Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

“Kamishibai”

Posted: July 26, 2016 in Gospel, Salvation, Security

When I was a small boy growing up in Japan as a missionary kid, I used to love going out to listen to a Japanese storyteller who came around our neighborhood on his bicycle with his mobile theater box on the back of it. First, he would walk around the block pounding his drum to let us children know that he was going to have a story for us.

Kamishibai. This comes from two Japanese words. Kami means paper. Shibai means theater. These dramatic storytellers would stand behind a little wooden theater and would flip through pictures as they told their stories. They would use different voices for the various characters in the story. Some people believe that this had its origin among the Buddhist monks, who walked from village to village teaching moral lessons, using painted boards to illustrate their stories.

Senbei. But the storyteller who got our attention wanted to sell us Japanese senbei, or rice crackers. I recall buying a whole lot of them one day and eating all of them only to get a tummy ache. Oh well, it was a memorable moment for me and it enabled me to meet Japanese boys my age with whom I developed a friendship.  I still like senbei as well as plain seaweed.  Let me know if you like this too.

Preachers/Teachers. Those who communicate God’s Word have an awesome responsibility and privilege. The Lord’s half brother, James wrote, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Teaching false doctrines or heresies is very serious in God’s eyes (1 Timothy 4:1). The Apostle Paul told Timothy to “[Proclaim] the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching.” Why? “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 [that aren’t true]” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

Crown Of Glory. Pastors who shepherd God’s flock and who serve well as overseers, who do their work, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly, will receive the “Crown of Glory” when the Lord returns for His Bride, the Church, at the time of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 1 Peer 5:4). This work involves feeding the believers, guiding and guarding them, and healing their wounded souls and spirits from disappointment, discouragement, and doubt. False teachers, who proclaim another Gospel and and another Christ will end up in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels to suffer forever (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1ff; Jude 1:13; Matthew 25:41, 46).

Test. The Apostle John wrote, “Brethren, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).  Some of them are captivating speakers and orators. “A mediocre teacher tells; The good teacher explains; The great teacher inspires.” – Source unknown.  I don’t know about you, but I like to listen to those who can take me from the pits of despair to the heights of glory.  He must speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). But we also need to be discerning to see if the speaker’s word line up with the Scriptures. The Apostle Peter warned his listeners about the false teachers who twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).  Beware of those who use flattery to achieve their own ends (Proverbs 6:24; 20:19).  As listeners, we must be like the believers at Berea who searched the Scriptures to see if the Apostle Paul’s words lined up with it (Acts 17:11).

Good Works. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…” Some of those to whom He spoke claimed to have done many wonderful works in His name. They prophesied in His name, cast out demons, and did many things that impressed a lot of the people. But sadly, He will have to say to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness” (Mathew 7:21-23).

Questions. My friend, 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)? Are you trying to earn your way into heaven by your good works or are you trusting in Christ alone who died for our sins..and rose again bodily on the third day? 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)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who want clear answers from the Scriptures. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through out website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We’d like to hear from you. Please share this with your friends too.

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

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

Perhaps you feel like you are on top of the world right now and have everything under control. You’ve convinced yourself that you are the captain of your ship and the master of your fate. But then again, you may only be whistling in the dark and scared to death because you can’t seem to get freed from the albatross of sin that is hanging around your neck. Maybe you’re plagued by guilt from the past and can’t seem to shake it off. Would you like to know that you have been forgiven and that you cannot be condemned to hell when you die? If so, read on.

Oppressed? Author John Stockton wrote, “Come, every soul by sin oppressed, / There’s mercy with the Lord; / And He will surely give you rest / By trusting in His word. / Only trust Him, / only trust Him, / Only trust Him now. / He will save you, / He will save you, / He will save you now.” God can save us from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and from the presence of sin. Do you know how He does this and when each of these things actually happens?

Mercy. It’s been described as the compassion that God shows toward those who are suffering in life either because of their own sins, or the sins of others. God has been merciful to us and will continue to be merciful. But once you’re dead, there is no more mercy for you or anyone else who has rejected God’s offer of deliverance from the lake of fire.

