Bible Class

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They have no concern for their own souls

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The majority of people have little or no concern about their salvation. We try our best witnessing to them about what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for them, and telling them about the free gift of salvation offered to all, but they still reject. Even though we might show them a verse related to everyone coming short of the glory of God, it still has no impact on their hardened hearts.

They don’t understand that if a person keeps rejecting God’s message of salvation, He might finally ‘let them go’. The Bible warns,

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. – Proverbs 29:1.

  • Judas was reproved for three and a half years; he was destroyed without remedy.
  • Pharaoh was reproved for seven years; he was destroyed without remedy.
  • Zedekiah was reproved for eleven years; he was destroyed without remedy.
  • The list in the word and throughout history goes on and on.

True stories:

A homeless man at a mobile rescue mission said to the superintendent, “None of that stuff for me!” (This was said in response to a gospel invitation). The homeless man walked one block eastward from the mission, crossed the railroad tracks, and was cut in two by a train.

A man mowing his lawn cursed a preacher after he witnessed to him. The man turned one corner of his yard with the mower and dropped dead of a heart attack.

A young preacher boy witnessed to a family. The man and wife laughed at him, cursed him, and threw a chair at him as he went out the door. The boy went down the path to the street, and the man came to the door shaking his fist and cursing him, and then he dropped dead of a heart attack in his own doorway and his wife fainted on top of him.

A young man left a ‘Youth for Christ’ meeting laughing, and said, “You’d see me in Hell before you’d see me down at that altar”. An hour later they brought out hoses to wash the blood off the motorway where he’d hit a culvert (a structure that allows water to flow under a road) at 75 miles an hour.

Millions (if not billions) of people have been reproved by the word of God for years, but they are still unsaved. Many of them laugh outright at the Bible, some have devoted their lives to attacking and trying to destroy it, and many have merely laid it aside and fled from it. Their destination is described Proverbs 29:1 and in Proverbs 1:24-33.

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. – Proverbs 1:24-33.

God may no longer try and reach a person any more. Perhaps He won’t send Christians to the person, or they will no longer have any conviction at all over their sin, or perhaps their life will indeed end unexpectedly; without remedy.

There are many ways to try and get someone to see their need for a Saviour, but here are a few which should do it, ONLY IF the person doesn’t already have a seared conscience:

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; – 1 Timothy 4:2.

NOTE: If the conscience is “seared” – literally “cauterized” – then it has been rendered insensitive. It does not work properly; it’s as if “spiritual scar tissue” has dulled the sense of right and wrong.

Show them that they are a great sinner before God

READ: Matthew 22:34-40 and Mark 12:28-34.

One of the best verses for this purpose is:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. – Matthew 22:37-38.

Before the person reads these verses, say to them, “Do you know that you are a great sinner before God?”. They will probably say “No”, or “I’m not a great sinner”, or something similar. Tell them that they HAVE actually committed the greatest sin that a man can possibly commit, and then ask them what they think that is. They will probably say, “But I haven’t murdered anyone!” (thinking that murder is the greatest sin), but then show them what God says about it. That NO ONE has kept the first and great commandment – to love God with all of your very being. And by NOT keeping this commandment, this then is the first and great SIN.

And they will have to give an account to God

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. – Romans 14:12.

Another excellent verse to use to produce conviction of sin. It brings the careless person face-to-face with God, and makes them realise that they must give account to God for the way they lived their lives.

  1. Who has to give account? –  YOU.
  2. To whom are you to give account? – to God.
  3. Of what are you to give account? – of your life.

Get the person to say, “I shall give account of myself to God”, and get them to repeat it again and again until it has sunk into their heart.

READ: Amos 4:12 – this can be used in much the same way.

And that ALL their deepest, darkest secrets will be judged

In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. – Romans 2:16.

Ask the person if they are ready to have their secret hidden things of their life judged by a holy God?

At the Great White Throne Judgment (of the unsaved), a lot of things are going to come out that you never dreamed would come out. In that day, God will reveal the secrets about which only He and the person being judged knew. He will judge them properly, and He will judge with a perfect Judge (Jesus Christ) and by a perfect standard (the Gospel – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

And then they will be cast into the lake of fire forever

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. – Revelation 21:7-8.

A Christian has overcome everything through the Blood of Christ (1 John 4:4, 5:4), and is a son of God, and will go to the place where there is no sorrow, no death, no pain, no tears. BUT (v8) the unsaved, lost, Christ-rejecting soul will go to the place where there is nothing but tears, sorrow, pain, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth forever (Revelation 20:14-15).

Notice the classes of people: not only the “whoremongers” and the “liars” and the “murderers”, but the “unbelieving”. God classes unbelieving people with whoremongers, murderers, and idolaters.

  • “unbelieving” – are certainly not born again, Bible believing Christians. God condemns a person for not believing what He said.
  • “fearful” – God classifies men who are afraid to trust Christ with “murderers” and “whoremongers”. Isn’t that a thought?
  • “liars” – EVERYONE has lied at some point in their lives. If they say they haven’t, then they’ve just lied to you. Lying is one of the things that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19).

An unsaved person is connected to the sins they commit and partakes of them, and they are part of them, which means that if they die without their sins forgiven, then they will go straight to Hell.

Leave them with that thought, and let the Holy Spirit do His work:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: – John 16:7-8.

It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law. – Psalms 119:126.


It is true that a Christian can commit sin, and they’ll not “inherit the kingdom of God” if they practice these things (Galatians 5:21), but a Christian is still a Christian.

An unsaved person is not just guilty of the sin, but because they are unsaved, they are connected with the sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

  • An unsaved person doesn’t tell lies, they are a liar.
  • An unsaved person doesn’t drink, they are a drunkard.
  • An unsaved person doesn’t commit adultery, they are an adulterer.

A Christian can do these things, and they lose rewards and are punished for doing them (Galatians 5:19-21). The Christian loses their inheritance for doing them, but the Christian is still a Christian.

It is not a bit unfair! The Christian’s sins have been paid for, atoned for, and they have been separated from them by the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. This is the doctrine of “eternal security” that some people have so much trouble with).

If a Christian sins they lose:

  1. The joy of God’s salvation (Psalms 51:12).
  2. Their testimony (1 Corinthians 15:33-34).
  3. Their health (1 Corinthians 11:30).
  4. Their rewards (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
  5. A Millennial inheritance (Luke 19:15-26).
  6. Their life (1 Corinthians 11:30).

A Christian can lose a lot without losing their soul, but they are still a Christian.

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‘Tough love’ – Jesus is no ‘snowflake’!

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READ: John 3:16; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 12:2.

The Lord Jesus Christ loved us all enough to have endured the cross; being born in the likeness of men in order to die for us through the most wicked of torturous deaths, to deposit our sins in Hell, and then to rise again the third day, forever making intercession for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

READ: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – this is the gospel that we preach.

  • Those who die IN Christ are saved and hath eternal life and go to Heaven – John 3:16.
  • Those who die IN sin and without Christ are unsaved and will go to Hell – John 3:36; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9.

We will ALL go to a place starting with ‘H’.

READ: 2 Corinthians 11:4.

The majority of Christians today don’t know the real Jesus. They have their own ‘idea’ of Him; that He went around just loving everyone, and being nice to everyone, and just accepting everyone for who they were, etc., etc. But this is NOT the true Jesus of the Bible. This is another Jesus.

Yes indeed, the true Jesus does love us ALL and is willing and ready to save ANYONE who comes to God in genuine, heartfelt repentance. But in the Gospels, we read this same Jesus gave the people ‘tough love’; He told the TRUTH, and the truth hurt.

People either love or hate truth. They will either come TO the truth to be made free from sin, or they will run FROM the truth to remain in bondage to sin and death.

