WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT JUSTIFICATION – ARE YOU JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE?

February 27, 2012

   “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”


Romans 5:16-18 KJV

Justification, in the Biblical sense, means being declared “Right” in God‘s sight. When I am justified before God it is just as if I’d never sinned.  Justification is the process of being made just.  Someone who is justified has been made Just.  Someone who is just is without blame.  A comprehensive study of scripture relating to justification reveals what it is and how mankind is justified in the sight of God. All the doctrines of the Bible are important, but none is more vital to the peace and rest of the child of God than the Bible truth of Justification. The believer does not ascend to the peak of Christian joy until he appreciates and appropriates this aspect of the grace of God. Forgiveness is wonderful; pardon is wonderful; cleansing is wonderful; but Justification is more wonderful. In Paul’s day, and later in the days of the Protestant Reformation, and in our own day, it would be difficult to find a truth more cardinal to our historic Christian faith than the doctrine of Justification. The question of man’s justification before God was raised early in man’s history. In the Book of Job we read, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? How then can man be justified with God?” Job 9:2, 25:4 KJV  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul, developed it more fully. He said, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 KJV  Paul says that forgiveness and justification are made possible through Jesus Christ, but he makes it clear that the two are not identical. If a criminal is found guilty and convicted of crime, he may be forgiven by the offended party and even pardoned by the governor, but he remains guilty of his offense. His guilt was established and the court records carry it as such. He has been forgiven but not justified. The Apostle is saying that God does two things for the guilty but believing sinner that no man can possibly do for another; that is, He both forgives and justifies. Justification is more than forgiveness. We can forgive another for his wrong, but never can we justify him. Forgiveness assumes guilt; therefore, the guilty one cannot be justified. On the other hand, if we justify a man, then he needs no forgiveness, because justification assumes no guilt. But since all men are both guilty and condemned sinners before God, all need both forgiveness and justification before entering the Kingdom of God. Justification can be defined as that act of God whereby He declares absolutely righteous any and all who take shelter in the blood of Christ as their only hope for salvation. Justification is a legal term which changes the believing sinner’s standing before God, declaring him acquitted and accepted by God, with the guilt and penalty of his sins put away forever. Justification is the sentence of the Judge in favor of the condemned man, clearing him of all blame and freeing him of every charge. Justification does not make the sinner righteous, but when God sees him “in Christ,” He declares that he is righteous, thereby pronouncing the verdict of “not guilty.” In modern jurisprudence a sentence in any court must be in keeping with the facts presented. A judge has no right to condemn the innocent or to clear the guilty. Only God can clear the guilty. We must keep in mind the fact that there is a close connection between the act of justifying and the imputed righteousness of the one who has been justified. A just person is one who has been declared righteous by God. God is the Author of Justification. The Bible says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans 8:33 KJV  What is the function of justification?  First, we know that sinners are justified by God. God Himself is the Justifier. Only God can justify a man; no man can justify another man. The source of justification must be in the one holy and righteous God. The Bible states, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.” Deuteronomy 25:1 KJV  If a man is not guilty of a charge made against him, he should be justified. All men are sinners, and since all sin is against God, He only must be satisfied. The Bible says, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:26 KJV  Second, we are justified by grace. The Bible says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24 KJV  Look carefully at the text and notice that word “freely.” The Greek word (dorean) translated “freely” means “without a cause. There was no cause in the words and works of Jesus for which men should hate Him, yet He was hated “freely,” “without a cause.” Just as there was no cause that men should hate our Lord, so there was no cause that God should justify man; but He justifies him “freely,” without a cause. Jesus came with a heart full of love for mankind, but they hated Him. You cannot buy it with money, for it is “freely by His grace.”  Third, we are justified by blood. The provision for righteousness is solely through the blood of Christ. The Bible says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9 KJV  These next verses are of tremendous importance because they show the only ground of justification. It says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26 KJV  God can make bad men good only through the death of His Son, for we are justified by His Blood. Fourth, we are justified by faith. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   The Bible says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 3:28, 4:5 KJV  This is the God-ward aspect of justification, but like all the blessings of salvation, the sinner cannot receive it until he accepts it, and this he does when he acknowledges his guilt and puts personal faith in what God has done for him in Christ. Fifth, we are justified  by the spirit. The Bible says, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV  The believing sinner’s righteousness is the plan of God the Father, the provision of God the Son, and by the power of God the Holy Spirit. When a man says he has been justified by God, his fellowmen have a right to expect him to prove his faith by his good works. The Bible says, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:24 KJV  God’s standard of holiness is man’s that things which are approved of men may be counted as evil in the sight of God. Let us make certain that by faith we are justified before God. Self-effort, religious ritual, or agonizing prayer cannot take away sin. But when we trust in Christ for salvation, we are justified, declared righteous by God. Then, as we lose our burden of guilt and experience total justification, we will have real peace. Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. We deserve to go to hell, but by His mercy we shall never go there. We do not deserve to go to heaven, but by grace we’ll spend eternity there. Grace justifies. Mercy pardons. Grace admits us to heaven. Mercy saves us from hell. The death of Christ was enough to pardon us in mercy, but it took the resurrection to effect our justification. So don’t wait any longer to put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ. May we all be justified in the blood of the lamb of God. Open up your heart and let Jesus in, for He is the One that died on the cross, shed His blood and paid the penalty for your sins, so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

