Archive for the ‘Resurrection’ Category

We, as the citizens of the United States of America, have a major decision to make in the coming election. In my humble opinion it seems to boil down to whether or not we want to continue to maintain our own sovereignty (self rule) as a nation or yield/submit ourselves to another organization that has proven itself to be a miserable failure thus far – the United Nations and/or the coming New World Order that the Scriptures predicted would come in the last days (Daniel 2:40-43). Why will God allow men to defy Him and set up a One World Government and how long will it last (Proverbs 14:12; John 15:5)?  What should the world leaders be doing (Psalm 2)?  What will you do?  You have a choice.

Lowest Of Men

It shouldn’t surprise us that those who are running for the highest office in the land lack moral character. Are they a reflection of us? Why have we degenerated to such a low level of morality?  There is an answer found in Romans 1:18-32.  The Scriptures tell us “That the Most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men, [and] gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest [basest] of men” (Daniel 4:17).  Keep in mind that no one gets into power without His permission (Daniel 2:21).

Things To Come

About 2,600 years ago God revealed to wicked King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon His plan for “Things to Come” (Daniel 2, 7). Much of it has been fulfilled already. But the “Day of Man” seems to be coming to an end.  During the Seven Years of the Tribulation over ½ of the world’s population will die from wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes (Revelation 6-19; Matthew 24:7).  The social engineers of this world would like to reduce the population down to about 500 million people.

False Peace

The down trodden people of the world are longing for peace on earth. They are looking for someone, anyone to bring it to them. Such a person is probably alive right now and waiting in the wings for the “right crisis” to occur for him to step on to the stage and offer to the world his peace proposal. Do you know what event could trigger it (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)? (Read some disturbing quotes http://www.arewelivinginthelastdays.com/com/quotes.html)

The Hated Jews

Even though the nation of Israel is marginalized and despised by most of the countries of the world, this “man of lawlessness – the Antichrist” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12) will come on the scene and make a “Seven Year Peace Agreement” with the Jews (Daniel 9:27). Perhaps this will be in exchange for their right to protect themselves against their sworn enemies whose agenda is to wipe them off the face of the earth once and for all as Hitler tried to do. It may involve Israel’s having to relinquish their nuclear weapons to this man who will promise to protect that tiny Jewish nation from their enemies.  Do you know when and why the Antichrist will break his agreement with the Jews? What will he do during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation?  When and where does the campaign of Armageddon take place (Matthew 24:15 ff, Revelation 12-19)?  What horrific thing will happen to all the armies of the world that come against Israel (Zechariah 14:12-15)?

Far Fetched? 

No, the books of Daniel and Revelation, which many people allegorize or spiritualize rather than interpret normally, reveal what is in store for the future of mankind. A special blessing is promised to those who read the book of Revelation and to those who hear the words of this prophecy, and who keep (guard in their hearts) those things that are written in it (Revelation 1:3). Hiding your head in the sand won’t make the problems of the world go away.  There is only one Person who can bring in lasting peace – “The Prince of Peace – The Lord Jesus Christ” (Isaiah 9:6, 7).

Invigorating

It may be that we are about to witness what the Scriptures have predicted would take place. The world is ripe for judgment even as major earthquakes are overdue in the state of California and in other parts of the world. The 9.0 earthquake in Japan several years ago (which our two children survived) was minor in comparison to what is yet to come (Matthew 24:7). The movie “2012” shook some people up for a little while.

The Passion

Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion Of The Christ” also brought some people to tears as they thought about the unjust sufferings of Christ. But did they come away knowing why Christ died and rose again bodily from the dead? It was designed by God to display His love for those of us who have sinned against God (John 3:16),  All of us deserve to be eternally separated from Him in the lake of fire (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). Christ died in our place for our sins…and rose again bodily to demonstrate to us that God the Father was satisfied with His payment for our sins (Romans 4:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

Provision

Even though God has provided forgiveness and eternal life to all mankind, and not just to a few people, it is not secured until we place our faith in Christ alone to save us (John 1:12; Acts 16:31). We aren’t saved by our good works or by faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). If someone were to ask you, Why should God let you into heaven?” what would you say? If you included any of your good works, you are believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2) and you aren’t headed for heaven. Get help immediately so you can be assured from Scripture (1 John 5:13) that you have met God’s only condition for entrance into heaven (Acts 4:12; 16:31).

Gospel

The Good News (Gospel) that we must believe to be saved is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Believing in/on Christ through this message will result in our being saved from the lake of fire and entering heaven.

Charts

We have several FREE charts to help those who are interested in knowing about Bible prophecy. Read some of our articles on “Bible Prophecy” on this site.  Don’t ignore this important subject. Knowing the God of the Word personally will enable you to sleep much better at night and the ability to share the Good News with others so they can too. Ask how you can secure these charts by calling us at 805-238-3549.

Share

If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to pass this information on to others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2).  People need the truth.  Together we can reach more people for Christ.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Don’t waste or kill time.  “Live each day as though it might be your last day on earth or the last day of someone whom you love and/or know.”  This is what I often told our son Bill before he died on Easter Sunday. He made a difference in the lives of others.  Will you?

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Our Son Bill’s Death https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-death-of-our-son-2/

1 Peter 2:21-25

Had they known the extent of the suffering and sorrow they would bring on themselves and on us, Adam and Eve would probably have avoided Satan’s suggestion to eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). But it appealed to her desire to be like God and know good from evil (i. e. what would bring them happiness or be detrimental to them) without having to consult with God every day. All of man’s suffering today came as a result of one act of lawlessness (Romans 5:12).

God had made it clear to Adam that if he ate the forbidden fruit, he would die two types of death: spiritual and physical (Genesis 2:17). He didn’t know what death was, having never seen or experienced it. But as soon as he and Eve ate the fruit, their garment of light was stripped from them (1 Corinthians 15:49) and they were separated from fellowship with God. They recognized that they were naked and sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). Physical death wouldn’t come for many years (Genesis 5) but their comfortable life in the Garden of Eden came to an end and they had to work hard to get their food (Genesis 3:17-19).

