A Reasonable Response to Grace

It would be hard to find a more significant amount of Spiritual information than that which is packed into the first 11 chapters of Paul’s inspired letter to the Roman Christians. Some examples would be: Paul’s commission to reach Gentiles (in fact, to reach all possible people) and his commitment to carry out his commission. Then, there is the corruption of humanity, the deserved judgmental wrath of God. Add to that, the incredible sacrifice of His only Son to die on a cruel cross, so that He could forgive, cleanse, restore and adopt repentant sinners. Besides all this, there is His wonderful plan for Jesus’ church, His wonderful plan for His chosen people, His promised glorious future for all who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. These are some of results of God’s grace and mercy. So, as Paul’s letter got to the point that we know as Romans, Chapter 12, Verses 1-2, he issues a Spirit-prompted plea for a reasonable response to such amazing grace: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, (which is) your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what (is) that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” To those who have truly been redemptively impacted with such grace, there is motivated a grateful and gradually intensifying desire to please and honor Him Whom we have come to love. “Savior, ’tis a full surrender, all I leave to follow Thee; Thou my Leader and Defender from this hour shalt ever be. As I come in deep contrition, at this consecrated hour, hear, O Christ, my heart’s petition, let me feel the Spirit’s power! No withholding—full confession; pleasures, riches, all must flee;  Holy Spirit, take possession!  I no more, but Thou in me. Oh, the joy of full salvation! Oh, the peace of love divine!  Oh, the bliss of consecration! I am His, and He is mine. I surrender all! I surrender all! All I have I bring to Jesus, I surrender all.” (“Full Surrender” By Rebecca S. Pollard). Selah! What rich blessings come to all who learn to surrender all!   Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail. com



The Great Divide

There is a great portion of our country (the U.S) that is divided, one part from the other part. It has been called “The Great Divide.” It might be more correct to call it “A Great Divide.” However, Scripture often teaches of what is truly “The Great Divide.” It is that insurmountable gulf between the “saved” and the “lost.” It is spoken of as wheat and tares and sheep and goats. It is alluded to in other ways. For example: sinners and saints; the redeemed and the rebels, etc. At the Rapture, there is a dividing.” The saved go to be with the Lord, the unsaved are left on earth to experience the Tribulation. For Israel, there will come a day when those who reject Christ will be separated from those who receive Him. At that point “all Israel will be saved.” Between Heaven and Hell, there is a huge gulf that can’t be crossed, ever! Luke 16:26 speaks of a beggar and a rich man. Both died! One went to a place of blessing; the other to a place of torment. The result? “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that (would come) from thence.” The Great Divide,” indeed! The point is that only the “cleansed and forgiven” (Jew and Gentile) can enjoy the presence of God, forever! If the unsaved were allowed to be in His eternal Presence, Heaven would be ruined. Sin has to be dealt with! Divine Justice demands the ultimate penalty. He died on the Cross to free those who trust His atoning sacrifice. Those who refuse have only themselves to blame. A hymn by author A. J. Hodge asks a question that we all must answer: “Have You Counted the Cost?” “There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord, where the call of His Spirit is lost, as you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng –  have you counted, have you counted the cost? You may barter your hope of eternity’s morn, for a moment of joy at the most, for the glitter of sin and the things it will win –  have you counted, have you counted the cost? While the door of His mercy is open to you, ere the depth of His love you exhaust, won’t you come and be healed, won’t you whisper, I yield –  I have counted, I have counted the cost. Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost tho’ you gain the whole world for your own? Even now it may be that the line you have crossed, have you counted, have you counted the cost?” Selah! If you know Him as your Lord and Savior, thank God! If you don’t, count the cost! “Now” is the only guaranteed time we have to receive His cleansing and forgiveness. Come, while you can; later may be forever too late!   Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

What about Israel?

God is still working out His plan for Israel. Any who think that He is finished with Israel can’t prove it from Scripture. They might  be able “to make a case,” but it will have holes in it. Two portions from Romans 11 should make clear that God hasn’t written Israel off. Verses 1 & 2: “I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid.” “God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew…”For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” In a manner of speaking, God has put Israel “on the back burner” while He has been building the church. Even today when an Israelite  receives Jesus as Savior and Lord; as Messiah, he or she is “Spiritually” baptized into the church. When God has added the last person to the church, He moves Israel back onto the “front burner.” At that point, however, the Tribulation Period “kicks in!” Seven years of severe times, unprecedented suffering will impact all unsaved people, Jews and Gentiles alike. It has been described as the time of Jacob’s trouble, as Jewish people are especially under attack. Jesus’ Second coming will start the restoration of Israel. God’s faithfulness to Israel should encourage all of us. He hasn’t given up on them and He will not give up on all who know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Two stanzas from the hymn, “Father of Faithful Abraham, Hear,” especially speak to this issue: “Father of faithful Abraham, hear, our earnest suit for Abraham’s seed! Justly they claim the softest prayer from us, ……….. who mercy through their fall obtain, and Christ by their rejection gain. But hast thou finally forsook, forever cast thy own away?  Wilt thou not bid the murderers look on Him they pierced, and weep and pray?  Yes gracious Lord, Thy word is past: all Israel shall be saved at last.” Selah! People from every tribe and nation will come to Christ; many already have. Have you? Those who reject Him will be separated from Him forever, in Hell. Jesus saves all who come to Him in true faith!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

What a Time to be Alive!

