My Testimony I   accepted   Jesus   Christ   as   my   Savior   when   I   was   17   years   old.         I   stood   at   the   water’s   edge   in   Huntington   Beach, California,   as   a   Christian   church   pastor   (whom   I   had   just   met)   led   me   in   a   prayer.      I   vividly   remember   a   warm   ocean wave   rolled   on   the   beach   up   to   our   knees   as   I   prayed   for   forgiveness,   opened   my   heart   to   Jesus   and   asked   Him   to   take control   of   my   life.      I   also   remember   experiencing   a   feeling   of   peace   and   joy   on   the   inside—unlike   anything   I   had   felt before—which   lasted   a   few   days.      However,   later   that   week   I   rejected   an   offer   by   a   local   church   leader   to   come   to   a Bible study, and I was soon back to my old self. A    few    years    later,    when    I    was    21    years    old    and    serving    in    the    United    States   Air    Force,    I    was    facing    serious consequences   for   my   behavior—including   a   court-martial,   going   to   prison   and   receiving   a   dishonorable   discharged.      I had   made   absolute   mess   of   my   life   and   my   future   was   bleak.      Meanwhile,   the   Holy   Spirit   was   actively   working   to   cause me   to   wake   up,   realize   my   situation,   understand   the   consequences,   let   go   of   the   control   of   my   life,   and   turn   my   heart towards God.  This is when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord. Thereafter,   things   began   to   change.      I   was   not   court-martialed,   was   given   a   reduced   punishment   and   did   not   go   to prison.      I   soon   joined   the   Christian   church   on   the   Air   Force   base   and   began   to   support   the   youth   group.      A   couple   of years   later   I   completed   my   4-year   commitment   and   was   honorably   discharged.      Five   years   later   I   graduated   with   a Bachelor   of   Science   in   Business Administration,   and   was   hired   by   a   large   multibillion-dollar   international   company   where I enjoyed a 31-year career. I   turned   66   in   May,   2020   and   have   been   married   only   once   to   my   best   friend,   wife   and   mother   of   our   two   sons   for   more than   40   years.      Some   may   not   believe   this…but   it   is   true…my   wife   and   I   have   never   had   an   argument.      We   both   seek God,   we   read   the   Bible   and   pray   together,   we   constantly   poke   fun   at   each   other,   we   laugh   and   cry   together,   and   we enjoy being with each other. Praise   God   in   that   His   word   is   true   and   everlasting...for   I   have   learned   throughout   the   years…He   keeps   His   side   of   the bargain.      Hebrews   13:5   says:   “I   will   never   leave   you   nor   forsake   you.”   For   His   grace…and   His   promises…and   His   love transcends all of my sin. When   evaluating   the   multitude   of   challenges   and   tribulations   I   have   experienced   in   my   life…I   can   see   how   these   events changed   me   and   cleansed   me   from   within…a   process   that   continues   today   as   I   desire   to   become   less   of   me   and   more like Him. UniqueBibleStudies.Com More   than   20   years   ago   I   developed   a   compelling   desire   to   research   and   write   topical   Bible   studies.      This   collection   is now   posted   on   the   website,   and   is   continuing   to   grow   as   I   obediently   write   as   I   feel   led.      Each   writing   is   prayed   over, humbly placed at the foot of Jesus (because He alone is worthy), and freely made available to all. There   have   been   many   times   when   I   write…and   I   will   stop   and   read   what   is   written…realize   the   power   that’s   in   the words   and   how   they   will   touch   lives…and   begin   to   cry   as   I   worship   Him…because   I   know   the   only   One   who   can   touch   a person’s heart and change them from within is the Holy Spirit. As such, I pray each person spiritually grows from each of the lessons, and shares them with others.  My Beliefs (All scripture is New King James Version) I believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God. “All   Scripture   is   given   by   inspiration   of   God,   and   is   profitable   for   doctrine,   for   reproof,   for   correction,   for   instruction   in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 I believe all persons have a sinful nature.  “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one.”  Romans 3:10 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23 I   believe   the   Son   of   God   was   conceived   of   the   Holy   Spirit,   born   of   the   Virgin   Mary,   and   became   a   human   being   in   the person of Jesus Christ.  “Now   the   birth   of   Jesus   Christ   was   as   follows:      After   His   mother   Mary   was   betrothed   to   Joseph,   before   they   came together,   she   was   found   with   child   of   the   Holy   Spirit.      Then   Joseph   her   husband,   being   a   just   man,   and   not   wanting   to make   her   a   public   example,   was   minded   to   put   her   away   secretly.      