Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 22, 2022

Love Revisited, Another Reason to be Thankful on Thanksgiving Day, 2022!

The Greatest of These is Love!

One of the most staggering truths revealed in the Bible is the nature of God; God is love! Even when mankind, created in the image of God, committed spiritual suicide by disobeying a direct command; God still loved mankind so much He sent His own Son to be born of a virgin with the sole purpose of dying as the substitute payment for the penalty that had been incurred by that disobedience.

We are told in Romans 1 how creation reveals the majesty and power of God and one look at the heavens on a clear night reveals the magnitude of the one who created it all and sustains its existence from moment to moment. It is only in the Bible, however, the basic nature of this powerful creator is revealed; it is only in the Bible we discover God is love.

In 1 Corinthians 13 the Apostle Paul discusses faith, hope and love and concludes the greatest of these is love. The need for both faith and hope will pass when we are finally home with the Lord but the joy of love will always remain. A great beauty of the Christian life is the opportunity to experience the joy of God’s love right now.

Love Came First

In Romans 5, Paul writes of the order of events; in verses 6-8 we are told:

“6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Mankind, lost in sin, was the object of God’s love, mercy and grace and the Lord Jesus Christ, in His humanity, died on the cross to make redemption a possibility for all who receive Him as Savior.

At the point of salvation we receive the earnest of our inheritance; we are made spiritually alive and given the indwelling Holy Spirit of God to live with us forever; part of the gift of the Spirit is love, a love of God and all that is His.

The Apostle John gives us a beautiful summary of the blessings we have received at salvation when he writes in 1 John 4:7-12:

“7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

The Beauty and Blessings of Love

I’m sure we have all marveled at the positive and uplifting feelings love can generate; how the very core of our being seems to be stirred by the deep emotions we feel as we observe or think on someone loved very deeply. In my experience this has been true of not only human beings but also other living beings in which I see the hand of our Creator; I see the hand of God in the two cats who are members of our family, Abby Cat and Tomboy.

Abby Cat

Tomboy

In the beginning mankind was given the responsibility for all of the living creatures, in Genesis 1:26 it is written:

“26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Although mankind lost its position of rulership there still remains a responsibility to love and care for those creatures that were originally entrusted to us. The situation has changed dramatically under the curse of Genesis 3:14-19 but mankind still feels the responsibility to love and care for God’s creation as intended.

That we can love God’s creation, both animate and inanimate, is God’s gift of love to us that we might love and appreciate that which is important to God. In an earlier essay on God’s love I concluded with the following and would like to include it again.

A Final Thought

One of the joys of loving people and all of God’s creation is a better understanding of how God can love us. If each of us, with all of the flaws we know we possess, can love each other and God’s creation, it becomes much easier to believe a Holy God, who is free of all of these flaws, can really love us as much as He says He does.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 14, 2022

The 2022 Election

What are God’s Plans for the USA?

The day before the election, I told my wife it will be interesting to see what the Lord has planned for the USA. We speak of political parties and elections as if those parties and the electorate are solely responsible for the composition of the government. The Bible corrects that misconception in Romans 13:1-3 where it is written:

“13 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.”

It helps to remember that Nero was Emperor over the Roman Empire and Christians were being severely persecuted by the government when those verses were written!

Where is the USA?

Those individuals “winning” elections, have no Biblical basis for self-congratulatory exclamation as they are all there as a part of God’s plan for the nation and have been chosen by God to implement his plans. They have been placed in positions of authority to either bless or judge the nation in accordance with God’s will!

The total absence of the United States as a world power has long been noted in Biblical references to the “End Times!” What is going to happen that will remove the United States from the world scene? It appears we are now witnessing that process in real time as we watch the steady deterioration of this country.

Virtually everywhere you look, there are significant signs of deterioration and decay in both infrastructure and morality! This recent election placed grossly immoral issues on the table as election options and provided an opportunity to support those issues with your vote.

What’s Coming Next?

In light of the recent election, it does seem likely that God’s hand of judgment will remain on the United States. The future for this country does not look promising if we continue doing what we’ve been doing! From a Biblical perspective, there is no unfulfilled prophecy that must take place before the Lord can call the church home to heaven. The removal of the church could take place at any time.

