1. "I Suppose So"
If my mom called and asked, "Do you suppose Tuesday morning would be a good time to go shopping for Youth Jubilee supplies?" my response would probably be, "I suppose so." "Suppose" in this sense would be a positive, though not definite, answer. If there were thunderstorms and heavy rains when we awoke on that Tuesday morning then we would change our plans and go on a day when the weather was more obliging. I don't hear many people use the word "suppose" in this day and age, but there are examples of its usage way back during Bible times. And even though it can be used in a positive light, we will see as we look at some of those scriptures, there are times that "supposing" can be dangerous, even a matter of life and death.
2. Do You Suppose Everything You Hear Or Read Is True?
To begin our series we are looking at the only time "supposed" is used in The Old Testament. It is a sad story about King David, and three of his children. Absalom was angry at Amnon because of the awful sin he had committed against his sister, Tamar. After planning his revenge for two full years he decided to invite all his brothers to a feast. Since King David had several wives there were many present. When Amnon was drunk, Absalom had him killed and everyone fled in fear. News quickly got back to the King David that Absalom had killed all of his sons.
"30 And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
31 Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
33 Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead." (II Samuel 13:30-33)
The point we see in our devotional today is, don't suppose that everything you hear, good or bad, is true. This is especially important today. With our advanced technology we can research any type of information and have an answer immediately, but that does not insure that the answer will be totally accurate. The Bible is God's infallible Word, and we know it's true, but don't suppose that everything else you read or hear is one hundred percent true.
3. Do You Suppose Jesus Was More Than A Man?
I enjoy starting new themes for our devotionals, exploring scriptures, and putting our focus on learning more from God's Word. Today we will examine the most important "suppose" of this series. Do you suppose Jesus was more than a man? Your answer to this question can make the difference in where you will spend eternity. At Christmas we often try to remember that Jesus left heaven to be laid in a manger, a feeding trough, in a stable. What a place to lay a new born baby. But, that was not the only lowly thing about His birth. Luke tells about His birth in chapter two, and then in chapter three he tells of the beginning of Jesus ministry, and includes His genealogy.
"21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
24 Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,..."
God made it clear that Jesus was the Son of God, at His baptism. But look at verse 23, "...being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph..." For thirty years Jesus had been called the son of Joseph. Joseph knew the baby was not his. He knew the shame that would follow, and decided to put Mary away, but the angel of the Lord assured him that Jesus was God's Son.
"18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:18-21)
People that knew Mary and Joseph were not receptive to Jesus. "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." (Matthew 13:55-57) They supposed Him to be a man that was born before His parents were married and they were offended by His teaching. Do you suppose Jesus to be just a man, or have you trusted in your heart that He is the Son of God? "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." (John 3:16)
4. Do You Suppose You Are In The Presence Of The Lord?
Sometimes I have nightmares about losing one of my children. I wake up in a panic, thankful that it was just a bad dream. When Jesus was twelve years old His parents started back home from Jerusalem and went a day, supposing Jesus was with the group. I can only imagine their fear as they searched from place to place. They finally found Him in the temple.
"41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:41-49)
The part of this account that we are interested in today is found in verse 44, "But they, supposing him to have been in the company..." They started on the way back home and just supposed that Jesus was following along with the group. They went a day's journey, so I guess they came to a place to rest for the night and realized that Jesus was not with them. I wonder how many of us keep right on going, doing our own thing, and don't realize that we left the Lord behind. Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple where they left Him. I believe that tells us that if we can't feel His presence in our lives, we need to go back to where we left Him. Sometimes sin in our life can come between us and fellowship with our Savior, as in the story of Samson. He disobeyed God's law for his life and found himself betrayed by Delilah. "And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him." (Judges16:20) How sad. The Lord was departed from him and he did not even know it. Another example is found in the letter to the church of Laodicea.
"15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:15-20)
Because of the apathy of the church, Christ is standing outside the door, waiting for His children to open and invite Him in. How many churches today keep right on having their services, week after week, supposing that He is in their midst and He left them long ago? Let's not just suppose that He is with us. Let's get on fire for the Lord and have a burning zeal to be in His presence.
5. Do You Suppose You Are Worth More Than Others?
Jesus told a parable of a man that hired men to work in his vineyard, some early in the morning and more at different times throughout the day.
