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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Follow Me

Follow Me

Repentance means to turn away from something. It is making a u-turn, going the opposite direction from where you were going. Repenting from sin is turning away from the sin. Biblical repentance not only requires us to turn from sin, it calls us to turn to Jesus. Repeatedly throughout the gospels Jesus says, “Follow Me.”

Biblical faith in Jesus isn’t just believing facts about Jesus it is also following Him. James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” Although Satan probably won’t admit it, he believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He was there. He saw it. Too many people today have a Christmas and Easter type of faith. They believe the facts of Christ but have never committed their lives to following Him. I am a huge Mustang fan. For this reason I know all kinds of facts about men who influenced Mustangs like, Lee Iacocca, Carroll Shelby, and Steve Saleen. Yet, I have never met any of them nor have I ever had a personal relationship with them. I do however know Jesus, because I have committed myself to following Him and I therefore have a personal relationship with Him.

Romans 10:9 tells us, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Clearly we need to believe the facts about Jesus. God did raise Him from the dead and that should be our foundation of faith. However, that alone isn’t good enough. Along with our foundation of faith we are to confess Jesus as Lord. This is our statement of faith. If Jesus is Lord over our lives we follow Him every day in every way.

In the tenth chapter of Mark we find one who obviously had great respect for Jesus. He came to Jesus knelt before Him and called Him “good teacher.”  He inquired of Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that he needed to keep the law. The young man quickly responded to Jesus that he has kept the law since his youth. Jesus then told him to go sell everything you own, give it to the poor, and follow me. Jesus was showing him that he hasn’t really kept the law. Although he had respect for Jesus, he was unwilling to obey Jesus and unwilling to follow Him. Many people in our world today have great respect for Jesus, yet they too are unwilling to obey Him and follow Him.

Matthew 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” Notice that He said “you must.” The requirement for following Jesus is denying yourself and taking up your cross. We need to remember that the cross was an instrument of death. It was the form of execution for the day. In other words Jesus is saying if we are going to follow Him we must die to self and follow Him. We need to have more than just respect for Jesus. We must have total surrender; a surrender that leads to denying ourselves and obedient service of Him. Jesus said, “we must.”

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Repentance Required

Repentance Required

After the resurrection of Jesus He spent forty day’s with His disciples opening their eyes to the scriptures teaching them the reason He came so they could proclaim the gospel to all creation. Jesus told them that one of the requirements of accepting the gospel message was repentance from sin. Jesus said in Luke 24:46-47, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

What did Jesus mean when He said “repentance for forgiveness of sin?” When we believe on Jesus we believe on all of who He is, all of what He has done, and all of what He has taught. Jesus preached repentance of sin and holy living. True faith in Christ requires repentance from sin, for we believe what he taught.

After Peter preached the first gospel message just after he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit the crowd was pierced to the heart and asked Peter what they should do. They wanted to know how they were to respond to the gospel. Peter said they needed to repent. (Acts 2:38).

Sin hinders our relationship with God. It was our sins that Jesus went to the cross to pay for. When we choose not to repent we are telling God that we are not truly interested in a relationship with Him and that we would rather live our lives our own way through our own strength and wisdom. Make no mistake people who refuse to repent refuse a relationship and fellowship with God. John said in I John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” In other words, if we say we are walking with God yet we are living in open rebellious unrepentant sin we are liars. However, I John 1:6 says, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” We walk in the light when we have repented of our sin and received the cleansing power of the blood of Christ that paid for our sin.

Paul went so far as to tell us not to associate with any “so-called” believer who is unrepentant and living in sin. He said not to even eat with such a one. (I Corinthians 5:11). Associating with an unrepentant individual only gives them a false since of salvation. If there is no repentance, there is no salvation.

In the next chapter he gives a non-comprehensive list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. In I Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul said, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” Does this mean that anyone who has ever been drunk or stolen anything will not be saved? Of course not. Paul is declaring their identity. This is who they are and how they live. This is the identifying mark of their lives. They are identified as a drunkard or a thief or whatever the life of sin is that they have not repented of. Paul went on to say in the next verse, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Such were some of you, but not anymore, for they had repented and were washed with the blood of Christ. The Christians identity is found in Christ-not sin.

