Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Face of Evil

My heart sank when I heard the news of the school shooting in Newtown, Ct., this past week. Innocent lives snuffed out by a coward full of evil. Several thoughts have run through my mind since this senseless act.

1. The left [liberals] immediately used the killings to push for their ultimate agenda of taking guns out of the hands of the American people. Make no mistake, it will not end with a ban on assault rifles. We already have the greatest gun law in the Bible, "Thou shalt not kill."

2. The uniformed and Biblically ignorant are quick to blame guns, video games, and the mental health community. How about just recognizing that evil exists. This is a sin problem!

3. Satan is a murderer and the father of lies. He advances his agenda through demons and human agents [Lanza]. The spirit of the Antichrist and the spirit of lawlessness is at work in this world.

4. We live in a sin cursed fallen world. The effects of sin abound affecting the lost and the saved.

5. God has given man a free will to operate in the boundaries of his deadness.

6. We are not yet in the millennial kingdom where Christ puts down lawlessness and rules with a rod of iron. We are not yet in the eternal state [Rev. 21-22] where sin will not be present.

7. Children go to heaven if they die before the age of understanding good and evil [Deut. 1:39]. See my series, "What Happens to Babies who Die," on our church website under sermons- mytrinitybaptist.org

8. There is a great hypocrisy here by those who favor abortion. We certainly mourn for these 26 victims, but what about the close to 60 million innocent lives killed since Roe vs Wade.

Come Lord Jesus!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday

I recently saw a cartoon that a member of the church I pastor sent me. It showed a man and his wife watching television. The man said, "This Middle East violence is really getting frightening." The wife responded, "Thats Black Friday!"

We hear of the "casualities" and the "war stories" every year the day after. You know what you saw and heard and there is no need to go over the horrid stories again.

Black Friday is a product of the greed and materialism of America. What else would motivate someone to stand in line or push and run over people for their "prized" item? What else would cause a woman to bite the hand that is trying to steal the prize catch out of her grasp? They take it home to little Johnny or Susie to play with a few moments and then discard it in the graveyard of toys they have accumulated over the years.

Black Friday warriors need to understand three things. First, if they would wait they could get their prized treasure on sale later. Second, realize what they are buying is second or third tier items. Third, what would Jesus think of their action? What if they studied their Bible like they trained and strategized for Black Friday?

I am disgusted with the whole thing. This is why I like Operation Christmas Child Christmas Shoeboxes. Here you have children from all over the world who have nothing, waiting in line to receive their shoebox of toys with much appreciation.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Sealing of the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13–14, In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  (14)  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Dr. John MacArthur had this article of the sealing of the Holy Spirit...

The sealing of the Holy Spirit is a promise to those who have received Jesus Christ, God has sealed [them] in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise. Every believer is given the very Holy Spirit of God the moment he trusts in Christ. “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwell-s in you,” Paul declares (Rom. 8:9a). Conversely, he goes on to say, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (v. 9b). The body of every true Christian is actually “a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in [him]” (1 Cor. 6:19).

When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in his life. Life in Jesus Christ is different because the Spirit of God is now within. He is there to empower us, equip us for ministry, and function through the gifts He has given us. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and Advocate. He protects and encourages us. He also guarantees our inheritance in Jesus Christ. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16–17). The Spirit of God is our securing force, our guarantee.
The sealing of which Paul speaks here refers to an official mark of identification that was placed on a letter, contract, or other important document. The seal usually was made from hot wax, which was placed on the document and then impressed with a signet ring. The document was thereby officially identified with and under the authority of the person to whom the signet belonged.

That is the idea behind our being sealed in Him [Christ] with the Holy Spirit of promise. The seal of God’s Spirit in the believer signifies four primary things: security, authenticity, ownership, and authority.

Security. In ancient times the seal of a king, prince, or noble represented security and inviolability. When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, King Darius, along with his nobles, placed their seals on the stone placed over the entrance to the den, “so that nothing might be changed in regard to Daniel” (Dan. 6:17). Any person but the king who broke or disturbed that seal would likely have forfeited his life. In a similar way the tomb where Jesus was buried was sealed. Fearing that Jesus’ disciples might steal His body and falsely claim His resurrection, the Jewish leaders obtained Pilate’s permission to place a seal on the stone and to guard it with soldiers (Matt. 27:62–66).

In an infinitely greater way, the Holy Spirit secures each believer, marking him with His own inviolable seal.

Authenticity. When King Ahab tried unsuccessfully to get Naboth to sell or trade his vineyard, Queen Jezebel volunteered to get the vineyard her way. “So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal” and sent the letters to various nobles who lived in Naboth’s city, demanding that they arrange false accusations of blasphemy and treason against him. The nobles did as they were instructed, and Naboth was stoned to death because of the false charges. The king then simply confiscated the vineyard he had so strongly coveted (1 Kings 21:6–16). Despite the deceptions contained in the letters Jezebel sent, the letters themselves were authentically from the king, because they were sent with his approval and marked with his seal. The seal was his signature.

When God gives us His Holy Spirit, it is as if He stamps us with a seal that reads, “This person belongs to Me and is an authentic citizen of My divine kingdom and member of My divine family.”

