Jesus is the Answer to Our Struggles ~ Christian Sermon

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There are two types of vision: the vision of our physical eyes, and the vision of our spiritual understanding. They’re completely opposite of each other, and yet one often impacts the other. When we are actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus, the way we deal with physical life can undergo a wonderful change. Sometimes, we have more peace in our hearts, more love for people, more understanding toward other people’s problems… In reverse, when we have our attention focused mainly on the dilemmas and goals of our physical lives, our spiritual understanding and the peace in our hearts often suffers from the neglect. When we turn our eyes upon the things of this world and get bogged down in this life’s difficulties, our spiritual eyes seem to become shortsighted. Suddenly, we aren’t looking at things with the peace which comes from having faith in God, and we aren’t focused on strengthening our relationship with Christ. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re trying to do something wrong. We don’t have to be engaging in anything sinful; it doesn’t mean that we intentionally turned our backs on God or tried to disobey him. It might just mean that we’re distracted, and the problems of life seem really big to us suddenly. It’s a natural low point I think we all hit once in a while. Things look dark and gloomy. Maybe we’re going through a crisis in our lives, and problems aren’t being solved soon enough for our liking. Doubts pour in to torment us.

Today I was reading Luke chapter 7, and I began to wonder whether John the Baptist had hit that disheartening low when he sent his disciples to ask Jesus whether he really was the Christ or not. Not very long before John found himself in Herod’s prison, he had been at the height of a glorious discovery. While baptizing on the banks of (Jordan), Jesus came to him, and John watched the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon him, revealing that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. John preached the good news of salvation to those around him, proclaiming that Jesus was the Son of God. How could he doubt it when he had seen a vision so crystal clear about it? But, the physical troubles of life get in our way. Our faith and spiritual understanding dim as this world’s challenges and pains claim our attention.

Even after seeing the fulfillment of prophecies embodied in Jesus Christ, when John found himself tormented in prison, everything must have begun to feel uncertain. We can’t judge what he felt or thought, but it makes me wonder if he began to doubt whether he had really seen that vision or not. All we know is that his faith had been shaken, and he was begging for proof that he hadn’t made a mistake; that Jesus really was who he thought he was.

I thought Jesus’ response to John’s quandary was so beautiful. He is so longsuffering and merciful with his frail creatures; so patient in teaching their wavering souls to have faith in him. He said, “Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”

Though we get bogged down in the cares of this world sometimes, there is one simple remedy: take your eyes off of your earthly concerns, no matter how big they seem, and refocus your attention on Jesus. Yes, everything John had believed was true. How could he have doubted it when he had seen a vision? But, when he did doubt it, Jesus’ response was simply to lift John’s eyes from the dungeon around him and to bring his attention back to his Savior. Jesus’ miracles spoke for themselves. The vision John had seen by the river bank spoke for itself, telling plainly that Jesus truly was the Messiah. But in his state of weakness and suffering, John was prone to forget, maybe even to doubt it.

To sum up, in this fallen world, we face challenges, trials, and suffering almost every day. But we mustn’t allow those problems to take our eyes off of Jesus, or to fall into a state of faithless doubting. Jesus sees us whether we’re on the hilltop or in the dungeon. He never abandons us. He is never changing; always faithful. It is we who must retain our faith in Him, even through life’s hardest, lowest struggles. We must remember to look up instead of down. We must remember to trust that, no matter what is happening, and no matter how hopeless things seem, He has a plan for us—and it’s perfect.

Let’s talk about that perfect plan for a moment. When we cry out from the dungeon, we often beg for deliverance. We want Jesus to save us from pain and misery. We want him to change our situation drastically so we can live in peaceful bliss on earth. It’s completely understandable, and Jesus is completely able to do it. But my mind goes back to John the Baptist here. John didn’t get out of prison. Physically speaking, John’s situation did not improve. It got worse. But, did that mean Jesus had abandoned him? That he hadn’t heard his prayers? That he didn’t care about John? No, not at all. Jesus loves us. But the truth, and one of the hardest things for us to deal with, is that God’s will can’t always be fulfilled through comfortable circumstances. Suffering is not a sign of abandonment. It is often a tool God uses to shape us into better Christians, and to strengthen our faith in him. And, while our life’s circumstances sometimes seem horrible and difficult to bear, it doesn’t mean we aren’t right where God wants us to be. While in prison, the apostle Paul wrote many of the books in our New Testament and converted a huge number of people to Christ. God allowed and willed his imprisonment to be. He knew that Paul wouldn’t be broken by the experience, and he knew that it would spread the gospel to billions of people. Try to imagine how many lives Paul’s epistles have impacted over the centuries. God never allows us to be put through more suffering or temptation than we can handle. He knows our weaknesses, and he guards us from enduring an unbearable amount of tribulation. That means that if we give up, we gave up because we wouldn’t persevere and keep clinging to God. The fault is our own; no one else’s.

