You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
14 For [gar] we are made [ginomai] partakers [metochos] of Christ [Christos], if [ean] [per] we hold [katecho] the beginning [arche] of our confidence [hupostasis] stedfast [bebaios] unto [mechri] the end [telos]; KJV-Interlinear
14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end; NASB
I just happened to note a story in the news today, about a very old church that was recently discovered in Northern Israel. An excerpt out of the story is as follows. I think it was an AP story, but not sure of its source.
'Two mosaics inside the church one covered with fish, an ancient Christian symbol that predates the cross tell the story of a Roman officer and a woman named Aketous who donated money to build the church in the memory 'of the god, Jesus Christ.'
The ancient church dates to the second or third century AD, or so they say. This is one of the few references to Christ outside of the Bible. The reason that this is important is that near the end times, revelations will increase dramatically as time draws nearer the end of the age. Now that does not mean that the age is just minutes from ending. We could be a century away from the Rapture. But the find comes at a time when troubles are seemingly growing throughout the world.
We have had our hurricanes here in the States. Yesterday and today we had a severe wind storm here in Oregon. Our power has been out for a couple of days now. Been working by generator and candle power. But all is well now. Power came back on just minutes ago.
Anyway, the tsunami of last year, the recent earthquake in Pakistan, the trouble that the French are having with those Islamic gangs these past few days, the bird flu trouble that is flirting with humanity, our own countries political turmoil with liberals and such. Trouble is brewing as the world is going to have, I believe, a major 'come to meet Jesus' event. And it won't be a happy meeting either.
It all fits in nicely with our study. For those who pursue their spiritual lives, trouble will pass them by. But for the many who sit on the fence of decision, for the many who ignore or are indifferent toward Christ and Bible study, for the many who are antagonistic toward God, there will be a disciplinary and judgment session.
Sometimes God chips away at us little by little. Sometimes He just gives us ample forewarning. Sometimes God puts the warning on the horizon, like that bird flu threat, just to give us adequate time to get our spiritual act together.
But most ignore the warning signs. Most view these things as nothing more than natural occurring events. They see life as going on from day to day with no influence from any source other than nature itself.
Couldn't be further from the truth. Jesus Christ controls everything.
We have a mandate from God. First to believe of course, and then second to hold fast to His teaching. This holding fast is a daily commitment of study, learning, and growth. If we hold fast throughout our lives, then God will have waiting for each one of us, a tremendous destiny.
For those who ignore this mandate, then all they need do is look to the horizon of threats of trouble, and see their future without God in their lives.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.