Nominal Christianity

Christians Are Us:

I AM a Christian

I AM a Christian

This is a great write-up on Christianity and what people think are Christians and what makes us a Christian. Many people figure that they have been a good person (generally) and so deserving of Heaven.  Others think that going to church every week – maybe even 2-3 times a week – will get them into Heaven. And yet others believe that being sprinkled as a baby or even baptised as an adult into their particular religion will get them there.

What is it that makes you a Christian — or are you a Nominal Christian (meaning a Christian in name only but not truly on their way to Heaven)? Read this article to find out. If you have any further questions, you can read any of the articles that I feature on my blog that I actually wrote.

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©2014 Mark Davis

Don’t forget to follow the link and read the story that brought you here in the first place — I’ll know if you don’t… ;-)

Originally posted on Narrow is The Way Ministries:

I know I’ve been poking a lot at my Baptist brethren, trying to wake them out of their sound slumber. I mean, the world has noticed the drool on your collars. WAKE UP!

But let’s talk about nominal Christianity for a minute.

What’s the most important question on earth?

“Am I saved?”

Re-reading Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that demands a verdict”, I was struck by his blunt answers to the thousands of people he’s met who are of other religions. “Many Buddhists are more devout in their religion than Christians.” McDowell’s answer – “That may be. But Christians are saved.”

Wow.

I wonder if Josh McDowell has ever seen my blog? Probably not. With responses like that, I’d think he’d read my equivocating, and grumble, “not blunt enough.”

Anyway.

There’s millions of people in the Church of England.

Are you saved? Have you been born again? Getting your head sprinkled as…

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Clothing

What does God’s Word say about a person’s clothing; what a person should wear or not wear?

Matthew 6:25 – 33;
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20 –
 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye
are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,
which are God’s.”

1 Timothy 2:9
“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair,
or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”

– Deuteronomy 22:5
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man,
neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment:
for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

1 Corinthians 11:14 – 15 –
“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that,
if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her:
for her hair is given her for a covering.”

Romans 8:5 
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;
but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

Luke 12:22 -24;  “And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?”

– James 2:3 – 4
“And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing,
and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place;
and say to the poor, Stand thou there,
or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves,
and are become judges of evil thoughts?”

 

1 Timothy 6:7 – 8
“For we brought nothing into this world,
and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

 ©Mark Davis 2014

<< Back to Main Page for Armed to be Dangerous

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Matthew McConaughey is Not My Hero, Either

Christians Are Us:

I did not watch the Oscars. I did catch his “speech” as a highlight (or at least parts of it). I heard him thank god (notice the small “g”) for the award. I noticed that he even gave god credit for the opportunities that eventually made it possible to bring him to that stage. I have to take Melissa’s side on this article. MY God is a righteous God – meaning, He will lead you in paths of righteousness (good, holy things – NOT sinful, vile, and literally Satanic things).

If you know much of Matthew’s film history, Melissa’s comments describe some of them. MY God, I know, didn’t make the opportunity happen for him to film a (or more like many) sex scene. MY God is NOT glorified by him (or anyone else) appearing, graphicly or implied, nude and/or in sexual situations or even for that matter, He NEVER approves of anyone taking His Name in vain, much less making reference to sexual acts or body parts in slang language. I understand that they call this “acting”, but there should Never be reason to do any of this under the guise of entertainment.

You may say, as some have said of Melissa, that I am being judgemental and that is NOT a Christian trait. Really? These things are SIN! Is there any way that you can legitimately justify any of these actions in the sight of God to me right now? If you even try, I pray God’s mercy on your soul. We are told in God’s Word (The Holy Bible) to try the “spirits” to see if they be good or evil (1 John 4:1).

Under NO circumstance should you listen to this “speech (Matthew’s)” and believe that everything that he had done up to that point is “under the blood” and “forgiven by God”. If that were the case, he should feel convicted that he was actually leading multitudes astray and he should have been at that mic on his knees begging for our forgiveness and that of God for his actions. In the Bible, in Matthew 7:16, 20, we are told that “by their fruits ye shall know them”. I call it the way I see it through the goggles of God’s Word.

