The right – left train

The Pastor’s sermon began in this way, “We are now in the final days of human rule upon the Earth and very soon, although we don’t know the exact day, God will commence His final judgment upon all the world. Pounding upon the pulpit he exclaimed, Do you understand? Do you really, really understand? Do you?! Not one of us will leave this world without a ticket to either heaven or hell. If you want to get to heaven your only way is by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s imagine we all are going on a train journey today, and agree to gather at the local rail station later this afternoon. Hold on pastor you say, “I don’t have a train ticket!” Well, this is a very special train, and you don’t need a ticket! Upon arrival at the train station, I want everyone to form a line with your family, directly in front of the big overhead sign marked DEPARTURES. 

Now, remember, you don’t need an actual physical ticket to get on board the train, everything has all been arranged for you. However, the security staff will need to sort everybody out, just to make sure each person is directed to their assigned seat. When you arrive at the boarding security checkpoint inside the terminal, one of the station agents will hold a scanner in front of your heart, to ensure everything is a-okay. Remember now, this is rather a special train which travels at very high speeds, so they need to do a final health check of sorts. Some of you may possibly be directed towards a separate line from others in your party. Don’t be alarmed, this is just part of the process to ensure everybody gets to their correct destination. So you are not surprised, I can tell everybody right now how some of you will be directed towards the left-going line, with others going to the right. Not to worry, the staff have undergone extensive training on the proper use of the heart-scanning device, because they don’t want to make any unintentional mistakes. Please rest easy knowing each one of us will board the correct train safely and on time.

Those of you who are directed into the left line will board a black-coloured train, in contrast to those in the right line who board a white-coloured train. With the exception of the different colours, both trains appear otherwise identical to one another. Once again, some of you may be separated from your family at this point, but don’t worry, you may be assured the security folks have done their jobs correctly. Once onboard your designated train there will be automated signs and voice prompts, guiding each person to their pre-designated seating. Now, remember, I told you before this was a special and unique train, so the experience will most certainly be new to everyone. After everybody in the black and white-coloured trains have been seated, there will be a few safety announcements about keeping your hands and feet inside the train, not to move about while in motion, and so forth. 

Just before the trains get underway, an announcement will be made for everybody to place both hands on their armrests, your left hand on the left side, and your right hand on the right. Understand? There is nothing to worry about, this is just one final, “just in case check” that you have boarded the proper train, and are occupying the correct seat. I know this is quite a lot to remember, but we are almost ready to go! With both hands resting firmly upon the armrests, you should see an illuminated green light mounted on the backside of the headrest in front of you, got it? In the very unlikely situation where instead of a green light, you see a red one, just keep your hands steady in their place; you are on the wrong train! An attendant will come for you and direct you to the other train, ensuring you safely arrive at your proper seat. Now this situation will almost certainly not occur, as the security staff are well trained, and have done a thorough job scanning you already. Once everybody has a green light, the doors will close and lock, then the train journey can begin! 

What I need to explain to you now, and is critical for everyone to understand is this. All persons on the black-coloured train are destined to be delivered to the entrance of hell, while those seated on the white-coloured train, the golden gates of heaven. Now, now, don’t fret. Everyone has been seated on the proper train, God made sure of that! If you had previously repented of your sins beforehand (I have been warning you for years and years…), confessing your sinful nature to God, that you were in desperate need of Jesus to save you, and received the Holy Spirit; then you are on your way to see Jesus in heaven – hurray! If you are on the train bound for hell you should be very happy; after all, you are getting exactly what you wanted, right? You chose to live your life apart from God, turned your back on Jesus’ free offer os salvation. In short, your days were spent living your life believing this world is all there is, and doing what was right in your own eyes. Come on now, rejoice; you made it! You are one of the many who will get to live for an eternity separated from Jesus. 

What, this is not what you wanted? Gee, I’m sorry. As I have told you already this is a special train, and once onboard, there are no funds, no change of itinerary, and no stops at other destinations. But you say, “My child is on the heaven-bound train, and I want to be with her!”  Now, now, it’s going to be alright, try not to worry. I know it’s sad and frightening for you, please try to be calm. Yes, I think I can see your little girl crying for you; she obviously loves and misses you terribly. Now don’t worry, in a few moments, God is going to wipe away all her tears, turning her sorrow into joy. Why in no time at all your precious little girl won’t even remember you, and will go on to live a blessed life in heaven with Jesus, while you scream and suffer in hell. This madam is the consequence of you trying to live your life less than fully committed to Jesus, desiring to do things your own way. For years He patiently called you, urging you to repent of your sins; but you steadily refused, and now it is just too late.”


My friends…can we be friends…? Good. My fictitious story is intended as a light-hearted introduction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yes, there most certainly is life after we pass from this world; but it is not like any of the make-believe worlds of Hollywood, secular fiction, etc. No, there are only two places where we will reside for eternity;

  1. Heaven – Kingdom of God.
  2. Hell – Lake of Fire.

Sorry, your ignorance will not save you from judgment. Many years ago, one of my wife’s relatives “accidentally” (yes, I believe it was an accident), stole a small personal item from the store, only to discover it later. Fortunately, upon its discovery the item was returned to the store manager with their apologies, which was the end of the matter. According to the family, this person placed the item in their purse by mistake, intending to pay for it at checkout: well, that is the story I was told anyway.. :). Even though the item was returned and the store suffered no financial harm, the manager would have been within their rights to have called the police and pressed charges. Did the offender understand theft was wrong and illegal? Yes, of course. Would it matter in the eyes of the law whether it was taken in error or with intention? No. Did this woman break the law and was deserving of punishment? Yes!

Do you understand my comparison here? In the eyes of the law, a transgression is a transgression, is a transgression. If the law is broken there must be a punishment to atone for the offense. God has made a whole list of laws for us to follow, which may be summed up perfectly in the TEN COMMANDMENTS. 

Here, I will list them just in case you have forgotten;

  1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
  3. Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his Name in vaine.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy sonne, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattel, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet.

Exodus 20:3-17, KJV.

Historically, many of our laws are based on these commandments, whether the lawmakers understand this or not. God has many attributes which we could use to describe Him, some of whom I have listed below.

GOD IS _____________________.

  1. All – loving.
  2. Forgiving.
  3. Righteous.
  4. Holy.
  5. Without sin.
  6. Pure Light.
  7. Perfect.
  8. Just.
  9. Patient.
  10. Compassionate.

Let’s focus in on just three of God’s attributes, shall we? 

All-Loving

God loves us with love our finite human understanding will never be able to fully comprehend. Because of His immense love for us, He wants us to be with Him eternally in heaven. His love for us is so vast, He sent His only begotten Son, JESUS, to take upon Himself the punishment for our sins. Each of us has inherited our sinful nature because Adam and Eve sinned first, back in the Garden of Eden. God understands our imperfect human nature and has provided a Way for us to be saved – now isn’t that wonderful news! 

Forgiving

Because God loves us so very much, He is able to cleanse our sins with the blood of JESUS; that’s why He gave Himself for us on the cross. Through faith and believe in Jesus, we may be forgiven and cleansed from our sins. Now in case, it isn’t obvious to you, sin is any action or thought which is contrary to God’s laws, as embodied in the Ten Commandments listed above. 

  • Have you ever lied, even one time only? Then you are a liar. 
  • Have you ever been angry with someone? Then you are a murder. *
  • Have you ever stolen anything, even time from your employer? Then you are a thief.
  • Have you lusted after someone, or had sexual thoughts for anybody not your wife or husband? Then you are an adulterer.
  • Have you worshipped any false gods such as wealth, possessions, power, etc.? Then you are an idolater. 

