No Thanks, God! #3

Wednesday, December 28, 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).

The Lord has been extremely generous toward mankind, especially during the last 2,000 years (the Dispensation of Grace). Through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, God offers complete forgiveness and everlasting salvation to anyone who trusts exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her personal Saviour. For 2,000 years, God has offered everyone that “free gift” of salvation in Christ (Romans 3:21-28; Romans 5:15-17; Ephesians 2:8,9; et al.). Mankind was unworthy of that gift before it was offered; how much more are we undeserving now that that gift has been rejected for 20 centuries?

Today, individuals doubt the existence of a loving Creator, in spite of the Bible’s testimony that He exists. After everything that God did to commend His love toward us, sending His Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for us, many still wonder if God loves them. Sad! What is more disturbing is that even after they discover God’s goodness and grace, many reject Him anyway (today’s Scripture).

Once the Apostle Paul spoke to Judaean governor Felix of “righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,” “Felix trembled” (Acts 24:24,25). Lost Felix feared, especially that “judgment to come.” Nevertheless, Felix hardened his heart, and replied, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” “Go away, Paul; come back later!” Lost mankind is still equally arrogant.

“God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7): whether in this life, or in the next, God will exact retribution to Christ-rejecters. Imagine the horror lost people experience after physical death. Conscience of their arrival in the flames of hell, they recall their refusal of the Gospel of the Grace of God. Salvation was so simple, but now, God has retracted that offer of salvation. Now only “the judgment” remains (Hebrews 9:27). The words, “No thanks, God!,” haunting them for eternity….

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!

…But We Have Been Given God’s Grace

Sunday, December 25, 2011

“In whom [the Lord Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV).

In yesterday’s devotional, we learned how we, the sinful human race, are worthy of our holy Creator God’s wrath. God has created a special place, hell, for Satan and those who follow his sinful rebellion against God (Matthew 25:41). The simple truth is that, because of our sinful nature (and the resulting sinful actions), we all deserve to go to hell, and ultimately, separated from God forever in the lake of fire (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:14,15; Revelation 21:8; et al.).

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20b). God, in His grace, dealt with our sin at Calvary’s cross, and took it out of the way. Through the finished crosswork of God incarnate, Jesus Christ, the riches of God’s grace are manifest. God left heaven’s glory to live in a human body, to “humble himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”(Philippians 2:5-8). Why?

  • To commend God’s love toward us (Romans 5:8).
  • To die, not simply for us, but as us (Romans 6:3-9; Colossians 2:11-15).
  • To undo the damage caused by sinful Adam (Romans 5:12-21; Colossians 1:20-21).
  • To “put away [our] sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).
  • To deliver us from Satan’s policy of evil, and make us sinners saints (Colossians 1:12-14).
  • To give us everlasting life…His life (Galatians 2:20) and thus, do for us what we could not do for ourselves—accomplish our salvation from the second death (spiritual death) (Ephesians 2:1-9)!
  • To give us “peace with God” (Romans 5:1).

Today, God is not imputing the world’s sin unto it (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Everyone, regardless of religion, race, or social standing, can now receive forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ. All they have to do is place their faith in the Gospel of Grace as found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4—“that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for our justification!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM arC MINISTRIES!

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study titled “Emmanuel 2.” The Bible study can be read here and watched here.

Two Trees With Two Different Roots

Friday, December 16, 2011

“For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jeremiah 10:3,4 KJV).

Currently, Christmas trees decked with “silver and gold” tinsel and ornaments are commonplace. Interestingly, today’s Scripture describes such an object… a Gentile idol.

The prophet Jeremiah declared (circa 600 B.C.): “Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them” (verses 1,2). Jeremiah then proceeds to tell Israel of the heathen’s ways (today’s Scripture). The heathens (Gentiles) chop down trees, set them elsewhere, and fashion idols by decking them with “silver and gold.” (This is why some Christians prefer not to display a Christmas tree in their homes.)

Jeremiah continues (verses 5-7): “They [the pagan idols] are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.”

Pagan Gentiles bowed and prayed to these wooden, worthless, mindless idols which did nothing for them… except distract them from worshipping the only true God. Sadly, Israel was just as guilty of this pagan worship, having “idols under every green tree (Deuteronomy 12:1-4; 1 Kings 14:22,23; 2 Kings 17:7-23; et al.).

Like the pagan idols of old, the Christmas tree keeps people preoccupied with the wrong tree! The Christmas tree decorated with hanging ornaments and tinsel is nothing compared to Calvary’s tree decorated with the hanging body of Jesus Christ. Rather than silver and gold, it was decked with crimson red, the precious blood of God’s Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Unlike the Christmas tree, Calvary’s tree has no pagan roots.

The Expensive Getaway

Thursday, December 15, 2011

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9 KJV).

We often hear of exotic getaways like Fiji, the Caribbean Islands, and Hawaii. While these vacations are pricey, they are ridiculously cheap when compared to heaven, “the expensive getaway.”

“[God] will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Romans 2:6,7). God will give eternal life to any individual who has perfect righteousness. He demands 100 percent perfectioneven 99.999 percent righteousness is far too less for God to accept.

The price to enter heaven’s glory is far too expensive for us. We all have a few “good” works here and there… mere pocket change! By nature, we are spiritually poor, bankrupt of righteousness. We have all offended God: All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Our lives are filled with many sinful acts, including hatred, lying, gossiping, cursing, and coveting. These sins offend God’s righteousness, so what will you do with them?

Today’s Scripture gives us the Good News. At Calvary’s cross, God fully and completely dealt with our unrighteousness. Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, died for your sins, to give His life so you could have an opportunity to be made righteous in Him! King David wrote: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

When we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, God “imputes” (applies) His righteousness to us (2 Corinthians 5:21). As today’s Scripture says, in Christ, we are rich indeed: we are spiritually rich because Jesus Christ accomplished our salvation. In Christ Jesus, we are justified, made perfect in God the Father’s sight, thus able to enter heaven (Romans 3:21-31).

One day, at the rapture, we Christians will take our expensive getaway. Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime? Saints, our flight is coming! Stay tuned…. 🙂

The Death of Evolutionary Theory

Thursday, December 8, 2011

“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).

Historical secular geology teaches that earth’s fossil record was assembled over a period of four billion years, the result of at least five mass extinctions that wiped out 90% of earth’s species.

Modern humans, scientists claim, have existed for just a small fraction of earth’s 4.6-billion-year history (at most two million years). In other words, historical geology claims that death was not caused by man’s sin (since the fossil record contains the remains of plants and animals that died before man “evolved”). This is obviously contradictory to the Bible, which plainly teaches sin and death came into the world after man/Adam disobeyed God (today’s Scripture). According to the Bible, there was no such thing as death until man’s existence.

If we believe that creatures died prior to man, then we are also forced to conclude Adam’s sin did not cause death, and thus, we undermine the Gospel of Grace. The Bible clearly declares that just as eternal death came by Adam’s disobedience, so eternal life comes by Jesus Christ’s obedience (Romans 5:15-19). If the Bible is wrong about death being associated with Adam’s sinfulness, then could it also be wrong about eternal life being associated with Christ’s sinlessness? See how evolutionary theory even attacks the Gospel of the Grace of God?

Either we believe God’s Word (the Bible) or we believe evolutionary theory. It is that simple, friends. We either believe God or we do not. Evolutionary theory does not fit the Biblical creation account.

The placement of death before man’s existence is just one of the many theological (and scientific) flaws of evolutionary theory. Not only does evolutionary theory diminish God’s purpose and plan for mankind, but it also blinds the minds of the lost. Evolutionary theory keeps the unsaved from seeing their sinful state and their need for the salvation that God has so graciously provided us in Christ Jesus and His finished crosswork on Calvary.

Evolutionary theory is extinct!

Society’s Shift from the Priceless Gift

Saturday, November 26, 2011

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9 KJV).

Black Friday. White snow. Green cash being spent. Bank accounts going into the red. Holiday blues. Ah, the colors of the year-end holiday season hustle and bustle. Discerning shoppers browsing for bargains. Bratty kids whining for every trinket they see. Retailers using “Jesus’ birthday” as the backbone of their advertising campaigns. Ah, the distractions that keep us from focusing on the Priceless Gift—Jesus Christ killed for our sins, buried, and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25).

Sadly, for the next month, consumers will mostly ignore the gift that Someone already bought them! This priceless gift has a lifetime warranty, lasting as long as God lives… forever. It cannot be found on a retailer’s shelf, for it is too valuable. It cannot be purchased because you are too poor to pay for it! It cannot be lost because once you accept it by faith it is yours forever. Eternal life

This Priceless Gift is described in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “how that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day.” Beloved, here, in the Gospel of the Grace of God, we see the wrath and righteousness of God clearly manifested in that Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood for our unrighteousness (sins). But, as today’s Scripture teaches, we also see the grace of God clearly manifested: Jesus Christ tasted death for us, though we did not deserve it (and still do not deserve it).

“For by grace are 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). Every day since you have been alive, God has been offering you the Priceless Gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Why not accept it by faith? Trust in the finished crosswork of Jesus Christ alone, and God will save you FOREVER.

The Veteran Worth Thanking

Saturday, November 12, 2011

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15 KJV).

Yesterday, the United States of America recognized and thanked its veterans, living and departed, the often-forgotten men and women who risked their lives to secure our freedom. Just as we remembered flesh and blood veterans who fought for our physical liberty, we reserve our worship and utmost respect for the least esteemed Veteran, He who secured our spiritual liberty.

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Through Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary, we have eternal victory over sin, death, hell, and Satan. Everything that God has planned for us is dependent upon Christ’s victory at Calvary.

Jesus Christ nailed the Mosaic Law to His cross (today’s Scripture). Christ’s sinless blood covered our failure to obey God’s laws; Jesus’ righteousness annulled our unrighteousness (sin). Christ not only liberated us from sin and its penalty (the everlasting lake of fire), but today’s Scripture affirms He also triumphed over Satan himself!

Christ has “spoiled [destroyed] principalities and powers [Satan’s power], he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [His cross].” Jesus Christ destroyed Satan’s plans. Through Christ’s cross, God has “delivered us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13), Satan’s evil system of Ephesians 2:1-3.

During a recent cemetery visit, I noticed American flags flying above deceased veterans’ headstones. These individuals can no longer hear or regard our thanks, but Jesus Christ’s body is not decaying in some tomb. If there ever was a Veteran most worthy of our gratitude, it is our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He died in battle, allowing Himself to be executed on a Roman cross of shame and scorn, He resurrected. He is alive and well today, alive forevermore.

Saints, eternity will ring with our thanks to the Veteran worth thanking, the Lord Jesus Christ.