“An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? How often do you evaluate your own life or let someone else examine it? Why are you here on earth? What is your purpose for living? What do you want to accomplish in life? What short term and long term goals do you have? Why do you want to pursue these goals? What brings you the most satisfaction in life? What do you think will happen to you when you die? Do you think anyone can be sure of his/her eternal destiny? By what standard do you determine what is right or wrong? Do you expect others to live by your rules? What if everyone did whatever he/she wanted to do? Where does his/her freedom end?

If God exists, and we believe that He does, what is His primary purpose? Is there anyway for us to find out? What has He revealed to us in His Word, the Scriptures? If/since He formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, what does He want mankind to do while he/she is here on earth and on into eternity? (See our “Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart on our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com)

Glory. Throughout the pages of the Scriptures, we are told that God’s primary purpose is to glorify Himself by making Himself know to His creatures – spirit beings and human beings. The spirit beings are constantly learning about God as He deals with mankind in bringing them to salvation (1 Corinthians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:12). Through progressive revelation God made Himself known to various people as it relates to His attributes: goodness, righteousness, omniscience, omnipotence, truthfulness, holiness, and love. He demonstrated His goodness to the children of Israel in the wilderness by providing them with food and water for the entire 40 years of wondering. God determined their rules for living, and enforced them with righteousness. (Dispensations deal with our rules for life, not ways of salvation.) He made provisions for the atonement of their sins through bloody sacrifices. He showed His power when He divided the Red Sea and the Jordan River. He brought the plagues on Egypt and Pharaoh and delivered the children out of bondage. He humbled King Nebuchadnezzar for seven years and then graciously saved him.

Our Purpose. The chief end of man is (ought to be) to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (1 Corinthians 1:31; 10:31; Psalm 16:11; 73:25, 26). How can Christians do this? By experientially knowing God, growing in grace…, serving God and others, and sharing the Good News with lost people.

Knowing. God wants those who put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, as the One who died for their sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, to know that they have eternal life as a present possession (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Eternal life is God’s quality of life that every Christian receives at the moment of salvation (John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13). It is not to be confused with “everlasting life” or existence that every human being will have who was ever conceived. (See Romans 1:20; Jude 1:6; Mark 9:44, 46, 48). He wants believers to have assurance of their salvation from the Word of God and from God the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). Do you? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Growing. God wants every believe to grow in the sphere of grace and experiential knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:2; See Philippians 3:10). Merely knowing the facts about the Gospel won’t save you; neither is God interested in our merely knowing the facts in the Bible. He wants us to live out the life that we have been given (Philippians 2:12; Galatians 4:19; 5:22, 23). Are you still in the “milk” stage or enjoying the “solid food” from God’s Word (Hebrews 5:12-14)? Are you living victoriously over your three spiritual enemies: the devil (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17), your sin nature (1 John 1:8; Romans 6:11-14; 7:15-25), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31)?

Serving. Just before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again from the dead on the third day, Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment“…that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34, 35; Contrast the Old Commandment – Leviticus 19:18). This “agape” love is a self sacrificial love that is willing to lay down one’s life for another (1 John 3:16, 17). This kind of love is produced in the life of a Holy Spirit filled Christian (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23). It is the kind of love that should compel us to serve others with love (Galatians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 13). It should be the attitude one has while using his/her spiritual gift for the edification of other believers in the spiritual Body of Christ (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

Sharing. God wants those whom He has saved to tell others about the salvation that He offers to all mankind (Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15). The Gospel is simple: “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). The only condition for salvation is Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; See John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24). No one is saved by his/her good works or by his/her faith plus good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Sadly, many people are trusting in the wrong Christ and have perverted the Gospel and the way of salvation (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

Conclusion. The Apostle Peter wrote, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure…” (2 Peter 1:10). Don’t be like those whom Jesus will rebuke on judgment day for thinking that they could get into the kingdom of the heavens by their good works (Matthew 7:21-23). Do you have assurance of your salvation? How much spiritual growth has taken place since you’ve been saved? Are you using your spiritual gift for the glory of God and the edification of others? Are you actively looking for lost people with whom you can share the Gospel? Do you ask God to lead you to some soul each day so you can share the Gospel with them?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; Titus 1:9). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped your, please SHARE it with others. Together we can accomplish more.

