Friday, October 31, 2014


Even though born again believers in Christ Jesus are trusting in the prophetic promises of God concerning our future, most of us are very troubled by news of what is going on in the world.  We have been so sheltered from what goes on every day in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, and to think those things are now occurring in Australia and North America, causes great fear. 

Muslims are taking over cities in our nation, "home-grown terrorists" are murdering as many as they can before "dying for Allah," beheadings are occurring in Australia and here in our country. All the while, our government continues to allow millions of illegal aliens to enter our borders, not knowing how many are terrorists.  Our brilliant leaders have even brought Ebola patients "home" to our shores, foolishly guaranteeing that we have nothing to fear. 

I could go on and on about the economy, abortion, failure to support Israel, etc., but I think you have the picture of what is the "beginning of sorrows."  And yet, the same Bible that predicted these events, also contains wonderful promises for the Body of Christ.  When the worst happens, born again believers will be gone!  God has promised to keep us from His wrath soon to be poured out (Rom. 1:18; 2:8; 5:9; 13:4; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; 1 Th. 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; Rev. 3:10; etc.).

God, to those who trust Him, has offered peace in the face of trials and tribulation, because that is His very character.  Here are a few verses to encourage His children: 

"Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen" (Rom. 15:33).

"And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen" (Rom. 16:20).

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you" (Phil. 4:8-9).

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Th. 5:23-24).

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Heb. 13:20-21).

Peace is ours when we believe in the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6)!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


"That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus Himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing Him. He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” “What things?” Jesus asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and He was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed Him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified Him. We had hoped He was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said His body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, His body was gone, just as the women had said.”

Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if He were going on, but they begged Him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So He went home with them. As they sat down to eat, He took the bread and blessed it. Then He broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And at that moment He disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of Me" (Jn. 5:39).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Recently, there has been much criticism of the Roman Catholic Church, especially since Pope Francis became the spiritual leader of the billion plus Catholics.  Admittedly, his positions on gays, abortion, creation, evolution, etc., are far from Roman Catholic tradition.  He is even quoted as saying one does not have to believe in God, or His Christ, in order to go to heaven; atheists, as long as they obey their consciences, will be there too.  He is wrong!  His views do not match God's Word, nor do they harmonize with the teachings of the Roman church throughout its history.

That being said, Catholic-bashing seems to be all inclusive; it is aimed at ALL Catholics, and arrogantly declares they are ALL going to hell if they do not get saved.  My question is, how do they know no Catholics are born again?  A better question might be:  "How do you know YOU are saved?"  To me, here is the test.  Do you believe the following verses?

Romans 10:9-10 says, "That 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."

As a Catholic, I was taught that Jesus was to be my Lord, and I was taught that God, the Father, raised Him from the dead. I believed it then, as I do now.

Regardless of church doctrines that are inconsistent with the Word of God, the basic Gospel is there. Most Catholics believe that the Father raised their Lord Jesus from the grave; that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, including them; so then who has the right to say they are not saved?

All Christian denominations err! None have perfect knowledge of all that God has revealed. Does that mean all who worship with those various denominations are going to hell?

I believe there are far more saved Catholics than apparently most on Facebook do, and I also believe there are far fewer Baptists, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. members going to heaven than members of those churches do.

When I die, I will notice many missing from heaven that I thought would be there. I will also notice many there that I never dreamed would. And when I look into the face of Jesus, I am sure I will be shocked that I am there (1 Jn. 3:2)!  Here what Romans 10:13 says:

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Ephesians 1:1-14 (KJV)

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God ... to the faithful in Christ Jesus:  grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:  having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. 

In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:  that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:  in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will:  that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory."
Ephesians 1:1-14 (NLT)
"This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to (the) ... faithful followers of Christ Jesus.  May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.
He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ - everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.
God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He
promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him."

Monday, October 27, 2014


Shortly after discovering what a fool I was as an atheist and becoming a born again believer by faith in Jesus Christ, I found a Bible verse that impressed me so much, that I decided it was to be my "life verse."  It was Ezra 7:10, which says, "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments."  The reason I chose this verse, was because I saw it a goal for my life. 

It was not only a good plan, but I thought it would insure that my life would be without hypocrisy.  I believed, and still do, that the order of the verse should be the model for every believer.  One begins his or her walk with the Lord, by desiring to know His will.  Once one knows what God wants for his or her life, he or she should determine to do His will.  It is only then that the believer has the right to teach God's will to others.

It did not take long for me to discover that even when I knew His will, my human nature still had a will of its own.  Like the Apostle Paul, this "insignificant Paul" struggled to be obedient.  He summed it up quite nicely in Romans 7:15-25!  Born again believers will never completely overcome sin in our lives, as long as we still live in this flesh.

Years passed, and I came across a verse that, at least for me, was a more accurate description of my relationship with God.  1 John 3:2 says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."  I no longer "determined anything."  I no longer fell for Satan's lie that teachers of the Bible had to be perfectly sinless. 

Ezra 7:10 had been a verse that, had I been successful in following it, would have led to pride!  It was Me determining to please God so that I could feel good about myself.  Here, in 1 John 3:2, we find a verse that is not speaking of our works, but speaks of our hope and faith!  It goes along with the teaching of Philippians 1:6, which says, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  It is not my foolish, prideful determination that transforms me, but His promise that He will do it in me!

Thank God my being Christ-like is His job - it will be done right!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Yesterday, I said that believers are to proclaim the Gospel, the message from God (that has the power of God within it to save the lost) to every creature (Rom. 1:16; 10:17; Mk. 16:15).  Why?  Because "The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).  In other words, God desires all of mankind to believe the Gospel and be saved!

Matthew's Gospel basically says the same thing; he wrote:  "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Mt. 28:19-20).  I pointed out that, following a person's declaration of faith in the Gospel message that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, and the Father raised Him from the dead, he or she was to be baptized (1 Cor. 1:17).

There are some denominations which teach that baptism is necessary for salvation to occur.  While I believe born again believers should publicly declare their faith in Jesus Christ through baptism, I do not believe it is required for a person to be saved.  First of all, the verses above indicate that baptism follows salvation.  Secondly, by carefully reading Mark 16:16, we see that it is faith that saves, and not baptism.  Mark wrote:  "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."  Note that it is man's failure to believe that causes him to remain lost, not his failure to be baptized.

Another thing about which the Church is negligent in proclaiming, is the Trinity!  The Gospel specifically mentions two members of the Trinity:  Jesus, and His Father!  Paul wrote:

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand ... how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

But Paul also clearly taught that it was God who raise up His Son Jesus (Rom. 4:24; 6:4; 7:4; 8:11; 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:15; 2 Cor. 4:14; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12; 1 Th. 1:10; 2 Tim. 2:8; etc.)!  In addition, the Holy Spirit participated in Christ's Resurrection; Paul also wrote: 

"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:11)!  And, "We having the same Spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you" (2 Cor. 4:13-14)!

Willingness to be baptized in the names of the Trinity,
logically suggests one believes in the Trinity.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


* Jesus commanded His disciples preach the Gospel - Mk. 16:15 - "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

* The Lord called men to preach the Gospel - Acts 16:10 - "And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them."

* The Gospel has the power to save those who hear it - Rom. 1:16 - "So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also.  For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

* Those who preach the Gospel are to be led by the Holy Spirit - Rom. 10:15 - "And how shall they preach, except they be sent?  As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

* The Gospel is to be preached to non-believers - Rom. 15:20 - "Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation."

* While the Lord wants believers to be baptized, in order to be saved, they need to hear the Gospel message and be saved before being baptized - 1 Cor. 1:17 - "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

* Gospel preachers are empowered by the Holy Spirit; the glory is His; and God forbid that a believer fail to share the Gospel when led to do so - 1 Cor. 9:16 - "For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of:  for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!"

The Gospel - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: 

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand....For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;  And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures!"

Friday, October 24, 2014


Born again believers are always talking about "salvation" (at least they should be!), but to the lost world, the meaning of the word is not always clear.  In the biblical sense, "salvation" is the work of the Lord on behalf of those who believe and trust in Him (Gen. 49:18; Ps. 40:10; Rev. 7:10; etc.).  But from exactly what is one saved?  God's wrath!

All of us are sinners (Rom. 3:23).  The penalty for our sin is death, which will be followed by God's judgment (Rom. 6:23a; Heb. 9:27).  Of course, even born again believers die, but the Scripture is not speaking about physical death.  The penalty for sin is a spiritual death, which is also known as the "second death" (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8).   

The good news is, God has offered us a means to escape, to be saved from the sentence of spiritual death (Rom. 5:8; 6:23b).  Jesus offered us salvation by allowing Himself to be crucified and to be buried, knowing that His Father would raise Him from the dead (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27; 13:35; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; etc.)!  One need only to pray for God to save him by simply calling upon the Lord Jesus, and believing that God, as evidenced in His raising Jesus from the dead, is willing to accept His sacrifice on our behalf (Rom. 10:9-13).

Salvation is a gift from God, period!  The Apostle Paul wrote:  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).  When we believe the message that God loved us and sent His Son to die in our place; when we trust Him; when we take Him at His Word, we are saved (Jn. 3:14-18)! 

Religionists cannot fathom this simple truth.  They believe it is possible to earn God's good favor.  The problem is, the Bible does not call us to be religious.  It calls us to believe and trust in God!  We are called to trust God 134 times in the Bible!  God calls us to believe in Him 131 times in the Scriptures!  Religion is mentioned in three places in the Word of God, and all three reveal its inability to save one's soul (Acts 26:5; Gal. 1:13-14; Jam. 1:26-27).