The removal of the church will have a deadly affect on this country; the estimated population loss for the United States, at the removal of all Christians, would be in the area of 151,870,000. The devastation from such a sudden loss of people would be impossible to calculate. I suspect the confusion and chaos resulting from the disappearance of so many could well be the catalyst for the Psalms 83 attack on Israel and could include the United States.

As God’s ambassadors to the world, it is important we retain our focus on the work that has been given to us. The great commission is still in effect; our job has not changed!

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 28, 2022

Astros 6, Yankees 5 – an Interesting Parallel!

A Calm, Peaceful Review of the End of the Game.

My wife and I not only watched the game, we had recorded it as well. After the game was over, with the Astros victory secured, we decided to enjoy the last few innings again on our recording of the game. We started the game again when the score was 4-4 and watched the play with a sense of complete confidence and relaxation. There were no feelings of apprehension when the Yankees scored another run and took the lead at 5-4; we knew how the game would end, so why worry!

The second time around, we rejoiced once again as the Astros beat those Yankees and emerged victorious from the game. In a way, watching the game the second time was even more fun than watching it the first time because we knew our team would emerge victorious.

An Important Parallel!

Why do I mention this, I believe there are significant parallels between watching that recording and watching current events on the news. We already know how the world ends, our team wins, we emerge victorious from the battle that is now in progress. We even have a general idea how things will progress, inning by inning.

I’ll admit we do not know exactly which inning we are in, right now, but I think it entirely possible we are in the bottom of the ninth and have a substantial lead over the Satanic forces. I have written more on the spiritual war in a series that starts with “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.”

The World Series comes next in baseball and the Astros will play the Phillies; the outcome of that series has yet to be determined but we can surely root for the home team! The World Series in the spiritual conflict is yet future but we already know the final score; the Lord Jesus Christ is victorious!

The Spiritual World Series

The coming spiritual world series will last seven years, not seven games and we win! A major change in the lineup is due before that final series begins; during this age of the Church, we can think of the church as the starting pitcher; this pitcher is being retired from the game and going home after almost 2,000 years on the pitchers mound.

The new pitcher is named Israel and will pitch the entire series with no relief, all seven years, under extraordinarily difficult circumstances! We have been given a guide to the spiritual world series in the Book of Revelation and it won’t be pretty.

The Church Called Home!

Many living today may well be in the terminal generation of the church; I think it entirely possible that even I will be of that generation. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 it is written:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

The calling home is certain but the timing is known only to God; the signs of the times suggests it may be soon. Until that time comes, we, as the church, can know with absolute certainty, the Lord Jesus Christ is victorious. As we watch events unfold, let us maintain a relaxed calm as we observe them and comfort one another with these words!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 24, 2022

Loving God’s Creation

As a Christian, Your Primary Responsibility is to Serve as God’s Representative in All Situations!

When a Christian is born-again, by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, everything changes forever! We are born into a new family and given a new father, and our former sin nature was crucified with Christ on the cross.

The profound importance of the changes we experience, when we are born-again, are of a spiritual nature and cannot be seen with our mortal senses. These spiritual changes will outlast our mortal bodies by an infinite amount of time, and are the determining factors in our coming eternal existence!

The following verses help us understand, to a limited degree, the changes that have taken place. In Galatians 2:20 it is revealed:

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

and then in Ephesians 2:1-10 it is written:

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

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

A Staggering New Reality!

The implications of those eleven verses is truly mind-blowing and reveal a staggering new reality in which all born-again Christians now exist; we are a new, totally unique, form of life! Recently, I published a three-part series on the subject of “What is Salvation?

In this series, I attempted to show how extensive the changes are to individuals who receive Jesus Christ as Savior and are born-again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

In light of those amazing changes, what is expected of us as members of our new family? The Bible makes sure there is no question about that; in Mathew 28:18-20, the Lord Jesus Christ clearly specifies his commands to the new Christian community:

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

God’s Representatives

Mankind was intended to serve as God’s representative to his creation and to have dominion over the earth; but all that was lost, when Adam disobeyed a direct command from God and died spiritually there in the Garden of Eden along with all his descendants who would be born of an earthly father; the earth became the dominion of Satan and a spiritual battlefield in the spiritual war between God and Satan.

God’s plan for the redemption of his earthly creation was initiated at the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ; at that time, God inaugurated a brand new creation, the Christian, mankind indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit.

This new creation will continue to come into existence until the end of this age when all born-again believers will be called home to heaven. I have written more on this in an essay, “What Does Being a Christian Really Mean?

During this Age of the Church, Christians are intended to serve as God’s representatives to his creation. Christ is living his life in each individual Christian man or woman, in order to do the “good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

As God’s representatives on earth, we are charged by God with the responsibility to love and care for his creation. Our mission on earth is a continuation of the work of Jesus Christ, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

We have been given the opportunity to serve as messengers of God’s grace to all who will receive Jesus Christ as Savior. In addition, we can serve as God’s representative to all the big and little creatures which have been placed in our care.

In some instances, we may be the closest thing to God they will ever see; let them see their creator’s love reflected in you!

5 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 17, 2022

Seventy Years and Counting!

Recognition at Kingsland Baptist Church, Katy, Texas

Today my Wife and I Observe our Seventieth Year of Marriage!

On October 17, 1952 my wife and I were married at a small church in Houston, Texas. Her brother, a fresh graduate from seminary, performed the ceremony as his very first marriage ceremony. We were all nervous but the results have endured for seventy years and, by God’s grace, will endure even longer.

I was 19 years old and my wife was 17 years old

The ceremony took place at Woodland Christian Church which was later torn down to make room for the new freeway to Dallas. A close examination of the photo will reveal the hole in my right shoe; we were both monetarily challenged and had learned to make-do with what we had. My wife’s dress was made by her mother and was very lovely!

We had a reception for our guests there at the church and observed the usual cake-cutting ritual.

We had been given $100 ($1,120.00 in 2022 dollars) and a borrowed car to celebrate our honeymoon. That afternoon, we drove to New Braunfels and stayed at the Faust Hotel. Thus began an adventure which continues to this day.

Back home from New Braunfels

As I look back over those years, I can clearly see the Lord’s hand of blessing on our marriage. While there have been challenges, the Lord has always been faithful to us and helped us as we occasionally had to struggle with life events.

Together, we have grown in our faith and learned to love and trust the Lord in all circumstances. Today, our lives together are filled with joy and peace as we each delight in the presence of the other. While it is true our advanced age has brought new challenges, we can share these challenges together and rejoice in the companionship and love that 70 years of life together has produced!

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 10, 2022

Who is Saved and How Can You Tell?

Visually, There is no Difference Between the Spiritually Alive and the Spiritually Dead!

It has pleased the Lord to hide divine glory during this age of mortality. As Christians, we follow the same pattern practiced by our Lord Jesus Christ during the time of his mortality; there is no visible evidence to set us apart after our new birth!

At the point of the new birth, one of the most significant changes that takes place is Christians are indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit and become temples of the Holy Spirit. This union between the Christian and the Holy Spirit is eternal and unalterable!

The Bible is careful to point out all Christians are baptized into one body by the Holy Spirit. Just as there is one God, made up of three persons; the Church is one body made up of millions of individual born again believers!

In the Old Testament, when the glory entered the temple built by Solomon, signifying the presence of God, the Bible describes the scene in 2 Chronicles 7:1-2 where it is written:

7 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.”

A New Dispensation

After the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ and his ascension back to heaven, the Holy Spirit came to indwell Christians at Pentecost. This is described in Acts 2:1-4 where it is written:

“2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

God provided dramatic evidence to authenticate the new dispensation which had started at that time and provided equally dramatic evidence to authenticate the inclusion of Gentiles in this new dispensation as described in Acts 10:44-45 where it is written:

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.”

Visually, after these inaugural events, there was nothing to distinguish the new Christians from anyone else. The Lord was once again following the pattern used during the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and continues to use that pattern today.

What Does it Take to be Saved?

I like to refer to what Jesus Christ told Nicodemus on the night he came to visit Jesus. Jesus’ first recorded statement to Nicodemus goes directly to the most important issue facing Nicodemus in John 3:3 it is written:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

After Nicodemus expresses confusion, Jesus explains further in verses 5-8

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Jesus then selects an event in the Old Testament that illustrated what he must accomplish at his First Advent.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

As we look to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, we are saved! Simple faith is the basis for salvation; in Ephesians 2:8-9 it is written:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

How Can You Tell if Someone’s Saved?

While there are no physical clues that might indicate the new birth, no halo’s or divine glory, we are given certain guides to help us determine if one is spiritually dead or alive. The first thing that comes to mind is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-26 it is written:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

It is unlikely an individual, claiming to be saved, and manifesting these characteristics a majority of the time is doing so in the power of the flesh. The flesh, with its fallen sin nature produces a totally different kind of fruit, we have this described in Galatians 5:19-21 where it is written:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

While Christians, on occasion, do sin, the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives keeps them from making a practice of sinning! A vital point is given to us in 1 John 1:8-10 where it is written:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

God knew his children would have to struggle with sin and provided a simple solution to the problem; we confess our sins to him and he is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

Personal Sin

A Christian’s personal sin has nothing to do with his salvation and everything to do with quality of life and a Holy Spirit led walk.

We follow a dangerous path when we try to judge others by any arbitrary standard! The Pharisees fell into that trap and accused Jesus Christ of doing his miracles by the power of Satan.

“But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” Matthew 12:24 NLT

They so rejected his testimony and works to the point of sending him to be crucified. Jesus did not meet the standards for religious acceptability they had established so they condemned him as being of Satan and demanded his death!

I believe it would be prudent to avoid hasty judgment of others; using religious behavior as a benchmark for the new birth is dangerous territory!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 3, 2022

Are Some Offended by What You Believe?

I’m confident there are hundreds of thousands who would be offended by what I believe. Many years ago, I adopted a Biblical worldview and see the world from that perspective. The Bible’s worldview is far removed from the worldview shared by many, a worldview based on fallen human reasoning and a Satanic world system.

We seem to be living in a time where someone is offended by almost anything you believe or practice. If you dare to state an opinion, there is always someone who takes exception to what you said and ready to vigorously challenge it with a contrary opinion.

The following was written by a dear brother in Christ we have known for many years. It expresses, with great clarity, a problem we are hearing so much about today, offensive behavior. As a subscriber to his writings, I recently received this and was very impressed with the fresh insights it offered and wanted to share it with my readers. I’ll finish my series on salvation next week.

Days of Offense

By Hal Lindsey

When giving the signs of His return, Jesus listed something you may not have spent much time thinking about — offense. In Matthew 24:10 (NKJV), the Lord said, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

There has never been a time when more people were more offended over more things than right now. Offense is everywhere in our day. People are offended by things both real and imagined; by words spoken and words unspoken. They are not only offended by your political affiliation, but even by the kind of car you drive. They are offended by names and by whole regions of the country. Most people today have a highly honed, well-developed sense of offense. And they keep it ever on alert, just in case.

Beware of this. Jesus said, offense is followed by betrayal and hatred. Those are happening, too.

Most of our society has been infected. We have made taking offense a sign of virtue, and we have shaped it into a fine art. It is one of the main things now taught in public schools, even though it harms both society as a whole and the individual children being taught. It infuses the music of our age, as well as other entertainments. Society reinforces it in the news media (left and right), in the home, and, yes, even in the church. What a sad thing!

The original language takes this verse even further. The word here translated offense comes from the Greek word, “skandalizo.” That’s where we get the English word “scandalize.” We are scandalized by the attitudes and behaviors of others. The root word has to do with trapping and ensnaring. Don’t be ensnared.

Please understand that there are times when people’s words or actions should shock, insult, or upset us. That’s normal, even healthy. But we should never live there. Neither should we be on the lookout for things in which to find offense. And we should never, ever try to find our self-esteem there. Increasing numbers of people try to bolster their own sense of self-worth by being scandalized by someone else. “They are mean, but I am good. They are not smart, but I have things figured out.”

We live in a time when to find something offensive about a political opponent, or a famous person, has become one of the most sought-after feelings. But that rush is not happiness, and it is not even in the vicinity of joy. It may give a moment of satisfaction to find that a wealthy or famous individual is, for instance, a terrible racist. It might even make a person feel briefly superior. But it will never bring lasting joy.

