Weekly Newsletter – December 31, 2018
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
The Lord Jesus Christ:
Saviour of the World
The Holy Bible gives God’s Son manifold titles. However, the one that means so much to all of us as poor, helpless sinners is “Saviour”- which immediately instills hope within one’s heart concerning salvation. The very name Jesus means “salvation.” Matthew 1:21 states, Thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Multitudes today are trusting in man-made rituals to get them inside God’s heaven. Yet, there isn’t a ceremonial rite in all of Christendom’s churches that can save a man. Jesus Christ alone is the only way to eternal life.
Christ’s saving power
In that tremendous portion of Scripture often described as the “Magnificat,” Mary, the mother of Jesus, cried out, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour (Luke 1:46,47). In Luke 2, the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, saying, Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (verses 10,11).
Also in Luke 2, Simeon had been waiting for the consolation or hope of Israel. He jubilantly exclaimed, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation (verses 29,30). He was looking upon the Christ child as he spoke those words.
Again in John 4, a wicked woman-who had five husbands and who was living under common law with number six-turned to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. Then she excitedly ran back to the city and told the people about her newfound joy in this Saviour who had blotted out her sordid past. The men of that city listened to the Lord’s discourses for two days and exuberantly stated, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world (verse 42).
In Acts 5, Peter and some of the apostles were threatened with punishment, even unto death (verse 33). However, the great Apostle Peter so loved Jesus. He believed so strongly in the fact that Jesus was the only way of salvation and eternal life that he was willing to die in order that the message might be proclaimed. I can almost hear this impulsive preacher saying, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour (verses 29-31).
Acts 13:23 calls Him a Saviour, Jesus. Ephesians 5:23 says, Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Compare this verse with 1 Corinthians 12:13, For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. The body of Christ, into which one is implanted at the time of regeneration, is the Church, and Ephesians 5:23 states that Christ is the Saviour of this body. Baptism, reformation, confirmation, works, creeds, and human efforts cannot place one into the true Church because only the Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour of this body. Amen!
The Apostle Paul stated that one of the reasons he was willing to endure suffering, torture, and even death was because of his trust in the Saviour. Death could only mean that the One who saved him would welcome him home to heaven. Hear him in 1 Timothy 4:10. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
In 2 Timothy 1:9 and 10, Paul went on to say that it was not a system of self-attainment through works that would place him eternally in the glory land, but rather a precious Saviour whose name was Jesus Christ. Listen to the simplicity of these instructive verses. [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel [or through the good news].
Again, He hath abolished death. What wonderful words! And [He] hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Immortality speaks of eternal life-and it comes through the gospel or the “good news.” Do you get the impact? Eternal life is through the gospel and gospel means “good news.”
This good news is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 where we find that Christ died, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Put it all together and it simply says that everlasting life does not come through one’s denominational record or good works. It comes as a result of one’s acceptance of the Saviour’s death by the shedding of blood and of His resurrection. Titus 2:13 speaks of Christ’s return by stating, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Notice that it is not Buddha, Mohammed, or Zoroaster who is the Saviour, but only the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other Saviour-Jesus is the only way. Second Peter 1:1 again calls Him our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Christ’s earthly ministry
“Saviour” is not some honorary title which was bestowed upon the Lord Jesus Christ in recognition of His wonderful teachings. Rather, it depicts His ministry upon earth and speaks of His saving power.
Presently, we are living in a time of rebellion. Corrupted mankind is trying to destroy all of our foundational structures. This trend can also be witnessed in the religious world as apostate, liberal clergymen mock the doctrines of the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His blood atonement upon the cross, and His bodily resurrection. Many laugh at the statement “Jesus Saves” as if the word “saves” were an invention of some simpleton.
Our God predicted this would happen, and it is one of the signs of the end. Second Peter 2:1,2: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be [one of the signs] false teachers among you, who privity shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
There are two things one can do for these poor misguided souls: (1) pray for them, and (2) thank God for their presence because it means that Jesus Christ is coming soon to call Christians home. Let them laugh. The term saved was placed in the Bible scores of times by a holy God. One had better investigate and accept this truth if he is interested in eternal life.
I could quote numerous verses proving that salvation is of God and that God put this word in the Bible. However, let’s limit our discussion to those which speak exclusively about Christ being the way of salvation: Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11). God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him [Jesus] might be saved (John 3:17).
Jesus said, I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9). I came not to judge the world, but to save the world (John 12:47).
Paul said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31). For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ [not rites, ceremonies, rituals, the Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, or the Ten Commandments, but the gospel or the good news of Christ]: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (Romans 1:16). We shall be saved from wrath through him (Romans 5:9). 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 10:9).
In 1 Corinthians 15:1,2 we find this statement, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [the good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved. How? Verses 3 and 4: Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and…he was buried, and…he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. This alone is the message of the gospel, the good news, the only way of salvation. Christ died, shed His blood, and rose again.
Christ’s redeeming blood
Christ’s power to save all the world was wrought through His precious blood shed on Calvary. Leviticus 17:11: It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Acts 20:28: The church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. First Peter 1:18,79: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Revelation 1:5: Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Yes, without [the] shedding of blood [there] is no remission [of sins] (Hebrews 9:22).
