Shine as Lights #10

Thursday, May 25, 2017

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16 KJV).

Shine as lights, brethren, shine as lights!

When Paul’s converts—whether the Philippians of old, or us today—follow by faith those principles of grace the ascended Lord Jesus Christ entrusted to him, they are preparing for the Judgment Seat of Christ. We want to have this “gold, silver, precious stones” (sound Bible doctrine) stored up in our inner man: we want to have as little as possible of “wood, hay, stubble” (worthless teaching) (1 Corinthians 3:8-15).

All members of the Church the Body of Christ are the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s 2,000-year-long ministry through the Apostle Paul. Brethren, if we walk now by faith in the Dispensation of Grace, Romans through Philemon, there will be so much rejoicing on Paul’s part at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Moreover, all Christians will see the results of their ministries fully exposed, also rejoicing in how God used them to benefit other Christians. (I look forward to seeing you there, dear brethren!)

Immediately after the Judgment Seat of Christ, Father God will gather all His “lights” (members of the Body of Christ), and literally light up the heavens with them! Romans 8:18,19 says: “[18] 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. [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” What a day that “manifestation” of “glory” will be!

We began this series with a quote by a brother who has since moved to Heaven. Accordingly, to conclude, we use another quote from him: “We are the only Bible this careless world will read. We are God’s signboards in a sinful world. Men watch us, and they judge Jesus by the way we live, work, act, and talk.” Think as lights—“shine as lights!” 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A articles: “What is ‘the botch of Egypt?’” and “What are ‘emerods?’

Shine as Lights #8

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16 KJV).

Shine as lights, brethren, shine as lights!

While Paul ministered for 35 years throughout the Roman Empire, he risked his life daily. As he preached the Gospel of the Grace of God, an “illegal religion,” he suffered greatly at the hands of unbelieving, sinful men—imprisonments, beatings, lashings, muggings, deaths!, and so on (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Sometimes, he lacked food, clothing, and shelter (Philippians 4:11-13). How many modern “feel-good” preachers would endure this for Christ’s sake?

Today’s Scripture concludes: “…that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Despite all the Apostle’s suffering, something thrilled his heart beyond words. A mighty of harvest of souls had resulted! His time and energy were not wasted! One day, he would see those former idol-worshipping pagans stand in Heaven, there only because of Christ’s finished crosswork! But, there was more. They had not only believed that Gospel of Grace for justification unto eternal life—they had believed it to enjoy eternal life daily. Now, the Lord Jesus Christ would accept their work, their Christian service, at the Judgment Seat of Christ. They had shined as lights in the world; they had held forth the word of life!

These dear souls, once Hell-bound, now in Heaven, will be Paul’s reason for praising God! First Thessalonians 2:19,20: “[19] For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? [20] For ye are our glory and joy.” Philippians 4:1: “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” Paul did not “run in vain” when he initially preached the Gospel to them. Neither had he “laboured in vain” when he spent time teaching them daily grace living….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How do we not live after the flesh if we live in bodies of flesh?

Shine as Lights #7

Monday, May 22, 2017

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16 KJV).

Shine as lights, brethren, shine as lights!

We should “do all things without murmurings and disputings,” that we be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world—us “holding forth the word of life”—that the Apostle Paul may “rejoice in the day of Christ.” “The day of Christ” is “the Judgment Seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10)—when Christians are rewarded for their service to their Saviour while they lived in this present evil world.

Read Philippians chapter 1: “[6] Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:…. [9] And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; [10] That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. [11] Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Notice verse 6 above points to Philippians 2:13, a verse that heads today’s Scripture: God is working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Until “the day of Jesus Christ,” the Holy Spirit has sealed us: He is working in us, so we should not “grieve”/sadden Him (Ephesians 4:30) or “quench”/hinder Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19). God’s grace teaches us how to live (Titus 2:11-14). We are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are dead to sin; we are alive unto God (Romans chapter 6). We who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts; if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:24,25).

We return to Philippians….

Reunion in Glory

Thursday, July 7, 2016

“For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus” (2 Corinthians 1:13,14 KJV).

Christian brother or sister, do you see a glimpse of Heaven in today’s Scripture?

Recently, while browsing a binder of Bible study notes I have collected over the years, I came across some papers I had forgotten about. Many years ago, when I was still new to dispensational Bible study, I had listened to several online sermons from a particular grace preacher. I took notes and stored them—there they were for me to use just yesterday. Excited, I wanted to email and thank him. Then, I remembered that dear brother has been in Heaven for over 10 years now!

Those who led us to trust Jesus Christ, and those who taught us God’s Word rightly divided, perhaps they have since passed on to Heaven. We have not seen or talked with them in days, months, years, or even decades. Rest assured, we will reunite in God’s own time. It will be a special celebration, one that will span millennia and nations. All the members of the Church the Body of Christ will be assembled in one location for the first time!

Yes, we will know each other! First Thessalonians 2:19,20: “[19] For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? [20] For ye are our glory and joy.” Paul said, in today’s Scripture, he would also recognize the Corinthians in Heaven. He had been very influential in their Christian lives. It would thrill him beyond words to see them stand before Jesus Christ for reward! They were his spiritual fruit, as are we.

In due time, brethren, we will meet the Lord ourselves and personally thank Him for what He has done for us. We will also have the privilege of seeing and thanking saints we have never seen before, Christians who impacted our lives! What a day that will be! 🙂

Remember, the Lord Never Forgets!

Friday, March 11, 2016

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God (1 Corinthians 4:4,5 KJV).

Rest assured, Christ will reward faithful Christian service!

Not long ago, a former deacon of a local church told me how, when they were without a pastor, he was one of the few faithful members who held the assembly together. He left the church once it became apostate with its new pastor, but I asked him to tell me what happened some 25 years ago.

The poor brother showed me a wrinkled, stained, typed paper… his “to-do” list from decades ago. On it were 53 (!) items/tasks he had to fulfill—print church bulletins, cut the lawn, see the church’s utilities were paid, duplicate cassette tapes of sermons, and dozens of other chores! The five other deacons evidently did nothing to help him. Only a handful of other church members assisted in maintaining the church building and grounds… they were all outcasts when the assembly later collapsed under false teaching. The people who did nothing remained in the church! I reminded the disheartened brother to remember that the Lord never forgets our service to Him (today’s Scripture).

Yes, it is often true. Twenty percent of the people in a local church do 80 percent of the work in the local church. The rest of the “members” just sit in the air-conditioning and nod their heads in agreement, raise their hands, and shout, “Praise Jesus!” Yet, they would not dare vacuum the auditorium, lift one finger to change a burnt light bulb, or even stand at the door to greet visitors! Beloved, what a horrible testimony… lost people are often more dedicated to their false religions than Christians are to Jesus Christ’s ministry!

Saints, the Lord sees and remembers what we do in His name, and why we do it. No boasting or acknowledgement by others is needed. In His own time, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, “shall every man have praise of God!” 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do people become angels when they die?

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! 🙂

-FINIS!-

Fruit in the Time to Come

Friday, May 22, 2015

“For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus” (2 Corinthians 1:13,14 KJV).

Oh, what excitement and rejoicing there will be when all members of the Body of Christ in heaven we will see!

In the early 1900s, preacher and Bible scholar Dr. C. I. Scofield led a certain missionary to trust Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. In the 1940s, that missionary led a certain preacher to Jesus Christ. By the early 1970s, that preacher had led a certain woman and her husband to Jesus Christ. In 1980, that woman led Mom and Dad to Jesus Christ. It was in the mid-1990s that Mom led me, at the age of 6 or 7, to trust Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. In just a few lines, that was one route the Gospel of Grace “traveled” in the 20th century!

Today’s Scripture is a very exciting passage in light of the above paragraph. Paul and Timothy knew the Corinthian believers would be their rejoicing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Conversely, Paul and Timothy would be the rejoicing of the Corinthians in that day. Similar statements were made about the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 2:19,20.

When we all arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ on that glorious day post-Rapture, and the Lord Jesus Himself evaluates the doctrine we have stored in our inner man, there will be great joy, a most glorious reunion, an event that transcends our imagination! There, we will recognize those we led to Jesus Christ, and we will know those Christians whose lives we impacted with sound Bible doctrine (dispensational Bible study). Also, we will be able to thank the saints who were so faithful in leading us to trust Jesus Christ and/or teaching us His wonderful truths. All the memories of the troubles of this world will just melt away. We will be awed by what God Almighty did to get us all there! 🙂