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Made Easy


Joash was an interesting king.  Unfortunately, he is an example of starting off in a good status with God and miserably failing to remain faithful to Him.  So, as Christians today, we must imitate his high points and discard his spiritual shortcomings.

Joash was the king of Judah.  He is also called Jehoash in the Bible.  He was the king for 40 years and started when he was just 7 years old (2 Kings 12:1-3; 2 Chronicles 24:1).  The Bible shows us that his heart was moved to repair the Temple for the Lord.  It had fallen into neglect and disrepair.  So, he collected money from the people to repair the structure.  The Temple priests were those who collected the money.  They appointed supervisors over the work.  With the money, they hired masons, stonecutters, carpenters, and builders.  They also purchased the building materials with the money (2 Kings 12:4-13).  They were successful in restoring the Temple and all the things necessary inside of it for the worship services there (2 Chronicles 24:1-15)

The Bible talks very positively of Joash at first.  It says he did what was right in the sight of God when Jehoiada the priest was living.  Thus, Jehoiada was a good influence of Joash as long as he lived (2 Chronicles 24:2).

However, after Jehoiada died, Joash became wicked in the sight of God.  The Bible says that some of the leaders of the land came to Joash and persuaded him to become an idol worshipper instead of worshipping the true God of heaven.  Obviously, this bad leadership by Joash and his officials influenced the people of the land to do the same.  This angered God.  However, because God is so compassionate, He sent prophets to warn them and persuade them to come back to the true worship of Him instead of idols.  Unfortunately, they did not listen.  Remember, prophets were those who spoke on behalf of God in the Old Testament days.  So, not listening to the prophets was the same as not listening to God, Himself (2 Chronicles 24:16-19)!

Moving forward, do you remember that Jehoiada was a true friend of Joash?  Jehoiada was such a good friend to Joash that before he died, he saved Joash from being murdered by his evil aunt, Athaliah.  He and his wife hid Joash from Athaliah for 6 years.  To make things worse, Jehoiada was Joash’s uncle (2 Chronicles 22:10-12)!  Unfortunately, Joash did not return the kindness to Jehoiada’s family after he died.  The Bible tells us after Jehoiada died, his son, Zechariah, delivered a message to the people that Joash did not like.  He told them that because of their sins, they would not be blessed.  He told them that they had abandoned God and as result, God would not send prosperity their way.  Even worse, since they had abandoned God by taking up idol worship, they would be separated from a relationship with Him!  This always happens when we sin.  Sin is a separation from God.  In other words, we no longer have a relationship with Him as long as we remain in a sinful status (Isaiah 59:2; 1 Peter 3:12).  Thus, like Joash and his people, when we willfully sin and do not repent (i.e. change), we are no longer under the influence, care, and protection of God!  This severing of Joash and his people from God would have devastating consequences later in the story. Of course, Joash did not like these words from God and had Zechariah stoned to death (2 Chronicles 24:20-22).

Unfortunately, for the children of Israel, God would punish them severely for their idol worship.  Even more, he was going to personally cause much pain, suffering and eventually, death to Joash for his wickedness.  The Bible says that the Syrians (also known as the people of Aram) came and fought again Joash and his kingdom.  The Bible says that the Syrian army was much smaller in number.  However, God was using them as a tool of judgment against Judah.  So, this smaller army from Syria defeated Judah.  They killed all of the Kingdom of Judah’s leaders except Joash.  Joash did suffer from the battle, because he was severely wounded.  Thus, he must have been in a tremendous amount of pain due to his injuries!  If this was not enough, the Bible says that when the Syrians left, Joash’s own officials rose up together and killed him in revenge for the murder or Zechariah.  They killed Joash in his own bed (2 Chronicles 24:23-26).

          What lessons do we learn from the story of Joash?  There are several lessons we can take home with us in order to make us better Christians.

