BIBLE READING: Philemon 1 This letter is from Paul, a prisoner for preaching the Good News about Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker, 2 and to our sister Apphia, and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in your house. 3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 4 I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, 5 because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people. 6 And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. 7 Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God's people.
What does this passage mean to you?
BLOG: A 48-year-old man suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park. The man walked off the boardwalk without a flashlight and tripped into the thermal water near Old Faithful.
Have you ever heard stories like this one and said to yourself, "What were they thinking?"
We've all had our moments when it seems that common sense has left the building. But some believe in the flat earth theory, psychic surgery, and pyramid power too. You wonder - why?
Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
You and I live in a world that is desperate for hope. While the Church has the only real message of hope, some will counterfeit it for their gain. You and I have to be aware and ready to challenge, with love, those who are deceived.
A week ago, I was in a store, and a young man walked up to me and asked if he could speak to me. I immediately recognized that I was about to be "evangelized" by someone. He immediately took me to the book of Revelation, where he asked if I would like to be one of the 144,000 to go to heaven. I'm not Jewish, so I know that I can never be that. Then he told me how the angels were holding back the four winds of the earth so we would be saved from the war to come. But I pointed out that the four horsemen of Revelation (Chapter 6) had already brought war, famine, death, and pestilence.
Then he told me that Jesus showed us how to be saved. "Ok, how?" I asked. He said, "I have to take Passover, just like they did in the New Testament." "Where is that in the New Testament?" I asked. He took me to the Last Supper in Matthew. I said, "This is Old Testament, not New." He insisted that it is, look it is in the book of Matthew. "Yes, but the New Testament doesn't start until the death and resurrection of Jesus. Read his words, the New Covenant is established in His blood. The events of the Gospels happen under Old Testament law, which Jesus obeyed until the new contract was fulfilled."
He invited me to his Bible study, I told him I was a pastor and asked him to attend my Bible study, and he disappeared.
So let's review a few of the basics.
Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus. He is the Son of God who died on a cross for our sins and rose from the grave to give us life. Salvation never has nor will ever be about our works.
We must repent of our sins and turn away from them. We are asking Jesus to save us, but we are also committing to following Jesus with our whole life.
The Bible, Genesis through Revelation, is the inspired Word of God. Every word all the time.
Sometimes I see false religions turn on the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. But I read where Jesus was baptized (Matthew 3) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28) and see otherwise.
Oh, Pastor, you don't need to review the "basics" with me. Maybe not. But it doesn't hurt to remember them. You and I live in a world that wants to take these truths and twist them to into their own design.
PRAY: Dear Jesus, keep my heart pure, my mind clear and my spirit ready to follow You everyday. AMEN