Recently, while our oldest son was flying home from a business trip, one of the passengers on board apparently had a heart attack. The flight attendant asked if there was a Doctor on board. So our son volunteered to help. He went and talked to the man to try to determine what was wrong with him. They were about an hour and a half into the flight over the ocean when the plane had to turn around and go back to the airport. Meanwhile, for the next 40 minutes, he administered CPR on the man hoping to revive him. But sadly, he didn’t survive.

Destinies. As I considered what happened that day, I thought about that man’s eternal destiny. I thought about all those on the plane who were planning to do other things that day but who were delayed from making it to their destinations on time as they had hoped. No doubt, there were some folks who were upset by this incident that interrupted their schedules. Others were surprised by the length of time that our son spent trying to revive this man. Some thanked him for trying to help him as they left the plane. Needless to say, it was a traumatic moment for all those on the airplane.

Vapor. I also was reminded of the passage in the Scriptures, where Jesus’ half brother wrote, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:13-17).

Deo Volente. These two Latin words mean “God willing.” Far too many people, including those who claim to be Christians, live like practical atheists and do not take God into their plans. God wants to be a part of our lives, and for us to rely on Him for wisdom to make good choices in life. “If any of you [Christians] lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). “Trust in the Lord will all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). “For as many [Christians] as are [habitually being] led by the Spirit of God, theses are the [maturing] sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Does this describe you or not?

Death. Having had one of our other sons taken from us unexpectedly two years ago on Easter Sunday, we are very mindful of the reality of death and the subsequent effects it has had on our lives and the lives of others who knew our 38 year old son, Bill. See link below.

Questions. Are you living independently of God? Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The Apostle Paul wrote, “…in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). We all are just one heart beat away from death. What are you doing with the life that God graciously has given to you? Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? If not, why not do this before it’s too late? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)? If you are a Christian, are you regularly telling others about Jesus and the salvation that He offers to all mankind (John 3:16; Acts 1:8; 1 John 2:2)? Are you living for fame, fortune, power, or pleasure? Or are you living to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Are you living independently of God and acting like a practical atheist? If so, stop! If you’re a Christian, confess that sin to God (1 John 1:9). Remember, God saves us by one act of faith, but He wants us to live habitually in an attitude of faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 1:16, 17). How many of His promises, that are addressed to Christians, do you know and claim? (See below.)

Help. We’re here to help you if you are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a Christian, we also want you to have the joy of leading other people to the Lord Jesus Christ so they can be saved too (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). To make sure that you are a true Christian, please read “The Bad News & the Good News that we have on our website: www.kelseypeach.com. See our “Understanding The Times” chart too. To receive future articles as they come out, please click on “Follow.” Also join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible Studies.

Our Son Bill’s Death https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-death-of-our-son-2/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/william-billy-austin-pietsch/P

Promises For Christians: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/promises-to-claim/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation:

In English. https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/61244c_bdbf26f0ab65413c97b45aaf14c86c6f.pdf

In Japanese: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/61244c_cad9877375cc43d1b75036825e1fe903.pdf

Other languages: https://www.godssimpleplan.org/languages-in-print

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It happened when the Apostle Paul and Silas had been preaching the Good News concerning Christ in the city of Philippi. They were unjustly beaten and then locked up in jail for allegedly causing trouble in the city after casting out a demon spirit from a young girl who was making a lot of money for her masters. She had been following Paul and Silas around and saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us [Greek – “a way”] of salvation” (Acts 16:17).

Problem. Jesus made it very clear to His disciples that He was “the [only] way [to God], the [absolute] truth, and the [giver of eternal] life” (John 14:6). He was not one of many ways to God as some of the false teachers of the world are suggesting. The Apostle Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). These are not “politically correct” statements to those who believe that all religions lead to heaven.

Earthquake. After an earthquake took place and loosened the prisoners’ chains, the jailor was about to commit suicide. Paul called out and said, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Upon hearing this, the jailor said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The Apostle Paul responded by saying, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:28-31).

Question. What did Paul mean by the word “Lord”? Did He mean that the jailor had to acknowledge and believe that Jesus Christ was the “Lord” meaning “God/Deity” or as some have suggested, the “Lord and Master of one’s life” so he could be saved? We believe that Paul went on to explain to him the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and things about the One in whom the jailor should believe – the God/man who died for our sins…and rose again on the third day (Acts 16:32).

