Ye Would Not!

Friday, June 24, 2016

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37 KJV).

As in Christ’s earthly ministry, so today—God never takes free will away!

Recently, a brother in Christ shared his heavy burden with me. One of his relatives is in dire health, suffering 99 percent brain damage. His doctors say, even if he survives, he will be in a vegetative state. The brother explained to me that he shared the Gospel with this man years ago, but had not heard from him since. He is still worried the now-dying man never did anything with the Gospel—especially sad now that he is holding to life by a thread and maybe drawing closer to hell.

This brother had to understand it is beyond his control. He has shared the Gospel most faithfully, and there is nothing he can do for his relative but pray for him now. His brain is not functioning properly anymore, but he still may be aware in his soul. We cannot be sure just how alert such people are spiritually. If they so desire, God can always bring His Word to memory in those who have heard it years before.

Beloved, we should never beat ourselves up wondering if we shared the Gospel enough with someone who is dying or who has since died. If they only heard us share the Gospel with them once, that one time was all that we were able to do. While we care for them deeply, we cannot force people to trust Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. The God of the Bible is all about freedom. If people do not want Him, He will not force them to accept Him. After three years of ministry, with a heavy heart, Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept. They had no interest in Him or anything He had to say to them (today’s Scripture).

God has done everything to keep people out of hell by sending Jesus Christ to die for their sins. If they want to ignore that, that is their choice. Let it not be ours!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Jude 9?

Seconds from Eternity

Monday, March 14, 2016

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2 Corinthians 6:1,2 KJV).

Friend, today is the day to trust Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary. You may not have tomorrow!

Recently, a certain schoolteacher was driving to work. Suddenly, a 200-pound (90.7-kilogram) iron manhole cover inexplicably flew upward from the roadway. It landed right on top of her car’s windshield—driver’s side! Sadly, her earthly life ended right there, instantly. Just like that, with the snap of a finger, a blink of an eye, it was over! There was no turning back—wherever death found her, eternity still keeps her today. Think of how many factors had to occur just right to take her life. The cover flew off precisely at the moment her vehicle was nearby, it flew exactly the distance to her car, and it precisely hit the windshield on her side (not the back, or the passenger’s side, but the driver’s side). We need to appreciate just how close death really is for any one of us!

Imagine when a lost person dies. Earthly scenes fade to darkness. The overwhelming sensation of falling to Earth’s center… the soul plunging into hellfire… the pain of being burned alive becomes more pronounced… screams and wails all around… memories of rejected Gospel messages flood the mind. Horrible, just horrible. Every soul without Jesus Christ will experience it forever!

A lost person’s heart is very deceitful. He or she will continue to put off salvation, saying, “I have plenty of time to get saved, preacher. Let me enjoy having a good time in sin now. When I am ready, then I will clean up my life and trust Jesus Christ.” They will certainly have a good time, but they just may run out of time to trust Jesus Christ. My what a foolish gamble! They just may lose their eternal soul in literally a “heartbeat.” They think they have years to spare, but they may just have a few seconds. Something to think about!

Final Flight

Friday, January 29, 2016

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:13,14 KJV).

How our “now-now-now,” “me-me-me” society needs to hear this verse!

Gregory Jarvis, a Hughes Aircraft specialist and engineer, was scheduled to fly the Space Shuttle Columbia on January 12, 1986. His task was to accompany a communications satellite into space and ensure its launch. However, before launch, a politician replaced him, and Jarvis was bumped down to the next space shuttle launch, Challenger’s January 22 launch. When Challenger finally took flight six days later—exactly 30 years ago yesterday—just 73 seconds into its launch, it exploded over 18 miles above earth, killing all seven crewmembers, including Jarvis. What tragic irony!

Life is uncertain in almost every which way. Friendships and marriages come not with a lifelong guarantee. Accidents and sudden illnesses can render you immobile, temporarily, or for life. House fires can consume all that you own. Thus, 1 Timothy 6:17 reminds us not to “trust in uncertain riches.” What you have today may very well be gone tomorrow. This is particularly true of your earthly life (today’s Scripture)… and especially your soul!

Gregory Jarvis knew not the future. Mission 51L, the 25th space shuttle mission, was supposed to have been another successful mission. Unfortunately, it would be Challenger’s last mission, and Jarvis’ too. Consider the ill-fated February 1, 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, whose 13th anniversary we approach. Its seven-member crew had no idea they were taking their final flight either. Were any of these astronauts and payload specialists ready to meet their Maker? Most probably were not.

“…NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Not tomorrow—NOW—for tomorrow you have not been guaranteed. Why not trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour today? Why not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for your sins today? Then, when your final flight comes—especially if it comes tomorrow—you will be prepared!

Closed Minds, Closed Hearts, Closed Book

Sunday, September 13, 2015

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV).

“Why do more people not see dispensational Bible study?” Today’s Scripture explains.

A few years ago, a Christian friend invited me to her house to give a Bible study for her friend stuck in a “Christian” cult. Others attended as well. It turned out to be almost three hours of teaching! (Search YouTube for three videos titled, “Intro to Pauline Dispensationalism.”) The woman was without excuse after hearing that clear Gospel of Grace and clear outline of the Bible dispensationally considered.

Sometime later, she told my friend, “I felt so sorry for you all. You are all so deceived.” (Strangely, she never told me that, never corrected anything I said, and never “blessed” the group with any of her “spiritual insight.” In fact, strangest of all, throughout the study, she smiled, cheerfully listening to the verses, and even declared, “I know JEHOVAH God is working here!” Despite her “compliments,” we have not seen her since!)