God Bless, Jeff Ellinger



WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HOW MANY WAYS ARE THERE TO GET INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

September 30, 2011

“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Luke 13:23-24, Matthew:7:14 KJV

The Idea:

The idea  that there are many ways to get to Heaven is partly based on the assumption that there are various ways to gain its entrance. Some of the more common ways being baptism, good deeds, honest living, giving to charity, church attendance, and, if nothing else, by making a sincere effort. To most, the way to Heaven is broad, with many paths leading there. However, one has to wonder: if Heaven is so relatively accessible, then why did Jesus Christ die on the cross?  Why did the only begotten Son of God come to earth, take on flesh, and allow Himself to get spat upon, punched, mocked, kicked, humiliated, whipped, and then literally nailed to a cross in the hot Judean sun to die a bloody death The Apostle Paul states it best when he says, “And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.” Galatians 2:2 KJV  You see, Jesus died for a very important reason.   He claimed, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 KJV   His sacrificial death provides the only way to Heaven. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9 KJV  That means Heaven!Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1 KJV  Further more, when His disciples asked, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:” Luke 13:24-25 KJV  Now, obviously, many of you reading all this will still find it hard to believe that there could only be ONE WAY to get to Heaven.

Beginning with the Fall of Man:

Man was created in God’s image for the express purpose of follow shipping with his Creator.   But man rebelled; not willing to accept his subordinate role in the relationship. His rebellion plunged mankind into sin The Bible teaches that, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12  KJV  When man fell, his immediate reaction to his new-found sin nature was to “coverup” his sin before God. The Bible says, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Genesis 3:7 KJV  God, however, seeing their unsatisfactory efforts showed them what would actually be required to “cover up sin”. It says in the Bible, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21 KJV  God was setting a precedence.   These “COATS OF SKINS” came off the backs of living animals. Removing them cost those animals their lives and in killing them, God established this fact, “For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23 KJV   Death and shed blood is the only “coverage” for sin that God will approve; it’s the only payment He will accept. The Bible clearly teaches that, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20 KJV  Perhaps you’ve wondered why there has to be death in the world. Don’t blame God. Death was not part of His original plan. Death came as a result of man’s rebellious sin. It says in the Bible that, “and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. The sting of death is sin;” Romans 5:12, James 1:15, 1 Corinthians 15:56 KJV  God’s holiness DEMANDS payment for sin. However, God not desiring the absolute death of mankind is willing to accept a substitute on his behalf. That’s why He told His chosen people, the Jews, that He was willing to accept, “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.” Leviticus 5:6 KJV  So throughout Jewish history, the Jews sacrificed lambs and bullocks as instructed by God.  He wanted to continuously remind them, as a people, that,“and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22 KJV   However, these sacrifices could only “roll back” sin, postponing God’s wrath and eternal judgment.  Mankind needed a permanent solution, one that would forever reconcile him back to his Creator. And one day HE ARRIVED! When John the Baptist saw Christ approaching him, he said something that should have made something click within the mind of every Jew present that day.   John announced, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 KJV  Jesus is God’s sacrificial lamb, the permanent solution to man’s sin problem. The Bible says of Christ, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” Hebrews 10:12 KJV  And also it says , “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9 KJV

How many Ways Into The Kingdom of Heaven:

IT’S SIMPLE!   The only payment for sin that God will accept is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. However, what most people are trusting in to pay for their sin and get them to Heaven DOES NOT INVOLVE DEATH! For example, during baptism no one dies.During confirmation or communion no one dies. During any good deed you and I perform NO ONE DIES; NO BLOOD IS EVER SHED! Do you see now why Christ is the only way to Heaven? It says it here in the Bible , “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Romans 6:23, Revelation 1:5-6 KJV  If we fully place our TRUST IN HIS DEATH, AND SHED BLOOD, our sins will be payed for and we’ll be allowed in Heaven. The Bible 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.” Romans 10:9 KJV  So we need to see first that, if we are ever to enter the kingdom either in its present or future manifestation, then we must change.  We must be converted.  There must be a transformation. Have you been converted?  Has God changed you?

