Mick Alexander

About

I like to encourage all believers to watch my video, called Are You A Saved Or An Unsaved Believer? and to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland
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Country: AU

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Blogs: 49
youtubes: 145

Freedom From SIn Part 1


By Mick Alexander, 2015-02-26

This blog is the first in a five part series called Freedom From Sin.

The five parts are -

Part 1 - Jesus came to set us free from our sin.

Part 2 - How do we die and become free from sin?

Part 3 - Living according the Spirit.

Part 4 - Our security is in Christ.

Part 5 - Repentance, justification and sanctification.

Each blog is about one page. The rest of this series can be found at the following link -
http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/category/freedom-from-sin-series/

 

Freedom From Sin Part 1
Jesus came to set us free from our sin.

 

In this article I would like to look at verses which tell us that Jesus sets believers free from their sin. Being set free from sin does not mean a believer becomes sinlessly perfect. It means that he does not have a habitually sinful lifestyle. At one time or another a Christian may sin because of weakness or circumstances but his sin is not wilful or ongoing. That is, sin is not a part of his normal way of life. 1 John 2:1 tell us that Christians might sin occasionally while 1 John 3:9 says that they don't make a practice of sinning.    

In Matt. 1:19-21, an angel told Joseph that he was to name his son Jesus, meaning 'the Lord saves', because “he will save his people from their sins”. Notice that we are told that Jesus came to save His people from their sins; not IN their sins nor WITH their sins but FROM their sins. The word “save” means to keep safe or rescue from danger while the word “from” means separation, departure and cessation so Jesus came to rescue us from the danger of hell by separating us from our sin; we depart our sinful lifestyle and cease from habitual sin.

Many people say that we are only human and that sin is part of our nature so we will always sin. It is true that we have a sinful nature but Jesus is greater than our nature and He says that He can free us from slavery to sin. In John 8:34, 36 He said, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins [continually] is a slave to sin … if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Jesus has made it clear that continuing in sin is nothing less than slavery to sin but He can set us free. In Rom. 6:22, Paul said, “you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Like Jesus, Paul tells us that Christians are freed from slavery to sin and become slaves to God which results in eternal life.

The following are some other verses which speak of freedom from sin:

  • 1 John 3:5 tells us that Jesus appeared to “take away our sins”, that is, to remove our sins.
  • In Rom. 7:24-25, after talking about his sinful nature, Paul said that Jesus “rescued” him from his sinful body of death. “Rescue” means to deliver or set free so Jesus can set us free from our sinful nature just as He did with Paul.
  • Titus 2:14 tells us that Jesus gave Himself to “redeem” us from all lawlessness. “Redeem” means to release or to liberate so Jesus gave Himself to liberate us, to free us, from all sin.
  • Rom. 6:14 says, “sin shall not be your master.” Obviously, if we continue in sin then we are still in slavery to it and it is still our Master.
  • Col. 1:13 tells us that Jesus has, “rescued us from the domain of darkness.” As already stated, “rescue” means to set free so once again we are told that Jesus sets us free from sin.

The verses quoted so far clearly show that Christians are set free from their sins. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” If I say that I'm in Christ but I'm still wilfully sinning then what's new about me? Absolutely nothing at all! I'm still a slave to sin. To be freed from slavery to sin, and become a new creation, my old self must first die just as Rom. 6:7 tells us, “anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

The aim of this article has been to show that Jesus frees His people from their sin. Part 2 is about how we die to obtain freedom from sin. Amen.

The rest of this series can be found at the following link -
http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/category/freedom-from-sin-series/

 

This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -
http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html

Christian Issues' blog can be subscribed to at -
http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/feed/

Mick Alexander
leeandmick@gmail.com
http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

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My Christian videos on various subjects.


By Mick Alexander, 2010-07-10
Please watch any of the following videos and comment as you like.



Are You Truly Born Again?

Do you really know what it means to be born again?

Click here for video



Law And Grace

What does it mean to be under Grace and not under the Law?

Click here for video



Salvation Part 1

What does it mean to be saved from sin?

Click here for video



Salvation Part 2

How to live according to the Spirit.

Click here for video



Salvation Part 3

A deeper look at living according to the Spirit. False peace and false guilt.

Click here for video



Salvation Part 4

The Once Saved Always Saved doctrine of Eternal Security.

Click here for video



The Rapture Part 1

A simple look at the Rapture.

Click here for video



The Rapture Part 2

The difference between the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord.

