Sixth of Seven Musts of Salvation; GROWTH

Spiritual Growth

The sixth of Seven Musts of Salvation: GROW in Grace & Knowledge…

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.” [2Peter 3:18]

Everyone recognizes the need for growth. Mothers desire for their children to not only grow physically, but to grow emotionally and intellectually.

God is no different. He uses Parent-child phrases to demonstrate our relationship with Him…

He is our Father. Heb 12:9

Jesus is like a Mother Hen. Mat 23:37

He calls us Newborn babes. 1Peter 2:2

We’re His children. 1Peter 1:14 Let us examine a few verses where God is commanding and therefore expecting spiritual GROWTH.

#6, we must GROW: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV

  1. “For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.” Hebrews 5:12
  • “Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;” 1Peter 2:1-2
  • “…that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;” Ephesians 4:14-15
  • “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2Timothy 2:22
  • “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark 4:20
  • “Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love.” 2Peter 1:5-7
  • “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2Peter 3:18

No verse states we are to grow at the same pace as another. We grow, each according to our ability. [cr. Mat 15:15]

5 keys to spiritual…

GROWTH? 2Peter 3:18

We are to have GROWTH in

GRACE and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2Peter 3:18. It is to be cultivated. Grace is a gift from God to be received by us and utilized.

GROWTH requires

REFLECTION and examination to see if we are in the faith. 2Cor 13:5. “But let a man examine himself,” [1Cor 11:28]

GROWTH requires spiritual weeding by

OFFLOADING (put off) the old man of sin. “But now ye also put off all these…” [Colossians 3:8; cr. Heb 12.1; 1Pet 2:1; Eph 4:22; Jas 1:21]

GROWTH requires a

WEIGHT check. “the LORD weigheth the spirits.” [Prov 16:2; cr. Dan 5:27; 1Sam 2:3; Job 31:6] God weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart.

When GROWTH stalls, a Mother will often make a

TEMPERATURE check. God does also, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” [Rev 3:14-16; cr. Titus 2:14]

Finally, GROWTH requires a

HEALTHY diet of spiritual food. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:” [John 6:35, 48, 51]. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” [1Peter 2:2; cr. Heb 5:12]

No two children grow at exactly the same rate. There are benchmarks to which the Great Physician will look to determine our GROWTH. As we mature, we ought to examine those benchmarks in ourselves so we may be will pleasing to our HEAVENLY FATHER. May God Bless you all. Spencer

Fifth of Seven Musts of Salvation; BAPTISM

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” [1Peter 3:21]

When presented with this passage and the others in this article, you’d think that a believer would jump at the opportunity to obey the commands of God & His Son Christ Jesus. Sadly, most will argue using denominational dogma to argue against God.

We didn’t invent baptism for salvation, God did. It perfectly matches His word. It matches what Jesus did. He died, was buried and was resurrected. [1Cor 15:1-4]

We’re commanded to obey the gospel [2Thess 1:8-9], but how does one obey DEATH, BURIAL & RESURRECTION?

BAPTISM in water through faith in the working of God!!!

#5, we must be BAPTIZED: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV

  1. Matthew 28:19
  • Mark 16:16
  • Acts 2:38
  • Acts 10:48
  • Acts 22:16
  • Rom 6:3-4
  • Gal 3:27

These are just a few of the many verses that command & show a believer must be water baptized to have their sins washed away and be saved. We didn’t bring this up, God did.

What is

BAPTISM? Mat 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:35-33; 22:16

It is a BURIAL and a resurrection. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

It is AUTHORIZED by Christ’s command. [Mark 16:16]

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is PART 5 of conversion. [Acts 2:38]. Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess and be BAPTIZED.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It TRUSTS God’s working, not our own. [Col 2:12]

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

We are baptized INTO Christ & a putting on Christ.

[Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27]

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Baptism SAVES you. [1Pet 3:21]

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us”

It is done at MIDNIGHT, midday, or the same hour upon H-B-R-C. Not a scheduled monthly social event. [Acts 16:33]

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

If your denomination schedules baptisms, they don’t believe it is essential for salvation. People in the bible obeyed God IMMEDIATELY, the same hour. [cr. Acts 8:36]

Spencer

Fourth of seven Musts of Salvation; CONFESS

“…because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” [Rom 10:9]

This oft quoted verse from the ‘faith only’ error crowd doesn’t teach faith only. Notice that a person must do something to be saved, ‘confess with thy mouth.’

