findalways ks “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going” (John 14:1-4 NAS95).
. But the cure for the troubled heart is always the same. to and cure the troubled hear andWhat is the Christian to do when his heart becomes troubled? He must look to Jesus and the comfort He can give.
It has been say that
only those who have known sorrow are able to give comfort. Isaiah
53:3 refers to Jesus as “a man of sorrows.” Thus, acquainted with
sorrow Himself, He can soothe the hearts of His disciples when they
become sorrowful and troubled.
Also, The fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John provides dramatic evidence of that fact. Jesus recognized how troubled His apostles would be by His death so in that passage He spoke words of comfort to them. In those same words we, His disciples today, ar able to find the cure for our troubled hearts.
The Comfort of Faith (vs. 1)
Faith is the foundation of true comfort. Thus, we can conclude faith frees one from sin, makes him pleasing to God, allows him to overcome sin and the world, and causes him to always remember that God will never forsake him (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Samuel 12:22). If faith is great enough, one can accomplish or overcome all things (Philippians 4:13; Matthew 21:18-22). What a comforting thought that is for all the faithful.
The Comfort of Hope (vss. 2-3)
Hope in Christ is the comfort and anchor of the soul (Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:1; Hebrews 6:19-20). But apart from Christ, in the world, there is no hope (Ephesians 2:12). And in hell, all hope will be left behind. The hope of better things should comfort the Christian in adverse times (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
The Comfort of Understanding (vss. 4-6)
The Christian can
understand God. Jesus has given him a plain way to the Father and
made complete provision for him to understand it. He sent the Holy
Spirit to guide men into all truth and to reveal the mystery of
Christ. He is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).
The Comfort of Prayer (vss. 13-14)
The Christian who is
lonely or whose heart is heavy should follow the example of Jesus,
Peter, Paul and Stephen and pray (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17;
James 5:16). It is an aid in times of trouble.
The Comfort of Love (vss. 20-25)
How comforting it
should be to the Christian to know he is the object of divine live.
That love is great (1 John 3:1) and will never fail (Romans 8:35-39).
The Comfort of the Holy Spirit (vs. 26)
The comforting words
of the Holy Spirit teach the Christian all that is necessary for life
and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and equipped for every good work (2
The Comfort of Peace (vs. 27)
Those who are justified have peace with God (Romans 5:1). Therefore, they are in a kingdom of joy and peace (Romans 14:17). They produce the fruit of the Spirit which includes love, joy and peace (Galatians 5:22). The peace they have surpasses all comprehension (Philippians 4:7).
In conclusion, the next time your heart is troubled, look to Jesus. He provides comfort in all the above ways to those who allow Him to guide their lives.
I was reading an article by someone who was trying to explain The Revelation given to John (the Apocalypse). The first century Christians were under going intense persecution, thus the Revelation was given so that they would have encouragement and comfort.
Things Which Must Shortly Take Place
The New King James says in verse 1, “things which must shortly take place.” However, the New American Standard puts it this way, “things which must soon take place.” This same writer tells us the marginal notes in his Bible say shortly means “quickly” or “swiftly.” I would agree. Yet, he then tells us “shortly” must be interpreted considering verse 10 (the Lord’s day) meaning the day the Lord extracts judgment. Thus, he deduces when the end comes, it will come so rapidly it will astonish people and leave them frightened. Yet, how is this possible when over and over the New Testament writers indicate the time of Jesus return is not revealed (Matthew 24:36; 25:13; 2 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10)?
In the Old Testament, the idea of God’s judgment is put forth many times (Isaiah 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15 and others), but we also find the same term used to indicate the day the Lord had set forth for other reasons (Isaiah 58:13, etc.). So to simply intimate this must be the case here also is to disregard the context of the letter. First of all, we are looking at the New Testament, not the Old Testament.
However, in the New Testament, it sometime used the same way. However, the expression “Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10) is found only in this place and is hen kyriakē hēmera. The “day of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 2:2) is expressed as ē hēmera tou Kyriou. Almost all commentators agree John is speaking of the “first day of the week” (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2) which would make it a day of worship not a day of destruction. In light of this we must look to the context of the book.
How to Interpret the Book
There are many other views as to the interpretation of the book. Some
think that the book reveals all of history from the beginning to the end of
time. Others think it reveals the future for the church–the rise of the Papacy,
Mohammedanism, the Reformation, etc. Still others say that these are not actual
historical events but are symbolical of temporal and physical forces at work.
Some, in the light of this, say that the book was fulfilled in John’s day and
could have no meaning for us. Besides all these, there are Millennial groups
which have formulated their own various doctrines from the book. All of this
makes it very difficult for people to find the meaning of the book.
To rightly interpret the book, we should seek to find the meaning the book had in the day of its origin. In other words, “What did it mean to the Christians of John’s day?” The things in it “must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1,3; 22:6,10). Revelation 1:4 says, “John, to the seven churches that are in Asia…” Furthermore, we should seek to determine its meaning for all ages and especially for our own age. Thus, “What does the book mean to us today?” It is a blessing for all readers (Revelation 1:3), and it is for “everyone who hears” (Revelation 22:18). It is written to “his servants” (Revelation 1:1). Therefore, in our study of the book we should seek to understand how its principles applied then and observe how they will apply in similar situations now.
The Apostle Paul makes it clear the early Christians were looking for
the return of the Lord during their time (1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17). To them
that would have been the “end times.” Christians
at the time when the book was written were being beheaded and slain for the
word of God and the testimony which they held ( Revelation 2:13; 6:9-11;
7:13-17; 13:7-8; 16:6-7; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2; 20:4). This means the book was
written in the atmosphere of intense and widespread persecution.
The Main Theme
The victory of Christ is revealed throughout the book (Revelation 1:18; 5:9; 6:2; 11:15; 14:1,14; 17:14; 19:15). Christ conquers death, hades, the dragon, the beast, the false prophet, and those who worship the beast. The book also pictures the victory that the saints have through Christ–as having washed their robes (Revelation 7:14; 22:14), as having come out of the great tribulation (Revelation 7:14), as standing upon their feet and not dead (Revelation 11:11), as victorious over the beast (Revelation 15:2), as reigning on earth and with Christ (Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:4).
Therefore, the book was given to bring comfort for the church and to encourage the saints in time of great tribulation–for example, God sees their tears (Revelation 7:17); their prayers shall rule (Revelation 8:3-4); glory surpasses all suffering on earth (Revelation 14:13; 20:4); the avenging of their blood (Revelation 6:9-11; 19:2); assurance of victory (Revelation 15:2).
It should be understood the book met a need at the time of its writing and it dealt with an historical situation in which spiritual forces were at work. Further, its message will apply to all generations. In the book we see the conflict between God and Satan. God’s forces are Christ and the church, while Satan’s forces are evil government and false religion. God and His righteousness will triumph. Satan is destined to destruction; he and all his helpers will be defeated. Christ is victorious and His saints can be victorious through Him. This idea is set forth gloriously and completely in Revelation 17:14: “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful” (NASV). This is the main theme of the book.
It was the depth of “the great depression” in Western Oklahoma, and there was nothing but dust blowing for as far as you could see. There would be no crop again this year. So it was decided that it was time to hunt for greener pastures. The family packed everything up and headed for Arkansas. At least it someone said, it was supposed to rain there!
While searching for this one particular farm that was for sale, the family became lost and needed directions, and so they asked a young man if he knew the way to that farm. “Yep,” he replied, “You go down this road to the second fork, then turn left, and…No. Go to the third turnoff and then go right…No, that won’t get there, neither. Try going back about a mile, then turn left at the lake, go…No. Mister, I don’t think you can get there from here. You’re gonna have to start from somewhere else.”
That old joke illustrates a vital truth in the spiritual realm. We all want to “go home” to be with God, and we search for the way that leads there. But the truth is, we sometimes can’t get there from we are. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate…there are few who find it,” (Matt. 7:13-14). If that sounds too narrow and restrictive, it could be because we don’t appreciate the glories of Heaven and the path that leads there. Later in that same conversation, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21). Just having the desire to go to heaven is no guarantee we will. Jesus further said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6). He is our only access to the Father. All those who go to heaven must go by Jesus Christ. There is no other way to God.
Further, no one is going to go to heaven by accident. Multitudes yearn for the joys and security of heaven, but they can’t get there because they are ignorant of God’s plan of salvation. Jesus explained, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me,” (John 6:45). One must learn the path God wants for him to walk before he can walk it. Christianity is a “taught religion,” and the thing taught is clearly revealed. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith,'” (Rom. 1:16-17). Paul later said, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Rom. 10:17).
Before his conversion, Saul of Tarsus (Paul) was an ardent defender of Judaism. He not only opposed Christianity, he persecuted Christians and helped to put them to death (Acts 26:9-10). After his conversion to Christ, he said, “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did….” This man, later looked back over his life and wrote, “even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;” (1 Tim. 1:13). He was sincere, he was honest, he earnestly believed he was right to oppose Christianity – but he was wrong. He could not go to heaven from a state of ignorance. He had to learn the truth.
Paul knew that ignorance could not save. After he came to Christ, he spent the rest of his life preaching the gospel of Christ. In Athens he found a city full of idols, and he began his preaching by talking about their altar “To The Unknown God” (Acts 17:23). He told them, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,” (Acts 17:30). Jesus said it clearly, “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). The only way to come to God is to learn from God (John 6:45). Only by knowing His truth can we be made free (John 8:32).
God’s hatred of sin is clearly chronicled in His word (Prov. 6:16; 8:13; etc.). How much He hates sin is revealed best at Calvary, where Christ died to set us free from the shackles of sin. It is sin that separates us from God (Isa. 59:2). Jesus told the people of His day, “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). When the gospel was first preached after the death of Jesus on the cross, and people asked what to do, the first thing they were told was to “repent” (Acts 2:38). To repent means to change one’s mind about sin. If one truly intends to go to heaven, he must be willing to repent of sin, and leave that kind of life.
The good news is that people can change. Christ will not save people in their sins, but He is anxious to forgive those who are willing to leave sin. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” But then the apostle added, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified…” (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Notice what Paul said, “such ‘were’ some of you.” They had been sinners. But that was in the past. They had quit living that kind of life. These people could not get to heaven if they continued to steal, get drunk, revile, etc. But they could “repent.” And when they did, the road to heaven was opened to them.
A ruler of the Jews, who considered himself a child of Abraham and a citizen of the kingdom of God, came to Jesus by night. He said “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). Imagine his surprise when Jesus replied, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” (John 3:3). But, Nicodemus wondered, how is it possible for a man be born again? Jesus answered and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
The apostle Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life,” (Rom. 5:8; 6:3-4). When one is born, he begins new life – that is precisely what the word of God says happens when we are baptized into the death of Christ. Paul also said in 2 Cor. 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature.” When one is “baptized into Christ” (Rom. 6:3), he becomes a “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17), because he has been “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).
In spiritual regeneration, the “old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with,” (Rom. 6:6). The new life in Christ is begun with the new birth. The apostle Paul refers to this as the “washing of regeneration” (Tit. 3:5) that saves us from our sins. This is exactly what the Lord stated in the great commission, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned,” (Mark 16:15-16). There is the washing of regeneration. There is the new birth. There is the road to heaven.
If you are in a situation where “you can’t get there from here,” then change. Learn the will of God for your life by studying carefully His word to you, repent of your sins and turn from them, be baptized into Christ and into His death. Then, having been born again, you can walk confidently in that “newness of life” which leads God’s child to His heavenly home.
The usual definition for grace, “unmerited favor,” is not broad enough in its scope to fully defirne all that is meant by the term (see Luke 2:40; Col. 4:6). W. E. Vine defines it as, “That which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard;…on the part of the bestower, the friendly disposition from which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, lovingkindness, goodwill generally…especially with reference to the Divine favour or grace, e.g., Acts 14:26…” (Expository Dict. Of New Testament Words, pp. 509–510).
As seen in the Bible, grace, in respect to salvation, is a summary of all God has done to effect the salvation of man. It includes all of His acts which show favor to undeserving mankind. But God’s grace is more than mere passive pity. It expresses itself in real, concrete acts of love (Rom. 5:8). Considering several New Testament passages makes it easy to see how His grace runs through all God has done for man’s salvation. By grace He sacrificed His Son (Heb. 5:8–9). By grace He revealed His plan of salvation (1 Cor. 2:9–12; Gal. 1:11–12; Eph. 3:1–5). It is by grace that God raises sinners to a new life in Christ (Eph. 2:4–7; cf. Rom. 6:4–5). By His grace, God commissioned His Son to build the church (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28).
While grace includes all God has done to bring about the salvation of man, it excludes salvation by meritorious works (Rom. 4:4; 11:6). Salvation by works of this nature would demand a life of perfect obedience to divine law — it would be of debt. Salvation by grace, on the other hand, bridges the gap between our imperfection and God’s perfect law by means of pardon and forgiveness (1 John 2:1).
The presence and reality of sin is what makes the grace of God necessary. Since all have sinned (Rom. 3:10, 23), all, therefore, are under the sentence of death, the penalty for or the wages of sin (Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 21:8).
God, in His matchless love, provided His Son to die in man’s place (1 Pet. 1:18–19). While the grace of God is demonstrated in many ways, none is greater than its manifestation in His Son (Rom. 3:23–24). Since man has sinned, he deserves the punishment of the second death in hell and no works he could do would earn or merit his salvation from it. Therefore, salvation is that which is given by the grace of God, a favor man has not merited. Hence, salvation is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8–9).
Some have erroneously concluded from Romans 6:14–15 that we are “not under law but under grace” and that law and grace are mutually exclusive. However, the fact we are under grace does not mean we are not subject to law and that it is not essential for us to keep divine law.
We are subject to law from God. The teaching of Christ is called “law” (1 Cor. 9:21; 1 John 3:4; Isa. 2:1–3). We are required to obey that law (1 John 3:4; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; John 4:24; 1 Pet. 4:11). Whenever God has spoken to man or given a law, He has expected strict obedience and the utmost respect for His word (Deut. 4:2; Lev. 10:1–2; Rev. 22:18–19).
Grace does not mean we are not subject to law, rather, it means that we have a means of forgiveness when we violate that law, if we meet the divine conditions. The teaching of the apostle Paul in Romans 6:14–15 is that we are not under a system of mere law without grace as a means of justification. Depending on mere law would require perfect law-keeping for justification. Such would make one a legalist. Our justification is by grace through faith.
Though salvation is by grace (Eph. 2:8), it is not by grace alone. Some teach otherwise: “We believe the scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace” (Standard Manual for Baptist Churches, ch. 8, art. 4). Actually, one is saved by nothing alone. The many factors of salvation include: faith (Rom. 5:1); repentance (Acts 11:18); blood (Rom. 5:9–10); works (Jas. 2:24); baptism (1 Pet. 3:21); the gospel (Rom. 1:16); confession (1 John 4:2); and grace (Eph. 2:8–9).
Salvation by grace is through the teaching of the gospel, God’s “power unto salvation” (Rom.1:16). It is called “the word of His grace” (Acts 14:3) and “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). It is by the gospel that the kindness of God redeems man and provides him all spiritual blessings. The word is the medium of His grace (Titus 2:11–12). The word of His grace is able to build up and strengthen the Christian so that he might grow in Christ, grow unto salvation (Acts 20:32; 1 Pet. 2:1–2).
But God’s grace is conditional. It is conditioned upon obedient faith made perfect by works (Eph. 2:8–9; Rom. 5:1–2; Jas. 2:17–26; Matt. 7:21). The obedient works upon which salvation is conditioned do not nullify grace for they do not earn salvation. The examples of Naaman (2 Kings 5) and the blind man (John 9:6–7) show that these gifts were given by grace but conditions had to be met to receive them.
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