Invitation. Christians have a High Priest (Jesus) who can sympathize with our weaknesses because He was tempted in all points as we are, but without sinning. We have been invited to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace (unmerited favor) to help us in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Unbeliever? For you to enjoy this privilege you need to be a child of God. All unbelievers are children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10). You can become God’s child by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  Merely knowing and believing these facts aren’t enough to save you.  You must transfer your faith from yourself and your good works over to Christ alone to be saved.

Priest. Every true Christian today is a New Testament priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9) and can/should offer up to God spiritual sacrifices. These include our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2), praise and thanksgiving, doing good works, and sharing of our material things (Hebrews 13:15, 16). If you’re a Christian, how often do you offer these sacrifices up to God?  What is the difference between praise and thanksgiving?  How can you know if you’re doing the good works that God planned for you to do (1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 2:10)?  What can/should  you share with others?  Why?  To be blessed or because you been blessed?  To whom should you not give?  On what basis will God evaluate your good works?

Help. Maybe you’re miserable and don’t exactly know why you are. God’s Word contains all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). There is hope for you if you’re teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). Until you are rightly related to God, you won’t enjoy God’s quality of life or be a true blessing to others (John 10:10; See Galatians 5:22, 23). If you’d like our help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If God has comforted you, comfort someone else in need (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Treat today as though it might be your last day on earth (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1).

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

 

We can’t see the wind, but we can see the effects of it as the leaves on a tree shake or when a tornado strikes a community. Without the wind we would probably suffocate before long. Did you know that the devil can cause bad weather and bring harm to people (Job 1:19; 2:6, 7; Revelation 12:12, 16). In the Old Testament times he even had the ability to kill people unless God specifically told him not to do so (Job 1:19; 2:16). He held the keys of death at that time (Hebrews 2:14) but Jesus took them from him after He rose again bodily from the dead (Revelation 1:18). This truth can/should comfort Christians knowing that He is the One who turns the key in the door that opens our way into heaven (See 1 Thessalonians 4:14).

Vision. In like manner, we can’t see God the Holy Spirit, but we believe the Scriptures that tell us about this Divine Person who came to live in the bodies of every true Christian since the Day of Pentecost (1 Corinthians 6:19; Acts 2:1-3; John 14:17). He doesn’t draw attention to Himself but to the Lord Jesus Christ who now sits at God the Father’s right hand until He comes back for His Bride – the true Church (John 14:1-3; 16:13; Ephesians 5:32). So what does the Holy Spirit do?

He Produces. Try as we may, we can’t produce the “Fruit of the Spirit” that is Christ likeness. Do you know what these nine parts of the fruit are (Galatians 5:22)? If you have them, do you display them before others at the right time and place? Do you misdirect them by loving the present world system (1 John 2:15-17)? The Apostle Paul wrote: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). His prayer for the believers who lived in Galatia was that they might have Christ’s form displayed in their lives (Galatians 4:19).

He Prompts. Once we’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave, the Holy Spirit works in us by putting His desires into or hearts so that we will be willing to keep on doing His will (Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Philippians 4:13). Some believers quench Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19) and/or grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30) by refusing to do His bidding and instead do what they want to do independently of Him (Isaiah 14:14; James 4:13-17; See John 15:5). Those who think they can’t do the job that He wants them to do need to know that He supplies resurrection power to do the job (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). If we need material things, He will provide them too (Philippians 4:19).

He Teaches. Not everyone is teachable and willing to change (John 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14). The Apostle Paul wanted Timothy to pass on to teachable people the truths that he had learned. Are you willing to study to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, [and one who rightly] divides the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15)? Would you like to have your eyes opened so you can see the light and be delivered from the power of Satan (Acts 26:18; See Colossians 1:13)?

He Promotes. Of all the people on earth, true Christians should be the most enthusiastic about praising and thanking God from whom all good blessings flow (James 1:17). These are just two of the spiritual sacrifices that a believer can offer up to God. Do you know what the other sacrifices include (Hebrews 13:15, 16; Romans 12:1, 2)? Do you know the difference between these two sacrifices?

