Monthly Archives: February 2012




1.  “What is truth?” Jno 18:37-38 “Truth” used in various senses in the Scriptures:

a.  Truth is opposite of falsehood, Prov 12:17, 19, 22 (Eph 4:25)

b.  Truth is used to mean fidelity or truthfulness, Jer 7:28 (Isa 59:13-15).

c.  The doctrine of Christ, “the truth of the gospel”, Gal 2:5, 14.

1)  Some never come to the knowledge of the truth, 2 Tim 3:7.

2)  Some turn away from the truth, 2 Tim 4:4.

2.  The Lord is “the truth”, Jno 14:6; Eph 4:21.

3.  Why you need truth in your life.


A.  The Truth Reveals Jesus and Makes Him Available to You, Jno 6:68 (Acts 5:20)

1.   Fellowship with Jesus by following His word (truth), 2 Jno 9; Jno 14:23.

2.   Cannot reject the truth of the gospel and be with Jesus!

B.  Who Do You Turn to in Times of Need? (Phil 4:13, 19)

1.   Need spiritual guidance…advice…support…redemption?

2.   App. Do you turn to…

a.   Worldly friends? 1 Cor 15:33

b.   The world’s wisdom? 1 Cor 1:21

c.   Self-help? Jer 10:23

d.   Theologians? Matt 15:7-9

e.   Gospel of Jesus? Jno 6:68; (Eph 1:7-13); 2 Tim 2:24-26


A.  Truth Reveals Salvation to Sinners, Tit 2:11-12.

1.   Hear and know the grace of God in truth, Col 1:6.

2.   Truth forms the basis for faith, Jno 19:35; 20:30-31.

3.   Truth purifies the soul when obeyed, 1 Pet 1:22.

B.  Jesus (Truth) is our only Way to the Father, Jno 14:6.

1.   Because truth is in Jesus, Eph 4:21 (Jno 1:17). Produces “true righteousness and holiness” in the faithful.

2.   Revealed by His apostles, Rom 9:1; 2 Cor 11:10 (2 Tim 1:7)

3.   App. What is your source of truth? (Feelings, friends, reason, Bible)

III. BECAUSE YOU CAN ONLY SERVE GOD IN TRUTH, 2 Jno 4; 3 Jno 3-4 (1 Jno 1:5-9).

A.  Truth Sanctifies Us unto God, cf. Jno 17:17-19; Eph 5:25-27; 1 Pet 2:9.

1.   Set apart to God’s service and pleasure (1 Cor 1:2).

2.   App. What are you doing to be sure you are set apart to God?

a.   Learning and living the truth?

b.   Attentive during classes and sermons?

c.   Take time to be holy with Bible reading?

B.  Must Worship God in Truth, Jno 4:23-24; cf. Eph 5:17-20.

App. What defines worship for you: Word of truth or feelings?

C.  In Order to Grow to Maturity, Eph 4:14-16 (Heb 5:11-6:3); 2 Pet 1:3-8.

1.   Christ is truly food and drink, Jno 6:55 (His truth, 6:63).

2.   App. Is truth your “favorite food”?

D.  To be Protected from Sin, Eph 6:13-17.

1.   The battle rages; you must be strengthened in the Lord by His truth (6:10-12).

2.   App. Can you identify the victories of truth in your life? (Make a list of truth’s triumphs in your life, and thank God for the power of His truth!)


1.   Truth is the essence of God, Deut 32:4.

2.   We must not “exchange the truth of God for the lie” of false gods and false teachings, Rom 1:25.

3.   Christians are and must ever be people of truth, 2 Jno 1-2.

a.  Love the truth… (2 Ths 2:10)

b.  Obey the truth… (1 Pet 1:22)

c.  Live the truth… (1 Jno 2:3-6)

d.  Be saved in truth! 1 Tim 2:3-4

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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1.  Churches in NT experienced tremendous tests of faith. Some persevered when tested; others faltered (Rev 2:9-10; 3:15-17).

2.  Just as each Christian must face trials of faith, churches will, too (Jas 1:2-4).

3.  Having studied things which can destroy a local church, turn attention to things that should not destroy a local church.


A.  Persecution for the Sake of Righteousness.

1.  Galvanizing and cleansing effect (Could use today), Acts 5:40-42; 6:1, 7; 8:1, 4.

2.  Tribulation, suffering, prison, death – Crown, overcome, not hurt, Rev 2:9-11.

3.  Strengthened in persecution, 1 Pet 5:10.

B.  Being in the Minority and/or Isolated from Faithful Brethren.

1.  Christians always minority, Matt 7:14 (Lk 13:24).

2.  Lord stands by us – Enough, 2 Tim 4:16-18.

3.  Even where Satan’s throne is, we can be strong, cf. Rev 2:13 (Rom 8:31, 28).

C.  Sin Problems (When Solved with/by the Word of God).

1.  Unrepentant sin. Discipline, to protect the church and save sinner, Acts 5:5, 11, 13-14 (1 Cor 5:5-7).

2.  Murmurings, Acts 6:1-6. Apply truth and solve the problem.

3.  Disputes over truth, Acts 15:1-2. Establish truth (15:24-29), preach it only (15:30-35), turn away from those who teach error (Rom 16:17).

D.  Being Sound in the Faith.

1.  Some no longer like such designations (“tradition”) – Want to be “progressive”, “on the move” and “exciting” – Euphemisms for not be content with sound doc­trine.

