Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » 2010 » July

Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The Signs Of His Coming (Part #2)

SIH STSTA ICONIn part number one of this series, we saw that the exact time of Christ’s coming and the end of the world would not be revealed to any man, nor angel, but only to God alone.  (Matt 24:3-6, Matt 25:13, 2Pet 3:10)  Also, because mankind will not be told of the exact time of Christ’s return, His return is described as if a thief was coming in the night. (1 Thess 5:1-11).

These teachings of God, bring into question the year 2012 theory for His return.  According to the most popular version of the theory, the world is coming to an end on Dec 21, 2012.  We know the Lord clearly says that He will not reveal the exact time of His coming; because of this the 2012 theory must be labeled unscriptural and, therefore, false.

We will now pickup with our Matt 24: study by looking at Christ’s teachings concerning the signs of his coming and the end of the world (Matt 24:3-28)


And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? …. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.  (Mat 24:3-28)


Matt 24:3 – The context of our study… Christ is answering the question, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

The 10 great groups of signs pointing to His coming and the end of the world’:

Sign #1 – Matt 24:4-5 – The appearance of men who will claim to be anointed by God, but they will deliver a false message, some will even claim to be Christ Himself.  (2 Cor 11:13-15, 2 Thess 2:3 )

Sign #2 – Matt 24:6- Wars will take place, combined with threatening of wars about to take place.

Don’t let these things surprise you, they are a part of God’s plan and must take place before the end. (Luk 21:9)

Sign #3 – Matt 24:7- Nations will oppose nations economically, politically etc.  Also, famines will take place with deadly diseases and earthquakes.  All of these things will take place in a variety of different, multiple places. (Ezek 14:21, Luke 21:11, 25-26)

Matt 24:8 – All the above signs (vs 4-7) are described as beginning of “sorrows”.  The Greek word for sorrows means “birth pains”.  The above signs are compared to birth pains, i.e. they will increase in frequency and intensity as the end times grow closer.  Much like a woman’s birth pains increase in frequency and intensity before the child is born.

Sign #4 – Matt 24:9 – This speaks of the persecution of the followers of Christ. This includes physical, emotional, social, and economic abuse of God’s people. (John 15:19-20, Rev 2:10, Rev 6:9-10)

Sign #5 – Matt 24:10 – Disagreements, legal disputes, hurt feelings, physical confrontations will take place between individuals.  These will stir up hatred for one another.  (Matt 10:21,35-36,  Matt 13:21)

Sign #6 – Matt 24:11 – Many men will teach a message of error, yet claim it is God’s Word. This is speaking of false religions that teach salvation is received apart from Christ. (1 John 4:1)

Sign #7 – Matt 24:12- Sin will be rampant as love for one another dwindles. Natural types of love will decrease (parents for child, man for woman, child for parents, etc.) Perverted, selfish lust will be on the rise. (Mark 13:12, Luk 21:16, Roms 1:26-32)

Matt 24:13 – One of the greatest marks of those who are saved is consistent service to Him. Perseverance in service to the Lord is one of the greatest proofs of genuine salvation.

Sing #8 – Matt 24:14- Worldwide gospel outreach by ministries of the Lord.

Sign #9 – Matt 24:15 – The Abomination of Desolation is Daniel’s account of the Hebrew temple being

defiled.  This was done by the Antiochus Epiphanes in 170 BC when he slew the pig on the Israelite altar. (see for more info – .

This ceremonial defilement of the altar is a picture of God’s worship being defiled today through false teachings and harboring of sin in worship.  This sign is about sin and error creeping into the Lord’s assemblies causing the true worship of Him to be defiled. (Daniel 9:-12:, 2 Pet 2:1-3, Rev 2:12-17)

Matt 24:16-20 – All of the above events will be unstoppable and world-wide, causing even God’s people to flee in terror, knowing that these things cannot be overcome by mankind’s efforts.

Matt 24:21-22 – At the completion of these signs, the Great Tribulation will be ready to commence.  The Great Tribulation would even destroy God’s people, but the Lord will intervene and take them home before the GT begins.

Sign #10 – Matt 24:23-28 – False accounts of Christ’s return will radically multiply as the end draws near. These false teachings will include Him physically coming back to the earth. These false claims about His return will give support to the rise of false Christs with miracle working powers coming on the scene.  They will be empowered through Satanic intervention deceiving virtually all men (with the exception of genuine believers. (2 Thess 2:9-11, Rev 13:13-14)

Only God’s people will reject these false teachings. Christ’s true followers will understand the Biblical teachings about His second coming.  They will understand He will come in the clouds and take His people to heaven to be with Him.  He WILL NOT return to the earth at this point in time.