Ownership. While Jerusalem was under siege by Nebuchadnezzar and Jeremiah was under arrest by King Zedekiah for prophesying against the king and the nation, the Lord gave special instructions to His prophet. Jeremiah was told to buy some land in Anathoth for which he had redemption rights. The contract was agreed on, and the stipulated payment was made in the court of the palace guard before the required number of witnesses. In the presence of the witnesses the deed was signed and sealed, establishing Jeremiah as the new legal owner of the property (Jer. 32:10).

When the Holy Spirit seals believers, He marks them as God’s divine possessions, who from that moment on entirely and eternally belong to Him, The Spirit’s seal declares the transaction of salvation as divinely official and final.

Authority. Even after Haman had been hanged for his wicked plot to defame and execute Mordecai, Queen Esther was distressed about the decree that Haman had persuaded King Ahasuerus to make that permitted anyone in his kingdom to attack and destroy the Jews. Because the king could not even himself revoke the decree that was marked with his own seal, he issued and sealed another decree that permitted and even encouraged the Jews to arm and defend themselves (Esther 8:8–12). In both cases the absolute authority of the decrees was represented in the king’s seal.

Those who possessed the sealed decree of the king had the king’s delegated authority set forth in the decree.

When Christians are sealed with the Holy Spirit they are delegated to proclaim, teach, minister, and defend God’s Word and His gospel with the Lord’s own authority.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Does God Change His Mind?

Does God Change His Mind?


Can God engage in Divine repentance? If God is immutable, if He does not change at all, does that mean He never changes His mind? The Scriptures seem to indicate He does and He doesn’t.

Let the Scripture speak…

(Exodus 32:11) And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?

(Exodus 32:12)  Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

(Exodus 32:13)  Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

(Exodus 32:14)  And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

God relented or repented. God changed His mind. These Scriptures seem to indicate that God can change His mind. Yet we have others that indicate God doesn’t change His mind.

(Numbers 23:19)  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

(Numbers 23:20)  Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

(1 Samuel 15:29)  And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

Is there a contradiction in Scripture?

The Bible uses human terms to describe God. The Bible speaks of Him becoming angry, having arms, hands, a face, and feet. God is not a man that He should relent [change His mind] 1 Sam. 15:29

In regard to Exodus 31:14 it would appear that God changed His mind because Moses showed God a better way. It is unthinkable that God can be corrected by infallible man.

Did God overlook the consequences of punishing His people? Without the help of Moses God would have made a hasty and foolish mistake?

This is blasphemy to talk in such terms. If we try to find too much theology in narrative passages we can easily go beyond the point of the narrative into serious errors.

These Biblical narratives in which God seems to repent, or change His mind, are almost always narratives that deal with His threats of judgment and punishment. These threats are followed by repentance of the people or by intercessory petitions of their leaders. God does not or can be talked into changing His mind. He does not punish sinners who repent and turn from their evil ways.

Who is ultimately repenting in Exodus 32: 11-14?  God never repents in the sense that He turns away from sin or from error. God is never corrected by man or given any insight by man.

Dr. John MacArthur says, “Moses' appeal for God to change His mind, to relent, succeeded because God had only threatened judgment not decreed it. A divine intention is not an unchangeable divine decree. Decrees or sworn declarations (cf. Gen. 22:16-18; Psa. 110:4) or categorical statements of not changing or relenting (cf. Jer. 4:28; Ezek. 24:14; Zech. 8:14-15) are unconditional and bind the speaker to the stated course of action regardless of the circumstances or reactions of the listeners. Intentions retain a conditional element and do not necessarily bind the speaker to a stated course of action (cf. Jer. 15:6; 18:8-10; 26:3, 13, 19; Joel 2:13; John 3:9-10; 4:2).

William McDonald in the Believer’s Bible Commentary says, “Moses recognized that the people had sinned so he did not seek to justify their actions. As a result God relented of His threatened course of judgment. The word “relented” does not mean that God changed His mind but that He embarked on another course of action. The Hebrew word nāḥam suggests relief or comfort from a planned, undesirable course of action.”

If God can change His mind, what is there to say that He will not change His mind about my salvation?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Greatest Eternal Security Passage

John 17:12, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

As we “let the Scripture speak,” what can we learn from this verse?

 1. God the Father has given to the Son a people before the foundation of the world to redeem and take to heaven [John 17:2, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 24; John 6:37, 65; Rev. 13:8; 17:8].

2. Christ has kept all the Father has given Him in time and will for eternity. None are lost that have been given to the Son [John 6:37-40; 10:25-30].

3. If it appears they lost it, it is really because they never had it and were not given to the Son by the Father “All the Father has given me.”

4. Judas was never given to the Son by the Father [John 6:70-71; Ps. 41:9; 109:8; Acts 1:20].

In case one would say that this applies only to the Apostles, please note John 17:20. We are included.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Promise of Eternal Salvation

We are eternally secure and kept by God’s power if we are truly saved

John 3:16; 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30

Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 16, 29-30, 31-39

I Cor 1:4-8

Eph 1:13-14; 4:30

Phil 1:6

2 Tim 1:12

Heb 7:25; 10:14; 13:5

I Peter 1:4-5, 23-25

I John 5:11-13

Jude 1, 24

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eternal Security

Seven Reasons Why Those Who Are Truly Born Again Can’t Ever Be Lost

1. Nothing can separate you from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39).

2. When you are saved, you are made perfect forever (Heb. 10:14).

3. Our Lord always finishes what He begins (Phil 1:6).

4. You are predestined to be like Jesus (Rom 8:28-30).

5. You are in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

6. You already have eternal life (John 5:24).

7. The Lord Jesus Christ is ever interceding for you (John 17:9, 15,
    20; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why Are You Saved?

