Always Be Vigilant

Matthew 24:38 “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,”

“For as in the days that were before the flood”: Not all the days before the flood, from the creation of the world; but those immediately preceding it, a century or two before it: they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage: not that these civil actions of life were criminal in themselves, had care been taken that they were not abused.

It is lawful to eat and drink, provided it be in moderation, and not to excess; and to marry, and give in marriage, when the laws, rules, and ends thereof, are observed: and therefore this must be understood, either of their wholly giving themselves up to the pleasures of life, and lusts of the flesh, without any concern about the affairs of religion, the worship and glory of God, the welfare of their souls and their approaching danger, of which Noah had given them warning.

Or of their luxury and intemperance, in eating and drinking, and of their libidinous and unlawful marriages; for the word here used for eating, signifies eating after the manner of brute beasts: they indulged themselves in a brutish way, in gluttony and drunkenness; and it is certain from the account given of them, in Genesis 6:2 that they entered into unlawful marriages, and unclean copulations.

Wherefore these things may be spoken of them, as what were really sinful and wicked, and denote a course of sinning, a constant practice of these sins of intemperance and lust, and which is still more fully expressed, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.

The observation that the people of Noah’s day “knew not” the severity and suddenness of the coming destruction indicates that this last generation will be totally unprepared for the “coming of the Son of man,” the return of Christ to judge the world (see 2 Thess. 1:7-8).

The reference to “two” being in the field or at work at the time of Christ’s return implies the suddenness of His coming to separate the lost and the saved.

Amen

Our Gifts from Yeshua

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

When we first turn to Ephesians 2:8-9, the first thing we notice is that we are confronted with a whole list of spiritual-sounding words: grace, saved, faith, gift, works. Even those of us who have been in God’s church for many years and who may clearly understand each of these words individually, are slowed down in our comprehension of these verses when faced with such terms presented one after the other.

So let us take a very brief Greek lesson. Please take the time to study these words in more detail. Here are the key terms contained in this scripture in English and Greek, the Strong’s Concordancereference number, and, to make the meanings clearer, other English terms translated in the New Testament from the same Greek words:

  • Grace (#5485): charis (khar’-ece). Also translated as favor, thanks, thank, pleasure.
  • Saved (#4982): sozo (sode’-zo). Also translated as make whole, heal, be whole.
  • Faith (#4102): pistis. Also translated as assurance, believe, belief, those who believe, fidelity.
  • Gift (#1435): doron. Also translated as present, offering.
  • Works (#2041): ergon. Also translated as deed, doing, labor.

We have just learned that ergon is the original Greek for the English word “works.” It does not appear to be a very difficult, ambiguous, or confusing term. But what do the many people and churches who

claim that works are not required perceive “works” to be?

Opinions vary. One group perceives works to mean the whole law in general. A second group perceives works as specific portions of God’s law, which they look upon as being “Jewish” or “Old Covenant,” or that they are just not willing to keep and teach. A third group, amazingly enough in their rejection of it, perceives this term as meaning works of charity in general!

Individuals or groups who choose to substitute the word “law” for the word “works” in Ephesians 2:8-9, and who thus say that New Testament Christians do not have to keep God’s law, do not appear to mean it totally and literally. Instead, most of them reserve the right to choose which parts of the law they wish to keep (“You shall not kill,” “You shall not steal,” etc.) and those that they do not wish to keep (“Remember the Sabbath,” holy days, tithing, clean and unclean meats, etc.). God has nowhere given authority to His people to be selective in these matters, thus this stance toward the law is inconsistent and even hypocritical.

The church of God has always agreed one hundred percent with those who say that salvation is a gift, and that a Christian cannot earn salvation by charitable works or by obedience to God’s law. However, obedience is a condition we must meet before God will give us His free gift of salvation. New Testament evidence is overwhelming on the matter. Here are just a few verses:

· And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey him. (Acts 5:32)

· He who says, “I know him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I John 2:4)

· So He said to [the rich young ruler], “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)

· If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)

The apostle Paul, in Ephesians 2:8-9, does not say that works are not required at all. The purpose of his statement is to show that works do not save us, but that grace and faith do! In fact, the very next verse, verse 10, shows that God calls members of His church for the very purpose of performing good works: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

The apostle’s language is very clear. God desires us to walk in good works, and He has prepared our spiritual educational process so that we will learn to do them. Doing good works in the name of Jesus Christ is a major part of the purpose for the life of each true Christian. We cannot truly be Christians without them!

Longing For Heaven

“For we know that if the earthly tent [physical body] we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-2

Physical death for Christians holds the promise of a new, perfect body in heaven where we will live eternally with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God designed us to be homesick for heaven. We will never be completely at peace until we share eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I’ve heard it said that each of us has a hole in the heart that only God can fill. That hole can never be filled completely until we are in our eternal home with the Lord.

Amen

Cathey Lynn