Shall I go on? In order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven on your own merits requires you be 100% absolutely perfect, meaning the slightest transgression of any one of these commandments even ONE TIME ONLY, is sufficient to sentence you to eternity in hell (Lake of Fire). Nope, you are not perfect. You are sinful. You are worthless in the eyes of a holy God. You are guilty. You are ETERNALLY DOOMED!!!!!

Unless….you repent of your sins against GOD, freely confessing (AND MEAN IT!! – YOU CANNOT FOOL GOD!!!!) your desperate need for HIS forgiveness, and that you believe JESUS CHRIST died for you, then, and only then, can your sins be wiped out clean! 

Salvation and eternal life is;

  • A free gift from GOD alone.
  • Something we do not deserve.
  • A gift which cannot be earned through good works.
  • A gift which cannot be purchased with money.
  • A gift you cannot receive through any of the world’s false religions.
  • A gift which will never fade away, depreciate, or become worthless.
  • A gift which may only be received by faith and belief in JESUS CHRIST.

* “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:20-22, KJV.

Just

If you willingly choose to disregard my warnings and reject the Name of JESUS CHRIST, then God’s justice requires Him to punish you. If you refuse His free and gracious offer of salvation and eternal life through His Son JESUS, then you alone will bear the punishment for your many sins against HIM, which is not going to pleasant at all! Ask yourself this question. If hell was not such a horrible place of torment and agony, why would JESUS spend more time talking of the absolute horrors of hell over the majesty of heaven? Please think about it will you still can.

Thank you for reading…

 

https://wp.me/PAx0v-M2

 

Advertisements

It’s all about JESUS

The Great Commission

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Matthew 28 16-20, KJV

Greetings, and Welcome!
Why Jesus? Specifically, who is He? Both of these questions are perfectly reasonable, deserving  to be answered. First off, please be assured God loves you; after all, He created youin His image.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26-27, KJV

“Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the bellyI knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5, KJV

“For thou hast possessed my reins:
thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:13-14, KJV

“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter;
and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8, KJV

Does it make sense if God created you (and me), He must know everything about us? Consider the artist who creates a brilliant masterpiece; does he not enjoy it, taking pleasure in what his hands have created? Of course, yes. Likewise, it is God who has created us for His pleasure; so clearly, He loves us. Scripture upholds His perfect love for all creation. Isn’t this truly marvelous! The Creator God of the universe loves ____________________________________________ (insert your name)!

Simply stated, Jesus Christis the Son of God, through whom all things were created, and by whom, the universe continues to exist. All His creation, along with the Holy Bible, God’s written word to us, singularly, and consistently, upholds the name of Jesus; the only true and living Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
John 1:1-5, KJV

Let’s examine two common passages of Scripture, both recorded by the Apostle John.

“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17, KJV

and,

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”John 3:36, KJV

The Apostle John, who walked with, and was taught directly by Jesus over a period of about (3) years, records;

  1. God loves the word He has created.
  2. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God (born as a human baby).
  3. We are saved from judgment through belief and faith in Jesus.
  4. Jesus came save us, not condemn us for breaking God’s commandments; this is our sinful nature.
  5. Everlasting and eternal life is open to anyone who believes in Jesus.
  6. Everyone choosing to reject Jesus has the full wrath of God upon them, destined for eternity in hell.

” Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.  O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Psalm 8, KJV

The Psalmist David wrote these words; how God created humans to be a bit lower than the angels in Heaven. Only a loving God with infinite patience and care would do this; we are truly are a blessed creation!

Ok, God loves me; where does Jesus come in? I am so pleased you asked! Here is the problem. God created a perfect, ideal, and sinless world; however, Adam and Eve disobeyed God, eating of the forbidden fruit. This is perhaps the saddest moment of all human history, whereby sin first entered into our world. The Apostle Paul wrote these words so that we would know and understand the truth; “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”Romans 5:12, KJV

Up until this point there was no death; animals did not die naturally, no creature ate another for food, everything was absolutely perfect; Adam and Eve, and all their descendants would have lived forever. This is the real reason we have wars, strife, murders, disease, anger, pain, suffering….and on it goes; all because Adam and Eve willingly chose to disobey God– this is the simplest definition of SIN!

