Monday, July 28, 2014

CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD?    by steve finnell

What is the meaning of calling on the name of the Lord? Many assume that believing in Jesus and saying a form of a sinner's prayer  constitutes, calling on the name of the Lord. The problem with that theory is none of the conversions under the New Covenant support that assumption. Not one time is anyone ever told to believe and say the sinner's prayer in order to be saved.

The apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost quoted the prophet Joel, Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (NKJV)

The apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon under the New Covenant. Peter did not tell the 3000 converts to believe and say the sinner's prayer.

Peter preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He preached Jesus as both Lord and Christ. When they heard this they asked Peter and the rest of the brethren what they should do?(Acts 2:22-37) Peter told them what to do. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)

How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost call on the name of the Lord and become saved?
1. They believed that Jesus was both Lord and Christ.
2. They believed that God raised Jesus from the grave.
3. They repented. Repentance is a change of heart. Repentance means to be converted so that God may forgive your sins. Repentance is to make the intellectual commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God. (Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38)
4. They were immersed in water (baptized) so that their sins could be forgiven.

How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost not call on the name of the Lord?
1. They did not say a sinner's prayer.
2. Not one person was asked to pray for forgiveness.
3. Not one single man was told to be baptized as a testimony of his faith.
4. No one was told that water baptism was a just an act of obedience.
5. No one was informed they were saved the very minute they believed.
6. Not one person was told that water baptism was not essential for the forgiveness of sins.
7. Not one person was told to be baptized so they could join a denominational church.

Jesus said he that believes and is baptized shall be saved. (Mark 16"16) Jesus did not say he who believes and says a sinner's prayer shall be saved.



Pride can cause you to appear intellectually challenged. The devil had a pride problem. The devil knew that Jesus was God in the flesh, and he still tried to tempt Jesus to sin. [Matthew 4:1-11]


Pride destroys the faculty for understanding.

Pride hinders the power of discernment.

Pride is a road-block to clear thinking.

Pride clouds our judgment.

Pride restricts our comprehension.

Pride causes us to think we are smarter than God.

Pride opens the avenue for us to believe man-made doctrine.

2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things , in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Pride renders men unteachable and unstable and causes them to distort the truth, and believe the false doctrine of others, to their own destruction.

When we study God's word relying on our own understanding; rather than asking God to show us HIS truth we become a victim of are own pride.

Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.



(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE) 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

SELECTIVE BELIEF!     by steve finnell

Why do some men choose to disbelieve that Jesus died on the cross and was bodily resurrected from the grave? It is recorded in the only history book inspired by God, the BIBLE.

Men are very selective about which historical facts they conclude are reliable.

Men agree that Gaius Julius Caesar August was the first Roman emperor. Yet, no man alive witnessed that historical event. It is accepted by faith.

The world believes that Abraham Lincoln was president during the Civil War between the states, however, the only proof that Abraham Lincoln lived and there was a war; is recorded in history books written by men. It is accepted by faith.

Men are confident that Socrates, the Greek philosopher, lived and died. That is accept by faith.

Nobody doubts that George Washington was the first president of the United States. They believe it by faith.

The existence of the great military leader Alexander the Great is questioned by no man. Men believe that he existed by faith.

Men are confident that Napoleon Bonaparte lived and was a great, French, political and military leader. They accept it by faith.

There no living witnesses to confirm that these historical figures lived nor that the historical facts are true. It is all accepted by faith, as written in history books.

The fact that Jesus lived, died, performed miracles, and was resurrected from the dead was not only recorded in God's book, the BIBLE, but also was recorded in other books of history.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

UNIVERSAL SALVATION?   by steve finnell

Will a loving God send those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to an everlasting punishment in hell?

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bring salvation to all men,

Grace is available to all men, however, there are requirements for salvation. You must have your name written in the book of life.

Revelation 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


FAITH: John 3:16
REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Mark 16:16

At the point of water baptism your sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, you become part of the body of Christ (which is the Lord's church), you are saved, you are clothed with Christ, you are justified, you are redeemed, you become a Christian, you have put on Christ, you will received the gift of the Holy Spirit, you will be part of the kingdom of heaven on earth (which is the church of Christ), you will be born again and God will not even remember your sins.
And then you need to remain faithful until the end: Revelation 2:10


Matthew 25:41'Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

Evidently the devil and his angels will not be alone in hell.

Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Those who reject Jesus and His terms for pardon will not be sitting around drinking beer and playing cards with their friends. Besides the weeping and gnashing problem, they will not be able to see their cards or their friends. It will be dark. God provides light, but God will not be with them.