The penalty for sin also involves spiritual death and eternal separation from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). To make it possible for mankind not to have to go there forever, One of the members in the Godhead volunteered to add to His deity a true human nature and body (Hebrews 10:5-7). He would be born of a virgin so He wouldn’t have a sinful nature passed on to Him (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He would live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and then go to the cross to die as a Substitute for all of mankind’s sins (1 Peter 3:18).  We do not believe in “limited atonement.”

His suffering at the hands of sinful men was horrific (Matthew 27:27-32). But He experienced His greatest suffering when His Father in heaven forsook Him from noon until 3 P.M. as He hung naked on the cross in our place (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). It was during this time that God the Father laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).  We are the ones who should have been hanging there.  He was our Substitute.

Unjust suffering? It certainly was. But in addition to making it possible for us to be saved, by His suffering He set an example for us to follow when we suffer unjustly too (1 Peter 2:21). We can’t die for the sins of others as Jesus did for our sins.

“[The Apostle] Peter had seen firsthand the yoke of unjust suffering placed upon Jesus’ shoulders. He saw the rejection of society and the retaliation of the Sanhedrin. He saw Jesus betrayed by a friend and brutalized by an empire. Peter himself had denied Him. Yet in the Savior’s innocent eyes was no windswept harbor of revenge. They were placid under the storm of unjust suffering. And they offered the cool drink of forgiveness for friend and foe alike.” – Chuck Swindoll, Hope In Hurtful Times, p. 51

Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). He serves as an example of One who never compromised with His words to avoid mistreatment (John 14:6; Ephesians 4:15). He didn’t revile or threaten those who were mistreating Him but committed Himself into His Father’s care as He suffered at their hands (Luke 23:46). He did all this to take our place and die for our sins to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our sins (1 John 2:2).

But His offer of salvation and eternal life would have been of no value to us had He not risen from the dead. His bodily resurrection demonstrates to us that God the Father was satisfied with His payment for our sins (Romans 4:25) and would accept us into heaven if we would place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone who died for our sins…and rose again from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

There is nothing to “crow about” if we suffer for doing what is wrong or sinful (1 Peter 2:20). But if we should suffer for doing what is right, we can/should submit ourselves to God and let Him be the One who takes vengeance on evil doers (Romans 12:19).

All believers who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution from time to time (2 Timothy 3:12). But the suffering of this life is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall follow (Romans 8:18).  Do you know the difference between suffering “for Christ” as opposed to suffering “with Christ?”  If n0t, ask about it.

The Apostle Paul was willing to suffer all things for the salvation of God’s elect (2 Timothy 2:10).  If you think you’ve suffered for Christ, consider his sufferings (2 Corinthians 11:23-33).  All whom the Father has given to the Son are going to come to Him, and anyone who comes to Him, He will never cast out (John 6:37). When that number is complete, Jesus will come back for His bride (the true Church – not the apostate Church) and take us to the home that He has been preparing for us (John 14:1-3). Will you be in that group?

Have you come to Christ for your salvation (deliverance) from hell to heaven? If not, why not come to Him right now? Now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). There are no opportunities to be saved once you’re physically dead (Hebrews 9:27).

If you need spiritual help, we’re here to assist you and to help you come to have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13). Don’t delay! Today could be your last day on earth.  Don’t boast about tomorrow (James 4:15; Proverbs 27:1).

We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Would you share this with someone else too? To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

 

People love stories. A good story teller can take people away from the rat race of life into a fantasy world of virtual reality where they can forget about the troubles of this life for a little while. The late Paul Harvey was a skilled story teller and was paid well for that ability. I enjoyed listening to him present the news with his commentaries.

Sports figures, who can handle a ball well, are also paid exorbitant amounts of money by those who will give up thousands of dollars to sit on the front rows in stadiums so they can be closer to such talented athletes.

Think about the movie and TV stars who once lived in their cars before being discovered and put in front of the bright lights to entertain others. Some of them have learned how to make people laugh and/or cry almost on cue. Sadly some of these same people are very miserable themselves and often take illegal drugs to escape the harsh realities of their own lives. A few commit suicide to avoid the pressures of life.

And then there are some “greedy preachers” [1] who have learned how to extract money from people by tickling their ears and telling them what they want to hear or by promising them health, wealth, and happiness if they will plant their seed money with “their ministry” that is focused on the temporal things of life rather than on spiritual and eternal things. Thank God for the Pastor/teachers who are faithful to their Lord and their calling who aren’t like those mentioned above (1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

As he sat in a prison cell waiting for the day of his execution for being a Christian and preaching the Gospel that includes the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:33-43; 2 Timothy 2:8, 9), the Apostle Paul wrote some final words to his son in the faith, Timothy. He told him to “Preach [proclaim] the word [of God with authority]! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned to fables. But be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:2-5). This is a huge responsibility that can only be accomplished with God’s help (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13).

Let’s get personal for a moment. Are you more interested in the style or the substance of what is being said when you attend church? Do you go to be entertained, to be blessed, and/or to bless others? What is true worship (John 4:24)? Are you a “milk Christian” or a “meat Christian” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:13, 14)? Are you a “discerning Christian” who evaluates what you hear by comparing it with the Scriptures (Acts 17:11)? Are you a “convenient Chritian” or a “committed Christian”? Are you using or abusing the present world system (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17)? How well do you know God and His Word (Philippians 3:10; 2 Peter 3:18)? Do you know which sections of it are to be believed and which part of it is to be believed and practiced (2 Timothy 2:15; Titus 1:9)? Do you believe all Scripture is inspired (God breathed) or just parts of it (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)? Are the words of Jesus (written in red letters in some Bibles) more important and inspired than the rest of the Bible? How do you interpret the Bible – normally or allegorically (deliberately twisting the intended meaning – 2 Peter 3:16)? Do you believe in the sufficiency of the Scriptures to meet your spiritual and emotional needs (2 Peter 1:3) or do you think that the philosophy of the world (Colossians 2:8) needs to be interjected into the picture too?

