Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.


Jonathan Edwards,  a leading evangelist and Biblical New England scholar of the 18th century,  contrasts genuine saints with hypocrites. 

“Consider, for example, the magnificent comparison between the true saints and those merely puffed up by the experience of vigorous but fleeting emotions. Hypocrites are likened to meteors which flare up suddenly in a blaze of light trailing showers of many sparks, but soon falling back to earth, their light dissipated; all is over in a twinkling. The true saints are like the fixed stars; they shine by a light which is steady and sure, a light which continues to show itself over time  and through infinite space.”

June 20, 2006 Posted by | Gems | Comments Off on Hypocrites

The Whitened Harvest

G. Campbell Morgan in his commentary on the Gospel of John, shares this insight concerning evangelism and missions.  Speaking to His disciples after He had dealt with the spiritual needs of the Samaritan woman in John 4,  He turned to His disciples and said,  “You say four months and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say unto you, llift up your eyes and look on the field, that they are white, already unto harvest.” 

If those disciples had been appointed a commission of enquiry  as to the possibilities of Christian enterprise in Samaria I know exactly the resolution they would have passed. The resolution would have been, “Samaria unquestionably needs our Master’s message; but it is not ready for it.  There must first be ploughing, and then sowing, and then waiting.  It is needy, but it is not ready.” 

That is exactly what He said,  “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then.”  Four months meant ploughing and sowing and waiting. But He said, you are wrong. These fields are white already unto harvest.”  The region that looks most hopeless is ready, if you will reap. 

Today we speak of some fields as difficult, and almost hopeless.  Christ still says that such fields are white unto harvest.”  The most difficult fields are white unto harvest. Our business is to put in the sickle and reap….. The trouble is that the laborers are not ready. 

June 11, 2006 Posted by | Gems | Comments Off on The Whitened Harvest

Our Unsparing God

God is just as unsparing in His wrath as He is His love. 


When used of God’s love, the word unsparing means profuse, lavish, love and grace without measure.


When used of God’s wrath, the word unsparing means  wrath without mercy or forgiveness.


God’s wrath is as infinite as His love.


God’s unsparing wrath is not on the sinner just because He has sinned.  Rather, His wrath is on the sinner because He has rejected God’s unsparing love. When we reject Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary as the only way of salvation,  we are rejecting  God’s unsparing love and that rejection infuriates God.


In this message, consider first the unsparing wrath of God, then we will consider His unsparing love.




Go to the little book of Nahum in the Old Testament. It is among the Minor Prophets towards the end of the Old Testament.   Read Nahum 1:2-8  and you will read one of the strongest statements on  God’s fury.


Psalm 2 describes how the heathen rage against God and how He laughs at their rage as a strong man would laugh at a six year old who threatens to beat him up. 


Romans 1:18  speaks further of how God’s wrath is revealed against those who in their sins,  attempt to suppress God’s Truth.  In  Romans 2:4-9  we learn that God’s wrath is being treasured up or heaped up on those who despise the goodness and forbearance of God and His gracious salvation offered to every sinner.  The longer you continue in your sin and rejection of Christ, the worse the punishment will be.




In II Peter 2:4-5  and Jude 6  you read about God’s unsparing wrath on them.   There is no grace or mercy or forgiveness extended to them. They have no hope of salvation, 


According to Matthew 25:41  Hell was created for the devil and his fallen angels.  Hell was not created for fallen man, but that’s where unrepentant man will go.


But no sinner need go to hell.  Jesus died to save all of us as sinful men and women.   You don’t go to hell simply because you are a sinner.  We are all sinners.  The reason you go to hell is because you have refused to admit you are a sinner in the eyes of God and you have refused His provision for sin,  the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. For that rejection you will end up in Hell.


For those who reject His Son, God has no other provision to save from sin.




See II Peter 2:5 on this.   God always warns before He sends judgment. For over 100 years Noah, a preacher of righteousness as he built the ark, warned people to turn to God and be saved from a flood that no one had ever seen.  The masses of humanity rejected that warning and died in the Flood that destroyed everyone except eight people:  Noah and his wife,  their three sons and their wives.


Israel was also warned by the prophets of impending captivity by Assyria and Babylon,  but they rejected the warning until one day those nations took them away  into captivity and dispersion.


Our responsibility as Christians  is to warn people of coming judgment and show them the way of salvation through Christ. Read  Ezekiel 3:18-19  and Acts 20:31. Are you warning  the lost of judgment or are you just pleading with people to accept the love of Jesus.  Remember, if they don’t know that judgment is coming, they have no interest whatsoever in knowing that Jesus loves  them and has a wonderful plan for their lives.  They’ve already got plans for their lives.




Fire came down from Heaven and turned the cities to molten brimstone. I wonder how long God is going to put up with the sin of America?  I love this land and am proud of her godly heritage.  But I weep for what is about to fall on this land, unless we as a nation turn back to God. See II Peter 2:6-8 and Psalm 9:17 for the sober warning.





Read the 11th chapter of Romans.  It is heavy reading, but worth your efforts.  There Israel (The Jews) are referred to as God’s Olive Tree. All our blessings come through the Jews.  They gave us our Bible and they gave us our Saviour, the Lord Jesus.  They deserve our love and appreciation and protection from their enemies.  America in the past has loyally stood with them.  May that ever be.


It is clear in the Gospel accounts that they rejected Jesus as their Messiah and joined with the Romans under the sovereignty of God, to put Jesus to death.  They cried out,  “We will not have this man rule over us!  His blood be upon us and on our children!  We have no King but Caesar!”  Actually the whole world of sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, were guilty of the death of Christ. He died to pay the penalty of the sins of the world.


Israel as a nation was then switched to a siding and the Church was introduced as the train going down the main track of God’s purposes.  The branches of the Olive Tree were cut off.  The stump of the Olive tree remained.   We Gentiles (heathen from all over the world) are the wild olive branches that have been grafted into the Olive Tree.  We enjoy the fatness of the Olive Tree. 


The wonderful news for the Jews is that He is not finished with them.   God has a wonderful plan for them and it will begin to unfold as soon as we the Church, composed of Jews and Gentiles who have received Christ as Saviour, are caught up to Heaven to be with Christ.


At that time the Jews will be moved back onto the main track of God’s purpose and they will go through the last seven years of Jewish history on this earth.  They will be saved by recognizing Christ as their Messiah and Saviour.  Read the wonderful prophetic future for Israel in Zechariah 12-14.


Jesus will return with His glorified Church at the end of the Tribulation  and will rule over the world on the throne of David in Jerusalem,   Go to my Prophecy series to learn about that wonderful Millennial Kingdom.


Now here’s the good news for sinners facing the wrath of God.




Jesus has taken that unsparing wrath.  You need not face it, if you have put your trust in Christ.   Read in Romans 8:32-39  of His  unsparing love poured out on us.  Read of it in Isaiah 53:5-6.


Jew or Gentile,  there is no reason for you to face God’s unsparing wrath. As I said before, I say it again.  God can pour out His unsparing love on you because he has already taken care of the penalty for your sins by pouring out that penalty on His Son, the Lord Jesus.   Will you receive Him  right now?  There is no difference between Jew or Gentile.  Anyone who trusts Christ in this Age of Grace is brought into the Body of Christ, His Church.   Receive Christ now and know you have eternal life. That’s His promise in  I John 5:11-13.



June 11, 2006 Posted by | God | Comments Off on Our Unsparing God

Service: Introduction


What is the purpose of being a Christian? Is it just to have my free ticket to Heaven, ignore others and live a self-centered life? Not at all!  In I Corinthians 12 we learn that every Christian is gifted by the Holy Spirit and called to serve God by serving  others.


Why should we serve?


In Romans 12:1-13 we learn how the Church, the Body of Christ on earth, is to function. The chapter begins by reminding each of us who have received the gift of salvation, of our obligation to God to present our lives to Him as a living sacrifice.  Then with the gifts He has given to us, we are to serve God by serving others.  No Christian is exempted.


How we are to serve?


