Galatians 2:16 [in a letter to the churches of Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Knowing that a man [or woman or child] is not justified [considered righteous, or acceptable in God's sight] by the works of the law [by obeying the law of Moses (ceremonial, moral, and judicial)--see note below*], but by the faith of Jesus Christ [by accepting his death as full payment for our sins], even we [Jewish Christians] have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of [in] Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh [person] be justified."
In other words, we are justified by faith (believing in Jesus), not by works (obeying the law).
*The following article explains the various parts of the law of Moses: "What is the difference between the ceremonial law, the moral law, and the judicial law in the Old Testament?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/ceremonial-law.html.
1 John 4:1 [writing to Christians, the apostle John said]: "Beloved, believe not every spirit [don't trust everyone who claims to be led by the Holy Spirit], but try [examine, test] the spirits [to see] whether they are of [from] God: because many false prophets [see note below*] are gone out into the world."
According to Albert Barnes, we can try the spirits by comparing "the doctrines which they [preachers and other religious teachers] professed to hold with what was revealed, and by the fruits of their doctrines in their lives. If they taught what God had taught in his word, and if their lives corresponded with his requirements, and if their doctrines agreed with what had been inculcated by those who were admitted to be true apostles …, they were to receive them as what they professed to be. If not, they were to reject them, and hold them to be impostors." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/1-john/4-1, "Barnes' Notes")
*For more information about false prophets, read "How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/false-teachers.html.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 - Christians: The Holy Spirit Lives in Us
In a letter to the Christian church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote:
Verse 16: "Know ye not [don't you know] that ye [all born-again Christians] are the [spiritual] temple [or church] of God, and that the Spirit of God [the Holy Spirit] dwelleth in you?"
Verse 17: "If any man [person] defile the temple of God [corrupts the Christian community by teaching false doctrine or principles that lead to an ungodly (immoral or sinful) lifestyle], him [or her] shall God destroy; for [because] the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Jeremiah 9:23-24 - We Should Glory in God Rather Than Ourselves
Verse 23: "Thus saith the LORD [God], Let not [don't let] the wise man [person] glory [take pride] in his [or her] wisdom, neither let the mighty [strong and brave] man [person] glory in his [or her] might, let not the rich man [person] glory in his [or her] riches:"
Verse 24: "But let him [or her] that glorieth [boasts about something] glory [take pride] in this, that he [or she] understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise [who accomplishes, brings about, produces] lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness [justice], in the earth: for [because] in these things I delight [have much pleasure and satisfaction], saith the LORD.
Proverbs 17:5: "Whoso [whoever] mocketh [ridicules (laughs at, makes fun of) or treats with contempt] the poor [those who are poor] reproacheth [insults, blames] his [the poor person's] Maker [referring to God]: and he [or she] that is glad at calamities [misfortunes, disasters--bad things that happen to other people] shall not be unpunished [by God]."
Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch17_html/Prov.17.5.htm.
Revelation 21:9-22:5 - New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City
The apostle John describes his vision of future events.
Verses 9-11: "And there came unto me [John] one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither [here], I will shew thee the bride [of Christ (referring to the 'church of God,' which is made up of all born-again Christians), who is], the Lamb's wife [note: Jesus is also known as the 'Lamb of God']. And he [the angel] carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;"
Verses 12-14: "And [the city] had a wall [that was] great and high, and had twelve gates [three on each side], and at the gates [stood] twelve angels [as guards], and names [were] written thereon [i.e., on the gates], which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east [were] three gates; on the north [were] three gates; on the south [were] three gates; and on the west [were] three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them [were written] the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb [i.e., Jesus]."
Verses 15-17: "And he [the angel] that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare [it was a perfect cube], and the length is as large as the breadth [width]: and he measured the city with the reed, [and it was] twelve thousand furlongs [1500 miles]. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, [which was] an hundred and forty and four cubits [216 feet], according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel."
Verse 18: "And the building [material] of the wall of it [the city] was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass."
Verses 19-20: "And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished [decorated] with all manner [kinds] of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst."
