Archive for the 'Family and Children' Category

Nov 16 2012

Conversation with my grandchildren about ‘total security’ in the Lord

Nov. 14, 2012
Conversation with my grandchildren about ‘total security’ in the Lord… that ‘once saved’ always saved! (I hope you keep this in a special file on your computer, even print it off for later reference… because it can challenge, stimulate, encourage, and also show you where to look in the Bible for answers to so many of the questions that will arise)…
You have reached the teen-aged years, which have many challenges as you transition into adulthood. There is so much more peer-pressure and outside influences for you to deal with. At times too, this can create stress and strain between parents and their youthful children… plus the ‘family too’ can be in an unrelated turmoil or fracturing which too often a young child may think themselves to blame for that.
Then reaching an age where ‘sexual’ awareness must be factored into it all, ‘maturing hormonal activity’ adds a lot of ‘stuff,’ often not understood, that impact one in many ways and can also create ‘fears or guilt’ for thoughts, feelings and/or actions…
And so too, much of ‘what seems ok or accepted in our culture’ is in ‘direct opposition’ to what God’s Word proclaims as the model for how we should strive to live… thus too ‘our guilt before Him,’ as well as wondering if, or what, or how, or when He will punish us… or just where do we really stand minute-by-minute, hourly, or daily with God.
What do we have to do to stay in ‘His good graces’… what is the measure of sin or doing things we think are wrong, or against God before we incur His anger, and ‘what form will His discipline or punishment take’… then, ‘what penance is required by us’ to ‘earn back’ His favor…
Add to that, so many saying ‘there is NO GOD’ or adding ‘their perceptions’ of ‘what they think about God’ and how they (do or do not) value or respect or reverence Him.
And even the ‘most pious’ may have long-ingrained perceptions that have been taught to them by the leaders in their church or faith, that can be erroneous…even though well-meaning… with the result being ‘we are constantly being judged by our peers’ in some manner driven by their own pride. Thus ‘peer-pressure’…
Thus, how we ‘respond’ to life’s challenges and circumstances is so important… do we turn to the Lord, or do we distance ourselves from Him, and turn within or to others… to ‘the world’… Is God’s way harsh…or heavy, or is it the ‘way’ of peace within…
Matt 11:27-30 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
I can promise you this… ‘relationship with God in Christ’ is ‘the most important aspect of your life’…
My life has seen so much of ‘my own rebellion against authority’… starting with my own parents, then with God too, wherein I turned my back on Him completely for about 30 years… and, I have committed every sin known to mankind except murder or actually killing someone! I am a miserable sinner!
So, when God re-awakened my spirit in 1984, I wondered ‘why or how could He love me’… and was I truly saved as a child (which certainly I thought I had been because I loved the Lord so intensely until about my Sophomore year in High School when I began distancing myself), and in my rebellion did I lose my salvation, and have ‘to get saved again’… and was that even possible… and ‘why would He ever take me back?!’
Then as I re-read the Bible, the Book of Hebrews was very confusing to me, because it ‘seemed to relate loss of salvation’ or ‘falling away’… so I was really confused… and certainly uncertain of my own relationship with God the Father in Christ. (See it is so important to keep Scripture in context, to know to whom it was written and what it is really addressing less we get a twisted perception of it which then becomes our truth.)
However, by studying the Word, beseeching the Lord for His Spirit to illuminate the truth in this to me, and also having a man of God who was His instrument in awakening my spirit in Him, all that was resolved… (even though I did go through the ‘salvation experience again’ initially due to my confusion, and I was re-Baptized again along with my children)… I finally realized I WAS SAVED AS A CHILD, and even though I rebelled for 30 some years… I was ALWAYS SAVED… though ‘out of relationship’…I’d never lost my salvation, which I’ll explain more thoroughly as we progress.
If you do NOT know where you ‘stand with God’… how can you ever fully have peace? If your ‘status with Him’ is NOT fully understood…how can you be sure of your relationship with God…
Rom 5:1-5 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
God is a ‘God of love’… and is NOT ‘sitting in heaven,’ looking down on you, just waiting for you ‘to screw up’ so ‘He can pounce on you’ or ‘punish you for that individual act of sin’…
He does NOT strike you and make you make a ‘bad play and lose a game’… he does NOT strike you and make you ill… (although continued sin that is also bad for your health – such as gluttony, or alcoholism, or substance abuse, or just unhealthy living such as smoking, etc., can bring about chronic illness)… He does NOT ‘strike you’… He does discipline you to teach you…after all, He is our Heavenly Father…
First and foremost, I am NOT a pastor, NOT an authority, nor am I ‘infallible’ (perfect/without mistake)… I am NOT the Holy Spirit, although He dwells within me as He also does in every true believer… I am ‘a sinner saved by God’s merciful grace through Christ Jesus, my Savior and Lord’ sharing with you my knowledge gleaned through life and the study of God’s Word, the Bible.
Before we get into the ‘meat’ of what I’m sharing with you… there are some critical basics we need to cover… primarily the Bible… and just what you believe about it… and what Scripture says about it…
Be sure you OWN YOUR OWN DATA! You go to the source for study and confirmation… it is ‘your authority, your guide for living’…
If the Bible is NOT true… what difference does it make? Without God we have ‘no hope’… no ‘eternal life’…
The very first thing is for you to personally determine whether or not you think the Bible is ‘the divinely inspired Word of God written by men chosen by God as to how they heard what He imparted to them and how they wrote it’… and thus too is ‘infallible’… without mistake, perfect… of divine origin…
2 Tim 3:14-17 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
And in that same book, II Tim. 4:3, 4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
If you DO NOT accept it as God’s Word (His revelation of Himself to His creation in His own timing, and His model for how we should strive to live our lives, and His plan for our salvation in Christ)…then really there is no basis or foundation for what you believe concerning these things I am presenting to you.
Remember, Satan (a supernatural being) cannot ‘create’ so he must counterfeit or lie (he is the ‘father of lies’) …there is a supernatural battle being waged here and for your soul…but once you’ve accepted Christ, Satan can ‘tempt you’ but cannot touch you… nor can he cause you to lose your salvation…
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
And by lies and counterfeit (often beginning with God’s truth then perverting it) ‘Satan deludes’ many… thus he is constantly attacking the Bible in many ways… some ‘denominations or religions’ through that Satanic influence have created their own ‘authority’ that supersedes the Bible… I believe such as the Mormon faith with their own Book of Mormon written by Joseph Smith… who also ‘claimed the Bible then was corrupt’…thus his book was and is their higher authority.
Joseph Smith, Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, the predominant branch of which is Mormonism. At age twenty-four, Smith published the Book of Mormon, and in the next fourteen years he attracted thousands of followers, established cities and temples, and created a lasting religious culture.
The Smiths believed in visions and prophecies, and participated in folk religious practices typical of the era. According to Smith, beginning in the early 1820s he had visions, in one of which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of ancient American civilizations. In 1830, he published what he said was an English translation of these plates as the Book of Mormon and organized the Church of Christ as a restoration of the early Christian church. Church members were later called Latter Day Saints, Saints, or Mormons.
Read more of this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith
Or Christian Science with theirs by Mary Baker Eddy…
Mary Baker Eddy (July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) was the founder of Christian Science (1879), a Protestant American system of religious thought and practice adopted by the Church of Christ, Scientist, and others. She is the author of the movement’s textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and founded the Christian Science Publishing Society (1898), which continues to publish a number of periodicals including The Christian Science Monitor (1908).
Married three times, she took the name Mary Baker Glover from her first marriage. She was also known from her third marriage as Mary Baker Glover Eddy or Mary Baker G. Eddy
Read more of this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Baker_Eddy
Or even Catholicism who ‘allow the Pope’s authority to supersede the Bible, and thus ‘what he writes or mandates’ is their higher authority, in spite of a long record of corrupt Popes and leaders.
I constantly hear people say, well “I believe certain parts, and then certain parts are just myth or fables”…
