Lucia's Blog: PROVE ALL THINGS
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, August 31, 2018

PROVE ALL THINGS

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."  
I Thessalonians 5:21


The faith of Jesus Christ is not a blind faith. Jesus demonstrated both the authority and the logic of His teachings and called on His disciples to be wary of religious charlatans. His apostles challenge us to prove all things and to not be gullible blind followers. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch. Let us examine a number of Bible doctrines that can be proved by abundant Scriptural authority.

Today many say they have the “Truth” yet refuse to "prove all things."  Perhaps they are confused or even afraid to do so because they have their own ideas and are ignorant of the Truth. That makes it impossible for them to be "prepared to make a defense” to anyone of the faith they profess,  (I Peter 3:15).  When one diligently studies and examines the Bible, holding fast to his faith in the light of God's Word, he is not afraid to defend it.  Our faith must be challenged, because only when it is tested, can we be found worthy of having and holding it.  Likewise, our faith must be founded firmly on God's inspired Truth rather than on man-made doctrines, creeds, traditions, feelings, emotions, and human wisdom.  God does not approve of our fantasies, traditions or, human wisdom as the basis for faith and Truth, (Proverbs 14:26; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9; Matthew 15:7-14; Mark 7:6-9; I Corinthians 1:18-2:16).

Jesus humbly came to this earth to show us the Truth that we may learn from it how to live godly and righteously, for the Word of God is Truth,  (John 17:17).   For that reason, our faith must be founded in the same Word and nothing else.  For “Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ,” (Romans 10:17).   That inspired Word must be our only authority for everything we do or say, (Colossians 3:17; I Peter 4:11; I Corinthians 4:6).  Thus, we must rightly handle the Word of Truth, (2 Timothy 2:15).  It is our duty to respect, understand and obey that same Truth, and in so doing, it will make us wise for salvation, (2 Timothy 3:14-17).  God's inspired Word is perfect, complete and can purify our souls from the filth of sin, (2 Peter 1:20; James 1:22-25; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Jude 3; 1 Peter 1:22-25).

Therefore, let us “prove all things and hold fast to that which is good” and make sure that we are holding fast to the “one faith,” (Ephesians 4:4-6).   Study God's Word and examine it thoroughly to prove all things and show others what we believe and the purpose of our faith. Sadly, some can't defend their faith, for they do not handle the Truth of God faithfully and honestly, for they manipulate it dishonestly.  Others have twisted and degraded God's revealed Word to their liking, (2 Corinthians 4:2).  But thanks be to God that through His Word we can examine everything and prove all things by using that same Word.  Consider the following things that we can prove with the Word of God:


I.  WE CAN PROVE THAT JESUS IS THE AUTHOR OF OUR SALVATION 
                                              TO ALL WHO OBEY HIM:

"And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation."  (Hebrews 5:9).  

Spiritual death came as a result of sin when Adam introduced sin into this world.  Jesus is the Author of our salvation to all who obey Him, for He came to remedy that. We can prove without hesitation through the inspired Word of God that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the Author of our eternal salvation if we will believe and obey Him.  Jesus is the Savior and could not have saved us without sufferingIt proves that man is not born totally depraved, or inwardly corrupt by birth, but he can become corrupt by his own effort, his own will, his lusts and desires of the flesh and mind, and practice, (Ephesians 2:3).  Men are not born corrupt in mind, but they corrupt their minds when they believe the deceptions this world offers and do those things that God condemnsSo man is responsible for his own sins because he is not born a sinner with a corrupt heart nor is he born with a compelling force to make him sin and lust after evil.  Free moral agency existed in Adam and Eve before they ate of the forbidden fruit.  Jesus became the Author of our salvation to those who obey Him.  Man must obey Jesus to be saved.  Man must have obedient faith, (Hebrews 11:16; John 20:30-31; Romans 10:17; John 8:24).  He must repent, (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38).  He must confess with his mouth, (Roman 10:9-10; Matt. 10:32; Acts 8:37).  He must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Cor. 12:13).  He must remain faithful unto death, (Matthew 10:22; Acts 2:47; Romans 2:6-8; Eph.1:13; 5:23,25; 2 Thess. 2:10,13; Heb. 10:39; I Cor. 1:21; 15:2ff; I Tim. 4:16; Tit. 3:5; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 8:11-12).  It is absurd to say that one can be saved by "faith alone" without obedience. Those who support this doctrine have a hard time explaining Hebrews 5:9If Jesus had to learn obedience to become our Savior, don't you think we ourselves must be obedient to God to receive His salvation?  You see salvation through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus requires us to obey the conditions required in the Gospel.  We must obey Jesus to be saved because of who He is and what He has done for us.  Thus obedience is essential to salvation, (Matthew 7:21-27; 22:36-39; Luke 6:46; John 14:15, 21-24; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 2:6-10; 6:17-18; Hebrews 5:9; 11:8, 30; Galatians 5:6; 2; 2 Thess. 1:8,9; James 1:21-25; 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:22-23; 1 John 5:3; 2:3-6; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16).  So the so-called doctrine of  "faith only" is a perverted one.
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."  (James 2:24).  