Does this mean that those who slip into sin from time to time are not saved? Galatians 2:11 tells us that Paul opposed Peter to his face because he stood condemned. Peter was being a hypocrite acting one way in front of the gentiles and another way in front of the Jews. Was he condemned to hell for his hypocrisy? Of course not. Peter was very much a saved man that loved Jesus with his whole heart. He was eventually martyred for his faith. He however, slipped into sin and needed someone like Paul to help set him straight. Those who are indentified with sin due to their lack of repentance are not saved. Christians can and will slip into sin from time to time. They however, will be convicted of their sin and repent. An unsaved person however, will live in sin with absolutely no conviction or remorse and be perfectly happy in their sin.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Faith Alone

Faith Alone

The Word of God is extraordinarily clear that we are saved simply by placing our faith in the person and works of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” By faith we believe that the blood Jesus shed cleanses us from all unrighteousness, freeing us from the power of sin and death, and gives us everlasting life. By faith we enter into relationship with God denying ourselves in pursuit of His will and His way as Lord of our lives. We walk by faith and not by site faithfully following Jesus on this earth knowing we are here but a short while awaiting eternal joy and bliss with Him and through Him.

There have been some since the beginning of Christianity that have tried to add works to the grace of God. Paul told both Timothy and Titus to speak out boldly against such false teachers. Paul also told the church of Galatia in Galatians 1:8, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” Anyone who adds anything to grace as a requirement for salvation falls under the category of being accursed. God takes tampering with His gospel very seriously.

Even deeds of righteousness are not sufficient to save us. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” If anyone adds any requirement for salvation above and beyond faith in Christ they are a false prophet. Even if it’s righteous deeds such as baptism, using spiritual gifts, church membership, or anything of the like. Yes, these are righteous deeds of God. However, they are intended for those who are saved; not a means to Salvation. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

Salvation by faith alone through grace alone is a fundamental truth for biblical salvation. It is what makes Christianity, Christianity. Every other religion in the world is rooted in works where people have to make their own path to God through their good works. However, the bible says that no one is good, not even one. For this reason Jesus came down to this earth to pay the price for us and lead us to the Father. He and He alone is our salvation. He is our way. Only by faith in Him are we saved.

When sharing our faith we need to make this abundantly clear. If we are not carful we can lead people astray into a works based mindset by telling them that they need to go to church, read their bibles, and pray, but never share the fact that they need to believe in Jesus for salvation. Yes, we tell people of the importance of going to church, of reading their bibles, and of praying. We should even encourage it. However, we let them know that this is not a means to salvation and that only faith in Christ saves us.

I have seen and heard many well meaning Christians lead people astray. They come across people who are hurting and searching for a way out of the mess that their lives have become. The Christian will then says something like, “You need to start going to church,” without ever communicating the gospel. Sure, they need to come to church. However, going to church will not save them. Yes, they can get saved at church. They can also sit in church for years without accepting Christ as their Savior thinking their works of church attendance is sufficient. After all, that’s all they were told they needed to do.  I believe this is the very reason many of our churches are full of unsaved people who are committed to church attendance but are not committed to Jesus.

I have also seen and heard well meaning Christians lead people astray that desire to be delivered from sin. The Christian will give the advice to the sinner that they need to read their bible more or pray harder. I have even heard Christians tell sinners that they need to think positive thoughts when they are being tempted. The bible is clear, only the blood of Jesus can deliver us from our sin. One needs to simply believe.

We are saved by faith alone. As Christians we do Christian acts, such as going to church, reading our bibles, and praying. We don’t do those things for salvation, but as a result of our salvation. Anything contrary will lead people into a false doctrine that is dangerous and deadly. We are saved by faith alone, through grace alone, period.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2017 in Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Not Everyone Who Say’s to Me Lord, Lord.

Not Everyone Who Say’s to Me Lord, Lord.

Now that we have a better understanding of the gospel we need to be clear on what true biblical Christianity is. There are two extremes in our world today. We first see the one who believes his good works can get him to heaven and then we find the unrepentant accepting Jesus as a ticket to heaven although they truly don’t love Him nor have any desire to live for Him.

