Mick Alexander

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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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What Does Believe Mean?


By Mick Alexander, 2013-05-29

What Does Believe Mean?

" Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life " John 3:36 (NIV)

In John 3:16 we are told, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." What does it mean to believe? Even though this is a simple question, it is very important to know what it means as it is through believing that we escape hell and inherit eternal life.

First, let's look at what believe doesn't mean.

In James 2:19 we are told the even the demons believe in one God but they shudder so obviously their way of believing does not result in eternal life. Demons can't be saved by the blood of Jesus and anyone who believes as they do won't be saved either as, in this verse, the word believe simply means to know about. So, believing in Jesus for salvation doesn't just mean knowing about things like His death, burial and resurrection. There is a deeper meaning.

John 12:42-43 give a clear example of how some people believed in Jesus but were not saved. The verses say, " Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. " These people believed in Jesus but they were not saved because fear and pride kept them from confessing their faith in Him. From these verses, we can once again see that believing for salvation requires more than knowledge. It also requires a confession of faith, a commitment.

Now let's look closer at what believing for salvation means .

The word " believe " in John 3:16 means not only to know about Jesus but also to commit to trusting in Him. The following story helps to understand this commitment of trust:

There was a man called Blondin who was a famous high-wire artist. He stretched a wire rope across the top of Niagara Falls and pushed a wheelbarrow across it. After doing this, he announced that he was going to wheel a man across in a wheelbarrow. A newspaper reporter came to interview Blondin about this:

"Do you think I can do this great feat?" Blondin asked the reporter.

"I really believe you can," replied the reporter, "I think you are the greatest stunt artist of all time!"

"So you believe I can do it," Blondin said. "Well then, you get in the wheelbarrow!"

This story is a good example of what we would need to do to show that we fully trusted someone. What would you do? I know for sure that I wouldn't get in the wheelbarrow no matter how much I trusted the man. The fact is, men can fail us. However, when we commit our ways to Jesus we have a 100% guarantee that He will never fail to protect us and save us eternally.

Finally

As we have seen, it's not enough to just know some things about Jesus to be saved. We have to commit to trusting Him for the forgiveness of our sins and confess Him as our Lord of our life. Rom. 10:9 tells us " That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. " Confessing Jesus as Lord means making Him our Master, our Boss, and this means that we must be obedient to all His commands. In John 3:16, the word believe is Present Tense which means that we must continue to be obedient if we want to inherit eternal life. If someone did get into Blondin's wheelbarrow then they would never have considered getting out halfway across the Niagara Falls. They would have remained in it all the way and, in the same way, we must remain in Christ if we want to get to the other side and inherit eternal life.

This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from under the heading Blog Articles at -

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

Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

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The Trinity


By Mick Alexander, 2013-08-01

The Trinity
A short discussion proving the Trinity.

Many books have been written on the Trinity but I don't think anyone has ever honestly claimed to fully understand it. Our limited minds can never understand our infinite God any more than a computer can understand its manufacturer. The purpose of this short article is not to explain the Trinity but to simply highlight some verses which can only make sense when we view God as a Trinity. These few groups of verses will also help to refute those who argue against it.

The first group is regarding Creation:
1) Isa. 44:24 tells us that the Lord, Jehovah, created the heavens and mankind.
2) Col. 1:16 tells us that Jesus created everything.
3) Job 33:4 tells us that the Holy Spirit created mankind.
So, who created us? Was it Jehovah, Jesus or the Holy Spirit? The fact is, the Bible says that they all created us. Now if we look at Gen. 1:1, it tells us that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," so if God created it all then Jehovah, Jesus and the Holy Spirit must all be God. The only way these verses can make sense is if we believe that together the three of them make up our one Trinitarian God.

Let's look a bit closer at the word 'God':
Isa. 44:6 tells us that there is only one God but the word God in Hebrew is not singular but plural meaning that God is more than one. Also, Deu. 6:4 says, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one ." The word "one" in this verse denotes a unity and it is the same word that is used in Gen. 2:24 where it says that when a man and woman unite in marriage, they become one. We all know that after marriage the man and woman are still two separate people but through marriage they unite and are said to be one. This is how it is within the Trinity; three separate persons are united and make up our one and only creator God.

