Wilt Thou Serve the Denomination, Or the Lord? #4

Thursday, December 6, 2012

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23,24 KJV).

Beloved, we have a choice—we can serve a theological system (which is worthless), or we can serve the Lord (which is priceless).

If we desire to know the Lord’s will for our lives, should we consult manmade “articles of confession” and “catechisms” published by denominations? No! It is only logical to find God’s will for our lives by reading the Book God wrote!

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works(2 Timothy 3:16,17). Everything we will ever need to know about God’s plan for us is found in the Holy Bible. Found therein is everything that He has done for us, and everything that He purposes to do with us! When we grasp that information, we progress in spiritual maturity, and by faith, we “labour together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9).

Satan knows God’s Word is effectual, that it accomplishes what God intends (Isaiah 55:11). So, to the devil’s delight, sinful man corrupted God’s Word by fabricating perverted Bible manuscripts, creating elaborate organizations instead of preaching the Gospel of Grace to perishing mankind, wrongly dividing the word of truth, and thus splintering into 38,000-plus denominations. These activities still distract lost people (and even Christians) from discovering God’s will and the clarity of His Word.

The Bible warns us: “Beware lest any man spoil [rob, cheat] you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). Doubtless, this refers to empty religious tradition, denominational doctrine which is not after Christ.”

Let us walk by faith in an intelligent understanding of what God is doing today, Paul’s epistles Romans through Philemon, and not what some denomination is doing. After all, dear saints, serving a denomination will profit us nothing in eternity….

Wilt Thou Serve the Denomination, Or the Lord? #2

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23,24 KJV).

Beloved, we have a choice—we can serve a theological system (which is worthless), or we can serve the Lord (which is priceless).

When someone who is searching for the true and living God eventually does find out about Jesus Christ and trusts Him alone as personal Saviour, he or she then has a spiritual minefield to navigate. Deciding which denominational church to join is not as easy as it initially seems. After all, these 38,000-plus groups claim to be “Christ’s followers,” but they each teach something radically different. How will this poor Christian soul ever learn the truth? Which denomination, if any, is right?

Satan’s apostate religious system accomplishes exactly what he intended it to—it deters the Christian from serving the Lord. Soon, the person becomes loyal to the denomination and its (faulty) theology. Eventually, the issue is no longer, “What saith the scriptures?,” but “What saith the denomination, preacher, or statement of faith?”

We are not to serve man, nor seek to please him—we are to serve the Lord, not some (man-made) denomination! Today’s Scripture declares, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;….” Ephesians 6:6,7 confirm: “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:”

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). If we want to do God’s will in our lives—if we are to be “throughly furnished [equipped] unto all good works”—the complete revelation is within “all scripture.” “Scripture” (“writings”) restricts the authority to a Book, thus excluding popes, teachers, theological systems, preachers, and seminaries….

Wilt Thou Serve the Denomination, Or the Lord? #1

Monday, December 3, 2012

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23,24 KJV).

Beloved, we have a choice—we can serve a theological system (which is worthless), or we can serve the Lord (which is priceless).

Colossians 3:22 begins: “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:” Today’s Scripture then follows: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;….”

Compare that to Ephesians 6:5-7: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:”

Christian employees are exhorted that, when they work, they should not put on a show. That is, we should not be faithful workers for the sake of being seen of others (“eyeservice”) and praised by others (“menpleasers”). Our motivation for faithfully executing Christian service within the workplace is to please the Lord Jesus Christ. We should serve the Lord “in singleness of heart;” to wit, with a sincere (non-hypocritical, non-selfish) heart. We really do not deserve the credit or the praise for our good works—after all, “[We are] crucified with Christ; nevertheless [we] live, yet not [us], but Christ!”

Even though today’s Scripture and these other verses are directed toward Christian servants (slaves, employees), we can still benefit from the doctrine, for we too are “servants to God” (Romans 6:22). Just as we are to be faithful Christian servants “on the job,” we are to be faithful servants of the Lord on this stage called “life.” The same doctrine that governs a Christian in the workplace should, in the grand scheme of things, guide us as we function in our Christian ambassadorship on a daily basis….

Quelling the Questions of Quandaries

Sunday, November 25, 2012

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17 KJV).

Sin makes life very complicated, but today’s Scripture is a great help in attempting to resolve those “quandaries” (“sticky situations”).