2.  Timothy – Titus: Sound doctrine, words, speech, faith – “Healthy, wholesome, uncorrupt.”

3.  Charged to remain “sound”; words of Jesus Christ, 1 Tim 1:3; 6:3; 2 Tim 1:13.

4.  Soundness in the faith is required, Titus 1:13.

5.  Those wanting soundness will still obey the gospel, Acts 5:13-14.

E.  Financial Distresses (Poverty).

1.  Poor, yet rich in faith, Rev 2:9.

2.  Lord supplies needs – First give ourselves to Him, 2 Cor 9:6-11 (8:1-2, 5).

a.  May lose building and property.

b.  Preacher support (other churches).

c.  A matter of trusting the Lord! Money must never be the measure of success or failure of any church of Christ.


A.  Submission to Divine Authority, Col 3:17.

1.  Divine pattern for doctrine, worship, work, etc. must be faithfully followed.

2.  Departure means destruction.

B.  Devotion to Christ and His Truth in our Daily Lives, Lk 9:23 (Jno 8:31).

1.  Christ must live in us, Gal 2:20.

2.  His gospel must direct us, Jas 1:22.

C.  Submission to One Another, Eph 5:20-21; Phil 2:1-4.

-Humble service and deference to each other strengthens the bonds of love and unity.

D.  Bear Good Fruit, Rev 3:15-16.

1.  Fruit is individual, Jno 15:2.

2.  It can also be congregational, Phil 4:14-18.

a.  Spread word, edify, aid needy saints.

b.  Fellowship those doing God’s work.

3.  Fruitful in work, confident of entering heaven, 2 Pet 1:5-11.


1.  How important is this church to you?  Is it im­portant enough to allow nothing to disrupt its fellowship with Christ, its unity and its usefulness to God?

2.  If so, respect divine authority, devote yourself to Christ and bear fruit.

3.  Then, nothing will destroy this church

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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1 Corinthians 5


1.     Eph. 5:25-27 – The purity of the church is the result of being cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We are to be holy & without blemish (through Christ).

2.     Church at Corinth not grounded in this truth, so much impurity within it.

3.     1 Cor. 5-6 – Addresses moral impurity & the church’s attitude toward unrepented sin in the lives of its members.

I.  WHEN OPEN SIN IN THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS IS IGNORED, THE CHURCH BECOMES GUILTY OF SIN5:1-2, 6.  (Problem in l Cor. 5 is not only fornication, but also the congregation’s toleration of sin!)

A.    Congregations Can Become Guilty Of Sin!

1.     5:1 – Fornication among you.

a. Type that repulsed immoral Gentiles (with step-mother).

b. 2 Cor. 7:12 – The father was still living.

c. Either married or living with step-mother.

2.     Problem: They were tolerating this sin!

3.     Congregations & sin (cf. Rev. 2:4-5; 3:16, 19).  Unless repentance, lose fellowship with Christ!  (2 Cor. 7:10-11 – They did repent!)

B.        Toleration of Sin in a Church Produces Arrogance5:2, 6.

1.     Hard to imagine!

a. Perhaps due to the notion that they had wisdom (3:18), or had many spiritual gifts (1:7), considered themselves a great church (unaffected by this sin).

b. Perhaps they said:  “This is a private matter – none of our business.”

2.     Sin is deceitful & hardens hearts Heb. 3:12-13.

3.     They should have mourned (grieved) – 5:2.

a. Word describes one’s sorrow over death.

b. One’s spiritual demise should produce grief!

c. Not a passive grief — It leads to a corres­ponding action!

4.     The removal of the wicked person from the congregation – 5:2.

a. Implied:  Man would not repent.

b. Stated:  Church had an arrogant attitude.

c. Need:  Correct attitude & take needed action!

d. Discipline is not enacted out of revenge or hatredgrief over sin!


A.    Such Action Is Not Unloving or Wrong – It Is Entirely Appropriate5:3.

1.     Church discipline does not “judge” thoughts & intentions, it judges (disciplines) actions!  Therefore, Paul (though absent) could judge in the matter (having the facts – credible testimony – before him, 5:1).

2.     We must not refuse/criticize authorized action against sin!

3.     Discipline is both congregational (5:4) & individual (5:11) in nature.

B.        Congregational Action – 5:4-5.

1.     5:4“Ye being gathered together” – This is during an assembly.

-With Christ’s authority!  (Divine power & apostle’s endorsement)

2.     5:5“Deliver…unto Satan…”

a. Identify him with the one he is serving.

1)     cf. Rom. 16:17 – “Mark” – Take note, behold.

2)     5:13Put away from among yourselves the evil person.”

b. We will see the reasons for this action in a moment.

C.    Individual Action – 5:9-11.  (Social isolation)

1.     5:9, 11“Not to keep company with.”

–No “mixing together” – No social contact with the offending party.

2.     5:11“Not even to eat” – Implies condoning, approving of the person’s sin (cf. 2 Jno. 10-11).

3.     2 Ths. 3:14“Note” (congregational); “do not keep company with” (individual).

4.     This is a commandment of God!  Therefore, violation warrants discipline!


A.    Destroy the Flesh5:5.

Destroy the flesh as dominate force in his life – Rom. 8:5-8; Gal. 5:24 (cf. l Tim. 1:20 – Might once more be led by the Spirit).

