Redeeming The Time In 2015

Our excerpt today in our Words of Grace for Strength series is from the message “Do You Know What Time It Is?” by Dr. Ray Pritchard

Dr. Pritchard writes:
Paul challenges his readers, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11 NKJV). Do you know what time it is? It’s time to wake up! Why? “Because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” That’s a reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming, and each day brings us closer to that great world-shattering event.

In light of that, Paul tells us to wake up, put off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. The long night is fading away, the sun is peeking over the eastern horizon, and Jesus is coming soon!
Christian, do you know what time it is? It’s time to wake up and get dressed!

This is something we must know!

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).

What “time” is Paul talking about in verse 11 and what “hour” does he mean? He means that this present age is sinful and dark and ultimately passing away (Galatians 1:4). It won’t last forever (1 John 2:17). Colossians 1:12-13 uses the image of darkness and light in many places to explain what happens when someone becomes a Christian. They are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Do you know what being saved is like? It’s like living in the darkness for twenty or thirty or forty years and suddenly the lights come on.

What time is it right now? Check your watch and see. Now read verse 11 again and answer the question.
What time is it? It’s time to wake up. You sleep at night. You don’t sleep during the day. All of us understand what that means. It’s hard to sleep during the day. It doesn’t feel right. It’s not natural. Day is for waking and working; night is for sleeping and dreaming.

Why does Paul say that the long night is over and the day has come? Because the coming of the Lord is at hand. How near is it? Very near indeed. When Billy Graham preaches on the Second Coming, he often tells the story of a grandfather clock whose chimes rang every hour, once for one o’clock, twice for two o’clock, and so on. One night the clock malfunctioned, causing the chimes to ring thirteen times. A little boy heard it and raced through the house yelling “Get up, everyone get up! It’s later than it’s ever been.” How true that is. It’s later than it’s ever been, and we’re closer to the coming of Christ than ever before.

Words of Grace for Strength

In a few days we will enter into a new year. 2015 is nearly upon us and we will begin anew the process of counting down the 365 days of the year. What will this New Year hold for you? What will transpire in the world which will affect your life? As each year passes we grow closer to the time in which Jesus Christ will return for His Church, when the time of Tribulation will envelop the earth, and ultimately when Christ will return in power and great glory to defeat Satan and establish His Kingdom reign.

Knowing this, we are aware that the day in which we live is still very dark. Satan, as the ruler of this present world is still doing everything he can to exercise control over world events. It is his plan to subvert the cause of Christ, to marginalize the church by watering down its message and commitment, and to cause derision and persecution to fall on the True Church.

Yet even in this dark day we still have the light of the Gospel. When the Gospel light meets the darkness it destroys its hold and power over those who have experienced it. Ephesians 5:15&16 and Colossians 4:5 encourages us to redeem the time. As we enter into 2015 we should take this admonition of the Apostle Paul to heart. God has given us a mandate to serve Him in these Last Days and until His return, we should make every day in 2015 count for the cause of Christ.

I am not one who “makes” New Year’s “resolutions” but I do believe that as a member of the Body of Christ there are some things every believer should do to redeem the time. What are they? Let’s make a list:

1. Set aside daily a time to meet with the Lord in Bible Study and Prayer. Make it a personal habit to talk to the Lord and listen to the Lord.

2. Determine to live daily by biblical principles and sound doctrine.

3. Be involved in your local Church. Don’t just attend, commit to an active role and participate in all of the ministries and Bible Studies of your church. Don’t let “life” interfere with your commitment to your local church family.

4. Commit yourself to being a good steward of your time, resources and finances by giving to the Lord your tithe in every area. As Christians we should understand that absolutely everything we have is from Him and we owe Him everything.

5. Become a disciple. Find a more mature believer to disciple you and become an accountability partner to you. Then commit to becoming a disciple to a less mature believer. (Men to Men, and Women to Women)

6. Learn to trust the Lord in everything. He has promised to take care of you and provide everything you need. When it seems everyone or everything is against you, when your burdens seem to be too big for you to carry, trust in Him!

7. Set personal goals for ministry and service in your church family. Be ready to challenge yourself to stretch beyond your “comfort zone” as you follow His will for your life and the life of your church family. Make a plan to accomplish your goals!

