Category Archives: SOUL SALVATION FROM SINS

“But, what if I do not accept the Bible’s authority?”

“BUT, WHAT IF I DO NOT ACCEPT THE BIBLE’S AUTHORITY?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

My dear friend, if you are visiting a foreign country, whether you “accept” that nation’s authority or not, you are still subject to its rules. If you break the law there, you will suffer the penalty—whether or not you agree with it. Here is how you should look at life on Earth.

Deep down inside, my friend, you know that you do not do that which you know you are supposed to do, and you know that you do that which you know you are not supposed to do. Here is your conscience, an internal system of norms and standards that governs your thoughts and behaviors. What are you going to do with that guilty conscience? Do some “good” works? How exactly does one compensate for bad works anyway? Is there some way to measure the “badness” of an evil work so that a “good” work of the same value can take its place and cancel it? But, what if the evil work is so terrible that many “good” works are needed to nullify it? What if, in the event you try to do good the next time, you commit another evil work in the process? Eventually, you realize you are fighting a losing battle, accumulating a debt you can never possibly pay!! Insanity has been defined as repeating the same action and expecting a different result. Maybe, just maybe, you had better look to someone beyond yourself to deal with your mounting guilt!!

The Holy Bible is an objective standard. It transcends everything subjective—feelings, hunches, opinions, and so on. Either we agree with it or we disagree with it. If we want to oppose it, we can indeed oppose it. However, we will hurt only ourselves. Sinful flesh discounts the Bible out of spite, nothing more. There was no careful investigation of facts, only a willful disregard of the facts already presented therein. The Bible has a negative view of us, so we (naturally) shy away from it and do what we can to “disprove” it. Here is how we know someone other than a person like us wrote it. A Divine mind is behind the Bible, and that conviction pricks us down to our very innermost being!

If man influenced the penning of the Scriptures, we would read page upon page upon page of how we can improve ourselves. There would be such boasting in those passages, and license for us to brag as well. We could praise ourselves, fall in love with ourselves, and exalt ourselves to some deified status. Yet, upon reading the pages of Scripture, we find the human race is condemned as Hell-bound sinners. This is most offensive, right? See, “religious” and “irreligious” alike, all are headed to a place of endless suffering under the righteous judgment of a holy God! Like it or not, friend, your guilty conscience agrees with the Bible. You can argue with it all you want, invent and jump through all the mental hoops you want, but you cannot get around it. You are guilty as charged in conscience and confirmed by Scripture—and what an unspeakable eternal penalty that guilt carries!

It is your eternal soul at stake, dear friend, not mine. If you prefer to refuse to submit to the Holy Bible, then you go right on ahead and rebel against it. No one will stop you or force you to accept it—not even God Himself. In the event that you are wrong, then you will have no one to blame but yourself for those consequences. Someone once wisely observed, “Some people tell God, ‘Thy will be done.’ God tells many people, ‘Thy will be done!’” It was true then and it is equally true now. If you are Hell-bent on your anti-Bible path, by all means, friend, you just keep walking it. You have made your choice, and we will not deny you your right. This is said in love. Here is another word of caution we will add. When you reach the “dead end” of your journey, you can look back and see where your decisions got you. You will not be able to repeat that life either. (Perhaps you should think twice before arriving at that end?)

Dear friend, when you are finally done “doing your own thing”—now disappointed, and feeling insignificant, hopeless, and helpless—just remember there was an answer in the Lord Jesus Christ that you refused. Furthermore, He will be there until your last breath, waiting for you to trust Him as your personal Saviour before it is eternally too late. When your seasonal pleasures in sin have departed, what then, friend? Will you still refuse to accept the Bible’s authority? When your guilty conscience is so vexing that you can bear it no longer, what then, dear friend? Will you still refuse to accept the Bible’s authority? (Do you really want to know? Your answer will likely be, “Yes, I will still refuse to accept the Bible’s authority.” The longer you refuse, the harder your heart grows, and the more difficult it is for you to receive the Word of God by faith. However, the God of Scripture values free will, so you just keep on doing what you feel like doing. The path is all yours, and yours alone!)

In closing, you should be reminded that it is not too late to turn around… yet.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:23-28).

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen”
(Romans 1:18-25).

Also see:
» What happens after death?
» Can an atheist be moral without any influence from any higher power?
» “If only I saw a miracle…?”

What happens after death?

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Like all Bible topics, we must remember to approach it dispensationally. We will begin by presenting some basic information about a human’s physical and spiritual makeup. Then, we will explain physical death and its subsequent events as outlined in Scripture.

