Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Christian's Confidence Focused On Creator Sustainer Savior Christ

Christ speaks to His disciples of every generation:

"........If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me......... - Gospel of John 15:18-21 - NKJV

".........yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.........These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.........” - Gospel of John 16:2;33 - NKJV

Psalm 23:1f is often quoted as a comfort to souls in distress. That Psalm highlights the all-sufficiency of the Triune God as the leader / provider "Shepherd" for His children who believe His Divine Revelation (Scripture) promises.

Please take the time to reflect upon the following ageless hymn. Note the 3 verses sung (link below) in the 3 minute video and the three verses (in script) that follow. Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel is sorry that he was unable to link the youtube box to this posting. However, you can easily access the video by simply clicking onto the hymn title:


1 Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2 Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

4 Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

- http://www.hymnary.org/text/be_still_my_soul_the_lord_is_on_thy_side

Following Links And Video related to the above:

Once to everyman - youtube.com/watch?v=xlLFtKTZfcw

Christian Persecution:Christianity sweeps China as Government Police Crack Down (Sept 16, 2014) - youtube.com/watch?v=FPFjoKgMVPc


Also Related: 

How God Is The Creator Sustainer Savior Christ - The historic Apostle's Creed and Luther's explanation of it:

A Concise Explanation of the Apostle's Creed

CREATION:

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, [bodily parts] and still preserves them; also clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home,wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life; that He defends me against all danger, and guards and protects me from all evil; and all this purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which it is my duty to thank and praise, to serve and obey Him.

This is most certainly true.

REDEMPTION:

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, [Spirit] born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick [living] and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned crature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.

SANCTIFICATION:

I believe in the Holy Ghost; [Spirit] the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ , my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost [Spirit] has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers, and will at the Last Day raise up me and all the dead, and give unto me and all believers in Christ eternal life.

This is most certainly true.

[Source for the above explanation of the 3 articles of the Apostles Creed -- Dr. Martin Luther [b. 1483; d. 1546]

Posted by:

Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel

www.thechristianmessage.org
www.moralmatters.org


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Your Hereafter Existence: What Will Be Your Covering?

The video hymn below helps to explain the the necessary spiritual washing and clothing that is imperative to survive and thrive in the hereafter. Unless a human soul is "washed in the Blood of the Lamb (Christ)" that soul will be spiritually naked entering eternity. 

St. Paul (writing Scripture under "inspiration of the Holy Spirit") stated it best:


"........But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,........." - Philippians 3:7-10 - NKJV


Sadly, some priceless souls have gained the mistaken idea that Jesus Blood and Righteousness is not adequate. They are seduced to believe that they can somehow effect their hereafter destination by adding to what Christ accomplished on the Cross for them. In doing so, they denigrate that completed all-sufficient soul-cleansing atonement sacrifice.

The Scripture states: "For by grace
are you saved, through faith, and
that not of yourselves, not of
works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9.



Those poor souls think that they can accumulate in this life, enough "good works" (aka "brownie points") to gain (earn) favor with God. They feel that their good deeds will then outweigh all their lifetime sins. However, their "feeling" is not in keeping with the Divine Revelation. [Titus 3:5]

Then there are others who equally deny the Lord's completed Atonement sacrifice, by embracing the damnable doctrine of purgatory. These despondent and priceless souls essentially believe that their life's sins aren't cleansed by Christ's Atonement Sacrifice and that they are destined to suffer in an interim place after death for an undetermined amount of time before eventually being released into heaven's glories. 

Their erroneous belief, that they must "burn their sins off" in purgatory is not in keeping with the Scriptural Divine Revelation. The false teaching is based upon church tradition and is contrary to the whole of Scripture. When confronted with the account of the thief on the cross next to Christ, of whom the Lord told, he would be in paradise that very day, these purgatory adherents, have no legitimate answer. 

Furthermore, it is this Christian emeritus pastor's belief that those who embrace the erroneous doctrine of purgatory, do great damage to their priceless souls here on earth. How can one live, benefit and enjoy all the Lord's many temporal and spiritual blessings when one is continually living in spiritual uncertainty as to what Christ has wonderfully provided for them? [Romans 8:31-39] When souls diss Christ's complete sacrifice for them, those same souls turn away those divine blessings that follow.

Those priceless souls who would have to add to Christ's Sacrifice for them whether it be doing works of mercy (good deeds) or "purgatory's" (self-flagellation) essentially are not trusting (in faith) on the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead they are trusting in their own merits. Essentially they are disowning (rejecting) the Savior who has provided their souls' perfect blood washing and future hereafter divine garment covering. Having essentially rejected the Savior's soul cleansing, how (then) will they not be found spiritually naked rather than being clothed with the necessary "heavenly wedding garment" of Christ's Righteousness?

The Parable of the Man Who Had No Wedding Garment 

And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 

Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it,he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.


“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’



“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Have You Been To Jesus - Elisha Albright Hoffman
youtube.com/watch?v=rZTqje3Zadc




Related to the above:

Purgatory

________________________________________

Posted by:

Pastor emeritus Nathan M. Bickel

www.thechristianmessage.org

www.moralmatters.org