One other thing that someone brought out in the comments to Melissa’s blog post regarding Matthew’s reference to “god”… Did you know that the muslims also call their Allah, “God”? I am not trying to say that Matthew McConaughey is muslim, or anything else. I’m just making a point that unless he quantifies his reference, we really don’t know who his “god” actually is. I know that MY God – the One, True and Only God – does not condone any of the aforementioned actions that he has done.

Weigh the evidence, consult your Bible and talk to God about this, then, make your comments with a clear conscience before God. We love Matthew, not because of what he has done, but because of what Jesus has done for him. “Hate the sin – Love the sinner!”

–Mark

©2014 Mark Davis

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Originally posted on Your Mom Has A Blog:

Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar. And, boy, are Christians happy about it. I mean, Christians are jumping up and down for this Texas boy for his big win because he actually thanked God in his acceptance speech. He did, he gave God credit and he thanked his wife like he should and he gave a rambling speech that really made me wonder why they weren’t starting up the music to cut him off. They let Matthew talk for almost four minutes, and the clip of his speech is all over the internet.

Christians are so proud.

And, I can’t blame us. I mean, how often do we hear a major celebrity, an Oscar winner, no less, identifying with us? How often do we get that kind of star power in our corner? It almost makes us seem sort of cool and legitimate.

I liked his speech, although I thought it…

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The Trojan Horse Infiltrates the Church

Christians Are Us:

Please Click on above link to read complete article before reading further down!

The Gavel and The Bible

I have noticed a trend for quite some time now as I peruse the internet, various blogs, Facebook and other social media; the people or organizations that take a stand as you do here (and I on my blog) have a sparse following, while those who talk about “God’s Love” or anything “Jesus” (Jesus movement) and how the most important thing that we need to do is LOVE one another and NOT judge others and we must have a “relationship with Jesus”, but they never talk about true salvation or how we are supposed to know the scripture and to be able to discern teachings to know if they are right or wrong according to the Word of God.

It chaps my hide to hear all of this and I believe that the founding of these teachings is incorrect teachings from Bible versions that soften the Gospel of Christ.

If we were to go back to the first few centuries A.D., some of the most harsh competition to the true Church were the gnostics that would take a bit of the truth that everyone knew was true and twist it slightly to fit their agenda. The result of this teaching and twisting the Scriptures was that those that were weak in their faith would slide over to their more friendly church and soon they were following everything that they had to offer and shunning the truth that they had been taught in the first place. We have that problem today with the Pentecostals and Charismatics among other sects and cults. In fact some of them have some truly hardcore stances of some very true, straight-line teachings but then in other teachings they are totally off base.

It seems that if you want to spread something that is wrong, it is so readily accepted, where if you speak the truth, people call you harsh and unloving and push you away.

Thank you, Jim, for writing this post.

–Mark

©2014 Mark Davis

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Originally posted on The Vine Vigil:

I’m going to get into deep trouble here because I am going to name names of sacred cows. I believe it is Biblical to expose the truth. When it comes to the Word of God, we should stand tall and take no prisoners. I understand full well in many Fundamental circles this has and will make me an outcast.

Yes, America has changed but so has the Church. Less than 40 years ago if someone said the Bible was full of errors and  mistakes, they were called Infidels, Modernists and even Heretics.

Today the line has become purposely blurred. They often call themselves Christians, Believers and some even swear they are Fundamentalists. They will pull examples from history and proclaim everyone from the past agreed that the Bible was only inspired in the original manuscripts.

Mark it down, they are wolves in sheep clothing and can not be trusted.

They use all the…

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What Has Happened?

ChurchPeople
Written by: Robert L. Davis
December 19, 2013

“If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:14

This verse is clear and precise. It would be easy to think of how many people this passage of scripture would apply to… if they would only pay attention. In reality, this is exactly what is needed by everyone that names the name of Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

We can coast along in life thinking that all is well and what we have to do now is to go through some religious procedures and all will be wonderful. We might even try to deny that we have any responsibility to God or to the lost world around us.