Physical death is described most graphically in Genesis 35:18: “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.” Upon death, we see the person’s physical body lying motionless and immediately undergoing the grisly process of decomposition. Here are the limits of the “natural eyes.” Through the eyes of faith, however, we see can see more—much more.

We understand that his or her invisible person—the “real” or permanent individual—has vacated that temporary tent or shell and relocated to another dimension. No longer housing the soul and the spirit, the physical body can be buried in the earth to return to the dust from which it came (Genesis 3:19). Death is not a termination but a separation. We continue to exist after death, just in a different form. Our spiritual body has separated from our physical body; to wit, the “inward man” has departed the “outward man” (2 Corinthians 4:16). The physical body now lacks a spirit (memory, vocabulary, frame of reference, and perception) and a soul (mentality, conscience, will/volition, and emotional seat). Both the spirit and the soul are linked at the mind, and they remain connected even after death. They are simply not attached to a physical body.

Peeling back the curtains of the mysterious afterlife, the Holy Spirit reveals to us in Luke chapter 16: “[19] There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: [20] And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, [21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

“[22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; [23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. [24] And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. [25] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. [26] And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

“[27] Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: [28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. [29] Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. [30] And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. [31] And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

The Bible says, after death, the angels indeed carried the soul of the believer (Lazarus) into “Abraham’s bosom” (verse 22), what Jesus Christ termed “paradise” (Luke 23:43) and “the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). Read Luke 16:22 again: “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; [23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” The Bible is silent about anyone or anything coming to retrieve the rich man’s spiritual body though. He—his soul and spirit—simply fell into the heart of the earth. “Hell” is said to be downward or beneath our feet (Proverbs 15:24; Isaiah 14:9).

Although the rich man’s body is buried, he has eyes and can still see (Luke 16:22-23). He has a tongue and can experience thirst (verse 24). The rich man can talk and hold a conversation with Abraham whom he recognizes (verses 24-31). He also has a detailed memory of his life on earth (verses 25,27-28). The rich man is completely aware of his torment in flames (verse 24). Here are his soul and spirit, existing outside his body, just as conscious as we are right now, able to be exercise senses and use logic as we do now. Abraham, a believer, is on the paradise side of the afterlife. He too can remember, reason, and speak. Both have a will or volition to make decisions.

Friends, the above information is true even now concerning the afterlife, with a few exceptions. Here is where dispensational Bible study is critical (2 Timothy 2:15). “Paradise” has been moved to “the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Therefore, believers in Christ go to Heaven today, as opposed to the heart of the Earth (see also Hebrews 12:22-24). Also, in this the Dispensation of Grace, angels do not play the role they once did in believers’ lives. We study Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, to see that to be the case. Now, angels do not come to collect a Christian’s spiritual body when he or she dies. Instead of angels (as with Lazarus), the indwelling Holy Spirit Himself personally escorts the Christian into Heaven. What a remarkable trip that is!

Ephesians chapter 1: “[12] That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. [13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, [14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” The Holy Spirit preserves us Christians spiritually as we live on Earth, and this will be equally valid once we leave Earth! “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). After the saint exhales his or her final breath, the Holy Spirit rapidly transports soul and spirit into the third heaven. It is an instant awareness, much like waking up to a new morning—only a million times better! Yes, they know where they are, they are enjoying praising the Lord, and we will see them again!

Some religionists contend that we cease to exist when we physically die. On the basis of 2 Corinthians chapter 5, we know this to be a lie. “[6] Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: [7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight: ) [8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Notice verse 8—to be present with the Lord.” “To be” means we still exist after death!

Paul the Apostle said in Philippians chapter 1: “[21] For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [22] But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. [23] For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: [24] Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” Again, “to be” describes Christians after physical death. Paul stated that dying “is gain” and “far better.” How ridiculous these statements would be if death were the cessation of existence!

The souls and spirits of all people currently physically dead will be reunited with their physical bodies one day. Concerning members of the Church the Body of Christ, they will be joined with their new bodies at the Rapture (Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). They will reign with Christ in His heavenly kingdom (Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:16-20). All other believers of the ages will be resurrected at the Second Coming of Christ, to reign with Christ in His earthly kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6). Exactly 1,000 years later, all unbelievers of the ages past now in Hell will be bodily resurrected to be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and then thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

My friend, if you are without Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, do not waste another moment being lost. You can pass from eternal death to eternal life right now—and you are strongly urged to immediately believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). He shed His sinless blood to pay for everything that is wrong with you. If you die and wake up in Hell, it will be your own fault because Almighty God did everything to prevent you from going there. Those of us in Christ need not fear death or anything that will happen afterward. We are well aware of what heavenly bliss awaits us in the next life—as well as the eternal doom that looms for those outside of Christ.