Let's now look at who raised Jesus from the dead:
1) In Acts 3:26, God is said to have raised Jesus.
2) In John 2:19-21, Jesus said that He would raise himself.
3) In Romans 8:11, the Spirit is said to have raised Jesus.
So, who raised Jesus? Three separate identities are said to have done it. Who actually did it? The Bible says that they all did it and that can only be true and make sense if we understand God as being three persons in one. How could Jesus die and then raise himself unless He was both man and God?

Lastly, a group regarding the Holy Spirit:
1) Matt. 10:20 says that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father.
2) Acts 16:7 says that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus.
3) Rom. 8:9 says that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God.
We know from Eph. 4:4 that there is only one Holy Spirit so, once again, we have a group of verses that only make sense when we understand that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one.

The Bible has much, much more to say about the Trinity but I believe that these three groups of verses are enough to prove that God is a Trinity; three persons united in such a way that they make up our One True God.

Further proof of the Trinity is found in the following verses which tell us that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God.

Regarding Jesus being God:
In John 20:28, Thomas said to Jesus, "My Lord and my God." What could be plainer than that? Then, in Isa. 9:6, two of the titles of the Son (Jesus) are Mighty God and Everlasting Father. These titles for Jesus can only be understood in the light of God being a Trinity.

Regarding the Holy Spirit being God:
In Acts 5:1-5, Ananias lied about the price he got for selling a property. In verse 3, Peter told him that he had lied to the Holy Spirit and then, in verse 4, Peter said that he had in fact lied to God. So lying to the Holy Spirit is the same as lying to God and this of course means that the Holy Spirit is God.

There are many other scriptures which can be used but these examples should be enough to show that God is three persons in One. This little article does not explain the whys and wherefores of God being a Trinity but the verses quoted show that He is. There is just no other answer. I'm sure that in eternity we will have a better understanding but in the meantime we can only simply believe what is written and use these verses to refute those who don't believe it.

This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from under the heading Blog Articles at -
http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html


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

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Peter The Fisherman


By Mick Alexander, 2014-05-14

A look at Peter's character.

Peter is often spoken of in disrespectful terms as though he was foolishly outspoken or always putting his foot in his mouth. I even heard a sermon in which he was called a fool for getting out of the boat to walk on the water. However, I think Peter showed a lot of courage and faith and simply wore his heart on his sleeve. He had the courage of his convictions and was not afraid to show his emotions. The following examples look as some of what we know about Peter.


First, let's look at where Peter walked on the water.

Even though some believe Peter was foolish to get out to the boat, I believe that he showed both courage and faith. He not only had the courage to get out of the boat in rough conditions, he also had faith that was great enough to enable him to walk on water (Matt. 14:22-33). How many of us react like that when the going gets a bit rough in our life? Unlike us, Peter did not have the Holy Spirit to keep him strong so his moment of great faith quickly faded when fear set in, just as fear later weakened the faith of all the disciples and caused them to desert Jesus when He was arrested.



Now, lets look at where Peter declared Jesus to be the Son of God.

In Matt. 16:13-18, when Jesus asked the disciples who they thought He was, Peter said that He was the Son of God. Jesus praised Peter for his discernment in listening to and acknowledging what God had revealed to him. It was no small thing to acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God because the Jewish leadership considered it blasphemy as it meant that Jesus was divine. In fact, Jesus was crucified simply because He said He was the Son of God. So, as well as having courage and faith, Peter also showed discernment.



Next, Peter deserted and denied Jesus.

In Matt. 26:31-35, before He was arrested, Jesus told the disciples that they would all fall away that night. Peter then said, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will,” and the other disciples all said the same thing. Once again, Peter openly displayed his feelings. Even though fear caused all the disciples to desert Jesus, Peter later showed great courage by following another disciple to the High Priest's house where Jesus was being tried. It was there that fear ruled him again and he denied Jesus three times before leaving to weep bitterly.



This, like the walking on water incident, was a vital lesson not just for Peter but for all the disciples. Later on they would come to understand that only through the power of the Holy Spirit could they hope to stand fearlessly for Jesus. All of the disciples would have seen men being crucified and understood the awful pain and terror of such an ordeal. These vital lessons would have shown them that without the power of the indwelling Spirit no one could face such fearful trials.



Next, Jesus rebuked Peter.