Let’s be clear, not everyone who calls himself a Christian is truly a Christian. One of the most freighting statements that Jesus ever made is found in Matthew 7:21-23 where He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

First Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord. Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.” These are people who are calling Jesus Lord. Then Jesus said that they are doing works in His name. Why would these people not be saved? Jesus gave us a better understanding of why these people are not truly disciples of Jesus when He quoted the prophet Isaiah in Matthew 15:8, “THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.”

Much like the Pharisees who honored God with their lips they don’t truly know God or follow Him with their heart. They are too consumed in the accomplishment of self to serve God. They are more interested in the rules and rituals of religion than they are with seeking a relationship with the Lord. They are more concerned with the pat on the back than they are with the praise of the Lord. They are more in love with the idea of heaven than they are with the King of Glory and are more interested in building their kingdom than His. Their actions point to self rather than the Savior therefore, they honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. Jesus said that they “practice lawlessness.” Where is your heart today?

Jesus said that He will say to these people on the day of judgment, “I never knew you.” Not that He once knew them and they slipped away but, He never knew them, therefore, they never truly knew Him. Since their heart was set on serving self rather than the Savior they never knew Jesus nor served Him. They never had a genuine relationship with Jesus.

Another frightening statement that Jesus made in this scripture was, “many will say to me Lord, Lord,” Many! Just before Jesus made this statement He said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mathew 7:13-14.) According to Jesus only a few will be saved while many reject Him and are lost.

It is abundantly clear that the people out in the world who live lives in absolute rebellion against God are not saved. However, Jesus is now telling us that there are many who are serving in ministries that are not saved; teachers, deacons, pastors, and the faithful who sit in the pew week after week; yes, even tithers. They look Christian, they act Christian, they talk Christian, they do Christian acts, but Jesus said their walk is not genuine. There is no doubt that they think their walk is genuine. However, they fall under the category of people who believed in vain. (I Corinthians 15:1.)

Let me give a strong warning here. It is not our job to sit on the judgment seat and try to figure out who these folks are. Remember, they look and act Christian and because they are trying to be saved by their works and religion rather than a genuine relationship with Jesus they may act more Christian than some of the genuine Christians sitting in the pews. If God opened our eyes to the spiritual realm and allowed us to see who was saved and who wasn’t we would more than likely be astounded.

What we need to do is examine our own hearts and ask ourselves, do we genuinely love and live for Jesus or, are we simply in love with the idea of Jesus but truly longing for the benefits we will reap from Him. Friends, Jesus is the Pearl of Great Price, He is our greatest treasure and our greatest reward. If He, and he alone is not who fills your heart you stand in great need of repentance, and stand in grave danger of Jesus rebuke.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Walking in the Newness of Life

Walking in the Newness of Life

Prior to being born again our lives were carnally minded. Our hearts, minds, dreams, goals, desires, wants, and what we thought were needs were all fleshly and carnally minded. Ephesians 2.3 says, “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” When one indulges in the desires of the flesh and mind they walk in the flesh and are greatly displeasing to God. Romans 5:8 tells us, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

However, when we become born again we die to the flesh and come alive through the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit teaches us the ways of God and rebukes us when we walking in the ways of the flesh. Apart from the Spirit of God teaching and guiding us we cannot live for the Lord. Yet, when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord the Holy Spirit comes to live in us giving us new life. Christ is in us and we are in Him. We are alive.

The carnal man cannot live for the Lord, nor will he want to. However, the spiritual man who possesses the Holy Spirit can live for the Lord, far the Lord is with him, leading and guiding him. Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” When we became born again we were buried with Christ in the likeness of His death, not physically but spiritually. Just as we were buried with Christ we were, past tense, raised from the dead. Again this is a spiritual act, not a physical one.

The bible clearly teaches that those who are in Christ will one day be given a resurrected body. However, the bible also clearly teaches that the moment you accept Christ as Savior and Lord you die to self and come alive to God. Prior to being born again you were dead in your transgressions and sins. Once you became born again you are alive to Him and dead to sin.

A Christian is dead to sin. Therefore, he cannot live in it. “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:2.) Living in sin means that sin is your lifestyle; it defines who you are. Living in Christ is also a lifestyle that defines who you are therefore the bible tells us to walk in the newness of life. One cannot live in sin and Christ. It is a spiritual, physical, and philosophical impossibility.

