Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

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Gary Petty

Beyond Today Presenter, United Church of God Pastor

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  • Gary Petty
    Annmarie, I am glad we can help you on your spiritual journey. I encourage you to continue to study the Bible. Please keep watching the Beyond today program and pray that God will guide you.
  • Gary Petty
    Andrew, The passage about Lazarus in Luke 16 is an interesting parable. I encourage you to download or order the free Beyond Today booklets The Rich Man and Lazarus and Heaven and Hell-What Does the Bible Really Teach? These study guides will take you step by step through the Bible passages about hell. I hope you continue your study into what the Bible really teaches.
  • Gary Petty
    Martin, You have posted some good comments about the resurrections. I hope it encourages others to read "What Happens After Death?"
  • Gary Petty
    DeeDee, I am glad that our program has been a blessing to you. Please keep watching and praying for us.
  • Gary Petty

    Luisito,
    I understand your point. Obviously, Christ’s sacrifice began when He divested Himself of His glory and power and the ultimate expression of His sacrifice is His death. My point in the article is to encourage Christians to explore everything that happened as Jesus fulfilled the role of Passover Lamb and instituted the New Covenant. When we study what He did and said on the night He met with His disciples, was betrayed, brutally tortured and killed the next day we can better understand who He is and why He is the way to salvation.

  • Gary Petty

    Karin,
    You pose a good question. To discover the answer I suggest you read Heaven or Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach? You can order a free copy to be sent to you or download it from the Beyond Today website. I encourage you to continue your Bible studies to find out what God wants for your life.

  • Gary Petty
    Kathleen, All of us struggle with the sadness of past decisions that hurt others. God's mercy allows us to move forward and hopefully be good influence on those we may have hurt in the past. In the end, God can heal all things.
  • Gary Petty
    Deswita, Surrendering to God can be difficult. We start by submitting, which is obedience, and we eventually surrender in trust and learn to love Him. Ask God to show you His ways and He will lead you to a better relationship with Him.
  • Gary Petty

    I received a question about this article, “Are you saying liberals can’t be Christians? Is your church only for conservatives?”
    The purpose of the article wasn’t a support of a political party. I am neither Republican or Democratic. The article points out that the United States, like all human governments, will fail because only the Creator God can solve human problems. The roots of failure is in the Constitution itself. I mention some of the founding fathers because they recognized this problem.
    I was pointing out that a philosophy, sometimes called radical liberalism, contains anti-biblical ideas. My indictment is against Christian churches for turning their backs on the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles by following this philosophy. This same indictment stands against any political conservatives who claim Christianity, but don’t practice what it teaches.
    The purpose of this article is to call people to a more authentic Christianity by searching out what the Bible teaches instead of relying on political philosophies. It is not written to support any political party.

  • Gary Petty

    Kim,
    I’m glad you found this helpful. I would recommend you watch a Beyond Today program titled “Why Were You Born?”

  • Gary Petty
    Barry, There are times when we need to confess a specific sin to God because it is creating a break in our relationship with Him. Repentance is more general when we first realize our need for God, accept Christ as the sacrifice for our sins and ask God for forgiveness. We might confess some specific sins, but it would be impossible to confess all of them. At that time, we need to acknowledge that we are sinners, that sin has become embedded into our human nature, and desire God's mercy and change through the power of His Spirit. After we have been forgiven by God we will sometimes fall back into sin. Then we need to confess the specific sin and seek God's restoration. Always remember, it is God's nature to want us to repent and He desires to forgive us.
  • Gary Petty

    Maria,
    This is a good question. Jesus said that no man has ascended into heaven except Himself (John 3:13). Paul says that death is sleep, as does Jesus, yet Paul wanted to be absent from his physical body and be with Christ.

    Read 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul gives a clear teaching on the resurrection. He is writing in 2 Corinthians 5:8 of his desire to “sleep” and awake in the “twinkling of an eye” to be with Jesus Christ. He didn’t say that he wanted to leave his physical body and go to heaven, but that he wanted to be with the Lord. According to 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 19:11-16, 20:1-6 Jesus returns to earth to resurrect those who are “dead in Christ” and then they will be with Him.

    Paul is simply stating that he wants to be in the resurrection.

  • Gary Petty
    Carl, Thank you for your encouraging comments. The purpose for the Beyond Today program is to reach out to people whom God is calling. We also want to warn them of the serious consequences of turning their backs on God. We hope they respond by requesting the literature offered or by searching the UCG website where they will be able to find deeper spiritual messages. Once they come to a basic understanding of God's purpose for their lives they will then desire to visit one of the UCG congregations where they can continue to grow. One of the difficulties we face today is that we are living in an increasing biblical-illiterate society. Like the Apostle Paul speaking to the pagans in Athens, we must try to reach people "where they are." Please continue to pray that God will guide our efforts to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.
  • Gary Petty
    This is exactly what is taught in this program. Thanks for commenting. I hope you find these old programs helpful.
  • Gary Petty
    Tanja, The issues you are facing are difficult. As we learn to obey God as our loving Father, we find ourselves out of step with the rest of society. Ask God to help you not only in understanding the truth, but in growing in faith. Sometimes it can be helpful to do a Bible study of the promises God makes to us and His faithfulness to fulfill those promises. When we trust in His faithfulness then we can step out on faith, expecting His help.