Who Do You Say That I AM?

This morning, we are going to discuss who Jesus is. Look in Matthew 16 starting in verse 13, “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus went on to tell Peter how He was going to build His Church. Look at verse 17, “And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock  I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.”

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. So here is my question to you. Who is Jesus to you? Is He your Lord and Savior? Is He your everything? Is He in charge of your life? Do you pray to Him and talk with Him? Do you pray to Him about everything that is happening in you life? Do you truly have a “real” relationship with Him? If you proclaim that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, why are you not shouting it from the housetops? Why keep it secret?

I once knew of a young couple who said that their faith was a private matter. Jesus does not want us to keep our Salvation private. The Bible clearly states in Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in Salvation.” These two verses says that you have to open your mouth and confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. You must verbally acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Why not share your faith with others so they will come to Christ Jesus?

I will tell you, without a shadow of any doubt, Jesus is Lord of my life. He is everything to me. I cannot imagine living life without Him in my life. I speak to Him daily in prayer and He speaks to me through His Scriptures. His Holy Spirit dwells in me and teaches me and guides me through life. I love the laws of our Heavenly Father. I love His ways. For me, I no longer desire the worldly life that I used to live. I desire all that Christ Jesus has to offer me. He is my Lord and Savior. When I go to sleep, I am thinking about Him. When I wake in the morning, I am thinking about Him. It’s a relationship that I do not want to live without. How about you?

Copyright July 19, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You Cannot Get into Heaven on Your Grandparent’s Coattails!

The Reverend John Baldwin has been an inspiration to me in my writing. Just yesterday, he preached on a sermon called “Absolute Truth” which was taken from 1 John 5:18-21. I wrote a piece on that sermon, but today I want to expound on it a little more.

Reverend Baldwin said, The “Truth about True Salvation is Knowing Jesus.” This is very true and yet people come to church, sit in a pew, listen, and then go out back into the world. They may have loved ones who are lost without a Savior and yet people tend to not open their mouths and share the Gospel with the one’s they say they love. They want the pastor’s to do what they have been called to do themselves once they accepted Jesus as their own Savior. If one has received this free gift of eternal life, why is it that few are shouting it from the housetops?

There are many people who have been attending church for years and yet they have never confessed that Jesus is Lord . They have never made a commitment to Christ Jesus, never prayed and asked for forgiveness, or never have ever had a true relationship with Jesus. Attending church is what their grandparent’s, parent’s, and themselves have done for years.

My wife, Diane, has been saying this for years, “You cannot go to Heaven on your grandparents coattails.” I agree and there is one thing that I surely know for sure and that is one cannot get into heaven on their grandparents or parents coattails! We all have to stand before the Lord on Judgement Day and answer to our Heavenly Father as to what we did in life. We will be judged for all of our actions and the way we lived our life. If one is a “True Follower” of Christ, our sins and wrong doings will be forgiven, but those who have never made a commitment or have rejected salvation through Christ Jesus, they will be sentenced to hell for eternity.

The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation (Romans 10:9-10). And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised (2 Corinthians 5:15). Listen, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him and he with Me Revelation 3:20).

As I mentioned before, you cannot get into heaven on your parents or grandparents coattails. You cannot get into heaven because of their relationship with Christ Jesus. You have to do it yourself by praying this simple prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. I want forgiveness for my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Father, I give you my life to do with as you wish. I want Jesus Christ to come into my life and into my heart. This I ask in Jesus Name. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then your next step is to get into a Bible believing church. Buy a Bible and start to read it starting with the Gospel of John. Start praying to our Heavenly Father, like you would talk to your Mom or Dad. After all, He is our Abba Father. I pray that if you do not truly know Him, that you will come to “Really” know Him today. May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Copyright © July 18, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Do you “REALLY” know Jesus or are you an acquaintance?

This morning, the Reverend John Baldwin preached on “Absolute Truth” taken from 1 John 5:18-21. There are five things that a Christian must believe in to be a “true” Follower of Christ.

  1. The Inerrancy of Scripture.
  2. Believe in the Virgin Birth.
  3. The substitutionary atonement of Jesus.
  4. The bodily resurrection of Jesus.
  5. The literal return of Jesus.

There are three absolute truths about Christianity.

  1. The truth about sin. Children of God want to sin less.
  2. Truth about Satan. He rules over a falling world.
  3. The truth about salvation. True salvation is knowing Jesus.

Now let’s look at supporting Scripture for these three truths. The truth about sin is that Children of God want to sin less. Look at 1 John 1:8-9,  “If we say 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.”

When we do this, and really mean it, we will not want to continue sinning and staying in the sin we were once dead in. A person who has been through a true conversion will not desire the sin of the world anymore because through Christ Jesus, He has made us a new creature in Him.

