Do you believe?

Jesus said, “those who believe in Me will live even if they die“! This is what makes it so hard for some people to become Christians. Not because it is so easy when you feel His touch on your heart and soul, but because they believe that they need to help Him in their salvation!

There is nothing that you can add to His sacrifice which will help in any way to bring salvation to yourself. Just believe in Him and what He did for you, then determine that you will live for Him and leave your old way of life behind. Some people may see that as a hard thing to do, but if you compare living for Him in this life to an eternity without God in hell I think that putting up with being a Christian is a much better way to live!

God sent Jesus to the Earth so that we could come to know Him and be saved from our own sinful ways. But if your heart hasn’t changed and your life has stayed the same as it was before, did you really accept Him as your Savior or did you just say a few words and get wet in the baptistry?

Please, seek Jesus for your salvation before your life is over because there are no second chances after you die.

ABelieverInJesus

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Time and pain

Pain brings to mind the time and the strength needed to handle it, no matter how hard it is. Time is something that we all seem to think we have plenty of, especially when we are teens. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it isn’t true. There never is plenty of time or too much time. There never is enough time for people to say ‘I love you’. Yes, it sounds sappy, but if that someone you love, is lost in a drive-by shooting or a wreck…where is your time now? It is gone and you can’t get it back.

Just as words said in anger can’t be taken back or un-said, bullets and wrecks and other sudden ways of dying can’t be undone. So what will you do? Have you considered your time on Earth? Have you lived say twenty years? Forty years? Sixty years? Eighty years? Have you been blessed with good health enough to live for an entire century? Yes, adding twenty years at a time brings time into perspective a bit. Now, what about your life? Has it been enjoyable and fun? Did you really enjoy it and not have much in the way of sadness and sorrow?

Most of us can’t answer that last question with anything except “no, not really”. Why is that? One reason is that we live in a world that is paying the price for the sins of the past. Yes, the sins of our world and the consequences of that sin have been around ever since the Garden. In truth, our world and every person on the Earth is paying that price and the consequences of past disobedience. As the Bible says, “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:22-23

The world groans because of the damage that has been done by Satan and his demons, his fallen ones, who are confined to the Earth and we are subject to them. They hate us because of their position and they know the consequences of their actions both in Heaven and for the destruction and death that they have caused here. All of the religions made by mankind, the evil committed by men in the past and now have been influenced by them in some way.

Mankind tends toward sinful behavior even without demonic influence, because it is our nature and we are born with it. That is not to say that we can’t do good things or be charitable, but for the most part we are doing those things for recognition, for pride’s sake, to make us feel good. Our time is short and we only have the life that we are given today to make a difference. Tomorrow is not given until you wake up in it and God is in charge of your time here, not you or your job or your family. It is up to His grace and His purpose whether you wake in the morning or not. If you have a part to play in tomorrow’s dealings for His purpose then you will live another day, if not then your time may be up tonight.

Pain, whether it is physical or emotional, is just a part of our lives. We have to live with it one way or another, but through God’s power and seeking Him in our lives we can have the strength to get past the painful times and enjoy the happy times. Seek Him, learn about Him through reading His Word and prayer because when you get to know the Creator better, then your life becomes easier and more useful to Him.

Do you believe in a religion?

As it is noted in news media these days, religion is everywhere even where some people don’t want it to be! Let’s face it, you can truly be religious about anything from the ritual of putting on your jeans a certain way to following a certain team. Anything that you are passionate about, that you believe in in some way can be a religion or you can be religious about it.

Even atheists are religious in their belief that there is nothing to believe in and most are really passionate about that belief. There are those in society who don’t attend any religious service and yet they know right from wrong and are basically good people who call themselves “none’s”. When asked what religion they are they prefer none. Is that a slight on our society? No, I don’t think so. But, what will these people do when they die and find out that they will face God Himself as their judge?

The very being and person that they have chosen not to believe in and place their faith in during their lifetime is going to be the judge of their lives and what they did with it. The problem is that, regardless how much money you give to charity or how many times you have fed the homeless or visited sick people in the hospital, all good and admirable things, they will not get you into eternity with God.

Religion and doing things, good or bad, in the name of religion is the very thing that has given religion a very bad reputation. People have begun wars, put people to death, imprisoned people and other truly heinous crimes against people whose religion or belief did not fit in with the “accepted” one of the day or country in which you live.

Religion and the practice of it can be a true force for good or bad and it has been both in the thousands of years that we have had civilization or something like it on this planet. But, religion cannot save your soul from hell! There will be billions of religious people in hell, people who thought that they were doing God’s work. The problem with doing God’s work that way is that He is not in it!

There are many beliefs in our world that are called religions, even Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to name just three. These three are the “mono-theistic” religions and are based on texts from the Torah to the Koran and the Bible itself. Yet, people disagree between the three as to the identity of their Savior and the way to eternal life.

I know that we cannot change the viewpoints of those who are adamant about not believing in God or Jesus, because until they can see the error of their ways and beliefs it is useless. It is like hitting your head against a brick wall, the only thing that gets hurt is you and your feelings.

Christianity has had its dark times just as any other religion has, but most of that was caused by doctrines that either did not line up with Scripture or churches and their leaders who were so inflexible as to try to deny the Word of God to people in their own language. When Tyndale was translating the Word into English from Latin so that the common man could understand it, he was persecuted and eventually burned at the stake for his so-called crime.

The example above is only one of the black spots on Christianity, but the point of this article is that Jesus really is the only Truth and the only way to come to God. Belief in Him and the sacrifice that He became in order for us to have His righteousness and forgiveness for our sins is the only way to get a pardon that is eternal and will allow us to go to Heaven. Nothing else that we can do will add to our righteousness, because we have none apart from Jesus!

The work that we can accomplish here is nothing unless it is done in love through Jesus and the changes that He has done in our lives so that we might take Him wherever we go! Some people might never see anything that is good and right in this world if you are not the bearer of His wonderful message to them.

Did you know that most religions in our world were created or brought to life by Satan. He is religious too yet he knows Who is on the throne, he knows that the Creator is the One who is over all things, yet he won’t worship Him. Think about it before you decide to mark “none” or some other religion.

Are you justified?

And if you are, by what or by whom did you come by this justification? You did not get through any work or anything on your own, so what makes you think that you are justified?

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

 

The great 16th Century German Reformer, Martin Luther, called it “the article upon which the church stands or falls.”

 

 

The article in question is that of justification by faith alone. To Luther, whether this doctrine was believed and preached or not was the basis by which we judge if it is a true church! A church ceases to be a church when it ceases to declare that sinners are reconciled to God by no other way than by faith.

 

 

It is our faith which defines us as Christians because without it, we have no hope in Christ nor are we justified in Him.

 

 

We live in a day of religious tolerance, when truth, it is said, should be sacrificed on the altar of relationships. May our voice sound with the noble martyrs of generations of the true church who say with the apostle Paul, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.’ (Galatians 1:9)

 

The doctrine of justification by faith alone is essential to the gospel. The gospel ceases to be ‘good news’ if it ceases to declare that Christ alone has accomplished our salvation. We are trying to mix our own brand of law with the Grace that comes from the belief that we are supposed to have in Christ. Theologians have always understood that when we say we are justified by faith alone, we are really saying we are justified by the work of Christ alone.

 

 

The work that Christ did on the cross was all that needed to be done, we cannot add anything to it. We are unable to add anything to the perfect sacrifice which Christ gave for us. That’s why this doctrine is so important. If we try to contribute anything more to our salvation than simply believing what Christ has already done, we cheapen His work of grace and declare it insufficient. We are calling Him a liar by trying to add to His work, because He said “It is finished!”, and with those words Christ proved that nothing else was needed except for us to accept it and believe in the saving grace that Christ provided for us through His sacrifice.

 

Paul himself was Saul at first, a Pharisee and a zealot for the Jewish faith. He tried to eradicate the Way as it was called at first but Jesus met him on the road to Damascus and it changed him forever. He became one of the most influential apostles of the first century. Our faith is the path, and it must be in Jesus and the work that He alone accomplished on the cross.

Our justification has always been in Him and through Him and what He did, it has never been based on anything that we can do because nothing that we do is holy or acceptable to God unless we have the holiness of Christ living in us and through us by faith in Him.

The only possible way that we have to be justified in our Christian walk if through faith in Christ and in His sacrifice for us on the cross. If we don’t believe in that, then we might as well decide to be an agnostic and not believe any of the Word of God. Because dis-belief in any part of God’s Word nullifies all of it. Just like not believing in any part of any contract, or disagreeing with any part of it  makes the entirety of the contract useless.