Archive for the ‘Spiritual Gifts’ Category

When people portray him as other than what he really is, the Devil is delighted. He doesn’t want us to know the truth about him.  But the truth can set us free (John 8:32; 17:17).  If you were to describe or draw a picture of him, what would it look like? Would he have a red suit with horns and a pitch fork? Would he be ugly or beautiful? How much of what you believe about him is based on the information you’ve drawn from the Bible?

Dark Ages. “During the dark ages, or medieval times, most of the human race was illiterate. Some of the literate few used various visual displays and methods to teach religion. But events were portrayed by means of puppets, stage plays, pictures, stained glass windows and bas-relief carvings over cathedral entrances…The difference between good and evil was often pictorially demonstrated by characterizing the Devil in a way that even the most illiterate surf could recognize as evil. Usually the chosen figure had horns, cloven hooves and a tail. Occasionally he was colored red and other times he was black. His face had a form of a goat or a repulsively ugly man. He was portrayed as the ruler of Hell and the being who tormented the souls of the lost in Hell.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” p. 141

Knowledge. Satan knows that he can’t take the true believer’s salvation from him (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39), but he can/does render many Christians ineffective in their service to God. Do you fit into this category? Do you leave it up to “Clerical George” to do the work that God wants you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10)? The Devil is a deceiver and a liar (John 8:44; Revelation 21:8). He has many titles to describe his sinister nature.

Sleep. He lulls most of his children to sleep so they sense no impending danger (1 John 5:19). They are apathetic and don’t really care about the most important issues of life and eternity. He also has some mature sons of disobedience (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2). They often appear as angels of light preaching another gospel and a different Christ as the cults do (2 Corinthians 11:3-15; 2 Peter 2:1).

Family. To get out of Satan’s family into God’s family (Colossians 1:13; 1 John 3:10), one must place his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16 :31: 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We aren’t saved by any of our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you certain you’ll go to heaven if you died today (1 John 5:13)? Why should God let you into heaven (John 3:16; Acts 16:31)? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation if you think you’re saved (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:37-39)? If so, what? How do assurance and security differ?

Fallacies & Facts

Angel. No, Satan is not an angel but a powerful cherub (Ezekiel 28:14). He was created as the highest of all the spirit beings and they are innumerable (Hebrews 12:22). He was anointed by God to rule over all other spirit beings from his mineral garden in Eden that was on earth (Ezekiel 28:13, 14). He was not satisfied with his exalted position and he didn’t like having to give an account to God (Isaiah 14:13, 14). So he lured 1/3 of the lower two categories of angels, made up of principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16), to join him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). Do you know what happened after his rebellion and how God responded (Genesis 1:2)?

Rank. He had and still has a higher rank and greater power than Michael the archangel (Jude 9). Without the information that we have about him in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, we wouldn’t be able to prove that sin (lawlessness) isn’t eternal, that God didn’t originate sin, and that Satan is not merely a principle (influence) but rather a real person with a mind (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ezekiel 28:17), will (Isaiah 14:13), and emotions (Revelation 12:12). As Christians, we are supposed to resist him (James 4:7) when he or a demon attacks us, but only after we’ve put on the whole metaphorical armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles (craftiness) of the devil or demons (Ephesians 6:11). He also has devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and snares (2 Timothy 2:24-26) that he can use against Christians.

Games. Satan doesn’t play silly little games. He’s out to ruin the Christian’s effectiveness and good influence on others. He doesn’t want to lose any of his spiritually blinded subjects (2 Corinthians 4:4) to the Lord. Thankfully, God is greater than Satan and can open spiritually darkened eyes and enable people to see and believe on Christ so they can be saved after they’ve heard the unadulterated Gospel (1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:1- 4).

Cause. Satan is not the spiritual enemy that is responsible for most of the sins we commit. He can only tempt us after he secures permission from God (Job 1, 2; Luke 22:31; Ephesians 6:13). Our sin nature is our biggest problem and we take it with us wherever we go. We didn’t lose it at the time of our salvation. The Apostle Paul struggled with his for many years after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25). He referred to many of the Christians in Corinth as being carnal, or those who were governed by their sin nature (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Anyone Christian who says that he doesn’t have a sin nature is simply deceiving himself but not God or others (1 John 1:8).*

Access. Some people erroneously think that the devil is currently confined to hell. No, even though he has been judged (John 16:11), he will not be cast into the lake of fire until the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7-10). He spends most of his time now in God’s presence, in the third heaven, as the accuser of the brethren who engage in sinful behavior (Revelation 12:7-12; Job 1, 2). However, Jesus Christ, our Lawyer, counters his accusations by reminding God the Father (i.e. humanly speaking) that He (Jesus) paid the debt for all the sins we have committed and will commit in the future (1 John 2:2). Satan and his demons (fallen angels) roam the earth looking for Christians to trip them up and cause our family fellowship with God to be broken (1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 1:3-10).

Torture. Instead of Satan’s tormenting others in hell, he himself will be tormented forever in the lake of fire that was prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46). Everyone who dies as an unbeliever will go there too (Revelation 21:8). They will not be annihilated or reincarnated as some cults and religions teach (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus is the only way to God in heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Before Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth, Satan will be taken by a low level angel and be bound in the sides of the abyss that is in the heart of the earth (Revelation 20:1-3; Luke 16:26; Deuteronomy 32:22). He will be confined there and will be unable to tempt anyone on earth during the millennium (Revelation 20:1-7). No one on earth will be able to say, “The devil made me do it.”

