Weekly Newsletter – June 22, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
PEACE IN A TROUBLED WORLD
In the light of all that is going on in our world today it may sound strange to hear that you can have peace in a troubled world. In our beloved country every day we have:
- 10 teens commit suicide
- 135,000 teens bring a gun to school
- 7,742 teens become sexually active
- 2,705 teen girls get pregnant
- 1,106 teen girls have abortions
- 623 teens get a sexually transmitted disease
- 211 teens are arrested for drug abuse
- 437 teens are arrested for drinking or drunk driving
- 1,512 teens drop out of school
- 1,629 teens are in adult jails
As shocking as this is, it is not only a national dilemma, but also a global plague. Jesus knew this situation would engulf the globe prior to His return by prophesying that “iniquity would abound” but He added “Let not your heart be troubled”. What did He mean by this reassuring statement of comfort?
I want to let you in on the greatest truth I know. Everything I can say about real peace is centered in this fact. Without it, none of us can ever be genuinely at rest.
This truth has transformed millions of people throughout the history of the world. It has made derelicts into saints, hypocrites into godly men and women, and sinners into children of God. It is the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Throughout this study, we have touched on some priceless spiritual verities that have a direct bearing on how to deal with the issues of life that can cause us to feel baffled, bewildered-perhaps even befuddled. In fact, we might say that achieving genuine satisfaction is completely a spiritual issue. To me, satisfaction is the normal state of a healthy soul. A person who neglects his spiritual needs cut himself off from the possibility of knowing real and lasting peace and fulfillment.
The greatest spiritual truth of all is what God has done to redeem us from our sin. By giving His Son to die in our place, God has paid the price of our sin and is able to save us from the bondage and dissatisfaction that comes with it.
Let me clearly say that I am not speaking of religion. Many people who are religious know nothing about salvation. Religion is of human origin, and it almost always requires that we do something. God’s salvation, however, is entirely His work on our behalf. It requires absolutely nothing, since God has already accomplished all that is necessary. Our part is to simply accept it by faith.
A personal commitment
I had the privilege of conducting two wonderful interviews with the Reverend Peter Marshall. He was the co-author (with David Manuel) of two marvelous historical accounts of God’s plan for America and divine intervention in the founding of our nation-The Light and the Glory and From Sea to Shining Sea. Peter grew up in a marvelous Christian family. His father, the late Dr. Peter Marshall, was for many years chaplain of the United States Senate, and his mother, the late Catherine Marshall, is known and loved by millions for her many wonderful books.
I asked Peter what impact his distinguished parents had on his coming to Christ. He explained that they had made clear to him from his youth just what it means to be a Christian. As a result, he never took Christianity for granted, and he never assumed that just because his parents were well-known Christian leaders, he was automatically a Christian as well.
In fact, Peter told me it was not until he was 21 years of age that he felt he had really committed his life to the Lord. Although he had grown up surrounded by Christian teaching and in his head knew it was true, he had not yielded his heart in making a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
“I graduated from college, and I was lost,” he told me. “I had no idea who I was or why I was here. I thought I was going into the Foreign Service, the United States Diplomatic Corps, but the Lord shut that door and it didn’t work out. So I had nothing. No plans. No goals. Nothing.
“Then I went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes conference in Colorado in the summer of 1961 and heard Don Moomaw speak. I gave my life to the Lord as a result of that encounter. Two weeks later I was in seminary, and in 1965 I was ordained to the gospel ministry.”
God took Peter Marshall’s aimless life and gave him direction. And, as I interviewed him, Peter expressed his concern and burden that many people do not understand what Christianity really is.
“Christianity is not just running around trying to do great things for God,” he said. “We must understand that we need Jesus Christ because we are sinful human beings-weak and needy. In my pride, I had a hard time accepting this.”
I believe one of the reasons so many people-so many religious people-are dissatisfied is that they perceive religion as something we do for God. But true peace begins when we accept what God has done for us! The Bible says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).
