Let Us Stop Asking God to Live in Our Lives and Instead Live in His

Why do we ask God to come and live in our lives?  We should be accepting His invitation to come and live in His.

It is in Him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  It is He who fills the heavens and the earth (Jeremiah 23:34; Ephesians 4:10).

Where can we go from His Spirit?  Where can we flee from His presence?  (Psalm 139:7).  He is everywhere!

We should therefore come to the light that our deeds might be manifested as having been wrought in God (John 3:19-21).

All things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).  We endure when we continually see Him who is unseen (Hebrews 11:27).  The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3).  The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the whole earth that He may show Himself strong to those whose hearts are completely His (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Let us walk in this light – the light of His abiding and watchful presence.  If we do not, darkness shall surely overtake us.

For more, see Practicing the Presence of Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Why Do We Act as if the Inheritance Is Ours?

Jesus told a parable of a vineyard that had been rented out to growers by the owner (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19).  The owner’s son came to collect his portion of the harvest but the growers said, “Let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours.”  This is how we have treated God.

God created this world in which we live.  He placed us here to tend it on His behalf.  Yet we are constantly “killing” His presence in it.  That is, we act as if He’s not around.  We have these places called churches to which we restrict His presence.  Otherwise, we act like the inheritance is ours.

It is long past time that we should acknowledge Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:6).  We should stop immediately acting as if He is distant or absent.  This earth is His, including all that is within it (Psalm 24:1).  Jesus Christ has come again – let us act like it.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Compare Yourself to Christ…and to No One Else

When you try to decide if you are moral enough, to whom do you compare yourself?

Do you think you are more moral than the average person?  Even if you are, that doesn’t mean a thing.  In the first place, you cannot see into the hearts of others so you really don’t know how moral others are or aren’t when it comes to the heart of the matter.  And, even if you did, it wouldn’t matter.  Christ is the one against whom we are judged.  We are meant to compare ourselves to Him, and to become more like Him.  He is the plumb line (Amos 7:7-8; Zechariah 4:10).

Look every day to Christ as your standard for how a human life ought to be lived.  God did not become a human being so that we might merely admire how well He handled the task, but to become an example for us as to how to live in this world.  Therefore, we should no longer live for the desires of our hearts…but we should live instead for the desire of His heart – which is righteousness through and through.  That is, morality in every thought, word, and deed.  We are to be perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5:48).  Nothing less will do.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Churchgoing Is About Relating to People – Not to God

Churchgoing is not a divine experience – it’s a human experience.

Churchgoing is about building a relationship with people – not with God.

Churchgoing is a perversion of the kingdom of God.  The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Church Is Not the Answer; Christ Is

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Go to Christ Instead of Church

You can only go to church when you are not going somewhere else.  You can go to Christ no matter where you go.

Going to Christ means living unto Christ.  As Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ”  (Philippians 1:21).  Christ is our world.  In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Church is an enormous limitation of God.  It is like the high places in Israel.  It makes God into an idol.

Christ is over all, through all, and in all (Ephesians 4:6).  Let us therefore seek to serve Him with every breath we take – not with periodic attendance at church.

How to Be in the One True Church (This is not a church you go to – it is a church you are.)

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

If You Would Follow Christ, Do Not Try to Follow a Hydra

Christ is One.  He is not one head of a three-headed entity.

Christ sends His Spirit to those who love and obey Him.  The Holy Spirit is your connection to the one true God:  Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Hydra of mythology had nine heads, while the Trinity has only three.  But even three is two heads too many.  Christ is one.

You cannot obey a multi-headed entity.  Obey the One who we have been told to obey:  Christ.

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

If You Would Follow Christ, Do Not Follow Anyone Else

Christ is King.  He dwells in the unseen realm, ruling over all that can be seen and all the cannot be seen.

If you would follow Him, you must keep your attention focused on His loving and righteous gaze.

Here are some passages which will help you “see” the unseen God:

2 Kings 2:10

Psalm 123:1-2

Isaiah 45:15

John 20:29

2 Corinthians 4:18; 5:7

Hebrews 11:1, 27; 12:1-2

1 Peter 1:8

As you look for His approval, you will not need the approval of people.  If you find yourself seeking the approval of people, it will mean you have lost your focus on pleasing Him (Galatians 1:10).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

How Sanctification Differs Between the Church Age and the Kingdom Age

Yesterday’s post distinguished the church age from the kingdom age.  The post from the day before talked about sanctification.  This post will look at those two ideas in light of each other.