Ephesians 1:3-6, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Who is The Israel of God?

Galatians 6:16, “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Some believe in replacement theology. The church is the new Israel and is now the recipient of all the promises made to Israel. They seem to reject the promises made to the Old Testament prophets and the very teaching of Jesus and the teachings in the New Testament.

(See Isa. 11:10-11; Zech. 8:1; Micah 4; Jer. 31:35-36; Acts 1:6-9; Rom. 9-11:25, 28; Rev. 20:4-6).

Israel of God means all Jewish believers in Christ who are both physical and spiritual descendants of Abraham.

(See Galatians 3:7, 18; Romans 2:28-29; 9:6-7).

While some believe that “Israel of God” is the church, the evidence does not support such a conclusion. First, the repetition of the preposition (“upon” or “to”) indicates two groups are in view. Second, all the 65 other occurrences of the term “Israel” in the New Testament refer to Jews. It would thus be strange for Paul to use “Israel” here to mean Gentile Christians. Third, Paul elsewhere referred to two kinds of Israelites - believing Jews and unbelieving Jews (cf. Romans 9:6). Lest it be thought that Paul is anti-Semitic, he demonstrated by means of this benediction his deep love and concern for true Israel, that is, Jews who had come to Christ. Fourth, the Israel of God refers to those Jews by natural births who receive the Lord Jesus as Messiah. There was neither peace nor mercy for those who walked under the law, but both are the portion of those in the new creation.

God has a plan for the church and for Israel with two distinct programs but both come to Jesus by grace through faith.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sinners or Saints?

Q- Are saved people sinners or saints?

1. Sinners (Practice)

1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Turn to 1 John 1:5-10

Turn to Rom. 7:15-20

Summary: We are saved sinners who still sin because of that sin that remains in our flesh. We will not be freed from the presence of sin till our glorification at the resurrection or death.

2. Saints (position)

“Sanctify” is used 31 times in the NT and means “set apart,” or the state of being set apart. It speaks of position or relationship yet it is progressive as well.

“Holy” is used 12 times of believers in the NT and refers to the state of being set apart or being separated.

“Sanctify” does not mean:

1. Sinless perfection. The believers at Corinth were referred to as being saints yet they were carnal and fleshly.

1 Corinthians 1:2, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

2. Finality. We are called to higher degrees of holiness (Positional and progressive holiness).


Sainthood is not subject to progression. Every believer is a saint at the moment of salvation. He is as much a saint the moment he is saved as he will ever be in time or eternity (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14; Jude 1).

The whole church which is His body is called out and holy. The Spirit chose to give us the title of “saints” more than any other. We are called “brethren” 184 times, “saints” 62 times, and “Christians” but 3 times.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

We are saints by position and still sinners by practice till we shed these bodies of sin.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Narrow Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been heading toward the appeal found in these two verse. Here is His call to people to make a decision about becoming a citizen of God’s kingdom and inheriting eternal life, or remaining a citizen of this fallen world and receiving damnation.

Every person eventually comes to this crossroads in life, where he’ll need to decide on which gate to enter and which way to follow. “Enter” is in a mood that demands a definite and specific action.

Jesus pleads for people to enter the narrow gate, God’s gate, the only gate that leads to life and to heaven. Throughout the sermon Jesus had contrasted the narrowness of God’s internal standard of righteousness to the broad and external standards of Jewish tradition.

The path to that narrow way of kingdom living is through the narrow gate of the King Himself: “I am the way and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). We proclaim a narrow gospel because that’s the only gospel God has given and therefore the only Gospel there is. Make sure you are proclaiming to others the narrow gospel God has given us.

Entering through the narrow gate makes a few demands on the person passing through. First, he must enter alone. You can bring no one else and nothing else with you. Some have suggested that the gate is like a turnstile only one person can get through at a time, and with no baggage.

The narrow gate also demands we must go through naked. This is a gate of self-denial—you can’t carry the baggage of sin and self-will. The way of Christ is the way of the cross, and the way of the cross is self-denial: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever wishes to save his life his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).

The narrow gate also demands repentance. Many Jews believed that merely being a Jew, a physical descendant of Abraham, was sufficient for entrance into heaven. Many people today believe that being in a church, or even being a good human being, qualifies them.

But the way of repentance, of turning fro their own way and their own righteousness to God’s, is the only way to enter His kingdom and therefore the only way to keep from perishing.
John MacArthur

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Matthew 24:36

Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

This verse is often taken out of context, misinterpreted, and applied to the wrong coming.

The context of Matt. 24 is the signs of tribulation and the second coming. Jesus tells them the birth pains that will precede His coming [vv. 4-29], with the sign of the Son of Man in heaven [v. 30]. So “That day” refers to v. 30, the second coming.

The general time period of his second coming will be known but not the precise day and hour [24:42, 44, 50; 25:13]. We can know the days but not the day.

v. 36b: “no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only.”