In Mark 8:31-33, after Jesus spoke of His coming crucifixion, He rebuked Peter for saying that it would never happen. Jesus rebuked Peter because He needed strengthening to do God's will and face the cross, not temptation to avoid it. A little further on, in Mark 9:31-32, Jesus was talking again to the disciples about His crucifixion and we are told that “they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.” So, we can see that Peter wasn't the only one who couldn't understand that Jesus came to be crucified but he was the only one to openly show his love and express his horror at the thought of his Master and friend dying.



So, although Peter was a common fisherman,

1) He showed great faith and courage in getting out of the boat and walking on the water.

2) He showed discernment in declaring Jesus to be the Son of God.

3) He showed courage when, very afraid, he risked arrest by following Jesus to the place of His trial.

4) He openly expressed his love for Jesus but was rebuked because he contradicted his Master due to a misunderstanding that was common to the disciples.



Peter had a special place in Jesus' heart. He was one of the inner circle of three whom Jesus had chosen to witness certain things including His transfiguration in Matt. 17:1-9. After His resurrection, Jesus made a special appearance to Peter, undoubtedly to relieve him of his distress and fears (1 Cor. 15:5 & Luk. 24:34). Also, at the end of John's gospel, Jesus talked to Peter about loving Him and taking care of His lambs and sheep and we see in Gal. 2:9 that Peter was one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem.



Finally

Today, we have the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith, to give us courage and to help us to discern the truth. I don't think it is very wise to speak poorly of Peter when we consider that he showed great courage, faith and discernment before having the fullness of the Holy Spirit. How many of us will stand under severe trials or persecution? It's easy to say, “I will,” but unless we are walking closely with Jesus we won't. We all need to understand how weak we really are and to learn from the accounts we have of Peter that without the Spirit of Christ we will all fall away. The Bible shows that, after receiving the Spirit, Peter and the disciples became fearless witnesses for the Lord and many disciples were willingly martyred rather than deny Jesus. The Bible tells us that during the end times many will fall away from the faith and only those who overcome to the end will be saved so we need to look to Jesus for strength to face such trials that may come upon us at any time. Amen.





This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from under the heading Blog Articles at -

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





Video of Peter The Fisherman







Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

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Doubt, The Faith Killer


By Mick Alexander, 2014-05-29

Doubt, The Faith Killer
“Lord help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Surely the greatest desire of anyone seeking a closer walk with the Lord is to have less doubt and a stronger faith. How often I shake my head for being so slow to trust the Lord despite the many clear promises He has given us. God remains perfectly faithful even when our faith is weak. Why can't we have faith like Abraham and just believe what God says? We all know very well that God is unchanging and never lies. He is always true to His word but when things get tough we think His promises are for those other Christians, the strong ones. When the going is smooth we feel that we can move mountains but when there is a bump in the road we doubt and want to drive around it or let someone else do the driving. We need to strap ourselves in and trust God to do the driving.


Poor memory is a faith killer. If we had instant recall of all the times God has been there for us we would be giants in the faith and would never waiver when challenged. God deals with us in both the big and the small things of life and this can be readily seen in our daily walk but when our faith is challenged we seem to forget all the loving attention that He previously poured into our lives. I am sure that David never forgot the great moment of faith in which he defeated Goliath but the average Christian doesn't have unforgettable moments like that. Even so, God proves His faithfulness to each and every one of us in a thousand ways but we choose to forget these things and seem to prefer to doubt when challenged, especially when challenged in a new area.



It's easy to see why Abraham is the father of our faith. We are told in Rom. 4:18-22 that even though Sarah's womb was dead, against all hope his faith didn't waver but was strengthened; he was fully persuaded that God had the power to give him a son through Sarah, just as promised. It was because of this faith that he was declared righteous. If that was not enough, when God told him to sacrifice his son he once again didn't waver but set out the very next morning to sacrifice Isaac believing that God would raise his son from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19). Whatever doubt may have entered Abraham's head, he dismissed it and took God at His word. That's the confident faith God wants from us.



Faith is not something we can get at the store and put in our pocket for later use. It's a state of being, a state of mind, that only comes through actively rejecting doubt and taking God at His word. God wants us to walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had. Just as God gave Abraham certain promises that he believed and acted on, the Bible is full of promises for us to believe and act on. For our faith to be as real as Abraham's, we need to walk in his footsteps by putting doubt aside, believing and acting on the promises God has given us.