Faith that saves, is the result of believing and trusting in God! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014


"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
This verse has been used millions of times on Christmas cards, and while it is easy to see that the beginning of the verse refers to Jesus being born, the rest of the verse has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. The birth narratives, the genealogies, and the themes of the Synoptic Gospels do not focus upon Jesus as God; instead, they emphasize different aspects of His identity: [Mt. 2:2 - Israel's King; Mk. 10:45 - God's Servant; and Lk. 19:10 - Son of man]. It is not until John's Gospel that the Deity of Christ is the focus (Jn. 1:1, 14). And yet, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, Isaiah saw the promised Messiah as being God. He called Him:

Wonderful Counselor: The only time the New Testament describes Jesus as a Counselor is found in Revelation 3:18. Not only was He no longer a new born child, by the time of John's vision, He had been crucified, buried, resurrected, ascended, glorified, and seated at God's right hand. If Jesus is to be called Wonderful Counselor, it is due to His unity with the Holy Spirit, who was sent to indwell born-again believers from Pentecost until today (Jn. 14:16-20; 16:7; Acts 2:4).

Mighty God: Jesus declared to His disciples that He and the Father are one (Jn. 10:30; 17:22; 1 Jn. 5:7). Thomas called Jesus, "My Lord and my God" without being rebuked (Jn. 20:28). And while most claiming to be Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator God, all mankind will know it when He returns (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; Rev. 20:1-15).

Everlasting Father: As I mentioned above, Jesus claimed to be one with the Father. He said, "If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him" (Jn. 14:7). The writer of Hebrews said of Jesus, "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3).

Prince of Peace: This one may be the easiest to show these titles are referring to Christ's role as an adult. Jesus, Himself, said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword/division (Mt.. 10:34; Lk. 12:51). Nowhere in the New Testament is He called the Prince of Peace. Yet His role as the Lamb of God provides for peace between God and sinful man, a fact already determined before the world was created (Jn. 1:29, 36; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8). And therein may lie the key to understanding how the baby Jesus could be described by these four titles; they are prophetic titles of what The Child would accomplish during His short sojourn with fallen man.

Thanks be to the Father for sending Jesus Christ for me!
Thanks be to the Son for offering Himself to pay for my sin!
Thanks be to the Spirit for convincing me of the Gospel! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


The Jehovah's Witnesses believe in a Jesus.  The Mormons believe in a Jesus.  Even the Muslims believe in a Jesus.  But does that mean they are saved?  NO!  Why?  Because they err in their understanding of who Jesus is.  None of them believe Jesus is eternally God.  The Jehovah's Witnesses and the Muslims deny His deity altogether, and the Mormons believe that, like God Himself, Jesus began as a man, and He has been "promoted" to be a God.  In case you didn't get that, they believe Father God was once a man! 

Ironically, Satan and his devils know exactly who Jesus is!  The Word of God says in Matthew 8:29, that when Jesus approached two men who were possessed by devils, the devils cried out, "What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God?  Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?"

Proverbs 30:4 says, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?  Who hath gathered the wind in His fists?  Who hath bound the waters in a garment?  Who hath established all the ends of the earth?  What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if thou canst tell?"

John 3:16-18 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.  He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

In Matthew 3:17, we read:  "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is  My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."  Again, in Matthew 17:5, we read:  "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."

Jesus IS God - Jesus is the Creator (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; etc.).  Jesus forgave sin; only God can forgive sin (Mt. 9:1-8).  Jesus accepted worship; only God is to be worshipped (Mt. 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9; Jn. 20:28; etc. / Mt. 4:10; Lk. 4:8; etc.).

To be saved, one must accept Jesus for who He is:  LORD (Rom. 10:9-10)!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


One of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible is John Nine. We are told that Jesus saw a blind man. We don't know who he was, but Jesus gave much attention to him. When asked why he had been born blind, Jesus told His disciples that his blindness was not due to his sin; after all, can a baby sin?  He also tells them that God wasn't punishing the man's parents for their sin, but that the man was born blind for a special purpose. God, knowing that His Son would one day heal him, and that in so doing, provide proof of His Son's identity, determined that he should be born blind. This sounds like a very cruel thing to do, but in all honesty, most of us would be willing to suffer and even die to be used of God for His glory.

After Jesus healed him, all those who knew him, and knew that he was born blind, were faced with a decision. They would have to acknowledge that Jesus had healed him, or that it was the devil trying to fool them. While they debated his true identity, the man testified that he had been blind, but that a man named Jesus had healed him (v. 11). Later, when asked by the Pharisees who had healed him, he responded in verse 17 that Jesus was a prophet. The religious leaders, not being satisfied with his answer, summoned his parents to verify his identity. Apparently the parents, and perhaps by this time the man himself, knew He was the long awaited Messiah, the Christ, but none of them dared to say it (v. 22). When asked again, the man questions them as to whether they, too, wanted to be the Christ's disciples (v. 27); and, "If this man were not of God, He could do nothing" (v. 33).

