Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

FeaturedSinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Every week  I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

The title of this blog is taken from the famous Jonathan Edwards sermon. That sermon dealt with the fact that the only thing keeping the ungodly (unsaved) out of Hell is God. In other words, God keeps such people alive and out of Hell to give them the opportunity to be saved. How long He gives them is strictly according to His will not theirs!

Just as this truth shook millions of churchgoers who heard or read this sermon the same should shake those of us who are believers. The same Bible that teaches the truth about the unsaved also teaches that while the saved are secure in the Lord they also are kept from a different judgment purely based on His will and purpose.

What do you mean?

As a believer I am forever secure. I was saved by grace, I am kept by grace, and I will continue to live according to His grace. But my rewards in Heaven are based on works.

But before we discuss that let’s take a look at the very first word in the title, namely Sinners.

Who are Sinners?

Many people believe and some even teach and preach that there are small sins, medium sized sins, and then the whoppers! Furthermore, they teach that Hell is the destination of those guilty of the big sins or whoppers. But the Bible doesn’t teach that.

In fact the Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” and in Roman’s 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” In verse 23 it says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners! And in case you think you are the exception take a look at Revelation 21:8:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Did you notice ‘and all liars’? It only takes one lie to become a liar. And you, my friend, have told at least one lie; and so have I!

Then all will go to Hell?

Without God in your life the answer is yes. The Jonathan Edwards sermon showed that the unbeliever (aka unsaved) is only a fraction of a second from Hell. But Roman’s 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” and has provided for us a way to Heaven. In Romans 10:13 it says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”; in other words, if you sincerely ask Jesus to save you He will. And He knows whether you are sincere or not!

Then a Believer isn’t under God’s Wrath?

That is true. However, God sets a very high standard for our behavior. When we got saved He didn’t take us home to Heaven. Instead, He left us here to serve Him. To accomplish that He wants us to triumph over our sins but we live in sinful flesh and will continue to do so until we are raptured or die!

Then we have no hope!

Wrong! If you belong to God (and all believers do) He loves you eternally. He loves you and will make a way for you to confess your sins and restore your fellowship. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Oh, you mean we can sin all we want as long as we ask forgiveness afterward?

If you approach life with that attitude you will find yourself in a world of trouble. 1 John 1:9 is not a free pass. It’s talking about real confession of the heart with the understanding that God can read our hearts and knows whether it is true or not. And don’t forget, it’s talking about forgiveness not consequences.

I’m confused.

That’s because you haven’t discerned that the wrath of God and the judgment of believers are two separate issues. The wrath of God is upon unbelievers (unsaved) while God’s judgment of works is reserved for His children (only believers are the children of God; all people are the creation of God).

So what is this Judgment of Works?

In the old Roman arenas the victors were rewarded by leis or something of that nature. The victors would wear them like crowns. The governor or some other high official would sit upon a seat called the Bema Seat to award the victors.

Just as that governor watched and awarded the winner God is watching us. When His people (all believers in Christ) do His work He takes notice. Someday we’ll stand in His presence and He will reward us for what we did for Him. He will reward us with crowns that we’ll cast at His feet in awe and worship for Him.

Oh, then our works are involved!

For rewards, yes; for salvation, no. In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Combine that with James 2:18, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” and you get a powerful statement of faith.

Then we are ordained to work?

Yes. We are saved by grace, ordained to work, and displayed for all the world to see.

But what if I don’t do good works?

Good question. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul touched on this issue. Within that verse is the following phrase: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Castaway is not the loss of your salvation. Rather it is the loss of usability. It means to be put on the shelf; to be worthless for service; to be unusable! It means God will reject your service!

I can’t think of anything worse than that for the believer!

That’s scary!

Yes it is! And some don’t like that idea because it doesn’t fit with their concept of a loving God. They’ve adopted the Hollywood concept of love where God ignores our sins because He loves us! But this is not found in the Bible. He is both a loving God and a holy God. He does and He will judge sin!

God loves me but He hates it when I sin. And then there comes broken fellowship, correction, forgiveness, and restoration. But before forgiveness I must first confess. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a promise from God to all believers. And please note that it’s sin being forgiven, but nothing is said of the consequences! (God promises to forgive a man for drinking alcohol if he repents, but He doesn’t promise the man won’t get Cirrhosis of the liver.)

