The Greatest Promise This Side of Heaven

Children of the Kingdom;

May the Grace of God our Father and of Jesus our Lord be with you all. Have you ever wondered what was the greatest promise given to us on this side of heaven? Is it perfect health, wealth, peace? What is it? I would like to submit to you that the greatest promise given to us are “relationships”. Consider what our Lord Jesus said here

Mark 10: 29,30Jesus said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there is no one who has given up a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 who will not receive a hundred times as much now in the present age —houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms—along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

Not only is this promise of unprecedented magnitude (brothers, sisters  and houses in the hundredths!), but Jesus also promised that this would happen in our lifetime! Is this promise literal? And how is this possible?

I believe this promise to be literal! However, allow me to suggest that Jesus was not promising 10 houses on the beach or 250 acres of farm lands. Instead, what He said is that when you give up what is truly precious to you to follow Him wherever He goes, you will develop relationships that are so profoundly grounded in love that you will have many fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, wherever you will go.

Children by the hundredths will look at you, respect you and love you as their own father (or mother). Scores of people will see you and effectively treat you as their own blood, their own sister. Women will treat you as their our child. Love in action!

You will also have many houses for those people will gladly open their doors and offer you their own beds for you to sleep in.

Isn’t that the end goal of the body of Christ? That we love each other fervently? Look at what the Apostle Paul had to say concerning the love of the Galatians, before they were led into false doctrines

Galatians 4:15 – I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

Paul might have been referring to tens or perhaps hundreds of people who would have torn their own eyes for him! What kind of impact must one have to generate in others such kind of love for him?

Perhaps we can have a clue with the Macedonians, who were extremely poor. Look at what was said of them, regarding their desire to help their fellow Christians who were suffering too!

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 – And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.

How is this not brotherhood, fatherhood or motherhood in its most beautiful expression here on Earth my people? In their extreme poverty, the Macedonians begged to help their brethren in the faith! But even more importantly we see that they were able to have that kind of heart because of a grace that God had given them!

Oh that our Lord Jesus could not lie when he made that promise, for He knew that He Himself would make it happen, by supplying us with the grace of His Father!

Oh dear Lord, this IS grace! Grace, your grace Father…it is our power to love our brethren as our own flesh, the power to love as Christ loved…giving ourselves even when we do not have anything! Of may our Father shower us with such grace my people, may He shower us with such grace!

The greatest promise on this side of heaven is for you and me my people! A family! A large family! A loving family! It does not matter if you are childless, motherless, fatherless, without spouse or without land! Your Lord, Jesus, Your Lord says that if you follow Him, those things that you left behind for His sake, He will give you a hundredfold!

He will give you that which your heart desires beyond everything else…meaningful, loving and lasting relationships! No one can make, let alone deliver on such a promise…but our Lord!

He loves you! His Father, our God, loves you! Take heart, and know that this promise is not for some eternal future…it is for TODAY!

Thank you Father in Heaven, and may your name be exalted in the hearts of the readers! In Jesus’ name.

Amen

 

One act is enough

There are some actions that are so profound, they leave no doubt about what is in one’s heart.

Perhaps you are sometimes doubtful that God really loves you. After all, you might remember what you did yesterday, this week or this month, and you are truly ashamed of it. And perhaps rightfully, you should really be ashamed of it.

But consider this hypothetical scenario: There is this gentlemen who works where you work. He has a lot of friends but you are just acquaintances. Here and there you would have lunch, sometime you will talk. Your relationship is a clean one, but does not go much beyond the office.

One day he finds out that he lost his job. His friends offer him their sympathy, but soon after, one by one, they disappear. They do not answer his call, they simply vanish. But during that same time, you have offered him, his wife and his children to come and live with you. Your house is not that big, but you offer him and his wife one bedroom, and you squeeze two extra beds in your own children bedroom. They of course, do not have to pay anything, and whenever you are able, you and your spoude assist them monetarily.

That was two years ago and he has since then moved to another state where he got a nice job.

This act of you committed, you who were not one of his close friends, is so profound that it will leave no doubt in his mind that you truly love him. Sometimes, one act trumps everything, and erases all doubt.

Our God in heaven did just that, by sacrificing His Son for us. An act of this magnitude trumps everything. God may be disappointed in your actions, but make no mistake: He Loves You! And if you are truly convinced of that, even after committing that shameful mistake, you will find strength to love Him back and strength to do what pleases Him.  

1 John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Blessings in the Lord.

Once Saved – Always Saved? What does this debate mean for you?

If you consider yourself to be a Christian, then you may have asked yourself the question of whether you can lose your salvation. In fact, this question is among the most debated ones in Christianity. Can a born-again believer lose his salvation?

