Saturday, December 27, 2014

I SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED

I come to you as a teacher, not your judge.  I come to encourage and enlighten your understanding of the words of Jesus Christ.  I come to exhort and to make you wise unto salvation.  I come to help you, if you can believe this gospel to be the best way to live in this world. 

When you witness to others and when you stand before Jesus Christ, I do not want you to be ashamed of how little truth you have learned. 

Isaiah 50:7
For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Romans 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The prophet Isaiah said, “I shall not be ashamed.”

The apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed.”

The counsel to Timothy was that he should study to prove himself a workman who needs not to be ashamed.

Who should be ashamed?

Everyone who has lived and had the great opportunity to search for and find and know the truth about Jesus Christ; yet, they did not should be ashamed and will be ashamed. 

Everyone who has been too busy following their self-centered dreams and goals, should be and will be ashamed.

Everyone who has a Bible which has not been well read with a humble attitude to know the truth, should be and will be ashamed. 

Everyone who should have humbled themselves and prayed the prayer of repentance; and did not, should be and will be ashamed.

Everyone who should have listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and received His indwelling and cleansing power; but did not, should be and will be ashamed. 

Everyone who should have fasted and prayed to know the perfect will of God for their life; but did not, should be and will be ashamed. 

Everyone who should have walked in the light of truth when the light came to them; but did not, should be and will be ashamed. 

Are you ashamed and should you be ashamed about how little you know about the Bible, the Word of God?

Are you ashamed and should you be ashamed about how little you know about the will of God for your life?

Acts 17:10-12
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

With whom will you be compared, the Thessalonicans or the Bereans?

The Thessalonicans resisted and fought against the truth which was preached to them.  The Bereans embraced the message of Jesus Christ and searched the scriptures daily to prove those things which they heard. 

What have you done with the message of Jesus Christ?

What have you done with the message of holiness which produces the “fruit of the Spirit?”

Have you searched and studied the scriptures to prove what is truth? 

Mark 8:38
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Are you ashamed to let sinners know that you are a Christian?

If you are ashamed of Jesus and His gospel, then He is ashamed of you and you cannot be saved or have eternal life.  We must boldly take our stand for righteousness in this adulterous and sinful generation. 

Jesus Christ wants to give you the Holy Spirit to teach you the knowledge and wisdom you need to stand for holiness, righteousness and truth.  God wants to teach you how to work for His glory.  Do you have time to listen?  Are you willing to be taught, instructed and corrected?  Someday, you will be ashamed if you do not listen and obey.

Romans 9:31-33
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Many people are trying to work out their own salvation by doing what they think they should be doing without listening to the Holy Spirit.  They are obeying some “rules” which they think will result in a heavenly reward.  However, they are following men’s rules instead of following the counsel of the Word and the Spirit.

The Jews, in the days of Christ, were following after the law of righteousness, but they did not attain to the law of righteousness; because, they were doing it their way instead of God's way.  Those Jews were in bondage to their own religious rules.  They had a form of godliness but they did not have the “power” of a redeemed and sanctified life.  They did not submit to the instructions of Jesus Christ.  They rejected the humble route which leads to the love and mercy of God. 

Full salvation will equip the Christian to bear the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  It is available to you and if you fail to obtain it, you will someday be ashamed that you passed by the way of truth and did not pursue it. 

Philippians 1:20
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

When I meet Jesus at the Judgment Seat, I don't want to be ashamed of anything which is on my record.  I want Jesus to be able to present me to His Father, faultless and blameless.  I don’t want to be ashamed.

Jude V17-25
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

To be “faultless” is to be holy, living free from willful sin.  If you are walking in obedience to all the light of truth which God has revealed to you, then you are faultless and blameless.  If you are living free from willful sin, then you have no need to be ashamed.  You can boldly come before God and receive the help you need in every area of your life. 

2 Timothy 1:6-9
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began

Don’t be ashamed of Jesus or His people. 

Hebrews 11:13-16
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city

Jesus will not be ashamed to be called your God, if you are walking in the light of His gospel.

1 John 2:28-29
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.  If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

If you feel that you will be ashamed at the coming of Jesus Christ, I would like to ask you a question:  Is it because of a lack of faith or a lack of obedience?

If you are being obedient to the counsel and leadership of the Holy Spirit, then you must resist and rebuke the devil who comes to accuse you in your mind. 

If you are not giving Jesus Christ your wholehearted service, then you should be and will be ashamed. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

PRAISING GOD WITH MUSIC

There is a lot of controversy and confusion about how to worship God with musical praise.  Some condemn the use of musical instruments, teaching that the cords of the human voice are the only strings approved by God.  What do the scriptures teach?  We must rely on the Holy Scriptures to teach us all things.  The word and the Holy Spirit will always agree.  They will not speak contrary counsel or judgment. 

Colossians 3:16-17
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 James 5:13
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

 The word “psalms” is defined in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance thusly:  to twitch or twang that is to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes): - make melody sing (psalms).

