Archive for the ‘Salvation’ Category

An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years, and they were returning to New York City to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.

No one paid much attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man.

As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”

“Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.

“I can’t help it; it doesn’t seem right.”

When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.

That night, the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.”

His wife replied, “Why don’t you go into the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”

A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”

“The Lord settled it with me,” he said. “I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and simply said, ‘But you’re not home yet!’”

From Talking To My Father, by Ray Stedman. Barbour & Co. 1997.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). And the Apostle Peter wrote these words to faithful Pastors.  “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).  As the song writer put it, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!/ Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ./ One glimpse of his dear face, all sorrow will erase./ So, bravely run the race till we see Christ.” – Esther K. Rusthoi

Are you ready to meet Jesus?  Have you placed your faith in Him alone as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day?  If not, why not do it right now and be saved from eternal condemnation (John 3:16, 18, 36)?

We’re here to help you know the Lord as your personal Savior and then grow spiritually so you can serve Him effectively while you’re here on earth.  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or 805-975-2883 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

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John 14:1-24

“There’s no place like home.”  This is what Dorothy said in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, after going through illusory dreams, frightening experiences, and disappointing realities.*  In like manner, before long the Christian realizes that this sin filled world is not his home; heaven is.  And yet we, as believers, have moments of anxiety and fear as long as we are in these bodies.

Thoughts.  Do your thoughts about death trouble you?  They should if you are not a true Christian (See Matthew 7:21-23).  Do you know what happens to unbelievers at the time of death (Luke 16:19-31; See Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  What happens to Christians when they die (Philippians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 5:1-9)?  Into which section of heaven do they go today (2 Corinthians 12:4).  When do they get to go to the place that Jesus went to prepare for them (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)?  How is it described for us (Revelation 21:9-27)?  What about the trials and troubles of life?  Will they be too great for us to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9)?  What should a Christian do when he sins (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Luke 22:32)?  What if he denies His Lord as Peter did (John 13:38; Luke 22:31, 32, 47-62; See 2 Timothy 2:12)?  Will he be condemned and lose his salvation (Romans 8:1; 35-39; John 10:28, 29)?

Truth.  To quiet our noisy hearts, we need to know the truth that can set us free (John 8:32).  The believer’s strength comes from God (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; Psalm 121:2).  Christians are being purified for their wedding to Christ (Ephesians 5:26; Isaiah 1:25).  He is preparing a special place for His Bride, the true Church (John 14:3; Revelation 21:9-27).  Currently, in heaven, He is interceding for those who belong to Him (Romans 8:26, 34; Hebrews 7:25).  He answers our prayers according to His will (John 14:13).  He has promised never to leave or forsake true believers (Hebrews 13:5).  We also have a Comforter (John 14:16-20).

Techniques.  There are some things that can strengthen the believer’s heart.  Knowledge of the truth from God’s Word can remove fear (John 8:3; 14:20; 1 John 4:18).  But the believer also needs to apply the truth and keep the Lord’s commands to Christians if anxiety is to be removed from his/her heart (John 14:21; Philippians 4:6, 7).  Love for the Lord can release guilt (John 14:23, 24; 2 Corinthians 5:9).

Question.  Is your life filled with fear and anxiety?  It should be if you are not a true Christian. You are under the condemnation of God (John 3:18, 36) and in danger of spending eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  But you can become a Christian by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins… and rose again bodily on the third day.  He said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  Once you’ve been saved, you can/should cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  The “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [can] guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus” as you encounter the hardships of life (Philippians 4:6, 7).  You have a choice to make.  Will you “trust and obey” or “stew and fret” about your problems?

Salvation.  We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone.  We are not saved by our good works, or by faith plus our good works lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

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*Portions adapted from Chuck Swindoll, Following Christ, pp. 93ff

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John 13:1-33

If you think “Big Brother” (the government) knows a lot about you, think about someone who knows everything about you. You might say, “That’s impossible.” This would be true of another human or spirit being, but not for God because one of His attributes is omniscience (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). Jesus, being the God/man knew who would betray him, who would deny Him, and who would flee from Him when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He also knows everything about us and will not only judge our words and deeds but will also judge our motives to determine our degree of pleasure in heaven or our degree of suffering in the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15).

God/Man. Jesus was/is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:15-17; 2:9). He is also sovereign. This means that He is in control of everything. In other words, “There is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority.” – Chip Ingram. Let’s consider this One who is omniscient and sovereign.

