The Dangers of our Times

The Dangers of our Times!
Text: 2 Tim 3: 1-9

Introduction
The world we live in now is practically the END of the Age! Why? The Bible has given us a pointer of what to expect during the last days. Brethren, we are in the last days believe it or not!
All the pointers to times we are in now is itemised in the Bible, see particularly 2 Tim 3: 1-9.
Also 2 Tim 3:3-4 says “for the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”. 4“they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”.
As stated in the above scriptures, we are in the last days. How do we know this? The Bible explicitly made us to understand that the birth of Jesus Christ has ushered in the last days and what Christians should be looking forward to now is the second coming of our Lord Himself but prior to this, the Endtime events (see also Mat.24) must run its full circle. These events are what I call the dangers of the times we live in.
In this study, we shall look extensively at the teachings of various prophets both in the old and new testaments and that of our Lord Jesus Christ in shedding light to the events happening now in our world and its relevance to the coming of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

THE LAST DAYS
One of the characteristics of the “last hour” is the revealing of the Antichrist. Since the antichrist will be active during the tribulation period, we know that the last days will extend into the tribulation. Not only that, Apostle John identifies the time in which he was living as the last hour since “even now many antichrist have come”.

What is an “antichrist”?
The term antichrist is a combination of two Greek words; anti and Christos (or Christ). Anti is a preposition that has two meanings. The first meaning is “in place of”. Thus someone or something described as anti-Christ seeks to displace Christ and take His place as God or as the object of supreme worship or veneration.
The second meaning is “against”. Not only does an anti-Christ seek to take the place of Christ as god and object of supreme worship, he is also positively opposed to Christ and His people and program.
Many people and organisations have exhibited these characteristics throughout the history of the church, but during the tribulation a man will arise who will seek to take the place of Christ and oppose Him with such ferocity that he is called “the antichrist”.
Putting these things together, we can say that the last days extend from the birth of Jesus until His second coming at the end of the tribulation.
The last days will be dangerous and difficult times. “But we know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Tim 3:1). Believers will be persecuted and hated as we are witnessing in the our world today; “then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name sake” (Mt 24:9).
Another characteristic of the last days is that Knowledge will increase. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end, many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase” (Dan 12:4).

The condition of mankind in the last days:
This is described in the following verses of 2 Tim 3:13 “But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived”.
Also in 2 Tim 3:1-4 we told that men will be:
– Lovers of themselves
– Lovers of money
– Boasters – they exaggerate their accomplishments to impress men
– Proud – haughty, arrogant
– Blasphemous- they speak abusively, slanderously
– Disobedient to parents
– Unthankful
– Unholy –wicked
– Unloving- without family affection, they lack love for their families.
– Unforgiving – irreconcilable
– Slanderers- they promote quarrels, hoping to gain from them
– Without self control
– Brutal
– Despisers of good
– Traitors- whether to a country, an oath or someone in danger
– Headstrong – hasty, reckless
– Haughty –conceited
– Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
– Having a form of godliness, but denying its power.

Many within the church will depart, giving heed to deceiving spirits and demons. “Now the spirit expressly days that in the later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1 cf 2 Pt 2:2).
Men will exploit others and inappropriately enrich themselves in the last days. “Your {the rich} gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaot.” (James 5:3-4)

Encouragement for Living in the Last Days (Present Time)
The fact that the present universe (world) will be destroyed should spur us to:
– Holy conduct
– Godliness – a life of purity, respect and reverence
– Look for the day of the lord –waiting expectantly
– Hasten the day of the Lord – through prayer, godly living and witnessing
– Be diligent to be found by Him without spot and blameless (1 P3:11-12,14)

The fact that this present material world will be destroyed should cause us to:
– Be serious and watchful in our prayers
– Have fervent love for one another
– Be hospitable to one another
– Use our gifts to minister to each other. (1 Pt 4:7-11).

Where art thou?

