Bible Study: What if your wrong about eternity?

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  • 1. “These are interesting and common questions. Perhaps you have asked such questions yourself. Look inside to learn how the Bible answers them. You may be surprised at what you find.”
  • 2. Dear Friend, Enclosed is a complimentary Bible study for you to fill out at your convenience. It is not a correspondence course and need not be returned to us. Rather, it is intended solely to aid you in your understanding of God and His Word, the Holy Bible. Our desire in this endeavor is motivated out of genuine concern and care for the people in our community. It is simply a matter of being a good neighbor and communicating to you who God is and what He has done for you. Unlike religions that endeavor to “find” God through various practices or sacrifices (often changing their beliefs and practices), we believe God has revealed Himself through His unchanging Holy Scriptures. Because it remains unchanged, it removes subjectivity about who God is and what He has said. You can read the Scriptures for yourself. How do we know this is true? One Scripture states, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11) It is not the word of man, nor an institution, nor a church, nor some philosophical idea, but God’s Word. We hope you will find these studies helpful. We have provided the Scriptures for you to reference in case you do not have a bible. We have only provided the Scriptures necessary for these studies. The Scriptures are taken from the Authorized, King James Version. Questions and comments may be submitted through our website at www.bbcstanwood.org Provided to you by Bible Baptist Church, Stanwood Material developed from "Basic Bible Truths" by Lester Hutson, © 1986 (used by permission) and revised by Bible Baptist Church, 2010.
  • 3. Lesson One: The Relationship Between God and Man (Note: Scripture references are provided and highlighted.) 1. In the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” 2. God CREATED man and woman. Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” 3. God commanded the man to obey Him and told him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL. Genesis 2:16-17 – “(16) And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (17) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” 4. God warned man of the consequences of disobedience (sin) when He said, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely DIE.” (Genesis 2:17 above) 5. Man willfully disobeyed (sinned) against God when “… he did EAT.” Genesis 3:6 – “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” 6. The scriptures (God’s Word) teaches us that “… sin is the TRANSGRESSION of the law.” 1 John 3:4 – “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
  • 4. 7. God’s law is encompassed in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 below): “Thou shalt have no other GOD before me.” (Exodus 20:3) “Thou shalt not make unto thee any GRAVEN image …” (20:4) “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in VAIN …” (20:7) “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it HOLY.” (20:8) “HONOUR thy father and thy mother …” (20:12) “Thou shalt not KILL.” (20:13) “Thou shalt not commit ADULTERY.” (20:14) “Thou shalt not STEAL.” (20:15) “Thou shalt not bear FALSE witness …” (20:16) “Thou shalt not COVET…” (20:17) Exodus 20:3-17 – “(3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (7) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (8) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (13) Thou shalt not kill. (14) Thou shalt not commit adultery. (15) Thou shalt not steal. (16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (17) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” 8. The law shows us our standing with God so that “… every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become GUILTY before God … for by the law is the knowledge of SIN.” Romans 3:19-20 – “(19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
  • 5. 9. The scriptures (God’s Word) tells us that EVERY one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:11-12 – “(11) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (12) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” 10.This judgment of God will be “… according to TRUTH.” Romans 2:2 – “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.” 11.The scriptures (God’s Word) are truth, and state, “… thy WORD is truth.” John 17:17 – “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” 12.God’s Word states what the judgment upon sin is when it says “… the wages of sin is DEATH.” Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” According to the following scriptures, all people inherently know the difference between right and wrong: Romans 1:20-21 – “(20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 2:14-15 – “(14) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (15) which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”
  • 6. 13.God divides people into two categories: 1) Those who do not have a relationship with Him. God calls these people “lost”: “For the Son of man [Jesus] is come to seek and to save that which was LOST.” Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 2) Those who have a relationship with Him. God calls these people “saved”: “For by grace ye are SAVED through faith …” Ephesians 2:8-9 – “(8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) not of works, lest any man should boast.” Next Lesson: “The Hopelessness of No Relationship With God” For further help or information, contact: Bible Baptist Church www.bbcstanwood.org
  • 7. Lesson Two: The Hopelessness of No Relationship With God Relationship: Condition of belonging to the same family. (Note: Scripture references are provided and highlighted. Words in brackets are added for clarity) 1. Those who have not a relationship with God He calls “lost”, for Jesus Christ (the “Son of man”) came to “save that which was LOST.” Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 2. Those who have a relationship with God He calls “saved”, “For by grace are ye SAVED through faith.” Ephesians 2:8-9 – “(8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) not of works, lest any man should boast.” 3. God uses two legal terms to describe those who have a relationship with Him and those who do not: No relationship: Just as criminals who stand before a judge are guilty, so, too, God judges the “lost” as “GUILTY already.” John 3:18 – “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Relationship: Just as the guilty are justified (made right with the law) by paying the penalty for their crimes, so, too, God states that the “saved” are JUSTIFIED by faith.” Romans: 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:…”
