Archive for the ‘Jude’ Category

One can only imagine the grief that parents feel when their child perishes in a house fire that could easily have been prevented.  A similar kind of grief overtakes a Pastor when he sees someone whom he has brought to Christ for salvation turn away from the truth and pursue a false teacher.  It happens more often than we’d like to believe.

Failure.  Sometimes the problem stems from a Pastor’s failure to properly teach the new convert the truth from God’s Word that can help him cope with the challenges of life.  But if the new believer isn’t teachable (2 Timothy 2:2, 15) and willing to change when he sees the truth that is found in God’s Word (Romans 12:1, 2), he is prone to be caught in the trap that the devil and a false teacher sets for him (2 Timothy 2:25, 26).

Appeal.  False teachers usually appeal to the believer’s soul (emotions) rather than to the spirit that belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23).  The spirit is the only part of the Christian that is saved now (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:14-17).  The soul isn’t saved in this life and won’t be saved until the Rapture of the church (1 Peter 1:9).  That is when our bodies will be saved too (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:2).  Those who rely on their emotions to make the crucial decisions in life will usually make the wrong decisions (Proverbs 14:12).  When we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding, we can ask God to give us wisdom and direct our path in life (Proverbs 3:5, 6; James 1:5).

Joys And Sorrows.  Shepherding the Lord’s sheep has its joys and sorrows.  The greatest joy comes when we see someone whom we’ve led to Christ for salvation growing in the Lord and walking in the light (3 John 4).  But much sorrow and grief fill a shepherd’s heart when he sees a sheep in his care being misled by false teachers.

Prevention.  In an effort to prevent this from happening, some important procedures need to be followed and used with Christians who are expressing doubts about God and His Word, toward those who are being burned by the false teachers, and toward those who are dangerous to themselves and to those who try to rescue them from the errors of their way (Jude 1:22, 23).

The Doubting.  Satan has led many people to believe in the allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures.  He caused Eve to doubt God by saying, “Is that really what God said and meant (Genesis 3:1)?”  Many people within “Christendom” refuse to take God at His word and believe Him when He says things.  Here is an example:  They believe the prophecies of Christ’s first coming took place literally, but they aren’t willing to believe that the prophecies concerning the Rapture and His second coming will be fulfilled literally.  When we’re tempted by the devil or a demon to doubt God and His Word, we need to put on the whole armor of God and use the shield of faith as a counter measure against doubt (Ephesians 6:17).  We’re saved by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Christians are also to live in an attitude of faith (Romans 1:17).  We must know the promises that are given to Christians and mix them with faith (Hebrews 4:2) or we will be full of worry and anxiety.  God’s solution to worry is found in Philippians 4:6-8.  Caution – Don’t try to claim promises that were given to the Jews exclusively.

The Burning.  If a believer swallows the lies of the false teachers, he will develop spiritual acid indigestion and heartburn.  Their humanistic ideas and philosophies (Colossians 2:8) may appeal to his pride.  What seems like the right thing to do may end up in disaster or death (Proverbs 14:12).  Physical or emotional problems might be used by God as disciplinary measures to bring His sheep back to the fold.  It these things don’t work, God may terminate the believer’s life prematurely (1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16).  Do you know which pieces of the armor you must use to overcome the temptations to act independently of God and to be proud?  Are you aware of your own spiritual condition and that of others whom you love?  “The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.”  There is always room for more spiritual growth and development (2 Peter 3:18).

The Dangerous.  These believers are in grave danger.  They are their own worst enemy since they are ensnared by the devil (2 Timothy 2:24-26).  They are miserable and want others to be miserable with them.  They have bad attitudes and are defiant toward those who would try to rescue them.  Those who try to rescue them must take special precautions lest they themselves fall into the trap through self confidence rather than reliance on the Lord and His Word (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Goats.  Jesus likens the unsaved people to goats who will be separated from the Lord’s sheep.   Unbelievers will be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire but believers will spend eternity with God (Matthew 25:32-46).  You can become one of the Lord’s sheep if you will stop trusting in yourself and your good works and place your faith in Christ alone (Acts 16:31).  Believe that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:2-8).

Help.  If you need spiritual help, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or go to our website for more information: http://www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article has helped you, and you would like to receive other articles as they come out, click “Follow.”  Help us reach others for Christ.

