Category: Words of Encouragement


WE NEED TO STAND OUR WATCH

By: Gary L. Rodgers

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BE READY

We need to be ready for the coming King! As the old song goes, “Soon and very soon we are going to see the King.” Any day now there will be a sound of a trumpet and the voice of the Archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) will shout “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1) and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we that are alive shall go to meet Him in the air. People need to get really serious about the second coming of Christ. We are living in exciting times. The Apostle Paul, John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos and the prophets of old have been looking for this time frame which we now live in. They prayed for this day and have always had a hope for this day in which we live. Christian brothers and sisters we need to get serious and get busy during this period in history. We should be living both a happy and a fearful life. Happy because our Lord will soon be here for us. Fearful in that there are people who we know who will face this awful time known as the Tribulation period, also referred to by many as the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble. (Matthew 24:21) Do I know the exact day? No! None of us do, but if you’re counting on us having years before the return of Christ then I can’t help but think that you are living in a dream.

TURNING AWAY FROM GOD

This election that we have just gone through for the Presidency of the United States is probably the single most important election in the history of our country. We live in one of the most ungodly periods in the history of man. We as a nation have turned our back on our God and have turned every man to his own way. We thumbed our nose at God and His Word for what I believe to be the last time. The so-called intellects of our day, the twisted reviews of the news media, and the self interests of our government and this so-called perverse society of entertainment called Hollywood laughs and mocks at our beliefs and at our God. Does all of this make them right? They seem to think so! My convictions are laid upon me by the power of the Holy Spirit and I am convinced that the Lord is so close that the Angel of the Lord now stands ready with the trumpet pressed against his lips. I believe that he has taken a deep breath and is about to sound out to the world that the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) has come to receive His bride (the church). My greatest fear is who do I know and love that will be left behind? There is no one that I can think of on this earth that I would want to see go through this horrible time of God’s Judgment that is about to fall upon the nations of the world.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)

Let’s suppose for a moment that what the world believes about there not being a God, there not being any judgment and Hell not being a real place. Let’s suppose that his were true, what would I have lost by believing in a God that was not real? Would I have missed out on a number of divorces and affairs that went wrong? Nights of sickness because of an over indulgence of liquor. Money thrown over a bar or thrown down the drain while trying to live a life of pleasure in the flesh? What about a fortune in trying to buy back my health after having contacted some horrifying disease such as Aides or Syphilis or sclerosis of the liver? Is all of that worth the gamble that there is no God; there is no judgment? It doesn’t seem like a very smart choice to me. The fact is that there is a God of Heaven and regardless of what man says there will be a judgment where sin and all that have forgotten God will be cast into the lake of fire. When the world tells me that there is no God all that proves to me is that man has gotten a little too big for his britches.

KING DAVID

We have heard the Story of David and how he decided to fulfill the lust of the flesh with Bathsheba. This is a man who wrote one of the most loved books of the bible the book of “Psalms.” David’s sin cost him so very much when he made that decision. (2 Samuel 12:10) He lost four of his children because of his sin. The first child dying shortly after birth. (2 Samuel 12:14-18) A daughter (Tamar) was raped and ruined by her brother (Amnon) in 2 Samuel 13:1-20 who was influenced by a friend Jonadab; who in reality was a cousin that helped to devise a plan to get Tamar and Amnon alone. This same son (Amnon) was murdered by his brother Absalom for his crime against their sister. (2 Samuel 13:22-29) Absalom rebelled against his father King David and later died at the hands of Joab’s armor bearers. But how many of us know that David had contacted a communicable disease? See what David said about the loathsome disease in his loins. (Psalms 38:7) People! Whoever you may be, know this! There never was and never will be a free ride with sin. Sin has a penalty and God’s justice demands payment. If you are without Christ you will come to know first-hand what it will be like to be face to face with a righteous angry God of Judgment. When I weigh all of this in the balance I would rather take my chances by putting my trust in Christ than to put my trust in the philosophy of a generation of people who have no peace and no assurance of a peaceful eternity. I would hate to wake up some morning to find that I gambled and lost because I chose to follow after the ways of the world and rejected my only chance to be saved.

YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT

Christian brothers and sisters I warn you that your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23) If you blatantly live from day-to-day knowingly and willfully live in your secrete sins then you are about to come full circle with the Lord and face those sins publicly before the congregation of the Lord. I believe that one of the most difficult times that a Pastor and the Deacons of any church face is when church discipline needs to be administered to a member of their congregation. It’s a grievous time for them and everyone else involved. It’s never a pleasant time and it must be done to keep the Lord’s Spirit strong and active in the life of a church body of believers. The Pastors and Deacons have a serious responsibility in keeping the bride of Christ (His church) clean and pure before Him. If you are a professed born again believer in Christ and you are walking in purposeful disobedience against the Lord then you need to make it right and turn from you sin. If you don’t it will bring you to ruin.