 Many people have gone to great lengths to explain away the meaning of the word psalms in their opposition to having stringed instruments in the worship service.  Without twisting or distorting the meaning of words, the meaning clearly teaches the use of a stringed instrument when singing a melody unto the Lord.  Without the accompaniment of a stringed instrument, a melody becomes a spiritual song or a hymn.

 Isaiah 38:20
20 The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.

 Psalms 150:4
4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

 No verse in the Bible can be found which condemns the use of stringed instruments in the worship of our God.  However, there is a sound which some people use in their satanic spiritual exercises which God has forbidden His people to use.  It is the use and sound of the viol, which is a woeful sound made with the use of a viol or bottle. 

 Isaiah 5:12
12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands

 Amos 5:23
23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

 Amos 6:3-6
Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;
That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

 Chanting to the sound of a viol is prohibited by the word of God.

Many musicians and singers have performed music for worshipping God which is very sensual and worldly, having a strong expression of human intimacy and passion.  This lusty sound is obviously unacceptable with God. 

 Psalm 89:15
15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

 Psalm 63:5

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

We must praise the Lord with joyful lips; not lustful lips, not sensual lips, not proud lips, not lying lips; but with joyful lips. 

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

 Hebrews 2:12

12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

 Let us sing about the goodness of our Lord.

Let us sing about the mercy and kindness of God.

Let us sing about our salvation and victory over sin and all that is in this world. 

 In closing, let me repeat that nowhere in the scriptures will you find a prohibition against the used of stringed instruments when making a joyful melody to the Lord.  The statements and psalms of King David have no rebuttal in the Old or New Testament. 

 Good and well-meaning men and women may follow the teachings of some other respected spiritual leader in condemning the use of stringed instruments in the worship and praise of God’s people.  I find no such restriction in the Word of God.  We must not add to or subtract from what the Bible clearly teaches. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WHEN DOES SALVATION COME

When does salvation come?
When does a person become a born again child of God?
When is a person forgiven of all his sins and justified before God? 

The ultimate, most important question is this:  Are you saved?  Do you have salvation?

There are many false prophets telling people that they can be saved by simply believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  People are being told that there is no way that a person can lose their salvation once they have been forgiven.  The false doctrine of Eternal Security is accepted and believed by many.  The Bible clearly teaches us that willful disobedience is rebellion against God and that those willful transgression will separate the sinner for God. 

When does salvation come?  When is a person truly born again?

On the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter stood up and preached to the people.  We find these words in:

Acts 2:36-40
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
 
The people asked this question:  “What must we do?”  They wanted to know what to do to be saved.  Peter told them that they must repent and be baptized.  Peter knew this because this is what he had learned from the words and commandments which Jesus had given to His twelve disciples.  People in our modern world today do not understand how to repent, because they have not been taught the truth.  They do not know why they must be baptized, because they have not been taught the truth.

It is my duty to teach you the truth, so that my soul can be saved and justified before the one true God whom I serve.  If I do not teach you the truth, then I will be held responsible and my soul could be lost. 

What are the requirements for salvation?
When does a person receive forgiveness?
How can we know that we are saved?
 
You need to know the answer to these questions.

The answers are found in the word of God, the Holy Bible.

You will not find these answers in the word of God unless you seek for them with an honest and humble heart, desiring to know the truth and willing to obey the instructions of the Word and the Holy Spirit. 

Peter said you must repent.  What does repent mean? 

The progressive, liberal, anti-Christian people in our world today are re-writing history and publishing books which distort the truth.  They are busy changing the meaning of words, printing dictionaries which reflect their lies and distortions.  I recommend using a Merriam-Webster dictionary.  The older the dictionary, the more complete and truthful the definitions will be.

The definition of “repent” is:  to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right; to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life.  Therefore, the true repentance of man which is acceptable with God is this: the act of turning from sin with sorrow, regret and contrition.  Man’s repentance must consist of both confession and forsaking of sin.  Confession alone is not repentance.

In this definition we see two very important factors.  1.  A person must have sincere godly sorrow for the wrongs which he has done.  2.  He must not only be willing to turn from the sins he has committed, he must actually turn from them and forsake those sins. 

2 Corinthians 7:9-11
Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

There is a worldly sorrow and there is a godly sorrow.  Worldly sorrow is that kind which makes you sad that you were caught doing wrong.  The person is not sad that they did the wrong, but only that he got caught, discovered and uncovered.   Godly sorrow is a sincere regret that you did something that was evil and you would like to not ever do that evil thing again. 

The fruit and evidence of godly sorrow is carefulness, and a clearing of yourselves and an indignation against that conduct, and a fear of punishment if you should ever repeat that evil deed, and vehement desire to amend your conduct, and a zeal to do right, and a revenge against Satan who tempted and drew you into the evil conduct.  This is the evidence of godly sorrow which works repentance. 

