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I have been an Elder at the Community Bible Church in Minneapolis Kansas. For 35+ years.  During that time I have been writing these thought...

Friday, September 30, 2016

"Preparing for Life Eternal"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #52 – “Preparing for Life Eternal”

            Last week we concluded by stating what the only thing you must do to have eternal life with God.  If you do not choose to believe in Jesus Christ, you may have a decent or even a great life on this earth but will have an indescribable eternal existence separated for God.  Everyone has eternal life but it is a matter of eternity with God or eternity without God.

            The next question would be, what should my life be as a believer while still on this earth?  We have choices every moment of every day.  This life is all about preparing for the life to come.  We are, you might say, in training and the choices we make affect the outcome of how you spend eternity.  If you understand the gospel that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that he was buried and rose from the grave on the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4) and believed in Jesus Christ, your entrance into heaven is guaranteed.  There is nothing that you or anyone else can do to keep you from entering heaven if you have believed in Jesus Christ.  “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13, 14)  No thing or no person can keep us from our inheritance, or entrance into heaven.  Once we have believed we are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit.  We now have our ticket to heaven paid for by the blood of Jesus and tattooed on our hearts.  We no longer have to worry about our salvation.  We can now look beyond that aspect of our eternal destiny.  We now need to be concerned about how we enter into heaven.

            Now that we are rescued from eternal damnation, no longer needing to concern ourselves with where we spend eternity, we must focus on our preparation for the life after our physical death.  Paul says, “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.” (1 Cor. 9: 23, 24)  In any race there will be under achievers and there will be over achievers.  Our eyes, in this race, should be on the trophy.  Many will want to continue living as the world lives but Christians with their eye on the prize will be rewarded.  Remember, even Christians will have a day of judgment before the Lord.  We will be face to face with Jesus Christ one day, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10)  We must be preparing for that time by serving and loving God by serving and loving others and standing firm for Jesus Christ.

            You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Stages of Life"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #51 – “Stages of Life”

               These devotions have been designed to point to Jesus Christ for salvation or for growth in Him.  This one is for those who have believed in Him.  For every person there are several stages of life to go through.  Try to keep this list in mind as we attempt to see what the Bible has to say about each of these ten scenarios.  Some stages are as follows:

1.     Born a sinner separated from God.

2.     The sinner chooses to believe in Jesus who bore our sins on the cross.

3.     Believer chooses to be a follower of Jesus.

4.     Believer loses his life on this earth and begins eternal life with God. 

5.     Believer goes before the Judgment seat of Christ.

6.     Believer remains in heaven until the second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom on earth.

7.     Thousand year reign of Christ on earth.

8.     The defeat of Satan.

9.     The Great White Throne judgment.

10.  Purging of the old earth and begin the new heaven and earth for eternity.

We will begin at the beginning of a person’s life, your life or my life.  Sin and separation from God began at birth.  We had no choice because of Adam’s act of disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden.  From that point on, all born of the seed of man or the seed of Adam are born into sin and thereby separated from God.  “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12)  When we are born we suddenly find ourselves in a terrible situation.  We begin our worldly adventure separated from God, slaves to sin and can do absolutely nothing about it by our own merits.  We are lost and bound for eternal destruction.  We are bound to Satan for he is the ruler of this world.  We could do nothing about it but someone could. 

“For God so loved the world that, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  Why did He do this; because He loved the world (people) so much.  We did not have a path of reconciliation available by our own efforts but by the efforts of God, the ultimate sacrifice, the substitutionary death of His Son.  He gave his life for us to pay the price for our sin.  “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:21, 22)  The only thing the sinner must do to be reconciled to God is to simply believe in Jesus as the Scripture states, “whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Some think that is just too easy and call it easy-believism.  But remember what Jesus suffered to accomplish God’s plan of redemption.   That was not easy!

That covers the first two stages.  We first have a physical birth into a life of sin.  Secondly, we are born into a spiritual life reconciled to God, if we believe in Jesus.  “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  Next week, what is life all about following the new spiritual birth?

Lowell Parrish

Monday, September 26, 2016

"Abrahamic Covenant"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #50 – “Abrahamic Covenant”

               We concluded last week with Jesus stating that he was leaving the house of Israel desolate.  That is not the end of the story.  God made a promise to Abraham that the nation of Israel will spend eternity in the land God promised to the descendants of Abraham.    This promise included the following four items: (Gen. 12-15)

1.       A great nation (land and people)

2.      Make his name great (progeny, many descendants)

3.      Abraham would be blessed (materially and spiritually)

4.      All families of the earth will be blessed (through Jesus Christ)

Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness.  He believed all the promises that God had made him but he needed some assurances.  Every covenant or contract must be ratified and Abraham wanted assurances that what God said would be carried out.   “He said, ‘O Lord God, how may I know that I will possess it?’  So He said to him, ‘Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’  Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.” (Gen. 15:8-10)   In those days, people ratified contracts by exchanging bags of salt and other meaningful ways.  The most significant covenants were ratified by laying sides of animals on each side of a pathway between them and then the two parties to the covenant would pass between the animal halves to ratify the agreement.  If either party broke the agreement, they would suffer the same fate as the animals used in the ratification process.  What was different and most important about this ratification was that God caused Abraham to fall into a deep sleep and God Himself passed between the animal halves signifying that the convent could only be broken by God.  There was nothing that Abraham could do to break the covenant.  “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:’” (Gen. 15:18)

               Israel later was scattered around the world because of disobedience to God.  Everywhere they have lived they have been persecuted and hated.  But they have never lost their national identity.  Any other nation scattered as the Jews were would not have maintained national identity.  In 1948, they were made a nation again. They have survived under the most difficult times imaginable with constant threat of annihilation.  Our country has been the most supportive of all nations but lately have been more supportive of their enemies.

There are so many things that have taken place and will continue to take place until God’s ultimate plan comes together.  But, when it does, the descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel will own, occupy, and enjoy the land that God promised some six thousand years ago and described in Genesis twelve through fifteen.  It seems as though most of the people in this country and certainly those in leadership do not understand or, do not believe what the Bible says about Israel.  If they did, our approach today would be to support Israel totally instead of supporting their enemies.  Let us remember, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.” (Gen 12:3a)  This may sound like a political statement but I can assure you that it is purely a spiritual one.  AMEN!

You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to come.

Lowell Parrish

Friday, September 23, 2016

"Israel (Part 3)"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #49 – “Israel (Part 3)”

The question that we left with last week was; how are all the families of the earth to be blessed through Abraham?  “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.  He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.” (Gal. 3:16)  Jesus, the one who bore the sins of the world on the cross was born of the Virgin Mary, came from the seed of Abraham through the tribe of Judah, in the line of King David.   That is how all of the families of the earth are blessed through Abraham.  “Even so Abraham BELIEVED God, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.  The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.’” (Gal. 3:6-8) 

Why was Abraham chosen by God to father this new nation?  God desired for all the nations of the world to come to know Him and to learn about His love, grace, and mercy.  He wanted all the peoples of the world to know who He is, the one and only true and living God.  “But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King.  At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation.” (Jer. 10:10)  The purpose for Israel was that God would be revealed to the rest of the world.  “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deut. 7:6)  This nation is the favored of all nations, the apple of His eye, “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.  For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants.’” (Zech. 2:8, 9a)  It is clear from Scripture that God has placed Israel far above any other nation.  He did that a few thousand years ago and it has not changed because God has not changed.

It is clear that God has set Israel apart from other nations in order to accomplish His purpose.  However, while God blessed them in every way he also disciplined them when they disobeyed and strayed from him to worship other gods.  He warned them in the book of Leviticus that if they obeyed His commandments he would bless them but, if they disobeyed His commandments there would be negative consequences, “You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste.” (Lev. 26:33)  They disobeyed and were scattered, Jesus turned His back on the Jews.  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!  Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 13:34, 35)

You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow on the Jews.

Lowell Parrish

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Israel (Part 2)"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #48 – “Israel (Part 2)”

            Why is Israel so important?  We left off last week with Genesis chapter 12 where God chose a man to father a new nation.   At the beginning of chapter 12, Abraham’s name is Abram and his wife’s name is Sarai who later becomes Sarah. “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing, and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.’” (Gen. 12:1-3)  There is enough in these three verses to convince most people of the need to treat Israel not only as an ally but as our very best friends.

            On a casual reading it does not seem as though there is much in those three verses but, let us analyze them a bit and see if we can find the answer to what should influence believers.  God said for Abram to leave his country, his relatives, and his father’s house and go.  He did go and did almost all that God told him but he disobeyed in one aspect, he took his nephew Lot with him.  That seems a bit trivial, however, that would come back to bite him just as all of our disobedience to God does.  There are definite consequences when we fail to obey God.  God told him to go and Abram went.  What tremendous faith that would have taken.  It is obvious that he believed in God, which makes it somewhat obvious why God chose Abram to father the nation of Israel.

            God told Abram that He would bless him and make his name great.  That means, for one thing, that God will give him many descendants.  Portions of Scripture state that his descendants will number as many as the dust of the earth, stars in the sky or, the sand of the sea shore.  That would be a great family when we consider that his wife Sarai is barren at the age of seventy five.  God said he would show him a land that as far as he could see in any direction, “for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.” (Gen. 13:15)  You would probably agree that forever is a long, long time.

            The part that we should be most concerned about is where God says, “and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.” (Gen. 12:3a)  Do you want to be one of those who bless Israel or one who curses Israel?  This is a covenant made to Abram from God some 6000 years ago and is as valid today as it was the day it was made for God does not change and He certainly will not break His promise.  The promise is not only good for Abram and his descendants but also includes you and me, “and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3b) For me, even though Israel, for the most part, is a secular nation, I will be supportive of them as I would much rather be blessed than cursed by God. 

            You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow, how are all the families of the earth to be blessed?

Lowell Parrish


Friday, September 16, 2016

"Israel (Part 1)"

Victory Can Be Yours!
Article #47 – “Israel (Part 1)”
               One of the huge news stories of few years ago was regarding the Nation of Israel.  The Obama Administration and the house Democrats were protesting the invitation of Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel to speak before Congress.  The President was refusing to meet with the Prime Minister while he was in Washington and the congressional Democrats were planning to boycott the speech before Congress.  This kind of behavior is rather strange as we have been the greatest of allies with Israel since Israel received recognition as a nation in 1948.  Christians especially should be alarmed when our country’s leaders are disrespecting Israel in this way.  Why Christians should be concerned about difficulties developing between our two countries goes back several thousand years.
               One significant reason Christians should be concerned is that Jesus was born a Jew, of the Tribe of Judah and the line of King David.  “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isa. 9:6, 7) This alone should make all Christians want to support the nation of Israel.  However, there are some churches that believe in replacement theology meaning that the promises to Israel have been taken from them and now are given to the Church.  In other words, the Church replaces Israel in God’s future plans.  There is nothing in Scripture that would support that theory.  God made the promises to Abraham and his descendants and God does not break His promises or change His mind. “Jesus Christ is the same Yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8)
               In the beginning, God created the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all that was in them and at the end of the sixth day, “God saw all the He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31a)  Then sin entered into the world through Adams disobedience and sin and corruption have thrived from then on.  Then in Genesis chapter six God had come to the end of His patience for all was corrupt and violent.  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord and God instructed him to build the ark and load it with two of each kind of animal and birds and the rest of the living on earth would be destroyed by flood waters.  The rains came and destroyed all of mankind and animal life except for Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives, and the animals and birds that were saved on the ark.
In the first eleven chapters of Genesis we have creation, the fall of man into sin, the first murder of Cain murdering his brother Abel followed by sin, corruption, and violence, a chapter of genealogy, the flood, and more genealogy through chapter eleven.  In Genesis 12, God choses a man to father a new nation, the nation of Israel.  Why is Israel so important to Christians?
You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow regarding the Jewish Nation, Israel.
Lowell Parrish

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"Where Is Your Treasure?"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article # 46 – “Where Is Your Treasure?”

            Most people spend their lives trying to get ahead.  Many slave away just trying to put a roof over their heads and food for their table.  Others work hard to try to build up a reserve, an investment portfolio, something to pass on to their children.  In today’s economy, there are probably millions of millionaires trying to get more.  And then there are those who have millions who would sell their souls to get more at any cost no matter the impact on others.   What are the real riches in our lives here on earth?

            The Scripture tells us about those who store up there treasures on earth.  In Luke chapter 12, Jesus told a parable about the rich man who had no more room to store his crops so he determined that he would tear down his barns to build larger ones.  He just needed to store up more and more.  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20, 21)  He went on later to say, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)   Many search for ways to fill their barns even fuller to the point of neglecting the more important things, such as; spouse, children, friends and neighbors, and God.  There becomes an obsession to have more and more at the expense of what is most important.

            Solomon says to us, “There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor.  Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, ‘And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?’  This too is vanity and it is a grievous task. … ‘Vanity of vanities’, says the Preacher, ‘all is vanity!’” (Ecc. 4:8; 12:8)  These words came from a man God gave wisdom and discernment and breadth of mind greater than any man.  So these are truly words of wisdom that we should take to heart.  We are on this earth not to store up earthly treasures but heavenly treasures.  This life is only a moment in eternity and is a time for us to prepare for the next life that will last forever.  “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6: 20, 21)

            We need to consider; what is important in my life?  This is what the wise man Solomon concluded, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecc. 12:12, 14)

            You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Monday, September 12, 2016

"What About Worry?"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article # 45 – “What About Worry?”

            We are living in a time where there is much uncertainty.  I suspect that life has always been that way in the eyes of those living at the time.  However, right now we can see so much social and political unrest.  The world seems to be falling apart with all the extremist activity around the globe, especially in the Middle East.  The tragic news of assassinations in France, the muscle flexing of the Russians, and China building aircraft carriers, not to forget the political war being waged between the liberals and the conservatives in this country.  It is difficult to keep a positive outlook on our own personal interests.  Some over the past few years have concerns of; when am I going to find a job or, this new job pays half of what the old one paid, how are we supposed to exist during such trying times?  Thank God I haven’t had to worry about anything quite that extreme but many have.

            What does God say about worry regarding tomorrow?  Jesus said, “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:31-34)  This passage is saying that the gentiles or unbelievers eagerly seek all these things but, those who believe and trust in God should not worry because He knows our needs before we do and promises to provide.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)  We must, as the Matthew passage states, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

            It is our natural minds that react to our circumstances like; what about education, what about my child’s basketball game or, how can we afford the piano lessons, or my job security, what if this or what if that, and on and on it goes?  That is how our natural mind works but our spiritual mind should tell us not to worry about tomorrow for God is in full control all of the time.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6)  The song in the Hymnal says, “For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” (“His Eye Is On the Sparrow”, by Martin & Gabriel)

            You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Friday, September 9, 2016

"Rejection of Jesus Christ"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #44 – “Rejection of Jesus Christ”

            Last week we established that our eternal destiny would be with God if we believe in Jesus Christ.  This week we want to look at our eternal destiny if we do not believe in Jesus Christ.  The result of making the wrong decision will place us in a place of eternal torment.  Let’s explore briefly what that means for those who reject Jesus Christ.

            In the NASB, Hell is mentioned 13 times in 13 verses, ten of which are by Jesus Himself.  Hades, Sheol, and death are mentioned several times in the Old Testament but few times in the New Testament.  We will only deal with Hell because we are interested in the eternal destiny of unbelievers.  Hell is also described in the Bible as; unquenchable fire, the blackness of darkness, furnace of fire, torment in fire and brimstone, the smoke of their torment, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, where their worm does not die, the place prepared for the devil and his angels.  Unger’s Bible Dictionary says, “There is no doubt that Holy Scripture requires us to believe in a properly so-called place of punishment.”  Hell is not only a place of punishment but of eternal, everlasting punishment.

            “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15)  For those who chose to reject Jesus Christ, God will not find their name written in the book of life and their eternal destiny will be the lake of fire.

            There are many passages of Scripture that teach us about the decisions that we make.  The most important of all the decisions is the one leading to our eternal destiny.  If we choose to believe as Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life,” (John 6:47) our name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life and our eternal life will be with God.  If a person chooses to reject Jesus and continue in unbelief, his/her name will not be found in the Lamb’s book of life and their eternal destiny will be everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.  The time for that choice, if you have not already made it, is now before it is too late for tomorrow may never come.

            You too can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"To Believe or To Reject?"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article # 43 – “To Believe or To Reject”

            To conclude the subject of, ‘what is my eternal destiny’, we must understand the result of our decision to believe in Jesus or to reject Him?  Understand, there is only one thing that will send a person to hell, which is rejection of Jesus as “a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11b)

            Heaven is mentioned in the New American Standard Bible 436 times with 212 of them in the New Testament; it is obviously an important topic.  What does the Bible tell us about going to Heaven?  “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)  We see from this passage that heaven is where God the Father is.  We can also see that those who believe will be with God when our life’s journey on this earth is over.  Jesus said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)  “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’  If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)

            It is not possible for us to know what heaven will be like.  We have some Scriptural clues but in our finite minds, we cannot possibly even imagine the glory that we will experience when we arrive there.  There are many passages that give us some clues and we will look at only a few.  “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom. 8:16-18)  We can see from this that the glory of heaven will be beyond what we can comprehend in this life.

            If we believe in Jesus Christ, it will be as Jesus said, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47)  “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor. 5:1)  Scripture also tells us that if we believe, we are part of the Church and the Church, or the saints, as we are called, are the bride of Christ when He returns to set up His kingdom.

There are so many more passages of Scripture that help us to more closely understand about our eternal destiny  with God, if, we make the right choice.  We can see from the above passages that if we are in Christ we will be glorified with Him and spend eternity in His presence in a glory far beyond our ability to conceive.  Praise God!

You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Life is About Choices"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #42 – “Life is About Choices”

            The question we were dealing with last week was; what is my eternal destiny?  In last week’s article we concluded by saying that God gave man the free will to choose.  Life is made up of the choices that we make.  The choices we make determine our health, our jobs, our finances, and most other aspects of our lives.  The most important choice in our life is the choice between Heaven and Hell.  The answer to that question will determine our eternal destiny.

            The choice is; believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life with God or, reject Jesus Christ and live separated from God for eternity.  Some feel that when we die life is over, there is nothing more.  There are also many who believe that everyone is going to heaven.  However, according to the Scripture, when life on earth ends, our life with God or without God begins and lasts forever and ever without end. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matt. 7:13, 14)

 Jesus said, “’Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way where I am going.’  Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” (John 14:1-6)

            The only choice that will give us eternal life with Christ is to believe in Jesus Christ.  The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “’Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’  They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” (Acts 16:30, 31)  Jesus Himself said, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)

            John writes in his gospel about the resurrection of Lazarus.  In this account Jesus said to Martha, “’I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.  Do you believe this?’  She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.’”

            If we believe as Martha did, with simple childlike faith, we will spend eternity with Jesus Christ.  If, however, we do not believe in Jesus, we will spend eternity separated from Him in Hell, with continual torment forever.  This is the choice that every single person must make.  It is a choice with eternal significance.  The choice is between Heaven and Hell, a person’s eternal destiny.  I hope you all have already made the right choice but if you haven’t, consider it today for tomorrow may never come.

            You, too, can have victory in Jesus.  More to follow, next, what is Heaven and Hell?

Lowell Parrish

Friday, September 2, 2016

"What Is My Eternal Destiny?"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #41 – “What is My Eternal Destiny?”

            A few weeks ago, we began with three questions every person must answer.  The first was where did I come from?  The answer; we were created by God.  The second question was what is my purpose?  The answer; exalt Jesus Christ in everything that we say or do.  The third question is what is my eternal destiny?  The answer to this question is also a simple one.

            In the beginning, when God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him and placed him in the Garden of Eden, man was perfect.  He was made in the image of God.  That did not mean that man had the same appearance as God but was like God in many ways even though imperfect and finite.  Some of those attributes were; personality, truth, wisdom, love, holiness, justice, and the capacity for spiritual fellowship with Him.  He was also given the free will to make choices.  One of his first choices was to disobey the only commandment that God had given him, “The Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘from any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’” (Gen. 2:16, 17)  Adam had the free will to choose as he wished, and he made the wrong choice.  He, through this one act of disobedience, broke his fellowship with God.  He no longer was able to walk and talk freely with God.  He fell from the grace of God and fell into sin and separation from God with no way or path of reconciliation.  Every person born of the seed of Adam since then is born into a world of sin and death separated from God for eternity.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)  Paul goes on to say that the penalty for our sin is death, “For the wages of sin is death,” (Rom. 6:23a)  Therefore, man finds himself in dire straits, destined for an eternity of condemnation and torment and desperately needs to be saved.

            “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 5:8; 6:23)  Jesus came as a babe in a manger, a babe that is both God and man, the only person with no sin in His life because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  Since He was not born of the seed of Adam, He did not have to die for His own sins because He has none.  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)  God has given us a way back to Him, a way to be reconciled and change our eternal destiny.  But, we have this free will to choose between Heaven and Hell.  What choice will you make, if you haven’t already?  Every man must answer, what is my eternal destiny?

                        You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  We will discuss what the end result of our choice will be next week.

Lowell Parrish