Take a look at just some of the incidences where Jesus gave some ‘tough love’:

Jesus got angry (righteous anger); He was no wimp, or coward, or compromiser

And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; – John 2:15.

Jesus hurt someone’s feelings; He spoke the truth

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. – Matthew 19:16-24.

Jesus didn’t hesitate to offend people with the truth

The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. – John 4:17-18.

He cared for others, however, love cannot supersede truth. Love occurs within the framework of truth.

Jesus called a group of religious people ‘evil’ snakes; He preached hard

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. – Matthew 12:34.

Jesus called on of His disciples ‘Satan’; He was outspoken

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. – Matthew 16:23.

Jesus accused one of His disciples of being a ‘devil’; He didn’t worry about offending people

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? – John 6:70.

Jesus taught that many people will one day burn in Hell; He was more willing to be divided over truth, than to be united in error

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: – Matthew 25:41.

Jesus called people names

Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. – Matthew 15:21-28.

See also Luke 13:31-32.

Jesus didn’t even seem to regard His own earthly family either

Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? – Matthew 12:47-48.

Jesus said to do it His way or burn in Hell when you die

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. – John 14:6.

Jesus was no respecter of persons, and spoke the plain truth without apology. That’s ‘tough love’!

Now obviously there were reasons why Jesus did and said what He did and said, but you can see why so many Christians today don’t want to hear about all these things, because it sounds “horrible” or “nasty” or “unkind” or “unloving” or “simply not true” or, or, or.

Q. Why do you think that these Christians don’t want to know the true Jesus?

  • Jesus was justified in everything He did.
  • He never sinned once.
  • There was a heavenly reason behind every seemingly unkind thing He did.
  • We love people, but we love God more; and the truth of His word.
  • We live in a wicked world that speaks and sings of love, whilst simultaneously denying God and His word (NO ONE outside of Christ knows what love is).
  • There can be NO unity between the righteous and the wicked. It’s Jesus or Hell.

READ: Matthew 7:13-14 and 2 Peter 3:9.

We love Him, because He first loved us – let us NOT forget this!

3. GET Studying

The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is NOT what you think it is

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READ: Matthew 6:9-15.

Pretty much every person today (Christian and non-Christian), thinks that the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is the “Our Father” of Matthew chapter 6 and Luke Chapter 11.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:9-10

In verse 9, at the beginning of the prayer, notice the words “pray ye”.

Jesus never classified Himself with His listeners. Here, Jesus is telling His listeners to call God “Our Father”, distinctly showing us that this is NOT the ‘Lord’s prayer’ at all, since the Lord Jesus Christ never prayed it, is not praying it now, and never will pray it. It is a ‘Disciples’ Prayer’ given to Old Testament, Jewish disciples before the crucifixion, resurrection, and the Church Age.

“Our Father” again refers to Israel, and is never given to a Gentile to pray, nor does Christ anywhere in the Sermon on the Mount even intimate that God is “Father” to anyone but an Israelite! Gentiles do not pray this, and as Christians we don’t pray this.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:11-13

You cannot force the Sermon on the Mount and the so-called ‘Lord’s prayer’ into Christian practice. The Christian can follow the prayer to verse 11, but verse 12 offers some difficulties, as no Christian is forgiven on the basis of forgiving others; they are forgiven, and cleansed, when they judge their own sin and confess it to Jesus (1 Cor. 11: 30–33; 1 John 1: 9).

If a Christian’s forgiveness is conditional on forgiving others, then the atonement of Christ (not yet accomplished at this point!) is insufficient, for “forgiveness and remission” of sins are clearly said to be part of the finished work of Christ in the believer (Col. 1: 14; Acts 13: 38–40).

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15

If there was any doubt as to the ‘salvation’ involved in verse 12, it is now dispelled. The passage is teaching salvation from sin and forgiveness on the basis of WORKS.

If it isn’t ignorance, pride, or lack of study, then perhaps the reason why Christians pray this prayer is that they don’t believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross; they don’t believe in eternal security. They refuse to accept the Pauline revelation on the death and atonement of Christ for sinners.

This prayer then is addressed to God as the “Father” of a physical nation that He begat, and to which He gave birth.

READ: Isaiah 63:16, 64:8; Deuteronomy 32:5-6, 18.

Unless this Matthew passage is left in its Jewish setting, with a primary doctrinal application to the Second Coming (and an outline for a doctrinal prayer for the entire nation of Israel during the Tribulation), it will destroy the soul of the person who seeks to justify him or herself by ‘following’ its example.

READ: 1 Kings 8:22-53 for the actual model for the ‘Lord’s prayer’.

READ: John 17 for the true ‘Lord’s Prayer’.

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How To Spot a Fool

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He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. – Proverbs 13:20

The history of ‘April Fool’s Day’ is usually traced back to a change in the calendar, when the first of the year was moved from April 1st to January 1st. Traditionally, it is a day when it is considered acceptable to deceive people, just as long as no harm is done.

The Bible does have something to say about a “fool”, “fool’s”, “foolish”, and “foolishness”. And as Christians, we are warned about becoming a companion of fools. The Bible gives us plenty of characteristics of a fool, so that we can avoid the companionship of fools and also avoid the characteristics of fools.

“Birds of a feather flock together.”, the old saying goes. Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:33 that evil communications corrupt good manners. There are people in this world whose respectability is mistaken for ‘character’; they blacken everything and everybody they touch.

A young lady swished through the living room in a “formal” on the way to a dance. Her father, sitting beside a cold fireplace, remarked, “Now honey, you know that I don’t approve of this, and….” The daughter laughed and came out with the usual line: “Oh daddy, don’t be silly! Jane will be there and you said that she was a Christian, and Jim is taking her. He sings in the choir, and….” “Honey,” said her father, “reach in the fireplace and pick up one of those coals.” The girl studied the fireplace for a minute, and believing that she had outwitted her father, she picked up a coal that had been dead more than twenty-four hours. “See there,” she said gaily, “it doesn’t burn me!” She threw it back in the fireplace. “Now look at your hands,” her father said. “See there? Bad company will smut you every time.”

READ: Proverbs 14:7.

When you hear a person shooting off their mouth who obviously has no respect for God or the Bible, excuse yourself and leave the room. You may stay and ‘hear them out’ if you have some time to waste, but if you are there for learning, do not waste valuable time with them (Eph. 5:16).

A fool is revealed by their speech

READ: Ecclesiastes 5:3 and 10:14.

The fool has a surplus of words

Who talks the most in your family, or within your circle of friends, or during meetings with your work colleagues? That person is probably the most foolish person in the group.

The fool has slanderous words

READ: Proverbs 10:18.

To slander someone is to say an accusation against someone without verifying that it is true. Both things mentioned in the verse are equally bad. One is using flattery to cover hatred, and the other is lying about a person in order to damage their reputation.

The fool has scoffing words

READ: Psalms 14:1.

An atheist does not truly BELIEVE there is no God; they just SAY there is no God.

The fool has swift words

READ: Proverbs 29:11, 20.

A fool talks without considering a matter first. Prov. 18:13 – one of the most foolish types of programmes on television is the average news commentary with two or more people “debating” the issues. They have nearly every characteristic of a fool’s speech that the Bible gives.

A fool is revealed by their steps

READ: Ecclesiastes 10:3.

  • A fool has stumbling steps – Ecclesiastes 2:14.
  • A fool has sinful steps – Proverbs 26:11.

In the story of the Prodigal son, the fool was the young man who decided to leave home and waste his inheritance. When he came to himself, he decided to return to the Father’s house. The most foolish thing a man does is to reject the gospel. The most foolish thing a Christian does is to reject his Father’s fellowship and go the way of the world.

A fool is revealed by their spirit

READ: Proverbs 14:16.

A fool has a stout (haughty, proud) spirit

A fool promotes him/herself; a wise person humbles him/herself and lifts up Jesus – Proverbs 28:26 and 14:3.