P.S.: Dear reader, just in case you “do not believe in the afterlife,” you should be warned that you will most definitely believe in it one second after death… when it is too late!

Also see:
» Is Luke 16:19-31 merely a parable?
» How can a “loving” God send people to Hell forever?
» Will we know if a loved one is not there in Heaven with us?

Are the Jews supposed to still get circumcised in the Dispensation of Grace?

ARE THE JEWS SUPPOSED TO STILL GET CIRCUMCISED IN THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Are the Jews supposed to still get circumcised in the Dispensation of Grace? What about Galatians 5:3-4? “[3] For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. [4] Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

Let us begin at verse 1 and move through to verse 9.

“[1] Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. [2] Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. [3] For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. [4] Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. [5] For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. [6] For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. [7] Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? [8] This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. [9] A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

The problem in Galatia is false teaching in the form of legalism (Law-keeping as means of gaining God’s blessings, the belief that we can gain Heaven by our religious works, using the Law under the impression it will produce fruitful Christian service). Notice how the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul titles this “the yoke of bondage” (verse 1). That phrase hooks to Acts 15:10: “Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” Let us read the first five verses of Acts chapter 15 now.

“[1] And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. [2] When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. [3] And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. [4] And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. [5] But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

Paul’s Gentile converts (found in Acts chapters 13-14) were being told that they had to “be circumcised after the manner of Moses” or they could not be saved (Acts 15:1). “It was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses” (verse 5). Such notions parallel what we just read in the Book of Galatians, and that is no coincidence. The Galatians were saved in Acts chapters 13-14, and the apostolic conference of chapter 15 is repeated in Galatians chapter 2. Yes, never forget, Acts chapter 15 is quite useful in grasping Galatians.

Friend, you have used Galatians 5:3-4 to ask whether Jews still need physical circumcision in our Dispensation. You have misunderstood the context. Those being circumcised in that passage are not Jews but rather Gentiles. Specifically, they are Paul’s Gentile converts. Gentile believers in the Gospel of Grace have been misled to assume they are under Israel’s program (the Law of Moses, physical circumcision). Paul’s argument in Galatians chapter 5 is to show them they are not “rightly dividing the word of truth” as 2 Timothy 2:15 states. They are mixing dispensations, uniting the mystery and prophetic programs God has divided.

The only rightful purpose of the Law in our Dispensation is that it points out our sin and our need for the Saviour (1 Timothy 1:7-11). Like the Galatians originally, we have already recognized our sin problem and trusted Jesus Christ as the fully-satisfying sacrifice for our sins (Romans 3:23-28). The Law, our performance, plays no role in saving us from our sins—both the eternal penalty (Hell) and the temporary struggles (daily living). This is what the Galatians had forgotten since Paul left their midst. False teachers had entered and tricked them with denominational teaching (Galatians 3:1-3; Galatians 4:17; Galatians 5:7-12; Galatians 6:12-13)! Such dangerous individuals lurk in the pulpit of the average “Christian” church even now, and likely fooling most people reading these very lines!

Paul wrote in Galatians chapter 5 that, if those Gentiles in Galatia wanted to be physically circumcised, there was much, much more to Law-keeping. The Law system is an “all-or-nothing” arrangement—failure to keep it in one point results in being guilty of breaking all the commandments (James 2:10). In other words, the Galatians had not grasped the magnitude of the spiritual trouble in which they had placed themselves. By getting under the Law system, they were to follow every precept and each rule found in Moses’ writings—not just physical circumcision!! Since they had chosen to forsake God’s message of grace to them through Paul’s ministry, they were now subject to several hundred rules (the entire Mosaic system)! They had been justified unto eternal life by faith in Christ, but they had discarded that truth and returned to “work to be justified.” “Fallen from grace” indeed! Satan had deceived them, and he uses that same works-religion and (self)“righteousness” system to con us even now (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Such a performance system is “weak and beggarly,” Galatians 4:9 says. Such is spiritual immaturity, Galatians 4:19 says. “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” (verse 20). For the rest of the chapter, Paul differentiates between man’s efforts and God’s grace—we are not under the performance system but under the grace system! It is not about us but all about Jesus Christ!

Let us now address your first question, thereby “tying up” our comments to your second question.

