Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Understanding True Salvation

There are many salvation plans in our world, and yet there is only one “way” of entrance into heaven and that is through the faith and work of Jesus Christ. Whether one believes in Jesus Christ or whether one believes in doing some good deeds in the name of Jesus Christ, none of it will open the door of heaven or affect whether one has been named in the Lamb’s book of life.

Being named in the Book of Life has everything to with who is saved and absolutely nothing to do with what we do. Salvation is a gift, given by God to an undeserving group of people whom God saved and called “… in Jesus Christ before the world began” II Timothy 1:9  

When God named individuals in “the Book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)  He did so irrespective of their person or works. Meaning, God chose His people according to His good pleasure.

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:4&5

God establishes the fact that He did not choose His people based upon any factor other than His own good pleasure. In Romans 9:16 God declares that His election of a people was based solely upon His mercy:

“So then it is not of him that willeth [chooses to accept the gift], nor of him that runneth [does good deeds], but of God that showeth mercy.”

In Romans chapter 9:11 God confirms this:

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

If salvation is simply a matter of choosing or seeking on the part of the ones who “receive” salvation, how then can salvation be a gift? The truth of the matter is salvation is wholly and completely a gift of grace by God. To believe otherwise makes salvation a matter of works.

Even to believe in Jesus Christ requires faith, and a faith that is not of ourselves. No, true faith, the faith of Jesus Christ comes only as part of the gift of salvation.

The works needed for salvation to be secured were finished by Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world:

“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”    Hebrews 4:3

Even the action of believing is a work, so when and if we truly believe it is a result of the work of the Spirit of God has performed within us. Only those who have been “…born of God.”  John 1:11-13

The faith to believe comes only when we have been born of the Spirit:
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”John 3:5

No, true salvation comes only to those whose names have been written in “…the Book of life of the Lamb…” and not one of us has any claim upon or deserves such an unspeakable gift!
Rather, each one of us should stand afar off “…saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13

Monday, March 24, 2014

Why is Christ’s Resurrection so Important?

As we approach the Easter Season many Christians are reminded of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But, why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ so important and why, after two thousand years do so many people continue to celebrate this event?

Well, the short answer is the resurrection of Jesus Christ proved or manifested that He successfully made payment for sin.

For a child of God, the resurrection is the basis upon which all his or her hope of salvation stems.

Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter Sunday would have no meaning, and worse, all the hope Christ’s people may have would be lost. All those for whom Christ died would then become the most miserable and hopeless people on earth!

God wrote through the pen of the Apostle Paul these words in I Corinthians 15 verses 13 to 20:

“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

To understand the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ we must first understand who is Jesus Christ and why He needed to be resurrected.

Jesus Christ is very God Himself in the person of a human being.

And, the reason Jesus Christ needed to be resurrected was because He died.

Why did He die?

Jesus Christ was put to death for sin.

But, it must be understood that Jesus Christ was put to death, not by Jews or by Roman soldiers, but by God, His Father, as payment for sin.

Jesus Christ was put to death by His Father for the sins of all His people.

“And she [Mary] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”   Matthew 1:21

You see, every time a human being sins or disobeys God’s commands, he or she becomes subject to death.

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die.”  Ezekiel 18:4

In Romans chapter 6 verse 23 God wrote:

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus died in order to save each and every one of His people.

For anyone of us to be saved, Jesus had to die in our place.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ proved the payment for our sin was accomplished, provided we are one of Christ’s people.

So, you can begin to see the importance of the resurrection and how it proves that though Jesus Christ was put to death for the sins of His people, He nevertheless was resurrected back to life again.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ manifests that everything in which a true Christian believes, or hopes has been obtained.

The resurrection means victory! It means death no longer has any hold upon those for whom Christ died.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   

 I Corinthians 15: 55&57

What a glorious hope!

Lord willing, we will discuss when Christ’s resurrection from the dead actually took place in future blog posts.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Which faith do we possess?


“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”   Proverbs 3:5&6
 

How does God teach His people to not “lean upon” their own understanding?

How does one cease from trusting one’s own thinking and to come to trust God?