Conclusion

We who have trusted Christ for our salvation are spared the Wrath of God which is for an unbelieving world. But God will judge our works that follow our salvation. And if we are disobedient and thereby sin we are in danger of being castaways. It means that we could enter Heaven without any crowns to cast at Jesus’ feet! What a tragedy that would be!

In writing this blog I am very aware of my own sinfulness. I received Christ as my Savior on May 9, 1973 and have a home in Heaven. The Bible doesn’t teach sinless perfection. In fact it says in 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Therefore we need to trust God, rely on His help and mercy, and worship Him with all our being!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

FeaturedWhy is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Why is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

The Florida Gospel Crusade is HERE!

Well almost. It kicks off this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. and runs through next Wednesday (February 20). This exciting event has been looked forward to since the completion of the Crusade last year. And that one was a success!

It was a time of commitment, seeking answers, even getting to ask Jesus into their hearts. I am so glad that there is yet another one. Hopefully this will be an annual event.

Here’s a quick look at the festivities:

Saturday (2/16) is the kickoff. The featured speaker is Evangelist Tom Ferrell. A well known evangelist he will be bringing powerful messages every night (plus Sunday Morning). This powerful and dynamic speaker will be backed up with the merged choirs of Calvary Baptist Church of Englewood, First Baptist Church of North Port, and Tri-City Baptist Church of Punta Gorda led by Evangelist Randy Merrill. And the children will have activities aimed right at their age level and led by Evangelist Kevin Walker.

Sunday (2/17) This will be the morning service (11:00 a.m.). Called Friend Day it will be the opportunity to bring a friend. If you live in the area and read this blog then you can come as my friend. It will be worth it! Or bring a friend.

Sunday (2/17) All Educators are to be honored on this night. It doesn’t matter if you teach in the Public School system, you Home School, you teach in a church school or in Sunday School, come to the crusade! This is your day!

Monday (2/18) All Veterans will be honored. I’m a veteran so I certainly don’t want to miss this. Again I don’t know the how we’ll be honored but I’m looking forward to it. I’m a veteran of the Vietnam War, but there’s a good chance that there will be veterans from wars dating back to Korea or maybe World War II.

Tuesday (2/19) First Responders will be honored. The men and women of our Fire Departments, Police, and whoever is considered a First Responder. This is your day!

These are the people who protect us, rescue us, and stand ready to help every day. It will be our opportunity to meet them.

Wednesday (2/20) Prophecy night. This promises to be very informative as we live in a day when many prophecies have already been fulfilled yet a few remain. This is always interesting and chances are we’ll learn something new.

But I asked about an astonishing opportunity. So let’s delve into this.

Opportunity to hear great preaching.

As mentioned above Evangelist Tom Ferrell is a powerful and dynamic preacher. Last year I was only able to hear him once because my wife was sick and I needed to be with her. But I’ve heard him in the past and this is an opportunity that both of us won’t be missing!

Opportunity to meet and learn.

We’ll have the opportunity to meet educators, veterans, and First Responders. That in itself will be a privilege. As a veteran myself I will have the opportunity to meet other veterans and perhaps share remembrances. And then to meet the men and women who risk their lives daily on our behalf. Or perhaps you’d like to meet educators and hear their stories. There is something for everyone!

Opportunity to get right with God.

Face it, we all have needs. We were all born sinners, but God has a message for our hearts, our souls. Sometimes it is difficult to go forward in your own church and let God deal with you, yet it is also difficult to get with God at home because of a multitude of activities and responsibilities. A tent crusade is less structured and surprisingly less threatening. Perhaps you have never asked Jesus into your life. You’ll have an opportunity to do that.

Opportunity to commit yourself.

If you’ve been a Christian for awhile then you probably have heard God’s call upon your life. Maybe you’ve been fighting it or maybe you just need clarity. Something in the messages may touch your heart strings and the answer will present itself.

Opportunity to see a friend or loved one get saved.

