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Thread: Dr. J. Vernon McGee Resources

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    Default Dr. J. Vernon McGee Resources

    Confidence, Certainty, and Cheer
    by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

    Published and distributed by
    Thru the Bible Radio Network
    P.O. Box 7100
    Pasadena, California 91109-7100
    (800) 65-BIBLE
    www.ttb.org

    When Paul the apostle arrived in the city of Philippi to begin his ministry in Europe, he received
    very bad treatment. The entire city seemed to turn against him. He was arrested, seems to have
    been tried by the citizens of the town, was delivered into the hands of a jailer, beaten within an
    inch of his life, and put into the very darkest part of the dungeon.

    The treatment that Paul received at the hands of the people of Philippi may give the impression
    that there could be no strong ties of friendship between Paul and the people there. But the
    facts are that the church in Philippi became closer to the apostle Paul than any other. He enjoyed
    a more intimate relationship with that body of believers than with any other of the visible
    churches he established. There were strong ties of love and fellowship. It is beautiful to behold,
    and it is worthy of our emulation. They loved him, and he loved them.

    Paul went to Philippi on his second missionary journey. It was the proper place to begin in
    Europe. The city of Philippi had been named for King Philip of Macedonia. It was primarily a
    Greek city, then the great Augustus Caesar of Rome made it a Roman colony. (In this epistle,
    Paul says several things that are not understood unless you recognize that Philippi was a Roman
    colony.) Therefore, in the city of Philippi there were Romans, Greeks, Jews, and Asians — it
    was a cosmopolitan colony. For that reason, it was a good place to test the gospel in Europe.
    Socially, the city of Philippi drew a higher type of person to the church. In other places, there
    were many slaves, but there seemed to be more freedom in Philippi. The upper strata of society
    was reached with the gospel, and, apparently, many were won from all the different races. When
    Paul came to the city, a very remarkable businesswoman named Lydia was his first convert. And
    then the Philippian jailer — a brutal and cruel Roman politician — came to know the living
    Christ.

    There were, of course, other members of this Philippian church whose stories we do not
    know. They were a people very close to the apostle Paul. They followed him in his journeys and
    ministered to him time and time again. But when Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, they lost sight
    of him for two years. They did not know where he was. Finally, they heard that he was in Rome
    in prison. The hearts of these people went out to him, and immediately they sent their pastor,
    Epaphroditus, with a gift for the apostle Paul. They also sent a word of comfort and sympathy,
    expressing their love and affection for him.
    So Paul wrote a thank-you note, which is the Epistle to the Philippians that we have today. In
    this epistle, there is no doctrine to declare. There is no error to correct, no conduct to rebuke.
    There is no problem to solve, no difficulty to handle. Paul just writes about Christian living at
    the highest level.

    When Epaphroditus arrived with the gift and letter from the Philippian church, I think Paul
    asked him, “How are things getting along among the believers there?” He may have asked about
    each individual, for he seems to have known many of them by name. Epaphroditus probably
    said something like, “Things are coming along nicely, and God is blessing. But we have one little
    problem — two women in the church aren’t speaking to each other.” That was not a major
    problem, but it was there, and Paul dealt with it.

    There was friction between two women in the church — Euodia and Syntyche. Paul mentioned
    it near the end of his letter: “I beseech Euodia, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the
    same mind in the Lord” (Philippians 4:2). I’ve often wondered what the background was to this.
    I’ve always suspected that Euodia was president of the missionary society and Syntyche was
    president of the choir. (I have a friend in the ministry who says that when the devil was cast out
    of heaven, he fell into the choir loft!) What may have happened was that both Euodia and
    2

    Syntyche had arranged to use the church parlor on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00. The conflict was
    not noticed until both groups arrived at the same time. One wasn’t willing to give way to the
    other, and it caused a problem for a little while. I think it got straightened out all right, but
    Euodia and Syntyche didn’t work in harmony after that. The relationship was strained.

    An old Scotch elder once got up to read the fourth chapter of Philippians — he was not what
    you would call a trained man, and his pronunciation was rather faulty. When he reached this
    verse, he read, “I beseech Odious and Soontouchy that they be of the same mind.” Although the
    pronunciation was bad, his interpretation was unusually good because, frankly, when you bring
    together Ms. Odious and Ms. Soontouchy you are going to have trouble — I don’t care who
    they are. Apparently, that is what happened in the church at Philippi. Paul mentioned it briefly,
    but he moved on with warm words regarding his personal relationships, feelings, and close ties.
    Paul’s affection for these folk at Philippi is evident all through his letter. I want to notice how
    he began:

    Grace be unto you, and peace, from God, our Father, and from the Lord Jesus
    Christ. (Philippians 1:2)

    That was his accustomed introduction, and you will find it in all his epistles. Grace comes first,
    and peace always follows. One is the cause, and the other is the effect. “Grace” was the great
    word of the Roman world. It is the Greek word charis, a word of introduction and greeting. You
    could have heard it all over the ancient Roman world. Two men would meet, and they’d say,
    “Charis,” to greet each other. The Hebrew word of greeting was shalom, “peace.”

    Paul brought these two words together, and someone has said that he Christianized them. I
    wouldn’t say that, but I do think that Paul gave them a new meaning, and they’ll never be the
    same again. Grace speaks of that declaration of God’s love for us, and the result of the reception
    of the love of God is to know the peace of God. But grace always comes first.
    Paul continued:

    I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. (Philippians 1:3)

    Actually, the meaning is even stronger — “I thank my God for all the remembrances of you.”
    This is wonderful. Every now and then, some kind brother will include this verse in a letter to
    me. I always feel as if today it’s stereotyped, something we like to say. But when Paul said it to
    believers at Philippi, he meant it. Isn’t it wonderful to be among a people like these believers
    were? Paul said, in effect, “Any time, anywhere in the Roman Empire, when Philippi comes to
    mind, I do not think of that jail. I think of you believers who are there, and I thank God for
    you.” What a wonderful thing that is!

    He wasn’t through, for he then said:

    Always in every prayer [literally, every petition, for it’s very direct here] of mine for
    you all making request [supplication or petition] with joy. (Philippians 1:4)

    These people were on the prayer list of the apostle Paul.
    He said something else here — I must call attention to it.
    3

    Even as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart….
    (Philippians 1:7)

    Isn’t that lovely? Paul said, “I carry the church in Philippi in my heart.” The other day a man
    showed me his wife’s picture in his watch. She’s dead now, but I am sure he still carries her picture because he carries her in his heart. Paul did not have a watch, but he said, “I carry you in
    my heart.” Lovely, personal relationship, is it not?

    He was still not through. Notice that he said:

    For God is my witness, how greatly I long after you all in the tender mercies of
    Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:8)

    The King James Version uses the word “bowels” instead of “tender mercies.” Now, don’t be
    afraid of that term “bowels.” It is considered crude today, but it’s not that at all. Even psychologists say that motivation and the feeling of affection takes place down in that area.
    In other words, Paul said — and what a beautiful thing it is — “I long after you all in deep
    affection, the heart affection, of Christ. Just as Christ longs for you, I long for you.” Someone
    has said that Paul had the heart of Christ, and that is exactly what God wants us to have today.
    Such a relationship is the beauty and the wonder and the glory of this epistle.

    Confidence

    In the introduction to his letter, Paul talked about three things: confidence, certainty, and cheer.

    Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you will
    perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

    The first word, “being,” is causative and is better translated as “since” — “Since I am confident
    of this very thing.” Confidence is something that comes to a person who has trusted Christ and
    become His child. “Being confident [or, since I am confident] of this very thing, that he who
    hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (emphasis added).
    The word for “perform” means “to perfect.” Dr. R. C. Lenski translates it, “He will finish it
    up.” Dr. M. R. Vincent translates it, “He will carry it through.” The word is the Greek epiteleo,
    and from that word we get “telescope,” “telephone,” and “telegram” — that which goes from
    here to the end. God is able, Paul says, to perform it, to perfect it, to complete it. If God has
    begun a good work in you, He will complete it. You can count on His bringing you right
    through to the end — to the day of Jesus Christ, which is the Rapture of the church!
    So the confidence is there and so is the certainty.

    Certainty

    Some people today are confident, but you look at that in which they are confident, the content
    of it, and you know it will never come to pass. There is no certainty there. Paul said that the
    child of God could have confidence and certainty.Philippians 1:6 became my life verse when I finished college, and I wish I had known it 4 before. Oh, that I had the power to convey to you what this verse has meant to me and what it could mean to you!

    Some years ago, my wife and I drove up through Oklahoma. We turned off at a little place by
    the name of Atoka on Highway 75, and we went through a place called Coalgate. They ought to
    take that one off the map, because it’s going to be out of existence before long! But you can
    look right across those fields and hills and look over and down a road into a town in which I
    lived as a boy. That town has never and will never become famous. Nevertheless, it’s still there,
    and my dad is buried there.

    As I looked down that road, I went back in memory to the time I was fourteen years old. My
    dad had died, and I remember getting on my bicycle one morning, riding out to his grave, and
    kneeling there. I didn’t know very much — I shudder when I think of the ignorance of this
    country boy at that time — but I knelt there, and in the best way that I knew how, I told God
    that I wanted to serve Him. I didn’t know what it meant, I didn’t know anything of what it
    would involve, but I knew that I wanted to serve Him.

    When I looked down that road, I reaffirmed that again to God. I do it now with a little more
    intelligence. I want to serve Him. I look back to that day (and, friend, that’s been a long time
    ago) when I knelt there, and I’m here to testify that down through the years, God has made good
    on Philippians 1:6 — “Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work
    in you…”

    Oh, how I failed Him after that, how I got into sin! And I never shall forget how a pastor told
    me about the peace of God that comes to a sinner who will trust Christ. Oh, what that meant to
    my heart and my life at that time!

    I have not walked by faith as I should have walked. I went through college discouraged. It
    was during the time of the great Depression, and I thought that I would never be able to finish
    one year after the other. When I completed my senior year and took my degree, my roommate
    found me sitting on the edge of the bed and feeling hopeless. He said, “What’s the matter? You
    look like you’ve lost your best friend!” I said, “I’ve lost everything. God brought me up to this
    moment, but I can’t go to seminary. I don’t have a dime. I’m going out this afternoon and hitchhike back to Nashville, Tennessee, my home.”

    Then the telephone rang, and I went to the phone. Two dear little widowed ladies from
    Memphis, Tennessee, were calling. They said, “We want you to come over because we have
    something for you.” Well, they had sent me a tie for graduation, and I thought that was their
    gift. So I went over that afternoon, and when I went in, I could see it was formal because they
    were all dressed up. They looked like they had walked out of antebellum days. They wore those
    big high collars with cameos at the throat. We sat down and exchanged a few pleasantries. Then
    they said, “You are going home?”

    “Yes.”
    “Are you going to school next year?”
    “I don’t know.”

    One of them got up, wiped away a tear, came over, and handed me an envelope. She said, “I
    present this to you in the name of my husband,” and then went back and sat down.
    Then the other one got up, came over, and handed me an envelope, and she said, “I present
    this to you in the name of my husband.”

    Then they said, “We know you are in a hurry, and you want to get going, so we will just let
    you go now. This is all that we wanted to do.”5 I thanked them, and as I left that home with those big white pillars, I shall never forget how I got around the corner just as quickly as possible to open those envelopes. I opened the first one, and in it was a check for $250.00! I opened the second one, and there was another check for $250.00! Now if you are old enough to remember the Depression, you may remember how much $500.00 was during those years! It was just this side of a million dollars, that’s what it was! I’ve never had as much money in my life as I had that day.

    That night, the Sunday school class had a farewell banquet for me, and they gave me
    $100.00. So then I had $600.00! That was the money I used to attend seminary the next year.
    That night at the banquet, someone gave me this verse: “Being confident of this very thing, that
    he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” I’m here to
    say that He has made that promise good. Over three quarters of a century have gone by, and He
    has made it good.

    Now, friend, God has brought you up to this day. Has He blessed you, has God been good to
    you up to this moment? Then why do you think He is going to let you down now? He says,
    “Since I have begun a good work in you, I will perform it, I will perfect it, I will complete it
    until the day of Jesus Christ.” My friend, how wonderful our God is! There is confidence. There
    is certainty.

