Originally appeared on Vine of Life News
If you have not read part one, I highly suggest you do, you can find it here
Next we have the parts of the Catholic penance. I will only cover 2 items here. First is saying Hail Mary’s usually 3 of them, completely unbiblical. Never did Jesus tell us to do this, if this is in truth correct, then why is it not found in the Word?
Next is the giving of Alms. Alms are actually a very good thing to give. It is simply a gift usually money to someone in need. The problem here is that this smacks of purchasing forgiveness. Just as your salvation is a free gift from God, you cannot pay for forgiveness! That is insulting to God in the highest.
Jesus Christ came to this earth to satisfy the debt of sin owed to God by every single human that has ever, or will ever live. Jesus was the only One who could pay that debt, the perfect man, able to be the sacrificial Lamb of God. We HAD to have a man as the sacrifice for sin. The first man Adam, and all others after sinned, therefore the sins of man need to be paid for by a man, that man was and is Jesus.
Why would you seek to pay for what Christ gave His life on the cross to pay for? Why would you cheapen that beautiful gift of God?
How about works? Many Catholics I have spoken to believe or did believe before they read the Word for themselves in works based salvation. If this was not taught, then why do so many believe this? Why do so many (this is not just limited to the Catholic church to be fair) believe that they will be in heaven because they are good people?
There are now many Catholic churches that now say salvation is of God only. Really? Then why is the following referenced concerning works?
- “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).
- “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.” (Canon 14).
Basically this says that to be saved works are needed, along with faith in God. By the way, the meaning of anathema is: If anyone believes otherwise, they are to be excommunicated…thrown out of the church, it can also be interpreted to mean condemned to hell forever. No man has the right to condemn anyone to hell, which is God’s province.
We are saved by faith in Christ alone. The passage in James referenced to prove the Catholic point of view is taken out of context.
James 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead
The above verse is pointed to, as the evidence that works are needed to be saved…not true.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
So how do we reconcile these 2 seemingly opposing verses? First we need to understand that salvation and the evidence of salvation are 2 different things.
Ephesians 2:8-9 speaks of salvation, the act of being saved by faith in Jesus Christ, who saves us by granting grace, the grace granted for your sins when you confess them to Him ask for forgiveness and for Jesus to enter your heart and be your Lord and Savior.
James 2:17 on the other hand is referring to the evidence of salvation. If you are truly saved, if you really belong to Jesus…eternal life with Him is yours, then it will show in what you do, your works. And even these were created for you to do.
Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
In other words, James 2:19 is saying that if your salvation is real, you will do good works, if it is not, you will not. It’s that simple, works do not save you, being a good person does not save you. The nicest person in the world…if this person does not know Jesus, he or she will wind up in hell for all eternity, and that is the unvarnished truth.
How could your works mean anything before God? What can you do for God that He cannot do Himself? God chooses to use us; He does not in any way need us. The belief that works are at all necessary to salvation basically invalidates the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. If our personal works could in any way accomplish our salvation, or even play a part in securing our eternal life with God…then why would God Himself come to this world and offer Himself willingly on the cross suffering horrible excruciating pain and humiliation to pay for our sins? That would not make sense.
Place your faith in Christ alone, and trust Him to save you. Your works as far as salvation is concerned mean nothing.
Pray to the Father, through the name of Christ who lives to make intercession for us, (Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them) and no one else. Praying to saints is unbiblical and wrong.
God’s richest blessings be upon you all
Originally appeared on Vine of life News
I do not write this article as an attempt to denigrate those who are Catholic. It is not my intention to insult anyone in any way. I personally know people who are Catholic, and though I do not agree with many things this religion teaches, these folks (the ones I know and others as well) are good people, people who truly know the Lord.
This has in truth been on my heart for a long time now, but I have been ignoring it. Trying to ignore it…but this just will not go away.
I see in so many places statues, statues of Mary the mother of Christ. So what you say. The real problem is what I do not see…Jesus. Let me elaborate a little on this.
First, there should not be any statues at all, we are not to have any graven image, nor any idols. Leviticus 26:1 “Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God”.
Statues are also a prime target of demons, statues, idols etc CAN have power behind them, the power of demons.
Second, these statues are set up to honor Mary, God is to be honored, not Mary…at least not in this way. It is fine to honor Mary as a wonderful woman of God, it is not fine to pay homage to her, worship her, or pray to her. That is God’s province only. Doing these things is actually a doorway for demons to come through and a way to harm your spiritual walk with Christ.
I have serious problems with this, what really matters however is that God has a problem with this. While honoring Mary is fine, she is not ever to be prayed to, never for any reason. We are told in many verses Who to pray to. Luke 6:12 is Jesus Himself praying to the Father. Philippians 4:6 present your requests to God. 1 John 1:9 “He” is faithful and just to forgive us. Matthew 6:6 Jesus telling us to pray to our Father. Matthew 6:9 Jesus speaking once more, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven”…
Nowhere in the Bible will you find a single word concerning praying to Mary, the ONLY One we are to pray to is God the Father through Jesus Christ.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
This is just plain wrong, this is a prayer addressed to Mary, which many don’t seem to realize is the equivalent of elevating Mary to equal status with God. Mary was the mother of Jesus, she is not God, and is not His equal, nor does she have any power to grant anything to anyone. This is completely unbiblical.
Mary was a woman, a woman highly favored by God, and chosen to bear Jesus in her womb. There is no question that Mary was a great woman, but how does she become elevated to semi-godhood status because of this? Remember, God chose Mary and He could have just as easily chosen someone else. Praying to or worshiping Mary does one thing and one thing only; it dishonors both Mary and God.
God will have no other before Him, nor does He share His glory with any other. Praying to Mary is a huge affront to God. No one that believes in God would pray to the sun in the sky, why would you pray to Mary? Are you trying to incite the wrath of God? I’m not at all trying here to make anyone angry or personally attack anyone…but please show me where in the Word of God it says even one word concerning praying to Mary.
Then there is calling the priest “father”, the Bible and Jesus specifically state not to do that. Matthew 23:9 Jesus speaking; Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. How is this then ok? It is not.