(Note: I have included a few extra verses with each sign to supplement this study.  There are many, many more verses I could have included but the length of this study restrained me.)


By looking at the above list of signs of His coming and the end of the world, it is plain to see that we are living in the last days.  Every one of these signs has already appeared and many have become much more frequent and intense.

Although there is no way I can know exactly when he will come, I believe it will be soon… in any case, we all can echo Paul’s sentiments in Rom 13:11-14:

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

In the next part of our blog series we will be looking at our long-awaited event, the second coming of our Lord.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The End Of The World Revealed (Part #1)

SIH STSTA ICON2012… just four little numbers that in the past few years have become a BIG DEAL!  What used to be simply a descriptor, for a 12 month segment of time on coming calendars, has become synonymous with the end of all mankind.  How did this happen?  Well, to tell you the truth, I think it takes a Mayan scholar and historian to really get the answer straight; there is much controversy over the whole theory.  I can’t read the Mayan language, nor do I understand how the Mayans went about creating their calendar; so to be fair to supporters of this theory, I think I’ll leave the explanation of all this to them.  If you are interested this link may help you…

As far as I’m concerned, the only area of interest for me is … “What does God’s Word say about the world ending in 2012?”   From my perspective, God’s Word (made up of 66 separate books, Genesis – Revelation) is the only reliable authority on this whole issue.  Therefore, if God’s Word teaches that the world ends in 2012… so be it, then that proves to me that the Mayan’s had it right all along; but, if God’s Word proves the 2012 theory is baloney…. that settles it for me… I’m placing my faith in my Lord, and His Word, and I’m delegating the 2012 theory to my trash can (file 13).  (If anyone is interested in why I count God’s Word as the ultimate authority in matters like this, please refer to my previous blog entry on the Bible and Science: for more info)


And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? … But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  (Mat 24:3, 36, 42; see also Matt 25:13, 2 Pet 3:10)

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  (1Th 5:1-11)


Matthew chapter 24 is a record of the teachings of Christ on the subject of His second coming and the events surrounding the end of the world:

Matthew 24:1-3…

If you notice, the question that initiated the Lord’s teachings of Matthew 24 is found in verse 3 …” Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

So clearly, the context of this chapter is the second coming of Christ and the end of the world.  To say otherwise is to deny the context of this chapter.

(Please note, the “things” being referenced in verse 3 was the destruction of the temple by Rome a few years later in 70 AD by Roman general Titus.  This brought an end to the Hebrew worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem and began the time period we call the “latter days”.)

Matthew 24:4-28

In these verses, the Lord describes the different events leading up to His second coming. An in-depth look at these signs will be presented in Part #2 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:29-31

The coming of Christ is described as he takes His followers to heaven to be with Him. A closer look at these verses will follow in Part #3 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:32-51

Here our responsibility to look for the signs and to be ready for His coming is brought into view.  These verses we’ll look at in detail in Part #4

Note in verse 36 and verse 42 …

He clearly says in verse 36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

And then in verse 42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

In the context, watching the signs of His coming, He makes it plain that, as we watch, we should not expect the exact time to be revealed to us!   In other words, the signs are to help us know the basic time frame of His return, but we will not know exactly when He is coming.

He explicitly states that no man, nor angel would ever know the exact time of His coming.  Even Christ, while on earth, as a human, who did not exercise His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8), did not know the time of His second coming.  (Just a note here…. I believe that since Christ is ascended and has begun to exercise His divine attributes and authority, (Phil 2:9-11) He now knows when the second coming will take place.)

This same principle is also brought out in the Scriptures in our other text, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

In other words, Paul did not need to write to the believers in Thessalonica about the times and seasons of Christ’s second coming because Christ had already addressed the topic.   But even though they already had teachings on the signs, there would be no specific announcement of when He would come.  In that sense, He would be coming as a thief, unannounced and unexpected by many.


So for this blog entry, it is important for us to see that Christ gave us signs marking a basic time frame of His coming.   However, the coming of Christ and the end of the world, will not be announced with any exact date. He specifically teaches that no man, nor angel will be shown the time of His coming.   It is a truth only known by the Triune God.

By the way, good old “2012 theory” is already rattling around in my file 13, and we are only one-fourth finished with our study!

My next blog entry will answer the question, “What are the signs of His second coming?” from Matt 24:4-28.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.   Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Golden Bears Are Everywheres! (Waynedale Golden Bears, That Is!)

SIH STSTA ICONIn the mid 70s, I attended and graduated from Waynedale High School in Apple Creek, Ohio.  Waynedale had great students and fantastic teachers.  I credit the Lord with using Waynedale to give me the tools I needed to further my education and succeed in life.  I was blessed to have the privilege of attending Waynedale.  Sorry to say, in my younger days, I did not appreciate Waynedale as I should.

