Until We Talk Again

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV).

Dear Christian friend, are you longing for Home—Heaven? You must remain focused on your current location!

Some brethren in Christ and myself were recently online, remembering the birthday of a mutual Christian friend whose untimely death caused him to tragically leave us. He graduated to Heaven nearly a year ago. My advice to them was that I was quite sure he would want us all to continue our labor in our Lord. I encouraged them to keep on in that labor, until we talk to our dear brother again!

If our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ could return and tell us something, it would be in the vein of today’s Scripture. After all, that verse was a Spirit-filled Christian exhorting other believers to be Spirit-filled. We should not simply be about the Lord’s work, but rather “always abounding” in it. That means constant, plenteous works, not sitting idly by and/or doing the absolute bare minimum. Christian ministry—which is really for all believers, not just preachers—is about maintaining good works” (Titus 3:8). These “good works” have nothing to do with religious rites, rituals, and ceremonies. It has to do with sharing God’s Word with others. That means preaching the Gospel of Grace to lost people, and teaching the Message of Grace to saved people. In addition to using the printed page, electronic devices, and our voices, that sound doctrine should also be communicated in our actions (daily living).

In the context of today’s Scripture—the whole chapter—we read about the reality of bodily resurrection. Our labor is not in vain in the Lord because physical death does not end our Christian service (see especially verses 50-57—the Rapture, our resurrection as Christians). Our earthly Christian sojourn will end one day. All of our earthly ministries will cease. Still, there is in Heaven waiting for us, a reward… and a reunion with the saints of the ages. We will talk again, and all work together in eternity to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂

Now in Heaven, Corrected

Thursday, February 2, 2017

“…[T]o be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:23 KJV).

What about Christians who died without knowing right division?

Invariably, if you have dealt with Christians transitioning from denominational teaching to grace/dispensational teaching, you will hear one or two particular issues mentioned. One is, “What about [name of a Christian who died without knowing about dispensationalism]?” The other is, “Had I known about grace teaching years ago, I could have told them about it before they died.”

Friends, the good news is that God does not save us on the basis of whether or not we can pass a theological test, rehearse church history, or cite Bible-verse references. All we do is come to understand our lost estate, our deadness in our trespasses and sins, and trust exclusively Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as the remedy for those sins. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). It is so easy that a child can believe, be forgiven, and have a place reserved in heaven!

Soul salvation from sins and Christian growth/living are two entirely different matters. A person can be saved and still be confused about the Bible (that was me, actually). A Christian can have a miserable life, unable to function as God intended (that was me too, actually). However, God’s Word calls heaven, “being with Christ,” as a place “far better” than life on earth (today’s Scripture). Thankfully, in heaven, there is neither confusion nor sin. Those who trusted Christ as Saviour and have since died and gone on to heaven, they now know the truth about the Bible. God has corrected their thinking, so we need not fret about them.

Friends, what we need to be concerned with is ourselves and others on earth—we need to continue growing in the Bible, and those souls we reach need to come to Christ by faith and/or continue maturing in the Holy Scriptures. These should be (are?) our priorities. And, remember, wherever we fall short in our Bible understanding, God will correct us in heaven as well! 🙂

NOTE: Dear readers and saints, please remember us in your monthly giving. Many thanks to those who have given so far! You may donate to us securely by visiting https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or emailing me at arcministries@gmail.com for info on how to donate by “snail mail.”

Sin = Death = Not Long Enough

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12 KJV).

A woman, commenting on her husband’s recent death, said they had been married 40 years, adding, “But it was not long enough. We could have gone another 20.” This dear lady, widowed and heartbroken, is just another victim of this sin-cursed world!

People who do not understand Bible truths try in vain to reconcile how a “loving” God can let life end in death. I remember one non-Christian lady asking after her father’s death, “What is the purpose of living if you die?” Friends, death is a thief. One spends his or her whole life amassing relationships, wealth, prestige, education, beauty, fame, and so on. Nevertheless, death will snatch it all away one day. Whether it takes a few decades or over a century, sin eventually produces death, and death instantaneously causes poverty. Professor and plowboy alike cannot escape death! Pope/preacher/priest and parishioner will all be placed in a casket! Prince and pauper alike go the grave! President and populace all wind up in the cemetery!

Today’s Scripture says this is the result of Adam’s sin, and certainly not in God’s design. Sin entered the world by one man—Adam. God did not initiate sin; Adam did. The Bible says death entered the world by sin. Wherever we find sin, we find death. Wherever we find death, we find sin. Until the Lord returns, that will always be a fact of life. In the meantime, we have the hope that physical death is not the end. For us in Christ, we have the assurance of eternal life now. Though our Christian loved ones have gone to heaven, they are still very much alive, to be seen again. The countless ages we will spend with them with our Saviour are infinitesimally longer than the few moments of our current separation.

Though “the wages of sin is death,” “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “Not long enough” because of sin does not compare to eternal life because of Jesus Christ our Lord! 🙂

Something in Common

Thursday, November 10, 2016

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26,28 KJV).

Have you trusted Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour? Then, you are a child of God!

Recently, I was privileged to meet and thank a 90-year-old (!) United States veteran. Having served in World War II over 70 years ago (!), he was a guest speaker at a private Christian school’s Veterans Day function. He mentioned not only such physical battles, but also the greatest spiritual battle—Satan trying to keep every last human soul he currently owns! He proceeded to share the Gospel with the crowd. After the program, I approached this dear man, talked with him, and learned he was a Christian. Not just some “church member,” I consider him a saved individual. Actually, we may never see each other on this earth again, so I told him, “At least we will see each other in heaven some day!”

