Nominal Christianity

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.

Continue Reading:

©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… 😉

The Bible Outlawed in 52 Countries

The United Nations says that there are 198 countries in the world. The Bible is outlawed in 52 of those countries. http://christiansareus.com has been seen in at least 104 countries. How many of the 104 countries that christiansareus.com has been seen in is the Bible - the subject and source of the site - outlawed in? How many people in those countries are only seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they saw it at http://ChristiansAreUs.com? If you'd like to help the other 94 countries see the Gospel, SHARE this post. Click on the picture above to see a list of the top 50 rated countries that oppress Christianity (as of 2018).

**2014**
The United Nations says that there are 198 countries in the world. The Bible is outlawed in 52 of those countries.
ChristiansAreUs.com has been seen in at least 104 countries. How many of the 104 countries that ChristiansAreUs.com has been seen in is the Bible – the subject and source of this site – outlawed in? How many people in those countries are only seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they saw it at http://ChristiansAreUs.com?
If you’d like to help the other 94 countries see the Gospel, SHARE this post.

**Updated January 2019**
Click on the picture above to see a list of the top 50 rated countries that oppress Christianity (as of 2018).
Of these 50, 39 of them rank near the bottom of the list of visitors to this site, 11 of them have NEVER visited at all!
On the positive side; at this time, someone from at least 200 countries has visited our site at one time or another. We know that there are at least 11 more countries that have not heard the Gospel from this site – and maybe never at all!
SHARE this post to try to make sure that you do your part to get the Gospel to the WHOLE world.

©2014 Mark Davis

Continue Reading:

The Trojan Horse Infiltrates the Church

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

Continued Reading:

Can God Really Forget Your Sins?

In response to a question from a reader:

“This question is off topic…but what do you think this verse means?”

Hebrews 8:12
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

“Do you think it’s bad to go as far to say that when God sees us, He doesn’t see any of our sin and only views us as perfect and righteous?”

This is a great question and one that many people mistranslate much of the time.

The reason I say this is that there are also other scriptures that back this up but also clarify it more, to the point that it changes what it looks like it says in this scripture.

(Hebrews 10:16-17; Psalms 25:7; Psalms 65:3; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22; Jeremiah 33:8; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 7:19; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 11:27; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 1:7-9; 1 John 2:1-2; Revelation 1:5)

The actual thought behind this statement is this: God the Son – Jesus – came to earth, shed His blood as the perfect sacrifice to forgive our sins, once and for all, and we as Christians have chosen to accept that sacrifice as payment for our sins. That being the case, the fact becomes that Jesus’ blood has enveloped and covered our sins so that it appears that they never happened, in God’s sight.  Once we have been saved, we are saved for eternity – we can NEVER lose His salvation.

Think about this:
If we sin, God sees it. He sees us on the very inside of our souls and sees every sin that we have ever done or ever will do. Since God is omniscient, He knows everything.

Can God forget something to the point that He can’t see it ever again? Since He created man and we are fallible; even though we have asked Jesus to come into our heart and His blood has forgiven and cleansed us of all of our past sins.  At that point, in God’s redemptive eyes, we have never sinned and are therefore perfect in His sight making us, because of Jesus’ blood, worthy of entering Heaven (since there can be no sin in heaven).

Did those sins disappear? NO! We can still remember them. We remember what we did, what it was like when we did it, how we felt and we may even have a propensity of committing that sin again (or one like it).

Can God, now, not see any of that? Yes. Because He knows us better than a brother knows us or our best friend. Being fallible, we have the ability to root up that memory of that action (sin); He doesn’t wipe our memory clean. Even if God had forgotten all of our sins prior to our salvation, if we remember that sin after that, God would know of that sin again.

It is just impossible for God to forget our sins to the point that it appears to Him as though we never sinned. He knows that we are “blood-bought”, “born again”, fallible Christians.

He knows that we have sinned but He also sees Christ in our lives and says, “Since you know My Son, you can come into Heaven.” Jesus has become our door pass into the Party of the Universe!

Remember that I said that Jesus’ blood forgives all of our sins up to that point – the point of salvation?

What happens to the sins that we will inevitably commit after that?

Won’t that then make us dirty in God’s sight and unable to enter Heaven? Yes, and No. We will be dirty but since we still have Jesus in our lives, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us; we will still be allowed entrance to Heaven.

Does that then give us a free pass to commit any sin we want after we are “saved”? NO! The whole chapter of Romans 6 talks about that.

What happens to the sins that we commit after we are saved?

Wow, that is a whopper of a question. The sins that we committed prior to salvation had, and still have, their consequences.  Even so, sin also has its consequences after we are saved and, if it results (or resulted) in some other consequence, regardless if it is physical, emotional or even judgmental (earthly).