Works. The Scriptures are clear. We’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; See Titus 3:5). The requirements for “Discipleship” in Christ’s day involved many things that were “good works.” There were a lot of people who were disciples (followers) who weren’t true believers. The Apostle Judas is a prime example (Matthew 26:25; John 6:71). There were many others who followed Jesus around, hoping that He would be their political deliverer and their “Welfare King” (John 6:15, 66).

Postponed. Because of the refusal of most of the Jews to accept Him as their promised Messiah (Luke 19:14; John 1:11, 12; 19:15), Jesus postponed the setting up of His literal, millennial kingdom on earth until a future date (Matthew 16:20; Revelation 20:1 ff). Is Jesus the true Messiah? (See link below). In light of what we see happening around us today, the setting up of the rule of the heavens over the earth (“kingdom of the heavens” – Daniel 2:44, 45; Matthew 4:17) doesn’t seem to be that far off. (See our “Understanding The Times” chart on our website.)

Faith. Belief and faith are synonymous. The word “believe” is used about 100 times in the Gospel of John to tell us what is required for a person to be saved ( Examples: John 1:12, 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24 etc). Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:9). Are you adding other conditions/requirements for people to be saved? To do so is to cause people to “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2).

Lordship For Salvation. Here are some of the requirements that are wrongfully imposed by the “Lordship For Salvation” teachers on the unsaved people in order for them to be saved: Follow Christ / Surrender to Christ / Be Willing to Obey / Commit yourself / Turn From Sin / Be Willing to Sacrifice Everything / Give Up All For the Kingdom / Deny Self / Love Christ supremely / Give Up All Your Earthly Possessions if the Lord Should Ask This / Give Yourself Totally to Him / Fulfill the Demands of Discipleship / Etc. Etc. Etc.” [1] Aren’t all these things considered “works”?  Yes they are!  But our salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5).

Assurance. How could a person ever be sure that he/she had fulfilled all the requirements such as these? It would be impossible for someone to have “assurance of salvation” if all these works were required of someone in order to be saved (See 1 John 5:13). Thankfully, God’s Word doesn’t make them conditions for salvation.

Lordship Because Of Salvation. Once a person has been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, it’s only “reasonable for a Christian to present his/her body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1, 2; See 1 Peter 3:15). This is not a requirement for salvation as some would have us believe. Most new believers don’t do this at the moment of their salvation. But it is God’s desirous will for us to do this. “Carnal Christians” don’t do this (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 5:1 ff; Romans 7:15-25; 1 John 1:8). There are many things that are required of Christians if they want to mature in Christ, but they aren’t to be made conditions for someone’s salvation. Let’s not make our rules for living the conditions for salvation. Do you know where to find them in the Scriptures? (See our “Understanding The Times” chart.)

Gospel. God wants every saved person to share the Good News concerning Christ with others (Acts 1:8). By learning and sharing these 25 words, you could be instrumental in the salvation of another person from hell to heaven. “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!” [2] (See 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  It’s the same for Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16, 17).

Crown. The “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those believers who are involved in the salvation of others as they share the Gospel with them (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). God wants us to have the joy of leading others to Christ (Revelation 3:11). The greatest joy in life comes when we help new believers, whom we have led to Christ, come to spiritual maturity as they walk in truth (3 John 1:4).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). If this has helped you, please share it with others who might be misled by false teachings.  We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] George Zeller, Lordship Requirements: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

[2] Dr. Manfred Kober, Do We Really Know The Gospel? https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Dr. Manfred Kober – Lordship Salvation: Forgotten Truth or a False Doctrine?, Parts 1 & 2

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2010/07/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or.html

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2010/07/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or_14.html

Dr. Andy Woods, What’s Wrong With Lordship Salvation?, http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2011/03/what-is-wrong-with-lordship-salvation.html

Dr. Ron Shea, The Clear Gospel, http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Dr. Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/search/charles-ryrie-so-great-salvation

G. Michael Cocorus, Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible,

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

Is Jesus The Messiah? https://www.gotquestions.org/is-Jesus-the-Messiah.html

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill. True or False? If you believe in “humanism” (unlimited human potential), you might think that you can, but there are many things that the mind can conceive without our being able to achieve them. Example – I can conceive in my mind (perhaps in my dreams) that I could grow another 18” and that I could play basketball like Michael Jordan did, but this isn’t going to happen. Jesus said, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit (18 inches) to his stature” (Matthew 6:27)? Some people believe that they can become gods in this or the next life and repopulate others worlds through multiple wives. They worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