Click here for video



The Rapture Part 3

Will Jesus come at any moment, like a thief, and surprise believers? What does it mean to watch?

Click here for video



Speaking In Tongues Part A

A close look at 1 Cor. 13:8-13.

Click here for video



Speaking In Tongues Part B

Answering some common objections to the cessation of Tongues, Prophecy & Knowledge.

Click here for video



Speaking In Tongues Part C

Further comments on the cessation of Tongues, Prophecy & Knowledge.

Click here for video



Speaking In Tongues Part 1

Is the gift of speaking in tongues for today?

Click here for video



Speaking In Tongues Part 2

What does 'face to face' mean in 1 Cor. 13:12 and why is a mirror mentioned?

Click here for video



Speaking In Tongues Part 3

The purpose of tongues.

Click here for video



Christians And Demons

Can a Christian be influenced by demons?

Click here for video



Are You A Saved Or An Unsaved Believer?

Many churchgoers know the Bible and all about Jesus, but they are unsaved.

Click here for video



Born Again, What Does It Really Mean?

There is a great deal more to being born again than a simple salvation prayer.

Click here for video



Once Saved Always Saved

Can a person lose their salvation or do they have eternal security?

Click here for video



How Do We Know If We Are Saved?

1 John 5:13 says that we can know that we have eternal life? How can we know?

Click here for video



How To Be Saved

The Bible reveals how to get right with God and be sure of heaven.

Click here for video



Are You A Living Sacrifice?

Romans 12:1 says to offer your body as a living sacrifice. Have you done that?

Click here for video



Baptism

What should happen at baptism? Why should we be baptised?

Click here for video



Christian Perfection

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. What does perfect mean?

Click here for video



The Rapture And The Great Tribulation Part 1

Will the church be raptured and escape The Great Tribulation?

Click here for video



The Rapture And The Great Tribulation Part 2

The difference between the Great Tribulation and God's Wrath.

Click here for video



The Rapture And The Great Tribulation Part 3

Who is the Restrainer of 2 Thess. 2:7?

Click here for video



The Rapture And The Great Tribulation Part 4

"One will be taken and the other left". Is this the Rapture?

Click here for video



Jesus' Second Coming

What are the two big events of Jesus' return?

Click here for video



Is The Rapture Imminent?

Can the Rapture occur at any moment?

Click here for video



Coming Like A Thief

"The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2). Will the Lord surprise the saved or the unsaved?

Click here for video



Faith And Works

What is the difference between faith and works?

Click here for video



Grieving The Spirit

How do believers grieve the Holy Spirit?

Click here for video



Christians And Judging

Is it right for Christians to judge?

Click here for video



Love One Another!

When Jesus said to love one another, He was giving a command, not an option.

Click here for video



Paul The Sinner?

Paul cannot be used as an excuse for our sin as he was a well sanctified man.

Click here for video



Prayer

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Col. 4:2). Download eight free books on prayer by E M Bounds.

Click here for video



Seeking Jesus

Why do you seek Jesus? What does He require of us?

Click here for video



Sinless Perfection

Can a believer be sinlessly perfect?

Click here for video



The Calvary Road

Download a wonderful, free book on the Holy Spirit, holiness and the peace of God.

Click here for video



The Holy Spirit

Why do we have the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

Click here for video



The Peace Of God

How is God's peace different from the world's peace?

Click here for video



The Power Of Sin

Man is simply a slave to sin.

Click here for video



Why Did Jesus HAVE To Die?

"Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Heb. 9:22).

Click here for video
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The Return Of Jesus


By Mick Alexander, 2011-05-29

The Return Of Jesus

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

When will this happen?

There is so much happening in the world today that most people believe Jesus will return soon. In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us an overall picture of the worldwide events which will occur before He returns. In Matt. 24:1-5, when Jesus was asked about the sign of His coming and the end of the age, the first thing He said was, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many”. This warning is of such great importance that Jesus repeated it twice more in Matt. 24:11,24 and, after speaking about false Christs, false prophets and the Great Tribulation, He said in Matt. 24:25, “See, I have told you ahead of time”. In these verses, Jesus has given us a very serious warning to be prepared for the possibility of facing the horrors of the Great Tribulation. So, let's look at the rest of Matt. 24.

Matt. 24:6-7 say that there will be wars, famines and earthquakes (the word earthquake also means storms). These worldwide tragedies are occurring one on top of the other and many barely even make the newspapers. Disasters that are fresh in our minds are soon blotted out by new ones.