B.        To Save the Soul5:5.  (By repentance – Acts 8:22)

1.     Purpose is to save, not to condemn!

a. Cause shame for sin – 2 Ths. 3:14.

b. Not an enemybrother who needs to be admonished! – 2 Ths. 3:15.

C.    Protect the Church From Sin – 5:6-8.

1.     Toleration of evil increases sin!  (Leaven)

a. Moral standards are lowered.

b. To tolerate sin is to bear responsibility – Rom. 1:32 (Acts 20:26-27).

c. Others are influenced to sin (cf. Rom. 16:18).

2.     Purge out from the congregation the disposition to tolerate sin (& the sin itself) – 5:7!  (Purity illustrated by using the Passoverno leaven!)

3.     Christian life is to be purged from sin! 5:8


1.     Acts 5:1-11 – God’s attitude toward sin in His church!  (5:11)

2.     1 Cor. 5 – God’s attitude toward tolerating sin in the church!  Discipline it!

3.     Correctly applied discipline works! – 2 Cor. 2:6-8; 7:9-11

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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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             “Judge Righteous Judgment”    
1.  When the Bible is used to expose sin & error, it is not uncommon to hear the guilty reply that it is wrong to judge them:  Judge not, that you be not judged!
2.  Misunderstand the nature of judging:
    -krino:  “To separate, select, choose”; hence, “to determine,” and so “to judge, pronounce judgment.”  (Vine, 336).  To decide, give a verdict, declare an opinion” (ISBE, III:1777).
3.  Matthew 7:1 does not forbid all types of judgments.  If it does, then Jesus contradicts Himself in John 7:24!
4.  There are some judgments condemned by God, & there are some judgments God Himself calls on us to make.  We have to able to discern the difference so we will judge righteous judgment!
I.   JUDGMENTS WE MUST CEASE (Because God condemns them).
  A.   Hypocritical Judging of Others – Matt. 7:1-5.
      1.   This is the Lord’s point here!
      2.   Harsh, bitter, faultfinding spirit, which points out others’ sins while committing the same sins! – cf. Rom. 2:1-2, 21-22.
      3.   Self-exalting & self-condemning! – 7:2 (Measured back to you, cf. Lk. 6:38).  Example:  Lk. 18:9-12, 14
  B.   Judging by Appearance – Jno. 7:24.
      1.   Surface judgments;  Subjective, not based on objective facts.
          a.   Context:  Jno. 7:19-24 – When the day of circumcision (8th day of life, Lev. 12:3) fell of the Sabbath it appeared to break it, but in fact, it did not!
          b.     Same true of Jesus when He healed on Sabbath (Matt. 12:7).
      2.   Judging on the basis of the flesh (worldly standards) – Jno. 8:15.
      3.   1 Sam. 16:6-7 – Since God looks at the heart, we must be careful:  What appears to be one thing may in fact be something else!
      4.   Lk. 7:43 (36-50) – Simon judged appearances rather than fact!
  C.   Rash Judgments – Prov. 18:13 (15:28)
      1.   Paul was a victim of rash rush to judgment – Acts 21:27-29.
      2.   1 Cor. 4:5 – Premature judgments forbidden:  “…secret things, of which it is impossible that those who do not know the hearts of men should make up a judgment, do not judge of them before the time, when God will certainly come to judge all men.”  (Poole, Online Bible)
  D.   Critical Condemnation of Others’ LibertiesRom. 14:3-4, 10, 13.
      1.   We must be able to allow others to exercise their conscience in areas of authorized liberties without condemning them!
      2.   This is not saying, “do not judge what is sinful,” it is saying do not criticize each other when liberties are used differently!
      3.   A matter of not meddling in the matters of others – 1 Pet. 4:16.
  A.   How? – Jno. 5:30
      1.   Right standard Truth, the word of God (What we hear from God, Heb. 1:1-2; Rom. 10:17).
      2.   Right motive:  Seek the will of God (Jno. 6:38).
  B.   There are Judgments We Must Make:
      1.   Judge what is right – Lk. 12:57.
      2.   Judge what is holy (pearls) & what is defiled (swine) – Matt. 7:6.
      3.   Judge the evidence that Jesus is the Son of God – Matt. 16:1-4.
      4.   Judge false teachers – Matt. 7:15-20 – By their fruit (1 Jno. 4:1, 6).
      5.   Judge truth from error – 1 Cor. 2:14-15.
      6.   Judge what sin is and stop sinning – Jno. 8:10-11; Heb. 5:14.
      7.   Judge what is sin among saints, & discipline it – 1 Cor. 5:3-5.
      8.   Judge disputes among brethren – 1 Cor. 6:1-2, 5.
      9.   Judge what is proper – 1 Cor. 11:13.
  C.   When We Use the Right Standard & the Right Motive to Judge, We Are Not Setting Ourselves Up As Judges – Jas. 4:11-12.
        -1 Ths. 5:21-22 – We are applying God’s judgments so that we may hold fast to what is good & abstain from every form of sin – And to teach others God’s will on things that “pertain to life & godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).
1.  We shall all stand before Christ & be judged by Him – Acts 17:31.
2.  We must yield to the judgments of God in our own lives.
3.  We must judge righteous judgments to expose sin & uphold righteousness.
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“The Deadly Danger of Indecision”

If someone were to ask me what is the most discouraging thing I have encountered as a preacher I would reply, “The deadly danger of indecision.” Not only preachers but any person who has spent time trying to teach the word of God to a lost soul knows just what I am talking about. The teacher has presented the truth with sincerity and love to one that is lost, pleading for the lost one to purify his soul by obeying the truth, being born again (I Peter 1:22-23; John 3:3,5). Then, at the conclusion the deadly danger of indecision pops up. The person who has been taught says, “I am undecided. I can’t make up my mind at this time.” Because of indecision, obedience is delayed until another time.

