Tag Archives: Salvation

Are you a friend or enemy?

The New Testament speaks about two kinds of people; those who are saved by the blood of Jesus, and the lost, condemned to hell. Scripture makes no apology for the absence of a middle ground: you are either in (the kingdom of heaven), or you are not. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, meaning every human being is a condemned sinner in the eyes of a Holy and perfect God. From the moment of our conception in the womb, each of us is “out”; unworthy to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Humans have an inherent, fallen nature, going all the way back to Creation, and the original sin of Adam and Eve. Continuing in Romans 8:5-8, we read, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” ESV. The King James Version translates Verse 7 as, “Because the carnal mind is enmity (lit. ‘enemy’) against God: for it is not subject the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The Apostle James, says, “…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4). So there you have it; are you a friend or enemy of Jesus?

Blessings to all,

 

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What is The Gospel all About?

 Dear Friend,

Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us, my hope is you will come away with a clear, and fuller understanding of exactly what the Gospel Message is, and more importantly, is not. For anyone seeking to learn about the life and good news message of Jesus Christ, it is essential to have a solid grasp of some basic biblical background and terminology, which I have done my very best to outline for you below.

If you are looking for God or perhaps do not believe in God, searching, and so forth, I am so glad you came across our site and hope you will be blessed. While the discussion of Creation and Evolution will not be directly addressed here, I will ask you to at least acknowledge the possibility of God existing, so as to have a point from which to build from. Can we agree to this? May I ask you a simple question? Do you have absolute complete and total knowledge of everything in the universe? In other words, do you know everything which can be known? If not, how can you be certain God does not exist when you do not know everything yourself? As I will bring out a bit later, God has implanted knowledge of Himself within each one of us, so really, there is no basis upon which to deny His existence. Before we get started please know this; God knows you, loves you, and only wants what is best for YOU. A steadfast denial of Him does not change the fact of His existence, just the same as a denial of gravity does not change the certainty of its existence.

What follows is an imperfect discussion of the Gospel,  although I have done my best to convey this wonderful message of hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Take heart dear reader, if you are truly and honestly seeking God, He has promised to reveal Himself to you, and is not far from you. The fullness and riches of Jesus Christ cannot be approached on an intellectual, academic level; rather must be received by faith alone. My friend, we are not talking about normal, rational things, but those of the spirit, which cannot be seen. Please do not try to place limits in your mind of who or what God is; He is God, and MUST be approached on His terms, not ours! Yes, you can “know” Him, but only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

A BIG IMPORTANT WARNING – The GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST is very dangerous, with the power to bring radical and unforeseen changes in your life, which you cannot understand or predict. The Gospel is sharper than the sharpest sword, and more destructive than the most powerful atomic weapon. Once unleashed it cannot be stopped by any force on earth or in hell, seen or unseen. If you are willing and able to receive the Gospel as presented, your life will be radically and dramatically changed, as He seeks to accomplish His will in, and through your life. You must not respond to the Gospel simply out of a fear of hell, although, yes, this is a part of the message. Rather, salvation, redemption, and true peace, comes when we totally and irrevocably surrender ourselves to Him. The Scripture quotations herein are His (God’s) words, not mine, so your arguments and disagreements are not with me, but with God Himself. Are you ready?

In the Beginning…
God created a perfect universe including the stars, planets, and all life on the Earth. You can read all about it in the first chapters of Genesis in the Bible, which is literally a book of origins. If you are unfamiliar with the Bible, your worldview is very likely an evolutionary one. Once again and for the sake of our discussion today, can you admit the possibility of the existence of God, so we can have a common starting point? Although it is beyond the scope of this article to specifically discuss the fallacy and impossibility of evolution, both biological and inorganic, I will provide some items for further thought a bit later on, sound ok? See Genesis 1-2.

A Tragedy
God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, however they could eat freely from everything else in the Garden of Eden. What you need to understand right now, is God gave both Adam and Eve, and their descendants free choice on whether or not to obey Him. Could Almighty God have forced them to obey Him or taken away their conscious free choice? Yes, of course, however this would not be characteristic of a true loving relationship, would it? In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read the sad story of disobedience on the part of Adam and Eve, who opened the door for sin to pollute God’s perfect and sinless creation. “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.” Romans 5:12, GNB. 

This was the moment, the EXACT moment when everything went horribly wrong, from which time forward, God and mankind were separated and unreconciled. Blessedly, God understood this from the beginning of time, so He carefully put an intricate plan in motion for us to be redeemed through His Son, Jesus Christ – now this, is THE GOOD NEWS!! Read this story for yourself in Genesis 3, and Romans 5.



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, KJV

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, belief, repentance, sin, confession, and baptism, all of which will be thoroughly discussed.

Some biblical terminology

Faith – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1, NLT. Expressed another way, faith is the “belief” in things which cannot be seen, touched, or experienced with our normal physical senses. *Although very similar, biblically, “faith” and “belief” are not the same thing. Perhaps, we could describe faith as “belief on a deeper and more personal level”?

Sin – Any action or thought, unintentional or deliberate which is contrary to God’s Law. Refer to the Ten Commandments.

Repentance – Confessing and turning away from sin is the first step toward receiving God’s forgiveness. *This means much more than simply saying we are sorry, rather is an “intentional change in direction”.

*Unless noted otherwise, scripture notations are from the King James Version. You may also wish to read our earlier post on Bible Versions, at http://www.learnthebible.ca

NASB – New American Standard Version
NLT – New Living Translation
NKJV – New King James Version
KJV – King James Version
GNB – Good News Bible
ESV – English Standard Version


~ The Bad News ~
GOD’S STANDARD OF PERFECTION


To “look good” in God’s eyes, 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.

God’s Laws are encompassed within the Ten Commandments, namely;

  1. Have no other gods before Me.
  2. Do not make idols of anything.
  3. Do not misuse or take in vain, the name of the LORD.
  4. Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Do not commit adultery.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not lie.
  10. Do not covet. Exodus 20:1-17

Jesus further expounds on the commandments in the following verses. 

Angry thoughts = Murder
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Matthew 5:21-22, NLT

Lusting = Adultery
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28, NLT

Dear reader, do you understand what Jesus is saying? God’s laws and standards are absolutely 100% true, and demands perfect adherence to avoid falling into sin. Therefore, being angry with another person, even one time, is sufficient to break His commandment, and condemn you for sinning against a Holy and Just God. Please understand, sin is evil, it is corrosive, suffocating and consuming everything it touches, whether it be the earth itself, or your eternal soul. All things are affected by it, groaning under its insidious effects. You cannot escape it, outrun it, outsmart it, hide from it, or take shelter from it. It is pervasive, all-consuming, destroys flesh, matter, and soul alike, and cannot be defeated by your efforts. 