For a closer look at Waynedale HS visit their websites:

Waynedale’s mascot was a golden bear.   Like any high school, you could see golden bears all over the walls of the school building.  Why? Because the golden bear represented who we were.   The minute anyone stepped into our building they knew they were in Golden Bear Country!

This is also why our school jackets had a golden bear on them… in the neighboring communities, at the sight of the bear on our coat the people immediately knew that we attended Waynedale. By simply wearing a golden bear on our clothing we were making a statement about ourselves.

Did you know that the Lord has given us the equivalent of a golden bear coat that we are to use to declare our relationship with Him?   Lets look at what the Bible has to say about our public announcement that we are Christ’s.


For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal 3:26-27)


In Galatians 3:26-27 – gives us a clear teaching on the role of faith and baptism in our salvation.  If you notice, in verse 26 we can clearly see that faith is the entry way to adoption into the family of God.  In other words, we must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be forgiven of our sins and to become a part of God’s family.

Our Galatians text does not stop there.  It goes on in verse 27 to explain the role of baptism in our salvation.  Baptism is the “putting on” of Christ. By the way, the term “put on” in Greek means “to put on a suit of clothes”.  In other words, baptism is like putting on clothing that publicly declares that the work of Christ has been applied to our account and we are now dead to sin and alive to Christ.

Baptism is the equivalent to my Waynedale coat.  I was a student of Waynedale whether I wore my coat or not.  But, if I wanted others to know I was a Waynedale student, I would put my coat on.  The same principle applies to our baptism.  If we have God-given faith in Christ, we are saved.  Baptism has no effect on that.  However, if we want others to know of our salvation experience, we are to be immersed in water (baptized).   By being baptized, we are associating ourselves with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; and, we are stating that we have died to sins and are raised to live a new life of submission to Him. (Roms 6:3-9)  Once we are baptized, everyone knows we are a follower of Jesus Christ.


For those who are saved, the most important next step in obedience to the Lord is to be immersed in water (baptism).  This, in turn, pictures the work of Christ, our changed life, and our association with Him.  By being baptized, we are saying to the world… “My Lord has saved me, I now commit myself to living my life for Him and I am so very grateful to be able to be called a child of the living God!”

Once we make this public declaration of our faith in Christ, we should strive to obey Him with our whole heart.  For we know that our association with Him is known and we are being watched by others to see if our commitment to His service is genuine.

For those who have never been saved, first, it is vital to grasp the most important need of your life.  Above all else, you are in need of the Lord’s intervention in your life and the faith He so graciously gives to those who seek His face.

By understanding the true nature of baptism, you will not be misled by those who will tell you that baptism is a necessary part of your receiving God’s salvation and adoption.  Please allow me to repeat once again for clarity… faith alone is necessary for salvation.  By trusting in Christ, your salvation is complete.

Baptism follows salvation and is necessary for a public declaration of your faith in Him.  For a closer look at salvation and the need for faith please read my blog page on “forgiveness”.

“The name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth….neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Act 4:10-12)

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Here Comes De Judge!

SIH STSTA ICONRowan and Martin’s Laugh-In was a comedy sketch TV program that aired in the late 60s and early 70s.  My parents used to love that show.  One of the sketches I remember best was the “Here Comes De Judge” sketch that featured Flip Wilson and later Sammy Davis Jr.  In this sketch, you would have an innocent defendant stand before “De Judge” and receive all types of abuse.  For a sample of this sketch watch this:

As funny as it was to watch some poor guy get misjudged and abused at the hands of a judge, we all know, in real life, being misjudged by others isn’t funny at all.  How many times have we been falsely accused of wrongdoing, or have our motives for an action totally misunderstood.  Think of how painful it was to have to defend yourself when you know you are an innocent victim of wrong headed judgment.

For many well-meaning people, the solution to making wrong judgments is simply to make no judgments at all… This sounds like a great solution, but, unfortunately, there are times when judgments need to be made.  Would you feel comfortable leaving your child at a babysitter, without making a judgment about that sitter’s character?  Or could you marry someone without ever examining their life to be sure they are a suitable mate for you?  Can you standby idly watching a loved one take a life path that would lead to their harm or even death?

Making, or not making, judgments about others are a very complicated necessity of life.  The Lord has given us insight into this subject in His Word…


The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

(Joh 7:20-24)


In a nutshell, our text gives us the Lord’s teachings on the judgment of others… there is a righteous type of judgment and there is an unrighteous type of judgment.  Therefore, the core of our study is this… which type of judgment is righteous and what type is unrighteous.  Once again, the Lord does not leave us guessing about these things.

