All posts by John (HFJ Director)

Seek YHWH. Study His Word.

STUDY THE WORD

The world pushes non-Christian and false Christian values. As Christians we are called to reject the world and seek and follow Jesus Christ. We are to be set apart for God, to be holy. To do this effectively we must develop a clear understanding of God’s word and then submit to it. This requires that we do more than just go to church once a week.

God wants us to study His word daily to know Him more intimately. He provides the scriptures, inclusive of Old and New Testament, to tell us how we should live and how we should relate to Him and each other. We show love to Him by obeying His commands. How can we obey, if we do not clearly understand? How can we understand clearly if we do not study continuously? We must also allow ourselves to be teachable, that is to accept what scripture says even when it contradicts what churches teach or culture accepts. Only in this way can we actually change our behaviors to honor YHWH more faithfully.

Jesus demonstrated personally the importance of studying scripture and He learned it well. In fact, it is a clear understanding of scripture that allowed Him to avoid  Satan’s deception when Jesus was tempted in the desert.

As a community of Christians, we can work together by sharing resources that help guide us to more deeply understand God’s word.

I have included in the links below  books and other resources I personally recommend to help you study God’s word more deeply and to help you live in a way that honors God. It is very important to remember, however, that all we learn and study about God must be tested against the word of God in both the Old and New Testament and against the life of Jesus Christ, who was the word of God become flesh to dwell among us. All other resources, including our website, are subject to errors and must be tested against the proper interpretation of scripture.

We must not be lazy in avoiding the study ourselves, just trusting one teacher or another. Instead, you can seek out good teachers, validating them against the truth of scripture. Testing what they teach to the truth of God’s word. These are just tools to help. Ultimately only God’s word is without error.

If you have identified Christian resources you recommend for inclusion on our website, please submit via our Contact Us page.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Message of the Cross – Salvation

God’s instruction to us is so complete and relevant that a scholar could spend a lifetime studying it, yet so simple that a child can understand it and come to a personal relationship with Christ.

The message of the cross, of Jesus Christ, is perhaps best summarized in the words of Jesus and Paul.

John 3

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]

Let us take care to understand properly in context the word “believe”. I believe that Greenland exists, but it has no impact on my life. Many believe that Jesus Christ was a true historical figure, but they do not live according to His instructions. Many even believe Jesus was Messiah, in an academic sense, but they do not submit to Him and live His way. If we truly believe that Jesus is Messiah, God, then we should submit to Him and the evidence should be demonstrated in our changed life through actions and attitudes that are increasingly more like Him and less like our old selves.

James 2:14-20

     14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

      18But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Some ask…”What is sin?” or “How can I know if I have sinned?” People are inherently sinful, not good. Sin separates us from God. The Bible tells us that “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]

Have you ever broken one of God’s commandments [Exodus 20:1-17]? Jesus makes clear that God’s standard goes beyond committing the physical acts but even includes the heart and mind. To hold anger against someone is to commit murder. To have lustful thoughts is to commit adultery. [Matthew 5:21-48]

God is love, but He is also holy and just. A price must be paid for our sins. It can not be ignored. We are not able to pay the price ourselves because we are not worthy. Our sins are so ugly before God that the penalty of sin is death.

God so loved the world that He became man in the person of Jesus Christ, living a sinless life, and suffered and died for our sins. He was buried and rose again.  He has overcome death and gives us a path to eternal life through accepting Jesus as Lord.

The work of the cross has already been completed. The price has been paid for your sins and mine. We must each individually repent of our sins before God. This means we must turn away from them, not just feel bad about them and keep sinning. We accept Him as Lord, submitting our lives fully to Him. We cannot call Him Lord and then only submit to Him part way. If He is Lord we must submit to Him all the way. This is evidenced by a change in our thoughts and behaviors. We become different from the world. We do not rationalize and accept even some of our sin but rather reject it and seek to follow God.  It is not enough to call ourselves Christians and go to church. We must fully submit to God.

Romans 10

10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the [a]end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is [b]based on law shall live [c]by that righteousness. But the righteousness [d]based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, [e]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, [f]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [g]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be [h]disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [i]bring good news of good things!”

16 However, they did not all heed the [j]good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [k]of Christ.

18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have;

Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the [l]world.”

