Christian, Inspirational

Past, Present, and Future

I’ve heard a lot of evangelists proclaim that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present, and future. This is true, but those evangelists often neglect to explain God’s full plan for forgiveness and tell you the whole truth.

Our past sins are forgiven at baptism. It’s more than just a figurative ritual. With belief you truly are washed in Jesus’ blood at baptism. At baptism with belief and repentance you are washed in the blood and become a member of God’s family.

After baptism the idea is to walk in the light and quit sinning. Future sins should they happen are only forgiven by the act of confession. 1 John 1:9

Proverbs 28:13 KJV says, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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Christian, Inspirational

Discernment Part 2

I think that a lesson I learned in my first year of law school could be applied to learning or teaching spiritual discernment and development.

When writing an essay on exams first year law students are taught to use IRAC. IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Analysis, and Conclusion. The question, usually a hypothetical with various facts determines the issue. When the issue is identified you determine the Rule or the law that applies to the facts of the situation. Analysis takes the law or laws into consideration and you provide discussion on how they may relate to the hypothetical facts. Finally your conclusion, how do you think the issue should be resolved.

Dean was wondering if he should lie to his girlfriend about meeting another girl at the bar last night.

Issues: How serious is the relationship with his girlfriend and is the relationship approved of by God’s law? What are his intentions to the girl he met last night? What was he doing at a bar? Should he lie? What are his motives for lying?

Rule(s): Fornication is sin. Hebrews 13:4. Lust is sin. Matthew 5:28. Drunkeness can lead to damnation. Galatians 5:21. Thou shalt not lie. Exodus 20:16

Analysis: Knowing the law, Dean should develop a Christian relationship with his girlfriend in consideration of marriage. Dean should not go to bars and drink too much. Dean should not look on a woman with lust and Dean should not lie.

Conclusion: Following God’s word can be hard. Knowing his law is key. If you know the rule you let the rule govern. Keeping God’s law is crucial to Christian living. The result of keeping his law is strong and healthy relationships on Earth and the promise of a future in Heaven.

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Christian, Inspirational

Courageous Women

Fear is a killer. Both men and women fall prey to it. People don’t confess their sins according to 1 John 1:9 for various reasons, one of them is fear of what others may think.

Don’t die in your sins. Read 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 and follow them.

Courageous women overcome peer pressure and the fear of what others may think, everyday, but can they do it in Church. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 tells us unequivocally that women should remain silent in Church.

Simply attending church exposes some problems that women may encounter. They need to be courageous in order to keep God’s law. As soon as you walk in the door someone is saying hello to you. You need to ignore them or maybe arrive right at the start of the service. Perhaps wave, but if you keep God’s word on this matter you surely will be talked about. It’s even possible that ignorant preachers will bid you to talk to them or to the people seated next to you. Again you need to be separate and remain silent. Men can’t alter the law of God which is why when a preacher asks women to speak in church I have dubbed it a call to shame.

Women can truly be courageous, but it helps if they know the law. Hosea 4:6 KJV says, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge … .

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Christian, Inspirational

Rust

Have you ever heard a preacher read a Bible verse and then proceed to say the opposite of the verse? Something like reading 1 John 1:9 and then saying, Does this mean you actually need to confess your sins, no, you can just ask God for forgiveness.

I was trying to think of examples because I’ve heard others. One that comes to mind is Matthew 5:29-30. The preacher says did Jesus really mean for you to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand – of course not. I tell you Jesus meant it – as he said it.

I think most of us are smart enough to pick up on a preacher saying the opposite of a verse or watering down Jesus’ words. I think there’s something inside of us that tells us – what I just heard was wrong, maybe it’s the Holy Ghost dwelling inside of us. If you’re mind, or your heart, or the Holy Ghost tells you that didn’t sound right – it’s worth further investigation and study.

Rust kills.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Future

Do I have a future in Heaven?

This question is rightfully followed by am I forgiven?

The answer is yes, you can be forgiven and have a sure hope. Read 1 John 1:9. Today, I heard a television preacher say this doesn’t really mean you have to confess. Of course it does. You cannot confess to God – he already knows. You can ask God for forgiveness, but to fulfill the requirements for forgiveness under 1 John 1:9 you need to confess.

It can be scary, but once you get past the worst ones(sins) you may find it gets easier. Here’s the thing – confession is made to another. The person you confess to may be the person you wronged, it may be to your best friend or spouse, if you committed a crime it may even be to the police. In my opinion it could even be to a stranger, but then perhaps you lose a factor of accountability.

What’s the point. If you do your part and confess, Jesus has promised to forgive. Confession is the only way to be forgiven after baptism.

And yes, that scary factor of confession is designed to cause you to sin less.

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Christian, Inspirational

Conditions Too

Some claim the love of God is unconditional. They do not know God nor the scriptures.

In an earlier post we discovered the first condition of Christianity in John 3:16. It is belief.

What are some other conditions? Mark 16:16 tells us that in addition to belief in Christ we must be baptized to be saved!

Let’s look at some other verses to see if we can spot the condition:

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 KJV Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you, [18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

If we want to be a son or daughter of God Almighty, what must we do? The condition is clear. Be separate and touch not the unclean thing.

John 14:21 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.

If we want the Father and son’s love we keep his commandments.

Learning to spot conditions in scripture will help teach you proper discernment and help you in rightly dividing the Word of God.

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Christian, Inspirational

Lucky

I used to think being born again meant returning to Christ after living in sin for several years. In fact I considered myself a born again Christian because of this very definition. Now, I think a better term for such a return is either lucky or blessed.

Here’s why. Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV says For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, [5] And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, [6] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

We know with God all things are possible, but Hebrews 6:4-6 is a strong warning against sin. In fact it’s scary for those of us that know the truth. How far do we have to go before God will not take us back? According to these scriptures there is a point where it’s impossible to return or to be renewed again unto repentance. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to find that point.

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Christian, Inspirational

Sweet Hour

There is an old hymn entitled Sweet Hour of Prayer.

I’ve sung the song many times at Church, but here’s the truth, I’ve never in my life prayed for an hour.

I’m not advocating you follow that example. But here’s good news for people like me: Matthew 6:9-13 takes only a minute or two to pray and it’s how our Lord asked us to pray.

Further good news can be found in Matthew 6:7-8 KJV But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do : for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. [8] Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

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Christian, Inspirational

Malpractice

The Bible says in Luke 11:52 KJV
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Who are the lawyers? Any teacher or preacher of the Word of God is a lawyer. It is impossible to teach or preach the Word without practicing law. Unfortunately, Christianity is rampant with malpractice.

How do they prevent others from entering into the Kingdom of Heaven: misinformation and incorrect doctrine. They bring people to the door. They teach a “Prayer of Salvation” and do not usher the people through the door.

Baptism is crucial to salvation. Mark 16:16. It is being born again. Only after baptism do you enter into the Kingdom of God.

Be careful to not place anyone between yourself and the door of Heaven. Study on your own to show yourself approved. 2 Timothy 2:15. Remember James 1:5 KJV,
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

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