Verse 21: "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate [each gate] was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent [see-through] glass."
Verses 22-25: "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb [Jesus] are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there."
Verses 26-27: "And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise [in no way] enter into it [the city] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which [those whose names] are written in the Lamb's book of life."
Verses 1-2: "And he [the angel] shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst [middle] of the street of it [the city], and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner [kinds] of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
Verses 3-5: "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [the city]; and his servants shall serve him [God]: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be [written] in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."
There is additional information on this subject in the article entitled "What is the New Jerusalem?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/new-jerusalem.html.
Deuteronomy 15:7-11 - Giving to the Poor
In this chapter, Moses gives commands to the Jewish people.
Verses 7-8: "If there be among you a poor man [or woman or child] of one of thy brethren [people] within any of thy gates [borders] in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother [or sister]: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him [or her], and shalt surely lend [or give] him [or her] sufficient [enough] for his [or her] need, in that which he [or she] wanteth."
Verses 9-10: "Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release [from debt; this refers to the 'Jubilee' in Old Testament times--see note below*], is at hand [will soon be here]; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother [or sister], and thou givest him [or her] nought [nothing]; and he [or she] cry [out] unto the LORD against thee [you], and it be [counted as] sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him [the poor person] [what he or she needs], and thine heart shall not be grieved [feel regret] when thou givest unto him [or her]: because that for [doing] this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works [everything you do], and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto."
Verse 11: "For the poor shall never cease out of the land [will always be here]: therefore I [Moses] command thee [i.e., the Jewish people], saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother [or sister, as in relatives or fellow Christians], to thy poor [people], and to thy needy [those who need help], in thy land."
*For an explanation of the term Jubilee, read: "What is the Year of Jubilee?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Jubilee.html.
Zechariah 7:9-12 - Obey God or Else!
This was God's warning to the Jewish people via his prophet Zechariah.
Verse 9: "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts [Almighty God], saying, Execute true judgment [judge fairly], and shew [show] mercy [kindness] and compassions [sympathy and concern for the misfortune and sufferings of others] every man [and woman and child] to his brother [to everyone]:"
Verse 10: "And oppress not [don't mistreat (treat badly) or persecute] the widow, nor the fatherless [child], [nor] the stranger, nor the poor [person]; and let none of you imagine evil against [have bad thoughts about, wish bad things upon, or plan evil actions against] his brother [another human being] in your heart."
Verses 11-12: "But they [the Jews] refused to hearken [listen], and pulled away the shoulder [turned away], and stopped their ears, [so] that they should not hear. Yea [yes], they made their hearts as an adamant [impenetrable, extremely hard, unbreakable] stone [like a diamond], lest they should [so they shouldn't] hear the law [of God], and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit [by his Holy Spirit] by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath [anger] from the LORD of hosts."
Psalm 48:14: "For this God [i.e., Almighty God, the one true God, whom the psalmist (writer of the psalm) has been talking about in the previous verses] is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide [throughout our lives,] even unto [until] death."
Proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision [revelation or guidance from God, which comes from reading the Bible and/or listening to preaching], the people perish [are unrestrained, or left to 'run wild']: but he [the person] that keepeth the law [obeys God's word], happy is he [or she]."
Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has written an excellent commentary on this verse. In it, he says that, due to a faulty definition of the words vision and perish, the verse is often incorrectly interpreted by many people, especially motivational speakers, and he quotes some of their comments to prove his point. According to Pastor Delany, it's wrong to use this verse as the basis for discussions of evangelism, missions work, church growth, making plans and setting goals, etc.
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch29_html/Prov.29.18.htm.
Joshua 1:9 [the Lord said to Joshua]: "Have not I commanded thee [you] [to study and obey my (God's) word and to take Moses' place (after he died) and lead the children of Israel (Jewish people, descendants of Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God) over the Jordan river to take possession of the land (Canaan) that I promised them--see note below*]? Be strong and of a good courage [courageous, brave]; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed [worried, discouraged]: for [because] the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever [wherever] thou goest [you go]."
