Armor of the Lord
The Armor of God
Put on the whole armour of
God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the
devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of
the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that
ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done
all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about
with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be
able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all
perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995, S. Eph 6:11-18
IndifferenceDenialRebellionUnbelieving RelativesTension Between Believers and Non-Believers Biblical Principles in Handling False TeachersOneness and Unity Among BelieversThe Christian Message Not ReceivedTruth Divides
Looking for life plan? Forget the Bible plus something else. Paul commands stand firm in the faith. In capsule form in Philippians 4:4-9Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
God hates pride: "Our weakness, our failures are our greatest asset. When we say 'God, I need you.' His grace flows in our lives. Where you feel weakness, that's your greatest asset." (Charles Stanley, 27 July 07 "In Touch" Radio Program). "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:16, KJV).
Pride Shows up in a variety of ways.
passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently
opposed. Third, it is
accepted as being
-- Arthur Schopenhauer,
German philosopher (1788 -
Excerpt John MacArthur The Truth War by John MacArthur
What's it take for you to get into heaven? Will God take everyone there? If some people don't go to heaven, why? Which group are you in? Do you know for sure? Read John MacArthur's complete series: The Way to Heaven Matthew 7:13-14
Why One Way? by John MacArthur (Hardcover - Mar 5, 2002)
John MacArthur The Sword of the Spirit
An excerpt from Alan Morrison's Is It Right for Christians to Judge? What Does the Bible Say About Judging Others?
Edited sermon notes Adrian Rogers: Ghosts that Haunt Us
Edited sermon notes Adrian Rogers: Why I Believe in Jesus
Read Greg Koukl'sWhen your Faith Falls on Deaf Ears
Commentary by J. Vernon McGee:
McGee, J. Vernon: Thru the Bible Commentary. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1981, S. 3:124-125
"Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all." Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
"I've only known two things to be found in the middle of the road--yella' lines and roadkill." Dr. Larry Bates
Indifference: not concerned for or against something, a characteristic of: unbelievers (Lk 17:26). [Nelson's Topical Bible Index, pg. 311].
"People hate God--or ignore God which is pretty much the same thing (Bob Enyart, Radio program 16 Apr 08)."
"1900 years ago, they slayed Him today they put His blood under foot (McGee)."
"The notion 'Oh well, if I'm going to Hell...I'm going to Hell' is moral laziness (David Jeremiah)."
McGee, J. Vernon: Thru the Bible Commentary. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1981, S. 3:125
Topical Index: Denial
A boy was told by his mother "Go over there and sit down."
The boy said, "No."
The mother took him by his hand and sat him down.
The boy huffed and puffed, "I'm standing up on the inside."
What is a rebel? A
man who says no.
—Albert Camus, The
Merriam-Webster, Inc: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations. Springfield, Mass. : Merriam-Webster, 1992, S. 363
"Are you holding on to what God says no to? As long as you are playing God, it's not going to work (Stanley)."
Topical Index: Rebellion
Relatives by Appointment ~ Friends Welcome
[Edited notes: New Life Ministries, 6 Jun 2010] Sometimes family and friends can be destructive. Your heart is like a castle. You do not lower the drawbridge for just anyone. You select who to let in. Proverbs reminds us: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Pr 4:23).
"Your relationship to the word of God will lead to a right relationship with other believers." J. Vernon McGee
"I cannot help but notice that there is
no problem between us that cannot be solved
by your departure."
- Mark Twain
"Those are my principles. If you don't
like them I have others."
- Groucho Marx
The Power of Choice by Dr. Michael Youssef
Here is a cause and an effect. The cause: there must be agreement if you are to walk together with God. The effect: you will walk with Him when you are in agreement. This doesn’t mean that God will come over and agree with you. You and I will have to go over to His side and agree with Him. As someone has said, God rides triumphantly in His own chariot. And if you don’t want to get under the wheels of that chariot, you had better get aboard and ride. After all, God is carrying through His purpose in the world.
“Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you (2 Ch 19:2, NKJV)."My friend, God never asks you to love one who is an enemy of God. It is one thing to love a sinner. It is another thing to love his sin. We need to distinguish between the two. We are to hate the sinner’s sin. If the sinner will not change, but persists and insists on sticking with his sin, then he becomes identified with his sin. There is no alternative, my beloved. There are people who are actually God’s enemies, they are enemies of the Word of God, and they are inveterate enemies of Christianity.
Children are not to imitate bad parents. Eze 20:18. "The children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother (1 Jn 3:10, NASB)." Friends and family members often think that because Christians are "nice" to them that we are still one of them. We are not. God divided light from dark, He will divide the righteous from the wicked. Although a Christian can politely ask another to pass the salt, we are enemies of those who are against the cross of Christ. We are one with Christ and there is no going back. We cannot be un-born again, nor would we wish to.
to go to
-- A.W. Tozer
Have you shared the truth but your family and friends refuse the gospel of truth?
"Let the one who does what is evil continue to do evil, and let the filthy person continue to be filthy, and the righteous person continue to do what is right, and the holy person continue to be holy (ISV, Re 22:11)."
A man may go to church and hear a message on tithing. He leaves irritated, "Oh, that church. All the want is my money." And he never comes back. Then one day, he's got a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other when he hears a knock at the door. A man comes to tell him that there is not such thing as a place called hell. He rejected truth long ago and now he is ready to believe a lie.
The greatest outward sin (e.g. fornication, adultery, murder) does not compare to the greater inward rejection of light and truth from the Holy Spirit. "God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie (2 Thes 2:11, ISV)." God will send a delusion? Why would God send a delusion? Doesn't He want us to know truth? "...In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness (2 Thes 2:12, NASB)."
You can so blaspheme the Holy Spirit and reject the truth of scripture that there is no longer a remedy. Don't cross the deadline. Today is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2).
There are some things that we cannot do for others. We cannot repent for another. Don't get bitter. Get better (Rogers).
There is a tension inherent between those who have repented before God an those who have not. "We exhale deeply when a tension is relieved; tension points toward resolution; if we are creating the tension, we can relieve it by reversing course, and thus being comforted by our repentance (Enyart, pg. 200, Battle Royale X: Does God Know Your Entire Future?").
We in the West are often accused of having shallow relationships. Some people prefer more genuine relationships, free of what psychologists call "black boxes" or topics we do not discuss with another. When we share the gospel with friends and family members and they fail to repent, it is a reproach on God. The gospel is in essence about an intimacy with our Father in heaven. The Christian shares a deep, personal relationship with God and with other Christians. Christians are often called "square" or abnormal in some way. In reality, it is the Christian who is normal. Jesus came that we might be redeemed. It is His plan and purpose for our lives.
The more we love truth, the more zeal we have to share our faith with others. When others refuse to repent, it is dangerous. When God is dishonored He feels pain: "The zeal of your house has eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen on me (Ps 69:9, AKJV)."
I'd like to Teach God's People to Sing (right click, open) Darrell Ferguson
What does the Bible say about church discipline / excommunication? In what circumstances does a church have the authority to disfellowship a person?
That could well be the motto of modern-day Christianity. For the sake of privacy, tolerance, and forgiveness, we allow fellow believers to wade into the most grievous, dangerous of sins, and never say a word. Adultery, gossip, stealing, hateful attitudes, lying—no sin seems worth offending a church member or costing a friendship.
But there is a problem. The goal of living in the Body of Christ is not to keep your friends and avoid confrontation. God wants His children to be intimately active in each others’ lives—especially where sin is involved. Refusing to help a sinning believer is the spiritual equivalent of a lifeguard refusing to save a drowning man.
In My Brother’s Keeper, John MacArthur explores one of the most neglected, yet transforming, responsibilities of an obedient congregation: church discipline. This careful study of Matthew 18 spells out the step-by-step process you and your church can use for rescuing a believer from sin’s deadly grip. You’ll also find a clear explanation of Christ’s own teaching on the subject of forgiveness. A vital study for establishing and maintaining church purity!
There are two extremes to avoid in assessing the spiritual status of others.
On the one hand, you must realize that we are not ultimately the judge of anyone's salvation, because you cannot see anyone's heart. Only God can do that (1 Samuel 16:7). And people express their love for God and faith in Christ in different ways.
But on the other hand, you must hold firmly to the truth of God's Word concerning salvation and not offer false assurance to people who may not be truly saved.
If you have a friend or loved one whose lifestyle seriously discredits his or her profession of faith, speak frankly to that person about your concerns. Certainly we have the Lord's own warrant for that in Matthew 18:15-20. If you carefully and lovingly follow the steps Jesus outlined in that passage, you will soon know whether to treat the person as a brother or sister in Christ, or as "a Gentile and a tax-gatherer" (v. 17).
Either way, your attitude toward the person is not to be judgmental, but loving and compassionate.
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Issues&Answers/585
Identify them by name and warn others of their error (2 Ti 2:17-18).
Mark and avoid them (Ro 16:17-18).
Be on your guard to avoid being carried away by their error (2 Pe 3:17).
Come out from among them (2 Cor 6:14-18).
Shun their babblings (2 Ti 2:16-17).
Turn away from them (2 Ti 3:5).
Reject them (Tit 3:10).
Do not receive them nor bid them God speed (2 Jn 10-11).
Expose their evil deeds (Eph 5:11).
Pray for them that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Ti 2:25).
Test the veracity of every mans' teaching using Scripture as your supreme authority (Acts 17:11).
Test the spirits because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 Jn 4:1).
If others teach error, we are to avoid them. Paul said: "withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us (2 Th 3:6, NKJV)." Jesus prayed to the Father, a prayer for those who had come to Him: "This is eternal life, that they may know You (Jn 17:3)." There is a oneness and unity which occurs for those who possess eternal life. It is not just getting along on the surface but believers are being made one, sharing eternal life. Believers are joined together supernaturally. When you become a Christian, you become one with Christ, baptized into the body of believers. Believers think the same way and render the same judgments (1 Co 5). They agree with one another (Andrews).
We are to depart from false teachers: "If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself (1 Ti 6:3-5, NKJV)."
Where there is violent disagreement and you just keep your mouth shut, there is no true unity. Truth ultimately unites or divides us. We are unified in truth not at the expense of truth. With others, outside the circle so to speak, we live in relative peace and harmony. We owe nothing but to love to one another. Men can't demand relationships. As God has a will, we have a will (Andrews/Enyart).
Love: does not injure another; It does no wrong; It is constructive; seeks to help of another; and is not willing to seek self (Ro 13:8). "All summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (Ro 13:9, NKJV).
If men did not want a relationship with Christ in this life, they will not be forced to have one in the next. Hell is filled with people who did not want a relationship with Christ and now live where they can do nothing about it. God gives men what they want.
God created us for relationship with Him. Our first parents decided that they wanted to do it their way (e.g. to live in sin and selfishness) not God's way. Sin occurs from one generation to the next. We have to answer to God for that.
Jesus came to offer life with God in person. He showed us what a love relationship was like, how it is possible. He gives us that gift now and forever. Jesus did what neither you nor I could do for ourselves. He comes alive in our lives to give us eternal life. He invites us to become our Savior and to cleanse us of sins. The greatest gift you can receive is forgiveness for all your sins.
Everyone of us will give an account for the lives we've lived. To be caught up in materiality, God calls that person a fool. Take your life and death seriously. In Jesus' parable of the rich fool, it is the fool who says to his soul: "'Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.' (Lk 12:19, NKJV)." No matter what self-imposed belief you have, you are either absent from the body present with the Lord or absent from the body and present in torment (1 Cor 5:3). It is a fool who knows truth, hears it and then does nothing with it. God calls that person a fool: "But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Lk 12;20-21, NKJV).” When God calls you a fool, it's all over. As Christians, we do not have to be afraid of death. Death happens in a moment. "Oh, that's just for those weak-minded Christians...;" "Oh, that's just for old folks..." No, others have gone before us, some younger than us.
If we are honest, we will admit that we are not in control. Each of us will die and we must be prepared for death at any moment. "Save me from the lion's mouth," the psalmist cried out (Ps 22:21, NASB). Only the Savior can do that. We can end well and enter paradise or end badly and God will call us a fool (Stanley). We ought to "lay up ...treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Mt 6:20, AKJV)."
Love and fear are closely related. Love decides already to loose (e.g. loosing life for Christ's sake is done willingly and voluntarily). Fear is the involuntarily loosing of something (e.g. being cast into hell). If you live a life without Christ, you may have many "things" but you will not have peace, contentment and joy. These things come from Christ and Christ alone. Joy is the proper response to a future glory.
How did Christians face the lion's mane? For Christ. Peace that surpasses all understanding comes from Him (Phil 4:7). He is the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6). The Bible teaches that perfect love casts out fear (1 Jn 4:8). If we love God we do not have to fear death.
Imagine that you we were told by God that a thief would come to you in the middle of the night and He commanded you to give him $50.00. When the thief came, you would be overjoyed. You would say, "God told me that you would come tonight and I am to give you $50.00! Praise Jesus." But if you did not expect the thief, you would be terrified (Geraci). In the same way, Christians are already prepared for eternity. They have all their ducks lined up, so to speak, so they can experience peace in the midst of a storm.
If we live without knowing the Lord, we live under a fear of loosing what we perceive belongs to us. Yet, our lives are not our own. Each of us will give an account to God (1 Pet 4:5).
John Wesley said that Christianity is first, a social religion. Because we live in a world hostile toward Jesus and the gospel of grace, it is to be expected that a divisions will occur. "The evangelical heart is thirsty for love in the Christian community (Andrews)."
When a Christian dies although sad, the believer is immediately taken to be with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8). This is the Christian hope. However, when a non-believer dies it is the ultimate tragedy and it is final, as they immediately begin their first day in hell.
The separation begins in this life and remains in the next (Mt 13:30). We may have family members who appear to be Christians, yet we will not see them again in eternity because their trust for the Lord was not genuine (Mt 13:30). We should share the gospel of grace as best we can, but sadly, we know that few will repent (Mt 7:14). Each of us will go to our respective, eternal families (Lk 16:26).
