We Must Ever Guard Against Leaving Our First Love!

“Examine Yourselves, Whether You Be In The Faith.”

“Nevertheless, I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love”. Revelation 2:4

In the above verse, we have the words of Jesus to the Church of Ephesus as recorded by the Apostle John in chapter 2 of the Book of Revelation. The Lord commended them by saying: “I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil (those that had departed from the truth) and have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: and have borne (kept on going), and have patience (persevering even when things are not going well), and for My Name’s sake have labored, and have not fainted (earnest and unrelenting in their efforts)”.

It would appear to anyone looking at this church that it was a very sound church. The Lord commended them for their works, labor, patience and the fact that they had identified and rejected the evil of false doctrine trying to slip into the church. False apostles had come to them and they had tried their doctrine and found it false. Everything about this church looked good from all appearances.

However, the Lord had this to say to them: “Nevertheless, I have something against you, because you have left (left not lost) your first love”. So, what did the Lord mean when He said that they had left their first love? He meant that they had departed from the Cross as the object of their faith. When they were first saved, they had a great love for the Lord and what He had done for them on the Cross and had placed their faith totally in Him for all their needs. Their faith in the Lord and what He accomplished on the Cross allowed the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and bring “life” and victory to them. By leaving their first love, they had transferred their faith from Jesus and Him Crucified to other things. They had, in effect, separated Jesus from the Cross which always leads to disaster. That is another Jesus.

The Apostle Paul spoke of this other Jesus in the Epistle to the Galatians when he said: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him Who called you into the Grace of Christ (by the Cross) unto another gospel (anything other than the Cross). Paul goes onto say: “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached to you (Christ Crucified), let him be accursed (eternally condemned). Paul said this twice in Galatians (1:8 & 1:9) showing just how serious it is to depart from faith in Jesus and what He accomplished at the Cross. Jesus cannot be separated from what He did at the Cross. As we have said: to do so is to look to another Jesus. It is by faith in Who He is (God come in the Flesh), and what He accomplished on the Cross, that saves us and keeps us.

The Lord goes on to tell the Church of Ephesus: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen (they had fallen from Grace), and repent, and do the first works (come back to the Cross)”. He then goes on to tell them what the result will be if they do not repent: “Or else I will come unto you quickly, and I will remove your candlestick (light rejected results in light removed)”. After being commended for so much by the Lord; His rebuke identified such a serious problem, that without repentance it would destroy the church.

The Lord is patient and longsuffering towards us, but we must ever guard against shifting our faith away from the Cross to anything else, no matter how good it might seem. Our love for the Lord and our total faith in Him for all our needs is our “first love”. As Paul reminded the Corinthians: ” Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith (Christ Crucified); prove your own selves (make certain)”. These words from the Lord through Paul were spoken to those in the church, not the unsaved; we would be wise to remember them today as well. The first and greatest commandment is to: “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”. This must come first in this dispensation of Grace as well. It is our love for Him (“We love Him because He first loved us”), and our faith in what He has accomplished at the Cross for us, that allows all the blessings of God to come to us. We are “in Christ”. In Him, we stand. When our faith is placed in the Cross we have:

Freedom In Christ

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (free by faith in Christ and Him Crucified to live a holy life), and not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage (law of any kind) “(Galatians 5:1).

And Are Led By The Holy Spirit – With The Fruit of The Spirit Developing

“But the fruit (fruit singular- they grow equally): of the Spirit (not of man) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22,23).

{See the Victorious Christian Living page on this website}

Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com

A Lot….Of Trouble

A Blessing Forsaken And A Life Of Regret

“I will make of you (Abraham) a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2,3)

The Lord called Abraham to leave his country, his kindred, and his father’s house and go to a land that God would show him. The Lord promised to bless him for obeying His voice. Abraham obeyed and left his country along with his wife, those that were under him (could have been as many as 1000 people including 318 fighting men), and his brother’s son Lot. They journeyed to Canaan.

The Bible says that Abraham was very wealthy in “cattle, in silver, and gold”. Lot also had “flocks and herds and tents.” And there came a time when due to their increased wealth and substance that there was “strife” between the herdsmen of Abraham and those of Lot. Abraham told Lot that there should not be any trouble between them as they were family. The decision was made that they would separate. Abraham let Lot choose the direction he would go and Lot saw that the plain of Jordan was “well watered everywhere”, so they separated and Lot journeyed east toward the plain of Jordan with Abraham remaining in the land of Canaan.

