Just men reading, memorizing and studying the bible together!

February 13, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Exodus 35–37
Old Testament Only: Leviticus 1–3
New Testament Only: Matthew 26:26–46

Your Father Is Trying To Raise You Right

Today’s Passage: Leviticus 26-27

Father walking with childrenI’m sure you’ve noticed subheadings in your Bible before.  From time to time you see a paragraph proceeded by a short title.  These titles are not from the original manuscript.  The folks that put together your particular translation have created those as a way to summarize the text to follow.

In today’s reading, in my Bible, I see the title “Blessings for Obedience” just before Leviticus 26:1 and I see “Punishment for Disobedience” just before Leviticus 26:14.  I can’t tell you how often I have been in the process of correcting and disciplining my daughter only to hear the Holy Spirit say to me “Your right; and you’ve been guilty of that too.”

God has taught me a great deal about how I am too relate to Him as I attempt to teach my daughter how she is to relate to me.  Since this blog is supposed to delve into what it means to be a “Godly Man” I think we need to chat a little about being a “Godly Father”.  This is one of the roles we are to fulfill.  Yesterday I wrote about the fact that my daughter isn’t mine, she is the Lord’s.  He put her in my care.  He expects me to be a good steward of His daughter.

I love this little girl and would, without hesitation, lay down my life to preserve hers, but we are not equals.  She needs guidance and protection.  She is under my authority.  She is supposed to obey me and show respect to me.  I have found myself, at times, angry with my daughter because I believe her behavior was disrespectful or because she was disobedient.  Far too often I was angry because I was focused on me instead of being focused on her.

My daughter is to be respectful and obedient to me because God put her under my authority, not because I am worthy of respect and obedience.  The problem is I can forget that I am supposed to model Christ for her.  My behavior is supposed to be sacrificial toward her not over-bearing or domineering.  Now Christ didn’t come to be my slave.  He didn’t come to do my bidding.  He came to save me from the punishment I deserve and to call me into right relationship with Him.  That is what we are to do with our children.  We are not their slave; we don’t “work” for them.

My daughter is a sweet, loving, wonderful girl and when she is respectful and obedient the world is bliss for both of us.  When she violates the rules of correct behavior I must call her back into right relationship.  I don’t not punish her because she is annoying me or because I had a bad day at the office; or at least I’m not supposed to.

Notice how God says He will discipline us.  If we don’t obey He will make our life uncomfortable.  If we continue to disobey He will make life a little more uncomfortable.  Between Leviticus 26:14-39 God increases the discipline five times.  Ultimately we are given over to the results of our disobedience.  Verse 40-46, however, show us that God stands ready to take us back like the Father of the Prodigal Son when we turn back to right relationship with Him. His ultimate purpose in disciplining to begin with is to return us to right relationship with Him.

That is our role as fathers; return our children to right relationship with God.  Notice I did not say “to us”.  Why?  Because I think it is important for us to remember the ultimate goal and that it isn’t about us.  God tells us a number of times that we are to obey our parents so that it may go well for us.  If I’m going to be a good steward of my child I must put her ultimate well-being above my own.  By obeying and respecting me she is learning to obey and respect God; that is if I’m doing it right.

But let’s not forget the blessings.  When we are in right relationship with God life is good; blessings flow.  This does not mean that no one you love will ever get sick, or that you will never lose your job, or that you won’t ever experience a hardship.  While today’s verses do imply that, we can’t forget that Jesus told us we would suffer for His name and that we live in a fallen world.  I mean that you will have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, Galatians 5:22-23.  The real blessings are greater than the paltry materialism this world has to offer.

So fellas, I see here a lesson for us as followers of Christ and as fathers.  Let’s obey Him in everything.  Let us walk in His ways and let us teach our children to do the same by sacrificially bringing them into right relationship with God.

May God bless you as you do!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

February 12, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Exodus 32–34
Old Testament Only: Exodus 40
New Testament Only: Matthew 26:1–25

You Were Redeemed: Bought At A Price

Today’s Passage: Leviticus 24-25

GrenadeThe first thing that jumped out at me in today’s reading was Leviticus 25:23 “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.” It got me thinking about what I consider to be my possessions.  I have, in the past, thought of things and even people as mine; my house, my car, my job, my wife, my daughter, my father, my mother, etc.  I’ve come to realize that I’m way off on that notion.

I am alive today because God created the Universe; He knit me together in my mother’s womb, Psalm 139:13.  Those two facts alone mean that not only do I not own anything, I don’t own myself.  This is particularly true for one who has accepted Jesus Christ.  In today’s reading we see that the property and people of God are to be “redeemed” in the year of Jubilee if not sooner.  Notice that one must pay to be redeemed except in the year of Jubilee.

