs of other religions or the cults can’t save anyone (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; Matthew 24:5). Is your faith resting in the wrong person (Matthew 7:21-23)?

Sin Nature. Contrary to what some men are teaching, a Christian retains his sin nature even after he is saved (1 John 1:8). He doesn’t lose it until he dies physically or the Rapture takes place (1 John 3:2). At the time of his salvation, the Christian becomes a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and has a new potential to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9, 17; Romans 8:5-8). Those who teach otherwise are deceiving themselves and others. It seems safe to say that, as Christians, most of our temptations to sin come from the indwelling sin nature. The Apostle Paul himself struggled with his sin nature even after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25; Galatians 5:19-21). If a Christian didn’t have a sin nature, there would be no reason to tell him to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) or to walk by means of the Spirit so he can live victoriously over his sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 26).

Enemies. A Christian has two other spiritual enemies: the Devil (1 Peter 5:8), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17) that he devised to control certain undesirable aspects of the sin nature of man. Any of these three enemies can disrupt our family fellowship** with God when we yield to sin. Believe it or not, the Christian doesn’t have to sin since God the Father and God the Son sent God Holy Spirit to indwell all true Christians after Christ ascended back bodily into heaven in the presence of many eye witnesses (John 14:17; Acts 1:9-11).

Godliness. We also have God’s Word that has everything we need for life and godliness (1 John 2:1, 2; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13). While the men of this world are able to figure out some of man’s problems, they come short when it comes to real solutions. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).  Did you know that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19; See James 3:13-18)?


Scriptures. “All Scripture is [God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul [emotions] and spirit [rational], and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). ***

Confession. To believers the Apostle John wrote these words: “If we [should] confess [agree, admit, acknowledge] our [known] sins [to God the Father], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), doing things while doubting (Romans 14:23), and not doing what we know we should do (James 4:17) as “Grace Believers.” Everything is Scripture is to be believed, but not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9). Example: We don’t offer bloody sacrifices today as the Old Testament Jews did.  Do you know where to find “Grace Truths” for Christians in the Scriptures? If not, ask us about it and see our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”

Chastening. God often gives a believer time to repent (change his mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10) and to confess his sins. He’s long suffering but if the believer doesn’t confess his known sins to God, the Father will find it necessary to apply the appropriate disciplinary action to do whatever is necessary to transform the believer into the image of Christ (Romans 12:1, 2).  Christians won’t be judged and condemned with the world and the devil at the Great White Throne judgment (John 16:8-11; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10-15). He disciplines those who truly belong to Him (Hebrews 12:5-11). Sometimes He uses sickness, loss of personal possessions, or mental disorders (1 Corinthians 11:30).  He may allow a Christian to be tormented by demons or the devil (Matthew 18:34; 2 Timothy 2:26).**** (Note: Just because a Christian experiences these things doesn’t always mean that he has sinned and is being disciplined by God. Example: The patriarch Job.)

Death.  If this temporal discipline doesn’t accomplish the desired end, God will take the believer’s physical life from him but not his salvation or his eternal life (1 John 5:13, 16; Romans 8:35-39).  A Christian cannot be demon possessed (2 Corinthians 6:14-18), but he can be Satanically or demonically influenced as the Apostle Peter was (Matthew 16:21-23) and as Christians are when we are tempted by them (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7).

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, just click of “Follow.” If this has helped you, consider sharing it and discussing it with others who may need to be mentored. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Find out if they are teachable and willing to change.

Cooperation. Together we can reach more people for Christ before it’s too late. “And as it appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Contrary to what some religions and cults teach, there are no other opportunities to be saved after one dies physically. The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked (Matthew 25:41, 46) nor reincarnation. May we count on you to help us get the Word out to others?

*Eternal Security.


***Sufficiency of Scripture.

****Divine Discipline

Sin Unto Death:

Clear Gospel:




Unless you have experienced it yourself, it’s hard to imagine the feelings of a parent whose child has been kidnapped or who is missing. Each year thousands of children are abducted and many of them are never seen again. Thankfully, the young child we thought we’d lost was found. If this has happened to you too or someone you know, our hearts go out to you.

M.I.A. In the spiritual realm there are many believers who are missing from the fellowship gatherings of the believers. Some Christians are physically sick, aged, hospitalized, or in rest homes and are unable to get out as the rest of us can. And then there are other believers who are spiritually sick because they have been misled by false teachers (1 Timothy 4:1; 1 John 4:1). Unkind words or deeds drive some folks away. Are you a person who has been left with a bad spiritual taste in your mouth? If you were attending a good, Bible believing church, we’re sorry that this has happened to you. But if we’re looking for a perfect church, we’ll never find one. If we did, we’d contaminate it by our attendance. (By the way, there basically 7 types of churches – Revelation 2, 3.) What should you look for in a local church?*

Exhortations. The author of the Book of Hebrews admonishes Christians to “draw near…hold fast…and consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day [Rapture] approaching” (Hebrews 10:22-26). Attending church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than your entering a garage makes you a car. Many Christians in other countries are persecuted for they faith and have to meet in secret to avoid torture and death. If persecution came to our country and your Bible was taken from you, how much of it would you have stored up in your mind (Psalm 119:11)?

