APRIL 29-30

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 [or she--the person] that keepeth the law [obeys God's word], happy is he [or she]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "Solomon's meaning [of this verse] is that when there is no revelation or guidance from God, the people run wild… go into disorder… are unrestrained."

Here are some excerpts from Section 1, paragraph B3, of his commentary regarding the proper definition of perish in this case:

"a. Why is it [referring to one of the words in the verse] translated 'perish'?
" Because perish also speaks of something being out of order… something that has run wild.
" A fruit that is perishing is a fruit with the corruption process running wild.
" When a piece of fruit is not being preserved by refrigeration, it will corrupt… perish… the corruption process runs wild and destroys it. The result is that the fruit goes into 'disorder.'
" When there is no revelation from God, the corruption process in the nation runs wild too.

"b. When God's revelation ceased in Israel, it had a detrimental effect on the nation.
" It led the people to believe that they could live unrestrained lives.
" Ex. [Exodus] 32:1, 25 - For example, when Moses went up on the Mount with God, and didn't come back for a while with a message from the Lord, the people felt that he would never come back. They went wild-and built idols and danced naked. They were unrestrained. There was disorder. They became like rotten fruit."

Unfortunately, due to a faulty definition of the words vision and perish, this verse is often incorrectly interpreted by many people, especially motivational speakers like Tom Malone, Levi Wright, David Legge, and Rick Warren, and in his commentary, Pastor Delany gives examples of some of their comments to prove his point. Consequently, he thinks it is 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 more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_18/.

APRIL 28

Job 1:22
[God temporarily removed his 'hedge' of protection around Job (a godly man who lived in Old Testament times--see note below*) and allowed Satan to test his faithfulness to God by causing the loss of all of his oxen (1,000), she asses (i.e., female donkeys) (500), and camels (3,000) plus the death of all of his sheep (7,000), most of his servants ('a very great household'), and all of his children (7 sons and 3 daughters), and we're told that]: "In all this [trouble,] Job sinned not [did not sin], nor charged [he, or 'nor did he blame'] God foolishly."

(Source for above statistics: Book of Job, Chapter 1)
_________________________

*For detailed background information on the life of Job, read the following article: "Who was Job in the Bible?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Job.html.

APRIL 27

Proverbs 27:12: "A prudent
[wise, sensible] man [or woman or child] foreseeth the evil [senses danger or trouble], and hideth himself [or herself from it, avoids it, gets safely out of the way]; but the simple [unwise, foolish] [people] pass on [keep going towards 'the evil'], and are punished."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse, including characteristics of a "prudent man" and examples of how we can "foresee the evil" and avoid trouble by not clicking on scam emails, not responding to ads about alcohol, not joining gangs, not viewing pornography, and being careful when driving on ice.

For instance, concerning alcohol, gangs, and pornography (Section B, paragraph 5, of the commentary), we are told that:

"b. A prudent man can see right through the façade of the advertisements for alcohol which imply that if you drink Budweiser, you too will be at the fabulous parties with gorgeous women and life will be non-stop fun! He can see through that to the evil that is the REAL end result of alcohol: divorce; fatherless children; destroyed livers; Skid Row; prison. He looks beyond the immediate façade to foresee the evil.

"c. A prudent young person should be able to discern when a group of kids is trouble or not. You can sense, that with a certain group of kids, you just know that trouble is right around the corner. You can tell by what they talk about; by what they say they have done in the past; by what they think is funny; their attitude towards life; towards spiritual things.

"d. A prudent man ought to be able to foresee trouble ahead for those who go online to watch pornography; or to chat and flirt with women online. You know where that leads. A prudent man will foresee the calamity that lies ahead."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-27-index/proverbs-27_12/.

APRIL 26

Isaiah 5:11: "Woe unto
[great sorrow or distress or many troubles will come to] them that rise up [arise] early in the morning, [so] that they may follow [after, or drink] strong drink [intoxicating liquor] [and get drunk]; [and to them] that continue [drinking strong drinks] until night, till [until] wine [or beer or other alcoholic beverages] inflame [excite or stimulate] them [or produce in them anger and/or violent behavior]!"

APRIL 25

Proverbs 25:4-5 - How to Have Righteous (Good, Moral) Governments

Verse 4
[The illustration]: "Take away the dross [impurities] from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel [such as a cup or dish] for [from, or made by] the finer [refiner, silversmith]."

Verse 5
[The application]: "Take away the wicked [counselors, advisors, etc.--specifically, those who are dishonest and perhaps involved in criminal activity] from before the king [or other ruler (prime minister, president, etc.)], and his throne [government] shall be established in righteousness [justice]."

Regarding these verses, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says: "Solomon's point is that when corruption is removed, the king's throne is established: Firmly set in place; stable; firm; unmovable!"

Here are some excerpts from the last section of his commentary (entitled "And his throne shall be established in righteousness."):

"g. What a contrast to the thinking of most politicians today.
" We seem to have the idea that if a president wants to establish his administration, he needs to build up political power by trampling over the other party, by bullying, and asserting himself
" Solomon states that an administration is made strong through moral purity.
" If evil men and their corrupt ways are removed, then the king's throne WILL be established.
" It will have authenticated itself as valid. Thus the people will trust the king and want him to succeed. He will have the full support of his people if he has the TRUST of the people.
" When the people see corruption, they begin to distrust their leader and he loses their support.
" When a leader loses the support of his people, then his throne is not established. It is weakened!
" People will not stand behind, sacrifice for, or risk their lives to protect a throne that they do not trust.
" Nobody likes being lied to or cheated. But when the people trust their leaders, they will 'establish their throne.'"

"i. A throne that has been cleansed of corruption is like a fine vessel: beautiful, practical, valuable, and highly prized! It will be strong and stable too."

"k. This principle applies to other areas of life as well.
" This is true of a business too. If the customer base thinks the company is cheating them or being dishonest, they will not support the company or buy their products.
" This is true of a local church too. People are very forgiving with honest mistakes, but if they detect dishonesty in the leadership, it will not be tolerated. The church will not be established and strengthened, but weakened.
" This is applicable to us as individuals too. If people discover that you are dishonest, or that you cheat, or lie, or gossip behind their backs, or if your word cannot be trusted, your relationships will not be strong, firm, and established. They will be weak, fall apart, and you will lose friends daily.
" Righteousness (honesty; purity; decency) establishes the throne-but it also has a strengthening effect in our personal lives and in our relationships with each other."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_4-5/.

APRIL 24

Ecclesiastes 9:10: "Whatsoever thy hand
[whatever you] findeth to do[,] [whether it be in the service of God or mankind], do it with thy might [or strength, or to the best of your ability]; for there is no work, nor device [reasoning], nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither [where] thou goest."

In other words, work hard now because you won't be able to do anything when you're dead.

APRIL 23

Proverbs 23:17-18 - Don't Envy Sinners

Verse 17: "Let not thine
[don't let your] heart [mind] envy [be jealous of] sinners [referring to wicked and/or unsaved people] [or what they have or how well off they are]: but be thou in the fear of the LORD [i.e., focus on God] all the day long."