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Romans 8:22, KJV; the NLT translates this verse as,”For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” 

Breaking one Commandment breaks them all!
“Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ But if you favour some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the law except one is guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, ‘You must not murder.’ So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.” James 2:8-11, NLT

Oh dear, if we break any of God’s laws, even one time, we are doomed! And you thought you were having good day today! Take heart my friend, there is real HOPE for you and I so do not despair; keep reading!

Read this Psalm SLOWLY at least twice all the way through
“Only fools say in their hearts,
There is no God.
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race;
he looks to see of anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.

But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt.
No one does good, not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the LORD.

Terror will grip them, for God is with those who obey him.

The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the LORD will protect his people.” Psalm 14:1-6, NLT

I have one, and only one question; are you included in the “all“? If so, please answer honestly in your heart; will the LORD protect me? Do you belong to the Lord? How do you know?

Every person has sinned – there are NO exceptions!
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10, KJV 

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

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

“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.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

“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

No one is righteous
“As the Scriptures say: ‘There is no one who is righteous, no one who is wise or who worships God. All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong: no one does what is right, not even one.  Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll off their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake’s poison, from their lips; their speech is filled with bitter curses. They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned reverence for God.'” Romans 3:10-18, GNB

By the Law we all have sinned
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:18-21, ESV

So all the world would become guilty (so God could save us!)
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:18-20, KJV

Purpose of the Law (to bring us to saving faith in Jesus)
Starting with the Ten Commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, God’s Laws dictated how the people were to worship Him, resolve disputes, treat diseases, and all manner of domestic, business, and civil life. As the centuries unfolded the people obeyed The Law in varying degrees, at times very strictly, while at others hardly at all.  The problem was the people of Israel, with the exception of the prophets and a few Kings, did not have access to His Holy Spirit, and were for the most part unable to “keep the law”.  If you will follow with me all the way through, you will learn how God’s Laws are fulfilled today through Jesus Christ!

“We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who their father or mother or commit other murders.” 1 Timothy 1:8-9, NLT

“Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were places under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” Galatians 3:23-25, NLT

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” Romans 8:1-8, ESV

Going all the way back to the tragic entry of sin through Adam and Eve, our world has been cursed, which is the real reason society is in such a sad state.

Some manifestations of sin,

Abortion
Alcohol and drug abuse
Disease and sickness
Death
Broken families and marriage
Depression
Dysfunctional / broken relationships
Anger
Murder
Wars and violence
etc… the list is never-ending 

So where does this leave us? The really bad news is every human being has sinned against God, and is deserving of eternal damnation and punishment for our disobedience and rebellion. Now is a good time to state categorically, I do not care if you do not believe me, for it is by God’s standard you will be judged, not mine. [To be precise, I care a lot about YOU, not your objections and arguments!]. 

Our secular world says God does not exist, and especially hates the name of Jesus Christ. Why? Because every human being is born with the capacity to connect with, and know God on an intimately personal, spiritual level, therefore we all intuitively know God is real yet most of us choose to rebel anyway, how very foolish.

Not one of us has an excuse to reject God’s existence
“So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all aspects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands: nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, For we also are His children.” Acts 17:22-28, NASB

Re-read and consider this passage of scripture until you fully understand what Paul is saying. Each of us by design (creation), has an inherent, in-born, in-dwelling knowledge of our Creator which cannot be expunged. Our choices are to respond positively to His message, or reject Him, knowing subconsciously God (He) exists. On judgment day, you will not be able to say, “Lord, I didn’t know!” Yes, you did know, and the consequences of rejecting Him will not be very pleasant.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20, ESV

“All of this proves that God’s judgment is just and as a result you will become worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. God will do what is right: he will bring suffering on those who make you suffer, and he will give relief to you who suffer and to us as well. He will do this when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, with a flaming fire, to punish those who reject God and who do not obey the Good News about our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious might, when he comes on that Day to receive glory from all his people and honour from all who believe. You too will be among them, because you have believed the message we told you.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, GNB

Please ask yourself honestly, why am I still making excuses?


  ~The Good News!! ~
GOD IS LOVE!


Now what we just learned seems like really, really bad news, and it certainly is. By ourselves none of us can resolve our inherent sin problem with God, and blessedly, a solution does exist! Regardless of anything we have said or done in the past, God loves every one of us because we are made in His image. However, God despises our sin, which keeps us from receiving His forgiveness and healing. 

Apart from God’s love and redemption, we are lost, destitute, and completely unable to save ourselves from eternal damnation. As a loving Father, God loves us so much and wants the very best for us, but He must deal with our sin problem first.

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. “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”. Jeremiah 31:3, KJV 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,…” Ephesians 2:4, KJV 

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8, KJVThe 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.


~ What is God to do? ~
THE DILEMMA


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. “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.” Psalm 53:2-3, KJV  

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” Isaiah 53:6, KJV

“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. Romans 3:23, KJV 

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 (God) 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. 

“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.” Hebrews 10:3-4, KJV  

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. See Genesis Chapter 3.

A miraculous conception
“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.” Luke 1:26-35, KJV 


~ Only One Way to Salvation ~
NO OTHER SAVIOUR THAN JESUS CHRIST


Unashamedly, I must tell you without reservation, the only way to be reconciled to God the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The bible is absolutely clear the only way to salvation MUST, and IS only through Jesus Christ; there is NO other way! We cannot save ourselves through the world’s religions, man’s efforts, our good works, being a “good person”, through power, wealth, fame, money, doing kind deeds, attending church, and so on. Salvation is only obtainable as a free gift to anyone who comes to faith through Jesus. 

While living among us as a human, Jesus was tempted to sin just like everyone else, but did not. Because Jesus was absolutely sinless and had the form of both God and man, he was able to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Christianity is both inclusive, open to every human being, and exclusive, restricted to only those who believe and follow Jesus. Foretold by the prophet Isaiah centuries earlier, Jesus was to freely and willingly sacrifice Himself to save us from eternal damnation, and separation from His Father. 

You see, this was The Plan from eternity past, for God to offer Himself has a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Our first reference in the bible is found in the book of Genesis, specifically Chapter 3, Verses 13-15. “And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So the LORD God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this, 
You are cursed more than all cattle, 
And more than every beast of the field; 
On your belly you shall go, 
And you shall eat dust 
All the days of your life. 
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise His heel.”

Jesus is our High Priest
“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.” Hebrews 4:15, KJV

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

“I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life.” John 5:24, GNB

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

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believed in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18, NLT

 Jesus paid the penalty for our sins
“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.” Isaiah 53:5-6, KJV

“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.” 1 Peter 2:24, KJV

All have sinned, but are redeemed by His blood
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”  Romans 3:21-25, KJV 

Jesus rescued us from damnation
“May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” Colossians 1:11-14, GNB


~We are not Automatically Saved ~
A SINGULAR 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 your will, its  terms and conditions are not enforceable and your family is left in a mess – your inaction has very real consequences.