We who claim to follow Christ as Christians have the responsibility to serve, even as our Master served when He walked this earth. Matthew 10:24-25 Jesus contrasts those of us who are in leadership positions in the church with those who lead in the world. He teaches that we can  best exercise leadership by serving others and not by lording  over others. Matthew 20:25-28


Read the following articles with your Bible  for further Biblical teaching on serving the Lord.



June 10, 2006 Posted by | Service Series | Comments Off on Service: Introduction


Jesus is Lord, whether we bow to His Lordship or not. Read what the Apostle Peter said about  the lordship of Jesus Christ in Acts 2:36 when he preached in Jerusalem his famous sermon at Pentecost. He announced “Therefore, let all the House of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same  Jesus, whom ye crucified,  both Lord and Christ.”   So Jesus is Lord whether we recognize and bow before Him or not.


Must one make Jesus Lord of his life to be saved?   NO!


It is clear throughout the New Testament that we are saved simply by understanding we are sinners, under the wrath of God and helpless to save ourselves and by receiving by faith  the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour from sin. PERIOD!  Acts 16:31  John 1:12  John 3:16-18  John 5:24  Ephesians 2:4-9  Titus 3:4-6  I John 4:14 


When I was nine years old there came a time when I heard the Gospel in a children’s meeting  and realized I was a sinner, lost and headed for Hell. That night, as I knelt with a lady, she helped me to understand that Jesus had died for my sins and that if I would trust Him, I would be saved.  I gladly  received Him as my Saviour.  At that time I knew nothing of His Lordship.  I knew nothing about the Holy Spirit.  All I knew was that I was a sinner; that Jesus had died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins; and that if I would trust Him, He would save me.  I went home that night with a song in my heart.  A heavy burden  of guilt and  fear had been lifted from my heart and I had peace with God.  I knew for certain that if I died, I would be with Jesus in Heaven.  That event was  years ago and to this day I have continued to rejoice in the blessed assurance of salvation in Jesus.


Can one live the Christian life without making Jesus Lord?   NO!


You may be a Christian, but if you have not bowed to the Lordship of Christ, you are not living the Christian life.  That is a shame and an awful contradiction.  When I came to an understanding, perhaps several months after my conversion, that Jesus is Lord and that He has a right to be Lord of my life, I gladly surrender my life to Him.


Listen as the Apostle Paul reasons with you in II Corinthians 5:14-15  “For the love of Christ constrains us because we thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead. And He died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again.”   How can one who has received the gift of salvation, go on living for Himself, as though Christ’s sacrifice meant nothing to him?


If you’ve never taken that step I encourage you to read Romans 12:1-2 and bow to His Lordship.  “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world (world-system): but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what it that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


It is the only reasonable thing to do.


It is the least we can do in gratitude for what Jesus did for us.


It is the best gift we can give Him.


When I surrendered to His Lordship, this is what happenedI didn’t understand the theology of it then,  but I enjoyed the reality of it.


The Holy Spirit had entered my life the moment I put my trust in Christ. He had convicted and  regenerated me. Now He indwelt me. Romans. 8:9


When I surrendered to Jesus as my Lord,  His Spirit  filled and controlled me giving me  His supernatural  power to live the Christian life.  Ephesians 5:18-21


What are the consequences of rejecting the Lordship of Christ?

When one rejects the Lordship of Christ, he has no other choice but to try to run his own life and suffer the consequences.  That’s as unwise as trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean by yourself  in a little swimming pool rubber boat without a paddle or navigation instruments.  You are at the mercy of storms and sharks without  a chance of success.  


Furthermore it is  ungrateful, to say the least;  to receive Christ’s gift of salvation and thumb your nose at Christ and totally ignore His plan for your life.  Who loves you more than the God who made you?  Why would you even consider continuing the journey of life without Your Saviour and best Friend.


I encourage you to read and ponder Proverbs chapter 1  and then decide whether  you will surrender to Christ or ignore Him and go your own way.  If you decide to go your own way, don’t expect Jesus to be at your beck and call when tragedy strikes!


One day Jesus will return to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Regardless of whether you surrender to Christ or go your own way,  understand this. Jesus is returning to this earth to exterminate His enemies and set up His Kingdom.  If you are a Christian, you will meet Him at the Bema Judgement Seat to give an account of how you lived you life.  I encourage you to go to  the PROPHECY link  and read about the BEMA JUDGMENT.   I challenge you to do the right thing.  Receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour and surrender to Him now as your Lord.


June 10, 2006 Posted by | Service Series | Comments Off on Lordship


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his record, she was in for a surprise. Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners. He is a joy to be around.”

His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps are not taken.”

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.”

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when the students brought her Christmas present, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.

Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she explained how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day jut long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smell just like my Mom used to. After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that day she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead she began to teach children.

Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets.”

A year later, she found a note under her door from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another one from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his life.

Four years after that, she received another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter. This explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he had decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore the bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach you until I met you!”

Legend has it that Teddy Stoddard is the doctor at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing. Though fiction, the story teaches a powerful lesson!

June 10, 2006 Posted by | Encouragment | Comments Off on Encouragment

All Things New

It’s always exciting to enter a new year.  We face it with expectation and exhilaration. If things haven’t gone well for us during the past year, we hope for better things ahead.

Negative Facts

But as we enter a new year, let’s be aware and face some negative facts.  We live in sin-cursed bodies in the midst of a sin-cursed world.  Romans 8:22-23 makes that clear.  Positive thinking won’t change those facts.  Not until Christ returns and glorifies our bodies will we be sinless and enjoy perfect health and not until Christ removes the curse of sin from this earth when He begins His Millennial reign, will we enjoy a perfect environment. 

Positive facts

Let’s also be aware of some positive facts.  If you have put your trust in Christ as your Saviour from sin, you are a Christian.  As Christians entering  the new year, we can rejoice in these positive truths. God has a perfect purpose and plan for us.  Christ lives in us by His Holy Spirit.  He wants to  use us for His glory and fill us with joy.  His Word holds promises for us, as well as instructions  for living. He has promised to return for us.  Perhaps this year!

Saved or unsaved, you can count on these in this year:

Surprises, Disappointments, New opportunities, New challenges, Good news and bad news,  perhaps some heart-breaks.  But if there is one thing we can be absolutely sure of, it is that we do not know what a day will bring forth.  Proverbs 27:1

What’s new for unbelievers?

Nothing much! Just another year of boring routine.  If you are a student, expect to plod along with your studies until you graduate. What then?   Hopefully you will find a job or career that satisfies;  but it won’t satisfy permanently. Nothing external satisfies or brings joy. You will find yourself going through life, waiting for the weekends when you are free to enjoy yourself.  You will count the days until vacation. You will continue through life waiting for retirement.  All the while, old age will gradually creep up on you  and then death and eternity in Hell. Oh, you may be an exceptionally self-motivated, gifted person who makes it big in this world.  You may become rich and famous because of your God-given abilities, gifts and talents or because of what you perceive as a “lucky break”.   But in spite of your success,  you are as the Psalmist describes in Psalm 73 “walking in slippery places.”  You are as the Psalmist describes in Psalm 1:4 tossed around by the winds of circumstances over which you have no control. This new year for you is just another year of “dog eat dog survival of the fittest.”  It’s just another year to “grin and bear it.” It’s just another year of fear and anxiety about the future over which you have little or no control. Basically for the unbeliever,  there IS no New Year.  There  is nothing new for you at all except for the stuff and the exciting experiences  you buy. That stuff  rusts, decays, becomes old and out of style. The experiences give a momentary thrill, but the new becomes old very quickly.  In fact you do not even know the meaning of the word new.  You’ve never experienced it. Solomon, who started out as a humble young man seeking God’s wisdom and receiving it from God,  became  the richest and the wisest  man who ever lived. It wasn’t long, however,  before he turned from God  and turned to his wealth and to  the  hundreds of women he collected as wives and concubines  to satisfy him.  At the end of his life he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes.  He weighed the value of his life and found it to be empty, unsatisfying, meaningless, worthless, wasted and VANITY.  The book of Ecclesiastes describes the pessimistic outlook on life for those who live without God.