II.   WE CAN PROVE THAT WE ARE SAVED, JUSTIFIED BY THE 
                                      GRACE OF GOD IN CHRIST:

"So that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."  (Titus 3:7).
God saves us and justifies us because of His kindness, mercy, and Grace.  The word "justify" means to declare one right or just; to declare what one must be.  Since we have all sinned, (Romans 3:23) we deserve to be punished, (Romans 6:23).  Without the offering of the blood of Christ, our High Priest in heaven, (Hebrews 2:17) there could be no propitiation.  You see the mercy of God was extended when the requirements of sacrifice were obeyed.  Mercy was obtained because of Jesus' sacrifice, for He was the offering for sins.  Jesus' sacrifice was well-pleasing to God.  His sacrifice was offered on our behalf to open the way for us to God's mercy, (Isaiah 53:1-11).  God's plan in Jesus' sacrifice pleased Him, for Jesus carried it out.  Jesus' offering of sacrifice, of itself, would have had no value without God.
  1. We are redeemed and justified by the blood of Christ.  
  2. We are reconciled by His death.  
  3. We are sanctified by His blood, (Hebrews 13:12).  
  4. Our sins are washed away in His blood, (Revelation 1:5).  
All of these elements are involved in the blood of Christ.  God's plan of salvation and our faith make us "right" before Him, for He is Just and the Justifier of those who have faith in His Son and obey Him.  But we cannot be saved unconditionally without doing our part, obedience.  God's Grace cannot forgive us if we don't sincerely repent and seek His forgiveness, for this is His will.  Even though we deserve to be punished because of our sinful deeds, God sent His beloved Son to die for us so that we can have eternal life.  A gift we do not deserve!  God's goodness leads men to repent, for one must believe (obedient faith), confess with the mouth to be saved, obey the teaching delivered which includes baptism to walk in newness of life (born again).

But it also proves that we are not to continue indulging ourselves in sin, but rather we must die to sin,
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?  May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"  (Romans 6:1-2).  

It proves that we are to live in righteousness, alive to God, living according to the Spirit,
"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God."  (Romans 6:12-13).  

These words prove that the Grace of God does not give us license to keep on sinning, but to the contrary, they demand total surrender to God,
"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!   Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?"  (Romans 6:15-16).  

We must not let sin rule our bodies nor present our members as instruments of sin, (Romans 6:12-13), for that will lead to death instead of eternal life, (verse 23).  In other words, we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling to be found approved, (Philippians 2:12-13).


III.   WE CAN PROVE THAT GOD ONLY BUILT ONE TRUE CHURCH:
"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."   (Ephesians 4:4-6). 
Through the Word of God, we can prove that God only built one true church, one body in which He is the head, and we all must be subject to Him,
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." (Matthew 16:18).  

It also proves accurately that our Lord Jesus was NOT the builder of denominations,
"As Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  But as the church is subject to Christ... "  (Ephesians 5:23-24).  
For further reference read:  (Ephesians 1:22-23; Romans 16:16; John 17:21; Jude 3 and Ephesians 5:25).

In Ephesians 2:20-22 Paul describes the blessings we have in the church, for the church is a household or nation (verse 19).  He also refers to it as a temple, (1 Peter 2:4-8).  He describes the foundation of this temple as built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus being the chief cornerstone, (1 Peter 2:4-8 and Psalm 118:22).  Likewise, 1 Corinthians 3:11 says there can be no foundation other than Jesus Christ (cf. Matthew 16:18 where Jesus, NOT Peter, is the stone on which the church is built).  Jesus is indeed the foundation, the chief cornerstone from which all measurements began, so every other stone was laid in relation to the cornerstone, Jesus.  Jesus is the foundation or cornerstone "of the apostles and prophets," for they revealed the Gospel Message that they made known to the world, where Jesus is the foundation of the church so that people can become members of that church.  The apostles were His ambassadors, (2 Cor. 5:18-21).  Since Peter had the keys to the kingdom, (Matt. 16:18,19), he used them to preach the sermon that taught people how to enter the kingdom, (Acts 2).  This is similar to Acts 2:42, which refers to the "apostles' doctrine." This does not mean that the doctrine is theirs, nor that they originated it. It is theirs only because they were responsible for revealing and teaching it. Likewise, the foundation is theirs only because they revealed and taught the Gospel Message about it.

