Riff's Christian Journal

A Layman's View Of Christian Theology

In Praise Of A Wife

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On the 3rd of January in 1969 I met Mary for the first time. Sixty five days later we were married. It has been forty-six years now since that day took place and it was the best decision I ever made.

As God has stated and as Jesus has confirmed, marriage was ordained by God to be between one man and one woman.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

God speaks in praise of a wife as we read in the following verses from Proverbs 31 and Proverbs 5.

Proverbs 31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
   For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
   So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
    All the days of her life.

27 She watches over the ways of her household,
   And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
     But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
    But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 5

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
   And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 And always be enraptured with her love.

My wife can definitely meet these statements, and more. I am more in love with my Mary now than at any time from when we first met back in 69. We have had our ups and downs, have been in sickness and mostly in good health, and we have even experienced poverty and in being in a state of not wanting or lacking anything that we needed. Even the desires of our hearts have been met as God has seen desirable to fulfill them.

When we put ourselves in the hands of God, and do as He says regarding life, much can be said of His blessing on the people who are willing to be obedient to His ways. God has given us His guidelines for what a marriage should be and anything outside of those limits He will not bless. For how can God go against His own laws of living life as He wills. To do so is to make a mockery of His knowledge and wisdom. Can man be more wise than God? Then why are we willing to seek what we want and not what He says is the right thing to do.

God put Mary and I together those many years ago and He has kept us together all along the way. We have been blessed by Him, guided by Him and loved by Him. What God has joined together, as He has with us, let not man separate.

I am still in love with the wife of my youth and I am still enraptured with her love. Her beauty is still as the first day that we met and my love for her is greater than ever. Yes, I have found a “virtuous” woman and I have been blessed with love far greater than anyone could dream. In fact, she was, and still is, the girl of my dreams.

My wife does fear the Lord, in ways that pleases God, and for that she does deserve praise. That is the reason for this post. As it is indeed written to be in praise of my wife…

 

Written by Glenn Riffey

March 9, 2015 at 1:00 am

Marriage – A Gift From God

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Ah, February! The month of Valentines and the month of love. What better way of celebrating this wonderful emotion than by looking at the moment when God planted the seeds of love in mankind.

During creation, “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1: 27, 28

In Genesis 1 God gives us an overview of His making of the male and female persons to populate the Earth and that they were to have dominion over it. Then in Genesis 2 we are told “how” God made them. 

Genesis 2: 7, 18, 21

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

When God created man he was not meant to be alone. He needed more. He needed someone to stand by his side to share life and to enjoy each other in ways that were only meant for a man and a woman. Their differences were such that coming together was natural and pleasurable both physically and emotionally. Knowing that a relationship of this nature could only be truly realized as a lifelong union, God created and ordained a covenant for them so that only through this ceremony could the two of them find true happiness and love.

In doing so God created marriage and we read what God’s purpose was for this union in Genesis 2: 24, 25:,

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The nature and makeup of a man and a woman is such that they can come together in a natural union, not only for procreation, but for the pleasure and enjoyment, both physically and emotionally, that only these two can experience. A man and a woman’s body were designed for this coming together in a natural and normal way.

Even Jesus knew this – as he is God in the flesh – and in Matthew 19: 4 we read where He says this:

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Even in Mark 10:6-8 Jesus tells us this:

But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Jesus knew that the true physical and emotional well-being of a man and a women could only be found in each other. Jesus not only affirmed this, but He also confirmed that God created a man and a woman to come together in one flesh, to bring life into the world and to enjoy each other in the confines of a marriage agreement between the two of them.

By God’s standards, a marriage is to be between a man and a woman. No matter what man says or does it can never rise to the level of being accepted by God, nor can God bless what He has not ordained should be. To do otherwise is just to make a mock-marriage and indulge in mock-sexuality.

I understand that you may say that God never meant for marriage to be this way. You may even say that you do not believe in God and will only do what “you” will.

You may even believe that God will bless some other union as long as “love” is involved.

If “love” is your answer, if “love” is the action upon which you make your decision, remember these sayings of Jesus. From John 14: 15, 21, 23. 24

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

You want to make “love” your guiding means of obedience? Jesus said:

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Who’s “love” will guide you, man’s or God’s (Jesus)? God knows what is best for us, and it is His will and command for marriage to be between a man and a woman. Anything else will never receive the blessing, understanding or love of God. The question you should answer is – who do you love more?

Yes, marriage is a gift from God, and God created the ones who will benefit from it. He created them male and female and blessed their union.