Servant. He became a lowly servant and washed His disciples feet (John 13:2-17). Not only did Jesus display His lowly spirit (Matthew 11:29), He also wanted to teach His disciples about their need for spiritual cleansing. An unbeliever needs to have an overall bath only once for him to be cleansed (John 13:10; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5). But a Christian also needs ongoing cleansing when he/she sins periodically. This occurs when he/she confesses his sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9; 3:9-10).

Model. Jesus set an example for believers to follow. He wants us to have a servant’s humble heart (Philippians 2:5-11; John 13:15). It’s easy for us to say we love God but it’s hard to love some of His children who may rub us the wrong way. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue [only], but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

Savior. Jesus came to glorify God (John 17:3) by dying for our sins, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), and then rising again bodily from the dead on the third day. He appeared to different people on many occasions to validate His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 24:33-43). The payment that Jesus made to God the Father was sufficient to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin (1 John 2:2; 4:10). He can and does offer salvation and eternal life to all who will accept by faith His substitutionary death on their behalf (John 3:16). Those who reject Him and His offer are under condemnation (John 3:18, 36).

Shepherd. Is the Lord Jesus Christ your personal Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)? As the “Good Shepherd” He laid down His life for His sheep and knows all of us by name (John 10:3-14). He is the “Chief Shepherd” to whom all “Under Shepherds” (Pastors) are accountable (1 Peter 5:1-4). He is the “Great Shepherd” who will bring believers to spiritual maturity and finish the work of salvation at the time of the “Rapture” (Hebrews 13:20; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 3:2).

Purpose. Jesus came to glorify God the Father and to carry out the work that He had been given to do on earth (John 17:3, 4; Ephesians 1:11). He provided deliverance from the lake of fire for all mankind including the false teachers (2 Peter 2:1). But for any of us to be saved, we must not only know and believe the facts of the Gospel, we must transfer our faith from ourselves and our good works over to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Have you done this yet? It not, why not believe on Him right now?

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549. We’re here to assist you spiritually if you want it.  If this has helped you, please let us know and then share it with someone else.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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John 12:23-50

In spite of performing over 35 recorded miracles while He was here on earth, most of the Jewish leaders and people rejected Him as their promised Messiah (Christ) and the Son of God (John 5:18; 10:31; 20:31). Isaiah the prophet had predicted that all this would happen (Isaiah 53:1). So Jesus told His disciples that He would be going to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the Jewish elders, chief priests, and the scribes and be killed. But He would also be raised bodily from the dead on the third day as He had predicted (Matthew 16:21; John 10:17, 18).

Imminent. When Jesus spoke on this occasion to His disciples, He was just four days away from the Passover Feast. It was observed every year by the Jews in remembrance of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt (Exodus 12; John 12:23-28, 32). Although the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Him, they didn’t want to do so during the Passover time lest a riot break out (Matthew 26:5). But, whether they wanted it to happen at some other time or not, it was God’s plan for Jesus to be crucified during the Passover since He was the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). There were a few more prophecies that needed to be fulfilled literally before He died and rose again bodily from the dead (Matthew 26:54, 56). By the way, all the prophecies made concerning His second coming will be fulfilled literally, not allegorically. Don’t confuse Israel with the Church. They are two separate groups with whom God is dealing (1 Corinthians 10:32).

Pain. The horrific pain that Jesus endured at the hands of the Roman soldiers and on the cross was physical and emotional (John 19:1; Luke 22:42). But the most intense suffering was spiritual when God the Father turned His back on Jesus as He bore your sins and mine on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). He died as the Just One for us, the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18).

Need. In spite of how they had mistreated Him, Jesus knew that they had a serious, spiritual problem. All unbelievers were/are headed for the eternal lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46) unless they believe on Him alone as their personal Savior (John 3:18, 36). We know that many of the religious, Jewish priests did believe on Him after His bodily resurrection from the dead (Acts 6:7). So did His half brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7). Has the devil blinded your spiritual eyes so you don’t see the urgency of believing in Christ alone for your salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19)? Do you love darkness and the pleasures of sin so much that you refuse to come to the Light (Jesus) for deliverance (John 3:19; 8:12; 14:30)?

Response. The response of the Jewish people to Jesus was varied (John 12:27, 42, 43). Some believed on Him as their promised Messiah and the Son of God (John 1:12; Matthew 16:16). But most of them rejected Him because He didn’t come up to their expectations of Him (Isaiah 53:1). They wanted a political deliverer who would save them from Roman oppression. They cried out to the Roman governor, Pilate who wanted to release Jesus (Matthew 27:24; John 18:38; 19:4, 6) by saying, “His blood be on us and our children” (Matthew 27:25). This is why the Jews have been the objects of persecution for the last 2,000 years. God won’t begin to deal with the Jews again as a nation until the true Church has been removed from the earth in the Rapture (Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Then “The time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” will come during the second half the the Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff). Do you know the purpose of “The Tribulation?” It seems to be near at hand as we see the one world government, and the one world church forming.

Time. Christ’s time on earth was very limited. So is our time on earth (James 4:14). The only time a person has to be saved is in this life. There are no opportunities to be saved after one dies physically (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 6:2). There are five crowns, praise, and rewards from God that a Christian can earn during his/her life on earth. Salvation is offered freely to all men, but rewards must be earned after one is saved (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). What are you doing with God’s gift of time to you? You have 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds in one day. Are you using them wisely for the glory of God and the good of others? “Only one life will soon be passed, and only what’s done [properly – 2 Timothy 2:5] for Christ will last.”

Help. If you need spiritual help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549. Kelsey Pietsch pastors the Grace Baptist Church, 535 Creston Road in Paso Robles.

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1 Peter 5:10, 11

“One of the most crucial lessons to learn as a Christian is how to handle suffering. In this fallen world, suffering is a certainty. And, it will make you grow bitter or better, depending on how you handle it. – Steve Cole

Jesus said, “If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). The Apostle Paul wrote, “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). But “[our God] is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, 21). Let’s consider –

The Benefactors. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). He is the God of all grace (unmerited favor) who called believers to share in His glory (1 Peter 5:10; Romans 8:17, 18). He and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit share the same essence and Divine nature (John 4:24; 10:30). There is one God who exists as three Persons (Deuteronomy 6:4; Genesis 1:27; John 14:16). The subordination of the two Persons in the Godhead relates to time (the seven dispensations) and God’s decree (Ephesians 1:11; John 14:16). Once eternity future begins, there will be no more subordination of one Person to the others (1 Corinthians 15:28). There are at least 1,0007 years before God creates a new heavens and earth (Revelation 21:1). After the Rapture of the true Church, there will be 7 years of Tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6-19), and then the 1,000 year reign of Christ on/over the earth (Revelation 20:1-6). If Christ were to return today, would you be left behind?

The Beneficiaries. God is a good God who delights in the happiness of others (Matthew 19:17). But He won’t make us happy unless we’ve believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). If you’re a believer living a life of sin (lawlessness), He will give you an opportunity to repent (change your mind) and make honest confession of your sins (2 Corinthians 7:9; 1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13). If you don’t do this, He will chasten you (Hebrews 12:5-11). He could even take you life prematurely if you commit the sin unto death (1 John 5:16, 17; James 5:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 10:8-10; 11:30). Are you a “professor” who claims to be a Christian, or are you a “possessor” of eternal life (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 5:11-13)? Are you believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2)? If you’re a Christian, God wants to live out His eternal life through your life so others can learn about Him (Galatians 2:20; 4:19).

The Benediction. If you are suffering and/or being persecuted for being and acting like a Christian should (John 15:20; Timothy 3:12), keep in mind that there is coming a day when there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4). Believers who die in the Lord are resting in peace (R.I.P.). In God’s presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). But this is not so with unbelievers who die (Luke 16:19-31; See Matthew 15:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8). God will use the believer’s suffering to perfect us, establish us, strengthen us, and settle us (1 Peter 5:10; See Romans 8:28, 29). Nothing can separate God’s children from His love (Romans 8:35-39). Are you sure that you are one of His children rather than a child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10)? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-5)?

Help. If you have doubts about your relationship with God, we’re here to help you. 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. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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 1 Peter 5:8, 9

When it comes to the subject of the devil, two mistakes are often made by many people, including Christians. Some folks joke about him while others ignore him. Both of these responses are dangerous positions to take.

