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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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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Our Journey To God On This Path Called Life

There’s An Emptiness Within Us All That Only God Can Fill

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

If we seek to know the Lord and His way in our journey through this life, we must seek Him with our whole heart. And if we do choose to pursue the Lord, we will find that there are only two ways to approach Him for both salvation and for relationship – through faith or works. To address the later first, the works (or good things) that we do in our life to gain favor with the Lord are the hope of many or most. We are told from our earliest years that we must work hard in this life to be successful. This, of course, is true. If we do our very best to succeed we will be rewarded for it. So, why can’t we do the same in our approach to the Lord? Doesn’t He want us to live a good life and do good works? Works that will make this a better place to live – works that will honor Him. Isn’t this what the Lord wants and what the Bible says our lives should be like?

Yes, we are to live good lives before the Lord and do our best to help others. But the question is: Do these things count toward finding favor with the Lord for our salvation? The answer is no! Our works are not acceptable to the Lord for our salvation. We are sinners unable to live a life pleasing to the Lord. We are helpless in ourselves. We stand guilty before God unable to pay the debt owed. The Lord is holy and just and for this reason, must require payment for sin. The Bible says that “the wages (payment) of sin is death.” Fortunately, the Lord, in His mercy has provided a way. This way is by unmerited favor or grace. The Lord Jesus came and paid the debt owed to God for our sins through His sacrifice at the cross. God accepted His death as full payment for the sins of all those that will repent of their sins and place their faith in the Lord’s great work at Calvary. We come to the Lord in repentance and accept the gift of salvation He has provided. Our works then come forth out of a grateful heart. As it has been said, good works will not produce proper faith, but proper faith will produce proper good works.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If God provided for our salvation at Calvary, why aren’t more people coming to the Lord in faith to accept His loving gift? The answer is pride. It is hard for us to admit that we are sinners unable to help or save ourselves. We want the Lord to accept the good in our lives as worthy of salvation. We see ourselves in Heaven someday because we have lived good lives. However, if we were to be honest with ourselves, we know that we are flawed with a fallen nature and in need of a savior. Many are in Hell today as a result of believing that to live good lives alone will be acceptable to the Lord when they stand before Him.

What place does living a good life and doing the best we can to help others hold in our lives? These are fine goals for us and the Lord wants us to live good lives before men, but are faith must not be in these things for salvation or sanctification (our daily living). If we could live a life acceptable to the Lord in our own strength then Jesus need not have died on the cross. Our focus must be on faith in His great sacrifice and not on ourselves. God loves us and has provided a way for us to be with Him in eternity. It is a narrow way, but not a difficult way. We must not let our pride keep us from the Lord who loves us and has exhibited proof of His love before the whole world at Calvary.

“But that no man is justified by the Law (by what we do) in the sight of God, it is evident (obvious, for man cannot perfectly obey God) for, the just shall live by faith (the only way from first to last)” (Galatians 2:11).

On our journey on this path called life, we will encounter many things, great joy, sorrow, and at times hardship may be our companion, but through all the events and circumstances we encounter along the way, hopefully, it will lead us to an encounter with the Lord. He is found by the few who earnestly seek Him with their whole heart. His way is a straight and narrow way that leads us to Calvary.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13).

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Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2020

Jonah – One Whale Of A Story

Historically Accurate? Read The Story And Find Out!

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40)

Jonah was called by God to go to Nineveh and “cry against it; for their wickedness.” It was the first time the Lord had sent one His prophets to a gentile nation to warn them. Jonah knew that this could end very badly for him. Nineveh was part of the Assyrian Empire which was the mightiest empire of that time and certainly a threat to Israel. Even in Israel, a prophet’s warning was usually not well received and could result in the prophet being killed.

After considering what the Lord wanted him to do, and all the reasons for not going there: Jonah fled “from the presence of the Lord.” He boarded a ship bound for Tarshish which was in the opposite direction from Nineveh. The ship experienced a great storm sent by the Lord and all on board feared greatly. While all the crew was calling on their gods to save them; Jonah was fast asleep. They woke him up and told him to call upon his God.

After Jonah told them just who his God was, “The God of Heaven, which has made the sea and dry land”, they were “exceedingly afraid.” They asked Jonah what they were to do with him for he let them know that he had fled the presence of the Lord. Jonah told them to cast him into the sea and the calm would return. Initially, they were reluctant to do this, but after Jonah cried out to the Lord that He would not hold them guilty of innocent blood, they cast him into the sea, and the sea became calm.

The Bible says, “The Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah and he was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah prayed to the Lord from the fish’s belly and repented of his disobedience. The Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah out onto dry land.