A fool has a stubborn spirit

A fool is stubborn; therefore, they are not teachable – Proverbs 12:15. A fool is stubborn in rejecting the truths of the Bible about salvation, about service, about sin and separation, about service – Proverbs 15:5 and 23:9.

A fool has a swift spirit

A wise person is swift to hear, but slow to speak, slow to get angry, and slow to make a decision that requires contemplation – Proverbs 13:16, 29:20, and 19:2.

A fool has a seething (soon-angry) and striving spirit

A fool gets into arguments all the time – Proverbs 20:3; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Proverbs 12:16.

A fool is revealed by their sport

READ: Proverbs 10:23.

Sport is what makes a person happy. It is pleasure.

A fool enjoys mischief

We think of mischief as a harmless joke or prank, but in the Bible, it is more serious than that. Mischief is anything that is harmful to another person, and this is one of the seven things that are an abomination to God, according to Proverbs 6:18.

A fool enjoys meddling in the affairs of others

They are willing to lie about others in order to stir up a fight. They gossip and are always talking about other people to try to make people angry at them – Proverbs 26:17-19.

In closing

Many of us have been unaware of what marks a fool, and many of us are companions of fools. And many of us are foolish in our own ways.

It is essential to choose your friends wisely. Just as good friends have good influences, a friend who gets into trouble generally gets his friends into trouble with him.

Let us not be foolish, but wise. Let us be kind and witness to all people, but let us not have fools, but wise men, as our companions.

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50 Reasons Why a Saved Christian Can Never Be Lost

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READ: Romans 5:1-5 and 1 Peter 1:6.

As a SAVED Christian you can NEVER lose your salvation. It is a free gift from God, which He can never take back. No matter what trials, tribulations, and persecutions you go through in this life, it does NOT affect your standing in Christ.

There are so many Christians today who live in fear of losing their salvation. Perhaps they have heard it said from false teachers that “if you keep sinning then you are not really saved!”, or the Christian believes that God is still angry with them for some reason (and that He didn’t really save them in the first place) and will send them to Hell anyway, or, most probably, they have not read and studied the true word of God and don’t know what the Bible actually says. Whatever the case may be, it is unscriptural to say or think that a Christian can lose their salvation once they are saved.

Below are just 50 reasons why a saved Christian can never be lost (unsaved) again. There are many other verses for each of these 50, and indeed many other reasons, but this should be enough to show you that you are eternally secure in Christ once you are saved.

1. Eternal life is eternal

John 3:15, 10:28; Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:25, 5:11 & 13 – ‘Eternal’ means never ending. Once you have eternal life it can never be taken away. If it could be it would not be eternal.

2. Everlasting life is everlasting

Daniel 12:2; John 3:16 & 36, 5:24, 6:40 & 47; Romans 6:22 – Everlasting life can never end. It is everlasting regardless of your behaviour.

3. It is God’s Will

John 6:39 – It is God’s will that Christ lose none of those who come to Him.

4. Heaven is reserved for you

1 Peter 1:4 – An inheritance in heaven is reserved for you.

5. Salvation (inheritance) is incorruptible

1 Peter 1:4 – No one can corrupt something God has made incorruptible.

6. Salvation (inheritance) cannot be defiled

1 Peter 1:4 – No one can defile something which God says cannot be defiled.

7. You are sealed by the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13 – No power in Heaven or earth can break God’s seal.

8. You are sealed unto the Day of Redemption

Ephesians 4:30 – You are sealed until the day God redeems your body.

9. Holy Spirit will abide forever

John 14:16-17 – The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is permanent.

10. You are preserved forever

Psalms 37:28 – God preserves you forever.

11. You are born of God

John 1:12-13 – You actually become God’s child and cannot be “unborn”.

12. You are a new creature

2 Corinthians 5:17 – God has made you a new creature and no one can “uncreate” you.

13. You are created in Christ Jeusus

Ephesians 2:10 – You were created in your Saviour.

14. You are preserved unto the Heavenly Kingdom

2 Timothy 4:18 – You are preserved like Paul since God is no respecter of persons.

15. You are kept by the power of God

1 Peter 1:5 – Since God is keeping you, you cannot fall from salvation.

16. Christ has prayed for you

John 17:11 – Jesus prayed that God would keep all who He had given Him.

17. Works cannot affect your salvation

Romans 11:6 – Salvation is not gained by works, so it cannot be lost by works.

18. Your faith is counted for righteousness

Romans 4:5 – It is faith which brings salvation to you.

19. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ

Romans 8:38-39 – Nothing material, immaterial, past, present, or future can separate you from Christ’s love.

20. Salvation is of the Lord

Jonah 2:9 – Salvation is all God’s work. He bought it and provided it.

21. God is able to keep you

2 Timothy 1:12 – Your salvation rests on God’s omnipotent ability to keep you.

22. You are promised not to come into condemnation

John 5:24 – This promise would be broken if even one believer fell into eternal condemnation.

23. You are promised to never perish

John 10:27-28 – You have an unconditional promise to never perish.

24. You will never be cast out

John 6:37 – Under no condition will you be cast out from Christ or Heaven.

25. All things work together for good to you

Romans 8:28 – It would not be good for one to lose his salvation.

26. You are in Christ’s hand

John 10:28 – You are in your Saviour’s Hand.

27. You are in the Father’s hand

John 10:29-30 – You are in your heavenly Father’s Hand.

28. You are, and always will be, a sheep

John 10:27-28 – A sheep represents a saved person and cannot change from being one.

29. God’s mercy never dies

Titus 3:5 – You are saved by God’s mercy and it endures forever (Ps. 136).

30. God cannot lie

Titus 1:2 – Once God saved you, He cannot go back on His word.

31. Your sins are gone forever

Psalms 103:12; Micah 7:19; Isaiah 38:17, 44:22; Hebrews 10:17 – Your sins are gone.

32. You shall be like Christ

1 John 3:2 – It is a certainty that you will be like Christ.

33. God sees you as already glorified

Romans 8:30 – You are as good as glorified in God’s sight.

34. You are born of incorruptible seed

1 Peter 1:23 – Your new birth was from incorruptible seed.

35. You will appear with Christ in glory

Colossians 3:4 – You are promised to appear with Christ when He returns.

36. You are hidden in Christ

Colossians 3:3 – You are dead to the world and alive in Christ.

37. You are dead to and freed from sin

Romans 6:2-7 – Sin can no longer affect your destiny. You are freed from it.

38. The Lord is now praying for you

Hebrews 7:25 – The Lord is presently interceding in your behalf.

39. God will finish what He started

Philippians 1:6 – God began the work of salvation and will finish it.

40. You have eternal redemption

Hebrews 9:12 – You have been eternally redeemed from your sins.

41. Your life is Christ’s life

Colossians 3:4 – Your life is Christ’s very own life, so how could it be lost?

42. You have an everlasting covenant with God

Hebrews 13:20 – God made a covenant to give you everlasting life.

43. You are kept by Christ from falling

Jude 24 – You cannot fall from grace because Christ is keeping you.

44. Salvation is a free gift

Romans 6:23 – A free gift is given with no conditions.

45. You have imputed righteousness

Romans 4:6-7 – The righteousness you have is Christ’s perfect righteousness.

46. You are a part of Christ

Ephesians 5:30 – You are a part of Christ’s body. “Bone of His bone….”

47. Christ is the Author and Finisher of your salvation

Hebrews 12:2 – Christ began and will finish your salvation.

48. You have been predestinated to be conformed to Christ’s image

Romans 8:29 – After salvation you are predestinated.

49. Christ’s blood has made peace for you

Colossians 1:20 – You have peace with God through the blood.