A Thief on the Cross
“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.” Luke 23:36-43, KJV 

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!


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


Hear and believe the Gospel
“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.” Romans 10:8-17, KJV

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

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

“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.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

“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?” James 1:17-20, KJV


~ Repent and be Baptized ~


Repent for the forgiveness of sin
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13-3, KJV

“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 3:19, KJV

“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.” Acts 9:17-20, KJV*Saul had earlier openly confessed Jesus as Lord on the road to Damascus. See Acts 9:3-9

“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.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV

Baptism commanded by Jesus Himself
“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.” Matthew 27:19-20, KJV

“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.” Mark 16:15-16, KJV

“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.” Acts 8:29-38, KJV

Public confession
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.”

“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.”  Matthew 10:32-33, KJV


~ Abide in Jesus Christ ~


“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.” Hebrews 5:5-10, KJV

“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 14:21, KJV

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

“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.” James 1:12, KJV

“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.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV 


 ~ Now is YOUR day of salvation, are YOU ready?~
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


Now that you have heard the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ, are you ready to take the next step? Great, this is wonderful news! If you are not quite yet, please continue reading as I have wrote some additional words of encouragement for you towards the end.

STEP #1 – YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN BEFORE GOD
*You are ruined and lost because of sin.

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

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

“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.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

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

“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.” Isaiah 64:6, KJV


STEP #2 – YOU MUST REPENT OF YOUR SINS AGAINST GOD

* The first step towards healing the wounds.

“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 3:19, KJV

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

“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.” 2 Peter 3:9, KJV


STEP #3 –  YOU MUST RECEIVE HIS PROMISES BY FAITH
*Receiving the promises of God by faith alone.

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

“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.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

“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 10:9-10, KJV

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

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16, KJV


STEP #4 – YOU MUST CONFESS THE NAME OF JESUS PUBLICLY
*Tell somebody how Jesus saved you!

“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.” Matthew 10:32-33, KJV

“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.”John 1:11-13, KJV

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. “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.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV  

*This is important step and must not be neglected. Are we saved by baptism? No! However it was commanded by Jesus and practiced by the Apostles, so there is no valid scriptural reason for you not to be baptized. Trust me, it is a wonderful experience you will never forget!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19, KJV



WHAT THE GOSPEL IS NOT



We have just read from Scripture what the Gospel IS, so now it is essential for us to clearly understand what it is NOT. This is critically important, for without a clear understanding of Scripture it is very easy for us to be led astray by others, both inside and outside of the “church”.  Biblical discernment is very important, for many churches, denominations, and assemblies have been infected with the doctrines of easy-believeism, prosperity teachings, evolutionary beliefs, and so on. This is very serious, and many, many otherwise well-meaning Christians have been deceived, and are teaching and preaching a distorted Gospel to their peril.

A)  The Gospel is not salvation by works
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV 

B)  The Gospel is not a feel-good message for our heart
“Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed. I, the LORD, search the minds and test the hearts of men. I treat each one according to the way he lives, according to what he does.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10, GNB

C)  The Gospel is not belief alone
“Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe – and tremble with fear.” James 2:19, GNB 

D)  The Gospel is not simply professing the name of Jesus Christ
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21, NLT

E)  The Gospel is not subject to the opinions of men
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.” Hebrews 1:1-2, NLT

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

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11, KJV

F)  The Gospel is not a “religion of man”
“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them.'” John 14:23, GNB

“Jesus answered him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6, GNB

“For what me Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them ti life on the last day.” John 6:40, GNB

G) The Gospel is not a “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”.

There many books and on-line resources available on this history, implications, and dangers of the so-called “Sinners Prayer”, which you many find beneficial. The following was taken from Scriptures by the Gideons International in Canada, and is typical of what you will find elsewhere. *P.S. I love the ministry of the Gideons and applaud them for their efforts in evangelism and sharing God’s word.

Large Print New Testament – My Commitment
“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”.

New Life App – Making a Commitment 
“Pray to receive Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. You can pray a prayer of your own or you can use this one: Father in heaven, I recognize that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I turn from my sin and everything I know is wrong in my life. Please forgive me for all my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died for my sins. Thank you. I now receive Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord. I ask you to come into my heart by your Holy Spirit and give me eternal life. I commit my life fully to you. I want to live for you the rest of my life. I pray this in Jesus’ name. There is nothing magic in the words of the prayer. They simply reflect the attitude of your heart and express your deliberate decision to receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord. The important thing is your deliberate decision.”

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.

“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: 21, KJV

“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.”  John 14:23, KJV 

We cannot come to God on our own without first having ‘learned of the Father’. “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.” John 6:44-45, KJV

“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.” Romans 8:6-8, KJV

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

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..’  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16, KJV 

Abiding in Christ?
“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 14:21, KJV

“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 14:23 , KJV

“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.”
John 15:5-6, KJV – 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. “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.” John 1:10-14, KJV

“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.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

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.

“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.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

We are saved by grace and not through a sinners prayer confession, the spiritually dead cannot make themselves undead. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins”. Ephesians 2:1, KJV



CONCLUDING THOUGHTS



Well, I have done my very best to convey the key points and essence of the Christian Gospel. If you are not quite ready or perhaps answered, ‘not yet’, please understand our LORD is merciful and will never give up on you. This is an incredibly important decision which cannot be made lightly or in haste. We are told in the New Testament each one of us has a singular opportunity to repent, and turn to God for our salvation – Hebrews 9:27. Following our physical death this opportunity is lost, and our eternal fate determined. This is not a joke, or something to be casually brushed off, as the consequences for those unsaved by the blood of Jesus is eternal damnation in hell.

Although outside of the parameters of our discussion here, there is plenty of evidence in Scripture about the infinite mercies of God, and He alone is righteous and qualified to judge the hearts and actions of men. Yes, there have been, and will always be people who have not had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel while in this life. I firmly believe God addresses this in Scripture, and am not concerned they will not be given an opportunity to respond. Remember it is not our job to judge others as this is His responsibility, and His alone. God knows what He is doing, so we must leave all things in His loving and eternal hands. God is always merciful and just, He will do what is right according to His nature.

So here is the critical question you must ask yourself, “Am I ready to repent of my sins and commit my life to following Jesus Christ”? If you honestly answered ‘yes’ to this, congratulations, you are ready to follow the biblical method of salvation outlined above. If perhaps your answer is ‘no’, or ‘not yet’, please understand clearly the position you may find yourself in, should you suddenly pass away. Think about this very seriously, as of your own efforts, can do nothing to change your eternal status (heaven or hell) outside of this life. When we study the New Testament examples of people being converted, the overall general pattern is always the same.

