The game of life is won or lost with every person's acceptance or denial of Jesus as their savior. Any person that denies Jesus, whether rich, poor, homeless or powerful, all have the same fate. All will suffer the wrath of God. On the other hand, all who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior have the righteousness of Christ. All Christians are to conform to be like Christ. Each start at a level according to their own experience and knowledge. We each grow by reading and studying God’s word, prayer, and relationship with other Christians. You’ve heard we are what we eat and there is some truth in this. It also applies to us spiritually. We have the choice of reading the bible or reading a newspaper, listening to music that praises or honors God or music that glorifies this world. We can watch programs that are morally responsible or teaches the ways of this world. Most Christians don’t read the bible except in church or in Sunday School. However many churches have replaced Sunday School with Small Groups and there is nothing wrong with that as long as it involves bible study. It’s hard to grow spiritually if we don’t actively seek God. Bible-believing Christians are rare these days. Sure they believe some of what they think they know but how much of what they think they know is actually biblical?
One of my gravest concerns deals with people I know and love that have children and grandchildren. They love their offspring and work hard to prepare them as they grow into adults. Stressing education(college) and career choices. It seems that success is rooted in getting a college degree from a good school so they can get a well paying job to have a nice house, car, clothes, etc… They spend very little time preparing them spiritually. Sure they may teach manners, proper etiquette, and may even take them to church from time to time. But how much time away from church do they read and talk about the bible? Sadly these days we have to ask how much biblical truth is taught in the churches? And without much exposure to God’s word, they won’t be any spiritual growth.
So maybe you have been saved and reserved your place in heaven. Are you content with that? Do you have family and friends that aren’t saved and you know what fate awaits them and your still content with showing up at church for an hour or so once a week? Sing a few songs, listen to the message and drop a five in the plate then back to the world where it’s more comfortable? Maybe you join a small group and hang out with your church friends for another hour a week. If that small group is not about bible study or lessons rooted in biblical truth it’s merely a social group with church-going people. Which is fine as long as it’s a secondary group and you are getting bible knowledge elsewhere. If our daily life looks the same as our unsaved friends and family then how are we going to draw them to Jesus? And without Jesus, there is no redemption.
If you’re a Christian you must live intentionally if you expect to grow spiritually. You need to grow spiritually if you want to make an impact on the world around you. If you don’t care about the world around you have to question your salvation. So read your bible daily. Even on days you just don’t feel like it. Get in a bible study group. Don’t be afraid to question what is being taught. Try and understand the context of scripture as to who and why it was written. And know that if there seems to be a contradiction that the interpretation of one or both of the seemingly contradictory verses wrong and requires deeper study. Don’t ever be satisfied in where you are as a Christian because there is always room for growth.
What is required of us by God that we may enter the kingdom of heaven? Answer: We must be free of sin. We must be righteous. But we know none are righteous, no not one, so how is it possible. With man it's not possible, but with God all things are possible. That is why God the Son left His throne to live among man and gave Himself as a perfect and Holy sacrifice. How awesome is this! He invited us to live with Him forever and paid the price for our admission. All we have to do is have faith, believe and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. As a believer our sins are washed away with the blood of Christ and His righteousness is transferred to us as if we had lived sinless lives. Securing a place in His Kingdom forever. What could be any better than this; Having a God that loves so much that He suffered in our place.
And this is the Gospel "... Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: " 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
"The Power of Positive Thinking" Hmmm
You hear a lot about positive thinking these days. And not just from your self help books and speakers. Positive thinking can also be heard from the pulpit at many churches today. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with keeping a positive attitude towards life, but it in many cases it has been used to take the place of good sound doctrine. Omitting truth that needs to be taught about the Gospel of Christ. So I'm going to give my take on "Positive Thinking".
I am positive that I'm a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
I am positive that there is a hell. "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Luke 19:22-24. I am positive that God loves me so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in my place. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
I am positive that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and arose again on the third day. "...Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
I am positive that salvation is a free gift for all who will believe and put their faith in Jesus. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8. I am positive there is no other way to salvation except Jesus. " Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.
In conclusion, whereas having a positive attitude may lift your spirits. Being positive about who God is, who Jesus is and knowing what He has offered us through His Grace and Mercy and accepting His free gift of redemption. Being positive about these facts, brings unspeakable Joy.