The second truth is this, Satan rules a falling world. He is the prince of this world. See 1 John 5:19, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Yes, Satan rules the world we live in. This is why evil seems to pervade every political office, from the local government to the federal government. Evil is saturated in politics today because the evil one is running the show as he has done since biblical times.

The third truth is the truth of salvation. True salvation is knowing Jesus. See 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

Let me ask you some simple questions about your relationship with Christ Jesus? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? Do you really know Him? Do you have a “true” relationship with Him? Are you praying daily to Him? Are you reading your Bible consistently and building your relationship with the Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus? If not for the last two questions, then do you really believe you have a relationship with Him?

Having a relationship means that we are interested in His ways and His way of life for us. Do you truly have a relationship or are you an acquaintance? An acquaintance in the Faith walk is a person who picks up his Bible every once in a while, reads a few verses, and puts his Bible back on the shelf. Its the people who attend church once a year, definitely at Easter and maybe at Christmas, not because of a desire to know more about the living Savior, but because this is what their own parents did while they were growing up. The fact is that Jesus said that we are to be either hot or cold in our faith. See Revelation 3:15-16, “ I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Jesus wants a “true” relationship with you. He will spew you out of His mouth if you are lukewarm. Lukewarm means that you are an acquaintance of God and of the Lord. You have no “true” relationship with Him. You pick God up when you need Him such as when you need prayer for an illness, or if you have a marital problem and you want God to fix your relationship. Often times when your prayers are answered then God is often forgotten until you need Him again. Then you come back to Him. This is not what the Lord wants. He wants your all, 100%, not just your left over time, when you have spare time from your worldly activities. He wants to hear from you daily in prayer. He wants to speak to your heart through His God breathed Scriptures, so that you CAN live a life of Christ, holy and pleasing to Him.

If you are “truly” an acquaintance, my recommendation is to get on your knees and ask Jesus to forgive you of being lukewarm. Ask forgiveness and get engaged in the Gospel of Christ Jesus through prayer and reading the Bible on a daily basis. Get engaged in a Bible believing church and get involved in the lives of others so that you can encourage one another in your faith walk with Christ Jesus (Cf. Hebrews 10:25). I pray that you will do this today.

Reference:

Rev. John Baldwin, “Absolute Truth,” Berea Baptist Church, July 17, 2022.

Copyright © July 17, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Traits to Look for in a US President

What traits should we look for in a man or woman running for President of the United States? This question should be the million-dollar question. In my opinion, very few measure up to what I would want in the most powerful position in the world.

I have been thinking about this for a very long time. None of our previous presidents met the criteria and have fallen short. There has been many a President with immoral character that would put their own mother to shame. Many have said that we are not electing a pastor or a minister, but what does that say about our culture or professing Christians who say that?

 The Biblical standard for a Pastor or Minister is stated in these prescribed instructions found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

1 Timothy 3:1-7, refers to qualifications of an Overseer. Isn’t the President of the United States an Overseer of our nation? Let’s look at what the Bible says about their qualifications.

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

Let’s break this down a bit more. The person running for President will be overseeing a nation. The characteristic of an overseer is what I believe we should be seeking.

We should be looking for a well-respected leader who has a high moral standard. The man or woman will be a lover of God and respect God’s laws. They must be a person above reproach, sober minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, they must know how to manage well, they must not be conceited, and they must be able to lead in the most respectable way. This man or woman must also be able to stand firm and take a stand for what is honorable even when faced with potential war or threat of war.

These are all traits of an overseer taken from God’s Word. These characteristics are what we should be seeking in men and women who aspire to lead our nation. Although these traits were meant for overseers of the Church, we all should subscribe to them in order to live out our lives in a manner pleasing to God.

When you go to the Ballot Box, will you vote your faith or will you vote for the better choice, the lessor of two evils?

I would like to challenge men and women of God to run for public office and fill the Congress, Senate, and the White House with people who love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, who will take a stand for God as well as those who cannot stand for themselves.

I pray that God will raise up men and women who will run for public office and take a stand for the Lord’s laws. I believe that God can change our nation by having leaders who respect His ways and His laws.

I will leave you with this passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I pray that the people of our nation will do exactly that, from the top leaders down to the common laborer.

Copyright June 14, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We Are to Forgive Seventy-Seven Times

Many times, Christians forget what Jesus told us in Matthew 18:21-22. “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Seventy-seven times meant indefinitely. We are to forgive. The Bible says that we are to forgive, and it is referenced in the Lord’s Prayer. See Matthew 6:9-13, “9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread,12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

See verse 12. We are to forgive debts and the sins people commit against us. If we forgive, we likewise will be forgiven. But if we do not forgive, let’s see what the Word says a little farther in Matthew 6. See verses 14 and 15. “14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

There it is!!!  If we do not forgive others, our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. That is powerful and it speaks volumes. If we profess to truly love our Heavenly Father, we will also love our neighbor. But if we hate our neighbor, then how can one love God? 

