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There any Word from the Lord?
37:17 then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him
secretly in his house, and said, "Is there any word from the
LORD?" And Jeremiah said, "There is." Then he said,
"You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon!"
are times when it seems that God is silent. However in these last days
He has spoken to us through His Son (Hebrews 1:2). Old testament
prophets heard him speak to them, and they spoke to the people. Some
heard Him in dreams and visions of the night (Job 33:14-15). Likewise
new testament prophets have left their messages in the Bible for us. God
has spoken in various ways. Are we listening?
of the message is about love and grace. Some of the message is about
coming judgment. Just as Jeremiah's audience wanted him to tell them
what they wanted to hear, we are like that today as well. Jeremiah's
audience wanted to believe that they could win the battle against
Babylon. Because they had sold themselves into idolatry, they could not
be saved from Babylon. God's message through Jeremiah was faithful and
true and came to pass. The message that God has given us in His written
word is also faithful and true and will come to pass.
the whole Bible is God's word and is profitable, there are parts of it
that really speak to me. God didn't give us His message to confuse us
but to enlighten us. One verse that is God's Word for today is found in
Acts 4:12 which says, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for
there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be
word says we must be saved. Saved from what? We must be saved from the
eternal judgment that our sins deserve. In the passage, an impotent man
was saved from the practical consequences of sin. The world is lost in
sin because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. The earth and
everything in it has been cursed because of this disobedience. This man
did nothing to deserve to be lame, but lame he was. We might argue that
we have done nothing to deserve the sin nature with which we were born;
but, nevertheless, we have the sin nature. We have sinned as the result
of our nature, and we must be saved. Christ was the solution that the
nation of Israel had rejected. But He is the means by which we must be
saved. Our salvation is not a physical salvation from a sickness or
disease. Our salvation is a spiritual deliverance from the consequences
of sin. Christ has been raised from the dead and there were many
witnesses to this fact. He ascended to heaven, and He is coming again.
When we meet Him, He will either be our Savior or our Judge. Our word
from the Lord is that we MUST be saved.
we must be saved, then the question is asked, "What must I do to be
saved?" (See Acts 16:30-31.) The answer is simple: "Trust
(believe in) the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved." Also if your
household believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, they will be saved.
Actually, all who believe in the Lord Jesus will be saved. Notice the
answer is really, "Nothing!" We can't do anything to be saved,
because it was all done by the Lord. All we can do is trust the Lord
when He says that He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
happens if we don't believe this "word from the Lord". Peter
asks the question, "If the righteous one is scarcely (or with
difficulty) saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear (1 Peter
4:18)?" Salvation was "with difficulty" because of the
cost of salvation to God. However, if we don't believe this "word
from the Lord", God says we are "condemned already" as
the following passage says:
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did
not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world
through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but
he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not
believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John
there a word from the Lord? There is!
for the week of November 7, 2010
Does it Mean to Perish?
3:15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
Lord uses love to draw us to Himself, but He also warns us of the
consequences of not trusting in Him. In the old testament, the children
of Israel were blessed and protected by God. They were told to worship
the LORD only. The LORD wanted their undivided loyalty and worship. Yet,
in spite of all that He had done for the nation, they turned away from
Him. In Ezekiel, they were told that destruction was coming so that
those who did not know the LORD would know Him. Ezekiel 6:10 says,
"And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain
that I would bring this calamity upon them." So the calamity that
was coming was to be the means of converting the nation of Israel so
that they "knew" the LORD. The word "know" means
that they would have an intimate relationship with Him. Just as a man
and his wife have an intimate relationship that should not be shared
with others, the LORD did not want to share His relationship with Israel
with other gods.
the new testament, we are told that unbelievers will perish. Unbelievers
do not have a relationship based on trust in the Lord even though they
may have a form of religion. Some of them may be living immorally if
they do not believe that they are accountable to God. All of them are
are worshiping themselves and what they "think" is right,
rather than worshiping the Lord. Whether people would see unbelievers as
good people or as bad people, the Bible says that these people perish.
But, what does it mean to perish?
times the word is used for those who are lost and are therefore
unusable. Sometimes the word means to die or to be destroyed. What does
it mean for the unbeliever? It means that the unbeliever will lose his
"well-being" after death but not his "being" or
existence. Some teach that death is the end. The Bible teaches
otherwise. The Bible is clear that because Christ arose, we can be sure
that we will be raised from the dead as well. Some are raised in the
resurrection of life and some are raised in the resurrection of
damnation (John 5:29). These two resurrections are 1000 years apart (see
Revelation 20:4-6). Those raised in the resurrection of life are
blessed, those raised in the resurrection of damnation will be condemned
forever in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone with the Devil and his
representative that rules on earth during the tribulation period. This
is a place of eternal torment.
the idea of such punishment is difficult for us to accept particularly
when we are taught that God is a loving God, many people would like to
believe that the idea of perishing just means that we cease to exist.
They would like to believe that people who perish unsaved, die and just
are no more. Others would like to believe that they may die and go to
eternal torment, but that they are annihilated there. But that isn't
what the Bible says. Just as eternal life for the believer isówell,
eternal. Eternal punishment for the unbeliever isówell, eternal.
believe that those who reject Christ now are going to bow before the
Lord and acknowledge Him for who He is in eternity. But it will be too
late to be saved. Philippians 2:10-11 says, " that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth,
and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Every knee
will bow and every tongues will confess. This means that they exist, but
their existence will be an existence of torment in a place where they
will have to confess that they were wrong, and that the Lord was the One
that could have saved them in this life.
do not like to preach about the eternal judgment of God; however, it is
part of the Gospel. I know people who say that they came to the Lord
because of His love. I am not one of those. If it had not been for the
fact that I wanted to be saved from eternal conscience punishment when I
died, I might have put off the matter of my salvation until it was too
late. If I had believed that there was a second chance to be saved after
we died or that when we died it was "all over," I might never
have come to "know the Lord".
is a God of love. He showed that by allowing His son to undergo the
punishment that we deserve because of our sin. A person might not agree
that they would do things the way God has done them, but God is God. If
we acknowledge our sin and trust the Lord Jesus we will "know"
Him now. We will be saved. The alternative is simply not an option.
for the week of November 14, 2010
7:11-12 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the
four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and
worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and
is worship in heaven and that worship involves thanksgiving. Someday we
will be there, and we will be worshiping God with thanksgiving if we
have truly trusted in the Lord Jesus Who is the One who gave Himself for
us (Galatians 2:20). He is the only One who ever walked this earth Who
is truly worthy of our worship.
you" are words that do not come easy for many people. We would like
to be self-sufficient. To thank someone tends to imply that we received
a blessing we didn't earn or maybe even deserve. But thank God, if we
are saved, that is exactly what happened. Paul says that it is by grace
that we are saved through faith in Christ. He says it is not of our own
works of righteousness because then we could boast. (See Ephesians
need to be thankful that we have a Bible in our own language and that we
have a country that demands that an attempt be made to teach us to read.
While there are some people who never can learn to read and need help in
order to know and understand God's word, the rest of us are without
excuse when it comes to our relationship with God. Bibles are freely
available in most motels/hotels. They are available cheaply in many
stores. Most of us have one or two gathering dust at home. Nearly all of
us can read and understand John 3:16, and a person really wouldn't have
to have more than that to know how to keep from perishing eternally.
need to be thankful that God sent His unique Son to this world to become
the sacrifice that satisfied Him on our behalf. The day that the Lord
was born was a very important day. It was a day that was filled with joy
and promise. The day that the Lord died was probably the blackest day in
the history of mankind and was filled with sorrow. The day when the Lord
was raised from the dead turned sorrow into joy (John 16:20) and gives
us assurance that Christ Jesus has satisfied God. Because of that very
important day, we who trust Him are forgiven and go free. We know that
we too will one day be raised from the dead because of that day.
the most important day in our lives is our day of salvation. It is the
day when we like Nicodemus in John 3 met the Lord and found out that we
didn't understand how God saves. We found out that we were lost but that
the Lord Jesus did come to be our Savior. We can know all about that and
not be saved. It is not until we personally rest on the truth that
Christ died for us that we are saved. When we trust what a person says,
we are trusting the person; and we must trust the Lord to be saved. The
gift of eternal life that is offered must be received by faith. That
happened for me in 1963 just before Thanksgiving.
can truly say and I hope you can too:
you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.
for the week of November 21, 2010
to Convince the Unconvinced!
I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their
enemies' lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations,
then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into
captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land,
and left none of them captive any longer.
prophesied when the children of Israel were in captivity in Babylon. His
message was "then shall they know that I am the Lord." He says
this about the nation of Israel, but He also says it about nations that
were the enemies of Israel. God intends to use judgments involving wars
and natural disasters to make people understand who He is. He also
intends to show mercy to Israel as a nation to convince the world that
He is the LORD. The LORD (or Jehovah) has tried to convince the people
of Israel that He is God and that there is no other down through the
nation's history. Moses met the Lord on the back side of the desert when
he saw a bush burning that was not consumed and introduced Him to the
nation of Israel and to Egypt. This story starts in Exodus 3.
Israel should have known that the Lord Jehovah was their God, they
constantly turned away from Him to serve the idols of the lands around
them. People in the world in general are also ignorant when it comes to
Who God is. How can people be convinced to worship the one and only
creator God who has provided redemption for them?
would like to meet and talk to this God personally. Well, God sent His
Son so that they could do that. He tells us that when we have seen the
Son, we have seen Him (John 14:9-10). Did this convince the Jews who
knew the prophecies of the old testament and who should have recognized
the Lord as God when He came? No! Instead they crucified Him.
would like to see great miracles in order to believe in the one true
God. God gave us the flood. Scientists and geologists find good reason
to believe in a world wide flood, but has that convinced the world to
worship the one true God? No, they would rather serve gods of their own
"vain imaginations (Romans 1:21-25)." Others foolishly deny
that the God who has given them breath really exists.
God didn't stop with the flood. He gave us Jonah who was three days and
three nights in the belly of a fish. Of course, people who don't want to
believe in God deny the validity of this story. Then God told us that
just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the fish's belly, the
Lord would be three days and three nights in the grave (Matthew 12:40).
Has the resurrection which was witnessed by many convinced the world
that the Lord Jesus is really "the LORD" that should be
trusted and worshiped? No!
believe that if God is really God, He should judge immorality and sin.
He did that time after time in the old testament. However, instead of
believing God because of these judgments, we often hear unbelievers say
that God is unfair and unjust because of the wars and judgments that
took place in the old testament.
will it take to convince people that Jesus is God and that He is also
the One that revealed Himself as Jehovah or the ever existing One in the
old testament? Nothing can convince those whose minds are already made
up and set in stone. Nothing will convince those who do not want
accountability to this God.
have been convinced, however, that the Lord Jesus is this one true and
living God. By faith we understand (Hebrews 11:3). I realize that we all
have faith in a lot of things that we probably shouldn't trust. Most
people make promises that they can't and won't keep, and yet we try to
be trusting rather than suspicious. Most business warranties run out
just before their products fail, yet we continue to do business with
do we hold God to a higher standard than we do our friends and our
businesses? I personally have great confidence that what God has
promised, He is able to perform (Romans 4:21). I KNOW that the Lord
Jesus is the LORD my God, and because of that I have every confidence
that my sins are forgiven and that one day I will be with Him in heaven
for eternity. I am thankful that I am simple enough to just believe God.
for the week of November 28, 2010