Articles/Illustrations of Faith, Quotes, poetry and devotions…
Smokey Barn News Sunday October 5, 2014 Robertson County, Tenn.
“The Sunday Post” is a column comprised of articles of Faith, poetry and devotions…
The Governor’s Pardon
A young man who lived in one of the western states had never done anything against the law, but one day while playing a game of cards he lost his temper. Picking up a sharp knife from the table, in a fit of blind anger he stabbed his opponent to death. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to die.
Because of the wonderful life he had previously lived, his relatives and friends got up a petition for him. It seemed as though everyone wanted to sign it. Before long, other towns and villages had heard about it, and people all over the state eagerly signed. ”
At last it was taken to the governor, who happened to be a Christian. Tears came to his eyes as he looked at the large baskets filled with petitions. He decided to pardon the young man.
He wrote out a pardon and put it in his pocket; then, dressed in the garb of a clergyman, he made his way to the prison.
As the governor approached the death cell the young man sprang to the bars. “Get out of here”, he yelled. “I don’t want to see you. I have had seven of your kind come and see me already. I had enough religion at home.”
“But,” interrupted the governor, “wait a minute young man. I have something for you, I want to talk to you about your freedom. Let me talk to you”.
In hot anger, the young man said: “I heard enough about freedom from sin, and if you don’t get out right now, I’ll call the guard and have you thrown out”.
“But, young man,” continued the governor, “I have good news for you-the very best. Won’t you let me tell you about it?”
This time, with a red face, the young man yelled at the top of his lungs: “You heard what I said, and if you don’t leave immediately, I will call the wa
“Very well,” replied the governor, and with a sad heart he turned and left.
In a few moments, the warden approached. “Well, young man,” he said, “I see you have had a visit from the governor.”
“What!” cried the young man. “Was that man dressed in the garb of a clergyman the governor?”
“He was,” replied the warden, “and he had a pardon in his pocket for you, but you would not listen to him.”
“Get me pen, ink, and paper,” cried the young man. Sitting down, he wrote, “Dear Governor: I owe you an apology. I am sorry for the way I treated you …”‘ and so on.
The governor received the letter, turned it over, and wrote on the back, “No longer interested in this case.”
The day came for the young man to die.
“Is there anything you want to say before you die?” he was asked.
“Yes,” he answered, “tell the young men of America that I am not dying for my crime-I am not dying because I am a murderer. The governor pardoned me. I could have lived. Tell them,” he continued, “that I am dying because I did not accept the governor’s pardon.”
My friend, if you are lost, it will not be because of your sins-it will be because you will not accept the pardon God offers you through His Son. For if you refuse Jesus Christ, what can you do? You are turning down your one and only hope of salvation.
The Gospel of John 3:18 says: “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” That is the only reason you are condemned.
You are not condemned because of what you do or did. You will never die because you are a murderer, for God can forgive murderers. You will never perish because you are a drunkard, a thief, or an adulterer. God can forgive drunkards, thieves, and adulterers; but there is one sin that even God Himself cannot forgive, and that is the rejection of His Son.
You are not condemned because you are not religious or because you do not join the church. You are condemned because, and only because, you refuse God’s offer of mercy. “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed.” There is no other reason. If you are lost, it will be because you will NOT be saved. If you refuse to receive Jesus Christ, if you turn down God’s pardon, there is no hope for you.
All that matters, therefore, is your relationship to Jesus Christ. What then, are you going to do with Him?
Oh, the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior! There is nothing like it. In the letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul says: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). All the success in the world cannot compare to it.
Your friends can never mean so much. Even loved ones disappoint. Money brings it burdens, and fame its bitterness. But He, Jesus Christ, satisfies! He is never a disappointment. To walk with Him is the sweetest thing on earth. To know all is well, that no black cloud of sin hides His face.
What God requires of you is simply that you accept His Son as your Savior. And if you do, a new life of peace in your heart will unfold. “Choose you this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Do it NOW, tomorrow might be too late!
-Dr. Oswald J. Smith
The answer to the last Bible Quiz – According to the Bible, what is the oldest profession in the world. It’s not what you might think
Answer: Genesis 2:15 Farming!
In light of all the recent books and movies out about the rapture – Where Did the Idea of a Rapture of the Church Come From?
The doctrine is straight from the pages of the Bible. The Scriptures even give us glimpses of such an event in the person of Enoch and Elijah. Both men disappeared from the earth without dying and were carried into the presence of God.
Genesis 5:24 – And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Long before John Darby or a Presbyterian minister named Irving could be credited with the snatching away of the church the Bible stated it as a fact. There is nothing too hard for God. Enoch was taken and so was Elijah in the Old Testament.
2 Kings 2:1 – And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
It is popular to say “rapture” is a word not to be found in the Bible and that is true. But it is inaccurate to say the idea is not found in the Bible. It is found in both the New and the Old Testaments. The words “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 include the idea of a sudden removal of true believers from earth and being taken to Heaven.