You see, if salvation were something we could earn for ourselves, it would only contribute to our pride, for when we earned salvation, we would have much about which to brag and boast. Thus, what Peter Marshall says is absolutely correct-all of us are needy sinners-there is none righteous, no, not one…for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10,23). Yes, all of us fall short of God’s standards, and if we are to receive salvation from our sins, we must receive it as a gift, not as a meritorious award for service.
What sin does to us
Some may have difficulty accepting the fact that all of us are sinners. We all know people who are good, moral, honest, generous, thoughtful human beings. Surely they are not sinners in the same way hardened criminals are sinners-are they?
From God’s perspective, the answer is “yes.” Because His standard is absolute holiness-one hundred percent perfection-the issue is not how many sins we commit or what kind of sins we commit, but if we have sinned at all. And Scripture is clear that none of us can honestly say we have never sinned.
In the presence of absolute holiness, even the smallest sin is as offensive and out of place as the darkest, most heinous act of evil one can imagine. Because God is so completely holy and uncompromisingly righteous, He cannot permit sin to exist in His presence. And the only just penalty for sin is death-For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
But just as God is holy, righteous, and just, Scripture also informs us that He is a God of mercy and love. Because of His great love for us, He does not wish to condemn us without mercy. Since in His righteousness He cannot simply overlook sin, He found a way that He could make us righteous without compromising His own holiness. However, it cost Him the sacrifice of His Son!
Perhaps the most familiar verse in all of Scripture is John 3:16-For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That verse, more than any other, has opened people’s eyes to the truth of God’s salvation and the way to real satisfaction.
What this all means is that you do not have to earn God’s approval. You do not have to work to make yourself righteous. You do not have to become deserving of God’s grace. All the work has been done by God himself, and He offers His grace freely to those who will receive it by faith!
Nothing gives a greater sense of personal worth than the truth that God loves us so much that He gave His Son to pay the price for our sins. And nothing on earth brings more complete satisfaction than the confidence of knowing you are secure in God’s salvation.
May I ask you some important personal questions? What are you counting on to make yourself acceptable to God? If you were to stand before Him and give an account of your life, what could you point to that might make you acceptable to Him? Would it be your own works of righteousness? I hope not, because Isaiah 64:6 says, all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. God cannot accept works of righteousness from unrighteous people. Would you point to your heritage? Scripture is clear that salvation is not anyone’s birthright. In fact, Jesus said, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
The only thing any of us can point to that makes us acceptable to God is the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. We must simply trust Him with childlike faith and receive His gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 4:2 – 11
Verse 2: And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Again, as in chapter 1, verse 10, the Holy Spirit takes complete control of John in order to give him the most glorious vision in all time or eternity-the Lord Jesus Christ upon His throne. Most of us have not personally met many kings, queens, or presidents, but such introductions will become absolutely meaningless when we see Jesus in His majestic splendor. Praise God, that day will soon be here. We are going home imminently. Amen and amen!
Verse 3: And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
Here we see a comparison of Christ with two precious stones-the jasper and the sardine. The jasper is clear as crystal (chapter 21, verse 11) and is likened to the light of the holy Jerusalem which comes from the glory of God (chapter 21, verse 23). Imagine; glory is that which first strikes our eyes as we see the Lord Jesus Christ. The sardine is red, the color of fire. This undoubtedly speaks of the righteous wrath of God and the judgment that is to fall in chapters 6 through 18. The rainbow, resembling an emerald, proves that the impending judgment will not come through a flood (because of God’s promise to Noah in Genesis 9:13), but that it will be a holocaust of fire. After describing the throne and its occupant, John indicates the presence of another group situated in the very presence of the Lord…
Verse 4: And round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
These are not angels, for elders always depict members of the human race. What members? The redeemed. They are also in resurrection bodies, as is the Lord, for they sit down. An immaterial spirit cannot sit. A material body is necessary in order to sit on a material throne. Christ possesses such a new glorified body (see Luke 24:39), and when we see Jesus we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). The elders are also clothed in white raiment. One could not put a coat on a spirit very readily, for it would continually fall to the floor! The Book of Revelation cannot be spiritualized. These are real people! In fact, since the Judgment Seat took place immediately after the Come up hither of verse 1, these individuals are already wearing the crowns which they will place at the Master’s feet in verse 11.
Who are these twenty-four elders? Some believe they represent the twenty-four groups or orders within the Levitical priesthood. This, in turn, represents all believers in Christ for, through Him as High Priest, every Christian is a member of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Others believe the twenty-four elders represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles for a total of twenty-four. In other words, they say the elders represent God’s people of all ages. This is a good possibility since Revelation 21 describes the New Jerusalem, the names of the twelve tribes inscribed on the gates, and the names of the twelve apostles found upon the twelve foundations (see verses 12-14). Regardless of the view one holds, the four and twenty elders represent the children of God in the presence of the Lord, before the horrible Tribulation begins in chapter 6. A preview of the judgment about to be unleashed upon the entire globe is found in the following verse.
Verse 5: And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.
Lightning, thunder, and voices speak of judgment. Rumblings resound through the heavens as the saints are informed of what is about to occur on earth.
The present hour is so late, prophetically speaking, that this very scene could happen soon. We may go home momentarily to become the very participants around the throne! Jesus is coming and His appearing is at the door (see Matthew 24:33). But wait! The seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God, picture the Holy Spirit in all His perfection, for seven always denotes flawlessness in the Bible. (Note the seven characteristics of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11:2.) This blessed Holy Spirit is also involved in the impending judgment. Each member of the Trinity is righteously indignant over earth’s inundation with wickedness and participates unitedly in the twenty-one seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments which occur in chapters 6 through 18.
Verse 6: And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Although thunderous judgment will soon be released upon earth, perfect peace surrounds God’s throne. The glassy sea pictures calmness, a sea untroubled by winds and storms. This is the Church at rest in heaven before the storm occurs upon earth. Hallelujah!
Verse 7: And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Verse 8: And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
These verses are symbolic. Always take every word of the Bible literally unless God specifically indicates that it is figurative. In these texts we find the words, “like a” and “as a,” expressing symbolism. The term beast is Zoon in the Greek, and means “a living creature.” These are literal, created beings. At this point, the symbolic and figurative expressions depict their strength and knowledge. Thus, they have eyes before and behind to see all things clearly and accurately. By comparing the characteristics of these living creatures with Isaiah 6:1-3, we see they are undoubtedly seraphim-angels of God-created to praise, exalt, and adulate the Lord. These beings are not monstrosities. Instead, they are a picture of beauty. Within each species there is always a leader-the lion among wild beasts, the calf among domestic animals, the eagle among birds, and man among all creatures. This is the portrait set before us-angels in all their magnificence praising the Lord, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. This threefold adulation of holiness is for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-the three in One (see 1 John 5:7). The description-which was, and is, and is to come-is the title of the Father (chapter 1, verse 4), the Son (verse 5), and also the Holy Spirit who always was, and is, and is to come, for the Trinity works unitedly. The praising of God by these living creatures is contagious and the entire group of God’s people, pictured by the twenty-four elders, joins them.
Verse 9: And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
Verse 10: The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Verse 11: Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
This is one of the most glorious moments in heaven. The crowned saints lay their rewards at the feet of Jesus. They lay aside their rewarded glory to add to His glory, thereby ascribing all glory to Him. They know that their victories came only because of His power working within them. The praise session is concluded with the words, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Imagine; both the angels and the elders praise God for creating them! This proves there will be no evolutionists in heaven. Instead, they will join with Darwin in singing songs about their ancestors-the monkeys-in a place where air-conditioning does not exist. Jesus is coming! Prepare! Be with the blessed host when the greatest praise festival in the entire universe and heaven occurs.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I went back and read Jack’s article in the Sep/Oct 19 issue of the IPJ and was thrilled with his candid article on those professing without confessing and those continually in Christ as possessors. I just wanted to drop a note and say that through the entire article all I could think of was 1 JN 1:9 and as I read the last sentence there Jack quoted the verse. Indeed we are all on the same frequency with God, thank you so much for JVM material, always rich for the possessor.
I pray your newsletter will reach millions and more. I pray for lost souls found by your message and Christians strengthen their heart. God bless you Rexella!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
Like a modern-day Day of Pentecost, 3,000 souls were added to the Kingdom in one day –
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