Has the Lord burdened your heart for someone? Invite them to come. God has promised His Word won’t come back void. It just may be that the answer to your prayers will be met right here at the Florida Gospel Crusade.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four) I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade

FeaturedWhy You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Why You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade.
Today I’m writing on what I consider one of the most important issues of the day, namely our eternal destiny. Below are five basic questions that can turn your life around?
What is the Florida Gospel Crusade?
The Florida Gospel Crusade is the result of God burdening three churches for their respective communities. These are First Baptist Church of North Port, Tri-City Baptist Church of Port Charlotte, and Englewood Baptist Church of Englewood.
The burden of these churches is for the evangelization of their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first such crusade occurred in February 2018 and it was a tremendous time. That was right when my wife was diagnosed with cancer, so I only made it to two services. But I was really impressed!
Do You Live In SW Florida?
If you live in Sarasota or Charlotte counties then you are automatically invited. But just because you live elsewhere is no reason for not going. Perhaps you live in Lehigh Acres, Ft. Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, or any other county not far from Charlotte. Then come!
Perhaps you live even further away. Come anyway!
Are You Searching for Life’s Answers?
In this day and age we find ourselves facing questions. Things we once accepted as truth are today being challenged. What is the truth? Who can you rely on? How does that truth affect you?
These and many other questions are addressed right from the Bible.
When Will it be Held?
The dates for this event are February 16-20, 2019.
Where will it be Held?
The crusade will be held at Port Charlotte Fairgrounds on 776 (across from the Charlotte Sports Park).
Why Should I Go?
As mentioned above you will learn the answers to where you’ll spend eternity, what is salvation, and how do you get saved. You’ll learn what God says as opposed to what man says.
Even if you don’t have any questions but just enjoy good preaching, then come!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

I Hope You Have an Amazing and Beautiful Christmas

FeaturedI Hope You Have an Amazing and Beautiful Christmas

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at I hope you have an amazing and beautiful Christmas.
Today is Friday and Christmas is not far away. Although I plan on writing my blog on Monday I thought it appropriate to take a couple minutes and wish you an amazing and beautiful Christmas.
I’m sure you’ve noticed as I have that the meaning of Christmas is largely lost on society. That’s not exactly news, but it is sad. In the paper this morning there was a story concerning someone giving something to someone else. It was a beautiful story but I noticed that the headline included this: “That is what Christmas is all about.”
No it isn’t!
Yes, we should love one another. Yes, we should help one another whenever possible. That is something that should characterize our lives, but it is not the meaning of Christmas.
I thought giving was the meaning of Christmas.
In the secular world we live in today giving presents to one another has become the prime reason for Christmas. It gives us a chance to show others that we care and appreciate them. It is an activity that should be a part of our Christmas celebration. It is a part of Christmas but it is not the meaning of Christmas.
What about Christmas lights?
I love seeing Christmas lights displayed. Just this week our Church group went out to see the Christmas displays. Some people spend a fortune on displays and make them available to the public. Beautiful barely describes it.
My wife and I often notice and enjoy the various light displays that we see as we drive around Port Charlotte. You see the Nativity Scene, Santa Claus, Reindeer, playing children, and much, much more. It is often an amazing sight. But that is not the meaning of Christmas.
Caroling?
People going home to home singing Christmas carols is a tradition that still lends beauty to the season. That little group that went out to see the Christmas lights also stopped at a couple of homes to sing carols. I hope that someday if my wife or I are incapacitated and can’t get out that somebody will be thoughtful enough to stop by and sing Christmas carols to us.
The music and the words carry the sound of God’s love. They often refer to the true meaning of Christmas. But singing Christmas carols is not the meaning of Christmas.
Oh, you mean it’s about the Birth of Jesus.
You’re getting closer. The Nativity scene used to be visible on private and public land and institutions. Nowadays it’s considered illegal to celebrate His birth in some places. And it’s a rare American who hasn’t heard the story of the virgin birth of Jesus, the step-son of Joseph and son of Mary.
We’ve all heard the story of the shepherds in the field being visited by angels. They are sent to see the newborn Babe and to worship Him. It is a true story that touches our emotions. Many Americans, even those not Christian, love the story, the Nativity scene, and especially the Baby in the manger. But it is not the true meaning of Christmas.
If not Jesus’ Birth then what?
It is this: “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.”
God so loved all of us that He gave (sent His Son to be born of a virgin and to die on a cross) His Son. When we view the birth of Jesus we should always remember the Cross.
Put another way, Jesus was born to die for us! That is why He was born. Not to elicit smiles and “isn’t He adorable.” He came with the express purpose of taking our sins upon Himself and dying in our place. That is the true meaning of Christmas.
So as you celebrate His birth, why not take time to reflect upon why He came? He came on your behalf. He came that you a sinner might accept His gift and receive eternal life!
Have An Amazing and Beautiful Christmas!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Is Jesus the Son of God?

