Archives for : May2014

Jesus is coming soon- Revolation 22

John Tells About This Book 1 This is a revelation[a] from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must happen soon. And Christ sent his angel to show it to his servant John, 2 who has told everything he saw. It is the truth that Jesus Christ told him; it is the message from God. 3 Great blessings belong to the person who reads the words of this message from God and to those who hear this message and do what is written in it. There is not much time left. John Writes to the Churches 4 From John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is coming; and from the seven spirits before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the faithful witness. He is first among all who will be raised from death. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth. Jesus is the one who loves us and has made us free from our sins with his blood sacrifice. 6 He made us his kingdom and priests who serve God his Father. To Jesus be glory and power forever and ever! Amen. 7 Look, Jesus is coming with the clouds! Everyone will see him, even those who pierced[b] him. All peoples of the earth will cry loudly because of him. Yes, this will happen! Amen. 8 The Lord God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.[c] I am the one who is, who always was, and who is coming. I am the All-Powerful.” 9 I am John, your fellow believer. We are together in Jesus, and we share these things: suffering, the kingdom, and patient endurance. I was on the island of Patmos[d] because I was faithful to God’s message and to the truth of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day, the Spirit took control of me. I heard a loud voice behind me that sounded like a trumpet. 11 It said, “Write down in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” 12 I turned to see who was talking to me. When I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. 13 I saw someone among the lampstands who looked like the Son of Man. He was dressed in a long robe, with a golden sash tied around his chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool—wool that is white as snow. His eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like brass that glows hot in a furnace. His voice was like the noise of flooding water. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand. A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth. He looked like the sun shining at its brightest time. 17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He put his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the one who lives. I was dead, but look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 So write what you see. Write the things that happen now and the things that will happen later. 20 Here is the hidden meaning of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands that you saw: The seven lampstands are the seven churches. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.

Forgiveness of Sin

 

Forgiveness of Sin

 

Introduction: Forgiveness of sin is truly a great Bible truth. Forgiveness is great because of the enormity of sin (that which is forgiven), the one who forgives (in the case of God), the cost of forgiveness, and the unworthiness of the one forgiven. There are three areas involving forgiveness: God’s forgiveness of man’s sins, man’s forgiveness of man’s sins in general, and the one sinned against forgiving the offender.

I. The enormity of sin. Sin (hamartia) is lawlessness (I Jn. 3: 4, ASV)

A. The enormity of sin is seen in the fact that sin separates man from God (Isa. 59: 1, 2).

a. James presents the sequential progression which eventuates in man’s separation from God (Jas. 1: 14, 15). Sin will cause people to suffer the unimaginable agony of hell for an eternity (Matt. 25: 46).

II. The blood of Jesus, the means and cost of forgiveness

A. Animal sacrifices were not efficacious in the permanent remitting of sin. In fact, there continued to be remembrance of sin – sin was “continued forward,” if you will (Heb. 10: 1-4).

B. Jeremiah prophesied that the days would come when God would make a new covenant that would offer “total” forgiveness (Jere. 31: 31-34).

a. The writer of Hebrews quotes Jeremiah and shows its fulfillment is in the new covenant that has Jesus as its eternal sacrifice (Heb. 8: 6-13, 1-5, chs. 7-10).

C. Jesus said, “For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26: 28). We are sanctified by “the blood of his covenant” (Heb. 10: 29). Moreover, Jesus’ blood reconciles the estranged (Rom. 5: 10), redeems the enslaved (Eph. 1: 7), and justifies the guilty (Rom. 5: 9). Jesus’ blood is not only presently effective but his blood flowed backward “for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant” (Heb. 9: 15). Let us now turn our focus to the three areas involving forgiveness:

III. God’s forgiveness of man’s sins

A. As indicated, man is an unworthy recipient of God’s forgiveness (Rom. 5: 6-9). There was (is) no way man could earn or procure forgiveness through a system of meritorious works (Rom. 11: 6, Tit. 3: 5). We are saved (forgiven) “by grace…through faith” (Eph. 2: 8). The word “forgiveness” (aphiemi) means “to send forth, send away…to remit…” (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine). Peter said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3: 19). “Blotted out” is derived from exaleipho which means “…to wipe, signifies to wash, or to smear completely” (Vine). Remember, when God forgives he “remembers no more” (Heb. 8: 12). We must also not forget that man has sinned against God and it is man’s responsibility to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5: 18-21).

B. Some believe and teach that God’s forgiveness of man’s sin is unconditional. If this be true, all men would be saved because God is not willing that any perish (2 Pet. 3: 9). However, only a few will be saved (Matt. 7: 13, 14). The scriptures also present man in need of reconciling himself to God, as seen; hence, man is not passive in the matter of his forgiveness.

C. The simple way of arriving at how man procures God’s forgiveness is to observe teaching which mentions how to have “forgiveness” or “remission” of sin. It was prophesied “whosoever believeth in him (Christ, dm) shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10: 43). This belief, however, is not passive or dead (Jas. 2: 19-26). “Believeth” (pisteuonta) is in the accusative case, singular in number, masculine in gender, participle, and present tense (The Analytical Greek Lexicon, pg. 326). The contemplated belief, then, which leads to forgiveness is on going and active (see “John 3: 16, A Great Statement,” located in the archives). Furthermore, the scriptures enjoin acts in addition to the initial act of belief – acts which are “for the remission of sin” (Acts 2: 38, repentance and baptism). The totality of the teaching of the New Testament regarding how the non-Christian obtains the forgiveness of sin or salvation is: Belief (Jn. 8: 24, Heb. 11: 6), repentance (Acts 2: 38), confession of Jesus’ deity (Rom. 10: 9, 10), and water baptism (Acts 2: 38, 22: 16, see “Salvation,” accessed from the home page). Water baptism is the consummating act which puts one into Jesus Christ, where salvation is enjoyed (Gal. 3: 26, 27, 2 Tim. 2: 10). “I do not agree,” one objects. Remember, God is the offended and it is man’s responsibility as the offender to humbly comply with God’s terms of forgiveness – not argue and substitute his own plans and means!

IV. Man’s forgiveness of man’s sins in general

A. The Christians at Corinth were commanded to forgive the member who had been in sin (2 Cor. 2: 7, 6-9, I Cor. 5). The situation at Corinth did not involve a personal infraction against the individual members, as such (I Cor. 5, cf. Matt. 18: 15-17). It will be observed in this scenario, just as in the case regarding God’s forgiveness of man’s sins, the forgiveness was conditional – the sinner had repented (2 Cor. 2: 6).

V. Man’s forgiveness of man in cases of personal offences

A. One can personally sin against another (Matt. 18: 15-17). In such cases, there is a prescribed procedure that must be followed (ibid.). This forgiveness, however, is also conditional. “Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him,” Jesus teaches (Lk. 17: 3). If there is no repentance, there can be no forgiveness!

a. Hence, in all three possible areas of forgiveness – God’s forgiveness of man, man’s forgiveness of man’s sins in general, and man’s forgiveness of man in cases of personal offences – forgiveness is conditioned and contingent on the sinner complying with God’s terms of forgiveness.

Conclusion: The prophet said, “…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1: 18). To be forgiven means to be released and free of guilt! “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1: 5).

 

 

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles- Ephesians 3

3 So I, Paul, am a prisoner because I serve Christ Jesus for you who are not Jews. 2 Surely you know that God gave me this work through his grace to help you. 3 God let me know his secret plan by showing it to me. I have already written a little about this. 4 And if you read what I wrote, you can see that I understand the secret truth about Christ. 5 People who lived in other times were not told that secret truth. But now, through the Spirit, God has made it known to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 And this is the secret truth: that by hearing the Good News, those who are not Jews will share with the Jews in the blessings God has for his people. They are part of the same body, and they share in the promise God made through Christ Jesus.

7 By God’s special gift of grace, I became a servant to tell that Good News. He gave me that grace by using his power. 8 I am the least important of all God’s people. But he gave me this gift—to tell the non-Jewish people the Good News about the riches Christ has. These riches are too great to understand fully. 9 And God gave me the work of telling all people about the plan for his secret truth. That secret truth has been hidden in him since the beginning of time. He is the one who created everything. 10 His purpose was that all the rulers and powers in the heavenly places will now know the many different ways he shows his wisdom. They will know this because of the church. 11 This agrees with the plan God had since the beginning of time. He did what he planned, and he did it through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In Christ we come before God with freedom and without fear. We can do this because of our faith in Christ. 13 So I ask you not to be discouraged because of what is happening to me. My sufferings are for your benefit—for your honor and glory.

The Love of Christ

14 So I bow in prayer before the Father. 15 Every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name from him. 16 I ask the Father with his great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you that strength through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18 And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you.

20 With God’s power working in us, he can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of. 21 To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.

pppp

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

“I want to thank… last my mom. Mom, I don’t think you know what you did. You had my brother when you were 18 years old. Three years later I came out. The odds were stacked against us; a single parent with two boys by the time you were 21. Everybody told us we weren’t supposed to be here.

“We moved from apartment to apartment by ourselves. One of the best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, we all just sat in the living room and just hugged each other. We thought we made it.

“When something good happens to you I tend to look back to what brought me here… You wake me up in the middle of the night in the summertime, making me run up a hill, making me do push-ups… Screaming at me from the sidelines of my games at eight or nine years old.

“We weren’t supposed to be here.

“You made us believe. You kept us off the street. You put clothes on our backs. Put food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”

Wisdom—the Good Woman

8 Listen, Wisdom is calling.
Yes, Understanding is shouting for us.
2 Wisdom stands at the top of the hill,
by the road where the paths meet.
3 She is near the entrance to the city,
calling from the open gates.
4 “I am calling out to all of you.
I am speaking to everyone.
5 You who are ignorant, learn to be wise.
You who are foolish, get some common sense.
6 Listen, I have something important to say,
and I am telling you what is right.
7 My words are true,
and I will not say anything that is wrong.
8 Everything I say is right;
there is nothing false or crooked about it.
9 These things are clear to any intelligent person.
They are right to anyone with knowledge.
10 Choose discipline over silver
and knowledge over the finest gold.
11 Wisdom is better than pearls,
and nothing you desire compares with her.
The Value of Wisdom

12 “I am Wisdom.
I live with Good Judgment.
I am at home with Knowledge and Planning.
13 To respect the Lord means to hate evil.
I hate pride and boasting,
evil lives and hurtful words.
14 I have good advice and common sense to offer.
I have understanding and power.
15 With my help kings rule,
and governors make good laws.
16 With my help leaders govern,
and important officials make good decisions.[a]
17 I love those who love me,
and those who look for me will find me.
18 With me there are riches and honor.
I have lasting wealth to give to you.
19 What I give is better than fine gold.
What I produce is better than pure silver.
20 I lead people the right way—
along the paths of justice.
21 I give riches to those who love me,
and I fill their houses with treasures.
22 “The Lord made me in the beginning,
long before he did anything else.
23 I was formed a long time ago,
before the world was made.
24 I was born before there was an ocean,
before the springs began to flow.
25 I was born before the mountains and hills
were set into place,
26 before the earth and fields were made,
before the dust of this world was formed.
27 I was there when he set up the skies,
when he drew a circle in the ocean to make a place for the land.
28 I was there when he put the clouds in the sky
and made the deep springs flow.
29 I was there when he set the limits on the sea
to make it stop where he said.
I was there when he laid the foundations of the earth.
30 I grew up as a child by his side,[b]
laughing and playing all the time.
31 I played in the world he made
and enjoyed the people he put there.
32 “Now, children, listen to me.
If you follow my ways,
you will be happy too.
33 Listen to my teaching and be wise;
don’t ignore what I say.
34 Whoever waits at my door
and listens for me will be blessed.
35 Those who find me find life,
and the Lord will reward them.
36 But those who do not find me put their lives in danger.
Whoever hates me loves death.”

Wisdom Will Keep You From Adultery- Proverbs 7

7 My son, remember my words. Don’t forget what I have told you. 2 Consider my teaching as precious as your own eyes. Obey my commands, and you will have a good life. 3 Tie them around your finger. Write them on your heart. 4 Treat wisdom like the woman you love and knowledge like the one dearest to you. 5 Wisdom will save you from that other woman, the other man’s wife, who tempts you with such sweet words.

6 One day I was looking out my window 7 at some foolish teenagers and noticed one who had no sense at all. 8 He was walking through the marketplace and came to the corner where a certain woman lived. He then turned up the road that goes by her house. 9 The day was ending. The sun had set, and it was almost dark. 10 Suddenly, there she was in front of him, dressed like a prostitute. She had plans for him. 11 She was a wild and rebellious woman who would not stay at home. 12 She walked the streets, always looking for someone to trap. 13 She grabbed the young man and kissed him. Without shame, she looked him in the eye and said, 14 “I offered a fellowship offering today. I gave what I promised to give, 15 and I still have plenty of food left. So I came out to find you, and here you are! 16 I have clean sheets on my bed—special ones from Egypt. 17 My bed smells wonderful with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s enjoy ourselves all night. We can make love until dawn. 19 My husband has gone on a business trip. 20 He took enough money for a long trip and won’t be home for two weeks.[a]”

21 This is what the woman said to tempt the young man, and her smooth words tricked him. 22 He followed her, like a bull being led to the slaughter. He was like a deer walking into a trap, 23 where a hunter waits to shoot an arrow through its heart. The boy was like a bird flying into a net, never seeing the danger he was in.

24 Now, sons, listen to me. Pay attention to what I say. 25 Don’t let your heart lead you to an evil woman like that. Don’t go where she wants to lead you. 26 She has brought down some of the most powerful men; she has left many dead bodies in her path. 27 Her house is the place of death. The road to it leads straight to the grave.