    Cheer

    Now in closing, I want to notice the cheer that is in store for the believer.
    The Philippians loved Paul, and they wrote him a note of sympathy, cheer, and comfort. I
    imagine that it read somewhat like this: “Poor Paul, we are so sorry that the Romans have put
    you in jail. You have been such a blessing to the Gentiles, but now you are in prison and can’t
    go out to preach the gospel anymore.” Notice Paul’s response:

    But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto
    me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. (Philippians 1:12)

    That word “furtherance” is an amazing word in Greek. It was used by the Roman army when
    they went out into the impenetrable forests of Europe — where my ancestors (and maybe yours)
    were hiding at that time. When the Romans went out into those forests, they had with them a
    group that were known as pioneers. These pioneers went ahead of the army, cutting a way
    through the forests in order that the Roman troops might advance. That is the figure of speech
    that Paul used here. He was saying, “I want you to know that the things that have happened to
    me have been like pioneers, cutting the way through the impenetrable forests to get the gospel
    out.” Isn’t that amazing?

    You say, “Paul, you mean to tell me that being put in prison has actually made the gospel
    move out where it wouldn’t go before?” Yes, that’s what he meant. How can that be? Well, he
    explained that two things were happening. First, “My bonds in Christ are manifest in all the
    palace, and in all other places” (Philippians 1:13).

    When the Lord Jesus waylaid the apostle Paul on the Damascus Road, He said that Paul
    would go to the Gentiles and bear God’s name before kings. Now, up to the time he was arrested,
    he had not had an audience with rulers. But after he was arrested, he stood before kings and
    other rulers. As you know, Paul was a Roman citizen and had appealed his case to Caesar,
    6 which placed him in custody with an unusual group of prisoners. We are told in the Book of
    Acts that he was kept, actually, in his own hired house. However, he was chained to a guard,
    and these guardsmen belonged to the patricians, not the plebeians, of Rome. They were known
    as the Praetorian Guard of Caesar. They were the ones who were in the palace and in the Senate
    and in the higher echelons of Rome. Paul had never been able to reach that group before, but
    then he was chained to members of this imperial guard. Can you imagine anything more wonderful than having your congregation chained to you? The soldiers had to take turns, of course.

    They worked certain shifts, and Paul had a member of the Roman nobility chained to him at all
    times! What do you think Paul talked about? He talked about Christ, of course. I imagine that
    many of these guardsmen, when the next fellow came on duty, would say, “Hurry and unchain
    me; let me out of here — this fella’s trying to convert me!” And some of them were converted.
    Paul led them to Christ. “The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the
    furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).

    That’s not all —

    And many of the brethren in the Lord, becoming confident by my bonds, are much
    more bold to speak the word without fear. (Philippians 1:14)

    When Paul the apostle went through the Roman Empire, he’d come to a place like Antioch in
    Pisidia or Ephesus or Philippi, and he would preach Christ. When he preached, men were won
    for Christ. As they became believers, the issue was then — as it is today — “Go ye into all the
    world, and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). Somebody would say to a man who was then a
    Christian, “Why don’t you get busy and preach the gospel?” He would respond, “I’ll tell you
    why. Have you ever heard the apostle Paul preach? Well, I want to tell you that when I hear him
    preach, I know that he does it so much better than I ever could, I just don’t feel like saying anything.

    As long as he is out preaching the gospel, I have nothing to say.”

    Then one day word was flashed through the Roman Empire (when I say “flashed,” there was
    no radio news, no rapid means of communication, but the news went by word of mouth from
    place to place), “Paul the apostle is now the prisoner of Nero in Rome! It looks as if he’ll never
    be free again.” And men all over the Roman Empire who had heard the gospel and believed in
    Christ took to the highways and to the fields, saying, “Now we are going out and preaching
    Christ, because Paul the apostle can’t go anymore.” By the very fact that he was in prison, literally
    hundreds of missionaries took to the Roman roads to preach the gospel, so that Paul the
    apostle was multiplied hundreds of times. Paul said to the Philippians, “I want you to know that
    what’s happened to me has happened for the furtherance of the gospel.” It had not hindered but
    actually had enhanced it.

    There was something more that Paul couldn’t see in his day, but which you and I see. We
    wouldn’t have the Epistle to the Philippians, we wouldn’t have the Epistle to the Ephesians, nor
    would we have the Epistle to Philemon if Paul had not been in prison. As a prisoner, he had
    time to write these epistles. Otherwise, they would never have been in existence. May I say to
    you, the things that happened to him certainly resulted in the furtherance of the gospel!

    Some, indeed, preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the
    one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my
    bonds; but the other, of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
    7 (Philippians 1:15-17)

    Actually, these were some people who apparently were jealous of Paul, and they criticized
    him. They didn’t like that he went into the synagogues and preached. They thought he ought not
    cooperate with everyone. But Paul was not critical of them; he wrote, “Some, indeed, preach
    Christ even of envy and strife.” And I think that most criticism in the contemporary church can
    be summed up in these two words: envy and strife. Those are the things that prompt critics
    today. My beloved, if the gospel is being preached, let’s rejoice.

    Note Paul’s reaction:

    What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is
    preached; and in that I do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. (Philippians 1:18)

    Now this word translated “rejoice” and “joy” is a marvelous word. It has in it the meaning
    “cheer.” Actually, it means “courage.” Our Lord used it when He said:

    These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world
    ye shall have tribulation [trouble]: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
    (John 16:33)

    “Be of good cheer” is a word of courage, and it is the same word that Paul used in Philippians
    1:18. And, by the way, it is the same thing that Paul heard in the storm when the Lord appeared
    to him before the shipwreck.

    And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul;
    for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at
    Rome. (Acts 23:11)

    “Be of good cheer.”

    So, you see, it didn’t make any difference to Paul what happened to him, just so Christ was
    preached. The reason was that he had this philosophy:

    For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

    I wish I could say to you that I’ve come to that high level of living. For me to live Christ, to die
    gain. Don’t you see that you cannot hurt a man like that?
    Finally Nero, mad as he was, sent in the executioner to Paul. Since Paul had led some of
    those fellows to the Lord, the soldier may have gone very reluctantly. I imagine that the conversation went something like this: “I am sorry, Paul, that we have to do this, but you know Nero!” I am pretty sure Paul’s reply would have been, “It’s all right — actually, I want to thank you. I want you to know that for me to live is Christ, but to die is gain.”
    \
    “Gain” is always more of the same thing, and in this case more of the same thing is Christ.
    Paul had said to the Philippians:

    For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ,
    8 which is far better. Nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
    (Philippians 1:23, 24)


    But the time had come to be with Christ, where he most wanted to be. The best thing that can
    happen to a Christian is for the Lord to come. And that may happen soon, I do not know. But I
    do know this: the next best thing that can happen to a Christian is to die. Yes, it is! “For to me
    to live is Christ, and to die,” Paul said, “is gain.” So he said to the executioner, “Go back and
    thank your master, Nero, for me, because he’s doing me a favor. I’m about to get dividends on
    my investment. I’ve lived for Christ, and I’m going now to be with Him.”

    My friend, as I said before, you can’t hurt a man like that! John Milton wrote a marvelous
    poem in which a slavemaster says, “I’ve whipped that slave, and he thanks me. I can’t hurt him,
    but he’s hurting me.” Oh, if you and I could get above the smog of this world and learn to live
    for Christ, there would be cheer and joy in our lives today. Confidence, certainty, and cheer for
    the child of God.9
    Last edited by HeIsEnough; October 17th, 2010 at 08:39 PM.
    Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

    Joel 3:2

    I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

  2. #2

    Default



    For ye are all the sons of God
    by faith in Christ Jesus.

    (Galatians 3:26)

    Faith + 0 = Salvation
    Dr. J. Vernon McGee


    Thru the Bible Radio Network
    P. O. Box 7100
    Pasadena, California 91109
    Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references
    are from the New Scofield Reference Bible.
    Printed in the United States of America
    Revised 2006











    Our subject could also be called “Faith Minus Works Equals
    Salvation.” If you want the equation (we’re told in mathematics
    that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other), it would be:

    Faith + 0 = Faith - Works

    The Epistle to the Galatians comes from the heart of Paul, and
    in it he is defending the greatest doctrine that we have: Justification
    by faith, or salvation by the grace of God. This is the epistle that
    gripped Martin Luther. As an Augustinian monk, he spent nights
    lying on a cold slab, wearing a hair shirt, fasting, and doing many
    other things. One time he was going up Sancta Scala in Rome, ascending
    the stairs on his knees, and it came to him (because he had
    been studying the Epistle to the Galatians) that man was not justified
    by works – certainly not by the things he was doing; that works
    could not bring him into a right relationship with God; that God
    had made it very clear that He justifies men by faith alone. So this
    man rose from his knees to go out into Europe and proclaim a
    gospel that drove back the darkness of the Dark Ages, took the
    chains and shackles from the minds and hearts of the multitudes
    of Europe, and brought in what we call today European civilization.
    In our day, this great civilization has gone by the board – it’s
    through, and it can be restored only by the preaching of the great
    doctrines that Paul enunciated in this epistle.

    Not only did the Epistle to the Galatians move Martin Luther,
    but it also began the great spiritual movement that was led by the
    Wesleys. John Wesley came to America as a missionary to the Indians,
    but his mission was a failure. Returning to England in discouragement,
    he said, “I came to America to convert Indians, but who
    is going to convert John Wesley?” Back in London, walking down
    Aldersgate Street one night, he heard singing coming from an
    upstairs window. He found the stairway, went up, and discovered
    it was a meeting of the Friends, the Quakers, the followers of
    George Fox. He took his place in the back of the little auditorium
    and listened to a message from the Epistle to the Galatians. Later,
    John Wesley wrote in his journal, “As he read and spoke from the
    Epistle to the Galatians, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt
    that I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and there
    was given me there an assurance that He had taken away my sins, even mine.”

    What is this great truth that has so moved the men of the past
    and which today is the only thing that can move America or even
    the world? (I personally do not believe a revival is going to come
    in by the methods of organizations or by a man. I think it can come
    today only by preaching again these great truths that have long
    since gone into oblivion and silence in the churches of America.)
    Well, Paul stated it very succinctly in the Epistle to the Romans when he said:

    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that
    justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for [that which it
    is not] righteousness.
    (Romans 4:5)


    The only way God can accept a sinner and make him righteous
    is through faith in Jesus Christ. That’s the great truth that is being
    left out today. God refuses to accept law-keeping. He refuses to
    accept good works. The very moment someone says, “I do this or
    that, which is necessary for my salvation, and I’m depending on
    it,” he means two things: that he is trusting his works and that he
    is not trusting Christ. And there is only one conclusion that can be
    drawn: He is not saved at all. That is strong language, and I would
    never say a thing like that, but Paul says it here in this epistle. Salvation
    is only by faith in Christ.

    After all, what works do you and I have to offer to God? It is
    like the little boy whose father was doing some building in the
    backyard. The little fellow got his hammer and nails and wanted
    to help. He began driving in nails where they didn’t belong and
    using a saw where he shouldn’t be sawing. His “helping” was not
    really acceptable. As much as the father loved the little fellow, he
    couldn’t accept his work. It could not be used. Do you think God
    can take your good works for your salvation when He has already
    declared us sinners? God, therefore, refuses to accept law-keeping.
    The Mosaic Law, actually, never was given to save men. Paul calls
    it a “ministration of condemnation” and a “ministration of death”
    (see 2 Corinthians 3:7, 9). The Law was given to show men that
    they are lost sinners. Listen to Paul:

    Wherefore, then, serveth the law? It was added because of
    [for the sake of ] transgressions, till the seed should come to
    whom the promise was made….
    (Galatians 3:19)


    That seed, Paul says later on, was Christ. The Law was temporary
    – it was given merely as a temporary measure, and it was given for
    the sake of transgressions. Therefore, the Law cannot remove sin.
    Rather, it reveals sin. It was not given for salvation at all. It was
    given to show us that we are sinners. It reveals the fact that man
    is not a sophisticated sinner or a refined or trained sinner, as some
    folk would have you believe today; but man is a sinner in the raw,
    a sinner by nature. The Mosaic Law reveals this to us.