19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation,
By a nation without understanding will I anger you.”

20 And Isaiah is very bold and says,

“I was found by those who did not seek Me,
I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”

21 But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Many will reject the message, but we are called to preach it to all the world. We as believers must not be silent or no one will hear the true word of God. If they do not hear it, they can not accept it and be saved.

If you have never submitted to Jesus Christ as Lord, please pray with me the following, but pray genuinely with your heart because it is not about the specific words but the condition of the heart and submission to God.

Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I admit that I have done wrong and ask your forgiveness. I believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sin and that you raised Him from the dead. I ask Jesus into my heart as Lord over my life. Help me to change my attitude and behavior to turn away from my own ways  and the world’s ways and instead turn toward You and live the way You teach as revealed in Your word, the Bible. Help me to gladly and boldly proclaim Jesus publicly in my life. Thank you God for saving me.

This is not all there is! This is but the beginning… the doorway. Once you pass through this doorway you submit your whole life to Christ. It requires a combination of Intellect (knowing God), Emotion (loving God and fearing God), and Will (choosing to do His will instead of our own). It is an ongoing decision in our lives that starts us on a journey to know God more intimately and to obey Him more completely. It requires study and prayer and action. It is a journey we never finish in this life, but it transforms us along the way to be more and more like Jesus Christ.

If you made this decision today, we encourage you to reach out to us so that we can welcome you into the body of Christ as well as pray for you and provide more information and encouragement for your life changing decision. You can reach us through our Contact Us page.

Tell others you know have already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Tell them of your decision to follow Christ. Look to connect with a Christian mentor, local church or group of true Christian believers.

Why is it important to declare Jesus as Lord publicly? Jesus said so.

Matthew 10:32-33 32“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

Also, connecting with other Christians and publicly declaring your decision to follow Christ can help provide important support from other believers to help you on your journey with Jesus Christ. Remember, many who reject Jesus will try to talk you out of submitting to Him and following Him. Pray God will guide you to and connect you with the fellowship of true brothers and sisters in Christ that will help you to continue your lifelong journey to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ!

We invite you to study the Bible with us daily through our devotions via email, FacebookGoogle Plus, or on our website Latest Devotions page. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has developed and shared the following wonderful tools to help new believers get started. (Steps to Peace God and Living In Christ)

If you have questions or want to know more, please Contact Us.

Understanding what the law means to us today can be confusing and requires careful study. In Romans 10:3-5, above, Paul is not saying Jesus came to change the law or abolish the law. Paul is specifically referring to the aspect of the law in which we are to be made right with God. Instead of being made right with God through perfect execution of the law, or through sacrifices and through the earthly priesthood, we are made right with God through Jesus Christ. John 3:16-18 confirms that Jesus came not to redefine sin or redefine God’s instruction by which we are to live (e.g. the law of God) but rather to address the judgment for our sin when we fall short of fully living up to God’s standard.  Jesus did not end the law, which shows us how to live according to God’s instruction, but rather to provide a way for us to be reconciled to God when we fall short of perfectly executing God’s law. For more, please read our message on Understanding The Law – What Does It Mean For Us Today?

May the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

 

A Priest On The Order of Melchizedek

Hebrews 7 proclaims that Yeshua has become our high priest. He is of a different order than the Levites. He was undefiled, perfect, yet he died for our sins. He has served as our sacrifice. The writer of Hebrews points out that this is a change in priesthood, not an elimination of it. Yeshua is greater than the Levitical priesthood. He further makes the point that elements of the law associated with the priesthood change.

Let us pause and take a bit of caution, however, before proceeding. Some will immediately jump to the conclusion that the entirety of the Law is gone and no longer needed. This would contradict what Yeshua himself said in Matthew 5.

Matthew 5:17-19

      17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

So, are we left with contradiction and confusion? No. The writer of Hebrews 7 clarifies what he is referring to later in the chapter. He specifically calls out daily sacrifices for atonement of sin as no longer being necessary because of the administration of the priesthood being transitioned from Levitical priesthood to that of Yeshua. It is solely about the administration of the priesthood that the law has been, in part, fulfilled through Yeshua. Now we look back to his death as sacrifice for our sins instead of daily animal sacrifices. What is interesting to consider is that the writer seems to specifically omit other sacrifices that were offered to YHWH for things such as thanksgiving (Lev 7:16-18), peace (Lev 7:11-15), or praise (Lev 19:23-25) and there is no mention of grain offerings (Lev 2:1-16). His focus here is on atonement for sin, which is now accomplished through Yeshua. Truly, it always has been. The animal sacrifices for sin looked forward to, or foreshadowed, the death of Yeshua as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

Hebrews 7

Melchizedek’s Priesthood Like Christ’s

      1For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

      4Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. 5And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham. 6But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. 7But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, 10for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

      11Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.

17For it is attested of Him,
“YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER
ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”

18For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20And inasmuch as it was not without an oath

21(for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him,
“THE LORD HAS SWORN
AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND,
‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER’”);

22so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

      23The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

      26For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Let Us Repent and Turn Back To YHWH

As we read Psalm 137, we should remember that the Israelites were turned over to the Babylonians because they disobeyed YHWH. They did not live according to his ways. They mixed and mingled his ways with the ways of other false gods and rationalized that this was right and acceptable. The result was captivity. There nation was overthrown. We should humbly consider that the LORD may treat our nation similarly as we go about our daily lives. Our nation has turned from YHWH. Evil is called good, and good is called evil. Even the Christians do not stand firm, but wander with cultural norms.

Let us be encouraged as a people not to wait for our nation to be overthrown to call out to YHWH to redeem us. Let us turn from our wicked ways and pray for forgiveness for our land and people.

Psalm 137

An Experience of the Captivity.

    1By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion.

      2Upon the willows in the midst of it
We hung our harps.

      3For there our captors demanded of us songs,
And our tormentors mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

      4How can we sing the LORD’S song
In a foreign land?

      5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
May my right hand forget her skill.

      6May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.

      7Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Who said, “Raze it, raze it
To its very foundation.”

      8O daughter of Babylon, you devastated one,
How blessed will be the one who repays you
With the recompense with which you have repaid us.

      9How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones
Against the rock.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

It Has To Be YHWH Who Delivered Victory

YHWH’s ways are not our ways. When we go to battle or to face a great challenge, we want every advantage we can get. There are times, however, when YHWH sends us into a difficult situation that he wants to make sure we remember it was him and not ourselves who delivered the victory. He may shift the odds so that we will have no doubt.

Judges 7

Gideon’s 300 Chosen Men

      1Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

      2The LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’ 3“Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’” So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.

      4Then the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” 5So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” 6Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water. 7The LORD said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.” 8So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

      9Now the same night it came about that the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands. 10“But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, 11and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.” So he went with Purah his servant down to the outposts of the army that was in the camp. 12Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. 13When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.” 14His friend replied, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand.”

      15When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the LORD has given the camp of Midian into your hands.” 16He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers. 17He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18“When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’”

Confusion of the Enemy

      19So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. 20When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” 21Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. 22When they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. 23The men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali and Asher and all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian.

      24Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against Midian and take the waters before them, as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan.” So all the men of Ephraim were summoned and they took the waters as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan. 25They captured the two leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and they killed Zeeb at the wine press of Zeeb, while they pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon from across the Jordan.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Pray with me for people who allow themselves to be blinded by false religion

So many across the world allow themselves to be blinded by false religion or a belief that God does not exist. They reject God entirely or accept Him as one of several gods… which really means they reject Him. People cling to false teachings and rationalize with amazing strength the distorted world view they are suffering inside. Please pray that God would set free people across the globe from the false teachings of many religions and even the false teaching within those who claim to be Christian, but preach the gospel of the world instead of God’s word.

For more Biblical examples of prayer, and for personal prayer requests, please visit our Prayer Requests page.

Pray For One Another

Pray For One Another

God has a lot to say about prayer in the Bible. It is a very important 2-way communication between God and His people. He wants to hear from us and wants us to hear from Him. God also wants us to selflessly pray for others, not just for ourselves.

These are just a few of many scriptures where God tells us about prayer.  Prayer Matters.

1 Timothy 2:1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done

Matthew 26:39 [Jesus] went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

To study more about learning to pray, review our teaching, Learning To Pray Effectively.