He Leads. Some people refuse to follow the Leader. They act like they are the captain of their own ship and the master of their fate but they often end up dying miserably. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:15; Psalm 23). Since He is not here on earth today to lead us as He did those who lived in His day, the Holy Spirit fills in for Him and will lead all Christians who are willing to be led by Him (Romans 8:14; See Psalm 23). Those who follow Him develop and become mature sons of God who know how to live by “Grace Truths” for Christians. Do you know where the Christian’s rules for living are found in the Scriptures? Do you know what part of the Bible is for you and which part of it is to you (Titus 1:9)? Are you trying to come to spiritual maturity by keeping the Mosaic Law or the Kingdom Rules?

He Bears Witness. There are Christians who believe that they can lose their salvation after they’ve been saved. Are you one of them? Believe it or not, a true believer can have assurance of his salvation and a home in heaven before he dies (1 John 5:13). Maybe you have a faulty faith like the demons do or maybe you have believed in vain by adding to or subtracting from the unadulterated Gospel (James 2:19; 1 Corinthians 15:2-4). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father [in heaven] except through Me” (John 14:6). He also said that He would lay down His life for His sheep and then rise again bodily from the dead on the third day (John 10:17). If He didn’t rise from the dead with a glorified body, we’d know that He was a liar and we would be without hope (1 Corinthians 15:19). To deny His bodily resurrection, you’d have to call the 500 eye witnesses liars (1 Corinthians 15:6). Using the normal laws of jurisprudence, try to disprove it if you think your can. Your mind could be changed so that you believe the evidence of His resurrection. But this, in and of itself, won’t save you. You must transfer your trust over to the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save you (Acts 16:31). You can’t be saved by your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Those who place their faith in Christ alone will receive assurance of salvation from God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16) and from the Scriptures (1 John 5:13).

He Makes Intercession. Did you know that God the Holy Spirit and God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ intercede for those who belong to God (Romans 8:26)? They ask God the Father to bring or cause to be brought into our lives the people and/or things we need that can bring us to spiritual maturity. We may need undesirable people/circumstances to develop us (1 Timothy 2:1ff). We grieve God when we complain about the unpleasant incidents that come into our lives (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13). With Christians, there are not accidents.

Shout. These gracious manifestations of God the Holy Spirit can/should cause us to want to shout “Alleluia! – Praise The Lord!” We are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37). God has provided everything we need to live a godly, Christ like life while we’re here on earth. This information is found within the pages of His Word (2 Peter 1:3). We must study it (2 Timothy 2:15). God will provide all our needs, not our greed (Philippians 4:19). Have you been a faithful manager of what He’s given to you thus far (1 Cor. 4:2)?

Invitation. “And the [Holy] Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (John 22:17). Have you come to Jesus and received this living water by believing on Him as your personal Savior? If you have, will you tell others where they can find satisfaction for their souls and spirits?

*Portions adapted from “He That Is Spiritual” Dr. L. S. Chafer, p. 45ff

 

From the moment of our spiritual birth from above (John 3:3-6), the true Christian can/should be spiritual (i.e. rightly related to God the Holy Spirit). Of the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit, two are related to the unsaved people of this world, four are related to all Christians, and one ministry is to a believer who is rightly adjusted to God the Holy Spirit. – Dr. Lewis S. Chafer, He That Is Spiritual, p. 23. Let’s consider these important things He does and how they relate to you.

He Restrains. Have you ever wondered about the possibility that some day a mad man might push a  button and destroy every living creature on earth?  We’re told that many nations have within their arsenals enough chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons to destroy all life on earth several times over.  God who is all powerful won’t allow this to happen. Even though the social elites of this earth want to diminish the population down to about 500,000,000 people to make life more sustainable on earth, God won’t allow them to wipe all life from planet earth. The Scriptures tell us that during the seven years of the Tribulation over one half of the world’s population will be killed (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). Thankfully the Holy Spirit is currently restraining the lawless Antichrist (Daniel 7:24-26; 9:27; Revelation 13:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8) from taking over and ruling the whole earth until the appointed time.   This will happen after the Rapture of the true Church  (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

The Unholy Trinity. During the seven years of the tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7) the unholy trinity, which consists of the Devil himself, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet (Revelation 13; 19:20; 20:10) will be allowed to rule over the whole earth. The Antichrist will be propelled into power by the Apostate Church (Revelation 17, 18) and the 10 kings from the revived Roman Empire (Revelation 13:1). This is a time when you won’t want to be here on earth. Do you know how you can avoid this period in human history without dying?