What’s new for Christians this year?

For the Christian every day is new.  Every year is new.  Our newness and joy and satisfaction comes from knowing Christ as our Saviour and Lord.  If we are surrendered to Him, His Holy Spirit lives within us and makes everything new. We are born again a new creation in Christ. John 3:1-3 We are made new from the inside.  II Corinthians 5:17 We are given a new heart  Ezekiel 18:31=32  36:25-29  We are given abundant life.  John 10:10  We delight in God’s purpose in life.  Psalm 1:1-2 We are given new blessings every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23  We enjoy intimacy and fresh blessings from God each day as we spend time in His presence in prayer and reading His Word. Proverbs 8:34-36 We are given a new song in our heart, a song of praise to God. Psalm 40:1-3   Ephesians 5:18-20  Inwardly we are renewed daily.  II Corinthians 4:16  Although we do not know what a day will bring forth, we rest our future in God’s hands.  Psalm 139.  Our lives are hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

What’s new in eternity?

The day is coming when God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:1-4  In fact, verse 5 says He makes all things new.   Yes everything will be new in eternity and throughout eternity.  We will be beyond the realm of time and space.    Revelation 21 and 22 gives us a little taste of what it will be like in eternity.  It’s beyond human comprehension!

What’s new right now?

Yes, all things will be new in eternity.  But the wonderful thing for Christians is that all things are new right now.  II Corinthians 5:17 assures us of that truth.  Old things have passed away.  Our bondage to sin and Satan has passed away.  The Greek tense of the verb shows we have made a decisive, permanent break with the past life. “All things are becoming new is in the perfect tense and shows the changes are on-going and abiding.  We are not yet made perfect. That will happen in Heaven.  In the meantime, we are constantly changing and growing to maturity.

Like babies

Babies are born in an instant; but growth and maturity are an ongoing process that take place over a lifetime.   


Have you been born again? Have old things passed away.  Is everything about your life becoming new?  If so,  you can truly have a happy new year.  Every day will bring new blessings and challenges. God bless you as you continue your walk with Christ.    

June 9, 2006 Posted by | New Year | Comments Off on All Things New



Thank God for human government. Thank God for our police officers and our military personnel who risk their lives daily to protect us from those who would do us harm.  Thank God for just judges who see to it that justice is served in the courts and who are more concerned with the rights of victims than the rights of criminals.  May God increase their numbers. 


Shame on a judicial system that perverts justice by accepting bribes and pay-offs. Shame on a system that allows felons back on the streets to commit further crimes.  Shame on a system that would free murderers, rapists and other violent  criminals on bail. What a terrible injustice and insult that is to victims and society in general.


The only true so-called closure for violent crimes is for the State to avenge victims by seeing to it that such criminals are punished according to the law.  God commanded back in Noah’s day, long before Moses and the Ten Commandments,  “Whoso sheds blood, by man ( by human government) shall his blood be shed, for   in the image of God made He man.”  Genesis 9:6   Moses  had much to say  about capital punishment  as he gave God’s  Law in  Exodus 21 & 22.


The Apostle Paul teaches by inspiration of God in Romans 13 that human government is God’s servant to protect citizens from foreign and domestic enemies.  He teaches that the police officer who carries a gun is acting in his capacity as God’s servant.  He teaches that the purpose of the justice system of the State is primarily punishment and vengeance; not rehabilitation.


No one is against rehabilitating criminals;  but that is not the primary purpose of prisons.  Some prisoners will be rehabilitated.  Other’s won’t.  Actually only God can rehabilitate a felon and that is through God’s Word working in his heart.  Only when the heart is changed, can the prison inmate truly be rehabilitated.


God’s Word also teaches that individuals are not to take personal vengeance into their own hands.  Justice and vengeance are to be left to the State to carry out. Romans 12:17-21.


Kings, presidents, governors and all in executive authority have the solemn responsibility under God to see that justice is carried out.  In  II Samuel 23:3 King David spoke by inspiration of God, ” He that ruleth over men MUST be just, ruling in the fear of God.”  Rulers, as well as judges,  must one day answer to God for their administration of justice.

Thank God for God-fearing men and women in high office who take their responsibilities under God seriously.  Because we live in a sinful society, we can never expect total, perfect justice until Jesus returns to reign as King of  Kings and Lord of Lords.  The Bible is filled with prophecies about this coming reign.  Some of the outstanding passages on this are Psalm 2;  Psalm 72; Isaiah 11:1-9;  Isaiah 35;  Zechariah 14;  and Revelation 19-20. For further truth on Christ’s coming Kingdom,  see my PROPHECY.series


In the meantime, as we live our lives in this sin-darkened world, let us as Christian citizens pray for our political leaders as we are taught in I Timothy 2:1-4 and let us vote for principled, God-fearing men and women to carry out their responsibilities under God.  Let us be used of God to win the lost and ease the sufferings of injustice all around us and let us each learn  “to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”  Micah 6:8   That is the most patriotic thing we can do as Christian citizens.

June 9, 2006 Posted by | Justice | Comments Off on Justice

I’m Sorry!

It's  one thing to say those two words and ask forgiveness  from the depths of a broken, contrite heart and it's another thing to say them flippantly, thinking that should be the end of the matter and that we  should be forgiven and the offense should be forgotten.


Those words are insulting when said by a criminal who has been prompted by his attorney to say the words to the victim's family in a court room before a jury with the hope that he will be given a lighter sentence.   Those two words become empty and hollow sounding when they are repeated daily by an abusive husband to his hurting wife, or by an abusive wife to her hurting husband.

Two examples in Scripture illustrate and contrast a false confession and a true confession.


In I Samuel 15  the story is told of King Saul who disobeyed the Prophet Samuel and the command of God. to "go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."   The story continues with Saul partially obeying God, but sparing King Agag and some of the best of the beasts.That night God spoke to Samuel showing him the partial obedience of Saul was disobedience in the sight of God.  The next morning  the Prophet Samuel confronted King Saul with his disobedience.  Proud, rebellious Saul, who had no heart for God, blamed his disobedience on his people.  He also tried to excuse his disobedience in sparing the best of the animals, telling Samuel that he had spared them to use in sacrifice to God.  God is not impressed when we use pious reasons for disobeying him.Samuel answered Saul,  "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." Then Samuel passed God's sentence on Saul. "Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He also hath rejected thee from being king."Saul immediately mouthed words of confession that did not come from his heart. "I have sinned for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord."  Samuel, speaking for God, announced to Saul  that he was losing his kingdom.  Then Saul really showed the insincerity of his heart. He said in verse 30  "I have sinned: yet honor me now, I pray thee before the elders of my people."    Saul was not really sorry for his sins.  He was sorry that he had been caught and that he had to face the consequences of his sin.   So Saul illustrates for us the wrong use of the words, "I'm sorry!"   I encourage you to read I Samuel 15 in it's entirety.  It is a very interesting and instructive story illustrating a false confession.


In II Samuel 11 we have the well known story of King David who committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his faithful soldiers.  Later after Bathsheba was found to be pregnant,  David added sin to sin by ordering his general to see to it that Uriah was killed in battle and so making it possible for him to marry Bathsheba and  try to hide his sin.  In II Samuel 12 the prophet Nathan is sent to King David to confront him with his sin.   You can read this very interesting story for yourself.  Nathan passed God's sentence on David in verses 10-12.  David responded with his confession in verse 13,  "I have sinned against the Lord."    God forgave him but He did not remove the consequences of David's sin from him.  The rest of David's life is very sad as we see one family heart break after another.For a full account of David's confession before God  read Psalm 51.  There we read his genuine. full confession of sin without any excuses. When we sin against God we would do well to read this Psalm and pray the substance of this confession to God.


