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Things We Can't Do Without
"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12)
There are many things in this world that we can easily get along without, but some that are absolutely essential: First of all, we need Christ. Otherwise we are like the Gentiles described in our text--"without Christ . . . having no hope, and without God in the world."
Secondly, if we were ever to be saved, Christ must shed His blood for our sins, for "without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). In order for His death to be effective for our salvation, He was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
Then, before Christ’s work actually becomes effective in our personal salvation, it must be believed and received by faith, for "without faith it is impossible to please him" (Hebrews 11:6). This faith must be true faith, which transforms the life, for "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). Works do not bring salvation, but saving faith brings "things that accompany salvation" (Hebrews 6:9).
Among those things that accompany salvation is holiness, "without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Another is the privilege of chastisement! Our heavenly Father must deal with His errant children in loving discipline. Otherwise, "if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye . . . not sons" (Hebrews 12:8).
There are thus seven things we cannot do without. We cannot do without Christ, without the shedding of His blood, without His sinlessness, without faith in Him, without works for Him, without holiness unto Him, and without chastisement by Him. He said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). But with Him, we have everything. HMM
Matthew11: 28. Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Considering that heaven is the eternal home of the believer, it is surprising how little we seem to know about it, and how much we think we know that is not actually in the Bible. Also, everyone who has grieved the loss of a Christian loved one has probably wondered where that person is right now—before Jesus comes back and establishes his eternal kingdom on earth. Beginning with the thought-provoking article from CHRISTIANITY TODAY, "Finding Heaven," this study will help your group explore Scripture's tantalizing insights into our eternal home. SCRIPTURE: Luke 16:19-31; 23:39-43; 24:13-43; 1 Corinthians 15:35-57; 2 Corinthians 5:1-5; 12:4; Hebrews 12:1; Revelation 2:7; 19-22
Hell "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:15)God makes it clear that all "the fearful, the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21:8). Actually, Jesus Christ said more about hell than anyone else in the Bible. To the unsaved, He will say: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). The lake of fire is not here on the earth. The beast and the false prophet are to be cast into the lake of fire before the binding of Satan for a thousand years; then the present earth itself is to be removed, and finally Satan will be "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10; see also 19:20; 20:2, 7, 10-11). Thus the lake of fire is in existence both before and after the removal of the present earth, and will continue to exist forever.
Those "that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" are to be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Rather than questioning the reality of hell, which is the just destiny of all who reject or ignore the free gift of salvation provided by the infinite love and sacrificial suffering of God Himself in Christ on their behalf, men and women should come to Christ in faith and "be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:9).
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