One of God's names is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, but believing in God for the necessities of life can be challenging despite the clear promises. When we have a few dollars in the bank we feel pretty secure and (hopefully) generous in our giving. However, if our bank balance gets a bit low, our giving may be the first thing to get the chop. That really is cutting off the hand that feeds us. In Matt. 6:25-34, Jesus tells us that we are more valuable than the birds God feeds and the lilies He clothes so why should we, His children, doubt His provision? Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow but to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” He also promises that those who have left home, family and fields for full time service will receive these things one hundred times over in this present age (Mark 10:28-30). If we want to honour God and grow in our faith then rather than doubting we must not only believe these promises but act on them by trusting and not worrying.



A time may well come when we will be severely tested by heavy persecution, even martyrdom. If we are not solidly grounded in Jesus and the promise that He is always with us then persecution will bring about great doubt and we may fall away. 1 Pet. 1:6-7 tell us, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” From these verses we can see that God uses trials to test and prove our faith. If we are not trusting Jesus for courage and strength then doubt and fear may overwhelm us and cause us to fall away, showing that our faith was not genuine. We must be well grounded in God's promises and have a close walk with Jesus if we want to have the strength to endure severe persecution.



Doubt will prevent us from hearing God. In James 1:5-8 we are told that God generously gives wisdom to all those who ask and we must believe this rather than doubt because those who doubt are unstable and will not receive anything from the Lord. So when we ask God something we should listen and believe what He places on our mind and act on it. I can remember asking God about a particular situation and didn't like what He placed on my mind so I told myself it was from the Devil and ignored it. It was quite some time later that I realised that when we talk to God He won't let the Devil reply for Him. That is why James tells us that when we ask for wisdom, believe and don't doubt as God gives wisdom generously to all and He won't let the Devil answer our prayers.



God challenges our doubting hearts in various ways to bring us to maturity in the faith. James 1:2-4 say, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” It's only when we cast doubt aside and persevere through various trials that we mature and grow stronger in our faith. So, when we are next challenged, let's dismiss all doubt and believe God's promises just like Abraham did. We can be sure that God will never fail us. Amen.





This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -

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



Video of Doubt, The Faith Killer




Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz









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Obedience


By Mick Alexander, 2014-06-23

Is obedience optional or necessary for salvation?

Is obedience necessary for salvation or is it an option that we can take or leave? What exactly is required of us to be eternally saved? Some say that we don't need to be obedient but only need to believe, just know, that Jesus died for us because John 3:16 simply says that if you believe you will be saved. Let's apply this same logic to three other verses that speak of salvation and see the result.

  1. In Acts 15:11 only grace is mentioned regarding salvation so, using the same logic, it would mean we don't need to believe, have faith or repent to be saved.
  2. In Luke 7:50 only faith is mentioned so that would mean we don't have to believe or repent or need God's grace to be saved.
  3. In 2 Cor. 7:10 only repentance is mentioned so that would mean we don't need to believe, have faith or need God's grace to be saved.


Obviously each of these statements is wrong just as it is wrong to say that we only have to believe in Jesus to be saved. From this we can see the error of using one verse as proof text for a doctrine. No sound doctrine is based on a single verse. The fact is, salvation comes through grace, repentance and faith as well as believing. We are saved by the grace of God when, in faith, we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus. All four are essential for salvation. The following is a brief look at Grace, Faith and Repentance -



Firstly, Grace is not a magic word through which we are forgiven no matter what. Grace is God's loving goodness reaching out to redeem hell-deserving sinners from slavery to sin. Through God's grace we receive two things -

  • First, we receive forgiveness for our past sins. 2 Pet. 1:9 and Rom. 3:25 tell us that our past sins are forgiven however no verse states that our future sins are also forgiven. Rather, 1 John 1:9 tells us that if a Christian sins then he must confess it to receive forgiveness.
  • Second, we receive the Holy Spirit to guide us and to strengthen us to overcome future sin. 2 Pet. 1:3-4 tell us that God's Divine Power (the Holy Spirit) gives us everything we need for life and godliness so that we can escape the corruption of sin in our lives. Also, Titus 2:11-14 tell us that God's grace teaches us to reject ungodliness and worldly passions as we wait for Jesus who gave Himself to redeem us from all wickedness.


So we can see that, in His Grace, God forgives our past sins and spiritually empowers us to overcome future sin so that we can be redeemed (freed) from slavery to all wickedness and become a pure, holy people of God because “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).



