Posted by: missionventureministries | November 14, 2019

HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF TO LEAD A PERSON TO CHRIST – John 1:40-42

One of the two, who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). John 1:40-42

We cannot overemphasize the great need that exists today for Christians to be prepared to lead others to a personal knowledge and experience of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every true born again Christian should not only have the absolute assurance of his own salvation, but should know how to lead others into such assurance. There is no greater task than this.

However, there are three important requirements before anyone can successfully lead a soul to Christ.

The one who is teaching must be totally surrendered, purified and live a Spirit-filled life, (Romans 6:12-13). As Paul tells young Timothy that “everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness” (2 Timothy 2:19). And that we are not to get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, … always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ (Ephesians 5:18, 20-21). It is the true born again believer who is fully at the disposal of the Lord, empowered by Him, whom the Lord uses.

We need to have a complete reliance upon the Holy Spirit. Only as we experience His restraining and direction in our lives shall we be used as soul-winners. We cannot do this work, if we lack wisdom (James 1:5); discernment (Proverbs 11:30), and we must abide in the Vine (John 15:5) and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

We have to have a working knowledge of the Scriptures; being always able to point someone to the Word of God and show what Scripture says. To do this, we must know our Bible and where to find the references.

Many Christians do not know how to lead a soul to Christ. Do you? Could you use your Bible to point a sinner to the Savior, revealing God’s way of salvation and directing them to the necessary scripture references?

If your answer is no but you would like to know how, than ask Him, because the Bible tells us: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Soul-winning is the greatest work in the world, and if we are willing then we should know how to do it, as we read in the Acts 8:29-39, where Phillip brings the eunuch to salvation. And in Acts 16:25-34 where Paul and Silas lead the jailer and his whole household to the Lord.

Are you ready to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth? Then, study and show yourself worthy, ask the Lord to give you the desire and the knowledge to be fully prepared, so that you can do what Andrew, Philip and Paul and Silas did.

Keep in mind that every case is different, but we need to be prepared praying without ceasing for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest; remembering what Paul said: I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).

Here are some steps and Bible verses to memorize if you have a burden for the lost:

First show the NEED of salvation. Explain to a lost person, who is willing to hear, that by nature we are all sinners (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23); that our sin has brought death (Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-2), and separation from God. It has brought judgment from God (John 3:18); and that is why we need a Savior.

This is where we must begin, because no one wants to come to Christ until he is mindful of his need and longing in the soul.

Then we need to show that WE CANNOT SAVE OURSELVES. If we are to be saved, someone outside ourselves must do it for us!

We need to emphasize these truths as stated in: 

  • Ephesians 2:8-10, for by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. 
  • And in Titus 3:5-7, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We need to explain that the Lord Jesus died upon the cross FOR OUR SINS, and that He lives TO SAVE all who come to God through Him. 

This truth is made abundantly clear in such verses as Isaiah 53:5-6; John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24 and Hebrews 7:25.

We need to show those who are searching that the Lord Jesus is able and willing to forgive (Mark 2:10; Acts 13:38-39); cleanse (1 John 1:9); and to impart eternal life (John 5:40; John 10:10; 1 John 5:10-12).

That the way to be saved is to BELIEVE IN the Lord Jesus Christ; and we should reinforce their belief by pointing them to verses such as John 3:36; John 5:24; and John 1:12. And that we are not to be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).   

Explain that the assurance of salvation does not depend upon FEELINGS but upon WHAT GOD SAYS. If you come to Jesus, He will receive you because He says so (John 6:37); if you ask God to save you, He will do it because He promises to (Romans 10:13); if you ask the Lord Jesus to come into your being He will do so because He says He will (Revelation 3:20). 

OPEN CONFESSION should follow after believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 10:32-33 and Romans 10:9-10 are two key references which emphasize the importance of this. 

And lastly please remember this precious verse: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 25-26). 

After much prayer and preparation led by the Holy Spirit, underline all the above references in your Bible; study them, make sure you understand them; memorize them, or quickly know where to find them in your Bible! 

Once ready, go out remembering to: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth(2 Timothy 2:15).

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Posted by: missionventureministries | November 7, 2019

THE SOWER AND THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SOILS – Luke 8:4-15

Jesus spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When He said this, He called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (Luke 8:5-8)

The first thing to note is that Jesus was teaching about a subject that was very familiar to the Jewish people. In ancient times people passed through the countryside, walking everywhere they went or riding on an animal, and they had to go through fields that were being prepared to produce a crop. These areas became the paths that people used to get to their destination.

 

Historians tell us that the paths were normally only about four to three-feet wide so that not an excessive amount of land was wasted on pathways. As a result the pathways became hard, beaten down by the sun, the wind, hooves of animals and the feet of people who walked on them every day, making it very hard for the seed to have any opportunity to penetrate the soil and grow.

As we see from Jesus’ parable, the seeds that fell on these paths just lie there until the birds came and ate them. 

Then Jesus talks about the seed that fell on rocky places where they did not have much soil. What that means is not that there were stones in the soil. When a farmer plowed a field, he plowed the stones out as deep as the plow went, and he would get all the stones out; but in Israel there are large plates of limestone rock that lie beneath the surface and beneath where the plow could reach. So the farmer did his best to plow the field and was not aware of what lied further down of what he had prepared. This is what Jesus referred to as the rocky soil.

Therefore when seed fell upon this kind of soil, it would set forth roots and it would quickly sprout like any other seed would. The problem is that because of the rock bed below, the roots could not reach water which a plant needs. So as they grew and the hot sun came up, the plant withered and died because it needed moisture and could not get it.

The third kind of soil is the one where the seed fell among the weeds. We need to understand that the farmer prepared this soil very carefully; however, the weeds that had grown there before had left their seeds behind. Once the farmer sowed his field, the sun came out and the weeds started to grow at a much faster pace than the good seeds. They sucked out all the moisture and the nourishment that’s in the soil, leaving nothing for the fragile young plant that was trying to grow. The weeds grew so much faster and cast shadows over the good seeds so the sun could not get to them and they finally died.

Now the last seeds Jesus talks about fell on soil that was good, and had no interferences. This soil is deep, rich and clean soil and depending on the field’s amount of nutrients and size it produced a thirty-fold, sixty-fold to a hundredfold crop.

Then Jesus finishes the parable by saying “whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Afterwards when He was alone, His disciples asked Him what this parable meant and He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ (Luke 8:9-10)

God is the one who reveals spiritual truths to those who are willing to accept them; however those who do not want to learn will not understand. How blessed are those who do understand the parables of Jesus; because, not only do they gain the benefit of the spiritual truth illustrated; they also display a responsiveness to the Holy Spirit.

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.” Each true conversion is the result of planting the gospel into a pure heart. The word produces (James 1:18), saves (James 1:21), regenerates (1 Peter 1:23), sets free (John 8:32), produces faith (Romans 10:17), sanctifies (John 17:17) and draws us to God (John 6:44-45).  The soils are the different people; and the human heart is the one who makes the decision about the message.

Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Representing those who hear the truth, but like hardened paths they do not let it penetrate, and before long Satan comes and takes the truth away. If people do not receive and respond to the word with faith, their opportunity will be stolen by the evil one. Jesus called people to repent and really start living; they rebelled and refused to listen to His warnings; “they refused to hear – then they could not hear,” because their hearts and conscience was hardened and seared.

We need to understand that one of Satan’s chief works is to keep men in darkness regarding their understanding of the gospel as 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Apparently Satan is at work during the teaching and preaching of God’s word. Satan knows that when it is taught or preached, he needs to be busy against it doing everything to distract and to keep the person from the truth of God’s Word.

Jesus continues explaining the parable to them. “Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”

The stony ground pictures a person who professes delight with the Word; however, their heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, their “so-called faith” quickly disappears. The sun is symbolic of the tribulations and trials that we face in life, and those who lack the depth and the needed trust in the word of God, easily wither away.

They were outwardly enthusiastic about Jesus, but inwardly they do not take their commitment to heart. Sadly, there are a lot of these folks in churches.

“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.”

The thorny ground depicts one who seems to receive the Word, but whose heart is full of riches, pleasures, and lusts; the things of this world take their time and attention away from the Word, and they ends up having no time to read it and thereby getting choked by the world. The person remains in the thicket of the problems and cares of life. These people give more importance to the world than the words that could give them eternal life because they would have to give up too much of worldly things to make a commitment to Christ.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

The good ground portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word; and then allows the Word to accomplish its result in their life. Their hearts receive the message with faith, and the seed takes root. The person represented by the “good ground” is the only one of the four who is truly saved, because salvation’s proof is by its fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

For them, the true riches lie in the kingdom of God for they are eternal, while the riches of this world are perishable, and can be easily stolen.