FeaturedIs Jesus the Son of God?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Is Jesus the Son of God?
I read a really ignorant twitter a few minutes ago where the writer states that Jesus was nothing more than a carpenter and not God.
Why is it Ignorant?
Because even secular history identifies Jesus as more than a carpenter. Even the man-made religions of the world admit He existed and was more than a carpenter. Even His greatest enemies admit He was more than a carpenter.
It is also ignorant because the man who tweeted this message obviously never read the Bible. The Old Testament prophecies identified His characteristics and in the New Testament He fulfilled them to a ‘T.’
Denying that Jesus is the Son of God requires blinders. It requires that you ignore His miracles, ignore the fulfilled prophecies, and ignore His own claims. People have been trying for centuries to disprove His claims, all to no avail. They try to find ‘errors’ in the Word but such claims are quickly and thoroughly destroyed.
In other words it is not just ignorance but willful ignorance.
So What Prophecies were Fulfilled?
The Old Testament prophesied where He would be born. There were two Bethlehems existing in His day, but in Micah 5:2 we read, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Jesus was born in Bethlehem Ephratah.
In Psalm 22:16 (right in the middle of a graphic description of crucifixion) we read, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.”
This describes the fact He was nailed to the cross and that His bones were not broken; two prophecies fulfilled.
In Isaiah 53 we find another prophecy (or prophecies) and in verse 9 we read, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”
Here we find that He was buried with the rich and in fact he was buried in the tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea. Read the passage Mark 15:43, 46, “Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. … And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.”
Though it was highly dangerous to be identified with Jesus, Joseph asked for the body and it was given to him. He then buried Jesus in his new, unused tomb.
These are but a few prophecies that were fulfilled in detail. The evidence is overwhelming that Jesus is the Son of God. A person literally has to lie to himself/herself to claim otherwise.
What about Jesus’ Claims?
Some Bible ‘scholars’ claim Jesus never said He was God. But take a look:
Luke 10:22: “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”
John 12:34: “The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth
for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?”
Notice the use of “I Am” that Jesus uses below. His listeners knew that the name Jehovah means “I am that I am.” They understood exactly what Jesus was claiming.
John 8:18: “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.”
John 10:36: “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world,
Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”
Or how about outright claims that even an unbeliever can understand?
John 10:38: “But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may
know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.”
I have barely touched the surface, but a reasonable person will admit that history identifies Him as at least a prophet, the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Him, and that Jesus Himself claimed to be God.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why Does the Church Want My Money?

Why Does the Church Want My Money?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Why Does the Church want my money?
Our Money Isn’t Ours
People who take the attitude that the church just wants their money are missing a fundamental truth: It isn’t their money. It’s God’s money!
So when a pastor stands before the congregation and tells about a financial need for the church or an individual, he is actually appealing to you as stewards of God’s Money. God, being generous allows us to earn ‘xxx’ amount of dollars perhaps as a wage, royalty, or some other manner. We didn’t really earn it. God gave us the ability and opportunity to earn that money; it is part of His care for us.
On top of that He only commands us to give back 10% or, to state it another way, He allows us to keep 90%!
The Church is a Storehouse to be Used for God’s Purposes
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The primary purpose of the Church is to promulgate the gospel. This may touch on several different fronts:

  • A church building to worship within
  • An evangelistic outreach program
  • Church planting
  • Missions
  • Care of the Needy