Church. I like these words: “O give me a church where folks in the lurch, are encouraged, then healed from above; Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love.” – C. Swindoll. Would you like to attend a church like that? I would too. What can/should we do for this to happen? Do you attend church merely to be entertained and to listen to messages that make you feel good even when you know you’re sinning (2 Timothy 4:3, 4)?  Do you have to be spoon fed with “milk doctrines” or can you handle “solid food” (Hebrews 5:12-14)? Do you go to church to bless and encourage others and share Biblical insights with them (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)? The early Christians “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

Lost Sheep. Jesus told the story of the lost sheep (Luke 15). At great personal expense and inconvenience, Jesus Himself, as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14) went looking for His sheep and found it. Since Jesus is in heaven today at the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:20), He counts on each Christian on earth to join His “Search & Rescue Team” (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8). Every Spirit filled Christian (Ephesians 5:18) can have a part in preventing a premature, physical death of another believer (Galatians 6:1; 1 John 5:16; 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Do you know what it takes to be a Spirit filled Christian? If not, ask us.

The Problem. Although true Christians are eternally safe and secure*** in God the Father’s and Son’s hands (John 10:28, 29), they sometimes wander away from the truth that is found in God’s Word (John 17:17; Psalm 119:10). Some of them are enticed by the Devil or demons (1 Timothy 2:14; 4:1; John 8:44; Genesis 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:11; Revelation 20:3, 8). Others become carnal when they give in to the temptations that come from their sinful nature** that they retain even after they are saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; Galatians 5:19-21). Sadly, some maturing Christians love the present world system that is passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-12). Do you know how to use this system without abusing it (1 Corinthians 7:31)?

Death. It’s never portrayed in Scriptures as annihilation, but as separation (2 Corinthians 5:8; Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 9:27). Both physical and spiritual death can be reversed (1 Corinthians 15:22-26; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1). The “Second Death” is irreversible (Revelation 20:14; 21:8). Since a true Christian*** can’t lose his salvation, do you know what God often does to His children who won’t respond to His chastening (Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30)? He can take their physical life prematurely (Revelation 1:18) from them as He did in the lives of people found in the Scriptures. Examples: Ananias and his wife, Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), and many carnal Christians in the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:30). Do you know about your actual years and your potential years (James 4:14)?  Do you keep short accounts with God and confess your known sins to Him quickly (1 John 1:9)?

True Christian. Many nominal and professing Christians can be found in local churches. But a true Christian is one who admits that he is a sinner (Romans 3:10-23) in need of a Savior. The only Savior who can deliver us from the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) and take us to heaven (John 14:1-3) is the Christ of the Scriptures, not the Christ of other religions or the cults.

Identity. He is the God-man (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9), who was born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), and then volunteered to die (Hebrews 10:9; John 10:14-18) on a cross, not on a stake (Matthew 27:32, 40, 42; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18) as the payment for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 1 Peter 1:19; 3:18). After remaining in the tomb for three days, He rose again bodily (Luke 24:33-43; John 20:24-29) from the grave and made appearances to over 500 eye witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6) over a 40 day period of time before ascending back to heaven from where He had come (John 3:13; Acts 1:9-11).

Assent. Just knowing and agreeing with these facts won’t save anyone (James 2:19). Adding to or subtracting from the Gospel is to believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21-23). We must place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, apart from any good works (Acts 4:12; 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6).

Help. If you have questions/comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this or another article has helped you, will you pass it on to others?  Together we can do more for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and the good of others (Galatians 6:10).


*Finding A Good Bible Believing Local Church:

*Mega Church v. Bible Believing Local Church:

**A Christian’s Sin Nature:

***A True Christian:

Our Security:

Prayer is nothing but a powerful placebo. We’d all be better off accepting that.” So says one man who claims to be an atheist. If he were an honest man, he’d claim to be an agnostic, not an atheist. Do you know what the Scriptures call atheists (Psalm 14:1)? What two things can we learn by observing nature that makes everyone without excuse (Romans 1:20)?

Was Christ’s half brother James wrong when he wrote these words that are a part of the Scriptures: The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16)? Was he merely giving people a placebo?

Jesus. When Jesus Christ, as the God-man, prayed all night to His Father (Luke 6:12), was it a waste of His time? Why did He pray if He Himself was indeed God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18)? In what realm was He operating – His human or divine consciousness (Matthew 24:36; John 2:24. 25)? How many natures did/does He still have? How is He different from the other two persons in the Godhead and from us? What bodily form does He have in heaven today (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Timothy 6:16)? What kind of bodies will the believers in heaven have (1 Corinthians 15:49-54; 1 John 3:2) and what kind of bodies will the believers on earth have in the future (Daniel 12:2, 3)? How are they different? Will all the unbelievers be annihilated or suffer forever in a real body in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Luke 16:22-31; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8)? Is reincarnation Scriptural (Hebrews 9:27)?

You. Do you ever engage in prayer? When? Where? Why? How? To whom? What do you say when you pray? How important is it for families to pray together? Does prayer change things? Are your prayers limited to asking and receiving? Have you been disappointed when you didn’t get what you asked God for? Is God your Father or is the Devil your real father (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10)? Unbelievers shouldn’t be asking God for favors. Satan has attractive offers that he makes (Matthew 4:9). Does God answer your prayers with a yes, no, or wait?

Prayer. This word (proseuche) in the Greek language (in which the New Testament was written) is often inappropriately used by many people to cover all eight forms of communication with God. But it has the primary idea of worship. True worship of God (John 4:24) involves the use of the believer’s spirit (that belongs to the mind – Ephesians 4:23) and truth about God that is found in the Scriptures (John 17:17). We don’t truly worship God without thinking about His attributes. How many of them do you know? We can/should engage in true worship at all times in all places (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It seems that most people who attend church these days have the idea that worship primarily involves the soul (emotions). They don’t think that they have worshiped God unless they come away with a “good feeling.” Did you know that the soul of the believer is the last thing to be saved (1 Peter 1:9)? When will this happen (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52)? When will the believer’s body be saved (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:23)?