You Must Become a Child of God Before You Enter the Kingdom:

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew !8:1-4 KJV  Unless you change from what you are into what this child is, you cannot even enter, so how can you claim to be the greatest?” Pride is a great stumbling block. Proud people cannot enter the Kingdom of God. They cannot give up their own preeminence for His. Jesus did not have to call a child over to make His point. He could have just said, “Humble yourself as a child.” But He did not. So there is a significance to calling the child over and having him stand in the midst of them. Only after this was done did Jesus say, “Become like this child, or you cannot enter the Kingdom.” So what is the significance? Jesus called the child, and the child responded to Jesus. There is no questioning from the child, such as, “What do You want?” or “Who are you?” Jesus had him stand in the midst of them, and again, the child complies. We do not hear him say, “Why?” or “What are you going to do now?” or “I don’t have time to stand here, I want to go play.” The greatest people in the Kingdom are the ones who do what I tell them to do, nothing doubting. It is only when we get older that we begin to question everything. To enter this Kingdom we must know there is only room for one Head, for one Preeminence, for one King, for one Lord. We are disciples, not masters. We may struggle and question His dealings with us, but if we progress in the Way then one day we will learn the best course is to bow our heads and say, “Yes, Lord.” We are waiting for Jesus to give us grand instructions and commandments: “Go around the world and proclaim the Gospel full-time” or “Rise up and fulfill the ministry of an apostle” or “I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” But if we cannot hear and obey in the small things, how can we expect Him to lead us into greater things? IT’S SIMPLE!   The only payment for sin that God will accept is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. However, what most people are trusting in to pay for their sin and get them to Heaven DOES NOT INVOLVE DEATH!   For example, during baptism no one dies. During confirmation or communion no one dies. During any good deed you and I perform NO ONE DIES; NO BLOOD IS EVER SHED! Do you see now why Christ is the only way to Heaven? It says in the Bible, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus Christ,  washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Romans 6:23, Revelation 1:5 KJV  If we fully place our TRUST IN HIS DEATH, AND SHED BLOOD, our sins will be payed for and we’ll be allowed in Heaven.   The Bible 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.” Romans 10:9 KJV  FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you from going to Heaven are your sins, because, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,” Isaiah 59:2 KJV In fact, in God’s eyes YOU ARE A SINNER, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 KJV  SECONDLY, you must realize that there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn Heaven, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV  Baptism, good deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are all examples of good works that cannot save you, because, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,” Titus 3:5 KJV  THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through Jesus Christ.  He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” John 14:6, Romans 5:8 KJV  THEREFORE: You must REPENT, change your mind,  admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner and can’t save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you. It says it here in the Bible, “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.” Romans 10:9-10 KJV   The Scriptures tell us that the Lord Jesus is “full of grace and truth.” With Truth comes Grace, and we will now conclude with how God accomplishes this impossible work by Grace. The Lord is waiting for us to know and to confess, “I cannot”. For He can do what we cannot do; and He will do what we will not do! And once we allow Him, He brings us to where He wants us to be in a most remarkable manner.  The Bible says, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,  and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, (Path)”  John 10:9,14:5-6 KJV  Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You that You are my Way, my Truth, and my Life! I praise You that I cannot save myself. You are my Narrow Gate, and You are my Narrow Path. As I am decreased, You are increased, and my life is exchanged for Your Life. I thank you, Lord, that through You we may enter the Kingdom. Amen.