     Most people around the world don’t know why they are here on earth, how they got here, and where they will go when they die. They live in spiritual darkness (John 1:5).
     Sadly, many Christians aren’t taught how to live the Christian life once they get saved. False teachers, in and outside the church, have misled them into believing the lies of the devil (John 8:44; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4). God gave Pastor-teachers to the church to help bring new believers to spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:11-16). Then they need to serve God and others (1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 5:13; 6:10) and reproduce themselves (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8). Spirit filled Christians (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14) can/should help newer Christians grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 5:12; 2 Peter 3:18).
     To help us contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3, 20, 21), each Christian needs to pay attention to the words from Christ’s half brother, Jude who wrote a brief letter to believers.
     Edification. We must build up ourselves on our most holy faith. We don’t do this by stepping on others. Instead, we need to take heed to ourselves. Once we’ve done this we’re in a position to help others (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 11:28; Galatians 5:13, 14; 6:1; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 3:12). Jesus told some hypocritical Jews to take the plank out of their own eyes before trying to take the speck out of someone else’s eye (Matthew 7:5). Furthermore, spiritual growth won’t take place if a believer is trying to regulate his life by the wrong “House Rules” that are found in the Scriptures.  There are seven separate ones. Do you know where you can find them? A curse rests on those who teach another way of salvation or another way of sanctification (Galatians 1:6-9; 2:11-14). See our “Dispensational Chart” for more information on this.
     Communication. “Praying in the Holy Spirit.” Contrary to what many Christians are being taught, it doesn’t mean “praying in tongues.” The spiritual gift of tongues ceased when the Scriptures were completed with the book of Revelation (1 Corinthians 13:10). See our “Bible Basics” section on our website. Every Christian has eight ways to communicate with God. Do you know what they are? Remember, “Prayer doesn’t change things. God does in response to proper prayers.” Some prayers are a waste of time (James 4:2, 3; 2 Timothy 2:12). Do you know what kind of requests God answers (James 5:16; John 14:13; 15:16)? Did you know that God doesn’t forgive everything you confess to Him? Contact us if this puzzles you.
     Conservation. “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” This doesn’t mean that we must do good works to maintain our salvation. Salvation from start to finish is of God (Jonah 2:9; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Philippians 1:6, 29; Titus 3:5). Do you know about the three tenses of salvation? Which part of the Christian is saved now – the body (Romans 8:23), the soul (1 Peter 1:9), or the spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)? When will the other parts be saved (1 John 3:2)? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation once you’re saved (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30)? While the Christian can’t save himself, he is given some responsibilities (Philippians 2:12, 13) to demonstrate his faith before others (James 2:18).  We are to be baptized (immersed) and do the good works that God planned for us to do – not our own good works thata we might want to do independently of God (1 Peter 3:21; 4:10; Ephesians 2:10; John 15:5). We have the freedom to choose whether or not we want to love God and other Christians (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:20, 21), be in fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3, 7), and abide (feel at ease) in Him (John 15:1-8). What does God do with His disobedient children (Hebrews 12:5-11)? What forms of discipline have you experienced? Were they painful but beneficial?
     Anticipation. “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” We can’t live without hope. The believer’s hope is not wishful thinking but a confident expectation based on a promise from the all powerful God (Romans 8:24, 25; 15:4; Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8). The Rapture of the true church (1 Thessalonians 4:17) before the seven years of tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 6-19) is a merciful expression of God’s goodness. However, this doesn’t mean that true Christians won’t suffer or be persecuted in this life (2 Timothy 3:12; John 16:2). Those who are left behind at the Rapture have one in two chances of surviving during those 7 years that may be here soon (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). God has limited the amount of time the devil, the antichrist, and the false prophet have to try to establish a world of peace without Jesus Christ as the King of kings, and Lord of Lords (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:22).
     Questions. Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23)? We all start out life as children of the devil (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 3:10). We have a nature (disposition) that rebels against God (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8). This nature perverts good things and leads to death (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:18-31; 6:23; 8:6). Are you being afflicted by the devil or demons (1 Samuel 16:14; Matthew 18:34; Ephesians 6:13). Is it due to your disobedience or because you are doing the right things (1 Peter 4:12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:30)? Are you in danger of dying prematurely (1 John 5:16) because of your unwillingness to discern what you have done wrong (1 Corinthians 11:28), repent (change your mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9), and confess it to God (1 John 1:9) and others if necessary (James 5:16)? If you’ve confessed your sins the right way, have you accepted God’s forgiveness? Will you submit yourself to God (Romans 6:11-23; 12:1, 2; James 4:7) and put the armor on (Ephesians 6:10-17) before trying to resist the devil again? Do you know how to defend yourself against the devil, your own sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 26), and the world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31)? Do you know where all unbelievers go when they die (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8)? Are annihilation or reincarnation taught anywhere in the Scriptures (Hebrews 9:27)?
     Deliverance. If you lack assurance of your salvation from hell to heaven, please contact us so we can show you from the Scriptures how you can be sure (1 John 5:13). Jesus is the only way to God, the absolute truth, and One who gives eternal life to all who believe on Him (John 14:6). Let us help you so you don’t end up like those who believed in vain (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:2). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36).
     Transformed. By the power of God your life can be transformed from a spiritual worm into a butterfly (Romans 12:1, 2). God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Are you ready to trust Him alone to save you? He can save you from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1), the power of sin (Romans 6:14; 8:2), and the presence of sin (Romans 8:2; 1 John 3:2). Do you know when these things happen?
     Contact. If you want spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, will you let others know about it?  Click “Follow” if you want to receive these as they come out.