The last words Jesus spoke to John, “Blessed is he, whosever shall not be offended in me,” is a statement I want to bring to your attention. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. And the word “offend” means a lot more in Greek than it does in our modern English. In the Greek text, that word would have been Skandalizo, and by Strong’s Dictionary, the definition means to “trip up” or to “stumble” it could even mean to “entice to sin”. I find this fascinating, because it might clarify what Jesus was saying. When we hit that low point in our lives, when our eyes are more focused on earthly problems and carnal goals, and when we find ourselves prone to doubting, we are literally stumbling in our spiritual walk; our faith is being shaken. At the same time, the devil uses doubts as a tool to “entice us” into the sin of disbelief. Figuratively the picture of our spiritual walk might look like this: we were standing on the strait and narrow path, walking along at a steady pace. Then, when the path started getting rocky and uneven, we were off-ended, or thrown for a loop by our own shortsighted, human nature.

So, no matter what terrain life takes us through, whether we’re gliding through life without any troubles, or whether we seem to be lambasted by challenges and tragedies at every turn, remember to keep your eyes lifting to Jesus. Remember that he is the same yesterday, today and forever. Remember that he loves you, and that (as long as we don’t turn away from him) we are still being held safely in his hands. Don’t let yourself fall into doubts and confusions. Don’t let yourself become distracted and bogged down by the cares of this world. Make Jesus your main focus, and your spiritual eyes will be bright and clear.

Pastor Redifines the word “Repentance”? (A Biblical View of Repentance from Sin)