Possession. The devil or demons can inhabit the bodies of unbelievers (John 13:27; Luke 8:30). But a demon must leave a person’s body as soon as he/she is saved (Luke 4:35). They can’t dwell in a Christian’s body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). They can only attack believers from the outside by placing evil thoughts (fiery darts) in our minds (Ephesians 6:16).  They can’t read our minds and they aren’t omniscient as God is (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10).  But they notice how we respond to the temptations they put into our minds (Job 1:22, 23, 2:9, 10).

Victory. Without a clear, Biblical understanding of our adversary the Devil, the Christian will not be able to overcome the 14 temptations that come from him or demons who assist him in his work in all nations around the world. At the present time, with God’s permission, he owns all the kingdoms of this world. Most of the earthly rulers do his bidding, often without knowing it (Ephesians 2:2). But God is still sovereign (Daniel 4:17, 25). Satan offered these kingdoms to Jesus if He would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-10). Jesus could have avoided the cross to gain the nations of the world if He had taken Satan up on his offer. But He (Jesus) knew that it was part of the “Decree” (Ephesians 1:11) for Him to go to the cross, die for our sins, and then rise again bodily from the dead and wait for the Father’s timing for Him to be given the kingdoms of this world (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 11:15).

Temptations. His temptations are different from the temptations that come from our own sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21) or the temptations that come from the Devil’s world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). This is why we, as Christians, must study the Scriptures to show ourselves approved to God, workers who don’t not need to be ashamed, who rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). By the way, the temptation to be spiritually lazy comes from the devil (1 Timothy 5:13-15). Do you know which piece of the metaphorical armor you must use to overcome it (Ephesians 6:15)?

Promise. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to mankind; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Help.  We’re here to help unbelievers come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and assist them in their spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18), and service to God (1 Peter 4:10), so they can reproduce themselves in the world (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).  If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has and then share it with others.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles. You can reach us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com.

Some material adapted from “Maturing In Christ” by Dr. H. L. Schafer

*Sin Nature http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm00.htm

 

            Today there is a noisy, busy, bus station located at the site of “The Place of the Skull” (Matthew 27:33) where Jesus was crucified two thousand years ago.  Pilgrims go there year after year to celebrate His death and resurrection.  But not everyone who comes away from there knows for sure if his/her sins have been forgiven or not.  Neither do they know that He grants eternal life, as a present possession (1 John 5:11-13), to all who place their faith in Him exclusively, apart from their own good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

            Significance.  Many people don’t know why He died on the cross.  Nor do they understand the significance of the things He said while He was on it.  Others don’t believe in His bodily resurrection (Luke 24:38-43).  It is absolutely essential if a person is to be saved from hell and go to heaven (2 John 1:7; Romans 4:25).  Without it there is no hope for our resurrection, eternal life, and existence with God in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:12-26).

            Council Meeting.  What transpired at Calvary was planned in eternity past in a council meeting (Ephesians 1:11).  It was agreed that One of the three Persons in the Godhead would volunteer to come down to this earth (Hebrews 10:9) to be born of the virgin, Mary (Matthew 1:21-13; Isaiah 7:14) and then live a sinless life (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15).  For 40 days the devil tempted Him constantly to try to get Jesus to sin by acting independently of God the Father’s will for Him (Luke 4:1-13). 

            Presentation.  For three and a half years He offered Himself as the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 1:1-2:2). But when they rejected Him (John 1:11, 12), He temporarily changed His focus  (Matthew 16:20-23) so that He could offer Himself up as a sacrifice to God and pay the penalty of death that we all owed to God (Romans 6:23).  Christ died for the sins of Jews and Gentiles, including yours and mine (Romans 1:16, 17; 1 John 2:2).  When He returns to earth He will set up His millennial kingdom (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Revelation 19:16; 20:1-7). 

            Crucifixion.  Without their knowledge of God’s greater plan (1 Corinthians 2:8), the wicked men of this world (both Jews and Gentiles) crucified Him on a cruel cross (Psalm 22) to die as a substitute for all our sins (John 11:51; 18:14; 1 Peter 3:18). While on it, God the Father placed the sins of the whole world (including yours and mine) on God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:6).  Only Someone who is God and man, joined in one person, could do such a thing (Philippians 2:5-11; 1 John 2:2).

            Burial.  Then, as predicted (Matthew 12:40; 27:63), they buried Him in a tomb for three days to demonstrate that He was indeed dead.  He didn’t just swoon and then come back to life and disappear.

            Resurrection.  The Scriptures also predicted that He would be raised again triumphantly from the dead on the third day (Psalm 16:10).  He made many appearances to over 500 brethren over a 40 day period of time (1 Corinthians 15:3-9) before He ascended gradually, publicly, and literally back to heaven (Acts 1:9).  Two angels announced that “This same Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).  This return doesn’t refer to the Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) but to His second coming when the 7 years of “The Tribulation” on earth are over.  He will return to rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-16).

            Tomorrow.  Because Jesus lives, true believers can face tomorrow without fear. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us [true Christians] from he love of God which is Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).  NKJV.

            Secure?  Are you safe in God’s hands (John 10:28, 29)?  Is there anything you could do or fail to do that might cause you to lose the salvation that you think you have?  The Apostle Peter wrote, “…be even more diligent to make your call and election sure…” (2 Peter 1:10).