The objective of this letter is not to share my view on the question. Rather, the objective is to show you how serious this matter truly is, regardless of the conviction you may hold about what the right answer might be. Consider one of the chief passages from the scriptures behind this controversy.

Hebrews 6:1-6 [ESV]Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

IF you believe that a born-again believer cannot lose his salvation, then there is only one conclusion regarding this passage: It cannot be speaking about those who are born-again. It is speaking about those who are not born-again. And conversely, if you believe this passage is speaking about born-again believers, then there is only one conclusion: a born-again believer can indeed lose his salvation.

What is interesting is that depending on the position you are holding on this matter, this passage sends two different, but equally serious warnings to you.

This is the message to you, Christian, whoever you are, if indeed the people in Hebrews 6:1-6 are born-again:

“YOU-CAN-FALL. Do not rest on your laurels, but stand and watch, honor Jesus your King here on earth, or you will be in danger of spending eternity in hell.”

This is the message to you, Christian, whoever you are, if indeed the people in Hebrews 6:1-6 are NOT born-again:

“You, self-professed Christian, DO-NOT-BE-DECEIVED. Do not believe that you are born-again even though 1) you have once been enlightened, AND 2) you have tasted the heavenly gift, AND 3) you have shared in the Holy Spirit, AND 5) you have tasted the goodness of the word of God AND even 6) you have tasted the powers of the age to come.”

My friend, are you grasping the gravity of this passage? Many self-professed Christians have relied on the fact that they once prayed the sinner’s prayer, or onto the fact that they were baptized at their church, or on whatever other experiences they have had or beliefs they hold, to convince themselves that they are born again. Many self-professed Christians have yet to experience just ONE – let alone ALL 6! – evidence(s) listed in Hebrews 6:4-6, and YET they believe to be born again, while this passage confirms that they are not, if indeed once you are saved, you are always saved.

And on the other hand, if indeed one can lose his salvation, then this passage is saying, “How can you, you a born-again, how can you, having experienced ALL THESE THINGS, this manifold grace of God, how in the world can you fall back again into living in the flesh…this is nothing but pure folly and madness, for you are crucifying Jesus, the Son of God AGAIN. It is over for you, you cannot be brought back to repentance, you are doomed and will spend eternity in hell.”

My friends, it is not the intention of this letter to trivialize the ongoing debate on the subject, for the truth of the scriptures, and the truth of the scriptures alone is what we should search for diligently, what we should hold onto dearly, and what we should preach fervently.

Nevertheless, I would like to caution that, as we debate and ponder on this question, we do not lose sight of the more important, and ultimately only truly relevant question that this debate and Hebrews 6 really raise:

AM I BORN AGAIN, AND AM I WALKING? 

This question, is a matter of Life and Death. Oh my people, awake from your sleep! AWAKE! The day is far spent. Do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Do you know if you will be granted another day among the living? So what don’t you rise from your spiritual sleep and walk in a manner worthy of the One you call Lord? Stand up and watch, examine yourself whether you are in the faith, and may the Lord Himself reveal in you that which is lacking, for it is better to enter His Kingdom missing one hand, than for your whole being to be cast away from the presence of God. 

May His grace be upon you. Thanks be to God, the Father, and to Jesus the King of all kings.

Amen.

Why is the Good News (the Gospel) so Dangerous?

Hello everyone;

Grace and mercy upon all of you from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus-Christ. Perhaps before answering this question, we should consider whether the message of the Bible (the Gospel) is a dangerous message. It is. Consider this: Jesus was the embodiment of the gospel. He preached it and lived it better than anyone else…and they killed Him for it.

All the apostles (and early Christians) paid very dearly for what they preached.

Romans 8:35-37 – “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Considered as sheep to be slaughtered? Really?

HOW can the “good news”, the greatest news given to men, the free gift of salvation, be so dangerous for the one who preaches it? It is because of WHAT it teaches 

Titus 2:11,12 – For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. 

The message of the gospel is dangerous BECAUSE it attacks what we love…our sinful nature. The message of the gospel demands that we say NO to ungodliness and worldly passions, that we live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. 

Many have gained much with their sinful lives? Sin is something many enjoy. But here comes the message of the gospel and denounces that very lifestyle we enjoy so much, stating that such life is not pleasing to God and will lead to our eternal damnation (Romans 6:23). 

Millions, my dear friends, do not like this message (even in Christianity), and therefore will persecute its messengers. And so they will quarantine them, insult them, hurt them in any ways possible, not associate with them, imprison them, and may be even, kill them. 

My friends, the Good News of the Gospel is indeed very dangerous. 

BUT for those of you who will say, “I will still share it, I will still live by it, I will still uphold it no matter what men will do unto me”, this is what Jesus says to you… 

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So take courage my friends, and move forward, living and preaching the gospel. May the Lord be with you all.

Amen.