Regarding Faith, in Hebrew the word for faith can also be translated as faithfulness. So, to a Jew, faith and faithfulness go hand in hand. Where Hab. 2:4 says, “The righteous will live by faith,” it could be translated, “The righteous will live by faithfulness.” Likewise, where Heb. 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” it could be translated, “Without faithfulness it is impossible to please God.” An unfaithful servant cannot please God and Psa. 66:18 says that even his prayers are not heard.



Lastly, Repentance for salvation is not a once off act. In Luke 13:3 Jesus told the people to repent or perish and the word “repent” is Present Tense meaning that we must continue in repentance otherwise we will perish. Some believe that ongoing repentance for salvation is salvation by works but Jesus commands repentance so it cannot be works and, the fact is, He said that if we don't repent of our sins then we will perish.



From this it can be seen that believing in Jesus for salvation goes well beyond just knowing that He died for our sins. Strong's definition of believe is “commit (to trust), put in trust with” and in John 3:16 the word “believe” is Present Tense meaning that to inherit eternal life a person must continue to trust and commit their ways to Jesus. 1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” The word “walk” makes it obvious that believing in Jesus is not a one step affair but an ongoing, lifelong commitment so if we want to inherit eternal life then we must walk in obedience to God, just as Jesus did. The following verses are some examples which speak of obedience and the consequences of disobedience -

  1. Eph. 5:3-7 warn Christians about various sins and verses 6-7 say, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them." Note how we are warned not to be deceived into thinking we can be partners in sin and escape God's wrath.


  2. Jesus gave us a new command to love one another. 1 John 4:20; 3:15 tell us, “If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar ... and ... anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” Hating a brother or sister makes us a liar and a murderer and without eternal life.


  3. 1 John 2:4-6 also speak about liars saying, “The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him.” Failing to obey Jesus' commands makes us a liar and Rev. 21:8 tells us that all liars go to the lake of fire.


  4. Jesus said, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me" and “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love” (John 14:21, 15:10). If we don't obey Jesus' commands then we won't remain in His love but will be cut out of the Vine and burned just as He says in John 15:6.


Finally, in Rom. 6:16, Paul said, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" From these few examples we can see that disobedience leads to death, the second death, but obedience leads to righteousness. Our time on earth is short but during that time our eternal destiny is set forever so let's encourage each other to be obedient and pursue holiness which results in eternal life (Rom. 6:22). Amen.





This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -

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




Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

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God's Wrath In The Day Of The Lord


By Mick Alexander, 2014-07-18

God's Wrath In The Day Of The Lord
“The day of the Lord is coming –

a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger.”

(Isa. 13:9)

When the Bible talks about end times it often associates that period with a Cosmic Sign in the heavens where the sun and the moon are darkened, the stars fall and heavenly bodies are shaken. If we look at this Cosmic Sign, as mentioned in Matt. 24 and Acts 2, we can gather the following information:


Matt. 24:21 tells us that there will be.………..... Great Tribulation .

then AFTER the Great Tribulation

Matt. 24: 29 says that there will be………….....… A Cosmic Sign in the heavens.

Acts 2:20 also mentions this Cosmic Sign and

says that AFTER that sign it will be….............. The Day Of The Lord .

From this sequence of events we can see that the Great Tribulation is BEFORE the Cosmic Sign in the heavens and the Day Of The Lord is AFTER that sign. This of course means that the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord are two separate time periods, separated by the Cosmic Sign.

The Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord are often thought of as being the same event but we can clearly see that they are not. Looking closer at Matt. 24, we see this flow of events -


1) The Antichrist will appear, v.15, and bring about the Great Tribulation, v.21.

2) Then the Cosmic Sign appears and Jesus returns to rescue His people, vs.29-31.

3) Then the Day Of The Lord begins as the nations mourn over Jesus' return in power, v.30.



The reason the nations mourn is because they know that God is about to pour out His wrath on them during the time known as the Day Of The Lord. Isa. 13:9 says, “See, the day of the Lord is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it” . Sinners will suffer greatly during the Day Of The Lord but Christians won't face God's wrath at all because Jesus will have already sent His angels to gather them to safety, as Matt. 24:30-31 tell us.