and I want to then say…show me your Bible and highlight what you believe is true and what you believe is false… but how could you possibly have as your foundational basis a book you don’t even fully believe or that you believe is somehow corrupt in certain areas… that does NOT make any sense!
Or I hear people say, “well over time and the many ‘translations’ of the Bible, the ‘real truth’ has either been ‘lost or misinterpreted’…
and I say, that if God is Sovereign, which then ‘by definition’ means He is ‘in control’… don’t you think He could control that too… and thus everything we need to know concerning our salvation in Christ has been preserved… in fact the more ancient artifacts found, the more the Bible is proved…
Then too there is also the ‘spinning’ concerning the ‘Council of Nicaea’… as ordered by the Roman Emperor Constantine, who had ‘an epiphany of God’ before a key battle to win Rome:
On Oct. 27, 312, on the eve of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine had a vision assuring him of victory in the name of the Christian God. As emperor, Constantine served as a patron for the church, contributing to its rapid growth in the fourth century.
That victory resulted in his becoming a ‘patron of the church of Rome’ and later mandating this council in order to ‘bring order to the church’ that was widely splintered in what it taught. He commissioned 50 Bibles to be printed from the results of that council… and ‘they decided what books to include in it.’ (At that time, there was much discussion as to the ‘deity of Christ, and whether or not He was the begotten Son of God, and also concerning the Trinity… God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
There are also many books we now refer to as the Apocrypha … which some denomination still include as Biblical… though I DO NOT, nor do the majority of Protestant faiths)… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_apocrypha
The Council of Nicaea:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea (/naɪ’si:ə/; Greek: Νίκαια /’ni:kaɪja/) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day İznik in Turkey) by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.[5][6]
Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Trinitarian issue of the nature of The Son and his relationship to God the Father,[3] the construction of the first part of the Creed of Nicaea, settling the calculation of the date of Easter,[2] and promulgation of early canon law.[4][7][8]
The First Council of Nicaea was the first ecumenical council of the Church. Most significantly, it resulted in the first, uniform Christian doctrine, called the Creed of Nicaea. With the creation of the creed, a precedent was established for subsequent local and regional councils of Bishops (Synods) to create statements of belief and canons of doctrinal orthodoxy— the intent being to define unity of beliefs for the whole of Christendom.
The council settled, to some degree, the debate within the Early Christian communities regarding the divinity of Christ. This idea of the divinity of Christ, along with the idea of Christ as a messenger from God (The Father), had long existed in various parts of the Roman empire. The divinity of Christ had also been widely endorsed by the Christian community in the otherwise pagan city of Rome.[9] The council affirmed and defined what it believed to be the teachings of the Apostles regarding who Christ is: that Christ is the one true God in deity with the Father.
So what I write to you is ‘to hopefully stimulate and challenge you’ to think deeply about it… and to study your Bible concerning it… and certainly ask questions of me or of someone else you think is ‘an authority’ on God’s Word… always keep in mind that it is ‘not what I say or what someone says, but what God’s Word says’…
By spending more time in the Bible, you will understand it more if that is your desire… the Bible is simple enough a child can grasp the love of Christ… but also so deep and full that even the best scholar cannot fully grasp it entirely… remember, it is God’s Words and…we are just mankind…not God…
Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Isa 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
Isa 55:8-11 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
This was meant to be fairly short and simple… but then, as I meditated over it, and also lifted this project to the Lord in prayer… then built an outline… I realized there was a lot to cover… so I’ll ‘break it down into several segments’… and suggest you create a folder to keep it in, because this may be a very good ‘study guide’ for you that will always be timely and very appropriate. So many people are troubled (or challenged) by the topics I will cover with you… and “I feel” that even many (well-meaning) churches and denominations too are teaching ‘wrong doctrine’
Doctrine – a Noun:1.A belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group. 2.A stated principle of government policy, mainly in foreign or military affairs: “the Monroe Doctrine”.
thus creating unnecessary fear or insecurity concerning how they view God and also concerning God’s salvation given to us through Christ… and by this holding their members in a certain ‘bondage to them’ or trying to impose a ‘works or personal performance theology’ whereby their holiness and righteousness (and thus their salvation) is dependent upon their ‘good deeds or works or performance’ and their ‘following rules or that particular churches concept of living a Christian life’…
What is a Christian… In it’s simplest form… to ‘me’ a Christian is a ‘follower of Jesus Christ’… It is ‘all about Christ, and His FINISHED work on Calvary’s cross. If we, (any man or woman or organization), tries to ‘add anything to that finished work,’ then they are saying in effect that His crucifixion was NOT enough! And in that they are ‘blaspheming God!’
Christianity is NOT a denomination…nor is it ‘exclusive to one denomination’… Nor is the ‘term Christianity applied to a faith or church or denomination’ necessarily true to the Word of God or the Gospel. Too often it has ‘become like a social club, a fraternity or sorority’ and completely lost the ‘heart of God’…
To me, Christianity is the ‘body of Christ’… meaning ‘followers of Christ’ and those who love the Lord and truly recognize Him as Savior and Lord…
It is ‘available to everyone… it is ‘all about relationship with Christ’… a unique and personal relationship ‘born’ at the mysterious and miraculous moment when one who ‘has realized they are a sinner’…’lost in their sin’…’and need a Savior’… ‘and that Jesus Christ is that Savior’… and they ask Him into their heart as Savior… and once ‘saved’… eternally saved… it is forever…
From a ‘secular perspective’… it is a person who ‘claims’ to ‘follow the teachings of Christ… and who is a member…or attends a church considered a ‘Christian Church’…
***even though there are ‘churches claiming to be Christian’ who ‘in reality’ are ‘cults or false religions’ masquerading as Christians… but preaching a different Gospel than that found in the Bible…
I am ‘saved by faith in God’s grace towards me in Christ’… I DO NOT DESERVE IT… I CANNOT EARN IT… IT IS HIS FREE GIFT TO ME (AND TO ANYONE WHO CHOOSES TO ACCEPT CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD!
IT IS NOT BASED UPON “MY PERFORMANCE” BUT ON CHRIST’S PERFORMANCE ON CALVARY’S CROSS! AND UPON GOD RAISING HIM FROM THE DEAD…
AND, CHRIST DID IT ALL, AND IT IS COMPLETE…THERE IS NOTHING I CAN ADD TO IT, OR TAKE AWAY FROM IT.
Key point — Faith: Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
Often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will.
Heb 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
Our salvation from God in Christ is ‘all based upon our “faith” in Christ’… in ‘who He is’ and in ‘what He has done for us’… John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:17-18 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:35-36 “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
***(Obey here means to accept/believe in Him as Savior and Lord… and yes, we then are ‘to obey Him as He is God’…and strive to live our lives like Him, but He knows we will sin, which is rebellion and disobedience… and He has paid the price for us for that. With all the preponderance of Scripture saying our salvation from God depends upon or ‘faith/belief in Christ as Savior and Lord’… NOTHING THEN CANCELS THAT OUT!
So look for the context. In this, it is clear that our ‘eternal destiny’ depends upon what we do with the Son of God. If we receive Him, God gives us eternal life as a free gift. If we reject Him, we will never enjoy everlasting life, and not only so, but God’s wrath already hangs over us, ready to fall at any moment… since we do NOT know when our life here on earth will end. The decision concerning Christ must be made while we live. Notice there is nothing in this about ‘keeping the law…as in the 10 Commandments… going to church…doing the best we can or working our way to Heaven.)
Rom 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Rom 5:1-5 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Rom 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
Eph 2:4-7But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8-9 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, that no one should boast.
If you do NOT know where you ‘stand with God’… how can you ever fully have peace? If your ‘status with Him’ is NOT fully understood…how can you be sure of your relationship with God…
No matter what they say, or how it seems, the Bible says…those ‘not saved’ have ‘no peace’:
Isa 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
Also… what is ‘our purpose here on earth’… knowing Christ and glorifying God in Christ…
Phil 3:7-14 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(We are aliens here… Heaven is our home…this is just the journey)…this written to ‘believers’…
1 Peter 2:9-15 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Death no longer has a ‘sting for believers’ because it is merely our ‘transition’ into Heaven with Christ: 2 Cor 5:5-9 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight — we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
What does God desire… He desires for us ‘to know Him as God, and to worship Him and revere Him’…(the word ‘fear’ in the Old Testament refers to ‘reverence’… and to understand He gives life and He takes life…that He is God!
He desires a deeply personal and unique relationship with each of us (thus He has made each of us unique and individual …no fingerprints or DNA the same)…
He desires this to be accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ… we see all through the Bible, God interacting with His creation… (both individually and ‘corporately as in a city, a country, a race, a people, etc.)…the Old Testament preparing them for Christ…the New Testament the fulfilling of it…
Where do you learn about salvation… where do you learn about Christ… in the Bible if you want to ‘study this from its source’… isn’t it important enough for you to want to know it from it’s source…
When from the Bible (keep what you read in context… and if listening to someone like a pastor, be sure they keep Scripture in context…and be sure they are not just taking isolated Scriptures to promote their agenda)…
When from others…be sure to compare what they say to Scripture to see if it’s true…
When from Church and pastors and teachers there…the same applies… compare it to Scripture for accuracy… and be sure to also ‘check their agenda’…
Scofield has a saying that is so true: “Anything may be proved by the ‘Bible’ is both true and false——true if isolated passages are used; utterly false if the whole divine revelation is in view.”
We see over and over, people using “isolated passages” to develop their doctrine, and getting lost, and worse, leading others to be lost.
Again, God is a ‘God of love’… and is NOT ‘sitting in heaven,’ looking down on you, just waiting for you ‘to screw up’ so ‘He can pounce on you’ or ‘punish you for that individual act of sin’…
We live in a ‘fallen world’ where our choices (Adam and Eve’s) allowed sin to enter… thus… God ‘allows things to happen’… but God does NOT tempt us with sin…
James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
He does NOT strike you and make you make a ‘bad play and lose a game’…
He does NOT strike you and make you ill… (although continued sin that is also bad for your health can bring about chronic illness)…
He does NOT ‘strike you’… though He does discipline you to teach you…after all, He is our Heavenly Father…
Yes, when we make choices that are ‘against God’ (sin)… there are ‘consequences’… (God’s Law of the Harvest)…Whatever you sow, so shall you reap… generally you ‘reap later, and reap more than you sow’…so be careful ‘what you sow’…
Gal 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Eternal consequences…
Rom 5:12-14 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned — for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Consequences or circumstances while here on earth… (resulting from our sin… or a sin committed by someone against God while they are ‘trespassing or even attacking, robbing, or raping us’)… is that ‘God’s will for us?’
No, God only wants the best for all of us… but we live in a ‘fallen world’… and so ‘bad things happen’… but somehow I believe God will use those events for His purposes…
As God, he is ‘Sovereign’… meaning ‘in control’… totally and completely… but we do NOT fully understand His plan or purposes… so we must just ‘trust in Him’… and ‘cling to His promises’…
What is sin? A volitional act of disobedience against the revealed will of God! Thus it is ‘rebellion against God.
How many sins does it take to ‘be condemned eternally’… just one… not plural…
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Who has sinned… all… every one… no one is without sin!
Rom 3:10-18 as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”; “Their feet are swift to shed blood, Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace have they not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Christ died for ‘all of us’…
Rom 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
How are ‘we saved’…
John 3:3-18 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things? “Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen; and you do not receive our witness. “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things? “And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Acts 16:30-32 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.
Rom 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Rev 3:20-21 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Was Judas saved and then lost his salvation…
No! He was never saved… if fact he was a thief too who stole from collections for the poor. But his betrayal of Christ is the most notorious event in which he did Satan’s bidding…
Matt 26:20-25 Now when evening had come, He was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. And as they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” And being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” And He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” And Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said it yourself.”
John 6:70-71 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
John 13:2 And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,
Are there some sins more heinous to God than others… Does He then hold you ‘more accountable’ and ‘punish you worse’ for these worst sins… Personally I believe only mankind sets some sort of measure on sins while according to Scripture sin condemns one to hell, and possibly there are different degrees of hell, but all I read of it, I do NOT know how any part of it could be worse than another part… Still mankind seems to want to give certain sins different weights like the Catholics have two categories of sin…
Mortal sin: A mortal sin is a transgression of the moral law in a serious matter, committed with clear advertence to the grievous nature of the act and with full deliberation and consent on the part of the will. It is called mortal since it deprives the soul of its supernatural life of sanctifying grace. It deserves eternal punishment (2 Thes 1:9), since the offence is a deliberate act of rebellion against the infinite majesty of God.
Venial sin: An offence against the law of God less grievous than mortal sin, not depriving the soul of sanctifying grace. A sin is venial either when the matter is not grave, or when, given grave matter, either full advertence to its gravity on the part of the intellect or full consent on the part of the will is wanting. Venial sins can be remitted by prayer or other good works.
Here we show the Catholic reference above to demonstrate how Scripture can be ‘twisted’ to ‘fit an agenda’…even by so-called Christian religions… because as we have shown by God’s Word… those ‘who do NOT know God’ and those ‘who do NOT obey the Gospel’ are those who ‘reject Christ’… because Christ and His Person and His mission to die for our sin on Calvary’s cross is the Gospel of salvation and forgiveness of all sins. But the Catholics have used this to ‘justify their own version of sin by category’…
2 Thess 1:7-10 …when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 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, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.
Is suicide the ‘unforgivable sin’… No!
There is only one sin that is unforgivable…that is to reject the Holy Spirit’s call to you to accept Christ as Savior and Lord… We can see in Scripture that God gave Sampson back his strength so he could kill his enemies and in that same act himself… which was suicide… yet Sampson is also shown to be a ‘man of God’ in the Old Testament…
Is there any sin that is ‘unforgivable’… No! There is only one sin that is unforgivable…that is to reject the Holy Spirit’s call to you to accept Christ as Savior and Lord…
Is drinking a sin? (Charles Stanley says so… but again… I believe he is ‘twisting Scripture’ in this for his own agenda… and since many pastors have seen the damage of drunkenness in families…they then place ‘all drinking in a sin category’)
God speaks against drunkenness… Eph 5:18-21 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
1 Tim 3:2-3 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money.
1 Tim 5:23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
But in His word drinking wine is often mentioned… (it is forbidden for those who take a Nazerite vow for the time of that vow…but then they are released from that condition)… it is referred to lift one’s spirits… and even for one’s stomach health…
Gen 27:28 Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine;
Ps 4:7-8 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For Thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety.
Ps 104:14-15 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine which makes man’s heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man’s heart.
Prov 3:9-10 Honor the Lord from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Prov 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.
Prov 23:19-21 Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way. Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
And Christ’s first miracle recorded was when He changed water to wine at a marriage celebration at His mother’s request…
John 2:2-11 … and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding. And when the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the headwaiter.” And they took it to him. And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when men have drunk freely, then that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