To say the apostles and prophets are the foundation would be to the make the same mistake some people make on Matt. 16:18 when they claim Peter was the rock on which the church is built. To do so is to exalt man to a position God never intended, for Jesus is the only One we must truly exalt to the position He deserves. This error is seen in Catholicism and Mormonism and such groups, who have exalted their priesthood/hierarchy (especially popes) to positions that God never intended. Yet they justify their position by abusing passages such as these.  The apostles and prophets laid the foundation when they preached the Message of salvation.  But Jesus is the only foundation or chief cornerstone which pertains to the apostles and prophets, for they taught and preached the Message that pertained to the beginning of the church.  When we obey the Gospel, we are added to the building, built on the foundation.  The whole building is gradually built up and joined together to serve as the spiritual temple in which God spiritually dwells, (1 Peter 2:4-8).
Therefore,
  1. Christ is the foundation, (Matt. 16:13-18; 1 Cor. 3:10-11; Acts 4:10-12; Eph. 2:20).  
  2. Christ is the Builder, (Matt. 16:18; Mark 9:1).  
  3. Christ is the Head, (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23; Col. 1:18).  
  4. Christ's church is the household of God (1 Tim. 3:15), the kingdom (Matt. 16:18-19), the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23), the temple of God (Eph. 2:19-22), NOT a denomination (1 Cor. 1:10-13), family (Eph. 3:15), His Bride (Eph. 5:22-23), must glorify God (Eph. 3:21), the wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10). 

IV.   WE CAN PROVE THAT SALVATION "BY FAITH" REQUIRES BAPTISM:
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name."  (Acts 22:16).

Our friends who advocate "faith only" affirm that we are saved by faith before baptism.  According to them, one is baptized after he has already been savedBut the Scriptures affirm that salvation by faith includes all the conditions necessary to obtain forgiveness of sins:  repentance, confession, and baptism.  There is a connection between faith and baptismSo, is baptism one of the conditions included in saving faith?  Does one have to obey the conditions to receive forgiveness?  Does baptism come after forgiveness?  Consider the following Scriptures:

  • Acts 22:16:  "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name."  
Why not consider Paul's own conversion?  Did he consider baptism essential to his forgiveness?  Let us see what the Scriptures have to say about this.
"5 As the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.  6 'As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.'  11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.'"  

You see on the road to Damascus, Paul saw Jesus and obviously believed in Him.  Yet for three days he continued to fast as a mourner and to pray. There was no apparent joy yet, (Acts 9:11).  Indeed, if man is saved by "faith alone," then Saul must have been saved right away.  But was he?  Paul did not eat or drink for three days. He was in deep mourning, which is not the behavior of a forgiven man. Men who are saved rejoice. What did Jesus say to Paul?  He said that in the city Saul would be told all things that he must do, (Acts 22:10; 9:6).  What was Paul told to do?  Ananias told Paul to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins, (Acts 22:16).  So, if salvation is "by faith only" before baptism, then Paul would have no need to have his sins washed away at this point.  But he did have sins that needed to be forgiven and remained in sin until he was baptized.  So, where is forgiveness placed according to this text?  Before baptism or after? Nothing that Paul taught contradicts what he himself did to be saved.  He knew that salvation by faith involves faith and requires baptism rather than excluding it, (Eph. 5:26).

  • Romans 6:3-4:  "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."  Galatians 3:26-27: "for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
No one can be in Christ unless he is baptized into Him.  So, can a person be saved if he has not come "into Christ" where the blessings of Grace are found (salvation, forgiveness, eternal life, freedom from sin and condemnation)?  Can one be saved outside of Christ?  No!  One must be baptized into Christ to be saved.  Moreover, we are baptized into Christ's death, (Romans 6:3).  As a result, sin is destroyed, (verse 6) and we are free from sin, (v. 7).  Can one be saved without the power of Jesus' death? Not at all!  Baptism (preceded by believing, repenting and confessing) is, therefore, that point in which one comes in contact with that death.  In baptism one comes into contact with Christ's death and resurrectionAre we sons of God before we are baptized?  Is baptism necessary to become a child of God?  The Bible states that when one is baptized "into Christ," then he becomes a child of God.

Moreover, Romans 6:4 shows that one starts walking in newness of life (new birth, born again) after he has been raised from the waters of baptism and not before, (Col. 2:12-13; John 3:5).  Therefore, to become a child of God "by faith" requires baptism rather than excluding it.   Many avoid the requirement of water baptism in these texts by saying that they refer to a “spiritual baptism” which occurs the moment one believes.  Thus they would agree with Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16; Rom. 6:3-4 and Col. 2:12.  However, these Scriptures say nothing of a baptism in the Spirit.  Do they have any proof?  Faith-only advocates often use Rom. 6:4 and Col. 2:12 to prove that water baptism is an immersion in water.  But when one discusses the need for water baptism, they often refer to these verses to refer to Spirit baptism.  So, which is it, water baptism or Spirit baptism?  It cannot be both! When Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch, they came to a certain water. The eunuch asked, “Here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36) He understood Philip to be talking about water baptism, and Philip baptized him in that water.

