“My Friend’s Death”

Posted: October 30, 2019 in Heaven, Salvation

It was quite a shock when my long time friend was told that he had cancer and didn’t have much time to live. Outwardly he looked well. But before long he began to decline rapidly.

As he got closer to his death, he became very concerned about his eternal destiny. He knew that he didn’t want to spend eternity with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire. He wanted to make sure that he would go to heaven the moment he died.

I recall spending some time with him and asking him some questions that I thought might help him have assurance of his salvation. I usually like to ask people three questions: “Are you absolutely sure that you go to heaven the moment you die?” My friend wasn’t. Then I ask, What would you say to God if He asked you why He should let you into His heaven?” And if a person gives a relatively good answer to that question, I like to ask, “Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?” How a person answers these questions tells me a lot about him/her.

Then I proceeded to ask him if he had placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for his sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. He told me that he had done that and that he wasn’t relying on any of his good works to get him to heaven.

Being satisfied with his answer, I began to share with him some promises from God’s Word that would give him assurance of his salvation. Here are some of them:

These things I have written to you who believe in [on] the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

Most assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

The [Holy] Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we [who have placed our faith in Christ alone] are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:16, 17). There are many more promises like this.

If you aren’t sure about your eternal destiny, we invite you to contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change.

“Gone In Fifteen Seconds”

Posted: October 29, 2019 in Death, Gospel

Based On A True Story

It happened on a beautiful fall day as a young married couple went out on a drive to look at the colorful leaves. They were stopped behind a semi truck that was going to turn left when a dump truck slammed into them from behind and killed both of them almost instantly.

The young lady was the daughter of my wife’s good friend who had been in our wedding many years ago. The couple who died had two sons who were suddenly left without parents. Needless to say, the whole family and their friends were shocked by this incident.

The funeral home had long lines of people who wanted to express their love for the family. Had this couple been able to look down on the scene from heaven, they probably would have been amazed to learn how many lives they had influenced for good while they were here on earth.

The family wanted to make sure that their deaths would not be in vain, and that the Gospel would be presented clearly at the memorial service.

Let’s change gears. Suppose you were the one who was involved in this horrific traffic accident, and you were the victim who was about to die. Do you know for sure where you will go when you die? Would you like to know? You can.

Dr. Manfred Kober put the Gospel that delivers us from eternal condemnation concisely: Friend: You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again [bodily]. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!”* In these 25 words you have man’s problem, God’s provision, and the means of procuring eternal life in heaven with God.

We all need to make sure of our own salvation. Once we are certain, we/can should be prepared to share the Good News concerning Christ with others so they can be saved.

If you are not absolutely sure of your salvation, and would like additional help, please contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

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

Video of incident: https://kstp.com/news/couple-killed-in-highway-55-crash-described-as-helpful-and-caring-october-20-2019-/5529592/

Do you sometimes feel “ill at ease” and like you’re out of place and not welcome in some places or in some people’s homes? (Read Psalm 1) Are there times when you’ve apologized to someone for something you said or did and asked him/her to forgive you and yet you feel like you’re not really forgiven? Why should Christians be quick to admit it when they are wrong and forgive others who ask us for it? (See Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:15-35.)

Recently I posted a comment on someone’s Facebook page that was misunderstood by the reader. It was short and to the point, but he didn’t quite get what I wanted to convey. So, here’ my explanation to him that might also be of help to you.

Saved? When a person believes and puts his/her faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, as the One who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day, he/she is instantly saved from the “penalty of sin” (Romas 6:23) and will not spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Believers are being saved from the “power of sin” (Romans 6:14), and will ultimately be saved from the “presence of sin” (Romans 8:23).

