Understanding the Bible…

II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Understanding the Bible….

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”

The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.

How do I allow myself to be changed from the inside out?

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day, and remind a friend by sharing this story.

Renew your mind with God’s truths…

2 Tim. 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Those who do not have Jesus as their Lord and Savior have one major problem!

I Cor 2:14 “ But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

There is one thing needed before you can understand the Bible and know that you will spend ETERNITY with God….

 John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The Future and Coming Events…

Phil 4:6, 7 “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The Future and Coming Events!

You now find yourself in a traffic jam on a main highway. And of course you are already running late.  (By the way in the book of Daniel it says that our pace will pick up in the latter days.) This is not supposed to happen. A moment ago, you were sailing along the Interstate. Now, as you inch along with hundreds of other cars, there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic as far as the eye can see. As your temperature rises you think about how this could have been avoided. If I had listened to the radio traffic report or if I had noticed the truckers taking off ramps for other routes.

It’s good to have inside information of what’s ahead for our lives, especially if it’s inside information on what’s ahead forever! You know, that eternity issue that is so very hard to visualize. If we only had some solid intelligence on what’s on the other side of the day we die, we’d know what road to take and what road to avoid. Thankfully, God hasn’t left us in the dark about what’s ahead.

In fact, Jesus gave us a dramatic, sobering report from someone who ended up on the wrong road. It’s the story of a beggar named Lazarus, who actually goes to heaven when he dies and a rich man who ends up in hell. Did you know that in scripture Jesus talks more about hell more than He talked about heaven? Maybe because He knows we wouldn’t want to believe it.

In Luke 16, beginning with verse 23, the Bible says, “In hell, where the rich man was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'” The answer in vs. 29-31, “Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, no, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Rather than guessing about what hell may hold we do have scripture to tell enough to hopefully awaken us to think about our eternal destiny and the destiny and friends, family and neighbors around us who may not have heard or accepted the gospel. There are no second chances, no relief if we ignore the gospel, no water to quench the fire. But God never meant for any of us to go there. Hell was prepared for Satan and his demons, but hell is the eternal death penalty for those who defy God and run their own lives. God had every right to just leave us condemned. But instead, because of His awesome love for us, He sent His one and only Son to take that death penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. Jesus experienced hell so we don’t ever have to.

God sends no one to hell. We do that by our choice to accept or reject Jesus and the sacrifice He paid for our sins. If there is one decision or choice where anxiety is appropriate it would that question. Where are you going when you die and based on what?

Don’t risk another day without Jesus as your Saviour.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Matthew 6:33,34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

New Year’s Resolution…

New Year’s Resolution…

We have all heard that it’s good to make a New Year’s Resolution and then to even keep it which most of us struggle with. There is one resolution that has eternal consequences if we do not make it. And the beauty of it is that once you make it you do not need any of your efforts to have it be effective. That resolution is to ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord of your life. And for those who have already been ‘born again’ you too can make a resolution for the New Year in regards to your serving Jesus. You see, we all will serve either self and this world or Jesus. Yes, ‘born again’ Christians run the risk of serving self and the world also so do not think you are immune to it.

For all of us whether we are ‘born again’ or not we struggle with the pace of this world controlling us. “Haste makes waste” is not a verse of scripture but it does include some biblical wisdom. I am convinced that one of satans ways of distracting us and keeping us from thinking about God is to make us so busy we think we do not have time for a relationship with our heavenly Father. Especially in the fast paced age we live in. For our days to be spiritually complete we must start them with the One who can accomplish that in our lives. Our God designed us to be busy so not working or having a full schedule is not the answer. The question becomes what are my priorities today and which priority do I start my day with. Now that we have touched on one problem let’s see what the solution is.

II Thes 3:10, 11 “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this; If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.”

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”

When it comes to where you will spend eternity you must make sure that speed or complacency are not involved in the decision. When you’re moving too fast you tend to make a lot of mistakes. At least that is my experience. My many experiences. And you can end up going very fast – but in the wrong direction!

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”

For those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior there is a need to find your way. And it must be at the top of our priority planning list.

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the Father but by Me.”

So slow down today and…….

Hebrews 12:1-2 ” Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

You may have just found the one New Year’s resolution that makes sense for eternity.

For those who are ‘born again’ here is a great New Year’s resolution.

Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

JESUS IS COMING A SECOND TIME……………….Are You Ready…

Jesus is Coming to Earth Again…

Jesus is Coming to Earth Again!

Jesus came the first time as the Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the sins of mankind. Anyone trusting in Him and His sacrifice for their sins will spend eternity with Him. Most expected Him to come the first time as a ruling King and rescue the Jewish nation from the slavery and control of Rome. His first coming was recorded in…

Mat 2:1, 2, 11 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down AND WORSHIPPED HIM.”

Did you know that Jesus is coming AGAIN as a Lion from the tribe of Judah|||||?

Dan 12:2-4 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine, like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

All of mankind must choose between Jesus and eternity with Him or… Some to everlasting death (hell) and some to everlasting life with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So, how do I make sure that I am with Jesus for eternity and not doomed to everlasting punishment?

Acts 16:31 “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Note scripture does not say to add any trust in your Church, your good deeds, your wealth or any other work you do to be saved and spend eternity with Jesus. So, which Judgment Seat will you be at when Jesus returns? If you are not 100% sure of where you will spend eternity now is the time to find out.

 Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 Titus 3:5 “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”

 Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

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

Everyone placing their faith for where they will spend eternity into something. How about your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers……..? What are you placing your faith in?

 Romans 10:14 “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?

And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?

And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”

Is Hell real or just a story…

Is Hell real or just a story

In the humanistic or self seeking world we live in Hell is not a popular topic. Outside of a joking context you do not hear about it much. If you go to a Bible teaching church that is faithful in proclaiming God’s word in total you will hear about it. If you go to a lukewarm church looking to increase attendance numbers and build its finances you may never here about the consequences of sin. And worst of all if you do not believe eternal damnation is real you will have no burden to have your sins forgiven or to reach spiritually lost family, friends and neighbors.

What do you believe this morning about the consequences of sin? If scripture is relevant for today, and it is, then those without Christ as Savior who die…

II Thes 1:8,9 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of our Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Remember God and His truths do not change down through the ages like our ever changing technology advancements. His truths are absolute and can be counted on regardless of the age you live in.

Malachi 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I change not…”

There are many who will end up in hell and thought they were ‘Christian’ and even thought their lives and intentions were Godly.

Mat 7:22, 23 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

The good news is that there is an escape from the consequences of sin …

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and that life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life and he that has not the Son of God has not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

How about you? Will you hear, ‘Depart from Me’ or ‘Well done’!!?? Will you take the escape route that God offers?

How about the person sitting or living next to you? Where would they go and do they know that there is only one Way to heaven??????

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

How will they hear if we keep silent?

Before it is Too Late…

James 4:14 “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life?

It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Before it is too Late…

I looked upon a farm one day. That once I used to own;
The barn had fallen to the ground. The fields were overgrown.
The house in which my children grew, where we had lived for years’,
I turned to see it broken down. And brushed aside the tears.

I looked upon my soul one day, to find it to had grown
with thorns and nettles everywhere. The seeds of neglect had sown.
The years had passed while I had care for things of lesser worth;
The things of heaven I let go when minding things of earth.

To Christ I turned with bitter tears. And cried, “O Lord, forgive!
I haven’t much time left for thee, not many years to live.”
The wasted years forever gone, the days I can’t recall;
If I could live those days again. I’d make Him Lord of all.

Ecc 12:1, 13, 14″ Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the
evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them’.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is; fear God and keep His commandments
because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Facts! Heaven and Hell are Real…

Facts!  Heaven and Hell are Real….

Facts!   Heaven and hell are both real. Both are supported and mentioned many times in scripture. We all spend some 70-90 years for most of us on this earth and then comes eternity in one of those two places. That word eternity is not a word that is easily comprehended but it is real. Many choose to avoid even thinking about where they will spend eternity. God said the choice is ours to make. Sin broke our relationship with God and we have a choice as to whether we will allow Jesus to restore it for us. What we do with the sin in our lives determines our fate.

  • All are sinners. (Rom 3:10, 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)
  • Sin brings on death and all of the worlds ugliness. (Romans 6:23)
  • God cannot commune with sinful people who like Adam and Eve break their relationship with God by sinning. (Gen 2, 3)
  • A sacrifice is needed to restore the fellowship we break with God by our sins. (John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

Facts! All false religions claim that works are our means of restoring that relationship. Some of those religions even have the name of Jesus in them. Just having the name of Jesus in your church doctrine does not assure your salvation n or that the church you are attending is feeding you and your family God’s truths. Ask one telling question. Does anything needed to be added to the sacrifice that Jesus paid on Calvary to provide me salvation and eternity in heaven with God? Does Baptism, Church membership, Church attendance or sacraments etc need to be added… If any are being taught as a needed activity along with Jesus sacrifice for our sins, then….

 

Gal 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

 

Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are you saved by faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone would boast.”

 

John 14:6 “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

 

Heb 10:11 “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices,  which can never take away sins.

 

The sacrifice of Jesus our Savior is all we need!

 

Heb 10:12 “But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God.”

 

Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Which sacrifice do you trust in this morning?