ARE JEWS OBLIGATED TO BE PHYSICALLY CIRCUMCISED IN OUR DISPENSATION?

Physical circumcision for Jews (or even for Gentiles) is not required in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God. Today, there is no spiritual advantage to being physically circumcised and there is no spiritual disadvantage to being physically uncircumcised. The ground is level at the foot of Calvary’s cross (Ephesians 2:11-22). Such words were completely unknown prior to God’s Word through the Apostle Paul, our Dispensation of Grace.

Galatians 5:6: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 6:15: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Never do we find anything like this in Moses’ writings; in fact, we find the exact opposite!! Also see Matthew 10:5-7, Matthew 15:24, and John 4:22—these show us that Christ’s earthly ministry cannot apply to us either!!

A Jew needed physical circumcision as a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:7-14; cf. Genesis 12:1-3 and Acts 7:8). Since there is no nation Israel in God’s program today—she is fallen—there is no Abrahamic Covenant in effect either. God is blessing the world today, not through Israel’s rise, but through her fall. That is Paul’s message found in Romans chapter 11: “[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [14] If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.”

While people today are physically circumcised for health reasons, that was not why God wanted Abraham and his seed to have it. It was a religious rite, later incorporated into the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12:3). Circumcision is the sign of being separated from, or deadness to, the ability of our sinful flesh (an outward reflection of an internal, spiritual circumcision—cf. Romans 2:28-29). We cannot work in our flesh to please God. He will bless us, but not because we work to please Him (for we sinners cannot work to please Him—Romans 3:9-20). God will bless us simply because of His grace, His goodness, His performance. That is what Abraham learned in Galatians 4:21-31, when God rejected the son he produced in his own strength, and God gave him a son He caused to be born miraculously (cf. Genesis 16:1-16; Genesis 17:1-27; Genesis 21:1-21). Grace and works cannot cohabitate! That goes for Abraham, the Galatians, and even us! “And if it be by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6).

Calvary cannot impact lost people if they are focused on their efforts. It cannot benefit Christians who are fixated on their labors either. Therefore, Satan’s evil world system exploits man’s natural self-righteous attitude. Lost people stay lost, dazzled by their “religious goodness” to such a large degree that Christ’s perfect sacrifice on Calvary means nothing to them. Christian people stay confused, saved by grace and yet trying to “prove salvation by works” or attempting to “keep salvation by works.” God does not want our efforts; He wants our faith resting entirely in His Son Jesus Christ. That goes for unsaved and saved alike.

Going to Heaven is all about Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary. We trust in that and that alone. It is not about our prayers, our water baptism, our confession of sins, our commandment-keeping, our sacrifices, our alms, our church membership, our circumcision!! Notice how religion is all about US, US, US, US, US! The cross wipes that all away—and that is exactly why the message of Jesus Christ is so offensive (Galatians 5:11)!!! It removes us and puts the focus exclusively on the Lord Jesus Christ. Our sin nature fights that, as it wants to be praised, worshipped, exalted. Religion is thus so appealing. Boasting is why God hates religion.

Romans 3:27–4:5: “[3:27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [3:28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. [3:29] Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: [3:30] Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. [3:31] Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. [4:1] What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? [4:2] For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. [4:3] For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [4:4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. [4:5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Faith in Christ—not works—is counted for righteousness! The lost person thus passes from death to life. Likewise, Christian living (daily sanctification) is just like justification unto eternal life. It is Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary. We are dead to sin (Romans chapter 6). Sin, our flesh, does not have dominion over us (Romans chapter 7). We are alive unto God by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans chapter 8). It is not we making ourselves acceptable to God; it is God making us acceptable to Him because of His Son’s merits applied to us!

Once we place our faith in Christ, we receive a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that new nature will produce good works. However, that is not the same as religion motivating us to do good works so we can be accepted of God. This “fine-line” distinction is how Satan deceives. People who do not want to know the truth believe the lie as though it were the truth. They claim to be Christian but then work. They say Christ is their Saviour but they cannot say exactly how He has saved them. They never can say for sure they will go to Heaven. That is because they are working to gain God’s favor—and if they die unsaved, they will surely learn they have inspired the exact opposite!

Friend, how urgent it is that we see we can be Scriptural and be completely out of God’s will! To grab Moses’ writings (the Bible!!) and try to follow them is to believe the Devil’s lie! It is important not only to be Scriptural, but also dispensational. If we want to do God’s will, we must follow the directions He gave in our dispensation—“the Dispensation of the Grace of God” Jesus Christ revealed directly to the Apostle Paul so he could then teach us (Ephesians 3:1-2). God’s Word to and about us is Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” (Romans 6:14-15).