Hear the Gospel.
Believe the Gospel by faith.
Repentance.
Confess Jesus publicly / Baptism.

Upon hearing the Good News of the Gospel, people responded straight away and without delay. They wanted to receive salvation and forgiveness, because they were convicted by the Spirit, and understood their need of a Saviour, Jesus Christ. In our confused modern world, wherein society has largely rejected Jesus, no, hates His Blessed and Holy Name. I know this may be very difficult to accept and seem “unfair”, but most people will reject Jesus, choosing instead to trust their abilities, wealth, possessions, or whatever; they will NOT save your soul. You are not a good person and have sinned against Almighty God. You must accept this fact in order to be healed by His shed blood – there is no other way.

Unless you come to God in humility and heart-felt repentance, trusting is Jesus alone, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I am sorry if this seems harsh or unfair, but it is truthful. As I said earlier, a delay in taking action is understandable, but very dangerous (I believe inaction or indecisiveness is the same as saying ‘no’). Further, we must not come to Jesus Christ simply out of a fear of hell. Remember, God knows our hearts and cannot be fooled, He knows us intimately, our thoughts, or actions, and everything about us. He wants us to love and cherish Him, follow Him, submit to Him, trust everything to Him, praise His Name, confess Him, and surrender all things to Him. This is the relationship our Father wants with us, to be one with us, abiding with us in a personal, intimate, Father-child relationship. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to the true Gospel Message. God loves you and wants to be with you for eternity, so what will you do now?

God bless,

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The REAL Gospel Message

 Dear Friend,

Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us, my hope is you will come away with a clear, and fuller understanding of exactly what the Gospel Message is, and more importantly, is not. For anyone seeking to learn about the life and good news message of Jesus Christ, it is essential to have a solid grasp of some basic biblical background and terminology, which I have done my very best to outline for you below.

If you are looking for God or perhaps do not believe in God, searching, and so forth, I am so glad you came across our site and hope you will be blessed. While the discussion of Creation and Evolution will not be directly addressed here, I will ask you to at least acknowledge the possibility of God existing, so as to have a point from which to build from. Can we agree to this? May I ask you a simple question? Do you have absolute complete and total knowledge of everything in the universe? In other words, do you know everything which can be known? If not, how can you be certain God does not exist when you do not know everything yourself? As I will bring out a bit later, God has implanted knowledge of Himself within each one of us, so really, there is no basis upon which to deny His existence. Before we get started please know this; God knows you, loves you, and only wants what is best for YOU. A steadfast denial of Him does not change the fact of His existence, just the same as a denial of gravity does not change the certainty of its existence.

What follows is an imperfect discussion of the Gospel,  although I have done my best to convey this wonderful message of hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Take heart dear reader, if you are truly and honestly seeking God, He has promised to reveal Himself to you, and is not far from you. The fullness and riches of Jesus Christ cannot be approached on an intellectual, academic level; rather must be received by faith alone. My friend, we are not talking about normal, rational things, but those of the spirit, which cannot be seen. Please do not try to place limits in your mind of who or what God is; He is God, and MUST be approached on His terms, not ours! Yes, you can “know” Him, but only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

A BIG IMPORTANT WARNING – The GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST is very dangerous, with the power to bring radical and unforeseen changes in your life, which you cannot understand or predict. The Gospel is sharper than the sharpest sword, and more destructive than the most powerful atomic weapon. Once unleashed it cannot be stopped by any force on earth or in hell, seen or unseen. If you are willing and able to receive the Gospel as presented, your life will be radically and dramatically changed, as He seeks to accomplish His will in, and through your life. You must not respond to the Gospel simply out of a fear of hell, although, yes, this is a part of the message. Rather, salvation, redemption, and true peace, comes when we totally and irrevocably surrender ourselves to Him. The Scripture quotations herein are His (God’s) words, not mine, so your arguments and disagreements are not with me, but with God Himself. Are you ready?

In the Beginning…
God created a perfect universe including the stars, planets, and all life on the Earth. You can read all about it in the first chapters of Genesis in the Bible, which is literally a book of origins. If you are unfamiliar with the Bible, your worldview is very likely an evolutionary one. Once again and for the sake of our discussion today, can you admit the possibility of the existence of God, so we can have a common starting point? Although it is beyond the scope of this article to specifically discuss the fallacy and impossibility of evolution, both biological and inorganic, I will provide some items for further thought a bit later on, sound ok? See Genesis 1-2.

A Tragedy
God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, however they could eat freely from everything else in the Garden of Eden. What you need to understand right now, is God gave both Adam and Eve, and their descendants free choice on whether or not to obey Him. Could Almighty God have forced them to obey Him or taken away their conscious free choice? Yes, of course, however this would not be characteristic of a true loving relationship, would it? In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read the sad story of disobedience on the part of Adam and Eve, who opened the door for sin to pollute God’s perfect and sinless creation. “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.” Romans 5:12, GNB. 

This was the moment, the EXACT moment when everything went horribly wrong, from which time forward, God and mankind were separated and unreconciled. Blessedly, God understood this from the beginning of time, so He carefully put an intricate plan in motion for us to be redeemed through His Son, Jesus Christ – now this, is THE GOOD NEWS!! Read this story for yourself in Genesis 3, and Romans 5.



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, KJV

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, belief, repentance, sin, confession, and baptism, all of which will be thoroughly discussed.

Some biblical terminology

Faith – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1, NLT. Expressed another way, faith is the “belief” in things which cannot be seen, touched, or experienced with our normal physical senses. *Although very similar, biblically, “faith” and “belief” are not the same thing. Perhaps, we could describe faith as “belief on a deeper and more personal level”?

Sin – Any action or thought, unintentional or deliberate which is contrary to God’s Law. Refer to the Ten Commandments.

Repentance – Confessing and turning away from sin is the first step toward receiving God’s forgiveness. *This means much more than simply saying we are sorry, rather is an “intentional change in direction”.

*Unless noted otherwise, scripture notations are from the King James Version. You may also wish to read our earlier post on Bible Versions, at http://www.learnthebible.ca

NASB – New American Standard Version
NLT – New Living Translation
NKJV – New King James Version
KJV – King James Version
GNB – Good News Bible
ESV – English Standard Version


~ The Bad News ~
GOD’S STANDARD OF PERFECTION


To “look good” in God’s eyes, 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.

God’s Laws are encompassed within the Ten Commandments, namely;

  1. Have no other gods before Me.
  2. Do not make idols of anything.
  3. Do not misuse or take in vain, the name of the LORD.
  4. Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Do not commit adultery.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not lie.
  10. Do not covet. Exodus 20:1-17

Jesus further expounds on the commandments in the following verses. 