This is just one of a few things that man MUST do to be saved. The scriptures teach that man must participate in salvation. Grace is what God does for man; faithful obedience is what man does in response.

By citing this verse, they must admit that man has a duty toward God in responding to His Grace.

Confession is the fourth duty of man in obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

#4, we must CONFESS: All quotations are from the ASV

Let’s see the lesson about what to CONFESS and why.

First, let it be known that the confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” is the solid rock upon which Jesus has built His CHURCH. [Mat 16:16-19]. Neither Jesus, nor Peter are the rock, that would remove them from their places in the picture. It’s the confession that JESUS is THE CHRIST, THE SON of the LIVING GOD.

Next, we will note from these passages, is that confessing Jesus is done OPENLY before men. Not kept in secret, not hidden in your heart. It must be spoken & lived out daily. [Mat 10:32-33; 2Ti 2:12]

Related to this, one must NOT be ashamed. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in his own glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.” [Luke 9:26; cr. Rom 1:16. 1Cor 1:18]

This statement was first revealed to us by our FATHER in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus and at His transfiguration [Mat 3:16-17, 17:5.]. Jesus repeated this statement of truth at His mock trial, the pivotal evidence that would sign His death sentence [Mat 26:63-64]. The Holy Spirit revealed this truth to all mankind by teaching it to the Apostles, and written in the New Testament scriptures so that all may know and believe. [John 20:30-31] The truth was preached by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit [Acts 2:36; 8:35-37; 18:28].

One day EVERYONE will. Better to do it now. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God” [Rom 14:11].

The foundation of our confession and our belief is this STATEMENT, ‘Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ We don’t confess Him as just a good teacher, or a prophet. No, Jesus is the Christ (lamb of God) the Son of the Living God (making Him equal to God). [John 1:29; 5:18]

Finally, as is clearly stated, SALVATION requires it. “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:” [Rom 10:9]

Spencer

Third of seven Musts of Salvation; REPENT

Wherefore, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and TURN to God, doing works worthy of repentanc.” [Acts 26:19,20. emph mine seb]

The preaching of the Apostle Paul, from the beginning of his baptism, included repentance and works worthy of repentance. John the baptizer taught the same, [Mt 3:8].

Repentance was Jesus’ teaching and it is taught as a part of preaching Jesus today.

#3, we must REPENT: All quotations are from the ASV

  1. “From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mat 4:17
  • “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.” Luke 13:3
  • “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
  • “Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
  • “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:” Acts 17:30
  • “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9
  • “…be zealous therefore, and repent.” Rev 3:19

The false teaching of salvation by faith only must deny repentance. If one teaches repentance, as written in scripture, they must deny faith only. What does it mean to REPENT?

The definition of repent is to RECONSIDER, to make a change of heart. Repentance begins in the heart with an examination of your life and ways. However, biblical repentance goes further.

Biblical repentance is preached. Jesus said, ‘EXCEPT ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:5]. He also said that repentance was to be preached as part of the preaching of the gospel. [Luke 24:47; 5:32; Mar 6:12; Mat 4:17]

Biblical repentance goes beyond a reconsideration in the heart, it includes the penitent to PERFORM the commands of God. Jesus said, “Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.” [Rev 2:5; cr. Jas 1:22; Luke 3:8; Mat 3:8; Mat 21:28-32].

Repentance is an EMOTIONAL response of sorrow that leads to repentance. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” [2Cor 7:8-11]. People often accuse the church of Christ of being heartless and legalistic. This is false. Repentance is a very emotional and heartfelt response to our self-examination compared to the scriptures.

There will be NO opportunity to repent after death or upon Christ’s return. Esau could not repent after the blessing was given [Heb 12:17]. The judgement scene clearly shows this, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord…And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Mat 7:21-29; Mat 25; Luke 6:46].

Repentance can and must be practiced toward our fellow man, but repenting unto salvation [Acts 2:38] is TOWARD GOD. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Acts 20:21].  The person repenting for salvation is TURNING toward God. “that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.” [Acts 26:20].

Seven Musts of Salvation #3: REPENT.

REPENTANCE

Wherefore, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and TURN to God, doing works worthy of repentanc.” [Acts 26:19,20. emph mine seb]

The preaching of the Apostle Paul, from the beginning of his baptism, included repentance and works worthy of repentance. John the baptizer taught the same, [Mt 3:8].

Repentance was Jesus’ teaching and it is taught as a part of preaching Jesus today.

#3, we must REPENT: All quotations are from the ASV

The false teaching of salvation by faith only must deny repentance. If one teaches repentance, as written in scripture, they must deny faith only. What does it mean to REPENT?

The definition of repent is to RECONSIDER, to make a change of heart. Repentance begins in the heart with an examination of your life and ways. However, biblical repentance goes further.

Biblical repentance is preached. Jesus said, ‘EXCEPT ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” [Luke 13:5]. He also said that repentance was to be preached as part of the preaching of the gospel. [Luke 24:47; 5:32; Mar 6:12; Mat 4:17]

Biblical repentance goes beyond a reconsideration in the heart, it includes the penitent to PERFORM the commands of God. Jesus said, “Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.” [Rev 2:5; cr. Jas 1:22; Luke 3:8; Mat 3:8; Mat 21:28-32].

Repentance is an EMOTIONAL response of sorrow that leads to repentance. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” [2Cor 7:8-11]. People often accuse the church of Christ of being heartless and legalistic. This is false. Repentance is a very emotional and heartfelt response to our self-examination compared to the scriptures.

There will be NO opportunity to repent after death or upon Christ’s return. Esau could not repent after the blessing was given [Heb 12:17]. The judgement scene clearly shows this, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord…And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Mat 7:21-29; Mat 25; Luke 6:46].

Repentance can and must be practiced toward our fellow man, but repenting unto salvation [Acts 2:38] is TOWARD GOD. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Acts 20:21].  The person repenting for salvation is TURNING toward God. “that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.” [Acts 26:20].

Spencer

Seven Musts of Salvation #2, BELIEVE

The Holy Spirit uses the Word for His work

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” [John 11:27]

Almost no one would deny that believing in Jesus as the Christ is essential to salvation. Except those who practice infant baptism, universalism, Joel Osteen or any other who thinks that just because you are a decent, non-murderous person you will go to heaven.

Belief is a work. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” [John 6:29; cr. 1Thess 1:3; 2Thess 1:11]

#2, we must BELIEVE:

Some have the false impression that we in the churches of Christ lack faith. This is far from the truth. We BELIEVE, and we know it is essential to salvation. What do the Scriptures teach about what we are to believe?

We believe that Jesus was BORN in the flesh. “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” [1John 4:2]

Verse 2 says, “and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God: and this is the spirit of the antichrist,” Thus, we believe that EMMANUEL, God is with us. [Isaiah 7:14]

We believe that faith must be a LIVING, working faith. “Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself… Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.” [James 2:17, 24]

We believe that Jesus IS the Christ, the Son of the Living God. “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” [Acts 8:37; Mt 16:16; Acts 8:37; Joh 6:69; 9:35,38; 11:27; Ac 9:20; 1Jo 4:15; 5:5,13]

We believe that ETERNAL life is only through Jesus. He is the way the truth and the life. [John 14:6]

We believe that Jesus is without sin and that He has VICTORY over death. “But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” [1Cor 15:54-57; cr. 1Pet 2:22; Acts 2:24]

We believe in the EXISTENCE of God and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. [Heb 11:1,6]. We believe that without faith it is impossible to please Him. We seek to do those things He has commanded to be found well pleasing to him. [Gal 1:10; 1Thess 2:4; Jas 4:4;]

We BELIEVE, do you?

Spencer

1. All quotation are from the ASV

Seven Musts of Salvation #1, HEAR

Conversions in Acts

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

These are the words of the Philippian Jailer in Acts 8. Going against today’s popular opinion, the Jailer recognized that there was something one must do to be saved.