Also see:
» Is grace a license to sin?
» Why did Paul circumcise Timothy but not Titus?
» Why did Israel have to keep so many strange laws?

If God is everywhere, is He suffering in Hell?

IF GOD IS EVERYWHERE, IS HE SUFFERING IN HELL? HOW CAN PEOPLE IN HELL BE SEPARATED FROM HIM IF HE IS OMNIPRESENT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

These resemble the conundrums Bible skeptics like the throw out to make Christians stumble. With the believer in Christ dazed, he grows silent, and the scoffer slyly relieves himself of a further confrontation with the truth. Yet, the scoffer will not escape the Divine wrath he himself will face in Hell if he dies in his sins! God is absolutely everywhere; to wit, He is omnipresent. So, then, what of His relationship to those in Hell?

Let us turn to Psalm 139 for the answer. We see God’s omniscience (“all-knowledgeable”): “[1] O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. [2] Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. [3] Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. [4] For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. [5] Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. [6] Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

Then, we note His omnipresence (“all-present”): “[7] Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? [8] If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. [9] If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; [10] Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. [11] If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. [12] Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

Next, we see His omnipotence (“all-powerful”): “[13] For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. [14] I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. [15] My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. [16] Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. [17] How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! [18] If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”

Finally, in verses 19-24, King David closes the chapter by responding to the foregoing affirmations: “[19] Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. [20] For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. [21] Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? [22] I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. [23] Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: [24] And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Nothing is hidden from the Creator God’s view (verses 7-12). Even acts committed in pitch darkness are as visible to Him as deeds done in broad daylight! Strange as it sounds, His Word, the Holy Bible, “sees” all things as well. That stunning revelation is discovered in Hebrews 4:12-13: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his [the Bible’s!!] sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

God is God, so He is everywhere. Yet, since He is God He can also hide Himself from any particular being if He so chooses. He can be present but not reveal Himself to that individual: the knowledge of His presence can be removed as well. That is to say, He is able to withdraw intimate communion, remove awareness of presence, and still be literally there. A crude example that may aid our understanding here is to consider someone nearby who is daydreaming. Physically, he or she is next to us but his or her attention is elsewhere. Despite close proximity, personal interaction with the person is impossible. He or she is unavailable on a heart-to-heart, spirit-to-spirit basis. The same is true of someone sitting right next to us who refuses to pay attention to what we have to say.

In the case of sin, a man’s spirit is dead—separated from God’s Spirit (Ephesians 2:1-3). There is no fellowship because of the barrier of sin. Regeneration, or the Holy Spirit giving life to that dead human spirit, is the answer (Titus 3:4-7). The Holy Spirit uses the Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) as the means whereby He gives life to the believing sinner (see Ephesians 2:4-9). The death of Christ becomes the sinner’s death to sin’s penalty and power, the burial of Christ is the putting away of the sinner’s old identity in Adam, and the resurrection of Christ becomes the sinner’s new life (see Romans chapter 6). This is how a lost person becomes a saint, moving from Adam to Christ—positionally and practically!

Until trusting the Gospel, lost people live in God’s creation, function in His sight, and yet cannot have a personal relationship with Him. They must exercise faith in Christ to gain union with Him. It does not matter how many church memberships, tithes, and prayers are on their account, they are still sinners, fallen short of His glory and righteousness. If they want eternal life and forgiveness of sins, if they want to be saints, they will have to rely on what Jesus Christ did at Calvary to pay for their sins. Nothing they do will ever replace or supplement His finished crosswork!

As long as there is breath in the lost person’s physical body, he or she can trust Christ and have intimate communion with Father God. That person can pass from spiritual death to spiritual life. His or her eternal destiny is not yet fixed. Once the soul leaves the physical body at death, however, the separation of a sinner from God is permanent. It can never be reversed, as temporariness has been traded for eternality. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The finality of Hell makes it all the more horrific. Hell transitions into the Lake of Fire, the place where lost human souls and evil angels (including Satan) wind up in Revelation chapter 20, especially verses 11-15. The Lake of Fire is the final destination of all creatures doomed to suffer the eternal wrath of a holy, righteous God. They are never released. They can never enjoy God’s love or presence. Why this harsh penalty? That is where they chose to go when they previously rejected His love and presence!!! It is not His fault they were foolish! They should have come to Him when He graciously offered them a friendship! More than enough time was given them on Earth to react positively to His Word.

