Great Peace

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165 KJV).

“Friends” come and go. Spouses come and go. Health comes and goes. Financial stability comes and goes. Life comes and goes. Dear readers, sin divides, destroys, and dissolves what we hold close to us. Indeed, the human condition is fraught with uncertainties and losses of all kinds. However, the God of the Bible offers us stability. Provided that we rely on Him, nothing will “offend” us (cause us to stumble and fall).

As today’s Scripture says, God’s Word can impart internal strength unfathomable. Circumstances can and will change, but if there is spiritual stability inside our inner man, the Bible says we can endure the good and the bad. Quoting Philippians 4:11-13: “[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. [12] 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. [13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

It is a “learning” process—take note (verse 11)! We do not automatically feel content in times of trouble, no. When things are going well, there is no worry or bother. Yet, strangely, the Scriptures say we need to adopt that same attitude when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances. Rather than praying for God to remove the problems from our life, we can take advantage of those times and make them opportunities to rely more on our Heavenly Father than on ourselves.

Philippians 4:6,7 reminds us that we should pray in order to bring that Word of God into our experience: “[6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We have our problems, yea, but we have our Lord Jesus Christ… and we have His peace, too! 🙂

Special-edition Bible Q&A #400: “Must I be a ‘King James Bible, Pauline dispensationalist’ to have eternal life?

Educate the Children

Saturday, July 15, 2017

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:18,19 KJV).

If children are untaught in Scripture, the parents (especially the father) are usually to blame!

Someone recently told me of a certain unruly, indecent young woman in her “Christian” family. When it was suggested that her father get involved, the woman told me that the mother “wore the pants in the family.” The young woman’s father is actually “scared of” the mother, and he will not reprimand his daughter “for fear of” his wife (her mother). Such a sad predicament, and very common!

As our “rotted” society demonstrates, most fathers have failed in their duties at home. Perhaps they are hard workers, good providers. The Bible does say: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8). However, according to the Bible, fathers—not mothers—are to be the primary Bible teachers of their children: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Husbands are to be the Bible teachers of their wives: “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:35). Furthermore, God commands the husband to be the spiritual leader of the marriage, as Ephesians 5:23,24 instructs: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

To the men reading this, if you care about your family, my friends, you will heed these Scriptures!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How was Jesus Christ ‘raised again?’ Why ‘again?’

A Father to Follow

Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:1,2 KJV).

Lo, a Father to follow!

Early one morning, after a snowfall, a drunkard walked from his house to the saloon. As he left footprints, he heard the snow crunching behind him. Turning around, he saw his four-year-old son. The little boy giggled, “Daddy, look, I am following in your footsteps!” Instead of going to the saloon, the man picked up his son and they went home. He never went to the saloon again!

Brethren, it is no secret that children are a reflection of their parents. Usually, people unwittingly adopt their parents’ habits. A small child told me recently he yells all the time because “my daddy does it.” Bless his little heart, but he has no idea that his daddy is not to be his pattern if his daddy disregards the Holy Word of God. While some parents do their very best to lead their children in the ways of Christian living, unfortunately, that is often not the case. Many of the world’s problems originated from individuals whose parents taught them wrongly or failed to teach them anything decent at all!

Today’s Scripture says that, in light of everything that has gone before in Ephesians, we should be “followers of God, as dear children.” We are to be cognizant of God’s love for us at Calvary, and we are to “walk in love.” The pattern for us “walking in love” is to see how “Christ also hath loved us.” He loved us even to the point of self-sacrifice—yea, literally, to the death! It is that love of Christ that makes God pleased with us: He does not smell our rotten sin or sins, but rather the wonderful fragrance of Jesus Christ! He wants what is best for us, and, if we love Him, we will listen to His words and obey them. Will we act in accordance with how He “smells” us? Remember, He is a Father worth following!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What was ‘the epistle from Laodicea?’

Not Worthy

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 KJV).

What hope in such a hopeless world!

Our world abounds with sickness, suffering, and death. My family recently learned a relative has been diagnosed with malignant (and terminal) brain cancer. Another relative’s great-granddaughter, age 2, just died of a defective lung. I have an online teenage friend whose cancer has returned. One elderly sister in Christ, after suffering bronchitis for days, has now developed pneumonia. Her husband suffered internal bleeding—losing half of his body’s volume!—and nearly died weeks ago. An elderly neighbor has bronchitis (which may turn to pneumonia). Another elderly neighbor died of pneumonia weeks back. Horrible!

Physical sickness and resulting death undoubtedly make this fallen creation most painful. While we should take care of our bodies, they are only temporary. No matter how much we diet or exercise, or take medications, we all have to die of something eventually (mostly true). That parenthetical statement is very important, for surely there will be a group of Christians living when Jesus Christ comes at the Rapture to take His Body to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17). They will never, ever see death: their bodies will simply be transformed. We may be that generation of Christians—or, maybe not. I know of many Christians who have been waiting for 40 or 50 years, and they, because of advanced age, may very well go the way of death if the Lord tarries much longer. (We may find ourselves there in the coming decades.)

