What Good is the Bible?

lamp-unto-my-feetOften when Christians try to convert non-believers, they quote verses of Scripture hoping to prove that God is real and alive today. But sadly, to someone who doesn’t know God and who has never read the Bible and who attributes the sorrows and tribulations of this world to an uncaring Creator, the Bible has no value. So what good is the Bible if we can’t use it to witness to people? Continue reading

Let’s Celebrate Christmas!

2123279702_fe72b7a26f_mThe Christmas season is upon us and it’s truly the most wonderful time of year! Not counting the bah-humbug groups, most people everywhere are happy and friendly and filled with the seasonal joy. And while many of these happy people celebrate the “Happy Holiday” with Santa; we Christians celebrate “Merry Christmas” with Jesus! Continue reading

Stop Pointing Fingers!

pointing fingersWe’re living in an age when Christians are being persecuted for their faith by religious zealots. While the horrors of the Middle East are getting everyone’s attention, we need to bring our focus back a bit closer to home so we can see what’s happening here. Many Christians in America are being publically torn apart, criticized and ridiculed, and many of their critics are “Christians”. The world watches and it sees that the church is falling apart and that Christianity is the root of much hatred. We’re not drawing them closer to Jesus when we do this; we’re pushing them away.

It’s time to stop pointing fingers! Continue reading

Abusing God’s Love for Personal Gain

1466068_537012743056691_2031786269_nNothing excites the heart more than love. Nothing quiets a restless spirit more than love. And nothing gives us the confidence to endure trials and temptations more than love. Life is all about love and, in fact, the entire theme of the Bible is love – God’s love for us. Yet, many people miss God because they only hear that God loves them and wants to bless them abundantly here on earth. It’s wrong to abuse the love of God and His salvation so it can turned into a venue for personal gain.

We need to tell people about the love of God because it’s the very foundation on which our salvation stands. However, some doctrines turn the gospel into a message of love and prosperity, and teach that once we’re saved we will live in the abundance of prosperity, good health, constant blessings and superiority. The focus turns from Christ to us and onto this life as being the end-all, beat-all. This, however, is far from the truth.

The truth is that God’s love for us is the only thing that we live for and it’s the reason why we are able to praise Him and worship Him. The Bible says that He loves us so much that He gave His life for us. And He didn’t do this so we could live a few years of the good life here on earth; He did it so we could be with Him in eternity forever.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” … John 3:16

God’s love for us is more than most people can comprehend. There’s not one person on earth who could ever have done what Jesus did for us. He left His throne on high to become a man, live a transient life with no possessions, and then was nailed to a cross for the sins that WE committed against God. And all so He could remove the sins and save the people who He loves.

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’” … Matthew 8:20

A modern gospel encourages the people to reach out and grab hold of all the blessings that will come to them because God loves them so much and wants them to have their inheritance now. But the error is that many of these people think they are Christians, yet they only focus on lusts and desires and things they can get from God. They never really grasp what the cross is all about and never seek to know Him beyond what they can get from Him.

What are Christians?  They are people who have repented of their sins and who now follow Christ. They are people who  have 8472731872_67f246af9c_maccepted the salvation that Jesus provided on the cross and who willfully obey Him, serve Him and love Him for who He is. They are people who want to spread the truth about Jesus so others can get saved and whose heart is to serve Christ and not the desires of the flesh.

Being a Christian means believing the real gospel of Jesus. It’s confessing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to become the ultimate sacrifice for our sins; it’s believing that He died on the cross and took upon Himself all of our sins and then bore the punishment of hell for those sins; it’s believing that God raised Him from the dead and that Jesus is alive in Heaven and is waiting to come again to get  us so we can be with Him forever more. This is the real gospel!

Being a Christian means that we are free of sin and “saved” from the judgment that God will enforce on the people of this earth who follow after its sinful ways and who don’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It means being covered by the righteous blood of Jesus and that our name is written in the Book of Life so we can be with Him forever.

“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” … Revelation 20:15

It was never God’s intention that a single person should ever go to hell. However, once sin entered man, He gave them a choice to keep the sin or repent from it. When they choose to not accept His salvation, or when they choose to follow a false gospel, it’s a choice that they will live to regret throughout eternity. But it’s not God’s will for them.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” … 2 Peter 3:9

4668123355_e8fe03b41b_mGod’s love saved us from the judgment to come and made us part of His family so we can have an eternal home with Him. We have a wonderful future with Jesus where we will live, love and laugh forever.  This hope and the presence of His Spirit in us now keeps us alive and gives us the strength to endure life until we will go to be with Him.