Are you certain that you will go to heaven the moment you die (1 John 5:13) or do you think that you have to go to a purging place first? Why should God let you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? Would your answer satisfy Him? If you’re confident that you will go to heaven when you die, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 1:6)?

Heavy stuff?  Yes, I know that you probably haven’t been asked such questions very often. But our lives are like a vapor that quickly vanishes away. We don’t know when our last day on earth will be (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14). Are you living as though today might be your last day to live on earth?

With every day that passes I realize that I’m getting closer to my home in heaven which is far better than the one in which I now live (Philippians 1:23). I might go through the door of death (2 Peter 1:14) or the door of the Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). I’m looking forward to spending eternity with God in heaven. My hope (confident expectation) isn’t based on what I have done, but on what the Lord Jesus Christ did for me when He died on the cross for my sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. Without His bodily resurrection, none of us has any hope of spending eternity in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:9). The Scriptures say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts16:31). Our salvation is “not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:9; See Titus 3:5).

We’re here to assist fellow travelers in life like you so you too can have the same assurance (1 John 5:13) that we have of a safe arrival in heaven one of these days (2 Corinthians 5:8) when we’ve finished our work on earth (2 Timothy 4:7, 8). Would you like a Free “Dispensations Chart” that might help you discover where we are in time and how close we may be to the next major event on God’s time schedule? Ask for one. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website at www.kelseypeach.com.

If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Why not share this information with your friends?  We’d love to hear from you.

[1] https://www.raptureready.com/rr-evil.html

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Gospel In Less Than 25 Words: http://www.faith.edu/resources/publications/faith-pulpit/message/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/read

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

 

John 8:14-19

Whether you believe in creation or evolution, you must accept what you believe by faith. We weren’t there in the beginning. The teaching of creation is more plausible but not as accepted as the theory of evolution. Creation implies accountability; evolution doesn’t. Having to give an account to Someone who is all knowing for everything we’ve ever thought, said, or done is a frightful concept that we wish wouldn’t happen (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:12; Matthew 12:36). But whether we like it or not, we will be held accountable someday (Hebrews 9:27).

Rejection. Because many people deliberately choose to ignore or dismiss the revelation/information concerning God that comes from nature (Psalm 19:1), and from the prophets whom God chose to dispense truth to us (2 Peter 1:21), God often allows them to descend into the grossest forms of depravity (Romans 1:18-32). They call good evil, and evil is called good (Isaiah 5:20). The wicked seem to prosper while the righteous suffer (Psalm 37:34-36). Because Christians are not of this world (John 17:14-16; Philippians 3:20), they often are marginalized and persecuted for their faith as Jesus predicted (John 15:20; 16:2; 2 Timothy 3:12).

Murder. Because of His popularity with the common people and the authoritative way He taught them (Matthew 7:29; John 12:19), the scribes of Pharisees envied Him and wanted to do away with Him by killing Him (John 5:18; 7:1). He didn’t meet their particular expectations even though the former prophets had made it clear as to when, where, why, and how Christ would come to earth. Their spiritual eyes were blinded by their father the devil (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25).  Are your spiritual eyes blinded too (1 Corinthians 2:14)?  Would you like to see and know “The Truth” (John 14:6; 17:17).

Origin. Christ’s enemies questioned His parentage (John 8:19). They considered Him to be born out of wedlock (John 8:41) even though the prophet had said that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; See Matthew 1:23). He performed three types of miracles to prove that He was who He claimed to be – the eternal “I AM” (John 5:18; 8:58; Acts 2:22), the Messiah/Christ and the Son of God (John 20:31).

Incarnation. During the council meeting between the three Persons in the Godhead (Ephesians 1:11), God the Son volunteered to be the One who would identify Himself with mankind by adding to His deity a true human nature and a real human body (Philippians 2:5-9; Hebrews 10:5). He is referred to as “the first born over all creation” (Colossians 1:15-17). At least one cult [1] has taken this to mean that Jesus was the first One whom God the Father created and that Jesus then created all “other” things. They add the word “other” four times to this text which isn’t there in the original Greek language in which the New Testament was written.

Clarification. “However, if this verse were teaching that Jesus Christ is the first created being made by Jehovah, the word “first-created” would have been used of Christ, not the word “firstborn.” These are two different words in the Greek, with two different meanings. “First-created” is protoktistos, and “firstborn” is prototokos. Colossians 1:15 does not use the word protoktistos, “first-created”. Instead it uses prototokos. The latter word means an heir, a begotten one, the first in rank. The teaching of Colossians 1:15, then, is that Christ is first in rank above all creation; He is the heir of all things. He is prior to all creation and superior over it as the Lord.” – Roy Zuck [1]

Crucial. Understanding this is crucial to one’s eternal destiny. If Jesus isn’t equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, His death has no value to us. The reality of His death for our sins on the cross (Philippians 2:8; 3:18) comes from the fact that He was/is a true human being. God cannot die. The value of His death comes from His being God in human flesh (John 1:1-18), the eternal “I AM” (John 8:58). “For in Him [Jesus Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

Resurrection. Without the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58), we’d have no hope of our being resurrected and we would still be in our sins. His resurrection assures us that everyone who has died will be raised from the dead, each in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:22-24). Everyone will be judged by Jesus, the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  Our degree of pleasure in God’s presence or our degree of suffering with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire will be determined when we are judged by Him (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8). There is more than one judgment and one general resurrection of the dead at the end of time. Do you know how many there are and in which one you will participate (Hebrews 9:27)?

Today In Heaven. Have you ever wondered what Jesus is doing ever since His bodily resurrection and ascension back to heaven (Acts1:9-11; See Hebrews 7:25; Ephesians 1:22)? Whom did He take with Him when He ascended back to heaven? In what part of heaven do they reside (2 Corinthians 12:4)? Will this be their final destination (Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13)? What spiritual gifts did He give to whom and why (Ephesians 4:8-16)? Are all of these gifts still being given to believers today (1 Corinthians 13:10)?

