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Last Will and Testament

By Glenn Ward

          For a will to take effect there must be the death of the testator (Hebrew 9:16-17), The New Testament is the last will and testament of Jesus Christ, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This law came into effect when the first gospel was preached, on the day of Pentecost, almost two thousand years ago (Acts chapter 2). The old law delivered to Moses was nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:13-14). The old Law of Moses was replaced by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whoever lives under of the Law of Christ must obey the gospel if he or she wants to go to heaven. Wills can not be changed after the death of the testator. The gospel can not be changed. It will be in effect until Jesus comes again and the world is destroyed (2 Peter 3:1-10). Some have said that the gospel is out of date and needs to be updated. However, the scriptures are of God and are true (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Man can not add to or take away from the gospel of Jesus Christ (Revelation 22: 18-19).

          The apostle Paul was concerened with those at Galatia who were falling away from the gospel to another gospel. He said there was not another gospel but that the gospel of Christ was being perverted (Galatians 1:6-7). Wills can not be altered or changed in any way. Wills must be executed exactly as stated. We have a great inheritance that we will receive on judgment day. However, to receive the inheritance we must fulfill all the requirements stated in the will. This must be done while we are alive in the flesh. Now is the time to study the gospel of Christ and obey all the commands. We can not depend upon others to tell us what to do. Men will pervert the gospel and give us wrong information from the gospel. John encourages Christians to examine those that teach, because there were a lot of false teachers in the world (1John 4:1-3). There were a lot of false teachers when John was living and there must be many more today. We must study the Bible for ourselves to find the truth. That does not mean we can not go to others for help in our study. However, the Bible must be the final authority in our study. It is very important not to take a verse out of context. Taking verses out of context, one can prove almost anything man would want. Paul warned Timothy that some would stray away from the truth to find someone that taught what they believed (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

          Satan has influenced many that God is a loving God and it really does not matter how they lived their lives. They say God loves you and will give you the inheritance. There are a lot of men who are sincere in their beliefs. However, these men and women believe and are teaching lies. That is why we must study and rightly understand God’s word. Satan will try to be seen as God’s righteousness but, he is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). Think about it; God gave His only Son to die on the cross to pay for the sins of the world (Romans 5:8). Do you think He will allow sinners to enter into heaven? Every sin is against God which caused the crucifixion of His only Son. Our lives will be compared to the laws of the New Testament. We will answer for what we do in our physical bodies, good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). Everything we do must be by the authority of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:15-17).

          Our souls will live forever. However, only two places have been prepared for them. One place was designed for the devil, his angels, and those whose names are not in the book of life (Revelation chapter 20). The other place is in heaven with God (John 14:1-4). In which place do want to live eternally?


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Loving Your Enemies

By Glenn Ward

          Last week the article was about loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. This week we are going to explore the meaning of loving our enemies. Jesus told His disciples that they heard it said to love your neighbor and hate your enemies. He taught them to love their enemies and return good for evil (Matthew 5:43-45). God did not command the Jews to hate their enemies. They were to teach others about the Law of Moses and persuade them to become proselytes. God would punish those who did evil things to the Jews. Today He says that vengeance belongs to Him, He will repay those that do us harm (Romans 12:19). There was not a law for the Jews to hate their enemies; it was a tradition of man. The nature of man is to repay evil for evil. We can see the attitude of those around us who are willing to forgive but want to get even with those who do them harm. We find it difficult at times to love our neighbor let alone an enemy.

          Who is our enemy? There are not many today that have suffered unto death for Jesus Christ. The scriptures say that friends of the world are the enemies of God (James 4:4). The enemies of God are, also, the enemies of Christians. Our enemies could be members of our physical family. They can be our neighbors or citizens of foreign countries. Our enemies can be anyone that opposes Jesus Christ and those that try to do us wrong. We may not suffer physical but may suffer verbal assaults or financial losses. We might even suffer the loss of a family member. Suppose somebody killed a member of your family could you return good for that evil. God gave the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, that we might live. Jesus dying on the cross asked His Father to forgive those who ridiculed, beat, and crucified Him on the cross (Luke 23:24). His father offered everybody salvation if they would obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those that obeyed the gospel were saved and their sins forgiven (Acts 2:14-47). The offer of salvation remains until Jesus returns again. Jesus, in that day, will take vengeance upon those who knew not God or did not obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:1-12). If it is the nature of man to do evil for evil, how can we learn to return good for evil? One must change, or program his conscience, to be in agreement with the gospel. He or she must read and study the Bible. We, at first, may or may not be able to quote book, chapter, and verse but have a general knowledge of what is right or wrong. As we learn we are filling our minds with knowledge from the Bible. As we learn the laws of God we need learn to control our bodies to react in a godly way to situations.

          What does it mean to love our enemies? This love does not mean that we desire to socialize with them. This love desires us to do what is best for others. We will not try to get even or take vengeance on those that are against us. We return good for the evil that is done to us. We can pray for them that they might accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved. Being able to forgive is very important not only to the one who is forgiven but, also, to the one that is forgiving. I would say it is more important to the one that is forgiving. If we are unwilling to forgive God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15). Those that we forgive may not even want to be forgiven. Jesus asked His Father to forgive those who were against Him and the majority of the people did not want the forgiveness. The apostles even had some trouble with how many times forgive a person. Peter asked if we forgive a person up to seven times. Jesus said we must give up to seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). The number of times we must forgive is unlimited.


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Brotherly Love

By Glenn Ward

          Our love for God must be first in our lives. We are commanded to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul. Next we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 26:36-40). If we love our God we must love our brothers and sisters in Christ (1John 5:6). We are, also, to love our wives as we love ourselves. Wives are to love their husbands Ephesians 5:22, 29). Children are to love their parents and parents are to love their parents (Ephesians 6:4; Titus 2:4). We are even commanded to love our enemies (Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:43-44). Love is an important part of our lives. This type of love does not come naturally. This is not a lustful type of love. We are not fulfilling or satisfying the lust of our bodies. This love thinks about others and not self.

          Brotherly love is important part of the church. Jesus because He loved us purchased the church with his blood (Acts 20:28). He gave His life that we might live eternally in heaven (Romans 5:8). God is love and we must love Him if we want to be in the church (1 John 4:8, 16). If we love God we must love those in the church. The church will grow stronger with greater love. Those on the outside the body of Christ will see this love within us. We cannot actually see love but we see the actions which are the results of this love. The apostle Paul said whatever we do in the world without love amounts to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). We do not profit anything and are like a clanging cymbal or a sounding brass. We are not laying up treasures in heaven. We will be judged upon what we do here on earth compared with the commands in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). It is appointed for man to die once and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).  

          Let us list the important things about brotherly love. The list is not in any specific order of importance because all are equally important. If we do not love our brothers and sisters in Christ we cannot love God. How can we love God which we cannot see if we do not love those we can see (1 John 4:20). The world will judge us and the church by how we show this love. Do we prefer to associate with Christians over others in the world? Without brotherly love we cannot go to heaven because we breaking a law of God (1 John 4:21). Brotherly love is a test as to whether we are in the Lord or not. Loving our brothers and sisters is proof that we are in Christ (1John 5:2).

          This love is long suffering; we are patient with others and with ourselves. Things can go wrong but we do not let ourselves get out of control. We are not impatient with others; we tolerate little things that they do that annoy us. This love is kind. We must be kind to others. We are taught to treat others as we would like others to treat us. We even go a step further and treat others with kindness when they treat us badly. Brotherly love is not selfish; we think of others more than ourselves. Serving others as we see their needs is the same as serving Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:31-46).  Brotherly love does not cause us to become envious of others (1 Corinthians 13:4). We laugh when they laugh and we cry when they cry. This love cast out fear. We do not fear the life to come. We can stand boldly before the throne of Christ on judgment day (Hebrew 4:16). To be bold does not mean we are boastful. We assured ourselves that we are doing our best in serving God. We do not have to fear death because we know that heaven is prepared for us. We are prepared to meet our savior.


Last Will and Testament

By Glenn Ward           For a will to take effect there must be the death of the...
article post

Loving Your Enemies

By Glenn Ward           Last week the article was about loving our brothers and sisters...
article post

Brotherly Love

By Glenn Ward           Our love for God must be first in our lives. We are commanded to...
article post