Matt. 24:8 then says that these things are the “beginning of birth pains” so this means that greater pain will follow. If the 2011 Japanese tsunami is just the beginning of birth pains then what horror is yet to come?

Next, Matt. 24:9-13 speak of Christian persecution, death, hatred, apostasy, betrayal and the deception of false prophets. During this time, evil will be so great that “the love of most will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12) and this is why Matt. 24:13 warns us to remain in Christ. It says, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved”.

Next, Matt. 24:15-22 again speak of the persecution and tell the Jews in Judea to flee when the Antichrist appears in the temple in Jerusalem because his appearance will be the beginning of great distress like never before seen in the world (this is called the Great Tribulation). Matt. 24:22 says that it will be so bad that, for the sake of Christians, those days will be cut short.

Then Matt. 24:23-24 once again warn about false Christs and false prophets who will perform such great signs and miracles that even the elect may be deceived.

In Matt. 24:25, Jesus warns us, “SEE, I HAVE TOLD YOU AHEAD OF TIME”.

Then, in Matt. 24:26-29, after warning about false Christs again, Jesus says that His return will be seen by everyone, just like lightening is seen from the East to the West. He said not to believe people when they say that Christ was here or there but to look for the special sign of His coming. That sign is given in Matt. 24:29 which says, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken” and only AFTER this sign will the Lord return.

So far, Matt. 24 has told us:

There will be wars, famines and earthquakes

then

The Antichrist will reveal himself in the Temple

then

Christians and Jews will be severely persecuted

and

False Christs and false prophets will deceive many

then

There will be a sign in the sun, moon and stars

and then Matt. 24:30-31 tell us that, AFTER that sign appears in the sky, Jesus will be seen coming on the clouds and the nations will mourn because they know that they are about to be destroyed. Matt. 24:31 tells us that, at that time, Jesus will send His angels with a loud trumpet call to gather (rapture) the elect to be safe with Him while God's wrath is being poured out on the earth, ending with the war of Armageddon.

So, it is quite clear that the church will see the Antichrist and go through great tribulation until Jesus returns to rapture believers and to destroy sinners.

2 Thess. 2:1-3

2 Thess. 2:1-3 also show that the Rapture won't occur until after the Antichrist appears. In part, these verses say, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him [the Rapture] … Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness [the Antichrist] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction”. These verses clearly say that Christians will not be gathered to the Lord until AFTER the revealing of the Antichrist and that is exactly what Matt. 24 says.

1 Thess. 4:13-5:11

Many Christians believe that 1 Thess. 4:13-5:11 is talking about another gathering to the Lord. They believe that these verses say that Jesus will rapture the church before the Antichrist appears. However, Chart 1, below, compares 1 Thess. 4-5 to Matt. 24-25 and shows so many common points that it is clear that they are both talking about the same event.



The many similarities between 1 Thess. 4 -5 and Matt. 24-25 make it very clear that they are describing the same event. There is only one return of Jesus and it is after the Antichrist appears and persecutes Israel and the church. When Jesus returns, He will first rapture His elect and then God’s wrath will be poured out on the earth.

Rev. 6-8

Further proof that Matt 24. gives the sequence of events leading to Jesus' return can be found in Chart 2 below. This chart compares Matt. 24 with Rev. 6-8 and a clear parallel can be seen between these two passages.


Jesus Himself has given us both Matt. 24 and Rev. 6-8 and the obvious parallel is further proof that Matt. 24 is the sequence of events leading to Jesus’ single return. (The charts in this article have been copied from http://www.scriptorium.org and The Rapture Question Answered, by Robert Van Kampen).

Other passages, like Luke 17:22-35 and 2 Thess. 1:6-11, show that on the day that the Lord returns He will first rapture His people and then punish sinners who are left on the earth. There is not one verse which says that the Rapture will occur before the Antichrist appears.

The Antichrist

The Antichrist is a man who will be fully possessed by the devil. In effect, he will be the devil in the flesh. Through the Antichrist, the Devil will try to destroy Israel and the church in order to stop God's plan for mankind because he know that, after God's plan is fulfilled, he will be tossed into the lake of fire forever and ever (Rev. 20:10).

We are told that the Devil will give the Antichrist his power. In Rev. 12:7-17 it says that there will be war in heaven and Michael will hurl the Dragon (the Devil) to the earth. Then the Devil will be filled with fury and will persecute Israel (v.13) and Christians (v.17). He will do this through the Antichrist. In Rev. 13:1-2 the Antichrist is called the “beast coming out of the sea” and we are told that “the dragon [the Devil] gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority” and Rev. 13:7 says that “he was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation”, so the Antichrist will have the Devil's great power and authority to persecute and to deceive many.