When Jesus heard that the religious leaders had cast him out, He went to the man and asked him if he believed on the Son of God. Not knowing that it was Jesus, he said, "Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him ?" When Jesus identified Himself, the man worshiped Him. Jesus had gone from being just a man, to being a prophet, to being the Christ, to being the Son of God, and finally, the man knew Jesus was God, for only God was to be worshiped (Ex. 20:2-5; Mt. 4:10).

At what stage of awareness are you? Born again believers know Him as Lord. 
And as such, He is worthy of our obedience and worship.

Monday, October 20, 2014


The Bible speaks of new beginnings many times.  The first book, Genesis, is named for the beginning, and starts out with, "In the beginning...."   In Chapter Four, we are told that men began to call upon the name of the Lord (YHVH).   It took three generations before man understood his need for God's help.  Adam's son, Seth, had a son, Enosh, and only then did man begin calling on the Lord.  We are such slow learners.

The Gospel of John starts with the same three words: "In the beginning...."  The next word(s) in Genesis One, and in John One, describe the same person, but the Lord used different ways to say it.  In Genesis, it is "God." In John, it is "was the Word."  To those unfamiliar with the Bible, "the Word" is a title for Jesus.   If one reads the entire first verse of John, it is clear that Jesus is God;  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."   Then in verse fourteen, John tells us that "...the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth."

So did Jesus begin at the moment of His conception, at His birth, or some other time?  The answer is that He did not have a beginning!   He is God, and God is eternal.  Over and over again, Jesus speaks of being with the Father before the foundation of the world, which by the way, Jesus created (Jn. 1:1-3; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; and Heb. 1:1-2).   He told His opponents that He lived before Abraham (Jn. 8:58).   And, in John 17:5, Jesus prays to the Father and says, "And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."  The Son of God had no beginning, but He chose to become a man in order to die for us (Phil. 2:5-8).  And because He made that choice, you and I can have a new beginning.  Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, that when we believe in Christ, we become a new creature (creation).  We begin a new life, a new life that will have its final change when we see Jesus and are immediately changed into His likeness (1 Jn. 3:2).

On October 7th, my eldest grandson, at the age of twenty-nine, entered into the presence of God.  Because he had believed the Gospel that says Jesus died for his sin, that He was buried, and that He rose again, according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4), Corey was transformed into Christ's likeness!  He no longer struggles with the trials and temptations of this world, but is now experiencing that for which all born again believers long:  the peace and joy of being in the presence of Almighty God!

If you were to die today, would your loved ones know you are with Jesus?

Sunday, October 19, 2014


"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.  We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.  For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.  While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us.  Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.  God Himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee He has given us His Holy Spirit.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.  For we live by believing and not by seeing.  Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.  So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please Him.  For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.  We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. 

Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others.  God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too.  Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart.  If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.  And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.  Either way, Christ’s love controls us.  Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.  He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves.  Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.  At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view.  How differently we know Him now!  This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ.  And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.  For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.  And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.  So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us.  We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!"  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."

This is the Word of God; faith that saves, is the result of believing His Word!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


*** (1 Cor. 1:7) "...eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."

*** (Phil. 3:20) "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior...."

*** (Col. 3:4) "When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."

*** (1 Th. 1:10) "...and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead...."

*** (1 Tim. 6:14) "That you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing."

*** (2 Tim. 4:8) "Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."

*** (Titus 2:11-13) "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."

*** (Heb. 9:28) "So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation."

*** (Heb. 10:37) "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry."

*** (Jam. 5:8) "You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand."

*** (1 Pet. 1:13) "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

*** (1 Jn. 3:2) "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."

*** (Rev. 22:20) "He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' 

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

Friday, October 17, 2014


It may be possible to ascertain whether or not a person is a Christian by asking him the same question the Apostle Paul asked in Galatians 3:2 - "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?" After all, the Lord had said that a man must be born of the Spirit to be saved (Jn. 3:3-8). He told His disciples that the Spirit would dwell within them (Jn. 14:17). Jesus told them that they were to wait for the Spirit who would make them witnesses for Him (Acts 1:4; 1:8). Notice that the sequence is wait, then work. There was nothing they were to do but simply wait.

But someone might say, "Isn't waiting works? Isn't it doing something?" The answer is yes. However, one does not follow instructions unless one believes the person giving them deserves to be obeyed. And one does not obey a person unless there was already a decision to submit to the authority of that person. Therefore, works follow faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 speaks of salvation being a gift from God, and says that being saved is not by doing works. Ephesians 2:10 says that those who have received salvation should do the work God intends for them to do. Works do not save us, salvation is a gift.