Faith. Our eternal destiny will be determined by our belief or unbelief (John 3:16, 18, 36; 16:9; Ephesians 2:8, 9). Salvation is always by God’s grace through faith and not of works (Ephesians 2:8,9).  My friend, Christ died for your sins and mine. He was buried for three days and nights in a tomb. But He rose again on the third day with a body of flesh and bones but one without blood (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4, 50). Knowing and believing these facts aren’t enough to save you. You must transfer your faith from yourself and your good works over to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ on your behalf (Acts 16:31). If you’ve never done this before, why not do this right now? Once you do this, you will receive the assurance that comes from God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16) and from the Scriptures (1 John 5:13).

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, and you’re teachable and willing to change when you’re exposed to the truth of God’s Word (John 17:17), we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share this with others  so we can help them too.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Letter to Jehovah’s Witnesses: http://luke-15.org/Zuck-letter.pdf

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

Contrary to what some people believe, God’s offer of deliverance/salvation from the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) to heaven is limited to those who are physically alive on earth but spiritually dead (separated from God – Ephesians 2:1).  There are no second chances to be saved, once you are physically dead (Hebrews 9:27). The truthful Scriptures (John 17:17) don’t teach reincarnation. This false teaching gives people a false hope that perhaps if they haven’t been good enough on earth, they will come back in some other form to try again to earn their way to a better place. Our salvation is not based on our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). It was purchased at great cost by Christ’s precious blood when He died on the cross (1 Peter 1:18, 19; 3:18). It’s offered freely to all those who belong to the human race (John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 John 2:2). We all come from one man and woman (Adam and Eve – Romans 5:12). There is only one race – the “human race” but many ethnic groups who speak many languages (Acts 17:26). These groups and languages came into existence at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Evolution is a theory (not a fact) that runs contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures (Genesis 1:26-2:7). Salvation isn’t offered to the devil or the fallen angels/demons. They believe in God and tremble but they aren’t and can’t be saved (James 2:19; Matthew 4:3; 8:29).

Deliverance/Salvation. If you’re reading this, you have the opportunity to be saved if you aren’t saved already. To be saved, you must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” exclusively (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31) through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). “Christ [of the Scriptures, not the cults] died [once and for all – Hebrews 10:10] for our sins [because you are a sinner like all the rest of us (Romans 3:10-23) and you, like we, deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23). Jesus was buried in a tomb for three days (Matthew 12:40; John 2:19; 10:15-18) to prove that He had died and paid the penalty for our sins. But He rose again bodily on the third day.” His bodily resurrection was validated by over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Romans 4:25). His resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all those who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). Some will be raised to spend eternity with God and others will be raised and judged at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:1-15).  All of them will be sent to the lake of fire to suffer forever where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). My friend, we don’t want you to go there. This is why we write these articles to help you avoid that awful place. Then Jesus ascended literally, gradually, and publicly in the presence of His disciples back into heaven from where He came (Acts 1:9-11; John 3:13).

Scoffers. There are many scoffers today (2 Peter 3:3) who deny the literal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church (2 John 1:7), known also as “The Body of Christ” (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Seven years after the Rapture Jesus will return to this earth to rule and reign as the King of kings, and Lord of lords for 1,000 years (Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16; 20:1-7).

Normal/Literal Interpretation. Some of these people who believe that the prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, don’t believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming are to be taken literally. Are they in for a shock? Yes!  About one third of the Bible was prophetic in nature when it was written. Ignoring Bible prophecy has many ramifications. These people won’t be loving His imminent return and consequently they won’t earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). The “Rapture” is a “Comforting Hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), a “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13),  and a “Purifying Hope” (1 John 3:3). Our hope is not wishful thinking but a confident expectation based on promises from God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2; John 14:6).

Help. If you aren’t absolutely sure of your salvation, or if you have honest questions and are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Follow. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Let us know your thoughts and concerns. We appreciate your letting others know about this site and these articles.

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

Dispensations Chart: http://kelseypeach.com/Kelsey.8.pdf

 

It can be as strong and as subtle as the pull of gravity. All of us were born with a sinful nature (disposition) that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5). When we get saved, we receive a new nature that enables us to please God (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Sadly, many Christians grieve God (Ephesians 4:30). Contrary to what some Christians are being taught, we still have our sin nature even after we get saved. “If we say we have no sin [nature], we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8; See Romans 7:15-25)). We can be carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Our sin nature naturally rebels against God and His Word and perverts good things into the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).

Right/Wrong. Most people do what is right in their own eyes without giving any thought as to whether or not God has given any instructions in His Word as to what we should or shouldn’t do (Judges 17:6; 21:25; Proverbs 21:2). Unsaved people try to save themselves by their good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Most Christians don’t rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Few Christians in churches are being taught about “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2 – See our “Dispensations Chart” for more information.) Instead they are being told to live according to the Mosaic Law or Kingdom rules that were given to the Jews (Romans 6:14; Matthew 5-7). If you’re a Christian, do you know where to find your rules for living? Doing what seems right in our own eyes could result in our premature death (Proverbs 14:12; 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16).

Pure Lives. Living in this perverted world where evil is called good, and good is called evil (Isaiah 5:20), and having a sin nature, makes it hard for us, as Christians, to live holy (morally pure) lives. But this is what God expects of us (1 Peter 1:15, 16; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). But, thankfully, He makes victorious Christian living possible for us when we learn how to walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25). Do you know how to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)?

Conformed/Transformed. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Christians, not to the unsaved as a condition for salvation.  (We don’t believe in “Lordship for salvation.”)  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world [age], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2). Do you know the difference between an “age loving Christian” (2 Timothy 4:10) and a “worldly Christian” (1 John 2:12-17)? They aren’t the same. Do you know how to be transformed, as it were, from a creepy caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly so that you can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:10) and approving of His good, acceptable, and perfect will for your life?

