Archive for the ‘Suffering’ Category

Philippians 1:27-30

Most of us want to be liked and accepted by others. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money to make others like us. Just think about how much money we could save if everyone were blind and couldn’t appreciate the clothes we wear, or the cars we drive, or the houses in which we live.

Most people want to be part of the in crowd.” But what price are we willing to pay to be popular and accepted? Are we willing to go along to get along” even if it violates the clear teachings of the Word of God and our consciences? Does it mean anything to you that you grieve God when you sin – act lawlessly (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:4)? Are we willing to be unpopular with the world’s crowd so that we can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Psalm 1)?

The Apostle Paul realized that preaching or teaching in the abstract and in generalities to no one in particular resulted in weak Christians. The truth that is found in God’s Word must be presented clearly and simply to others who, in turn, need to apply it to their every day lives. He told Timothy to Preach [proclaim] the word! Be ready in season and out of seasons. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.” (Find out why in 2 Timothy 4:2-5). James, the Lord’s half brother wrote, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 2:23).

In his brief letter to the church in Philippi, Paul expressed his desire for them to live, to stand, to strive, to be fearless, and to suffer for the cause of Christ if necessary (Philippians 1:27-30; See 2 Timothy 3:12). Let’s think about these things for a few minutes.

Live. (v. 27a) When God saves us as a result of our believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He begins the process of conforming us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2). This involves our cooperation with God. In another letter, the Apostle Paul instructed believers to put off their carnal way of thinking that often results in unbecoming, sinful behavior that can have detrimental consequences in the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms. Then he told believers to put on other things that display Christ like behavior (See Colossians 3:5-17; Galatians 5:22, 23).

Quote. A good place to learn to be Christ like is when we encounter the little complaints which people have. We cannot mature unless we have occasions and provocations that disturb us. Every big thing is made up of a lot of little things.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer

Consistency. Even though we’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, we still retain our sinful nature that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). We still have the potential to behave like unsaved people when we act carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1 ff; 5:1 ff) or yield to the temptations that come from the devil/demons or from the world system. But when God saved us, we became partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and have the potential to live a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Romans 8:8). Paul wanted believers to learn to lean on the Lord for strength to do the things He wants us to do. It’s available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A consistent, godly life has a tremendous impact on others around us. But an inconsistent, hypocritical life brings disgrace to God’s name which could result in our being chastened severely by the Lord (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 2 Samuel 12:14). When a believer sins, he/she needs to confess the sin(s) to God the Father and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 51:13).

Stand. (v. 27b) All around us a spiritual battle is raging for the control of the mind, emotions, and actions of mankind including Christians (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 4:4; 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 10:5). But the Good News concerning Christ’s death for our sins and His bodily resurrection must be proclaimed if people are to be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17). When was the last time you shared the Clear Gospel” with an unsaved person? Do you really care about lost people? If not, ask God to stir you up His love in your heart (Romans 5:5; Revelation 2:4). Are you helping Christians stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

Unity. In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus expressed His desire that true believers be united in their objective of glorifying God and loving one another (John 17:21; See Ephesians 4:4; John 13:34, 35). Sometimes it’s very difficult to know who the true Christians are and who are only “professing Christians.” God knows those who are His, but we can only make an evaluation of a person by his/her beliefs and behavior (John 10:27; James 2:18-20). We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Disobedient Christians, who engage in habitual, sinful conduct/lawlessness (1 John 3:4-9), will be disciplined by God (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16), and need to be shunned by other believers until repentance and confession have been made (2 Thessalonians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Strive. (v. 27c) Too many Christians are not focused on the things that God wants us to think about and do (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1 ff). We have Good News for people who are dying physically and who are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). Getting this information to them may cost us our lives. Jesus laid down His life so we could be saved (1 Peter 3:18; John 10:10-18), and Paul endured all things for the salvation of the elect (2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). In like manner we should be willing to follow their examples in an effort to reach the lost and edify believers. The Crown of Rejoicing” awaits Christians who are involved in leading others to Christ so they can be saved (1 Thessalonians 2;19, 20). The Crown of Glory” is given to those who shepherd God’s flock God’s way (1 Peter 5:4).  This involves feeding, leading, guarding, and healing God’s flock of sheep.