Effective. Obviously, not everyone’s prayers to God are effective. Many requests are denied because they aren’t according to the will and plan of God. God has a “determinative will” that will be carried out no matter what anyone else tries to do to oppose it (Acts 2:23; 4:28; Ephesians 1:11). It involves, among other things, God the Father’s determination to make God the Son (The Lord Jesus Christ) King of kings and Lord of lords (Psalm 2:6-9; Revelation 19:16). Do you know when this will happen? The Scriptures also identify 12 things that are said to be God’s “desirous will” for us that we may or may not carry out. This involves the use of our wills. When our prayers line up with God’s plan, He says “Yes.” We’re told to Ask [as though Christ were standing in our place asking for us] , and [we] will receive, that [our] joy may be full” (John 16:24). Sometimes [We] ask and do not receive, because  [we] ask amiss, that [we] may spend it on our pleasures” (James 4:2). What do you want and why do you want it (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Fervent. Are you easily dissuaded by the colorful attractions of this world (1 John 2:15-17). Is God your refuge and strength, your very present help in trouble? Do you know that He alone is God and that He (Jesus Christ) will be exalted in the earth one of these days? Do you know that He is with/in you if you’re a Christian (Psalm 46:1, 10; John 14:17)? Do you believe that He is able to do far above all that you ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)? Are you willing to ask God for favors from a humble heart (James 4:6)?

Elijah. This prophet of God was used to bring on a drought that lasted for 3 ½ years during the days of wicked King Ahab and his wife Jezebel (1 Kings 17, 18). God had made it clear to the Jews that if they obeyed His laws they would be blessed but if they disobeyed them, they would be cursed (Deuteronomy 28). Elijah simply asked God to keep His word and bring judgment on the wicked king and Israelites of that day. Later God prompted him to pray for rain (1 Kings 18:1; James 5:18). But first he had to challenge the 450 prophets of Baal and demonstrate to them and the Israelites that there was only one true and living God. The prophets of Baal called on their god to bring down fire on their sacrifice but to no avail. But when Elijah prayed, God answered by sending fire from heaven to consume his water soaked sacrifice. Then the false prophets were put to death for misleading God’s people (Deuteronomy 13:5). Beware of the false prophets and teachers of our time (2 Peter 2:1).

Righteous. Obviously, only God is totally righteous. God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) is righteous (2 Timothy 4:8). He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15).  We, unlike God, are unrighteous and sinners (Romans 3:10-23). We deserve to be separated from God forever in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). So, how can we be forgiven and become righteous people. God puts to a believer’s account Christ’s righteousness (Romans 4:22; James 2:23) when we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). In other words, God says we did the right thing by dying for our own sins in the person of our Substitute, Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). This is known as “positional truth” or what God considers to be true in His mind. But “practical righteousness” is displayed when we act right by doing the things that God wants us to do as revealed in His Word. While all the Bible is to be believed, not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:15). Without a clear understanding of “Dispensational Truth” a believer can easily end up trying to do what God may not have intended for him/her to do. Example: God doesn’t expect Christians to live by the Mosaic code of conduct today (Romans 6:14; Galatians 2:11-14; 5:1ff). We are to live by grace principles. Do you know where they can be found? If not, ask. We don’t bring bloody animal sacrifices to God today (Hebrews 10:4) nor are we required to give a 23% tithe today as the Jews did under the Mosaic Law (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29). They gave to be blessed (Malachi 3:8-12); we give because we have been blessed (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). Are you a Christian who is living by the wrong set of rules that are found in the Bible? Would you like to receive our FREE “Dispensational Chart” that can help clarify this? If so, ask for one.

Faith/Works. To the believers in the church at Ephesus the Apostle Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10). Ask us about “Spiritual Gifts” (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16). Which were temporary and which are extant gifts?

Formula.  Correct: Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works. Incorrect: Grace + Faith + Works = Salvation. Whatever you do, don’t get this wrong or you will regret it forever. Don’t believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; Matthew 7:21-23).  Believe on Christ through the Gospel.*

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*Gospel in 30 languages: 

Is your life filled with anxieties and fear? Are you nervous about many things including your past, present, and future? Do the cares of this life weigh you down? Are you enjoying the “Faith/Rest” life that God wants each of His children to have while we’re living here on earth (Hebrews 3, 4)? Is your conscience weak, defiled, evil, and seared, or is it good, pure and void of offense?  Is it a reliable guide for life?

When the ‘nervous’ [person] is under a continuous strain of fear and anxiety for a long period of time, the tension may release itself through and into various parts of the body, causing physical symptoms and disease conditions, and sometimes death [1 Corinthians 10:30; 1 John 5:16]. In other words, so-called nervous conditions do not always remain in the mind as worry, but may produce physical symptoms and organic diseases-somatic diseases.

Therefore, when the emotional (psyche) state causes bodily (somatic) disturbances, we call such a condition ‘psychosomatic.’

Psychosomatic symptoms signify that the individual is having a war within himself [Romans 7:15-25]. This warfare has created emotional tensions which can affect any part of the body (soma).

Nervous tensions may be the whole cause, or at times only the exciting factor, of certain forms of eczema, sweating hands and feet, warts and skin rashes, allergies, asthma, hypertension, nervous heart, dyspepsia, nervous stomach, gastric ulcer, chronic gall bladder, chronic appendicitis, vomiting spells, hiccoughs, diarrhea, constipation, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, rectal conditions, urinary disturbances, certain forms of arthritis, goiter, migraine headache, painful and irregular menstrual cycles, and sexual problems in both men and women.  Yes, worry can involve the whole body.” – Dr. L. Gilbert Little, M.D. “Nervous Christians” pp. 44, 45

God wants each of His children to display a Christ like spirit (disposition) to those around them no matter what trials we face or what He allows to come our way. “Spirit filled Christians” (Ephesians 5:18) will have a singing heart, a thankful heart, a submissive heart (Ephesians 5:18-21). They will have the Christ like “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23) to display to others who are around them.  This is how we glorify God by making Him known through our lives (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Serious Questions

Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die (1 John 5:13)? Why do you think God should let you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? If you believe that you are going to heaven, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (John 10:28, 29)? Is your life free from all known sins (1 John 1:9)? What’s the difference between assurance of salvation and absolute security?

