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Monday, February 26, 2018

A judgment to come



Thought for the Week


And the time of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead.--Acts 17:30-31


There is no truth more firmly established in God's word than that which tells us we are going to one day die. then face God in judgment to account for how we have lived in this life (Heb.9:27; 2 Cor. 5:10). We are frail human beings and must always be aware of how brief this earthly existence is. Regardless of what our life span is, it will be only a short time when we considers the eternity to which we are going.


The words of Amos, spoken to Israel long ago echo down the corridor of time and should be ringing in our ears: "PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD" (Amos 4:12). Because of the certainty and the nearness of death, that preparation should not postponed or delayed (2 Cor. 6:2).


We are prone to measure our lives in terms of years when in reality we should measure our lives in terms of one heartbeat at a time. We all walk a very fine line between living and dying (2 Sam. 20:3; Job 14:1-2). Realizing that our stay on this earth is brief and will quickly come to an end makes the words found in Psalms 39:4 encourage us to make the most of each moment: "Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am".


One day we will stand before the judgment bar of God to account to him for the things done in this body whether they be good or  bad (2 Cor. 5:10). We can live this life walking after the flesh or we can spend our life walking after the spirit in a manner that pleases God (Gal. 5:19-25). God leaves the decision as to which way we walk entirely up to us. That being true, if you were to stand in judgment this day, where would you spend eternity? Would happy your portion be or would it be a sad ending for you? What will it be, O what will it be?


Charles Hicks


In Ezekiel 37:22-24, God foretold He would make Israel “one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd.”  The next verse adds, “My servant David shall be their prince forever.” 

This is actually a beautiful prophecy of the church in the New Testament.

One church under one Christ

The church of Christ is the spiritual nation of Israel (Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 6:16; Heb. 12:22-23), God’s spiritual, “holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:5-9).  The Lord’s church is indeed but “one nation.”  There is only one church (John 10:16; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23 + Eph. 4:4; Eph. 5:23; Col. 3:15), and all are one in Christ in that church (John 17:11-26; Acts 4:32; Rom. 12:4-5; Rom. 15:5-6; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; 2 Cor. 13:11; Gal. 3:27-29; Eph. 1:10; Eph. 2:12-22; Eph. 4:2-3, 11-13; Php. 1:27; 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 3:8). 

This “one nation” has “one king,” and that is Jesus Christ (Matt. 2:2; Matt. 5:35; Matt. 21:5; Matt. 25:34, 40; Matt. 27:11, 29, 37, 42; Mark 15:2, 9, 12, 18, 26, 32; Luke 1:32-33; Luke 19:14-15, 27, 38; Luke 23:2-3, 37-38; John 1:49; John 12:12-15; John 18:33-37, 39; John 19:3, 12, 14-15, 19-22; Acts 4:27; 17:7; Rom. 15:12; 1 Cor. 15:24-25; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 11:15; 17:14; 19:16; 20:4-6). 

According to the prophecy in Ezekiel 37:24, God’s “servant David” (see also Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:23-24) would be the one king and one shepherd over Israel.  This is clearly speaking of Jesus Christ.  First, Jesus Christ is “David” the king (or prince) of Israel in that he descended from David physically (Matt. 1:1; Matt. 9:27; Matt. 12:23; Matt. 15:22; Matt. 20:30-31; Matt. 21:9, 15; Matt. 22:45-46; Mark 10:47-48; Luke 18:38-39; Rom. 1:3), and is sitting on his spiritual throne in heaven as the king of his spiritual kingdom, the church (Luke 1:31-33; Matt. 16:18-19; John 18:36-37; Acts 2:29-36; Col. 1:13; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18).

Cleansed and undefiled

Faithful Christians have turned away from all forms of idolatry (Acts 15:20, 29; Acts 21:25; 1 Cor. 10:14; 1 Cor. 12:2; 2 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 1 John 5:21), including covetousness (Col. 3:5).  Not only that, but faithful Christians will turn away from all their transgressions. 