God's hand is not short that He cannot save (Isa 59:1), but the depth of depravity of the human is revealed when sinners reject what Christ has done for them on the cross (Jer 17:9). God has a tough love program that his saints on earth will agree with come judgment day. If you reject His love and offer of forgiveness and it will cost you in eternity. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isa 53:5)."
The continued and ongoing rejection of the wooing of the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin. Rejection of the Son of God cannot be overlooked. It will not be forgiven in eternity. Jesus said "every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven (Mt 12:31, ISV)."
The Bible says that we are to oppose evil not avoid it (Prov 28:4). "Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you (1 Pet 3:15, NASB)."
"Truth is not simply an academic concept. The way we think about truth has a direct bearing upon the way we live our lives (The Truth Project)." My truth? Your truth? My truth attacks your truth and Christian morality. Truth is not a consensus. We must identify our source of truth. Is it man's tradition or God's word? To the Christian, God's word, as Jim Andrews puts it "is the final word." Jesus said: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (Jn 8:31-32).” The entire word of God is truth (Jn 17:17) and is good for teaching (2 Tim 3:16).
Be a Berean and search the scriptures (Acts 17:10-11). The Bereans were considered more noble because they tested what Paul said. Test all things and cling to what is good (1 Thes 5:21-22). Be aware of what is false teaching and avoid it (Col 2:8, 2 Tim 2:16). Abhor evil (Rom 12:9). God invites us: "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool (Isa 1:18, NASB). (Isa. 1:18)." Believe in the original language means "to be convinced". "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16, NASB). If someone says that there is no objective truth, ask him "Is that true?" It is a self-refuting statement.
[Will Believe for Food by Darrell Ferguson] "The Seeker philosophy is to draw people to Christ by appealing to their felt needs. But felt needs are in competition with Christ. Jesus rebukes this crowd for coming to Him as a waiter rather than as bread. Those who come to Him must come to Him as bread, which is done through faith. Faith is believing the truth about Him and trusting Him to the point of entrusting your whole life to Him. And that involves coming to Him as your bread (that to which you look for satisfaction of your soul), which is also how you live the Christian life. John 6:21-35.
Will Believe for Food pt 15b (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Darrell Ferguson
1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about God by Prys MacGregor
Religion is man's attempt to reach God (e.g. works or being "good enough"). Scripture makes it clear that we can never be "good enough". We can never "work enough" to earn salvation (Rom 3:23). Do we value religion or a relationship with Jesus? God has always had one way of salvation-- looking forward to or back from the cross.
Should we pay lip service to scripture and go on even when tradition contradicts scripture? Is our church itself accountable to the word of god? Christians say that it is.
"You have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
When we say "I like my religion just fine," (the idolater or religious hypocrite), we fail to understand our own sin and what our church can do for us. Coming to Christ means coming to an end of ourselves and realizing the wretched man or woman that we are. Trust in church and religious tradition leads to death (Jud 11). Trust in Christ alone by faith alone leads to life (Eph 2:8).
A guilty conscience make one a coward (John 8:1–11). Cowards go to hell first (Re 21:7-8).
[An Excerpt: 1 Peter by Karen H. Jobes] "...Beare (1970:125)] "Christ is now seen as the key to all human destiny and the touchstone of all endeavors; faith in Him leads to honour, unbelief to disaster...'The builders' now is taken into mean all who attempt to build human society or their own lives." With this use of the stone passages, Peter eliminates all neutral ground. The rejection of Christ does not make him go away but in fact has ultimate consequences. One either trust in the Living Cornerstone or rejects him. As Goppelt (1993: 144, 146) has eloquently put it,
Christ is laid across the path of humanity on its course into the future. In the encounter with him each person is changed: one for salvation, and other for destruction...One cannot simply step over Jesus to go on about the daily routine and pass him by to build a future. Whoever encounters him is inescapably changed through the encounter: Either one sees and becomes "a living stone," or one stumbles as a blind person over Christ and comes to ruin, falling short, i.e., of one's Creator and Redeemer and thereby of one's destiny." 1 Pe 2:4-8Your religion might be right for you, but I am guided by (e.g. my heart or myself...or fill in the blank) ."
Human secularists put man's view above God's view. When we replace God with the god of "self", naturally our devotion, allegiance and worship is self-oriented not God-oriented (Enyart).
Humanists and moral relativists follow man's way but that is not God's way or God's plan (Jud 11). We will live our lives on our terms or on God's terms. It is very sad, but the realty is we do not all go to heaven. God will love us, but He will not accept us (Jn 3:18). Sadly Jesus said to the Pharisees, " I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come (Jn 8:21)."
We already know man's "chances" of making it to heaven without a right relationship with the Savior-- they are 0%. As Ronald L. Dart is fond of saying: "God does not intend to spend eternity with a looser. You were born to win." The winners are God, the Father's gift--a redeemed people-- to His Son, Jesus.
Consider Christ's parable of the marriage feast in Matthew 22. Those not clothes in Christ's righteousness are cast into hell. Attempting to make it into heaven in your own dirty clothing (unredeemed man) is foolishness. Those not clothed property are unfit for heaven. They are not dressed for the occasion, so to speak, pictured as a wedding in the parable. The king is a representation of God, the Father. The man "taking his chances" attempts to gain entrance into the wedding (a picture of heaven) but without the proper wedding attire (clothed in Christ's righteousness):
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mt 22:11-14).
Similarly, consider Jesus' parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. The wise virgins filled their lamps with oil (a picture of the Holy Spirit). Their lamps (religion) was useless without oil when needed. In the parable Christ (the bridegroom) comes to receive his bride (his church on earth):
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (Mt. 25:1-13).
Christ's parables show us that we must be made new. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. "Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one! (Job 14:4, NASB)." Our hearts are deceitful and wicked (Jer 17:9). To think otherwise makes God out to be a liar (1 Jn 1:10). It is impossible to defend yourself and defend God at the same time (McGee). "As it is written, "there is none righteous, not even one." (Rom 3:10). The verdict is in: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)." Christ alone is holy: "You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed (Rv 15:4)." The only righteousness we have is in Jesus Christ (if we are in Christ). We have no righteousness of our own.
If one says that he knows God and obeys Him but does not, he is a liar. We do not put the cart before the horse. First we hear the gospel (Rom 10:17), then we obey (a command) or not. Love is more behavior than affection. The Christian is one who has obeyed (1 Pet 1:22) and is obeying (2 Cor 4:16). Others are Christian in name only. As we would not care for someone honoring the wrong "us" (a false account of our being), God does not receive false honor (Mal 1:6). As a husband would become angered if his wife loved another man, God becomes angered when his bride (his church) loves another, which is idolatry. "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God (Ex. 20:5, KJB)."
Men are commanded: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Dt. 6:5)." If we fail to love God for even a moment with all our heart, soul and might, we fall short of His law (not to mention His other commandments). "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (Jn 2:10)." We see that the law was our schoolmaster, meant to deliver us from sin and hell. The law was meant to teach us that we fall short of God's standard of 100%, holy perfection. When Jesus gave His famous Sermon on the Mount, He gave us a glimpse of heaven's high standards. It was higher still than the law kept by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus said: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:20, NKJV)." The Pharisees were the best of the best at keeping the law. They were the super-pious, who also trusted in their "chances". There is no indication that any of them (Nichodemus included) became saved.
We fall short of God's perfect law (Ps 53:3). A charge will be brought upon us if we become angry with another person even if only for a moment (Mt 5:22). Another charge will be brought upon a person for thinking a lustful thought about a person who is not his/her spouse if only for a moment (Mt 5:27).
We would be wise to take Jesus' advice and settle out of court: "Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny (Mt 5:25-26, NKJV)."
You are deluded to think that you can walk down an evil path and end up with good results (Dart). There are two types of people in this world according to the Bible-- the righteous and the wicked. There is happy ending only for the former. And "there is no peace for the wicked," says the Lord." (Isa 48:22, NASB).
We are God's creation and really do have a responsibility before Him. "A potter has the right to do what he wants to with his clay, doesn't he?" (Rom 9:21, ISV). Each of us has an appointment to meet Jesus face to face whether we like it or not. "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment (Heb 9:27, NASB)."
Christ's atoning death was a propitiation (a satisfying substitute) for our sins. Our sins are on Christ or on us. There is a God who rights every wrong. There is a God who equalizes in all eternity (Geraci). Our sins are either on us or on our Savior (McGee). We live in an age of grace. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but othat all should come to repentance (2 Pe 3:9, NKJV)."
He'll be your Savior or He'll be your judge (J. Vernon McGee). Read 1 Thes 4:16. The sword of the sprit is a cut to heal you out of brokenness, or a sword to slay you (Rogers). If "your way" lines up with God's way and you trust in Him, He'll get you all the way to heaven. But if "your way" does not line up with God's way and you're going your "own way", you're on your own and will meet Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment (Re 20:11). "At the name of Jesus every knew will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Phil 2:10)." God extends an invitation of mercy and forgiveness to everyone. He will take particular offence to those who seek their own way, "taking their chances", refusing the Father's forgiveness found only in the blood of His Son, Jesus. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isa 53:5)." The farther that we get from the Lord, the harder it will be to hear Him when he speaks (Rom 1:28).
When you hear the gospel refuse to believe, God will send you a strong delusion. Read 1 Thessalonians. How do you get ready for heaven? Receive Jesus Christ as your Savior. Don't get left behind.
Positive thinking puts faith in faith not in Christ. The object of faith matters. Faith is no better than the object that faith is in. Little faith in truth is better than a lot of faith in what is false.
“…Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2, KJV).” Looking to Jesus meaning looking away from everything else (Adrian Rogers).
John, the apostle did not say that we “hope for the best” with regard to salvation. He said that we know we are saved when we are saved (1 Jn 5:13).
Your way isn't true; my way isn't true; another's way isn't true; Oprah's way isn't true. Jesus' way is true (Jn 14:6). Church never saved anyone. A pastor has never saved anyone. It is Jesus who saves.
Any church that tells you they are the only "way", that they alone hold the truth lies. Truth is what God says, not what you or I think about it. The truth will never set you free until you know it (Rogers). Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (Jn 14:6)." Jesus did not say "come to church". He said "come to me" (Mt 11:28).
The apostle John made clear who is from God and who is not. "This is how you can recognize God's Spirit: Every spirit who acknowledges that Jesus the Messiah has become human-and remains so-is from God (1 Jn 4:2, ISV)." Jesus does not come down from heaven to be re-sacrificed by modern day Pharisees again and again all over the world each day. Churches that teach that Jesus can be called down from heaven by man to be re-sacrificed on an alter celebrate death as Satan celebrated His death. They are an abomination to the Lord (1 Sam 2:29, Eze 18:12, Rev 17:4, Isa 1:13, Isa 41:24).
Biblical Christians celebrate life and Christ's resurrection. Jesus' death never saved anyone. His resurrection did. It enabled us, by the same power, to be raised to newness of life with Him. Jesus opened the gates of heaven for those who would put their trust in Him: "Every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming (1 Cor 15:23, AKJV).
Jesus is not a stone idol carried over from pagan Greek theology (Enyart: Battle Royale 10). He is a living Lord (Ps 46:1), moving and acting in the life of the believer. Jesus said "It is finished" on the cross (Jn 19:30). He does not remain on the cross (e.g. crucifix) in an on-off death state controlled and celebrated by man. He sits at the right hand of the Father (Jn 19:30).
Do not put a comma where God put a period. "It is finished" meant-- it is finished. It is not faith plus something (e.g. tradition) it is faith plus nothing (McGee). God, the Father, is calling out a people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24) honoring His Son, Jesus (1 Jn 5:12, Jn 5:23).; His way not their own way--"Thy will be done (Mt 6:10) not "My will be done."
Do churches point to themselves or to Christ? Jesus' own brothers left Him to go to a feast! (Jn 7:10). Imagine leaving Jesus side to go to attend a pious church festival. Cultural Christians do the same today. Men can play church or play religion, but God knows the heart (1 Sam 16:7). Biblical Christians go to the Lord in church or out of church (Acts 17:27).
Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life (Jn 14:6) not "a way , a truth and a life." The word "I" meant Him, Jesus. The words "I am" to the scribes and Pharisees clearly meant Jesus' claim to deity, which was why they sought to kill Him (Mk 14:62). "I" (Jesus) plus "I am" (God) equals "the way, the truth and the life" as revealed in scripture.
We hear the gospel of grace (Ro 10:17) and respond to it or not. It really is not that difficult. In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek--rich or poor, black or white, educated or not educated (Gal 3:28). We are in Christ or we are not.
Everyone has faith. When we drive down the road, we trust that the road continues on over the hill even through we cannot see it. We do not believe that we will be consumed by a giant dragon on the other side. When we return home after a long day, we trust that our house will be as it was when we left it, not some alternate reality world. As in life, we put our faith and trust in something. To the Christian it is Jesus. To others it may be in "life will continue on as usual" or "I've accumulated enough 'stuff' and security to keep me happy forever". Worldly wisdom is to believe what others have told us or we won't bother to think about it at all. Those who trust the world live in it. But those saved from the world trust in Christ and abide in His word. When you love God, you read His book (Jn 8:31).
Some churches believe that tradition is as important as scripture to know God. Biblical Christians reject this. In the three times that Jesus was tempted by Satan, He appealed to the word of God not tradition. Jesus took strong exception to tradition (Matthew Chapter 5). He said time and time again: "You have heard it said". He did not say "You have seen it written". "Said" reveals man's tradition, or the oral law. The written word is God's law. He wrote it (Jn 1:1). The scribes and Pharisees had nullified God's law by their traditions (Mt 15:6). The legalists do it still today. "Woe" to them (Mt 23:13). You do not want to be on Jesus' "woe" list.
Jesus' family said the same thing to Him (Mk 6:4). Christians are being remade in His image, so they may receive a similar reaction when they share His message (2 Cor 4:16).