8. Never fear your past whatever it held, let past failures be put under the blood of Christ and allow God to use your future. Determine every day to serve God and let Him establish your future.

9. Support your pastors and follow the leadership of the shepherds God has placed before your church family. These men have uniquely been chosen by God, and understand the gravity of the responsibility they have before God as leader servants in the local church. In his shepherd role your pastor will be held to a higher standard of accountability for the way he follows God and the way the members of the local church family follow his leadership as pastor – teacher.

10. Be excited that you are living in these times. As Christians we live in the most exciting time that this earth has experienced. The Signs of the Times are very clear and we can say with certainty that “our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” The Rapture is imminent and Jesus is coming soon! Live every day believing that this could be the day.

Redeem the time in 2015! Let this be the year in your life that you walk closer to the Lord than ever before; let this be the year when you serve the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and soul; let this be the year when others can say without reservation that they see Christ in you.

Redeem the Time!

Separate and Sure

Customarily for our Sunday blog we quote a passage from a book or message from one of the great preachers and teachers of the past two centuries and then follow it with commentary. Today we will differ a little bit, in that our commentary will precede the excerpt. The reason for this is the power and relevance in the message we will quote today, from Oliver B. Greene.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, I’m certain you are aware that we consistently call out false teachers and preachers, faulty doctrine and theology, and the blasphemy of compromise, tolerance, inclusiveness, and coexistence; all of which have swept over the “Christian” church like a plague. Those who occupy the pulpits in these churches have ceased being separate from the world as the Scripture calls for in 2 Corinthians 6:17, and instead have embraced the world and its allure, compromising not only their own souls, but the souls of those over whom they exercise spiritual responsibility.

To preach and teach the word of God is an awesome responsibility, and the Scripture tells us that those who answer the call on their life to do so will be held to a higher standard by our Lord Jesus Christ when we stand before Him at the Bema. (James 3:1) The Preacher-Teacher must be prepared not only to obey what he sees in the Word, but to live as an example before men of what life In Christ truly is. His life must truly reflect what the Word teaches, because both what he says and does is reflected in the lives of those whom he exercise’s spiritual authority over. If he dilutes, confounds, or distorts the clear meaning of any part of God’s Word, he not only causes spiritual damage to those he teaches, he also places himself in peril of judgment. By condoning sin in any form or compromising clear biblical doctrine he promotes unrighteousness even to the point that some will be lost for eternity, because of his lack of fidelity to the Scripture. The Bible demands holiness, as well as devotion to Jesus Christ, and the obligation which goes with teaching it is a serious commitment. The one who would teach and preach the Word to others must be aware of his own sinful nature and seek to curb and control it with the help of the Holy Spirit; the one who would preach and teach the Word must be aware of the propensity of humanity to seek to embrace secular humanism and seek to denounce and discard it at every turn.

To preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ one must be Separate from this world and Sure of their Calling and Salvation. To preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one must seek out and rely on the Holy Spirit. To share the Word of God one must have the strength and grace of God to draw upon.

Words of Grace for Strength!

Excerpted from: “The Word Above All” by Oliver B. Greene, 1971.

Too often the preacher himself does not abstain from evil, therefore he does not warn his people. God help us to live clean lives in preach clean living, in order that our records be not stained when we stand before Him who shall judge the quick and the dead at His coming!

To preach the word is to preach the second coming of Jesus: –
If the man in the pulpit is God’s man, a preacher of the word, his message will be well seasoned with the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The hope of this age is the return of the Lord to catch away His Church. I declare under you on the authority of the Word that a man who does not believe in the return of the Lord is not saved! No, I am not judging. I am simply inspecting fruit in the light of the Bible: “For by GRACE are ye saved through faith…” (Ephesians 2:8).
“The GRACE of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared… teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE, and the glorious APPEARING of the great God and our Savior JESUS CHRIST” (Titus 2:11-13).

We are saved by grace, we are taught by grace – taught to deny the world, taught to live righteous lives, taught to LOOK FOR JESUS! Therefore I declare under you that a person who is not looking for Jesus does not possess the grace of God.
The hope of this age, the hope of mankind, is the coming of the Lord Jesus. We will never have peace, we will never have lasting world order until Jesus comes. Man has tried everything in his power to bring about peace and world success; but as I write these lines, the world is in terrible chaos. Why? SIN is the answer – and sin will never be put down to stay until the Lord Jesus comes.