God “cleanses” His people from their sins (see also Psalm 103:3; 1 John 1:9).  “Cleansing” goes beyond mere forgiveness.  Forgiveness removes the sin from our record, which is necessary for our salvation.  Cleansing the person actually removes what caused him to sin in the first place.  Sin comes from the heart (Matt 15:18-20; 12:34-35).  God says He will purify (the same Greek word as “cleanse” in 1 John 1:9) our hearts by faith (Acts 15:9).  That faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). 

When the evil is purged out of our hearts, what originally caused us to sin is gone.  Now we are better prepared to resist the temptation the next time it comes.  God not only wants us to have a clean record, but He also wants us not to repeat the same sins (1 John 2:1; Eph. 6:16; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).

Our heart needs to change in order to accomplish God’s will.  Thus, if we confess and repent of our sins, God will not only forgive us, but He will cleanse our hearts from all unrighteousness.  This is only fulfilled in the New Testament by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Forgiveness of sins did not come through the blood of bulls and goats (Heb. 10:1-4).  Sins can only be cleansed and forgiven by the blood of Christ (Matt. 26:28; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:25-26; Acts 5:31; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:38-39; Acts 26:15-18; Rom. 3:24-25; Rom. 11:26-27; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:13-14; Heb. 9:11-28; 10:11-18; 1 John 1:7, 9). 

Therefore, the prophecy of Ezekiel 37:23 only finds fulfillment under the New Covenant (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12; 10:17).  Because of Christ and the cleansing of our sins (Ezek. 37:22-23), the Father is now our God and we are His people (Jer. 30:21-22; 31:33; 32:37-40; Ezek. 11:19-20; 37:22-27; Zech. 8:8; 13:9; Rom. 9:24-26; 2 Cor. 6:16-18; Heb. 8:10; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Rev. 5:9; 21:3).


Jon Macon



Sunday, February 25, 2018

Valentine's Day massac

Running Toward Danger


He was one of the 17 people who were killed by a gunman in the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.  His name was Aaron Feis, a 37-year-old a father and husband, who served as an assistant football coach and a mentor to many students.


Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel spoke at Feis’ funeral on February 22nd.  He said of Feis, “Before you even heard how he died, you knew he died putting himself in harm's way to save others.  That's who he was.”  The sheriff said that while others were “correctly running away from danger,” Feis was “running toward danger” to help students.


The sheriff knew Feis personally.  “I coached with him. My two boys played for him,” Israel said. “The kids in this community loved him, adored him.”


Family friend Brandon Corona described him as loving, strong, kind, and patient.  Feis gave rides home to students who needed it and “he was a counselor to those who had no father figure,” Corona said.


The school's football team wrote on Twitter, “He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.” *


Michael Strahan of ABC’s Good Morning America described Feis’ actions: “[It was] an incredible act of heroism during that deadly school rampage.  Assistant coach Aaron Feis acted as a human shield coming between the students and the bullets, sacrificing his own life to save others.”


When you and I were in the fatal clutches of sin (Romans 6:23), Jesus came to us to save us.  Only He could do so, for He was and is the sinless Son of God.  The Apostle Peter explains Christ’s atoning death: “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed…  Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18 NIV).  Jesus took the punishment for our sins on the cross, “shielding us” from the wrath of a holy God upon sin.


“6For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:6-10).


God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  The blood that Jesus shed for us will continue to cleanse us as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).


Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends” (John 15:13).


Won’t YOU accept the offer of salvation and eternal life that came at such a great cost?


- David A. Sargent


*Information gleaned from “Slain football coach ran 'toward danger' to save students in school shooting, sheriff says at funeral” by Emily Shapiro of


David A. Sargent, Minister


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Death of Evangelist Billy Graham

Truth Is Truth, No Matter Who Disagrees With It

Neal Pollard



Today, one of the most famous preachers of modern times died just short of his 100th birthday. Not only did he achieve longevity, his name was almost synonymous with American religion in the 20th Century. He reached hundreds of millions of people through live crusades, radio, and television. He was regularly listed as one of the "Ten Most Admired Men in the World." His website claimed that he preached to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history (info via  His influence on society is unmistakeable.