            Help?  We’re here to help you gain assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13) and then grow in the sphere of grace and in the knowledge our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).  We also want to help Christians discover their spiritual gifts (http://www.kelseypeach.com/bible_basics.htm) and use them for God’s glory and the good of others (1 Peter 4:10).  Leading others to Christ for salvation earns for us the “Crown of Rejoicing” (Acts 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).   Will you receive this and the other crowns?  Share “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” with someone soon.  We have it in 24 languages: http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

            Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information: www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article helped you, will you share it with someone else?  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

“Some men die by shrapnel; Some go down in flames; But most men perish inch by inch, playing their silly little games.”  Author unknown.

Apathy.  An English high school teacher once asked her students what the word apathy meant. With disgust in her voice, one student replied, “Who really cares what it means?”

Pebble.  Recently, while on my lunch break, I went out for a walk. I was made to feel uncomfortable by a little pebble that was in my shoe. So I stopped to get it out. At that moment the little pebble in my shoe seemed very important to me until I realized that some people don’t even have shoes for their feet.

Shoes.  Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the two shoe salesmen from competing companies who were sent to a foreign country to see if there was a market for their product. The first salesman reported back, “This is a terrible business opportunity, no one wears shoes.” The second salesman reported back, “This is a fantastic business opportunity, no one wears shoes.”

Perspective.  What is your view of life, and living? Why are you here on earth? How did man get on this big ball of mud? Where do we go when we die? God’s Word has answers to these perplexing questions for those who really want to know the truth (John 8:32; 14:6; 17:17).

No One Cares.  How often have you said to yourself, “No one really cares about me”? But that isn’t true. God the Father loved the world (that includes you and me) so much that He gave/sent His only begotten Son Who came to this earth to die for our sins and then rise again bodily on the third day so we could be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46). All we have to do is believe on Christ alone and we will be saved (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Acts 16:31). The song writer said it well. “No one ever cared for me like Jesus, / There’s no other friend so kind as He; / No one else could take the sin and darkness from me, / O how much He cared for me.” – C. F. Weigle

Death.  As unpleasant as the subject is, we’re all appointed to die someday and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). This is a general rule.  How and when will you die? Will some people escape death? If so, who and how? In which one of the judgments will you participate and what will be the outcome? When will the four remaining resurrections take place? What’s the difference between a resuscitation and a resurrection? Does death mean annihilation or reincarnation for some people?

Care.  When God delivers an individual out of the power of darkness (Satan’s kingdom) and transfers him into Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13), the new believer has a new desire to tell others how they can have everlasting and eternal life with God (2 Corinthians 5:14). How concerned are you for other people? As another songwriter wrote: “Must I be carried to the skies / On flowery beds of ease, / While others fought to win the prize, / And sailed through bloody seas?” – Isaac Watts

Distinction.  Don’t confuse salvation with rewards. Salvation is offered freely to anyone who believes on Christ alone through the Gospel message. It includes all three tenses of his salvation (Philippians 1:6). As soon as we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are saved from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:1). In this life we are being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14). We shall be saved from the presence of sin in the future (Romans 8:18-21; 1 John 3:2). But our rewards in heaven will be based on our having done properly the good works that God planned for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15). What do you know about spiritual gifts (Romans 12; 14; Ephesians 4:11)? Which were temporary and which are extant (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)? How should they be used (1 Corinthians 13)? If you’re saved, are you using your gift properly? (For more information about spiritual gifts, go to http://www.kelseypeach.com/bible_basics.htm)

Games.  Are you playing silly little games while avoiding the most important decision you have to make in this life? What are you going to do about the Lord Jesus Christ? Will you believe on Him or reject His offer of salvation (John 1:12)? Once you die, you’re destiny is forever settled. There are no second opportunities.

Help.  If you’re not sure of your eternal destiny, we’re here to help you so you can know that you will have a place in heaven (1 John 5:13). Contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  Listen to Bible teacher, Jim Hunter’s message about the Gospel and how to be saved.  Then share it with some one else too.  http://www.twincitiesbible.org/Messages/JimHunter/TheGospel/20090919_rc_hunter.mp3

    When it comes to trying to figure out what is going to happen in the future, many people fail to realize that the One who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) has given us much information that will help us in the decisions we need to make on a daily basis.  It’s like having insider information to help us know how to invest our time, talents, and treasure in the things we do while we are here on earth.

   Pilgrims.  Unlike the unbelievers of this world who are earth dwellers, whose best life is here on earth, Christians are called pilgrims and strangers who are simply passing through earth on their way to heaven where their citizenship is (1 Peter 2:11; Philippians 3:20).  

   Days.  We need to keep four days (time periods) in mind.  We are currently living in the “Day of Man” (1 Corinthians 4:3).  It is the time period when God virtually allows men to do whatever they want to do to demonstrate that without God they will fail (John 15:5).  The “Day of Christ” refers to the “Rapture” of the Church (1 Corinthians 1:7, 8; 5:5; Philippians 1:6, 10; 2:16). It can occur at any time and we need to live in the light of this fact. The “Day of the Lord” encompasses the seven years of the Tribulation and the millennial reign of Christ on the earth.  The “Day of God” involves eternity future which is at least 1,007 years from where we are today (2 Peter 3:12).  This is when God will create a new heavens and earth (Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17).

   Dr. C. I. Scofield.  In his notes* he gave us some helpful information about the “Day of the Lord.”  He wrote: “The Day of the Lord is that period of time when God openly intervenes in the affairs of men-in judgment and in blessing.  See Joel 1:15 note.  It will begin with the translation [Rapture] of the Church and will terminate with the cleansing of the heavens and the earth preparatory to bringing into being of the new heavens and the new earth.

