10/31/17 Without Messiah’s Gift, How Can We Escape Punishment For Our Sins?

“Because we know that God has said these things to us, we must pay careful attention to what we have heard and learned.  Otherwise, we are in danger of being carried away from God, and even from our salvation, by the cares of this world.  If God’s commandments, which His angels helped to deliver to us, are the standard by which we are judged, and each and every time someone breaks a commandment, a punishment is assigned to be carried out at the day of judgment, how can we believe we can be granted entrance to Heaven based on our own merit?  If we choose to reject the free gift of complete salvation from the punishment for each and every sin ever committed by every single person ever to live on earth, there is nothing that can save us from the punishment awaiting us.  This is that salvation that God spoke of from the very beginning, and when Messiah came to us in human form, He explained it fully, illustrated with miraculous signs, and completed it in His death and resurrection on our behalf.  Those of us who were with Him throughout His work here now testify to what we have seen and heard, and by God’s grace we have been given power to do miracles like those Messiah did when He was here among us, and also have been given spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit, so that our testimony has the power of God behind it.”

 

Hebrews 2:1-4

Advertisements

10/30/17 Messiah Is Lord Over All

“But of Messiah, God’s Son, He said, ‘You are God, and you will reign on the throne for ever; Your rule makes everything right.  You love it when things are right, and hate it when things are wrong.  That is why God, Your God, poured fragrant oil on Your head, making You to be King, far above Your dear companions.’  Here, God is speaking of His Son as One who is equal with Himself, possessing His attributes, and given authority over all.  Again, God said of His Son, ‘You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.  They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed.  But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.’  He speaks of Messiah as eternal, living forever and never changing, even though the earth and the heavens that Jesus created alongside God will grow old and die.  Again, God says of Messiah, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’  Has He ever said anything like that to an angel?  Are angels not created beings just as we are, made to minister to God and His children who will receive an inheritance with Jesus through salvation?”

 

Hebrews 1:8-14, Psalm 45:6-7, Psalm 102:25-27, Psalm 110:1

10/29/17 Messiah Is Lord Over Angels

“Many people throughout history have been tempted to worship angels, sometimes even going so far as to believe them to hold a higher position than Messiah.  But we must remember that Messiah is the only begotten Son of God, whereas the angels are beings, created to worship and serve God and Messiah, just as we are.  Did anyone ever hear God say to an angel, ‘You are My Son, today I celebrate You?’  Or, ‘I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?’  These things God said to, and about, Jesus, the Messiah.  Again, speaking of the time when Messiah will return to judge the earth, God said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’  God said of the angels, ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire,’ saying that He created the angels to serve Him with speed and power.”

 

Hebrews 1:5-7, Psalm 2:7, 2 Samuel 7:14, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 97:7, Psalm 104:4

10/28/17 To The Hebrews: It All Points To Jesus

“God has revealed His plan for all of mankind to us from the beginning of time, but slowly, a little piece at a time, and in different ways to different people at different times.  He spoke to our forefathers through the prophets, but now He speaks to us through His own Son.  Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, heir to the throne of Heaven, ruler over all, through Whom God created Heaven and earth.  Jesus contains in Himself all the glory of God, and He is the image of God.  He alone was the sacrifice that paid for all the sins of every person who has ever lived and will ever live.  Once He finished His work here on earth, after confirming all that was revealed by God since the beginning of time and rising from the dead to forgive the sins of the world, He ascended into Heaven to sit at God’s right hand on the throne.  He is superior to the angels, because through His obedience to God, even to the point of a cruel and violent death on a cross, He has inherited the Name that is greater than any other – Son of God.”

 

Hebrews 1:1-4

10/27/17 Live For God, Unashamed

“So, my brothers and sisters, I want you to work daily towards your ultimate goal – being ready to stand before God at the throne of Heaven, unashamed of the peaceful life you have lived since Jesus forgave your sins and saved you from eternal death to eternal life.  Patiently endure whatever trials come your way, because you know that the reason God is waiting to bring the day of judgment is because He wants all people to have the opportunity to come to Him to be saved from their sins.  Remember that our beloved brother Paul wrote to you of these things in his letters to you as well, and spoke of the day of judgment often in all his letters.  God has given him great wisdom, and the ability to understand and to teach many things that are very difficult for God’s children to understand before they reach the Kingdom of Heaven.  But people who hear the things we teach and do not seek to understand them, especially those who do not have a strong faith in Jesus as their Messiah, will take what they hear and bend it to suit their own purposes, as they do with God’s Holy Scriptures, to lead others astray, destroying themselves in the process.  But you have been taught all these things, and your hearts know them to be true.  Since you already know what is to come, you can be ready when the time comes, standing firm in your faith, to battle against those who would lead you away from God.  I pray that every day your knowledge and understanding of God and of our Messiah Jesus would grow, as would your grace through Him.  All glory and honor belong to Him now and for all eternity.  Amen.”

 

2 Peter 3:14-18

10/26/17 Live In The Present, Looking To The Future

“When Jesus returns, He will come like a cat burglar in the middle of the night – suddenly, without warning, silently.  But like the aftermath of a burglary, when you realize things have been taken from you and your home is torn apart, the world will never be the same after Jesus comes to take His own to Heaven.  When the time comes for God to judge the world by fire, as He has said He will, everything will burn with a Heavenly fire, both the earth and all that we see in the sky, and with a loud noise all will be destroyed.  Because of this, since we know what is coming, how should you live?  Should you not live your lives in obedience to God, doing all things according to His will and with a heart filled with love and reverence for Him and His people?  Should you not always be ready for, and eagerly awaiting, the day when Jesus returns to take us Home with Him, the day that will precipitate that judgment by fire of the rest of the world and those who reject Him?  For after this will come a new Heaven and new earth, on which will live God’s people, ruled over by Jesus, in the presence of God.”