Angry thoughts = Murder
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Matthew 5:21-22, NLT

Lusting = Adultery
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28, NLT

Dear reader, do you understand what Jesus is saying? God’s laws and standards are absolutely 100% true, and demands perfect adherence to avoid falling into sin. Therefore, being angry with another person, even one time, is sufficient to break His commandment, and condemn you for sinning against a Holy and Just God. Please understand, sin is evil, it is corrosive, suffocating and consuming everything it touches, whether it be the earth itself, or your eternal soul. All things are affected by it, groaning under its insidious effects. You cannot escape it, outrun it, outsmart it, hide from it, or take shelter from it. It is pervasive, all-consuming, destroys flesh, matter, and soul alike, and cannot be defeated by your efforts. 

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Romans 8:22, KJV; the NLT translates this verse as,”For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” 

Breaking one Commandment breaks them all!
“Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ But if you favour some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the law except one is guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, ‘You must not murder.’ So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.” James 2:8-11, NLT

Oh dear, if we break any of God’s laws, even one time, we are doomed! And you thought you were having good day today! Take heart my friend, there is real HOPE for you and I so do not despair; keep reading!

Read this Psalm SLOWLY at least twice all the way through
“Only fools say in their hearts,
There is no God.
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race;
he looks to see of anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.

But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt.
No one does good, not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the LORD.

Terror will grip them, for God is with those who obey him.

The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the LORD will protect his people.” Psalm 14:1-6, NLT

I have one, and only one question; are you included in the “all“? If so, please answer honestly in your heart; will the LORD protect me? Do you belong to the Lord? How do you know?

Every person has sinned – there are NO exceptions!
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10, KJV 

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

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

“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.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

“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

No one is righteous
“As the Scriptures say: ‘There is no one who is righteous, no one who is wise or who worships God. All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong: no one does what is right, not even one.  Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll off their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake’s poison, from their lips; their speech is filled with bitter curses. They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned reverence for God.'” Romans 3:10-18, GNB

By the Law we all have sinned
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:18-21, ESV

So all the world would become guilty (so God could save us!)
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:18-20, KJV

Purpose of the Law (to bring us to saving faith in Jesus)
Starting with the Ten Commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, God’s Laws dictated how the people were to worship Him, resolve disputes, treat diseases, and all manner of domestic, business, and civil life. As the centuries unfolded the people obeyed The Law in varying degrees, at times very strictly, while at others hardly at all.  The problem was the people of Israel, with the exception of the prophets and a few Kings, did not have access to His Holy Spirit, and were for the most part unable to “keep the law”.  If you will follow with me all the way through, you will learn how God’s Laws are fulfilled today through Jesus Christ!

“We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who their father or mother or commit other murders.” 1 Timothy 1:8-9, NLT

“Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were places under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” Galatians 3:23-25, NLT

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” Romans 8:1-8, ESV

Going all the way back to the tragic entry of sin through Adam and Eve, our world has been cursed, which is the real reason society is in such a sad state.

Some manifestations of sin,

Abortion
Alcohol and drug abuse
Disease and sickness
Death
Broken families and marriage
Depression
Dysfunctional / broken relationships
Anger
Murder
Wars and violence
etc… the list is never-ending 

So where does this leave us? The really bad news is every human being has sinned against God, and is deserving of eternal damnation and punishment for our disobedience and rebellion. Now is a good time to state categorically, I do not care if you do not believe me, for it is by God’s standard you will be judged, not mine. [To be precise, I care a lot about YOU, not your objections and arguments!]. 

Our secular world says God does not exist, and especially hates the name of Jesus Christ. Why? Because every human being is born with the capacity to connect with, and know God on an intimately personal, spiritual level, therefore we all intuitively know God is real yet most of us choose to rebel anyway, how very foolish.

Not one of us has an excuse to reject God’s existence
“So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all aspects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands: nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, For we also are His children.” Acts 17:22-28, NASB

Re-read and consider this passage of scripture until you fully understand what Paul is saying. Each of us by design (creation), has an inherent, in-born, in-dwelling knowledge of our Creator which cannot be expunged. Our choices are to respond positively to His message, or reject Him, knowing subconsciously God (He) exists. On judgment day, you will not be able to say, “Lord, I didn’t know!” Yes, you did know, and the consequences of rejecting Him will not be very pleasant.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20, ESV

“All of this proves that God’s judgment is just and as a result you will become worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. God will do what is right: he will bring suffering on those who make you suffer, and he will give relief to you who suffer and to us as well. He will do this when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, with a flaming fire, to punish those who reject God and who do not obey the Good News about our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious might, when he comes on that Day to receive glory from all his people and honour from all who believe. You too will be among them, because you have believed the message we told you.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, GNB

Please ask yourself honestly, why am I still making excuses?


  ~The Good News!! ~
GOD IS LOVE!


Now what we just learned seems like really, really bad news, and it certainly is. By ourselves none of us can resolve our inherent sin problem with God, and blessedly, a solution does exist! Regardless of anything we have said or done in the past, God loves every one of us because we are made in His image. However, God despises our sin, which keeps us from receiving His forgiveness and healing. 

Apart from God’s love and redemption, we are lost, destitute, and completely unable to save ourselves from eternal damnation. As a loving Father, God loves us so much and wants the very best for us, but He must deal with our sin problem first.

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. “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”. Jeremiah 31:3, KJV 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,…” Ephesians 2:4, KJV 

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8, KJVThe 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.


~ What is God to do? ~
THE DILEMMA


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. “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.” Psalm 53:2-3, KJV  

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” Isaiah 53:6, KJV

“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. Romans 3:23, KJV 

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 (God) 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. 

“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.” Hebrews 10:3-4, KJV  

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. See Genesis Chapter 3.

A miraculous conception
“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.” Luke 1:26-35, KJV 


~ Only One Way to Salvation ~
NO OTHER SAVIOUR THAN JESUS CHRIST


Unashamedly, I must tell you without reservation, the only way to be reconciled to God the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The bible is absolutely clear the only way to salvation MUST, and IS only through Jesus Christ; there is NO other way! We cannot save ourselves through the world’s religions, man’s efforts, our good works, being a “good person”, through power, wealth, fame, money, doing kind deeds, attending church, and so on. Salvation is only obtainable as a free gift to anyone who comes to faith through Jesus. 

While living among us as a human, Jesus was tempted to sin just like everyone else, but did not. Because Jesus was absolutely sinless and had the form of both God and man, he was able to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Christianity is both inclusive, open to every human being, and exclusive, restricted to only those who believe and follow Jesus. Foretold by the prophet Isaiah centuries earlier, Jesus was to freely and willingly sacrifice Himself to save us from eternal damnation, and separation from His Father. 