What does it take to trust God sufficiently enough for one to quietly wait upon the LORD to direct one’s steps?

The answer is faith.

It takes a very distinct kind of faith to trust God sufficiently enough to stop one from leaning upon one’s own thinking. After all, faith and trust are one and the same.

There are many kinds of faith throughout this world, but there is only one true faith sufficient to please God:

“But without faith it is impossible to please him…” Hebrews 11:6

In Hebrew 11 verse 1 God describes faith:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

All true Christians are given this very distinctly different and unique faith at the moment they become “born again”.

In fact true “faith” is part of the gift of salvation.

When one becomes “born again” at that moment the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within and possessing true “faith” is one of the proofs.

True faith is in actuality a faith belonging only to Christ Jesus. In fact, Jesus Christ is the only possessor of the kind of faith needed to please God.

In Galatians 2 verse 16 God describes what and whose faith is needed to be justified and to please Him:

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ that we be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

When Jesus Christ submitted Himself to His Father to die to pay for the sins of His people He had to have sufficient faith to trust He would be resurrected again afterwards.

In Hebrews 12:2 God declares that Jesus is the initiator and completer or faith:

  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”    Hebrews 12:2

When Jesus gave Himself for His people He did so in faith, trusting His Father to raise Him again.

This same faith is what each person desperately needs to be saved and to please God the Father.

Our human faith will not suffice, nor will it please God.

This essential doctrine of faith is one of the essential doctrines we teach at Family Radio.

We believe that it is through the proclamation of this kind of understanding that has caused Family Radio to prosper and endure for fifty-five years.

When we talk about the “true Gospel” we mean declaring only a Gospel circumscribed by all of Scripture.

To come to the point where one leans “…not unto” their “own understanding” but, rather upon the LORD to direct one’s path, one must be given this very special gift of faith.

At Family Radio we believe true faith, Christ’s faith comes only by hearing the Word of God:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

Please consider how you might partner with Family Radio in proclaiming the Word of God to the world, so that God’s Spirit may breathe upon one who has yet to become “born again”.



Monday, February 24, 2014

The Word of Reconciliation


If you are one of the rare, but blessed recipients of God’s “unspeakable gift” of salvation you should “leap for joy!”

If you have been named as an inheritor of eternal life, you indeed should rejoice, “and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven...” Matthew 5:12

If you are a joint-heir with Christ Jesus, you have been raised to heights unseen by natural man.

Imagine-being named “joint-heirs” with Jesus Christ, the King and creator of the universe!

How can we comprehend such glory!

Yet, this is the inheritance awaiting all those named in the testament written and secured by Jesus Christ.

If God has reconciled us to Himself through the work of Jesus Christ, what could be more glorious?

With this gift comes great honor, not only in heaven, but also in this earth, for when we become “born again” we are commissioned to represent the Kingdom of God!

Each and every inheritor of salvation becomes an ambassador of God and His Kingdom.

Though ambassadors of Christ cannot reconcile others to God, we, however have been given the great honor of being given the ministry of reconciliation.    

God commissions His people to act in Christ’s stead to beseech others to be reconciled to God.

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” II Corinthians 5: 18&20

What higher calling could we be given, than to be called to be “ambassadors for Christ?”

If we are an adopted member of Christ’s family, we have been given the blessed “ministry of reconciliation.”

This is the essence of the entire mission of Family Radio, “the ministry of reconciliation.”

Family Radio is nothing more than a collective partnership to make known God’s means of reconciling Himself to sinful mankind, namely through His Son, Jesus Christ.

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”            II Corinthians 5:19

May our lives be given wholly to “the ministry of reconciliation” that others, who have yet to hear the blessed name of Jesus Christ, hear the good news of salvation by grace alone.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Why do we Want Christ to Return?


For the children of God, the return of Jesus Christ is our highest hope and greatest longing, the moment when all our hopes are realized and all our suffering will cease and all our sorrow is wiped from our memory.

Who would not want to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord?

Knowing what God has written in His Word concerning heaven, who would not want to be present with the Lord?

Imagine…what God has prepared for those that love Him!