 

2 Peter 3:10-13

10/25/17 Remember

“My brothers and sisters, this is my second letter to you in a fairly short period of time, and in both letters I am appealing to the sincere nature of hearts and minds surrendered to the power of Jesus, in the hopes that I may remind you once again of things that you have previously learned from the prophets of old, and from my fellow apostles and me, in our Messiah.  Remember that from now until Jesus returns to bring His own to live with Him in Heaven, we are living in the days of the end of the world, and during this time, many skeptics will come who will ridicule our faith.  They will live their lives giving in to all their worldly desires, laughing at those who discipline themselves so that they may follow the commands of God and Jesus.  They will ask, “If He has promised to return, where is He?  Nothing has changed since the world began, though generations have died seeking God’s will.”  They conveniently forget that God created the Heavens and the earth by His Word alone, and that the world as it was first created was destroyed by God in the flood in the time of Noah.  Now the earth as it currently exists is sustained by that same Word of God, and He is patiently waiting till the right time to send judgment by fire upon those who reject Him.  But be certain of this, my brothers and sisters:  to God, one of our days on earth is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  Time does not mean the same to us as it does to God.  He will not forget His promise to come and take us to Him.  He is not stalling or procrastinating.  Instead, He is willing to put up with billions of people fighting against Him so that everyone gets the opportunity to learn about Him and to come to Him for forgiveness of their sins.  He does not want anyone to be lost to their sins forever, but wants all of us to turn away from sin and come to Him.”

 

2 Peter 3:1-9

10/24/17 The Pitiful State Of Those Who Listen To False Teachers

“When false teachers speak, they use fancy words that really mean nothing, luring people to them using lustful desires that are common to most people.  When those who are lured into their trap are Christians, these poor people who have just escaped from their slavery to sin are put right back into those chains when they believe the words of false teachers.  People are promised freedom but made slaves to sin – they forget that whenever someone is persuaded to follow another person, they become enslaved to that person.  And if they have come to believe in the saving grace of our Messiah, Jesus, but then become ensnared by the empty words of false teachers and abandon their faith in Jesus, they end up much worse off than they had been before coming to believe in Jesus as their Messiah.  It would have been better for them to never have known the truth that comes from God than to find that truth and turn their backs on it.  The proverbs, ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire,’ apply to them.”

 

2 Peter 2:18-22, Proverbs 26:11

10/23/17 The Fate Of False Teachers

“These false teachers do not understand what they are speaking out against.  They are like wild animals with no comprehension of what they are seeking to destroy, just lashing out savagely against what they perceive as a threat.  And like a wild animal that attacks a human, these false teachers will be destroyed.  Their own evil words and deeds will become the sword of the executioner against them.  Like people who are brazen enough to wreak their havoc in broad daylight, they will receive payment in full for their crimes.  They are stains against all that is good, reveling in their lies and sins, while drawing people in with lavish feasts.  They cannot stop themselves from sinning in every way, luring people who are susceptible to their guile into sinning with them, even into betraying their own spouses and families.  Their hearts know only evil, their desires are insatiable, and they are children of Satan.  They have turned their backs on God and all that is good, leaving the path that leads to life and following the path that leads to death.  Like Balaam, the son of Beor, they use the gifts God gave them for their own selfish purposes, thinking only of the financial benefits they could receive.  But Beor was held back from completing his mission of evil against Israel by a common donkey who was given, just for a moment, the ability to speak.  The false teachers are like dry wells, or like wispy clouds in a drought – they lure people in with the promise of refreshment for their souls, but their words are empty promises, never able to satisfy the thirst of those who come.  And their reward will be eternal darkness.”

 

2 Peter 2:12-17

10/22/17 God Is Not Blind To Sin

“Those angels that followed Satan into sin, God evicted from Heaven, exiling them to a place of darkness until the day of judgment for all creatures comes.  In Noah’s time, God saved Noah, the only person whose family still worshipped and respected Him, along with his wife, his sons, and his sons’ wives – eight people total – from the destruction that He sent on the whole rest of the world in the flood.  God saved Lot and his family out of Sodom before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, the two most wicked cities that ever existed.  Lot lived in Sodom for sixteen years, enduring daily the lecherous acts of its other citizens without succumbing to wickedness himself, before God brought destruction upon those two cities.  The cities are now a prime example of the evil of this world and what comes to those who practice such things, while Lot is an example of God’s salvation of those who resist the temptation to join the wicked in their deeds.  Look at these examples, and know that God is certainly ready, willing, and able to save those who trust in Him from the evil of this world, and to punish those who embrace evil on the day of judgment.  Sins of lust are especially hateful in God’s eyes, and those who succumb to the temptations of lust bring severe punishment upon themselves, both in this life and in the life to come.  They have not respect for God or for His creation, they spread rumors and lies about God and His people, even those in authority over them.  But angels, who have so much more power and strength than we humans do, speak honestly and respectfully of God, of those He places in authority, and would not even dare to spread rumors or lies about their enemies.”

 

2 Peter 2:4-11