Problems. The devil is delighted when the Gospel is not clearly presented to unbelievers and when Christians are confused about how they are supposed to live holy and godly lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16), once they have been saved (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:10-17; See our Dispensations Chart).  All of the Bible is for us, but not all of it is addressed to us (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  Far too many Christians never share the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) with lost people, and some add to it or subtract from it and cause others to believe in vain by adding good works to faith in Christ alone (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Fearless. (v. 28a) All believers need to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He and demons are real and they are enemies of God and would like to overthrow God and overwhelm His children. Paul reminded Timothy that …God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). John, the Apostle, reminds us that [we] are of God, little children, and have overcome them [those with the spirit of antichrist], because He [God] who is in [us] is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; See Ephesians 2:2). Nothing can happen to a true child of God without God’s permission. True Christians have confidence in God’s ability to raise the dead and give them a better life in heaven if they are killed (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

Doomed. (v. 28a) All those who reject God’s offer of salvation that is available to all mankind, will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer forever in accordance to their works done on earth (John 3:16, 18, 36; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8). Where will you spend eternity?

Reproof. God the Holy Spirit reproves (convinces) unsaved people of the sin of unbelief in Christ, their need of Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven, and the ultimate judgment to come on them as it will on the devil and his angels/demons (John 16:8-11). There are no second chances or opportunities to be saved from the lake of fire after an unbeliever dies (Hebrews 9:27).

Resurrection. Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead guarantees the resurrection of all human beings who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 51, 52; Hebrews 9:27). Do you know in which one you will participate if you should die? The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation as some cults and religions teach.

Suffer. (v, 29). While true Christians will not go into or through the seven years of the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; See Daniel 9:27), all Christians who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). The Gospel is offensive to proud men and women who think the can save themselves by their good works (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Peter 2:8; Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Quote. We who preach [proclaim] the Gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world…We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not compromise but ultimatum.” – A. W. Tozer

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other people who are teachable and willing to change.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

[1] https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Strange and unpleasant things may happen when we’re obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives as Christians (Romans 8:14; 2 Timothy 3:12).  The Apostle Paul and Silas had been obedient to “the Macedonian Call” and crossed over into Europe rather than going back into Asia Minor (Acts 16:9). We can be thankful for that because had they not done this, we might be in spiritual darkness like many people in the eastern hemispheres are today.

Converts. Arriving in the city of Philippi, they didn’t find a synagogue so they went down by the river to preach the Good News concerning Christ to some people.  A business woman by the name of Lydia heard the Gospel and God opened her heart and she and her household believed, were saved, and then baptized/immersed (Acts 16:14).

Other Ways. Later as Paul, Silas, and Timothy proclaimed the Gospel, they encountered a demon possessed girl who was making her masters a great deal of money by her fortune telling. As she followed Paul and Silas around, she cried out, saying, “These men are servants of the most high God [true] who proclaim to us “a” way of salvation” [false]. (See Acts 16:17 in the Greek language).

Loss. This upset Paul so much that he rebuked the demon spirit and caused it to come out of the girl.  This led to her inability to predict the future.  When her masters saw that their “golden goose” had lost her power, they had Paul and Silas beaten and thrown in prison.  Strangely, they began to sing songs in the middle of the night and God sent an earthquake that opened up the doors of the prison making it possible for the prisoners to escape.

Question. When the jailer saw what had happened, he was convinced that he was about to die because he thought his prisoners had escaped.  Paul called out to him and told him not to kill himself.  In response to that, the jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?”

Command. Paul’s simple response was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31).  As a result of this, the jailer believed, along with those in his house, and they all were baptized/immersed (not sprinkled) that same night.  These people believed that Jesus was the Lord (God), Jesus (perfect man), Christ (the resurrected and glorified One). Acts 16:32 tells us that Paul also spoke the word of the Lord (the Gospel – See 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16, 17) to him and all his household. He also must have told them of their need to be baptized because that same night they were baptized/immersed.

False Teachers. Today, there are many false teachers (See 2 Peter 2:1 ff; Jude 1:8-13) who are telling people that they must do more than believe in order to be saved.  ExamplesPray, Confess all the sins you’ve ever committed in your life, Stop sinning, Repent and make Jesus the Lord and Master of your life, Believe and do good works, Say the sinner’s prayer, Come forward and confess Christ publicly, Repent and be baptized, Deny yourself and take up your cross, Follow Jesus, Ask Jesus to forgive you, etc.  What about “Repentance? (See below.)

