Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

THE REALITY OF HELL

Mark 9:43 -49 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

The immediate reference here is to offenses against Christ’s little ones, whereby they are let into sin. The hand, the foot, and the eye represent men’s strongest desires and the earthly objects dearest to them. Whatever sacrifices the doing of the will of God may require; it is wise to cheerfully and promptly make them. For the trouble it will cause in this world if we don’t, is nothing to the misery which the neglect of our salvation will result in the world to come. We need to make sure of the eternal security of our salvation and we need to make sure we do whatever it takes to live out our life for Christ and to especially not hurt little ones, as you can see Christ seems to have a special punishment for those who do.

INTRODUCTION: The reality is; a place called Hell does exist. People are in Hell, and people are going there every day. Matthew 25:41 says Hell is a literal place of everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.Dr. John R. Rice had this to say about Hell; “If there is a place of eternal torment where damned souls cry in vain for water amid the flames they cannot escape forever, it is the most terrible and alarming fact in this universe! The very possibility that such a doom may await the sinner is so shocking that no other question can compare with it in importance. How can today’s feasting or hunger, clothing or nakedness, honor or infamy, pleasure or pain compare in importance with a million years of pain, torment of body, mind and conscience? I beg the sinner to consider how worth while it is to know what God says about Hell. We ought to learn about Hell to escape it ourselves and to rescue others from it as well.”

KEY FACTS ABOUT HELL:

(1) Everyone will exist eternally either in heaven or hell (Daniel 12:2, 3; Matthew 25:46; John 5:28; Revelation 20:14, 15).

(2) Everyone has only one life in which to determine their eternal destiny (Hebrews 9:27).

(3) Heaven or hell is determined by whether a person believes (puts their trust) in Christ alone to save them (John 3:16-18).

(4) Hell was designed originally for Satan and his demons (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

(5) Hell will also punish the sin of those who reject Christ (Matthew 13:41, 50; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

(6) Hell is conscious torment.

  • Matthew 13:50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth
  • Mark 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
  • Revelation 14:10 “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”

(7) Hell is eternal and irreversible.

  • Revelation 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
  • Revelation 20:14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
  • Revelation 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

WHY DID GOD CREATE HELL?If it is God’s sincere desire that everyone come to know Him why did He create hell in the first place? Why make a place of judgment for humanity?

  • The Bible teaches that God did not create hell as a judgment for humanity. God created hell for the punishment of the devil and his angels and not as a place for human beings to suffer. Jesus said “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.
  • Hell was created as a place of judgment for Satan and those who followed him in their rebellion against God. The Bible says that the devil and his angels will eventually be consigned to hell “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10.
  • Human beings, who are created in God’s image, are not meant to spend eternity away from the presence of God. The place God created for them is heaven. Jesus spoke of this place that God has prepared for those who trust Him In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.John 14:2-3.
  • Hell was not created for humanity, but it is the destination for those who reject God’s salvation in Jesus Christ. (John 3:16-18)

WHY WOULD A LOVING GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?The Bible speaks about a place of final judgment for those who do not believe in the salvation provided by Jesus Christ.  Jesus spoke of it as a place of eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.)

  • Some people wonder how hell can be reconciled with a God of love. Why, they ask, would a God of love allow people to go to hell? – The answer to this question is that God is a God of holiness and justice as well as a God of love. These moral attributes are complementary, not contradictory. When the laws of God are disobeyed there must be a judgment. God’s laws demand that sin must be paid for. God can still love someone but He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. This is the reason that Jesus Christ came to earth, to die for the sins of the world. (Matthew 20:28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.)
  • The emphasis should not be placed upon hell but by the fact that God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to show His love for mankind. (Romans 5:6-8 – For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
  • God has showed His love by sending His Son to die for our sins — to take our punishment — so that we could go to heaven. The judgment of hell is for those who refuse to accept God’s love and forgiveness.

JESUS WAS THE MOST PROLIFIC PREACHER ON THE SUBJECT OF HELL.Jesus said more about Hell than did Moses, David, Isaiah, Paul, Peter, John or anybody else in the Bible. Jesus is the Authority, and if he placed this much time and effort in giving us instruction and knowledge about Hell, than we need to study what He said about the subject.

But whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” – Matthew 5:22

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 13:49-50

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” – Matthew 23:33

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

THE FOLLY OF SINWe all have a sin nature that pulls us in the direction of sin. (This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. Ecclesiastes 9:3)

  • The condition of our heart will show in how we act. (O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matthew 12:34-35)
  • The Bible tells us, we are not to continue in sin if we are currently living in it. (What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2)
  • Don’t let sin control your life. Don’t submit to your sin. Fight that sin. With the Lords help he will give you the victory through his power. (Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:12)
  • Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost. (What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 6:19)
  • Take care of your body and don’t put things in it you are not supposed too, like alcohol or drugs. (Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1)
  • Don’t practice evil works.(Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: Psalms 141:4)
  • Don’t do things that harm your body. Your body is not yours in the first place and if you are a Christian, it is also the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Do not do any self destructive behavior.
  • Sin leads to destruction. (For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23)

FINAL RESIDENCE OF MAN WITHOUT GOD IS HELL.

  • Hell is a literal place of torment. (Luke 16:19-31)
  • When a lost man dies he goes immediately to Hell and torment. This is what the Bible teaches us. Notice in the passage we just read in Luke 16:22-23 – “the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in tormentsHe died then the very next moment he opened his eyes and he was in Hell being tormented.
  • The Bible gives us a clear and fearful picture of the torment of the lost sinners in Hell in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 14:10-11 – The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night…)Hell is a place of eternal horror and torment!!
  • There is literal fire in Hell. (And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Matthew 18:9)
  • Hell is a place of eternal suffering. (But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Mark 3:29)
  • YOU WILL BE THE SAME PERSON IN HELL.
  • You will have the same kind of mind, same memories, same bodily desires u have on earth.
  • Remembering will be another kind of torment you will experience in Hell. You will remember every time you turned down the Lord. Every bad thing you did, every lost opportunity to get saved. You will remember reading this and hearing this message.
  • Final Judgment – In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John wrote concerning the final judgment of the wicked (Revelation 20:12 &15 – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.).The reality of a final judgment is clearly taught in Scripture. But the Bible also indicates that the people who go to hell do so because they have rejected God’s provision for salvation. The Bible says that God does not want anyone to go to hell “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9.
  • No Goodness – Eternal life without God would be a life without goodness; everything would be evil and bad. In heaven there will “… in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie:… ” Revelation 21:27. So in hell, everyone there will be unclean and an abomination. There will be nothing good. There won’t be happiness or joy. We won’t feel good about ourselves. Life will be utter misery.
  • No Love – Eternal life without God would be a life without love. God is love; Satan is not (I John 4:8). Hell is a place of evil and hatred, not a place of love. Can you imagine eternity without love in your life?

FOREVER HOME OF THE CHRISTIAN IS HEAVEN.

  • Jesus sits on the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.)
  • Jesus prepares mansions for us in Heaven. (John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. )
  • In Heaven the streets are gold and the gates are pearl.(Revelation 21:18-21)
  • The only light in Heaven is the Glory of God. No other light is needed. (Revelation 21:23)
  • The inhabitants of Heaven are those who trusted by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 21:24)

FIVE THINGS TO THINK ABOUT IF YOU ARE UNSURE YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO HEAVEN.

  • What if today was your last day on earth?
  • What if you stepped of this planet into eternity?
  • For about 155,000 people, today will be there last day alive. We have no assurance of another day on earth.
  • And if there really is a Heaven and a Hell, there really is a God, and we will have to stand in front of Him one day.
  • Why not know for sure where your eternal home is, know for sure you are saved, and know for sure your eternal soul is secure and going to Heaven some day.

FOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF SO YOU CAN KNOW FOR SURE YOU ARE SAVED AND ON YOUR WAY TO HEAVEN.

  • Have you ever sinned? (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23)
  • Do you know there is a penalty for sin? (For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23)
  • Did you know Jesus paid our sin debt? (But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8)
  • Did you know all you have to do is call on his name and you will be saved? (For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13; Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, Acts 16:31b)

FREE GIFT OF HEAVEN. DON’T SAY “NO” AND SPEND ETERNITY IN HELL (In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; II Thessalonians 1:8-9)

  • A place of eternal fire.
  • A place of everlasting destruction.
  • Eternal absence from the presence of the Lord.
  • Eternal separation from our loved ones.