To the unrepentant in His own family, Jesus said: "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil (Jn 7:7)."
To His flock He says: "A servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him (Jn 13:16, ISV)."
If the world loves you, it's not a good sign. "Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (Jam 4:4)." "If nobody knows that you are a Christian? You probably aren't (Geraci)."
Do not expect respect from family members (Mk 6:4). "Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment (Job 32:9, KJV)." They will say you are going through a phase, trying out Christianity. But once clothed in Christ (Gal 3:27), Christians do not want to put our dirty diapers back on. The unrepentant are clothed in fire (1 Cor 3:13) and don't know even it (Jn 12:40). Christians, ten years...twenty years...thirty years later, continue in their walk with the Lord. The outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 5:1-5). They will call you odd (1 Pet 2:11, Dt 14:2); They will call you a fool, but "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong (1 Cor 1:27, NASB)."
People mock God and His messengers. Yet, God is not mocked (Gal 6:7). God's word is living and powerful and each of us must give an account for our response to the word of God (Heb 4:12). God's word does not return to Him void (Isa 55:11). Some heap coals on their head as they attempt to mock God (Rom 12:20). Remind family and friends that they should not hate the messenger-- or the message. The gospel is "good news" to those who have ears to hear (Mk 4:23).
Jesus was the one man in history to be judged innocent and sentenced to death (Enyart). Today, many people today want to sentence Him to death again in their rebellion, prideful, egotistical living--not living under His lordship. They want Him and His message and His messengers to go away. But when they meet Jesus in eternity, they will see that they are not, in fact, God.
As a cockroach scurries from the presence of light, men scurry from God's holiness least their deeds be known. Anyone who shines light like the Savior will be persecuted (2 Cor 4:16).
Jesus said: "While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world (Jn 9:5, NASB)." We should continue to share Christ's light with others who do not even know where they are headed. "The light is among you only for a short time. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. The person who walks in the darkness is in the darkness and does not know where he is going."
Christians should continue to share the truth of God's word, even when they are despised for it. That is sacrificial love. The stakes are high.
Any one person's belief or opinion is irrelevant. We should not value our own belief or opinion. What matters is what God says. And what does God say about who He is? How we can be saved? How we are to live our lives? What is the best source of right and wrong? Truth and error? Good and bad? We should be open to hearing from our heavenly Father from His word. For the Christian, the best source for all that we need to live this life is the Bible. Believe Jesus (Jn 14:11).
"...There is much of Him [Christ] that millions and millions of 'little Christs', all different, will still be too few to express Him fully. He made them all. He invented--as an author invents characters in a novel--all the different men that you and I were intended to be. In that sense our real selves are all waiting for him (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity pg. 225)."
"The Bible is dangerous...to those who fear finding out that they are wrong. It's dangerous to those who exploit the weak and the innocent, who use force to keep others enslaved in poverty and ignorance, who don't want to give up their favorite sin, who believe that salvation can be found apart from Christ....No one wants to be told they are wrong." ~ Julie Ackerman Link
How do you know people are saved? The apostle Paul said they received the gospel message with joy (1 Thess 1:6). This is how we know we are speaking to a person who is saved.
Great, neither do I. What matters is what the Bible says. The Bible is the inerrant, inspired word of God, "which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jud 3)."
There may come a point when others will not speak with you about Jesus. Jesus said: "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces (Mt 7:6, NKJV)." Are you offending others? Read an excerpt of Nicer Than God by Bob Enyart.
“ Take two tablets and call me when you’re mourning (Ray Comfort).” Only the Holy Spirit can convince a person that they are a lawbreaker.
Be real. God wants us fashioned to be obedient children, not to be conformed to the former lusts in ignorance (1 Pe 1:14).
What other kind of Christian is there? (Stanley). If you are not born again, you are not a Christian (Isa. 53:6). The reason we Christians go on and on about being "born again" is because Jesus said: "Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (Jn 3:7, NKJV). You either have Christ or you don't. There is no middle ground or "sort of" saved. We either have the knowledge of truth or we do not.
"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Jn 1:12-13, NKJV)."
Jesus said: ""Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (Jn 12:24, NASB)." Until we put a death to the self, we cannot be born again. See: The Life of Jesus Volume 1: Jesus Tests and Builds Faith Pt 4a by Darrell Ferguson
Jesus was accused of having an illegitimate home life by the religious rulers (Jn 8:44). He came to live and die for us that we might be saved: “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who disobeys the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him (Jn 3:36, ISV).”
“I don’t need a crutch. I need an ambulance! (Mac Powell).” We cannot save ourselves. We need more than a crutch or an ambulance. We need a Savior. Focusing on Jesus is the best way to live (Phil 3:14). Those who have never relied on Jesus would be wise to trust him.
…[H]ope…is closely related to faith. Faith is confidence grounded in reality, not a wild, desperate “leap.” It is, as Hebrews 11:1 says, substance and evidence or proof, not—as contemporary translations usually have it—subjective psychological states such as “being sure of” or “having a conviction of.”
Rather, faith sees the reality of the unseen or invisible, and it includes a readiness to act as if the good anticipated in hope were already in hand because of the reality of God (compare 2 Corinthians 4:17-18). Jeremy Taylor drives the point home with these words: “He that believes dares trust God for the morrow, and is not more solicitous for the next year than he is for that which is past.” No one worries about what was going to happen last year.
Accordingly, Moses “left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king” (Hebrews 11:27). Egypt and its king were in the realm of “the seen.” Moses was able to disregard them and to stick with his goal because he saw the One who is invisible but none of the less real for that. “For he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (verse 27). That is “faith” as the Bible portrays it (Dallas Willard Renovation of the Heart, pg. 129).”
You're right because your God does not exist. This is vein assumption "nothing new under the sun." It is true that God loves us. But he also loves justice and righteousness and it committed to these principles. God makes this clear in his word. To exclude other revealed attributes of God is to create your own god (an idol). God did not spare the angels. He did not spare the ancient world in Noah's time. He did not spare the ungodly, nor his own people who reject him. Do you think he'll spare you? 2 Pe 2:4-10.
The natural sinner hates a holy God (Rom 10). He hates to be reminded of God's holiness. Man blasphemes the name of God (Rom 2:24). The name of the Lord is not a set of syllables, but rather the Lord as revealed in scripture (Isa 57:15; Lu 1:49). Real faith draws near to the real God, not the god of our imagination or popular view. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom 10:17)."
Men seek to reinvent God, usually lowering Him to their level of morality. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18, NASB)." Men deny the real God but that does not make Him any less real. God can't get along in heaven without you? He'll miss you , but He'll get along without you (McGee). He owes us nothing and we owe Him everything. Universalism (all people will go to heaven somehow or another) is not a biblical concept (see Ro 9:15).
Some people think they deserve to live with God just because they exist. The Bible says that none of us can stand in the Lord's presence because of our sin (Ezra 9:15). "Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning (La 3:22-23, NKJV)." We live in His universe. We breathe His air. He gave all that we might live with Him forever. Yet, some in their sins of stubbornness, self-will or indifference choose not to live with Him. They will not repent. If I don't want what Jesus wants, I don't want Him (Stanley). Love is self-sacrificing not self-centered.
God does not grade on a curve. Our works are as filthy rags to Him (Isa 64:6). Neither are we in an earthly beauty contest. Our loveliness will not get us to heaven. Man has heart trouble (McGee).
God loves broken vessels who seek forgiveness (Lev. 11:33), not those puffed up in pride (1 Cor, 5:12, Rom 9:13) doing it their way without a sense of responsibility toward Him. Sin finds us out (Gal. 6:7). Men may even have a zeal for God but not in accordance with scripture (Rom 10:2).
"Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8)." Hypocritical Christians name the name of Christ but do not do what He says nor do they know who He is. "Those who believe on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom 10:23)." Jesus asked: "Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?" (Lk 6:46, NKJV).
"Taking up your cross" is not a mere Christian cliché. Jesus said: "If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continually (Mk 8:34, ISV)." It is a moment by moment walk with the Lord. It is a death to self and life in Him, as pictured in baptism. We enter into His death, identifying with Jesus, as He was baptized to identify with us in His role as priest (Ps 110:4, Heb 5:8-10, 6:20). We die with Him in order to come up with Him.
We see signs that say "Jesus saves". From what? The destruction of the inner man. Salvation is regeneration of the inner man (something we cannot do alone) into Christ's likeness (Ep 4:24). The destruction (e.g. the the life marked by sin) has to stop. If we continue in sin there was no regeneration. Christ did not set us free to do what we please but to please Him.
The believer will walk the walk. The make-believer can only talk the talk (1 Jn 2:19). Peter gave us a model to follow. At Pentecost he said: "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, NASB)."
"If a person claims to be a Christian, is it reasonable to expect him to act like one? Make-believers do not read their Bible. They do not pray as told to in the Bible. They do not believe what is in the Bible. The do not obey what it says in the Bible (Geraci)."
We should be doers of the word, not just hearers of the word. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (Jms 1:22, KJV)." Imagine a woman accidentally smearing lipstick on her face before leaving for work. Or, a man accidentally leaving a bit of tissue on his face after shaving and then heading to work. Co-workers would laugh at them when they arrived. "If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." (Jms 1:23-25, NKJV).
Those who hear the gospel but do nothing with it remain in unbelief and go to hell. "He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day (Jn 12:48, NASB)." It is the word that you have not accepted which condemns you in the last day. You hear His words and reject, which is literally "to count them as nothing" in the original language. Everlasting life is not based on performance it is believing the word of God. The word is eternal life. It's believing Jesus Christ. "What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me (Jn 12:50, ISV)."
Do we wish to retain our position in life (e.g. wealth, position, comfort) or loose everything to follow Jesus? Loving life is idolatry. Hating life is eternal life. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Mt 16:25, NASB)." Are we willing to give Him anything and everything at every moment? "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mt 16:26, NASB).
Do we love our father, mother, wife, husband, brothers, sisters, or children more than Jesus? "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as his own life, he can't be my disciple." If we love anything or anyone more than Jesus, we are unfit for heaven. God must be our first love.
Do we make our decisions our own way or do we consult Jesus first? Have we put aside self-centeredness and put on Christ-centeredness? Do we follow Jesus' teaching?
So, you want to follow Jesus? Really? Take up your cross. "If anyone serves me, he must follow me. And where I am, there my servant will also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him (Jn 12:26)." What is taking up one's cross? Obedience. Obedience is the supreme test. Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22). Do we pray "Thy will be done" or "My will be done"?
Paul discovered that nothing much mattered in his life until he knew Jesus. Do we know him? (Phil 3:10). How about the power of His resurrection? Is it evident in our lives? Do we know about the fellowship of His suffering? Are we conformed to His death? Saving faith moves you (McGee). Prayer that ignores the word of God is not effective. Prayer in Jesus' name considers His will in our lives.
"My friend, if you have been saved, I want to see your works. If you don’t have works, you are not saved!...If you have been saved by faith you have a new motivation, a new life purpose, a new life-style. If your faith in Christ hasn’t changed you, you haven’t been saved. You are still the same old man producing the same old life. Paul dissipates any notion that being saved by faith means you can sit in a rocking chair and rock yourself all the way to heaven." (McGee, J. Vernon: Thru the Bible Commentary. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1981, S. 5:315).
Are we fruitful for Christ (Col 1:10)? Do we abide in Christ (2 Jn 1:9)? Do we have a love for other believers (1 Jn 3:14, 4:20)? Love for the brethren is evidence that we are in God's family. Do you have a heart to tell others about Jesus? (Mk 16:15). If so, chances are we are disciples of Jesus! (Geraci).
We were created in God's image to live eternally (Gen 1:27). Eternity will be in God's presence or apart from it. Jesus said: "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (Jn 5:28-29)." Hell is everlasting fire (Mt. 25:41); an unquenchable fire (Mt 3:12); shame and everlasting contempt (Dan 12:2); where the worm does not die (Mk 9:44); torment (Lk 16:23); wrath (2 Thes 1:9); a lake of fire and brimstone where they twill be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rv 20:10).
No one spoke about hell more than Jesus. The wicked will consciously suffer shame and contempt and are assaulted by an accusing conscience against an offended deity for all eternity (Dan 12:2). Men must understand 1--the consequence of sin; 2--the justice of God and 3--the nature of Hell in the Bible. (Geraci). There is a second death (Rv 20:14) for the wicked. The wicked will go into "everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (Mt 25:46)."
God is half mercy and half wrath. If you make part of the truth all of the truth that is an untruth (Rogers).” The Bible reveals that God is: living, personal, relational, good and loving (Enyart: Battle Royale 10). Christ is the truest revelation of the Father (Jn 14:9). God will not judge sin? God is too good not to judge sin. "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne" (Ps. 97:2).
Get to know God by sticking with Him to chapter two of His book. "In Genesis 2:17 God declared life to those who obey Him, and death to those who disobey. And God has generally revealed to man that He will have the victory over His enemies (Enyart)." We are enemies to God if we do not obey Him (Ps 6:8, Ps 119:115). Paul worked to "know Him" (Phil 3:10). Jesus said that He does not even know us, if we do not obey Him (Mt 7:23).
Satan has blinded men to think that they have no need to know God (2 Cor 4:4). He's been challenging, undermining and questioning God's word since the garden: "Did God really say that?". It still works today. God tells us that we are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Mt. 6:33).
God will judge us if we fail to respond to Him. He wrestles with the sinner's heart (Gen 32:22-32). We are without excuse (Rom 1:20). "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment (Heb 9:27)." Jesus is loving and merciful, yet the "gentle Jesus" spoke of hell more than any other person in the Bible to warn the unrepentant in rebellion against God (Jn 8:44). "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God (Jn 3:19-21, NKJV).” Imagine Judgment Day to hear: "But as for these enemies of mine who didn't want me to be their king-bring them here and slaughter them in my presence!'" Those are the words of Jesus.