The Lord told Jonah once again to go to Nineveh and preach repentance to them. This time Jonah obeyed. The word of the Lord to them was repent or they would be destroyed in forty days. The people of Ninevah believed God, fasted and repented of their ways “from the greatest of them even to the least of them” and were saved from destruction.

Jonah was not happy with this turn of events – that the Lord would forgive this heathen cruel city. He reasoned that it’s destruction would have benefited Israel. This was extremely displeasing to the Lord for the prophet to take a stand against His will. The Lord was patient with the prophet, but in the end, silenced him by showing Jonah that it was always the His will that all men be saved. We see this same mercy and grace today in the Lord’s giving of His Son to die on a cruel cross to save those that will hear the message of salvation and be saved from certain judgment.

“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)

We can learn much from this account. It shows us that the Lord controls everything the wind, the sea, and even a great fish. It is also an example of the Lord’s great patience, mercy and care. He brought Jonah back from his place of disobedience to an obedience that enabled him to face the cruel city of Nineveh with an ultimatum from the Lord that could have brought certain death upon him. This was also a lesson and warning for Jonah’s nation of Israel to not involve themselves in idolatry. Unfortunately, a warning they failed to heed. The Lord’s mercy toward the unsaved is also seen here. Those in the ship sought the Lord after seeing what happened. All of Ninevah repented and were saved from judgment. It was also a sign to all of the coming Messiah some 700 hundred years later.

The Lord’s mercy and longsuffering are seen here. We can be assured that the Lord is patient with us and watches over us for our good. Even if we get off in the wrong direction at times, the Lord, as a loving shepherd, will guide us back to the right way. He is faithful to us at all times. The final lesson from the story of Jonah is for us today. The Lord is asking that we believe Him and obey Him. We are called to share the “Good News” with a world lost in sin. Today, through His church, He calls out to all those in the world that do not know Him.

[The story of Jonah is an incredible one. Some have doubted its authenticity. However, the introductory verse in this article and the following verse were spoken by Jesus. He, in fact, by His words, authenticated the Biblical account of Noah as historically accurate.]

“For as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of Man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:30)

The Lord Our God

The Lord our God is ever faithful. Never changing through the ages. From this darkness, You will lead us. And forever we will say, You’re the Lord our God.

(Composed by Jason Ingram & Kristian Stanfil)

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Hell – An Account From The Gospel Of Luke

Relating An Actual Event That Took Place In Hell.

“The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of death (Hell).” (Proverbs 15:24)

The subject of Hell is a very uncomfortable one both for the believer and for those in the world that don’t know the Lord. We, as believers, want to share the Lord’s great love for His creation and do not want to talk about the eternal punishment that will come to those that reject God’s mercy and forgiveness. The world, on the other hand, does not want to hear about Hell for obvious reasons. But, not talking about Hell doesn’t make it less real. The subject needs to be addressed. Everyone’s eternal well being depends on knowing the truth and acting upon it.

There is perhaps no better way to describe Hell than to relate an actual event that took place in Hell. Jesus spoke about it in Luke 16:19-31. As you read the following, keep in mind that this is not one of the Lord’s Parables. The Lord used actual names, which He never did in His Parables, so we are learning about an actual happening.

“There was a rich man that was clothed in fine purple and fine linen.”

Many of that day thought that riches always represented the favor of God. We will see from this account that this is not necessarily true. The rich man was the only one in this account not identified by name for obvious reasons, as we will see.

“and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus which was laid at his gate, full of sores.”

The rich man passed by Lazarus on many occasions offering him no help. Many of that day thought that those like Lazarus were cursed by God. Many today equate a lack of wealth and earthly blessings in the same way.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom (Paradise).”

Who would pay much attention to the death of a beggar? We see here that the Lord takes great care with his own upon their death. He sent his angels (plural) to escort His child to Paradise. Paradise is where all those who died in the faith went prior to Jesus paying the sin debt at the cross. It stands empty today.

“The rich man also died, and was buried.”

Angels did not carry him off for he died eternally lost. All of his wealth did not help him when he faced death.

“And in Hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.”

If anyone of that day had doubted the existence of Hell then their doubts would have been put to rest with these words of Jesus. He shows us in these two deaths that, immediately upon death, the soul and spirit go to Heaven (after the cross) or Hell. and that we are totally aware of our surroundings. This also tells us that there is great suffering in Hell. We will see in the following that identity and memory remain after death.

” And cried and said, father Abraham, have mercy on me.”

Once a person is in Hell there is no help, no mercy, and no way out. It has been well said that there are no unbelievers in Hell.