Warning. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that in the latter times some people would depart from the faith and give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. They would speak lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron. They would tell people not to marry and abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-5; See Acts 10:14, 28). He told Timothy to preach the word with authority and to be ready in season and out of season because many people would seek to follow teachers with itching ears who would tell the people what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Ignorance. The Apostle Peter, having given in to a temptation from the devil to play the role of a coward (Luke 22:31, 32; Matthew 26:74), was well aware of Satan’s tactics. They seem to be intensifying in our day and we need to know the truth about him so we who are true Christians can resist and overcome him (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 1 John 4:4) after we have put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Let’s not be ignorant of his tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Satan’s Activities

Independence. He seeks to provoke believers to rely on themselves rather than on God (See John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13). As a result of King David’s yielding to Satan’s solicitation to number and rely on his troops rather than on God Himself, 70,000 Israelite men died (1 Chronicles 21:1). The leaders of the world have made and will make decisions to engage in unjust wars and in the future billions of people will die. Do you know how many people will die during the seven years of the Tribulation when the devil, the anti-Christ, and the false prophet are in charge? It will be over ½ of the world’s population (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). If God allowed them to have power for more than seven years, no one would survive (Matthew 24:22). By the way, not all wars are unjust and some have been ordered by God Himself (Deuteronomy 20:17-20). God gave the wicked nations in the land of Canaan 400 years to repent but they didn’t (Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:24). God is long suffering and wants people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). But there will come a day when He will judge the unrepentant and unbelievers (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8). You and I can cause great harm to others too if we act like the heathen and the Israelites who sacrificed their live babies to the pagan god Molech (Leviticus 18:21; Jeremiah 32:35). Can God forgive the sin of murder and other sins (Exodus 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)? Yes! He forgave King David, King Manasseh, and the Apostle Paul (2 Samuel 12:9; 2 Chronicles 33:1-20; Acts 8:1-3).

Victims. He roams the world to find victims to overwhelm (1 Peter 5:8). He’d like for believers to become bitter and have an unforgiving spirit (Hebrews 12:15; 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11) and get them to curse God and die for not protecting them from harm and danger (Job 2:9). The patriarch Job was an upright man and became the object of Satan’s abuse. He was allowed by God to strip Job of his children, his wealth, and his health (Job 1, 2). He became a prime example of our need to trust God even when things are going badly (Proverbs 3:5, 6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Do you do this?

Blindness. The Scriptures talk about three kinds of spiritual blindness: Natural blindness. This keeps all unbelievers from understanding many things in the Scriptures or think of them as simply being foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:14; 3:19). Satanic blindness. He spiritually blinds the minds of unbelievers to prevent them from understanding the power of the Gospel to save Jews and non-Jews (2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 1:16, 17). Judicial blindness. This was imposed on the Jewish people because of their rejection of their promised Messiah (Romans 11:25; Matthew 27:25). Only God Himself can remove these three blinds from people’s spiritual eyes after the Gospel has been presented to them by a human agent (1 John 4:4; Romans 1:16).

Darts. Satan has in his arsenal 14 fiery, mental darts that he directs at a believer’s mind but only if God allows it (Ephesians 6:10-17). Disappointment, discouragement, doubt are very effective tools he uses to bring Christians down and cause them to lose their power from God (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). Do you know what the other 11 temptations are and how to overcome them? They are not to be confused with the temptations that come from our old sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21; See 1 john 1:8) or from the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:17-24).

Hinder. Whenever he can, he tries to hinder those who are engaged in the work of evangelizing the lost with the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and the edification of believers (1 Thessalonians 5:11) for their work of service (1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Peter 4:10). He encourages and promotes greedy, false teachers who do his bidding (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). Beware of the “health, wealth, and happiness preachers” (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14).

Doubt. He undermines the Word of God by casting doubt on it (Genesis 3:1). He often uses false teachers to twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Many of them use the allegorical rather than the normal, historical, grammatical method of interpreting the Scriptures (Matthew 13:19; Genesis 3:1).

Angel. Believe it or not, he can transform himself into an angel of light so as to try to deceive other good angels (2 Corinthians 11:14). He drew 1/3 of the angels with him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). They became demons and are destined for the eternal lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46). This Biblical teaching stands in sharp contrast to the false teachers who teach and promote the “universal reconciliation” (salvation) of all of God’s creatures in the end.

Satan’s Future

Abyss. After the seven years of the tribulation (Daniel 9:27; See Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff) the devil will be captured by a low ranking angel and will be bound in the Abyss for 1,000 years while the Lord Jesus Christ rules on/over the earth (Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 9:6, 7). But when the 1,000 years are over the devil will be released from the Abyss for a brief time. He will gather to himself those who inwardly rebelled against Christ during His 1,000 year reign on earth (Revelation 20:7-9). Then Christ will cast the devil, his angels (demons) and the unbelievers into the lake of fire where they will suffer forever (Revelation 20:10). God is a righteous and holy God and must/will sentence the unbelievers to that awful place. There are no second chances to be saved once a person dies (Hebrews 9:27). Don’t be misled by false teachers who teach otherwise. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). His Word is truth (John 17:17).

Conclusion: Therefore, if you still are a child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10), you need to be “born again from above” (John 3:3-6) so you can become a child of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Believers need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. [Having submitted yourself to God, and having put on the whole armor of God], resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8, 9; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17).

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

John 12:20-24

Crisis situations. We all encounter them from time to time. Sometimes they creep up on us and take us by surprise. How we respond to people and/or the circumstances of life will display a lot about us to others. This information will become a part of our “Book of Life.” Aren’t you glad that God isn’t still causing the Scriptures to be written and having the story of your life recorded for all to read.

Man – A Moon. When we write autobiographies or have biographies of us written, we tend to leave out those parts which we want to stay hidden from others. Mark Twain said it well. Every man is a moon and has a side which he turns toward nobody: you have to slip around behind it if you want to see it.”

Hall Of Faith. Those men and women in “The Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11) had some character flaws that they probably didn’t want others to know about. What about you? Did you know that God extends forgiveness to mankind (Ephesians 1:7)? Do you know how you can be forgiven and cleansed (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 4:32)?

The Pressure. When Jesus entered Jerusalem five days before He was to be crucified, He was under intense pressure from the common Jewish people. They wanted to make Him their King on their terms (John 6:15; 12:13). Furthermore, the religious leaders wanted Him dead because He referred to Himself as being equal to God (John 5:18; 8:58; 10:31). Rather than being forced by God the Father to die for our sins, God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily chose to go to the cross and pay the debt/penalty that we owed to God so that we could be saved from eternal condemnation with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22; 10:7, 9; Matthew 25:41, 46).

The Greeks. We’re not sure if these Greeks were Jewish proselytes or not and what their motives were for wanting to see Jesus. Generally speaking, the Greeks were interested in worldly wisdom and the Jews wanted to see sign miracles (1 Corinthians 1:22-24; Acts 17:19-21; James 3:13-18). Being the God-man, and omniscient, Jesus knew what was in the heart of men (John 2:24, 25). It appears that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night wanting to learn more about Him (John 3:1-15; 19:39).

The Hour. It had finally come for Jesus to glorify God by dying for the sins of all mankind so we could spend eternity with God by believing on Him as our personal Savior (John 12:23, 24). He likened His death to a grain of wheat being put into the ground. It would die and then come to life and bear much fruit. That is the way it was with Christ’s death and bodily resurrection (Luke 24:39).

Virtual Reality. If a camera crew could follow you around 24 hours a day and record your conversations, examine your day planner, your checkbook, and your credit card bills, what would they learn about you? What if somehow they were able to read your mind and know the motives behind your actions? Would you be embarrassed or happy to let others in on your life? If anyone’s life was under such scrutiny, it was Jesus’ life by His disciples with lived with Him for three years. Yet none of them, including Judas who betrayed Him, found any faults in Him (John 8:46; 1 John 1:1, 2; Hebrews 4:14-16). He knows all about us and cares for you and me (1 Peter 5:7). You can/should trust Him with your life. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). His promises are sure and need to be mixed with faith so we can live the “Faith/Rest Life” (Hebrews 4:2; Philippians 4:6, 7).

Omniscience. While men can’t know everything about us, God can and does. Is He pleased with your actions and reactions? Are your motives pure or suspect? If you’re a Christian, what kind of rewards, crowns, and praise will you receive or fail to receive from Him someday (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10)? Are you a part of God’s family? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-6)? Do you know that you will go to heaven the moment you die (1 John 5:13)? Why should God let you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? If you think you’re saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Gospel. My friend, we’re all sinners (Romans 3:10-23). But Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4. Any and all who put their trust in Him alone will be saved and spend eternity with God (Acts 16:31). We’re not saved by our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).  If you’re a true Christian, are you sharing the Gospel with others?  They can’t be saved unless they hear it and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Help. If you’re not sure you’ll spend eternity with God in heaven, we’re here to help you. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Join us on Facebook for audio messages and Bible studies.