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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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salvation

Follow Me-A Prophet is Purified

This is the last repeat of previous published blog posts in this Follow Me series. Thanks for bearing with me while I got my life caught back up.

We could say a lot about Isaiah, but we won’t. This sort of series, Follow Me, isn’t really designed to give a full biography of any person or to do an exposition of all the Scriptures around them. All I want to do with these is capture a brief devotional-like thought that maybe we can apply to our lives.

Isaiah 6:5-8 King 

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Here  am I, send me.“What a great line, right? We should all be that way. When God calls, that should be the response of all of us. I have talked on that passage before; today, however, that won’t be the point. There’s some other important stuff here that we should all take notice of because it is critical information. The thought behind it is critical.

There is an order here that matters, and it matters a lot. I don’t see that God called, Isaiah answered, and later at some point became purified. Friends, that’s not how it works. That would be a works/merit-based system, and that’s not the Grace program.

Isaiah lamented his sin, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” That’s repentance, right there my friend. Jesus told us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3. The realization of our sinful condition and separation from God is necessary for salvation. Note here, that nobody says we have to stop sinning for salvation. Isaiah was poor in Sprit.

thine iniquity is taken away” The Prophet’s sin, his iniquity, was TAKEN away. It was taken, or washed, by God. Again, Isaiah did absolutely nothing to make this happen, other than his realization of his state and his apparent faith. 

It’s important to see here, that God didn’t call Isaiah for a work until he was pure. That matters a lot. God calls the impure and unsaved for one thing, and one thing only; He calls us to repent and believe, and from that comes salvation. Then, and only then is God going to issue a call for us to work.

Friends, understand this. If you are working and striving in hopes that you will make yourself clean enough for God…..stop. It won’t work. Be made clean first by the blood of Jesus Christ. Then, get to work! Say those words, “Here am I , send me.”

Just a Thought

Our works certainly demonstrate our forgiveness, but they NEVER earn it.


Galatians 2:16 

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Just a Thought

Before we can tell a sinner that his or her debt is paid, we must first inform that sinner of his or her debt. Only when sinners understand the cost of their sin can they also understand the glory of Christ to pay that cost in full. Handing out forgiveness like candy does not glorify the Lord…. As soon as sinners realize the wickedness of what they have done, they should also be assured that their debt is paid in full.

Courtesy of Salvageable


Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Follow Me-A Priest Gets Purified

We could say a lot about Isaiah, but we won’t. This sort of series, Follow Me, isn’t really designed to give a full biography of any person or to do an exposition of all the Scriptures around them. All I want to do with these is capture a brief devotional-like thought that maybe we can apply to our lives.

Isaiah 6:5-8 King 

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Here  am I, send me.“What a great line, right? We should all be that way. When God calls, that should be the response of all of us. I have talked on that passage before; today, however, that won’t be the point. There’s some other important stuff here that we should all take notice of because it is critical information. The thought behind it is critical.

There is an order here that matters, and it matters a lot. I don’t see that God called, Isaiah answered, and later at some point became purified. Friends, that’s not how it works. That would be a works/merit-based system, and that’s not the Grace program.

Isaiah lamented his sin, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” That’s repentance, right there my friend. Jesus told us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3. The realization of our sinful condition and separation from God is necessary for salvation. Note here, that nobody says we have to stop sinning for salvation. Isaiah was poor in Sprit.

thine iniquity is taken away” The Prophet’s sin, his iniquity, was TAKEN away. It was taken, or washed, by God. Again, Isaiah did absolutely nothing to make this happen, other than his realization of his state and his apparent faith. 

It’s important to see here, that God didn’t call Isaiah for a work until he was pure. That matters a lot. God calls the impure and unsaved for one thing, and one thing only; He calls us to repent and believe, and from that comes salvation. Then, and only then is God going to issue a call for us to work.

Friends, understand this. If you are working and striving in hopes that you will make yourself clean enough for God…..stop. It won’t work. Be made clean first by the blood of Jesus Christ. Then, get to work! Say those words, “Here am I , send me.”