            Motivated by the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10), many men and women have misused the oratorical and leadership skills they have been given to exploit the unsuspecting (2 Timothy 3:1-7).  The prophet Balaam is a classic example of a “Prophet for Hire” (Numbers 22-31).  His name is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments over 60 times.  His bad counsel led to the deaths of 24,000 Jews (Numbers 25:9).  Stricter judgment awaits those who teach heresies and false doctrine (James 3:1).  The greatest joy comes from seeing those whom we have led to Christ for salvation walking in truth (3 John 4).

            Used.  The devil is using many false teachers to lead gullible people to hell.  They are lulled to sleep and are unaware of the dangers that face them in the future (1 John 5:19).  True Christians must be on guard (1 Peter 5:8) so they don’t stumble and fall (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13) and end up with a lot of ashes on their face.  How can this be done?

            Remember.  Prone as we are to forget so many things, the Scriptures constantly exhort us to remember Biblical truths.  This will enable us to stay standing after we encounter our spiritual adversaries (Ephesians 6:11).

            Apostles.  During the early days of the church God gave some spiritual gifts to a few Christians that are not being given to believers today.  Among them are apostles, prophets, tongues, and others.  (For more information about temporary and extant gifts, go to www.kelseypeach.com and then to “Bible Basics.”) 

           Steward.  The Apostle Paul referred to himself as the steward (household manager) of this dispensation of grace (Ephesians 3:1-12).  He was the primary person to receive new revelation (information) from God for the New Testament believers. Peter and John, along with the half brothers of Jesus – James and Jude – also penned supplemental “Grace Truth” for us. 

            Growth.  Spiritual growth can take place in the lives of believers who apply this information to their lives (James 1:22; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).  As a general rule, “Grace Truth” can be found between John 13 and Revelation 3.  All Scripture is for Christians, but not all of it is addressed to us (2 Timothy 2:15).  Don’t try to grow spiritually if you’re living by the wrong “House Rules.”  See our “Dispensational Chart” for more information. 

            Counterfeits.  God’s Word is the truth (John 17:17).  Satan twists it just enough so that others won’t be able to detect it unless they are careful students of the Bible (2 Peter 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:15).  It looks like the real thing.  He has a false gospel that mixes good works with faith and false apostles and teachers to promote it (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).  Don’t get caught up in a heresy.    

            Scoffers.   The Apostles Peter and Paul and others warned us about them before they came on the scene (2 Peter 3:3; Acts 20:20-31).  Some of them claimed to be believers without actually being true Christians (1 John 2:19). They employ Satan’s craftiness and deceitful methods (Ephesians 6:11) and use his devices to work on people’s minds (2 Corinthians 2:11).  They mix and integrate the philosophy of this present, diabolical, world system (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17) with the Scriptures and mislead many unsuspecting people (Colossians 2:8). We have all we need for life and godliness in the Word of God (2 Peter 1:3).  Don’t ignore it!

           Trapped?  Do you feel like you are ensnared by the devil (2 Timothy 2:26)?  Would you like to be released?  Do you have any known sins that haven’t been confessed to God (Proverbs 28:13)?  If you do, confess them to Him and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9)?  If you have sinned against another person, confess that to him/her too (James 5:16).  Unlike God, you may also need to ask them not to hold a grudge against you any longer.  See what God does (Ezekiel 33:16).  He doesn’t/can’t forget anything.  He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24).

          Bitterness.  Do you have a root of bitterness (Hebrews 12:15) or an unforgivng spirit that needs to be removed from your life?  When you realize the huge debt that God has forgiven you, you should not have any problem forgiving others (Ephesians 4:32).  If you refuse to forgive others you will continue to be tormented by the tormentors (Matthew 18:34) and could commit the sin unto a premature, physical death (1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16). 

            Flatterers.  To gain an advantage over others, many false teachers tell people what the people want to hear rather than what God wants them to be told (2 Timothy 4:1-4). It is required of God’s stewards that they be faithful to God and His Word (1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Timothy 4:6).  Beware of those who flatter you (Proverbs 28:23; 29:5).