A religious system will not get you into heaven (Col 2:8). Going to church will not get you into heaven (Am 5:21; Isa 1:14). Good works will not get you to heaven (Isa. 64:6). Only a right relationship with Jesus Christ (reconciliation) will save you from hell and damnation (1 Tim 2:5). We have a loving God who desires an intimate relationship with us. We were created in His image to worship Him (Eph 5:25). A right relationship includes turning from sin and turning toward Jesus, Paul told a Philipian jailor (Acts 16:31). Turning to Christ is the important thing. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9)."
God gives each of us a will (free by definition). We already know God's will. He is "not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Pt 3:9)." Yet, God gives us the ability to decide otherwise. Still, we can only choose what He has eternally decreed. We cannot say "I will be in heaven because that is where I want to be. God loves me. And if He does not love me the way I am, who wants Him anyway?"
The fornicator cannot say "I will shake up...and I plan to be in heaven. The sodomite cannot say "I will live as a homosexual... and I plan to be in heaven." The idolater cannot say "I will continue to pray to saints...and I plan to be in heaven." We cannot break our way into heaven.
God said: "'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.' So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy (Ro 9:15-16, NKJV)." We cannot impose our will on God. Everyone wants a place in heaven, yet they are not willing to do what He says nor believe what it takes to get there--that we are sinners in need of a Savior.
It is a big pill to take, but God actually does hate evil (Amos 5:15, Ps 97:10, Pv 8:13). For know love, one must know hate. God hated Esau because of this pride (Mal 1:3). Pride is believing that you can life a life without God. Imagine Jesus looking out at the crowd seeing and those spitting on Him and mocking Him on the cross. Would we imagine that He looked at them saying that they were all lovely creatures? Rather, He demonstrated His love by dying for them. "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8, NASB).
As we cannot close our eyes and stop the sun from shining, we cannot stop the coming day of judgment, nor the wicked from being punished. It is God's universe. He makes the rules. If you don't like it, get your own universe (McGee).
Many people call themselves "Christians". If we are to name the name of Christ, we'd do well to know the man from Galilee. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name (Mt 7:22, NASB)." The imagined "Jesus" of today never existed at all. There is no historical record for that Jesus (McGee). At death it would be tragic to hear: "'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.' (Mt. 7:23, NASB)."
God would not have to be "all that wrath" if we would judge ourselves (1 Cor 11:31)." When we are saved (saved from the bondage of sin) we can say like the Psalmist, "Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you Ps 119:11, AKJV). Right sets free. Wrong enslaves men.
The saved walk in liberty (Ps 119:45); obey God (Ps 119:5); and hate a false way because it ruins life (Ps 119:6). "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path (Ps 119:105)."
An excerpt Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: “…[T]his Law or Rule about Right and Wrong used to be called the Law of Nature. Nowadays, when we talk of the ‘laws of nature’ we usually mean things like gravitation, or heredity, or the laws of chemistry. But when the older thinkers called the Law of Right and Wrong ‘the Law of Nature’, they really meant the Law of Human Nature. The idea was that, just as all bodies are governed by the law of gravitation, and organisms by biological laws, so the creature called man also had this law—with this great difference, that a body could not choose whether it obeyed the law of gravitation or not, but a man could choose either to obey the Law of Human Nature or to disobey it.
We may put this another way. Each man is at every moment subjected to several different sets of law but there is only one of these which he is free to disobey. As a body, he is subjected to gravitation and cannot disobey it; if you leave him unsupported in mid-air, he has not more choice about falling than a stone has. As an organism, he is subjected to various biological laws which he cannot disobey and more than an animal can. That is, he cannot disobey those laws which he shares with other things; but that law which is peculiar to his human nature, that law he does not share with animals or vegetables or inorganic things, is the one he can disobey if he chooses.” Ro 7:12.
Jesus is Lord--checkmate. Unfortunately our society has become so biblically illiterate that it no longer recognizes historical, biblical Christianity. Biblical illiteracy is pervasive and profound. Men are guilty before God for their ignorance because their time has been spent in something else rather than in the word of God (Andrews).
Many trust more in their membership in a particular denomination than in the word of God. If you stay in a barrel with bad apples it will corrupt you (Andrews). If historical, biblical Christianity sounds like a cult to the hearer of the word of God, one might ask: What has been informing your worldview? "I will destroy my people because they are ignorant (Hos 4:6, GWT)."
"If it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve (Jos 24:15)." It takes courage to stand up for God. Serving God is not cultural Christianity. It is a serious, individual standing before Him. We get caught up in serving the gods of this world (e.g. god of plenty, or power, or prestige, or pleasure). What we galvanize our lives around, we serve. Do we aim to please ourselves? Or God? No one can have two gods (Mt 6:24).
There is no "version" of Christianity. Our faith is in Jesus or it is not (Mt 12:30). God's revealed word is truth or it is not. As biblical Christians, we either have the grace of God or we do not. Without God's grace, our "version" of Christianity would be a sham, no better than any other cult. Are we growing in the fruits of the spirit? The fruits of the spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Ga 5:22-23, NASB).
Satan's attacks occurs in the mind. Our minds are the battleground: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12, NASB)." God asks us to come and reason with Him (Isa 1:18) in His word. If we are not in His word (Jn 8:31), we will believe what ever lie Satan tells us (Pv 30:8). We become easy pray. Our enemy, "the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8)." We cannot defeat him but by the word of God (Eph 6:7). The devil and his angels work against God and His plan but they will not succeed. Those found in Christ will make it all the way home to heaven.
Are we allured by the pageantry found in stained glass churches or in the word of God? Will we put our trust in men or in Jesus? "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5)." Do we practice Churchianity or Christianity?
If you do not serve the creator God, you serve the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Jesus said: "He who is not with Me is against Me (Mt 12:30)." Some don't stand for God. They don't stand against God. They just decide not to decide. Each must chose for him or herself to put God first (David Jeremiah). God said: "They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols (Dt 32:21)." Putting anything or anyone before God is idolatry (1 Cor 10:14, Col 3:5, 1 Cor 10:14).
Christian love does not look the other way and say "I will not judge". God has judged. We should judge rightly (Pr 31:9). We cannot love what God does not love. We must discern what God loves and hates. Christian love seeks the well-being of another. Society defines hate as intolerance and they oppose others who reject their values. But biblical love is not conforming to the public morass. Neither is Christian love do-gooding necessarily. Paul said "Let love be without hypocrisy" (Rom 12:9). When we love what God loves we line up with the angels of heaven to praise Him (Ps 148:2, Andrews). If we disagree with God, we are wrong and sinful in our thoughts, not God. God's judgment is right (Gen 18:25). We are commanded to judge rightly (Pv 31:9). Tolerance does not imply that we condone sinful behavior.
Liberals tell us "do not judge" but judge us in the statement itself. When you condemn the wicked, then liberals will judge. The saints of God will judge the world: "Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? (1 Cor 6:3)."
When Christians judge sexual immorality, for example (e.g. fornication or homosexuality), they simply echo or mirror what God condemns. Shaking up is wrong. Homosexuality is wrong. Some say "That's just your opinion." No. That is God's opinion.
First Corinthians was written by the apostle Paul to those saved in the body of Christ in Corinth, called "saints" (1 Cor 1:2). When we become saved, God promises to free us from idolatry (e.g. prayers to saints) and give us a new heart: "And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things [idols (Eze 37:23)] and all its abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh (Eze 11:18-19, NKJV)."
Prayer for the true Christian will not be saint-centered but Christ-centered. Paul told the saints in Corinth, they had been deceived: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led (1 Co 12:1-2, NKJV). Churches today continue to deceive members into believing that prayer to dead saints will be heard. When we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit (the third member of the trinity who knows the truth (1 Co 2:12; 1 Jn 2:20, 27; Ps 119:18). Will we make theological mistakes? Yes, because we are still fallen beings. Prayer is not necessarily answered by God even though we may sincerely seek Him. God gives gifts to His children according to His will not ours. Sometimes the answer to prayer is "no" (Stanley, Enyart).
Saints are justified in Christ, declared right by faith in Jesus Christ-- a subtraction of sin and an addition of Christ (Ga 2:17). Biblically, saints are positionally separated from the world to righteousness although that does not mean that they will be all that we wish (Andrews).
Christians are called hateful because they condemn, for example, co-habitation (fornicators) and homosexuality (sodomites). In the 1189 chapters of the Bible, the words "tolerant" and "compromise" do not appear. The Bible is a very black and white book. The Bible says that you can love like a hypocrite (Mt 7: 1-5, Mt 6:1-6, Mt 15: 1-9). Imagine meeting Jesus face to face, and He tells you that you loved like a hypocrite.
Today, love is an emotion. Biblical love is doing what is best for a person. The Bible says hate evil , "abhor evil". Don't let your love be hypocritical (Rom 12:9).
Say, we start a group of support for child abusers and advocate child molester's rights. Would Jesus appreciate our efforts? God says we are to love these people not love like hypocrites (Jn 13:34, Enyart). If you do not love another you keep silent. The Bible calls this apathy.
Christians care enough to warn others who will not go to heaven because of their sin. Forgiveness, justification and continuing sanctification (e.g. being cleaned up because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in you) is a great thing. Christians want others to know that joy.
[Clearing the Temple by Darrell Ferguson. Edited notes.] To be intolerant toward evil is a virtue. We need more intolerance (Re 2:22, Isa 5:20, Pr 17:15, Pr 24:24, Jer 48:10). Anger and love are not mutually exclusive. The more love there is the more anger there will be. Anger comes from love. Where you have no love there is no anger. If you are indifferent, you don’t get angry. The greater the love the more fierce the anger when love is violated. Life of Jesus Volume 1: Jesus Tests and Builds Faith Pt 3a (right click, 'save target as' to download) by Darrell Ferguson
Christians warn fornicators, sodomites, child molester's, etc. that they are going to hell if they do not repent (Pv 31:9). This is the most loving thing that we can do. We tell them the truth in love. If you speak the truth to others they get made at you. That's why they killed Jesus. He made People angry. Jesus said they hated me therefore they will hate you (Jn 13;6).
Who hates you because of Jesus Christ? If the answer is no one, then you are not a Christian. If you were a Christian, Jesus promised that they would hate you.
Christians are taught by scripture to open their mouths (Pv 31:9). Flattery does not help a man think of himself accurately. "A flattering mouth works ruin (Pv 26:28, NASB)." The Bible teaches that we are to make an honest appraisal of ourselves. "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Cor 13:5, NASB).
The Bible does not teach the "self-esteem" philosophy that the culture teaches. A man is "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly (Ro 12:3, NKJV)." Christians are taught by scripture to open their mouths not shut them.
If a person believes that the gospel of Jesus Christ holds the keys to eternal life then it is apathetic not to share that truth with another.
Compromising Christians do more damage than good. We should not compliment false teaching “churches”.
“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord (Pr 17:15, NKJV).”
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil (Isa 5:20)."
"Brotherhood" is not a biblical word. Jesus said "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I came to aset a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household (Mt 10:34-26, NASB)."
If people sleep together outside of marriage, Jesus condemns them. He lets them know that their lifestyle will destroy them and send them to hell. God loves what is good and right and leads to life. The devil loves what is evil and wrong and leads to death.
Jesus said "If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him (Lk 17:3)."
"In 6000 years of recorded history in religious wars about 3 million people died and that's regrettable. Hitler and Stalin, who rejected God, alone are responsible for the deaths of 57 million people.
We are talking about all religious wars: Muslims, Hindus and oriental religions. If you talk about religious wars that involve "Christians", it's about 1.8 million. If you are talking about those who are Bible-believing, what we call Evangelical Christians, it is less than 1/4 million. Those who reject God--57 million and the number is growing. Edited Notes based on Adrian Rogers Sermon: Can An Intellectual Believe in God?
Excerpt from "Meagan's Call" BEL:
"Jesus said that most people are going to hell (Mt 7:14). Jesus died for a good reason. [He] did not die because he had nothing else to do that day He died because the world was going to hell. Most people mock Jesus--His life, His death and His resurrection.
The religious leaders told Jesus that they were children of God. But Jesus told them: ["You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out the desires of your father (Jn 8:44, ISV).]
God loves life and holiness. The devil loves disease and debauchery. Our culture loves death [e.g. abortion] and disease...The media loves fornication and homosexuality, which is sodomy.
Men shake up with women, using them [then] discarding them. A guy in college throws three hundred bucks at them and says go get an abortion-- get cleaned out so some other guy can use you. People destroy themselves. God wants us to show love and how to get out of the terrible mess that we are in." Enyart.
Using your body in a way that God did not intend, is like hitching a plow to the back of a Cadillac. You'll destroy your car. Disobey God and you'll destroy not only your physical body , but your heart, mind and soul as well (Pv 5:11). God is not a cosmic killjoy just wanting to take away your fun. Every kick has its kick back. The playboy's payday is death. Payday-- someday. Our lives belong to God. They are not our own. Dishonoring ourselves is dishonoring God as we are made in His image (Rogers).
We are eternal beings made for more than gaining merely grabbing our cookies in this life. When we do what we would like with our bodies, we claim authority for ourselves. God has better plans for those who would heed His warning Him. "I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope (Jer 29:11, GWT)." But if we thwart His plan and usurp His authority we are headed for disaster in this life and in eternity.
As our heavenly parents warn us to look both ways before crossing the street, our heavenly Father warns us about things which will lead to death, disease and destruction such as fornication and homosexuality. God made us. He really does know what is best for us and wants the best for us. God gives us guidance for our good and for our survival (Deut 6:24). But as children rebel against earthly parents, God's creation rebels against Him.
In our culture a women will agree to murder her own child-- the most tender, precious and sacred relationship--the bond between mother and child (MacArthur). People are willing to go to hell for the right to defend the killing a child! And they think that defending the slaughter of children makes them a good person! (Enyart).