Immorality:
1 Cor 6:17-20 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Homosexuality… is it a sin… is it a ‘worse sin’ than other sins… how is it portrayed in the Bible… is it worse than fornication (having heterosexual sex outside of marriage), or adultery (sex with someone married to another, or sex with another while you are married to someone else), or is it worse than murder, robbery, or telling a lie…
Since from what I read… any sin carries the same eternal penalty… condemnation to hell and eternal separation from God… and even while here on earth it carries the consequences too…
Is someone ‘born a homosexual’ so that then they can ‘claim God made them this way’ and thus, by that be exonerated… From all I’ve read… there is no evidence of this… it seems to be ‘an excuse invented by them’ to ‘justify’ their perversion…
Can a homosexual be ‘saved’ by their acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord… I believe they can… but then I too would look to see if there is any visible evidence of their true repentance of their sin… and abstinence from the homosexual lifestyle…
Old Testament treatment of homosexuality…
Lev 18:22-25 ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. ‘Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.
This refers to God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah… for these two cities being the most evil on earth then… and the word sodomy then became the word associated with sodomizing… generally a homosexual act. Gen 19:4-9 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.”
Lot even offered them his virgin daughters…but they not only rejected him…they hated him for it…and were going to attack him too…
But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.
The penalty for homosexuality in Israel during Old Testament times was to ‘be stoned to death’… as was also the penalty for adultery…
New Testament places it with other ‘sins of choice’… (which are NOT birth defects but choices)…
Rom 1:21-32 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Gal 5:16-21But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Conversely the fruit of the Spirit:
Gal 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Does God show He believes in Capital Punishment .. YES!!
Old Testament
Gen 9:5-6 And surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.
Ex 21:12 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.
Ex 21:15-17 “And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. “And he who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death. And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
Ex 22:18-20 “You shall not allow a sorceress to live. “Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death. “He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the Lord alone, shall be utterly destroyed.
Lev 20:10-13 ‘If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. ‘If there is a man who lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. ‘If there is a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed incest, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. ‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.
New Testament (because some would say that after Christ came there was to be no more Capital Punishment – but here we see that ‘government bears a sword, which is a killing instrument’ to punish those of evil deeds against society)…
Rom 13:3-4 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.
Do you know that God loves each and every one of us… but HATES OUR SIN?!
Why does God hate your sin? Because He wants the very best for you… and He knows the consequences of sin… so He hates sin! Look at the ‘dear price He paid for us’ for our sins… the crucifixion of His own Son!
Prov 6:16-19 There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Zech 8:16-17 ‘These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. ‘Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”
Mal 2:15-16 “But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then, to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
Some would say that ‘how can God be a God of love, and then ‘speak of hate’… as in He hates sin… or even that ‘He hates divorce’… my answer is…how would you explain or demonstrate the opposite of love without using hate… the Lord ‘teaches us’ through His Word…
God’s dilemma: How could a righteous and holy God bridge the chasm between Himself and His creation…the ‘separation caused by our sin’…without compromising His own righteousness and holiness…
The only way was for the Just to become the Justifier … for God Himself to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins and to pay the price of our sin debt… only God Himself could redeem us…
If one single person could ‘achieve God’s holiness and righteousness…then a ‘standard set by mankind’ would have been established… and Christ need never to have to come to die for us…
But, He knew and knows that NO SINGLE PERSON IN THIS WORLD COULD “ACHIEVE GOD’S HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS” in order to ‘enter into Heaven’s rest’… NOT ONE! (Even though ‘some’ may so represent that they are ‘without sin’… there is NO ONE on earth without sin! Only Jesus Christ as ‘perfect man and perfect God’ was without sin!)
Thus God ‘made provision for our sins…. He provided the way of ‘our redemption from the eternal penalty for our sins, and also ‘to be eternally reconciled to God the Father’ through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ becoming ‘our sin’ on Calvary’s cross… that was the greatest demonstration of love ever in the entire world/universe…
He dealt there with ALL SIN… past, present, and future!
But that action, in order for us to partake of it, and ‘be covered by it’… is CONDITIONAL on our personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord… AND THAT IS THE ONLY REQUIREMENT!
What is ‘God’s grace’… (grace: without merit, you cannot earn it… you cannot manipulate God to love you more…)
Eph 2:8-9 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, that no one should boast.
God’s merciful grace towards us in Christ…does NOT dilute our personal responsibility nor the consequences for our sins while here on earth! Christ paid ‘our eternal penalty for our sins’ demanded by a holy and righteous God! But we will ‘reap what we sow’ while still here on earth…
And we are encouraged to ‘do good’ to try to live like Christ… and our ‘works for the Lord’ will be ‘rewarded in Heaven’… but DO NOT get us to Heaven. The ‘good works’ we do after being saved are also ‘evidence’ of our change of heart if they are truly done out of our love of the Lord. Also, remember this, we are ‘commanded’ to ‘share the Gospel of Christ’… and to stand ready to defend or faith or why we believe.
Btw… ‘there will be NO GOOD PEOPLE IN HEAVEN’… because God’s Word says there are ‘no good people’… that we are all sinners…(there is a ‘huge difference in what society considers good people’ and what God’s standard for goodness is)… so the ONLY PEOPLE who will be in Heaven are those FORGIVEN by God in Christ!
There are two judgments spoken of in the New Testament… this first is ‘the judgment seat of Christ’… and since this is written saying that ‘once forgiven’ and ‘in Christ’ there is ‘no condemnation’ since He has paid that price for us:
Rom 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
So I believe this is the ‘judgment of Christians’ for ‘rewards for their deeds while here on earth’… and also show that immediately when ‘we die here on earth’ we are ‘with the Lord’… and immediately upon ‘our being saved’ our names were written in the ‘book of life’… 2 Cor 5:6-10 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight — we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
And this is the ‘judgment of those who ‘rejected Christ’ or who ‘were not saved’… wherein they will be judged for ‘their deeds’ here on earth… and whether or not their names were written in the ‘book of life’… and ‘those who truly believe in Christ, will NOT be there’…
Rev 20:10-15 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
What is ‘salvation’… It is God’s salvation for us in Christ… His only begotten Son came to earth and was ‘born of mankind’ to a ‘virgin’… and walked the earth without sin… in order to be the ‘unblemished lamb of God’ to be ‘sacrificed for our sins’… he that knew no sin — became our sin on Calvary’s cross… and paid the eternal price for our sins in order to ‘redeem us’ and provide the bridge for eternal reconciliation to God the Father.
This ‘gift of salvation’ is conditional… it must ‘be accepted.’ (A very simple example of explanation: car insurance is available for people who drive… but if they do not purchase it… and have a wreck…they are NOT covered! Anyone who rejects Christ is NOT covered by God’s merciful grace of salvation in Christ!)
1 Cor 1:18 For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
2 Cor 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1 Peter 2:21-24 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Let us consider the ‘unsaved’ and their status with God’…
Eph 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 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.
The only prayer God answers from one ‘unsaved’ is their prayer to ‘be saved’ by asking Jesus Christ into their hearts as Savior and Lord.
A person cannot truly ask the Lord into their heart unless they know they are ‘lost in their sins’ and ‘need a Savior’… have ‘repented of their sins’… and implore Christ to come into them…
