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(A Balanced Faith)
REDEMPTION WAY about Heaven; salvation (gospel); eternal life; blessing; our course; judgments; the Lord's sacrifice, reign, kingdom, glory and purposes; etc. CHURCH TRUTH about baptism; the gathering of believers; the collective testimony; obedience; a Godly path; the Lord's glory and honor; etc. SPIRITUAL LIFE about worship; the love of God; devotion; maturity in faith; trials; peace and joy; holiness; communion; charity, service; the Lord's glory and praise; etc. GENERAL MINISTRY about the Creator-God; Trinity; Bible overview; God's plan; Bible subjects; the OT & NT; Christianity; sects and cults; God's honor; etc.
Site updated on: July 9, 2018
Established 2000 A.D.
Holding forth the Word of life - Phil. 2:16
Holding fast the
faithful Word - Titus 1:9
See thoughts about God's recovery of church truth for His testimony and our pathway as believers, from that revival of 1827 AD shown herein
May God bless this site
to all readers
July Edition, 2018 www.biblecounsel.net or www.biblecounsel.homestead.com Scriptural Newsletter
WELCOME HERE FRIENDS! It is hoped you will find this site to be very helpful. All questions and comments are welcome and held confidential (e-mail: email@example.com. This web site is non-sectarian ministry to encourage the reading of God's Word, and for serious seeking after truth. It values God's work of revival in the early 1800's, with which it is associated, and urges readers to learn about it (see Church Truth page and Feature pages above). It is always the desire and hope here to obey and honor our Lord, and encourage and seek the spiritual welfare of all people. No thought here is to condemn personal faith, for each one must look to God in their personal life, but this speaks to spiritual life and the holy gospel truth by Bible-only; and what God has intended for His collective testimony in this world. We need "all the counsel of God".
Everyone may participate in the ministry of this web site, by telling their friends to visit here. We hope all will find some ministry to help, and perhaps a nice challenge for their faith. Surely "the time is short", as God says, and surely we need to also "be about (our) Father's business". See the message and testimony at Site Manager Page. The writer does not have all answers, but will be glad to share what has been learned over many years. Questions and contrary views in a helpful way are appreciated.
Papers and comments here are changed periodically, and are personal convictions. Serious seekers after church testimony might well see Christian Assembly page: F4. There are many pages for help and encouragement --- SEE INDEX ABOVE FOR A BIBLE STUDY --F8. The manager may not have answers for all questions, but is glad to share what he has and be of some help. He is not perfect and revisions and updates seem needed at times to clarify thoughts, so one might note the revision date on any papers they wish to copy (set your print margins at .25). Any copies made should not be altered or taken out of context.
DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOU?
A true and faithful believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, will walk with Him and talk with Him daily, until that day when one can see Him and be with Him forever in the Father's house in Heaven. - RLD, 12/09
A Question Often Asked
CAN CRIMINALS GO TO HEAVEN?
THE FACTS FROM THE WORD OF GOD
By R. L. DeWitt, 1999; rev. 5/11
Since societies decide what is a criminal offense, the fundamental question here should be: Is the offender a sinner according to the Word of God? God decides what is sin, and He says: "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom.3: 23). It is the ruined nature of man at his beginning (Genesis 2 & 3). The important question, therefore, should be: Can a sinner go to heaven? The answer to that question is: yes, for God says a sinner who is forgiven and saved by the grace of God will go to heaven (Matt.9:10-13; Matt. 18:11; Luke 23:39-43; Rom.5:8;). One might ask if God will show grace to a criminal. He will show grace to any sinner who in truth repents and receives the gift of God through and in His Son (Rom.6:23; Eph.2:8-9), for His promise is not according to the degree of sin, but according to the efficacy of the work of Christ. We are all born sinners, so we must all be redeemed to be fit for heaven (John 3:1-8; John 3:16; John 3:35-36; John 14:1-11; Rom.5; Rom. 10:1-13; I John 5:10-13; Rev. 21:27). This is the essence of the question.
At one time years ago I was asked by a young man who I had tried to help in the past, to come and visit him in jail. I was glad to have the opportunity to talk with him again, and speak to him about the love of God. His response was that it was too late for him, for he was heading for prison. I tried to explain and show him from the Bible that it is never too late to come to God while we are still alive ---even in jail, but he didn't seem persuaded. He apparently had decided he was too bad. I never saw him again, but I hope he was awakened to God.
Good works are the expectation by God of His redeemed children, not His expectation of natural man, though both God and man value good works. Society sets certain standards for its citizens to follow, and holds them accountable, as God has ordained (read Rom.13). Government must govern the people and maintain order. God will judge nations one day as to whether they were honorable and trusted God.
It is not so much an act of sin, but the standing and living in sin which separates man from God (Isa.59:1-2; Isa.64:6). He says the thought of foolishness is sin; a lie is sin; lust is sin; theft is sin; murder is sin, etc. What are they but the manifestation of the sinful condition of the heart of natural man? As one has said: "Fish swim, birds fly, and sinners sin ---that's what they do best". Under certain conditions we might all do a very bad thing. Moses killed a man in anger. David caused a man to be killed so he could have his wife. The apostle, Paul, earlier was an accomplice to killings of Christians. We all are born in sin by nature and propagation from the fall as shown in Genesis 2 & 3 (see also Psa.51:5); and while we may not have taken a life, we have offended, and may have secret sins in our past. We must confess our sinful and ungodly condition and be redeemed to God; otherwise we can not enter the holy place of Heaven, and will "...dwell among the everlasting burnings" (Isa.33:14; Matt.10:28).
The young man I sought to introduce to the Savior, was looking within for good, and could only see there his sin, helplessness, and failure. He seemed unable to look unto “Jesus the author and finisher of faith” (Heb.12:2). I had known him for several years. His family had failed him, and he could not believe anyone could or would help him, so in his bitterness he associated with rough friends and lived recklessly. He could not lift himself above his past; he could not believe the love of God (John 3:16), and he did not know that “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up” (Psa.27:10), for he didn’t know God. Such conditions are all about living without God.
Let me relate another incident which might shed further light on the ending. Some years ago an elderly one I knew died of pneumonia. She was rushed to the hospital when she couldn’t overcome congestion from a cold. The doctor said he could give her medicine, but in her condition the real test would be whether she was able to throw off the congestion in her lungs. Some of us prayed and watched her fade away for three days as she tried to breath in an oxygen tent. Some faithful ones spoke to her of Christ. Finally she was unable to overcome her condition. She was weak and the physician couldn't help. We hope and trust she got saved for eternity before her end. We must trust God, for man cannot heal the soul (John 3:16).
Disease is like sin in our lives. If we are unable to remove it this condition will overcome us and bear us down to our end, and a lost eternity if not saved (and though we struggle with it all our days); but God says He has a remedy. He says that “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom.5:6). Thankfully then, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). He is the Great Physician. If we can be honest before God, who knows the thoughts of our hearts and knows our trouble, and if we see that “there is one God, and one mediator between God and men---the Man, Christ Jesus” (I Tim.2:5); and knowing God's love we will receive Him by simple faith (see John 1:10-13), such ones will go to heaven with a full pardon on the authority of the Holy Bible. God has declared: “He that hath the Son hath life (eternal)” (I Jn 5:12). If we do not receive the remedy we have no hope. Both of the stories mentioned here are cases of ones who could not overcome their condition by themselves. In sickness there might not be a remedy by man, but regarding our lost spiritual condition the Lord is a sure resource. In either case one needs the Lord in their life.
It is only our limited thought of morality that causes us to say: "Surely a criminal can not go to heaven". We forget that we are all criminals by the law of God. We all have larceny, anger and greed in our hearts. One might be generally a good person and a good citizen, and in anger or an emotional rage harm someone; or, one who is an emotionally deprived person, reared from a child in fear and hate might take a life; but God holds out the gift of eternal life to whosoever of fallen and corrupted man will cry out to Him, and receive His Son---the Lord Jesus Christ. He will then make that one a new creation by the Holy Spirit (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:17). One must come to know, as God says: "HIM THAT COMETH TO ME I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT" - John 6:37. - RLD: RG03