How many times have you offended someone and then you ask and seek forgiveness and they say they forgive you but alienate you? That doesn’t seem like they have forgiven. It appears they have put up a wall or a boundary to where they might be trying to protect themselves from you. But if you are a loved one, that does not reflect the love of Christ to forgive. Certainly, if there is an unhealthy pattern, then all parties should seek a Christian counselor or pastoral counselor. But alienation does not solve the problem, nor does it allow for the other party to seek forgiveness from you or make amends.

Relationships can be very messy, but Christ Jesus gave us guidelines to live out our Christian lives to follow. I pray that if there are people who have broken relationships, seek the Lord and pray that God will forgive you of your part, then ask forgiveness of the party you have become estranged from. Jesus wants us to have healthy relationships through Him. I pray that you will seek forgiveness and offer forgiveness so that our Heavenly Father will forgive you.

Copyright June 10, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

As Believers, We Are Not to Forsake the Assembly

All of my life, I have heard preachers and teachers teach and preach on Hebrews 10:19-39. All of this teaching on the “Full Assurance of Faith” is excellent teaching material. There are three verses that have stood out from this teaching and that is taken from verses 23 to 25, which reads, 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Lets look at this a little more and unpack what this is saying. According to the notes found in the English Standard Version Study Bible, Verse 23, hold fast calls forth a faithful, unwavering embrace of the confession of our hope which is the Church’s assent to the teachings concerning Christ and His work. These teachings produce hope, for He who promised is faithful. We shall have confident hope in God’s promises which stems from God’s trustworthy character.[1]

In verses 24-25, “Let us consider call for serious thinking about other Christians with a purpose to stir up or provoke them in their love or service. Christian perseverance is therefore a community endeavor. We are to encourage one another in our assembly or church groups so that we will help to strengthen one another’s faith.”[2]

By strengthening one another’s faith through encouragement, this will help us to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ Jesus as depicted in Verse 25. We must not neglect to meet together as we can help build one another’s faith.

There is another Scripture that reads, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Cf. Proverbs 27:17). This means that in order to become better at what you are or what you do, another person can mentor a person that may not be as strong in the faith.

I am seeing a trend that many people are no longer attending church or even attending Christian meetings. This trend can set a dangerous precedent. We all have excuses, but are those excuses valid? For example, a new Follower of Christ who is won to the Lord but never gets engaged in a group of like-minded Believers may soon fall away from the faith because they are not being discipled or mentored.

Failing to attend church can leave a Christian without any support and they are stuck at potentially being a “Baby Christian” only having consumed the milk but never advancing their faith to where they are consuming the meat of the Gospel of Christ. The only way to be sharpened like iron is to be involved in a Bible believing group or church which is also known as an assembly, meaning group.

Failing to attend anywhere is not following the teaching of the Church and that is to encourage one another in their faith walk with Christ Jesus. My question to you is this, are you encouraging other’s in their walk with Christ? If not why? I pray that you will get involved in Church and make disciples who make disciples. This would be what Jesus would want you to do.

References:


[1] The ESV Study Bible, Crossway, 2008, p. 2378.

[2] Ibid, p. 2378.

Copyright June 7, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

I want to thank those who have served in the military as well as those who chose to serve as First Responders such as Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and Emergency Medical Technicians, who lay down their lives every day for our nation, states, local governments, and communities. Thank you for those who have paid the ultimate price, who died for freedom.

I used to be a First Responder. I was a police officer for almost ten years. My Field Training Officer and I were almost killed in the line of duty by a deranged and drunk gunman. We were pinned behind our police car and was unable to return fire. Thanks to our backup officers, the suspect was taken into custody after a brief gun battle. The gunfire was so fierce that I suffered a hearing loss in my right ear and gun powder burns on my face. Another officer was grazed across his forehead by a bullet fired from the suspect. That night, I literally thought I was going to die, but God had another plan.

As you spend time with your families today, think about those who have paid the ultimate price, that they died in the line of duty for protecting our nation and protecting Freedom! Today is not a celebration of cookouts and the beach. It is a day to remember those who have served in our military as well as those who have served as first responders. Pray for our nation that God would heal our land and forgive us of our sins. Pray for those who are serving and standing on that wall to keep us safe.

Copyright May 30, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lifeline

Most recently, my wife was hospitalized for a total hip replacement. She was admitted and had to be hooked up to monitors and oxygen. After a major surgery, the oxygen line as well as the IV for fluids and medication are like a lifeline to the patient. They administer lifesaving medications as well as help keep her oxygen levels up, after receiving anesthesia. These are necessary to help the patient recover faster.

