Instant Christians #13

Sunday, January 18, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

How do we make “instant” Christians? As with anything instant (coffee, rice, photos, messaging, et cetera), some work is necessary! It takes a dedicated preacher or teacher to actually teach his people the Bible instead of giving them “Bible chats and pep talks” (Christendom’s failure). It takes studying the Bible instead of reading books about the Bible (another blunder). It takes reading the Bible instead of singing and dancing about the Bible (another failure).

We read in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 what the Holy Spirit would have us do once we are “instant” Christians, skilled in the Word of His Grace: “[24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” We, as “instant” Christians, are to make “instant” Christians, people who are just as well-versed and well-grounded in the Bible rightly divided as we!

Lost people live contrary to God’s will for them, and saved people in denominational circles live contrary to what God gave them in Christ. Yet, they can be freed from such error. We are to teach the verses they need to believe to escape Satan’s trap: the lost should be saved from their sins and the denominational Christians saved from doctrinal error. They can then enjoy the grace, love, mercy, eternal life, hope, security, peace, joy, forgiveness, Bible clarity, and righteousness that God offers them in Jesus Christ!

Remember, our ministry is not to force God’s Word rightly divided on anyone. We share the verses in compassion, not in spite or strife, picking fights. We “teach” them, very patiently, gently, meekly. It is time-consuming, but it is ever so worth it, and we will never know the true value of “instant” Christians until we reach heaven….

Instant Christians #11

Friday, January 16, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

Earlier, we read in 1 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.” Written to the same suffering Jewish believers of the future seven-year Tribulation, Jude 1:3 says: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Bible critics present an elaborate defense of their beliefs, whereas Bible believers very rarely have an equally-intricate defense of the Bible (in stark disobedience to the Holy Spirit’s advice). A Christian may quote a shallow verse here or a theology book there but the Bible critic is usually the one quoting all the verses, one controversial verse after another (which discrepancies are often solved with dispensational Bible study). The preacher, the church member, whoever supposedly represents the “Christian” view, just sits quietly, equally clueless as to why the Bible says different things in different places.

“Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12a). Does a soldier go out in the battle unprepared? Then, why are almost all seminaries, Bible colleges, and churches sending out millions upon millions of doctrinally-deficient “Christians” to the battlefield with nothing more than best wishes and butter-knives? (We suspect they are more interested in raising funds, and building programs and denominational systems, than learning and preaching God’s truth!) One main reason why no one wants to hear about Jesus Christ in “the world” is because the people who claim to represent Him are too clueless as to what He taught them to say about Him. They have not mastered the Bible rightly divided, and no one wants to hear someone preach so passionately about a topic they prove themselves to be ignorant of.

Dearly beloved, we need, need, NEED, NEED “instant” Christians….

Instant Christians #2

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

The Greek word translated “instant” in today’s Scripture is ephistemi, used elsewhere to describe: an angel “coming” (Luke 2:9; Acts 12:7), Anna “quickly coming” in gratitude to see the Christ Child (Luke 2:38), Jesus “immediately” healing Peter’s mother-in-law of a high fever (Luke 4:39), irritated Martha “approaching” Jesus (Luke 10:40), Israel’s religious leaders “coming” to intimidate Christ and His apostles and disciples (Luke 20:1; Acts 4:1; Acts 6:12), Cornelius’ three messengers “immediately” coming and “standing” before Simon’s door awaiting Peter’s arrival (Acts 10:17; Acts 11:11), the unbelievers “assaulting” the members of the household of Jason (Acts 17:5), Ananias “standing” near newly-converted Saul of Tarsus (Acts 22:13), Saul of Tarsus “standing by” holding the coats of those who were stoning Stephen to death (Acts 22:20), the Lord “standing by” Paul to comfort him (Acts 23:11), chief captain Claudius Lysias “coming” with an army to deliver Paul from a mob that wanted him dead (Acts 23:27), the “present” rain that poured as Paul and his shipmates reached the island of Melita (Acts 28:2), the sudden destruction of the future Tribulation “coming” upon the unsuspecting unbelievers (1 Thessalonians 5:3), and Paul’s execution and departure to heaven being “at hand” (2 Timothy 4:6).

In today’s Scripture, “instant” means “ready to act”—it implies intense activity or an impending quick motion (see examples in previous paragraph), not idleness or inactivity (sitting or standing around doing nothing). Paul is charging Timothy (and all Christians) to not be slothful in the ministry, hoping “someone else” will share the Gospel with others, hoping “someone else” will teach Christians God’s Word rightly divided. The Holy Ghost knows that it is easy for our flesh to surrender to opposition, to be passive or lazy, to keep the Bible but just teach it according to a denomination or church tradition for the sake of pleasing man, or to throw away the Bible completely and do what “everyone else is doing” (in religion or in “the world”).

Let us continue hearing the Holy Spirit through Paul….

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #5

Monday, October 20, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

In the midst of all the seven-year Tribulation’s suffering and heartache, Jude encourages Israel’s believing remnant in verses 20 and 21: “But ye, beloved, [1] building up yourselves on your most holy faith, [2] praying in the Holy Ghost, [3] keep yourselves in the love of God, [4] looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Notice the four-fold edification the Holy Spirit has for them.)

Firstly, they are to “[build] up [themselves] on [their] most holy faith” (belief system). Paul declared, “the word of [God’s] grace… is able to build you up” (Acts 20:32). Just as we are to use God’s Word to us (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon) to build an edifice of sound doctrine in our hearts and lives (see 1 Corinthians 3:10,12,14), Israel’s believing remnant is to use the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and Hebrews through Revelation to build an edifice of sound doctrine in their hearts and lives.