However, this much loved and now much lamented man used the weight of his name and influence to oppose something which Scripture seems very clearly to teach. In the answer section of his website, he addresses the question, "Is baptism necessary for salvation?" While answering that he believed it to be important and that he had done it himself, he also said, "If baptism were a requirement for salvation, we would certainly say that." His answer makes clear that one becomes a saved convert before baptism, the thief on the cross being used as proof of that claim. Many of those who left comments under his answer shows how deeply influential and popular his teaching on this was. 


I believe in the vitality of the saying, "It's never a matter of 'who's right,' but 'what's right.'" Something is never right because I say it, some other preacher, or even the most famous preacher of the 20th Century says it. Something is right because Jesus and His apostles and prophets said it. Here is what they said:

  • "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Jesus)
  • "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins" (Peter)
  • "Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name" (Ananias)
  • "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life" (Paul)
  • "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Paul)
  • " Corresponding to that (Noah and family brought safely through the water, 20, NP), baptism now saves you-not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (Peter)

I feel the loss of this renowned preacher is sad and tragic.  I appreciate his vast influence and the way he tried to use that for good in so many regards. Yet, if the Bereans found it necessary to compare the great apostle Paul's preaching and teaching with Scripture, any of us who preach and teach today should want people to do the same. That's the only way we will be able to determine what's right!



Monday, February 19, 2018

The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can tell


Thought for the Week


Behold , what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not--1 John 3:1


One of our grand old songs begins with the words, "The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can tell". No truer words can ever be spoken about God's love for us. In order for us to have the honor and privilege of being sons of God, God sent his only begotten son into this world to live among men and then through his death on the cross make it possible for us  to be redeemed. The son of God had to suffer ridicule and shame at the hands of those who crucified him. He had to walk that lonely road to Calvary and have nails driven into his hands and feet. The son of God had to give his life's blood so that it would be possible for us to be called sons of God (Hebrews 5:7-9; Col. 1:12-14)


As sons of God we are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14). We do not walk in the ways of man that are contrary to the will of God. Our attitude in doctrinal matters is the same as that of Peter when in Acts 5:29. he states emphatically, "We ought to obey God rather than man". This leaves no room for our own personal philosophies or I believe ideas. God's will takes precedence over everything as we seek his approval.


As sons of God we submit our entire being to his control, yielding ourselves to him, devoting ourselves to his service without reservation (James 4:7-8; Romans 12:1-2).  We then walk on this side of eternity holding on to the unchanging hand of God knowing that whatever betides us on this journey we will be safe in the arms of Jesus.


As sons of God we are heirs, joint heirs with Christ our saviour (Romans 8:14-17). As an heir we share in his love, mercy, truth and goodness while on this side of eternity. One day, as an heir, the glory of eternal life in that land where joy will never end will be ours (2 Corinthians 5:1). O what joy should be echoing through our hearts today, just knowing that we are the sons of God.


Charles Hicks


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Igor Kozlovsky

Set Free


Since 2014, the Ukraine nation has been divided by war.  Pro-Russian separatists seized control of part of the Ukraine, including the homeland of Igor Kozlovsky.  On January 27, 2016, the separatists seized Kozlovsky, accusing him of espionage against what they call the Donetsk People’s Republic.


Erik Tryggestad reports that the separatists claim that the Russian Orthodox Church is the region’s only true church and see other Christian groups, especially those planted by foreign missionaries, as tools for Western propaganda, full of spies.  Kozlovsky, a 63-year-old author, theology professor and preacher for Churches of Christ, was therefore viewed as one of those spies and taken captive.


In an interview with The Christian Chronicle, Kozlovsky recounted that at one point, his captors placed a cloth bag over his head, locked him in handcuffs and forced him to hold a pair of grenades, which they claimed they had found behind a bookshelf in his apartment.  For hours, they beat him with “something that felt like sticks,” he said, but he continually denied their charges.  After the beating, his arms and legs were swollen to “twice their normal size,” he said.  He couldn’t walk for days, according to Tryggestad.


