Prepare, Seek and Do

Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord , and to do it , and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

To Ezra the law of God was more important than the teachings of the day. Gods Word took the preeminence in his life. Ezra sought to learn the law of the Lord. He searched the Scriptures seeking knowledge of God. Then he set about to teach and share what he had learned about God with others.

Is God’s Word that important to us? Are we purposely seeking to learn His Word so we can then share the good news of Christ with others? – Have you prepared your heart to learn of God and live for Him? Are you seeking out the truth of God’s Word? Are you seeking to grow spiritually?

The lack of spiritual growth in the life of a Christian is a very dangerous thing. It can lead you to live a life of foolishness, it can lead you to make dumb and dangerous decisions that can have drastic and life altering consequences for you. The lack of spiritual maturity is sad and dangerous because there may be blessings to be enjoyed in Christ that only the mature or maturing Christian can truly understand and enjoy. The spiritual immature do not fully understand or grasp the incredible importance of their standing with Christ. Staying spiritually immature is dangerous in that in leaves those people wide open to falling for the “wiles of the devil”.

Are you preparing your heart to seek and to learn the Word of God? Are you acting on what you have already learned of the Word of God? Are you teaching and sharing what you have learned from the Word of God with others?

A Guaranteed Inheritance

Proverbs 10:30 “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.”

The joy and hope only found in the Lord shall never leave the righteous. The righteous have a guaranteed hope in the Lord; we have a guaranteed inheritance. “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” I Peter 1:4

The wicked on the other hand have certain and eternal ruin and destruction coming. II Thessalonians 1:9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Make sure you have accepted God’s free gift of salvation today. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

ABOUND IN HOPE!

“ABOUND IN HOPE”

(Romans 15:7-14)

Romans 15:13 – “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

We can abound in hope because we have trust in a risen Savior. We can abound in hope because we have the Holy Ghost within us. We can abound in hope because we have a merciful and gracious God that will enable us to abound in the Hope only He can provide.

INTRODUCTION: Christians are to live a life abounding in Hope. Are you abounding in Hope right now? Do you have the hope of God living in you right now? Have you accepted the only source of this true hope as your personal Savior?

Notice in verse 13 “Now the God of Hope” – God is the foundation on which our hope is built; and He is the Builder of that hope. God is both the object of our hope and the Author of it.

Now man can have earthly hope of things to come. A child can hope to get a certain present, a young man can hope to get his driver’s license or a car; an adult can hope to get a nice house; but this kind of hope is man based, man centered, and man built. Hoping for all these things is not wrong necessarily; but Christians should also have a heavenly minded hope, this heavenly minded hope should be the predominant hope of our life. We should not worship at the altar of earthly things but we should be worshipping at the altar of the Author of our eternal hope – Christ Jesus! Psalm 39:7 says “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Is your hope in the Lord tonight? Or is it in your ability? Or is it in your plans? Or is it in your dreams? Or is your hope where it should be, in the Lord?

To help get a better understanding of what Biblical hope is and how we get it, how it is defined, how it is described in the Bible, how we develop it in our lives, how we demonstrate it, and how we act in out in our lives, I am going to ask a series of questions about hope and try to answer them as we go along.

 WHAT IS HOPE? – It is joy and peace and not sorrow and stress! (Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.)

  • What is hope? – Hope is anticipating or trusting in something to come to pass that we can’t yet see. (Romans 8:23-25 – And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.)
  • What is hope? – It is something worth defending; it is something we should be prepared to defend. (I Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:)
  • What is hope? – Trusting in God to always work out for the good the events that transpire in our life. (Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)

HOW DO WE GET HOPE?

  • By believing patiently and without wavering in God. (Hebrews 6:11-12 – And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.)
  • By the Word of God. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)
  • By the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13b – …that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.)
  • By being a Christian. By making sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. (Romans 15:13a – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,…) – You need to make sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith in order to have access to true Biblical peace and hope.

HOW IS HOPE DEFINEDThe Greek word translated as hope in Romans 15 is “el-pece” which means to anticipate with pleasure, an expectation either concrete or abstract, or a confident faith or expectation. It has the meaning of dealing with the unseen or the future.

  • Hope as found in the Scriptures is not just a wish for something but a strong confidence that is placed in God.
  • According to its proper Biblical meaning in is inseparable from faith. (I Peter 1:21 – Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.)

HOW IS HOPE DESCRIBED – what are some descriptions of true Biblical hope?