False Teachers. The “Word of Faith” false teachers have fallen into this lie too just like their father, the devil did (Isaiah 14:14; Genesis 3:5; John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). Some of them claim to be “little gods” who can just speak things into existence with positive thoughts and words. Some of them can be heard demanding God to do what they want done. Without realizing it, they are actually blaspheming God. We don’t demand things from God. Instead we should humbly ask favors from Him according to His will (John 16:13; 15:16). Have you, or has someone you know, come under the influence of the “Health, Wealth, and Happiness” false teachers? Please read 2 Peter 2:19; Jude 1:13.

The Gift. When God saves a person who has put his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He gives each one of them a “spiritual gift” and enables him/her to do the work that He pre-planned for him/her to do (Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19; John 15:16).

Ignorant. The sad part is that most Christians don’t realize that God has given them a “spiritual gift” (1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Peter 4:10), and so they don’t develop it or use it for God’s glory or the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:31; 12:7; 13:1-13). Sometimes it’s the fault of the Pastor/teacher who doesn’t tell his people about this wonderful truth from God’s Word (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:1-4), or it may be the believer’s fault for treating this matter lightly after being taught about it (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:11-14).

Rewarding. But once you, as a Christian, discover that you have one of these extant gifts and use it with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13), your life will be much more rewarding and fulfilled (John 10:10). You won’t spend your life engaged in “worthless works” that will be burned up at the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Temporary. Some of these “spiritual gifts” were given out to some believers until the New Testament was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; John 16:13, 14). These include: apostles, prophets, discerning of spirits, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, and healings.

Extant. These are the “spiritual gifts” that God is still giving out today to believers at the moment of their salvation: Evangelists, Pastor/teachers, teachers, helpers, ministers, exhorters, mercy showers, exceptional givers, exceptional faith demonstrators, organizers, and administrators.

Information: Spiritual gifts are (1) for service (1 Corinthians 12:7), (2) sovereignly given (1 Corinthians 12:28; Hebrews 2:4), (3) not natural, developed talents (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13), (4) given to all Christians (1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 4:10); (5) to be exercised in love (1 Corinthians 13), (6) given to help us determine our priorities (1 Corinthians 12:4-8), (7) not all permanent (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

Discover. If you’re truly saved, here are some things you might do to discover your “spiritual gift.” (1) Know what the gifts are (1 Corinthians 12:1). (2) Be filled with the Spirit and walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). (3) Ask God to illuminate your mind (Ephesians 1:18). (4) Be available and patient (See Isaiah 6:8). (5) Ask for the acknowledgement of other Spirit filled believers (Acts 13:1-3). (6). Ask, “Does God seem to be blessing my efforts?”

Help. We’re here to assist those who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). To discover more about “spiritual gifts,” we invite you to go to our website: www.kelseypeach.com and go to the section on “Bible Basics.” To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this has helped you, please share this information with others.

You might want to check out these two articles too:

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-gifts/page/3/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/whats-a-pastor-to-do/

About Spiritual Gifts”

Try to imagine how you, as a parent, might feel if, on your child’s birthday, you gave him/her a very expensive gift that was wrapped up in beautiful paper with a bow on it, and your child thanked you for the gift but refused to open it up to discover what it was and use it for it’s intended purpose. Would you feel badly? Of course you would.

Christmas. Or suppose it’s Christmas time and you’ve spent a lot of money to buy your children some gifts. One by one they open up their gifts until everyone has opened up the gifts. But then one of the children decides that he wants what one of the other children has and starts fighting for it. Would that make you very sad? Of course it would.

Big Box. Now let’s consider another scenario. Whether you realize it or not, at the time of your salvation God sent (graciously gave) you a big box filled with a lot of gifts inside it (Ephesians 1:3). You’ve opened some of them but there is one gift you don’t want to open up because it is so beautifully wrapped. However, if you were to open it up and use it, you’d be so much happier in your life and you would/could be a source of blessing and happiness to others too (John 10:10; Acts 20:35).

