Sunday 25 January 2015


Many believers focus on the privileges of being a Christian and forget that there are conditions attached to the blessings. **

In short, blessings come with responsibilities.

We’d rather ask what God can do for us rather than what we have to do to please Him.

Akin to JFK’s famous quote, we’d rather ask what God can do for us, rather than what we need to do in obedience.

In the words of President John F. Kennedy during his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1961:
“My fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

We like to harp on the fact that God keeps us in the faith: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 1:24).

But we tend to downplay personal responsibility though it is clearly stated: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).

Throughout the Bible, this theme is evident: There is God’s part and our part. Each has a role to play. Just as a coin has two sides.

In John chapter 8, Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery. Jesus asked her, “Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Who does not want to be forgiven? But forgiveness comes with a condition. We must repent and turn away from sin. We must not continue living a sinful lifestyle. In this case, the woman had to forsake her immoral lifestyle and return to her husband.

Though His divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), we still have to make every effort to supplement our faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,  and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Though, like Paul, we believe that He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6), we still have to run the race. We need to forget what lies behind, strain forward to what lies ahead and press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14). We have to be personally accountable to God—to live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).

Though God is at work within us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure, we still have work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). 

Though we have been saved through faith, not through works, we must not forget we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).

At this juncture, I hope that the point about God’s part and our part has become clear.

Returning to the book of Jude, where we started off, though we are preserved for Jesus (Jude 1:1), we need to persevere in our faith so that we do not fall away like the Exodus generation who were saved and later destroyed (Jude 1:5).

We are preserved safe in God:
"I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you
 safe in the care of Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:1).

We need to persevere in the faith:
"Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe" (Jude 1:5).

.Jude did not mince his words when he uses various examples to illustrate the consequences of rebellion and sin, which will definitely incur God’s judgment:

-False teachers who pervert God’s grace and deny Christ

-Fallen angels

-Homosexuals of Sodom and Gomorrah

-Cainsin of murder

-Balaamgreed for material gain

-Korahrebellion against God’s appointed authority


Even if the sinful and rebellious manage to escape judgment while they are on earth, there will be a final judgment awaiting them (Revelation 21:8).


To recap:

In this short book of Jude, which has only one chapter and 25 verses, the privileges and responsibilities of a believer are spelled out clearly for us.

God keeps us in the faith but we too have to play our part.

The believer's responsibilities as laid out in Jude:
  • Build ourselves in the faith (Jude 1:20-21).
  • Contend for the faith (Jude 1:3).
  • Snatch from fire (judgment) those who have been deceived or have backslided (Jude 1:23). After all, we are our brother’s keeper, unlike Cain’s attitude.
  • God saves us but we need to persevere in the faith lest we are destroyed like the Exodus crowd—who were saved but later destroyed (Jude 1:5).
To drive home this point about God’s inevitable judgment, Jude provides many examples. He does not merely dwell on the privileges of the believer, which he does in the beginning and the end of the book (benediction).

In studying Jude, I can’t help but allude to the gross error of hypergrace and the 

Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS) premise.

The crucial flaw in hypergrace and the Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS) premise  is that 

it focuses on what God can do for believers and downplays human responsibility.

Furthermore, the theme of judgment is downplayed.

In its place, we have ‘feel good’ teaching which tickles itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3).

Tozer warns, "Heresy is not so much rejecting as selecting.” By examining the whole Bible, we do not dwell on half-truths or emphasise one truth at the expense of another equally fundamental truth.

That’s why we need to do in-depth study of the book of Jude which is so relevant in these

 end times when we have many false teachers who pervert the grace of God and lead 

believers along the path of destructive heresy.

False Teachers

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
(Jude 1:3-4)

 ** This post is mainly based on the book of Jude.





When we select portions of scripture which are attractive and agreeable to us, we are distorting the truth.



The basics about grace and hyper-grace


False grace was exposed in a video in which Dr Michael Brown was being interviewed. It's a clear, compelling, well-balanced, Word-based presentation.


Some Christians believe, once they are saved, absolutely nothing can happen to them to alter their destiny. Even though they might live in sin or deny God, they believe that one day they will surely reach their final destination in heaven.


You may be saved but along the way you may lose it (your salvation) through sin and unbelief. Shocking assertion?

How to develop discernment and escape the clutches of destructive heresies


Why is preserving sound doctrine so important? Sometimes we think that maturity means we must always be tolerant—even to the extent of condoning false teaching.

Thursday 22 January 2015


Why not? Fear can save our skin and much more.

A Facebook friend who believes in eternal security, Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS), ** commented that I should not incite fear in people by saying that believers can lose their salvation: “If you make believers feel insecure about their salvation in Jesus, you are causing unnecessary fear. Why are you putting fear in people? This is not from God.”

Here is my reply. The Bible warns us to fear God, the One who can cause a person to suffer eternally in hell, a place where the fire never dies.
  • “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

  • “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has the authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Luke 12:5).

  • “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:43-44).

  • “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it” (Hebrews 4:1).

  • “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

The story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) gives us a glimpse into the state of continual consciousness of torment in hell. This picture of everlasting torment in hell is reflected in the expression ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’.

The consequences of sin are serious if repentance has not been sought. Once a person is consigned to hell in the afterlife, it is irrevocable. There is no more opportunity to repent once our life on earth ends. It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The absence of rebirth means there are no more chances to redeem ourselves after we die.

Let’s look into the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30) where the expression ‘wailing/ weeping and gnashing of teeth’ is being used. What happened to the wicked and slothful servant who failed to multiply the single talent given to him?

“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25: 29-30).


Fear is often seen as undesirable and negative. We are reminded to be bold, not to be fearful, as God is with us (Joshua 1:9). Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). However, we also need to consider the other side of the coin—reverential fear of God.

“Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).

Scripture is replete with examples showing us the positive aspect of fearing God. Because they feared God, the midwives obeyed Him—rather than the King of Egypt—and spared the lives of the Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:17). Pharaoh brought disaster on his nation because he did not fear God (Exodus 9:29-31). Job was a blameless and upright man who feared God (Job 1:1). Cornelius was a devout centurion who feared God, gave alms and prayed constantly (Acts 10: 2). And he was rewarded when God arranged for Peter to preach the Gospel to him.

Holy fear is evident in this passage: "By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith" (Hebrews 11:7).

Reverential fear is positive. It leads us to we proactively seek God and set ourselves right before Him—by confessing our sins and obeying Him. Thus, we save our own skin and are preserved from the unquenchable fire of hell.

Now who says fear is such a bad thing? If there's ever a type of fear we cannot afford to miss out on, it is reverential fear.


Once saved, always saved (OSAS)? Some Christians believe, once they are saved, absolutely nothing can happen to them to alter their destiny. Even though they might live in sin or deny God, they believe that one day they will surely reach their final destination in heaven.

Two men share about their supernatural experiences in heaven and hell.

Many a time fear has been bandied around as something negative. But fear has its positive side as well. When my children were toddlers, my wife and I had this fear that they might hurt themselves at home. Knives had to be safely kept away. Furniture with sharp corners and those made of glass were excluded from our shopping list. A gate with latch had to be installed to keep them from falling down the stairs.


The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
‘‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’

Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth
The phrase "wailing and gnashing of teeth" is found seven times in the New Testament. Even though it is used on three occasions of the experience of the unregenerate in hell (Matthew 13:42, 50; Luke 13:28), it is also used on four occasions of the regenerate in the kingdom (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30).



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Tuesday 20 January 2015


As believers, what’s the point of having great miraculous power, riches, wisdom and unbridled pleasure at our disposal if we miss out on heaven?

What’s the point of having spectacular miraculous power here on earth but finally get shut out from heaven?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
(Matthew 7: 21-23)

What’s the point of having great riches here on earth but fail to arrive at the pearly gates of heaven?

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?
(Mark 8: 36-37)

What’s the point of having great wisdom and ample access to sensual pleasure when the prospect of eternal judgment awaits us?

A case in point is King Solomon, arguably the wisest man on earth in his time, who had 700 princesses as wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11: 3). That’s indeed a jaw-dropping number. Let us suppose someone today manages to attain a fraction of what Solomon had. What good is his wisdom if it is mere head knowledgenot reflected in obedience? And, finally, he fails to make it to heaven. What’s the point of unbridled sensual pleasure if it draws him away from God, denying him entry to heaven?

When our time on earth is over, our physical body undergoes decomposition and decay. But our soul lives on. The question is whether we will spend the rest of eternity in heaven or hell.

Our fate in eternity is based on our spiritual state just before we expire or when Christ comes again (whichever comes first).

A man of God who performs great signs and wonders but commits adultery and apostasy at the last lap of life’s journey stands condemned whereas a dying thief who has faith and commits himself to Christ during life’s final moments passes into heaven with rejoicing. Our fate is NOT decided merely at the point of entry (conversion).

It's our current spiritual state which matters: “When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?” (Ezekiel 18:26-29).

The philosopher and scientist, Blaise Pascal, wrote: “The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it.”

In our busy lives, filled with countless tasks and pleasures, how many of us would care to spare a thought about our final destination

On that day of reckoning when we face the Judge, some who think they are ‘in’ may actually be  ‘out’. Some may think God sees them as sheep but they are, in fact, goats.

Some of those who had it so good while on earth may be in for a big surprise. Some who are rich, famous and perform great miracleswho believe God’s favour is upon themmay be in for a rude shock.  There will be major upsets. The first may be last, and the last may be first. There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So what is the conclusion?

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

“Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
(Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Can we confidently say like apostle Paul, I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me (2 Timothy 1:12b)?”

As believers, let’s aspire to live our lives before God in all good conscience (Acts 23: 1).

As God knows those who are his, let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19).

Instead of missing the mark, let’s press on towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).


Two men share about their supernatural experiences in heaven and hell.

After everything is done and our short sojourn on earth is over, one crucial question remains: “Where we will spend eternity?”

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.” Do we know how to ‘set our house in order’ if we receive news that we have only a few months to live?

What do you think is the true measure of a believer? Does it rest solely on how much anointing or power he or she has? Or how many spectacular feats he or she can perform?

What does it take to be a winner in the most important race of all?

Spiritual decline is characteristic of the end times we are now living in. Wind direction changes. Seasons come and go. The only constant in life is change. Likewise, it may not be easy for believers to remain steadfast till the end in their spiritual journey.


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