Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Ten Commandments: Stealing

“You shall not steal.” Before this was written on the stone tablets (twice), it was spoken from Mount Horeb.

“You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.” (Deuteronomy 4:11-13)

This happened over 4,000 years ago. Apparently people were stealing then.

I remember when I was in kindergarten, I was walking home from school with a friend when he announced to me, “I will teach you how to steal a cookie.”

There was a corner grocery store about two blocks from home. His mother had told him to bring home a pound of hamburger from the store. My friend told me, “When I order the hamburger, the owner goes to the back room to grind and wrap the it. While he is in the back room, we go over to the cookie bin, open the glass lid, take out two cookies, and put them in our pockets.”

It worked like a charm. The cookies had a marshmallow on top and were dipped in chocolate. I ate my cookie in the first block. Then I realized that Mom would see the chocolate on my face and make inquiries. I was not up to being questioned, so I spent the second block scrubbing my face to remove all traces of chocolate. She never asked.

There is more from God in the books of Leviticus and Numbers:

“The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor, or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit—when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering.” (Leviticus 6:1-5)

“Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which atonement is made for the wrongdoer.’” (Numbers 5:6-8)

The solution for stealing is restitution plus 20%. If you cannot find the person or relative of that person, give it to the Lord. You do not get to keep the money or the items you stole. It is not your money.

Here is a case where 20% is not enough:

“Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.” (Exodus 22:1)

If the theft is an animal, the restitution is 400% or 500%.

Here is the New Testament’s word on it:

“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” (Ephesians 4:28)

Sixteen years later, after I was saved, I went back to that corner to make restitution for the cookies. The store was not there anymore, so I gave the money to the LORD.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Ten Commandments: Adultery, Part 2

“Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?’ ‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’ ‘Why then,’ they asked, ‘did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?’ Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.’” (Matthew 19:3-9)

I have received the following question, “Would you please let me know what is biblically authorized divorce(s)?”

The basic sentence in the text without the subordinate clause is this: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery.” This is a basic truth. In the middle of the sentence, Jesus inserted an exception, “except for marital unfaithfulness.” This exception has to apply to the divorce and the remarriage, or the sentence doesn’t make sense. Adultery takes place with the remarriage, not just with the divorce. But if a man divorced and remarried because his wife was unfaithful, he would not be committing adultery.

Another Scripture that is used as a biblically-authorized divorce is 1 Corinthians 7:10-16:

“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:10-16)

The key verse is verse 15:

“But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:15)

This is interpreted that desertion by an unbelieving partner gives freedom for the Christian to remarry without committing adultery. I do not think that that teaching is clear enough when the rest of the passage is teaching to stay together.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Ten Commandments: Definition of Adultery

“You shall not commit adultery.” (Deuteronomy 5:18)

Adultery has both a narrow and a broad definition.

In the narrow sense, it is sexual intercourse with some person other than your spouse, or it is one person is not married having sexual intercourse with someone who is married. Or if divorced and remarried, if the divorce is not biblically authorized.

You may say, “If that is so, then half of the country has committed or is committing adultery right now.”

True!

Let’s look at the wider definition of adultery.

Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

He did not say, “If a married man looks lustfully or if a single man looks lustfully at a married woman…”

In this case, marriage is not part of the command, and the physical act is not part of the command.

Now we have moved the guilty section from half of the country to 100% of the country.

“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20)

Adultery abounds!

Read Romans 3.

Grace abounds much more.

You can be forgiven for your adultery. That does not mean that you are forgiven.

People do not go to Hell for unforgivable sins. They go to Hell for forgivable sins that have not been forgiven.

“And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47)

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Ten Commandments: Murder

“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13 NIV)

The Authorized Version says, “Thou shalt not kill.” From the context, we know that the word used in this commandment is more specific than “kill.” The very next chapter says, “Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.” Exodus 21:12 requires the execution of a man who kills another man. If the command in Exodus 20 meant “kill” in a general sense, the execution required in Exodus 21 would be violating this command.

No, the word is “murder.” However, the word is still more specific than that.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

There are murderers (physical and spiritual) who escape judgment on this earth. However, there is no murderer who escapes the judgment of God unless his robes are washed.

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Revelation 22:12-15)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Ten Commandments: The Sabbath

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-12)

This is a wonderful command. It tells us to work six days and rest one. God did not say, “Work five and rest two.” God gave Himself as the reason for this pattern by His own example. He worked six days and rested one.

The Church today is divided over which day is the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week or the first day. However, the argument is generally over which day we are to gather together for worship, not which day we should rest. The command does not speak to the subject of worship. It speaks only to the subjects of work and rest.

The New Testament reinforces this emphasis in every instance where Jesus is called to heal on the Sabbath. The question was working, not worship. Here are two complaints:

“Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’” (Luke 13:14)

“The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?’” (Mark 2:24)

Jesus’ answers to these two complaints were:

“The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’” (Luke 13:15-16)

“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’” (Mark 2:27)

Healing on the Sabbath is not violating the Sabbath, and the Day of Rest was made for the good of man. Man was not made to be a servant of the Day of Rest.

Jesus is the Lord of the Day of Rest.

Are you violating the Day of Rest? Read Isaiah 58.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Ten Commandments, Part 3

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7)

There are two parts to this. The first is the command. The second is the reason for the command as far as men are concerned.

There are many people who think that they are not violating this command because they are only using His name thoughtlessly or by habit. They think that “in vain” means maliciously or in anger. Because they do not use “God” or “Jesus” in anger, they assume that they are innocent of the violation. In “vain” means “for nothing.” “Empty.” What they are doing is exactly what is prohibited.

This next part is serious!

God will not hold anyone guiltless who uses His name with no meaning.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Ten Commandments, Part 2

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6)

This command is comprehensive. We are not to make an idol of anything, like anything, anywhere. This should be clear, but it is not clear to many people.

• You shall not make
• You shall not bow

If for some reason an idol got made, it is not to be worshipped.

Why? The real creator, God, is jealous and will punish to the fourth generation those who:

• hate God
• disobey God

He will show love to a thousand generations those who:

• love God
• obey God

Do you get the message?

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Why do the nations say,
‘Where is their God?’
Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but they cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but they cannot smell;
they have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.” (Psalm 115:1-8)

Idolatry is not innocent. It is a great evil.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Ten Commandments, Part 1

The next few weeks, my subject will be the Ten Commandments and related teaching in the New Testament. These commands were first given orally.

“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.” (Exodus 19:16-19)

“Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.’ You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully.” (Deuteronomy 4:10-15)

Here is the first commandment:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3)

First, we find out who God is by what He did:

• Ten miracles in Egypt
• Many more miracles in the 40 years in the wilderness, including food, water, and clothing.

The Israelites knew firsthand who had brought them out of Egypt.

Second, the imperative:

You shall have no other gods before me.

Since this is the first command, it follows that the violation of it is the greatest sin.

In the past, the gods of Greek, Roman, Germanic, and Norse mythology were the gods that God is speaking about. Historically, this oral command took place around 1440 B.C.

Today, this means all of the world religions with their multitude of created gods. It also means all of the animistic religions of the world, thousands of primitive tribes who are fearful of and attempt to placate demons.

It also means all those in the present that worship their cars, their girlfriends, and themselves.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

Here we have the oneness of God and the command to love Him with all that we are.

I think that we all qualify as sinners because of our disobedience to this command in practice as well as in nature.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Good News/Bad News: The Solution and Judgment

Bad news:

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3)

Good news:

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” (Titus 3:4-8)

The good news is the solution to the character of the bad news and to the judgment on the bad news.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Two Destinations

“For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:18-21)

There are two destinations:

1) Destruction
2) Heaven and a glorious body like Christ’s glorious body

The means to the first destination:

• Be an enemy of the Cross of Christ.
• Have your stomach as your god.
• Glory in your shame.
• Set your mind on earthly things.

The means to the second destination:

• Anticipate with eagerness the return of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you on the right path?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Three Types of People

Here are three types of people who will not be saved:

1. The religious
2. The legalist
3. The licentious

The religious:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?” (Isaiah 58:3-5)

The legalist:

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

“Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Colossians 2:20-23)

The licentious:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Taking Off the Old & Putting On the New

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” (Ephesians 4:17-19)

This is a description of people without God.

Here is another description:

“I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” (Romans 6:19)

And a third…

“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Romans 6:20-21)

And a fourth…

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

This is all bad news. Here is the good news:

“You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:20-24)

“I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” (Romans 6:19)

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:22)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:22-24)

How do we move from the bad news to the good news?

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Effect of Repentance, Part 2

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.” (2 Peter 3:9-15)

In some way, your repentance has an effect on the quickness of the return of Jesus Christ.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Effect of Repentance, Part 1

“But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:18-21)

Notice the results of repentance and turning to God:

• Your sins may be wiped out.
• Times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
• The return of Jesus Christ

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Repentance Is from the Lord

The word “repentance” has gotten a bad reputation. It is not associated with good things. However, the bad reputation is false.

In the Bible, repentance is associated with kindness and gentleness.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

“And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

Repenting is turning toward God because of His grace, love, kindness, gentleness, and truth toward us.

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30)

The Liar, Satan, has distorted the meaning to make it look like repentance is an effort of our own, contrary to who we are and what we want.

Notice that God helps us by giving us repentance. We are not in this alone. God draws us to Himself.

“But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:18-19)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Repentance & Forgiveness

Here are a few scriptures on repentance and forgiveness:

“He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’” (Luke 24:46-47)

“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Him.” (Acts 26:17-18)

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

“Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30)

Repentance is preached, commanded, and granted.

Please note the results in those who have been granted repentance and who have obeyed the command to repent:

• Forgiveness of sins
• A place among those who are sanctified in Him
• Sins are wiped out.
• Times of refreshing
• Knowledge of the truth
• Escape from the trap of the devil

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Impossible for Man

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23)

“Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” (Mark 10:23-27)

There are two impossible things stated here:

1. It is impossible for a man to change his character from bad to good.
2. It is impossible for a covetous man to be saved by his own will.

What is impossible to man is possible with God. Jesus came to this earth to deliver men from the fear of death, the guilt of sin, the power of sin, the penalty of sin, and eventually the very presence of sin. Do you want to be set free, and do you realize you cannot do it by yourself?

Friday, June 10, 2016

What You Will Say When You Are Saved, Part 6

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. — Psalm 95:1

You may think, “If I said that, I would be lying.” That is true if you said it now, but you will not say it now. When you say it, it will be wonderfully true.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

What You Will Say When You Are Saved, Part 5

Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old. — Psalm 25:4-6

It will be a glad day when you say this to the Lord.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

What You Will Say When You Are Saved, Part 4

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD" —
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Selah. — Psalm 32:5

Are you ready to confess your sins? Are you ready to be forgiven?

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

What You Will Say When You Are Saved, Part 3

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. — Psalm 103:1-5

If you say this, you will be talking to yourself about the Lord and His love and compassion and the forgiveness of your sins.