Thursday, June 18, 2015 4:00 AM

Paul's First and Last Message

Thursday, June 18, 2015 4:00 AM
Thursday, June 18, 2015 4:00 AM

Some scholars believe that Galatians was the first letter written by Paul. If so, what was the first thing that Paul had to say in his first letter to believers in Galatia? This message would then be the first message from God by Paul’s hand to believers. God’s word stands forever, and therefore it is God’s first message for each of us today.

Ga 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospelGa 1:7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Ga 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. Ga 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Ga 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Most scholars agree that 2 Timothy is Paul’s last letter. What was God’s last message by the hand of Paul?

2 Ti 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 Ti 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 2 Ti 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Ti 4:5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Ti 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 2 Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Let’s summarize both messages:

What does God say?

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel. [God is astonished that his people will turn so quickly to a different Gospel]

Why do people turn to a different Gospel?

the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 2 Ti 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

What is each believer to do?

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 Ti 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

There is nothing new in the new age; it has happened before:

Ge 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Ge 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Ex 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ”

Re 20:7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison Re 20:8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. Re 20:9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, Re 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Man turning quickly to a different Gospel started in the Garden of Eden, continued to all mankind before the flood, right on through the divine deliverance from Egypt, and after the thousand years in which Satan is bound, Satan is able to gather a large multitude to go to battle against believers and God’s beloved city of Jerusalem.

The only cure: God will forever separate good and evil.

Re 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Re 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Re 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. Re 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Re 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Re 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Re 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Re 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

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