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If the LORD had not been my help I would have been cheerless

If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, "My foot slips," your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalm 94:17-19

14 Oct 2018

 

The Parable of the Ten Minas (Pounds)

Luke 19:11-28 NKJV;

Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.  (12)  Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.  (13)  So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas [pounds] said to them, 'Do business till I come.'  (14)  But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.'  (15)  "And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  (16)  Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.'  (17)  And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.'  (18)  And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.'  (19)  Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.'  (20)  "Then another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief.  (21)  For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.'  (22)  And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.  (23)  Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?'  (24)  "And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.'  (25)  (But they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas.')  (26)  'For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.  (27)  But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.' "
 (Luke 19:11-28 NKJV )

 

The Jews were all wrong in looking for the kingdom of God immediately to appear. Christ was going away to heaven to receive the kingdom from God there — not about to take it from man now and in this world. It is evidently, therefore, this parable is a picture of the Lord's return at the second advent, after having received a kingdom. It was not a question of human willingness or power, but of receiving from God. But then, further, He shows that meanwhile His servants are called to occupy themselves till he come.

He called His ten servants, and delivered to them ten pounds; and said unto them, "Occupy till I come." Then we find another picture — His citizens hating Him; for nothing can be more elaborate than this parable. The Lord's relation to the kingdom at the second advent is contrasted with the grace that flows out in the former part of the chapter. This is the main subject with which the parable opens. Next, we have the place of the servants responsible to use what the Lord gives. Such is another great point shown out here. It is not, as in the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord giving different gifts to different servants, which is equally true; but here it is the moral test of the servants carried out by each having the same sum. This proves yet more than in the other case how far they laboured. They started with similar advantages.

What was the result? Meanwhile hatred became apparent in the citizens, who represent the unbelieving Jews settled down in the earth. "And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.'” and so with the other; and then we hear of the one who says, "'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. ‘” There was no confidence in His grace. The consequence is, that, treating the Lord as a severe man, he finds Him severe. Unbelief finds its own response as truly as faith does. As "it is unto you according to your faith," so alas! The converse proves true. It is to man according to his unbelief – and thence his reward.

Further, we have a remarkable difference in the rewards here. It is not, "Enter into the joy of thy Lord;" but one receives ten cities, another five, and so on. He that was fearful and unbelieving, on the contrary, has his mina taken from him. Again, then enemies are brought forward. The unfaithful servant is not called an enemy, though, no doubt, he was no friend of the Son, and dealt with righteously. But the open adversaries are called into the scene; and as the Lord here pronounces those men His enemies which would not: that He should reign over them, He says, "bring them here and slaughter them before me”.

Thus the parable is a very complete sketch of the general results of the Lord's second advent for the citizens of the world, as well as of the occupation and reward of the servants who serve Him faithfully meanwhile. (Verses 11-27.)

William Kelly

Luke - Introductory

Introductory Lectures on the Gospel of Luke

William Kelly An Introduction to Luke
Updated: 14 Oct 2018

 

Soldiers of Christ arise

Soldiers of Christ arise,
and put your armour on,
strong in the strength which God supplies
thru his eternal Son;
strong in the Lord of Hosts,
and in his mighty power,
who in the strength of Jesus trusts
is more than conqueror.

Stand then in his great might,
with all his strength endued,
but take to arm you for the fight
the panoply of God;
that having all things done,
and all your conflicts passed,
ye may o'ercome thru Christ alone
and stand entire at last.

Pray without ceasing, pray,
(your Captain gives the word)
his summons cheerfully obey
and call upon the Lord;
to God your every want
in instant prayer display,
pray always, pray and never faint,
pray, without ceasing pray.

From strength to strength go on,
wrestle and fight and pray,
tread all the powers of darkness down
and win the well-fought day.
Still let the Spirit cry
in all his soldiers, "Come!"
till Christ the Lord, descends from high
and takes the conquerors home.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Updated: 30 Sep 2018

 

The Rapture of the Church compared with the Second Coming of Christ

Much confusion arises from miss-understanding the elements of the rapture and the appearing of Christ. The only commonality is that Christ is the centre of the action – coming in both instances.

