Heaven

It has been said that heaven is a prepared place for a prepare people (John 14:1). Such is true. Heaven is God’s home (Hebrews 9:24) and God’s people have the promise of being with Him there one day (Hebrews 11:16). Heaven is where Christ lives now as our High Priest and mediator (Hebrews 4:14-16). Only those who are holy, however will see God (Hebrews 12:14). Those who are unrighteous will not enter into heaven (Revelation 21:7).

  • John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
  • Hebrews 4:14-16 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
  • Hebrews 9:24 “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”
  • Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”
  • Revelation 21:1-4 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
  • Revelation 21:7 “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
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Holy Spirit

Within Christianity, the Godhead (Colossians 2:9) is composed of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit partakes of the essence of God and so is Divine and worthy of worship. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12). The Holy Spirit is omnipotent (Romans 15:19). The Holy Spirit is omniscient (Isaiah 40:13, 14). The Holy Spirit is not an “it” as many people consider him today, but is a person. He speaks. (2 Samuel 23:2; Ezekiel 11:5; Matthew 10:20; Acts 8:29; Acts 10:19; Acts 13:2) He acts (Acts 8:39). He leads. (Matthew 4:1) He calls (Acts 13:2). He guides (John 16:13; Acts 11:12) He forbids (Acts 16:7)He can take a unique form (Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22). He knows (1 Corinthians 2:11). He makes decisions (Acts 15:28). These things are not characteristic of an “it” but of a person.

  • Genesis 1:2 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
  • Isaiah 40:13, 14 “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?”
  • Matthew 3:11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”
  • Matthew 10:19, 20 “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
  • Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
  • John 1:33 “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”
  • John 14:25, 26 “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
  • Romans 15:19 “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
  • Galatians 4:6 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
  • Galatians 5:22, 23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
  • Ephesians 5:18, 19 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
  • Hebrews 2:3,4 “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”
  • 2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
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Holiness

The word holy means “to set apart” or to “sanctify.” It refers to separating something out to be consecrated for a special purpose. It is not only “religious” things that may be holy, but also things that we use in our every day life. The marriage relationship is holy, set apart, sanctified by God (1 Corinthians 7:14; Ephesians 5:27). Christians of the first century greeted each other with a “holy kiss” (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:26). Christians are supposed to be holy in their personal conduct (1 Peter 1:15, 16). God Himself is a holy God (Leviticus 11:44, 19:2, 20:7) and without holiness in our life, we will not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

  • Leviticus 20:7 “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”
  • Romans 6:22: “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
  • Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
  • Ephesians 4:24: “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:7: For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
  • Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
  • 1 Peter 1:15, 16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
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Learning Math and Etc.

By Kevin Cauley

I’ll be the first one to admit that when it comes to math I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. This means I have to apply myself a bit harder and pay closer attention to my mathematics. I have had the privilege of working with Charlie’s third grade class on multiplication and while there are some tricks to help remember how to multiply, the bottom line is that you’ve just got to use it repeatedly to learn it. That means that one must practice again and again and again in order to learn. Repetition, in various methods, is fundamental to learning.

The Bible teaches the same principle of learning. Isaiah prophesied about the coming kingdom and the teaching of the King in Isaiah 28:9-10. He wrote, “To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” (ESV) Teaching is done a little at a time with a lot of repetition involved.

There is a story of a gospel preacher of by gone years who was hired to do the preaching at a small country church. The first Sunday he was there, he got up and preached a fine lesson and one that everyone agreed they all needed to hear. So it was with some surprise that the next Sunday morning, he preached the exact same sermon again. Most thought, “Oh well, it never hurts to get a double dose.” When the next Sunday rolled around, the same lesson was presented. So a group of men got together and asked him if he was just going to preach the same lesson over and over. To which he replied, well, when you get this one down, then we’ll move on!

Sometimes we tend to get frustrated because “we hear the same lessons, sermons and verses over and over again.” Sometimes preachers get frustrated with hearing the same questions, comments, and complaints over and over again. I’m sure that elders get frustrated dealing with some of the same problems repeatedly. We need to remember, though, that teaching is an ongoing process and that it takes time for individuals to learn. It’s just like those 3rd graders in school; you’ve got to go over it again and again.

Peter’s words come to mind here: “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things” ( 2 Peter 1:12-15 ESV).

May God bless the Bible class teacher, the elder, and all faithful gospel preachers who patiently and lovingly teach the word of God “precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

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Happy Mother’s Day

By Kevin Cauley

Today is the day that we know and celebrate as Mother’s Day. It is the one time out of the year that we set aside a day to remember and honor our mothers. More telephone calls home are made today than any other day of the year. Many will be taking their mother someplace special to eat. Children will give their mothers gifts and bid them joy and happiness.

There are others whose mothers have passed from this life to the next. While these mothers are not around for us to personally enjoy, we can certainly relish the memories that we have of their example, instruction, and love. Some will, perhaps, visit the grave of their mother. Others may simply quietly reflect upon their mother’s life. However we celebrate Mother’s Day, the good mother will always hold a special place within our hearts.

We cannot, however, be so naïve as to think that all mothers are good mothers. Sadly, there are some out there who will look upon Mother’s Day with disdain, shame, and disgrace because their mothers were less than adequate. We look around society today and see some mothers who are addicted to drugs, others who beat and abuse their children, yet others who obtain abortions and we wonder how someone could so act. The Bible calls it being “without natural affection” ( Romans 1:31, 2 Timothy 3:3). More than ever, we need Mother’s Day as a day to not only honor and remember our mothers, but as a day to set forth the example for what a good mother ought to be.

Another troubling aspect to our society is the desire of some to elevate motherhood to the only parental place in the world. Believe it or not, scientists are pursuing the means whereby a woman can procreate independently of a man. These type projects have the support of the radical feminist and lesbian groups. Some see no need for men in society at all. And if you don’t think that this is what some desire, there was a made for TV movie not too many years ago in which men were outlawed. Yes, there is a radical element in our nation that would change motherhood from what we know to be a beautiful creation of God into something bizarre and frankensteinian.

The Bible tells us of that beautiful mother who knows the importance of her relationship with her husband and honors it. She seeks godliness in her life so that she can rear her children to honor God in their lives as well. She respects God’s institution of marriage and is faithful no matter what difficulties and burdens may come her way. She knows that there is no quick and easy path through life, but that which the Lord provides for her through His guidance ( Matthew 11:30).

So on this Mother’s Day, let us remember and know what a true mother is and never seek to change God’s pattern for a good mother. Instead, let us proclaim without embarrassment, God’s plan for motherhood.

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