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!

Gospel Truth

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:9-12 KJV).

Have you ever heard the expression, “It is the gospel truth?” Someone says this when he or she wants others to believe his or her statements. In other words, it functions as verification. (Yet, who of these people actually believe the Gospel is “truth?”)

People will believe what other humans say in a moment’s notice. Sadly, we humans can be very naïve. Incidentally, I recently saw friends of mine circulating on social media what they assumed was a true news headline. In reality, it was fake! The website was spelled very similarly to a popular, legitimate news organization’s site. What should have caught their attention was the news article’s absurd title. Alas, my friends—and many others—were easily deceived!

Whenever people talk about the Bible, especially critics, they invariably mention its “unreliability.” They scoff at and deride the Scriptures, even though the Bible has abundant internal proof to demonstrate itself to be the Word of God. Yet, they refuse that testimony. No, they do not want to hear what God has to say. They would rather listen to and believe another human’s gossip, read and believe another human’s opinions and speculations, and broadcast and believe fantasy and folly another human originated. But, believe the Word of God that never lies? Never!

Today’s Scripture says God offers us eternal life in His Son, Jesus Christ. We either believe this or we do not. So many believe eternal life is found in rituals, rites, ceremonies, commandments, denominations, and organizations. They, having received and believed “the witness of men,” and having rejected “the witness of God,” will be sorely disappointed at death because they rejected TRUE Gospel truth!

Lost, Now Found

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

“Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:13,14 KJV).

Once lost, now found!

Recently, I stood near a store’s customer-service desk. The lady in front of me suddenly gasped and exclaimed, “Thank you, Jesus!” Puzzled, I watched a store clerk exiting the “lost-and-found” room with a purse in her hand. That lady had left her purse in a shopping cart. Thankfully, some honest customer had turned it in! She rummaged through her bag and was relieved to find everything there. Amazingly, of all the evil people into whose hands it could have fallen, an honest person found it instead!

The above stories are always nice to hear in this world abounding with bad news—stealing, killing, raping, vandalizing, abusing, et cetera. While the world is a very dangerous place physically, it is more important to realize it is a very dangerous place spiritually. It is truly a miracle when, despite all the false gospels out there, we can still find the pure Gospel of Grace being preached if we look for it. It is truly a miracle when, despite all the false systems out there, we can still find the pure Word of God (rightly divided) being taught. It is truly a miracle that God’s truth survives intact in this world of so many spiritual lies.

While it is no enjoyable time to have a purse or wallet stolen, this is the least of our concerns if some false religious system has stolen our trust and our soul! Rather than uttering the swear-phrase “Thank you, Jesus!” because we found missing material wealth, we should say “Thank You, Jesus!” because He came looking for us who were dead in trespasses and sins. We can always replace a wallet or purse, but we can never replace our soul once it is lost in hell. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36,37).

“Thank You, Jesus! Once lost, we are now found (in You)!” 🙂

Well-Versed But Accursed!

Friday, June 10, 2016

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8,9 KJV).

Well-versed but still “accursed!”

Recently, two members of a local church (cult) visited my house to spread their denominational literature. Always interested in learning more about the people to whom I minister, I eagerly took their pamphlet and discussed some of it with them. They had their “bible,” and I had my King James Bible. I delayed these individuals for 30 minutes, preventing them from reaching some of my neighbors. One church member was more resistant; the other listened intently.

When I asked them what their Gospel message was, they replied, “We preach God’s kingdom is coming on the earth.” I replied, “I noticed that you did not say ‘Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork.’ That is the Gospel of Christianity, but it is not forefront in your thinking. The Bible says that if you do not preach Paul’s Gospel, I should have nothing to do with you.” I was politely showing them that they were not Christians at all. Yes, they used some Bible terms, but their “Gospel” was a lie. While they came not knowing the Gospel of the Grace of God, rest assured they left here in quite a hurry after hearing it with shocking clarity!

The Apostle Paul said that the Gospel he preached was: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Through Paul, the Holy Spirit, in today’s Scripture, condemned any “Gospel-preacher”—even an angel—if he or she did not preach Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins. The group I encountered, they are condemned of God. They are not Christians, they never were. Unless they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and stop relying on their “good works,” they are sure to go to the same hell as the heathen who never picked up a Bible at all!

For more information, see our latest Bible Q&A: “Is Galatians 1:6-7 contradictory?

Satan and Dispensationalism #6

Saturday, October 10, 2015

“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:24-26 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!

We commonly hear, “Pastor/Doctor/Father/Brother/Sister disagrees with dispensational Bible study, so I dislike it too. After all, how could someone so educated be wrong?” Well, quite easily, actually. Consider mighty-in-the-Scriptures” Apollos of today’s Scripture. He was very passionate in preaching… John’s water baptism, an Old Testament message, a message God Himself had replaced 20 years earlier!

Educated Apollos—probably (mis)trained at the heretical seminary (Bible cemetery) in Alexandria, Egypt—was unaware of the advancement of God’s revelation. He had no idea about Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, the 12 apostles, Calvary’s crosswork, Christ’s ascension into heaven, the coming of the Holy Ghost in Acts chapter 2, the delay in Israel’s prophetic program, or Paul’s conversion and ministry and the start of the mystery program. Apollos did not know of the Holy Ghost, indicating Apollos was still lost. He was not even saved in relationship to Israel’s program.

Jewish husband and wife Aquila and Priscilla had spent extended time with Paul in Acts 18:1-3. Paul converted lost Aquila and Priscilla, bringing them up-to-date with his ministry and message. Later in the chapter, Aquila and Priscilla taught that info to lost Apollos. That was the way of God more perfectly,” the better way to preach God’s Word (rightly divided). Now Apollos knew what current gospel and doctrine to preach.

So many today say, “Oh, we preach Jesus!” Yes, according to His earthly ministry they preach Him. There has been a further revelation. Jesus Christ has a heavenly ministry—Paul’s ministry, Romans through Philemon. Wake up, ye Apolloses!

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!

Words Smoother Than Butter

Sunday, August 30, 2015

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us (Isaiah 30:9-11 KJV).

Slip not on the “words smoother than butter!”

We Anglophones use the idiom, “He is a smooth talker.” This eloquent speaker manipulates words—using flattery, overly-complementary words—to make us think or do whatever he wants. With the mind and heart (emotions) captured, the physical body naturally follows.

Today’s Scripture is JEHOVAH’S controversy with Israel. They are disobedient and deceitful. When JEHOVAH sends seers and prophets to guide Israel back to Him, she refuses. “Do not tell us what the Bible says! Get out of our way! Let us do what we want! Tell us something nice and cheerful! Shut up about sin, righteousness, and God’s impending judgment!” (Sound familiar?) “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” (2 Timothy 4:3).

Interestingly, God will one day give Israel exactly what she wants. A man, a “super-man,” will make a false seven-year peace treaty with Israel. This Antichrist will promise Israel great peace and prosperity. David wrote about him in Psalm 55:21: “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” “He shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21). The Antichrist will dazzle Israel—yea, the world—with likeable traits, great speeches, and supernatural abilities (Revelation 13:1-4). Once he gains Israel’s trust, he will destroy them militarily, mercilessly slaughtering as many of his enemies as possible (Daniel 8:22-25; Zechariah 11:15-17; Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 13:15-18). As a dear pastor-brother-friend warned, “Beware of those who over-complement! They are the first to stab you in the back!”

Beloved, watch out for and avoid the “words smoother than butter!” Christendom, like Israel of old, is still slipping doctrinally because of them!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is faith enough to enter heaven? Do not the devils ‘believe?’

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! 🙂


Paul and Dispensationalism #17

Monday, August 24, 2015

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

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

Baptism has been called “religious TNT.” It has generated many explosive fights across denominational lines! Sprinkling? Pouring? Immersion? Only adults, or babies, too? Where? Who should administer it? What words should be said? What type of water is needed? For salvation or testimony? On, and on, and on… contentious people from all sides fuss and fight, spewing forth contemptuous words! “For ye are yet carnal [fleshly, worldly]: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3).

Paul could not be clearer. There is one baptism” valid for us in the Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 4:5). It is not, NOT, NOT, NOT water baptism! The only time Paul mentioned water baptism in his epistles, he wrote, “Christ sent me not to baptize” (1 Corinthians 1:17)! Our one—ONE—baptism is not performed by preacher or priest, but by the Holy Spirit Himself (today’s Scripture; cf. Colossians 2:11,12). The Spirit baptizes us into—NOT water but—the Church the Body of Christ and seals us (Ephesians 1:12-14). Immediately after we rely exclusively on Christ’s death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4), we are made one with Jesus Christ, “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30). The Holy Spirit comes to indwell us Christians (1 Corinthians 6:19)—He equips us, that the doctrine we read and believe comes to life in our lives (Ephesians 3:16)!

We do not need Israel’s water baptism. We will not experience her fire baptism (seven-year Tribulation and Christ’s Second Coming in wrath). We do not need her “Holy Ghost” baptism in Acts chapter 2, when Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5). No, today, the Holy Spirit does the baptizing, and we are thus “complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10). The Apostle Paul teaches us that water ceremonies will profit us nothing, NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING spiritually!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there a simple way to present the Grace Message to children and teens?