  The order of events appears to be:

(1)      the rapture of the Church just preceding the beginning of the Day of the Lord (1 Thess. 4:13-17);

(2)      the fulfillment of Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:27), the latter half of which is the great  tribulation (Matt. 24:21; see Rev. 7:14, note);

(3)      the return of the Lord in glory to establish the millennial kingdom (Matt. 24:29-30);

(4)     the destruction of the beast, the false prophet, and their armies, which is the ‘great and awesome’ aspect of the day (Rev. 19:11-21);

(5)      the judgment of individual Gentiles according to their treatment of Christ’s brethren, the Jewish people (Zech. 14:1-9; Matthew 25:31-46) and the judgment of Israel (Ezek. 20:34-38);

(6)      the millennial reign of Christ on earth (Rev. 20:4-6);

(7)      the satanic revolt and its judgment (Rev. 20:7-10)

(8)      the resurrection and final judgment of the wicked (Rev. 20:11-15);

(9)      the destruction of the present earth and heaven by fire preparatory for the future ‘day of God’ (2 Pet. 3:10-12); and

(10) the creation of the new heavens and the new earth (Isa. 65:17-19; 66:22;  2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).”*

   Living.  If (since) these things will happen, how should  Christians live until we die or Christ returns for the true Church in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:17)?  The Apostle Paul wrote:  “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.  But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.  Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’  See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:11-17).  “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).  The Apostle Peter wrote:  “As each [Christian] has received a [spiritual] gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).  Do you know what your spiritual gift is? Click on http://www.kelseypeach.com/bible_basics.htm  

   Commandment.  Just before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again bodily, Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment that was far greater than the Jews’ requirement to love their neighbor as they loved themselves (Leviticus 19:18).   He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34, 35).  Those who aren’t true Christians can’t love this way since this kind of love is a part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” that is given only to New Testament believers who are rightly related to God (Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:18).  It can be misdirected (1 John 2:15-17).

   Questions?  Why are you here on planet earth?  How did you get here?  Where will you go when you die?  Is there a way that a person can be sure?  Upon whom or what is your assurance based?  Would you be interested in discovering answers from the Scriptures?

   Contact.  If you’d like spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com for more in formation.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.  If this article has helped you, will you share it with someone else who might be helped from it too?  Click on “Follow” to receive these articles as they come out.

 *Taken from the Scofield Study Bible, Revelation 19:19 note. (We recommend that you get one of these Bibles in the NKJV version.)

                Perhaps you’re like many other people who are asking, “Where did He go?  What’s He doing now?  Will He come back some day?”  Or maybe you’re among those who forget about the Christ child right after the holidays are over when you get back into the routine of your normal life.  Do you know what lies ahead of you?  What can we know?  Since the predictions concerning His first coming were fulfilled literally, shouldn’t we take the predictions that were made concerning His second coming literally?  Let’s consider Christ’s –

                Ascension.  It was public, gradual, literal, and was witnessed by His disciples (Acts 1:9). It was accompanied with a promise to return in the same way His disciples saw Him leave (Acts 1:11; Mathew 24:29ff; Zechariah 12:8).  We’re told that He returned to the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ephesians 1:20).  Since God the Father accepted Jesus (the God-man) back into heaven, we can be assured that His sacrificial death on our behalf also was accepted (John 16:10) and that Christ’s righteousness will be credited to the account of all those who place their faith in Him alone.  Has Christ’s righteousness been put to your account yet?  Without it you can’t enter heaven. Our self righteousness works, done independently of God (John 15:5), are like filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).  Are you trying to gain entrance into heaven by your good works?  Stop!  It won’t work. Do you know what God wants you to do to gain entrance into heaven?  It’s so simple that many people can’t or refuse to believe it.

                Session.  In heaven, at the Father’s right hand, Jesus is acting as an Intercessor for each believer.  He asks the Father, as His equal, to cause to be brought into our lives the people and circumstances that will help bring us to spiritual maturity (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34).  If we fail to give thanks in the midst of the trial or test we grieve God and must confess it as a sin (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:9).  Jesus also serves as the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).  Neither His mother nor the saints in heaven have this role and we are never told to pray to them.  Today every true Christian is a kingly priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) and is supposed to offer up non-bloody, spiritual sacrifies to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16).  Jesus Christ is our High Priest and it is through Him and His shed blood that believers may come boldly into the throne room of God to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).  The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Head of His body, the Church (Ephesians 1:22).  At the time of His ascension He gave spiritual gifts (enablements) to each New Testament Christian to be used in the body of Christ to build others up in the faith (Ephesians 4:8-16; 1 Peter 4:10).  We believe that some of these gifts were given out for a limited period of time until the New Testament Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:10).  If you’re saved, do you know what your spiritual gift is and are you using it with love?  If not, ask for help.

                His Return.  While Christ’s second coming was revealed in the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 61:1-3; Daniel 2:44, 45; 7:9-14; Zechariah 12-14), and confirmed in the New Testament (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-16, 19), the Rapture (removal) of the true Church was a mystery that was first unveiled by the Lord just before He went to the cross to die for our sins and rise again (John 14:1-3).  The Apostle Paul explained the mystery of the Rapture (Romans 16:25, 26) to the churches in Corinth and Thessalonica (1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  These two events must not be confused.  The Rapture is sure, sudden, silent, selective, and satisfying.  They are separated by seven years.  The Rapture precedes the seven years of Tribulation (Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10) but Christ’s Second Coming will occur after it (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-16, 19).  Believe me, you won’t want to be on earth when the Tribulation comes and over half of the world’s population dies (Revelation 6:8; 9:15).  Do you know what you have to do to avoid it?