Remember that a person’s reception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of their heart which is represented by the soil. And as the seed that falls on good soil, our responsibility is to grow in scriptural knowledge, kindness, patience, and godly love, producing healthy and good fruit.

Therefore, like the Sower-Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to proclaim the message of the kingdom, the gospel, to the world, which represents the seed. We are to share His Word and His love, with an attitude of meek, humble, and godly service. And most importantly, we have the responsibility to grow into the perfect image of our Savior, Jesus Christ, remembering to pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

May our faith and our life exemplify the “good soil” taught in this parable.

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 24, 2019

UNDERSTANDING BIBLICAL PROPHECIES IN THE 21st CENTURY – Daniel 12:4

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4) 

The books of Daniel and Revelation contain the most detailed description of the end time’s prophecy of any books in the Bible.

The end time’s revelation given to Daniel by God through and angel is recorded in Chapters 10 and 11; culminating in the last Chapter of his writings.

The Book of Daniel was written approximately between the years of 540 and 530 B.C.

In comparison, the Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to the apostle John by God by sending his angel to His servant during his imprisonment at the isle of Patmos “to show his servants what must soon take place.”

The Book of Revelation is estimated to have been written between A.D. 90 and 95.

Consequently, we see that the span between the two writings is anywhere between 620 and 635 year. And the differences we see is that the angel says to Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end. Whereas in the book of Revelation the angel says to John, do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near (Revelation 22:10).

When the angel tells Daniel to seal the book until the time of the end, Daniel is perplexed as he states in verses 8-10, I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.”

Daniel’s prophesy were not actually sealed from being read, but because they were not be able to be interpreted until the time when they would come to pass, they would not be understood.

Yes, Daniel recorded amazing prophecies; chapter 11 alone contains over one hundred specific prophecies of historical events that literally came true, and only now those who are wise understand and can read what Daniel obediently recorded, but even for Daniel they were “closed up and sealed.”

Many shall run to and fro – Daniel could not have imagined our present society, with speeding automobiles all over the land and airplanes filling our skies! In very little time, the world advanced from horse and buggy to spacecraft, and almost everyone is running to and fro.

And knowledge shall increase – Daniel prophesied that there would be an increase in knowledge. Not only will science and information technology increase, but biblical and prophetic knowledge will be so much better understood with all the historical and technical information we have today, and with the ongoing discoveries of archaeological sites, proving the credibility of the Bible.

Just imagine a person reading Revelation 13:15-17, seventy to eighty years ago, what must have been going through their mind? “The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.”

Our generation on the other hand, fully understands how that can happen because, today we have holograms that project an image of a person thousands of miles away so real that you think they are right there as you watch them speak or perform.

Today we have biochip implant technology, radio-frequency identification (RFID) which is a form of personnel tracking and identification, and we are living in a nearly total surveillance society. Everything is being done through e-commerce and pretty soon you will not be able to function without having even more mandatory artificial intelligence technology.

Those who study prophecy realize that the enemy is working very shrewdly because he knows that his time is getting shorter; just as God is saying to Daniel that the closer we get to the time of the actual fulfillment of those prophetic events given to him, the clearer the details will become.

How could we have understood some of the prophecies about Israel’s restoration until they were actually fulfilled?

We have to understand that God’s prophecies do come to pass as we read in another example where God told Ezekiel that, “I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land” (Ezekiel 34:13). The prophet said that God would gather the people of Israel scattered throughout the world and bring them back to “their own land.” Therefore, as the Bible predicted, after thousands of years of being scattered the Jewish people could return to their own land, because on May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the state of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.

As we see, knowledge has indeed increased and continues to do so at an alarming pace and the Internet provides us with an incredible amount of information that we can access from basically anywhere in the world.

Consequently, because of historical developments like the re-establishment of the state of Israel, and the technological developments like computers and the Internet, we now understand end time prophecies much better.

God is opening the minds of those who are wise and are searching and they now understand things that no generation has ever understood before. That should alert us that we are living very close to the last days.

Therefore, the explosive increase in science and rapid travel in our day is one of the many God-given signs that the return of Christ is near! The crucial question is, “Are you ready for the Lord’s return?” We sure hope so! If not, we hope that you will read HOW TO BECOME A TRUE CRISTIAN and refrain from the tragedy of an eternity in hell.

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 17, 2019

WHY I NO LONGER DO THE THINGS I DID BEFORE I WAS SAVED – 2 Corinthians 5:17

I no longer do the things I did before I was saved, because I have been reborn as a completely new creature. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The Christian life is one of death to self and rising to walk a new life. As Paul said: “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).

