Jesus gave a pretty serious warning in Matthew 7 when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven …” There are people, sitting in church every Sunday, who believe they are headed for heaven when they’re really in danger of hearing those words, “I never knew you, depart from me …”
Read today’s post to see what won’t save us. Don’t let pride or fear of what people might think keep you from seeking answers if you think that could be you!
Also, read about the importance of removing the logs from our own eyes before we can be any help to others in “Judging Hearts & Log Removal,” what it really means to live “Life on the Rock,” about “God’s Favor,” and from our Old Testament reading, “Why Did Sarah Laugh at the Promise of God?” and “The Outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah.”Continue reading →
Do you ever find yourself trying to help God out just a little? You believe He’s going to answer some prayer, but you keep trying to figure out how, and pretty soon, you’re trying to orchestrate one of those possibilities. Abram and Sarai had been given a great promise, but years had passed with no answer in sight and they took matters into their own hands. Unfortunately, just as it does in our lives, it led to all kinds of problems and revealed some things about their hearts.
In the process, they needed some reassurance from God. How about you? Do you need reassurance today … of His faithfulness, His goodness, or His trustworthiness?
We’ll also look at polygamy, a great passage on worry, God’s mercy and His wisdom for the upright. Continue reading →
Like all great books, the last chapters in God’s Word are “hold-your-breath” exciting. Today we’ll talk about “The King” who was born as a babe but will one day return in power and glory. The climax will be a great battle where the fighting will be so fierce that the blood will be four feet deep in places and cover an area of 200 square miles.
In the final days of the Tribulation, people will be given one last chance to hear and believe the gospel. An angel will offer them that chance and another will warn them that if they take the mark of the beast, their eternity will be sealed for all time.
Those of us who die before then must decide, too, because there’s no purgatory, no more opportunities to earn our ticket to heaven, no last chance to realize, “Oops, I made a mistake!” So we must choose wisely.
Speaking of great books, did you know that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time? Of course, it’s not just any book. It’s God’s revelation of Himself to mankind, penned by men, but breathed out from the heart and mind of God. How will you get to know this greatest of all books better?
Also, The MacArthur Daily Bible would make a great and reasonably priced last-minute Christmas gift or gift to yourself. It may be just the motivation you or someone else needs to get started reading the Bible regularly!
I pray that today will be a restful day without too many last-minute things to do. Let’s all remember to take time tonight and tomorrow to think about what it all means … which is so much more than all the commercial hustle and bustle. And I hope you will make time to attend a worship service if you haven’t already.
Imagine your loved one had been struck and killed by a drunk driver. And now that driver is standing before the judge. He’s sober now, but he’s haughty and unrepentant, even defiant. How would you feel if the judge said, “It’s OK. You’re free to go. No big deal”? You wouldn’t think he was good. You certainly wouldn’t think he was a righteous judge.
In reality, that driver would be worthy of death. But would a death sentence in a human court be the worst thing that could happen? Is there actually more than one kind of death?
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” (Matthew 7.21-23, NLT).
Strong words! What did Jesus mean? How can we know that we won’t hear those terrible words, “I never knew you”? Continue reading →
God had chosen the nation of Israel to be the people through whom He brought the promised Messiah. But He also wanted them to be a nation of priests and prophets who pointed others to the one true God. They were to be His missionary nation.
They not only failed to be His light to the world but instead followed the pagan nations around them into darkness. Now they were faced with His judgment.
Now it’s us, the church, who is to be salt and light. It won’t always be easy. Salt sometimes stings and darkness doesn’t like the light, but both are desperately needed. Will we be children of light or be swallowed up by the darkness? Continue reading →
Does salvation + time + knowledge = spiritual maturity? If not, where does it come from? From years of church membership? From learning how to use Bible software or getting 10 devotionals in your inbox? Does it come with a degree in theology? Or from attending Bible studies week after week? If not, what does it take? Continue reading →
Jesus called Satan the father of lies and He warned the religious leaders of His day that they were listening to the wrong voice. In the garden Satan sold Eve a bill of goods and in Jeremiah’s day, he spoke through false prophets who told the people that the consequences of their sin wouldn’t be so bad.
False teachers and false prophets are saying much the same things today. Others may propagate lies because they are misinformed and listening to the wrong voice themselves. Each of us is responsible to rightly divide the Word of God, to know how to study it and to examine what we hear in light of it. When we don’t we, too, can fall prey to the enemy’s lies. Continue reading →
If you died tonight, do you know that you would go to heaven? Do you truly understand what is meant by the Gospel? Maybe you do, but you still have doubts about your eternal destiny. Don’t leave your eternity to chance!
Verses 1-2, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
That is something we all need to remember as we witness to our friends and loved ones. We can’t “talk them into anything.” The power lies in the gospel and in God’s Word. We need to share the truth with them by pointing them to the Scripture.
Martha Peace, who wrote The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective, said that before she got saved her friends had told her to read the book of John, and to keep reading it until it made sense to her. She was depressed and pretty messed up, but she did. And one night after reading it several times, faith came alive in her heart!
We certainly don’t want to beat people over the head with the Bible, but we must realize that it is the Scriptures that contain the power of God for salvation!
If you died tonight?
What about you? Are you are reading this and wondering, “Would I go to heaven?” Please don’t push that thought away. Seek God about it. Pull out your Bible or get one. Begin reading the book of John. Ask God to reveal Himself to you. You can read more about the gospel and salvation here.
Or maybe you have been in church for a long time or you went when you were younger. Maybe you “prayed a prayer” once, joined a church, got baptized … but you still have doubts. The aging Apostle John said this about why God had him write the book of 1 John:
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 Jn. 5.13).
Did you notice that phrase? “…that you may KNOW”! God wants us to have confidence and peace in knowing that we belong to Him. He wants us to understand eternal security. Read more here. We can have eternal security, but it is not based on what we do, rather it is a faith transaction.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,9 not of works, lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2.8-9).
Leave me a comment and I will put you in touch with a solid biblical church in your area if you would like to talk to someone about your eternal destiny (I won’t publish your comment). Don’t leave your eternity to chance!
Today’s Other Readings:
Job 31 & 32:
If … If … If
Job ends his defense in chapter 31 with a series of “ifs.” If I had looked on a woman lustfully (Job 31.1, 9), if I had not been generous (Job 31.16-21), if I had treated my employees unfairly (Job 31.13), if I had trusted in wealth and not God (Job 31.24-25), if I had hidden my sin (Job 31.33), if I had stolen (Job 31.39), etc., then I could understand all this.
We are often a lot like Job. We think if we keep the law (at least our interpretation of it), God is obligated to bless us.
After Job and his three friends had stopped speaking, a younger friend, Elihu, says in effect, I can’t keep quiet any longer. I think you’re all wrong!