          First, Joash may have been restoring a physical temple so that God could be worshipped properly, but one must understand that today, we are literally the Temple of God.  The Bible says, “18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 New International Version).  What these verses is telling us is our bodies were designed to worship God and not to do sinful things.  Symbolically speaking, in order to stay focused on living right, you and I must understand when we do things to and with our bodies that is not right, we are destroying our own temple.  When we do something sexually immoral, we must picture in our minds that we are made of bricks and a wrecking ball comes in to smash in the walls!  Would you live in a building that was being torn down?  No.  Neither will God dwell in your hearts as the temple of our bodies has become polluted where He will not live there anymore.  When we lie, cheat, steal, mistreat others, we allow sin to become that wrecking ball and tearing down our temples again!  Keep your temple holy, where God can live in it!  You do this by practicing sexual abstinence until you are married, not getting drunk, treating people with love instead of hate, not hanging with the wrong crowd who will negatively influence you, etc.  As long as you are living right, your heart is a suitable place for God to live!  However, when we sin, we separate ourselves from God and thus, God is not living in our hearts anymore (Isaiah 59:2; 1 Peter 3:12).

          You may be asking yourself, “What do I do if I have lived a lifestyle that has torn down my temple?  What hope do I Have?”  Well, as with the earthly Temple Joash was bringing back to its glory, you can rebuild your life with God.  The good news is that we rebuild our temple by repentance, confession and prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7-10).  In laymen’s terms, this means that a Christian who wants to restore his/her relationship with God must be willing to change his/her life for the better, come clean about the sinful lifestyle by admittance of our wrongdoing to God, and asking Him to forgive us!  After that, your temple is rebuilt in God’s eyes and should be in yours as well.  This because what God forgives, He forgets.  He does not hold grudges against anyone.  After you are forgiven by God, you should not hold it against yourself as well.  Guilt should only last up to the point you repent (2 Corinthians 7:10).

We also must understand that we must often rebuild our minds by using the right materials to repair it.  Just like rebuilding a physical Temple, we must spiritually rebuild our minds by putting in the right material called the Bible!  We must understand that we are bombarded by evil messages every day that try to persuade us to do evil things.  The radio, computers, smart phones, television, and our peers often fill our heads with spiritual junk.  Thus, we must have something that will combat all of these negative messages.  The right material to put in our minds is called the Bible.  It will help us identify, understand, combat, and defeat the things the devil brings our way every day.  We don’t automatically know what is right or wrong and how to defeat temptation.  We must study God’s Word in order to do so (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  So, never neglect personal Bible study.  You must do so every day in order to be pleasing to God and to spiritually build and repair your mind so it is strong enough to be victorious over sin and temptations (Luke 9:23; 2 Peter 1:5)!

Second, we also learn from Joash that we must love the Lord for ourselves and not be faithful to the Lord just because we have someone pushing us to do so.  Remember, the Bible says that Joash was faithful to God while Jehoiada was living.  After Jehoiada died, Joash became an idol worshipper.  This is because Joash was not rooted in the Lord for himself.  This can happened to us.  We should not want to go to worship service, pray, treat others right, and read our Bible just because someone else is pushing us to do these things.  Our love for God should push us to do so from within!  Jesus says if we love Him, then we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).  Remember, develop your own love for God so that you remain faithful to Him (Revelation 2:10).  If not, then heaven will not be your home.  When we all stand at the judgment day, we will stand there alone to answer for the deeds we have done as an individual (Revelation 20:11-15).  No one can help us and we cannot blame our faithfulness or unfaithfulness to God on no one else but ourselves!

Lastly, we learn from Joash that sin has consequences.  Unfortunately, sometimes, bad things happen to us when we live in selfish rebellion from God.  Bad things can happen in this life as it did with Joash and/or the life to come if we do not repent.  For example, this is why drunk drivers may be killed!  They are operating in a state of rebellion to the Lord, which results in a weakened ability to drive a vehicle and they may crash to their deaths (Romans 13:13-14).  This is why people who lie, cheat, and steal end up in prison (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 4:25).  Most of all, this is why many people will not make it into heaven.  Heaven is closed to those who will not repent (Revelation 22:14-15).  So, stay faithful to God no matter what and heaven will be waiting for you (Revelation 2:10).

In conclusion, as Christians, let’s imitate the initial attitude and ways of Joash where he was serving the Lord in sincerity.  However, let us always remember that we must be faithful to God for ourselves in order to please Him!  Joash was faithful as long as the high priest was alive, but when he died, Joash was easily persuaded to depart from God.  Let’s not be the same way!  Let’s have our own faithfulness rooted in God without the influence of others pushing us to do so!  We all must answer to God for ourselves.  If we do so, then heaven will be our home!  May God bless and keep you.