I can only imagine how discouraged Paul felt with the response of Felix after he had reasoned with him “about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come.” Even though Felix was afraid he fell prey to the deadly danger of indecision. He said to Paul “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you” (Acts 24:25).

In the encounter of Elijah with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel in I Kings 18 we see how this deadly danger of indecision affected Israel. Israel had turned away from Jehovah to serve idols. Isaiah opposed this and as a result was accused by King Ahab of being “a troubler of Israel.” Elijah replied “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals” (I Kings 18:18). Ahab then gathered the prophets of Baal to meet Elijah on Mt. Carmel and Isaiah challenged the people, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. But the people answered him not a word” (I Kings 18:21). They could not make up their minds what to do. They were undecided.

This brings me to the point of my article The danger of indecision leads to the danger of delay which will be fatal if not corrected in time. If you are standing today in the valley of indecision about becoming a Christian you are standing on dangerous ground. Let me issue the challenge of the prophet of old. How long will you falter between two opinions? If Jesus is the Savior then obey Him (Luke 6:46; Hebrews 5:9). At this time you are partly for God and partly against Him. You are divided in your attentions. Your attitude is divided. Your affections are divided. You may not intend to be against Christianity, but you are, if you are not for it. If you have never become a Christian you are still lost. No matter what you think, your indecision means you are against Him. Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30). You are either for the Lord, obedient and active in His service or you are against Him. God and Jesus demand that we give them first place in our hearts or none at all.

One may say, “I am a good person. I don’t act like a wicked sinner. I live better than some who claim to be Christians.” But, how much of a recommendation is that to God? I don’t care how good you are, or how good I am, none of us are good enough to be saved without becoming a Christian. If salvation is based on goodness then no one can be saved. Period! “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romands 3:23).

Think about this. Even if you are a good person outside the church of the living God, where is your influence? In your indecision you are a worse enemy to the cause of Christ than the out and out wicked sinner. Why? Because of your influence. The community knows the ungodly man and has little respect for him or his opinions. But, you, being a person of good character, but not a Christian, are seen as a respectable citizen and others (whether you aware of it or not) are following your lead in delaying obedience. Your indecision has an influence on them since they are following your life.

You might say, “But becoming a Christian will not make me a better person.” That is the purely human view. Salvation is offered on the basis of accepting Christ and complying with His commands, not on moral goodness. No matter how good you think you are there is sin in your life that needs forgiveness and the only way to obtain forgiveness is through the atoning blood of Jesus’ blood (I Peter 1:19; Ephesians 1:7). To be saved you must obey, for Jesus only saves those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). Obedience to the gospel is not designed to make you a better person (though it will), it is designed to give you forgiveness of sins so you one day will be glorified before the throne of God. Remember when Naaman came to Elisha to be cured of leprosy, he was eventually cleansed, but not until he obeyed Elisha’s command. But dipping seven times in the river Jordan didn’t make him a better man. He was a good man before he came to be healed and the cleansing of leprosy did not affect his moral standing. But, he would have remained a good man with leprosy if he had not done as he was commanded to do. In the same way God offers forgiveness of sins based on certain conditions. One must believe and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Obeying these conditions will not change the nature of man, but it does make one a Christian. The reformation of life (the fruits of repentance) comes after.

Not only will indecision cause you to be lost in eternity, it has many side effects in this life. Indecision is a waste of energy. Have you ever got up some morning without any definite plans? There are several things to do, so you say I will do this – no, I will do this, and I think I will do this, but by the end of the day you really have accomplished nothing. You started with indecision and ended with inactivity.

This inactivity leads to another danger, that of wrong action. Pilate’s indecisiveness about the innocence of Jesus finally led him to wash his hands and condemn Jesus to be crucified. His lack of courage to do right caused him to do wrong. So indecision leads one not only to inactivity, then wrong action which soils one’s character, it can eventually result in the wrong destiny. Indecision can eventually lead you so far away from God that you will find it impossible in your heart to have the courage to become a Christian and when you die to be lost forever. I hope you consider seriously the dangers of indecision.

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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In learning the craft of needlepoint, a person will sometimes work on a sampler. The sampler generally contains a notable quotation and a variety images and scroll work to demonstrate the different stitches mastered. Bible verses are often selected for the basic text, and one of the most popular selections is I Corinthians 13:4-8:

Love suffers long and is kind;
Love does not envy;
Love does not parade itself,
Is not puffed up;
Does not behave rudely,
Does not seek its own,
Is not provoked,
Thinks no evil;
Does not rejoice in iniquity,
But rejoices in the truth;
Bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things.
Love never fails.

Though we often associate this passage with weddings, Paul originally penned it to describe the love shown between fellow Christians. But since it describes love in general, it also applies to the love between husband and wife, parents to their children, and the love that God has for each of us. Let us consider what each point means.


The word here expresses the willingness to wait, even through disagreeable times. It is probably best illustrated by God’s longsuffering with mankind. “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:22-24). Mankind, as a whole, has not been the most loveable of God’s creation. Our behavior in rebelling against our God would have tried anyone’s patience. Yet, we find that God has put up with the bad in order to save the good. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). God tolerance of man’s sins is not endless, but it is very long, giving us every opportunity to improve.