The priest also hears confession, while confession is good for the soul it is not good that the priest hears what is said and then tells the confessor that they are indeed forgiven, or even at times tells the penitent they are not forgiven. The idea is that the priest hears confession of sin, and he judges if the person confessing is sincere or not. Then he assigns what he feels is the proper penance to them, often including some Hail Mary’s. Then the priest grants absolution by the power of the church, which in turn was granted this power by Christ Himself. Except that none of this is true.
No one but God has the power to forgive sin. There are various verses pointed to that make some think others have the power to forgive through God, simply unbiblical. If this is true, then why does the Bible not specifically say this?
Think about this, why would God share the power of forgiveness, His own personal bailiwick? Who was on the cross to pay for those sins? It was Jesus, and Jesus only alone.
After confession as I said the priest assigns a penance. Under whose authority? It certainly isn’t under Christ’s because Christ never commanded such a thing. Read your Bible, it’s not there. We are told in James to confess our sins to one another…that in no way means that anyone you confess to has the power to forgive you, they do not! God put that in His Word for a simple reason…He knew that once we confess what we have done wrong, “get it off your chest”, we will feel better…and we DO feel better. But feeling better has little to do with forgiveness, which comes from God only.
If this is Biblical, then why are these things not required by God Himself? How do you receive forgiveness of sin from God? You ask with a sincere heart, genuinely being sorry for what you have done, and God forgives you. It’s that simple. Is there any form of penance? Yes there is. Lets say you have lied about your friend this is a sin obviously. So you confess this to God and are sorry you did it…God forgives because you asked. Then you go to this friend and confess that you did this, ask forgiveness from him (you are forgiven by God regardless of the persons answer) and do your best to make things right…that is the penance, or what is termed as being repentant of your sin. In other words making a U turn, not continuing in this sin. But no man on earth has the power to assign anything for you to do that is strictly between you and God alone.
In part two we will look at penance among other things.
God’s richest blessings be upon you all
You will read in Hebrews 6:19-20 that Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, is High Priest “after the order of Melchizedek.” The plainer English of the Moffatt translation words it: “. . with the rank of” that is, equal status with “Melchizedek.”
Melchizedek Was God‘s Priest
First, notice from both Old and New Testaments that the man of mystery, Melchizedek, was a priest of the Most High God. Turn ‘low to the account in Genesis 14. During the war between a number of ancient city-states in Canaan and Mesopotamia, Abraham’s nephew Lot had been captured. He and his family and goods were carted off.
One of their number escaped and brought the news to Abraham, who armed 318 of his own servants and pursued the invaders to what was later named Dan and beyond. Abraham rescued Lot and his family and returned them safely to the Canaanite cities.
On Abraham’s return a man of mystery bursts upon the scene. Abraham was ministered to by Melchizedek.
Here is the account:
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. And he [Melchizedek] blessed him [Abraham] and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him [Melchizedek] a tenth of everything” that is, a tithe of all, for a tithe means a tenth (Genesis 14:18-20, RSV).
Notice that Melchizedek was king of Salem. That is the city of Jerusalem. “Salem” comes from the Hebrew word meaning “peace.” That would make Melchizedek the “King of Peace” (Hebrews 7:2). The Hebrew name Melchizedek itself means “King of Righteousness” (Hebrews 7:2). The same individual is mentioned in Psalm 110:4. Speaking prophetically of Christ, David stated: “The Eternal hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” This verse is quoted again in Hebrews 5:6, 10.
Before we turn to Hebrews for the identification of Melchizedek, remember that this mystery figure is a mystery only to us. Abraham and the King of wicked Sodom knew exactly who he was. They must have seen him before. He could not have been a Canaanite, for they were steeped in pagan customs. And furthermore Canaan was a descendant of Ham, whereas God basically chose the descendants of Shem to accomplish His work.
Then who is the mystery man Melchizedek?
One other hint before we proceed. The land of Canaan from ancient time, before the days of Moses, was known among the Gentiles as “the divine land” the Holy land” the land of the place of worship!” Why? Was there someone in the Holy Land who was divine, holy, worthy of worship?
Matthew 4:23-25 (ESV)
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
I was reading in Matthew the other day and the above passage really struck me. There is so much to learn in these few verses, it is incredible how much wisdom is packed away in just 3 verses of the Bible.
The first thing we see is that Jesus in the beginning of His ministry was in fact preaching the Gospel. Notice Jesus is teaching “in their synagogues”, He was not teaching in homes, in other words Jesus was teaching out in the open…in public for all to hear. Some; like the Pharisees and others who taught the Gnostic gospels were in the habit of teaching in private thereby having more control and influence without other voices to gain-say them. The cue for us here is that we should boldly proclaim the Gospel in the light of day, not whisper it in a dark corner like a beaten and whipped cur.
The text also tells us that Jesus proclaimed “the gospel of the kingdom”. Interesting phrase there don’t you think? In the Greek, kingdom is translated from the Greek word βασιλεία; transliteration basileia, meaning: kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, especially of God, both in the world, and in the hearts of men; hence: kingdom, in the concrete sense.
You can finish reading my latest post on ChristianBlessings
- Matthew 22-24 (mybiblereadingplan.wordpress.com)
- The American Evangelical “Christian” denial of the bodily resurrection (ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com)
- “I will make you fishers of men” (savedbygraceblogdotcom.wordpress.com)
- The Daily Gospel and Readings 7 January 2013 (prayersandmeditations.com)
One of the things in my studies of late has been the Names of God. All of God’s Names have meaning, even more so than I understand of course as I am no theologian. That does not prevent me from being awed at the many Names and Titles of God!
Consider our very lives lived before God; we live in the world, but are not really part of it. Our physical being is here on earth, our shell if you will. The part of “us” that makes us unique however, is only borrowing this imperfect tent we live in…this tent will return unto the dust. Our “uniqueness” if you will, this is our spirit; our spirit’s true home is not here but with God in His kingdom.
Visit ChristianBlessings to read my latest post there.
Some of what I will say here might ruffle a few feathers, but I am not writing to be popular, I am writing to teach the truth of God’s Word.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, there can be no doubt that the end of all things, as we know it is soon to come. The return of Christ is really not that far off, within the lifetime of many of us I think.