"8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?" (Matthew 20:8-15)
I think we can view this parable in two different ways. First, I think we can rejoice that we can have eternal life just as Peter, James, and John. They walked with Jesus on this earth and worked with Him and He promised them everlasting life. We are serving Him with many advantages they didn't have. We have the scriptures, and the Holy Spirit to guide us. Those who served Him under persecution, and we who serve Him in the last days, all will live together in heaven. We can also look at the thief on the cross, who believed on Jesus in his dying hour. "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43) Those who serve the Lord for a lifetime, and those who believe in Him on their death bed, all receive everlasting life. Next, I think we can look at the verse in a negative light. "But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny." (Matthew 20:10) I believe there are many today who lift themselves up in their own eyes and they suppose they are worth more than others. In Matthew 23:12 Jesus said, "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." James 4:10 also tells us, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." The Lord promised "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Revelation 22:12) I believe we will be surprised to see who receives the greater rewards in heaven.
6. Do You Suppose Bad Things Only Happen To Bad People?
There is a growing belief among some groups that God wants all His children to be healthy, with no sickness or pain, and wealthy, having all the material possessions they want. And if trouble does come along it is because they don't have enough faith. Today I want to look at what Jesus had to say as we ask the question, "Do you suppose bad things only happen to bad people?"
"1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-5)
Jesus used these two examples and said that those who died were not more sinful above all the rest. We also read in Matthew 5:45 where Jesus said, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." In the story of the blind man that Jesus made to see, I never understood the question asked by the disciples. "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (John 9:1-3) Unless they believed that the man had sinned in a previous life and been reincarnated how could they think he sinned so much before birth to be born blind? Jesus made sure they understood that his blindness was not a result of sin, from him or his parents. With all of these scriptural references, it is clear to see that sometimes troubles come to those who are faithful and true. In fact, I think Simon Peter made it clear in his writings that we will have trials and tribulations in this life. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" (I Peter 1:7) "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." (I Peter 4:12-13)
7. Do You Suppose Your Friends Understand Your Call From God?
The first mention we have of Stephen is when he was chosen to be a deacon of the early church in Acts 6:5. He was used mightily by God, until the leaders of the synagogue rose up against him.
"8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God." (Acts 6:8-11)
They accused him of teaching against Moses, so he took the opportunity and preached to them about Moses.
"22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not." (Acts 7:22-25)
Moses "supposed" that his people would understand that God would use him to lead them out of their bondage in Egypt, "but they understood not." Stephen continued through the history of the Children of Israel, right up to the time of Jesus, maybe "supposing" that they would understand his message, but they rejected in anger. They threw him out of the city and stoned him to death. There are times in our lives when we try to follow God's leading, supposing that our friends will understand and support us, and we are surprised that they don't understand. Even friends in our close Christian circles may question our actions when we step out in faith to answer God's call of service. I believe our message today is "Follow God." Listen for His still small voice, and don't let the doubts of others misguide you and get you off the path He has chosen for you.
8. Do You Suppose Those That Have The Most Are The Most Godly?
If someone composed a list of great men and women of our time it would probably consist of those who had great accomplishments, and most likely, those who were wealthy. Even in our churches we are prone to think that those who are "better off" must be blessed more because of their godly way of life. The thought that those who have the most money must be living right goes back a long way. In this section of Paul's letter to young Timothy, he is talking about teachers who don't teach the gospel of Christ according to godliness.
"5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." (I Timothy 6:5-8)
Look at his great contrast. He warns Timothy to withdraw from those "supposing that gain is godliness" and explains, "godliness with contentment is great gain." I have not attained great wealth in this life, and as old as I am, it doesn't look like I am going to, but I have great gain. Look at some of the promises I have through the scriptures.
I have everlasting life...
“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.” John 3:16
I have an advocate...
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” I John 2:1
I have a Father...
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:6&7
I have a Comforter...
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16 -17
I have my needs supplied...
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
I have a home prepared for me in heaven. (John 14:2-3) I have forgiveness and cleansing from all my sin. (I John 1:9) I have love, joy, peace, and hope in this troubled world. (Galatians 5:22 - 23) I have the Word of God, my church, Christian family and friends. I have mercy and grace and so much more! Yes, when I gave my life to Jesus, He gave me a whole new life!