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Jesus said he that believes and is baptized SHALL BE SAVED, yes, belief and baptism are obedience to the gospel. It will be a surprise for those who believe that there will be a flashing sign on heaven's door that says, "no obedience required" and instead find the door closed and locked. Everlasting destruction is a long time.


Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

When you die there will be no second chance. No amount of money, nor prayers of Christians can keep you from facing Jesus on judgment day. It will be too late.

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ also , having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.


(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE) 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Two Different Great Tribulations
by David Vaughn Elliott

How many "great" tribulations are there? Read Matthew 24:21 and Revelation 7:14. Many people think these texts speak of one and the same tribulation. But take a closer look. 

Matthew 24:15-21 speaks of "the holy place" in Judea. The parallel passage in Luke 21:20-24 mentions Jerusalem, Judea, and "this people." It is the Jews who suffer in this great tribulation. 

The opposite is true of Revelation 7. Verses 9-14 show us that this great tribulation was suffered by multitudes "of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues."  

Revelation 7:14 further shows that this multi-national group had "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." These are saved Gentile believers. 

Back in Luke 21:22,23, there is a very different picture. That  tribulation was a matter "of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled... for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people." This tribulation is an outpouring of the wrath of God upon the unbelieving Jews. In verse 21 (and Matthew 24:16), Jesus warned his disciples to "flee." Thus, this tribulation would overtake only unbelieving Jews who did not heed Jesus' warning. 

In Matthew 24 and Luke 21, the great tribulation is God's punishment upon the Jewish nation for their unbelief and rejection of the Messiah. In Revelation 7, saints of all nations who endured great tribulation for the sake of Christ afterward rejoice with their God. Two very different "great" tribulations. 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 


After Jesus was resurrected from the grave by the Father, He spoke of salvation twice to His disciples.

1.Jesus said: Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

2. Jesus said: Luke 24:47-49 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.........

The apostle Peter preached Jesus and he preached repentance and water baptism for the remission of sins beginning at Jerusalem, on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-38)

The New Covenant terms for pardon were very clear. A. Faith in Jesus. B. Repentance (making the commitment to turn from sin and unbelief and turn toward God. And C. Be baptized in water.

Jesus said it, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved."


1. He not did say be saved like the thief on the cross.

2. Jesus did not say be saved like Moses.

3. He did not say be saved like the woman who loved much.

4. Jesus did not say be saved like Enoch.

5. Jesus did not say be saved like Elijah.

6. He did not say be saved like the paralytic.

7. Jesus did not say be saved like Abraham.

8. He did not say to be saved like Noah.

Men today are to be saved like the three thousand who were saved on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-41,....40... "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 The those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.) The apostle Peter followed the instructions of Jesus.

(Scripture from: NKJV)        

Thursday, July 24, 2014

by David Vaughn Elliott

    The word "kingdom" is found 125 times in the four Gospels but only 33 times in the rest of the New Testament. The word "church," on the other hand, is found just 3 times in the four Gospels contrasted to 105 times in the rest of the New Testament. 

    This may seem like a drastic change in subject matter from the Gospels to the rest of the New Testament. But a careful study shows that the subject has not changed. Rather, there is a change in terminology. The church of Jesus is the kingdom of God. This is, indeed, a bold assertion; but there is considerable evidence of its truth in the epistles of the New Testament. (For evidence in other New Testament books, see former and future Insights on the Kingdom.) 


    One way to investigate the relationship between the kingdom and the church is to consider what the New Testament teaches about the "gospel." 

    What is the gospel? Good news. What good news? 1 Corinthians probably comes closer than any other text to giving a formal definition. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you... which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again" (15:1-4). The historical basis of the gospel, upon which all else rests, is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. 

    A few weeks after His resurrection, Jesus commanded his disciples: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:15,16). Their job was to preach the gospel to "every creature"--Jew and Gentile alike--in the process, baptizing those who believe the gospel. The importance of the book of Acts is that it records the history of the disciples obeying Jesus' command. 

    Paul speaks of "the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel" and also mentions, "the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:24,28). Since Jesus' death is the basis for the gospel, and since Jesus' death purchased the church, the church is thus part of the gospel. That is why, as Paul traveled the Roman Empire preaching the gospel, he gathered baptized disciples into churches. To exclude or minimize the church in the preaching of the gospel is to preach a different gospel than Paul preached. The church is bound to the gospel. 