“Preach the Word!” My prayer today is that the Lord will help me to remain true to His Word and preach it in all its fullness and power until Jesus comes. God forbid that I should ever compromise with the world and the devil in my preaching. I trust as I send out this message that if you, dear reader, have not met the Lord in a born-again experience you will do so today. Do not gamble with “religion.” Religion is no good unless it is the blood-bought religion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you have been attending a church where the pastor is a blood-denying preacher, then search the Scriptures and see if what I have told you in this message is not true. God has not changed his mind about sin. The wages of sin is death, as it always has been and always will be. The sins which damned men centuries ago will damn men today. Do not be led astray by every wind of doctrine, but stand for the blood-bought redemption of Calvary. Stand by the Bible, live by the Bible, make sure you have had a born-again experience.

If you are not a Christian, I beg you to bow your head right now and let the Lord Jesus come into your heart. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). There is no other way, no other door to heaven. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10). “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).

Claim this promise made by our Savior: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth MY WORD, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

[End of Excerpt.]

Folks there is no better time than right now to repent of your sin guilt and turn your life to Jesus Christ. Accept His free gift of salvation and embrace life anew “In Christ.” The Rapture is Imminent, the Tribulation and End of Days is at Hand, and;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

If you would like more information about a new life “In Christ” please fill out the contact form on our “About” page.

The Church and Sound Doctrine!

Continuing our teaching on the Church built by Jesus Christ, we examine examples of what are considered by most to be representative of the “church” in the world today. Comparing them to the True Church formula, pattern, and appearance (meeting place), we will examine their effect in the world and affect on their members. In doing so I believe we will gain a better understanding of the concept of His Remnant Church, which consists of the faithful believers remaining true to the Doctrine of the Church built by Jesus Christ.

In order to compare these “churches” to the Church, let’s look again at Acts 2:42. As the Church these early believers, followers of Jesus Christ, continued steadfastly in four areas; the Apostles Doctrine, Fellowship, the Breaking of Bread, and Prayer. In Acts 2:43-47 we find some things which resulted from their obedience to Christ in following His divine plan; there was a new respect for the authority of God, the Holy Spirit was active, there was unity in the body, everyone’s needs were met, they worshiped together continually (from house to house), they were thankful and shared meals together in fellowship and praise, and the result was that the body grew.

Are these things evident in the “church” today? Are the four areas the early Church “continued steadfastly” in still being continued in the same way today? In our next few posts we will look at each one in turn and evaluate how the “church” today measures up.

We will begin with the Apostles Doctrine:
Simply put the apostle’s doctrine is those things which they were either taught by Jesus Christ Himself, or had revealed to them by His Holy Spirit. During the days recorded in the book of Acts, these doctrines were of course predominantly given to the Church orally. Since the close of the first century, we have the infallible Word of God which the Holy Spirit breathed into the writers of the New Testament Scripture. Peter testified of this in 2 Peter 1:16-21 and in fact in 2 Peter 1:2&3 he wrote that; “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,” which knowledge is that given to us in the written Word of God. The Apostle Paul encouraged both Timothy (2 Timothy 4:2) and Titus (Titus 2:1) to Preach or Speak the Word (Sound Doctrine).

Doctrine therefore is found within the Scripture, the Holy Spirit breathed Word of God. And from the time the Apostle John completed recording The Revelation of Jesus Christ in 95 A.D., there has been no additional Scripture given by God. However, Paul warned Timothy that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” 2 Timothy 4:3&4. He had also warned Timothy that men would “depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

Unfortunately today we are living in the day which Paul anticipated. Today many “churches” are led by men whose only goals are self-promotion and the accumulation of wealth, others have become institutionalized through an un-biblical structure of priesthood and catechism or are following denominational instruction and dogma, all of which supplant the Word of God with writings, edicts, and creeds written by men. Many of these who identify themselves as “men of God” claim “new” inspiration or that they have received a “fresh” prophetic word from God. These so-called “preachers” are at best charlatans, with most actually fitting into the category of false prophets.

