Praise the Saviour, ye who know Him!

Praise the Saviour, ye who know Him!
Who can tell how much we owe Him?
Gladly let us render to Him
All we are and have.

Jesus is the name that charms us;
He for conflicts fits and arms us;
Nothing moves and nothing harms us
When we trust in Him.

Trust in Him, ye saints, forever;
He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force nor guile can sever
Those He loves from Him.

Keep us, Lord, oh, keep us cleaving
To Thyself and still believing,
Till the hour of Thy receiving
The victorious Bride.

Then we shall be where we would be;
Then we shall be what we should be;
Things which are not now, nor could be,
Then shall be our own.

Thomas Kelly (1806)
Updated: 18 Sep 2017

 

What Happens Next in the Word's History

A Bible Perspective from Thessalonians

Current: Church Age – Waiting for the Return of Yeshua the Messiah – Jesus Christ

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
For they themselves declare [report] concerning us what manner of entry [reception you gave us] we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 1 Thessalonians 2:19

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, that God has chosen you from the beginning to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Christians are taken to heaven – known to Christians as the ‘rapture’

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus [have died as believers].
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The Church is not for Judgement

Paul’s prayer for the Church at Thessalonica:

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

Called to Holiness

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

People of the light [truth] But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3:21

 

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5

Our sin has been forgiven – there is no need for further judgement

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10

Christian Believers are taken to heaven before the judgement known as the Tribulation

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
For when they [non-Christians] say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
But you [Christians], brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You [Christians] are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

For God did not appoint us [Christians] to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Day of Tribulation is God’s Judgement on those that hate him or don’t know him    

When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:7b-10

The Second Coming of Christ occurs after the Tribulation as judge

And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

David L Simon
Updated: 11 Aug 2017

 

Is the Church taken to heaven before the Tribulation as JN Darby stated?

The rapture of the Church pre-tribulation

Response

Hold on! We need to deconstruct this question as it makes some assertions in amongst a couple of questions. The assertions I see are:

  1. J.N. Darby created the doctrine of the rapture of the church (the technical term for the church being taken to heaven), and he created the doctrine of pre-tribulation removal of the church.
  2. There is some doubt in the questioner’s mind as to whether or not the Church will go through the seven year period of tribulation, coming shortly, which ends with the Battle of Armageddon

The questions are:

  1. Is the Church taken to Heaven?
  2. When does this occur?
  3. One could also answer whether Darby found these answers.

A supplementary question

  1. What is the purpose of the tribulation – referred to as Armageddon in this question – and is the Church part of this.

Interpretation of the question

The question asks whether current believers in Jesus Christ (the Church) are taken to heaven prior to the Battle of Armageddon, which occurs in the seven year period prophesied by Daniel, and other Old Testament prophets, and whose timetable is spelt out in the Book of Revelation. The question asserts this interpretation is not true because it was ‘invented’ by J.N. Darby a Christian who was born in 1800.

Short answer

J.N. Darby did not ‘invent’ or ‘create’ any new doctrine in relation to the transfer of believers from the earth to heaven prior to the End Days of this world, called the Days of Tribulation. The early believers wrote about this nearly 1700 years before Darby! Darby resurrected this doctrine, lost by the reformers and forgotten by the Church who were more concerned with form than substance. The 1800’s ushered in a period of frank re-examination of the Scriptures, and these lost doctrines, lost due to the introduction of allegorisation of Scripture (see below) by Augustine and embedded in law by Constantine and others in A.D. 313. This method of  interpretation lingers today and is the basis of much apostasy in the modern church.

The events to come are:

Believers those that that make up the Church, who are saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ - will be taken to heaven by Jesus Christ himself – immediately after the resurrection of Christians that have died (i.e. the dead rise first, followed by those living Christians). This is called the rapture.

Sometime later, and perhaps within months or years, a seven reign of terror will fill the earth with two notable events: 1) believing Jews will evangelise the world and many millions will come to the saving knowledge of Christ – they will be severely persecuted, 2) the period will be dominated by an imposture of the Messiah, called the Antichrist, who inflicts wrath on all peoples, ending in a war against Israel, at which point God physically takes control and defeats the world, leaving the remnant of believing Israel to usher in the Millennial Kingdom of 1000 years (the Messianic Reign or Millennial Reign).

What the early believers believed

The early believers knew the Bible was to be read literally (see The Five Solas of Christianity) so that the times and places must be read as given, unless the context said otherwise. Thus the events of Revelation occur in the order they are given and in the exact time as indicated – down to the day). That is, the early church used a literal historical interpretation of the Bible, which included understanding the world was created in six days, and would end over a period of seven years.