The new life is characterized by thoughts about Him, who saved me, and strengthens the new nature by my continually feeding on the Word of God, and through prayer I call upon His power to “not let sin reign in (my) mortal body so that (I) obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:12).

As I read the Bible I found out that “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:32)

And that if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

Therefore, It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

My life of freedom in Christ is not a freedom to do anything I want to do but to have the uninterrupted, Spirit-sustaining power, as I rest in the finished work of Christ (Romans 8:3-4).

God gives true Christians new desires as the psalmist wrote: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Humanity, however, needs to understand that God’s gift of rebirth is not achieved through human effort or merit, but comes through God’s mercy alone. Titus 3:5-7 tells us, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

The new birth happened when I recognized that all man kind was born with a sinful nature for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that the penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Because of our sin, we can’t know and experience God’s love and we are spiritually separated from Him.

To remedy the situation, God sent His only Son to die in our place; to take the penalty for our sin (Romans 5:8). After Jesus’ death, He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6); and after forty days He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), where He sits at the right of the Father interceding for us (Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20).

Jesus is our only way to God (John 14:6) and He gives us the gift of salvation. You can receive God’s gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and experience new birth (John 3:1-8).

Being born again is not performed or achieved by religious ceremony or traditional rite. The Bible states that God “does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34-35). Therefore, becoming born again is a personal choice, available for everyone to receive. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Receiving Jesus means trusting Him to come into your life to forgive your sins and to make you the new person He desires you to be.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 10, 2019

WHAT IS THE UNPARDONABLE SIN? – Matthew 12:31-32

Jesus Christ called the Holy Spirit the “Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13) and warned us, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:31-32). 

As we see, there is one sin a person can commit for which there is no forgiveness or pardon either in this age or in the age to come; which is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. 

“Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” is a conscious and hardened opposition to the truth, “because the Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6). It is a defiant disrespect, besides being a hardened resistance to the truth, leading a person away from humility and repentance; and without repentance there can be no forgiveness. That is why the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit cannot be forgiven, since the person who does not acknowledge his sin does not seek to be forgiven. 

In (Matthew 12:22-32), the guilty party, is a group of Pharisees, which had witnessed irrefutable evidence that Jesus was working miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit, yet they claimed that He was possessed by the prince of demons, Beelzebul (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22). 

This wasn’t just a matter of a sudden thoughtless word or an instant reaction; their words represented a hardened attitude and an embittered and impenitent heart. If we follow the references to these scribes throughout the book of Mark we’ll see there is a progression to their unbelief. They were initially curious about Jesus and His ministry. Then they had questions. In time, they grew indifferent; but then their indifference festered into a hateful attitude that became so odious and vengeful that it ultimately nailed Jesus Christ to the cross.  

When God convicts a person of sin and presents them with the Gospel, it’s dangerous to neglect it, especially if the procrastination becomes chronic. When resistance to the word of God becomes a habit, after a while, a person can become so hard-hearted and sin-hardened that their soul grows insensitive.

When this happens the person’s ears cannot receive the truth and their minds shake off the conviction of the Spirit. Although the grace of God at this point is still available to them, the person keeps pushing away from it. 

As we read, the scribes “teachers of the law” had become defiant to the truth because of the attitude of their own evil hearts. This is tragic, because, the scribes had devoted their lives to copying the Word of God. These men had copied and recopied the Old Testament. They knew Micah 5 and the prophecy of our Lord’s birth. Yet their hearts had become so hardened they couldn’t receive Jesus Christ their Messiah when He arrived. 

The scribes’ original aim was to know and preserve the Law and encourage others to keep it. But things turned horribly wrong when man-made traditions overshadowed God’s Word and a pretense of holiness replaced a life of true godliness. The scribes, whose stated goal was to preserve the Word, actually nullified it by the traditions they handed down (Mark 7:13). 

Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry, He thoroughly condemned the scribes for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23). And as Jesus said, they knew the Law, and they taught it to others, but they did not obey it.

By crediting the miracles of Jesus to Satan, the religious leaders were denying the deity of Jesus Christ. They were saying He could not be God. Yet by His miracles He was showing Himself to be the Son of God; and only the awaited Messiah could have done what He had done. 

So when anyone refuses to accept the ministry of the Holy Spirit or attributes His ministry to Satan, they give up the final opportunity to be saved. A person must believe in Jesus as the Son of God and needs to accept the witness of the Holy Spirit and act upon the conviction He brings. 