Here are the basic principles we are to use to help us render the proper type of “righteous” judgment:

  1. When we judge others without looking at ourselves first, we are judging unrighteously.  Matt 7:1-5, Rom 2:1-1.  Many times this type of judgment can become a stumblingblock for those being judged.  Rom 14:10-13
  2. When we judge other’s motives, by trying to guess what is in their heart, is an unrighteous judgment 1 Cor 4:1-5
  3. We should not be critical of others who choose not to keep the dictates of OT ceremonial laws, they no longer mandatory for us to keep. They were fulfilled, and ended, with the first coming of Christ to earth.  These laws were given to teach the OT believers about the first coming of Christ (a shadow of things to come). When Christ came the purpose of these laws was fulfilled and they are no longer to be observed.  Col 2:13-17, John 7:20-23
  4. Our judgments should not be influenced based upon the possibility of personal gain. James 2:1-9
  5. Our motives for judging others must ALWAYS be with the intent to help those we are judging.  We should never judge others with the intent to find fault so we can justify our own lives or look better in the eyes of others around us.  James 4:10-12  As we seek to help others it should be with a humble attitude realizing, apart from God’s grace, we would be in the same shape, or worse, than the person we are judging.  1 Thess 5:14-28, Gals 6:1-6
  6. We must judge others to choose our teachers, leaders and associates in life.  To not render this judgment is to open us up to false teachings and sinful practices in our life.  Matt 7:15-20, 2 Cor 6:14-18
  7. We must be constantly making life decisions based on the context of God’s Word.  We must judge other’s actions and teachings before we follow in their footsteps.  Roms 2:26-29, 1 Cor 2:13-16, Luke 12:56-59

(Note:  I’ve only been able to summarize the basic teachings found in the above references for the sake of this study.  I would suggest that we prayerfully study each of the above references for a much more complete understanding of the principles for Scriptural judgment making.)


For followers of Christ, righteous judgments should be a daily, habitual action.  How many different decisions are we called upon that dictates a judgment be made?  How many times do we fail the Lord by making unrighteous judgments concerning our lives and the lives of others?  For the Christian, knowing, understanding and applying the above principles is of utmost importance.

For those who are not yet followers of Christ, the first and most important judgment you will ever make is to decide the truthfulness of God’s Word.  Does the Bible contain errors?  Are the historical accounts of both Old and New Testament fictional or are they factual?  Finally, and most importantly, are the Bible’s claims about Christ true; and therefore, can I trust in Christ with my soul’s eternal destiny?

By God’s grace, you will come to an acceptance of the truthfulness of Scripture and the need to trust in Christ and His work on the cross.  1 John 1:1-4

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”  “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Is God Impressed With Our Impressions?

SIH STSTA ICONI have always been “impressed” with impersonators.  The first person that I saw do impressions was Rich Little; the man is fabulous.  To this day, I think he is, perhaps, the most talented impersonator to ever live.  (You can see a small sampling of his work here: 78sSn3E_Vvc)  Many others have tried to follow in Rich’s footsteps, and I’m impressed with most of them, but in my opinion none have excelled like Rich.

Well, there may be one exception to that, a man by the name of Frank Caliendo.  I think that, just maybe, he’s got what it takes to be the next Rich Little.  (If you have never seen Frank’s performances, here’s a sample:

Anyhow, as entertaining as impressions can be, pretending to be someone we are not, has no place in our spiritual lives….


Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward…. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward…. (Mat 6:1-7)


It is only natural for us to want to receive the approval of others around us.  As children, we were naturally inclined to want to please our parents and other adults around us.  Because of this innate desire, we have a big choice to make… be ourselves or be an impersonator.

As a child I could chose honestly, and openly, to obey my parents by submitting to their desires. By doing this, I would be pleasing them.  My other choice was to do an impression of an obedient child, while disobeying them behind their back. In this case, their approval was not legitimate, but coerced by me.

I’m afraid many of us, as “religious” people, are living like the disobedient child.  We are outwardly, appearing to others as if we are “spiritual” servants of God; while, in reality, we do not have a true faith-based relationship with the Lord of the Universe.  We are leaving a “spiritual” impression on the people by being “religious”, while secretly in our hearts, we are not right with God.  [There is a tremendous difference between being “religious” (ie performing outward acts of worship) and being “spiritual” (ie having a personal relationship with God)].

The perfect examples of this are the “religious” Pharisees of the scriptures.  Note in our text, they were doing public acts of worship and prayers that made them look “spiritual”, appearing as if they have a relationship with God.  They were, probably the best impersonators of their day.

Their impersonations fooled many people into thinking they were “spiritual” giants.  But do you notice the One that was not fooled by them?  It was the Lord who searches the hearts of all men (Jer 17:10).