  • 8. 4. The Bible states a contrast in the area of forgiveness between the “lost” and the “saved”: No relationship: These are identified as not having had the “FORGIVENESS of sins” given them. Acts 13:38-39 – “(38) Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man [Jesus] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: (39) and by him [Jesus] all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Relationship: These are identified as having had the “FORGIVENESS of sins” given them. Ephesians 1:7 – “In whom we have redemption through his [Jesus’] blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; …” Note: Having a relationship with God is not a matter of guilt or innocence (for we are already guilty before God), but a matter of being forgiven. 5. Some people believe that being good or doing good deeds (such as giving money, volunteering time, attending church, practicing morality, etc.) changes their relationship with God, but the Bible states differently: No relationship: God will exercise His judgment “against all ungodliness and “UNRIGHTEOUSNESS of men.” Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; …” Relationship: It is not the good deeds that a man does, but rather possessing the “RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.” Romans 3:22 – “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.”
  • 9. 6. The eternal condition of these two groups is clearly stated: No relationship: Those who remain “unrighteous” are said to be “DEAD in trespasses and sins”, which is a condition of being spiritually separated from God, though physically alive. Ephesians: 2:1 – “And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins: …” Relationship: Those who put their faith in Christ “hath EVERLASTING life.” (More will be discussed about faith in Christ in the following lessons.) John 5:24 – (The words of Jesus Christ) – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” 7. The fear that people have of dying is “What will happen to me after I die?” The Bible states that there are two different eternal consequences for men, one for the “lost” and one for the “saved”: No relationship: The “lost” have fear, for they are spiritually dead and will be “cast into the lake of FIRE.” Revelation 20:14-15 – “(14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Relationship: The “saved” have no fear of dying, for they are spiritually alive and will be with God as He said, “… that where I am, there YE may be also.” John 14:1-3 – “(1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me [Jesus]. (2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) 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.”
  • 10. 8. As you can see, a person’s conduct (loving others, church attendance, giving of time or talents or money, moral behavior, etc.) has nothing to do with obtaining a relationship with God. The following chart summarizes the condition of those who are “lost” and those who are “saved” No Relationship Lost Unforgiven Unrighteous Dead Condemned Eternity in the Lake of Fire Good Conduct Love Give Church Volunteer Morals Relationship Saved Forgiven Righteous Alive Justified Eternity in Heaven Next Lesson: “What God Has Done For The “Lost” World” For further help or information, contact: Bible Baptist Church www.bbcstanwood.org
  • 11. Lesson Three: What God Has Done For The “Lost” World (Note: Scripture references are provided and highlighted.) Definition of terms used in this study: To save = rescue or deliver from peril Gospel = good news or glad tidings Believe – to trust in; to rely on Prophecy = a foretelling of future events Forward: Even though you CANNOT save yourself from the eternal consequences of your sin, there is a way to be saved. For the Bible says that Jesus Christ can save a “lost” person. Bible evidence establishes that Jesus (God in the flesh) is the ONLY Saviour to rescue people from eternally suffering the penalty of their sins in the lake of fire. 1. The gospel is the good news of God to save “lost” men, “… for it is the POWER of God unto salvation to every one that BELIEVETH.” Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 2. The gospel defined is “that Christ DIED for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was BURIED, and that he ROSE again the third day according to the scriptures:…” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – “(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (2) by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
  • 12. 3. “According to the scriptures” is the measure by which one can determine that Jesus is the Saviour. Jesus said, “SEARCH the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which TESTIFY of me.” John 5:39 – “Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” God used prophecies and word pictures throughout scripture to identify who this Saviour of mankind would be. Unless Jesus met the requirements of the scriptures, He could not be the Saviour God had promised. There are over 300 Bible prophecies concerning the Saviour’s birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. Each prophecy was completely and perfectly fulfilled by Christ, thereby confirming that Jesus was the Saviour that God had promised. Consider the following Bible verses, which show how Christ accurately fulfilled prophecies of scripture: Prophecy Regarding His Birthplace: Prophecy: He would be born in Bethlehem Ephratah. “But thou, BETHLEHEM Ephratah … yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.” Micah 5:2 – “But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” There were two Bethlehems, one in northern Israel and one near Jerusalem. The one near Jerusalem was called Bethlehem Ephratah, which distinguished it between the two cities when the prophecy was given.
  • 13. Prophecy fulfilled: “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called BETHLEHEM … and she [Mary, Jesus’ mother] brought forth her firstborn son …” Luke 2:1-7 – “(1) And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (2) (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) (3) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. (4) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) (5) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (6) And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (7) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Prophecy Regarding His Ministry: Prophecy: He would be a Jew. “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a PROPHET from the midst of thee, of thy brethren …” Deuteronomy 18:15 – “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; …” Prophecy fulfilled: He was recognized as that Prophet. “… This is of a TRUTH that prophet that should come into the world.” John 6:14 – “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”
  • 14. Prophecy Regarding His Death: Prophecy: He would die by crucifixion. “ … they PIERCED my hands and my feet. [Referring to the crucifixion.] Psalm 22:16 – “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” Prophecy fulfilled: “ … Except I see the print of the NAILS, and put my finger into the print of the NAILS …” [Referring to the crucifixion] John 20:25 – “The other disciples therefore said unto him [Thomas], We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Prophecy Regarding His Resurrection: Prophecy: He would rise from the dead to live again. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in HELL; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see CORRUPTION.” Psalm 16:10 – “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Prophecy fulfilled: “He is not here: for he is RISEN, as he said.” Matthew 28:6 – “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said, Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
  • 15. Jesus Christ also fulfills what God ‘pictured’ in the sacrifices of lambs centuries before Jesus was born (i.e., the Jewish religious ceremonial sacrifices described in the Old Testament of the Bible.) These sacrifices pictured that God’s Saviour would be the Innocent One shedding His blood and dying for the guilty. Consider the following Bible verses, which show how Christ accurately fulfilled ‘pictures in scripture: Picture of the Sacrifice After Adam and Eve Sinned: After Adam and Eve sinned, God sacrificed (a lamb) to clothe them. “Unto Adam also and to his wife, did the LORD God make coats of SKINS, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21 – “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” The scriptures speak of a “lamb” that God would provide for an offering for sin. “ … God will provide himself a LAMB for burnt offering.” Genesis 22:8 – “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering: so they went both of them together.” Picture of the Sacrifice of the Ceremonial Lamb: Once the lamb was sacrificed, the blood must be applied to complete the sacrifice. God provided this truth in what He called the Passover. In this Jewish ceremony, a one-year-old male lamb, without blemish (perfect) would be killed and its blood shed and then applied to each doorpost of the home. This would protect those inside from dying from a fatal illness. This was a picture (foreshadow) of how Jesus Christ would pay the price for sin.
  • 16. “Your lamb shall be without BLEMISH, a male of the FIRST year: ye shall take it out of the SHEEP or the GOATS.” Exodus 12:5 – “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: …” “ .. and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall KILL it in the evening.” Exodus 12:6 – “And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.” “And the BLOOD shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the BLOOD, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to DESTROY you, …” Exodus 12:13 – “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Prophecy Regarding Jesus Being the Sacrificial Lamb: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a LAMB to the slaughter, and as a SHEEP before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 – “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
  • 17. 4. God says anyone can be saved upon the strength of Christ’s work (the gospel) on the cross. Christ, the innocent, suffered for man, the guilty. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the JUST for the UNJUST, …” 1 Peter 2:18 – “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit.” Christ did all the work. Nothing needs to be added to it. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all.” Hebrews 10:10 – “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” “But this man, after he had offered ONE sacrifice for sins for ever, …” Hebrews 10:12 – “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; …” “For by ONE offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14 – “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30 – “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
  • 18. Next Lesson: “How To Appropriate What God Has Done” For further help or information, contact: Bible Baptist Church www.bbcstanwood.org
  • 19. Bible Prophecies PROPHECY: (Ezekiel 29:14-16) Egypt, one of the world’s greatest ancient civilizations, would exist in the last days – but only as a lowly third world nation FULFILLMENT: Today, as predicted, Egypt remains an impoverished nation. To show how amazing this prophecy is, compare modern Egypt with the tiny nation of Austria. Egypt has ten times more land area, and a population eight times greater then Austria. Yet, Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product is only one-fifth of Austria’s GDP. PROPHECY: (Matthew 24:21-22) Mankind would be capable of destroying all life. FULFILLMENT: Consider that when Jesus made this prediction the armaments of His day were swords and spears. But today, with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, it is possible to wipe out all flesh on planet earth. PROPHECY: (Zechariah 14:12) The use of nuclear weapons anticipated. FULFILLMENT: The neutron bomb melts (dissolves) its victims – just as Zechariah predicted 2500 years ago. PROPHECY: (Revelation 11:9-10; 17:8) Global communications foreseen. FULFILLMENT: The Bible predicts that the entire world will “see” certain events unfold. The invention of the television and the deployment of global satellite networks during the 20th century all news to travel the world at the speed of light for the first time ever. Remember that in the Bible times, news traveled at the speed of horseback. PROPHECY: (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10) The Christian gospel would be preached as a warning to all nations. FULFILLMENT: Today, portions or all of the Bible have been translated into over 2,300 languages and dialects covering 90% of the world’s population. PROPHECY: (Daniel 2:40-44; 7:23; Revelation 13:7-8) There would be a move toward a global government. FULFILLMENT: The former Roman Empire – which encompassed present-day Europe – would revive and eventually dominate the world. The European Union has steadily moved forward in its attempts to unite Europe politically and economically. It has succeeded in creating a European Parliament, a court, and a common currency. PROPHECY: (Revelation 13:17; 18:3, 11, 19, 23) A global economic system would exist. FULFILLMENT: Today, globalists in every level of government are seeking to unite the world. Connecting the world monetarily is crucial to their goal.
  • 20. PROPHECY: (Daniel 12:4; Isaiah 11:9) Knowledge would increase. FULFILLMENT: Specifically, this is referring to an understanding of Bible prophecy, but also an increase in scientific knowledge is implied. There would be technology capable of tracking the world’s population and commerce (Revelation 13:16-17). PROPHECY: (Isaiah 66:8) The nation Israel would be born in one day. FULFILLMENT: On May 14, 1948 Israel became a nation. PROPHECY: (Jeremiah 31:7-10; Ezekiel 37:21-22; 38:8) The Jews would begin to regather in Israel. FULFILLMENT: Almost five million and counting! PROPHECY: (Zechariah 12:6; Luke 21:24) The Jews would regain control of biblical Jerusalem. FULFILLMENT: This happened in 1967! PROPHECY: (Ezekiel 44:1-3) The Eastern Gate would remain closed until the Messiah returns. At Christ’s Second Coming, He will enter Jerusalem through the now sealed Eastern Gate. FULFILLMENT: Today, as predicted, the Eastern Gate remains sealed. PROPHECY: (Ezekiel 37:15-17, Ezekiel 37:22) The nation of Israel, which had been divided into two kingdoms since the time of Solomon (950 B.C.) – Israel in the north and Judah in the south – would be one united nation in the last days. FULFILLMENT: At present, as predicted, Israel is one nation. PROPHECY: (Hosea 3:4-5) The returning Jews would have no king in the last days. FULFILLMENT: Amazingly, not only is Israel no longer a theocracy, but today the Jewish state is governed by a democracy comprised of some 30 political parties. PROPHECY: (Deuteronomy 29:23-28; Ezekiel 36:8-11; Ezekiel 36:33- 36) During the diaspora (the dispersion of the Jews to the four corners of the globe), Israel would become a wasteland. FULFILLMENT: During the past 1900 years Israel became a nearly uninhabited, desolate wasteland. PROPHECY: (Isaiah 27:6; 35:1-2; Ezekiel 36:34-36) Israel, once a desolate desert, would blossom in the last days and export produce to the world. FULFILLMENT: Israel’s increased rainfall and world-renowned irrigation technology have caused the land to blossom. Incredibly, as predicted, they currently export 800 million dollars worth of fresh produce each year.
