Tag Archives: confess

Truth and Justice Meet Sin (at the White Throne Judgment)

Today’s message of August 28, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

A person has to make a decision as to how one will live for Jesus Christ.  It should be the desire of a person to love and serve others the way that Christ loves each of us.

Truth and justice will meet sin at the Great White Throne Judgment.  At this place, this will be the place where unbelievers will face judgment.  There will be believers present there, but not for judgment.  The believers will be at the judgment seat of Christ.  While believers will have eternity in Jesus Christ, everyone will have to reckon with their sin in judgment.

Numbers 32:23

But if you don’t do this, you will certainly sin against the Lord; be sure your sin will catch up with you.

A person will not be able to pass blame to others for his own sin.

Deuteronomy 24:16

Fathers are not to be put to death for their children or children for their fathers; each person will be put to death for his own sin.

Everyone will also eventually recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord–even if it is not on this side.

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Revelation 20:11-13

Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.  Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works.

Why is Jesus on the throne to judge?

John 5:22-23

The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all people will honor the Son, so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

God entrusted all judgment to His Son, Jesus Christ for the purpose of those to honor Jesus Christ.

In heaven, there is no division.  The angels know.  Division takes place on earth among people.

Jesus said, “I and the father are one” (John 10:30).

At the White Throne Judgment, truth is revealed, and Jesus is the subject of those who are being judged.

John 3:18

Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

What do you trust upon that can assure you of eternal life in Jesus Christ?  His Word is clear about the fate of those that believe in Christ and for those who do not.

“Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them…” (Revelation 20:11).

Some have said that the judgment takes place somewhere in space!  There is no place for those facing judgment by Jesus to run and hide.  There is no escape from His judgment, and no place to hide from the judgment of sin.

Revelation 20:12…the dead great and small will be judged either at the judgment seat of Christ or the Great White Throne Judgment.  There is no favoritism in God.  He will always judge in righteousness, and not according to man’s rules or standards.

Acts 10:34-36

Then Peter began to speak: “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him. He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all.

Galatians 3:28-29

There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.

Romans 3:21-22

But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed–attested by the Law and the Prophets–that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.

 

Luke 18:10-14

 Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other peoplerobbers, evildoers, adulterersor even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

The books were (will be) opened.  Another book is opened–the book of life.

The moment of birth, your name is entered.

At the moment of accountability for Christ, your name is entered there.

At the moment of death, failure to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior removes you from the book of life.

Matthew 7:13-14

Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

Write down your name as if it were to appear in the book of life:

The life of _________________

Does your life emulate that of the life of Jesus Christ?  Remember that you will be judged as to how you are living for Jesus.

John 6:39-40

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Fathers will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

Galatians 2:19-20

For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

John 6:42

They said, Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, I came down from heaven?

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

Matthew 16:24-25

Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 2:13

For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.

Philippians 3:7-10

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christthe righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christyes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

John 6:28-29, 40

“What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. Jesus replied, “This is the work of God–that you believe in the One He has sent.”

“For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

You have to decide how to live.  There are two books.  Your life determines where your name will be written.

The books record all of our deeds–both good and bad.  Every word, thought and action is noted.

Stewardship is recorded:

  1. The money given to God–or not given
  2. The time given to God–or not given
  3. The effort in building or destroying His kingdom
  4. The lustful desires
  5. Hatred and unwillingness to forgive others

It is a judgment that is not of human standards (Acts 17:31).

People choose to go to hell by not believing there is a hell.

People can tell themselves that they do not need a Savior (Jesus Christ), and that they are as good or as righteous as He is.

People say, “I’ll take my chances,” and “let God judge my works.”

The righteous will be at the Great White Throne judgment as final witnesses and testimony for the great things that God has done in their lives.

Psalm 69:27-28

Add guilt to their guilt; do not let them share in Your righteousness. Let them be erased from the book of life and not be recorded with the righteous.

Have you accepted Jesus Christ, and died to self to live for Him, or are you in denial and continue to reject Him?

You must make the choice.

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The Significance of Jesus’ Resurrection

Today’s message summary of April 5, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is something that is not discussed often, but it is important to look at its significance to each of us.