In the church age, a believer’s family was sanctified through the faith of the believer (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 7:14).  Yet, in the kingdom age “a man’s enemies shall be the members of his own household” (Matthew 10:36; Micah 7:6).  Of course, you must always remember that Jesus’ kingdom teaching is that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).

In the kingdom of God, He looks at every individual heart and deals with us appropriately.  In the days of Israel, He had to work through that nation.  In the days of the church, He worked through those groups and gatherings.  But in the kingdom of God, He is able to deal directly with every single individual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Church Age Is Over; We Live in the Kingdom Age

The church age is the time covered by the New Testament.  More specifically, it is the time from Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven until the time He came again in glory (Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again).  Since that time, the kingdom of God has reigned.  Thus, we live in the age of the kingdom of God, and, since it is an eternal kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7), we always will.

The Bible also refers to this time as “the day of the Lord,” “the day of Christ,” “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” “the day of Christ Jesus,” and sometimes just as “that day.”

For this reason, we should be:

Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church and Practicing the Presence of Christ.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Be Sanctified by the Spirit and Not by the Flesh

In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul encourages believers to sanctified by the Spirit.  We should seek the same today.

Unfortunately, by churchgoing, believers seek to be sanctified (that is, set apart) in the flesh.  In other words, they divide the world into churchgoers and everyone else.  This is sanctification according to the flesh and it does no good.  Does going to church protect you from sin?  Hardly.  If it did, churchgoers would be demonstrably more moral than everyone else.  It’s pretty clear they are not.

Can we separate ourselves from sinners by going to certain physical locations where they cannot be found?  Hardly.  For when we go there, we will find ourselves.  We should be seeking instead to remove the sin from ourselves (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

How do you sanctify yourself in the Spirit?  Acknowledge that all things are open and laid to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).  Cleanse your heart of all impure thoughts.  Love God and love others with every single thought…and let God find you in that state (2 Peter 3:14).  Then you will be truly sanctified by the Spirit.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Saints Were to Gather to Each Other Until They Gathered to the Holy One Himself

Hebrews 10:25 instructed believers in that age to assemble together as they saw “the day drawing near.”  What was that day?  The day of Christ, the day of the Lord.  What would happen in that day?  They would be gathered together to Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).  However, only those who were sanctified would be gathered to Him.  The rest would not see the Lord when He came (Hebrews 12:14).

Thus, believers in New Testament times were told to gather to each other until they were gathered to Him.  This gathering to the Lord was described in Matthew 25:31ff as a separation of sheep from the goats.

This speaks of the great spiritual change that occurred when Jesus Christ came again.  This is when the church ceased to be God’s plan for His people – and the kingdom of God became His plan for His people.  We today should therefore seek the kingdom of God, as the churches we see are as obsolete as the rubble of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem.

More on Hebrews 10:25, Lone-Ranger  Christians, and New Testament practices.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

He Who Exalts the Trinity Exalts Philosophical Discussion over Obedience to Christ

The “trinity” is a philosophical concept, not a biblical one.  The Bible points us to Christ and says we should obey Him in all things.  In this fallen world, such obedience requires a whole-hearted devotion.  It is not always easy to obey Christ and we need to stay focused on Him to even have a chance in those hard times.

The trinity concept, by contrast, confuses and thus inhibits obedience to Christ.  It turns the Bible into a source book for endless discussion and wrangling about words rather than the manual for knowing and obeying Christ which it was intended to be.

Why do we call Jesus Christ, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what He says?  In part, because the doctrine of trinity which has confused and waylaid so many sincere believers.

Pay attention to any debate you have heard about Christ – it was hardly ever about obedience.  It was almost always about philosophy.  Turn away from the philosophies of men and let us obey Christ!

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.


Jesus of Nazareth: the Only Begotten God

John 1:18 describes Jesus as “the only begotten God.”  This refers, of course, to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven.  According to Psalm 2:7, Jesus was begotten as the Son of God, and in Acts 13:33 Paul says this occurred when Jesus was raised from the dead.  Of course, since Jesus was begotten by God in the resurrection, He was thereby “the only begotten God, or, if you prefer, “the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).

In the monotheistic world in which we dwell, it is hard for us to appreciate the significance this description would have in the polytheistic world in which the Scriptures were conceived and written.  The heavens were populated with gods, sons of god, heavenly powers – a variety of terms was used.  Jesus took His place among them as the offspring of the most high God and heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2).

All the gods of the heavens were present at creation but Jesus was the only begotten God.  That is, He had been a human being but was glorified as a god in His resurrection to heaven.  Of course, He had come from heaven in the first place (John 3:13; Ephesians 4:8-10) and was simply returning to that place from which He had come.  And what an amazing route this round-trip took!