Friends, the above scenario is very interesting. This veteran and I had no earthly reason to ever meet one another. He is over three times my age. We live in separate cities many miles apart. We do not share professions. We are not blood related. He had never heard of me and I had never heard of him. Ultimately, the common factor was Christ. He had become a Christian, and I had become a Christian. Many, many years later, it was because of Jesus Christ that we (recently) gathered in an assembly (unaware of each other until the very end).

Think about right now, friends. We would have probably never “met” here had it not been for Jesus Christ. We live in different cities, different states, and/or different countries. Thankfully, God can use any person anywhere at anytime who will simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died to pay for their sins and He was raised again to give them eternal life. Amazingly, Father God can take all believing sinners of various centuries, put them into the same Body of Christ, and then they meet each other in heaven (who would have not met otherwise)!

Hated But Humble

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:18,19 KJV).

We are hated but humble!

A new Christian emailed me in exasperation. Tired of how people had treated him, he wanted to go to heaven and leave this planet of such great evils! He explained he did not care how he lived anymore—even if those frivolous actions made other Christians or lost people stumble! Thankfully, the Bible truths I shared with him helped him recover himself out of the snare of the Devil.

That brother needed to be reminded Jesus Christ was treated most horribly. He was hated without a cause(John 15:25). People have various reasons for hating us. Some are justified. Perhaps we lied to or about them, or stole from them, or cursed them out! However, they had no reason to hate Jesus Christ. He did nothing wrong—to them or anyone else. All Christ did was preach God’s truth and love, and they demanded His crucifixion!! Despite how they treated Him, He still lived righteously for the sake of His Heavenly Father whom He represented. Brethren, let us do the same, remembering not to live unto ourselves, but unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Philippians chapter 2 exhorts us: “[3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do we suffer?

Leave Off Contention!

Monday, August 22, 2016

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with” (Proverbs 17:14 KJV).

Before contention starts, stop it!

Recently, two Christian sisters expressed heartache and utter disgust about a church split. Their families are broken. These two ladies had diligently labored at that local church, only to have “Christian brethren” stab them in the back. One lady’s children were treated horribly there. Hence, one son still rejects Jesus Christ. Another son, although saved, is angry and bitter. These two ladies are still so deeply hurt; they have repressed the pain for years. Making matters worse, their families mistreat them even todayover 20 years after the church split!

One lady poured out her heart to me, asking how to deal with these people whom she still sees in public today. Should she greet/acknowledge these so-called “Christians?” Or, should she just go on her way without approaching them? Well, it depends on who this person is and what he or she did. Furthermore, we are never to force ourselves on anybody. If they want to run away from us, let them. If they approach us for a hug or handshake, we should oblige. The least we should do is smile. We want to be a light for Jesus Christ’s sake.

However, some people—even professing Christians—have no interest in reconciliation. Pride prevents admission of wrongdoing! So, they will use any and every opportunity to curse, yell, or snub their nose at us. We should not set ourselves up for such silliness. Some people are simply looking for attention and will throw various sorts of tantrums to get it. You know who they are. Friend, you need to stay away from them. They are simply tools of Satan and you should not let Satan get the advantage.

The verse I shared with this inquisitive sister was today’s Scripture. If you know trouble is coming, the best thing to do is not approach the person at all! It has nothing to do with holding grudges. It has everything to do with keeping your testimony. You approach that person, and it just may be an occasion to the flesh—for you and/or the individual. “Leave off contention, before it be meddled with!”

When All You Have is Christ Jesus

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4 KJV).

When all you have is Christ Jesus, then you realize He is all you need!

Here in southern Louisiana, significant rainfall and extensive flooding have caused tremendous destruction these last several days. One grace Christian I spoke with via phone said his house had over four feet (1.2+ meters) of water in it! Thankfully, he and his wife escaped with their dog. They lost all their other possessions.

I reminded that brother that God’s grace is sufficient for them. He and his wife can still rejoice in being alive. I reminded him they were going to lose those possessions at death anyway. Scripture calls our material goods “uncertain” (1 Timothy 6:17). At any moment, we can lose them to various events. If our identity is found in our things, and we lose our things to disaster, then we lose our identity. That is the danger of materialism, exalting riches as a god. The Bible calls this “mammon,” material riches worshipped as a deity (Luke 16:13).

However, as Bible believers, we know that our identity is in Jesus Christ. Fellow saint, that identity is the only thing that cannot be taken from you. You can lose your house, job, family, vehicle, and even your physical life, but you can never lose your eternal life in Jesus Christ. God freely gave it to you forever! With that identity in Christ, Father God has promised us comfort, abounding security. He provides us with spiritual stamina, fortitude, to endure all of life’s troubles (Philippians 4:11-13).

Paul, in the context of today’s Scripture, was very depressed because of violent opposition in Ephesus (verses 3-10; cf. Acts chapter 19 and 1 Corinthians 16:8,9). Yet, Father God gave him victory over that enormous burden. He was thus able to comfort others. When we suffer, let us rely on God’s grace too, that we may comfort others with, “When all you have is Christ Jesus, He is all you need!” 🙂