I don’t usually watch TV, but today I listened to the Christian channel, and for the first time in my life, I heard the word “Repentance” completely redefined. I was astonished, and honestly, I was horrified! Haven’t we all grown up knowing that “to repent” means to turn away from sins and to pattern ourselves after our wonderful Savior? But the man on TV explained that the word meant to change your mind from thinking God is against you to thinking that God is for you. Every time I think of it, I feel speechless for a minute. Jesus went preaching through Judea saying “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat 4:17) In Greek (the language our New Testament was translated from), the word repent is “Metanoeo” which means to think differently or to change your mind. When I think about that, it makes complete sense, because when I gave my heart to the Lord, everything about the way I thought began to change, and as a result, my actions began to change too. For me, Salvation = a change of mind (repentance) which = a change in behavior, because when your thoughts have changed from wickedness, darkness and self-centered lusts to a yearning for purity, holiness and a desire to follow God closer in adoration, you can’t go on living the same way as you did before. This is repentance, it is a complete change. It is when a sinner turns away from the broad road and sets out on the straight and narrow. This is the change Jesus directed people to when he would heal them and say, “go and sin no more.” (Joh 8:11) But the word has a new definition now, according to one pastor at least. It now means to believe God is for you instead of against you. Strange… Now, I’m not saying that God goes around wanting to condemn everyone. To the contrary, it is God’s will that none should parish, but that all should have everlasting life (Joh 3:16). It also says in 2nd Peter that God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” But in our world, there is a problem called hypocrisy. People call themselves Christians, they profess it with their lips and yet their hearts are far from the Lord. They prove it by their actions, the fruit of their lives, because they do not love the things God loves. Instead, they are caught up in the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, the allure of the flesh, an attraction to things which are devilish and unrighteous. I’m not going to list every sin in the world, we already know them in our hearts. A sin can be as small as a grudge held against someone, or it can be as massive as murder. But among professing Christians, it is the small sins which often corrupt our hearts, the little acts of iniquity we allow to stain our souls and even mar our Christian testimony. When we live an ungodly life, we dishonor the God we claim to follow. Jesus said that in the end, people would say to him, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Mat 7:22-23) But he will send them away professing “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” The way we live our lives is so important! We are either going to change our minds (repent) from iniquity to righteousness and live the kind of life Jesus wants us to, or we are going to live our entire lives thinking as these rejected men and women did, that we are Christians doing mighty works in Jesus’ name and end up being cast away because of the sins which we would not repent of, (change our minds about). And yet, a preacher takes it upon himself to tell a broad, worldwide audience that repentance means to change your mind from thinking that God is against you, to thinking he is for you. What about the workers of iniquity who, while thinking they are good Christians, have actually estranged themselves from God by their unchanged, unrepentant hearts? I wonder how many sinners just wiped the sweat from their brows and silenced their consciences because of that message? How many of them said, “That’s right! God is not against me, he’s for me! I may not be perfect, but I’m okay! After all, I’m only human!” But the Bible says that we are supposed to seek holiness without which no man shall see God (Heb 12:14)! It says we are to “put off concerning the former conversation (that word in the Greek means “behavior”) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in holiness.” (Eph 4:22-24) What about the scripture in James which 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.” (James 4:4) It goes on to say, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleans your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” It is obvious that we are supposed to do something about our sins. We are supposed to turn away from them. Being a friend of the world means you are a partaker in or are at least entertained by its sins. That’s what we do with friends, we partake in their acts and/or we are entertained by their acts. To partake or be entertained by the darkness of this world makes us the enemies of God. Do you think he is “for” us if the Bible declares that such people are his enemies? We create that enmity between him and our souls. God does not create the enmity. God desires that none should perish. He wants all of us to change our minds from being in submission to our own carnal natures to being in submission and agreement with his holy nature. But instead of clinging to his righteousness and hating sin, some people look for ways to hold on to their iniquity and still believe themselves saved, the friends of God. It cannot be, and yet that is exactly what the man on TV was teaching today. God is not “for” those who are sinning. He is not going to be dragged through the mud as we play with the devil’s toys. He stands apart from such things. If we want to play with the devil, we can, but we do it at the sacrifice of our own souls. The only way to be redeemed from such corruption is to repent, turn away from sin, to change your minds from loving evil to loving God’s righteousness. What must God think of this world of harlots? Yes, people commit spiritual adultery each time they stray from God and dabble in sin. It’s the most offensive story of infidelity imaginable too, because when we boldly walk into sin, we just broke our covenant with Christ and attached ourselves to his enemy Satan. God is merciful! Praise him for his grace and forgiveness, because he can even deliver a harlot from her trap. But what did he say to that harlot? “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.” That is repentance. He was telling her not only to change her corrupt mind, but to change her entire way of life. Don’t be deceived by the doctrines of men. I know, everyone has their personal opinion. I include myself into the statement when I express that opinions of men don’t matter. There is only one truth, and I encourage all of us to seek that truth from God. Don’t take my word for this, and certainly don’t take the word of a man who soothes the world with a message of worry free acceptance. Search the Bible, pray to God and ask him to teach you personally. Remember, if we seek, we will find. Keep the faith, dear brethren. If you would like to see the definition of the Greek word for “repent” you can find it in the Strong’s Dictionary. Check it out here:

Peace Be Still ~ A Christian Poem

Peace Be Still Poem

A heart filled with anxiety,

The vicious waves were sinking me.

Afloat and tossed, no place to flee,

Afraid to drown in the stormy sea.

To save our ship the men did strive,

Fighting to win and save our lives.

Yet thunder muted our fearful cries.

In vain to reach shore were our strongest tries.

Yet through the chaos and fear of defeat,

While everyone thought that the ship would sink,

And our hearts were dreading the cold, dark deep,

One young man lay in the ship, asleep.

Lord don’t you care that our ship will break,

That the waves pour in and our lives are at stake?

We called in concern and the Master did wake,

Roused by our voices and the words that we spake.

But he wasn’t afraid as he rose to his feet,

Looked out at the rain and the raging wave’s peak,

While we all stood trembling, as white as a sheet,

Jesus’ voice began to speak.

“Peace, be still,” and gone was the rain,

The mountainous waves were as flat as a plain.

We marveled at this man whose three words could gain,

Power to cause the storm to refrain.

Then he spoke of the faithless way we behaved,

The fear that we felt at each jolt and each wave.