Our society doesn’t cultivate patience. We seek after instant gratification and impulsive whims. We lost something as our economy moved away from its agricultural roots. “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:7-11). That which is worth having is worth investing time to gain. It takes time for a person to mature, so invest the time in the people you love.

Not every relationship goes smoothly all the time. Even the best relationship will experience rocky points of heartaches. It is patience, born of love, that carries us through the rough times. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). Too many marriages are only wonderful during the honeymoon. Difficulties are bound to come, but they are also bound to be followed by good times. It is patience that helps us last through the bad times so that we are still together when things turn rosy once again.


“Kind” means showing yourself to be useful or acting in a benevolent way. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). Kindness is more than an absence of ill-will; it is an activity showing your care for another person. “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35). Kindness is not something reserved for major events; kindness is demonstrated in the little things that we do day-by-day for the one we love. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:9-17).

Not Envious

Envy is an infection that eats away at life, ruining even its best moments. “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). Envy is believing that what another person has ought to belong to you. Joseph was his father’s favorite son and he showed his favor by giving him a special coat. God also showed favor to Joseph by sending him dreams that indicated he would one day be head of his family. However, Joseph’s brothers envied him (Acts 7:9). They only saw that they were not getting what Joseph was getting. Their envy eventually led them to consider murdering their own brother and eventually selling him off into slavery. Love cannot survive when envy invades the soul. “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:26).

Does Not Vaunt Itself

On the flip-side, when you love someone you don’t give that person cause to envy you. There is no need to put yourself on a pedestal when you already have someone who admires you. “But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil” (James 4:16). “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).

Not Puffed Up

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Pride is a destructive force, ruining relationships, causing arguments, and keeping a person from seeing things through the eyes of another. “He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife” (Proverbs 28:25). Paul mentions this to the Corinthians because their pride was destroying the church. “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the otherNow some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power” (I Corinthians 4:6, 18-19).

Does Not Behave Rudely

Yes, love requires good manners for love does not act unbecomingly. Though you must wonder at the world’s idea of love. So often husbands and wives are depicted saying the rudest things about each other in order to get a laugh, but such is not a depiction of love. James told brethren, “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge” (James 4:11). We should appreciate those to whom we are closest instead of regarding them with contempt.

Does Not Seek Its Own

We have enough people who act as if they are the center of the universe. Love is for other people, not for yourself. Other people must come before our own. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well -being. … just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” (I Corinthians 10:24, 33).

Not Easily Provoked

When you truly love someone, it should be difficult to become exasperated at them. Love is willing to overlook the little annoyances that are bound to occur. “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). You cannot love another with a chip on your shoulder.

Now, this doesn’t mean you will never get angry. It means the threshold for becoming angry is higher. And when you do get angry, you settle the problem quickly so that the anger will not last. ““Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Thinks No Evil

The phrase refers to a person who keeps records of every past misdeed ever committed. Sure, in any relationship there will be missteps. Given time, you are bound to say something or do something which you wish you had not. But in a loving relationship such misdeeds should be willingly forgiven when the person repents, and once forgiven never brought up again. “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:4). Forgiveness is not dependant on how many times a wrong was committed in the past. Each event is to be looked at separately and independently. Imagine asking God for forgiveness only to be told “I sorry, I’ve already forgiven you a thousand times. You’ve used up your quota.” “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).

Forgiving wrongs means letting go of the past. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). It is not that the memory of the event will disappear, but that it will no longer matter because it will not be brought up for discussion again.

Does Not Rejoice in Iniquity, But Rejoices in Truth

Even though it is wrong, we sometimes feel a certain glee when someone we dislike fall on hard times. “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles” (Proverbs 24:17). Worse yet is when a person is happy for the failings of someone they supposedly love.

Our concern should be that those we love will be saved. Yet, there are some who claim to love while leading a person astray. How often have you heard the phrase, “If you really love me, you would …” and then some sinful action is suggested. Such is not from love but from self-interest.

Instead, we should find pleasure in our loved ones’ righteous deeds. “I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father” (II John 4).

Bears All Things

In Greek this phrase literally means to cover a subject with silence. There are going to be times when a loved one will injure you in some way. Hopefully the problem will be handled and forgiven. “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). While we earlier noted that love keeps no records of wrong doing, here we go a step further. Many sins carry embarrassing consequences. To love someone is to help them deal with the consequences after you have forgiven them. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1). We have to be sensitive to the feelings of those who know they have done wrong and have turn away from sin. It does them no good to further drag them through the mud of their own making. “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12). When you love someone, you go through the bad times with them.

Believes All Things

When you love someone, you demonstrate that love by trusting them. Love is build on a foundation of trust. There is an old song called, “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman” that speaks the exact opposite sentiment. The author of the song claimed that you would have to watch her every move because you never know when she might cheat on you. Such an attitude is simply not love!

When someone is willing to trust you, you in turn need to demonstrate that you are trustworthy. You should never place yourself in a situation that would destroy the trust you have.

Hopes All Things

Love is optimistic and not pessimistic. We should always expect the best and look forward to better times. Even if this world has its disappointments, there is a home awaiting the will not disappoint. “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come” (Hebrews 13:14). “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16).

Endures All Things

Love keeps going even when our life is filled with burdens. It doesn’t quit or give up. The righteous, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). God’s word sustains us through good times and bad.