          Help?  If you need spiritual help, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com or listen to our messages at www.sermon.net/kelseypeach.  If these articles help you, please tell others and sign up to receive them as they come out.  Click on “Follow.”

Warning! Most of this article won’t make much sense to you if you are not a true believer in the Christ of the Scriptures. It is designed for God’s children who want to grow spiritually or who have wondered away like lost sheep (Luke 15:4, 6), perhaps because of Pastors who abused their authority by driving the sheep rather than leading them (1 Peter 5:2, 3; Psalm 23: 2). The main ideas are taken from Jude 1:11. Unbelievers should skip to the last paragraph to find out what God commands them to do. Sadly, most people won’t do it.

Caught Off Guard? Have you ever been taken in by a “slickster” who was crafty, opportunistic, and deceitful? They are all around us and will do almost anything for fame, fortune, power, or pleasure. They can be found in all professions. While it is bad enough to have our money taken from us by trickery, it is far worse to have a place in heaven denied to us because false prophets and teachers deceived us (Matthew 23:15).

Caution Light! The Lord’s half brother Jude wanted to reiterate what the Apostles Peter and Paul had said concerning false teachers (2 Peter 2; Acts 20:29, 30; 1 Timothy 4:1-3). For leading people astray from the truth (that is found in the 66 books of the Bible – John 17:17), and from the Lord Jesus Christ who referred to Himself as the [only] way [to God], the [absolute] truth, and the [only one giving eternal] life (John 14:6), false teachers will spend eternity in outer darkness where there is weeping and the gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Jude 1:13). The Scriptures don’t teach annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27).

Greater Judgment. One of the Lord’s other half brothers (Matthew 13:55), James wrote: “My [Christian] brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Those who fail to rightly divide and then teach the Word of God (2 Timothy) but teach a different gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Galatians 1:6-9) or another way to spiritual growth other than by grace principles (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 3:1-6), are headed for serious trouble.

Twisters. These false teachers twist the Scriptures or read into it what’s not there to prove their points (2 Peter 3:16). Christians are not under the “Mosaic Law” (Romans 6:14, 15) or the “Kingdom Rules” that are found in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) that was given to the Jews (Matthew 10:5), not to the Gentiles or to Christians. The church didn’t begin until the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). God still makes a distinction between the Jews, the Greeks (I. e. non-Jews) and the church (1 Corinthians 10:32). Do you know where you can find the rules for Christian living? Ask for a FREE “Dispensational Chart.”

Rebuked. Even Peter had to be rebuked sharply by the Apostle Paul for his inconsistent, hypocritical behavior when he was around the Jewish Christians (Galatians 2:11-15). False doctrine leads to bad living. Thankfully Peter stopped doing that.

Cain. False teachers are likened to Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8; Hebrews 11:4). He apparently didn’t like his little brother telling him what he needed to do to present an acceptable sacrifice to God. Abel was a prophet of God (Luke 11:50, 51). Cain didn’t want to offer a bloody sacrifice to God and so he offered to Him the best fruit he had. God didn’t accept it (Genesis 4:5). Even after being given another opportunity to offer a blood sacrifice to God, he refused to do it.

Example. Cain serves as an example of the false teachers who dislike God’s simple plan of salvation because it involves a bloody sacrifice. But someone has to die and shed his blood for the payment of sin to satisfy God the Father whom we’ve all offended (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23; 1 John 2:2; 1 Peter 3:18). If we had to give up our life’s blood and die for our own sins, we’d be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire. We all need a perfect Substitute. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ who had no sin of  His own (Hebrews 4:15).

World System.  During the days of Cain (Genesis 4:16-24) the devil devised the present diabolical world system to try to control man’s sin nature (Jeremiah 17:9; 1 John 1:8; Psalm 51:5) that tempts us to commit murder (Galatians 5:21). If people continued to kill others indiscriminately, the devil could lose control over the kingdoms of men that he now rules (Matthew 4:8). Yes, the devil is a liar and a murderer (John 8:44) but he is very selective in his efforts to get rid of the undesirable ones so he can build a super race of man over whom he desires to rule.

Allotted Time. He will have seven years on earth to try to accomplish it. His human agents will be the “Antichrist” or the “man of lawlessness” and the false prophet (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10; Revelation 13; 19:20). During this time one half of the world’s population will die (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). It’s called “The time of Jacob’s [Israel’s) trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) or the “Tribulation” (Matthew 24). The “Antichrist” could be waiting in the wings right now for the next event on God’s time clock to take place. Do you know what that is? Read John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 for more information.  This event seems to be near at hand. We don’t set dates but we believe all Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.  Everything concerning Christ’s first coming was fulfilled literally and we believe everything about His second coming will also be fulfilled literally. 

Balaam. He was a prophet for hire (Numbers 22-25). There are many “prophets for hire” like him even in our day. He was paid to curse the Israelites but God didn’t permit him to do that. In fact he was forced to bless the Israelites.  But wanting so badly to get paid by King Balak of Moab, Balaam advised him to send the most beautiful women in Moab to seduce the Jewish men into immorality and idolatry. Consequently 24,000 Jews were killed for violating their separation unto God (Numbers 25:9). Sin has terrible consequences (Romans 6:23). It must be stopped sometime and it will be stopped when God determines for it to happen. For doing this dastardly thing, Balaam was later killed by the Israelites (Joshua 13:22).

Korah. He and 250 others rebelled against Moses whom God had established as the leader in Israel. For this the rebels were swallowed up when the ground opened up under them (Numbers 16:33). God is the one who sets up and brings down rulers (Daniel 4:17, 25). Let’s pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-4). But Christians may also intercede against evil doers as Elijah the prophet did against Israel for their wickedness (Romans 11:2).

Rebellion. “Cain rebelled against God’s authority in salvation…Balaam rebelled against God’s authority in separation…Korah rebelled against God’s authority in service.” – Warren Wiersbe. Do you know to whom you are to submit and why? Read Romans 13:1-7; Acts 5:29; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22; 6:1, 5; Hebrews 7:7, 17. If you don’t do this, you’re in big trouble with God who is omnipotent (Revelation 1:8). If you oppose Him, you’ll lose (Psalm 2; Philippians 2:10, 11). 

Sobriety. As Christians, we must “Be sober and vigilant because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). His agents peddle doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Impossible. While they can’t take a believer’s salvation from him/her (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30), they can cause all kinds of sorrow in the lives of those who follow their teachings (1 Corinthians 11:30; Matthew 18:34; 2 Timothy 2:26).

Discernment. Today every Christian can/should be a discerning Christian who knows what God’s Word teaches (1 John 4:1) and who practices what it says. A good understanding to “Dispensational” distinctions is very important (2 Timothy 2:15). Biblical dispensations (seven of them) are the result of a normal, historical, grammatical interpretation of the Bible.

Chart. If you don’t have our FREE “Dispensational Chart,” ask us for one. Make some copies of it and share them with others too. It could help them understand God’s Word better.

Unbelievers. To be saved from a Christ less eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8), you must believe exclusively on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and who rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). You must not depend on any of your good works lest you boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  After doing this, you should demonstrate your faith to other people by being immersed (baptized) in water so you can have a good conscience before God (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism doesn’t save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:4); it only lets other human beings know about your identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Galatians 2:20). If you just did this, please let us know so we can help you grow. I’m a spiritual pediatrician or Pastor/teacher (Ephesians 4:11) and try my best to take care of those who come to me for spiritual help.

Visit his web site for more information: www.kelseypeach.com.

Warning!  Most of what you’ll read today won’t make sense to you if you’re not a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It will seem foolish to you as a “natural man” or if you’re a “carnal Christian” (1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:11-14).

Several years ago we traveled through Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.  It was quite a memorable trip.  We visited the pyramids outside Cairo.  (I could hardly breathe there since the air pollution was so bad).  Then we traveled by bus (not on foot as the Israelites did for 40 years) on a journey that led us to Mt. Sinai where God gave Moses the 10 commandments.  (I personally think that Mt. Sinai is probably located in Saudi Arabia).

Nebo.  As we continued our journey we came to Mt. Nebo on the east side of the Dead Sea where God buried Moses.  Imagine this.  When he was 80 years old he began to lead about 2 or 3 million grumbling Jews across the Red Sea and through the wilderness for 40 years until he was 120.  He died with good eye sight and natural vigor (Deuteronomy 34:1-8).  But he had committed the “sin unto death.”  What about you?  Are you about to die prematurely because of your rebellion against God (1 John 5:16)?

Temper Tantrum.  Because Moses lost his patience with the griping Jews, he struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock from which God brought forth water (Numbers 20:7-13).  For doing this, Moses was not permitted, at that time, to enter the land that God promised to give to the believing Jews as an eternal inheritance.  But he has been in that land when he appeared with Jesus and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:3).  He will also be resurrected 75 days after the Great Tribulation to enter the millennium where Christ will be the King of kings and Lord of lords (Daniel 12:12; Revelation 19:16).  Resurrected David will be the king on earth under Christ and His bride the church (Jeremiah 30:7-9; Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 21:9; 22:3).