You see, this was The Plan from eternity past, for God to offer Himself has a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Our first reference in the bible is found in the book of Genesis, specifically Chapter 3, Verses 13-15. “And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So the LORD God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this, 
You are cursed more than all cattle, 
And more than every beast of the field; 
On your belly you shall go, 
And you shall eat dust 
All the days of your life. 
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise His heel.”

Jesus is our High Priest
“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.” Hebrews 4:15, KJV

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

“I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life.” John 5:24, GNB

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

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believed in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18, NLT

 Jesus paid the penalty for our sins
“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.” Isaiah 53:5-6, KJV

“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.” 1 Peter 2:24, KJV

All have sinned, but are redeemed by His blood
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”  Romans 3:21-25, KJV 

Jesus rescued us from damnation
“May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” Colossians 1:11-14, GNB


~We are not Automatically Saved ~
A SINGULAR 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 your will, its  terms and conditions are not enforceable and your family is left in a mess – your inaction has very real consequences.

A Thief on the Cross
“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.” Luke 23:36-43, KJV 

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!


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


Hear and believe the Gospel
“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.” Romans 10:8-17, KJV

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

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

“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.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

“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?” James 1:17-20, KJV


~ Repent and be Baptized ~


Repent for the forgiveness of sin
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13-3, KJV

“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 3:19, KJV

“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.” Acts 9:17-20, KJV*Saul had earlier openly confessed Jesus as Lord on the road to Damascus. See Acts 9:3-9

“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.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV

Baptism commanded by Jesus Himself
“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.” Matthew 27:19-20, KJV

“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.” Mark 16:15-16, KJV

“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.” Acts 8:29-38, KJV

Public confession
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.”

“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.”  Matthew 10:32-33, KJV


~ Abide in Jesus Christ ~


“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.” Hebrews 5:5-10, KJV

“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 14:21, KJV

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

“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.” James 1:12, KJV

“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.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV 


 ~ Now is YOUR day of salvation, are YOU ready?~
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


Now that you have heard the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ, are you ready to take the next step? Great, this is wonderful news! If you are not quite yet, please continue reading as I have wrote some additional words of encouragement for you towards the end.

STEP #1 – YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN BEFORE GOD
*You are ruined and lost because of sin.

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

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

“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.” Psalm 53:1-3, KJV

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

“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.” Isaiah 64:6, KJV


STEP #2 – YOU MUST REPENT OF YOUR SINS AGAINST GOD

* The first step towards healing the wounds.

“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 3:19, KJV

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

“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.” 2 Peter 3:9, KJV


STEP #3 –  YOU MUST RECEIVE HIS PROMISES BY FAITH
*Receiving the promises of God by faith alone.

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

“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.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

“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 10:9-10, KJV

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

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16, KJV


STEP #4 – YOU MUST CONFESS THE NAME OF JESUS PUBLICLY
*Tell somebody how Jesus saved you!

“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.” Matthew 10:32-33, KJV

“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.”John 1:11-13, KJV

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. “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.” Acts 2:36-38, KJV  

*This is important step and must not be neglected. Are we saved by baptism? No! However it was commanded by Jesus and practiced by the Apostles, so there is no valid scriptural reason for you not to be baptized. Trust me, it is a wonderful experience you will never forget!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19, KJV



WHAT THE GOSPEL IS NOT



We have just read from Scripture what the Gospel IS, so now it is essential for us to clearly understand what it is NOT. This is critically important, for without a clear understanding of Scripture it is very easy for us to be led astray by others, both inside and outside of the “church”.  Biblical discernment is very important, for many churches, denominations, and assemblies have been infected with the doctrines of easy-believeism, prosperity teachings, evolutionary beliefs, and so on. This is very serious, and many, many otherwise well-meaning Christians have been deceived, and are teaching and preaching a distorted Gospel to their peril.

A)  The Gospel is not salvation by works
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV 

B)  The Gospel is not a feel-good message for our heart
“Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed. I, the LORD, search the minds and test the hearts of men. I treat each one according to the way he lives, according to what he does.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10, GNB

C)  The Gospel is not belief alone
“Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe – and tremble with fear.” James 2:19, GNB 

D)  The Gospel is not simply professing the name of Jesus Christ
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21, NLT

E)  The Gospel is not subject to the opinions of men
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.” Hebrews 1:1-2, NLT

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

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11, KJV

F)  The Gospel is not a “religion of man”
“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them.'” John 14:23, GNB

“Jesus answered him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6, GNB

“For what me Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them ti life on the last day.” John 6:40, GNB

G) The Gospel is not a “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”.

There many books and on-line resources available on this history, implications, and dangers of the so-called “Sinners Prayer”, which you many find beneficial. The following was taken from Scriptures by the Gideons International in Canada, and is typical of what you will find elsewhere. *P.S. I love the ministry of the Gideons and applaud them for their efforts in evangelism and sharing God’s word.

Large Print New Testament – My Commitment
“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”.

New Life App – Making a Commitment 
“Pray to receive Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. You can pray a prayer of your own or you can use this one: Father in heaven, I recognize that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I turn from my sin and everything I know is wrong in my life. Please forgive me for all my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died for my sins. Thank you. I now receive Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord. I ask you to come into my heart by your Holy Spirit and give me eternal life. I commit my life fully to you. I want to live for you the rest of my life. I pray this in Jesus’ name. There is nothing magic in the words of the prayer. They simply reflect the attitude of your heart and express your deliberate decision to receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord. The important thing is your deliberate decision.”

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.

“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: 21, KJV

“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.”  John 14:23, KJV 

We cannot come to God on our own without first having ‘learned of the Father’. “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.” John 6:44-45, KJV

“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.” Romans 8:6-8, KJV

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

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..’  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16, KJV 

Abiding in Christ?
“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 14:21, KJV

“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 14:23 , KJV

“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.”
John 15:5-6, KJV – 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. “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.” John 1:10-14, KJV

“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.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

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.

“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.” Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

We are saved by grace and not through a sinners prayer confession, the spiritually dead cannot make themselves undead. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins”. Ephesians 2:1, KJV



CONCLUDING THOUGHTS



Well, I have done my very best to convey the key points and essence of the Christian Gospel. If you are not quite ready or perhaps answered, ‘not yet’, please understand our LORD is merciful and will never give up on you. This is an incredibly important decision which cannot be made lightly or in haste. We are told in the New Testament each one of us has a singular opportunity to repent, and turn to God for our salvation – Hebrews 9:27. Following our physical death this opportunity is lost, and our eternal fate determined. This is not a joke, or something to be casually brushed off, as the consequences for those unsaved by the blood of Jesus is eternal damnation in hell.

Although outside of the parameters of our discussion here, there is plenty of evidence in Scripture about the infinite mercies of God, and He alone is righteous and qualified to judge the hearts and actions of men. Yes, there have been, and will always be people who have not had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel while in this life. I firmly believe God addresses this in Scripture, and am not concerned they will not be given an opportunity to respond. Remember it is not our job to judge others as this is His responsibility, and His alone. God knows what He is doing, so we must leave all things in His loving and eternal hands. God is always merciful and just, He will do what is right according to His nature.

So here is the critical question you must ask yourself, “Am I ready to repent of my sins and commit my life to following Jesus Christ”? If you honestly answered ‘yes’ to this, congratulations, you are ready to follow the biblical method of salvation outlined above. If perhaps your answer is ‘no’, or ‘not yet’, please understand clearly the position you may find yourself in, should you suddenly pass away. Think about this very seriously, as of your own efforts, can do nothing to change your eternal status (heaven or hell) outside of this life. When we study the New Testament examples of people being converted, the overall general pattern is always the same.

Hear the Gospel.
Believe the Gospel by faith.
Repentance.
Confess Jesus publicly / Baptism.

Upon hearing the Good News of the Gospel, people responded straight away and without delay. They wanted to receive salvation and forgiveness, because they were convicted by the Spirit, and understood their need of a Saviour, Jesus Christ. In our confused modern world, wherein society has largely rejected Jesus, no, hates His Blessed and Holy Name. I know this may be very difficult to accept and seem “unfair”, but most people will reject Jesus, choosing instead to trust their abilities, wealth, possessions, or whatever; they will NOT save your soul. You are not a good person and have sinned against Almighty God. You must accept this fact in order to be healed by His shed blood – there is no other way.

Unless you come to God in humility and heart-felt repentance, trusting is Jesus alone, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I am sorry if this seems harsh or unfair, but it is truthful. As I said earlier, a delay in taking action is understandable, but very dangerous (I believe inaction or indecisiveness is the same as saying ‘no’). Further, we must not come to Jesus Christ simply out of a fear of hell. Remember, God knows our hearts and cannot be fooled, He knows us intimately, our thoughts, or actions, and everything about us. He wants us to love and cherish Him, follow Him, submit to Him, trust everything to Him, praise His Name, confess Him, and surrender all things to Him. This is the relationship our Father wants with us, to be one with us, abiding with us in a personal, intimate, Father-child relationship. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to the true Gospel Message. God loves you and wants to be with you for eternity, so what will you do now?

God bless,

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The time for delay is over

I have a question for you. Are you a Christian? If the answer is yes, then are you living a full life for Jesus Christ as best you are able? When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith, Jesus says He wants all of us, not just part, but our entire being. The time for sitting on the sidelines is long past, what are you doing to share the Gospel in your community?

Jesus Christ Himself commands us to GO!!

Make disciples of all nations 
“Jesus came and told his disciples, I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20, NLT

Go and preach 
“As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. But Jesus replied, Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head. He said to another person, Come, follow me. The man agreed, but he said, Lord, first let me return home and bury my father. But Jesus told him, Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”  Luke 9:57-20, NLT

Preach the good news
“So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.”  Acts 16:10, NLT

Preach Jesus is the Messiah 
“And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: Jesus is the Messiah.”  Acts 5:42, NLT

The Holy Spirit speaks! 
“For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”  Acts 2:2-5, NLT

God does not expect you to “do it all” yourself, there are millions of Christians alive today who are called to spread the Gospel. However it is true how God gives each person certain spiritual gift(s) upon receiving the Holy Spirit, we are to use for His glory, to share the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ with others. See 1 Corinthians 12.

A sober warning
“Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.”  Galatians 1:8-9, NLT

Everyone going out to preach the Gospel Message, needs to know clearly in their heart and mind precisely what the Gospel is, and equally important, what is it not. Carefully read the warnings from Paul again, letting it sink down into your soul. If you intentionally preach a distorted Gospel, God says you will be cursed – take Paul’s admonition seriously!

The Gospel Message is NOT,

  • a promise of wealth and prosperity.
  • a guarantee of an easy, worry-free life.
  • dependent upon the opinions of sinful man.
  • negotiable, debatable, or changeable.
  • to make us feel good about ourselves.
  • for our glory.
  • to be altered to fit your personal opinion.
  • a works-based message of salvation.
  • an “all religions are equal” message.

Do NOT,

  • change the Gospel message in any way!!!
  • think you are big and important.
  • shift the focus and glory away from Jesus.
  • water down, dilute, alter, massage, twist, or do anything to change the Message – There is only ONE GOSPEL!
  • back down or shy away from preaching the truth, pray diligently for strength and guidance.
  • say, infer, imply, or lead people to anything other than the cross, and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel Message IS,

  • permanent, eternal, and everlasting.
  • all about Jesus Christ.
  • good news for everyone who hears, believes, and obeys.
  • salvation through faith alone.
  • about the virgin birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • finding forgiveness, redemption, and a new life through Jesus.
  • perfect, absolute, unchanging, non-negotiable, everlasting, eternal, holy, wonderful, and free!
  • the message of salvation through Christ alone.
  • our free “ticket” to heaven.
  • the only way to avoid eternal damnation in hell.

Now go! Be the hands of feet of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Using the abilities, gifts, and talents, God has given you, go unto all the world and share the Good News! Pray for guidance. Pray for instruction. Pray for strength. Pray for protection. Pray for the words to speak. Pray for humility. Above all else, pray. May God bless you!

 

Good Looks Can Save You

How to be saved

Come for a visit soon

 

 

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Filed under Learning about the Bible

Dear Friend…

God loves YOU so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die upon the cross at Calvary for YOUR sins. The bible plainly states  all men have sinned, and without a Saviour, we are condemned to destruction and death. What will YOU do? Will respond the call of Jesus for YOU?
 
All have sinned
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

Consequences of sin
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Fate of the wicked
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1

Reward of the blessed
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
Revelation 22:1-5

God bless,

 

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Filed under 2012 Posts

Sacredness of Life

Life. A loving gift from our caring Father. Something that cannot be created by science. Evolution? Not a chance. Darwin or God? Where is Darwin now?  Our true Creator the Living God, is alive and orchestrating universe-wide events from His throne in heaven. God designed marriage to be the  exclusive providence of a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation. Why? Because at some point in the near future, the LORD will bring about final end-time events to usher in His eternal kingdom upon earth. Abortion? Murder, plain and simple. The “leaders” of our country have no problem legalizing abortion, not caring for the perspective of our Father in heaven.

Allow me to make a very clear warning – Abortion is murder. God condemns murder and will hold people responsible for their actions. Our world is cursed because of our collective disobedience to God and His laws. Make no mistake, every action or inaction by every human being is recorded by God for playback on Judgment Day. If you have had an abortion or a part in this industry (yes, it is a money-making business), you can repent and have your sins forgiven! It is never too late – God is waiting for you to ask His forgiveness, confess your sins and start a new life in Jesus Christ. I am absolutely certain God will restore to life every aborted fetus or infant in the soon-coming Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ died for your sins, regardless of how awful wicked they may be. Through His blood upon the cross we can receive the ultimate forgiveness! Please, embrace life, present and future, accept His free offer of salvation now while there is time. Do not wait, do not delay, for if you die without Jesus, all hope is lost. Make a change in your life and do the right thing, now – please.