If Jesus asleep in your rocking boat lays,

The storms of your life needn’t make you afraid.

There’s a peace and a calm when you trust in the Lord,

Waiting with patience for his comforting word.

And if you, righteous soul, are assailed, be assured,

That all of your cries to the Father are heard.

Wait till the fog of confusion will fade,

Wait till the winds of your trials are stayed.

Rest with the Lord, till his power will save.

Faith in his will makes the feeble heart brave.

The Life Giver ~ A Christian Poem

The Life Giver

A new heart is beating,

A new life begun.

The only Life Giver,

God’s only Son.

Almighty Spirit,

Poured into a man,

Filled without measure,

God’s holy lamb.

The ever existent,

The Ancient of Days,

Come down from Heaven,

In a body of clay.

He’s meek and he’s lowly,

Though all power he has,

Here for one purpose,

One selfless task.

His words are like water,

To quench the soul’s thirst,

His life and his death,

Is to lift Adam’s curse.

His body’s the sacrifice,

To pardon our sins,

His resurrection the victory

Over death that he wins.

He offers a gift,

A free invitation,

Grace that is cause,

For our great exaltation.

Though unworthy,

He calls us to come to his side,

To run to his refuge,

Under His sheltering wings hide.

But a gift is nothing,

Unless we accept it,

The New Testament broken,

Unless we respect it.

His grace is unending,

To those who adore Him.

But how many men claim

His name and ignore Him?

Though the debt we amassed

From our sin can’t be paid,

We owe all to the One

Who his life freely gave.

One hundred percent should we give,

Not a fraction.

Set your heart upon God,

Push away all distraction.

The Real Trick Behind the Treat ~ A Post for Halloween

The Face Behind the Mask

Here we are in October again. I have been enjoying this month so much! It is gorgeous outside; the leaves are just starting to blush. But as usual, people have to spoil Autumns beauty with their own ghastly traditions this month. The zombies and vampires are everywhere downtown, grinning in windows and hanging from ceilings. It seems strange that people adore these creatures who, in myth, are thirsting for their blood and hungering for their brains. Why honor and love the ones who are hateful and revolting? Why celebrate the dead rather than the living? Well, people will do as they like, but today I thought I would take a moment to talk about the ugly face who often hides behind an angelic mask; the very real devil who hunts the souls of men. Satan is the author of wickedness and the father of lies. It is he whom people honor as they enjoy the grim details of witchcraft and death this month. During Halloween those who love darkness can express their devilish hearts in the boldest of ways, but Satan is not always bold about his diabolical wickedness. His goal is to destroy as many souls as he can, even those whose hearts are too honorable to accept him as he is. That is why Satan himself goes trick or treating from heart to heart adorned in the most harmless and amiable looking disguise imaginable. He offers us entertainment, wealth, health, peace, carnal pleasures… The trick is that, Satan doesn’t tell his loyal ( or sometimes unsuspecting) followers that his path leads them to endless torment and shame. The “treat” is that you give him your own soul, and in giving up your eternal spirit, you sign a contract with sin and death. The wages of sin is death. We have all had our time of friendship with darkness and service to Satan. Even if we lived a fairly decent life, we have all been engaged in worldly pleasures and carnal lusts. James wrote that to be friends with the world makes us the enemies of God. This puts us all in a position of being worthy of hell, but the good news which so many of us take for granted, is that Jesus made a way for us to escape the otherwise unavoidable penalty for our sins. By dying on the cross, he took the punishment we deserved, paying the debt we could not pay ourselves. We have all heard that life saving message. Many of us have even asked Jesus to come into our hearts and have said the sinner’s prayer. But sometimes I’m afraid that the world of proclaiming Christians have a misconception of what it means to give our hearts to Jesus. By giving ourselves to him, have we truly surrendered our own sinful wills and turned away from wickedness? Or are we still living in the same darkness, evil and confusion as before? You cannot have the “best” of both worlds here. You cannot take the sinful pleasures Satan offers at the price of your soul and still expect to receive eternal life in Heaven. Jesus will not accept us into his kingdom if we have been continually enamored, led away and made filthy by the devil’s toys. Jesus said that if we loved Him we would keep his commandments. I believe that this concept works in the opposite direction as well. If we keep the laws of Satan ( which are basically lawlessness since they rebel against all goodness) we prove that we love him and ourselves more than we love Jesus Christ. Choose this day who you will serve. What concord hath Christ with Belial? None. Every tree is known by its fruits. Our loyalty to either Jesus or Satan is made evident by the choices we make, the things we do, say and think. Let me emphasize the word “think” here, because a person can look extremely nice on the outside and be very honest, but inside he can still be vile with lusts, anger, hatred, covetousness… God looks at the heart. Don’t be deceived, being “good” isn’t enough, being “better” than some is not good enough. Unless we are changed genuinely by the Spirit of God, have a true relationship with him, are cleansed from our sins by the blood of Christ and prove our devotion to Him by striving to live a holy life that will honor Him, we are not serving Jesus and someday when our time runs out, he will look at us in disappointment and say “I never knew you. Depart from me ye workers of iniquity.” We don’t have time to play with devils. Keep your heart with all diligence this Halloween and honor Jesus, not Satan.

A Servant of the Master

The Author of My Life ~ A Christian Poem

The Author of my Life

There’s a story God has written, long before the sunbeams shone,

Before the world began to turn, O Lord, my soul you’ve known.

And you looked ahead to every day, every moment, sweet or sad,

You knew the thoughts within my heart, and every lesson you would add.

My story, O how perfect,

Though sometimes the day looks grim,

When I wonder what the future holds,

I put my trust in Him.

He’s an author always perfect, my story’s end is glad,

For no matter what befalls me here, there’s heavenly joy to be had.

Upon life’s path there are twists and turns, but I know he’ll lead me on,

And when I see that I am weak, his love will make me strong.

My story, O how perfect,

Though shadows overcast,

While I am blind, He sees the future

Just as clearly as the past.

I’ll praise through all life’s chapters, His perfect love and grace,

Praise Him all the days I live, Till at last I see His face.

Then forever more I’ll worship, The author of my life,

The one who wrote my story, brought me through each pain and strife.

My story O how perfect,

I need not fear or doubt,

As long as I still follow Him,

I’ll stay on the right route.

My story is never ending, but someday all pain will cease,

When at last from this mortal prison, my soul will be released.

I’ll fly away to heaven to dwell in peace with Christ,

My gentle God and Savior, the Author of my Life.

Leaving Sodom and Gomorrah – Separating Ourselves From Sin for Jesus Christ

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To me it’s very obvious that we’re living in a time which is comparable to Sodom and Gomorrah. Every day, we behold things which are vile, sinful, devilish, against nature… I don’t need to enumerate very much, because those who have a sense of morality can already recognize these evils, and those who cannot are already lost in them. All unrighteousness is sin, there are some sins which repulse us because of their unimaginable wickedness, and there are some which simply make us blush with a little guilt. Revelations says that among those who will be kept out of the kingdom of Heaven, are sorcerers and liars. There is a huge difference between the sin of witchcraft and the sin of lying, but they have something in common: both will send a soul to Hell. The consequences of sin is a very weighty thing. Hell has no end.

During the time of Sodom and Gomorrah, God told Abraham about his plan to destroy those two evil cities. Abraham was grieved, because his nephew, Lot was living there. Humbly he began to ask if God would spare the cities if there were enough righteous souls living there. God assured him that He would, His mercy is very great. But the truth was that Lot was the only righteous man in Sodom. Even his wife and his daughters proved that they were evil. But God’s mercy even reached out to them for Lot’s sake. The best God could do for the one righteous man of those towns, was to remove him from that filthy place.

We are living in a world of filth, and although we cannot escape the debauchery of what people do around us, we still must separate ourselves from the wickedness by not partaking of or justifying the sins which God hates. If we are friends of the world, we are the enemies of God. There will be many people in the day of judgement who say ” Lord, Lord, haven’t we done many wonderful works In your name?” They will believe that they were good Christians, but Jesus will tell them that he never knew them. Why? Because they were workers of iniquity, sin. Following Jesus requires that we give up the sinful desires, pleasures etc… of this life. Jesus told us that we had to deny ourselves, take up our cross every day, and follow Him. When we obey this command, we begin to look very strange and out of place to the people around us. When Lot told his son-in-laws and his other two daughters that Sodom was going to be destroyed and that they had to leave their homes, they thought he had gone insane. When we tell sinners ( even those who call themselves Christians) that they have to live a holy life, they look at us as if we’ve gone nuts. But, if we are going to call ourselves by Jesus’ name, we must obey his commandments. He told us ” if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” It’s time to leave our fishing nets (our Worldly ambitions) behind us and follow Jesus, just as the disciples did. If we stay here in Sodom partaking of, or turning a blind eye to its wickedness, we will soon perish and be judged with it.

