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)