“But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”” Gen. 3:9

Introduction
Genesis, means “beginning”. The beginning of physical universe, beginning of life forms, beginning of man.
Man, a special creation of God, formed from the dust of the earth and breathed into life. While other creation were spoken into existence.
Man has a special relationship to God above all other creations made in the image of God. In every man there is a touch of God, the capacity to know God and the capacity for fellowship with God.
As a result of the capacity to fellowship with God, man is able to hear God’s voice as He walked in the garden.

The Call of God
The call of God is both individual and universal. God calls in three principal ways:
1. In conscience
2. In providence
3. In revelation.
The call of God is to attention, recognition of God’s being and to reflection on our own place and position. It is a call which each must answer for himself and which each ought to answer without delay.

An important question: “where art thou?”

Where are you? Are you in God’s family or out of it?
When you are baptised, you are put into God’s family upon certain conditions : that you will do certain things, and it depends upon you how you live, because if you do not love God you cannot be God’s child.

Supposing you are one of God’s children, “where art thou?”
Near thy father or far from Him? Because some children are nearer to their fathers than others.
Mary and Martha were sisters, and they were both Christians, but one was much nearer to Christ than the other. Mary sat at Jesus feet, Martha was “troubled about many things”. If we delight to tell Jesus everything, then we shall be near God.

Are you in the sunshine or the shade?
If you follow Christ you will always be in the sunshine, because He is the Sun.

Are you in the path of duty? Are you where you ought to be?
The path of duty is a narrow path sometimes a steep path. God could say to many of us, as He said to Elijah, “what doest thou here? – thou are out of the path of duty.

How have you progressed?
The surest way to know that we get on is to be very humble. When the wheat is ripe it hangs down; the full ears hang the lowest.

Conclusion
The Christian ought always to be at his proper and assigned work. God fails not to mark every dereliction, to note every hour, every gift and power not given to the work of salvation.
The Christian ought ever to be in his proper place. He has his own place in the family circle, in the church of Christ, every sphere of Christian duty and enterprise, and in the world of guilt, misery, and ignorance around him.
The Christian ought ever to be in a state of mind to seek the divine blessing. Sin cherished or duty neglected, not only loses us the favour of God, but what is , if possible, worse still, robs us of the disposition to desire or seek it.
The Christian ought to be where he can meet God in judgment without fear.

What qualifies you as a disciple of Jesus Christ?

What Qualifies You to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

Text: John 8:31

A Disciple is defined as a follower of Jesus Christ. Those who continue in His teachings.

The true test of Christian character is to continue in the word of Christ despite all odds.

What are the odds that can work against us?

The temptations of Satan

The cunning of those that like in wait to deceive 

By the reviling’s and persecutions

The frowns and flatteries of men

When we continue in the Word of Christ and are faithful to it, it is an evidence that it has come with power and has a place in their hearts and that they are the true followers of Christ.

There are two types of disciples of Christ: 

A. The nominal: merely in profession and these sometimes draw back from him; discontinue in his word and go out from among his people which shows that they never were of them, nor are the true disciples of Jesus.

B. The genuine disciples of Christ continue in his gospel, hold fast to him, the head, and remain with his people; which to do to the end, is an evidence of their discipleship indeed. 

Now the question, are you a qualified disciple of Jesus Christ? 

How healthy is your soul?

 

Text 3 john verse 2

“Beloved, i wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth”.

From the above text, we have three kinds of blessings that are God’s will for man:

  1. Material prosperity
  2. Bodily healing and health
  3. Soul salvation

If anyone of these blessings was not the will of God, would it be the wish of this most beloved apostle?

If such blessings are the will of God for one man, they are for all men alike who have faith for them, because in the gospel there is no respect of persons.

But from verse 2, it is apparent that the person being addressed, the elder Gaius was not too well in the body. Since John wishes that his physical health might correspond to his spiritual vigour.

Would we want our physical condition to correspond to our spiritual? Is it not sadly true that we take better care of our bodies than of our souls?

That is why F.B. Meyer remarked: “It would not be desirable to express the wish of this verse to all our friends, because if their bodies were to correspond to the conditions of their souls, they would suddenly fall into ill-health”.