SIN HAS ITS CONSEQUENCES

Remember when the woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought before Jesus. And as we know from scripture that she was brought there by the religious leaders of the day to try to trip up Christ so that they would have an occasion to bring an accusation against him. And because these leaders went about this as a means to find fault with Christ notice what happened. Their own sin had condemned them and they could not stand in judgment of this woman. They too would have had to admit that they were a guilty sinner. And what would it matter which sin held them under conviction when you consider that the scriptures tell us that no sin will enter into Heaven? (1 Timothy 1:9 & 10, Revelation 21:8, 22:14 & 15). We need to always bear in mind that the scriptures tell us “For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10) And yes this includes the little white lie. Notice also that this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. An act that was worthy of death by stoning. Jesus said woman where is thine accusers. She replied that she had none. Jesus then went on to say that neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more. (John 8:11) What Jesus was telling her was that this willful act of sin must stop and it must stop now. If she didn’t then she could expect that a more fearsome thing would befall her. None of us are perfect. We all sin in some way every day. Yes even those of us who have tasted that the Lord is good, yes we too commit sin. But the sin unto eternal death wherein a soul rejects the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we no longer are under its power. We are free from facing the second death. And it is so very important that we keep short sin accounts with the Lord and go to Him daily confessing those sins. Not because of a loss of salvation for those of us that have accepted Christ as our Savior, but because of the loss of rewards and because of the shame and reproach that we bring upon our Lord. And because sin still carries with it consequences!

WILLFUL SINS

So what happens to people who willfully continue in their sin and refuse to make any move towards confessing their sin and making things right with God? Read 1 Corinthians chapter 5 to see what happened to a saved born again believer that was committing the sin of fornication with one of his father’s wives. Notice that through church discipline this man was turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh but the soul itself was saved from such destruction. (1 Corinthians 5:5) Christian brothers and sisters we need to be careful to not allow our sins to lead us into a life where we would face this type of discipline. There are people that have faced the consequences of their sin and died a premature death. People that God has repeatedly convicted and tried to turn them around, but they refused to let go of their sin. They were head strong about what they wanted and determined in their heart that they would continue with it. People that so utterly destroyed their testimony that it caused others to think that they too could get away with sin. I repeat sin has a penalty and there will be a payday someday. If you have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior your sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ. But if you have determined in your heart to allow sin to reign in your mortal bodies after that you have received the gift of His promise then there remains a fearful looking toward the chastening hand of the Lord.

There is a payday someday where all sin will be cast into the Lake of Fire! Once you have gone to the pool of Bethesda (Jesus Christ) and have been cleansed (washed in His blood) then do not go back and put on those leprous clothes of unrighteousness, but rather put on the righteous robe of Christ and live a clean life.

CHOICES

Getting back to what we were saying about which to choose. Salvation in Christ, or keep our sins and gamble at the consequences. Which would you choose?

Christian if the Rapture were to take place this day, of all the people who you know which ones would you warn of their way and which ones would you not? The bible teaches that God will wipe away all tears. But tears can’t be wiped away unless they are first shed. I have often asked myself will I stand before the Lord someday and have Him show me all of the people who I failed to witness to for one reason or another. Will I see people who I have truly loved and failed to give the gospel to be thrown into the Lake of Fire which burneth forever and ever? Will I see the terror in their eyes, or hear the terror in their voice as they are thrown into that awful eternal place of suffering? Will I hear them curse my name for failing to do my part by telling them that they too can be saved? It’s a very sobering thought isn’t it?

RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Time is running out and we all need to get busy today, for tomorrow is too late! There is no excuse for any of us not to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ! No excuse! We are commanded to go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every living creature. You say that you’re afraid to talk to someone about Jesus. Well you’re not the first person to feel that way and you certainly won’t be the last. So what are we afraid of, someone yelling at us? Being thrown in prison? Being beaten and killed? Have any of the prophets or apostles experienced these things? Did Jesus experience any of this?

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

We need to get it into our heads that we are no longer a part of this world; this world will be destroyed some day. Our home is in Heavenly places and we need to realize that we will at times suffer for the cause of Christ. When it comes to this world and our home in Heavenly places you need to hear this. No! You – can’t – have – both!!!!

If you yourself will not go to the field of harvest then support those that will! There should never be a shortage of funds for missions in any church. When you support missions you become a part of their labors and when they win a soul to the Lord then you the supporter will also share in that reward because you have been faithful in giving and making that work a reality. When you hand someone a tract or leave it where someone will find it, God will bless your efforts: and again you will share in the reward of that soul getting saved. I realize that not everyone will go into the fields of harvest, but someone needs to supply the tools to the workers. And in doing so both the labor of the worker and the support of the suppliers become a joint venture in this harvest.

Time is running out. We need more workers and we need more suppliers. There is no time to think about it. The command is to go! The need to supply is now! Wouldn’t it be great to see the tears wiped away from someone’s eyes that you love because they have just asked Jesus to save them, rather than to see them shed a river of tears because they just heard the Lord say depart from me ye cursed into everlasting punishment because I never knew you? (Matthew 25:41-46)

A HELP OR A HINDRANCE

Like it or not you are either a part of the gospel going forward to the unsaved or you are a part of those that hinders the work. If every one of us gave up the price of one fast food meal each week then we would soon have more than enough to meet our current need for Missions. We would be able to give more to those that we now support and we could take on more missionaries. Lord please convict me and help me to not trade the soul of one person for the pleasure of one meal.

THE INVITATION

If you are lost in your sin I want you to know that Jesus loved you beyond all of your faults. When He went to the cross you and all of your sins were future. Well my friend the future is now here. You need to decide for yourself. This will be the most important decision that you will ever make in your life. No one can make it for you, but it is a decision that you must choose for yourself. Will it be for the Lord or will it be for the world? If you have made a decision to ask the Lord to save you then I invite you to follow along in this prayer and say with a sincere heart.

Dear Jesus, I know what sin is, and I know that I am a sinner. I ask that you would please forgive me and wash away all of my sin with the blood that you shed for me. Please send the Holy Spirit to come too live in my heart to teach me and guide me in righteousness. I know that you personally died for me, and that you were buried in a tomb and rose from the dead for me. I believe that you are now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. I put my complete trust in you alone as my Lord and Savior and I am trusting in you only to get me to Heaven. In your Holy and Precious Name I pray. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

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HOW IS YOUR WALK WITH THE LORD?

By: Gary L. Rodgers

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Psalms 37:23The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. 25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (KJV)

I am always amazed at the ways that the Lord works in the lives of His children.  Miracles are not a thing of the past; there are miracles that go on around us all of the time. When a soul gets saved it is a miracle in itself. Imagine a person walking a broad highway that leads to suffering and anguish and through a simple prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13) they are rescued from the eternal sufferings of hell and made a child of God with a mansion awaiting them in Heavenly places; all in an instant, a true miracle indeed.

THE FIRST SOUL SAVED

In my own life I have seen the Lord miraculously save the souls of certain people and make drastic changes in their lives. I recall the first person that I had the great privilege of leading in a sinners prayer that they would be saved. I had prayed for days and asked the Lord to help me speak to someone about their salvation. I was at a car dealership in Rochester New York delivering cars and a man who checked in the cars happened to be the one that the Lord chose for our paths to cross. His name was Keith and when I asked him if he knew if he would go to heaven someday or not his reply shocked me. He said that he had some questions and asked if I would tell him how to be saved. Wow! What an opportunity, a real answer to prayer! As I witnessed to this man the presence of the Holy Spirit was evident, and with his eyes full of tears and a sincere heart this precious soul became a child of God that day.

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A THEOLOGIAN TO WIN SOULS

Being a new Christian myself it was difficult for me to find every verse that I spoke of in our conversation, so I promised him that I would write him a letter and jot down all that we spoke of. This man was so excited about getting saved that he thanked me over and over again for sharing Jesus with him. Before I drove away he said that he knew that God sent me there that day, he said that he and his wife were having many problems and that his intention was to go home after work and gather his belongings and move back home with his mother. I tried to encourage him to share with his wife what God had done for him that day and said that God would help him to show her that there is a difference in his life.

JUST BE AVAILABLE AND GOD WILL DO WONDERS

After I arrived back home I went to work on my letter to him. The letter turned into eight to ten pages which I prayed so hard over asking the Lord to help this man win his wife to Him. I placed the letter into a bible that I purchased for him and mailed out the package. Nearly a month went by with no word that Keith had received the package. I called his home and his wife answered the phone. She said that Keith was not there but that the package was here for him. I could tell from the conversation that something was wrong, so I began to pray for this family and approximately six weeks later I took another load of cars back to this same dealership.

KEEP FOCUSED ON THE LORD AND WATCH HIS ALMIGHTY HAND AT WORK

As I pulled into the dealership the door to the service department flew open and out ran Keith in the direction of my truck. I didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t tell if he was angry or happy. After I parked I got out of my truck and that quickly he jumped on me and began hugging me and jumping up and down and shouting praise the Lord. He told me that he and his wife did separate, and that after I spoke to her on the phone that she opened up the package, read the letter, looked up the verses of scripture in the bible and she too had gotten saved. Wow! The letter wasn’t for Keith; God turned it around and delivered it into Keith’s Wife’s hands. What an amazing God that we serve. Keith went on to say that they were now back together as a family and that his teenage children also got saved and that the entire family was going to church, singing in the choir and getting their lives headed in the right direction. Well knock me over with a feather. All praise and glory to our miracle-working God; how great thou art!

THERE IS A GREAT JOY IN BEING AVAILABLE AND USED OF THE LORD

I can’t begin to tell you the joy that I experienced through all of this and how the Lord had blessed me through this true miracle. I thought to myself, “now that’s how you punch the devil in the nose and get away with it. Win a soul! That’s how you do it; just win a soul! ” Joyfully I stand in the awesome presence of the Lord and marvel at His greatness and praise His wonderful name.

GOD IS STILL AT WORK IN PEOPLES LIVES

Another miracle that God allowed me to be a part of happened I’m guessing it to be a few months after the episode with Keith. I was delivering cars to a dealership in Reading Pennsylvania and went into Hardees that was next door. I bought some lunch and they handed me some coupons to try their new breakfast sandwiches that they were beginning to sell. I put the coupons on the dashboard of my truck and carried them around with me for nearly a month. I happened to be driving by Hardees in Martinsburg, West Virginia on my way to a dealership. I decided that I would stop and try one of these breakfast sandwiches on my return trip by the restaurant after I made my delivery just a short distance down the road.

ALWAYS BE READY TO GIVE HOPE TO A LOST SOUL

When I came into the restaurant I happened to notice a young woman sitting at one of the tables with her bible. It looked as though she may have been doing a study and taking notes. As I headed for the sales counter I took a moment and stopped at her table and asked if she was a saved born again believer in Christ. To my surprise she said that she was not, but that she had a number of questions about it and invited me to sit at her table so she could hear more about this. Well praise God I didn’t need a rock to fall on me to convince me that the Lord worked this all out.

After we sat and talked for awhile I was able to share the gospel of Christ and I invited her to pray and ask the Lord to come into her heart and save her. She bowed her head in the restaurant and that day she became a child of God. I still to this day stand in amazement to the way that God causes things to happen. I gave this young woman, Bonnie by name; several tracts to help her in her Christian walk.

GOD HAS A WAY OF SENDING US BLESSINGS

Six months or more went by and one day after the church services my Pastor at the time said “I have something for you.” He handed me a letter and told me how this couple had stopped by the church and he happened to be outside when they showed up. They sat and talked together and they shared with my Pastor how Bonnie got saved and since they were passing through the area they wanted to try to make contact with me. I opened the letter and it so blessed my heart to read how this couple was actively working in a church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania serving the Lord and growing in His Word. What a true blessing this was to learn this about these dear people.

All any of us need to do is make ourselves available. We don’t need to go to college or take special classes to tell people about Jesus. All the Lord asks is that we would be a willing vessel and He will take care of the rest.

 GOD CAUSES CERTAIN PEOPLE TO CROSS OUR PATHS

One of the blessings of my life was when the Lord called me to work in a bus ministry in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There are many stories that I could tell about this great ministry, but one in particular I want to share. A man from Alabama decided to get on my church bus one Sunday morning after the church services to help out with our trip to take the children back home. He had his young son with him and this man had a desire to get busy at doing something for the Lord. I’ll never forget the white shirt and bib overalls that he wore that day. But praise God he was there as a willing vessel and God was about to put him to work. I always took the time to talk to the kids on my bus about being saved and there were two little girls that wanted to ask Jesus to come into their hearts and save them. I asked this man by the name of Bill if he would share Jesus with these girls and lead them in prayer as they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

After brother Bill shared the message and prayed with these little girls it was like an explosion went off in his heart. I had no idea that these two little girls would be the launching pad that he needed to spend the rest of his life in the service of the Lord. I never seen anyone so turned on with fire like this man after leading these two little girls to Jesus. Brother Bill and I became very close friends and he went to work leading people to Jesus and getting them into church. He is such a blessing to all that know him.

Today this man, his dear wife and daughter serve the Lord as one of the Missionaries that my current church supports in Mexico. Brother Bill has always been a dear friend and brother; a true soldier of the cross always on the battle-line winning souls for Jesus.

