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Our Only Hope

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

What Does It Mean to Believe?

To believe is to be persuaded ofto be won over to a change of mind and hence to place confidence in, to trust.* In this sense it signifies, reliance upon, not mere credence. [1]

Only Trust Him

Come, every soul by sin oppressed,
There’s mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His Word.

Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.

For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
That washes white as snow.

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way,
That leads you into rest;
Believe in Him without delay
And you are fully blest.

Come, then, and join this holy band,
And on to glory go,
To dwell in that celestial land
Where joys immortal flow.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

*Note: Biblical faith is not a blind leap into the dark. It is a relationship based on trust in our Saviour and Creator, Messiah Jesus.

[1] Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words, copyright 1984,1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN, p.61 & 469.

[2] John H. Stockton, 1869 – copyright status is Public Domain

Fear Thou Not

Isaiah 41:10 became my life’s verse many many years ago. Yes, it is a promise made to Israel, but Old Testament promises may be claimed by the New Testament believer when they are re-iterated in the New Testament. The following breakdown of this verse will show Old Testament promises to Israel re-stated to New Testament believers.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Fear thou not;

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

for I am with thee:

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

be not dismayed (terrified);

And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. Philippians 1:28

But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Luke 21:9

for I am thy God:

Whosoever therefore shall confess me (Jesus Christ) before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. John 10:27-30

I will strengthen thee;

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Peter 5:10

I will help thee;

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: Acts 26:22

yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Romans 10:3

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Philippians 3:9

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

Note: Isaiah 41:10 is an Old Testament promise to Israel that extends to the New Testament faithful.

Do You Have Saving Faith?

A well known preacher once said; We must never imagine that we have faith if we do not obey. Obedience to the Word of God is not the cause of salvation, it is the result of salvation. Saving faith produces obedience.

Saving faith is trusting Jesus Christ and His merit alone as your only hope of salvation.

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing (cleansing) of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified (acquitted) by his grace (unmerited favor), we should be made heirs according to the hope (confident assurance) of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12&13

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

The Breath of God

We breathe in to live. When God breathes out He gives life.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. Job 33:4

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Psalm 33:6

All scripture is given by inspiration of God (theopneustia – God breathed), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: II Timothy 3:16

For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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. Hebrews 4:12

And when he (Jesus) had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:22

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 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, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:12-14

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

Does the Soul Sleep?

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.

And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:34-43

Jesus didn’t even give this man time to take a nap!

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:8

The promise of heaven and being present with the Lord immediately, is only given to believers.

Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:6&7

It is not clear (to me) whether this verse is addressing only believers or mankind in general. What is clear, is that there is a separation of the body and spirit at death.

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom (paradise/heaven): the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

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. Luke 16:19-24

It is also clear from this account of the rich man, that there is no intermediate state for the wicked either. The rich man died, was buried, and is in torment in the flames of hell.

When sleep is used as in the context of I Thessalonians 4:13-18, it is a metaphor for death.

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

What is the Difference?

What is the difference between penance and repentance?

Instructions for Non-Catholics, a Roman Catholic training book, gives the following instructions concerning penance:

”In the sacrament of penance, God gives the priest the power to bring sinners back into the state of grace and to prevent them from falling into the abyss of hell. Moreover, after confession some temporal punishment due to sin generally remains, and some of this punishment is taken away in the penance (prayers) the priest gives you to say. You should perform other acts of penance also so that you can make up for the temporal punishment due to sin and to avoid a long stay in purgatory. The Church suggests to us these forms of penance: prayer, fasting, giving alms in the name of Christ, the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, the patient sufferings of the ills of life, and the gaining of indulgences” (p. 95). (Indulgences are remissions of so many days or months or years of punishment in purgatory.) [1]

The Protestant position:

“Penance is a wholly different thing from Gospel repentance. Penance is an outward act; repentance is of the heart. Penance is imposed….; repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit. Penance is supposed to make satisfaction for sin. But nothing that the sinner can do or suffer can satisfy the divine justice. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can do that, and He did it once for all when He made atonement on the cross and completely satisfied the divine law. Penance is like that of the heathen religions, seeking to win forgiveness or deliverance from sin by self-inflicted or priest imposed punishment. Such are the tortures of Buddhist and Hindu devotees.

“What God desires in the sinner is not a punishment of oneself for sins, but a change of heart, a real forsaking of sin, shown by a new life of obedience to God’s commands.

“In short, penance is a counterfeit repentance. It is the work of man on his body; true repentance is the work of God in the soul. The divine Word commands: ’Rend your heart, and not your garments’ (Joel 2:13). Penance is ”rending the garments’; an outward form without inward reality, which Christ commands His people not to do” (Dr. Henry M Woods – Our Priceless Heritage, p. 132). [2]

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17

How can I change my heart? You can’t……you must be born again.

let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

[1] Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner – copyright 1962 by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., distributed by Baker Book House – Grand Rapids, Michigan p.254

[2] Ibid., p. 256

The Finished Work of Christ

The cross is empty and so is the tomb. So, where is He now?

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Hebrews 10:12

The Old Testament priests never sat down, because their work was never finished.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:30

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Now where remission (forgiveness) of these (our sins and iniquities) is, there is no more offering for sin. Hebrews 10:16-18

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

“Man of Sorrows!” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heaven exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Philip P. Bliss, pub.1875 – copyright status is Public Domain. Courtesy of Timeless Truths Publications – Copyright © 2002-2020 Free Online Library

The Flood

The fossil record shows that there are billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth. If there were a universal flood, what would you expect to find? Billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth.*

* Ken Hamm –