Some of our sins are not seen by other people, maybe they were just a thought, but God sees them and so you are sinning against Him.

Much like the earthly courts, we will also stand before Jesus and face accountability for our unrepentant sins and our actions, whether right or wrong (1 Corinthians 3:1-11). Because of the verses before indicating that God remembers them no more, I believe that the judgment that the believers will face will be two-fold: 1) Judgment for the sins left unconfessed before God prior to the judgment (in Heaven), and 2) Judgement for the acts of service that we did and DID NOT do for God while we had the opportunity here on earth. Yes, we will be charged for the things that we knew we were supposed to do to please God and yet still didn’t do them (James 4:17).

Just for the record, the judgment that we will face as Christians is NOT the same judgment that the unsaved will face. The believer’s judgment is called the “Judgement Seat of Christ” or the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Jeremiah 17:7-10; 1 Peter 1:17; Romans 14:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Matthew 25:23; Proverbs 24:12). The unbeliever’s judgment is called the “Great White Throne Judgment” that will ultimately penalize the unsaved to an eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire with the Devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15)

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

Luis Palau, Experiencing God’s Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1985.

That little story may be a bit humorous but I assure you that the difference between what God sees and what God doesn’t hold us accountable for, is not going to be too funny when we finally stand before God at the Judgment, whether it be the judgment for the believers or the judgment for the unbelievers.

Friend, if you fall under the heading of the unbeliever, I urge you to settle that between you and God.  Accept Christ’s sacrifice of His life on the cross as He shed His blood to be able to forgive your sins and mine, so that we may no longer have to stand accountable before Jesus and be thrown into everlasting fire (Hell) for never accepting that FREE gift of forgiveness and with it, eternal life in Heaven.

If you need any help in asking God for that forgiveness and don’t really know what to do, please contact me and I will be more than happy to guide you along.  You will never be sorry that you did.

If you have any further questions after studying through this article, please note them at the bottom of this page or you can go to our Contact Us Page to leave a more private comment that will come straight to me.  I will not try to embarrass you, but rather, I just want to make sure your questions are all cleared up.

God Bless You,

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

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

Continued Reading:

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

Continue Reading:

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)

“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

Continued Reading:

Burning Fire Shut Up In My Bones

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 ~

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 over, keep

A. to watch, guard, keep
B. to…

View original post 1,694 more words

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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Have You Ever Considered?

Is there really a heaven or hell?  

If you died today and went into eternity, where would you go? Heaven, or Hell?  There is NO in between and if you cannot answer definitively that you would be going to heaven with conviction, you are going to hell!

When asking this question to random people on the street, most people would not be able to tell you one way or the other.  Some would say that they HOPE or THINK that they would go to heaven, but have no reason why or have no basis as to their thought process.

If you stood before the All Powerful, All Knowing, God and He asked you, “Why should I let you into MY heaven?”, what would you tell Him?  If you don’t have any definite reason WHY, you don’t get to go in!

Why would that matter?  Because if you don’t get to go into Heaven, you WILL go to HELL!

Yes. Hell is a very real place.  It is NOT a place where a person will get to party for the rest of eternity. Think about this…

Who is the one that presides over all of today’s parties that are filled with debauchery and drunkenness and sex and filth and drugs and … the list goes on…?  Who is the Father of all of that sinful behavior?  Why, it is none other than the “Father of Lies” himself, Satan – or as he is otherwise known, the Devil.

Why is that important at all?  Because, if Satan is going to be punished for the rest of eternity for revolting against God (along with a third of the angels) by being thrown into the “Lake of Fire” full of pain and sorrow and weeping and gnashing of teeth where a person will want to die but it will never happen, where there will be torment and torture for the rest of eternity (a very long time – NEVER ENDING!)  That is what is in store for Satan and his angels according to Revelations 21.

But, what does that have to do with you?  Well, as it says that Satan et al will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, it also says that death and the grave will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with him (them).

If you were not able to give God the right answer to the question above, then you will be included in the “death and the grave” part of that statement.

There is no purgatory, unlike some might think.  It is never mentioned in the Bible, but rather, it was made up by a pope many years ago as a ploy to get the catholic people to feel sorry for their dead loved ones and the pope allowed the living relatives to give gifts to the church in order to shorten the time that they will have to spend there before they are finally prayed/payed into their heavenly place.  Sorry, it isn’t going to happen that way.  I challenge you to find me one place in the Bible where it says that any of this purgatory stuff will actually happen – you can’t do it because it isn’t there.

Back to the important topic at hand… Where are you going to spend eternity?