Verse 18: "
[Don't envy sinners] For [because] surely there is an end [to their lives and prosperity (success, wealth, luxury, etc.)--as, for example, on judgment day]; and thine expectation [your hope--of eternal life and rewards in heaven] shall not be cut off."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible church, Christians can wonder why God allows sinners to prosper (be successful, rich, etc.), but we are not to envy them, because that is sin. Envy also "hinders spiritual growth" and "leads to many other forms of sin."

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on the above verses, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_17-18/.

APRIL 22

Proverbs 22:1: "A good name
[reputation] [for example, being known as someone who is kind, honest, hard-working, etc.] is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour [acceptance, approval] [from everyone--people and God] [is to be chosen] rather than silver and gold."

At the end of his Bible study notes on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church said: "A good name and favor is not something after which that we should CONSCIOUSLY seek. … But a life dedicated to pleasing God will usually earn the respect and favor of men too."

The following excerpts are taken from the first section of the commentary (entitled "A Good Name …"):

Paragraph 3:

"a. There is not as much importance given to a good name (on a personal level) in our culture today as there used to be… and as there still is in other cultures.
" There is no stigma to having a baby out of wedlock any more.
" There is not much shame in being convicted for crimes. Sometimes criminals go on to have their own TV shows, or a talk radio show.
" There was a time when your name was disgraced, that a family might have to move across the country to start over… but that doesn't happen anymore.
" Parents used to be concerned about their child's behavior because bad behavior was a disgrace to the family name.
" That sense of the value of one's 'name' has been greatly diminished in our generation.
" But regardless of what our present culture says, God's Word says that a good name is EXTREMELY valuable!"

Paragraph 4:

"o. Rev. [Revelation] 2:3 - Whatever WE do as believers is to be done for the Lord's NAME's sake. Our service is for His name's sake (for His reputation)."

"t. God is far more concerned about His reputation and His testimony than we might think.

"u. And since HIS name and reputation are connected to our name and reputation, that makes our personal testimony on earth important.

"v. That's why we should exert great CARE about our behavior, our deportment [manners], our attitude, our speech, our deeds, even our appearance before men."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_1//.

Regarding people's reputations, another Bible commentator said, "… Professing to despise the ill opinion of mankind creates a shrewd suspicion that we have deserved it …" (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/22-1.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "On good character, or general esteem of mankind")

APRIL 20-21

John 2:18-22 - Jesus Speaks of His Death and Resurrection
This is what happened after Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple for the first time, at the start of his public ministry:

Verse 18: "Then answered the Jews and said unto him [Jesus], What sign [e.g., a miracle] shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?" [In other words, they wanted proof that he was authorized by God to cleanse the temple.]

Verse 19: "Jesus answered and said unto them [perhaps while pointing to himself], Destroy this temple [which meant 'kill my body'], and in three days I will raise it up [from the dead, thus proving that he was--and still is--the Son of God, and Messiah]."

Verses 20-21: "Then said the Jews, Forty and six
[46] years was this temple [referring to Herod's temple in Jerusalem] in building [or 'being built'], and wilt thou [will you] rear it up [rebuild it] in three days [if someone knocks it down]? But he [Jesus] spake [spoke] of the temple of his body."

Verse 22: "When therefore he
[Jesus] was risen from the dead[,] [three days after being crucified], his disciples remembered that he had said this [thing; i.e., 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up'] unto them; and they believed the scripture [i.e., verses in the Old Testament that predicted Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection--see note below*], and the word[s] which Jesus had said [about his death and resurrection--see note below*]."

The Bible gives hints but doesn't say exactly when Jesus died. Some people think that the crucifixion took place on Wednesday; some, Thursday; others, Friday. The article entitled "On what day was Jesus crucified?" addresses each of those views. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/three-days.html.
_________________________

*Bible verses pertaining to Jesus and his death, burial, and resurrection include the following:

-- Psalm 2:7: "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."

-- Psalm 16:10: "For thou [God] wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."

-- Matthew 20:19: "And shall deliver him [Jesus] to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again."

-- Luke 18:32-33: "For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again."

APRIL 18-19

John 19:17-18 - The Crucifixion of Jesus
After being sentenced to death by Pilate, Jesus was forced to carry his cross to the place of execution.

Verses 17-18: "And he [Jesus] bearing [carrying] his cross [referring to the transverse, or horizontal, beam--i.e., the smaller piece of wood, to which his hands would be nailed] went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they [the Romans] crucified him, and two other [men, both of whom were criminals,] with him, on either side one [or 'one on each side'], and Jesus in the midst [middle]."

The place where Jesus was crucified is called Golgotha in the books of Matthew, Mark, and John. Only Luke refers to it as Calvary. Also, this particular hill was called "the place of a skull" because it was in the shape of a skull and also because dead men's skulls and bones were thrown there and the heads of beheaded criminals were left there. In addition, Adam's bones were said to be buried there, and it was the mountain on which Abraham offered up his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God.

See Matthew Henry's commentary for more information about Golgotha and the cross. Go to https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/john/19.html and scroll down to "Verses 16-18," then to "(v. 17)."

Actually, many people--Rome, Herod, the religious leaders in Israel, and the Jewish people--conspired (worked together) to bring about the crucifixion of Jesus. This is explained in the article entitled "Who was responsible for Christ's death? Who killed Jesus?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/responsible-Christ-death.html.

For interesting facts about the trials of Jesus (religious and political) that took place, some of which were illegal, read this article: "What trials did Jesus face before His crucifixion?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/trials-of-Jesus.html.

APRIL 17

Proverbs 17:28: "Even a fool, when he
[or she] holdeth his [or her] peace [or remains silent], is counted [thought to be] wise: and he [or she] that shutteth his [or her] lips [which means that the person keeps his (or her) mouth shut] is esteemed [regarded as] a man [or woman or child--or person] of understanding."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church: "If you don't know what you're talking about--then don't say anything! There's nothing wrong with being ignorant. But there is something wrong with being FOOLISH--and saying foolish things. You're better off being quiet and letting others speak."

Verse 28 is included in Pastor Delany's commentary on verse 27. If you want to read it, click on the following link (https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_27-28/) and scroll down almost to the bottom of the page (where you'll see number 28 in colored type, followed by "Even a fool, …").

Regarding the second part of the above verse (regarding the man who 'shutteth his lips'), John Gill said: "… a man that has so much command of himself as not to speak unadvisedly, through the heat of his own passions, and through the provocations of others, will pass for a man that understands himself, and knows how to behave well before others." (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/17-28.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Bible")

APRIL 16

Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man
[or woman or child] [ i.e., 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. It ends with this:

"4. Conclusions:

"a. Let's not be too confident of our innocence before the Lord.

" It is possible for us to be deceived into THINKING that all is well when all is NOT well.
" It is possible to have a clean conscience and be dead wrong! Our conscience might be fed the wrong information.
" God has ALL the information… and rightly divided too.

"b. This truth will bring us peace in dealing with injustices done against us… and in many other interpersonal conflicts.

