Faith; Some Truths We Should Know, On Which We Can Stand!

Recently I have received questions from more than a few folks about faith and about standing for Christ in these Last Days. Considering this, it is apparent to me that there are some truths that we should know as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, which then become the basis for our ability to make a stand in faith. If we grasp these truths, understand these truths, which are taught in the Word of God, they can help us increase our faith. Everyone who has ever trusted in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, has at some point in time in his spiritual life, experienced weakness in his faith. But, God has the power to strengthen our faith and has given us promises to cling to and instruction to follow to do so.

Hebrews 11:1 says; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So faith is based on substance and evidence; these are tangible things. Faith is not based on emotion because it is intangible. Romans 10:17 tells us; “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We have the tangible Word of God, which is truth, on which to base our faith.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe in the truth of His substitutionary death (wherein He paid our sin debt), His burial, and resurrection proving His victory over sin and death. This of course is the very foundation of our faith. Herein we find both substance and evidence. But there is more, much more which Christ has promised us, with which we may build upon our faith. Knowing this, let’s look at some more truths that we should know.

1. We have a God who cares.

Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that we have a High Priest in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who experienced everything that we experience in this life and yet He did so without sin. It continues saying that we can come boldly to His throne to obtain mercy and grace in our time of need.
1 Peter 5:6-7 tells us that if we will humble ourselves before God, in other words submit our will to His will, and give all of our worries, cares, fears, and concerns to Him; that He will exalt, preserve, and praise us at just the right time (in His time) because He cares for us.

2. Our God will supply all our need.

• In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus Christ Himself told His disciples that they didn’t need to worry about what they would eat, drink, or wear; or about their physical well-being or their very lives because His Father in heaven knew their every need. If they would seek first His kingdom (once again be concerned with and obedient to His will) everything they need would be provided. If obedient, they would not need to worry about tomorrow, tomorrow would take care of itself.

• After the church at Philippi had been so generous to the Apostle Paul, he wrote to them; “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Again, the promise of God’s provision.

3. We have a God who is always with us.

• The Psalmist wrote; “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

• And in Solomon’s Proverbs we find; “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) Of course the friend he is speaking of here is God, and more pointedly to you and I today, the person of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God and Christ Jesus.

• The Holy Spirit was promised to us by Jesus Christ Himself as recorded in John 14:15-18. The Holy Spirit is the helper or comforter Jesus promised to the believer only, because the world cannot receive Him or know Him. Further, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit dwells in us and because of that He (Jesus) is in us.

• And in the book of Hebrews, we find this promise of Jesus; “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” And the passage continues with us being able to boldly say; “THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?” (Hebrews 13:5-6) Do you see that? Because we have the promise of Jesus, that He is our helper, we have nothing to fear! Friends we may face persecution, and in fact as believers we have been promised that it has been granted to us to suffer for Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:29) but; no matter what man does to us, he cannot take away from us, the presence of Jesus Christ in our life, or the promise of eternal life!

This is not an all-inclusive list of truths which we should know as Christians, with which we may build our faith and be able to make a stand for Jesus Christ. These are just some more of the basics. There is one more that I’d like to share with you. To my mind it is the crescendo of the Symphony of truths promised to the follower of Christ!

4. Jesus is coming again!

• In the Gospel of John, Jesus told His disciples; “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would’ve told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

• After His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples teaching and ministering to them for 40 days. In Acts 1:10-11, Luke describes Christ’s ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives at the end of that 40 days, and the declaration of the Angels to the disciples who had been assembled there to hear the teaching of the risen Christ. He wrote; “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’”

• In his first letter to the church at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul shared the promise of Christ’s return for His Church. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” This is the blessed hope of all believers, all followers of Jesus Christ, the promise of eternal life in the presence of God. But, there is more to know about His return. In this passage we’re told that the Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, will meet Him in the air. Yet, in Acts 1 the Angels promised Jesus Christ would return just as He left.

Zechariah 14:1-4 Describes that day when Christ’s feet will once again touch down on the Mount of Olives on the “Day of the Lord.” “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.”

• And Revelation 19:11-16 describes His return to the earth on that day in this way; “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, wherever you may be in the world today, these are the substance and evidence of truths that you can know which will strengthen your faith and your ability to stand for Jesus Christ in the perilous days ahead. I encourage you to daily put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) so that you can withstand those who may attack and persecute you in these evil days, and having done all of this in faith, to stand. Therefore Stand!

 

EvenSoCome

The Importance, Truth, and Certainty of the Second Coming!

It has become our practice for the Sunday posts, “Words of Grace for Strength,” to take an excerpt from a book and then add commentary on the passage. Today I will make a slight departure from this formula, in that my commentary will precede the excerpt. The authors and their writings which have been chosen to quote in this series, are some of the greatest Biblical Preachers and Teachers of the past two centuries. This has been by design, in order to show that a good understanding of Biblical truth is timeless. However, unfortunately in this current day it is becoming harder and harder to find writings worthy of quotation. Today there are many “preachers and teachers” who no longer hold to scriptural truth, literal interpretation, and a correct contextual exegesis of God’s Word.