Cursed. Those who teach and preach another Gospel or another way of salvation have God’s curse resting on them. Basically they are doing the same thing that the young, demon possessed girl was doing.  They are telling people “There are many ways to God. Choose the one you like, feel good about it, and you will be fine.” Today many churches are filled with “professing” Christians who don’t “possess” God’s eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; See Matthew 7:21-23). Are you one of them?

Help.  We’re here to help you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please SHARE it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

The Bad News & Good News”

My friend, you and I are sinners.

But Christ died for all our sins…and rose again bodily.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone and you will be saved eternally.

If you’ve never done this, do it now!

If you’re truly saved, share this message with others.

Repentance – What about it? The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible

https://voice.dts.edu/review/g-michael-cocoris-repentance/

“Out Of The Sewer”

Posted: August 13, 2018 in Evagelism, Salvation, Suffering

The Honeymooners [was] an American television sitcom created by and starring Jackie Gleason, who played the role of Ralph Kramden, a bus driver for the fictional Gotham Bus Company based in New York City. His friend and neighbor Ed Norton worked for the New York City sewer department and described his job as a “Sub-supervisor in the sub-division of the department of subterranean sanitation. [He would say] I just keep things moving along.” [1]

Job. Ed’s job isn’t one that most people would want. But someone has to do the job and we’re thankful for those do it (1 Timothy 2:1). One of my sons worked with a man in this kind of work for awhile before he decided to get some further education because he didn’t want to do that kind of work for the rest of his life.

Cross. In like manner, no one wants to have to die on a cruel cross for another person’s crimes (Romans 5:7, 8). But God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, did that for you and me (Philippians 2:8).  He, as it were, reached down into the sewer of sin, into which we had fallen, and drew us up, washed and cleansed us, and then clothed us with His righteousness (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Philippians 3:9). We can/should sing “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…”

Rock. Having been delivered from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:1), each believe has been placed on the Rock, Christ Jesus (See Psalm 40:2; Matthew 7:24-27; 16:18). Currently He is saving us from the power of sin (Romans 6:14), and ultimately we will be saved from the presence of sin (Romans 8:23).  Can you honestly sing “…on Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand” (Matthew 7:24-27)?

Sacrifice. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). He also relates to us some of the sufferings he endured while serving Christ here on earth (2 Corinthians 11:23-33). What are you willing to do so others can be saved? Are you a “convenient” or a “committed” Christian? Have you presented your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)?

Questions. Where would you be today if someone hadn’t told you the Good News concerning Christ’s death for your sins…and His bodily resurrection? How can others call upon [believe on] the Lord if they haven’t heard the Gospel? You see, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (i.e. individual utterances concerning) God” (Romans 10:13-17). Are you sure or just hoping you’re saved? Do you have assurance of your salvation? Why should God let you into His heaven? Are you relying on your good works to save you, or your faith plus your good works?

Formula. If you want to bake a delicious cake, it’s important that you have all the right ingredients and the right temperature and time for it to be in the oven. My wife once got a recipe for some “monster cookies” but one of the ingredients was missing. So they didn’t turn out right. But I ate them anyway.  Of far greater importance is it for us to have the right formula for salvation – deliverance from hell to heaven. The correct formula is: Grace + Faith = Salvation + Good Works. The corrupt formula: Grace + Faith + Good Works = Salvation. Which one is the formula you’re using?

Help. We’re here to help you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Share it with others.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Honeymooners

“Pain & Suffering”

Posted: September 14, 2017 in Christian Life, Salvation, Suffering

Suffering and death are the result of sin (lawless behavior – 1 John 3:4) that came into our world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5:12; Genesis 2:17; 3:1-19). We all inherited a sinful nature (disposition) from them that was passed on to us from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8). As a general rule, all of us will die eventually and be judged by the Lord Himself (Hebrews 9:27; John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8). Do you know the purpose for these judgments? They are not to determine one’s getting into heaven or not (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:11-15). There are different orders of resurrections too (1 Corinthians 15:20-24). The Scriptures teach us that there is also a group of people who won’t die physically (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Will you be in that group?