Politicians.  Our politicians should read Genesis 15:18-21 before trying to force the Jews to give up land for peace.  What are your feelings toward the Jews? Is God done with them as a nation (Romans 11:1ff)?  Will another holocaust come on them alone or on the whole world (Revelations 6-19; Jeremiah 30:7)?  How long will it last (Daniel 9:27)?  Then what (Matthew 24:29; Revelation 19:11ff)?  For more information, read our prophecy “Blogs” on the Internet.

Miracles.  Now, I know that some of you skeptics don’t believe in miracles (God’s circumventing the normal “laws” of nature).  But since He made the “laws” of nature, He can change them when He wants to do so.  While Christ was here on earth He performed many miracles to prove that He was/is fully God manifested in human flesh and had/has power over His creation (John 20:30, 31).  The last enemy that He will destroy is death (1 Corinthians 15:26).  He will do this by raising everyone from the dead, each in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:23, 24).  In which resurrection will you participate?

Cruel?  Before you hastily say that God imposed a cruel or unusual punishment on Moses for smiting the rock, consider that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11).  He will punish sin/lawlessness (Romans 6:23).  By the way, someone has to pay the debt that you and I owe to God.  Since we incurred the debt by sinning against God, we should have to pay the penalty.  But that would mean our having to spend eternity in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:15; 21:8).  The only way we can avoid having to pay this debt is for someone else to pay it for us (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18).

Paid In Full.  Our debt was paid in full by One of the persons in the Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:2).  He was and always will be God (John 1:1-18).  He is not inferior to God the Father or God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9).  As predicted, He was born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).  He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15).  He went to the cross to die for all our sins, past, present, and future (Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  But unless you accept the gift of pardon that He has extended to you, you won’t be set free (John 1:12).  Apart from “special revelation” from God through a human writer to us, we couldn’t know these facts (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21).

Value.  The value of Christ’s death comes from His being God.  The reality of His physical death comes from His being a man.  God cannot die. Mortal men can and do die daily.  Since Jesus was/is God, He could/did suffer a spiritual death (separation from God the Father) for three hours while He was on the cross (from noon to 3 P.M.).  This was an equivalency of our having to spend an eternity in hell to pay our debt of sin to God the Father.

Heavy?  Yes, I realize that this is pretty heavy stuff for some of you.  If you watch again the Passion of Christ during this season of the year, remember that Christ’s physical suffering was not nearly as bad as His spiritual suffering.

Forsaken.  While on the cross, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” (Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1)?  For the first and only time in history, God the Father forsook God the Son and broke fellowship with Him so that we wouldn’t have to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire.  He died physically and spiritually for all our sins (yours and mine) whether we realize it or not.

Ignorant.  Yes, in fact, had the rulers of the day known what they were doing when they crucified Jesus, they would not have done it (1 Corinthians 2:8).  In their ignorance and defiance toward God, they unknowingly provided a Savior for all mankind including themselves (Acts 3:17).

Wisdom.  As the good angels watch God outmaneuver Satan at every turn, they marvel at His wisdom (Ephesians 3:10).  They are also amazed by God’s ability to take wretched sinners and turn them into saints (1 Corinthians 1:2; Romans 8:28-30).  You might be interested to know that you don’t have to die to become a saint.  Every Christian is one but he/she doesn’t always act like one. (Would you be interested in knowing the difference between positional, practical, and ultimate sanctification?  If so, ask us about it.  It could revolutionize your life and bring a lot of joy and peace to you.)

Unplanned.  Since this article has become much longer than I had originally planned, I will (Deo Volente) get back to the argument that Michael the archangel had with Satan over the body of Moses. What was the big deal?  Sorry for the “cliff hanger.”

Urgent!  But in the meantime, if you want to escape the eternal lake of fire, that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41), you need to know the facts of the Gospel, accept them as being true, and then transfer your trust from yourself and your good works over to Christ Himself.  Otherwise you will be “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2).

Gospel.  First the bad news:  You are a sinner like all the rest of us (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23).  Good News:  But Christ died for sinners…and rose again bodily from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Believe on Him exclusively and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).  We are not saved by our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).  It’s all underserved (grace).

Questions/Comments?  We invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  These articles often correspond to our talks on Sundays.

 

“The Sodomites”

Posted: March 6, 2013 in Death, Jude, Salvation

Many people erroneously think that there are no consequences for their lawless behavior. They act like God is unaware of their behavior and that He will not hold them accountable (Psalm 10:11). Jesus told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit came to make His residence on earth, He would convict unsaved people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).

Judgment. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There are several judgments mentioned in the Scriptures, but the Great White Throne judgment is reserved for the unbelievers (Revelation 20:11-15).