Consequently, the unforgivable sin is the hardening of the heart against God and repeatedly refusing to respond to His appeal to the soul. By continuing to resist and reject the Lord, a person builds calluses on their soul until the conviction of the Spirit of God no longer registers on their heart. Over a period of time they become hardened like the Scribes and Pharisees. The person hears the Word of God and it makes no impact on them. If they die in that condition, there’s no further forgiveness available. For those who reject Jesus Christ, there’s no forgiveness anywhere else, anytime, either in this world or the next. Jesus died for us, and if anyone rejects Him, their destiny is settled. 

Be assured that God doesn’t withhold salvation from a repentant sinner who comes to Him for forgiveness through faith in His Son. The only thing that makes sin unforgivable is a hard, unrepentant heart which rejects the Son of God, and therefore clearly is unpardonable because the Holy Spirit does not dwell in those that refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and make Him the Lord of their life. 

Please remember that religion can’t save you because to enter God’s eternal kingdom you need the new birth by the Holy Spirit.

Those who think religion saves, deceive themselves by thinking that their outward rituals and rules will impress God, while at the same time they avoid dealing with the sin that is in their hearts. But, of course, God sees right through it all. He requires “truth in the innermost being” (Psalm 51:6). So religion cannot give anyone access to heaven because it only deals with external matters. No amount of rule-keeping or adherence to religious rituals can reconcile a sinner to the Holy God.

All the religion in the world cannot resolve our basic problem of being alienated from God, because religion is based on human works that stem from the flesh and feed our pride. To be subject to the King, we need the new birth that gives us a new nature that delights in obedience to God from the heart (Romans 6:17-18). We need a radical transformation, not just some behavior modification. We need something that the natural man cannot produce. We need nothing less than to be reborn from above.

So if the Holy Spirit is convicting you, remember Jesus’ words: “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges Me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns Me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Luke 12:8-10)

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 3, 2019

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TELL US ABOUT HEAVEN – John 14:2-3

For the believer heaven is a real place described in the Bible and it appears in Scripture over five hundred times. 

Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). Christ chose familiar physical terms (house, rooms) to describe that location. He gave us something tangible to look forward to, an eternal home, where we will live with Him forever. 

The apostle John was privileged to see and write on the heavenly city (Revelation 21:10-27) where all true believers will one day live; and where John witnessed the “glory of God” (Revelation 21:11), the very presence of where God reigns.

We need to understand though, that as eloquent as John was in his description of heaven, the reality of heaven is beyond the ability of finite man to comprehend. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love Him,” and that is a portion of what He revealed to His beloved apostle John while he was in exile at the isle of Patmos.

In heaven there will be no more tears, no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). There will be no more separation, because death will be conquered (Revelation 20:6). As God told Isaiah: “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare” (Isaiah 42:9).

The best thing about heaven is the presence of our Lord and Savior (1 John 3:2). We will be face to face with the Lamb of God who loved us and sacrificed Himself so that we can enjoy His presence in heaven for eternity.

As born again believers Scripture commands us to live as those made alive in Christ and to set our minds on heaven: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2).

Scripture tells us we should be “looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

God has not abandoned His original design and plan for humanity to rule the earth for His glory. One day, He will reverse the curse and restore what was corrupted by sin. He will come down to dwell with His people on the new earth, bringing His throne, and heaven itself, with Him (Revelation 21:1–4); and there no longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve Him. (Revelation 22:3) 

As we see from God’s word, heaven is indeed a real place. The Bible tells us that heaven is God’s throne (Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:48-49; Matthew 5:34-35). After Jesus’ resurrection and appearance on earth to His disciples, “He was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). 

When people deny the existence of heaven, they deny not only the written Word of God, but they also deny the innermost longings of their own hearts. Paul addressed this issue in his letter to the Corinthians, encouraging them to cling to the hope of heaven so that they would not lose heart. Although we “groan and sigh” in our earthly state, we have the hope of heaven always before us and are eager to get there (2 Corinthians 5:1-4). 

Paul urged the Corinthians to look forward to their eternal home in heaven, a perspective that would enable them to endure hardships and disappointments in this life. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). 

Since heaven is the abode of a holy and perfect God, sin has no place there, nor can it be tolerated. Fortunately, God has provided for us the key that opens the door of heaven; Jesus Christ (John 14:6). All who believe in Jesus Christ and seek forgiveness for sin will find Him waiting for them.