CONCLUSION

Yes, God is everywhere, including Hell, but He surely cannot suffer His own wrath. That is most silly. Furthermore, the souls in Hell are unable to enjoy His presence there. He sees their souls and hears their cries but will do nothing to rescue them. They have decided to reject His Son Jesus Christ forever. No, they are certainly not reformed—only growing more antagonistic toward Him because they have been fully given over to their preference (sin). They are not sorry they have sinned; they just regret to be suffering punishment for it. The God of the Bible values free will, and knows they have no use for Heaven. He cannot use them for His glory either. All they care about is self. They spurned His beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and trampled under foot His self-sacrifice on Calvary offered to pay for their sins. How can we expect Him to overlook such folly?

Also see:
» How can a “loving” God send people to Hell forever?
» Are the flames of fire in Hell literal?

» Why is Hell forever if life on Earth is but decades?

“Remission” and “forgiveness”—same or different?

“REMISSION” AND “FORGIVENESS”—SAME OR DIFFERENT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Is there any difference between the Bible terms “remission” and “forgiveness?”

“REMISSION” (ENGLISH)

The word “remission” appears 10 times in the King James Bible, found only in the New Testament Scriptures:

  • Matthew 26:28: “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
  • Mark 1:4: “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”
  • Luke 1:77: “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,….”
  • Luke 3:3: “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;….”
  • Luke 24:47: “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
  • Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
  • Acts 10:43: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
  • Romans 3:25: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;….”
  • Hebrews 9:22: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
  • Hebrews 10:18: “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, “remission” means “the cancellation of a debt, charge, or penalty.” A sub-definition is “{formal} forgiveness of sins.”

The word “remission,” in common parlance, is “a temporary diminution of the severity of disease or pain.” For example, cancer “in remission” means it has momentarily subsided, and may return at some later time. People will then use this definition to define the Bible term as pertaining to sin. It is thus assumed that remission of sins is “temporary forgiveness,” sins that God does not hold against the sinner now but may do so later. This is not how the Bible uses the term “remission.” It is highly significant to point out here that we should be careful not to insert non-biblical meanings to biblical words. We will use the Bible to give us the sense of its vocabulary.

“FORGIVENESS” (ENGLISH)

The word “forgiveness” (including its related form, the plural “forgivenesses”) appears 8 times in the King James Bible, with two references in the Old Testament Scriptures:

  • Psalm 130:4: “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
  • Daniel 9:9: “To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;….”
  • Mark 3:29: “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.”
  • Acts 5:31: “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
  • Acts 13:38: “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:….”
  • Acts 26:18: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
  • Ephesians 1:7: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;….”
  • Colossians 1:14: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:….”

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, “forgive” means “stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake.” A sub-definition is “no longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake).” A second sub-definition is “cancel (a debt).”

“REMISSION” AND “FORGIVENESS” (GREEK)

We can turn to the Greek language for further insight. The word “aphesis” (Strong’s #G859) is what translates to “forgiveness” on six of the above occasions (Mark 3:29; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:38; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). (The Old Testament, written in Hebrew, uses “celiychah” [Strong’s #H5547] for Psalm 130:4 and Daniel 9:9.)

Concerning the word “remission,” it is nine times rendered from the Greek “aphesis”—which you will immediately recognize as the same term for “forgiveness!” See our “remission” verses quoted at the beginning of this study. The Greek word used regarding “remission” in Romans 3:25 is different, the term “paresis” (Strong’s #G3929). Here in that context, it carries the special meaning “God passing over the sins Israel committed under the Old Covenant” (cf. Hebrews 9:15).

Of the 17 times “aphesis” appears in the Greek Textus Receptus of the King James Bible, we have covered 15. In addition to carrying the meaning of “remission” (9 times) and “forgiveness” (6 times), it has two special definitions which we find in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance [aphesis] to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty [aphesis] them that are bruised,….” This verse allows us to see “liberty” and “deliverance” are synonyms, parallel thoughts, both equal to “remission” and “forgiveness.”

For further illumination, “aphesis” demands extra comment. It is derived from “aphiemi” (Strong’s #G863), which appears over 150 times in our New Testament with applications: Simon and Andrew forsaking their fishing nets (Mark 1:18), a husband divorcing his wife (1 Corinthians 7:11-13), Satan leaving Jesus (Matthew 4:11), and Christ sending away the multitudes (Matthew 13:36), among other varieties. The last instance—sending away—is a beautiful illustration of what God forgiving sin is all about. To where would God send our sins, though? Does He pretend like they are not there? How can He just forgive sins? What does He do with them? Why, you already read about it earlier and yet you probably never realized it. The forgiveness is through Calvary’s cross!!

