Antipodean59's Blog

Restored New Testament Christianity

Archive for the tag “salvation”

The truth about sectarian christianity

According to the apostle Paul “God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14;33). Yet, today, there are hundreds of sects of “Christianity” all claiming to follow Jesus Christ and most if not all have a variation upon that theme. Is this how God wants it? Is this a “true and undefiled religion” (James 1:27)?

Listen to this preacher, Michael Hatcher and see if his lesson answers those questions.

Thought to start the year

I thought of starting the new year with a posting of a site that gets you thinking about where you are regarding what is to come for all man-kind – eternal life.

http://issuu.com/collegeofmentalhealth/docs/how_to_become_a_christian?mode=mobile&origin=email

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Thought for the week

I Shall See God

Job, that ancient patriarch and prophet issues forth words of confidence that the grave is not the end of life with these words: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27). How could this man, whom modern scholars wrongly consign to a people of superstition and ignorance, know about a redeemer who would buy back his soul in an all too obvious resurrected form? I say obvious because the man himself says his skin will be destroyed. Could it be that the Hebrews’ writer has, among others, Job in mind when he pens, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1)? Could it be that Job, like his fellow patriarch Abraham, was confident of mind “… that God was able to raise… even from the dead…” (Hebrews 11:19)? The answer to these questions is the same as that recorded in faith’s chapter of fame in Hebrews 11 that each of the faithful have these precursory words “By faith” attached to their actions. By faith Job knew there would come a time when a High Priest will come and sympathise with our weakness because he would be tempted “as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15) and therefore have all the necessary qualifications to redeem. By faith Job knew as the only way to please God, for “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6), for this it has always been “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; cf, Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 10:17).

Our confidence in the resurrection is boosted by this man of knowledge so-much-so that we, too, “shall see God” by following the words of Christ “…whom [God] hath appointed heir of all things…” (Hebrews 1:2). He is the “chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (I Peter 2:6). The apostle Paul maintained that the resurrection was at the heart of the Christian faith. He questioned the futility of some by taking on the way without this fundamental objective in mind by saying, “if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (I Corinthians 15:13-14). Paul’s confidence was firmly entrenched in the resurrection of a man’s soul with these words: “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus… For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Corinthians 4:14; 5:1). This should not surprise us since Jesus emphatically promised such to those worried they might not find the way home to heaven, for after assuring them He was going to prepare for them a place to reside in the resurrection, He promised, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). Oh, and just in case you need a little more reassurance then, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27). For the apostle Paul, the resurrection of Christ is solid proof that He will indeed keep His promise, for he says that Christ not only appeared to the twelve apostles but “…he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (I Corinthians 15:6-8). Jesus said he that “seeth” (John 6:40) is one that is able to discern God is proved as unchangeable in the past (Hebrews 6:17) and will prove unchangeable in raising the faithful to an imperishable state in the future according to I Corinthians 15:33, for we that “seeth” trust by faith in the witness of God’s word that “…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

The ancient paths of the Bible conscript men and women of faith in all dispensations to testify of the resurrection’s reality. Just as they had faith and confidence in seeing God so too, we, through faith can confidently say, “I will see God”.

Graham

Thought for the week

One Place I Don’t Want To End Up In

As we say in New Zealand, gidday, how are ya? Hope you are having a great day.

I’ve been thinking, just as I’m now on the cusp of reaching the age of sixty, that I feel somewhat fortunate to have attained such a mile stone. I mean to say, there have been many instances where I have dodged the proverbial bullet, so to speak. Like the time I was driving home to Wellington forty ton all up and drizzling with rain on the treacherous Desert Road (Central North Island, New Zealand) when around a bend in the road I come across a minor accident scene. I pass cautiously noting the unfortunates mulling over their plight when out of the blue an empty logging truck towing its trailer appears over the brow of the hill in front of me. The driver sees the accident scene in front of him and naturally hits the brake causing the trailer to jack-knife in the slippery conditions. The trailer is coming straight for me. I instinctively pull to the left and all I see is the rear of the logging trailer slide by my right hand mirror then neatly slide down the combing rail of the semi I am pulling, cutting half a dozen tarpaulin ropes as it goes by. I stop at the top and pause to reflect upon what was a close call. I was milliseconds from certain death, that I am certain. What then had I died? What would be my destination, Heaven or Hell?