And, it is not always easy to tell who is, or who is not, saved by observing their works. Religions require works for salvation. The difference is, their works are done to merit their salvation, while the Christian understands there is nothing he can do to earn it. Man's effort to clothe himself in righteousness is doomed from the start, for all his righteous acts are compared to "filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6). For religions, good works lead to salvation; Christianity teaches that salvation leads to good works.

A perfect example of the futility of looking at someone's works to determine if they are a Christian, is given in Luke 10:38-42. If those present at the visit of Jesus to the home of Mary and Martha were asked which of the two was saved, the religious person might say, "Martha," while the Christian might say, "Mary." Both could be wrong. Martha could have been either trying to earn the Lord's love, or she could have been working because of her love for the Lord. Mary could have been worshiping at the feet of Jesus, or she could have been seeking instruction on how to be saved. It is clear that by the time Jesus arrived in Bethany in response to word that Lazarus had died, both believed in Jesus (Jn. 11:1-32). Mary believed that had Jesus come earlier, He could have prevented her brother's death (vs. 32), but Martha believed Jesus had the ability to raise her brother even though he had dead (vs. 21-27). Both were saved, but it was the "worker" who had the greater understanding of who Jesus was.

The moral of the story is, it is impossible to determine who is saved and who is not. The lost do good works to be saved; the saved worship by doing good works. Only God knows a person's motive, and therefore, only God knows who is saved and who is not.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Paul wrote, "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.  For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Th. 4:13-18).

Paul wrote, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (1 Th. 5:9-11).

Peter wrote, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:3-7).

Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33).

Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14:1-3).

In the "mean" time, we have trials and tribulations!
In the meantime, we trust the promises of God's Word!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


In the sick world we live in, apparently there are a few people who enjoy experiencing pain, even to the point of paying others to inflict it upon them. Masochism is the psychological term for this mental illness. As horrible as that sounds, those who enjoy inflicting pain on others, known as sadists, are far worse. I would say, without fear of objection, that Satan falls in the last category. He seems to get great satisfaction in hurting people.

In Job, he even attempted to hurt God by attacking His "poster child of faithfulness." Satan tried to prove Job did not truly love Him, and while God allowed him to attack Job's family and possessions, He did not permit him to harm His servant (Job 1:12). When Satan persisted in challenging God, the LORD allowed him to inflict pain on Job, but he was not to kill him (Job 2:6). Through the experience of suffering, Job learned much about himself, and a great deal about God, as well (Job 42:1-6). Pain humbles.

Pain does several things that are good. It causes a child to cry out for its mother to come to its aid. It warns of a physical problem, which left unattended, could result in serious physical limitations or even death. An abscessed tooth can be deadly, and without pain, a person would not know he was in danger. In some cases, pain is a good sign in that it tells us that the spinal cord is not severed. And how many lives have been saved by the warning of a heart attack?

While physical pain is often unbearable, the pain of losing a loved one can be even worse; it can go on for the rest of one's life.  But for the born again believer, just as physical pain ends with our death, our emotional pain stops with death, as well.  John wrote:  "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4).   

Finally, pain makes us willing to leave these corruptible bodies. I cannot tell you how many people I have known that looked forward to death to escape pain. But a warning is needed, for even though we are told in Revelation that pain will cease to exist for the believer, everlasting pain awaits those who fail to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior (21:3-8). So a little pain today, which brings one to Christ, is far better than the alternative. Thanks be to Jesus Who endured the pain of the cross for us!

Do you think the nails hurt Jesus as much as having His Father turn from Him
during that three hours He hung there with the sins of the world on Him? 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Yesterday, we buried my grandson, and this morning, in Our Daily Bread, a daily devotional that has been a blessing for many years, was perfect for today.  2 Corinthians 4:16-5:8 NKJV

"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.  For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.  For we walk by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

In other words, born again believers, those who are living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, will be "afflicted" by a war with temptations from the world (Jn. 15:18), from our own flesh (Rom. 7:23-25), and from Satan (1 Pet. 5:8).  That is why there is such hope, especially in our death.  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:53-58 (KJV):

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."  
Corey has that for which I long (1 Jn. 3:2)!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Today, our family laid to rest my grandson, Corey Douglas Wilcoxen.  I was dreading it for several reasons, especially looking at him lying in a coffin.  But when I arrived at the funeral home, grateful for being the first one there in case I would fall apart, I discovered seeing him there was not as bad as I had thought.  Even though the funeral director had done the best he could to repair the damage done by the head-on collision that killed him, it did not look like the Corey I knew and loved.  His lifeless body was just an empty shell; Corey wasn't in that casket.  In fact, Corey was no where to be found on this planet; Corey was alive and well, and just beginning an eternity with Jesus Christ, his Savior.  The Word of God says in 2 Corinthians 5:8, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." Knowing that he had trusted in Jesus, and knowing that the Word, God's Word, cannot lie, I had total peace!  Just as Jesus is alive, so is Corey!

I know there are some who knew Corey, who judged his relationship with God based upon some of his stupid decisions, and his far-from-perfect life, who think it is impossible for him to be in heaven.  But that just shows how little they know about God, and His mercy (forgiveness for sin), and His grace (the undeserved gift of eternal life).  Scripture states in Titus 3:4-7: 

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Corey is not in heaven because he was a good Christian; he is not there because he was a good husband; he is not there because he was a good father; Corey is there because he loved Jesus, and it is Jesus, who is good!  Even though a person accepts Christ, he is still flawed, he still sins (Rom.7:15-25)!  And all who truly know Christ, know that they did not deserve salvation, nor will they ever!  That is what makes our God so awesome!  His mercy and His grace!

I want to thank the members of my family who spent hours preparing meals, picture montages, and taking care of Corey's kids so Hope could stay with Alex (she is to have surgery tomorrow, so pray for her).  I want to thank the many members of my church who travelled so far to be there for us.  I want to thank the staff of Tucker, Yocum, and Wilson Funeral Home for all their compassion on Corey's family and friends.  I want to thank Corey's friends from school, from his work, from his favorite tattoo parlor; I am sorry if I am forgetting anyone.  God bless every one of you; and He does that best when you, by letting His Son be your Lord, become His child (John 1:12)!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

HEBREWS 13:20-21

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

The God of peace -
  * Will defeat Satan (Rom. 16:20)!
  * Will be with you (Phil. 4:9)!
  * Will sanctify you (1 Th. 5:23)!

Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead -
  * Was prophesied (Mt. 16:21)! 
  * Was fulfilled (Acts 2:32; 3:26; 4:10; 5:30; 13:33)!

Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep -
  * Gave His life for His sheep (Jn. 10:11)!
  * He knows His sheep (Jn. 10:14)!

The blood of the everlasting covenant -
  * His blood frees the prisoners (Zech. 9:11)!
  * His blood sanctifies believers (Heb. 10:29)!

He makes us perfect -
  * God works in believers (Phil. 1:6)!
  * God works in circumstances (Rom. 8:28-29)!
  * God finishes the job (1 Jn. 3:2)!

God uses us to do His will -
  * Believers are His instruments (Phil. 2:13)!

All that God does is through His Son Jesus -
  * Creation (Col. 1:16)!
  * Salvation (Jn. 3:16)!

Jesus will receive all the glory -
  * For delivering us (2 Tim. 4:18)!
  * Forever (Rev. 1:6)!

This is my prayer for all of humanity - receive Jesus as your Lord!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


The Dead IN Christ Will Live Again - 1 Corinthians 15:16-22

[16] For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
[17] And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
[18] Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
[19] If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
[20] But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
[21] For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead.
[22] For as in Adam all die, even so IN Christ shall all be made alive.

The Dead IN Christ Will Rise First - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

[13] But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
[14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
[15] For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
[16] For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead IN Christ shall rise first:
[17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
[18] Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

By Faith IN Christ, The Spirit Baptizes Us INTO Christ - Galatians 3:26-28

[26] For ye are all the children of God by faith IN Christ Jesus.
[27] For as many of you as have been baptized INTO Christ have put on Christ.
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one IN Christ Jesus.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Twenty times in the writings of Luke (the Gospel of Luke, and the Book of Acts), he describes Jesus as the "Lord Jesus" (Lk. 24:3; Acts 1:21; 4:33; 7:59; 8:16; 9:29; 11:17, 20; 15:11, 26; 16:31; 19:5, 10, 13, 17; 20:21, 24, 35; 21:13; 28:31)!  One of these is of particular importance - Acts 16:31:

The Philippian jailer had heard Paul and Silas praying and singing praises to God (v. 25), and after an earthquake released them, in fear, he asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house."

The Word they spoke to him had to be the Gospel, that is, the death of Jesus for our sins, the fact that He was buried, and rose again according to what the Scriptures had prophesied; after all, only the Gospel has the power to save one's soul (Lk. 24:42-48; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; etc.).

The Apostle Paul, when declaring how a person becomes a child of God, wrote: 

"But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; that 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.  For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?  As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  But they have not all obeyed the Gospel.  For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:8-17).

It is our faith in the LORD, Jesus Christ, that saves us!
Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, October 9, 2014


I am very tired.  I can't remember talking with people yesterday; I don't know what to write; I am numb.  I try not to think about Corey's death, and my great granddaughter lying in a hospital; about funeral arrangements; all I want to do is sleep.  And yet, people are counting on me to be strong.  I am the patriarch, so I am expected to be wise and spiritual and patient and ...!  The faith I have in Corey's relationship with God makes some uncomfortable, and others think I have lost my mind.  Having watched him struggle over the past few years, had broken my heart long before his sudden death.  And yet, I see his struggle as evidence of his relationship with God (Heb. 12:5-8). 

