Vapour!

Monday, April 23, 2018

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 4:14 KJV).

A “vapour”—as in a mist or gas—may change into a solid or liquid. Likewise, our earthly life “vanisheth away!”

Dear friends, we never know when death will come, but we do need to prepare for it. It was never part of God’s original creation: the entrance of sin caused death. Adam’s rebellion originated the curse of sin, including death (see Genesis 3:1-24). Never blame God for what Adam did. Now, someone asks, “How can God punish us for something Adam did? Why do we have to suffer because of Adam?” This is best answered by seeing the other side of the issue.

God provided a way to escape the penalty of sin. In addition to physical death, there are also a spiritual death and the second death. Spiritual death is the soul’s separation from God during earthly living—this, however, can be rectified through faith in the Gospel. The second death is eternal (permanent) separation from God in the Lake of Fire. We sinners deserve this most horrible spiritual prison. However, God became a Man, Jesus Christ, who died for (to pay for) our sins. If we complain God punishes us because of Adam’s actions, then we might as well protest God justifying us because of Christ’s actions. See, it balances. Just as Adam is the federal head of sinners, so Jesus Christ is the federal head of saints. Romans 5:12-21 is interesting reading on the subject—the two federal heads, their activities, and their effects.

First Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:….” Acts 16:30-31: “And brought them 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.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How are the Beast and the False Prophet ‘cast alive’ into the Lake of Fire?

Two Sons and Two Fathers

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

“And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:” (Luke 23:18 KJV).

One son will be liberated to live, and the other Son will be sentenced to die!

At the time of Christ’s trial, Barabbas is a prisoner (Matthew 27:16). Barabbas is a murderer, a robber, and guilty of “insurrection,” or rebelling against the government (Mark 15:7; Luke 23:18,19; John 18:40).

It is Passover. Roman governor Pontius Pilate has a custom that, at the feast, he releases a prisoner, whomever the people desire (Matthew 27:15; Mark 15:6). “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified” (Matthew 27:20-22).

Israel’s chief priests, rulers, and common people all demand Christ’s crucifixion and Barabbas’ release, so Pilate gives the sentence (Luke 23:23-25). Guilty Barabbas is set free to live, and innocent Jesus Christ is condemned to be crucified. While Barabbas’ involvement in the matter seems insignificant upon first glance, God included it in His written Word because to provide us with an amazing illustration!

“Barabbas” means “son of the father.” Barabbas is a criminal, and he represents sinful, rebellious mankind who is worthy of death. He is bound by sin, and faces eternal death. Spiritually, sinful mankind is the son of Satan—man is of his father the devil (John 8:44). Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, God, “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), but took upon Himself our sins and was punished in our place.

Innocent Jesus Christ took the place of guilty Barabbas, which actually represented Christ taking the place of the whole world, suffering God’s wrath on our behalf! “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust…” (1 Peter 3:18). Thus, through Christ’s finished crosswork, we sinful sons of Adam (and Satan) can be freed from sin, and we can become the righteous sons of God.

Keep Your Soul

Friday, February 9, 2018

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 KJV).

Whether rich or poor, the soul is not worth losing!

A biographical video featured a famous actor of a bygone era. Having appeared in dozens of films, he made his millions and received worldwide fame, married several times, lived in luxurious houses, and so on. An often-repeated phrase in the documentary was, “[This person] died.” This relative of his succumbed to death; that close associate died too. Lastly, he himself expired. Genesis chapter 5 came to mind: “and he died… and he died… and he died….” Since Adam begat all “in his own likeness, and after his image” (verse 3), he passed down his sin nature and its associated death penalty.

Friend, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown, we all live under sin’s effects. The aforementioned celebrity, despite a nice outward appearance, suffered problems like all of us. When we hear of people who never seem to have a “bad day”—everything is always going so well for them—they are withholding something. Somewhere, there is a bout of depression, a divorce or child-custody battle, an addiction, a financial struggle, a fear, an infirmity or weakness, et cetera.

Sin’s final consequence, of course, is physical death, immediately followed by the flames of Hell (and ultimately, the Lake of Fire). We can be “happy-go-lucky” millionaires or homeless peasants, and death will certainly find us. Death has been called the “great equalizer.” Indeed, it levels out all bank accounts, all acquaintances, and all possessions to “0.” Death also removes all uniqueness. Hell is a place where souls—identities—are lost forever (cf. today’s Scripture). The nameless (!), penniless (!) rich man in Luke 16:19-31 was “just another” tormented soul! “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7).

