Behold I Stand at the Door

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

  • Behold – consider, discover, perceive, contemplate, view attentively
  • Who?  Not a magazine salesman, but THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE.
  • What kind of door?  Is our door a locked door, a closed door, a revolving door, an open door?
  • What will happen if we open the door?
  • Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe, the one who died on Calvary the one who rose from the dead, the only one that I can call on and confess my wrong doing and be forgiven, is only responsible for one part of the process.  The Holy Spirit does the convicting and the convincing, but he is only responsible for one part of the process. 
  • We are the one who must respond to the knock.  We are responsible for our own decision.  We can choose to ignore Him.  We can refuse to open the door and allow Him to come in and dine with us and we with him.  (Note:  dine with Him/me and me/Him – not a one sided fellowship or relationship).  The Savior of the world desires to have fellowship with us.  WOW!
  • Absolute truth

Do you believe if you were to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet you would eventually hit the ground?  That is an absolute truth.  The law of gravity cannot be changed.  Neither can the truths of Scripture.  He is at the door…He is at your heart’s door…If your door has been locked, closed or revolving, just open it.  If you are already a Christian, perhaps there is one thing that separates you from having the complete, open fellowship with Him that you desire to have.  Open the door!

  • There is the standing Christ – He stands at the door.  This symbolizes His readiness to enter the life of a person.  He is the One who takes the initiative to save man.  He has come to man; man has not approached Him.  Jesus Christ stands before the heart of man as the Savior of the world, as loving man so much that He has come into the world to save man.  He is the One who has travelled such a great distance from the majesty of heave down to man’s heart.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 145:18 – The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.

John 6:50-51 – This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.

  • There is the knocking Christ – He stands at the door and knocks.  This symbolizes the seeking Christ.  Christ has not only come to earth and walked over to man’s heart, He actively seeks to enter man’s heart.  He knocks and knocks at the man’s heart and He refuses to give up.  Christ knocks so much that a person has to either open up or deaden his ears to the knock.

Matthew 18:12 – What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?

Luke 19:10 – for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

  • There is the pleading Christ – He pleads for entrance.  This symbolizes the compassion of Christ.  He not only knocks, He pleads and begs for man to open His heart.  He is merciful and full of compassion.  He knows what life should be for He created life.  He knows that life must be lived in wholehearted commitment to righteousness or else it is wasted and doomed.  He longs for man to have real life, abundant and eternal life.  Therefore, He knocks and keeps on knocking at the door of a man’s heart.  While He is knocking, He pleads and begs for the man to hear Him.

Matthew 11:28 – Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 23:37 – O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Revelation 22:17 – And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

  • There is the penetrating Christ – This is the most glorious promise imaginable!  Imagine the Spirit of Jesus Christ living within the heart and life and body of a person.  When a person hears His voice and opens his heart, Christ enter; He penetrates the life of a person.  This symbolizes the life changing presence and power of the living Christ.  When he enters and penetrates a person’s life, He causes the most radical changes imaginable. 
  • He causes the person to be born again.

John 3:3-5 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

  • He causes a new creature out of the person.

2 Corinthians 5:7 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Colossians 3:10 – and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

  • There is the companion Christ – This symbolizes fellowship.  When Jesus Christ enters and penetrates a person’s heart, He lives forever within the life of the person.  He is always present with the person.  When Jesus Christ enters a life, he has the richest fellowship possible, fellowship and communion with the Son of God Himself.  And the person has it forever and forever.

John 17:23 – I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

1 Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Ephesians 3:17-19 – that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Redemption

Ephesians1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:   Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

GOD’S CALL

  • To Paul
  • “Apostle” means “one called and sent forth on a very special mission.  A messenger.
  • To the church
  • “Saints” means “to be set apart, consecrated”
  • “Faithful” means “to have placed our faith in Jesus Christ”

Ephesians 4:24 – “and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Colossians 3:10 – “and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

GOD’S BLESSINGS ARE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

  • Of the Spirit
  • Permanent and perfect
  • Found only in Christ

GOD HAS CHOSEN US TO BE HOLY (SET APART) AND BLAMELESS (FREE FROM SIN, WITHOUT BLEMISH)

1 Peter 1:15-16 – “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

2 Peter 3:11 – “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”

Colossians 1:21-22 – “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.”

