Delight in the Light

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors” (Psalm 119:24 KJV).

Let us delight in the Holy Bible’s spiritual light!

While shopping at a store recently, I could hear a young child pitching a fit in the distance but who was drawing closer to me. Then I saw him. In tears, this three- or four-year-old boy was walking around and repeatedly exclaiming, “I want a toy!” No matter what his parents were telling him, he would not be dissuaded. He still remembered what he wanted and he continued to whine for it. He had such delight and such determination. He wanted a toy!

If only everyone in the world were so fervent in seeking soul salvation unto eternal life through Jesus Christ, rather than focusing so much on this temporary world about us! If only all Christians would be so desirous of Bible understanding, rather than dedicating so much time and effort on concentrating on that which will pass away! To think that a child would value a temporary item so much when the average adult gives far less thought concerning things of eternal value.

Think of the many people who take lightly the topics of soul salvation from eternal hellfire unto eternal life and soul salvation from false teaching unto spiritual maturity. They have no idea that they are lost and they have no hint that they are not where they need to be in their spiritual understanding. We have to tell them God’s truth!

I am reminded of a Christian brother who has since “relocated to heaven,” how he used to be so eager to learn God’s truth. He would repetitively utter about spiritual matters, “Give me nothing but the truth. I want to hear the truth.” In this day of “itching ears,” such a plea is rarely heard (2 Timothy 4:3,4). The Psalmist of today’s Scripture desired, recognized, and delighted in the truth. He took great pleasure in the solemn declarations of JEHOVAH God, utilizing His written words as his advisers. Beloved, may we desire, seek, find, and enjoy the preserved words of God in English, the King James Bible, and may we share it with others so they can delight in it, too! :)

Jesus Christ, Preeminent One

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

“…that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18c KJV).

Behold, the Person who alone will have preeminence in all things!

A celebrity once questioned why people had to talk about Jesus Christ “so much.” (Perhaps people should be talking about her instead?) Beloved, such people are actually indicating that they have no clue as to why they exist. They are so self-absorbed that they are thoroughly shocked when they learn it is not “all about them.”

Imagine the pride that filled Lucifer’s heart when he saw his own reflection, and the envy that filled his heart when he realized that God was on the throne rather than he! These two emotions—pride and envy—permeate the sinful human soul; hence, the Bible calls lost mankind, “children of the devil” (John 8:44), “[those] of that wicked one” (1 John 3:12), and “children of disobedience” and “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:2,3). No wonder God has to kill that awful nature before He can let us into heaven!

The mystery of God’s will is to have all of heaven and earth under Jesus Christ’s authority (Ephesians 1:9,10). Colossians 1:16-20 says that Jesus Christ will have preeminence over all things, all the governments of heaven and earth. Throughout eternity future, Jesus Christ will have preeminence in everything, and He will use us to glorify Himself in heaven and redeemed Israel to glorify Himself on earth.

Philippians 2:9-11 says that all creatures in heaven, in earth, and under the earth (lost mankind and all the fallen angels in hellfire), will bow before Jesus Christ one day. Although the lost are permanently severed from Him, they will admit and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of Father God. All of the world’s religious leaders—popes, preachers, seminary professors, imams, gurus, “prophets,” Dalai Lamas, priests—will be forced to bow to Jesus Christ and give Him all the worship He alone deserves.

“Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

That is why we talk about Jesus Christ “so much!” :)

Our latest Bible Q&A’s: “Did the Church the Body of Christ Begin in Acts 2?” and (our special 50th Q&A) “When Did the Church the Body of Christ Begin?

You At the Finish Line

Monday, July 28, 2014

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12 KJV).

When you reach “the finish line,” your brief earthly life now done, your life in eternity has just begun, so you had better have God’s Son!

Some obituary columns are a few sentences long; others feature several paragraphs delineating many lifetime achievements. The deceased were professionals, lifelong members of and servants in local churches, dedicated their time and resources to various clubs and/or organizations, enjoyed certain hobbies, had families, and so on. We read of those who travelled the world as philanthropists, who died as celebrities, who received many prestigious awards, et cetera.

Yet, beyond all of that, we can only wonder what they did with God’s Son. They did a lot with their lives, but what did they do with Jesus Christ’s life? Did they accept it by faith? Was there ever a point when they believed that all of their good works did not measure up before God? Was it ever Jesus Christ living in them, or was it all done for nought (“in the flesh”)? Save Jesus Christ, there is nothing we can take from this world upon death.

Dear readers, God Almighty looks beyond social statuses, material possessions, romantic lives, humanitarian awards, religious affiliations, education, and the like. The Bible is as plain as 19 one-syllable words can be: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). Think of all the things that people often stick into that verse that are not there—there is no reference to church membership, good works, believing God exists, emotional experiences, and so on. We have either trusted God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as our personal Saviour, or we have not. We either have Him or we do not. There is no in-between.

No matter who you are or what you have done, God will accept you in His Son. Come by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for the complete payment for your sins, and enjoy the everlasting victory He has secured for you!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you please explain Paul’s ‘Acts’ ministry?

Something Better Than Works

Sunday, July 27, 2014

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV).

Today’s Scripture says that there is something better than “good” works. What is it?

Religious people often contend, “If that good person did not go to heaven, no one is going to heaven.” Indeed, there are many kind, honest, law-abiding citizens in religion; yet, even the best of them are imperfect (that is what sin is!). When we read about “all liars” having their part in the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8), we realize that condemnation covers everyone. No matter how much “good” we do, there are plenty of lies we can never rescind.

Moreover, the Lord Jesus declared in today’s Scripture that “good” works can actually be “iniquity:” people known for doing “good” works may in fact be those “that work iniquity [wickedness].” He pointed out that good works—even if done supposedly “in His name”—are not the issue. Anyone can do good works, and everyone does good works, so God is looking for something beyond external activity. God is interested in the heart—trust in Him. The Lord Jesus told His audience that they were to do the will of His Father in heaven. What was His Father’s will? “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). Everyone does “good” works, but precious few will do God’s will by trusting Jesus Christ!

Something better than our works—which are always imperfect—is our faith in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary to put away our sins so He can produce in us the good works He alone can generate (Philippians 1:11)!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘the Dispensation of Grace?’

Evil Seen and Punished

Saturday, July 26, 2014

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3 KJV).

Certainly, God sees evil, and in due time, He will punish it!

One of the lamest so-called “arguments against God’s existence” is the presence of unpunished evil (this is also an “argument against the police’s existence!”). Oddly, these Bible scoffers then ridicule the “cruel, vengeful God of the Old Testament.” It seems like that sinful man is determined to criticize God no matter what He does!

A very wise Christian once pointed out that the atheist really defeats himself or herself with their mind-games, conceding that evil unpunished will forever remain unpunished because God supposedly does not exist. To say that evil does exist is to presume that good also exists, and that just as there is one source of evil there is also one source of good. To say that God does not exist is to make our lives meaningless. What we do in our lives really will not make a difference in the long run. No, certainly the atheist would disagree with us when we continue their assumptions into the long-term; their ideas are more comfortable when applied only to the here-and-now.

Ecclesiastes 8:11-13 reminds us: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.”

The wicked, Bible rejecters, haters of the Lord Jesus Christ, have “days which are as a shadow.” Until God stops them from breathing His air, drinking His water, eating His food, and enjoying His world, He will continue to offer them His love, grace, mercy, and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Indeed, the atheist’s evil will not remain unpunished, so may he or she come to God through Jesus Christ to have that wrath satisfied before it is eternally punished.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does God chasten us when we sin?

 

Until Seventy Times Seven

Friday, July 25, 2014

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven(Matthew 18:21,22 KJV).

What is Jesus Christ really communicating in today’s Scripture when He says, “Until seventy times seven?”

The Bible student should always be mindful of every word in the King James Bible; when God’s Word is specific, it is for a reason. Today’s Scripture is such an instance where Bible specifics, not just “general fundamentals,” are important. When the Apostle Peter came to Jesus and asked Him how often he was to forgive his brother (any Jew) who sinned against him, Peter inquired, “Till seven times?” In Scripture, seven is the number of perfection or completion (the creation week, for example, is the first time Scripture mentions the number seven; cf. Genesis 2:1-3). Nevertheless, Jesus answered, “Until seventy times seven.” It is our firm conviction that Jesus did not randomly select this number; He was teaching a doctrine about a special completion.

In Daniel 9:24, the angel Gabriel explained to the Prophet: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” It would take seventy weeks of years—or 490 years—to cleanse the nation Israel. For 490 years, God would patiently deal with Israel’s sins and purge her of all wickedness (to be followed by Jesus Christ’s earthly kingdom, the latter part of the verse). Verses 25 and 26 explain that 69 weeks of years (or 483 years) were fulfilled before Calvary, and the final seven years (verse 27) are still awaiting fulfillment (the future seven-year Tribulation).

What Jesus was saying in today’s Scripture was (paraphrased), “Peter, you are to forgive your Jewish neighbor to the extent I forgive your Jewish nation.” According to the foregoing verses, the schedule of Daniel 9:24 was operating when Jesus spoke those words to Peter! Amazing! :)

Planting and Watering in God’s Garden

Thursday, July 24, 2014

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6 KJV).

God is growing the plants; we are here to simply plant and water them!

The other day I talked with a Christian brother in the ministry who expressed his desire to see an immediate conversion in the life of one particular lost person steeped in a cult. He wanted to see that person saved the very next day!

Let us read today’s Scripture within its context: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (verses 6-9).

The Apostle Paul first visited Corinth in Acts chapter 18; here, some pagans had heard Paul preach the Gospel of God’s Grace, and they trusted Jesus Christ unto justification and eternal life. In late Acts chapter 18 and early chapter 19, Apollos, a new Christian and Bible teacher, came to Corinth and taught these newly-saved Corinthians. In today’s Scripture, Paul refers to these events. He had “planted” (soul salvation unto eternal life, God giving the believing sinner, Christ’s life) and Apollos had “watered” (soul salvation unto sound doctrine, the saint allowing Christ’s life to manifest in his or her own life). Whether it was passing from death to life, or learning about the life we have in Christ, it was ultimately God Almighty’s task to generate the results—it is NOT our responsibility to force people to be saved or spiritually mature.

Many people never trust Jesus Christ; many Christians never study their Bibles and mature spiritually. Yet, it takes some people many years before they trust Jesus Christ; it takes some Christians many years before they study the Bible for themselves. Beloved, people prayed for us without ever seeing results in their lifetime. Let us not be so self-willed as to think that God must satisfy us by rushing His work in people to whom we minister. :)