Every one of these requires money. To object to a church seeking funds from its members to take care of its needs and commitments is outright foolish. Usually the ones who complain aren’t even Christians, which is both tragic and funny. Most pastors are careful to address the church’s needs to the congregation, but even so a visitor will quite readily get upset and say, “I knew it. All they want is our money!”
The problem with that is that the church doesn’t really want your money. They want you to be reached with the gospel and get saved. Then as a steward of God’s money respond as He leads you.
Does God Really Care?
Yes. God wants us to grow, to become mature Christians in all areas of our lives. He wants us to have a discerning spirit whereby we see and are burdened for a need, pray seeking His guidance, and respond to His tender leading.
It is through His people that God answers prayer. Sure, He may use non-Christians in the furtherance of His work, but primarily he uses Christians.
God Delights in Giving Us the Ability to Give Back
Isn’t that amazing! God owns all the resources of the world no matter what humans believe. He owns it and can do anything He wants with it. But the truth is He takes pleasure in using those resources to bless us! He then delights in using us in such a way that we help others! And when you explore it out you discover that the money you gave is multiplied many times over so that the church as well as others have their needs met.
We’ve all heard testimonies of people having a dire need and God providing the solution. It touches our hearts and makes us want to give more.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Agape Love

Agape Love

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Agape Love.
“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.” John 3:16
Before taking a closer look at Agape, let’s look at the four different words in the Bible for love:

  1. Eros: erotic love. This is not found in either the Old Testament or New Testament.
  2. Storge: empathy. This is in the Bible and has to deal with having empathy for someone.
  3. Philia or Phileo: friendship, having tender affection for someone or something. While this can include sexual it is usually in relationship to brotherly love. We get philanthropia, love of people, from it; also philanthropy, love of humanity.
  4. Agape: sacrificial love. Best example is God loves us no matter what!

The problem we have in today’s society is that while love is on the minds of people, even to the point of emphasizing God is love, it usually is speaking of Eros or, at best, Phileo. Simply put the unbelieving world doesn’t know the difference between the different types of love, so they bring God’s love down to what they understand thereby polluting it.
Agape love actually doesn’t have a definitive meaning. Sacrificial love probably comes the closest, but it still doesn’t catch the whole meaning. That is why when describing it we often need examples. The example above (John 3:16) shows sacrificial love and a whole lot more. How do you describe the kind of love it took for God the Son to suffer separation from God the Father for even a second? And He did it for us! Yes, it is Agape love at its best but it is impossible to define it with any more meaning in man’s tongue.
Yet we are commanded to have Agape love. In John 13:34 we are told to love one another, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” That is not talking about sexual love or even friendly love, but rather a sacrificial love for one another. We Christians are to be known by that kind of love with the added “especially of the household of faith.”
What doesn’t Agape love mean?”
As stated above it doesn’t mean sexual love. Nor does it mean brotherly love. Sometimes the world wants us to be more loving toward those who are gross sinners. They use Scripture that contains the Agape love as their basis. That is pure ignorance of the Word of God. God loves everyone but not their sins. And that is what we as Christians need to be: love the sinner but hate the sin. That’s hard to do because many people in the bondage of sin want you to “tolerate” their sin which the Bible condemns.
The fact of the matter is everyone was born a sinner. Each one of us is born with a natural bent toward sin of any type. God understands this, which is why it was necessary for Him to send His Son to pay the penalty for sin. But Christ’s sacrifice of His life and His Divine oneness with the Father isn’t a Get Out of Jail card enabling us to sin and then use the card when necessary. It is a Gift Card paid for by Jesus Christ. It has eternal value but cannot be used as an excuse for illicit activities.
So God wants us to show a sacrificial love toward everyone. We are to judge sin as He judges it, but we are to love the sinner with open arms restoring them as much as is possible. This is particularly true of our love for the brethren (other born again people).
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars Book One) and now Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Upon This Rock