  • 21. Lesson Four: How To Appropriate What God Has Done Appropriate = take for oneself (Note: Scripture references are provided and highlighted.) Even though you cannot save yourself from the penalty for your sins, God has made the way of salvation for you. 1. Many people mistakenly believe that you must “do” something in order to earn salvation – such as baptism, good works, church attendance, etc. But the Bible makes it clear what one must “do” to be eternally saved. This question was asked by a jailer, “Sirs, what must I DO to be saved”? Acts 16:29-30 – “(29) Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, (30) and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 2. The answer is clear when the Bible says “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, …” Acts 16:31 – “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” 3. Jesus said “ … that whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 – “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.” 4. Once one “believes” (trusts in and relies on) the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross, the new birth (salvation) takes place. Jesus said that no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is “BORN again.” John 3:3 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
  • 22. 5. Jesus said the new birth takes place when “whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:15 – “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” 6. The Bible states “Whosoever BELIEVETH that Jesus is the Christ is BORN of God.” 1 John 5:1–“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” The Bible uses family imagery to teach that when one is “born again”, they become a part of God’s family: that is, they now have a relationship with God. The truth is that a family relationship only comes by natural or legal means; one must either be born into a family or adopted into it legally. No one enters a family by doing something good – no one! Birth establishes a relationship forever: just as there is no good work a child can do to be put into a family, so there is nothing he can do to lose his relationship within the family. 7. There is a simple way to determine if one is saved (born again into the family of God): The Bible states “He that BELIEVETH on the SON hath everlasting life.” John 3:36 – “He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” 8. Many have said, “You cannot know for sure where you will go until you die.” But the Bible clearly states that you CAN know: “These things have I written unto you that BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW ye have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 – “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.”
  • 23. 9. Your part in receiving salvation is shown in the universal statement. “HE that believeth on the Son …” (see John 3:36 under #7) “Believe” has two definitions: trust or fact. Many believe in something because it is an established fact, such as the fact that airplanes can fly and transport you from one location to another safely. But to “believe” also means to trust such as when you actually get into the airplane and believe (trust) it to get you to your destination safely. This is precisely what God wants you to do: to “trust” Him to save you from the consequences of your sin by “believing” (trusting) in Jesus Christ in that He dies on the cross, was buried, and rose again for your sins. God promised to save all those who believe, for He said, “I am the ay, the truth, and the life: NO man cometh to the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 –“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 10.God’s part is to give “EVERLASTING life.” John 3:36 – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” It is not the believing that saves, but God that gives eternal life. Believing is simply the means through which God saves. It would be similar to electrical lines that provide power to a home. The electrical lines do not produce the power – the power plant does and brings that power to your home through the power lines. Likewise, your belief does not produce salvation. God produces salvation and brings salvation to you through your belief in what Jesus Christ did when he dies, was buried, and rose again the third day for your sins. This is the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. 11.This truth is stated when the Bible says, “For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of Christ: for IT is the POWER of God unto SALVATION to everyone that BELIEVETH.” Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
  • 24. 12. Using John 3:36 as a guide, there are three simple questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not you are truly “saved” and have a relationship with God: a. Am I saved? If yes, answer the next question. If no, still continue reading. b. How was I saved? The basis of your salvation cannot rest in anything other than believing on what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. To trust in anything else such as good works, church attendance, community service, or being a responsible person, etc. is not supported by God’s Word, the Bible. c. When was I saved? Just as there is a certain time and place of natural birth, so too there is a time and place of the spiritual birth. You may not remember the exact date nor time, but you will remember the place and moment of your life when you put your trust in Christ. It could have been at a church meeting, your home, the workplace, a friend’s or relative’s house, etc. The Bible does not teach that those who say, “I have always believed” or “I come from a Christian home” or “I go to church” are saved. 13. Being honest with yourself and God, and based upon what you now know about biblical salvation, which group are you presently in: those who have a relationship with God, or those who do not have a relationship with God? 14. If you do not have a relationship with God, let us remind you that salvation from sin is a free gift. But like any other gift free gift, you must receive it in order for it to become yours. To receive God’s offer of salvation, tell God that you know you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died for your sins on the cross, and trust Him to be your Saviour. God will hear you no matter where you are or what words you use. He promises to give you the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him in Heaven if you will believe on Him. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” (John 3:36) “That is thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10, 13) “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28) This concludes our complimentary Bible study on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For further help or assistance, please visit Bible Baptist Church, Stanwood; website www.bbcstanwood.org.