But, even in his darkest times, he talked to others about Jesus.  His influence on the owners of his favorite tattoo parlor have decided to begin a weekly Bible study to honor him.  The overwhelming funeral expenses have been covered, thank God!  I see God's hand in protecting Alex, even though she remains in the pediatric ICU.  I am in awe of a God who can make Corey's cell phone "appear" in her hospital room! 

Due to our family's grief, we have hardly thought of the other driver and his son who were killed.  Somewhere, probably nearby, there is another family grieving their loss.  Irony would have it that their loved ones will be buried by the same funeral home a day before Corey's burial.  Even in their tragedy, the wife and mother, travelling in the same vehicle, went into labor, and delivered a healthy baby within hours of her husband's and son's deaths.  I pray she is not so overwhelmed by her grief that she is unable to marvel at the miracle she delivered.  Lord, comfort them!

Speaking of comfort, after some time has passed, I pray things said at Corey's funeral will take root in the hearts of those touched by his short life.  I pray for my pastor to allow the Spirit to do what He does best:  He is the Comforter.  I pray that the comfort God gives us, will be passed on to those who need that same comfort in the future.  Paul wrote:

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us" (2 Cor. 1:3-7 NLT).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Yesterday, my grandson, Corey Douglas Wilcoxen went to be with his Lord.  Corey struggled with life's tribulations, especially over the last couple of years.  But like the prodigal son, Corey came home to ask for forgiveness and for prayer.  He and his mother prayed, and that prayer time has done much to comfort us in this horrible time.  These words from Romans 8 have special meaning to me today:

[26] Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
[27] And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
[28] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
[29] For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
[30] Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
[31] What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
[32] He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
[33] Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
[34] Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
[35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
[36] As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
[37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
[38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
[39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Please keep our family in prayer, as we praise God for 29 years with Corey;
to be followed by an eternity with his in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


The "Good News," the Gospel, when believed, is capable of producing the new birth.  Let's let that sink in for a minute.

The Gospel, Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4), when believed, has the power to produce salvation (Jn. 3:3-8; Rom. 1:16).  Genuine faith in God's gift of salvation, results in a turning from sin and the desire to follow Jesus as Lord (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 10:9-10).  John wrote:

"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:11-13).

To those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, what I am about to say is also good news!  But to the lost individual, whether a blatant sinner or a religious church-goer, being born again results in surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus, and to them, that is not really "good news."  Why?  Because when a person becomes a child of God, things change!  God begins transforming His child into the image and likeness of His only begotten Son.  Hear the Word of the Lord!

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). 

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).

"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him:  for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Heb. 12:5-8).

"The Spirit (Himself) beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:16-18)!

Monday, October 6, 2014


Recently, I have written several posts that focus upon Jesus as God, the Son of God, the Anointed, the Christ, the Lord, the Creator, etc., and some of you may be wondering why?  The answer is really quite simple; churches are filled with folks who claim to be Christians, but the vast majority of them show little or no evidence that they truly understand what the term means.  The Word of God states that believers in Christ were first called "Christians," at Antioch (Acts 11:26).  By the time the events of Acts 11 were occurring, approximately ten years had passed from the time of Christ's Ascension, and the Gospel had spread through Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and had been accepted by the Gentiles (Acts 1:8 - Acts 11:1).  So, what were believers called prior to being labeled "Christians?"

The answer to that question is not as clear.  The Apostles saw themselves as a Jewish Sect until the Gentiles were accepted into the church (Acts 11:18), and even then, they viewed Gentile believers as proselytes, that is, needing to submit to the Jewish ritual of circumcision (Acts 11:18 - 15:24).  It was clear, from that time on, that Christianity was no longer merely another Jewish Sect.  In fact, by the end of the Book of Acts, the vast majority of converts to Christianity were Gentiles (Acts 28:16-31).

So, what were believers known as in the beginnings of the Church?  I do not want to be dogmatic about this, but I believe they were known as "the people of the way."  Saul of Tarsus sought letters of authority to persecute followers of Christ; Acts 9:1-2 states: 

"And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem."

This is probably because the disciples were told that Jesus had His own way (Jn. 8:21; 16:5; etc.), and if they were going to be His followers, they would be the people of His way.  Jesus also told them: 

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (Jn. 14:3-6).

Jesus is "The Narrow Way" (Mt. 7:14)!  Jesus is "The Way of Righteousness" (Mt. 21:32)!  Jesus is "The Way of God" (Mt. 22:16)!  Following Him is an act of both obedience and worship!

Sunday, October 5, 2014


*   "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:  and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mt. 3:16-17).

*   "And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.  While He yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him" (Mt. 17:2, 5).

*   "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him.  And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (Jn. 1:32-34).

*   "Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel" (Jn. 1:49).

*   "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?  And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe.  And he worshipped Him" (Jn. 9:35-38).

*   "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and My God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book:  but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name" (Jn. 20:28-31).

He is Jesus, the Son of God; call upon Him, as both Savior AND Lord!

Saturday, October 4, 2014


The Creation (Christ's handiwork - Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; etc.)

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also" (Gen. 1:14-16).
The Church Age (Christ's First Coming until the Tribulation)

"And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel (Christ as Emmanuel, "God with us" - Mt. 1:23), and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed.  And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call" (Joel 2:27-32).

"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:  the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE that great and notable day of the Lord come:  and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:16-21).

The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord
Few, if any, students of Bible prophecy would deny that "the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord" is anything other than the Tribulation (Daniels Seventieth Week - Dan. 9:27; the Time of Jacob's Trouble - Jer. 30:7; Great Tribulation - Mt. 24:21).  Today, BEFORE this terrible seven-year period, our planet is in the midst of signs from heaven; we are four days away from the second lunar eclipse of what has been called "the Blood Moon Tetrad"  (four lunar eclipses falling on the Feasts of Passover and Tabernacles in two consecutive years).  It happened in 1949-50 while Israel was fighting to protect its new homeland, and in 1967-68 when they were in a six-day war, ending with Israel controlling Jerusalem.  This one (2014-15) has already seen Israel at war with Hamas, and perhaps, when it is finished, Israel will have control of the Temple Mount!  Praise God!
He gave us instructions to look for signs in the heavens,
so look up, your redemption draweth nigh!

Friday, October 3, 2014


"And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus" (Lk. 24:3). 
This is the first of fifty-seven verses which contain the exact phrase "the Lord Jesus!"  I doubt I need to say this, but just in case there is someone reading this who is not aware of it, whenever the word "the" is placed in front of a noun, it is known as the "definite article," and it is used to indicate a specific person or thing; it refers to the "one and only."  "Lord Jesus," without the definite article, appears one hundred fifteen times!
In recent months, I have been accused of teaching a false Gospel.  The term used to describe my "heresy," is "Lordship Salvation."  My critics believe I am adding works to how one gets saved.  Let me say, first of all, that the only "work" that has the ability to save a person, is the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Jn. 19:30).  His death, burial, and resurrection is the message of the one and only Gospel (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:6-9), and nothing you or I can do, adds to our salvation.  It is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9), provided by Jesus, and it becomes ours when we believe in Him (Jn. 1:12; 3:14-18; Rom. 10:8-17)!
The problem, as I see it, is that conservative believers are so concerned that the Gospel will be "watered down," that they "see wolves everywhere."  It is an honorable thing for a person to guard the Scriptures from additions or subtractions, but unfortunately, their zeal has turned them into modern-day Pharisees.  Jesus called the doctrines of the Pharisees, "leaven" (Mt. 16:6-12).  They taught one could find favor with God by works; the exact opposite of the Gospel of Grace!  Today's Pharisees, while guarding against works as a means of salvation, have failed to focus upon the true identity of Jesus! 

Jesus is God - John 1:1, 14!
Jesus is Lord - John 13:13!
Jesus is the Son of God - John 1:34!
Jesus is the King - John 18:36!
Jesus is the great "I Am" - John 8:58!
If Jesus is God, Lord, Son of God, King, and the "I Am," then it stands to reason that a believer will make every effort to obey Him!  A believer will always want to do His will!  A believer will, want more than anything else, to please Him!  A Gospel message that does not present the true majesty of the biblical Jesus, is a false Gospel! 

Salvation results when we call upon Jesus to be our Lord (Rom. 10:9-10)!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014



"He came unto His own (Israel), and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him (whosoever accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior - either Jew or Gentile - Jn. 3:15-16), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, of God" (Jn. 1:11-13).


"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water (physical birth) and of the Spirit (spiritual birth), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (Jn. 3:3-8).

HIS "T.N.T."

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16).

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.... Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:18-25).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


What is "repentance," and what part does it play in salvation?  Before I answer these two questions, let me make it very clear that the message the Apostles were to preach contained two facts:  1) the death of Jesus was the payment for our sins, and 2) the resurrected Jesus is to be the Lord of your life!  Luke wrote it this way:  "And that repentance AND remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47).

Repentance is defined as:  "Repentance (metanoia, 'change of mind') involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; the repentant sinner is in the proper condition to accept the divine forgiveness." (F. F. Bruce. The Acts of the Apostles [Greek Text Commentary], London: Tyndale, 1952, p. 97.)

Remission is defined as:  "Forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). 

In other words, when one is presented with the wonderful fact that Jesus provided the gift of salvation through His death on the cross, and through our faith that the Father raised Him from the dead to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords, we are saved; our entire way of looking at life changes (Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17, 21; Eph. 2:8-9; etc.)!  This can be clearly seen by looking at the context of Luke 24:47:

"Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.  And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.  And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:  and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen" (Lk. 45-53).

His sacrifice + our change of thinking = salvation!