Paul, in his second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-7) warned that in “the Last Days” perilous times would be marked by men who, although they appear godly, would in fact be dominated by their lustful desires; lacking the ability to understand truth. And Peter, in his second epistle (2 Peter 2:1-3) describes these men as false prophets and false teachers who unfortunately will exploit many, leading them away from truth into destruction. John writes (1 John 2:15-28) a warning to believers about these false teachers and false prophets, describing them as having at one time appeared to be followers of Christ, but in truth, they had not accepted by faith, His identity and gift of eternal life. Again, they are described as having a desire to turn people away from the truth of who Jesus Christ is, and what the Father wants for His children.

This is the conflict we are in today. There are many standing in pulpits around the world who are teaching psychology, materialism, socialism, environmentalism, deism, pantheism, and even atheism. The Truth of the Gospel is better than any of these teachings. There are those who are teaching that God is love and that Jesus loves you, yet avoid the subject of sin and the need for repentance and sanctification. And there are still others who seem to have their theology about half right; yet they deny God’s future plan for Israel, the rapture of the Church, the reality of His Millennial Reign, or His literal Second Coming (therefore making half right, ALL wrong).

The Truth of the Gospel is very simple. Jesus came the first time as the Son of Man born of a woman. Fully man and fully God, He lived a sinless life in order to pay our sin debt on the cross at Calvary. There He died crying out “it is finished,” was buried, on the third day rose from the dead, walked among and taught His disciples for 40 days, before ascending to heaven, where He sits at the right hand of His Father. Today we await His imminent return for His Church, and His Second Coming in power and great glory to bind Satan and destroy his armies. The Truth of the Gospel isn’t about how God can be a blessing to our lives, it is about the fact that because of what He has done for us, we need to be blessing Him with our lives.

There are those who will not hold to the whole Truth of the Gospel, but only some portion of it, even if it is only a small part of the Truth which they seek to leave out. This is nothing more than the sinful pride of man trying to control his own personal destiny, only trying to make the Lord fit into a box of man’s own making. Instead, they take the fullness of the Lord out of a Book of the Lord’s own inspiration. When someone does so, it is the enemy himself who moves in and feeds the “spiritual” or “religious” cravings of the individual, for they have turned from accepting the fullness of the Lord to the emptiness of any other way but Him, and Him alone, and Him in all His glory, love and wisdom.

In his book, “The Return of the Lord Jesus,” R.A. Torrey writes of the importance, truth, and certainty of the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And his last chapter describes what our attitude should be toward that return.

Today this is where we find;

Words Of Grace For Strength!

We Should Earnestly Desire the Coming of Our Lord. In 2 Peter 3:12 we read, “Looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of the God by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” If we love our Lord above all else we will long for His return above all else. How a true wife longs for the return of the husband who is across the sea. No gifts that he can send her during his absence will compensate for the absence of the husband, so the true bride of Christ longs for the return of the heavenly Bridegroom. While she may rejoice in those measures of grace vouchsafed her in the present through the indwelling Christ, she longs for the return of the Bridegroom Himself.

I once heard of one who had been widely proclaimed as a teacher of advanced truth say that there was a time when he was greatly interested in the Second Coming of Christ, but that of late years he had been so taken up with the glory of the indwelling Christ that he had lost interest in the thought of His return. This utterance was thoroughly unscriptural. To me it is incomprehensible on the part of one who really knows the truth about the Return of our Lord. It is well to preach the present privileges of the indwelling Christ, but there is something better than even this, our Lord Himself is coming; we shall see HIM; we shall be caught up to meet HIM; we shall be ever with HIM. And if it is Himself we love and not merely His gifts, no joy and victory that we may know through the indwelling Christ will satisfy the deepest longings of our soul. We shall long for Himself and for that fullness of fellowship with Him that we shall only know when He Himself comes again. There is a crown awaiting those who “loved His appearing.”

It is doubtful if there ever was a believer on this earth who knew more experimentally about the glory of the indwelling Christ than the Apostle Paul, yet one of the last things he wrote was, “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give to me in that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). May I put a plain question to you, Are you longing for Christ’s return? If you are not, you may be sure there is something wrong about your life somewhere, or about your relations to your Lord.

Our Lord Jesus is coming again – precious words! How they ought to thrill our hearts! How they ought to lead us to inquire diligently lest there be anything in us that will grieve Him at His coming. How they ought to make our hearts burn with the desire to do more and to use our talents more faithfully while He tarries. THE LORD JESUS IS COMING! How small these words make the world with its gain and its loss, its pomp and its pride, its pleasure and its pain, its praise and its blame, to appear. OUR LORD JESUS IS COMING! How these words should make us eager to bring our friends to Christ at once lest they be “left” at His coming. OUR LORD JESUS IS COMING! Yes, He is coming, perhaps this year; perhaps this month, perhaps tomorrow; perhaps today. Are you ready? Listen once again to His own last and sweetest promise, “Yea, I come quickly.”
“AMEN, COME, LORD JESUS.”

Excerpted from “The Return of the Lord Jesus” by R. A. Torrey 1913

EvenSoCome