Written by Glenn Riffey

February 14, 2015 at 12:14 am

Be Reconciled To God

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A new year has come and with it comes the continuing promise by those of us who are Ambassador’s of God that forgiveness of sins is offered to all who will heed the call to be reconciled with God.

In 2 Corinthians 5: 20 we read the following:

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

All too often, people believe that everyone who dies will go to Heaven. Nothing is further from the truth. You see, sin in our lives have separated us from God, and in that separation God does not see us nor does He hear.

Isaiah tells us in his writings the following in 59: 1, 2

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

We are all sinful people. Just one sin, even just one little lie makes anyone a sinner who has been separated from God. Any wrong doing on our part has created a rift between us and the Creator of life – the Creator of you. But you have forsaken Him and have gone your own way to do your own thing and have walked away from God. You have created this separation and God, in His justice, has become angry with you and is hiding His face from you so that He cannot see your sinfulness.

In Palm 7:11 the writer has told us:

God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.

Think about that for a moment… God is angry with you because you have turned away from Him and have sought to do what “you” believe is right in your own eye instead of living in obedience to Him. Your sin has separated you from Him. You need to be reconciled to Him, to have your sins forgiven, in order to be made righteous in His sight and be given the right to spend eternity in Heaven.

Do not be deceived in your thinking that you are not a wicked person. For anyone who has sinned and done a wrong of any kind has committed a wicked thing before God. That is why God is angry with you and has turned His face and ear from you so that He cannot see nor hear your wickedness. You have separated yourself from God and have placed yourself on the path to spending eternity in Hell.

Please… do not refuse the hand of God in offering you salvation! In your sinfulness you cannot do anything to deserve forgiveness nor be given the right to enter Heaven. But God has done this for anyone who will obey the call to be reconciled to Him. You see, He has offered Jesus to us, to suffer the punishment that we deserve, to die for sins and to be resurrected from the grave to overcome death in order to provide eternal life for all who will call upon Him to be Lord of their life.

The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 10: 9, 10 the following:

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Being reconciled to God is as simple as confessing your sinfulness in proclaiming Jesus as Lord of your life, and by faith you must also believe that God the Father has raised Jesus up from the grave to provide eternal life for all who call upon the Lord. By proclaiming Jesus as Lord and believing in the resurrection brings you into a right standing with God. In short, whoever will call upon the name of the Lord Jesus for forgiveness will be reconciled to God.

Faith is a simple word, but only by faith can one be saved and be reconciled to God. It is in trusting in Jesus for salvation that provides forgiveness for sins; God hears and turns His face back to you. His anger against you is kindled and God will clothe you in the righteousness of Jesus to keep you safe from your sins and will give you peace in His love until He calls you home – to spend eternity in Heaven.

In Romans 5: 1 we read:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Imagine how glorious it must be to have peace with God. Only by being reconciled to God can anyone know this peace. Why would you not want to have this peace? I implore you to heed the call of God and cry out to Jesus for forgiveness. Proclaim Jesus as Lord and by faith believe that He has died for your sins, and that He has been raised from the dead to overcome death in order to provide you with eternal life in Heaven.

I emphatically implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. Make peace with God now through our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever calls upon the Lord Jesus will be saved.

 

Written by Glenn Riffey

January 4, 2015 at 12:05 am

Why A Savior?

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It is December and, of course, it is time to celebrate Christmas. Well, most of us do anyway. But, have you ever wondered why there was, or is, a need for a Savior?

In the Christmas story, where we find the babe lying in a manger because there was no room at the Inn, an angel of Lord came to some shepherds to announce to them about the birth. The story goes like this:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2: 8-14)

In verse 11 we read about the angel telling the shepherds that a Savior had been born. A Savior? Why a Savior? In short, a Savior is needed to save us from ourselves, because of what we are unable to do for ourselves.

To begin, we need to go back all the way to the book of Judges, to the very last chapter – Chapter 21 – and to the very last verse of the chapter – verse 25:

25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Look where it says, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” It does not say they did what was right in God’s eyes but in their own eyes. Very much like today.

The Old Testament is a story, albeit a true one, about God choosing a people for His own, and giving them the opportunity to prove that they could be obedient to Him and, by doing so, earn a place in Heaven. However they continued to show that this was not possible and they constantly sought to do their own will and not God’s. They could not be completely obedient to the Laws that God had given them; basically the Ten Commandments which was part of the covenant that God had made with them. In doing so, that is in doing what they saw was right in “their” own eyes, they gave evidence to God that they could not do anything to earn forgiveness for their sins and to be found worthy of acceptance into Heaven.