IN CONCLUSION: Hell is literal place. It is a place of eternal torment. It is a place of eternal separation from God and loved ones, a place of not only physical torment but of emotional torment. We will remember every sin, every time we rejected God. We will remember the last opportunity we had to get saved. It is a place of eternal fire, eternal pain and eternal anguish. But it does not have to be our eternal home. If we will just ask Christ to be our savior, knowing we are a sinner in need of a sin debt to be paid. Then accept the payment made by Christ with his shed blood and death on the cross we can have life eternal in Heaven with him and not spend an eternity in a Christless Hell.

Our curiosity about the eternal abode of the dead is not completely satisfied by biblical terms or verses. What we do know is that either eternal torment in hell or eternal joy in heaven awaits all people after death, based on whether they trust in Christ’s payment for sin and accept Him as their Savior or if they reject Christ and His payment he made on their behalf. (John 3:17-18For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.)

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The Love of God

Posted: February 14, 2017 in Eternal Security, Love, Salvation
Tags: , ,

THE LOVE OF GOD

My friend having just read about the life of Christ you can understand the great love and humility the Son of God had in coming down to earth. To be born of a virgin, to grow up from infancy to adulthood of no reputation. To go on to minister, preach and perform miracles during His active ministry on earth. To then be willing to die a most humiliating death just so wretched undeserving sinners would have a way to go to Heaven one day, is an amazing and incomprehensible thought.

The Christ, the Son of the Living God, did all of that just for you and me. He did it all, sacrificed all just for you and me. The Bible tells us “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. Well Jesus not only laid down His life for His friends but He laid down His life for all of mankind. John 3:16 tells us “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus did all of this out of His love for man, out of His love for you and me.

God chose to give His only son as a sacrifice for our sins. The greatest gift ever given was the gift of love that God gave over 2,000 years ago. God gave his only begotten Son so that we might have life and have it more abundantly! Christ humbled himself to become the sacrifice for our sins because He loved us. We need to worship Christ. Show Him the honor and respect He should have. Worship Him with song, praise and how you live your life for Him.

All of what He has done, has given all those who accept Him by faith, a sure path to Heaven. Is a gift of love He presented to the world to all those that will accept it. That is the key; we have to choose by faith to accept the gift of eternal life into our hearts. It does not just happen; we have to make the conscience decision, by faith in Jesus Christ, to accept Him as our own person Savior.

My friend if you have any doubts as to your eternal destination, why don’t you get that settled right now. Why don’t you invite Jesus into your heart today? Romans 3:23 tells us “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” we have to understand we are all sinners. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” we need to understand that the penalty of our sins is eternal death in hell. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” this verse lets us know that even though we were sinners Christ came down to earth and died for us. He paid the penalty of death for us and for our sins. We just need to accept that payment of our sin debt in full that was paid by Christ on the cross. Romans 10:9-10 lets us know what we need to do about all this “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

It is God who gives us spiritual and eternal life. It is by the sacrifice of the “bread of life” that we have everlasting life with Him in Glory. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) God gives life to those who were dead in their sins. (Romans 8:12-14 – Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.) We are debtors to the “bread of life” form Bethlehem. Without His coming to Bethlehem and being born to die on the cross for our sins we would not have life. We would be doomed to stay dead in our sins.

If you have by faith invited Christ into your heart and accepted Him as your personal Savior. Romans 10:13 gives you assurance as to the fact you are now a child of God. You now know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior! Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – You are now an eternally secured saved child of God.

 

SEEKING THE LOST (John 1:35-42)

 John 1:40-42a – “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus.”

The Apostle Andrew was always bringing people to Jesus. Andrew was not loud, boisterous and impulsive like his brother Peter, but something that seems to define Andrew was that he was always focusing on bringing people to Jesus.

INTRODUCTION: The Apostle Andrew’s name means “manly”. Many preachers and commentators call Andrew a man’s man. The most masculine and mature thing you could do as a man is love Jesus with all your heart, follow Him with all your might and bring others to Him as often as you can. Andrew was the very first of the Apostles to follow Jesus. He is often referred to as Simon Peter’s brother, but Andrew was his own man. He was the first of the twelve Apostles’ to acknowledge Jesus was the Christ. Andrew’s personality was basically the opposites of Peters. Andrew was calm and considerate and naturally helpful; his brother Peter was impulsive, bold and brash. Peter was a leader and took charge of men, Andrew was a man that supported leaders, looked out for leaders and followed leaders. We can all learn something from the Apostle Andrew. Andrew seemed to always play second fiddle to his brother Peter and never was upset or jealous about it. Andrew did not consider it beneath him to be an assistant to a leader; in fact he thrived in this position. Andrew had the right perspective of himself and his situations. It was not about him, and it is not about us; it should be all about God and His son Christ Jesus. (Colossians 3:2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.)