At other times, people use “offense” as an excuse. “I would have succeeded, but the world is not fair.” Nobody ever said the world was fair. Don’t let your offense at perceived unfairness fool you into not working hard. God wants you on His side. When you are on His side, forces will come against you, but He will help you become an overcomer. He wants us to be like the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:24-25. “But none of these things move me,” he said, “neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

The disease of finding offense in everything is a sign of the times. Jesus said it would be among the constellation of signs that His coming is near. So, don’t be discouraged when you see it. Instead of bringing discouragement, may it help all of us to realize that our work is great and our time short. Also, remember that the disease of offense is highly contagious. Be careful not to let it infect you. God has much work left for you and me. We must avoid getting bogged down in offense.

More Information: In this special Report Hal explains how ‘tolerance’ is driven by a fear of causing offense – Click Here –

Programing Note: Part 13 of Hal Lindsey Presents: Revelation airs tonight at 11pm EST on Daystar. This week Hal shows us what John sees as he stands before God at the very center of Heaven.  You can watch this and every episode of Hal Lindsey Presents in Hal’s video archive: https://www.hallindsey.com/videos/

Hal’s line by line examination of the Book of Revelation is available as a 31 DVD set. This comprehensive lesson on the last book of the Bible would make an prayerful gift for any believer or an outstanding addition to your own Christian library. Available now in Hal’s store!

mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147

email: questions@hallindsey.com web: http://www.hallindsey.com

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 26, 2022

Why Should Anyone Need Saving?

Many are Unaware of a Need for Salvation

I believe that every adult person senses something is wrong both within and without. Attempts to find an answer to our general feelings of uneasiness can be addressed in a variety of ways most of which involve some sort of acquisition of things or control of others. Efforts of this sort always result in failure, there is no resolution of those bad feelings by either acquisition or control!

What is the Problem?

There is a root cause for our feelings of uneasiness, but it is only in the Bible that the root cause is revealed to us. The problem is explained in Romans 5:12-19 where it is written:

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Paul identifies an apparent problem in verse 13 where he points out death, as the penalty for sin, was experienced by those who had not sinned against a command from God as Adam did. He goes on to explain that all who descended from Adam were counted to have sinned in Adam, there in the Garden of Eden when Adam disobeyed a direct command from God.

This guilt has passed down through each succeeding generation to the point it has reached those of us living today; we too are counted to have sinned in Adam, there in the Garden! Every human being, born of a human father, died spiritually in the Garden, with Adam, to this very day!

Only two human males did not have a human father, Adam, who caused the problem, and Jesus Christ, God’s solution to the problem!

God’s Solution to Man’s Problem

The Book of Romans presents a very clear picture of mankind’s problem and God’s solution to that problem. In Romans 5:6-11 we read:

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

It is only by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and the new birth by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, that we find deliverance from the oppression that envelopes mankind. Without the new birth, we are spiritually dead and have no power to deliver ourselves from death.

Good works, without the new birth, is like putting fancy clothes on a corpse; it may look better but it’s still dead!

Embrace God’s solution to the problem mankind faces, receive Jesus Christ as Savior, experience the new birth, and be delivered from the coming judgment!

Next time, “Who is Saved and How Can You Tell?”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 19, 2022

What is Salvation?

Salvation and Sin!

The Biblical message of salvation and sin is widely misunderstood by many people. The Bible’s statements on those subjects are greatly different from the popular notions prevalent in society today. Society tends to judge a person by their actions and while this is a valid measurement in some cases, it fails to address the underlying cause of those actions.

The measure of other people’s actions is generally subjective and subject to a variety of interpretations depending on the standards that have been adopted by a particular group. Any given action may be viewed as exemplary by one group, acceptable by another, questionable by yet another and grossly offensive by still another.

The First Question Must be, Salvation from What?

If we speak of salvation, then a logical question is salvation from what? What is the danger, or peril that threatens those who need salvation? Another question might be, is everyone in danger or just some of us?

Those questions would get a wide variety of responses from almost everyone asked; the world today has a multitude of opinions and a large part of the world would, I suspect, have no opinion at all! There are many who feel no need of salvation from any overriding danger!

When Sin Got Lost

In September of 1973, a book was published, “Whatever Became of Sin?” by Dr. Karl A. Menninger, a man who had established a notable career as a psychiatrist over many years. He objected to the way that certain actions of men were no longer thought of as sin but as psychological problems which could be resolved by proper psychiatric care.