If you asked your pastor this question, would he take the same steps that Peter takes with the Jailer? Before you answer, compare all the conversion stories in Acts and then answer.

  • Jews @ Pentecost. Acts 2:38
  • Samaritans. Acts 8:5-13
  • The Eunuch. Acts 8:36-41
  • Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:1-9
    • 22:16; 26:12-19
  • Cornelius. Acts 10:33-48
  • Lydia. Acts 16:13-16
  • The Corinthians. Acts 18:8
  • The 12 men from Ephesus. Acts 19:1-5

Would your pastor teach all these things?

#1, we must HEAR:

Hearing is the first MUST of salvation. Without hearing and understanding you cannot move any further. To LISTEN to the word of God, or to hear, is to understand and goes beyond the physical sense of hearing.

To hear you must LET the word of Christ get through. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;” [Colossians 3:16] Most people cannot hear because they’re talking over the message or the messenger. “But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord;” [Acts 7:57]

A good hearer INVESTIGATES the message to see if it is so. “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” [Acts 17:11]

A good listener will SEEK clarity by asking questions. The good evangelist encourages people to seek for clarity and loves getting questions, even if they challenge the message. “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him.” [Acts 8:30-31]

The same word you must hear also encourages you to TEST or prove for accuracy by the word, what is being said. “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” [1Thess 5:21; 1John 4:1]

Another way you can tell if you have heard & understood is by EXPLAINING back to the speaker what you have heard. This is a great practice for anyone trying to learn something new. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” [Acts 8:35-36]

Lastly, we must understand by the verses at the beginning of this article that hearing is NECESSARY to salvation. This disqualifies babies (they are safe; Matt 19:14). Salvation will not be separate or apart from the revealed word of God. God is expecting us to study, to read, to learn.

–Spencer

1. All quotation are from the ASV

Where will you spend your eternity?

The Destiny of Man
Keith Sharp | Mountain Home, Arkansas, USA
Introduction
September 11, 2001, the world watched in horror as terrorists took the lives of almost 3000 people. Thousands of people like us, who hours earlier were beginning a normal work day with no hint of significant danger, were suddenly face to face with their eternal destinies. For many souls who moments earlier were absorbed with job, family, and pleasure, now only one thing mattered – were they right with God? Surely this should cause us to think. Our lives too, in any of a thousand different ways, could be instantly snuffed out. Each of us must face the destiny of his soul. In comparison to this, all other concerns shrink to utter insignificance.
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what 
will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His 
Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works 
(Matthew 16:26-27).
What is your destiny?
 
Life
To the young, life seems endless; but both the inspired Word of God and the experience of the aged confirm that our time here is but a fleeting moment. “As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more” (Psalm 103:15-16).
 
Furthermore, human life is so terribly uncertain. While you anticipate many years of work and pleasure, your life could be ended in an instant, as quickly and unpredictably as the vanishing of the morning fog.
Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend 
a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will 
happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time 
and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and 
do this or that’ (James 4:13-15).
 
We must also realize there will be no second chance after death to make corrections for a misspent life. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
 
Death
As you consider your life, be realistic. Death is certain. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
 
The only alternative is the possibility the Lord may return while we are still alive.
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– in a moment, 
in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will 
be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
Spend your small amount of time here preparing for destiny.
 
After Death
After death, what then? The spirits of all the dead enter a realm known in the Hebrew tongue as “Sheol” and in the Greek as “Hades.” David prophesied the resurrection of Christ thus: “For you will not leave my soul in hades, nor will you allow your holy one to see corruption” (cf. Acts 2:27). Thus, the apostle Peter explained, “He, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption (Acts 2:31). This realm is variously defined as “the common receptacle of disembodied spirits,” “the unseen world,” or simply “the abode of the dead.”
 
There are two places within this realm. One is “Paradise,” where the blessed dead are comforted. As the Lord promised the thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). The other realm is “torments” where the lost departed spirits suffer. The Master said the rich man was “in torments in Hades” (Luke 16:23). These places are separated by a “great gulf” over which none can cross. When the rich man wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to comfort him, Abraham reminded him, “between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us (Luke 16:26).
 
Judgment Day
Then follows our unbreakable appointment with the Day of days. There have been many great days in human history. Americans remember Independence Day, July 4, 1776. Now September 11, 2001 has exceeded December 7,1941, Pearl Harbor Day, as “a day that will live in infamy.” But there is coming a day, “the judgment of the great day,” (Jude verse 6) which shall completely exceed all other days of all time.
 
On that monumental day, all the people, both good and bad, of all ages shall come forth from the grave. Christ warned:
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear 
His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and 
those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29)!
Abraham and Sarah shall arise from Machpelah. Moses shall come forth from the unknown wilderness grave across from Beth Peor. The oceans shall deliver up the countless millions buried within. The righteous dead shall burst forth from the grave with the shout of victory. All, all from Adam down, shall be raised! All the peoples of all the nations of the earth, including you, my friend, will stand before the Lord to be judged.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit 
on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate 
them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will 
set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).
 
The Judgment
Christ will be the Judge. “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).
 
His Word will be the standard of judgment. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Reject His tender plea now if you will, but by that same Gospel your destiny will be sealed.
 
Eternity
On that day time will end and future eternity will begin. “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).
 
Eternity – what does it mean? Actually, in human terms it is undefinable because it is infinite (unlimited), whereas all within our experience is finite (limited). But, to crudely illustrate its vast sweep, suppose that a tiny house fly were to scrape a minute particle of dust up on one of his little wings and begin the 92,900,000 mile journey to the sun at the rate of one mile per hour, deposit the particle, return to the earth at the same slow pace, and continue this process until the entirety of our globe, all six sextillion (6 followed by 27 zeros) tons of it, were transported to the sun. How would this compare with eternity? About like the snap of your finger compares to all human history from Adam to the present. And the comparison is inadequate, because, despite the enormity of the time involved, it is finite, not infinite.
 
Hell
If you have not prepared for destiny, you will spend that eternity in a horrible devil’s hell. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
 
The punishment will be terrible beyond human power to describe. Those miserable wretches so utterly condemned will burn without ceasing, with never any hope of relief. “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night” (Revelation 14:11). There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). Their companions forever will be the wicked of the earth.
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, 
and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is 
the second death (Revelation 21:8).
“But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15). Man’s vicious adversary, Satan, and his angels will be their companions. “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matthew 25:41).
 
Heaven
On the other hand, if you have prepared to meet your destiny, the beauty of an eternal inheritance in Heaven will await you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant 
mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ 
from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, 
reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation 
ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).
 
What joy to spend eternity in that sweet home where we shall never again face the suffering of disease, the heartache of death, or the tears of departure. The loving Father shall tenderly comfort His children forever and ever. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
 
He shall be our light throughout endless ages, and the curse of sin will be forever lifted. “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
 
How blessed to be in the very presence of God, His Son, our beloved Savior, and the Holy Spirit. “God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him (Revelation 22:3; cf. 1 Peter 1:12). The angels of God will be our companions, for they too are “in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). How delightful to walk and talk with Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Paul, Peter, and all the great men and women of faith from every age. Don’t you long to go there?
 
Conclusion
Eternity is the common destiny of Adam’s race. Where you spend that eternity is your decision. It depends on what you do with Christ and His Word. You can believe in Him, obey Him, and give your life to Him, and your eternal destiny will be the wonderful joy of heaven. Or you can refuse Him and His Word and suffer forever in hell. Where will you spend eternity?

Hold My Mule

Image result for farm mule plow

Robert F. Turner wrote a story that tells of an old Farmer, who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Many of the members thought the old Farmer compensated for his inability to sing by singing loud. His singing disrupted those who sat nearby and disturbed those that sat on the other side.

The looks of disapproval didn’t seem to catch the notice of the man’s joyful noise.

The men of the congregation talked amongst themselves and appointed 3 men to make the long drive to the old man’s farm and have a chat with him about his obnoxious behavior in the assembly. “Didn’t he know that we don’t act like that during worship? Didn’t he know that there are dignitaries and all sorts of important people hearing his off tune, off key, off tempo singing?” they reasoned among themselves.