Do you know anyone who has this mindset? They are not Christians. Satan seeks death, disease and destruction-- not Christ, not His followers. Ideas have consequences. If we fail in this life, a time of brief schooling to choose who to spent eternity with, and remain unconvinced to embrace God's ideas and God's actions, it will lead to death. People can be committed to a worldview all the way to hell because they reject God.
It is an indication that we live in the end times. "You will be thrown you out of the synagogues. Yes, a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he is serving God (Jn 6:2, ISV);" "The love of many people will grow cold (Mt 24:12, ISV)." The lack of natural love for others is a red flag.
Anyone who would say: "Well, I would not have an abortion, but it's ok for you;" May as well say "Well, I would not beat my child but it's ok for you." It is a symptom of a hardened, wicked, and unregenerate heart. Anyone who maintains a pro-abortion (pro-death of the innocent) stand, clearly has a heart problem.
A homosexual might say that he practices sexual perversion because God made him that way. A pedophile could say the same thing. He practices sexual perversion because God also made him that way. Once you choose to sin, that is the conception of a child, the Bible teaches, called sin. " When lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (Jms. 1:15, NASB)."
You are free to choose to sin but you are not free to choose the consequences. After your choice, your choice chooses you. First there is a courtship, then consent, then conception: "When lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin." You can't see sin when it is just a baby. Then, it seems so good, so natural and so right. When sin is full grown, then you can see it. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Exe 18:20, KJV)." "The wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23, KJV)."
First sin fascinates, then it assassinates. First it thrills, then it kills. When sin is full-grown, it brings forth death (Jms 1:15, ASV). The child is sin. The grandchild of sin is death. First there is lust, then sin, then death. You will not beat the game. You will always be a loser. "Be sure your sin will find you out (Nu 32:23, NASB)." (Rogers).
There does come a time when God will give up on you. God says, that's what you want, I'll let you have it. I will let your sin have you (Ro 1:28). God says that His spirit will not always strive with man's (Gen 6:3). There can be enough rebellion, retribution and even regret when men should have repented.
There is a difference between mere regret and true repentance. Repentance always causes a change in direction. One walks this way, is stopped in his tracks, and then turns and walks the other way. It is not just crying over the fact that you are in a mess. Repentance takes a new direction. It results in a change of attitude toward God and sin. It affects behavior. Repentance is agreeing with God about your sin. It admits to God that you have violated His holy standard (Hocking).
People usually only confess to what they know that others already know. God knows all (Mk 4:22). Don't play games with Him. You may as well admit your sin to Him because He is aware of it anyway. He still offers His love. We are all by nature children of wrath (Eph 2:3) but God is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4). He has enough mercy for all of us. Although our sin may be great, His mercy is greater. No sin is so big that the blood of Christ cannot cover it completely and forever.
Jesus prayed for His own not Satan's in the world. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth (Jn 17:17)." People may pray to the Lord, but He will not hear them if they are not His own children. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (Isa 59:2, KJV)."
Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me (Jn 10:27)." If we are His sheep, we hear His voice. If we are lovers of truth (Jesus is truth incarnate, Jn 14:6), then we will welcome the "good news" of the gospel. Hating the knowledge found in God's word has consequences. "Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Pv 16:18, AKJV)."
Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord (Pr 1:24-29,NKJV)
The teaching of the truth is not new. There have been many men who came before us who taught God as He really is (Enyart). Throughout history God has reserved a body of believers who trust in Him (Micah 5:8).
If child of God lives in sin and rebellion in disobedience of God's word, he can be sure that chastening will come. The Lord chastens those He loves (Heb 12:6). If you are left alone and not chastened, you are a bastard not a son (Rogers).
"There is...an inner affinity between the law and the soul. That is why rebellion against the law makes the soul sick and distances it from God. That is why love of the law restores the soul. Law is good for the soul, is an indispensable instrument of instruction and a standard of judgment of good and evil. Walking in the law with God restores the soul because the law expresses the order of God's kingdom and of God's own character. That is why it converts and restores the soul (pg. 215, Willard)."
Then I would not respect Christianity which says that all other religions are false. Liberals tell us that we should respect all religions. "Do they respect fundamental Christianity? Do they respect pat Robertson? Jerry Falwell? James Dobson?" (Enyart).
In our culture, all religions are acceptable as long as they accept all other religions. Christianity fails the culture test because it rejects all other religions (Jn 14:6).
"[S]ome unbelievers who reject the message of the cross put confidence in a cosmic "scale": They trust that the Lord will weigh their good deeds against the bad and be satisfied.
However, if this scale philosophy were true, Jesus’ death would be senseless. A Father who accepted multiple paths to salvation but still sacrificed His Son couldn’t be called good or loving. Many people over look this obvious reasoning and cling to the vision of a God who ignores personal sin.” (The Heart of Our Faith. Gal 2:15-16. The Bible in One Year, In Touch Ministries.)
God wants us to know Him through His word. He does not leave us empty handed, though our hands must be emptied (not filled with works) to be saved. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He gives us a "down payment", so to speak, in the Holy Spirit.
We can know the mind of God through His word, if we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. "No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God (1 Co 2:11-12). The Holy Spirit teaches us what we otherwise would have no way of knowing (1 Co 2:13). "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 Jn 5:13)." We do not have on again, off again salvation, dependant on works. If we put our trust in others to interpret for us, we can never know if we are being deceived. Trust in religious leaders is not trust in Jesus (1 Tim 2:5).
In our natural state, before receiving Jesus, we cannot know the Lord. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Co 2:14, NKJV)." Jesus said: "If anyone wills to do His [the Father's] will, he shall know concerning the doctrine (Jn 7:17, NKJV)."
If one is a Christian, abiding in the word, then he or she will understand God's word. "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true...you will abide in Him (1 Jn 2:27)." First, become a Christian, then abide in His word (Mt 6:33).
The enemy retains strongholds on our worldview using tactics of mind control such as: compulsiveness, obsessive behaviors, fixations, fears, bitterness, lust, criticism, distrust, etc. Our weapons are not carnal (e.g. positive thinking). "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Co 10:4-5, NKJV)." We are in a war every day whether we know it or not. Paul said: "Of course, we are living in the world, but we do not wage war in a world-like way."
Our first weapon is the word of God and confidence in the scriptures. Satan must be de-throned. Christ must be enthroned. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ will fill our hearts with a peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7).
When a man becomes saved, he will gain the Spirit of Truth: "Yet when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own accord, but will speak whatever he hears and will declare to you the things that are to come (Jn 16:13, ISV)." God will speak to your heart when you put your trust in Him.
Is the word of God our authority or must we filter our Christianity through men? If man is the filter, we will never come to the truth. The Holy Spirit must be our teacher.
It is always a great time to quote the apostle Paul, who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Two thirds of the New Testament was written by Paul. He proved his apostleship when others attacked him (Gal 1-17). Paul was accepted in Jerusalem by the other apostles (Gal 1:18-24). The gospel was given to him by Jesus Christ himself (Gal 1:12). Paul corrected early heresy in the church-- there is one gospel--his gospel of grace (Ro 2:16). Paul went to heaven (2 Cor 12:4). How many of us can say that we have been to heaven?
Paul said: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph 2:8-9, NASB)." Grace is God's unmerited favor toward fallen man. God's gift is just that--a gift. Once you takes credit for it, it is no longer a gift. "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Tit 3:5, NASB)."
The Pharisees were offended and angered by Paul's teachings because he taught 1- that we are saved by grace; 2- that Christ is Lord and 3- that the Gentiles would be accepted. It continues to anger the super-pious that "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom 10:13). God is not a respecter of persons. "Whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him in any nation (Acts 10:34)."
Fallen man suffers a sense of rejection since the garden (e.g. Adam and Eve were rejected). If we look for a worldly fill to the solution, we become puffed up in pride. But if we look to Christ and are found in Him, we can have a sense of worthiness grounded on God's word. Jesus was accepted by the Father--"This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased (Mt 17:5, NASB)." If we are in Him (e.g. indwelled with the Holy Spirit), then we are accepted in the beloved. "So that we would praise his glorious grace that he gave us in the Beloved One." God accepts us for Christ's sake. Holiness is not a way to Christ. Christ is a way to holiness (Rogers). Then we attain a positive self-image that only God can give.
Paul greeted believers in the body of Christ: "Grace to you and peace ...our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ...He made us accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:2-6, NKJV)." Self-esteem is esteeming self. We are meant to esteem God (Rogers). We are spiritually found dead in Adam, but we can have life in Christ.
Believers are under grace not law. The unregenerate man remains under law. If one insists on remaining under law, he will be judged by the law (Ro 2:12, Jms 2:10). Law is not faith (Gal 3:12). Salvation cannot come from keeping the law. The law only condemns us and slays us (Ga 2:19). If you want to come that route, you'll only get death (McGee). Salvation comes by faith (Gal 3:18).
The freedom that believers have today did not come cheap. "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Ga 5:1, NASB)." Jesus intended to set us free, to give us liberty from the bondage of sin. The greatest freedom of all is to live a righteous life in the power of the Holy Spirit, to live in the grace of God. You are never free until you are indwelled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Righteousness is by works or by the grace of God not both.
Galatians is The Declaration of Independence for the believer. Paul makes the true gospel clear in his epistle to the Galatians in case there remains any confusion. Believers are no longer slaves to the law even if churches today try to return them into bondage as the Judaizers tried to do Paul's time. When they did not know God, Paul explained, they lived under the law. Why would they return to bondage, Paul asked. He confronted the lie that the Galatians were starting to believe: " I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel (Ga 1:6, NASB)."
The Galatians whom Paul preached to were saved--they had believed the true gospel of grace but had stared to return to bondage. Many sitting in churches today are not saved, never having heard the true gospel but rather one of works. They are being taught the same lie today. Works for the believer certainly matter, but after salvation. People believe a false gospel which does not save. Those who preach a different gospel of works are accursed (Gal 1:9). To change the gospel has the effect of making it of no effect at all.
These churches give people a false assurance that they are going to heaven. Paul rebuked the Galatians then: "You foolish Galatians! Who put you under a spell? Was not Jesus the Messiah clearly portrayed before your very eyes as having been crucified?" (Gal 3:1, ISV). We could say the same to members of work-based churches today. We are justified by faith not works (Ga 2:16). When church members want to do something this is an appeal to the flesh.
Ask friends and family members if they are saved. If they say "I think so." or "I hope so." or I'm doing my best;" They do not understand the grace of God. They have not nailed down faith in Jesus Christ alone and may still be "working" their way to heaven. When we are justified we are declared positionally "not guilty" before God once and for all.
Of course our trust in Christ must be genuine and only God knows our heart (1 Sam 16:7). Everyone wants to be declared "not guilty" before God. Saul sought forgiveness but did not repent. David sought God's forgiveness and did repent.
You cannot say "I'm saved. I'm working on it." It doesn't work that way. You can't have it both ways. Grace and works are mutually exclusive. "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace (Ro 11:6, NASB)." When the believer got saved, he did not reach up to heaven grabbing hold of God. God grabbed hold of him. We were saved because we responded. It all came from Him: the will, the faith, the desire--all by His grace not our own effort. Without Christ we can do nothing (Jn 15:5). It is all in Him and nothing is in us. It is His grace not our works. His gift is our freedom.
All religions of the world are work-based in nature. Christianity is not so much a religion as it is a relationship with the Creator God who is passionate about a relationship with us. Ask a Christian who is passionate for the Lord, what Jesus has done for them in their life. Christians never tire of speaking of God's grace. God has chosen a people for His inheritance; and those who truly seek Him will be saved by His grace (Mt 11:28, Ps. 33:12). There should be a passionate spirit for the Lord in us if we are Christians (Gal 3;1, ISV)."
In the book of Revelation, Jesus recognizes the other churches works, but He has no words of praise for them. Even their "works" are not good works; they are evil works (Rev. 3:15-16, McGee Commentary). If we rely on works, we will be cast out. The Lord Jesus said: "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth (Rev 3:15)."
People replace the gospel of grace with a gospel of: sacramentism (dispensing sacraments to feel good), or rationalism, or psychology or political strategy. When they get baptized they are only buying fire insurance. They are not interested in Jesus' lordship of their lives. True baptism is being indwelled with the Holy Spirit not infant baptism. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you (Jn 15:3, NASB)." When you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit you are sealed into the kingdom of God forever (Eph 4:30). It stems from a decision to enthrone Jesus as our Lord-- sanctifying (setting Him) in His rightful place as Lord in our hearts (Rogers).
A healthy Bible-believing church will resemble Christ, welcoming sinners. They will not make people subscribe to a program that only they can offer to worship the living God. Believers know that they too are sinners saved by the grace of God. The body of Christ joins in fellowship to worship Jesus in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). They recognize our Lord's sacrifice praise Him for it. They give God the glory. They point to Jesus, not pious religious leaders. They are not glory-stealers. The thief on the cross was promised paradise without following a program or carrying a church membership card (Lk 23:43). "We need a mediator, we need a priest, and we have one, the Great High Priest, Jesus (McGee, Job 9:33)." We approach God as the sinners that we are. There are none righteous (Rom 3:10).
We do not choose God. He chooses us (Jn 15:16). "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Gal 6:7, NASB)." Like the Roman general Maximus in the movie Gladiator, who said to Commodus: "The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end," the days of great apostasy will end (Rev. 19:2; 22:20).
Religion is easy but relationship requires a commitment. When we are saved, we are able to pray as His children "Abba (Father)" (Gal 4:6). Is church-going a burden or a joy? Do we know God personally? It is one thing to say that Jesus is the Savior of the world. It is another to say "He is my Savior."
God gave a set of commandments, demonstrating that there is an ultimate right and an ultimate wrong. The idea that we are saved by keeping the law is called legalism. Legalists try to put a yolk of bondage on us that others before us could not bear, returning us to the law (Ac 15:10). Paul called this teaching perverse. "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? (Ga 3:3, NKJV)." It is transgression to return to the law: "For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor (Ga 2:18, NKJV)." Justification is by faith, not in flesh but in spirit (Ro 8:9). If you are not in the Spirit, you are not one of His.