Never forget what He has done for you. He bore the punishment for your sins so you can be righteous before the Father. Give Him your heart and trust if you haven't already.
"Can you lose your salvation?" This question was asked in a Men's Group I had attended at one time. I immediately said no. Then I was asked why I believed that. My answer was because the bible says so. It says nothing can..., at this point I was interrupted and Romans 8:38-39 was quoted: "...neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God..." and then came the explanation that we could not separated from "God's Love." Implying that God always loves us but that doesn't mean we are saved. However the verse that was in my mind actually was John 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." I just didn't know where it was at the time. I believe both of these scriptures go hand in hand. Nothing can separate us from God's love nor pluck us from God's hand. Also Paul tells us in Romans 11:29 that God's gifts are irrevocable and salvation is, a gift from God.
The real dilemma here is that if we can be saved and then become un-saved. How then can you be saved again? According to Hebrews 6:4-6 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." So is it possible then for a saved person to willfully reject Jesus and the Holy Spirit? If so, and according to the verses above, there would be no hope of being saved again. This would be rejecting ones salvation, which is not the same as losing it due to sin.
We as humans still sin and sin affects our fellowship with God but not our promise of salvation. So therefore we repent of our sin to restore our relationship with God, not our salvation.
David wrote, after his great sin with Bathsheba and unto Uriah the Hittite, Psalms 51:12 " Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." Notice he said; Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and not his salvation. Davids faith and trust in God kept him saved but his sin damaged his relationship with God. But then he repented of his sin and restored their relationship.
The question I've been asked. "Must I believe in a 6 day creation to be a Saved?" The answer is no. Jesus says in John, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16
This is what you have to believe:
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." - Romans 10:9-10
After you are saved and born again in the Spirit, God invites us to know Him and gain greater knowledge of who He is through the studying of His Word. The Holy Spirit will reveal things to your heart and mind which may lead to a change from your initial beliefs. With an open heart and open mind you may begin to believe in such things as "The Flood" in Genesis, "Adam and Eve", and the "six day creation." However they are not prerequisites for getting saved. So don't let these questions be a stumbling block that keeps you from trusting in Jesus as your Savior! We must remember, though we are created in His image, He is the Creator and His thoughts are higher than ours. (isaiah 55:8-9)
My prayer is that you will know Him today!
An age old problem, and the same battle Paul fought that still goes on today. Seems everywhere you turn, someone is either adding to or watering down the Gospel that was given to us by our Lord and Savior through Paul the apostle. That's why we should study daily, God's Word, less we be fooled.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15
"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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
. Many people are in mourning over the death of boxing great Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali had many accomplishments in this life. In the Olympics and in the professional ring. His rewards were riches & fame here on earth. But now he is gone, never to fight again, never to love again, and most importantly, no more chances to find life. I also mourn. But not for the loss of an American Icon, but because of what he didn't have. Muhammad Ali chose (freewill) to serve a false god. Denying the Cross of Christ and forfeiting eternal life. A much greater reward than any of his accomplishments as a boxer could ever hope to give. Truth is he could have had both, but which is most important? And it was a free gift. He didn't have to earn it, work for it, or train for it. Just accept and ask Jesus into his heart and acknowledge Christ as his Savior. So while the world mourns a fallen Icon, believers mourn a lost soul. I would like to say, "may he rest in peace," but I know it's too late. And I know there is no peace without Jesus in your heart. I urge all to seek eternal rewards and not temporary ones!
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galations 6:7-8
Are you a child of God? And what makes you a child of God? I ask these questions because there seems to be some confusion in this matter amongst the congregations. In some circles people believe and teach that everyone is a child of God. Their logic comes from Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." What this means is that we are God's creation. We are created to have relationship with Him. The big problem is that sin entered the world and broke the relationship. The good news is that God had a plan to repair that broken relationship. He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son to be a sacrifice for all who would believe. Now with faith and belief in Jesus as our Savior we become joint heirs with Christ as brothers and sisters. Then and only then do we become children of God. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12), "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:15-17). So you see, not everyone is a child of God. And not by God's choice, but by our own. He gives us freewill, that we may choose Him and love Him as He loves us. If only everyone would choose Jesus!