God Bless, Jeff Ellinger


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PAUL’S SERMON AT MARS HILL – CHRIST’S ANSWER TO THE WORLD

August 3, 2011

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

Isaiah 29:9-10 KJV

Introduction:

Here we have a picture of the apostle Paul. He is going throughout the Mediterranean world proclaiming the good news to people in frustration, fear, and sin. And the apostle Paul is preaching Christ to the people, and now he comes to Athens. Athens was the cultural and intellectual center of the ancient world. It was the city of Plato, Aristotle, and Epicurus. If you take all the universities of America and roll them into one, you have what Athens was to the intellectual world of that day. As in this day, in the midst of intellectual achievements and scientific advances, there existed both confusion and frustration. Greece at that time was under the iron heel of Rome, and the whole world was longing for freedom. They were searching for an answer. Paul looked at the confusion of his day in Athens. And the Bible says that Paul was disturbed by what he saw and felt. While Paul was disturbed by all this, some of the philosophers came and said, “Paul, we’ve listened to you talk. We’d like to hear more of it. How about going up to Mars Hill and giving a lecture?” And so Paul did. He went up to Mars Hill, and there he preached his famous sermon on Mars Hill. Some people have said that this sermon was a great failure in Paul’s life. Some people said that Paul, in preaching this sermon, did not get any results, never founded a great church in Athens, and he never had any persecution and never had any opposition in Athens. One of the things that disturbs me here is the devil is too quiet. I hope he’ll get stirred up somewhere. Because when he is quiet I know he is getting ready to kick us from behind somewhere, while we are not looking.

The Audience:

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” Acts 17:16-21 KJV  Paul was having to wait, he had some time on his hands. One of the things that distinguishes us one from another is the way we use our spare timeAnd when he looked he was stirred, he saw idolatry, people worshipping, giving their energies and sometimes even their lives to things that had been created. The Epicureans were “deistic polytheists.” Deists today believe there is a God who created the universe. But they believe after He did so he is no longer involved with its operation. In other words, they deny the idea of miracles, the sovereignty or providence of God, the efficacy of prayer, and even the possibility of having a relationship with God. These ideas lead to a denial of any kind of afterlife. No matter who you are, what you are, what your history or belief set the Resurrection is a central stated fact that you have to be able to explain unless you want to go through life and actually death with a mile-wide hole in your world view.

The State:

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.” Acts 17:22-23 KJV  The word translated superstitious is actually deisidaimonia it really means god fearing or religious! Here was a religious man telling a group of party goers, practical people and materialists that they were too religious! And you know, I think the same is true of America today. Wherever you go you get religion, you watch a sports program and some sportsman is thanking God for their skill, you go to the supermarket and there is a row of Bibles and a set of get well cards with Bible verses! You go to a hotel and a Bible pops out of your bedside draw. You may know all there is to know about God but do you actually know God himself? You see the challenge of the latter part of 23 is this, it is possible that you are worshipping God already but doing it in ignorance, without knowing the precise nature of the deal, and says Paul, if you are doing that then there are a few other things you need to know, which we are now going to look at.

Creator:

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” Acts 17:24-26 KJV  God that made the world and all things therein. Here is the first fact to get our minds around, God made us. He actually made everything but let us focus on this one. He made us and if he made us then he owns us. He has every right to decide our future. Seeing that he is the Lord of heaven and earth. Fact 2, God is still around and he is still in control. Sometimes people acknowledge that God created the world but then they like to think he stepped back and left it to its own devices, not so says Paul. God is still the Lord. Dwelleth not in temples made with hands. It also says,  neither is worshipped with mens hand’s. This is the next fallacy that Paul tried to debunk for the Athenians and that I wish to debunk for you this morning. God cannot be worshipped with works. Some of us like to think that by doing good things, or giving away money or by any number of other pious activities that we are doing enough to be in Gods good books. Well says v25, just think how ridiculous that idea is. God is the one that gives us life, every breath you take you take because God allows you to. In V26,  here we are getting onto dangerous territory. In America we have a separation of Church and State, an important step for both church and state that England sadly lacks. But look what this verse says, the state may have separated itself from the church but it cannot separate itself from God. It can try, it may even appear to succeed, but the success of any nation or grouping has already been decided, ahead of time by God.

The Relationship:

“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” Acts 17:27-30 KJV  V27 So God made us, gave us breath and appointed for us a place and society for us to live in, but why? That we may seek him and find him. Just take hold of that, our primary mission here on earth is to find God. V28which raises the question; in what way is he close at hand, how can we know? V28 says because our very existence and being are inextricably woven into God. Do you want proof that God exists? Look in the mirror, examine each fragment of your body, each one a miracle way beyond what any scientist has been able to create or even imagine. V29 Now we get towards the crux, given God made us, given we are in His image, given that our mission here on earth is to find him, we should not be looking for him in the material world. V30 So you say, if everyone does these things and they are all based upon man then they are all probably OK, right? Wrong. Verse 30. God is longsuffering, he gives each one of us time to understand, he gives each one of us time to decide, but the ultimate commandment is firm and non-negotiable now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Who does this apply to, all men. So what does repent mean, it really means to turn around. We have to accept that we have tried to do things our way, follow our desires and our logic but now we want to turn from all that and we want to follow God.