  • We have The Hope of Righteousness – Paul writes of the hope of righteousness in Galatians 5:5 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
  • The context of this verse involves justification. Galatians 5:4 says “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
  • Justified” and “Righteousness” in these verses come from the same root Greek word which means to render just or innocent, free and righteous.
  • Paul is talking about the hope of being made righteous or being made not guilty of sin.
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of being declared guiltless before God. Amen!
  • We have The Hope of Revelation.
  • The revelation or the appearing of Jesus when He returns. (I Corinthians 1:7 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:)
  • The Hope of revelation in which we will receive praise, honor, glory and joy. (I Peter 1:7 & 13 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; & 4:13 – But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.)
  • The Hope of revelation whereby we too are revealed the sons of God. (Romans 8:19 – For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.)
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of Jesus’ revealing and ours as well.
  • We have The Hope of Resurrection. (Acts 23:6 – But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. & Acts 24:15 – And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.) – You need to make sure you are part of the resurrection of the Just and not the unjust. You need to make your salvation sure if it is not.
  • The resurrection of our mortal bodies and the putting on immortality. (I Corinthians 15:42-44 – So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. & 50-54 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.)
  • The hope of resurrection is made possible by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20-21 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.)
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of being raised from the dead to eternal life!

HOW IS HOPE DEVELOPED – How do we develop our hope? How do we develop hope in our life?

  • We develop it Through Grace – it is God that loved us and gives us good hope by His grace. (II Thessalonians 2:16 – Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,)
  • We develop it Through the Word
  • The Old Testament provided hope. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)
  • The Gospel of Christ provides hope. (Colossians 1:5 – For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;)
  • The Apostles wrote that we might know the hope of God’s calling. (Ephesians 1:18 – The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,)
  • We develop it Through Experience – Experience involves tribulations. Experience involves trials, experience involve unpleasant circumstances, experience involves things not going the way we would like them to go, experience involves problems. (Romans 5:3-4 – And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:)
  • Experience can produce perseverance in the Christian and this can lead to confidence. (James 1:2-4 – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.)
  • Our hope strengthens the longer we live for Christ.
  • We develop it Through the Spirit – We through the Spirit eagerly wait for our hope. (Galatians 5:5 – For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.)
  • Heavenly pointed hope does not disappoint. Because it is the consequence of God’s love poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5 – And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.)
  • Because of this we can abound in hope. Our hope is strengthened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Look at Romans 15:13 again “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

HOW IS HOPE DEMONSTRATED – How is hope demonstrated by the Christian? How is hope demonstrated in your life?

  • By Christians who are eagerly awaiting for the coming of Jesus. (I Corinthians 1:7 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:) – A vibrant hope is one with a strong desire for what is to come! – How is your hope level? – Is it strong or is it weak? – Are you looking forward to the coming of Christ?
  • By Christians who are patiently working for Christ. (I Thessalonians 1:3 – Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;) – A vibrant hope is one in which work is being done for Christ. – I ask again, how is your hope level? – Are you demonstrating a good hope level by your patient and consistent working for Christ?
  • By Christians who are rejoicing in their current state. (I Peter 4:13 – But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. & Philippians 4:11 -Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. ) – A vibrant hope is one filled with joy. – Again how is your hope level? – Do you rejoice in your circumstances whatever they are?

HOW IS HOPE ACTED OUT – How does a Christian act out the living Hope that is within us? (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

  • We as Christians have hope and Paul exhorts us to act like we do. He says to not act as if we have no hope, but act out what we say we believe. Act out our hope in Heaven, act out our Hope in the resurrection, act out our hope of seeing loved ones again who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Act out our belief in God’s Word! And in so doing we will comfort those around us.
  • Act as if we have hope; because if you truly are a Christian you truly do have the greatest hope of hopes. You have a living hope. You have the hope of living eternally with Christ and all of your saved loves ones in heaven. – Now that is some Hope!!!
  • That is some hope we want to possess that is some hope we want to have and this is some hope we should be sharing with those around us.

IN CONCLUSION:

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation of…

  • The righteousness found only in Christ
  • The revelation of Jesus and our glory with Him when He comes
  • The anticipation of spending eternity with Jesus and our loves ones in Heaven

So what is the hope of a Christian? – it is the Desire and expectation made possible by…

  • The grace of God
  • The Word of God
  • The experience of Christian service
  • The empowerment of the Holy Ghost

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation manifested by…

  • Our eagerly waiting
  • Our patiently working
  • Our rejoicing all the while

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is truly the helmet of our salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:8 – But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.)