We need to look at the resurrection of Jesus Christ as being everything about our salvation. It is the most important thing to a believer in Jesus Christ. It is everything in how a believer has a relationship with Him. Without His death, burial and resurrection, the entire scope of Christianity is meaningless.

People have asked these questions over and over:

“Is Jesus Christ truly the Son of God?”

“Is Jesus Christ alive today?”

As a believer, at some point, these questions should be definitively answered.

People who practice Christianity on a nominal basis are always on the fence when it comes to who Christ is and what it matters to them. There needs to be a true commitment in faith and trust of Jesus Christ to change this approach. Until people really understand the power of Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection, they are not really compelled to live in the way God had intended them to live.

Matthew 27:38-43

Then two criminals were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. Those who passed by were yelling insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “The One who would demolish the sanctuary and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him and said, “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He has put His trust in God; let God rescue Him now–If He wants Him! For He said, ‘I am God’s Son.'”

 

Mark 16:9-13

Early on the first day of the week, after He had risen, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they were mourning and weeping. Yet, when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it. Then after this, He appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either.

 

Even those who were closest to Jesus doubted His Word in spite of His powerful testimonies of healing and restoration. They did not know what they had gained in the relationship. They had only considered what they had lost.

Jesus Christ is really living right now. What you need to be convinced or persuaded of, if you are still unsure of, is His presence today.

Luke 24:5

So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men.

 

God wants to touch you, heal you and provide you with the steps to live your life. He is a living God.

Luke 24:6-8

“He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” And they remembered His words.

 

How does God value His resurrection? He values it because it must be part of your confession when you become a believer in Jesus Christ. In order to acknowledge Jesus as your living Lord and Savior, the acknowledgment of the resurrection of Jesus must be a part of your confession.

Romans 10:9-11

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame.

 

If you believe that God is alive, it will have a profound effect as to how you live your life and, consequently, live for Him.

What we speak out loud is what we really believe. Your heart will reflect your belief, and your mouth will confess it before God and before others. When you know that you have a living God who is going before you, you will want to talk about it!

You can say that “He kept me.”

You and I should be confident that you are secure in your relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He made you righteous in order to be righteous before God, and you are compelled to tell others about it!

Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

Jesus was truly a human being. He was man and yet He was also God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about His life, death, burial and resurrection, and also that He is coming again–for He is not dead but indeed alive! The only way that you can believe He is coming again is to believe that He was brought forth from the tomb and that He is alive.

Romans 1:3-4

…concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.

 

1 Corinthians 15:3-8

For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

and that He appeared to Cephas,

then to the Twelve.

Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;

most of them are still alive,

but some have fallen asleep.

Then He appeared to James,

then to all the apostles.

Last of all, as to one abnormally born,

He also appeared to me.

 

It is the power of God that raised up Jesus. It is the power of God that gives you the ability to resist evil and to seek and do what is good. That is the distinction between those who are nominal believers and those who are seeking Him and acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior.

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.  We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is Gods giftnot from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

 

God does not want people just to partially believe in Him–He wants people who are totally committed to Him.

1 Corinthians 15:13-15

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ–whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised.

 

We surrender to Jesus Christ because we know that He can be trusted and that He is faithful–and that He is alive.

If Jesus Christ is not raised from the dead, then why are you at church? The church’s sole purpose is to proclaim Jesus Christ and to help people to see and acknowledge who He is. It is up to the individual to believe who Christ is. His resurrection is the evidence that we will have eternal life. His life is much more than just for our present way of living.  His life means that you can have an eternity with Him.

1 Corinthians 15:19-21

If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.


Come as You Are—You Won’t Stay as You Are

A message text from Melvin Gaines for Sunday, August 24, 2014:

One of our local churches uses the slogan, “Come as you are, but you won’t stay as you are.” More than likely, it’s not a copyrighted tag line for churches, but ideally, it’s the slogan that all churches would use to give people a true picture of what God desires for a person who visits and joins a church–a new life through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

A church building is more than just a gathering place. It’s more than just a fellowship hall. It is where a person goes to learn about God, and even more specifically, the fulfillment of recognizing the need to have a Savior in Jesus Christ. In order to get to know Jesus, there must be a change in the person who is seeking Him. The changed life is the evidence of a believer in Jesus Christ, and it is a life changing moment.

A church experience varies between people in the same way that no two people are the same. Different people do and see different things in ways that suit them—in other words, “different strokes for different folks.”

For many people, change of any kind may be very difficult.

And finally, let’s add a definitive statement about people and change…

Change in following Jesus Christ is especially difficult for people because of their fleshly desires.

When we come to church, more often than not, we are arriving in the flesh. We show up after going a few rounds with Satan and his band of robbers, and we can be battle-weary over all of the scuffling that takes place. Some of us may not show up at all; however, it is helpful when we decide it’s best to tough it out and come to church because we need a change of scenery. A church should always be a place of rest to help us get back to where we were before we were under attack. It is always a good idea to get back to the place of rest and peace under Jesus Christ, even if it means you have to drag yourself there with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Some will come to church to not change anything at all but their scenery. They come for all of the wrong reasons or motives, and are only looking for self-edification, self-gratification and attention. They come as they are, and they will stay as they are. How long they stay depends upon the people they fellowship with and any relationship development.

Scripture gives an important reminder that change is a requirement for a person who desires to have a strong fellowship with Jesus Christ…whether as a new believer or as a seasoned believer.

In order to experience a genuine change, a person needs to acknowledge their sin and be honest about it.

1 John 1:5-10

5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

 

The truth sets each person free (John 8:31-32), and it applies to new and seasoned believers alike.

Next, we need to live a life that avoids sin and cling to Jesus in order that sin repels from us.

James 4:7

Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.

 

Romans 6:1-4, 12-14, 22-23

1 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace. 

22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the end is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

The danger for a believer in Christ is to fail to allow the Spirit to overcome your fleshly desires. Just going to church, in itself, is not going to guarantee that you will remain in fellowship with Jesus Christ. Your flesh will see to that.

Come as you are, and keep seeking Jesus Christ in order to keep from going back to where you were.

In order for a visitor to a church to feel comfortable, the existing church environment must be “visitor-friendly” in order to be seen as “second-visit-friendly” or “third-time’s-the-charm-friendly” and even be deemed as “I’ll-invite-my-friends-and-family-friendly.” The key element is that a church is seen as “visitor-friendly” first to allow for the “come as you are” phrase to be applicable for any person who gives the church a test drive.

Churches that are not “visitor-friendly” will eventually fade to black. Failing to attract visitors creates the additional dilemma for a church that is hypersensitive to numbers and growth.

The foundational strength behind “come as you are–you won’t stay as you are” is the uncompromising message of God’s Word. The church visitor may or may not be ready to make a change on the first visit, but it is very important for the church to have a consistent theme from every message that provides clear direction of God’s truth, and not from some philosophical perspective that “tickles the ears.”

John 14:5-6

5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?”

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

John 16:13

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.

 

Jesus, in His prayer for His disciples, said, “sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17)

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

 

Colossians 2:8

Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.

 

2 Timothy 4:2-4

2 Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.

 

Paul penned a letter to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians) about the issue of people in the church going back to where they were instead of remaining strong in the faith. Paul knew the people of the church of Corinth very well because he was a major planter of the church. What he had seen when he left the church in comparison to what he had heard in reports was very distressing to him. There were reports of fighting, members suing one another, sexual immorality being permitted within the congregation if not outright acted upon by members, and all of it was based upon one very important issue—pridefulness. Pridefulness and arrogance, however, are ungodly and never accomplish anything in the long run for anyone’s good.

Proverbs 16:18

Pride comes before destruction,

and an arrogant spirit before a fall.

 

Galatians 6:3

For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

 

The ongoing discord in the Corinthian church created an environment of a lack of clarity within the church, and as a result, there were people who wound up going back to where they were before they acknowledged Christ.

Just imagine the effect this can have on a new believer in Jesus Christ.

Come as you are, and you’ll see how to remain where you are (that is, in the flesh) in a church that is not closely following Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:15-16

Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.