P.C. Are you trying to please others by being “politically correct” only to be displeasing to God? Are you trying to go along just to get along? Are all world views and religions equally valid? Do all faiths lead us to heaven? What did Jesus, the Apostles Peter and Paul say (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31)?  You can have three diametrically different world views but they can’t all be right. They could all be wrong or one could be right and the other two wrong. Should Christians be unequally yoked with “nominal Christians” or apostates even if it’s for a good cause like evangelism (2 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 3:8; Revelation 18:4)? Should we be kind and considerate and do good to those who disagree with us (Galatians 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 4:2; Titus 1:13)? With whom was Jesus harsh (Matthew 23:13-39)?

Admonitions. When God delivers someone from the clutches of the devil and his everlasting, future residence in the lake of fire (Colossians 1:13; Matthew 25:41, 46), that person instantly becomes a “saint” as it relates to his position, but not to his practice (1 Peter 1:15, 16; 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). True believers are separated unto God and for His glory (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). We turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). But we still live in enemy territory while we are here on earth. The kingdoms of this world still belong to the devil (Matthew 4:9). Do you know when Christ will take them from him by force (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 11:15)? God wants us to prepare our minds for action (1 Peter 1:13). The spirit that belongs to the mind is the only part of a Christian that is currently saved (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 6:17). The Christian’s body and soul (emotions) will be saved at the time of the Rapture (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9).

Sober. Some people have the mistaken idea that a Christian must always be somber and never smile or laugh. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” is joy (Galatians 5:22).  “A merry heart does good, like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).  Constantly miserable and downhearted Christians are bad advertising for God. The Christian’s future is as bright as the promises of God.”  But we must be on guard for ourselves and for others because the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking to overwhelm people (1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19). My job, as a Pastor/teacher, is, in part, to instruct Christians how to live victoriously over Satan’s solicitations to sin (Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15) and over the sin nature, and the present world system.

Hope. Our hope, as Christians, isn’t merely wishful thinking. It is a confident expectation based on a promise from God who can’t lie (Romans 15:4; Titus 1:2). We believe that we will see again our deceased loved ones (including our son Billy) and friends who placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and who rose again bodily on the third day. Christ’s resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all men, but not everyone will or wants to go to heaven to be with God forever (1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 1 John 3:19; Revelation 16:11; 21:8). The Scriptures don’t teach “Universal Salvation.”

Holiness. God’s holiness causes Him to abhor anything unlike Himself and demand of others a purity identical to His own (Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 1:16). God’s wrath is/can be displayed toward that which is not like Him (Romans 1:18). This is why Jesus had to be spiritually separated from His Father from noon until 3 P.M. as He hung on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). God the Father was propitiated/satisfied with the payment the Lord Jesus Christ made for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). To prove this to us He raised Jesus from the dead with a glorified body consisting of flesh and bones but lacking blood (Romans 4:25; See John 16:10; Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50). He was seen by over 500 witnesses before returning to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:6). He did this in the presence of His disciples (Acts 1:9-11). He promised to return (John 14:1-3). Perhaps today! Are you ready?

So What? As those who have been set apart unto God, every and all Christians should allow themselves to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit so that we can have and then direct the Fruit of the Spirit toward the right objects at the right time. Those who are loving and anticipating Christ’s imminent return will purify themselves (1 John 3:3) and earn for themselves the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8). When a Christian sins (acts lawlessly – 1 John 3:4), he is to confess his sins to God the Father to receive “family forgiveness” (1 John 1:9). If necessary, we’re also supposed to humbly and honestly confess our sins to the person against whom we have sinned (James 5:16). If forgiveness is granted, we need to ask that person not to hold it against us any longer. Our forgiving others should be modeled after God’s forgiveness of us (Ephesians 4:32).

Walking. When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and walks by means of the Spirit, he can’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from his sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 25). When we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with Him and other believers, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son keeps on cleansing us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:3-7).

Help. If you need spiritual help and are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we can be reached at 805-238-3549.  If you have been helped by this article, we’d like to hear from you.  Would you share this with someone else who is teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2)?  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 

As Jesus was bearing His cross to His own crucifixion, He expressed great concern for the Jews and not for Himself. He said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children” (Luke 23:28). He foresaw what would come on them in a matter of a few years. In A.D. 70 the Romans came down on the Jews and more than a million of them were killed. Rejecting their promised Messiah was a terrible thing for them to do. Most of the Jewish leaders and the mob cried out for His crucifixion (John 19:6). They had said, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). It has been on them for about 2,000 years now.

Jesus Wept. Just before He went to the cross, perhaps as He sat on the Mount of Olives, Jesus wept over the Jews. He said, “’O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD’” (Matthew 23:37-39). Believe it or not, this day may not be that far away from us today.

Second Coming. Although there are many people within “Christendom” who say that there is no future for the Jews as a nation, and that the Church has replaced Israel, there will be a remnant of believing Jews who will survive the coming holocaust that will make all previous ones seem insignificant (Romans 9:27). It is called in Scripture, “The time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) or “The Great Tribulation”(Matthew 24:21). It is when all the nations, including the United States, will come against Israel to try to annihilate them as it was predicted by the Prophet Zechariah (12:1-14; See Daniel 9:27).

Demon Spirits. The Scriptures teach and we believe that at the end of the seven years of the Tribulation three demon spirits (fallen angels) will perform sign miracles to gather the kings (rulers) of the earth together to the battle of the great day of God Almighty in the place in Hebrew called Armageddon that is located in northern Israel (Revelation 16:13-16; See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). In the nick of time the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth with the true Church and crush those who sought to destroy the Jews (Revelation 19:11-21; See Psalm 2).

Choice. You can choose to deny what the Scriptures teach, but that won’t change God’s Word. “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). “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 ever good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). It is “living and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents (motives)of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Interpretation. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in common Greek so the average person of that day could understand it. When we interpret it normally, as we would other pieces of literature, we discover what God wanted to convey to us. The allegorical, non-literal method of interpretation began in the Garden of Eden when the devil suggested to Eve that God didn’t really say what He meant or mean what He said about death (Genesis 2:17; 3:1 ff; See Romans 6:23). He mixed a lie in with some truth as he usually does. He is a murderer and the father of lies (John 8:44; See 2 Corinthians 4:4).