Some approach marriage with the idea that if it doesn’t work, they will get a divorce. That is not love! I have seen Christians deal with congregations the same way. They will stay so long as things go smoothly for them. But as soon as there is a bump in the road, they are out the looking for another congregation. Such Christians have no love for their brethren.

Love Never Fails

True love never stops. You can’t fall in and out of love. Love endures. Love grows.

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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1. 1 Cor. 12:31 – The apostle pointed them to “a more excellent way.”
2. 1 Cor. 13 – That “more excellent way” is love:
a. The first & great command – Matt. 22:37-28.
b. We must love one another for God to accept our love – 1 Jno. 4:20-21.
c. Love is an essential part of obeying the truth – 1 Pet. 1:22.
d. We are to “put on love” to bind the body of Christ together – Col. 3:14.
3. 1 Cor. 13 – Division & carnal thinking in Corinth grew out of their failure to understand love & to live in love toward each other – cf. Eph. 5:2.

I.  LOVE:  ITS MOTIVE – 1 Cor. 13:1-3.
A. Love Is An Act Of The Will Which Must Motivate Every Spiritual Deed In Our Life – 13:1-3; cf. Gal. 5:6.
1. Emotional pleasure or attraction is not agape (cf. Jno. 3:16 – Nothing in sinful man which gave God pleasure). Agape is seeking the highest good of another; “unconquerable benevolence, undefeatable goodwill.”
2. Using miraculous spiritual gifts without love gives it a shallow, hollow ring – it is nothing but a loud noise…no real essence.
3. The Corinthian problem: Using tongue-speaking w/o anyone who could understand & w/o an interpreter to give the meaning – USELESS! Not acting out of love!
4. Miraculous spiritual gifts were worthless without love!
B. We Must Stop Saying We Love, & Start Showing We Love – 1 Jno. 3:16-18; cf. Eph. 3:17-19. Sacrifice, service & spiritual growth are only beneficial when our deeds are driven by love for:
1. God (Matt. 22:37-38; Jno. 14:15).
2. Our neighbors (Matt. 22:39).
3. Our brethren (Rom. 12:10).
4. Our families (Eph. 6:1-4).
5. Our enemies (Matt. 5:44).

A. Love Is Active (Verbs used to designate what love is like).

v. 4:
1. Longsuffering – long-tempered; does not hastily retaliate when wronged by another (Col. 3:12 – a heart which is longsuffering).
2. Kind – Good, mellow (not caustic, bitter – Lk. 5:39) – Eph. 4:32.
3. Does not envy – “heated hatred” – “the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others” (Vine, 204). 1 Pet. 2:1. (Bitter resentment of good in others.)
4. Does not brag (parade itself) – Arrogance of speech, to boast (self- display), wounding others & causing unrest & discord – 1 Ths. 4:11.
5. Is not puffed up – an inflated opinion of one’s own importance; love is not arrogant – Rom. 12:16.

v. 5:
6. Is not rude – Love doesn’t behave disgracefully, dishonorably or indecently – Mannerly & decent – cf. 2 Cor. 8:21.
7. Is not selfish (does not seek its own) – Love looks out for things of others instead of itself – Phil. 2:4.
8. Is not provoked – Love is not irritated, it does not go around with a chip on its shoulder – cf. Eph. 4:31.
9. Thinks no evil – Love does not keep a running account of offenses with a view toward revenge; does not dwell on offenses against it – Eph. 4:32.

v. 6:
10. Does not rejoice in iniquity – Love cannot find pleasure in sin. Sin grieves love and tries to overcome it – cf. Eph. 5:11; 1 Pet. 4:8.
11. Rejoices in the truth – Absolute truth, gospel truth – Love takes joy in the truth of God – Eph. 4:15.

v. 7:
12. Bears all things – Love is able to bear whatever troubles come upon it – cf. Gal. 6:2.
13. Believes all things – Not suspicious, believes the best of others, grants the benefit of the doubt in the absence of evidence – Contrast with 1 Tim. 6:4. (Not saying that love is gullible!)
14. Hopes all things – Love hopes for the best in others even when the evidence leads one to believe otherwise. Cf. Phil. 1:15-18
15. Endures all things – Steadfast endurance, the Christian who has love perseveres in whatever circumstances life throws at him. – Jas. 1:12

III. LOVE: ITS PERMANENCE – 1 Cor. 13:8-13.
-(Here is the superiority of love over the miraculous spiritual gifts.)
A. Love Never Fails (Ceases) – 13:8.
1. The transitory nature of miraculous spiritual gifts vs. the permanency of love – 13:8-12.
a. 13:8 – Love never ceases In contrast to the miraculous spiritual gifts which would cease (12:8-10).
b. 13:9-10 – He is discussing the manner in which God revealed Himself to man through spiritual gifts – Hence: Partial revelation vs. completed revelation.
c. 13:11-12: Partial & complete knowledge illustrated with (1) childhood vs. adulthood, & (2) mirror vs. face to face.
2. Now abide faith, hope, love – Love is the foundation of all.

   We must understand love & live in love, else our Christianity is worthless!