Upon This Rock

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Upon This Rock.
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:16-18 (emphasis added)
This passage generates a lot of comments, even disagreements. Part of the reason is because we humans have a way of zooming in on only one verse or may one or two words in that verse. For example, if you only look at verse 18 you might get the impression that Peter, which means stone, is the foundation or Rock of the church. Religious doctrine has been built on that erroneous belief.
The Bible teaches us to use all of Scripture to understand Scripture. Part of this is reading, studying, and applying verses in context. Now admittedly I could have actually added a few more verses and covered 16:13-19. The first few verses has Jesus asking the disciples who they thought He was, while verse 19 deals with the keys of heaven which He gave Peter and were used in the Book of Acts. But the passage beginning in verse 16 and ending with verse 18 gives us the necessary context to understand what is happening.
Jesus was doing a play on words. Peter had just expressed his, and the other disciples, belief that Jesus “art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then uses Peter’s name (Petros or stone, little rock)  to underline the importance of what Peter had just confessed.
You could paraphrase Jesus’ words thus, Thou art a (Petros) little rock or pebble and upon this (Petra) huge rock I will build my church. In other words, Peter had the distinct honor to declare the gospel upon which the church would be built. No other man had up to that time made that declaration. His Messianic connection had been hinted at by Anna (Luke 2:36-38) and John the Baptist (John 1:29,36), but nothing about the church.
So why is that important?
Unfortunately a false doctrine rose up teaching that Peter is the foundation of the church. Aside from the fact that any man being the foundation makes for a rather weak foundation, it also is contrary to the teaching of Christ and the Apostles that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Foundation of the church.
Because it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, namely His death, burial, and resurrection that the believer’s eternal life rests upon. Jesus Christ shed His blood that we might have life! Later on in Scripture Christ is the Groom and the church is the Bride. It is an eternal connection. Moreover the gospel is the foundation of our salvation. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
Notice He said “but by me.” We come to the Father by the blood of Jesus Christ and none other!
Nowhere are we told to worship mere man. Peter was a great man used of God, but he always was a man, while Jesus is the God/Man!
Is there anything else we can learn?
The last part of Jesus’ statement reads, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We Christians all too often are defensive in our war with Satan. But Christ teaches that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church. That’s an offensive, not defensive, statement. The Church Triumphant will eventually win the war, but right now it is pounding on the gates of Hell. Every time the gospel is heard by an unsaved person Hell trembles. Why? Because if that person turns to Christ for salvation, Hell has gotten a little less crowded. When the church is assailing the gates of Hell with the gospel it is doing its job, which is to win souls to Christ!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Finding a Church

Finding a Church

Today I am writing about Finding a Church.
Before I begin let me provide this snippet: Finding a good church involves a great many things but I am including only those I’m interested in.

  • Perhaps you just moved into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you plan on moving into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you just received Christ as your Savior (born again) and need a good church.
  • Perhaps you’re leaving your current church and need a good church.

There are myriads of reasons for leaving a church, but I am only looking at a few.
How Should I Look for a New Church?
Let’s look at the last item: leaving your church. There are a number of reasons for leaving a church, but the Biblical reason would be doctrine. And that requires soul searching. Why did you leave? What doctrinal issue was involved? If not a doctrinal issue then maybe you should reevaluate.
For the purposes of this blog I am making some assumptions. Namely, that you are a born again believer, that you either are or want to be a fundamentalist, that you want to grow.
What is a Fundamentalist?
A fundamentalist is a person who believes in the fundamentals or basics of Scripture. The following list covers most, if not all, of the fundamentals.
With those in mind here are some ideas: The Church should:

  • Believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God.
  • Believe the Scriptures to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God, as found within the 66 books from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Believe God not only inspired every word, but also preserved them through the ages.
  • Believe the King James Version is the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people (Psalm 12:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
  • Believe in one God, who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable.
  • Believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance, yet manifests Himself to man in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 1:17; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4).
  • Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be the one and only Saviour of mankind.
  • Believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purposes of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s Kingdom.
  • Believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection.
  • Believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time of receiving His church at the Rapture, and returning seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25, 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:19, 2:2; 1 John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).Believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam.
  • Believe that because of this nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power.
  • Believe the only hope of deliverance for man is turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour.
  • Believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered from his sin.
  • Believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19, 16:31; Romans 3:10-23, 5:6-12, 6:23, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14).
  • Believe the local church is composed of members who have been saved and baptized according to the command of Christ, and have voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, service, and the Lord’s Table.
  • Believe all true believers will be taken up at the Rapture, just prior to the Tribulation (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:15, 2:41-43, 11:15, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Ephesians 1:12-14, 5:25-30; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 3:4-15).
  • Believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context.
  • Believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture of the church saints, followed by the seven-year Tribulation.
  • Believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule for one thousand years. Following this one thousand years is a Great White Throne judgment and then the New Heaven and new earth (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22).

