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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One Man’s Journey

A Fictional Narrative – Originally Published in 2019

“Thou has made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee” (Augustine of Hippo).

A Fictional Narrative

There once was a good man who attempted to do everything right in his journey through life. He was looked up to and admired by his family and all those around him. He believed in God and gave to those less fortunate. He attended church weekly, provided for his family and prayed to God. By all accounts; this man was an example to everyone around him.

Yet, the man felt incomplete. He knew there was something missing in his life. There was a void deep within that was not satisfied by anything in his life. He seemed to have it all, a wonderful family, a good job, friends; yet he knew there must be more.

“And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

As it would happen, on his way to work each day he passed a storefront mission. Every time he passed by it seemed to be a hub of activity with people coming and going. Each day he felt a drawing to stop and visit this mission. He fought this urge justifying his reluctance to go in. He told himself that this really was not his type of place. It seemed to him that most of those going into the mission were down on their luck and in need of what he felt a mission like this could offer them. He had a good life and was in need of nothing materially. However, each time he passed by he felt a strong drawing to go in.

“The Lord guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way” (Psalm 25:9).

The man fought this pull toward the mission for months. However, one day as he passed by, he noticed that there was more activity in front of the mission then he had ever seen before. A huge banner draped the entire front of the building. The banner had the words “REVIVAL TODAY” in large letters that completely filled up the whole banner.

The man pulled his car to the side of the road and just sat there for the longest time staring at the building and the banner. Many people were arriving and going inside. They all seemed so happy. He made the decision that this was the day that he would find out just what was going on inside the mission.

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

As he entered the building he noticed that it was almost filled to capacity. He found a seat in the back and waited for whatever it was that was planned to start. Finally, a man, who identified himself as the pastor, came out and stood in the front of the room behind a podium. Music began to fill the room. All those in attendance began to sing along. They all seemed to know the words and sang with great joy.

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).

Once the music came to an end, the pastor began to speak to all those present. He seemed to have a knowledge of the things of the Lord and an intimacy with the Lord that the man had never witnessed from anyone before. He spoke of a personal relationship with God that was available to anyone who so desired it. The man listened and came to the realization that this was what was missing in his life. At the end of the service, the pastor invited those present who did not know the Lord in a personal way to come forward. The man went forward and knelt before the Lord, asking for forgiveness and accepting the Lord’s gift of salvation.

” I love them who love Me; and those that seek me early shall find Me” (Proverbs 8:17).

He immediately felt a lifting of the burden he had carried with him his whole life. He was totally forgiven by the Lord and it was such a freeing feeling. Not only forgiven, but he now had a personal relationship with the One who loved him and died for him. The man left the meeting rejoicing in all the Lord had done for him.

[I just want to thank You Lord for all that You have done for me.]

He realized that of all those at the mission that day, that he may have been the neediest of all. The man finally understood that although he had been trying to live a good life, it was a life of trying to be good enough and a life of trying to serve or appease a God he did not really know. He had come to realize after seeing the Lord’s goodness towards him, and admitting his own desperate need of forgiveness, that he was to humble himself before the Lord and accept what the Lord had already provided by His death on the cross – the gift of salvation.

The Bible says, ” There is none righteous no not one” and, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Once the man realized that the Lord had done it all and he needed only to accept it, he was filled with thanksgiving toward the Lord and filled with great joy. A new day had dawned in his life and he was so grateful. The Lord had seen his need and had reached down to him in mercy. It was truly amazing grace.

If in our journey through this life we come into the knowledge of the Lord, we are truly blessed and have come to know the true path of life.

“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).

Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com

Hey Jude – We Hear You!

A Warning To The Church

“….. It was needful (suggests an urgency) for me to write unto you and exhort you that you should earnestly contend (a vigorous effort) for the faith……..for there are certain men (false teachers) crept in unawares..” (Jude 3,4)

Jude’s epistle addressed a serious issue the church faced concerning false teachers who had crept into the church even at this early date in church history. Jude originally thought to write his epistle on our common salvation, like Romans, but the Holy Spirit had him redirect his efforts to convey a warning of a great danger that threatened the well-being of the early church. False doctrine, that would destroy the church if not addressed and stopped, had come into the church through false brethren. We face the same danger today. False brethren spewing false doctrine has been a serious problem from then until now. If not recognized and addressed it will destroy a church. Many are in Hell today for following false teachers.