Note His response “ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven”; and He goes further to explain that their only reward they will receive is the earthly praise of other men.  The Lord knew exactly what the Pharisees were doing… they could fool other men, even themselves, but certainly not their God.


All mankind will stand before their Lord someday (Hebs 9:27) … because of this, we all need to make certain that we have a valid relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  There are many individuals who are on perilous spiritual grounds; they have impersonated being a follower of Christ until they have not only fooled others, but have also fooled themselves.  Note our Lord’s account of what will take place at the final judgment to those who have deceived themselves through the performance of religious acts…

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Mat 7:22-23)

So what are we to do?  How can we avoid such an end?  The Lord makes it clear what He desires to see in each of our lives…

… what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? (Deu 10:12-13)

He desires to see a person that is fully trusting and loving Him with all their heart and soul.  When this type of heart-felt love and trust is present, you will see it manifested by acts of outward obedience.  In other words, true faith and love produces acts of willful obedience in the life of true children of God. This is unlike the Pharisees whose outward acts did not spring from faith, but from deceit with a motive to mislead and impress.

Are all outward acts of worship sinful?  Of course not, the Lord is pleased with our outward acts of worship, when they are based upon love for Him and a desire to set a proper example for others.  It all comes down to the “thoughts and intents” of our hearts.  So my final question for each of us to consider today is not…. “Do we pray?” or “Do we attend church?” or “Have we walked down an aisle?” or “Have we been baptized?”  or “Do we read our Bible” or  “ Do we receive our churches’ sacraments?”  or “ Have we said the sinner’s prayer?”   My final question for us to consider is …“Is our heart right with God?”

“…as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes…”  (1Ki 14:8)

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Alien Sightings and Alien Abductions in the Last Days (Part 2 of 2)

(Please refer to my previous post… “Do Aliens From Other Planets Exist?… A Biblical Perspective” For Part 1 of This 2 Part Series)

Beginning in the 1950s, reports of alien sightings and abductions have been steadily increasing across the globe.  Explanations for these events range from misidentifying military/governmental flight vehicles or heavenly bodies, to drug abuse or psychological issues on the part of those making the sightings.  However, some experts believe these explanations are not sufficient.  There are still reported sightings and abductions that, according to them, cannot be rationalized using earthly explanations.  Could they be right?

In my previous blog entry, “Do Aliens From Other Planets Exist? A Biblical Prospective.”, we saw that aliens from other planets simply do not exist.  So, from a Biblical standpoint, aliens cannot be the cause of these events.  In this study, we’ll try to answer these questions… Is there another possible explanation for these “alien sightings/abductions”?  How are “alien sightings/abductions” connected with the end time teachings of Scripture?


Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.  (Rev 1:7)

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Mat 24:30-31)

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  (Rev 14:14-16)

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.  (Luk 17:34-37)


To begin a Scriptural study of alien sightings/abductions it is important that we understand a little about Satan and his workings among men:

Satan, throughout both Old and New Testament, is clearly revealed as a Deceiver of mankind (Rev 12:9).  Beginning in the Garden of Eden with his deception of Eve (2 Cor 11:3, Gen 3:1-5) and continuing throughout history, Satan lived up to his title Deceiver, Opposer of Mankind (John 8:44, Zech 3:1-2).   One way that Satan deceives men is by performing miracles imitating the very works of God. (Ex 7:9-13, Deu 13:1-3, Matt 24:24, 2 Thes 2:7-12, Rev 13:11-15)

Satan was cast out from heaven along with other wicked angels (fallen angels, demons) (Rev 12:7-11)

These fallen angels became Satan’s followers serve him in the pursuit of the deception of mankind about the truth of God’s Word (2 Cor 11:13-15, 1 Tim 4:1-3).

The Bible does not specifically mention Satan’s use of the alien sightings/abduction phenomenon. But after examining how Satan and his demons work among mankind; I believe, it is possible, that some of the alien “events” our society is experiencing could be the workings of the powers of darkness (Satan and other fallen angels).  It is very possible they are trying to mislead mankind about Christ’s second coming and the rapture (taking of His saints to heaven)…

First, demons posing as aliens could be Satan’s way of imitating, and explaining away the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Rev 1:7 and  Matt 24:30-31 clearly teach that when the Lord Jesus comes back at the rapture the entire world will see Him.   How could Satan “explain away” Christ’s coming?  With a foundation of deception (alien visitations) already laid it would be very easy!  Satan could mislead a blinded, lost world into believing that what they saw was simply another of many alien visitations.