Many fellow Christians of the Cup of Life Church of Christ in Donetsk fled to the west when militants took control of the region, but Kozlovsky and his wife, Valentina, stayed in Donetsk to care for their 37-year-old son, Slava.  Slava has Down Syndrome and is confined to a wheelchair due to partial paralysis.  Kozlovsky believed that the move would have been too traumatic for their son.  Yet Slava was terribly traumatized when his father was taken captive and he sat helplessly as militants rummaged through their apartment.


Kozlovsky endured brutal treatment and inhumane conditions as a prisoner, but he states that it was the separation from his family that would be the hardest part of his captivity.


Thankfully, on December 27, 2017, exactly 23 months after he was taken from his family, he and 74 other captives were freed in a prisoner exchange.  Kozlovsky was reunited with his family and he says that “he once again felt reborn.”


What was the first time he felt reborn?  It was when he was baptized into Christ several years earlier.


He had previously been held captive in the bondage of sin, a condition we all experience as sinners, and sinners are we all.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Sin is a cruel master and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).


But Kozlovsky was set free from sin – and we can, too.  How?  Through Jesus Christ.  Christ came into the world to save sinners by dying on the cross for our sins.  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).


God will set free from sin and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  In baptism, we are reborn and set free from sin (see Romans 6).  Then, as we continue to walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from sin (1 John 1:7).


Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32) and “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).


Won’t YOU submit your life to the Savior so that YOU can be reborn and set free from sin?


-- David A. Sargent


* From “After two years in captivity, minister released” by Eric Tryggestad of The Christian Chronicle, Vol. 75, No. 2; February 2018 as viewed at


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Psalm 103:114

Thought for the Week


"For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust"--Psalms 103:114


"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it"--Eccl. 12:7


The fleshly body in which we now live will one day be no more. Our creator knows how feeble and frail we are in this earthly tabernacle. He knows that we are made of dust and one day this corruptible earthly body will be laid in a grave where it will become nothing more than a pile of dust. Thanks be to God, our spirit will live on as it returns to the one from whence it came (1 Cor. 15:50-57).


Each day we live on this earth we are made to realize that this physical body does not endure very well. Every passing day takes its toll and we simply grow weaker as age creeps up on us. Sickness and disease strike our earthly frame causing us to groan under the burden (2 Cor. 5:1-4). Isn't it comforting to know that as a faithful child of God, we have that building of God, not made with human hands, that awaits our coming?


Knowing that one day we are going to shed these earthly bonds and our spirit is going to return to God, we must strive for a faith that will give to us the strength and courage to overcome all the obstacles that we encounter on this pilgrimage of life.  We need a faith that will shine as a great beacon light leading men and women out of darkness into the marvelous light of Jesus (1 Pet. 2:9; Matt. 5:13-16). A faith in which we are a great example in word, life, love, spirit, faith and purity (1 Tim. 4:12).  Make no mistake, our faith will be proven to be true by what we say and do every day we live (James 2:18; Eph. 4:29-32)


If we live life's little while living for Jesus, doing to the best of our ability what he commands of us, then the day this fleshly body goes back to the ground from whence it came and our spirit returns to God will be the greatest day of our existence. To God be the glory!


Charles Hicks

What shall I do to inherit eternal life?




     THE QUESTION:  “And behold a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  (Luke 10:25).  This question was asked by a “lawyer”.  “Lawyers” were men trained in the “law of      Moses,”  They were the experts, looked to as the leaders of the people.  His question was good, even if his motive was bad.

     THE ANSWER:  “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.”  (Luke 10:27).


     WHAT MUST I DO?  Many have asked this great question.  Having heard the message, and realized their need, they come to the Master for answers and instruction.  Because of the importance of the question….the answer has always been given in simple terms that man can understand.  How terrible it would be, to recognize our needs and ask the question only to find that the answer was beyond our ability to understand.


     WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?  What if  only the brilliant could understand the answer?  What if, the answer was in dark and confusing language?  We will consider two occasions when the question was asked and God’s answer was given.


