This world is corrupt with sin and sickness and it’s bringing fear upon people everywhere. The Ten Commandments are being replaced with “rights” and with “privilege” to those with money and power, making God’s law of no effect. The time we’re living in is bringing sorrows and hardships and now more than ever before, we need to obey God and keep the peace. Continue reading
I love to share the gospel of Jesus with everyone and lead people to Him so they can be saved. Many people think that when Jesus came to earth and died on the cross that all people are just automatically saved, but this is not true. He did die for everyone, but each person must come to Him individually and accept that Jesus is the Son of God; that He came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb of God and that on the cross He bore our sins and paid the punishment for them so we wouldn’t have to; that He died and rose and is alive forevermore. Continue reading
I recently read a book called, The Hiding Place, and it’s the true story of Corrie ten Boom, a woman who not only survived the brutal concentration camps of WW2, but who saved the lives of countless persecuted Christians and was a light to many other women in the camps. I was totally captivated by the horrors that she and her family endured and yet amazed at how God was right there in the midst of it all through this woman. To read her story was truly a humbling experience for me.
There are many times that we Christians get caught up with the niceties of life and we complain when we have to endure an inconvenient trial or suffer through something that we were sure God should have exempted us from in the first place – after all, we’re Christians. Sadly, we turn toward the loud prosperity preachers and false doctrines that are designed to appeal to our personal desires and because of our lack of scriptural understanding, we totally miss God. And this is NOT a good thing.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” … 2 Timothy 4:3-4
We can’t be fence-sitting Christians anymore. We either need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives, or we need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives. In other words, if we’re going to say that we’re a Christian then we need to get serious and be one!
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” … Joshuah 24:15
We can all look around us and see that the world is falling apart. It’s plagued with illness and unusual climatic change, but more than that, it’s becoming over-burdened with sin, corruption and deception and it’s getting worse every day. The devil is busy destroying people and he’s moving faster and harder now because his time is almost over – Jesus is on the verge of returning! We need to stop following false doctrines and showy preachers and get back to basics – the Bible!
“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.” … Romans 10:9
There is only ONE gospel and that is the gospel of Jesus found in the New Testament of the Bible, and most of it is written by the Apostle Paul who was a disciple of Jesus. He didn’t walk with Jesus during the Lord’s earthly ministry as the “twelve” disciples did, but Paul had a unique experience on the Road to Damascus shortly after the Lord’s resurrection where he met Jesus in person and was converted. The Lord filled Paul with the knowledge of the full gospel and Paul wrote about it throughout the New Testament. This “gospel” needs to be our benchmark for Christianity. This is the real gospel of Jesus.
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” … Acts 9:3-6
When we study the New Testament we learn who God is and who Jesus is, and we realize the big picture of what’s in store for the people on earth, AND we learn how to survive and get the victory through many of the trials that await us. Jesus tells us many times that the world will continue in sin and get worse, and that there will be persecutions and tribulations that will beset the Christians – and that’s because Christians oppose sin and the devil doesn’t like it.
So, if we’re having issues in our home or at the job or with our health, then we need to remember that trials are going to come and will continue to come at us as long as we live in this sinful world. But we also need to remember that our destination is Heaven where we’ll be with Jesus forever and where life will be good – no sin, no sickness, no tears, no death. BUT, while we’re here, God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in us, will guide us along the way.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
… John 16:33
There are two great deceptions that are robbing Christians of this truth: 1) that it’s God’s will for us to be rich on this earth and so we should strive for prosperity because we’re a “king’s kid” and our focus should be on reaping the wealth here on earth; 2) that Jesus died for everyone on the cross and that individual repentance isn’t necessary because we’re all automatically forgiven of all sins and are all headed to Heaven and that God loves each of us just the way we are.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” … Matthew 7:15
These are false teachers that cater to our personal desires and to our ignorance of the truth about the scriptures, and both will rob us of our salvation if we don’t find that truth and live it. There is an mp3 teaching series by Rev. Rich Vermillion that is called, The Fundamentals of the Real Gospel, that is FREE and he not only teaches you the real gospel, but he shows you how to discern false teachers and doctrines.
The truth is that we are in a battle as long as we’re on earth and we need to put on the whole armour of God and resist the devil. We need to study the Bible and get prepared because earth is NOT our home where we can relax and bask in the wealth of the land; earth is a battleground and when we accept Christ and come out of the sinful ways, the devil is going to come after us and he will defeat us if we aren’t prepared because he does his job well – he has come to steal, kill and destroy.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” … Ephesians 6:12-18
Our hearts and our goals and our reason for living should be for Jesus. We can enjoy our life here on earth and share God’s love and blessings with those around us, but we also need to be prepared and ready to stand for Christ; for what’s right and true according to the scriptures. When we realize that Jesus was God in Heaven who put Himself into the body of a man so that He could come to earth and live among us and then take on our sins and die on the cross in our place after being brutally tortured, we see that the greatest treasure in all of the world is the love of God. And nothing is more humbling to us than to realize that He did it all for “me”.
