Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Manner of Love?

1 John 3:1-10  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  (2)  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (3)  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  (4)  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  (5)  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  (6)  Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  (7)  Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  (8)  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  (9)  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  (10)  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
            The “love the Father hath bestowed upon us” is a love that is beyond human reasoning.  It is beyond our paradigm (imagination.)  God sent His Son to die on that “Old Rugged Cross” for our sins, not that we can keep on sinning (as if He was allowing us to run a “tab.”)  When we claim Jesus as our Saviour, our personal Saviour, our “tab” is “paid in full.” 
            Our scripture in (v 8) tells us “He that committeth sin is of the devil.”  A “born again Christian” does NOT willfully “join in with besetting sin.”  (“Besetting sins” are defined as:  adulterers, whores, prostitutes, homosexuals, drunks, druggies, pornographers, haters, back biters, brawlers, etc., etc.)  
Romans 1:29-31  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  (30)  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  (31)  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
A Christian will sin, (and he can repent and be forgiven.  However, that sin cannot be allowed back in his life.)
Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
We as Christians must walk “a path that will steer us” toward a path of righteousness.  As long as we are on this earth, we will never achieve the perfection of righteousness.  However, we must strive to achieve that righteous path.
            Jesus our Christ, walked this earth in perfection, in total righteousness.  We must garner the resolve to seek a path towards His “perfect walk.”  He walked in “love,” a “love” that knew no bounds.  His “love” took Him to that “Old Rugged Cross” to die for our sins, the sins of mankind, whores, homosexuals, drunks, druggies and gossipers. 
            “[W]hat manner of love” has God given to each of us?  He gave His Son (His only begotten Son) to die on that old tree, so that you and I might not taste the pangs of death.
John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
My old body will cease, but my soul will live eternally, regardless of my choice.  Since I have chosen Jesus, my eternity will be Heaven with my Saviour Jesus in the presence of God Almighty. 
            If, perchance you have not made a choice, Heaven will NOT be your home.  Jesus tells us:
John 3:7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Without being “born again,” you will reside with the “rich man” described in The Book of Luke 16:19-31.
John 3:18  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.
“Reader, if you do not believe, this is the hour for you to open your heart, listen to God’s Word, and with sincerity accept Jesus.”
Romans 10:9  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.
Confess that you “believe in thine [your] heart” that God raised His Son Jesus from the grave.  In so doing (with a sincere heart,) God will save you from your sins, and give you a home in Heaven.   Call on Him now.
Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas            
fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, March 19, 2012

Abide In Him!

1 John 2:28-29  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.  (29)  If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

            “[L]ittle children,” young new Christians “abide in him.”   We now must define “abide.”   For us to “abide,” is to permanently (eternally, everlasting, forever, evermore) reside.  I know in our “modern fluid world,” residing at a permanent address is something that is becoming uncommon.  Yet, the permanence of our dwelling (“abide[ing]”) in God is what sets us apart from religions.

1 John 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

To iterate again for clarity, John the Revelator is speaking to “new” Christians, Christians who have called on the name of Jesus The Christ as their personal Saviour.

Romans 10:9  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.

Paul is speaking to those, who through The Holy Spirit’s conviction, have personally confessed to others that they believe God.  In that belief, God has saved them from their sins and from a burning Hell.
            In our text, John is asking us to do something The Holy Spirit has already done.  So what is John referencing?    When we accepted Jesus, The Holy Spirit indwelled us, consequently “God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

Paul also laid it out for us.   We must make the decision to follow with a personal commitment and “present your [our] bodies” to God.

Romans 12:1-2  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.  (2)  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.

This commitment isn’t a commitment to the Pastor, Preacher, Priest, or a Church.  It is a committed “confidence” that says, “I will “present your [my] bodies a living sacrifice,” and mean it from your heart.

Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

We are telling God, and showing the world what I am doing is with a “full assurance of faith” knowing confidently “he [God] is righteous.”   I am “abide[ing]” in Him, and I am “born of him.”
            Reader, “Are you an abiding resident in God? Do you have the “confidence” in your heart that you are a living testimony of righteousness for God?”
            “Do you know that if you died today, tomorrow, in twenty years, Heaven will be your home?  Or, will hell, an abiding burning that will last beyond our limited idea of eternity be your home?”
            Choose Jesus today.  Live for Him.  Abide in Him.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, March 12, 2012

Those Antichrists!

1 John 2:18-27  Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.  (19)  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.  (20)  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.  (21)  I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  (22)  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  (23)  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.  (24)  Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.  (25)  And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.  (26)  These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.  (27)  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

            In the world today, Christians are assaulted from many sides by many “antichrists” who deny The Lord Jesus The Christ.  A Preacher of Jesus Christ is in a prison in Iran awaiting the gallows because he refuses to denounce his faith in Jesus The Christ.  We also know of a person who is vehement about removing God’s name from our American coins.  We know of another (just as rabidly,) wanting God’s name removed from our Pledge of Allegiance. 
            The Ten Commandments have been moved to a storeroom in a courthouse basement in Georgia, and God has been removed from our public schools.
            Who are these people that are so tenacious about destroying our Christian heritage, including any visible Christian history?  These people are the “antichrists.”