                Thankful.  Although not visible to us now, Jesus is sitting at God the Father’s right hand and is very active in heaven.  When all whom the Father has given to the Son have come to Him (John 6:37), the Father will instruct God the Son, who is the true Church’s Bridegroom, to come and get His bride on earth and bring her to the place (Bridal Suite) that Jesus has been preparing for her (Ephesians 5:25-32; John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:9-27).  Will you be in that number?  What if He came back today?  Would you be left behind?

                Questions?  We invite your questions and comments.  Call us at 805-238-2549.  If this article has helped you and/or if you would like to receive future ones as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Thanks for telling others about this site.  The numbers are growing.  Together we can reach many people for the Lord before it’s too late.

Babies.  Most of them are quite cute and lovable.  But few are born in a barn. This One was because there were no vacancies in the local “motels.”  Having traveled a long distance (about 90 miles) on the back of a donkey wasn’t easy for a very pregnant woman.  She didn’t have a Doctor or midwife to help her as she brought forth this Child.  Her husband was probably quite nervous as to what he should do.

Shepherds.  But as soon as this Child was born, an announcement was made by some angels to a group of shepherds who were raising their sheep in the fields nearby.  These were probably the sacrificial lambs that the Jews offered up to God in the Temple (John 1:29). The shepherds were told that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem and that they would find Him wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger (Luke 2:7).  Without hesitation, they rushed to see this amazing and wonderful sight.

Identity.  But who was this Babe lying in the manger?  What was so unusual about Him?  Why did His parents travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem when she was pregnant and almost ready to deliver her child (Micah 5:2)?  What pawn did God use to move them with such haste (Luke 2:1)?  What difference has His life made it the lives of others since then? How can His life influence our lives today?

Heretics. Many of the cults and other religions have erroneous views of this Babe, the Lord Jesus Christ. To find out who He really is, we must rely only on the 66 books of the Scriptures found in the Old and New Testaments. They alone are God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). All other sources, including the apocryphal books, or those written by cult leaders, are unreliable and do not have the authority of God’s Word, the Bible.  It is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) and the truth (John 17:17).

Study. We must study the Bible carefully (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11) to find out about His deity, humanity, birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, session, and the roles He had while He was here on earth and that He currently has in heaven.  Do you know what He will do in the future?

Deity. The Scriptures tell us that this Baby, the Lord Jesus Christ, shared and still shares an absolute equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9). He was not and is not inferior to them, nor is He the brother of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), or Michael the archangel (Jude 1:9). He is the eternal “I AM” (Exodus 3:14; John 1:1; 5:18; 8:58; 10:30).  He is Jehovah God, the creator and sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:16, 17).

Humanity. Without relinquishing any of His deity (although He veiled it while He was here on earth), He added to Himself a true human body and a human nature (Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 2:40). However He didn’t have a sinful nature like all the rest of humanity does (1 John 1:8; Psalm 51:5). Jesus didn’t have a human father. Joseph was His step father and came from the line of King David through Solomon (Matthew 1:6) but there was a curse on his line (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Christ’s right to rule came from Joseph but he couldn’t be the biological father of Jesus lest a curse be passed on to Him.  His mother Mary also came from King David through one of his other sons, Nathan (Luke 3:31).

Birth. As was predicted by the prophet Isaiah (7:14), Jesus was born of the virgin, Mary (Matthew 1:23). The religious Pharisees accused Him of being born of fornication (John 8:41). Some religious leaders are still doing this today.  Ask your Pastor what he believes.  Miracles (the circumvention of the normal laws of nature) are no problem for God who made the laws. He’s all powerful (Revelation 1:8).  God the Father provided the seed that God the Holy Spirit took and implanted in the womb of Mary. For nine months, God the Father overshadowed Mary to insure that her sinful nature would not be passed on to Jesus (Luke 1:35). Mary acknowledged herself to be a sinner in need of a Savior (Luke 1:47). She is the mother of Jesus’ humanity, not the mother of God or the fourth person in the Godhead.

Life. Unlike any other human being, Jesus lived His entire life without sinning (Hebrews 4:15). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Being sinless, He was qualified to become our substitute and die in our place for our sins as the just One for the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18).

Death. It involves separation, not annihilation. Jesus died two kinds of deaths for us. While on the cross (from noon until 3 P.M.) Jesus was separated from fellowship with God the Father as He bore our sins and paid the debt we owed to God (Matthew 27:46; Romans 6:23). At 3 P.M. He gave up His spirit and died physically (Luke 23:46). His soul and spirit were separated from His body. His body was placed in a tomb for three days which was the maximum time allowable before the body would have begun to decay or rot (Psalm 16:10).

Sheol. He descended into the upper portion of Sheol in the heart of the earth where Abraham and other Old Testament believers were at that time (Luke 16:22). Do you know where these believers are today (Ephesians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 12:4)? He did not descend into the lower Sheol where unbelievers were/are suffering (Luke 16:23-31). Satan himself is not there at this time. Do you know where he spends most of his time these days (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-8)? Do you know what he’s doing (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10)?

Resurrection. As He Himself predicted (Matthew 12:40; 16:21; John 10:15-18), Jesus rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). His resurrected, glorified body was different in that it had flesh and bones but no blood (Luke 24:39-43).  Flesh with blood in it cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).  His bodily resurrection guarantees the resurrection of everyone who has ever lived, both believers and non-believers. Even babies who are aborted in the womb will be resurrected someday. No one is annihilated or reincarnated (Hebrews 9:27).  Do you know in which resurrection you will participate (1 Corinthians 15:22-24; Revelation 20:11-15)?