God has chosen not to reveal to angels the exact day and hour of his second coming.

Not even the Son knew when Jesus spoke these words and neither anytime in his earthly ministry. Though fully God and man, Jesus voluntarily restricted the use of certain divine attributes when he became flesh.

Phil. 2:6, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” MacArthur says in his commentary…

“Made Himself of no reputation. “ This is more clearly translated "emptied Himself." This refers to the doctrine of Christ's self-emptying in His incarnation. This was a self-renunciation, not an emptying Himself of deity nor an exchange of deity for humanity Jesus did, however, renounce or set aside His privileges in several areas:

(1) heavenly glory—while on earth He gave up the glory of a face-to-face relationship with God and the continuous outward display and personal enjoyment of that glory;
(2) independent authority—during His incarnation Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of His Father;
(3) divine prerogatives—He set aside the voluntary display of His divine attributes and submitted Himself to the Spirit's direction;
(4) eternal riches—while on earth Christ was poor and owned very little; and
(5) a favorable relationship with God—He felt the Father's wrath for human sin while on the cross.

During Christ’s time on earth he did not know the precise day and time He would return to earth at his second coming. The Father alone knew.
Jesus regained full knowledge after the resurrection as implied in Scripture.

Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

Acts 1:7, “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

Note that after his resurrection, Jesus did not mention his lack of knowledge of that day and hour as he did in Matt. 24:36.

A second view is that Jesus is speaking from human knowledge not divine omniscience.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why Did Judas Betray Jesus?

1. Though one of the twelve, Judas was not a believer [Acts 1:25; John 6:64; 17:12].

2. Judas never called Jesus “Messiah” or “Lord.” He called him “Rabbi.”

3. Judas is always mentioned last in the lists of the apostles in the gospels.

4. The only recorded dialogue between Jesus and Judas is words of rebuke.

5. Judas was consumed with greed.

6. He may have tried to force Jesus to overthrown Rome and set up his kingdom.

7. Though predicted, Judas was responsible for his choice.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hebrews 13:8

Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

The verse is often used by Charismatics, Pentecostals, and the Word Faith movement to defend miracles and healings today. They say that Jesus is the same today as he was then and the faith healers and new revelation are for today. If anyone questions this, they question the person and work of Christ.

Is this what this verse really teaches? Let the Scripture speak!

The context is closing relationships among believers. In v.7 the writer remind the Hebrews of faithful leaders within the church. Faithful leaders are to rule, speak the Word of God and establish a faithful pattern of faith for others to follow.

In v. 9 he warns the Hebrews of not being carried away by false teachings contrary to God's Word.

So what does v. 8 mean in this context? Jesus is our ultimate example of faith. He was faithful while on earth [yesterday] and now as our High Priest [today]. He has secured our salvation forever. He is the same faithful Jesus in esssence and character.

Though human leaders have much to offer, we must keep our eyes on Christ, our ultimate leader. Unlike any human leaders, he will never change. Christ has been and will be the same forever. In a changing world we can trust our unchanging Lord.

Rev. 1:4 calls Him, "Which is, and which was, and which is to come."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revelation 3:20

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and sup with him, and he with me."

This verse is often used to say that Christ is knocking on the individual's heart and if anyone will open their hearts door, Jesus will come in [salvation]. Problem is, we can't open a dead heart.

Is this the right interpretation? Let's find out as we let the Scripture speak.

Context is King:

Christ is writing to the seventh church of Revelation, the Laodicean church. Seven historical and contemporary churches. That is, they actually exsited in that time and have a prevailing trait of churches today.

The Laodiceans church was the church that thought they had everything they needed and did not need Christ [v. 17].

In otherwords, Christ is on the outside looking in and seeking to get into the church. This not an appeal to the lost, but the professing church.

This Laodicean church is the professing liberal church of our day that functions without the head of the church and the Holy Spirit. They have left the Doctrine of Christ and have become a worldly church without Christ at the center.

I personally believe the faithful church at Philadelphia [3:7-13] is the rapture church. Laodicea is the liberal church left behind. This faithful church is the one who is raptured and taken out before the seven year period of tribulation [3:10].

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Gospel of the Kingdom

Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

Many say that the preaching of the gospel will go to the whole world and then Jesus will come. We know that in Matt. 24 we have the signs of the coming tribulation and the second coming at the end of the tribulation for the kingdom. We see the shadows now in the church age but the substance will come in the tribulation age after the rapture. Because we see the shadows getting shorter, we know the rapture is near.

What is this preaching of the kingdom? Let the Scripture speak.

1. The Shadows in the Church Age. In the church age the gospel is to be taken to the whole world [Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19], but it is not a requirement for the rapture or the Lord’s second coming. Let me qualify that by a question.

What is the gospel of the kingdom? [v. 14].

It is the end-time message of the imminence of Christ’s coming kingdom. In the church age we proclaim the gospel of grace or salvation, in the tribulation the message will be the coming 1,000 reign of Christ in his promised literal kingdom. The Gospel of the kingdom is used 3x in the gospels and 2x by John in reference to the kingdom or millennial reign. It is never used in the epistles in regard to the gospel of salvation by grace.

2. The Substance in the Tribulation. We have the two great witnesses in the tribulation after the church is taken out [Rev. 11], and the sealed 144,000 witnesses [Rev. 7, 14].