The only baptism of the Holy Spirit that we read of in the Gospel was the promise made to a few individuals.  There are only two cases recorded in the New Testament, (Acts 1:1-8; 21,22; 2; 10:44-11:18).  When this kind of baptism occurred, it was always accompanied by miraculous tongue speaking because God poured out the Holy SpiritGod never required it of all people to be saved. Holy Spirit baptism belonged only to that era of miraculous revelation which stopped when the written Word was completed or delivered, (1 Cor. 13:8-13; Jude 3; James 1:25).  The ridiculous thing is that many of those who practice this kind of baptism will also perform water baptism, making it two baptisms (Matt. 3:11).  But Ephesians 4:6 affirms that there is only one baptism today.  There cannot be two baptisms (one necessary and one that is not).  Thus, the only true baptism authorized by Christ is the baptism of the Great Commission, which is water baptism, (Mark 16:15-16; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; 8:36-39; 10:47-48).

  • Mark 16:16:  "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

Jesus said he who believes and is baptized will be saved.  What did Jesus require to receive salvation?  Both faith and baptism.  Does salvation come before baptism or as a result of it?  If one takes away either faith or baptism, he no longer has salvation Faith-only affirms that he who believes is saved and can later be baptized.  But Jesus said,  "He who believes and is baptized will be saved."  Can't you see the difference?  According to Romans 10:9, both faith and confession are essential to receive salvation.  The same is true of Mark 16:16 which states that faith and baptism are both necessary to receive salvation.  He who does not believe will be condemned.  Disbelieves what? The Gospel! (Mark 1:15; Rom. 1:16).

  • Acts 2:38:  "And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
When Peter preached the first Gospel sermon, he taught the importance of believing in Jesus, (verse 26).  As a result of his preaching, sinners asked what to do about their sins.  What was Peter's answer?  Repent and be baptized "for the remission of sins."  Again, when does forgiveness come, before or after baptism?  In fact, forgiveness is the primary purpose of baptism (the forgiveness of sins).  Likewise, baptism is a work or action (immersion in water) for the remission of sins (purpose). So, if one's sins are forgiven before baptism, the moment one believes, then one cannot be baptized for the remission of sins?  NO!  It would not be a Scriptural baptism.  When man teaches that one is saved by faith alone without obedience in baptism, he takes his stand on the error that repentance, confession, and even faith are not necessary to man's salvation.  Such arguments are fallacious!

  • 1 Peter 3:20-21:  "Because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Noah's salvation illustrates ours.  He was saved by water, (v. 20).  It is a figure (type/antitype) demonstrating that "baptism doth also now save us."  (KJV).  Water by itself has no power to remove sin (like removing filth from the body).  Rather, we trust in Jesus' resurrection to save us that we may have a good conscience, "an appeal to God for a good conscience."  Hebrews 11:7 uses Noah to show that obedience is necessary for salvation "by faith."  Noah's case connects faith and baptism, (Heb. 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20-21).  The only power to forgive sin is in Jesus' death and resurrection.  We benefit from that power in the waters of baptismThus, baptism also now saves us!
  • Colossians 2:12-13:  "Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses."
When we were dead because of our sins, we were made alive (forgiven of sin) by being raised with Christ through faith in the powerful working of God.  All this happened in baptism!  Baptism is a work (an act) of faith in God's power rather than an act of faith because of our own merit.  Salvation by faith includes baptism and does not exclude it.  There is a parallel between Colossians 2:12-13 and Ephesians 2:4-9.  Dead in sin, made alive, being raised with Jesus, through faith in the powerful working of God, by God's Grace through faith, in baptism, not of self, not of works.  Notice that both Scriptures describe "salvation by Grace through faith."  One is dead because of sin but made alive by being raised with Him through faith and forgiven of sin. In what?  In baptism!

So, the Word of God can prove that there is no other WAY to wash away our sins but through the blood of Jesus, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace."  (Ephesians 1:7).  It also proves that SINS can never be forgiven or washed away before baptism, "Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name."  (Acts 22:16).  It proves that there must be baptism to  be saved and to plead before God for a good conscience, "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  (I Peter 3:21).

Therefore, the Word God can prove that baptism is a burial, total immersion, "Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."  Likewise, it can prove that sprinkling or pouring is not acceptable and authorized by God, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." ( Romans 6:3-4).  


V.   WE CAN PROVE THAT THE SAVED CAN FALL FROM GRACE 
                                      AND BE LOST ETERNALLY:

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." (I Corinthians 10:12).
"Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away."  (Luke 8:13).