No one knows the date of Christ’s return, and if anyone claims to, you can be sure that such a person is deceived. That being said, there are many of us who do believe the return of the Lord will be soon, possibly even within the next ten years…remember I said possibly. I do not know when Jesus is coming, nor do I claim any special knowledge of that coming. If however you are paying attention to the world around you, and you are at all a student of prophecy…then you will see that things are coming to a head and rather quickly.
Look at what is in the news these days, how about this recent article and cover for Newsweek? Now I’m not suggesting that Obama is the Antichrist, but is it not rather telling to see something like this in print?
The world is actively looking for something, for someone to lead and solve the world’s woes. The media elevates people of their choosing to positions of near godhood. Unfortunately the media is filled with people that are not only ignorant and self deceived, but are only interested in “the story” (let me say here as a disclaimer that all media people are not like this). Ratings are king, anything for ratings and to make a name for oneself. Unfortunately these same folks cannot seem to understand that they are propagating a lie that will in time become a reality.
To finish reading this article, please head over to http://vineoflife.net/2013/01/19/the-end-is-near-things-you-just-have-to-know-now/
Lyn Leahz, 2012
So here were the Israelites living in bondage to Egypt as God’s judgment came upon the Egyptians. However, the tenth plague was the death of the firstborn child of the Egyptians. God commanded the Israelites put the blood of a lamb on their doorpost so that when the death angel came (Abaddon) he would pass over their house and no person in their home would be harmed.
If they did not have the blood of that lamb on their doorpost, then the fate of the Egyptians would also come upon them.
Friends, we are living in the days spoken of in Revelation. Our King is holding God’s people in bondage, and God is mad! We are going to witness some nasty things. We will not be exempt from all the suffering. However, I believe God showed us something very important in the Exodus account: We are His people living in bondage to an evil government…an evil world! His judgment is beginning to pour out because of the sin of the nations!
WE all need to be aware of what is going on today, far to many are not. The end is coming sooner than you think, Christ warned to be watchful…many today including Christians are not watching!
You can finish reading this article here: http://vineoflife.net/2012/12/23/the-exodus-do-you-have-the-blood-of-the-lamb-on-your-door-post/
Tension is rising in the Middle East again. The civil war in Syria is worsening, Western sanctions on Iran are intensifying, large-scale military exercises by both Tehran and the West are on the cards. This is all worrying and cause for alarm.
Yet, it is an unprecedented, largely ignored national address by Iran’s supreme leader that is most alarming. On Friday, a number of Iranian state-run media outlets ran stories highlighting remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In his address, Khamenei warned his people all over the world that Iran must prepare for war, and that we are now living in “the end of times.”
More specifically, Khamenei warned of the imminent return of the Mahdi, or the 12th imam. “The issue of Imam Mahdi is of utmost importance, and his reappearance has been clearly stated in our holy religion of Islam,” he said. “We must study and remind ourselves of the end of times and Imam Mahdi’s era. … We must prepare the environment for the coming so that the great leader will come.”
If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ…you owe it to yourself to read this. People today do not seem to understand what is really at stake in the Middle East. This is the End Times, not just that, but we are nearing the end of the End Times. Read and be informed!
To finish reading this article, please head over to http://vineoflife.net/2012/12/21/iranian-spiritual-leader-prepare-for-environment-that-will-bring-mahdiend-times/
The other day I was having a conversation on my site Believing God Today with an atheist. There were actually a few of us involved. We were of course trying to convey God’s goodness and willingness to forgive. My atheist commenter was of course trying to convey that there is no God. Now do not get me wrong here, I am not trying to impugn his character at all, but this conversation set me to thinking.
This was all started by this post: THERE IS ABSOLUTE PROOF THAT YESHUA (JESUS THE CHRIST) ROSE FROM THE DEAD! This is a great post and I recommend it highly, one of the best I have read on this, and no I did not write it!
One of the things he said was, “And, sorry, but having somebody ‘die for me’ is disgusting and reprehensible.”
Ok, well on the face of it I can for a moment see how a person could feel that way especially an unbeliever.
Read my latest post on ChristianBlessings
Have you ever struggled with the idea of whether Jesus was a man or God? Maybe the struggle is simply trying to understand how Jesus could be a man at all? I confess that one blows my mind and probably always will.
We know Jesus was a man and at the same time God because the Bible tells us He was. Jesus was born of Mary through the Holy Spirit and so grew up as a human man, pretty simple. The “how” that really escapes me is how Jesus our God who created the heavens and all things in them became a man…how does God step down from the throne of glory and become a man like us? I guess that article will have to wait until after I can interview God, after I am in heaven…
Jesus was born as a normal human male baby: Matthew 1:20-21 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
In (Luke 1:39-45) we read that when Mary greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb. Elizabeth referred to Mary as “the mother of my Lord”.
(Luke 2:4-7) tells of the actual birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The subsequent verses tell of the angels appearing from heaven to the shepherds and telling them of the Savior.
Jesus was also circumcised (Luke 2:21)
Jesus grew up as a human boy. (Luke 2:39-52) Verse 40 says the child (Jesus) grew and became strong. Jesus would need that physical strength later on in life during the ordeal of the crucifixion.
Verse 42 specifically cites Jesus age at the time; He was twelve years old. Joseph and Mary were going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover as they usually did. On this occasion, the boy Jesus stayed behind in the temple courts (verse 45). In verse 49 Jesus lays claim to His divinity despite being a human boy at the time. Jesus says, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Verse 52 is a key verse in determining that Jesus was indeed a man, And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. I obviously cannot explain the “how”, but if Jesus was growing in wisdom and stature, then this statement most definitely points to His humanity because God does not have to learn anything…but a man does. I cannot explain how Jesus the man could be learning and growing in wisdom when at the same time His divine side knows all, but some things have to be taken on faith, and this passage does prove that Jesus was human!
Was Jesus a man, really?
Jesus knew what it was like to be hungry (Matthew 4:2)
Jesus knew what it felt like to be tired (John 4:6)
Jesus bled like we do (John 19:34) there are other examples of this where bleeding is not specifically mentioned but is inferred through the events leading to the crucifixion and the crucifixion itself. (John 19)
Jesus was tempted in all the ways we are (Hebrews 4:15)
The Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus was a man (1Timothy 2:5)
Jesus died…God does not die but a man does (Romans 5:8)
I deliberately left out the verses that mention Jesus was thirsty as those verses in proper context do not show Jesus as being thirsty, rather they emphasize other points.
John 19:28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” I doubt thirst was a large concern on the cross, this was said to fulfill scripture.
(John 4:4-26) In verse 7 Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink, now do not get me wrong, Jesus may have drank water here, He probably did after a long journey. However the main contextual point here was not Jesus drinking water, it was Jesus using a drink of water as the perfect opening to evangelize to this woman.
In part two we will look at the Old Testament and the evidence to be found there, that Jesus is both God and man.
How would you like your eggs today, over-easy, scrambled, fried, sunny-side up, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, poached, or shirred?? How about your steak; rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, or well done?? Choice of potatoes? This sounds like questions for a meal in a restaurant right?
Can you relate the above questions to today’s Church? Depending on the meal you choose when eating in a restaurant, you the patron sometimes have many choices within the meal you chose.
Today’s Church seems to be all about choices as well. The Church seems to be gravitating towards self-indulgence. Yes the corporate church can do this as churches are made up of people, and people decide what they want out of church.
Some churches today will tell you all about how God wants to bless you; He wants to give you all things. These same churches neglect to tell you God wants to give you all things according to His will…not yours. This means that you will not get everything you desire, that is completely un-biblical!
Other churches today are taking sides over the gay marriage debate. There is no debate. Gay marriage is wrong in the eyes of God, so it is wrong and has absolutely no place in the church. The bible states that homosexuality is wrong, period…why is there any debate???
Still more churches are splitting and choosing sides over whether or not a person that is a homosexual should be a pastor of a church. God has said that homosexuality is wrong, why then would anyone choose to have a self-professed homosexual lead their church? Let me ask you another question or two before you get too fired up about what I just said.
What if the pastor is having an affair? What if the pastor is stealing from the church? How about if the pastor is abusing children? Would these offenses not trigger serious action from the church?
Then there are the churches in which the pastors preach what the people want to hear, and that is all. The sermon is more or less a pep talk to make you feel better about yourself. This is tickle my ears preaching, which is no preaching at all. This is akin to telling someone all they have to do is believe Jesus existed and they will be saved…that is it, nothing more.
Really???? Because you believe Jesus Christ existed means absolutely nothing! The Demons and Satan himself all believe Jesus existed and still does…where do you think they are going?
The church of today is a social club, a place to gather and hear some encouragement. Share a few stories, ask a couple questions, and drink a cup of coffee all the while congratulating yourself on having been in church again and so fulfilling your duty. Your duty to whom; yourself, society, or God? It surely was not to God.
How about the churches that just plain ignore sin in their midst? Like what? Like the husband who is known to be cheating on his wife, or the person who is stealing a “little” from the church? Serious sin, things that should not be ignored.
There are of course great churches out there; I am in no way saying all churches today are no good. Unfortunately however, this is the way today’s Church as a whole is heading. The bible foretold this would happen, that people would not endure sound teaching. So of course when it is talked about, that will not be endured either.
Some may read this article and disagree with it that is fine. Think on this a moment if you will, church is not supposed to be about you or me. Church is not supposed to be a welfare system for people to live on. Church is not about getting that dose of encouragement so you can make it through the week. Church is about God…period! Church is all about God, it is for God, and it is of God.
If we exist to glorify God, and we do, why then do we go to church expecting self-fulfillment? Are we not in church to glorify the Creator of the universe?
If church is conducted the way it is meant to be, we will be fulfilled. Our greatest joy will come from doing what God created us to do, glorify Him. When we seek to elevate ourselves above God by serving our own designs and purpose in and through the Church, we will not be fulfilled! Nothing will ever bring joy and fulfillment to us when we serve ourselves first, and the Lord after.
It is fine to have encouraging messages in church we need those. However, if the sermon does not ever convict you, if the words of the pastor do not ever make you feel uncomfortable…then you are not hearing the Gospel. The pastor’s words should completely resonate with the Bible; the pastor’s words should not ever go against the Word of God. Yet sadly this happens again and again in today’s Church.
It does not matter what you or I think of what God says in His Word. It does not matter what your pastor thinks either. The only thing that matters is that God’s Word is preached, the way that God wrote it, not the way that we want to interpret it, not the way that we choose to speak it. I’m not talking about your view of the rapture and when it will happen. I’m talking about Jesus Christ is God…no debate. Jesus is the only way to the Father…there is no other way…none. Sin is a death sentence for all, your only way out…Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift; you cannot earn it…period. Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be eternal just as the Father is…no question about it. If it is written in God’s Word, it is true…it is not open to negotiation. The Bible was written by men, the words came from God. To suggest that the bible is just a collection of stories written by a few men is completely ludicrous not to mention ignorant. Hundreds and hundreds of years (over a thousand years actually) of writings and prophecies where the books agree with one another, and the prophecies have come true (about half of them so far, the others are yet to come), written by over thirty-five different people…this is the work of God not man.
When you or I walk through the door of our church, the first thing on our mind should be praising and glorifying God. It should not ever be what can I get out of church today. God took our death upon Himself, paid the price for our wrongdoing. He deserves our praise and worship.
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God forever
Praise His Holy Name
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
(Photo credit: Photo Bucket/babygirl4228)
The Old Testament even refers to Jesus, and also makes it clear that He IS God.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah clearly was prophesying the coming of Jesus. The matching New Testament passage is Matthew 1:23
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Daniel 7:13-14 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Son of man was Jesus favorite self-designation. The person spoken of here is given authority, he is also given glory…God shares His glory with no one. The person in this passage is also given sovereign power, the key word here is sovereign NO one but God possesses sovereign power. To be sovereign is to be over and above all; therefore this verse is saying that nothing and no one can surpass the power of the son of man. All peoples and nations will worship him, and his kingdom will never pass away. This could only be referring to Jesus Christ, the Father was already mentioned, (Ancient of Days) and God the Father is not giving these things to Himself! Let us not forget the phrase “coming with the clouds of heaven”, Jesus used this phrase Himself…Mark 14:62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
John 1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. In John 1:1 we see that Jesus, the Word, was and is God. Now this verse is saying that although Jesus was here in the world, this world did not recognize its’ Creator.