BIOGRAPHICAL OVERVIEW OF THE APOSTLE ANDREW

  • Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist. Andrew was saved under the ministry of John the Baptist. (John 1:35 & 40 – Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.) So Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. Then one day he heard John preach “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me” Andrew turned and saw Jesus and Andrew never looked back. That one look at Jesus was enough to change Andrew’s life forever. We need to look unto Jesus the Son of God, He has “all power”, He can change our life forever, for the good, if we just surrender to Him and let Him work in our life. Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother and partnered with Peter and James and John in a fishing business. Andrew’s fathers name was Jona or John and Andrew lived in Bethsaida.
  • The account of Andrew becoming an Apostle is found in Luke 6:13-14 – “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,”

CHARACTER LESSONS FROM THE APOSTLE ANDREW

  • Andrew was concerned with bringing others to Jesus. He first prepared himself to bring others to Jesus. How did he do that? The same way we can do it today by spending time with Jesus. How do you spend time with Jesus? By prayer, by Bible study, by going to church every time the doors are open. Andrew prepared himself to bring others to Jesus. (John 1:39 – He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.)
  • Andrew made it a priority to find others so he could bring them to Jesus. How much of a priority do you make it to find friends or family members you could bring to church or point to Jesus? (John 1:41a – He first findeth his own brother Simon,) – Notice Andrew started with his family members first in his quest to find people to bring to Jesus. There is a saying that goes “They will not come – they must be brought, they will not seek – they must be sought, they will not learn – they must be taught.” Winning souls to Christ involves effort it usually doesn’t just happen.
  • Andrew made a proclamation to his brother “We have found the Messias”! Andrew did not hesitate to boldly proclaim Jesus to his brother.
  • Andrew had a purpose. People need Christ in their life. Andrew purposed to help as many people as possible to get Christ in their life. How are you doing in this regard? (John 1:42 – And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.)
  • Andrew was people orientated. You will not get the job done Christ wants you to do unless you get among people, and interact, talk and get to know them. In John chapter six the multitude needed to be fed. Christ asked Phillip where they could buy loaves of bread to feed the multitude. Phillip basically said it can’t be done we can’t feed these people, but Andrew had been among the people and he knew of a lad who had some bread and some fishes; and in Andrew’s fashion he brought him to Jesus. Andrew took enough time to spend with this lad to know he had the bread and the fishes. (John 6:8-9a – One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes:)
  • Andrew was also dependent on Jesus. Andrew did not try to solve his problems by himself. He did not first exhaust himself trying to solve problems in his own effort like many of us do; he first took his problems and concerns straight to Jesus and was dependent on Him to help him solve the problem. John 6:9 says “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” Notice the last part of the verse “but what are they among so many?” Andrew immediately stated the concern and brought it straight to Jesus. Are you dependent on Jesus for your problems, concerns and decisions?
  • Andrew was devoted to Jesus. He devoted his whole life to Jesus, to serving Him and doing His will. Andrew invited Jesus into his home. Some people let Jesus in their heart but never really make Him welcome in their home! Is Jesus welcome in your home? Would he feel welcome in your home? Do you have movies, books, or video games in your room or internet sites you visit that Jesus would not approve of? (Mark 1:29 – And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. & Colossians 2:6 – As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him)
  • Andrew was a trusted problem solver. When a fellow Apostle was not sure of the best course of action, he consulted with Andrew for direction on how best to handle the situation; and Andrew handled it in his usual fashion, he took it to Jesus as soon as possible. (John 12:20-22 – And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.)
  • We need to be “Andrews”. We need to be concerned with bringing others to Jesus. Over and over again we see examples of Andrew bringing people to Jesus. How many people have you brought to Jesus? We need to be people oriented like Andrew. He made it a priority to get to know people. Andrew was dependent on Jesus in all parts of his life. Is Jesus first in all areas of your life? Do you bring your problems to Jesus right away or do you try to solve them yourself first? Andrew devoted his life to serving and ministering for Christ. What are you doing as service to the Lord? Andrew was a trusted problem solver. When people came to him with a problem he pointed them toward Christ and took the problem to Jesus. If people come to you for advice do you always point them toward Christ with your advice or do you try to help them in your own power? In all areas of Andrew’s life, Christ had the preeminence. Is Jesus preeminent in all areas of your life? (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)

