Why Do We Go to Church?

Friday, July 6, 2012

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7 KJV).

As grace believers who understand what God is doing today in this the Dispensation of Grace, we go to church….

  • To fellowship with God’s people (1 Corinthians 11:33).
  • To study the Holy Bible (King James Bible) (1 Timothy 4:13,15,16).
  • Not to gain God’s blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
  • Not to be entertained (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
  • Not to keep the Sabbath (Colossians 2:16).
  • Not to obtain salvation (Titus 3:5).
  • Not to “be in God’s presence/house” (2 Corinthians 6:16; cf. Acts 17:24).

According to Paul’s epistles, “going to church” is not assembling in some million-dollar auditorium, where wheelbarrows are pushed around as “collection plates.” Neither is “church” a place where we go to feel “emotional highs” and to enjoy “ear-tickling motivational sermons.” Nor is “church” a time where we crank up loud music in order to appeal to the world. Yes, that is today’s average (so-called) “‘Bible-believing’” (!) church, but God’s definition is otherwise.

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy regarding the local assembly of the Body of Christ: “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. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:15,16).

As people who have trusted in Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, we are one body, the Body of Christ. We are united forever because of the eternal life we all now have in Christ. We gather in local assemblies to study God’s Word rightly divided (dispensationally), so we can then scatter throughout the region and share with others sound Bible doctrine (the Gospel of Grace to the lost, and Pauline dispensationalism to the saved).

333’s 400th: Liberty to Publish God’s Word

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today we commemorate the United States’ 236th anniversary and our 400th devotional.

Just as we Americans celebrate our nation’s birthday and independence today on this Fourth of July, we Christians worldwide reflect on the “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free [from sin, death, hell, and the condemnation of the Mosaic Law]” (Galatians 5:1).

Moreover, God our Father has entrusted us with the ministry of sharing with the lost world the spiritual freedom we have found exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our role in the Christian ambassadorship is to publish God’s pure (unadulterated) Word, the Holy Bible. Whether preaching and teaching it rightly divided, or translating and literally printing it, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalm 68:11).

God, through His Son’s finished crosswork on Calvary, has freed us from the bondage of the Law and sin. Christ’s blood has “redeemed” us, and it is our responsibility to tell others of that “redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The lost and dying souls of the world need to hear the words of Jesus Christ, the words that “are spirit and… [that] are life” (John 6:63b). They need to hear about the eternal life found only in Jesus Christ. They need to hear it from us, God’s people!

God’s grace has saved us, not so we could live any way we want (we were doing that before God’s grace saved us!). We should use our liberty in Christ to “by love serve on another” (today’s Scripture). God’s love motivates us to teach Holy Spirit-indwelt (but denominational) Christians Pauline dispensational Bible study, and to preach to the lost world God’s saving grace in Christ (Paul’s Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Saints, as we reach another milestone, we thank you for your continued prayer for this ministry. And, we thank our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us liberty to publish God’s Word….

Lord willing, on to #500. 🙂

You can also see our 2011 Fourth of July study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.

The Greatest Hero

Monday, May 28, 2012

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “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” (verses 14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name, which can be read here or watched here.

How to Lead Someone to the Lord Jesus Christ

Sunday, May 6, 2012

“And brought [Paul and Silas] out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:30,31 KJV).

We dedicate this devotional to sharing the verses that are critical to leading someone to salvation in Christ Jesus.

Christians often have great difficulty in witnessing to the lost. Why? They have not grasped Bible basics; they are unsure of what to say. Many are confused because they have been taught anything and everything but the King James Bible rightly divided. For example, I once asked a Christian if she could show me our Gospel in the Bible. Her answer was swift in coming, “The Gospel of John” (NO!). The poor lady repeated what her church said.

Notice God’s plan of salvation for our Dispensation of Grace:

  1. Someone must first understand his/her need for salvation. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). Without salvation, our sin will cause physical and spiritual death: ultimately, eternal separation from God in hellfire.
  2. Second, the person must understand that he/she can do nothing to save himself/herself. “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). You may also show them Romans 3:28, Romans 4:1-8, Galatians 2:16-21, and Titus 3:5-7.
  3. Finally, the person must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ “died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day for our justification.” This is the Gospel of Grace of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: this is the only way we are saved from hell today. “… the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). The person must trust exclusively in Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary as sufficient payment for their sins in order to receive God’s forgiveness and eternal salvation.