Rapture, rapture, rapturo, and such words refer to a quick and without warning supernatural taking from one place to another. Birds of prey are called Raptures because of the speed with which a hawk may snatch away a mouse or a mole. The rapture is silent and quick in its work on a field rabbit. So it is with the Lord Jesus taking His church to Heaven.
In John 14:3 Jesus said I will come again and receive you unto myself…..
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Jesus without doubt is referring to Heaven and that He will come to take us there.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
This is sudden indeed. The word “moment” is from the Greek atomos or atom. It is the smallest slice of time imaginable, and yet this is how fast the rapture will occur. It will make the owl and the eagle seem slow by comparison when they come for a mouse. The twinkling of an eye is all the time needed to change and glorify the true believer.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Notice that the Apostle Paul says we over and over. Paul expected to be taken up to Heaven in his day. The Holy Bible, the Apostle, and Jesus Christ all believe that God is able to take us home.
The Great Doctrines of the Bible by William Evans
This book should be on the shelf of every believer. It is written in simple language and has been a favorite for well over 100 years. William Evans examines major Bible doctrines such as the existence and nature of God, the humanity and Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Church in this extensive and easily accessible work. The Great Doctrines of the Bible offers a well-organized, clearly outlined and comprehensive examination of the major doctrines of the Christian faith. “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” is a good book to read in random sections as well as to read from cover to cover.
Evans provides a strong foundation and framework for understanding the essential teachings of the faith in this handy reference, which also includes 80 different subjects arranged topically in addition to the key doctrines treated. Each entry contains Scripture citations, allowing you to search the Bible yourself in order to find the basis of these great doctrines.
The book is back in print and is available from Christian Book Distributors.
The book cost about $18 but is hardcover and will a book you will want to pass on from generation to generation. Follow this link to see the table of contents, and view a page or two of the text as well as to place your order. You will enjoy and benefit from this grand old book.
Equipped For Success
Whether you are a new believer in Christ or have known the Lord from childhood and have come back to the Lord, it is ESSENTIAL to understand basic Bible truths in order to enjoy a victorious life, to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If your heart is right with the Lord you will notice new attitudes and desires to gain victory over sin, old habits and patterns. That task will take more than human strength to conquer and real spiritual growth will take time but the fight begins NOW right where you are!
The devil is NOW your arch enemy and his goal is to destroy you he will try every method to tempt you into disobeying God. He even tempted our Lord Jesus in the wilderness (see Luke 4:1–3) therefore you will experience moments of testing and trials, but God promises to be with you and provide the strength to withstand the temptations and trials. (1 Corinthians 10:13) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” In (1 Peter 5:8) the Bible says, “Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan hates you because he now sees God in you and knows that God loves you BUT Fear Not because (1 John 4:4)… HE that is in you is greater than he that is in the world” and the devil is only allowed to do that which God has planned for His glory and our good. Being a Christian is not always easy, but don’t get sidetracked. Walking with the Lord through faith and obedience will help you to learn about God’s character and His will for your life.
Prayer is our most powerful resource and our direct line with Heaven! You can call on the Lord any hour of the day or night no matter where you are. Pray honestly and openly with the Lord in your own words from the heart. Richard Sibbes Once said, “God can pick sense out of a confused prayer!” And The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel according to Thomas Watson. So pray!!!, God is listening, he knows you, He knew you before you were born according to Jeremiah 1:5.
The Bible tells us to confess our sin daily and to keep a right relationship with God that our prayers may not be hindered. “If I regard iniquity in my heart (unconfessed sin), the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). Cast ALL of your cares on him -1 Peter 5:7. Matthew 11: 28-30 says “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” In Jeremiah 33:3 He says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” In Luke 11:9 Jesus said, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” He also said, “Whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son … If you abide in Me, and MY words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 14:13; 15:7).
And James tells us to be mindful of our motives and reasons when we pray… “You have not, because you ask not” and because you wrongly pray for selfish reasons (James 4:2-3; 5:13-18). Remember when you pray: 1. The love of God wants the best for you. 2. The wisdom of God knows what is best for you. 3. The power of God can accomplish it!
Read, Study & Meditate on God’s Word!….God’s Word tells us to read and study the scriptures day and night! (Joshua 1:8) “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Christians must feed upon God’s word for spiritual growth. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”
It is crucial for new believers to study the basic teachings of the Bible, so that they will not be tricked or lured away by false teachings “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” Ephesians 4:14-15. And when you hear a pastor or author state that…”The Bible says this or the Bible says that …,” you will know if it is true or not. To spot a counterfeit, you need to study the real thing! And 2 Tim 2:15 tells us, “Study to show thyself approved unto God.” Studying God’s word will also help you to be able to share your faith when others asks you the reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).
Check out the various links and resources provided below to help you grow in your Christian walk.
Feel free to share your praise reports & prayer requests