Living for Jesus is a choice. God can but won’t force us to live for Him. Jesus called the rich young ruler to follow Him and the rich young rule said no. If he said no to Jesus, we too can say no. Yet, when we make the choice to live for Jesus we are not alone. We have been empowered by the blood and led by the Spirit. Wow! What a powerful combination. Therefore, we chose to walk in faith.

I have had people over the years tell me that they cannot repent of their sins because their sins have too much power over their lives. That is a lie straight out of Satan’s mouth that directly contradicts the Word of God. I John 4:4 says, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” As a former drug addict trust me when I say that I know the power of sin. As a delivered drug addict I also know the power of God. God’s power is much greater. Again, we have a choice. It is a choice of who to believe. I chose to believe God.

If I chose to believe God I will then walk in the newness of life, repenting from my fleshly life, staying focused on things above rather than the things below, focused on life rather than death, and focused on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of my faith. Will I do this perfectly? No. Neither will you nor anyone else. However, we should do this consistently as it is the identifying mark of being a Christian.

Not if but when I lose focus I will repent and ask Jesus to forgive me. I then will ask Him in faith to deliver me from whatever areas I have failed Him in and continue to walk in the newness of life. This process will be repeated many times in a Christian’s life. God isn’t interested in the amount of times you have slipped. He is longing for you to get back up and pursue Him again. Being a Christian doesn’t make you perfect. But, you should be consistent. Jesus death, burial, and resurrection purchased for you a new life. Therefore, we should walk in it.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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All Have Sinned

All Have Sinned

The bible is clear-all have sinned. Isaiah 53:6, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;” Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God;” I John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us;” I John 1:10, If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar and His word is not in us.”

Since all have sinned, all stand in need of salvation through the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross. Because of the sacrifice Jesus paid the bible says in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As we see clearly that all have sinned we see just as clearly that the offer of salvation is for all. Romans 10:13 says, “For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

Since all have sinned no one is a greater sinner or a lesser sinner, we are simply sinners that need salvation from our sin. Your sin can never be too great for the God of all grace to forgive or too small for our holy and just God to over look. All of mankind has sinned against God, therefore all stand in need of His salvation; His salvation that is available to all.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Our Sin Has Declared War Against God!

Our Sin Has Declared War Against God!

There has been many a Christmas song written over the years reciting the angelic message to the shepherds on the first Christmas of God offering of peace on earth and good will towards men. (Luke 2:14). The Christmas carols often recite them with a focus on world peace. One even requests, “Pray for peace people everywhere.” However, these writers of the beloved Christmas carols have a great misunderstanding of what God’s peace offering truly is. Though His second coming will bring world peace, Jesus first coming wasn’t to bring peace among the nations, rather, it’s purpose was to bring peace between God and individuals who accept His peace offering.

Jesus said in Matthew 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Jesus didn’t come to establish a kingdom of this world but rather a spiritual kingdom that is in the heart of man rather than this physical realm. Jesus also said in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Since Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” Jesus clearly wasn’t stating that Christians are to be at war against the world, rather, the world is at war against Christians.

Clearly the peace that God offers through His Son Jesus, which was announced by the angelic host, was a personal offering to each individual. Truly, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”, but only “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” The offering of peace with God is available to the whole world, but only received by the whosoever that will call upon the name of the Lord. The offering of peace with God is available to all but only received by the individual who accepts it by receiving His Son.

Why then do we need to be at peace with God? Because our sin has declared war against God. On December 7th, 1942 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor as a declaration of war against the United States. In the same way, each time we sin we attack God declaring war against His sovereignty and holiness. James 4:4 states, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” The Japanese may have awakened a sleeping giant but the sinner’s fate in the hands of a righteous and just God is far more dreadful. Hebrews 10:31 tells us, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

But the good news is, God has offered to all who will receive an offering of peace. God’s peace offering that is His very own Son. His Son who was born in the flesh that first Christmas morn, His Son who laid down that same flesh that first Good Friday, His Son who was resurrected defeating sin, death, hell, and the grave forevermore, His Son who is available today to whoever will accept His offering of peace. Colossians 1:19-20 says, “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

Our sins declared war against God yet it was God who offered us an offering of peace, not through the birth of His Son, but through the blood of His Son. God would have been just to destroy us for our sins and will be just in punishing those who reject His offer of peace. But praise be to God that He has offered us mercy and grace through His Son where we not only find peace in God, we are at peace with God. Truly, His grace is amazing!

