Salvation

336D5F20-DEFA-42D8-856A-A66C1B35CC2F“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Salvation

As Christians, we believe that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died to make us right with God. He took on the sins of all who believe in Him, once and for all. I have read various views of whether salvation can be lost, once it has been received by faith. Obviously, we do not receive it by our works and many, including Billy Graham, believe that we don’t lose it because we continue to sin. As an oncologist who encounters deaths regularly, I pray that saved souls cannot be lost.

Temple

F4CEFDF5-2C09-4C99-9E5A-FCE29D288517“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Temple

Often we look to our worldly leaders and friends for counsel and direction. Unfortunately, even the best of them, with the best of intentions, let us down. We must forgive them for their shortcomings, but remember that our Hope cannot rely upon them. Each of us is a Temple, and without His Spirit, we are lost. It is truly amazing how far our country has developed its policies to push us away from God. But The Creator of the universe is still in control and will use the bad to bring about His good. As believers, we can stand on His promises.

Death

ED14CE5E-684C-4D44-9C2E-F4956EEF22DC“”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Death

Since Cain killed Abel, every human has died, save Enoch and Elijah. When I heard the news about Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, my first thought was that life is a precious gift that can end at any time. We all must be ready. Now I acknowledge that everyone has their religious freedom and I respect that choice. I believe God gave us that choice because He wants us to choose Him—what a beautiful gift of life and an extraordinary option of eternal life. Praise be to God!!

Forgive

2376C3FE-C3CB-4298-83A0-CD1B352CCE94

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive
him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭17:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Forgive

Recently a retired minister told me how his family still blames him for the death of one of their relatives. All he had done was wired money to her at her request. His action came from his love for her. But her boyfriend who was drug addicted murdered her for that money. Clearly the minister had not done anything wrong, but years later he struggles with guilt, which has been reinforced, if not caused, by his family members blaming him. Now I feel certain that he has counseled people during his pastoral career about such undeserved guilt, but he has suffered for many years. Hopefully my discussion with him eased his conscience and reminded him that God forgives us when we repent and turn from our sin. In his case, he didn’t need forgiveness, except from himself.

 

United

3CB54149-B2C0-49D0-817C-D98DD95B30C9“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

United
As a human society, we have common healthy goals that can be obtained more readily when we are united. Watching our government bicker like immature children disgusts most of us; because, deep down, we know we have more similarities than differences. Still the enemy tries to divide us by focusing us on those areas that have fierce opposition. As the 1970 song proclaims, “United We Stand”! We must learn to love and forgive and be united in that respect. Our future depends on it.

Salvation

3C09FFAE-E99C-4181-9C27-41C43B8DDDAB“For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.”
‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Salvation

Our Sunday school lesson raised the question of “can we regain salvation after rejecting it?” Certainly we all continue to sin and fall short of being anywhere near righteous with our own works; but, what if we denounce God and turn away from Him? Can we turn back and still have salvation?? Our culture tends to push us to tolerate, then accept, and finally embrace all sorts of sinful behavior, but what are the eternal consequences?
Apparently this is one of the BIG theological questions. Some believe there is always hope, even in this situation. Clearly it has given me reason to pause and ponder. I realize I sin even though I know better—clearly not ideal, but is that forgivable? Only God knows and we can only hope and pray.

Forgiveness

2E90A8C2-1CFD-4F34-A828-B24CE831DE30“Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:32-35‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an intentional, voluntary process when a victim changes the negative feelings and attitude regarding the offender. When someone has been mean to me and hurt me, there is the natural tendency to want to get revenge and make them feel the same pain and suffering. But, despite what feels justifiable, forgiving is the truly right thing to do and it will give ultimate freedom from the offender. Furthermore, God wants us to forgive others as He forgives us for our transgressions. Personally, I forgive quickly and easily, but I have a difficult time forgetting, which leaves some lingering negative feelings. When no apology has been offered, the forgiving is especially hard for me. Truly the offender does not deserve forgiveness, but neither do I.