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding regarding Israel and the church. A number of Pastors and Bible teachers reason that the church has replaced Israel, as God’s people. Failing to discern God’s plan for both Israel and the church “muddies the water” of understanding Scripture. A careful reading of Romans, Chapter 11 (which takes too much space to include in this article) should reveal God’s plan for both. We live in a time period called “the fullness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:25). This began at Pentecost and climaxes at the “Rapture.” It is also called “the Church Age.” In this period, Jews and Gentiles that receive Jesus as Savior and Lord become part of His Body and Bride. Once the Church is complete (which could even be today) God will carry on His plan for Israel. Oh! How wonderful to be a part of Jesus’ Church!! Consider this portion of Ephesians 5:25-27 which tells us: “….Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” “The Church’s One Foundation,” by S. J. Stone, sheds some more light on this glorious church: “The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from Heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.” Selah! No entity known to man comes anywhere near the wonder of His Church. When she is complete, she will be a sight to behold! If you haven’t become a part of her, receive Jesus as Savior and Lord now, while there is opportunity, and be ready for “the vision glorious!”  Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Lordship Salvation??

As far as I know, the only salvation is by grace, through faith. I think the label “Lordship Salvation” is misleading. The issue is: can you be saved without submitting to Jesus as Lord? Sincere brethren believe requiring one to receive Him as Lord is a type of salvation by works. They reason that we should submit to His Lordship, but not as a condition for salvation. I contend that this is no more “works” than faith is “works.” To receive Him as Savior without necessarily as Lord is to make an artificial distinction. He is both Lord and Savior! We can’t “divide Him up” and tell Him that we will take part of Him, but not all. Even the meaning of Savior is “Deliverer.” He delivers us from sin’s penalty and power and requires us to trust His Word, including learning to obey it. Romans 10:9-10 explains: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Confessing, with our mouths that He is Lord, implies that we have submitted to His reign in our lives. Believing in our hearts that He was raised from the dead led to our salvation. Heart belief leads to righteousness (Godly lives). As this becomes the way we live, we testify by lips and lives that we have been saved. Judson W. Van De Venter gave us the hymn, “I Surrender All.” The lyrics provide helpful insights about receiving Christ: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give;  I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. All to Jesus I surrender, make me, Savior, wholly Thine; let me feel Thy Holy Spirit, truly know that Thou art mine. All to Jesus I surrender,  Lord, I give myself to Thee; fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me. I surrender all, I surrender all; all to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” Selah! When we surrender, God extends grace to us! Our response: gratitude, love and service.     Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

The Only Perfect Security

There is only one place on earth where we have perfect security. It is for all who have received salvation; yielding to Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Think on I Corinthians 6:20 (note especially the underlined part): “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” God is not going to lose what is His! All who are born again have become God’s “owned” people. In God’s plan and purpose, they are sealed and kept!  “In” Christ, they are “positionally” already in Heaven; this reality simply remains to be worked out in “time.” However, make no mistake, this does not apply to those whose conversion is only intellectual. It applies to those who have undergone “Spiritual” rebirth, who have trusted Jesus with their hearts and lives. Only believing the facts of the Gospel, without acting on these facts, has likely lulled far too many into an assumed security which does not exist.  In II Peter 1:10, Peter warns: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure.” Lina Sandell Berg’s hymn, “More Secure Is No One Ever,” expresses well the security of those who have truly trusted Jesus: “More secure is no one ever than the loved ones of the Savior — not yon star abiding nor the bird in home-nest hiding. God His own doth tend and nourish, in His holy courts they flourish, like a father kind He spares them, in His loving arms He bears them. Neither life nor death can ever from the Lord His children sever, for His love and deep compassion comforts them in tribulation.  Little flock, to joy then yield thee! Jacob’s God will ever shield thee; rest secure with this Defender — at His will all foes surrender. What He takes or what He gives us shows the Father’s love so precious; We may trust His purpose wholly — ’tis His children’s welfare solely.”  Selah! All who know Jesus as Savior and Lord have perfect security forever!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Calm in Crisis

When we are engulfed in troubles: health problems, danger, discouragement, overwhelming circumstances, etc. normal responses include fear, panic, despair, giving up, etc. That’s to be expected with most unsaved people. However, the true Christian has a supernatural resource. This resource is often forgotten and inadequately understood by far too many believers. Because we have been reconciled to God, we have peace with God. The enmity that existed between us (because of sin) is removed, The line of communication is restored. The lost fellowship is reinstated. Therefore, we have been promised the peace of God, no matter what we face in life. It may not free us from our troubles, but knowing God is in control and present to guide and strengthen us provides a wonderful calm in any crisis. It may or may not relieve the stress but real trust knows that living or dying He will see us through. Deuteronomy 33:27, which includes this statement: “The eternal God (is thy) refuge, and underneath (are) the everlasting arms” can be only a Truth that we believe or it can also be experienced as a reality. The choice is ours. Judging from his hymn, “Wonderful Peace,” Haldor Lillenas enjoyed it as both fact and reality: “Coming to Jesus, my Savior, I found wonderful peace, wonderful peace; storms in their fury may rage all around, I have peace, sweet peace. Peace like a river, so deep and so broad, wonderful peace, wonderful peace; resting my soul on the bosom of God,  I have peace, sweet peace. Peace like a holy and infinite calm, wonderful peace, wonderful peace; like to the strains of an evening psalm,  I have peace, sweet peace. Gone is the battle that once raged within, wonderful peace, wonderful peace;  Jesus has saved me and cleansed me from sin,  I have peace, sweet peace. Peace, peace, wonderful peace, peace, peace, glorious peace; since my Redeemer has ransomed my soul,  I have peace, sweet peace.” Selah! Living or dying, He will pilot us through the turbulent storms and, in His perfect timing, He will bring us into our eternally safe Harbor!   Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com