Appearances. After His resurrection, Jesus made at least ten appearances to over 500 witnesses under various circumstances for 40 days (1 Corinthians 15:5-8; Acts 1:3). He even made a special appearance to His half brother James who didn’t believe on Him until the time of His resurrection (John 7:4; 1 Corinthians 15:7).

Ascension. His ascension back to heaven from the Mount of Olives was witnessed by His disciples. The angels announced that just as they had seen Him ascend to heaven, so He would return bodily to earth once again (Acts 1:10-11). Those who deny that Jesus will return to this earth with a resurrected, glorified body are called Antichrists (2 John 1:7).

Session. Have you ever wondered what Jesus is currently doing in heaven? Among other things, He is interceding for those who belong to Him (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). He asks God the Father to cause to be brought into our lives the people and circumstances that will contribute to our spiritual maturity (James 1:2-4, 13-15; 1 Peter 1:7; 2 Peter 3:18). When we fail to give thanks in the midst of our adverse circumstances we grieve God (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 4:30). Jesus is also acting as the Head of the Church which is His Body (Ephesians 1:22).  He wants believers who are the members of His Body to use their spiritual gifts with love (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Peter 4:10).  He (not His mother, the saints, or angels) is the only Mediator between God the Father and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5). He serves in the heavenly Temple as a sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).  True Christians are kingly priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) who are responsible to offer up spiritual (non-bloody) sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16). Discover for yourself what they involve.

King. When He came the first time to earth, He came as the rightful King of Israel (Matthew 1:1-2:12; 27:11, 37). Because He didn’t meet the expectations of the Jewish leaders, they rejected Him (John 1:11; Luke 19:14). The common people wanted to make Him their King on their terms which He rejected (John 6:15). Shortly before He made His way to the cross to die, He changed His mission from that of being the Christ (Messiah), and offered Himself as the Savior of the whole world (John 3:16), not just of the Jews. Peter resisted this move by Jesus and was rebuked for it (Matthew 16:20-23). When Christ returns after the 7 years of Tribulation (Revelation 6-19; Jeremiah 30:7), He will return as the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). King David will be resurrected 75 days after the Tribulation (Daniel 12:12; Jeremiah 30:9) and he will be the head regent on earth with other Gentile (non-Jewish) kings under him. New Testament Christians will reign with Christ from the heavenly Jerusalem (2 Timothy 3:12) that will come down out of the third heaven as He returns to earth at His second coming, not at the time of the Rapture that comes 7 years earlier (Matthew 24:29, 30; Revelation 21:9-27).

Judge. God the Father appointed His Son, Jesus Christ to be “The Judge” (John 5:22). His judgment will take place at various times in the future: at the Rapture of the Church (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10), at the end of the Tribulation (Matthew 25:31-46), and at the end of His millennial reign (Revelation 20:11-15).  These judgments will determine the degree of pleasure the believer will have in God’s presence or the suffering the unbeliever will have for all eternity in the lake of fire.

Deliverance. Our salvation from hell to heaven is based on our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. We are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone. We are not saved by our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Assurance. Yes, you can know that you have eternal life right now as a present possession (1 John 5:13). Once you have it you can’t lose it and no one can take you out of God’s hands (John 10:28, 29).  We are also sealed by God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).

Help? If you have questions about your eternal destiny, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for more information.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.

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                It measures your dexterity, vocabulary, and problem-solving skills. Its purpose is to identify the abilities you may have so you can develop them and use them in a practical way. That’s what an aptitude or vocational test does for us. After all, no one wants to be a square peg in a round hole. Is that the way you feel right now? Do you have a job that is not fulfilling and that is getting you nowhere like the gerbil running on a wheel in a cage?

                Confused? When it comes to serving God in some capacity while we’re hear on earth, many Christians have no idea as to what God wants them to do to glorify Him, help others, and find meaning in life. They are “wandering generalities.” Some Christians want God to show them His will so they can decide if they want to do it or not. Can you imagine a soldier’s deciding if he wants to obey his commander’s orders or not? He is a G.I. (Government Issue) and is supposed to be at the disposal of his commander. A Christian is supposed to be God’s servant (Romans 12:1, 2) rather than Satan’s (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2) or the servant of his own sinful passions (Romans 7:15-25; Galatians 5:19-21). We are the servants of the one whom we obey (Romans 6:16).

                Gifts. When Christ ascended back to heaven, after His bodily resurrection from the dead, He gave spiritual gifts (abilities) to believers (Ephesians 4:8). Each and every Christian has one (1 Peter 4:10) and God expects him/her to use it with love (1 Corinthians 13) for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and for the good of others, especially fellow believers (Galatians 5:13; 6:10; John 13:34, 35).

                Test. If you’re a true Christian (not just a professing Christian) here is a three-question “aptitude test” to help you discover and then use your spiritual gift in your local Bible believing church: (1) As you examine your current church’s ministry, where do you think improvement could be made? (This is probably an area which would involve your gift, as revealed by your sensitivity to a need in that area.) (2) What type of ministry do you eagerly anticipate doing? (3) What type of ministry do others compliment you on?” – Adapted from “Your Daily Walk” Walk Thru The Bible, p. 386

                Transformed. Rather than remaining in the dark as to whether your service for God will amount to anything or not (Matthew 7:21-23), why not make time to look over some Bible teaching concerning “Spiritual Gifts.” This information can be found in our “Bible Basics” section on our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com  and in our “Blogs” that deal with spiritual gifts – www.kelseypeach.wordpress.com. All this could change your life for the better as it did mine. You could begin to fulfill the purpose for your being here on earth. God’s work must be done His way if we want to be rewarded by Him (2 Timothy 2:5).