    During Jesus' earthly ministry, He went about "preaching the gospel of the kingdom" (Matthew 4:23; 9:35). Mark adds that Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel" (1:14,15). The coming of the kingdom was the time for people to believe in the gospel. In fact, the gospel is "the gospel of the kingdom." Kingdom and gospel are inseparable, just as church and gospel are inseparable. 

    "The gospel of the kingdom" was not just a message preached during Jesus' earthly ministry. Predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, which would take place 40 years later, in 70 A.D., Jesus said, "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end [of the temple in Jerusalem] will come" (Matthew 24:14). To put it another way, Jesus' command in Mark 16 ("preach the gospel to every creature") would be fulfilled before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. This makes clear that "the gospel" which Jesus commanded them to preach in all the world was "the gospel of the kingdom." 


    There is a gospel that is inseparably bound to the kingdom of God. There is a gospel that is inseparably bound to the church of the Lord Jesus. Could these be two different gospels? Hardly! There is only one gospel--one true one. All other "gospels" are perverted and condemned: 

    "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:6-8). Christ has only one gospel. Therefore, the gospel connected to the kingdom and the gospel connected to the church is one and the same! The gospel that Jesus preached at the beginning of His ministry is the same gospel that He commanded to be preached after his ascension. 

    Any "kingdom gospel" today which is not the same gospel found in Acts and the epistles is declared by the Holy Spirit to be a "different gospel," a perversion of the gospel of Christ. Consider what Paul told the church at Rome: "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Romans 1:16). There is one gospel for Jew and Gentile. Any "good news" for Jews that is different from "good news" for Gentiles is a different and perverted "good news." There is just one gospel for all nations.  

    To the brethren in Ephesus, Paul explained "that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs [with the Jews], of the same body [church], and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel" (3:6). Paul elsewhere clarified: "the church, which is His body" (1:22,23) and that there is "one body" (4:4). There is one church and one gospel. It is therefore correct to say that the gospel of the kingdom--the only gospel there is--places both Jews and Gentiles into the one and only church of our Lord.  


    In Mark 9:1, Jesus prophesied that the kingdom of God would come with power during the lifetime of His listeners. That power became a reality in several ways, as discussed in Insight #96, "Kingdom Arrives in Acts." Examining that power in the epistles, the mind is drawn again to Romans 1:16: "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation." The gospel is the power of God. Not man's power. The power of God.  

    The apostles were told that the kingdom would come with power in their lifetime. It came with power! The power to save men from sin. The power to turn lives away from wickedness. It was not the power of a sword. It was not the power of a theocratic world government. It was/is the power of a message of love touching men's hearts and changing them from the inside out.  

    Since there is only one gospel, it is correct to restate Paul's words this way, "the gospel of the kingdom is the power of God to salvation." The kingdom is about salvation from sins. There is power in the kingdom today! This is not a dead message. Nor is this the power of Jesus to force people to obey Him. This is the power of Jesus to draw sinners to Himself--a power to saves souls eternally.  


    Paul spoke to the Colossians of "the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel" (1:5). The gospel of the kingdom tells about our hope in heaven. Repeat: "in heaven." In addition, Ephesians 4:4 clarifies that there is just "one hope." Thus, the one hope of the gospel of the kingdom (the only gospel there is) is that which is "laid up for you in heaven." Paul told Timothy that Christ "has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). The gospel of the kingdom has revealed immortality.  

    The Holy Spirit has said that there is "one hope." Not two hopes--"one hope." Paul spoke to Titus of the "hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began" (1:2). Our hope is not something to last for a century or a millennium. Our hope in Christ is for all eternity. That is the one hope of the Christian. The hope of the gospel of the kingdom is eternal life, nothing less. 


    Some of the confusion on the question of the kingdom of God is that the kingdom has two phases. Texts just referred to speak of the future hope of the gospel. Other texts speak of the kingdom as being future. For example, Paul wrote, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50). Obviously, this is speaking of the kingdom as something in the future, after the resurrection.  

    Paul also wrote (2 Timothy 4:18): "And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve [me] for His heavenly kingdom." Also, 2 Peter 1:11 says: "for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 

    Such texts clearly speak of the kingdom as something future. Note, however, that the future kingdom referred to in each case is both heavenly and eternal (neither earthly nor millennial). These texts thus agree with the prophecy of Daniel, "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed... it shall stand forever" (2:44). 

    What then, are we to make of the texts quoted earlier, (and others to follow), which give us to understand that the kingdom is present here and now? If we take all that Scripture has to say on the subject, and not just select verses, we must conclude that the kingdom is here in one sense and future in another sense! It is somewhat like the nature of Jesus. On this earth He was both human and divine. Some would make Him only human and others would make him only divine, each using their proof-texts. These people miss the truth. Jesus was both.  