Accepted. When Jesus ascended back into heaven He was accepted and welcomed by God the Father who was satisfied with the payment that the Lord Jesus Christ had made, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), for mankind’s sins (Romans 4:25). True believers in Christ, in like manner, are “accepted in the Beloved” just as Christ was accepted by God the Father (Ephesians 1:6). Imagine that! It’s pure grace (undeserved favor from God – Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Forgiven. There are two kinds of forgiveness: judicial and parental/family forgiveness. Since Christ paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2), and since believers accepted His payment as their payment to God the Father, He judicially forgives our sins so that we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1, 35-39). But parental/family forgiveness takes place when a Christian sins (acts lawlessly – 1 John 3:4) and then confesses them (by specifically naming them) to God the Father (1 John 1:9). Before we confess our sins to the Father, we need to discern what we did to offend and grieve God (1 Corinthians 11:28-31; Ephesians 4:30) and then repent (change our minds about what we did – 2 Corinthians 7: 9, 10). When a believer confesses his/her sins, God forgives them and cleanses him/her from all unrighteousness that led up to his/her sinning (1 John 1:9; James 1:13-15).

Questions. Have you been judicially forgiven? If not, why not place your faith in Christ alone, right now, and be forgiven? We aren’t saved by our good works, or by our faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). If you, as a believer, have confessed your known sins to God, have you accepted His forgiveness and moved on? Do you need help so you won’t keep on committing the same sins (Proverbs 28:13)? If so, ask for it (James 1:4-8; 4:1-4). There are no temptations that you have that others haven’t had too (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptations aren’t sins. They give us the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God (James 1:12) or to enjoy the momentary pleasure of sin (Hebrews 11:2) that leads to sorrow and a premature physical death (Proverbs 5:1-14). We’re here to help you and others who are “teachable and willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

Sin Unto Death. If a believer willfully defies God and chooses to live in sin, he/she is in danger of being chastened by God (Hebrews 12:5 ff) and having his/her life terminated prematurely (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:16). We have “potential years” and “actual years.” Christians can’t lose their salvation, but they will lose the joy of their salvation (Psalm 51:12) and the crowns, rewards, and praise from God that could have come to them on Judgment Day. This judgment of our works, not us, will not be to determine if we get into heaven or not, but to determine the quality of our works as to whether they are rewardable or not (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Great White Throne Judgment will determine the degree of suffering an unbeliever will experience in the everlasting lake of fire (Matthew 10:15; Jude 1:13; Revelation 20:11-15). We don’t want you or others to go to that awful place.

Help. If you have questions/comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook or Youtube for our Bible studies.

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/

Philippians 1:19-26

What do you want to do or accomplish while you’re here on planet earth? What do you dream about? What are you doing to achieve this dream that you have? Are you interested in fame, fortune, power, or pleasure? Would you like to be free from all pain, sorrow, and suffering and have a lot of friends and be able to influence people? What or who motivates you in your pursuit of your dreams – a parent, a teacher, a friend, or perhaps the fear of loss (Acts 4:36; 5:3; Philippians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:11; Hebrews 10:25)? Are you willing to bend the rules (cheat) to accomplish your goals? Do you believe that “the end justify the means” (Romans 3:8; 6:1; 2 Timothy 2:5)? If so, when and why? How have the “religions of man” done this?

If we’re honest, most of us are putting our own desires and pleasures above everyone else’s including God’s desires for us (See what Lucifer did in Isaiah 14:13, 14). We usually want things to go “our way” and not “God’s way” or His will for our lives (See James 4:13-17). But the Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down His life to pay the debt that we owed to God (1 Peter 3:18), has a unique plan for our lives (Ephesians 2:10; See Jeremiah 29:11). He desires that all mankind (men and women, boys and girls) be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people won’t accept His gift of eternal life because they love darkness rather than light (John 1:12; 3:16-19, 36). He even gave to each true Christian a spiritual enablement (gift) at the time of our salvation so that we could glorify God by making Him known to others whom God brought into existence (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11 ff; 1 Peter 4:10) and to help build up (edify) the spiritual “Body of Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). See our “Bible Basic Docs” on our website.

Let’s see what the Apostle Paul wanted to accomplish in his own life and his willingness to accept what God allowed to come into it and give thanks (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; 1 Timothy 2:1). He “turned the lemons he received in life into lemonade.” Are you doing this too?

Assurance. Even though he was under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30) because of his faith in the resurrected Christ who had died for our sins and who had been raised from the dead on the third day (2 Timothy 2:8-10), he was quite confident that he would be delivered from his imprisonment and that he would be able to revisit the churches he had started, and start other local churches. He believed that the prayers of the believers in Philippi would be answered by the Lord. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). He also believed that God the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself were interceding for him to God the Father (Romans 8:26, 35; See Hebrews 7:25).

Magnification. It was Paul’s desire to glorify God and to magnify His name (person and work) to those whom he encountered in life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3). He did this with boldness even though he was bound (chained) to a Roman soldier night and day (Philippians 1:14, 16). Think about what that must have been like if it had happened to you. (How would your behavior change if you knew that Jesus was chained to you? Actually, God the Holy Spirit indwells each believer, and is grieved when we sin – Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)? Paul was not ashamed of Christ or the Gospel which is the power of God unto anyone’s salvation who believes in/on Him alone for salvation (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). He wasn’t going to let fear or shame deter His witness for Christ (2 Timothy 2:7; Romans 1:16, 17). With cheerfulness and clarity he spread the Gospel to those whom he encountered along life’s path (Philippians 4:4).

Life/Death. It mattered not to Paul whether he lived or died. To die meant to be present with the Lord immediately (2 Corinthians 5:1-8). The Bible doesn’t teach “Purgatory.” Physical death was a door into eternity. If God wanted him to live a little longer on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:14; Revelation 1:18) he would use that time to reach more people for Christ and edify them in the faith. Christ was the source of his life (Galatians 2:20), and pleasing Him was paramount (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Dilemma. Living and remaining on earth would mean continued bodily limitations, suffering and joy, being absent from Christ, and being in Satan’s realm. Dying would mean that he would receive a better, temporary body (2 Corinthians 5:1-9) to house his soul and spirit in heaven until the time of the rapture when he would receive a resurrected, glorified body like Christ’s (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). It would mean joy and no more suffering, to be present with Christ forever, to be separated forever from sin, but no more opportunities to overcome sinful temptations and earn rewards, crowns, or praise from God (James 1:12), and no weak Christians to help (Galatians 6:1 ff).

Confidence. Paul had a quiet confidence that God was going to allow him to remain on earth a little longer so he could assist believers in the faith. The Jews who were intent on killing him had a weak case against him and couldn’t prove the accusations that they made against him.

Time. We all have 24 hours each day and 168 hours in a week. What are you doing with the time God has given to you? Don’t “kill time.” Are others learning about God from the words you speak and from the life you live? Does dying frighten you? If so, why? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23) by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Perhaps you know these facts and believe these facts. But have you transferred your faith and trust over to Christ alone to save you? Are you trying to earn your way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5)? Are you “believing in vain” by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2)? What are your thoughts about heaven and the lake of fire (hell)? Do they line up with the Scriptures (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 11:10, 16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:1-17; 22:1-5)? Do they disappear by imagining them away as John Lennon suggested?

Questions. What does God want you to do daily while you are here on earth? What is your reason and purpose for existence? If you’re a true Christian, have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? By when do you hope to achieve the goals that God has put into your heart (See Philippians 2:13; 3:10)? What obstacles are you facing and who does God want you link up with to carry out the good works that God planned for you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11 ff; 2 Corinthians 6:14)? What skills (spiritual gift) do you need to develop? What specific steps are you taking to accomplish His goals for your life (Galatians 5:16, 25)? And why do you want to do these things – to glorify God or yourself (1 Corinthians 10:31; Jeremiah 9:23, 24)? Are you a “wandering generality” or a “meaningful specific”? Do you feel helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and like you are hell bound (Romans 6:23)? If you are –

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 believers 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/

If you’re a true Christian, God wants to use you for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), so that other unsaved people can learn about God and His wonderful plan of salvation that is offered to all of mankind. He wants us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Are you willing to be one of them? Would you like to learn how to do this more effectively? You can begin by making sure of your own salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). You can use your personal testimony to share the Gospel with others. You might want to share good tracts with others. They need to include the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and the way of salvation clearly (Acts 16:31; John 3:16). They must not add “good works” as another requirement for salvation. (See Dr. Ron Shea’s “The Gospel” booklet at www.cleargospel.org or on my website “The Bad News & The Good News.”)

I’ve found that people express their sympathy for me when I share with them the story of our late son, Bill’s death. But rather than let his death be just a sad story, I’ve tried to use it to impress on others the need for them to make every day count and to trust in Christ alone as their personal Savior.

The following is a short article I wrote which I printed up on a half sheet of paper and folded it up into three sections. As the Lord opens up doors for me, I pass them out to others to get their attention so I can share the Gospel in a just few words. I invite you to read Dr. Manfred Kober’s article, “Do We Really Know Gospel” where he presents the Gospel in less than 25 words.

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

Bad News & Good News

We had a son who lived in Japan for 15 years. He and his sister taught English there. Both of them were there when the great earthquake and tsunami took place in 2011.

I used to tell our son, “Live everyday as though it might be your last day on earth.” Sadly, he died on Easter Sunday, after passing out about 1,000 flyers inviting people to come to church.

No one knew about his death for 6 days until he didn’t show up for class one day. One of his student’s mother called our daughter, who had moved back to the States, and asked her if she knew where her brother was. She didn’t know, but she asked the Japanese lady to go with the police to his apartment.

When they got there they found him dead in his bathtub with the water still running. An autopsy was performed and they determined that he died of a heart attack. He was 38 years old.

Why do I tell you this? Because none of us knows the day when we will die. Our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then it’s gone (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1).

The “Bad News” is that we’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23; 6:23). But the “Good News” is that “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

If we believe on and trust in Christ alone, and not in our good works (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9), we will be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Acts 16:31; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). It’s urgent that we believe on Him now before it’s too late!

If you’ve just placed your faith in Christ alone as a result of reading this, and would like additional help so you can grow spiritually, please visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change.

Live today as though it might be your last day on earth.”

To learn more about the life and death of our son, go to –

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-death-of-our-son-2/

Believe it or not, you can learn a lot about a person by discovering what makes him/her angry, what makes him/her cry, and what makes him/her laugh. Apply this to yourself.

“A real test of the genuineness of Christian profession is witnessed when one finds himself under pressure, provocation, or persecution…Our reaction to a sudden, unexpected change of condition or circumstances shows up a weakness in many of us.  Some Christians are thrown completely off balance if anyone disagrees with them, and under more trying circumstances they go completely to pieces.” – Dr. Lehman Strauss. What sets you off?

Attitude. A key to the problems of life has to do with the attitude. What is your attitude when you are suddenly stopped short of your goal that was part of your planning? Do you resent the circumstances? Do you become angry with God or with others because you didn’t get your way? Be honest. “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Is it your way or the highway? Is it God’s way or your way as one secular song suggests?

Submission. One songwriter put it this way: “Not what wish to be / Nor we are wish to go /For who am That should choose my way? / The Lord will choose for me / ‘Tis better far I know, / So let him bid me go or stay!” When facing the cross, Jesus said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Are you interested in doing God’s will or your will? How often are God’s thoughts and ways brought into your decision making (Isaiah 55:7-9)?

Reactions. The Apostle Paul’s response of rejoicing in the Lord in the midst of his circumstances had a profound effect on some unbelievers, some believers, and even upon himself. Ask yourself, “What are others learning about me by my words, actions, and reactions?” Do they bring glory to God or do they grieve Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 4:30; Psalm 19:14)?

Guards. Being under house arrest (Acts 28:30), Paul was chained to many, elite Roman soldiers. They were his captive audience. They observed him day and night and soon learned that he wasn’t an ordinary prisoner but was there because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his passion to spread the Gospel to others. Many were saved by Paul’s life and the Gospel that came forth from his lips.

In Prison. Some Bible teachers believe that Paul was in prison because he didn’t heed the warnings that had been given to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 21:4, 12-14). Even though he was willing to die for Christ, “To want to die for Christ is all wrong when God wants you to live and preach the Gospel.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer. “For as many as are [habitually being] led by the Spirit of God, these are [maturing] sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

Blessing. But even when we mess things up, God has a way of turning them around for good for His children who love Him (Romas 8:28). Paul needed a rest and some time to reflect/meditate (See Psalm 1:2; 46:10; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:15). So he used his time to write letters to churches and individuals to instruct them and to share with them grace teaching/truths that He had received from the Lord during his time with the Lord in Arabia (Galatians 1:17). Could you write a letter, call someone, or give a word of encouragement to someone in need? (See 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4; Hebrews 10:24, 25) If you can, will you do it? When? Today?  What is really important to you – other people in need or your own personal pleasures?

Satan. He will try to convince some unsaved people that they aren’t savable and could never be forgiven for the sins they’ve committed. He often reminds Christians of past failures that have been forgiven (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9) and would cause us to become disappointed, discouraged, and even to doubt God and His Word. When he or demons tempt us, we must put on the armor that God has provided for us to be victorious (Ephesians 6:10-17). Do you also know how to overcome temptations that come from your sin nature, and from the present world system? Being tempted isn’t a sin, but yielding to sinful temptations is sin (“Sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23).

Plans/Goals. “Make plans and set goals which are in keeping with God’s written Word. Arrange them into priorities. Plan your strategy. Submit your goals to God’s sovereign will. If God providentially hinders you from accomplishing your goals, assume that the delay was part of God’s sovereign will. This will free you from discouragement. All you’ll need to do is adjust your time table.” – Adapted from Gary Friesen, Decision Making And The Will of God. p. 239

Effects. Paul’s attitude of rejoicing in the midst of his imprisonment stimulated other believers to become more bold in their witness for the Lord (See Acts 4:13-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). He wasn’t discouraged because God’s love had been shed abroad in his life and this helped him overcome his fears (Romans 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).

Motives. Yes, there were some people who were proclaiming the Gospel from envy and strife, but others were proclaiming it from goodwill (Philippians 1:15; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:16). Either way, he was glad that others were learning about Christ and His offer of salvation to all mankind (1 Timothy 2:4; 1 John 2:2). We should always be ready to give an answer to those who ask us about our hope/confident expectation in Christ (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 4:2). Are you prepared to do this? Have you ever led another person to Christ for salvation? Would you like to learn more so you can do this and earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20; Ephesians 4:11)?

Formula. For someone to be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) and to go to heaven to be with God (John 14:1-3), one needs to use the right formula. “Grace + Faith = Salvation + Good Works (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is not “Grace + Faith + Good Works = Salvation” (Titus 3:5). Note the difference.  Make sure the Gospel for salvation is presented clearly to them.

25 Words. These few words could result in a dying person’s or anyone’s instant salvation. “My 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. M. Kober [1]. (Read Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; 1 John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14.)

Witnesses. Jesus wants every Christian to be a witness to unbelievers so they can be saved (Acts 1:8). The devil will try to intimidate and discourage you (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8), but with God’s help you can do what He wants you to do (Philippians 4:13). The Apostle Paul was willing to endure all things so others could be saved (2 Timothy 2:10). To what extent would you go so others could be saved?

Investment. Why not invest your life in others? Chuck Swindoll gives these suggestions: “Ask God to give you a sensitive spirit for identifying someone to disciple. Be on the alert – don’t scratch anybody off your list of possibilities [as long as they are still alive]. Reach out slowly and informally. Before your time together is over, make specific plans to meet again.” – Discipleship, p. 99

Questions. What makes you angry/mad? What makes you sad and causes you to cry? What makes you laugh and rejoice in the Lord? Are you truly saved or just a “professing Christian?” If you’re truly saved, are you growing spiritually, and serving God and others?  Are you regularly sharing the Gospel with the lost? Do you have all your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; 29:1)? Do you want to do God’s will more than anything else? Are you struggling with sinful temptations (See 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:3)? Are you tired of living a defeated life? If so –

Help. We’re here to assist you and others 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 with your questions/comments. Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out. Send us your questions/comments. If this has helped you, please share it with others.

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