One day (possibly very soon), the trumpet will sound, the voice of the archangel will echo throughout the world and the dead in Christ will be resurrected. Then, the living (in Christ) will be caught away to be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18). We can think of what it will be like then and rejoice, and rightfully so.

But, what about the opportunities that we have and do not use wisely for the glory of God?

What went wrong?

Why is there so much corruption and sin in the world and even in many churches?

Is this just a normal thing or can something be done about it? Oh yes, we can sit back and observe and even criticize what is going on nationally, politically, socially and religiously. But, what are we willing to do about it?

In the Word of God, we are told that there will be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earth quakes, and pestilence in the time before the Lord Jesus Christ returns for the “blood-bought”, redeemed ones. And yet, even though we do not like to hear of these things or experience them, they are happening, and with increasing frequency.

Are we going to stick our head in the sand and pretend that these things are only figurative or even a myth or a mirage?

I am sure we will not be able to cause a tsunami to be calm or a tornado to not tear its way through cities or the countryside. Just possibly these things are being used by God to try to get our attention so we will cling close to Him and serve Him in these last days. We can be used of God to reach souls with the gospel message before it is eternally too late.

Not too many years ago, you could go into most churches and hear a good Bible message delivered by a godly pastor who loved his people and was interested in seeing that they were fed from the Word of God. You could expect to see souls won to the Lord and new Christians baptized on a regular basis. There was an alter call and people responding by either getting saved or, possibly, there was some pressing spiritual need in their lives.

But, the picture has changed considerably. In many of the churches that were once enthusiastic for the Gospel and serving God there is now a coldness and complacency. The preacher seems to be more interested in his retirement, golf score or going to some ecumenical function which would demand compromise of the doctrines of the Word of God.

The gospel message has been so watered down in most churches that you cannot find anything that faintly resembles salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

You might listen, without success, to find these facts:

  1. Man is a sinner, totally depraved and on his way to a Christ-less eternity in the Lake of Fire;
  2. Jesus (the perfect, sinless, virgin-born Son of God) was the only one qualified to take on Himself the sins of all mankind;
  3. He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, then, after several days, ascended into heaven to be once again with the Father;
  4. We can have forgiveness of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross at Calvary;
  5. Being born-again, we can now live victorious lives by God’s power.

What has happened to cause such a massive devastation of the foundational truths of the Word of God?

It has been a sly, steady denial of the Word. In many areas, it started with a new beat of music (or rather noise). Some thought that they needed to compromise the music standards to, hopefully, attract people to attend their services. They brought in the music of the ungodly world and incorporated it into the services. They had their combos and many of the 7–11 type songs (that is 7 words sung over and over again for about 11 times). They called them “praise songs”. They even had their special praise teams.

Then, some of those cold, dormant churches even sent some of their promising young people off to Bible college or seminary. Some of those schools have long since departed from the teaching of the Word of God. Instead, they teach evolution, nice sounding theories, and other non-Biblical doctrines and subjects.

Then, there are the Bible colleges and universities that teach many right things… but, the vast majority are failing miserably to train their young, potential preachers how to preach the Word, and how to win souls to Christ. They are turning out future missionaries and pastors who are not in tune with what the gospel is. They might preach well on things pertaining to the Christian life and give encouragement, but they are not preaching the gospel!!!

Earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 3) is unheard of… I personally had the occasion where I asked 6 people who were seasoned church members: “What is the gospel”? One by one they gave their idea as to what they thought the gospel is. Some said it was the Bible, another said it was the teachings of Jesus… whatever that meant, I am not really sure. Others gave a philosophy or idea. I never heard from them what the gospel is, as explained so plainly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

I believe the leadership of our schools, Bible colleges and universities needs to train these students in what the gospel is and how to effectively present it in their teaching and preaching. Doesn’t the Bible proclaim that if the gospel is hid, it is hidden from the lost in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4?

Are there other things that have led us down the road of ineffectiveness? YES, there is more. We have only touched the “tip of the iceberg”.