Salvation involves so much… I do NOT believe any of us will know anyway near just how much is involved until the Lord reveals it to us fully in Heaven… but for our purposes let’s examine it in three parts which I believe will help you to understand it better… and also to better understand the Word of God concerning it…
1. Salvation is the immediate mysterious, supernatural moment of our accepting Christ… thus it is called our ‘being born again’… or our ‘rebirth’… it begins our ‘spiritual life with God’… we are immediately adopted into the ‘family of God’ and ‘our names are written in the book of life’ and immediately we are then ‘indwelled by the Holy Spirit’ which means ‘God within us’…
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Let’s look at that last verse again… the ONLY requirement is to ‘believe in Christ’…to accept Him as Savior and Lord… (and why I always include both Savior and Lord is because ‘first He is God’… He is Deity… and as such He is Lord… even though we are also proclaiming Him Lord of our lives): “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Rom 5:8-11But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Again, immediately we are ‘adopted into the family of God in Christ’… to NEVER be abandoned or kicked out or excommunicated:
Rom 8:14-17 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
2. Then and only then our relationship with God begins…
Can we ‘break relationship’… YES! And we all do at times… just like in our earthly family, don’t we have time when we ‘disobey our mom or dad’… or ‘get mad at them’… and in that maybe there is punishment involved as ‘in discipline’… and we get angry… or our feelings hurt…but eventually we must ‘come to them or them to us’ and ‘re-establish our closeness’… our relationship…
BUT we are NOT kicked out of the family are we? Well so too with God, our Heavenly Father… we may ‘rebel against Him…which is what sin is… and He may discipline us… and we may in this ‘break relationship’… but He is still our Heavenly Father, and we are still in the ‘family of God.’
(Now I realize that here on earth, some extremes happen wherein a person ‘is kicked out of the home’ thus, ‘out of the family’… or chooses to leave the home or family… even on occasion changing their name… but that does NOT change who your biological mother and father are… so one is ‘still of that family.’)
If we ‘break relationship with God, how do we restore it’… that is shown to us here written to believers:
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
And also, since ‘we are in Christ’ we have the privilege of ‘going direct to the Father through Him’… so our ‘confession is to God’ and NOT to man. (as the Catholics and some faiths imply)…
No one can absolve us or reconcile us except God in Christ… and no one here on earth has any higher standing with God than each of us do through Christ… so do NOT allow anyone to try to intimidate you with that.
One final thing… no one, neither brother, sister, relative, or ‘church official’ can deal with our salvation by God in Christ (as some religions would represent)… it is totally personal…‘one-on-one’ with each person and the Lord! And if one does NOT accept Christ as Savior and Lord before they die… then they are eternally condemned based upon their works and conduct here on earth…
3. Finally, our Heavenly glorification… that is the moment, after our earthly death, when we will receive our eternal bodies…
So, salvation is of three parts: 1. The actual moment of one’s accepting Christ as Savior and Lord… and that is the strongest link that can NEVER be broken! 2. Our relationship with God beginning that moment and continuing forever…but it can be ‘broken by us’ when we sin… until we repent, confess it to Him, and are restored by Him. 3. When we are ‘glorified in our Heavenly bodies…
Thus, be sure when you read the Bible and words addressing ‘salvation’…that you understand which aspect of our salvation it is speaking about…
(For instance: Phil 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; First this is written to people already saved, plus, when the word ‘work’ is involved, it cannot be referring to the salvation of one’s soul… because you ‘cannot earn that’… so this is in reference to a problem or situation in that ‘assembly’ that Paul is exhorting them to work out the solution.)
Is Christ the only way to salvation and thus reconciliation with God the Father… or are there ‘multiple ways to God?’
Prov 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
For one to think that God the Father… would put His only begotten Son here on earth to ‘go through all He endured for us’ and to be ‘crucified on a Roman cross… then to make that ‘just one of a group of multiple choice ways to be redeemed and reconciled to God the Father… doesn’t that defy any logic or all the inherent traits of God?!
There is only ‘one way to God’… unless the Bible is a lie…
Isa 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Mic 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
John 14:5-7 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
1 Tim 2:3-6 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.
1 Tim 3:16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
1 John 5:9-14 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this, that He has borne witness concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Once ‘saved’ what happens to our sins?
Ps 103:11-12 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Does a true believer in Christ still sin even after being saved… YES!! We are encouraged to not sin, and we surely do not want to sin… but our ‘human nature’ is such that we do sin… (but those sins are also paid for as far as the eternal penalty)…
This written by the Apostle Paul, one of the most prolific writers of the New Testament, through whom God chose to ‘explain so much of the Gospel to us’… yet, even Paul sinned… (again, ‘we strive to live like Christ’ but we ‘fall short’… thus it is ‘by Christ’s performance on the Cross and our being washed clean by His shed blood’ that God the Father declares us righteous… and NOT by our performance… as Paul develops here showing us that as soon as we ‘are saved’ begins a ‘war within us’ between our ‘flesh or humanness and our spiritual self in Christ.’)
Rom 7:15-25 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
Rom 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
When we ‘sin’ we ‘break relationship with God the Father’ until we ‘restore relationship’…
How do they ‘restore themselves with Him’… This is written to ‘believers’…
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Can you ‘lose Christ’s salvation in you’… I often ask those who believe in the ‘loss of salvation’ that if so, how many sins or what is the ‘tipping point of that loss placing you back into eternal damnation’…
Or I ask them that since Christ dealt with all sin at the cross… past, present, and future… and you ‘profess Christ as Savior and Lord… thus all your sins are forgiven… just how would you then ‘get them back’ to be ‘under that penalty again’…
And of those who believe that ‘their good works or their life performance is the key… that if ‘good works can get you to Heaven’… how many good works does it take… when can you finally relax and be totally sure of your being saved and thus Heaven is your goal and you are already accepted there too when the Father calls you home…
Some believe that if you die with some ‘unconfessed sin’ you have lost your salvation… to me that is such a ridiculous concept…what if you just ‘broke the speed limit’…when God tells us to obey government authority… and you are in a wreck and die before you can confess it and ask His forgiveness… do you think you are then condemned to hell…
Each person knows within their own hearts if they have consciously and deliberately chosen to accept Christ as Savior and Lord… so if you have ‘settled that in your heart,’ and KNOW you have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord… then YOU ARE ETERNALLY (FOREVER) SAVED! YOU CANNOT LOSE CHRIST’S SALVATION IN YOU!
John 6:37-40 “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
John 10:27-30 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. “I and the Father are one.”
Rom 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.
2 Cor 1:20-22 For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
Eph 1:13-14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
1 Cor 15:54-57 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is God’s will or desire for us… for all to come to the ‘saving knowledge of Christ’… to the Gospel of Christ… to the ‘salvation of God through Christ’ for all ‘who believe in Him’…
Will everyone be saved? NO! Statistically, considering the entire population of the world since Adam and Eve, the way is narrow and few will enter…
Matt 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
Because our ‘pride is what separates us from God in Christ, the ‘wealthy’ are prone to denying Him… and thus: Mark 10:23-27 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” Looking upon them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
But God has ‘provided the way’ for all who will but accept Christ… He is the way the truth and the light…
John 14:6-7 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
1 Tim 2:1-6 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.
How about those famous men of the Old Testament… called the Old Testament saints… if Christ is the only way to God and the only payment for one’s eternal sins to be forgiven in order to be accepted into Heaven… what is their status with God…
From reading Scripture, I believe that ‘all sin was dealt with by Christ at the cross’… past, present, and future… and that prior to His crucifixion, and His resurrection, those Old Testament believers who died were held in a ‘special place’ called Abraham’s bosom… until Christ dealt with the penalty of their sins… (their system of animal sacrifice taught them that ‘blood is required’… and in my thoughts was became a ‘passover’ wherein God passes over their sins until Christ could deal with them at the cross… (and too, I believe you can get that image from Exodus when Israel left Egypt… and that night of the Passover of the Angel of Death of the homes of the children of Israel…
All through the Old Testament, God is referred to as ‘the rock’ and as ‘our salvation’… and we can see it was NOT their works or the fact that they diligently and without fail obeyed the law after it was given… because they all broke the law too in some manner… but it was ‘their faith and belief in God’ that caused Him to grant them salvation… still Christ had to deal with their sin too on Calvary’s cross.
Abram, later renamed by God as Abraham, the father of Israel: Gen 15:6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Rom 4:1-8 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”
Gal 3:6-9 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
James 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.
Let’s look at some of the Old Testament Saints… and ‘their sins’… so we can then compare our own lives… and to see that ‘their sins often were heinous sins’… completely against God’s will for them… ‘Yet, they did NOT lose their salvation from God!’ They often did ‘lose relationship for a time’… but NEVER their salvation!
Abraham gave away his wife to a Pharaoh of Egypt…on two occasions… and also tried to fulfill God’s promise to him by impregnating Sarai’s handmaiden… which then fathered the Arab nations and thus the Muslims… and thus a vicious struggle and a warfare of hatred by the Arabs against Israel.
Lot, who was kin to Abraham…chose to live in the most corrupt cities in the world then… and became an elder in Sodom of Sodom and Gomorrah infamy…two cities God destroyed by fire and brimstone… and Lot’s sons and daughters did not respect him…and his wife disobeyed the angels command…yet Lot is spoken of in the New Testament:
2 Peter 2:6-10 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.
Sampson… the strongest man in the Bible… disobeyed God’s commands for Israel, and married outside that people… and in that he also did NOT honor his mother and father’s wishes too… he also married harlots… and finally he got into sexual bondage and revealed the secret of his strength to one of his wives … he paid for this by being captured by the Philistines, blinded, and forced to be a slave for them for years… but God was faithful and honored his request to restore his strength so he could kill 3,000 Philistines and also commit suicide…
One of the greatest examples for me is King David… As a young boy, a shepherd, he had a very personal and unique relationship with God… and his boldness for the Lord caused him to fight Goliath and give victory to Israel… and once King, he was a warrior for the Lord to empower Israel to become the strongest nation… but, then, he too was tempted and fell into sin… he saw a beautiful woman, a married woman…and had her ‘brought to him’… and ‘seduced her’… but in reality… what woman under a King could have resisted…
Then, when she found she was pregnant… David conspired to have her husband killed in order to ‘cover it up’… (this is a very interesting story, and you should read it all…the life of David)…
So, he was an adulterer, and also a murderer…
But when confronted by the prophet of God about this… he admitted it and was stricken with deep remorse for what he had done… for his sin against God… and he repented…
And Psalm 51 is one of the Psalms he wrote concerning this…and you will see… he knew ‘he did NOT lose his salvation in God’ (still forgiven…he paid the consequences of his sin while still here on earth) and his relationship with God was broken for a time… but God is faithful and restored that too…
Ps 51:1-12 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, And done what is evil in Thy sight, So that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, And blameless when Thou dost judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.
From this I realized that we can ‘only sin against God’…
Ps 51:4 Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, And done what is evil in Thy sight, So that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, And blameless when Thou dost judge.
What we do against another person is NOT sinning against them… it may be ‘trespassing against them’… but since they are NOT holy and righteous… nor are they God… we cannot sin against them… our sin is against God!
This part speaks of ‘relationship’… and David knew he had NOT lost his salvation with God, but he was ‘missing the joy of God’s salvation’… which is the relationship…
Ps 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.
(In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit did NOT indwell each believer in God, that only came about after Christ’s resurrection and then ascension into Heaven…when God sent the Helper to us)…
John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.
Then too… I also realized from this that there is NO SIN which God’s merciful grace cannot overcome or forgive… if we truly repent and ask His forgiveness… Again, and this is so important, David realized he had ‘broken relationship but not lost salvation as he said:’ Ps 51:11-12 Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.
We can also see by the rest of David’s life that he suffered the consequences of his sin… their first child…the one conceived in adultery…died (God took and told David He would)… and one of David’s own sons (Absalom) tried to kill him and take his kingdom… and David’s story of these sins has been preserved for all to see…
Still God refers to David in the New Testament and also in the book of Hebrews as one of the ‘faithful mentioned in the Hall of Faith’… read Hebrews chapter 11 on this… a beautiful chapter of remembrance…
Solomon, the second son of David and Bathsheba… became King of Israel and was the most knowledgeable man on earth… still in his latter life… he drifted away from relationship with God… took many wives… and even allowed ‘idol-worship in Israel’…
The Old Testament reveals that even those we call the saints of God were ‘human’ and had the same human nature as we do… it was ‘their faith in God that God declared was their righteousness’… just as today it is our faith in Christ…
Final Commentary:
This is just a glimpse of the person of our Lord. Isn’t it so wonderful, and such a blessing, that we serve One Sovereign God in Three Persons, The Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit; and He has revealed His very character, His attributes, His Person in His names.
There is “nothing new under the sun”, nothing that we can experience, but has been provided for by Him in His word.
And His very names reveal His provision for us!! He is a Holy God, Righteous, Covenant Keeping, Just, Forgiving, Compassionate, Loving, and Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipresent, never changing. He is the Just and the Justifier, Our Savior, Our Redeemer, The Lamb of God, The Suffering Servant, Our Substitute in payment for our sins, Our Mighty Counselor, Sovereign, Lord, Master, Provider, Avenger, Judge, Conqueror, King!!!
He has revealed He can be grieved, He hates sin, but loves the sinner, He has anger and wrath. He can punish, or forgive, and is long suffering, He contends with mankind, all these characteristics that make up our God, our Heavenly Father. All these wonderful attributes to provide for and sustain us!!
Jesus Christ, who broke all precedents, walking this earth as a man, yet God, “being very God of very God, and true and perfect man”,—–”touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebr. 1:8) this does not imply any weakness, but rather that in His earthly life, He experienced every condition, temptation and aspect we must, yet without sin.
The only person who filled all three, at the same time, of the most holy and highest offices, that of Prophet, Priest, and King! And now is our “Advocate” in the presence of the Father, defending all accusations made against us by Satan! He can simply say, ” Father, I paid for that!”
Hopefully, this personalized insight into God in Christ will be of great comfort to you when you approach Him at His Throne of Grace, because as Israel, we too have our trials and tribulations, and temptations—and knowing He has shown us His willingness to deal with all for us by the revelation of Himself in His names is beyond verbalization in praise, thanksgiving, and worship!
But, Praise God, His Spirit, who is in us, will pray with our spirit to the Father, and hopefully this will also expand our mind in the worship of Him through and in company with our Precious Savior, Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
John 4:23-24 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
1 John 5:9-13 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this, that He has borne witness concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
I love you and hope this helps you in times of stress or in understanding…
Just know…that no matter what…God loves you… and if ‘you are in His Son… you are eternally saved’…
God knows every thought before we think it… He knows we will sin… what He looks for is ‘our reaction’ to sin and to Him… do we ‘draw closer’ or ‘distance ourselves’… and this is often a dynamic where both reactions are involved… I turned my back on Him completely for about 30 years… (‘in relationship’… but I was still saved as a child, and my salvation was and is secure in Him)… and He ‘reawakened my spirit in Him’… Praise His name!
In Him, saved by His merciful grace…
Grandpa