Dr. Menninger’s focus was on how the actions of individuals impacted the lives of other people and appealed to all to modify their behavior to a more loving and caring mode. There is no recognition of a fallen nature as described in the Bible and he implied all religions seek the same objectives; turning away from selfishness to a more charitable and caring attitude toward others.

While he touched on important issues, he totally overlooked others!

A Time of Judgment is Coming

The Bible describes a time of coming judgment for all whose names are not written in the Book of Life; in Revelation 20:11-15 it is written:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Operation Bootstrap is a Sure Path to Failure!

The Bible makes it very clear that every human being is born spiritually dead and inhabited by a sin nature that is too powerful to resist. No one can overcome the power of that sin nature by trying harder or longer. Struggling to overcome the insurmountable challenges presented by that sin nature is a sure path to failure!

The Bible tells us, the solution to the problem cannot come from within, it must come from an outside source and this is exactly what God has done for us at the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our personal sin is a symptom of our basic problem, not the problem itself; our basic problem is a dead spirit and we simply cannot restore life to our dead spirit. We need a power from without to restore life and that is what God has done through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Next time, the Bible’s perspective on “Why Should Anyone Need Saving?”; where and how did we all die spiritually?

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 5, 2022

The Answer to Life’s Biggest and Most Important Question!

Some Interesting Facts of Life That Apply to All, from the Greatest to the Least!

A recent headline referenced the death of a well-known industrialist who had made his mark on the world; his passage was duly noted and properly mourned by those who knew him. Being theologically inclined, I wondered what decision he had made about Jesus Christ during his mortal life and mused idly on his location after death.

This got me to thinking about mortal death in general; while the death of a few notable individuals is widely publicized, the majority of deaths only affect a small number of individuals. I was reminded of my thoughts in 1985, as I was driven through traffic to my older son’s burial; the world was moving on totally unaware of the death of my son; it was simply one more inconsequential event in the broader pattern of life.

During my life, I have observed the deaths of many famous individuals; it got me to wondering, just how many people have died during my years on this earth. With modern technology, it is not hard to get a rough estimate.

Statistically, world-wide, there are some 56,000,000 deaths each year; that times my years of life, 89, would equal 4,984,000,000 deaths so far. Fortunately, for the survival of the species, the birth rate is still greater than the death rate. Over this same period of 89 years, the earth’s population is estimated to have grown at a statistical rate of 128,845,000 births per year for a total of 11,467,205,000 babies born during my lifetime so far.

While these numbers are nothing more than crude, statistical estimates, they provide a rather broad overview of what is going on regarding the earth’s population. If we factor in the Biblical revelations concerning mankind, we are faced with a totally different picture of what is happening.

A Biblical View of Life and Death

One of the most vitally important facts, revealed in Scripture, is the fact mankind is created in the image of God and is eternal! In Genesis 1 and 2 it is recorded:

“1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

2:21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

2:22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

The implications of this process of creation are vitally significant to our view of life and death; we are beings who exist in the image of God and share certain characteristics with God; for example, our immaterial part, the part breathed into us by God, will never, ever die. There will never be a point in time, or timeless eternity, that everyone who has ever lived does not exist in some form somewhere.

That process we refer to as death, is nothing more than the vacating of our mortal bodies which were made of the dust of the earth and were never intended to be our permanent dwelling. Paul mentions this in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8

“5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

What Does All This Mean to Each of Us; What Does it Mean to You?

Regardless of fame or fortune, there is only one question that each of us must resolve conclusively, and that is the question of Jesus Christ’s place in our lives. The ultimate truth of the whole matter of life is what do you think of Jesus Christ? Anyone who receives Jesus Christ as Savior, is born-again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit; has their name placed in the Book of Life and is delivered from eternal judgement in the Lake of Fire.

Those who reject salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, whose names are not found in the Book of Life, face eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire; there are no other alternatives available. In Revelation 20:11-15 it is written:

“11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

I urge all who care to make the only decision in life that counts for all of time and eternity; receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and join God’s eternal family!

With Christ You have Everything!

Without Christ You have Nothing!

First published on March 6th, 2020 but much too important not to update and publish again!

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