12-19-2016 Jesus Saves The Lost

Jesus defined His mission when He said: “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11 NKJV).  Define “lost.” It is from a Greek word meaning “wasted, ruined, lost,” and Satan is called “Apollyon,” meaning “him who lays waste” (Revelation 9:11 NKJV).  Is your life being wasted through alcohol and drugs, sex and babies outside of marriage, hatred and racism, violence and murder, or cheating and stealing? Then Satan rules your life! To break Satan’s power, Jesus became “flesh and blood,” “that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15 NKJV).  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7 NKJV). Baptism is into His death (Romans 6:3 NKJV).              

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

#apollyon, #flesh-and-blood, #lost, #satans-power, #wasted

Son, Remember

After the rich man died, he opened his eyes in a place of torment and recognized Abraham. In terrible pain, the man who was rich cried out for mercy (Luke 16:24).

Abraham said, “Son, remember…” and the rich man did remember. He remembered his life and how he had everything and Lazarus had nothing. He remembered how he failed to share anything with a needy man who sat at his gate (Luke 16:25).

Those of us who have obeyed the gospel are rich beyond our wildest dreams. This great wealth led the Apostle Paul to write, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift,” (2 Corinthians 9:15). In Romans 11:23, Paul extolled the “depth of the riches” of the wisdom of God. Certainly, we have been given more than tongue can tell.

Could it be, however, that we have something in common with the rich man? Are we sharing our untold wealth of salvation and the gospel with those we know who are lost? Are there some who cannot affirmatively answer the question, “To whom have I taught the riches of salvation and eternal life?” Have you taught anyone this year? How about last year or the year before?

Is it possible that we’ve been more like the rich man of Luke 16 than we realize? When we meet the Lord, will he say, “Son,” or “Daughter, remember?”

A gospel hymn expresses what will happen to some in the judgment: “When in the better land before the bar we stand, how deeply grieved our souls will be; if any lost one there should cry in deep despair, ‘You never mentioned him to me.’”

Can you imagine the sorrow and pain from hearing something like that? On a day when we will have perfect memory, will we recall days we walked among the lost and failed to tell them about the Lord who loved them and died for them? If there was just one reason for teaching others the gospel, wouldn’t that alone be compelling?

People you know need the gospel. They are depending on you to lead them to forgiveness. Will we lead them to glory, or will the Lord Jesus say, “Son, remember…”

#gospel, #lost, #remember

Lively night

This evening, a good friend of mine who lives in Seattle and I carried on a lively discussion with two or three people on Facebook who had never obeyed the gospel.

One of our purposes was to encourage them to reduce to writing what they believed. They had an extremely difficult time doing this, but when they did we discovered some interesting things about their thinking:

1. Proving their position was unnecessary. One of the people expressed their belief as being a necessity to “accept Jesus as their personal savior.” However, when we asked where in the New Testament this was required, the person denied needing to do this. Another person said, “One does not have to prove why they believe the way they do.” In addition to giving her 1 John 4:1 and 1 Peter 3:15, we asked if a Muslim should prove his belief. She said, “Nope.”

2. The scriptures were not important to them. After asking one of them to provide scriptures in support for their belief as we had for ours, one said, “No you have offered Scripture not proof and that is my point.” After then offering Hebrews 11:1 and its definition of faith being “evidence of things not seen,” the person continued to deny the importance of scripture in what one believes.

3. The scriptures do not provide real faith. One wrote, “We believe through faith not because it was proven to be real.” At that point, it seemed to me that the possibility of reaching this person was pretty close to nil. How can one deal with someone who believes this? It was clear that:

4. These people were entrenched. This is the hardest part of trying to teach the gospel in the United States. People are so entrenched in their man-made doctrines they have no room in their minds for the truth. Yet, we must keep trying to reach them and give them an opportunity to obey the gospel.

It was enjoyable putting the light into the darkness, even though it was clear that people “loved darkness rather than light.”

#gospel, #lost, #teaching

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Once we become a Christian, immersed in the waters of baptism (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4), cleansed in the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7), and sanctified from the world by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9), can we ever be lost?

We know that if we walk in Christ, bringing glory to God, as we find in Scripture, we will remain in the arms of God (Ephesian 2:19; 3:20-21; 4:1).

There are those who teach that a true Christian can never be lost. I agree (Romans 8:1).

However, the question remains as to whether we can leave the Lord by exercising our freewill? Scripture says that we can (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-31).

The following articles examine this very important question:

No Condemnation in Christ

Once Saved, Always Saved 1

Once Saved, Always Saved 2

Once Saved, Always Saved 3

I hope you will diligently study these passages and pray about them.


#apostsy, #forthright, #hebrews, #impossibility-of-apostasy, #lost, #once-saved-always-saved, #salvation, #saved

Getting Too Close to Sin

The persistence of humans to put themselves in danger knows no bounds. Reports are that a man in California was so intent on taking photographs of the Tsunami waves, that he was swept into the ocean and hasn’t been heard  from since.

In Oregon, four people were also on a beach and were swept away. Thankfully,  all four either exited the water on their own or were rescued.

Solomon warns us in Proverbs 4:14-19, that we can easily get ourselves into trouble when we allow temptation to gain too great a  hold on our lives. He says, “Do not enter the paths of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil” (Proverbs 4:14).

What may appear to be solid ground may, in fact, be dangerous and can lead to injury or death. Spiritually, if we allow Satan to lead us too close to the ledge, he will send us off (1 Peter 5:8).

Walk in paths of righteousness and we will always be safe (Ephesians 4:1). We must be wise and cautious because dangers abound. However, if we remain in  Christ, we will never be lost (Romans 8:1). Please, get into Christ (Ephesians 1:3) today by the waters of baptism (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:38) and remain with him all of your days (Revelation 2:10).

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

#danger, #lost, #salvation

Share A Bible Verse And Responsibility

When I think of responsibility, I immediately think of our responsibility to lost souls:

“Go ye” means “Go me” (Matthew 28:19; cf. Isaiah 6:8).

#go, #immediately, #lost, #responsibility, #souls, #think

Original Purpose Lost – The Tree Of Life

What lost its original purpose? Immediately, I thought of the tree of life, which man was barred from in Genesis 1:22-24 because of sin, but will be restored to those in the body of Christ who are “overcomers” [faithful], even when facing certain death (Revelation 2:7,10; Revelation 22:1-2).

#barred, #body, #death, #immediately, #life, #lost, #original, #overcome, #purpose, #restored, #sin, #tree