Unopened. And yet there are many Christians who have left some of their gifts in the big box without opening them. Do you supposed that God is grieved about this (Ephesians 4:30)? One of those spiritual gifts has to do with a special ability (that is more than a natural talent) to do some things that God planned for you to do while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Doing these things will glorify God and greatly help other people if this ability is used properly with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13).

Problem. Some folks within Christendom teach that only the “clergy” have these special abilities and that the rest of the people are just the “pew (seat) warmers” and the “bill payers.” On the other extreme you can find “churches” that tell their people that unless they have spoken in “tongues” they haven’t received the “second blessing” and need to earnestly pursue this ability. Some “preachers” claim to receive new and special revelations (information) from God that they are supposed to pass on to the other “Christians.” Beware of false teachers (Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:1 ff; Jude 1:1-13).

Money. Oftentimes it involves sending money to these “hucksters” [1] so they can “spread the Gospel” (which, most often, is not the true Gospel but another gospel – 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Sometimes they ask people to send them money so they can help starving children in other countries get clean water and food. (What do you know about the “social gospel”? See [2] below) While a few of these ministries are legitimate, and present the Gospel in its purity, many of them are not or very little of the money goes to help the needy. (See article [3] below about Christian Giving)

Temporary/Extant? We find in the Bible twenty spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and in Ephesians 4:11. We understand the Scriptures to teach that ten of these gifts were temporary until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). But ten other gifts (special abilities) are still being given out to Christians today at the time of their salvation. Sadly, most Christians know little or nothing about them. (See link [4] below to learn more about “spiritual gifts”)

Pastor-teachers. These men are supposed to teach Christians about the “spiritual gifts” and encourage them to use them for the glory of God and the well being of other Christians primarily (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10). By working together in unity and harmony (Ephesians 4:3) with other true Christians – not unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), under Christ’s authority and Headship (1 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 1:22, 23), much more can be done to bring the spiritual “Body of Christ” to its completion and to spiritual growth (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18).

Bride. When all whom God the Father has given to God the Son have come to Him and been saved (John 6:37, 44), the Father will instruct the Son (Jesus) to come back toward earth to claim His Bride – the True Church and meet her in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Then He will take her to the place that He has been preparing for her for almost 2,000 years now (John 14:1-3; See Revelation 21:9 ff). Are you looking forward to this event? Those believers who really love His any moment return can earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Questions. Are you positive that you will spend eternity with God (Read Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Peter 1:10)? Why should God let you into His heaven (See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on their third day? (See “Clear Gospel” [5] link below) If you’re truly saved, have you been baptized/immersed (Matthew 28:19, 20)? Were you sprinkled as a baby? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Do you have your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16)? Are you being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)? Are you walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 6:16, 25)? Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” being manifested in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Note: Don’t confuse the one condition for salvation (Acts 16:31) with the multiple conditions for spiritual growth. (See “Lordship for Salvation” article [6] below.

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2 15). Being teachable without being willing to change is of no value (James 1:22-27; 2:19, 20; 4:17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

For your consideration:

[1] Hucksters: The Most Evil Man You’ve Never Heard Of https://www.raptureready.com/2016/08/08/james-eugene-ewing-most-evil-man/

[2] Social Gospel: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/greatcom.htm

[3] Christian Giving: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/money-matters-part-4/

[4] Spiritual Gifts: Go to “Bible Basics” at http://kelseypeach.com/

[5] Clear Gospel: ReadThe Bad News & Good News at http://kelseypeach.com/

[6] Lordship for Salvation – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

Touching Video – 2 Minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvihAm-GJs4

In the town where I live, there are several gyms. I belong to one of them. I go there to try to keep my body in shape and to meet other people. My wife tells me that I spend more time socializing than I do exercising. My dad used to remind me that“bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable in all things” (1 Timothy 4:8). God wants His children to make other disciples (true believers), see them get baptized, and then teach them about Christ’s new commandment (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 13:34, 35; Contrast “old commandment” – Leviticus 19:18).

Body Building. Did you know that God has a “body building” program too. Just before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again bodily on the third day, Jesus told His disciples that He was going to build His church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

Scripture. Many people have strange ideas about the Church that need to be corrected. “All Scripture is [God breathed] and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, so that the man/woman of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Within the pages of the 66 books of the Bible we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The additional false teachings of the cults and the unscriptural philosophies of men are to be avoided (Colossians 2:8).