    And so it is with the kingdom. If we take just some texts, we can say the kingdom has not arrived yet, that it is in the future. If we select other texts, we can ignore or even deny that the kingdom of God is in the future. But, if we take all that Scripture has to say on the subject, we must conclude that the kingdom is here in one sense and future in another sense. It may be thought of as two phases of the same kingdom. Call it "two phases," or whatever you want to call it, neither truth can be denied. 


    One of the most direct statements of the present reality of the kingdom of God is Paul's declaration to the Colossians: "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us [past tense] from the power of darkness and conveyed [us] [past tense] into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood" (Colossians 1:12-14). Conveyed us into the kingdom. Accomplished fact.  

    Notice that the kingdom has to do with the battle between darkness and light, the battle between Satan and Jesus. It has to do with redemption, blood, and forgiveness of sins. A totally spiritual message. All of this is related to the saints being in the kingdom now. Christ has already delivered us from Satan's kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light. Praise His holy name! 


    Remember when Jesus fed the 5,000? The multitude wanted to make Him king. Jesus refused and rebuked them for their materialism: "you seek Me... because you ate of the loaves and were filled" (John 6:26). Paul addressed the same materialism in Rome because of the attitude of some in eating meat even if it caused their brother to stumble: "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (14:17). Thus, in correcting them, Paul explained the nature of the kingdom of God here and now--not filling the belly, but rather striving to live at peace with the brethren. God's kingdom is not a forced peace; it's a peace from the heart. 

    Remember what Jesus told Pilate? "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight" (John 18:36). Paul addressed the same issue when he explained: "We do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments... bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Jesus' kingdom has nothing to do with physical fighting. Jesus' kingdom does not make captives of men; it makes captives of thoughts!  

    The kingdoms of the world advance by force of arms. God's kingdom advances by force of arguments. Yes, read the text again: "casting down arguments." People say, "There are two things I don't argue about: politics and religion." Whatever the case may be with politics, Christian soldiers are in the business of combating false arguments, in the business of leading people to think as God thinks, in the business of challenging people to surrender their thought patterns to Christ.  

    "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age... having girded your waist with truth... And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:11-17). "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war!" A war of words. Our only sword is "the word of God." It is a spiritual war for the advancement of a spiritual kingdom--a battle for the hearts and minds of men, women and youth. 


    Jesus' death is central to the gospel message. So is His resurrection. But it does not end there. Central to the gospel, also, is Jesus' ascension into heaven to sit on the right hand of the Father! Hebrews 8:4 states bluntly: "if He [Jesus] were on earth, He would not be a priest." If not a priest, not a savior (see 7:23-28). If not a savior, there is no salvation, no gospel, no good news. 

    Scripture frequently emphasizes Jesus' position in heaven following His ascension. Mark 16:19 records of Jesus: "He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God." Ten days later Peter proclaimed in Jerusalem: "This Jesus God has raised up... Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God" (Acts 2:32,33). 

    The epistles also emphasize the fact. Paul told the Ephesians (1:20): "which He [God] worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated [Him] at His right hand." He told the Colossians (3:1): "where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God." The Holy Spirit told the Hebrews (1:3): "when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." This great truth had been foretold one thousand years earlier: 

    "The LORD said to my Lord, 
    'Sit at My right hand, 
    Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.' 
    The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.  
    Rule in the midst of Your enemies!" (Psalms 110:1,2).  

    During Jesus' earthly ministry, He quoted the first verse of this prophecy to show that the Messiah is not only David's son, but also David's Lord (Matthew 22:41-46). Peter quoted the same verse on the day of Pentecost, as he was reaching the great climax of his sermon: " 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." ' Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:34-36). Jesus sitting on the right hand of God is used as proof that He is now Lord. 


    "Lord" is "ruler." And that is what verse 2 of Psalm 110 says, "Rule in the midst of Your enemies!" Is Jesus ruling now? The inspired apostle says, "Yes." "Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him" (1 Peter 3:21,22). "Having been made." Past tense. Angels and authorities and powers are now subject to Him. Jesus said as much before His ascension: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matthew 28:18). 

    Paul enlarges on the implications of Jesus being seated on the right hand of God: "Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated [Him] at His right hand in the heavenly [places], far above all principality and power and might and dominion" (Ephesians 1:20-21). The word "dominion" is a derivative of the word "Lord." It could be translated "lordship." Far above all lordship or lords. The book of Revelation is reserved for a future study, but it is irresistible at this point to quote 17:14: "the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings." Jesus is now seated at God's right hand, far above all lords. 

    Psalm 110:1,2 shows that Jesus has enemies that are not yet overcome. "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool... Rule in the midst of Your enemies!" "Till." Thus, while Jesus is seated at God's right hand, He still has unconquered enemies. Then, 1 Corinthians 15:25 says: "He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet." Both 1 Corinthians 15 and Psalms 110 speak of Jesus overcoming all His enemies. Until He completely overcomes them, the former text says He is seated at God's right hand and is ruling, the latter says he is reigning. Conclusion? Sitting on God's right hand is the equivalent of ruling and reigning. Jesus has been ruling and reigning since His ascension! 

    Psalms 110 used the word "rule." 1 Corinthians further narrowed "rule" by using the word "reign." A president does not reign. A prime minister does not reign. A king reigns. And a king does not reign unless he has a kingdom to reign over. In the Greek, the words "reign," "king" and "kingdom" all come from the same root: "basil... " So, since Jesus is reigning, by definition he has a kingdom--now!  


    Does God have a favorite nation today? Is it America? Is it Israel? Or, is no nation special to Him today? The Spirit has the answer for us. 

    Addressing Christians in what today is Turkey, Peter wrote: "You [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people" (1 Peter 2:9). Tremendous! Christians are special! All Christians are the people of God! Christians make up a holy nation! In verse 11, Peter calls them "sojourners and pilgrims." Why? Because Christians are not first of all Americans, or Cubans, or Germans, or Arabs. Christians are sojourners and pilgrims in these nations. Christians first of all belong to the holy nation of God. 

    What type of nation is the nation of God? Is it a democracy? Is it a commonwealth? Is it a republic? None of these. God's nation is a kingdom! The church of Christ is not a democracy, much less a club or association. The church is a kingdom--the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. We are now God's people, God's nation, God's kingdom. The kingdom of God is present here and now. If we are in Christ, we are in His kingdom. 

(Scripture in the preceding article is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.) 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

CREATION--- FAITH & LOGIC     by steve finnell

Is accepting as fact that God created the heavens and the earth strictly a faith alone concept? Is it not logical that an intelligent designer had to be involved in the creation process?

FAITH: Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

I accept the Genesis account to be true because of faith. Why? Because I trust the Bible to be the infallible word of God.

LOGIC: Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen , being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

I accept the words in Romans 1:20 not only by faith, but by logic as well. I can see clearly God's hand in creation.


If you were shopping for a house and you walked into a housing development  you had never been to before, and saw a house you wanted to purchase, would you not have to to accept the existence of that house by faith and logic?

FAITH: Since you did not see anyone build the house, you would have to accept by faith it was built by an intelligent designer. How many years do you think it would take for wood, brick and mortar to evolve into a house? 

Logic: Since the house is in your sight, is it not logical that someone built the house?

Everyone agrees that billions of years would not be long enough for brick, wood, and mortar to evolve into a house. 

To believe the theory of evolution you not only have to contradict logic, but you have to forsake reason.

Those who deny that God exists and  is the creator of all things, are truly without excuse!

THE DEFINITION OF FAITH IN THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION: Faith in evolution is to believe that, nothing accidentally created the heavens and the earth over billions of years.

(All Scripture quotes from:NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)   

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE THIEF'S PLAN OF SALVATION    by steve finnell

Can men living in the 21st century steal the thief's plan of salvation and be saved? No they cannot. The thief was the one and only person saved by his plan.

What did the thief do to be saved?

1. The thief obviously believed that Jesus was the Christ.(Luke 23:39)
2. The thief feared God.(Luke 23:40)

3. The thief asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom.(Like 23:42)

THAT WAS THE THIEF'S PLAN OF SALVATION! Yes he was saved (Luke 23:43)

What was not in the thief's plan of salvation?
1. The thief did not believe in his heart that Jesus was raised from the dead by God the Father.(Romans 10:9 that if you confess with they mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead , you will be saved;) The thief could not believe that God raised Jesus from the dead; because Jesus was sill alive when the he was saved.

2. The thief was not baptized for the forgiveness of sins. (Acts 2:38)

3. The thief could not be baptized in water in order to be saved. (Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21)

THE THIEF DIED UNDER THE OLD COVENANT AND GOT A DIRECT PARDON FROM JESUS. Men living today can only be save by the terms of pardon under the New Covenant. 
The terms of pardon are: FAITH John 3:16---REPENTANCE Acts 2:38---CONFESSION Romans 10:9-10---WATER BAPTISM Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21, Mark 16:16.