Do you struggle with and give in to some temptations often (Hebrews 12:1)? Would you like to live a victorious Christian life and sin less (1 John 2:1)? Is sinless perfection possible in this life? Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15)? Admitting that you have a need is the first step toward recovery (1 John 1:9) and/or a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God gave Pastor/teachers (Ephesians 4:11-16) and other gifted believers to the church to help newer and younger believers “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). If you want spiritual help, ask for it (James 5:14).

For more information, go to or call us at 805-238-3549. If this article has helped you, share it with someone else. Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.

The critics ask, “If God is so loving and kind, why is there so much suffering and sickness, disease and death in the world? If He’s all powerful, why doesn’t He put an end to all of it? How could a loving Father be pleased to see His Son suffering and dying on a cross? Why was it necessary for Jesus to die at all? Shouldn’t we follow the advice of some ‘preachers’ who tell us to claim (demand) and expect health, wealth, and happiness in this life?” *

James, the Lord’s half brother, tells us believers what we’re supposed to do when we’re suffering, cheerful, or sick (James 5:13-16). But first, we should consider some other important matters:

Suffering And Death. The Scriptures say it clearly. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). There was no death on earth before Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit. This refutes the evolutionary theory that often is presented as a fact. Both evolution and creation must be based on one’s faith since we weren’t there to observe what actually happened. That is the scientific method. As someone has said, “It takes too much faith to be an atheist and to believe in evolution.”

Like God. Even though the skeptics don’t like to acknowledge miracles (Acts 4:16), the Scriptures tell us that Satan used the serpent to deceive the woman (Genesis 3:1-5; Revelation 12:9). He convinced her that God was trying to withhold something good from her – the ability to know the difference between good and evil. She may have thought, “If I eat this fruit, I won’t have to rely on God anymore to let me know what is beneficial or detrimental to me. I can be an independent woman.” After eating the fruit, she gave it to Adam and he ate. She was deceived; he disobeyed with his eyes opened (1 Timothy 2:14).

Consequences. God had warned Adam (not Eve), “…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Adam had never seen death before and didn’t know what it was. Two kinds of death were involved: spiritual and physical. Spiritual death (separation from God) occurred immediately (Romans 6:23). Physical death came gradually (Genesis 5). This involves the separation of the spirit (that belongs to the mind – Ephesians 4:23) from the body (James 2:26). Contrary to what some cults and other religions teach, the Scriptures nowhere teach the annihilation of the wicked dead or reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27).

Reversed. Spiritual death (separation from God) is reversed today when a person places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:33-43). Physical death will be reversed at different times, not in just one resurrection at the end of time (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). Christ’s bodily resurrection assures us of our bodily resurrection. Do you know in which of the five resurrections you will participate? If not, ask for help. The second death is irreversible. Everyone who dies physically without Christ as his personal Savior enters “the second death” and will be cast into the lake of fire and will suffer there forever (Revelation 20:14; 21:8; Matthew 25:41, 46). No human being needs to go there. Contrary to what some churches teach (limited atonement**), salvation (deliverance from hell) has been provided for all of us sinners (John 3:16; 1 John 2:1). But this “ticket to heaven” must be received by faith and cannot be secured by our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8-10). Do you have yours yet? Can it be lost (John 10:28, 29)? Are you sure (1 John 5:13)? A person who believes in “Lordship for salvation”*** can’t be sure he’ll go to heaven when he dies. Do you know what this involves?

Christ’s Death. Some people think that God is a dirty bully.  They think Christ didn’t need to die for mankind.  They don’t like what they call “a bloody religion.” Some churches have eliminated the songs that talk about Christ’s shedding His own blood for our sins. Some parents are afraid to talk to their children about such things lest they become traumatized by His violent death. Instead, they like to talk about what a kind and good man Jesus was. But without Christ’s shedding His blood for our sins, there would be no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:24). Furthermore, because the Apostle Paul insisted that the bodily resurrection be a part of the Gospel message, he suffered persecution (2 Timothy 2:8-10). The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection (Matthew 22:23) and neither did some of the Athenians of Paul’s day (Acts 17:32).  The Good News isn’t complete without it.  Proclaim it too!

Volunteer. Jesus wasn’t forced to go to the cross. He chose to be the member of the Godhead (Trinity) who would add to His Divine nature a real human nature and a human body so that He could offer Himself as our perfect substitute (Hebrews 10:7, 9; Luke 22:42; John 10:14-18; 1 Peter 3:18). The virgin, Mary is the mother of His humanity only, not of His deity. She referred to Him as her Savior (Luke 1:47).

Application. In addition to convicting unsaved people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11), the Holy Spirit applies the blessings and benefits of salvation to the true believers (Ephesians 1:3, 13, 14). If you’re saved, how many spiritual blessings and promises can you enumerate?

Summary. Suffering and death are the result of sin. But believe it or not, while we’re here on earth “There is good in pain, privation, suffering and bereavement. They correct evil, prevent evil, develop character, produce sympathy, promote enterprise, and prepare us for eternity.” – Source unknown. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). “And God will wipe away every tear from [the believer’s] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). But for unbelievers who die physically without Christ as their personal Savior, the future is dark and frightening. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

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*Faith Healers (Note point # 7)

**Limited Atonement

***Lordship Salvation

Perfect health and plenty of prosperity. Most people would like to have that kind of a life right now. If you’re a Christian, can you have “Your Best Life Now” or is it something you should expect to have in the future (Romans 8:18)? If a person dies physically as an unbeliever without Christ as his Savior, is he experiencing his best life now (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46)? What happens when we die (Luke 16:19-31)? Will some folks not die (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)?

Questions. Can God heal people (Ephesians 3:20)? Does He have to heal people (Matthew 10:5; 15:21-28)? Does He still use faith healers today (1 Corinthians 12:28; 13:8-10)? Should we demand that God heal us? If He doesn’t heal someone, whose fault is it? Why didn’t Paul heal some of his fellow workers (Philippians 2:25-30; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20)? Why didn’t God answer Paul’s prayer (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)? What should be the Christian’s attitude toward life and health (Philippians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10)?

Death. It began in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Romans 5:12). This verse demonstrates conclusively that evolution is a false theory (Genesis 1:26; 2:7, 8). God had made it clear to Adam that they weren’t to eat the fruit lest they die two kinds of death: spiritual and physical death (Genesis 2:17). Having never known or seen death take place, it was difficult for them to understand the concept.

Stripped. Upon eating the forbidden fruit, it appears that they lost the garment of light that apparently had covered them (Genesis 3:7). In the future, believers will have a garment of light restored to them (1 Corinthians 15:49; Daniel 12:3). Notice the differences in radiance between the Old and New Testament believers’ garments of light.

Death. Spiritual death involves separation from God (Romans 6:23). Physical death involves the separation of the soul and spirit from the physical body (James 2:26). These two types of death are reversible. Physical death will be reversed when Jesus Christ eventually raises every human being from death, each in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:20-26; Revelation 20:11-15). Spiritual death (separation from God) is reversed when a person who is physically alive places his faith in Christ alone for his salvation (John 3:16; 5:24; Ephesians 2:1; 1 John 3:14). There is no annihilation of the wicked dead as some cults teach (Matthew 25:41, 46). Neither do the Scriptures teach reincarnation (Hebrews 9:17). The second death is irreversible (Revelation 20:14; 21:8; Luke 16:27-31). Don’t let this happen to you.

Christ’s Death. The Lord Jesus Christ is the God-man (John 1:1-18; 5:18; 10:30; Colossians 2:9) who died as a substitute for all our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He died as the Just One for us, the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18). All this was according to the Divine plan (Ephesians 1:11; Acts 2:23; 4:28) to rescue helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), hell bound sinners (Romans 6:23) like you and me. God the Son volunteered to die for our sins (Hebrews 19:7, 9; Luke 22:42; John 10:14-18). God the Holy Spirit applies the benefits of salvation to those who place their faith in Christ alone for their salvation (John 16:8-11; Titus 3:5). Have you put your faith in Him yet? If not, why not now?

The Future. “And God will wipe away every tear from [the believer’s] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). But for unbelievers who die without Christ as their personal Savior, the future is dark. “… the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

To be continued.

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Most everyone knows that there is a crisis of truth in our culture. There are politicians, contractors, car salesmen and many other people, including some Christians, who think that it is alright to lie and swear while talking to other people. But is it? Consider this quote: “Every man’s heart is a storehouse, and his words show what he keeps there. What is said on the spur of the moment is sometimes better evidence of a man’s disposition than what he says deliberately, for the latter may be calculated hypocrisy.” A. Plummer

The Heart. Our words often reveal what is really in our hearts. We all start out our lives spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). We need to be born again from above (John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23). Our sinful hearts are desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23) and we’re prone to grumble and complain (1 Corinthians 10:10) just as the Israelites did in the wilderness (Numbers 14:2-29). Too many people make promises that they don’t intend to keep. Treaties among nations have been likened to pie crusts that are made to be broken. We need to realize that Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). How many lives have been built up or ruined by our words? The Apostle Paul wrote, “But if you [Christians] bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15). Yes, Christians can be tempted by the devil to lie (Acts 5:4-6) and use foul language (Ephesians 4:20) or we can be regulated by our old sin nature (1 John 1:8) and display the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 1:8). There are consequences to lawless behavior (Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 John 5:16). Do you know how to overcome your three spiritual enemies? If you’d like to be set free, and you’re teachable and willing to change, contact us for help from the Scriptures. Someone helped me; I’d be happy to share what I know with you (2 Timothy 2:2; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

Fruit. God wants His children to have and display the “Fruit of the Spirit” in their lives as the need arises (Galatians 5:22, 23). When Christians do this, others around them can learn something about God. A transformed life serves as a tremendous testimony to God’s grace and power (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Ephesians 3:20). If you’re a Christian, do other people notice a difference in your life? What Christ like qualities do others see in you?

Truth. Too many people have the mistaken idea that truth is relative and that it all depends on one’s own viewpoint. They say, “What’s true for you may not be true for me.” Truth has been defined as the ability to see things as they really are. Our views of people and things may be tinted by colored glasses. But there is Someone who is truth and who has conveyed truth to us humans. By the way, God is not giving out new revelation (information) today (Revelation 22:18, 19). Beware of false prophets and teachers who add to or subtract from the 66 books of the Bible and who twist the normal, usual, customary meaning of words (2 Peter 2:1ff; 3:16).

Jesus. He made what many people would call a politically incorrect statement when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The Apostle Peter made a similar statement, “Nor is there salvation is any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Consider the Apostle Paul’s words in response to the jailor’s question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). To make such a statement, Jesus would have to be a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. Many people who think of Jesus as a great teacher, reject His claims to be the God-man (John 1:1-18; 5:18; 10:30; Colossians 2:9). Yes, He’s the Jehovah of the Old Testament who displayed Himself to Abraham and others as the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 16:7; 18:2ff; 22:11; Judges 13:18; Isaiah 9:6). He is the personification of absolute truth.