                Help. If, after studying this material carefully (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11), you still have questions, call us at 805-238-3549. We want you (if you’re a Christian) to receive the crowns that God wants to give to you at the Bema Seat Judgment (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Do you know what they are and how to secure them?

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When someone mentions “The Godfather” or “The Brotherhood” what comes to your mind? Perhaps you think of the Mafia, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Illuminati, or some other secret society. Maybe you think about “The Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man.” What does the Bible say about –

     God.  He is declared to be the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:16). The Scriptures tell us that He formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed in to his nostrils the breath of lives – physical and spiritual life (Genesis 2:7). Man has a spirit that belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23), a soul that seems best associated with the emotions (John 14:1; Philippians 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 1:9), and a body that express the inner person (Romans 8:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

     The Devil. Believe it or not, we all started out our physical lives in the devil’s family (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10). He has people whom he has lulled to sleep and who are unaware of the real dangers that surround them (1 John 5:19). But he also has “mature sons of disobedience” who delight in doing his bidding (Ephesians 2:2). That is why we must be “born again from above” if we want to go to heaven (John 3:3, 6; 1 Peter 1:23).

     Adam.  From him all of us descended. “And [God] has made from one blood [Adam] every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26). This is what Bible believers consider to be true and how man came into being. There was no death on earth until Adam and Eve sinned (Romans 5:12). Of course, there is the theory of evolution and there are those who claim to be atheists when they should really call themselves agnostics (Psalm 14:1). Do you know the difference? If you’re open minded and willing to consider something other than what was pounded into your head since you started school, may we suggest that you consider watching www.evolutionvsgod.com.  I found it very interesting information.  We’d like your comments on it.

     The Church.  Perhaps you didn’t know that some of the writers of the Bible refer to Christians as brothers who have the same Father (1 Corinthians 1:10; James 1:2; 2:1). No, everyone doesn’t have the same Father and/or serve the same God (Exodus 20:3-6). There are many false Christs and different gospels among the cults (2 Corinthians 11:4). If you’re planning to go to heaven, you need to have the right Jesus as your personal Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). The Gospel is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. He can/will save any and all who place their faith in Him exclusively. We are not saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

      Equality.  Within the Body of Christ, the true Church, there are no distinctions among the members (Galatians 3:28). However in the local churches there are different roles, spiritual gifts, and responsibilities (1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:11-16). If you’re saved, do you know what your gift is? Do you know what you are supposed to do with it (1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 5:13)? Did you know that every Christian is a “New Testament Priest” (1 Peter 2:5, 9) and is supposed to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God? Do you know what these non-bloody sacrifices include (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16)? If you’re a Christian, are you offering them up to God on a regular basis?

     Treatment.  Since every true Christian is a part of the “Christian Brotherhood,” we are not to treat some people with preferential treatment simply because they seem to be wiser, richer, mightier, or more noble than the rest of us (James 2:1, 9). We are not to despise someone who may appear more lowly. Otherwise we are acting as unjust judges (James 2:4). Instead we are to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Do you know how you can have your sins forgiven? Do you know how to gain “peace with God” and enjoy the “peace of God” in your life?

     Questions/Comments.  If you have spiritual questions, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information: www.kelseypeach.com

   “The world is full or willing workers; some willing to work, and others willing to let them work.”  Which are you?

Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that God has some specific things He wants every Christian to do while we are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10).  These good works are in keeping with the unique spiritual gift that God has given to each of us (1 Peter 4:10).  Do you know what your spiritual gift is?  How does it differ from your talents?  Are you using it with love (1 Corinthians 13)?

Information.  If you would you like to learn more about spiritual gifts, visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com and go to the “Bible Basics” section for more information.  Some of these gifts were temporary and others are extant.

Rewards.  If you’re saved, will you receive the crowns, praise, and rewards that God wants to give to you for your faithful service to Him (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Hebrews 6:10)?  Would you like to know that your labors are not in vain in the Lord (Philippians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 15:58)?

Crowns.  Do you know that there are five crowns a Christian can earn? The “Incorruptible Crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25), the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20), the “Crown of  Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8), the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10), and the “Crown of Glory” (1 Peter 5:4).  Do you know how to secure them and what we will do with them (Revelation 4:10)?

Motives.  Too many Christians serve the Lord for the wrong reasons.  But God, who is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24), knows what we do and why we do it.  At the “Bema Seat” judgment for Christians all our hidden motives will be exposed (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10).  At times we can even fool ourselves regarding why we do the things we do.  Worthless works will be burned up but this will not result in the believer’s losing his salvation because it is a gift for believing on Christ alone.

Power.  Doing good works in the energy of the flesh will cause us to be unsuccessful in our service for God (Romans 8:8).  But believers who are filled and led by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14) and who do their work with God’s resurrection power (Philippians 3:10; 4:13) will bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and blessings and comfort to others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

Rules.  All sports need to have clearly defined rules.  Without them the games would be boring.  Likewise, God has specific rules by which the Christian must “play the game of life.”  Those who violate these rules do not get the prize (2 Timothy 2:5).   What do you know about the different “House Rules” (7 Dispensations) that are found in the Scriptures? (If you’d like a FREE Dispensational Chart, ask us about one.)

