Jude 3, 4
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3.
Jude begins this letter with the statement that he desired to write a letter concerning salvation, but something compelled him to send a warning first. Jude had to first warn the believers about the danger of false teachers among them. The salvation of the believers was not at risk, but the salvation of others was. There was also danger of the church being led astray. So, Jude instructed the believers to contend for the faith.
To contend simply means, “to compete and fight for something.” Jude was urging the people to put up a challenge to those who would seek to lead them away from God’s truths. He said that God has given this “faith” or truth once for all time. We have been given God’s Word. God has revealed to us His will and His truths. Now that we have the Scripture completed, there is no need of any additions or new revelations.
Even in our current day false teachers are trying to bring a new twist to biblical truths. There are those that seek to change the eternal truths to fit into today’s secular culture. Do not be fooled! Contend for the faith! Just as counterfeit “men of god” were creeping in and presenting false teaching in Jude’s day, they are still active in our day. Be ready to contend!
JUST A THOUGHT
What are some ways you are contending for the faith on a daily basis?
Hebrews 12:1, 2
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus,” Hebrews 12:1, 2.
The context of Hebrews 12 is chapter 11. Here God listed many saints and how their faith produced works that give witness to us that God rewards faithfulness. There is also a lesson that our faithfulness inspires all those who are presently holding to our shirttails.
Abraham was faithful and patient, enduring hardships for Christ’s sake. Therefore, Isaac endured, looking for God’s city. Isaac was faithful; therefore, Jacob was faithful when he finally matured.
All these men were wealthy and could have built their own city. But, God had promised Abraham a city. Therefore, because Abraham believed God’s promise, Isaac and Jacob endured patiently, living in temporary tents.
Jacob both feet in the grave, never having seen the promise come to pass. But, he knew eventually it would become a reality because their father and their grandfather both lived their whole lives looking for that city.
Jesus has promised to come and take His children to the same city Abraham, Isaac and Jacob looked for.
Endure patiently for the sake of all those to whom your life is a witness.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints,” Ephesians 6:18.
One of the most important jobs in aviation happens in the control tower. Although all parties, from the ground crew to the pilot work together to have a successful flight, no one is more important than the person watching out for the aircraft.
Have we ever considered Christian warriors as similar to aircraft controllers? We have to be on guard twenty-four hours a day against Satan and his advocates. We must be hypersensitive to the activities of Satan and his sly wolves in sheep clothing tactics. In fact, we must always seek God’s guidance by the Holy Spirit through prayer. Certainly, we can never pray too much or too often for His guidance.
Likewise, everything we attempt to do should be saturated in prayer before hand, whether it pertains to personal, family, church, school or governmental matters. And shamefully, we often neglect this great and easily accessed benefit of being God’s children.
Additionally, we must pray for others in an effort to intercede in prayer on their behalf—praying for healing, spiritual strength and God’s guidance in their lives. It is our duty and our pleasure to pray for others.
We must always watch and pray!
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight. Prayer makes the Christian armor bright. And Satan trembles when he sees, the meanest saint upon his knees—Author unknown.
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
“When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day,” 2 Thessalonians 1:10.
If you are a parent then you have probably experienced moments of extreme pride in your children. When your child learns to walk, learns to read, excels in a sport, graduates, or achieves significant recognition, these are moments when moms and dads can be seen beaming with pride, grinning from ear to ear. These are moments when parents proudly claim ownership of their child because, in many respects, a child’s success reflects honor to his parents. Most of the time, when a child is successful, it is because of diligent parents, and moments of success symbolize a return on an investment.
God has made a significant investment in His children: His Son, Jesus. He has diligently and faithfully arranged our future and, as a perfect Father, provided everything necessary for us to experience success. We don’t always reflect honor back to God. There are times, I am sure, when God is not pleased with the way His children behave. But, there is coming a day when Jesus will return to earth and claim His children. On that day, God will transform us as His children into the perfect image of His Son and give us glorified bodies. Then, God will look upon us as His children with the utmost pride because we will most perfectly embody and reflect His image. Jesus invested His life into purchasing this glory for us, so He is worthy of our eternal praise.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you thank God today for being your perfect Father?
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy,” Psalm 107:2.
David said in Psalm 107:1, “He is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Since, as Jesus said in Matthew 19, only God is good, the saints must possess God to have any goodness. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Since we are new creatures in Christ, our perspectives of everything in life should become new. Our priorities get new makeovers. The closer we are to God, the more we want to let the lost world know how wonderful He is. Job said in the face of horrible tragedy, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. (In spite of all that.)
Being the children of God, we should rejoice that God’s mercy endures forever. While the enemies of Christ in the world stand around wringing their hands and whining, We stand on the solid Rock being held by all His might.
Today, think about God’s goodness and mercy toward you and your loved ones, that’s all you need to open your mouth and say so. Jesus taught the apostles in Matthew 10 to shout it from the housetop. Hallelujah! Just thinking about God’s goodness can give sincere Christians spiritual goose bumps. Joyful Christians scare the devil’s advocates. The people of the lost world do not know how to handle joy; they live in darkness and gloom with no hope. The things they hold dear are sifting through the hour glass. The world is desperate. But, on the other hand, we are just pilgrims on vacation, passing through on the way to the Promise Land. Look in the mirror and say, you are so richly blessed, Glory! Then call up the neighbors and tell them all about it.
JUST A THOUGHT – We are redeemed by His blood and happy to say so.
Robert A. Brock
134– May 14 – This Day in Baptist History Past
Remove Not the Ancient Landmark
Smith Creek Baptist Church was constituted on August 6, 1756, before the United States was a country (1776) and before New Market was a town, incorporated (1796). The area was originally known as the Cross Roads as two well-known Indian trails crossed here. It is the third “regular” Baptist church started in Virginia.
Three well-known men (Samuel Eaton, Benjamin Griffith, and the Preacher/Revolutionary War Chaplain, John Gano) were known to have preached here on occasion at least 11 years prior to our constitution. The charter members were the Aldersons, Newmans, and Harrisons. John Alderson had purchased approximately 200 acres from Samuel Newman northeast of Cross Roads and bordering the Smith Creek. The saints established their assembly on a portion of land donated by the first pastor, John Alderson, Sr. (1699-1781) and a portion of which was donated by Samuel Newman. The church having been built near Smith Creek, and the fact that they used the creek for baptism of converts, explains their name.
Anderson Moffett, the third pastor, was born in Fauquier August 28, 1746. He is best-known here because he began preaching at 17 years of age and preached 70 years, of which 50 were as Pastor at Smith Creek. The stained glass window in the front foyer of the church is in memory of him. It is documented that he began preaching in the Valley in 1781
He also spent some time in the Culpeper jail. He died May 14, 1835. Pastor Moffett is buried in the family cemetery on Plains Mill Road, approximately 1.9 miles West from I-81 down highway 211 .6 miles to Plains Mill Road.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: History of Smith Creek Baptist Church: (www.smithcreekbaptistchurch.com/History.html)
Luke 24:50,51; Acts 1:10,11; John 14:1-3; Revelation 22:12
No more important subject can occupy our minds, since most men have false concepts about the return of Jesus. Some believe that it is His coming when one dies. Others believe that He comes every time one is saved. Such ideas, if true, would make it necessary for many returns and would destroy hope of His coming again (Titus 2:13). Some have set dates for His return and we must not fall into that error. Nonetheless, the Bible does teach that Jesus is coming back to the earth again.
I. THE FACT STATED, – “I will come again” (John 14:3).
II. CONDITIONS PREVAILING ON EARTH AT THE TIME OF HIS COMING AGAIN.
It is a mistake to think the church will take the world for Christ before He comes again. Post-millennialists teach this. What does the Bible teach?
1. It will be as it was in the days of Noah (Matt. 24:36-42).
2. There will be scoffers and unbelief (II Peter 3:1-8).
3. There will come a falling away before that day (II Thess. 2:3,4).
4: Formalism in religion will prevail, and there will be a general break-down of morals and true religious principles of righteousness (II Timothy 3:1-5).
5. There will be a Laodicean condition in the churches (Rev. 3:14-22).
6. The fig tree sign will be plain (Matt. 24:32-35; Jer. 24:1-5).
7. The man of sin will arise to afflict the people of God (II Thess. 2:3-13; Rev. 13:6-18).
III. JESUS IS COMING FOR HIS SAINTS.
1. Resurrection and rapture (I Thess. 4:13-18; I John 3:1,2; I Cor. 15:51-57).
2. Heavenly Activity.
a. Judgement for reward (II Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10; I Cor. 3:11-15).
b. Marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7,8).
3. Earthly Activity.
a. The rise of the man of sin (II Thess. 2:3-12; Dan. 11:21).
b. A peace pact made with the Jews. (Dan. 9:26,27).
c. A one-world religion (Rev. 17).
d. A one-world government will be associated with a one-world religion (Rev. 18).
e. Peace pact broken (Dan. 9:27), and Antichrist sits in the temple saying he is God (II Thess. 2:4).
f. God’s vials of wrath poured out upon the earth (Re. chapters 15,16).
IV. JESUS IS COMING WITH HIS SAINTS.
1. Jude 14 Zechariah 14:5.
2. At His coming with His saints, He will put an end to the battle of Armageddon (Zech. 14:1-4; Rev. 19:11-21).
3. He shall judge the nations (Zech. 14:4; Matt. 25:32; Joel 3:2, 9-16).
4. This will clear the way for the millennium (Ezekiel 39:12-14, 17-24).
V. THE MILLENNIUM IS TO FOLLOW (REV. 20:1-6).
VI. THE RETURN OF JESUS IS THE BELIEVER’S GLORIOUS HOPE (TITUS 2:11-14).
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