2 Thess. 2:3-4 tell us a little more about the Antichrist. These verses say that “the man of lawlessness [the Antichrist] ... sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God”. Then, in 2 Thess. 2:9-10, we are told that “the coming of the lawless one [the Antichrist] will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”.

So, we can see that the Devil will give his power to the Antichrist so that he can persecute God's people and do false miracles, signs and wonders to deceive people into believing that he is God. Because of the Antichrists' great power to do miracles, signs and wonders, Jesus warns Christians time and again not to be deceived but to stand firm to the end and wait for His return which will be like lightening and will be AFTER the sign in the sun, moon and stars.

Why should Christians face persecution?

Many people say that God would not allow His people to suffer the Antichrists' persecution but, besides the many examples of persecution in the Bible, Phil. 1:29 tells us that “it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” and Rom 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory”. And Jesus said in John 15:20, “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” so it is not right to say that God would not allow His people to suffer. But why will God allow it when He could easily prevent it?

Well, in Heb. 2:10 we are told that Jesus was made perfect through suffering and 1 Pet. 1:6-7 tell us that, through suffering, our faith is proved genuine and refined just like gold is refined by fire so suffering perfects us in the same way it perfected Jesus. Rom. 5:3-5 tell us that we should rejoice in our sufferings as “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us”. In 2 Corinthians, Paul talked about suffering several times and in 2 Cor. 7:4 he said, “in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds” and, in Matt. 5:11-12, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.

So, God uses suffering to prove our faith, to perfect us and to lead us to a great reward in heaven and it is God's promise that He will always be with us to carry us through hard times. In Rom. 8:35-39 Paul said that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus and in 2 Tim. 1:11-12 he spoke of his suffering and trust in Jesus to keep him - “And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day”. Throughout the ages, many Christians have suffered and even been martyred for their faith and Jesus was always with them so we can be sure that He will also be with us in our trials.

If we are to endure severe persecution, such as during the Great Tribulation, then we will have a very great need of the Lord's presence because He warns us that “at that time many will turn away from the faith” and that only “he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:10,13). So, let us all heed the Lord's warnings and learn how to walk very closely with Him. An article on hearing and following Jesus’ voice is at - http://www.christianissues.biz/thewayofpeace.html

Finally, Jude 1:24 comforts us in saying, “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy”.

May we all say, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped” (Psa 28:7).

This article can be downloaded as a PDF from -

http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/endtimes/thereturnofjesus.pdf

For another article on End Times see -

http://www.christianissues.biz/endtimeprophecy.html

At the end of the above article there are links to some authors on this subject.

Mick Alexander

+61 422 101 111

leeandmick@gmail.com

www.ChristianIssues.biz

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My Testimony


By Mick Alexander, 2011-06-12
My Testimony
by Mick Alexander

I don't have an amazing conversion story but since I got saved I have had a strong sense of the presence of the Lord. The changes the Lord has brought about in my life are a great testimony to His love and His power to change the life of anyone who willingly submits to Him.

I was saved in 1994 at the age of 46. My wife brought a book home from church that I ignored for some time but I finally made the effort and read it. It was called Return From Tomorrow, by George Ritchie, and the writer told about how he was clinically dead for a few minutes and during that time Jesus showed him some of heaven and hell. My heart was pounding in my chest as I read about Jesus and I quickly read the book twice more. I couldn't wait to get to the part about Jesus. At the time, I didn't believe I was a sinner nor that I needed a Saviour but I sure did believe that Jesus was real so I went to a local church to get a Bible and it soon convinced me that I was a sinner and in great need of a Saviour. I was totally possessed by thoughts of God and after four years I quit my job and joined a missionary group in South Africa, with my wife and younger daughter, where I did the campsite maintenance for three years on their missionary training base. After that, I returned to Australia and worked for another missionary group doing building work and it was during that time that I lost all interest in practical work and the Lord laid evangelism on my heart. I was a shy person but I made a tract and walked the streets handing them out and talking to people about Jesus. After 3-4 years, the Lord made it clear that I was to stay at home and I had no idea why but I soon found myself making the web site you are now reading.

That is basically my conversion story but now I would now like to talk about the enormous changes Jesus has made in my life since then and, most importantly, how and why these changes came about. After I got saved I had a deep hunger to get close to the Lord but I didn't know how to do it and no one could tell me. It took about twelve years for me to find the secret in a book called The Calvary Road which is free to download from the link at the end of this article. I had read many, many books about walking with Jesus but none made it as simple and clear as this book. I can assure anyone that if they want a close walk with the Lord then read the book or follow the simple guidelines in my little article called The Way Of Peace (on my web site) which is basically a very short version of The Calvary Road.

The first amazing change that God made in my life was to deliver me from smoking and drinking. This occurred well before I knew how to walk closely with Jesus but, even though I didn't know it at the time, the change occurred exactly as outlined in The Calvary Road. As a matter of fact, all the changes the Lord makes in us follow the same pattern. Rather than write it all here, I have it on my web site in an article called The Power Of Sin and there you can read how the Lord eventually (and very painfully) delivered me from smoking and drinking. The two things I learned from this experience were
1) The Lord will only cleanse those who are truly repentant over their sin.
2) It is the Lord's power, and His power alone, that delivers and keeps us from sin.

The second outstanding change the Lord made in me was regarding my attitude toward a Christian lady whom I found hard to like. For quite some time I used to avoid her but one day I really lost my peace when the Lord heavily convicted me of this ongoing sin so I said something like, “Lord, it's wrong that I dislike my sister. Please help me to love her”. After this I went to visit her and as soon as I began speaking to her the Lord changed my heart. To my surprise, we became friends and I was at peace with her and with God. I know that I shouldn't have been surprised because God can do anything but it was very special to have God cleanse me of this sin and change my unloving, hard heart. This experience also occurred before I really knew how to walk with the Lord but when I finally got to understand how to listen to and follow Jesus, my mind went back to these experiences and they confirmed the way God works within us to lead us to repentance in order to be cleansed of sin (see Phil 2:12-13 and 1 John 1:9).

As well as smoking, drinking and an unloving attitude, the Lord has also delivered me from swearing, lying, stealing, jealousy, gossip and other sins that I won't mention but being delivered from shyness was a truly wonderful thing. I was so shy that I could hardly talk at Bible studies and I would not go to prayer meetings as I got a headache just thinking about it. I also used to get sick before mixing with people and was ashamed of the gospel but one day I got on my knees and, in tears, I said something like, “Christians are meant to live a victorious life but I am a defeated coward. If you want me to change then you will have to do it”. I felt no change but next day I met a friend in the city who was preaching on the footpath. When he finished, he asked me if I wanted a turn and with my Bible in one hand and a tract in the other I preached in the street and was as calm and confident as anyone could be – now THAT is the power of the Holy Spirit. I was set free and as John 8:36 says, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.

Since quitting work in 1998, my wife and I have remained in the Lord's service. In Nov. 2010 I went to Malawi to work with a Pastor whom I had met through my web site and I hope to be able to continue visiting and working with those godly people for many more years.

My hope is that this short testimony makes it very clear that whenever we have no peace there is something wrong between us and God. The key to a close walk with the Lord is to let the Peace of God be our guide. If we aren't at peace then we should turn to God and ask why - He will soon tell us - and then we can repent of whatever it is and He will return our peace. As I have already mentioned, this is explained very simply in my little article called The Way Of Peace.

I am not being humble in the least, but entirely truthful, when I say that I am far from perfect but I have learned to look to God as soon as I am aware of any lack of peace. He has been absolutely faithful in telling me why He has taken my peace away and He is equally faithful in returning my peace when I repent. My wife will be the first to tell you that there are still some changes needed but she has no need to say anything really because the Lord is already telling me. On the other hand, she can also testify to the enormous changes that have occurred in my life and it has all been through the power of the Holy Spirit as we are told in 2 Pet. 1:3-4.

May the Lord bless you as you walk with Him.

The Calvary Road can be downloaded from http://www.christianissues.biz/revival.html
The Way Of Peace is at http://www.christianissues.biz/thewayofpeace.html
The Power Of Sin is at http://www.christianissues.biz/thepowerofsin.html

Mick Alexander
leeandmick@gmail.com
http://www.ChristianIssues.biz/
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Luke 17 And The Rapture


By Mick Alexander, 2011-06-23
Why is it that Luke 17:24-36 is never mentioned when the Rapture is discussed? I find that these verses clearly show when the Rapture will occur so I've made the following article to show how I see things. Can anyone show how this passage can be viewed differently?

The following chart and text examine the verses in Luke 17:24-36 which are entirely about the day Jesus returns like lightning. I start with Matt. 24 to show the timing of the verses in Luke 17:24-36.

Point 3 on the chart is Matt. 24:21, the Great Tribulation, and then after the tribulation …

Point 5 (Matt. 24:27, 30) says that Jesus will appear like lightning - Luke 17:24 is the parallel verse.

Now let's follow the verses in Luke 17 which describe Jesus' return AFTER the Great Tribulation.

Points 6 and 7 (Luke 17:26-29) describe the sudden destruction of sinners in the days of Noah and Lot then …

Point 8 (Luke 17:30) says that it (the destruction) will be just the same when Jesus returns. Also …

Point 9 (Luke 17:31-33) says that “ON THAT DAY” no one should look to earthly things but to remember Lot's

wife because …

Points 10 and 11 (Luke 17:34-35) say that “one will be taken and the other left” and this is the Rapture.

So, AFTER the Great Tribulation, Jesus will return like lightning to rapture believers and to destroy sinners.

This chart shows the flow of events as:

1) The Antichrist ………………………………… at Point 1.

2) The Great Tribulation ………………………… at Point 3.

3) Jesus appears like lightening …………………. at Point 5.

4) The Rapture and the Day Of The Lord ……….. at Points 8 to 11.

Rescuing the righteous and then destroying the sinners was the pattern in the days of Noah and Lot and Jesus said, in Luke 17:30, that it would be the same when He returns.

Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

www.ChristianIssues.biz

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Is Smoking A Hell Deserving Sin?


By Mick Alexander, 2011-06-23
1 Cor. 3:16-17 say, “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you. If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple”. Some Christians say that these verses mean that people who smoke tobacco will end up in hell because they are destroying God's temple. If that was true then we would have to tell a person who is fat from overeating that they are heading for hell too because being overweight is also bad for our health. When 1 Cor. 3 is examined closely it will be found that these verses are not saying that God will destroy people who destroy their bodies but rather that He will destroy people who destroy His church.



1 Cor. 1:11-13 and 1 Cor. 3:1-8 tell us that the Corinthians were fighting about which man they should follow. Paul said that they should follow Jesus rather than follow men like himself or Apollos. He goes on to say that they were just servants with God-given tasks; one man plants, another waters but God makes things grow and each man will be rewarded according to his own labour. Then in 1 Cor. 3:9-11 he says that we Christians are God's building and that he has laid a foundation as an expert builder and each of us must be careful how we build on that foundation, which is Jesus Christ.



Then 1 Cor. 3:12-15 talk about how we build the church and warn that fire will test the quality of each man's work. The verses say that we can -

a) Build with gold, silver or costly stones and receive our reward or

b) Build with wood, hay or straw and, although we will still be saved, our work will be burned up.

Building with gold, silver or costly stones represent good leadership and sound doctrine while wood, hay and straw represent poor leadership and unsound doctrine.



So far, the chapter has spoken about building the church with good or poor leadership but there can also be bad leadership which destroys a church. Back in 1 Cor. 3:9, we Christians were referred to as God's building and 1 Cor. 3:16-17 continue with that picture, calling us God's Temple - “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you [plural] are that temple”. The term “God's temple” is referring to the church, not individuals. When these verses are taken in the context of building the church, we see that they are saying that God will destroy bad leaders who destroy His church rather than build it up.



From this we can see that 1 Cor. 3:16-17 is not referring to destroying our body but to destroying the church. 1 Cor. 3:18 to 1 Cor. 4:6 continue on to further warn us not to follow the wisdom of men and in 1 Cor. 4:6 we are told, “Do not go beyond what is written. Then you will not take pride in one man over against another”. So, if we follow what is written, and not follow men, then we will build well and not be corrupted by false teaching which will destroy a church.



So, we can see that this chapter is telling us to be careful how we build and to build on the foundation of Jesus because our rewards will be according to the way we build.


If we build well then we will be rewarded.

If we build poorly then we will still be saved but lose our rewards.

If anyone destroys the church then they will be destroyed.



If we take 1 Cor. 3:16-17 out of context and tell a smoker that he is going to hell then we ourselves will be guilty of poor doctrine. Also, the smoker may have little faith and poor self-control and what we say may destroy the little faith he has. Feeling hopelessly lost, he may turn to wine, women and song … which will certainly lead him to hell.



There is no doubt that smoking is bad for our health and people are in bondage to it but nowhere does the Bible say that smokers will go to hell. When the Bible is silent on something then we should be also but of course smokers should be encouraged to quit the habit.


Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

www.ChristianIssues.biz

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The Power Of Sin


By Mick Alexander, 2011-07-17
 

The Power Of Sin

 

All Christians know about the great spiritual struggle between their sinful nature and the Spirit of God. Galatians 5:17 tells us all about that struggle where it says, "the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." The following testimony is to tell how the Lord delivered me from smoking and drinking. This experience showed me a very important truth that makes absolute sense and the same truth applies to any sin.

 

Here is my story:

Soon after I became a Christian I promised Jesus, rather reluctantly, that I would quit smoking and drinking - particularly smoking. Some time passed and I couldn't do it myself so one day I told Him that if He didn't help me then I'd never be able to quit. Amazingly, the next day the desire was totally gone - TOTALLY! It was hard to believe that the Lord had such power over my desires. Anyway, a week later I decided to have a couple of beers and smokes because "I" had it beaten and "I" could control things now. Well, I was immediately hooked again and consumed twice as much as before.

 

A few painful months went by and I couldn't keep my promise to the Lord so I asked Him for help again. Same thing! Again the desire totally disappeared and this time a month or so went by before I was foolish enough to "just have a couple". I knew that I had things under control this time so a couple would not hurt me. Naturally I got hooked again and I smoked and drank like there was no tomorrow.

 

Now the pain really started because I couldn't keep my vow to quit. I kept drinking and smoking for another year or two and I knew where every vow-to-the-Lord verse was in the Bible. I was suffering and I even got on my knees and wept a couple of times but God left me in the wilderness ... it was very, very painful as I believe we must always keep our word, especially to God. Anyway, one day after much heartache I said, "I'm going to quit today and if I have one tomorrow, I'll quit again and if I have one the next day then I'll quit again ... I'm going to the grave quitting." Well the Lord took it away for the third time and this time I never went back even though tempted a couple of times. Today I don't have the slightest desire to smoke or drink - I am totally delivered. He's a wonderful, powerful, loving and very patient God and I had learned that our strength is in Him alone.

 

The truth behind all of this is that when I made the vow in the first place I didn't really want to quit but I made the promise because I wanted to please God. It was a case of wanting my cake and eating it too. If you think about the way the Lord dealt with me you will see that He was willing to help me but I had to be truly repentant and not keep going back to the sin. The fact is I was hopelessly weak. James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Note the word 'resist' - we must fight sin, exercise self-control and call upon God for strength.

 

There are many sins to fight against but lust, like hate, is a powerful emotion. In resisting it, look the other way; don't go where you will be tempted; throw away any pornography you may have; resist temptation in all ways and be like Joseph who fled from Potiphar's wife (Gen 39:6-15). Exercise self-control as you call on the Lord to help you and He will deliver you and give you strength to resist future sin.

If you hate someone, pray for them. It's not possible to pray a genuine blessing on someone you hate so keep at it until you come to love the person. Ask God to change your heart so that you can love them as you should. Also, Jesus said that if we hate we will come under judgment and Romans 13:10 tells us that "love is the fulfillment of the law." If you suffer from hatred, bitterness or envy then you need to be pray it out of your life as these things will exclude you from the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21).

 

I think that the best advice for anyone who is struggling in sin is, "Get on your knees with a repentant heart and tell the Lord how weak you are and that you need Him to deliver you and to give you the strength to resist whatever sin plagues you." If you think that you are too weak to do it yourself then you are very right because we are weak and Romans 8:7 tells us plainly that we can't do it ourself because "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's laws, nor can it do so." However, remember that Mark 10:27 says, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God", so take your sin to God.

 

Most importantly, you must want to be set free; you must learn to hate your sin as much as God hates it. Don't be like me and keep going back to it. I didn't really want to give it up in the first place so I suffered greatly until the Lord brought me to the place where I desperately hated what I was doing. Then He took it away and by that time I was so badly burned that going back to smoking and drinking was out of the question.

 

Remember, there is no sin too big for the Lord to handle, NONE! If you have a sin in your life that you can't get rid of then it is simply because you don't really want to stop. You actually love the sin more than you love God, just like me with my love of smoking and drinking. God is not too weak to take our sin away, we are too weak to resist it. Get serious with sin and then God will get serious with you. Rom. 6:14 says, "sin shall not be your master" and James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you".

 

Lastly, Galatians 5:17 says, "the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." Paul confirms this in Romans 7:15 where he says, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do." BUT, he went on to say in Romans 7:24-25, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" So, we can see that our sinful nature wars with the Spirit but Jesus will rescue us, if we repent, and Galatians 5:16 gives us the promise that we can have victory over sin. It says,

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

 

May the Lord bless you as you walk with Him.