What Lot didn’t seem to realize was that he was being blessed because of Abraham, just as Israel didn’t understand that they were being blessed because of David when Absalom rebelled. Separating himself from Abraham for what looked like a “well-watered plain” was a mistake that he would come to regret as we will see.

[ The introductory verse above outlines the Abrahamic Covenant by which the Lord blessed Abraham and the nation of Israel which came from the loins of Abraham and the womb of Sarah. Israel blessed the world by being the caretakers of the Word of God and also brought the Messiah into the world. Everyone in the world that acknowledges Christ is blessed through Abraham. This covenant pointed to the One that would bless the whole world by paying the sin debt at Calvary.]

The plain that Lot saw as so desirable was where Sodom (and Gomorrah) were located. The Bible says Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom.” The men of Sodom “were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Not a good report! Certainly not what anyone would want the Lord to say about them. During this time, Sodom and the surrounding cities served a more powerful king for 12 years. In the thirteenth year, they rebelled and came out against the powerful king and four other kings that joined in to put down their rebellion. These kings attacked Sodom and took captive Lot and his family. Abraham heard about this and came to Lot’s aid. Lot and his family were rescued along with all the people of Sodom. We see in this account that the Lord watches over His own even though at times we may not be in right relationship with Him. Did this make Lot change his ways and leave Sodom? Unfortunately, it did not. Lot and his family returned to Sodom.

After a period of time, the Lord came to Abraham and told him that He was going to destroy Sodom for its wickedness. Abraham sought the Lord’s mercy if 50 were found righteous in Sodom. There were not 50 righteous. Abraham continued to intercede with the Lord for Sodom asking if the Lord would spare Sodom if 45, then 30, and finally 10 righteous were found in Sodom. The sad fact was that there were not even 10 righteous in Sodom.

The Lord sent two angels to rescue Lot and his family. They found Lot in the gate of the city which probably meant he had some position of authority in Sodom. Lot convinced them to spend the night in his home. The men of Sodom found out about the “men” that had come to the city and were Lot’s guests. They surrounded the house and demanded that Lot send them out that they might “know them.” The angels blinded the men and told Lot that the Lord had sent them to destroy Sodom for its wickedness. Lot tried to get his prospective sons-in-law to come out of the city with his family before the Lord destroyed it but they refused. In the end, Lot, his wife, and two daughters escaped from the city with the two angels. The angels said that destruction could not come to Sodom until Lot and his family were out of the city. Even knowing that judgment was coming Lot was somewhat reluctant to leave and the angels had to forcibly remove them. This shows us that the Lord was watching over Lot and that the Lord’s judgments are not for the righteous.

Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. The Bible intimates that she continued to look back at Sodom, that is, her heart was in Sodom. His two daughters concocted a scheme to conceive and bring forth children through their father. They said, “let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the seed of our father.” They did just that and both had sons through their father. The Bible said that Lot, being full of wine, did not realize what was happening. Sadly, this is the last we hear of Lot.

Lot left Abraham where he was being blessed to live near Sodom a wicked city. The result of his choices in life wreaked havoc on Lot and his family. The Lord warns us as children of God to avoid evil. Our soul wars against this world and it’s ways. Lot lost the blessing of being near Abraham, his wife was taken from him, and his daughters conspired against him to bring forth children. We can learn a lesson from this. Sin has its attraction for a time, but if we give into it, it doesn’t end well for us.

And what does the New Testament say about Sodom and more specifically Lot? In Peter 2:6 we learn: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow (judgment), making them an example unto those who after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation (lifestyle) of the wicked.” Sodom was destroyed by the Lord for the wicked behavior of the Sodomites. The specific behavior mention was homosexuality. This was to be an example of God’s judgment on sin to all those that would come after this time. By the way, the angels forcibly removing Lot and his family before the judgment of God could come on Sodom and Gomorrah is a type of all believers being taken out or “raptured” before God’s judgment on this world; the Bible says “for God has not appointed us to wrath.”

Lot is spoken of in the above verse as “just” meaning he had his faith in the coming savior and was therefore saved. His choices were not admirable as we have seen, and he suffered for those choices greatly. We are told in God’s Word to “come out from among them, and “be ye separate” and “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Lot did not do this and it cost him dearly. We are saved and set apart for the Lord. We are to follow Him and walk in His ways. A lot of trouble will come to us if we depart from His ways. We have a choice in this life just as Lot had choices. The pull of the world can be strong, but Jesus has overcome the world and we can too if we keep our faith in Him as we walk out this life.

