I’ve been reading and thinking quite a bit lately about the single most important “thing” in this life,and most certainly the life to come. This “thing”,for lack of a better term, is “Salvation”.

“Salvation”. No matter how you describe what happens at the end of this life,every Christian has this hope within them that by the grace of God they will be…

  • SAVED
  • REDEEMED
  • RESCUED
  • SPARED
  • RANSOMED

Call it by whatever name you, your church, or your denomination calls it. The meaning is still the same.

Abiding within the Christian is a promise from God who cannot lie that we are going to be saved.Awaiting us is a new home in Glory,and an eternity that will be spent in His presence. Never again will our bodies suffer disease.Pain will be a thing of a past that we will no longer remember.

For the rest of eternity we will never know the heartbreak of a loved one going on before us. Every tear shall be wiped away,for in that place of eternal joy there will never be another tear of sadness or grief shed.

Sounds great,doesn’t it? So how do I get this Salvation?

Well, it cannot be earned or bought with money. You can never do enough good deeds to receive it. No one else can get it for you. It’s something that millions,perhaps billions have attempted to gain but in spite of their best efforts to buy it,earn it,or steal it have fallen short of the mark.

No friends,this Salvation is made possible because of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the Cross. In other words,the price has already been paid.Now if that isn’t the best news you’ve ever heard!!!!

So how can you know that this is real and not some made up tale from long ago? How about we search the scriptures for some proof?

The apostle Peter delivered quite a message to the chief priests,rulers,and scribes the day after he and his fellow disciples had been imprisoned for teaching the people about Jesus. In this message,which I have included below, Peter spells it out very plainly in whose name comes this salvation I am speaking about.

Acts 4:1-12…

1:And as they spoke to the people, the priests, and the temple commander, and the Sadducees came on them,
2:  being grieved that they taught the people, even to announce through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3:  And they laid hands on them and put them under guard until the next day, for it was already evening.
4:  But many of those who heard the Word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
5:  And it happened on the next day that their rulers and elders and scribes, gathered to Jerusalem,
6:  and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest.
7:  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name have you done this?
8:  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and elders of Israel,
9:  if we are examined today on a good work for an infirm man, by what this one has been healed,
10:  be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in this name does this man stand before you whole.
11:  This is the Stone which you builders have counted worthless, and He has become the Head of the Corner.
12:  And there is salvation in no other One; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.   Emphasis mine

Well there you have it friends. Salvation comes from Christ and Christ alone. No other name that has ever been spoken can save you except Jesus Christ. Praying to or calling upon any other is futile.

Christ, and Christ alone…..

Romans 10:9-10
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Be blessed,

Ron

That’s what someone told me last night as I was watching the sunset on the beach. I had just commented to a lady who worked at the restaurant and had stopped working to gaze at the sun setting that it seemed kind of silly for a bunch of grownups to be so excited about watching it.Cameras,cell phones,even video cameras set up.People scrambling to get the best spot to take that once in a lifetime shot.I mean,the sun setting happens on a pretty regular basis doesn’t it? You’d think these people had never seen a sunset the way they’re acting!

That’s when the lady turned to me and said “You’ve never seen this one”. Honestly,I was stunned at her reply,or maybe it was that her reply stunned me back to reality.You see, it’s been pointed out to me recently that I am so busy and so consumed with my work that I am no longer a participant in life,but merely an observer. OUCH!

That dear lady had never seen me before yet she did not hesitate to point out to me the various shapes of the clouds and innumerable colors that all but seemed to set the sky on fire.Funny what you miss when it’s often right in front of you, isn’t it?

I’ve thought a lot about that,not being a participant that is. Going through the motions and all.And you know what? It is 100% true. I’ve been going through the motions at such a pace and for so long that I have all but let life leave me behind.Wow!

Life passes us by pretty quickly doesn’t it? Everywhere you turn it seems we are consumed with ourselves to the point of not even realizing that there are others all around us longing for just a little bit of our time and attention.Thinking of that brings this scripture to my mind:

James 4:14 (NKJV) whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

I don’t know about you but that’s a very sobering thing to comprehend.We do not have long upon this earth and as good stewards of the time we’ve been given, why should we sit on the sidelines?Why shouldn’t we be an active participant of the life God has blessed us with?

All of this has given me a renewed sense of the magnitude of blessings that have been given to me.Where sometimes I get so distraught when I’m faced with defeat the better choice is to remember that in the big picture I have won far more than I have lost.

Oh, and that sunset on the beach? This is what I’m talking about….

??????????

And for the record, I was among the ones jockeying for position with all the other “tourists”.