Consider the vast confusion that has set into many churches about “which Bible should I use?” Some so-called scholars have thought it necessary to revise, re-translate, mutilate, and desecrate the Word of God. I believe Satan knows that his time is getting short and the catching away of the born-again ones is getting very close. He is bringing out his ”big guns”. He wants to create as much doubt and confusion as he can possibly muster up.

Do a search on the internet regarding how many English translations there are. I was amazed to learn that there are 250 (plus or minus a few). Some of these translations are done by people who have a certain pet “viewpoint”. Some translators are unbelievers and some dearly love the Lord and His Word. Some have an agenda they are trying to sell to the public.

Why can’t we stick with a good, standard translation that we can memorize, read, preach from, and win souls from??? I highly recommend the King James Version. It has what is needed today. It is very accurate and needs no apology.

There is also the ecumenical movement. This is an effort of some “religious” groups to bring all churches into line with a common goal, doctrine, and message. Their message is plainly a deviation from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. They have departed from the solid teachings of the Word of God.

They would rather give up the teachings of the scripture for the sake of “getting together”. This is compromise. Many of these people are blind leaders of the blind. They are teaching the Devil’s gospel. Sometimes this process starts small with a cooperation outreach of some kind, or ministerial alliance, or a council of churches. They all involve compromise and a forsaking of the teachings of the Word of God.

God has told us that He wants us to “Preach the Word”. Second Timothy 4:2 tells us: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” God doesn’t want His people to compromise the things of God with the tricks and devices of Satan. We must stay faithful to the Word.

Remember… The church is no stronger than its leaders. Weak leaders will result in weak undernourished people. God exhorts us in Ephesians 6:10“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

We need revival.

We need to get back to the “BOOK”.

We need to make sure our schools are strong and stay strong.

We need to encourage godly pastors and missionaries to stay true to the Word of God.

We need to do our part as individuals who have trusted Christ as our Saviour, in staying in the Word, witnessing and winning souls to the Lord Jesus.

May the Lord Jesus find us faithful to His great cause until we are caught up to be with the Lord, to be with Him forever.

R.L.D.

©2013 Mark Davis

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Other articles written by Robert L. Davis:

Almost Isn’t Good Enough!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Almost saved is altogether lost!
There are many in Hell who once were almost saved,
but who are now altogether damned.
Think of that, you who are not far from the Kingdom.
It is being in the Kingdom that saves the soul,
not being near the Kingdom.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon

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The Way Out of Hell

The Way Out of Hell

I am going to beat this horse until it is dead (saying – not literally)!

HELL is a real place, people!  You are going to end up there someday unless you come to the understanding that YOU are a SINNER! And, being a sinner, you will pay for those sins in HELL when you die – UNLESS… unless you accept the substitutionary sacrifice that someone has made for your eternal death in HELL.

That someone happens to have been JESUS!  Jesus died on a rugged cross for you and for me and raised again from the dead so that we don’t have to pay the penalty for our sins in HELL… He bore our sins upon that cross so that we don’t have to bear our own sins in HELL.

All we have to do is ASK Jesus to forgive us of our sins and ACCEPT His free gift of that payment so we don’t have to go to HELL.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that since YOU don’t HAVE TO go to HELL, instead, you will go to HEAVEN.

That’s right, a free gift that all YOU have to do is accept it… I’ve already done it…

How about you?

Are you going to Heaven or HELL?

It is your CHOICE!

If you don’t make that choice, you are already making the choice – to go to HELL!

Make the choice right now to have your sins forgiven and enable you to go to Heaven.

If you need more information, you should read any or all of the following articles.  They will explain to you how it all works.

You may not have another opportunity to make the choice again – do it NOW!  

These will tell you how:

©2013 Mark Davis

 

Joyce Meyer – Anointed Woman of God or Heretic? (Part 1)

Christians Are Us:

“I don’t like writing negative things about other people, especially those who claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ, however, I feel that the Lord has called me to be a watchman on the wall. It isn’t a job I asked for, but ever since I read the following passage in Ezekiel, many years ago, I have felt compelled to warn people from sinning against the Lord, and from following false doctrine and false teachers. ~ Ezekiel 3:16-21 ~” Cheryl Showers

 

Recently, there has been talkings around me about the credibility of Joyce Meyer.  In this article, Cheryl only touches on some of the things that make her a person that you really don’t want to learn from.  Many of her false teachings are woven into truth and it sounds really good and believable.  As Cheryl shows, Joyce is absolutely in the “False Teacher” category – for the books, she is in my books too.