This is by no means considered to be an exhaustive list, but it does cover the fundamentals. You may disagree with some of these, which is your right. I have included Scripture references to support the items.
You mention the KJV Bible. Why?
Contrary to a lot of intellectual nonsense the King James Version is the only Bible today that is based on the Texus Receptus. The argument against the KJV is that there are “older” versions that are better. Since there are no originals in existence anymore it is impossible to tell which is older. That said, the King James Version is based on copies that can be traced right back to New Testament times. This is not true of many modern versions which can only be traced back to when they were found (at least one in a trash can).
How do I find out what a church believes?
Here are some ideas for that:

  • Church website – many, if not most, churches have a website where you can see their Statement of Faith
  • Tract Rack – When I visit a church I look at their tract rack, it is very revealing
  • Mission Board – another revealing source I check on when visiting a church
  • Friends – if your friends have visited the church they might be able to help
  • Sunday School teaching – you’ll learn a lot about the church’s beliefs and practices
  • Sermons – the preaching of God’s Word will always be revealing.

How often should I attend a church before making a decision?

  • I recommend at least three times. Sometimes it may take weeks to get a true picture.
  • A safe answer would be to attend as long as necessary to form a correct opinion.

What about Music?
Music can make or break a church. There are different views on the subject. One rule I would follow would be to stay away from churches which try to please everyone. These usually have Traditional and Contemporary music or services. A good question to ask is does the music honor God and lift up the name of Jesus. Does the music prepare the heart for the preaching?
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Persecuted Church

The Persecuted Church

Christians are being persecuted around the world. Even here in America we are seeing forms of persecution. The media, some government bodies, and colleges are now taking an anti-Christian view.

In this first blog about the Persecuted Church I am taking a look at America, so-called Christian America. We now live in a country where believing in the fundamental truths of the Bible is ridiculed and punished.

Recently I read a column by Kathleen Parker. Now, to be honest, the two of us would probably disagree on a lot of things since we apparently have two different worldviews. But I found her article interesting and well written. The article concerned the religious liberty battle raging between the city of Philadelphia and the Catholic Social Services. This battle also included the Bethany Christian Services.

Both of the services turned away an openly gay couple from adopting a child. Why? Because both organizations had religious objections based on their understanding of the Bible. Protected by the constitution, right? Apparently not. Shortly afterward the city’s Department of Human Services “suspended foster care intake with both Bethany and CSS.”

Now Parker and I would differ on our view of gays, but we agree on religious liberty. But the real point of bringing this up is that attacking people for their Biblical stand is becoming all too common. The article itself referred to the forcing of devout bakers to create wedding cakes for gay marriages. This is a sad time for a country that is still identified as Christian.

But may I take it further? Not only are Christian values being stomped upon, but cults and other religions are getting preferential treatment. We frequently hear of Dearborn, Michigan, not far from where I once lived, being run as a Moslem city. Is it true? I haven’t been there in decades, so I don’t know. But if true, it is contrary to our constitution and, for that matter, to our history. But Dearborn is just one example. How about our military where a small group of atheists had forced the military to turn against the very men and women who served, some as chaplains?

Fortunately, the election of Trump has at least slowed down the secularization of America, but it will take a revival to stop it cold and reverse it. But will Christians take a stand; will Christians be revived; and to the point, will America return to its Biblical roots and both honor and worship the one true God?

Some people say no, it’s too late for America. But when I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, I find examples where God revived His people when all seemed lost. I believe He can still do it, He is all-powerful, but we Christians need to fervently pray for revival. And while praying take a close look at our own lives.

Is the church persecuted in America? Not like in other countries, but it has started.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.