Be blessed,

Ron

“No Man Cares for My Soul”

Posted: November 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ron Whited:

I’ve heard this message many times and felt it necessary to share. May our Lord break our hearts once again and place us upon the Potter’s wheel to mold and shape us into something He can use to reach others.

Originally posted on The Hope Blog:

This below was originally posted in August of 2013. My friend Teeky in the UK put up the attached video in conjunction with the Sanctuary Conference they held that year. I listened again to the audio of the pastor speaking, and all I can say is, yes. This is the entire root of our problems among Christians who are content to carry on without real love for anybody but themselves. This is it. Here’s the post from 2013:

Since posting on the subject of the love missing among Christians, I have heard from several people who are really hurting. One woman in our area has health problems that now keep her from her large, bustling Baptist church that she had been a part of for years. In the several months that have passed since she has had to stop attending church, not one on the large pastoral “team” has bothered…

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Our God is an Awesome God!

Posted: November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

There’s nothing like contemplating the vastness of the ocean to get me thinking about just how big God must be. Of course,our finite minds cannot being to comprehend this but still I can’t help but wonder about the power necessary to create something like this:

DSCN3477

Sitting on the beach taking this all in,I am reminded that we serve a God who is big enough to handle any problem I bring to Him.Nothing takes Him by surprise and it is impossible to escape His love for mankind.

No matter how puffed up I may become or dare to think I am above reproach,the vastness of the sea reminds me that I am as but a speck of sand in the grand scheme of things!

1st Chr 29:11

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Be blessed

Ron

Or are we reaping the effects of man’s efforts to replace God with himself? A world where God is largely ignored and man is in control.

When I was a kid I used to hear the older folks use the expression”this world’s gone to hell in a hand basket”. Back then I used to laugh at such a notion as if it were merely the musing of yet another old fogy whose time has come and gone.

You know what? I’m not laughing anymore.Turn on your TV to watch the aftermath of yet another school shooting and see if you don’t think that civility and order have spiraled out of control.Wars and rumors of more wars.Innocents being slaughtered by the thousands by marauding bands of extremists hell bent on the creation of an Anti-Christ nation where your only choices are submit or die.Lies being told so often by the highest office of governments and corporations that we scarcely even recognize the truth any longer.Right has become wrong and wrong is the new right.Chaos has become the new rule of the land.

And the church remains strangely silent.Oh,we have our “causes” to be sure.I see more participation from churches in the latest effort to raise money for “name the disease” than I do for those who are suffering all across the world.Our churches have become nothing more than social clubs where community organizers attempt to put their spin on the ills of society so they can implement yet another program,thus making the word of God of no effect whatsoever!

Satan has orchestrated his master plan to perfection-and the church remains silent!The early church leaders were accused of trying to turn the city upside down with the gospel of Jesus Christ.Contrast that with the church today that refuses to confront sin but rather has chosen to lie in the bed of adultery and fornication with the devil himself.The new religion of today has at it’s cornerstone the gospel of political correctness which has in turn silenced the church.

Call me delusional,crazy,or whatever else you want to call me but one thing’s for sure and that is we as a society are headed for the darkest period in our history. And for the most part the church is silent. Where is the outrage from the body of Christ? Where are the preachers taking a bold stand and declaring what thus saith the Lord? How is it even possible that the church has backslidden so far that it cannot feel for the lost and desperate? Is this the church that was started in a upper room 2000 years ago? Surely Satan must be celebrating the silence emanating from our pulpits!

The scriptures are very clear about this.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Does this not perfectly describe the society in which we live today? On an even broader scale it perfectly describes the world as a whole! Wait…let’s take it up another notch and boldly declare that these verses of scripture might as well be referring to the church!

We have a form of godliness, and that’s about all we have. We have no power,for to receive power we must reject this world system but instead we have joined ranks with it! Indeed, the church has become no different than the world,for they have become inseparable.

It is unfathomable to me that anyone could read these scriptures and not be able to connect the dots.Every single trait mentioned in these few verses perfectly sum up the condition of man’s heart today! We cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t so…the Word of God does not lie.

The church has become one with the world that we are called out of! We have become so lukewarm as to be in danger of being cast away!

I don’t know about you,but I have made my choice.I will not follow the paths of the “religious” who seek to pacify the sinners heart with feel good stories and dreams of grandeur.I refuse to entertain the goats while the sheep die of neglect.I’m going to declare the Word of God while I am still able to do so for the days are not too far off when this privilege will be taken from us.

A World Gone Mad? Or a world reaping the effects of man’s efforts to replace God with himself?

You tell me!

Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NKJV)
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:
2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.”
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

I’ve written before about the potter’s wheel from the perspective of our heavenly Father molding and shaping us into the vessel He has ordained that we should become.I think all of us understand that this molding and shaping is all part of the overall process called LIFE and that we will never be a completed vessel this side of heaven.

Now I’d like to take another look at this potter’s wheel, a completely different approach to this shaping process.For example; how do we start out on this potters wheel?

The truth is that we all start out exactly the same.In fact, it doesn’t matter what your social status is,what your family’s last name is, or what church(if any)that you come from.No,the potters wheel is the great equalizer of us all.To put it bluntly, we all begin as the same lump of humanity in desperate need of a divine makeover.

For all of the matchless benefits of grace,for all of the times we have been forgiven,for every time we stood in need of an eternal advocate to plead our case before a Holy God,the truth is that Almighty God is a perfectionist and even a slight imperfection is one too many.

Almost is never good enough with Him.

Close may be acceptable in horseshoes and hand grenades but it just won’t cut it with God.

And let us praise His mighty name for this because you see if close was good enough,we might all be walking around as marred vessels with no hope of ever being all that the Lord had planned for us. Yet because of His perfectionist ways we are placed back on that wheel time and time again,ever being shaped into more than we ever thought we could be.

And lets be honest here shall we? This wheel can be painful and it can be lonely.It is often a wheel of rejection and hurt,of desperation and endless tears.Yet without this wheel we will never be a completed vessel.

Does this mean that God demands that we be perfect? No it does not,even though there are many examples in the New Testament that speak to our becoming perfect(this speaks to the condition of the heart,but that is for another post!).

Our perfection can only come from above,we cannot attain it in and of ourselves.If that were possible then has Christ died in vain and we are eternally lost in our sins.

A Lump of Clay? Maybe so, but that is just the beginning of the process.There is much more to come and the end result will be a vessel that will bring glory to God and not ourselves.

My prayer is that we will allow the Master Potter to perfect His work upon the wheel and that we will endure the process with love,humility,and patience.After all,if a diamond starts out as an ugly lump of coal before it is transformed into a beautiful jewel,how much more shall this lump of clay be miraculously transformed into something that the God of heaven can use for His glory!

Ron

I’ve been thinking about a gospel song from many years ago entitled “Jesus built this church on love”. In case you’ve never heard the song here is a sample of the lyrics:

“Do you ever just get to wonderin’/ ‘bout the way things are today?/ So many on board this gospel ship/ Trying to row in a different way/ If we’d all pull together/ Like a family me and you/ We’d come a lot closer to doin’/ what the Lord called us to do.

Chorus: “Jesus built this church on love/ and that’s what it’s all about/ Trying to get everybody saved/ not to keep anybody out…”

What got me to thinking about this old song was the simple message of the song title itself. “Jesus built this church on love”…

The more I keep thinking about those simple words the more obvious it becomes that Jesus actually did build His church on love. Or at least that was His intention until we got in the way and decided we knew a better way to build a church. Notice the difference there?

Jesus said He would build His church. We the church of today want only to build “A” church. I wonder how well we’ve done in building “A” church?

Jesus did NOT build His church on the things that we all too often stumble over.For example Jesus did not build His church on a particular denomination. Shocking isn’t it? Especially to those of you who love to espouse your denomination’s doctrinal positions above the word of God!

Neither did Jesus build His church on a foundation of rules and regulations. Sorry legalistic Christians, if it isn’t in the Bible you’ve went too far!

Oh, and lest I forget, Jesus did not build His church upon the traditions of men that dare attempt to usurp the authority of Christ on earth.

Nope. In it’s most basic,simplistic fashion the church of the Living God was built on love. The love of Christ for a sinful world. A love so deep that One would dare give His own sinless life in order to become the very foundation of this church.

If Jesus built this church on love….then where is it?

Where in the world is the love that the church was built upon?

Where is the love for one another within the body of Christ? From where I sit on the front row of the church I see a famine in the church.I hear all the right words. I listen to songs about the love of God. I hear sermon after sermon filled with words about love.

But I don’t SEE much of it. What I do see is this:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. James 1:22-24

I hear hearty “Amen’s”. I see heads nod in affirmation at the call to love one another. Hearers of the word abound! After all, if all we ever do is hear the word and never act upon it…it costs us nothing!!

So what does the Bible have to say to us about loving one another?

John 15:12 (NKJV)
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:17 (NKJV)
These things I command you, that you love one another.

Romans 12:10 (NKJV)
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

1 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV)
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

1 John 4:11-12 (NKJV)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

Seems to me we ought to be all about the doing when it comes to loving one another and not just be content witn hearing about it.

Yes, Jesus built His church on love.

But if we’re not careful we will dismantle it with our lack of true love for one another.

Ron