Truly, Jesus was and is the only begotten God – the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God Is Found in His Name

You are not going to find the kingdom of God by traveling to Jerusalem.  In fact, there is no place on earth where it can be located.  Rather, the kingdom of God is found in His name.

Call upon the name of the Lord as the men of old did (Genesis 4:26).  We know so much more about the name of the Lord than they did.  If calling upon the name of the Lord was efficacious for them, how much more for us?

We know of Jesus of Nazareth, how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38).  We know that He ascended on high that He might take captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8).  We know that He came in the glory of His Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:38; Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again).

God’s kingdom is advanced and administered in this age by faith in His name (1 Timothy 1:4; John 1:12; 20:30-31).  Do not consider any physical object or location as containing the kingdom of God.  It is an entirely spiritual realm.  And you can reach it by calling on His name, walking in His name, and living for His name.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Holy Spirit Is the Spirit of Christ

The phrase “the Spirit of Christ” occurs twice in the Bible.  The first is Romans 8:9.  In the very same verse, “the Spirit of God” appears synonymously.  The second occurrence is 1 Peter 1:11 which refers to the prophets of old.  Of course, these prophets were all held to have spoken by the Holy Spirit (Acts 28:25; Acts 2:30 cf. Psalm 51:11).

Thus the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God are all one and the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11).   He who has the Spirit of Christ should walk in the manner of Christ.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Develop a Consciousness of Christ Instead of a Churchgoing Habit

Are you a pastor?  Instead of teaching people to attend church, teach them how to develop a consciousness of Christ.

A consciousness of Christ is operative in every place and at all times.  A consciousness of Christ is a protection against sin…because who wants to sin in the presence of Christ?

Churchgoing is of no value against fleshly indulgence (Colossians 2:23).  A consciousness of Christ, on the other hand, gives you the power to walk away from fleshly indulgence.

He who seeks God in a church dwells in darkness when he is not in church.  He who develops a consciousness of Christ walks in light wherever he goes.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Ancient Answers for Modern Minds

Can ancient answers satisfy modern minds?  Absolutely.

Jesus and His apostles considered the generation of Moses as ancient (Matthew 5:21,33; Acts 3:21; 15:21), yet they looked to the ancients for wisdom.

Even Jeremiah, who preceded Jesus and the apostles by over half a millennium, considered those ancient who had come before him (Jeremiah 6:16).  Do we think we are the first generation to consider those who have gone before as ancient?

If Moses was ancient to Jesus and Jesus is ancient to us, shouldn’t we be like Jesus and adopt the wisdom of the ancients – the wisdom that has stood the test of time?

Shall it be the tried and true…or would you rather entrust your soul to the latest discovery, the latest fad?

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Christ Owns the World; He Bought It with His Blood

Yesterday’s post stated that the apostolic proclamation of “Jesus is the Christ!” was transformed into “The Christ is God!” by virtue of the coming of the kingdom of God in the late 1st Century AD.

By the coming of that kingdom, Jesus Christ (that is, God in the flesh) took possession of the creation He had purchased with His own blood.  Thus Messiah is God!  Let us worship Him with a whole heart.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

“Jesus Is the Christ!” Becomes “The Christ Is God!”

In yesterday’s post, we talked about the coming of the kingdom of God.  Prior to that time, the battle cry of the apostles had been “Jesus is the Messiah!”  Once the kingdom came, our battle cry became, “The Messiah is God!”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Come Out from the Temples of Idols

In 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, the apostle Paul quotes Old Testament promises that call the people of God to come out from the temples of idols.  This was, of course, a reference to the deadness of Israel’s state religion of the time and God’s desire that those who believed in His Son should come out of that system.

If God was going to judge the nation of ancient Israel for its apostasy, how could He not judge the New Testament church for its apostasy?  The apostasy of the New Testament church was prophesied in several places including Matthew 24:10-12, Acts 20:29-30, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3.  That it had actually begun its manifestation was confirmed by some of the New Testament’s later writings including 2 Timothy 4:9-11, 1 John 2:18, and Revelation 2-3.

Thus, at the coming of the kingdom, God’s people were to come out from the churches, which had become temples of idols (Revelation 2:9; 3:9).  This was the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:19; Colossians 3:4).

That time was like the time of Shiloh and Ichabod.  Because the church had deteriorated, it was time for the kingdom – but only the pure in heart saw it (Hebrews 12:14).