The Decision:

“Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” Acts 17:31-34 KJV  V31  He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained. You are going to be judged. Not by me, not by anyone here but by God. The God that knows everything you have done, everything you would like to have done, every motive and every inclination and he is going to judge you against a standard of absolute perfection. Let us take the second half of the verse, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men in that He hath raised Him from the dead. Let me put this to you another way. If you don’t know God personally, if you are not following him fully and completely in your life then the resurrection that everyone is celebrating is not a promise but a threat. God is saying “My Son rose from the dead, you will rise from the dead and there will be judgement”. It actually says in Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. V32-34 I have presented to you this morning a message of much the same form that Paul presented upon Mars Hill. It is really a challenge, a question if you prefer. Do you know God, not about him or of him but do you know him. If you don’t then I have told you the first things you need to know, God created you and is near to you waiting for you to find him, if you choose to find him. To do so you have to obey his command, repent. Paul gave a dose of the truth to some godless philosophers on Mars’ Hill. He declared to those educated Greeks that instead of making more gods they should listen to the one true God. God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, and He commands all to believe what He has said and to repent of their sin. We can learn helpful principles from non-Christians and use their beliefs as common ground for sharing the gospel. When Paul stood on Mars Hill addressing some of the leading intellectuals of his day, he did not belittle their beliefs but established common ground with them and then gave the gospel. Let’s look for common ground with our neighbors, so that we may lead them to Christ.

By: Jeff Ellinger


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT DEATH – ETERNAL LIFE – LOSING A LOVED ONE

July 12, 2011

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.”

John 3:16 KJV

It’s a sad day when a loved one dies. Will you meet again? Is there life after life? What really happens when you die? Most adults have experienced the awful trauma of losing a loved one. An accident, a prolonged disease, or sudden illness blights the lives of the loved one’s family and a wider circle of friends and colleagues. Tears well up in private and public grief. An awesome and unfillable gap breaches the orderliness of humdrum life. There’s the gnawing pain of loss. Silence shrouds life’s business. Why? is often our first question. Why has this beloved person been taken? Death was so undeserved!  It’s easier when a dear one has led a godly life; easier when you can’t find anyone who can in all honesty say a contrary word; when the life has glowed with joy and helpfulness and faithfulness and sound wisdom and encouragement; when life’s winter follows a productive harvest of good deeds and love and generosity. Then you can rejoice when the minister says that the loved one is “with the Lord” and is happier than conceivably possible. Then you feel you can say Amen when he assures you that the loved one is even now beholding the face of Jesus in heavenly splendor. In today’s world, most people do not have a problem believing in the spirit is eternal. Even those who do not consider themselves “religious” often believe in some form of life after the grave. They just aren’t sure what it is, and many do not want to know. Hell is an unfashionable topic. New Age teachings have settled in almost every facet of our society with vague, cozy feelings of the “afterlife.” Daniel talks of the end of the age where it says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2 KJV  This “sleep” is referring to the physical body sleeping, not the soul or spirit. Our spirit is the “real us.” We are a spirit and have a soul, mind, will and emotions that lives in a body. There is a cultic teaching that talks about “soul sleep” which is not scriptural. When people die, they do not enter into a state of eternal sleep, neither do they cease to exist. When we die, our body will go into the ground to decay and return to dust, but our body is not who we really are. The Bible says, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:19 KJV  Our spirit, when we die, goes either to hell or to be with the Father in heaven. There is no in-between place, heavenly sleep or state of non-existence. Yet the troublesome question still remains, why must we die in the first place? The truth is, God never made us to die. Death of the body was not God’s original plan. It is the result of sin. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, disobedience to God, sin entered into this world; as a result of it, each one of us will face death at sometime. When we die, we will also face judgment before God. The Bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27 KJV  The Bible speaks of death as an enemy, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:26 KJV  In this world we are seeing death all around us: death by old age, disease, murder, suicide, accidents, disasters, famine and war. All of these have been brought on mankind because of sin and a fallen race. Death is an evil that produces torment, fear, hatred, suffering, agony, pain, grief and heartache. There is only one way that we can overcome both death and the fear of it; that is through the One who conquered death and the grave. The death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has now made a way for us to also conquer death. In the Bible it says, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:37 KJV  The Bible also says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 KJV  And it also says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12 KJV  In this verse, the one man God is talking about is Adam. We all have the curse of sin in our lives because all of us are descendants of Adam. In the Bible it says, “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8 KJV  This verse tells us how Adam and Eve hid from God when they realized they had disobeyed His instruction. From that point on, every human born has the curse of both physical and spiritual death. We all have one appointment with physical death, but our fate with spiritual death depends on what we do with Jesus. Either the person accepted Jesus Christ as his or her savior and will be “judged” as righteous, or rejected Jesus Christ and will be eternally separated from God in eternity. Physical death is considered to be only a change of disposition for the believer. In many instances, physical death is preferred by believers because, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV  The Apostle Paul tells us in the Bible, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” Philippians 1:23 KJV  The Bible reveals very few concrete details about heaven, the afterlife and what happens when we die. God must have a good reason for keeping us wondering about the mysteries of heaven. Perhaps our finite minds could never comprehend the realities of eternity. For now, we can only imagine. I would like to tell you about my experience with death. Last year on July 11, 2010, my Father-in-Law passed away. He had a terrible disease called Parkinson. He had this for several years, but the last two was the worst. I started helping out being a caregiver in his last years of his life. It was just after I married his daughter and for our first year and a half, we spent most of our time apart. All of the family members took part in helping take care of him as his health gradually went down. My wife pretty much just moved back home and stayed with her mom and I went over when she was at work. During this time we barely seen each other, because it was a full-time job just to keep care of her father. It was a very trying time, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate. He was a very loving and kind man and his Faith in Jesus Christ was strong. I don’t think the family would have been able to do this task if we were not all Christians. We all put are Trust and Faith in Jesus Christ to help us get through this ordeal. I still remember the last weeks of his life here on earth, as his body got weaker, but his Faith still was strong. He began to stop talking and eating in the last two weeks. If we got him to eat or drink, it was so little I don’t think a small bird would live. But he was not going to give up. I think he was waiting to see someone before he went home to his Lord. For the life of me I could not think who he was waiting for, but when his brother came to visit I knew that was who he was waiting for. He hadn’t seen him in a long time. Now this was around the fourth of July, and we always went to my wife’s brothers house for an outing, you know ribs, chicken, corn on the cob and all the fixings. Her dad loved ribs, but he hadn’t eaten anything to amount to nothing for a week now. I went alone this year, but I made him a plate anyway and took it over to the house. I couldn’t believe it ! He ate everything and said it was good ! We were all glad that he had finally ate something, but in reality, he was just preparing himself for his last days. Giving his body the energy to last until he went to his heavenly home. As we tucked him in for the night, I still remember, he looked me right in the eyes like never before, and he said, God Bless You. For some reason I knew those were going to be his last words to me. After that he seemed to slip into a deep sleep or coma and began breathing very deep and loud. This lasted for exactly for one week. I have no idea how he lasted this long, but he had prepared his body with his last meal and he waited until everybody told him that it was okay to go home. It was hard for some of the family members, but eventually everybody let go. Now this is where I really became very close to God, almost felt His presence. Every child is appointed a Guardian Angel at birth to act as a guide and protector. In the Bible it says, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10 KJV  As his breath got more shallowed, we all gathered around his bed knowing the time was near. We all recited John 3:16 as it was his favorite verse. Then something special happened which I have never experienced. As he took his last breath, he tilted his head back, and took in a deep breath, and slowly let it out. It was as if the Angel was in our presence, and took his soul from his body and took it right up to Heaven. All we did at that moment was stood in quiet and aah. Then in amazement, within seconds, his skin on his face started to smooth out and all of what wrinkles he did have were just about gone ! Then all sin was gone from his body. We did shed tears afterward, just as Jesus wept. Being Christians, we all knew he was with his Heavenly Father and now in no pain. Just like when the beggar died in the Book of Luke, “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: Luke 16:22 KJV  Also in the Bible it says, “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalms 34:7 KJV  As creatures who come before the face of God, angels are powerful intercessors. We must remember that we have a guardian angel and turn to him in our thoughts and heart. When such contact with our angel is missing, he has no means of influencing us. Through out our life span, our guardian angels rejoice in our spiritual achievements and grieve over our downfalls. We must keep in mind that, whatever we do openly or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel and that, on the Day of Judgement, a great multitude of the holy angels of heaven will be gathered around the throne of Christ, where the thoughts, words and deeds of every man will be laid bare before them. When a person dies, the soul recognises his guardian angel, and it is the guardian angel that takes his soul to God. That event helped me understand the significance of the shortest verse in the Bible: “Jesus wept” John 11:35 KJV  God the Son wept! He knew the reality of heaven. He was the source of all hope of a future day of resurrection. And yet, Jesus cried. When someone we love dies, we struggle with a wide range of emotions. If a young person dies, we ask “Why?” When death comes after long-term suffering, we struggle to understand why the Lord waited so long to bring relief. We begin to think of God as distant, untouched by our sorrow. We may question His wisdom or His goodness. Then we read, “Jesus wept.” God is deeply touched by our anguish. When a painful situation invades your life, remember the Bible’s shortest verse. Jesus shed tears too. So if you want to go to Heaven when your time is called, why not now open your heart to Jesus Christ, because He is the one that shed His blood on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger


THIS EASTER WHEN THE BLESSED JESUS DIED, GOD WAS CLEARLY JUSTIFIED ! – ARE YOU JUSTIFIED ?

April 18, 2011

    “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

Romans 5:16-18 KJV

Justification, in the Biblical sense, means being declared “Right” in God‘s sight. When I am justified before God it is just as if I’d never sinned.  Justification is the process of being made just.  Someone who is justified has been made Just.  Someone who is just is without blame.  A comprehensive study of scripture relating to justification reveals what it is and how mankind is justified in the sight of God. All the doctrines of the Bible are important, but none is more vital to the peace and rest of the child of God than the Bible truth of Justification. The believer does not ascend to the peak of Christian joy until he appreciates and appropriates this aspect of the grace of God. Forgiveness is wonderful; pardon is wonderful; cleansing is wonderful; but Justification is more wonderful. In Paul’s day, and later in the days of the Protestant Reformation, and in our own day, it would be difficult to find a truth more cardinal to our historic Christian faith than the doctrine of Justification. The question of man’s justification before God was raised early in man’s history. In the Book of Job we read, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? How then can man be justified with God?” Job 9:2, 25:4 KJV  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul, developed it more fully. He said, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 KJV  Paul says that forgiveness and justification are made possible through Jesus Christ, but he makes it clear that the two are not identical. If a criminal is found guilty and convicted of crime, he may be forgiven by the offended party and even pardoned by the governor, but he remains guilty of his offense. His guilt was established and the court records carry it as such. He has been forgiven but not justified. The Apostle is saying that God does two things for the guilty but believing sinner that no man can possibly do for another; that is, He both forgives and justifies. Justification is more than forgiveness. We can forgive another for his wrong, but never can we justify him. Forgiveness assumes guilt; therefore, the guilty one cannot be justified. On the other hand, if we justify a man, then he needs no forgiveness, because justification assumes no guilt. But since all men are both guilty and condemned sinners before God, all need both forgiveness and justification before entering the Kingdom of God. Justification can be defined as that act of God whereby He declares absolutely righteous any and all who take shelter in the blood of Christ as their only hope for salvation. Justification is a legal term which changes the believing sinner’s standing before God, declaring him acquitted and accepted by God, with the guilt and penalty of his sins put away forever. Justification is the sentence of the Judge in favor of the condemned man, clearing him of all blame and freeing him of every charge. Justification does not make the sinner righteous, but when God sees him “in Christ,” He declares that he is righteous, thereby pronouncing the verdict of “not guilty.” In modern jurisprudence a sentence in any court must be in keeping with the facts presented. A judge has no right to condemn the innocent or to clear the guilty. Only God can clear the guilty. We must keep in mind the fact that there is a close connection between the act of justifying and the imputed righteousness of the one who has been justified. A just person is one who has been declared righteous by God. God is the Author of Justification. The Bible says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans 8:33 KJV  What is the function of justification?  First, we know that sinners are justified by God. God Himself is the Justifier. Only God can justify a man; no man can justify another man. The source of justification must be in the one holy and righteous God. The Bible states, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.” Deuteronomy 25:1 KJV  If a man is not guilty of a charge made against him, he should be justified. All men are sinners, and since all sin is against God, He only must be satisfied. The Bible says, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:26 KJV  Second, we are justified by grace. The Bible says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24 KJV  Look carefully at the text and notice that word “freely.” The Greek word (dorean) translated “freely” means “without a cause. There was no cause in the words and works of Jesus for which men should hate Him, yet He was hated “freely,” “without a cause.” Just as there was no cause that men should hate our Lord, so there was no cause that God should justify man; but He justifies him “freely,” without a cause. Jesus came with a heart full of love for mankind, but they hated Him. You cannot buy it with money, for it is “freely by His grace.”  Third, we are justified by blood. The provision for righteousness is solely through the blood of Christ. The Bible says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9 KJV  These next verses are of tremendous importance because they show the only ground of justification. It says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26 KJV  God can make bad men good only through the death of His Son, for we are justified by His Blood. Fourth, we are justified by faith. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   The Bible says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 3:28, 4:5 KJV  This is the God-ward aspect of justification, but like all the blessings of salvation, the sinner cannot receive it until he accepts it, and this he does when he acknowledges his guilt and puts personal faith in what God has done for him in Christ. Fifth, we are justified  by the spirit. The Bible says, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV  The believing sinner’s righteousness is the plan of God the Father, the provision of God the Son, and by the power of God the Holy Spirit. When a man says he has been justified by God, his fellowmen have a right to expect him to prove his faith by his good works. The Bible says, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:24 KJV  God’s standard of holiness is man’s that things which are approved of men may be counted as evil in the sight of God. Let us make certain that by faith we are justified before God. Self-effort, religious ritual, or agonizing prayer cannot take away sin. But when we trust in Christ for salvation, we are justified, declared righteous by God. Then, as we lose our burden of guilt and experience total justification, we will have real peace. Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. We deserve to go to hell, but by His mercy we shall never go there. We do not deserve to go to heaven, but by grace we’ll spend eternity there. Grace justifies. Mercy pardons. Grace admits us to heaven. Mercy saves us from hell. The death of Christ was enough to pardon us in mercy, but it took the resurrection to effect our justification. So don’t wait any longer to put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ. May we all be justified in the blood of the lamb of God. Open up your heart and let Jesus in, for He is the One that died on the cross, shed His blood and paid the penalty for your sins, so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