IN CONCLUSION: Statistically about 2% of believers were first reached through a Gospel tract or advertising, 6% through a pastoral visit, 6% through a visitation contact and 85% were first reached through a family or friend contact. You see the importance of the example Andrew set for us with bringing others to Christ (John 1:41-42a – He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus). We need to be bringing people to Christ. We need to be reaching unsaved loved ones for Christ. We need to be bringing friends to Christ. We need to be doing the work of The Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 Andrew demonstrated with his life the priority in evangelizing others for Christ. In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells us ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” For Andrew, Peter was his Jerusalem, the lad at the multitude was his Judaea, the Grecian’s were his Samaria and he personally fulfilled the “uttermost part of the earth” by his later ministry. We need to model Andrew and be seeking ways to bring others to Christ, to always point others to Christ and to make Christ the priority in our life.

BALAAM & GOD’S WILL

BALAAM AND GOD’S WILL In the book of Numbers we find the account of a mysterious soothsayer named Balaam had a reputation for having success in divination (receiving hidden knowledge, especially about the future) and incantation (the use of occult demonic power to grant blessing’s or curses) and he was willing to sell his services for all who could pay him his fee.

Request of the King – The Moabites and Midianites were very frightened when they saw the size and scope of the Israelite people encamped near them and heard all the stories about Israel’s military victories thus far. (Numbers 22:4 – And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.) – So King Balak looks to hire Balaam to place a curse on the people of God encamped near him to protect him from their supposed threat; at this point Balak did not realize that God had told Israel not to attack Moab because the Moabites were relatives of the Jews, descended through Lot, Abraham’s nephew. (Deuteronomy 2:9 – And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.)·

Balaam must have had a wide reputation of his abilities in successfully practicing the occult arts for a King to have searched him out in spite of the distance and the price. We all have a reputation. What is your reputation like? What are you know for?

King Balak was hoping to influence Balaam into cursing the children of Israel, and by such a curse protect him and his kingdom from their attack. He hoped to convince Balaam to help him by the impressive dignitaries he sent calling on him and the price he was willing to pay him for his services. This shows us a great weakness of character on Balaam’s part.  Balaam loved money and he was willing to do just about anything to get it. What about you? Is money or financial gain your God? (I Timothy 6:10 –    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.)

Balak had Balaam figured right. Balaam was a hireling of the worst kind. Interested mainly in money. Balaam used deception to try to get his way around issues and problems to fulfill his ultimate goal of self enrichment. Balaam would use pious Godly sounding talk; all the while in his heart he was coveting material gain.·

Balaam was determined to do his own will and not God’s will. (Numbers 22:20 – And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.) – Notice what God said here “If the men come to call thee” then Balaam was to go. Now look at verse 21 what Balaam actually did “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.” – He took it upon himself to get up and go. He did not do as the Lord instructed, he did not wait on the Lord, and he took the situation into his own hand and by his own wisdom determined it was in his own best monetary interests to not wait on the Lord but to act on his own. Now examine yourself. Are you more interested in God’s will or your own will?

Resistance of a donkey – God was angry at Balaam for defying His will and direction and allowing his love of money to be the controlling factor in his life. You may sometimes hear the phrase “dumb animals” – but in this case it was the human who was “dumb” and the animal was the smart and wise one. (Numbers 22:22 – And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.)·

His donkey saw something that Balaam did not and turned aside to save Balaam’s life. Balaam’s anger was kindled against the donkey and the Bible says he struck him over it. (Numbers 22:23 – And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.)·

Two more times the donkey sees the Angel of the Lord with his sword drawn and two more times the donkey does what it can to avoid him and saves Balaam’s life. Two more times Balaam gets enraged at the donkey because of it. One of the times by the donkey avoiding the angel, Balaam’s leg gets crushed, when the donkey swerved out of the way. (Numbers 22:24-27 – But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.) Balaam was so angry with the donkey at this point, had he been armed he would have killed his faithful animal. The Apostle Peter called it madness. (II Peter 2:16 – But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.)· Sin in our life has a way of blinding us to other things in our life. Sin can keep us from seeing the efforts of others, motivated by their love for us, to keep us from harm or to keep us from harming ourselves as a result of that sin.