50. The Bible was written so you could believe and know

1 John 5:13 – You can know you HAVE ETERNAL SALVATION!

3. GET Studying

A Christian’s Daily Walk

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Biblical Christianity is a PERSON – the Lord Jesus Christ. When you received Jesus as your Saviour, you received Him as a real Person into your heart and life. There are many things to learn about the Lord and the Christian life, but you must never forget that there is a personal relationship to be enjoyed and maintained.

Personal relationships are maintained by communication – both parties share from their heart. The deeper the sharing, the deeper and stronger the relationship will be. Every Christian needs a relationship with God, and this is accomplished through a ‘Daily Walk’ with the Lord; enabling them to enjoy all that God has to offer. This is also the battleground where victory or defeat in a Christian’s life will be decided.

READ: 2 Peter 3:18 – What is God’s will for a Christian?

There are many essential requirements for spiritual growth, and this short study will deal with a few of them.

Set time aside each day

Your walk with the Lord should be, and needs to be, constant.

READ: Joshua 1:8 – What was God’s command? See also Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

READ: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – How are we told to pray?

In this age of busyness and distractions, it is vital for every Christian to set aside a definite time each day for a personal devotional walk with the Lord – a ‘Quiet Time’.

READ: Daniel 6:10 – How many times did Daniel pray each day?

READ: Acts 17:11 – What did the Berean Christians do each day?

There is no prescribed time for your daily devotion – what is important is that you DO set time aside, and stick to it!

Remember that good habits are hard to form. Ask the Lord to help you keep this one vital appointment. If you fail, do not quit! Just determine to start again, and keep going until it DOES become a good habit.

Discipline yourself to accomplish a daily Quiet Time

READ: 1 Timothy 4:7 – What does God say we should exercise ourselves unto?

Christians are to discipline (train, exercise) themselves to become godly.

Plan for success

  1. If you are a ‘morning person’, then get a good night’s sleep so you awake refreshed. You cannot stay up late at night and feel like having a productive Quiet Time early the next morning.
  2. Select a special place – somewhere that is convenient, and has a pleasant atmosphere with good lighting. Using the same location each day will help you build a successful pattern.
  3. Approach your Quiet Time with an attitude of expectancy. You can expect God to show you activities you need to start or stop, and attitudes you need to develop or change. God will teach you much about Himself.

Look for ways to apply the Bible to your life

As you prepare to read God’s word in your Quiet Time, pray for understanding and for ways in which you can apply what you read to your everyday life.

READ: Psalms 119:18 – What did the Psalmist say?

TIP: Read the Scriptures using a Bible reading schedule. If you do not have a schedule, then search the Internet for one; there are lots on there.

Record insights

As you read, think about the meaning of the words, and use a notebook to record insights. It may be something new you learn or something God impresses upon your heart. Insights do not need to come from the entire passage you read; they might just come from one verse or a phrase within a verse.

Writing down insights help solidify them in your own thinking, and stores them in your heart. Journaling is a wonderful way to help you make a personal application, so put on your ‘spiritual spectacles’, and ask these questions:

Did God reveal to me…

  • S  ins to confess?
  • P  romises to claim?
  • E  xamples to follow?
  • C  ommands to obey?
  • T  ruths to rejoice in?
  • A  verse to memorise?
  • C  hallenges to face?
  • L  essons about God?
  • E  rrors to avoid?
  • S  upplications (prayers) to utter?

As you write out your personal applications, make them specific, and measurable. Write a brief prayer sentence from the insights.

Spend time in prayer

Ask God to guide you throughout the day, and provide you with opportunities to apply what you have learned during your Quiet Time.

Review your memory verses

Memorising a verse from the Bible each week is an excellent way to grow spiritually. At the end of your Quiet Time review your verses from previous weeks.

Some tips when reading the Bible

Begin with a short prayer asking the Lord to teach you

WRITE: Psalms 119:18. This can be a model prayer for you.

Take every word on its primary, literal meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise

Remember, God means what He says and says what He means.

When the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense, or it all becomes nonsense.

Mark your Bible

Underline or highlight key verses. Write down other references in the margins. If you do not wish to do this in your best Bible, purchase a cheaper one for reading and application purposes.

Scripture always interprets Scripture (2 Peter 1:20)

Always interpret an obscure passage in the light of a clear passage.

Obey the word

You MUST resolve to obey the word of God as you read it and study it (John 15:14).

Treat the Bible as a personal letter from God

Read it expectantly – as a lover reads a love letter (Jeremiah 31:3).

Ask your Christian friends

When you cannot understand a verse, remember that you have other Christians who care for you, and who delight in teaching the word of God. Call them, listen to them, and then check the Scriptures to see if what they say is so.

Some teaching on Prayer

In your daily Quiet Time with the Lord, you will want to pray.

What is prayer?

READ: Matthew 6:5-7, 7:7 – What is prayer NOT?

Prayer is asking. It is the cry of a Christian unto God; the request of a child to his or her Father.

To whom do we pray?

READ: John 15:16, 16:23; Luke 11:2.

NOTE: Nowhere does the Bible teach us to repeat Luke 11:2-4. It is not the Lord’s prayer. Jesus never prayed it; it is a “model” prayer.

In whose name do we pray?

READ: John 14:14, 16:24.

What things may we ask for?

There are many things we can pray for. Some examples can be found in: Matthew 6:11; James 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Acts 4:29; Psalms 34:4, 119:18, 119:133.

A good pattern in Prayer

As a general rule, include the following in your prayer:

  • A  doration – adore God
  • C  onfession – confess your sins to God
  • T  hanksgiving – thank God for His blessings
  • S  upplication – pray for others and their needs, and yourself and your needs

Adoration – Praising God for Who He is

Psalms 34:1 – a wonderful way to begin a time of prayer is by expressing praise to God! In a prayer of adoration, you express your deep feelings toward God in response to His love, wisdom, presence, power, knowledge, grace, holiness, greatness, and His other Divine attributes. This kind of prayer will always be an occasion for joy.

Remember that our adoration must be reserved for God, not for projects, ministries, or works done in His name. When you are in His will, the desire to praise Him will come naturally. Memorise some verses on praising God, and use them as you adore Him – 1 Chronicles 29:11-14; Exodus 15:11; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Jeremiah 32:17-19; Revelation 4:11, 5:12-14).

Confession – Agreeing with God about your sin

1 John 1:9 – When you trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour a special relationship was established between you and God. He became your heavenly Father, and you became His adopted child. That relationship is eternal. However, through our self-centred and sinful decisions in life we strain the quality of that relationship, and our fellowship with God is broken.

It is confession that restores the privilege of that wonderful fellowship. Both sin and righteousness are the result of personal decisions, so confession that is based upon genuine repentance will be proven by a change in your daily life. For this reason, your greatest spiritual victories will normally come as the result of this honest, cleansing kind of prayer. Your confession and repentance need to be specific.

Thanksgiving – Expressing gratitude to God for what He has done

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – The average Christian spends too much time asking and too little time thanking. Paul’s admonition to give thanks in everything reflects the maturity of his Christian life. He had been shipwrecked, beaten, hungry, severely criticised, and imprisoned, yet, his heart was filled with gratitude – Philippians 3:7-8.

Prayer provides the opportunity to express our deepest emotions and feelings to God. How long has it been since your heart was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude?

Supplication – Praying for the needs of others

1 Timothy 2:1; 1 Samuel 12:23 – When Christ enters our lives, it becomes our spontaneous desire to seek God’s blessings for those around us. This is called “supplication” or “intercession”.

Most consistent intercessory praying that we do focuses on the spiritual needs of relatives, friends, and neighbours. Many of those we intercede for are lost. Others are Christians living beneath the resources and privileges freely available to God’s children. In each of these instances, intercessory prayer is a ministry of love.

Through intercession, any Christian can be mightily used of God to affect the cause of evangelism worldwide. Whatever our physical condition, we can all be a part of God’s powerful army of prayer.