“You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” (Deut. 5:33)

[See the Victorious Christian Living page on this website]

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Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com

Lord, Remember Me

The Dying Thief

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42,43)

The above verses are an account of a conversation between Jesus and one of the two thieves that were crucified alongside Him. The Bible tells us little about him except that after reviling Jesus along with the other thief, his opinion of the Lord completely changed. We see this with his response to the other thief’s harsh words to the Lord in the following verse:

“And one of the malefactors (one of the two) which were hanged (crucified) railed on Him (Jesus) saying, If you be the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

The repentant thief responded with this strong rebuke of the other thief:

“But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do not you fear God, seeing that you are in the same condemnation. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds.”

The thief is here admitting to his guilt and agreeing that he is being justly punished for his crime. He, in the spirit of true repentance, is admitting his sin and acknowledging that his punishment is just. He goes on to say this regarding Jesus:

“But this Man (Jesus) has done nothing amiss.”

This is one of the few kind words that Jesus received that day. He is realizing just who Jesus is and goes on to declare His Lordship and ask for forgiveness. He says:

“Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.”

Dying on a cross for his wrongs, he now places his total faith in Jesus. A most incredible conversion. Jesus responds to his faith with the following:

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in Paradise.”

Repentance and faith in Christ and Him crucified are the only requirements for salvation. The thief certainly could not do any works to qualify himself for the reward of Heaven. The Lord did not say that he needed to go to Purgatory or do some penance to make himself worthy of Heaven. Jesus didn’t point him to His mother Mary who was in the crowd. He simply told the thief that he would be with Him in Paradise that very day. Jesus paid the full price for our sins on the cross. Just before He died He said, “It is finished.” There is nothing we could add to His “finished” work. Just like this thief, we are saved and made ready for Heaven by faith in Jesus and His atoning work on the cross.

By the way, the thief’s stay in Paradise was a very short one. Three days after the Lord’s death on the cross, He rose from the dead and all those in Paradise, which included all the Old Testament saints, accompanied Jesus to Heaven. The price had to be paid for the sin of man before anyone could have their sins forgiven and go to Heaven. Now, after Calvary, when someone dies, the Bible says that we go directly to Heaven to be with the Lord. The Apostle Paul said this: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body (death), and to be present with the Lord (Heaven).” He paid it all. Only believe.

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

{See the A,B,C’s of Salvation page on this website}

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Tom Quinn Ministries – TQMINISTRIES.COM

Can A Lost Book Bring Destruction?

…… A House Divided Cannot Stand …….

A Fictional Narrative

Many years ago a group of individuals searching for a land of their own came across a beautiful and bountiful land. They settled it and established a town complete with everything a well-run town could provide its citizens. The town was governed through the wisdom of a book that contained all that was necessary to make the town and its inhabitants live a full and peaceful life.

Everything went well in the town for many years…… many generations. The town grew and the population increased to the point that it was the size of a small city. However, they started to get away from looking to the book for help in making decisions for the town. It was gradual at first. Some in the town felt that they didn’t need the book and were able to make decisions for themselves. They started to establish laws that were in direct opposition to the ways laid out in the book.

One day they realized that the book had been lost. They had made their own way for so long that nobody could remember where the book was or what it contained. Some in the city searched for the book, but others felt that everything was going well and the book was not needed. The truth was that everything was not going well. The people couldn’t see this because they had abandoned the one thing that kept them and the city on the right track. The looming question was; Would they realize that they were headed for real trouble? The city would not endure much longer if they did not realize the danger they were in and turn back to what had made their town grow and prosper initially.

The book was ultimately found and some of the people searched through it for direction. What they came across in the book gave them pause. The book detailed what would happen to any town or city that abandoned the ways of the book. It spoke of a decay that would grow and result in the destruction of the city. It would come from within initially because of the loss of the wisdom the book offered resulting in decisions made that would destroy them. The book had been their anchor.

Those that searched for and found the book went to the people of the city and told them all the book said. The city was divided between those that wanted to go the way of the book and those that wanted to go their own way. We leave this story wondering what will become of this city. We know a house divided cannot stand. We also know that if those that do not want to follow the book have their way then it means certain destruction for the people and the city. Which way will they choose? Only time will tell.

We, as a nation, have the same choice today. The Lord gave us the Bible to show us the way. Over the years some have been tempted to leave the wisdom of the book for traditions and ways they have established themselves. The Lord gave us His truth because He knew that left to ourselves, we would make our own rules and would judge by what was right in our own eyes. This would result in following ways that are in direct opposition to the Word of God. This is exactly what is happening today. Moral decisions are made without the guidance of the Lord and His wisdom. The result will be a people or society that accepts sinful ways as acceptable. The choice is clear: Do we follow the ways of the Lord that will bring blessing and prosperity, or do we abandon the “book” and bring certain judgment on our land? Only time will tell.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

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Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com

We Are To Overcome …… To Become Overcomers.

But just how do we accomplish that?

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his (or her) God, and He shall be My son (or daughter).” Revelation 21:7

The Lord is clearly saying here that if we overcome (become an overcomer) we will inherit all things, be adopted into the family of God, and we shall become His son or daughter. What a promise! But just what is an overcomer and what do we need to do to overcome in this life? Most importantly, how do we know we have become overcomers?

First of all, the Lord promised blessings to those that overcome so it must be possible for us to attain to it. As far as what we are to overcome, we are told throughout the New Testament that we are to overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

The World – 1 John 5:4 says, “For whatsoever (or whosoever) is born of God overcomes the world.” The world system is at enmity with God. We as Christians battle against a system that believes it doesn’t need God or His will for us in life and that everything can be accomplished without Him. Pride and self-will define the system and philosophies of the world.

The Flesh – Galatians 5:17 says, “For the flesh (in this case evil desires) lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary to one another: so that you cannot do the things that you would.” Paul talks about this in Romans Chapter 7. After becoming a Christian he experienced a war within himself. His desire was to live for God, but he found that he could not do that with willpower or in his own strength. There were things in his flesh that were opposed to God. We have weaknesses within and enemies without that war against us.

The Devil – The Bible makes it clear that this enemy is real, powerful and cannot be defeated in our own power. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” Clearly, we have an adversary who is out to destroy us by any means. James 4:7 says, ” Submit yourself to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” We are told to be sober, vigilant, submit ourselves to God and resist the Devil; but how do we do this?

It becomes increasingly obvious as we read God’s Word that we, in ourselves, cannot overcome the world, the flesh or the Devil. So the Lord has shown us that it is possible to become an overcomer, but we are unable to accomplish this in our own strength. Paul, when realizing this cried out in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am (he realized there was no victory in himself).” Once he realized his weakness and inability to live a life pleasing to the Lord in His own strength, he was on the right track! He then continues “who will deliver me from the body of this death?” His path to victory is opening up to him when he cries “who”. Finally, Paul says in verse 25, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Victory is now assured.

We become overcomers and know it only as we place our faith in Jesus and what He accomplished at the Cross and leave our faith there. Romans Chapter 6 says that, at conversion, we were “…baptized into His death (spiritually, we died with Him)“, “buried with Him (buried with Him with our past sins)”, and “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life.” So we are to realize that spiritually, we have died with Christ, have been buried with Him and been raised in newness of life.

The source of all blessings from God comes through Jesus. The object of our faith must be Jesus and His finished work on the Cross. This allows the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, which is the only way to victory. We overcome by placing our faith in the Lord and His great work. Roman’s 8:2 makes this very clear for it says, “For the Law (Law of God) of the Spirit (Holy Spirit) of Life in Christ Jesus (Newness of Life from Christ due to what He accomplished on the Cross) has made me free (the only way to victory) from the Law of Sin and Death.” The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is the most powerful spiritual law of God, and the only way to overcome the Law of Sin and Death.

Jesus said in His message to the Church of Laodicea in Revelation Chapter 3 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock (door of our heart), if any man (whosoever will) hear my voice, and open the door (Christ is the door to all God has for us), I will sup with him, and he with Me (the only way to victory).” It should be noted here that this message from Jesus was given to those already in the church. No wonder the Apostle Paul when admonishing the church at Corinth said “Examine yourself, whether you be in the Faith (faith in Christ and Him Crucified), prove your own selves (make sure). Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you (possible only with proper faith), except you be reprobates (rejected)” (2 Corinth 13:5). We see by this verse and the message to the Church of Laodicea how important properly placed faith is to us.

“They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (victory in Christ crucified exclusively) and by the word of their testimony (our testimony that our faith is in Christ and Him crucified)… (Revelation 12:11)

We overcome the world, the flesh and the Devil in the same way. In Revelation 12:11 we see that the saints of the Tribulation overcame by the “Blood of the Lamb” and “by the word of their testimony.” It is the same for us. Just before He dies, Jesus cried out “It is finished.” He has provided us everything for “life and godliness” by His great work on the cross. The sin debt was paid and we can live in newness of life by what He accomplished. If our faith is in Christ and Him crucified and not in anything else, then we can know that we are overcomers. What a Savior! We can exclaim along with Peter that this is “Joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Rock Of Ages

Composed by Augustus Toplady in 1763

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee; let the water and the blood, from Thy wounded side which flow, be of sin the double cure*; save from wrath and make pure. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the Cross I cling.

*Christ Crucified is the double cure. Save from wrath (salvation) and make pure (sanctification).

(See the Victorious Christian Living page on this website)

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Honey, I Can’t Find You Or The Kids!

...In The Twinkling of An eye…The Trump Will Sound…And We Shall Be Changed

A Fictional Narrative

What would you do if you woke up one morning and your wife and children were missing? Well, that happened to me! I woke up to find my house empty and the people I love missing. After searching for them throughout the whole house and noticing that my wife’s car was in the driveway; I checked my wife’s day planner just in case the family had an early event that I had forgotten about. There was no such appointment listed in her day planner, but there was a note inside the front cover. The note said that if she and the children were missing; I was to look for a book in the bookcase that she had left in case this very thing happened.

As soon as I saw the title of the book I knew what had happened. With a feeling of dread, I went to the bookcase and found the book she mentioned in her day planner. It was titled “The Rapture Of The Church.” My wife had told me about this event on many occasions. She said that there would come a time when the Lord would come for all those that trusted in Him. She said that it would happen in an instant – in the twinkling of an eye. This made no sense at all to me at the time and seemed like something that sounded quite unbelievable, even a little fanatical. My wife was very level-headed about most things, but I considered her belief in a sudden rapture of believers to be pretty far out.

I remember her talking to me about her faith and encouraging me to come to church and to read the Bible. I thought I might be interested in that someday, but my focus was on the here and now. Most of my friends were not religious and felt the same way. My wife would share her faith in the Lord with me when the opportunity arose. She would gently and sometimes humorously point the way. One time, I found her standing in the kitchen going up and down on her toes repeatedly. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was practicing for the Rapture. This of course was done in jest, but she was gently reminding me of her faith in the Lord and hoping that I would see my need as well. She was always sensitive to my feelings, but I knew she was sincere in her faith and wanted to share it with me. How I now wish that I had listened!

After my family disappeared and I realized what had happened and where they had gone; I started reading the Bible. It says that we are sinners with a fallen nature and in need of a savior. The Bible tells us that God loves us and gave His Son to die on the cross to pay for our sins. The Bible also says that we need to place our faith in Christ and Him crucified to be saved. I grew up in a church that taught that Jesus died for our sins, but I never fully understood what that meant. Just before He died, Jesus cried out “It is finished”. He had paid the price for all my sins and my faith in Him saved me and brought me into the kingdom as a son of God. I saw now how it was all by faith from first to last. We can know that were are saved because of what He did, not because of anything we do.

My friends, knowing of my wife’s faith, started asking me questions after what turned out to be millions of people going missing at the same time. I explained to them that I had started reading the Bible and that the Bible spoke about this event and other end-time events that were coming in the near future. The Lord was coming to judge the Earth and there would be terrible times leading up to His Second Coming, but if we were to place our faith in the Lord, we would be saved.

I wish that I listened to my wife and read the Bible. I realize now that the life of faith is a wonderful life with many blessings along the way, chief of which is a close walk with the Lord. I now know what that life is and no matter what lies ahead; I know that I will see my family again on the other side and I will be with my Lord forever.

The Rapture

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Thessalonians 4:16-18)

(See The A,B,C’s of Salvation page on this website)

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Today Is The Day Of Salvation

We Are Not Promised A Tomorrow

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”. Titus 2:11

Jonah 2:9 says, “Salvation is of the Lord.” So, just what is this salvation and how is it obtained? Theologically, according to the KJV Bible Dictionary, salvation is, “The redemption of man from the bondage of sin and the liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him eternal happiness.” In other words, we are forgiven our sins and released from its bondage, saved from Hell (eternal separation from the Lord) and offered eternal life (to be with the Lord forever). This amazing salvation is offered to us by a loving God. If we are to know just how to receive this wonderful salvation, we need to understand the following:

MAN IS A SINNER – Man is a sinner and cannot save himself. Romans 3:23 says, ” For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Due to original sin all of mankind is born with a sin nature. We cannot save ourselves. Romans 3:10-12 says speaking of all mankind, ” There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none who understands, there is none who seek after God. They are all gone out of the way (way of God), they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.” What an indictment! Without the Lord, we are spiritually dead and without hope in the world.

GOD LOVES US – The Lord loves us and desires to have us come to Him and to the salvation He has provided. Ephesians 2:4,5 says, “But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins.” He is a merciful God and does not want to punish us, but He is also just and cannot overlook sin. Due to His nature sin must be judged. The Lord saw our hopeless state and had mercy on us. His love for us found a way to rescue us from ourselves and provide a great salvation for us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.” (John 3:16)

CHRIST PAID THE PRICE FOR OUR SINS –At His first advent, Jesus as God in the flesh came to save mankind from sin. John 1:1,14 says of Him, ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” He came to pay the price for our sins by dying on the Cross. Isaiah 53:6 makes this clear, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way (none righteous), and the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.”

IT’S BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH– It’s by grace from first to last. Romans 6:23 says, ” For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We receive this gift of God by faith. Ephesians 2:8,9 says. “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” The Lord is offering this gift of eternal life to all those that will believe. The Philippian jailer cried out to Paul, ” What must I do to be saved.” Paul’s response was immediate and sure ” Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved….” Acts 16:30,31. We can receive this wonderful salvation by repenting of our sins and coming by faith and believing that Jesus paid the full price for our sins with His great sacrifice on the Cross. Romans 10:10 makes it very clear, it says, ” That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The following is a prayer acknowledging our guilt and confessing our need of the Lord:

SINNER’S PRAYER – Dear God in Heaven, I come to you in the Name of Jesus. I’m sorry for my sins, the way I’ve lived, the things I have done. Please forgive me. Cleanse me with the precious Blood of Jesus from all unrighteousness. With my mouth, I confess Jesus Christ. In my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, and He is alive. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of my soul, and I make Him the Lord of my life. And according to your word which cannot lie, I am washed: I am cleansed, I am forgiven. I am saved. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer and believed it, you have passed from death to life and have become a child of God (born again) and will spend eternity with the Lord. This is the great Salvation He has provided for all those that love Him. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him (Christ), to them gave He power to become the sons (and daughters) of God.” We become the children of God by coming in faith and accepting the free gift the Lord has provided for us. This salvation offered by the Lord came at a great price to the Lord. I’m convinced that we will never fully or totally understand just how much it cost the Lord to provide this wonderful salvation for us. “We love Him because He first loved us.” We have a great God.

Jesus’ great sacrifice has delivered us from this present evil world as Galatians 1:4 tells us, “Who gave Himself for our sins (the Cross), that He might deliver us from this present evil world.” Salvation comes from the Lord and the Lord alone and comes to us by faith in Jesus Christ and His great work on the Cross. Jesus said, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life: No man comes unto the Father but by Me”. We should thank the Lord every day for providing the way of salvation. Yes, “Salvation is of the Lord”, and what a great salvation it is. Praise Him.

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Cornelius – A Good Man Yet Not Saved

The Lord Seeks Out Those With A Heart Towards Him

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. ” (Luke 19:10)

Cornelius was a Gentile and “a centurion of the band called the Italian band.” He was in charge of about one hundred men. We will see that he was a good man and a person well respected in his city of Caersarea. The Bible has the following to say about him:

“A devout man, and one who feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.” (Acts 10:1)

So, here we have a devout man who feared God, provided for those in need, and prayed to God faithfully. We will see that although all these qualities were admirable, and something we should all strive after, they did not save Cornelius. Cornelius was unsaved. However, this man’s good life was noticed by the Lord. We will see that the Lord, through the Apostle Peter, will show Cornelius the way of salvation. The Lord always responds to those with an earnest heart.

“He (Cornelius) saw in a vision…..an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius…. And he (the angel) said unto him, your prayers and your alms are come up for a memorial before the Lord.” (Acts 10)

Cornelius was instructed by the angel to send for Peter in Joppa so that he might hear the Gospel and be saved. By the way, this would be the first Gentile to be saved as recorded in the Book of Acts. The Lord was opening the door for “whosoever will” to come to the saving knowledge of the Lord. On this occasion, Peter received a vision from the Lord as well.

“And (Peter) saw Heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to earth. (Acts 10)

In the sheet coming which came down from Heaven were “all manner of four feated beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.” These would be seen by Peter as unclean animals.

“And there a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” (Acts 10)

Peter responds to this by telling the Lord, no, that he had “never eaten anything common or unclean.” These were seen by the Jews as defiled and forbidden by the Law of Moses. The unclean animals were representative of the Gentiles in the vision. Through this vision, the Lord would show Peter that what was done on the cross was for the Gentile (all other nations) as well as the Jew. As Peter pondered these things, men sent by Cornelius arrived.

“While Peter thought of the vision, the Spirit said unto him, behold, three men seek you. Arise therefore and get down, and go with them, doubting nothing for I have sent them.” (Acts 10)

Peter, of course, agreed to go with them, and when he arrived in Caesarea he found Cornelius waiting for him with his whole family. Peter shared with them what the Lord had shown him, that he, “should not call any man common or unclean.” And Cornelius explained to Peter that he had been fasting and an angel had appeared to him and instructed him to send for Peter. And now that Peter had arrived, he and his family were anxious to hear all the Lord had commanded Peter to share with them.

“Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation, he who fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted Him (Christ). (Acts 10)

Peter goes on to share the Gospel with Cornelius, starting with John the Baptist who introduced Christ. How Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, went throughout Israel doing good and healing all. He shared with them that the Apostles and others were witnesses to all He did and that God was with Him. How He was crucified and rose from the dead, and that all that believe in Him will receive remission of sins. Cornelius and his family believed all that Peter shared with them. The Bible goes on to say that, now saved, the Holy Spirit fell on them all.

“While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the Word.” (Acts 10)

Cornelius and his family believed and were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit showing that salvation was for all and not limited to the nation of Israel. This record of the salvation of Cornelius shows us that the grace of God is for all those who believe and that salvation is by grace (unmerited favor) alone. Just as the Lord looked favorably upon Cornelius; He seeks out and will come to all those that look to Him with a sincere heart.

God Loves Us

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

(See the A,B,C’s of salvation page on this website)

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Once Upon A Time, There Was A King

A Fictional Narrative

And the King’s kingdom was magnificent. The royal castle was huge and extraordinarily appointed with the finest of everything. He had many happy subjects that all lived within the confines of the kingdom.

It hadn’t always been that way. In an earlier time, one-third of his subjects rose up against the king siding with an evil subject who wanted to be king. Our king was more powerful than the evil subject and his followers and he banished them from the kingdom.

In a matter of time, the king sent two of his subjects to a land on the outskirts of the kingdom. They were to work the land and rule it for the king. The only royal order the king gave them was that they were not to cross over into the land of the evil king; the very one that had been banished from the kingdom.

The two subjects were happy in their new home. The new land was beautiful and was dressed with many fruit trees and wonderful surroundings.

Some time passed with the two enjoying their new home and meeting with the king when he came to visit. Everything was grand and the two enjoyed their new life immensely. However, they did notice that the land that ran adjacent to theirs seemed to contain much beauty as well. The king of that land was the evil subject who had been banished and he encouraged them to come for a visit. He promised that he would give to them from the goodness of his land and show them how they might be a king. In time, the two did cross over and did partake of what that land had to offer. However, once they were there, they felt guilty for they had disobeyed the royal order of their king who had been so good to them.

Shortly thereafter, their king came for a visit and called out to them. They were across the border in the land of the evil king and could not get back to their wonderful land. The king told them that they had lost the privilege of living in their land, but that he had a plan that would bring them out of the evil land and home to him in the magnificent castle one day.

The plan involved the king’s son who would come to rescue them from the evil land by providing a way out. The son did come and showed them the way to all the goodness of the kingdom. He was accompanied by a helper who aided the son in all that the son did. The evil king, however, was able to kill the son. With that done, the evil king thought he had won and that the two would have to stay with him and that he could make them his servants forever. What he didn’t realize was that the good king would now reclaim the evil king’s land and destroy him and his kingdom because he had shed innocent blood by killing the king’s only son and heir.

And then, the most astounding thing happened. With the aid of the helper, the son rose from the dead and pointed the way home to the two. He told them that he was returning to his father, but that he would return to bring them home and that they were to expect that his return could come at any time. He also left a helper behind to show them the way. The helper told them that the only way home was to believe in what the son had done for them in coming and dying to free them. The helper encouraged them by telling them exactly what the son had told them before he left. He continually told them that the son loved them and that he was within the walls of the castle preparing a place for them for when they returned. He told the two to have complete faith in the son as they waited for his return. The evil king did all he could to discourage the two, but they listened to all they were told and had faith in the son, believing that he would one day return for them.

One grand day it happened; the son appeared in a most glorious and breathtaking way. The son took them to the king’s magnificent castle where there was a grand banquet to welcome them home. The two were finally home to stay and they lived happily ever after in the presence of the king who made them joint-heirs of the kingdom with the son.

This, of course, is a fictional tale and has a happy ending. Well, The Greatest Story Ever Told, a true account, has the happiest ending of all time. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) As the words of the song say:” We are on our way to Heaven and the journey gets sweeter every day.” First Thessalonians tells us what the end result will be: “and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Hallelujah.

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He shall Appear And We Shall Be Like Him

…… We Shall See Him As He Is.”

“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God……” (1 John 3:1)

We are sons (and daughters) of God by way of adoption through our being born-again or born from above. We hear it said today regarding all of mankind that we are all children of God. In the sense of creation, this a certainly true; God created us all. However, in the sense of relationship, this is not true. To have a relationship with the Lord, we must come to Him in repentance and faith, believing that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. The Lord cannot call us His own unless this is done. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, it says: “But as many, as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on His Name.” We can see from this verse that becoming a son of God is conditional. We are not sons or daughters of God by natural birth, but by rebirth in the Spirit. Again, when we place our faith in Jesus and His great work at the cross we are born into the family of God by faith.

“……Therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not.” (1 John 3:1)

The world does not acknowledge that we are sons and daughters of God by relationship to Him through faith because it does not acknowledge Jesus as the only way to God. 1 John says, “Whoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father.” There are those today that believe that there is a God but do not acknowledge that He sent His Son as the savior of all mankind. Or if they do, do not place their faith in the Son and His great work at the cross to establish a relationship. So, they do not understand that relationship with the Lord must be established by repentance and faith in Christ crucified.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be…” (1 John 3:2)

The above verse is stating that even though we do not yet have our glorified bodies that we will receive in the resurrection, we are “sons of God” today in the same sense as we will be then. We will be changed by the Lord at the resurrection, but our relationship with the Lord is established now as we come to Him in faith. The Lord has not revealed to us in total all we shall be when we receive our glorified bodies, but we are no less sons of God today then we will be after we receive our glorified bodies. The following gives us some insight into just what we will happen when we do receive our glorified bodies.

“…But we know that, when He (Jesus) shall appear….” (1,John 3:2)

The Lord will appear when He comes for the church at the time of the Rapture. All those redeemed both living and dead will be caught up to be with Him forever. 1Thessalonians says, “For the Lord, Himself (Jesus) shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (Raptured) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” All believers including both the resurrected dead and those which are alive at the time of His return will be caught up to be ever with the Lord. All the redeemed will receive their glorified bodies at this time. This event, the Rapture of the church, is part of the first resurrection.

“….We shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1John 3:2)

This verse tells us that our glorified bodies will be like His. Philippians 3:20 says in part that we are: “eagerly waiting to welcome, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to receive Him to ourselves; Who shall change the outward appearance of the body of humiliation so as to conform it to an outward expression like to the body of His glory.” We are currently like Him spiritually in that we have been born of the Spirit and we are being conformed more and more spiritually to His likeness by the Spirit’s sanctifying work in our lives every day. The glorified body will conform our “outward expression” to be like “the body of His glory.”

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” (Philippians 3:21)

Wow, what great things we have to look forward to in the future. We will no longer be limited to this world. There will be no more sin nature, death will be no more, no more tears, no more pain or sickness. We are created beings and not God, but we will come into the fullness of being sons and daughters of God. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection He could appear and disappear at will and could pass through walls. Although not specifically addressed in the Bible some say that with the glorified body travel will be at the speed of thought. We’ll have to wait and see on the travel, but it goes without saying, our glorified bodies will be a vast improvement over the tent we now dwell in.

We will also see Him as He is. We can only see Him now as He is by faith for, in our current bodies, we could not look upon the Lord of glory. At the Rapture, we will receive our glorified bodies and look upon the Lord and see Him as He is. Although this will be truly amazing and we yearn for that day, the greatest promise we have regarding our future is that we will be with the Lord evermore. We are truly blessed now and have the sure hope of the Lord’s promises for the future awaiting us.

“And every man who has this hope in Him (the resurrection) purifies himself (we are sanctified by placing and keeping our faith in Christ and Him crucified. It’s the only way).” (1 John 3:3)

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