All posts by John

Christian saved by grace through faith.

“To Live is Christ”

“For me, to live is Christ to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

What a powerful verse.  In this passage, the Apostle Paul is in jail (yet again) and is writing to the church at Philippi.  His discussion here is that should he be allowed to live, it will continute to be for Christ, but should he die, his gain is heaven.  Paul is actually torn about which he should hope for.  As we read in verse 22-23, “If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” 

Paul realized the importance of his time here on earth spreading the gospel.  In fact, he referred to his imprisonment as being in chains for Christ.  Author C.S. Lewis offers this quote, “The glory of God, and, as our only means to glorifying Him, the salvation of human souls, is the real business of life.”  Both of these men understood that the “purpose” of our lives is to live for Christ, advancing the Gospel and spreading the message of Salvation.  How much more focused on Christ would our lives be if we had this outlook.  That even in the direst circumstances, of awaiting potential death like Paul, we can stand and say, “For me, to live is Christ to die is gain.”

Dear Father

Dear Father, I’m praying for this land that You gave to us,

It used to be Under God and in Your name we trust.

But something happened along the road of this winding ride,

Our leaders became filled with greed and selfish pride.

The people have lost their way, faith, and trust in You,

Now the only way back to peace is faith and trust in You.

What can we do?  Please tell me there’s a way to Your grace,

Tell the people to kneel and seek Your Holy face.

It’s not too late; I know we have chance,

Let the Bride and Bridegroom come together for one final dance.

Please Lord, I’m coming to you with a humble heart,

Let men and evil days find a way to part.

You told us to ask, seek, knock and it will be given,

Please wake the people up and let them know that Jesus is risen.

I feel the people’s hearts are so cold,

I thank you Lord for Your Word and let me speak it bold.

One final plea before I end this prayer with a heart true,

Let us have one more revival before we join in heaven with You.

Your humble servant

Listen only to Sound Doctrine!

Something has really been bothering me recently and I want to get it off of my chest.  Excuse while I enter a mild rant about some doctrinal teachings that are going on in today’s church by some well known pastors.  I may have posted some things about perseverance, encouragement, trial by fire, etc., because I know these are issues that I deal with and I feel that everyone needs a positive message from time to time to uplift them.  But what I want to impress upon you is that while the central theme of the Bible is love, we can’t dismiss the fact that it also teaches a much firmer message of death and separation from God if we do not repent from our sins and in turn trust Christ as our Savior. 

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  In accordance with this, Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Combine those two messages and it tells us that we are ALL worthy of death because of our sin.  This is reality.  This isn’t a feel good kumbaya message.  It’s death and separation for all eternity.   The only message of hope, is through the gift of God, in Jesus Christ.  In Psalm 130:5 David says, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” There’s not some hidden message, or hidden meaning.  Jesus’ death on the cross is our hope; our hope is in His resurrection and coming again.  The Apostle Paul states, “Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.” 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 No seed of “hope” needs planting by someone else.  There is no hope without Jesus.  If you want to know the “purpose” for your life, this is it: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19

I offer this measuring stick of truth as a test to those who might not be preaching sound doctrine of the Bible.  Pay close attention to the sermons you hear, whether they are at your home church, on the internet, or on TV.  If you do not hear the name of Jesus being preached I Corinthians 1:23; if you don’t hear the way to salvation is through repentance 2 Peter 3:9 and belief in the bloodshed of Christ on the cross Romans 5:8-9 then that is your queue to remove yourself from that false teacher.

 

2 Timothy 4:2-5 “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”