" Has anyone ever lied to you?
" Has anyone ever given you their side of the story and feel perfectly justified in their actions?
" Have you ever had to deal with someone who thinks they can do no wrong?
" Have you ever met a person who is a master of spin? They can take any set of circumstances, no matter how self condemning they are, and spin it in such a way that it is not their fault? It's your fault… or someone else's?
" Have you ever been frustrated in dealing with someone who is clean in his own eyes and there is no reasoning with him/her?
" Well, take heart. God knows the truth. God sees the heart… motives… intentions…
" Nobody EVER gets away with anything with God. Ever!
" We don't have to worry about it. We don't have to try to try to manipulate events in order to bring about justice. Justice WILL come-their day is coming! Trust God. Shall not the God of all the earth to do right?"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_2/.

APRIL 15

John 11:25-27 - Before Lazarus is Raised From the Dead, Martha Confirms Her Faith in Jesus and the Resurrection
When Jesus heard that his friend Lazarus was sick, he went to comfort the family, and Martha (one of the sisters) told him that their brother had died four days earlier. The following conversation took place outside the town where the family lived, before everyone went to the place (sepulchre, tomb, cave) where Lazarus had been buried and would soon be brought back to life:

Verse 25: "Jesus said unto her [Martha], I am the resurrection, and the life: he [or she] that believeth [puts his (or her) faith and trust] in me [for salvation], though he [or she] were dead [physically], yet shall he [or she] live [again … after the resurrection]:"

Verse 26: "And whosoever liveth
[physically] and believeth in me [for salvation, referring to born-again Christians] shall never die [spiritually]. Believest thou this ['Do you believe this']?"

Verse 27: "She
[Martha] saith unto him [Jesus], Yea [yes], Lord: I believe that thou art [you are] the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God, which should come into the world [to save us from sin]."

APRIL 11-14

Matthew 13:24-30 - Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Verse 24: "Another parable put he
[Jesus] forth unto them [his disciples] [in other words, he told them a short story that teaches a moral or religious lesson, or, as one dictionary defines parable, 'an earthly story with a heavenly meaning'], saying, The kingdom of heaven [meaning either the church of God on earth, or the effects (results) of the gospel being preached] is likened unto [compared to] a man which sowed [scattered] good seed in his field:"

Verse 25: "But
[during the night,] while men slept, his enemy [i.e., someone who hated the man who had sowed the good seed] came and sowed [planted] tares [fake, false, counterfeit wheat--not real wheat, but poisonous, grassy weeds that closely resemble wheat but whose grain is black] among the [real, authentic, genuine] wheat, and went his way [departed, left, went away]."

Verse 26: "But when the blade
[referring to plants that came from the good seeds] was sprung up [from the ground; that is, when the seeds sprouted, or started to grow], and brought forth fruit [in the form of wheat grain], then appeared the tares [weeds] also[,] [and they were noticed or discovered by the servants]."

Verse 27: "So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou
[didn't you] sow good seed in thy field? from whence [from where] then hath it tares? [or, in other words, 'If you planted wheat, where did the tares come from?']"

Verse 28: "He
[the householder] said unto them [the servants], An enemy hath done this [i.e.,planted the tares]. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we [will you then have us, or do you want us to,] go and gather them up?"

Verses 29-30: "But he
[the householder] said, Nay [no, don't gather up the tares]; lest [otherwise] while ye gather up the tares [weeds], ye root [pull] up also the wheat with them. Let both [things--the wheat and the tares] grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares [weeds], and bind [tie] them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

In the above parable …

The man who sowed the good seed, or wheat (through preaching of the gospel), is Jesus.
The field is the "world."
The enemy who sowed the bad seed, or tares (through teaching of false doctrine), is the devil (Satan).
The wheat represents true believers, or born-again Christians.
The tares represent false believers, hypocrites, and deceived people in the church.

The harvest is the end of the world (judgment day), when the reapers (angels)
will be told to separate the wheat from the tares. Then …

The tares
(false Christians) will be burned (sent to hell), and
The wheat
(true Christians) will be gathered into the barn (go to heaven).

For more information on this parable, you can read the article entitled "What is the parable of the Wheat and the Tares?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-wheat-tares.html.

Albert Barnes has a very interesting explanation of tares in his commentary on verse 25:

"The tare abounds all over the East, and is a great nuisance to the farmer. It resembles the American 'cheat (chess),' but the 'head' does not droop like cheat, nor does it branch out like oats. The grain, also, is smaller, and is arranged along the upper part of the stalk, which stands perfectly erect. The 'taste' is bitter, and when eaten separately, or even when diffused in ordinary bread, it causes dizziness, and often acts as a violent emetic [which means that it causes vomiting]. Barn-door fowls also become dizzy from eating it. In short, it is a strong soporific poison, and must be carefully winnowed, and picked out of the wheat grain by grain, before grinding, or the flour is not healthy. Even the farmers, who in this country generally 'weed' their fields, do not attempt to separate the one from the other. They would not only mistake good grain for them, but very commonly the roots of the two are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate them without plucking up both. Both, therefore, must be left to 'grow together' until the time of harvest …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-13.html, "Verses 24-30," "Matthew 13:25")

If you're interested in learning more about wheat, I recommend the "Wheat Fun Fact Sheet," which includes a diagram of a wheat plant. Here's the link:
https://www.kfb.org/page/file?path=Files%2Fpage-161%2Fwheat%2FWheatFunFactGuide.pdf

APRIL 10

Hebrews 9:22: "And almost all things
[in the Jewish tabernacle or temple service] are by the law [of Moses] purged [cleansed, purified] with blood; and without shedding [pouring out] of blood [of animals in the Old Testament, and of Jesus in the New Testament] is no remission [forgiveness] [of sins]."

The "stain" of sin can only be removed by blood, and currently (since we're living in New Testament times), according to the above verse--and in the words of two well-known hymns-- if you haven't been "washed in the blood" and "saved by the blood" of the Lord Jesus Christ, your sins have not yet been forgiven by God.

If you want to be saved (now), forgiven (now), and welcomed into heaven someday, follow the instructions in any of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

Note: Jesus' blood was shed when he died on the cross to pay for our sins. This is explained in the article entitled "What is the meaning of the blood of Christ?" If you want to read it, you'll find it here: https://www.gotquestions.org/blood-of-Christ.html.

APRIL 8-9

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 - The Second Coming: Warning to Unbelievers
In a letter to born-again Christians in the church of the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul, with Silas and Timothy, wrote:

Verse 2: "For [you] yourselves [or 'you born-again Christians'] know perfectly [well] that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns to earth for the purpose of judgment--see note below*] so cometh as [like] a thief in the night."

Verse 3: "For when they
[the unbelievers, unsaved people, non-Christians] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction [shall] cometh upon them, as travail [labor pains] [come unexpectedly, or without warning,] upon a woman with child [referring to what happens to a pregnant woman during childbirth]; and they [the unbelievers] shall not escape [the above-mentioned destruction, punishment, righteous judgment from God]."