Secondly, they are to “[pray] in the Holy Ghost.” To reinforce that kingdom doctrine in their hearts and minds, they are to pray according to what the Holy Spirit will be doing at that time, activity described in their Scriptures (particularly Hebrews through Revelation, but all of the Bible outside of Paul’s epistles). The Holy Spirit will teach them His Word (1 John 2:27; cf. Matthew 10:19,20; Luke 21:14,15).

Thirdly, they are to keep [guard] [themselves] in the love of God.” They are to remember God’s love for them, and not worry about the nations and their relatives and friends who hate them. (Later, we will look at this more closely.)

Lastly, they are to “[look] for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” They are to anticipate Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, when He will show them mercy, defeating their enemies, delivering them and ushering them into the eternal life of His earthly kingdom (Mark 10:28-31)….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘saved, if ye keep in memory’ mean in 1 Corinthians 15:2?

Words for Weary and Wounded Warriors

Friday, October 3, 2014

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:22,23).

Although spoken to Israel’s believing remnant, our Lord Jesus’ words still comfort us weary or wounded Christian ambassadors.

A little brother in Christ recently telephoned me (and we later continued our conversation face-to-face). He was despondent because of the disrespectful way lost people—and even professing Christians—treated him. I told him that I could identify with that “coldshouldering” and assured him that he must not let it bother him; God has made provisions for us in Christ to withstand all of the Adversary’s darts (and occasional cannonballs!) aimed at us. Denominational divisions run ever so deep between professing Christians. The greatest spiritual division of all is between children of Father God and children of the Devil. The Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh experienced it, and the early Christians knew it, too.

Before dying, Jesus reminded His disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Later, the Apostle John amplified those words by recounting the story of Cain killing his righteous brother Abel, concluding with, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13). The Apostle Peter wrote to his Jewish readers who abandoned their lost lifestyles, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4). Beloved, people hated Jesus Christ living in His flesh; they equally hate Him living in us!

While quality Christian friends are very rare, hold them close once you find those few. We do pray for those who persecute us, that they step out spiritual darkness and into the light of God’s grace to us in Christ; still, we will not let their shunning of us, bother us! 🙂

Holding Fast the Faithful Word

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers(Titus 1:9 KJV).

What does “holding fast” mean in the Scriptures?

Let us briefly survey other Bible passages that shed light on the concept:

  • The Lord Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24; cf. Luke 16:13).
  • Paul instructed us to support the weak” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
  • God speaks to Satan of Job’s holding fast his integrity” (Job 2:3), and Job said, “My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go” (Job 27:6a).
  • Before Jerusalem’s destruction, the LORD asked through the Prophet Jeremiah, “Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return” (Jeremiah 8:5).

As we see, God’s definitions for “holding fast” are “refuse to return,” “hold to,” “support,” “not let it go.”

Satan, as his Hebrew name suggests, is “adversary,” and he has an arsenal of weapons he uses against God and His people. God the Holy Ghost wrote the Holy Bible with the intention of educating us at to what He is doing in the heaven and the earth, and what Satan is doing to frustrate His purpose and plans.

Therefore, in today’s Scripture, one of the characteristics of the bishop (frequently called “pastor”) is that he should not relinquish the rightly divided Word of God that he was first taught in his earlier years as a Christian. He should hold firm God’s Word, dispensationally studied, understood, and believed, that he may save others from Satan’s policy of evil and its deception (1 Timothy 4:16). The bishop will face intense opposition and criticism (today’s Scripture), but he must not surrender his rightly-divided Holy King James Bible for “easy-to-read” perversions and denominational systems.

Saints, let us always be mindful of the faithfulness of our King James Bible rightly divided, that it is worthy of our trust. May we “not let it go!” 🙂

Having the Zeal of the LORD

Sunday, May 25, 2014

“And the disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:17 KJV).

May we rely on our Lord Jesus Christ, that His zeal may always consume us as it does Him!

A Christian emailed me, replying to our March/April devotionals arc, “A Heart Transplant for Israel:”

“Excellent study! Can’t help but think about today’s Christian. Those that have trusted Christ have indeed had ‘heart surgery’. But there are some who could use a stint or bypass to get the blood flow healthy again. Sadly many have lost their zeal for The Lord & have forfeited Godly joy, peace, & contentment for the lies of this world.”

Indeed, today’s lukewarm Christianity is in trouble (especially younger generations such as mine). Unfortunately, many Christians have surrendered: they are tired of the opposition and criticism, and have failed to pass on God’s Word to younger Christians (cf. 2 Timothy 2:1-4). While this world is most certainly hopeless—it is headed for the seven-year Tribulation!—we Christians need not cower in fear. Beloved, the mighty Holy Spirit of God worked in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will unquestionably work in and through us just as mightily if we take the time to study and believe our King James Bibles rightly divided (1 Thessalonians 2:13)!

Jesus Christ had become so consumed with, so passionate about, God the Father’s will, that He was delighted beyond words. The verse previous to today’s Scripture says, “And [Jesus] said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (verse 16). The apostles remembered Psalm 69:9, a Messianic Psalm that Jesus had just fulfilled (“For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up”). God purposed His Temple to be His dwelling-place, not some marketplace where people overcharged and swindled others in His name. So, Jesus cleansed the Temple, literally running out these thieves using a whip (John 2:15)!

Beloved, may we rely on Jesus Christ’s faithfulness, to have His zeal to proclaim His message of grace to this lost and dying world, and to be “zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14)! 🙂