“For I am persuaded, that 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, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” … Romans 8:38-39
We are living in a time when religion has never been so prevalent across the globe; when the influence of an attitude of Christianity is all around us, and yet often the true gospel of Jesus is hidden behind the guise of false teaching. We need to protect our heart from deception and we do this by diligently seeking the truth. We need to beware of false teaching because it will take us away from Jesus and lead down to hell.
The true gospel of Christ, as preached by the Apostle Paul and revealed through God’s Holy Spirit to us, will keep our heart pure and disciplined before God. The Word of God is literally the words of God spoken to us and recorded in sixty-six chapters of the Bible. So, if we’re going to follow Jesus and do His will, the Bible is the only source we depend on.
There are many people in this world who believe that God exists, but few of them want to accept Him and live for Him. Even the devil acknowledges that God is real and yet he is the enemy of God. James 4:4 says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
And who rules this world? The devil rules. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
There are many false teachings today that cater to the sinful desires and lusts of the ungodly people who want to justify their greed by hiding behind the label of Christianity. What a shock it’s going to be on judgement day for them when the Lord says “depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27)
There is no compromising the Word of God. We’re either a Christian or we’re not. We either accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior or we serve the world. We either believe the true gospel AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE or we don’t. And if we don’t accept it just as it is; if we dare to change it or paraphrase it or delete it, then we are NOT Christians. We serve iniquity and we will pay the price for our sins.
We’re told in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
What is mammon? According to Webster’s Dictionary, mammon is “material wealth or possessions especially as having a debasing influence”.
So we’re either in love with God, serving Him with a whole heart and not changing His Word because we reverence Him as being Holy and as our Heavenly Father, or we’re seeking after our own lusts of wealth and serving ourselves.
There are false doctrines that exploit the erroneous message that God wants us to be rich; that this is the hour in time when God is going to lift up His children and bless them with an inheritance so they can live a prosperous life on this earth. This is a false teaching and we know this because the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 1:4, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”
Our inheritance is in Heaven, NOT here on this earth. Jesus tells us in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
This earth is not our home. Yes, we live here and maintain a temporal home that may even hold many wonderful possessions, but our heart and our hope and our eyes are on Jesus and what He has in store for us in Heaven. We are grateful for our homes, but they should not be the focal point of our faith.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, “19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
And if preachers are not trying to get you to follow after riches and donate to their churches so you can be part of these false doctrines, then they’re preaching about spiritual gifts and a walk that is not of God.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:8 that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” So God doesn’t change in any way – not the way He reveals Himself, not the way He reveals what He wants us to be and not in how He reveals His purpose and His commission to us.
The Bible was written for our edification so that we can know God and know His will for our lives. It is complete and nothing more can be added and nothing can be removed. Through the Holy Spirit every single person who reads the scriptures will get the same interpretation – and that’s because there is only ONE interpretation.
2 Peter 1:20 says, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
So, when someone begins to speak out words that sound inspiring and that declare that “God has spoken to them privately” or that “He appeared to them and gave them this divine revelation”, then we need to close our ears and run from them because they are being deceived by a lying spirit. God does NOT change how He speaks to us OR what He has said in the Bible. There is NO new revelation. God said all that He’s going to say and all that we need to know in the Bible.
We can all know God and everything He has to say on every issue in life by reading the Bible. And in 2 Timothy 2:15 it says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Yet, there are some mysteries that we won’t understand until Jesus returns, and that even the Apostle Paul didn’t have privy to. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
So, when a preacher pops up and says that God has revealed to him the truth of these end-of-time mysteries, you know he’s a liar. Even Jesus told the disciples that He didn’t know the time that He’d return because only His Father knew. He will reveal these mysteries to us in His timing.
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” 1 Corinthians 13:9-10
The onus to know Jesus is on us. We shouldn’t even think about going to someone else to learn about God. If we want to really know about someone on earth, we would become friends with that person and learn who they are through a bond that we’d develop with them. It’s the same with the Lord. We want to get close to Him and have a personal relationship with Him alone, and we won’t get that by learning about Him or talking about Him with someone else – especially someone who doesn’t know Him.
Beware of false teachings! They will lead you down the wrong path and take you away from God. There is only one way to know the truth and that is to read it from the Bible. And we can believe and trust the Bible because Jesus wrote it to every Christian who accepts His love. It’s our personal book from Him.
“And the Word [Jesus] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” … John 1:14
*Rich Vermillion, a devoted minister of the gospel, has put together an 8-part mp3 series where he explains in great detail how to know false teachings when they come and to how to know the real gospel of Jesus. This series is FREE and I invite to download your copy so that you know the real Jesus and not be deceived by false teaching. Just click here and get your free copy today.
We all know that the first step to becoming a Christian is to ask God for forgiveness; to accept Jesus as our Lord and to repent of our old lifestyle as we seek after His. And we know that the next step is to forgive other people and to be free of the anger, hostility and resentment that we’ve carried toward them. Yet, there is another part to this healing that many of us overlook and this is that the petition for forgiveness begins at home.