These are able to deceive their followers because most “church members” are woefully ignorant of the Word of God. If they do have a relationship with Jesus Christ, they are certainly not following the example of the Bereans who “searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11) to verify whether or not what they are being taught is biblical. This puts them in the position of those described in Ephesians 4:14 as being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting…” Christians must be people of the Book, willing to take responsibility for themselves and their relationship to Jesus Christ. In these Last Days, deception will only continue to grow as Satan’s influence compromises the teaching of the Word of God, turning the hearts and minds of men away from Sound Doctrine, to the humanistic, socialistic, narcissistic doctrine of demons.

The Church built by Jesus Christ is one which stands on the Sound Doctrine delivered to us through the Word of God, and only through the Word of God. Again, I implore you to examine your heart, and the place in which you worship, the “church” which you attend. Be Bereans, be people of the Book, study the Word of God, ask the Holy Spirit to help you prove through it, what is Truth and what is false. Do not be followers of men, follow God through His Son Jesus Christ. Because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

to be continued…

Living in the Last Days… His Remnant Church ~ Part 12

Over the past few weeks we have been studying what we believe to be the true church in the Last Days, His Remnant Church. We have identified followers of Christ who have a true biblical understanding of the church designed and built by Jesus Christ in the book of Acts. In fact, the distinctives of this remnant group of Christians, in contrast with the mainstream “church” in the world today, are so apparent that they invite derision, condemnation, and disdain not only from the world but the mainstream “churches” as well. During the study we have discussed the responsibilities of this remnant of believers, the true followers of Jesus Christ, and the mission of His Remnant Church as it relates to the Great Commission and Great Commandment in preparation for the return of our Lord and Savior.

During this study we also have examined the problems within the denominational, institutionalized, emergent, word of faith, prosperity, and other mainstream church organizations that dominate the world today. These groups have compromised by embracing one or more of the false theologies of materialism, socialism, humanism, elitism, dominionism, liberationism, or Supersessionism. These so-called “churches” no longer can claim the distinction of separation from the world because they have abandoned fidelity to the Word of God.

We acknowledge that within these “churches” there may remain a few who have not “soiled their garments” (Revelation 2 & 3), but maintain that the preponderance of evidence would show their leadership to be apostate and dominated by false prophets and false teachers. God will not bless error or false teaching. A “church” based on false doctrine is not a Biblical church and God cannot have any part in it. The Apostle Paul, in Galatians 1:8-9, twice says of anyone who would pervert the Gospel, “let him be accursed.” No man or “church” that claims to be a church of God, may change anything God has said for any reason, and God is not giving any new Revelation. The canon was closed with the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to the Apostle John. A biblical church is one wherein Christ is the Head, and it follows the Word of God. If a “church” does not follow the Bible, then it is not a church that belongs to God, because in refusing to obey the Scriptures they separate themselves from God. The unfortunate reality is that most often these so-called “churches” that dominate the world today, were not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, but were established on the personalities and wills of men, and if they were established in Christ, they long ago abandoned this position.

Jesus Himself said that He would build His church in Matthew 16:18. What was the process in which He did so? He taught His disciples, and while at the time of their teaching they may not have fully understood it, He knew that in the power of the Holy Spirit they would understand and carry out His instructions. The New Testament record is clear that His disciples and apostles followed His instructions completely. Jesus Christ has not changed His instructions for His church. And, He did not leave the matter of establishing His church with human wisdom, He left His Word, and within it are complete instructions to deal with every aspect of establishing His church. His instruction and pattern for building it is the way He intended for it to continue, and any man, group, “church” or denomination who changes the pattern or establishes a “church” on any other foundation has simply not built a Biblical Church. When any “church” injects tradition or the opinions of men into doctrine established by Jesus Christ and His apostles, it is in grave error and is not building a true New Testament church. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 3:10-11. A “church” that is established and does not look like the church in Acts and does not follow the New Testament example, cannot have God’s approval, blessing or presence. This is why we have called for those who are truly following hard after Jesus Christ to understand that they are as a church, a remnant of True Christians, True Believers, True Followers and therefore are truly His Remnant Church of these Last Days.

In the coming weeks we will begin a study of the Church in Acts, the New Testament Church of Jesus Christ, from which we have inherited the call to accomplish the Great Commandment and Great Commission. We need a fresh understanding that the body of Christ today is truly descended from the Church in Acts, and should emulate it in faith, evangelism, discipleship and fellowship. Why? Because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome