Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!”
As Paul closed His first letter to the Corinthians, he held nothing back. “Do you love Jesus or not?” “If you do not love Jesus, you will be accursed” – a thing devoted to destruction. (1 Cor. 16.22) While these words apply to all unbelievers, those within Paul’s audience were demonstrating their lack of love by fighting amongst themselves and living unholy lives. Thus, even believers who neglect to love Jesus as they should will suffer the same consequences as the unbeliever!
How, then, can I know if I love Jesus? Our Lord answers this: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14.15) Therefore, those who are not moved to obey the gospel do not love Him and deserve to be eternally cut off from the presence of the Lord.
As if Paul’s words were not direct enough, he stressed this coming curse by saying, “Our Lord, come!” Judgment is coming. Judgment will be executed. Fortunately, for those who love Jesus, grace will be with them (1 Cor. 16.23). Therefore, we must decide today where we will align ourselves. Will we be Jesus’ friend by our love for Him (John 15.14), or will we devote ourselves to destruction by choosing to become His enemy?
Contact us today if we can help you learn more about Christ. Call/text: 903.308.4905 or message us on Facebook.
“For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6.2, ESV)
Have you ever put off completing a ten-page paper for English class? Have you ever put off completing your assignments for work or finishing that important project for the boss? Have you ever put off applying for something important like a job, college application, loan, etc.?
In some way or another, we have all put something off. Consequently, have we ever regretted putting something important off? Together, we can say, “Absolutely!” Why, then, is it that we put things off that we know affect our lives or the outcome to a situation? Two reasons come to mind: It is because we falsely believed we had plenty of time to do accomplish our goals at a different time and/or it is because we chose less important things, namely distractions, to fill our time.
God teaches us not to put off obeying Him. In fact, just as the examples used above, we can falsely believe we have enough time to obey God. In doing so, we fill our lives with other things of lesser importance and subsequently run out of time because of these distractions.
If you are planning to become a Christian tomorrow, next week, or next year, you falsely believe you have time to do it and/or you believe you have other things more important to accomplish before you can make such a commitment to God. Be warned, your time may run out! Do not believe that just because God has been longsuffering with you up until this point, that He will beyond this day.
Why is it so important to obey God today?
- James 4.13-15; Luke 12.16-21: Because with each day that goes by we are in danger of running out of time.
- Eph. 1.3; Rom. 8.1; 1 Peter 5.7, etc.: Because with each day that goes by that we are not obeying God we are not enjoying spiritual blessings in Christ.
- Heb. 3.7-11: Because with each day that goes by that we are not loving God, we are hardening our hearts against Him.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7.1, ESV)¹
¹Too often people stop with verse one of Matthew chapter seven. It is as if they do not know that verses 2-6 even exist. Jesus’ point is that if we are going to judge someone, we must make sure the log has been taken out of our eye before focusing on the speck in our brother’s eye. That is how we judge with righteous judging (John 7.24). Additionally, God’s word has already made the judgments. Those who teach sinners to obey Jesus are simply restating what God has already stated in His word and has authorization to do so (Mark 16.15; Matt. 28.19; etc.).
Below are some ways people use Matthew 7.1 along with the translation.
- "Only God can judge me" translation "leave me alone so I can sin".
- "You don't know my heart" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "We all sin" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "God knows my heart" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Don't push your religion on me" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "I thought Jesus said, 'Don't judge'" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Don't cast stones" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "You are judging" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "God is love" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "That's your interpretation" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Why do you care?" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "No one likes a Bible thumper" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Don't talk to me about religion" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "You have a holier than thou attitude" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
What’s your excuse to continue in sin? If you want to be left alone so you can continue in sin, then God will leave you alone after the judgment.
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s will, we would be more than happy to help you. Our goal is to live righteous lives so that we can properly help you overcome sin in your life too. E-mail Bryan Garlock, message us on Facebook, or text 903.308.4905 to study with us!
“And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, ‘Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.’” (Acts 24.25, ESV)¹
¹While imprisoned, Paul worked his way through the ranks in government until he was able to meet with multiple government officials with the goal to preach the gospel to each one of them. It was within this setting that we read, “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus” (Acts 24.24, ESV).
Notice that he wanted to hear Paul speak about “faith in Christ Jesus” (24) and yet in our text Luke records that Paul spoke to him “about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment” (25). Therefore, faith in Christ Jesus involves at least these three things coupled with the facts about Jesus himself (that is, His life, death and resurrection).
Let’s briefly examine each point to determine what Paul taught Felix:
- Righteousness: to be justified before God, through forgiveness of sins and obedience to His commandments.
- Self-control: to control or master the evil desires (lust) of the body.
- Judgment: a time when God will judge everyone according to the life they’ve lived while on earth.
These are the things that must be taught to each sinner who wants to hear the gospel. Unless we are justified before God and practice restraint against sin then we will fear the coming judgment. This is one reason why Felix was alarmed - he did not want to obey! On the other hand, when we do these things because we have faith in Christ, we have nothing to fear concerning the judgment!
If you’d like to hear more about the gospel, contact Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905 to set up a study at your convenience!
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25.46, ESV)¹
¹It has been said that the word “eternity” is the longest word in the Bible. Since we are time bound people, we do not understand what constitutes eternity. Our understanding of an average lifespan of 70-80 years is literally nothing in comparison to eternity. James taught, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4.14, ESV).
Eternity is not measure as we measure time. There is no seconds, hours, days, months, or years; it is a place without beginning or end. Simply put, we cannot even begin to perceive the concept of eternity.
Where will you spend eternity? The way we live presently determines that outcome. Jesus says that the unrighteous (those who disobey) will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous (those who obey in faith) into eternal life.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to serve God and prepare for eternity, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.