Remember, brethren, every day of the Dispensation of Grace holds back the wrath of God from being poured out on our world. There has been nearly 2000 years of God offering His grace, and yes, that grace will have to be withdrawn someday. Let us not be selfish. Lost souls still need to be saved in Christ before that righteous judgment comes. The only way this is possible is if God extends the curse another day, postpones the Second Coming of Christ for another day, delays that earthly kingdom of healing and restoration another day. Deliverance will come, but there are more important things on God’s schedule at the moment.:)

Sharing With Caution

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you (Matthew 7:6 KJV).

Share the Word with caution!

A young man, a Bible believer, recently contacted me to ask about a specific centuries-old religious topic. Having had a heated discussion with an acquaintance, he was seeking answers and assistance. I was delighted to share with him some pertinent Bible verses and history to guard himself against particular theological errors. In closing, I cautioned him that that information was for his personal use, not for the contentious, ill-informed, and close-minded individual he had dealt with earlier.

Proverbs 26:4-5 reminds us: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” Yes, sometimes, we strictly limit how much sound Bible doctrine we share with certain people. We dare not argue with them, especially once they refuse to be taught plain and simple Bible truths. Scripture says we must “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:15-17)—we cannot fight every battle. We choose our battles very carefully, never expending time and energy when it could be used better elsewhere. You will encounter two extremes: those who want to hear nothing from the Bible and those who want to hear everything from it. There are many of the former—and precious few of the latter. With experience, you will recognize them when you see them!

The Lord Jesus Christ instructed, paraphrased, “Cast not your pearls before swine.” Or, do not give something valuable—namely, the Word of God—over to people who will not appreciate it. They can talk about how much they “love” Jesus, how religious they are, or how many Bible verses they have memorized. However, when you share the Bible with them, they flat-out reject it. You see the real them, beyond the superficial, on the inside, what they really think about the God’s Word. Brethren, we should be willing to spend as much time as possible with those who are interested in the truth. However, we will not waste our time on those more concerned with error!

Be Wise, Not Foolish!

Friday, July 7, 2017

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise (Proverbs 12:15 KJV).

Amen and Amen!

Our world is so busy—there is so much to do and so little time to do it. Our world abounds with instant communication—there is so much to learn about so many things, places, and people. While human society is quite different today than it was when God first placed Adam on the Earth, human nature is still the same as it was in the Garden of Eden. Man still does not want to be bothered with the notion of God; he is “too busy” to hear or read any divine thoughts. He has his modern educational system that supposedly “rescues” him from all the “barbaric,” “primitive,” “simplistic” viewpoints of old. Yet, his nature is still the same—self-centered, self-sufficient, self-willed. Self! Self! Self! Sin! Sin! Sin!

The Bible is God’s “counsel.” It is His advice to us. He took some time to write it so we had better take some time to read it! If we evaluate ourselves using our own standards, we look pretty good. However, when we consider that divine counsel, we realize just how depraved and wayward we actually are. We had better “hearken,” take heed to, that counsel. There is such great disappointment and misery in life for Christians who fail to learn how God the Holy Spirit is working today. There is eternal damnation awaiting those who die apart from the Lord Jesus Christ! Yet, we are all “too busy” being entertained in religion, “too busy” making money to hoard, “too busy” seeking fame, “too busy” learning in educational institutions, “too busy” talking when we should be listening, “too busy” indeed, to worry about anything of spiritual value.

Without delay, friends, let us come by faith in Jesus Christ alone, that “He died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Without delay, brethren, let us walk according to the grace of God, rather than the law of God (Romans 6:14). Let us “hearken” to the “counsel” of God. Let us be “wise!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God get angry with Balaam in Numbers 22:22?

The Lord Jesus Christ is Everything!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7 KJV).

We are not important; the Person we preach is!

Many months ago, I gave a Gospel tract to an employee at a local store. A coworker in the ministry recently informed me he had had a Bible conversation with a worker at that store. It was the same man I had dealt with! When I later spoke with a local sister in Christ, I discovered she had talked with that man about the Bible many years earlier. As it turned out, she planted the seed, and then the brother and I watered. Perhaps she actually watered too—maybe some other Christian reached him before she.

The conversion of a human soul is a slow process. It can take many years or several decades. Some people never do trust Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They do wind up going to Hell. Still, others do get saved—but we may not live to see it. It does not really matter what we witness but rather that we witness. There is a responsibility on our part to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Regardless of what we see, what people do with that Word is up to them. Never do we “twist arms” or force people onto their knees. All we do is offer, extend, hold out, the plan of salvation. We cannot believe for them, but we can give them a message worthy of their belief.

Furthermore, “God… giveth the increase.” He alone can cause that word of life to impart life to the lost and dying sinner. While we want to force or rush things, we dare not. We cannot give the increase because we are powerless; we can only plant and water (along with other Christians). This is the work of the ministry, laboring with other believers, putting self aside, and endeavoring to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Saviour! He is everything!