Hope is the anchor of our soul. (Hebrews 6:19 – Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;) – For which we should praise God.

If you are born again in Christ you are a partaker of a lively hope, a living hope, and an eternal hope through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:3-7 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ;)

Are you a possessor of this true Biblical hope? – Have you ever admitted you are a sinner, in need of a Savior? Have you ever accepted the gift of salvation and eternal life from Jesus Christ? Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

If you have not accepted this gift of salvation why don’t you accept it today?

Are you abounding in hope?

If you need to renew your eager anticipation, if you need to refresh your hope in Christ why don’t you do that today?

If you need to ask God to give you peace and hope to face your current circumstances make sure and do that today too.

If you are feeling convicted because your life does not always demonstrate the hope you should have as a Christian why don’t you get that right today?

 

 

 

ETERNALLY SECURE? – You can know for Sure!

ETERNALLY SECURE? – You can know for Sure!

I Peter 1:4-5 – “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – We, as the born again children of God, have an inheritance of eternal life that is eternally secured and guaranteed.

It is called an inheritance because it belongs to the children of God. Eternal life cannot be a gift to any but to those who have truly believed by faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Any other assurances of eternal life, by other religions or beliefs are false assurances. We need to understand and defend this doctrine of eternal security. It is foundational to our Christian belief. There are others who believe you can lose your salvation. But to believe this way requires you to take certain scriptures out of context and not fully study or investigate others, as Dr. C.I. Scofield said “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one.” Other false religions around the world claim they can tell you where you will spend eternity if you do certain things or attain certain levels of their belief; but all of these other religions require works of man of some sort. Our Bible tells us it is not by anything man does but eternal life in heaven with Christ is a gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.)

SO WHAT IS SALVATION? (I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) Salvation is being saved. It is being born again. It is accepting the free gift of Christ paying the penalty of our sin so we can go to Heaven. It is calling on the name of the Lord and trusting him with your eternal soul.

Let’s take a look at the steps of salvation:

• First you need to recognize you are a sinner and that you have sinned. (Romans 3:10, 23 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)

• Next you need to realize there is a penalty for sin. (Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death ;)

• Third you need to acknowledge that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin. (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. & John 19:30 – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.)

• The fourth step is to know that salvation is a gift of God that He is waiting to give us. (Romans 6:23b – but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)

• Finally and simply the Bible tells us we need to call upon the Lord to be saved and He will save us from our sins and eternity in hell and give us the gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven. (Romans 10:10 &13 – For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.)

LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT VERSES 4 & 5 OF I PETER CHAPTER 1 (I Peter :1:4-5 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.) – The verses are speaking about the elements and nature of our salvation in Christ.

Incorruptible” – means it cannot decay, it cannot be infiltrated with untruth, and it cannot be dissolved in any way. Because of this “incorruptibleness” it cannot be earthly in origin. It has to be Divine in origin because of its incorruptibleness.

Undefiled” – “Nothing impure can enter it; it not only has no principles or seeds of dissolution in itself, but it can never admit any; therefore its deterioration is impossible.” – Adam Clarks Commentary.

Fadeth not away” – It cannot fade, it cannot dim, it cannot lose its original strength, It cannot wither, it is eternal in nature and power.

Reserved in heaven” – Our salvation is reserved, set aside, preserved and kept safe and secure in heaven for us.

Who are kept” – Those who have accepted the free gift of salvation, their salvation is kept or defended in a fortress, secured to the utmost. “Who are kept” has the meaning of being kept in custody by watch and under military guard. True Disciples of Christ are under constant and watchful care of God who is guarding and keeping their salvation secure.

By the power of God” – This phrase tells us by what power our salvation is kept secure. It is kept secure by the mighty and miracle-working power of God. Nothing is more powerful than God and knowing our salvation is kept by the most supreme power there is, is pretty reassuring.

Ready to be revealed” – Or in other words prepared to be revealed. Our eternal security is prepared, preserved and protected. It is ready to be revealed to us as we pass through deaths door to life eternal with God.

IF YOU ARE BACKSLIDDEN (FALLEN AWAY FROM THE LORD) CAN YOU LOSE YOUR SALVATION? (Hosea 11:7 – And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.) If you have fallen back into a sinful lifestyle are you still a child of God? Or, if you have lost the joy of your salvation do you still have that salvation? (Psalm 51:12 – Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.) The backslider may think he is not saved and he may act like he is not saved. (I Peter 1:4 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,). But thank God, no matter what the backslider may do or think that does not matter because once he is saved he is always saved. (Colossians 3:15a – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,…. & I Peter 1:5 – Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.) It is not in our power or how we think that keeps us or makes us saved. We are “kept by the power of God” and knowing and trusting in that, we need to “let the peace of God rule in” our hearts.