Plan. Being a righteous and holy God who is also loving and gracious, the three Persons in the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) saw us in our miserable condition – helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:1-13), hell bound (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8), heathen (1 Peter 2:9; Matthew 18:17). God couldn’t be righteous/just and overlook our sin (Romans 6:23). So They decided to do something about our plight (Ephesians 1:11). It was agreed among Themselves that One of Them would need to come down to our earth and add to His deity a real human nature and body (Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 10:5). He would live a sinless life and then voluntarily offer Himself as a sacrifice to pay the debt (physical and spiritual death) that we all owed to God (Hebrews 4:15; John 10:17, 18; 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 6:23). His death would be both spiritual and physical. Death involves separation, not the annihilation of the wicked as some cults teach.

Why? While He hung there on the cross, God the Father placed the sins of all mankind on God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophet had predicted (Isaiah 53:6; 46:10). While operating under His human consciousness, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). We know it was because He was undergoing spiritual death (separation from fellowship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit). During the three hours from noon until 3 P.M. He suffered an equivalency of our having to spend an eternity of separation from God. Only the God/man could do this.

Value. The value of Christ’s death comes from His being God. The reality of His death comes from His being a real man. God cannot die. Only the God/man could satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our personal sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). He was raised from the dead bodily to prove to us that God the Father was satisfied with His death on our behalf (Romans 4:25; See John 16:10).

Finished. After suffering on the cross for three hours, Jesus cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). What was finished? We know that His life was about to come to an end and that the entire debt had been paid. But it was also His spiritual separation from His Father that was over. He was able to die physically knowing that His fellowship with His Father had been restored. At the time of His physical death, Jesus and the converted thief on the cross went to the Paradise section of Sheol in the heart of the earth for three days and nights (Luke 23:43; Matthew 12:40).

Resurrection. But on the third day, (not on the first or fourth day as Lazarus was resuscitated – John 11:43, 44), Jesus rose again bodily from the dead with a glorified body that consisted of flesh and bones but one without blood (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4, 50). He made Himself visible to over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time before He ascended back to heaven to sit at God the Father’s right hand (Acts 1:1-11). The Christian’s resurrected body will be like His (1 John 3:2).

Session. Currently Jesus, is the only Head of the true Church (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15), and the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). His mother, Mary is not one to whom we pray. She is only the mother of Christ’s humanity, not the “Mother of God.” The Lord Jesus Christ is directing His Body (the Church) through God the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). Jesus and the Holy Spirit are interceding on our behalf to God the Father. They are requesting that He bring or cause to be brought into our lives what we need to help bring us to spiritual maturity (Romans 8:14, 26, 34; Hebrews 7:25). If you’re a Christian, are you giving thanks in all things (situations) (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things apart from sin (Ephesians 5:20), and for the people whom God brings into your life (1 Timothy 2:1)?

Inevitable. Suffering in this life is inevitable. It happens to believers and non-believers. But the believers suffering came to pass. Why? After we die “…God will wipe every tear from [the believer’s] eyes; there shall be no more death, no sorrow, no crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). But not so for the unbelievers. At the time of their death, they will not be “resting in peace” (R.I.P.). Jesus said this to some folks who were thinking that their good works would get them into heaven: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21; See Ephesians 2:8, 9). He also said this to some religious people: “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41, 46).

Deliverance. You and I don’t have to go to that awful place. We can/will be saved if we believe on 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). Have you done this yet? If not, why not believe on Him right now where you are? “These things I [the Apostle John] I have written to you who believe on the name [person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [not wish, hope, or think] that you have eternal life…” (1 John 5:13).

Assurance. If you will believe in/on Him alone to save you, God the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit, that belongs to your mind (Ephesians 4:23), that you have been transferred out of the devil’s family into God’s family and that you are a child of God (Colossians 1:13; Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:9, 10).

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 through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. In addition to these blogs, we also teach God’s Word on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/kelseyandjanet.pietsch. We’re also on www.youtube.com Enter: Kelsey Pietsch. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Let us know if this article has been helpful. If so, please share it with others. Thanks.  Remember, God comforted us so that we’d comfort others who are in trouble (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).  

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

We recommend the Scofield Study Bible: http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed