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nChrist
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« Reply #4800 on: February 06, 2018, 06:44:44 PM »

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The Forgiveness Of Sins
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Some three thousand years ago, and about one thousand years before Christ, the Psalmist said:

    “If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee…” (Psa. 130:3,4).

The Psalmist did not explain, however, upon what basis a just and holy God could forgive a guilty sinner. This was to be proclaimed one thousand years later by the Apostle Paul, himself once “a blasphemer, and a persecutor and injurious”; the “chief” of sinners, but forgiven and saved by the infinite grace of God (Tim. 1:13-15).

Preaching Christ at Antioch, in the province of Pisidia, Paul declared:

    “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that THROUGH THIS MAN IS PREACHED UNTO YOU THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, AND BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, FROM WHICH YE COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW OF MOSES” (Acts 13:38,39).

But even this does not fully answer our question, for we must still ask: On what basis does God forgive sins through “this Man”? The answer is: on the basis of His payment for our sins on Calvary’s cross. Thus the Apostle wrote to the Romans, explaining how we may be…

    “…justified freely by His [God’s] grace, THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS” (Rom. 3:24).

Now, thank God, through Christ’s finished work, there is not a sinner who needs to remain unforgiven, for:

    “In [Christ] we have redemption, through His blood, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE” (Eph. 1:7).
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« Reply #4801 on: February 08, 2018, 04:45:23 PM »

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Paraskevidekatriaphobia
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


If you don’t know what that is, I can’t say as I blame you. If I were a smart aleck, I might “explain” that paraskevidekatriaphobia is a derivation of triskaidekaphobia, but that would probably leave most of our readers just as befuddled. But the latter is the fear of the number thirteen, and the former refers to the more specific phobia of fear of Friday the 13th.

Before you start thinking that people with these phobias should just grow up and get over it, you might want to consider how society itself contributes to this fear. You’ve never stepped off the elevator on to the thirteenth floor of a tall building, simply because the highly educated architects that design our skyscrapers superstitiously refuse to include one. If that old movie made it seem rational that Kris Kringle was Santa Claus by noting that the United States Post Office directed mail to him, its easy to understand how buildings without a 13th floor make a fear of the number 13 seem rational as well.

The effects of paraskevidekatriaphobia are claimed to be extensive. Since many Americans refuse to fly or conduct business on a Friday the 13th, it is said the economy suffers an estimated 800 million dollar loss every time this date rolls around. Back in the 1930s, the influence of this phobia even reached the highest office in our land, as FDR refused to travel on Friday the 13th.

It may surprise you to learn that the origin of this phobia finds its roots in the Bible, when thirteen men observed the last supper. One was a traitor, and tradition (wrongly) holds that the Lord was crucified a few hours later on a Friday.

What’s the cure for paraskevidekatriaphobia? An old joke says if you can pronounce the word, you’re cured! In 1913, a pastor tried to cure people by officiating at Friday the 13th weddings without charge. But since superstition is the veneration of something that deserves none, a better way to help people overcome this superstition is to do what Paul did when he encountered some superstitious people (Acts 17:22) and preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (v. 23-31). The world considers Paul’s gospel to be superstition (Acts 25:19), “but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18.). Paul’s use of the present tense here shows his gospel is more than just “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). Once we are saved, his gospel “is” still the power of God to help us overcome “the spirit of fear” with the spirit “of…a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7), a mind made sound by a full knowledge of Paul’s gospel.
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« Reply #4802 on: February 08, 2018, 04:47:01 PM »

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Paul, The Pattern
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Many religious people take the Lord Jesus Christ as their pattern in life. They call Him “The Great Example”. When problems arise, they ask themselves: “What would Jesus do?” They seek salvation by “walking in His steps”.

While our Lord’s moral and spiritual virtues are indeed worthy of emulation, there were many details in His conduct which we should not imitate. For example, none of us would be in a position to pronounce upon the religious hypocrites of our day the bitter woes which our Lord pronounced upon the Pharisees of His day — simply because we all have so much of the Pharisee in us.

Certainly we cannot be saved by “following Christ,” or striving to live as He did. His perfect holiness would only emphasize our unrighteousness and condemn us. He came to save us, not by His life, but by His death. “CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS” (I Cor. 15:3), and sinners are “reconciled to God by the deathof His Son” (Rom. 5:10).