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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The Wages of Sin is Death

The Wages of Sin is Death

Romans 6:23 tells us that, “the wages of sin is death.” For this reason Jesus died to pay the price for sin. Not that He sinned, but that He took upon Himself the sin of all humanity and died for all who would accept Him as their atoning sacrifice and therefore be cleansed of their sin. I Corinthians 5:21 says, “He (God) made Him who knew no sin (Jesus) to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

In Genesis we see God fellowshipping with His new creation Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God told them of every tree in the garden they can eat free, with the exception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said if they eat of that tree they shall surly die. (Genesis 2:16).

Although Adam and Eve tried to pass the blame of their sin to another, they were still held accountable for their actions resulting in the fall of all humanity. They could not blame the serpent for their sin. They made a conscious choice, do we obey God or disobey God. Although they knew the command of God and the consequences of their disobedience they personally chose to disobey God thus they sinned.

Did Adam and Eve die that day as God said they would? Yes. They died spiritually. They lost fellowship with God and were removed from the Garden of Eden and cast into a mean cruel world now corrupted by sin to labor by the sweat of their brow until the day they physically died. Sin has grave consequences. Had Adam and Eve not chosen to sin they would still be alive today. They would not have earned the wages of sin.

The bible speaks of three types of death, spiritual death, physical death, and the second death which is eternal death. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” and again in Colossians 2:13, “you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh.” Paul wasn’t talking to people who were physically dead but spiritually dead.

Sin separates us from God. God’s heart is to have a relationship with us. However, sin prevents us from having that relationship with Him. Separation from God is spiritual death. For this reason Jesus died for us so our sins can be forgiven and we would no longer be spiritual dead but alive in Christ and through Christ. Romans 6:23 not only tells us that the wages of sin is death but also says that the free gift of God is eternal life. Accepting the sacrificial atonement of Christ cleanses us from our sins and reconciles us into a right relationship with God.

Unless we are caught up in the rapture we will all die physically. However, we are not physical beings, we are spiritual. For those who have accepted Jesus atoning sacrifice and received salvation from their sins the bible says, “I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” There they will remain with the Lord spiritually until the resurrection of the dead where they will be given resurrected and glorified bodies, the same type of body that Jesus already has.

Those who refuse to accept Christ’s atoning work of salvation from their sins will then stand before God after their physical death and be judged for their sins. At the time of their judgment they will be cast into the eternal lake of fire where there is no longer any hope of redemption. The bible calls this the second death. (Revelation 20:11-15).

For this reason the church and every individual Christian should take with absolute urgency the mandate to preach the gospel to all creation. How else will they know? If they choose to reject, they have made their choice. However, they have made the choice with the knowledge of the command of God to accept His Son, and the consequences of choosing not to.                      If you have never accepted the free gift of God’s salvation understand that you are not promised tomorrow. You are not even promised a second breath. I have lived long enough to be shocked at the announcement of many people death. I was just as surprised by their sudden death as anyone else was. I we all were surprised by their sudden death wouldn’t they have been as well. It’s to late for them to make a choice, but you can choose the Lord today.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Is all Sin Equal?

Is all Sin Equal?

For most of humanity man has put different types of sin into different classifications. Today we have grand theft larceny or simple theft. God just calls a thief a thief. Today we have big lies that are propaganda or small lies that are little white lies. God just calls a liar a liar. Today, Christians think of homosexuality as a major sin and adultery or fornication, (shacking up), as the lesser of the evils, though in the bible they are viewed as equal. Jesus said that even looking at a woman lustfully is equivalent to adultery, (Matthew 5:27-28), and that being angry at your brother is equivalent to murder, (Matthew 5:22).