Gaius soul did prosper. John actually says that it prospered. The idea is that he was growing spiritually, growing stronger and stronger in Christ and in the fruit of the Spirit. He experienced the fullness of God day by day in:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Long suffering
  • Gentleness
  • Goodness
  • Faith
  • Meekness
  • Self control

Gaius, the church leader, prospered in that he experienced both abundant and eternal life. He knew God’s care and guidance everyday of his life.

John prayed for Gaius to prosper and to be in good health. In this case, John wanted Gaius to be prosperous, fulfilled and satisfied in all of life:

  • In his home
  • In his work
  • In his relationship
  • In his leadership
  • In his church

The prosperity of our soul ought to be our priority in our Christian walk not material substance that is not of eternal value. Though we live in a materialistic world we should set our priority as children of God and follower of Christ.

Let us remember Christ word that says we should not love the world nor the things in it thereof. Let us love our soul more than world pursuit.

What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lost his soul?

In conclusion, we should be praying for one another. We should be praying for success and joy in all of life. But remember: success does not mean money as much as it means joy, fulfilment and satisfaction.

Nothing can ever take the place of peace of heart and mind. And peace comes only through Jesus Christ.

As a responsible Christian, you should neither neglect nor indulge yourself but care for your physical needs and discipline your body so that you are at your best for God’s service.

God bless your soul.

 

 

Saving your life by losing it

Mark 8:34-35

The gospel benefits are solely on the basis of personal choice and meeting certain conditions.

The Bible say’s in 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”.

For us not to perish, we have the choice to either believe or not in Jesus work of salvation.

So also in Revelation 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say come. And let him that heareth say, come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”.

We have seen that enjoying the benefit of the gospel is a personal choice, and when you decide to, there are conditions to be met.

From our Bible text, Mark 8:34-35, verse 34 says “whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.

The condition to enjoying the benefits of the gospel is stated clearly in the text. We must deny ourself and take up the cross of Jesus! Then we can now follow Him wherever He leads us.  Following Christ regardless of the price even to death, not when it is easy, convenient, and popular.

Verse 35 says “for whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospels, the same shall save it”.

If you must be at home in heaven with Jesus, there are four things one must continually observe:

  1. Continue being willing to follow Jesus. Note verse 34, John 7:17; 12:26.
  2. Deny himself daily: what does it mean? It means renounce all self-dependence, self-interest and self-pursuit, which are contrary to God. Note Rom. 6:16-23, 8:1-13; Gal. 5:19-24; Col. 3:1-10.
  3. Take up the cross daily: Note v. 34; Lk. 9:23; Rom. 6:11-13, 8:12-13; Col.1:23, 2:6-7; 3:5-10.
  4. Follow Christ daily, not for a while. Note John 10:26-28.

From verse 35, Jesus made it plain that whoever saves his life at the expense of his conscience and refusing to do the four things mentioned above, he shall lose his soul. And when you lose or deny yourself to win Christ, you will save your soul.

What a man loses in this life because of his consecration to God and his daily denial of self will be repaid a hundredfold in this life with eternal life and an eternal inheritance in the world to come. Hear Jesus in Mat. 19:29, “and everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life”

To conclude, there is always the temptation to save our life – to live comfortably, to provide for the future, to make one’s own choices, with self as the centre of everything. There is no surer way of losing one’s life.

Christ calls us to pour out our lives for His sake and the gospels, dedicating ourselves to Him spirit, soul and body. He asks us to spend and be spent in his holy service, laying down our lives, if necessary, for the evangelisation of the world.

That is what is meant by losing our lives. There is no surer way of saving them.

Peace.

Why seek ye Christ?

 

John 6: 25-29

 

Arriving at Capernaum, they found Him there. They  could not  conceal their curiosity and asked Him when He had arrived.

Jesus answered their question indirectly. He realised that they did not seek Him because of who He was but rather because of the food which He gave them. They had seen Him perform a mighty miracle on the day before. This should have convinced them that He was indeed the creator and the Messiah. But their interest was simply in food. They had eaten of the miracle loaves, and their hunger had been satisfied.

What to Labour for:

Going further in the discuss, Jesus first advised them not to labour for the food which perishes.