 

The Rapture The appearing of Christ
Comes for His saints: John 14:2-2 Comes with His saints: Jude 13, Zec 14:5
Takes place at any moment and is imminent: Matt 24:36 Proceeded by the tribulation and thus will not be imminent for those that understand the prophecies of Daniel chapter 9: Revelation 4-19
The tribulation begins after the rapture, when the Antichrist dupes the world and makes a covenant with the nation of Israel (Dan 9:27) The second coming commences the Messianic Kingdom that lasts a 1000 years (The Millennial Kingdom) (Luke 1:32-33)
Is a mystery: 1 Cor 15:51 Prophetic and well known: e.g. Numbers 24:17, 1 Chron. 5:2
Takes place secretly, in the twinkling of an eye: 1 Cor 15:52 Is public – every eye shall see Him: Rev 1:7
Concerns the Church only: 1 Thes 1:10 Concerns Israel, although the consequence concerns all nations: Ps 6:1-4
Comes in the air – the saints rise up to meet Him – the Messiah does not reach the earth: 1 Thes 4:16-17 Places His feet on Mt Zion at the Mount of Olives: Zech 14:4-5
Preluded by the archangel sounding a trumpet: 1 Thes 4:16 Christ as Messiah will come in glory and with all his angels: Matt 25:31.
The saints are gathered to himself:
1 Thes 4:17,18, 2 Thes 2:1
Angels are sent to gather the elect of Israel: Matt 24:30-31, 25:41
Believers taken out of the world: John 14:2,3 The wicked are taken out of this world: Matt 13:41-43
He comes to deliver the Church from the wrath to come: 1 Thes 1:10 He comes to deliver His wrath: Rev 19:11-16
No divine judgement occurs with this event Ends divine judgement of Israel, the nations and Satan, who is tied up for 1000 years (Rev: 6-19)
Comes for his bride – the Church: John 14:1-2, 1 Thess 4:16-17 Comes with his saints: Rev 19:14
He comes as the Bridegroom, to receive His bride, the Church: Matt 25:6, 10 Comes as the Son of Man in judgement upon those that reject Him: Matt 24:27-28
Comes pre tribulation Comes at the end of the tribulation: Rev 19:11-16
Comes as the “Morning Star”: Rev 22:16 Comes as the “Sun of Righteousness”:
Malachi 4:2
Comes without signs – believers do not need signs: John 6:30-35, 2 Cor 5:7 Comes in signs and wonders:
Luke 21:10,11,25-27
Is not the thief in the night – believers are watching and waiting: 1 Thes 5:2, 2 Pet 3:10, Matt 24:43, Rev 16:15, Rev 3:3 Comes as a thief in the night – no-one is watching and waiting: 1 Thes 5:2, 2 Pet 3:10, Matt 24:43, Rev 16:15
Is not mentioned in the Old Testament as the Church was not revealed until New Testament times: Eph 3:3 Is mentioned in both Testaments: e.g. Jude 14
Church believers will be evaluated, rewarded and married to the Bridegroom, the Christ, following the rapture: 1 Cor 3:11-15, Rev 19:7-9 The nations are judged following the tribulation and 1000 year reign of Christ: Ezek 20:34, Matt 25:32. The judgement at the great white throne takes places – people whose name are not in Book of Life are cast into hell, Satan is cast hell: Rev 20:11-15

 

David L Simon
Edited 23 September 2018

David L Simon
Updated: 23 Sep 2018

 

Low in the grave He lay

Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus, my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus, my Lord!

Refrain:
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus, my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus, my Lord!

Death cannot keep his Prey,
Jesus, my Savior;
He tore the bars away,
Jesus, my Lord!

Ronert Lowry (1874)
Updated: 23 Sep 2018

 

What is your hope?

Reader, what is your hope about your soul? Have you any, or have you none? Can you tell me in what way you expect to be accounted righteousness before God?:

Depend upon it, these are very serious questions. You and I are dying men. After death comes the judgment. What is your hope of acquittal in that solemn day? What are we going to plead on our behalf before God?

Shall we say that we have done our duty to God? Shall we say that we have done our duty to our neighbor? Shall we bring forward our prayers, our good works, our morality, our church going, our amendments? Shall we ask to be accepted by God for any of these things?

Which of these things will stand God's eye? Which of them will actually justify you and me? Which of them will carry us clear through judgment, and land us safe in glory?

Absolutely none! Take any commandment of the ten, and let us examine ourselves by it. We have broken it repeatedly. We cannot answer God. Take any of us, and look narrowly into our ways—and we are nothing but sinners. There is but one verdict. We are all guilty—we all ought to die—we all deserve hell. How then can we come before God?

We must come in the Name of Jesus, standing on no other ground, pleading no other plea than this, "Christ died on the cross for the ungodly—and I trust in Him."

Oh, believe me, Christ must be all the hope of everyone who would be justified and saved. You must be content to go to heaven as a beggar—saved by free grace alone—simply as a believer in Jesus—or you will never be saved at all. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast!" Ephesians 2:8-9

J C Ryle (1816 - 1900) Sermons of Ryle
Updated: 09 Sep 2018

 

What is the difference between the Lamb's book of life and the Book of life?

Confusion over the Lamb’s Book of Life and the Book of Life

The Question

The question concern the differences between two books that have very similar names: the Book of Life and the Lamb’s Book of Life. It is because they have similar names, along with doctrinal error about election, these two books are confused.

Confounding factors

When undertaking a study of any type one must be vigilant to collect information about what scientists call confounding factors. These are matters, or things, or actions or results that might obscure or change the observation we are making. When reading about these two books there are two confounding factors or elements that must be considered:

Eternal security – The Bible shows absolutely, in particular in the Letter to the Romans (Romans) that any person believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is saved, and that salvation is everlasting. Put another way, and in terms of the Saviour – Jesus Christ, the sacrifice he made on the cross has paid our debt in full for past, current and future sin.  Eternal security has bearing on the question because someone saved, and thus having eternal security, cannot have his or her name blotted out or removed from any list, in particular one that lists the saved.

Election – concerns the action of God for a person in relation to their salvation before the creation of this world. To an unbeliever election is totally obscured and is meaningless. For the believer, in their maturity, realisation of their status of being elected will humble them before God. Election has a bearing on the question because an elected person cannot be removed from any list, which lists those saved. Election of those that will be saved occurred before the world was created – this status cannot be changed. [1]

Observations

The Book of Life

The Book of Life contains the names of every person who was or will be born according to the Psalmist, David.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
(Psalms 139:16a).

Note the small word “all”. The context is plain – it means everyone. Thus this book cannot be a book of elected persons, because, since every soul is recorded in the book and the Bible states some will not be saved, it would contract the Bible’s definition of election (which only pertains to saved persons). That a name can be blotted, or removed, from the Book of Life, we find to be true, evidenced by Revelation 3:5.

He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5)

The verse states God will not blot out a certain class of persons from the Book of Life. This means there must be at least one other class of persons that will be blotted out. Note the affirmation: ‘not to have’ one’s name removed, thus logic dictates that names must be able to be removed from the Book of Life. The class that will not have their names removed are those that are saved, and the class blotted out are the unbelievers. And again Scripture confirms this – Psalm 69:28 speaks, not about those that are saved, but about the wicked and those of iniquity who will have their names blotted out:

Let them [those full of iniquity] be blotted out of the book of the living,
And not be written with the righteous. (Psalms 69:28)

The Lamb’s Book of Life

Another book is also mentioned in Revelation, and only in Revelation; and it is clear why this is so. This is because this book contains the names of every individual that is, and will be, born again, and in particular in the context of those that will not worship the Antichrist (whose actions are spelt out in the Book of Revelation).[2]

All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the Antichrist], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb Slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

In this book we have the names of every person who has been created, and thus given a soul, and who is saved (born again). It is this class of person who will not worship the Beast. In other terms, these are the elect of God, because these names were written before the foundation of the world and are saved. Revelation 17:8 tells us these will not worship the Antichrist, i.e. beast.

The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life [of the Lamb who was slain] from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Revelation 17:8)

Note that again, like chapter 13, the writer indicates the names were written in the book from the foundation of the world, emphasising these are the elect of God.

Other names for the Lamb’s Book of Life

We have learnt that The Lamb’s Book of Life is not the Book of Life. We also learn that the Psalmist in Psalm 69 calls The Lamb’s Book of Life the Book of the Righteous. This makes sense, because spiritually anyone not saved (and thus has not been elected) is dead; dead in their trespasses (Ephesians 2:1, 5; Col 2:13) – indeed dead men and women walking because they will be cast into Hell (Revelation 20:15) – BUT those that are saved are made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21, 25) – and their names are in a list of the righteous (and are therefore the elect of God (1 Peter 1:2)).

Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the [book of the] righteous. (Psalms 69:28)

Summary

The Lamb’s Book of Life, is the book of the elect and contains only the names of those who are born again. And because salvation is eternally sure (the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is sufficient for all), no-one can be blotted out of this book. Furthermore, the only reason they can be elected is because of the atoning work of Christ who offered a perfect sacrifice – for this reason the book is referred to as the Lamb’s Book of Life (see also 1 Peter 1:19) – more correctly the Slain Lamb’s Book of Life. On the other hand the Book of Life is the list of everyone created and thus given a soul – in essence a list of all souls[3]>. Many (most) will have their name blotted out, because they have not put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ believed in him (John 3:16; Romans 3:21-31 etc.) - they will be cast into the lake of fire, called Hell.

References

[1] To understand Election read: < http://www.life-everlasting.net/frontpage/frontpage_getarticle.php?id=235 > Landmarks and Stumbling-blocks: The Doctrine of Election Misplaced (CH Mackintosh)

[2] Note the context is unambiguous – anyone worshiping the Beast (Antichrist) is lost forever – there is no going back – it confirms their sinful state and alienation from God. For this reasons, they cannot possibly be of the elect of God, and therefore their names cannot be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

[3] Since Book of Life is a book of all souls, it makes a mockery of abortion – the book will contain a vast list, at least from this country, who were murdered before they were born.

David L Simon (9 September 2018)
\Questions\What are the books of life

David L Simon
Updated: 09 Sep 2018

 

It is well with my soul (When peace...)

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—
My sin—not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so—it is well with my soul.

Horatio G Spafford (1828-1888)
Updated: 19 Aug 2018

 

Never

The use of the word in a few places of Scripture

The Greek language employs at times a double negative[1], greatly intensifying the force of the expression used; and when the matter asserted involves a question of duration, the addition of a phrase significant of eternity takes away from such duration all limit whatever.[2]

There are some six places in the New Testament where we get the negative with a term of eternity attached, in five of which the negative is doubled. The places are Mark 3:29; John 4:14; 8:51; 10:28; 11:26; 13:8. Passing by the last of these, we may look at the other five; and we shall, I believe, be led thereby to adore afresh the gracious Spirit who wrote these things for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.

John 4:14 says, "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never (οὐ μὴ) thirst.” One might perhaps show the exact force of the expression used thus - "shall not, no, he shall not thirst for ever." The drinking and the fresh, full satisfaction from the ceaseless, boundless supply continue for ever and ever.

John 8:51 has it, "If a man keep My word, he shall never (οὐ μὴ) see death" - "he shall not, no, he shall not see death for ever." Such is the power of the word of Christ received, retained, and observed; it conveys to the receiver, and effects in him its own object, with vigour which even eternity does not diminish. "The words which I speak unto you," says the Lord, "they are spirit and they are life." Whosoever has been laid hold of by them must, through their operation within him, have life co-existent with the words by which he has been laid hold. They impart to him their own character.

In John 10:28 we have, "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never (οὐ μὴ) perish", thus "they shall not, they shall not, perish for ever." The acquisition of eternal life, as given by the Second Man, the quickening Spirit, is accompanied with the complete impossibility of perishing. This is a life which never wanes, never decays. He who imparts it is Himself its source and supply. That which He gives must, alike with that which He speaks, be in correspondence with Himself. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

So once more in John 11:26, "Everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never (οὐ μὴ) die" - "never, never die."

Thus are these words of the Lord Jesus Christ presented to us like His "most assuredly” (verily, verily in the KJV - ἀμὴν ἀμὴν e.g. John 5:24) a duplicated witness, a confirmation with an oath of the acceptance and security of all to whom they refer. "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift."

Of course one does not need “no not” for the Holy Spirit to stay “never” – there are other forms of the Greek.[3]

In Mark 3:29 we read, “but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never (οὐκ ἔχει - will not) has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation". Here we do not have a double negative but rather “not” that denies absolutely and categorically. The attribution to Satan of the works of Christ involved those who made it in eternal sin - sin from the judgment of which there was no escape.

 

Modified from The Christian's Friend (1898): "Never" ANON

References

[1] οὐ (ou – this is the basic Greek particle that represents some form of “no” or “not” in our English translations, as well as a multiple form of combinations that reflect the negative in some form or other.
μη (me) – this is the other Greek particle that represents “no” or “not,” and it too has a variety of forms that it occurs in reflecting the negative. However, there is a difference in the application of ο? (ou) and µ? (me).
Thayer notes: that οὐ denies the thing itself (or to speak technically, denies simply, absolutely, categorically, directly, objectively), but μη denies the thought of the thing.
http://blogs.blueletterbible.org/blb/2012/05/23/emphatic-negations-in-biblical-greek/ (accessed July 2018).

[2] William Mounce explains that οὐ μὴ (ou me) does not mean ‘never’ in and of itself. However, when you have οὐ μὴ in combination with the aorist subjunctive, it is implied that something cannot ever happen. https://www.billmounce.com/monday-with-mounce/translating-all-the-words-scripture-matt-24-34 (accessed July 2018)
The double negative appears in 80 verses in the New Testament. One which all Christians hold to is: Hebrews 10:17 - "their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more" being the essence of the gospel.

[3] In the original article the author implies a οὐ μὴ in Mark 3 when it is not so – however οὐκ can be rendered "no, not". The Greek reads: , οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (transliterated: never has forgiveness to the eternity [or all time])

David L Simon (January 2016)
Notes\The use of the word Never in the New Testament

David L Simon
Updated: 22 Jul 2018

 

What should the Church be Concerned About?

The concern of the Church is preaching the gospel not changing political, economic or social structures of this world

Don’t get me wrong; each and every Christian must be concerned with the immorality that underpins the political, economic and social structures of our culture, and so called, civilized way-of-life. The abysmal birth control method, that so often arises following some short unthinking pleasure ending in a pregnancy which is terminated by killing the offspring, must be a concern of every Christian. However, as will be stated here the Church has no ability to stop abortions, per se. It does however have the responsibility and ability of bringing the gospel to each individual

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14).

It is the Holy Spirit that frees a person from sin and thus immorality because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  And furthermore, without regeneration – which is re-birth – immorality will reign in our bodies (Romans 5:21) – the consequence being the evil we view each day.

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

But now having been set free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)

In these verses we see the reality of sin – sin bounds us in a manner that prevents morality – abortion is an unavoidable consequence of a people without God because they are simply in bondage to sin. It is only when the bonds of sin are broken can one contemplate dealing with root cause of say abortion.

The real issue is the failure of the Church to preach the gospel – for without the gospel we cannot expect the consciousness of individuals to be aroused to an extent they seek God, and His purposes. No greater example one can one give than that of William Wilberforce, whose pastor preached the gospel to him week by week, and year by year. Wilberforce was no moralist or social leftist, but rather a man who accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour, and when the Holy Spirit provided a clear consciousness of the righteousness of God in relationship to the abject racism and horror associated with slavery he responded. Here we see the Church carrying out its responsibility of preaching the gospel (and providing moral support to the soul), the Holy Spirit giving new life to Wilberforce, setting him free from sin (Romans 6:22, 8:11), and because Wilberforce believed in Christ Jesus (Romans 3) he became a useful vessel for the work of God (Ephesians 2:10). And in this we see the role that God has entrusted him being carried out. This is should be our example.

The mistake the Church makes today is usurping the plan of God, replacing it with some notion that she should, and indeed is able to, change the social, political and economic structure of our civic societies. This is not her role, but that of individual Christians as useful vessels for God’s work (Ephesians 2:10). Martyn Lloyd-Jones, when preaching from Matthew’s Gospel, which speaks about being the salt of the earth, he made the following remark:

The primary task of the Church is to evangelize and to preach the gospel. Look at it like this. If the Christian Church today spends most of her time in denouncing communism, it seems to me that the main result will be that communists will not be likely to listen to the preaching of the gospel. If the Church is always denouncing one particular section of society, she is shutting the evangelistic door upon that section. If we take the New Testament view of these matters we must believe that the communist has a soul to be saved in exactly the same way as everybody else. It is my business as a preacher of the gospel, and a representative of the Church, to evangelize all kinds and conditions and classes of men and women. The moment the Church begins to intervene in these political, social and economic matters, therefore, she is hampering and hindering herself in her God-appointed task of evangelism. She can no longer say that she "knows no man after the flesh", and thereby she is sinning. Let the individual play his part as a citizen, and belong to any political party that he may choose. That is something for the individual to decide. The Church is not concerned as a Church about these things. Our business is to preach the gospel and to bring this message of salvation to all. And, thank God, communists [or any other evil corrupt society, including western society that worships sex, pleasure and materialism] can be converted and can be saved. The Church is to be concerned about sin in all its manifestations, and sin can be as terrible in a capitalist as in a communist; it can be as terrible in a rich man as in a poor man; it can manifest itself in all classes and in all types and in all groups. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1988) Studies in the Sermon on the Mount Chapter 14 The Salt of the Earth, Inter-Varsity Press, England)