Peter was rebuked by Paul and in the end agreed with Paul. Yet, some churches retain Peter's error and teach it-- perverting the gospel of grace likely due to their own greed. If Peter were alive today he would rebuke them "to their face" as Paul once had to do to Peter (Ga 2:11). Churches have become profitable, enslaving members, at the expense of souls. Peter said: "We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they (Ac 15:11, NJKV).”
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Ga 2:21, KJV)." Legalists are enemies of the cross of Christ. You will not hear them preach Galatians in their "churches".
There is one gospel and it is one of grace not works (Gal 1:6-10). Paul and James do not contradict one another. You are putting the cart before the horse. Actually, you are putting the horse in the cart by saying that works must come before salvation (McGee). This is false. We are not saved because of works but works are an evidence of our faith. John Calvin put it like this: "Faith alone saves but the faith that saves is not alone."
The cults and 'isms have a gospel but it is not one of salvation. Our gospel of salvation is clear: "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Eph 1:13, KJV)." After we are saved and sealed into the kingdom, works will be evident. Our experience of suffering will corroborate salvation (Ga 3:4) unless we never were really were saved and our faith was not real.
We are saved by grace, through faith (Eph 2:8-9), unto good works (Eph 2:10). Works will not save us. James gave us three illustrations (Jm 2:14-26). He said that what happened in Genesis 15 became evident in Genesis 22 (Jm 2:17-24). Then, he moved from saint to streetwalker in Rahab (Jm 2:25). Rahab, the harlot laid her life on the line and took a risk. Finally, he gave the illustration of a body without a spirit. As the body without a spirit is dead, faith without works dead (Adrian Rogers).
See: Works vs Faith
Just because you say "bless you " when people sneeze, it doesn't make you a Christian. The sign of genuine faith is obedience not an experience. If a person claims to have had a spiritual moment but does not "continue in all things," he is cursed (Ga 3:10).
So, you were saved when you were young (or your church sprinkled some water on your head) and you really have not thought about it since then. Then you have suffered for Jesus (Ga 3:4)? You have been hated because of Jesus (Mk 13:13)? You have turned from sin, an about face. (2 Cor 5:17)? Your works are evident to other Christians (Eph 1:13)? You died to your self-will and identified with Christ in obedience (Ac 2:38)? You know Him and continue in His word (Jn 8:31)?
If those things are not true then you had better rethink that moment with Jesus. "For it is written: Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things...(Ga 3:10, KJV)." You may have started out strong for the Lord but if that zeal diminished in any way, your conversion was not genuine. Our walk with the Lord should show an ongoing sanctification.
If you drove the speed limit all your life, not one mile per hour over the limit, you may expect a reward after 20 years. But if in your 21st year you slipped up and drove just over the limit once, you would be a lawbreaker. You would deserve punishment no matter how good you had been before (McGee).
God's law is the same. Slip up in one area and you are guilty of it all (Jm 2:10). Breaking mans' law is one thing, but but offending a holy God is quite another. Man needs a mediator between himself and God. Jesus became our mediator. If there were another way, He would have done it (Mt 26:39). All men lie (Ps 116:11). All men break are lawbreakers.
If we know God, we obey God. Anyone who says I know God but does not obey Him deceives himself. Read 1 John 1-5.
The prodigal son was saved. He lived in the pigpen for time but washed up and came home to the father. A child of God will not stay in the pigpen. He is a child in the likeness of the father. If anyone can stay in the pigpen (e.g. a life marked by sin and rebellion toward God and disobedience to His word) He only lies to himself. He is not a child of the living God.
We are commanded to repent. We should be baptized as an identification of our new life in Christ (Ac 2:38). Babies no not have spiritual maturity to make a decision for Christ.
According to scripture we should repent and be baptized. The thief on the cross never had the opportunity to be baptized though He was saved (Lk 23:43). True baptism is the indwelling of the Holy (Ac 2:38) not infant baptism. Just as God gave circumcision for the Jew, a symbol of faith, God gave baptism for the Christian.
A Christ follower follows Christ. Not a church, not a program, but Christ alone. Can you not be baptized and be a Christian? Yes. Can you not be baptized and be an obedient Christian? No. Baptism is the Christian’s first act of obedience.
Baptism is an outward declaration of an inward transformation (Dave Love, Calvary Chapel). Read Romans 10.
"Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Ga 3:6, KJV)." God has always saved men by faith not works, though some churches try to pervert this teaching. Those "of faith" like Abraham are saved (Ga 3:7). Paul and James agreed on salvation by faith not works of law (James 2:20-26).
People do not like to address sin and our need for repentance.
[An excerpt Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis] "The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on brining us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see; like bringing a horse back and back to the fence it has refused to jump or brining a child back and back to the bit in its lesson that it wants to shirk (pg 82, Lewis)."
God is interested in changing people (Mt 9:17). Being a Christian is not following a set of rules (as work-based faiths teach). It is following Christ. Plans and programs are easy:
"...If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all. But, fortunately, it works the other way round. Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself...(pg. 78, Lewis)."
"...There is one...point about...virtues that ought to be noticed. There is a difference between doing some particular just or temperate action and being a just or temperate man...This distinction is important for the following reason. If we thought only of the particular actions we might encourage three wrong ideas.
(1)We might think, that provided you did the right thing, it did not matter how or why you did it...
(2) We might think that God wanted simply obedience to a set of rules: whereas He really wants people of a particular sort.
(3) We might think that 'virtues' were necessary only for this present life--that in the other world we could stop being just because there is nothing to quarrel about and stop being brave because there is not danger. Now it is quite true that there will probably be no occasion for just or courageous acts in the next world, but there will be every occasion for being the sort of people that we can become only as a result of doing such acts here. The point is not that God will refuse you admission to His eternal world if you have not got certain qualities of character: the point is that if people have not got least the beginnings of those qualities inside them, then no possible external conditions could make a 'Heaven' for them--that is, could make them happy with the deep, strong, unshakable kind of happiness God intends for us (pg. 79-80, Lewis."
Christianity is not a "system", it is freedom in the person of Christ. The Spirit gives the believer liberty to do the will of God. Christians want to do the will of Jesus. It is a bond of love, not found in the cults and the 'isms (e.g. legalist churches) which are dead (McGee). Many claim Christ and do not know Him. We were told there would be many false christs (Mk 3:22, Mt 24;24). Christians are called to a higher standard-- to love one another as Christ loved us (Jn 13:34). Christ's love is a sacrificial love, willing to die for another.
God cares what we believe (Ac 16:31), then He empowers us to act right (Mt 6:33). When we are in Christ (Ga 2:16) we have all that we need to live the Christian life. The Holy Spirit will take things of Christ and make them real to us. He'll give us everything we need (McGee).
Jesus is the head of the Church not a pious figurehead. He leads His bride, the church or the body of believers throughout the world.
In obedience a Christian has the privilege to do the will of God. When we have been born again, we no longer wish to wear our grave clothing (Jn 11:44, Eph 4:24). As a bride would not want to stain her wedding dress, the Christian no longer wants to sin.
The law was written for the lawless. If you love God, you will act accordingly (Mk 12:32).
Only God knows who He will send to heaven or hell at any given moment, based on what we have done with His Son, Jesus. Only God knows our heart. But the Bible teaches that repentance must occur on this side of the grave. After death it is too late (Heb. 9:27).
Job believed that he was a good man too, righteous in his own eyes (Job 31). But we learn that wisdom casts itself down before God (Lk 14:9). The Lord saves those who have a contrite spirit (Ps 34:18). David recognized that God will not despise a broken and contrite spirit (Ps 51:17). We do not turn in our goodness report to God (McGee). God describes the inhabitants of His home: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit (Is 57:15)."
Jesus said: "whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Lk 14:11; Mt 23:12)."
Don't listen to anyone who says that you will go to hell. Listen to Jesus (Lk 9:35). He said it is difficult for men to get saved (Mt 7:14, Jn 3:7). Pride keeps even the best of men from God (Isa 14:12).
If we got what we deserved, we would all go to hell. Every moment that we spend on God's earth is by His mercy. It is a chance to be redeemed when all along we have lived our lives rejecting God.
God, in His mercy, holds back what we deserve. Despite the fact that we are sinners, God loves us (Jn 12: 37-50). Yet God says: "My spirit shall not always strive with man (Gen 6:3)."
It is God's desire that we understand Him and turn to Him to be healed (Jn 12:40). We must appreciate what John MacArthur calls the "exceeding sinfulness of sin". It is what sent Jesus to the cross. To remain true to Himself, God became sin for us. God is holy. He cannot wink at sin or pretend that it does not exist. He cannot lower the bar of standards of heaven (McGee). Sin must be paid for. It was paid for in full at the cross or it remains on us.
We can have an emotional hiccup with Jesus, but if we are not willing to be cleaned up by Him, we will have no part of Him. Peter said to Jesus, "Never shall You wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." (Jn 13:8).
Most are not too bad to be saved. They are to "good". They do not see themselves as bad enough to need a Savior. One man said the gospel is good for those bums on skid row, but not for him (McGee). Some might say that the gospel is good for the genocidal maniac or the serial killer but not for them. We are good boys and girls after all. God says otherwise. Everyone of us has a wicked heart (Jer 17:9). Everyone is in need of a Savior (Ro 3:23).
If we accept God's judgment of us there is hope for repentance. It is not until we see ourselves in need of a Savior that we will call out to Him.
The genocidal maniac can be saved? Yes. The serial killer? Yes. The pedophile? The homosexual? The fornicator? The idolater? Yes. "Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven (Mt 12:31, ISV)." A continued lifelong rejection of Jesus Christ will send a man to hell.
People who place others on a hierarchy of goodness are under the false illusion that they are somehow good because they are not as bad as the next guy. You are as bad as the next guy (Ro 3:23). So was Mother Theresa. Seeing people by man's standard is called human secularism. God has a higher standard. Interestingly enough, God's standard resembles Himself. He is absolutely perfect, righteous, and holy in every way. You ain't and neither am I.
All of your of your supposed goodness falls far short of God's high standard. If you think you are good you make God out to be a liar. "No One Is righteous to God ... and if it be not so now, who will make me a liar (Job 24:25, GWT)." Are you prepared to tell God that He is a liar? What did you plan to proclaim in heaven: "Worthy am I. Look at my works." The saved saints of the Lord proclaim from their heart "Worthy is the Lamb (Rv 5:12)".
In God's mind each of us fills the wickedness quota that we believe Jeffrey Dahmer taps out. If we fail to acknowledge the ugliness of our sin before a holy God, we fail to understand Him and the immeasurable height of His holiness. Even the most minor sin is an eternal offence to an eternal being.
Yes, it just might be that a wicked murderer will go to heaven and the so-called super pious among us will not because they think they are so lovely before God. Someone once said when we get to heaven we will be surprised who is there and who isn't there.
Christians cannot claim to know who is going to heaven and who is not. Neither can non-Christians. Only God knows who has truly put their trust in Christ alone. At the end of Jeffrey Dahmer's life, he sensed a need for a Savior. He claims to have become a Christian and he became baptized. Friends and victim's family members said that they saw a change in Dahmer. His minister said that he developed a hunger and thirst for righteousness. (http://www.tornadohills.com/dahmer/life.htm).
Mother Teresa said at the end of her life: “Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness … If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul … How painful is this unknown pain—I have no Faith. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal, … What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true." (Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0385520379).
"If there be God."? Mother Teresa came from a work-based faith that did not point her to the Savior. Her faith teaches: a different Jesus, a different gospel and a different way of salvation than historical , biblical Christianity. "When I try to raise my thoughts to heaven..." is an expression of work. Work nullifies faith (Gal 3:18). "I have no faith...What do I labor for?"
We cannot say what may have happened at the last moments of each of these people's lives, but what was their plan? We know that only faith in Christ (not prayer to saints, not trust in church works) will save. "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die (Jn 11:25-26, NKJV)." "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me (Jn 14:1, ISV)."
No matter what we think we see on the outside, God knows the heart. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Sam 16;7, ISV)."
At the end of Dahmer's life he said "I have accepted Him [Jesus] as my Lord and Savior...The Lord Jesus Christ is truly God." Dahmer Professes Trust in Jesus
At the end of Mother Theresa's life she wrote, "Jesus, You...are not true." Scripture teaches: "If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Ro 10:9)."
Of course men do not believe that one who appears evil could go to heaven and a so-called pious man could go to hell. That is because man's way has been one of works since Cain and he still makes the same error. Bad theology will lead a person to hell. "Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain (Jud 1:11, NASB)." Guess what "woe" looks like in eternity.
Cain believed what the work-based faiths continue to teach. But it takes trust in Christ's sacrifice to be saved (as pictured by Abel's bloody sacrifice which was acceptable to God). Cain offered fruit of the ground, works of his hands but Able offered a bloody sacrifice "and the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell (Ge 4:3-5, NKJV)." "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain (Heb 11:4, NKJV)." "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death..." (Heb 11:5, NKJV)."By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen...prepared an ark for the saving of his household (Heb 11:7, NKJV)." Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).
Do not believe churches that teach that by our works we get to heaven. They won't. "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (Pro 16:25)."
"A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Gal 5:9, AKJV)." Their teaching, mixing a little truth with error (pictured in leaven) will destroy.
Christians walk in the Spirit not in the lusts of the flesh (Gal 5:16). No matter what a man was before, he can be made new in Christ (Eph 4:24). What work God begins, He finishes. "He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6, NASB)."
Dahmer knew that he was a wicked man in desperate need for a Savior. If he put trust in Christ and allowed the Lord to do His work in him, he could be saved.
None of us are as lovely as we think we are. Men who believe that they are doing just fine, fat and happy, in need of nothing are headed toward hell. God says that those who say ""I am rich. I have become wealthy. I don't need anything." are going to hell (Rv. 3:17). But men who know, as the Bible teaches, that they are "miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked" have a chance to be saved by the blood of Jesus (Rv 3:17).
Our Lord said: "Healthy people don't need a physician, but sick ones do. I did not come to call righteous people, but sinners (Mk 2:17, ISV)." Jesus came to save sinners not saints, the lost, not the pious folks warming church pews (Ezk 34:16, Lk 19:10). Some pew-warmers won't miss a week's service after the Great Tribulation.
Whose heart is more wicked? The man who sees himself as "good", because he is supposedly better than a mass murderer? The man who refuses to believe the gospel of grace and accept God's forgiveness for their sin? Or a man, clearly wicked man beyond belief, but who finally came to the end of himself, recognized his utter failure helplessness and dependence on God, and saw himself for who he was? "God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7, NASB)." Read God's opinion about man's heart of unbelief: The Evil Heart of Unbelief.
When Dahmer approached the throne of God maybe he was asked by God "Why should I let you into heaven, Jeffrey?"
His answer: "I've been so awful Father. I can only claim the The blood of Jesus." Right answer.
Another may approach the throne of God and He may ask the same "Why should I let you into heaven?"
"My church membership. I did this and that in your name. I made a few mistakes but I tried to be good. I'm not as bad as that one over there. I sang your songs. I sat in your pew and I really felt something a few times." Wrong answer. Careful, no make-up exams.
Just because you keep your sin quiet, God still knows. Although some may not look like good candidate for citizenship in heaven, there is no sin that cannot be unforgiven except the unforgivable sin of a continued and ongoing rejection of God's grace and forgiveness.
We should love God deeply and hate sin fierily. A saved man longs to be freed from sin and wants deliverance from it. True repentance and true confession looks at sin, looks at God , and looks at self rightly. We first must admit that we deserve judgment. David understood this and pleaded for love from God. To identify with a heart of true repentance read Psalm 51.
Only a total cleansing will suffice. The repentant man experiences guilt and seeks relief from it. He realizes that he bears full responsibility for his sin. He knows that he cannot change himself and asks God for the power to do what he himself cannot do. Some do not believe that God has the power to cleanse. But God, in His sovereignty, is powerful enough to cleanse and change us. David trusted God's goodness not his own. (MacArthur).
God is glorified when he brings a man from the lowest of low to the highest of high. David trusted God and His goodness to do just this. Then he could rightly praise Him. Heaven will be filled with those who praise God not themselves.
If you go to work, building high-rise buildings your supervisor will warn you not to step too close to the edge. If you do, you're dead. If another person, say from the mafia pushes you because you are their enemy, you will die. If you jump yourself, someone might shout out to you as you pass by the 10th floor, "How are you doing?" You might answer, "I'm doing ok." But you are dead.
Man is the same. As the builder breaks the law of gravity , the sinner breaks the law of God. Man is falling and there is nothing to save him but Jesus. The fact is that we are law breakers. The degree of law breaking is not the issue. We all in need of a savior. "I'm doing ok" is not good enough for God.
"You will not surely die (Ge 3:4, NKJV)," the serpent told Eve in the garden. We are born with the desire to disobey, avoid and rebel against God in our lives. The Bible says that "the soul who sins shall die (Eze 18:20), NKJV)."
All of humanity is vile and corrupt before God. Our culture says feel no guilt. Guilt is medieval. Work on your self-esteem. In fact, do what you do in excess until you feel no guilt. Sear your conscience (1 Ti 4:1). Scripture says men are undiscerning, sinning and approving of others who sin (Ro 1:28-32, NKJV)."
Should Jeffrey Dahmer have been put to death? Of course. The point is is not did Jeffrey Dahmer get saved. The point is: will I go to heaven because I am supposedly better than Jeffrey Dahmer? The Bible says no one is good (Mk 10:18). We should not compare ourselves to the lowest of low but to the highest of high, Jesus. He is heaven's standard. We will never be good enough in this life while we are in the flesh. The only measuring rod for heaven is seen in the life of Jesus, not somewhere between a wicked individual and Jesus. Read: God's Criminal Justice System by Bob Enyart.
Each of us is seen as wicked by God. We are condemned already before God until we come to faith in Christ alone (Jn 3:18). The reason unredeemed men cannot understand the forgiveness of a wicked person is because they have not come to appreciate the exceeding sinfulness of their own sin. Some of Dahmer's victim's family members were able to forgive him when the greater society could not. Why? If a man can appreciate his own sin before a holy God--that even one sin is deserving of an eternity in Hell, then he realizes that he's been forgiven much.
Cultural Christians may believe in the doctrine of original sin--so long as it is someone else's sin. They are "pretty good" after all and they and don't deserve even if God says they do. This believe, called the "way of Cain" (Ju 1:11) is work-based and leads to destruction. A woman of ill repute brought an alabaster flask to Jesus to anoint His feet with oils before His coming death (Lk 7:37). When a Pharisee saw this, he wondered: why would a profit speak with the neighborhood whore? Religious leaders don't do that! The followers of religious leaders don't forgive wicked criminals.
The woman had brought a bottle of fragrance to to anoint Jesus' feet. Had Peter anointed Jesus head which was customary upon entering a home? No. It was the only anointing Jesus would ever receive. The woman wept for Jesus who would die and kissed Him. Did Peter weep? Did Peter kiss Him on the cheek as was customary? No. The woman wiped Jesus' feet with her hair. Did Peter express such love? No. Why? Jesus said: "her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little (L 7:47, NKJV)." The woman knew forgiveness. What did Jesus have to say to Peter?: “Simon, I have something to say to you (Lk 7:40, NKJV)," and Jesus proceeded to tell the parable of the two debtors.
Organized churches of today have taken God's gospel of grace and have added to it, which nullifies it. You are "saved" as long as you do--something else. The reason many "good" people have trouble forgiving others who appear especially wicked is: (1) they are taught to think that way by their religious leaders who preach works not faith (2) they will not believe the word of God (3) they do not appreciate the magnitude of their own sin and (4) they have not known God's forgiveness. Read: Mt 18:21-35. Understand who the king is and who the wicked servant is. If you despise God's word you despise Jesus (Jn 1). If you are ashamed of His gospel He will be ashamed of you before His Father.
Ok, based on what? Do you base your claim on emotions and feelings or on scripture? God tell us to base our conclusions on the truth found in scripture (1 Jn 1:1). Jesus is truth incarnate (Jn 10:30). Is His conclusion in agreement with yours? Ask Him? (Ro 3:23; Ro 5:8; Ro 6:23; Ro 10:9; Ro 10:13; Ro 5:8).
The apostle Paul came to a different conclusion: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not [emphasis added] (Romans 7:18-19)."
Jesus said: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven [emphasis added] (Mt 5:20, NKJV)."
How Good to I Have to be to go to Heaven? John MacArthur
Christians do not cut down other religions. They cut down false religions. God gave one religion to the world--Judaism. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law of Judaism. Christians are opposed to any religion that claims that there is salvation by any other name than Jesus Christ (1 Tm 2:5). The faith was delivered one for all and we are commanded to vigorously defend it (Jud 1:5).
The Galatians believers had been led away from the true gospel by the Judaizers. Like churches of today, the Judaizers were teaching that one must believe in Jesus' death and resurrection plus something--plus keeping the law, plus church, plus...something but faith alone, Christ alone. Paul clarified their perversion of the gospel of grace. There is only one gospel (Gal 1:6-10). Paul asked the Galatian believers: "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Gal 4:16, AKJV). When we come to the truth, we can be sure to have enemies who wish to return us to bondage (Gal 2: 11-21).
Paul encouraged his fellow believers in the faith: "hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you-unless, of course, your faith was worthless. (1 Cor 1:2, ISV)." We are to "hold firm" no matter what [fill-in-the-blank]-basher they may call us.
To the Galatians, Paul said, "I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you (Gal 4:20, KJB)." Why would anyone want to return to bondage?
Christians are to contend earnestly for the faith (Jud 1:3) and see if we can't snatch a few of these deceived people from the fire (Jud 1:23) who have "crept in unawares" (Jud 1:4, KJB)."
If Christians are accused of being religion-bashers, just wait and see what Jesus will do with false religions. Read about the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation. If men insist on being judged by their works they will be.
“When that little baby was born did he cry? He knew something was wrong. Has he ever cried when nothing was wrong? If he has, then he’s a liar. You can bet one of his first words will be “no”—he is in rebellion.” (David Jeremiah).
The term "evangelical" has been watered down. But Christians are warned to be aware of false prophets who have crept into the church. Jude, a first century Christian, addressed this: "For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4)."
Any denomination can have ungodly leaders. Jesus told us how to know who belongs to Him: "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they (Mt 7:16)?" They wanted His message to go away too.
Do church leaders teach the word of God (Jn 8:31)? Does the church produce moral and trustworthy leaders? We do not look for leadership from corrupt men. There is one mediator between God and man, Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). We go to our Great High Priest (Heb 10:21). Peter said "obey God not man" (Acts 5:29).
Jesus condemned religious hypocrites in His day. We have "Pharisees" in our churches still today. Jesus said: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren (Mt 23:2-8, NKJV)."
Paul did not water down the gospel. He was not motivated by greed, an offering or guile. He did not appeal to the old nature as some churches do. Those who “received” the word of God were saved (1 Thes 2:13). But people who have an adversarial spirit toward the true gospel do not have the spirit of Christ.
Jesus affirmed the Old Testament when He said: "The Scripture cannot be broken (Jn 10:35)." "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Jn 1:1)." Jesus said: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle [One letter or one stroke of a letter] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Mt 5:18)."
The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament.
Then you would not be a Christian. Christianity says exactly that--that all other religions are false and Christianity alone is true. Christianity claims to have truth incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. Accept it or reject it, but do not change the truth claim of biblical Christianity. C.S. Lewis famously boiled it down for us to our choices: liar, lunatic or Lord.
Pontius Pilate said the same. No one can have the "audacity" to claim that they know truth. "What is truth?" (Jn 18:38). Truth is truth even if no one agrees that it is truth. Men ask the same today. Could there really be only one way to heaven? Jesus said yes.
If all religions are equal than Christianity is less than equal because Christianity says that there is one way, one truth and one way to eternal life. Jesus said: "'I am the way, and the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6)." Either he pulled off the greatest con in history (yet, the wisest and most respected men of His day believed in Him and died for Him. You do not die for a lie); Or, He was delusional (men did not perceive Him to be insane); Or, Jesus was who He said He was. Jesus left us no other options. He either was who He said He was-- or He was not. Believe Him (not just a mere intellectual ascension to the facts but a heart conversion); and turn from your sin (repentance) and you will live. Or, hear it, do nothing about it and you will die.
If someone asks you to describe your dad, some never having met him, will describe him wrong. Others, knowing him will describe him accurately. Your dad is who he is, and being his son or daughter, you would want him described correctly.
Some say that religion doesn't matter, you just have to be sincere. If we go to a doctor, he could sincerely give us arsenic. And he could sincerely be wrong. He meant to do well, but you will die if you take his medicine.
Some believe in a mountaintop type theology as discussed in The God Conversation. All paths can get you to God. Buddhists believe there is no God. Hindus believe there are thousands of gods. Muslims believe there is one god and belief in any other is blasphemous. Who is at the top of the mountain? All religions contradict one another. Christians would say that Jesus alone is at the top of the mountain. Who are we to believe?
Christians believe in more of a maze theology as discussed in the book The God Conversation (J. P. Moreland, Tim Muehlhoff, and Lee Strobel). In England, the Hampden Court Maze is filled with endless shrubbery. People entering the maze must make decisions to find a way through. Some routes go deep into the maze, others lead to the interior. When they opened the maze, people got lost and became very frustrated when they tried to make their way through. They found that by putting a guide above the patrons who would shout out commands "go left, go right", patrons could find their way through the maze. Christians would say that Jesus alone is qualified to be that guide. Why not Buddha? Why not Gandhi? Why not Mohammed? How can Christians have the audacity to say that Jesus alone can be that guide? Paul said that without the resurrection, our faith is in vain (I Cor 5:14). Buddha, Gandhi and Mohammed are all dead. Their bodies rotted and decayed. Their bones are now dust. Jesus' tomb was empty. There are no bones because He is alive! If we have a death problem, He's the man to know. We are not dealing with an ordinary man. We go to the one man in all of human history that was raised from the dead, Jesus (Rainey).
The most honored and respected men of Jesus' time testified to Him; the Father in heaven testified audibly to Him: " "This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!" (Mk 9:7, NASB); and He continues to change lives today.
Absolutely? Is it ok to throw puppies off of bridges? Torture babies? Punch homosexuals in the face? Lynch blacks? Or, give your list of what is absolutely wrong. Dumping chemicals into our drinking water? Most people would put something on their list of right and wrong. How could anything be on the list if they do not believe in right and wrong?
The fact is, everyone believes in absolutes. But they may say: "Well, for you that's ok, but not for me." As Christians, we say what God says is holy and right . It is God who determines right and wrong. It is wrong to be racist because everyone is made in God's image.
Nazis defended themselves at the Nuremburg trials. Their lawyers said that they were not murderers because the government said that it was not a crime to kill Jews. Someone said that there must be a law above the law. The answer is God's law.
David Jeremiah says some churches need remodeling. Whosoever means whosoever: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom 10:13, KJV)." God is merciful. Mercy is the withholding of deserved punishment (Enyart).
Someone once said that when God paints your picture He paints it warts and all. Abraham was a man of faith. Yet, he went to Egypt not trusting God where he fell pray to a woman named Hagar. History records the continuing effects of his sin still today. David was noble, a man after God's own heart, yet he committed murder and adultery. Elijah called down fire down upon the soldiers of Ahaziah and courageously slayed the prophets of Baal, then ran from Jezebel because of fear. Moses, meek and humble, lost his temper and struck the rock contrary to God's command. He paid dearly for it. Peter said he would be faithful at all times, yet denied the Lord three times. Gideon achieved a gallant victory over the Midianites, then took an ephod back home which disgraced his people and His God (Jeremiah).
Those who follow Christ should point to Him. Men are flawed and imperfect. Look for perfection in Christ, not necessarily in His followers (Mt 5:17). It was Christ who came to fulfill the law--to live the perfect life that you and I could not. The Christian is not sinless; He just sins less. The apostle Paul struggled in the flesh, coming to the conclusion that in him was "no good thing" (Ro 7:18). The tent maker, Paul knew that we would not escape the effects of sin in the world while living in this "tabernacle" or tent of the flesh (2 Cor 5:4).
Being freed from sin does not mean living a life free of sin. Jesus frees a person from sin's domination in his life. "For sin will not have mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace (Ro 6:14, ISV)."
"We are still a people under construction, an urban renewal project (Andrews)."
The gospel is offensive.
It offends man's morality because his works cannot justify him.
It offends his philosophy because its appeal is to faith not to reason.
It is an offence to the culture because its truth is reveled to babes.
It is offensive to his sense of caste because God chooses the poor and humble.
It is offensive to his will because it calls for an unconditional surrender.
It is an offensive to his pride because it shows the exceeding sinfulness of the human heart.
It is offensive to himself because it tells him he must be born again.
They "get it" but they will not drink. Drinking means that they must address the sin in their lives and repent. “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again (Jn 4:13)." Anyone who truly seeks Jesus with all his heart and soul will be saved (Deut. 4:29). He is not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27).
Christians care enough to warn others about the coming judgment. God will not just overlook man's sin. The most loving thing that we can do is warn people-- the fornicator (e.g. sex outside of marriage), the homosexual, the idolater (includes false religion, prayer to other than God, religious hypocrite, etc.)-- that they will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. That is the bad news (v.9). But the good news (v. 11) is that they can be washed. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Co 6:9-11, NASB).
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9, KJV)."
The most desperate and immediate need for a man is to be saved. Our most desperate need is not: to stop being a fornicator, to stop being a homosexual, to stop being a child molester, to stop being a drunkard, etc. Our most desperate need is to put our trust in Jesus Christ and to believe in Him (Acts 16:31). (Taylor).
"At some point a "Christian" has to believe in Christianity. The Bible has answers if we are willing to listen. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Who was Jesus?...If Jesus really was the only person in history to die and rise again,...are we willing to hear his opinion? What did Jesus believe about Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy?" (Geraci).
Satan is called the prince of this world because men believe his lies and deceit. Today people worship many gods (e.g. money, entertainment). Paul said "you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience (Ep 2:2)." Worldly wisdom is earthly, natural, and demonic according to James (Jm 3:15). If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). We are either in the world or in Christ; servants of one or the other (Rom 6:16). If we lie we say "Satan, I love you." If we disobey we say "You are my father, Satan." We cannot serve two gods (Lk 16:13). We are informed by something--the world the flesh and the devil or the word of God. The Father opposes the world (I Jn 2:15-17); The Holy Spirit opposes the flesh (Gal 5:16-17); The Son opposes the Devil (Luke 4, I Jn 3:8).
Why do people reject the lordship of Jesus in their lives?...unbelief, apathy, deception. It is not a problem with light (e.g. promptings of the Holy Spirit or availability to access scripture). Why won't the come? Jesus explained: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn 3:19, NKJV)." Read Rom 1:18-2:16, what happens when God gives up on you and lets you go.
You call Me master and obey Me not.
You call Me light and see Me not.
You call Me the Way and walk Me not.
You call Me life and live Me not.
You call Me wise and follow Me not.
You call Me fair and love Me not.
You call Me rich and ask Me not.
You call Me eternal and seek Me not.
If I condemn thee, blame Me not.
"But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life (Jn 5:40). If we are not asking to be saved; neither seeking the Lord; nor knocking on the door of our heavenly Father, will it be a great surprise not to be called His child in eternity?
Jesus said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Mt 7:7-11).
Paul said "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Rom 1:6, NASB)." Only 9% of Christians hold a biblical worldview (WorldNetDaily, December 03, 2003). The statistic would seem accurate for the few that Jesus spoke of who would make it to heaven (Mt 7:14). As Christians, it is our responsibility to warn others in our circle of influence that they are condemned already in the presence of God (Jn 3:18). But, there is "good news" found in Jesus if they will humble themselves before Him (Jn 3:16). Jesus said: "'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Rv 3:20, NASB)." "Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near (Isa 55:6)."
Church is not about religious activity. We exist to win the lost and should not give up. God has chosen us for this mission. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation (Mk 16:15, NASB)." It is important that we are rooted and grounded in God's word. We have been given the privilege to go into the highways and byways of life to preach the gospel (Lk 14:23). Are we willing to be who God wants us to be if no one else is like that? (Taylor).
The hallmark of a born again Christian is they share the gospel. What right does anyone have to say he's a follower of Jesus Christ if he is not a soul winner? If you hear, you speak (Mt 10:27, Jn 16:13): living, sharing, speaking constantly. The faith that fizzles at the finish had a flaw at the first. Cardboard Christians will perish: "I never knew you: depart from me (Mt 7:23, AKJV)." (Rogers).
We deliver the message. It is up to the individual to accept or reject the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Read Ezek. 2:5. God can do anything but make a person repent.
From God's enemy to God's friend-- what does it mean to be reconciled to God?
Select sermons: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Are you sure of your salvation? New believer's kit No other way to heaven except through Jesus The gospel truth Why does God allow death and suffering? PhD Scientists - Are They All Evolutionists? Darwin - You'll Never Guess Where He's Buried! Does God elect everyone? Salvation is of the Lord Jonah: a picture of salvation Are You a Good Person? Thoughts on Jesus' call to repent
"If you are not born again, you are a sinner on the road to hell no matter how 'good' you are." ~ Adrian Rogers
Are you saved from the wrath of God-- sin, death and hell?
God gives us a choice, redemption or rebellion.
An excerpt Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: "...We have two bits of evidence about the Somebody [God]. One is the universe He has made...He was a great artist [Ps 19:1]...The other bit of evidence is that Moral Law which He has put into our minds [Ro 2:15]. And this is a better bit of evidence than the other, because it is inside information. You find our more about God from the Moral Law than from the universe in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built...
[W]e know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do [Ro 3:12, Ro 3:23]. This is the terrible fix we are in. If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless [1 Cor 15:17-19]. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day [Isa 59:2], and are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again. We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror [Heb 10:31]: the thing we most need [Ps 18:2] and the thing we most want to hide from [1 Cor 1:23, Luke 20:18]. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun [Ex 33:20]. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger--according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way [Ro 3:11]....
Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness [Ps 69:32]. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness [Mt 9:13]. It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power [Re 3:17]--it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk. When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor. When you have realized that our position is nearly desperate you will begin to understand what the Christians are talking about...
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth--only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair. Most of us have got over the pre-war wishful thinking about international politics. It is time we did the same about religion [Eph 6:12]."
Charles Stanley In Touch
Adrian Rogers Love Worth Finding
No Other Way to Heaven Except Through Jesus (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Adrian Rogers
The Gospel Truth (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Adrian Rogers
The Value of a Soul (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Adrian Rogers
God's Final Call (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Adrian Rogers
Darrell Ferguson Food for Your Soul
[Fellowship with the Spirit Pt 2 13b by Darrell Ferguson] Life is a continuum of steps. Every thought carries you to some destination. Each thought is a step. Job knew this (Job 31:1). He wouldn't do wrong because he knew that God would know (v 4). The Holy Spirit guides us where to step. Step in the direction of the spirit not the flesh (Ga 5). The acts of the flesh are obvious (v 19) as are the acts of the spirit ( v 22-23) sprit. The flesh and the spirit are at war (v 17). Walking according to the spirit (v 25).
Darrell Ferguson made up a little allegory for his daughter at bedtime. Each night he would add to the story (his own version of Pilgrim's Progress). It was about a little girl who came across a moose who guided her. At first the moose terrified her but then he ended up befriending her and became her guide. He guided her to the top of this mountain that she was trying to climb. That was the storyline. And every once in a while something would catch the little girl's attention and distract her from following him. A little bunny rabbit would just across the path and she'd be intrigued by that and she'd go wandering off following it where it was going. She's wandering and following and finally looses interest in that an finally she looks back and the moose is nowhere to be seen. She's wandered so far away from him. Now, she's all by herself. That's what we do when we get out of step with the spirit. Very often, we don't realize it's happening because the steps we are taking are only mental. They are only in our mind so they don't seem like steps. Next thing you know, we look and he's nowhere to be seen and we are all by our self. We need to understand. They are real steps. And the real scary thing is this--from the moment you first start getting out of step with the spirit, the flesh begins to gain strength and power..." Fellowship with the Spirit Pt 2 13b by Darrell Ferguson. Edited Notes.
Loving God with all your Heart Pt. 13b (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) by Darrell Ferguson
Ken Ham Answers in Genesis
Why Does God Allow Death and Suffering? (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Ken Ham
PhD Scientists - Are They All Evolutionists? (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Ken Ham
Darwin - You'll Never Guess Where He's Buried! (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) Ken Ham
A broken, bankrupt, cursed, crushed and excluded woman named Ruth was shown mercy by God. She was a young widow, a Moabite, who was condemned and cursed; yet, she was brought into God's family and in the ancestry of Jesus (Rogers).
Law excluded. Grace includes.
J. Vernon McGee Thru the Bible
Salvation is of the Lord (Jon 2:9)
1. I have been saved: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved (Ac 16:31).
2. I am being saved: Work out your salvation. Working out can't work out until someone hasw worked it in by grace. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of rworks, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10). A child of God is to produce fruit. What are those fruits? The fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Ga 5:22-23).
3. I will be saved: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Ti 3-16-17). Timothy was already saved (1 Ti 1:2). And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Ti 3:15). Christ enabled him to grow and live for God. Even at the end of our lives we are not complete. It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him (1 Jn 3:2). Edited Notes Jonah 2:7-3:2 , J. Vernon McGee.
Jonah 2:7-3:2 (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) J. Vernon McGee
Jonah--it's not a fish "story"--exhault the resurrection of Jeus Christ. Learn how Jonah is a picture of salvation:
Jonah 2:1-6 (MP3 right click and 'save target as' to download) J. Vernon McGee
Thoughts on Jesus' Call to Repent
"The doors of hell are locked on the inside"
The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis
"...We have two bits of evidence about the Somebody [God]. One is the universe He has made...He was a great artist [Ps 19:1]...The other bit of evidence is that Moral Law which He has put into our minds [Ro 2:15]. And this is a better bit of evidence than the other, because it is inside information. You find our more about God from the Moral Law than from the universe in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built...
[W]e know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do [Ro 3:12, Ro 3:23]. This is the terrible fix we are in. If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless [1 Cor 15:17-19]. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day [Isa 59:2], and are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again. We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror [Heb 10:31]: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun [Ex 33:20]. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger--according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way [Ro 3:11]....
Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness [Ps 69:32]. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness [Mt 9:13]. It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power [Re 3:17]--it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk. When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor. When you have realized that our position is nearly desperate you will begin to understand what the Christians are talking about...
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth--only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair. Most of us have got over the pre-war wishful thinking about international politics. It is time we did the same about religion [Eph 6:12]." Mere Christianity: We Have Cause to be Uneasy, C.S. Lewis.
God is Now Here.org, challenging post-modernism.
The Bible is
true historically. In spite of comments to
the contrary, archeology continually has
verified the validity of Bible.
The Bible is true scientifically. Nothing in Scripture has been invalidated by science. In fact, many scientific principles are found in the Bible. A sampling of these would include the roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22), the almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9), the law of conservation of mass and energy (I1 Peter 3:7), the hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7), the vast number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22), the equivalence of matter and energy (Hebrews 1:3), the law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27), the paramount importance of blood in life processes (Leviticus 17:11), the atmospheric circulation (Ecclesiastes 1:6), the gravitational field (Job 26:7), and many others. These are not stated in the technical jargon of modern science, of course, but in terms of the basic world of man's everyday experience; nevertheless, they are completely in accord with the most modern scientific facts...
The Bible is true prophetically. For a detailed discussion of this area, also see the book, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," by Josh McDowell. Jesus was the precise fulfillment of virtually hundreds of Messianic prophecies! A few examples are Messiah's humanity (Genesis 3:15); Messiah's Jewishness (Genesis 12:1-3; 28:10-15); Messiah's tribe (Genesis 49:10); Messiah's family (2 Samuel 7:16; Jeremiah 23:5-6); Messiah's birthplace (Micah 5:2); Messiah's life, reception, suffering, work at the cross, death, and resurrection (Isaiah 52:13; 53); and the details of Messiah's crucifixion (Psalm 22).
The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict Fully Updated To Answer The Questions Challenging Christians Today by Josh McDowell (Hardcover - Nov 23, 1999)
Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ by Robert Bowman, J. Ed Komoszewski, and Darrell L. Bock (Paperback - Aug 31, 2007)
Q & A with Dr.Gary R. Habermas: The Resurrection
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Was Jesus a real person? Is
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Know About the Contributions Made by Christians and Christianity -- Karl Marx called religion, “the opiate of the masses.” Nietzsche called Christianity,“ the greatest of all imaginable corruptions.” Richard Dawkins calls God, "arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction.” So what has Christianity done for society?
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New! Armor of God
Be ready for the spiritual battles in life! This pamphlet shows the whole armor of God: the sword of the spirit, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, and more, each with a scripture reference. Help students learn how to stand firm in the faith using the principles of spiritual warfare as they face temptations and struggles.
Christian apologetics for children
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The Rose Guide to
Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
This Narnia pamphlet is perfect for people who want a quick overview of the book and movie and want to know about the biblical symbolism and parallels.
Related: The Cross, A Sinning Brother, Wrecked Life, Conflict, Anxiety, Strength, Contentment, Burdens, Loneliness, Future, Security, Prayer, Forgiveness, How to Treat Others, His Image, Anger, Brokenness, Confession
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