Many passages in the Bible teach and warn us about continuing steadfastly in the faith to remain in God's favor, His Grace, to receive eternal life.  Many people believe that a Christian can sin and not be lost eternally.  This doctrine is called "the eternal security of the believer," "perseverance of the saints," "impossibility of apostasy," or "once saved, always saved."  This is one of the major tenets of Calvinism.  They believe that a Christian's sins do not affect his soul for eternity. That is to say, the way he lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, his attitude toward others, nothing that he can do will affect his eternal destiny once he is saved.  For none of these things, according to them, have anything to do with the salvation of their soul.  Those who believe that they still will receive eternal life regardless of their sins, have no reason to be on guard against sin or repent of their sins since they have a false sense of security.  They don't realize that they will be lost if they do not repent of their sins, ask forgiveness for their sins, serve God faithfully and study His Word diligently to receive salvation, eternal life.  There can only be assurance and eternal security when we obey God and do His commands.  So can a child of God become disobedient, stop being faithful, fail to repent and show fruits of repentance and be lost?  Absolutely he can!  We must remain faithful and endure until the end to receive eternal life.  I must stress that we Christians are warned that unforgiven sins will lead us to be lost eternally.  Consider some Scriptures that show that a Christian can sin and be lost eternally:
  1. John 15:1-6:  We must bear good fruit, or otherwise we will be cast off, cast into the fire and burned.
  2. Romans 8:12-17:  We must live according to the Spirit and not satisfy the works of the flesh.
  3. Galatians 6:7-9:  We must sow to the Spirit and not the flesh, for corruption cannot inherit the kingdom of God, (Gal. 5:21).
  4. 1 Corinthians 9:27 and 10:12:  We must control and discipline our body and bring it into subjection, for we must avoid sin at all cost or we will be disqualified and rejected, (Rom. 1:28; 2 Tim. 3:8; Tit. 1:16). Those who are guilty of sin will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  5. Hebrews 3:6, 11-14; 4:9, 11:  We must avoid rebelling like the Israelites.  Israel failed to enter God's rest because of their lack of faith and disobedience to God.  So we must hold fast our confidence (our faith) firm, steadfastly to the end.  If we depart from the faith and do not endure to the end, we will not enter the rest God has promised and prepared for His faithful ones.  The eternal reward is conditional based on our steadfast faithfulness.
  6. Hebrews 10:26-31, 39:  We must avoid willful sin, for there is no sacrifice for such sin.  But if we repent, God will forgive us.  As long as we refuse to repent and our sinful conduct continues, there is no sacrifice, for we trod underfoot God's Son and count the blood of Jesus with which they were sanctified unholy.  Our destiny is a fierceness of fire and punishment and vengeance from God.
  7. 2 Peter 1:8-11; 2:20-22:  We must grow in Christ and never return to the world of darkness.  There is security for those who keep growing in the Grace of God, adding those excellent qualities mentioned in verses 5-7 and making their calling and election sure to prevent stumbling and have an entrance in the everlasting kingdom of God, (verse 11).  Remember, eternal security is conditional, for the Christian must not be entangled again in the kingdom of darkness, (verse 20) and turn from the holy command, (verse 21).  For if he does, he will be worse off than when he was ignorant of the Truth, (verse 20).
  8. Romans 6:12-18:  We must not allow sin to rule in our bodies nor present our members as instruments of sin, unrighteousness for that will lead them to spiritual death.
  9. Hebrews 6:4-8:  We must avoid, at all cost, falling away, for it be will hard to be restored.  Our destiny is to be burned like a field of thorns, (verse 8).
  10. Revelation 3:5; Exodus 32:30-33:  We must avoid having our names removed from the Book of Life, for only those who are in the Book will enter the eternal city.  Those who are not in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire, (Rev. 21:27).

The Bible proves that a Christian can fall and get entangled in sin and be overcome by it, thus running the risk of eternal punishment, (2 Peter 2:20-21-22).  "And so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith."  (I Timothy 5:12).  For further reference read:  (I Corinthians 15:2; 1 Timothy 4:1; I Corinthians 8:11; James 5:19-20; and Galatians 5:4). God has continually warned His children of the danger of being lost eternally.  With all these warnings about being lost eternally if we don't continue being steadfast in our faith to the end, are you resolved to continue faithful, guarding your service and devotion to God so that you will not lose your eternal reward and be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity?  The doctrine of "the eternal security of the believer," or "once saved, always saved" it is a tempting doctrine, for it is comforting and tells people what they want to hear.  They refuse to believe that they can fall into sin and be lost eternally.  It contradicts the Bible.  We Christians can only be secure when we heed the dangers, and guard our souls and avoid sin.  We must be watching for sin in our lives and repent from a sincere heart (i.e., a change of behavior and habits) when were are guilty because of the weight of our sins.  Remember, the destiny of our souls is at stake!!


 VI.   WE CAN PROVE THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS:
"And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.'"  (Acts 1:9-11).
"27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him."  (Hebrews 9:27-28).

There are many human doctrines and speculations that have caused a lot of confusion about what will happen at Jesus' second coming.  Many don't believe that Jesus will return and punish those who disobeyed Him. Our Premillennialist friends teach that Jesus will reign on earth from Jerusalem for a thousand years (the millennium).  They also speak of the "rapture" as part of their premillennial theory.  The speculations about these doctrines contradict the Bible.  We can prove with the Word of God the sequence of events that will occur at the end of times:  the second coming of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead, the destruction of the heavens and earth, judgment, heaven, and hell. So will we face resurrection, judgment, and eternal rewards or punishment (heaven or hell)? Will the earth continue to exist eternally or will it be destroyed at the end of time?  The truth is that  "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night."  (Peter 3:1). 