...ooo000ooo...

Demonic activity can cause havoc in a Christian's life. Please read the following link if you have sin which you believe may be caused by demonic influence from any past contact, association or activity. Go to http://www.christianissues.biz/christiansanddemons.html

Mick Alexander

www.Christianissues.biz

 

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Perseverance


By Mick Alexander, 2011-09-29

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

To persevere means to continue to do something even when it is hard to do. The Bible tells us that we must persevere in holiness otherwise we may lose our salvation.

In this article I would like to do two things:

Firstly, I will give two examples which show that Christians can lose their salvation if they don't persevere.

Secondly, I will explain how to persevere.

The first verse I would like to look at to show that a Christian can lose his salvation was written to Timothy, a church leader. The Apostle Paul wrote to him with the following warning: "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Tim. 4:16). Paul told Timothy, in very clear words, that if he wanted to save himself then he must persevere in his lifestyle and his teaching. This means that if he wanted to get to heaven then he must be careful to continue to live a godly life and be careful about what doctrines he teaches.

The second example is in Heb 10:26-27. These verses say, If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. The first thing to notice in these verses is that writer of Hebrews uses the word “we” so this means that he includes himself in this warning. What he is saying is, “If any Christian, including myself, deliberately continues to sin then he will be condemned and consumed in God's fire”.

So, these two examples tell us that both Timothy, a church leader, and the man who wrote Hebrews knew that they had to persevere in holiness if they wanted to get to heaven. There are many more examples that I could use but I think that these two are enough to show that we can lose our salvation.

Now I would like to look at what perseverance is and how we persevere.

Persevering is something that we must choose to do because God does not force us to do anything. God doesn't control us but instead His Spirit works within us to strengthen and encourage us to do what is right. When we sin, the Holy Spirit takes our peace away and we then have the choice of either repenting of that sin or ignoring it.

  • If we choose to ignore the Holy Spirit and deliberately continue in sin then we may lose our salvation as the verses in Heb. 10 have already told us.

  • However, if we repent of our sin then God will forgive us and that is how we persevere to be holy. Perseverance is simply using our self-control to resist sin and live a holy life but if we do sin then we confess it to receive forgiveness.


There is no reason why anyone should fear losing their salvation. It is only when we ignore God and refuse to repent of our sins that our salvation is at risk. There is a big difference between sinning occasionally and deliberately continuing in sin. We all sin from time to time and receive forgiveness when we confess it. This type of sinning is not ongoing in our life, that is, it is not part of our way of life and it does not put us in danger of losing our salvation.

The type of sinning that leads to salvation loss is deliberate, ongoing sin. This is the type of sin referred to in the verses we just looked at in Heb. 10:26-27. It is sin that is not repented of but allowed to go on and on. It can be any sin but some common examples are drunkenness, lusting, hating, stealing and lying. We must be careful to repent as soon as the Spirit convicts us otherwise our heart will become hard and we may never repent and end up in hell.

An important point I would like to mention is that a believer may struggle with a sin, even for a long time. The fact that they are struggling shows God that they have a repentant heart but are too weak to stop. Struggling with sin is not the same as deliberately sinning. Struggling means that we don't want to do it but we do not have the self-control to stop because we haven't yet come to hate the sin enough. If anyone is struggling with a sin then continue to confess it and ask God to strengthen you to resist. God hears your prayers and His promise is that when you confess, He will forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Don't give up, resist it with all your strength and God will deliver you.

I believe that, from what I have said in this article, that it is clear that Christians can lose their salvation if they fail to remain in Jesus by persevering in their faith. However, there is no reason for any of us to fear losing our salvation as long as we confess and repent of our sin whenever the Holy Spirit convicts us.

I would like to finish off by saying that no one can live a sinless life. The fact is, we all sin occasionally but we will be condemned if we continue to live in a sinful lifestyle.

Do you have a sin that they need to confess?

If so, then please get on your knees and take it to the Lord.

If you have been struggling with sin for some time then please talk to a man or woman you trust so that you can pray over it together until you come to hate the sin. When you do finally hate the sin, God will deliver you from it and give you the strength to resist it in the future.

Remember that all things are possible with God and there is no sin too big for God to cleanse you of.

This is a condensed version of my article at
http://www.christianissues.biz/perseverance.html

Mick Alexander

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