God’s Plan of Salvation


          There is so much confusion in the world today regarding what some people preach as God’s plan of salvation.  Some will have one say a prayer similar to the following, “Dear Jesus.  I realize that I am a sinner.  I accept you as my personal Lord and Savior.  Please forgive me now and save me.”  This is commonly called “A Sinner’s Prayer.”  There is only one portion of this type of prayer that is right.  One must accept Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior, but a prayer for salvation is not in the Bible.  One cannot pray and receive salvation.

Others preach that one can just believe and he/she is automatically a child of God.  Unfortunately, this method is not mentioned in the Bible as God's way of salvation either.

Even others preach that if an infant is baptized, he/she is saved at that moment.  Well, friend, again, this is a method made up by man and not in the Bible.

Literally studying the Bible, itself, is the only way to get a true and righteous answer to the question, "What must I do to be saved?"  This is where it is wise to allow the Word of God to explain itself as much as possible.  Please come with an open mind to this study as it is not meant nor worded to offend.  It is only designed to spread the truth of what God literally says one must do to be saved. 

First, we must study the first element of God's plan of salvation, which is to hear His Word as taught in the Bible, itself.  1 Corinthians 1:21 reads, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”  To those disinterested in the things of God, preaching salvation through Jesus Christ is foolishness to them.  It is nonsense.  On the other hand, for those truly seeking God, it is God’s wisdom displayed unto him/her.  Salvation comes through hearing the Word of God.  It does not come through feelings, flashes of great light, an audible Word from Jesus, Himself, a literal appearance from Him, or any other methods people claim to have experienced today.  Instead, God has said salvation comes from preaching.  In fact, Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (New King James Version).  This means one must hear the Word of God to be saved.  Again, this is done through preaching! 

Second, in order to be saved, Jesus says, “15…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 New King James Version). This verse is showing us one must believe the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. What is that Gospel (i.e. the good news)? Acts 2:22-39 explains it to us and reads:

22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-- 23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 "For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.' 29 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call (New King James Version).

To say this in a brief manner, in order to be saved, one must believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross of Calvary, rose again to life on the third day, and has been chosen by God the Father to be mankind’s Lord and Christ (i.e. Savior).


How is He the Savior of all mankind who will believe and obey Him? The answer is all mankind, including you and me, have sinned. This means we have all done something worthy of spiritual, eternal death. We are worthy of eternal punishment through our evil deeds (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Jesus volunteered to give His life as a substitute offering so we could be freed from the sentence of eternal, spiritual death (1 John 2:2; Romans 5:9-10). In other words, Jesus’ death was a peacemaking offering, also known as an atonement, with God the Father (Romans 5:11).

If one can believe the death of Jesus was the substitute for the eternal, spiritual death we deserved, then God is able to save him/her. If not, he/she cannot be saved, because there is no other way one can be saved (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 4:12; Titus 1:4). There is no salvation to those who do not become Christians before they die (John 14:6). Believing that Jesus is Lord and Christ is also a conviction that Jesus is the literal Son of God (John 3:16). He was human, but Divine as well.

Third, in order to be saved, one must also repent of his/her sins.  Jesus made it quite clear in His preaching that one must repent in order to be pleasing to God the Father.  One example of this command from Jesus is in Mark 1:15, which reads as follows, according to the New King James Version, “…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

What is repentance?  Orville J. Nave has a great definition of what this word means and is quoted as follows, “A complete reversal of one’s attitude and values, i.e. a turning toward God” (Unger & White, 1996).  This is just another way of saying when one desires to become a Christian, he/she has to make a commitment to live a morally upright life according to the Will of God in the New Testament.

Remember, when Jesus died, He brought in the New Testament (which is the New Covenant) and closed the Old Testament (i.e. the Old Covenant).  We are to obey the New Testament for salvation, but use the Old Testament for our learning of principles that have been carried over into the New Testament (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 12:24, Romans 15:4).  Please also keep in mind, the Father God speaks to us in these last days through His Son-Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3).  His Words, which are the Words of the Father God, are captured in the New Testament of the Bible (Matthew 7:21-23).

