No Thanks, God! #2

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4 KJV).

Once Adam sinned, God could have immediately annihilated the human race. All these millennia later, God is still tolerating man’s wickedness. Myriads of scoffers today shake their fists at God and curse His name, and yet the heavens are silent. Why?

Fire and brimstone do not rain down from heaven, as during Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction (Genesis 19:24,25). No flood consumes our planet, like in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:13). Today, the earth does not open and swallow the infidels, as it did Korah and his men, and God’s fire does not consume men, as it did 250 other blasphemers (Numbers 16:30-35). God does not strike unbelievers dead, as He did King Herod (Acts 12:21-23), or blind them as He did Elymas (Acts 13:9-11). Why does God not exact vengeance today as He did in time past?

Today, we live in the Dispensation of the Grace of God. This dispensational change allows mankind to receive the riches of God’s “forbearance” and “longsuffering.” God is patient and is restraining Himself from pouring out His wrath so more people can be saved before His wrath is executed. “The Lord is not slack [lazy, undependable] concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”(2 Peter 3:9)

Ecclesiastes 8:11 says: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” In due time, God will punish the lost world, just not today in our dispensation. Since the Lord does not immediately execute wrath, people take advantage of Him. God is extending His grace and peace to us undeserving sinners, but as today’s Scripture says, people hate God’s goodness and grace and reject it.

Do not toss away the gift of God’s grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. Accept that gift by faith and escape that wrath to come!

No Thanks, God! #1

Monday, December 26, 2011

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4 KJV).

As the Christmas Season wanes, unwanted gifts that cannot be refunded are being discarded. Imagine all the time, money, and energy spent purchasing those gifts for their ungrateful recipients. There is a worse tragedy! We, sinful humanity, deserve coal, the riches of God’s wrath (Romans 2:5,6,8,9); thankfully, we have been given the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7). Predictably, there are unappreciative individuals who have already eagerly tossed out something worth far more than material possessions—God’s grace.

A noted outspoken atheist, who recently “met his Maker,” described prayer as “meaningless.” During his last year alive, even while cancer-stricken, he had a hardened heart toward God. As far as I know, he died without Jesus Christ. That man, like billions of others before, beheld God’s grace, and haughtily declared, “No thanks! I do not need You, God!” Today’s Scripture describes the attitude of most people: “[They] despise [hate!] the riches of [God’s] goodness and forbearance and longsuffering.” Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for them and God’s love and grace are worthless to them.

In Israel’s program under the Mosaic Law, God utterly destroyed such people. But, for nearly 2,000 years, God’s wrath has been in abeyance. Today, in our Dispensation of Grace, God is “not imputing the world’s trespasses unto it” (2 Corinthians 5:18,19). That will change…

Once our dispensation (time period) expires, during Daniel’s 70th week, the seven-year Tribulation, God will righteously judge this rebellious world in His wrath (Psalm 2:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4; et al.). God will finally retaliate and take vengeance (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The antichrist will deceive those who received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Do not toss away the gift of God’s grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. Accept that gift by faith and escape that wrath to come!

‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

During the Christmas Season, we wonder how many people are visiting church for the second time this year (the other being Easter Sunday). Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, how many will be going to church just to feel “religious” or “holy?” How many really know Jesus Christ? For many, visiting a church building is just an obligation; they do not have faith in God’s Word and have no interest in God’s Word.

We do not go to church to “feel closer to God,” for if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot be any closer to God than we already are in Christ! “[Before salvation, we were] without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).

Furthermore, we do not go to church in order to get God’s blessings, for God has already given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We go to church, not because we are keeping Israel’s Sabbath day, since we are not obligated to observe Israel’s religious days (Colossians 2:16). We go to church to fellowship with like-minded believers and hear sound doctrine… more than twice a year, by the way.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy that whenever he would assemble with fellow Christians, certain behavior was acceptable and other types of behavior were not (described throughout the epistle of 1 Timothy). Recall that when the Bible refers to “the church,” it refers to the body of believers, not the physical building in which they meet.

As we get opportunities, let us make an effort to reach these dear souls misled by all the vain religious tradition and Christmas commercialization, and may we tell them about the wonderful Christ Jesus whose name is found in Christmas!

*Based on the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

When the Fulness of the Time Was Come – 333’s 200th

Saturday, December 17, 2011

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5 KJV).

In the beginning God set the first man, Adam, on earth to “subdue [control] it,” to “have dominion” over it and everything on it (Genesis 1:28). Alas, Adam sided with Satan, joining the rebellion against God. The human race, now marred by sin, was unable to fellowship with its holy Creator God.

Fortunately, God promised mankind’s Redeemer in Genesis 3:15: a Man who would do what Adam failed to do—rule earth for God’s glory. Adam was “the figure [preview/type] of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14c). About 4000 years after Adam, the “him that was to come” finally came—Jesus Christ. How human history was forever impacted when that Redeemer came!

Jesus Christ’s birth was not some haphazard event of nature. God the Father had preplanned the exact moment of the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture). Recall that, unlike us, before His physical birth, Jesus Christ lived as a Spirit in heaven’s glory with His Father (John 1:1,2; cf. Micah 5:2).

When the appointed time came, at His Father’s behest, Jesus’ Spirit came to earth to indwell the body in the virgin Mary’s womb. For nine months, God Himself actually lived inside Mary’s womb! Being delivered, He lived a sinless life of 33 years, despised by His family (Israel) and the world. As one dear Christian brother explained, “That was the greatest life ever lived in a human body!”

No event in human history compares to the coming of Jesus Christ. As today’s Scripture teaches, the Lord Jesus became a small Baby… to become a grown man… to become Israel’s rejected Messiah… to ultimately die for us, the wretched Gentiles! God became a man, to “give Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).

We are ever grateful that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son….”

Saints, we have reached a milestone – #200. WOW!

Three Keys to a Solid Local Church

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Look at the Church the Body of Christ. What shame and heartache. The average church member knows as much Bible as someone who has never gone to church! Courtesy of most churches, hundreds of thousands die and go to hell every day, led astray by works-religion. Millions of precious souls are daily denied the truths of God’s Word because church leaders fear losing their “faithful monetary support.”

In today’s Scripture, what did the Apostle Paul urge Timothy to do to combat the false teaching that had engulfed Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-11)? Develop a new church program? Schedule a revival? Pray? Organize a vigorous x-step process of re-dedication? Do nothing? (These are Christendom’s common “solutions” for carnality and disarray—especially the latter of “do nothing!”)

To correct false teaching, Paul gave Timothy a charge: “Give attendance [pay attention] to…:”

  1. “READING.” What were they to read? Denominational creeds? “Christian” bestsellers about the Bible? Advice columns written by lost people? Obviously, they were to read the Bible like the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, to see whether those things [they heard] were so” (Acts 17:10,11). The Colossians were urged to read the epistle Paul wrote to Laodicea, and the Laodiceans were instructed to read the epistle written to Colosse (Colossians 4:16). Ephesians 3:4 and 1 Thessalonians 5:27 also instruct believers to read the Bible. The Bible says to “study” it (2 Timothy 2:15).
  2. “EXHORTATION.” Christians should exhort (encourage) one another to continue in sound dispensational Bible study so the Bible can transform them for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18; 1 Timothy 6:1-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 2:1-15).
  3. “DOCTRINE.” Doctrine is important, for it separates us from the world’s religious system. Our doctrine for this dispensation is only found in Paul’s epistles: what God has to say to us today is in Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon (Romans 11:13; 1 Corinthians 14:37).

If Christians gave attendance to these things—especially #3—we would not be in this spiritual mess.

Have Ye Not Read?

Monday, December 12, 2011

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4 KJV).

The Bible records, some 10 times, Jesus asking His audience, “Have ye not read?” (Matthew 12:3-5; Matthew 19:4; Matthew 21:16,42; Matthew 22:31; Mark 2:25; Mark 12:10,26; Luke 6:3). His audience had had the Old Testament Scriptures for some 1,500 years, and yet they could not remember simple phrases. Actually, if you examine the contexts of these verses, it is quite obvious His audience (Israel’s religious leaders) was deliberately ignorant. They refused to remember because that would mean agreeing with Him!

Sadly, denominational churchgoers, like Israel’s leadership of old, turn a blind eye to these simple truths of the Scriptures, lest they are forced to agree with us that God’s Word is right and their religious system is wrong.

  • Have ye not read, “Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God?” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).
  • Have ye not read, “Paul is our apostle, the apostle of the Gentiles?” (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11).
  • Have ye not read, “Ye are not under the law, but under grace?” (Romans 6:14).
  • Have ye not read, “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and that the Word was made flesh?” (John 1:1,14).
  • Have ye not read, “Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for your justification?” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:25).
  • Have ye not read, “For by grace and ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast?” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
  • Have ye not read, “For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while were yet sinners Christ died for us?” (Romans 5:8).
  • Have ye not read, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth?” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Ye have read now!!!!

Stability for Your Christian Life

Saturday, December 10, 2011

“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).

Today’s Scripture is my mom’s favorite verse (today is her birthday—she will be reading this!). Consider the doctrine contained therein:

  • “Therefore”—Because we have “victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 57)….
  • “My beloved brethren” — This is the love of Christ that all members of the Body of Christ have for one another (Romans 12:10; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 16:24; et al.).
  • “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable”“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10). “…Strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able also to perform (Romans 4:20b,21). “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you [behave] like men, be strong(1 Corinthians 16:13). Read 2 Timothy 2:1: be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:23: “Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel(cf. Ephesians 4:11-16).
  • “Always abounding in the work of the Lord” — We are “[God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). God is doing something awesome today. As workmen,” we participate in His activities by placing our faith in His Word to us. He will then use that sound doctrine to work mightily in us (Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:15).
  • “Forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” — The key to being “stedfast,” “unmoveable,” and “always abounding in the work of the Lord” is found here, the latter part of the verse. “Forasmuch” means “since; because.” Because we know that our Christian service is not a waste of time, we (by having faith in that hope) are “stedfast,” “unmoveable,” and “always abounding in the work of the Lord.”

-Dedicated to my mom, Paula Brasseaux-
Happy birthday Mom!