Pastor's Pen
Salt of the Earth - Matthew 5:13
Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

Believers influence the world by interacting with it as salt. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Salt is used for flavoring and as a preservative. As salt brings out the best flavor of food, so believers should affect others in a positive way. If a seasoning has no flavor (has lost its taste), it has no value. Jesus clearly told His disciples that if they wanted to make a difference in the world, they would have to be different from the world. God would hold them accountable to maintain their “saltiness” (their usefulness). If we are too much like the world, we are useless as Christians.

What does salt do? It adds flavor (Job 6:6). As Christians, we have opportunities to add “flavor” to the world. Salt creates thirst. We should create a thirst in others for God. They are spiritually dehydrated and dying without Christ. Salt preserves. We are to be faithful in presenting the truth. Salt also purifies and kills bacteria. Christians need to live their lives in a godly way that the world is uncomfortable when given the gospel. The church is frequently so concerned with trying to please, attract, and excuse others that its witness against sin is obscured and lost. We may be so concerned with not offending others that we fail to confront them with their need to be saved from sin. A gospel that does not confront sin is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What happens when salt loses its savor? Salt becomes tasteless, insipid, and characterless. Jesus said that it was “good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” The church is not to be self-centered, immoral, or worldly. We are called to minister to the world while being separated from its standards and ways.

Jesus is not saying that Christians can lose their salvation (John 10:27-29), just as salt cannot lose its inherent saltiness. Christians can lose their value and effectiveness when sin and worldliness contaminate their lives, just as salt can become tasteless when contaminated by other minerals. We cannot be an influence for purity in the world, if we have compromised our own purity. To lose our saltiness is not to lose our salvation, but it is to lose our effectiveness and become disqualified for service (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.10/5/2019 9:55:40 PM

Two Judgments
Two key judgments will take place in the future.

The first one takes place following the rapture of the church and is explained in 1 and 2 Corinthians. The Apostle Paul declares that all that does not meet God's standard will be burned up. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15: "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

2 Corinthians 5:10-11: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."  The Bema Seat Judgment is basically a reward ceremony. It is not a time where we will see videos of all we ever did wrong played before others in heaven. God would not allow such unholy events in heaven. Instead, what will take place is a reward ceremony where only that which is done for Christ with the right attitude will receive a reward. 

The second judgment relates to the wicked. Revelation 20 explains the judgment. Revelation 20:11-15: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that 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, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

We can be thankful that as true believers in Christ, we will never feel the flames of the Lake of Fire. This encourages us to evangelize others who are destined to eternal punishment.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.9/20/2019 10:40:10 AM

A New Body
Philippians 1:6 (ESV): "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." I believe that the day of Christ begins with the rapture of the Church. At that time, we will receive our glorified bodies.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 reveals much concerning our hope of a gloried body: "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is dismantled, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. So while we are in this tent, we groan under our burdens, because we do not wish to be unclothed but clothed, so that our mortality may be swallowed up by life. And God has prepared us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a pledge of what is to come. Therefore we are always confident, although we know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we aspire to please Him, whether we are here in this body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad."

While the only member of the Trinity to possess a physical body is Jesus, our body will be like His, in that the life giving force is the Holy Spirit. We will be impervious to disease, sin, and death. Our current bodies are unfit to be in the unveiled glory of God. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 reveals that after the rapture of the church, we will be forever with the Lord: "Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who are without hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words." 

The older I get, the more I long for heaven.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr. 9/6/2019 2:17:29 PM

Future Events - Part 2
5. Millennial Kingdom - Following the events of the Tribulation, the Messiah will set up the Millennial Kingdom as promised. It will be a return of the Garden of Eden as the earth produces as it was designed to produce (Revelation 20:2-7, Matthew 24:31, Micah 4:2-4, Jeremiah 31:33, Zechariah 14:9). Even the name of Jerusalem (city of peace) will be changed to Jehovah-Shammah (The LORD is there - Ezekiel 48:34).

6. Release of Satan - At the end of the 1000-year reign of Christ, Satan is released (Revelation 20:7-10). Many ask why God would do such a thing. In the Millennial Kingdom with Christ on the throne of David and ruling over the earth and with plenty of food, the world will prosper. Survivors of the Tribulation will have many children. Crime will be almost nonexistent and when it does occur, justice will be swift. Upon Satan's release, many who were born during the Millennial Kingdom will follow the devil in rebellion against God. Through this event, God will reveal that even in a perfect environment such as the Garden of Eden, people will still fall away. It is not the environment which causes us to sin, it is the heart. 

7. Great White Throne Judgment - Those who rejected God throughout history will be raised bodily from their graves and will be reunited with their soul and spirit to stand before God. These who are already condemned (John 3:18) will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Revelation 20:11-15).

8. Eternal State - The final stage involves a new heaven and a new earth where believers of all ages will dwell eternally (Revelation 21-22). It is here that God wipes away all tears (Revelation 21:4). Sin and death will be no more.  

The key thing to remember regarding future events is that God has it all under control. We need to glorify His name with our attitude and actions as well as provide a witness to the unredeemed until God calls us home.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.8/22/2019 10:45:01 PM

Future Events - Part 1
As I understand the Scriptures, future events are as follows:

1. Rapture of the church - All who have placed their faith and trust in Christ for salvation from Pentecost (the birth of the church - Acts 2) to the rapture will be caught up into the presence of God (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

2. Bema Seat Judgment of Christians - All believers from the church age will receive the rewards of their labors (Romans 14:10-14; 2 Corinthians 5:10). This is not the same thing as the Great White Throne judgment of the wicked. 

3. The Tribulation - This is a seven-year period of judgment on the earth. There is a twofold purpose of the Tribulation. First, God will draw Israel to Himself. Second, God will punish the Gentile nations for their wickedness. The calamities will ultimately push the population of the world to the Middle East for the final confrontation with God at the battle of Armageddon. Daniel 9:24-27, 12:1, Zephaniah 1:5; Isaiah 2:12; 13:6-9; and Jeremiah 30:7 indicate that the Tribulation will be a period of trouble for Israel. Many people will respond to the message of salvation during the Tribulation; however, persecution will be heavy. A hundred and forty four thousand Jewish men will come to God and evangelize the world (Revelation 6, 7, 14). At this time the Beast out of the Sea (Gentile leader known as the Roman Prince - Daniel 9:25) and the Beast out of the Land (Jewish leader known as the Anti-Christ - Revelation 13:11-13) will rise to power. They will force the mark of the beast upon the world and control who lives and who dies (Revelation 13:16-18). The mark is most likely a computer chip. The Tribulation ends with the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). 

4. Second Coming of Christ - Isaiah 9:6-7 and Zechariah 14:4 clearly predict the coming of the Messiah in power and force. Zechariah 12:10 indicates that the Second Coming of Christ follows His death on the cross. Revelation 1:7 indicates that the Messiah will come in the clouds. 
(To Be Continued)
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.8/8/2019 11:03:37 PM

Who Is Jesus? - Matthew 4:23-25
The main focus of the four Gospels is to explain who Jesus is. He claimed to be God, and he shows through His ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing that He is God. He established His deity through His words and His works.

Jesus proved who He was through His teaching (Matthew 4:23a). He went throughout Galilee teaching in Jewish synagogues where He was often asked to read and expound on the Old Testament Scriptures. Luke 4:16-21 is a good example of Jesus teaching from the book of Isaiah. He pointed out that these Scriptures were speaking of Him.

Jesus proved who He was through His preaching (Matthew 4:23b). Jesus’ first proclamation was of good news. God’s marvelous offer was to deliver us from the power of darkness, to redeem us, and to forgive our sins (Colossians 1:13-14). Had the Jews accepted Jesus as the Messiah, His kingdom would have come on earth. Even though they were amazed at the words of Jesus, they rejected His message.

Jesus proved who He was through His healing (Matthew 4:23c-25). Some people are sick and unhealthy as a direct consequence of their sin. God sometimes also uses physical affliction to discipline His people. Ananias and Sapphira lost their lives for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-10). Yet the Scriptures make it clear that all suffering and disease are not caused by sin, ignorance, errors in judgment, or God’s discipline. Job suffered greatly even though he was blameless and upright and feared God.

Jesus’ healing was a divine proof of His words. These miracles of healing by Jesus were proof of His deity and also proof that He was the Messiah. A miracle by definition is something that occurs against the laws of nature. Jesus healed many kinds of sicknesses and diseases.

The preaching, teaching, and works of Christ all point to Him as the long-awaited Messiah. He alone can bring salvation and hope to a lost and dying world.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.7/27/2019 10:29:38 PM

Words To Live By - 1 Timothy 4:12-16
The Apostle Paul was bold in instructing believers to live an exemplary life in following Christ. He even set himself up as an example to follow (1 Corinthians 4:16, Philippians 3:17). Everyone who receives these instructions will have God’s peace in their life (Philippians 4:9).

Paul’s encouragement to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 was: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Paul mentions several areas in which we are to be an example.

We are to be an example in speech (words). Matthew 12:34-37 says that what is in our hearts will be reflected in our speech. Even our idle words will be judged. Ephesians 4:25 says that we are to put away lying and speak the truth. In Proverbs 6:16-19, lying is listed as one of the abominations that the Lord hates. Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

We are to be an example in conversation (conduct and lifestyle). A wise man’s conduct will exhibit meekness or restraint (James 3:13). 1 Peter 1:15-16 gives the high standard for being Christlike: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Our conduct is to glorify God, even when others speak evil of us or falsely accuse us (1 Peter 2:12, 3:16-17).

We are to be an example in charity (love). This is a sacrificial love that portrays commitment and service to others. Jesus is the prime example of one who willingly laid down His life for others. 1Thessalonians 2:7-12 speaks of Paul’s willingness to work day and night for the brethren.

We are to be an example in spirit (faith). Beware of unconfessed sin. We are to deal promptly with sin (1 John 1:8-9). Sin will destroy our homes, our ministry, and future generations.

We are to be an example in faith (faithfulness and loyalty). 1 Corinthians 4:1-2: “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

We are to be an example in purity. This is referring to sexual purity. In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul emphasizes the importance of fleeing youthful lusts and following righteousness. Failure to do this will ruin and hinder our testimony, witness, and ministry.

How are we to achieve a godly character? We are to live a pure life (Psalm 119:9-11), which requires us to cleanse our lives from sin and give our attention to the Word of God. We must base our lives on the Bible.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.7/12/2019 3:17:30 PM