Heaven is beyond our understanding. But we can rest in the fact that our God is good and what He has prepared for us is good. “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” (Revelation 21:5-7)

May the future glory of our eternal home motivate us all to serve God faithfully and with all our heart, preserving our faith in His promises, to those who trust, believe and obey. 

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22) 

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to heaven, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him (2 Peter 3:14); being aware that our destiny is to live as redeemed, righteous people on a redeemed, righteous earth with our Redeemer should be a powerful incentive to call upon His strength to live righteously today.

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Posted by: missionventureministries | September 26, 2019

HAVING THE CONFIDENCE TO RECEIVE WHAT YOU ASK OF GOD – 1 John 5:14-15

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the request that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15) 

What do you desire to ask of God? Is it in line with His Word? Does it agree with what the Bible teaches? Is it something that you know God desires for you to have? Then, state it with boldness, and say to the Lord. “I am trusting and believing that what I am asking and desire; you, Lord have heard and I know that I will receive it, amen.”

For example if you are struggling with loneliness, you can rest assured that God doesn’t desire for you to be lonely. He desires for you to have friends, to be a friend, and above all, to know Jesus as your Friend of friends.

You can say with confidence, “Lord, I know that You don’t want me to be lonely. I have a desire to be free from this loneliness, therefore, I claim Your Word today. I believe that You will be the total and complete satisfaction for loneliness in my life. I trust You to fill the void that I feel, and I trust in you Lord to provide for me the friends on this earth who are good, right, and pleasing in Your sight.”

We need to remember that it is only the Lord who never pulls away from a Christian relationship, who never gives up on a person, who always has more to give, and who invites a person to have more dependency on Him.

When you trust in the Lord to be the Source of your joy and your deep need for companionship, you will find that you have more to give to others. You will share and not drain; you will help and not exhaust someone. You will uplift and not overburden. The relationship will be a healthy one, not a demanding or destructive one; it will be a true friendship that removes loneliness.

We need to realize though that a friend who seeks to be a substitute for God is no friend! A true friend will point you to God and help you build a relationship with God. A true friend will not allow you to become dependent on them. A true friend will encourage you to rely on God for your emotional strength.

On whom do you rely for your emotional strength? On whom do you depend to gain approval? On whose opinion do you rely in making decisions and taking action related to your personal problems, responsibilities, and opportunities? If you rely on another human being, you are dependent on that human being. If you rely on God, you are dependent on Him. You cannot be dependent on both at the same time.

What happens, however, is that as we depend on God to be the Source of our emotional security, strength and ability, He allows us to develop relationships with others in which we are truly interdependent. We have something to give to a relationship, something we have received from the Lord. In turn, we are able to receive from others without draining them because we are not only relying on them for our identity.

A true giving and receiving relationship is a healthy one; because, no one loses, rather, both win!

If you don’t invite the Lord to become the One on whom you depend, you cannot truly engage in giving and receiving in relationship with others. If you continue to cling to a person who is feeling emotionally burdened by your dependency, that person is likely to withdraw from you, and you will feel an even greater need to cling. The more you attempt to draw close and to wrap yourself around that person, the more the person will pull away; starting a vicious and unhealthy cycle that ultimately brings a great deal of pain to both parties.

Therefore, when you ask the Lord for something according to His will have the assurance that your request will be heard. When you have a special need such as a friend because you feel lonely, turn first to the Lord, because He is longing to spend time with you; talk to Him about your feelings and ask Him to comfort your heart. Then, ask Him not only to send you a friend but to make you willing to be a friend. And as you get to know people, look for areas of common interest such as reading and studying the Word of God. You may also want to volunteer in an area that you enjoy and make friends that way.

Always remember that if you Ask, it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

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Source: Excerpts taken from Pastor Charles Stanley’s book “The Source of My Strength.”

Posted by: missionventureministries | September 19, 2019

HOW CAN WE MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION 100% OF THE TIME? – Jeremiah 33:3

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)

To make right decision one hundred percent of the time, we need to talk to God and ask Him to reveal His perfect will for us. To do this we need to unconditionally surrender our desires, plans and life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When we do this He promises to tell us great and might things, which we do not yet know, as He told the prophet Jeremiah.  

