As Christians, we are supposed to love God, but how many of us actually know why we love God? Sometimes we get confused between the gift and the giver and we tend to value the gifts and the promises more than we value the actual One who gives them to us. Continue reading
The full impact of what was accomplished on the cross at Calvary is often not fully understood by many Christians. We all know that our sins were washed away, but many assume that now any sin they commit is automatically forgiven. Some continue to keep one foot in the world and others don’t realize who Christ is in them. We need to dig into the scriptures and learn about our sins and the cross. Continue reading
Most 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 they 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; 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 Days.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”… Joshua 24:15
There are a lot of very nice people in the world who would not hesitate to help someone if they needed help or give them money or things if they needed it. Their actions are definitely driven by love, but that alone does NOT make them a Christian. Works by itself will NOT get you into Heaven.
People in general have a very poor understanding of what being a Christian means. Webster’s dictionary defines “Christian” as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ”. And the Bible discusses this very belief in great detail.
To be a Christian, we must be followers of Christ, and to follow Christ we have to know Him, accept Him and love Him. After all, how can we follow a person that we don’t know or haven’t seen? John 3:1-5 Jesus explains how we can belong to the Kingdom of God.
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 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. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
So what does it mean to be born again? How does that happen? Jesus said in Romans 10:9, “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.”
Why do we need to be saved? And saved from what? To appreciate what salvation means, we need to go back in history and learn why Jesus had to come and die on the cross in the first place.
When God made Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden, a land that was perfect in every way and that even in our most exaggerated thoughts we wouldn’t be able to imagine the beauty of it. It says in Genesis 3:8 that God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening, and He enjoyed their fellowship. It must have been absolutely awesome to have God come into their back yard and talk and laugh with them every day – but then, they were made without sin and so the garden was holy ground and God was able to go there.
God gave Adam one rule in Genesis 2:9 and that was to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else he would die. Adam had no intention of disobeying God because he loved Him, but Eve was tempted by the devil (Genesis 3:1-6) that came to her in the form of a serpent. She was convinced that they would become as smart as God and so she ate the fruit. It was delicious and she didn’t die so she decided to share this with Adam. Unfortunately, Adam took his eyes off of God and put them onto his wife and ate of the fruit.
Their eyes were opened and they knew what good and evil were. Eve may have been deceived because God didn’t tell her directly, but Adam sinned because he disobeyed God. It’s interesting to note that instead of repenting and pleading with God, he blamed Eve (Genesis 3:12). “It’s all her fault, she made me do it”, and this is an attitude that has been carried down throughout history; mankind has not ceased to blame someone else for what they did.
God was more hurt than angry with them because sin had entered the Garden, His holy ground, and He could no longer visit with His children, and He had to cast Adam and Eve out of the garden. But when He did this He also promised them that He would send someone to redeem them back to Himself; to beat the devil at his own game.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” … Genesis 3:15
Now Adam faced the consequences of his actions and he and Eve were devastated to have to live in a desolate world without God, but what horrified them even more was that the ruler of the lost world was Satan. Adam had sold his birthright to the devil whose very presence kept him from the only Father he knew, so they clung on to the promise and prayed for the redeemer to come and save their children. And so every child ever born from the very first conceived child, being Able, right down to the last baby that will ever be born on earth, is born in sin and without the presence of God. There is no possibility of a single one of us ever getting back to God on our own. He removed His Spirit and there is only ONE way to get it back.
Jesus! And so the people throughout the generations waited and looked for His coming.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” … Luke 2: 8-11
Jesus was sent to the cross because Satan knew who Jesus was and thought that if he could persuade the Pharisees to kill Him, then everything would be fine, God’s attempt to regain the world would fail and he would continue to rule the earth forever. The Pharisees also knew that Jesus was God’s Son and they were filled with evil and foolishly thought that if they killed Him on the cross then they wouldn’t have to give up their religious positions and wealth.
What none of them realized is that no one can kill God. Jesus’ human body died on the cross, and because He was without sin He would have risen directly to Heaven at that point. However, that isn’t why He came. He came to take away the sin that we carried – the sin that caused us to be separated from God – and He took that sin upon Himself so that when He died, that sin would drive Him directly to hell. But hell couldn’t hold Him, and so He dropped off the sin and then rose again.
“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
When we realize the magnitude of this action by Jesus, and we believe it and receive this truth in our heart, then we receive our salvation. We are saved. We are Christians. We are no longer separated from God. We are given His Spirit and we can walk with God just like Adam did. We are one with God again. Now when we pray God not only hears our prayers, but He answers them. He blesses us. He helps us. He teaches us. He walks with us. He is our Father and our friend.
Christians adopt the heart and mind of Christ so that we want to help others, share with others and encourage others to know Him. We do everything to the glory of God and for the furtherance of the ministry of Jesus. We are not perfect; we are forgiven. Although God will become our purpose for living and the reason for our being, we’ll still fall short and do things wrong or not do things we should. (Romans 3:23) But we can come before God and say sorry and He hears us and smiles at us. He doesn’t have to toss us away like He did with Adam because His Spirit is in us. We are His children and nothing can separate us from Him.
So, good works may be a nice thing to do to help others and share some positive attitude, but they will NOT make us a Christian and they will NOT get us into Heaven. Only a personal relationship with Jesus will make us a Christian, and the good works that we do then are done in love so that others can see the love that God has for us.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” … John 10:27
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Christianity means different things to different people, depending on where in the world you live. In some countries Jesus is truly their Saviour and their only hope for survival here on earth with the promise of a better life in Heaven with Him. In America, however, our lifestyle is very different; we don’t endure a daily fight for survival even though we are oppressed with crime, and the provision of food, shelter and medication is not nearly as threatened.
We live in the land of “milk and honey” and many Christians don’t feel the need to depend on Jesus for everyday living because of education, financial investment, medical care and social status opportunities. As a result, we focus on our own successes, our own material wealth and our pleasures, and if we feel guilty we can always repent because we take on the attitude that God is forgiving so we can repent any time. But the clock is ticking and the world is entering its time of great sorrows. It’s time now to take our eyes off of ourselves and get them onto Jesus.
It’s amazing that so many Christians are still focusing on what God will do for them now, how He will bless them now and what wealth they can collect as His children now. They seem to misunderstand what God has done for us. He is not our servant and His name is not one that we chant to get things. He did not save us from our sins so that we could just live it up here on earth and demand His blessings. We need to grow up spiritually, step out of our little frame and look at the big picture.
John 1:29 says, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
When we study the Old Testament we learn that the people of God had to come before Him with live animal sacrifices to be given as atonement for their sins. This was necessary for God to forgive them so they could continue to be His children because if there is sin between them and God, then God couldn’t communicate with them because good and evil cannot be in the same place.
When Jesus died on the cross, He took upon Himself all of our sins so that we could now be filled with His Spirit and be holy before God our Father – without sin. This is an amazing and miraculous event because we can now communicate with God; we can pray and He hears us; we can ask for help and He helps us; we can pray for others and He’s there for them. (Matthew 7:7)
Isaiah 53:5 elaborates on what Jesus did for us on the cross. “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.”
Jesus not only washed away our sins, but He healed our bodies, as well. Through the cross, we have the privilege of being healed and living in good health because we know that He healed us, and so when we get ill or injured we know that our bodies can be restored. We do not have to accept illness.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJ) “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” Paul was telling us to not accept illness, but rather to keep our eyes on the Lord and put our bodies under discipline so they can be healthy.
But many of us just want to know about the good living that we all feel we’re entitled to because we’re Christians, and we know from 3 John 1:2 that God does not want us to live in poverty. He blessed Abraham abundantly, and King Solomon was the richest king in history so we know that God does bless us with earthly possessions. What God does NOT want is for us to “love” riches, “love” money and “love” the wealth and fame more than we “love” Him. He instructs us very clearly in Exodus 20:3 to not put any other gods before Him, and when our thoughts, concerns and goals are for personal wealth, be it large or small, we have in essence made that to be our God because we serve those thoughts and those hopes and those goals more than we serve the Lord.
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” … Romans 14:17
When we become absorbed with our own lives and with reaching our goals and maintaining social status and collecting material possessions, we take our eyes off of the Lord so that we can serve our own desires – and lusts. The Bible says in Matthew 6:24 that we cannot serve two masters and that if we try we’ll love one and hate the other.
Many of us live within our own little frame and miss the big picture.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, the citizens of earth have been steadily drifting away from God, and today many Christians are totally deceived about the truth of the Lord. Too many churches are preaching the prosperity message and this deception is growing – get all the riches from God because He wants you to be wealthy. This is a lie because this world is not going to carry on for much longer. We are running out of time and we need to get our eyes on Jesus. Our redemption is drawing nigh.
The world is in a growing state of turmoil, sinful living and unrest and it’s getting worse by the day as it speeds toward its own destruction. The clock is ticking and Jesus warns us of the signs to look out for in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
These sorrows have already begun. Immorality and perversion are spreading like wild-fire across the globe, and the attitude and actions of many people are just how Jesus predicted they would be. And there are false prophets out there who are encouraging this behaviour for their own financial gain, “having a form of godliness”, and far too many Christians are falling into their deception because they have not taken the time to know Jesus and to study the Bible for themselves.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” … 2 Timothy 2:15
With so much unrest in the world and the anticipation of more disasters and even a major war waiting in the shadows, it’s time for Christians to wake up and see what’s going on. This world is living out its last days. Life here will continue to get more challenging, more fearful and more corrupt. Contrary to what our governments promise, life is not going to get better; the economy is not going to improve and we are not going to be able to relax. Life is going to get worse and more fearful as we roller coast toward that final hour.
The Bible says in Luke 21:26 that, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
Christians need to stop looking for what they can get from God and start surrendering to Him and ask what they can do. There are so many people who don’t know the Lord and even more who think they do, but are following a false teaching. We need to focus on Jesus, know that He’s returning soon, and accept that this world is nearing its end. Saving up wealth for the future is pretty useless when we realize that it’s all going up in flames in the not too far future.
The clock is ticking. No one knows how much time is left, but if you spend one hour reading the headlines of any newspaper, or watch any major news station, or just look around at the immortality and disrespect for life that has become the norm, you’ll realize that the end is closer than you think. But if you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will make it.
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” … Psalm 18:2
Jesus is coming soon and since we don’t know when, we want to be ready. We don’t want to be so caught up with the world and our own lives and then we miss Him.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” … Matthew 24:44
Let’s spend more time studying His Word and knowing what’s really going on so that we will be like little children and hear His voice when He calls.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” … Luke 21:28