Scriptures. Jesus validated the 39 books of the Old Testament (Matthew 5:18; Luke 24:27; John 10:35) and pre-validated the 27 books of the New Testament (John 14:26; 16:12, 13). Together they tell us in words the absolute truth that God wanted mankind to know (John 17:17). God used the Jewish people to give us His Word (the Scriptures) and the only Savior for mankind (2 Peter 1:21; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 2:11). Contrary to what “Replacement Theology” teaches, God isn’t done with the nation of Israel (Romans 11). The church has not replaced Israel. God will fulfill all His promises to them including the land promises (Genesis 15:18-21). Before King David is raised from the dead to be the regent on earth for 1,000 years under Christ and His Bride, the true Church (Ephesians 5:32; 2 Timothy 2:12), the Jews will experience “the time of Jacob’s trouble” during the last half of the 7 years known as the Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7-9; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15ff; Revelation 20:1-7). Do you know when the Old Testament believers will be raised from the dead (Daniel 12:12)? What about all the unbelievers who die (Revelation 20:11-15)? The Scriptures don’t teach annihilation or reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27).

Freedom. To enjoy true freedom from our enslavement to the devil, the present world system, and from our old sin nature, we must start by “[Believing] on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). His bodily resurrection from the dead is crucial to our salvation. It’s true, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50). But Christ’s resurrection body had/has flesh and bones but no blood (Luke 24:33-43; John 20:27, 28). Those who deny that Jesus Christ is coming back with a resurrected, glorified body of flesh and bones are deceivers and antichrist (2 John 1:7; Acts 1:11).

Avoid. There are things that need to be eliminated from the Christian’s life. This includes outright lies. Consider what happened to some early Christians who lied (Acts 5:1-11). Habitual liars and all other unbelievers, will be cast into the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Revelation 21:5; Matthew 25:41, 46). Half truths that are intended to deceive are also lies. “White lies” are still lies even though they may seem harmless. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Pragmatism says, “Let us do evil that good may come” (Romans 3:8). But the end doesn’t justify the means if it violates God’s Word and the rules that are given to Christians (2 Timothy 2:5). All Scripture is to be believed, but not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9). Without a clear understanding of “Dispensational” distinctions, a believer won’t be able to grow spiritually and please God (Galatians 3:1-4; 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Peter 3:18). Ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”

Love. It is just one of God’s attributes (1 John 4:8). It must be balanced with His other attributes of goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, and holiness. A Christian should always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). This might involve convincing, rebuking, and exhorting with all long suffering and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2). A satanically ensnared Christian knows the truth but refuses to acknowledge it and live up to the truth. He will ask all kinds of foolish questions to try to get out of that which he knows he should do. He becomes his own worst enemy (2 Timothy 2:24-26). Do you fit into this category? If so, it could lead to a premature and undesirable, physical death (1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16; James 5:19, 20). True Christians can’t lose their salvation (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:1) but we can lose the joy and assurance of our salvation (Psalm 51:12; 1 John 5:13).

Prayer. I was a M.K. (Missionary Kid) who grew up in Japan for 14 years. I took three crowded trains for 1 ½ hours to get to school each day. But before I went to school, my mother used to pray this prayer with me: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). Today, my prayer is that the words I share with others (including these words) will be used by God to point people to Christ for their salvation, and to teach believers what God’s Word says in reference to how He wants us to live. I haven’t arrived yet. I’m still on my journey but I know where I’m headed if I die. Physical death is the general rule (Hebrews 9:27) but there is an exception to death that a generation of Christians will experience. It’s called “The Rapture” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). It’s imminent. Are you prepared for it? If you’re not sure where you will go when you die, or if you’ll be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, we’d be delighted to point you in the right direction.

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Do you ever feel like the trials and tests in your life are more than you can handle and that no one else knows or really cares about you and your problems? Recently, when I was out getting a bite to eat, I struck up a conversation with a man, about my age, who told me about himself and that all his relatives were either dead or lived far away. He felt like he was all alone in this world. Since I’m a Pastor, I invited him to visit our church and told him that I believe he would find folks who would show him Christian hospitality and that there are people who really do care about others as God cares about us (1 Peter 5:7; Hebrews 13:5).

Refuge. To the tune of “O give me a home where the buffalo roam…” Chuck Swindoll wrote, “O give me a church where folks in the lurch are encouraged, then healed from above; where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and where the truth is modeled in love.” I really like that. Of course, our church isn’t perfect. I’m not a perfect Pastor and we don’t have perfect people. Some of us have been through many trials and hardships in life but God has brought us safely through dangers, toils, and snares by His amazing grace. He wants us to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Unlike some shepherds who drive their sheep, we try to lead God’s sheep into green pastures by still waters for the refreshment of their souls/emotions and spirits/minds (Psalm 23). Do you need to be refreshed by the Word of God?

A Loner? When I was much younger, I used to think that no one else had the same kind of temptations and trials that I was having. Then I came on these words in the Scriptures, No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Really? I also learned that the great Apostle Paul struggled, in the early stages of his Christian life, with the same kind of temptations that I was having with my sin nature (Romans 7:15-25). He found the way of escape by his being rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). It’s God’s will that we don’t sin (act lawlessly), but He knows that we will sin from time to time. When we sin, we can/should confess our sins to the Father right away and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9-2:2).