*The article entitled "What is the land that God promised to Israel?" has some interesting (and very surprising) facts. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Israel-land.html.
1 Samuel 24:12 [David said this to King Saul, who had been trying to kill him]: "The LORD [God] [will] judge between me and thee, and the LORD [will] avenge me of thee [punish you, if necessary]: but mine hand shall not be upon thee [I will not harm you in any way]."
This verse also applies to born-again Christians. From it, we learn not to seek revenge. Instead, leave everything up to God.
1 Chronicles 16:25-26: "For great is the LORD [the one true God], and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all [other] gods. For [because] all the gods of the people are idols [false gods]: but the LORD [Almighty God] made the heavens [created the universe]."
Regarding the above verses, here are links to two articles you may be interested in reading:
-- "What is the definition of idolatry?" (www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html)
-- "Who is the one true God?" (www.gotquestions.org/one-true-God.html)
Ecclesiastes 12:14: "For [we should 'Fear God, and keep his commandments' (as stated in the previous verse--see note below*) because] God shall bring every work into judgment, [along] with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
A good reason to obey God's word is because someday, in heaven, God will judge everything that we said and did on earth, both good and bad, including thoughts and deeds that were unknown to and/or unseen by others.
*Ecclesiastes 12:13: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Amos 3:7: "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing [regarding punishment, destruction, etc.], but he revealeth his secret [unless he gives a warning] unto his servants the prophets [who will, in turn, warn everyone else]."
Biblical examples of the above include God warning Noah to prepare for a worldwide flood, warning Abraham and Lot that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and everyone in them would be destroyed, warning Joseph that there would be a seven-year famine (shortage of food) in the land of Egypt, warning Moses about the coming plagues, and warning Jonah that the citizens of Nineveh needed to repent.
Some warnings in the Bible have not yet occurred. These include the rapture and tribulation. The rapture only applies to born-again Christians; everyone else will go through the tribulation.
Here are links to some articles about the rapture and tribulation:
-- "What is the rapture of the church?" (www.gotquestions.org/rapture-of-the-church.html)
-- "How can I be sure I won't be left behind in the rapture?" (www.gotquestions.org/left-behind-rapture.html)
-- "What is the end times timeline?" (www.gotquestions.org/end-times-timeline.html)
If you want to be saved, or born again, but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on my website. You'll find them on the following page: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man [all of a person's thoughts, words, and actions] are clean [pure, acceptable] in his [or her] own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits [God knows what's really in that person's heart and mind, including his or her motives (why he or she is doing something) and intentions (what he or she intends to do)]."
In other words, we may try to fool ourselves and/or others, but God always knows the truth.
Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch16_html/Prov.16.2.htm.
Acts 18:5-11 - Preaching the Gospel
Verses 5-6: "And when Silas and Timotheus [Timothy] were come [to Corinth] from Macedonia, Paul [the apostle] was pressed in the spirit [had a strong desire to do something], and [so he] testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ [the Messiah]. And when they [the Jews] opposed themselves [objected to Paul and his message], and blasphemed [took God's name in vain, swore], he [Paul] shook his raiment [clothing], and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads [you are responsible for the result of your actions]; I am clean [innocent, not to blame for your destruction]: from henceforth [from now on,] I will go [and preach the gospel] unto the Gentiles [non-Jewish people] [in Corinth]."
Verses 7-8: "And he [Paul] departed thence [left the synagogue], and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to [was near] the synagogue [Jewish place of worship]. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord [Jesus Christ] [along] with all his house [the rest of his family--see note below*]; and many of the Corinthians hearing [the gospel] believed [in Jesus; i.e., trusted him alone for salvation], and were baptized [by immersion--see note below**]."
Verses 9-11: "Then spake [spoke] the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak [continue to preach], and hold not thy peace [don't be silent]: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee [attack you] to hurt thee: for I have much people [many who will be saved] in this city. And he [Paul] continued [remained, stayed] there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."