Blessedly there is good news; let’s continue on!

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:6-11, KJV

A careful and plain reading of this passage of Scripture tells us;

  1. Jesus Christ died (on the cross) for the ungodly (you and me!).
  2. God allowed this to happen (actually, He planned for it), out of His perfect love for us.
  3. We are justified (made “right” in the eyes of God).
  4. Previously, we were enemies of God.
  5. Now, we can be reconciled to God, because we have been forgiven!

Stated simply, God has provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins, through faith and belief in His Son, JESUS CHRIST. Yes, the cost of eternal life is free; however, you must, I repeat, MUST, repent of your sins, and turn your life completely over to JESUS.

FURTHER ACTION REQUIRED – PLEASE READ ON FOR THE REST OF THE STORY!

Original Sin

The Real Gospel Message

God Bless,

 

 

All are safe in safe in Jesus

O Lord, all are safe in thee. From the lowest commoner, to the mightiest of rulers, all are safe who trust in thee.  Will ye seek Him, who alone can give thee refuge? How long will ye delay in seeking safe harbour? Only in the arms of our Saviour are ye safe; only within His loving care do we find safety from the prowling lion. Outside of, and apart from Him, lies death and turmoil. Come to Him now, run towards His open arms; come to Jesus today, why will ye wait?

Blessings,

 

Against the Sinners Prayer

Sadly, many otherwise well-meaning Christians, Pastors, and Teachers have fallen for the lie of easy-believism, decisional evangelism, and so on. Essentially, their theology says all a sinner needs to do is invite Jesus into their heart and believe. Believe what, exactly? You must understand, a smattering of Gospel verses followed by a prayer will save no one, as I will attempt to illustrate below. This a misrepresentation of what THE TRUE GOSPEL is all about, and is a lie from hell. So, what dies this prayer look like?

Although there are many variations, the typical prayer goes something like this – “I confess to God that I am a sinner. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins in the cross and was raised back to life so that I could be made right with God. I now repent of my sins and receive and confess Him as my Saviour and Lord”.

 

Scriptural Evidence?
There is a total lack of scriptural evidence anyone prayed a “salvation prayer” to receive Jesus. This teaching is an invention of man and without Scriptural support. There is NO evidence in the New Testament of a prayer containing the words, “Saviour and Lord.” Specifically, where is the New Testament evidence for “inviting Jesus into my heart”?

The Unsaved cannot come to God
Since no man can confess Jesus as Lord unless he is called (drawn) by the Father, it is scripturally impossible to accept the phrase, “I confess to God that I am a sinner”,  without having heard the complete Gospel and repented first. Based upon the presented verses, does a lost person completely understand what sin is, and their need for a Saviour? We do not invite Jesus into our hearts, both He and the Father will come to us if, we love Him. An unconverted person cannot call the Father, “Father”! They are still lost in their sin and separated from God.

John 14: 21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

We cannot come to God on our own without first having “learned of the Father”. John 6:44-45 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”

Romans 8:6-8 – “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Prayers of Sinners?
No scriptural evidence God hears (responds) to prayers of the unsaved. We must first be saved and worshipping God. John 9:31 – “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him, he heareth.”

Repentance?
Barely a mention of repentance, which is repeated over and over in the New Testament – repent, repent, repent!

Baptism?
Why is this missing when scripture consistently upholds it? “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins..” Mark 16:16  – “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Abiding in Christ?
John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:23  – “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

John 15:5-6  – “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”  Scripture says we do not invite Jesus into our heart; He comes to us when we love Him. How can a sinner receive Jesus without first loving Him?

Does the lost person understand what “commit my life fully to you” means? Where is this thoroughly expounded upon? The sinners prayer makes no mention of continually abiding in Jesus, keeping His commandments, and living a holy life. What is the fate of those not abiding and enduring in Christ? Eternal damnation in hell.

