Remembering the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Sunday, September 11, 2011

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18,19 KJV).

It is difficult to fathom that today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On that dreadful day, over 3,000 Americans perished. Amidst the heartache, I recall many preachers piously screaming, “God’s judgment and wrath has come on America!” God’s promise to Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14 was flippantly quoted as though it were God’s message to America. Sinful men, not God, orchestrated the events of 9/11.

All nations, not just the United States, abound with greed, dishonesty, unbelief, violence, and fornication, and all are worthy of God’s wrath. However, today’s Scripture says that, in this the Dispensation of Grace, God is “not imputing [applying] their trespasses unto them.” Today, God’s attitude toward the world is “grace and peace,” not wrath and war. This is why Paul’s epistles open with “grace and peace.”

God in His grace is postponing His wrath (2 Peter 3:9), but the day is coming when this dispensation will conclude. Only then will God pour out His wrath on unbelieving mankind. Thankfully, we Christians will be raptured out before that period of wrath begins (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).

Currently, God is not condemning the world for their sins. Rather He extends His grace to all the world through Jesus Christ, His shed blood, His death, His burial, and His resurrection (Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Through Christ’s shed blood, God in His grace offers His forgiveness to everyone (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). But, only when we trust in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour does God apply (“imputes”) His righteousness and salvation to us. How many of the 9/11 victims were ready to die? Few.  Do not put off salvation; you are not guaranteed tomorrow. Please trust in Jesus Christ today.

-IN MEMORIAM-
The victims of 9/11/2001

-IN DEDICATION-
All those affected by 9/11/2001

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study titled “September 11, 2001: The 10th Anniversary.” The Bible study can be read here.

Neither is There Salvation in Any Other

Monday, August 15, 2011

“Jesus Christ of Nazareth… Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10,12 KJV).

Is there really only one way to heaven? Today’s Scripture gives us the answer—a resounding “YES!” Jesus stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Apostle Paul declared: “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5,6).

Jesus Christ “gave himself a ransom for all.” The words “for all” indicate that Christ died for every person, since everyone’s salvation depended upon Him. If there was another way to heaven beside Christ, then He died for nothing! Why would Jesus Christ allow Himself to suffer all that physical and spiritual pain if there was another way to save us from our sins? The Lord Jesus Christ endured the shame of Calvary’s cross and His heavenly Father’s wrath because there was no other way to reconcile us unto God.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:14,15: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

Because of Adam’s sin, every human is born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, separated from God (Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3). The only way to be saved from the penalty of sin—everlasting separation from God in the lake of fire—is to come to Calvary’s cross by faith. Have you trusted exclusively in the shed blood and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ as the fully satisfying payment for your sins? I hope you have!

According to God’s Word, salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ. “Jesus Christ of Nazareth… Neither is there salvation in any other.

Why Did God Save Us?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Ephesians 1:9,10 KJV).

Why did God save us? Certainly not because of our works (Titus 3:5)! Today’s Scripture enlightens us in that regard, as does the entire epistle to the Ephesians. God the Father has one grand purpose: to appoint His Son Jesus Christ as the Head of all governmental authority, in the heaven and in the earth. God did not save us for our sakes; He saved us for Christ’s sake!

As members of the Church the Body of Christ, we will restore God’s authority in the heavenly places. “And [God our Father] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6,7).

The Apostle Paul prayed, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18). Jesus Christ will inherit us, the Church which is His Body, and appoint us as His rulers in the heaven!

Why did God save us?

  1. So we could be His “ambassadors” on earth, vessels He can use to tell others about His plan and purpose for the heaven and the earth. We have been entrusted with the wonderful Gospel of Grace, the salvation that is only found in His Son Christ Jesus. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day!”
  2. But ultimately, so we could be God’s instruments to rule in the heaven for His glory (to be fulfilled one day when our earthly sojourn is over)!

Art Thou Too Superstitious?

Friday, August 12, 2011

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious” (Acts 17:22 KJV).

Religion causes people to behave very strangely—they claim to see apparitions in common objects, they speak incoherently, they allegedly (and “magically”) transform ordinary bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood, and they proclaim physical healing (while still taking medication and owning health insurance!).

The Greek word translated “superstitious” in today’s Scripture is “deisidaimonesteros,” meaning, “fearing more devils than anyone else.” Are you like the Athenians? Are you like most “Christians” today? Art thou “too superstitious?”

Pagan idolatry had permeated Athens: “the city [was] wholly given to idolatry” (verse 16). Paul told the Athenians (verse 23): “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”

For fear of ignoring a deity, and angering it, Athens wanted to cover every base, so they appealed to every god and goddess. Today, many cross their hearts and purchase medals/idols for protection. They pray to anyone and everyone. Others join as many churches and religions as possible, hoping to appease whoever is the “right” God. How sad.