Lion. The Apostle Peter warned Christians about the devil. He wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8, 9). Do you know how to use the armor of God to resist him so you can stay standing rather than falling to his temptations (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

Sorrow. Many people have expressed their sympathy toward us when they heard the news of our son’s death. Yes, we sorrow, but not as those who have no hope. We believe in an imminent resurrection of all the dead New Testament believers (including our son’s bodily resurrection) that will take place at “The Rapture” of the true Church (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Concern. We are more concerned about those of you who don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Do you know that He died for all your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day from the dead? He was seen by over 500 witnesses before ascending back to heaven in the presence of His disciples (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:9-11). He promised to return bodily for His own (John 14:1-3). Do you know what the Scriptures say about those who deny the bodily resurrection of the dead (2 John 1:7; See 1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 50-53; Luke 24:33-43)?

Prayer. It is our prayer that you come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. We can’t believe for our children or be baptized for the dead hoping that they will be saved. Are you sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die or do you believe that you have to go to a purging place first (1 John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 5:8)? Why should God let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Once you’re truly saved, do you think that there is anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Romans 8:35-39)? If so, what would it be?

Help. We’re here to assist you if you are interested in knowing the truth in God’s Word that can make you free (John 8:32; 17:17). Are you willing to believe (change your mind) when you see the truth for yourself? We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Follow. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click of “Follow.” If this article has helped you, please share it with someone else. Help us spread the Gospel to others so they can be saved.

Kelsey Pietsch pastors the Grace Baptist Church, 535 Creston Road in Paso Robles.

 

When someone you love or know is a true Christian and is taken from you in death, it’s very comforting to know what God says about the deceased. No one, whether he is a believer or non-believer, ceases to exist or is reincarnated (Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 22:11). No one needs to remain in the dark when he accepts God’s Word as being the truth that can set us free (John 8:32; 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

Interpretation. But it’s sad that so many professing Christians don’t take God’s Word normally (literally) when it relates to Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead or His returning to this earth in the future. They believe that Jesus literally fulfilled the prophecies that were made about His first coming. But somehow they change the rules of interpretation and say that the prophecies concerning His return aren’t to be understood and taken literally but rather spiritually or allegorically. This robs people of hope and causes needless sorrow and pain to those who are left here on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Unaware. The Jewish believers living in Old Testament times, before Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, were aware of the fact that everyone would be raised from the dead someday (Daniel 12:2, 3; John 11:24). But they didn’t have New Testament truths that tell us that there are years between the resurrection of the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead people (Revelation 20:11-15). The righteous believers of the Old Testament will be raised 75 days after the “time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” also known to us as “the Great Tribulation” (Daniel 12:12; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21ff).

New Information. Not until God revealed more truth to us in the New Testament through His prophets (2 Peter 1:21) could one know that He had planned for another unique resurrection to take place for a new group of people known as “The Church” or “The Body of Christ” (Ephesians 2:22). It didn’t exist in the Old Testament times but had its beginning after the bodily resurrection of Christ on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff). This group of believers is distinct and uniquely different from the Jewish believers living in Old Testament times under the Mosaic Law. New Testament Christians have been given “Grace Principles” for living (Romans 6:14; See our FREE “Dispensations Chart”).

Sure. The Apostle Paul passed on to New Testament Christians truths He’d personally received from the Lord during his theological training in the wilderness for three years (Galatians 1:15-18). There will be a group of Christians who won’t die physically before they go to the heavenly New Jerusalem that Jesus has been preparing for all true Christians (John 14:1-3; See Revelation 21:9ff for a description of this place). This is an exception to the general rule found in Hebrews 9:27. Enoch and Elijah are examples of those who passed from this life into another one without dying (Genesis 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11).

Sudden. This phase of Christ’s second coming precedes the seven years of tribulation that is coming to this earth (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:29ff; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). It seems to be very near at hand as the one world government and one world church seem to be emerging on the horizon (Revelation 13, 17, 18). This event, commonly called “The Rapture” or “The Catching Up” will take place in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) whereas the Second Coming of Christ will be gradual and evident to all who are on earth at this time (Matthew 24:29ff).

Silent. Although there will be a shout, the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God, these things will be heard only by those for whom they are intended and not for others who will be left behind. Our human ears are capable of hearing only things within certain ranges. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about the significance of these three things.

Selective. This particular resurrection is designed only for New Testament Christians or those who are said to be “in the Body of Christ, the true Church” by the baptizing work of God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13). Both the dead and living Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Between earth and heaven, at the “Bema Seat Judgment,” our works done on earth will be evaluated to determine if there are any of them that can be rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Satisfying. Knowing and believing this truth from God’s Word can be a source of great comfort to those Christians who may be nearing death and to those who remain on earth after their loved one dies (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Jesus holds the “keys of death” today (Revelation 1:18). No one can take the believer’s life until God causes or allows it to happen.

Help. If you’re not sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die we’re here to help you. God can’t/won’t lie to us (Titus 1:2). His Word tells us to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and [we] will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The Good News that we must believe is that “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God the Holy Spirit will bear witness with our spirit that we are true children of God (Romans 8:16). We also have the written word that says, “These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in [on] the name [i.e. The Person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [right now] that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this has helped you, please share it with a friend.

Since the death of our son, Billy, I have been asked many questions about what happens to people when they die?  The Scriptures tell us, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).  This can be said only of true Christians who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.  Sadly, not everyone goes to heaven when they die (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Emotions. At the time of death some people are very emotional while others are more sedate and rarely express any emotions. God is a spirit being (John 4:24).  He Himself has a mind, will, and emotions and gave these same things to Adam and Eve who passed them on to us.  Our bodies on this earth house these things (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  The spirit belongs to our minds (Ephesians 4:23).  It is the only part of a Christian that is saved now (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:16).  The soul relates to our emotions which aren’t saved yet (John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:9).  Our bodies of limitation (Philippians 1:21) with which we express ourselves are also part of our future tense salvation (Romans 12:1, 2; 8:23).