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”   Revelation 21: 4

“ and there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him”

“And there shall be no night there: and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”  Revelation 22: 3&5

Perhaps the best part of being in heaven is the fact there will exist no separation between ourselves and God:

“…Behold, the tabernacle of God of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”   Revelation 21:3

Imagine…in what safer more blissful place could any person dwell than in the presence of God Himself?

Then to think this will be the dwelling place for Christ’s people forever more!

Yet, for the servants of God who remain here in this world there is more work God has foreordained for us to do, and until He comes for us we must work the works of Christ, while it is day.

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”      Philippians 1:21 & 23

Yes, though to be in heaven standing before Almighty God and our Savior, Jesus Christ is far better, yet we know it is more needful that we “abide in the flesh…” for the kingdom of God’s sake.

So that while we remain in this world we may say: Lord what would have me do?

How can I serve you with my life?

Never should it be said that we want Christ to return because we are too tired of life, or of serving Him, who has given us such hope and such an “unspeakable gift” as eternal life!

Never should it be thought that Christ should come because we have grown weary of well doing!

Rather, we should say always: Lord, what would you have me do, and how can I serve you better?






Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Who is at the helm of Family Radio Part II?


                                            

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”

                                                                                                                         I Corinthians 3:6&7

With loss of our founder and President, Mr. Camping many are asking: what now? Who is going to lead Family Radio now that Mr. Camping is no longer guiding the ministry?

A good question, but one that should be answered with another question- who has been and is truly the one running Family Radio? Who has been the power and driving force behind Family Radio? Was it Mr. Camping or God?

Mr. Camping repeatedly remarked that Jesus Christ was the true CEO of Family Radio!

He believed the true power behind Family Radio was never him or any group of men; rather he was convicted the true power behind Family Radio is the Spirit of God!

Just as God used the Apostle Paul to sow and water the Gospel, so too did God use Mr. Camping to plant and water the seeds of the gospel.

So, the answer to the question-Who is at the helm today of Family Radio, is God Himself.

As we walk forward at Family Radio we do so trusting Christ’s Spirit will instruct, teach and empower this ministry in the way which we “shalt go” and that He will guide us with His eye.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32:8

Yes, while it is true that there have been few teachers such as Mr. Camping, there is and always remains the true only perfect teacher, the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised:

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  John 16:13

As we go forward, we do so trusting God in the same way Joshua trusted God following the death of Moses.

God told Joshua:

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.”   Joshua 1:9

At Family Radio we simply continue on the path to which God has called this ministry and continue to strive to be more faithful. We need not fear, for God is with His people “withersoever” they go.

To God be the Glory!







Friday, January 24, 2014

Our Eyes are a Window into our Soul


There exists an old saying in American culture: “The eyes are a window to the soul.”

Jesus spoke about this when He taught on how our eyes reflect either spiritual light or great spiritual darkness within our souls. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” Matthew 6:22&23

Jesus makes certain that there is no misunderstanding that either we are full of light or we are in great darkness. Just as we cannot love two masters, so that there cannot be any neutrality in the state of our souls.

How and what makes the difference between an eye full of light and an eye full of darkness? To know this you have to understand light and know where darkness comes from.

Spiritual darkness:

Spiritual darkness came upon all mankind without exception in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve rebelled against God. Adam and Eve’s pride drove them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither where thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21

Through Adam and Eve’s sin and pride, mankind was thrust into “great” spiritual darkness and sadly, this darkness exists today.

From where comes the light?

Jesus said in John 9 verse 5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. “When Jesus went back to heaven He promised He would send another light:  God, the Holy Spirit, also known as the Comforter. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”   John 15:26

The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within each person to whom the Father sends Him. His presence within us is the proof we have become one of God’s people. If we are one of the blessed recipients of God’s gift of salvation, the Spirit will remain in us forever.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”   John 14:16

The Spirit is the light that rekindles the light that was darkened by our sin and the sin of Adam. Through the Spirit’s presence and power each and every person in whom the Spirit dwells become the light of the world:

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill…” that cannot be hid.  Matthew 5:14

This is now our purpose and task, if the Spirit of God dwells within us:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5: 16