Now let’s be clear here.  It was only God’s people that were to be redeemed.  If an Israelite had a slave from a different people group they remained a slave forever.

So here is what hit me.  I have been redeemed.  I am one of God’s chosen people.  I do not belong to myself because Christ paid a price for me.  Look at the following verse:

1 Corinthians 7:23 (NIV)
“You were bought at a price: do not become slaves of men.”

This is instructive but I like how the New Living Translation puts it because we see the idea amplified.

1 Corinthians 7:23 (NLT)
“God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.”

I was a slave to sin.  When we pursue our fleshly desires we think we are in control.  The fact of the matter is we are out of control.  Try to stop your habitual sinful behavior in your own strength and let me know how well that goes.  I mentioned Ted Bundy in an earlier post and noted how one step down the road of sin led to another and another until, as he later confessed, he couldn’t control himself.  He had an insatiable hunger that had control of him.

When I accepted Christ, the debt of sin was paid.  I no longer belong to sin.  He died on the cross so I could be reborn from the grip of death and the control of sin.  I’m afraid too often I behave as if I am still in the grip of sin, but the reality is that I am free, I’m just acting like a zombie because I haven’t learned how to remain in Christ.  I’m getting a little off course here so let me bring it back around.

I no longer belong to sin.  I belong to Christ.  My house, car, job, wife, daughter, father, mother, they are not mine.  They are His.  He has placed them in my care.  I am to be a good steward of all he has placed in my care.  Why?  Because He loved me enough to die for me.  I’m reminded of the Bible story of the Prodigal Son.  He learned that he would rather be a servant in his father’s house than to continue to eat the wretched refuse available to him as a free man in the world.  That’s me.  We are not to be a slave to sin because we are God’s servants.  We belong to Him not sin.

Leviticus 25:42 ESV
“For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.”

I read a story few years ago about some soldiers that had come home from Iraq after one of their comrades had thrown themselves on a grenade.  Yes, I’m speaking about more than one individual who sacrificed themselves for their friends.  The article explained that all felt unworthy of the sacrifice.  Some who came back, however, were so grateful for the sacrifice that they were determined to ensure that it wasn’t in vain.  Others who came back became overwhelmed by the sacrifice and were unable to accept it.  They became self-destructive; doing drugs, getting drunk, drinking and driving, pushing everyone who cared for them away; a number of them committed suicide.

What is your response to His sacrifice?  Are you indifferent?  Are you self-destructive?  Are you so grateful that you are determined to ensure that it wasn’t in vain?  Of course the death of Christ was not in vain.  Millions have been saved by His unselfish act.  The issue is, do you continue to act as though you are the boss?  Did God create you and bless you and set you free so you could continue to focus on your pitiful little self, or did He do all of that for a purpose; His purpose?

You are His.  You have been redeemed!  You were bought at a price.  For what did He save you?  How will you respond?  The answers to those last two questions are crucial to experiencing the joy He came to give you.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Feasts Of The Lord

by | February 11, 2016 | In Daily Reading No Comments

February 11, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Exodus 29–31
Old Testament Only: Exodus 38–39
New Testament Only: Matthew 25:31–46

Feasts Of The Lord

Today’s Passage: Leviticus 22-23

Bread and WineI have always been fascinated by the annual feasts and here God summarizes them for us in one handy place. Evidently the number of annual feast is debated.  I don’t know why.  It seems to me that if we Christians can find something to debate we’re going to go for it with gusto.  At any rate, what I’m seeing is that the feasts were divided up between the Spring and Fall.

The three fall feasts, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles, all occur in the 7th month (October/November).  The “debate” seems to be in regard to the Spring feasts.  Are the Passover and Unleavened Bread feasts one feast?  Is the Feast of First Fruits really a feast?  The way I see it there are six feasts, three in the Spring and three in the Fall.  I like the symmetry of that layout.  You don’t like it?  Do your own research!

I’m going to quote some information from one of my commentaries below but what stood out to me is that Jesus didn’t die during the Day of Atonement in the Fall but rather during the Passover during the spring.  Jesus was the lamb that was slain and the scapegoat pictured in the Day of Atonement sacrifices.  That would kind of make sense wouldn’t it?  And for an agrarian society the fall would be associated with death and the spring associated with life.  Jesus died for our sins so wouldn’t it make sense for Him to die during the Day of Atonement feast?

It would if the point was simply atonement.  It would if Jesus died but didn’t rise 3 days later.  But the whole point of Christ’s life and death was the resurrection.  Everything else is meaningless without the resurrection.  When we look at the Passover we see all of the dead firstborn of Egypt.  What we should really see is all of the firstborn of Israel that were spared.  Death is what we deserve.  Life is what He came to give us.  His death was necessary; the point was life.

Have a great day brothers!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

P.S. Here is what one of my commentaries had to say about the feasts:

The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.  Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-).

“The exact number of annual feasts listed in this chapter is a matter of debate. Assuming a distinction between Passover and Unleavened Bread, and not counting Firstfruits as a separate feast, there are six feasts. A more natural division of the calendar as well as the structure of the chapter groups the annual feasts into (a) the spring (and early summer) festivals (that of Passover and Unleavened Bread including the barley sheaf ceremony [sometimes called Firstfruits but actually not a separate feast], followed 50 days later by the Feast of Weeks), and (b) the fall festivals of the seventh month (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles).

And another provided the comments and chart below:

Milestones to Maturity : Growing in the laws of grace: A study of the Wilderness books (Exodus, Levitucus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) – Hayford, J. W., & McGuire, P. (1997)

The annual feasts of Israel have significance for our generation today, as well as for the children of Israel. The apostle Paul said, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).

Also, in Colossians 2:16 and 17, “So let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” In light of the fact that the apostle Paul says that a “festival” and “Sabbaths” are “a shadow of things to come,” these feasts have both a historical and a prophetic role.

 

ISRAEL’S ANNUAL FEASTS
Feast Hebrew Month Day Modern Month
Passover 1 (Abib) 14 Mar.-Apr.
*Unleavened Bread 1 (Abib) 15–21 Mar.-Apr.
Firstfruits 1 (Abib) and 16 Mar.-Apr.
3 (Sivan) 6 May-June
*Weeks 3 (Sivan) 6 (50 days after May-June
(Harvest or Pentecost) barley harvest)
Trumpets 7 (Tishri) 1 Sept.-Oct.
Rosh Hashanah
Day of Atonement 7 (Tishri) 10 Sept.-Oct.
Yom Kippur
*Tabernacles 7 (Tishri) 15–22 Sept.-Oct.
(Booths or Ingathering)
*The three major feasts for which all males of Israel were required to travel to the temple in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14–19).

Consecrate Yourself

by | February 10, 2016 | In Daily Reading No Comments

February 10, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Exodus 27–28
Old Testament Only: Exodus 35:30–37:29
New Testament Only: Matthew 25:1–30

Consecrate Yourself

Today’s Passage: Leviticus 19-21

Joyful guyI found today’s reading, as I find all of them, fascinating.  If you are like I have been in the past you’re probably thinking “Fascinating?  The same ‘don’t do this, don’t do that, sacrifice this, sacrifice that’ business over and over again fascinating?  I’m just not seeing it.”  Guys, I have read the Bible from cover to cover a few times.  I’ve also tried to read it cover to cover other times and failed.

In the past my attempts at reading the Bible were very task/goal oriented.  The idea of reading the Bible in a year seemed daunting.  I would try to make myself get up in the morning to read and the first few days would go well.  Slowly I would have trouble getting up; I’d read at lunch time, after dinner, just before bed.  Eventually I would get behind.  In some of my successful attempts to read through the Bible in a year, I would often have weeks, if not months of “catch-up” reading to do.

Much of the Bible seemed to make my eyes glaze over and I would approach the reading as a Band-Aid I wanted to pull off as quickly as possible.  Do you know what changed that for me?  The idea that I had to write something about what I read every day.  Having to write a comment on what I read changed the way I approached the reading.  Now I needed to look for something on which I wanted to comment.  Looking more closely caused me to want to better understand passages that in the past I raced past.

The reason I mention all of this is that as I read today’s passage the following bit jumped out at me: “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God”, Leviticus 20:7.  In fact, for the past few days God has been saying “I am holy so you are to be holy”, pardon my paraphrase.  He is saying this in the context of being one of His Chosen People.  As Disciples of Christ each of us is one of His Chosen People.  We are to be holy.

Many of the prohibitions mentioned today seem obvious to me, and while I’ll admit a couple of them did have me scratching my head, do I really need to be told not to have relations with an animal?  A lot of what is going on here, however, is that fact that the Israelites have been part of a pagan culture for too long.  These cultures have seduced them and pulled them away from a right relationship with God.  Much of the list of prohibitions is based on weeding out pagan religious ritual.  God is saying “you are not to be like everyone else.”  Being like everyone else is a one-way ticket to Hell.

To be reconciled to God means we must separate ourselves from the pagan culture around us and “consecrate” ourselves.  So what does it mean to be consecrated?  The word here translated as consecrate can be translated as holy, holiness, holy one, saints, consecrate, consecration, sanctify or sanctification depending on the context.  Words like “consecration” and “sanctification” have always puzzled me.

I hope I won’t offend any academics in the crowd when I say that they mean roughly the same thing.  It is a process by which one is brought into right relationship with or attains the likeness of the holy.  We often hear that we are to be like Christ.  This is true.  Once we accept Him, His Holy Spirit convicts us of “uncleanness” in our lives, urging us to purge the filth.  As we let go of worldly lusts and self-centered desires we find ourselves being “set apart” from the rest of the world and more and more like Christ.  Sanctification occurs then as a consequence of this movement toward the likeness of Christ.  All of this takes place in fits and starts but it is a natural and important consequence of accepting Christ.

That said I think we run a risk of missing something important when we read the Old Testament.  As Christians we are not “under the law”.  We have a new covenant.  Yet the lessons are the same.  I know plenty of wonderful people that have tattoos.  Are they in violation of God’s law?  No.  The point of the law was to help the Israelites reject the world and to be holy.  Was tattooing a part of pagan religious ritual back in the day?  The people I know who have tattoos did not get them as part of a pagan ritual, though I guess some people in the world today did.

What we can miss, however, is that the Old Testament shows that the culture around us can lead us away from God when we are supposed to be moving toward Him.  We are to be set apart.  If we do all of the things that the lost do; if we live exactly as they do, then what difference did Christ make?  Is He just our cosmic insurance policy; our get out of jail free card?

Christ said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”, John 10:10 NIV.   Since He told us that we would also face persecution for His sake and seeing as how all of His disciples lived a hand to mouth existence and all but one were eventually executed, I don’t think this means we are going to be appearing on “The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”.  The abundance, the joy, that Christ tells us He came to give us has nothing to do with the worldly/pagan notion of those words.  His abundant life and joy is discovered as we grow closer to God.

I have caught glimpses of this myself.  I have felt the joy of Christ coursing through my life, and the size of my house, the condition of my car, the amount of money in my bank account were of absolutely no meaning and worth.  I was content.  I was happy.  My life was full of joy and people could see it on my face.  When people see that, they want it.  Chasing after what this world has to offer is exhausting.  It draws us ever closer to the grave.  Chasing after the fullness of Christ is exhilarating and draws us ever closer to unending, joyous life!

Let’s not miss what the Old Testament has to tell us.  Let us reject the world.  Let us be set apart.  Let us consecrate ourselves.  Let us be holy for God is holy.

What does all this have to do with reading the Bible every day and writing something about it?  Doing so can be a process of sanctification; of growing closer to God.  Now, when I read the Bible every day, I’m getting a great deal more out of it and my life is changing.  I am growing closer to God.  I just can’t help myself.  It’s inevitable.

I’d like to challenge you to do the same.  Even if you don’t write a comment to the daily posts here, please consider doing so in a journal or on your computer or somewhere.  As you read with a purpose to make a comment, I think you will find the spiritual discipline of reading your Bible every day becomes more and more enjoyable.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

February 9, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Exodus 25–26
Old Testament Only: Exodus 34:1–35:29
New Testament Only: Matthew 24:32–51

Everybody Needs A Scapegoat

Today’s Passage: Leviticus 16-18

Your scapegoat!

Your scapegoat!

Our reading today begins with the description of The Day of Atonement, or, as the Jewish people call it, Yom Kippur.  This was the one day a year the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies; after much cleansing and a sin offering.  He entered the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a bull and goat before the mercy seat in atonement for the sin of the nation of Israel.

Two goats are actually chosen for this day of atonement.  One is sacrificed as the sin offering to the Lord.  The priest takes the other goat, and with his hands upon its head places the sins of God’s Chosen People upon it.  The goat is then sent into the desolate desert.  It is through this goat that the people of Israel escaped their just reward.   It is from this act that we get the word “scapegoat”.

The word translated as scapegoat in some Bibles is translated Azazel in others.  Azazel was a demonic figure to whom the goat was sent.  Some believe that Azazel refers to a desolate place in the desert.  Either way we have a vivid picture of what sin does to us.  Our sin takes us away from God to a desolate place where Satan is king.

It also gives us a vivid picture of Christ.  The sins of the world were placed on Him and He was, for a brief time, separated from God.

Matthew 27:46 ESV
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?””

At that moment, on the cross, Jesus in His full humanity, felt the separation from God that we all experience when sin hangs upon us.  He was, at that moment, the scapegoat.  The sin of the world, your sin, my sin, was placed on His brow.  Can you imagine how crushing a burden that must have been?  He is your scapegoat.  Of course, He was also the goat whose blood was sprinkled before the mercy seat.