John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God Yet another verse that speaks to the fact that belief in Jesus Name and accepting Him as Lord leads to salvation.
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. In verse fourteen, Jesus is referred to as the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth. Jesus came to earth, and made the Father known to us. He also made the Father approachable through His intercession for us.
In John 20:27-29 the disciple Thomas refers to Jesus as “my Lord and my God”, when Jesus appears to him and the other disciples after the resurrection.
In the first chapter of John alone we are literally bombarded with the knowledge that Jesus is God. As the heavens declare the glory of God, the book of John declares the divinity of Christ. All the mental gymnastics that some go through to disprove that Jesus is God are just ridiculous. The whole book of John needs to be read together to achieve the full contextual meaning. Chapter one alone is full of meaning and knowledge.
In Matthew 18:19-20 Jesus says that when two or three of us ask for something in His (Jesus) name, it will be done for us by His Father.
In Titus 2:13-14 the Apostle Paul refers to Jesus as our God and Savior.
Revelation 5:13-14 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
And to the Lamb be praise, honor, glory, and power. The Lamb is Jesus as stated by John the Baptist in John 1:29. As I said previously, God shares His glory with no one, so the Lamb of God (who is Jesus) must be God Himself.
Do you know Jesus as Lord and Savior? Would you like to? The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. No other religion, and no other god or person or whatever can lead you to heaven and eternal life. Eternal life is found only within Christ and no one else.
If you are ready to make a commitment to Christ, then go to this site (Peace with God) and simply read and follow what you are asked to do. If you have any interest in being forgiven your sins, and you would like to make a change in your life, even if you are not sure yet, I urge you…do not wait!! There is more information on the web site I listed for you.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 says As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Give your life over to Christ today, don’t wait another moment, today…might be your last day. After death, there is no chance to change your mind about your eternal destination.
I want to share with you who are reading this a short thought about today being the day for salvation. A short time ago, my brother-in-law went out for a motorcycle ride on a beautiful summer day. He did not come back; he was killed…just like that. You never know when your last day here will be…do not chance it. Commit yourself to Christ today while you can.
1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
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Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Jesus is here referring to Himself, saying that not all who call Him Lord will enter heaven. That is pretty clear, and again Jesus mentions His Father saying all need to do the Father’s will to enter heaven.
In (Matthew 8:28-32) Jesus meets up with two very violent men that according to the text, “no one can pass”. Notice also that Jesus is able to walk right up to these two men. The two men were demon possessed, and the demons knew exactly who Jesus was, they referred to Him as “the Son of God”. The demons then ask if Jesus has come to torture them before the appointed time…this is a very important statement. Exactly what appointed time are the demons referring to, and what does this have to do with Jesus? The appointed time is the end of all things when the entire world and everything in it will be judged. The demons already know where they are going…to hell! They are also aware of the fact that Jesus is God, (James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder) and Jesus is going to be the Judge! Next the demons beg Jesus to allow them…allow them to go into a herd of pigs. Jesus has total control over the demonic realm, not even Satan himself prevailed against Jesus although he tried.
John 8:58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
Again, reading this in context, we see in the following verse that the Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus, why? The Jews of Jesus day understood what Jesus had just said to be a claim to Himself being God, so they were determined to kill Jesus for committing blasphemy! If as some claim, “Jesus is only a man”, then why were the Pharisees so intent on killing Him? Why would anyone kill a simple man, what threat would he be anyway? Jesus was the only one who when speaking to the Pharisees could ask questions the Pharisees had no answers for.
Mark 6:7 Jesus sends out the twelve disciples and gives them power over evil spirits. Jesus gave them the power, who but God could confer this power on anyone? No mere man could give another man power over the demons…and no mere man would ever be a match for a demon without the power of the Holy Spirit backing him!
In Acts 4:10-12 the Apostle Peter tells us that salvation is found in no other name under heaven but that of Jesus Christ. If salvation is found in Jesus, then He is God.
Consider this verse; John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. That the Father is God is not normally a point of contention, but for some reason Jesus place at God the Father’s side as God Himself; now that is contentious. If The Father is God, and the only way to Him is through Jesus, then simple logic reveals to us that Christ is God. In the beginning of the Gospel of John, (John 14:1) Jesus says to trust in the Father, but his next words are, “trust also in me”…in this statement Jesus is very clearly claiming to be God.
Lets examine for a moment Philippians 2:1-11, this small collection of verses is so theologically rich it is astounding. Written by the Apostle Paul this passage speaks of the qualities of Jesus and how He behaved on this earth. Jesus though by His very “nature” was God, made Himself nothing…a servant. He did not come in all the power of God, but as a man. Christ never gave up His deity, but He did give up His prerogatives as God to humbly serve man and show the way to salvation. Furthermore, Jesus came here to die, to die a very degrading and intensely painful death on the cross to pay the price exacted by God for our sins…death. God in effect said if you sin you must die for doing so. Then God, whom made this edict, came here in the flesh Himself and allowed the penalty He Himself instituted to be fulfilled in His own body. In the last two verses of this beautiful collection, Paul says, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow”, and “and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Why would all bow to Jesus and confess Him as Lord to the glory of the Father if Jesus is not God???
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Jesus created all things, and all things were created for Him. Not just physical things; all things, notice the text even refers to powers, rulers, and authorities. This for sure refers to angels at the least; and Christ created them. Notice in verse seventeen it states that Jesus is before all things. Before all things means that He was here long before He became a man on earth.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Christ is the head of the church, and the Father is the head of Christ. Jesus is the beginning, the beginning of the new creation. Only after Jesus were we able to be created anew. Jesus was the first to be resurrected, others who were resurrected died again…Jesus is alive forever more! Jesus is first in all things; if we do not believe this we are lost in our sins forever more with no hope of rescue. God the Father is not the One to rescue us, not directly anyway…Jesus is. God as a whole (the Triune God) was the architect of our salvation, Jesus was the One to come here and pay the physical price for it.
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I was reading some comments from a guy that I was conversing with on a friend’s site a while back. This particular person claimed to be a Believer, but yet in the course of our discussions he made it very clear that Jesus was NOT God. Jesus was the Son of God and was to be honored he said, but not God Himself. I did my best to show this gentleman that Jesus IS God, but I am afraid to no avail; which saddened me.
No one can be a true bible-believing son or daughter of God if they do not believe in the deity of Christ. No one can obtain eternal life without belief in the Son of man as God (Hebrews 5:8-9, John 3:16). The Father is not approachable accept through the Son (Hebrews 7:25).
Why believe that Jesus is God? Is this really that important? You bet it is…
Our entire foundational belief in God rests on believing in the Truth of Jesus Christ as God. God is eternally existent as three persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:16-17 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Note in the above verses that Jesus is present as He is being baptized; next we see that the Spirit of God is descending, and at the same time a voice from heaven speaks…God the Father. The Father is proud of His Son, The key here is that the Father says “my son”. God’s own Son is not adopted as we are; therefore He is God. The thought that God would have a Son that He entrusts all things to who is not God Himself is ludicrous. The Word is replete with statements that Jesus created all things, is before all things, will be the One to judge, and is coming again.
Jesus Christ, what does that mean? In Matthew 1:21-22 an angel appears in a dream to Joseph and tells him to name the child Jesus, because He will save His people. The name Jesus means, “God is salvation”. Christ is actually not really a name; it is a title. Christ is derived from the Greek word “Christos”, meaning “anointed”. The Hebrew word Messiah means the same thing, anointed, or anointed one. So Jesus Christ is salvation, the Anointed One, meaning set apart for God’s work. Christ came here to do the will of the Father, (Luke 22:42) not His will; so this makes perfect sense to say that Jesus was set aside for the work of God. You can find an excellent article for more in depth study here.
People do not normally dispute that God the Father is God; Jesus is a whole other matter. For some reason that defies logic and the very Word of God itself, people doubt that Christ was God. Jesus was NOT a good teacher, nor was He a great humanitarian. To quote C.S. Lewis, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” Jesus was God in the form of man…by choice. Jesus chose to obey His Father and come here as a babe in human form, why? To pay the price for our sins!
John 10 is a tremendously powerful witness to the fact that Jesus is God. In verse nine Jesus says that He is “the gate”, meaning that He is the way to salvation. In verse eleven; Jesus says He lays down His life for the sheep, again a clear reference to the coming crucifixion, and to the fact that Jesus IS salvation. In verse fourteen Jesus says He is the “good shepherd”, and the sheep know Him. In verse sixteen Jesus refers to sheep “not of this pen”, meaning the Gentiles, the first group of sheep being the believing Jews. To get the proper context of these verses, one really needs to read the whole chapter.
John 10:28-30 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.30I and the Father are one.”
In these verses Jesus says He gives eternal life, no one but God can do that! Then He says that No one can take them (anyone possessing eternal life) from Him. Jesus proceeds to say that His Father is “greater than all”, and that He (Jesus) and the Father are one. What a clear declaration of Godhood!
Notice the claim that Jesus makes here that He and the Father are one, this is huge in proving Jesus is God. Many will say that this verse and others like it mean nothing…Jesus did not after all come right out and say; “I am God”, and this is true. This is however just another example of either ignorance, or outright self-deception. Let me explain why I say this. In the bible one must, absolutely MUST read in context…contextual meaning is different than what you will pull out of say a couple of verses. Entire paragraphs even pages are grouped together as one related expose on a single subject, therefore if you do not read all of them together you are apt to miss the authors intended meaning. Knowing what various thoughts relayed to us in the bible meant in the day the authors wrote them is also key to understanding what a particular passage of scripture means. I do not have all the answers and am open to learning more; I am saying that how you read the bible does matter. John 10:30 is a great example of this, Jesus has just said, “I and the Father are one”, read on further in (John 10:33) and you see that the Jews are readying themselves to stone Jesus. Why are they doing this…the Jews clearly understood Jesus claim to being one with the Father as a direct claim of being God!
Related articles: O Little Town of Bethlehem – ChristianBlessings/mtsweat
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Have you ever had an addiction? Maybe you find yourself struggling with one even now. For those who have never been addicted to something, they cannot possibly begin to understand what it is like.
An addiction is horrible; it is like dragging a lead weight around that you cannot be rid of. Even if you want to be rid of your addiction, you find that you are drawn right back to it again. Often though, people are addicted to things, and will not admit it or do not seem to care.
I was addicted to many things. At one time I used drugs for a while in my life. Not a good thing drugs. I was even more addicted to alcohol and cigarettes.
The list of addictions I could write would fill pages up! People are addicted to social media, television, music, drugs, porn, movies, blogging, and many more. If you have to have it, or have to do it all the time, it is an addiction!
When I drank it was every day. No exceptions, every single day no matter what. It did not matter if there was an appointment that day, company was coming; nothing mattered enough that it would prevent me from drinking. This is the nature of addictions; an addiction is not something you can just stop whenever you want to. I knew I drank too much; I was not interested in stopping this behavior most of the time.
Addictions are a way of self-medicating because people have problems. Lets face it life is not easy for anyone. If I as a person do not posses a solid foundation on which to stand, I will turn to what helps me…often with disastrous results. The other problem is that if the addiction produces a “high”, some type of pleasurable feeling, then the person becomes addicted to the very feeling and continuously desires more. It is a very vicious cycle that is incredibly difficult to get away from.
I had become a follower of the Lord, but had not given up alcohol yet. Despite what some would say, you can be a Believer and still be doing things you really should not be. People do not become Believers and then just like that all things are nice and tidy in their lives…it does not work like that. One has only to look at King David to see the truth of what I am saying, and yet many a person would disagree with me here.
I am one of the exceedingly lucky ones; God Himself took away the desire to drink from me…I could not stop. For reasons unknown to me (I say this because I know people still struggling) the Lord took this awful burden from me. It happened in a very simple way. I was drinking as usual; I was also reading in the Word. It occurred to me that reading and studying the Word of God while guzzling down beer was not right. That was it; I was done right there and then, just like that.
There is hope for addictions, there is healing. Support groups are great; friends are good as well. First and foremost though I would say a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. Then one needs a real desire to give up the addiction, this is not a game. Addictions are very serious business. Prayer is a key element as well; ask God to help you, keep praying do not stop. If you fall, don’t beat yourself up about it, get back up and keep trying. Success can and does come because of perseverance.