9. Do You Suppose God Sees The Earth As One Big Happy Family?
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem the shepherds were watching their sheep on a hill side and the angels appeared to them saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14) Jesus taught the way of salvation, fed the multitudes, and healed the sick. As He made His final entry into Jerusalem, riding on the colt of a donkey, the whole multitude spread the way with palm branches, "Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." (Luke 19:38) Did the coming of the Lord bring peace? Look at the words of Jesus in Luke 12:51. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:" He brought peace to those who love God and accept His gift of salvation. He gives peace to the broken hearted who put their trust in Him. His coming did not bring peace to the world because the world did not accept Him. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." (John 1:11) And still today, with millions seeking peace, there is no peace without Christ. The idea that all the world is one big family of God and we all have an inner ray of goodness is wrong. There is no peace between Christians and people who worship other gods because we don't serve the same God. There will always be division between born again Christians and those who don't know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. We see the division in the world, and we also can apply it closer to home. Jesus went on to say, "For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." (Luke 12:52-53) We can even narrow the field down once more, to each individual. In Isaiah 57:21 we read, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." We can't have peace in our hearts and lives without the peace of Jesus Christ living within. But, once we confess our sin and trust in the Lord to forgive us and cleanse us, we have a deep peace that the world can't take away. Do you have that peace? With all the fighting and wars going on around us, we can still have peace within through Jesus Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. I close with these words of our precious Lord, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:26-27)
10. Do You Suppose We Have Obtained Our Purpose On The Sea Of Life?
The book of Acts is a book of action. Today I want to look at an episode in the life of Paul. I have underlined some of the words to emphasize their struggle against the storm in this exciting story from Acts 27:4-25.
"4 And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.
6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.
7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;
8 And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.
9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.
11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.
13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.
16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:
17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.
18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.
23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me."
Paul warned them of the dangers ahead, but they did not listen. They "supposed" they had "obtained their purpose..." "And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete." (Acts 27:13) Preachers and Christian people across America have taken a stand against sin, but the leaders of our nation have not listened. They suppose they have obtained their purpose in creating new laws which go against the laws of God. But, the storms are coming! And just as Paul was aboard the ship during this great tempest, if the Lord tarries His coming, we are all headed for some rough sailing. Paul warned Timothy of the last days, and I believe we are here.
"1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (II Timothy 3:1-5)
I like these Old Testament verses that took place after Joshua crossed over Jordan, ready to fight the giants of the land. "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?" (Joshua 5:13-14) I am so glad I know the Captain as we fight these battles on the raging sea of life.
11. Do You Suppose You Know All There Is To Know About Jesus?
I like the book of John. It is simple and easy to read with great truths. It begins with Jesus.
"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:1-5)
John gives the story of Nicodemus and the very familiar 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."
John also tells of the great "I am's" of Christ.
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9)
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep... I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." (John 10:11 & 14)
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" (John 11:25)
"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:46)
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)
John was very close to Jesus and referred to himself as "The disciple whom Jesus loved." (John 20:2) Not only did John begin his book with Jesus, and fill the pages with great spiritual truths about the Lord, He ended his blessed book with Jesus. "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." (John 21:25) John wrote what he could about his Lord and Savior, and admitted that the world could not contain all that could be written about Jesus. John went on to write three letters which are recorded in our Holy Bible. John was special, in that he was chosen to tell of things that are to come in the end of time. Yet, I suppose that even the book of Revelation is only a glimpse of things to come!
12. Don't Suppose Your Good Works Will Get You To Heaven
When I was growing up there was a moral code of ethics and people knew right from wrong. Those who did not choose to go to church, still had a fear and respect for God's house and God's law. I think that those who were deep in sin knew they were and they often thought they were too bad to go to heaven. The tides have surely turned. Now the lines are being broken defining right and wrong. People fight to remove "The Ten Commandments" and claim that you can't make laws of morality. Many feel that they are doing well on their own and see no need for God. I tried to witness to a co-worker when I was still employed and he was extremely insulted that I thought he was not good enough to go to heaven. He said, "You must think I'm a bad person. I don't hit my girlfriend. I don't drink too much..." And the list went on and on. I prayed and asked God to give me the words to help him understand, but in his eyes he was good enough on his own to go to heaven. There was another person that I have prayed many tears for and when I tried to witness to her she said, "I am not a bad person." There is a dangerous philosophy that says, "If my good outweighs my bad, then I will go to heaven." That is especially sad in this day and age because people don't see anything as being bad. They have been taught that "God is good", and He is, but they have neglected to realize that God is also a holy, righteous Judge.