If you are saved you are a child of God. Children can be disobedient, rebel and doubt their parents some times, but that does not mean they are no longer their parents children. Once we are saved God calls us His children. If God declares us His children nothing we could do could change that fact. (Luke 20:36Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.)

Bible examples of backslidden Christians who were still saved despite their sin:

• Lot did many terrible sins. He lived in a terrible wicked city, he offered up his own daughters to wicked, vile sin. Even though he did some terribly wicked things he was still saved. Why? – Because of what we just learned; our salvation is not dependent on us. Amen! (II Peter 2:8 – And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:) That word “just” in this verse means Lot was a saved man.

• Peter went as far as to deny Christ. Peter denied Christ three times, and the last time he denied him with an oath, but again Peter was still saved. Why? – Because our salvation is not based on our good behavior, but is based on our trust in the shed blood of Jesus to save us from our sins. (Luke 22:54-62)

• Moses was a murderer. He killed the Egyptian guard. Moses trusted the Lord for his salvation. Our salvation is not of ourselves, it is of God and God alone. (Hebrews 11:24,26 – By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.)

• David committed the terrible sin of adultery with Bathsheba; he then had Uriah the Hittite killed to cover up this sin but David was still saved. Why? – Because David trusted in the Messiah, the Christ for his salvation. He knew it had nothing to do with how good or bad he was but it had to do with faith in the saving power of Jesus blood. (Psalm 55:22 – Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.)

IS OUR SALVATION ETERNAL?(John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.) If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we have eternal life. Not, we shall have it, indicating a future tense, not if we are good we will get it, but if we trust on Jesus shed blood for our salvation we have (present tense) eternal life. (John 3:36 – He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.)

If we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior He gives us eternal life. He won’t take it back. We shall never perish – we shall never lose our salvation. (John 10:29-30And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.)This verse says our salvation is kept safe in Gods hand and that no man is able to “pluck” us out of God’s hand. We can be totally confident in God’s ability to keep our salvation secure. There is nothing we could do or any other man could do to cause us to lose our salvation.

God gave His only son to pay our sin debt for us. It is paid in full already. We can’t lose our salvation if God’s son has already paid it in full as He said he did on the cross. (John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) The Bible tells us that we have the “righteousness of God” imputed in us, imparted to us by Christ’s death on the cross. If we have the “righteousness of God” how is that not enough to satisfy God? God would have to declare himself not righteous enough to be in Heaven if that were so. (II Corinthians 5:21 – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)There was an atonement made on our behalf. It was made by Christ through his shed blood. Jesus made himself a substitute for me. He has paid my sin debt on my behalf. (Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.)In other words every Born-Again Christian is credited with Christ’s righteousness. Through the blood that He shed on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin for us.If we have trusted in that shed blood and been credited with the atonement made on our behalf there is no way that we could lose our salvation.

IN CONCLUSION: No scripture says you can lose your salvation, if it is not pulled out of its proper context of the Bible. We are supposed to use scripture to help interpret scripture. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. C.I. Scofield he said “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one, and never use and (if) to contradict a (verily)” The Bible tells us that Jesus offered one sacrifice for sin for forever and then He sat down on the right hand of God. The work of the blood sacrifice for the sins of man is done. Jesus paid for all sin of all mankind for all time: past, present and future. To say we could lose our salvation would be to say to Christ “you have to die on the cross again because the first time just was not good enough.” (Hebrews 10:12 – But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God ;)

For us to be able to lose our salvation Jesus would have to be a liar. For on the cross he said “It is finished” which also means paid in full. So if Jesus on the cross said our sin debt was paid in full, and then we lost our salvation. That would mean our sin debt was not paid in full and that Jesus is a liar. Jesus is not a liar. He said in John 14:6 – “….I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” So we can’t lose are salvation. The Bible says our salvation is “sealed with the holy spirit” in Ephesians 1:13. If God seals our salvation how could that seal be broken? The Bible says in Hebrews 5:9 that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation”. Not salvation till you sin too much. Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation”! Isaiah 45:17 says we have an “everlasting salvation”. Hebrews 7:25 says we are saved “to the uttermost”. That phrase means permanently and completely. We can’t lose something that is already permanent and completed.

