EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 25-May-2008


by Robert Daniels


The subject that we are going to look at today in the Bible is that the Lord Jesus Christ has made many, many promises to His people.  As we read and look back at the Old Testament, we can see that God has fulfilled His promises that He made to His people.  These promises of God are beautiful and wonderful promises made by God.  We know that whatever God says, He will do.  Back in the past, He said things and He has done them.  He has the ability to carry out whatever promises and commitments that He has made to His people. 

We read in Numbers 23:19 where God tells us a little bit about Himself.  Numbers 23:19 says:

God is not a man, that he should lie…

This gives the true believer great assurance.  God has given us many assurances in the Bible in that whatever He says, He will bring it to pass. 

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?…

When He says something, God is going to bring it to pass.

…shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Whatever God has said, you can rest assured that He is going to do what He says.  He may not bring it out right away for another one hundred years or so, but we know that when He says something, He is going to do it.  The true believers, we take great comfort in that.  We are serving a God who is faithful to His promises and commitments that He has made to His people. 

If you look at another verse in Psalm 37 (we will look at a few verses along this line of thought), in Psalm 37:4-5, here God tells us:

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

God will bring His words to pass.  He will fulfill.  He will say what He will do. 

We will see another familiar verse in Revelation 19 where God tells us that He is the True and Faithful One.  His name is Faithful.  His name is True.  And He will bring about what He says.  In Revelation 19:9-11, God tells us:

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

The Bible is the true sayings of God.  From Genesis to Revelation, these are the true sayings of God.

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

So you see, God calls Himself here “Faithful and True”; this is His name.  Look at verse 13, Revelation 19:13:

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

So, all His promises that He has made within the Bible, we can rest assured that God is going to do exactly as He said He will do.  If we are a true believer, we take great comfort in that, great comfort in that we can trust His Word implicitly, because He is going to say what He is going to do.  He promises that our salvation is going to be completed, and He will do it; He will do it. 

Let us look at 2 Corinthians 1.  We are going to look at some of God’s promises and what He says He will do.  Let us look at another familiar verse, 2 Corinthians 1:20:

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

All of His promises, all of them, all His promises are true; they are absolutely true.  What God has promised His people, He is going to do. 

Look at another verse, 2 Peter 3:9:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God goes on about the day of God, Judgment Day.  That word “slack” there could be used as “slow”; one of the ways it is used is “slow.”  Let us look at Luke.  This is translated in Luke 24 as “slow.”  In Luke 24:25, He says:

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart…

It is the same word [note: actually closely related variants of the same root word].

slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

It is translated there as “slow.”  There is another verse where it is translated “slow.”  In the book of James, in James 1:19, here we read:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

It is used there as “slow.”  God is going to do what He has committed Himself to doing. 

We see that when He made the promise to send Christ the Messiah, though He was prophesied in the Old Testament, we see that in the appointed time, God brought to pass what He said He would do.  When the Lord Jesus, God (He is the God-man), Emmanuel, God with us, when He came into the world, we saw that this was a fulfillment of Bible prophesy in the Old Testament that the Messiah would come, because He has set up many types and figures of Christ in the Old Testament.  The time came now where God actually fulfilled that promise of sending the Messiah into the world to go to the cross, because He was assigned that task of going to the cross to pay for the sins of His people, and we saw that was fulfilled in Christ [note: we now understand that Christ paid for the sins of His people before the foundation of the world, and made this manifest by demonstrating it to us on the cross].   Many things that God said, He has done them. 

The other great thing that we the true believers are waiting for is the completion of our salvation, and that is a promise that He has made.  He is going to complete the salvation of His elect. 

He has also promised that He will save a great multitude of people, and in our day we see that throughout the church age, and now in our time, God is saving a great multitude of people.  It is a promise He has made, a promise and commitment that He will save a great multitude of people throughout the history of the world. 

Another promise He has made is that He is going to return again on the last day.  This is an absolute guarantee because this did not come from the mind of a man.  God wrote it.  He will end the world.  He is going to return in judgment.  The wicked, the unsaved, they will be cast out into hell and be destroyed forever. 

All of these things, God has promised and He will do them.  We know that many people, many, many people, do not like to talk about it.  They do not want to hear it.  They just totally dismiss it, and in their minds, they have conjured up a god like what they want theirs to be.  But when you read the Bible, we serve a God who is righteous in all His ways.  He is faithful, as we read earlier, and He will bring to pass what He has written in the pages of the Bible.  It is an absolute guarantee that God is going to do what He says.  He will do it, He will do what He says, whether we like it or not.  He will end the world, whether we like it or not, in His timing.  We can never change it.  All these things are appointed by God, and He will bring them to pass as He laid it out within the pages of the Bible, and now we are learning more and more about this wonderful salvation, and especially about the end times. 

