Friday, May 29, 2020

Punishment of the Wicked

When we hear that the wicked people will be punished by God we usually think about those individuals that murder, maim, steal, etc. We all agree that unrepentant people like this should not get to go into heaven but rather to hell where they will suffer an eternity in punishment. But have you ever stopped to really look at what the Bible says concerning those that will end up in hell? The Hebrew writer said: “And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” Paul told the Thessalonian brethren: “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-9). If we “do not obey” God (keep His commandments), then we will receive the same punishment as those awful immoral people. Punishment is certain (Psalms 9:17; Revelation 21:8). Punishment is also eternal (Matthew 25:41). Therefore, knowing this, we should strive to do ALL of God’s will so we can ensure that we will be with Him forever. Live life for Christ -- making the choice to go to heaven!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Must I Be Baptized To Be Saved?

So often we hear people say that they don’t “feel” that baptism is essential for salvation. I am amazed when I hear this because it is so obvious that God clearly gave us many passages in the Bible that show that baptism is essential for salvation. Individuals that say “I don’t feel that it is necessary,” are often the ones that have never opened up the Word of God and taken the time to read what is required for their salvation. One of the greatest examples of proving that baptism is essential is found in the book of Acts, chapter eight. Here, starting in the 26th verse we can read where an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying: “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” The Lord had a mission for Philip to do and sent His angel to inform Philip on what He wanted Philip to do. Philip met an Ethiopian Eunuch who came to Jerusalem to worship (v27). When Philip joined the chariot, he noticed that the Eunuch was reading from the book of Isaiah. The Eunuch did not really understand what he was reading and Philip began from the passage that was being read and “preached Jesus to him” (v35).

The Eunuch understood enough to KNOW that he needed to be baptized to be saved (v36). At this point Philip said: “If you believe with all your heart, you may” The Eunuch answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (v37). Then in verse 38 the action resulting from the Eunuch’s belief in Jesus was accomplished. It says: “And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.” The Eunuch never “felt” saved until he was baptized! And the fact of the matter is, he was not saved until he was baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:26-27). Have you been baptized into Christ? If not, you are not saved in accordance with God’s New Testament teaching. Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Have you obeyed Jesus?

Friday, May 1, 2020

Christian Life

Every Christian should strive to live the life that they have been raised to live. The apostle Paul said in the latter part of Romans 6:4 that “even so we also should walk in newness of life.” The Christian life is a life of faith (Romans 1:17). Our old life was buried and now we serve the Lord in “newness of life.” Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” The “true” Christian realizes that the “old man” was crucified with Christ and now lives a “new”, pure life before God. John wrote: “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).

The Christian life is also a life of self-denial. Jesus said that “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Some have trouble living the Christian life because they have NOT determined to really let Jesus rule their life, denying anything that would stand between them and their service to the Savior.

Peter writes: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8). The Christian realizes that Satan is active and working to destroy all those that try to do good. The Christian life is not an easy life. The apostle Paul told Timothy: “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). If we feel that we are suffering some type of persecution as we live our Christian life, then we must be doing something right. “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials and tribulations” (James 1:2). 

The Christian life is also a life of prayer. Every Christian should be spending time talking to God every day (Matthew 26:41). God wants and expects us to pray to Him (1 Timothy 2:8). Are you spending time talking to God? When we talk to God it shows Him that we are trying to do His will and we are seeking his help and guidance, along with praising Him for all that He has done for us. The Christian life is a life of obedience to God, knowing that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).

In addition to all these things, the Christian life is a life of growth (1 Peter 2:2), and a life of abiding in Christ (John 15:5-6). May we all strive to live the Christian life because after all, we are wearing Christ’s name aren’t we? Are we really living the kind of life that our Savior Jesus Christ would be pleased with? 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Singing to Praise God

Do you enjoy singing praises to God? Singing is a required and important part of our worship to God. It is through the praises that we sing that we get the opportunity to teach and admonish one another. Paul wrote: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). When God’s Word dwells within us RICHLY, we will express our joy to God in the teaching and admonishing of one another in song!