Prepare To Meet Thy God

Amos 4:12

Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.


First, let’s have a little background on who Amos was and what was going on. Amos was just a regular fellow first of all. He did not come from any royal line or any line of prophets. In fact, among the minor prophets, only Amos give us any real background on who he was or what he did before answering God’s call to preach. Amos was a shepherd from the small town of Tekoa, about 10 miles or so south of Jerusalem. Amos himself made clear his complete non-credentials as a prophet of God in Amos 7:14,15

Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

Amos preached during about the midpoint of the 8th Century B.C., during the Divided Kingdom period. At the time Uzziah was King of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jeroboam was King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. What makes this unusual was that, although Amos himself was from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, he delivered his message to the Northern Kingdom.

Materially speaking, Israel at the time was enjoying a period of relative peace and prosperity. Economically things were booming, and a wave of peace existed with both the Southern Kingdom and other neighbors. Despite, or perhaps because of, the relative material success of the time, Israel had slipped into some behaviors which displeased God greatly. If one reads the book of Amos, a theme develops of apparent economic success at the expense of the less fortunate. We see the rich were taking advantage of the less fortunate, oppressing the poor, and using women immorally. Amos 2:6-83:104:15:11-128:4-6.

Does any of this sound vaguely familiar? A country, in apparent prosperity, yet descending into a spiral of sin and immoral behavior? Normal men and women called to proclaim the message of God? It sounds like this county and this day to me! Amos went to this country with a message of judgment from God. His message was simple; repent and come to God, or be judged. That is the message God has for us today as well. So, let’s take a look at the substance of the message.

He is Your God. Believer, or nonbeliever, He is still YOUR God. If one is a nonbeliever, the following apply.

No amount of not belief or contrary belief changes this fact

No theory, theology, or philosophy changes this fact

No amount of objection or protest changes this fact.

He is YOUR God

The meeting is coming, ready or not; it is inevitable.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

We have to prepare for this meeting. In our natural states, we are NOT prepared for this meeting. Why not? Well, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and there is none righteous, no not oneBecause God is perfect and Holy, nothing less than perfect and Holy can enter His Heaven when they face Him. None of us meet that requirement, as the smallest of transgressions doom us as much as being a mass murderer. for whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

When we meet God, we either have to pay, or someone has to have paid before we get there. Someone did. Jesus Christ, the Son of God. All man because mankind sinned and mankind had to pay. All God, so that the infinite price for the sin of every person who has ever lived, is living, or will live could be paid. Let’s take a look at some points:

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

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God is everyone’s God, and all are accountable to HIm. We, believers and nonbelievers, will meet Him someday. Now, during this lifetime, is our only chance to prepare for that meeting, Once the meeting takes place, the decision has already been made. There will be no deals cut at that meeting. If you have not, repent and believe today.

Are You Prepared To Meet Thy God?

 

 

 

 

Are You Ready?

 

John 14:4

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Acts 1:11

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


Jesus is coming back; that is a fact. He told us; God’s angels told us. Scripture is replete with the concept and theme that Jesus will be returning.

There are many, many views about the wheres and whens of Jesus’ return. We aren’t covering those here. It’s really not relevant to this post. We will talk about judgment also; there are many opinions about the wheres and whens of those also. Guess what? We aren’t covering that debate either! It’s not relevant to this post. No matter what we believe about the timing of certain things, there are issues that we all need to think about in preparation for the return of Jesus.

Everybody needs to think about these things. Believers and non believers alike have issues to consider.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

We all will bow, we all will confess. All of us, no exceptions.

To the non believers

We are all sinners. I am, you are; we all are. God is perfect and we are not. We all have fallen short and missed the mark of God’s perfection.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

God not only set the bar for what sin is; He set the penalty for it as well.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death……….

