Saved?

Saved?  Are you sure? In a world with so much change and instability, it’s sometimes difficult to have confidence in anything.  Even in spiritual matters, our faith often fails to provide us with any real confidence in our eternity.   The promise of salvation is certain and secure, but are you sure you’re saved?  If you’re not sure, why not?  If you are, how do you know?

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The Sin of Uzzah: Wrong with Good Intentions

In II Samuel 6 David makes preparations to bring the Ark back from Baale Judah to the Temple, where it belonged. David, accompanied by thirty thousand men, went down to the house of Abinadab and set the Ark on a new cart to transport it. Steering the Ox cart were two men, Uzzah and Ahio (the sons of Abinadab). Ahio went in front of the Ark, and Uzzah followed behind the Ark. This large procession sang and danced, joyfully carrying the Ark back to its proper place. However, along the way (at Nachon's threshing floor), the oxen stumbled. In an attempt to steady the Ark and make sure it would not fall, Uzzah reached out and put his hand on the Ark. Immediately God's anger was aroused against Uzzah and God struck him dead.

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The Covenant Relationship

From age to age God has dealt with his creation in the same manner. He has framed his interaction and conveyed his wishes through the vehicle of a covenant. The beauty of God's interaction can be seen in the uniform simplicity of the format of His message. This concept of a covenant is so integral to the Bible that the two major divisions are named the Old and New Testaments. 

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Caught Up Together

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:17).  What a day that will be!  When in Hebrews 8:6 the writer tells us that the better (new) covenant is established on better promises this day must have been in mind.  Every child of God watches and waits for this great day, hastening its coming (II Peter 3:12).  Everyone that has this hope in them endures every trial, even the passing of dear loved ones in the Lord, knowing that it won’t be very long until Christ returns to receive His own.  It is no wonder then that I Thessalonians 4:18 reads, “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

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"Go and Sin No More" (excerpts from John 8:1-12)

Thus Jesus spoke to the woman caught in the act of adultery. Her accusers wanted to corner Jesus through this matter. After all, He had put them on notice concerning the righteous mercy of God and their own unrighteousness. Consider these previous events from the book of John:

  • Jesus drove the money changers and sellers of livestock from the temple.

  • He taught that God did not send His Son to condemn, but to save.

  • A Samaritan woman was given hope.

  • A man was healed on the Sabbath

  • The leadership of Israel was criticized for scratching each others backs while rejecting the truth.

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Few There Are Who Find It

No matter our religious conviction we share a common destiny.  By the Holy Spirit's inspiration Paul declared:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Whether we acknowledge Jesus in this life or not, we will stand before Him one day to answer for our life's activities. 

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The Thief on the Cross

One of the most beautiful and encouraging passages in the Bible is Luke 23:39-43.  In spite of the suffering and humiliation we see faith and humility from a repenting thief and mind-blowing love, mercy and grace from our blessed Savior.  It strengthens us because if a thief may enter into paradise with our Lord there must be hope for us!  It is saddening that it is misunderstood and misapplied to say baptism is a useless work and unnecessary for salvation.

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Faith and Works

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works Can faith save him?”  James 2:14

 This question presented in the Scriptures nearly 2,000 years ago remains for many Bible students a point of confusion and contention. What does God really require of those that seek to serve Him?  Is my faith enough, or is there something more?  Should I simply trust in God’s ability to save, or do the works of my life affect whether or not the Lord will redeem me by his grace?          

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Adam’s Transgression

Theologians have long contended that all mankind is guilty of Adam's sin. This doctrine is generally entitled, "Original Sin". One religious group defines original sin as, "a consequence of [Adam's] first sin , the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam." Western religious thinkers from Augustine forward have regarded this a fundamental Christian doctrine. 

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Eternal Security?

In a world of so much change and instability, the uncertainties of this life can be overwhelming and completely debilitating.Sometimes it seems nothing is a sure thing. Our bodies fail us, friends forsake us, family members pass away, we lose our jobs, our hearts are broken and our endurance is tested over and over again. We can never be certain that tomorrow will be anything like today.When our world is falling apart all around us, what can we hold on to? What can we trust to never change and never fail us?

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Repentance

In Exodus 13:17 we are told that God led the Children of Israel in such a direction, as they were leaving Egyptian bondage, so as to avoid the Philistine army. God tells us why in the same verse, “Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war.” The word “repent,” as we see here in Exodus, carries with it a three part meaning. Firstly, the Children of Israel would recognize a problem or danger.

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"Saved Through Water"?

If someone were to ask you to explain how Noah and his family were saved from the flood’s destruction, what would you say?  The answer may seem obvious, but what would your answer be?  The Bible’s answer is instructive.  By inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16), the apostle Peter wrote that Noah and his family were actually “saved through water” (1 Peter 3:20).

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Faith and Confession

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom. 10:10)

Many people resorted to Jesus near the shore of Galilee. He fed them with five loaves and two fish; an amazing miracle! The multitude wanted to make Him a king. No wonder, He possessed power to address all manner of human need. But the crowd didn't reckon the deeper need of the spirit. Jesus rejected their effort and departed from that place.

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Obedience

From the beginning of time God has expected obedience from us. In Genesis the second chapter beginning in verse fifteen it reads, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Adam and Eve’s life in the Garden was predicated on their obedience to this one command. They disobeyed the command of God and subsequently were removed from the Garden of Eden. God has not left us to our own devices. He expects complete obedience to his will. Like Adam and Eve the fate of our eternal life is balanced against our compliance with the will of God.

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Calling on the Name of the Lord

49 days after Jesus's resurrection, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples as they assembled together on the Lord's day. (Acts 2) The tremendous sound of a great, rushing wind sparked public curiosity: as they gathered to investigate, they heard the disciples speaking in 15 or more languages. Accused of drunkenness, Peter declares this display a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. Included in this prophecy was a promise God extended to Israel first and the Gentiles second: "'AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.'" (Act 2:21)

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