The doctrine of the "rapture" is a distorted and false premillennial speculation.  According to this doctrine, the rapture is to be expected at a secret coming of the Lord in which He will take the righteous to a seven-year rapture while there is great tribulation on earth.  Jesus will fight the battle of Armageddon, and He will then reign for a literal thousand years from a physical throne in Jerusalem over a civil, political government.  The doctrine of the rapture is part of an eschatological system which makes Jesus a failure and dethrones Him, (John 18:37; Matt. 28:18; 1 Tim. 6:15).  It breaks God's promises about His kingdom, it accuses the apostles of being false interpreters of Bible prophecy, (Acts 13:33; Ps. 2; 132:11; Acts 2:30-33).  It removes Christ's priesthood, for they claim that His throne and priesthood are not yet established, (Heb. 4:14; 7:17; Zech. 6:12-13).  It belittles Christ's authority, His death, the church, and the Gospel.  It exalts materialistic goals and Mosaic practicesIt denies that on Pentecost the last days began, (Acts 2:16-21).  It changes the Lord's kingdom to a physical kingdom, (John 18:37).  Indeed, this false doctrine contradicts the Gospel teaching about Jesus' second coming.

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus will personally come again to judge all men, (2 Peter 3:3-4; Acts 1:9-11).  He will come again for His saints who live in expectation of that coming.  Jesus promised He would come again!  Consider several Scriptures of Jesus' promises about His second coming that contradict premillennialism:
  1. Romans 14:11-12:  "For it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.'  12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.'"  As God lives, He will judge everyone, and that includes me!
  2. Acts 17:30-31:  "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."  God has appointed a day of judgment and has assured us by raising Jesus from the dead.  And just as surely as Jesus arose from the dead, we will surely be judged!  
  3. Hebrews 9:27:  "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment."  Surely, it is appointed to man to die once and after that judgment.  Judgment is as sure as death! 
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:10:  "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."  The Bible plainly teaches that all men will be present before Christ to be judged.
  5. Romans 2:6-8:  "He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury."  God will render to each of us according to our works.
  6. Matthew 25:32:  "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."  All people will be present!
  7. Romans 14:10-12:  "Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.'  12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.'"  We must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, for every knee shall bow down, and every tongue must confess.  Each one of us must give an account of himself to God.  No one will escape this appointment.  No one will be able to give excuses, for no excuses will be accepted! 
  8. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6:  "Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, 'There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober."  Although we don't know when Jesus will come, we must be prepared at all times, for He may come back at any time.  So we must live all the time righteously, for He can come at any moment.
  9. 2 Peter 3:3-13:  "Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.' 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.  11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."  The day of the Lord will come like a thief, for no one can know the day or year.  Premillennialists teach that Jesus will come for the righteous, but will reign on earth 1000 years before judgment and the punishment of the wicked.  Others believe the earth will be eternal.  Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus will take 144,000 righteous people to heaven, but there will be a great multitude of righteous people who will live forever on a glorified earth.  The Truth is that when Jesus comes again, the earth will be completely destroyed.
  10. 1 Corinthians 15:12-13:  "Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised."  Some deny there will be a resurrection, for they believe that death is just the end of man's existence.  Among these are the Sadducees of Jesus' day and many like them in modern times.  Others claim there will be two resurrections with a separation of 1000 years.  Again, premillennialists teach there will be a resurrection for the righteous before Jesus establishes His earthly kingdom, then another resurrection for the unrighteous 1000 years later.  The Truth is that all men will be raised from the dead.  And since Jesus arose from the dead that proves that resurrection will occur.  In Matthew 22:23-33 the Sadducees confronted Jesus, denying the resurrection because they did not believe that men have spirits that can exist after death, (Acts 23:8).  Jesus answered them by saying that God is not the God of the dead but of the living.  Those who deny the resurrection "are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God," (verse 29).  We all will be raised at the same time, (John 5:28-29).  So there will be a "last day," which (please listen premillennialists) must be taken literally!  It is the same day all men will be judged. The righteous will be raised on that day, not 1000 years before.  Paul looked for a (one) resurrection of both the just and the unjust, not two resurrections separated by 1000 years, (Acts 23:6; 24:15).  
  11. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:  "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words."  When Jesus comes again, all men will be judged and eternally rewarded. There is no room for 1000 years between Jesus' coming (parousia) and the judgment!  At His coming (parousia) (verse 15), the righteous, dead or alive, will be with the Lord forever (always, verse 17). This is eternal reward and not a 7-year rapture.  Moreover, Jesus' coming (parousia) will not be silent or invisible. It will occur with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God, (verse 16).   All these events surely contradict premillennialism.  Why?  Because the unjust, the wicked will be aware for sure when this occurs, for they will suffer destruction, not just tribulation, (1 Thess. 5:3).  And though they claim that the phrase, "And the dead in Christ will rise first," (verse 16), implies at the first resurrection, 1000 years before the wicked are raised, our context contrasts the dead in Christ, (verse 13) to the alive in Christ, (verse 15), not to the wicked or the unrighteous dead.  I must stress that verse 16 says the dead in Christ will rise "first," then those alive in Christ will be caught up together to meet the Lord, (verse 17).  So, the resurrection of the wicked is not under consideration and is never mentioned in this context!!
  12. 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10:  "Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.  5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed."  Notice that "in that day" when Jesus' comes (verse 10), the Lord will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, (verse 7).  The afflicted Christians will receive rest, (verses 4,7) and those who know not God and did not obey the Gospel of our Lord will receive vengeance in flaming fire and will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, (verses 7-9).  The righteous will enter their rest from their troubles on the same "day" that the wicked will be punished. But premillennialism has the righteous resting and rejoicing through the rapture and millennium before the wicked or unrighteous are punished!
  13. Matthew 25:31-33,46:  "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 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. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.  46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."  When Jesus comes in glory with all His angels, all the nations will be gathered and separated, for Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats, that is, the good, the righteous and the wicked, unrighteous.  The righteous will enter eternal life, and the wicked will depart into eternal fire, punishment (verses 41,46).  So, there will not be two comings, nor will the righteous be enjoying any rest and bliss for 1000 years and supposed rapture before the wicked are punished.  Both the righteous and unrighteous will enter their reward at the same time!
  14. 2 Peter 3:15:  "And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him."  The coming (parousia) of Jesus will not be postponed to give men a chance to repent.  When Jesus comes, there will not be a second chance to repent, for their chance to repent will have ended, and sadly judgment will come.  
  15. 1 Cor. 15:22-26:  "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death."  When Jesus comes the second time (parousia), the end will come, and Jesus will deliver the kingdom back to the Father, having raised all who died through Adam, (verse 22).
  16. Romans 2:5-11:  "But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.  6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality."  All men will receive a just and fair reward for what they have done after this life is over.  The righteous will live forever, and the wicked will be punished eternally, that is, those who disobey the Truth and did evil will receive fury, wrath, tribulation, and distress (anguish).  But those who did obey the Gospel and continued doing good will receive glory, honor, immortality, peace and eternal life.  
  17. Matthew 25:41,46:  "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."  The wicked will go to everlasting destruction, the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  The righteous will receive eternal life. The saved will live forever with Jesus, (1 Thess. 4:17; 5:9-10; Matt. 13:39-42; Rom. 6:23).
  18. Revelation 20:11-15:  "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."  So anyone who is not found in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death, (Cf. 2 Thess. 1:5-9; Matt. 13:39-42; Rom. 6:23).
  19.  2 Thessalonians 1:5-9:  "This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might."  God's love and mercy compel Him to offer men eternal life. But His righteousness and justice demand that He punish those who disobey Him, practice evil and refuse to repent.  His nature demands that He punish the wicked, for they are storing up wrath for themselves and God's righteous judgment.  God's righteous judgments demand that the wicked (those who practice evil) be worthy of death, for they reject God's mercy and goodness, refusing to repent, (Romans 1:32; 2:4-5).