But   while   he   thought   about   these   things,   behold,   an angel   of   the   Lord   appeared   to   him   in   a   dream,   saying,   ‘Joseph,   son   of   David,   do   not   be   afraid   to   take   to   you   Mary   your wife,   for   that   which   is   conceived   in   her   is   of   the   Holy   Spirit.     And   she   will   bring   forth   a   Son,   and   you   shall   call   His   name Jesus,   for   He   will   save   His   people   from   their   sins.’      So   all   this   was   done   that   it   might   be   fulfilled   which   was   spoken   by   the Lord   through   the   prophet,   saying:   ‘Behold,   the   virgin   shall   be   with   child,   and   bear   a   Son,   and   they   shall   call   His   name Immanuel,’   which   is   translated,   ‘God   with   us.’      Then   Joseph,   being   aroused   from   sleep,   did   as   the   angel   of   the   Lord commanded   him   and   took   to   him   his   wife,   and   did   not   know   her   till   she   had   brought   forth   her   firstborn   Son.      And   he called His name Jesus.”  Matthew 1:18-25 I believe Jesus Christ lived a sinless life. “For   He   made   Him   who   knew   no   sin   to   be   sin   for   us,   that   we   might   become   the   righteousness   of   God   in   Him.”      2 Corinthians 5:21 Because of each person’s sin, I believe Jesus Christ died a substitutionary death (to pay the price for our sin). “Surely   He   has   borne   our   griefs   and   carried   our   sorrows;   yet   we   esteemed   Him   stricken,   smitten   by   God,   and   afflicted.     But   He   was   wounded   for   our   transgressions,   He   was   bruised   for   our   iniquities;   the   chastisement   for   our   peace   was   upon Him,   and   by   His   stripes   we   are   healed.     All   we   like   sheep   have   gone   astray;   we   have   turned,   every   one,   to   his   own   way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:4-6 “For   Christ   also   suffered   once   for   sins,   the   just   for   the   unjust,   that   He   might   bring   us   to   God,   being   put   to   death   in   the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”  1 Peter 3:18 I   believe   Jesus   Christ   was   raised   from   the   dead   the   third   day,   ascended   into   heaven,   and   is   seated   at   the   right   hand   of God. “For   I   delivered   to   you   first   of   all   that   which   I   also   received:   that   Christ   died   for   our   sins   according   to   the   Scriptures,   and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”  1 Corinthians 14:3-4 “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”  Hebrews 10:12 I   believe   God’s   love   for   us   is   expressed   by   His   grace   (giving   us   what   we   do   not   deserve)   and   mercy   (not   giving   us   what we deserve) through His Son, Jesus Christ. “For   God   so   loved   the   world   that   He   gave   His   only   begotten   Son,   that   whoever   believes   in   Him   should   not   perish   but have   everlasting   life.      For   God   did   not   send   His   Son   into   the   world   to   condemn   the   world,   but   that   the   world   through   Him might be saved.”  John 3:16 “But   God   demonstrates   His   own   love   toward   us,   in   that   while   we   were   still   sinners,   Christ   died   for   us.      Much   more   then, having   now   been   justified   by   His   blood,   we   shall   be   saved   from   wrath   through   Him.      For   if   when   we   were   enemies   we were   reconciled   to   God   through   the   death   of   His   Son,   much   more,   having   been   reconciled,   we   shall   be   saved   by   His   life.     And   not   only   that,   but   we   also   rejoice   in   God   through   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   through   whom   we   have   now   received   the reconciliation.”  Romans 5:8-11 I believe one must be born again to enter into heaven. “Jesus   answered   and   said   to   him,   ‘Most   assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   unless   one   is   born   again,   he   cannot   see   the   kingdom   of God.’      Nicodemus   said   to   Him,   ‘How   can   a   man   be   born   when   he   is   old?   Can   he   enter   a   second   time   into   his   mother’s womb   and   be   born?’      Jesus   answered,   ‘Most   assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   unless   one   is   born   of   water   and   the   Spirit,   he cannot   enter   the   kingdom   of   God.      That   which   is   born   of   the   flesh   is   flesh,   and   that   which   is   born   of   the   Spirit   is   spirit.’”     John 3:1-6 I   believe   the   10   Commandments—which   were   initially   written   on   stone—are   now   written   into   the   hearts   of   those   who   are born again. “This   is   the   covenant   that   I   will   make   with   them   after   those   days,   says   the   Lord:   I   will   put   My   laws   into   their   hearts,   and in   their   minds   I   will   write   them,”   then   He   adds,   “Their   sins   and   their   lawless   deeds   I   will   remember   no   more.”      Hebrews 10:16-17 I believe Jesus Christ is the one and only means for eternal life.  “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”  John 14:6 “Nor   is   there   salvation   in   any   other,   for   there   is   no   other   name   under   heaven   given   among   men   by   which   we   must   be saved.”  Acts 4:12 I   believe   there   is   nothing   we   can   do   to   earn   salvation   other   than   exercising   our   faith   and   believing   in   what   Jesus   Christ did for us on the cross. “For   by   grace   you   have   been   saved   through   faith,   and   that   not   of   yourselves;   it   is   the   gift   of   God,   not   of   works,   lest anyone should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 “If   you   confess   with   your   mouth   the   Lord   Jesus   and   believe   in   your   heart   that   God   has   raised   Him   from   the   dead,   you will be saved.”  Romans 10:9 I believe there are persons who externally profess to be a Christian—but do not know Him. “Not   everyone   who   says   to   Me,   ‘Lord,   Lord,’   shall   enter   the   kingdom   of   heaven,   but   he   who   does   the   will   of   My   Father   in heaven.      Many   will   say   to   Me   in   that   day,   ‘Lord,   Lord,   have   we   not   prophesied   in   Your   name,   cast   out   demons   in   Your name,   and   done   many   wonders   in   Your   name?’     And   then   I   will   declare   to   them,   ‘I   never   knew   you;   depart   from   Me,   you who practice lawlessness!’”  Matthew 7:21-23 “Enter   by   the   narrow   gate;   for   wide   is   the   gate   and   broad   is   the   way   that   leads   to   destruction,   and   there   are   many   who go   in   by   it.      Because   narrow   is   the   gate   and   difficult   is   the   way   which   leads   to   life,   and   there   are   few   who   find   it.     Matthew 7:13-14 I believe the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  “Nevertheless,   I   tell   you   the   truth.      It   is   to   your   advantage   that   I   go   away;   for   if   I   do   not   go   away,   the   Helper   will   not   come to   you;   but   if   I   depart,   I   will   send   Him   to   you.      And   when   He   has   come,   He   will   convict   the   world   of   sin,   and   of righteousness,   and   of   judgment:   of   sin,   because   they   do   not   believe   in   Me;   of   righteousness,   because   I   go   to   My   Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”  John 16:7-11 I believe born again Christians are directly influenced (and indwelled by) the Holy Spirit. “But   you   shall   receive   power   when   the   Holy   Spirit   has   come   upon   you;   and   you   shall   be   witnesses   to   Me   in   Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Acts 1:8 “In   Him   you   also   trusted,   after   you   heard   the   word   of   truth,   the   gospel   of   your   salvation;   in   whom   also,   having   believed, you   were   sealed   with   the   Holy   Spirit   of   promise,   who   is   the   guarantee   of   our   inheritance   until   the   redemption   of   the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14 “Or   do   you   not   know   that   your   body   is   the   temple   of   the   Holy   Spirit   who   is   in   you,   whom   you   have   from   God,   and   you   are not   your   own?      For   you   were   bought   at   a   price;   therefore,   glorify   God   in   your   body   and   in   your   spirit,   which   are   God’s.”     1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “But   you   are   not   in   the   flesh   but   in   the   Spirit,   if   indeed   the   Spirit   of   God   dwells   in   you.      Now   if   anyone   does   not   have   the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”  Romans 8:9 I   believe   born   again   Christians   experience   a   progressional   day-by-day   (Holy   Spirit   directed)   spiritual   transformation:   (1) how they view the world, and (2) changes in behavior that reflect Jesus. Therefore,   if   anyone   is   in   Christ,   he   is   a   new   creation;   old   things   have   passed   away;   behold,   all   things   have   become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17 “Not   by   works   of   righteousness   which   we   have   done,   but   according   to   His   mercy   He   saved   us,   through   the   washing   of regeneration   and   renewing   of   the   Holy   Spirit,   whom   He   poured   out   on   us   abundantly   through   Jesus   Christ   our   Savior.”     Titus 3:5-6 I believe Satan’s desire is to deceive, darken and destroy all whom he can by leveraging man’s sinful nature. Jesus   said   of   Satan   “He   was   a   murderer   from   the   beginning,   and   does   not   stand   in   the   truth,   because   there   is   no   truth   in him.  When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”  John 8:44 “But   even   if   our   gospel   is   veiled,   it   is   veiled   to   those   who   are   perishing,   whose   minds   the   god   of   this   age   has   blinded, who   do   not   believe,   lest   the   light   of   the   gospel   of   the   glory   of   Christ,   who   is   the   image   of   God,   should   shine   on   them.”      2 Corinthians 4:3-4 I believe the influential power and darkness of Satan is disarmed against those who are born again. “And   you,   being   dead   in   your   trespasses   and   the   uncircumcision   of   your   flesh,   He   has   made   alive   together   with   Him, having   forgiven   you   all   trespasses,   having   wiped   out   the   handwriting   of   requirements   that   was   against   us,   which   was contrary   to   us.      And   He   has   taken   it   out   of   the   way,   having   nailed   it   to   the   cross.      Having   disarmed   principalities   and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”  Colossians 2:13-15 I believe those who are born again will be raised to eternal life, and unbelievers to eternal death. “And   many   of   those   who   sleep   in   the   dust   of   the   earth   shall   awake,   some   to   everlasting   life,   some   to   shame   and everlasting contempt.”  Daniel 12:2 “Most   assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   the   hour   is   coming,   and   now   is,   when   the   dead   will   hear   the   voice   of   the   Son   of   God;   and those   who   hear   will   live.      For   as   the   Father   has   life   in   Himself,   so   He   has   granted   the   Son   to   have   life   in   Himself,   and has   given   Him   authority   to   execute   judgment   also,   because   He   is   the   Son   of   Man.      Do   not   marvel   at   this;   for   the   hour   is coming   in   which   all   who   are   in   the   graves   will   hear   His   voice   and   come   forth—those   who   have   done   good,   to   the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”  John 5:25-29 I   believe   all   persons   who   reject   Jesus   Christ   will   be   judged   during   the   Great   White   Throne   Judgment.      These   are   those whose names will not be found in the Book of Life and will experience eternity in the lake of fire.  Then   I   saw   a   great   white   throne   and   Him   who   sat   on   it,   from   whose   face   the   earth   and   the   heaven   fled   away.     And   there was   found   no   place   for   them.     And   I   saw   the   dead,   small   and   great,   standing   before   God,   and   books   were   opened. And another   book   was   opened,   which   is   the   Book   of   Life.     And   the   dead   were   judged   according   to   their   works,   by   the   things which   were   written   in   the   books.     The   sea   gave   up   the   dead   who   were   in   it,   and   Death   and   Hades   delivered   up   the   dead who   were   in   them.     And   they   were   judged,   each   one   according   to   his   works.      Then   Death   and   Hades   were   cast   into   the lake   of   fire.      This   is   the   second   death.      And   anyone   not   found   written   in   the   Book   of   Life   was   cast   into   the   lake   of   fire.     Revelation 20:11-15 I   believe   Jesus   will   not   blot   out   the   names   of   those   who   are   born   again,   and   He   will   confess   their   names   before   God   and the angels, and they will live with Him for eternity. He   who   overcomes   shall   be   clothed   in   white   garments,   and   I   will   not   blot   out   his   name   from   the   Book   of   Life;   but   I   will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.  Revelation 3:5 I   believe   all   born   again   Christians   will   also   be   judged   by   Jesus   Christ   (Judgment   Seat   of   Christ).      This   judgment   is   not for   entrance   into   Heaven   because   our   “’ticket”   for   entrance   into   Heaven   was   paid   for   by   Jesus.      However,   we   will   be judged for our works.  That which is done for self will not endure.  That which was done for Jesus will be rewarded. For   we   must   all   appear   before   the   judgment   seat   of   Christ,   that   each   one   may   receive   the   things   done   in   the   body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  2 Corinthians 5:10 For   no   other   foundation   can   anyone   lay   than   that   which   is   laid,   which   is   Jesus   Christ.      Now   if   anyone   builds   on   this foundation   with   gold,   silver,   precious   stones,   wood,   hay,   straw,   each   one’s   work   will   become   clear;   for   the   Day   will declare   it,   because   it   will   be   revealed   by   fire;   and   the   fire   will   test   each   one’s   work,   of   what   sort   it   is.      If   anyone’s   work which   he   has   built   on   it   endures,   he   will   receive   a   reward.      If   anyone’s   work   is   burned,   he   will   suffer   loss;   but   he   himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  1 Corinthians 3:11-15 May God richly bless you with peace, wisdom and His continual presence. All for the glory of God Harold D. Thomas
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Jesus