Join. Before you can be a member and exercise in God’s gym (1 Timothy 4:7), you must be spiritually alive (“born again from above” John 3:3 ff; Ephesians 2:1 ff). This takes place when you “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” Sadly, most people won’t join God’s family because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). What about you?

Strength. When we believe in/on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God gives us His life (eternal life – John 3:16) and energizes us. He wants Christians to cooperate with Him in our spiritual development (Romans 6:11-13; 12:1, 2; Philippians 2:13, 4:13; Galatians 2:20; 4:19). God the Holy Spirit is like a coach who shows us what we need to do each day, hour, and moment to develop us and be a model of His grace and for His glory (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 2:10; 3:20, 21; 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). Even the angels watch us as we develop and grow spiritually (Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12; Hebrews 1:14).

Glory. God is glorified (i. e. made known to other people) when they see the way God deals with us as His children. He disciplines His rebellious children (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16) and continues to illuminate and empower His obedient children (Ephesians 1:17 ff).

Growth. Jesus is building His Church numerically and spiritually. Numerical growth takes place when unsaved people put their faith in Christ alone and become Christians as a result of our sharing the clear Gospel with them (Acts 1:8; 2:41; 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 10:13-17). Spiritual growth usually takes place slowly and over time when new believers are fed with the milk of the Word and then with solid food (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:12-14). If you’re a true Christian, how much growth has taken place in your life since you’ve been saved? Are you grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching God the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Do you have known sins that need to be confessed to God (1 John 1:9) and to others whom you’ve offended (James 5:16)?

The New Creation. When we become true Christians, we become part of a New Creation” called The Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This New Creation” has one Head – Jesus Christ, and one Body – the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Jesus is the only Mediator between God the Father and man (1 Timothy 2:5). We don’t pray to His mother, Mary or to the saints.

Priests. Jesus is our High Priest and each believer is a New Testament priest (Hebrews 4:14-16; 13:15, 16; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) who is supposed to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16). The True Church is made up of all true believers from the Day of Pentecost until the time of the Rapture (Acts 1:5; 2:1ff; John 6:37; 14:1-3). The True Church has not replaced Israel. God is not finished with the nation of Israel (Romans 11:1 ff). “The time of Jacob’s trouble,” will take place during the last 3 ½ years of the seven year Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15 ff; Revelation 6-19). The surviving, believing remnant (Romans 9:27; Matthew 10:22; 21:9; 23:30; Zechariah 12:10), will see the unconditional promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their believing descendants fulfilled. The Church is unique and was a mystery during the Old Testament times (Ephesians 3:1-12). It is Christ’s spiritual Body and it will become His spiritual Bride at the time of the Rapture when He comes back for His Church (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:32; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Will you be a part of the “True Church” or the “Apostate Ecumenical Church”? Are you sure? Are you “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21-23)?

Help. We’re here to spiritually assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please share it with others who may benefit from it too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Sing along – “O give me a church where folks in the lurch / Are encouraged, then healed from above; / Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, / And the truth is modeled in love.” [1]  Would you like to attend a church like this? Will you ever find one? Let’s spend a few minutes thinking about the church.  But first –

A typical American family was driving home from church one Sunday. Dad was fussing about the sermon being too long and sort of boring. Mom said she thought the organist played too loudly during the second hymn they sang. Sis, who was a music major in college, said she thought the soloist sang about a half a note off key during most of her song. Grandma said she couldn’t hear very well – since they were sitting toward the back. When they pulled in the driveway, little Willie, who had listened to all of this, started to fuss about the woman who sat in front of him with that big hat. Then he paused, nudged his dad, and said, ‘But, Dad, you gotta admit, it was a pretty good show for a nickel.’ Ouch!” Is the church you attend in the entertainment business or what? (See link below)

To help us get a proper perspective of the Church, we need to go to the Scriptures and ask some vital questions: Who…? What…? Where…? When…? Why…? How…?

First Mention. As Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly ministry, after the majority of the Jews (especially the religious leaders) had rejected Him as their Messiah (John 1:11, 12; 6:66; 19:15; Isaiah 53:1), He asked His 12 disciples what others were saying about Him. Some Jews thought He was John the Baptist, others Elijah, or perhaps Jeremiah. Then Jesus asked them who they thought He was. Representing the other disciples, Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus told him that this information was revealed to Him by God the Father. Then Jesus talked about building His Church and told His disciples not to refer to Him any more as the promised Messiah because He was going to postpone the setting up of His kingdom on earth until a future date (Matthew 16:20-23; 21:9; 23:37-39; Zechariah 12:10). This didn’t go well with the disciples, and Peter rebuked the Lord for saying that He was going to the cross to die. The Lord in turn had to rebuke Peter for opposing God’s plan.

Meaning. The Greek word for “church” means “a called out assembly.” (See Colossians 1:18.)  God the Father, who is sovereign, chose some people from the human race to become the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Bride-groom (John 6:37; 2 Corinthians 11:2). These people are not to be confused with Old Testament believers from Adam up until the time of Abraham, or with the nation of Israel, or the millennial believers who will trust in Christ as Savior in the future. Today, God sees humanity in three categories: the Jews, Gentiles (non-Jews), and the Church (1 Corinthians 10:32). Contrary to what many people think, the church doesn’t refer to buildings.

Members. The “True Church” began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:5; 2:1 ff) and will be complete when Jesus Christ returns at the time of the Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Initially the Church consisted of Jews. Then Samaritans (half-Jews) and Gentiles (non-Jews) were added to the Church (See Acts 1:8; 8:5-25; 10:1-11:18). All of them were saved the same way by believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). No one is saved by his/her good works or by faith plus good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

History Of The Church. The seven local churches mentioned in Revelation chapters 2, 3 were actual churches that existed when John wrote the Book of Revelation. The messages to them were to be used to test the true condition of the angel (i.e. messenger, Pastor/teacher) and the church in which they found themselves. Each individual in these 7 churches also was to examine himself/herself to see what things they needed to change so they could be well pleasing to God. But there also seems to be a prophetic element that shows the progress of the spiritual state of the Church until the Lord returns for His Bride, the True Church (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:32). “It can be seen that [the church of] Ephesus (2:1-7), though a local church in the apostle’s day, is typical of the first century as a whole; [the church in] Smyrna (2:8-11) characterizes the church under persecution, e.g. from A.D. c. 100-316; [the church of] Pergamos (2:12-17), ‘where Satan dwells’ (2:13; compare 2:14, 15, and notes), is suggestive of the church mixing with the world, e.g. in the Middle Ages; [the church of] Thyatira (2:18-29) reveals how evil progresses in the church and idolatry is practiced; [the church of] Sardis (3:1-6) is representative of the church as dead, yet still having a minority of godly men and women, as during the Reformation; [the church of] Philadelphia (3:1-7) shows revival and a state of spiritual advance; and [the church of] Laodicea (3:14-19) is illustrative of the final state of apostasy which the visible church will experience.” [3] 

The Harlot Church. This future church will bring together apostate Christendom and the false religions of the world and will promote the One World Religion/Church and the One World Government of the Antichrist (Revelation 17, 18). The formative stages of this church seem to be in the making. It will take over and incorporate the religions of man shortly after the Rapture of the True Church.

Questions. Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Are you depending on any of your good works to get you into heaven (Titus 3:5)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)? If you have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5), have you been baptized (immersed) to let others know that you are a true Christian (Galatians 2:20; Acts 8:13, 35-38; 10:47, 48; 16:30-34)? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Are you involved in and are you being fed spiritually in a Bible believing local church that interprets the Bible normally, literally, historically, and grammatically? Do you have a desire to grow spiritually (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18)?  Do you know what you spiritual gift is and are you using it with love (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 13)? If not, would you like to know so that you can serve God by serving others (Galatians 5:13; 6:10)?  

Help. We want to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). If you have questions and/or comments, contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com  If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” or “Youtube.”

[1]  C. R. Swindoll, Growing Deep In The Christian Life, Multnomah Press, p. 371.   

[2]    https://believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=1070

[3] – Adapted from the NKJV Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 1720.

Purpose of local churchhttp://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/lochurch/eph412.htm

One Christian author pointed out that he believes many of the problems that children have today stem from the fact that some of them have never been disciplined or spanked for being bad. Thanks Dr. Spock. Not all children need spankings. Others of us needed it. Many active little boys often are put on drugs to calm them down instead of letting them work off their energy that God put into them. One drill sergeant put a 5 year old boy among his men and told them to do the same things the little boy did. Within short order, the men were worn out.

