Bonners Ferry Baptist Church
The Purpose of This Page
The Purpose of This Page
To say that we are living in a busy world seems like quite an understatement. The tools that we have to make us more efficient seem to have only convinced us that we can do more than we are truly able. In this very busy setting there is also a great deal of noise. I'm not referring to physical sound so much as I am the abundance of "voices" competing for our attention. Traditional media, social media, the entertainment industry, the special interests industry, political movements, even Christian institutions just to name a few. In the midst of all this noise the Holy Spirit of God seeks to gain our attention, and because He is not so demanding as the rest, He is often altogether unheard or given His place at the back of the line.
It is not my desire to add more noise to anyone's life, but hopefully and prayerfully the Lord can use what is written on this page to help someone shut out distractions and hear from Him through the Scripture.
The Fear of the Lord
The Fear of the Lord
Proverbs 1:7 states “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.”
I suppose that every professing Christian would claim to fear the Lord. We know that we should, and that we are foolish if we don’t; however, this knowledge doesn’t constitute reality.
It is important for us to put our own claims to the test of truth. To do this, we must take God’s definition of a concept and place it on one side of the scale and place our own perception on the other side to determine if they are the same. This is called equity or judgment.
In Exodus 9:18-21 we find the “fear of the Lord” defined for us by illustration. These verses give an account of the plague of hail on the Egyptians. In verse 18 the Egyptians are warned in advance that the plague is coming. In verse 19 they are counseled to gather their cattle and anything else that might be damaged lest they be destroyed.
In verses 20-21 we find a simple, but profound truth. Verse 20 states “He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:” Those who feared the word of the Lord took his warning seriously and followed his counsel. Verse 21 says “And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.” The evidence of disregard for God’s Word was the fact that they did nothing in response to it.
The truth is this, if I fear the Lord I will act upon his warnings and obey his instruction. If I do not fear the Lord, his words will have no practical effect on my actions. Inaction in response to God’s Word is the indicator that I don’t truly fear Him.
Now let us put this definition of the fear of God on one side of the scale and our own practical lives on the other to determine if we truly fear the Lord.
What Does It Mean to be Saved?
What Does It Mean to be Saved?
According to the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary the word “saved” means “preserved from evil; injury or destruction; kept frugally; prevented; spared; taken in time.” The word saved is a word we find often in the Bible used in a variety of contexts. The intent of the following paragraphs is not to give an extensive study on every usage of the word, but to consider the term as it is used in Roman 10:13 when we are told that “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, or in Ephesians 2:8 where we are told “For by grace are ye saved through faith…”. The word saved is used so often in the religious vernacular that we may use the word without considering the meaning, or assume that the meaning is generally understood by those we are speaking to.
If we are to understand what it means to be saved, we must first know and understand what we need to be saved from. Romans 5:8-9 states “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” I have a great appreciation for these verses because they so clearly teach us that God’s love and wrath are not inconsistent with one another. The greatness of his love can only be understood against the righteousness of his wrath. We must be reminded that God’s love for mankind does not cancel his hatred of evil and thereby his wrath against sin. His love has made a way for us to be pardoned for those things that have brought his wrath upon us. He does not love us because we are good, but because He is good. Romans 1:18 tells us “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”. Ephesians 5:6 says “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” in reference to fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, and foolish talking and jesting. God is not indifferent when it comes to our disobedience toward him. The direct result of our disobedience toward God is the incurring of his wrath upon us. This brings us back to Romans 5:8-9. The wrath of God that is due to us was received by the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. Isaiah 53:4-6 states it this way “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In short, what we need to be saved from is the wrath of God. Consider the following statements:
1. All men need to be saved.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 says “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 states “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”. Romans 5:12 tells us “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”.
All men need to be saved because all men have sinned against God!
2. All men can be saved.
The Bible plainly declares that the Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin for every man when he died and shed his precious blood on the cross.
Consider the following verses:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” - Hebrews 2:9
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” – 1John 2:1-2
3. God wants all men to be saved.
The following verses of Scripture make it abundantly clear that God is willing for all men to be saved.
Acts 17:30-31 declare “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
1 Timothy 2:3-4 state “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
4. All men will not be saved.
The sad truth is that God is willing and has made full provision for “whosoever” to be saved from his wrath and judgment. However, according to God’s Word many will perish rather than be saved. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” God has made it plain in his word that the only way to Him is through his Son Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ can procure forgiveness of sins and justification for us. Only He can bring us into the very presence of God in heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ has fully paid for our sins through his death and shed blood. He promises forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who come to him by faith and He lives to guarantee his promise. Revelation 22:17 says “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
God’s way is simple, but God’s way is narrow. It is for this reason many will perish. They refuse to believe the simple, but precise truth that Jesus Christ alone can save us from our sins, and that we must simply trust him to do it. However, any person who does believe this truth will receive the promise given, because the One who made the promise cannot lie.
Titus 1:2 says “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”. 1John 5:10-12 states “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
The one thing that will determine whether you perish or are saved is whether you believe God concerning Jesus Christ. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ then you can rest with assurance upon his word that you have eternal life (see 1John 5:13). If you do not believe God concerning Jesus Christ and your need to be saved by Him, I plead with you to repent in obedience to God while you still have the opportunity.