Life affords many choices ranging from a variety of topics. “Do I do this, or do I that?” In some cases, there is no one Bible verse that gives us a clear-cut answer as to what specific choice the Lord would have us to make. Furthermore, some situations are so tough, they seem almost impossible to solve. Such predicaments can be quite troubling to the Christian, who is on the verge of screaming in desperation, “Lord, I know not what to do because I do not know Thy will concerning this!”

Dear saint, no matter what quandary you ever face, here are three basic doctrines to bear in mind:

  1. God’s grace—everything He can do for us through Christ’s finished crosswork—gives us Christians the power to stop sin from dominating us: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:11,12). When we make mistakes (sin), we need to acknowledge them by letting God’s Word (these verses) correct our thinking. Grace living is not sinless living. We do and will make mistakes, but we need to learn from them.
  2. If the Bible—especially Paul’s epistles—are silent about how to handle the matter in a specific manner, today’s Scripture provides general counsel: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Do what best reflects and glorifies Jesus Christ.
  3. The Lord wants you to make the choice that would further and exalt His Word. When we make godly decisions, we promulgate the sound doctrine taught by God’s written Word, the Holy Bible, and we accomplish His overall will to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ, in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 1:10). 🙂

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Excerpted from a larger Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

The Counsel of the LORD Shall Stand

Monday, November 12, 2012

“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand” (Proverbs 19:21 KJV).

No matter what mankind has done, is doing, or will do, God’s “eternal purpose” will still be accomplished.

Christians disturbed by the results of the recent United States’ presidential election, are voicing their concerns. Some fear God’s impending judgment, while others believe those election results were “God’s decision.” “What saith the scriptures?”

Did God really foreordain the president-elect from eternity past, as claimed? We think not. American voters went to the poll. God gave voters the ability to choose who they wanted, and they did. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that God chose our leaders today. God has merely “ordained” the offices and authority (“powers”) of government, not the people occupying and exercising them (Romans 13:1,2).

Will God judge America for its wickedness? Of course, according to Romans 2:6-11, but not in this the Dispensation of Grace. Today, God is extending to us through Christ’s finished crosswork His grace, His mercy, His love, and His kindness. God is not imputing the world’s trespasses unto it (2 Corinthians 5:19-21)… yet.

For the last 6,000 years, God has let mankind “do his own thing.” Mankind has devised his own way of life, his own beliefs, and his own rules (just as today’s Scripture declares). But, there is pleasure in sin only for a season (Hebrews 11:25b). This current arrangement of autonomous man ruling earth will persist only until Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming to restore earth’s governments unto Himself (Revelation 11:15; Revelation 19:11-16).

“The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought [nothing]: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect” (Psalm 33:10).

What has God planned from eternity past, despite what mankind “devises” he will do? God is determined to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ, in two realms, heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:9,10), using two agencies, the Church the Body of Christ, and the nation Israel, respectively (Colossians 1:16-20). When our dispensation closes, God will begin to execute that plan. That is the “counsel of the LORD,” and that shall stand! 🙂

Why Am I Here?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18 KJV).

Although philosophers and religious “scholars” still stumble over the age-old question, “Why am I here?,” God’s Word settled the matter long ago.

Creation is not the result of some random, mindless, cosmic explosion billions of years ago, as scientists often tout. Our universe exists with “divine design in mind”—this is particularly true of Earth. Today’s Scripture explains that, in addition to creating the heavens (outer space), God also created planet earth not in vain.” God had a special purpose for Earth. It is no accident that mankind lives here, as opposed to other celestial bodies.

We exist because the triune Godhead (God the Father, God the Son [Jesus Christ], and God the Holy Spirit) wanted to share with us the love and fellowship they shared with each other before creation (John 17:5,24). In the person of Jesus Christ, the triune Godhead would manifest itself to mankind, a unique race of creatures whom the Godhead appointed to rule over Earth (Genesis 1:26-28). But, why Earth?

When God placed the first man, Adam, on earth, God was preparing to establish His kingdom on earth (Matthew 25:34), where He Himself would live with mankind: “For the LORD hath chosen Zion [in Jerusalem]; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:13,14). Unfortunately, Adam sinned, postponing that earthly kingdom for 6,000 years now. God formed Earth, not to simply give us a home, but to one day make Himself a home (Christ’s Millennial Reign on earth). “He formed it to be inhabited”… by Himself! Amazing!

Friends, we are not accidents. We exist for God’s glory, not for our own glory. God wants us our faith, our trust, to rest in His Holy Word, the King James Bible, the record of how He paid for our sins, and thus restored His fallen creation unto Himself.