In the fifth chapter of Acts we see the Christians selling their possessions and property then giving all of the proceeds to the church to help those who were in need. One couple sold all of their property but didn’t give all of the money to the church. When asked if they gave all of the money they said that they did. Because of this sin God struck them dead. Wow! What was this grievous sin that cost their lives? Despite the suggestion of some that is was about the money, it wasn’t. Nowhere in the bible is there a command to sell ones property and give all to the church to help the needy. This act was done voluntarily out of a genuine love of Jesus and those in need. So, what was the sin? A little white lie. When asked if they gave all of the money from selling their property they knowingly lied and said that they did. Remember that the next time you are tempted to justify sin and say “it’s only a little white lie.”

The reality is, God doesn’t classify sin, God calls everyone who sins a sinner regardless of what the sin is. The biggest indicator that God views all sin equally is that God punishes all sin equally and that Jesus paid for all sin equally. Romans 6:23 tells us that, “the wages of sin is death.” There isn’t a classification scale of sins from big too small. The wages of all sin, big or small, is death. Even if the world considered someone to be a “good person” and that person had, at some point in their life, done something that man considers a minor sin, like telling a little white lie, and that person died without being forgiven of their sin they will be cast into hell for all eternity to pay the wage of their own sin.

The good news is that Romans 6:23 doesn’t only tell us that “the wages of sin is death”, it also tells us that “the free gift of God is eternal life.” I Peter 3:18 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The fact is, since Jesus died for all sinners and for all sins, from the most grievous to the little white lie, all sins and every sinner sent Jesus to the cross to die. No classifications, just sin. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus loved you and I enough to pay the wage of your sin with His death. Do you love Him enough today to turn away from your sin and live for Him? If you ask Jesus today to forgive you of your sins, whether that are big or small, He will. I John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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What is Sin?

What is Sin?

When asked what sin is, Billy Graham said, “A sin is any thought or action that falls short of God’s will. God is perfect, and anything we do that falls short of that perfection is sin.” The actual word the bible uses for sin is an archer’s term. When an archer releases his arrow from his bow and misses the target, he has sinned; literally, he has missed the mark. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In other words, we have all missed the mark, God’s mark, God’s standard. Every single one of us has missed it, therefore, every one of has sinned.

God gave to the Jews a law to live by and every one of them failed to live in accordance to it. God also gave the gentiles a law of conscience, a law every gentile has broken. Romans 7:7 tells us that the law makes us aware of our sin. In fact, the first commandment of God tells us, “You are to have no other God before me.” Have you always put God first in your life? Have you ever put something, someone, or self before God? Sure you have. Everyone has. Therefore, we have all broken the first commandment of God; we have all sinned. In fact, if I were to sit down with you in person, in a short amount of time I could show you how you have broken all of God’s commandments; we all have.

Clearly we sin when we lie, steal, murder, covet, lust, or do anything that God doesn’t approve of. Any action that falls short of God’s glory, His standard, His mark, is sin. However, sin is also not doing the many things that God has told us to do. For instance, God has clearly told us to not forsake assembling with other believers. (Hebrews 10:25.) In other words, go to church. Therefore, when we deliberately refuse to go to church we have sinned against the very God who has told us to go. We have missed the mark. Likewise, when we deliberately refuse to study His word, pray, give, witness, as well as many more things God has told us to do we have missed the mark.

Sin is what separates us from God. God is righteous and cannot have a relationship with sinners. Adam and Eve were removed from paradise because of their sin. They disobeyed God and suffered the consequences. Paul, writing to people who were obviously physically alive, wrote, “And you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1). Why were they dead? Their sins separated them from God and were therefore spiritually dead. Their repentance from sin and acceptance of God’s grace gave them life- eternal life. (Ephesians 2:1-10). If one dies physically while still separated spiritually from God in their sins they will stay eternally separated from Him in hell where there is no chance of escape. That’s why today is the day of salvation. Once we die, it’s too late.

We cannot clean ourselves up or straighten out our act. Nor can we shake the stench and stain of sin off of our lives. There is nothing we can do on our own that can release us from the condemnation of sin. It was sin that Jesus died for so that through Him we would have the ability to die to it. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

When we understand that we are sinners we understand our great need of Jesus. For He alone can save us from our sins and restore us into right relationship with God. Since we are all sinners, we all stand in need of salvation from our sin. Praise God for Jesus and His grace and mercy that results into salvation to those who believe.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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