     In Matthew 19:16, a young ruler came to Jesus and asked, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”  The answer Jesus gave was to keep the commandments”  The young man easily understood, and his answer was:  “All these things have I observed;  what lack I yet?”  Jesus replied:  “If thou wouldest be perfect,  go, sell that which you hast, and give to the poor,….and come, follow me” (v.21).  He had no problem understanding what Jesus said.  Yet, “he went away sorrowful”.  He understood, but would not obey.


     On the Day of Pentecost the multitude came together and heard the Apostles preach the first gospel sermon.  They were reminded of the life that Jesus had lived, and the miracles that he had performed.  That Jesus was:  a man approved of God unto you my mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you even as you, even as ye all yourselves know.” ...Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.”  (Acts 2:22, 36).  When they heard this they were pricked in their heart and asked the question..  What shall we do?” (v.27).  The    Answer that was given:  Repent ye, and be     baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins;”  (Acts 2:38).  Is this confusing language?  Something hard or difficult for man to  understand?  Does it take an extremely intelligent person to make sense out of God’s answer?

  What is the problem?

     God did not hide His answer in confusing and conflicting language.  Do people really have a problem understanding God” answer, or are they, like the “lawyer”, attempting to justify themselves.  The problem that man has with God’s answer is caused by Pre-Conceived ideas and Prejudice that makes it difficult for them to understand simple answers.


When the answer is not what man wants, when it is different from what he expected, then man has a problem with the meaning of simple answers.  THE DIFFICULTY WITH GOD’S ANSWER TO THIS MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION IS NOT WITH GOD….THE LANGUAGE…OR THE ANSWER….BUT WITH THE HEART OF THE HEARER!


Frank Briscoe


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Why Read the New Testament? So we can learn how Jesus can mercifully save us from a miserable end for a magnificent eternity!


Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4


The New Testament has a huge amount of history and religion, promises and warnings, recorded within its pages.


It claims to be the result of research and inspiration.


The more information you provide the stronger the case you can make. The Bible does just that.


What if someone had scribbled a few notes on a page to the effect that some bloke had come into Israel making out He was the Messiah. He pulled a few magic tricks, had some good words of advice on various subjects, and was then arrested and crucified because he made a lot of enemies. A story went around saying that he had come back to life after a few days.


There’s not enough information in that note for anyone to take it seriously and stake their eternal life on it.


The life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the development of Christianity in the New Testament, is something you can get your teeth into. It’s a life and a way of life that you can examine at various levels. Jesus didn’t only do a lot and teach a lot, he also made a lot of claims about Himself and gave promises and warnings that matter deeply. The church became a reality because of that life.


Jesus’ life was recorded because it was an extremely significant life. He did and said many things that were worth recording. It’s a life set in real Roman and Jewish history, in the presence of many religious leaders, politicians, priests and soldiers, as well as thousands of ordinary people. A life that had many witnesses who could either verify or refute the claims. Lots and lots of people knew him well enough to either love him or hate him. There are many names, events, places and statements by various people that can be checked for authenticity. There is way too much information for someone to simply say it was all made up and never happened. The more fake claims you make, the easier it is to disprove them. The more information you give, the more that can be checked for authenticity. If you don’t want to be doubted, don’t say too much! Judea in the Roman Province of Syria in the first century AD had way too many intelligent and literate people to easily fool. What was written about Jesus was written within a generation of the time of the witnesses. That means there’ll be people alive who knew those who were with Jesus.


Read the following exchange between the apostle Paul, Governor Festus and King Agrippa in the early AD 60’s:


“To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”

24And as he was saying these things in his defence, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.”

25But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.

26For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things

has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I

know that you believe.”

28And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”

29And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” Acts 26:22-29


What you just read was history! A real conversation about real truth.


