Friday, February 24, 2017

Good Looking Out

In the last post, we talked about how to put sin out of your life – basically confessing it, asking Jesus to forgive you, so that He can cleanse you from all unrighteousness.  A few things were left out; it is the fact that God is the one who draws you to Himself; also, He gives you the desire to confess and forsake those sins; and lastly He has made provision for your future.

In this post, I shall give you four Scripture verses to substantiate everything that I’ve just said. Therefore, please take this lesson very seriously.

1. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

2.  “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4

3. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

I underlined the part which points out the truth to what was said in the previous paragraph.  God is a loving heavenly Father, who desperately wants each of us to live with Him forever.

Now, let us move on to letter – D) to seek the well-being of others: What do we mean by seeking the well-being of others? And why should we bother looking out after someone else? Don’t we have enough trouble of our own?

Well, you already know where I am headed to answer these questions – the Holy Bible.

1) “Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselvesInstead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for othersAdopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:3-5 - CEB Translation

We’re being commanded by Paul, to not be selfish or self-involved; rather look out for the other guy. We need to always remember, that despite whatever we might think, there has always been someone else looking out for us, whether we realized it or not. Therefore, we need to reach back and look out for the next person. Why?

Well, first of all we are commanded to do so; next, we are admonished to have the attitude of Christ. He loved us so much that He gave up the adoration of angels to come down to earth and suffer the penalty of our transgressions. He was thinking about us; He yearned over our salvation; He longs to have each of us live with Him throughout eternity.

2) Therefore, if you are a Christian, you need to be trying to tell someone else about the shortness of the time, in which we are living; their need to prepare their hearts to be saved, and encouraging them to love the Lord, with all of their heart and soul, since He loved each of us enough to die, individually for us. What a mighty God we serve.

Next time, we shall speak directly to those who have not given their hearts to Christ. The time is now for you to do that! Jesus will not delay His return much longer. Remember, the hour of His judgment HAS COME! It is already here. 

Until next time:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Confess

I trust that you have been following closely with this “times series”; if you have, you know that it is time to talk about the “C” in the list of things I noted a few posts back.

C) Put known sins out of their (your) lives (life)

We’ve learned that “sin is the transgression of the law” I John 3:4 – this basically means that, when you fall short of doing what you know is the right thing to do, you have ‘transgressed’ or broken the law of God. This is not a good thing. When you do it accidently, unintentionally, etc., it is called sin. However, when you knowingly do it, it is called iniquity. God hates iniquity.

Let us see just how much God hates iniquity and how He deals with iniquitous people:

1.     “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” Psalm 5:5 – I think that is pretty clear.

2.     “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.” This one needs help.

What I understand this verse to mean is that the level of one’s willingness to sin, has so deadened his or her conscience, until the iniquitous sinner does not even fear the wrath of God anymore. They have gone so far down the wrong path, until they are completely jaded. Every time this person opens his/her mouth to speak, he/she is seeking to lie and deceive the hearer; there is no desire in them to do right anymore.

However, when one a) draws near to God; b) returns to Bible based teachings, which equal truth and c) puts known sins out of his/her life, then this is what God has to say:

“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:9 – What we are seeing in this verse is that God is pleased that one has decided to do the right things, for the right reason, which is a layman’s term for righteousness. In short, God says that He will honor one who does that and bestow honor on them, more than their peers. That is pretty neat!

So, let’s wrap up this little discussion, by telling you how you can get rid of your known sins. Let’s read it together:

            “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 – This is one of the most beautiful promises in Scripture. Jesus tells you that all you need to do is to tell him that you are truly sorry for all of the things in your life that is not pleasing to him and to ask for his forgiveness. He then PROMISES that he will forgive you and then clean you up of your mess. That’s exciting! There is no better promise to accept for forgiveness than that one.

To be continued...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Truth Matters


A.    Return to Bible-based teachings, which equal “Truth”:

I am so sorry to report to you that there has been a very great decline from the truth of God’s Word. False or erroneous bible doctrines multiply across the planet. There are far more than I can list. However, the first thing that needs to be established is the need for BIBLE TRUTH! Believing truth is major! Why?

1.     Jesus said: “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Jesus is the “Truth”; to accept Jesus is to accept truth; to know Jesus is to know truth. It is the beginning of knowledge; there is no other way for salvation! Acts 4:12

2.   Just before Jesus’ crucifixion, He prayed for His 11 disciples. This is what He prayed: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:16-17. To be sanctified (set aside for holy use), you must believe “truth”.

3.     Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ wrote:  “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Where unto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:12-14.

The first part of Paul’s quote is scary, “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth.” That means if you are trying to be saved by believing false doctrine, you are in for a surprise; those who don’t believe truth will be damned or lost for eternity! Again, one needs to be “sanctified, on the basis of their belief of truth, or in the truth.

This is another disturbing reality for those who don’t love truth, when they hear it. “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” II Thessalonians 2:10-11

4.     Again, Jesus made it clear that the absence of truth puts you at odds with Him and on the side of His enemy, the devil. Look at what He says:

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not [failed to live] in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

Thus we see that to live outside of “truth-filled teachings” is to align yourself with satan, the master deceiver! Therefore, I've learned that truth matters!

Consequently, I admonish you: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15.  If you study religiously, you will be safe based, on these promises from Jesus:

a.  “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
b  “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13

To be continued…