Jude 1:3 “…contend earnestly for THE faith which was ONCE for ALL delivered to the saints”.
In the last couple of years, there have been stories about people from the middle east getting saved through dreams without hearing the gospel or the name of Jesus. While I may not limit anything the God of creation can do, I believe when I read scripture that He has chosen to limit the means by which He will save His people. I do not find anywhere in scripture where God saves by dreams and even visions and I will by scripture present a case.
The natural revelation helps men see that God has created everything. David heralds this in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork”. And Paul in Romans 1:20 echoes the same “20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”. God never chose the natural revelation to be the means to save men but prepare men for the supernatural or special revelation. The natural revelation can create a desire for special revelation, however the natural has no power of its own. Continue reading
Galatians 1:8-9, “8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
It is believed by some that there are about 20 – 30 gospels that have been written. When Christians think about the gospel what comes to mind? Perhaps some words like four, good news, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, etc…. However there are writings that some non-gospel writings that some claim have been cleverly left out of the Bible because of contradictions with the four books of the gospel. The Gospel of Thomas, Judas, and Mary are three to name a few. Unfortunately many Christians don’t know there Bible that well and are unfamiliar with church history. A few years back the famous book fad that came out was called the Bible Code. Now the Da Vinci Code and the Gospel of Judas are the latest fads. Continue reading
Numbers 33:2, “And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the Lord: And these are their journeys according to their going out”
Many people record many things in this life. In looking at the Guinness book of world records you will discover that it records some of the craziest things that people have done.
Moses recorded all the places that Israel pitched their tents. Each place had its ups and downs, positives and negatives, yet they pitched their tents anyhow. Think for a moment of the Tabernacle of Witness, which had as its purpose to be in the middle of tribes as a witness of God’s presence as they traveled. John 1:14 states, that Jesus Christ became “tabernacle among us“. And what was further written of the life of Christ was that He would bring redemption paid for by His blood. Why, because His mission was to seek and to save the lost. Continue reading
Judges 6 “12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, The Lord is With You Mighty Warrior.” …Vs. 25 That same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”
What was the Lord doing here? The Lord first dealt with Gideon’s identity, then he spoke of the promise of His presence with Gideon, and now God is helping him to begin to make practical changes in his life so that he can be displayed as the mighty warrior that God called him to be. God first instructs Gideon to tear down his father’s altar to Baal. Baal worship was popular, however, Gideon knew he was risking his life by obeying the Lord. Gideon was pulling down strongholds and dealing with the influence of idolatry in his life. 2Corinthians 10:4 states, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” This was a stronghold in his life, even though there is no mention that he himself worshipped this idol, I imagine that he did as his father’s idol. He had heard stories about the power of God, but most likely really worshipped Baal as was taught to him. Yet God was not going to allow him to continue to magnify, promote, and worship this idol. Continue reading
Acts 26:28, “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
To come close but feel like it’s still far is a test we all face. This happens to me many times when I evangelize, there are people who seem to be close but in reality still far, very raw. For those who appear close, we are often tempted to close the deal, ask them to say the sinner’s prayer and proclaim them believers. I see this many times when reports are given of hundreds or thousands of people making decisions to follow Christ through crusades, meetings etc. And my thought, how was the gospel presented and how many of those are truly saved (God saved them). Could it be possible that we are dealing with almost persuaded, people convinced but not changed when 80-90% of those who make a profession of faith fall away? That is the question. Continue reading
Galatians 5:1-4, “1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
In my study time on Galatians 5, I paused on vs. 4 and started working my way backwards to get a grasp as to what Paul wanted us to understand. Some have suggested that vs. 4 is one of the strong passages to show that it is possible for one to lose their salvation. I do not believe that is what Paul is addressing here. Continue reading
Focus: Matthew 27:1-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:39-19:16
Barabbas was a Jewish national/zealot. Hebrew custom establishes the idea that Jewish parents name their children based on certain characteristics. Barabbas means “son of the fathers”; that is, “Bar” means son and “abbas” means fathers. Growing up, I bet Barabbas thought he was something special. He was the hope of Jewish history (son of the fathers). His name suggests that the Jewish nation had a lot riding on his shoulders (son of the fathers). Barabbas was the product of the long line of Jewish wise men and sages (son of the fathers). He embodied and represented them. Little is known about his parents other than that they were political figures and did not raise him themselves. It is said that Barabbas was raised by the community- being groomed for a purpose. He was not raised with a lot of discipline. Continue reading
Mark 7:19, “All too well you reject (set aside) the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition”
How hungry are you spiritually? Are you driven to the Lord to fill that hunger?
Now go back to that rooftop with me, where Peter is meeting with the Lord by a vision, and the Lord is again trying to teach Peter at a pivotal moment when Peter is in prayer and is hungry, about the sustenance of true hunger. There were all kinds of four-footed animals both clean and unclean animals. To keep the Israelites separate from their idolatrous neighbors, God set specific dietary restrictions regarding the consumption of such animals (cf. Leviticus 11:25, 26) (v.12). He tells him to eat what is traditionally unclean for Jewish people to eat. Yet He is touching on a much greater truth in this account, and the bigger picture is not about the food itself, but rather the nourishment that comes from feeding hungry people, which are starved of spiritual nourishment because they have not partaken of the Gospel. Continue reading
Acts 10:15, “ And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common”
Many of us have been told by our parents when we were growing up, “Don’t talk to strangers.” The reason for that is that our parents didn’t know what certain strangers would say or do to our children. Hence it was a safety precaution for us as kids. Perhaps you are now a parent and you have passed the same caution onto your children. However, can this same wisdom be implored when it comes to obeying God to share the Gospel? It would seem that the same sentiment has crepted into the church manifesting itself as don’t talk to strangers about Christ only those you know and trust. Hence obeying our traditional rule from our parents and bringing into Christianity has manifested itself in disobeying our Heavenly Father when it comes to obeying His Gospel. Continue reading