Saturday, May 13, 2017

What MUST I Do To Be Saved? What Does GOD Say About It?

In the following Bible passage, God makes it very clear that His good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, is NOT committed to soothsayers, wizards, fortune tellers, or anyone who is under the influence of anything other than God's Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. That said, the following passage from the Book of Acts gives us yet another of God's clear mandates about what HE wants us to do and how He wants us to turn to Him, which is what repentance means. The biblical gospel is that Jesus Christ (Emmanuel, God in human flesh) came to live as one of us, among us, born of a virgin, that He lived a perfect sinless life, chose willingly to take all our sin upon Himself, suffered in our place for our sin, physically died for our sin (as witnessed by many), went to Hell for our sin, His dead body spent three days and three nights in the grave tomb, He resurrected Himself on the third day (as witnesses by many), showing us the newness in life that we can have in Him, and finally, that He ascended bodily into Heaven (before a host of people), to demonstrate that He alone is the one true God in the flesh, King of kings, LORD of lords, Creator, life giver, conqueror of death, sin, and all things that would challenge Him and His authority, that we might have forgiveness of sin and peace, forever, in Him, if we will accept His gospel and ask for His forgiveness, repenting of our sin.

Acts 16:16-34
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
20  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.    
25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
27  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29  Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32  And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33  And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34  And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Here is God's explanation of who Jesus Christ really is. Furthermore, here is God's simple plan for how YOU, also, can know 100% for sure that YOU can have peace with God for all eternity.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Modern Obsessions = Ancient Problems

In industrialized societies we often condescendingly consider ourselves better and more civilized than the rest of humanity, yet, we are increasingly obsessed with the worldly illnesses of mankind, while we neglect the inward things that God says are most important. We make the same self-serving mistakes as have been committed by God-rejecting people down through the ages.

Yes, within the flood of modern humanity, a few thousand or million people here and there are concerned about the things of God, but our obsession with running to science and technology to find 'wellness' and 'wellness programs', as we emphasize physical and mental health, has eclipsed our need to focus on the things of "the inward man" of which the Bible speaks. Our rush to solve our issues by way of modern tech wizards and specialized doctors, is little different from paganism or the practices of ancient times, as people sought for any answers other than what God says and offers to us. The Book of Mark, especially Chapter 7, brings out this point repeatedly, as Christ seeks to bring an eternal message of salvation to one region after another, yet, the people are continually seeking and amazed by His healing of the lame, the deaf, the mute, the demon possessed, etc.

Based on the examples given in the Bible, it demonstrates that most of us are primarily ruled by our sin nature, and that we want earthly goodies, earthly miracles, earthly healings, but we do not have much, if any, interest in the eternal things that will last... forever, without end. We want instant rewards, instant pleasures, instant competence, instant gratification of all sorts, but we ignore or throw away the treasures of God that are encompassed in His love and peace toward us, that are freely given to us when we turn to Him and His Christ from our sin, in "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ".

Many will rant and rail that Christ is NOT their God or Savior, and they have well said, for they are lost in their sin because of their rejection of God's Christ and God's plan of salvation. Irrespective of what our flesh, minds, and urges dictate to us, our spirits have God-given free will to decide for ourselves whether to accept or reject God's Word and His Way of salvation. I've written and spoken many times of these things, but I write this, again, in the hopes that, as we eat food, drink water, and breath air, that one day each reader might waken to the realization that one needs to be deliberately thankful for AND to deliberately choose to receive what God offers to us in Christ Jesus; to realize that no one else can do this for us, and that it is to this very crossroad that God calls every human being.

By neglecting or by deliberately rejecting God's Christ and plan of salvation, one signs one's own eternal judgment and dooms one's self to eternal punishment, in which one is conscious, segregated from all others, eternally tormented, eternally thirsty, eternally concerned for having made the wrong choice, and eternally concerned for other souls whom our rejection of Christ has caused us to neglect to try to warn them of eternal damnation... which makes the point that every deliberate decision, and every act of neglect, has eternal consequences.

Please consider or reconsider who the Bible says that Jesus Christ really is and the eternal blessing that He is offering to you, even at this very moment. May you come to make the choice that agrees with God's desire for you to be saved and to become part of His family. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6) "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)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Heart-Wrenching Video About Not Being a Victim: Resist Evil

I shared the following video link last year, sometime. Yet, it bears watching again. Remember to observe the guy’s ‘time machine watch’ in order to help understand the video.

The principle of defense that is shown in the video can help stop innocent people from becoming victims of violent criminals. We must stop apologizing to criminals. We must stop apologizing for criminals. Criminals are the ones who choose to fight against the rest of society. Criminals are the ones who need to be stopped.

It is NOT "the fault" of law-abiding citizens that we are alive and pursuing our lives. It is NOT law-abiding citizens who are the great abusers of firearms in our society.

Throwing blanket anti-citizen, anti-rights gun laws over society, cripples our ability to defend ourselves, while opening 'gun-free' zones in which criminals can readily operate their enterprises or engage their lusts with reduced risk of death or injury, because the criminals know that most law-abiding citizens will honor 'gun-free' zones. The moral, social, and political logic of 'gun-free' zones is weighted toward evildoers.

Furthermore, refusing to execute godly judgment on criminals, is NOT the answer to criminal violence. Here in Connecticut, the government took away the death penalty for a host of crimes, even though God has never removed the death penalty from His list, as anyone can read in the Bible.

Power brokers say that "the people" want gun control, when the people really want crime control. But, the politicians and the fearful hide behind unconstitutional laws that concentrate power in smaller and smaller groups without honoring the spirit of our founding documents that encourage everyone to RESPONSIBLY, LAWFULLY, stand up and be counted in the pursuit of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". However, as a case in point, Chicago, Illinois, has some of THE most oppressive firearm laws in our nation, when it comes to discussing constitutional rights, yet, Chicago is still one of the highest murder cities in our nation.

Ironically, years ago, out of the University of Chicago’s Economics Department came a study, and then a book by one of the authors of that study, showing that it is NOT anti-firearms laws that stop crime, but the attitude and willingness of citizens to stand up against evil and to be armed for the eventuality of conflict with evil. But, politicians and fearful people would rather hide behind false promises of ineffective laws (that criminals ignore), than to take responsibility for encouraging citizens to help resist evil by armed means, if necessary. Too many people are willing to blame police for crime, but there are not enough police in the world  to deal with every sin and crime that is committed. We cannot fix the sin part of human nature, on our own, except by personal "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ", BUT, we can prepare to defend ourselves against the violence that violent criminals would like to perpetrate against us.

Do NOT be a victim! The Bible says that we are to treat each other with love, respect, and protect each other from evil. Those are our God-given natural rights and obligations to each other. Our US Constitution, also, says that we have the “self-evident”, “unalienable right” to arm and defend ourselves.

Do NOT let politicians, or misinformed, or prejudiced people tell you that you cannot or should not arm yourself against violent criminals, whether you are in your home, on the street, or anywhere else in this world. If you happen to be a person who has a knee-jerk reaction against firearms and self-protection, no one is forcing you to arm yourself. But, ask yourself why politicians and rich people have such a heavy reliance on body guards, police, and arming themselves. They seem to desperately care about protecting their own lives and their families, but they seem to want YOU to be the scapegoat prey that distracts criminals away from them.

If you and I don’t care much about each other but happen to be out walking in the woods, and a very hungry bear comes along, I do not have to run faster than the bear, only faster than you. Escaping violent crime is no different, if we do not arm ourselves, or stick up for one another against the evils around us. Firearms in the hands of responsible, law-abiding citizens, help to level the fight for righteous living in a righteous society. But, our society seems to love sin and crime far more than godly living, for a long time, now.

To paraphrase a bumper sticker:
IF matches are the motivation and hand that set arson fires, then guns cause violence and pull their own triggers.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

An Old Lesson for Modern Times

The lesson of these passages is borne out by human history, every time that cultures insist on and persist in forsaking the love, warnings, mandates, and care of the one true God who created us all.

1 Chronicles 5:25:
“And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.”

Jeremiah 7:26:
“Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.”

Almighty God has provided us all with one and only one simple and singular solution, IF we will simply choose to accept His most gracious Gift to us.

Romans 6:23:
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We Say We Believe, But Yet, We Doubt

Oh, how paltry our faith remains, and I admit that of my own faith in Christ Jesus. For, throughout the Bible, God repeatedly shows us that He and His ways are so much greater than our own ways and understanding. May He give me the grace to listen to the lessons that He wants to teach me. The first and greatest challenge to each of us is whether we are trusting His Savior AND His plan of salvation that are inseparably intertwined and that cannot exist as one without the other. Once we are saved by faith, alone, in the sinless blood and work of Christ, then the rest is about how we choose to walk with Him and allow Him to live through us.

Matthew 14:22-33:
22  And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23  And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33  Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.