Ephesians 1:7: “In whom [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;….” Colossians 1:14: “In whom [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:….” Romans 3:23-25 adds, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;….” Father God took care of our sin problem at the cross of Christ. Christ died for them. That is where we, by faith, send all the wrongs committed against us. This is how we forgive others: God gave us the pattern and we follow Him. Christ died to pay for those sins others committed against us, just as He died to pay for sins we committed against Almighty God.

CONCLUSION

All these verses indicate “remission” and “forgiveness” are nearly synonymous, with two exceptions. They are the same Greek word, and both in general involve canceling the sin debt (being liberated or delivered from the debt incurred). If one insists on being technical, then “remission” is the more formal term. “Forgiveness” can, depending on the context, take on the meaning, “end of the resentment or anger the sin causes.” Other than those nuances, the idea is essentially the same.

Also see:
» What is true forgiveness?
» What are the “sins that are past” in Romans 3:25?
» Was God “unfair” to punish us for Adam’s sin?

Is it not enough that “I believe in God?”

IS IT NOT ENOUGH THAT “I BELIEVE IN GOD?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Friend, you state it as though it is meritorious. “I believe in God” is quite general and thus can be understood in more ways than one. What do you mean you “believe in God?” The standard way to take that is that you believe God exists. Such a claim is all well and good, and while you are close to the truth, it is too basic and not an adequate basis for faith. Your position is deceptive, as it provides a false sense of security. After all, there are myriads of gods in the world. Firstly, which “god” do you believe in, friend? The living and true God, or some idol (counterfeit)? Secondly, exactly what do you believe about that “god?” Thirdly, just how do you have—or can you even have—a personal relationship with that “god?” See, there is widespread ambiguity here. As we will see shortly, there is something better, more precise, more reliable, than the simple message of “believing in God.”

Consider what the Holy Bible declares in James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Satan and his evil angelic associates also “believe in God.” Does that suggest they have a right standing before Him? Is He pleased with them? But, they do believe, correct? See, “believing” in and of itself is not meritorious! Furthermore, you can believe information in the head and not believe in the heart. That mental assent or intellectual agreement, while better than unbelief, is nevertheless still not a substitute for heart faith.

Read Acts chapter 8: “[13] Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. [14] Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: [15] Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: [16] (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) [17] Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

“[18] And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, [19] Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. [20] But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. [21] Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. [22] Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. [23] For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. [24] Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.”

Simon believed with his head (verse 13) and yet his heart was not right before God (verses 21-22). He had a mental agreement but he did not have imputed righteousness (a right standing before God). This made him opposed to the God of the Bible. Many who profess faith in God today are doing nothing but agreeing in the mind; they have not made personal application, exercising faith in the heart. Oh yes, they are just as Hell-bound as those who do not believe at all! Notice what Romans 10:10 says: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness….” The heart is the major issue before God, not the head! Friend, be sure you believe in the heart and not merely the head. Millions upon millions will miss Heaven because of this very error. Imputed righteousness comes by faith in the heart.

Moreover, Scripture speaks of more than “believing in God.” For example, the title “God” is generic and not unique to Christianity (see 1 Corinthians 8:5-6). The Bible states, “believeth in Jesus (more exclusive—and, of course, less popular). Far more people believe in “God” than believe in “Jesus.” You can find religions where the name “God” appears but never the name “Jesus.” It is not enough to “believe in God”—even if in the heart. We must believe in Jesus with respect to the heart. What exactly does this involve? Are we to just believe that He existed as an historical character? Are we to believe that He was merely “a good teacher,” or “just another one of God’s prophets,” or “just one of many martyrs who died for the truth?” Again, we must be more definite in our understanding if there is to be an adequate basis for faith! Without our heart faith firmly resting in a clear and secure Gospel message, our souls are damned forever!!

