Jesus Christ, Creator of all that is, once asked and asks the question still:
“Who do you say that I am?”
Nothing any person does in life is more important, more crucial, than answering this question. One’s response determines an individual’s ultimate destiny, where that person will spend eternity after this short life on Earth is over. And it is indeed a short life lived in our physical bodies. God’s Word, the Bible, speaks truth about the matter:
“The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psa. 90:10).
Again, God’s Word says:
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).
Jesus asked that most profound question to ever confront mankind. He asked His disciples directly: “…whom say ye that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). When Peter answered,
“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16), the Lord said, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17).
Jesus went on to declare that He would build His church upon that very foundation. All who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God will become children of the heavenly Father. This truth is confirmed by the inspired words of Paul the apostle following Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9).
The question posed by Jesus when He asked, “Whom say ye that I am?” is the one every individual has to answer. It is not an option. One must either accept that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, or reject Jesus Christ, thus declaring that Jesus was not and is not who He claimed to be. Believing upon Jesus Christ and His redemptive sacrifice on the cross at Calvary for the sins of mankind (Jn. 3:16) means a person will be saved from sin, which separates the souls of men and women, boys and girls, from God, Christ’s Father. Not believing upon Christ means eternal separation from God in a place of torment called the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
To accept Christ’s sacrifice is to recognize and admit you are a sinner who needs salvation. You must totally believe Christ died for you. You must ask that Jesus come into your soul and become Lord of your life. By inviting Him to come into your life, you agree that you desire to turn from your sinful life and depend upon the Lord to direct your life as He deems best. Jesus instantly comes to dwell within your soul through God the Holy Spirit. This is called being “born again” (Jn. 3:3). You are then a child of God, saved once and for all – for all of eternity. The Holy Spirit dwelling within you begins helping you grow under new management – King Jesus, the Lord of Lords!
Future Secure Forever
Your future is secure because God holds onto you forever, not because you are holding onto Him! This is most important to recognize and remember. Christ does the saving of your soul. Your part is to simply and genuinely accept the grace gift, the sacrifice for redemption God offers through His beloved Son, the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Jn. 1:29; Rev. 13:8).
We know with absolute certainty you are once and forever in God’s family because of the words of the One who created all that exists. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand” (Jn. 10:29). Jesus was speaking about all people who have lived on Planet Earth who have or will in the future accept Him as God’s once-and-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world.
He was telling us, through the Mighty Word of the God of Heaven, that it is impossible for the heavenly Father to ever let a single born-again child of His slip from His omnipotent grip.
The Apostle Paul, under direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, nailed down eternal security of the born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote:
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”(Rom. 8:38-39).
Paul said further, “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12).
Insecurity of Believers
Many who are true Christians today hold that the Bible teaches that people saved by the matchless, unfathomable grace of God can lose salvation if they backslide to the point that sin rules their lives. They reject the Bible truth “once saved always saved.” Many of these who believe, preach, and teach insecurity of the believer (that one can lose salvation) declare at the same time that a Christian called “carnal” can be re-redeemed, restored to the family of God upon repentance. They accept part of the truth found in Hebrews 6:4-6 but deny the truth of the other part. That Scripture says:
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
We will examine this terribly flawed interpretation of this Truth next week.
Commiserating with Lot
June 25, 2018
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is the story of a man–but it is much more. It is a story of mankind.
The man is Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who chose to take the greener pasture when his uncle gave him the choice. That greener pasture was, of course, the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was much more appealing in lushness and the entertainment and other attractions it apparently offered.
The story of Lot, of Sodom and Gomorrah, is also a dramatic picture of all of mankind in its fallen state. The story foreshadows how the human race always chooses the ways of the world that take people farther and farther from their Creator.
Lot, despite being among the lost, debauched thousands of Sodom, was nonetheless considered righteous in the eyes of that Creator -the God of Heaven. There is one thing more we know about this nephew of the great progenitor of the people that would become Israel. Lot was sorely vexed. The story of the sorely vexed Lot can be found in the 19th chapter of the Book of Moses–Genesis.
There, we remember, God sent two angels, first to Uncle Abraham, then to Lot in the debauched city of Sodom.
Here is what the Apostle Peter wrote in regard to our vexed protagonist, Lot. The context is God dealing with egregiously rebellious mankind in righteous judgment.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (2 Peter 2:1-10)
Now, Peter points out–under divine inspiration and without any doubt–that ol’ Lot was indeed vexed. The definition of vexed in one instance is the state of being extremely irritated or frustrated to the point of a sense of being oppressed.
I use the word sorely, because it has always been a KJV term that amuses me. Some in biblical stories, for example, have been described as “sore afraid.”
I have no doubt that Lot, living among these ravenously homosexual men who threatened the angels who came into Sodom, was not only vexed, but sorely vexed.
Now, I want to say here that while watching things going on all around us in today’s society and culture I am sorely vexed. It seems that fully half of the American people are immersed in activity that can be construed as anti-God. Government, media–both news and entertainment–seem bent on tearing down most every moral pillar to which our national life used to be tethered. And, we who oppose that tearing down are called the irrational, ignorant morons that are holding up progress.
We who think boys, not girls, should be Boy Scouts, who believe males should not be allowed in restrooms that are designated for females, who hold that God knows best when saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman, are hated and vilified. Those doing the vilification and hating see themselves as the supreme moralists. And, their side has the public airwaves for the most part. They have Satan’s propaganda machinery that, without ceasing, preaches their Sodom and Gomorrah-like comportment as being the way life is meant to be lived.
This being the case, all of my vexation instantly turns to a shudder of realization when thinking on the future for those in such rebellion. The words issued by Peter above are yet–perhaps very soon–to once again come to fulfillment.
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.