Dressing in their suits and shiny shoes, which meant to make a statement about their importance, they trekked out to the old man’s farm.

As they pulled up to his run-down house, they saw him out back plowing a dusty field ‘Jeeing & Hawing” a tired old mule. They honked the horn hoping to gain his attention to avoid having to get out and mess up their nice suits. However, the old Farmer was busy wrestling that old mule.

After some time, they reluctantly pulled themselves out of their air-conditioned car and walked out to talk to him.

As they approached, the Farmer excitedly said, “Well looky here, what a pleasant surprise. It’s so wonderful you made the trip out to this old farm. What brings you ‘round?”

One of the men replied, “We’ve come to talk to you about your singing…” Before he could finish his prepared speech, the farmer interrupted. “I know what you mean. When we start singing those songs about heaven, I can’t help but think about my ramshackle house and the MANSION Jesus has gone to prepare for me.”

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.”

[John 14:2]

“When we sing those songs about heaven, I can’t help but think about this dusty field, the sweat and toil. Then I’m reminded about how God promised there’d be no more sorrow.”

“When we start to sing those songs about heaven, I can’t help but be reminded of how much sin and sadness there is in this world. I think about my wife and son and how they died together at his birth and I’m reminded how the good book says that God will wipe away all tears. I’m reminded how we’re to meet our loved ones in the air when Jesus comes back to get those that are His.”

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” [Rev 21:4]

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” [1Thess 4:17]

He kept on, “I just get so excited about God’s promises that I can’t help but sing praises to our King. As a matter of fact, I feel like singing right now. HOLD MY MULE.” Then the Farmer handed the reins of his old mule to the men and began to sing (perhaps he sang “No Tears in Heaven”) as the men just stood there in the middle of that dusty field.

After a few moments, the men tied up the mule and somberly walked back to their shiny new car. After several quiet minutes of the long drive back to town one of them said, “You know, I didn’t realize how beautiful that man’s voice really sounds.”

“Yes indeed,” replied another. The third man said, “If I get to heaven, I hope that God will see to it that I get to sing with that good man.”

—Spencer

3 Reasons Why to Share the Gospel

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“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

[Mark 16:15]

Last week we looked at 3 WAYS to share the gospel.

They are:

PRIVATELY

PERSONALLY

PUBLICLY

This week we look at 3 reasons WHY we need to evangelize to the lost. These are reasons beyond the fact that it’s commanded by God. That is enough to settle the matter. That being said, we take time to examine the importance of evangelism.

3 Reasons why

The first reason is the fact that people are in a LOST condition, being separated from God. Paul asked the Romans,

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” [Romans 10:14]

We need to SEEK the FAITHLESS. People don’t like it when we state that someone is or may be lost, but this is a bible word given us by Christ Himself.

for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” [Luke 19:10]

Remember, someone told you about the gospel. I bet you can remember who it was and what you felt when your eyes were opened to the truth.

The second reason we need to preach is that some who had obeyed the gospel have LET GO of the faith and are fallen from Grace. [Gal 5:4]. The reasons for backsliding are varied, but all could be described as NEGLECT of their salvation.

“…how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…” [Hebrews 2:1-3]

In these instances, we must go out to STAND up the LAX. The Hebrew writer encourages this very activity.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” [Heb 10:24-25]

The third reason is to STRENGTHEN the LOYAL. This world is tough and unfair. The faithful need encouragement to keep on sharing the gospel despite the fact that the gospel will fall on deaf ears in the majority of cases [cr. Mat 7:13-14; Luke 13:23-24].

Those of us who actively share the gospel are constantly beat down by the LOST world. This mostly by denominational BELIEVERS. You would be amazed and surprised to hear what those, who claim they love Jesus, are willing to say and do.It should be no surprise, the bible says, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” [1 John 3:13; cr. Jno. 15:18]

It’s for this reason we need to STRENGTHEN the LOYAL. Paul, while in bondage in a Roman prison, wrote about how the faithful were encouraged by the preaching of the gospel.

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” [Philippians 1:14]

Our Lord said, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” [Luke 10:2]

Now that’s a good prayer.

—Spencer