No portion of scripture provides a more succinct view of our need for a savior than Mark 9-10. When praying recently about how to best present this passage in a Bible study, the Lord clearly said, “Get the big picture.” Suddenly I saw these two chapters in a new light … the definitive presentation of the “Mission of the Messiah.” It goes like this.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.(Matt 4:18-20)
It is impossible for those who have been once enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace. (Hebr 6:4-6)
My name is Philemon and this is my story. It’s been described as the application of the highest principles to the most common affairs, but at the time it happened it was just two people at odds with each other being reconciled by a common love for the Lord.
Every time I post a study on the completed work of the Lord who took away all the sins of the world, and how all that’s left for us to do is believe, I get a number of questions from people. These questions are always about others who don’t seem to have been changed at all by their salvation experience. The writers ask me, “Where’s the evidence of a changed life?” or, “What about sacrifice, and repentance, and death to sin?” or “Are you saying that just because a person went forward and mouthed some prayer, and then never did anything else, that means they’re saved?” Continue reading…
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. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Note: Jack originally published this article in 2003. It remains one of the most popular on this site, and for good reason. It’s a great example of what we love about his studies: taking God at His Word and not relying on human logic or tradition. This study has been an eye opener for so many, but some have had a hard time reconciling the differences between the Jewish calendar and their own, in particular, that the Jewish day begisn at sundown. I created the new image you’ll find at the bottom of the article, hoping that a visual representation would make this all a bit clearer. I hope this helps! -Samantha
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
In Matthew 12:38 Jesus was asked for a sign to show that He was the promised Messiah. The religious officials had just accused Him of using the power of Satan to perform His miracles, and so He described the only sign they would see. “Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish,” He said, “So will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40).” By this He meant that because of their hardened hearts they would only know for sure that He was their Messiah after He rose from the dead, an unmistakably miraculous sign. History shows they didn’t accept even as incredible a sign as this, but His response has resulted in a 2,000 year controversy surrounding the time of His death.
Q. When you say that you don’t think the Bible supports the “God is in control” idea in the universal sense, you are saying that God is caught off guard when bad weather happens and the people of earth are subject to chance or luck. I will agree with you that that is true in a limited sense but only when you are talking about non believers. In a “limited sense” I believe there is no chance or luck in a believers life and the evil one can only have the control the Father lets him have. So you believe that God just sits back and lets things happen and only gets involved when He wants to use natural events to make a point?
Q. I’m struggling with trying to understand and accept the idea of willfully, consciously sinning and still being saved. For example, if someone decides to commit adultery, or hurt a child sexually, or kill an unfaithful wife, you’ve explained that they’re still going to heaven if they have previously accepted the truth of Jesus Christ as Son of God and their Savior, Redeemer. It seems to go against every moral, spiritual conduct to have no eternal consequence in choosing to do the above. I understand they’ll have earthly consequences (jail, remorse, etc.), but are we sure that God will give entrance to heaven to a soul who chose to bring death to others?
Q. I have a list with the names of people (my family,my friends, and people I came to like) and I pray for their salvation regularly. I put this list before the Lord and pray for them as it comes from my heart. But I have a few questions about this kind of prayer. My first question is, does it make any difference if the person for whom I pray lives far from me, on another continent and doesn’t even know me very well? My other question is, how can I make the prayer for a person’s salvation the most effective?
Q. In case you have time for this trivial question on the origin and use of the word “amen” or similar words. A friend told me that some scholars have concluded that it origin is Egypt from the pharaoh Amen Ra. I’m curious to see if I can find any useful answers to his questions on the word “amen.”
Q. I have been reading Matthew’s Gospel and came across this verse – “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” Matthew 10:32-33. Is this referring to people who deny Christ full stop or those who refuse to witness? In light of this how would this affect their salvation?
Q. Please can you explain the word “ordained” (Modern King James Version) in Acts 13:48. “And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Does it mean those ‘chosen’ for eternal life?
Q. Regarding Luke 21:28, I always thought it was talking about the second coming, and if that is true then we will be coming with Him, and won’t have to be looking up. What is the correct understanding of this verse?
Q. John’s gospel is the least chronological of the four gospels. Events are out of order and a very unequal amount of verses are applied to certain events versus other events in Jesus’ life. So it would seem unlikely then that John’s book of Revelation would be completely in time order. Perhaps some parts of the Revelation are chronological, and others are placed thematically. This is a critical issue, since from reading your material it appears the primary basis of your belief in pre-Trib is because Rev 4 & 5 in chapter order precede the rest of the book. Can you please enlighten me as to how you see it and why?
Q. I really can’t get the idea of even rewarding us with Crowns if they change nothing in regards to how we will be treated in the afterlife. Why even give them to us in the first place if we are to turn around and lay them at Christ’s feet? Does He need our crowns when He already wears the finest and most important crown of all? Will we be assigned some sort of rank due to the number of crowns we earn or the number of times we qualify for a certain crown or crowns? What am I missing?