If it was time to come out from the temples of idols in the late 1st Century AD, how much  more it is time to do so now.  Forsake the man-made church and seek the kingdom of God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Those Who Live Closest to God on Earth Will Live Closest to Him in Heaven

Remember when the mother of James and John approached Jesus seeking special status for her sons in the coming kingdom of heaven?  (Matthew 20:20ff)

Jesus said this was not His to grant.  This is because such a judgment had to be made from the perspective of God.  That is, all of a person’s thoughts, words, and deeds must be taken into account and an appropriate judgment made about proper placement in heaven.

Yes, everyone is going to heaven but we will not all reside in the same part of it when we get there.  Just as earth has a vast variety of dwelling places, so also does heaven.  We are being tested here to see where we belong there.  Many who are first here will be last there, and vice versa (Matthew 20:16).

God is looking for faithful servants.  Where in heaven will you belong when you get there?

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Does the World Seem as Strong as Ever?

Some people have a hard time believing that Jesus Christ has already come again because the world seems as strong as it did in New Testament times.  Evil still abounds; people still sin.  Yet do not overlook the enormous change that has occurred in the heavens since the time of His coming.

Satan and his host were thrown down to earth.  They no longer walk the halls of heaven; they have been cast out.  Satan no longer parades before God accusing us day and night.    He is denied the access he had in the days of Job.

Polytheism dominated the ancient world but since the coming of Christ’s kingdom, monotheism prevails.  This is a sign that the heavens have been cleansed.  We will dwell there forever in peace with our God.  He has made a place for us!  (John 14:2-3)

While we are on the earth, we can tread upon the one who used to tread upon our ancestors.

Psalm 115:16 has been fulfilled in the coming of the kingdom of God:

“The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given unto the sons of men.”

That is, Satan has no authority in heaven and we have been given power over him in the earth as we are obedient to the Lord Jesus.  Before you say, “everything continues just as it has,” consider the heavens.  They have irrevocably changed.  In a limited sense, the world has not changed.  But in a far more important and eternal sense, the world has irrevocably changed.  Satan’s dominion has been miniaturized.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Christ Is the Focal Point of Our Faith: The Trinity Concept Obscures This

In Acts 4, Peter was on trial before the ruling authorities in Jerusalem because of the stir created when a crippled man was healed.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit Peter told them that “Jesus Christ the Nazarene” was responsible for the healing, that this Jesus was “the stone which was rejected” and “the chief cornerstone,” and that there was “salvation in no one else.”  Similarly, throughout the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as the appointed sole object of faith for Jew and Gentile alike.  In Hebrews, it says that He becomes to all who obey Himthe source of eternal salvation.”  Over and over, the New Testament testifies to the preeminence of Jesus Christ.

Why then do people obscure the singularity and clarity of this focus with a teaching of trinity with its multiple personages of God?

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

How Psalm 97:9 Changed with the Resurrection of Christ

The last couple of days we’ve been seeing how the resurrection and ascension of Jesus into heaven gave new meaning to the Scriptures, and particularly to three passages from the Psalms that we are examining (one yesterday; the other the day before).

Today we think about Psalm 97:9 in this new light:  “For You, Jesus, are the Lord Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.”  Of course, when Jesus ascended into heaven it was to the place of highest honor: above every name that is named, not only in this age but in the one to come (Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9-11).

Jesus was made Lord (Acts 2:34-36) when He ascended on high (Ephesians 4:8).  He is the one who was placed above all gods.  How the Jews before Jesus understood Psalm 97:9  is far less important than how we understand it as applying to Jesus now.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

How Psalm 31:19 Changed with the Resurrection of Christ

Yesterday’s post dealt with how the resurrection of Christ brought new meaning to Psalm 130:4.  Of course, it brought new meaning to all the Old Testament books – but it was the ultimate meaning which God had intended for those books all along (2 Peter 1:10-12).

In Psalm 31:19, we look to Jesus and say, “How great is Your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear You.”  His goodness is with Him…for He is His own goodness.

In His resurrection and ascension, His goodness is stored up.  This is why we look to the heavens when we address Him.  He is exalted far above all gods – but, wait, that’s getting into tomorrow’s post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

How Psalm 130:4 Changed with the Resurrection of Christ

The psalms were written long before the time of Jesus.  As a descendant of Abraham and of David, Jesus Himself looked to these writings for spiritual sustenance.  In His resurrection and ascension, however, Jesus Himself became “Lord.”  As Peter preached to the crowds in Jerusalem, “God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36).  Therefore, from that moment on, Jesus was the One in whom forgiveness could be found.