He Convicts. The Holy Spirit came to reside on earth on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-3), after Christ ascended back to heaven and sat down at the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:20).  At that time He began to convict the ones whom the Father gave to the Son of three things (John 6:37, 44; 16:8-11). First, the sin of unbelief (John 3:16, 18, 36; Acts 16:31). This is the only sin that will keep a person out of heaven. Secondly, the Holy Spirit convicts these people of their need to have Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven (Romans 4:3-5, 16, 24, 25). This righteousness is imputed to the believer’s account at the moment of salvation. Finally, the Holy Spirit convicts of judgment to come on all those who reject God’s offer of salvation that is extended to all mankind (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; Revelation 20:11-15).

He Regenerates. Those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior through the Gospel message that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day will be born again from above (John 3:6; Titus 3:5). These same people begin to participate in the Divine nature (1 Peter 1:4) and are enabled to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9). We become heirs and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

He Indwells. Prior to the Day of Pentecost, God the Holy Spirit came upon some men for special purposes but He could also leave them later at His will (Psalm 51:11).  But today the Holy Spirit can’t/won’t ever leave or forsake a true believer in Jesus Christ (John 14:17; Acts 5:32; Romans 5:5; 8:9). The Christian’s body is His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 12:13). We can’t get rid of Him. He goes everywhere we go and knows everything about us because He is omniscient and all powerful (Acts 5:3). By virtue of the fact that every true Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, he/she is also anointed by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20, 27).

He Baptizes. Scripture mentions several kinds of baptisms. Some are dry and others involve water where the believer gets wet by being immersed (1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:5; Acts 8:38). The baptism of the Spirit places a believer into the spiritual “Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Those in the Body are expected to function with the spiritual gift that each one has been given (1 Peter 4:10) and do the good works that God planned for us to do while we are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10). If you’re a Christian, do you know what your spiritual gift is and are you using it with love (1 Corinthians 13)? Do you know which gifts are temporary and which ones are extant?

He Seals. Once we become legitimate children of God (Hebrews 12:5-11), we are safe and secure forever. Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). We are in God the Father’s and God the Son’s all powerful hands (John 19:28, 29; Revelation 1:8). God the Holy Spirit also wraps us up and puts His seal on us.  It can’t be broken by anyone or anything (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22).

He Fills. This ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit takes place in the lives of Christians who are not grieving (Ephesians 5:30) or quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) through sinful activities that haven’t been confessed to God and others against whom we have sinned (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). This ministry involves His making up in our lives where we are lacking and producing the nine parts of “Fruit of the Spirit” in our lives (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23). These qualities must be directed at the right objects at the right time. It’s possible for maturing believers to misdirect this fruit toward the wrong objects (1 John 2:15-17). God wants to live out His life through our lives (Galatians 4;19). Do others see God’s life flowing through you? If not, why?

Questions? Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Have you been born again from above? Do you know that the Holy Spirit dwells in you and that He baptized you into Christ for a reason? Are you delighted to know that you are sealed until the day of redemption? Are you being filled by Him on a regular basis? Do others see Christ living through you as you display the “Fruit of the Spirit” in your life?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).  We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

1 Peter – An Introduction

Are you a Christian who is burdened down in life by stress, loneliness, hardships, rejection, poor health, ridicule, and temptations? Would you allow me to bear that burden with you (Galatians 6:2)? I’d like to recommend to you a short letter that was written by one of Jesus’ disciples who had failed Him miserably by denying three times that he knew Jesus. He had boasted that he would never do such a thing (Matthew 26:35). But he did and then wept bitterly over it. He lost hope until Jesus restored him and recommissioned him (John 21:15-17). My friend, there is hope for you and me too.

“Hope is not a sedative; it is a shot of adrenaline, a blood transfusion. Like an anchor, our hope in Christ stabilizes us in the storms of life; but unlike an anchor, our hope moves us forward, it does not hold us back.” – Warren Wiersbe

Ridicule. True Christians have been ridiculed / persecuted since the Church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:13). We all need Biblical hope – not wishful thinking, but a confident expectation based on a promise from God who cannot cannot lie. How many of His promises, that are addressed to Christians, do you know and claim? Doing this will enable us to have and enjoy the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:6, 7; Hebrews 3, 4). Are you at peace with God through Christ (Romans 5:1)? Have you placed your 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)? If not, why not do so right now and enter into God’s family? Get out of the devil’s family before it’s too late (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). Need help? Ask for it.