Let us turn to Romans 8.  Here is another wonderful promise that He has made to His people.  Keep in mind that these promises and commitments regarding salvation are only to His elect.  If you are not a child of God, and we do not know who the elect are, but if you are not a child of God, these promises regarding His wonderful, magnificent salvation do not include you at all.  They do not include those who are not a child of God.  The unsaved cannot take comfort in this great truth that God has given to His people.  They cannot do that; they cannot lay claim to that.  Only to God’s elect are these promises and commitments made.  In Romans 8:33-37, here God tells us:

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?…

God’s elect—He is speaking here to them. 

It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

God’s elect, the ones whom God has elected before the foundation of the world.  Here God tells us:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…

It is a question.  The answer is: no one.  If you are truly a child of God, no matter what happens to you in this life—whether you suffered physically in this life, or you were physically poor, or you die in a plane crash, or you name it—God tells us here that nothing is going to separate the true believers from Him.  Nothing, nothing is going to separate us from the love of Christ.  The true believers, we just rejoice in that, that nothing is going to keep me from my Heavenly Father.  It goes on:

shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

This is referring to Christ.  All these promises are given to the true believers through Christ.  We do not deserve them.  We cannot earn them.  It is the gift of salvation.  It is a gift of God.  We do not deserve it, but here, God has given us this great assurance—it is in the Bible—that nothing is going to separate us from the love of God. 

In Romans 8:38, we read:

For I am persuaded, that neither death…

What does man fear the most?  He fears physical death.  I hear people say, “I do not want to die.”  Physical death makes mankind very afraid of it, because unsaved man has no hope.  He does not have that promise in the Bible that says to us: to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  Physical death is an enemy of mankind, and he fears it the most. 

If you are a true child of God, we should not fear physical death, because the Bible tells us when we leave our body, in our spiritual essence, we go home to be with Christ.  But unsaved man does not have any hope.  In Christ, there is hope.  All of unsaved man’s hope is in this life and he does not want to give it up.  He does not want to lose it. 

Do you see how mankind in our world today is fighting to hold onto the earth?  They have Earth Day and Green Day; they are trying to hold onto the planet earth.  All the niceties of this life, he does not want to give up.  This is all his hope; this is all he is going to get. 

We know that the things of this life are vanity.  They are empty; there is no meaning.  They are not going to satisfy you.  You give someone one thing and he wants ten more.  He is never satisfied.  The heart of man, the Bible tells us, is not satisfied with silver, with money; he is not satisfied.  The only time we become satisfied spiritually is when God saves us.  Then we begin to see the futility and the emptiness of this life, we see it. 

So, we should not be worrying about tomorrow.  God knows we have a need of these things.  The comment is made, “All we need is a little bit to keep body and soul together.”  That is all we need, because we have a greater thing, because we are the inheritors of the new heavens and the new earth.  That is where we have to keep our focus.  When you read through Matthew 6, God tells us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” not our life on this earth.  We are to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” 

Romans 8:38-39 says:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Is that not a great assurance?  Nothing, nothing in this life is going to separate the true believer from Christ, nothing.  When the Lord returns in 2011 for the five months of hell on earth, the true believers will not be here.  Many people are up in arms over this; they are totally beside themselves.  But if you are a true believer when the Lord does return, He will take you immediately out.  The graves will be opened up and the true believers are not going to be here to face that awful, awful punishment that is going to be upon the unsaved of the world.  So what do we have to be worried about?  What are we so up in arms over?  The fact is, if you are truly saved, you are going to escape this horror story, or whatever is going to go on here during those five months.  We should rejoice in that. 

So God has given us all of these assurances.  You can just keep going over and over every possible thing you could think of that could happen to you in this life, but it will not separate you from the love of God.  You are burned at the stake, you are treated as the black sheep of your family, or you are ostracized, or anything you could think of, if you are truly a child of God, it will not separate you from Him.  God is going overboard to tell us these things, to let us see, because He is the One who keeps us. 

When you become a child of God, He guides the life of the true believer, come what may.  Maybe a trial comes, whatever it is, God is in control.  He knows all who are His.  This life, as we know, is just a moment in time.  You could live to a ripe old age of eighty, ninety, or one hundred years old and all this is just a drop in the ocean compared to eternity.  So the true believers, we are safe with Christ.  We are truly, truly safe with Him forevermore.  But in the mean time, we patiently wait upon the Lord. 

It seems all signs are pointing to the fact that we are there.  When the Lord returns in a few years, there are going to be awful things going on upon this earth, and the true believers will not be a part of that.  We are eternally secure with Him, eternally forevermore, because no one who is a child of God will be left behind. 

Let us look at Matthew 27; here God tells us another great truth.  Remember when Christ was on the cross and something wonderful happened.  God has given us a little foretaste of the last day for the true believers to be on this earth.  In Matthew 27, when you read through the whole chapter, it is speaking about the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ.  In Matthew 27:50-53, God tells us:

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after…

This is a key word.

…after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

God is giving us here, I believe, a foretaste of that last day when He does return.  The graves of the true believers are going to be opened.  Is this not a great promise?  This is a great promise of God, that those who have died in Christ, in that day when the Lord does return, their bodies are going to be resurrected. 

So you see, even physical death is not going to separate the true believers from Christ, because in that day, that last day, the bodies here—God is giving us a little foretaste of it—the “bodies of the saints which slept” arose after Christ came out of the grave.  And what is the holy city?  It is Heaven, Heaven itself.  Some of the true believers who died during that time, I think probably during the Old Testament side of the cross, they arose.  How many?  We do not know.  But there is a vast number of true believers, I believe, in Heaven in their glorified spiritual bodies.  Their salvation there is completed; they are in their spiritual bodies.

You see, God is giving us this great assurance here that when He does return on the last day, the true believers who have died ten thousand years ago or five thousand years ago or a week before Christ came or five hundred years ago, their bodies are going to be resurrected into their glorified spiritual bodies, and they, too, are going to be in the new heavens and the new earth with Christ.  Is that not a wonderful promise?  But it is only to those who have died in Christ.  They are going to be resurrected on the last day. 

So physical death did not separate them from God.  In their spirit, they are in Heaven.  But we see here that their bodies are going to be resurrected, and those who remain are going to be caught up to be with Him on that day.  And this is what the true believers look forward to with great anticipation, because we have a desire in our hearts to have our salvation completed also. 

You talk to some people, and it seems that they do not want Christ to return.  Whom are you serving supposedly all your life?  The moment we become saved, we are serving Christ.  We want to be with Him, do we not?  I know that I do.  So we get a little foretaste here of the resurrection of that last day for the true believers on the earth, that they are going to be resurrected on that last day. 

Let us look at 2 Corinthians 5:8-9:

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

The desire of the true believer’s heart is that we are confident—God has given the child of God a confidence that whether they are present or absent, they are the Lord’s.

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

God has given true believers that confidence that we will be with Him, whether we have physically died or we are here when He does return.  He has given that assurance of our salvation. 

Let us look at another verse, Luke 16.  Remember Lazarus?  He is a picture of the true believers, and here we see him in Abraham’s bosom, which is Heaven itself.  Luke 16:19-20 says:

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

You look at him and this man had none of this world’s goods, but the one thing we know that he had was salvation.  Luke 16:21-22:

And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

God goes on with this parable.  You see the difference?  Here this person was saved, and yet he had none of this world’s goods.  But this person who was the envy of the neighborhood, he had it all.  Yet God opens the door a little bit and shows the difference at the time of death.  The one who had all of the world’s goods was not saved, and the one who was a child of God had nothing, and yet here this man is in Abraham’s bosom.  It is a picture of Christ in Heaven itself. 

So you see, when we become a child of God, although we may not have any of this world’s goods or whatever our neighbor might have, we have everything because salvation is everything.  This person did not have anything this world has to offer.  In today’s world maybe he was living on the street, homeless, or whatever the situation might be.  In this life, you can be homeless, or all these things, and yet you can have all things because if you have salvation, you have everything, everything going for you.  Everything is going your way. 

Let us move on a little bit further.  God tells us in the Bible that He is the refuge for His people, a refuge.  For instance, if you will look at Proverbs 14, it is another great promise that God has given to us.  God is the true believer’s refuge.  In Proverbs 14:25-26, we read:

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies. In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

We know that His children are His elect, and they have a place of refuge.  Our refuge here, I believe, is pointing to Christ Himself.  Christ is our refuge.  Look at Psalm 61; it gives us a little bit more there.  God is going to use another word to describe that Christ is our refuge.  Psalm 61:1-4 says:

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock…

We know that this is Christ.  It continues: 

that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me…

He is our refuge; He is our shelter.

and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

Do you see that word “shelter”?  He is our refuge and He is our shelter.  We run for refuge to Christ from what?  We run to Christ from the wrath to come, because He is the only One who can save us.  And when He has become our refuge, we are safe in Him; we are safe in Christ forever. 

In another place, the Bible tells us that He is our dwelling place.  We dwell in Him when we become saved.  This is a true promise of God, that He indwells us and that He now has become our tabernacle, our dwelling place, our refuge, our shelter.  All these things are pointing to the same thing, that He now is our shield, which is another word that He has used to describe this. 

Look at Psalm 62:7:

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Our shelter is in Him.  It goes on in Psalm 62:8:

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

He is our safety.  We are in Him.  This is a promise that He has given to us.  We are sheltered from the wrath to come in Christ, because He is our refuge. 

Look at Jeremiah 17:17-18.  There we read:

Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.