Take comfort from God's Word that when we confess our sins to Him  without making excuses for our sinful behavior,  God forgives us.  I John 1:9 promises us,  " If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  In Psalm 51:17 we are promised, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."How do your sins affect you?   Is your heart broken  as you recognize that you have offended a holy God or do you have a calloused heart that is not troubled whatsoever by your sins?   Your response to that question evidences whether you are saved or still lost in your sins. I encourage you to go to my articles on SALVATION and settle this issue

June 9, 2006 Posted by | I'm Sorry | Comments Off on I’m Sorry!

Capital Punishment



Liberals are consistently against capital punishment. Conservatives are generally for it.  It ought not even be controversial for  Bible believers. The Bible clearly teaches it.


The death penalty was first announced to Adam.  Death is the  penalty for sin. Genesis 2:15-17   In Adam we have all followed our first father into sin.  Romans 5:12-21. As sinners we all face the penalty for sin which is death. Romans 6:23




There is only one way to be saved and rehabilitated from sin and to avoid eternal damnation and that is to receive Christ as our Saviour.  Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins. He rose again the third day to prove that it was God Himself who died on the cross. Those who trust Him are saved from God’s penalty for sin, which is eternity in Hell. Not only are we saved from God’s punishment for sin, but His Holy Spirit comes to live in us and begins the process of spiritual rehabilitation, the process of being conformed to the image of Christ.


Prior to the Flood God announced that the world’s population  had become unspeakably vile; somewhat as it is today. The cup of God’s wrath was filled to the brim and He decided to send a worldwide flood to destroy mankind from the face of the earth, except for Noah and his wife and their three sons and the son’s wives; to whom God showed His grace by saving them from the flood in an ark.  You can read about it in Genesis 6, Matthew 24:37-29, Hebrews 11:7  and II Peter 2:4-5.  You can also find evidence of this world wide flood in fossils brought about by the drowning of animals,  and birds that were instantly buried under tons of mud and rock throughout the earth as a result of the universal Flood. .




After the Flood had subsided and Noah and his family left the ark, they  built an altar and worshipped God.  At that time God gave them His covenant and also a command   that from now on God required  human government to put murderers and others guilty of capital crimes to death.  Read about this in Genesis 8:20- 9:17  Note that God’s beautiful rainbow is a constant sign of that covenant.




About one thousand years later God gave Moses His Law for Israel in Exodus  and Leviticus. In Exodus 21 and Leviticus  20  God’s Laws expand the crimes requiring capital punishment.  Not only murderers were to be executed,  but also those who smite or curse their parents, those who steal and sell slaves, those guilty of adultery and those guilty of homo-sexuality and other unspeakably vile sins.  


I do not hate any sinner. I only hate sin. Sin is sin, whether it be murder or exceeding the speed limit. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God. I love sinners and love to share with them the wonderful grace of God.  


As a Gospel preacher I hold out only one solution to sin and that is JESUS.  When a sinner puts His trust in Christ who died to pay the punishment for his sins, God not only forgives and cleanses him from sin, but He begins a work of total transformation.  The sins he once loved he hates.   The Bible he once hated and the righteous standards he despised and ignored, he now loves.




Some argue that since the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 teach we are not to kill; therefore we must never put murderers to death, but rather imprison them for life.  It’s true that the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”  teaches that we as individuals are not to kill others nor take vengeance into our own hands; but that command does not nullify the responsibility of human government to carry out capital punishment. God does not contradict Himself.  A Christian executioner is not disobeying God’s sixth commandment when he administers the lethal injection.  A Christian soldier is not disobeying God’s sixth commandment when under orders he shoots the enemy.  We are to leave justice and vengeance for  human government to carry out.


Biblical justice includes carrying out vengeance for victims and their grieving families. It is a travesty of justice when such criminals are freed or given light sentences.  No wonder our prisons are overflowing with criminals. Shame on judges who are soft on crime.  The old time Western movies that ended with the sheriff shooting or hanging the bad guy are far more moral than the shameful miscarriage of justice we see in our courts today as murderers and rapists and pedophiles are freed to walk the streets of our cities and repeat their crimes.




Liberals argue that the Old Testament is all about hatred and revenge but that the New Testament is all about love and forgiveness.  Those who argue this way show a shameful ignorance of the Bible.  The same God is the author of both the Old and New Testament.  There is no contradiction between the two.   Both the Old and New Testament teach that personal revenge and murder are sin. The New Testament, as well as the Old Testament teach that human government is responsible to carry out capital punishment.   Romans 13:1-6. clearly teaches that it is right for police officers as well as our military to carry guns and use them when needed.  It is right for human government to put those guilty of capital crimes to death.  In fact, the Romans 13 passage teaches that those officers act as  ministers or servants of God in that capacity.


Read the following accounts to learn that God killed those who broke His Laws  and He often used His servants to carry out His vengeance on His enemies.




In Exodus 14 we read the marvelous story of how God opened a way on dry ground through the Red Sea to allow Israel to escape their slavery from the Egyptians. We also read of how later Pharaoh’s army followed Israel through that dry road in the Sea. God alone  could have closed the Sea on the Egyptian army and destroyed them.  Instead,  God chose to include Moses in carrying out the death penalty on Egypt‘s army.  God commanded Moses to lift up his rod over the Sea and lo and behold the Sea came together over Pharaoh’s army and drowned them.




In Exodus 32 while Moses was up on the Mountain receiving God’s Law,  Aaron, Moses’ brother, was leading the Israelites in the idolatrous worship of a golden calf he had fashioned.  When Moses returned from the mountain and saw the idolatry and the orgy, he was furious.  God in His fury commanded faithful Israel to put these idolaters to death.  The tribe of Levi volunteered and carried out God’s command. God rewarded His faithful, courageous servants by choosing them as the priestly tribe of Israel.


In Numbers 15:32-36  God commanded Israel to stone some Israelites who were  desecrating the Sabbath by picking up stick.  Sounds pretty severe, doesn’t it, when you think how we treat the Lord’s Day?  For more information on this, go to my link on the  SABBATH on this web site.


In Joshua 7 we read how Achan and his family were stoned to death because Achan had in disobedience to God, stolen some valuables from the ruins of Ai.  God commanded Israel to carry out the execution.


These are just a few of the many instances in the Old Testament where people were commanded by God to execute law breakers.




Note a couple of references to human government in the Book of Daniel.  Daniel 4:25 teaches that “the Most High (God) ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.”  Again in Daniel 5:21 we learn “that the Most High God ruleth in the kingdom of men, and the He appointeth over it whomsoever He will.”  This truth applies to wicked emperors of ancient Rome, as well as to good and wicked rulers of modern nations.   It also applies to us in America.   We are privileged to vote for our leaders, but it is ultimately God who determines elections.




When we come to the New Testament in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7  Jesus expands on the Old Testament Law.  He does not rescind the Law. Rather, He amplifies it, carrying it beyond acts to even our thoughts and attitudes.  One who hates another is a murderer.  One who lusts after other women is an adulterer.  In this sermon we are taught to forgive those who harm us and take advantage of us. The Sermon on the Mount is clearly Christ’s description and standards of those who belong to His Kingdom, those who are Christians.  For more on this subject go to my BEATITUDES series on this web site.




In Romans 13 we learn of our relationship with human government.  There again we learn that  “the powers that be are ordained of God.”  There we learn that when we resist human government, we are resisting God.  There we learn that when we break laws and resist arrest, we pay the consequences.  Policemen and those in our military carry guns and use them as ministers of God.  We are to respect them and have a healthy fear of them when we break the law, even if it is driving over the speed limit.


Thank God that in America we have a nation that was founded by Christian men of character who attempted to build a nation on Biblical principles.  Thank God that we as American citizens still have the power to elect men and women to political power to advance in government the values that we hold.  Thank God that we still have the power to vote out of office those who do not truly represent us.  How much longer we will have that freedom, we do not know.  Regardless of what happens in the future, understand that God ruleth over all. We are ultimately in His hands.ow





In Luke 13:1-5  we have an incident where Jesus could have spoken out against capital punishment if it were wrong, but He did not speak out against it. The Pharisee, Gamaliel also comments on this event in Acts 5:37.  There Jesus reminds the people of an incident of which they were probably very much aware. A group of Galileans had formed a revolt against the Roman Empire.  They came to Jerusalem under the guise of offering animal sacrifices.  Pilate, the governor, learning of the revolt, ordered them to be executed along with their animal sacrifices.  Their blood was mingled with the blood of their animal sacrifices on the altar.


Jesus refers to these rebels as sinners, receiving the just punishment from Pilate.  Then He warns the people and all of us today that unless we repent we shall all perish in our sins.




While we are on this subject let me make one more point.  The purpose of prisons and the purpose of executions are to punish; not to rehabilitate.  We have it wrong today.  We think the primary purpose of prison is to rehabilitate and  not to punish. Because of our twisted thinking, crime is on the increase and prisons are over-crowded. If we would execute those who have committed capital offenses and if we would  make prison an unpleasant experience,  crime would decrease and criminals would think twice before committing crimes.


There is a place for rehabilitation.  That should be our job as Christians.  Only God can truly change hearts  and rehabilitate prisoners.  We should visit prisoners and bring them the Gospel.  We should have Bible classes with those who desire to know God.  After prisoners have served their time, they can return to society as changed men and women ready to serve God and be a blessing instead of a burden to society.  



June 8, 2006 Posted by | Justice | Comments Off on Capital Punishment

Prerequisites for Service

Salvation is a totally free gift of God to sinners who come to the end of themselves, casting themselves on the mercy of God and trusting Jesus as their sin-bearer. Though one can get to Heaven without ever lifting a hand to serve the Lord, it’s unthinkable that a genuine Christian would ever live such a selfish life that he would have no time for God. There is no question that when that one met Jesus in Heaven, it would be with shame and sorrow for having lived a life that ignored the will of God. For more on this go to the PROPHECY link and scroll to  BEMA JUDGMENT

It’s  Normal to grow.

It is as normal for a Christian to want to serve the Lord as it is for a husband and wife to want to please and care for each other.. It is abnormal and selfish for a Christian to live only for his own satisfaction and pleasure and ignore God’s will for His life.

As a baby must grow and develop before he or she is capable of helping the family with household chores, so a new born Christian must hunger after and feed on God’s Word to grow and develop into a normal, healthy Christian, capable of serving the Lord.

Don’t be in a hurry to lead! It is unwise to put a new believer into a leadership position in the church, until he has had some time to grow and develop and evidence some spiritual maturity. See I Timothy 3:6. Of course, the newest of Christians is capable of introducing others to Christ. The Samaritan woman from theVillage of  Sychar, whose story is found in John 4, knew very little about Jesus; but she knew enough in the first hours of her relationship with Jesus to return to her village and invite others to come and meet Him.

As I said earlier, before a Christian can be given responsibility in a church, there must be spiritual growth and that maturity is evidenced by three things: a love for Jesus and His Word, faithfulness, and purity.

Do you love Jesus?

It is unthinkable that one who shows no love for Christ nor for His Word, nor for others is prepared to serve the Lord. After Jesus rose from the dead, He confronted Peter about serving Him. Read the touching story in John 21. As Peter had earlier denied Jesus three times, so now Jesus called on Peter three time to reaffirm his love for Him. Only when Peter loved Jesus with all his heart could Jesus use him in His service.

Are you faithful in small responsibilities?

A second evidence of a growing spiritual maturity is faithfulness even in the smallest of responsibilities. In fact I Corinthians 4:2 makes faithfulness a requirement for anyone before he is fit to handle any responsibility. Would you want your children crossing a busy intersection if the school crossing guard sat by the side of the road, distracted in conversation with a friend while the children tried to cross on their own? . A Christian who cannot be counted on to fulfill a minor task, I Corinthians 4:2 tells us, is not ready yet for responsibility in the church.

Are you pure in heart?

Purity is another requirement for one who is serving the Lord. As cleanliness is the most important factor when choosing a cup to drink from, so purity is the most important quality God looks for in those vessels that He chooses to use for His service. II Timothy 2:20-22.

Pastors, elders and deacons, as well as older men and women,  are to set a high standards of purity in their churches as taught in I Timothy 3 and Titus 2.1-5

Have you met God’s prerequisites for His service?

June 8, 2006 Posted by | Service Series | Comments Off on Prerequisites for Service


Where will you spend eternity: Heaven or Hell?  You say you don’t believe in eternity and Heaven and Hell? You say you believe that once you’re dead, you’re dead!  Do you really believe that you, an eternal human soul, are in existence for a short life time and then it’s all over?   Do you really believe that you are no more eternal than an animal? Suppose you are right and that when you are dead, you are dead. Suppose there is no Heaven and no Hell and no eternal existence. 

If you are right and I, a Bible believer, am wrong; what have I lost?  At worst, I have lived in a dream world for over seventy  years ever since, as a young boy, I put my trust in Christ. I have lived a full life of rejoicing, assured that my sins are forgiven and that I am bound for Heaven.  I have lived an exciting life with purpose and satisfaction and joy.

On the other hand, suppose the Bible is true.  Suppose Jesus is God as He claimed to be. Suppose what He said about Heaven and Hell is true. Suppose what He said about eternal life and eternal damnation is true.  One moment after you die, where will you be for eternity? 

June 7, 2006 Posted by | Eternity | Comments Off on Eternity

God is Holy

God is holy.  Because He is holy every other attribute of God is associated with His holiness.  For example,  His love is a holy, pure love.  When Isaiah had a vision of God, he saw and heard the seraphims say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.”  Isaiah 6:1-4


God cannot look on sin.


Because God is holy, He cannot look on sin.  The prophet Habakkuk, speaking of God in Habakkuk 1:13 says,  “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity.”  In Hebrews 12:14 we read, “Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”  Therefore, for God to look on us with favor and bless us and use us,  He must first solve the sin problem and make us holy. When Isaiah was confronted with the holiness of  God, he immediately recognized his own sinfulness.  He cried out to God in Isaiah 6:5 “Woe is me!  for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.”  As we face the holiness of God, each of us must also see our sinfulness in His sight and cry out for His mercy and cleansing.


God alone can cleanse us from sin.


The moment Isaiah admitted his sinfulness,  God took the initiative and cleansed him.  This cleansing is pictured by a seraphim taking a hot coal from off the altar and touching it to Isaiah’s lips and thus purifying him. Isaiah 6:6-7   So when God planned our salvation He had to devise a plan that would make us pure and holy.  God could never allow unrepentant sinners in Heaven.  John writing about the inhabitants of Heaven says in Revelation 21:27 “And there shall in no wise enter into it any that defileth, neither whatsoever   worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which  are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”


It took the blood of an innocent sacrifice.


As  the blood of lambs was shed in Old Testament times to atone for sin, so Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed His blood on the cross for our sins.  “He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5:21   Through faith in Christ, God declares us perfectly righteous and fit for Heaven.  Romans 3:23-26


Not only declared righteous but made righteous.


But God takes our salvation a step further.  He is not satisfied to simply justify us and declare us righteous.  His wonderful salvation also makes us righteous.. No, we are not perfect in this life, but we have a heart that longs  for perfection and holiness  and we have the promise in I John 1:3-10 and 2:1-2 that when we sin, if we will confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Perfection awaits us when we are glorified in Heaven. I John 3:1-3


Christianity is far more than religion.  The New Birth results in a Holy Life.


Because God is holy, those who are born again into His family are given His holiness.  We are actually made partakers of His divine nature.  II Peter 1:2-4  Any  “salvation experience”  that does not result in holy living is vain and worthless.  Any religion that does not produce holiness is a false religion.  It is sad that multitudes of religious people are going through the motions of dead religion.  What sinners need is not mere religion nor an emotional experience which makes us feel good about ourselves. What people need is to recognize  that God is holy and we are sinful.  We need to look to Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and rose again that we might be justified and cleansed and made holy.  May God not let you be satisfied with anything less than Christ Himself. Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:6,8  “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”  “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” 

June 6, 2006 Posted by | God | Comments Off on God is Holy


Herod had just beheaded John the Baptist and he desired to see Jesus.  Isn’t that amazing?  If I had done such a vile deed, Jesus would be the last person I would have wanted to see!  But that’s what we read in Luke 9:7-9.  Let’s look at Herod and his family and try to understand why he thought and acted and spoke the way he did.   In this article, we shall study 1. the history of the Herods;  2. a common characteristic of this family of kings  and finally we will consider 3. our own response to Jesus.




The Herods were an Edomite dynasty of kings who ruled Palestine for about 150 years from about 50 BC  to about 100 AD.  Emperor Caesar Augustus ruled the Roman Empire in the early years of Herod’s reign over Palestine.


The Edomites were descendants of Esau,  Jacob’s twin brother.  You may remember the story of these twin boys who struggled for dominance and for  their father’s blessing.  You can read the full story in Genesis 25:19-34   27:1-46.  Note in Genesis 25:30  that Esau became the father of the Edomites. 


Time passed and  Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel in an experience described in Genesis 32,  eventually had a large family of twelve sons.  These sons ended up in Egypt and became slaves of  Pharaoh  for four hundred years.   God raised up Moses to lead them out of Egypt to become the nation of Israel, God’s special people, whom God had promised to their ancestor, Abraham,  and to his son, Isaac and  to his grandson, Jacob.  By now there were over 600,000 men.  With women and children there were no doubt over 2,000,000.


As Israel journeyed to the Promised Land of Canaan,  they came up against the borders of Edom.  The best way to Canaan would have been to pass through Edom.  They asked permission and the Edomites refused.  The Edomites hated Israel, just as Esau hated Jacob.  Read about that refusal for permission in Number 20:14-21.  In Deuteronomy 23:7 God commanded Israel to love the Edomites, in spite of their hateful treatment,  because they were brothers.


Because of their hatred of Israel, God promised judgment on the Edomites. Some key passages  that speak of this judgment are found in Isaiah 63:1-6,  Jeremiah 49:7-8,  13-17; and the Minor Prophet, Obadiah.  That judgment has been carried out.   The Edomites no longer exist.




Antipater, an Edomite,  was the father of Herod the Great.  Four generations of Herods are mentioned in the New Testament.


Herod the Great  ruled Palestine from 37 BC  until his death shortly after Jesus was born. You may remember that when Jesus was born, the wisemen from the East followed the star to Bethlehem. Herod called for them and commanded them to let him know when they found the baby  so he could come and worship Him also.   Of course, his plan was to kill Jesus. He is known for his hatred of Jesus and his diabolical decree to kill all the babies up to the age of two in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas. With this decree he hoped to kill Jesus.  God led Joseph and Mary to take the infant Jesus with them into Egypt where they stayed for a short time until Herod died.  In this way, God spared  Israel‘s  baby Jesus from the hatred of the Edomite,  Herod the Great.


Herod the Great had four sons who took over parts of his Kingdom.  These four sons, Archelaus,  Antipas, Philip and Trachonitis, were the second generation of Herods.


Archelaus was given Judea and Idumaea or Edom to rule. He was ruling when Joseph and Mary returned from Egypt  with the child Jesus  Matthew 2:22


Philip was given Ituraea to rule.


Antipas was given Galilee and Peraea to rule.  Antipas, a despicable character,  is perhaps the best known of the Herods.  Jesus called him “a fox” Luke 13:32.   Herod Antipas took his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias,  and lived with her.  John the Baptist confronted this couple with God’s Law, letting them know that their arrangement was sinful.  Herodias became furious and convinced Herod Antipas to have John beheaded.. This is the Herod  that I wrote of at the beginning of this article who desired to see Jesus.  Three years later this same Herod Antipas was involved in Jesus’  crucifixion when  Pilate sent the condemned  Jesus to him.  Herod tried to get Jesus to perform some miracles to amuse him.  Jesus answered him nothing and so Herod in disgust and hatred  mocked Jesus and sent Him back to Pilate to be crucified.


Trachonitis is the fourth son of Herod the Great.  Nothing is said of him in the Bible. History tells us that he ruled in the Northeast section of Palestine.


Herod Agrippa I is the third generation of Herods.  His story is told in Acts 12.   He killed the Apostle James and then imprisoned the Apostle Peter, expecting to kill him also the next day, but an angel helped him escape from prison during the night.   This king died a horrible death eaten of worms when he accepted glory that belonged to God alone.


Herod Agrippa II is the fourth and final king in the dynasty of Herod.  His story is told in Acts 25 and 26.  There we have the account of the Apostle Paul appearing before him.  He is the king who heard Paul preach the Gospel and  was  “almost persuaded to become a Christian.”




As Esau hated his twin brother Jacob,  so the Edomites hated the Israelites  and  the Herods hated Jesus and  His followers.   If Esau had been able to look from the grave, he would have been very pleased to see his descendants, the Herods, ruling over Jacob’s descendants,  Israel, under the rule of the Herods.


Though Herod the Great told the wisemen to bring him word when they found Jesus so that he could come and worship Him, that was all a pious front.  Herod had no intention of worshipping Jesus, but planned to kill Him.


Though  Herod Antipas, after beheading John the Baptist, said he desired to see Jesus;  it was not a desire to love Jesus and learn from Him.  It was simply idle curiosity.


Though Herod Agrippa II said to Paul that he was almost persuaded to become a Christian,  he did not trust Christ.  He went away lost.   How sad that this man almost came to Christ, but did not.  How sad that this man almost went to Heaven, but instead he is in hell today.





You’ve seen the desire of  the Herods to see Jesus.  What is your response?  Is your response to Jesus like that of  Herod the Great;  just hypocritical talk of worshipping Jesus?


Is your response to Jesus like Herod  Antipas;  just idle curiosity with no sense of sinfulness and need of Christ?  Or is it your desire, like his desire to see Jesus at His trial;  just a desire to be entertained?


Or are you as Herod Agrippa  II;  almost ready to trust Christ and become a Christian?  Today is the day of salvation. You have no promise of tomorrow.  You have no promise that tomorrow you will even want to be saved.   If the Spirit of God is speaking to your heart, I urge you to trust Christ right now and settle this matter now for eternity.   Go to my link on Salvation, read it and receive the Saviour now.   Hell will be filled with people who almost became Christians.


If you are a Christian,  your desire is to live in Christ’s presence daily.  Like the Psalmist in Psalm 27:4  Jesus is your life.  He is everything to you:  your Saviour,  your Lord,  your King, your Life and your purpose and goal for living.  Like Paul  you can say, “For me to live is Christ.”   With  the Apostle John in I John 3:2 you can say, “Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it doeth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”


June 6, 2006 Posted by | Herod | Comments Off on Herod


When I put my trust in Christ as a nine year old boy, Heaven became my eternal home. I became a citizen of Heaven. I have not renounced my citizenship on this earth. I am proud to be an American, but that citizenship is only temporary and passing. I joined the ranks of those listed in Hebrews 11, for whom this world system has little attraction. I am a stranger and a pilgrim passing through life on this earth.

Oh, I enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. I enjoy a wide variety of beautiful music, both sacred and secular.
I enjoy delicious food and I delight in the love and intimacy of family life and friends.

For over sixty years as a Christian, Jesus has been my life. My chief desire is to live to influence people to know and glorify God by coming to Him through His Son Jesus who died on a cross for our sins and rose again. . We who trust Him can walk and talk with God in this life and be prepared to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

What is Heaven Like?

Paul writes in I Corinthians 2:9 that it is beyond our wildest imaginations and words cannot describe it. The Bible drops little hints and paints word pictures for us concerning our eternal Home.

Heaven is beyond the dimensions of time and space. It is where our holy God dwells. Matthew 6:9 Revelation 4 & 5

Heaven is indescribably beautiful. The Lord Jesus Christ has gone there to prepare our eternal home. John 14:3 II Corinthians 12:2-4 Revelation 21 & 22.

There will be no sin or temptation in Heaven. Satan will have no access to Christians in Heaven. There will be no self-righteous people in Heaven.  Only sinners, who have been cleansed of sin by Christ’s blood and have been given God’s righteousness will dwell with God in Heaven. Revelation 5:9 20:10; 21:27

Heaven will be an eternal rest from our struggles and labors. Revelation 14:13

In Heaven we will enjoy a holy intimacy with Christ and with all God’s family. There will be no more loneliness or estrangement. We who belong to Christ will continue to be part of God’s eternal family.

How can we be sure of Heaven?

Faith in Christ as our Saviour from sin is the ONLY way to Heaven. Contrary to the lies of Satan, there are not many roads to Heaven. John 14:6

For the Christian, eternal life and Heaven begin at the moment of salvation. I John 5:11-13; John 3:36

At the moment of death, our soul is immediately in the presence of God. II Corinthians 5:1-8 When Christ returns for us in a meeting we call the rapture, the bodies of Christians dead and living will be glorified and caught up to be with the Lord forever. I Corinthians 15:50-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-18

However the Christian, though presently bound to his sin-cursed body until death, can presently enjoy living in the presence of God in what is called fellowship. Romans 6:1-14 Ephesians 1:3 Colossians 3:1-3 I Corinthians 1:9 I John 1:3-10

If you are a Christian, you look forward to eternity with Christ in Heaven. At the same time, you can presently enjoy an intimate walk with God each day. Are you living and walking in the glory of His presence right now? Only sin can hinder that walk. Confess it to God as sin and discover the joy and victory of Heavenly citizenship and an intimate, personal relationship with Christ. .

June 6, 2006 Posted by | Eternity | Comments Off on Heaven

John 3:16

The following story was passed on to me. It beautifully illustrates the message of John 3:16.
In the city of Chicago, one cold, dark night, a blizzard was setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner. The people were in and out of the cold. The little boy was so cold that he wasn’t trying to sell many papers.

He walked up to a policeman and said, “Mister, you wouldn’t happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley and it’s awful cold in there for tonight. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.”

The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come to the door you just say John 3:16, and they will let you in.”
So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a lady answered.
He looked up and said, “John 3:16.” The lady said, “Come on in son.” She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a fireplace, and she went off. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: “John 3:16…… I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.”
Later, she came back and asked him, “Are you hungry?”
He said, “Well, just a little. I haven’t eaten in a couple of days and I guess I could stand a little bit of food.” The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more. Then he thought : “John 3:16….. boy, I sure don’t understand it but it sure makes a hungry boy full.”
She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: “John 3:16….. I sure don’t understand it but it sure does make a dirty boy clean.. You know, I’ve not had a real bath in my whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that fire hydrant as they flushed it out.”
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room, tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window, at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself: “John 3:16…. I don’t understand it but it sure makes a tired boy rested.”
The next morning, the lady came back up and took him down again to that same table full of food. After he ate, she took him to that same split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a Bible. She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face. “Do you understand John 3:16?” she asked gently.
He replied, “No ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it.”
She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that fireplace, he received Jesus as His Saviour and Lord. He sat there and thought: “John 3:16. I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.”
You know, I have to confess I don’t understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don’t understand the agony of the Father and every angel in Heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don’t understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end. I don’t understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 Why don’t you believe this wonderful good news and receive God’s gift of salvation right now?

June 6, 2006 Posted by | Salvation | Comments Off on John 3:16

Golden Rule

God's moral laws concerning our relationship with Him and with others is found in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus distills those ten commandments to two commandments. In Matthew 7:12 and again in Luke 6:31 Jesus further distills them down to one great Rule, The Golden Rule. "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." In Luke 6:32-38 He shows how the Golden Rule can be worked out in different situations.

Note that every verse in this passage, as well as most of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, deals with our selfless relationship with others called LOVE. That selfless relationship with others is based on God's selfless relationship with us shown in giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Only as we are born again through faith in Christ, can we have God's selfless love flowing through us to others. If we lack that, it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to live by the Golden Rule.

Consider different situations and circumstances in which we have the opportunity to live out the Golden Rule and so glorify God.

Continuing with verses 32-33, Jesus shows that we are to love by doing good to others; even to our enemies. Those whose philosophies and political persuasions are different from ours are sometimes difficult to love. Certainly those who are disagreeable, rude and obnoxious are not easy to love. Our personal enemies and those who would take advantage of us are, humanly speaking, impossible to love. Yet God loved such people, including each of us who have sinned against Him, and He calls upon us as Christian to love them.

In verses 34 and 38 Jesus commands us to go out of our way to show our love by giving of our time and our resources to those in need and we are to do it with no expectation nor thought of return. Have you ever loaned or given your time or something of value to another and received not a word of appreciation? Have you ever thought to yourself, "That's the last time I will ever do anything else for THAT person?" Christian friend, that is not a Christian attitude. In Luke 6:35 Jesus teaches us to give, "hoping for nothing". Why do we love? Why do we loan? Why do we serve the Lord with little or no chance of ever being paid back in this life? Why do we give of ourselves hoping for nothing? We love and serve others because by faith we see from God's eternal vantage point. We serve with eternity's values in view.

A third way we live the golden rule according to verse 36 is to show mercy to others. As our Heavenly Father showed mercy to us in saving us, so we ought to show mercy to others. We should especially show mercy to those who have been unkind to us and are now in a position where we can get even with them and pay them back for their unkindness. That's the golden opportunity to show mercy according to Romans 12:14, 20-21 How much better it is to respond to our enemy with a fiery shower of genuine, selfless love than to stoop to his level returning insult for insult. By returning good for evil we please God and avoid the health-damaging consequences of malice and stress. We experience the joy of personal victory overcoming evil with good.

Finally in vs 37 we are warned to judge not and condemn not. When we attempt to measure, judge and condemn others; we are attempting to do what only God is capable of doing. We are all prone to see the faults of others and overlook our own faults or to weigh the faults of others as being heavier than our own faults. While we are commanded to discern good and evil by the standard of God's word, we are NOT to judge and condemn others. Instead we are to be quick to forgive and hold no grudges. When we have a forgiving heart, God is ready to forgive us our trespasses; but when we refuse to forgive, we put ourselves in a dangerous position where God will not forgive us. Read the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and ponder soberly the warning of verses 14 and 15. "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Do you see the importance of living the Golden Rule? To put it in the words of a well known saying, "What goes around; comes around."

June 6, 2006 Posted by | Law | Comments Off on Golden Rule

God Is Love

GOD IS LOVE! Such simple, well known words and yet how difficult for us to grasp! None of us can totally comprehend God’s love. If we could only begin to understand a little of it, what a difference it would make in our relationship with Him and with others. What peace and joy and comfort it would bring to our troubled hearts!

Because God is infinite; His love is infinite, endless, immeasurable and it has no boundaries.

Because God is everlasting, His love is everlasting. It had no beginning and it has no end. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

Because God is omnipotent, His love is powerful enough to accomplish whatever is best for me. Read Romans 8:28-39 and as you read it, learn that God takes all the circumstances of your life and mixes them together for your good. Nothing is too good for God to give to His child and no power can destroy His love for us. If I delight myself in Him, He promises to give me the desires of my heart. Psalm 37:4

Because God is omniscient (all-knowing), He sees the end from the beginning and knows what is best for me. God is pleased when I trust Him with plans for my future. Jeremiah 29:11 Isaiah 55:8-9

Because God is holy, His love is holy and pure. Isaiah 6:1-8 Revelation 4  God, who is omnipotent (all-powerful) could be an ogre or a tyrant if His love were not holy. Because of His holiness and purity, I need not fear any harm from Him; only good.

Because God is omnipresent, His love is with me wherever I am and regardless of my situation. He is able to show His love to me. Psalm 139:1-18

Because God is immutable, His love is unchanging. He is not fickle. He does not with-hold His love from us as we do from others when we think it is undeserved.