A unique conversation takes place. (Numbers 22:28-31 – And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.) So why wasn’t Balaam shocked when his donkey spoke to him? – Perhaps Satan had used Demons to speak to Balaam in the past through animals speaking to him.  In any case a person has reached a very low point in his life when God has to use an animal like a donkey to communicate His mind to him.

Revelation of an angel (Numbers 22:32-33 – And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.) – As God opened the Donkey’s mouth to speak to Balaam He now opens Balaam’s eyes so he too can see the Angel of the Lord standing there with his sword drawn. Balaam fell on his face when he saw the angel and the angel told him how is donkey saved his life.·

The angel warned Balaam that he was rushing headlong and recklessly onto the wrong path that would only lead to his destruction and ruin. Many people today are on a similar path in their life. If we see people on this path it is our responsibility to shout out a warning to them; because it is only the truth of God that can free them and save them from destruction and ruin. (John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. & John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)·

I have sinned” – Just saying these words do not repentance make. Balaam said these words to the angel in Numbers 22:34 “And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” – Pharaoh, King Saul and Judas Iscariot all uttered the same words but did not truly repent and turn to God with their life. Pharaoh in Exodus 9:27 “I have sinned “, King Saul in I Samuel 15:24 “I have sinned” and Judas Iscariot in Matthew 27:4 “I have sinned” – but they did not repent, they did not accept God by faith. ·

MAKE SURE YOU ARE REALLY SAVED – Don’t be guilty of saying the right sounding words but not really meaning them in your heart. It is possible to acknowledge you are a sinner but not repent and turn from your sins and turn to God. We need to acknowledge the fact we are a sinner but true salvation is more than that; it is also a turning from our sin and a turning to God by faith in the saving power of Jesus blood. Salvation comes by trusting in the fact that the shed blood of Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and accepting His free gift of a payment in full on our behalf. Salvation is getting something for nothing; it is getting eternal life, that you can never lose, in exchange for nothing from us but our child like faith in Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – 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. & Romans 10:9,10 & 13 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.) – If you have more questions about salvation please click on this link: KNOW FOR SURE YOU ARE ON YOU WAY TO HEAVEN

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THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM & WORLDLY CHRISTIANS

“Eternal Purpose” – Ephesians 3:10-19

Are you living according to your Eternal Purpose God created you for?

Ephesians 3:11 – “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

Think about your life. Why God created you. Are you living according to the Eternal Purpose that God created you for? Are you living in contrast to that purpose? Do you care either way?

What is our Eternal Purpose? (Ephesians 3:11 – According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:)

  • We are here to bring Glory to God. (Romans 11:36 – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.)
  • C.S. Lewis said “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
  • Glorifying God should be a joyous occurrence for us.
  • We are here to have fellowship with God and each other. We should not hide within ourselves we should fellowship with the Lord and fellow Christians. (I John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.)
  • We are to share the Gospel with a lost and perishing world. (Mathew 28:19-20 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.)
  • We are here to minister to the needs of the Saints to the needs of fellow Christians. (Romans 12:13 – Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. & I Corinthians 16:1 – Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. & II Corinthians 9:12 – For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;)
  • Is your eternal purpose to teach a Sunday School class, help in Children’s Church, lead music, sing specials, share the Gospel with someone, or could your eternal purpose be to preach the Gospel of Christ? (I Timothy 1:12 – And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry)
  • God will enable you to fulfill your eternal purpose for Him whatever that eternal purpose may be.
  • Don’t doubt God. If you feel Him leading you into the ministry follow His lead. He will enable you to fulfill that calling.
  • Is your eternal purpose perhaps sharing your testimony with others on how God helped you through a rough time in your life so you can minister to others in a similar situation? (Hebrews 11:5 – By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.)
  • Do you even have a testimony that is pleasing to God?
  • Could your testimony be used by God to help someone? If so are you letting God use it?
  • What are you going to live for? Are you going to live to fulfill your eternal purpose for God? Or are you going to live for self and all your selfish, self-centered wants and desires? We have to choose. Are we going to live for God and His eternal purpose in our life or are we not? (Joshua 24:15 – …choose you this day whom ye will serve; …but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.)
  • Are you doing your Eternal Purpose?