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Sep 15 2010

Our choices and our actions can have far more ‘far-reaching consequences’ than we may ever imagine…

This ‘began as a devotional with commentary’ but as it evolved… became such a very powerful study of God’s interaction with His creation… and His perfect plan…

and how there is ‘supernatural warfare’…with Satan and his minions trying their fiendish best to corrupt, destroy, or delay God… then…in the beginning… and now…

But praise God… He is Sovereign… and thus…in control… and everything works out ‘according to His “determined” will (as differing from His “desired will”)…

***yes to me it seems ‘God has both’… a ‘determined will’ which NOTHING CAN STOP or CHANGE… and a ‘desired will’ such as His will is for all to come to Jesus and to be saved… but He knows… and by His Word we see…that is not being done… but that is another study…

So…lets proceed… and my hope is it will stimulate and challenge you in so many ways…

and also impress upon you that ‘your choices, your actions’ can have far more ‘far-reaching consequences’… either good or bad…than you may ever even have considered… and thus…YOU can be a influence that can impact the world…

“I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” — Jer 33:3

Here I have placed expanded Scripture framing the above Devotional verse but used the New American Standard Bible:

Jer 33:2-9
2 “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name,
3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
4 “For thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are broken down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword,
5 ‘While they are coming to fight with the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the corpses of men whom I have slain in My anger and in My wrath, and I have hidden My face from this city because of all their wickedness:
6 ‘Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.
7 ‘And I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and I will rebuild them as they were at first.
8 ‘And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me, and by which they have transgressed against Me.
9 ‘And it shall be to Me a name of joy, praise, and glory before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear of all the good that I do for them, and they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for it.’
NASB

And now… written by a man of God — Charles Spurgeon — who wrote this over 115 years ago in England …but his illumination of the Scriptures are still so relevant even today…as God’s word never changes…and this only shows again that His Holy Spirit…who has illuminated His word to saints preceding us…is also faithful to do so for us…if we will but search His word diligently…

Now, there are reserved and special things in Christian experience: all the developments of spiritual life are not alike easy of attainment.

There are the common frames and feelings of repentance, and faith, and joy, and hope, which are enjoyed by the entire family; but there is an upper realm of rapture, of communion, and conscious union with Christ, which is far from being the common dwelling-place of believers.

We have not all the high privilege of John, to lean upon Jesus’ bosom; nor of Paul, to be caught up into the third heaven.

There are heights in experimental knowledge of the things of God which the eagle’s eye of acumen and philosophic thought hath never seen: God alone can bear us there; but the chariot in which He takes us up, and the fiery steeds with which that chariot is dragged, are prevailing prayers.

Prevailing prayer is victorious over the God of mercy, “By his strength he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto Him: he found Him in Beth-el, and there He spake with us.”

Prevailing prayer takes the Christian to Carmel, and enables him to cover heaven with clouds of blessing, and earth with floods of mercy.

Prevailing prayer bears the Christian aloft to Pisgah, and shows him the inheritance reserved; it elevates us to Tabor and transfigures us, till in the likeness of his Lord, as He is, so are we also in this world.

If you would reach to something higher than ordinary grovelling experience, look to the Rock that is higher than you, and gaze with the eye of faith through the window of importunate prayer.

When you open the window on your side, it will not be bolted on the other.

As I began reflecting upon this devotional… somehow I was led to consider so much more… as I started taking his text… and then ‘finding the actual verses’ from which he had taken it… as this one… and in this presentation…you’ll see ‘world-wide effects’ still ongoing…that also should show you…that ‘your choices and decisions too can affect so many’… thus each of us can be ‘an influence for good or for evil’…

Hos 12:3-6 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.
KJV

This was the story of the birth of Jacob… a ‘twin’ with Esau… his ‘older and thus the elder brother’ if only by a matter of a few moments… still in the family of Israel as God’s Word traces the lineage of Christ…

the eldest son — the firstborn son…was given great responsibility and the blessing of his father… and if there was ‘great wealth’…he was given the largest portion… and his ‘siblings’ were affected too by his position in the family… as he carried on the headship of his father…he became the patriarch… 

Historically and Biblically… this is more of this fabulous story… and in it too… we see this evolving fulfillment of God’s plan… and too…we can see Satan’s attack trying to thwart God’s plan… and disrupt the lineage of Christ… this ‘supernatural battle’ between ‘good and evil’… between light and darkness…

which is still being fought…but we have tremendous advantage for those of us who believe God’s Word… we know how it ends…Christ VICTORIOUS!

Gen 25:21-26 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.
NASB

Thus we have the birth of ‘two nations’… one in Jacob continues the lineage of Abraham… and Isaac… and thus Israel… through which is also the lineage of Christ…the ‘seed of promise’…

***(Also… previous to Isaac… Abraham sired Ishmael through Sarah’s handmaiden… who became the father of all Arabs… also enemies of Israel… and that is who the Muslims trace their lineage through)…

But the ‘birth of these twins’… Jacob and the other Esau…which became the nation of Edom…and the Edomites… who became bitter and deadly enemies of Israel…

Gen 36:9 These then are the records of the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.

in fact… Esau even married a daughter of Ishmael… in ‘direct opposition to his father’… and aren’t we too…so ‘rebellious by nature’… haven’t each of us ‘rebelled against our parents’…or ‘against God’… (all sin is rebellion against God)…

Gen 28:6-9 Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram, to take to himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he charged him, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram. So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; and Esau went to Ishmael, and married, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.

Now let us ‘fast forward’ to the time of Christ… and see just how this situation with Esau has evolved… since Esau became the ‘father of the Edomites’… who became deadly enemies of God and Israel (out of Isaac and then out of Jacob)… as we see in Matthew…that Herod the Great was a descendent of Esau… and of Edom… and still an enemy of God! (his father was Antipater and his mother Cypros, an Arabian woman…so she had to be from the lineage of Ishmael (father of the Arab nations)… if my facts are straight…

Matt 2:1-6 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
KJV

God warned the ‘wise men’…so…again there is ‘divine intervention and interaction’… and I believe there still is today…

Matt 2:12-13 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
KJV
We see here the evil of Satan and of his minions…their merciless slaughter of babies 2 years old and under… (***and compare that to our ‘allowing…even protecting’ abortion’…the ‘murder of unborn babies!’)…

Matt 2:16-18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. ***(My note: as Satan’s instrument trying to destroy the Christ-child) Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
KJV ***see this was even prophesied in the OT years and years before the birth of Christ… in Jer. 31:15…when one sees ‘all the prophecies of Christ’ that He fulfilled literally… His birth, His life, His ministry, His death, His resurrection…years or even centuries before He was born… how could anyone doubt?!

Other mentions in the devotionals text are worth study too… such as Bethel… as each of these have special ‘spiritual meaning and significance’…
Bethel…a special place of worship…first mentioned here…

Gen 12:7-8 And the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.

***Note later when Abraham had sinned against God in reference to ‘giving his wife to a Pharaoh’ and telling him she was his sister… God did NOT punish him… but rather took him to Bethel to worship…

Carmel…is often mentioned in the OT…but here is a verse I love…

Isa 35:2 It will blossom profusely And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, The majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, The majesty of our God.

But lets go back to these moments in Biblical history… of Isaac… and his twin sons… Jacob and Esau… (preceded by Abraham’s own sin… complicited by his wife…when they ‘tried to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham…by him siring a son through Sarah’s handmade, Hagar… who was named Ishmael…the father of all Arabs)…

Gen 16:2-4 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. And after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.

Gen 16:11-12 The angel of the Lord said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has given heed to your affliction. “And he will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”

Gen 16:16 And Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to him.

But here is where God ‘again’ promises Abraham that he would be the father of many… and a great nation…though whom ‘the whole world would be blessed’… and here is how the whole world would be blessed… the birth of Christ… and His sacrifice for our sins on Calvary’s cross…

Isa 9:6-7 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Here again is the blessing validated…

Gen 18:17-18 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?

Gen 22:17-18 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

This blessing again promised to Isaac… Abraham’s ‘son of the promise’…

Gen 26:1-4 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;

This blessing also given to Jacob… the ‘son of Isaac’…the ‘twin of Esau’…

Gen 28:10-14 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. And he had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Here…after the birth of Ishmael…when Abraham was still confused… as he and Sarah had tried to fulfill God’s promise through the flesh…

Gen 17:1-2 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.”

Gen 17:15-17 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

And here even Abraham questions God…concerning Ishmael… and God tells him that Ishmael is NOT the seed of the promise… but that God will still bless Ishmael… but Ishmael IS NOT OF THE COVENANT!

Gen 17:18-21 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!” But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”

(***and herein lies the split too with Islam…who considers Ishmael the seed of the promise with Allah!)… and again…Satan has ‘counterfeited’…and we see a ‘false religion’… delivered by a ‘false prophet…Mohammed’… which is controlled by darkness…and therefore condemns so many to hell)…

So we see how ‘significant our choices can be’… and how too the ‘consequences’ can be’… and how ‘history’ seemingly repeats itself… because as we too see… the Prince of the Power of earth is Satan… and by him are controlled this deep hatred of Israel… as God’s chosen people… and also ‘this hatred of us’ who are Christian…

And it really ‘should not surprise us’… if we but consider that…that Satan’s tactics have NOT changed… because ‘they work’…

and the ‘heart of man’ is still in complete conflict and rebellion with God… until he is ‘reborn into Christ’ by the Holy Spirit…and given a ‘newness in Him’…

(***and then…the ‘internal war begins’…between the ‘flesh’…the ‘natural man’… and the Holy Spirit of God who is now indwelling us…and this ‘internal warfare will continue until He calls us home…but Christ is also ‘victorious in us’)…

There is ‘supernatural warfare’… here Daniel is speaking of the angel Michael…and his struggle with one of Satan’s minions…

Dan 10:13 “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.

Dan 10:20  Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come.

Here the NT also confirms spiritual warfare..

Eph 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 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.

Eph 6:11-13 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 
***red is my emphasis… to show we are in a supernatural war…

But here is God’s promise in Christ…

Rom 8:37-39 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And there is so much Scripture of God’s promising us ‘victory in Christ’…

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

John 17:1-5 These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do. “And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.

John 6:37-40 “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Here are some things ‘precious to me’…said by others…

“I shall rise from the dead…I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as that sun shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began…No man ever saw God and lived. And yet, I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen Him, I shall never die.”

                                                                                    John Donne

 

 

“Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead.  Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive then ever before.”  D.L. Moody

 

“I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after dark; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.” C.S. Lewis

Thus too…in closing…you can see why this poem means so much to me… as it captures my ‘reality in Christ’…

One of my favorite poems… sure does seem ‘to frame me — the snapshot of me’…because ‘certainly, I am NOT holy or righteous’… so must rely on the ‘blood of Jesus Christ’ to wash away my sins…


 
 

I AM A CHRISTIAN
        by Maya Angelou        When I say… “I am a Christian”
        I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin.”
        I’m whispering “I was lost,”
        Now I’m found and forgiven.

        When I say…”I am a Christian”
        I don’t speak of this with pride.
        I’m confessing that I stumble
        and need CHRIST to be my guide.

        When I say… “I am a Christian”
        I’m not trying to be strong.
        I’m professing that I’m weak
        and need HIS strength to carry on.

        When I say.. “I am a Christian”
        I’m not bragging of success.
        I’m admitting I have failed
        and need God to clean my mess.

        When I say… “I am a Christian”
        I’m not claiming to be perfect,
        My flaws are far too visible
        but, God believes I am worth it.

        When I say.. “I am a Christian”
        I still feel the sting of pain,
        I have my share of heartaches
        So I call upon His name.

        When I say… “I am a Christian”
        I’m not holier than thou,
        I’m just a simple sinner
        who received God’s good grace, somehow.

Bill Watts… a sinner still…saved by God’s merciful grace in Christ Jesus…my Lord and Savior…

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Jan 23 2006

Children Learn What They Live

And, as long as we as parents are still alive, it is hopefully not too late to tell them (our children) how much we love them, and how much we value them, and how sorry we are for the things we have said or done that has deeply hurt them. (And, we may not even remember—but they do.) And, when around children, or young people, remember the tremendous effect our words and actions have on that child—-even as adolescents or teen-agers. A dear friend of mine said concerning that children’s saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” He said, “Your bruises, cuts and pain from being hit—–generally heal in a short time, but the deep pain caused by harsh, mean, belittling words from someone you respect or love—-or sometimes from even a stranger—–these scars you may carry for a lifetime.”

I am 66 years old, and still carry deeply imbedded, things that hurt me so badly from my childhood. I still have ‘behavioral mechanisms’ deep inside my subconscious to ‘protect me’ from pain and hurt—or the feeling that I do not ‘measure up’ to the expectations (often unrealistic expectations that even they could not have lived up to) imposed by someone I loved, or that was ‘in authority’ over me.

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