They would not do what God wanted of them, they desired to do what they felt was right in their own eyes; regardless of what God wanted.

In Hebrews 8: 8, 9 we read:

Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

If God’s chosen people could not continue in the agreed upon Covenant with Him, then how could anyone do so? The answer is they can’t. No one can. No one has and no one will ever do so. For that reason mankind, based on the continued disobedience of God’s chosen people, proved that because of their sin nature they would never be found acceptable in God’s sight and could never fulfill the righteous requirements of this same Covenant. Thus mankind was condemned to spend eternity in hell. Unless someone would stand in their place and fulfill the requirements of God so that we could be forgiven and find a place in Heaven for us.

In short, mankind needed a Savior!

In Romans 8: 1-4 we read:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For what the Law “could not do” Christ did for us in our place. Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law and because of that all who put their trust in Him will receive forgiveness for their sins and be found worthy of being accepted into Heaven based on what Jesus has done for us.

This is the Savior that we are told about in the Christmas story. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

That is why we were sent a Savior. Without one there would be no way to Heaven; we would all stand condemned before God for our sins. Jesus is the only way. He is the gate by which we must pass through in order to go into Heaven and go out into eternity with Him.

So, this Christmas be as the shepherds and believe in the miracle of the virgin born Savior. Come to Him with praise and thanksgiving and receive Him as your Lord and Savior. Be as the shepherds and hear the Heavenly multitude say:

“Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, and toward men good will.”

Why a Savior? Because we can do nothing to save ourselves. Jesus is that Savior. Come to the manger now and receive Him into your heart.

Written by Glenn Riffey

December 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Obedience Proves Your Faith

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So many people call themselves Christian yet by their life they say otherwise. Cheap grace has infected the Christian church due to the fact that so many people, although they say they are believers in the Gospel of Christ, are not showing their faith by their obedience to God. The excuse they give is they say that it is done out of love.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, said, Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.” This is a great example of what Christians are supposed to be doing when they declare their faith.

This is the same as when God tells us in James 2:18:

But some man might say, Thou hast the faith, and I have works: show me thy faith out of thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

In other words, if you say that you are a Christian what you do everyday, how you work out your faith in everyday living, should be proof that you are in deed a Christian. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, if you truly believe then you will be obedient in your service to Christ, and by your obedience you will show that you truly believe. However, so many so-called Christian choose not to be obedient because they say that they do so out of love. Love has become the all-inclusive reason for “not” being obedient to Jesus.

I love money so I will do whatever it takes to get it. I want to be with that person even if it is wrong because I love them. We don’t have to get married to have physical intimacy because we love each other. I will leave my spouse to be with another because I no longer love my spouse because I love that other person. These are just a few examples of disobedience because of love for something or someone other than Jesus.

Now I am not talking about or judging people outside of the Church as God will judge them. Who I am talking about are people who call themselves Christian but live a life of disobedience to the Word of God.

In John 14: 21 Jesus said the following:

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Jesus is very plain in saying that you truly show your love for Him by your obedience. Then He reinforces this statement with the following from verses 23 & 24:

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

The Bible is the Word of God. Christ is in the written Word. While there are commandments that were in the Old Testament that are not for today, they were only for certain individuals or for the People of Israel, there are commandments from both Testaments that we are to follow today if we are a Christian. And we are to put Jesus first in everything if we are to follow Him and show that we are true disciples. Jesus made this very clear in Luke 14: 26 & 33:

26: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

33: So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Using love as an excuse for being disobedient to the commands of Jesus is hypocritical. Our first and greatest love is to be Jesus. All other aspects of our life is to play off of that. Anyone we say that we love, any material thing that we say we love, any emotional feeling that we say that we love, no matter what we say that we love is to be second only to Jesus. The love that we have for Him should guide us into the love that we have for anyone or anything else.

So, how about you? Do you show that you believe in Jesus, and love Him, by your obedience to Him? Do you show your obedience because you truly believe in and love Jesus? How much do you really love Jesus more than anyone or anything?

The good thing is that it is never to late to repent. So much that is being taught in the Church these days is not from the Bible but from people who either should not be in the position of leadership, or are not even a Christian themselves, and are only teaching the commands of what man says that you should be doing.

All you need to do is to read the Bible for yourself, especially the New Testament, and submit to the teaching of the Holy Spirit as you read the Word, and you will find out what it is that you should and should not be doing in your change to loving and be obedient to Jesus above all else.

Remember, Jesus said that “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word“. Do you really love Jesus more than anyone or anything? Your obedience to Jesus will be the proof of that. Please, do not use love as an excuse for being disobedient. It will not get you into Heaven.