It is not enough simply to state that Christ died-as so many intellectuals do today in order to do away with the sacrifice of His blood. A bloodless death on the cross would not have saved anyone. Let me repeat that. Had Christ died of a heart attack or of suffocation upon the cross, mankind would have been lost forever, for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Because of this fact, Christ came to earth to take upon himself a body with blood so that He might shed that blood for our sins (see Hebrews 10:5). When one receives this sacrifice of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, he is saved immediately.
Christ’s redemptive purpose
If the Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour and has saving power, we may conclude that He came to earth because sinners need saving. This is exactly what Paul said. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (Timothy 1:15). Not only does this statement include everyone we know, but ourselves as well. Christ would have all men to be saved, including you and me (see 1 Timothy 2:4). [Christ] gave himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6).
The only reason some people will never get saved is that they do not realize that they are lost. They think they were born into sainthood just like the Pharisee in the temple. He said, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are (Luke 18:11). However, Jesus said in Matthew 5:20, Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Why? The Pharisees were so caught up in the admiration of their own goodness that they were convinced they needed nothing from God-nothing at all! Yet, God says in Isaiah 64:6, We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Galatians 3:22: The scripture hath concluded all under sin. Thus, God not only wants to save mankind from the misery of sin in this life, but also from the eternal penalty into which sin will drag those who reject Christ. He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth [eternity] on him (John 3:36). Why? Because he won’t receive the Son.
Oh, my friend, if you are lost, the Saviour longs to save you. You need saving because all are sinners and only through His blood can you be washed white. You may be whitewashed because you’ve had all the rituals of the Church performed upon you, but you really need to be washed white to inherit eternal life! Why not call on Him right now, saying, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart.”
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you (Philippians 1:3)
In the past few weeks of the holiday season, Jack and I have heard from so many of our friends and partners. How we enjoyed receiving all the beautiful cards, notes, letters and e-mail. Every personal message was appreciated, especially those which said, “Dr. Van Impe and Rexella, I’m thinking of you and praying for you.” I treasure these precious expressions of love.
And at the same time, what a special joy it was for us to remember many of our friends, sending cards, letters and small tokens of appreciation. When Jack and I see what God is doing through the outreaches of this ministry, we always remember special people like you who have helped make it all possible with your prayers and faithful support.
Remembering is a wonderful thing. It is the means the Lord has provided for us to relive and enjoy anew the special experiences, people, and blessings He sends into our lives. Remembering can fill us with joy over and over again as we recall and give thanks for what God has done.
During the past year, we’ve all had occasion to observe the news coverage of great calamities such as hurricanes, floods, fires and other disasters in which people lost all their possessions. One thing that always strikes me is that the victims do not mourn over the loss of cars, houses, furniture and other “things.” The most bitter loss, it seems, is the destruction of personal momentos, family pictures, children’s scrapbooks, heirlooms and other items with relatively little monetary value. But they were priceless and irreplaceable because each item was inexorably linked to a memory. These keepsakes were important because each time a family member looked at them, he or she remembered a part of the family’s heritage – a person, place, or event – with loving and significant meaning. People grieve over the loss of such treasured items because of the threat to their ability to remember what is really important in their lives.
As a child, I loved to get my dad or mom started by recalling special stories from their childhood. I’d sit in rapt fascination as my parents remembered simple, down-to-earth stories about life and living in their generation – how things were different, and yet how things are still the same. I truly learned so much from their memories.
Remembering the good things – the important values of life – is tremendously important. It is especially essential for us to remember the work of God in our lives.
I started singing when I was five years old, and one of the first songs Mother taught me was a wonderful message wrapped up in a lovely melody. It said – Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. One reason that song was so powerful is that it caused one to stop and remember! God is so good to us. In fact, some of my childhood friends used to change the words of that song a bit to say, “Count your blessings, weigh them ton by ton.”
Have you been blessed? Has God blessed you and your loved ones? Remember … and be thankful.
Remember, too, the instructions and directions of the Lord. For example, God’s Word says in Galatians 2:10, remember the poor. We are to remember those in affliction – and minister to them of our means, encouraging them and lifting them up. I’ve found that reaching out to bless others comes almost naturally IF we first remember what God has done for us. Jesus said, freely ye have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8).
I love the beautiful words of the Psalmist David – I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old (Psalm 77:11). Throughout the rest of his song, David gave thanks and praise to God as he remembered Who He was and what He had done. He recalled that God is the Maker of all things, including such wonders as the waters, the sky and the clouds, the lightning and thunder. How great and wonderful is our God!
Remember to forget
Certainly it is good for us to remember certain specific events and blessings and the great things about God. But there are also times in our lives when we must remember to forget! Hear the thrilling words of Paul: "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13,14). What are we to forget? Things of the past! Things like faults, failures, mistakes – things that would hinder or discourage us in pushing forward to fulfill God’s calling for our lives. Forgetting doesn’t mean that yesterday’s mistakes didn’t happen – that they’re not a part of history. In this context, forgetting means not allowing the past to negatively impact the present. To remember yesterday’s sins that Christ has forgiven is to carry a burdensome weight that hinders our efforts and slows us down.
Paul said, in effect, “Forget the sins and failures of the past. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily bests us, and run with patience the race that is before us” (see Hebrews 12:1).
Do you suppose the sin that so easily trips us up could be the heaviness of remembering the past? It seems to me that so many people cripple themselves and make their efforts ineffective by allowing memories of the past to make them bitter. One thing is for sure – if we are brooding over the past, we cannot be pressing on to attain the prize of Christ’s high calling in our lives.
Why should we keep dragging up the sins and failures of the past? Christ doesn’t. Once He has forgiven us, He forgets our transgressions and never remembers them again! Read – and remember – God’s remarkable promise in Hebrews 8:12 – For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.
The Bible is filled with examples of things that God does for us, but this is one thing He refuses to do: He will not recall the sins of the past! The record of all those shameful, hurtful, sinful deeds is no longer on the books. It has been washed away by the blood of Jesus.
Perhaps you’re saying, “But Rexella, how can I expect Him to keep on forgiving me when I come back again and again – ten times … eleven – with the same failure, the same sin?”
If you have honestly confessed that sin to the Lord and accepted His forgiveness, forget it! Why? Because He also remembers to FORGET your sin. He wills not to recall it. And if He will not, why should you? I love this saying that Jack shared on our program recently: when we confess our sins God takes them and buries them in the depths of the sea and puts up a "NO FISHING" sign.
What a great weight you can lay aside! Never again do you need to agonize over the lie you told, the angry outburst, the date with a sweetheart in which you allowed things to go too far, the jealousies, the broken promises – whatever haunts your memories. Remember to forget the sins of the past. Once you have accepted Christ’s forgiveness, the past can be forgotten forever.
Start a brand new year with a brand new record
Starting a new year is one of my favorite things. It always seems to me that each January is a fresh start, a new opportunity, a clean slate. And I look forward to it with faith and joy.
Of course I’m aware that crossing this new threshold takes me into the unknown. I’ve never been there before. I don’t know what to expect or what lies ahead. Will Jesus come back this year? Will death strike a loved one? Will I face unseen hardships or unexpected blessings? In the words of an old gospel song – “Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand, but I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand.” God knows what is ahead, and He is walking by my side. He is with me … and with you.
So we can walk boldly into the new year, not with trepidation or dread, but with glorious expectancy. We can choose not to allow the ghosts of the past to haunt us in this new year. Because He remembers our sins no more. Remember when the Lord speaks this year, it will not be with a voice of accusation.
Yet, we have the assurance that God remembers us – He knows who we are, where we are and what we’re going through. He never forgets us in times of need, but comes to us just when we need Him most.
What more can we ask than the assurance that comes from remembering the good things and the unfailing promises of God? And what an exciting challenge to start a brand – new year with a fresh, clean record! Something inside me tells me that 2018 is going to be a year to remember!
So begin this month, this week, this day expecting good things from the Lord. His will for you is GOOD. Remember to let God be your guide in 2019, and it will, indeed, be a happy new year.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
As a retired Deputy Sheriff/ Detective from a central Florida Sheriff’s Office, I have spent my career and life based on evidence. Not on how things look or sound at the time or location, but at evidence. My investigations were based on the questions of “who, what, when, where, why, and how”. It is with great security that you approach and answer those questions with each Biblical stand you take. Not with current society attitude or opinion, but with scriptural evidence. As my wife and I have begun to search through your teachings and materials, we are amazed that you take such a safe and strong Biblical stand on everything that comes out of your mouth! When someone asks me if I can trust what JVIM teaches, I literally can say, “Yes, case closed!” Keep the faith, my pilgrim brother and sister. God Bless!
Drs. Jack and Rexella Impe,
I’m thankful for your ministry. I especially appreciate your holy boldness in declaring God’s truth without compromise.
I’m thankful for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace. I can hardly begin to comprehend why anyone wouldn’t be absolutely joyful for the pardon of our many sins and the promise of eternal life through repentant faith in Jesus Christ.
Please pray for me to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit so I always walk in The Spirit.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Dr. Jack Van Impe’s wonderful year-long devotional, Soul Food: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread is the perfect daily reading to keep you growing in God, looking forward to His return, and finding peace, comfort and hope for each new day, every day of the year. There’s a daily memory verse to help you keep learning new Scriptures throughout the year, plus powerful insight from the man called “The Walking Bible.” This is great devotional material for you, and it makes a wonderful gift for a loved one.
Rampant addictions; a sign of the times? Now you’ll understand how God’s Word previews the bondage of alcoholism and drugs, tobacco, pornography, gambling, and more that we see all around us today as a sign of the soon return of the Savior and the approaching Tribulation.
In this insightful video, Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe also reveal hope for you or a loved one who is struggling with a life-controlling addiction, through the power of Jesus Christ. Learn about the biblical perspective on substance abuse – the roots of addiction – how to overcome addictions as notorious as alcoholism or as overlooked as gossip, lying or cursing.