Tuesday, November 28, 2017

World IS AGAINST Christ and Christians. Stand In Christ, Anyway.

Too often, we, Bible believing Christians, fall into the self-set trap of feeling sorry for ourselves about the world wanting to isolate us or destroy that for which we stand, or we delude ourselves by ignoring that the world is corrupted by sin and that the world is not the friend of godly righteousness. Too often, we try to ignore or deny that the world is bent toward spiritual cannibalism. Largely, in our time, our delusions about sin and the world derive from ecumenicism, wherein, religious and secular elements of the world falsely unite in opposition against God's Christ and biblical Christianity. In their false unity, they perfectly illustrate the old adage, "The enemy of my enemy is my ally." The perfect biblical case is when Jesus was being tried and shuttled between Pilate and Herod.

Luke 23:12 12  And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

For those who do NOT see God's point immediately, the Bible is teaching the opposite of ecumenicism. Throughout the Bible, God insists of adherence to His Truth, not to worldly alliances. Ecumenicism proves itself to be the coming together of opposing basic principles, beliefs, and religions simply for the sake of worldly gain, conquest, or appearances of worldly unity, that form a collection of false prophets who are, "just trying to get along". IF the ecumenical "common enemy" of the biblical Christ, biblical salvation, and biblical Christianity were removed from the ecumenical equation, then the falsely united ecumenical allies would revert to tearing each other apart.

Christians, like Christ Jesus, Himself, and according to His Word, we, who are truly His followers, must stand and grow in whatever situation God has planted us, as a testimony to the lost souls around us, that they might see and hunger for His Light and be saved from their sin. Fulfilling God's mission for us, in place and without complaint, is supposed to be in honor to our Savior and Creator, also. As the Bible says, let us, as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, not whine or lament our sufferings, whether inflicted by the world or brought upon ourselves by our own sin. But rather, let us find cause to praise God, throughout, for as we learn to be thankful in terrible things we shall also overcome them and learn to be more thankful and rejoice more abundantly in pleasant things. May all glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ, especially for the salvation that He alone has secured and continues to offer to every soul that is willing to come to Him on His terms, in repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. May you, also, submit to Him who is King of kings and LORD of lords, our blessed Creator.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Jesus Christ Clarifies the End Times

Speaking with His disciples, as they admired the architecture and decoration of the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem, Jesus Christ warned His followers of things that MUST come to pass in this world, as the ungodly world system and sin try to undo the work of God. These warnings are for those who believe on and trust Christ, for those who have accepted His salvation, so that we do not need to despair nor fear the chaos in the world nor the worldly terrors that shall come upon us as we strive daily to share and spread His message of repentance and redemption that only comes through the finished work of Christ, via His sinless blood, death, burial, and resurrection. As real Christians, Bible believing Christians, we have zero reason to fear anything that comes upon us in this life, for in Christ and through Him we have already overcome the world in His Spirit and His Truth.

Luke 21:5-19
 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
6  As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
7  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
8  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
9  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
10  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
11  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
13  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
14  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
15  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
18  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19  In your patience possess ye your souls.

If you are not already a biblically born again believer and disciple of Jesus Christ, you need to be. Otherwise you face a bleak and lonely eternity.

Friday, November 10, 2017

God Wants To Save Rich & Nice People, Also, "For All Have Sinned"

There are some preachers and populists who seem to be jealous of rich people, or of people who try to work hard and live a life of peace and doing what's right (even nice people who think they shall get into heaven just because they try to do everything right). Raging against other people whom God has blessed is not a good thing for any of us to do, but, we need to heed God's warnings about failing to speak God's truth. We all need to get in tune with God's point of view and understand that God's will is that all people should repent and be saved.

First, let's consider Jesus' comments about how difficult it is for rich folks and self-righteous people to repent and trust in God's way of doing things.

Matthew 19:16-26
16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
25  When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Now let's see how Christ's warning and admonition bore the fruit of repentance in the life of Jericho's chief tax collector, who literally put his money where his repentant heart and mind met Christ in truth.

Luke 19:1-10
 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3  And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4  And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5  And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6  And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7  And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Are you willing, like Zacchaeus, to admit your sin, to turn from sin to Christ, to accept the salvation that Christ offers to you, and to let His Holy Spirit change your life into a godly life that also cares about the eternal destiny of those around you, as well as caring about the fallout from your own sin?

For those who were brought up on the unholy idea of penance (trying to pay for your own sin to save yourself), penance is NOT what God wants from us. Penance is religious misguidance that has nothing to do with godly repentance (calling our sin what God calls it, being sorry that we sin, that we choose sin, and that we are sinners, and then turning away from our sin toward God's Christ). Our repentance is the first thing that God commands of us, and is the first step to allowing God and His Christ to have HIS WAY with our lives, that godly sorrow for our sin leads us to trust ONLY in God's salvation in Christ Jesus. God wants all people to trust in His plan of salvation, but He also knows that not everyone is going to choose Him and His ways, yet, He takes no pleasure in the death of lost sinners who neglect or reject Him and His salvation in Christ. From God's viewpoint, there are only two kinds of people in this world, lost sinners who have not trusted God's salvation, as opposed to saved sinners who trust only in God's salvation through Jesus Christ alone. We CANNOT be saved if we fail to admit that we are morally and spiritually lost and in need of God's Savior.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Not Sharing Truth About Repentance Tells Souls To, "Go To Hell"

God has given all those who really believe in God, and His Word, the wonderful mission of telling others to repent and trust in Christ Jesus. While God-hating cultures make that mission seem like a dirty secret or nasty mandate, Jesus made that command a commission clear to His disciples, after He rose from the dead and was about to ascend bodily into heaven. As they dined, Christ corrected their lack of understanding and reemphasized the message that He had been empowering them to fulfill the whole time that they were walking with Him during His earthly ministry. The eleven apostles dining with Jesus were, obviously, physically incapable of personally talking with every single soul throughout the whole world within their own lifetime, so, in line with numerous scriptures and examples throughout the Bible, that command automatically defaults to God's baseline of an ongoing commission to every believer to, likewise, go forth and continue telling other souls about God's singular salvation. The Old and New Testaments are loaded with examples that point out such principles, about trusting God alone for salvation, and sharing that with other people. That salvation is only available through Jesus Christ, as Isaiah 53 speaks of God's only Messiah, and as explained in Luke 1, Matthew 1-3, and Mark 1:1-11.

If we do not understand and accept that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh (the physical embodiment of God), then we cannot have adequate understanding of His sinless perfection and His ability to pay wholly and exclusively for our sin. Then, also, if we neglect to understand, acknowledge, and admit our lost spiritual condition, then we shall not be saved by any religious or other experiences.

Mark 16:14-16
14  Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Earlier on, Jesus had to reinforce the foundation of the gospel message (among His followers) before He was crucified, because of the lack of understanding of His followers. Throughout the Bible, we see the repeated theme of human failure to understand, acknowledge, and act upon what God wants us to see, hear, and do in life.

Luke 18:31-34
31  Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
32  For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
33  And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
34  And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

Even later on, as the faith of Christ, and biblical churches, spread abroad, the last apostle that Jesus 'hand-picked', Paul, had to restate for the biblical record, in 1 Corinthians 15, what the real gospel was, is, and always shall be. For without the foundational understanding that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, coupled with "repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ", there is no other way of salvation at all for anyone. If Christians do not share THAT two-pronged message with those around us, then we are not fulfilling the job that Jesus sent us out to do. In our neglect to share the message of the sinless Godhood of Christ coupled with repentance and faith in Christ, then we are telling them to, "Go to Hell".

Hebrews 2:1-3
 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
2  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

Sinless and holy, Jesus Christ Himself said plainly that He is THE ONLY hope of salvation. If we, who say we believe, do not take that clear message of His Deity and the human need for repentance and faith in Him, to everyone around us, in tune with God's Word and Holy Spirit, then we are failing to stand in our primary life's work assigned to us by our Creator, as we have previously read. He and His commission are also evidenced by His Creation, as testified in Old and New Testaments of the Bible. His true awesomeness (even to those who have not read His Word) commands our attention and our obedience, calling us to repentance and faith in God's one true salvation. Believe Him, for He cannot lie. And always be willing to tell others of their urgent need to be saved. Take godly heart, Christian, and let God do His work through you, for, surely, few among us have striven with sin to the point of our blood being shed. Furthermore, God's Holy Spirit says to every biblical believer...

Ephesians 5:14-20
14  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Therefore, let us go forth and do let God do the work, through us, that He wants accomplished.