You don’t always have to “act” in sin in order to be guilty with those who are sinning. Eli was punished by God, not because he had done anything evil with his own hands, but because he had not warned and reproved his evil sons. We do have a duty to make a stand for righteousness and draw the line when it comes to sin. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to go around tapping sinners on the shoulder and forcing them to listen to our words, but it does mean that we stand aloof (far away from and usually alone) from the evil works of worldly people. When we draw back from evil, our rejection of sin convicts people’s hearts. Some of them will be polite enough to allow us to do what suits us, our example might even encourage some to follow Jesus as well, but many will be angry at us because we put them to shame by calling sin what it is. We have to be brave and strong in The Lord. It’s hard to be hated and rejected for Christ’s sake, but we must do what’s right, or we will burn with fire and brimstone for ever, and ever, and ever. It’s high time to leave sin and darkness and to never look back or long for the things of this evil world again. I don’t know what Lot’s wife was thinking when she looked back and became a pillar of salt; maybe she was regretting having to leave that bustling city, perhaps she was longing for the riches and possessions she had left in her home, or maybe she was afraid for her two other daughters who had refused to come. In any case, Jesus said that if we love Father, Mother, Brothers etc… More than him we are not worthy of him. Nothing can be more important to us than Jesus. Seeing that this world is going to be destroyed by great heat, what kind of people should we be? Holy in behavior, and godly. I believe Jesus is coming back soon. Watch and get ready.

Keep the faith,

A Servant of the Master

Jesus, My Friend – A Christian Poem and Message


The man who is rescued will say to his hero, I will serve you forever, I’ll always stay near you. He pledges his life to the one who did save, whatever the cost, he will be the man’s slave. Now we’ve been saved from the clutches of hell, but we serve not our savior yet think all is well. He loved us enough to offer us life, will we love and obey him, our Lord Jesus Christ? We imagine that we have become Jesus’ friends, yet his simple commandments we’re determined to bend. Instead we’re acquainted with this world’s evil ways, we aren’t standing in light and there’s no place for grays. If God is our Father, then where is his honor? If our great King is Him, why do we still live in sin? We were going to die because of our crime, but Jesus stepped in and with love paid our fine. After an offer like that, would we turn it down. If we stay in our sins, we’re still hell bound. Don’t keep neglecting the one whose hands made you. Don’t take it for granted that he died to save you. We are his friends if we keep his commands, accept Christ’s salvation and be free from sin’s bands.

Yesterday I read John 15: 13 ” greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” It’s amazing that our almighty God would love us enough to allow us to be his friends! Who are we? We are undeserving of his attention, and yet he cared about us so deeply, that he was willing to die for us. We are invited to be his friends, and as we all know, friendship is a thing which takes effort between two people. God has already done his part, now it’s our turn to show him that we love him and want to be his friends. Friends spend time together; not in a formal, business fashion, but in a heart to heart, enjoying eachother’s company way. They share their thoughts and dreams and troubles, they do things together and chat on the phone. We need to spend that kind of time with Jesus, if we don’t, we are no more than acquaintances with him. We must be careful. If we have not built a close relationship with Jesus, then we are a friend of the world, and the book of James says that the friendship of the world makes us the enemies of God. Jesus died to save sinners, he loves us and reaches out to us, but unless we (like the disciples) drop our sins and earthly ways and follow him, we will not benefit from Jesus’ gift of Salvation. Jesus said ” if you love me you will keep my commandments.” By obeying him, we prove that we love him. And, when we obey him, our transforming hearts show the world that we are the servants and friends of God. When the world sees someone who’s righteousness shows up their wickedness, they hate and persecute him. Although it is no fun to be rejected, we can comfort and encourage ourselves. Jesus warned us ahead of time that the world would hate us just as it hated him. This persecution means that we are on the right track. If we find that the world accepts us, and that we fit in, we had better take heed to our souls. I hope that this Resurrection Day is filled with praise and worship And repentance and salvation.

Keep the faith,

A servant of the Master

A Well of Truth ~ Christian Poem

Well of Truth

The blind eye never knew the light,

But the soul can see far beyond eyesight.

The deaf ear cannot hear a voice,

But the soul can hear an angelic noise.

The poor man strives for food and clothes,

But the soul can be richer than any man knows.

The men bound as slaves are not yet free,

But the spirit, through Christ, enjoys liberty.

The soul understands and inherits great things,

When from sin he’s set free, by the gift Jesus brings.

But the blind soul thinks that it can see,

Though it sits in a shadowed place, darkly.

And the deaf soul thinks that it hears a sound,

But it is nothing but lies circling round and round.

The poor soul believes that its wealth is increased,

But when the mortal thread breaks, those riches will cease.

The bondman’s soul, is to sin a slave,

But he sees not that he’s bound, and in need to be saved.

I counsel you souls, seek healing from Christ,

Who can heal your spirits and promise you life.

Give up worldly gain, and lay up for your souls,

Jewels of good virtue and heavenly goals.

Take the key of the gospel and let your chains fall,

Be free from your sins and answer God’s call.

Can Christians Continue to Sin and Still go to Heaven

continue in sin

Ezekiel 13:22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.

While I was studying the Bible, this verse really stood out to me. The entire chapter is speaking against the false prophets. In those days, God had been warning his people that they were going to be punished for their sins. But, the false prophets had been telling the Israelites that everything was just fine, and that the rumored punishment wouldn’t happen.

Ezekiel 13: 10 They have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace…

The Lord likened these prophets’ lies to a rock wall that had been made with untampered mortar. Without the proper ingredients in their cement, the wall would crumble as soon as it rained. Lies never last, they are always proved wrong in the end, no matter how strongly people believe them.

Ezekiel 13 reminds me of some of the preachers we hear today. They sound very important, and they tell the people just what they want to hear. But, sadly, that doesn’t mean that their words are always true. Much like the false prophets in Ezekiel’s time, these modern preachers strengthen the hands of the wicked, holding them back from turning away from their sins. How do they do that? By promising them life, when in reality those sinners are on the broad road to destruction.

There is a widely accepted doctrine now days, which teaches that, once a person has said the sinner’s prayer, they are forever, unchangeably saved. On the surface that doctrine sounds pleasant and true. The Bible says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Salvation is very simple. And yet, there is a big problem with this doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved. This form of belief seemingly gives Christians a free pass to sin. It opens a door which allows them to justify themselves as they continue to sin against the Lord. It is a doctrine of false peace, because to the sinning soul there truly is no peace.

We have been blessed with a gift that stays with us for a long time, even when we are not following the Lord. It’s called our conscience. Now, in time, we can damage our conscience by ignoring it. Once we destroy it, we might not feel the guilt and shame that we should have felt. But, until we do that, our conscience is a warning voice which tells us when we are doing wrong. Our conscience doesn’t allow us to feel at peace while we’re sinning, because it is truly God’s voice telling us that if we don’t stop disobeying him, we will die and go to hell. When preachers tell people that they cannot lose their salvation no matter what they do, the voice of our conscience suddenly loses value. We no longer listen to it, because it goes against the doctrine we’ve been taught. Instead of allowing the guilt of sin to sink in, we reason that guilt away and put it behind us. After all, once we’re saved, we’re always saved. Right?

I want to say that I’m not basing my opinion of this doctrine upon my own feelings or reasoning. My opinions and reasoning mean nothing. But, I am basing these thoughts upon the whole of the scriptures. The truth is there to find when we look, and if we love the Lord and want to know the truth, His Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.

If it is true that Christians can never lose their salvation, then why does the Bible so often tell us to repent? The word repent means to change the way we think or are. It doesn’t just mean to tell Jesus we’re sorry when we do something wrong. A person can say they are sorry, but unless they change their hearts and learn to hate the sins they’ve committed, they will keep on sinning again and again and again. The “Once Saved Always Saved” doctrine seems to make allowances for that. But, Jesus does not.