Because I am human and have my physical and emotional weaknesses, I cannot always feel His love; but He is still with me, working out good in my life. Job 23:8-10

God’s love is practical. It is more than mere words. God’s love is self-giving and is shown to me in His Son, Jesus, who died to pay the penalty for my sins. John 3:16 Romans 5:8 Only as I trust Jesus and know Him as my Saviour and Lord, can I ever know His love for me. None of us deserve God’s love. We can never earn it. It is totally a free gift of His grace and He lavishes it on His children.

Those who spurn that love will one day be forced to face His wrath. John 3:36; 5:24 Revelation 6:12-17

If we are yielded Christians, living under the control of His Holy Spirit, Christ fills us with His love and it spills over to others. I John 4:19; 2:5; John 14:15; 15:12-14

June 6, 2006 Posted by | Encouragment | Comments Off on God Is Love

Gardens and Crosses

"Now in the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid."

Jesus was crucified on a skull shaped hill just outside of Jerusalem. This bone-covered, hill, known in different languages as Calvary or Golgotha, was a place of cruel executions. a place of ugliness, loneliness, cruelty, torture, excruciating pain and death.

Very near that hill was a garden. What an interesting contrast! The hill speaks of suffering and death. The garden speaks of quiet peacefulness, life and beauty.

Joseph, of the village of Arimathea, was a wealthy man and a member of the ruling Jewish Sanhedrin. He was a secret follower of Christ. He owned the garden and had dug a tomb in the rock and had prepared a sepulchre for his own death someday.

Nicodemus was the Pharisee of John 3 who came to Jesus one night two or three years earlier earnestly seeking to know Christ. Evidently he received Christ as his Messiah and became a secret follower for several years.

Both of these men came together to take down the dead body of Jesus and bury it in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb. Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of spices for the burial. Centuries before as slaves in Egypt, the Israelites had learned the art of embalming.

The account of Jesus' burial is found in the four Gospels: Matthew 27:57-60, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56 and John 19:39-42. From these four Gospels we have this story.
A synthesized account of Jesus' burial

As the evening of the Passover Sabbath was drawing near; Joseph of Arimathea, a good man and a wealth man, a Counsellor and a member of the Sanhedrin who had followed Jesus secretly for some time; boldly and courageously approached Pilate for permission to take Jesus' body down from the cross and bury it.

Pilate, after confirming with the Roman centurion that Jesus was indeed dead, gave permission to Joseph.

Nicodemus, the Pharisee who had come to Jesus one night several years earlier to discuss spiritual matters, now joined Joseph in helping him with the burial by bringing one hundred pounds of embalming spices. Together they took the body to Joseph's tomb and wrapped the corpse with the embalming spices in yards of linen and laid it in the sepulchre.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, also joined Joseph and Nicodemus in the tomb and observed how the body of Jesus was laid out in the tomb. Then they all exited and rolled a great stone against the mouth of the tomb and left the garden.

The strange contrast
Would you consider with me the strange contrast of a garden and an execution site being so close together? Calvary speaks of the dark, discouraging, sad, heart-breaking moments of our life. The Garden speaks of peace and quiet fellowship with God. Note both experiences often come close together. The garden was near the cross. Dear reader, the next time you are called upon to bear a cross of suffering and heart-break and disappointment for Jesus' sake, remember; there is a garden of fellowship with Christ near by.

The fellowship that Adam and Eve in their unfallen state enjoyed with Jesus each day in the Garden of Eden, was lost when they sinned against God. They lost the fellowship and died spiritually and years later died physically. The result is that the entire human race has followed them in sin and death and loss of fellowship with God. Your fellowship with God can be restored through faith in Christ who died to pay the penalty for our sins.
In that Garden of Fellowship you will find the following blessings.

The blessing of life
There is only one kind of life and that is God's eternal life. It begins the moment you put your trust in Christ as Saviour and continues on throughout eternity. There is no other life; only existence. This life comes through Jesus alone. John 14:6 It is an abundant life; more than you could ever dream or ask for. John 10:10 You find this life by identifying yourself with Christ who suffered and died and rose again for your sins. Matthew 10:39

The blessing of intimacy with God
In Isaiah 45:3 the prophet Isaiah speaks of the spiritual treasures that are found only in the dark and distressing times of life. Philippians 3:10 and I Peter 1:3-8 speak of the intimacy with Christ and the spiritual power we experience as we enter the fellowship of His sufferings.

The blessing of beautification
In the garden of fellowship with Christ, He is glorified in us. John 17:5-10 The more time we spend with Him in His Word, the more we become like Him. II Corinthians 3:18 Psalms 149:4-5 Psalms 90:14-17

The blessing of peace
If we are living in fellowship with Christ, when times of fear and suffering come our way, we can have His perfect peace as we keep our mind focused on Christ. Isaiah 26:3 Through His indwelling Holy Spirit, He gives us His peace. John 14:27 16:33

The blessing of joy
In the midst of sorrow and loss, He fills our heart with His joy. John 15:11 I John 4:1

The blessing of growth
Some of the greatest spiritual growth and sanctification, (the process of becoming like Jesus) comes in the midst of suffering. I Peter 5:10 We are crowded closer to Christ. The spiritual growth that takes place may be imperceptible to us, but others can see it and are blessed by the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives.

Finally, the blessing of suffering often opens new doors of service for Christ.
As in a garden, new and fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers are constantly being produced; so in the garden of fellowship with Christ, He often closes one door and opens another new and fresh opportunity for service. But don't chide and fret and moan for new opportunities to come your way. Learn to bloom and produce fruit in the place where He planted you. When you have finished your work there, He will move you on to new opportunities, if you have been faithful

Next time you pass through a time of testing and sorrow, remember there is a garden close by, a garden where you can enjoy sweet intimacy and fellowship with Christ.

June 6, 2006 Posted by | Encouragment | Comments Off on Gardens and Crosses

God is Love

GOD IS LOVE!  Such simple, well known words and yet how difficult for us to grasp! None of us can totally  comprehend God’s love.  If we could only begin to understand a little of it, what a difference it would make in our relationship with Him and with others.  What peace and joy and comfort it would bring to our troubled hearts!

Because God is infinite; His love is infinite, endless, immeasurable and it has no boundaries.


Because God is everlasting, His love is everlasting. It had no beginning and it has no end.  “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”  Jeremiah 31:3


Because God is omnipotent, His love is powerful enough to accomplish whatever is best for me.  Read Romans 8:28-39 and as you read it, learn that  God takes all the circumstances of your life and mixes them together for your good.  Nothing is too good for God to give to His child and no power can destroy His love for us.  If I delight myself in Him,  He promises to give me the desires of my heart.  Psalm 37:4


Because God is omniscient (all-knowing), He sees the end from the beginning and knows what is best for me.  God is pleased when I trust Him with plans for my future.  Jeremiah 29:11   Isaiah  55:8-9


Because God is holy, His love is holy and pure. Isaiah 6:1-8  Revelation 4   God, who is omnipotent (all-powerful) could be an ogre or a tyrant if His love were not holy.  Because of His holiness and purity,  I  need not fear any harm from Him; only good.


Because God is omnipresent, His love is with me wherever I am and regardless of my situation.   He is able to show His love to me.  Psalm 139:1-18


Because God is immutable, His love is unchanging.  He is not fickle.  He does not with-hold His love from us as we do from others when we think it is undeserved.


Because I am human and have my physical and emotional weaknesses, I cannot always feel His love; but He is still with me, working out good in my life.  Job 23:8-10


God’s love is practical.  It is more than mere words.  God’s love is self-giving and is shown to me in His Son, Jesus, who died to pay the penalty for my sins.  John 3:16  Romans 5:8   Only as I trust Jesus and know Him as my Saviour and Lord, can I ever know His love for me.  None of us deserve God’s love.  We can never earn it.  It is totally a free gift of His grace and He lavishes it on His children.


Those who spurn that love will one day be forced to face His wrath.  John 3:36;  5:24  Revelation 6:12-17


If we are yielded Christians,  living under the control of His Holy Spirit,  Christ fills us with His love and it spills over to others.  I John 4:19;   2:5;   John 14:15;  15:12-14

June 5, 2006 Posted by | God | Comments Off on God is Love