    Let me use a very homely illustration. Don’t be shocked if I take
    you into the bathroom for a few moments. I’m sure you have in
    your bathroom a mirror. And I’m sure that under the mirror you
    have a washbasin. That mirror is there to reveal your condition.
    You look in that mirror and it reveals a smudge on your face. It
    will not remove it. A great many people today are using the mir-
    ror of the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount to
    try to remove the smudge. It won’t do it. If you go into your bathroom,
    look in the mirror and see you have a dirty face, you don’t
    rub your face against the mirror. If you do, and a member of your
    family sees you doing it, they are apt to make an appointment for
    you with a psychiatrist to talk over your condition. That’s not the
    way it’s done. Yet our churches today are filled with people who
    are rubbing up against the Mirror, the Word of God, hoping they
    will be able to remove their sin by contact. Many people today are
    saying, “My religion is the Sermon on the Mount.” Very candidly,
    the Sermon on the Mount as a religion is making more hypocrites
    today than anything I know of – because you know you’re not keeping
    it. If you are honest, you know you are not living by it. But it
    does reveal to you that you come short of the glory of God. And
    down beneath that Mirror there is a washbasin.

    There is a fountain filled with blood
    Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains.

    – William Cowper

    God has a place to take away sins, but it is not the Law. It is
    Christ, through the shedding of His blood, who paid the penalty
    for your sin. It is your trust and faith in Him that saves you; nothing
    else can. Now there is something else that is said here about the Law:

    Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto
    Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    (Galatians 3:24)


    “Schoolmaster” is the Greek word paidagogos, which doesn’t mean
    schoolteacher at all. It means a servant or a slave who was part of
    a Roman household. Half of the Roman Empire was slave. Of the
    120 million people, 60 million were slaves. In the home of a patrician,
    a member of the Praetorian Guard, or the rich in the Roman
    Empire, were slaves that cared for the children. When a child was
    born into such a home, he was put in the custody of a servant who
    actually raised him. He put clean clothes on him, bathed him,
    helped him blow his nose when it was necessary, and paddled him
    when he needed it. When the little one grew to a certain age and
    was to start to school, this servant was the one who got him up
    of a morning, dressed him, and took him to school. That is where
    he got the name of paidagogos – paid has to do with the feet, and
    we get our word “pedal” from it; agogos means “to lead.” It means
    that he took the little one by the hand, led him to school, and
    turned him over to the schoolteacher. This servant, the slave, was
    not capable of teaching him beyond a certain age, so he took him to school.

    Now what Paul is saying here is that the Law is our paidagogos.
    The Law said, “Little fellow, I can’t do any more for you. I now
    want to take you by the hand and bring you to the cross of Christ.
    You are lost. You need a Savior.” The purpose of the Law is to
    bring men to Christ – not to give them an expanded chest so they
    can walk around claiming they keep God’s commandments. You
    know you don’t keep them; all you have to do is examine your own
    heart to know that. This is the great truth that has been surrendered
    in this country today.

    Our educational system teaches the opposite. Let me give you a
    quotation from an outstanding educator:

    Where education assumes that the moral nature of man is
    capable of improvement, traditional Christianity assumes
    that the moral nature of man is corrupt or absolutely bad.
    Where it is assumed in education that an outside human
    agent may be instrumental in the moral improvement of
    man, in traditional Christianity it is assumed that the agent
    is God, and even so, the moral nature of man is not
    improved, but exchanged for a new one.

    That is a tremendous statement. And we have seen the working
    out of it in our educational philosophy. Look on any campus today
    and you will see what we are producing. May I say to you that our
    educational system is certainly in question in this hour in which
    we live. Our approach and philosophy have been altogether wrong.
    God says that man is lost and must be saved. This is the thing that is all important.

    Now I know that a great many people today keep up a front.
    Let me give you the example of a contemporary who has passed
    across the stage in recent history. He is Ernest Hemingway. A great
    many looked up to him, especially our literary lights. This fellow
    tried to appear to be a Jack London. He went out and shot wild
    game, he was interested in bullfights, he was the great big swaggering
    type. Yet down underneath, as Edmund Wilson, his biographer,
    put it, was “the undrugable consciousness that something was
    wrong.” Any man who is honest today knows down deep in his
    heart that something is wrong.

    Some time ago Gordon Lindsay made a study of the Stone-Age
    people out in New Guinea and Myanmar (formerly Burma).
    Let
    me pass on to you his conclusions:

    The notion of primitive man possessing some inner peace
    which we civilized people have somehow lost and need to
    regain is a lot of nonsense. Your average New Guinea native
    lives not only in fear of his enemies but in terror-struck dread
    of the unknown. Malevolent spirits, especially those of ancestors,
    are all about him.

    Man never gets away from that which is down deep in his heart.


    Dr. O. Hobart Mowerer, a research professor of psychology at the
    University of Illinois, is the author of a book entitled The Crisis in
    Psychiatry and Religion. He also taught at Yale and Harvard and is
    the past president of the American Psychological Association. He
    is widely known as a researcher, teacher, and lecturer. Notice what he states:


    The Freudians, of course, recognize that guilt is central to
    Neurosis. But it is always the guilt of the future. It is not
    what the person has done that makes him ill but rather
    what he wishes to do but dares not. In contrast, the emerging
    alternative, or more accurately, the re-emerging one,
    is that the so-called neurotic is a bona fide sinner. And his
    guilt is from the past and is real, and that his difficulties
    arise, not from inhibitions, but from actions which are
    clearly prescribed, socially and morally, and which have
    been kept carefully concealed, unconfessed and unredeemed.


    A psychologist at the University of Southern California who
    attended my Bible study several years ago told me one night as he
    was leaving the auditorium, “Dr. McGee, you ought to emphasize
    the guilt complex more than you do. That guilt complex is as much
    a part of you as your right arm – and you can’t get rid of it. What
    the psychologist does is change it from one spot to another, but he
    doesn’t remove it. The only place I know to remove the guilt is at
    the cross of Christ.” That is where you bring your sins, my beloved.
    You don’t have to put up a front today and say, “I’m So-and-so.”
    Well, God says you are a so-and-so sinner, and He gives you this remedy:

    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though
    your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though
    they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

    Oh, to face reality today! There are multitudes in our churches
    who are doing nothing in the world but covering up. You don’t
    have to cover up. Be real. Be genuine. You might just as well tell
    God about your sins. He already knows. He knows you through and through.

    Martin Luther said, “God creates out of nothing. Therefore,
    until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.”

    Your best resolutions must wholly be waived;
    Your highest ambitions be crossed.
    You never need think you will ever be saved,
    ’Til first you’ve learned you are lost.
    – Author unknown

    When you realize this truth, you can be saved. We have had too
    much “easy-believism.” Little wonder our churches have become
    full of folk who do nothing in the world but blow a trumpet. They
    are like the Pharisee who patted himself on the back in his prayer
    by saying, “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are,” then
    he began to brag about what he did (see Luke 18:9-14). Our Lord
    said that such a man gets nowhere with God. His prayers die in the rafters.

    Now Paul mentions three things that faith in Christ does for us
    which the Mosaic Law could never do, that religion cannot do,
    and that the church cannot do.

    1. The Nature of Sons of God

    First of all, only faith in Christ can make us legitimate sons of
    God. Will you listen to this:

    For ye are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    (Galatians 3:26)

    Notice the word is “sons,” not children. It is the Greek huios, meaning
    “legitimate sons.” How do you become a son of God? By faith
    in Christ Jesus. There is no other way. You are a legitimate son of
    God by faith in Christ Jesus.

    Back in the Old Testament you do not find God calling the Old
    Testament saints “sons.” Israel as a nation was called a son, but individuals
    were not. Although David was a man after God’s own
    heart, God spoke of him as “David, my servant.” That was the
    language used in the Old Testament.

    When our Lord confronted the religious man, Nicodemus, He
    said, “Ye must be born again” (see John 3:3). And Nicodemus was
    genuine; he was obedient to the Law. As a Pharisee he fasted twice
    a week, he gave a tenth of all he possessed, and he did everything
    else required of a Pharisee. He was religious to his fingertips, but
    our Lord said to him, “You can’t even see the kingdom of heaven
    until you have been born again. Religion won’t help you.”
    The most damnable heresy that is in this world today, and it has
    hurt our nation more than anything else, is the teaching of the universal
    fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man.
    That is not taught in the Word of God. We have spent billions of
    dollars throughout the world trying to appease rascals on the basis
    that they are our brothers. Our Lord made it very clear when the
    religious Pharisees came to Him claiming, “We have one Father,
    even God.” He said, “Ye are of your father the devil” (see John 8:
    41-44). Now since Christ said that, evidently somebody couldn’t
    claim God as Father. Evidently there were some who were not His
    children – and there are a great many today, also. You become a
    child of God only through faith in Jesus Christ.

    He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But
    as many as received him, to them gave he power [the right,
    the authority] to become the children of God, even to them
    that [do no more nor less than simply] believe on his name.
    (John 1:11, 12)

    That is the way you become a son of God.

    2. The Position of Sons of God

    Now faith in Christ does something else that religion won’t do,
    the church can’t do, nor can the works of the Law or any little
    thing you go through. That is to give you the position of a son of
    God. This is a little technical – follow me closely.

    Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth
    nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.
    (Galatians 4:1)

    In the phrase, “the heir, as long as he is a child,” the word for
    “child” is nepios, which means an immature child. As such, he is
    no different from a servant “though he be lord of all.”
    Now let’s go back to the Roman home again and look at this
    little fellow. He is born into a good Roman family, but a servant
    takes care of him. And if you saw him running around with the
    other children, you’d never know he was the heir. You would not
    know that he was the son of the father of the household. He grows
    up “under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father” (Galatians 4:2).

    The age of accountability was not an established age level, but it
    was determined by the individual father. I think the father would
    know best. I know some boys who are mature when they are sixteen,
    some at eighteen, and some mature at twenty-one or older.
    In a Roman home it must have worked something like this. Suppose
    the father is a centurion in Caesar’s army. Caesar carries on a
    campaign way up in Gaul, pushing back the frontier of the Roman
    Empire. (Gaul is where my ancestors were and, believe me, they
    were heathen and they were fighters, and Caesar’s army had trouble
    with them.) So this centurion is gone from home for several years
    as the army puts down these northern barbarians. But finally the
    father returns home. He goes in to shave, and all of a sudden you
    hear him yell out, “Who’s been using my razor?” Well, I tell you,
    all the servants come running because he is the head of the house.
    They say to him, “Your son.” He says, “You mean to tell me that
    boy is old enough to use a razor? Bring him here.” So they bring
    him in – he’s a fine strapping boy – and the father says, “Well, now
    we must have the toga virilis, and we’ll send out invitations to the
    grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and uncles.” So they all come in for the
    ceremony of the toga virilis, and that day the father puts around the
    boy a toga, a robe. That is what our Lord meant in His parable of
    the prodigal son: “Put the robe around him, and put a ring on his
    finger” (see Luke 15:22). The ring had on it the signet of his father,
    which was equivalent to his signature and gave him the father’s authority.
    You could see that boy walking down the street now with
    that robe on. The servant better not say anything to correct him
    now, and he’d better not try to paddle him. In fact, the son will be
    paddling the servant from here on, because he has now reached the
    age of a full-grown son. That is what Paul meant when he went on to say:

    Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under
    the elements of the world [under the Law]. But, when the
    fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made
    of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were
    under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
    (Galatians 4:3-5)

    Now “adoption” has nothing to do with going to an orphans’ home,
    seeing a precious little child, and then taking legal steps to make
    him your own. That was not “adoption” in the Roman Empire.
    Adoption was when the man took his own son and made him a
    full-grown son. And the day when God saves us, we are brought
    into the family of God as full-grown sons.