“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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3

God’s love for us makes us eternally grateful and we praise Him for it, but He didn’t do it just so we could satisfy the lusts of the flesh and live healthy and wealthy on this earth without any tribulation. That is not what the gospel of Jesus is about. In fact, Jesus never said that life would be easy if we follow Him. He said that we WILL have tribulation but that we would overcome it through Him.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” … John 16:33

We live in a corrupt world and we are surrounded in sin and ungodliness. We will face most of the same issues that any other person living on this earth will face. We’ll get sick, have lack of finances, suffer tragedies and experience conflicts just like anyone else. The difference is that we have Jesus to help us through them and to protect us during them when we trust Him. We have the Bible to give us wisdom on how to handle the issues of life, and we have His Spirit in us who will guide us and give us peace and confidence when we need it.

When we’re ill we can believe God for healing because He told us in Isaiah 53:5 that “by His stripes we are healed.” He bore the stripes already and if we will believe it then we can receive the healing that He’s already provided for us.

God will bless our finances and give us all the things that we need549554_723795780979158_650624426_n when we ask for them and trust Him to give them to us. He doesn’t want us to live in poverty; He wants us to have everything we need in life so that we can be good witnesses to others and enjoy life. We do have the promise that He will take care of those needs because He’s a faithful and loving father; however, He doesn’t want the possessions to be what we live for or to be the only reason we come to Him.

God even wants to bless us with things that we don’t need but that will make us happy. He enjoys giving gifts to us just as any earthly father enjoys giving gifts to his children. But these are blessings that come because our love for Him is the greatest desire we have and because we are so grateful to Him for redeeming us back to God through the cross. He knows our heart and He knows that we seek Him because we love Him and not because we feel we have the right to material possessions.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” … Psalm 37:4

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, [not according to greed or lust] He hears us.” … 1 John 5:14

The key is to ask according to His will and not according to what we want. When we become Christians we serve Jesus; He does not serve us. When our mentality is set to get all we can from God now that we’re saved, we are missing God totally and need to go back to the cross and try again. When we accept that He is our Heavenly Father who loves us, then our love, respect and reverence is to Him alone, and we appreciate the sacrifice He gave on that cross. We may still have desires and wants and we will all come to Him and ask if He would bless us with one thing or another. Sometimes we get what we ask for and sometimes we don’t, but regardless, our love for Him continues to grow because it’s not founded on our own greed and lusts; it’s founded on the love that He has for us.

“We love Him, because He first loved us.” … 1 John 4:19

Our inheritance is eternity with Jesus and it’s not possessions or statusJesus is waiting for you in this earth. This world is waiting to be judged by God, and there is nothing here that we will take with us when we go to be with Him forever. Our inheritance is the reward we are given by Him and that is to be in Heaven with Jesus forever.

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” … Colossians 3:24

Any doctrine that preaches only the love of God and how great life will be on earth because of everything He will give us is a false doctrine! The gospel of Jesus preaches salvation, repentance and remission of sins, how He died on the cross and was buried and then raised from the dead. It preaches that He will return soon to take those who love Him to Heaven.

“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” … Titus 2:13

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His love for us is our reason for living, and that’s why we want to share it with others, but they will only know His love when they can hear the real gospel message about salvation through Christ Jesus. So let’s tell everyone we know that Jesus loves them, but let’s not leave it there so they foolishly chase after things instead of truth. Let’s pray with them and encourage them to study their Bible and know the truth about the love of God because His love for us is far greater than any worldly possession!

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends.” … John 15:13

What a friend we have in Jesus

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We Need to Speak Up!

6447825367_d360021037_mWhether we’re a regular follower of the news or just a casual reader we can’t help but notice that the world is in a mess! From contentious issues at work to family disasters to world catastrophes, it appears as if everything is coming undone at the seams. Too often, though, we just brush things off as being part of this world; we don’t take a stand, but instead we complain about the issues. The time to say nothing and just watch it all happen is over; it’s time to speak up!

 

“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets.” … Proverbs 1:20

Few of us are in a position to go to the front lines and fight the battles that are plaguing our world, but most of us can work in the background giving support and declaring truth in many other ways. We can all do something if we really want to – and as Christians we really need to!

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

… James 5:16

We can’t all be the ones to lead crusades against abortion, 4175850907_9d68e186f2_mbut we can still speak out to individuals and pray for them. Most of us are on Face Book and there are often posts that speak on behalf of the unborn child. We can share these posts on our own timeline, and spread the truth that it’s wrong to murder a baby and that those who participate in abortions are in danger of God’s judgment. We may never know who will read it, but it just might touch someone and save a life!

“Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” … Psalm 127:3

There are so many starving children in Third World countries that it’s heartbreaking, and now with so much violence against Christians, it’s becoming a nightmare for people who want to go there and help. We’re not all called to work as missionaries, but most of us can afford a few dollars a month to support those who are called and to feed and provide medical care for these precious people. And all of us have the ability to pray; to pray for the missionaries and the workers in these countries, and to pray that God will meet all of their needs. We can all do something to support the thousands of orphaned children who are hurting.

We may only be able to give $10 a month to support a child in the Third World, and on its own it might not seem like much, but if many people gave $10 a month, then many children could be able to eat, would get educated, would receive medical help AND would learn about Jesus.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’” … Matthew 25:40

We can’t all be part of the governing political agencies in our country, but we can pray that God will provide Christian workers who can be. We can all be part of petitions that declare we want God back in our schools. We can all pray that He will raise up mighty men who will serve Him and who will fight for the rights of Christians so we can have the freedom that our country was founded on.

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” … 1 Peter 3:12

941793_584278361594503_2038674924_nWe can’t control the weather or the natural disasters that come at us, but we can let people know that God will help them through them if they trust Him. We can pray for His wisdom so we can know what to do so to stay safe, and we can pray for others and ask for God’s protection on them. We can be part of an active community and help others in our own neighborhoods who need our help.

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” … Psalm 4:8

We may not always approve of the things our own children do and get involved in, but we can pray for them and we can teach them about God and encourage them to trust Him. From the time we discover they will be born we should pray for them, that the Lord will keep them safe from the wiles of the devil and that they would serve the Lord forever. If we didn’t know God when our children were young, it’s not too late to start now. We can teach them, encourage them, pray with them, read to them and sing with them. We can ask the Lord to direct them and make them wise. We can pray for their salvation if they’re not saved and we can pray for God to protect them, and we can pray for our own wisdom to deal with specific situations. They may wonder off track at times, but we must always speak the truth to them while at the same time reassuring them of our love. We can always hope that if they’ve wandered away from God that they will return.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” … Proverbs 22:6

Many of us have elderly loved ones who suffer from some 2142655281_596427963d_mform of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, and few us know how to communicate with them anymore. Too often these precious people are left alone to feel deserted and forgotten because we send them to an old age home. They can’t speak for themselves, but they are still people who are hurting and who are craving for our love and attention.

It’s terrible that so many of the long term homes for the elderly are so poorly managed and equipped, and too often people just put a family member there and don’t realize that they won’t be cared for as well as they hoped. It’s time to speak up and insist that there be a change so that these precious people can live better. We need to pray for God’s protection over them, and that He would send them friends to talk to; friends who make them feel loved when we can’t be there.

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” … Proverbs 23:22

So many people suffer from sickness and disease and then succumb to whatever the medical profession deals them. Maybe it’s a long-term such as cancer or permanent disease such as diabetes or heart disease, or maybe it’s a life-threatening disease that gives no hope for cure. Whatever it is, we can take it to God in prayer and believe Him to get us through it. We need to encourage people to study the Bible and trust God because He said He would heal us if we asked. And sometimes that healing requires us to turn away from the medical world and go to a naturopathic doctor and let God’s natural medicines heal us. And sometimes we have to speak up and encourage these loved ones instead of just accepting the medical world’s prognosis.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” … Isaiah 53:5

Many of us are not able to be on the front lines of the many battles that this world is fighting, but most of us can do something. It’s not right that we should just sit back and complain. God never made us to be complainers; He gave us His Spirit so we could have the wisdom and strength to be His workers. Every one of us, no matter how great or small we are, or how mobile, wealthy or healthy we are, can do something to take a stand for what is right.

The world is in the mess it’s in because too often Christians did not speak up and take a stand when it was clear at the onset that their friends or church or family or the government was doing something wrong. Of course, in many cases we had no idea what the consequences of many things would be, so we didn’t do anything. We just hoped that it would go away.

3163457371_9af9a5bbd2_mBut now we can do something. Now we need to do something. We can no longer just sit and watch and hope. We need to stand up and speak up. We need to let people know when they are doing something that is wrong and not just murmur about it and let it pass. People’s lives are at stake here!

“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.” … Psalm 82:3

As the world heads closer toward Judgment Day, more and more things are going to become the norm that are wrong before God, and more and more people are going to get drawn into the deception of thinking the world’s way is the norm for Christians, too. We have an opportunity today to steer people toward God, to teach them what God expects and to save them from His judgment. We have the opportunity today to save lives, so let’s not brush undesirable things off like dust and say it’s not our concern. It IS our concern! If we don’t speak up and become part of the answer, then we are part of the problem.

Let’s not keep silent because we’re worried that we’ll cause a scene. Let’s make a noise! Let’s speak out just as Jesus did! Let’s take a stand for God today and show others the right way!

“And He [Jesus] said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’” … Matthew 16:15

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Pride Comes Before a Fall

Stressed at work - office multitasking on whiteMany Christians have the attitude that they can work out their problems and they think that it’s a bother to even pray about them. Yet, God is always there so we should never get so caught up with the ways of this world and our own self-image that we forget to take Jesus with us.

Too often we won’t turn to God for help because we don’t want to bother Him with small issues. We feel it’s better to only ask Him to help with the big things; after all, we are intelligent beings who like to take care of ourselves. This is called “pride” and it will destroy anyone who believes it! It will separate us from God, smother our faith in Him and even ruin our relationship with Him.

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” … Proverbs 16:18

We read in Luke 9:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus would not have come down from Heaven to sacrifice His life just to help with the big problems in our lives. He came not only to save us from sin, but to bring us into His family. Right now we live in a world that is controlled by the devil – and this is evident in the world all around us. But Jesus came and defeated the devil so that those who will accept Him can live freely in HIM.

This world is growing in evil and if we think we can fight the devil and win on our own merits then we will fall. When we have any problems we need to take them to the Lord because only HE can win over the devil. Jesus went to the cross so that we could get victory over sin and death. Let’s not be so foolish as to think that we don’t need God in every minute of our lives.

“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

People who don’t take their problems to the Lord don’t really have a relationship with Him. They feel that He is “God” in HeavenWhat a friend we have in Jesus that they’ll meet one day, and they go to church and that’s where they leave it. But, this is not a relationship with Him; this is just doing works that mean nothing to God. Jesus wants us to be part of Him. He says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”

Being a Christian means following Jesus and knowing Him personally. It means studying the Bible and learning all about God and who we are in Christ. Jesus is the Son of God, the one who sacrificed His life on the cross to pay for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to stand before God on Judgment Day, ready to be judged for the sin that is in us. This is not just a nice thing that He did. This is a GREAT thing that Jesus did and He is worthy of our praises every minute of every day!

228523_673507872674616_643208514_nNot only should we be grateful for this gift of life, but we can rest in the fact that Jesus did it because He loves us and because He wants to have a relationship with us here on earth and forever. He hears every single prayer that we pray when we are born again Christians who love Him. But if we just think that He should answer our big requests because He is God and is supposed to, then there is no relationship between us and Him, and we have no right to think that He would even hear us. If this is the case, then perhaps, it’s time that we got to know Him because there is no father on earth who loves His children more than our Heavenly Father loves us.

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him He heareth.” … John 9:31

If we have a problem, big or small, let’s not let the pride of Satan steal the joy that God has for us. He is our Heavenly Father who loves us and who wants to be involved in our lives so that we can be part of His life.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7

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Don’t Get Caught in the Doorway

Jesus is waiting for you So many Christians are standing in the doorway between this world and Heaven without truly knowing Jesus and just trusting that they’ll make it in when the time comes. But this is really one doorway that you don’t want to get stuck in, especially if the door closes when you’re not looking.

It’s like standing on the threshold of an elevator with one foot in and one foot out. We’re fairly certain that we want to go inside, but we’re not sure how to approach it so we wait. And then we continue to stand there and wait as the door repeatedly attempts to close. We push it back a few times while we think about it, but soon the default mechanism sets in and that door starts to close for the last time. We are forced to decide which way to go and once we do there is no turning back. But we will go one way or the other or else that door will crush us.

But what is even worse than not committing to enter is to think that we’re in when we’re really not. What if the elevator was filled with mirrors and the doorway wasn’t clearly set out so that when we thought we had entered in with the intention of going up, we were really standing on the outside of the doorway – and then the door closed and the elevator went up without us?

This is the same dangerous platform that many Christians are standing on today. They know God is real; they know the story of how Jesus died on the cross; they go to church; they even tell their family and friends about their life as a Christian and they think that they are on their way to Heaven. But they have never accepted Jesus into their heart, never repented of their sin and never sought after Jesus to live as He wants them to. They think they are Christians because of their works, but they have been deceived with the same illusion as the mirror effect in the elevator, and when the door closes on their life they will be on the wrong side.

Jesus has made it very clear that the only way 431832_669162449775825_1904920909_nto Heaven is through Him. He is the door that we must go through and we can only do that if we know Him and have made HIM Lord over our lives. Good works will not get us into Heaven.

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”  ….. John 10:9

 

We must diligently seek God so we can know Him, love Him and follow Him as we become his disciples and share the gospel of Jesus with others so they can get saved. Then we can know that we have a home in Heaven and when that door closes we’ll be standing on the inside.