Read. I would like to recommend that you dust off your Bible, if you have one, and read First Peter. It won’t take much time to read it. It was written to some early Christians who were under intense persecution. Having suffered and been imprisoned himself (Acts 12:1ff), the Apostle Peter was in a position to give some good advice to the rest of us. Actually it’s more than good advice. It’s part of God’s Word that is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:21). It can transform lives (Hebrews 4:12; Romans 12:1, 2).

Readers. The group of people to whom the Apostle Peter wrote were Jewish and Gentile Christians (1 Peter 1:1; See James 1:1). They were one “in Christ” (Ephesians 2:15; Galatians 3:28). Some of them may have suffered at the hands of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (Acts 4:17, 21, 29). They may have fled from their homeland and lost their jobs because of a persecution that was instigated by a man named Saul who later became the Apostle Paul (Acts 7:58; 8:1ff). Do you know someone whom you think can never be saved? Don’t give up on him/her. God is able to do far more than we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

Recorder. The secretary who took down the information or who was the messenger who delivered the letter to these persecuted Christians (in modern day Turkey) was none other than Silvanus/Silas (1 Peter 5:12). He himself had suffered unjustly when he and Paul were severely beaten and thrown into prison in Philippi for preaching the Gospel and casting out a demon from a young girl who brought her master much gain through fortune telling (Acts 16:19ff). Silas had seen God work on their behalf by causing an earthquake to shake the prison and break off their shackles. He also witnessed the transformation of their hardened jailor when he became a Christian and was baptized (immersed) that night (Acts 15:31ff). If you’re a Christian, have you been identified with Christ in His death, burial, and bodily resurrection by being immersed (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:4ff)? Being immersed doesn’t save us but it expresses our obedience to Christ’s command (Matthew 28:19, 20), and lets others know that we are Christians (Acts 8:36-38). It will enable us to have a good conscience (1 Peter 3:21). Are you a “secret Christian” who is ashamed to be identified with Christ? What if He were ashamed of you? Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

Rome. The first letter that the Apostle Peter wrote may have come from the city of Rome (code name Babylon) while Emperor Nero was ruling (1 Peter 5:13). These persecutions took place around A.D. 64. It was during this time that the Apostle Peter was crucified upside down and the Apostle Paul was beheaded according to early historians. Fox’s Book of Martyrs informs us of the brutal things the early Christians endured for the cause of Christ. The blood of the martyrs became the seed of the church that caused it to grow. Would you be willing to die for your faith in Christ? If not, maybe you have the wrong kind of faith and need to get saved. Are you believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21-23). Make sure of your salvation (2 Peter 1:10). If in doubt, we’re here to help you gain assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13). It’s not of works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6).

Reality. In this life true Christians can/should expect to suffer persecution (1 Peter 2:19, 20; 2 Timothy 3:12). Many Christians around the world have been suffering for centuries. We believe that it will intensify in our own beloved country. Jesus said that there is something wrong when all men speak well of Christians (Luke 6:26; See John 15:19; 16:2; 17:14). When he became a Christian, the Lord informed the Apostle Paul that he would suffer greatly for the cause of Christ (Acts 9:16). Paul recorded some of his hardships in life to validate his apostleship (2 Corinthians 11:21-33). He was willing to endure all things for the elect’s sake (2 Timothy 2:10). To what lengths would you go to see others saved? Christ died for His enemies (Romans 5:10). He is waiting for all whom the Father has given to Him to actually come to Him for salvation (John 6:37, 44). When that number is complete, Christ will return to make the true Church His bride. This event is known as the “Rapture” (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Are you ready for Him to return?

Rejoice. Every true Christian has been given a living hope that is based on many promises that come from God who cannot lie (1 Peter 1:3, 13; Titus 1:2). We are challenged to live holy (morally pure) lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16; See 1 Thessalonians 4:3). We can live victoriously over the temptations that come from our sin nature when we walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) and when we’re filled by Him (Ephesians 5:18). If you’ve sinned against God, confess it to Him and claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God” (1 Peter 2:19).