Yes, the penalty for our sin, any sin, is death. The penalty is eternal separation from God in a place called hell. Why separation, you may ask? God cannot abide or look upon our sin; it is outside His nature as perfect and Holy.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God, however, loves us with a love we cannot even grasp or understand. He loves us enough to literally give Himself to us as a sacrifice to pay our penalty. He loves us despite the fact that we have rejected Him; He knew we would be sinners and loved us enough to provide us a way.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Friends, you can never make yourself good enough to earn your way to God. Our salvation is only by the Grace of God, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  It is a gift from God, to us.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What must we do then, to be saved? The answer is repentance toward God and faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t DO anything, but we do believe some things. We sometimes teach kids the ABCs of Salvation, and they are pretty good for grown ups to.

A  Admit you are a sinner before God. Agree with God about the wrongness of your sin.

B  Believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and was resurrected in three days, paying the penalty you should have paid.

C  Confess Him. We have to ask God for Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. We have to ask Him to become Lord and Savior of our lives.

What does Paul say about this in Romans?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

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

It is just that easy. You don’t need to be a theologian; you may not even have a Bible. You don’t have to do anything, so quit trying.

To Believers

Guess what friends? As believers, we face a judgment as well. We do not face a judgement for our sins; we do not face a judgment to determine whether or not we are heaven or hell bound. We make that decision only here on Earth, while we are still living. That is true for us all, by the way. Saved or unsaved, we only have the chance to decide while we are still breathing; the instant we stop that, our eternal destiny is sealed forever.

What then, are believers judged for and what happens? We are judged for the work we have done for Jesus while we were alive and are rewarded accordingly. We are not punished for sins at our judgment but are rewarded for our works. Or, not rewarded for our lack of works. We may very well arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ and find we don’t get any rewards.

Let’s look at a couple of places where this concept is taught:

Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

2 John 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I wrote a lengthier post on the Judgment Seat of Christ in this article,  “Crowns in Heaven-How’s That Work?

As I stated earlier, we may disagree on certain aspects concerning the Return of Jesus; this post was not for the purpose of debating all of that.  What really matters?

Romans 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Philippians 2:10,11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That is what matters. Someday all of us, lost and saved will bow the knee and confess Jesus.

Are you Ready?

This post was previously published

This Jesus thing is simple but not easy

Tonight’s repost is from James at Running the Race. Salvation is simple; it is so simple a child can often get it. Yet, the living out of the Christian life is more difficult. Salvation will change people. If we claim to be saved, yet not changed in any way, we could be deceiving our selves.


by James at Running the Race

“He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. “

~Mark 8:31-32 (NIV)

One of the toughest things about being in ministry is trying to help people understand that this Jesus thing is simple, but it’s not easy. It’s simple to recognize that Christ came to die for our sins and was resurrected to prove He can give us eternal life. Simple…

But the thing that is not easy is turning your life over to Him. Simple to say, but hard to do because we want to control things and do it our way…………………Read the rest of the post here: This Jesus thing is simple but not easy

Roger Copeland-Children of God by Faith

Grace Got You

This song, “Grace Got You,” is a rather upbeat Contemporary Christian song by Mercy Me. Okay, look, honestly I am not a huge fan of this song. It is just too, “happening,” for me. It’s actually a great song. It’s Scripturally based, upbeat and quite appealing. My wife loves it; on Sirius SM she listens to The Message(the CCM channel,) and I prefer Enlighten(The Southern Gospel channel with a lot of hymn-based quartet music.) I don’t have any issue with Contemporary Christian music in large part, but it’s just not my style or personal preference. I refer to some of it as, “Jesus is my boyfriend music.”

I digress, though. There is a point here.

Grace Got You

That matters, and it matters a lot.

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them

Do you see that? Grace gets US; we don’t get grace. Grace is the gift of God, and a gift is never earned. If it is earned, it is no longer a gift, but a payment for wages due. My friends, we DON”T want to get the just and fair payment for wages due.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death……..

That is our just and due wages; that is what we have earned. But, wait, there is more:

Romans 6:23 also says ………but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord

A gift my friends. We don’t get grace, and we cannot earn grace. We don’t earn God’s favor, but we certainly enjoy God’s favor based on the work of His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.

We don’t get grace; grace gets US.

Does having that gift make some things happen? Do we work, sing, smile and glide? We can, and we should. Because we have not earned but been given the gift.

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