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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1.  To have an effect on something; power to sway (Encarta Dictionary); “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command; the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways” (Merriam-Webster). Illus. the opposite poles of magnets

2.  The Bible has much to say on the subject of influence, yet the word itself is not in the English Bible (NKJV)

3.  Influence can be the force and power of godly deeds and the examples they set, 1 Tim 4:12; Titus 2:7.

a.   Of young people upon believers, 1 Tim 4:12.

b.   Of young men upon opponents, Titus 2:6-8.

c.   Of a godly spouse upon her/his partner, 1 Pet 3:1-7.

d.   Of a Christian upon the ungodly, 1 Pet 2:11-12.

I. THE POWER OF EVIL INFLUENCES, Prov 22:24-25; 1 Kgs 11:1-4.

A.  The Corrupting Influence of Evil and Error, 1 Cor 5:6-8.

1.   Leaven: “Substance that causes fermentation of dough in bread making. A leaven acts by causing the formation of carbon dioxide gas, which bubbles through and lightens and expands the batter or dough while it is baking.” (Yeast, baking powder)

2.   Through the persuasion of false teachers, Gal 5:7-9 (teaching, Matt 16:6, 12); 2 Tim 2:14.

3.   Through the deception of lust, Prov 6:25-29; cf. Heb 3:13.

B.  The Corrupting Influence of Unfaithful Christians, 1 Cor 5:6; 8:10-13; 2 Tim 2:16-18.

1.   Our sin can influence other Christians to join us in sin, Gal 2:11-13.

2.   Our sin can influence unbelievers to reject God, Rom 2:24; 1 Tim 6:1; Tit 2:5.

C.  The Corrupting Influence of the Ungodly, Mk 15:11.

1.   The influence of evil associations results in:

a.   Misery, Num 33:55.

b.   Parental shame, Prov 28:7.

c.   Moral defilement, 1 Cor 15:33.

d.   Denial of Christ, Jno 18:18, 25.

e.   Apostasy, 1 Kgs 11:2.

f.    Divine wrath, 2 Chrn 19:2; Prov 13:20.

2.   The influence of the gospel, Rom 1:16; Col 1:3-6.

a.   Power to change the mind, Eph 4:20-23.

b.   Power to change our conduct, Eph 4:24; 5:8-10.

c.   Power to change spiritual condition (death to life), 2 Tim 1:10.

d.   Power to turn darkness into light (Candle), 2 Cor 4:4.


A.  The Flavoring and Preserving Power of a Godly Influence, Matt 5:13; Mk 9:50.

1.   Flavor your environment with goodness, Col 4:6 (Prov 15:1).

2.   Preserve godliness in a world of sin and wrath, Ezek 22:30.

B.  The Saving Power of a Godly Influence, 1 Pet 3:1-2; 2:11-12.

-Turn the attention of the lost to the saving gospel of Christ.

C.  The Encouraging Power of a Godly Influence, 2 Cor 9:1-2.

-Your zeal to be faithful will stir up others, Heb 10:24-25.

D.  The Evangelizing Power of a Godly Influence, 1 Ths 1:8-10.

-The news of the Thessalonians’ conversion spread, influencing many others to greater faith.

E.   The Posthumous Power of a Godly Influence, Heb 11:4.

-Your influence will live on after you are gone.


1.  No one dare say, “I have no influence”! As surely as the sun influences the earth, your life influences many people in unseen ways.

2.  No one dare say, “I am not influenced by others”! As surely as the moon influences the tides, you are influenced by the people around you and the values they hold.

3.  Pursue the influence of godliness and flee the influence of the world, 1 Tim 6:11.

4.  Overcome evil with good, Rom 12:21.

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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


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 “We Persuade Men”

1.  God invites sinners to come to Him, Isa. 55:1-3; Matt. 11:28.

2.  cf. Bread & water of life, Jno. 6:35; 7:37; Rev. 22:17.

3.  Invitation & call to a wedding feast, Matt. 22:1-10.

  a.  The gospel invitation is God’s invitation to salvation (22:4).

  b.  Sinners must come to be saved (22:3-8).

  c.  Servants of the king invite sinners to come to salvation, 22:9.

  d.  Compel (necessitate) them to come using persuasion, Lk. 14:23.

4.  Gospel preaching tries to persuade sinners to be saved, 1 Cor. 1:23.

5.  This is what Christ sent Saul to do, Acts 26:17-20.

6.  The gospel invitation is crucial to every sermon we preach.



  A.  Persuasion to be Saved, Acts 2:40; Rom. 10:13-14.

    1.  Our task: To help people see they are lost in sin & to persuade faith in Jesus the Christ, Acts 17:3-4; 18:4.

      a.  Requires boldness, Acts 19:8 (26).

      b.  Requires patient teaching, Acts 28:23-24.

    2.  Object:  To persuade to become a Christian, Acts 26:27-29.

  B.  Persuasion Due to the Terror of the Lord, 2 Cor. 5:11 (Heb. 10:31; 12:29).  (Use both heaven & hell in the gospel invitation.)

  C.  Persuasion to Continue in God’s Grace, Acts 13:43 (Heb. 12:15; Gal. 5:4).



  A.  To the Individual, Acts 2:40-41.

    1.  Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents, Lk. 15:10.

    2.  Gospel invitation applies to each person, Acts 17:30-31, 34.

  B.  It Must Address the Spiritual Needs of the Sinner, Acts 24:24-25.

    1.  We must do more than say, “come if you have a need” or “whatever your need is, come” – We must first preach the gospel & teach them what they need!  (cf. Acts 16:30-32)


  A.  It must be Relevant, Acts 8:35-37.

      -Gospel invitation helps the sinner plainly see his sin & the salvation available to him in Jesus Christ:  Shows sin & salvation.