Babies – Savages

Some years ago the Minnesota Crime Commission released a statement more in line with what the Bible teaches about man’s basic nature (See Romans 3:10-23; Jeremiah 17:9). “Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish, and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncles’ watch. Deny him these once, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is, in fact, dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children – not just certain children – are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal – a thief, a killer, or a rapist.” http://www.family-times.net/illustration/Self-Centered/201632/

Discipline

Cliff Barrows, song leader of the Billy Graham Crusade ministry, tells a story about his children when they were younger. They had done something he had forbidden them to do. They were told if they did the same thing again they would have to be disciplined. When he returned from work and found that they hadn’t minded, his heart went out to them. “I just couldn’t discipline them,” he said.
Any loving father can understand Cliff’s dilemma. Most of us have been in the same position. He said, “Bobby and Bettie Ruth were very small. I called them into my room, took off my belt and then my shirt, with a bare back I knelt down at the bed. I made them both strap me with the belt ten times each. You should have heard the crying. From them, I mean. The crying was from them. They didn’t want to do it. But I told them the penalty had to be paid and so through their sobs and tears they did what I told them.”
“I smile when I remember the incident,” he said. “I must admit I wasn’t much of a hero. It hurt. I haven’t offered to do that again. It was a once-for-all sacrifice, I guess we could say, but I never had to spank those two children again, because they got the point. We kissed each other. And when it was over we prayed together.”
Taken from The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart, Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 543-544.

Jesus Took Our Place

In like manner, God has imposed some rules on us for our good. When they are violated, a penalty must be paid (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). God could have maintained His justice if He sent all of us sinners to hell (See 2 Peter 2:4). But God the Father loved the people of this world (John 3:16). So God the Son volunteered (Hebrews 10:7) to come down to earth and become a real man by being born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life for 33 years (Hebrews 4:15). Then, when His hour had come (John 2:4; 10:15-18; 18:12; 19:11), He allowed sinful men to take Him and crucify Him on a cruel and shameful cross (Philippians 2:8; See Psalm 22). While He was hanging there, God the Father placed your sins and mine on Jesus (Isaiah 53:6) He paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2) so we wouldn’t have to end up in the lake for fire to suffer forever with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Now that’s “Amazing Grace.”

While we might be able to identify with the physical pain that Cliff Burrows experienced as his children spanked him, it’s impossible for us to comprehend the suffering that Jesus experienced as He paid for our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). His spiritual death (i. e. the separation from fellowship with His Father), from noon until 3 P.M., was far greater than His physical suffering on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46).

The next time you think about engaging in a sinful act to gratify a temporary pleasure (Hebrews 11:2), read and think about the anguish and mourning of a man who got involved in an immoral relationship and learn from his failure (Proverbs 5; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). If you’re a Christian, learn how to “Walk by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) so you don’t give in to immoral temptations and engage in other “works of the flesh” that are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21). Think about the whipping that Jesus took for you so you wouldn’t have to be separated from Him forever? Trust in Him alone to save you, not in your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Scripture

“’My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8 NKJV).

Please note King Solomon’s words carefully. Why? Apart from Jesus Christ, he was the wisest man who ever lived. “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:25). “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18). “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die, You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:14). “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17).

Rules

Are you, as a parent, making up senseless rules without careful consideration? Would you, as Cliff Barrows did, be willing to allow your children to spank you for violating the rules you had imposed on them? Are you sure your children know that you truly love them and have their best interest in mind? Are you being a parent like God Himself is? If not, what needs to change with His help (Philippians 4:13)? When will you begin to implement these things (James 4:17)?

Saved?

Are you sure that if you died today you would go immediately to heaven to be with God (1 John 5:13)? Why should He let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? If you believe you’re saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Romans 8:35-39; John 10:28, 29)? If so, what would it be? Have you placed your faith in the Christ of the Scriptures who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead? If not, why not do this right now (2 Corinthians 6:2)? Then let us know about it so we can help you begin to grow spiritually.

Contact

Visit our new website: www.kelseypeach.com for more help or to learn how to get in touch with us. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube. Share helpful information with your friends (2 Timothy 2:2).  Please let us know if this article has helped you.