Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Real Good News-Without My Random Thoughts

“Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all welcome, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15)

“I am entreating, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, pleadings, thanksgiving be made for all mankind…for this is ideal and welcome in the sight of our Savior, God, who wills that all mankind be saved…”

(1 Timothy 2:1-4)

“Faithful is the saying and worthy of all welcome…that we rely on the living God, who is the Savior of all mankind.” (1 Timothy 4:9-10)

“For the saving grace of God made its advent to all humanity…the advent of the glory of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:8-14)

“For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and man, a man, Christ Jesus, who is giving himself a correspondent Ransom for all, the testimony in its own eras…” (1 Timothy 2:5-7)

“For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified…that God may be All in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:22-28)

“And I perceived a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth pass away…God Himself will be with them. And He shall be brushing away every tear from their eyes. And death will be no more, nor mourning, nor clamor, nor misery; they will be no more, for the former things passed away…And He is saying, write, for these things are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:1-6)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Death Of The Wicked

“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked declares the Sovereign LORD? Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)

God takes no pleasure in enforcing the wages for sin – death. And the death of the sinner settles all wrongs. But in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus God demonstrated his love as only a loving omnipotent Father can do. He reveals the rest of the story, the resurrection of the sinful child to make him brand new!

“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body….just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man…for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These, then, are the things you should teach.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-49; Titus 2:11-15)

Mankind has a fatal disease, sin. Not all of us are wicked, but all of us are sinners, and the prognosis for sin is death. But God is not through with us when death comes. Those in Christ will be raised to bear the "image of the heavenly man", "zealous for good deeds"

As you know from reading this blog, I believe the Scripture teaches us that all mankind are "in Christ" just as all of mankind are "in Adam". Most Christians are taught that only Christians are "in Christ" as a result of some decision they made. Nevertheless, the Scripture says all "in heaven and earth, and under the earth" will confess the Lord and be reconciled to God.

"As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive...the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord...God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their transgression to them...For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven...have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure..." (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 1:19-20;Philippians 2:4-13)

I am all for the death of the wicked, the sooner the better, yet I know it is God's "good pleasure" to make them brand new.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Set The Captives Free

"Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them...The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord...There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." (Psalm 68:18; Romans 6:26; Ephesians 4:4-8)

All mankind are captives of sin because of Adam, and all mankind are freely justified and set free from the penalty of sin by the second Adam, Christ Jesus.

“Thus it is written, the first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit...through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” (1 Corinthians 15:45; Romans 5:18-19)

We are not to OFFER salvation and WIN the lost to Christ, but to tell lost people the wonderful good news that they have been WON through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus, and instruct them how to live a life that shows God that they appreciate it.

“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf…you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another and aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” 
(2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12)

It is the this message that sets the captives free from religious condemnation into the "glorious liberty of the children of God".

"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:21)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Then What?

"Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

OK, so after believers have met the Lord in the air, then what?

“Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation…” (Ephesians 3:2, 10-11)

Most likely, you have not heard about it in Church. I didn't…I read about it in the letters of the Bible written by Paul…

“His intent was that now, through the ecclesia (out called) the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord…” (Ephesians 3: 10-11)

You are aware that we are not alone in this Universe, or are you? The Bible tells  of the Angels, Seraphim, Cherubim, Satan, Demons, and most likely other created beings who are not human and are under those "rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (among the celestials)".  The "mystery" is that we, the out called at the return of Jesus will make known "in the heavenly realms" the wisdom of God which is "to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ". That is our purpose after we are "caught meet the Lord in the air".

“With all wisdom and understanding he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ”. (Ephesians 1:8-10)

We are to be a part of Christ’s work in bringing "unity to all things in heaven and on earth"!  Not now, but AFTER Jesus returns.

“As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive...When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to Him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:22-28)

So there you have it…those of us "
caught up... in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" will tell every created being "in heaven and on earth" about Christ Jesus, revealing his saving Grace, and play our part in finishing the glorious good news of the reconciliation of the whole creation to God by the blood of Christ, shed on the cross "so that God may be All in All".

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
(2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

So if you are among those who "will be caught up" (some call it the rapture), go outside on a clear dark night and look up at the amazing view of your destiny, think about that "mystery" Paul shared with you, and then shout with John…

“YES, COME LORD JESUS!” (Revelation 22:20)

But you say, I thought we are to save the world in this life...nope, you just are not capable of such a thing, that's why Christ did it himself. 

So, what are we to do until we're "caught up"...glad you asked and I will again let Paul tell you...WARNING the following may be more Bible than you have read at one time, and probably not what you learned in the last evangelism conference or from the Democratic socialist party...

"Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another and aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.Therefore encourage one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Grief Does Not Last Forever

"For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone." (Lamentations 33:31-33)

It would be nice if Christianity believed this. Then all Christians would become Believers. Calling yourself a Christian does not make you a Believer.

"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive...For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." (1 Corinthians 15:22; Psalm 30:5)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Did He Die In Vain?

"I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain" (Galatians 2:21).

Those who grew up in church should ponder the above. Every church I know of, including the one I grew up in, teaches that salvation is being offered men, but that the offer must be accepted and received by faith in this life. The minimum requirement in my church is to “believe and accept” the gospel. The most legalistic of the churches teach one must repent, be baptized in water and join the church. Some even go so far as teaching that you can lose this salvation if you fall into sin later.

But however minimal the requirement...such teaching implies that Christ died in vain. Salvation is a free gift by the Grace of God, not by works.

“…for the free gift of God is eternal life…For by grace are you saved…for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men….” (Romans 6:23b; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11-13)

God has guaranteed the salvation and reconciliation of "ALL people". That is trustworthy and should be accepted and taught...

“This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.” (1 Timothy 4:9-11)

I have had only 2 persons, friends or foes, come to me IN PERSON to object to my telling them that the Bible teaches salvation of all people. One said that he could not agree with me because it went against everything he had been taught in church, but that he would study the Bible until he could tell me why. About one year later he simply said. “I have finished my study...and you are right.” The other just says it makes common sense that an omnipotent God whose nature is Love would find a way to save everyone he created, and that it had always bothered him that God would torture some people in hell forever.

"...there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all..." (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What God Sees

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them...He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:19-21)

What does God see when He looks at people of the world?

I think that from the time Jesus "humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death" on the "cross", God no longer focuses on the sin of mankind.  God is not confined to time.  He sees mankind in its finished product as if it has already been manifested.  What He sees is the inevitable result of "Christ reconciling the world".  He looks at mankind and sees "every knee" bowing and "every tongue" confessing "Jesus Christ is Lord".

"And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:8-11)