In this context we can replace ‘communism’ with every other evil that besets our society – divorce, domestic violence, abortion, same-sex marriage and all other sexual immoral activities men and women practice.  Thus one can see it is the individual whose morality is guided by the Holy Spirit in recognition of the Holiness of God that is the instrument that effects change – the Church is the encourager (Hebrews 10:250, the group, or body (not organisation – see Romans 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12-12, Ephesians 5:30 etc.) of praying Christians (Ephesians 6:18, Jude 1:20) that preaches the gospel upon which the Holy Spirit can provoke the ‘grass-roots’ repentance and thus freeing men and women from sin that leads to violence or abortions etc.

Thus for the individual, it is what we say and do and the way we respond to every event in our life that speaks to society – and furthermore we need to understand our society has always been blind and deaf to the prattle of churches concerned with social issues rather than God’s command of delivering the good news of Jesus Christ dying for our sins.

David L Simon
Updated: 20 May 2018

 

Praise the Saviour, ye who know Him!

Praise the Saviour, ye who know Him!
Who can tell how much we owe Him?
Gladly let us render to Him
All we are and have.

Jesus is the name that charms us;
He for conflicts fits and arms us;
Nothing moves and nothing harms us
When we trust in Him.

Trust in Him, ye saints, forever;
He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force nor guile can sever
Those He loves from Him.

Keep us, Lord, oh, keep us cleaving
To Thyself and still believing,
Till the hour of Thy receiving
The victorious Bride.

Then we shall be where we would be;
Then we shall be what we should be;
Things which are not now, nor could be,
Then shall be our own.

Thomas Kelly (1806)
Updated: 18 Sep 2017

 

What Happens Next in the Word's History

A Bible Perspective from Thessalonians

Current: Church Age – Waiting for the Return of Yeshua the Messiah – Jesus Christ

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
For they themselves declare [report] concerning us what manner of entry [reception you gave us] we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 1 Thessalonians 2:19

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, that God has chosen you from the beginning to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Christians are taken to heaven – known to Christians as the ‘rapture’

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus [have died as believers].
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The Church is not for Judgement

Paul’s prayer for the Church at Thessalonica:

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

Called to Holiness

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

People of the light [truth] But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3:21

 

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5

Our sin has been forgiven – there is no need for further judgement

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10

Christian Believers are taken to heaven before the judgement known as the Tribulation

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
For when they [non-Christians] say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
But you [Christians], brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You [Christians] are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

For God did not appoint us [Christians] to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Day of Tribulation is God’s Judgement on those that hate him or don’t know him    

When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:7b-10

The Second Coming of Christ occurs after the Tribulation as judge

And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

David L Simon
Updated: 11 Aug 2017

 

Older Articles

Thine is the glory, Risen, conquering Son

Thine is the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son;
endless is the vict'ry Thou o’er death hast won.
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where Thy body lay.

Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son;
endless is the vict'ry Thou o’er death hast won.

Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb.
Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let His church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for the Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.

Refrain

No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life!
Life is nought without Thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conqu'rors, through Thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.

Refrain

Edmond Budry (1854–1932) [Hymn translated by Richard Hoyle]
Updated: 24 Aug 2018

 

Using this website

The weakness of any Christian website is the failure of the author to truly know the mind of God. His weakness due to sin (and there will be weaknesses) can always be revealed if checked against the Bible. Therefore, it is urged that anyone using this website must check the information against the Holy Scriptures - for the test of any such information, by any person, is measruing it against the Canon. For this reason the Canon is called simply that - deriving its name from 'cane' meaning measuring stick. Even the early Christians checked what the Apostle Paul had spoken against Scripture in order to test its veracity. You need to do the same.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

Furthermore, we must test all things:

Test [prove] all things; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:22


Updated: 11 Feb 2017

 

Contact the author

If you find a grammatical error, spelling error, broken hyperlink or some other error on these pages please contact me mentioning the page title and location.


Updated: 08 Jun 2015