In the context of today’s Scripture, Paul informed the Athenians that he was preaching to them the “unknown God” (verse 23). The Athenians knew there was a God other than their silly pagan gods, but they were worshiping that one true God “ignorantly.” This describes most church members in Christendom. They know about Jesus Christ, but how many really know who He is? How many have truly trusted in Christ for their soul salvation? Precious, precious few.

Religion is vain—it will never, ever save anyone. No religion or church saves. Only Jesus Christ saves. As Paul preached to Athens, we too proclaim: Trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour (that He died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised again), and you will be saved… that is no superstition!

We Are Ambassadors for Christ

Sunday, July 31, 2011

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20 KJV).

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 14-21), the Apostle Paul describes our “Great Commission.” Why has God (temporarily) left us saints here?

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14,15). Saints, we are alive physically. But Christ died to give us His life, so we are also spiritually alive.

We died on Calvary’s cross with Christ (Romans 6:6). We live not for our glory, but unto the glory of Christ whose life is now in us. God left us, the Body of Christ, on earth so we could be “ambassadors,” His servants in this foreign land where we do not belong (Ephesians 2:19-22; Philippians 3:20).

God is doing something amazing today in this the Dispensation of Grace. As His children in Christ Jesus we should participate in what He is doing by placing our faith in His Word to us (Paul’s epistles). It is our “reasonable service” to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Romans 12:1).

As we tarry in this world, waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to snatch us away, He has entrusted us with the message of His grace. God wants to utilize us to demonstrate His grace, His glory, and His life to the world. As God’s children, it is our responsibility to tell the lost world that God has reconciled them unto Himself by Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork.

We have “the ministry of reconciliation,” the Christian ambassadorship, to share the “word of reconciliation,” the gospel of grace (2 Corinthians 5:18,19): that Christ died for their sins, was buried, and raised again for their justification (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

In Paul’s epistles we learn the true meaning of “ambassadors for [the risen] Christ.”

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*As “ambassadors for the risen Christ Ministries” (arC Ministries) celebrates its fourth anniversary today, we want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have labored with us in the gospel. It has been a privilege, and we look forward to serving you for another year (Lord willing). Thank you for your continued prayer. –Shawn Brasseaux

Lest They Also Come Into This Place of Torment

Monday, July 11, 2011

“Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment” (Luke 16:27,28 KJV).

While fools often quip they anticipate their partying with friends in hell, the rich man of today’s Scripture was certainly not partying. By the way, this is NOT a parable.

The Bible says the rich man’s soul was in torments, greatly tortured by hell’s flames (verses 23-25). His mind was overwhelmed with regretful memories. He remembered he still had five lost brethren alive on earth, so he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to go witness to them and warn them of hell’s torments.

Notice Abraham’s response: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (verse 29). If someone wants to avoid everlasting hellfire, he or she needs to study God’s Word and learn how to escape God’s righteous judgment against our sins.

Christian ambassadors, we have been entrusted with “the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). Our ministry is to tell the entire world they can have an opportunity to avoid hell because Jesus Christ suffered for them and as them on Calvary’s cross!

“[Christ] tasted death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). Christ was “made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). The Bible says that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

It has been said that the spirit of evangelism is stronger in hell than it is in the Christian heart. We all have family and friends headed to hell, yet we lapse into attitudes of unconcern, hoping that someone else will witness to them. Be bold in Christ. Tell them of Calvary’s cross. Pray for their salvation, too.

Whenever you fall into a state of complacency (unconcerned) in sharing the salvation found only in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be motivated to speak up when you remember the rich man’s haunting words: “Lest they also come into this place of torment!”

God’s Abounding Grace

Friday, July 1, 2011

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20,21 KJV).

When God instituted the Mosaic Law in Exodus 24, He intended to manifest Israel’s sins. The Law did not just condemn the Jews as sinners, but all the world, Jew and Gentile, was unable to live up to God’s perfect standards. God proved mankind’s “righteousness” was anything but. Everyone was declared guilty before God: “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in [God’s] sight” (Romans 3:9-20).

The result of sin is death, eternal death (Romans 6:23a). “Sin reigned unto death,” today’s Scripture says. It also says that although sin produced death, God’s grace produces life, eternal life. “…Even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Believers in Corinth had been fornicators, homosexuals, idolaters, thieves, drunkards, extortionists, and perverts (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Now that the saving power of God’s grace entered their lives, their lifestyles changed. Paul told them, “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (verse 11).

Even though mankind was sinful, God’s grace could overcome and cover even the vilest offender of the Law. Do you feel you are too sinful for God’s saving grace? The Bible says that God can save anyone and everyone, regardless of what sins they have committed.

The Bible says that none of us are worthy of God’s grace, but God gives it to us freely, apart from our efforts. Jesus Christ lived the sinless life we cannot. He died and shed His sinless blood to forgive us our sins, and He buried our sins. Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised against for your justification. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.

I am saved forever because of God’s abounding grace. Are you?