The book of Revelation parallels Matt. 24. Just like Matt. 24, Rev. 6:12-17 also say that after the Cosmic Sign appears all the world will be in great fear knowing that the Great Day Of Wrath has come. Then, again like Matt. 24, Rev. 7:9-14 show that Christians are rescued out of the Great Tribulation just before God begins to pour out His wrath during the earth shattering Trumpet and Bowl judgements, which start in Rev. 8. So, when we compare scripture with scripture, we see from Matt. 24, Acts 2 and Rev. 6-8 that the Day Of The Lord is a period of God's wrath against sinners and it occurs after the Cosmic Sign and after Christians are removed from the earth.



On the other hand, the Great Tribulation occurs before the Cosmic Sign and is a period of the Devil's wrath against Jews and Christians. Rev. 12:7-17 and Rev. 13:1-10 tell us that during the end times the Devil is filled with fury, after being cast down to the earth, and he gives his power to the Antichrist. The Antichrist will then have authority over the whole world and have the power to make war against Christians, severely persecuting them until Jesus returns.



So, the Day Of The Lord is a period of God's wrath against sinners while the Great Tribulation is a period of the Devil's wrath against Jews and Christians. Persecution during the Great Tribulation will be like never before (Matt. 24:21) and it will only end when Jesus returns to rapture His people. So, if we are to face this terrible time then we need to have a close walk with Jesus because He said, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other … the love of most will grow cold … but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:10-13). Only with Jesus as our strength and shield will we be able to stand firm to the end and be saved so we need to make sure that we have a close walk with the Lord otherwise we may be among those who turn away from the faith and are lost. Amen.



This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -

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








Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

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Is Matt. 24 Only For The Jews?


By Mick Alexander, 2014-07-29

Is Matt. 24 Only For The Jews?
Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Matt. 24:4)

Many Christians believe that Jesus is going to return twice. They say that the first time is in 1 Thess. 4-5 when He comes secretly to take all Christians to heaven before the Great Tribulation and the second time is in Matt. 24:30, after the Tribulation. Because they believe that they won't be on the earth during the Tribulation period which is spoken about in Matt. 24, they say that Matt. 24 is not relevant to Christians but only relevant to Jews. However, when we examine 1 Thess. 4-5 and Matt. 24 we find that they are parallel passages, that is, they are both talking about the same thing - the one and only return of Jesus.


The following list shows ten similarities between the two passages:



1) Both passages speak about Jesus coming from heaven - 1 Thess. 4:16 & Matt. 24:30.

2) Both say that there are angels present - 1 Th. 4:16, 3:13 & Matt. 24:31.

3) Both speak about a trumpet call - 1 Thess. 4:16 & Matt. 24:31.

4) Both say believers will be gathered to Jesus - 1 Thess. 4:17 & Matt. 24:31, 40-41.

5) Both mention clouds - 1 Thess. 4:17 & Matt. 24:30.

6) Both say that the time is unknown - 1 Thess. 5:1-2 & Matt. 24:36.

7) Both say that Jesus will come like a thief - 1 Thess. 5:2, 4 & Matt. 24:43.

8) Both say unbelievers will be caught unaware - 1 Thess. 5:3 & Matt. 24:37-39.

9) Both say that believers are to watch - 1 Thess. 5:6 & Matt. 24:42, 25.

10) Both warn against drunkenness - 1 Thess. 5:7 & Matt. 24:49.



These ten similarities are more than enough to show that Matt. 24 and 1 Thess. 4-5 are parallel passages. In 1 Thess. 4-5, Paul described, in his own words, the same events that Jesus spoke about in Matt. 24. There are not two returns of Jesus; there is no secret rapture; just one glorious, earth-shaking return when He gathers (raptures) all Christians to safety before God's wrath is poured out on sinners (Matt. 24:27-31).



There is also a clear, sequential parallel between Matt. 24 and Rev. 6-8 as the following shows:



1) First, both passages talk about wars and famines - Matt. 24:6-7 & Rev. 6:3-6.

2) Next, they mention the Great Tribulation - Matt. 24:9, 21-22 & Rev. 6:7-11.

3) Next, they talk about a cosmic sign in the heavens - Matt. 24:29 & Rev. 6:12-17.

4) Next, Christians are being saved out of the Tribulation - Matt. 24:22, 31 & Rev. 7:9-14.

5) Next, the wrath of God comes - Matt. 24:30, 37-39 & Rev. 8:1-7.



This sequence of similarities shows that Matt. 24 and Rev. 6-8 are also parallel passages. This of course means that all three passages, Matt. 24, Rev. 6-8 and 1 Thess. 4-5, are describing the same events which include the one and only return of Jesus. His return will not be a secret event by any means, but quite the opposite and relevant to both Jews and Christians.



When Jesus returns, and sends His angels to gather Christians out of the Tribulation, it will be announced with a trumpet call, a shout, and with the voice of the archangel and He will appear in the sky like lightning, with power and great glory. All the world will know about it. Rev 1:7 says, “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.”   The nations will mourn and wail because they know that the Day Of The Lord has arrived and that God's wrath is about to come down on them.



So, “Watch out that no one deceives you” (Matt. 24:4). The church is not “gunna be outta here” but is going to suffer terrible persecution by the satanically empowered Antichrist until Jesus returns to gather His people. In Matt. 24:10-13, Jesus warns us that many Christians will fall away and be lost during that time and only those who overcome to the end will be saved. So, if the Great Tribulation occurs during our time then, more than ever, we must make sure that Jesus is our Lord to strengthen us so that we don't fall away and be left behind to face God's wrath. Amen.





A chart showing the passage similarities can be downloaded from -

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



This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -

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





Video of "Is Matt. 24 Only For The Jews?"


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Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

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Are Our Future Sins Forgiven?


By Mick Alexander, 2014-08-13

Are Our Future Sins Forgiven?
What did Jesus mean when He said, “It is finished” ?

(John 19:30).

In John 19:29-30, after He had a drink of sour wine, Jesus said, “It is finished,” and this is thought by many to mean that a Christian's past, present and future sins are all finished with, all forgiven.


But what was Jesus referring to when He said, “It is finished” ?



When Jesus drank the sour wine, He was fulfilling the prophecy about Himself in Psa. 69:21. It was immediately after fulfilling this prophecy that He said, “It is finished,” and He said this because His earthly sufferings and agonies were over at last; while on the earth, He had fulfilled all that was written about Himself in the Law and the Prophets. To finalise His work of redemption, all that was left for Him to do was to give up His Spirit and die, which He did immediately, and then later present His blood in the heavenly Holy Place (Heb. 9:11-12). After this, having died for the sins of the world, forgiveness of sins was available to all mankind through repenting and believing in Him.



So, when Jesus said, “It is finished,”

  • He was not saying that our past, present and future sins were forgiven.
  • He was not saying that our future sins were not relevant to our salvation.
  • He was not saying that sin was no longer an issue in a Christian's life.
  • In fact, He was not saying anything about the forgiveness of any individual's sins.

What He was saying was that His personal, earthly work was finished. Then, after dying and presenting His blood in heaven, His full work of redemption was completed. This work of redemption, by itself, does not bring forgiveness of anyone's sins but makes provision for forgiveness through repentance.


Jesus' death on the cross is a past, finished act while our salvation is a present, ongoing act. 2 Pet. 1:9 and Rom. 3:25 say that our past sins are forgiven but no verse says that our present or future sins are forgiven. Rather, 1 John 1:9 tells us that only if we confess our sins will we be forgiven … note the word “if” . If we confess our sins, we receive forgiveness because Jesus acts as our Advocate and pleads our case (1 John 2:1). However, if we rebelliously refuse to repent then we will not have an Advocate in Jesus and will not be forgiven but will face condemnation.



Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, everyone [which includes you and I] who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:34-36). Jesus assures us that we can be set free from sin and no longer be like a slave who has no permanent place in the family; we can be sons who belong to it forever. 2 Pet. 1:3-4 tell us that we have no excuse for continuing in sin but can be set free because we have Divine Power, through the Holy Spirit, to live a godly life and escape the corruption of the world.



This does not mean that we will be sinlessly perfect; we may sin from time to time but we will not be in slavery to an ongoing, sinful lifestyle. Put another way, weakness or circumstances may cause us to sin occasionally but we will not set out with sin in mind, nor jump into sin feet first.



So, when Jesus said “It is finished,” He was not saying that a Christian's present or future sins were automatically forgiven. To receive forgiveness, we need to confess and repent whenever the Holy Spirit convicts us (John 16:8). When we are led by the Spirit, we will have God's peace as Rom. 8:6 tells us: “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Where there is sin there is no peace so, if you lack God's peace, I encourage you to seek it by following the Spirit's leading and confess as necessary. Amen.





This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -

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Mick Alexander

leeandmick@gmail.com

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

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