It’s interesting to note that Jude said that these false teachers “crept in unawares.” It suggests these men stole in slowly and carefully without notice. They had an outward appearance of wisdom and they taught some correct doctrine, but with it, they cleverly included false teaching. He referred to them as “ungodly men.” The spiritual health of the church was in grave danger from these false teachers who had come in among them unnoticed. The Holy Spirit referred to them as “brute beasts” and “twice dead”, meaning they were like unreasoning animals who had once known the way of salvation but had turned from it. No wonder the Holy Spirit moved on Jude to address this critical issue. The flock was in great jeopardy.

There is a sense of urgency in Jude’s words as he goes on to tell us just what these false teachers were propagating. However, before we list the false doctrines these false teachers were advocating; I think it important that we acknowledge the fact that false doctrine is always initiated by “seducing spirits”(see 1 Timothy 4:1), and it gains entry because seducing spirits make it look very attractive. Deception is one of Satan’s greatest weapons! The Bible tells us that Satan, at times, comes in as an “angel of light,” and so do his emissaries.

Just what were these false teachers pedaling? Well, they had turned grace into license. In other words, they taught that it didn’t matter how much you sinned because grace covered it. They also denied, “the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” When you divert to a false way you inevitably leave “the faith”, which is belief in the inerrancy of scripture and belief in Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Jude goes on to refer to them as “filthy dreamers” intimating that what they believed was made up out of their own perverse imagination. He said they “defile the flesh” which speaks of the fruits of their teachings. Also, he said that they “despised dominion” which means they refused to live by the Word of God and made up their own doctrines. They were “clouds without water” meaning what they promised sounded good, but they couldn’t deliver on what they promised. Jude goes on to refer to them as “raging waves of the sea” which points to the destructive nature of false doctrine which can totally destroy a church. They spoke “great swelling words” and sought to gain men’s confidence and their own gain (money) by flattery. Their end is also spoken of by Jude. He says, speaking of these false teachers, “to whom is reserved for the blackness of darkness forever”.

So, these false teachers crept in without notice and propagated their false doctrine for profit by way of deceit and flattery not able to deliver on all that they promised. They would not live by the Word of God but made up their own doctrines. They also denied the Lord and the atonement. They taught that because sin was covered by grace it was to okay to sin (license). And the fruit of their doctrines resulted in the defiling of the flesh. We may find it hard to believe that the church was unaware of the presence of these false teachers, but the false teachings these ungodly men were advocating sound suspiciously like some of today’s false teachings that have made their way into the church.

How do we recognize false doctrine and what can we do to protect ourselves against it and the purveyors of it that may be in our very midst? The lies that Satan and his ministers sell can be very subtle. 1 Timothy warned that, in later times, “some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits.” The danger is very real and we must be aware of it and know how to avoid its pitfalls. Jude’s admonition to “contend for the faith” points the way to walk in victory. “The Faith” is faith in Christ and Him crucified which is the chief doctrine of the Bible. We must know the Word of God to protect ourselves against false teachers and false doctrine, and we must make the cross, what Jesus did there, the object of our faith both for salvation and for sanctification (our daily living). When we know the Word of God and the cross becomes our anchor, false doctrine can be seen for what it is. We are to place our faith in the One who loved us and died for us on the cross. Yes, Jude, we hear you. Our enemy will try to sneak in unawares with his false ways, but we are wise to his schemes and have anchored our faith in the One that defeated all our enemies at the cross. In Him, we stand.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

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The Company – A Story Of Forsaken Favor

Originally Published June 12, 2020

A Fictional Narrative

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation …..” Hebrews 2:3

There once was an extremely successful company owned by a wonderful family. The father oversaw everything at the company. His son was the creative force of the company and was sent out on special projects by the father, and a third member of the family had the responsibility of putting all their plans into practice. They worked as a unit to successfully accomplish all the objectives of the company.

In time, the company issued a directive stating that it would open a new facility in another country. The chosen country was poor by most standards, but the company felt that their way of doing business would work well there and that they would be providing a way for those in this country to come out of the poverty that was so prevalent there.