Many of us don’t realize that we have to forgive ourselves for things that we’ve done or not done and that have become tormenting burdens we carry in the back of our heart; things that we can’t change and that we truly regret; things that we think about often with pain and remorse; things that keep us captive in the shadows of the enemy and that prevent us from receiving the fullness of God.
Some of us aren’t even aware of these burdens until someone points them out to us. Then once we realize that we have not forgiven ourselves for something that’s affecting our life, our eyes are opened and our heart cries out to God. We are able to come to Him in prayer and “cast all of our burdens” onto Him and truly get the release from this weight that we’ve been carrying.
“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7
Some of us are aware of the burden, but we struggle with it because every day we see the results of what we did or didn’t do to someone and we can’t forgive ourselves for causing this injustice to them. We can’t be free when we know that they suffer because of what we did even though whatever it was may have been years ago and long before we knew Jesus. Or even though it may be something that we didn’t even know we did at the time and the weight of the guilt weighs heavy.
The Apostle Paul knows what it is to have done terrible things because he had many innocent Christians killed in his mislead quest to serve God. He thought he was doing what God wanted him to do, but when he was saved and repented, he was sickened by what he had done. He pled for God’s forgiveness and so the Lord forgave him and filled Paul with His Spirit, and Paul was able to forgive himself because he knew that if he had been serving Christ at that time that he would never have hurt anyone. And we have to think the same way.
Each one of us will stand before God to account for the things that we have done while we were here on earth. The good things that we have done to His glory will be noted, but the bad things that we have done – and that are all under the blood – will not be recognized because they are forgiven. The thing we did that we harbour the guilt for has been forgiven by God, too. We are the only one who won’t let it go.
This guilt – or unforgiveness – will keep our heart polluted with a burden that will continue to give the devil glory for something that he got us to do. God forgave us for it, but we won’t forgive ourselves so the effects of this sin will stay with us and will rule over us – and keep us from God. The devil smirks on because he still has a piece of us.
We need to give this burden to God. It may take many times of coming to Him and pouring it all out because the wounds are deep within us, but if we diligently cry out to Jesus and ask for His help, He will help us. When King David struggled with guilt, he cried out to God until he got this release.
“Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.” … Psalm 51:14
Faith is our lifeline to God, so if we have faith to accept Jesus as our Saviour, faith to believe that we are forgiven, and faith to know that God has a purpose for us, then we have to act on that faith. If we believe that Christ has forgiven us then we (being filled with His Spirit) must forgive ourselves and get rid of the guilt that Satan has put on us. We need to put our faith to work and break all ties with the devil.
“…..faith without works is dead”. … James 2:20
Some may argue, “It’s not that easy. I’ve physically hurt a person who can never be healed and I feel sick about it”, or “I was a bad parent and now my child is messed up and doesn’t know God”, or “My parent died angry at me for things I’d done”.
We can’t turn back time. We can’t change what we’ve done, but God forgave us for all of our sins when we came to the cross and repented. Now we need to come to God and ask Him to help us get past them so we can forgive ourselves. We need to pray and believe that He will help us.
Each person is responsible for their own salvation, and that includes the person we’ve hurt. They must come to God and seek forgiveness, as well, and ask for His direction and blessing on their lives. We cannot carry this burden for them. This is something they have to do on their own, and if they choose to not forgive us for what we’ve done to them, then that is their choice.
“….choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….”… Joshuah 24:15
God does not leave anyone out in the cold. That’s why we’re here, filled with His Spirit and working on His behalf to reach out and show God’s love to people who have suffered physically, mentally, emotionally and every other way. Even the people who were hurt by something we did will have opportunities to come to God and seek forgiveness and healing for their own lives.
This doesn’t mean that we become non-caring or complacent toward someone we’ve hurt in the past; it doesn’t mean that we brush it off as “oh well, they’ll get over it”. It means that we no longer carry the guilt for our actions because we know that Jesus has forgiven us.
In some cases this person or their family might be hateful toward us, but instead of holding onto the guilt emotion, we can lift them up in prayer every day and pray for their salvation, and ask that the Lord bless their lives and fill them with His Spirit. We can turn our guilty feelings into a positive action and give God the glory for our healing – and for their healing.
We cannot change what we did in the past, but we can live a Godly life today and be a positive influence for what happens in the future. We might never be able to tell this person that we’re sorry, or maybe we’ve apologized a hundred times, but they won’t accept it. This then becomes an issue between them and God because WE have done all that we can do.
When we forgive ourselves then we can more easily feel the love of Jesus and we can know that our body is the temple of His Spirit. We’ll know we have the victory when we can turn the guilt that we’ve carried into a mission of faith to lift this person up to Heaven and win their soul for Christ.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” … John 14:27
Michael English sings a beautiful song called Please Forgive Me. It will bring you to the foot of the cross when you close your eyes and put yourself into the words of this song. God is faithful and He’ll heal you and restore you and bless you.
Michael English sings from his heart, Please Forgive Me.
“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” … Psalm 106:1