A Word from the WORD about Suffering

Zambian Pastor's Bible

Zambian Pastor’s Bible

A Word from the WORD:
Reading 1 Peter this morning the Lord reminded me that suffering against sin is the struggle of our lives, as a believer, that we MUST go through to attain the glory that is our inheritance with Christ when He appears.

The theme of this letter to believers scattered all over the world is to “embrace” suffering in view of the GLORY to follow, if we stand firm in the Faith.

Salvation from the wages of sin was gained through the suffering of Christ. Salvation is not a one point in time event, other than its beginning, for us. Salvation embraces all of life past, present and future. Our spirit was saved the movement we believe when the Holy Spirit was given to us. Our SOUL is being saved daily as we walk in the Spirit overcoming the world, flesh and devil. Our bodies will be saved in the first resurrection guaranteed by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Peter (and especially Paul) teaches us that our present suffering prepares us for future glory (Romans 8:28). That future glory is at the parousia, the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He returns to establish His Kingdom on Earth. IF we suffer against the world, flesh and devil now we will experience greater glory to the glory of God then. (This is the PRIZE.)

Peter closes the letter with his expressed purpose for writing (by the Holy Spirit). He wrote to encourage the scattered saints to stand firm in God’s Grace to suffer with Christ now for future glory with Christ when He returns. Praise the Lord

The GIFT, the PRIZE, and the Judgment Seat of Christ

Each One will Give an Account

Each One will Give an Account

As a believer in Jesus Christ I have eternal life, period. Praise the Lord. It is a free GIFT received by faith alone, not works. I did not earn it and I do not deserve it, but by God’s grace it is available to all who will believe in, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. The faith formula is so simple that even a child can receive it. In fact, it is this kind of faith that does receive the gift of eternal life. There is no theological education required,  no promise of faithfulness on our part. BELIEVE in Christ and you will RECEIVE his Eternal Life freely, with no strings attached.

Jesus saves all who believe in Him, our past, our present and our future (body, soul and spirit). When I believe my spirit is “born again.” The Holy Spirit regenerates my dead spirit. I am now alive in Christ. As I live the Christian life and submit to the Holy Spirit I experience salvation from the Power of sin. He is saving my soul daily as I walk in newness of life. In the future, at the resurrection, my body will be saved. This is guaranteed by Christ’s down payment of the Holy Spirit. I will receive a new incorruptible body like the Lord Jesus’. Yes I will be saved completely, body, soul and spirit. What an incredible gift!

Once saved we are reminded NOT to sin. Paul asks rhetorically in Romans 6, “now that we are saved from eternal death should we keep on sinning since grace is all abounding?” The answer is, “Of course not!” But the problem is we DO sin (1 John 1:8). This is why most of the Scriptures were written, to exhort believers not to sin and the consequences of sinning against our heavenly Father, our crucified and risen Savior Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

The Apostle John tells us that he wrote his first epistles so that we would not sin, 1 John 2:1. The New Testament is replete with exhortations and challenges for us to remain faithful to Christ, to abide in Him, to hold to our confession of faith in Him and to persevere to the end. The reason for these exhortations is because there is a PRIZE to be won, an inheritance to be realized, and much that can be lost.

This Prize consists of glory and honor with Christ (Romans 8:17) and “reigning with Him” in the Millennial Kingdom (2 Timothy 2:12), called the “Sabbath Rest” in Hebrews 4:9-13. It can also include the receiving of “Crowns” for faithfulness. Most of all, it means hearing the Savior say, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the JOY of the LORD.” The opposite of winning the PRIZE is to suffer shame and loss (1 John 2:28, 1 Corinthians 3:15) and being disqualified from the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

The GIFT is free and the PRIZE is earned. Both are attained by faith, The Gift by simple faith without works, and the PRIZE by persevering faith that works. (Compare Romans 4 and James 2)

The PRIZE will be determined/revealed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. ALL believers will appear before this BEMA Seat and it is here that we will be “recompensed, paid back, given our just wages” according to what we have done in our flesh, whether good (faith/obedience) or bad (without faith/disobedient). (1 Corinthians 3:10-17; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; James 2:11,12)

Yes siree, little children, there is a Day of Judgment for all believers. Peter reminds us that “judgment begins in the house of the Lord.” God is just! He will not destroy the wicked for their sin and wink at our sin committed after we have been saved from the wrath of God by the Blood of Christ. He disciplines us while we are living this “Christian” life so that we should live holy, but if we do not respond and continue to rebel there is a final judgment for us as well, The Judgment Seat of Christ. “If we judge ourselves correctly (NOW), we will not be judged (for these things LATER). 1 Corinthians 11:31

