When difficult times come

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1.11-14

God has had a plan that has existed since before the world was created. It laid the ground rules for his will to be put into action. It also determined who would receive redemption. If we obey the ground rules which are laid out clearly in the Bible, then we set our hope in Jesus and become a part of his body.

How do we become a part of Christ’s body? First we have to hear the word by reading the scriptures which is why it is so important to read the Bible. It contains the word of truth which is the good news of the gospel. However, just hearing the word is not enough, I have to believe what it says which will lead me to obey it.

Upon obeying the word, I receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the first part of the promise that God has made to those who obey him. At the end of time, we will be redeemed and collected by God to be forever with him through eternity singing his praises.

When difficult times come, and they shall, I can look forward to heaven. As the song goes, “Heaven will surely be worth it all!”

#risingjoy #Ephesians #redemption

Mold needed cleaning from an expert

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” Ephesians 1:7.

Mold was discovered in our home. Ignoring it or just trying to live with it was not going to solve our health problems, yet that’s what most try to do with sin. We needed the mold to be remediated. Any of our efforts were not going to do it, yet I heard many suggestions from good-hearted friends about what I should do. The more I learned about mold, however, the more I was convinced that my house needed a cleaning from an expert. Continue reading

#devotional, #dougkasorek, #redemption

In this is love: 1 John 4.10

“In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

1 John 4.10

God is immeasurably lovable. We, as rebellious sinners, are not. But God still loved us and sent his Son. Redemption is the greatest love of all.

God asks us: Don’t you get tired of sinning, of rebelling, of keeping your distance? Why not surrender and find peace? Why not turn you back on sin and come to me? Here is love. Come with me.

#votd #1-John #redemption

The one who delivered Abraham: Isaiah 29.22

“So this is what the Lord, the one who delivered Abraham, says to the family of Jacob: ‘Jacob will no longer be ashamed; their faces will no longer show their embarrassment.'”

Isaiah 29.22

“The Lord redeemed Abraham from his idolatrous past and called him to covenant service and promise” (C.M. Woods, Isaiah, 127).

Abraham’s redemption is a guarantee for those who are his spiritual children. He will do for them, and us, what he did for the great patriarch.

#votd #Isaiah #Abraham #redemption

God works to save man, but how?

Here is my reply, slightly revised, to a question on a discussion list. Perhaps it might be useful to someone somewhere.

A person asked about God “working on the heart of all living souls at some point in their life, either through divine intervention or through creational DNA.” God does manifest himself in creation. The universe points to God, Psa 19.1-4. Man is answerable to God for this knowledge, which man generally represses in order to worship idols. So Rom 1. Continue reading

#creational-dna, #divine-intervention, #redemption, #salvation

Hugh’s News & Views (The Touch . . .)


Over the years I have used the following poem in various sermons. Most recently I intended to use it in a sermon on “What Christ Means to Me: My Savior,” but time constraints prevented me from doing so. The poem was written in 1921 by Myra Brooks Welch and the story is that she wrote it within thirty minutes. As we come to the close of another year and look forward to a new one, perhaps it would be fitting for each of us to reflect on the message contained in this poem. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #poetry, #redemption

… And you’ll never believe what happened next!

I hate stories that include the phrase above, or similar such nonsense, in their titles. Just give me the information, please, rather than such teasers.

But the problem is, they actually work, because they play off people’s curiosity. Curiosity is a powerful motivator. It rises from a desire to know, which was one of the temptations that Eve gave in to. Continue reading


The people of Israel believed in the Lord…

The people of Israel believed in the Lord and His two messengers (Moses and Aaron), but as the evidence of affliction arose the belief turned to doubt and lack of direction (Exodus 4:31, 5:20-21). Moses was very discouraged, but the Lord told him to press on. He did. In the Lord’s time the people of Israel were redeemed from Egyptian bondage. LESSON: in the Lord’s time and by His direction redemption, recovery, remission, and reward results.