We may not be able to fully appreciate how Jesus’ ancestors viewed Psalm 130:4.  We can ourselves, however, say these words with an understanding that comforts us.  That is, “There is forgiveness with you, Jesus, that you may be feared.”  By picturing Jesus as forgiving those who were crucifying Him, we can have confidence that He will forgive us.  Without this confidence, we could not turn to Him…and therefore could not fear Him.  Of course, we should fear the Lord.  But we can only do so to the extent that we expect to find forgiveness when we turn to Him.

What a beautiful pairing:  the fear of the Lord with the forgiveness of the Lord.  It reminds us of what John wrote:  “We loved because He first loved us”  (1 John 4:19).  We fear God because He first forgave us.

Do you want to fear God as you should?  Turn to the Lamb of God (John 1:29) and receive His forgiveness that you may fear Him!

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

It’s No Longer About Getting People Into Church – It’s About Getting People into the Kingdom

It’s no longer about getting people into church, and it hasn’t been for a long time.  You’d never know, though, by watching church leaders.

Once the kingdom came, we no longer had to say, “The kingdom of God is at hand.”  Rather, we could say, “The kingdom of God is in our midst” – just as Jesus did in Luke 17:20-21.

Stop trying to get people into church.  Tell them about the living God who dwells in our midst!

Be sure to know that “getting people into the kingdom” does not mean getting them into heaven when they die.  That has already been taken care of by the grace of Christ (Everyone Is Going to Heaven).  Rather, it means to encourage others to repent of their sins and follow Christ in this life!

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

When the People in the Church Changed to the Kingdom of God in People

Hebrews 10:25 exhorted the saints to gather and encourage each other as the day of the Lord was approaching.  When that day came, it would no longer be a matter of gathering together in wait, but rather of going forth in joy.  For prior to the coming of the kingdom, people gathered as church.  But in the kingdom of God, the Lord is the pastor, we are the church, and we go forth to fill the earth and multiply.  We follow the Lamb wherever He goes.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

When Christ Separated the Sheep and the Goats

In yesterday’s post, we saw how God transferred His focus from the church to the kingdom of God at the Second Coming of Christ.  This change can also be described as separating the sheep from the goats, which is the parable He used at the end of the Olivet Discourse, in which He was answering His disciples questions about His coming (Matthew 25: 31-46).

Earlier in the discourse, Jesus had said many would fall away (Matthew 24:10) as the time of the kingdom was approaching.  And the apostles confirmed that apostasy was a necessary precursor to the end (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  And, of course, we get a vivid description of troubled churches in the second and third chapters of John’s Revelation which was written in the final period of time just before the coming of the Lord.

How then was Jesus going to deal with this chaotic situation in His churches?  He was going to separate the sheep and the goats.  This separation was achieved entirely in the spirit.  Only its consequences would be viewed in the flesh.  The sheep were brought into the kingdom of God and the goats were left outside.

The church continues today being run by the goats.  Confused sheep can be found among them, but the Lord knows those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19).  Even today the Lord knows who is a sheep and who is a goat.  Do you know which you are?

If you live for the approval of Christ you are a sheep.  If you live for the approval of people you are a goat.  And if you try to live for both…well, you remember what our Lord said about trying to serve two masters.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The New Wine of the Kingdom of God Could Not Be Poured into the Old Wineskin of Church

In Matthew 9:17 (Mark 2:22 and Luke 5:37 as well), Jesus famously noted that people do not put new wine into old wineskins because the old wineskins burst and the wine is lost.  Instead, they put new wine into new wineskins.  In this way, both wine and wineskin are preserved.

This is what happened at the coming of the kingdom of God when Jesus bestowed His kingdom on those who were sanctified and worthy of it – and ceased using the visible church as His vehicle for redemption.  For this reason we should be seeking the kingdom of God and not church.

God needed a whole new creation in which to pour Himself out.  We should have recognized long ago that what we call church is not worthy to contain it.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The True People of Jesus Assemble to Him and Not to Each Other

To whom do the people of Jesus (i.e. the people of God) assemble?

Do they assemble to the countless leaders of the countless denominations of Christianity?  No.

They assemble to Him whose name they adore:  Jesus!

Where then can we find these people of God?  To what address shall we go?  They do not assemble to each other; they assemble to Him.  Since He is spirit, that means they assemble to Him wherever they are – scattered as they are throughout the earth.  The center of their worship is the invisible realm of heaven where Jesus is enthroned.

The people of Jesus,

They assemble to Him.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.