"One Event"

Thursday, September 03, 2020

                   In Ecclesiastes two, Solomon names all of the things he had done as he searched for meaning to his life. He named the things he had built, the things he had done, etc., and concluded that all of this is a waste because “one event” happens to everyone, whether fool or wise (Ecc. 2:14). He would talk about this again in Ecclesiastes 9:2-3.

                   This “one event” is the great equalizer. It visits man and woman, rich and poor. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon observed how it visited the wise and fool equally. This “one event” is no respecter of persons! What is the event all will experience? It is death (Ecc. 2:16).

                   Death is something that all men know will come (Ecc. 9:5a). It is also something men want to avoid or ignore until they can’t. Death is the antithesis of life. God contrasted it in this manner in Deuteronomy 30:15 and 19.

                   Why this “one event” then? Why do men walk the road of life into death? Simply put, it is because of sin. Sin brings death, physically and spiritually (Gen. 2:17. 3:19; Rom. 5:12, 6:2; Jas. 1:15). Physical death is something that is “appointed” to us (Heb. 9:27). Strong’s says that “appointed” in this verse means that death is “reserved” or “laid up” for us. Yes, “one event” happens to us all - unless the Lord returns first (I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:15-17)!

                   We know everything in this life is temporary. “Moth and rust doth corrupt and … thieves break through and steal.” Thus our life is the same. We are born and are here for a limited time. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Ps. 90:10).

                   Viewing life through this lens seems like things are hopeless. Not so. It is not simply “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Let us enjoy life and let us spend our life being faithful to God (Ecc. 12:13). This is because this life is but a step into the next. The “one event” ushers us into an eternity of bliss or an eternity of horror.

                   What will your death mean for you? What will it mean to those you leave behind? The way this “one event” becomes meaningful is if you prepare now. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 8:24), repent of your sin (Lk. 13:3), confess Christ before men (Rom. 10:10), and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). If you prepare for your eternity now, then your death can be one such as is described in Revelation 14:13. If not, then you will die in your sins and leave you family in sorrow.

                   Friend, don’t let your children follow your casket to your grave with them knowing you were not prepared for death! Now is the time to prepare. “One event” happens to us all, and it is not a surprise (Ecc. 9:5)! Are you ready? If not, why not? Get ready now while you still have time (II Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:7-8; Prov. 27:1)!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

                   John warned, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (II Jn. 7). Speaking about an antichrist or “the” antichrist produces fear in the hearts of many. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and the hardships that have been produced from quarantines, business shut-downs, and the like, there are many concerned that perhaps these events are foreshadowing the end of the world. People are concerned about “the” antichrist entering the world stage and ushering us into “the end of days.”

                   When we read the Scriptures, though, we learn something completely different about “antichrist.” There is nothing said about an antichrist or “the” antichrist ushering in anything. This is not to say that the doctrine of antichrist (I Jn. 4:3) is not serious, because it is. When we understand what this is, it is a fearful thing. The definition of “antichrist” is “opponent of the Messiah” (Strong’s). Therefore, we do not want God to consider us “antichrist” or Christ’s opponent.

                   Understanding the definition is just one aspect of our study. Let us make sure we use the word (in this case, “antichrist”) in its proper context. Therefore, to understand this teaching, let us first read everything the Bible says on the subject of “antichrist.” In this case, God speaks about “antichrist” in four places (I Jn. 2:18, 22, 4:3; II Jn. 7). After reading those verses, we can see the attributes of antichrist (opponent to the Messiah) include:

  • There is more than one who could be considered “antichrist” (I Jn. 2:18).
  • He denies that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). He denies the Father and the Son (I Jn. 2:22).
  • He will not confess that Jesus came in the flesh to the earth (I Jn. 4:3; II Jn. 7).
  • He is a deceiver (II Jn. 7).

                   By reading all God says on the matter, we can appreciate that it is a serious and dangerous thing if God considers you “antichrist.” At the same time, there was nothing in those passages said about The Judgment Day, a 1000-year reign, a world-wide power, a world leader, war, rapture, death, resurrections, or any of the other things people generally talk about when they speak about the “antichrist.“ John didn’t even use the term “the” antichrist! He said (by inspiration) that there were “many antichrists” (I Jn. 2:18)! Don’t forget that he wrote this some 2000 years ago. Those opposed to the Messiah have been around for a while!

