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God's Promises

God’s Promises

   There are many songs, sermons, poems and other pieces of literature that speak of the promises of God. There also have been many sermons on the subject. However, many fail to realize that when God made promises, there are conditions that must be met before the promise is granted. God has never promised to hear the prayer of an alien sinner. Nor has He promised to “bless” those in the Christian age that are outside of Christ. Yet those of the “world” pray, and also give God credit for their good fortune.

   In John 9:31, the former blind man, having no sight from birth, made a great proclamation that many fail to see.   He pointed out the fact that God does not hear “sinners”, then revealed who is heard.   Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.  This man, being a Jew, was a worshipper of God under the Law of Moses. He also had done what was commanded him by Jesus (God in the flesh).   Therefore, because he fulfilled the conditions, his prayer was heard, and he was healed.   Jesus had already shown that neither the man’s, nor his parent’s sins were responsible for the blindness in John 9:3. This was what His disciples had asked Him. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  Jesus used an unfortunate existing condition to show the power of God.

   As for the “good fortune” for which people give God the credit – we need only to be aware that God is not a respecter of persons.   In Matthew 5:45, in that great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stated that God’s “natural” blessings come to all. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

       Many in the world (those not following God’s Word) actually believe that God, in His mercy will “ignore” the sin in their lives and “save them” at the end.   Such thinking is making a mockery of God’s Love and His Word!  We are clearly told in 2Thessalonians 1:7-9 what God has planned for those who don’t know Him or do not faithfully follow His Word.      If we simply examine what the Spirit directed the apostle Paul to write to those brethren the answer is quite plain.   And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;    If this passage is not true, then none of the Bible is true and we are all lost anyway.

    Why does God’s Word even include warnings about Hell and eternal fire if such is not going to be? Far too many people place their hope of salvation on an improper understanding of John 3:16.    Notice the passage states “should not perish” and not “shall not perish”.   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  When Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, He did not save anyone, He simply provided the means whereby one can be the recipient of the promise of God. This passage also does not teach that all one must do is “believe” to be saved.

     God’s promise for salvation was made before the creation and was not fully revealed to man until the plan was complete. Titus 1:2-3 supports this.  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;  All that occurred from the creation to the ascension of Christ to heaven following His resurrection, and the sending of the promised Comforter to the apostles lead up to the fulfillment of the plan. That plan was first preached in Jerusalem in A.D. 33 at nine o’clock in the morning.

     When the Spirit had Peter and the eleven speak to those Jews gathered from every nation under heaven, He had them state a prophecy from the Law, then show how what was happening was the fulfillment of prophecy culminating with Christ being raised from the dead.   Acts 2:37-39 gives their reaction, their instruction and the promise, as well as how long the promise would be in effect.   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

     2Thessalonians 2:14 shows we are called by the gospel.  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.    Why not meet the conditions of salvation today and obey the gospel?            Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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