We know that we are not to entertain men with our singing, but rather we are commanded to sing to praise God. The Hebrew writer said: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” (Hebrews 2:12). When we sing to God we must sing with the spirit and understanding. Paul wrote to the Corinthian brethren and said to them: “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15). We must also sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).

Singing is a vital part of our worship to God. When we sing praises to God with the proper spirit and understanding, with grace in our heart, then our song service will be joyful, meaningful, and able to teach and admonish one another. But if we don’t have the proper attitude and prepare ourselves to sing to God, then our song service will be dull and not able to lift each other up. Let’s all strive to prepare ourselves to give God and each other our very best in our song service!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Our First Love

As Christians we have a “first love” and that is Jesus Christ our Savior and King! We need to keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus each day that we live. Remember the Ephesians? With all their positive aspects and glorious past history, with all of their diligent devotion - what did the Lord say to them? “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-- unless you repent” (Revelation 2:2-5). 

Don’t Forget Our First Love!
We need to be very careful not to forget our first love like the Ephesians did long, long ago. There are many things that occupy our time and efforts and if we are not careful then before we know it we will also be guilty of leaving our first love, Jesus Christ! There is nothing more precious to us as Christians as having our VICTORY in Jesus Christ. A Christian can reclaim that first love by getting back to the basics of love, duty, and responsibility. We are commanded to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind” and to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:2). Throughout 2020, let’s continue to make sure that we stay focused and stay in tune to “our first love!”

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Faith or Baptism Alone Does Not Save Us


It is very interesting to note that the Bible mentions several things that man is saved by. We not are saved by faith or even baptism alone. Faith and Baptism are pieces to the overall puzzle of those things which God says saves us. The Bible teaches that man is saved by:

hope (Romans 8:24
grace (Ephesians 2:8)
faith (Acts 16:31)
mercy (Titus 3:5)
words Acts 11:14)
baptism (1 Peter 3:21)
the word (James 1:21)
the truth (John 8:32)
hearing (John 5:24)
obedience (Hebrews 5:9)
the gospel (Romans 1:16-17)
knowledge (1 Timothy 2:4)
belief and baptism (Mark 16:16)
repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38)
calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13)
the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5)
being born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5)
faithfulness (Revelation 2:10
God (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:21)
the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)
the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:28)

Jesus stated very plainly “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). All of the things above “saves us.” Are we ready to accept what Jesus said and do the will of the Father? Our eternity (heaven or hell) will be determined by Christ (John 12:48). It is important that we make the right choice and listen to and then obey the words of God!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

What Manner of Persons Should We Be?

Christians should be the most loving and kindest of all people on earth. We should always strive to see the best in others and be willing to work out our differences in a spirit of love for our souls. We all want to go to heaven and in order to go there we must care for others as God has cared for us. In 1 Peter 5:7 it says "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." Therefore we can learn from scripture what manner of persons we ought to be.

We Ought To Be....
Attentive (Hebrews 2:1), Obedient (Matthew 23:23), One who imitates Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:7), Holy (2 Peter 3:11), Pleasing to God (1 Thessalonians 4:1), Helpful (Acts 20:35), Godly (2 Peter 3:11), Prayerful (Luke 18:1), Peaceable (2 Peter 3:14), Humble (John 13:14), Blameless (2 Peter 3:14), Loving (1 John 3:16), and Faithful (Matthew 25:14-27) to name just a few.

Why Should We Be This Way?
We should strive to be this manner of person because we know that “all things will be dissolved” someday (2 Peter 3:11). Christ is going to come again (2 Peter 3:12), and we want to gain a home in heaven with Him (2 Peter 3:13). Let us strive to live a godly Christian life here on earth so we can live with our Father forever (Revelation 2:10; 2 Peter 3:8-9). Keep the faith and stay the course because if we do, our heavenly home will be our reward!