 

Christians, please be careful of what and who you read.  The more truth you put into your brain, the easier it will be to keep the untruth out.  Saturate your life with God’s Word and Godly things to look at, hear, drool over :-) , and in doing all that, you have no choice but to be thinking about Godly things.  When you have “God” swarming in your head it is near impossible to let sin in; keeping you away from committing sin.  Abide in Christ (John 15:4-7)!

 

God bless you all.

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

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Originally posted on Burning Fire Shut Up In My Bones:

Image Credit: Zachery Oliver

Image Credit:
Zachery Oliver

I love the Lord, and I love His word. In fact, I’m very passionate about Him, His word, and His people. His word is life, therefore, it is of utmost importance that we know His word and not twist it or alter it in any way. Otherwise, we run the risk of leading many people astray.

Teach me Your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end.

~ Psalm 119:33 — NLT ~

Image Credit: ubdavid.org

Image Credit:
ubdavid.org

This scripture is a promise to the Lord, that if He will teach me His decrees, I will keep them to the end. Now, it’s important that I share with you what keep means in this scripture, because it means much more than I ever realized until I studied it.

The Hebrew word for keep is natsar (pronouncednä-tsār’), which means:

I. to guard, watch, watch…

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Why Would YOU Want To Be A Christian?

Wow, what a question.  Have you ever considered why you or anyone else would want to be a Christian? If you were to ask that to 100 people, you would probably get 100 different answers.

I think that God, or Christianity of some sort, has a different appeal to everybody but ultimately, when the answers are sifted out, you come down to the basic reason of Good nature versus Bad nature.

On the Good Side, most people’s image of Christianity says:

  • If you are at the lowest that you think you can get, Christianity can make everything better for you.
  • If you are having problems, regardless what they are, God can make things all better.
  • If you have poor health, Jesus will heal you – just like He did in the Bible.
  • I want to be rich and Christians say that if you are walking closely with God then He will let you have anything you want.
  • I want to see my deceased loved ones.
  • And the list could go on for a long time.

When in actuality, God, in His Word, The Holy Bible, says:

Come unto me all you who are weary
and I will give you rest.

-Matthew 11:28-30

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

-1 Corinthians 2:9

2In my Father’s house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.

-John 14:2-3

4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said,
Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me,
Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

-Revelation 21:4-5

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him
shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him
shall be in him a well of water springing up
into everlasting life.

-John 4:14

13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep,
that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,
that we which are alive and remain
unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds,
to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 

Christ transforms the Christians

Yet, on the Bad Side, people would say about Christianity:

  • “There really is no hell.”
  • “If God is real, He is very loving and would never send anyone to hell.”
  • “Christianity is nothing but a bunch of rules that if you break them you go to hell.  There is no way to keep them all so why try?”
  • “The God I know of from the Bible is not loving at all, in fact He is very angry and vengeful. Why would I want to spend eternity with a God that caused the whole earth to be flooded and He chose to make total nations be slaughtered by His people?”
  • “I’m having too much fun doing the things that the Bible says are wrong.”
  • “I believe that when we die we don’t go anywhere – there is no eternity – we just cease to exist.”
  • “I believe that hell is the bad stuff that we go through while we are on earth and when we die, God lets us all go to heaven.  If we are really good, we get really nice things when we get there.”
  • “I go to church every time the doors are open and I even give my 10% to the church. I try to be as good as I can and love everyone else.  That should mean that I will get into heaven if I’ve been good enough.”
  • “I was baptized when I was little and went through catechism so I should skip purgatory and go right into heaven when I die.”
  • “God has blessed me with plenty of money while I’ve been on the earth and I’ve even given a lot of it to the poor. Since I’ve done so well on earth, then God must love me enough to let me into heaven. I’ve never done anything really bad so I should have no problem getting into heaven.”
  • “I don’t think that anybody can really KNOW that they are going to heaven for certain.”
  • “And there are so many more that I can’t list them all, but most of them are similar to these.”