*The phrase believed on the Lord with all his house can be confusing, so GotQuestions.org wrote the following article: "What does the Bible say about household salvation?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/household-salvation.html.
**Baptism by immersion is explained in this article: "What is the proper mode of baptism?" (www.gotquestions.org/baptism-mode.html)
Hebrews 12:1-2 - Living the Christian Life
Comparing the Christian life to running a race, as in the Olympics, the apostle Paul wrote the following in his letter to the Hebrew Christians.
Verse 1: "Wherefore [referring to the lives of famous Christians ('heroes of the faith') that Paul mentioned in the preceding chapter--see note below*] seeing [that] we also are compassed about with [surrounded by] so great a cloud of witnesses [i.e., because there are many people watching us], let us lay aside every weight [everything that holds us back], and the sin which doth so easily beset us [the sin that tempts us the most--see note below**], and let us run with patience [perseverance, persistence, determination] the race that is set before us [i.e., the Christian life],"
Verse 2: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith [as an example of someone who 'ran the race with patience']; who for the joy that was set before him [because of the joy that he knew he would experience after the resurrection, since it was God's will for him to die for our sins and purchase the gift of eternal life] [Jesus] endured [suffered without resisting] the [excruciating pain of the] cross, despising the shame [hating the humiliation of being treated like a criminal and being nailed to a cross], and is set [sitting] down at the right hand of the throne of God [in heaven] [which is the highest place of dignity and honor in the universe]."
*If you want to read all of the verses in Chapter 11, here's a link: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+11&version=KJV.
**In his commentary on verse 1, Albert Barnes explains that the sin which doth so easily beset us refers to those sins "… to which we are particularly liable. They are such sins as the following:
"(1) Those to which we are particularly exposed by our natural temperament, or disposition. In some this is pride, in others indolence, or gaiety, or levity, or avarice, or ambition, or sensuality.
"(2) those in which we freely indulged before we became Christians. They will be likely to return with power, and we are far more likely from the laws of association, to fall into them than into any other. Thus, a man who has been intemperate is in special danger from that quarter; a man who has been an infidel, is in special danger of scepticism: one who has been avaricious, proud, frivolous, or ambitious, is in special danger, even after conversion, of again committing these sins.
"(3) sins to which we are exposed by our profession, by our relations to others, or by our situation in life. They whose condition will entitle them to associate with what are regarded as the more elevated classes of society, are in special danger of indulging in the methods of living, and of amusement that are common among them; they who are prospered in the world are in danger of losing the simplicity and spirituality of their religion; they who hold a civil office are in danger of becoming mere politicians, and of losing the very form and substance of piety.
"(4) sins to which we are exposed from some special weakness in our character. On some points we may be in no danger. We may be constitutionally so firm as not to be especially liable to certain forms of sin. But every man has one or more weak points in his character; and it is there that he is particularly exposed. A bow may be in the main very strong. All along its length there may be no danger of its giving way - save at one place where it has been made too thin, or where the material was defective - and if it ever breaks, it will of course be at that point. That is the point, therefore, which needs to be guarded and strengthened. So in reference to character. There is always some weak point which needs specially to be guarded, and our principal danger is there. Self-knowledge, so necessary in leading a holy life, consists much in searching out those weak points of character where we are most exposed; and our progress in the Christian course will be determined much by the fidelity with which we guard and strengthen them."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/hebrews/12-1, "Barnes' Notes")
Psalm 119:130 [the writer of this psalm, probably King David, said to God]: "The entrance of thy words [into my mind, through reading, hearing, and/or studying the Bible] giveth light [knowledge, instruction]; it giveth understanding unto the simple [referring to both simple-minded (unintelligent) and simple-hearted (uneducated but teachable) people]."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - There's a Time for Everything
Verse 1: "To [for] every thing there is a season [a set time], and [there is] a time to [for] every purpose under the heaven [on earth]:
Verse 2: "A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [uproot (pull out) or harvest] that which is planted;"
Verse 3: "A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;"
Verse 4: "A time to weep [cry], and a time to laugh; a time to mourn [grieve], and a time to dance;"
Verse 5: "A time to cast away [throw] stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace [hold closely, hug] [someone], and a time to refrain [hold back] from embracing;"
Verse 6: "A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away [discard];"
Verse 7: "A time to rend [rip or tear], and a time to sew; "a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;"
Verse 8: "A time to love, and a time to hate; "a time of war, and a time of peace."