Fulfillment of biblical prophecy, including Donald Trump's soon-to-be-revealed Middle East peace plan, also known as "the deal of the century" (leading people to talk about "peace and safety," like they do in the above verses), indicates that Jesus will come back very soon. At that time, all true Christians will be taken to heaven in the rapture and will escape the destruction that awaits those who are left behind.

Hopefully, you are already saved (or "born again" according to the Bible) and will take part in the rapture. If not, you can be saved right now. If you believe that Jesus (God's Son) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is ask him (through prayer, either silently or out loud) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

Should you desire more detailed instructions for the plan of salvation, you'll find them in most of the tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's a direct link to that page:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
_________________________

*The "day of the Lord" is also known as the "second coming" of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you're interested in learning about the second coming and other end-time events, you may want to read one or both of the following articles:

-- "What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Rapture-Second-Coming.html

-- "What is the end times timeline?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/end-times-timeline.html

The end-times article is divided chronologically into the following sections and explains each one:

  1. The rapture of the church
  2. The rise of the Antichrist
  3. The tribulation
  4. The Battle of Gog and Magog
  5. The abomination of desolation
  6. The Battle of Armageddon
  7. The judgment of the nations
  8. The binding of Satan
  9. The Millennial Kingdom
10. The last battle
11. The Great White Throne Judgment
12. The new creation

GotQuestions.org has written many more articles regarding biblical prophecy. You can find them by typing your question in the search box at the top of their website: https://www.gotquestions.org.

APRIL 6-7

Proverbs 6:23-26 - A Father's Advice to His Son
In this passage, King Solomon is teaching his son how to avoid the sin of adultery.

Verse 23: "[I am teaching you these things] For [because] the commandment [of mine, referring to the fatherly advice that King Solomon was giving his son] is a lamp; and the law [of God] is light [in other words, the king's advice and the wisdom found in God's word (the Bible) would act like a lamp and a light to help Solomon's son avoid the hidden dangers in life]; and reproofs of instruction [i.e., warnings] are the way [or a necessary part] of life:"

Verse 24: "
[Warnings are necessary] To keep thee [you] [away] from the evil woman [whores, harlots, adulteresses, etc.], [and to protect you] from [being misled by] the flattery of the tongue [fake praise, compliments, etc.] of a strange [bad, or 'evil'] woman."

-- Warning: When an "evil woman" flatters you (gives insincere praise and compliments), DON'T LISTEN!

Verse 25: "Lust not [don't lust] after her [the 'evil woman's'] beauty in thine heart [mind]; neither [and don't] let her take thee [you] [captive] with her eyelids [referring to eye makeup, flirting, etc.]."

-- Warning: When an "evil woman" tries to tempt you by dressing immodestly and/or flirting, DON'T LOOK!

Verse 26: "For by means of a whorish woman [i.e., by associating with her and participating in her kind of lifestyle] a man is brought to a piece of bread [for example, he may experience alcohol and/or drug abuse, divorce, a broken home, poverty, disease, etc.]: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life [of the man, in order to destroy it]."

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that it's hard to avoid the "evil woman" referred to in the above verses, as she can now be found almost everywhere, including on TV, in movie theaters, at the beach, on the Internet (especially pornographic websites), on billboards, in magazines, etc.

And although the advice in these verses was directed specifically toward Solomon's son, it actually applies to all young people, females as well as males, since, in addition to many "evil women" in the world who attempt to attract and seduce men, there are many "evil men" in the world who attempt to seduce innocent young women.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_23-26/.

APRIL 5

Psalm 46:1: "God is our refuge
[place of shelter and protection] and [source of] strength, [and] a very present help [when we are] in trouble."

Born-again Christians are never alone. God is always there to strengthen, protect, and help us during our journey through life.

APRIL 4

Romans 12:14: "Bless them
[the people] which persecute you [do bad things to you or say mean things about you]: [through prayer, ask God to] bless [these people], and curse [them] not [i.e., don't seek their destruction or respond to their mean-spirited attacks in a violent, profane (irreverent, disrespectful), and outrageous manner]."

In other words, be nice to people who are cruel or unkind to you, and don't wish evil on them or try to destroy them with your fists or your tongue (i.e., your own hurtful comments). You should also pray for them (in a good way).

Regarding how we should treat our enemies (i.e., "bless, and curse not"), one Bible commentator wrote: "… Pray for their salvation, instead of their damnation! …" (Source:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/12-14.html, "Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible").

APRIL 1-3

Luke 12:15-21 - Parable of the Rich Fool

Verse 15: "And he
[Jesus] said unto them [his disciples, or followers], Take heed [pay attention], and beware of [guard against] covetousness [greed]: for a man's [or woman's or child's] life consisteth not in [does not depend upon] the abundance [large quantity or amount] of the things which he [or she] possesseth [possesses, has, owns]."

Verses 16-17: "And he
[Jesus] spake a parable unto them [the disciples, meaning he told them a story to illustrate his point, or to explain what he meant], saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully [produced many crops]: And he [the rich man] thought within [to] himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room [or place] where to bestow [gather together, collect] my fruits [of the earth, or crops, referring to his fruits, vegetables, and grains]?"

Verses 18-19: "And he
[the rich man] said [to himself], This will I do: I will pull [take] down my barns, and build greater [larger] [ones]; and there will I bestow [store] all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul [myself], Soul, thou hast much goods [property] laid up for many years; take thine ease [rest, relax], eat, drink, and be merry [or, in other words, enjoy life]."

Verse 20: "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee
[tonight you will die]: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"

Verse 21: "So is he
[or she] that [is a fool, like the rich man discussed above, and] layeth up treasure for himself [or herself], and is not rich toward God."

In other words, money and possessions will not prolong your life.

Albert Barnes summarized the parable as follows:

"… From this instructive parable we learn:

"1. That wicked people are often signally prospered - their ground brings forth plentifully. God gives them their desire, but sends leanness into their souls.

"2. That riches bring with them always an increasing load of cares and anxieties.

"3. That they steal away the affections from God - are sly, insinuating, and dangerous to the soul.

"4. That the anxiety of a covetous man is not what 'good' he may do with his wealth, but where he may hoard it, and keep it secure from doing any good.

"5. That riches cannot secure their haughty owners from the grave. Death will come upon them suddenly, unexpectedly, awfully. In the very midst of the brightest anticipations - in a moment - in the twinkling of an eye it may come, and all the wealth that has been accumulated cannot alleviate one pang, or drive away one fear, or prolong life for one moment.

"6. That the man who is trusting to his riches in this manner is a fool in the sight of God. Soon, also, he will be a fool in his 'own' sight, and will go to hell with the consciousness that his life has been one of eminent folly.

"7. That the path of true wisdom is to seek first the kingdom of God, and to be ready to die; and 'then' it matters little what is our portion here, or how suddenly or soon we are called away to meet our Judge. If our affections are not fixed on our riches, we shall leave them without regret. If our treasures are laid up in heaven, death will be but 'going home,' and happy will be that moment when we are called to our rest."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-12.html, "Verse 21")
_________________________

For additional insights on the parable, you can read the following article: "What is the meaning of the Parable of the Rich Fool?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-rich-fool.html.