The understanding that believers in the Church would be resurrected in bodily form was known in the first century, and that following this, the Messianic Kingdom would be established for a thousand years (e.g. Justin Martyr A.D. 80). That a Messianic Kingdom would be established was known millennia before Christ came by the Jews, and indeed, was what the Jews were hoping Jesus would usher in (e.g. Luke 7:19). Today some Jews still wait for the Messiah to come and return Israel to its former glory – but the Jews need to believe in Yeshua first. Various texts from the first century clearly articulate that there would be a resurrection of believers before the judgement and establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. References quote Barnabas, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Lactantius, Methodius, Papiasa and Tertullian as writing about the visible resurrection of the Church and the coming thousand year reign. They also believed that God created the earth in six days etc., showing their literal interpretation of scripture.

Why is this doctrine not spoken of in the Middle (Dark) Ages?

As the early apostles predicted, wicked and evil men entered the church and destroyed the truth being taught. Most notably the grace of God was made of no-effect initially by stating that the Bible was a series of allegories, which could only be interpreted by those with special knowledge (read: those in power), and later to ensure no-one could check against Scripture what was being taught, the Bible was only made available in a foreign language (Latin, which the common person did not learn). Indeed it became a capital offence to own and read the Bible during periods of the Dark Ages – which was the age of illiteracy.

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30

The truth was rendered impotent by the church of the day – the Roman Catholic Church – who usurped Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible by giving herself the power to forgive sins (only God can forgive), and to make laws, rules and dogmas that originated from the Church and not God (We are under grace not the law). This enabled a rich, ruling class to develop with absolute power even unto salvation, whose ideology was underpinned by superstition and fear for nearly 1400 years.

[T]hus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13

It was not until Luther and others read the Holy Scriptures was the evil promulgated by the Catholic Church revealed. However, even these reformers were trapped by the ideology of the Catholic Church, and in particular the allegorisation of prophecy, and therefore did not reform the lies promulgated concerning the coming judgement of all who reject Christ. Other evil doctrines were also not reformed such as celibacy of the priesthood which contributes to the sexual abuse seen today in churches.

What’s wrong with allegorisation[1]

  1. Allegorisation takes the true meaning of the Canon and turns it into the imagination of a human, rending false doctrine.
  2. The text is not being interpreted at all. Indeed the simple and common meaning of the words and displaced entirely by the imagination of the interpreter.
  3. The interpreter becomes the authority, rather than the Cannon (Bible) – indeed the interpreter become supreme, for no-one else knows how to interpret the words other than the interpreter, and there is no method to convey how this is done.
  4. Since the interpreter does not work by a set of testable rules (as exegesis does), but rather it uses mysticism, often of other heathen religions, nothing the interpreter says can be tested.
  5. Further, since the common meaning of the words are circumvented, the output is governed solely by the imagination of the interpreter.

The evil behind this is self-evident, but also warned about in the Bible. Paul speaking to the Colossian Church states:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

What about John Nelson Darby

J.N. Darby who was a lawyer and Anglican clergyman observed the apostasy in the church which had replaced Scripture for Dogma and fallen into utter desolation – with no guidance from the Holy Spirit who was unheard and un-valued. He did not accept the Augustine method of interpretation and thus relied upon Scripture alone – resurrecting what the earlier church had found. Thus, he promulgated the truth that the church would be taken to heaven before the tribulation which precedes a 1000 year Millennial Reign by the Messiah a teaching of the first century.

The illogical notion of the Church in the Tribulation

One can ponder the logic of espousing that the Church will enter the Tribulation. That the tribulation will take place is un-deniable. All news-broadcasts these days point to the coming end of this age – along with the formation of Israel, and Jerusalem being a cup of trembling[2]. The modern church however fails to understand that the seven years of tribulation, described in Revelation and Old Testament prophecy, is a judgement, exercised by God on those that have rejected him – first the Jews (of whom a remnant will return to Christ and evangelise the world; Romans 9-12, Revelation 7 etc.) and secondly of the nations who did not accept Christ.[3]

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

What is illogical, is a believer, saved by the grace of God, and whose sins have been propitiated by the blood of Christ, being punished for that sin again – for God cannot see it (since it has been propitiated!) For this is what would happen if church believers entered the Tribulation. If a believer needs further punishment, it means that the blood of Christ is not efficacious, and logically it means no believer knows he or she is saved. This is false doctrine and an evil that has been promulgated in our churches. John writes that: He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Christ’s blood is either the propitiation or it is not – it cannot be half one thing and half another. The Scripture is adamant, and the Holy Spirit testifies of the efficacy of the Christ’s blood – we are saved unto the uttermost – meaning we are indeed saved and have no need to be punished, because God cannot see our sins which have been done away with!