Friend, if this were not important, do you really think that I would be wasting my valuable time talking to you about this?  In fact, in God’s eyes, this is the most important topic in the world!

You see, God desires more than anything in this world to have you spending eternity with Him in His heaven.  In fact, since heaven is a sinless place and we humans are very sinful beings, we are not going to be allowed in to God’s heaven the way we are.  In fact, you could be the absolute best role model on the face of the earth but you would still be far from the perfect being that would be required to enter God’s heaven.

See, God knew this ahead of time (He knows everything from eternity past to eternity future – even the stuff that hasn’t happened yet), that is why He devised a plan to provide a substitute sacrifice for your atonement of your sins.  What does that mean?  As we have determined in the last paragraph, we are not good enough to get into God’s heaven, so the alternative is only to go to Hellllllllll!

God’s substitute sacrifice happened to be God the Son – the Second Person of the Godhead out of the “Trinity” (that is discussed in another post),  You see, God the Father was going to send His Son down to live with man for an honest-to-goodness sinless lifetime.

He started with the immaculate conception when the Holy Spirit implanted the seed that was to be Jesus within Mary’s womb.  No, it’s not what you think – contrary to what some religions believe, there was no sexual intercourse that occurred between God and Mary or an angel and Mary.  Mary was a virgin before conception and continued to be a virgin until Jesus the Christ was finally born. After that Mary and Joseph produced a very healthy family in the conventional manner known to man and woman.

Jesus’ mission on earth was to be born as a man-child, to be raised in the normal Hebrew manner, being taught the scriptures that they had up to that time (Moses’ writings and the prophets).  He frequented the temples where he would debate the scriptures with the priests and pharisees, usually ending up with Him teaching them rather than them teaching Him.  He would literally sit with them for days (and we get upset when the pastor of our churches takes more than an hour for a sermon).

He would live out a normal life as a child developing into a man – the only difference is that He was tempted in every sense of the word, just as we are now, but rather than succumbing to the temptations in front of Him, He remained clean and perfect and without sin.  You see, only a sinless, perfect sacrifice could take our place in death.  The death that was the penalty for the one sin that we have committed – yeah, right; I know that you’ve sinned many more times than once.

As a slight side note:

I’m sure you are familiar with the 10 commandments that are referenced in Exodus 20.  Among those are: killing, adultery, idolatry, lust, envy, putting any god in front of the only One and True God, disobeying your parents. Did you also realize that the Bible also tells us that if you were to even think in your heart about any of these commandments to break them, you are guilty of breaking that commandment.  In fact, it goes further and says that if you are guilty of one, you are guilty of all of them.

According to that statement, where does that put you?  Did you know that you are surrounded by a group of mass murderers?  That might sound a bit comical, but in God’s eyes it is totally true!  And, as we established earlier, the penalty of any sin – regardless what sin it might be – is DEATH!  This doesn’t mean that you die and then that is it.  NO! That could not be further from the truth.  Rather, when we die physically, our bodies might be buried or cremated or whatever your preference might be, but someday there is going to be a resurrection.  In fact there is going to be two resurrections. One for the ones that are truly on their way to Heaven and the other will be for those who will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with Satan.

As I said, Satan is not the ultimate party DJ, although he might be the loudest of the screams of pain that will be emanating from the pit of hell.  This trip to hell is not going to be a vacation.  It will not be a party with 72 virgins (or however many they think they will get).  In fact, even though, as the name depicts, “Lake of Fire”, it isn’t going to be like it is here on earth where when something encounters fire of differing temperatures, it will be consumed and that is that – no more existence! In fact, the Bible says that it is a place of eternal torment, where the thirst is not quenched and the “worm dieth not” – you’ve just become a worm….

What is my point in telling you all of this morbid stuff?  You see, we only seem to think that it is morbid because it is depressing since all we want to do while we are on this earth is to make lots of money, have lots of fun, travel, even have as much sex as possible (I only say that because it is true).

The thought of interrupting our plans of doing all of this to just stop and turn around and start making dramatic changes in our lives and start actually following Jesus and doing the things that are commanded us to do in the Bible – I can’t list them all here.

The main thing is that we were not put on this earth, much less to become a Christian, but to serve ourselves and make our existence on this ball of dirt to please our own desires and pass into eternity to be punished in hell for not serving God.

Why do we need to serve God so badly?  Many years ago in the Garden of Eden, God created two beautiful humans that were sinless and faultless and naked without shame.  Why did He create them?  He wanted to have some intelligent companionship that WANTED to be with Him.  And He even gave them a choice of being with Him or death if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Satan tempted them, they gave in to his temptation and they eventually died.  The worst part of it all was that they didn’t only die physically but they also died spiritually – and that is why we are put on this earth.

