Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Certainties for Uncertain Times

Our futures are uncertain, as to our knowledge; but secure as to God’s knowledge. Our only certainties are based on the Bible.

 

As for the present, “we know not what shall be on the morrow”. James 4:13-15.  See Proverbs 27:1 for the same truth.

 

It’s right and sensible to plan our futures,  Proverbs 16:9 teaches that; but adds the warning that even in our planning, we must be surrendered to God’s will.  Luke 22:32 records how Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane,  “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not my will, but Thine be done.”

 

The Certainties of the Unsaved

 

The man who has never received Christ as His Saviour has no certainties, except death, judgment and hell, Hebrews 9:27 teaches.  That’s the sum total of a man’s certainties outside of Christ.

 

The Certainties of the Saved

 

We share with the unsaved  the uncertainties in this present world; but that’s as far as the similarities go.  For the Christian life is filled with certainty.

 

Everything is based on the certain Word of God.  Psalm 119:89 assures us that God’s Word, the Bible, is forever settled in Heaven. Christian friend,  you can take any promise in God’s Word to the Bank of Heaven and cash it any time, if your heart is right with God.

 

Peter, in II Peter 1:16-21 reminisces about his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration when He saw Jesus transfigured and glorified and heard the voice of the Father in Heaven assuring him that Jesus was His beloved Son and that we were to listen to and obey Him.  Then Peter contrasts that amazing experience with the written Word of God and assures us that the Bible is more sure than his experience on the mountain.

 

Matthew 24:35 assures us that although one day the heavens and the earth will pass away,  God’s Word will never pass away.

 

In Job 23:8-10  God assures troubled Job that God knows the end from the beginning.  Psalm 37:23-25 assures us that God directs every step of our lives as believers.  Psalm 31:15 assures us that “our times are in His hands.”

 

God loves us and will never leave us,  Hebrews 13:5-6 assures us. Since that is true, we are reminded to go through life avoiding covetousness and the fear of men and be content with God’s provisions. You will save a lot of credit card debt with its constant increasing stress.  

 

Sin is fun and pleasurable

 

Do you remember the story of  Moses in the early chapters of Exodus who was hidden as a baby from the Pharaoh, who was killing all the baby boys of his Israelite slaves?   His mother attempted to hide him from the Pharaoh by making a little basket boat and hiding him among the river plants and had his older sister, Miriam, watch over him from a distance.

 

Lo and behold, who should find the baby but the princess, Pharaoh’s daughter. When she heard the baby cry, her heart was touched and she took the baby boy as her own.  Miriam near by, assured her that she could find a nurse for her and  Moses mother was hired to care for her own son as a baby.  I’m sure that as Moses grew his mother taught him of his heritage as an Israelite and he never forgot it.

 

One day, as a young man,  Moses had had enough of life as Pharaoh’s son.  Hebrews 11:24-26 tells of his decision to forsake the pleasures of sin in Pharaoh’s palace and identify himself as an Israelite, enduring their suffering as slaves. 

 

It says “He chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”  It says, “He esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”  In other words, he understood that what God offers in eternity is far better than what Satan offers on this earth now.  Oh, that every Christian could learn that lesson and make the right choices in life! Yes, sin is pleasurable, but only for a season; only for a short time!

 

Solomon, the wisest of kings, tossed his wisdom out the window in order to enjoy the pleasure of hundreds of wives and concubines.  He turned out to be one of the greatest fools who ever lived.  At the end of his life, he came to his senses and wrote Ecclesiastes. You’ll find that little book in the middle of your Bible right after Psalms and Proverbs.  In Ecclesiastes 12:1 Solomon warns young people, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.” 

 

Earlier Solomon, before he had lost his wisdom,  warned young people in Proverbs 14:12  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

 

One of the certainties Christians share with the unbelievers is that we will all die someday.  The unbeliever dies and his soul goes to hell to be separated from God for eternity.  When the Christian dies, his soul goes right into the presence of Christ. 

 

One day, perhaps sooner than we can imagine, Christ is coming back to catch up all those who are His own through faith in Christ.  Those caught up in the Rapture, are the only Christians who will never die.  But in a sense, no Christian dies as the unsaved die. 

 

Our eternal life does not begin when we die and go to Heaven.  It begins the moment we put our trust in Christ.  For the Christian the experience of death is simply falling asleep in this life and awakening in the presence of Jesus.  II Corinthians 5  teaches this doctrine of death very clearly. Yes, we Christians have the certainty of eternal life with God in Heaven. 

 

That certainty is determined by our relationship with Jesus.  Those who have Jesus as Saviour have eternal life.  Those who do not have Jesus as Saviour do not have eternal life.  Study I John 5:11-13 and get this truth settled firmly in your heart now.

 

Revelation 22:11 teaches the truth that Christian will enjoy purity and holiness throughout eternity.  On the other hand, the unsaved will continue to experience sin and impurity throughout eternity, but with no opportunity to ever enjoy their sins.  Remember the truth of Hebrews 11:25?  Sin is only pleasurable for a season.  No one is going to be enjoying sin in hell. So sinner friend,  forget about your dreams of beer parties and women in hell.  Hell will be a place of eternal agony and utter loneliness.

 

Another certainty for us as  Christians is that God has His hand  on us only for good.

 

He presently, as well as eternally, has His hands on us only for our good. Read and delight yourself in His many promises to you as a Christian. 

 

The Bible is filled with promises for us.  Here are just a few. Psalm 23, 37, 91, I Peter 5:7,  Read the short epistle to the Philippians.  This should be enough to whet your appetite to read through the whole Bible this year and search for all the promises to you as a Christian. 

 

If you are not a Christian, you can start right now by simply admitting you are a helpless, hopeless sinner in need of God’s salvation.  Trust Jesus, who died on the cross and rose from the dead three days later, to save you from your sins.

 

Read I John 5:11-13  until you are assured of your salvation.  Then start growing as a Christian by reading God’s Word.  A good place to start would be to tackle this web site with over 500 practical Bible studies. Study them with your Bible, checking the references to make sure you are reading the Truth.

 

As you learn and grow, share with others what Jesus is doing for you. May God bless you with His salvation and with His constant presence in this new year!

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December 26, 2008 - Posted by | New Year

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