Hebrews 8-9 draws heavily on the Day of atonement to explain Christ’s sacrifice.  If you have a little extra time today I recommend you read it as well.

I found an interesting description of Yom Kippur from a Jewish perspective at the following link:

http://www.judaica-guide.com/yom_kippur/

It is a short post so again, if you have the time, you might check that out as well.

Finally, in Leviticus 18 we get the listing of sexual sins.  The Hebrews had been in Egypt a long time and they had picked up a lot of bad habits.  Many of the prohibitions we read here in Leviticus were extremely important to help the Israelites maintain an appropriate relationship with God.  In Egypt they made offerings to false gods.  They also had extremely unhealthy sexual practices.  One commentary I reviewed stated that Egyptians had allowed sibling marriage and even parent/child marriage.

Hard to believe isn’t it?  We know the acts described here are wrong.  Homosexual marriage seems to be all the rage these days.  I refer you to:

Leviticus 18:22 ESV
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

I remember mentioning to someone that God viewed homosexuality as an abomination.  That individual, who I assume supported homosexual marriage, informed me that I was taking something out of context.  I suggested they actually read the Bible.  The context, the verses before and after this one, all referred to sexual sin like adultery, incest, and bestiality.

What is the consequence of such debauchery?  God tells us in:

Leviticus 18:24-28 ESV
“Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.  But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.”

I feel like I’m living in ancient Egypt at times.  I remember hearing Billy Graham once say “If God doesn’t punish America He will owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.” (That may not be an exact quote but you get the gist.)  Guys, we need to practice our spiritual disciplines as a defense against our toxic culture.  Read your Bible, pray, stay away from filth.  What our country needs are faithful men of God who will set a good example.  Let’s show the light of Christ in this ever darkening world so that God will be glorified through us.  I think this is the best way we can impact our nation for good.

What do you think?

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

February 7, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Exodus 19:1–21:32
Old Testament Only: Exodus 30–31
New Testament Only: Matthew 24:1–14

Leprosy Of The Soul

Today’s Passage: Leviticus 13

Do you have Leprosy of the soul?

Do you have Leprosy of the soul?

Today we have a very detailed description of the process by which leprosy, or a disease of the skin, is diagnosed.  Notice that this disease is not diagnosed by the physician but by the priest.  It was thought that a disease of the skin could be divine judgment on the afflicted individual for some sin.  Notice I said “could be”.  The priest was to look for certain signs and take specific steps based on what was observed.  In this way the priest was separating the clean from the unclean.

I found in “Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible” an interesting comment about this leprosy:

“That it was a figure of the moral pollution of men’s minds by sin, which is the leprosy of the soul, defiling to the conscience, and from which Christ alone can cleanse us; for herein the power of his grace infinitely transcends that of the legal priesthood, that the priest could only convict the leper (for by the law is the knowledge of sin), but Christ can cure the leper, he can take away sin. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean, which was more than the priests could do, Mt. 8:2.”

There are many who call themselves Christians who bring disgrace to the name of Christ.  By the same token there are many non-Christians who hold Christians to an irrational standard.  Some non-Christians think that if you say you are a Christian you are saying you never sin.  This is, of course, the opposite of what a Christian is confessing.  A Christian confesses he is a sinner in need of a savior.  The Christian is not saying he is better than anyone else; he is saying he is as bad as everyone else.  The Christian, however, has admitted his sinful nature, repented of his sinful behavior, and accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to save him from his just reward.  By doing this a Christian has put himself under the authority of Christ.

As far as those that claim to be Christians, some have actually repented and accepted Christ; others have simply gone through the motions.  If you have truly accepted Christ, there will be signs.  You will still stumble from time to time as you discover the new person Christ has created within you.  These stumbles are scabs and sores but you are not “unclean”.  One who has not really had a change of heart will be found sinning habitually and without remorse.  This is leprosy and they are unclean.

Just as the priests in these verses were to separate the clean from the unclean, so will Christ when He returns:

Matthew 25:31-35, 41 ESV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. “…Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Friends, if you have truly accepted Christ and simply stumble from time to time, know that your salvation is secure.  Christ will not lose a single one who is His.  This is not a pass to do whatever you wish.  If you’ve truly accepted Christ, sinning hurts; your desire is to do the will of Jesus Christ.  When you sin, stand up, confess, ask for forgiveness, dust yourself, off and do what you must to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

If, however, you accepted Christ as some kind of cosmic insurance policy, and continue to habitually sin without remorse, He does not know you.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Brothers, be clean!  Run from filth and sin!  Be ready to inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!