IF WE ARE WILLING TO SERVE, GOD IS WILLING TO GIVE US A JOB

I hope that in some way I have stirred your heart to serve the Lord by winning souls to Him. Just be willing and make yourself available and He will take care of the rest. There are souls out there dying every day without Christ. If we go to the Lord seeking the bread of life to give to poor lost sinners the Lord will give us all that we need and more. (Read Luke 11:5-8.  In a book written by John R. Rice called  “Prayer Asking and Receiving” Dr. Rice touches on this portion of scripture. While it is placed in the middle of Jesus’ teaching to His disciples on prayer, Dr. Rice points out that we need to continually go to the Lord begging bread for lost sinners. Soul winning is an extremely serious business, so important that the Son of  God gave His life for it; and if you get serious with God about winning souls He will give you all the bread (food of the gospel) that you need to feed the lost.)

My hope is to someday meet the Lord with and empty basket to show that I have been actively involved in winning souls. What a shame and embarrassment it would be to meet Him with a full basket of moldy bread.

Who will be the soul that you bring to Jesus? It could be another Billy Sunday or another Billy Graham; it could even be your mother or father. Perhaps it might be a husband, wife or one of your own children. How far will you go to carry bread to each of them?

CLOSING PRAYER

O Lord our Lord how excellent is thy name in all the earth, who has set thy glory above the heavens. I pray for these my brothers and sisters that you will give them the strength and courage that they need to fight the battle for lost souls. Help them to dress in the battle armor. (Ephesians 6:10-18) Please bring victory into their lives as they speak to others about your wonderful saving grace. May they stand firm in their faith and courageously battle for the unsaved; and also for the saved brethren that are weak and needs to be lifted up and encouraged. May you fill these mighty warriors’ days with blessings and joy as they go to the lost with the message of hope that they too can become a child of the King.

In the blessed name of your Son Jesus Christ we pray and ask that you would grant these petitions. Amen!

LOOKING FOR A BRIGHT TOMORROW.

THOSE LEFT BEHIND

By: Gary L. Rodgers

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.

Dear Friend,

The thought of you reading this message tears at my heart when I think of the time frame in which you may possibly be reading it. If you are reading this after the Rapture of the church has taken place, then I know what you are about to face in these last days, and the loneliness that you will experience. Because of that I decided to put together this message to hopefully help you find your way through these dark hours. I have asked many people to please store this message in their Bibles so that you and others like you would find it. I’m convinced that when the Rapture of the church occurs that multitudes of people are going to fill up church buildings everywhere with scores of people asking a lot of questions. And I am also certain that the one thing that people will seek after is a Bible, so that they can search for answers on their own with regard to what will happen next during this Tribulation period. I may not know who you are and I can only hope that you will listen to me and follow through with the right decision for yourself during this situation that you are faced with. I’m sure that you are probably scared and confused and wanting to know what happened. Hopefully I can help you somewhat with your questions.

PRE-RAPTURE SALVATION

The Bible was given to us by God so that we could see ourselves for who we truly are. We are all hopelessly lost sinners needing a Savior to pull us from the road that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13) It was also given to us so that we would know what steps that we needed to take for salvation in order to be saved from the terrible fiery pit of Hell. For me it was a matter of acknowledging that I was a sinner, confessing my sins to The Lord and asking Him to forgive me, at which time I put my complete trust in Him to get me to Heaven. Not church membership or baptism, but Christ alone. If these other things would have been necessary for salvation, then what would have been the point of Christ going to the cross? We could have simply participated in some religious act or obeyed the laws of Moses and that would have been all that was needed. (Galatians 2:16 & 21) It is impossible for man to keep all of the laws of Moses. Adam and Eve had but one law to keep and that was to stay away from the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil. (Genesis 2:17) And they failed at keeping just one. The thief on the cross did not come down and participate in any pious acts, so how was Christ able to tell him “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) It was his faith in Christ that saved him and nothing more, and nothing less. All through the Bible I found that the door to Heaven is unlocked by the key of faith (that unwavering confident trust that goes beyond all logic and reasoning) in the Messiah.

Christ died on the cross for each of us; shed His blood as the total and complete payment for our sins; (Hebrews 9:22) He was buried in a tomb and on the third day He rose from the dead, alive forevermore and then was seated at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.

Everyone will stand before a Holy God someday and give an account for themselves. (Romans 14:12) Getting saved did not make me perfect; it meant that I have been rescued by God from a path that I was on which was leading me to face an eternity in Hell. Christ provided a way for me to be able to stand free of guilt in the presence of a Holy God by washing away all of my sin with His own blood. (1st John 1:7-9, Revelation 1:5)

Satan will stand as my accuser, but Christ will defeat his accusations in my defense in that Heavenly Court because I have been redeemed by His (Christ’s) blood, the blood of the Lamb. (1 Timothy 2:5, John 1:29)

EVERYONE FAILS GOD IN SOME WAY

We all fail God before and after we get saved. Peter did it, he denied Christ three times. King David did it, he committed adultery and murder. The Apostle Paul acknowledged that he was always struggling with sin, and at times he would fall to sins temptation. The point is that we all fail God in our lives; why? Because we have this sinful flesh that will always war against our spiritual body. (Romans 7:17 – 25)