  B.  It must be Decisive (bold), 2 Cor. 3:12; 6:1-2; Heb. 3:7, 13.

      –“What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37); Clear & decisive answer was given (Acts 2:38).  Invitations must make the application of truth & boldly call sinners to obey the gospel!



  A.  Tells What Must be Done to be Saved.

    1.  The lost, Acts 9:6; 22:16.

    2.  The Christian who returns to sin, Acts 8:18-24.

      a.  Peter identified the sin, rebuked & warned the sinner, exhorted him to repent & pray.

      b.  If we fear hurting feelings we will be tempted not to give the practical warnings & instruction sinners must have to be saved!

    3.  Preach the gospel & make the application for salvation, Matt. 28:19-20.



  A.  Because the Gospel is Powerful to Save, Rom. 1:16; Acts 26:18:

    1.  To open eyes (enlighten with understanding – truth).

    2.  So they can turn (conversion):

      a.  From darkness to light

      b.  From the power of Satan to God (Col. 1:13).

    3.  So they may receive forgiveness of sins.

    4.  So they may receive an inheritance through faith in Jesus.



1.  The gospel invitation contains God’s call to salvation (Acts 2:39):

  a.  Call to faith & faith’s confession, Acts 8:37.

  b.  Call to repent, Acts 8:37-38; 8:22; 17:30.

  c.  Call to be baptized, Acts 2:38; 22:16.

  d.  Call to remain faithful, Acts 13:43 (forsake sin, 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1).

2.  The gospel preacher offers the gospel invitation to help sinners see they are lost & help them be saved in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:40)

3.  Fulfill your ministry:  Your charge is to preach the word, make the application, & call sinners to salvation, 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:


Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1.  The reign (supreme rule) of Christ is well established in the Scriptures, Psa 2:6-8; Isa 9:6-7; Lk 1:32-33; Acts 13:32-33; Rom 15:12; 1 Cor 15:23.

2.  There is certainly a future element to the reign of Christ and our reign with Him, 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 3:21; 22:4.

3.  The present supremacy of Christ in our lives is the essence of His kingdom reign, Lk 17:20-21; Matt 6:33; Eph 2:7.

4.  When we honor His present rule in our lives it radically changes everything about us! Phil 1:27-30; 3:20-21


A.  Without Christ in You there is No Hope, Eph 2:12.

B.  We Presently Stand in Grace and Rejoice in Hope, Rom 5:1-2.

-Our lives must show the grace of God and the joy of our living hope! (Shown in our values, conduct, priorities and choices…)


Not of this world; Regulated and blessed by truth.

A.  Within: Christ Reigns in Our Hearts, Lk 17:20-21; Eph 3:17. (Through faith, not fear)

1.  Christ reigns in your understanding, Eph 5:17; cf. Phil 2:5.

2.  Christ reigns in your affections, Col 3:1-3; cf. 1 Pet 4:1-2.

3.  Christ reigns in your conduct, 1 Pet 4:3; Eph 4:20-24. Christ must not only be why we live, but how we live!

B.  As Subjects of Christ, Christians Show Their Submission by Completely Obeying Him, Eph 5:22-24.

1.  We are sanctified for obedience, 1 Pet 1:2; cf. 2:9.

2.  Else, we fail to truly submit to Him at all!

3.  We fail to honor Jesus as Lord, Lk 6:46; Matt 7:21.


A.  Christ will Genuinely be Seen in Us, Col 2:5.

1.  Community ramifications:

a.  Marriage: Our obedience to Christ in marriage will be seen in fewer divorces and more resolute commitment to what God has joined together (Matt 19:6).

b.  Family: Our obedience to Christ will show in what we teach our children; in the respect we give our parents, Eph 6:1-4.

c.  Neighbors: How we love our neighbor as ourselves, Matt 22:39; Lk 10:36-37.

2.  Religious ramifications:

a.  Our love for and fear of God, Matt 10:28.

b.  Rely on revealed truth, not self/wisdom, Col 2:3.

c.  End hypocrisy in our lives, Matt 15:7-9.

3.  Moral ramifications:

a.  We will genuinely be salt and light, Matt 5:13-16.

b.  Refuse the filth of the world for the purity of godliness, Eph 5:5-7.

B.  We will Genuinely Stand Fast, Phil 1:27-28.

1.  Attitude: In one spirit, with one mind, Eph 4:2-3 (Gal 5:26).

2.  Action: Striving together for the faith of the gospel (1 Tim 6:12).

3.  Reactive: Not “put to flight” by persecution, Prov 28:1.

C.  We will Accept the Conflict and Challenges that Come Because of our Faith, Phil 1:28-30.

1.  Christ has granted us to believe in Him (obtain the blessings of faith), cf. Eph 1:3; 2:4-7.

2.  Christ has granted us to suffer for His sake, cf. Matt 5:10-12; 1 Pet 4:16.

a.  A clear expression that Christ reigns in us is to suffer for Him rather than deny Him to escape the suffering.

b.  Paul’s example of suffering, Phil 2:17-18.


1.  Eternal reign with Christ given to all who remain faithful to the point of death, Rev 20:4 (6:9-11).

2.  Those who do not want the Lord Jesus to reign over them will be eternally lost! Lk 19:14, 27

3.  The King offers redemption/forgiveness – or be crushed under His righteous wrath and judgment, cf. Psa 2:8-12.

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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