The angel of Rev. 14:6-7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, (7) Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

In Rev. 14:6-7 we have the fulfillment of Matt. 24:14.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Citizen of Heaven and Follower of Christ

This is a good read from Phil Johnson on his Pyromaniacs Blog

1. We are pilgrims, not tourists. We are exiles and explorers—not day trippers or vacationers. We're supposed to be ascending like first-century pilgrims on their way to a feast in Jerusalem, not wandering like the Old Testament Israelites in the wilderness.

2. We are disciples, not academics. We are working apprentices, not merely auditors of a course where we're free to skip the exams. We are interns who are responsible to put what we learn into practice; we're not imbibing information recreationally for the sake of accumulating hypothetical knowledge. Our discipleship is a vocation, not a hobby.

3. We are servants, not superstars. We're members of the church—and it's a community, not a resort. We're here to serve, not to be served. We're motivated by our concern for God's glory, not our own comfort. Our ministry is for the sake of others, not self. We're ambassadors in a foreign land, bringing a message of good news to the weary, wounded, and guilty souls who live there, offering them refuge on higher ground—and inviting them to join us on the walk to our home.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Churches Greatest Enemies

The most dangerous adversaries of biblical truth today are not government policies that undermine our values; not secular beliefs that attack our confessions of faith; not even atheists who deny our God. It's my conviction that the worst, most persistent hindrances to the advance of the gospel today are worldly churches and hireling shepherds who trivialize Christianity. This is not a new problem, and it's no exaggeration to portray such people as enemies of the gospel. There were men just like that vying for influence even in apostolic times—in the very earliest churches. In Philippians 3:18-19, the apostle Paul wrote: "For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ." One of the chief characteristics the New Testament cites about these enemies of the cross—enemies of authentic grace—was that they "set their minds on earthly things" (Philippians 3:19). They "pervert[ed] the grace of our God into sensuality" (Jude 4). They twisted the idea of Christian liberty into an opportunity to gratify the flesh. They "[used their] freedom as a cover-up for evil" (1 Peter 2:16). In short, they were carnal, worldly men, who twisted the idea of Christian liberty into an excuse for self-indulgence. In the process, they trivialized the cross, corrupted the idea of grace, and perverted the gospel. None of the apostles were squeamish when it came to calling them out- Phil Johnson

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You Can't Take the Crowd With You

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14)

At once we are reminded of some of the outstanding characteristics of this Christian life to which our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ calls us.

The first thing we notice is that it is a life which is narrow or strait at the very beginning.

Immediately it is narrow. It is not a life which at first is fairly broad, and which as you go on becomes narrower and narrower. No!

The gate itself, the very way of entering into this life, is a narrow one. It is important to stress and impress that point because, from the standpoint of evangelism, it is essential. When worldly wisdom and carnal motives enter into evangelism you will find that there is no ‘strait gate.’

Too often the impression is given that to be a Christian is after all very little different from being a non-Christian, that you must not think of Christianity as a narrow life, but as something most attractive and wonderful and exciting, and that you come in in crowds. It is not so according to our Lord.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is too honest to invite anybody in that way. It does not try to persuade us that it is something very easy, and that it is only later on that we shall begin to discover it is hard. The gospel of Jesus Christ openly and uncompromisingly announces itself as being something which starts with a narrow entrance, a strait gate.

At the very beginning it is absolutely essential that we should realize that. Let us look at this in a little more detail. We are told at the very outset of this way of life, before we start on it, that if we would walk along it there are certain things which must be left outside, behind us.

There is no room for them, because we have to start by passing through a strait and narrow gate. I like to think of it as a turnstile. It is just like a turnstile that admits one person at a time and no more. And it is so narrow that there are certain things which you simply cannot take through with you.

It is exclusive from the very beginning, and it is important that we should look at this Sermon in order to see some of the things which must be left behind. The first thing we leave behind is what is called worldliness. We leave behind the crowd, the way of the world. ‘Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’

You must start by realizing that, by becoming a Christian, you become something exceptional and unusual.

You are making a break with the world, and with the crowd, and with the vast majority of people. It is inevitable; and it is important that we should know it. The Christian way of life is not popular. It never has been popular, and it is not popular today.

It is unusual, exceptional, strange, and it is different. On the other hand, crowding through the wide gate and traveling along the broad way is the thing that everybody else seems to be doing. You deliberately get out of that crowd and you start making your way towards this strait and narrow gate, alone. You cannot take the crowd with you into the Christian life: it inevitably involves a break.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Elijah and John the Baptist

Malachi 4:5-6, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (6) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah. He was bold in preaching and uncompromising in the Word of God. This was fulfilled in the coming of John the Baptist.

Luke 1:17, “And he [John] shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Matthew 11:13-14, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (14) And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.”

John 1:21, “And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Seven Seal Judgments

The Seven Seal Judgments
Rev. 6:1-17

1st Seal- White Horse- Antichrist [Rev. 6:1-2; Matt. 24:4-5].

2nd Seal- Red Horse- War [Rev. 6:3-4; Matt. 24:6].

3rd Seal- Black Horse- Famine [Rev. 6:5-6; Matt. 24:7].

4th Seal- Pale Horse- Death [Rev. 6:7-8; Matt. 24:7-8].