Remember. No matter what your current circumstances may be, God wants all His children to praise and give thanks to Him always (Hebrews 13:15, 16; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Our temporary suffering can/should strengthen our commitment to Christ and bear witness to God’s power to save anyone and transform his/her life. Nothing can separate true Christians from God’s love (Romans 8:18, 35-39). Our troubles didn’t come to stay; they came to pass (Revelation 21:4; Romans 8:18). Do you know how to earn the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)?

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We’re also trying to put some of our talks on the Internet. Please listen to them and give us some feed back.

“I came; I saw; I conquered” is a Latin phrase popularly attributed to Julius Caesar, who supposedly used the phrase in a letter to the Romans Senate around 46 B.C. after he had achieved a quick victory in his short war against Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela.  The phrase is used to refer to a swift, conclusive victory. – Wikipedia

Decree. There was another Man who did something similar. According to the Divine plan of the three Persons in the Godhead (Ephesians 1:11), God the Son volunteered to leave the ivory palaces of heaven (Psalm 45:8) and come down to our sin cursed planet (Genesis 3:17) to rescue mankind from eternal condemnation with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10; 21:8).

He Came.  His coming to earth was predicted from the time our first parents ate of the forbidden fruit and brought on themselves death – both physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:17; 3:15). Someone has counted over 300 prophecies that were made about His first coming and which were fulfilled literally. This is one of the main reasons we should believe the Scriptures and the prophecies that have been made concerning His literal second coming.

He Saw. Although Adam and Eve and many of their descendants lived for over 900 years in an environment that was quite different than our current environment, they still died physically (Genesis 5, 10). But they also died spiritually the moment they ate that fruit. Their fellowship with God was broken and they were stripped of their garment of light and realized that they were naked (Genesis 3:7-11; 1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:2; 1 Timothy 6:16). To cover their nakedness, they sewed some fig leaves together.

He Knew. God is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 1:48; 2:24). He knows everything including the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). He knew what Adam and Eve had done. But He gave them an opportunity to confess their sinful behavior to Him (Genesis 3:8ff). But rather than confessing what they had done, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent who was used by Satan to deceive her and lure her into eating the one fruit that God had forbidden them to eat (Revelation 12:9; 1 Timothy 2:14). Do you happen to know of another occasion when an animal spoke to a man (Numbers 22:18ff)? Miracles have happened and will happen in the future. They are simply the circumvention of the normal laws of nature. Jesus and His disciples performed many of them (John 20:31; Matthew 10:1). But beware, Satan, his demons, and his human agents can perform limited miracles too if God allows them to do so (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:3).  Have you been deceived by some of them?

He Conquered. About 4,000 years after Adam, when the proper time came (Galatians 4:4), God the Son came to earth through the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life for about 33 years (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46), and then voluntarily went to the cross to die for our sins.  He paid the penalty of death that we owed to God the Father (John 10:17, 18; Hebrews 10:7; Romans 6:23). To prove to us that Christ’s payment for our sins satisfied God’s outraged holiness against our sin, God the Father raised the Lord Jesus Christ bodily from the dead on the third day (Romans 4:25). Christ’s resurrection assures us that someday everyone who has died will be raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22-24). Do you know in which one of the five resurrections you will be raised? Did you know that there will be a generation of true Christians who won’t die physically (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)? We will all face Jesus who will judge our works (John 5:22; Hebrews 9:27). This won’t be to determine if we get into heaven or not, but it will be to determine our degree of pleasure in heaven or our degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Revelation 20:11-15). There is only one sin that keeps a person out of heaven – the sin of unbelief (John 16:8-11; 3:16, 18, 36).

He Offers.  God offers to all mankind the gift of eternal life (John 3:16). It can’t be earned by our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5).  This life is God’s quality of life that a believer can have right now without having to wait until he/she dies to get it (1 John 5:11-13). Everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily on the third day will receive assurance of salvation from God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15) and from the Scriptures (1 John 5:13).

Your Choice. “For God [the Father] so loved the world [put your name here], that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [put your name here] believes in Him should not perish but have [eternal] life” (John 3:16). What you do with Jesus is the most important decision of your life. Your eternal destiny depends on the decision you make. Once you’re dead, there are no more opportunities to be saved.

Help. If you’re not sure of your eternal destiny, we’re here to help you if you’re willing to look into God’s Word to discover for yourself what it says. It is the truth (John 17:17). Jesus said, “I am the [only] way, the [absolute] truth, and the [One who gives eternal] life. No one comes to [God] the Father except through Me” (John 14:6; See Acts 4:12; 16:31). 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 and ask that you share it with someone else too. You can have a part in leading others to Christ so they can be saved (See John 1:41; Acts 1:8).  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Bible Prophecy:

http://bibleprobe.com/365messianicprophecies.htm

https://www.raptureready.com/abc/second_coming.html

https://bible.org/seriespage/14-major-events-preceding-second-coming-christ

http://www.lamblion.us/2012/02/gods-order-of-events-second-coming-of.html

“Little is much when God is in it.” Little did Andrew imagine that as a result of his introducing his brother Peter to the Lord that he would one day be instrumental in leading 3,000 Jewish people to the Lord so they could be saved (John 1:41; Acts 2:41).  Neither did Andrew realize that the Lord would use the little boy’s lunch to feed 5,000 hungry families with bread and fish until they were fully satisfied (John 6:1-14).

Dedicated? Would you like to be used by God for His glory?  Not until we, as Christians, present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2) will we be in a proper position for God to live out His life through our lives for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; See Galatians 4:19).  Have you dedicated your body to God yet?  It isn’t a condition for your salvation as some folks teach.  Rather it is the reasonable thing to do for one who is truly saved.

Gospel. God wants each Christian to introduce others to Christ so they can be saved.  The Gospel is simple and clear: “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; See Luke 24:39).  It’s not enough to know and give mental assent to the facts.  Let the person to whom you are witnessing know that he/she must “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [exclusively if he/she is to be saved]” (Acts 16:31).  We’re not saved by our good works, or by faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).  We’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone.  The Christs of the cults can’t save anyone (See Matthew 24:5).

Questions. Be honest!  Are you a true child of God (See Matthew 7:21-23; John 8:44; 1 John 3:10)?  Have you been born from above (John 3:3-6, 16; See 2 Peter 1:4)?  Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)?  Is your life bringing glory to God (Philippians 1:20)?  Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” being produced in your life and are you exhibiting it before others (Galatians 5:22, 23)?  Are you sharing the Gospel with others whom God brings into your life (See Acts 8:26ff)?  Are you being filled and led by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14)?  Are you growing in the sphere of grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18; 2 Timothy 2:15)?

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2).  How may we help you spiritually?  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.” Can we count on you to help us get God’s Word out to others?

As the God-man, Jesus is omniscient and knows all about us (John 2:24). Does this comfort you or bother you? He formed Adam out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of lives – physical and spiritual life. He made man with a spirit that belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23), a soul that is associated with our emotions (Matthew 26:38; 1 Peter 1:9), and a body with which we express ourselves to others (Romans 8:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Concern. The Jewish people who were following Jesus around were primarily concerned about their physical needs. They merely wanted to be healthy, wealthy, and happy. Isn’t this what most people, including many people who profess to be Christians, want for themselves and their family? There are plenty of “greedy preachers” (Isaiah 56:11; 2 Peter 2:15) with itching ears who will tell people what they want to hear and promise such things to their followers if they will “sow their seed of money” to them (2 Timothy 4:3, 4). It’s known as the “Seed Faith” principle.*

First. Jesus met the basic physical needs of over 5,000 people before telling them about Himself. He was “The True Bread” that came down from heaven so that they could have their spiritual hunger satisfied. For the most part, His words fell on deaf or unreceptive ears. Most of the people were confused when He said to them, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54). The Jews were forbidden to drink blood (Leviticus 17:10ff). He clarified their misunderstanding by saying, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Some folks in Christendom have taken Jesus’ words to mean that when a priest blesses the bread and the cup, they turn into the literal body and blood of the Lord. We don’t believe that this passage is talking about the Lord’s Supper. It wasn’t instituted until the night He was betrayed by Judas (John 13:24; Luke 22:17ff). We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the Person of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). We do not believe it involves the re-crucifixion of Christ. He died once and for all for our sins (Hebrews 10:10). We’re to look back to the cross where our salvation was purchased for us and we are to look forward to His return for us in the future. “Perhaps today!” We don’t believe that a person receives Christ by eating these elements (John 1:12).

Grace. It is unmerited favor from God. It is not the help that God gives to a person when he is sprinkled as a baby so he can keep the Sacraments and earn his salvation. Salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9). It takes God’s efficacious grace to bring a person to the point of salvation. Without it none of us would come to God for salvation (John 5:40). Why? The unsaved man is “[spiritually] dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). “The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9; See Romans 3:10-23).

Permanent. Once a person becomes a true Christian he is saved forever. Eternal life is not temporary or contingent on our good works. A Christian has been saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 5:1; 8:1). He is being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14). He will be saved from the presence of sin when he dies (Romans 8:23). The ultimate salvation of his body and soul (emotions) will occur at the Rapture (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9; 1 John 3:2). The only part of the Christian that is saved now is his spirit (1 Corinthians 6 :17; Romans 8:14-17). That is why we must not depend on our souls (emotions) to direct our lives (See 1 Corinthians 9:25-27). We need to be led and filled by God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25).

Satisfaction. When God saves a person, He brings true satisfaction to that person’s heart (John 6:35). Jesus said, “He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Jesus can fill those who come to Him in faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is [exists], and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). He also said, “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28, 29).

Glorification. God always finishes what He begins (Philippians 1:6). He has promised never to leave or forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5). Are you a child of the devil or a child of God (1 John 3:9, 10; John 8:44)? We don’t become children of God until we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. He died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Rather than spending eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Jude 1:13), true Christians in heaven will experience fulness of joy in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11; Revelation 21:3-5).

Gift. The gift of eternal life must be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Otherwise it is of no value to the person for whom it was intended. Have you received it yet? Are you absolutely sure that if you died today you’d go immediately to heaven? Do you think that you have to go to a purging place before entering heaven? Do you believe that there is any possibility of losing your salvation once you receive it? How secure are you?

Sharing. If you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), what are doing to share the Gospel with others so they can be saved? Are you a living example of what God can do in the life of a believer who is fully yielded to Him? If not, what needs to change?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change. 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? Will you help us help others by forwarding this to someone who might be helped by it? To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

*The “Seed Faith” Principle: https://www.raptureready.com/rr-evil.html

Biblical New Testament Giving: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/giving/

Can you identify yourself with my story?

Perhaps you have longed to go to heaven when you die and avoid hell. But maybe you’ve thought that you couldn’t be saved because you honestly don’t believe that you could meet all the impossible conditions you’ve heard from religious leaders such as: Follow Christ,” “Surrender to Him,” Be willing to obey Him,” “Commit yourself fully to Him,” “Turn from your sin,” “Be willing to sacrifice everything,” “Give everything up for the Kingdom,” “Deny yourself,” “Fulfill all the demands of discipleship,” or something else. 

Honestly, how could anyone know for sure if he/she had met all these conditions for salvation?  Is it any wonder that so few people are saved and have assurance of salvationMany people who call themselves “Christians” are trying to maintain their salvation by their good works?  My friend, from start to finish, Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9; Philippians 1:6).

I didn’t have assurance of my salvation until I was in my second year of college. At that time I came across a verse in the Scriptures that said, These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in the name [person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [not wish, hope, or think] that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13). The word believe” stuck out in my mind. It is used about 100 times in John’s Gospel as the only condition for our salvation.

My friend, you can be saved the Scriptural way as I was many years ago. We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone who died for your sins…and who rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  We’re not saved by our good works lest any of us should boast. Good works should/will follow salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10).  Without them we won’t be able to convince other people that we are true Christians (James 2:18-20). The good works that God want us to do are associated with the spiritual gifts that He has given to each Christian.  Would you like to learn more about them?  If so, ask.

Please don’t try to make the conditions for spiritual growth and maturity the conditions for your salvation.  If you do, you won’t have assurance of your salvation and you will confuse others who need and want to be saved. 

If you aren’t absolutely sure of your salvation, we’re here to help you if you’re willing to believe the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:15-17).  It is the final authority.

For additional articles to help you know, grow, serve, and share, we invite you to read some of our other articles at this site. If this one has helped you, please let us know how it has.  We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com.  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.