I know that this world has a way of sugar-coating evil to make it look like it is fun – and it may be, but that fun wears off after a while and then there are penalties and consequences that must be paid. These payments may be in the form of a traffic ticket fine or you may do something that requires you to have a physical impairment for the rest of your life, or even worse yet, someone else might have that impairment or even lose their life.  Or, your penalty may only be the eternal penalty of death in hell.

Friend, if you couldn’t tell God why He should let you into His heaven, you need to get this taken care of between you and God.  Please, get on your knees before Him and beg for Him to forgive you and that you want to receive the gift that Jesus is willing to give you of eternal life in heaven with God and then give your life over to God to let Him use you to help show others about how God wants them to go to heaven too.

You know, you could walk away from reading this and go back to doing the same old sinful things, but God has a much bigger plan for you. And, trust me when I say to you, that being in God’s service and doing the things that God wants you to do, you could never get more joy and happiness from anything else that this world has to offer you.

In John 14, Jesus tells us:

John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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.

What many people don’t quite grasp about being a Christian is that even though Jesus is not walking this earth right now, He will be coming to get us soon so that we can spend eternity with Him.  He said that this is a word of encouragement that in His Father’s house (Heaven) are many mansions – these mansion (of whatever sort they might be) are made for us!  I don’t see these being apartment buildings or condos, but mansions!  He is going, at that time until He comes back, to be preparing these places for us.  We get our very own mansions.  These aren’t time shares either – we aren’t just buying a week or a year out of eternity to be there.  He continues and says that He is going to come back again and get us and take us to where He lives (Heaven) so that we can be with Him as He intended for mankind in the first place.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul is talking to the Thessalonian church.  They were concerned that they would never get to see their loved ones again that had passed into eternity before them.  He tells them this:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But 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.

Brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant (or unknowing) about those who have died already, that you don’t weep and feel like you will never see them again like those who are unsaved do (they have no hope of eternal life).  If you truly believe that Jesus died and rose again, then you will see them again if they were saved when God brings them with Him.  Paul speaks this by the authority of the Lord, that those of us who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will not keep this from happening to those who have already died.  Verse 16; For the Lord Himself (not angels or Michael the archangel) will come down from the heavens with a SHOUT, with the calling of the archangel and with the trumpet sound of God, Himself: and at that point, faster than we can even imagine, the dead that had been saved before they died, will rise to meet Him in the clouds: then the rest of us (who have been saved up to this point) will be caught up (modern term is “raptured”) into the clouds to meet them all even including the Lord – or Christ – and from that point on, we will always be with the Lord!  Because of this, brethren, comfort each other with these words.

How much more beautiful could you imagine it?  If you want a wonderful description of the “New Jerusalem”, you should check out Revelation Chapter 22. … No more sorrow, no more pain … I can’t wait!

My friends, the point in this article is not to, necessarily, get you saved, but to try to light a fire under you to sense the urgency of making sure that anyone and everyone that you come in contact with in the future, that you spend a few minutes and ask them what lies in store for them in eternity and give them the Gospel news that they could spend eternity in heaven with Jesus – and you and me.

Consider this …

… the cashier at the local grocery store is checking your groceries out and all you have to do is ask them that if they died today, would they go to heaven?

… the waitress at your favorite restaurant may have a car accident on the way home from work and end up in hell because you didn’t share Jesus with her.

… the friend you have had since childhood that has never accepted Christ as their personal Savior and you may be the last person that they get a chance to hear it from.

… maybe your parent(s) have never heard God’s plan of salvation and you are just the person that they need to hear it from so that they can make that final decision for Christ.

Remember that we, as Christians, are not out there to twist arms of everyone that we know and force them into a decision.  All we are required to do is tell them what God’s Word has to say about their eternal future.

Some sow the seeds; some water the seeds; but God makes them grow. Occasionally, we have the distinct pleasure of actually leading someone to Christ and verifying with them that they are on their way to heaven with you.  Even if you don’t get to do that, you – if you have done your duty – have done your duty.  Just present God’s Word to them.  If you need help knowing what to share with them or how to do it, there are quite a few different approaches listed in the “Salvation” section of my blog site here – or you can follow the links that I supply to you below.

Christian, I really hope that this has made you think about how you can spread the Gospel.  The time is getting near when the Lord is going to come back for us and we don’t want to have to stand before Him and try to give Him excuses about why we didn’t do our job and why, now, that person is in hell.

God bless you and your soul-winning efforts.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or you can go to my Contact page to contact me privately.

©2013 Mark Davis

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