Instead of giving you a bunch of scriptures that refute what I just wrote above, let me ask you a question (or three or four).

What is it that you are relying on to get YOU to Heaven?

If you were to die in the next 10 minutes and you are standing face to face with God and He asks you, “Why should I let you into My Heaven?” — What would you say to Him?  

If what you were relying on to get you to Heaven was wrong, would you like to know? If you can say, “YES“, to this question, please read on.

If you can relate to any of these statements on the BAD side here, and your answer happens to be, “NO“, then you can close out of this page and find something else to read (I suggest reading “I’m Dead, Now What?“) because you won’t want to listen to anything that I have to say anyway.

Moving on…

According to the Bible only (I am not making any of this up) since we count the Bible as God’s own Words – He doesn’t just come out and talk to us person to person (yet).

First – Every man is a sinner (breaker of any/all of God’s 10 commandments as set forth in Exodus 20)

James 2:10 -
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law,
and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Romans 3:10 -
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”

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

Second – The penalty of sin is eternal death!

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

Third – Eternal Life is offered to us ONLY through Jesus.

John 3:15-16 -
15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have eternal life.

16 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 14:6 -
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Romans 5:8 -
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Fourth – How do we receive this GIFT of God?

Romans 10:9 – 13 -
9 “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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 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.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

It’s as easy as that!

If you are relying on anything more than what I’ve just described, then you are not putting ALL of your faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His redeeming blood that was shed to wash away all of our sins.

God doesn’t want us to add anything to this because if we do, it becomes a “works based” salvation. What do I mean by that?  I mean that if there was ANYTHING that we could personally add in order to get to heaven, we would be relying on ourselves to do something special to buy our salvation into heaven.  God won’t let that happen!

Why?  Because, if you or I were able to add anything to that very basic salvation then, whether on this side of heaven or even once we get into heaven (which won’t happen), we would be bragging to our friends or anyone we come in contact with about what WE did to get to heaven. Can you tell me what sin that would be called?

PRIDE!

Proverbs 16:18 -
“Pride goeth before destruction,
and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 -
8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Pride is one of the biggest sins that there is.  If you think about it, most of our sins that we commit on a daily basis are based on pride or at least are stemmed from it.  They can almost all be linked back to pride.  That being the case, and pride being a sin, and heaven can contain NO SIN, we would never be allowed into heaven based on anything that we are able to personally do.

All God wants us to do is to put our faith and trust in Him.  Believe in Him and His salvation-work at Mt. Calvary as all that is needed to get into God’s Heaven.

Doing some of those extra things that you do to get into heaven on your own might make you feel really good, but imagine how much better you could feel if you trust Christ first and then all of those good things that you would have done for your salvation, if there is still any virtue in their accomplishment, you can do them for God’s glory rather than your own.

You see, in Matthew 6:16, Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees of the day for doing works out in the open so that they can look more pious than others, but in verses 17 and 18 He goes on and tells them that they should do their “works” in private so that only God can see them.

Because, in verses 19 through 21 He goes on to say:

19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
- Matthew 6:19-21

What’s even better than this is in:

John 14:2-3 -
2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.”

These verses give me great promise and comfort that when my time on earth is finished, I will have a place of extreme comfort to be able to finally rest.  Jesus ascended into Heaven after His resurrection from the dead so that He could prepare a place for me.  If you put all of the verses together, that tells me that after we are saved from our sin’s penalty in Hell, and I start doing things for Him (not for myself and my own glory), I start to lay up treasures in Heaven.

Those verses indicate that there are many mansions in Heaven and that Jesus is going to prepare a place for me and if I lay up treasures in Heaven, as the other verse says, then, when I get there, I should have, as I picture it, a larger mansion with many treasures in it.

