Just As I Am #5

Sunday, July 23, 2017

“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture highlights the fifth verse of Charlotte Elliott’s 1835 hymn, “Just As I Am.”

“Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”

Habakkuk 1:13 says of God: “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity….” Almighty God is so holy that He cannot even look upon sin. Yet, Scripture speaks about some sinners going to God’s Heaven rather than Satan’s Hell. How is that possible? How can God be just in saving us sinners from our deserved ill fate? Does not His justice demand the punishment of those who offend His righteousness?

Today’s Scripture says “the living God… is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” How can these believing sinners escape their deserved eternal doom? Romans chapter 3: “[22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Father God made His Son, Jesus Christ, a “propitiation,” a fully satisfying payment for sin. Through that substitutionary death—Jesus Christ suffering God’s wrath and dying in our place—God can spare us our eternal death penalty of sin. We simply trust that good news to benefit from it! Father God promises to take, receive, welcome, cleanse, and relieve the believing sinner. Make no mistake, dear friends—Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork is truly the sinner’s only hope!

Just As I Am #4

Saturday, July 22, 2017

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30,31 KJV).

Today’s Scripture highlights the fourth verse of Charlotte Elliott’s 1835 hymn, “Just As I Am.”

“Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind,
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”

The sinner comes to Jesus Christ with nothing to offer—not a scintilla of righteousness, not an ounce of worthiness, and not one smidgen of spiritual sight. Apart from the Spirit of God, he or she is completely and totally destitute of anything that really matters. However, once the Gospel of Grace is heard, once the righteousness of God is evident, once the grace of God is known, once the light from the Word of God penetrates that dark heart, the sinner fades away in his or her own sight and sees the sufficiency of and in Christ. What a stunning revelation! All the sinner needs, all that the sinner has sought, it is in Christ Jesus!

In Christ, the sinner finds “wisdom!” In Christ, the sinner finds “righteousness!” In Christ, the sinner finds “sanctification!” In Christ, the sinner finds “redemption!” Dear friends, it is in God’s design that everything we need, He furnished it to us in Christ. He did this deliberately, that there never, ever be boasting on the Christian’s part. No one in Christ will be right in saying, “God chose me to serve Him because of my education! God chose me to serve Him because of my decency! God chose me to serve Him because of my holiness! God chose me to serve Him because of my payment for sin!” No! Boasting is “excluded” because self is excluded (Romans 3:27,28). “Ye are complete in Him,” not in yourselves (Colossians 2:10).

When the saved sinner feels compelled to boast, let that saved sinner remember well who gave him or her everything now possessed: “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord!”

NOTE: The Grace School of the Bible Summer Family Bible Conference will begin tonight, July 22, at 7PM Central U.S. Time. It will be broadcasted live via internet from outside Chicago, IL, running until Thursday, July 27. There will be over two-dozen grace preachers talking about a variety of Bible topics. For more information (times, topics, and speakers), download the brochure from http://understandgrace.com/conferences/summer-family-bible-conference/. The live video feed will be available here: http://shorewoodbiblechurch.org/primarystream.html.

Just As I Am #3

Friday, July 21, 2017

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6,8 KJV).

Today’s Scripture highlights the third verse of Charlotte Elliott’s 1835 hymn, “Just As I Am.”

“Just as I am, tho’ tossed about,
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings within and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”

Sadly, many church-going people have never, ever heard a clear Gospel preached. They have overheard mere clichés: “Repent—turn from your sins—and then God will save you! Give your life to the Lord! Ask Jesus to come into your heart! Live right and God will save you! Be sorry for your evil deeds and Jesus will cleanse you!” Beloved, these are not the Gospel of Grace; they are false because they obscure the Gospel. How can lost people behave like Christians when they are not Christians? Absurd! Impossible!

The lost sinner, in the moments leading up to faith to Christ, knows little Bible truth. Over the years, he or she has been so deceived and disappointed in religion, it is wondered what about “God” and “the Bible” can be believed: many questions unanswered, much confusion unaddressed, and many wounds unhealed. There is so much uncertainty—will it be another “religious letdown?” There is so much hesitation—is such good news really true? There is so much fear—will God turn me away?

