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Commentary: What Are We Saved From?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

What Are We Saved From? (Revelation 20:7-15)   Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon on this subject here!

The devil himself is cast into the lake of fire to join the beast and the false prophet.

Next we are introduced to the great white throne judgment. It is great because of the issues involved and white because of the perfection and purity of the decisions handed down. The Lord Jesus is sitting as Judge (John 5:22, 27). All of the dead, small and great, stand before God. Two sets of books are opened. The Book of Life contains the names of all who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. The other books contain a detailed record of the works of the individual.

The sea will yield up the bodies of those who have been buried in it. The graves, here represented by Death, will deliver up the bodies of all those who have been interred. Hades will give up the souls of all who have died. The bodies and souls will be reunited to stand before the Judge.

This then is what we are saved from: the Lake of Fire, the final abode of the Devil, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and of all who have not accepted Christ. Period.  We are not saved from the effects of bad habits; from the social pain of our relationships, or from the loneliness of poor self-esteem. We are saved from an eternity of fire in the company of the most evil persons ever.

When we down-play what it is we are saved from, we cheapen what Christ has done.  He gave His LIFE to keep you out of the Lake, even though by any standard of measurement you truly DESERVED and had EARNED your place there.  As a sinner, in rebellion against your Creator, in violation of His Word and ways, you were truly destined for the Lake.  However, in love and grace, Jesus gave Himself willingly as the atoning sacrifice for your sin so that you could be SAVED from the Lake.  The only issue that we carry into eternity with us is this; how did we respond to Jesus’ purchased salvation?  Did we accept it with repentance, gladness, and joy; or did we reject it and refuse to grasp the life-line that we have been offered?

Commentary: Are You Walking The Walk?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

Are You Walking The Walk? (Galatians 5:13-25)  Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon on this subject here!

Christian liberty does not permit sin. The Christian’s freedom is in Christ Jesus, and this excludes any possible thought that it might ever mean freedom to sin. We must never turn our freedom into a base of operations for the flesh. Just as an invading army will seek to gain a beachhead and use it as a base of operations for further conquest, so the flesh will utilize any opportunity to expand its territory

A. T. Pierson says: “True freedom is found only in obedience to proper restraint. A river finds liberty to flow, only between banks: without these it would only spread out into a slimy, stagnant pool. Planets, uncontrolled by law, would only bring wreck to themselves and to the universe. The same law which fences us in, fences others out; the restraints which regulate our liberty also insure and protect it. It is not control, but the right kind of control, and a cheerful obedience which make the free man.”

The believer should walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. To walk in (or by) the Spirit is to allow Him to have His way. It is to remain in communion with Him. It is to make every decision in the light of His holiness. It is to be occupied with Christ, because the Spirit’s ministry is to engage the believer with the Lord Jesus. When we thus walk in the Spirit, the flesh, or self-life, is treated as dead. We cannot be occupied at the same time with Christ and with sin.

The Spirit and the flesh are in constant conflict. God could have removed the fleshly nature from believers at the time of their conversion, but He did not choose to do so. Why? He wanted to keep them continually reminded of their own weakness; to keep them continually dependent on Christ, their Priest and Advocate; and to cause them to praise unceasingly the One who saved such sinners. Instead of removing the old nature, God gave us His own Holy Spirit to dwell in us. God’s Spirit and our flesh are perpetually at war, and will continue to be at war until we are taken home to heaven. The believer’s part in the conflict is to yield to the Spirit.

We have mentioned before that the law appeals to the flesh. What kind of works does fallen human nature produce? There is no difficulty in identifying the works of the flesh. They are evident to all. Paul warns his readers, as he had told them before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. The passage does not teach that a drunkard cannot be saved, but it does say that those whose lives are characterized by the above catalog of fleshly works are not saved. Why should Paul write in this manner to churches of Christians? The reason is that not all who profess to be saved are true children of God. Thus throughout the New Testament the Holy Spirit often follows the presentation of wonderful spiritual truths with the most solemn warnings to all who profess the name of Christ.

It is significant that the apostle distinguishes between the works of the flesh, and the fruit of the Spirit. Works are produced by human energy. Fruit is grown as a branch abides in the vine (John 15:5). They are as different as a factory and a garden. Note that fruit is singular, not plural. The Holy Spirit produces one kind of fruit, that is, Christlikeness.

Paul closes this list with the comment: “Against such there is no law.” Of course not! These virtues are pleasing to God, beneficial to others, and good for ourselves. But how is this fruit produced? Is it by man’s effort? Not at all. It is produced as Christians live in communion with the Lord. As they gaze upon the Savior in loving devotion, and obey Him in daily life, the Holy Spirit works a wonderful miracle. He transforms them into the likeness of Christ. They become like Him by beholding Him (2 Cor. 3:18). Just as the branch derives all its life and nourishment from the vine, so the believer in Christ derives his strength from the True Vine, and is thus able to live a fruitful life for God.
 
Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh. The verb tense here indicates something that happened decisively in the past. It actually occurred at the time of our conversion. When we repented, there was a sense in which we nailed the old, evil, corrupt nature to the cross with all its affections and lusts. We determined that we would no longer live to cater to our fallen nature, that it would no longer dominate us. Of course, this decision has to be renewed continually in our lives. We must constantly keep the flesh in the place of death.

Youth Involvement In The Occult: Elementary Through High School Age

Youth Involvement In The Occult:  Elementary Through High School Age
Pastor Roy L. Crane
Calvary Bible Church
Midway, Arkansas

A Message Regarding This Material

As a Pastor, I have very definite convictions regarding the hazards of the occult, especially as it relates to children and youth.  However, in this work I have tried to approach the material from a more objective viewpoint in order to keep the discussion from degenerating into a “My religion is right and their religion is wrong” frenzy.

This presentation is intended to be a survey of some of the current occult-based ideas and activities that our children are being exposed to, along with a warning of some of the hazards that these activities and ideas engender.  It is not a definitive work, by any means.  For more information, I refer you to the Internet, and to your local Christian Bookstore.

Through their increasing exposure to the occult, our children are being brought into contact with some very real, and very dangerous, powers.  Just as we would not let our children play with dynamite or sulphuric acid, we need to protect them from the dangers that accrue from exposure to the occult; particularly in their youth, when their minds and personalities are being shaped for life.

Pastor Roy L. Crane Continue Reading Here