1 John 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

They are not just atheists.   They (the “antichrists”) consist of many religions in the world.  However, the main thrust of “antichrists” is within The Local New Testament Church.  In our scripture, we are told, “now are there many antichrists” and they are among us.  They are in our Pulpits and our Sunday School Classes teaching their doctrine of deception.   (They are “a liar” unfolding a doctrine of lies.)

2 John 1:7  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

These deceivers convince young Christians, (those who have recently converted) of a doctrine contrary to our Bible.  These deceivers misuse God’s Word, and twist words and phrases to meet their personal context.   
            This is why it is imperative that Christians (young or seasoned) read their Bible, study their Bible, and pay close attention to what is being taught. (“Those Antichrists!” are more prevalent than we can imagine.)  We must be aware of “false prophets” (“antichrists”) as they are standing with us, yet are “ravening wolves.”

Matthew 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

As Christians, we must study “our Faith,” know “our Faith,” and become aware of those who want to make slight, softening changes. 

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Our “faith” grows from God’s Word.  The “hearing” of God’s Word must be supplemented by the reading of God’s Word.  When God gave John the verses in our text, there was no King James Bible.  There was no written word to “take home and read, and re-read over and over.”
            Today, we can hear.  We can bathe our Bible reading in prayer.  We can receive a Godly understanding.  Beware of “Those Antichrists!”

1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

That “roaring lion” is out there.   He may be in your Pulpit and/or your Sunday School Class.  Listen carefully!!

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, March 5, 2012

Brotherly Love

Romans 12:9-13  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  (10)  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;  (11)  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;  (12)  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;  (13)  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

            As a boy growing up, I can never remember my Dad or my Mother ever telling me that they loved me.  They may have, but I just don’t remember.  (But, I know they both loved me.  I also believe it was a love “without dissimulation.”  ([D]issimulation is defined as “without hypocrisy” and hypocrisy is defined as “without a false love.”)
            I know the “love” that Paul is referring to isn’t a paternal nor a maternal love.  This is a love that is brotherly love, or a love of the brethren.  Within the realm of this “love,” we are to “Abhor [detest; hate] that which is evil.” 

1 John 3:18  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

As Christians, we are not to be hypocritical.  Our “love” is to be a pure and intentional “love.”

Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

We may feel incapable of having a “true heart.”  Yet, we know we are to walk in “faith” with our minds clear of evil thoughts.  (Albeit we know, we cannot always be what we ought to be.)

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

We all fall short of God’s expectations, (but we can’t allow this to become our excuse for not trying.)  We as Christians must have the “love,” the intent, and resolve to do the best we can.  (God has never expected perfection from imperfect beings.  He knows our capabilities and our limitations.)
            So, “Christian how strong is your “brotherly love?   Are you “kindly affectioned” to the brethren?”  We as Christians must endeavor to be our best and as we serve God and His Son Jesus, we will become stronger Christians. 
            In our work for The Lord, we will have tribulations (problems) and some may be mighty, (yet we must remain strong in Him.  We are to rejoice in what God has done for others and for ourselves.)
            The question remains, “How do we show this love?”  (I believe it is like the “love” that was shown me by my Dad and Mother.  It wasn’t an outward showing, it was an inward knowing.)    Our “love” for God and the brethren is the same kind of love.  (It is a love of association) as we love to honour our brethren by being in their presence.  We serve God along side one another, as we prefer to be with Christians than with worldly religious people.  It isn’t a “love” that must be announced, but a love of rejoicing with friends who “love” us in a like manner.
            So, “Christian, what kind of “love” emanates from your heart?  Is it a Christian “love” or a hypocritical worldly love with no emotion, just words?”
            “Reader, if you have never accepted Jesus as your Saviour, He is waiting for your heart.  He wants you, and you need Him. ” 

Acts 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Call on His Name today.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jesus Is Our Hope

Psalms 23:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

            Before I accepted Jesus as my Personal Savior, my “hope” was “in my ability” to earn a six figure income.  I was missing what God gives.  He gives “Hope” with value, whereas my “hope” was vain (worthless.)
            Now, when I fall to my knees, there is within me a “Hope” that can withstand the trials and tribulations of my life here on earth.  God, in His Salvation (Jesus, God’s “Amazing Grace) is extended to all of us who will accept His Son “goodness and mercy” (which is beyond our individual or even our collective imaginations.)
            God’s “goodness and mercy” will continue all of my days here on earth.  (I now have The “Hope” of  my destination, Heaven.)   I will “dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
            My “Hope” (Jesus) protects me from The “wrath of God.”  I will never again concern myself with hell, because (as a Christian, I have accepted Jesus as my Saviour.)  I have “The Hope” (destination) of an eternal life with God The Father and His Son Jesus in Heaven.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

            Reader, “Have you accepted Jesus?  Have you had your sins washed away?  Have you secured a home in Heaven?”

John 14:1-2  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  (2)  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

“I have a “mansion” in Heaven for me.  What about you?”   Believe that God raised Jesus from the grave.

Romans 10:9  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.

Confess that belief to others.   God will save you through His Son’s blood. 

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Remember:  Regardless of your life style, and what you have been, God loves you.  He knows what you can be.   Call on Jesus’ name.  
            Accept Him this very moment. 

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts