Summary: God’s “Word is truth.” Jesus said that (John 17:17). And He said further that “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). I’m going to share with you some major Bible truths which, if believed and obeyed, can dramatically reshape the world and its cultures that we live in.
This is the very first sentence of the Bible, and it contains two truths that, if people will accept them, will change for the better this planet that we live on.
1) The first is: “In the beginning God…” There is a God—omnipotent, omniscient, perfect. He alone is God. All other gods, goddesses, deities are false gods. In His Word God declares, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:25). In fact, the first of the Ten Commandments affirms this, and that tells us how important it is to God that we believe in Him, not the false gods of the nations—“I am the Lord your God...” (Exodus 20:2-3).
Imagine the peace, the harmony, that could prevail around the world if every nation, every culture, and every individual person knew, loved, and served the true God, the God of the Bible.
2) The second great truth in the Bible’s opening verse is this: “God created the heavens and the earth.” Anything in “the science” that contradicts this foundational truth of Scripture is false. For example, mankind did not “evolve” over long ages. Rather, as God’s Word declares, God created the progenitors of all humans—Adam and Eve—as full-grown, complete human beings. The account of God’s creating them is found in Genesis, chapters 2-3.
I am not a scientist; I’m a theologian and Bible teacher. And I teach what the God-inspired Scriptures declare, not the sometimes-true and sometimes-in-error declarations of the sciences. For example, half a century ago some scientists were making dire predictions of major planetary cooling, some even using expressions like “New Ice Age Coming” (see dozens of examples at the link). Today, some 45-50 years later, “the science” is loudly trumpeting the exact opposite, that is, major global warming. But thankfully, the God who created our planet (and all else) says in His Word that “the earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24:1). It’s His creation, His planet, and that gives me much comfort and removes any worry I might have about its future. And that leads us to our next world-reshaping truth.
God the Owner of All
Now that is a revolutionary truth. The very planet that our nations, our homes, and we ourselves stand on belongs entirely to the Lord. As we have seen, He created it and placed us (mankind) on it. He allows us to use and enjoy it, but it remains His, and that includes “everything in it… [and] all who live in it.”
Those who have read the Bible in its entirety are aware of a remarkable flow from past history on into a Scripturally predicted future. In a very brief summary: God created the heavens and the earth, including man and woman … our first parents disobeyed God in the garden of Eden and brought sin into the world … as a result, because of sin the perfect creation and its inhabitants became a corrupted creation … two thousand years ago the Savior Jesus Christ came to the earth from God the Father in heaven … He lived, preached and taught, healed the sick and more, then died on the cross to take the sins of the world, rising from the dead on the third day … He ascended back to heaven, from which He will come again to earth one day in His Second Coming … the redeemed, who have come to the Savior Jesus in faith and repentance, will join Him for joyous, everlasting life. The unsaved, having rejected Him, will be consigned to the fires of hell … at the very close of the end times God will set aside the old creation and create “a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1ff). There God’s faithful from all generations will dwell in His glorious presence for all eternity.
What’s the life-changing takeaway from all this? — “It’s not about you!” God created us to know, love, and serve Him. We belong to Him; the entire world belongs to Him. There are hundreds of commandments in the Bible’s Law of Moses. When asked which of them is the greatest, the #1 of them all, Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
Our life on this earth must not be centered selfishly on ourselves. Our love and devotion are to be directed to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son. Those who do so will find the salvation and glorious eternal life with God that the Bible promises.
The Bible reminds us that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). From Adam and Eve down to this very minute, sin has separated us from the God who created us and loves us. Fallen, sinful men and women could not dwell in harmony with an absolutely holy, perfect God.
From the very beginning in Eden God intended men and women to live sinless, holy lives. In fact (and this will shock some) we were “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Not one of us has perfectly fulfilled that high and holy calling of God, except the faultless Savior Jesus when He walked the earth.
And that is why Jesus is the one and only way back to restored fellowship with God. He alone of all who ever walked the earth was and is sinlessly perfect. Therefore only He qualified, in His sacrificial death on the cross for us, to “take away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, KJV). A perfect sacrifice has reconciled back to a perfect God all who will repent of sin and place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is the essence of what some call the saving Gospel. The apostle Paul summarized it well: “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that
This Gospel of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior is the world-changing message that must be heard in every corner of this dark, fallen world.
I live in the USA. As I write this in 2021, mandates and executive orders are flying off the desks of national and state leaders. “We the people” are being told (read that, ordered) what to do at a level I’ve never seen in my 78 years. Understand me, please, I do believe in obeying lawful, constitutionally sound directions.
But…when those directions/laws/orders/mandates contradict the clear Word of God, that’s when we must follow the example of the early apostles, when they resisted an ungodly edict with the words, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29).
Our world would change dramatically for the better if everyone accepted and acted upon this fact: “Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36, NKJV). After His resurrection from the dead and just before He ascended back to God the Father in heaven, Jesus declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). Now and for all eternity God the Father has entitled the Son to be called the “Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:36).
I respect authority (my 4 years in the military taught me that well). One thing we learned in the Air Force was the absolute importance of the chain of command. My first commander in 1967 was a full colonel. To him I always said, “Yes, sir!” Oh, just imagine the goodness and peace that would spread across our earth if every person aimed their ultimate “Yes, sir” at the One who has all authority in heaven and earth—the Lord of all, Jesus Christ. He is perfect, all-wise, and all-powerful. There is no better reply to any of His commands than a hearty “Yes, Lord!”
I’ve heard people say that Christianity seems to be “no fun.” So they stay away from entering into a walk with the Lord. But I can testify to the error of that way of thinking. I was not born again by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ until age 25. I’m not proud of the fact that I was a typical lost sinner, trying to find lasting peace and joy in many of the carnal pursuits that our world offers. One example: I’ve never been a drug user, but in my pre-Christian years I put away plenty of alcohol before going “on the wagon” in 1971. I associated that with “fun” stuff. But in retrospect, none of it produced any lasting positive joy. Often it was just the opposite.
I had a profound saving encounter with Jesus Christ in 1969. And I can conscientiously say that the 52 years since then have been far, far more joyful than the 25 years prior. I experienced the sense of God’s forgiveness. My heart felt relieved of much guilt. I found a new joy in life—serving the Lord. God graciously gave me a marriage and family. I have purpose every day, awaking with the Lord’s Prayer on my lips and a desire to know and serve the Lord each day.
Serving God and Jesus Christ in this life is a joy, not drudgery! And it ends even better for the born-again believer, who after this life will hear Christ’s wonderful welcome: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21, KJV).
Saul of Tarsus, the infamous persecutor of the early Church, had a spectacular visionary encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. The former enemy of the faith was instantly converted to dedicated, lifelong service to the Lord (later he was known as the apostle Paul). One of the first things out of his mouth in that visionary Damascus road event was: “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Picture in your mind how different life on earth would be if everyone awoke each day with a short prayer, saying, “Lord, what will you have me do today?” I daresay that His answer to that sincere prayer would greatly improve not only the quality of our individual lives, but also the health of the kingdom of God on this earth.
The bottom line is determining not what our plans are for our lives, but what His plan is for us. The prophet wrote, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
God’s plans for us are always right and always preferable to our differing plans. Please allow me a personal example. I’ve always had a great love for aviation. In my young adult years I earned some FAA pilot licenses. Then from 1971 to 1975 I was first in training, then working as an FAA Air Traffic Controller in Anchorage, Alaska. I truly loved the work! When I interviewed for the job in 1971, I already had a sense that perhaps the Lord might call me one day to fulltime Christian ministry. So I told the interviewers honestly that, if that call should come, I would obey it and give proper notice to the FAA before moving on to ministry. But at that time I had a reasonable expectation of a career in air traffic control. Well, that call of God did come, and from 1975 to formal retirement in 2006, and still to this day (2021), I have been steadily involved in the ministry of Bible teaching, church planting, or pastoring.
The takeaway? If the attitude of every citizen of this planet was, “Lord Jesus, tell me your will for my life,” what an amazing world (and worldwide Church) this could be! Some might be called to fulltime Christian service. Others will be called to serve the Lord with the unique gifts and talents He gives them to serve in whatever capacity He chooses. No one of these is better than the other. The main point to ask the Lord is: "What wilt thou have me to do?"
In a word, this verse and many others like it in the Bible, speaks of “other-centeredness,” or as another verse puts it: “in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10, KJV). Nowadays we often hear the strident insistence: “I’ve got my rights!” By contrast, if anyone ever legitimately had “rights,” it was Jesus, the Son of God from heaven. But He left His exalted place with God the Father, came to earth born of a virgin, lived and preached and taught, then died for us a horrible death on the cross. And by that relinquishing of His own absolute “rights,” Jesus secured salvation for every human being who would come to God the Father through faith in Him.
If our Lord and Savior did that—He who is King of kings, Lord of lords, and “Lord of all”—how can we, His followers, do any less? Instead of us demanding our so-called rights and privileges, this world would be reshaped overnight if each one of us began to “value others above ourselves.”
You’ve all heard it: “Jesus is coming again.” That is absolutely, irresistibly true. That is what the apostle Paul called the Blessed Hope of the Lord’s people. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 speaks of that Second Coming of Jesus. The already deceased believers will be raised from the dead in immortal bodies. The living believers at His coming will likewise be transformed into immortal bodies. And all those redeemed will be caught up to meet the coming Lord.
But by terrifying contrast, the rest, who have not known God and have not obeyed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will face the “flaming fire” of the Lord’s vengeance and will be cast into the fires of hell.
These and other similar Scriptures paint a clear picture: everyone is either FOR Jesus or AGAINST Him. There is no in-between option listed in the Bible. In a few minutes, I’ll offer those who don’t know Him an opportunity to become a FOR-Jesus believer who will spend a glorious eternity with Him. But first let’s look at one more verse where God—because He “loves the world” (John 3:16)—gives through Jesus a stark warning to those who persist in their unsaved condition. And remember, Jesus is the “one way” to God the Father (John 14:6).
Heaven is a place of ongoing, indescribable joy and happiness. By contrast, hell is a place of eternal torment. To the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees who were rejecting Him, Jesus warned: “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33)
To every single resident of this planet, my heartfelt cry goes out: “Don’t you wish to escape being condemned to hell?” Jesus is reaching out to you, anywhere on earth where you live. The next verse, just below, contains His very own words of invitation to you.
Hell is eternal! Also eternal is joy-filled life with God in the yet-future “new heaven and new earth” (Revelation 21:1). The choice is very, very clear. Choose life in the Son of God (1 John 5:11-13).
For any whose heart the Lord is touching right now, would you like to experience Jesus’ promise of eternal life by knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ the Savior? If so, I thank God! I heartily encourage you to let the late, esteemed evangelist Billy Graham lead you into salvation in his brief but life-changing “Begin Your Journey to Peace.”
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©2021, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Semons & Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.