"11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:11-16)
The Bible is very clear on the fact that we can't go to heaven on our own merit. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) One sin, or a million sins, sin is sin, and "the wages of sin is death." "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaish 64:6) We can't take our sin to heaven, so God gave His Son, Jesus to pay for our sin. But we must accept His gift of salvation and be clothed in His righteousness. Those who think that they are good enough to go to heaven are lifting themselves up to God's level of righteousness, and making themselves equal with God. The leaders of our land feel proud that they can change laws and give people freedom to make choices without having to think about the consequences. But God's Word does not change! And one day every knee shall bow before the Lord God Almighty and see how small man is before a holy God.
13. Don't Suppose That You Can Inherit Eternal Life From Your Parents
I can truly say like David in Psalms 16:6, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." My mother taught the children's Sunday school class when I was very young and I can remember her teaching my sisters and me the lesson on Saturday night with the flannel-graph pictures spread on the kitchen table. And one of the things I miss most about my Dad is hearing him pray. I have a great Christian heritage, and I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me so. I am even more thankful that one Sunday morning, as my grandfather was preaching on the rich man and Lazarus, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart and showed me I was a lost sinner on the way to hell. I asked to Lord to save me that day and my life was changed. It is great to bring our children up in church and teach them about the Lord, but we need to make sure they understand that they are not automatically saved just because we are. Let's look at the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-22.
"17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."
Matthew 19:20 tells us this was a young man. Since he had "great possessions" at a young age and considering the question he asked the Lord, it is quite possible that he had inherited his wealth from his parents. He ran to meet Jesus and kneeled to him and asked, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" Jesus loved him and tried to get him to see that he could not "inherit" eternal life. He would have to let Jesus be Lord and Master of his life and put his faith and trust in Him and not in his riches. I am afraid that our churches are filled with young people who suppose that they can inherit eternal life from their parents. They may have an interest in coming to church. They may try to keep the commandments, just as this young man did. But that is not enough to save them. As we mentioned yesterday, our good works can't save us. And today we add, our grandparents and parents can't save us. There is only one way to be saved. "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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:9, 10 & 13)
14. Don't Suppose Faith In Any God Will Save You
There is a dangerous misconception that all religions are the same. I heard a well-known person tell the world that it doesn't matter which god you believe in, as long as your faith is strong. It reminds me of the description of the Pharisees that Jesus used in Matthew 15:14, "...they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Others have ridulculed Christians because they believe that Jesus is the only way to go to heaven. I believe the Bible to be God's Holy Word and it tells me that there is no other god. Putting your faith in Jesus, as God's only Son, is the only way to find salvation.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
The very first commandment tells us not to worship any other god.
"2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:2-6)
All other religions serve a god that is dead. But, the God of the Holy Bible is the Creator of the universe. He is the only true and living God, that gave His Son to die for me. "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 God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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." (John 3:16-18)
"1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" (Psalms 8:1-4)
15. Don't Suppose There Will Always Be A Tomorrow
If you are reading these devotionals then I assume you are saved and know the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, or you have an interest in being saved. Maybe you already know that your good works can't get you to heaven. And you know that you can't inherit eternal life from your parents or grandparents. You probably also know that you can't buy salvation with money or wealth, or win salvation with popularity. You may even know that Jesus is the only way to salvation and faith in any other god is in vain. Jesus made the way to heaven by paying for our sin on the cruel cross. You can know all of these things in your mind but until you ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you of your sin and receive His gift of salvation, you are still lost. My thought today is for those who know how to be saved, and they even plan to be saved, but they want to live their life first. They think they can get saved when they are older and have had a chance to live the way they want to. But, the message today is, "Don't suppose there will always be a tomorrow." Each time the Holy Spirit convicts your heart and you say, "Not now" you are treading on dangerous ground. There may not be a next time. People die unexpectedly every day. Sickness and disease can take a life quickly, and car accidents take countless lives immediately. Another thing we need to think about is that the Lord has promised to return, and He always keeps His promises. He may come today, and then it would be too late for you. Please don't wait. Salvation is as simple as A, B, C.
Admit that you are a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
Believe on the Lord as the only way of salvation. "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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
Confess your sin and turn from your wicked ways. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9)
Why wait until tomorrow, when there may not be a tomorrow? "And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:" (Revelation 10:6)
"11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)