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Lesson 4: The Truth for man's salvation:
Many people have secret doubts about their salvation because they were never formally water baptized or sprinkled. We know Jesus received water baptism and encouraged others to do so. This was in symbolic recognition of their sins being washed away.
The spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit is what removes our sins and births our heart for true salvation. In St. Luke 23:39-43 we read that Jesus saved the thief hanging on a cross next to him without ceremony the same day.
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward for our deeds; but his man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Today thou shalt be with me in paradise." Amen
Do you know that Jesus said these times of troubles and tribulations would come, and warned us of what is happening in the world around us today?
In St. Matthew 24:3-13 Jesus describes it to His disciples:
"...Tell us, when will this take place and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?"
"Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you-deceiving you and leading you into error.
For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Messiah, the Christ; and they will lead many astray."
"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place."
"All this is but the beginning-the early pains of the birth pangs- of the intolerable anguish. Then they will hand you over to suffer affliction and tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake."
"And then, many will be offended and repelled and begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away, and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error."
"And the love of the great body of people will grow cold, because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity. But he who endures to the end will be saved."
Beloved, I am writing you today from 2nd Peter 3:1-8
to say, "...that you should recall the predictions of the holy prophets and commandment given through your apostles, [His] special messengers,"
"you must know and understand this, that scoffers
(mockers) will come in the last days with scoffing;
[people who] walk after their own fleshly desires,
and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?
For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did since the beginning of creation."
"For they wilfully overlook and forget this [fact], that the heavens [came into] existence long ago by the Word of God, and an earth also which was formed out of water and by means of water, "
"Through which the world that then [existed] was deluged with water and perished."
"But by the same Word the present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly people."
"Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
Lesson 1: Many people are soul searching for truth concerning their salvation. This is the first of a series of lessons that Jesus taught to reveal the truth for man's salvation. In St. Luke 10:30-37 (KJV) Jesus answers the question, 'Who is my neighbor?' with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
It is a story about a traveler who is robbed, beaten and left for dead by the roadside. A priest passed by and ignored him. Then a Levite (a member of a priestly Hebrew tribe of Levi), came and looked at him and left without helping. Then a Samaritan (the Samaritans and Jews hated each other), came and cleaned up his wounds, took him to an inn and paid for his care.
Being religious in name only is not true salvation.
Actions speak louder than words. Amen
Lesson 5: The Truth for man's salvation:
Most of us want peace of mind and a tranquil soul.
We usually blame others or circumstances when we
can't find them. All too often, we blame ourselves; but cannot find the answers we need.
Then we seek all kinds of escape solutions with alcohol, drugs and desperate measures trying to solve these inner problems. We have to face the truth in ourselves.
When we accept the salvation of Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit of Truth becomes part of our being. This Spirit guides and directs us from within. It tells us what is right and wrong in the eyes of God; and warns us when we go in the wrong direction.
When we obey this gentle voice, the Spirit of Peace & Tranquility floods our mind and soul. When we ignore the warnings and harden our hearts; our mind takes control and does what it wants anyway. Then comes the disruption & conflict within ourselves.
We are God's children and we pay a price for disobedience. Every child of God is different and each of us has our own personalized set of rules. Some of us have the inner liberty to do things that others don't have. Then others have the inner freedom to do things
that we ourselves are not allowed to do.
Peace of mind and tranquil soul comes by obeying the
inner, special rules of Truth the Lord designed for you.
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Lesson 6: The Truth for man's salvation:
Who or what is pulling the strings in your life today?
We own things and have loved ones & friends that we are tied to in some fashion. These cords of pride in ownership and cherished relationships we attach to them work both ways.
We stay connected in our efforts to control them, without realizing that they can influence and control us as well. Material things are subject to wear & tear and all too often become burdens instead of blessings.
The same is true in our relationships with others.
Sometimes our love and desire to please others, becomes stronger than our desire to love and please God. Then we lose self-control of our personal lives and the ability to guide & influence others.
When we fail to let God control us; then the things of this world will take control of us in His place. Amen
Making decisions concerning the Lord's will in your life
can be difficult to understand and obey.
The following lesson learned may help you have a better understanding: TOUGH DECISIONS
The young man felt the sharp pain in his tongue as he bit down to block the words he wanted to speak; and the gush of bitterness in his throat made it difficult to swallow.
The words of the Sunday School Superintendent had been delivered in a brisk, business-like manner as he rushed to emphasize the importance of them.
"Duke, there have been complaints from the other teachers that you have taken too much time in pre-class meetings and many students are late to their assigned classes. Most of the students said they preferred you class, and refused to go to their class, and this has caused problems among the teachers. They indicated that you have not been attending teacher's class meetings and therefore should not be allowed to teach in Sunday School."
When he felt safe to speak, Duke responded, "You all know I attend night classes on campus at the University of Houston, to get my degree and therefore I am unable to attend teacher's meetings."
The superintendent responded, "I spoke to the Pastor about this and he agrees that you must make a choice.
If you do not attend teacher's meetings as required, then you will no longer be allowed to teach in Sunday School. The choice is yours."
After he left, Duke sat there stunned, wondering how
can this be? He knew his teaching was anointed by the Lord and the young men always eagerly grabbed onto the lessons. Surely the Lord saw this and wanted him to keep teaching.
As he asked the Lord in prayer what should he do, he just knew the answer would be, give up college classes and attend Sunday School teacher's meetings.
The Lord's answer came immediately, "Keep attending college classes and for now, give up teaching Sunday School at this church."
Duke said, "Lord am I hearing you right? Why would you tell me to keep going to college and give up teaching Sunday School for now?"
The Lord answered, "Because you will be better prepared for my work in the years to come with more education and training. Trust me in this matter and do not question my decision."
Years later, looking back in retrospect, Reverend Duke,
knew the Lord was right. But man, what a
"tough decision". Lesson learned. Amen
Many people are living with guilt due to divorce in marriage and are separated from church and the Lord because of it.
The same thing happens to people that are living together in a sexual relationship without being married.
The Lord wants you to know these sins can be forgiven in a new relationship with Him, if you will come and talk with Him about it.
There is a great example in St. John chapter 4 concerning the "woman at the well". Verses 16-18
describes the woman's sinful situation:
"And Jesus said to her, Go call your husband and come back here."
"The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have spoken truly in saying I have no husband."
"For you have had five husbands; but the man you are now living with is not your husband. In this you have spoken truly."
After talking with the Lord, the woman went to town and told what happened ; and many people went to the well to hear Jesus.
The woman was used by the Lord to bring many people to salvation in spite of her past and present
sins. We can all become worthy and serve the Lord
if we will take the time to talk with Him and get rid of guilt. Amen
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Lesson 3: The Truth for man's salvation:
We are forbidden to worship the messengers of God,
the churches and their doctrines instead of God.
In Acts 14:14-15 (KJV) Paul and Barnabas stopped the people who wanted to worship them as gods:
"Then the priests of Jupiter ...brought oxen and garlands...and would have done sacrifice with the people; Which, when Barnabas and Paul heard of, they rent their clothes and ran in among the people,
crying out, Saying, sirs, why do ye do these things?
We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God. which made heaven and earth, and the sea and all things that are therein."
In Revelation 19:10 we see John about to worship a messenger angel and was forbidden to do so:
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, see thou do it not; I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:
Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy."
Leviticus 26:1 (KJV) is very clear to all: "Ye shall make ye no idols, nor graven images, neither rear you up
a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land to bow down unto it. For I am the Lord your God. " Amen
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Lesson 7: The Truth for man's salvation:
All of us are born with a spiritual hole in our heart
where God wants to dwell. This void in our lives can only be filled and made whole by the Holy Spirit using the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Adam & Eve were made perfect and filled with the Spirit of God. Their rebellion and disobedience caused their spiritual death and all following them.
Jesus came as the second Adam to restore man with God in spiritual rebirth and all accepting him.
Nothing in and of this world can fill that void in our heart and make us whole; no matter what man tries.
The only true and pure source of spiritual life to make us complete is Jesus our Christ abiding in our heart. Without Him you are spiritually dead already. With Jesus we are reborn again for eternal life. Amen The end of this series of lessons.
Lesson 2: The truth for man's salvation.
There is no justification for schisms (separations or divisions into factions) in the body of Christ.
1st Corinthians 12:12-13 and 25 (KJV):
"For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink in one Spirit."
"That there shall be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."
The only name tag for admission into heaven is
Jesus Christ. Amen
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Do you know that the prophet Isaiah warned the people of the world about the future destruction of it over 700 years before Christ gave the same warnings?
Yesterday we gave the warnings of Jesus and today we give the warnings of Isaiah chapter 24:1-6:
"Behold, the Lord will make the land and the earth empty and make it waste, and turn it upside down-
[twist the face of it]- and scatter abroad its inhabitants."
"And it shall be , as what happens with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor."
"The land and the earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly pillaged; for the Lord has said this."
"The land and the earth mourn and wither; the world languishes and withers, the high ones of the people
[and the heavens with the earth] languish."
"The land and the earth also are defiled under their inhabitants; because they have transgressed the laws,
disregarded the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant."
"Therefore the curse has devoured the land and the earth, and they who dwell in it suffer the punishment
of its guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the land and the earth are scorched and parched [under the curse of God's wrath], and few people are left." Amen