We as true born again believers can rest assured in the fact we have an eternally secure salvation that is based in the finished works of the Son of God; which makes it eternally secure. If our salvation was based on anything else it would be a false salvation. Other groups or religions may try to say you can lose your salvation or add works to your salvation but this kind of belief is simply unbiblical and is saying that what Jesus did for us was not good enough and we need to help Him finish the job, God forbid! Rest assured the finished work of securing our eternal salvation was completely done by our Almighty Savior, Jesus Christ the Son of God!

Listen to “Your Eternal Destination can be Eternally Secure!

 

 

The Lord is Near!

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

“HOLD MY HAND, LORD…”

Walk me through the loneliness

and the valley of my sorrow…

Hold onto me when I’m too afraid

to think about tomorrow…

Let me lean on You, Lord,

when I’m too weary to go on…

Hold my hand, Lord,

through the night until I see

the light of dawn…

written by – B.J. Hoff

 The word translated as “nigh” in Psalm 34:18 has the meaning of being near, allied with, at hand, a near family relation and eager to help comfort. When we are going through the tremendous sorrow of a broken heart, keep in mind the Bible promises us at this time the Lord is as near to us as possible. He is allied with us; that is He is not going to let us go through this despair alone. He is always at hand, He is not going to let even one moment pass by without being there for us in that trial. The Bible says He is a near family relation; or in other words He is there for us as a loving Father wrapping us up in His loving arms of support and love. He is eager to help us, He desires to and will give us the strength we need moment by moment. We may not realize it at the time; but looking back on certain moments we have been through in our life, we know it is only but for the Lord helping us through that moment that we made it through.

Be Ready to Meet God!

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Are you ready to meet God? We all will meet Him one day. We all have a set appointment already made with death. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27  – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”. Are you ready for that appointment with death? Are you ready to meet God? The Bible tells us elsewhere that all men whether they are evil or good, saved or lost will meet God one day and bow the knee to Him; and that everyone will confess that Jesus is the true God and Lord of all. (Philippians 2:10-11 – That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.)

Have you confessed Jesus as the Savior of your soul? Have you accepted Him into your heart and called upon Him to save you from your sins? Many people may say there is more than one way to heaven; but the Bible tells us otherwise. Jesus said in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is but one way to heaven and that way goes through Jesus Christ the Son of God. Who humbled Himself and came to this earth and became a man and lived among us for 33 and a half years. He did this so He could sacrifice Himself for us and pay our sin debt for us. We all have a sin debt that needs to be paid before we can go to heaven. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)  We are incapable of paying this debt on our own. This debt requires a perfect sacrificial payment to be paid in full. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice. He came to earth and paid that sin debt, on our behalf, so we could have the opportunity to go to Heaven. Jesus did this for us because of His great and perfect love He has for all mankind. (John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.)

In order to be ready to meet God you want to be sure you are going to Heaven. You do not want any doubt as to where you will spend eternity. You do not want to take a chance on this eventuality. We all will go to one of two places when we die; if we are saved, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to Heaven when we die, if we are not saved, if we have not accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to hell when we die. Jesus spoke of hell in Matthew 8:12 – “…shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”, Matthew 13:42 – “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” & Matthew 25:41 – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” and many other verses record Jesus teachings and warnings about hell.

So, are you ready to meet God? – I pray you are. I also pray you seriously consider and ponder if you are ready and take the time to make sure you are on your way to heaven; and that you are ready to meet God. If you are not sure you are ready to meet God; you just need to acknowledge you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Repent or turn away from your sin, ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you from your sins and accept His payment in full, of your sin debt, on the cross. Please take the time to read the Bible passages below, if you are uncertain if you are ready to meet God, and then pray to God to save you from your sins.

John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9,10 & 13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

Trusting God in the Trial

Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

David went through a lot of trials and trouble in his life. He faced the giant none other was willing to face and he killed Goliath – with God’s help and guidance. What giants are you facing right now? What obstacle has presented itself in your life? Perhaps it is a financial giant, a problem relationship giant, a trial at work or school giant, a health concern giant or perhaps it is the giant of guilt or the giant of losing someone in your life that was dear and beloved to you. (John 16:33 – These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.)

David went on to be hunted by Saul for doing nothing wrong but willing to live his life according to God’s plan and purpose. David lived in caves in the wilderness; but David kept his faith. What trials are you going through that are no fault of your own? – give those cares and give those concerns over to God; and don’t lose your faith in Him. Just like David did, though under heavy persecution and facing many trials he kept his faith in God. Don’t lose your hope or faith, with the Lord there is always hope for a better tomorrow. (Lamentations 3:22-24 -t is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.)