You see, God gave the life of His only begotten Son to save us from the devastating consequences of sin.  When we reject salvation and what He has done for all of us, refusing to repent, surely we deserve to be punished eternally, for God's righteousness and justice demands it!  Surely, none of us deserves salvation, eternal life, but God in His loving-kindness and mercy offered Jesus to suffer and die for us so that we could have the hope of salvation, (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:6-9).   So premillennialism is an unproved and false theory, incapable of any proof, for it contradicts, denies, and undermines the Lordship of Christ and the Truth of the Gospel.   Therefore, every faithful disciple of Christ must oppose it!!
"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done."  (Matthew 16:27).  
There is NO man that can prove with the Word of God that Jesus will set up an earthly throne in Jerusalem and reign for a thousand years like so many claim today, (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).  Jesus is coming for His church. Thus the doctrine of the "1,000-year reign" is false!
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."  (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).  

God's Grace will end when Jesus comes again.  The church will be presented in its plenitude to God, for Jesus will present to the Father His glorious churchTherefore, He is not coming to "set up" His kingdom but instead "deliver up" His kingdom to His Father!  The glorious church will be presented in all its purity, having been cleansed by the precious blood of the Lamb, and the "washing of water by the Word," (Ephesians 5:25-27; Col. 1:22; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:10; Jude 24).  The church will be complete when Jesus presents it to the Father, (Romans 11:12, 25) and will be holy, spotless, unblamable in holiness and irreprovable, faultless.  Oh, what a glorious day that will be!!!


CONCLUSION:

Again, this study has been a rewarding one for me as it deepens my understanding of the Word of God.  I learn by putting my thoughts down on paper that I might dig deeper into Him, His Word and His will.  I am grateful to God for opening my heart to His Word without any prejudice, for it helps me to understand His mind better, that I might learn how to please Him and teach others the treasures of His Truths.  

When the New Testament writers, led by the Holy Spirit, wrote the inspired words, they often presented concerns and instructions for the church to follow so that we may be whole in spirit and soul, blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  The entire letter to the Thessalonians stresses the need to have our eyes open for the coming of our Lord.  It compels us to live our lives in the light of eternity and be ready for His coming.  Since Jesus is coming like a thief in the night, we must live our lives in all righteousness and holiness.  As spokesmen for Christ, we must present Christ well by the preaching of the Word, being ready in season and out of season, convincing, rebuking, exhorting with all longsuffering and sound teaching, (2 Tim. 4:2).  We must also be alert to every door of opportunity the Lord opens for us and enter, even when it is intimidating or inconvenient.  As representatives of Christ, we must be patient and not quarrel, for we must listen and understand.  We must likewise be gentle and respectful when we engage with those who disagree with us, (2 Timothy 2:24).   We must also be reasonable when proving and giving a defense of the Gospel.  As spokesmen for Christ, we must have informed convictions and not just feelings. Give reasons and ask questions to seek sound answers.  The apostle Paul commands all Christians in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to "test all things; hold fast what is good." God has given us reasoning skills and expects us to use them properly, (cf. Isa. 1:18).  Thus, we must be tactical, maneuvering with wisdom to challenge bad thinking and wrong teaching.  We must present the Truth in a way that is understandable and compelling, (Colossians 4:5; 1 Cor. 9:19-23).  

God has given us everything in His Word but expects us to use our logic and reasoning to prove all things, (Isaiah 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16,17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).  You see logic is not an invention of men but a gift from God.  He has given us the ability to reason and expects us to use it, for He has given us reasoning abilities to help distinguish between Truth and error, and right and wrong.  Thus, we must use our God-given reasoning abilities and not disregard or minimize them, for to be without them makes us like brute animals.  You see when one attempts to approach God's Word without logic and reasoning, we are making a grave mistake, for we must use the reasoning abilities God has given us when studying His Word.  We must strive to understand how to interpret God's Word and its silence as well.  God's silence on any matter in the Scriptures is not accidental but intentional.  It is not permissive!  (2 Peter 1:3 and Jude 3). Since God has given us "all things that pertain to life and godliness," there is nothing that He has neglected to share with us.  So we must not add to or take away anything from His Truth. "The faith" has been delivered once for all time, and there is nothing else that God has to reveal to us, for He has already revealed to us what He wanted to reveal.  He did not make any mistakes nor did He fail to reveal anything in His WordIt is presumptuous to think that we need to improve the Scriptures in any way.  As true ambassadors and disciples of Christ, we must abide in His Word!  (John 8:31-32).  

If we desire to please God, we must walk by the Word of God. To affirm certain practices as acceptable because the Bible is silent about them is not walking by faith since faith comes from hearing the Word of God (not silence). This principle of faith must be applied in any Bible context, (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Joshua 1:7; Proverbs 30:6; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 John 9).  We must walk by what is revealed in God's inspired Word to please Him.  We must not speculate where God did not reveal (or why) but carefully observe that which He has revealed!  A genuine disciple of Christ obeys His Master's instructions with all his might.  He does not interpret God's silence as permissive, (John 4:34; John 5:19; 5:30; 5:36; 7:16-18; 6:38; 8:26-29; 12:48-50; 14:10, 31).   

God wants us to test, examine everything and not believe any message just because someone says they have a message from God. The teaching must be tested!  It is still true for us today. We must not believe it just because someones says it, but because we see it revealed in God's Word.  It is vital that we test everything to make sure that what is taught is God’s Word.  And once tested, we must hold fast to that which is good. We must not walk away from sound teaching but rather cling to that which God has defined as good.  Abstaining from anything that is evil is vital for our lives and our teachings so that we may be kept blameless at the Lord's coming.  Thus, we must listen to His Words to allow them to transform us and change our lives. God's Word cleanses us from defilement, but we must let Him through His Word do the work.  So we must warn those who are turning away from God, encourage the faint, help the weak, and be patient with them.  We must not despise God’s Word, but strive to know it and cling to it, testing, examining everything that claims to be from God.  You can rest assured that in doing all these things, you will be found blameless when Jesus returns. So start living your life in the light of eternity!!

May we all examine everything carefully and hold fast to the Truth of God, that which is good.  May we also embrace and defend God's Truth faithfully so that we can give an honest defense of our faith in Jesus our Lord.  May we patiently and faithfully walk our path here on earth until death and be rewarded with our crown of life.  May we revere with all heart, mind, soul, and strength the inspired Word of God.  May we prove all things and hold fast to that which is good through God's revealed Word. 

Luci