Psalms 51:15-17
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

A broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart describes the condition of the heart which leads a person to true repentance.  It is more than just confessing and admitting that you have sinned against men and God.  Confessing is necessary, but without a forsaking of sin, there will be no salvation. 

Additional scripture references are”

Jeremiah 2:26         when he is found (worldly sorrow, not true repentance)  to REPENT only when caught is not acceptable:

Jeremiah 7:3-7                Amend your ways and your doings

Ezekiel 18:30          Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Joel 2:12-14            turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.

Matthew 3:2,8         fruits meet for repentance

Acts 26:20               that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

 Have you repented of all your sins?

No sinner will ever enter heaven.  You must repent and be born again through faith, grace and obedience.  If you have not met the Bible conditions for salvation, then you are not saved.  Do not believe the lies of some false preacher which is more interested in your money and your favor than they are in the salvation of your eternal soul. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

ARE YOU IDLE?

You have heard the expressions idle hands, idle mind and idle speech.

Also, the old adage, “An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop.”

What does the word “idle” mean?

The definition of the word idle is:  without purpose or effect.

Our words and actions should always have purpose.  We should intentionally speak and conduct ourselves in a manner which produces a beneficial effect for us and those with whom we have an influence. 

 Matthew 20:3,6

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

 At the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, Jesus found people idle who should have been working, both physically and spiritually; who are instead standing around idle with no purpose or beneficial effect upon others.  Are we sometimes idle when we should be working? 


36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

In this day of spiritual lukewarmness and spiritual sleepiness, Satan has overcome so many people with idleness.  Their daily lives have no purpose and very little effect or influence on other people.  Satan wants you and me to be idle when God has called us to work in His Kingdom for the salvation and encouragement of those around us.  Idle words are killing time.  What an awful thing to do to something so valuable and precious as time.  Are we guilty of killing time? 

 Proverbs 19:15, 18

15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

 Too much idle time will lead to slothfulness, laziness.  There are many useless activities to fill every minute of your day and then you have no time for Jesus Christ and the work of Christina ministry.

 Ecclesiastes 10:18

18 ¶ By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

 If you have purchased a property and you do not invest in its proper maintenance, it will fall into disrepair.  If you have repented and committed your heart to Jesus Christ and do not maintain your salvation by obedience and good works, your experience will decay and be destroyed by disobedience.  Many people have been taught and they also believe that good works are not necessary for maintaining our salvation.  Matthew 5:16 says, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

 What has been will be and what will be has been already.  Today is much like it was in the days of Ezekiel.  There is much iniquity in the religious world today.  They have pride, fullness of bread, and an abundance of idleness.  Entertainment and recreation have become more important to people than the salvation of their own eternal soul.  We are bombarded with news, much of which we can do nothing about.  If we are not careful and diligent, we will let the world crowd out the prayers and meditations which are the strength of every child of God. 


13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

 The conditions mentioned by Paul are created when people lose their focus on the most important issues life. We should pause to consider what we want with what we are doing.  Are your actions leading you on the road to greater spirituality?  What activities have filled the last seven days of your life?  Have they been profitable; or, have they been idle, wasters of valuable time?


Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

 To avoid idle speech and idle works, we must purpose in our heart that we will not be disobedient to the voice of God.  When God calls us to do the work He has assigned to us, we must be busy about our Father’s business.  As Jesus lived in this world, so ought we to live in this world. 

 Acts 11:23

23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

 “Purpose of heart” is critical for success as a child of God.  There is a secular wisdom which says, “Plan your work and work your plan.”  This is good counsel for every Christian.  We need to pray that God will reveal to us and give us understanding of the work He wants us to do.  Once we know what God wants us to do, we must quickly make diligent effort to carry out His perfect will. 


Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver

 In every activity, whether it is giving or receiving, working or helping, teaching or putting into practice, the will of God must be the purpose of our heart. 


10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

 Let this testimony be the true report of the manner of our life, that it was with desire and purpose that we lived to please our Lord Jesus Christ. We did not sit around and please the flesh and serve the appetites of the flesh.  I enjoy doing the work of God. 

 
Song Number 313 in the Evening Light Hymnal expresses my burden in this message.  “Every Hour For Jesus”.

 Every hour for Jesus shall my motto be, there is plenty of work we may do.

We may all keep busy till the Lord we see, till He comes for His faithful few.

Every hour for Jesus we must work and pray, we should never be slothful or tire.’

For the time is coming so the Word doth say, when our work shall be tried by fire.

Every hour for Jesus and whatever I do, I must have His approval on me.

If I do heart service with the Lord in view, He will bless me and keep me free.

Every hour for Jesus there is work for all, spend your time in His service alone.

Be ye ready, waiting for His every call, soon He will say, “Tis enough, come home.”

Chorus:

Every hour for the Lord, Every hour for the Lord let us spend;

Every hour for Jesus till He comes again, when the labor of life shall end.