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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

I Thessalonians 5:9-10, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus
Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."

This morning, it still does us much good to ponder again upon the abundant grace of an Almighty God. To
some who think grace can be overdone, my humble opinion is that they do not understand grace. Rather
than thinking that grace is the water that douses the fire, we should frame our thinking of grace according
to Scripture that attributes grace as the fire that makes our engine run. Grace (in its proper sense) is
not a motivator for laziness, but it is the only proper motivator for good works in the proper fashion
and sense of the action. Still, the effects of grace (particularly in regeneration) will have some variance
due to difference of situation and circumstance.  There is no difference in the way that God's children
are born again, but there is a great difference in the effects and manifestations of it. For example, do
they know what the Bible says or not? Have they heard the gospel or not? Thankfully, whatever the situation
in life, nothing will change the most important thing for all of God's children.

These two verses are quite comforting for the children of God, for they strike a death dart through
the heart of many false theologies. The idea that one could lose their eternal home in heaven is obliterated
in clear, plain language. The idea that one could pull themselves up to heaven by their own free will
and merit is dashed by plainness of speech. The one thing God's children cannot hear too much is about the
nobility of Christ's sacrifice that offered a perfect sacrifice to God on behalf of the world of His people.
Rather than Christ dying to offer to us, He offered and died for us. As our perfect Redeemer, we were
cleansed from all filthiness and all unrighteousness.   Today, many will heartily concur with that last
statement. Yes, Christ washed it all away, but they will in the next breath say that one could still see
the fires of hell.

Pray tell me how one that is washed, cleansed, purified, and justified could somehow be damned for an
eternity? If we refuse to accept Him, that must be the sin that damns us. But, should that be the case,
then Christ did not really cleanse and purify us, but He "almost" did. Then, the idea gets strung from time
to time like a discordant harp that someone could disgrace themselves to the point of losing what Christ
did for them or proving that they never really had it to begin with. The fact remains that one cannot get
any worse than being at enmity (an enemy) with God, and that is who Christ died for: His enemies. (Romans
5:10) That situation is the  worst place for a man to be, and that is what we were before the sacrifice.
Therefore, my question is, " If He died for us when we were in the worst possible state, how could we negate
that magnanimous offering by some particular evil or sin?"
 

Paul states plainly that if Christ died for us, nothing will prevent our being with Him. We may be
awake naturally looking for that day, or we may be naturally asleep in our beds at His return. It
matters not. We may be spiritually zealous and seeking after the things of righteousness when He
parts the sky, or we may be in a far country feeding the swine husks of corn away from the land of corn and
wine. It matters not. Oh dear friends, are you not thankful to know that nothing will separate you from
the love of Christ! Our own stubborn will and the carnal desires of the old man will not hinder or
prevent Him from taking us to be with Him. This language is so clear, how could anything keep us from
Him! 


Yet, the thought always comes out from some, "Preacher that is an encouragement to sin." Dear
friends, there could be no other proper encouragement to righteousness. One of my favourite examples to
show the ultimate motivators in false doctrine is this: 1. If you tell people to do this or do that so
that Christ will take them to heaven, what, at the end of the day, does all that boil down to? Bribery! 2.
If you tell people to do this or do that or continue steadfastly in this until the day they die so that
Christ will not send you to hell, what, at the end of the day, does all that boil down to? Extortion! But,
what does the mindset that Christ gave His life freely for His sheep out of love, grace, and mercy bear out?
For those that have a heart of feeling that can be touched by these tender thoughts, they yearn to follow
after Him showing "how great things He has done for me!"
 

What a comfort to know that our appointment is not to a day of wrath, but rather that our appointment is
to a day of righteousness that never-ends in the face of our Darling Saviour! Paul further exhorts that
while comforting one another with these words (I Thessalonians 4:18), we should also walk like the
children of the day that we are. (I Thessalonians 5:5-8) Because it is possible for us to sorrow as
others which have no hope, walk in darkness, and sleep as do others, we need to be reminded of what He has
done for us in our lives to recall to mind the great hope that He is coming again. Such thoughts (when
spoken fitly and truthfully) should not be to the garnering of fear, but rather to the provocation of
love. Those that "frighten" God's sheep by His return are striking the spirit of fear into people that have
been saved from everything worth fearing. When we  preach of His return, grace, and glory, we need the
spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind so that the sheep are renewed in the spirit of love.

Finally, let us never be ashamed of the great desire and hope that we have to see Him some sweet day.
Those that belittle that desire and hope need to be ashamed, but our shame should be that we sometimes
sleep as do others. This sleep is not the natural folding of the hands, but rather, it is the spiritual
folding of the mind that turns away from that which is good or rolls over in the sheets of laziness. While
it does not hinder our inheritance, it does hinder our sight of it, our thanks for it, and our earnest of it.
May we ever cling to the old paths where is the good way to find rest for our souls. The rest we find will
lead to the service we need to be labouring in. Let us therefore thank Him for His rich and abounding
grace and walk in paths of righteousness.

In Hope,

Bro Philip