More recently, I had an online discussion with a Bible critic, atheist, and evolutionist. Several others soon joined in. Once I contrasted their “idle speculation and ever-changing hypotheses” with “the Bible’s clear testimony,” one individual grew ballistic: “The Bible’s plain and clear testimony?!” Even with a saint of the Most High God expounding the Bible for him, he still could not understand it. Why? The Spirit of God was there (with me), but the man did not “receive” the things of the Spirit of God. He was not willing to see. He was no different from the cult member mentioned earlier.

Lost people lack God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. They have no capacity to understand God’s Word. It is foolishness to them. What about genuine Holy-Spirit-indwelt Christians trapped in denominations? They too are guided by the flesh (church tradition perpetuated by lost people), hindering the Holy Spirit from working in them (1 Thessalonians 5:19). However, as Jesus Himself said, whenever they are willing to hear and see, “[they] shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

Knowing God

Friday, July 10, 2015

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20 KJV).

Yea, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (verse 21).

I was not startled to hear results from a sidewalk video-survey conducted here in the “Christian” United States. Eighteen people were asked, “Do you believe in God?” One was “atheist,” refusing to “get involved either way.” Two believed in a “higher power.” Another believed in a “higher calling, a greater force.” One was Buddhist. One response was literally unintelligible. Two people said it was “important to believe in something” so they “believed in God.” There was a “believer in spiritism, karma, and negative energy.” One believed in “positive thinking.”

One man babbled about “we are carbon-based life forms.” A lady responded, “I am not religious, I do not believe in a god, but I am spiritual.” (Fret not—not even she could explain it!) One man claimed to be a god himself. Of course, he did not demonstrate his “divine powers” for us. Two said they “believed in God” but did not elaborate. One said, “There is probably a God but no one has all the answers.” Another said, “I want to believe in God but I have a lot of questions. I would like to ask God if He exists.” (Strangely, he bragged about attending weekly church services!!!) Only one person polled—or five percent of the participants—“believed in Jesus Christ!”

In a country that has had much exposure to the Holy Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we cannot imagine the answers people would give in the nations that have never heard of Jesus Christ. If the nation that has the Bible is ignorant of said Book, what of those people that do not have it? Friends, creation (today’s Scripture) and our conscience (Romans 2:13-15) prove there is a God whom we will face in judgment. May we come to know Him as Saviour now and not as Judge later!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How can a loving God send people to hell forever?

Ye Will Not Come to Me

Sunday, May 3, 2015

“And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40 KJV).

Today’s Scripture settles the issue once for all—people choose hell for themselves!

Certain theological circles (those that embrace Calvinism) argue that no one can truly go to heaven unless God first chose him or her to go to heaven. Does God really “predestinate” or “elect” some people to go to heaven and others to go to hell? No, it is theological mumbo-jumbo. It is not Bible, just theological speculation that amounts to nothing. It is not God’s Word, just man’s word that will profit us nothing.

Reading today’s Scripture with its context: “[39] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” And verse 43, a reference to the Antichrist: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Will we believe the Lord Jesus Christ’s simple words? Or, will we believe what a fallible theologian says? Jesus affirmed that the reason why His audience did not have eternal life was because they refused to come to Him! It was not because God selected them for hell and eternal damnation. They thought their religion made them “good enough” without Jesus, so Jesus did not force Himself on them.

Again, just days before He died, Jesus Christ stated in Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Why did Jerusalem not come to Jesus? Was it because God selected them for unbelief? For hell? For judgment? No! He said He wanted often to gather them to Himself but they refused to come. God did not select them for hell; they chose hellfire for themselves.

Beloved, may we never take away someone’s free will: it is their (eternal) loss if they refuse to come to Jesus Christ by faith. We need to respect their choice.

Paradise Lost… And Re-Gained

Monday, March 30, 2015

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 KJV).

This is one of the most well known Bible verses. While it is often used to teach that God created everything, this verse is missing something. What is it?

Has it ever occurred to you that Genesis 1:1 mentions heaven and earth, but makes no reference to hell? A lake of fire and brimstone that burns forever and ever, the most horrible place in which one could be imprisoned, did not exist in Genesis 1:1. It was never God’s intention for such a place to exist. All of God’s creatures were to remain in paradise with Him.

“God created hell” was true only after Lucifer devised his plan of evil and caused an angelic rebellion in God’s perfect creation. The Lord Jesus affirmed that the place of eternal hellfire was never intended for mankind: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). However, mankind chose to join that angelic rebellion. Therefore, he will be consigned to the same punishment to which his leader Satan is destined.

When a lost person goes to hell today, we must never, ever, ever blame God. Creation and our conscience testify that there is a Creator God and that we will face Him in judgment (Romans 1:18-32; Romans 2:13-16). If people want to escape that eternal wrath against our sin, there are Bibles in 90 percent of the world’s languages. There are Christian missionaries and Gospel literature worldwide. Everyone is without excuse (Romans 1:20).

Thus, for one to go to hell is to do so after jumping over every barrier God erected to keep him or her out of hell. If they do not want to know about Jesus Christ and what He did for them at Calvary, that is not God’s fault. “The Lord is… not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Because of Adam, man lost paradise and gained hell. But, because of Jesus Christ, man can re-gain paradise and lose hell (Romans 5:1-21)!