Why would anyone in their own right mind want to, knowing this, please ourselves and others around us for our own vain glory when we have so much more waiting for us when we do things the way God wants us to do them?

I mean, seriously, WHY?

Yet, people do it all the time — WE do it all the time!

Yes, I’m guilty too!  It is the “old man”, the “sin nature”, that is in us that naturally wants to receive the pleasure from the gratitude that we get or the trophy (or equivalent) that we would get for doing something especially well and so that others around us can see how GOOD WE are.  We have to fight that sin nature to make sure that God gets the glory for our accomplishments instead of us – after all, He is the one that gave you the ability to do the thing that got you that glory.

I can speak from experience that if you continue to bring glory to yourself and God has other plans for you and you continue to do your own thing to please yourself rather than do the things that would bring God the glory… He can arrange it to where you are no longer able to do those things that bring you pleasure/glory, but make it so that you have no choice but to turn to Him.

Folks, He will continue to allow bad things to come your way so that little by little you are disabled of the things that bring you that pleasure.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  God has control over all!  He can and WILL do what is necessary to get your attention… until… some day, He may finally determine that you are a hopeless case and you will never turn to Him to do His will and He will bring you home.  That “home” may be Heaven, or it may be Hell, but if you don’t listen to Him and His callings, the outcome may not be the way you would really have liked it.

God wants your talents and your time and abilities – let Him have them.  <I’m pleading with you> Turn your life over to His will.  You will have more peace and joy in your life than you ever imagined.

Yes, you will still face adversity but the difference now is that when you do, you will have a friend with you that sticks closer than a brother, that will NEVER leave you or forsake you and will never steer you wrong by giving you bad advise.  He is the Comforter.

You see, all of those things that I listed at the beginning of this article can still be yours but only if you are serving God.  He will NOT grant those things to you because of your own selfish pleasures. He truly knows the best way to live your life – better than you do.  Let Him have control over your life so that He can show you what He has in store for you.  It may not be what you thought you would be doing, but I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Lord, I ask that you get into the heart of those reading this article right now and convince them of all of the great things that You have in store for them – at the very least, You can take away the heartache and hurt that they are feeling right now.  Give them comfort in knowing that You are now in control of the situations in their life.  Please, bring healing to their hearts and lives.  In Jesus’ Name and for His glory I ask these things, Amen.

If you have received the blessing from this article and or this prayer, please leave a comment (or go to my contact page if you wish to stay anonymous) and let me know that you have received a blessing from this.  I would really love to share your joy so that I can give God the glory as well.  As always, if there is anything you need from a spiritual point of view, please feel free to let me know.

God bless you, –Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

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Here’s The Problem With Our Churches Today

I’m reading a lot in different places about how everybody (that is talking) is a “Christian” and how there should not be division among the “Christians” and, in general, churches/ religions/ denominations.

They think that all they have to do is call themselves a “Christian”, when in actuality, there’s a lot more to being a “Christian” than just saying you’re a “Christian” and then doing a bunch of good things.

First, let us look at what it means to be a “Christian”.

The definition of “Christian”: Christ – like or Christ – follower

How do you become a Christian?

If you look at Romans 10:9-10, it says, “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”.

And then Ephesians 2:8-9, “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.”

First, to be a Christian, we have to confess with our mouths that we are going to follow Jesus AND we have to believe in our hearts that God actually did raise Jesus from the dead on the third day, and that’s all it says we have to do. Then it says that with the heart man believes unto righteousness (or salvation or becoming a “Christian” by more than just name). Not only do we have to say that we are going to follow Jesus, we have to believe it.

It’s not enough to just believe that we are going to follow Jesus, but we also have to confess that we have, and to open our mouths and tell people and then, and only then will we be saved. (Step by step guide through salvation)

You see, there’s nothing there that says that we have to do anything special other than this, there’s no good works, there is no baptism, there’s no “Hail Mary”s. That’s IT!

Ephesians 2:8-9 backs up that statement by saying that it’s only by God’s grace that we are saved and the reason for that is: it can’t be because of anything WE DO, “and that not of yourselves,” means that there’s nothing we can do that will get us into heaven. Salvation is a gift of God, requiring no works because God doesn’t want any man to be able to brag about what they did to get to heaven.

