But Jesus demurred, and said: “My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself” (John 7:16-17). Jesus’ point to the devout temple Jews was no different than the one He had made earlier to the legalistic Pharisees. God has imbued mankind with the ability to choose. If a person wills, he can accept God and His teaching, but God never will force Himself on that person. As the apostle John brought the book of Revelation to a close, he wrote: “He that will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). The operative phrase here, of course, is “he that will.”
But what of he that will not? Freedom is accompanied by responsibility. With freedom of choice comes the responsibility to think carefully, choose wisely, and act forcefully. Freedom of choice always works best when tempered with wisdom and good judgment. Thus, in every human activity the process of recognizing, believing, and properly utilizing truth is vitally important. Especially is this true in the spiritual realm. Jesus tried to impress this upon His generation when He said: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). What we as humans so often fail to realize is that we are not involved in a search for truth because it is lost; we are involved in a search for truth because without it, we are!
Some, however, have elected to employ their freedom of choice to ignore the truth regarding God’s existence and to disobey His Word. They are the spiritual descendants of the first-century Pharisees; they could come to a knowledge of the truth, but they will not. The simple fact of the matter is that we are responsible for what we choose to believe. Using the personal volition with which God has endowed us, we may choose freely to believe in Him, or we may choose just as freely to disbelieve. The choice is up to each individual. And once that individual has made up his mind to disbelieve, God will not deter him, as Paul made clear when he wrote his second epistle to the Thessalonians. In that letter, he spoke first of those who “received not the love of the truth” (2:10), and then went on to say that “for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11)
What, exactly, was Paul suggesting? Was the apostle teaching that God purposely causes men to believe error? No, he was not. Paul’s point in this passage was that we may choose to accept something as the truth when, in fact, it is false. Because God has granted man personal volition, and because He has provided within the Bible the rules, regulations, and guidelines to govern that personal volition, He therefore will refrain from overriding man’s freedom of choice—even when that choice violates His law. God will not contravene man’s decisions, or interfere with the actions based on those decisions. The prophet Isaiah recorded God’s words on this subject many years before when he wrote:
Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul
delighteth in their abominations: I also will choose
their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them;
because when I called, none did answer; when I spake,
they did not hear: but they did that which was evil in
mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not
Concerning the people who refused to have God in their knowledge, and who exchanged truth for error, Paul repeatedly stated that “God gave them up” (Romans 1:24,26,28). In his commentary on the Thessalonian epistles, Raymond C. Kelcy addressed the fact that men often prefer the consequences of a certain belief system, and that as a result God gives the man over to the belief of the lie which he prefers. In a sense it might be said that the means by which a person is deceived is God’s permissive agency—not God’s direct agency (Cited from Apologetics Press.org “The Many Faces and Causes of Unbelief”, Bert Thomson Ph.D.)
Pray to God daily for the wisdom, understanding, knowledge and insight that comes from the Father, His Son Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 1:1-7, Proverbs 2:1-10, Proverbs 4:5-9, Romans 15:14, 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, 2 Corinthians 2:14, James 1:5,17,3:17, and this will help you to grow as you study the inspired word of God’s Holy Word (Psalms 111:2, 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV, 2 Peter 1:3-11), ask pray for help in doing His will (Matthew 7:21, Matthew 17:5, Matthew 21:28-31, John 9:31, Acts 3:22, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8), and help with discerning between good and evil (Genesis 3:22, Proverbs 2:1-11, Proverbs 14:8, Proverbs 16:21, Proverbs 17:24, Philippians 1:9, James 1:5-6, James 3:13-18, Hebrews 5:14), and what pleases God (Proverbs 16:7, Matthew 5:43-48, Romans 8:1-14, Romans 12:17-21, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 3:20, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, 1 Timothy 2:1-6 KJV, 2 Timothy 2:4, Hebrews 1:1-13 ASV, Hebrews 11:6, James 2:5, 1 John 3:18-24). And pray to be a light of His Son Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:14-16, John 12:36, Luke 8:16-17, Luke 11:33-36, Philippians 2:15-16), and to be salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34-35), protecting you and your loved ones from evil men and the evil one as you seek His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33, John 17:15, Philippians 2:12-14, 2 Thessalonians 3:2-4, 1 John 3:1-10, 1 John 5:18). Pray for your daily bread (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 6:11, John 6:27), and that you may not enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41, Luke 22:40, 1 Corinthians 10:13), pray for the forgiveness of your sins (Matthew 6:12, 1 John 1:9), and pray for strength and courage every day (John 16:33, Ephesians 6:10-11, James 1:2-26, 1 Peter 4:12-19, 2 Peter 2:9, Revelation 3:10), and pray for peace of Christ to rule your heart (John 14:27, John 16:33, Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 3:12-17) and be thankful (Romans 6:17, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 2 Corinthians 2:14, Philippians 4:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ASV) and pray always (Luke 21:36 KJV).
1 Timothy 2:1-7 KJV
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
“Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible 1 Timothy 2” verses 1:7, Studylight.org
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10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
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Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock.
The key to everlasting life is in Jesus' saying, "these words of mine!" Throughout the New Testament, the final, ultimate and exclusive authority in true religion is the word spoken by Christ. Jesus commanded the church to teach "whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20). He declared that the words he spoke would judge men at the last day (John 12:48). The true religion was "first spoken" by Christ (Hebrews 2:3). "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God (2 John 1:1:9). Apostles warned that men ought to learn how "not to go beyond the things which are written" (1 Corinthians 4:6). "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16), Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). The most important fact to know with reference to Christianity is that it is "of Christ"! Not even the apostles were commissioned to go beyond the word of Christ. Even the reception of the Holy Spirit in their hearts was not for the purpose of imparting additional truth but for bringing to their remembrance the things Christ taught (John 14:26). The current notion that any man in whom the Holy Spirit is supposed to dwell may properly determine the true nature and content of Christian doctrine is emphatically denied in the affirmation of Christ that, even in the apostles, the Holy Spirit did not speak "of himself." "For he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak ... for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you" (John 16:13-15).
Wise man who built his house upon the rock. The "rock" is nothing more nor less than "these words of mine," namely, the words of Christ.
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon the rock.
Rains, floods, and winds, in this place, suggest oppositions from above, beneath, and all around. The stability of the wise man's house was due to the fact that it was built, not upon "a rock," but upon "THE rock"! Only the life founded upon and guided by the principles of Christ shall stand. His teaching is the rock; all else is shifting sand.
And everyone that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shalt be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew, and smote upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall thereof.
All this is a recapitulation, in the negative, of what was said immediately before. The focus of attention here should be upon the revelation of what the true rock actually is, namely, the words or teachings of Christ. This is the point so many seem to miss. (Cited from: Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible Matthew 7 _ StudyLight.org).
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In this world there is darkness, Satan and his allies (Matthew 13:36-43, Luke 4:3-8, Acts 26:18, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Peter 5:6-11) that are trying to do their best to keep you and your loved ones from the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4).
12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you are seeking God and his salvation through his Son and have not obeyed the gospel of salvation, and you have read or heard the gospel, believe in the gospel, repentant of your sins, and ready to confess that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and to be baptized please pray from your heart for the guidance as you seek a Church of Christ near you. If you have any questions or need assistance please write me on my contact page.
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