Secondly, what about alien abductions?  Keep in mind, when Christ comes back, He will take His followers to heaven to live with Him eternally (Rev 14:14-16, Lk 17:34-37).  You will have millions of people disappearing from off the face of the planet earth when Christ appears.  The Bible is not clear, but possibly, the lost world will actually see the saints ascending to heaven.  How can the disappearance of millions be explained?  Once again, it would be very easy (in the context of alien abductions).   When the lost world sees Christ’s return, and the saints taken to heaven, it could be explained as a mass abduction caused by the visiting alien (Christ at His coming).

What would be the result of this demonic deception?  Millions of lost men and women will totally misunderstand one of the greatest displays of God’s power and grace that will ever be exhibited to mankind.   Instead of viewing the event as a call to submit to the Lord’s authority and power, it would be viewed as a ”call to arms” preparing the nations for an “alien invasion”.


All Christians are embattled by Satan and his demonic followers and need the spiritual armour that our Lord so graciously gives to us. (Eph 6:11-13).   As we understand more of the great ability of Satan to deceive man, we need to heighten our guard against his workings in our life (2 Cor 2:11, Matt 24:23-25)

If you have never been saved you are already under the control of Satan being blinded to the truths of God’s Word (Eph 2:1-3, 2 Cor 4:4)  You are entirely helpless to attain salvation of your own ability or works (Isa 64:6-8).  But all hope is not lost!  If you look to Christ by faith, submitting to His Lordship,  and totally relying on His working in your life you will receive the forgiveness of your sin.  (John 15:3-7)

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Justification of Lebron James …

SIH STSTA ICONThis past week Lebron James made his nationally televised “decision” and left the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat of the NBA.  As a Christian, I am abhorred by his justification for leaving.   During James’ interview on ESPN, he repeatedly stated his reason for leaving the Cavs.  There was a two-fold motive behind his decision:

A. So he would be happy

B. So that he would win multiple NBA championships  (in doing so, he will supposedly be classed with the greatest players of all time like Jordan, Russell, Bryant etc.)

(In case you missed his ESPN interview please go to to see his justification for the move.)

When I was younger, I was always told that my decisions were to be made with the following in mind…

A.  Above all else, I was to put the Lord’s will first in all my decision making

B.  Next, my immediate family’s welfare was to dictate what my decision was to be.

C.  Thirdly, the good of other people around me was to take a third place in my decisions.

D.  My own desires were to take fourth place in my decisions.

I have always thought that this was a pretty good way of making decisions and it certainly appears to support Biblical teachings… (Luke 10:27-28, Eph 5:25, 5:28-29).   Then along comes Lebron James… what example does he set for all the young people who look up to him as a role model?   His entire justification for moving to Miami is basically turning the above list of priorities on it’s head.

He is telling his followers, by his words and example, that putting themselves first, and making their happiness the number one priority in life, they are making the most of their life on earth.  This reminds me of the King in Ecclesiates that wasted his life seeking happiness and power in all the world had to offer.  (Eccl  1:-12:)

His actions and his words clearly tell us that happiness and lasting fame are the ultimate priority in James’ decision making process.  It is enough to make any Christian weep.

My question is this…. “Since happiness and fame take priority in his decisions, does this mean they are his gods?”  It is really something to think about and something to warn our children about.

Do Aliens From Other Planets Exist? A Biblical Perspective. (Part 1 of 2)

SIH STSTA ICON{A note to my readers:  This blog entry is the first of several entries answering my reader’s questions.  I trust they will be of interest to all of you. I enjoy answering your questions and reading your comments… keep them coming!   Finally, thanks to everyone who is reading my blog, you are a blessing to me. }

With the increased number of reports of UFO sightings, comes increased curiosity concerning the legitimacy of those reports.  Google “UFO sightings” and you will see a list of over half a million websites, recording multiplied thousands of UFO sighting reports.

We are constantly bombarded with the opinions of scientists and other researchers attempting to prove or disprove alien’s existence.   So let’s go to the final Authority, our God.

What does the Lord have to say about the existence of UFO’s and aliens from outer space?  I will share with you some of the Biblical teachings on this subject.

(Note for an in-depth scientific answer from a Bible believing scientist please refer to the following link Institute for Creation Research)  Dr Henry Morris is director of the Institute for Creation research.  He is a dedicated Christian scientist who has contributed to many different areas of scientific thought.  I encourage you to make use of his website for Biblically based research.


But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2Pe 3:10-13)


There are several Biblical principles that help us to understand the Lord’s teachings concerning the existence of aliens….

Principle #1 – In all the creation accounts, the Bible never describes God creating life on other planets.

Man is the jewel of God’s creation… God gave man the dominion of all creation – Gen 1:26-28; God made man exalted over all earthly creation – Psa 8:5-9.  The earth was given to man, all the rest is possessed by God – Psa 115:16.  He gave none of the other parts of creation to alien beings.  There is nothing mentioned about aliens or any role that God has given to them to fulfill in His creation scenario.

Principle #2 – Gen 6:17 – describes the flood as destroying “all flesh under heaven”…

in other words, the only flesh that exists “under heaven” (ie the third heaven see 2 Cor 12:2) is the flesh which is on the earth, that was capable of being destroyed in the flood of Noah’s day.

Principle #3 – There is no reason to believe that the Bible records any alien sighting by man.

Every supposed account of men seeing alien beings in the Bible is better interpreted as …

God revealing Himself to man in a vision (Isa 6:1 etc etc) or  God symbolically revealing creatures that live in heaven with God (the third heaven see 2 Cor 12:2) (Isa 6:2, Ezek 1:1-28, Rev 1:12-17, Rev 9:3-5  etc etc )  There is NOT ONE account that, due to context, must be interpreted as a man seeing an alien being.

Principle #4 – God’s earthly creation is the central theme of His Word and His eternal plan laid before the foundation of creation itself.

God sent His Son to die on the cross to redeem human beings from their sin.  Earth and human beings are in the center of God’s attention and workings.   It is extremely difficult to conclude God has other worlds filled with life when everything in His Word points to the earth, and the earth alone, as the cradle of life.  (John 3:16-18 – “world” is speaking of this earth, the center of His orderly creation.)

In our text, 2 Pet 3:10-13, the entire creation, including the special universe, are connected to God’s plan for man.  As a part of His second coming to earth, all the universe will be remade for His followers to dwell in.  Once again, we see how mankind is dominate in the plan and ways of God.  All creation (including the heavens) fall under that plan.

Roms 8:18-22 – When Adam fell “all creation” was affected.  The sin of one man dictated the state of the entire universe.  Once again, we see man as the dominate created being in all the universe.

Gen 1:14-15 – He made the lights in the heavens to give light to man on earth, no where is it said He made the heavens to house other beings.

All 4 of these principles point to man as being at the center of God’s attention and workings in the universe.  With no mention of aliens in God’s creative or redemptive plan for the universe.


For those who are saved, understanding the central role of earth and it’s inhabitants in God’s eternal plan is very reassuring…. we can fully trust in the principle that God’s redemptive attention is on those He has chosen to save.   He physically made us, He chose to save us, He sent His Son to die for us, and He secures our salvation through His workings in our heart (Rom 8:14-39)

For those who have never accepted Christ as Lord and Savior; understanding His great love and workings on behalf of His people, magnifies the need to look to Him for salvation.  If God Himself has sacrificed so greatly for His people, how can we neglect the salvation He so graciously offers?   (Hebs 2:1-10)

And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: …(Gen 16:13)

His attention is always upon us… for the saved, it is a great comforting blessing; for the lost, it is an important reminder of the certainty of no escaping judgment apart from His forgiveness of our sins.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

I’m Saved! In Church I Walked Down The Aisle and Said A Prayer…

SIH STSTA ICONAs a Pastor of 15 years, I used to ask the question, “Have you ever been saved from your sins?”.  I have received many different responses to this question.  Here are a few of them…

“Of course, I was baptized as a baby in (church name)”;

“Yes, I am saved, I am a member of (church name)”;

“Yes, I have kept all the sacraments of my church”;

“Yes, I was born into a Christian family, we’ve been Christians for at least four generations”;

“Why yes, thank you for asking, I walked down the aisle of (church name) and said the sinners prayer back in September of 2001”;

and many, many more.

It has broken my heart to hear responses like this coming from those for whom I care.  If you notice, in every case, the above responses imply that our salvation is based on something we have done.  The Bible makes it plain that our salvation does not lie in what we have done, but what the Lord has done in us.  (John 6:44-45, 6:63-66, Eph 2:8-10, Php 2:12-13, Col 1:25-29, Titus 3:4-5)

So where did we get the idea that salvation is based on something that we have done?  Sad to say, in many cases, the churches of today must take responsibility for fostering this false belief.  Since I am a Baptist pastor, I will use Baptist churches for my example… my heart aches when I see other Baptist pastors, at the close of the service, beg and plead for people to “come down the aisle and be saved” or “repeat the sinners prayer after me and be saved”.

In many cases, this is done by well-meaning pastors who are trying to encourage those in attendance to make a commitment to Christ.   But, instead of bringing about commitment, they are encouraging others to trust in a work for their salvation.

Please remember, a person can be saved just as easily standing in the pew, or sitting in a chair, or lying in a bed etc etc.  The Lord can work in the heart at anytime and any place, not just at the altar in the front of the church.  Likewise, salvation comes through Christ creating faith into the heart of the faithless, not by us saying any prayer.