 

2 Timothy 3:1-5

1 But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

 

Here is where the church needs to acknowledge some very important facts about its existence and its responsibilities:

  • A church is made up of human beings who blow it from time to time (Romans 3:23)

Romans 3:10

…as it is written:

There is no one righteous, not even one.

 

  • A church is made up of people who should be less hypocritical and more humble.

 

Matthew 23:1-12

1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.

8 “But as for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

 

  • A church is to demonstrate change in the life of believers as “sinners saved by grace” and as “saints indwelled by the Spirit of God.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast.

 

John 14:15-17

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

 

What you see here is the unity of the church body at its finest. Change in the life of a visitor and change within the body to remain focused on the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ. There is strength in unity within the body of Christ.

Paul shared the same concerns to a non-unified Corinthian church:

1 Corinthians 1:10

Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.

 

Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

 

Finally, a person who sincerely seeks Jesus Christ in humility will express a true repentance. Come as you are, but you won’t stay as you are.

2 Chronicles 7:14

…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

 

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Luke 5:31-32

31 Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

  • True repentance means a changed life in Jesus Christ.
  • True repentance in a person will emulate the fruits of the Holy Spirit in words, deeds and actions.
  • True repentance means that a person comes as they are, but does not stay where they were.

In order to come under the authority of Christ, the church must be of one mind and one spirit–in humility, repentance and obedience of Jesus Christ.

Come as you are, but you won’t stay as you are.

 

Copyright © Melvin Gaines


Jesus’ Resurrection: How Does it Benefit Us?

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Today we are here to acknowledge that Jesus lives! He desires to draw each of us near and embrace us with His love!

He is alive! We do not believe in a myth. He lives, and He lives within us through the Holy Spirit. Paul declared that he could do nothing without Him. He is the One who enables us to live for Him.

Today is a reminder of Jesus’ resurrection. How does His resurrection benefit us? We need to understand that our atonement is based upon the grace and actions of Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection, there is no atonement for our sin. He died for your sin and my sin, and He arose. Many people have a problem with the fact that He is alive, and many question His presence today. We have to come to place to understand that Jesus Christ died for us to atone for our sin, and He rose again to prove that He is the One who saves.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8

3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

4 that He was buried,

that He was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures,

5 and that He appeared to Cephas,

then to the Twelve.

6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;

most of them are still alive,

but some have fallen asleep.

7 Then He appeared to James,

then to all the apostles.

8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born,

He also appeared to me.

 

We are to learn of the totality of Jesus’ life on earth; in fact, we are to be reminded of it, because life will take you in many different directions and will even cause you to forget where you are in the faith.

Some people will not agree that there was a resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. 15 In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.

 

If Jesus Christ was not raised, then our meeting and any preaching on the subject is useless. We would be bearing false witness. But thankfully, that is not the case.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

 

Jesus Christ indeed was raised from the dead. It is a demonstration of God’s power, and it is the same power that people can see in your own life–a changed life for Jesus Christ. You are the one who has heard the Word from this truth, and you live according to God’s promises because of what He has accomplished for you.

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

 

The resurrection declares that He is the Son of God.

Romans 1:1-4

1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostleand singled out for God’s good news— 2 which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures— 3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of Davidaccording to the flesh 4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.

 

Because of our resurrection, He is our mediator.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

5 For there is one God

and one mediator between God and humanity,

Christ Jesus, Himself human,

6 who gave Himself—a ransom for all,

a testimony at the proper time.

 

Hebrews 9:15

Therefore, He is the mediator of a new covenant,so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

 

Because of the resurrection, He is at the right hand of God.

Acts 2:32-33, 7:55-56

32 “God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this. 33 Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear.

55 But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God’s glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 56 “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

 

Because of the resurrection, He is able to intercede for us.

Romans 8:34

Who is the one who condemns?

Christ Jesus is the One who died,

but even more, has been raised;

He also is at the right hand of God

and intercedes for us.

 

Hebrews 7:25

Therefore, He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.

 

Because of the resurrection, He will judge us.

2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.

 

Because of the resurrection, He is able to heal us.

1 Peter 2:24

He Himself bore our sins

in His body on the tree,

so that, having died to sins,

we might live for righteousness;

you have been healed by His wounds.

 

Because of the resurrection, He is coming back.