Previous Verses
April 2019
APRIL 29-30

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 [or she--the person] that keepeth the law [obeys God's word], happy is he [or she]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "Solomon's meaning [of this verse] is that when there is no revelation or guidance from God, the people run wild… go into disorder… are unrestrained."

Here are some excerpts from Section 1, paragraph B3, of his commentary regarding the proper definition of perish in this case:

"a. Why is it [referring to one of the words in the verse] translated 'perish'?
" Because perish also speaks of something being out of order… something that has run wild.
" A fruit that is perishing is a fruit with the corruption process running wild.
" When a piece of fruit is not being preserved by refrigeration, it will corrupt… perish… the corruption process runs wild and destroys it. The result is that the fruit goes into 'disorder.'
" When there is no revelation from God, the corruption process in the nation runs wild too.

"b. When God's revelation ceased in Israel, it had a detrimental effect on the nation.
" It led the people to believe that they could live unrestrained lives.
" Ex. [Exodus] 32:1, 25 - For example, when Moses went up on the Mount with God, and didn't come back for a while with a message from the Lord, the people felt that he would never come back. They went wild-and built idols and danced naked. They were unrestrained. There was disorder. They became like rotten fruit."

Unfortunately, due to a faulty definition of the words vision and perish, this verse is often incorrectly interpreted by many people, especially motivational speakers like Tom Malone, Levi Wright, David Legge, and Rick Warren, and in his commentary, Pastor Delany gives examples of some of their comments to prove his point. Consequently, he thinks it is 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 more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_18/.

APRIL 28

Job 1:22
[God temporarily removed his 'hedge' of protection around Job (a godly man who lived in Old Testament times--see note below*) and allowed Satan to test his faithfulness to God by causing the loss of all of his oxen (1,000), she asses (i.e., female donkeys) (500), and camels (3,000) plus the death of all of his sheep (7,000), most of his servants ('a very great household'), and all of his children (7 sons and 3 daughters), and we're told that]: "In all this [trouble,] Job sinned not [did not sin], nor charged [he, or 'nor did he blame'] God foolishly."

(Source for above statistics: Book of Job, Chapter 1)
_________________________

*For detailed background information on the life of Job, read the following article: "Who was Job in the Bible?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Job.html.

APRIL 27

Proverbs 27:12: "A prudent
[wise, sensible] man [or woman or child] foreseeth the evil [senses danger or trouble], and hideth himself [or herself from it, avoids it, gets safely out of the way]; but the simple [unwise, foolish] [people] pass on [keep going towards 'the evil'], and are punished."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse, including characteristics of a "prudent man" and examples of how we can "foresee the evil" and avoid trouble by not clicking on scam emails, not responding to ads about alcohol, not joining gangs, not viewing pornography, and being careful when driving on ice.

For instance, concerning alcohol, gangs, and pornography (Section B, paragraph 5, of the commentary), we are told that:

"b. A prudent man can see right through the façade of the advertisements for alcohol which imply that if you drink Budweiser, you too will be at the fabulous parties with gorgeous women and life will be non-stop fun! He can see through that to the evil that is the REAL end result of alcohol: divorce; fatherless children; destroyed livers; Skid Row; prison. He looks beyond the immediate façade to foresee the evil.

"c. A prudent young person should be able to discern when a group of kids is trouble or not. You can sense, that with a certain group of kids, you just know that trouble is right around the corner. You can tell by what they talk about; by what they say they have done in the past; by what they think is funny; their attitude towards life; towards spiritual things.

"d. A prudent man ought to be able to foresee trouble ahead for those who go online to watch pornography; or to chat and flirt with women online. You know where that leads. A prudent man will foresee the calamity that lies ahead."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-27-index/proverbs-27_12/.

APRIL 26

Isaiah 5:11: "Woe unto
[great sorrow or distress or many troubles will come to] them that rise up [arise] early in the morning, [so] that they may follow [after, or drink] strong drink [intoxicating liquor] [and get drunk]; [and to them] that continue [drinking strong drinks] until night, till [until] wine [or beer or other alcoholic beverages] inflame [excite or stimulate] them [or produce in them anger and/or violent behavior]!"

APRIL 25

Proverbs 25:4-5 - How to Have Righteous (Good, Moral) Governments

Verse 4
[The illustration]: "Take away the dross [impurities] from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel [such as a cup or dish] for [from, or made by] the finer [refiner, silversmith]."

Verse 5
[The application]: "Take away the wicked [counselors, advisors, etc.--specifically, those who are dishonest and perhaps involved in criminal activity] from before the king [or other ruler (prime minister, president, etc.)], and his throne [government] shall be established in righteousness [justice]."

Regarding these verses, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says: "Solomon's point is that when corruption is removed, the king's throne is established: Firmly set in place; stable; firm; unmovable!"

Here are some excerpts from the last section of his commentary (entitled "And his throne shall be established in righteousness."):

"g. What a contrast to the thinking of most politicians today.
" We seem to have the idea that if a president wants to establish his administration, he needs to build up political power by trampling over the other party, by bullying, and asserting himself
" Solomon states that an administration is made strong through moral purity.
" If evil men and their corrupt ways are removed, then the king's throne WILL be established.
" It will have authenticated itself as valid. Thus the people will trust the king and want him to succeed. He will have the full support of his people if he has the TRUST of the people.
" When the people see corruption, they begin to distrust their leader and he loses their support.
" When a leader loses the support of his people, then his throne is not established. It is weakened!
" People will not stand behind, sacrifice for, or risk their lives to protect a throne that they do not trust.
" Nobody likes being lied to or cheated. But when the people trust their leaders, they will 'establish their throne.'"

"i. A throne that has been cleansed of corruption is like a fine vessel: beautiful, practical, valuable, and highly prized! It will be strong and stable too."

"k. This principle applies to other areas of life as well.
" This is true of a business too. If the customer base thinks the company is cheating them or being dishonest, they will not support the company or buy their products.
" This is true of a local church too. People are very forgiving with honest mistakes, but if they detect dishonesty in the leadership, it will not be tolerated. The church will not be established and strengthened, but weakened.
" This is applicable to us as individuals too. If people discover that you are dishonest, or that you cheat, or lie, or gossip behind their backs, or if your word cannot be trusted, your relationships will not be strong, firm, and established. They will be weak, fall apart, and you will lose friends daily.
" Righteousness (honesty; purity; decency) establishes the throne-but it also has a strengthening effect in our personal lives and in our relationships with each other."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_4-5/.

APRIL 24

Ecclesiastes 9:10: "Whatsoever thy hand
[whatever you] findeth to do[,] [whether it be in the service of God or mankind], do it with thy might [or strength, or to the best of your ability]; for there is no work, nor device [reasoning], nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither [where] thou goest."

In other words, work hard now because you won't be able to do anything when you're dead.

APRIL 23

Proverbs 23:17-18 - Don't Envy Sinners

Verse 17: "Let not thine
[don't let your] heart [mind] envy [be jealous of] sinners [referring to wicked and/or unsaved people] [or what they have or how well off they are]: but be thou in the fear of the LORD [i.e., focus on God] all the day long."