This is referring to Judgment Day.  Remember that the Lord tells us in Matthew 6 in the Lord’s Prayer, “Deliver us from evil,” referring to the evil judgment that is coming upon the earth.  It continues:

Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.

It speaks about the unsaved; they are going to be destroyed on the last day.  But the true believers will not be destroyed because God is their refuge.  He is my hope.  Is He your hope in the day of evil, Judgment Day?  Because eventually, Christ is the true believer’s hope; He is the One whom we are trusting in to protect us from the wrath of God, because when that person is not saved, God’s wrath is upon them anyway and they are just waiting for the sentence to be carried out on the last day when He does return.  He is our hope who is going to protect us from the day of evil, which is quickly coming upon the earth.  

This is so very, very important if a person is not saved—and there are those who hear the warning that Judgment Day is coming.  They hear it and it is making no effect on their lives.  They just continue on in their lives as if tomorrow is another day.  It just goes through one ear and out the other.  It makes no profound effect on their lives.  They just continue on, “I do not believe it anyway,” and they are just living out their lives like they have another fifty or sixty years to live. 

That ought not to be our thinking process.  If any one of us is thinking that way, we should not be.  We should not be thinking, “Oh well, I have heard that before and it did not happen, so what is the big deal?”  It is a big deal because it is the end of the world, and to face an angry God is terrible.  It is going to be a terrible thing for the unsaved.  Some people might say, “Oh well, it is only for five months anyway.  I will just grit my teeth and bear it.  I am going to be destroyed at the end anyway; it cannot be that bad.”  It is going to be that bad, because you are dealing with God, eternal God, who is infinite in His power, who is infinite in His wisdom, infinite in all things, and you do not want to face an angry God, people.  It is going to be terrible, terrible in that day for those who are left behind on this earth, utter chaos will be going on.

I often think about the flood of Noah’s day.  You can see God’s patience.  He raised up the prophet Noah to warn the people, did He not?  For years and years and years and years, He warned the people, and those people living in that day, they are no different than us today.  Man can hear the warning; but after awhile, it becomes of none effect.  That is how mankind is.  We hear it; after awhile, it just bounces off our forehead, just bounces off. 

And yet the time came when God actually brought to pass what He had said to Noah, and when he went into the ark, God shut the door.  You see the finality of it.  God did that.  The time of entering into the ark to escape the flood was over; God shut the door. 

You know what that means?  No one else could get in.  The time of safety to flee to the ark for refuge was over.  And so it will be in our day.  The time will come when the time of salvation is going to be no longer available, and that is when mankind is going to realize what happened to them.  When we lose something is when we want it. 

I remember when my children were young.  A toy could sit right there for weeks, but as soon as I came to move it, that was when they wanted it, and yet it had been there all along.  It is the same thing with mankind.  When they really see that this world is in chaos and that it is falling apart, that is when mankind will want Christ.  But then, it is too late.  True believers are taken out to safety in Christ.  He is our refuge.  But the unsaved are going to be here to face whatever is going on on this earth. 

So the time that we have to flee to Christ, to flee from the wrath to come, is now.  Do not delay.  Do not delay, because the Lord’s coming is less than three years away.  How long is that?  It is less than thirty-six months, as a matter of fact.  So if ever there was a time when we have to look ourselves in the eye and ask these questions, “Is Christ my refuge?  All of these promises in the Bible, do they pertain to me?  How do I fit in all this?” is now. 

There is a verse in Isaiah that I was reading to my children last Sunday.  It is a very familiar verse.  Isaiah 55:6-7:

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found…

You know what that is telling me?  There is a day coming when He will no longer be found.  He can be found now.  Salvation is still possible, is it not? 

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

God is near.  He is saving a great multitude of people, is He not?  He is near to us.  The day is coming when He will no longer be near, is it not?  If the Lord would take you in death tonight and you are not saved, it is over for you.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way…

God goes on to tell us to flee to Him for refuge.  The promise is still here, that He is still saving a great multitude.  Are you one of them? 

Where do you stand before God, children?  Are you born again?  Are you?  You often hear me say that your mother cannot help you, your father cannot save you, you cannot save yourself, you have to go to Christ.  You have to beg Him for mercy.  We as parents and grandparents can point you to the Bible.  We can encourage you to read the Bible.  We could pray with you.  We could pray for you, but we cannot save you; we cannot. 

Salvation is an individual thing.  You have to go before God, children, and beg God for His mercy because time is quickly running out.  Some of you here will not be adults.  What if on that day you see your parents being caught up and you are still left here.  It is possible that you could still be left here to face this horror story that is about to begin for those five months. 

My hope and prayer is that you will seek God while today is the day of salvation.  It still is, is it not?  We are to go before Him.  God will save a child just as quickly as an adult.  God can save anyone.