The difference is that if we have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ then our sins will be forgiven and God will not remember our sins any more, whereas before salvation our sin stood between us and God. (Psalms 103:12, Isaiah 43:25) God told Adam that if he took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Because Adam disobeyed God all of humanity was plunged into sin and the penalty of death passed upon each of us. (Romans 5:12) “For the wages of sin is death” says Romans 6:23. For all of humanity there is a payday someday unless we accept the payment that Christ made for each of us. And because I accepted what He did for me I could rest assured that Heaven would be my home. (Romans 10:9&10, John 10:27-30, John 14:1-3)

THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

For those left behind after the rapture of the church there is hope but it will be very costly.

To continue for you; I’m sure that you are wondering what was the meaning behind the disappearance of so many; and what can I expect to see happen next? All the people who suddenly disappeared, the graves that opened up and are now empty; what happened, and where did they go? The truth is that every believer that trusted Christ for their salvation; their total being was taken out of this world by God in what we Christians called the Rapture. (1st Corinthians 15:51-55) The word Rapture is not found in scripture, it is a Christian term meaning a snatching away. God took us out so that we would not face the fury of His wrath. (1st Thessalonians 5:9) And we are currently with Him during this seven-year period that you are now faced with called the Great Tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble. (Daniel 12:1-13, Matthew 24:1-51, Jeremiah 30:7)

PREPARATION FOR THE DAYS TO COME

I know that you are going to hear all sorts of explanations as to who we were and where we went. And I’m certain that with all of this so-called UFO activity (which I believe to be demonic influence) that the False Prophet will try to link us with that. And with his deceiving tongue (Matthew 24:21-26) some of his explanations are going to be very convincing, but you must by all means reject all of these lies and stick with the truth of God’s Word. You should be searching the scriptures and reading the book of Revelation and the book of Daniel to get a better understanding of these events and to prepare for the days to come. There will be seven years from the date that the Rapture took place until Christ returns to destroy the Antichrist and the False Prophet and all those that follow them. During this first three and one half years the False Prophet will be busy at explaining away the rapture and setting the stage for the Antichrist to set himself up in the Jerusalem Temple as the Messiah. (2 Thessalonians 2:3&4) You will be given peace during this time frame and it will seem as though everything is getting better. But I warn you that this is a temporal peace that will last for a short time.

THE SECOND THREE AND ONE-HALF YEARS OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION

In the second three and one half years of the seven-year Tribulation period it will get worse, much worse. I know that this will be a terrifying time for all of you that will be facing those days but I feel compelled to continually urge you to not be drawn into the lies of the False Prophet and the Antichrist. You need to put aside all of the false explanations that you will be hearing and to simply know that this was God’s doing. You need to hold to The Lord Jesus Christ as your final hope in these last days. The False Prophet will try to convince everyone that they need to take the Mark of the Beast (The Beast is a man who was given the number 666. Six is the representative number for man, 666 represents a super human being with great power. The number 7 is God’s number for perfection and man (6) never gets any closer than this (666) to becoming equal to God). You will be asked to take the mark either in your forehead or on your hand. Charge cards will become a thing of the past, and I suppose that with all of the identity thefts that have happened over the years that The False Prophet will convince many into believing that this is the only way to safeguard against that. People have gotten so use to not paying with cash that this will seem much easier and better. But I warn you that there is a dark sinister meaning behind this mark that is not visible to the naked eye. God totally forbids that anyone should take this mark, for if you do you will be seen as an enemy of God and have absolutely no hope of ever getting to Heaven. (Revelation 14:9-11)

THE LAKE OF FIRE IS A PLACE RESERVED FOR SATAN AND HIS ANGELS AND ALL THOSE THAT REJECT CHRIST

 If you accept this mark then you may as well stop reading right here and now and go on with the few years that you have left in this life and prepare yourself for an awful eternity in the lake of fire where it will be thousands upon thousands of times much worse than anything that you could possibly imagine or suffer during this seven-year Tribulation period. You weigh out the difference in the balance. Seven years of suffering and hardship or a never-ending eternity in the depths of hell. Not only will the lost suffer the eternal fires of hell, they will never have so much as a drop of water to put on their dry tongues (Luke 16:24), they will never have any food to eat, they will never have any sleep or comfort. They will never see nor hear anyone else. They will forever be alone and forgotten by everyone that once knew them.

During the Tribulation period it will seem like Hell on earth. Without the mark of the beast you will not be able to buy nor sell anything. You will be hunted like an animal and taken prisoner as an enemy of the people. You will be killed for not taking the mark and for standing firm with your belief in God. You must hold fast your position until the end. (Matthew 24:13, Revelation 14:12 & 13) If you accept the mark you will never see Heaven and any present suffering that you have put yourself through will have been in vain. What are a few days, a few months or a year or two of these hardships when the end result would be an eternity for you in Heaven?

You cannot be rescued from this seven-year tribulation period in the same way that I had been rescued (saved). The Rapture is now past. Somewhere in your life you have heard or read the gospel message about accepting Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and rejected it. And because you have done this of your own free will you are now faced with this horrible brief seven-year period in history. It will be the worst of times far beyond anything that we have ever imagined, and thank God it will not go beyond the seven years. I urge you to please put your faith and Trust in Jesus Christ at all cost and never waver from it. Everyone will suffer in some way during this Tribulation period. God will pour out His anger upon the world and all will suffer to some degree. But again no matter how horrible or painful it becomes it does not go on forever. If you give in to the False Prophet and Antichrist you will have absolutely no hope. Everyone will live through eternity somewhere; you are the one to decide where.

THE LIES OF SATAN THROUGH THE FALSE PROPHET AND THE ANTICHRIST

The False Prophet and Antichrist will convince multitudes to accept them as their only hope for the future. Remember; they will give the world a peace that will last only 3 ½ years. They will persuade people into believing that it will last forever, but it’s a lie; it will not last. Their hidden objective is to destroy the Jews and anyone who believes and puts their trust in Christ. They will cause children to turn in their parents as enemies of the people. Husbands and wives will turn on one another. Boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés and neighbors; many of them will turn against one another and follow after the Beast. So who do you trust? Can you survive alone?

No matter what happens, you must hold firm to your faith in the word of God and in the Son of God. During this time frame you will not be able to get saved in the same way as I had done, you will be required to forfeit your life in order to gain entry into the Kingdom of God. Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

So please I beg you again, suffer through with whatever it takes and God will rescue and avenge your soul. You need to prepare for this period in your life. So go and do whatever you can to help yourself. I wish that there was more that I could do for you. I can only give you a warning; you will need to do the rest. I pray that if you are left behind after the Rapture of the Church that you will become one of those as mentioned in Revelation 6:9–11 and Revelation 7: 9-17 It will be very frightening, it will be the most difficult time that you have ever faced in your life, it will be painful, but in the end it will be worth it. Think about it, a couple of years of suffering, or an eternity filled with it. Remember that the choice is yours, and like it or not you will choose one of the two.

BEFORE THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

For those that are here before the Rapture of the Church occurs why not take advantage of the gift that God is offering to you? Bow your head in prayer and confess to Christ that you are a lost sinner in need of a Savior. Believe that Christ has died in your place and took all of your sin upon Him and paid the full penalty in your stead. Accept that Christ went to Calvary for you, died on the cross and was buried in a tomb and that on the third day He rose from the grave as a Living Savior and is now seated in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father. Ask Christ to come into your heart and be your personal Lord and Savior and to wash you with His shed blood so that all of your past, present and future sins may be washed away forever. Amen!

If you have done this then you are now a child of God and have the right to call Him Abba, Father. Romans 8:14-17

Pray for the lost to be saved; ask God to fill you with His Spirit so that you have the power needed to win lost souls to Him. Go to the lost and present the gospel of Christ to them and lead them in prayer to the saving of their souls. Everyone must personally come to Christ seeking His forgiveness. We cannot do it for them. It is a personal thing that they must do for themselves. But you can help them with their prayer and God will bless you for it. If you don’t know how to witness to someone then feel free to share this message with them.

By all means pass this on to others to place in their Bibles to help someone who will face the Tribulation period. Time is of the essence; Christ stands at the very threshold of coming for His children.

Every one of us that are saved as a born again believer in Christ will come to realize that this present world is as close to hell as we will ever get. For those that are lost in their sins on that final day, then this present world is as close as they will ever get to Heaven.

THE QUESTION OF THE DAY

How old does a person need to be to die? How old will you be when you die? Is it possible that it could happen at any time; even today? If you were to die today, do you know for sure that you would go to heaven? Read the following references regarding this all important question. (1st John 5:13, John 3:14-18, John 10:27-30)

May the Holy Spirit protect this moment from any influence by Satan that would prevent you from opening up your heart to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. Through the power of his name and the cleansing of his blood we ask it. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!

A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT

By: Gary L. Rodgers

Emphasis on I Peter 2:2

 Hello Family and Friends,

I wanted to send you this great website. http://www.blueletterbible.org/

I use this website a great deal and I believe that you will find it equally rewarding in your Bible studies. The site has a whole host of useful tools and helps, and it incorporates the use of the Strong’s Concordance as well. I like the ease in which I can search out scripture and word studies. But no matter what you read always keep in mind that the ultimate answer to everything that we need is in the bible, which points to Christ.

The bible was not written to make us feel good about ourselves it was written to show man that no matter how hard we try by our own efforts we are a hopelessly lost sinner[1] that needs a Savior. But it does give us hope, assurance, and a peace that goes beyond all understanding. And the answer that it provides to all of our needs is Jesus Christ[2] and Him only. It never has been and never will be Jesus Christ plus (church membership, baptism, and good works). It has to be Jesus only and nothing more, else the more becomes the deciding factor for salvation and Jesus becomes nothing.

It is my hope and desire for you that you will study God’s Word and win souls to Christ. There are people who you will come in contact with that are waiting for you to present the gospel of Christ to them. Not everyone that you talk to will get saved in that moment of witnessing. But I encourage you to give them the gospel.[3] It may be that you were meant to sow the seed to them that day.[4] It could be that someone else has sown the seed but you were to water it. And eventually you will reap the harvest. A lot of people won’t get saved until they are hanging onto their last straw of hope. It’s in those moments of desperation that they will recall what you said to them that they cry[5] out to the Lord to save them. So I encourage you to keep planting the seed[6]. It will yield its strength in the time of harvest.

The bible was not written so that we would understand everything that we read as we go through it. There is the matter of growth and in 1Peter 2:2 we find that we are like new-born babes when we first get saved and as a hungry baby we should desire the sincere milk of the word (spiritual food in the bible) so that we can grow through the various stages from infancy through adolescence into adulthood. When you first read the bible you will glean from it just like an infant those things that are soft and easy to digest or understand. And as we keep reading (feeding upon the word) we will in time grow and grasp things more and more, and eventually grow into spiritual adulthood. We have a natural tendency to get ahead of ourselves and someone needs to slow us down and bring us back to where we are in our growth.

Growing up I couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license. It was my ticket to becoming my own Boss; it was my ticket to freedom. And so how many of us would hand over our car keys to our twelve-year-old and say there you go have at it! No, there is some training involved and it also involves responsibility and maturity. We might even want to be some famous race car driver, and that in itself takes even more training and discipline. Growing and maturing in the word of God happens in the same way, it is a process that happens over time and as we become more responsible and mature by putting to practice what we learn, God will eventually trust us enough to hand over the car keys. Will we have Christian fender benders as we grow? Yes! And yes we will at times have an accident, and there are times when we will have an all-out wreck. But we will eventually get back behind the wheel a little more cautiously and hopefully a little wiser. Don’t get discouraged when you have trials.[7] It doesn’t always mean that you are doing something wrong. Sometimes a trial comes along that is in reality a stepping stone to your next level of spiritual growth and maturity. Trials are also a witness that you are a child of God.[8]

In closing I wish to encourage you to keep reading and to keep growing but by all means don’t throw away the keys. You will learn to slow down and you will gain the experience that you need to become a mature responsible driver (reader and student of the word).

I hope that what I have given you becomes a help to you and that you will pass this along to others along the way. I am certain of one thing, we all will face eternity and when we stand before God how will we answer Him when He asks why we should be allowed to enter into Heaven? There is only one answer and that is because we have put our faith (our absolute and final trust) in Jesus only! There are no plus’ that can be added to Christ.

Keep reading, keep growing and don’t let the fender benders get you down. You will run through traffic lights and stop signs, but the confidence that we can all have is that God has a great repair shop like none other!!!!!!!!!!!

Saved by the Grace of God!

Gary L. Rodgers

THE INVITATION

God has a plan for your life. First of all He wants you by faith to become one of His children so that He can teach you and train you. Christ stands at the door of your heart wanting to come in. By bowing your head in prayer and confessing to Him that you are a sinner in need of a Savior he will forgive you for your sins, and the Holy Spirit will come into your heart to teach you and train you in the Word of God. Salvation is a free gift that was paid for by the blood of Christ and is offered to everyone throughout the world. To receive it, follow along in prayer and repeat the following words by faith.

Dear Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for every sin that I have ever committed. Please wash away all of my sins with your blood. I believe in You, I trust in You, I know that you died on the cross for me, and I believe that you resurrected form the grave for me. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. In the name of your son Jesus Christ I ask it. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!


[1] Isaiah 53:6

[2] 1 Thessalonians 5:9

[3] John 3:16

[4] 1Corinthians 3:6 – 9

[5] Psalm 107:6, Jonah 2:1 & 2

[6] Luke 8:4 – 15

[7] James 1:2 – 8

[8] Job 5:17, Psalms 3:11 & 12, Hebrews 12:5 – 8

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