The Lord did not mean that they should not work for their daily living , but He did mean that this should not be the supreme aim in their lives.

Satisfying one’s physical appetite is not the most important thing in life. Man consists not only of body, but of spirit and soul as well.

We should labour for the food which which endures to everlasting life. Man should not live as if his body were all. He should not devote all his strength and talents to the feeding of his body, which in a few short years will be eaten by worms.

Rather, he should make sure that his soul is fed day by day with the word of God.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” .

We should work timelessly to acquire a better knowledge of the word of God.

 

 

The works of God

Looking at man’s hypocrisy, they asked the Lord what they must do in order to work the works of God.

Man is always trying to earn his way to heaven. He likes to feel that there is something he can do to merit salvation.

If he can somehow contribute to the saving of his soul, then he can find a ground for boasting; and this is very pleasing to him. They pretend that they wanted to work for God, and yet they did not want to have anything to do with the son of God.

Jesus told them that the first thing they must do is accept the one whom God had sent. So it is today.

Many are seeking to earn their way to heaven by good works. But before they can do good works for God, they must first believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Good works do not precede salvation, they follow it.

 

The only good work a sinner can do is to confess his sins and receive Christ as Lord and savior.

God bless you.

The Promise still Stand

Introduction

In the Bible God gave us several promises which most have come to pass and some are yet to be fulfilled but will surely be fulfilled in due time.

In today’s Bible study, we shall be looking at two key promises of God. The Promise to send the Holy Spirit and Jesus promise to come back for us the believers.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Key text: Joel 2:28, Luke 24:49 and Acts 2.

God promised in Joel 2:28 that the time is coming when He will pour His Spirit on all the people.

When Jesus Christ was living, He restated the promise of the Holy Spirit in Luke 24:49 and this came to pass in Acts 2:1-21. The Holy Spirit filled the House and moved upon the 120 flowing out of their innermost beings like rivers of living water and they were both filled and baptised with the spirit.

This promise of the Holy Spirit still stands. If only we will make our hearts available to received it.

The Promise of Jesus second coming

Key texts: Mt. 24:4-8,42; John 14: 1-3

This is a promise of preparation

Jesus went away to prepare a place for us and though we don’t know when He will return, He promised He will come back for us.

We are looking for two future events to happen:

  1. The Rapture: Jesus will come in the atmosphere (air); believers will meet Him in the air. This is when Jesus claims His bride; it will be sudden and unpredictable (1Thes. 4:16-17).
  2. The second coming: Jesus will come to the earth with the church, His bride. The second coming will be proclaimed everywhere, as Scripture predicts (Rev. 1: 7; 14:1-20)

Finally, we will rule with Christ in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1). This will be our home forever. We will rejoice not for what is at this home but who is at this home with us.

Let us pray.

 

why Jesus Came

 

 

 

 

Why Jesus Christ Came

Text: John 3:16-20; 9:39: 12:47

Introduction

The Bible has long foretold the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Ever since the first generation of humans, Adam and Eve, sinned against God in there paradise; God has made a way to redeem man back to His intended place for him which is to live with Him in Heaven through Jesus Christ His only Son. Therefore the question why did Jesus come to the earth?

Jesus came to the earth for the following important reasons:

Firstly, Jesus came to save the world from the sin of Adam and Eve our grandparents, see Gen. 3.

The Bible explicitly made it clear that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Therefore to be saved from our sin we need to look unto Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation.

The Bible says for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice to save the world. Therefore anyone that receives Christ work on the Cross is deemed saved and free from all his/her sins.

Isn’t it a relief that there is a way back to paradise lost, the way of the Cross.

Secondly, Jesus came to be the light of the world, see John 8:12.

The world is in darkness through the work of sin and the only way to find your way back to God in this world of darkness is through the light bearer Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Light bearer; He says “I am the Light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.”

Since sin and its maker the devil proclaim darkness and puts people under total darkness, we can be free from the darkness of sin by following Jesus who came to bring the light of righteousness and sanctification to those who have decided to follow Him.

Following Jesus Christ makes us light bearers also, because He has said we shall have the light of life in us. Follow Christ therefore that you might be light to the dying world around you.