Do you ever have weird, fearful, or troublesome dreams? I had one just last night but it wasn’t as a result of eating some spicy food before going to bed. Now before I tell you about it and what I learned from it, allow me to tell you about what happened this past weekend.

I was invited to speak in a church on the Minnesota and Canadian border this past Sunday. It was about 300 miles from our home in the Twin Cities. I rented a small car to make the trip up there and we travelled for about 6 hours on Saturday. As usual, I try to get to bed early in the evening and usually wake up in the middle of the night and meditate and/or pray for people and think about the following day and the opportunities that might come my way for me to represent the Lord and share the Gospel with others.

I spoke three times on Sunday – Sunday School, Morning Service, and in an afternoon service. When I speak, I try to put myself into the message and give the people my very best regardless of the size of my audience. By the time I’m done, I’m usually exhausted and ready to crash. But after the afternoon service, I drove about 150 miles to stay at my wife’s cousin’s home overnight before heading home the next day.  (My wife doesn’t like to drive on the freeways.)

Even though the roads were in pretty good condition, I was trying to be extra cautious about icy spots on the road. On one of our previous trips back from there in the winter time, we had a tire blow out and we had to wait in the cold for an hour before the tow truck could got there to help us.

When we finally arrived home safely, we thanked the Lord for bringing us home in one piece. We make it our practice to always pray before we go out on the road, even though it might be a short distance. Most accidents, I’m told, happen near people’s homes.

I was also mindful of the horrific and fatal automobile accident that our friend’s daughter was in about a month ago as she and her husband were out on a beautiful fall day enjoying the colorful leaves. They were stopped behind a semi truck that was turning left when a dump truck struck them from behind at a high speed and crushed them to death instantly. [1] We were saddened by the news.

Before returning the rental car, I stopped by the gym to get some needed exercise and sit in the sauna for awhile. As I was leaving the gym, I met a young fellow in his 30s who was in a wheel chair. I asked him how long he had been in it. He said that he had a stroke several years ago that immobilized him. I expressed my sorrow and gave him a Gospel tract that I’d written about our son Bill’s death in Japan. [2]

After getting home I was still very tired and went to take a quick nap at about 4:30 P.M. I didn’t wake up until about 9:30. So I stayed up and worked for a few hours and then went back to bed.

During the night I had this weird and troublesome dream. It took place in Japan where I grew up for 14 years. I got on a train thinking I was going to a destination that I had been to many times before. But somehow I got on the wrong train. So I got off at the next stop and asked someone how I could get back to the station from which I had just come. But no one was able to help me and show me the way. This went on for a long time in my dream as I asked person after person to help me find my way back. I was frustrated and told them that I would fire them if I could.

When I finally woke up from my dream, I went into another room and sat down in the dark and looked out a window. I began to think about how God had given Pharaoh of Egypt and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon dreams that were interpreted by Joseph and Daniel respectively.  Those dreams were from God.

Contrary to what some people believe, I know that God isn’t giving out new information (revelation) to people today, but I asked the Lord what He might want me to learn from this weird dream I’d just had. Then a thought came to me as I considered what I had shared with the believers on Sunday.

Many people are like I was in my dream. They feel lost and are fearful of dying and ending up with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). Perhaps they’ve heard a hell fire and brimstone message that scared them. They know they don’t want to go there, but they can’t seem to find someone to tell them the way to heaven.

Maybe you or someone you know is desirous of discovering the right and only way to heaven. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). But what does a person have to do to be saved? Before we deal with that, let’s consider what some “professing Christians” are telling lost people to do.

You’d think that people in a church, a Bible college or seminary could give you the answer, wouldn’t you? But suppose you met up with some of these folks sitting around a table and asked them how you could be saved. One might say, “Say the sinner’s prayer.” Another might say, “No, you must ask Jesus into your heart.” Still another person might say, “You must repent of your sins, be baptized, give your heart to God and make Jesus the Lord and Master of your life.” “No, no! You must also deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus.” [3]

Perhaps by now you might be thoroughly confused and thinking to yourself, Do any of these people know for sure that they themselves are going to heaven? If they are so confused, how can I be saved and assured that I will go to heaven when I die?

My friend, has anyone ever shown you from the Bible how to be saved from hell so you can enter heaven? Is it possible for someone to have assurance of salvation before he/she dies? We believe, from Scripture, that there is.

In an article written by Dr. Manfred Kober, he talks about the problem we all have, the provision that God made for all mankind, and the way to procure (receive) eternal life as a present possession. [3] With 24 words he points out how anyone who is about to die can be saved. He wrote, “Friend: You have sinned. [See Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23] But Christ died for sinners and rose again. [See 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4] Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. [See Acts 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5] Do it now!” [See Proverbs 27:1; 29:1; James 4:14; 2 Corinthians 6:2]

Please reread these 24 words again and let them sink down into your heart and mind. God’s simple plan of salvation is not complicated. [5] It’s by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures (not the cults) alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave, we are instantly saved from condemnation and can be assured of a home in heaven. (Read John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 10:28, 29; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:1, 16).  We are NOT saved by our good works or by our faith plus our good works (Titus 3:5).

If you need additional spiritual help, we’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

If this article has helped you, please SHARE it with others who might benefit from it.

[1] “Gone In Fifteen Seconds” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/gone-in-fifteen-seconds/

[2] “The Death Of Our Son” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-death-of-our-son-2/

[3] “The Gospel” http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/English/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

[4] “Do We Really Know The Gospel?” https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

[5] “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 123 languages https://www.godssimpleplan.org/

“The Silver Spoon.” There is a story of a sophisticated couple who invited their pastor and his wife over for dinner one evening. They enjoyed their time together, and the evening was lovely. As the wife was cleaning up after the pastor and his wife had left, she noticed his silver spoon was missing. This made her wonder if her pastor had stolen her spoon. About a year later, the couple invited the pastor and his wife over for another meal. They enjoyed the evening, yet the wife had to ask. “Pastor did you steal my silver spoon last time we ate together?” To which the Pastor said, “No, I put it in your Bible.” Ouch!

Perhaps you own a nice Bible but it seldom gets read or used. Maybe you don’t realize what’s in it and how valuable it is due to the fact that no one took the time to explain some basic things to you about it.

Perhaps you are wondering – What is the Bible and how did we get it? What is its primary purpose? How many authors were involved in writing it and over how many years was it being written? What do these terms mean: revelation, inspiration, illumination? How trustworthy and authoritative is it? What part of it is merely to be believed, and how much of it is to be believed and practiced? How should it be interpreted – normally or allegorically? Where does a Christian find his/her rules for living? Why are there so many versions of the Bible?

God gave us the Scriptures to teach us about Himself, about ourselves, and why there are so many problems in our world and what He can do for us to solve them. He wants us to know that He loved us sinners and provided a Savior for us. God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. Anyone who believes on Him alone for his/her salvation will be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire. We are NOT saved by our good works lest anyone should boast.

Sadly, most people will not accept God’s offer of deliverance. Have you? Do you know for sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Here are some things that might help you understand the Bible better so you can enjoy the eternal life that God has provided for true believers:

“Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart – Bible Study Aids” (Download this from our website.)

“How We Got Our Bible” by Dr. J. B. Hixson’s – (8 Videos)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2qanr7iYR90xeQ8kXSQauBeAP27GtO2U

“Charting The End Times” by Drs. Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice,

http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780736901383-charting-the-end-times-a-visual-guide-to-understanding-bible-prophecy-tim-lahaye-prophecy-library%EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BD

Bible Survey by Gary Tucker – http://www.biblebelievers.com/Bible_Survey.html

We invite you to read other articles on our Blog that pertain to “Bible Basics,” “Bible Prophecy,” and “Bible Study.”

If you have questions/comments, contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com Please SHARE this with others so they can be helped too.

In Hebrews 9:27 we read, …it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” The first part of this verse is a general rule. The second phrase is an absolute. Not everyone will die physically. There have been a couple examples of this in the past (Enoch and Elijah) and there will be a whole generation of Christians who won’t die physically either (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

But all believers will face the Lord Jesus Christ someday to have our works evaluated to determine if we will or won’t receive crowns, rewards, and praise from God (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). At the end of Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth, the deceased unbelievers will be raised from the dead and will stand before Him at the Great White Throne to have Him evaluate their works to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

But you might ask, What must I do to be saved/delivered from the lake of fire? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

How can I know what God expects me to do as a believer? Where do I find this information? It’s found in the Bible. You might ask, Aren’t there different rules for different people in different times? Yes, there are. They are known as Dispensations – the house rules. Old Testament believers had different rules for living than Christians do today. Those living during Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over the earth will also have intensified legal rules to keep. (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.)