Will.  Self willed or legalistic people may think that they are doing the right things, but the way that seems right to a man can lead to death (Proverbs 14:12; Romans 6:23).  The conscience is not always a good guide (Romans 2:15; 1 Timothy 4:2).  Our sinful hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).  That is why we need a new nature from God (2 Peter 1:4) that desires to do God’s will (Romans 7:15-25; Philippians 2:13).  God’s work must be done in keeping with God’s will and way or it is of no value.

Glory.  Too often we try to take the credit that should rightfully go to God.  King Herod made a fatal mistake by doing this (Acts12:23).  God is the one to whom our praise and worship should be directed (Psalm 100).  We can/should be pointing others to the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).

Savior.  He gave His life voluntarily (John 10:15-18; Hebrews 10:5-9)  and died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day so we wouldn’t have to be eternally separated from God in hell (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Matthew 25:41, 46).  It wasn’t a resuscitation but a resurrection.  His resurrection will be followed by others.  Do you know in which one of the five resurrections you will participate?  Our deliverance from hell to heaven is conditioned on our faith in Him alone for our salvation (Acts 16:31; Philippians 1:29).  We are not saved by our good works lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Baptism.  To let others know that we are true Christians, and if we want to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21), we need to be immersed in water.  This pictures our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Galatians 2:20, Matthew 28:19, 20).  If you have been saved, have you been immersed?

Growth.  Too many Christians have never been nourished in the Word of God and taught how to live the Christian life as “Grace” believers rather than “Mosaic Law” or “Kingdom” believers  (1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 3:2ff).  Do you long to live a victorious Christian life?  Are you yielding to sinful temptations (Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 10:13)? Would you like help from the Bible?  Faithful men and women who are teachable and willing to change can be helped by Pastors and teachers or mature Christians who understand the “Grace House Rules” for today (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; Romans 12:1, 2).

Enemies.  All Christians have three spiritual enemies: the devil, their own sin nature, and the present world system.  Each enemy must be overcome by our using the right method.  We must learn how to fight the devil (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17),  flee from the sin nature (2 Timothy 2:22; Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 5:18), and not love the world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31).  Would you like help in knowing how to do these things?  If so, ask.

Wake Up!  The devil loves to lull people to sleep (1 John 5:19).  He doesn’t want unbelievers to be aware of the dangers that they will face as soon as they die (Matthew 25:31, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  He will use false teachers to mislead them with another gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4; 13-15).  God wants us believers to warn our unsaved family, friends, and fellow workers of the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).  Let us speak the truth to them in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Helpers.  We can’t do this work alone.  You can pray, give of your time, talents, and treasures to advance the work of God and help bring to completion the Church which is the “Body of Christ” (Matthew 16:18).

Have you ever thought about where we are in time? Are we getting near the end?  If so, the end of what?  What does the Bible predict will happen in the future?  Should Bible prophecy concern us?  How can we detect false prophets and teachers?  Will the prophecies concerning Christ’s second coming be fulfilled literally as the prophecies of His first coming were fulfilled?  Why is the world in such a mess?  How did we get here? Why are we here? What will happen to us when we die? Are Jesus’ words about heaven and hell to be believed? Is it possible to know that we are headed for heaven?  Where do good works fit into the picture?  How does a person “believe in vain”? What do we have to do to be saved from hell and enter heaven?

The Command Is Clear. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). This condition is too simple for most people to accept.  They want to include their good works to their faith.  But God will not allow us to add our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9) to Christ’s once for all sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 10:10).  No one who makes it to heaven will brag about the good works he/she did to get there.  The word “believe” is used about 100 times in the Apostle John’s gospel to tell us that believing on Christ is the only way we can be saved.

The Gospel Is Clear. “Christ died for our sins…and rose again [bodily] from the dead on the third day, and was seen by over 500 witnesses” (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  How can a person believe these facts and still be lost forever?  Consider Jesus’ words, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven…Many will say to Me [Jesus] in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  “And then I [Jesus] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”   (Matthew 7:21-23).  Anyone who changes the Gospel message or the only condition of salvation has a curse resting on him/her (Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Revelation 22:18, 19).

The Dispensations. They are not different ways of salvation.  They are “house rules” that God has imposed on some or all of mankind to prove to us that our natural, sinful hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Genesis 6:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23).  We all need a new nature from God (2 Peter 1:4; John 3:3). We receive one when we trust in Christ as our personal Savior.  With it we can please God when we order our lives under God the Holy Spirit’s leading (2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 8:14; Ephesians 5:18).

The Helpless People.  Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  “…in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).  “For who makes you to differ from another?  And what do you have that you didn’t receive [from God]?  Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it” (1 Corinthians 4:7)?  If you have never done this before, will you, by faith, accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and then continue to live in an attitude of faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9;  Romans 1:17; Hebrews 11:6)?

The Journey.  Once you’ve been transferred out of the devil’s family (John 8:44; Colossians 1:13; 1 John 3:10) into God’s family, we’d like to invite you to come with us as we travel down life’s path toward our home in heaven (John 14:3; Revelation 21:9ff).  Are you ready to take it with us?  Why not invite others to come along with you so you can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)?  Spiritual growth takes time (2 Peter 3:18).  We’ll be happy to show you how to discover your spiritual gift (ability) that God has given to you to use for His glory and for the good of others (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12-14).  Some were tempory; others are extant.  Ask about them.

The Help Line.  Our web site was designed to glorify God (i.e. make Him known to others) and help people like you.  Our “Blogs” are often a summary of our messages that can also be heard on the Internet.

Visit:  www.kelseypeach.com or call us at 805-238-3549 with your questions and/or comments. Ask for a FREE “Dispensational Chart” that will help you see where we are in time.  Don’t get left behind when Christ returns for true believers.

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