Keep an on-going prayer list

Keep a prayer list with your Bible where you write down any definite requests you have – special family needs, church needs, and the special requests other Christians may share with you. And don’t forget to write down the answers as they come.

Don’t forget to witness to others by word of mouth, and hand out tracts or leave them around in public places.

3. GET Studying

A Few Thoughts On Prayer

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The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came…Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory. R. A. Torrey

READ: Philippians 4:6.

God invites us to bring any need we face directly to His throne. This invitation is especially remarkable when we consider that it is from the God who created the universe with words (Hebrews 11:3), raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:18-20), and already performed a miracle of rebirth in our lives (Ephesians 2:1-6).

  • Do you spend much time with God in prayer?
  • Do you keep track of your requests and His answers?

This is the God who has the obvious creativity and power to care for any need we have, and He invites us to bring our needs before Him. So why is it then that we do not pray as much as we should?

Pride? – like a little child who wants to care for his own needs without help, we sometimes have too high of an opinion of our ability to solve problems. We don’t recognise God’s superior power, and we think we can handle our lives on our own.

Unbelief? – sometimes, we simply don’t believe that God would answer if we did pray. Instead of bringing our requests before the Lord, we worry over them; disregarding the hundreds of promises in God’s word that He will hear us and help us when we pray.

Busyness? – it’s all too easy to fill our lives with important activities and ministry while neglecting the most important activity of seeking God’s face and power.

Praying is so critical; it is a conversation with God. How can we worship God for all eternity when we can’t even manage 5-mins down here? Well, perhaps for starters, we will see more and more and more things in eternity that we won’t have ‘time’ NOT to worship!

God loves His children coming to Him in prayer, and since prayer is our lifeline to God, to NOT pray is an insult to Him. Every ‘prayerless’ day is saying to God that you do no need Him today, and perhaps could even reflect idolatry as you are relying on yourself, or other people, or money, or something else instead.

  • Would you think that neglecting prayer is not only a weakness, but a sinful choice?

Everyday we should be asking God for wisdom, guidance, comfort, help, protection, the list goes on. It is well said that he who is a stranger to prayer will also be a stranger to God’s power.

READ: Jeremiah 33:3 – let us never face a day in battle until we have faced the Father in prayer.

A man was once cutting a tree stump with an obviously blunt axe. He was only bruising the bark as sweat poured from his beaded brow. Someone suggested that he stop for a moment and sharpen the axe, to which he replied, “I’m too busy chopping the tree to stop for anything.” If he would only stop for a moment and sharpen the axe, he would be able to slice through the tree with far greater ease.

Stop at the beginning of each day to ‘sharpen the axe’ through prayer. Seek first the kingdom of God, and you will slice through that day with far greater ease.

Some people are constantly in prayer and as such are known as ‘Prayer Warriors’, which is wonderful. But this does not make them any more spiritual than you or me. We are ALL ‘tools’ on the Creator’s ‘workbench’ – only the Craftsman can pick up the tool and use it well.

  • What do you think would be some characteristics of a ‘Prayer Warrior’?
  • Would YOU like to be known as a ‘Prayer Warrior’?

READ: 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1:3, 2:13; Romans 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:3 – we must pray without ceasing. Whether you do this or not will depend on how much focus on and faith you have in God.

Prayer does a lot of things, but here’s three things to think about for the moment:

1. Prayer allows us to be in ‘partnership’ with God

He chooses to use us with Him in what He is already going to do. It is such a privilege! How many times have you been blessed to hear that your (constant) prayer for someone was answered in their life? Or you prayed something for someone and at that time were not sure why you were praying for that particular thing in their life, but then you later discovered the reason?

READ: Romans 8:26 – sometimes we don’t know what to pray for or most of the time it’s for self-preservation – to get out of trouble. The Holy Spirit helps us as we go through trouble by praying for us according to God’s will. The Holy Spirit:

  • Sees your trouble like you can’t see it.
  • Sees God’s purpose for it.
  • Sees Satan’s purpose for it (2 Corinthians 12:7; Job 1, 2).
  • Knows your real strength to hold up under the infirmity.
  • Knows who is watching you as you go through the infirmity.
  • Knows how you will be able to minister to others because of your infirmity.
  • Knows what kind of example you will be and how influential your example will be to future generations because of your infirmities.

You don’t see all of that, and so you don’t pray accordingly, but the Holy Spirit does. When He prays for us, He prays for us with all of that in mind. Perhaps He groans when He sees the carnality in our prayers? Perhaps He groans when He sees the delight Satan takes in making our infirmities worse? Christ wept for Lazarus in John 11:35–36, and so perhaps the Holy Spirit groans out of love for us? God has to put us through trouble, so we will grow and mature as Christians, but He takes no delight in our pain and suffering. Perhaps our sorrow touches the heart of the Spirit of God and causes Him to groan?

What a wonderful relationship we have with the Father!

2. Prayer frustrates the plans of the enemy

Our minds and thoughts may wander at times when we are in prayer. This is normally the enemy trying to interfere with our communion at that moment with God. The Devil doesn’t want us talking (and listening) to God – he doesn’t want God to answer our prayers, or for us to know the answers, because it can halt his plans.

READ: Daniel 10.

God always defeats the enemy though and turns things around. The next time all those thoughts, tasks, and distractions come in during your prayer time, just quickly jot them down on a notepad, and return to prayer again immediately. At the end of praying, not only would you have spent as much quality time with the Lord as you can (frustrating the enemy), but God has also given you your ‘To Do’ list for the day!

3. Prayer brings God joy

It is wonderful to know that we can bring delight to God simply by praying to Him (Proverbs 15:8).

READ: Revelation 8:3-4 and 5:8 – what a sweet smell our prayers are to God!

So then…

  • Pray with faith (Hebrews 11:6) – it is so sad that sometimes we have more faith in man and his things than in God Himself.
  • Pray with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalms 24:3,4) – confess your sins (1 John 1:7-9) to God daily through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ – this is not for salvation, but for fellowship with God so that your prayers are not hindered.
  • Pray genuine heartfelt prayers rather than vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7) – keep yourself in the love of God, and you will never pray hypocritical or selfish prayers. Just talk to your heavenly Father as candidly and intimately as a young child nestled on Daddy’s lap. God wants to hear from your heart.
  • Make sure that you are praying to the God revealed in the Scriptures (Exodus 20:3-6) – Study the word; do not accept the world’s idea of who God is. Look to the thunderings and lightnings of Mount Sinai; gaze at Jesus on the cross of Calvary hanging in unspeakable agony because of the justice of a holy God. The God of the Holy Bible is the True, Living God.

The prayer that God answers is the prayer that is to God the Father, that is on the ground of the atoning blood of God the Son, and that is under the direction and in the power of God the Holy Spirit.

Allow the Craftsman to pick you up and create something beautiful through your life, for His glory. Pray!

3. GET Studying

Encouragement For Troubled Times

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Every day we need to have encouragement for what God is doing during these last days of time. The world is so bad, so evil, so angry, so apathetic, so unreasonable, so false, so greedy, so painful, so ridiculous, so corrupt, so deceived … so troubled. It is so very hard to stay focused and encouraged, but we need to take comfort in what God is doing.

READ: 2 Timothy 1:9 – God has known you since before the world began. He knew what generation you would be born in, why He needs you in this time and dispensation, and where He has called you. He saved you; He called you.

Neither the saving nor the calling was based on our works. The saving was based on the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the calling was based on the fact that God placed us into Christ (Ephesians 2:10) when we received Him (John 1:12-13). See also Ephesians 1:4.

His purpose was to adopt individuals (Ephesians 1:5) as sons which He had NOT done for 4,000 years (Genesis 1 – Acts 2), and His grace was to give the undeserving sinner a chance to get to Heaven by accepting a free gift (Romans 6:23).