Salvation is a work of God and not ourselves
There is nothing we can do to earn eternal life, it is completely a gift from God. John 1:10-14  – “He was in he world, and the world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

The NLT translates v12-13 as “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John is writing to make clear the spiritual birth of the converted is solely and singularly a work of God, and not of ourselves. Therefore, I must conclude the sinners prayer makes salvation a work of man, robbing Christ of His redemptive role saving sinners.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We are saved by grace and not through a sinners prayer confession, the spiritually dead cannot make themselves undead. Ephesians 2:1 – “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins”.

A Sinners Prayer is NOT The Gospel
I agree, yes, this prayer includes certain elements of the Gospel, however it does not represent THE Gospel, nor adequately convey the message of salvation. The impression is we are saved by praying a prayer, which of course is untrue; salvation is by faith alone.

Regardless of form, the sinners prayer is NOT the Gospel, and will result in a false conversion. Based upon the verses presented, does a person reading only these two pages have a solid of understanding of the Gospel? I would have to say, no.


THE BIBLICAL METHOD OF SALVATION

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9

The true Gospel may be likened to a lock which may only be opened when using a specific key; any changes to which will render it useless and the lock remains closed. The Gospel is very specific and cannot, must NOT, ever, ever, be changed or altered in any way. A careful search of the Scriptures leads one to conclude the core essentials of the Gospel include.

Faith comes by hearing the Gospel, and hearing by the Word of God

Romans 10:8-17 – “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Mark 1:15 – “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

James 1:17-20 – “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Repent and be Baptized

Luke 13:3 – “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Acts 3:19 – “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

Acts 9:17-20 – “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou lamest, hath sent me, that thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose and was baptized.” *Saul had earlier confessed Jesus as Lord on the road to Damascus. See Acts 9:3-9

Acts 2:36-38 – “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Matthew 27:19-20 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Mark 16:15-16 – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Acts 8:29-38 – “The the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understands thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they cam unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believes with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water. both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

Another key aspect of true conversion is a PUBLIC CONFESSION OF JESUS CHRIST. Continuing in Verse 39 – “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

Matthew 10:32-33 – “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

Continually abide in Jesus Christ

Hebrews 5:5-10 – “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”

John 14:21 – “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

Matthew 10:22 – “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

James 1:12 – “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

2 Timothy 4:6-8 – “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

*The following narrative is a summary of the presentation method taught during an evangelism course at our church, a few years ago. While certainly not the only presentation method of evangelism, it does provide a logical and thorough presentation of the Gospel, and a blueprint to lead a lost soul to Jesus. I have included it here for comparison against the “Sinners Prayer”, or “Decisional Evangelism” method.


GOD’S STANDARD OF PERFECTION
  ~ The Bad News ~
You must never ever have sinned, not even one time! God’s laws are essentially summarized in the “Ten Commandments”; Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not lie, and so on. The two most important characteristics about God we must understand in order to comprehend the gospel, are that God is both loving and just at the same time. In order for us to be saved by our own “goodness” and abilities, it is necessary for us never to have sinned. God’s perfect justice demands and requires sin to be punished.

Here is what the Bible really says:

James 2:10  – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Romans 3:23  – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23  – “For the wages of sin is death…”

Psalm 53:1-3 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Romans 5:12 – “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

GOD IS LOVE!  ~The Good News!! ~
God loves each human being to the ultimate, maximum possible extent, so much so, the human mind is incapable of fully comprehending His love for us. Jeremiah 31:3 – “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting  love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”.

Ephesians 2:4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,…”1 John 4:8 – “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” The love God has for us is so intense and powerful, He is compelled to forgive us of our sins. However, we also know that God is perfectly just and must see our sin punished.


THE DILEMMA  ~ What is God to do? ~
God’s infinite and perfect love for us compels Him to forgive us of our sins, while His perfect justice demands that sin be punished. What is God to do? Please understand that God would like everyone to be saved, so in 2 Peter 3:9 we read “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Now there is no dilemma with God, but this will help us to understand why we need a Saviour to rescue us from sin.