Lastly, Jesus came to stand as a stone of judgment for those who reject His work, John 9:39.

Jesus says “for judgment I am come into this world, that they which se not might see and that they which see might be made blind”.

Jesus came into this world as a giver of sight. Those that are blind by their sin and recognise themselves as sinners in need of a saviour are saved and restored back to God. But those that feel they are righteous in their own right and not in need of a saviour are made blind to the fact of their sinful state and their need for salvation.

Consider the story of the Pharisee and the Publican {Luke 18:10-14} and let the wise read and learn.

Jesus came that we might be saved and be in the good books of our father in Heaven. Let us seek Christ now that we still have the time and ability for there is no repentance in the grave.

God bless you.

 

Perseverance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endtime Christ Apostolic Church International

Bible Study

Topic: Perseverance

Text: Luke 18:1-8, cf Eph. 6:18

Introduction

God requires of Christians not only that they believe the gospel, but also that they persevere in living according to the gospel, regardless of the difficulties they meet.

How do we define Perseverance?

Perseverance can be defined as “persistence under discouragement and contrary pressure”.

Further, it can be viewed as “maintaining Christian faith through the trying times of life”.

Perseverance is proof of the genuineness of faith and leads to spiritual maturity (see john 8:31; Acts 14:22).

When Jesus called people to believe in him, He made it clear that he was calling them into a continuous relationship with Himself.

Belief involved more than just a momentary decision, it involved a life of following Him as a true disciple to the end (see Mk.8:34-38).

In one of His parables Jesus showed that some people profess to be believers, but later, by their lack of perseverance prove not to be (see Mk. 4:15-20).

The power of God helps in Persevering:

Christians are able to persevere because of the power of God working within them (see Col. 1:11).

In addition to giving His people the promise of his power, God demands that they exercise self-discipline and effort.

Christians must be on their guard and persistent in prayer if they are to endure firmly to the end (Lk. 21:36).

WHAT DOES PERSEVERANCE SHOW?

  1. It reveals genuine commitment – Neh. 4:6

Note: if God has called you to a task, determine to complete it, even if you face opposition or discouragement. The rewards of work well done will be worth the effort.

  1. It reveals genuine believers – Mk. 13:13

Note: to believe in Jesus and “endure to the end” will take perseverance, because our faith will be challenged and opposed. Severe trials will sift true Christians from fair-weather believers.

Enduring to the end does not earn salvation for us, but marks us as already saved. The assurance of our salvation will keep us going through the times of persecution.

  1. It reveals genuine faith – Heb. 3:6

Note: Because Christ lives in us, we can remain courageous and hopeful to the end. We are not saved by being steadfast and firm in our faith, but our courage and hope do reveal that our faith is real. Without this enduring faithfulness, we could easily be blown away by the winds of temptation, false teaching or persecution.

Conclusion

The outcome of Christian endurance will be the experience of salvation in its fullest expression at the return of Jesus Christ (Rev. 2:26-28).

In closing lets read 2 Tim. 2:11-12

This saying is trustworthy:
For if we have died with Him,
we will also live with Him;
if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He will also deny us.

What Art Thou Doing?

“What art thou doing, Christian?

Is it work for Christ thy Lord?

Art thou winning many sinners 

By the life, thy pen, thy word?

When the solemn question cometh,

What will thine answer be?

Can’t thou point to something finished? – 

Saying- “Lord, my work for Thee!”
“What doest thou in service?-

Art thou taking active part?

Are life and  tongue in earnest,

Outflow of loving heart?

Or art thou idly gazing 

While others toil and sow,

Content with simply praising

The earnestness they show?
What doest thou, redeemed one,

Child of a mighty King?

What glory to thy Father

Doth thy princely bearing bring?

If no one brought Him honour,

And no one gave Him praise,

To thee it appertaineth 

The paen-note to praise.

“What doest thou here?

Wherever Thine earthly lot be cast,

Oh, let each hour and moment

In gladsome work be passed! 

Here! Thou may’st win a crown,

Starlit and gem-surrounded,

To cast before the throne.”

By Eva Travers Poole.