Funerals. Having conducted funeral services for many people, I can usually tell which family members and friends are believers in Christ and which aren’t.  Their responses to death are quite different.  The Scriptures tell Christians not to sorrow as other unbelievers who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13; Ephesians 2:12).  We can/should know what God has said about the life after death and His plan for the future.  Don’t ignore Bible prophecy as some preachers are suggesting people to do.  It involves you and me.

Comfort. In one of his letters to the believers living in Thessalonica, almost 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul shared some valuable information from God that can comfort and help believers like us who live today in the 21st century.  I invite you to read what he wrote under the direction of God the Holy Spirit in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  God willing, I plan to share more information with you from this passage in future articles.

Ignorance. Far too many Christians are not well informed from the Scriptures concerning a subject that will affect all of us until the Lord Himself returns at the time of the Rapture. As a general rule “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There are no second opportunities to be saved after you die as some cults teach.  There is no reincarnation into another form of life taught in the Scriptures.  Death entered the world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17; 5:5, 8, 11, 14; Romans 5:12).  This fact disproves the theory of evolution.

Sleep. The believer’s death is likened to sleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14; John 11:11).  This has to do with the body only, not “soul sleep” as some cults teach.  All dead people are fully conscious and aware of where they are in their temporary bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-10).  The unbelieving dead are suffering while believers are enjoying pleasures in God’s presence (Luke 16:19-31; Psalm 16:11).  Jesus is the One who determines the time and manner of a believer’s death (John 21:18, 19; 1 Corinthians 11:30; Acts 5:1-11; 1 John 5:16; Revelation 2:10; 6:11).  He holds the “keys of death” today (Revelation 1:18).  This is why we shouldn’t fear death.  No one can take our lives until Jesus either causes it or allows it to happen.  The devil held the keys in the Old Testament times and could kill people unless God told him not to do so (Job 1:18; 2:6; Hebrews 2:14).  Death is separation, not annihilation as some cults teach.  Physical death involves the separation of the soul and spirit from the body.  We either go into the presence of the Lord or into Hades at the time of death (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-31).  Do you know when Christians will enter the place that Jesus said He would prepare for us (John 14:1-3)?  What is your current destination?  God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth to make a way of escape for mankind from the lake of fire (John 3:16, 18, 36).  Have you placed your faith in Him exclusively to save you?  If not, why not trust Him right now?

Sorrow. It is quite natural for us to weep when a loved one is taken from us in death. Death is an awful enemy.  Do you know how and when Jesus will overcome death (1 Corinthians 15:26)?  Jesus Himself wept at the time of Lazarus’ death (John 11:35).  However His sorrow stemmed from the lack of faith that the people had in His ability to raise His friend Lazarus back to life by resuscitating him.  Lazarus subsequently died again.  Thus far Jesus is the only One who died and rose again bodily never to die again.  Christ’s bodily resurrection guarantees the bodily resurrection of everyone who has ever lived (1 Corinthians 15:22).  Life begins at conception according to the Scriptures (Psalm 139:1-16; 51:5).  Do you know in which of the four remaining resurrections you will be raised?  If not, ask us for more information.

Hope. To an unbeliever hope is nothing more than wishful thinking.  When asked if they know for sure that they will go to heaven the moment they die, many people have told me that they sure hope they will but they aren’t absolutely sure they will go there.  But to Christians our hope is the confident expectation that we have which is based on a promise from God (John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:13).  If God says that He will do something, He has the power to do it (Ephesians 3:20).  He’s omnipotent (Revelation 1:18).

Gospel. This Good News that is the power of God unto our salvation (Romans 1:16) consists of the facts that Christ died for all our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10).  He was buried to prove to us that He had paid our debt to God (Romans 6:23).  He rose again bodily (Luke 24:33-43; See Psalm 16:10) which was verified by His being seen by over 500 witnesses on over 10 separate occasions (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  It has flesh and bones but no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50).  It isn’t limited by time and space like our present bodies are.  At the time of the Rapture true Christians will receive glorified bodies like Christ’s (1 John 3:3).  Do you know when Old Testament believers will be raised from the dead and what kind of glorified bodies they will receive (Daniel 12)?

Confident. My friend, are you confident that you will go to heaven the moment you die?  Upon what is your belief based?  Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I didn’t have assurance of my salvation until I was in my second year of college (See Romans 8:16, 17).  The verse in Scripture that helped me says this, “These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in the name [i.e. the person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [not wish, hope, or think] that you have eternal life…” (1 John 5:13).  My getting into heaven is not based on what I have done or will do in the future (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5) but on what Christ has done for me – Period!  He saved me from the moment I believed in/on Him from the penalty of sin (Ephesians2:8; Romans 6:23; 8:1).  He is saving me from the power of sin (Romans 6:14), and will save me from the presence of sin (Romans 8:18-23).  The best is yet to come for true believers.  Are you one of them?

Help. We’re here to assist you if you are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2).  If you have a spiritual need and express it to us, we’ll do our best to help you from God’s Word.  It is God breathed, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that [we as Christians] may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  It is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  Are you engaged in the good works that God planned for you to be doing while you’re here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)?  Do you use your spiritual gift with love (1 Corinthians 13)?

Remember.  Treat each day as though it might be your last day on earth (James 4:14).  Or it might be the last day of someone you know and love or meet along life’s path.  “Some men die by shrapnel, and some go down in flames, but most men perish inch by inch playing their silly little games.” – Source unknown

Purpose.  What is your purpose in life?  It is to glorify God by making Him known to others around you (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

 Follow. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” I’d like to try to answer as many questions from Scripture as I can.  If this article has helped you, would you share it with someone else so we can bless them too?

 

 

 

“Treat each day as though it might be your last day on earth.”  These are the words I often shared with one of my three sons who has lived in Japan for the last 15 years.  Billy (age 38) taught English in many Japanese public schools and came to know thousands of students and others whose lives he touched on a daily basis.  Many of the several schools in which he taught were an hour and a half away by taking a subway train to get there.  This, along with other factors, took a huge toll on his life.

Easter.  Even though I fully expected to be taken from this life before he was, he spent his last day here on earth on Easter Sunday.  He had just started his spring break and had talked to us about travelling to another country to visit.  He loved to travel and had been to over 50 countries including the Seven Wonders of the World.  As he traveled, he always tried to share the Gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with people to give them hope.

No Show.  But when he didn’t show up for a Saturday lesson for three of his private 9 year old students, one of the mothers called our daughter in the States to ask if she knew where her brother Billy might be.  Our daughter herself had been an English teacher in Japan for 13 years and had had these three children as her students before passing them over to her brother to teach.  This was not like him at all. He was always punctual, never missed days of work, and usually stayed in touch with people.

Tsunami.  Both our daughter, Julie, and our son Billy were in Japan when the earthquake took place about 5 years ago.  Julie was in the business district when it happened and they shut down the trains.  She had to walk for over 4 hours in the rain to get to her brother’s place.  After the big one, they had over 1,500 aftershocks that also took a toll on both of them.  Their Japanese employers were amazed that both of them stayed in Japan while other American teachers went back to the States.

Fears.  Believing that something was wrong, our daughter asked this young Japanese mother if she would go over to his apartment where he taught these lessons, to see if he might be there.  She called the police who accompanied her to his apartment.  When they entered it, they found him dead.  Through some investigative work they discovered that he had been dead for six days. Although no foul play was detected, they took his body to the police headquarters to have an autopsy of his body.  They told us that we will have to wait up to 40 days to get the report.  In the meantime we are trying to piece the puzzle together as best we can.

To Japan.  Immediately upon hearing of his death, my wife and I and our three remaining adult children met up together at our oldest son’s home and flew over to Tokyo, Japan where I had grown up as a missionary kid.  After many long hours of flying through 16 time zones we were extremely tired but we went that evening to the police headquarters where our son’s body was.  We identified the body and spoke with a very gracious police investigator along with the funeral director who then took his body to prepare it for cremation on Friday, April 8th.

Cremation.  On Friday we went to the crematory in the morning.  Our son’s body was in a pine box which was to go into a furnace.  We watched them do this.  Then we went up to a room for some light refreshments for about an hour.  Then we went back and they removed the remains of his body from the furnace on a metal slab.  They gave some chopsticks to our three children who then picked up Billy’s bones and placed them in an urn.  When they were done, they gave the urn to me for us to bury where my parents are buried at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Paper Work.  That sane afternoon one of the Japanese pastors from the English speaking church, where our son attended, went with me to the ward office (like our city hall) and we spent the rest of the afternoon going from person to person trying to get the paperwork taken care of before we return to the U.S.

Memorial.  On Saturday, (April 9th) we had a celebration of life for our son, Billy at the Tokyo Baptist Church were our son attended.  We were overwhelmed by the number of people who came at such short notice.  We were told that over 400 people attended the memorial service.  One man came all the way from Australia to be there since he said our son had so impacted his life.  Countless others expressed their shock at his death and the positive impact he had made on their lives.  We praise God for this.

Burial.  The church that my father, Timothy Pietsch, started many years ago in Japan, has a burial place at the foot of Mt. Fuji that can accommodate about 150 cremated bodies.  Here is where both my parents are buried along with my younger brother, Tim’s wife who died a few years ago.  We went there on Monday, April 10th. It took us about 2 hours by car to get there. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and beautiful.  One of the Japanese pastors and a long time Japanese friend went there with us.

New Church.  On Sunday, April 10th I spoke partly in Japanese and in English to the folks in the Tokyo Bible Church.  They just erected a new church building on the site where I grew up in Japan and lived for 14 years.  I sang “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” and quoted John 3:16 for them in Japanese.

Street Meetings.  I told them that it was songs and verses like these that we used to sing and quote at our street meetings at the Shibuya train station when my younger brother Tim and I, along with our dad and sister, stood on the hood of an old Army Jeep painted black to draw a crowd to whom my dad would preach in Japanese.  It was at one of these meetings that Mitusuo Fuchida, who led the attack on Pearl Harbor in WWII, came and received a Gospel tract from my father and became of professing Christian.  Today this is one of the busiest places in the world where 2.2 million people cross the street every day.  This is where the statue of the famous dog Hatchiko is.  Perhaps you’ve seen the movie “Hatchi.”

Opportunities.  The death of our son has opened up many opportunities for us to share the Good News concerning Christ’s death for our sins, His burial, and His bodily resurrection from the dead with others.  Because Jesus lives today at God the Father’s right hand in heaven we have hope (a confident expectation) of being raised from the dead too.

Challenge.  On the way over to Japan I was able to share this story with two pilots who flew our plane, along with the flight attendants and many others.  I asked them to consider the same thing I’ve often said to my grown children.  “Treat each day that you live as though it might be your last day on earth or the last day of someone whom you love or of someone you know.”

You.  My friend, think about that statement.  This may be the last article I will ever write.  I’ve been writing articles (about 500) like this for the last 10 years and have been posting them on this site.  Some of them have been written up in the local newspapers in the community where I live and in a neighboring community. They are usually a summary of my Sunday messages at the church where I pastor some very precious people.

Death.  Perhaps you don’t like to think about death.  Neither do I, but it’s going to happen one of these days to you or someone you love.  We’re not really prepared to live until we’re prepared to die.  Where will you spend eternity?  Where will your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors, your fellow workers, and acquaintances spend eternity? Are you sure? On what basis should God let you into heaven? Our salvation is not based on our good works lest we should boast.

Good News.  The Good News that leads to our salvation is that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins and mine.  He was buried for three days in a tomb to prove that He had really died to pay the penalty for our sins.  But the story doesn’t stop there.  He rose again bodily from the dead on their third day and was seen by over 500 witnesses to validate it.  Then He ascended back to heaven in the presence of His disciples with a promise to return some day.  This resurrected, glorified Christ can save you or anyone else who places his/her faith in Christ alone.  Have you done this yet?  If not, why not do it right now?

Help.  If you need spiritual help and would like to have assurance of your salvation, feel free to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

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