The Simple Truth

keep-calm-and-keep-it-simple-62The simple truth of God’s word has a power all of its own to convince its listeners that it is divine revelation. The essentials of Christianity are easy to understand, and we must present them in a language that is crystal clear for those who are listening.

The simple truths, once understood, are the keys to understanding the more difficult teachings of scripture. But we must always stick to the basic teachings as the core element of our gospel presentation.

SALVATION is by GRACE through FAITH in CHRIST alone as taught in the HOLY SCRIPTURES of divine revelation.

~Stephen Beagles

What is your Divine calling?

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If you are a Christian then you have a spiritual gift that the Holy Spirit is giving you to minister to His church. This gift has been given to you to help spread the message of eternal salvation in Jesus Christ around the world.

You don’t have to wait to become a leader in your church to use your talents. Do what God has given you the desire to accomplish, and watch how God works through you to bless the world.

Many Christians make the mistake of thinking they have to minister in the exact same way as everyone else. But we all have different talents and gifts that God is calling us to use for His glory. A carpenter cannot build a house with just a hammer. He also needs a saw, a screw driver, a level, a measuring tape, and other types of tools to accomplish specific tasks.

How is God using you to build His kingdom?

“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” (Romans 12:6). Use your gifts to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus. God has not only called you into service for Him, but He has equipped you with the gifts that you need to accomplish His will. Use your spiritual gifts!

~Stephen Beagles

Beware: Legalism and Relativism

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There are two major obstacles to genuine spirit-filled walk with Jesus Christ. The two theological terms that describe these obstacles are legalism and relativism. These are big words that describe the two ends of a spectrum. Legalism is putting conditions on salvation other than simple faith in Jesus. A legalist will tell you that salvation depends on obedience to the laws of God.

The opposite error of relativism is making the truth of the Bible a matter of personal opinion or interpretation. A Christian relativist will argue that God will save everyone regardless of their personal belief system as long as they live a life of love and tolerance towards their fellow man. Both legalism and relativism are dangerous deceptions that need to be avoided.

While both have an element of truth, in that God does expect us to be obedient to His laws and Christians should allow for debate on non-essential topics, both extremes pervert the gospel of Jesus that demands we trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Those who put conditions on salvation other than simple faith need to hear the following warning by the Apostle Paul: “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4, NIV).

On the other hand, those who attempt to remove the condition to trust in the REAL Jesus, as opposed to a false Christ, need to listen to Jesus: “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out” (Luke 13:28).

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).

“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time” (Mark 13:22-23).

The only condition for salvation is simple trust in the merits of Jesus Christ. The condition is that we trust in the REAL Jesus. Those who pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ by adding to or taking away from the truth of salvation will be excluded from the Kingdom of God.

If you are a Christian then it is likely that you have struggled with both legalism and relativism during your walk with Jesus. Continue the good fight of faith and do not allow the devil to rob you of the assurance of salvation. But if you have never given your heart to Christ then please understand the importance of making a decision to trust in the REAL Jesus for salvation. He is the Son of God who died for your sins on the cross. Give your heart and life to Him.

~Stephen Beagles

The Law and Gospel

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“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16, NIV

As I was growing up, I grew accustomed to Christians who focused primarily on the law of God and seemed to ignore the gospel. Now it is popular in many circles to focus only on the gospel and ignore the law. I think both views are fundamentally flawed in many ways, because the Holy Bible teaches both the law and the gospel.

It is dangerous to focus only on one aspect of the Bible while ignoring the rest of the scriptures. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul was instructing Timothy about the need to put the whole Bible in context and to understand it as the entire will of God. God’s word is consistent and does not contradict itself in any way. Every part of the inspired word of God is profitable and has something to teach us about the plan of salvation.

The positive aspects of God’s word are for teaching and training, while the negative aspects are important for rebuking and correcting. In a sense, only those who understand the bad news about God’s hatred for sin are able to appreciate the good news about God’s love for the sinner. While the death of Christ releases us from the condemnation of the law, the Bible teaches us that we still uphold the law as a standard of holy living. We are called to live a life of obedience to the law of love.

The good news is that we are not saved by our obedience to the law, but by simple faith in Christ. This is the assurance of our salvation. But we are rewarded in heaven according to our works here on earth. There is a blessing attached to each of God’s commandments that is attained by obedience to His will. This is a mature view of Christianity. Both law AND gospel are essential to understanding the holy will of God.

~Stephen Beagles

Redemption is Drawing Near

kjhkjhlkjlhkj;kThe world is changing around us and the way our parents did things will no longer work in today’s economic and political landscape. The corporations that used to be the economic engine of the United States have abandoned their core principles leaving many people unemployed. Wages are down and costs are high. This is not an accident, but it is a sign that the prosperous nation of yesterday is being replaced by a power structure that is designed to control everyone economically and politically.

But this is not a surprise and is a sign that Jesus is soon to return. God will take care of his own people while the rest of the world will be shaken to its foundations. Rebellion against God will not stand, and soon Jesus will arrive and put an end to life as we know it on this planet.

Our Christian hope is not in man, or in money, but in our Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to His words: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).

The Life Application Study Bible has the following words to encourage us during these times of trial and tribulation:

“The picture of the coming persecutions and natural disasters is gloomy, but ultimately it is a cause not for worry but for great joy. When believers see these events happening, they will know that the return of their Messiah is near, and they can look forward to his reign of justice and peace. Rather than being terrified by what is happening in our world, we should confidently await Christ’s return to bring justice and restoration to his people.”

Christians will have to work outside of their comfort zones in the near future, but we have the promise that our Lord will provide for our needs. We will be given the strength and courage to face hard times with the love, joy, and peace of the Holy Spirit.

If you are not a Christian, then it is time to wake up. Time is running out, and the time of decision making will end in the near future. Don’t be caught on the wrong side of God’s kingdom. Give your heart to Jesus and enjoy the peace and security that He offers. Know that your eternal life is secure in the palms of His hands.

~Stephen Beagles