Christianity

DON’T FORGET THE ONE WHO ALLOWS US TO MAKE THE MEMORIES

As a family centered individuals we strive to avoid forgetting to make important memories by taking family vacations, by having over friends for a meal, or by watching our children grow older and going to their school and extra-curricular activities and seeing them graduate and succeed on various levels in life. But while we strive to avoid forgetting to make these memories, are we forgetting the one who allows us to make them?

When it comes to making the most important memories of life, David once penned the importance of remembering God by saying:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:” (Psalm 102:1-2)

As our culture rushes on, as our lives continually become fleeting and the memories that we have made increasingly become a thing of the past, we would all do well to presently remember the Lord God who calls us to love him with all of our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).

At the end of the day no picture of our youth, our wedding, our children, our first home, our vacations, our vehicles or any “good time” can replace the memory of not forgetting the one who allows those memories to be made. EA 

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” (Deuteronomy 8:11-19)

What words will describe you?

What will our eulogy sound like?

Will it only be filled with words like:

  • kind
  • loving
  • smart
  • rich
  • patient
  • diligent
  • industrious
  • honorable
  • sweet
  • giving

Or will it include words like:

  • good
  • faithful
  • servant

While a lot of descriptions may go a long way with people at the end of our life, only a few words will take us into eternity with the Lord.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:23

You Don’t Need the Book of Mormon to Know the Truth of God

If asked why it took approximately 1,800 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the book of Mormon to be revealed the Mormons will respond by saying that the world was not ready for the truth. But is that true? Was the world living without the truth, the whole truth of God’s revealed word until the “hidden” books that make up the book of Mormon were revealed in 1827? Contrary to what the Mormon Church teaches, the answer is a resounding no!

The Bible itself testifies that the entirety of God’s truth for all of mankind was going to be revealed, and that in fact it had been entirely revealed, proclaimed and received before the end of the first century A.D.

And how can we be sure that this happened? Because Jesus told his apostles that “…when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth….” (John 16:13) and this is why:

  • Jude, in the first century, told his readers to contend earnestly for the faith which had been once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)
  • Peter, in the first century, told his readers that God had provided all things that were necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
  • James, in the first century, told his readers that they had been born again by the word of truth (James 1:18)
  • John, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth, were filled with truth and were walking in the truth (2 John 1-4)
  • Paul, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth of God’s grace and word through the gospel which had been preached to all under heaven (Colossians 1:5-6, 23-28)

Jesus kept his promise, and the Holy Spirit fulfilled his mission by the end of the first century as the testimony of God’s true apostles and prophets testify within the Bible’s pages which were recorded and preserved by the providence of God many centuries before some supposed “angel surrounded by light” ever uttered a word (see Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
The book of Mormon is not needed to know the truth of God because the truth of God is not found in the book of Mormon, for the truth of God’s true kingdom is only found in one testament – and that’s the books which make up the New Testament of Jesus Christ in the Bible, a testament that has no need for any “other” testament, hat’s down!

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

Jesus Saved Before Church Built?

“Dear brother Clem: Since you claim that one must be in the church to be saved, and that the church was established in Acts 2, then Jesus Christ could not have been saved, for he died before the church was established. How do you get around this fact? – V.W., KY”

“This fact” – as it is called, is not a fact at all. First of all, Jesus never sinned, and therefore was never lost, so He did not need to be saved. Second, He promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), and He purchased that church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). So the church could not have been “purchased” before the death of Jesus. Jesus is the head of that church, which is His body (Ephesians 5:23), and He is the Savior of that body. Not only that, but He is the Savior of all who are saved (2 Timothy 1:10). When one is saved, the Lord adds Him to His church (Acts 2:47). Christ is the head of that church, so He never needed to be added to it.

The time of the establishment of the church has nothing to do with the salvation of Jesus. He could not have been saved before or after Pentecost, in or out of the church. ThatChurchPurchasedWithBlood which is not lost cannot be saved. Jesus had no sin, else He could not have redeemed us: “Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And again, “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:21-22). Had Jesus been guilty of sins, He could not have cleansed us from our sins. Had He stood in need of salvation, he could not have become our Savior. Jesus was not saved before, nor after Pentecost, for He had no sin and thus had no need for salvation. - Clem Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 63, Number 22 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Co-Editor, David Thurman, Co-Editor.

The Value of a godly Grand-Parent

Godly grandparents are an uncommon commodity. They share the one thing that each new generation needs – advice learned through experience.

This is one reason why Proverbs 16:31 says, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.”

Few parents like to be told how to raise their child, but advice asked for and advice needed is two different things.

When it comes to advice needed, godly grandparents need to do three things:

  • remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus
  • remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus
  • remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus

Do these three things and grand will only begin to describe your value. EA

The heritage of the good man is handed down to his children’s children; and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the upright man.” (Proverbs 13:22 – BBE)

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Do we have a direct line to the Divine when it comes to morality?