#recovery, #redemption, #remission, #reward

No God in Heaven or Earth Exists

No god in heaven or earth exists,
Besides the Lord who made it all;
Of spirit and truth our God consists,
Before his throne in awe we fall.

He’s One in work and heart and mind,
The Father, the Son, and Spirit three;
By only his sovereign will confined,
And love that nailed him on a tree.


#christian-poetry, #god, #monotheism, #redemption

Central truth

We have people among us here, highly regarded among many, who’ve said that Jesus didn’t die in our place, as our substitute.

#jesus-christ, #redemption, #substitutionary-atonement

The Goodness of God and Eternal Punishment By Wayne Jackson

The late Bertrand Russell, a renowned British agnostic, wrote a small publication titled, Why I Am Not A Christian. One of the reasons he cited for his unbelief was that Jesus Christ taught that there is an eternal hell for the wicked.

Russell could not harmonize Christ’s doctrine about hell with the biblical position of a just and benevolent God; hence, he rejected the teaching of Jesus and inclined toward the belief that there is no God. Russell, who lived a life of reckless abandon, echoed the sentiments of Cain: “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” On that basis, he became a determined opponent of true religion.

The problem of reconciling eternal retribution with the goodness of God also has had a significant impact on the religious world. Many religions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the World Wide Church of God (Armstrongism), have rejected the doctrine of the eternal punishment of the wicked. Even the churches of Christ have had their advocates of this erroneous viewpoint (see Fudge, Smith).

Ad Hominem Arguments

An ad hominem argument (meaning, “to the man”) is the type of reasoning that focuses on an opponent’s inconsistency. Let us, at the outset of this discussion, utilize this form of argument in response to the “no hell” theory.

First, a major premise of the “no eternal punishment” dogma is the notion that such is at variance with true justice. The argument might be framed like this. The Bible speaks of a just and good God; it also teaches the doctrine of eternal hell. These two positions are mutually exclusive. Therefore, the Scriptures are inconsistent and cannot be true.

We insist, however, that those who thus argue are under obligation to defend their use of the terms “just” and “good.” By whose standard are these character traits to be measured? Critics of the Bible must not be allowed to become “theological dictionaries unto themselves.” Their reasoning is based solely upon their own ideas of how goodness and justice should be expressed.

If it is true that the Scriptures teach that God has appointed eternal punishment for impenitently evil people, and if it likewise is correct that the Bible affirms the justice and goodness of Jehovah, then it must follow that eternal punishment is not inconsistent with the nature of God. It is at odds only with some men’s perception of goodness and justice.

Second, no one (skeptic or otherwise) is ready to concede that evildoers are unworthy of any type of punishment. It is recognized that no society could survive in such an atmosphere. Should the rapist, the robber, and the murderer be told: “Admittedly, you have done wrong, but we (society) will not punish you for your crimes. This would be unjust”? Is there anyone who argues that there should be no consequences resulting from criminal conduct? Surely not! It is conceded, therefore, that punishment is not inconsistent with true justice.

Third, let us take our reasoning a step further. Is it the case that genuine justice can be served even when an evil man’s punishment is extended beyond the time involved in the commission of his crime? Do we, for example, in our criminal justice system, ask the murderer, “Sir, how long did it take you to kill your wife?”—then assign his incarceration accordingly? Would justice be maintained by such an approach?

Here, then, is the point. True justice, combined with genuine goodness, allows the possibility that a wrongdoer may be required to suffer a penalty that is considerably longer than the duration of his evil. The real issue, therefore, is not punishment per se, or even protracted punishment; rather, it is eternal punishment. The skeptic (or religious materialist) simply wants to tell God how long the penalty is to be! Remember, however, in a system of true justice, the offender is not allowed to set his own sentence.

Eternal Punishment and a Just God

Since no one has ever returned from the dead to discuss his or her personal experiences, this issue is not one that can be settled by human speculation; rather, it must be decided by divine revelation. When the relevant biblical data is assembled, it will be seen, even from man’s jaundiced viewpoint, that the fact of eternal punishment is not inconsistent with the character of a righteous God. Our case will be set forth in a series of interrelated propositions. Continue reading

#ad-hominem, #christian-courier, #eternal-punishment, #god, #goodness-of-god, #hell, #jesus, #nature-of-the-body, #nature-of-the-soul, #punishment, #redemption, #religion, #salvation, #sin, #the-cross, #the-resurrection, #theology, #wayne-jackson

Lawlessness causes love to grow cold

A lesson entitled “Lawlessness causes love to grow cold” has been added to the series “Love is of God” (in text and audio) at this address:


Dutch version:


For those who know Dutch and English, I might mention that the English version has an additional section explaining the type of law to which a Christian is subject: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.”

Also for those who speak Dutch, the series “Can we be the church of the New Testament,” which has been on the Internet for some time in English, has now been added in Dutch as well (text only) at this address:


May the Lord bless you. Roy Davison

#church, #law, #love, #redemption, #sin

The soap that floats

There is a well-known brand of soap that has two uncommon qualities. It’s known as “the soap which floats” and is the oldest of the best-sellers. But it wasn’t always that way.

Years ago this soap was just another brand among many. Then a factory foreman blundered by leaving a batch of new soap unwatched in the cooking vat during noon hour. His lunch was delayed and the soap overcooked.

Rather than report the mistake and run the risk of dismissal, the foreman decided to make the best of it. He shipped out this new batch anyway. It seemed to clean just as well — although now much lighter.

The results surprised everyone. Rather than complaints the company was deluged with orders for this floating soap. The foreman was not fired but promoted when he cooperated with company chemists to revise and modify the old formula for “the soap that floats.”

Blessings sometimes come from blunders. It’s often possible to make something better out of something bad.

That’s the way God works with us. We don’t often do right the first time, but He’s always ready to salvage the situation no matter how bad we make it. (Rom 8:28)

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#god, #mistakes, #redemption

Redeemed How I Love To Proclaim It!

In Eph. 1:7, Paul gives us  some great insights into the  love of  God for mankind. This  verse  mentions “redemption, forgiveness and  grace” among  other truths.  Verse 8  tells us that we  receive these things in abundance.

Our Heavenly Father wants  us to live  a  full life in His  Son. We sing  songs like “There’s Power In The Blood.”  We must  never forget  how  powerful the  shed  blood of the Lord Jesus is. He  left the  splendor of Heaven to  come down to  redeem us.  He went  willingly to the  Cross and gave  Himself for us.

-Larry Miles

#ephesians, #redemption

Praise God We Have Changed Kingdoms

Jesus is Coming back for us! This is a reality! Praise the Lord that He has called us out of a “dark world into the light of the Gospel.”

“For He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in who we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14)

Most of us, I’m sure, prefer light to darkness. Without Jesus all of us were in darkness, members, though we might not have known it, in the kingdom of Satan. Our Heavenly Father desires that we all come to a saving knowledge ans has provided the means through His Son, the Lord Jesus. We are glad that we can share in the inheritance He has for us (Col. 1:12)

The Word of God describes this transformation as changing kingdoms. We have been brought out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel. The terminology used here by Paul is a military illustration. It pictures Rome going into a free country and as a result of waging a war and winning they subdue that nation and take them into captivity.

But in the spiritual realm, we are the ones in “bondage” and when we accept the Lord Jesus and obey the Gospel, we are “transferred’ (NASB) or “translated” (KJV) or are “conveyed” (NKJV) out of that bondage into the light of the Gospel. But it does not end there. Since we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Col. 1:14) we must put our new found faith to the test.

We have been called out of that dark kingdom, changed by the light of the Gospel and now have the privilege to go back into that kingdom, now empowered by the Holy Spirit and utilizing the Whole Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) to help others find their way out.

We can never work our way into Heaven, but upon salvation, we are to be the best workers the Lord has. So, my fellow believer, while we are waiting and watching for the Lord’s return, let’s be letting our light shine for Him! (I Peter 2:10)



#christian-living, #church, #holy-living, #kingdom, #redemption, #second-coming