Thankfully, one question is answered and one point is clear. For whom did Christ die? Not for the “good-enough!” He did not die when people were trying to reform or confessing their sins. Nay, He died when they were “ungodly” and “sinners”—yea, He died before they were born! Now, after Calvary, how can He turn them away for sin? He cannot! How can He let them down? He cannot! He already came through for them before—He already died for their sins! They are to come to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith as they are—the wretched sinners that they are, fretting not and doubting not—and let God take care of the rest!

Satan and Dispensationalism #3

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

Dispensational Bible study is the key to believing a clear Gospel message and understanding the Bible canon, so Satan seeks to hide or corrupt it, that he may keep the masses in his snare!

Recently, my 10-year-old niece told me of a somewhat troubling conversation she had with her teacher, an employee of a private “Christian” school. My niece knows the Gospel of the Grace of God by heart. Unlike many preachers, she can quote it with ease, “Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.” When she asked her teacher, “What is the Gospel of the Grace of God?,” the teacher admitted she had no idea!!

It is sad to say, but I am afraid that the Gospel is hidden from lost people and a lot of “Christians” today as well! There are 40,000 different “Christian” denominations all preaching different Gospel messages. The dominant crowds are preaching: “Get water baptized and keep the commandments!,” “Ask Jesus into your heart!,” “Make Jesus Lord of your life!,” “Confess your sins and ask God to save you!,” “You must be born again!,” or “Repent and say the sinner’s prayer!”

The way Satan keeps lost people lost is to use Israel’s law-performance system (works-religion). Yes, he uses the Bible to deceive. Not only are these lost people blinded by sin, they are misguided when it comes to properly interpreting the Bible. They grab John 3:3, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10, Mark 1:15, Matthew 19:17, James 2:24, Revelation 3:20, or Mark 16:16, as though these are verses written to and about our salvation. They are not!

If lost people want a clear dissertation of the Gospel of the Grace of God, they should read the first five chapters of the book of Romans. No clearer Gospel tract has ever been written to Gentiles in our Dispensation of Grace!

Paul and Dispensationalism #20

Thursday, August 27, 2015

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some” (2 Timothy 2:15-18 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

The only verse that tells us to “study” the Bible tells us how to study it. It is found in the last Bible book Paul wrote. We must “rightly divide the word of truth.” Confusing ourselves with Israel and stealing her passages will cause major problems, both in this life (today’s Scripture) and in the next.

Ignoring dispensational Bible study will affect everyone in eternity. Most Christians will arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ with worthless information in their inner man. They did not follow Paul’s instructions, but preferred religious tradition, philosophy, non-dispensational Scripture, et cetera. That “wood, hay, and stubble” will result in loss of reward (1 Corinthians 3:9-15). Many lost people will wake up in hell because they grabbed a Gospel for another dispensation as though it applied to them (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Matthew 19:17, et cetera)!

Friends, may we believe the right Gospel right now. It is not about “repenting,” “turning over a new leaf,” “asking Jesus into your heart,” et cetera. It is about trusting Jesus Christ’s shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection as complete payment for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Paul’s Gospel is the only valid Gospel message today, the Gospel that will save us unto eternal life and guarantee us a place in heaven. We do not have to go to hell!

Brethren, may we study all of the Bible, Genesis through Revelation. May we recognize Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, apply directly to us. Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13). May we take those grace doctrines in Paul’s books and apply them to life by faith. This is the “gold, silver, and precious stones” that will profit us in eternity (1 Corinthians 3:9-15). We do not have to stay confused and defeated! 🙂


The ABCs of Becoming a Christian?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge” (Job 38:2 KJV).

Today’s Scripture could easily be God’s response to the average “Gospel tract” or “Gospel invitation!”

If there is one thing Fundamental and Evangelical Christians have utterly destroyed, it would be a clear Gospel message. The following poster demonstrates: “ABCs of Becoming a Christian: Admit to God that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). Repent, turning away from your sin (Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9). Believe that Jesus is God’s Son, and accept God’s gift of forgiveness from sin (John 3:16; John 14:6; Romans 5:8; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9). Confess your faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10,13).”

While catchy, it is theologically deficient. To tell lost people to turn from their sin in order to be saved is to tell them, “You cannot be saved and you will never be saved!” No lost person has God’s power to quit sin. A Christian can resist sin, but not a lost person! How is it that lost people must quit sinning to be saved, but then Christians are urged to confess their daily sins?! (Religion is absurd!)

The above poster, save the Bible verse of Romans 5:8, makes no direct reference to Calvary’s crosswork. Is there salvation apart from Christ’s cross? Then why is it missing from the poster? How is that forgiveness from God possible? Where is 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, the clearest presentation of the Gospel of the Grace of God?

To tell someone they have to “confess” their faith to be a Christian is to make them work, and as Ephesians 2:8-9 says (the poster quoted), we are not saved by works! To grab verses from Romans chapter 10 and make them a Gentile salvation message is to ignore verse 1—it is the nation Israel’s salvation!

Beloved, from “Make Jesus the Lord of your life” to “Ask Jesus into your heart,” or “Say the sinner’s prayer” to “Confess your sins,” these are not clear Gospel presentations. They confuse. First Corinthians 15:3-4 and Romans chapters 3 through 5 are some of the best passages to use to make the Gospel as simple as possible. Lost people do not need to be further confused!

Ear Service

Thursday, April 24, 2014

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

Jesus Christ rebukes apostate Christendom with these same words even today.

Today’s Scripture is particularly important at such a late date in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God. These verses are not only true today, but they have been true ever since this dispensation began with the Apostle Paul nearly 2,000 years ago. Beloved, what a sad commentary. The professing Body of Christ had already abandoned the grace doctrines committed to them through Paul—while the Apostle was still living (1 Corinthians 3:16-20; Galatians 1:6-11; 1 Timothy 1:3-11,18-20; 2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Timothy 2:14-18; et al.)!! How much more today?!

The Holy Bible is a very offensive book. Written to us sinners about us sinners to point us sinners to the Saviour of sinners (Jesus Christ), it is thus hated, rejected, avoided, and ridiculed. Thus, the professing church has largely fallen into the trap of making the Bible, especially the Gospel of the Grace of God, palatable, more “acceptable.”

Consider today’s “social gospel,” “health and wealth gospel,” and “lordship gospel.” For example, “Make Jesus the Lord of your life, and He will bless with you material riches and remove all your sicknesses and problems.” Or, “Jesus came to help you to get to heaven, so you just give your heart to Him, follow Him as best as you can, and He will welcome you into His heaven.” Dear readers, these adages are pleasing to the ear, but they have no saving power whatsoever!!

The “preaching of the cross is “the power of God” to us who believe and are saved (1 Corinthians 1:18). Jesus Christ’s crosswork to fully pay for our sins—His death to put away our sins, and His literal, physical resurrection to give us sinners new life—is offensive to humanists and macabre to liberals, but what wonderful news to us Christians, whose sin debt is paid in full, whose ears are tuned to God’s truth, and whose hearts believe it!

Behold, I Stand at the Door, and Knock

Monday, June 18, 2012

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is often greatly misunderstood: it has nothing to do with salvation. It has nothing to do with “Jesus knocking at the door of a lost person’s heart” or “asking Jesus into your heart.” Contrariwise, it actually entails judgment!

Dispensational Bible study helps us understand today’s Scripture. First, John is its author (Revelation 1:4). John is not writing to us in the Dispensation of Grace; he is an apostle of Israel, writing to Jews in their kingdom program (Galatians 2:9).

Today’s Scripture is written to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, Jewish believers who will endure the future seven-year Tribulation (verse 14). These Laodiceans are “lukewarm,” “neither cold nor hot” (verse 15,16): they are materialistic and their works displease God (verses 17,18). They are “straddling the fence,” so to speak; therefore, the Lord through John admonishes these Jewish believers, “be zealous therefore, and repent [change your thinking!]” (verse 19).

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock” is best understood when compared to James 5:8,9 (also written to Jews during the Tribulation): “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” In the context of today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ’s Second Coming is near, and God is warning these believing Jews to “get their act together” so they can be ready to accept their Messiah-King, and so their deeds and hearts (attitudes) are acceptable to Him.

Let us return to the context of today’s Scripture: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). This refers to believing Jews entering their earthly kingdom (which Christ will establish at His Second Coming). How plain! Today’s Scripture belongs to Israel, not us.