READ: Hebrews 4:3 – He knew what He was going to do with this world, and His works also included YOU.

There are many evil groups in the world today, but God is using those people to accomplish His will.

READ: Isaiah 10:5 – the Assyrians were the rod of God’s anger. God used those evil people to accomplish a work in the hearts of the Israelites, because of sin.

READ: Isaiah 14:25 – He would then break the Assyrian. Vengeance is His, and He never lets anyone get away with anything.

READ: Jeremiah 27:6 – Nebuchadnezzar was God’s servant. Look how evil that man was, but God used him for a purpose (see also Ezekiel 30:24-25).

A letter was received from a missionary who said that he could have worked for years and years in the place he was sent, and would have maybe seen one convert during that time. But, when some evil groups had risen up in the local area, only then did scores of Muslims come to faith in Christ.

God uses evil groups to accomplish the purpose He has in mind, which is only for good (Romans 8:28), and for coming against evil.

READ: Romans 13:1 – there is so much corruption in governments and political circles, but God uses even our leaders to accomplish His purpose. So how should the Christian respond to authority?

  1. A Christian should do what the government tells him to do.
  2. When it comes to questionable areas, a Christian should try to go along with the government as far as they can without compromising truth or right (Luke 20:22–24). The tribute money had been made by Rome and was required by Rome for payment. If Rome made it, then Rome could have it back.
  3. But if the government commands the Christian to do something contrary to the expressed will of God as revealed in the Scriptures, then the rule is given by Peter in Acts 5:29. That is such a common sense statement that the first time Peter brings up the subject he leaves it up to the judgment of a bunch of unsaved, self-righteous men to come to the same conclusion (Acts 4:19-20).

READ: Psalms 110:1 and Luke 20:42-43 – let us remember that at some point, the enemies will be under the feet of Jesus (see Isaiah 14:25). In God’s timing for His purpose, one day ALL evil forces will be under His feet!

It will be good then, and it is even good now. Why? Because everything that is happening today in this dark world is God’s will for it to all happen this way.

And don’t forget, His holy calling is on YOUR life to live right now in this generation, exactly for what He has called you to do.

READ: Psalms 95:8-11 and Hebrews 3:16-19 – the Israelites could not enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief.

But WE believe God when He says that these things that are happening in the world today are in His control, and He has shown them to us in His word. We can rest in this.

We must NOT stop praying and serving the Lord; putting our best effort into it. But we can rest KNOWING that God has it all under control. One day, we will know as He knows, but until then, let us thank Him now by faith.

He is using YOU right where you are, right now.

3. GET Studying

A Christian and Doubt

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READ: Matthew 2:17-18 with Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 16:13-16 with Jeremiah 27:3-10

Christians can have (and suffer from) hard times, doubts, difficulties, despair, and spiritual darkness. It is not easy being a saved believer. The same ‘feelings’ were true about Jeremiah too, and also John the Baptist.

READ: Mat. 11:2-3; Luke 7:18-23.

They had times of confusion, personal pain, and despair, but they were very aware of their great tasks from God too.

READ: Matthew 16:14.

People saw Jesus as another lonely prophet, but a man ready to suffer for his faith too.

  • Do YOU suffer for your faith?
  • Are you READY to suffer for Christ?
  • Are you willing to take RISKS for Him?

They only saw part of the truth. Jesus is God’ only begotten Son, and through His mercy and grace He had stepped into time to help His creation with their great needs. He came to die on the cross. He came to save us all from the results our sins.

At that time, they could not know or understand the full purpose of Christ’s task on earth, but they did recognise that He was a prophet. And although He had always had the relationship with the Father in Heaven, Jesus knew moments of ‘darkness’ in his life.

READ: Psalms 69 – for a glimpse of the childhood of Jesus.

Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:41-46) – Jesus knew the awful type of death that he would have to endure, and the physical pain that would come with it. But even worse would be that He would have to become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21 – for the whole world past, present, and future).

  • Why would YOU have never been able to endure this?

On the cross (Mark 15:34) – Jesus cried out in terrible pain, and more so because God the Father could not look upon Him when He became sin for us.

  • How do YOU feel when you fear that God was no longer near you?

The Old Testament saints had doubts

Jeremiah was just one of many. His messages had special value in two ways.

  1. He understood how great God is, and his messages to the people showed this.
  2. His personal life of prayer – the ‘Confessions of Jeremiah’.

READ: Jeremiah 11:18-23; 12:1-6; 15:10-21; 17:9-10, 14-18; 18:18-23 and 20:7-18.

Jeremiah was not in front of the people; he was on his knees in front of God, crying out in pain and despair. He could not understand his suffering, and thought his messages were a failure. Then, he thought that God himself did not care about him.

In these verses, Jeremiah seems very real. They show a loyal man of God in a powerful struggle with his enemies, both inside and outside himself. When he had talked with God, he could speak to the people, and give strong messages from God, without fear.

God called him to a very difficult task. He had a hard message to give to the people, and he had to declare it very clearly. He must tell his people that punishment would come soon (Jeremiah 1:14-17). Because of his type of character, and that he allowed things to affect him with his strong imagination, he realised just how awful that punishment would be (Jeremiah 4:19-31).

  • What similarities do YOU see today with regards to the Christian message to the lost world?

‘Jeremiah’s’ message was not popular. The society that he gave it to was content, and were happy with things as they were. They felt that their religion made them safe, and that was what made his task much harder.

There were many false prophets at that time, and the people liked them. Why? Because false prophets say that there is nothing wrong, and there is no reason to be anxious for anything; everything is all fine!

READ: Jeremiah 5:11-14, 30-31 and 6:13-14.

God’s people tried to make themselves feel better too. Ceremonies of their religion made them feel safe, but if there is no true love for God and truth, then ceremonies have no meaning (Jeremiah 7:5-6).

  • What similarities do YOU see today with regards to so-called ‘Christian’ worship and ceremonies?

So, Jeremiah had a very hard task, and he did not want to do it (Jeremiah 1:6-8; 20:7-10). And Jeremiah suffered at times with the problem of doubt.

Jeremiah suffered pain and despair

He never doubted that God was real, but at times he seemed to doubt the sovereignty of God.

Meaning: ‘sovereignty’ is God’s absolute right to rule everything in the way that he chooses. He always does things that fit with who He is, and He will never act in any other way; so, we can trust his sovereignty completely.

Jeremiah was called into His service, and at times, he seemed to feel that God was unfair in calling him into service (Jeremiah 20:7-8). A few times, Jeremiah wished that he had never come into the world (Jeremiah 15:10; 20:14-18). This showed that he did not understand how God rules over people.

God’s rule involves practical things, an it also has spiritual importance. At times, Jeremiah had a glimpse of these great truths – one was in Jeremiah 17:12 when he speaks about God’s throne (king’s special chair).

Someone may doubt that God exists, because they may have doubts about what God is like or how He acts. The person may have asked, ‘Why does this trouble happen to me?’, which is a natural question, but it can lead him to doubt God’s sovereignty.

We must turn to the Bible for immediate help, as it will stop doubt when it begins. If we fail to do this, the devil will use our lack of certainty, to take away ALL our certainties. We will doubt God’s sovereignty, and perhaps may even doubt that God exists – “Perhaps God does not really care. Perhaps God is not really there”.

So, we must put our confidence in God’s word. Our God rules and is All-Powerful (Revelation 19:6). This is a wonderful fact, which never changes. It remains true whatever happens, and whatever feelings we may have.

  • What happened the last time you allowed YOUR ‘feelings’ to control your life?

Doubt is often not the only problem

We must be honest about this. Doubt often comes when we have let other matters control our lives. This means that we have lost our trust in God’s sovereignty. So, the difficulties in life seem to be very great, and then we begin to doubt God’s love.

This happened in Jeremiah’s life. At the beginning of his work for God, he was very brave. He accused the people of turning away from God, then he was feeling full of despair. He cried to God in Jeremiah 15:18. Maybe there were some serious weaknesses in the prophet’s spiritual life. These things would allow doubts to enter his mind, which would lead to a lack of certainty.

He felt disappointed

His work for God seemed to be a complete failure (Jeremiah 7:25-28 and 13:15-17). He would have been so happy if people had returned to the Lord, but this did not happen.

There is an important lesson for us here. God may give us some work to do for Him, and we must be loyal and continue the work whatever happens (like the preachers on the streets who no one listens to). This is more important than success – when results are more important to us, we are in danger, as we can stop wanting to bring honour to God, and start trying to prove our own worth instead.

He felt bitter

This often follows on from disappointment. God has not worked in the way that we hoped or planned. Jeremiah felt like this in Jeremiah 20:7-8.

He felt pity for himself

This was the next wrong thing. Jeremiah felt very miserable, and nobody seemed to know or care about his feelings. He was very, very lonely (Jeremiah 15:17-18; 16:2-9), and he suffered more stress than most of us will ever have. Perhaps this stress caused his character to become weaker.

It was a terrible time for Jeremiah, but he went back to have true faith in God. He realised that God could supply all his needs, and his experience can help us. We may have doubts too, and we might have a similar difficulty, but there are things that we can do.

Allow God to examine and show us all parts of our lives

READ: Jeremiah 12:3; 15:19 and 17:9-10 are important here.

All Jeremiah’s thoughts were about the nation. He was concentrating on the people’s ‘return’ to God, but God said to him that if he returned, then he could serve him. Jeremiah was full of pain and despair, and God came to him and reminded him about his job. He had to help people to change, and NOT change himself and become like the people (Jeremiah 15:19).

Remember God’s great promises in the past

READ: Jeremiah 15:20 with 1:18, 19.

God had spoken some great words to Jeremiah at the beginning of his work. Jeremiah’s job was going to be very hard, but God encouraged him. Later, Jeremiah had doubts, and he was suffering very much. Then God spoke the same words to him again.

You may have forgotten a great promise of God, which helped you in the past. So, listen to the same Bible words again, and trust His great promises. He will give you strength and protection, and best of all, God himself will always be with you.

Trust God completely, whatever our feelings

We may feel that God has gone away from us. At first, this is a matter of discipline (Jeremiah 17:5-13). Jeremiah realises and sees that it is foolish to go to anyone else for help.

Do not let your heart go away from the Lord. This is how Jeremiah would say it. You might feel that God has left you, but He has not. Let your hope be in the Lord (Jeremiah 17:7). Your life may be hard, but look to Him (Jeremiah 17:8), and trust in His promises as they do not change.

READ: 1 Peter 1:4; Joshua 21:45; 23:14; 1 Kings 8:56 and Numbers 23:19.

Recognise again the sovereignty of God

READ: Jeremiah 17:12.

Perhaps your life is not what you wanted it to be, but what God wants is always best – remember Romans 8:28. Something happens when we recognise His sovereignty; we are sure about God again (Jeremiah 17:13). Jeremiah had stopped believing and trusting God, and then he started to trust God again. The Lord really is like ‘a supply of fresh water’ (Jeremiah 15:18 and 2:13).

Continue to pray

You must do this even when you do not feel like it. You may not be sure that prayer is worthwhile, but you must still pray.

This was the great thing about Jeremiah. Even at his worst times, he continued to pray. Sometimes it seemed that he only complained to God, but he continued to pray. Nothing stopped him.

READ: Jeremiah 12:1-3; 15:15; 17:14 and 20:7-12.

Jeremiah prayed clearly and in an honest way. Often, we are sad about our difficulties, problems and doubts; do not keep your feelings out of your prayers. Someone well said, “To deal with doubt you must let it get out!”

BELIEVE that a better time will come! And until that time, prove the worth of the faith that you once had. We can all know that God will never leave us.

For Group/Family Discussion

Believers might be having hard times, and are not sure that they can rely on God now, or trust Him. How would you begin to encourage and to support a believer who is like that?

Jeremiah did not want to be a prophet. He obeyed God, but he was not successful. A believer might feel sad like Jeremiah felt sad, and it might seem that he or she had failed. How would you explain a similar result today?

Jeremiah was a very sensitive man. God could have chosen someone who was tougher, stronger, and healthier – Amos was one example of someone like that (Amos 7:10-17.) Why do you think that God gave such a difficult mission to Jeremiah?

The Bible records many of Jeremiah’s personal and private prayers.

READ: Jeremiah 10:23-25; 12:1-6; 15:10-21; 17:12-18; 20:7-18 and 32:16-25).

Why do you think that these prayers are in the Bible for us? Do they give a message to a believer who is having hard times? If yes, what is it?

You might meet a Christian worker who is feeling sad. Perhaps there is not much encouragement or success in their work. How might you use Jeremiah’s story to remind them about the things that matter most?

Further Study

God said that he would be Jeremiah’s strong protection (Jeremiah 1:18-19; 15:20), but this sensitive man knew that there were plots to kill him (Jeremiah 11:18-1), and many other bad things happened to him:His enemies opposed him in a fierce way (Jeremiah 18:18).

– They beat him and they locked his hands and his feet in large blocks of wood (Jeremiah 20:1-2).
– They laughed at him (Jeremiah 20:7-10).
– They threatened to kill him (Jeremiah 26:1-24).
– They put him in prison (Jeremiah 37:16).
– They threw him into a deep, muddy pit (Jeremiah 38: 1-13). God had given him a wonderful promise (Jeremiah 15:20). So why did he have such terrible experiences?

The people trusted in visible signs of their faith (Jeremiah 3:16; 7:1-6, 21-23; 8:8-9 and 9:25-26). The signs should point to the meaning of certain things, so why do people rely on the signs instead of on their meaning?For example, in some societies people turn to religion on special occasions – births, marriages, death. But they do not think about religion or about God for the rest of life. How can we explain that? There is a desire for the things of God at these special times, but we want people to have something that is more significant, and something that will last. So how can we use these desires in the best way?

Jeremiah expressed his anger in some of his prayers (Jeremiah 18:19-23 for example). Perhaps it was only on rare occasions, and we can understand it completely. People treated him very badly. They rejected him, and he was very lonely for many years. But why is the story of such terrible pain still there for us to read? What can we learn from prayers that are like this, and how might Jesus want us to think and to pray in a different way?

READ: Luke 6:27-28; 23:34; Acts 7:60; Romans 12:14 and 1 Peter 2:23).


3. GET Studying

A Christian and Depression

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Depression is probably the most common human problem, but the Bible does not leave us without help. Many people in OT times felt miserable and depressed, and the prophet Elijah was one of them. He was just like us – James 5:17. His experiences were the same as ours. He had difficulties, tests, and he knew what depression was like.

READ: 1 Kings 18-19.

Our enemy, the devil, uses depression

If the devil gets us depressed, he makes us less able than we usually are; he wins a major success. The devil can use all sorts of tests and troubles to make us feel depressed.

READ: 1 Peter 1:6 – they are called manifold temptations.

Our tests are of various kinds and ‘shades’, but they will encourage us.

READ: 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9 – But there is also manifold grace of God, and God’s grace is always sufficient.

Notice 3 things about depression. It often comes:

1. When we feel extremely tired

READ: 1 Kings 18:46.

The devil knows the right time to attack us with depression. We are especially weak when our bodies feel very tired. It was certainly like this for Elijah. He sat down under a tree and wanted to die, as he had no physical energy at the time.

First, he had run nearly 20 miles to a place called Jezreel. Then he heard bad news in the city. So, he ran for more than another 80 miles.

This may be the main cause for your depression. How much do you do during a day? Too much perhaps? Do you take care of your body? Remember, your body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20).