What does repentance lead to according to the Bible?  Acts 2:38 shows us and reads as follows, according to the New International Version, “…Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Remember, repentance is a change of lifestyle from the bad to the good.  Notice, repentance must come before God will forgive us of our sins.  Thus, if one will not commit to leaving a sinful lifestyle behind, then God cannot forgive the person.  Without forgiveness, there is no salvation. 

Fourth, one must confess Jesus Christ to be one’s Lord in order to be saved.  This is shown to us in Romans 10:9-10, according to the New International Version, “9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Italics Added).

The Bible gives an example of this confession in Acts 8:37.  Acts 8:36-38 reads as follows, according to the New American Standard 1995 Version:

36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ``Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?'' 37 And Philip said, ``If you believe with all your heart, you may.'' And he answered and said, ``I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'' 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.

Friend, as you can see, the saving confession, which acknowledges the fact one has accepted Jesus as his/her Lord, is “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Fifth, in order to be saved, one MUST be baptized in water.  Jesus, again said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 New King James Version).

Notice, Jesus used the word “and” between the words “believes” and “is baptized.”  This means the two concepts are connected and inseparable.  In order to be saved, one must BOTH believe and be baptized according to the teachings of God!  Man may separate the two in his own false teachings, but it is only the Word of God that saves! Water baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation with no exceptions.  If the Bible teaches it, then it is true.  If man teaches otherwise, then he is a liar! 

Sixth and finally, the last thing one must do to be saved is to stay faithful to Jesus Christ until he or she dies. This author did not imagine this concept, it is literally written in the Scriptures. Jesus said the following to all Christians, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 New American Standard 1995 Version).

This word “faithful” is accurately defined by the renowned Greek scholar, Joseph Thayer. He defines the original Greek Word “pistos” (Strong’s number 4103) as the following, “Trusty; faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties” (Thayer, 2003).

Thus, to remain faithful to Jesus until death means all Christians are bound to live a life according to what Jesus commanded. That is, we have to continue believing in Him as our Lord and Savior until our earthly deaths (Hebrews 10:39; Matthew 10:32-33).   In addition, we have to live a life morally in accordance to the things He taught us (Matthew 7:21-23; Hebrews 1:1-3; Luke 6:41-49; James 2:20).

In summary, God’s plan of salvation, according to the Bible, is as follows:

  1.  One must hear the Word of God being the offering of salvation through Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17).

  2. (2) He or she must then believe this Gospel story of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:24).

  3.  He or she then must repent, which means to live a morally, clean Christian life by abandoning sinful ways (Acts 2:38; Mark 1:14-15).

  4. He or she must also confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord, which means the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:37).

  5. He or she must be submerged in the watery of grave of baptism for the forgiveness of one’s sins (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21).

  6. All Christians must remain faithful to Jesus Christ by continued belief in and obedience to Lord until death (Revelation 2:10; Matthew 7:21-23; Hebrews 1:1-3; James 2:20; Hebrews 10:39).

What Are You Going To Do Now?

Are you one who has read the Bible and has understood that you may have, unfortunately, been deceived into thinking you were saved, but were not due to being taught false doctrine? Please do not be ashamed. Satan has many false teachers and preachers in this world (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)!  Remember, one of the tools Satan uses to keep us enslaved to sin and headed to eternal punishment is our own pride (1 John 2:16)!  Please do not let pride stop you from becoming a true Christian.  If you are one who thought you were a Christian, but realized you were not taught the truth leading to salvation, then this author begs of you to find a local church of Christ congregation and tell the minister there your dilemma.  Then, allow yourself to be taught the truth (Acts 8:26-39). From there, give yourself to Christ in truth so there will be no doubt of your salvation when the judgment day comes!  Make sure you have yourself baptized at the local congregation to wash away your sins (Acts 22:16)!  Remember, false teachings send us to eternal punishment and not heaven (Matthew 15:13-14; Galatians 1:8-9).  Only the truth will set us free from sin and eternal death (John 8:32).  May God bless you and keep you! This author loves you, but God loves you more (1 John 4:8-11; John 15:13)!

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