However, thankfully, the God of the Bible provided a solution to our sin problem. We need rest entirely by faith in it: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Friend, avoid Hellfire while you still have time!

Reigning or Roasting?

Friday, January 26, 2018

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23 KJV).

Someone stated most appropriately, “We can spend eternity reigning or roasting.” Friend, which do you choose?

According to Father God’s twofold purpose in creation—heaven and earth—He has one agency He will use in each realm. He intends to unite all governments under His Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:9,10; Colossians 1:16-20). The nation Israel will reign on earth and thereby glorify Jesus Christ forever. Notice Psalm 37:11: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Christ quoted this in Matthew 5:5, referring to His kingdom). Also, Job 19:25, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:….” Finally, Revelation 5:10: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

The Church the Body of Christ, God’s agency today, will reign in the heavenly places and thereby glorify Jesus Christ forever. Ephesians 2:6,7: “And 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.” And, 2 Corinthians 5:1: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Also, Philippians 3:20: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:….” Finally, 2 Timothy 4:18: “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

The eternal fate of those who die without Jesus Christ is described quite vividly in Revelation 20:14,15: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” We had better trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now, to reign later rather than roast!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Pharaoh drown in the Red Sea?

Death by Adam, Eternal Life by Christ #3

Monday, November 27, 2017

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).

Friends, unless they are for saints of the Most High God, funerals are very depressing. It is a most serious matter when someone dies and goes to Hell! When a Christian dies, however, it is a home-going to meet his or her Saviour Jesus Christ. What a difference eternal life in Christ makes!

It is often enquired, “Why does God punish us because of what Adam did? That is so unfair!” Scoffers, questioning God’s benevolence, especially raise this objection. We would do well, dear friends, to rather inquire, “Why does God save us because of what Christ did? That is so unfair!”

Romans chapter 5 one final time: “[16] And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. [17] For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) [18] Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. [19] For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Yes, Adam’s disobedience brought upon us sin and death. But, there is a balance. Christ’s obedience—His submission to His Heavenly Father’s will, “even to the death of the cross” to pay for our sins (Philippians 2:5-8)—offers us righteousness and life. Those not in Christ—relying on Him by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—will be banished to everlasting torment. Sin must be dealt with, dear friends, and it will either be settled at Calvary or in Hell.

God already has the answer to eternal death—eternal life in His Son. May we not delay; may we rely on the Lord Jesus Christ today! 🙂

Death by Adam, Eternal Life by Christ #2

Sunday, November 26, 2017

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).

Friends, unless they are for saints of the Most High God, funerals are very depressing. It is a most serious matter when someone dies and goes to Hell! When a Christian dies, however, it is a home-going to meet his or her Saviour Jesus Christ. What a difference eternal life in Christ makes!

Romans chapter 5 continues: “[13] (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. [14] Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. [15] But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”

“[16] And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. [17] For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) [18] Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. [19] For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

In the above verses, we see two contrasts. Firstly, there is information about Adam, his actions, and the results. Secondly, there is news concerning Jesus Christ, His activities, and the consequences. With Adam, there is nothing but condemnation and death (physical and spiritual). However, with Christ, there is nothing but justification and life (physical and spiritual). Adam’s disobedience makes us sinners, but Christ’s obedience makes us righteous….

Death by Adam, Eternal Life by Christ #1

Saturday, November 25, 2017

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).

Friends, unless they are for saints of the Most High God, funerals are very depressing. It is a most serious matter when someone dies and goes to Hell! When a Christian dies, however, it is a home-going to meet his or her Saviour Jesus Christ. What a difference eternal life in Christ makes!

While medical science affords us the ability to discover cures for various bodily afflictions, it is absolutely certain that the scientific method will never equip us to abolish physical death. Why is this so confidently stated? Today’s Scripture says when Adam sinned, he plunged the whole human race into sin and death. Consequently, wherever we find sin, we find death; wherever we find death, we find sin. It is a rule set forth in the Bible, and it is applicable to every age. Science will never be the means whereby we eradicate our sin nature, so science will never be the method by which we obliterate physical (and spiritual) death. We must look beyond the physical world for the answer.

The Bible says in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The “wages” (plural) “of sin is death”—physical and spiritual death. Death in Scripture means separation; never is it annihilation or cessation of existence. Genesis 35:18 reports: “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.” Physical death, as seen here, is the soul leaving, or separating from, the physical body.

There is another death, “the second death.” It is the soul’s separation from God forever in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 21:8 says: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Again, this is separation from God in eternity, the endless ages in the Lake of Fire. We do not have to go there….