Matthew 4: 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

John 5: 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Matthew 8: 10-11 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Revelation 21: 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it (New Jerusalem) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die…

Ezekiel 18:21-22 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Jesus loves us. He loves us so much that he died to save us from the hell we rightfully deserve. The wages of sin is death. Without him, we are helplessly doomed. But Jesus has offered us a beautiful gift; a gift that lifts us out of the state of damnation that our sins put us in, and which gives us the ability to become the children of God. If we belong to Jesus, we can inherit eternal life and live with Jesus forever. But, unless we obey our Heavenly Father and love him with all of our hearts, we will not be accounted as his child. If we find ourselves in a position when sin doesn’t bother us any more, our spirits are in critical condition. As I mentioned before, the feeling of guilt we get when we sin is God’s voice correcting us. This is a blessing, because Hebrews 12:8 says that if God does not chastise (correct and punish) us, then we are not his children. We must soften our hearts and turn away from our sins. Otherwise, the wages of sin is still death unto us, even though we call ourselves Christians.

It’s strange how people have created an imaginary “grey” area in their minds. It’s a little section somewhere on the boarder of righteousness and wickedness. Somehow it seems more righteous than the utter filth, darkness and corruption of the world, but it still doesn’t match the holiness and purity which God commands us to have. The Bible tells us to be holy even as God is holy. But, while living in this grey area, Christians partake of certain worldly evils while still believing that they are on the straight and narrow path. This isn’t true. It isn’t even reasonable. If I stand right at the Canadian border, that doesn’t make me a Canadian. I’m still in America. If we stand at the border of righteousness but never become righteous ourselves, then we are still wicked; we are still in darkness. The dark, wickedness of this world is the devil’s territory. God of course is Lord of all, but when we play in the darkness, we separate ourselves from the Lord’s protective arms and make ourselves not only vulnerable to the devil’s tricks and weapons, but we make ourselves the enemy of God.

James 4:4 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.

There is no gray area. We are either in the light, or we are in the darkness. We are either on the Lord’s side, or we are on the devil’s side. There is no middle ground.

Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Now, some people at this point might be concerned that this message is (as they term it) a works doctrine. There is a fear now days that if we try to live a godly life we are trying to win our own salvation rather than relying on Jesus for that salvation. That certainly isn’t the case. No one can gain their own salvation through their own good deeds. Our best attempt at goodness is no better than a filthy rag. When we try to be righteous in our own power, we end up being hypocrites, because it truly isn’t in us to be what we are supposed to be. Besides this, we cannot make up for our past sins, so even if we live a perfect life from now on, unless we have asked God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we are still doomed. Nothing we can do can save our souls. Only Jesus can do that. But, the Bible makes it very clear that we can condemn our souls through disobeying God and sinning. The list of verses above makes the point that unless we turn from our sins we will not make it to Heaven. Although we cannot save ourselves through our own works, if we do not obey Jesus and do good works we are rebels to God and we are on our way to hell. We cannot rebel from God and still go to Heaven. The devil is a rebel to God and he was cast out of Heaven.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

            Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

            2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnish unto all good works.

            Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

            Titus 2:13-14 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

            Revelation 20: 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

If we are going to be judged according to our works, then our actions obviously matter to God. Our actions matter to people too. When people look at us, they form an opinion of us and everything we stand for depending on how we behave ourselves. Since we proclaim the name of Christ, it’s very important that we behave in a godly way. When we, as Christians, behave just like the devilish world, we shame the name of Christ and give unbeliever’s an occasion to blaspheme God and continue in their disbelief

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

                A piece of fruit is the product of a tree. Depending on what type of tree you’re looking at, it will bear a unique type of fruit. If we are Christians, people should be able to tell that by the way we behave.

We need to think about this very carefully. Jesus said that many would come to him saying “Lord, haven’t we prophesied in your name, and cast out devils and done wonderful works?” But he will tell them “I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Luke 13:27

Matthew 7: 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these saying of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain decended, and the floods came, and the wind blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Jesus said that the first commandment was to love the Lord God with all of our hearts, souls and minds. He also said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” If we love him we will do what he tells us to do and even through times of hardship and through our time of death, we will stand strong in Christ and enter into eternal peace and security. But, if we do not do what he tells us to do, we prove that we do not love him. When times of temptation come, we will fall. And, at our final hour, when our bodies fail, we will discover that Jesus never knew us, and he will send us away as workers of iniquity (sin).

Keep the Faith,

A Servant of the Master

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