Verse 18: "
[Don't envy sinners] For [because] surely there is an end [to their lives and prosperity (success, wealth, luxury, etc.)--as, for example, on judgment day]; and thine expectation [your hope--of eternal life and rewards in heaven] shall not be cut off."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible church, Christians can wonder why God allows sinners to prosper (be successful, rich, etc.), but we are not to envy them, because that is sin. Envy also "hinders spiritual growth" and "leads to many other forms of sin."

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on the above verses, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_17-18/.

APRIL 22

Proverbs 22:1: "A good name
[reputation] [for example, being known as someone who is kind, honest, hard-working, etc.] is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour [acceptance, approval] [from everyone--people and God] [is to be chosen] rather than silver and gold."

At the end of his Bible study notes on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church said: "A good name and favor is not something after which that we should CONSCIOUSLY seek. … But a life dedicated to pleasing God will usually earn the respect and favor of men too."

The following excerpts are taken from the first section of the commentary (entitled "A Good Name …"):

Paragraph 3:

"a. There is not as much importance given to a good name (on a personal level) in our culture today as there used to be… and as there still is in other cultures.
" There is no stigma to having a baby out of wedlock any more.
" There is not much shame in being convicted for crimes. Sometimes criminals go on to have their own TV shows, or a talk radio show.
" There was a time when your name was disgraced, that a family might have to move across the country to start over… but that doesn't happen anymore.
" Parents used to be concerned about their child's behavior because bad behavior was a disgrace to the family name.
" That sense of the value of one's 'name' has been greatly diminished in our generation.
" But regardless of what our present culture says, God's Word says that a good name is EXTREMELY valuable!"

Paragraph 4:

"o. Rev. [Revelation] 2:3 - Whatever WE do as believers is to be done for the Lord's NAME's sake. Our service is for His name's sake (for His reputation)."

"t. God is far more concerned about His reputation and His testimony than we might think.

"u. And since HIS name and reputation are connected to our name and reputation, that makes our personal testimony on earth important.

"v. That's why we should exert great CARE about our behavior, our deportment [manners], our attitude, our speech, our deeds, even our appearance before men."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_1//.

Regarding people's reputations, another Bible commentator said, "… Professing to despise the ill opinion of mankind creates a shrewd suspicion that we have deserved it …" (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/22-1.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "On good character, or general esteem of mankind")

APRIL 20-21

John 2:18-22 - Jesus Speaks of His Death and Resurrection
This is what happened after Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple for the first time, at the start of his public ministry:

Verse 18: "Then answered the Jews and said unto him [Jesus], What sign [e.g., a miracle] shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?" [In other words, they wanted proof that he was authorized by God to cleanse the temple.]

Verse 19: "Jesus answered and said unto them [perhaps while pointing to himself], Destroy this temple [which meant 'kill my body'], and in three days I will raise it up [from the dead, thus proving that he was--and still is--the Son of God, and Messiah]."

Verses 20-21: "Then said the Jews, Forty and six
[46] years was this temple [referring to Herod's temple in Jerusalem] in building [or 'being built'], and wilt thou [will you] rear it up [rebuild it] in three days [if someone knocks it down]? But he [Jesus] spake [spoke] of the temple of his body."

Verse 22: "When therefore he
[Jesus] was risen from the dead[,] [three days after being crucified], his disciples remembered that he had said this [thing; i.e., 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up'] unto them; and they believed the scripture [i.e., verses in the Old Testament that predicted Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection--see note below*], and the word[s] which Jesus had said [about his death and resurrection--see note below*]."

The Bible gives hints but doesn't say exactly when Jesus died. Some people think that the crucifixion took place on Wednesday; some, Thursday; others, Friday. The article entitled "On what day was Jesus crucified?" addresses each of those views. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/three-days.html.
_________________________

*Bible verses pertaining to Jesus and his death, burial, and resurrection include the following:

-- Psalm 2:7: "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."

-- Psalm 16:10: "For thou [God] wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."

-- Matthew 20:19: "And shall deliver him [Jesus] to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again."

-- Luke 18:32-33: "For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again."

APRIL 18-19

John 19:17-18 - The Crucifixion of Jesus
After being sentenced to death by Pilate, Jesus was forced to carry his cross to the place of execution.

Verses 17-18: "And he [Jesus] bearing [carrying] his cross [referring to the transverse, or horizontal, beam--i.e., the smaller piece of wood, to which his hands would be nailed] went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they [the Romans] crucified him, and two other [men, both of whom were criminals,] with him, on either side one [or 'one on each side'], and Jesus in the midst [middle]."

The place where Jesus was crucified is called Golgotha in the books of Matthew, Mark, and John. Only Luke refers to it as Calvary. Also, this particular hill was called "the place of a skull" because it was in the shape of a skull and also because dead men's skulls and bones were thrown there and the heads of beheaded criminals were left there. In addition, Adam's bones were said to be buried there, and it was the mountain on which Abraham offered up his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God.

See Matthew Henry's commentary for more information about Golgotha and the cross. Go to https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/john/19.html and scroll down to "Verses 16-18," then to "(v. 17)."

Actually, many people--Rome, Herod, the religious leaders in Israel, and the Jewish people--conspired (worked together) to bring about the crucifixion of Jesus. This is explained in the article entitled "Who was responsible for Christ's death? Who killed Jesus?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/responsible-Christ-death.html.

For interesting facts about the trials of Jesus (religious and political) that took place, some of which were illegal, read this article: "What trials did Jesus face before His crucifixion?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/trials-of-Jesus.html.

APRIL 17

Proverbs 17:28: "Even a fool, when he
[or she] holdeth his [or her] peace [or remains silent], is counted [thought to be] wise: and he [or she] that shutteth his [or her] lips [which means that the person keeps his (or her) mouth shut] is esteemed [regarded as] a man [or woman or child--or person] of understanding."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church: "If you don't know what you're talking about--then don't say anything! There's nothing wrong with being ignorant. But there is something wrong with being FOOLISH--and saying foolish things. You're better off being quiet and letting others speak."

Verse 28 is included in Pastor Delany's commentary on verse 27. If you want to read it, click on the following link (https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_27-28/) and scroll down almost to the bottom of the page (where you'll see number 28 in colored type, followed by "Even a fool, …").

Regarding the second part of the above verse (regarding the man who 'shutteth his lips'), John Gill said: "… a man that has so much command of himself as not to speak unadvisedly, through the heat of his own passions, and through the provocations of others, will pass for a man that understands himself, and knows how to behave well before others." (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/17-28.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Bible")

APRIL 16

Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man
[or woman or child] [ i.e., 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. It ends with this:

"4. Conclusions:

"a. Let's not be too confident of our innocence before the Lord.

" It is possible for us to be deceived into THINKING that all is well when all is NOT well.
" It is possible to have a clean conscience and be dead wrong! Our conscience might be fed the wrong information.
" God has ALL the information… and rightly divided too.

"b. This truth will bring us peace in dealing with injustices done against us… and in many other interpersonal conflicts.

" Has anyone ever lied to you?
" Has anyone ever given you their side of the story and feel perfectly justified in their actions?
" Have you ever had to deal with someone who thinks they can do no wrong?
" Have you ever met a person who is a master of spin? They can take any set of circumstances, no matter how self condemning they are, and spin it in such a way that it is not their fault? It's your fault… or someone else's?
" Have you ever been frustrated in dealing with someone who is clean in his own eyes and there is no reasoning with him/her?
" Well, take heart. God knows the truth. God sees the heart… motives… intentions…
" Nobody EVER gets away with anything with God. Ever!
" We don't have to worry about it. We don't have to try to try to manipulate events in order to bring about justice. Justice WILL come-their day is coming! Trust God. Shall not the God of all the earth to do right?"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_2/.

APRIL 15

John 11:25-27 - Before Lazarus is Raised From the Dead, Martha Confirms Her Faith in Jesus and the Resurrection
When Jesus heard that his friend Lazarus was sick, he went to comfort the family, and Martha (one of the sisters) told him that their brother had died four days earlier. The following conversation took place outside the town where the family lived, before everyone went to the place (sepulchre, tomb, cave) where Lazarus had been buried and would soon be brought back to life:

Verse 25: "Jesus said unto her [Martha], I am the resurrection, and the life: he [or she] that believeth [puts his (or her) faith and trust] in me [for salvation], though he [or she] were dead [physically], yet shall he [or she] live [again … after the resurrection]:"

Verse 26: "And whosoever liveth
[physically] and believeth in me [for salvation, referring to born-again Christians] shall never die [spiritually]. Believest thou this ['Do you believe this']?"

Verse 27: "She
[Martha] saith unto him [Jesus], Yea [yes], Lord: I believe that thou art [you are] the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God, which should come into the world [to save us from sin]."

APRIL 11-14

Matthew 13:24-30 - Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Verse 24: "Another parable put he
[Jesus] forth unto them [his disciples] [in other words, he told them a short story that teaches a moral or religious lesson, or, as one dictionary defines parable, 'an earthly story with a heavenly meaning'], saying, The kingdom of heaven [meaning either the church of God on earth, or the effects (results) of the gospel being preached] is likened unto [compared to] a man which sowed [scattered] good seed in his field:"

Verse 25: "But
[during the night,] while men slept, his enemy [i.e., someone who hated the man who had sowed the good seed] came and sowed [planted] tares [fake, false, counterfeit wheat--not real wheat, but poisonous, grassy weeds that closely resemble wheat but whose grain is black] among the [real, authentic, genuine] wheat, and went his way [departed, left, went away]."

Verse 26: "But when the blade
[referring to plants that came from the good seeds] was sprung up [from the ground; that is, when the seeds sprouted, or started to grow], and brought forth fruit [in the form of wheat grain], then appeared the tares [weeds] also[,] [and they were noticed or discovered by the servants]."

Verse 27: "So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou
[didn't you] sow good seed in thy field? from whence [from where] then hath it tares? [or, in other words, 'If you planted wheat, where did the tares come from?']"

Verse 28: "He
[the householder] said unto them [the servants], An enemy hath done this [i.e.,planted the tares]. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we [will you then have us, or do you want us to,] go and gather them up?"

Verses 29-30: "But he
[the householder] said, Nay [no, don't gather up the tares]; lest [otherwise] while ye gather up the tares [weeds], ye root [pull] up also the wheat with them. Let both [things--the wheat and the tares] grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares [weeds], and bind [tie] them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

In the above parable …

The man who sowed the good seed, or wheat (through preaching of the gospel), is Jesus.
The field is the "world."
The enemy who sowed the bad seed, or tares (through teaching of false doctrine), is the devil (Satan).
The wheat represents true believers, or born-again Christians.
The tares represent false believers, hypocrites, and deceived people in the church.

The harvest is the end of the world (judgment day), when the reapers (angels)
will be told to separate the wheat from the tares. Then …

The tares
(false Christians) will be burned (sent to hell), and
The wheat
(true Christians) will be gathered into the barn (go to heaven).

For more information on this parable, you can read the article entitled "What is the parable of the Wheat and the Tares?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-wheat-tares.html.

Albert Barnes has a very interesting explanation of tares in his commentary on verse 25:

"The tare abounds all over the East, and is a great nuisance to the farmer. It resembles the American 'cheat (chess),' but the 'head' does not droop like cheat, nor does it branch out like oats. The grain, also, is smaller, and is arranged along the upper part of the stalk, which stands perfectly erect. The 'taste' is bitter, and when eaten separately, or even when diffused in ordinary bread, it causes dizziness, and often acts as a violent emetic [which means that it causes vomiting]. Barn-door fowls also become dizzy from eating it. In short, it is a strong soporific poison, and must be carefully winnowed, and picked out of the wheat grain by grain, before grinding, or the flour is not healthy. Even the farmers, who in this country generally 'weed' their fields, do not attempt to separate the one from the other. They would not only mistake good grain for them, but very commonly the roots of the two are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate them without plucking up both. Both, therefore, must be left to 'grow together' until the time of harvest …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-13.html, "Verses 24-30," "Matthew 13:25")

If you're interested in learning more about wheat, I recommend the "Wheat Fun Fact Sheet," which includes a diagram of a wheat plant. Here's the link:
https://www.kfb.org/page/file?path=Files%2Fpage-161%2Fwheat%2FWheatFunFactGuide.pdf

APRIL 10

Hebrews 9:22: "And almost all things
[in the Jewish tabernacle or temple service] are by the law [of Moses] purged [cleansed, purified] with blood; and without shedding [pouring out] of blood [of animals in the Old Testament, and of Jesus in the New Testament] is no remission [forgiveness] [of sins]."

The "stain" of sin can only be removed by blood, and currently (since we're living in New Testament times), according to the above verse--and in the words of two well-known hymns-- if you haven't been "washed in the blood" and "saved by the blood" of the Lord Jesus Christ, your sins have not yet been forgiven by God.

If you want to be saved (now), forgiven (now), and welcomed into heaven someday, follow the instructions in any of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

Note: Jesus' blood was shed when he died on the cross to pay for our sins. This is explained in the article entitled "What is the meaning of the blood of Christ?" If you want to read it, you'll find it here: https://www.gotquestions.org/blood-of-Christ.html.

APRIL 8-9

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 - The Second Coming: Warning to Unbelievers
In a letter to born-again Christians in the church of the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul, with Silas and Timothy, wrote:

Verse 2: "For [you] yourselves [or 'you born-again Christians'] know perfectly [well] that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns to earth for the purpose of judgment--see note below*] so cometh as [like] a thief in the night."

Verse 3: "For when they
[the unbelievers, unsaved people, non-Christians] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction [shall] cometh upon them, as travail [labor pains] [come unexpectedly, or without warning,] upon a woman with child [referring to what happens to a pregnant woman during childbirth]; and they [the unbelievers] shall not escape [the above-mentioned destruction, punishment, righteous judgment from God]."

Fulfillment of biblical prophecy, including Donald Trump's soon-to-be-revealed Middle East peace plan, also known as "the deal of the century" (leading people to talk about "peace and safety," like they do in the above verses), indicates that Jesus will come back very soon. At that time, all true Christians will be taken to heaven in the rapture and will escape the destruction that awaits those who are left behind.

Hopefully, you are already saved (or "born again" according to the Bible) and will take part in the rapture. If not, you can be saved right now. If you believe that Jesus (God's Son) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is ask him (through prayer, either silently or out loud) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

Should you desire more detailed instructions for the plan of salvation, you'll find them in most of the tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's a direct link to that page:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
_________________________

*The "day of the Lord" is also known as the "second coming" of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you're interested in learning about the second coming and other end-time events, you may want to read one or both of the following articles:

-- "What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Rapture-Second-Coming.html

-- "What is the end times timeline?"
    https://www.gotquestions.org/end-times-timeline.html

The end-times article is divided chronologically into the following sections and explains each one:

  1. The rapture of the church
  2. The rise of the Antichrist
  3. The tribulation
  4. The Battle of Gog and Magog
  5. The abomination of desolation
  6. The Battle of Armageddon
  7. The judgment of the nations
  8. The binding of Satan
  9. The Millennial Kingdom
10. The last battle
11. The Great White Throne Judgment
12. The new creation

GotQuestions.org has written many more articles regarding biblical prophecy. You can find them by typing your question in the search box at the top of their website: https://www.gotquestions.org.

APRIL 6-7

Proverbs 6:23-26 - A Father's Advice to His Son
In this passage, King Solomon is teaching his son how to avoid the sin of adultery.

Verse 23: "[I am teaching you these things] For [because] the commandment [of mine, referring to the fatherly advice that King Solomon was giving his son] is a lamp; and the law [of God] is light [in other words, the king's advice and the wisdom found in God's word (the Bible) would act like a lamp and a light to help Solomon's son avoid the hidden dangers in life]; and reproofs of instruction [i.e., warnings] are the way [or a necessary part] of life:"

Verse 24: "
[Warnings are necessary] To keep thee [you] [away] from the evil woman [whores, harlots, adulteresses, etc.], [and to protect you] from [being misled by] the flattery of the tongue [fake praise, compliments, etc.] of a strange [bad, or 'evil'] woman."

-- Warning: When an "evil woman" flatters you (gives insincere praise and compliments), DON'T LISTEN!

Verse 25: "Lust not [don't lust] after her [the 'evil woman's'] beauty in thine heart [mind]; neither [and don't] let her take thee [you] [captive] with her eyelids [referring to eye makeup, flirting, etc.]."

-- Warning: When an "evil woman" tries to tempt you by dressing immodestly and/or flirting, DON'T LOOK!

Verse 26: "For by means of a whorish woman [i.e., by associating with her and participating in her kind of lifestyle] a man is brought to a piece of bread [for example, he may experience alcohol and/or drug abuse, divorce, a broken home, poverty, disease, etc.]: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life [of the man, in order to destroy it]."

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that it's hard to avoid the "evil woman" referred to in the above verses, as she can now be found almost everywhere, including on TV, in movie theaters, at the beach, on the Internet (especially pornographic websites), on billboards, in magazines, etc.

And although the advice in these verses was directed specifically toward Solomon's son, it actually applies to all young people, females as well as males, since, in addition to many "evil women" in the world who attempt to attract and seduce men, there are many "evil men" in the world who attempt to seduce innocent young women.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_23-26/.

APRIL 5

Psalm 46:1: "God is our refuge
[place of shelter and protection] and [source of] strength, [and] a very present help [when we are] in trouble."

Born-again Christians are never alone. God is always there to strengthen, protect, and help us during our journey through life.

APRIL 4

Romans 12:14: "Bless them
[the people] which persecute you [do bad things to you or say mean things about you]: [through prayer, ask God to] bless [these people], and curse [them] not [i.e., don't seek their destruction or respond to their mean-spirited attacks in a violent, profane (irreverent, disrespectful), and outrageous manner]."

In other words, be nice to people who are cruel or unkind to you, and don't wish evil on them or try to destroy them with your fists or your tongue (i.e., your own hurtful comments). You should also pray for them (in a good way).

Regarding how we should treat our enemies (i.e., "bless, and curse not"), one Bible commentator wrote: "… Pray for their salvation, instead of their damnation! …" (Source:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/12-14.html, "Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible").

APRIL 1-3

Luke 12:15-21 - Parable of the Rich Fool

Verse 15: "And he
[Jesus] said unto them [his disciples, or followers], Take heed [pay attention], and beware of [guard against] covetousness [greed]: for a man's [or woman's or child's] life consisteth not in [does not depend upon] the abundance [large quantity or amount] of the things which he [or she] possesseth [possesses, has, owns]."

Verses 16-17: "And he
[Jesus] spake a parable unto them [the disciples, meaning he told them a story to illustrate his point, or to explain what he meant], saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully [produced many crops]: And he [the rich man] thought within [to] himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room [or place] where to bestow [gather together, collect] my fruits [of the earth, or crops, referring to his fruits, vegetables, and grains]?"

Verses 18-19: "And he
[the rich man] said [to himself], This will I do: I will pull [take] down my barns, and build greater [larger] [ones]; and there will I bestow [store] all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul [myself], Soul, thou hast much goods [property] laid up for many years; take thine ease [rest, relax], eat, drink, and be merry [or, in other words, enjoy life]."

Verse 20: "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee
[tonight you will die]: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"

Verse 21: "So is he
[or she] that [is a fool, like the rich man discussed above, and] layeth up treasure for himself [or herself], and is not rich toward God."

In other words, money and possessions will not prolong your life.

Albert Barnes summarized the parable as follows:

"… From this instructive parable we learn:

"1. That wicked people are often signally prospered - their ground brings forth plentifully. God gives them their desire, but sends leanness into their souls.

"2. That riches bring with them always an increasing load of cares and anxieties.

"3. That they steal away the affections from God - are sly, insinuating, and dangerous to the soul.

"4. That the anxiety of a covetous man is not what 'good' he may do with his wealth, but where he may hoard it, and keep it secure from doing any good.

"5. That riches cannot secure their haughty owners from the grave. Death will come upon them suddenly, unexpectedly, awfully. In the very midst of the brightest anticipations - in a moment - in the twinkling of an eye it may come, and all the wealth that has been accumulated cannot alleviate one pang, or drive away one fear, or prolong life for one moment.

"6. That the man who is trusting to his riches in this manner is a fool in the sight of God. Soon, also, he will be a fool in his 'own' sight, and will go to hell with the consciousness that his life has been one of eminent folly.

"7. That the path of true wisdom is to seek first the kingdom of God, and to be ready to die; and 'then' it matters little what is our portion here, or how suddenly or soon we are called away to meet our Judge. If our affections are not fixed on our riches, we shall leave them without regret. If our treasures are laid up in heaven, death will be but 'going home,' and happy will be that moment when we are called to our rest."

(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-12.html, "Verse 21")
_________________________

For additional insights on the parable, you can read the following article: "What is the meaning of the Parable of the Rich Fool?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-rich-fool.html.


Previous Verses: