Christian

The Cross

Lately I’ve been thinking about the many songs dedicated to the cross. I’ve also wondered about wearing the cross. Whether made of metal, stone, wood, or some other material is it appropriate to wear one?

I do believe the cross is an important symbol. Jesus himself prophesied in John 3:14-15 KJV And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The cross embodies symbolism involving death, baptism, and resurrection. Romans 6:3-6. Near where I live there is one of those billboards that says, He loved you this much and it shows a depiction of Jesus on the cross with his arms outstretched wide. I appreciate these things and I suppose there may be something I’m missing, but I have two issues I’d like to raise.

What’s the difference between singing a song about a rifle, or a sword, or a guillotene and the cross? It is an instrument of death. My savior is Jesus. He is my focus, not a piece of wood.

The second is wearing or praying with a cross. In my opinion a cross shouldn’t be worn or prayed with. Here’s why: A cross is a graven image or a likeness of something that is in the earth. It is an image. Perhaps intent is key, but what will you reach for when you are in trouble or in time of need? The icon or Jesus? Jesus should be in our hearts and in our minds. Our strength doesn’t come from a piece of metal or wood or a tattoo. Your salvation will not come from the cross in your hand or one worn around your neck. Salvation comes from believing in Jesus, that he is the Christ. And with that faith knowing both what he did and what he does for us.

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Christian, Inspirational

Available To All

I had a conversation with a Church of Christ preacher who believed the gospel was available only to humanity.

I don’t believe this to be the case. See Mark 16:15 KJV. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Men may not often have the opportunity to preach to every creature or baptize angels, but I believe the gospel of Christ is available to any creature that can understand it. Only Satan, the Anti-Christ, and the False Prophet have received their final judgment. Revelation 10:20

Except for those three, salvation is available to all.

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Christian

Do You Hear What I Hear

I had a preacher recently tell me to keep the law and Jesus was adultery.

I told him to keep the law and Jesus was being an adult.

The thought was prompted by autocorrect but it does embody what I believe.

If you believe in Jesus, and call upon him, Jesus will help you keep the law. And in keeping the law you will be saved.

James 1:22 KJV But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

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More or Less

There is a popular doctrine making the rounds in churches and spreading like wildfire: You can’t do anything to make God love you less. Nor can you do anything to make God love you more.

A similar doctrine seen in a recent tweet is: The gift of JESUS has never been about earning and deserving. It has always been about Believing and Receiving.

The Truth:

Of course those going to Heaven will be the deserving. They loved the Lord and kept his Commandments and the Lord loved them more for it because they chose to walk in the light.

They believed and did not despise his sacrifice and reject his gift. Their belief included duty and obedience, repentance and confession, honor and respect. They received the gift of salvation with zeal and remembered Jesus died showing us to not sin.

Can you earn God’s love and favor. Of course you can. King David was a man after God’s own heart. Why, because King David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.

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And Now You Know…

The Bible advises us to rightly divide the word in 2 Timothy 2:15.

Part of understanding a verse is context, but part is comprehending all of the words actually written.

There are many today that say God’s love is unconditional. I disagree and here’s why: they are misinformed. Perhaps it is innocent optimism, but I think it is a deceitful lie that causes much more harm than good.

Read John 3:16 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.

Can you spot the condition? You have to believe to be saved.

Read 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.

Can you spot the condition? Touch not the unclean thing and then you will be received as a son or daughter.

Read Psalm 31:24 KJV Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Can you spot the condition? Trick question. I think there are two. With effort on your part be courageous and additionally hope in the Lord and the Lord will strengthen your heart.

Context is important, but in most cases the Gospel applies to us today, just as it did to those living thousands of years ago when it was first given. When you read the Bible don’t cherry pick. Examine the verse to see what it really says in it’s entirety. There’s a blessing of God. Awesome. But look and see if God expects something of you in return.

Don’t miss out cause you’ve heard or latched on to only half of the story.

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Healed

The Bible says in Isaiah 53:5 KJV, 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.

Recently, I have heard many preachers saying that this means our physical healing of things such as diseases and ailments is already completed. They say Jesus bore them on the cross.

I don’t think this is what the verse means.

If we value the sacrifice and death of Jesus (his stripes) we will not continue in sin (we are healed) from iniquity.

In fact this is a theme of the Old and New Testament. Will we come to God and the truth to be healed?

Jesus said in Matthew 13:15 KJV For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Spiritual healing is critical to our salvation. In fact, it is more important than physical healing. Iniquity is an illness leading to the second death. Hear the truth, value Jesus and his acts, and you will be healed!

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Doer

I just heard on Three Cosmic Messages Earth’s Final Conflict, “We do not follow God’s Commandments in order to be saved, but because we are saved.” I have heard a similar message before: “We are not saved by our best efforts”, “Jesus finished the work on the cross.”

To be frank, these statements are misleading. In fact they aren’t far from the false doctrine “once saved, always saved”. They imply there is nothing we have to do on our part.

I’m not convinced Jesus is finished working. If he were finished, why do we yet pray?

Jesus dying on the cross is an offer of salvation. What must we do? Accept by believing in accordance with John 3:16, be baptized by immersion in water in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Mark 16:16.

What else must we do to be saved? What does the Bible say?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Romans 2:13 KJV (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

And let’s not forget 1 John 1:9 and Proverbs 28:13. If we err and sin these verses instruct us on how to be free.

Finally, with belief, we are saved by our best efforts in Christ who gives us both strength and guidance that we may walk in the Light. And when we need help with our efforts, we call upon the Lord. Roman’s 10:13.

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Do You Find Truth Comforting?

The Holy Ghost is called The Spirit of Truth. He is also called the Comforter.

So do you find the truth comforting? It is clear God intended it to be. In fact, it is the path to salvation.

If you aren’t comforted by the truth, it is likely you are not walking with God or having difficulty doing so. Most habitual sinners and criminals aren’t comforted by the truth with good reason.

Some people can’t hear the truth, some get angry at hearing the truth, Jesus and many others were killed because they spoke the truth.

1 John 1:7 KJV says, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

May you find comfort in the truth and walk in the light.

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Why your Bible translation matters!

I believe in and promote the King James version Holy Bible.

I do not say that Salvation cannot be found in other translations.

I do say Damnation can be found in other translations.

Here are two examples I’ve come across in the last few weeks:

In John 3:16 one and only son

In KJV one and only begotten son

Why does it matter? Our hope like angels is to be the sons and daughters of the most high God. 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 God has one son, we and angels should lose hope. Yet the correct translation includes begotten to indicate Jesus was born of God and through miraculous conception Mary.

1 John 1:9 when are sins are revealed in his light he is faithful to forgive

1 John 1:9 KJV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The KJV correctly places the onus of confession on us, not mere happenstance or accident.

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

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Revering the Cross

I just heard John Hagee use the phrase “the blood of the cross” in a prayer.

I take issue with this, the hymn, The Old Rugged Cross, and people who wear crucifixes.

Here’s why. Our redemption has nothing to do with the means of Jesus’s death. The wood or tree did not save me. Jesus did. His sacrifice was becoming human and dying to show us all to follow the Father’s will.

So why do crucifixes bother me? Isn’t it an image or likeness as described in

Exodus 20:4-5 KJV
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: [5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

The crucifix may not be graven out of wood it could be forged out of metal, but I think Jesus wants us to focus on him in spirit and in truth. Why bow down to an instrument of death?

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