Monday, December 30, 2013

Epilogue: You Finished!

Congratulations - you have read the entire Bible - in one year. By now, daily reading should be a habit. Continue for the rest of the life. Read your chronological Bible again or buy another daily reading Bible and do it again. Or just print out a reading plan and read from your study Bible.

Know Jesus by experiencing Him daily in Bible reading and prayer.

If you finished your Bible, please let me know by sending me an email - Or perhaps, you just followed the blog. Let me know that, too.

May God bless you.

December 31 Revelation 19-22 Final Call to Holiness

The righteous will share eternity with Christ - those who receive Jesus as Savior and begin to live a life of holiness - Revelation 19:8 "Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)"

However, the unholy will be separated from Christ for all eternity in a place called the Lake of Fire. Being saved (receiving Christ as Savior) must make a difference in the way we live. If it doesn't, we really aren't saved! The unrighteous (those not really saved) will be excluded from eternity with Christ, no matter what religious experience someone claims.An unchanged life proves that you are unsaved.

  • Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
  • Revelation 22:14-15 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
Repentance from sin is an essential aspect of salvation. Anyone who claims a saving experience, yet never had any inclination to depart from iniquity and does't, never had a real saving experience.

We are encouraged many times to become holy. We should heed the warnings. 
  • 2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.
  • Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 30 Revelation 14:1-19:5 Luxuries That Lead Astray

It appears that some great city called Mystery Babylon (or perhaps the world's economic system) will be destroyed in an hour by God. It will be the idol of materialism that will be destroyed that has led many astray.

Wealth and the chase for more and more has led and continues to lead many away from God. It has replaced God in people's minds and has negated their need for God.

As we get ready for a new year, it is a good time to reflect and determine how much hold do money and goods have over us. Does money or what it buys get in the way of God and serving Him? Today is a good day to ask for conviction and then to repent of any hedonistic ways.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 29 Revelation 8:7-13:18 Darkness Denied

Revelation brings the existence of evil and evil beings into clear focus. We all tend to focus on the here and now and visible. However, there are evil forces all around us - seeking to destroy us. One third of all created angels have rebelled against God and are opposed to Him and His people.

We need to be aware of the forces of darkness. However, we have misconceptions about what we do believe. We think evil ones are only trying to get us to commit murder, sexual immorality, steal pensions, etc. Yes, they are, but most attacks are much more subtle. They are also wanting us to spend more time pursuing our careers, seeking bigger houses and more toys, spend excessive amounts of time on video games, etc. - just not focus on God and the things of God.

We need to be aware of the nature of the attacks - anything keeping us from Christ and obeying His commands.

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 28 Revelation 4:1-8:6 Creator/Redeemer Worthiness

Revelation 4/5 are some of my favorite chapters in the Bible because they recount why God is worthy.

These chapters are set in the throne room of God. There is constant worship of the special angels and 24 elders (note Elders - you should be the lead worshipers!). God the Father is worthy of worship because He is the Creator of all things. This is a huge theme by the psalmists.

Jesus is worthy because He is the redeemer of man. Jesus is seen as the Lamb by John, but will be seen as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah by those who oppose Him - not a wise move by the opposition.

These two chapters comprise a synopsis of how and why we should worship the Godhead - 3 in 1. If you ever want to remember who God is - return to these chapters.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 27 Revelation 1-3 No Lukewarm Christians

Revelation (there is only one so no need to be saying, "Revelations") is the revelation of Jesus to John. It is the only book of the Bible that explicitly promises a blessing to its readers and to those who heed its words.

Chapter 1 is a very powerful description of the Trinity and Jesus' rulership over all the earth, especially the churches.

No Such Thing as Lukewarm Christians

The church at Laodicea is described as being full of lukewarm people, not necessarily Christians. They are described as blind to their spiritual condition -  "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Jesus says that He is about to spit them out of His mouth - certainly doesn't sound like a Christian as described in the rest of the New Testament.

Look, if you are living in willful disobedience to the commands of Christ for your life, it doesn't matter what religious experience(s) you are hanging your life upon - saying a prayer, baptism, church attendance, etc. - you are kidding yourself as much as the Laodiceans! You are not saved if you are knowingly and continuously disregarding His commands.

Listen to Jesus:
"I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."

Get saved and obey!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 26 I, II, III John - Commending Hospitality

Our homes are ultimately gifts from God. Opening our homes to others is a great virtue, especially to gospel workers.

3 John 7-8 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

John commends Gaius for opening his home to gospel workers. By showing hospitality to gospel workers, we "work together for the truth."

But on the other hand, we must be discerning about those we help.

2 John 7, 9-11 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist...Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

We must do not to help anyone who leads people away from the truth. If we do, we share in their wicked work.