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Furthermore, sin has been put away – it does not need to be judged again; only the evil one needs to be judged.

He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:26

Furthermore, the Church is told it will not be punished – we have been kept from this trial:

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10

Where does the Bible speak about the Church being taken to heaven?

Paul writes to the Church at Thessalonica because it was ravished by false teachers, teaching in error about the second coming of Christ, thus it is a very useful book to understand about when Christ will return. Believers will be taken to heaven (in Latin this is called the ‘rapture’, and in Greek harpazo, meaning “to be caught up”), at the end of the Church age and before the Tribulation. Note that we do not use the teaching of Jesus from Matthew to find this – Matthew concerns the Jews and much is about the coming Messianic Kingdom, and not the Church. One of course could use the teaching of Jesus from John 14:1-4, but better still, teaching by Paul to those that needed to clearly understand the events to come:

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

That Believers are to be taken to heaven in bodily form is also found in Scripture:

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21

Summary

The Church will be taken to heaven before the Battle of Armageddon, and indeed before the commencement of the Tribulation – a doctrine understood nearly two millennia before J.N Darby, who promulgate this view after it had been obliterated by evil that wrought abject havoc in the Church through, in part, the allegorisation of Scripture along with dispensing with the authority of Christ and the Canon of Scripture. Darby simply went back to Scripture and read it!

Some of this answer has been given in very short form, for example, evidence from Scripture of the rapture – authors such as Arnold Fruchtenbaum provide an excellent detailed response to the question.[4]

 

 

[1] This was lifted from a Sermon of Andy Wood (Sugarland Bible Church) – Protestant Reformation Series 01 (2017) which quotes from Things to Come: A Study of Biblical Eschatology by J Dwight Pentecost. pp 4-5) see http://slbc.org/media/sermon-archives/ (Accessed 6 August 2017)

[2] Zechariah 12:2

[3] One purpose of the Tribulation is to evangelise the world – God in his grace provides a means – the repentant Jews will go out, under heavy persecution, and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations. The other purpose of the Tribulation is to punish Israel, or rather, bring them back to Jehovah by breaking their will and bringing national regeneration:

"As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel 20:33-38

[4] For example; Arnold Fruchtenbaum (1983, 2005) The Rapture of the Church, Ariel Ministries < http://www.arielm.org/dcs/pdf/mbs039m.pdf > else < http://www.arielm.org > (Accessed 6 August 2017)

David L Simon (Aug 2017)
\Questions\Is the Church taken to heaven before the Tribulation?

David L Simon
Updated: 06 Aug 2017

 

O Happy Day

O happy day, that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Saviour and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.

Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray,
And live rejoicing every day:
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!

O happy bond, that seals my vows
To Him Who merits all my love!
Let cheerful anthems fill His house,
While to that sacred shrine I move.

It’s done: the great transaction’s done!
I am the Lord’s and He is mine;
He drew me and I followed on;
Charmed to confess the voice divine.

Now rest, my long-divided heart,
Fixed on this blissful center, rest;
Here have I found a nobler part;
Here heav’nly pleasures fill my breast.

High heav’n, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear,
Till in life’s latest hour I bow
And bless in death a bond so dear.

Philip Doddridge [1755] Reference
Updated: 02 Jul 2017

 

Is there a Hell?

A Biblical Perspective

Short Answer

Take note God has two sides – one mercy, the other justice. The two go hand in hand; one cannot have one without the other. A just God exercises justice, impartially and fairly, a merciful God offers grace. One cannot have mercy without justice; they are mutual.

Grace provides salvation to all who are judged; and all have been judged. The Bible is adamant that sin must be dealt with by death; “the wages of sin is death”. God provided a substitute person to bear the punishment for our sin who is the Lord Jesus Christ. This Jesus was crucified for our sin, dying instead of you. Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God will save you.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

A just God exercises justice – those that reject the Son of God reject God. Those that reject God are punished by being placed into hell. Thus hell is a real place; and at the end of your life you will either be send to hell (only believing in the Lord Jesus Christ will save you) or you will go to heaven, to be with God.

Yes there is a hell!