God bless.

The First Marriage  ~ Genesis 2:21-25 ~
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, a flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Scripture succinctly defines marriage as between man and woman, the purpose of which is to produce offspring which may inherit eternal life and the Kingdom of God.

Formed in the Womb  ~ Job 1:21, Job 31:15 ~
“And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. ~ Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made  ~Psalm 139:14-16 ~
“I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Human beings are perfectly created in the image of God. Can anyone declare how a baby is formed? Is science able to duplicate the infinite complexity of new life? No. Only God is able to create life, which He alone is able to give.

Blessed is the Fruit of the Womb  ~ Deuteronomy 7:13 ~
“And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.” Blessings of offspring, crops and other increases are promised to those who are obedient to the LORD.

Taken from the Womb  ~ Psalm 22:10, 58:3, 71:6 ~
“I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. ~ The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. ~ By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.” Both the righteous and wicked enter the world from our mother’s womb. We should continually, day by day praise the LORD for giving us life.

A Heritage of the LORD  ~ Psalm 127:3 ~
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Children are born to men and woman such that the Kingdom of God might receive them into glorious eternal life. All life is given by God, and what He gives may be taken away. Life is precious and should never be taken for granted, for it is a miracle of God.

I formed thee in the Belly  ~ Jeremiah 1:5~
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Blessings,

T.E.
LearnTheBible.ca

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A Description of Perfect Love

~ 1 Corinthians 13  – WHAT IS TRUE LOVE? ~

*The word “charity” is used in the King James Version to represent pure love, the kind of love God has for us, a love that is faithful, true and honest. Charitable love does not tremble in times of trials, it is perfect and unending.

Verses 1-3   [Without charity (love), I am nothing]
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophesy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge: and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have no charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. ”

Verses 4-7  [Charity (love) suffereth long]
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind: charity envieth not: charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doeth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Verses 8-10  [Charity (love) never fails]
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail: whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesie is part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is part, shall be done away.”

Verses 11-13  [We see through a glass, darkly]
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly: but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.”

~ John 3:14-17 – For God sent His Son out of Love ~
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness: even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 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 15 – WORDS OF COMFORT ~

Verses 1-3  [I am the true vine]
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

Verses 4-6  [Abide in Me]
“Abide in me, and in you: As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine: no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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.”

Verses 7-10  [Continue in My love]
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my Commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s Commandments, and abide in his love.”

Verses 11-13  [Love one another]
“These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my Commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man then this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” [Jesus laid down His life for us.]

Verses 14-16  [I have chosen you]
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth, but I have called you friends: for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my Name, he may give it you.”

Verses 17-20  [Love one another, for ye are not of the world]
“These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater then the lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”

Verses 21-23  [Hatred of Jesus is also rejection of the Father’s love]
“But all these things will they do unto you for my Names’ sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come, and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me, hateth my Father also.”

Verses 24-27  [Perfect love is rejected]
“If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my father. But this commeth to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.”
~ 1 John 2:1-12 – KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS IS LOVE ~

Verses 1-3  [We know that we know Him by keeping His commandments]
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”

Verses 4-6  [The love of God perfected]
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him, But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Verses 7-9  [An old commandment which ye heard from the beginning]
“Brethren, I write no new commandments unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning: the old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandments I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.”

Verses 10-12  [Showing love means to walk in the light]
“He that loveth his brother, abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother, is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. I write unto you, little children because your sins are forgiven you for his Names’ sake.”

Conclusion
Although I have only used a small number of scriptures in this short study, the entire bible conveys the story of how much God love us, in addition to how we are to interact with one another. In 1st Corinthians 13, Paul explains that unless the Christian has charity (love and compassion) for our neighbours, we have nothing. Jesus said we are to forgive those who have transgressed against us, freely, lovingly, and without hesitation. It is essential for us to remember that God loves us, so much so He allowed Jesus Christ to die upon the cross for our sins – a perfect declaration of love! Therefore, it is perfectly clear, and also confirmed by Jesus, that the Father will not forgive our sin unless we forgive those who have wronged us. My hope and prayer for all of us is to be more loving, forgiving one to another, and not giving occasion for the devil to stir up evil within our hearts.

May the LORD bless you always,
February 19th, 2011

 

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Now is the time

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What is it all about?

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. At the centre of God’s creation, He formed Adam and Eve from the dust of the earth, and commanded they be fruitful and multiply upon the face of all the earth. Taking advantage of the free choice God gave them, Adam and Eve chose to disobey by eating of the forbidden tree. As a result of this seemingly innocent event, all mankind was condemned to suffer the cancerous effects and sin. So instead of living with God in a perfect environment, they were cast out of the Garden of Eden to fend for themselves. During the following centuries, a story unfolds of how the descendants of Adam and Eve grew into great and mighty nations and kingdoms. The many stories weaved like a thread through the bible are part of the redemptive story of God for mankind. Throughout scripture, we learn how God works with us to conform our hearts, minds and actions to His will, forgiving our transgressions and having mercy upon us. We are also clearly shown how God deals with sin, disobedience and all who chose to do evil.

Just as God gave Adam and Eve the free choice of whether or not to obey Him, so are each one of us given free choice as well. Each human being has the freedom to follow either God or Satan, one leading to eternal life and joy, the other to death and destruction. [Jesus is the only way] In John 14:6 we read, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. Clearly, it is not possible for man to come to the Father without Jesus Christ, His Son and our Saviour. The central theme in God’s plan of forgiveness and redemption, is for us to live with Him in a renewed and perfect earth.

[God giveth them light] Revelation 22:1-5 “And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curses: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

The bible says all men are sinners and wholly incapable of cleansing themselves of sin without a Saviour. [All have gone astray] Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” [We are justified by grace] Romans 3:23-24 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.” [The wages of sin] Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  The bible tells a story, our story, of our struggle with sin and how helpless we are before the Almighty God. How the story ends is personal to each one of us and how we respond to God’s word. If we choose to follow our own lusts, willingly living in the sins and evil of this world, then we are destined to the Lake of Fire. However, choosing to accept Jesus’ free offer of salvation, we may be granted eternal life and live with the Father and Son forever and ever. How will you choose?

See also,
Steps to Salvation
Hear ye the LORD

Many blessings,

LearnTheBible.ca
mail@learnthebible.ca

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Perilous times

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For me shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”  2 Timothy 3:1-9

Blessings,

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