The Bible’s overwhelming testimony is not “believe in God,” but “believe on Him” and “believe on His Son.” Notice:

  • John 3:15-16,18,36: “[15] That whosoever believeth in him [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] should not perish, but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] should not perish, but have everlasting life…. [18] He that believeth on him [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God…. [36] He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
  • John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me [Father God sent His Son, Jesus Christ], hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
  • John 6:35: “[35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] shall never thirst…. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him [God’s Son, Jesus Christ], may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day….. [47] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] hath everlasting life.”
  • John 7:38: “He that believeth on me [God’s Son, Jesus Christ], as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
  • John 11:25: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me [God’s Son, Jesus Christ], though he were dead, yet shall he live:….”
  • John 12:44,46: “[44] Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me [God’s Son, Jesus Christ], believeth not on me, but on him that sent me [Father God sent His Son, Jesus Christ]…. [46] I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] should not abide in darkness.”
  • John 14:12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me [God’s Son, Jesus Christ], the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
  • Acts 10:43: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] shall receive remission of sins.”
  • Romans 3:26: “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
  • Romans 4:5: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him [Father God] that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
  • 1 Peter 2:6: “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him [God’s Son, Jesus Christ] shall not be confounded.”
  • 1 John 5:1,5,10: “[1] Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him….. [5] Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?….. [10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

Believing “on” Almighty God and “on” His Son the Lord Jesus Christ are important prepositional phrases. They denote reliance or dependence upon—not “in” but “ON” (note that well, friend, note that well!!). You must depend on Almighty God to be merciful and gracious as opposed to relying on your religious goodness to merit His mercy and grace. Jesus Christ must be relied upon to support you where you have come short of God’s glory because of sin. It will be because of His work and not yours that you can be declared righteous before the God of the Bible!

Let us read Romans chapter 3: “[22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Father God put the Lord Jesus Christ on display as a “propitiation through faith in his blood.” This underscores His shed blood, a sacrifice, or fully-satisfying payment for our sins. It was no ordinary death: it was the death of the God-Man, who went to die in our place, to experience God’s wrath against our sin. Sin is a barrier between you and God, and believing in God does nothing to remove that barrier. However, friend, the God of the Bible put His Son on Calvary’s cross to pay for your sins, to put away your sins, and to be resurrected for your justification (to give you a right standing before God). What you need to do is rely exclusively on His finished crosswork as the total payment for your sins. It is not important that you work; it is more important that you believe. It is not important that you believe; it is more important what you believe. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Also see:
» Is faith in Christ alone enough to go to heaven? Do not the devils believe?
» Is Acts 16:31 a sufficient Gospel message?
» Can Jews who believe in God, the Father, but who reject Jesus, be saved from eternal damnation?

Would God want me to share the Gospel?

WOULD GOD WANT ME TO SHARE THE GOSPEL?

by Shawn Brasseaux

A brother in Christ just asked this author such a question. The brother’s classmate of many, many years ago had called him on the phone. Having known her since childhood, he knew she was a devout person. She was still a faithful member in the denomination he had abandoned 50 years earlier when he came to faith in Jesus Christ alone. Was her calling him and reconnecting with him “God’s way of getting him to share the Gospel with her?” This is what the brother desired to know.

It is quite clear from the Bible’s own testimony that God wants us to share His Word with others—especially the Gospel. Second Timothy 4:1-5: “[1] I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [5] But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

First Timothy 2:3-7: “[3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [7] Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; ) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”

First and foremost, it is God’s will that lost people believe on the Lord Jesus Christ—“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is for salvation unto eternal life, justification (given a right standing before God), the only qualification to enter Heaven. It is also God’s will that those who have eternal life grow in His Word, especially His Word to them. This is the realm of Christian living and maturity. Very few every get saved unto eternal life, and very few (of the already few) ever get saved unto sound Bible doctrine. The first part of God’s will is our getting saved into Heaven and then our getting that Gospel to others. The second part is us learning why we are saved into Heaven.

Rather than wasting time wondering if this or that is God’s opportunity given us to preach to lost people (or saved people), we should see that it isan opportunity. Friend, there are certain people in this world that only you can reach—they will listen to you and you alone. Just get on with what Father God is doing, and dally not with trivial inquiries. We should use our renewed minds to devise exactly how to approach them. What words should be said, when they should be said, how they should be said. Make the Gospel as approachable as possible, as plain as you can. We should labor to make the Bible as simple as we can for them.

In closing, this author is reminded of a man who prayed fervently for a ministry. How he so wanted to preach! One day, a local assembly called him and asked him if he would be their pastor. Then, the dear man began to wonder whether or not God would have him take the position! Certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ would not want us to struggle with such perplexities. Anyone, anywhere, anytime, Almighty God would undoubtedly want us to preach the Gospel. He would certainly have us teach the Bible rightly divided—anyone, anywhere, anytime. Our task, our challenge, is to take verses and figure out how to tailor those Scriptures to make them most impactful to the souls in our audience.

Also see:
» I believed the Gospel, so why do they not believe?
» What are some verses to help me stop focusing on myself?
» How was Jesus Christ crucified among the Galatians?