“And send Lazarus that he may dip his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.”

The rich man showed no concern for Lazarus in this life, but now being tormented in Hell he remembers Lazarus and seeks his help to bring some small relief to his suffering. The Bible here teaches that the suffering in Hell is literal.

“But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things.”

Points to him being blessed in this life. This did not cause him to be thankful for the good life he lived. His faith was in his earthly blessings to the very loss of his soul at death. How many today are doing the very same thing?

“and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed”

The blessings the rich man received in this life did not cause him to come to the Lord, and Lazarus didn’t let his suffering in this life keep him from the Lord. Our fate is sealed upon death. Apparently, those in Hell could see across the great gulf between them and Paradise.

“Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that you would send him (Lazarus) to my father’s house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”

He knew that his fate was sealed, but asked that his family be warned lest they suffer the same fate as he. He seemed to know the way of salvation but did not go that way himself in his lifetime.

“Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”

Abraham points to the Bible as their sure way of knowing the truth and the way to God. The Lord has given us His Word (the Bible) so that all could know the way.

“And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went into them from the dead, they will repent. And he (Abraham) said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

If one does not believe the Bible then one who rose from the dead will not convince them either. After all, sometime later after relating this event Christ actually rose from the dead. And yet, most did not come to him in repentance and receive the gift of eternal life. It is the same today. Most, knowing about the Resurrection, will not come to the Lord in repentance and faith.

The question many have is this: Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell? The truth is that if someone does go to Hell then it was their choice. The Lord has given everyone every opportunity to come to Him in faith. He sent his Son to suffer and die to pay the price for our salvation. He has given us the Bible as our guide. The Great Commission, the Lord spoke about after His resurrection, commands the church to reach out to all the earth with the good news of the Gospel. He paid the price and reaches out through His church to all those that will hear. What more could He have done!

He loves us and He has provided a rest for all those that come to Him! We have His assurance that we are saved by faith in His great work at the cross! And, He has commanded His church to reach out to the whole world with the “Good News! The following verses tell the story:

His Love

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son (speaks of Calvary), that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

His Promise

“Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

His Assurance

” These things have I written unto you who believe on the Son of God; that you may know that you have Eternal Life..” (1 John 5:13)

His Command (to the church)

“Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

He loves us and has proven His love for us by paying the price for our sin at Calvary and, even to this day, seeks out all those that will come to Him in repentance and faith!

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The Village

A Fictional Narrative – Originally Published in 2019

“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15,16)

There was once a very remote village with a population of several hundred. There came to this village a traveler one day. He spoke of a king and a kingdom that were seeking subjects. The villagers listened to the man as he presented the kingdom to them, but they did not feel they needed a king or a kingdom and went about their business paying no heed to what the man presented. There was one exception to this; one man in the village listened intently to the story of this king and kingdom and told the traveler that he wanted to become part of the kingdom.

“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

The traveler told the man that the only requirement for becoming a part of this kingdom under the king was to admit that he needed what the kingdom had to offer. The man did just that and became part of the kingdom. The traveler stayed for some time and told the man all about the wonderful king and kingdom.

After a period of time, the traveler told the man that he needed to leave the village. He said he had been sent by the king to reach as many villages as he could with the message of the kingdom. The king was now calling him to continue on his journey. He would go on to the next remote village with the good news of the wonderful king and kingdom.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

Before the traveler left, he gave the man a book that had all the information that the man would need regarding the king and kingdom. He told the man to read the book every day and that it would encourage him and reinforce all the traveler had told him. The man was sad to see the traveler go but thanked him profusely for telling him about the kingdom. He told the traveler that the words of the kingdom had changed his life for the better and that he would seek to share the message with the other villagers.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout …..(1 Thess. 4:16)

Before the traveler departed on his planned journey to other villages; he told the man something most incredible. He said that one day the king himself would come for his servants and take them to live with the king forevermore. The traveler told him that all of this was written in the book for the man’s encouragement.

After the traveler’s departure, the man went throughout the village telling all those that would listen of all the wonderful news of the kingdom. The villagers at first listened, but most did not accept what the man told them. He showed them the book and told them of the one day return of the king to take those that had become part of the kingdom away to be with him. Over time, they became angry with the man, mistreated him, and would avoid him whenever possible. The man did not give up. He heralded the good news of the kingdom throughout the village each day.

“Then we which are alive and remain will be caught up …… to meet the Lord in the air…” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

One day the villagers realized that the man and all those that had believed his words were missing. They searched the village for them, but they were nowhere to be found. They remembered his words about the kingdom. They searched his home and found the book he carried with him everywhere. The book had been left on the desk opened to the story of the sudden return of the king for those that were part of his kingdom. The villagers remembered that the man had told them all about these things when he spoke to them about the kingdom.

There were some in the village that took to heart the message the man had brought them. They encouraged each other each day with the words of the book. They also warned the other villagers about a terrible end that was spoken of in the book for those that were not part of the kingdom. The villagers listened at first, but then told those with the message from the book to leave them alone and not bother them any longer. The villagers said they had their lives to live and did not want their lives interrupted or troubled by these words.

“For then shall be great tribulation … (Matthew 24:21)

What the villagers did not realize, was that there was a great storm coming that would destroy their village and take many lives. And although all those in the village would go through the coming storm, there was a place of security for those in the king’s kingdom. As the storm began to bear down on their village, with certain destruction inevitable, the villagers continued living their normal lives unaware of their final end.

THE HOUR IS LATE!

Today, the Lord is calling out to all those that will hear and come to Him. We are promised no more than today. Today is the day of salvation. Won’t you come to Him and enter His rest.

“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

I Never Shall Forget The Day

I never shall forget the day when all the burdens of my soul where rolled away. It made me happy, glad and free. I’ll sing and shout it for He’s everything to me.

(Composed by Iris Dement)

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One Woman’s Journey

A Fictional Narrative – Originally Published In 2019

A Sequel To One Man’s Journey

“You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, in your right hand are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).

There once was a woman who had a great life. Her husband was a good man and a good husband and father. She also had a wonderful son and daughter. The woman was thankful every day for the blessings of having such an incredible family and such an exceptional life.

That was until the day her husband began acting somewhat strangely. You see, her husband had stopped at a mission on his way to work one day and had not been the same since. He was always a religious person, but now he was what she might call fanatical. He was talking about Jesus constantly and encouraging her to read her Bible.

She felt that religion had its place, but her husband had taken this religion thing to a whole other level. She believed in God, went to church every week, and tried to live a good life. She felt that she was doing all that her church required of her to be a member in good standing.

However, the woman did notice that her husband seemed to have a relationship with God that she did not have. He spoke of the love the Lord had for us and he had a faith in God that she admired. He also had a joy that she had never seen in him before.

All this made her very curious about his newfound faith. She wouldn’t admit it to him, but she had decided to look into it herself. She began reading the Bible as he had suggested and came across some pretty amazing things.

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

The Bible said that the Lord loved us and that we could know that we have eternal life by repenting of our sins and placing our faith in Jesus and His great sacrifice at the cross. Having attended church from a young age, she knew that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but the woman never heard it preached that faith in Him and His death on the cross would bring us into a personal relationship with the Lord and into the salvation of our soul that everyone seeking the Lord so desired. But there it was as plain as day.

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you might know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

She had always been taught that she was to have faith, but she was also taught that she needed to do her part. This did not agree with the Word of God. Jesus said, “It is finished” just before He died on the cross. He had paid the price for our sins in total. What He did satisfied the demands of a holy God against the sin of the world. What could we possibly add to that? She now saw that the Lord required repentance from us for our sins that cost Him so much, and faith in what He had done for us on the cross.

Verily (truly), Verily (truly), I (Jesus) say unto you, Except a man be born again (through repentance and trust in what Jesus accomplished at the cross), he cannot see (comprehend/apprehend) the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

The woman now saw why her husband had such a love for Jesus and spoke of Him as one knowing the Lord intimately, and why he had such great joy. She too wanted what her husband had for herself and her family. She felt that her eyes had been opened and that for the very first time she could say that she knew the Lord and had seen His great love for us all. A love that would bring Him from glory to die on a cruel cross for her sin and the sin of the world.

“But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons (and daughters) of God, even to them who believed on His Name” (John 1:12).

This day would be a most special day in the life of the woman. A day that she would remember for the rest of her life. She had come to know the “path of life”. His name is Jesus. When we find Him, we have found everything our soul needs and we are greatly blessed.

“But the path of righteousness is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Proverbs 4:18).

If you have never come to the Lord in repentance and faith, you can pray the following prayer, as many have done before you, and make things right with 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’ve done. Please forgive me and cleanse me with Your precious Blood from all unrighteousness. With my mouth, I confess Jesus Christ. In my heart, I believe that God raised Him from the dead and that He is alive. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as the savior of my soul. I make Him the lord of my life, and according to His word, which cannot lie: I am washed, I am cleansed, I am forgiven. I am saved.

If you prayed this prayer and believed, according to the Word of God, you have been born again (born spiritually). Praise the Lord!

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