                   Now, to the context of II John, we see that antichrist (v. 7) is contrasted with walking after God’s commands (v. 6) and making sure we don’t lose what we have in Christ (v. 8). Let us heed John’s warning. Let us do what God says, and be faithful to His commands. When we think about the subject of “antichrist” in its context, we can see how it is that there were many in John’s day, and how there are many yet today!

Don’t be deceived by false teachers and do not oppose His truth, including the fact that yes, Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Our Savior is real! His word is true! He made a way for us to be saved, and when we believe He is the Son of God (Jn. 8:24), repent of our sins (including being His opponent -- Lk. 13:3), confess Christ as God’s Son (Rom. 10:10) and be baptized (Acts 2:38), we can be forgiven of our sins!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

"New Heavens And New Earth"

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

            Peter wrote to the Christians and said, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you” (II Pet. 3:13-15).

What does Peter mean when he uses the term, “new heavens and new earth”? There have been many false doctrines that have arisen from a misunderstanding of this phrase. Some, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have misunderstood this phrase and teach that one day we will live on a “rejuvenated” earth. Some teach that Heaven and earth will somehow be joined together as one mass. To them, this is the “new heavens and new earth.” Neither of these positions teaches what Peter is teaching. They are false. We need to respect the context of II Peter as well as the context of the Bible itself to know the truth and understand what this phrase means.

            First, understand that the phrase “new heavens and new earth” is not exclusive to II Peter.  It is found in four places in the Bible - Isaiah 65:17, 66:22; II Peter 3:13; and Revelation 21:1. Secondly, the phrase “new heavens and new earth” does not have to do exclusively with Heaven. It merely means a new order of things. While this phrase can refer to Heaven, as it is definitely a “new order” from what we are used to, it does not mean God’s abode exclusively. A prime example of this distinction is found in Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22. There, it means a new order was coming, and it did, about 700 years later! So, let us respect the context.

            In Peter’s letter, I understand him to be speaking about Heaven, God’s abode, because he said that in the “new heavens and new earth,” righteousness dwells (II Pet. 3:13). This agrees with his first letter when he said Christians are recipients of an “inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you” (I Pet. 1:4). This “new order” is a place where we who have “escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Pet. 1:4) will live!

            It obviously agrees with the immediate context, because Peter said the Lord will return and this earth will be destroyed by fire (II Pet. 3:10-12). Since this is true, we who are His children look for that “new heavens and new earth” (new order) where we will live in righteousness. We can’t do that on this sinful earth, but we can do it in God’s abode!

            In preparation for this new order (in this context, Heaven), then let us make sure we are “diligent” to be “found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (II Pet. 3:14). In other words, let us be faithful to God and let us make sure we are living what we are teaching. How strong is our faith (Heb. 11:6)? Let it be seen in our actions (Jas. 2:18b).

            Why has the Lord not returned yet? Read II Peter 3:15 and see that Christ’s longsuffering is still active. We also read about this longsuffering in verse 9. Let us thank God for His longsuffering. While we look forward to the new order of things and a new beginning, we can be patient and try to help one more come out of sin (II Cor. 5:11; II Tim. 4:2). What will you do today to help someone be free (Jn. 8:31-32, 36; Rom. 6:17-18?) Let us be active in serving the Lord and look forward to that new order with fondness!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

“Destroyed Once By Water … Next, By Fire!”

Sunday, July 26, 2020

            In our last study, we read about Peter’s warning about “scoffers, walking after their own lust” who would come and question whether or not the Lord would return because “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Pet. 3:3-4). We learned what the word “scoffer” means and looked at this word from a general sense. Let’s study II Peter 3 and see what the “scoffers” were mocking specifically.

            Please read II Peter 3:4-10 and read Peter’s warning about men who were denying the teaching that the Lord will return one day (v. 4). They said that this world has never changed since the beginning. These scoffers were the original “uniformitarians”! They taught nothing had changed since the beginning of time, and so Jesus was not returning. Peter corrected this wrong by reminding the readers about the Flood (v. 5-6). He said these people were “willingly ignorant” of the events recorded in Genesis 6-9. In simple words, these people willingly ignored the plain words of Scripture. They ignored this because it didn’t fit with the “narrative” that they wanted to teach! Isn’t it tragic that when someone has a doctrine he wants to promote, he will willingly go to the point of ignoring Scriptures to keep it alive! This is what I call reading the Bible through a “filter”! Is this your practice? I pray not!