Joining a church, giving money to a church or any other charity, working in a soup kitchen to help the poor, just generally being a good person, WILL NOT GET YOU TO HEAVEN! Really good people such as: Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul, Buddha, or your next door neighbor can NOT get to heaven by their works!

At that point, and only after all of this is completed, can we call ourselves, “Christian”!

If you have not done that, then you cannot call yourself a “Christian”! If you are relying on other things besides confessing sin and claiming Jesus as your Savior for your salvation, then you MAY NOT BE a Christian.

This is not being judgmental! This is only repeating what God’s Word says. It is stated again many other times through Scripture. What more do we need?

Once this is completed, the hard part begins. Now we have to BE LIKE Jesus!

Matthew 16:24
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Many people figure being like Jesus is just loving people. When in actuality, Jesus tells us to keep His commandments. How many commandments are we supposed to keep? Is it only “love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor”? No, it’s not!

We have to remember that Jesus is God, no question about it. We also have to remember that God gave the 10 Commandments along with many other commandments after that in the Old Testament.

Then we have the much-debated-upon “doctrines”. These doctrines come out of the same Book that tells us about Jesus and explains to us what Jesus wants us to do. The whole Bible is filled with His commandments. If we are not doing EVERYTHING that is written within the pages of the Bible, then we are not doing what God wants us to do.

Now, you want to know why people argue? It’s because of the doctrines! Are these important? ABSOLUTELY!

Some of these doctrines are cut and dried; you don’t have to wonder what they’re telling us to do. Some of them are not so cut and dried. That is where religions and denominations come in. That is why people have to argue. That is why there is dissension in our churches. That is why we have church splits as well.

With all of the “education” that we have out there today, each individual teacher (or pastor/priest) is going to teach their own point of view. In other words, too many of them, what the Bible says at that time means absolutely nothing. The unfortunate thing is that we, as the little people, end up being taught the wrong things… And we believe them.

We are told Acts 17:13, that we are to be like those in Berea, and search the Scriptures daily to see if any of these things are true.

You don’t have to believe me about any of this. You can go on living the way you want to. You can call me all sorts of names. You can do anything, but if you don’t believe the Bible, you’re wrong. I challenge you to prove me wrong. The Bible does not contradict itself.

I may consider myself to be a particular denomination; that denomination does not make me a Christian, nor does it even make me better than anyone else. I’ve chosen the denomination that I belong to, because of what they believe, instead of a non-denominational church because they don’t want to tell you what they believe or they only tell you part of the story.

It’s up to you to figure it out by studying the Bible and to find out if they are right or wrong. If they are wrong and you stay there, you are wrong. In James 4:7, it says, “for to him that knows to do good and doeth it not, to him it is SIN”! [emphasis mine]

I’ll tell you what, the journey really begins after a person becomes a Christian. As a Christian, we are to be discerning of what is right and wrong, and then call it what it is – and then do something about it!

You never saw Jesus, when confronted with something that was wrong, just walk around it. He always confronted it head-on. Think about the temple and the money changers and how He overthrew their tables, and He cast them out of the temple. He actually got mad. And this was Jesus – He got mad! Sometimes we have to, too!

When somebody says something that goes against what you THINK you believe, instead of trying to fight with them, try trying to figure out if what that person said is actually true or not. How do we find out? By going to God’s Word. Because, you see, if it doesn’t go along with what the Bible says, it’s most likely WRONG!

In a perfect world there would not be any argument between different religions or denominations. In fact, there would be no religions or denominations, we would all believe the same things. That IS coming in the near future. It will either be after Jesus comes to take us to be with Him, or it will be when this world sets up a (false) one-world-religion and demands tolerance among all religions.

There is only one way to heaven. If your church does not teach that, it is wrong! And, if you stay there, knowing what I have just said, you will be wrong too and God will hold you accountable for it at the Judgment!

IT’S YOUR CHOICE…

©2013 Mark Davis

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