Urgent! I needed and really wanted to find the escape hatch that would set me free from the guilt and shame that accompanies sin. God graciously directed me to a graduate school where I was taught Biblical truth concerning my three spiritual enemies: the devil, my own sin nature, and the present world system. Each one of these spiritual enemies tempts us differently to derail us and make us ineffective Christians. We must use different methods to overcome theses three enemies. Do you know how to live a victorious Christian life? Are you teachable and willing to change when you’re shown the truth from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2; Romans 12:1, 2)?

Application. When I began to apply these truths to my own life, I began to sin less often. Have you ever considered this: Each time we’re tempted to sin, we’re given the opportunity to demonstrate either our love for God by resisting the temptation (James 1:12) or our love for ourselves by yielding to the temptation so we can enjoy the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25)? If sin didn’t bring us pleasure, we wouldn’t engage in it, would we? Think about that for a moment or two.

Abused? Have you ever been abused by others who have power and money? Some of the early Christians had this happen to them. James, the Lord’s half brother, addressed this matter and gave Christians some instructions on the right way to respond to this (James 5:1-11). He wants believers to be long suffering, to anticipate the imminent return of Christ, to establish our hearts, and not to grumble and gripe. To illustrate this, he talks about the patience a farmer needs as he waits for precious fruit. But James also wants us to consider some people from the past who suffered greatly.

Prophets. The Old Testament Prophet Abel was murdered by his own brother, Cain because God refused to accept his sacrifice (Genesis 4:8). Elijah stood up against the 450 prophets of Baal and slew them after God demonstrated that He alone was the true and living God. Then King Ahab’s wife Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life (1 Kings 18, 19). Later in Israel’s history the Prophet Isaiah was faced with opposition from the Jews and religious leader. He may have been the one who was sawed in two for proclaiming God’s Word faithfully (Hebrews 11:37). The Prophet Jeremiah was opposed by the king and the religious leaders of his day. He was told not to prophecy in the name of the Lord and when he refused, he was thrown into a dungeon with mire (Jeremiah 11:21; 37, 38). The Prophet Daniel was thrown into a lions’ den because his peers were jealous of him (Daniel 6).

Job. This patriarch was a man of integrity but became the object of Satan’s attacks (Job 1, 2). His friends who came to see him were miserable comforters (Job 16:2). They accused him falsely of many things. But when the test was over, God blessed Job with a double portion (Job 42:12; James 5:12).

Christ’s Twelve Disciples. Although the Scriptures don’t record much about their deaths, we do have the traditions that were passed down to us by the early church fathers. (Read Fox’s “Book of Martyrs” for more information.) Apparently only the Apostle John didn’t die a horrific martyr’s death. The deacon Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:58). James was killed by King Herod with the sword (Acts 12:2).

Expect It. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Many Christians have and will continue to be persecuted until Christ returns. (Read “The Voice of the Martyrs.) But the sufferings of this life aren’t worthy to be compared to the glory of the future (Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 4:8-18). The “Crown of Life” awaits Christian martyrs and those who resist t emptations up to the point of death, if necessary (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

Long Suffering. Not every Christian is filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) or has the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) to display before others as the need arises. One part of this fruit is long suffering. It needs to be displayed toward others who unjustly mistreat us. Don’t take vengeance into your own hands to gain a moment of pleasure (Hebrews 11:25). The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the God-man, will take vengeance on those who mistreat others. He’ll do it in His own time and in His own way (Romans 12:9; Revelation 6:10). He’s long suffering and waits for people to repent (change their minds) and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) for the forgiveness of their sins (2 Peter 3:9; Ephesians 1:7). Will you earn the “Crown of Life” for loving the Lord more than the momentary pleasures of sin (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)? Christ’s approval of our lives is all that really matters in the end (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Glorifying God. The Christian’s purpose should be to glorify God by making Him know to others (1 Corinthians 10:31). Christians can do this when we display before others the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (strength under control), and temperance (Galatians 5:22, 23). Will you magnify the Lord with us and exalt His name (Psalm 34:3)?

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In 1928 a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples. But that’s not the end of the story.

Money And Wealth. It is not the root of all evil. Do you know what is (1 Timothy 6:10)? Did you know how covetousness and idolatry are associated (Colossians 3:5)? Some people acquire money lawfully while others obtain it illegally. Don’t you think that the legislators who make the laws should have to abide by the same rules that they impose on the rest of us? We’re supposed to live by the rules established by the government of the land in which we live (Romans 13:1-7). Some ways of doing business today were once forbidden. We understand that franchises and network marketing were not permitted at one time. It’s unfortunate that money can be used or misused by both unbelievers and Christians (1 Corinthians 7:31).

Capitalism. Did you know that God’s Word prohibits stealing and encourages capitalism, not socialism or communism (Ephesians 4:28)? Do you know what the Scriptures say about someone who can work but who won’t work (2 Thessalonians 3:10)? Earthly riches can keep a person from trusting in Christ for salvation and daily living (Matthew 13:22). Spiritual riches are of great value (Ephesians 1:3). However, many Christians know very little about their riches in Christ. We’re saved by an act of faith, and Christians are to live in an attitude of faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 1:17) while knowing and claiming God’s promises to us as New Testament believers (Hebrews 4:2). Are  you trying to claim promises that were never intended for you?  Are you living the “Faith/Rest Life” that is provided for all Christians?

Classifications. People can be classified physically and spiritually. Some folks are poor without and within. They spend their entire lives in poverty and die without Christ as their personal Savior (Ephesians 2:12). Jesus said that there would always be poor people on this earth (John 12:8). Then there are people who are rich without and rich within. The patriarchs Job, Abraham and others were physically and spiritually rich (Job 1:1-12; Genesis 12:16). So were Nicodemus, the teacher in Israel (John 19:39), and Barnabas (Acts 4:36, 37). The persecuted believers in the church at Smyrna were physically poor but spiritually rich (Revelation 2:9). So was the beggar who ate crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table (Luke 16:20). But then there are also people who are physically wealthy in this life but who will end up in hell because of their spiritual poverty expressed by their unbelief in Christ alone for their salvation (Luke 16:19, 23; John 16:9). The folks in the church of Laodicea had great riches but they lacked spiritual life (Revelation 3:17). In which of these four categories do you fit?