 

Written by Glenn Riffey

November 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm

When Is The Rapture – It Is Not The Movie

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So much is being said these days about an event happening to the Christian Church called “The Rapture”. However the teaching surrounding this particular view has only been around for about the past 150 to 200 years. It was never taught in the early Church at all. Without going into how this teaching came about, as time and space won’t allow, let us instead look at a parable that Jesus taught with a couple of supporting verses by the Apostle’s Paul and Peter.

In Matthew 13: 24 – 30 Jesus taught the following parable:

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Then in verses 36 through 43 Jesus was asked to explain this parable and here is what He said:

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

After reading this, what would your reaction be? When anyone always talked to Jesus and mentioned about the resurrection at the last day Jesus never corrected them. Why? Because He knew that this was, in fact, the right thing to say. The resurrection of believers and non-believers alike would occur on the last day; the Day of Judgment.

In 2 Thessalonians 1: 3 – 10 the Apostle Paul wrote the following:

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe,[a] because our testimony among you was believed.

Here Paul talks about God’s final judgment and glory. He talks about believers being patient and for keeping their faith in the face of persecutions and tribulations and for enduring until the coming of Christ, in flaming fire, Who will take vengeance on those who do not know God and will punish them with everlasting destruction. This all happens on the day that He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe. All of this is a one time occurrence that takes place on the last day – the Day of Judgment.

Looking at one last Scripture verse, the Apostle Peter, in 2 Peter 3: 7 and in verses 10 – 13 writes the following:

But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Peter is talking about the “day of judgement”, what will happen at that time, and why, and that this is something for which we should be looking. In short, the “day of judgment”, the “last day” and the “resurrection” all happen at one time. They are all one and the same.

As Jesus taught, and supported by both Paul and Peter, at the “end of the age”, which is the “last day” and “the day of Judgment” is also the day of “resurrection” for both the believers and non-believers alike. The non-believers (tares) will be gathered and thrown into the Lake of Fire and the Believers (wheat) “will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

As stated at the beginning, the teaching of the so-called “Rapture” entered into certain denominational teachings in only about the past 150 to 200 hundred years. Before that there was no teaching like this and the only teaching was a biblical one in that there was only going to be a one time event at the end of the age, or the end of time, also known as “last day”, the “day of resurrection” and the “day of judgment”.

On that day, the great day of the coming of the Lord Jesus, Believers in Him, both the dead and those who are alive will be raised up to be with Jesus and they will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. It is a day that the Apostle Paul said that Jesus will be glorified in His saints and will be admired among all those who believe, and the Apostle Peter said that this is a day that we should be looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

As Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (John 8: 47 Jesus tells us who they are who will hear)

Written by Glenn Riffey

October 12, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Are You Sure Of Your Call and Election?

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Many people call themselves a Christian. For many different reason they believe they are and even they who have “accepted?” Jesus as their personal Savior are sure that they are going to Heaven, even though the life they live does not show it. In Matthew 7: 21 – 23 Jesus says the following:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Now why would Jesus say this if everyone who calls Him “Lord” is saved? Is it because many people believe that because they have answered an alter call of some kind and have “accepted” Jesus as their personal Savior, and go on with their life believing that they have been forgiven and that God loves them just as they are? In most cases, Yes! The Apostle Peter knew this and in his letter (2 Peter 1: 5 – 11) the Apostle wrote the following:

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Peter reminds those, who say they have obtained like faith, that if you are a follower of Jesus then these characteristic should be apart of their lives. If not, they are blind and unfruitful in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus. They may not be true followers at all. For this reason Peter reminds them about this and tells them that they should make sure that the calling they say they have received is because of God’s election of them and not because of some action they took to receive salvation; to make sure that their works and actions will show their faith and that they have been cleansed from their sins. What Peter reminds these followers basically is the same thing that Jesus preached to they who were following Him while He was on the earth. Just because someone has “accepted” Jesus as their personal Savior does not necessarily prove that they are true-born again, called by God, followers of the Lord Jesus. In fact they really are not Christians, elected of God, but workers of lawlessness blinded by their unfruitful works and not realizing that their religiosity is just for show; much like what the Pharisees of the time were doing. They were relying on their works and not on what Jesus has done for them. How about you? Maybe you should take a look at your life, your works, the fruits of your salvation and to check to make sure that your life does show your call and election is sure and real. It would be a terrible thing to hear after death the words of Jesus, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Now is the time to find out the truth of your salvation. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Written by Glenn Riffey

September 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

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