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

Power in The Blood

There is an old hymn entitled There is Power in the Blood.

There is indeed power in the blood of Jesus, but do you know how to utilize it?

When you are baptized or born again you are immediately under the blood of Jesus, you arise from the surface of the water sin free, cleansed of sins past. Acts 22:16, Roman’s 3:25

Yet, what do you do about future sin? First strive against it, but we are human, and God provides a way to stay under the blood in 1 John 1:9!

Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood – but you do need to know how to use it!

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Christian, Inspirational

Defining Behavior

People define God’s law as they see fit. Instead of stretching definitions to suit our own benefit, what if we strictly defined the law in accordance with God’s original intent.

Exodus 20:13 KJV Thou shalt not kill. Seems clear enough, but man changes it to thou shalt not murder. We search out excuses. It’s okay in war, it’s okay in self defense, it’s okay if someone breaks into your home, it might be okay if adultery was involved, maybe there are extenuating circumstances, maybe it’s only manslaughter.

Exodus 20:9-10 KJV …thou shalt not do any work,… Yet, man says it’s not work if it was necessary. It’s not work if you wanted to do it. Even if it was work, surely God won’t hold it against me.

If you’ve never read Corinthians you may skip this paragraph. For those of you desirous of learning and keeping the law, keep reading. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 seems pretty clear. The only question is what is Church. Is it a building? Is it a time? Is it a combination of the two? Is it whenever and wherever two or more are gathered together in Christ’s name? This like all of God’s law depends on the heart of the listener.

When you read or hear the law seek understanding. When you have understanding seek strength. When you find yourself seeking excuses – you should know you are definitely walking in the wrong direction.

When you realize your walking in the wrong direction, there remains 1 John 1:9. Turn and define (live) the law favorably within God’s original intent. Why? Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14 KJV

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Christian, Inspirational

Even Demons Dare to Dream

Have you ever wondered, can I make it to Heaven? Even fallen angels wonder the same thing.

The truth is only three beings have their final judgment now. They are going to be damned to Hell forever. One is the Devil. The other two may not know their final judgment yet, they may not even be alive. They are two individuals found in the book of Revelation, the Anti-Christ and the false prophet. Revelation 20:10

Because of God’s great mercy even demons might make it back to Heaven. 2 Peter 2:4 tells us that demons haven’t received their final judgment yet.

A continuing hope in Christ is key for both them and us. If they have opportunity then like us they should be baptized (Mark 16:16) and confess their sins (1 John 1:9). It might be easy to lose hope in chains and darkness, but to both demons and men I say remember. Remember only three in the Holy Bible have already been judged, therefore to the rest of us – hope remains.

Mercy triumphs over judgment.

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Christian, Inspirational

At What Cost?

What is the personal cost of sin and how does it relate to the search for forgiveness?

In the Old Testament a sacrifice came at a cost. The sacrifice was to be one of the unblemished or finest animals of the flock.

Today if you sin and are seeking forgiveness, there is available only one remedy after full immersion baptism in water. 1 John 1:9 advises us to confess.

Confession to another can come with a cost. The person to whom you are confessing, even if they are family, may think less of you. Don’t die in your sin because of shame or fear, and don’t let anyone talk you out of confession.

What about the cost? Will you actually lose the respect of a family member or friend? Maybe, but you will live. I believe the cost is there in part to prevent future sin. God doesn’t need to hear your confession. He already knows. He does require confession to another, but does not specify who that person needs to be. Confess to clergy, confess to your spouse, confess to a stranger, confess to a neighbor, confess to a friend or an acquaintance. Confess and he, God, is faithful and just to forgive!

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Christian, Inspirational

Discernment vs. Denomination

Well, I’m back attending the Church of Christ. That is where my mom wants to go and it’s just easier to go there with her.

No changes – they still think singing acapella will get them to Heaven while ignoring the Ten Commandments.

In one breath the preacher says everything is biblically based and in the next he’s proffering false doctrine about sin being either public or private and how you only need to come forward if its public.

I tell you, if you believe this you are likely to die in your unconfessed “private” sin. The bible tells us that if we seek forgiveness after water baptism – we need to confess ours sins. 1 John 1:9. It doesn’t say we need to confess publicly, but God surely already knows. This implies communication to another person. That person may be clergy, a friend, or a spouse. It could be written or spoken, but confession does imply communicating with another.

James 5:16 KJV
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

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Christian, Inspirational

Lover

Suppose your dream girl or dream guy gave you a book and said I would like a relationship with you, what I expect from you is in this book. Wouldn’t you read it. Wouldn’t you follow it?

God did exactly that. He came to Earth and gave his life to be in a relationship with us. He wrote a book all about it. It’s called the Holy Bible. Can a relationship actually be a list of do’s and don’ts? It can be. What does Jesus expect from us? What defines a healthy relationship with God?

  • Baptized into the blood. Mark 16:16
  • Read the Holy Bible. Psalm 1
  • Keep the law. John 14:15
  • Confession. 1 John 1:9
  • Prayer. Matthew 6:9-13
  • Fasting. Matthew 6:16-18
  • Attend Church services. Hebrews 10:25
  • Good deeds. Matthew 3:8

This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list, but it certainly covers the basics. My relationship with Christ over the years hasn’t always looked the same. It is now the strongest it has been in 48 years. Do you know what the Bible has to say about that?

The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. Job 17:9 KJV

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Christian, Inspirational

Led

Some might say that my writing highlights the negative more than the positive. So following are positive comments on the state of Christ’s Church. They are worthy to be dwelled upon, shared with others, and emulated:

The Church of Christ denomination understands baptism. Both they and I believe baptism is by complete immersion in water in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We further believe baptism should be at an age of understanding – where the youth can differentiate between good and evil, repent of sin, and understand the significance of being baptized into the family of God.

The Catholic Church accepts confession.

The Amish and Mennonite women cover their heads when they pray.

Russians greet one another with a Holy Kiss.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Better Way

I have heard it said by various preachers and teachers that if you were the only person to ever live, Jesus would have died just for you.

Personally, I think this is either an exaggeration of God’s love or an attack on his intelligence, but I could be wrong.

Look at it this way. He didn’t die just for you. Read John 3:16. He died for all those in the world that would believe. Instead of saying he would die millions or billions of times for every single believer, he did it once for all. His love was made manifest in that he died once.

Rather than ask if Jesus would die for just me, I think a better perspective is to ask yourself, if I were the only person on Earth, what could I do so that Jesus wouldn’t need to die?

The answer is to not sin. Don’t get me wrong we need Jesus’ blood. Mark 16:16, 1 John 1:9. If it was just you, though, would you ask your Savior to die for you alone or would you try to live your life so that he didn’t need to die?

. . . go, and sin no more. John 8:11

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