SO, how do we prepare for the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is a serious matter and one that should consume our daily living. Our God is a “consuming fire.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. “And there is nothing hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

  • BE SERIOUS about the Christian Life. Be a disciple maker. We are ambassadors of Christ and He is holding us accountable for our representation of Him, whether good or bad.
  • BE DILIGENT about living an obedient life. Obey the Scriptures. This is the will of God.
  • Have a CLEAR CONSCIENCE. HOW? 1. Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21, Hebrews 13:17). 2. Avoid deliberate/willful sin (1 Thessalonians 5:22) 3. Confess sin as soon as you are convicted (1 John 1:9). 4. Make restitution if possible (Matthew 5:23, 24).
  • COVER your many unknown and unconfessed sin by being Christ-like in acts of mercy (Hosea 6:6) by being forgiving (Matthew 6:12-15), by being loving (1 Peter 4:7-8), by being merciful in judgment (Matthew 7:2) and by caring for others by meeting physical needs (Matthew 12:1-18, 2 Timothy 1:15-18) and their spiritual needs (Matthew 9:9-13, James 5:19-20).

I can’t speak for you, but I know that I will need a lot of “extra” mercy at the Judgment Seat of Christ. In my rebellion there are many sins I have not confessed and have subsequently forgotten them. Jesus will not forget. In my fleshly ignorance I have sinned and not even known it. I’ve said and done things that have injured others and I am oblivious. These will be revealed when I stand before the One with whom I have to do. I will need mercy. There will be NO excuses.

So, if I want mercy then I must be merciful now to others. I need to remember to be careful in my judgment of others now, because it is by this same standard that Jesus will hold me accountable on that great and terrible day.

The Bema Seat is where all believers will give an account for their faith and faithlessness, for obedience and disobedience. God is just. Our God is an Awesome God. If the righteous are scarcely saved, what will be the end of those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Get Ready Now because “Here comes the Judge!”

Here is some suggested reading for more study besides your careful study of the Scripture.
“Reign of the Servant Kings” and “Future Destiny, the Future Reign of the Servant Kings” both by Joseph Dillow
“The Judgment Seat of Christ” by Samuel L. Hoyt
“The Kingdom of God Visualized” by Ray Baughman (Abe Books)

Shining the Light of Jesus in INDIA

Praying with believer

Praying with believer

 

Today I had the incredible privilege to visit the believers in a village church in Andhra Pradesh. These former Hindus have given their lives to Christ and are willing to suffer persecution for the name of Christ. Christians, especially pastors, are beaten for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for your brethren around the world where it truly COSTS to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The cost of discipleship is death. How many of us who call ourselves Christians have truly died to ourselves, our wants, all that we are?

Please remember to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Salvation is free but the cost of being a disciple to earn the rewards of Glory is TOTAL COMMITMENT. We Western believers need to step up and stop worrying about our comfort and get into the game, the real game, not the Super Bowl.

God Saves and Heals today!

Testimony from District Leader Sinoya Sakala, Hope Builders Ministries
Submitted by Jeff Hawkins, Zambia Coordinator, Hope Builders Ministries

Pastor Sinoya Sakala

In mid December 2010 I was approached at home in the evening by a woman in her forties who was in tears. After introductions, she narrated her ordeal to me while sobbing. Her husband George, had recently been employed by a company as a metal fabricator. When prospects were looking brighter, George became very ill. (His bowels were coming out.) He could not sit upright but could only lie down on a couch or bed. The local clinic could not cure him of this malady. (This is not uncommon. There are very few doctors or adequate hospitals and NO health insurance.)
So she had come to me for prayers. I asked her if she knew and believed in Jesus Christ. I discovered from her answers that she was a religious person who believed in salvation by works. She and her family worship at the New Apostolic Church. She professed her faith in Christ after sharing the gospel of Christ with her. Thereafter I prayed for George in absentia. I went visiting with the family the following day. I shared the gospel with George too. Who subsequently professed faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Two days later, George was completely healed and able to get up and move about.
I am currently discipling the couple from their home
Indeed Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. May he alone, be glorified and praised. Amen.
SINOYA SAKALA
HBM DISTRICT LEADER-LUSAKA Rural
Pastor Sakala is a Bible scholar, discipler of pastors, church planter, apologists and evangelist. We thank the Lord for this man of God. He graduated 14 men last July from our 3 year Calvary Academy. He presently has another class of 10 HUB pastors in training.
Your gifts to Zambia enable Hope Builders Ministries to support this brother in training and equipping men who are called to be pastors but are not able to receive training in colleges.
Jeff Hawkins is the Zambia Coordinator with Hope Builders Ministries. www.hope-buildersministries.org
Jeff’s website: www.himafrica.com