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6-23-2017 The Final Say

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity’” (Luke 13:24-27 NKJV). Everybody will not be saved just because Jesus lived and taught on Earth! God’s Judgment will be final and complete. Obey Christ today and be ready.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#judgment-day

Get ready for the appointment before the appointment arrives

I have a dentist appointment for a cleaning today. Too late to prepare for it now!

Preparing for a dentist appointment (i.e. brushing teeth, flossing, rinsing, etc.) the day of an appointment isn’t wise. Why? It should be obvious. Taking care of our teeth is something that needs to be done on a daily basis; getting ready for the appointment well before the appointment is the wise way to do it.

No, I will not be going to my appointment today without evidence of past mistakes. The oral health of my past is my past and I can’t change that (all I can do is trust the repairs my dentist has made and take care of them), but I will be going knowing full-well what kind of efforts I have made before during the last six months to be ready for today.

I do not think any reasonable person will disagree with any of this advice. Personal experience proves it to be true. So how beneficial would it be to take this advice and apply it our spiritual lives?

We all have an appointment that we will keep and no phobia will prevent it (Hebrews 9:27). Preparation is key. And proper preparation doesn’t mean waiting until the day before. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not your judge, but your Judge and my Judge has been imploring people for millennia to use all of our life to prepare for eternity…not the day before (Ecclesiastes 12). Hence, we would all do well to follow his advice to prepare ourselves for the great appointment day (Acts 17:30-31).

Today is the day of salvation because tomorrow may be too late. And it’s much better to live these words than to sing them.

We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)

#judgment-day, #spiritual-analogies, #spiritual-preparation

Never a Promise Broken

By J. Randal Matheny © 2016

What a Savior, heaven’s love descending!
Grace and mercy flow to us unending!
Joy of joys, with all our sins forgiven,
Far our fears and nagging doubts are driven. Continue reading

#judgment-day, #poetry, #promises-of-god

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7-14-2015 Near Death Is NO Death

The Bible description of death is: “the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26 NKJV). Our physical body may be so close to dying, that it doesn’t register on our medical charts, but if it is revived, then the spirit did not leave it! When death does occur, it cannot be reversed until the Judgment Day, for “the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7 NKJV). Paul had “hope in God” that “there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15 NKJV). God has promised that, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV). Near death is NO death!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

 

#body, #dying, #judgment-day, #near-death, #resurrection, #revived, #spirit

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(#141) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:16-Do or Die

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:16: “He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of his ways will die.”

The only way to keep (save) one’s “soul” is to keep (obey) God’s commandment. The only other choice one has is to lose one’s soul by refusing to keep God’s commandment!

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given a charge with consequence: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). When they ate what was forbidden, they “died,” since death is a separation from life and they were separated from the “tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24). When they left Eden, God gave them a way to worship Him acceptably (Genesis 4:3-7), and Abel did but Cain did not (Hebrews 11:4).

Those who lived under Moses’ Law had the same decision placed before them. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

Jesus Christ summed it up in His first recorded sermon: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). The Apostle Peter pointed out the better of the two choices when he said: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Saul of Tarsus was told: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

The Judgment Day will be simple, also: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Don’t care-less, accept the invitation: Do or Die!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #careless, #choice, #consequence, #decision, #faith, #jesus-christ, #judgment-day, #keeps-commandments, #obedience, #proverbs, #salvation

A Poem about The Lordship of Jesus

Here’s a little poem that I wrote about the Lordship of Jesus this morning. I didn’t really have enough time to come up with a proper title, so if you can think of one that fits really well pass it along in a comment. I hope you find it useful for something.

 

It goes without saying, there is no doubt

Jesus is Lord of all, He’ll return with a shout

He’s the Light of the world, shining brightly for all

But have you closed your eyes, sadly ignoring His call?

 

If your answer is yes, then with your heart repent

Quit fighting His grace; allow your resistance to relent

For if we remain stubborn, spurning the grace-filled call

Then we’ll one day we’ll see, that He’s truly Lord of all!

 

So walk in the light, for that way is safe

He’ll help us along, He’ll watch over our fate

But if we delay, and walk not in the way

We will still take a knee, but in a whole different way!

 

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)

#christian-poetry, #jesus, #jesus-as-lord, #judgment-day, #poetry

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(#103) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:1-2-What’s Wrong With Me?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 16:1-2: “The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. 2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits.”

Verse 1: We all do what we plan to do, that is, we act according to the decisions of our heart. However, God reserves the right to oversee, overrule, or overtake our plans to let us see when our thinking is wrong. Other proverbs emphasize this fact: “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9); “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’S counsel-that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21). Long after our plans have failed, God’s plan is still active and better. Saul of Tarsus (later the Apostle Paul) was persecuting Jesus’ church, and Jesus commented to him: “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:15). No spiritual salvation ever came by “the will of man” (John 1:12-13), nor has God’s prophecy come from “the will of man” (2 Peter 1:21), so for a person’s “will” to be right, there must be a dependence upon God’s revealed Will, for “the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). “The answer of the tongue” means God will have the final say about all of our plans. Jesus said, “the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

Verse 2: No one does what is right or can be saved by doing only what they think is right! In the days when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), sin abounded. The sad fact is, we are the worst judges of the morality of our own behavior! Another proverb says: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2). Hardly any human behavior begins without some “justification” in a person’s heart. Jesus condemned Pharisees with: “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Even the Apostle Paul recognized this when he said, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). The Bible stresses that righteousness only comes by doing right as defined by God, Himself! “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7).

No one can “testify” to his or her own salvation and Christian character without heeding the Word of God on the subject. God’s plan throughout the Bible was “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:26-28). Are you saved by Jesus Christ? “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #heart, #judgment-day, #justify-yourselves, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #pure, #truth, #will-of-man