By that stage in my life I had obeyed the gospel call to listen to God’s word, for that is where faith in God is formed (Romans 10:17). I believed in Jesus Christ as my Saviour to set me free from the awful effects of sin of being separated from God for eternity (Isaiah 59:2). Christ set me free because I obeyed His command to repent of my sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30), confessing before men that Jesus is Lord; that is, He will rule my life because in my heart I know from many eye witness accounts (I Corinthians 15:6) that He is risen from the dead (Romans 10:9) but not before I was baptised in order for my sins to be remitted; that is, have them washed away by His blood through the act of a watery burial which occurs when one is fully immersed in water (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-7). As I stand outside the truck and survey the scene of near death, I am in Christ; a son of God; a member of His church, the one and only place to be if one is saved (Acts 4:12; Galatians 3:26-27; I Corinthians 12:13; II Timothy 2:10). I stand confident my eternal home is with God and along with all those faithful to God’s commands throughout the ages.

However, just a little over a year before hand it would have been a different scenario had I died, for as one who was ignorant of God’s word I, like billions of others of accountable age before me, would rue my eternal fate that can be summed up in two sets of passages. The first is Luke 16:19-31 where a certain rich man died and lifted his eyes up in a place called Hades describing his condition as “torments”. Christ uses a Koine Greek word that simply means torture i.e. extreme pain. The man is conscious and alert and is even able to communicate with the father of faith, Abraham expressing his utter grief at what besets him (v.24). He has none to blame but himself for if he had obeyed “Moses and the Prophets” then he would be with his neighbour Lazarus over on the other side.

The second passage is truly frightening, for Paul says there is an expectation “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thessalonians 1:7-9). That would have been me folks because prior to August 23, 1985 I did not know God and therefore had not obeyed Him. I, too, would have been in the certain man’s predicament had it not been for my listening and consequent obedience to God’s word.

Now, this place of “torments” is one place I do not want to end up in and I am certain you don’t want to end up there, either. Fortunately, you are alive and well because you are now reading this. If you have not already taken the certain man’s advice in Luke 16 that he wanted his brothers to hear i.e. obey God in order to avoid the place of torment he found himself in, then I urge you without delay to seek and find a faithful church of Christ near you. Sit down and hear, believe, repent, confess and then be baptised in order to have your sins “washed away” before it is everlasting too late.

Graham

Thought for the week

Be Perfect

To be perfect is something Jesus expects His disciples to be: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). How can that be, you ask, when it is simply not possible even though you try as hard as you can. In fact if Jesus meant to be perfect like Himself; that is, having not sinned (II Corinthians 5:21) then He contradicts His own scriptures which state, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:10). So, is the meaning of perfect as used by Christ to be sinless? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that one can only be such by being “perfect in Christ” (Colossians 1:28); that is “perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12) and no, for try as we might “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

A simple analysis of the word “perfect” comes up with the answer as to its meaning. According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary the word as used by Jesus is “tel’-i-os
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness: – of full age, man, perfect.” In other words the word means to complete a task; be mature; reach the end.

Jesus wants those who decide to follow Him to reach a point whereby they are not only in Christ but are striving to reach the goal of maturity. This was something the Hebrew converts were lacking in according to Hebrews 5:12-14 “when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” He is saying they were still feeding like infant babes from the elementary “principles of the doctrine of Christ” instead of being mature and eating the protein of doctrinal “perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).

So this is Jesus plea in Matthew 5:48 that you be perfect so that you may know what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the will of God.

Are you perfect and complete in all the will of God? Are you in Christ having been baptised for the remission of sins? If not, then I strongly urge you to seek out a member of God’s church to find out exactly how to become perfect in His will before you die because “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) and you sure don’t want to face this frightening prospect: “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31).

Graham

Thought for the week

Standing For Truth

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in your life” (Winston Churchill – 1874-1965). Now, don’t you find it astounding that perfectly contented souls will all of a sudden erupt in fits of vitriol when you point out a Bible truth? One need only visit a debate forum on Face Book, Google or such like to see them go hammer and tong all because someone had the audacity to quote the Bible. The quote invariably goes against their perception of truth or perhaps the lifestyle they or someone they know has indulged in. The apostle Paul would, however, counter with this: “Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). Yes, it is almost like one becomes their “enemy” all because God’s word which is the “truth” (John 17:17) was cited. The Bible believer must “not yield in submission even for a moment” (Galatians 2:5); rather, must continue to speak that “truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
It should come as no surprise that these things take place for even Jesus, the Master teacher and counsellor said, “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?” (John 8:45). My friends, if Jesus couldn’t persuade because of hardness of heart then we who stake our lives upon His truth ought to take comfort, for to repeat Churchill, “That means you’ve stood up for something in your life.”

Graham

Thought For The Week

Hearts and Actions

You know the feeling; that is, you know what is right and what to do about it but you never quite get around to doing it. For example: you have read the need to share your faith, “in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15). However, you don’t get out there and follow through with the necessary action. James says it is not good enough just to hear the word but to be “doers of the word” (James 1:22).

Again, Jesus issues a parable about the heart and corresponding action: “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away” (Luke 8:16-18). You have lit the lamp of the word in your heart, now put it on the stand and share its message. God’s word lights the path He wants you to tread (Psalm 119:105) but not just you but all mankind (John 3:16) and “with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

Have a great week following the lamp.

Graham

Thought of the week

Preparation

As I sat in my favourite coffee shop drinking a cup of vanilla chai latte this afternoon, I watched many people going about their daily business and I got to thinking that many, of whom I feel certain, would be blissfully unaware that this life is a preparation for that which is to come. They were laughing and frowning; playing and toiling and just living life as though this is all life has to offer. But what if there is something more to this life as we know it?

The Bible tells man there is definitely more to life than that which he experiences in the here and now. The wise man said, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes” (Proverbs 16:2) but the God of the Bible thinks and says differently, for just as He warned the Israelites to “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12) so, too, the warning is just as relevant for man today to be prepared! John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). He was of course speaking of the realization of the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) as foretold by Isaiah 750 years beforehand. This same Lamb of God says to “Repent or perish” (Luke 13:3). That word “repent” is given meaning by the Apostle Paul’s preaching as he recalls to King Agrippa in Acts 26:20 that men “should repent, turn to God and do works fitting to repentance.” That is to say, do due preparation to turn and meet God or you will, as Jesus says, “perish”.

What do you need to do in this preparation? Well, here is a web site that will be a good start: www.churchesofchrist.net/authors/David_B_Brown then click on “How to become a Bible Christian”.

God bless you as you travel and study through His word.

Graham

Godhead United In Word and Deed

In this week’s thought for the week let’s consider the unity of The Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who make the Divine Godhead of the Bible.

The idea that each of the Godhead is divorced of the thought and actions of the other is strange to say the least. For instance, some say that Jesus is love but God the Father is wrath. So, they suggest through implication that God the Father is not love, hmm!
This nonsense has grown, in my opinion, from the thought that people only want love and not the consequence of sin which is wrath.

To show that all three of the Godhead are united in all they think and do, let us consider three separate verses dealing with the topic of sanctification.

• Jude 1 “Sanctified by God the Father.” The Father sets the Christian apart.
• I Corinthians 1:2 “Sanctified in Christ.” Jesus sets the Christian apart.
• I Peter 1:2 “Through sanctification of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit sets the Christian apart.

Each of the Godhead is in total harmony regarding the sanctification of Christians which is just as true with all the other workings of the Godhead, for Jesus acts just as wrathfully (Revelation 6:16) as God the Father (John 3:36) as much as the Holy Spirit is just as grieved at sin ( Ephesians 4:30) as Jesus is grieved (Mark 3:5).

Jesus said in His prayer to God the Father “that they (the holy apostles GJW) all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21). The purpose of Jesus’ words is to show He is united in thought and deed in order to create faith in unbelievers, for the opposite creates disorder and confusion which leads to faulty ideas such as this thought opened with.

God bless as you travel and study through His word.
Graham.

Thought For The Week

I thought I would add a new segment for to end the week with, called “Thought For The Week.”

LAW OF MOSES NOT IN EFFECT TODAY.

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because other law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression” Rom.4:11-15.

People need to understand that the Law, as handed to Moses in Exodus, cannot logically be in effect today, for if it were it would contradict the passage above. Paul said it was “nailed to the cross” Col.2:14 meaning it is dead and no longer in effect.

May God bless you as you travel and study through His word.
Graham

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