Creeps. We are called upon to be on guard against those who would creep into the church to disrupt the believers’ fellowship with God, and who would try to keep the unbelievers from trusting in Christ for their salvation. We can/should learn some valuable lessons from the Lord’s half brother, Jude who wrote a short letter to believers much like Peter’s second letter.

Israelites. After spending about 400 years in Egypt as slaves, the children of Israel were freed from bondage. By means of 10 plagues God brought to nothing the false gods whom the Egyptians worshipped. As they left, the Egyptians piled on the Jews much wealth. But a mixed multitude came out with them (Exodus 12:38). They were like the “tares among the wheat” or like unbelievers who are members in local churches along with believers. (Matthew 13:25-30). Many churches have unbelievers who teach heresies in the church and who mislead people away from God and the truth that is found in His Word. They preach another gospel and often appear as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

Demons. In the beginning God created spirit beings: cherubs, seraphs, and angels (Job 38:7; Colossians 1:16). Lucifer (Satan) was and is still the highest of all the spirit beings (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28). In his pride he convinced a third of the angels in the lower two categories to follow him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4; Ephesians 6:12). He wanted to be “like God” or independent of all other authorities. As a result of his rebellion, he became God’s enemy – Satan. Some of the fallen angels are currently bound in Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4). Other “free fallen angels” are still around to afflict people, especially Christians (Ephesians 6:12).  Some do terrible things to men and then blame God for it and call it “an act of God.”

Tartarus. There are Bible scholars who believe that some of the fallen angels, now in Tarturus, took on humanoid form, cohabitated with women, and produced the giants on the earth who were also men of great reputation (Genesis 6:1-4). It’s true, the angels “in heaven” don’t reproduce themselves (Luke 22:30). But God may have permitted the devil to enable fallen angels and women to produce such half breeds.  To those who wanted strong sons to take care of their farms, it was appealing to have their daughters cohabitate with such creatures.  Some scientists, I’ve heard, are tying to mix the genes of men and animals to formulate supermen. Satan may have been trying to pollute the human race so the promise of a God-man Savior couldn’t come to save us (Genesis 3:15).

Sodomites. Not only did the residents in Sodom and Gomorrah engage in homosexual behavior, the Scriptures tell us that they engaged in perverted sex with animals (i.e. “strange flesh” – not human). This is the kind of behavior that can occur when men and women don’t glorify God (Romans1:18-32). Can such people be saved? Absolutely! The Apostle Paul told the believers in Corinth that some of them used to behave like this (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  Only living people on earth have hope of being saved.  But once a person dies physically without Christ as his/her personal Savior, it is impossible for that person to be saved from hell and enter heaven. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. It is a place of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30, 41, 45). In heaven there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4). If you’re reading this, you can be saved and know it (1 John 5:13).

Consequences. Sin (lawlessness) has terrible consequences. It leads to physical death and spiritual death (Genesis 2:17; 5:5; Roman 6:23). Someone has to die for sin. The sinner, without a Savior, will suffer forever in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

Thank God. The Lord Jesus Christ (the God-man) took our place and died for all our sins and then rose again bodily from the grave. He can/will save any and all who put their faith in Him alone for their salvation (John 3:16). But the lost won’t know how to be saved unless Christians tell them this Good News. If you’re saved, will you help us get the Gospel to them?

If you have questions/comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.

     WARNING!  Don’t read this if you are not a Christian.  It won’t make much sense to you because the “natural man” doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him.  He cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).  However, it you are a true Christian, we invite you to consider carefully what you read (Acts 17:11). 

     Enjoyable.  Encouraging believers (the saints) is a much more enjoyable thing to do than having to warn them of the dangers that surround them.  But since we live in a world where evil doers abound, it is necessary to make believers aware of those who would try to “rain on their parade” and make their lives miserable. 

       Responsibility.  The Lord’s half brother Jude (Matthew 13:55) was given this responsibility by the God the Holy Spirit and we have his words recorded for us in a brief letter that can be found just before the Book of Revelation. He wasted no time identifying the enemy so the church could recognize them. They are –

      Ungodly Men.  The Apostles Peter and Paul had warned their readers about them too (2 Peter 2:1ff; 2 Timothy 3:1ff).  By the time Jude wrote his letter, their numbers had grown greatly.  Such men lack reverence for God and distort true worship (Colossians 2:24).  They often replace it with sensual and/or emotional music to desensitize or hypnotize the people.  The ungodly man gives in to the lusts (strong desires) that emanate from his sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21).  

      Worship.  True worship of God entails the use of one’s spirit that belongs to the mind of a believer (Ephesians 4:23; John 4:24).  It must be truth about God’s attributes that are found in the 66 books of the Scriptures alone.  Believers can/should worship God anywhere as they think about His goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, and love.  This form of communication with God doesn’t expect anything from God in return. By it we simply adore Him for who and what He is.  What do you know about the other seven ways to communicate with God?  Ask about them.