In contrast, as Followers of Christ, our lifeline is Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, and prayer to our Heavenly Father. I cannot even imagine living my life without Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, who came into the world to save the world and not to condemn the world. (Cf. John 3:17)

Once one has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, He will fill you with His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will be your lifelong teacher and guide through God’s Holy Word. The Holy Spirit is also called the Comforter meaning that He will minister to you as you need it spiritually.

Faith in Jesus and the Holy Spirit is our spiritual lifeline to the Father. Living without Jesus is living a meaningless life that will end in physical death. But life with Jesus as the center will be an amazing life of godly experiences with the reward of eternal life after death.

Jesus is quoted in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”  Won’t you surrender your life to Jesus right now? Why not ask Him into your life today? 

Copyright May 18, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Social Media Posts: Are You the Light of the World?

Most people by now have at least a Facebook account. I see a lot of people posting all types of posts, from food recipes, hobby video’s, to political posts. People can get passionate about the latter. 

The things that we post most about might be reflective of what is going on in our own spiritual hearts. For instance, I used to attend a pretty large church in my area. There was a man that asked me to be his friend on social media, who was very vocal on Facebook. There were times that he would get so angry on Facebook that he would post some horrific responses which indicated that he was suffering from an unrepentant hateful attitude towards people who did not agree with him politically. He would respond back with some of the vilest comments using profanity. Yet he was an usher in church and he apparently wasn’t going to change. 

This type of behavior is not what a man of God would do. This man had a sin problem of the heart and needed emergency surgery by the “Great Physician” as soon as possible. Jesus can change his heart but the man has to want Him to change it!

Regardless of your politics, responding to others with cursing and vile statements does not show the love of Christ in one’s heart. Posting meme’s belittling others is not a good trait. Praising God one minute and cursing your neighbor in the next minute shows that Jesus is not active in your life. 

We have talked previously about loving your neighbor, but one cannot love anyone until they repent of their own sin and unrighteousness. How can you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and yet hate your neighbor? How can one go to church, lift their hands, and praise Jesus, and yet they hate Black people, White people, Jewish people, Muslims, or anyone different from themselves? 

The point is this, stop posting rhetoric that will cause others to sin and create divisions in the Church. If you call yourself a Christian, then be a loving Christian who loves Jesus with all their heart, soul, and mind, so then you can love your neighbor as yourself. 

Stop looking for a political candidate to save you from whatever. These people are just people. Many of them may claim that they are Christians, but do not have any fruit in their lives to prove that they are. Let me be clear, Donald J Trump is not going to save you from a burning hell. Joe Biden is not going to save you from a burning hell. There is only one man in history that came into the world to save the world and His name is Jesus. He is the only person that is the Son of God, who died for your sins, and he was buried in a tomb, and on the third day of death, He rose from the grave. Afterwards, he was seen by over 500 witnesses. It is recorded in many non-Biblical records of His resurrection. 

I ask you instead of posting memes making fun of others and posting political rhetoric, make the difference for the cause of Christ by encouraging others in their daily walks with our Lord and Savior. Pray and encourage others to follow the risen Savior. Show the love of Christ in everything you write in response to unbelievers posts. You never know, you may be the only person that causes one to turn their lives over to Jesus. 

I leave you with this passage from Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world! A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Copyright May 17, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spiritual Surgery

Have you ever been faced with a surgery in order to fix a broken part or organ in your body? I have and although the surgery was a success, the problem could possibly come back and you might need surgery again.

Most recently, my wife found out that she has to have a total hip replacement. She has one of the best doctors in the area operating on her. After, the surgery, she will be sore for a few weeks, but her body will heal, and she will be back to work. They say that this Titanium Hip will last 25 years. This is truly amazing.

In contrast, in our own lives, we may have heart trouble caused by a sin problem. If we were to accept Jesus into our hearts, He would send the Holy Spirit to come and minister to our hearts. Jesus would cleanse our hearts of all unrighteousness and save our souls from an eternity in hell.

Jesus is also known as the “Great Physician,” and He can heal us of all of our spiritual illnesses of the heart. He will perform spiritual surgery which will mold and make us into the men and women God has called us to be. Once we accept Jesus, He will cleanse our hearts. As we turn our lives and hearts over to Jesus, He will teach us how to live holy lives, that are acceptable and pleasing to Him through His Holy Spirit.

Let’s look in Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

When Jesus, the “Great Physician,” heals us and fixes our problems, He wants us to live our lives like Romans 12:1-2. We are not to be conformed of this world. I pray that you will find Jesus and make Him Lord over your life. Pray and ask Him to come into your life and into your heart and you will be changed forever.

Copyright May 16, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.