Yes there is a hell. Quoting George Macleod “If hell is not proven, I deny the truth of God in toto; and therefore I am finished, and thus I am prepared to impeach the prophets, and apostles as liars, and Jesus Christ as the biggest impostor that ever trod God’s earth!” This I cannot do! Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is proven; the prophets and apostles are proven true to their word and thus Hell is proven, being a real place for real people.

The soul of every person – that includes yours – will be judged by the just and righteous God. If found wanting which means having any guilt of sin in you, the soul will be cast into hell – this is the final death or true death. This death will separate you for ever from God and every other human for that matter. Initially an unsaved soul is placed in Sheol also called Hades (in Greek) and from there you will be judged and after which cast into hell. You cannot be found wanting if your sins have been paid for – this only the Lord Jesus Christ can do, as it requires one who is perfect to do so.

What is Hell?

The Hebrews took the idea of Hell from the awful place called the Hinnom Valley (in Greek called Gehenna), a deep gorge towards the south of Jerusalem. Into this valley the waste and sewage was placed, which was constantly on fire, smouldering and emitting putrid smoke. The stench and smoke was simply too awful to describe. Vultures and other birds foraged amongst the muck and filth. The place was considered cursed (Jeremiah 7:31, 19:2-6) due the sacrificing of children by fire in the valley, and along with the later use as a sewage and waste depot the Hinnom Valley provided a grim picture of hell.

Yes there is a place called hell (also called the accursed place). It was prepared for Satan and his angels who attempted to usurp God (Matthew 25:41). Jesus described it as a fiery furnace (Matthew 13:50) and John saw a vision of hell as a lake of fire and brimstone (burning sulphurous substances). The devil (called Satan) because he deceived Adam and Eve (and millions of others) will be tormented for ever in hell.

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10

People were call upon to believe God, but when they refused, God in his righteousness declared hell would also be used for those that reject Him. Those who are currently in Hades and those in the future that reject God and not believe in Him will also be cast into hell.

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8

The Universalists cannot have this, but they lie. One cannot reject God, and have Him accept the rejecter; the two are mutually exclusive. Those that accept God will enter into His presence in Heaven, those that reject God will be cast into Hell.

You say a just loving God will not do so. You are wrong because your logic is wrong. Love must be exercised with justice - reject God and you cannot love Him. A loving God must therefore exercise justice – the rejecter must be rejected. What God is, is patient. He longs for your acceptance of Him. You have had all your life to date to change your mind (which is what ‘repent’ means) and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God always gives adequate time – because God is both merciful and just.  He has extended His hand of mercy through the Lord Jesus Christ – accept him or be thrown into hell! Reject God and He must, being a just and holy God, reject you. The sexual immoral, the liar, the thief, the hypocrite, backbiter or blasphemer can all be saved if they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; else they will be judged and be cast into hell.

If there is no hell there is no heaven!

If there be no hell there is no heaven. If no heaven we are mere robots; clumps of chemicals that undergo various reactions then fade away at death. If this were true, it would make this conversation pointless – illogical. Clumps of chemicals cannot ask questions! Indeed it is illogical that clumps of chemicals have any semblance of cognitive discernment. The Bible says if this was true, we would be men and women ‘most miserable’ (1 Corinthians 15:19). But people are much more than mere clumps of chemicals – we have a spirit and soul, giving as a conscience, allowing us all to reason; ask questions and seek answers; set out logical arguments and prove or disprove them. It causes us to experience guilt when we do wrong. Furthermore, the spirit allows people to have an intimate relationship with God. Bags of chemicals such as dogs, have no spirit or soul, and therefore cannot do any of these things. Humans have souls and that soul is the very you. On death your soul either passes to heaven or to Hades, where upon judgement by God, is cast into Hell as punishment.

And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:30-31

 

David L Simon (13 March 2017)
Questions\Is there a Hell?


Updated: 13 Mar 2017

 

Some thoughts on Preaching - it should only be from the Bible

Main Idea

Sermons should be:

  • About extracting truth from the Bible in order that it can be applied to people’s lives
  • Exegetical or expository preaching; where bible truth is presented accurately
  • About God, so people may know God
  • About the doctrine of God, for doctrine provides the truth of God, his Son, the Gospel and indeed, reality.

Preaching is not about

Experience; anyone can provide an experience, and the Devil can provide a well disguised even clever experience that mocks God, misleads Christians and prevents people receiving the gospel, being utterly false. Church apostasy arises because truth is substituted for experience.

