"Word to the Wise" posts by Pastor Walter Olsen

Does wordly gain bring true peace and joy?

Dr. Walter Olsen

Does worldly gain, such as wealth, power, and prestige, bring true peace and joy? For many, it would seem to for awhile. And yet, it is not a lasting blessing. Often, too,  it is accompanied with woes such as worry, greed, broken relationships and a sense of loneliness. The truth is, all of the above have a time limitation on them! There is a better way! King Solomon said it well, “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted  calf with hatred” (Prov. 15:16-17).

The blessings of God are far more significant than all the wealth of the world. To know the fear of God is to know the presence and blessing of God. The fear here is not a matter of being afraid of God, but of having a due respect for Him in response of who He is and all He has done for us. He gave His Son to die for our sins, and when we trust Him for our salvation we begin to have a proper respect and awe of Him. It is then that we begin to know the superiority of His blessings and to enter into the genuine joy and peace that only God can give.

What does it mean to be a Christian?

Dr. Walter Olsen

What does it mean to be a Christian? Certainly many factors could be mentioned, but there is one that is essential above all others. The Apostle Paul spoke of this when he said, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Cor. 1:9). Whatever else is involved with being a Christian, it must begin with a relationship with the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

This begins when God convicts us of our sins and reveals His Son, the Lord Jesus as the Savior. When we see our sin and, by faith, trust Christ as the One who died for our sins, and was raised again,  we are then brought into a personal relationship with the Son of God. All of our Christian life flows from our relationship with Him. Sometimes we  substitute form in place of a personal relationship so we must be careful that we remain in fellowship with the One who indeed is our Christian life. It is of a personal relationship with Christ that we can have the assurance of our salvation and begin to know His many blessings in life. Indeed, the Christian life is fellowship with the Son of God!

Does God Make a Difference?

A Word to the Wise

Dr. Walter Olsen

What does it mean to be a Christian? Certainly many factors could be mentioned, but there is one that is essential above all others.  The Apostle Paul spoke of this when he said, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Cor. 1:9).

Whatever else is involved with being a Christian, it must begin with a relationship with the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. This begins when God convicts us of our sins and reveals His Son, the Lord Jesus as the Savior. When we see our sin and, by faith, trust Christ as the One who died for our sins, and was raised again,  we are then brought into a personal relationship with the Son of God. All of our Christian life flows from our relationship with Him. Sometimes we  substitute form in place of a personal relationship so we must be careful that we remain in fellowship with the One who indeed is our Christian life. It is of a personal relationship with Christ that we can have the assurance of our salvation and begin to know His many blessings in life. Indeed, the Christian life is fellowship with the Son of God!

 

 

 

When a Christian Has Troubles, Does that Mean God Has Forsaken Him?

A Word to the Wise

Dr. Walter Olsen

When a Christian has troubles, does that mean that God has forsaken him?

Not at all! Believers have problems just like everybody else. In the book of Acts we read that, “... the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt” (Acts 7:9). That was a very difficult time and place for Joseph, but thankfully, he was not alone. “But God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles” (Acts 7:9-10). As believers, we can have like confidence that God is with us. In one way or another, God will deliver us.

If He does not deliver us from the circumstance itself, He will deliver us by such things as His comforting presence, the promises of His word, the ministry of other  believers to us, or any number of other ways.  God never forsakes His own! God’s promise to believers is so encouraging, “...for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:5-6). Yes, we have troubles and hard times, but they are times to look to the Lord for His deliverance!

What is the great blessing of God to Christians?

 

A Word to the Wise

Dr. Walter Olsen

What is the great blessing of God to Christians?

Of course, His blessings to those who believe are far beyond that which anyone is able to count or even begin to comprehend. God is gracious and generous in His giving. However, there is one thing that is crucially important, and that has to do with the forgiveness of our sins. The Apostle Peter made this so clear when he said, “Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:26).

No matter what other blessings or advantages one may have in life, if his sins are not forgiven, he is the poorest of men! Though he may seem to enjoy his life and prosper in some ways, yet he will have to face the consequences of his sins. Many do not believe this or choose to ignore it, but it is the message of the Bible. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11). How thankful we should be if we know that we have been turned away from the consequences of our iniquities!

Is It Possible to Know that One's Sins Are Forgiven and that He Is Going to Heaven?

A Word to the Wise

Dr. Walter Olsen

Is it possible to know that one’s sins are forgiven and he is going to heaven?

Let’s see what Jesus says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn. 3:36). “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name” (Jn. 20:32).

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he shall be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (Jn. 10:9). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed rom death unto life” (Jn. 5:24). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in im should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (Jn.3:16-17).

Since the Lord Himself has spoken, it remains only for us to respond in faith. Then the promise is, “...him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out” Jn. 6:37).

 

 

 

What constitutes the great need of the world today?

A Word to the Wise

Dr. Walter Olsen

What constitutes the great need of the world today? Of course many things might be mentioned depending upon one’s given situation. Yet, there are some things that are essential to one’s well being in this life if he is to know a safe and stable life.  This is also true of the world at large. What we need the most are things that we cannot produce for ourselves. They are things that can only come from God.

What I am referring to here are God’s gifts of grace and truth. God’s grace is giving to us what we do not deserve. [His mercy is withholding the things we do deserve.] In referring to the Lord Jesus, the Apostle John said, “And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). It is the grace of God that provided His Son to die for our sins. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gospel, the essence of grace and mercy. To receive Him is to receive the full blessing of the gospel. It is the truth of God that assures the reality of His offer. Indeed, Jesus said, “...I am the way, the truth, and the life..” (Jn. 14:6). Yes, we have great needs, but they are provided for us in the Person of Christ Himself!

Do men determine the outcome of their own lives?

A Word to the Wise

Dr. Walter Olsen

In some ways they do. King Solomon said, "As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death" (Prov. 11:19). The outcome of our lives on earth are determined by the various choices we make. If we know the Lord and live by the truth of His word and His leading in our lives, our lives will be characterized by the reality and blessings of His life.

Life will be filled with all that characterizes His will for our lives. This does not mean we will not have trials and hardships in life, but that in the midst of the difficult things, we will have His presence and the promises of His word. On the other hand, the one who chooses evil, chooses a life that is characterized by the evidences of death. It doesn’t necessarily mean imminent death, though in some cases it may lead to that. It does mean a life that is wrought with the fruit of wrong doing. Peter spoke of those who "...speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption" (II pet. 2:12). Yes, the outcome of our lives on earth is determined by our own choices.

What is the difference between the gods of the world and the true God?

A Word to the Wise by Dr. Walter Olsen.      

Of course, there are many differences but an essential one is given in the Psalms where we read, "For all the gods of the peoples are idols , but the Lord has made the heavens" (Psa. 96:5). Only the true, living God can create anything out of nothing. As we read elsewhere in Scripture, the gods of the world cannot hear or speak or do anything that is indicative of life.

Of God we read, "Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary...Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. O, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth" (Psa 96:6-9). Yes, there is a world of difference between the gods of the world and the true, living God. It is a difference of life and all that attends it. Is it not incumbent on the whole world to tremble before Him, to acknowledge Him for who He truly is? How very thankful we can be if we know the true and living God. He makes Himself available to all who will trust His Son for the forgiveness of their sins!

Two Kinds of Wisdom

How many kinds of wisdom are there? The Bible speaks of two kinds.

First, in writing about wisdom, the apostle James said, "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom decendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:14-15). This is the wisdom of man that does not know God. It is the wisdom that is devoid of spiritual truth and so cannot minister to the deepest needs of the human heart. Instead, it leads to confusion and strife.

But there is another kind of wisdom, the wisdom that is of God. Again, James said,

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy (James 3:17).

This is the kind of wisdom that is so desperately needed in our lives and in the world today. When we trust the Lord Jesus as our Savior, He then becomes our wisdom with all of its attendant blessings. To reject Him is to reject His wisdom and to settle for a wisdom that really is destructive. How much better to know for ourselves the wisdom of God!