The operation was opened and the workers were given all the tools needed for success. The satellite operation prospered for a period of time. However, the workers became lifted up in their pride and began ignoring the directives from the home office.

The father sent several of his top executives at different times to try and gain the cooperation of the workers. They not only did not listen to those sent to them, but they mistreated them. The operation began to do very poorly as a result of the workers not following the well-proven directives of the home office.

The father thought that if he sent his son, surely they would listen to him. However, they did not listen to the son. In fact, they treated him poorly as well. The father ended up closing down the company due to their not listening to the company’s directives and mistreating those he sent, especially his son. The result was devastating for those that worked for the company. In their pride, they had brought trouble upon themselves and their families. What might have been a blessing to their country and the workers ended with many of them being scattered to other countries and unable to take care of themselves and their families.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” (Psalm 122:6)

The story of the company corresponds to Israel’s history up to the current day. They were chosen by God as the only nation on earth at that time to serve the God of the Heavens. They were entrusted with His Word. They became lifted up and rebellious and started serving the gods (idols) of the nations around them. He sent His prophets to show them the right way. They rejected the prophets He sent because they had lost their way and had ceased following the Heavenly directives. God sent His Son and they rejected Him and saw to it that He was nailed to a cross. In AD 70, the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. Many of the Jews were killed. They had rejected God, His Son, and His way, and lost their place in the land. Because of this they were scattered throughout the world and have suffered greatly over the last almost two thousand years. The Lord has not forgotten His people, and all Israel will be saved when Jesus returns in the last days at the end of the Great Tribulation, but it cost the nation dearly due to their rejection of God and His ways all these many years.

” And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer (Jesus Christ), and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Israel).” (Romans 11:26)

We have a similar decision before us today. The Father has given us His Word that we might be blessed in this life. The Son has come and paid the price that we might be partakers of the divine nature. The Holy Spirit has come that He might live in us; changing us by His mighty power. We have been offered much. How will we respond? Will we follow the heavenly directives? Will we acknowledge the price the Son paid that we might have newness of life? Will we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and be changed?

We have a choice today. Just as the employees of our company in the story had. They chose poorly. They thought they knew better than the benefactor that tried to lift them out of their poverty and bring blessing into their lives. We have been offered blessings today. We need only to accept what has been offered. The day will come when God will bring judgment on this world. Today, we can make the decision to accept His way and come into the safety of His protection. The Lord is patient and does not want anyone to perish. However, there is coming a day when God will judge the inhabitants of the earth. Acts 17:31 says this of that day: ” For He (God the Father) has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man (Jesus Christ) He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him (Jesus) from the dead (by the power the Holy Spirit).” The Heavenly directives are clear. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have spoken.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2020

The Prayer Of Jabez – A Hidden Treasure

“And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow.” (1 Chronicles 4:9)

The name “Jabez” means “sorrow”. In the Jewish culture, the mother would name the child at birth and in this case, something very sorrowful had happened to cause her to name him this way. Growing up with a name that suggested the grievous circumstances of his birth; Jabez could have turned against the Lord. This is the case with many today that feel unloved and have encountered adverse and hurtful circumstances in their lives. But this was not the case with Jabez, for the verse says, “Jabez was more honorable than his brethren”. What made the Lord address him this way? Why did the Lord consider him more honorable than his kin? The next verse gives us the reason.

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel…”

His adverse circumstances did not discourage him from seeking the Lord. Our trials in this life will either harden our hearts against the Lord, or we will seek Him all the more and cling to Him as He sees us through our difficulties. Jabez chose the later and prayed to the Lord for deliverance from the difficulties that welcomed him into this life. To call upon the Lord means to trust Him completely, to place our circumstances in the hands of the Lord, and trust Him for the answer. We can turn to Him in our difficulties and trust that He will answer. The first thing Jabez asked of the Lord was for the Lord to bless him as the following verse states.

“..Oh that You would bless me indeed.”

The Lord seeks to bless us as we come to Him in faith believing that He loves us and wants to bless us. Jabez, in spite of his terrible circumstances, believed this and sought the Lord for a blessing. True blessing comes only from the Lord and brings us not only material things to enrich our lives but also spiritual blessings that will give us peace and joy. Unlike the world, where what seems like a blessing at the time can turn out to be anything but; when the Lord blesses us it will be lasting and will bring us continued joy. Jabez goes on to ask:

“And enlarge my coasts…”

The word “coast” actually means “border”. Jabez is asking the Lord to get him out of the difficulties he was born into. Many are born into terrible circumstances or come into them in their lifetime. It is the few who seek the Lord for deliverance from these and trust that He will answer. Jabez knew that the Lord was the One he needed to go to for help. We can seek the Lord no matter what our circumstances are knowing that help awaits us there and only there. Jabez goes on with his request;

“That your hand might be with me..”

Jabez knew that he would encounter difficulties in his life and there would be those that might opose him for who he was and for his stand for the Lord. Here, he is seeking the Lord’s hand of strength in his life. If we place our faith in the Lord and trust Him to bring us through; the Lord will honor this. As the word says, He is no respecter of persons. Whosoever seeks the Lord will find Him and partake of His goodness. Jabez ends his prayer with the following:

“That You would keep me from evil, that it would not grieve me.”

Jabez knew that the blessings he sought were dependant on him being kept from evil. As we seek the Lord, He will keep us from the evil that seeks to destroy our lives. We place our faith in the Lord and His great work at the cross and we are kept by His power from evil. Jabez realized that he could not do this in his own strength. By faith, he knew the Lord would answer his prayer and he also knew that blessings in his life could result in him being lifted up in pride and could cause him to sin against the Lord. So he asked the Lord to bless him and to keep him. This is our answer as well. The Lord will bless us and keep us as we believe Him and trust Him. And what was the conclusion of the matter regarding Jabez? The Lord answered as follows:

“God granted him that which he requested.”

Jabez believed the Lord and the Lord blessed him for it. He will do the same for us. This beautiful prayer of faith was not placed in the Bible where you might think the Holy Spirit would place it. Instead, we find the prayer of Jabez in the middle of a long list of genealogies to be found by those diligent enough to seek out this treasure buried in the Word of God. We must seek out the Lord and His blessings. We will be rewarded for it. Our greatest reward is the Lord Himself. How wonderful it is to know that we can know the Lord and trust Him to bless us as we walk through this life together. This prayer is a testimony to the goodness of God and a reminder of the blessings that await us as we seek the Lord in our lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

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Watch! Stand Fast! Be Brave! Be Strong!

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

The four admonitions in our title above might be something a general would require of his soldiers going out to battle. A soldier needs to watch and be alert to the constant danger war brings. He must stand fast in his duty to defend his position. Soldiers are constantly referred to as brave; as they must face the uncertainty and the danger of war. They also must be strong mentally and physically to endure the trials and horrors of war.

Our Christian walk is similar in many ways to that of a soldier going off to battle. We must be constantly aware that we are in enemy territory. Our enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. Regarding our enemy, the devil, 1 Peter 5:8 tells us of this danger, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about, seeking whom he may devour.” In other words, be aware and watch out for this enemy. We are to be vigilant at all times.

We are to “stand fast in the faith”, but what does that actually mean? Second Corinthians 11:14 tells, “… For Satan, himself is transformed into an angel of light.” We are to stay in the Word and know what it says. Satan will come to us with false doctrine through his emissaries to lead us astray if we do not know the Bible.

We are to be brave, for Ephesians 6:12 tells us that: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in places.” It exhorts us to put on “the whole armor of God”.

We are to be strong! We are in a battle to the death with the world and its ways, the flesh (our inner battle against sin ), and the devil. We are to be “strong in Lord and power of His might. ” But how are we to do that? We are up against strong enemies! Just how do we access, and stay in “the power of His might”.

A soldier must trust and have confidence in his commanding general. The soldier’s life depends on it. He must believe the general will bring him through the battle with victory being the end result. Jesus is our general and we must place our faith in Him, believing that He will bring us through to victory. Victory over the schemes of the devil, a world opposed to the Lord and the Gospel message, and our inner battle over the sin in our lives.

The answer for victory in every area of our lives is found at the cross. Jesus paid the price at Calvary. We are saved by placing our faith in His great work at the cross, and we are kept “by the power of His might” in the same manner. In our own strength, we are no match for our enemies. The following verse shows us the way to victory in our daily lives:

“For the Law (a Law of God) of the Spirit (Holy Spirit – the way He works) of life (newness of life) in Christ Jesus (what He did at the cross) has made me free (given me total victory) from the Law of Sin and Death (a powerful law we cannot overcome in our own strength).” (Romans 8:2)

Again, we cannot live a victorious life in our own strength and by our own means. We must place our total faith in Jesus, our general, and His victory at the cross. The Holy Spirit works exclusively in our lives through the finished work of Christ. Placing our faith in our great savior will ensure the victory we seek over the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are saved by faith in Christ crucified and we live a victorious life in the same manner. Jesus told us as much when he said the following:

“If any man will come after me (what it takes to be a disciple), let him deny himself (our own ability, strength, willpower) and take up his cross (what Christ accomplished there which will meet our every need) daily (renew our faith in what Jesus has done for us each day), and follow Me (can only be done by constant faith in Christ and him crucified).” (Luke 9:23)

So our victory comes by faith in Jesus and what He accomplished at the cross. We fight the good fight of (the) faith by keeping our faith in His great work. This gives us the victory we seek over the world the flesh and the devil. As Romans 8:2 explains: our faith in the cross allows the Holy Spirit to come and work mightily in our lives. What a savior. As Jesus exclaimed on the cross before dying; “It is finished”. Peter speaks of the benefits Christ provided us at the cross:

“According to His divine power has given us all things pertaining unto life and godliness (everything we need) through the knowledge of Him Who has called us to glory and virtue (the divine nature in us due to what Christ did at the cross is the source of our new life and victory).” (2 Peter 1:3)

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Just What’s Going On In Our World?

“…The Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, ‘Peace and Safety’; then sudden destruction comes on them, as with travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:2,3).

The Lord has sought to draw mankind to Himself throughout all history. He loves His creation and desires that all of us come to Him in faith. He has shown mankind His mercy and grace in many ways throughout the centuries. The greatest display of His mercy and grace is the giving of His Son as our savior.

We are saved by placing our faith in Christ and His sacrifice at the cross. As the sinless sin offering, He paid the sin debt owed to God by man. We come to God by repentance and faith in this great work. We are born again, or born from above, by this simple act of faith in the Lord’s great work. In other words, we are forgiven of our sin and we pass from death to life.

Man’s salvation is all of God. Our part is to accept it by faith.

The Lord has set a time of judgment for this world when all sin and evil will be dealt with. It’s called the “Day of the Lord” and will come upon all those that dwell on the earth. Throughout all of man’s time here on the earth, God has called out to him in mercy, offering him forgiveness through his grace. He has asked only that we turn from our sinful ways and come to him in faith. Our faith in Him saves us from the wrath to come.

It has been nearly two thousand years since Jesus came the first time. He came as our savior then and submitted Himself to death on a cruel cross. When He returns He will come as a judge, judging the world for its sin and its refusal to come to Him in repentance. This could happen in the very near future. He said there would be signs prior to His return; those signs are beginning to occur, and occur in greater frequency (read my article As The Day Approaches ). The Lord is preparing the world for, and warning the world of His soon return.

This is the day of salvation. We must see that all that is coming about in the world today is a sign of His soon return. We can ignore it and go on with our lives believing all things will continue as they have from the beginning, or we can fall on our knees and asked the Lord’s forgiveness, believing that he will forgive us our sin and save us from His day of judgment. It’s hard to believe that anyone living today cannot discern that we are living in unusual times. When we see what’s happening today, we can sense that things are just not right. The world around us is changing rapidly, and it seems it’s not for the good. Won’t you consider the mercy and grace of the Lord and come into the safety of His presence. He has promised that He will give all those who come to Him in faith life eternal in His presence.

“Surely I (Jesus) come quickly (suddenly). Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

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. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood from all unrighteousness. With my mouth, I confess Jesus Christ. In my heart, I believe that He died for my sins and that God raised Jesus from the dead and that He is alive. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as the savior of my soul and 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.

” 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).

If you prayed the above prayer you have been born from above (born again) according to the promise of God and have passed from death to life. We can know that we have eternal life and will be with Him forever.

“These things have I written unto you who believe on the Name of the Son of God (Jesus); that you may know that you have eternal life..” (1 John 5:13).

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