In his commentary, Matthew Henry gives examples of what is meant by the words and phrases that I have italicized in the above verses. Here's what he said:
(Note: All references in the following quoted material have been omitted.)
"1. There is a time to be born and a time to die. These are determined by the divine counsel; and, as we were born, so we must die, at the time appointed. …
A time for God to plant a nation, as that of Israel in Canaan, and, in order to that, to pluck up the seven nations that were planted there, to make room for them; and at length there was a time when God spoke concerning Israel too, to pluck up and to destroy, when the measure of their iniquity was full. There is a time for men to plant, a time of the year, a time of their lives; but, when that which was planted has grown fruitless and useless, it is time to pluck it up.
"3. A time to kill, when the judgments of God are abroad in a land and lay all waste; but, when he returns in ways of mercy, then is a time to heal what he has torn, to comfort a people after the time that he has afflicted them. There is a time when it is the wisdom of rulers to use severe methods, but there is a time when it is as much their wisdom to take a more gentle course, and to apply themselves to lenitives, not corrosives.
"4. A time to break down a family, an estate, a kingdom, when it has ripened itself for destruction; but God will find a time, if they return and repent, to rebuild what he has broken down; there is a time, a set time, for the Lord to build up Zion. There is a time for men to break up house, and break off trade, and so to break down, which those that are busy in building up both must expect and prepare for.
"5. A time when God's providence calls to weep and mourn, and when man's wisdom and grace will comply with the call, and will weep and mourn, as in times of common calamity and danger, and there it is very absurd to laugh, and dance, and make merry; but then, on the other hand, there is a time when God calls to cheerfulness, a time to laugh and dance, and then he expects we should serve him with joyfulness and gladness of heart. Observe, The time of mourning and weeping is put first, before that of laughter and dancing, for we must first sow in tears and then reap in joy.
"6. A time to cast away stones, by breaking down and demolishing fortifications, when God gives peace in the borders, and there is no more occasion for them; but there is a time to gather stones together, for the making of strong-holds. A time for old towers to fall, as that in Siloam, and for the temple itself to be so ruined as that not one stone should be left upon another; but also a time for towers and trophies too to be erected, when national affairs prosper.
"7. A time to embrace a friend when we find him faithful, but a time to refrain from embracing when we find he is unfair or unfaithful, and that we have cause to suspect him; it is then our prudence to be shy and keep at a distance. …
A time to get, get money, get preferment, get good bargains and a good interest, when opportunity smiles, a time when a wise man will seek (so the word is); when he is setting out in the world and has a growing family, when he is in his prime, when he prospers and has a run of business, then it is time for him to be busy and make hay when the sun shines. There is a time to get wisdom, and knowledge, and grace, when a man has a price put into his hand; but then let him expect there will come a time to spend, when all he has will be little enough to serve his turn. Nay, there will come a time to lose, when what has been soon got will be soon scattered and cannot be held fast.
"9. A time to keep, when we have use for what we have got, and can keep it without running the hazard of a good conscience; but there may come a time to cast away, when love to God may oblige us to cast away what we have, because we must deny Christ and wrong our consciences if we keep it, and rather to make shipwreck of all than of the faith; nay, when love to ourselves may oblige us to cast it away, when it is for the saving of our lives, as it was when Jonah's mariners heaved their cargo into the sea.
"10. A time to rend the garments, as upon occasion of some great grief, and a time to sew, them again, in token that the grief is over. A time to undo what we have done and a time to do again what we have undone. Jerome applies this to the rending of the Jewish church and the sewing and making up of the gospel church thereupon.
"11. A time when it becomes us, and is our wisdom and duty, to keep silence, when it is an evil time, when our speaking would be the casting of pearl before swine, or when we are in danger of speaking amiss; but there is also a time to speak for the glory of God and the edification of others, when silence would be the betraying of a righteous cause, and when with the mouth confession is to be made to salvation; and it is a great part of Christian prudence to know when to speak and when to hold our peace.
"12. A time to love, and to show ourselves friendly, to be free and cheerful, and it is a pleasant time; but there may come a time to hate, when we shall see cause to break off all familiarity with some that we have been fond of, and to be upon the reserve, as having found reason for a suspicion, which love is loth to admit.
"13. A time of war, when God draws the sword for judgment and gives it commission to devour, when men draw the sword for justice and the maintaining of their rights, when there is in the nations a disposition to war; but we may hope for a time of peace, when the sword of the Lord shall be sheathed and he shall make wars to cease, when the end of the war is obtained, and when there is on all sides a disposition to peace. War shall not last always, nor is there any peace to be called lasting on this side the everlasting peace. Thus in all these changes God has set the one over-against the other, that we may rejoice as though we rejoiced not and weep as though we wept not."
(Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/ecclesiastes/3.html, "Verses 1-10")
1 Timothy 4:10: "For therefore we both [we do the following two things:] labour [work to spread the gospel] and suffer reproach [disgrace, shame--for trying to serve God], because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men [people], specially [especially] of those that believe [the truth--see note below]."
Note: Although Jesus died on the cross to pay for everyone's sins, salvation is only promised to those who believe the truth and, by faith, accept God's free gift of eternal life.
Romans 6:23: "For the wages of [payment or reward that is due for] sin is death [physical and spiritual, which means separation from God, and punishment forever in hell and the lake of fire]; but the gift of God is eternal life [in heaven] through Jesus Christ our Lord [i.e., because Jesus purchased that gift with the sinless blood that he shed on the cross to pay for our sins]."
In other words, as sinners, we all deserve to go to hell, but God offers us eternal life as a free gift. We only need to accept it. For instructions on how to do this, please read page 5 of my "Mansion" tract. You'll find it here: www.mansioninheaven.com/Mansion5.html.
Mark 8:38 [Jesus said]: "Whosoever [whoever] therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words [i.e., of Jesus and what he said and taught] in this adulterous [unfaithful] and sinful generation [referring to people who lived on earth when he was preaching]; of him [or her] also shall the Son of man [Jesus] be ashamed, when he cometh [back to earth the second time] in the glory [magnificence, splendor] of his Father [God] with the holy angels [to judge mankind]."
In other words, everyone who is ashamed of Jesus, or embarrassed to confess him as Savior, will be sent to hell on judgment day.
Although this verse applied specifically to people who were alive when Jesus preached, it also applies generally to everyone who ever lived, including us. Jesus' words are recorded in the Bible.
Job 27:4 [responding to his friends' accusations, Job said]: "My lips shall not speak wickedness [say things that I know are wrong], nor [shall] my tongue utter [speak] deceit [words meant to make people believe something that is not true]."
Like Job, we should always try to tell the truth.
According to Matthew Poole's commentary, in the above verse, Job was telling his friends, "I will speak nothing but the truth with all plainness and impartiality, neither defending myself and cause by vain and false professions of those virtues or graces which I know I have not; nor yet, in compliance with your desire and design, falsely accusing myself of those crimes wherewith you charge me, whereof I know myself to be innocent." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/job/27-4.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")
Spurgeon's commentary says: "Remember that Job's friends had accused him of having committed some great sin; which would account for his great sorrows. … He felt that; it would be wicked for him to confess to what he had never done; it would be deceit for him to acknowledge crimes which he had never committed. Therefore he most solemnly asseverates, by the living God, that he never will permit the falsehood to pass his lips. He had not transgressed against God in the way his friends insinuated, and he would not own that he had." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/job-27.html)
Colossians 3:2: "Set your affection [focus your mind, thoughts, love] on things above [heavenly things, including eternal life], not on things on the earth [worldly things, like riches, honor, and pleasure]."