     Godliness.  A new Christian needs to realize that he has been given a new nature from God (2 Peter 1:4). This new nature has new desires that are placed there by God (Philippians 2:13).  They will be opposed to the lusts coming from his sin nature (Galatians 5:17). The Christian still has his sin nature (1 John 1:8) that always tries to thwart godliness.  Do you know when he will no longer have a sin nature?

     Choices.  Each Christian has the choice to live an ungodly lifestyle to please himself and his sinful nature or to please God by living godly.  He can be godly when he is filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and when he walks by means of the Spirit (i.e. orders his life under the Holy Spirit’s direction – Galatians 5:16, 25).  He allows the Holy Spirit to produce in him the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). This fruit must be directed by the Christian toward the right object for the right reason.  It’s possible to misdirect the “Fruit of the Spirit” (such a “agape” love) toward the things of this world system that are all passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:11).  Do you know what makes up the present world system?  Godliness is doing what God wants us to do with the power that the Holy Spirit provides for Christians (Philippians 4:13). Ungodliness is doing what our sin nature wants us to do. 

     Happiness.  “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he mediates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the waters, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).  Read about the ungodly man in the last few verses.

     Deceitful.  In addition to their being ungodly, false teachers are those who creep into churches while the leaders and mature believers are sleeping.  The Apostle Paul warned the elders (Pastor/teachers) to take heed to themselves and to the flock (Christians) in their care (Acts 20:28).  These “creeps” proclaim another Jesus (Jesus said there would be many false Christs – Matthew 24:5) and another way of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15) other than by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone.  Many of them believe in “universalism.”  This false doctrine teaches that everyone, including the devil, will end up in heaven eventually after being purged for some time.  Believe it or not, some people don’t want to go to heaven to be with God and other Christians.  Just ask some of them.

     Antinomianism.  Some of these false teachers distort grace by telling people that they can live any way they want to live now that they have been saved.  They offer freedom but by their teaching they enslave themselves and their followers even more ( 2 Peter 2:12-21).  But God disciplines His true children when they sin and fail to confess their sins to Him (Hebrews 12:5, 6; 1 John 1:9).  Even though the believer receives family forgiveness when he confesses his sins, he may have to suffer the governmental consequences of his sins for the rest of his life. 

     Creed.  The creed of some of them might be:  “God is a creation of wishful thinking; religion is a mechanism of escape from reality; man is a glorified gorilla who asks too many questions and represses too many desires; morals are a matter of taste; love is an art; and life is a racket.” – Dr. Wallace Petty.  Gross immorality characterizes many apostates.  One writer has said that “one of the troubles with the world today is that people mistake sex for love, money for brains, and transistor radios for civilization.”

     Gnosticism.  “This false teaching [that is still around today] assigned to Christ a place subordinate to the true Godhead, and undervalued the uniqueness and completeness of His redemptive work [of salvation].  It insisted that between a holy God and this earth a host of beings, angels, etc., formed a bridge, of which host Christ was a member.  This system included the worship of angels and false asceticism [a self denial that leads to a higher spiritual state -Colossians 2:18, 20-22].”  Dr. C. I. Scofield.  Do you know of a group that teaches such erroneous things? 

     Deity.  Two main ways to identify an apostate is by learning what he believes about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Does he believe that Jesus shares a total and complete equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9)?  Does he really believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone?  Does he proclaim the Gospel clearly in its entirety (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)?  Does he add false conditions for one to be saved?  Do you know what some of them are?  If not, ask about them.

     Agonize.  Jude told believers to contend (agonize) earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3).  If you’re a true Christian, don’t let others impose the wrong “House Rules” (Dispensations) on you.  If you live by the wrong rules you will not mature spiritually and you could lose out on a lot of rewards and crowns that God has in store for His children who do the work that He planned for us to do (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).  

    Whew!  We’ve just shared a lot of information with you.  As we said at the beginning, this information won’t make sense to you if you’re not a true Christian or if you’re a carnal Christian (1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4; Hebrews 5:12-14).  It’s intended for Christians who are rightly related to God by having their known sins confessed to God the Father (1 John 1:9), who desire to grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), and who are willing to change (with God’s help) when they are exposed to truth from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2). 

     These articles usually correspond with our messages on Sundays at the Grace Baptist Church in Paso Robles.  Some of them can be heard on the Internet at www.kelseypeach.com. If they help you as a Christian, please share the information with other believers who desire to grow in the Lord.  Be a “link person” who might impact the lives of many others.