1 Thessalonians 3:13 – “so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

GOD HAS ADOPTED US AS SONS AND DAUGHTERS

  • “Predestination” means “to predetermine, to appoint before”
  • “Adoption means” “to place as a son”

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Romans 10:13 – “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’”

2 Peter 3:9 – “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.”

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

GOD HAS REDEEMED US

  • “Redemption” means “to set a man free by paying a ransom”
  • Man is in bondage
  • Man cannot free himself
  • God has paid the ransom – His son’s death on the cross

Romans 3:24 – “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 6:20 – “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Colossians 1:14 – “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

GOD HAS GIVEN US WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING

  • “Wisdom” means “seeing and knowing the truth”

1 Corinthians 2:9-16 – “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.  For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

GOD HAS REVEALED THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL TO US

  • This is the main theme of Ephesians.  A “mystery” in the Bible is not something mysterious and hard to understand.  It is a truth that has been opened up to man.  A truth revealed by God to man that man had not understood before.  The “mystery” of God’s will is the Church, with Christ as its head.

Galatians 4:4 – “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”

Ephesians 3:9-11 – “and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:19-21 – “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Ephesians 4:11-12 – “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

GOD HAS GIVEN US AN INHERITANCE

Malachi 3:17 – “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels.
and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’”

Ephesians 2:19-21 – “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.”

1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

GOD HAS SEALED US WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

Romans 8:16 – “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

2 Corinthians 1:22 – “who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

Galatians 4:6 – “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Back From the Dead

Romans 6:8-11 (New Living Translation)

And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:8-11 (Amplified Bible)

Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.

This testimony is not my testimony of how a life is changed.  It is rather a statement of fact of what God will do in a life, when that person surrenders to Him.  I want to focus on the goodness and the love of Jesus Christ my Lord and Master and for Him to receive all the glory. 

Looking back on my life from the post salvation view, I believe that I was called by God to the ministry at about the age of thirteen.  I was the sixth of seven children born in 1940 to poor parents who were still struggling from the affects of the Depression.  They had purchased a three room house in Bethalto Illinois in 1936 and attended the church just three or four blocks away.  We all lived in that three room house, minus two children that had died in infancy, along with a grandmother.  Togetherness…yes. 

I attended that church every time the doors were opened but even though I had experienced a closeness or call of God at thirteen I never was baptized, nor did I ever take communion.  No one ever questioned this fact.  Today I ask myself, why did they not question.  The deacons that passed out the Communion, the Pastor, the Sunday School teachers I had had, even my own parents never questioned this.

When I was eighteen, having finished high school, and having no job, I went into the Air Force and eventually spent twenty years, retiring in 1979.  Of course, as is often the case, I drifted away from Church and what relationship I had with God. 

I went deep into sin.  Drinking, carousing, smoking, cursing, dirty stories, porn, drugs, and all the things that sin does over time.  I was calloused to the things of God, even though my position in the service was working in the Chaplain’s office.   Again, no chaplain or supervisor ever questioned my behavior.  I was foul in my language and what I lacked in size I did very well at trying to make up for with my mouth.  My biggest problem was the alcohol.  One drink was never enough.  I believe now the reason I had this insatiable addiction to booze was due to lack of self control and insecurity.     At eighteen I weighed just 110 pounds and because of my insecurity, I was scared to death to say anything to anyone.  I was a different person when I was drinking.  I couldn’t remember my insecurity when I was drunk – so I drank.

On more than one occasion after a night out on the town drinking, I would come home in a taxi or someone would drive me home.  Several times I had to go looking for my car the next day.  Many times I just drove drunk not remembering a thing the next day.  God was merciful for He spared my life on many occasions when I was in that condition.  I remember one occasion as I was driving home in the middle of the night, drunk as usual, I heard an inward voice say to me, “Your mother’s praying for you.”

While I was stationed in Taiwan in 1973-74 my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I went back to see her on emergency leave because family did not believe she was going to live.

Up to this point I was without question, a sinner, lost, undone, chained, condemned, bound for hell and its torment, and without hope, bound for eternal separation from God’s love.  I was doomed, eternally lost.

Romans 5:8 (New King James Version)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

On my way back to Illinois on emergency leave, I had a layover in Seattle-Tacoma Washington International Airport.  All I could think about was my mom and losing her.  I was thirty four at the time.  It was past the hour of the bars being open, so I was alone with my thoughts, or so I thought.

At some point there in the middle of the terminal, while I was alone with my thoughts, there appeared what I would describe as a street sign. One part of the sign where the name of the street would normally appear said heaven and was pointed upwards.  The other part of the sign was pointed downward and it said hell.  As if this wasn’t enough of a shocker, I heard a voice inwardly that said, “And which way are you headed?”

Of course I knew enough about the bible and church that I knew where I was headed.  In my heart I answered and then I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.   Hallelujah.

I got to St Louis International Airport and my brother picked me up.  I went to my sister’s house where my mother was staying.  She was taking chemo and radiation treatments and could not stay by herself.  I said nothing about the airport encounter to anyone. 

Several days later my mother was feeling a little better and she wanted to go home to her house and her own bed.  She told my sister that Paul could go with her and if she had any problem she was only about six blocks away.  That night as she slept in her own bed and I lay on the sofa I could not sleep.  In the wee hours of the morning I could sense an awesome presence of the Lord.   I believe His presence was in the whole house.  My mother was one of those great prayer warriors we often hear about.  That was probably the main reason she wanted to go to her own house, to have His presence.  I slipped off the sofa and sat on the floor near the door of her bedroom.  After a few minutes, she said, “Paul, is that you?”  She wanted to know if anything was wrong.  That is when I told her about what happened at the airport.  Her statement when I finished telling her of my encounter was “I knew something was different about you.”   My mother went into remission and lived for another five years when the cancer returned.

I went back to Taiwan where I was stationed.  The first thing I did when I got back was look up a fellow serviceman I  knew attended church.  He told me where we went and that Sunday I headed to the church.  

Of course, this foul mouthed, drinking serviceman was no longer foul mouthed and drinking every night of the week.  It did not go unnoticed and I began telling what God had done in my life.  The little church suddenly began to have other individuals and families that did not attend church show up.  A revival was truly in progress. 

The four or five busses going to the base some thirty miles away suddenly became filled with new Christians.  No more cursing, no more dirty stories were heard.  Instead, bibles were being read, questions about scriptures were being discussed.   One weekday we took a bunch of musical instruments up to the base from the church and did a gospel music concert during the lunch hour at the dining hall. 

Fast forward…now out of service…now a graduate of Bible School…now a definite call to the ministry.   In 1984 God gave me a Christian wife to work with me in my ministry.   Victory Tabernacle, Alpha Chapel, Bible Fellowship Church,  House of Prayer, Gospel Lighthouse, New Life Tabernacle, all churches where we served and Missionary to Iloilo Philippines along with Jessica our youngest daughter.  She is also a minister today.

Today I am retired – but you can never completely retire from God’s call.  My wife and remain active in our local church and try to share God’s love whenever and wherever we meet someone in need.

I am so thankful for a mother who never gave up but kept praying for me.  I am so thankful for the mercy and love of God that kept me and brought me back to Him.

Never give up praying for your family.  

  • Matthew 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Light Bearers

Philippians 2:12-16

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Paul has reminded the Philippians of the example of Jesus Christ, how he was obedient and willingly sacrificed Himself for the entire world.  Paul is not teaching salvation by works, but he is showing the church at Philippi that if they really understand and believe what Jesus Christ did for them, their salvation will express itself in progressive Christian living and upright character.  This spiritual growth and character will happen on an individual basis.  However, true obedience will lead the individual to participate in God’s corporate call to a local body of believers.

WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION

  • Work out in the Greek means to bring to completion, to accomplish.  In other words, do not walk half-way with God.  Do not be satisfied with a little of God.   No one else can do it for you.  It is your salvation.  We are to do it with “fear and trembling.”  We need to take this effort seriously.  We will stand before God some day and give an account of our lives.  We need to not be complacent or half-hearted in our walk with God. 

Matthew 10:28 – “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” 

Titus 2:11-12 – “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly (in a responsible manner, sensibly, being in self-control and in full possession of intellectual and emotional faculties), righteously, and godly in the present age.” 

WORK AT OBEYING GOD

  • Works here means to energize.  It speaks of the active operation or working of power and its effectual results.  God is working in us, stirring our hearts, trying to obtain our attention.  We are to recognize these “workings” of God in our hearts, and respond so that we can be obedient to Him.

John 5:21 – “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” 

John 6:63 – “It is the Spirit that gives life . . . the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” 

WORK AT NOT COMPLAINING OR ARGUING

  • Murmurings or complaining means to grumble, complain, be critical, find fault and gossipDisputing means to question, express doubt.  We are to work together in the church without divisions, complaining, being critical of our leaders or of one another. 

1 Corinthians 10:10 – “Nor complain, as some of them also complained and were destroyed by the destroyer.”

Numbers 20:2-3 – Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!

21:4-5 – Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”

WORK AT BEING A LIGHT BEARER

  • We are to shine in the moral darkness around us – show forth the light of Christ.  We are to do this by being blameless (free from fault and censure) and harmless (innocent, unadulterated). 

Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glory your Father in heaven.” 

WORK AT BEING WITNESSES

  • We are to share the good news of Jesus everywhere we can, whenever we can. 

Mark 16:15 – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in your, with meekness and fear.”

WORK AT LIVING A SACRIFICIAL LIFE FOR GOD

  • We have the example of Jesus, we have the example of Paul, and we have the example of many in the Bible and in our own lives. 

Luke 9;23 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” 

Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice….”

Jesus is Our Only Solution

1 John 5:12

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

  • He came to give us life

1 John 1:1-2 – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—

  • He came to fill us with joy

1 John 1:4 – And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

  • He was there “from the beginning

John 1:1-2, 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

  • Disciples saw His miracles!  They were witnesses!  They knew!

2 Peter 1:16 – For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

  • He is real

Luke 24:39 – Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.

  • He came
    • To do away with our sin
    • To forgive us
    • To set us free
    • To bring us joy
    • To free us from bondage
    • To heal our bodies
    • Much-much more
    • But the main point was to forgive our sins

1 John 3:5 – And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

  • We are responsible for our sins – Not like Flip Wilson who said, “The devil made me do it.”

1 John 3:8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

  • Tares or weeds
  • Tares are burned up
  • The sinner goes to hell
  • He/she suffers eternal punishment (separation from God)
  • There is weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth
  • Are there tares in the church today?

Matthew 13:38-40 – The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

  • He came to this earth for one purpose – to die on Calvary
    • By His death we know love because He gave His life for us
    • We should give our lives for one another following His example
    • It’s not all about ME, ME, ME – looking out for #1

1 John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • He died for the ungodly – that’s you – that’s me

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

1 John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • He was the propitiation (mercy seat), the one and only, the total and final ultimate sacrifice

1 John 4:9-10 – In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

  • Disciples saw, and testified to what He has done for us

1 John 4:14 – And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

  • Jesus is our only source!

1 John 5:12 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Sin – Transgression – Missing the Mark

1 John 2:1-2

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

  • Sin
    • Transgression
    • Disobedience
    • Missing the mark
    • Overstepping the law
    • Rebellion
    • Not meeting God’s standard
    • Self-will – not God’s will
    • Ungodliness
    • Unbelief

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 9:22 – And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission for sins.

  • Repentance
    • Confession of sin
    • Forsaking of sin
    • Turning to God

Psalm 38:18 – For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin.

Luke 18:13 – And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Luke 15:21 – And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

  • Faith
    • Know that faith works
    • Agree that faith works
    • Agree that “It’s for me”

Job 19:25 – I know that my Redeemer lives.

  • Propitiation – God’s demand that punishment for sin be satisfied
  • Adoption – made a part of the family of God
  • Redemption – price paid as a ransom
  • Justification – declared righteous with God because of shed blood of Jesus
  • Reconciliation – restored to fellowship with God
  • Substitution – we deserved death, but Christ died for us
  • Sacrifice (mediator) – one who gives what is necessary to bring God and man together.

A Son of God

1 John 3:1

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

  • Your position in Christ covers your sin, your failure, your weakness, your frailty.

John 1:6-13 – There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

  • There is no better position in life than to be His child.
  • He does not have grandchildren or step children.
  • What are some of your rights as a child of God?
  • Translated from one family to another – not a child of wrath any longer.

Ephesians 2:1-3 – And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

  • Grafted into the family of God

Ephesians 2:11-13 – Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

  • Called out of darkness into His marvelous light

1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

  • You are free from all previous family obligations. 
  • You are no longer the servant of sin

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

  • You are no longer the servant of poverty

Philippians 4:19 – And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

  • You are no longer the servant of sickness

1 Peter 2:24 – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

  • You are no longer the servant of helplessness

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  • You have the rights and privileges of the new family.
  • The blood of Jesus

Hebrews 9:22 – And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

  • The name of Jesus

Philippians 2:10 – That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

  • The Word of God

Luke 11:28 – But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.

Romans 10:17 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.

  • The Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.

  • In the Covenant made with God and you when you accepted Christ, you have every provision you need.
  • God is able to do so much with so little.
  • A boy’s lunch fed 5000 hungry people
  • Short prayer of 63 words by Elijah caused fire to fall from heaven and devour the sacrifice, the wood, the altar, the water and the dirt around the altar
  • A cloud the size of a man’s hand produced a great rain
  • A small child in a stable looked so helpless and defenseless until He stretched out His arms on the cross and cried out, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
  • Your life totally yielded to God Almighty
  •  

Smith Wigglesworth could not even speak publicly as a minister of the Gospel.  His wife preached for him in the mission church they had founded.  He was tongue-tied, but he was loosed when he received the power of the Holy Spirit in his life.  Fourteen people were brought back from the dead through the prayers of this tongue-tied, uneducated preacher.

What can God do through you?

What will you let God do though you?

That Big Word “If”

1 John 1:6

IF we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

  • “If” is a little word with a big meaning.  “If” requires actions on our part.  God has already done His part by sending His son as the redeemer for all mankind “if” we believe. 

1 John 2:3 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:19 – They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:29 – If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:13 – Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.

  • Our relationship with God does not depend on what other do or do not do.  “If” our heart is true, He receives us. 

1 John 3:20 – For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

1 John 3:21 – Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

  • Our hearts must be in tune with Him and His will.

1 John 4:9 – God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

1 John 4:11-12 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

1 John 4:20 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

  • We must love for He has loved us.  No debate, no waffling – we must.

1 John 5:9 – If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.

  • Confidence in Him who brought us into new life will be the witness within that in all things His plans/design will be made known.

1 John 5:14-16 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.

What’s in a Name?

1 Peter 1:1-10

1 Peter 1:1- 10 – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

The prophecy of this grace.

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23 – Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”

Grace – what does it mean?

G     It is a gift – Ephesians 2:8-10 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

O     It calls for an offering – Romans 12:1 — I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

D    It caused God to dwell among us – John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

W   This “Word” is powerful and His life on earth was verified by many witnesses – Hebrews 4:12-13 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

1 Timothy 3:16-17 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.

I    Because of this “Word” we have an inheritance – Romans 8:16-17 – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

T   Because of what God has done, we are His temple.  – 2 Corinthians 6:16 – And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:  “I will dwell in them and walk among them.  I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

H    It calls for us to be holy in our lives – 1 Peter 1:16 – because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

U    It calls for faith in God.  However, it also tells us when we have doubts we can honestly cry out to God for His help – Romans 11:19-21 – However, it also tells us when we have doubts we can honestly cry out to God for His help – Romans 11:19-21 – You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Mark 9:24 – Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

S  It provides for us a Savior – Luke 2:11 – For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

What’s in a name?  Everything, if the name is the one above every name – the name by which we must be saved!  Introduce your friends to Jesus (God With Us)!!!

What Kind of Person Are You?

2 Peter 3:1-13

Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 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.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

  • What kind of man/woman are you?

Many things we read in the newspaper, magazines, see on television and hear people or even churches say about the end times are not accurate.  Many of them said nothing about Christ’s return for the church.  The people who are living for Christ, who have confessed their sins and are doing the best they can to walk, talk, act, and be what Jesus wants them to be.  These people will not have to worry about a lot of the calamities that are going to come upon the earth.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

  • So this Day should not overtake you

What day?  The Day of the Lord.  The catching away of the church to heaven.  Then comes the tribulation, the period of Revelation and all of its trouble, all of its times of difficulty.

  • What kind of man/woman are you?

If you are ready when the Lord comes, you do not have to worry about all these things

  • What kind of man/woman are you?
  • God’s Word is true
    • If God’s Word says it is going to take place, it will.
    • First thing on the agenda, regardless of when these things will begin, be ready.  Confess your sins. 
    • Live right
  • According to the Word
    • Not what seems okay
    • Not what is convenient
    • Live right to the Word of God
  • Then, when Christ comes as a thief in the night, you do not have to worry.
  • What kind of man/woman are you?

You are taking a math class.  You know the test is coming.  You skip most of the classes.  When you do attend, you do not listen to the teacher.  You do not do any of the assignments.  Are you going to pass the test?

You skip going to church.  When you are there, you do not listen to the preacher.  You do not do any of the assignments (read, pray, confess your sins, live right).  Are you going to be with Christ?

  • What kind of man/woman are you?

When your kids do not do their homework, you encourage them, you discipline them, and you may even raise your voice. 

“I’m telling you NOW – get right with God!”

Matthew 24:36-44 – But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

  • What kind of man/woman are you?