Passion: The Prophets of Baal were extremely passionate – injuring themselves in their passion, yet failed. Elijah, in faith merely prays to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and fire comes and consumes the entire alter and offering (1 Kings 18).

Behaviour, but about belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. To be sure, our behaviour will be modified by truth (Love you neighbours as our self), but the truth that sets the framework for behaviour is from Scripture. Behaviour is determined by believe; believe in evolution and one will allow abortion or sexual intercourse with anyone etc. Preaching must be about knowledge of God not activity.

Activity, but knowledge and action. Busy churches are not necessarily, or even, holy yet alone pleasing to God. Business never equates to holiness.

"Jesus" but the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Yeshua the Messiah, and no other, the one who says;

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

Devotion, although useful, is not preaching. For devotion to occur one needs to know which Jesus one is speaking about – the Jesus of the Mormon, or New Age, or the Son of God. Devotion to God only comes from knowledge of God, thus requires the preaching of the Word of God.

Preaching is About the Study of the Bible

The only way to be set free is to know and practice the truth of the Bible. Liberation only comes from knowing divine truth, which is only found in the Bible.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Paul states that we must daily renew our minds:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Bible study is the first thing we should be doing!

But He answered and said, "It is written, 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:4

All revivals in the Old Testament took place only after the truth was revealed, and practiced. In the time of Nehemiah (who rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, making it a safe place to live) the law was read to all the people, and from this, they returned to God. Ezra used expository preaching in its fullest form to convey the content and meaning of the Law to the Children of Israel.

So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. Nehemiah 8:8

Josiah, who became king of Judah, read the law, understood it, and put it into practice, leading to wide spread, but not complete, return to the Lord (wickedness was too ingrained, and too few leaders returned to the Lord. If leaders of churches do not read the Bible, the church will be lost).

Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him. 2 Kings 23:25

In the New Testament, those that were saved after Peter preached the gospel, read, learnt and practiced the doctrine of the apostles. (Acts 2:42). It is the Bible the child of God wants to go first, yet the wolves in our churches take them to every other place but the Holy Scriptures of God.

Paul admonishes Timothy to read the Bible publically, and furthermore, Timothy was ordered to exhort (or preach) the doctrines of God (1 Timothy 4:13). This only comes from teaching verse by verse, line by line the Bible. Indeed Paul command pastors 8 times to minister from the Word of God – the complete opposite to church Pastors in 2016, who only want to appease the ears of superstitious people.

Without knowledge of God, one cannot please him – for a wife cannot please her husband except she comes to know him.

God expects His word to be preached

As rain contributes to germination, growth and fruit of the land, so does the Bible preached to Christians and non-believers. It behoves preachers to use God’s word and thoughts rather than man’s to change the hearts of people.

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void [empty], But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

Isaiah knows the power of the Scripture and can confidently state that anyone preaching God’s word, that word will not return empty [or void]. Jeremiah puts it this way: “Is not My [Yahweh’s] word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29). To change the hearts of men and women, the Bible is required – nothing else will work.

David L Simon
Updated: 04 Sep 2016

 

Contact the author

If you find a grammatical error, spelling error, broken hyperlink or some other error on these pages please contact me mentioning the page title and location.


Updated: 08 Jun 2015

 

Using this website

The weakness of any Christian website is the failure of the author to truly know the mind of God - his weakness due to sin (and there will be weaknesses) can always be revealed if checked against the Bible. Therefore, it is urged that anyone using this web site must check the information against the Holy Scriptures - for the test of any such information, by any person, is against the Canon. For this reason the Canon is called simply that - deriving its name from 'cane' meaning measuring stick. Even the early Christians checked what the Apostle Paul had spoken against Scripture in order to test its veracity. You need to do the same.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)

Furthermore, we must test all things:

Test [prove] all things; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:22


Updated: 11 Jan 2015

 

What's in the title of this website

The heading comes from John 3:16, perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible. It indicates that salvation is by faith and not by works. That is, one cannot ever achieve rightness before God by one's own effort. What one cannot forget is the rest of the text - John 3:16 does not stand alone:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light [Jesus Christ] is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


Updated: 16 Apr 2011

 

Bibles used in this website

KJV = King James Version of the Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible original work copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
NKJV = New King James Version original work copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc

ESV = The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles

Others used

JND = New Translation by John Nelson Darby (1890)
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Literal, Textus Receptus, King James Version), Baker Books, Michigan, 1980
Strong's = Strong's Concordance, Hebrew and Greek Lexicon (either Riverside Book and Bible House, or an on-line version)


Updated: 16 Apr 2011