But God has given us a pattern for salvation. It is none other than the Apostle Paul, the chief of sinners saved by grace. Hear what he says by divine inspiration:

    “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, THAT CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS, of whom I am chief” (I Tim. 1:15).

Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, remember, had led his nation and the world in rebellion against God and His Christ. He was “exceedingly mad” against the disciples of Christ and “breathed threatening and slaughter” against them. Why then, did God save him? He goes on to tell us in the next verse:

    “Howbeit [but] for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, FOR A PATTERN to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting” (Ver. 16).

The moral: Take your stand with Paul. Admit you are a sinner and his Saviour will save you too.
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« Reply #4803 on: February 09, 2018, 05:16:06 PM »

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Will There Be Recognition in Heaven?
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


There are two notable distinctions between the two programs of God regarding the hereafter, both of which have to do with the hope of believers. In the twenty-third Psalm, David, whose hope was earthly, was willing to go, but wanting to stay. Contrariwise, the Apostle Paul taught that believers today have a heavenly hope, and as a result, he was willing to stay for the sake of the Church, but longing to go, which he knew would be much better (Phil. 1:23,24).

A book could be written on misconceptions about heaven. The majority of these have been handed down from generation to generation, but they have absolutely no Scriptural basis. Here are some common examples: we will one day become angels in heaven; Peter stands at the pearly gates to determine who will enter; we will float on clouds, playing harps for eternity; there will not be recognition in heaven. These are well-known folklores that Satan uses to divert attention away from the Word of God.

In the eyes of the world, most everyone who dies goes to heaven. But the fact of the matter is that only those who place their faith in Christ will be the eternal residents of this glorious realm. But will we know one another there?

Recognition in the hereafter is a principle that transcends all the ages and dispensations, whether we’re talking about the disembodied state or after the resurrection. For example, Saul knew Samuel when God allowed the prophet to return from paradise years after his death. The rich man of Luke 16 recognized Lazarus, who appeared with Abraham, and requested that the patriarch send Lazarus with some water to cool his tongue.

Paul also makes a strong case that we will know one another in the hereafter. The apostle says to the saints at Philippi,

    “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Phil. 3:20,21).

This particular passage substantiates that our identity will be preserved in the resurrection. After our Lord was resurrected from the dead, He appeared to His disciples in the upper room. When He entered the room, He first calmed their fears with words with which they were very familiar: “Peace be unto you!” They immediately recognized the Lord and rejoiced when they saw Him (John 20:19-21).

Afterward the disciples shared the good news with Thomas, who was not present that day, that they had seen the Lord. Thomas, however, refused to believe it until he saw the nail prints in His hands. Eight days later, the Lord appeared again to His disciples, but this time Thomas was present. When he saw the Lord, he was so overwhelmed by the visitation that he declared, “My Lord and my God!” There was no question whatsoever in Thomas’ mind that he had seen the Savior and undoubtedly touched the nail prints in His hands, prints that will forever be a reminder of His death at Calvary (John 20:24-29).

Now, if our Lord’s identity was preserved in the resurrection and the brethren recognized Him, then the same will be true of us. This conclusion is based on the fact that our vile bodies will be “fashioned like unto His glorious body” in the coming resurrection. If the Lord’s followers recognized Him, there is no doubt that we will recognize one another in the hereafter. Further evidence is presented by Paul a little later in the epistle:

    “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life” (Phil. 4:3).

What’s in a name? The importance of this question cannot be overstated. Of course, we use names to distinguish one person from another. In biblical times, names had specific meanings attached to them, some of which were in fulfillment of prophecy. Today, as in time past, our names are set in stone; they will be with us for time and eternity. If there isn’t recognition in heaven, as some teach, why would there need to be names in eternity? Clearly the names of Euodias, Syntyche, Clement, and the other fellow workers of Paul, are all recorded in the Book of Life. The reason our names are recorded there is that we will be known in the resurrection by name and appearance, even as we are known here.

I look forward to seeing those with whom I’ve had the privilege of ministering the Word, along with all my family members and friends who believed the gospel. You won’t have trouble finding me at that day; I’ll be the tall one in the background. Yes, even our stature, voice, personality and mannerisms will all be preserved. See you there!
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« Reply #4804 on: February 11, 2018, 06:33:15 PM »

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Until When?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One of the greatest prophecies of Scripture is found in Psalm 110:1 where David wrote: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”

In Matt. 22:41-46 our Lord explained that this was a prophecy about Himself, David’s Son and Lord. Men might hate Him and cry “Away with Him!” They might nail Him to a tree and laugh and sneer at Him, but God the Father responds by saying: “Here, come sit at My right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”

We should never forget that according to Bible prophecy God’s response to man’s rejection of Christ was to be judgment and wrath. In Psalm 2 the question is asked why the nations rage and the people of Israel imagine a vain thing: that they can get along without the One whom God has anointed to be King. The Psalm depicts God laughing at their attempts to thwart His purposes and predicts that “the Lord shall have them in derision” and “speak unto them in His wrath.”

At Pentecost all was ready for the judgment to fall. Christ had been crucified and “the last days” had begun, as Peter declared in Acts 2:16,17, quoting from the prophet Joel. But strangely, while some of Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled, or began to be fulfilled, at that time, the rest of it was not, for God did not — and has not yet — sent the prophesied judgment.

Thank God, in infinite grace He interrupted the prophetic program, delayed the remainder of its fulfillment and revealed to the Apostle Paul His secret purpose to offer to His enemies everywhere salvation and reconciliation by free grace, through faith in the crucified, risen Savior. In His Ephesian letter the Apostle asks whether they have heard of “the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you-ward; how that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery” (Eph. 3:1-3). Now, thank God, His eternal purpose in Christ is no longer a secret. While the day of grace lasts we may be “justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
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« Reply #4805 on: February 11, 2018, 06:36:32 PM »

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From Death To Birth
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (IPet.1: 23).

We are prone to think of death as following birth. People are born to live their lives and then die.

Spiritually, however, it is the other way. St. Peter, by divine inspiration, says that we must be “born again” because: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away: But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (I Pet. 1:24,25).

This new birth is a spiritual matter, necessitated by the fact that by nature men are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Thus believers are not born again in the same way as they were first born, but are born again — given new life, by believing the Word of God.

God’s Word, in this passage, is called “incorruptible seed”— seed that cannot die. Once the Word takes root in one’s heart, once it is believed and received, it never dies, but produces “everlasting life”.

    “The Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (Verse 25).

The Word of God takes root in one’s heart only as one believes the gospel, the good news, about Christ’s redemptive work. Peter himself proclaims this wonderful gospel: “…ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ…”(I Pet. 1:18,19).

    “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree…” (I Pet. 2:24).

    “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…” (IPet.3:18.).

BY BELIEVING THIS GOOD NEWS, DEAD SINNERS ARE “BORN AGAIN”.
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« Reply #4806 on: February 12, 2018, 05:18:31 PM »

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The Gospel of Salvation
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


The Word of God teaches, “The wages of sin is death.” When Christ stepped across the stars into this world of sin and woe, death was powerless over Him. Christ knew no sin! He was the sinless, spotless Lamb of God; therefore death could not lay its icy grip upon His shoulder.

Tell me then, how is it that, at the end of His earthly ministry, He’s suffering and dying in shame and disgrace? You see, Christ wasn’t dying for His sins, for He knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 John 3:5). He was dying for your sins and my sins upon that cruel tree. Our sins and iniquities were laid upon Him that He might redeem us back to God through His precious blood.

Now God turns to a lost and dying world with the good news of Calvary. Simply believe that Christ died for your sins personally, and rose again the third day, and God will wonderfully save you from the wrath to come, according to the riches of His grace. Do you know the joy of sins forgiven? If not, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:13; 1 Cor. 15:3,4).
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« Reply #4807 on: February 15, 2018, 06:13:24 PM »

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God's Answer To Unbelief
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The resurrection of Christ is God’s answer to unbelief. The changed attitudes of His followers who saw Him alive after His crucifixion and the revolution in the life of Paul, who saw Him “last of all,” rank high among the “many infallible proofs” of His resurrection. Cowards were made bold, doubters believed, the sorrowing were made glad, the pitiless persecutor became His devoted follower. The broken Roman seal, the empty tomb, the failure of the enemies of Christ to produce the dead body and a hundred other facts add their testimony in confirmation of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has been “declared to be the Son of God with power… by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4).

The resurrection of Christ assures us that His payment for sin is all-sufficient and complete, for “when He had by Himself purged our sins [He] sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). “For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14).

Next, the resurrection of Christ gives us a living Savior. Comparing the Old Testament priests with Christ, Heb. 7:23-25 says:

    “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this Man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

The resurrection of Christ is also the pledge of the believer’s resurrection in glory. In I Pet. 1:3 the Apostle Peter breaks out in a doxology:

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

And our Lord Himself said what no other could possibly say:

    “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

Finally, the resurrection of Christ is a warning to the world of judgment to come:

    “Because [God] hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained: whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

    “Now is the accepted time” (ll Cor. 6:2).

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
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« Reply #4808 on: February 15, 2018, 06:14:32 PM »

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Light Out Of Darkness
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (II Cor. 4:6,7).

Any instructed Christian reading this passage from the pen of the Apostle Paul naturally goes back in his mind to the time when God first said: “Let there be light,” and dispelled the darkness of the primeval world.

He might also recall the incident related in the book of Judges, when Gideon’s army went to battle against the Midianites, each man with a sword in one hand, and a lamp hidden within a pitcher in the other. At Gideon’s command the soldiers broke the earthen vessels and the lights shone out to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy, who could not account for the crash and the blaze of light at this midnight hour.

For every believer God has caused light, wonderful light, to shine out of the darkness and fill the heart, just as once He said to the dark and chaotic earth: “Let there be light — and there was light.”

But we believers have come into “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” by coming to know Christ. Our Lord rightly said: “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). God is unknown and unknowable apart from Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh. It was He who lived a perfect life and then died a sinner’s death in order to bring us into relationship and fellowship with God.
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« Reply #4809 on: February 15, 2018, 06:15:44 PM »

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The Sword of the Spirit
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “The Sword of the Spirit… is the Word of God” (Eph. 6: 17).

Of all the spiritual armor which believers are told to “put on” in Eph. 6:11-18, there is only one offensive weapon. This is “the Sword of the Spirit… the Word of God.” The Bible is called “the Sword of the Spirit,” because the Spirit of God is its Author. It is called “the Sword of the Spirit” because, thus written by God who knows all, it can cut deeply. This makes it, for the believer, a formidable weapon against Satan and the forces of evil. We are told in Heb. 4:12,13:

    “The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

As David said long ago:

    “O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me.

    “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off” (Psa. 139:1,2).

It is because God knows and understands us so thoroughly that His Word can sometimes cut us so deeply. How wise, then, to bow before that Blessed Book, acknowledge its condemnation of sin and trust the Savior it presents! And, having done this, how wise to “put on the whole armor of God” in our stand against Satan and sin, not forgetting to “take… the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”!
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« Reply #4810 on: February 16, 2018, 06:32:20 PM »

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Duck Season
by Pastor Kevin Sadler


“The story is told of a certain African tribe that learned an easy way to capture ducks in a river. Catching their agile and wary dinner would be a feat indeed, so they formulated a plan.

“The tribesmen learned to go upstream, place a pumpkin in the river, and let it slowly float down into the flock of ducks. At first, the cautious fowl would quack and fly away. After all, it wasn’t ordinary for pumpkins to float down the river! But the persistent tribesmen would subsequently float another pumpkin into the re-gathered ducks. Again they would scatter, only to return after the strange sphere had passed. Again, the hungry hunters would float another pumpkin. This time the ducks would remain, with a cautious eye on the pumpkin; and with each successive passing, the ducks would become more comfortable, until they finally accepted the pumpkins as a normal part of life.

“When the natives saw that the pumpkins no longer bothered the ducks, they hollowed out pumpkins, put them over their heads, and walked into the river. Meandering into the midst of the tolerant fowl, they pulled them down one at a time. Dinner? Roast duck.” 1

There is much deception in this world. We need to be cautious and on guard with the things we hear and read. In life, the pumpkins of false doctrine and error keep subtly coming at us. There are dangerous teachings around us at all times. Sometimes because of the volume of information coming at us through television, radio, the internet, and social media, we let our guard down and we begin tolerating them. We can feel safe when we are not. We can very easily get caught in “the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:26) and be led astray into error and unsound doctrine if we don’t keep our focus on the truth of the Word, rightly divided.

    “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).

This verse shows that Paul had no grand illusions that the world would become better and better. Rather, by divine revelation, he wrote that things and people will only get “worse and worse.” Paul informs us that, as the dispensation of grace progresses, deception will only go from bad to worse, and it will get so bad and out of hand that deceivers will believe their own lies. After peddling their lies for so long, they will actually come to believe them personally. Of course, we know that they are ultimately being deceived by Satan (2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rev. 12:9).

We visited Mount Rushmore earlier this year. As we were walking in, I noticed a booth set up by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the free speech area. There were a few people staffing the booth. As I looked at the booth and literature and knowing some of their deceptive, false teaching, it made my blood boil. On our way out, I saw an older man setting up a little chair and a simple sign with the gospel on it, right across from the Jehovah’s Witness booth. His hat said, “Jesus is my Boss.” I went over to him and thanked him for his boldness and willingness to be a light for the Lord. He was a dear brother in Christ. His name was Gary, and he had driven his motorcycle to Mount Rushmore from West Virginia just to sit there and pass out gospel tracts and share the truth. He thanked me for my encouragement and asked that we pray for him together. My family prayed with him, all of us holding hands in a circle. It struck me how the truth was made known by Gary very simply and humbly, with a small sign and some gospel tracts. He was just being a lighthouse for the truth.

Rather than telling Timothy to go after deceivers to correct the lies that they believe, Paul advises,

    “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (2 Tim. 3:14).

Timothy needed to rely on what he knew to be true: what Paul had taught him. What Timothy learned from Paul, and had been assured about, was the revelation of the Mystery, the body of truth for this present dispensation of grace (Eph. 3:1-9).

We’re never going to right all the wrongs or correct all the lies people believe. It’s a waste of valuable time to try. We simply need to keep our focus on the truth and the proclamation of it. We need to do what Paul instructed Timothy to do, to “continue” or remain steadfast in the teachings of “the Word of His grace” (Acts 20:32) that the Lord committed to Paul. We must “continue” to stand for the message of grace committed to the Apostle Paul and “continue” to grow in our knowledge of it. By knowing and obeying God’s truth for today as found in the letters of Paul, we are protected from falling prey to the devil’s schemes and being pulled down into error and false doctrine.

Notes:

1    Wayne Cordeiro, “How Hunters Tempt and Nab Wary Ducks,” Preaching Today, accessed September 3, 2017, http://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2013/
april/7042213.html
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« Reply #4811 on: February 17, 2018, 04:19:05 PM »

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The First Month of the Year
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


Even a child knows that January is the first month of our calendar year. For the ancient people of Israel, however, the first month of the year was the month of Abib, which roughly equates to our month of April. Speaking of Abib, God said,

    “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).

If you are wondering why God chose April as the beginning of months for His chosen people, we learn the reason in the next chapter:

    “Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt….This day came ye out in the month Abib” (Exodus 13:3,4).

God wanted His ancient people to “remember” that their birth as a nation marked a new beginning for them, so he instructed them to “observe” this month as something special unto the Lord (Deut. 16:1). God’s people today often do the same with their spiritual birthdays. Many who can tell you the exact date they were saved consider the day worth remembering each year.

But what if you can’t remember the day you trusted Christ as your Savior? There are many believers who grew up under the sound of the gospel and were saved at an early age. Occasionally we hear from these dear saints, who tell us they are troubled by the fact that they cannot remember the day they were saved. Since they can’t remember the date, some even wonder if they are truly saved.

When we hear from believers like this, we like to point out that while we can’t remember the day we first understood that we were born an American citizen, now that we know it to be so, we know that all the rights promised to citizens in the Bill of Rights are ours. In the same way, while you may not remember the day of your spiritual birth, now that you believe, you can be sure that the promise of eternal life and all the other blessings found in Paul’s epistles are yours.

The point is, of course, that it doesn’t matter when you first believe something; what matters is what you believe right now. If you believe you can get to heaven by something that you yourself can do, you are not saved. If you rather believe you are going to heaven because of what Christ did for you on Calvary, we’ll see you someday in glory!
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« Reply #4812 on: February 18, 2018, 04:18:43 PM »

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The Hope of Glory
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We are taught in Romans 5 that the believer in Christ receives justification, peace with God, access to God and the “hope,” or anticipation, of sharing His glory some day. God wants His children to enjoy this coming glory by faith, to live in eager anticipation of it.

How much there is to humiliate us in this life! God created man in His own image and likeness, but man sinned and fell from his exalted position. To Adam God said:

    “Cursed is the ground because of thee; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”

Since that dreadful day man’s life has been a constant struggle. Everything tends to go wrong rather than right. Each has his share of trouble, sorrow, sickness and then — death, the greatest humiliation of all, when in sickness and pain, or at best in utter weakness, he must give up this life itself.

Sin and the fall! This is what modern science and philosophy fail to face up to. Most popular scientists and philosophers today hold that man has come up from the slime pit and the ape to modern man; that man is improving all the time. But the truth of God’s Word is that man has fallen through sin and is growing worse morally and spiritually until now he can kill more of his fellowmen faster than he ever could before.

But it is this fact, this fact of sin and the fall that God has so graciously provided for. He took all the suffering and shame, paid all the penalty for our sins, and then rose from the dead so that we might rejoice in the hope, the eager anticipation, of glory to come!

As St. Peter puts it in I Pet. 1:3:

    “[He] hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
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« Reply #4813 on: February 20, 2018, 04:39:08 PM »

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God Hath Spoken
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In his farewell address to the nation Israel, Moses said:

    “Ask now of the days that are past… since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?” (Deut. 4:32,33).

Moses referred, of course, to the giving of the Law, when God spoke to Israel by word of mouth amid the lightnings and thunders of Sinai. In Israel’s case alone “God spake all these words” audibly. Never before had He undertaken to address a nation personally.

This was indeed a great honor for Israel, but God has since spoken to all mankind in an even more striking manner, for in Heb. 1:1,2 we read:

    “God… hath in these last days spoken unto us by [in] His Son… who… when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

At Sinai God spoke the words of the Law, but now, in Christ, He speaks of mercy and grace. There He spoke of the righteousness which He demands, but here He tells of the righteousness which He provides in Christ.

Some suppose that the absence of miraculous demonstrations, the want of divine intervention in the affairs of men, etc., indicate indifference on God’s part, but actually this apparent indifference speaks to us of His love and grace.

Remember, the Psalms and all prophecy had predicted God’s judgment upon men for their rejection of Christ, yet today the Son still remains a voluntary Exile from His own world, while neither He nor the Father do anything to avenge His cruel crucifixion. Meanwhile, still lingering in mercy, He sends His ambassadors to offer reconciliation to His enemies by grace through faith. Thus His silence actually cries: “The door of grace is still open. Be reconciled while you may. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
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« Reply #4814 on: February 20, 2018, 04:41:34 PM »

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My Job Is God's Will?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters… doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:5,6).

Surely what was true of servants and their masters applies equally to employees and their employers. Thus our text suggests that Christians involved in secular labor are “doing the will of God.” Of course, Paul says that we are to labor and work with our hands “the thing which is good” (Eph. 4:28.). So unless you are an abortion doctor or some such thing, when you go to work, you are doing the will of God, and your work clothes are just as holy in the eyes of God as the vestments that Aaron wore when he entered the presence of the Lord, whether you wear a white collar or a blue collar.

Is it possible then that secular employment will earn rewards for Christians at the Judgment seat of Christ? The Apostle Paul says yes! If such labor is done “not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart,” and if it is done “as to the Lord, and not unto men,” then Paul unequivocally asserts “that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col. 3:22-24).

There is even evidence to suggest that those involved in secular labor who then faithfully support the ministry can look forward to rewards equal to those given to Christians directly engaged in the Lord’s work. God instructed Moses:

    “And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to the battle, and between all the congregation” (Num. 31:27).

When “wicked men” tried to ignore this plain command of God (I Sam. 30:22), David insisted:

    “…as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff; they shall part alike” (v. 23-25).

Secular labor constitutes half of the fourth commandment (Ex. 20:9,10), and is also a commandment of grace. When the Thessalonians got so excited about the Rapture that they quit their jobs in eager anticipation, Paul twice reminded them that he had “commanded” them not to do this (I Thes. 4:11; II Thes. 3:10). He then re-issued the command (II Thes. 3:12) and further commanded them to “withdraw” from any who wouldn’t obey these commands (II Thes. 3:6-10). Thus we see that working for a living is a commandment of God given to members of the Body of Christ through the Apostle Paul.

Finally, if you are considering entering the Lord’s work, you should know that throughout Scripture, God called to His service men who were already demonstrating their faithfulness and dependability in secular employment. God called Moses when he was tending his father-in-law’s sheep, Gideon as he was threshing wheat, David as he was shepherding his father’s flock and several of the apostles as they were fishing or mending their nets.
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