Plan C: God will search the Earth for a single righteous man to take the punishment for sin for all mankind. Psalm 53:2-3 – “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back:they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Isaiah 53:6 – “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned, come short of the glory of God.” Plan C dies on the table since scripture makes it plain no human being is without sin.

Plan B: God will come to Earth Himself and accept the punishment for our sins. This plan also dies because God is spirit and we are flesh, therefore it is impossible for Him to take our punishment for us – He is of a different substance and form. Scripture is very clear about the Old Testament animal sacrifices being unable to take away sin. Again, animals are of a different type of flesh that humans. Hebrews 10:3-4  – “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”

Plan A: This is THE PLAN God established from the foundation of the world as the only way to forgive mankind, while at the same time satisfy His judgement against sin. A miraculous conception, Luke 1:26-35 – “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto here, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of Salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And  behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of this father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered  and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

NO OTHER SAVIOUR THAN JESUS CHRIST
Hebrews 4:15 – “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Isaiah 53:5-6 – “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. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own was; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

1 Peter 2:24 – “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”


A PROVISION

What we have just learned would appear to say that every person is automatically saved, however this is not exactly the case. Consider the following illustration. You and your family have planned a spectacular holiday at an exotic tropical resort. Finally, after months of planning and waiting the big day finally arrives. After checking in at the airport and clearing customs, the call for passengers to begin boarding is announced over the speaker system. Everyone heads down the final connecting ramp to the waiting aircraft and boards, but you hesitate to cross the threshold due to an intense fear of flying.

Certain you will be able to ease your fears and take that final step, you tell the family to find their seats and you will join them shortly. After a period of 20 minutes or so passes, the cabin crew closes the aircraft door leaving you shut out of your flight. By faith, your family members trusted the airplane manufacturer, the airline, flight crews, pilot and so forth, to safely deliver them to their destination. All you needed to do was take that step of faith and step onto the airplane, but you did not. Everything was prepared and ready for you, all parties had done their jobs correctly and you were ready to go. The final remaining but necessary step was to complete your part by getting on board, but failed to do so.

Just like this person who missed their flight because of their inaction to take the final step, anyone wishing to be saved from the fires of hell must consciously receive the promises of the Father through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the price for everyone’s sin, but to make it real you must make it personal. Let us look at another example to illustrate this vital point. You have contracted a lawyer to draw up your will to protect your loved ones when you die. Are the terms laid out in the will in force before you place your signature on the document? No. If you die before signing the will the terms and conditions are not enforceable and your family is left in a mess – your inaction has very real consequences.

A biblical example: Thief on the Cross, Luke 23:36-43 “And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”

Both thieves freely admitted they were sinners and deserving of death. At some point one of them was moved to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Could this man have saved himself? No, he was utterly incapable of doing anything to change his situation. Notice very carefully how after making a simple profession of faith, Jesus responded by assuring him he would go to heaven – he would be saved!

FOUR CRITICAL STEPS

[1] – YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF BEING A SINNER BEFORE GOD 

*You are ruined and lost because of sin.

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Psalm 58:3 – “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”

Psalm 53:1-3 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Jeremiah 17:19 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Isaiah 64:6 – “But we are all as unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

[2] – YOUR CALL TO REPENTANCE  

* The first step towards healing the wounds.

Acts 3:19 – “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

Luke 13:3 – “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

[3] – YOUR PROFESSION OF FAITH

*Receiving the promises of God by faith alone.

Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Romans 10:9-10 – “That is 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Romans 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

John 3:16 – “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.”


[4] –
YOUR CONFESSION BEFORE MEN

 *Making your conversion real.

Matthew 10:32-33 – “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

John 1:11-13 – “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

As soon as practicable and without unnecessary delay, you should be baptized as a public profession of your faith, and new life in Christ Jesus. Acts 2:36-38 – “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Blessings!