Satan wants you to remain locked in bondage to your addiction; it serves him well. Do not let him fool you; break free with God’s help! You can do this! Be encouraged that addictions can be beaten. In Christ you can do all things.
Online resources and encouragement:
I was listening to a podcast on Solomons Porch Radio recently. This was a very good interview with Peter Guirguis, (Not Ashamed of the Gospel) on what he does in his ministry that is focused on Internet evangelism.
One of the hosts of the show (Mike and Mark) made a comment about serving Christ. The paraphrase of what he said is this; I would serve Christ forever more if He did nothing else for me. That got me to thinking…
Why do we serve Christ, more specifically, why do you the person reading this serve Him??
Do you serve with an expectation of reward, maybe in this lifetime, or assuredly in the next? Or maybe you serve Jesus with no expectations or very few?
What is your motive to serve the Lord? I’m here to tell you, it DOES matter. Lets say that you have a ministry. And lets also say that you do what you do with some expectations that the Lord is going to do some things for you here on this earth because of your service to Him. Or how about this, you are looking for recognition and a name because of what you do for the Lord.
Ever wonder why your ministry just does not seem to prosper? Or that your ministry seems slow to grow, doors do not seem to open? Does the above preceding paragraph describe your ministry, even one that is not yours but you are involved in? When you serve the Lord with these expectations, are you really serving Christ, or are you serving yourself?
The ministries I see growing are those that are not serving themselves, but are in fact serving the needs of others. Let me be clear; I am not talking about the occasional self-serving thought here, we all have those. I am talking about those who have a self-serving agenda wrapped up as service to Christ’s people. I am also unfortunately speaking of the ones who really do want to help God’s people, but yet still have a strong desire for that recognition, self-glorification. This is not in line with God’s will for us.
I will be honest with you; I have struggled with this myself. First we have to admit it, and then we have to do something about it. Take it to the Lord, admit what you have done, and ask Him to help you. Pride comes before the fall, and humility comes before honor.
Serving God should be all about God, not me (me here refers to me personally, but you as the reader as well). Serving God should be done because He cared enough to serve us…long before we even knew He existed.
Keep in mind here that Christ was and is God. I know that you have heard it all before, but again…God stepped out of heaven and became a lowly man. That was a rather large step down was it not? During His time on earth, Jesus gave up His rights to use His Godly power. Jesus did not ever give up His deity…but He did give up His Godly privileges if you will.
During Jesus time here, He served…God served men! Can you imagine sitting in your favorite chair in your living room, and Jesus Christ on His hands and knees before you washing your feet???? Well imagine it! Jesus actually did this for His disciples! Jesus says; give me all your bad things, all your sins, I will take them all…and give you back life in return. In the end, Jesus gave up His life for us.
So, you see my friends that God has done all things for us already even if He does nothing more for us! The Lord God died on a cross for us to have life. We place our faith in Him and serve Him, and we come away with the grand prize.
We are here to serve and glorify the Lord. He made us, and He saved us…we are His bought at a price. Who are we to make demands upon Him?
Prosperity teaching and this feeling of entitlement by some, dare I say many…is just plain wrong. We as Christ’s people are not here to prosper ourselves. We are here to serve Him, and a big way of doing that is in blessing His body. This is and should be a central truth to any ministry. After all, why does any ministry exist? Is it not to serve the body of Christ and in so doing glorify God??? Where do you see self in there?
Do you want to see examples of how to conduct a ministry? Just look around you, look for the ones that do not lift themselves up, look for the ones that are always willing to help. Look for the ones with a humble spirit, a kind word for other ministries. In other words, these ministries will be focused on other people’s problems and helping them find solutions through and in Christ…not on “look how great I am”.
Is your focus on Christ?
Recently Mac Powell, front man for the Christian rock band Third Day announced he was doing a country music album. Many people received this news with anticipation; anticipation of what this new CD would sound like. Unfortunately some people have already questioned the wisdom of Mac doing this.
People have said that God’s anointing will no longer be on Third Day if Mac sings non-Christian music. Mac has no business singing anything but Christian music. Really????
People are disappointed that Mac would do this, one guy quoted bible verses as to why it is wrong for Mac to sing country music! Say what????
Marc Martel of the Christian band Downhere went out on tour with Queen, a secular rock band. Granted Queen does not have a nice clean reputation exactly, but so what? Because Marc is a Christian artist…people instantly attacked him for doing this. His faith in Christ was questioned, his judgement, his values…
Does this kind of behavior upset any of you as much as it does me? These people who say these negative things are so ridiculous it would be laughable…except this really isn’t funny.
I have met Mac Powell several times now, gotten to speak to him for a very brief moment as well. I have heard him pour out his heart for God in prayer during shows. I have seen Marc in person with Downhere, and listened to him speak. These guys are the real deal, faithful Believers. They don’t talk “about” the life of a Believer; they live it.
I saw a comment that these guys should not associate with the secular world; please be serious! Why do people instantly think that doing anything in the mainstream is evil? Does it not cross these people’s minds that artists who are Believers can have an amazing impact for God in these “secular” situations?
Who gave anyone the right to judge Mac and Marc because they are pursuing interests that coincide with “the world”? Do these same people ever listen to anything outside of Christian music?
Who decides what the requirements are to be a Believer? Is it not God, or did these people receive special dispensation? Is it any wonder that the “Christian” religion is so fraught with problems? One Believer breaks the mold that someone defined for him, (NO one has any business doing this) and then that someone attacks the one who dared to be different! Hello…are we not shooting ourselves in the foot, while doing a disservice to our God and hurting a fellow brother or sister in Christ?
Why I ask you? Why do people do this? It is both wrong and foolish.
God did not ever say that we are to have nothing to do with those who do not believe! Before anyone throws verses at me saying otherwise…yes; God said do not be unequally yoked in marriage. Yes God wants us to get our deepest friendship needs met by other Believers. Yes we are to fellowship with other Believers, not unbelievers. If we never associate with unbelievers, then how do we witness to them? You do not walk up to someone and hit them over the head with the fact that they are sinners in need of a Savior…and oh by the way you are going to Hell for that; would you like to pray and receive Jesus now??? It’s all about relationship!
Back to Mac and Marc, these two men of God go on tour performing for secular crowds. They do not participate in the boozing, womanizing, and drug use. They are nice guys; clean cut, they act the same way they do at their Christian gigs. Do you see how this would be a powerful witness to the world? The word will be out where they came from…
As to the ones making the derisive comments…what does this make them look like? Do you think it is ok to question someone’s faith, integrity, allegiance to God, etc. in this situation?
I’m going to say myself that these people are narrow minded and judgmental. I’m going to pray that God would open their eyes to see, their ears to hear. I’m also going to pray that God would help me not to do this very same thing. Will you join me?
Christ and Pilate
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What is truth? Ever hear of this gem…your truth is not necessarily my truth. I guess that all depends on where you get your Truth from now doesn’t it?
If I expound on what I believe is true, then my statements are open to debate. Truth cannot be based upon what I think, or for that matter what anyone else thinks either.
What I think is my opinion, not fact. Sadly however in today’s society, many people’s basis for truth is what they themselves believe to be true. The modern approach to truth, or the worlds approach to truth is that if you personally believe something to be true, then it is. However, that being said your truth is not necessarily anyone else’s truth. Confused yet?
If I present what is the “real truth”, I’m perceived as being narrow minded; judgemental, intolerant, and even a liar. Contrary to popular opinion, there is only one source for truth. There is only one truth, and that is God.
What is truth anyway and where does it come from? Truth, real truth is based solely on God…always. Jesus said I am the truth, (John 14:6) (John 14:17) and that we would posses the Spirit of truth. God is truth, and all truth comes from Him. Don’t be led astray by today’s world, which is full of foolishness and un-truth. There is an ultimate truth, a single source of truth to live by…the Word of God. As God is truth, so His Word is truth also.
John 8:32 states, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Knowing Jesus as Savior and understanding His teaching, the Truth, will set you free. Free from bondage to sin, free from death everlasting, free from guilt over your sins, free from a meaningless existence.
If you however subscribe to the “world’s truth” you will not be free, you will in fact be enslaved. Worse yet, your enslavement won’t end in this life, but will continue on into eternity. Truth as the world sees it, (see above) is a very clever trap designed by Satan. Worldly truth is appealing because whatever you choose to believe is true, that way whatever your actions are in life, you are justified. Isn’t that great? The problem with this is your conscience knows better…which is why you have the guilt factor in your life. Your conscience was given to you by God, it is His law written on your heart!
Romans 2:15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.
The world’s truth also has a one very unpleasant side affect, your death. So we all die so what? Well after death we all will have one of two destinations, heaven or hell. If you are a follower of worldly truth, you will at the judgment be cast into the lake of fire
(Revelation 20:15).The believers of God’s truth will be in heaven.
There is only one truth, the Truth of God. Believe in it and receive life everlasting. Receive forgiveness of sins. Be free from guilt and condemnation (Romans 8:1). Be right with the Living God…we all will bow before Him, willingly or unwillingly. I choose willingly because Jesus saved me, because I love Him.
Confess your sins to God acknowledging you are a sinner. Tell God you are sorry for your sins. Ask Jesus to come into your life as Savior and Lord, believing that He died on the cross for your sins, and rose to life and is living even now. You will be forgiven and granted eternal life.
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How can I know Jesus? Too many people complicate this subject in the same way that the Pharisees (Matthew 23) of Jesus day complicated the Jewish religion. Contrary to what some would tell you, knowing Jesus is not all that difficult. Keep in mind here that I am referring to knowing Him as in becoming saved, receiving eternal life…not as in being a pastor or theologian.
So how does one get to know Jesus? How do I receive Jesus into my life as Lord and Savior? Lets look into these questions and get some answers.
The best way to get to know Jesus is through someone who already knows Him. A disciple of Jesus is the one best equipped to help you learn about Christ. A disciple of Christ may be a Pastor, or lay leader, or anyone who knows the Lord. As Believers in Jesus, we can explain to those seeking Him what they need to know, and we can answer questions a person may have.
If the option of talking to a follower of Christ does not exist for you, or you would prefer to learn a little on your own first, then there are two other ways to learn about Jesus.
- You can purchase a bible and read the Gospel(s)
- You can easily access the bible online and read the Gospel(s)
In option one, I would recommend starting out by reading the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John is relatively easy to read, and contains a wonderful collection of information about Jesus. This Gospel also contains reassurance to you the reader that you can know if you have eternal life.
In option two, I would recommend reading the Gospel of John as well. Find a reputable online source to read bible such as http://www.biblestudytools.com/, or http://www.biblegateway.com/. The whole bible is online, and these sites offer the bible in many different versions as well.
The easiest to understand version may be the (NLT) New Living Translation. I would also recommend other versions as well. The (NIV) New International Version, and the (NKJV) New King James Version, as well as the (ESV) English Standard Version are more literal translations than the (NLT) is.
Basically in a few words, Jesus came to earth to save sinners, and all of us are sinners. Have you ever done something wrong? That was a sin. The penalty for sinning is death, Jesus came here and willingly died on the cross to pay our penalty (death) for us.
To receive forgiveness of sin and receive the free gift of eternal life, you need to pray to the Father in heaven through Jesus Christ. This prayer can be in your own words, God looks at your heart…He knows if you mean it or not.
Pray this prayer, or something like it to receive Jesus into your life as Savior and Lord.
Father I admit that I am a sinner, and confess my sins to You now and ask for your forgiveness of my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ through His shed blood and death upon the cross, paid for my sins. Father I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and even now is with You in heaven. Jesus I invite you to live in my heart and be my Lord and Savior, I now commit my life to You.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, welcome to the family of God!
If you are a new Believer, I highly recommend that you find a church so that you may fellowship with other Believers and grow as a follower of Christ.
Please keep in mind here how I worded this prayer…I commit my life to You Lord; this means commitment to God. Truly being saved means a change in your heart and mind. You cannot pray a prayer and then go back to living like the world, that is meaningless. If Jesus is really your Lord…then you serve Him and obey Him.
Yes you will have to stop doing some things most likely…but serving God is not a jail sentence. It is the beginning of your new life. I was an alcoholic…God took that away from me. I was never able to quit smoking…He took that as well. The benefits of being a follower of Christ far out weigh the supposed drawbacks.
We that are Believers are just like everyone else; except we belong to God for all eternity! Hallelujah!!