Have the person read these Scriptures from your King James Bible. You may also refer them to Ephesians 1:13,14, Romans 3:19-30, Romans 4:25-5:11, and Colossians 1:12-15.

Give Us A Free Meal!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because did eat of the loaves, and were filled” (John 6:26 KJV).

Israel, like all (sinful) sons of Adam, wanted only that which was temporary. Instead of seeking eternal life through their Messiah Jesus, they sought Him only to gain a free meal!

In the context of today’s Scripture, Jesus has just fed at least 5,000 individuals with two small fishes and five barley loaves (verse 7). Verse 15 says Jesus understood the people wanted to make Him king because He fed them!

In Acts 2:22, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter explained: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves know:” Jesus Christ performed miracles in order to demonstrate that He had God the Father’s approval. However, Israel did not care about that; their hunger distracted them!

Mankind is naturally selfish: he wants to be his own god and do his own thing. Israel, although they were God’s earthly people, was no different. The Jews wanted nothing to do with God unless He could do something for them. (How many prayers still go, “Hey God, yes, it has been a long time, but I want you to give me…”?)

God offered Israel His only begotten Son, the God-Man who could save them from their sins, but they just wanted someone to rescue them from hunger pains and the Roman government! Jesus rebuked them, “Labour not for the meat which periseth [physical food], but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God sealed” (John 6:27).

For the rest of the chapter (John 6), Jesus taught them that He did not come to save their physical bodies from hunger, but to give Himself to save their spiritual bodies from hell!

Jesus came not to give us free meals, but free access to Father God.

What Does God Want Me to Do? #11

Sunday, April 8, 2012

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV).

Before God could do His “good pleasure” in and through us, and before Jesus Christ could live in and through us, He had to die and resurrect.

Jesus Christ died, not simply to help us get to heaven as religion teaches, but He died because our “good” works were nothing but “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and “dung” (Philippians 3:8). Jesus Christ’s death was the only acceptable sacrifice to God: our good works cannot save us and they will never save us. Christ died for us so He could then give His life to us when we trust Him, so He can then live His life in and through us! Christ’s life—not our life—is acceptable to God, for Christ’s life is not “dung” and “filthy rags.

Have victory over sin by resting in your new identity in Christ Jesus. When Christ died, you died to sin (Romans 6:6). God has given you Christ’s life: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:11). I encourage you to read all of Romans chapter 6 and rejoice in the glorious truths of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and their impact on us.

We should remember Jesus Christ’s resurrection every day. The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is now causing Him to live His resurrected life in and through us as we walk by faith in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to us.

What does God want you to do? He wants you to rejoice and glory in the resurrection life of Jesus Christ. If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you have Christ’s resurrection life now and forever. You have eternal life right now (you do not have to wait until you die to get eternal life).

Friend and brethren, study God’s Word God’s way, and then go and let Christ’s resurrection life live in and through you for His glory!

HAPPY EASTER!

*These past 11 devotionals have been adapted from a larger Bible study titled “Christ Liveth in Me.” The Bible study can be read here and watched here.

What Does God Want Me to Do?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV).

Someone recently asked, “What does God want me to do in life?” Well, what would God want us to do?

God wants to use us for His glory, but sin interferes: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So, in order to use us, God must first save us from ourselves (sin, death, and ultimately hell). This is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins, to shed His innocent blood for our forgiveness (to wash away our sins), and to resurrect the third day for our justification (to give us a right standing before God). That is Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

God’s will is to have “all men saved” (1 Timothy 2:4a); God wants no one to go to hell forever (2 Peter 3:9). Do you want to do God’s will? Get saved! Trust Christ Jesus alone as your personal Saviour (Paul’s Gospel) and receive eternal life in heaven. God the Holy Spirit will then take you and place you into the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Salvation is that simple!

But, God’s will is to also have “all men… come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4b). Once a person is saved, God then wants him or her to learn why He saved them. God wants to teach us His overall goal for creation and our role in accomplishing that purpose (we learn this by studying His Word, the Bible). Do you want to do God’s will as a Christian? Follow the Apostle Paul as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)! Learn about God’s will for you in this Dispensation of Grace by focusing on Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

As today’s Scripture teaches, God wants to accomplish a magnificent work in us, a work that will literally reverberate throughout the ages to come (eternity future). He wants to save us forever so He can use us forever.