Guest Post: Reprobate Salvation?

Following is a guest post from a very dear friend and Brother in Christ. Pastor Barry Seacrest: Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Seaford. Even if you think you are beyond salvation-there is hope!

I have been wrong PLENTY!!!!I WILL NOT SAY I AM RIGHT ON THE FOLLOWING: Here is what I see on the “reprobate” doctrine. Certain verses are used to say “reprobate” are those who cannot repent because they hardened themselves too hard and rejected Christ too much.

The Greek def. of “reprobate” doesn’t say this. Def. Reprobate “Unable to stand the test, rejected, refuse, worthless” …yup… that’s all of us before Christ came and cleansed us. Some are going so far as to say, “don’t witness to homosexuals because they are in the list of reprobates in Roman’s 1…” wow! Hold on Nellie!!!!

I’ll give you the passages simply and the simple truth with the passage:

1. Prov.1:23-33 If “reprobate” is a person living that can’t be saved, why does he extend an invitation in vs 23 and 33 to turn and still be changed?

2. John 12:37-41- Many of the “reprobates” described, here, bowed the knee after Christ’s death.

3. Romans 1:20-28 is a continuing, 3 chapter explanation of a reprobate. Ch 2 says none of us can judge them because we are all “reprobates” until we are saved. Ch.3:11ff says we have all gone out of the way, but we can be justified by his grace.

4. 1st Cor. 13 is addressing all Corinthians. I would hope we aren’t suggesting all of them were unsavable. If we are believing that “reprobate” just means unsaved, that would explain why Paul is still appealing to them to change. v.7- don’t appear approved…be approved, though we “be as reprobates”. If a reprobate can never repent, why are they appealed to for repentance? Wouldn’t that be dishonest to suggest to them that they can still repent?

5. 2 Tim. 3 the whole chapter draws a contrast between where Paul was and where he is now.

6. The scenario is clear in Hebrews. I would say it even strengthens the idea that every man living is capable of salvation until his last breath. Let’s not quit on any of them. Verse 6:6 says what it says. You can’t be saved twice. The blood is meant for a one time decision. Very simple. Either you are saved or not. Verse 8 says what it says, also.

Every unsaved person is rejected until the day one awakes unto salvation. Reprobate is the man who is unsaved. “Nigh” and “whose end” only explains the fate of the unsaved. It never even comes close to suggesting these people are incapable of repenting. Def. Reprobate “Unable to stand the test, rejected, refuse, worthless” ie. None of us “stand the test”. None of us are good, “no not one”. Christ is the only one who wasn’t once a “reprobate”. The Word, from the above texts, appeals to the “reprobate” to be transformed. That would simply be dishonest if it weren’t possible for a reprobate to change.

The End of the World (EOTWAWKI

Over the centuries many self-proclaimed prophets, psychics, theorists, laymen, and religious leaders have taken their shot at predicting the END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (EOTWAWKI). All have failed for good reason-they did not study the bible deep enough or believe the words they were reading. They tried to take many verses out of context or put their own spin on it. But I am here to tell you that the Bible that I read is VERY CLEAR about the end time. So sit back, enjoy some of the failed predictions but be sure to read to the end for mine based in PURE, BIBLICAL TRUTH!

Many Christians-prediction for 1 January 1000, being 1000 years after Jesus Birth, then revised to 1000 years after Jesus’ death, 1033.

Joachimites, a 13th century Franciscan-After his 1260 prediction failed, the followers of Joachim of Fiore rescheduled the end of the world to 1290 and then again to 1335.

London Astrologers Group-February 1, 1524, predicted massive flood which sent panic throughout London. When it failed to happen, they revised their date by 100 years to February 1, 1624

Hans Hut, a German Anabaptist predicted the end May 27, 1528

Melchior Hoffman, an Anabaptist-predicted Christ’s Second Coming to take place in 1533. He claimed that 144,000 people would be saved, while the rest of the world would be consumed by fire.

Christopher Columbus, explorer and self-proclaimed prophet-predicted in his Book of Prophecies (1501) that the world would end in 1656. Columbus also claimed that the world was created in 5343 BCE, and would last 7000 years. Assuming no year zero, that means the end would come in 1658.

Jacob Bernoulli, a Mathematician-A comet would destroy the earth on April 5, 1719

Joanna Southcott, a self-proclaimed prophet-she would give birth to the new Christ child beginning the end of the world. She died at age 64 never having had a child.

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church- Revelation 12:14 referred to 1058 to 1836 for the return of Christ

William Miller a Baptist Preacher (Millerites)- Second Coming to occur on April 28 or December 31, 1843. Then again, March 21, 1844 and revised to October 22, 1844

International Bible Students Association-Spring of 1918, then all world Governments would collapse in 1920 leading to Anarchy.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group that came from the IBSA above-1941

Florence Houteff Leader of the Branch Davidians-1959

Jeane Dixon, Self-proclaimed psychic-February 4, 1962Jim Jones, Founder of the Peoples Temple-Nuclear Holocaust 1967

Charles Manson, Manson Family Cult Leader- apocalyptic race war, would occur in 1969.

Jehovah’s Witnesses– the fall of 1975 would be 6000 years since man’s creation

Harold Camping, Evangelist-6 Sep 1994, 29 Sep 1994, 2 Oct 1994, March 31, 1995, May 21, 2011, October 22, 2011, along with at least 6 other predictions.

There are so many more but I am sure by now, you get the point and you are chomping at the bit to hear my prediction-which is no prediction because the Bible is quite clear!

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 

Mar 13:32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 

Mar 13:33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 

Mat 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 

Mar 13:35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 

Mar 13:36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 

Mar 13:37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. 

I think His Word is VERY CLEAR- No man knows-nor will, but we must be vigilant and ready!

Are you awake? Are you ready? Will you be called up when He returns? If you are in doubt-Read other articles here, send me a message, I will be happy to talk with you.

Jesus Our Example

Another submission from my great friend and Brother in Christ, Pastor Harry Connor, who earned his Masters of Theology from Andersonville Theological Seminary 

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God…made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant . Philippians 2:5-7

Let this mind be in you. The Christian life is not merely intellectual assent to a list of orthodox tenets. It is internalizing the teaching and example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And as we look at Christ through the infallible lens of God’s Word the Bible, we are reminded that his way is up-side-down (or rather right-side-up) from the way of this world. Jesus did not work his way to the top; he started at the top, as God himself, and yet chose to humble himself for the sake of the sinner.

Here was a self-made man: Jesus, who is due all glory and honor, made himself of no reputation. Jesus, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, took on himself the role of a servant. How sad and ironic that most of us spend all our energy in life striving to do the exact opposite .This is doubtless why Jesus, from the outset, told those who admired him that they would have to deny themselves in order to become his disciple. Yet so many Christians want to claim discipleship, but without the sacrifice, without the self-denial, without the humility. Beloved, let this mind be in you, may you internalize the reality of who Christ is, of how he lived, and of what he demands of us.

Assured Salvation

Eternal Salvation

My wife and I, in previous years had an ongoing debate as to the maintaining of one’s salvation; meaning once one has been saved, can one lose their salvation? This has been a great debate among Christians for generations. If you are a true believer, Accepting that you are a sinner, Believing that He shed His blood on the cross for past, current and future sin, and having confessed your sin before Him-you have been saved. But the nature of your salvation (whether true or not) being eternal is the question of many.

God granted us free will in the beginning and allows us to choose whether we want to follow Him or not, but I have no doubt that if it were up to man completely, no one would ever be saved. When Christ came to die on the cross, He came to bare all sins for all people (Past, Present, and Future).  Would it not be moot if He came to die for only the sins already committed? If that were true, could anyone beyond the day of the cross ever truly be saved? Jesus bore our sins, so that we could spend eternity with Him, it is through our faith in Him and His mercy that covers us-Forever.

KJV Col 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 

Upon the cross He erased our debt, all of it, forever, but for who was it that He shed His blood? KJV Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. If He is taking away the sins of the world, what does it matter how we live if the world’s sin is forgiven past, present, and future? If that were true, what would be the meaning of Him dying on the cross, could not have He just said all is forgiven, live as you want?  There must be a justification, or it becomes just a side note in history as all will be saved anyway.

The justification comes in the resurrection. Once Jesus raised from the dead, God the Father proves the authenticity of His Son to the world. God wanted to leave no doubt that this is His Son, purely righteous, justified before God. Paul writing in Romans then ties our justification to the resurrection in Romans 4:24-25 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 

So then, our justification comes only upon accepting, believing, and confessing the Christ and His resurrection from the tomb. So He did, as John 1:29 states that he “taketh away the sins of the world” but only those who believe, as Paul stated would gain justification.