5th Seal- Martyrdom [Rev. 6:9-11; Matt. 24:9-13, 16-22].

6th Seal- Cosmic Catastrophe [Rev. 6:12-14; Matt. 24:29].

7th Seal- Second Coming [Rev. 6:15-17; 8:1; Matt. 24:32].

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tears in Heaven?

Revelation 21:4-5, “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. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

I believe this passage teaches that there will be no tears in heaven because there will no longer be death, sorrow, or pain. The former things are passed away. There are no tears in heaven.

Revelation 5:4, “And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

John wept much when no one could be found worthy to open the seven seal scroll. While it is true that this is the only place in the Scriptures where someone is mentioned as crying in heaven, we must remember that John was not in heaven in a glorified body and not in the New Jerusalem [eternal state].

Revelation 4:2, “And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” John’s feet were on the Isle of Patmos while his vision was in heaven.

There is a mention of the martyred tribulation saints having no tears in heaven even though they probably cried much in the tribulation before their martyrdom.

Revelation 7:17, “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

There is also a mention of Israel not having tears in the Millennial Kingdom.

Isaiah 25:8, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”

John MacArthur says, “God will swallow up death, which itself functions as a swallower of human beings (Isa. 5:14; Pro. 1:12). Paul notes the fulfillment of this promise in the resurrection of believers (1 Cor. 15:54). The Lord God will remove the sorrow associated with death (cf. Isa. 65:19). Revelation alludes to the tender action of this verse twice—once in Isa. 7:17 to describe the bliss of the redeemed in heaven, and once in Isa. 21:4 to describe ideal conditions in the New Jerusalem.”

Arguments Against a Post-Tribulational Rapture

1 Cor. 15:52 speaks of the last trumpet. Post-tribulationists believe this is the seventh trumpet in Rev. 11:15-19. The trumpets in Revelation pertain to judgments in the tribulation while I Cor. 15:52 pertains to the rapture of the church. 1 Cor. 15:50-58 and 1 Thess. 4:13-18 omit the word “last” trumpet and any reference to judgment. Many believe this is the sounding of the trumpet at the end of the church age.

Charles Ryrie says, “Mid-Tribulationism argues that the seventh trumpet of Rev. 10:7 corresponds to the last trumpet of 1 Cor. 15:52. If this be true, then the Rapture (described in 1 Corinthians) will occur at the midpoint of the Tribulation (the time when the seventh trumpet sounds). This is a somewhat simplistic argument that assumes that all blowing of trumpets must indicate the same kind of event. This is not true. In Jewish apocalyptic literature, trumpets signaled a variety of great eschatological events, including judgments, the gathering of the elect, and resurrection. The seventh trumpet is a trumpet of judgment, whereas the trumpet in 1 Corinthians is one of resurrection and deliverance. That they indicate the same event is an assumption.”

In Rev. 12 there is no mention of Israel and the church co-existing in the tribulation period.

In Rev. 19: 11-21 there is no mention of rapture at the second coming of Jesus at the end of the tribulation period.

In Rev. 18: 20 the church is in heaven rejoicing over the destruction of Babylon at the end of the tribulation period before the second coming.

The Post-Tribulation view serves no purpose. Why go up and come right back? This view allows no time for the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Judgment of the Sheep and Goats [nations], and the Marriage Supper.

The Post-Tribulation view can’t explain the millennium being populated by sinful people. If all are raptured at the end of the tribulation with glorified bodies, then they can’t populate the kingdom with sinful people who will revolt at the end of the Millennium.

The absence of the word “church” in Rev. 13:9 is obvious. The word “Churches” is used in all seven of the churches in the church age in Rev. 2-3. It is absent in 13:9 because the church is in heaven before the tribulation.

1 Thess. 4:13-18 demands a pre-tribulation view because of the teaching of comfort. Comfort makes no sense if there is a post-tribulation view. If post-tribulation, the Thessalonians would be rejoicing over their loved ones who died and went to heaven and grieve that they were left to go through the tribulation.

In Rev. 3: 10 the faithful church is promised that they will miss the time of tribulation to come upon the “whole” earth. They will be “kept from,” not “through” the tribulation.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Stones Will Cry Out

Luke 19:40-44

What does this phrase mean, “The stones would immediately cry out?”

v. 40a: “if these should hold their peace.” Who are “These?” The disciples who were praising him as the Messiah. The praise was silenced on Monday when later we heard not praise, but “Barabbas” and “crucify Him.”

v. 40b: Jesus said when this happens judgment is coming. “cry out” is in the future tense in the Greek grammar. They will cry out at a later time in the future.

Some here believe if you don’t proclaim me as Messiah, I will cause the stones to praise me, and he could have caused inanimate objects to praise him but it would not be their response to the creator but a miracle.

Some believe the stones cried out at the earthquake at the death of Christ on the cross.

Let the Scripture speak and say what it says!

Habakkuk 2:11,“For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.” Here we have judgment pronounced on the Chaldeans [Babylonians] for their Kings dishonesty, pride, and cruelty with metaphorical language.

The stones in v.40 cry out in judgment against Israel for the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. Q- What is this judgment and when will it take place?

Verses 41-44: Here we see Christ’s lament over the city and his judgment.

vs. 41-42: Here we see Christ pronouncing judgment and closing their eyes to the truth which they are still under today [Rom. 11:25]. It is also known as “the Times of the Gentiles.”

vs. 43-44: Here we see the judgment.

He came in as a humble King, and the national leaders rejected him. The kingdom has been postponed till after the tribulation when he will have the real “Triumphal entry” before the millennial reign.

What judgment would the stones cry out? What we have in these verses is the Roman siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, forty years after v. 40.

The stones in v. 40 cried out in v. 44 at the destruction of the Temple. Note the link between “thy day” and “visitation.”

Why? [vs. 42a, 44b]. This thy day was the day of visitation. God visited them and they rejected him! Their day of opportunity has passed till he comes again.

Today might be your day of visitation!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cities of Refuge

Hebrews 6:18, "...Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."

The writer of Hebrews was speaking of the assurance of eternal salvation in 6:13-20 and mentions our strong encouragement because of God's promise, God's oath, and God's Son.

Hebrew 6:18 mentions the phrase "fled for refuge." This is fulfillment in Christ of a Old Testament type.

The phrase “fled for refuge” suggests the Old Testament “cities of refuge” described in Num. 35:9 and Joshua 20:1-9.

God appointed six cities, three on each side of the Jordan, into which a man could flee if he had accidentally killed someone.

The elders of the city would investigate the case. If they determined that it was indeed manslaughter and not murder, they would permit the man to live in the city until the death of the high priest. Then he could return to his home. The members of the slain man’s family could not avenge themselves so long as the man remained in the city.

We have fled to Jesus Christ, and He is our eternal refuge. As our High Priest, He will never die (Heb. 7:23-25); and we have eternal salvation. No avenger can touch us, because He has already died and rose from the dead.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lessons Learned at the Hospital

1. Faith has to be tested and stretched to be to enduring faith [James 1:2-4].

2. Suffering, sickness, and death come about from the fall of man into sin [Gen. 2:16-17].

3. We live in frail temporary bodies that are for earth and not heaven [Phil. 3:21].

4. We go through trials so we can be a channel of comfort to others when they go through trials [2 Cor. 1:4].

5. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” 1 Cor. 15:22

6. Faith in God, a loving family and friends, and a praying church family, is “priceless.”

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Preachers Authority

Titus 2:15, "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."

This single verse is one of the strongest statements in Scripture on the spiritual authority of men whom God calls to minister His Word and shepherd God’s people.

The religious leaders asked Jesus in Mark 11:28, “By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority to do these things?”

Jesus replied on one occasion in John 7:16-17 “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.” John 8:28b, “…I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”

If Jesus spoke only those things received of the Father, how much more should we speak only on the authority of Scripture.

I want to share 2 aspects of spiritual authority:

1. The Sources of False Authority.

A. Personal authority.

Some pastors assume authority over people in choices and issues and become dictators. The Pastor feels like he is to run the life of the believer.

Others claim to be their own authority with no submission or obedience to God’s Word.

B. Church authority.

The Roman Catholic system has claimed to be the only true church and stands above scripture rather than under it.

It is the sole reliable interpretation of scripture but channel thru which God speaks ex-cathedra thru the Pope. Church councils and papal decrees hold the same as authority as the Bible.

The priests have authority to forgive sins and even in an unconscious state, the priest can forgive thru last rites.

C. Experiential authority.

I believe it is right, or I feel its right. Feeling and emotion do not discern biblical truth. I can’t find a Scripture, but this is my opinion.

Some say,"I had an experience…"

2. The Source of True Authority.

The preacher is called to accurately interpret and proclaim Biblical truth (2:1) and things pertaining to holiness (2:2-14) with strong authority.

The preacher must put himself out of the way and let God’s Word speak thru him? Mannerisms, style, eloquence are not important but preaching the Word and letting the Scripture speak is important.

The 3 tasks of the preacher are to preach the Word for understanding, belief, and obedience.

1. Speak with authority. “Speak”

Utter the Word of God. Preach the Word. Speak as one who commands authority. Be a commanding proclaimer, faithful expositor, and a passionate preacher.

He is to make clear God’s truth so that those who hear will understand by the illumination of the Spirit. Faithful preaching gives knowledge of the truth and does not entertain.

Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them what you are telling them, and tell them what you told them. Tell them what they don’t want to hear, and tell them to do what they don’t want to do.

2 Timothy 1:13, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me.”

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be instant in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
This carries the idea of hearing. This is the responsibility of the hearers.

Titus 2:1

2. Encourage for belief. “Exhort”

Say it like you believe it and they will believe it to. This carries the idea of beseeching, entreating, and pleading. It involves more than stating and explaining truth, but to persuade hearers to not only understand but believe God’s truth.

I Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”

This carries the idea that those who hear are called to understand the truth.

3. Rebuke for obedience. “Rebuke”

This means to convince or correct to turn from a wrong behavior or belief. The sin must be exposed so conviction can come.

2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

This carries the idea that those who hear are to understand and obey the Word.

4. Don’t be intimidated. “Despise”

Don’t apologize for truth and truth-telling. The Believer or non-believer should be allowed to reject God’s truth.

Despise, disregard, or disrespect? Thinking around something,
usually for the purpose of evasion and denial.

Luke 10:16, “He that hearth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”


In these days we don’t need wimpy preachers with a watered down message.

We need men who will proclaim the truth with authority, and call for understanding, belief, and obedience.

Why? Our authority does not come from our position, but from the authoritative Scripture.

That is our authority. We have no authority outside of Scripture.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Keepers at Home

This command in Titus 2:4-5 is one of the most neglected and misinterpreted in the New Testament, and probably misunderstood and despised.

This does not suggest that her home is a prison where she must be kept! “Caring for the home” is the idea. She is to manage and work in the home. This word comes from the root word which means “A stayer at home.”

Note this phrase does not say “house keeper or keeper of the house.” It says, “Keeper of the home.” Nor does it say, “Stay at home Dad.”

The culture says that to be a homemaker is a form of bondage by males and they need to be freed.

It is estimated that 60% of mothers with children under 6 years of age hold jobs outside the home.

Dr. John MacArthur says, “It is tragic that the mother has to work because the husbands have died, imprisoned, abandoned with no child support, and their families are unable or unwillingly to help. It is not that their place is in the home as much as their responsibility is in the home.”

We say, “Well that’s what I have been taught and taught my girls. Both parents have to work to make it in the real world.”

I agree that this is what we have been taught and programmed. We live in a fallen world where the pursuit of things is our god. But is that what this verse teaches? Are there any “yeah buts” in this command?

1 Timothy 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” [Proverbs 31:27-29].

Let the Scripture speak.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Best State to Live In

Phil. 4:13 is one of the most misinterpreted verses in the Bible and one of the most misapplied verses. It is often used to say that one can pass a hard test having not studied. Some use it to say they can accomplish a seemingly impossible athletic task. Some use it to say that they can accomplish any other task that seems impossible. They can do it because Christ strengthens them. Is this what this verse teaches?

Context: Paul was thanking the church at Philippi for financial assistance in his ministry. Paul is speaking of the fact that he had learned to be content in whatever state he was in. He had learned to be content whether he was abased or abounding, whether full or hungry, and whether abounding or in need.

Summary: Paul is basically saying that contentment is better than riches. He could do all things and be content in whatever state he was in, as long as it was God's will.

The Greek Work for content means "Sufficient, satisfied, or adequate." Whatever God's will was for his life, he was content in it.

The best state to live in is the state of contentment!

Let the Scripture speak!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is That in the Bible

People often quote a saying or axiom and give it as being a Biblical truism or in Scripture. You may respond by asking, “Where is that in the Bible?”

More often than not, they can’t tell you. It seems that sayings have been handed down and passed on and we just assume they are in the Bible.

I want us to take a humorous view, yet informative view at some of the popular sayings that pass for Scripture. Remember, it doesn’t mean they might not be true, but just not in inspired Scripture.

My resources for this study are the Scriptures, Google, and Bible websites.

1. “God helps those who help themselves”

This is not found anywhere in Scripture. In fact, we read that God helps those who can’t help themselves.

This is a saying from Aesop’s [620 to 564 BC] fable “Hercules and the Waggoner.” A man’s wagon got stuck in a muddy road, and he prayed for Hercules to help get the wagon out. Hercules responded, “Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel.”

We can’t do anything to help when it comes to salvation; salvation is through Christ alone. In sanctification we play a part, but the Spirit is ultimately is the one who makes us like Christ.

The phrase is never used in the Scriptures in regard to working and God helping us.

God helps the helpless.

Romans 5:6, 8; Jeremiah 17:5.

2. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”

This phrase is not in the Bible. The Israelites were given rules for uncleanness as a metaphor for sinfulness.

This began as an ancient Babylonian and Hebrew proverb and became very popular by John Wesley.

Jesus warns us to worry more about the sin in our hearts than the dirt on our hands [Matt. 7:18-23].

Godliness begins inside in transformation and works out in righteous deeds and behavior.

3. “In the last days, you will not be able to know the seasons except by the changing of the leaves.” or “You will not be able to tell the seasons.”

Matt. 24:32-33 uses the budding of leaves heralding the coming of summer as a metaphor for the signs that Christ’s coming is near.

No where in the Bible does it say the seasons will be altered as a sign for Christ’s return.

1 Thess. 5:1; Acts 1:7 speaks of times [extended period of time] and seasons [definite period of time].

4. “Money is the root of all evil.”

Let’s turn to 1 Tim. 6:10. “For the love of money” Money is amoral, neither good nor bad, and being wealthy is not a sin.

Job. 1:1 Job was wealthy and yet blameless, upright, and feared God.

5. “This too shall pass”

This actually is a line from an Old English poem.

Our earthly sorrows are temporary; yet we’re called to rejoice in our trials, knowing they lead to endurance and sanctification [James 1:2-4].

7. “The lion shall lay down with the lamb”

Isa. 11:6 says it is a wolf and not a lamb.

Isa. 65:25

The hunter and the prey will live in peace in the kingdom.

8. “Spare the rod, spoil the child”

Proverbs 13:34; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15

9. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”

Gen. 3:19

The phrase is used in the 1662 edition of the Book of Prayer of The Episcopal Church.

A search of the Bible reveals that “ashes to ashes” is used 0 times in the Bible; “dust to dust” is used 0 times in the Bible; and “dust and ashes” is used 3 times in the Bible- Gen. 18:27; Job 30:19; 42:6