Hillary Clinton, in a recent interview about the evolution of her view on homosexual marriage with Terry Gross, host of NPR’s “Fresh Air”,  said:

One of my big problems right now is that too many people believe they have a direct line to the divine and they never want to change their mind about anything,

Well one of my big problems with that is when it comes to homosexual marriage and its morality we do have a direct line to the divine – it’s called the word of God (a.k.a. the Bible).

As surely as the word of God reveals his righteousness (Romans 1:16-17) it also reveals the sin that violates it (1 John 5:17). And as surely as the word of God contains the answer to sin (1 John 2:1) it also contains the sins that create the need for an answer (Romans 1:18-32; Galatians 5:13-26; Colossians 3:1-10; Revelation 21:5-8, 22:10-15) which includes the sin of homosexuality.

The problem doesn’t come from not knowing whether or not we have “a direct line to the divine” – it’s that people are ignoring what they hear when they pick up the phone! EA 

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Jesus is THE King of God

From the beginning God sought to rule and reign over his people, even warning them about the harsh leadership of an earthly king, but the people still rejected the leadership of God, along with his prophets and priests, for a king in the flesh (Deuteronomy 17:8-20 and 1 Samuel 8).

With an unchanging path chosen and knowing what, and who, was to come (Genesis 49:10), God made a covenant with king David concerning his household and the throne; a covenant which promised an established throne – a dynasty to the extent that the descendants of David would always sit upon the throne as the king of God’s people (2 Samuel 7:1-17).

Approximately 1,000 years later, One had arrived, of the house of David, born in the city of David to rule from the throne of David (Luke 1:26-35, 2:1-11), but once again Israel rejected God as their king, and in their attempt to blend in with the nations like their ancestors (John 18:33-19:15) they unwittingly helped God’s promise to David come to fruition. For this rejected and crucified king would later ascend to the right hand of God to reign forever from the throne of David in Heaven (Acts 2:22-36), and Jesus, the king of God, is his name. EA

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”  (1 Timothy 6:12-16)

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Jesus is THE priest of God

From Genesis to Revelation you’ll find it – the word priest.

From Melchizedek (meaning king of righteousness) to Aaron (meaning light-bringer) to the individual members of God’s kingdom today (meaning Christians), the Lord has used people, people of his choosing, people known as priests, to represent, serve and fulfill his purpose.

Called to be holy in every dispensation, the role of every priest was not meant to be substitutionary in regards to man’s relationship with God – rather the purpose was meant to be more of an intermediary. The priest represented the people to God and God to the people in matters of personal holiness, devotion and sin.

But limited by mortality, imperfect due to immorality and constrained by legality, the role of every God-fearing priest pointed and looked forward to the office of the One who would not be restrained by time, by personal imperfections or by a law that could not render a soul perfect – namely Jesus: called after the order of Melchizedek, serving in a higher tabernacle than that of Aaron and able to represent to the uttermost those who come to God through his own sin atoning sacrifice.

And God has it made it clear that Jesus is the priest of God, the perfect meeting point, and there is no representation without him (Hebrews 7-9). EA

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Jesus is THE prophet of God

Moses told the people of God that a prophet was coming – a prophet whose words would carry with them a weight that would be remembered by God for all eternity (Deuteronomy 18:15-19John 12:48).

This coming prophet would continue to be the cornerstone, central focus and continuing hope for the people of God for nearly 1,500 years until there was a fervor amongst the angels and prophets of God – a fervor that had never before been seen over the birth of such a seemingly insignificant child (Luke 1:59-80, 2:8-38).

The prophet of God had arrived!

Never failing to know any man, but recognized by so few (John 1:45-48).

Never failing to speak the right word, but rarely heard (Matthew 11:1-6).

Never failing to invite near the far off, but hardly received (Matthew 11:28-30).

Yet the prophet preached – and he preached with words that shape and shake humanity to this day (Luke 9:22-26).

Who is this prophet, the prophet of all the prophets of God?

It is none other than Jesus of Nazareth – the prophet to whom all other prophets and people will bow (John 5:39-47Philippians 2:5-11). EA

The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:36-43)

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Graduates of 2014, as you prepare for this new time in your life…

…remember to walk behind Jesus as you chase your dreams (Luke 9:23).

…remember that no amount of money is worth your soul (Matthew 16:26).

…remember that the Bible is more valuable than any other book that you can study (Psalm 119:105).

…remember to be grateful because every good gift comes down from God (James 1:17).Graduate

…remember that you can see the same people as you climb up the ladder that you see climbing down it (Matthew 7:12).

…remember that you can get knocked off your ladder (James 4:6).

…remember to make a difference if you have the ability to do so (Proverbs 3:27-29).

…remember that you can’t learn it all, but you can learn what God’s will for your life is (Ecclesiastes 12:9-14).

…remember, odds are, the person you become over the next few years will be the person you become the rest of your life (Galatians 6:7-8).

…remember that life is no joke, get ready to work (Proverbs 28:13-14, Ecclesiastes 11:4).

…remember, if you think I’m old, you will be two years older than me by the time my daughter graduates! EA

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

(James 4:13-17)