But imagine, for a moment, that you are back in school and you have to take a final exam to pass the course and to graduate. But suppose the teacher gave you, ahead of time, the questions that you would be asked. Would that help you? It should.

It may sound strange to some people that God would give His children the test questions before the final exam that we all will have to take when we stand before Him to have our works (not us) evaluated (2 Corinthians 5:10). But He does. This is true for the Jews, who were given the “Mosaic Law” and for the Church (the spiritual Body of Christ) that becomes His Bride (Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 19:7; 21:9; Galatians 6:2). Don’t confuse the two groups (1 Corinthians 10:32). God has separate plans for the nation of Israel and for the Church. We don’t believe that the Church has replaced Israel.

The judgments for believers will be to determine if we will be rewarded or not (Matthew 25:21-23; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The judgment of unbelievers will be to determine their degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 11:24; 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15). One’s eternal destiny with God or apart from God is determined by his/her faith or lack of faith in God/Christ (John 3:16, 18, 36; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). It is NOT based on one’s good works (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5). At the “Bema seat judgment” Jesus, the omniscient One (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10), will determine the answers to these questions: (Some of these Bible references relate to the Jews, not to Christians. Similarity doesn’t mean identity.)

How did you treat others (Matthew 10:41-42; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 6:10)?

How did you use your talents and your spiritual gift (Matthew 25:14-29; 1 Peter 4:10)?

How did you use the resources (time and money) I gave to you (Matthew 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)?

How did you endure personal injustice when mistreated (Matthew 5:11, 12; 1 Peter 4:12, 13)?

How did you endure suffering and trials (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)?

How did you spend your time on earth (Psalm 90:9-12; Ephesians 5:16)?

How did you run the race I gave you to run (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1)?

How did you keep your body under control (1 Corinthians 9:25-27; Ephesians 5:18)?

How often and why did you try to lead unbelievers to Me (Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)?

How intensely did you love My imminent return (2 Timothy 4:8)?

How faithful were you to My Word and to other people (Acts 20:26-28; 2 Timothy 4:1, 2)?

How hospitable were you toward strangers (Matthew 25:35, 36; Hebrews 13:2)?

How faithful were you in your vocations/jobs (Colossians 3:22-24)?

How did you support the work of the Lord (Matthew 10:40-42; Galatians 6:6)?

How did you use your tongue (Matthew 12:36; James 3:1-12)?

Conclusion: Although there are different rules (dispensations) for people living in different times, and there will be different times for the judgment of various groups of people, we all need to remember this – “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We all may not die physically, but all of us will face the Lord Jesus Christ some day. He will judge all our works and unveil our motives (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Are you certain that you will spend eternity with God in heaven? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?

Sadly, in spite of all this information that God has given to us in His Word, most people won’t put their faith and trust in Christ alone and be saved (John 3:16-20). As it is true with the believers in other dispensations, most believers will NOT receive all that God would like to give to them because they will not claim God’s promises to them and walk by faith (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 4:1-12). Don’t try to claim promises that weren’t given to you. Not all the promises in the Bible are there for Christians to claim. Some are only for the Jews.

Each of the seven dispensations will end in failure. This demonstrates to us that without God’s help, no one can do anything to please God (John 15:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Hebrews 11:6).

If you have questions and/or need spiritual help, please contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you have found this helpful, please SHARE this information with others (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

(For additional Christian responsibilities, go to our “Understanding The Times” Dispensations Chart on our website: www.kelseypeach.com.)

*Some of this material was adapted from Dr. Mark Hitcock’s book, “The End” by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, Carol Stream, Illinois, c. 2012, pp. 218, 219

https://www.amazon.com/End-Complete-Overview-Bible-Prophecy/dp/1414353731/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=mark+hitchcock+the+end&qid=1572641050&sr=8-3

“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.

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