John 14:3, 28

3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.

28 You have heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

 

Acts 1:11

They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”

 

Because of the resurrection, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him.

Philippians 2:10-11

…10 so that at the name of Jesus

every knee will bow—

of those who are in heaven and on earth

and under the earth—

11 and every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Romans 14:11

For it is written:

 

As I live, says the Lord,

every knee will bow to Me,

and every tongue will give praise to God.

 

Because of the resurrection, we act in faith today believing that Jesus hears our prayers and is willing to touch us at our very points of need.


Sunday School Today: Witnessing and Winning

Text from today’s Sunday school session:

How can a Christian lead others to Christ? Winning souls to Jesus Christ is one of the greatest occupations in the world today.  Proverbs 11:30.  Although there are no hard and fast rules to insure success in this work, there are some general principles that will prove extremely valuable.  When you witness, it is spiritual warfare.  Before you go into battle put on the whole armor of God one piece at a time from Ephesians 6:11-18.

A. It is of first importance that the soul winner himself be spiritually healthy. He must be constantly feeding on the Word.  He must spend much time in prayer.  He must be yielded to God.  He must confess and abandon any cherished sins.  By thus walking in the Spirit, the Christian will find that the Lord will provide opportunities for effectual witness. This is undoubtedly the Golden Rule of soul winning “Live close to God.” Matthew 4:19. Remember—your life is a continual witness—good, bad or indifferent.

B.  It is a good thing to start each day by asking God to lead us to those whom He wants us to contact.  It is obvious that we cannot speak to everyone we see.  It is also clear that we have no way of knowing by ourselves which souls are “ripe” for salvation, but if we let the Lord lead us, we will work more efficiently and reap more fruit for Him.

C.  Then during the day we should seize the opportunities to speak for Christ. When fellow workers use the Name of the Lord in profanity, for instance, there is often opportunity for a tactful, loving word of testimony.  Religious subjects often come up in conversation—we should make the most of them.  Then again we do not always have to wait for opportunities: we can make them for ourselves.  Worldly men talk freely about politics, the weather and sports. Why should our lips be sealed about Christ, our Redeemer?

D.  Quote the Word of God as much as possible.  Better yet, let them read it.  It is a living Word!  It is the Sword of he Spirit.  Hebrews 4:12.  It has power to reach souls far beyond any words we could ever say.  Every good soldier of Jesus Christ should use this greatest weapon of all. Unsaved men will do everything in their power to stop you from reciting Scripture verses, but don’t stop.  If they say that they don’t believe the Bible, quote more of it.  The Bible teaches sowing and reaping.  There is a time to sow and a time to reap.  It is God that gives the harvest.

If you do not sow there can be no reaping. His Word is the seed, so spread it far and wide. Matthew 13:4-8.

E.  Follow up each contact.  Not many persons are saved the first time they hear the Gospel. Usually they have to be spoken to again and again.  Show a little kindness to them.  Hand them good Gospel literature.  Invite them to attend Gospel meetings with you. Above all, be much in prayer for them.  Do not be discouraged if some are hostile to you.  Opposition is often a sign that they are being convicted by the Holy Spirit, whereas indifference is almost impossible to deal with.

F.  Don’t press for quick decisions.  A false profession is not only worthless, but it may deceive the individual himself, and may do untold harm to the cause of Christ. You be faithful in sowing the seed, and God will be faithful in giving the increase.  John 4:35-38.

G. If you find it difficult to speak to others about the Lord, tell the Lord about it and ask Him to give you strength and courage to witness for Him.  If you really want it, He will give it. Matthew 10:32.

H.  Always carry a good supply of Gospel literature with you.  You can not only pass tracts to those you meet, but can leave them on street cars or buses, in restaurants, or almost any public place.

The rewards of soul winning are tremendous. (1) The present joys of leading a person to Christ are indescribable!  Luke 15:10. (2) How much greater will be the joy in heaven when someone greets you with these words, “It was you who invited me here!” (3) Finally, how incomparable will be the thrill when the Lord Jesus Christ openly confesses you before the assembled hosts of heaven.  Matthew 10:32.

from BBN International, Bible Broadcasting Network