Not only could the Roman Governor have checked with other soldiers, politicians, police, writers, historians and poets about any of Paul’s claims during his life, but what was claimed was consistent with what had been predicted in the Old Testament prophets – a point Paul makes to King Agrippa, and that the apostle Peter also makes in one of his epistles:


For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honour and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:16-21


You’ll be hugely disappointed if you think it’s easily discredited, because not only do we have history confirmed by witnesses, but we also have history confirming prophecy. God doesn’t prophesy what isn’t going to happen!! For some examples, read Isaiah 53; Psalm 16; Psalm 22, Hosea 6:1-2 and Zechariah 13:7. But does it all matter?


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16


And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16


Jesus’ life wasn’t just his own business; His was a life lived for all the others who live in this world!


Faith in Christ is vital because  it takes us from our world into God’s world.


Baptism in water involves a dying to the old and a rebirth to the new - through faith in Christ.


Saved! Saved from what? Saved for what? Saved from a loss of light and love and life in the darkness and destruction of hell, and saved for an eternity of love and glory and righteousness with God.


Jesus can mercifully save you from a miserable end for a magnificent eternity! We can all live happily ever after!


Friday, February 2, 2018

How to be saved from my sins?

Why is it so Difficult? Why so seemingly Confusing?


Why don’t we have a clear, short paragraph in the New Testament that tells us how people were to be saved during the time Jesus walked the earth, and another clear, short paragraph that tells us how people would be saved, in every generation after Jesus had returned to heaven?


Wouldn’t that be a lot easier and less open to interpretation than having to wade through the four gospels and Acts to determine what is required of us today for salvation?


Isn’t a large part of the reason we have so many different denominations teaching different things for salvation, is because fallible minds have to wade through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts - 117 chapters, plus all the epistles, to determine what Jesus requires of sinners today if they are to be saved eternally?


Some see examples of sinners praying for mercy, and say salvation comes from praying for it.

Some see the grace Scriptures and say it’s all of God’s grace that saves.

Some see the faith Scriptures and say it’s just faith that saves.

Some see repentance and say repentance is the key to salvation.

Some see the baptism Scriptures and say it’s baptism that saves.

Some say it’s keeping the commandments, but which ones?

Some put all these together and say it’s grace, faith, repentance and baptism that save.


Jesus said that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”


Jesus said if you believe in Him you will live forever. “Your faith has saved you.”

He said if you repent you will never perish: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

He said if you keep His commandments you are His friend.

He told an enquirer to keep the commandments, sell his possessions, give to the poor and follow Him.

He said if we confess Him before men He will confess us before His Father God.

He said if we believe and are baptized we will be saved.

He said whoever does the will of God will enter the kingdom of God.

Out of all this, how do we know which promises apply to us today? What do we do today to be saved eternally?


There is an obvious answer to this apparent conundrum. Just such short paragraphs do exist that teach us today how to be saved. When Jesus gave His “great commission,” He gave His salvation requirements for all nations for all time – terms that would supersede anything he had previously given to Israel:


“Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are

written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life

in his name.” John 20:26-31


“Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations …” Luke 24:46-47;


“go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

teaching them to observe all that I have commanded … ”  Matthew 28:19-20;


“go and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16


“What must I do to be saved today, Jesus?” 


“Examine My life, trust Me and obey the commands I have given you for your salvation in your generation. Believe, repent, confess your faith, be baptized, and live faithfully until death, obeying all that I commanded!”


But the reason God has not set these great commission Scriptures in boxed bold type – separate from everything else – has to do with context and salvation history. Believing, repenting and being baptized come after hearing the gospel. Mark 1:1; 16:15-16; Romans 10:13-15. You don’t believe just because there is a command to believe; you believe because you’re convinced of the truth about Jesus that you’ve learned, and want to be saved and live for God. Unless you read or hear  the full accounts of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and teachings, you will not have the contextual evidence upon which to base your faith in Jesus. To properly believe and be saved, you need to hear the Jesus story. When you are convicted (believe wholeheartedly), then you will obey Jesus’ commands. You obey when you’re ready to obey and want to obey.


For more information on “how to be saved” visit


How to be saved

Are you wondering how to be saved? Are you searching for information on how to be saved? Do you want to know what God requires you to do to be saved from your sins? Learn how to be saved from sin and have heaven you home by visiting today! There is also a good discussion on how to be saved at

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