Do not be careless about your physical needs as it brings dishonour to God:

  • Get rest and sleep.
  • Eat properly and enough – check your meal times!
  • Relax with some activity.

All these things have spiritual as well as physical importance. There are times when it is easier to become depressed, and the devil will try to use them. These times are when our health is weak.

2. When we have had great spiritual benefits

READ: 1 Kings 18:16-39.

Elijah had had a great experience on the mountain, and it was a great success. God had showed his power and greatness, and Elijah must have felt great excitement. But then came the depression.

It often happens like that in our lives. There is no natural reason for it. God has just given us a great benefit, but the devil wants to steal it from us. He wants to take away our joy and peace in God; to make us feel depressed is the easiest way to do it. The devil can use just a minor event in our lives or bring to our memory an event, or feeling, or fear from the past. If we forget about God, and we become very depressed.

3. When we least expect it

This is the time when the devil comes to attack us – then cometh the devil (Luke 8:12), with ‘the darts of depression’.

Elijah left the place where he had been successful, and had astonished all the people, rushing off to Jezreel. He was going to tell people about God’s great success, but he was soon a very different man; afraid and depressed.

READ: 1 Corinthians 10:12 – depression often just appears in our lives, and we must remember to take heed.

Depression does something bad to us

Depression robs us of many good qualities that God has given us – courage, strength, discernment, etc.

READ: 1 Kings 17:1-16.

Elijah was usually a brave man. His desire was that his nation would return to God, and he was ready to die with them. He marched into Ahab’s palace and announced that God’s punishment was coming, then God told him that he would provide for his needs.

All that time, Ahab was hunting Elijah (1 Kings 18:10). Soldiers were searching for him, and they would kill him if they found him. It was at this time that God sent him to Sidon, which was the country of Jezebel, the wicked queen. Then he went to speak to Ahab, the evil king (1 Kings 18:15-18.), whilst the soldiers were hunting him.

So much happened at Carmel too. Elijah needed to be brave (1 Kings 18:19-40) and strong. After all this though, Elijah felt great physical weakness, and then depression followed. He had none of his former strength. He ran to save his life.

Maybe Elijah let a little pride affect his spiritual life?

READ: 1 Kings 18:36-37.

We cannot be sure about this; but perhaps there were two prayers here. The first had ‘I’ in it, then, the reason for his prayer changes in the next verse. Remember that Elijah was
a man subject to like passions as we are. Maybe he had the problem of pride too?

There may be another sign of this in 1 Kings 19:4 – O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. Nobody said that he was! God did give him a special job to do, and he knew that God was using him, so maybe this gave him a feeling of spiritual importance? One cannot prove this of course.

But one thing is certain, depression often comes to those who only think about themselves. We want life to go completely our own way, not God’s way.

Depression always makes us unable to see the facts as they are

There is humour in 1 Kings 19:4. Elijah asks the Lord to take away his life, but if this was really what he wanted then he should have stayed where he was. He need not have had such a long, tiring journey; Jezebel promised to kill him in the next 24 hours. But poor Elijah did not look at the true situation. Perhaps we are all like that too sometimes.

A lesson here is to avoid making important decisions when you feel depressed. You are not seeing things as they really are. There will be a day when you will feel much happier, and that would be a better time to make a decision.

READ: 1 Kings 19:10, 14.

Notice something else about Elijah. His wrong opinion of the situation appears again. Like our own sad accounts of trouble, it went on and on. He repeated the same thing, and it was not even an accurate! God says that there are 7,000 people who love him (1 Kings 19:18).

There are physical reasons for much depression

We have already mentioned this. But 1 Kings 19 reminds us about its importance. Notice 19:5-7. We read about the first things that God did for Elijah. They were things that he should have done for himself. God made him sleep. God gave him food.

The same thing happens today. There are good, sincere Christian workers, and many of them suffer from depression at times, because they too neglect these two essential things in life. God gave Elijah two long periods of good sleep, and He also gave him two meals. THEN, He allowed Elijah to continue his journey.

In depression, find some quiet place, and prepare yourself to meet with God

God knew where Elijah was going (1 Kings 19:7). It was the place where God gave the Law to Moses. Elijah feared that people no longer appreciated God’s law, so it was natural for him to go there. It was also the place where God talked to Moses. (Exodus 34:29). There God showed what He wanted for his people (Deuteronomy 5). Perhaps Elijah hoped that God would talk to him too, and that is exactly what happened.

In your depression, God will do the same for you. Find some quiet place to meet with Him. Your mind may be full of doubts, and you may even feel that it will be of no practical use, but just do it. Go to Him and be still.

We can discover again what is most important

We do this when we meet with God.

He comes to us when all is quiet

READ: 1 Kings 19:11-12 – it speaks about a still small voice.

We must all learn to be completely quiet at times (Psalms 46:10; Isaiah 30:15).

He gives us something new to do

READ: 1 Kings 19:15-17.

So much depression comes from only thinking about ourselves. This type of attitude is not healthy. Service for other people can be God’s way for us to escape.

He helps us to see our life as it really is

READ: 1 Kings 19:18.

There needs to be communication with God. Then we will be free from our wrong ideas, which just make us more and more depressed.

He provides the help and friendship of other Christians

Elisha is an example of this.

READ: 1 Kings 19:19-21.

God gave him to Elijah. Later, there is a beautiful description of him. He which poured water on the hands of Elijah (2 Kings 3:11) – that he served Elijah.

God is very good to us too. He usually sends someone into our lives. He or she will help and encourage us. When this happens to you, avoid giving another account of your troubles! Ask God for His help to start life again. He is sufficient, whatever your needs may be you will have His strength and peace in your time of depression.

What you have leaned now may help other people later. Their need may be even greater than yours is now (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

For Group/Family Discussion

Sometimes when people’s bodies are very tired this may cause depression. The Bible says that believers’ bodies are like ‘temples’ for the Holy Spirit. READ: 1 Cor. 6:19. So, believers must not use their bodies in a way that would harm them. How can busy people organize their daily life so that this does not happen?

What can busy people do to provide good opportunities for necessary quiet time with the Lord?

Perhaps Elijah suffered from depression because he was lonely. The Bible teaches us that Christians should be like the parts of a body. The success of each part depends on the other parts. READ: Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:12-31; Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Pet. 4:8-11). How can each believer best contribute to the lives of other believers?

God gave His servant, Elijah, a way to escape from his depression. He provided him with a reliable partner, Elisha, who helped him. What do you think that meant to Elijah? What does it mean for us, when we give support to other believers?

Can a Christian do anything to avoid or reduce periods of doubt and depression?

Further Study

Look carefully at what God said to Jeremiah (Jer. 15:15-21) during one experience of depression. (Note that it was not the only time of depression in Jeremiah’s life.) The honest account is there in the Bible, and it is there to ‘teach’ and ‘encourage’ us. What do you think that the passage is saying to believers today?

John the Baptist said (twice) that Jesus was the Lamb of God, which taketh away4 the sin of the world (John 1:29, 35). But later, while he was in prison, he showed a little doubt and depression, but Jesus knew everything about John feelings, and said that John was one of the greatest men who had ever lived. Jesus chose not to consider John’s doubt and depression. He chose to think about greater parts of John’s life (Mat. 11:7-19). We might know a believer who has doubts and who has depression, and we want to help them. How might Jesus’ opinion about John help us?

An important teaching in the Bible is on ‘Meditating’. This is when we think much about the meaning and the message of words from the Bible, and we study the passage(s). Read Jos. 1:8; Ps. 1:2, 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99 and 148. These passages also explain what meditation means. What do you think this includes?

Some well-known Christian speakers of old like John Bunyan and C.H. Spurgeon had times of serious depression that lasted a long time. Then they found that it was difficult just to read the Bible. How would you try to help someone who felt like that?