Judgment Day. James, the Lord’s half brother (Mark 6:3), warned hoarders that someday they will reap misery (James 5:1-3). The Christians who love this present world system and who misuse it will lose out on their rewards at the “Bema Seat Judgment Of Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). All unbelievers will face Judge Jesus (John 5:22) at the Great White Throne Judgment. They will be judged according to their works to determine their degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:15-20; Matthew 25:41, 46). No human being needs to go there. Salvation has been provided for everyone (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).

Salvation. No one can buy his/her way into heaven. It is a gift from God to all who will place their faith in Christ exclusively rather than trying to earn their way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Do you believe that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:33-43)? God is omniscient and knows those who are His and those who aren’t (John 10:14). Once we’re truly saved, no one can snatch us out of God’s hands (John 10:28, 29). He will never leave or forsake those who belong to Him (Hebrews 13:5).

Warnings. Because many people in the olden days were very poor and worked as day laborers, it was important that they get paid every day when their work was done. The employer was not to withhold the worker’s pay from him for any reason since he and his family depended on the money for survival. The Old Testament law was clear abut this (Leviticus 19;13; Deuteronomy 24:14, 15; Jeremiah 22:13; Malachi 3:5). The employer was not to defraud his workers and steal from them in an effort to engage in prodigal living and over indulgence (Matthew 24:38; Luke 15:13). As then, so our world is filled with people who are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4). Are you one of them?

Murder. Some wealthy land owners were “living high on the hog” while defrauding and abusing their field workers who had worked hard for an honest day’s pay. This may have contributed to the early deaths of some workers who were unable to resist their employers (James 5:6). Are you an employer or an employee? God has given us Christians some rules that relate to both groups (Ephesians 6:5-9). Consider these things and examine your life by God’s standards. What needs to change so that you can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Quote. “A quest for wealth and power can consume all our energies. Those who have wealth and power face the additional temptations of pride, greed, and an attitude of self-sufficiency. The wealthy can also take advantage of their condition to practice injustice and dishonesty toward the poor and needy.” – Thomas Lea.

The Rest Of The Story. Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to the men mentioned above. The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison. The member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home. The greatest bear in Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide. The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide. The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide. All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live. – Source Unknown

Remember. Money is a part of the present world system in which we all live. It is governed by the devil and his agents (Matthew 4:9; John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2). The believer may use it but he must not love or abuse it by making it the most important thing in his life (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36).

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, or are unsure of your eternal destiny, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.  It you are helped by an article, let us and someone else know.  Thanks. 


Zoe. Thanatos. Deo Volente.” These are words we don’t use all that often but they are important words for us to know.

Terms. Our life (zoe) is like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Death (thanatos) is certain and judgment day follows (Hebrews 9:27). Every decision we make in life should include the words or at least the thought, “God willing (Deo Volente), I will do this or that” (James 4:15).

Unexpected. On that fateful morning of September 11, 2001 thousands of people went to work in the Twin Towers without any thought of its being their last day alive on earth. But tragically their lives were snuffed out and they left behind many who are still grieving to this day. Maybe you’re suffering from the sudden and tragic death of one of your loved ones.

Consciousness. In all likelihood you haven’t given much thought to the possibility that you may not be alive at the end of this day. All kinds of things can happen. Such thoughts are morbid and we just as soon dismiss them from our thinking as long as possible. But everyday the newspaper includes the names of those who died the day before. Yours or mine could be next.

Hopeless? Maybe you’re thinking of ending your own life because you, like many other people, have no hope for the future. If this is your frame of mind, allow us to show you from the Bible that God’s Word has many promises for us to claim so we can live with joy in our hearts (Philippians 4:4). Jesus said, “I have come that they may have [eternal] life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He also said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Are you trying to live independently of Him?

Change. Your life can be changed dramatically by some Good News and the power of God’s Word (Romans 1:16, 17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Christ’s death for our sins and His bodily resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) guarantees eternal life to anyone who places his/her faith in Christ exclusively, apart from their own good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Have you done that yet? If not, why not now?

Preparation. How can we prepare for that inevitable day when we “check out” of this life and enter another realm of existence? Rather than live in constant fear of death as many people do (1 John 4:18), we can/should make sure that we are at peace with God (Romans 5:1) and have assurance that when we die, we will immediately go into His presence in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). Is it possible for us to know for sure that we will go there the moment we die without our having to go to a purging place first before entering heaven (1 John 5:13)? Yes, we can unless God’s Word isn’t true. But it is (John 17:17).

Purpose. God’s primary purpose is to make Himself known to His creatures (John 17:1-7). Anyone can know that there is a God who is powerful by observing nature (Romans 1:20). But to know other things about Him, and how to be saved and live a life that pleases Him (2 Corinthians 5:9) rather than one that grieves Him (Ephesians 4:30), we must read and study His Word (2 Timothy 2:15).

Help. God gave Pastors and teachers to the Church to help believers grow spiritually in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:11; 2 Peter 3:18). We’d be happy to share with you information from God’s Word if you’re teachable and willing to change when you see and understand what God says in His Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 24-26). We have a special chart that can help you see God’s perspective of things from eternity past to eternity future. It’s free for the asking.

Contact. You may reach us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click “Follow.” We like to know if these articles are helpful to you.