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” … Romans 10:8-10

546891_10151819506914534_533253207_nMany Christians are deceived into thinking that studying the Bible is only for pastors and leaders, but we’re told that we all need to study the Bible so we can grow in faith and in our love for God. And we need to allow Him to teach us His truth. (2 Timothy 2:15). We can’t leave our salvation or our relationship with Jesus in the hands of people; we must know Him and love Him in our own heart. We don’t want to be deceived with ignorance so when that door closes for the last time we’re caught standing on the wrong side.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven will enter.” … Matthew 7:21

What is the will of our Father? In Luke 10:27 Jesus tells us what God’s will for us is:

So He answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

This means that we don’t live by good works or with assumption. This means that we are committed to God and that everything we do is to His glory. This means that sometimes we’ll be criticized or condemned or even martyred for His name sake, but when we are filled with His Spirit we do it without a second thought because we love Him and we are committed to Him.

So when we’re saved and we leave earth, we can walk right through that doorway and see the clarity of Heaven because we know the Truth. And we won’t hesitate to enter because we’ll see Jesus standing on the inside with His open arms and bidding us to come.

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“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” ……..… Matthew 25:23

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Jesus is Our Only Hope!

john teshWe all have days when everything goes well and we feel happy and free, and then there are other days when it seems as if Murphy’s Law just takes over. We get frustrated and stressed, and we feel that everything we’re going for in life is just not going to happen. We take our eyes off of God and put them onto the problem and we get frustrated because we cannot see that Jesus is our only hope.

We tend to take on the responsibility to rise above the things that come against us, and let’s face it, we don’t always have the wisdom or the strength or the ability to get the victory over everything that comes against us. We try and we fail. And while this failure is a major stresser on its own, the fact is that what we do or try to do also has a great impact on those around us, which creates an even more “hopeless” situation.

When we look at the various circumstances through our own eyes – the eyes of carnal man – we have no hope. This corrupt world is out to get us and if our confidence and our hope is in us alone or the people around us, then we eliminate the One person who can help, who does have the wisdom and the ability to overcome.

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” … John 16:33

As Christians, our hope must always be in the Lord. Our very existence is totally dependent upon what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and our hope must extend far beyond the struggles of life that we endure; it must go far beyond His love and protection over us in our daily lives.

Jesus took ALL of OUR SINS upon Himself at the cross. He was pure because 5578273602_79073a7036_mHe was God in the flesh, but at that cross God withdrew His Spirit from Jesus so that He could absorb our sins and take them to hell on our behalf. But death and hell could not keep Him there and through God’s Holy Spirit Jesus rose out of hell, and after a short stay on earth to encourage His disciples, He rose to Heaven where He lives forevermore as our King and Savior!

Every one of us who accepts this gospel message will go to Heaven when we leave this earth because Jesus took away the sin that would have otherwise sent us to hell. If we believe in Him, then we are saved.

“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

The Bible says that Jesus has made a place in Heaven that’s just for you and just for me.

“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. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”         …John 14:2-3

This is our hope; that Jesus will come for us and take us home to Heaven to be with Him for evermore. This world is not our home; we are just passing through because our home is in Heaven with the Lord.

431832_669162449775825_1904920909_nBut when this hope is not embedded deep into our soul, we tend to depend more on ourselves and less on Him, and after a while we take our eyes off of Jesus and we lose that hope. We must protect our heart and NEVER lose that hope because once it’s gone, nothing else matters. If we can’t trust Him with our eternal lives, then we lose the inspiration to live for Jesus on earth, and we become like the world and just struggle and get defeated through life’s parade of trials.

This Friday is what we know as “Good Friday” and we focus on that dark day when Jesus was nailed to the cross for us so we could be restored to our Heavenly Father. Sunday is Easter Sunday and we remember that Jesus rose on the third day – Easter Sunday – in what is referred to as the first resurrection. We are all part of this first resurrection when our hope is in Jesus because He WILL come again to take us Home. Many Christians have already gone Home; their hope has become a reality.

Where is your hope? Is it in Jesus? If it is that’s wonderful and one day we’ll all meet in Heaven and praise the Lord together for saving us. But if you don’t know Jesus, it’s never too late to say, “I believe. Forgive me Lord Jesus and wash me clean of all the sin that’s in me and fill me with Your Spirit so that I may be with you in Heaven throughout eternity.”

Our hope is in Jesus! Praise His name forever more!

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
4 Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken.
9 And He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bear the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. … Isaiah 53:1-12
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Are Heaven and Hell Real?

431832_669162449775825_1904920909_nMost Christians accept that there is a Heaven and assume that they’ll go there when they leave earth, but many do not believe that there is a hell. Some of the new-agers believe that for unsaved people hell is here on earth, and for those who DO know Christ, then their Heaven is here on earth. This is totally erroneous doctrine because Heaven and hell are very real and we are all going to go to one or the other when we die.

Jesus came and died on the cross for every single person ever born, and He said that whoever accepts His salvation as redemption for their sins would be saved. So everyone has the opportunity to accept forgiveness for their sins through what Jesus did on the cross. And those who accept Jesus will be saved from the wrath of God that will soon come upon this earth, and they’ll have their name written in the Book of Life, but sadly, those whose names are not in this Book WILL go to hell.

“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

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”… Revelation 20:15

Jesus also tells us that there most certainly is a Heaven and that He has prepared a place for us:

“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.”… John 14:2

But He’s also said that not everyone will go to Heaven, and that the path to Heaven is narrow.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” … Matthew 7:14

Some people will be angry that they didn’t get into Heaven because 68998146_6136ce06da_mthey lived in religion and just assumed that they’d go to Heaven, but they never really knew God or accepted Christ, and we know this because of these scriptures:

“And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” … Matthew 24:51

“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” … Luke 13:28

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” … Matthew 7:23

But there will be those who DO make it into Heaven and they will be the ones who accepted Christ:

“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’” … Matthew 25:23

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” … Revelation 2:7

We know that the longevity for each person born on earth is for only a short period of time and so while we are here we have an opportunity to accept that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour – or not. It’s our choice, but what we decide has definite consequences for our eternal future. And Jesus makes it clear:

“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” … John 3:3

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” … 1 Peter 1:23

Jesus made it clear that He is the only way into Heaven, and if you believe in Him, you will be saved and go through that door to be with Him forever.

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” … John 10:9

And finally, it’s hard for us to envision, but we won’t suffer the loss of the unsaved after the Judgement because Heaven is filled with God and love and His joy.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” … Revelation 21:4

The new age Christianity teaches that once saved, always saved;8472731872_67f246af9c_m that Christ came and died for everyone and so everyone is saved. Some sects of this new religion teach that Christ died for everyone and so if you acknowledge this then you’re saved. You don’t need to change any part of your sinful life because whatever you do is forgiven.

But this is foolishness! God is holy and Heaven is holy, and if He cast the devil out of Heaven when sin entered him, then why would God open the doors so that every sinner on earth could just walk in when they die? That would mean that Heaven would be corrupt with sin because the souls of the unsaved people are still carrying sin with them when they enter.

That would mean that Christ accomplished nothing on the cross; that He didn’t take upon Himself our sins and that He didn’t heal us. If every sinner could just enter Heaven without repenting and being forgiven, without accepting the pardon that Jesus gave through giving His own life, then it was all for nothing and God isn’t holy.

But God IS holy, and Jesus DID pay the ransom for our sins and Jesus DID bring us back into a relationship with God. And when we accept what Jesus accomplished on the cross we gain life and it separates us from the people who do not accept this truth. Therefore, only those who accept Jesus will get into Heaven, and those who don’t accept this truth will go to hell.

Many people ask why they need to be saved to go to Heaven, and the answer is simple: if you’ve ever broken even one of the Ten Commandments in even the smallest way, you have sinned and you will be punished for that sin because the wages of sin is death. There is not one person on earth who has not broken one of these commandments – except for Jesus.

There is a thirty-minute film that’s just been released and it will clearly let you see the need for the cross and it’s called, “Noah: and the last Days” produced by Ray Comfort, a Minister of the gospel and Founder/President/CEO of Living Waters Publications . Please watch it and be blessed. Don’t assume you’re going to Heaven and don’t kid yourself, there is a hell.

Click here and watch Noah, and the Last Daysmqdefault

 

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“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”… Joshua 24:15

 

Don’t Let the Mockers Deceive You!

380772_186711078089848_177717718989184_356422_1516336833_nThe Bible warns us that in the last days there will be mockers who will come at us from every resource to make fun of Jesus and His deity, and that if the Christians who profess to love Him don’t really know Him, even they will be deceived. Don’t let the mockers deceive YOU!

“These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.  But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:  how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” … Jude 1:16-19

Hollywood has reaped its successes by portraying every type of life scenario to draw in a global viewing audience. And what better way to include the millions of so-called Christians than to make a religious movie that depicts the truth about their Savior?

WaquasUnfortunately, not even Hollywood with all of its modern technology can reveal the truth about Jesus to anyone. Why not? Because the Bible tells us that only the Holy Spirit will reveal God to us, and when we watch a so-called “Godly” movie and it’s different from the truth, we know that the Spirit wasn’t involved. It’s produced by mockers who are led by money, success and box office reviews.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” … 2 Timothy 3:16

The movie, Son of God, has just been released in theatres and the hype that has gone ahead of its debut has made Christians and non-Christians alike curious about what it entails.  Non-Christians, who have no idea who Jesus is or what His purpose is or what He has done for us, will view this movie and think, “What a great guy!” But Christians who watch this movie and who know Jesus will see that it’s just another Hollywood attempt to mock God.

There is only one way to learn about Jesus, to know who He is and what He’s done for us. There is only ONE way! That is to read the Bible and pray that the Spirit of God reveal Him to us. There is no other way. The only way to Heaven is through Jesus, not through a film that has changed the truth to adamant lies to deceive its viewers.

4668123355_e8fe03b41b_m“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” … John 14:6

Peter walked with Jesus and knew that He was special, but it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit revealed the truth to him that he knew who Jesus really was.

“’ Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’” … Matthew 16:17

If we are truly searching for the truth about Jesus, then we have to go to the source – the Bible! And we have to study it. We cannot go to the world and expect that they would know anything about God, and if we go there then we have to realize that what we’ll see are lies and deception. God does NOT lead us into temptation and we have to be mature enough to stay away from it.

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” … Matthew 6:13

Sunny Shell, author of the Christian blog,  Abandoned to Christ, recently viewed the movie, Son of God, and published her observations. She compares the movie to the Bible and notes that this film does NOT represent the truth about the Bible, about Jesus or about events that took place during His earthly ministry. It’s an emotional deception that shows Jesus to be a “nice person”, but without purpose, deity or power, and the events have been changed enough to shock those who do know their Bible. Read her review and learn what changes were made and how the truth has been distorted to produce a new age Jesus, and not the Jesus of the Bible it claims to represent.

Sadly, though, many people will be baited by the actors’ performances that will convince them otherwise, and they will be lost in the hype and the emotions of the movie’s deception.  As Christians, we need to encourage other believers to read the Bible if they want to know Jesus and to leave Hollywood to do their thing of entertaining idle minds.

Jesus is Lord and He won’t be mocked. Beware and don’t let the mockers deceive YOU!

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” … John 10:27

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Are You a Wannabee Christian?

970226_692775127414557_351315248_nChristians face many challenges in life and the greatest one is deception. Lots of people think they are Christians, yet their personalities and their lifestyles don’t reflect it. Are they Christians or is it possible that deception has made them Wannabee Christians?

One of the concerns that people have about Christianity is that they’ll have to give up all the good things in life; no more smoking, no more drinking, no more going to bars, no more indulging in unfavorable substances and no more hanging out with old friends. They look at Christianity as a religious organization that comes with a bunch of rules and turns people into unpersonable zombies. This is far from the truth because when you become a Christian you don’t have to give up anything.

When you become a Christian, you choose to give up everything.

There’s a big difference between someone who “wants” to become a Christian and someone who gives his or her heart to Jesus and “becomes” a Christian. The perception is comparable to a diet. Many people yo-yo on various dieting fads to lose weight, but they never succeed and in fact, often suffer poor health effects because of it. They’ll see all the benefits and read all the testimonies of celebrities who engaged in specific diets and now look awesome, and so they’ll go on the diet, too. But they’ll fail.

Why will they fail? Because their eyes are on the end result, but their heart and mind have nothing stable to hold on to. In other words, they are not committed to the diet or to the reason for the diet; they are not committed to good health; they are not committed to change – they just want to look good and so they follow the regime on their own energy and for their own glory.

It’s the same concept for Christianity. Without a commitment, you will not succeed. 5352515370_7f2a4426e6_m Unless you are committed to Jesus and to His ministry and to His calling on your life, you will never know what Christianity is all about. You will always remain a wannabee Christian with no goal, no purpose, no hope for the future, and nothing solid in your life to guide you.

Wannabee Christians want to appear to be Christians, want to reap all the benefits of being Christians and want to hold the status and impression of good Christian citizens, but they don’t want to deny their own existence. They don’t want to change who they are and more than that, they do NOT want to give up the pleasures in life that they enjoy.

However, when you are committed to God your heart changes and your priorities shift from being self-pleasers to being Christ-pleasers. Your focus and your goals, and your hopes and your joys in life become entwined with those of Jesus. You no longer struggle to give up old habits because you “want” to give them up; you no longer fight the change, but rather, you willfully submit to God’s ways.  You slowly take on the lifestyle and passions of Jesus.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” … Galatians 5:1

The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22 that Christians are known by their fruits and these are “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control.” These fruits are the personality and characteristics of Jesus, so the more you become like Jesus, the more of His fruits you will have and the more of His personality will live in you.

After a while you’ll realize that you are different. The things that you used to enjoy doing and places you thought were socially exciting become distasteful things of the past and you have no desire to do them anymore. You have new interests, new joys and new hope. Your outlook on life changes and you begin to see things through Jesus’ eyes.

“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” … Psalm 37:5

Will every conversion be a simple transformation once you’re a Christian? Not always. People who once engaged in addictive substances, for example, will often have a physical battle to fight because their bodies crave the substance it’s used to.

 “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Matthew 26:41.

7939_692592870766116_1823059502_nThis requires diligently seeking Jesus to remove this craving and to heal the body. Some people will get the healing and others will need to go to a naturopathic doctor for natural meds to help them overcome it. But when you are committed and when you trust Jesus to give you the victory over it, you WILL defeat this goliath and you WILL enjoy the freedom of life without its evil clutches.

After a while you’ll look into the mirror and see that you really are different. You are not the person you used to be. As you study and grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and as you commit your life to Him, you’ll progressively take on His personality and His passions. Your thoughts and your ideals will become more like His as His Spirit becomes life in you.

 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” … Galatians 5:16-17  

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When the Darts Come

269708_409651422475404_7213971_nIt’s not always a peaceful walk when live the Christian life because there are times when the devil uses people to bring us unexpected trials and sorrows.  Sometimes the stress we endure isn’t even from the evil darts; sometimes the greater hurt comes from the people who throw them.

Most of us just accept that the world does not like Christians and so we are mentally, emotionally and spiritually able to just ignore those darts when they get thrown at us. We can take the ridicule, the sarcasm and the mocking because we know that it’s really coming from the devil to get at us. In many cases we can shrug it off and when we pray about it, it’s gone.

But the sharpest and most painful darts come from people who we know and love; from our family and friends.  We love them and we try to give them some space, yet they continue to create stresses and unkind situations that really upset us. Sometimes we just want to scream and cry because we love them and they don’t respect us for who we are and for the stand that we take for Jesus.

We can’t let these darts get to us. There is a shield that we can use to protect ourselves and we need to use it so that the darts cannot get through to us. Our life depends on it.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:7 that we must cast all our care upon Him,2407960698_667f19de7b_m for He cares for us. This means that we should NOT carry the hurt in our heart, but that we need to pray and ask Jesus to take this hurt from us. He does not want us to agonize over it because the more we think about it, the more the devil plays on our thoughts and turns it into a massive situation. Negative attitudes develop, regretful words are spoken and the devil is filled with glory because he is able to destroy a little part of us.

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” … Psalm 57:1

Jesus has given us an instruction in Matthew 5:44 as to what we should do about those who come against us: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

It’s not easy to pray for those who hurt us; many times we’d rather just do something spiteful to them or have it out in a loud shouting match, but that won’t accomplish anything except bring us down to the level of the devil’s game platform. We truly need to get on our face before God and just let it all out. We need to tell Him how we feel and how it hurts – and not because Jesus needs to know. He already knows what’s going on. We do this to get it out of our own system. Then we need to lift the one who has hurt us up to Him and let Jesus deal with them.

On our own merits we have no power at all to come against anyone who the devil is using to hurt us. Only Jesus can give us this victory – and we WILL get the victory when we trust the Lord.

“God is our refuge and strength; A very present help in trouble.” … Psalm 46:1

We need to keep our eyes on Jesus so that we don’t waiver or wander off the path. We need to control our words and our attitude and let Jesus go to work.  We need to pray and read the Bible and build up our faith and our trust in God.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” … Hebrews 4:12

We’re told in James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

How do we resist the devil when the darts are coming at us and we didn’t even do anything to warrant the situation?

After we’ve given the problem to the Lord, and then prayed for the person to be saved, we need to praise God. We thank Him for His love, for His intervention, for His Spirit who lives in us. We praise Him for being our Savior. We praise Him that His Word is true and we praise Him for being Lord over our life.

259999934_6ec9b7d526_mThe devil cannot be in the presence of our praises. It is the fastest and most sure way of getting him to leave any situation. The Bible says in James 4:8 that praise brings us into the presence of God, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” And when God draws near to us, the devil flees as far away as he can.

Our lives need to be a testimony of God’s love and power and not a reflection of our own weakness and sinful attitude. People are always watching us to see how we will react, and often the loved ones who come against us do it to try to break us or else just because they delight in hurting us. Either way, we cannot allow ourselves to be used by the devil. He’ll always try to get to us, but he’ll only win if we let him.

When we come to our Heavenly Father as innocent children and give Him our praises and put our trust in Him, we  will always win!

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“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” … Psalm 19:14