            In the chapter, Peter reminds the readers of the destruction by water that had happened because there is a day coming when the world will be destroyed by fire (II Pet. 3:10)! He assured the readers that God had made a promise, and He would keep it (II Pet. 3:9). He doesn’t count time as men do, and so is not beholding to men to do things on their time-table!

            Peter made it clear that just as this world was at one time overwhelmed in water (Gen. 7:19-23), so also one day, this world will be overwhelmed by fire! This is not merely a “purging” fire, like when a farmer burns off the chaff in his field. He said this is a fire wherein “the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Pet. 3:10). “Burned up” in this text means “to burn down to the ground, consume wholly or utterly” (Strong’s). In other words, after this event, there will be no earth left! 

            Are you ready for this fire? When we think of it from this perspective, it helps us prioritize our lives. Are you prepared for the Lord’s return and this world’s end? Is your soul ready? At the end of it all, there will be nothing left except our souls! Jesus asked, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). If you gain the world world, what good will your “stuff” do you when it is on fire?

            How can I be confident that the Lord will destroy the earth one day by fire? It is because:

  1. God said so.
  2. He proved He would keep His promise by flooding the earth after He said He would. 

Don’t waste any more time, but make sure you are ready for the Lord’s return, or your death, whichever comes first (Jas. 4:13)! Believe on Jesus as the Son of God (Jn. 8:24), repent of your sins (II Pet. 3:9), confess your faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10) and be baptized for the remission of sins that your soul might be prepared for eternity (Mk. 16:16; I Pet. 3:21)! Do so today (II Cor. 6:2)!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

What The Empty Tomb Means

Saturday, March 18, 2017

What Does The Empty Tomb Mean To Us?

Jarrod Jacobs

            Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus was crucified between two thieves. When He died, His body was laid in a new tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea (Mk. 15:43-47), there to await His resurrection on the third day. The account of the women and the apostles finding Jesus’ tomb empty is found in Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-11, Luke 24:1-12, and John 20:1-10.

            The empty tomb means something to Christians. It is important and has great value to all those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. What does the empty tomb mean?

            The empty tomb means that death is conquered! Jesus became the “firstfruits of them that slept” (I Cor. 15:20). Colossians 1:18 declares that Christ’s resurrection gives Him the preeminence in all things. Hebrews 2:9 shows us that Christ tasted death for every man. Therefore, Christians have nothing to fear in death.

            In writing on the subject of death and the resurrection of all mankind, Paul said, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:54-57). Why not look into the tomb, and see the victory that Christ has given to all since He arose from the dead?

            The empty tomb means salvation for all! Before Christ, Jewish people were considered the chosen nation, and they labored to keep the Old Testament (Mosaic) Law. They offered animal sacrifices to atone for their sins, but this was not enough (Heb. 10:1-4). Seeing that Jesus gave His life, shed His blood, and arose from the dead, He offers salvation to everyone (Matt. 11:28-30). In Mark 16:15, Jesus instructed His apostles to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” In Colossians 1:5-6, 23, we read that this command was carried out! Paul declared that “every creature which is under heaven” heard the gospel. Jesus wanted no one to be ignorant of His will, and neither should we.

            The empty tomb means Jesus told the truth! Throughout Jesus’ preaching, He prophesied of His death, burial, and resurrection, and that He is the Son of God. A few passages that declare this are: Matthew 12:38-40; Matthew 16:21; John 8:24, 58-59; John 10:30-36; and John 18:36-37. That empty tomb tells mankind that the Son of God walked this earth, told us the truth about all things, that He loves us and wants to save us!

            If we can believe that Jesus told us the truth on these things, why do we not believe Him on the other things He teaches in His word? There has been much dispute over certain parts of the Bible for many years. Obviously, Jesus did not teach two or more conflicting doctrines, but spoke the Truth consistently. Knowing this and knowing that He told us the truth about His death, burial, and resurrection; why do we not believe His teachings on other subjects? Why do we not do the things He requires?

            Friend, the stone wasn’t rolled back so Jesus could escape. It was rolled back so we could look in! Have you looked with the eye of faith into that empty tomb? I pray that we might all come to a better understanding of what the empty tomb means.