It follows in 1 Timothy that He died on the cross that all would have the opportunity for the truth of salvation

1Ti 2:3-4  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 

2 Peter upholds this that ALL should come, but it is only those that come to repentance will be justified.

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

1Jn 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 

If we have repented and come to faith in Him, then we are justified by that faith. We have been filled by the Holy Spirit and He will then be guiding our steps through His Word and prayer. Our faith carries us forward to a closer walk with Him daily. It is this faith that will keep us in His eternal grace. But can we lose our salvation?

John 10:27-30 is very clear on that point 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 

Joh 10:30  I and my Father are one. 

It is extremely clear in Jesus’ words that no one could take even one of the flock as God’s power is greater than any and His hold on His followers is eternal.

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 

Eph 2:89  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. 

No one can know what is truly in the heart of any person. Whether one’s salvation is real or not is only known to God. It is not our place to determine whether a person is truly saved, but to treat all with the love of Christ, share the Gospel, and grow in our personal walk with Him, staying in His Will for this life. If there are some that seem to have “fallen away” I must wonder if their salvation was genuine or just an emotional response to a life situation.

As for me, I believe that if one is truly saved-Have given over their heart and soul fully to Jesus Christ-they can never lose their salvation. They will live a life to emulate the life of Christ, an impossible but worthy goal. They can doubt, they will still sin, but they will NEVER be plucked from the Father’s hand.

Strength & Encouragement

Another submission from my great friend and Brother in Christ, Pastor Harry Connor, who earned his Masters of Theology from Andersonville Theological Seminary

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness . 2 Corinthians 12:9

Someone has said, “God always answers our prayers, either by giving us what we ask for or by giving us something even better.” In Paul’s case, God gave him something even better. Paul was afflicted with what he described as “a thorn in the flesh” , it was something that caused him constant pain. It was such a deep-felt difficulty that he took it fervently to God in prayer, three times pleading to have his suffering taken away. The verse above is God’s answer to Paul.

But how was this an answer to prayer? God didn’t remove Paul’s painful burden. In fact, God told Paul that he wouldn’t remove it at all. But God’s answer to Paul’s prayer was even better: my grace is sufficient for thee. Notice God didn’t say, “My grace is sufficient for this difficulty;” God said “My grace is sufficient for you, Paul.” Paul asked for deliverance from one ordeal, but God guaranteed him grace for every trial, throughout his life. And, although Paul would still experience much suffering, God reminded him that this simply gave him an even greater opportunity to exalt the name of Christ.

My strength, God declared, is even more evident when you are helpless. Therefore, this struggle is an opportunity for you to fulfill your purpose as a Christian, more than you ever could in a pain-free life. Beloved, rest assured that God’s grace is still sufficient, and that his power is still being manifested through the difficulties you face in your life. What a marvelous answer to prayer this is!

Are You Being Called?

Quickly after giving ones life to Jesus, a yearning begins, a desire, a passion, a need to do more. This is deep-rooted once one turns their life to the Creator and Savior. Matthew 22:14 tells us that “Many are called, but few are chosen”. Many are called to Salvation, but few will be chosen to rule with Him in the millenial Kingdom because of their unfaithfulness. More would stay faithful IF they would simply open their hearts and minds to what God is wanting them to do, through faithful prayer and staying in the Word. Doing this will more quickly identify what God is calling you to do, and YES He is calling-He has a plan for you!

Proverbs 19:21,”There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. ”

As humans, we all have many plans in our heart that we wish to accomplish, but without God as a guide and not staying in His Will, we will fall short of our expected goal. We need seek Him and His Will first and foremost to accomplish the far greater blessing He has for us. He did not create us to live a pointless life, but to accomplish His great Will as directed for the greater good.

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. ” Many take this verse out of context, that God is going to bless you abundantly just because you are His. Many “prosperity Gospel” teachers preach on this as a stand-alone verse, but fail to ever mention the conditions listed in verses 12-13 “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. “This is a diligent call to pray, to seek Him first and not just a little but “with all your heart”! This is a very important step in seeking God’s Will and blessings.

Isaiah 14:24, “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: “

Wow, do you want to step out of God’s Will and try to accomplish your own plan? “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass” Even if through free-will someone wants to change God’s plan, “as I have proposed, so shall it stand” If the person God chose to execute His plan were to go a stray, God has a way to pull them back. He even has a backup person to fulfill the role, if needed. Never become so arrogant to think God has not planned for human indecision at important times to His plan.

Jeremiah 23:20, “The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. ” In the verses earlier God is counseling His people to not listen to the words of the so-called prophets, as they were not His words. The prophets were contradicting what God was directing. His warning was that His wrath would come down upon those who did not obey Him. His plan is perfect and will be done utilizing those who are listening to him and not the false prophets. It is important to not only listen to God, but to stay in His truth (the Word) not being lead astray by false doctrine. (I will be doing some future posts on false doctrine, false teaching.

Psalms 16:11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. ” I”fulness of joy”, “Pleasures for evermore” stay in God’s presence and attain these as you grow in faith and live in His Will.

Are you constantly seeking out God? Do you hunger for His Word? Do you always pray to stay in His Will? Do you ask Him to open your eyes and heart so that you may see His Calling on your life. He wants to use you, He expects to use you, as He has been training you all your life. The culmination of all of your history has brought you to the point of service to Him. Fulfill that calling and see what blessings await you through glorifying Him.

Other verse to study and consider:

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

2Ti 1:9  Who 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, 

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

Eph 4:1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 

Guest Post: Church Life

Gaining salvation through His mercy and grace and growing in Faith means turning away from the sins of the flesh and this world. Following is a guest post, although he seems to be writing as much as I do for the site, from a dear friend and brother in Christ. Pastor Harry Connor earned his Masters of Theology from Andersonville Theological Seminary.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . Matthew 28:19-20 Here Jesus sums up the entire purpose of his church, the commission he has given us.

Go. We are not to simply wait for God to bring people across our path that may have an interest in the gospel. We are to go to all nations (which includes our own neighborhood, city, and country) in the wonderful and powerful name of Jesus.

Teach. Our job is to disciple those who have never heard the gospel, or who have never seen it lived out seriously and joyfully. Inherent in Jesus’ command to disciple is the claim that all faiths are not equal, and that Christianity has an exclusive and authoritative message. You are to teach others, because in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).

Baptize. Our teaching is not simply for the sake of information; it must be a call to action. When we accurately and uncompromisingly present the truth of Christ, it will necessary include a call to commitment and it will require a public profession of faith. Baptism is only fitting for those who have been discipled, those who have come to believe in the triune God of the Bible.

Teaching them. Too often churches focus so much on outreach that they neglect the vital, tough work of ongoing training and instruction. Our goal should be for God’s people to actively pursue all things that Jesus has commanded concerning them.”

Guest Post:Christian Living

Gaining salvation through His mercy and grace and growing in Faith means turning away from the sins of the flesh and this world. Following is a guest post from a dear friend and brother in Christ. Pastor Harry Connor earned his Masters of Theology from Andersonville Theological Seminary.

These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous . 1 John 2:1 The Christian’s goal, John says quite frankly, is total sanctification complete victory over sin in our own life .John is not satisfied, and neither is the Holy Spirit who inspired him to write these words, with a half-way Christianity.

It is not good enough to live a more holy life than your next-door neighbor; it is not good enough to simply avoid the “big” sins like murder or adultery. No, John insists, my goal for you is for you to completely mortify the sin that so easily besets you. Pride, gluttony, worry, fear, selfishness, lying, and lust should all meet with a zero-tolerance determination in our spirit. We should never be content to allow any sin to set up camp in our heart without consistent opposition and a concerted effort to root it out.

But almost in the same breath John also gives us this blessed reminder, knowing that sin will never be completely defeated this side of the grave: if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Although we are not righteous, Jesus Christ was perfectly righteous on our behalf. When we sin, we have an Advocate with our heavenly Father who pleads his righteousness on our behalf. The Christian life, then, is a mixture of dissatisfaction with sinful self and complete satisfaction in the righteousness of Christ. It is striving and resting, improving and perfection.

Testimony: What About Me?

A very dear friend and brother in Christ, upon finding his salvation in Christ felt the call to spread his story of testimony. His name is Al, but he never wants any recognition for the work he does for Christ so I have not used his last name in this at his request. Al is 87 years young and been a Christian over 50 years. His calling to spread the Love of Christ lead him to write down his testimony (actually type it on a typewriter) and begin to hand it out to anyone that he comes into contact with.

He has been handing out these testimonies since 1985 and any time you see him, you will find he has several dozen is his pocket at any given point in time. He has told me many stories of how these few paragraphs have planted seeds, opened up conversation, and allowed the Holy Spirit to work through him to get to those being called to service. The following is his written testimony in his words:

“These ar questions that every man has asked in his heart. Where did I come from and where am I going? I have given considerable thought to these questions many times in my life, and even more in my senior years. Because we are faced with the reality of our own mortality, we realize that life will soon come to an end. Nobody gets out of this world alive. What kind of life we live while we are on this earth depends on the choices we make. How will you be remembered by those most dear to you? By making the right choices that demonstrates your love for them. You have been created a free moral agent (with free will). You have the right under the law of man and God to make your own choices. He will not interfere with them, but you will be held accountable for every decision you make. There are always consequences for everything we do, good or bad. I have learned a long time ago we should consider or suffer those consequences when we make a wrong choice.

There came a time in my life when I was facing some tough issues. I desperately needed a change in my life, because I knew I wasn’t living right. I knew it was time to make the most important decision I would ever have to make. It came a time when I had to ask myself this question, “What about me?” I had studied the Bible to seek more knowledge about this man called Jesus who gave His life for you and me, and the whole world. I thought about the gift He offered and the cost He paid for my redemption when He went willingly to the that old rugged cross to pour out His blood for my sins. Now all that remained for me to do was to accept His sacrifice and acknowledge Him as my personal Lord and Savior.

Was this something difficult to do? Not at all. It was simple. So easy that I wondered why did I wait so long? He loved me first. And He loved me so much that He was willing to die for me. That’s what made my decision so easy.

I can remember it so clearly, as though it were yesterday. I went himbly to the alter of a small church and said this little prayer:

“Lord I know I am a sinner. You know everything I have ever done. I know you came to suffer and die to take away my sins. I ask your forgiveness for all my transgressions. Come into my heart and be my personal Lord and Savior from this day forward….In Jesus Nmae, Amen.”

When I finished this pray(er) I couldn’t even begin to explain the feeling that swept over me. I felt a peace in my soul. The kind I had never experienced before, the love of God. The love that I had always known existed was filling that void in my spirit I would never be the same again. It was that experience that keeps me in love with Jesus. I never want to go back, I know where I came from and I know where I’m going thanks to the a gracious and merciful God.

You know the greatest thing of all? Anybody who would like to know this love can receive it. The Bible tells, “Let whosoever will, come” That means everybody in this world. All you need to do is open the door to your heart and let Jesus come in to be the Lord of your life. Sound simple? It’s just that easy. Now, What about me? We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. There are no guarantees we will even see the next day. So ask yourself this question: If Jesus came back today where would I spend eternity, in Heaven or in hell? I don’t think anymore needs to be said. You have been told of God’s mercy, His grace, and His great love for you. Now it’s up to you to decide.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Don’t worry about your sins, repent of your sins. Say the simple little prayer I did and your sins will be gone, never to be remembered again. That is God’s promise.”

Start Your Bible Study Habit TODAY!

The next step in your journey as a “Babe in Christ” is to begin a habit of being in your Bible daily! I am sure you are asking questions like; how do I start? Where do I start? How can I get the most out of the time I spend reading? How much should I read at a time? All great questions and hopefully by the end of this you will feel a little more confident as to how to spend your study time.

First, determine how many times a day can be set aside for study? I understand in today’s world time is a commodity which many people feel they don’t have enough of. I will tell you a secret; we all have the same twenty four hours in a day. It is the utilization of this commodity that makes the difference in anyone’s life.

When I first decided to start a daily reading, I made a determined decision that I would spend 15 minutes each morning and 15 minutes each evening in study. That seemed doable to me, just a small chunk of time twice a day. Starting out was pretty easy, but I found that the morning was much easier than the evening. It seemed that something always came up in the evening or my schedule was inconsistent.

If I finished my day at 9pm I could spend some time in study, but if my day ran long and it was 11pm or midnight, I was too tired to take even 15 minutes to read. So my original thought of twice a day was not really feasible to work on a consistent basis. Yet the mornings were working out fairly well and I even found that 15 minutes was too short in most cases.

So as a beginner, I would recommend that you set aside 30-60 minutes each morning before you start your day.  (If your schedule is a little more consistent and you can still do twice a day, great! The more the better and you will quickly understand that as you read more) Set your alarm clock an hour earlier, or just carve out some time in your morning routine to have time for just you and God. Spending this time with Him will get your mind focused properly and you will find your day to run much smoother-or at least you will be able to handle the tougher days with more ease than you have in the past.

So 7am to 7:30am every morning is going to be spent in your Bible. Get to your quiet place at a desk, table, somewhere you are comfortable but not so comfortable to go back to sleep. Have with you the Bible (or two like I do), Maybe a Bible app like E-sword, a good concordance like Strong’s, maybe a Bible Commentary (I use Tony Evan’s Bible Commentary) and a notebook for notes and questions.

When I do my Bible study, I sit at my desk in the home office so everything is already there. All I need to do is fire up the computer, which has the app’s preloaded and I also use Word for my notepad. This computer also allows me quick access to Google or many other commentaries of teachers/preachers I trust. BUT if you are only allotting yourself 30 minutes in your study you will not have time for much research.

Ok, so you have your space and your materials needed, spend your first few seconds in prayer. “God, Thank you for your Grace, please open my mind, eyes and ears to what you want me to learn today. I am here with your Word to learn and to grow in my relationship to you. Use this time Lord to teach me of Your Will for my life. In Jesus name, Amen” It can be any quick simple Prayer, but it is setting your mind on Him and His Word.

Next is the big question, ”where do I start?” With most books you begin at the beginning and work your way through the entire book, but the Bible is different from any other book ever written, which you are about to find out ove the next few months.

As a new believer, depending on who you are talking to, starting suggestions may vary. Some like to start in Luke, or John, Others like Romans and the Romans Road. Others may say just start with the four Gospels. None of these are wrong, because there are two key habits that we are trying to engrain: Daily reading of your Bible and gaining a closer relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I am one that likes to start new believers in John. I believe that John lays out the importance of your relationship with Christ and the many benefits of being a Christian.

OK, now you have your time and materials, your quiet space, and a starting point; how much should you read every day? The answer to this will not be so straight forward. Read until you understand all that you read, or until you read something that you don’t understand. This is where you will spend your time, gaining a true understanding of the sentences you just read and the context in which they are meant. Some days you may read just 2 or 3 sentences, others it may be a complete chapter.

As you read, in your notebook jot down what you read and what it means as you read. Lets take for example

 John 1:1-2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. “

You don’t need to write the verse out in your notebook, just the verse or verses notation,   Along with your notes on the verse.

John 1:1-2 John went all the way back to Gen 1:1 by reclaiming,” In the Beginning” this is letting the reader understand that the “Word” was in the beginning with God, but also that the Word WAS God. As Christians, we understand that Jesus Christ was the living Word, so this verse is making us aware that Jesus (the Word) was in the beginning, was with God, and at the same time was God. Two of the three parts of the Trinity are mentioned in this one verse and are noted as being, “In the beginning” (Holy Spirit being the third part: Gen 1:2, Matt 28:19, 1 Cor 8:6 This is where your concordance comes in so you can find a cross reference verse to corroborate the current verse) How powerful and amazing how much we learn from just the first verses of the read!

John1:3 Remember basic reading? In verse 3 it states that all things were created through him. So who is “him”? The Subject of the passage is the “Word” and the Word is Jesus, right?  So everything in the world was created through him for without him nothing could be made. (Col 1:16, Heb 1:2) WOW!

John 1:4-5  Jesus is the giver of Life! Remember in Gen 2:7 “…and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” And in this life He gave light(1:4), because darkness exists. (1:5) Because Satan came in and brought the darkness, allowing man to fall into sin and to block the light of God shining through man. When man freely chooses Christ, that light again shines and Satan cannot extinguish it because it is the Light of God breathed into man in the beginning!

Amazing how much information we can learn in just 5 short verses, but if you were checking the additional corroborating text and taking notes, then 20-30 minutes went by pretty quick. But I am still amazed, even though I have read this text many, many, many times how much information is gleaned from just a few sentences. The authors HAD TO BE INSPIRED BY GOD to write exactly as He said to get this amount of information to the reader as quickly as possible!

For today I want you to finish John 1:6-10 with the introduction of John the Baptist. See what kind of notes and questions you may have; feel free to post them in the comments, I would be happy to help with any questions you may encounter.

Each day read and study at least 30 minutes continuing in John until completed. As you read and study more, you will find that you are able to read and study a little more each day. Once you become acclimated to studying, you will also find that 60 minutes goes by very quickly and you will “Hunger for the Word” meaning you are growing in your relationship and want to learn as much as you can about the Savior Jesus Christ.

When you have finished the Study in John, congratulations! You can then move forward to the rest of the Gospels and the book of Romans. By the time you finish those, I have no doubt you will have a good system to the way you want to finish your study through the rest of the Bible. I am always here for questions or further explanation. Comment or email and I will respond every time as soon as I possibly can.