My Testimony I   accepted   Jesus   Christ   as   my   Savior   when   I   was   17   years old.         I   stood   at   the   water’s   edge   in   Huntington   Beach, California,   as   a   Christian   church   pastor   (whom   I   had   just met)   led   me   in   a   prayer.      I   vividly   remember   a   warm   ocean wave   rolled   on   the   beach   up   to   our   knees   as   I   prayed   for forgiveness,   opened   my   heart   to   Jesus   and   asked   Him   to take   control   of   my   life.      I   also   remember   experiencing   a feeling   of   peace   and   joy   on   the   inside—unlike   anything   I had   felt   before—which   lasted   a   few   days.      However,   later that   week   I   rejected   an   offer   by   a   local   church   leader   to come to a Bible study, and I was soon back to my old self. A   few   years   later,   when   I   was   21   years   old   and   serving   in the     United     States    Air     Force,     I     was     facing     serious consequences   for   my   behavior—including   a   court-martial, going   to   prison   and   receiving   a   dishonorable   discharged.     I   had   made   absolute   mess   of   my   life   and   my   future   was bleak.      Meanwhile,   the   Holy   Spirit   was   actively   working   to cause   me   to   wake   up,   realize   my   situation,   understand   the consequences,   let   go   of   the   control   of   my   life,   and   turn   my heart   towards   God.      This   is   when   I   accepted   Jesus   Christ as my Lord. Thereafter,    things    began    to    change.        I    was    not    court- martialed,   was   given   a   reduced   punishment   and   did   not go   to   prison.      I   soon   joined   the   Christian   church   on   the Air Force   base   and   began   to   support   the   youth   group.      A couple   of   years   later   I   completed   my   4-year   commitment and    was    honorably    discharged.        Five    years    later    I graduated     with     a     Bachelor     of     Science     in     Business Administration,   and   was   hired   by   a   large   multibillion-dollar international company where I enjoyed a 31-year career. I   turned   66   in   May,   2020   and   have   been   married   only   once to   my   best   friend,   wife   and   mother   of   our   two   sons   for more   than   40   years.      Some   may   not   believe   this…but   it   is true…my   wife   and   I   have   never   had   an   argument.      We both   seek   God,   we   read   the   Bible   and   pray   together,   we constantly    poke    fun    at    each    other,    we    laugh    and    cry together, and we enjoy being with each other. Praise   God   in   that   His   word   is   true   and   everlasting...for   I have   learned   throughout   the   years…He   keeps   His   side   of the   bargain.      Hebrews   13:5   says:   “I   will   never   leave   you nor   forsake   you.”   For   His   grace…and   His   promises…and His love transcends all of my sin. When     evaluating     the     multitude     of     challenges     and tribulations   I   have   experienced   in   my   life…I   can   see   how these     events     changed     me     and     cleansed     me     from within…a    process    that    continues    today    as    I    desire    to become less of me and more like Him. UniqueBibleStudies.Com More   than   20   years   ago   I   developed   a   compelling   desire to   research   and   write   topical   Bible   studies.      This   collection is   now   posted   on   the   website,   and   is   continuing   to   grow   as I   obediently   write   as   I   feel   led.      Each   writing   is   prayed over,   humbly   placed   at   the   foot   of   Jesus   (because   He alone is worthy), and freely made available to all. There   have   been   many   times   when   I   write…and   I   will   stop and   read   what   is   written…realize   the   power   that’s   in   the words   and   how   they   will   touch   lives…and   begin   to   cry   as   I worship    Him…because    I    know    the    only    One    who    can touch   a   person’s   heart   and   change   them   from   within   is   the Holy Spirit. As   such,   I   pray   each   person   spiritually   grows   from   each   of the lessons, and shares them with others.  My Beliefs (All scripture is New King James Version) I     believe     the     Bible     is     the     inspired,     inerrant,     and authoritative Word of God. “All    Scripture    is    given    by    inspiration    of    God,    and    is profitable    for    doctrine,    for    reproof,    for    correction,    for instruction   in   righteousness,   that   the   man   of   God   may   be complete,   thoroughly   equipped   for   every   good   work.”   2 Timothy 3:16-17 I believe all persons have a sinful nature.  “As   it   is   written:   There   is   none   righteous,   no,   not   one.”   Romans 3:10 “For   all   have   sinned   and   fall   short   of   the   glory   of   God.”   Romans 3:23 I   believe   the   Son   of   God   was   conceived   of   the   Holy   Spirit, born   of   the   Virgin   Mary,   and   became   a   human   being   in   the person of Jesus Christ.  “Now   the   birth   of   Jesus   Christ   was   as   follows:      After   His mother   Mary   was   betrothed   to   Joseph,   before   they   came together,   she   was   found   with   child   of   the   Holy   Spirit.     Then Joseph   her   husband,   being   a   just   man,   and   not   wanting   to make   her   a   public   example,   was   minded   to   put   her   away secretly.      But   while   he   thought   about   these   things,   behold, an   angel   of   the   Lord   appeared   to   him   in   a   dream,   saying, ‘Joseph,   son   of   David,   do   not   be   afraid   to   take   to   you   Mary your   wife,   for   that   which   is   conceived   in   her   is   of   the   Holy Spirit.      And   she   will   bring   forth   a   Son,   and   you   shall   call His   name   Jesus,   for   He   will   save   His   people   from   their sins.’      So   all   this   was   done   that   it   might   be   fulfilled   which was    spoken    by    the    Lord    through    the    prophet,    saying: ‘Behold,   the   virgin   shall   be   with   child,   and   bear   a   Son,   and they   shall   call   His   name   Immanuel,’   which   is   translated, ‘God   with   us.’      Then   Joseph,   being   aroused   from   sleep, did   as   the   angel   of   the   Lord   commanded   him   and   took   to him   his   wife,   and   did   not   know   her   till   she   had   brought forth   her   firstborn   Son.      And   he   called   His   name   Jesus.”   Matthew 1:18-25 I believe Jesus Christ lived a sinless life. “For   He   made   Him   who   knew   no   sin   to   be   sin   for   us,   that we   might   become   the   righteousness   of   God   in   Him.”      2 Corinthians 5:21 Because   of   each   person’s   sin,   I   believe   Jesus   Christ   died a substitutionary death (to pay the price for our sin). “Surely   He   has   borne   our   griefs   and   carried   our   sorrows; yet    we    esteemed    Him    stricken,    smitten    by    God,    and afflicted.      But   He   was   wounded   for   our   transgressions,   He was   bruised   for   our   iniquities;   the   chastisement   for   our peace   was   upon   Him,   and   by   His   stripes   we   are   healed.     All   we   like   sheep   have   gone   astray;   we   have   turned,   every one,   to   his   own   way;   and   the   Lord   has   laid   on   Him   the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:4-6 “For   Christ   also   suffered   once   for   sins,   the   just   for   the unjust,   that   He   might   bring   us   to   God,   being   put   to   death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”  1 Peter 3:18 I   believe   Jesus   Christ   was   raised   from   the   dead   the   third day,   ascended   into   heaven,   and   is   seated   at   the   right hand of God. “For   I   delivered   to   you   first   of   all   that   which   I   also   received: that   Christ   died   for   our   sins   according   to   the   Scriptures, and   that   He   was   buried,   and   that   He   rose   again   the   third day according to the Scriptures.”  1 Corinthians 14:3-4 “But   this   Man,   after   He   had   offered   one   sacrifice   for   sins forever,   sat   down   at   the   right   hand   of   God.”      Hebrews 10:12 I   believe   God’s   love   for   us   is   expressed   by   His   grace (giving   us   what   we   do   not   deserve)   and   mercy   (not   giving us what we deserve) through His Son, Jesus Christ. “For    God    so    loved    the    world    that    He    gave    His    only begotten   Son,   that   whoever   believes   in   Him   should   not perish   but   have   everlasting   life.      For   God   did   not   send   His Son   into   the   world   to   condemn   the   world,   but   that   the world through Him might be saved.”  John 3:16 “But   God   demonstrates   His   own   love   toward   us,   in   that while   we   were   still   sinners,   Christ   died   for   us.      Much   more then,   having   now   been   justified   by   His   blood,   we   shall   be saved   from   wrath   through   Him.      For   if   when   we   were enemies   we   were   reconciled   to   God   through   the   death   of His   Son,   much   more,   having   been   reconciled,   we   shall   be saved   by   His   life.     And   not   only   that,   but   we   also   rejoice   in God   through   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   through   whom   we have now received the reconciliation.”  Romans 5:8-11 I believe one must be born again to enter into heaven. “Jesus   answered   and   said   to   him,   ‘Most   assuredly,   I   say   to you,   unless   one   is   born   again,   he   cannot   see   the   kingdom of   God.’      Nicodemus   said   to   Him,   ‘How   can   a   man   be   born when   he   is   old?   Can   he   enter   a   second   time   into   his mother’s   womb   and   be   born?’      Jesus   answered,   ‘Most assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   unless   one   is   born   of   water   and the   Spirit,   he   cannot   enter   the   kingdom   of   God.      That which   is   born   of   the   flesh   is   flesh,   and   that   which   is   born   of the Spirit is spirit.’”  John 3:1-6 I    believe    the    10    Commandments—which    were    initially written   on   stone—are   now   written   into   the   hearts   of   those who are born again. “This   is   the   covenant   that   I   will   make   with   them   after   those days,   says   the   Lord:   I   will   put   My   laws   into   their   hearts, and   in   their   minds   I   will   write   them,”   then   He   adds,   “Their sins   and   their   lawless   deeds   I   will   remember   no   more.”   Hebrews 10:16-17 I    believe    Jesus    Christ    is    the    one    and    only    means    for eternal life.  “Jesus   said   to   him,   ‘I   am   the   way,   the   truth,   and   the   life.     No   one   comes   to   the   Father   except   through   Me.’”      John 14:6 “Nor   is   there   salvation   in   any   other,   for   there   is   no   other name   under   heaven   given   among   men   by   which   we   must be saved.”  Acts 4:12 I   believe   there   is   nothing   we   can   do   to   earn   salvation   other than    exercising    our    faith    and    believing    in    what    Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. “For   by   grace   you   have   been   saved   through   faith,   and   that not   of   yourselves;   it   is   the   gift   of   God,   not   of   works,   lest anyone should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 “If    you    confess    with    your    mouth    the    Lord    Jesus    and believe   in   your   heart   that   God   has   raised   Him   from   the dead, you will be saved.”  Romans 10:9 I   believe   there   are   persons   who   externally   profess   to   be   a Christian—but do not know Him. “Not   everyone   who   says   to   Me,   ‘Lord,   Lord,’   shall   enter   the kingdom   of   heaven,   but   he   who   does   the   will   of   My   Father in   heaven.      Many   will   say   to   Me   in   that   day,   ‘Lord,   Lord, have   we   not   prophesied   in   Your   name,   cast   out   demons   in Your   name,   and   done   many   wonders   in   Your   name?’     And then   I   will   declare   to   them,   ‘I   never   knew   you;   depart   from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”  Matthew 7:21-23 “Enter   by   the   narrow   gate;   for   wide   is   the   gate   and   broad is   the   way   that   leads   to   destruction,   and   there   are   many who   go   in   by   it.      Because   narrow   is   the   gate   and   difficult   is the   way   which   leads   to   life,   and   there   are   few   who   find   it.     Matthew 7:13-14 I   believe   the   Holy   Spirit   was   sent   by   the   Father   and   the Son    to    convict    the    world    of    sin,    righteousness,    and judgment.  “Nevertheless,   I   tell   you   the   truth.      It   is   to   your   advantage that   I   go   away;   for   if   I   do   not   go   away,   the   Helper   will   not come   to   you;   but   if   I   depart,   I   will   send   Him   to   you.      And when   He   has   come,   He   will   convict   the   world   of   sin,   and   of righteousness,   and   of   judgment:   of   sin,   because   they   do not   believe   in   Me;   of   righteousness,   because   I   go   to   My Father   and   you   see   Me   no   more;   of   judgment,   because the ruler of this world is judged.”  John 16:7-11 I   believe   born   again   Christians   are   directly   influenced   (and indwelled by) the Holy Spirit. “But   you   shall   receive   power   when   the   Holy   Spirit   has come   upon   you;   and   you   shall   be   witnesses   to   Me   in Jerusalem,   and   in   all   Judea   and   Samaria,   and   to   the   end of the earth.”  Acts 1:8 “In   Him   you   also   trusted,   after   you   heard   the   word   of   truth, the    gospel    of    your    salvation;    in    whom    also,    having believed,   you   were   sealed   with   the   Holy   Spirit   of   promise, who     is     the     guarantee     of     our     inheritance     until     the redemption   of   the   purchased   possession,   to   the   praise   of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14 “Or   do   you   not   know   that   your   body   is   the   temple   of   the Holy   Spirit   who   is   in   you,   whom   you   have   from   God,   and you   are   not   your   own?      For   you   were   bought   at   a   price; therefore,   glorify   God   in   your   body   and   in   your   spirit,   which are God’s.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “But   you   are   not   in   the   flesh   but   in   the   Spirit,   if   indeed   the Spirit   of   God   dwells   in   you.      Now   if   anyone   does   not   have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”  Romans 8:9 I   believe   born   again   Christians   experience   a   progressional day-by-day   (Holy   Spirit   directed)   spiritual   transformation: (1)   how   they   view   the   world,   and   (2)   changes   in   behavior that reflect Jesus. Therefore,   if   anyone   is   in   Christ,   he   is   a   new   creation;   old things   have   passed   away;   behold,   all   things   have   become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17 “Not   by   works   of   righteousness   which   we   have   done,   but according   to   His   mercy   He   saved   us,   through   the   washing of   regeneration   and   renewing   of   the   Holy   Spirit,   whom   He poured   out   on   us   abundantly   through   Jesus   Christ   our Savior.”  Titus 3:5-6 I   believe   Satan’s   desire   is   to   deceive,   darken   and   destroy all whom he can by leveraging man’s sinful nature. Jesus    said    of    Satan    “He    was    a    murderer    from    the beginning,   and   does   not   stand   in   the   truth,   because   there is   no   truth   in   him.      When   he   speaks   a   lie,   he   speaks   from his   own   resources,   for   he   is   a   liar   and   the   father   of   it.”   John 8:44 “But   even   if   our   gospel   is   veiled,   it   is   veiled   to   those   who are    perishing,    whose    minds    the    god    of    this    age    has blinded,   who   do   not   believe,   lest   the   light   of   the   gospel   of the   glory   of   Christ,   who   is   the   image   of   God,   should   shine on them.”  2 Corinthians 4:3-4 I   believe   the   influential   power   and   darkness   of   Satan   is disarmed against those who are born again. “And    you,    being    dead    in    your    trespasses    and    the uncircumcision   of   your   flesh,   He   has   made   alive   together with   Him,   having   forgiven   you   all   trespasses,   having   wiped out   the   handwriting   of   requirements   that   was   against   us, which   was   contrary   to   us.      And   He   has   taken   it   out   of   the way,    having    nailed    it    to    the    cross.        Having    disarmed principalities   and   powers,   He   made   a   public   spectacle   of them, triumphing over them in it.”  Colossians 2:13-15 I   believe   those   who   are   born   again   will   be   raised   to   eternal life, and unbelievers to eternal death. “And   many   of   those   who   sleep   in   the   dust   of   the   earth shall   awake,   some   to   everlasting   life,   some   to   shame   and everlasting contempt.”  Daniel 12:2 “Most   assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   the   hour   is   coming,   and   now is,   when   the   dead   will   hear   the   voice   of   the   Son   of   God; and   those   who   hear   will   live.      For   as   the   Father   has   life   in Himself,   so   He   has   granted   the   Son   to   have   life   in   Himself, and   has   given   Him   authority   to   execute   judgment   also, because   He   is   the   Son   of   Man.      Do   not   marvel   at   this;   for the   hour   is   coming   in   which   all   who   are   in   the   graves   will hear   His   voice   and   come   forth—those   who   have   done good,   to   the   resurrection   of   life,   and   those   who   have   done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”  John 5:25-29 I   believe   all   persons   who   reject   Jesus   Christ   will   be   judged during    the    Great    White    Throne    Judgment.        These    are those   whose   names   will   not   be   found   in   the   Book   of   Life and will experience eternity in the lake of fire.  Then   I   saw   a   great   white   throne   and   Him   who   sat   on   it, from   whose   face   the   earth   and   the   heaven   fled   away.     And there   was   found   no   place   for   them.      And   I   saw   the   dead, small   and   great,   standing   before   God,   and   books   were opened. And   another   book   was   opened,   which   is   the   Book of   Life.      And   the   dead   were   judged   according   to   their works,   by   the   things   which   were   written   in   the   books.      The sea   gave   up   the   dead   who   were   in   it,   and   Death   and Hades   delivered   up   the   dead   who   were   in   them.     And   they were   judged,   each   one   according   to   his   works.      Then Death   and   Hades   were   cast   into   the   lake   of   fire.      This   is the   second   death.      And   anyone   not   found   written   in   the Book   of   Life   was   cast   into   the   lake   of   fire.      Revelation 20:11-15 I   believe   Jesus   will   not   blot   out   the   names   of   those   who are   born   again,   and   He   will   confess   their   names   before God    and    the    angels,    and    they    will    live    with    Him    for eternity. He   who   overcomes   shall   be   clothed   in   white   garments, and   I   will   not   blot   out   his   name   from   the   Book   of   Life;   but   I will   confess   his   name   before   My   Father   and   before   His angels.  Revelation 3:5 I   believe   all   born   again   Christians   will   also   be   judged   by Jesus   Christ   (Judgment   Seat   of   Christ).      This   judgment   is not    for    entrance    into    Heaven    because    our    “’ticket”    for entrance   into   Heaven   was   paid   for   by   Jesus.      However, we   will   be   judged   for   our   works.      That   which   is   done   for self   will   not   endure.      That   which   was   done   for   Jesus   will be rewarded. For   we   must   all   appear   before   the   judgment   seat   of   Christ, that   each   one   may   receive   the   things   done   in   the   body, according   to   what   he   has   done,   whether   good   or   bad.      2 Corinthians 5:10 For   no   other   foundation   can   anyone   lay   than   that   which   is laid,   which   is   Jesus   Christ.      Now   if   anyone   builds   on   this foundation   with   gold,   silver,   precious   stones,   wood,   hay, straw,   each   one’s   work   will   become   clear;   for   the   Day   will declare   it,   because   it   will   be   revealed   by   fire;   and   the   fire will   test   each   one’s   work,   of   what   sort   it   is.      If   anyone’s work   which   he   has   built   on   it   endures,   he   will   receive   a reward.      If   anyone’s   work   is   burned,   he   will   suffer   loss;   but he    himself    will    be    saved,    yet    so    as    through    fire.        1 Corinthians 3:11-15 May   God   richly   bless   you   with   peace,   wisdom   and   His continual presence. All for the glory of God Harold D. Thomas
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