    That truth may not mean anything to you, but it means everything
    to me – and it has in the past. I went to seminary with an
    awful inferiority complex. I was not brought up in a Christian
    home where I saw a Bible or heard a prayer – I knew nothing.
    And when I got to seminary the other fellows knew it all – at least
    that’s the impression they gave me. I’ve never met so many smart
    fellows. They knew the Bible, could quote verses, and they were
    very pious too. I didn’t even know the books of the Bible. And, I
    tell you, it disturbed me. So I began to learn the books of the Bible.
    The reason I wrote the book, Briefing the Bible*, with outlines of
    every book, was that I determined to know every book of the Bible.
    Then one day someone told me that I was not just a babe but that
    I was a full-grown son. Anything any mature saint could understand
    in the Word of God, I could understand because that mature
    saint would need the Holy Spirit to teach him, and I would too.
    That was a tremendous revelation to me and a great comfort in those early days.

    God brings us in as full-grown sons so we can understand spiritual
    truth! And if you don’t understand it, it is your fault because
    He has made every arrangement for you. He has made you a fullgrown
    son. To me the greatest tragedy in our churches today is the
    number of Bible ignoramuses who are there. They are not able to
    find their way around in the Bible at all. Notice what Paul says in this connection:

    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
    neither have entered into the heart of man, the things
    which God hath prepared for them that love him.
    (1
    Corinthians 2:9)

    This verse is used, as you know, at funerals with the idea that poor,
    dear So-and-so didn’t hear or see much here, but he has gone up
    yonder where he can hear and see the things of God. Now I grant
    you that this truth is in the Bible – “For now we see in a mirror,
    darkly; but then, face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12) – but this is
    not what 1 Corinthians 2:9 is saying. God wants us to understand
    spiritual truths down here because “God hath revealed them unto
    us by his Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Most of our learning comes
    through the ear-gate, the eye-gate, and what the psychologist calls
    cognition. That is how we learn today. But if we are going to get divine truth:

    But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the
    Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.…
    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit
    of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he
    know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    (1 Corinthians 2:10, 14)

    3. The Experience of Sons of God

    Faith in Christ, not works of the Law, gives the experience of sons
    of God. There are those today who think experience does not
    enter into salvation, that it has nothing to do with your salvation.
    But if you’re saved, faith in Christ will give you an experience.
    Many of us tend to play down experience. However, there is a
    sadness that has come over the saints in this country today. And
    there are many who need to have the experience of the Spirit of
    God making real in their lives that they are sons of God, making
    real to them that in spite of circumstances they are still children
    of God. Now I recognize the danger in experience.
    Let me share
    this little poem with you:

    Three men were walking on a wall,
    Feeling, Faith, and Fact,
    When Feeling had an awful fall,
    And Faith was taken aback.
    So close was Faith to Feeling,
    He stumbled and fell too,
    But Fact remained and pulled Faith back,
    And Faith brought Feeling too.
    – Author unknown

    If you are a child of God through faith in Christ, there is an experience.

    Now the believer never reaches the place of sinless perfection in
    this life. I wish we did. Being a pastor would be a lot easier if we
    had sinless perfection today. But we don’t have it. There have been
    men who in their desperation have reached out for it. The greatest
    preacher, I suppose, this country ever produced was Paul Rader.
    Thousands of people came to Christ through his ministry. Dr.
    Charles Fuller was one of them. He told me that he sat behind
    the last pillar in the church when Paul Rader preached. He put
    his head down on his arms and right where he was sitting he accepted
    Christ. Many other well-known men accepted Christ through
    the evangelistic efforts of Paul Rader. He was a great preacher. But
    he was accused of preaching sinless perfection. He was not guilty
    of the charge, but he did give that impression because he said some
    unusual things. One of the things he said was, “That old nature
    you have is just like a dead cat. Reach down, get it by the tail, and
    throw it from you as far as you can!” And everyone in the audience
    said, “Amen,” because everybody wants to get rid of the old dead
    cat. Now maybe you’re a little disgusted with Vernon McGee –
    you’d be surprised what I think of him. I’d like to get rid of the
    old nature, but it follows me around all the time. On one occasion
    Dr. Chafer said to Paul Rader when he made that statement, “Paul,
    you forget that old cat has nine lives! He’ll just come right back and
    you’ll have to throw him away again and again.” Now, my beloved,
    the believer never reaches perfection. We are always God’s foolish
    little children, filled with ignorance, stubbornness, sins, fears, and
    weaknesses. We are never wonderful; He is wonderful. We never
    reach that place. But we do experience the Spirit of God bearing
    witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.

    Paul says that the Spirit of God cries, “Abba, Father” –

    And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his
    Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
    (Galatians 4:6)


    This word Abba was not translated. The translators, very wisely, I
    think, did not attempt to put it into English. It is too personal. It
    means “my daddy.” And you don’t talk that way about God, friend,
    regardless of how intimate you try to get with Him. You don’t talk
    that way to Him. He is high and holy. But the Spirit of God can
    do that, and it is the Spirit of God who will witness to a child of
    God of the Father’s closeness and tender care. He does this especially
    in times of darkness and crises that come to us down here.
    John Paton, a missionary living among cannibals in the New Hebrides,
    told of how he buried his lovely wife with their newborn
    baby, and sat guard over the graves for days to keep the cannibals
    from digging up the bodies. He said, “I would have gone mad if
    Christ had not made Himself real to me.” My friend, I think He
    will make Himself real to you.

    If I may be personal – and the reason I use this personal illustration
    is that many who read this are going through the same experience.
    When I was told I had cancer, I’ll be honest with you, I
    couldn’t believe it. Now I could believe that you could have cancer,
    but I never thought I could have it. My doctor told me I would
    have to go to the hospital. So I went to the hospital and lay down
    in a bed. I had been a preacher for many years, and in rather a professional
    manner I had gone into hospitals to visit folk. I would
    pat them on the hand and say, “God will be with you.” I prayed
    for them, then I would walk out. But they had to stay there. A
    preacher friend came in late that first evening. I shall never forget.
    He prayed one of the most wonderful prayers I ever listened to,
    and how I appreciated it! Then he got up and left. But this time I
    was not walking out – I had to stay there. So I rolled over with my
    face to the wall and I said, “Lord, I’ve been in this hospital a hundred
    times, and I’ve told everybody else to trust You. Now I want
    to know whether that’s real or not.” I want to testify to this, friend, He became real.

    There are multitudes of people who will testify to this also, for
    they have had the same experience. For example, in Houston, Texas,
    a family drove fifty miles to the banquet at which I was speaking.
    They said to me, “We were Roman Catholics and we turned in
    faith to Christ when you were teaching Romans.” In Sarasota,
    Florida, a couple told me, “We have a son who has turned his back
    on us and against God. We have been rebuking ourselves and have
    even felt that we are no longer saved, but, thank God, it is faith
    plus nothing.” My friend, He gives the experience. The Law cannot
    give that to you, only faith in Christ can give it to you.
    This message is not pabulum; it is not milk and mush. I’m not
    the milkman. It might give you Christian colic today, because this
    is meat. But we need to know in this hour that it is only faith in
    Christ that can save us – faith plus nothing.
    Now I want to conclude with the strongest statement of all.
    Paul, at the end of Galatians 4, says,

    Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman
    and her son [that was Hagar and her son Ishmael];
    for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son
    of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of
    the bondwoman, but of the free. (Galatians 4:30, 31)

    Will you hear me now – oh, this is important! If you are trying to be
    saved by trusting Christ plus the Law, Paul says you are not saved.

    Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised,
    Christ shall profit you nothing. (Galatians 5:2)

    You can be saved only by trusting Christ. You have to make up your
    mind whether you’ll trust Christ or whether you will go by the legal
    route. You have to trust Him completely. You can’t carry a spare tire
    by saying, “Well, you know, I have church membership” or “I say
    my prayers.” My friend, if you are trusting these things to get you
    to heaven, you are not saved, you cannot be saved. It is only when
    you look to this wonderful Savior and trust Him wholly and totally.
    I close with another homely illustration. Our daughter came to visit
    us while we were in Florida, and we wanted to return to California
    by train. That was the time when passenger trains were being phased
    out. We tried to get a train route to California, but it seemed as
    though we would have to go halfway around the world to get there.
    So we had to come back by plane. When we got the tickets, I said,
    “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go by train and plane at the same
    time – sit in the plane and put our feet down in the train!” (I would
    feel much safer with my feet in the train, I assure you.) But that’s
    absurd. If we go by plane, we go by plane; if we go by train, we go
    by train. They have made no arrangements for passengers to sit in a
    plane and put their feet down in a train. My friend, neither has God
    any arrangement for you to be saved by faith and by law. You have to
    choose one or the other. If you want to go by law, then you can try it
    – but I’ll warn you that God has already said you won’t make it.

    My friend, are you going to heaven? How are you going? You can’t
    travel both ways. You have to decide whether you are going to
    trust Christ or whether you are going to try to make it another way.
    If you try another way, I say with Paul, “Christ shall profit you
    nothing.” But if you will trust Him, cast yourself upon Him, He
    will save you. You don’t have to do anything. All I did was board
    that plane and tighten my seat belt according to instructions –
    when they started feeding us, I had to loosen it – but that is all in
    the world I had to do. Everything else was done for me. And, friend,
    Christ has done everything for our salvation. It is your trust in Him
    that saves you. And, oh, let me tell you how wonderful it is this
    moment to know I am saved. When I look at Vernon McGee I
    get so discouraged. But I’m looking to Christ today. I’m looking to
    Him, and I wish I could sing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” It’s wonderful
    to know that Vernon McGee is saved. Thank God he is saved by
    faith in Christ! That’s the way, the only way, He can save you.

    It is faith plus nothing.


    Last edited by HeIsEnough; October 17th, 2010 at 08:40 PM.
    Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

    Joel 3:2

    I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

  3. #3

    Default

    How You Can Have the Assurance of Salvation
    By J Vernon McGee

    Published and distributed by
    Thru the Bible Radio Network
    P.O. Box 7100
    Pasadena, California 91109-7100
    (800) 65-BIBLE
    www.ttb.org




    He that hath the Son hath life; and he that
    hath not the Son of God hath not life. These
    things have I written unto you that believe on the
    name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye
    have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the
    name of the Son of God.
    (1 John 5:12, 13)
















    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of
    God; and everyone that loveth him that begot loveth
    him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that
    we love the children of God, when we love God, and
    keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that
    we keep his commandments: and his commandments are
    not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcometh
    the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the
    world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the
    world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
    This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus
    Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And
    it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is
    truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the
    Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three
    are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth,
    the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three
    agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the
    witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God
    which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on
    the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that
    believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he
    believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And
    this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life,
    and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath
    life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    These things have I written unto you that believe on the
    name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have
    eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the
    Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in
    him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he
    heareth us; and if we know that he hear us, whatever we
    ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired
    of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not
    unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for
    them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death;
    I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness
    is sin, and there is a sin not unto death. We know that
    whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is
    begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one
    toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God,
    and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know
    that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an
    understanding, that we may know him that is true; and
    we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.
    This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children,
    keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5)






    There is a gift that I would like to present to every Christian. It
    cannot be packed in excelsior, wrapped in brightly colored paper,
    tied with polychrome ribbon, or sealed with good wishes. It
    cannot be purchased with silver or gold. It is more valuable than
    all the treasures of this world. All the gold in all the nations of the
    world could not suffice as a down payment. It is not a material
    gift of this secular world but a real gift of the spiritual realm. It is
    intangible, but it is of inestimable and intrinsic value. Many who
    are rich would pay a handsome sum to possess it. Multitudes
    strive for it but find it just out of reach. As we face a future filled
    with fear and foreboding, it might appear as a will-o’-the-wisp. It
    is desperately and devoutly desired but seldom attained.

    The world lists this gift as peace of mind, as a feeling of security
    that all is well for the future. Psychology defines it as a wellintegrated
    personality freed from frustration. Scripture is more
    specific. The Bible sets forth this gift as a knowledge, a certainty,
    and an assurance concerning one’s personal relationship to God.
    Simply stated, it is the assurance regarding one’s salvation.

    Can we know experientially that we are saved and that we are
    the children of God? For years, my soul was tossed on the
    troubled sea of uncertainty and insecurity. Finally, there dawned
    upon my darkened mind the light of Philippians 1:6 –

    Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath
    begun a good work in you will perform [perfect] it until
    the day of Jesus Christ.


    It was then that the sun of Scripture rose with many shafts of
    light and penetrated the dark recesses of fears and doubts. I pray
    that I may be given wisdom and power to convey to your fearful
    heart the assurance of your salvation, if it is not already your
    present possession. For those who have experienced the assurance
    of salvation, perhaps these few words will stabilize and strengthen
    the fabric of your faith. Assurance is your rightful possession, and
    God wants you to have it as your portion.


    First of all, we need to distinguish between one’s eternal security and
    his assurance of salvation. The line of demarcation must be clearly
    drawn if we are to enter experientially into the joy of salvation.

    Eternal security is an objective fact; assurance of salvation is a
    subjective experience.

    Eternal security is not in the realm of experience, and therefore is
    totally independent of a person’s feelings; assurance of salvation is
    truly an experience – an inner consciousness and confidence that
    a right relationship exists between the soul and God.

    Eternal security rests upon certain objective facts that are
    established and sure; it depends upon God’s faithfulness. A simple
    illustration will clarify this point. The Battle of Bunker Hill is a
    fact in American history. You and I did not experience the Battle
    of Bunker Hill, and our feelings are, therefore, no guide to the
    accuracy of history concerning it.

    Eternal security rests upon what God says:

    He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son
    of God hath not life.

    (1 John 5:12)

    The most wonderful statement in the Bible (or out of the Bible,
    for that matter) is Romans 8:1 –

    There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who
    are in Christ Jesus….


    In conjunction with this verse are verses 33 and 34 of the same
    chapter:

    Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?
    Shall God that justifieth? Who is he that condemneth?
    Shall Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again,
    who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh
    intercession for us?


    The throne of God is behind every sinner who has trusted in
    Jesus. Christ’s work of redemption is adequate enough to secure
    the perfect salvation for the sinner who trusts Him. If not, then
    the work of Christ was of no avail, and it was not a finished
    transaction but must be written down as “unfinished business.”
    However, He, as it were, wrote over His cross, “It is finished”
    (John 19:30).

    God is offering eternal life – everlasting life – to those who
    believe in Christ. It is not temporary or uncertain. It is not paid
    for on the installment plan. It is a gift the moment one believes,
    but for longer than a moment – for eternity.

    You may or you may not have the assurance of this salvation
    that God offers as everlasting life. An anomalous situation exists
    today. Some Christians believe in the security of the believer but
    do not themselves have the assurance of their salvation; “My
    brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:10), but they do exist.

    God wants you to know that you are His child through faith in
    Jesus Christ:

    But as many as received him, to them gave he power
    [the right] to become the children of God, even to them
    that believe on his name; who were born, not of blood,
    nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
    God.
    (John 1:12, 13)

    It is not honoring to Him for you to have misgivings, doubts,
    and a lack of assurance. “Maybe” and “perhaps” should not be in
    the vocabulary of a born-again Christian when the matter of
    salvation is the subject. It is not a “hope so” but a “know so”
    salvation that God offers. It is always described as everlasting or
    eternal life; it is not temporary or conditional. Listen to God
    and be assured:

    He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the
    Son of God hath not life. These things have I written
    unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God,
    that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye
    may believe on the name of the Son of God.
    (1 John 5:12, 13)
    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of
    faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil
    conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
    (Hebrews 10:22)
    This is not the language of uncertainty. There is a remarkable
    passage in this connection expressed in Isaiah 32:17 –

    And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the
    effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.


    The righteousness mentioned here is not man’s, but it is the
    righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. This is the
    righteousness of Christ, which is made over to us and gives us
    a standing before God. It cannot be improved upon because it
    is perfect, and it cannot be disturbed because it is given to the
    lost sinner who trusts in Jesus.

    God wants all who trust the work in Christ to come to a place
    in experience where each can say with confidence, boldness, and
    much assurance, but with true humility:

    …I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that
    he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him
    against that day.
    (2 Timothy 1:12)


    To fall short of this goal is to miss the best that He has for us. It
    reveals a defect in our understanding and in our appreciation of
    His “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3).

    A very simple and homely illustration will show that God wants
    us to enjoy and be assured of our salvation. Traveling by air is
    something I do only in an emergency. Candidly, I have never
    enjoyed an airplane trip; I lack assurance and confidence in this
    method of travel. Pictures of train wrecks and statistics of
    highway fatalities do not increase my relish for air travel.

    A trip from Los Angeles, California, to Phoenix, Arizona, only
    made matters worse. On the way over and on the way back, the
    trip to me was hazardous. It was a summer Saturday morning on
    the way over. The intense heat of the desert was threading its way
    into the cool fog of Southern California between the San Jacinto
    and San Gorgonio mountains. The plane hit rough air and began
    to bounce around. Then the pilot found that the higher he went,
    the rougher it got; he leveled off and went through the pass at
    what appeared to be about 10,000 feet. At times, the plane would
    drop, and it seemed to me that it would never stop. I grabbed the
    seat in front of me and held on for dear life. Of course, the seat
    in front of me was dropping just at fast as the one in which I was
    sitting! A fellow traveler aboard, who had been around the world
    by air several times, stated that this was the roughest trip he had
    ever experienced. I concurred with him thoroughly, for it surely
    was my roughest trip – and, as I felt then, my last trip by air.

    Across the aisle from me sat a man who was a former pilot. He
    was asleep by the time the plane took to the air. He was merely
    annoyed at all the disturbance and turned over and went back to
    sleep. He had flown many missions over Germany during World
    War II. When we landed and commented on the rough trip, he
    simply smiled and confessed that he had enjoyed it all. Frankly, I
    did not enjoy one minute of it.

    Now, I was as safe as that man. Whatever security the plane
    offered was mine as well as his. We both had faith enough to enter
    the plane, but he had the faith, understanding, and experience to
    enjoy the trip. He had assurance, but I did not. What could have
    been a pleasant experience for me was a sad ordeal!
    My friend, God wants you to enjoy your salvation. His “plane”
    cannot fall, and you do not have to hold on to the seat in front of
    you. He holds you!

    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they
    follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they
    shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out
    of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater
    than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my
    Father’s hand.
    (John 10:27-29)

    He never lets go. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your salvation.
    Someone has said, “All the way to heaven is heaven.”

    Why Do We Doubt?

    There are many reasons why believers do not have the assurance
    of their salvation. Let us look at some of the principal ones.

    Fear

    Some are frightened souls who received the gospel in trembling
    and fear. The gospel was presented partially, and they were not
    told that they could have any assurance. There is always a serious
    doubt whether folk like this have ever been saved. The instability
    and inconsistency of the lives of many who live in the atmosphere
    of uncertainty do not reveal a thoroughgoing conversion. It is
    interesting to note what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians
    concerning the preaching of the gospel in their city:

    For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also
    in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much
    assurance, as ye know what manner of men we were
    among you for your sake.
    (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

    The gospel that produces changed lives comes in much assurance.
    Many who lack assurance are sincere, but they have actually never
    been born again.

    While I was a pastor in Pasadena, California, an attractive young
    couple who had come to us out of a liberal church spoke to me
    one Wednesday evening after the service and exclaimed with great
    joy, “We have received the assurance of our salvation tonight!”
    The next Wednesday evening they came down smiling after the
    service and said, “Correction, please. We did not get the assurance
    of our salvation last week; we got saved.”

    They were thrilled as they related their experience in going
    home the week before and getting down on their knees and
    actually receiving Christ as Savior; this experience gave them
    assurance. This is the manner in which God intends the gospel to
    come to men and women – “in much assurance.”

    Emotionalism

    Some depend upon an emotional experience, and they do not
    have the knowledge of their salvation. The gospel has not been
    given to them accurately, and they merely rest upon an emotional
    upheaval. If the experience was significant, then they fall back
    upon it to fortify their faith. When the emotional experience
    wears thin and there is not much to rest upon, then doubts and
    uncertainty creep in to make the heart disturbed. Many of these
    people do not know the assurance that there is in the gospel:

    That their hearts might be comforted, being knit
    together in love and unto all riches of the full assurance
    of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the
    mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.
    (Colossians 2:2)


    Again, permit me to resort to a personal experience to clarify
    this point. One Easter Sunday, two couples came forward at the
    invitation. One couple was overcome with emotion; the other
    couple was stoical. The elders who dealt with them could not get
    a clear statement from the emotional couple because they were
    weeping so. The contrast was so great that some even doubted the
    genuineness of the couple who shed no tears. However, time
    proved that emotion was no indication of a real experience of
    conversion, for the emotional couple were pulled out of one ism
    shortly after that incident and then became involved in a second
    ism. The couple who seemed to have no emotional experience at
    all grew in grace and the knowledge of Christ. It became a joy to
    see them take their regular places in the services of the church.
    This couple had the “full assurance of understanding” from the
    very beginning.

    Sin

    Unconfessed sin in the life of a believer is the greatest single
    factor in robbing one of the assurance of salvation. God wants us
    to have the full assurance of faith; this comes experientially
    through fellowship with God. Sin breaks our fellowship, and this,
    in time, sets up a chain reaction that breaks our assurance.

    If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in
    darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.
    (1 John 1:6)

    We can bluff our way through before others by putting up a front
    that all is well. But underneath, doubts begin to gnaw like little
    foxes at the fringe of our faith, and we actually feel that we are
    not really God’s children. We dread the light because it makes us
    more conscious of our doubts. God is still our Father nonetheless,
    and a conviction of sin is pretty good evidence. We have lost our
    fellowship – not our salvation.

    The Christian should come to the light, which is the Word of
    God. It reveals our sin, but it also shows us the remedy. The
    blood of Christ is still potent, and it is the basis of forgiveness for
    the sins of a child of God.

    But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
    fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus
    Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.
    (1 John 1:7)

    The believer who walks in the light and discovers sin in his life
    knows that the blood of Christ keeps on cleansing him from sin;
    consequently, he goes in confession to Him:

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
    our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    (1 John 1:9)


    Immediately, fellowship is restored for the sinning saint. The
    family fellowship is resumed and confidence and assurance are
    restored. You see, the child of God is always disturbed by sin in
    his life, as he knows it breaks fellowship with God. In fact, the
    line of demarcation is drawn at this point between God’s children
    and the devil’s offspring:

    In this the children of God are manifest, and the
    children of the devil: whosoever doeth [practices] not
    righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not
    his brother.
    (1 John 3:10)


    Deliberate and continual sinning, without remorse or without
    repentance, is a clear indication that one has not come into the place
    of sonship. The child of God is distressed, disturbed, and distraught
    by the presence of sin. He hates the sin in his life and longs to be
    delivered from it. The presence of sin robs him of his assurance. The
    legitimate child of God can never compromise with the sin in his life.
    How You Can Have the Assurance of Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

    How Can I Know?

    Having listed the main things that rob a person of the assurance
    of salvation, let’s look at some things that are evidence of salvation.

    Desire to Obey

    The child of God longs to obey God and to please Him:

    And by this we do know that we know him, if we keep
    his commandments.
    (1 John 2:3)


    This desire to obey God gives him an assurance that he is a son
    of God.He wants to know the will of God, and therefore he wants to
    know the Word of God. So he goes where he can hear the Word
    of God:

    Oh, how love I thy law! It is my mediation all the
    day…. I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love….
    I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
    (Psalm 119:97, 113, 162)

    He finds that he not only has an appetite for the Word of God,
    but he also begins to understand it, and thereby growth takes
    place:

    But he that is spiritual judgeth [understands] all things,
    yet he himself is judged [understood] of no man. (1
    Corinthians 2:15)


    There are other tests that indicate to a trembling but trusting
    heart that he or she is a child of God. God urges us to make the
    tests so that we may have assurance:

    Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove
    yourselves. Know ye not yourselves how Jesus Christ is
    in you, unless you are discredited?
    (2 Corinthians 13:5)


    Reality in Prayer

    A reality in prayer is evidence that we are children of God.
    There is a very remarkable statement in this connection made in
    the third chapter of 1 John:

    And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall
    assure our hearts before him. (v. 19)


    As the child of God approaches the Father, a holy boldness
    confirms the heart. This is not presumption – it is the assurance
    that a child has in approaching a father. However, sin or some
    other impediment may make us hesitant and reluctant to
    approach the Father. God does not hear us because of our
    reluctance but because of Christ, and He hears us regardless of
    our condition:

    For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our
    heart, and knoweth all things. (v. 20)


    Nevertheless, when our hearts are rightly related to Him, then
    there is a confidence given to us:

    Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we
    confidence toward God. (v. 21)


    Furthermore, when we are in His will, there are added tokens that
    we are His children:

    And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we
    keep his commandments, and do those things that are
    pleasing in his sight. (v. 22)


    Answered prayer is an argument that one is a legitimate child
    of God. The prayer life of the believer is vital in assuring the
    soul of salvation.