Whenever the gospel message is given out in the Bible, it is never accompanied with the instructions to walk an aisle, or say a “sinner’s prayer” (the same can be said for baptism, church membership, keeping the sacraments, or being born into a Christian family).   The gospel message, when given in the Bible, is accompanied with the instructions to trust in Christ and His work. (Acts 16:30-31, John 3:15-16 etc etc)

The only way we can be certain we are saved is by knowing the Lord has worked in our lives.  How can we know this for sure?  The Bible makes it plain….


Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. … For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2Co 5:17-21)

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  (Jas 2:14-26)


In the Bible, a true salvation experience brings about change in the life of the believer.  When God intervenes in the life of a sinner and brings him to salvation, the newly saved person becomes a new creation in Christ. (2 Cor 5:17-21)  This “new creation” involves a new attitude about the Lord and sin.  (Eph  4:22-24)  The newly saved now sees Christ as their Lord and despises the sin in their life.  This new attitude then motivates the Christian to begin a life of service to their Lord and Savior.  This service is described as fruit bearing. (John 15:1-5, Gals 5:19-26)  This changed life is one of the reasons why God has saved us (Eph 2:8-10).

Also, this changed life is what gives us the ultimate assurance that the Lord has worked a work of saving grace in our lives. James clearly presented this principle in James chapter 2.  In verses 14-26, James refers to “dead” faith as opposed to a Godly saving faith.  How can we tell the difference?  James tells us the works that we perform will reveal the true nature of the faith we have within us.   The lack of a changed life shows us that the faith we possess is not of God but simply a work that we performed in and of ourselves (a dead faith).  A changed life brought about by our faith, shows us that our faith is a work of God in our heart. (Please read James 2:14-26 in it’s entirety to come to a full understanding of James’ teachings.)


So let me rephrase my original question, “Have you ever exercised faith in Christ?  If so, has this faith produced a changed life within you?  Do you now love the Lord and seek to please Him with your life.  Do you now hate sin and strive to rid it from your life?”  These questions get to the heart of our spiritual condition.

If you can say, “yes” to all three, you can be assured that you have been forgiven of your sins and are a part of God’s family.  If you must say “no” to any, or all, of these then you must come to the realization you are yet in your sins.  If you are yet in your sins, please follow the dictates of God’s Word….

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”(1Jn 5:11-13)

If you would like more information about salvation, please refer to my blog page entitled “forgiveness”.

Also, if you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”  “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Free, Free Indeed! (Independence Day – July 4th Devotional)

SIH STSTA ICONWe, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

These famous words make up the concluding paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the document that declared our freedom from the British Kingdom.  As a country based upon freedom and civil rights we have been blessed greatly by God.  And although these freedoms are not permanent in nature (it seems as if some of these freedoms may be slipping through our fingers); I can easily declare that the United States of America is still the greatest and most blessed country in the world.  It is a privilege to live here.

The saddest part of our celebration of our Independence is that we have forgotten to thank our Lord for the freedom He has given to us!  If you notice, in the very same paragraph that declares our freedoms, the founding fathers declared the source of their strength as they stood in opposition to the British government…. “, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence”.  That’s right!  Our founding fathers made it plain that they had the courage to stand up and declare our freedom from Britain because they were trusting in the providence of Almighty God to protect them.

Even John Adams, as he wrote to his wife Abigail, referenced the need to worship and honor God on the anniversary of his signing the declaration (July 2nd)…

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

As great as these freedoms are, our Lord offers us even greater, eternal freedoms that can never be lost or taken.  Why do so many of us totally disregard these freedoms, and their Giver, as well?


Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (Joh 8:31-36)


Our Lord, in His Word declares that we can receive freedom from our sin in three different ways (Rom 6:7-23):

Firstly, we can receive freedom from our sin’s penalty (Rom 5:16)

Second, we can be continually made free from sin’s power in our lives (Rom 6:18)

Finally, we can be made free from sin’s presence throughout eternity (Rom 6:22)

This is true freedom which can never be taken away nor lost.  Our Lord offers this freedom from sin to anyone who will trust in Him and turn from their sin to serve Him as Lord of their life.   (Acts 26:18)


For those who have been liberated from their sin… we should praise and thank our Lord for all the freedoms He has so graciously given to us.  Also, we should want to share His message of truth to the world so that they might share in this freedom as well.

For those who have never been freed from sin and it’s effects in your life, look to the Lord, His word and His work, for the source of true liberty from sin.  Read John 8:12-51 for more information.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”(Joh 8:36)

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Read my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”  “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”