David later went over to the Philistines, he continued to suffer many things. Many times he did not have anything to eat. – Why? Have you ever asked why? Why must I go through this trial, this tribulation, this hardship or this loss? The Bible tells us God does everything for a purpose – why didn’t God make David’s circumstances easier for him? Because God was training David to be a king! What could God be training you for with the circumstances you are currently facing? What could you learn from that trial? How could God use you in the future as a result of that tribulation? What could that loss you are facing lead you to in the future? We do not know the answers to these questions. We must though, however difficult in can be at the moment, we must, like David did, keep our faith in God. Trust in Him, rely on Him and continue to look for how what you are going through can be used for His honor and Glory. (I Peter 1:6-9 – Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.)

In Acts 13 verse 22 the Bible says “he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. How is your heart lining up with God’s? Are you willing to fulfill His will in your life? David in his life made many mistakes, caused many of his own problems when he strayed from God and God’s will for his life. Do not allow yourself to make those same mistakes of straying from God in your time of trial, don’t try to do it alone, do not allow yourself to become bitter at the situation. As hard as it is to hear, as hard as it may be to think, as hard as it may be to believe – but God does work everything out for the good to those who are called according to His purpose and those who confess Him as their Savior. God is our safe haven, He is our strength in time of weakness and trouble. (Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. & Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)

 

God is what we Need

Sometimes things seem impossible; impossible to do, impossible to overcome, impossible to endure or impossible to handle. But the Bible tells us all things, even the things that seem impossible to us and impossible to us, even for God to do, are possible (Luke 18:27 – And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.) Life is often exhausting to us physically, mentally and spiritually – events in life can be too much for you to bear, too much for you to mentally accept, too much for you to comprehend, too hurtful, too sorrowful – but Jesus offers rest for our weary and burden souls (Matthew 11:28-30Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.)

Often you can be afraid of things in your life, you can be afraid of the reality you find yourself in, afraid of the circumstances you are facing, afraid of the events that are transpiring in your life – but God will strengthen and help us as we face these situations. You do not need to have the strength or ability to go through these times in your life. God will give you the strength and grace that you need moment by moment (Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.) When you are worried or anxious, God cares for us, cast your cares on Him (I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.) Sometimes we may feel all alone, that we are going through something those around us do not understand, we may feel lonely and neglected, we may even feel distant from God; but the Lord promises to never leave us or forsake us. We may not seek Him out sometimes, and try to do something on our own; but He is with us through it in spite of us not seeking Him at those moments (Hebrews 13:5 – … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.)

Our First Thoughts

Psalm 5:3 “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”

“The Morning Prayer”

Wherever I go today, Lord,

Wherever my path may roam;

Be with me all the way, Lord,

And bring me safely home.

Whatever I may do today, Lord,

From day-break to setting sun,

May I do it all, I pray, Lord,

As Thou wouldst have it done.

Whenever  I speak today, Lord,

May each word I choose be clean;

May none of the things I say, Lord

Be hateful, harmful, mean.

And to those I meet today, Lord,

May I do as Christ would do;

That thus I may teach His way, Lord,

And they may know Him too.

So may I journey each day, Lord,

That all the world may see

By the things I do and say, Lord,

Christ reflected in me.

                                               — Written by L. J. Ekvall.

Let God be the first thing in your thoughts every morning. The Psalmist has the correct priorities in putting God first in his day and in his life. The Psalmist also is going in the right direction in his life and in his spirit, he says “I direct my prayer unto thee“, he is not looking at self, he is not trying to live even a single day without God’s guidance, without God’s fellowship and without God’s blessing on his life. It can be very hard sometimes to put our full trust in the Lord. Trying times will come; faith will be tested greatly, but we need to always as quickly as possible find our way back to our God, our Lord, our Redeemer and in times of trial and despair most importantly our Comforter.

 

 

 

 

BLOODY HANDS?

DO YOU HAVE BLOODY HANDS?

Ezekiel 3:18-21 “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”

We need to make sure we are sharing the truth of God’s love and forgiveness with others. It is our responsibility to share the gospel with others. It is our orders we are to follow, we are commanded to share the gospel with others. (Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) If we do not fulfill this responsibility we will have blood on our hands from those we should have; but did not share the gospel with. Do not stand at judgment one day and watch someone be cast into hell that you had the opportunity to witness to and did not. Don’t take the chance of having blood on your hands!

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