As individuals within a global Christian community we can ask our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for us. To submit a prayer request, go to our Submit Prayer Request page.

We at Hearing From Jesus will pray for you when we receive these prayer requests. We also invite other members of our community to visit our site Pray for Others page and pray for the needs listed there.

We are all in different places in our prayer life with the Father. Some of us may still not even set aside time each day to talk with Him. Others are strong and consistent prayer warriors. For those that are inconsistent in your prayer life, find an accountability partner and commit to praying at least 5-10 minutes each day at first. You can grow the time you spend with the Father from there over time.

For those of you in the body of Christ that have a calling to pray for others… the prayer warriors among us… pray not only for yourself but also for all believers everywhere. Pray for teachers and leaders of the faith to preach boldly as they ought to. Pray for local and regional and national leaders to turn toward God. Pray for revival or for the spread of the gospel to new places and people. You may even consider adding the Pray for Others page as a favorite to remind you to click in and pray for God’s people in their need.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Hope and Trust In The LORD

In the beginning of Hebrews 6, we read about those who have experienced and accepted YHWH, experiencing the Holy Spirit, and then have fallen away. It is a good reminder that we should not grow complacent in our faith and relationship in YHWH.

As we continue in Hebrews 6, we see the writer address his audience with a call and encouragement for hope in Yeshua as our high priest, for hope in the promises of YHWH. One can easily conclude that the reference is that they may have been facing difficult times and the writer is encouraging them not to fall away from their faith in YHWH, but rather to hope in Yeshua and remain faithful. They are also encouraged that their good works are pleasing to YHWH and they should continue. They are reminded in verse 9, that our relationship with YHWH is about so much more than just salvation.

These are good reminders for us still today.

Hebrews 6:9-20

Better Things for You

      9But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

      13For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” 15And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Once Saved, Always Saved?

There is a common teaching among followers of Christ that goes something like this… “once saved, always saved”. This is based largely on John 10:27-30.

John 10:27-30

27“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30“I and the Father are one.”

However, this says only that no one can snatch them away, but it does not say that someone can not leave of their own free will. Some who have known the LORD do turn their back on him and reject him, willingly.

While there is room for good discussion and study on the matter, let us consider Hebrews 6:1-8.

Hebrews 6:1-8

The Peril of Falling Away

      1Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3And this we will do, if God permits. 4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

The most important trap at issue here is that many get complacent. They think if someone (or they themselves) once were in submission to Christ, that now they can do anything and rebel or reject him and go about their lives however they please and still “get into heaven”. This is dangerous complacency. We must remain vigilant and continue to seek and submit to the LORD. Our relationship with him is not a one time decision where we walk down to the  aisle to pray for 5 minutes. It is based on a lifetime of choosing him over and over again.

Also, I must emphasize that our attitude should not be motivated by “how do I get into heaven”, but rather by “how may I best love and serve the LORD my God”. We will then enjoy him in this life and eternity. Can you imagine if we treated a spouse this way? “I want you to provide for me and take care of me in retirement, but I will ignore or rebel against you all my life. No worries, there was that time we said ‘I do’ to get married so we are good, right?”

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Give Thanks to the LORD, His Lovingkindness Is Everlasting

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.  Take time to reflect back on the victories and wonders of the LORD, both throughout the Biblical history and also in your own life. He lovingkindness is indeed everlasting.

Psalm 136

Thanks for the LORD’S Goodness to Israel.

1Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      2Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      3Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      4To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

      5To Him who made the heavens with skill,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

      6To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

      7To Him who made the great lights,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting:

      8The sun to rule by day,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      9The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      10To Him who smote the Egyptians in their firstborn,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      11And brought Israel out from their midst,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      12With a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      13To Him who divided the Red Sea asunder,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      14And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

      15But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      16To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

      17To Him who smote great kings,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      18And slew mighty kings,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting:

      19Sihon, king of the Amorites,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      20And Og, king of Bashan,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      21And gave their land as a heritage,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      22Even a heritage to Israel His servant,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      23Who remembered us in our low estate,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

      24And has rescued us from our adversaries,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

      25Who gives food to all flesh,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      26Give thanks to the God of heaven,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.