We need to ask God to guide us to Scriptures in His Holy Word that will provide us with the answers that He has already prepared for us. When we do this He will give us discernment for a decision that will honor Him.  We must be careful though, that we do not read only those verses that will support our desires or point of view; but, keep our mind open to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Faithfully we need to ask God to provide the circumstances that will confirm His will for our decision. It is important that we do not manipulate the circumstances ourselves but wait on a clear answer that gives us peace and joy.

We need to learn to trust God completely and surrender our will to His Lordship, only then will be able to clearly be led to what we are to do.

It is important to be willing to let Him make the decision, to accept His answer and thank Him for His guidance and care.

If we have access to godly advisors, who are living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ it can be beneficial in helping us to make decisions especially for those that are not as grounded in the Word of God; but remember that we need to be very cautious that when we seek advice that it will only come from advisors that truly follow the Word of God. We need to be careful because false and incorrect advice can lead to being disobedient to God and will cause us a lot of hardship; so be wary of whom you get advice or counseling from. Be like the Bereans who received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so (Acts 17:11).

Once you apply these principles diligently, ask God to confirm the answer He has given you, by giving you peace and confidence. Worship Him in the beauty of His Holiness and thank Him for His loving care and guidance.

So, how can we make the right choices? We need to take time to pray before we make a choice and do not be in a hurry to make a decision because the answer might be delayed because we are not ready yet for what we asked for or God might have something better for us.  

Prayer preceded all that Jesus said and did. He prayed to the Father before He made choices or took action as we see in Luke’s writings: “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:” (Luke 6:12-13). As a result of prayer, Jesus knew exactly whom God was calling to be His apostles.

Jesus got it right 100% of the time because He prayed and asked the Father.  He said to His disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19).

When we give prayer the same priority Jesus gave, we will also see what the Father does and we will hear what He wants to communicate to us.  

Jesus’ ministry was founded on prayer, faith and obedience. Therefore, if we are going to follow Jesus, our life and ministry to God and to others will have to be founded on those principles also.

In Proverbs we are given very specific counsel about seeking Gods’ will and guidance before making decisions. When we seek God’ counsel we have His promise, that He will direct us if we acknowledge His Lordship over our life. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

With so many decisions to make in life these days, it is important to know how to make decisions that honor God; therefore, S.T.O.P. and focus on these very important matters that we need to follow. We must:

SURRENDER: OUR WILL AND DESIRES

TRUST: GOD COMPLETELY

OBEY: WITHOUT HESITATION

PRAY: WITH FAITH AND THANKFULNESS

Remember that if we earnestly surrender, trust, obey and pray we will have God’s help in making the right decisions. God told Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you, He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)

The Lord will help us in the same way as He helped Joshua and so many others to make the right decision, who earnestly surrender, trust, obey and pray.

Please teach your children and others these vital principles that will honor the Father and will give them godly direction for all their life.

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Posted by: missionventureministries | September 12, 2019

HOW TO LIVE A LIFE THAT IS PLEASING TO GOD – Galatians 5:16-17

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17) 

The first step for believers in pleasing God is to be sure we are walking by the Spirit, not in the desires of the flesh and this can only happen when we accept the sacrifice for sin that He provided for us by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.  

Paul explains the difference between the sinful nature and the nature of those regenerated by the Spirit. He who lives in sin has his mind established in sinful desires, while those regenerated by Christ have a completely new mind that is controlled by the spirit and desires to live according to the Holy Spirit’s leading. “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:6-8).  

As we see, pleasing God is a matter of living according to His precepts and commandments as Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). It requires giving up our will, denying our natural desire for honor and approval, and having our mind fixed on the Lord to keep our thoughts pure every moment of the day.  

Think about this! If Jesus walked into where you presently are, would you be ashamed of what you were doing or watching? If you are doing something that would bring you shame if others saw it, is a clear indication that what you are doing isn’t pleasing to God. However, when we are honest with God about our weaknesses, then He can help us overcome them if we are sincere about truly wanting to change. 

Christians have a responsibility to put to death their old nature through daily surrender or else they cannot live a life pleasing to God. Those who listen to the Holy Spirit will not think about fulfilling the desires of the flesh, because their thoughts are occupied with the God’s Word, His ways, and purposes. 

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” So, what dominates your thoughts? 

The life that pleases God is continually seeking to know God better and requires an obedient heart that “walks in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). It also requires faith because “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).  

The Word says that we are to be imitators of God, as beloved children (Ephesians 5:1). Just as Christ, in His absolute perfection, lived to please God, we have to follow His example by spending time in prayer, and studying the Word. 

Jesus Christ lived a perfect life doing everything for the glory of God. The Apostle Paul sought to do the same thing by following Christ’s example and we also can imitate Christ by obediently walking in His footsteps (1 Peter 2:21) and showing love and thankfulness to Him by staying true to His teachings and commands. 

Remember to treasure each day. Don’t live in constant regret of the past or fear of the future. Treat each day as the gift from God that it truly is because, each day is another opportunity to grow in faith and understanding. You’ll please God simply in seeking Him day by day; as the Psalmist said:  

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

(Proverbs 4:23-27)

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Posted by: missionventureministries | September 5, 2019

AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT RETURNS TO HIS HOME WITH SEVEN MORE – Matthew 12:43-45

Jesus had cast a demon out of a man who was blind and mute; and, as a result healed him so that he could both see and speak (Matthew 12:22). The religious leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees who saw this miracle, dared to say that Jesus had cast the demon out of the man “by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Matthew 12:24). In other words, they claimed that He did this by the power of the devil. Jesus responded by disproving their ridiculous and blasphemous accusation, and by warning them that they were demonstrating themselves to be evil men who spoke from corrupt hearts.

Then, He spoke these sober words to the religious leaders who had opposed Him.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

Jesus addressed the demonic realm as a reality and that demons were indeed able to indwell a person. In Jesus’ parable, the demon is called “an unclean spirit,” and is said to have gone out of a man. How it came to be that he went out of the man we are not told. But whatever the reason might have been, the demon is presented in this passage as thinking of this man as “his own house” – ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’

The demon may have left the man for a time, but it doesn’t seem that the demon gave up ownership of the man when he left.

Perhaps God had shown great mercy to the man, by allowing him some time to turn away from sin, and to ‘make a change’ in his life. The man might have even begun to ‘search’ God, and to look for spiritual things. In fact, it may even be that the man heard the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and began to be drawn to it.

What ever happened the Bible does not tell us, but there’s one thing we can know for sure, is that this man clearly was given a chance and fell short of having a genuine relationship with God, and the Holy Spirit had not taken up residence in him.

The demon had left him, and he remained “empty.” But he only remained “empty” for a short time. Once out of the man, the demon was restless and dissatisfied. Jesus said that the demon went through “dry places,” seeking rest, but found none.

Apparently a demon needed to possess a body and would even rather inhabit “a herd of swine” than to be wandering about without a “home” (Matthew 8:31).

So then; this restless demon began to think on the man that he had left. “I will return to my house from which I came”, he said. And when he returned, he found that the man had made it a very comfortable home to return to! The man had apparently made some moral changes in his life. He had cleaned up his act. He may even have added a few new religious habits and pseudo-spiritual practices. But in spite of all the things done “clean up”, there was still no one else taking residence within him. The man’s inner being was a spiritual vacuum. The demon returned to find it “empty, swept, and put in order”.

What a dreadful and dangerous thing this is, because as Jesus tells us then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

It’s not that his condition became as bad as it once was when only one demon indwelt him; rather, his condition became so much worse; because the demon brought in seven others “more wicked than himself.”

This parable is a great warning to those who think that they can just “clean up their act” while avoiding a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by accepting Him as their Savior and making Him the Lord of their life and thereby receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

These Jewish people needed to hear this since truth was all around them and they would not listen. They had heard the preaching of John the Baptist as he fulfilled the promises of the Scriptures concerning himself, and pointing to Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). They beheld His miracles and heard His teaching; and yet, even as He was offering Himself to them as their long-awaited and promised Messiah, they rejected Him. They saw Him work miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit; and yet they dared to accuse Him of working in the power of the devil.

As we see by Paul’s warnings, demons were very real to the Jews, that is why he writes “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).

The Jews and their Jewish leaders had a terrible vacuum (empty house) in their being, even as their King stood before them and even as He warned them so shall it also be with this wicked generation. They did not understand and they did not care because, the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Clearly, the primary point of this parable was to serve as a condemnation of that generation who would not receive the Savior; but it is likewise a warning to us for nearly 2000 years.

So who is occupying your house? There are only two spiritual forces trying to live in our body. One is the Holy Spirit; the other is the devil and his demons.

There are individuals that make an effort to clean up their lives and then fall back into their sinful lifestyles and their life becomes even more messed up than it was before. There is a solution thought; Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

One of the most dangerous things a person can do is to go through this life without welcoming Jesus Christ into their life. Jesus said: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

So let us as true born again Christians do our part by doing what Jesus told us to do and go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

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