WHAT IS THE RAPTURE ? HIS COMING IS NEAR – LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

April 1, 2011

TO ALL MY FOLLOWERS, THIS SITE WILL SOON BE AT: http://www.thecupofsalvation.com Thanks, Jeff

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

2 Peter 3:9-10 KJV

The word Rapture does not appear in the Bible. It comes from the Latin word rapare which means “seize”, “snatch” or “take away.” The term Rapture is used to refer to the faithful believers being taken up to meet Christ in the air as described in this passage written by the apostle Paul in the Bible, “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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 KJV  Apparently, doubts had arisen among the Thessalonians about the fate of those Christians who had died before Christ returned. Would they miss out on the glorious events of Christ’s second coming and the resurrection? Paul assured them that God would save those who had already died, as well as those still living. There are many other New Testament passages describing the resurrection of the dead and the gathering in of the faithful when Jesus comes again. Like this one, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:30-31 KJV  These passages use the image of the faithful being caught up in the clouds and meeting the Lord in the air, as Paul did not use that description in his later writings. Therefore, many Christians do not place great significance on the particular description and imagery Paul used in 1 Thessalonians. Most Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias do not mention the Rapture at all. Other Christians believe the Rapture will be the centerpiece of Jesus’ second coming, a glorious, dramatic event with Jesus appearing to literally take believers up into the sky. Among these Christians, there are several theories about the timing of the Rapture. We’re living in a day in age where people have twisted the word of God all around. Over the past 2000 years, countless groups and people have compared events of their time to Bible prophecies and come to the conclusion that Jesus would be returning soon. Some have set a specific date and led their followers into the desert or the wilderness to await the Rapture. Every one of those predictions turned out to be wrong. Jesus, Himself, said, However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. The Bible says,  “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:34-36 KJV  Jesus also said we should not believe anyone who claims to be the Messiah or anyone who claims to know when He is coming again. The second coming of Jesus will be sudden, unexpected and unmistakable, like lightning flashing across the sky. The important thing is not to know when or how the end will come, but to be spiritually prepared when it does. While we are still living, or until Jesus comes again, we have every opportunity to repent, change our ways from evil to good. But in the end we will all be judged. Everyone, the still living and the resurrected dead, will face God’s judgment. Even those who profess Christianity will be judged by the deeds they have done in life. Those who have lived righteous lives will be granted eternal life, those who have lived evil lives will be condemned to eternal punishment. The Bible says. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV  The final result of the Second Coming will be fulfillment of all the promises of the kingdom of God. Satan will be destroyed, and there will be no more sin, suffering or death. The Bible says, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10 KJV  We want to get ready. We want to be ready when Jesus comes as a thief in the night. What is your sin? What is your weakness? Come to Christ and ask Him to forgive. Do it now before it is too late. Open your heart to Jesus Christ and put your Trust and Faith in Him today, because He is the One that died on the cross and paid the penalty for your sins so that you could have the free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



%d bloggers like this: