Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Paul was Faithful, Are We?



Acts 20:27 “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”


A Cause for Reflection

As I am writing this, I am faced with the loss of another close friend.  I received a text message last night a little after midnight.  It said that my friend had “passed” at about 11:55 pm.  She had been sick because of a cancerous brain tumor for about three years.  So the news was both a relief and a grief.  I had prayed publicly for her and privately with her on many occasions that the Lord would either heal her or take her home.  That prayer was answered last night.  She has been freed from a body that was imprisoning her.  But I am convinced she has seen the Lord based on what Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:8,  “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  Paul expected to see an “appearing” or “epiphany” of the Lord at “that day.”  Paul had said that the time of his departure was at hand.  What day do you think was on his mind?  I think it was the day of his execution.


I know my friend loved the Lord and was looking forward to actually seeing Him.  And I am convinced that she had that privilege last night.  That is why this is a relief.  But losing her friendship and companionship in this life is certainly a grief. 


Need for The Whole Counsel of God

As I have thought about her passing, I have been reminded of Paul’s words to the Ephesians on his last visit to them.  I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.  I have had to ask myself, “Have I been faithful in that regard?”  Are there things that I do not teach today that I should teach?  And am I teaching things that God does not ask me to teach?


As I read through Paul’s last message to the Ephesians  in this chapter, I see him saying “take heed,” and “therefore watch or be careful.”  He says that he did not cease to warn them with tears.  His message was loving but intense and justified because we find out in Revelation 2 that this congregation had left its first love within the space of 30 or 40 years.  I am sure that their “first love” or “chief love” had been the Lord himself.  Now they were occupied with works which were good but they had some deeds or works that were bad.  But any problems that they had could not be attributed to Paul.  He had been faithful.


What is the Whole Counsel of God?

Obviously, if we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, then the whole Bible is the whole counsel of God.  Unfortunately, today is a day of confusion when it comes to what the Bible teaches.  Some live in the Old Testament and try to live under the law of the Jews.  They don’t distinguish between the Jews, the Gentiles and the church of god  (1 Corinthians 10:32).  While all Scriptural doctrines are important, I notice in this passage that Paul preached both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).”  This seems to a foundational truth.  Paul told the people that saying that they were serving God without accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as the prophesied Messiah was wrong.  They needed to change their minds and repent.  He changed his mind and repented in Acts 9.  When we repent of all that we thought was right but that was not scripturally right, we are able to believe in the Lord or have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Today many want to teach Christians without challenging them as to whether they are Christians.  Christians are getting a bad name because of that.  We are being identified as a people who are against gays and abortion rather than a people that are for the Lord and who are against all sin, even our own.   We tell people about the problems but don’t give them the real solution which is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We get involved in politics because we think that if we change people’s behavior we also change their thinking when in fact they have to change their thinking (repent) in order to change their behavior.


Am I faithfully telling people that there is a heaven to gain and eternal damnation to shun?  Do I tell them that death is not the end?  Do I tell them that Christ died for ours sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He was raised again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)?  Do I tell them that they may not like God’s plan of salvation and they may not even fully understand it, but God is God; and His plan prevails.  Do I tell people that they will never understand love until they understand the reason for the cross? 


Death is Knocking at Each of our Doors

Because we all are one day closer to eternity today than we were yesterday, it is time to listen to the whole counsel of God and also to preach it so that we can all know that when we pass from this scene that we are truly ready to meet the Lord.  My friend was truly ready.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of July 19, 2015

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