    Love for the Brethren

    A love for the brethren and a passion for the souls of men are
    evidence that we are children of God. One of the most convicting
    and confirming facts sealing assurance to the heart is love of the
    brethren. Scripture is positive at this point:

    We know that we have passed from death unto life,
    because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his
    brother abideth in death.
    (1 John 3:14)


    Animosity and hatred in the heart will rob the child of God of
    assurance. Malice toward another Christian produces bitterness
    of soul and is therefore not a fertile soil to cultivate assurance.
    Malice is condensed anger. Lack of love for another believer robs
    more Christians of real enjoyment and satisfaction in the
    Christian life than perhaps any other single factor. It not only
    blights the soul of the Christian, but it also destroys any public
    testimony:

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye
    have love one to another. (John 13:35)
    To love other believers is not elective:
    These things I command you, that ye love one another.
    (John 15:17)

    Do not let a little root of bitterness rob you of assurance. Make
    things right with other believers.
    Not only will the believer love those within the Christian
    fellowship, but there will also be a desire for those outside the
    fold to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. It is impossible
    for Christ, the One who died for sinners, to be in the heart and
    there not be a longing for the salvation of sinners. A sterile and
    frigid Christian is not likely to experience the sweetness and joy
    of full assurance, but a vital Christian, who knows something of
    the Savior’s compassion, will find the joy of belonging and an
    abiding experience.

    Conscious of Being His Child

    A consciousness that we are children of God comes to the soul and
    says that we are the sons of God. This is the gracious work of the
    Spirit of God and not the product of psychological presumption.

    By this know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,
    because he hath given us of his Spirit.
    (1 John 4:13)

    This does not mean that we are conscious of the presence of the
    Holy Spirit, but it does mean that we are conscious of the work
    of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself,
    but He speaks of Christ:

    Nevertheless, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he
    will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of
    himself, but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak;
    and he will show you things to come.
    (John 16:13)

    Part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to make us conscious that
    we are the children of God.

    The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that
    we are the children of God.
    (Romans 8:16)


    There is a counterfeit humility going the rounds today, and it
    sounds very pious, but it does not have the ring of the genuine.
    Some say that we are to grovel in the dust and act like worms –
    this is the modern way of putting on sackcloth and ashes. It is
    true that we are sinners; there is no good within us, no good
    comes out of us, and we have nothing in which to glory save the
    cross of Christ. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit does not bear
    witness with our spirit that we are the “worms” of God. No, He
    encourages us when we are in times of weakness and trembling,
    and in spite of all our failure says that we are the children of God.

    A remarkable thing is stated in the following verse:

    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to
    fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,
    whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    (Romans 8:15)

    The word Abba is an untranslated Aramaic word. The translators
    of the first English Bibles, who had great reverence for the Word
    of God, who believed it was indeed the Word of God, would not
    translate it. Abba is a very personal word that could be translated
    “my Daddy.” We don’t use this word in reference to God because
    of the danger of becoming overly familiar with Him. But the
    Spirit affirms it and causes us to realize that God is our very own
    Father through regeneration and by adoption.

    While I was praying one morning shortly before Christmas, my
    little seven-year-old daughter tiptoed into the room and placed a
    letter before me. Since I was getting nowhere in my prayer, I
    paused to read the contents of the letter that she had scribbled in
    her childish hand (see opposite page).
    Before Christmas, a father always comes into his proper position
    in the home and is treated with due respect. Nevertheless, the
    letter caused me to drop to my knees and be conscious anew and
    afresh that God was my Father. I cried out in joy, “You are my
    Father, and I love You. You have been gracious to me, and I know
    You always will.” The veil was removed from my eyes, and my
    soul was flooded with a fresh consciousness that I was a son of
    God. This was the gracious work of the Spirit of God.

    There is an experience of salvation for the child of God that
    he does not have to seek. It will come, for it is impossible for the
    Holy Spirit to regenerate a sinner and for Christ to dwell in the
    heart and there not be a corresponding experience.

    Dr. George Truett told a story out of his long and fruitful
    ministry at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. One day he
    had the sad office of conducting the funeral of a young wife
    and mother from his congregation. After the service, friends
    gathered around the young husband and the little girl who
    were left. The friends urged the father to go with them to their
    homes for a few days. He refused with the statement that he
    would have to face the reality of life without his wife and,
    therefore, he would begin at once. He took the little girl back
    to the lonely house where everything in it reminded him of his
    wife. The little girl, sensing that something was wrong but not
    old enough to appreciate the situation, kept calling for her
    mother. The child did not make it any easier by constantly
    reminding the father that he was not feeding her or putting
    her to bed as her mother was accustomed to do. When the
    father had finally tucked the little one in bed and gone off to
    bed himself, thinking the little girl was asleep, he cried aloud
    in his anguish of soul, “Oh, God, it is dark down here.”

    The child, who was not asleep, began to cry and said, “Daddy, it
    is dark over here, too. Take me in bed with you.” The father took
    the little one in bed with him and attempted to soothe her
    sobbing. Then she reached over in the darkness and felt the face
    of her father. “Daddy,” she said, “I can go to sleep if your face is
    toward me.” Being assured that his face was toward her, she soon
    dropped off into peaceful slumber.

    The anxious father thought over this incident and the simple
    faith of the child in him. Then he cried out again, “Oh, God, it
    is dark down here, but I can bear it if I know Your face is toward
    me.” Soon he, too, was sound asleep. The Holy Spirit, in a time
    of darkness and emergency, confirms to the sad spirit of the child
    of God that he is a son of God and that the heavenly Father does
    not have His face averted from His own.

    When Did I Believe?

    Perhaps these words have not been convincing to many anxious
    souls because they cannot establish, with any degree of certainty,
    a moment in time when they had a transforming experience with
    God. But there does not have to be a date for a “second birthday.”
    Multitudes are kept in uncertainty because they hear others testify
    to a day, a moment, and a place when they passed from death to
    life. If you have had such an experience, it certainly must be
    gratifying. But many others have not been that fortunate; yet
    they, too, are born-again believers.

    If I may be permitted a final personal reference, this is my
    experience. I have never been able to put my finger on the
    moment that I was converted. As a boy, I went to an altar under
    a brush arbor, but no one thought to speak to me about my soul
    or to explain the way of salvation. The devil formerly used this to
    disturb my mind when I heard someone testify to a transforming
    experience. That master of doubt and deception would lean over
    my shoulder and whisper, “How do you know that you have
    accepted Christ?”

    Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer gave me the solution to this problem
    in a class lecture when I was in seminary, and the devil does not
    disturb me on this score anymore. Now I say to him, “Perhaps
    you are right. I may never have accepted Christ in the past. But
    you are witness that here and now I accept Him with all my
    heart. Now I am a child of God.” If this has been your difficulty,
    then I beseech you to accept Christ this very moment – assure
    your heart and have the peace of God.

    Do not look for an experience! Do not probe your feelings!
    Do not use psychoanalysis! Believe God! Take Him at His Word!
    Trust His faithfulness!

    “Let God be true, but every man a liar”
    (Romans 3:4).

    Christ says, “Him that cometh to me I will in no
    wise cast out”
    (John 6:37).
    Will you come?

    He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the
    Son of God hath not life.
    (1 John 5:12)

    Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

    Joel 3:2

    I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

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    Mr. McGee!



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
    Buzzardhut.net |The Watch Parables | The Rapture | Romans | The Virgin Mary | Roman Catholicism
    Never Heard of Jesus? | The Evidence Bible | Tent Meeting | The Beast/666 | The Kingdom of Darkness | The Nephilim

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    Darkness and Light: The Day of the Lord
    by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

    Published and distributed by
    Thru the Bible Radio Network
    P.O. Box 7100
    Pasadena, California 91109-7100
    (800) 65-BIBLE
    www.ttb.org





    But of the times and the seasons, brethren,
    ye have no need that I write unto you. For
    yourselves know perfectly that the day of the
    Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For
    when they shall say, Peace and safety, then
    sudden destruction cometh upon them, as
    travail upon a woman with child, and they
    shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in
    darkness, that that day should overtake you
    as a thief.
    (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4)




    The Day of the Lord was the high hope and the far-off goal of
    the Old Testament. It was that toward which the entire Old Testament
    program was moving. Everything in time and creation looked
    forward to and moved toward that day. The Old Testament closed
    without it being realized, and up to today the Day of the Lord has
    not yet come.

    The Old Testament closes with almost a sundown of the nation
    Israel. The people were drugged to an unconsciousness of sin. They
    were in a spiritual stupor with no conviction, which is the lowest
    state of sin. The last word of the Old Testament is a curse, but it
    does not close with only a curse. It closes with a great hope that
    although the sun has gone down and it is very dark, there is coming
    a new day – the Day of the Lord – and the Sun of righteousness
    who will usher it in:

    But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness
    arise with healing in his wings....
    (Malachi 4:2)

    But when we come to the New Testament, we find even there
    that the Day of the Lord had not come. In Paul’s first letter to
    the Thessalonians, we read that this Day of the Lord was still in
    the future:

    But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need
    that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that
    the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
    (1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2)

    So when Paul wrote this in about A.D. 51, the Day of the Lord
    was still in the future, and after almost 2000 years, it is yet future.The expression “the Day of the Lord” occurs five times in the
    Book of Joel, a very brief prophecy, and all other prophets make
    reference to this momentous period of time, some using the terms
    “the day” or “the great day.” You will find that references to the
    Day of the Lord occur seventy-five times in the Old Testament.
    It became such a familiar phrase and was such an understandable
    subject of the Old Testament that by the time of Zechariah, one
    of the last of the prophets, you will find that he could use the term
    “in that day” and it was understood that he meant the Day of the
    Lord. It was the great theme of the Old Testament.

    The New Testament does not drop the subject at all. It does not
    ignore the subject nor does it change it. Both Paul (in 1 and 2
    Thessalonians) and Peter (see 2 Peter 3:3-10) address it. Now Paul
    and Simon Peter may have disagreed at Antioch about whether to
    eat certain meats or not and on other minor points, but they did
    not disagree on this all-important subject. The Day of the Lord
    was still a very important part of the program of God.

    I believe that if you understand what the Day of the Lord is and
    get the picture that is set before us in the Word of God, you are
    well on the way to becoming a student of prophecy. In fact, you
    can become an authority in the field of eschatology.

    When Will It Come?

    Now, the question arises: Is it possible to identify this period
    known as the Day of the Lord? Can we define it? Can we get it
    out of the realm of the nebulous and tenuous? Can we avoid thinking
    of it as a vague theory and a spurious theology as is done today,
    even in many of our seminaries? I find it interesting to note that
    this theme has not been featured in any of the Christian journals
    that have come to my desk during the past few years. They have
    almost ignored this subject altogether. Our young people in manyof our so-called Christian schools are not taught these fundamental
    truths of what the Day of the Lord really means.

    Now what about the boundaries to the Day of the Lord? Can
    we place it in the parenthesis of time? How can we fit it into the
    program of God?

    Well, the Day of the Lord has definite reference to the return of
    Christ to the earth to establish His kingdom. That is made very
    clear when you turn to Old Testament prophecy. I have already
    referred to the prophecy of Zechariah. Now let’s read this important
    section of his prophecy. Note the language carefully:

    Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be
    divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations
    against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and
    the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the
    city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people
    shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth,
    and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the
    day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the
    Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and
    the Mount of Olives shall cleave in its midst toward the east
    and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley;
    and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north,
    and half of it toward the south.
    (Zechariah 14:1-4)

    Here is a remarkable prophecy, a prophecy that says, “Behold,
    the day of the Lord cometh….” Note that it says in verse 4 that
    included in this day is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
    He is coming to the earth – it says specifically that His feet
    shall stand on the Mount of Olives.

    These verses tell us this much: We know that the second coming
    of Christ to the earth to establish His kingdom is part of the Day of the Lord. This great event is so important that actually many
    very fine expositors begin the Day of the Lord with this second
    coming of Christ to the earth at the end of the Tribulation period.
    The Scofield Reference Bible presents that viewpoint. The greatest
    teacher I ever sat under, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, taught that. But
    there is one small change I will make in that view: I think the Day
    of the Lord begins before Christ’s second coming, and I trust I’ll
    be able to sustain that thesis.

    The Day of the Lord is associated by the prophets with the millennial
    kingdom that is to be established on this earth. In fact, the
    kingdom is equally as great a theme of the Old Testament as is the
    Day of the Lord. Therefore, the Day of the Lord includes the kingdom.
    However, I think the Day of the Lord is the all-inclusive term,
    while the kingdom is the smaller term.

    And the LORD shall be king over all the earth; in that day
    shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
    (Zechariah 14:9)

    Then the verses following give actual details as to where they will
    begin to measure the land in that day, and Jerusalem is to become
    the very center. Our Lord called it the city of the great king, and
    our Lord shall be king in Jerusalem in that day. So now we know
    that the Day of the Lord includes the second coming of Christ when
    He establishes His kingdom, and it also includes His kingdom.

    Now we need to see that the New Testament confirms this. When
    you turn to 2 Peter, you will find a confirmation:

    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in
    which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and
    the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and
    the works that are in it, shall be burned up.
    (2 Peter 3:10)

    The Day of the Lord includes the millennial kingdom up to the
    establishment of the new heavens and the new earth. It extends
    therefore to the new heavens, the very beginning of eternity future.

    70th Week of Daniel

    When studying in the Book of Daniel, we find a great deal of information
    pertaining to the future of the nation Israel. Most significant
    is the “70 weeks of Daniel”* in chapter 9. Daniel was one of the
    Jewish captives in Babylon, and to him God gave some specific information
    – including actual dating – as to the end of their captivity,
    return to Israel, and their rebuilding of Jerusalem. That fits into secular
    history from 445 B.C. to 397 B.C. and was literally fulfilled.

    Then, the second period consisted of 430 years – from 397 B.C.
    until Christ came. And we find that the very day He marched into
    Jerusalem, presenting Himself as the Messiah, was the exact fulfillment
    of this. According to the lunar calendar which Israel followed,
    it was right up to the very minute!

    After the 483 years, there is a time break, and two events of utmost
    importance take place: “Messiah [will] be cut off ” – this was
    the crucifixion of Christ. Also Jerusalem would be destroyed by
    the “people of the prince” who would come later on (Daniel 9:26).
    This was fulfilled when the Romans under Titus destroyed Jerusalem
    in A.D. 70.

    God’s revelation to Daniel had nothing to say about the church
    age – it wasn’t necessary to mention it. He was saying that there were 490 years that pertained to Daniel’s people, which is the
    nation Israel. Today there are seven years (the seventieth week)
    of this period that have not yet taken place.

    Now when you come to the New Testament, you’ll find that
    something has been added, that the church is brought before us.
    We learn that after Messiah was cut off, He rose from the dead
    and ascended back to heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit on the Day
    of Pentecost and there took place something new: the calling out
    of a body of believers called “the church.” And the calling out has
    been going on for almost 2000 years.

    The next thing on God’s program we call the imminent coming
    of Christ for His church. We found out that Paul, in effect, said
    to the Thessalonian Christians who were weeping for their loved
    ones who had died, “Sorrow not, even as others which have no
    hope. Of course you sorrow, but you have a hope!” (See 1 Thessalonians
    5:13.) Why?

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
    with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God;
    and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive
    and remain shall be caught up together with them in the
    clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be
    with the Lord.
    (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)

    Those who believe that Jesus died and rose again (verse 14) will go
    with Him immediately to heaven. And in heaven there will take
    place the judgment for believers at the judgment seat of Christ to
    see whether they are to receive a reward or not (2 Corinthians 5:10).
    But, you see, momentous things will be happening on the earth
    during that period. The Great Tribulation will take place, designated
    in the Old Testament as the “seventieth week of Daniel.” It is
    the seven-year period yet to run that will complete the 490 years
    of the prophecy God gave to Daniel. It pertains to the nation
    Israel, and it will be concluded by the return of Christ to the
    earth as Zechariah chapter 14, verse 4, says: “His feet shall stand
    in that day upon the Mount of Olives.”

    Now you can understand that when Christ calls His own out of
    the earth and into the air to meet Him, His feet won’t be touching
    the Mount of Olives. His taking of His church out of the world
    is the event we call the Rapture of the church.

    Then there will take place the Great Tribulation here on earth,
    and at the end of that period Christ will return to establish His
    kingdom on this earth. During those seven years, the earth will
    have been under a world dictator who will combine both religion
    and politics. He will bring the ecumenical movement under one
    head, and only he himself will be worshiped as god. Paul’s epistle
    reveals this fact, so does John in the Book of Revelation, and in
    the Old Testament Daniel confirms it. This world dictator, called
    the Antichrist, will show himself as god in the temple of God. He
    also will be the political ruler, the dictator of the entire world. No
    one can break his rule on this earth except Christ at His second
    coming. The Lord Jesus Christ will come in judgment to establish
    His kingdom, and that kingdom will last for 1000 years. His coming
    to the earth is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

    The Rapture is the great theme of 1 Thessalonians, while the
    Revelation, meaning Christ’s second coming to the earth, is the
    theme of 2 Thessalonians. And the interesting thing is that all of
    this is called the “Day of the Lord” in the Bible.

    Now we have something else to look at here that is very important
    for us to see. We can now put down our pegs and say that the
    Day of the Lord does not begin with the return of Christ to the
    earth at His Revelation, but it begins at the Rapture when He
    takes His church out of the world – because we’re told very definitely that the Day of the Lord comes without warning at all. You
    see, the Bible has given signs to look for that will indicate the coming
    of Christ to the earth, but there are no signs for the Rapture
    of the church.

    The Day of the Lord begins when the church leaves the earth,
    and that triggers the Great Tribulation Period on the earth. The
    Day of the Lord does not begin therefore with the return of Christ
    to the earth; rather, it begins with the Rapture.

    Evening Begins the Day

    Now I want you to notice something very interesting. The Hebrew
    day always began with sundown; it never began with sunup. Have
    you noticed even in Genesis, the very first chapter, how carefully
    that is given to us? It says, “The evening and the morning were
    the first day…. The evening and the morning were the second
    day....The evening and the morning were the third day…. “ Also,
    the Day of the Lord begins in darkness – at sundown. That may
    change the thinking of some for this reason: A great many people
    think the Day of the Lord means the coming of Christ to establish
    His kingdom. My beloved, the prophets make it very clear
    that this is not what they are talking about at all.

    I turn now to the prophecy of Joel, and note this language
    carefully:

    Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy
    mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for
    the day of the LORD cometh, for it is near at hand; a day
    of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick
    darkness, like the morning spread upon the mountains; a
    great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like,
    neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many
    generations.
    (Joel 2:1, 2)

    Our Lord Himself took that expression and called it the Great
    Tribulation. He said,

    For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the
    beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    And except those days should be shortened, there should no
    flesh be saved [that is, survive].
    (Matthew 24:21, 22)

    There would be nothing like it before, nothing like it afterward.
    And Joel said that the Day of the Lord begins with darkness and
    gloominess. It begins with the Great Tribulation Period, a time of
    darkness, just as the Hebrew day must begin.

    This is the whole tenor of Scripture. You will find that all the
    references to the Day of the Lord identify it with judgment. Listen
    to this language in the Book of Ezekiel:

    For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a
    cloudy day; it shall be the time of the nations.
    (Ezekiel 30:3)

    Do you notice what Ezekiel said? “The day of the Lord is near,
    a cloudy day.” He agrees with Joel. Now notice the language used
    by Isaiah:

    Wail; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a
    destruction from the Almighty.…Behold, the day of the LORD
    cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the
    land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners out of it.
    (Isaiah 13:6, 9)

    The Day of the Lord, you see, is always associated with judgment.
    That is the way you find it in the Word of God.

    Now I turn to what is probably one of the most remarkable prophecies
    on this subject that we have in the entire Bible. It’s found in
    the first chapter of the little prophecy of Zephaniah:

    The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteneth
    greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD; the mighty
    man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath
    [and the Great Tribulation is called a day of wrath], a day
    of trouble and distress, a day of waste and desolation, a
    day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick
    darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the
    fortified cities, and against the high towers. And I will
    bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind
    men, because they have sinned against the LORD; and their
    blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like the
    dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to
    deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath, but the whole
    land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he
    shall make even a speedy riddance of all those who dwell
    in the land.
    (Zephaniah 1:14-18)

    You see, it is a time of judgment. The great day of His wrath is
    come, and it’s the time of judgment upon the earth. This is the
    picture the Bible presents to us. Joel confirms it again:

    And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army; for his
    camp is very great; for he is strong who executeth his word;
    for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible, and who
    can abide it?
    (Joel 2:11)

    And then again in the third chapter:

    Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day
    of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
    (Joel 3:14)

    Now, my beloved, all of these references relate the Day of the
    Lord to a period of judgment. It would be very easy to give you
    cross-references that show the direct application to the Great Tribulation
    Period, because in the Book of Revelation the Great Tribulation Period has all of these things in it. Therefore the Day of
    the Lord will begin with night – the night of delusion, distress,
    and desolation.

    But it is always God’s plan to move from darkness to light –
    always. We find His first recorded words in the Book of Genesis
    when He moved into this earth after some great catastrophe took
    place. He said, “Let there be light” (see Genesis 1:2, 3). Where
    there is darkness, God moves in with light. Where there is sin, He
    moves in with salvation. It is His method. And though the great
    Day of the Lord opens with judgment, it leads to light, if you
    please. There is both darkness and light in the Day of the Lord.
    Now I want to reaffirm this. The Day of the Lord comes without
    warning. We noted in all those passages the thought of its coming
    quickly. This doesn’t mean it is coming soon, but when it comes,
    it strikes suddenly! If the Lord Jesus took the church off this earth
    tonight (I say this to you very carefully), I am convinced that the
    Day of the Lord would break on this earth tomorrow. It would
    break suddenly!

    You see, at the Rapture when God removes the church (which
    has lost much of its influence, but it does have some) He would
    also remove something else – a Restrainer. The Holy Spirit is the
    Restrainer, and He would still be in the world but not restraining
    evil. Today He is holding back evil in order that the gospel might
    continue to go out, and He will do that up to the very moment
    the church leaves the world. Then, when that takes place, evil will
    break like a great flood or a dam giving way, and a flood of evil
    and of great judgment will come over this earth.

    Now, the return of Christ to this earth to establish His kingdom
    has signs connected to it. However, there’s not a sign given to us
    for the time of the Rapture when He takes His own out of the
    world, which may be at any moment. It can take place at any time, and no man can set a date. We can’t even say it may be
    soon. We do not know. Somebody said to me, “Well, it may be
    this year that He will come.” I said, “Don’t say that, because the
    minute you begin to talk about dates, you contradict the Lord
    Jesus who said, ‘In such an hour as ye think not the Son of man
    cometh’ (Matthew 24:44).”

    When He takes the church out of the world, that is called the
    Day of Christ. “Being confident of this very thing, that he who
    hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of
    Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6) – that is the great hope that is before
    the church.

    As we have already seen, the Day of the Lord begins when Christ
    takes the church out of the world. And though it begins in darkness,
    it is certainly light for those who were taken out – that is,
    the children of God. It is the end of the pilgrim pathway down
    here for them. The Day of Christ ends at the Rapture, and the
    Day of the Lord begins at that point.

    In the prophecy of Hosea, there are some wonderful verses that
    speak of this period but are not identified as such. Note the picture
    that’s given here:

    For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a
    king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and
    without an image, and without an ephod, and without
    teraphim.
    (Hosea 3:4)

    That’s the period we’re living in today. It has been true now for many
    years that Israel has not had a place of sacrifice. Then God says,

    Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the
    LORD their God, and David, their king; and shall fear the
    LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
    (Hosea 3:5)

    So when Christ comes to this earth to establish His kingdom, this
    verse will be fulfilled.

    The Day of the Lord, I trust you can see, is a technical term; it
    is also a theological term that embraces many momentous acts of
    God. You and I today are living in the day of salvation, but that
    doesn’t mean a 24-hour day. It doesn’t really have reference to time
    but to a particular period. And that day of salvation for us ends
    when He takes the church out. Then the Day of the Lord begins.
    What a picture is presented to us here.

    Let me give you someone else’s very fine definition of the Day
    of the Lord. This is the definition of Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost,
    from his book, Things to Come:

    It is thus concluded that the Day of the Lord is that extended
    period of time beginning with God’s dealing with Israel
    after the rapture at the beginning of the tribulation period
    and extending through the second advent and the millennial
    age unto the creation of the new heavens and the new
    earth after the millennium.

    God’s Scenario

    The Day of the Lord, we see, begins with the Rapture which
    happens “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52). Then
    comes the Great Tribulation. And the Day of the Lord extends
    through the seven years of the Great Tribulation Period (Revelation
    6 – 18) and the return of Christ to the earth (Revelation 19)
    when He returns to establish His kingdom. Then in Revelation
    20, Satan is bound while Christ reigns one thousand years on the
    earth. Satan is then released for a little while – and don’t ask me
    why, I don’t know.

    Someone asked the late Dr. Chafer, “Why in the world, when
    God gets Satan bound, does He release him for a little while?” And
    Dr. Chafer gave his characteristic answer, “You tell me why God
    released him in the beginning, and I’ll tell you why God releases
    him again for a little while.” Well, God has let him loose today,
    that’s for sure. And during that future day when Satan is loose for
    a brief period, he will lead a rebellion that God will put down.

    The Great White Throne, the place of God’s final judgment, is
    brought before us in Revelation 20:11-15. The Tribulation saints,
    at this point, have been resurrected and are with the Lord Jesus
    during His millennial reign. Prior to the Great White Throne, we
    see that the lost dead are resurrected and “small and great” stand
    before God.

    My friend, there are many people who say, “I’ll take my chances
    before God.” When I talked to a man in Altadena, California,
    several years ago, he said to me, “McGee, you don’t need to talk
    to me about these things. I’ve listened to you on the radio. I don’t
    agree with you. I think God is merciful, and I’ll take my chances
    with Him. I’m a good man. I pay my honest debts.” Well, that
    man is going to be there at the Great White Throne, and he’s
    going to have an opportunity to tell the Lord that he paid his
    honest debts.

    But I tell you, it’s not going to be a pretty sight to stand before
    the One who has nail-pierced hands and hear Him say, “But I
    loved you so much I died for you. You, a sinner – lost, without
    hope. I bore your sins in My own body to pay the penalty for your
    sin. Why did you reject Me?” May I say to you, friend, paying
    your honest debts is going to look mighty small in that day. If
    you’ve come to Christ and accepted Him as your Savior, of course
    you pay your honest debts! But just paying your honest debts won’t
    get you into heaven – that’s for sure.

    All the lost appear there before the Great White Throne, and
    the curtain closes with these fateful words:

    And whosoever was not found written in the book of life
    was cast into the lake of fire.
    (Revelation 20:15)

    Then, after that final judgment, we find that eternity begins, and
    the new heavens and the new earth come into view (Revelation
    21, 22).

    Let me repeat: The Day of the Lord begins with the Rapture of
    the church and embraces everything from the Great Tribulation
    to the creation of the new heavens and the new earth. This is the
    tremendous picture that is presented to us in the Word of God.

    You see, God makes it very clear that no Scripture, no prophecy,
    is to be interpreted by itself. Listen to what He says,

    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of
    any private interpretation.
    (2 Peter 1:20)

    In other words, Peter is saying this: You are not to lift out one
    little prophecy (the way many of the cults do today) and build a
    doctrine on it. You are not to interpret it apart from other references
    to the same subject because no prophecy is of any private
    interpretation. You don’t interpret it by itself. It has to fit into God’s
    program of prophecy, you see. Therefore, the great Day of the Lord
    is one of the great terms in the Word of God. And when the Bible
    mentions it, you know it is speaking of this entire period, including
    all of it. We can put the boundaries on it – beginning at the
    Rapture of the church and what takes place on the earth, then ending
    with the beginning of eternity. Therefore, you and I need today
    to interpret the present in terms of the future.

    Watch and Wait

    I think that we’re living in a day when the attitude toward the
    future is becoming different. There has never been a time when
    so much attention was given to it. People years ago paid very
    little attention to the future, but now it is important to us. We
    find that the serious thinkers of the world are pondering and
    speculating in terms of the future. Should not God’s people also
    think in those terms? Our Lord urged us to do so, if you please.
    The fact of the matter is, one of the great injunctions that He
    has given us is to stay alert and watch. I want you to notice what
    He had to say in the Olivet Discourse as He was speaking of His
    coming to the earth to establish His kingdom:

    Watch, therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord
    doth come. But know this, that if the householder of the
    house had known in what watch the thief would come, he
    would have watched, and would not have allowed his house
    to be broken into.
    (Matthew 24:42, 43)

    Is the Lord Jesus coming as a thief for the church? No. It is not
    the thief we’re looking for. We’re “looking for that blessed hope,
    and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus
    Christ” (Titus 2:13). You’ll notice that this is the very thing Paul
    deals with when writing to the Thessalonian believers:

    For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so
    cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say,
    Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon
    them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall
    not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that
    day should overtake you as a thief.
    (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)

    My beloved, our Lord will not come for His church as a thief.
    But when He comes to the earth to establish His kingdom, He
    will come as a thief, breaking into this world, interfering with
    men’s little plans and programs.

    Several years ago, I decided to make a study of the Hebrew word
    for “watch and wait.” I thought it was a single word, but I found
    out there are seventeen words in the Hebrew that are translated
    by the English words “watch” and “wait.” It’s amazing how many
    ways you can watch and wait. Let me illustrate.

    It’s the beginning of hunting season, and a man gets a deer license.
    He goes out into the woods of Utah, climbs up on a mountain,
    and waits there and watches. At every sound of movement he
    hears out there in the woods, he raises his gun. It better not be
    another hunter, because he’s apt to shoot him – but he’s waiting
    there for a deer to appear. That’s one way to wait and watch.

    Then later you can see him down at the airport, pacing up and
    down, and you say, “I see you’re waiting and watching again.” He
    says, “Yes, I’m waiting for the plane to come in. My mother-inlaw’s
    coming out from Iowa to visit us for the holidays. The plane
    is two hours late, and I do not have time to waste waiting for her!”
    So he paces up and down. That’s another way to wait and watch,
    isn’t it?

    And then you meet him a couple of days later, during the Christmas
    rush, down here at the corner of Seventh and Hope Street.
    Again you see him pacing up and down and looking at his watch.
    He’s waiting. You step up to him and say, “What in the world is
    the matter?” He says, “Well, I’m waiting for my wife. She’s already
    forty-five minutes late!” Now that is different from waiting up
    yonder in the mountains for a deer! He’s waiting differently again.
    My friend, you can wait in many different ways.

    The world does not want Christ to come; they’re in rebellion
    against Him. But He’s going to break through one of these days. And before He does, He’s going to take His own out of the world.
    And they are watching and waiting, “looking for that blessed hope,
    and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus
    Christ” (Titus 2:13). The minute that Christ takes His church out
    of the world, the Day of Christ – the period of His grace – ends.
    No longer will He be calling the church out of the world, because
    the church shall be with Him.

    Then there takes place the time of His wrath. The great Day
    of the Lord is darkness, not light, and the Great Tribulation
    breaks on the earth with a world dictator who will establish an
    ecumenical movement and a world political movement.
    Nothing can deter it except the return of Christ. He will break
    through like a thief, intruding into this world, establishing His
    kingdom on this earth. It will be a period in which He will
    reign on this earth for a thousand years. It ends by the new
    heavens and the new earth being established and with those
    who are His own living in the New Jerusalem.

    This is God’s program, my beloved. The Word of God tells us
    that we know not what a day will bring forth, but every child of
    God knows that we have a wonderful Shepherd and that we can
    never be taken out of our Shepherd’s hands – either in time or
    in eternity. It is reassuring to know that our Shepherd has a
    program for the future. This gives hope, purpose, and direction
    to life. I do not know about you, but for me it adds a great deal
    of color to the drabness of living down here on this earth. It is an
    incentive today to live for God.

    What about the future for you? Suppose Christ does come this
    year. Unless you are trusting Him as your Savior, there is nothing
    ahead of you but the day of judgment that will take place on
    this earth.

    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.
    (John 3:16, 17)

    My beloved, today is the day of salvation.

    Now I’m going to let the Apostle Peter conclude this message on
    the Day of the Lord with the information that God gave him on
    this great subject:

    Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days
    scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where
    is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell
    asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning
    of the creation.

    For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word
    of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing
    out of the water and in the water, by which the world
    hat then was, being overflowed with water, perished.
    But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the
    same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against
    the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one
    day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand
    years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his
    promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering
    toward us, not willing that any should perish, but
    that all should come to repentance.

    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night,
    in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth
    also, and the works that are in it, shall be burned up.
    Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what
    manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and
    godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the
    day of God, in which the heavens, being on fire, shall be
    dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new
    heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness.
    Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things,
    be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without
    spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering
    of our Lord is salvation….
    (2 Peter 3:3-15)
    Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

    Joel 3:2

    I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

  7. #7
    Sing4Him Guest

    Default

    excellent!!'love J. Vernon McGee

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sing4Him View Post
    excellent!!'love J. Vernon McGee
    One of the best!
    I have his entire thru the bible commentary series!

    Genesis - Revelation



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
    Buzzardhut.net |The Watch Parables | The Rapture | Romans | The Virgin Mary | Roman Catholicism
    Never Heard of Jesus? | The Evidence Bible | Tent Meeting | The Beast/666 | The Kingdom of Darkness | The Nephilim

  9. #9
    Sing4Him Guest

    Default

    I have many of his books from the Bible but not all.. slowly I buy one or 2.

  10. #10
    federerfan Guest

    Default Thru the bible w/ Vernon Macgee

    Can anyone recommend Mr. Vernon Macgee's "thru the bible" series? Is his teaching reliable? Is there a better alternative...Someone who goes vs. by vs. through the whole bible?

    Sorry if I posted in the wrong section.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    He's a classic. Very Biblically sound. Listen to him and be blessed!

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    yes, he was very good! i have all 5 years downloaded and archived

  13. #13
    His Bride Guest

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    Yes. Absolutely. He's been with the Lord since the mid 80's. Very sound preacher!

  14. #14
    federerfan Guest

    Default

    Ok good thats what I thought just wanted to make sure, Thanks

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    I have about 8 of his books.He,s accurate,and rock solid as far as doctrine goes but he dos'ent go into the text as deep as I would like.

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    What they said!
    “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” G. K. Chesterton

  17. #17
    truthwarrior Guest

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    I love Vernon McGee- He is so easy to listen to and gives out the simple Gospel. No "high intellectual" jargon here.

  18. #18
    TomSki Guest

    Default

    I have his series on MP3, it's an excellent commentary. I prefer Chuck Smith's Through the Bible, but I listen to them both.

  19. #19

    Default

    Some resources I copied over to here.

    http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=59516

    more here!

    http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=70159
    Last edited by HeIsEnough; July 1st, 2009 at 09:12 PM.
    Don't panic! Just be Rapture Ready.

    Joel 3:2

    I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

  20. #20
    Amber Lynne Guest

    Default

    *putting him on my list!*

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